Financial District, NEW YORK– At least six familiar staff members have left the college, including Dr. Calvin White, James Berneking, Katrina Blank, Ray East and Jennifer and Phillip Brown.
Dr. White, Interim Provost since 2010, left his position at King’s at the end of July. He declined to comment.
The Provost Search Committee selected Dr. David Newton, professor of entrepreneurial finance at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California and TKC Briarcliff Manor grad (’81), to become provost full-time Jan. 1.
Until January, Newton will assist part-time with provost duties while teaching at Westmont. He will visit King’s August 15-16 to run a faculty workshop and in September, October and November.
The new assistant to the provost, Virginia “Gini” Porter, started her position July 23. Porter previously coordinated dental care in West Africa with the non-profit charity Mercy Ships. As Newton’s assistant, she will complete administrative tasks such as organizing textbook lists and syllabi from professors and responding to emails. She will also oversee the teaching assistants.
“I’m an urban girl,” Porter said. She grew up in Virginia and has had family in New York. ”When this opportunity arose … I jumped at it.”
An ad posted in Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s classifieds pointed her to the open position at King’s, where the curriculum attracted her. “I’m most excited to see the school fully in motion,” Porter said. The new campus is “quiet” so far, she added.
Berneking, TKC grad and former Registrar, left King’s to become the Academic Affairs Project Manager at Pepperdine University’s business school in Malibu, California, near Los Angeles. He wanted to return to the West Coast (he’s from Washington), but is “proud to have helped move King’s a little closer to fulfilling our mission, both as a student and as the Registrar.”
His replacement, Sue Ho, worked as a registrar for seven years at Nyack College, a Christian college about 30 miles north of Manhattan and is a native New Yorker. She heard about the opening at King’s from Writing Professor Alissa Wilkinson, a friend of Ho’s daughter.
King’s attracted her because she knew her role would be “more than producing graduates,” she said. “There’s kingdom building here.”
Ho started July 30 and says she will study the current registration system first “and then we’ll see what we can do to improve” if needed.
After leading the Uganda International Venture team in May, Blank left King’s as the Herald Towers Resident Director and ten Boom advisor.
From her parents’ lake house in Michigan, she has been planning a fall conference for media marketer Gordon Pennington and writing a book titled I Hate Books on Christian Dating: I Promise This Isn’t One.
“It’s about trying to make sense of who God is after years of being bogged down by religious messages,” Blank said. She hopes to finish the book this year and tour across college campuses in 2013.
She denied rumors that Christian author Donald Miller is coaching her. “No,” she said. “He’s not. But he’s following me on Twitter.”
Blank plans to return to New York this fall to launch her writing website, katrinablank.com, and serve on Trinity Grace Church’s leadership team.
TKC alumna (’12) Michelle Lambdin filled Blank’s position Aug. 1 as Housing Director. Lambdin led the House of Sojourner Truth as president for two years.
Phillip and Jennifer Brown, former Registration Coordinator and Student Success Coordinator, left Aug. 3. They plan to teach English in South Korea, an opportunity they passed up to come to King’s last August. Jennifer also advised the House of Clara Barton.
East, former Spiritual Life Director, left King’s in May and is currently life coaching*, helping people set and achieve goals.
TKC has not yet filled either of the Browns’ or East’s position, but Dean of Students David Leedy will interview applicants for East’s position Wednesday and Friday.
*UPDATE (Aug. 7): More specifically, Ray East is starting a company to help entrepreneurs expand their business and sales through mobile apps, Leedy said. East will stay in the greater NYC area and plans to stay connected to King’s.
About 70 people applied for the fall Spiritual Life Director position, and Student Development narrowed the search to three or four.
“We hope to identify a new hire by the end of next week,” Leedy said in an email Aug. 7.
Celina Durgin contributed to this report.