Northwestern announces sabbatical leaves

Sabbaticals have been granted to four Northwestern College faculty. Dave Arnett, Jim Mead and Joel Westerholm will be on sabbatical for the full 2009–10 school year, while Mike Yoder’s sabbatical is for the spring 2010 semester.

Arnett, associate professor of chemistry, will spend his sabbatical at the University of Kansas, conducting a collaborative research project with Dr. Carey Johnson. The research, in the field of biophysical chemistry, involves structural and spectroscopic studies of biological molecules. Arnett’s goal is to refine experimental techniques for measuring distances within single protein molecules. A member of Northwestern’s faculty since 1999, he holds a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of articles published in a number of professional chemistry journals.

Mead, associate professor of religion, will explore the relationships between Jewish and Christian biblical theology. He plans to write a scholarly monograph on the contemporary approaches to and prospects for a conversation between Jewish and Christian biblical theologians. He will conduct a portion of his research at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a doctorate in biblical studies. The author of Biblical Theology: Issues, Methods and Themes, Mead is an ordained Presbyterian minister who joined Northwestern’s faculty in 2000.

Westerholm, professor of English, will spend his sabbatical working on a book manuscript, tentatively entitled Worship Wars: The Shapes of Christian Devotion. A member of Northwestern’s English faculty since 1988, he earned a doctorate from the University of Connecticut and taught both there and at the State University of New York at Cortland. His research has been largely on the intersections of Victorian poetry and Christianity.

Yoder, professor of sociology, plans to conduct an intensive study of the various cultures of Northwestern College, focusing primarily on the cultures of students. The author of a number of book chapters and journal articles, Yoder joined the faculty in 1982. He holds a doctorate in sociology and a master’s degree in Ibero-American studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.