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Westmont College
955 La Paz Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

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Faculty Highlights 2011-12

The Provost or a deputy summarizes various academic accomplishments at the end of each monthly faculty meeting.

Scott Anderson has been busy producing a series of illustrations for a variety of newspapers and magazines around the country including the Phoenix New Times, Minnesota City Pages, Creative Loafing Tampa, the Scottsdale Times, and most notably, the Wall Street Journal. I also want to make mention that Scott serves as the faculty advisor to the students who put together the college yearbook, the Westmont Citadel. Yesterday we received word that the 2010-2011 Westmont Citadel was awarded a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. A total score of 929 points out of 1000 possible was awarded, with an astonishing perfect score of 200 out of 200 points in the subcategory of photography, and a near-perfect score of 194 points out of 200 in the subcategory of design. He was recently notified that one of his illustrations was accepted into this year's Illustration West competition, which is held annually by the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles. His piece will be exhibited online and in the Illustration West exhibition at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra in late March.

Kathryn Stelmach Artuso has received the Ruth Vande Kieft Award from the Eudora Welty Society for the best annual essay on Welty by a junior scholar.  The award includes publication in the Eudora WeltyReview of her essay, "Transatlantic Rites of Passage in the Friendship and Fiction of Eudora Welty and Elizabeth Bowen."

Dr. Gayle Beebe has written The Shaping of an Effective Leader: Eight Formative Principles of Leadership from Intervarsity Press.

Brad Berky, Director of the Westmont in San Francisco program, presented a session on "Vocation and the Liberal Arts: Opportunities and Challenges" at the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education conference at California Lutheran University last month.

John Blondell recently went to England where he chaired the annual conference of the world theater network interACT.

Grey Brothers and Michael Shasberger appeared as soloists and choral artists in "Bach at the Mission," a performance of music of J.S. Bach at Mission San Luis Obispo on Saturday, January 21. The ensemble was a melding of advanced music students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and area professionals.

Alister Chapman has published an excerpt from his forthcoming book on John Stott in The Living Church, an American Episcopal Church newspaper. The article is entitled “The Principled Floater.” He had a column published in the Huffington Post to coincide with John Stott's American Memorial Service in Wheaton last month. Entitled "John Stott's Lasting Impact on American Evangelicalism," it looked at the growth of a more intellectual stream in American evangelicalism associated with places like Wheaton College.

Steve Contakes also co-authored an article with a Westmont student entitled “Josiah Parsons Cooke Jr.:  Epistemology in the Service of Science, Pedagogy, and Natural Theology” which appeared in Hyle  - International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry. Steve also gave two conference papers during the summer “Chemistry as a Source of Wisdom: The Chemistry Curriculum as a Tool for Exploring Faith-Science Dialogue” at the Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation, and “Exploring Foundational Faith-Science Issues through Chemistry” at the Pedagogy of Faith in the Science Classroom Conference at Indiana Wesleyan University. Finally, he and Tremper Longman participated in a panel on academic freedom at the Science, Theology, and the Academy Christian Scholars conference at Pepperdine this past May. 

Now let me mention several faculty who have recently received grants. Jesse Covington has received a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation to assist his research in political theory. As I mentioned briefly at Faculty Retreat,  Steve Contakes and Claudia Scott collaborated on a proposal that has been funded by the Institute for the Scientific Study of Religion and provides our library with over two hundred key books on the history of science and on the “science and religion” conversation; and Biology department faculty, Eileen McMahon and Steve Julio, have secured funding for the completion of a "Comprehensive Fluorescence Imaging Workstation" which consists of 3 major pieces of research equipment.  Westmont was initially offered a Matching grant challenge from the Hedco Foundation.  That challenge was then met with 2 grants from the Stamps and the Mericos foundations.  In total, we have received about $180,000 for equipment purchases.  

On other fronts, four of our faculty co-presented last month at Baylor University’s annual symposium on Faith & Culture. The conference theme this year was on “Educating for Wisdom in the 21st Century University.”  Jesse Covington, Lesa Stern, Sarah Skripsky, and Maurice Lee lead a 90 minute colloquium on the topic “Christian Formation and the Liberal Arts: Critical Engagement and Application.” Their work is based on their responses to a book by Calvin professor, Jamie Smith entitled Desiring the Kingdom. The four of them had been in a faculty reading group last year that discussed Smith’s book. In January these four colleagues present their material to the rest of us in the context of a Faculty Exchange.

