Beth Horvath has worked on the final edits of her large gorgonian monograph on species in the California Bight and began working on the confirmation and descriptions of "four (count 'em, four!!), new species of gorgonian coral, most from local waters, but one an apparent new species from the western-most Aleutian Islands; the latter will be written up in collaboration with Robert Stone of Alaska Fisheries Science Center."
John Blondell directed Henry VI, Part 3 for the Bitola (Macedonia) National Theatre at Shakespeare's Globe, in London. He received his 9th Independent Theatre Award for directing Peer Gynt and Henry VI, Part 3. And he has been invited to direct A Midsummer Night's Dream for the National Theatre of Albania. The show will premiere in late May, and will be the first time the play will be staged in the Albanian language.
Bob Gundry, scholar-in-residence, has recently published the fifth revised edition of his book A Survey of the New Testament (Zondervan), and has written several articles. Those include "The Hopelessness of the Unevangelized" (published in Themelios), “Smithereens!” (a review of Chris Smith’s book on biblicism in Books and Culture), and “Tom’s Targum” (a review of N.T. Wright’s The Kingdom New Testament, also in Books and Culture). Bob gave a paper on “New Studies in the Synoptic Problem: A Partial Review” at the national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature.
Carmel Saad is first author on a research article accepted for publication in Social Psychological and Personality Science. The title of the article is: "Multiculturalism and creativity: Effects of cultural context, bicultural identity, and ideational fluency." She also presented these findings at the American Psychological Association's annual conference in Orlando, Florida, during August in a symposium entitled "Diversifying Experiences and Creativity: Underlying Cultural Context and Cognitive Processes," Her specific presentation was entitled "Moderators and Mediators of the Link between Biculturalism and Creativity."
At the recent American Psychological Association convention in Orlando, Steve Rogers presented a paper on "Acceptance in Spiritually-Oriented Psychotherapy." At the same convention, three Westmont psychology students (Sara Humes and Beth Lazor) presented research posters addressing topics that ranged from the impact of personality on the organizational strategies of older adults to the way the importance ascribed to spirituality seems to vary with level of cognitive impairment.
At the 67th annual meeting of the American Scientific Affliation in San Diego in July, Steve Contakes spoke on "Exploring the New Atheists with Wilhelm Ostwald: Early Physical Chemistry's 'New Atheist.'" He also served on a panel discussing "Local Chapter Management: A Brief Tutorial" and chaired two sessions, both of which were entitled "Teaching Science and Faith in the Curriculum."
Charles Farhadian directed a Calvin Summer Seminar on Globalization and Worship, with participants from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It was a "great time to reflect on the themes emerging at the intersection of worship and globalization." His new book Introducing World Christianity (Wiley-Blackwell) was also recently released.
In July, Jamie Friedman presented a paper at the International Congress of the New Chaucer Society. The paper, entitled "Un-Knowing Yde: Towards a Transgender Hermeneutic," explored the possibility of encountering an individual—in this case a 16th century English transgender character—that relies less on a strict and knowable taxonomy of gender identification. Jamie also gave the “First Lecture” for incoming Westmont students, speaking on the book Elizabeth and Hazel, a study of the two women depicted in one of the most provocative photos from the desegregation era in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Jane Wilson and sophomore research assistant Anna Beebe collaborated on two projects. In May they co-presented at the ICCTE (International Christian Community for Teacher Education) held at Azusa Pacific University. They also produced a professional development video entitled, "Intrinsically Motivational Discourse: Let's Turn Up the Volume," which features six educators including three Westmont alum (Melissa Blackford Ewart '95, Laura Trudelle '09, and Deedee Mahn Underwood '88). The video will be distributed by ASCI (Association of Christian Schools International) this fall.
Michael Everest, Amanda Sparkman, Wayne Iba
In July Michael Everest gave a talk at the national meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation. His remarks were entitled "Augustine, Radiometric Dating, and First-Year Chemistry: A Guided-Inquiry Exercise." Amanda Sparkman co-authored a paper on “Pack social dynamics and inbreeding avoidance in the cooperatively breeding red wolf" in the journal Behavioral Ecology. An article written by Wayne Iba (photo)—"Searching for Better Performance on the King-Rook-King Chess Endgame Problem"—appeared in the Proceedings of the Twenty-fifth Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference. Wayne spoke at the conference about this work, which explores parallel genetic algorithms implemented on a 32-node Beowulf-class cluster computer.
Deborah Dunn spent a week with the Victim Offender Reconciliation program, and observing mediations. The program was started by a member of the Mennonite Church, and for the last 10 years has been affiliated with the Fresno Pacific Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. Much of VORP's work (though not exclusively) brings juvenile offenders face to face with the victims of their crimes.
Tatiana Nazarenko, David Anderson, Bill Wright
Tatiana Nazarenko (photo), David Anderson, and Bill Wright presented a poster on "Measurements are Not to Provide Numbers but Insight: Assessing, Interpreting and Enhancing Student Learning in Relation to Critical Thinking and Written Communication Skills" at the Council of Independent Colleges’ Engaging Evidence Consortium in Washington, DC during August. The poster is based on the analysis of the three administrations of the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) test in 2006-2011 at Westmont. The aim of the CIC EEC project is to deepen our understanding of how students learn to think critically and to write. The CIC EEC team will continue working on this project until July 2013.