Westmont Magazine New Kids on the Block
Meet some of the newest professors to join the stellar Westmont faculty
Accomplished illustrator and graphic designer SCOTT ANDERSON joined the Westmont art faculty in 2006 as an assistant professor after serving as an adjunct instructor since 1999. He has also taught at Santa Barbara City College and Nickelodeon Studios in Burbank.
His poster illustrations, commissioned for a local theater production, have won a Silver Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation. The Society of Illustrators New York, Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, and Spectrum, an annual book collection of the best in fantasy/sci-fi art, also recognized the illustrations, drawn from original oil paintings.
Anderson designed two pieces for Reynolds Gallery that placed in the American Association of Museum’s Publication Design contest. The catalog he created for the faculty exhibit, “The Fine Art of Education,” received honorable mention, and his poster for the fall exhibit, “Painted Faith,” won second prize and was on display at the AAM 2005 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.
Anderson earned a master’s degree in illustration from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Willamette University in Salem, Ore.
New England violinist PHILIP FICSOR joined Westmont’s music faculty as a violin professor this fall, bringing new energy to the instrumental program. He is a member of The American Double, a piano-violin duo featured in concert series across the United States and Europe.
He earned his doctorate in violin performance from Boston University and holds other degrees from Yale University and the University of Michigan. He has taught violin at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division and the All Newton Music School.
The American Double will soon release an album, “William Bolcom: Complete Works for Violin and Piano.” The two musicians worked with the composer on the first complete recording of the compositions for violin and piano written by the Pulitzer Prize winner. Committed to educational outreach, the American Double has held presentations and concerts at the Greenwood Music Camp in Easthampton, Mass., as well as the Boston Latin School in Boston.
Ficsor performed a concert tour in Hungary last April. He remains active with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Virtuosi.
ANDREA GURNEY knew she wanted to be a psychologist when she was a teenager. After her parents separated, a family therapist helped provide stability to the family. “I thought that if I could make a difference in an adolescent’s or family’s life the way this psychologist has made a difference in ours, then it would be worth it,” she says.
Gurney came to Westmont in 2005 as assistant professor of psychology and has opened a private practice in Montecito.
Her diverse background includes counseling and neuropsychological testing with children, adolescents, and adults. She has worked in schools, inpatient units, outpatient clinics and home-based therapy, and she did a post-doctoral fellowship in couples and family therapy. For research she has focused on attachment relationships in families, immigrant youth, inner city youth, and families with children who are developmentally delayed.
She earned a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, a doctorate at Northeastern University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship and a pre-doctoral internship in individual therapy at Harvard Medical School.
Alumnus STEVE JULIO ’92 began teaching as an assistant professor of biology this year. He earned his doctorate at UC Santa Barbara in 2001 and has been a postdoctoral fellow there for the past three years. Previously,he worked as a research scientist at Remedyne Corp., a vaccine development company in Santa Barbara.
His expertise lies in working with bacterial diseases and studying pathogenesis, the mechanism by which bacteria make people sick. He has focused much of his research on respiratory infections such as whooping cough.
Julio is excited about teaching at a Christian liberal arts college where he can share his faith and develop close personal relationships with his students. The small classes will be a welcome change from large lecture halls.
His work has been published by the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, Infection and Immunity, Journal of Bacteriology, and Molecular and General Genetics. He has given presentations at the UCSB Undergraduate Research Colloquium, American Society of Microbiology and Keystone Symposia. Julio’s wife, Cheryl, graduated from Westmont in 1992.
SCOTT MCCLELLAND assumed leadership this year of Westmont’s San Francisco Urban Program, which he describes as a “maturity accelerator” for students.
He believes that the city, whose residents represent a diversity of economic and ethnic backgrounds, offers the best kind of experience to enhance a Westmont education. Student internships range from helping the homeless to working in the financial market. “Wherever they intern, students break up encrusted soil, learn, grow, develop and put feet to their faith,” he says.
Previously, McClelland served as executive director of International Neighbors in Seattle, a parachurch organization that reaches out to international students.
He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Wheaton College in Illinois as well as a master’s degree in theology from Westminster Theological Seminary. He received his doctorate in New Testament from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He has taught at Kings College in New York and at Fuller Theological Seminary in Southern California, Seattle and Menlo Park. An ordained minister in the Evangelical Free Church of America, he spent 15 years as a pastor.
OMEDI OCHIENG joined the communication studies faculty in 2005 after earning a master’s degree and a doctorate at Bowling Green State University. A native of Kenya, he graduated from Daystar University in Nairobi.
“When I came to Westmont to interview, I was so impressed by the students, impressed by my colleagues and impressed by the place,” he says. “I knew I’d find the space for spiritual, emotional and intellectual growth.”
In addition to teaching, Ochieng advises the black student union. He cherishes his time with students outside of the classroom. “I’d like to cultivate a love for learning in our students,” he says, “to encourage them to be good Christians ready to influence the world and spread the gospel.”
His research focuses on African rhetoric and understanding African moral and political philosophies. He also pursues interests in critical rhetoric, history of rhetoric and communication theory and philosophy. He has published “Sisyphus at Starbucks: Complicity Through Resistance in the Rhetoric of Liberties,” a critique of columnist Maureen Dowd and the struggle for gender equality.
This fall the college celebrates the installation of MARK NELSON as the Kenneth and Peggy Monroe professor of philosophy. He is the first occupant of the endowed chair created by the late professor and his wife.
Previously, Nelson taught at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. He’s excited to spend more time with students and on research. “I enjoy getting introductory students interested in philosophy who might otherwise be wary of the subject,” he says. “It’s unavoidable. People will always philosophize because that’s just having a world view, a general view of how things are. It can help to think with other philosophers who have been thinking about these things over the years.”
He earned his master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Notre Dame after graduating from Wheaton College in Illinois. Before teaching at Leeds, he was a member of the philosophy faculty at Hampden-Sydney College.
Nelson specializes in ethics/moral philosophy, epistemology and philosophy of religion. His publications include “Christian Theism and Moral Philosophy” and dozens of articles.
While STEVEN ROGERS enjoys conducting individual psychotherapy and neuropsychological research, he is passionate about working with students. He happily left his position as neuropsychology chief fellow at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute to teach at Westmont. The new assistant professor of psychology joined the faculty this fall. He plans to open a psychological practice to do some clinical work.
“I’m looking forward to doing research in neuropsychology and conducting psychological testing with older adults,” he says. “But I’m also interested in integrating psychology and religion.”
Rogers graduated from Eastern Nazarene College and earned master’s degrees in clinical psychology and theology as well as a doctorate in clinical psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary.
While at UCLA, Rogers worked with patients suffering from aging conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as a variety of neurological conditions including strokes, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
He has done clinical work for the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as for a private psychotherapy practice. His research has been published numerous times, and he has co-authored a book about the connection between estrogen and depression.