Lisa DeBoer read a paper at CAA (College Art Association) meetings last week on "Parallel Pedagogy for combined studio and art history departments." The content the paper came out of a paper she wrote years ago for a summer seminar hosted by our own Gaede Institute, combined with results from the recent departmental Six-Year Program Review Report.

Paul Delaney wrote the program note for an Old Vic revival of Tom Stoppard’s play The Real Thing. His article appeared in the Old Vic Theatre (London) production program with the full title: “Portrait of a Playwright: Stoppard Celebrates a Humanness That Is Not Just Biology, and Not Just Reason.”Paul has also published a book review of Mending a Tattered Faith: Devotions with Dickinson by Susan VanZanten. His review of VanZanten’s book about Emily Dickinson appeared in the Winter 2011-12 issue of Ruminate.

I am also pleased to announce that we recently received word that the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts has decided to fund a mentoring grant proposal for $12,000 written and submitted by Deborah Dunn, our Director of Faculty Mentoring.  We were informed that their Board found this to be a “model application.”  I will give Deborah the opportunity in the future to explain what the grant will allow us to do next year but I want to take this moment to express publicly my thanks for her efforts in securing this grant.

Leonor Elías and Dinora Cardoso read a paper entitled "Trekking Through the Garden
of the _Libro de Buen Amor_ at the NACFLA conference hosted here on campus by the Modern Languages Department. Mary Docter chaired the conference and also delivered a paper "Cultivating Global Christians Through Study Abroad".

And speaking of Calvin, I received an email announcement of their upcoming 2012 summer seminars and noticed that our own Charlie Farhadian will be leading a two-week seminar there on “Globalization & Worship: Soundings from the Worldwide Church.” He has written and now published a few encyclopedia article entries for  Mark Juergensmeyer and Wade Clark Rook (Eds.),Encyclopedia of Global Religions(Los Angeles: SAGE). Charlie’s entries are on “missions/missionaries," "church," "world religions," and "Papua."

Jamie Friedman has co-edited a brand new book from Palgrave/Macmillan entitled Grief, Guilt, and Hypocrisy: The Inner Life of Women in Medieval Romance Literature. Her own essay in the volume is “Between Boccaccio and Chaucer: The Limits of Female Interiority in the Knight’s Tale.”She has published a book review in The Medieval Review on Frederick Kiefer's Masculinities and Femininities in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  Over Spring Break, she led a one-day graduate seminar at UCSB on the "hermeneutic Jew" and fantasies of Jewish embodiment in the Siege of Jerusalem, a popular fourteenth century Middle English historical romance about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD

Scholar-in-Residence Bob Gundry has had four pieces appear. He has had lengthy reviews published in two recent issues of Books and Culture, and a review in Reviews in Biblical Literature. His article, “The Hopelessness of the Unevangelized,” in Themelios.

Bob Hamel is in production right now on a professional stage makeup design for Out of The Box Theatre Company's upcoming production of "Evil Dead, The Musical".  OBTC is a Santa Barbara based theatre company specializing in high quality, innovative, community based musical theatre.

Beth Horvath will be a key featured speaker at the SCAMIT workshop to be held here in Santa Barbara at the Museum of Natural History, March 19-20. "SCAMIT" stands for the: "Southern California Association of Marine Invertebrate Taxonomists." This organization works to clarify and update the taxonomic standing of marine invertebrates in the CA Bight. Beth will be speaking on the new species of gorgonian described last Spring, and will assist workshop participants in how to identify species in the more "problematic" gorgonian genera. She will also be introducing her large monograph on gorgonians of the CA Bight to workshop participants for their comments and advice, before it proceeds into the final stages of review, formatting and printing.

Russ Howell has co-authored Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith, a new volume in HarperOne’s longstanding series.  Russ was both co-editor of the volume and author of several chapters. He reports that many other Westmont contributed to the book in some way. Ray Rosentrater was the lead co-author of two chapters, Patti Hunter was a peer reviewer for a chapter on the history of mathematics and faith, David Vander Laan acted as a “philosophical consultant,” and Lisa De Boer evaluated the chapter on beauty. In looking at the book myself, it strikes me as a wonderfully robust example of faith-learning integration.

