Academically Speaking

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Ruth Naomi Floyd, director of jazz studies and part-time faculty at Cairn University, premiered an original musical work at An Afternoon of Jazz at Cairn University on October 8. The three-song cycle is based on the speeches of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The concert also featured African-American spirituals and hymns performed by Floyd, her quintet, the Cairn University Gospel Choir Vocal Quartet, and violinist Diane Monroe.

Her recent professional activities also include:

  • On December 1, Floyd was the guest speaker for the December meeting of Tenth Presbyterian Church’s Medical Campus Outreach on the topic of ministering to the transgender community.
  • On November 10–11, Floyd presented a jazz concert at the Birenbaum and shared the lecture “Blues in the Garden” at the Africana House at Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH).
  • On October 26, Floyd presented “The Journey of Jazz Music: From Deepest Despair to Unspeakable Joy,” at Q Commons (Philadelphia) two-hour live event.
  • From August 24–October 15, Floyd’s photographic image “Surrounded” was featured at the Rush Arts Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) in the exhibition “We Are Stronger Together,” sponsored by the Barnes Foundation and Art Sanctuary.
  • On August 17, Floyd performed with the EVER Ensemble at the weekly Culture on Tap pop-up at Philadelphia City Hall, sponsored by the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy (OACCE).
  • On August 8, Floyd and her trio led worship at the historic Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, NJ.
  • From July 17–27, Floyd was the visiting artist in concerts for Emmanuel College (Newcastle, England) at Sage Gateshead and on Emmanuel College’s campus. Floyd also delivered the lecture “Creative Extremists: Through the Lens of Beauty and Justice” for the college community.
  • On July 31, Ruth was a member of the cast of the play “Life in The Cancer Lane,” produced for the Pinkwellchick Foundation at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
  • On June 4, she performed in the concert “Soulful Celebration: Spirituals, Gospels, and Sacred Jazz” at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (Doylestown, PA) alongside the Bucks County Choral Society, Northeast High School Concert Choir (Philadelphia, PA), composer and arranger Dr. Jay Fluellen, and original Duke Ellington soloist DeVonne Gardner, led by Grammy-nominated artistic director Thomas Lloyd. Floyd also shared selected photographic images from her Veil Series in a pop-up exhibition.
  • On May 7, Floyd was a panelist for Art Sanctuary’s 33rd annual Celebration of Black Arts Festival at the The Barnes Foundation.

Dr. Scott Watson, adjunct faculty in the School of Music, was a guest on the Everything Band podcast on April 3, 2017. In addition to 31 years of teaching instrumental and elective music for the Parkland School District (Allentown, PA), he recently taught the following graduate courses:

• Central Connecticut State University: Video Projects in Music Education (July 3–7)

• University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA): Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity (July 10–14) and Video Projects in Music Education (July 17–21)

• University of Valley Forge: Applied Composition (fall 2017)

On July 24–28, he led the music production model of Parkland High School’s Summer STEM Academy. On August 22–24, he delivered three days of professional development workshops and clinics for the music department of the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School District, focusing on middle school and high school ensemble music pedagogy and integrating technology in the K-12 music curriculum.

On September 28, he presented a workshop on integrating technology in the K-12 music curriculum for the Parkland School District. His new work, “Celebratory Fanfare” (Alfred Publications) was reviewed in The Instrumentalists magazine. He published A Golden Legacy (Wingert-Jones Publications, Grade 4)*, commissioned by the Lehigh County Bandmasters to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Lehigh County Band Festival.

Dr. Keith Plummer, professor of theology in the School of Divinity, was the commencement speaker at Washington Christian Academy (a K-12 school in Olney, MD) on June 10, 2017. He taught an apologetics course to Cru staff members at their Institute of Biblical Studies in Fort Collins, CO, on June 30–July 14, 2017. While in Fort Collins, he spoke to the Foot of the Rockies Summer Mission, a group of Christian college students, about responding to relativism, followed by a time of Q&A about a range of apologetic and theological issues. On November 16, he moderated a session of the Theology for Counseling and Pastoral Care study group at this year’s national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Christopher Palladino ’94, assistant professor of history, humanities, and social science in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, led an all-day CEU course at the International Christian Educators Conference (ICEC) Kenya in February 2017. The course was titled “The Integrated Life: Combining Our Academic, Spiritual, and Social Lives.”

