Academically Speaking

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Dave Urban, associate vice president of strategic partnerships, represented Cairn at the annual meeting for the Consortium for Global Education in Anderson, SC, on September 13–15, 2017. Urban shared about Cairn’s global footprint and participated in a conversation on Christian schools in China. The consortium provides an opportunity for further relationships with international partners and cultivate additional global opportunities for Cairn students.

Dr. Scott Watson, adjunct faculty in the School of Music, presented a session at the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago as an Alfred Publications composer entitled, “Enhancing Ensemble Rehearsals with Composer Skype Sessions” on December 20–23, 2017.
On October 9, 2017, he delivered two sessions at the PMEA District 10 In-Service Conference at Parkland High School (Allentown, PA): “Enhancing Ensemble Rehearsals with Composer Skype Sessions” and “Soundtrap for Music Education.” He also guest conducted his arrangement, “See Amid the Winter’s Snow” (Alfred, grade 2) at the Concert Band Reading Session for the day.
He was also a guest on the Music Tech Teacher podcast, hosted by Australian music tech specialist, Katie Wardrobe. The episode (No. 36) aired October 20, 2017.
On November 4, 2017, his composition, Lion of Ireland, was performed at the Autumn Symphonic Winds Festival, Dr. Travis Weller, guest conductor (Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School, Foxburg, PA). On February 19, 2018, on behalf of Alfred Music. Scott presented an instrumental pedagogy clinic to band teachers in the Southwest ISD (San Antonio, TX).
He also authored two articles on instrumental music that appeared both on the Alfred Music Blog and in SBO (School Band & Orchestra) magazine:
• “Good Phrasing: A Game Changer for Achieving a Mature Ensemble Sound” (Dec. 2017)
• “Intonation: A Game Changer for Achieving a Mature Ensemble Sound” (Feb. 2018)
Scott did a composer residency with the William J. Johnson Middle School Band (Colchester, CT), Mike Gowdy, director, rehearsing several of his compositions and sharing about the process of composing on May 14, 2018.
The Collegium Charter School Band (Exton, PA) premiered his new composition, “Movin’ On,” commissioned for the retirement of their director. The Orefield Middle School 7th/8th Grade Band, Mr. Pete Zimmer, director, premiered his newly commissioned piece, “Balkan Seven” in April. He also served as the guest conductor for the PMEA District 10 (West) Elementary Band Festival at Wilson Middle School in West Lawn, PA, on April 27, 2018.

Dr. Matt McAlack, professor of youth & family ministry, has kept busy leading a variety of service opportunities and student-run workshops.
• In November, he was part of a leadership team that hosted a turkey dinner giveaway for 250 families in need in the Lower Bucks County area. Each family received a frozen turkey and “all the fixin’s” needed for a Thanksgiving dinner.
• From January 12–14, he spoke at a retreat at the Ocean City Tabernacle, along with youth pastors Chris Yaunches ’05 and Dan Vandzura ’15.
• For the MLK Day of Service, he led volunteers to package and distribute invitations to Bristol residents, which encouraged them to participate in the Souper Bowl canned food drive.
• His Organization and Administration for Youth & Family Ministry class planned a youth group game & worship night at Cairn for area youth ministries.
• On April 13, his Effective Bible Teaching class led a goal setting workshop for high school students at Bucks County Technical High School.
• The annual JAM weekend, a ministry-equipping event for middle school students, was hosted two weekends in 2018, May 11–13 and May 18–20.
He also hosted a youth mental health training session at Cairn on January 27. This one-day training session was designed for those who regularly work with adolescents and young adults, teaching them to help students with their mental health issues and informing them on what to do in times of crisis.

Dr. Gary Schnittjer, professor of the Old Testament, taught an upper-level graduate seminar at Cairn this spring on the Great Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He turned a classroom into a “scriptorium” so the students could better evaluate elements in the ancient scrolls.
Dr. Schnittjer is also recently published. His article entitled “The Bad Ending of Ezra-Nehemiah” was published by Bibliotheca Sacra, an academic journal.
He was also interviewed by Books at a Glance, an online Christian book summary website, about his book The Torah Story. From this book Dr. Schnittjer has also created a 29-lesson, 4-DVD set of video lectures, published by Zondervan.

Mark Gaspar, associate professor in the School of Business, joined the board of The Way Home, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to fighting homelessness in Lower Bucks County. The organization exists to create pathways out of chronic homelessness through permanent, supportive housing. The Way Home develops the local culture by bringing in volunteers and working with the residents to better the neighborhoods where they reside. With no deadlines, the residents are encouraged to make their house a home and to commit to living well in their local area.

Andrea Stange, adjunct faculty in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, self-published her first book. Four Lanes End is a young adult, historical fiction novel that takes place in Langhorne, PA.

Matthew Stemler, associate professor in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, had a collection of his artwork featured at the NoBA artspace in Bala Cynwyd, PA, from January 13–February 3, 2018. Matt states that this collection of works was “inspired by early experiences with his family’s machine shop and farm life.” His art merges kinetic maneuverability with an interest in forms derived from nature and its processes.