Finally, last Saturday our Mathematics and Computer Science department hosted our first Imagine Math Day. 80 area high school students attended the day described as a “day of creative, collaborative mathematics.” Dave Hunter, Patti Hunter, and Russ Howell were especially involved in the event.

Michelle Hughes presented on "Connecting the Heart and Social Justice Issues in the Classroom" at the Association of Christian Schools International Conference in Anaheim in November. Michelle also put together (in consultation with the SB County Office of Education) a conference last month called Let's Talk Teaching--promoting the profession(and promoting Westmont) to local high schoolers, but involving Westmont credential students in offering an "in-service" to the high-school students. Great experience for our credential students, and RAVE, RAVE reviews from students and other visitors who took part.

Steve Julio has also co-authored a piece with several student researchers for the journal Infection and Immunity. The article is called "A novel sensor kinase is required for Bordetella bronchiseptica to colonize the lower respiratory tract."

Savannah Kelly will be presenting a paper this spring at the 2012 LOEX Conference (the most important conference for instruction librarians) Her presentation title is: "Forget the database, what's the argument?": What ever happened to teaching rhetoric, critical thinking and research as conversation?”.

Kim Kihlstrom traveled along with four female computer science students to the Celebration of Women in Computing Conference. One student reported that attending the conference encouraged her to consider graduate school for the first time. I chaired a session consisting of student research talks on "Systems, Sensors, and Robotics."

Tom Knecht and his co-author Lisa Martinez, published "Engaging the Reluctant?  Service Learning, Interpersonal Contact, and Attitudes toward Homeless Individuals," in the January edition of the journal PS: Political Science.  His book, Paying Attention to Foreign Affairs, is featured in the Critical Dialogues section in the March edition of the journal Perspectives on Politics. This section asks pairs authors to review each others work and then respond to these reviews. He reviewed Terry Chapman's book on the UN Security Council, entitled Security Approval.

Robin Lang is beginning a four year term as the Conference Presentation Coordinator with the Association of Christian Librarians.

Cheri Larsen Hoeckley has been asked to submit an article to a special issue on nineteenth-century poetry and forgiveness for Blackwell's journal, Literature Compass.  The piece is a version of the paper "The Dynamics of Poetics and Forgiveness in Adelaide Procter's 'Homeless'" that she gave at "The Hospitable Text" Conference in London last summer.

Judy Larson wrote an essay for a brochure on Marie Schoeff, a featured artist at the Jane Deering Gallery.  Marie will be a visiting professor in the Art Dept. next year.  Judy also authored the catalog for our museum’s up- coming show titled “Alien Heartland” featuring the work of Rafael Perea de la Cabada.

Tremper Longman has had two book chapters published. “Why Do Bad things Happen to Good People? A Biblical-Theological Approach,” in Eyes to See, Ears to Hear: Essays in Memory of J. Alan Groves . And “Wisdom as Paradigmatic in Scripture,” in Preaching Character: Reclaiming Wisdom’s Paradigmatic Imagination for Transformation. The new Expanded Bible has been published by Thomas Nelson. It is an in-line study Bible that Tremper Longman has produced along with Mark Strauss of Bethel San Diego and Dan Taylor recently retired from Bethel College...  Both are Westmont grads...Tremper also gave five presentations at the recent ETS and SBL meetings in San Francisco. Among his talks were “From Weeping to Rejoicing: Psalm 150 as the Conclusion to the Book of Psalms,” Evangelical Theological Society, San Francisco (November 16, 2011) and“Thinking Rightly about God: A Review of Disturbing Divine Behavior by E. A. Siebert,” Evangelical Theological Society, San Francisco (November 17, 2011). In April, Tremper will  deliver two invited keynote lectures at regionals of the Evangelical Theological Society. The first was in Portland at Western Theological Seminary : “What Genesis 1 and 2 Teaches (and What It Doesn't)” and the second on Friday the 20th:"Preaching Christ from the Old Testament" (Far West Regional ETS keynote Lecture; held at the Masters Seminary)

