John Truschel, Casey Cooper and Alice Tsang.
Three faculty with extensive corporate experience recently brought their expertise out of the classroom and into several special workshops sponsored by Career Services for Gordon students. Adjunct professor John Truschel; Alice Tsang, associate professor of Economics and Business and director of Asian Initiatives at Gordon; and Casey Cooper, assistant professor of Economics and Business and managing director of the Center for Nonprofit Organization Studies and Philanthropy, discussed strategies for successful careers. The workshops were part of a series entitled, “From Gordon to the Workplace,” sponsored by Career Services to better prepare students to enter the job market.
Truschel emphasized that doing the basics well is often what captures the attention of supervisors and sets an employee apart from other employees. He said “the cumulative effect of consistency,” that is, doing good work consistently, would win the notice of others and promotions would likely follow. Reflecting Christian virtues, he said, should be evident in that good work, i.e., honesty, discretion, character, etc. Tsang observed that many court the favor of superiors but are not as courteous to peers and subordinates. A lack of respect and courtesy to others often hurts workers seeking advancement. She encouraged students to focus on adding value to the company through their work rather than simply focusing on salary increases but reminded students that compensation does not tell the whole story. Mentoring others in the workplace will makes employees more valuable to the employer. Cooper exhorted students to be successful in the workplace by “being adults” and taking responsibility for their actions and performance, in part by finding their strengths and using them as a guide to serve their employers well.
The three also discussed how to create new approaches for routine tasks, weigh the availability of employer funded educational benefits along with the sacrifice of time and energy that study will require, and increase career options by building savings while developing time-management skills. All agreed that building relationships with other professionals through networking is essential to advancing one’s career.
It takes a village (of scholars) to raise a new scholar. At least, that’s the ethos behind the Third Annual Literatures and Linguistics Undergraduate Colloquium, taking place Saturday, March 31, 2012, at Gordon. The collaboration between the English department and the Department of Languages and Linguistics includes English professors Andrea Frankwitz and Andrew Logemann, and Gregor Thuswaldner, Moises Park and Emmanuelle Vanborre from the Languages and Linguistics committee. The goal? To encourage greater opportunities for young scholars to present their work and research.
In the fall, the professors invited submissions from undergraduate students from all colleges and universities to submit 8-10 page papers in English dealing with any linguistic or literary topic. Students were to provide a 100-200 word summary (abstract) of their essay in addition to a completed paper. Presentations were not to exceed 20 minutes.
The result are talks ranging in issues from language and gender to culture and anarchy, with titles such as, “A Language Learner’s Difficulty Understanding Humor Across Language and Culture”; “Parody in Austen’s Northanger Abbey”; “Shakespeare vs. Petrarch”; and “The Role of the Racial Other in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.” The day will conclude with a featured address by Richard F. Thomas, the George Martin Lane Professor of Classics at Harvard University. Dr. Thomas’ teaching and research interests are focused on Hellenistic Greek and Roman literature, intertextuality, translation and translation theory, the reception of classical literature in all periods, and the works of Bob Dylan.
It’s not listed under the physics requirements in the catalogue, but David Lee, professor of physics, brings his knowledge and expertise to another class he’s teaching this semester: Fly Fishing. On the first day of the fourth quad semester and on a perfect March day—with temperatures in the 80s—Lee grabbed 16 rods for his students (eight women and eight men) who joined him on the Quad. They talked about mass density, the weight of objects, and of course, wrist techniques. Lee has taught the course before at Gordon, and sees it as a good way to bring physics outside.
Students on campus are seeking justice . . . in the chemistry lab. At least that’s the hope of Dwight Tshudy, associate professor of chemistry, who’s teaching Forensics this semester for the fourth time since it was first offered in 2006. With 15 students from a variety of majors, Tshudy says his goal is to blend science with other related topics (such as justice) in lectures, discussions, labs and of course, in the field as the class investigates various “crime scenes” he sets up around campus. Here’s how Tshudy describes his unique class:
“Forensic science is a multi-disciplinary enterprise that exposes students to scientific concepts and tools that cover a number of different scientific disciplines. Forensics naturally has student interest across disciplines, and it works well as a thematic course that covers the Natural World and Civic Responsibility requirements in the core curriculum. This semester, students in the class are majoring in psychology, chemistry, kinesiology, music, English, physics, linguistics, political science, and history. This allows for some great cross disciplinary discussions especially around justice and its connection to the criminal justice system. Courses that have this mix of majors are good examples of having the thematic core.
“The first part of the lab portion introduces different tools and instrumentation that can be used in an investigation and then teams with four students per team process and analyze a ‘crime scene’ somewhere on campus using the skills they’ve gained. We emphasize scientific aspects of investigations, but explore other aspects of how forensics is used in the criminal justice system, and how law and science intersect. I’ve designed the course for those who want to learn about forensics and have a desire to be ‘hands-on’ in the lab and field. The class is really a combination of general forensic investigations, fundamental scientific principles, and the role terms like ‘justice’ plays into it all. It teaches students some scientific principles and ideas while exploring where science can (and should) play a role in society.”