Faculty News

Stay updated on the latest achievements and noteworthy endeavors of Westmont College's esteemed faculty members. The page showcases their ongoing contributions to academia and beyond.

Scott Anderson (art) illustrated the cover of the December 2023 issue of MAD Magazine. The New York Society of Illustrators chose his portrait of former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for their 66th annual exhibition and displayed it at the society’s National Museum of American Illustration in NYC this spring. The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles also selected it for their 62nd annual juried exhibition.

Holly Beers (religious studies) is a consulting reviewer for the New Living Translation of the Bible for the synoptic Gospels and Acts. She presented two papers at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in November, “A Biblical

Studies Scholar Listens and Responds to a Systematic Theologian: A Review of ‘Hearing and Doing: The Speeches in Acts and the Essence of Christianity’” and “Filling up the Sufferings of Christ: Preaching Colossians 1:24 With and Among Diverse Voices.”

Kristi Lazar Cantrell (chemistry) and her collaborators, including Ethan Walker ’22 and Joshua Jang ’25, published an article, “Computationally Designed Molecules Modulate ALS-Related Amyloidogenic TDP-43(307–319) Aggregation,” in ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

David Etterbeek (music) performed with Andrea Bocelli at the Hollywood Bowl last May and as principal trumpet with the New West Symphony in the fall. He recently finished recording a new solo work for trumpet, “Four Miniatures for Trumpet Alone” by local composer John Biggs and gave its premiere performance at Westmont’s faculty recital last fall.

Doug Fontes (engineering) presented a paper, “Sustainable Electromagnetic Energy Harvesting for Electronic Worn at the Knee,” at the 2023 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in New Orleans.

Jonathan Hicks (theater arts) served as associate lighting designer for the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet’s 48th presentation of “The Nutcracker” at the Arlington Theatre.

Nathan Huff (art) presented “Forest for the Trees,” his third solo exhibition at Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara.

Dan Jensen (engineering), Elijah Cicileo ’24, Jonah Swanson ’24, Josh Wozniak ’25 and Tasha Loh ’24 presented “A Weighted Design Matrix Approach for Informing Digital vs. Physical Prototyping Options” to scientists and engineers at the Air Force Research Lab, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in September.

Steve Julio (biology) and two collaborators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received a two-year NIH grant for $240,000 to study the mechanism by which Bordetella, the bacteria that causes whooping cough, persists in the respiratory tract to cause disease.

In collaboration with colleagues in the music department, Ruth Lin (music) led the Westmont Orchestra and College Choir as part of the19th annual Westmont Christmas Festival, which shared the “Fullness of Joy” in two performances to more than 2,200 people at the historic Granada Theatre.

Carolyn Mitten (education) spoke about “Supporting Teacher Candidate’s Knowledge and Implementation of Rubrics” at the 2023 Meredith Fellows Implementation Conference.

She delivered a professional development session about implementing number talks in K–12 classrooms at Coastline Christian Academy in August. Her research article, “Comparing PSTs’ Perceptions of Math and Literacy Methods,” was featured in the winter 2023 newsletter of the California Council on Teacher Education.

Steve Porter (Martin Institute) presented “When God Doesn’t Heal: Receiving God’s Formative Grace Through Bodily Pain” at the Holy Spirit Symposium at Biola University; and “Knowing Christ Today: The Shape of Christian Spiritual Formation” and “Internalizing the Love of God: A Theological Psychology of Receiving and Resisting Love” to the Evangelical Theological Society.

Caryn Reeder (religious studies) pub- lished “Women’s Emotion, Community and Politics: Interpreting Tears in Luke 23:27–31” in the journal New Testament Studies (November 2023). She presented a paper, “Slavery, Gender and Meals in the Gospel of Luke,” at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in November 2023.

Helen Rhee (religious studies) published two book chapters: “Pain in Ancient Medicine and Literature, and Early Christianity: The Paradox of Inshareability and Agency,” in “Disability, Medicine, and Healing Discourse in Early Christianity: New Conversations for Health Humanities” and “Wealth, Poverty and Almsgiving,” in “Cambridge History of Early Christianity.” She also served on two panels at the Society of Biblical Literature in San Antonio: “Patristic Research, Patristic Wisdom: Challenges and Possibilities,” and a book review about Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez’s “Begging for Their Daily Bread: Beggar-Centric Interpretations of Matthew 6.”

Sandra Richter (religious studies) pub- lished a book chapter, “Environmental Approaches in Old Testament Studies,” in “The State of Old Testament Studies,” an article, “Economics and Urdeuteronomium: A Response to Kåre Berge, Diana Edelman, Philippe Guillaume, and Benedetta Rossi,” in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, and a book review of Philippe Guillaume’s “The Economy of Deuteronomy’s Core” in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. She lectured as a guest at Asbury Theological Seminar’s “Scholars Who Preach” annual event, filmed her newest curriculum about “Deborah and the Book of Judges” with Harper Collins, and served as the plenary speaker for the Mission Society’s presidential retreat at the Billy Graham retreat center in North Carolina.

Edward Song (philosophy) presented a paper, “Is There an Independent Principle of Fairness,” at the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Annual Conference in New Orleans in November 2023. He delivered the morning keynote address at the Santa Barbara Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

Felicia Song (sociology) gave an interview to the Holy Post podcast in their series on teens and digital technologies.

Guang Song (computer science) and a co-author published an article, “Coarse-Graining Waters: Unveiling The Effective Hydrophilicity/ Hydrophobicity of Individual Protein Atoms and the Roles of Waters’ Hydrogens,” in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.

Maryke van der Walt (mathematics) presented her research on blood glucose prediction at the Southern California-Nevada section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America in October 2023 as well as at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in January 2024.

Sameer Yadav (religious studies) spoke on a panel about “Non-Contrastive Transcendence and the Creative Agency of God” at the 2023 annual American Academy of Religion meeting, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of Modern Theology. He also offered a plenary lecture, “The Liberative Norm in Christian Theological Knowledge-Seeking,” for the Religious Epistemology and Psychology Workshop at Seattle Pacific University. He gave invited lectures about “Joban Theology and Christian Pessimism” at Union Theological Seminary and “Pessimism and the Problem of Evil” at Loyola University Maryland.