Race, Religion, and Law in Colonial India: Trials of an Interracial Family from Cambridge University Press, written by Chandra Mallampalli. This book is part of the highly prestigious Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society series. He delivered two lectures in New Delhi at the Young India Fellowship, a competitive scholarship program for Indian students from many disciplines. The lectures were entitled:
- 'Trials of an Interracial Family in Colonial India'and -'Undoing the Irrational in History: Witch hunts, footbinding, and sati"

Eileen McMahon presented a poster alongside her Major Honors student, Katherine Shaum, at the annual American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Conference. And then saw the fruits of over 6 years of work at Westmont, published in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.  Her co-authors included a collaborator at Northwestern University and 7 Westmont students.  The title of the article is “Characterization of a novel and spontaneous mouse model of inflammatory arthritis.” In September, this article was then the sole focus of a flattering editorial written by an Italian rheumatologist and published in the same journal.  Both articles are attached.  She presented her sabbatical work as an oral presentation and a poster at the Network of Pancreatic Organ Donor (nPOD) Annual Meeting in Miami. This non-profit group acquires human organ donations from around the country and focuses on specimens from diabetics (mostly type 1 but also type 2). This is an unprecedented collection that is allowing great advancement in the area of diabetes research in human samples. She presented work on her identification of a potentially potent immuno-modulating cell (eTACs) in human lymph node and spleen

Gary Moon has contributed a chapter to a new book entitled Religious and Spiritual Interventions in Counseling and Psychotherapy. Gary’s chapter is called “Prayer in Psychotherapy.” He has also recently published four magazine articles, two in Christian Counseling Today and two in Conversations: A Forum for Authentic Transformation. He has had a busy few months starting with leading a retreat for CCCU Campus Ministry Directors at Asilomar in February, 2012. He was a plenary speaker at the Nurture Conference at Lipscomb University, in March, 2012. He also wrote a chapter for "Transformational Psychology" in an Inter Varsity Press book, titled, "Five Approaches to Integration" which will be published summer, 2012. Additionally he was contracted to write book for IVP—a formational commentary on the Gospel of John.

Tatiana Nazarenko has received her certificate of completion for attending the WASC Assessment Leadership Academy.

A recent issue of Philosophical Papers devoted to “The Problem of Criterion.” was edited by Mark Nelson hwho also wrote an introduction for it. He attended the American Philosophical Association's Pacific Division meeting in Seattle earlier this month. He was the commentator on a paper entitled “Epistemic Justification and the Epistemic Ought”, which was a critical reply to Mark's recently published paper, "We Have No Epistemic Duties." Mark graciously conceded some minor points, but the overall thesis of Mark's paper remained serenely unscathed.

And hot off the press from Dave Newton is Business Models for Entrepreneurial Ventures: Developing Sound Metrics for Long-Term Success. And though it has been out just a few weeks, the book has already been adopted for use in courses by about 25 colleges and universities across the country and the world. Dave just gave a talk based on the book at a conference at Oklahoma State University’s Spears Business School where he was named for 8th consecutive year a "Master Teacher of Entrepreneurship." He has published or will publish three articles in the press:
1- "A Peek Into The Future: 'Super Smart' Devices for
Seamless Everyday Applications."
2- "CES As Technology Bellwether for the U.S. Economy" SANTA BARBARA NEWSPRESS (Jan 22, 2012)
3- "Entrepreneurial Vision and Discontinuous Innovation" SILICON VALLEY VENTURES (Jan 30, 2012)

He has also given a number of public lectures on job creation and other topics in academic and business venues around California.

Allan Nishimura has published two recent articles, once again with many student co-authors. “Evaporation Rates of Alkanes and Alcohols on a Glass Surface As Observed by Optical Interference” appeared in The Chemical Educator and “Effect of Desorption of Alkanes on the Fluorescence of Methylnaphthalene on Alumina” appeared in the Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research.

