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Pointer Awarded Social Sciences Chair at Westmont

Fletcher Jones Foundation honor to rotate every four years among deserving faculty.

Westmont College history professor Rick Pointer has been selected as the first recipient of the newly established Fletcher Jones Foundation Endowed Chair in Social Science. The foundation created the chair to rotate among deserving faculty within the social science division. Pointer will occupy the chair for the next four years, beginning this fall.

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Rick Pointer (Brad Elliott photo / Westmont College)

The position includes an annual stipend for research and allows the professor to teach one less class each year. Pointer says the Fletcher Jones chair will enable him to expand his research on American Indians and religion in the 17th and 18th centuries.

“According to the testimony of numerous faculty colleagues from inside and outside the social science division, Rick has distinguished himself by his extraordinary contributions to Westmont and to the broader academy in the areas of teaching and scholarly research,” said Warren Rogers, interim academic dean. “He certainly has earned this recognition.”

An American historian, Pointer graduated from Houghton College and earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Johns Hopkins University. He began his teaching career in 1981, joined the Westmont faculty in 1994 and won Westmont’s Teacher of the Year Award in the Social Sciences in 1996 and 2003. His scholarship focuses on the religious history of early America and his publications include an award-winning essay in New York history and two books, including Encounters of the Spirit: Native Americans and European Colonial Religion.

An induction ceremony will occur during the spring 2009 semester since Pointer will be on sabbatical this fall.

Scott Craig is Westmont College‘s media relations manager.

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