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Professorial Achievements: The Year in Review

May 15th, 2009

By Josiah Helms

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 338-8727
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

Patrick Henry is a teaching college, and PHC teachers do just that. Yet many are also known in the wider world for significant achievements. When many of PHC’s professors turn off the lights in their offices, they simply turn them on again in their home studies. They sharpen their skills, update their academic disciplines, and work to impact the culture through various projects, books, articles, and scholarly achievements in the professional world. As the 2008/2009 academic year comes to a close, some of these special works by the College’s dedicated faculty are worth noting:

PHC Provost Dr. Gene Edward Veith, author of several books, carried on in his role as a popular national commentator on American culture and the arts for both World Magazine and for Ligonier Ministries’ Tabletalk Magazine. His various commentaries touched on themes with titles as diverse and provocative as “Art that Deifies,” “Truth or Consequences: Doing Without the Church,” “Suicidal Ideology,” and “A Kinder, Gentler Marxism.”

Dr. Les Sillars

Dr. Les Sillars, professor of journalism and head of the government track, produced a series of articles this year as the contributing editor for Salvo magazine, a quarterly journal focusing on issues of science and culture. His articles included a spirited response to the so-called “New Atheists,” and another assessing the pros and cons of organ donation. Dr. Sillars also continued his position as mailbag editor at World Magazine.

A favorite of prospective students at PHC’s teen journalism camp, Dr. Sillars also captivated a teenage audience at Impact 360, a 3-day seminar on “Interpreting Today’s Media” in Atlanta, Georgia, helping students transitioning from high school to prepare for college.  He submitted a book review to Touchstone magazine and wrote a chapter of Dr. Mark Mitchell’s upcoming book, The Modest Republic.  The chapter is entitled “On Arrogance in the American Media,” and in Dr. Sillars’ words, “adds some historical perspective to the claim that the American media is essential to the survival of American democracy.”

Dr. Mark Mitchell has been writing this book and others and publishing in multiple venues, including the National Humanities Institute, during his year-long James Madison Research Fellowship at Princeton University. In fall of 2009, he will return to the Patrick Henry College campus with many significant additions to his curriculum vitae.

Dr. David Aikman

Dr. David Aikman, professor of foreign cultures and international affairs, former senior correspondent for Time Magazine, and author of numerous books and biographies dealing with the intersection of faith and culture, is presently putting the finishing touches on a book about the Middle East. He authored book reviews for the Weekly Standard as well as numerous articles for the American Spectator, a venerated magazine of conservative thought. Dr. Aikman continues to be a commentator and international affairs expert for Salem Communications, the nation’s largest Christian broadcasting corporation.

Dr. Stephen Baskerville, Associate Professor of Government and author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage and the Family,  as well as countless articles on fatherhood and family issues, continued to be a popular guest on national radio and television programs including The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Court TV, Think Tank, Janet Parshall’s America, the Albert Mohler Radio Show, and others. Dr. Baskerville is internationally known for commentary on the family courts in America and other democracies.

In addition to fine-tuning the Distance Learning program at PHC, Dr. Robert Spinney complemented these efforts by fielding questions about distance learning at Trinity International School in Deerfield, Illinois.  Trinity, a sister college of Wheaton, is considering a DL program and sought Dr. Spinney’s recognized expertise. 

Professor Nathan Russell, teacher of economics, was interviewed by a radio station in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, where he gave his perspective on Christian economics.  A regular contributor to think tanks, he has declined many similar requests in order to focus on his dissertation.

Dr. John Warwick Montgomery

Many were the achievements of Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, who was recently invited to Oxford by the C.S. Lewis Society to deliver a guest lecture.  This is no unusual experience for the man recognized around the world as one of modern Christianity’s greatest apologetics experts and scholars.  He writes articles and publishes books on a wide range of topics, most of which combat atheism and defend the Christian faith from false religions. 

Dr. Steven McCollum, music teacher, has directed most of his scholarly activity toward program building on campus.  In the past year he designed and worked to implement the new CLA Music Track and the new J.S. Bach Musical Leadership Scholarship, and he launched the Patrick Henry College Youth Academy (music ensembles for regional homeschoolers).

Dr. Roberta Bayer, a newer face on campus, is the editor-in-chief for Mandate, a magazine whose mission is to keep the traditional Book of Common Prayer and its legacy alive.  She is also the editor of a book commemorating the founder and former editor of Mandate.  Dr. Bayer, Assistant Professor of Government, spends many of her off-campus hours heavily involved in her local church community.

Dr. Michael Haynes, another new face on campus, teaches political science classes and was a delegate to the Virginia Republican State Convention.