A NOTE TO REGISTRANTS OF THE WEST COAST FACULTY CONFERENCE
Dear Registrants of the West Coast Faculty Conference,
Due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19 and all of the ripple effects, our planning team has decided to shift to an online, virtual two-day event with additional optional gathering and spiritual direction sessions that will be available to you. Prices and registration deadlines have been updated for our new format.
Blessings to you during this difficult time,
The West Coast Faculty Conference Planning Team
Christian Hope & Disappointment on the Academic Journey
Virtual Sessions on July 27, 2020 to July 28, 2020*
The daily strain upon faculty has amplified in ways that no one could have anticipated because of the global pandemic. Faculty reasonably wonder, “What kind of future do I have with this campus where I serve, teach, and conduct research?” The levels of sadness and disillusionment in our academic, professional, and personal experiences produce a deep emotional freight for everyone in higher education. Mindful of the painful disappointments that inhabit this pandemic, with abrupt changes and unfulfilled expectations with administrators, colleagues, students, marriages and families, even one’s self: Where does the Christian faculty member find their hope?
Towards answering that question, the 2020 WCFC will go virtual. We'll have many of the familiar elements of meeting together as we might have enjoyed at Westmont. One of the chief goals of this virtual conference will be for faculty and others to connect with the Lord Jesus and with each other. So much of the presentations (short, we promise!), Bible studies, and small group experiences will contribute towards a genuine encounter with our risen Lord and one another, all aimed at empowering us for hopeful living during a disappointing season of a global pandemic.
Registration is now live!
*Some faculty have expressed interest in potential small group gatherings based on geographical locations using safe social distancing on July 29 or at a mutually agreed upon time. You will be able to indicate while registering if you would like to be informed if such an opportunity occurs or if you would like to host one.
Richard L. Wood
Richard L. Wood serves as Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico, focusing on the cultural and institutional bases of democratic life, especially those linked to faith communities. His early work studied community organizing in low-income neighborhoods, culminating in Faith in Action (University of Chicago Press 2002). He has published a variety of scholarly articles and public intellectual work on religion and democracy, diversity and racial equity in political organizations, and Christian reform efforts. His recent book A Shared Future: Faith-Based Organizing for Racial Equity and Ethical Democracy (2015 from University of Chicago Press, co-authored with Brad R. Fulton) analyzes how a multiracial faith-based organization negotiates the tension between multiculturalist and universalist democratic traditions. Wood is currently finishing Faith and the Fire of Public Life, on the impact of civic engagement on faith communities. Wood serves as co-editor of Cambridge Studies of Social Theory, Religion, and Politics and on the national board of Faith in Action (formerly the PICO National Network). Wood previously served as senior vice provost and interim provost at UNM and advised the national Catholic Campaign for Human Development. He is active in local church life as well as a variety of local faith-based projects.
Janna Louie is an ordained American Baptist minister serving as the Area Director for Graduate and Faculty Ministries in Southern California. After completing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, she studied sociopolitical engagement through preaching in Southeast Asia. She is a second-generation Hong Kong American who enjoys running, cooking, and eating in her spare time.
Bible Study Leader
Sara Wolfgram Chang serves as the Scripture Manager for Urbana ‘21 and Area Director with InterVarsity’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries for the state of Michigan. Sara holds dual degrees in Flute Performance and Psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Asian American Contexts from Fuller Theological Seminary. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband Robert (who is on faculty with Michigan Medicine) and daughter, Junia (1st grade). Together, they attend Knox Presbyterian Church where Sara is an ordained elder. Drinking coffee, playing tennis, growing grass and biking with Junia are some of the more simple pleasures in life these days.
Based out of Irving, Texas, Robin Oas has taken her art all over the world. She specializes in live paintings, set designs, murals, commissions, greeting cards, and sketches. Her unique style is inspired by a unique combination of her California roots, living in a mud hut in Africa, a passion for coffee, the love of her Texas home, and a zest for life. She seeks to inspire and encourage others through her art.