Northwestern College professors awarded sabbaticals

Northwestern College has awarded sabbaticals for the 2021–22 academic year to two longtime professors: Dr. Robert Hubbard, professor of theatre, and Dr. Laird Edman, professor of psychology.

Hubbard has been granted a sabbatical for the fall semester. He will co-teach a theatre course and develop a proposal for a sustainable theatre program at the University of the Bahamas in Nassau. Assuming COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, he will also direct a play for the Shakespeare in Paradise Festival, held in Nassau in October. And finally, he will conduct ethnographic research into an indigenous Bahamian theatrical form called Junkanoo.

Hubbard joined Northwestern’s faculty in 2001 after working in both academic and professional theatre as a director, actor, teaching artist and playwright/adaptor. He has a doctoral degree in theatre from Bowling Green State University.

Edman will spend the spring semester collaborating with Dr. Joseph Bulbulia, professor of psychology at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. The two are exploring current research and theory in the cognitive science of religion in order to provide useful information to people of faith. Specifically, they plan to identify communal religious rituals that are most common to religious groups that thrive across at least three generations.

Edman has been teaching at Northwestern since 2003 after leading honors programs at Iowa State University and Luther and Waldorf colleges. He has a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota.