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Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement

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Faculty Fellows

Each year, PLACE organizes faculty from a variety of disciplines and utilizes their diverse knowledge to analyze the year's theme. This composition of faculty members lead classes, discussions, and events in order to expose students at Linfield to the widespread implications of the year’s theme and allow the student body to collectively explore one idea through multiple perspectives.

Faculty Fellows

Jennifer Heath

Jennifer Heath, Physics, Director
Jennifer Heath, director of PLACE, is a Professor in the Department of Physics and also teaches in the Environmental Studies program. In her role as PLACE director, she is especially passionate about promoting a sense of intellectual community which respects contributions from all members of the Linfield community, and from all disciplines across the liberal and applied arts. She feels that multifaceted, cross-disciplinary approaches are critical to understanding and solving important contemporary issues. Heath teaches throughout the physics curriculum, and in 2015-2016 will be teaching Electronics, Electricity and Magnetism, Science Colloquium, and an Inquiry Seminar: Energy in the Modern World. Her research explores the electronic properties of materials, especially thin film materials for solar cells. She has been a visiting scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and has consulted for several solar energy companies, and she recently completed a term as the chair of the NW section of the American Physical Society. She holds a MS and PhD in physics from the University of Oregon, and earned her BA in math and physics from Whitman College. Her publications include articles in Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Applied Physics, and Progress in Photovoltaics, and several book chapters on solar cell characterization techniques. She strives to connect students with meaningful science research experiences, through summer and academic year internships in her laboratory, the iFOCUS pre-orientation program for freshmen, and through a recent re-design of introductory labs to incorporate more authentic approaches to scientific investigation.

Susan Currie-Sivek

Susan Currie-Sivek, Mass Communication
Susan Currie Sivek is an assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communication. She teaches courses in media literacy, media theory, reporting and writing, and multimedia production. Her research focuses on the role of magazines in forming and shaping communities of readers, as well as on changes in journalism due to technology. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and her B.A. in English from Trinity University. Sivek is also the magazine industry correspondent for the PBS-affiliated website MediaShift, which is read by a diverse global audience that includes media professionals and educators.

Rob Gardner

Rob Gardner, Sociology
Rob Gardner (Ph.D. University of Colorado at Boulder) is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and is a member of the Environmental Studies faculty. He arrived at Linfield in 2004 after completing his dissertation research on “portable” communities cultivated within the vibrant bluegrass music festival scene in the Rocky Mountain West. In other research, he examined conflicts arising from rapid urban growth along Colorado’s Front Range. Rob's current research focuses on disaster volunteerism and community resilience, specifically, the emergent organizational processes and political motives driving grassroots volunteer relief activity in the post-Katrina Gulf Coast.

As a PLACE fellow, Rob brings deep engagement with issues related to community sustainability, resilience, and environmental justice. Driven by a pedagogy rooted in service-learning and civic engagement, Rob's teaching interests include community sustainability and resilience, environmental sociology, social theory, and music subcultures. He has developed month-long travel courses to post-Katrina New Orleans to study disaster induced community change and to Mumbai and Varanasi, India to examine the role of NGOs in addressing persistent poverty. He has also led several groups of students serving the local community through studies of rural homelessness.

Tom Love

Tom Love, Anthropology
Thomas Love (BA Columbia University; MA, MS, Ph.D. University of California, Davis) joined the Linfield faculty in 1983. He teaches various courses in anthropology, environmental studies and Latin American studies, including human ecology, South America, global political economy, and socio-cultural change and collapse. Tom will bring to PLACE activities this year his concerns with the energy basis of civilizations and the possibilities for sustainable transition out of the fossil fuel era.

Working in the central Andes and the Pacific Northwest, he has written on energy, human ecology and rural livelihood issues in Anthropology Today, American Ethnologist, Ambio, and the J of Sustainable Forestry. He co-edited Cultures of Energy: Power, Practices, Technologies (Left Coast Press, 2013), a reader in energy anthropology, with S. Strauss and S. Rupp, State, Capital and Rural Society: Anthropological Perspectives on Political Economy in Mexico and the Andes (Westview Press, 1989) with B. Orlove and M. Foley, and is completing both a monograph The “Independent Republic of Arequipa”: The making of regional culture in the central Andes (U Texas Press), and Energy and Economy, an edited number of the J of Economic Anthropology (with Cindy Isenhour).

