Faculty Activities

Religious Studies Professor Leads Study Tour to Israel
Beth SheanDr. John Strong (REL) collaborated with Dr. Marc Turnage and Amy Turnage, of the Lashon Institute, and Rev. Alf Halvorsen, currently the head pastor of 1st Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem, PA (formerly associate pastor at 1st and Calvary, in Springfield) to lead a study tour to Israel, March 7th to March 17th.
The group consisted of about 50 members of 1st and Calvary Presbyterian Church and the Springfield region at large, as well as 5 more from 1st Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The purpose of the study tour was to make available to the general community some of the archaeological findings and results from Biblical Studies in regard to the land of Israel.
The group explored many sites important in the history of ancient Israel, including Megiddo, Dan, Beth Shean, and, of course, the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. Pertaining to the New Testament times and the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the group visited Caesarea Maritima, Sepphoris, Capernaum, Qumran, and again, those parts of Jerusalem important in the New Testament story, such as the temple mount and the Garden of Gethsemane.
Above all, the study tour contextualized the gospels and the life of Jesus and the early church within Jewish traditions during that time, as well as the political climate of that period. The study tour also had an opportunity to reflect on the modern situation in Israel. The group visited the land the week after the tragic shooting in a Jerusalem Yeshiva (Seminary) and Bethlehem the day after four militants were killed there in a move by the Israeli forces.

History Professor served as Prestigious Cameron Fellow at the Centre for Reformation Studies at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland

During his time as Cameron Fellow at the Centre for Reformation Studies at the University of Saint Andrews, Scotland, Dr. Eric Nelson (HST) gave two major invited lectures. The first invited lecture “Piety in the Parish: Mapping the Sacred Landscape of Rural France 1500-1700” was presented the Saint Andrews Reformation Studies Institute in May 2007. It examined the interaction between the evolution of church furnishings and the ritual landscape of the Blaisois. The second invited lecture, entitled “Rural Parishes in their Landscapes: Parish Processions in the Blaisois 1500-1700,” was presented to the Graduate School at the University of York, England. This paper focused on the evolution of rural parish processional life in the Loire valley over two centuries.
He also gave a paper at the meeting of The Society for the Study of French History which focused on the impact of Catholic Renewal reform efforts on two specific traditions of processional life in the Blaisois.

Sociology and Criminology Professor nominated for Disability Resource Center Award

Dr. Mike CarlieDr. Mike Carlie, Professor of Sociology and Criminology, has been nominated for the SUCCESSability Award by Missouri State University’s Student Disability Resource Center. For the past couple of years, students with disabilities have expressed a desire to recognize outstanding faculty and staff for creating such a welcoming and accessible environment on our campus. Students, exhibiting Disability Pride, feel it is important to identify exceptional faculty and staff who incorporate principles of universal design. The SUCCESSability Award has been given by Missouri State University’s Disability Resource Center annually since its creation. The proactive efforts of these award winners and nominees help assure that everyone has full access to university life.
Professor Carlie also had his most recent paper, “Why Gangs Form,” published in the July issue of Law Enforcement Executive Forum, the peer-reviewed journal of Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute. Moreover, his online book, Into the Abyss: A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs, continues to be adopted by criminal justice and community agencies throughout the United States as they attempt to learn more about why gangs form, why some people join them, and what can be done to reduce gang activity. Over 70,000 readers have visited the website of the book where it appears in its entirety - including over 2,400 links to the Internet for additional gang-related information.
Political Science Professor to serve as one of four panelists to speak at Harvard Law School
on the international treaty to ban cluster munitions on April 16, 2008
Ken Rutherford
As the negotiation process for an international treaty to ban cluster munitions reaches its height, Dr. Kenneth Rutherford (PLS) will serve as one of a panel of four experts who will speak at Harvard Law School and provide their perspectives on the campaign to ban these weapons and educate the Harvard Law School community. Cluster munitions are large weapons that contain dozens or hundreds of smaller submunitions. They cause great harm to civilians both during attacks, because they spread their submunitions over large areas, and afterwards, because many of the submunitions do not explode on impact, killing and maiming civilians for months or years to come. In February 2007, the Norwegian government initiated the Oslo treaty process to ban the use, production, stockpiling, and trade of cluster munitions by the end of 2008. After a series of international conferences attended by more than 130 states, treaty negotiations are scheduled to conclude in Dublin, Ireland, this May.
The event will consist of four panelists who are leaders in the field of cluster munitions and can share their individual backgrounds and experiences:

1. Simon Conway (Landmine Action, UK) – Simon is Director of the UK-based organization Landmine Action and a Co-Chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition, a network of 200 civil society organizations that have joined together to advocate for national and international measures to ban the use of cluster munitions. Between 1998 and 2004, he worked for a British demining agency in Abkhazia, Cambodia, Eritrea, Kosovo, and Sri Lanka and personally cleared cluster munitions as well as landmines.

2. Bonnie Docherty (Harvard Law School Human Rights Program) – Bonnie is a lecturer and clinical instructor in the Human Rights Program and a researcher at Human Rights Watch. She has spent much of the last seven years documenting the harm caused by cluster munitions. She has engaged in field research about the effects of cluster munitions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, and Lebanon. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Bonnie also writes about how international humanitarian law can be used to argue for a ban on the use of cluster munitions.

3. Steve Goose (Human Rights Watch, USA) – Steve is Executive Director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch and a Co-Chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition. Steve was also involved in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and served as an advocate and activist in the treaty process that resulted in the 1997 treaty banning the use of anti-personnel mines. The ICBL was co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for its contributions to the Mine Ban Treaty.

4. Ken Rutherford (Landmine Survivors Network, USA, Missouri State University) – Ken is Co-Founder of the Landmine Survivors Network and an associate professor of political science at Missouri State University. As a landmine survivor who lost both his legs in Somalia, Ken has been active in promoting bans on both landmines and cluster munitions. His focus is on helping to raise awareness of the needs of survivors and on pursing victims’ assistance provisions.