We have only reached midsummer, and Westmont’s faculty have already been around the world on various teaching or scholarly endeavors. For the "Academic Accomplishments" in this report, I’ve focused on the international work that has been done prior to July.

Among the “Updates and Initiatives,” there are some invitations to participate in new programs or endeavors during the coming academic year. Do let me know if you are interested.

I will be back in New England for the first weeks of July, enjoying some family time, preparing for the moving van, and basking in the humidity. We may cool off by catching the fireworks over the Charles River. Enjoy your Fourth, wherever you are in the world.

Mark Sargent

Updates and Initiatives

Women's Club

Faculty Retreat

The annual Fall Faculty Retreat will take place on August 20-21 at the Women’s Club (photo) near Rocky Nook Park and the Old Mission. For this year’s meeting, the Faculty Council has chosen to focus on “Spiritual Formation.” Gary Moon, director of the new Martin Institute, will give the keynote presentation. He will highlight some current trends in spiritual formation, and place those trends in a larger historical context. There will be occasions for faculty panels and discussion groups, a time of worship, reports by the president and provost, and plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation. In the next few weeks, Eileen (McMahon) McQuade, vice chair of the faculty, will be sending out a formal invitation with further details, including information about short readings.


New Appointments

This August George (Tom) Walters will join the faculty in a one-year appointment in the Kinesiology Department, filling the vacancy left by the passing of Alex Moore. A physical therapist with a doctorate from Chapman University, Tom will teach courses and labs in biomechanics and human physiology. Mike Yoder, who recently retired as a professor of sociology at Northwestern College in Iowa, will join the Sociology and Anthropology Department this fall in a one-semester appointment.

Jim Wright

Best Practices in International Study

After leading Westmont’s first semester in Istanbul, Heather Keaney and Jim Wright (photo) return to Montecito, where Heather will serve next year as an assistant professor of history. Jim will assist the Provost’s Office on several tasks related to global education. I’ve asked Jim to meet with faculty and students who have taught and studied abroad, and to do some research on the “best practices” in international education. His specific charge includes preparing some recommendations for us on three themes: 1) the best practices in pre- and post-trip education of students; 2) the most effective ways of using local setting as an educational landscape; 3) the most interesting ways of assessing students’ learning and development in an international experience. Key committees—such as the Senate, the Program Review Committee, etc.—will receive Jim’s recommendations for their consideration.

[continue reading more updates...]