Distinguished Faculty Awards, 2012-13

On Saturday, May 18, at Gordon’s 121st Commencement ceremony, provost Janel Curry recognized professor of recreation and leisure studies Valerie Gin and assistant professor of philosophy Brian Glenney as this year’s recipients of the Distinguished Faculty Awards. The Distinguished Faculty Awards are given annually to one senior and one junior full-time faculty member in recognition of excellence in teaching, substantial scholarly and professional achievement, and notable service to the Gordon community. Upon being nominated by the faculty and members of the graduating class, the final recipients of the award are chosen by a committee comprised of Distinguished Faculty Award winners from the previous three years and the provost.

Said Provost Curry of Senior Distinguished Faculty Award winner Valerie Gin, “The Senior Distinguished Faculty Award recipient can be found almost anywhere in the world–mentoring others in places as far-ranging as South Africa or China. Beyond cultural boundary crossings, she has also been exploring the boundaries of gender and sport, and is presently working on a novel–collaboratively–around the topic of Title IX.”

Of Junior Distinguished Faculty Award winner Brian Glenney, she noted, “The Junior Distinguished Faculty Award winner also crosses boundaries–especially disciplinary boundaries. I believe our conversations this year have ranged from: perception of place, to the sovereignty of God and cultural landscapes, to randomness in nature, to graffiti art, and finally, to the construction of shelves in my house–from the abstract to the concrete and everything in between. Often I forget what department he actually belongs to because his work is so creatively cross-cutting.”

The Manliest Man

Professor of social work James W. Trent‘s forthcoming book, The Manliest Man: Samuel G. Howe and the Contours of Nineteenth-Century American Reform, was recently selected as the lead book in the University of Massachusetts’s Spring/Summer 2012 catalog. The book, which focuses on the social reform efforts of Samuel G. Howe (1801-1876) in antebellum America, is scheduled for publication in July of 2012. An abstract of Trent’s work follows:

“A native of Boston and a physician by training, Samuel G. Howe (1801–1876) led a remarkable life. He was a veteran of the Greek War of Independence, a fervent abolitionist, and the founder of both the Perkins School for the Blind and the Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Children. Married to Julia Ward Howe, author of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” he counted among his friends Senator Charles Sumner, public school advocate Horace Mann, and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Continue reading

Oil and Coral

Assistant professor of biology Walter Cho recently returned from St. Petersburg, FL, where he was a participant in the  Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Principal Investigator One Year Update Workshop, sponsored by the National Science and Technology Council’s Sub-Committee on Ocean Science and Technology. Along with his colleague Timothy Shank from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Walter presented his research on the effects of the oil spill on coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico. The abstract of the presentation is below:

“Deep-water coral communities are thought to be vulnerable to disturbance due to their low rates of colonization, growth, and the high levels of host-specificity for associated invertebrates. A major concern resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the vulnerability of these deep-water coral communities to the oil spill. Research cruises in 2008 and 2009 established a comparative baseline for changes in benthic community structure. Research cruises in 2010 and 2011 returned to some of the sites visited prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and also explored new areas that may host deep-water coral communities. We assessed the potential impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coral-associated invertebrates (including ophiuroids, crabs, shrimp, barnacles) and the level of genetic connectivity between populations in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the North Atlantic.”

The Virtues of French Cheese

Written exclusively by Gordon faculty members and administrators, Faith + Ideas = is a regular column exploring relevant issues and intellectual interests for our community as well as the broader culture. Several weeks ago, professor of French Damon Di Mauro enlightened readers on the virtues of French cheese…and how those virtues speak to the magic of higher learning.

The subject came up again in my language class the other day, as it invariably does at least once a year: “Why does France have 350 different kinds of cheese?”

Somehow, in the American popular imagination, this seeming superfluous profusion of fromage is emblematic of French frivolity, as farcical as their frou-frou fashion or fickle foreign affairs. After the classroom snickers subside, I find myself casting a forlorn eye on my charges, gently breaking the news to them that, alas, alas, they’ve been deprived, for they’ve probably never tasted “real cheese” before.

