Spotlight on Nyack College 2020 Grad: Daniel Anger

Daniel Anger has an extraordinary penchant for history, information, and library science that speaks volumes about why the 2020 summa cum laude graduate was recognized for his scholarship far beyond the Nyack College campus. Provost Dr. David Turk was informed last month that Daniel received an award in his undergraduate research seminar based on achievements during his fall 2019 semester studies at the Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford (SCIO).

SCIO is the United Kingdom Center of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) in partnership with Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford. As a CCCU member, Nyack students are able to apply for summer and semester-long study opportunities at the University of Oxford and other programs in places like Australia, Uganda, and the Middle East.

Daniel—the Nyack College Honors Program scholar, writer, actor, singer, and community volunteer—shared a bit of his journey and how Nyack played a part in his preparation for what God has next for him.

What inspired your interest in history and what appeals to you about library services?
An avid bibliophile, I am always immersed in books about history and geography. As a history major, I am routinely challenged in my research skills, writing ability and in the ways I view, empathize with, and understand the world around me. No history major is ever far from a library. My “home away from home” at Nyack was Bailey Library. Pursuing a MSLIS (Master of Science Library and Information Science) program felt like a natural next step. Being a librarian is a perfect blend of scholarship and service.

Nyack’s Reference and Instruction Librarian Sunya Notley was thoroughly impressed by her former student worker. She says, “I am very proud of Daniel! I was honored to submit a reference for him to Pratt Institute and to other programs he’s participated in. He worked in Bailey Library for two years and demonstrated exceptional understanding and skill in library and archival work. He was a great asset to have working in Bailey Library and the Nyack College Archives. Daniel loves books and history and has an amazing memory. He would frequently recount Nyack College historical trivia to me. I’m thrilled he has decided to continue his education in Library and Information Science.”

(l-r) Reference and Instruction Librarian Sunya Notley, Daniel Anger, and former Dean of Library Services, Linda Poston.

Why did you decide to study at Nyack?
My older sister, Grace, graduated from Nyack in 2019 with a master’s degree in Special Education. I was drawn to Nyack based on my sister’s wonderful experience in both the Honors Program and the Writing Center. I greatly benefited from many constructive writing center consultations and am extremely grateful for the many years Dr. Jonathan Gates has invested in the Nyack College Honors Program. The fall retreats, field trips, Broadway plays, and spring weekend trips to Washington D.C and Philadelphia are among my most cherished Nyack memories. Honors is a beautiful blend of scholarship and service. My cohort not only collaborated on research but picked up trash together with the “Keep Rockland Beautiful” program.

Who at Nyack most impacted your life?
Working for Sunya Notley and Linda Poston at Bailey Library sparked my desire to work in a large academic library. I was privileged to take multiple classes with Dr. Jonathan Gates, Dr. David Weir, Dr. Larry Poston, Dr. Kevin Pinkham, and Dr. Amy Davis-Abdallah. Their classes broadened my academic horizons and stretched my writing ability far beyond what I thought was possible. In particular, my classes on religion and ancient history inspired me to participate in a three-month work-study in Israel this past spring

Without Dr. Weir’s urging and recommendation, I never would have considered to apply for the Scholar’s Semester in Oxford. I know I wouldn’t have gotten into the program without the help, support, and advice of Dr. David Weir, Dr. Jonathan Gates, Dr. Larry Poston, Dr. Nina Balmaceda, Dr. David Turk, Dr. Scott Reitz and Mrs. Sunya Notley.

How does technology expand or diminish the role of Library Services?
The internet has only served to increase the number of patrons who interact with Nyack’s libraries. I routinely helped students navigate online databases and resources such as Noodle Tools. The internet has also enabled Nyack’s rich archival collections to aid researchers from around the globe. While working under the supervision of Mrs. Notley, I assisted in helping researchers from not only Rockland County but places as far afield as Colorado, California, China, and Scotland.

What was your most significant contribution to the Nyack College campus?
Working in the archives allowed me to highlight and safeguard Nyack’s rich history, especially its nearly 120-year presence on “the Mount of Prayer and Blessing.” In preparation for the 2019 Homecoming celebration, I wrote Highlights of “The Hillside” a pamphlet showcasing the highlights of Nyack’s campus and its history. My research for the publication led me to discover stories of secret bootlegger tunnels, buried circus elephants, Sanskrit libraries, Holocaust refugees and an astounding number of alumni who gave their lives for the Great Commission.

Is there one memorable Nyack experience that you will take with you into your future?
My professors invested in me academically, personally, and spiritually. Favorite memories include Honors camping in the rain with Dr. Gates and Dr. Pinkham, exploring Storm King Art Center with Dr. Dueck, Chamber Singers with Dr. Kenote and Dr. Lum, acting in The Crucible with Dr. Pinkham, singing Christmas carols with Honors and sharing many meals with my professors -both in the cafeteria and at their homes.

What is one of your most memorable moments at Oxford?
Oxford, the “City of Dreaming Spires” has been a center of learning for nearly a thousand years. It was a privilege and honor to study there for my final semester. I was enchanted by the university’s nearly 100 different libraries. It was wonderful to find books authored by Dr. Weir, Dr. Poston, and Dr. Notley on the shelves of the Radcliffe Camera—the magnificent 18th century of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Oxford is stunningly beautiful and equally historic. Each Tuesday, I would go to a church history class where the Harry Potter series was filmed and where John Wesley and John Locke are buried. A lover of literature, it was a dream for me to live in the city that inspired the literary worlds of Narnia, Middle Earth, and Wonderland.

Any words of encouragement for students considering Nyack College as their alma mater?
As you embark on your college journey, trust in the God “who will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Take confidence in Christ who has turned “all our sunsets into dawn” (Clement of Alexandria).

If you could choose your ideal “next,” what would that be?
Cicero put it best. “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”