Craig Story, associate professor of biology and director of pre-health professions at Gordon College, and Justin Topp, associate professor of biology at Gordon and a resident of Beverly Farms, recently received a $200,000 grant from the BioLogos Foundation for a program they created, “Moving Pastors Toward Scientific Literacy.” With funding distributed over the next three years, the grant includes weeklong intensive courses for approximately 20 nominated church leaders from throughout the U.S. and Korea and will be taught at Gordon cooperatively by Gordon science professors and faculty from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Though the grant will also help fund resource materials for a general audience book, as well as scholarly articles, the program’s goal is to provide pastors the tools they need to “approach issues of science and faith with greater confidence.” The grant will help build an international network of pastors committed to increasing their scientific literacy. Story and Topp also plan to chronicle and document their efforts with the objective of helping the program grow and sharing it with other institutions.
The sponsors of the 2013 North of Boston Business Plan Competition have been announced by The Enterprise Center at Salem State University. Gold Sponsors are East Boston Savings Bank and People’s United Bank. Silver sponsors are the North Shore Technology Council, Phil Holberton Speaking of Leadership, West Hill Technology Counsel and Salem Five. The competition’s media sponsor is The Salem News. These businesses will provide cash prizes for the winners and encourage many of the region’s best new and growing businesses to put down roots north of Boston. The 2013 competition is now under way. Participants have until March 22 to prepare a comprehensive plan. Semifinalists will be announced on April 11, and the grand finale will take place on Monday, May 6. The winner will receive $5,000; prizes of $3,000 and $2,000 will go to the second- and third-place winners, respectively. Winners agree to locate in Essex County or the Merrimack Valley. The expert judging panel comprises local business leaders, investors and bankers, all of whom volunteer their time and expertise. Support also comes from co-sponsors that help to promote the competition. This year, they include the following: 128 Innovation Capital Group, Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University, Beverly Chamber of Commerce, Cape Ann Business Incubator, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, Merrimack Valley Small Business Center, North Shore Alliance for Economic Development, North Shore Chamber of Commerce, North Shore InnoVentures, North Shore Women in Business, Peabody Chamber of Commerce, Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem State University Alumni Association and the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center at Salem State University. More information is available at www.enterprisectr.org/bpc or by calling 978-542-7528.