Campus News Highlights
So much has been happening at North Park University this year! Here are a few highlights. You can read further about each of these stories — and more — by clicking on the teasers below.
University President David L. Parkyn has written a collection of essays focusing on the University’s “voice” in the community and the world. Discovering Our Voice: Reflections on Learning at North Park University addresses seven educational ideals that reflect the University’s mission, vision, and its three core values: Distinctively Christian, Intentionally Urban, and Purposefully Multicultural.
A new website for fans of North Park University athletics features Viking team information and news about the University’s athletics program. Among the enhancements, the new site makes it possible for photo galleries to be featured; videos can be added throughout the site; live stats can be displayed with athletes’ photographs; stats can be displayed on mobile phones; and visitors can be surveyed through “quick polls.”
Shanna (Horner) O’Hea, North Park University alumna (C’94) and chef and co-owner of the Kennebunk Inn and Academe, was one of four chefs who appeared in March on the popular Food Network show, Chopped. Last summer, O’Hea headed to New York City to film the episode. Titled “Plenty of Fish,” it featured unusual items such as an Indian gourd, lutefisk, and for dessert, Chinese sausage and baby eggplant.
Dr. Daniel White Hodge joined the University in February to direct the University’s Center for Youth Ministry Studies (CYMS). Hodge has 18 years of urban-youth experience with organizations such as Young Life and World Vision and related scholarship, speaking, teaching, and writing experience.
The Seminary began accepting applications this year for a new, two-year graduate program leading to a certificate in urban ministry. The 15-credit program for Christian ministers and lay leaders will teach participants about effective ministry in urban settings.
Fifteen students, faculty, and alumni of the School of Business and Nonprofit Management (SBNM) visited China in March to study its rapidly growing economy and to further the University’s partnership agreements with one of five Chinese universities, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GUFS).
More than 900 people attended the two-day North Park Justice Summit and Chicago Reload conference in March to learn about justice and how to work for it in their communities. Attendees filled the University Gymnasium to hear Dr. Cornel West deliver a rousing commentary on Christianity, love, and justice. Other speakers included Rev. Jim Wallis, Rev. Judy Peterson, Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, and Rev. Harvey Carey.
The 45-member North Park University Choir performed before packed congregations in three New England states in March. Choir members also led a workshop with area high school choirs at a Massachusetts school. The tour theme was “Towards a Peaceable Kingdom: Songs of Faith, Inspiration, and Community.” Dr. Julia Davids, the Stephen J. Hendrickson Endowed Chair of Choral Activities, School of Music, directed the choir.
The University’s Anderson Chapel was filled for the annual Sankta Lucia (Saint Lucia) Pageant Dec. 10, a traditional Advent celebration similar to events honoring the saint in Scandinavian countries. Students read the Christmas story in English and Swedish from the Gospel of Luke, told of Christmas traditions in Scandinavian countries and here in the United States, and recalled the story of Sankta Lucia.
Illinois public schools serve students who speak 139 distinct languages, and schoolteachers must be prepared. That’s why the University is offering a new master of arts degree in literacy, language, and culture (MALLC) beginning in the fall of 2012.
The University board of trustees nominated Rev. Dr. David W. Kersten to be dean of North Park Theological Seminary. Kersten is currently executive minister of the Department of the Ordered Ministry, Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC).
The first two University students completed a program leading toward a state certification that qualifies them for certain administrative roles in Illinois public schools. The students, D’Wayne Bates and Mark Rasar, completed the 33-hour “Type 75” certification program in December.
North Park University alumni Kjel Larsen C’2007 and Luke Bruckner C’2005 were part of a team that worked on a Spanish version of the Kinect, an accessory for the popular Microsoft Xbox 360 video-game console that detects movement by players so that physical controllers are not necessary.
Dr. Johnny Lin, professor of physics, taught a short course and chaired a national meeting in January devoted to Python, a fast, powerful, and versatile computer-programming language growing in popularity among people working in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences.
Students in North Park University’s chemistry department are using new, high-tech equipment that improves classroom learning and research. North Park became one of the first U.S. universities to acquire a miniature Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer, which helps a user identify molecules in a solution by providing a “spectrum” or picture in graph form. The department has also added a Discover SP System, allowing students to improve experiments.