He also presented the event’s keynote address, called “An Integrative Celebration of the Arts and Creativity,” and four workshops:

• “Inquiring Minds, Enduring Questions: An Inquiry-Based Curriculum”

• “A Soundtrack for the Past: Making Historical Connections to Music”

• “The Journey of a Hero: Myths and the Power of Mythmaking”

• “What’s the Point? A Rationale for Learning”

He also presented on the Freedom Rides for a celebration of Black History Month in February. In March, he delivered a keynote address for Calvary Christian Academy’s professional development day; his address was titled “The Medium and the Message: How We Teach, Not Just What We Teach, Matters.” In April, he served as the chair of the teaching and learning section for the New York State Political Science Association’s annual conference, held at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. In August, he presented at the 17th annual convention of the Philadelphia Association of Christian Schools (PACS).

Paul Neal, senior vice president for marketing and enrollment, presented on marketing mistakes to avoid and strategic marketing using data at the Wheaton Academy Best Practices Conference on June 22–24, 2017, and on leadership and governance at the Pacific Rim International Christian School Leaders Group in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 26–29, 2017.

Dr. Matt McAlack ’83, professor of youth and family ministry in the School of Divinity, hosted over 40 churches at this year’s JAM (Junior High Adventures in Ministry) event on May 12–14, 2017. Over 40 Cairn students volunteered, equipping junior high students to share the gospel and minister to elementary school students through inflatables, games, music, crafts, and food.

On May 21, Matt led a team to Whosoever Gospel Mission (Philadelphia, PA) to lead a chapel service, then serve and eat dinner with the residents. In June, Matt, his wife Michele (Bardeer) ’86, and his son Jeremy ’14/G’14 led teams from Calvary Baptist Church (Bristol, PA) and Riverstone Church (Yardley, PA) to County Down, Northern Ireland. The teams shared the gospel in public schools, and Matt also spoke at Newcastle Baptist Church and “The Base,” a youth outreach.

Back in the States, Matt had additional speaking engagements: • July 9, 2017: At both Sunday morning services of New Monmouth Baptist Church in Middletown, NJ, where Jared Nicastro ’05/G’13 and Nick D’Angelo ’11 serve as co-pastors • November 19, 2017: At Christian Testimony Chinese Church in Boonton, NJ. He also helped to organize a Thanksgiving turkey dinner giveaway for approximately 250 under-resourced families in Lower Bucks County.

Dr. William Krewson, professor in the School of Divinity, published a book, Jerome and the Jews: Innovative Supersessionism (2017, Wipf and Stock).

Dr. James Dolezal, assistant professor in the School of Divinity, published a book, All That Is In God: Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Christian Theism (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017). He also published four book reviews: • “Review of Divine Simplicity: Christ the Crisis of Metaphysics by Paul R. Hinlicky.” Journal of Reformed Theology 11.1-2 (2017): 153-154. • “Review of The End of the Timeless God by R. T. Mullins.” International Journal of Systematic Theology 19.2 (2017): 226-230. • “Review of Creation and the Sovereignty of God by Hugh J. McCann.” Westminster Theological Journal 77.2 (Fall 2016): 432-436. • “Review of Faith, Freedom, and the Spirit by Paul D. Molnar.” Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies 3 (2016): 217-222.

Dr. Stephanie Chung, associate professor and chair of the Special Education Department, spoke on “Dyslexia: Unique Mind, Unique Calling” and “Dyslexia: Classroom Interventions” at the Calvary Christian Academy Professional Development Day in March. Through online video, she also provided professional development to the faculty and staff of the International Christian High School in Hong Kong in April. Her topic was “A Scientific Understanding of ADHD.”

Dr. Joey Beeson G ’11, dean of the School of Education, successfully defended his dissertation on September 5. His earned doctoral degree is an EdD in Education from Northcentral University with a specialization in curriculum and teaching. Upon his successful defense, Dr. Beeson was promoted from interim dean to dean of the School of Education.