Edd Noell received a grant of $10,000 (along with Stephen Smith and Bruce Webb from Gordon College) to engage in research on "the moralcase forgrowth in economic and theological perspective." They’ve been approved to produce a volume in the Values and Capitalism series published by the American Enterprise Institute entitled Economic Growth: The Moral and Economic Case for Human Flourishing. He has been invited to serve on the History of Economics Society panel on Redeeming Economics. His research for this discussion group on "Understanding the Influence ofAquinas and the Scholastics on Adam Smith's Analysis of Economic Justice" is co-sponsored by the journal Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology.

The Westmont Philosophy Department has made a good showing in a fascinating new textbook:  Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Described as “a concise, formally structured summation of one hundred of the most important arguments in Western philosophy”, the book includes entries by Mark Nelson on “The Contingency Cosmological Argument”, Jim Taylor on “Hume’s Problem of Induction”, and David Vander Laan on “David Lewis’s Argument for Possible Worlds”. On behalf of the department Mark reports that “We have not read any of the other entries, nevertheless we firmly believe that ours are the three best.”

Rick Pointer has contributed a chapter to a new book of essays called The First Prejudice: Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Early America, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. The title of Rick's piece is "Native Freedom? Indians and Religious Tolerance in Early America."

Debra Quast, Director of Library and Information Services, has been elected to a three-year-term on the Board of Directors of the Statewide California Library Consortium. The Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC) was established in 1986 to develop resource-sharing among the libraries of private academic institutions throughout California and represents 168 institutions. The consortium brings together nonprofit academic and research institutions to promote the effective use and dissemination of electronic information to libraries and their users

I want to congratulating Helen Rhee and Ed Noell. They are the recipients of the first Interdisciplinary Curriculum Development Grant for their proposal “Theology and Economics of Wealth and Poverty.” They will be putting a course proposal this year around that theme with the hope of team-teaching such a course in the future.

Edd Noell  recently presented a paper entitled “On the Impossibility of a Value-Free Economics: A Comparison of Austrian and Theonomic Evaluations of Market Decision-Making” at the History of Economics Society meetings at the University of Notre Dame.

Greg Orfalea has just returned withnew findingsfrom a second Mexico research trip to Queretaro, Mexico City, and Oaxaca as he continues to work on a biography of Junipero Serra for Scribner.  He is currently in residence for the month of February 2012 at Mission Santa Barbara doing work in the Geiger Archives on Junipero Serra, and will be giving a lecture in return at the Mission in 2013 during Serra Tri-centennial celebrations. He has been invited to be on the planning committee for those celebrations, as well.  Finally, he is co-editor of "In Thyme: Middle Eastern American Literature," an anthology of poetry, fiction, essays, and one-act plays by Americans of Middle Eastern origin for Syracuse University Press, forthcoming in 2013.

Caryn Reeder presented a paper at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting (19 November) - "Family Violence and Christian Identity in Mark 13:9-12 and Matthew 10:17-22".

Along with some colleagues from UCLA, Steve Rogers recently coauthored a paper entitled "3D mapping of language networks in clinical and preclinical Alzheimer's disease," which was published in the journal Brain and Language. Four psychology students and Steve also presented 6 projects at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. Among the focus of these projects was research examining the relationship between spirituality and frontal-temporal functioning, the impact of a family history of dementia on older adults' mood and personality, and how a change in spirituality influences cognitive performance. He has also just published a chapter in a book titled Spiritually Oriented Interventions in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. This book is published by the American Psychological Association, and the title of the chapter is "Acceptance."  He and four psychology students  presented 6 posters at the International Neuropsychology Society convention in Montreal in early February. The posters focused on the cognitive and emotional functioning of older adults and included topics like examining age differences in depression, how extroversion impacts intelligence, the relationship between spirituality and frontal and temporal lobe functioning, and how gender buffers against declines in visuospatial functioning.

