University News

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Ken Borrmann

Susan Childers

Dr. Brenda Ebersole

Dr. Brian Luther

Dr. Jean Minto

Dr. Keith Plummer

Dr. Gary Schnittjer

Dr. Brian Toews

Dr. Sheryl Vasso

Scott Watson

Dr. Debbie MacCullough



Academically Speaking

Kenneth Borrmann, Associate Professor and Chair of Keyboard Studies in the School of Music, performed three solo recitals in the spring, including a faculty recital at Cairn University. The recitals included works by Beethoven, Chopin, Hsu, Rachmaninoff, and the last three Transcendental Etudes of Liszt. He also performed in chamber music concerts at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Abington, PA, and Redeemer Church UMC in Philadelphia during August and September with Adjunct Professor in the School of Music, Jacqueline Smith.

Susan K. Childers, Adjunt Professor in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently earned the Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) certification offered by the Center for Credentialing & Education. The ACS credential is awarded to mental health professionals who have met national professional supervision standards attesting to educational background, knowledge, skills, and competencies.

Dr. David “Coz” Crosscombe, Assistant Professor and Director of Urban Ministry First Year Program, led two workshops at Equipped Conference in Rhode Island on September 13. The conference focused on providing effective training for youth ministry, and he spoke on exegeting a community and the impact of short term missions. He also co-led a workshop titled “Scrap Notes from the Revolution” with Shane Claibourne on September 26. The conference took place in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was held by Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) National Conference, the primary urban Christian community development and networking conference in the U.S. In October, he spoke at The Frequency Conference, held by Thriving, a church planting network that focuses primarily on urban planters.

Dr. Brenda Mellon Ebersole, Assistant Professor in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently completed her Ph.D. studies in English Literature at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Her dissertation examined the fiction of contemporary American author Barbara Kingsolver.

Ruth Naomi Floyd, Adjunct Professor in the School of Music, was the guest vocalist for “Improvisations and Impressions of the Slave Songs” with Grammy-nominated pianist and composer James Weidman and his Quintet on June 26 at the East Meadow Public Library in Nassau County, New York. In August, she was awarded a resolution by the New Jersey General Assembly for her music, photographic art, and social justice work with HIV/ AIDS and the transgendered community in the USA and Africa. She also provided historical text, poetry, and new compositions
and arrangements for “Beyond Sustenance” in conjunction with First Person Arts at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Benjamin Harding, Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Music, was a featured conductor at the Fanwood Choral Festival in May, and was on the piano and conducting faculty at the Csehy Summer School of Music from June to August. He and his wife Marji also served as faculty at ChamberFest! — a new chamber music festival for high school students at the Csehy Summer School of Music, and collaborated with Clark Potter, viola faculty member at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in concert at ChamberFest!

Dr. Brian P. Luther, Associate Professor in the School of Divinity, presented a paper at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Diego, California on November 20. The title of the paper was “Reading the Song of Songs as Scripture: The Necessity of Intertexts.”

Dr. Marti MacCullough, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, conducted seminars and consultations on developing a philosophy of education informed by a Christian worldview in Manila, Mindanao, and Cebu, Philippines in October. She also conducted seminars on the same topic at the Mid-Atlantic Christian School Association Conference (MACSA) on November 13-14 in Lancaster, PA for CEU credit and for Philosophy of Education credit for ACSI certification.

Dr. Jonathan L. Master, Professor and Dean of the School of Divinity, presented a paper at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society on November 20. The title of the paper was “The Church’s Role in Individual Assurance: Reformed Voices from the 17th Century.”

Dr. Kevin W. McFadden, Assistant Professor in the School of Divinity, presented a paper at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society on November 19. The title of the paper was “Biblical Theology according to the Earliest Christians: How Paul told Abraham’s Story.”

Dr. Jean Minto, Vice Provost for Academic Effectiveness, presented a paper at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference for American Conference of Irish Studies, which took place on October 10-11 at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. The title of the paper was “A Home for the Heart of the Irish: St. Patrick’s Church in America, 18th- 19th centuries.” Her paper was a sociopolitical study in the shaping of Irish American identity and explored the significance of St. Patrick’s churches in America as icons of Irishness, visible to the public at large and commemorative of Irishness in an often alien American nation.

Christopher Palladino, Assistant Professor in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, joined the 2015 Conference Committee as the section chair of Teaching and Learning for the New York State Political Science Association. He also visited Chengdu International School, a part of the International Schools of China (ISC) consortium, and spoke at the ISC national conference for teachers in Beijing from September 23-30. The titles of his speaking engagements were: “Inquiring Minds, Enduring Questions: An Inquiry-Based Curriculum”; “Adventures in Interdisciplinary Studies”; “The Art of Conversation: Community in the Classroom”; “Picture This: Reflections of Art and Architecture Across the Curriculum”; “A Soundtrack for the Past: Making Historical Connections to Music”; and “Getting to the Source: How to Engage Your Students with Primary Sources.”

Dr. Keith W. Plummer, Associate Professor in the School of Divinity, presented a paper at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society on November 21. The title of the paper was “John Owen, the Self- Attestation of Biblical Authority, and its Significance for Christian Apologetics.”

Suzanne Schmidt, Adjunct Professor in the School of Music, adjudicated over 300 piano students in auditions sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers this past spring and early summer. In June, she served as the Assistant to the Chief Reader for the Reading of the Advanced Placement Music Theory Exam and was responsible for all documentation, special reports, and training materials related to the grading of the 2014 exam.

