by Maya Lowenstein
Two retiring professors will be honored at this year’s commencement: Professor of Art Barry Gunderson and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Emerita Mary Suydam. Additionally, the Tenure and Promotion Committee awarded tenure to four professors, each of whom has taught at Kenyon for at least six years.
BARRY GUNDERSON Professor of Art
Gunderson, who has taught at Kenyon for 41 years, plans to spend his retirement in his sculpture studio and with his grandchildren. A recent theme in Gunderson’s art has been sculptural landscapes featuring small farms — the Dirt series. His most recent theme was exhibited in the Gund Gallery this Spring — the Currents series — in which water is the subject rather than dirt. Gunderson is currently working on sculptural images of fishing, an activity he does in the summer with his grandkids. “I have no idea how long this series will run but right now; it is keeping me very busy,” he said.
MARY SUYDAM Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Emerita
Suydam has taught at Kenyon for 21 years. During her retirement, she looks forward to working on her current project — writing a history of Christian mysticism — as well as playing with her dogs. “Kenyon has always been a wonderful place to work in terms of the quality and enthusiasm of the students and professors,” she said. Suydam said that one important change she has noticed during her time at Kenyon is the expansion of interdisciplinary courses. A highlight for Suydam was teaching the women’s and gender studies senior colloquium and honors projects in religious studies. “It’s an opportunity for me to guide them rather than tell them,” Suydam said.
REBECCA LLOYD WALLER Assistant Professor of Philosophy
“I feel very honored and relieved to have passed this hurdle. It’s honestly a bit hard to grasp,” Lloyd Waller wrote in an email to the Collegian. To prepare for tenure, she faced the challenges of graduate school, the academic job market and six years at Kenyon. Lloyd Waller now looks forward to pursuing research on her own timeline.
MARIE SNIPES Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Snipes finds it rewarding to see students grow mathematically over their years here. “I love the fact that Kenyon students are generally inquisitive and enthusiastic about their math classes and go beyond the curriculum,” Snipes wrote in an email to the Collegian. In her free time, she plays chess with the chess club or takes pottery classes at the Craft Center. In the future, she plans to continue her research, which involves probability.
Rebecca Wolf Assistant Professor of Drama
Wolf’s specialties are set design, lighting and set painting. Her research interests include South African theater and design. This summer she will be designing scenery for the musical Pajama Game at Weathervane Playhouse in Newark, Ohio. “I look forward to many more years of teaching and learning at Kenyon,” Wolf wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Chengjuan Sun Assistant Professor of Chinese
Sun has taught at Kenyon for six years and describes her time as stimulating and rewarding. “The daily inspiration from my colleagues and students will continue to sustain my commitment to teach and research,” Sun wrote in an email to the Collegian. Her ongoing project deals with 18th-century Chinese female poets and their innovative voices in navigating gender roles and literary conventions.