Faculty SAbbaticals Receive Approval

Next year, nine faculty members will take sabbaticals for projects that include studying Indian culture, climate change and Latin America. Temba Maqubela, Dean of Faculty, and John Rogers, Dean of Studies, recently approved nine faculty sabbaticals and one leave of absence for the 2009-2010 school year. “The sabbaticals that are approved range from [graduate work] sabbaticals to those that have informal academic work such as completing a book or a manuscript,” said Maqubela. He continued, “A few sabbaticals are designated for renewal for a term for some faculty who have been working non-stop for many years, including summers. Thus, there is a range of these sabbaticals that are awarded.” Bruce Bacon, Instructor in Theatre and Dance; Kevin Cardozo, Instructor in Chemistry; Corbin and Nancy Lang, Instructors in Math; and Raj Mundra, Instructor in Biology, are the five teachers to receive yearlong sabbaticals. Mundra and his family will move to Mumbai, India for the year “to document the success of the Niswarth summer service-learning program. I want to learn more about the impact a group of American students can have on partner schools, local organizations and communities in Mumbai,” he said. One of Mundra’s goals is to take an intensive Hindi course to improve his speaking, reading and writing skills. Mundra said, “I will also create an interdisciplinary course on water that will incorporate environmental, economic and religious perspectives on the importance of water in different societies.” He added, “A sabbatical gives me an opportunity to pursue different types of professional development that I normally would not have time for during the regular school year.” Cardozo will earn a master’s degree in “Climate and Society” from Columbia University on his sabbatical. He said, “Quality summer programs that lead to a master’s degree are very rare and require several summers, so finishing the degree in one school year while on sabbatical is much more efficient, and the quality of the program is excellent.” When Cardozo returns from his sabbatical, he hopes to develop new science courses and expand existing ones at Andover. He said, “I hope to bring back the knowledge to develop new courses related to the science and politics of global warming, as well as incorporating some of what I’ve learned into our standard year-long chemistry courses.” Bacon plans to learn more about professional theatrical sound design and engineering on his sabbatical. He said, “I’m hoping to research…the future of the connection between the not-for-profit [regional] theatres and the for-profit world of Broadway. The changing economy is going to have long lasting effects on how both types of businesses are run.” Bacon hopes his sabbatical will leave more time for his hobbies. “I enjoy hiking, and my schedule over the last ten years has left me very little time to pursue that. I’m hoping to get in some extended treks, either on the Appalachian Trail or in Europe,” said Bacon. In an email to The Phillipian, Nancy Lang said that she and her husband plan to contribute to the math and athletic programs at Andover with their sabbaticals. She wrote that her husband, Corbin Lang, will “continue to write and edit the geometry textbook that he and some of our math department colleagues have authored. He will also create additional exercises that utilize a geometry software package available to both students and teachers.” Corbin Lang, also the Head Indoor and Outdoor Track Coach, will work to earn a second-level track and field certification as the second project of his sabbatical. Nancy Lang wrote that she will “spend time examining and comparing some of the math curricula being used to educate our incoming students. I plan to examine suburban, rural and home school curricula at some key grade levels.” She continued, “I will also spend time interviewing, and hopefully shadowing, high school cross country coaches to learn more about some of the wonderfully successful programs in existence.” The Langs and their three children will move to Idaho for their year on sabbatical. Shirley Veenema, Instructor in Art; Derek Williams, Instructor in History and Social Science, and Margaret Jackson, Instructor in Psychology, will take sabbaticals for fall term only. Williams will use his sabbatical to travel to Mexico. He hopes to break away from his normal routine and learn more about the Spanish language and Latin culture. Williams said, “I like to travel and haven’t done much recently. I have been around the world, but never south in the hemisphere. [I am] just tired of being ignorant about Latin America.” He continued, “I’m just trying to make myself a more informed person and teacher. Since we study Mexico in my [Comparative Government] elective, there’s some logic in checking things out first-hand.” Jonathan Stableford, Head of the English Department and Instructor in English, is the only teacher to take a summer sabbatical, which will be his third. Stableford hopes to finish his fiction-writing project that he began on his first summer sabbatical in 2006. “My project fell into my lap,” wrote Stableford in an email. “I was suddenly stricken with an illness I barely escaped.” He added, “Since then, what happened, how it affected our family, and how I recovered has captured my attention. I am trying to write about that. I hope to [finish] this project this summer.” According to Maqubela, he and Rogers approve all sabbatical proposals after teachers have consulted their respective supervisors, typically department chairs. Susan McCaslin, Associate Dean of Faculty, wrote in an email, “All sabbatical plans are meant to benefit PA in that faculty members are given time off to pursue a plan of further study that will enhance the work they do here. There are endowed funds for faculty sabbaticals, and these are used to fund the sabbaticals.”