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Faculty Contribute Worldwide

February 3rd, 2012

By Sarah Pride.

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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Dr. David Aikman (sitting) and Chinese dissident Liao Yiwu at a Fall 2011 Coffeehouse event in the Barbara Hodel Center

In addition to instructing in the classroom, sharing meals with students in the campus dining commons, continuing conversations from class, or inviting students over to their homes, faculty members at Patrick Henry College hold accomplished credentials in a wide range of academic and publishing endeavors. Almost all of PHC’s professors hold doctoral or other terminal degrees in their fields, and in the past year they made great contributions in the world beyond the College, both professionally and personally.

Several members of the PHC faculty published books. Provost Dr. Gene Edward Veith’s latest book, Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood is currently available for pre-order. Other new books include: Dr. David Aikman’s second novel in the Richard Ireton series, Kidnapped in Gaza, due out in March 2012, and his One Nation Without God? The Battle for Christianity in an Age of Unbelief, to be released in September; Dr. Mark Mitchell’s The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry, co-edited with Nathan Schlueter; and others from Dr. Roberta Bayer, Dr. Jason Lantzer and Professor Lynn McCool.

The College’s journalism major received an additional boost from the addition of Dr. Marvin Olasky as Distinguished Chair in Journalism and Public Policy. As editor-in-chief of WORLD Magazine, Dr. Olasky brings not only considerable experience but excellent opportunities for students to intern and write for a national publication. His two weeks of Newsmakers live interviews in September and November brought many interesting politicians, authors, and more to campus.

In addition, Dr. Olasky developed an online journalism course for training potential WORLD writers with Dr. Les Sillars, PHC’s Associate Professor of Journalism. Dr. Sillars himself edited a new outlet called WORLD Virginia while writing dozens of stories there and continuing as Mailbag Editor for WORLD Magazine, publishing six articles in that magazine as well. He taught at the World Journalism Institute in New York City for three days in May.

Dr. John Warwick Montgomery (center) at the World Congress of Human Rights

In addition to his books, PHC’s Professor of History and Writer in Residence, Dr. David Aikman, a former TIME Magazine foreign and senior correspondent, made regular journalistic contributions. In addition to his work as a member of Salem Communications editorial board, where he writes and voices 60-second commentaries for national broadcast, he published an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal decrying the persecution of China’s Christians at the hand of China’s official Protestant church. He wrote book reviews for The Weekly Standard, American Spectator, Christianity Today and Touchstone, occasionally hosted the Voice of America weekly radio program “Issues in the News,” and frequently found himself in demand as a prominent interview source on conditions in China and the Middle East. Dr. Aikman also served on boards of advisors for the University of Nations in Kona, HI and for All Girls Allowed, a charitable organization aimed at combatting China’s coercive one-child policy. On an interesting note, he was also selected in June as a civilian participant in the final week of training of “bird” colonels and full colonels at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA.

PHC’s always-prolific Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Christian Thought, Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, published several articles in academic journals and books in 2011. These include: “Speculation versus Factuality: An Analysis of Modern Unbelief” in Vol. 168 of the Bibliotheca Sacra and a piece about Tolkien in an edited collection of essays. He spoke at several conferences around the world. And also, he himself conducted a week-long apologetics conference at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Davie, FL.

Dr. Steven Hake presents the Fall 2011 faith and reason lecture at PHC

Dr. Mark Mitchell, Chairman of the Department of Government, also co-organized a conference entitled “Human Scale and the Human Good: Building Healthy Communities in a Global Age.” He delivered talks at that conference, at another at Pepperdine University, and at yet another at the annual meeting of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters.

Elsewhere in the Government major, Dr. Stephen Baskerville was one of 800 U.S. faculty and professionals honored as a Fulbright Scholar by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Dr. Baskerville spent the Fall 2011 semester at the Russian State University for the Humanities. He wrote for publications including the International Journal for Religious Freedom, The Independent Review, Salisbury Review, The American Conservative (online edition) and Touchstone. Along with several conference presentations, he began serving as managing editor of the International Journal of Religious Freedom.

Other distinctive faculty contributions include:

  • Dr. Roberta Bayer, Assistant Professor of Government, continued her ongoing work as editor of Mandate, the magazine for the Prayer Book Society. Over Christmas, she finished editing a “Festschrift,” a book in honor of Rev. Dr. Peter Toon, an Anglican theologian, who died in 2009.
  • Dr. James Tallmon, Professor of Rhetoric, was invited to participate in the Lutheran Services in America Community Leaders Briefing at the White House in October. He served the Lutheran community throughout the year, publishing journal articles, presenting workshops, and otherwise leading in several capacities.
  • Dr. Steven Hake, Chairman of the Department of Classical Liberal Arts, delivered PHC’s Fall 2011 Faith and Reason lecture. He also ran a retreat for PHC men and taught a classical curriculum to almost twenty high schoolers.
  • Dr. Doug Favelo, Assistant Professor of History, continued his ongoing involvement in the world of classical education and homeschooling by creating a new AP World History course for the PHC Preparatory Academy. Very few AP World History courses, he says, address the topic from a biblical perspective -- and also with PHC’s rigorous academic expectations. Further, he updated and revised the 50-page entry on Egypt in the pending 2012 edition of the World Encyclopedia of Nations.
  • Dr. Jason Lantzer, Adjunct Professor of History for PHC’s distance learning program, spoke at the Indiana Historical Society on the topic of Prohibition and otherwise taught about Indiana history as a guest blogger and by helping provide material for an article in the Indiana Magazine of History.