Warren Rogers attended the annual conference of the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society, held in East Lansing, Michigan.  He has organized the "Conference Experience forUndergraduates," an event he first began in 1998, and now in its 14th year, funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Nuclear Physics at the Department of Energy, which was held concurrently with the Division of Nuclear Physics conference.  This year 134 undergraduate student nuclear physics researchers from over 80 institutions around the country participated in the conference in which they had opportunity to present their work to the professional community.  Warren also chaired an invited talk session at the DNPconference entitled "Trends in Nuclear Physics. Last spring Warren Rogers received a new three-year National Science Foundation grant for his research program in nuclear physics housed at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University. His proposal for an experiment at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory was approved to conduct a two-week long commissioning run experiment for the newly constructed LISA neutron detector array constructed in part by Westmont students.  They conducted the experiment in June 2011 with physicists from 7 collaborating institutions, and he and his students are currently analyzing the data. Additionally, Warren also published 2 recent papers in Physical Review C with colleagues that include student authors, entitled "Observation of a two-neutron cascade from a resonance in Oxygen-24" and "Neutron knockout of Beryllium-12 populating neutron-unbound states in Beryllium-11."  Finally, Warren recently chaired a session at the conference of the California Section of the American Physical Society at the Stanford linear accelerator. Warren also took five women students from the physics department to participate in the Seventh Annual Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, held at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Lab and Stanford University. This was one of several regional conferences of similar nature that brought together over 800 women undergraduate physics majors.

"Ray Rosentrater’s article “Representational Efficiency” has been published in Mathematics Magazine.He presented a talk at the annual Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston in early January. The title of the talk was “Connecting Concepts of Linear Algebra.”

Michael Shasberger appeared as the Keynote speaker for the Pacific Northwest Youth Orchestra Leadership Summit in Olympia WA "Fund Raising in Difficult Times" on January 16.  He also spoke on Jan. 27th as the plenary session speaker for the College Orchestra Directors Association national conference in Chicago IL "Behind the Scree: Orchestral Music of Contemporary Film and Television Composers".  Finally Michaelwill  be singing the role of the Evangelist in a presentation of a new composition of the Passion According to St. Mark by San Luis Obispo composer Meredith Brammeier on Friday, April 6 (Good Friday) in a consortium performance by Methodist, Episcopal and Lutheran churches in San Luis Obispo. Performances are scheduled starting next week of the new Westmont Collegium Musicum (faculty and student collaborative performance ensemble) featuring faculty members Michael Shasberger - voice, Steve Hodson - harpsichord and organ, Nichole DeChaine - voice, Chan Ho Yun -violin and Anne Anderson - oboe, presenting the world premiere performances of Steve Butler's new cantata on texts of the 10th century Symeon the New Theologian, along with solo cantatas by Buxtehude, Tunder, Telemann, and J.S. Bach  at three venues :Santa Barbara, Arroyo Grande and Santa Monica.

On Friday, March 23 Sarah Skripsky  presented a paper on "NSSE* Results as Mapping for Mission" as part of a panel on “The Consortium for the Study of Writing Survey as a Gateway to Writing Assessment, Faculty Development, and Program Building: A Comparative Perspective.” The panel is chaired by Charles Paine, Professor of English at the University of New Mexico and the coordinator of NSSE's Consortium for the Study of Writing in College (CWSC).

Amanda Sparkman has three papers coming out this Spring:

1. “Evidence for a genetic basis for delayed dispersal in a cooperatively breeding canid” in the journal: Animal Behaviour

2. “Corticosterone and pace of life in two life-history ecotypes of the garter snake Thamnophis elegans” in the journal General and Comparative Endocrinology
3. “Evolutionary rates vary in vertebrates for insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a pleiotropic locus involved in life history traits” also in General and Comparative Endocrinology

Greg Spencer has recently received word that his book The Quieter Virtues will be coming out in Spanish translation.

Lesa Stern has co-written “Evaluation of Sexual Content in Teen-Centered Films From 1980 to 2007” for the journal Mass Communication & Society. She and co-author, Mark Callister, had a paper accepted to the International Communication Association conference in May: "Exploring Variations of Exaggeration in Advertising: Perceptions and Effects of Hyperbole and Puffery" Lesa , Sarah Skripsky, Maurice Lee, and Jesse Covington were invited to give a presentation and participate in a discussion at Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California, on February 13. The topic was James K. A. Smith's 2009 book Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, and its implications for Christian higher education.

