Google Engineer, Historical Theologian, Cognitive Psychologist: Gordon Welcomes New Faculty

With more than 500 million users, Gmail dominates the world of email. Google’s signature email product was introduced just over a decade ago, offering unprecedented email storage space, search functionality and usability. It blew competitors—like AOL, Yahoo and Hotmail—out of the water.

This fall, Gordon will welcome one of the brains behind the email giant to the mathematics and computer science faculty. Dr. Russell Tuck, an award-winning software engineering manager, brings extensive experience into his role as professor of computer science. Dr. Tuck led the productionization and launch of Gmail, and built and managed Gmail’s Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) group. During his 11 years at Google, he also spearheaded the development of support systems for Google’s vast web services and facilitated the company’s EDGE Engineering Leadership Training program. He has published several articles, holds 10 patents and has a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Duke University.

“I spent the first 20+ years of my career as an engineer and manager in four high-tech companies. I saw firsthand how many nice, bright and lost engineers work in them, and how hard it is for outsiders (and often even insiders) to reach them,” says Dr. Tuck. “I feel called now to help prepare Christian students to go into the high-tech world as great engineers and great Christian witnesses. Gordon College is an outstanding place to pursue this call. I love the people I’ve met there so far, and am excited about joining them.”

While Dr. Tuck lives in the future-facing world of ever-advancing technology, Dr. Amy Brown Hughes finds her niche in the rich and expansive history of Christianity and the Church. A scholar of early Christianity, Dr. Hughes will join the Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries as assistant professor of theology. “I am looking forward to working closely with students to help spur a deeper love for the substance of their faith and solidify their commitment to the gospel in their respective fields of study,” she says. “This is central to my understanding of myself as a professor of theology.”

Dr. Hughes previously worked with Wheaton College’s Center for Early Christian Studies, which encourages dialogue about the interplay between our modern world and early Christian texts. A similar theme—how early Christian writers remain integral voices in today’s conversations—runs through her research. Her first book, Christian Women in the Patristic World: Influence, Authority and Legacy, co-authored with Dr. Lynn Cohick, will be released this year. Dr. Hughes recently earned her Ph.D. in historical theology from Wheaton, and holds a B.A. in historical and theological studies from Oral Roberts and an M.A. in the general history of Christianity from Wheaton.

Hailing from Northwestern University, Dr. Susan Bobb will bring her expertise as a widely published and accomplished cognitive psychologist to her new role as assistant professor of psychology. Previously a postdoctoral researcher at University of Göttingen (Germany) and Stanford University, she is an expert in the areas of cognition and applied linguistics. Her behavioral and neuroscience research, supported by the National Science Foundation, investigates language learning and language control among bilinguals.

“I am excited to be joining an institution with such a clear commitment to scholarship and teaching for the purpose of mentoring students in faith and knowledge,” says Dr. Bobb. “I am looking forward to joining the Gordon community and engaging with students in the classroom, around campus, as well as getting them involved in language research.”

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Bobb is influential in her field, having presented her research around the world in Poland, Germany, Netherlands and Spain. She holds a B.S. in psychology and French (with a minor in German) from Sweet Briar College, an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Virginia, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology (Applied Linguistics) from Penn State.

Above (L to R): Drs. Russell Tuck, Amy Hughes and Susan Bobb.