Lissa Wadewitz

Lissa Wadewitz, History
Lissa Wadewitz is Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from UCLA and has been a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Saskatchewan and Stanford University. Wadewitz specializes in U.S. Environmental history, the history of the U.S. West, and Native American History. Her first book, The Nature of Borders: Salmon, Boundaries, and Bandits on the Salish Sea (2012) explores the ecological effects of imposing cultural and political borders on a critical West Coast salmon fishery. The book won prizes from the American Historical Association, the Western History Association, and the North American Society for Oceanic History. Wadewitz’s new research focuses on issues of race, sexuality, and environment in the nineteenth-century Pacific whaling fleet. All of Wadewitz’s topical courses offered this year have a strong environmental component, so will nicely complement the PLACE theme and related events.

Jeremy Weisz

Jeremy Weisz, Biology
Jeremy Weisz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. He is a microbiologist and marine ecologist whose primary interests involve understanding symbiotic interactions between bacteria and marine animals. He received his BS (1999) in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his PhD (2006) in marine sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jeremy will bring his ecological perspectives to the conversation and activities of this year’s PLACE theme. In the fall, his Principles of Biology students will discuss how life responds to changes in the environment and the importance of air, water, earth, and fire in developing and maintaing life. IN the spring, his Marine Ecology students will explore ocean life and how it is influenced by shifts in the marine environment.

Joan Paddock

Joan Haaland Paddock, Music
Joan is a Professor of Music at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. An Emmy Award winner from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Paddock is originally from Minot, North Dakota where she began trumpet studies with Gary Stenehjem. Joan is the first woman to receive a doctorate in trumpet performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she studied trumpet with Charles Gorham and conducting with Ray Cramer and earned IU’s prestigious Performer’s Certificate. Awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Norway, Joan studied at the Norwegian State Academy of Music with trumpet soloist, Harry Kvebæk. An active adjudicator, guest clinician, trumpet soloist and conductor, Paddock has conducted bands and brass groups in Alaska, Canada, Israel, Jordan, and Mexico and has performed as trumpet soloist in the Americas, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. A longstanding member of Oregon’s Britt Festival Orchestra trumpet section, Paddock also performs as an‘on call’ trumpeter with the Oregon Symphony and the Portland Opera. A founding member of HALCYON TRIO OREGON, Joan annually returns to Minot to celebrate her Nordic heritage and blows trumpet fanfares and Norwegian lur calls for the Norsk Høstfest, North America’s largest Scandinavian Festival

Sarah Coste

Sarah Coste, Health, Human Performance and Athletics
Sarah Coste is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance. She is a physiologist/neuroendocrinologist whose primary research focuses on the cardiovascular, endocrine, and behavioral responses to psychological stress and the impact that physical activity and exercise has on the stress response. She received her MS (1993) and PhD (1997) in Behavioral Neuroscience from Oregon Health and Science University.

Sarah will bring her health related perspective to the conversation and activities of this year’s PLACE theme. She will be teaching Human Physiology wherein her students will discuss and explore the benefits of nature, and the necessity of natural resources such as clean water, in maintaining health and well being.

Joe Wilkins

Joe Wilkins, English
A recent addition to Linfield College, Joe Wilkins began his teaching career at Waldorf College, where he was awarded the Waldorf College Board of Trustees 2012 Outstanding Faculty Award for his teaching and the 2010 Holmen Professional Excellence award for his writing.

Professor Wilkins teaches creative writing, literature, and inquiry seminar courses at Linfield, including Reading and Writing Literary Nonfiction, Darkness on the Edge of Town: Rural America in Contemporary Letters, and From the Beats to the Beatles; he also advises the student literary magazine, Camas. As a writer, he is concerned with issues of place, loss, survival, violence, belief, inheritance, silence, memory, and story. As a student of literature, Wilkins is particularly interested in 20th Century American literature, environmental and place-based literature, and postmodernism. Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing up on the Big Dry, winner of the 2014 GLCA New Writers Award and a finalist for the 2013 Orion Book Award, and two collections of poems, Notes from the Journey Westward, winner of the 2013 High Plains Book Award, and Killing the Murnion Dogs, a finalist for the 2012 Paterson Poetry Prize. A National Magazine Award finalist and Pushcart Prize winner, his poems, essays, and stories have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Utne Reader, Ecotone, The Sun, Orion, and Slate, among other magazines and literary journals. Of Wilkins' work, Deborah Kim, editor at the Indiana Review, writes, “The most striking component of it is its awareness of ‘the whole world.’ What is ordinary becomes transcendent. In places derelict and seemingly unexceptional, Wilkins compels us to recognize what is worth salvage, worth praise.”

Though born and raised on the high plains of eastern Montana, Wilkins now lives with his wife, son, and daughter in McMinnville. When not writing and teaching, he and his family enjoy exploring McMinnville, the Coast Range Mountains, and the Oregon coast.