Jim Taylor is the guest editor of the current (10/13/2011) issue of the online journal, In Pursuit of Truth: A Journal of Christian Scholarship. The title of this special issue (for which he wrote the introduction) is, "Philosophical Perspectives on the Self and the Search for Meaning." There are four philosophical essays in the issue, and he is the author of one of them, which is entitled, "Physicalism, Dualism, Death, and Resurrection." In Pursuit of Truth is an online journal of the C.S. Lewis Foundation, and these papers were all delivered at the Philosophy Symposium of the C.S. Lewis Foundation's "Oxbridge 2008" conference in the cities and universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the summer of 2008. Jim was the director of that philosophy symposium.He has been elected to a three-year term on the Executive Committee of the Society of Christian Philosophers. In April he gave a paper at the annual conference of the Association for Core Texts and Courses. The paper is entitled, "Can Theology Still Be the Queen?" It's based on an argument of John Henry Newman in The Idea of a University.

Mitchell Thomas had a productive sabbatical last spring and summer during which he performed Wallace Shawn's Obie award winning one person play, The Fever, to audiences in Santa Barbara, Spokane, Los Angeles, and London.  He also was appointed the first ever artist-in-residence at Santa Barbara's professional theatre company, the Ensemble Theatre. He also produced a series of performances of ENGLAND by Tim Crouch, who the LA Times called "Britain’s best mannered theatrical subversive".   The "play for galleries" was performed at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in their Modern gallery, and was a collaboration between Westmont, SBMA, and Lit Moon Theatre company, and included performance workshops with Westmont students and the international artists. The performances went so well that Mitchell has been hired to direct a performance of Steve Martin's comic play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, in another one of SBMA's galleries to celebrate the closing of their Picasso/Braque exhibit. He performed the role of Gustav in August Strindberg's CREDITORS at the Ensemble Theatre Company.He also performed Wallace Shawn's one-man show, THE FEVER, at Westmont, Trinity Episcopal Church, and Municipal Wineries. Selected after a competitive nomination process by the CIC for a week long seminar at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C., participating in a workshop on "Song Culture of Athenian Drama". Out of this workshop, he hopes to develop an original theatre event based on ancient Greek text, choral music, and movement to premiere at Westmont in 2014.

Paul Willis is doing a poetry reading today at Simpson University, where he also spoke in chapel.He  gave a poetry reading  in San Diego for a meeting of the California Native Plant Society. When he read a poem about a non-native plant (oxalis, or sourgrass), everyone booed. Those people take their native plants seriously. He sponsored a poetry event called "Poets at the Threshold" in the Hearing Room at the County Administration Building on Thursday, April 5. At the event he and Randy VanderMey were among seven poets asked to write and read a poem in response to one of the haunting photographic images in an art show called "Thresholds,at the Channing Peake Gallery. Each of us also chose another poem already written by ourselves or someone else and read it in response to one of the images. The poem Randy composed was a three-page poem titled "Chiasmus: Or, Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Nymph Looking at a Nymph. "Paul read a poem he wrote for the occasion titled "The Fair Ophelia Hesitates on the Trinity River."

Jane Wilson has published an essay called “Motivational Flip:  Teacher Talk to enhance intrinsic motivation to learn” in Forum for Christian Teacher educators:  What role does Christian Higher Education play in the changing landscape of education?   She also recently had an article published in Christian School Educator entitled, “Fanning a Spark: Teacher talk which ignites intrinsic motivation to learn”

Edwin Zehner presented a paper titled "Absorption Theories, Spirit Mediums, and Pentecostal Prophecies: Cases and Questions from Thailand" in a session on “The Neuroanthropology of Dissociation, Absorption, and Embodiment: Research in Ritual, Play, and Entertainment” at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, in Montreal, Canada, in November 2011. On March 25, Edwin (anthropology) delivered a paper at the Western Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, held in Santa Clara, California. The paper was titled "Pneumatic Authority as a “Third Way” in Christian Approaches to Sacred Text."  He also wrote an invited book review of "Complexities of Money and Missions in Asia," edited by Paul De Neui. The review is scheduled to appear in Evangelical Missiological Quarterly (EMQ) in October 2012. He helped coordinate the inaugural Southern California conference of Christians in Anthropology and Related Disciplines (CARD), which was held at the Fuller School of Intercultural Studies on April 14. During the event Dr. Zehner  facilitated discussions on the future of Christians in Anthropology and delivered a paper on Pentecostals and the Anthropology of Christianity.