They stare back at me as if I’ve just told them they’re depraved, not deprived, but I affirm that nothing could be truer (i.e. the deprived part). Now, French cheese is made with raw milk—the sine qua non for superior quality, anything less would be sacrilege—which explains its complexity and depth of flavor.

Continue reading

Gordon-hosted Conference Produces Second Special Edition Journal

Professor of psychology Bert Hodges recently had two works published. The first is a special issue of the journal Ecological Psychology (Vol. 23, 3), edited by Hodges and Carol Fowler (University of Connecticut & Haskins Labs). The issue is entitled “Distributed, Ecological, and Dynamical Approaches to Languaging and Language,” and it is the second special issue to emerge from a conference of the Distributed Language Group supported by the National Science Foundation and hosted at Gordon College in 2009.

In addition, Hodges also recently published an article in a special edition of Pragmatics & Cognition (Vol. 17, 3) entitled “Ecological pragmatics: Values, dialogical arrays, complexity, and caring.” An abstract of the article can be found here.

Adam Smith and…Cognitive Science?

Glenney_Brian_2008_11_21_02_08_11Assistant professor of philosophy Brian Glenney recently published an article in the Journal of Scottish Philosophy. Entitled “Adam Smith and the Problem of the External World,” the article is the first to address Smith’s essay “On the External Senses” (1737). Brian’s work advances the idea that Smith, one of history’s most well-known economists, was also the first to suggest two major findings in cognitive science: that there exists a “critical period” for brain development and that the perception of infants is structured. As Brian states in the article, “One wonders after reading Smith’s essay whether the dark ages of developmental psychology, which culminated in James’ appellation of infant experience as a ‘blooming, buzzing confusion,’ would have emerged had Smith been as persistent in his account of perception as he was in his accounts of the principles of economy and morality.”

To see the article abstract, click here.

New Faculty: Walter Cho

In preparation for the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, Faculty Central will highlight the new members of the full-time faculty over the next few weeks.

walter_2011_04_21_04_32_12Walter Cho joins the biology department in a one-year position as an assistant professor, filling in for associate professor Dorothy Boorse while she is on a grant-funded leave to write an environmental science textbook. Walter earned his B.A. in Biology at Harvard University in 2000 and his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program in 2008. His research focuses on the patterns of biodiversity, biogeography, and population connectivity of marine fauna, particularly the invertebrate associates of deep-sea corals.  Recently, his research has been concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico, where he has been studying the potential impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep-sea coral communities.

New Faculty: Andy Moore

In preparation for the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, Faculty Central will highlight the new members of the full-time faculty over the next few weeks.

MooreAndy Moore joins the department of economics and business this year as an associate professor. He earned his B.S. in Administration/Accounting from California State University, Los Angeles (1975), his M.S. in Management from Troy State University, Camp New Amsterdam (1984), and his M.S. in Biblical Counseling from Philadelphia Biblical University (2003). Andy is a C.P.A. in Texas and Pennsylvania. He has fifteen years adjunct teaching experience, most recently with Eastern University in Pennsylvania teaching in their undergraduate and graduate programs. His long and varied business experience includes time with Global Marine Drilling Co. with over four years living and working in the Netherlands and seven months in Scotland. Andy was a manager at Pritchard, Bieler, Gruver & Willison, P.C., a C.P.A. firm; CFO of the Regency Foundation, an affiliate of Philadelphia Biblical University; and Director of Administration and Finance of Geneva College’s Center for Urban Theological Studies.

New Faculty: Alice Tsang

In preparation for the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, Faculty Central will highlight the new members of the full-time faculty over the next few weeks.

Alice TsangAlice Tsang joins the faculty of the economics and business department this semester as an associate professor. Alice earned her B.A. in English/Translation from the University of Hong Kong and her M.B.A. in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University.  Alice has a wide variety of experience in the business world, having worked as an assistant vice president at E.F. Hutton & Co. and Merrill Lynch, and a vice president at MBIA, Inc.  She also served as a fixed income analyst at Fidelity Investments for fifteen years.  Alice joined the part-time faculty at Gordon this previous academic year, teaching courses in marketing and financial management.  During this upcoming year, in addition to her teaching duties, Alice will also serve as the Director of Asian Initiatives, working collaboratively with Admissions and Development on recruitment and donor relations in Asia.