Dr. Benjamin Harding, dean of the School of Music, and David Kim, professor of violin studies, performed with Keith and Kristyn Getty during their Sing! an Irish Christmas Tour in Carnegie Hall on December 20, 2017. They are both featured on the “Sing! Live at the Getty Music Worship Conference” album.

Dr. Jonathan Master, dean of the School of Divinity, conducts a podcast through the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals entitled Theology on the Go, where he engages with various guests about different topics in theology. In conjunction with Alliance, Cairn co-sponsored a dinner and evangelical discussion entitled Theology on the Go LIVE! on March 12, 2018 in Greenville, South Carolina. He spoke that night on “Wisdom and Knowledge: Vital Needs in our Contemporary Age.”
He also spoke at the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology on April 27–28, 2018. His paper “Preaching Psalm 46 to the People of God Today” was published in the Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies.

Dr. Keith Plummer, professor of theology, moderated a program unit (Madness: Evangelical Pastoral Care in the Age of Psychiatry) for the Theology for Counseling & Pastoral Care study group at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Providence, RI, on November 16, 2017.Later that month, Dr. Plummer was a guest on the Jude 3 Project podcast, where he discussed Cain’s wife, incest, and the importance of apologetics.
In January 2018, his article “I Hope to Text You Soon” was published in Fathom magazine, where alumnus Jonathan Minnema ’12 is managing editor. He also spoke at the following events:
• December 17, 2017 he taught a seminar on Technology and Spirituality at Riverstone Church in Yardley, PA.
• From February 13 to March 13, he taught a weekly course on apologetics as part of Chelten Church’s Center for Biblical Transformation (Dresher, PA).
• April 14 he spoke at men’s breakfast at Langhorne Presbyterian Church in Langhorne, PA.
• April 28 he taught a workshop on reaching unbelievers in a secular age and participated in a panel discussion on race as part of EFCA Global Outreach Summit at Riverstone Church in Yardley, PA.

Dr. James Dolezal, professor of theology, was the keynote speaker at the Regional ETS Conference in Lancaster, PA on April 7–8, 2018.

Dr. Jared Bryant, director of degree completion, presented the following papers in November and December 2017 respectively:
• “The Augsburg Confession, Gregory of Nazianzus, and the Church Fathers on Trinitarian Opposition.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the ETS. Providence, November 2017.
• “The Influence of Cappadocian Creation Narratives on Gregory of Nazianzus’s Theology of Creation.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the ISEC. New York, December 2017.

Mark Jalovick, director of first-year programs, traveled to Puebla, Mexico, in January as a new board member of Business as Mission (BAM). A major objective of BAM is to train young men and women to start their own business and ministries.

Dr. Kevin McFadden, professor of Greek and the New Testament, presented a paper entitled “The Pistis Christou Debate and Pauline Theology” at the ETS Eastern Regional meeting on April 6–7, 2018. He also reviewed An Anomalous Jew: Paul among Jews, Greeks, and Romans by Michael Bird for the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Tom Allen, professor of New Testament, taught a seminar on advancing the Gospel at Clayton Baptist Church in Clayton, NJ, in Fall 2017. He returned to the church in the spring to teach a second seminar on discipleship.

Suzanne M. Schmidt, adjunct faculty in the School of Music, has been busy in musical activities outside of her Cairn University classroom. She adjudicated piano auditions at Moravian College for the Lehigh Valley Music Teachers Association and at The College of New Jersey for the Piano Teachers Forum of the Delaware Valley.
As a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Teacher Division of the American College of Musicians, Mrs. Schmidt adjudicated approximately 400 piano students in auditions at the King of Prussia, PA; Bala Cynwyd, PA; Wilmington, DE; and Jupiter, FL, National Guild audition centers.
A member of the AP Music Theory Leadership Team, Mrs. Schmidt served CollegeBoard as the Assistant to the Chief Reader for the grading  of the AP Music Theory Exam. Her responsibilities included overseeing the publication of all training materials for the nine Free Response questions on the AP Music Theory Exam and monitoring all reading documentation for the CollegeBoard AP Music Theory website.

Dr. Edgar Hardesty, professor in the School of Divinity, led an archaeological dig at Tel Shimron for Cairn students in June 2017. He was also the keynote speaker for multiple conferences and retreats at America’s Keswick, a Christian ministry center in Whiting, NJ:
• July 2017: Family Week speaker
• November 2017: Singles Weekend speaker
• November 2017: Chosen People gathering speaker

Kenneth Borrmann, associate professor and chair of keyboard studies in the School of Music, taught a master class during Cairn’s first ever Piano Day in October 2017. Seventy piano students and teachers attended the three-hour event which included performances by Cairn piano majors and faculty. Several students from the Bucks County Association of Piano Teachers also participated in this exciting event.
In November 2017, Cairn hosted a handbell workshop with nationally known composer/clinician Kevin McChesney. The Cairn University Handbell Choir, under the direction of Mr. Borrmann, joined five other handbell choirs for a day-long workshop which concluded with a concert that featured the world premiere of a work by Mr. McChesney.