Dr. Gary E. Schnittjer, Professor in the School of Divinity, presented a paper at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society on November 19. The title of the paper was “The Bad Ending of Ezra-Nehemiah.” He also recently published a book review of a commentary on Genesis by John Walton for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament (3.1).

Benjamin Shute, Adjunct Instructor in the School of Music, led premier performances of his own critical reconstructions of two lost or incomplete works by J. S. Bach at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main) on June 6.

Kile Smith, Adjunct Professor in the School of Music, was recently named Composer in Residence for two organizations, Lyric Fest, Philadelphia’s art song ensemble, and Montana’s Helena Symphony, in addition to his continuing residency with The Church of the Holy Trinity in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. For October performances of the new music choir The Crossing, he completed The Consolation of Apollo, which combined the Genesis reading from the 1968 Christmas Eve broadcast of Apollo 8 with texts from The Consolation of Philosophy of Boethius. In addition to other projects, Kile continues to compose anthems and other music for his home church, Holy Trinity Lutheran in Abington, PA.

Dr. Brain Toews, Provost, traveled with Peninsula Covenant Church PLUS Ministries on their “Footsteps of the Apostle Paul” tour across Italy, Greece, and Turkey in October. He led studies on “Science Fiction and the Bible” and lectured on “The Roman Empire to Constantine.”

Dr. Sheryl Vasso, Professor in the School of Education, provided professional development days for various Christian schools hosted by Baptist Regional School in NJ. The topic was “Differentiated Instruction.” She also provided a professional development day for Calvary Christian Academy in PA on performance assessment. On November 13-14, she spoke at the MACSA Conference in Lancaster, PA. The topic was “Teaching with Personality,” in which she reviewed the four personality types as they pertain to teachers and thus how their personalities impact their teaching style, their relationships with their students, and the overall “personality” of the classroom.

Dr. Scott Watson, Adjunct Professor in the School of Music, taught music courses at Villanova University, Central Connecticut State University, and University of Valley Forge from July to August. In addition, six of his compositions for concert band were published: “Aquatica” (Alfred Music, advanced band); “Dorian Haiku,” “El Cid,” and “Snow Day Adventure” (Alfred Music, intermediate band); and “Dreidl Adventure” and “March of the Tin Soldiers” (Wingert- Jones Publications, beginning band). One of these pieces, “Dorian Haiku,” was reviewed in the summer 2014 edition of The Instrumentalist magazine. In October, he was a featured presenter at the PCMEA Region 3 Music Education Conference at Penn State University, delivering two sessions: “Current Trends in Music Education Technology” and “Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity.” On November 5, as part of their Young People’s Concert, the Allentown Band (America’s oldest concert band) performed his composition, “Aesop’s Fables,” and Allentown’s Repertory Dance Company performed original choreography to each fable.

Dr. Debbie Lynn Wolf, Professor and Chair of Music Education, presented a paper at the ISME Research Commission in Joao Pessoa, Brazil on July 14-19, and a workshop and research poster at the World l Conference for the International Society for Music Educators in Porto Alegre, Brazil on July 20- 25. In November, she presented workshops at the PMEA District 11 Conference at the Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA and at the PMEA District 12 Conference at University of Valley Forge, Valley Forge, PA, and at the MACSA Conference in Lancaster, PA.




Dr. Debbie MacCullough, Professor in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, taught for the Graduate School of Education’s summer program in Kandern, Germany in July along with several other Cairn professors. She also traveled to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo to continue her work on a project nicknamed “The Elephant Project,” which is a collaborative effort between Congolese higher education professors and members of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) to develop an eight-module unit to help school teachers learn to teach in a distinctly Christian way. The ultimate goal is to train Congolese teachers to use these modules to train their own people in Christian Education. She assisted a teacher as he taught two days of modules on what it means to be a Christian and what we mean by “spiritual formation.” She also taught “Philosophy of Education” and how biblical worldview influences classroom management and discipline.

Dr. Timothy Yoder, Professor in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and his wife Lisa, Interim Director of Academic Resource Center, traveled to Hindustan Bible Institute (HBI) in Chennai, India from July 18 to August 8. Tim taught “Apologetics” and “Ethics” to M.Div. students, as well as spoke at their commencement ceremony, while Lisa taught conversational English classes, consulted with the Admissions staff, led seminars on workplace skills, and had daily devotions with girls from the orphanage. They were also present for the Pastors Conference in which hundreds of rural pastors from all over India gathered for four days of training.

The Cairn University Chamber Singers (led by Dr. David M. Shockey, Professor in the School of Music) traveled to Innsbruck, Austria from June 2-16, 2014 with the missions organization Musik-Brücken for two weeks of outreach among people in that region. The students sang in churches and schools in the Telfes and Fulpmes areas, joining others from Wyoming and Virginia. The ensemble also visited Venice and Salzburg.

Other News

On September 18, The Photo Gallery had its opening reception for the Student Photography Exhibition. Five students were awarded for their excellence in select categories.

On September 20, over 70 churches joined with the Cairn community to participate in the We LU V Youthworkers Mini-Convention.

On October 9, Cairn hosted a Red Cross Blood Drive in which 60 people donated blood.

On October 17, students dressed in plaid and cowboy boots for the annual Hoedown.

On October 22, the Masland Library held its first Student Poet Laureate Competition. Thirteen students read their original works, and Danielle Redden was crowned the Masland Library Student Laureate of 2014-15.

On November 2, young men from Cairn and neighboring communities joined together for the 2nd Annual Stand Firm Men’s Conference.

On November 15, the Ying String Quartet returned to Cairn for a concert.