Westmont Magazine Faculty Features and Professional Highlights
The Sullivan Goss Gallery in downtown Santa Barbara— arguably the top gallery in Santa Barbara for new artworks— recently sponsored an exhibit of work by Westmont art professors. Mentors and Makers: The Artists of Westmont College featured each of our full-time studio artists—SCOTT ANDERSON, NATHAN HUFF, and MEAGAN STIRLING—and work by CHRIS RUPP, collections manager, and JAMES DALY and SOMMER ROMAN. In their statement about the exhibit, the curators wrote, “The art department at Westmont College has always had an outsized influence on the art scene of the region, but tucked away in its bucolic Montecito campus, it can be easy to overlook how much concentrated talent is found there. Westmont’s arts faculty consists of some of the most intriguing, adventurous, and distinct artists working in and around Santa Barbara, though their work is making waves over a much larger area.” Along with finishing his seascapes for the new show, Scott Anderson contributed interior illustrations for the December editions of MAD Magazine and a portrait of the musician Dave Matthews for Seattle Met.
“Skies and Schisms 1” by Nathan Huff
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has purchased another one of Huff’s pieces in the shows
“Wave 3” by Scott Anderson
ANDREA GURNEY, professor of psychology, has published a book, “Reimagining Your Love Story: Biblical and Psychological Practices for Healthy Relationships” (Kregel Publications, 2019). She offers perspective and guidance on how to love without fear.
CARMEN MCCAIN, assistant professor of English, and co-author Brandon Kendhammer of Ohio University have published “Boko Haram,” part of the Ohio Short Histories of Africa Series. The volume recounts Boko Haram’s fierce, decade-long war in Nigeria, discussing the group’s 2014 abduction of 276 girls in Chibok and the international outrage about it. A social history, the book explores its topic through journalism, literature, film and the music made by people close to the events. Prior to coming to Westmont, McCain taught at the University of Jos in Nigeria and served as a journalist for a Nigerian newspaper.
SERAH SHANI, assistant professor of anthropology, has published a book, “African Immigrant Families in the United States: Transnational Lives and Schooling” (Lexington Books, a division of Rowan & Littlefield.) The book describes how Sub-Saharan immigrants have flourished, providing a remarkable model of social mobility and advancement through education. She analyzes the socioeconomic and cultural mechanisms behind their success. Specifically, she explores the dynamics of Ghanaian communities and the complex relationship between class, beliefs, and cultural practices. So much political discourse on immigration now focuses on assimilation, but Shani describes how immigrants lead transnational lives and maintain hyphenated identities, often belonging to multiple networks and contributing to the wellbeing of several communities around the globe.
CYNTHIA TOMS, associate professor of kinesiology, and co-author Paul Kollman of Notre Dame, have published “Understanding World Christianity: East Africa,” part of a series on World Christianity from Fortress Press. Mark Noll commends the volume for its “breadth, depth, and insight.” “The history that it discloses is rich beyond imagination,” Noll says, “its standpoint bracingly ecumenical (Catholics, Anglicans, other missionary-founded churches, Pentecostals, African Independent Churches), its critiques boldly realistic. Most of all is the heartfelt empathy for all that the book describes.” Prior to her work at Notre Dame and Westmont, Toms served as the associate director of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’s Uganda Studies Program.
TELFORD WORK, professor of theology, has written “Jesus—the End and the Beginning” (Baker Academic). He says the book is pitched to readers who have “some familiarity with the big topics of Christian theology—salvation, incarnation, Trinity, church, and our hoped for future (theologians call this ‘eschatology’)—but are struggling with them.”
PAUL WILLIS, professor of English, has published his sixth book of poetry, “Little Rhymes for Lowly Plants” (White Violet Press). Paul says, “The collection is a botanical, biblical, somewhat cynical, and otherwise grossly sentimental stew of verse in rhyme and in meter.”
Each fall the NAIA gives out six national awards in its Champions of Character program. This year, three of the six recipients come from Westmont. LIBBY DAHLBERG, a chemistry major and an All-American middle blocker on our volleyball team, received the Leroy Walker Award (named for the former U.S. Olympic president), given to only one athlete in the nation from any sport to honor character, service, academic success and athletic excellence. CASSIDY REA, also a volleyball player, was one of two juniors in the nation to receive the A.O. Duer Scholarship recognizing academics, character and citizenship. KIRSTEN MOORE, head coach of women’s basketball, earned the 2018-2019 NAIA Coach of Character award. Despite the disruptions of smoke and mudslides last year, Moore guided her team to the national championship game. The award joins several others she has received, including the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award in 2014 and the NAIA National Coach of the Year in 2013.