Meet the Tutors

This section of informal tutor biographies is not part of Gutenberg’s official catalog. We include it here for prospective students to help “put a face on” Gutenberg.

Chris Alderman

Gutenberg College tutor Chris Alderman and wife SusieChris Alderman’s preoccupation with languages started long ago. In middle school, he discovered how to communicate with his father’s Commodore 64 and used this knowledge, somewhat disappointingly, to make text-based adventure games. He attended college at Washington and Lee University, fully intending to major in computer science as well as English, but during his sophomore year he developed an aversion to technology and ended up graduating in 2005 with only a B.A. in English. He taught English conversation at a private middle school in Saitama, Japan, before returning to the States to receive an M.A. in Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2008. After spending eight months in the San Francisco Bay Area as an SAT tutor, Chris decided to return to the academy, and for two years he pursued a Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of Michigan, where he taught English composition to freshmen and did graduate coursework in German and Classics.

Dissatisfied with the intellectual constraints of a thoroughly secular institution, he quit the program and returned to Eugene, his hometown, where he ended up as a resident at Gutenberg College from 2015 to 2016. During that time, he finished paying off his student loans; met the incomparable Abby Watt, with whom he would be married about a year later; and was approached about the possibility of teaching at Gutenberg, a possibility at which he figuratively jumped for joy.

Chris has self-published two collections of poetry, Poems in Verse and Ephemerides.

Charley Dewberry

Gutenberg College tutor Charley Dewberry and wife SusieCharley Dewberry, academic dean and tutor at Gutenberg, is thankful for the opportunity the college provides to learn and explore the most important questions in life with others in a community of believers.

Charley also works as a research scientist, diving and counting salmon throughout the Pacific Northwest. Charley’s experiences working with streams and fish has made him think a lot about what it means to be a believer and to care about God’s creation. It also led him to write Gutenberg Press’s first release, Saving Science: A Critique of Science and Its Role in Salmon Recovery. Gutenberg Press released his second book, Intelligent Discourse: Exposing the fallacious standoff between Evolution and Intelligent Design, in 2006.

Charley has been married to Susie Dewberry since 1993, and they have two sons, both of whom attend Gutenberg College. The Dewberrys live in Florence, Oregon, where they keep a garden and have chickens, ducks, and a Chesapeake Bay retriever (who has been taught NOT to retrieve the resident poultry). When they get a chance, they enjoy hikes on the many trails along the coast.

Eliot Grasso

Gutenberg College tutor Eliot GrassoEliot Grasso, provost and tutor at Gutenberg, was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Eliot joined the faculty of Gutenberg College in 2012 where he teaches courses on art, music, and aesthetics. Eliot is committed to fostering the intellectual development of his students through discussions centered on primary source readings. He believes that it is important for a Christian to develop the right kind of relationship with the idea of art, and that this can be accomplished through a rigorous analysis of one’s personal beliefs and biases relating to art and music.

Eliot has performed, recorded, taught, and lectured on Irish traditional music internationally. Scholars, critics, and performers have described him as “one of the finest uilleann pipers in the history of Irish music in America.” Eliot has performed for the National Endowment for the Arts Awards, the National Heritage Awards, Glasgow’s International Piping Festival, Piping Live!, Armagh’s William Kennedy International Piping Festival, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and for National Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. As a recording artist, Eliot has produced numerous recording projects in America and in Ireland. In 2007, his solo album, Up Against the Flatirons, inaugurated Na Píobairí Uilleann’s (Ireland’s national piping society) Ace and Deuce of Piping recordings series, an artistic enterprise funded by the Arts Council of Ireland that was initiated to document the finest living exponents of the uilleann pipes.

Eliot holds a B.A. in music from Goucher College, a M.A. in ethnomusicology from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, and a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance. He studies the relationship among melodic variation, cognition, and socio-cultural context. Eliot’s scholarship and teaching have been recognized with awards from the Society for Ethnomusicology and the University of Oregon. He also serves on the faculty of the University of Oregon and the John G. Shedd Institute for the Performing Arts where he teaches performance practice.

Eliot and Kate Grasso currently reside in Oregon with their three children. A fuller picture of Eliot’s intellectual and artistic endeavors is available at

Ron Julian

Gutenberg College tutor Ron Julian and wife RobbyRon Julian met his wife, Robby, soon after he became a Christian in 1971, and they were married in 1978. They have two grown children, a son and a daughter who are both Gutenberg graduates and married Gutenberg graduates, and four grandsons. The Julian family has a long-time interest in the arts, especially film and music, and they would be embarrassed to admit how much time they each spend working at computers.

Ron and Robby are deeply committed to the work done at Gutenberg College; they are grateful that they have had the opportunity to play a part in it for so long. Ron started working at McKenzie Study Center in 1982 and has had been a tutor at Gutenberg College since it opened in 1994. Robby is an editor for Gutenberg College; she has edited the monthly newsletter News & Views since 1993.

Ron earned his B.A. degree in linguistics from the University of Oregon and his M.A. in religion from Reformed Theological Seminary. He is the author of Righteous Sinners (now available as an e-book) and co-author of The Language of God: A Commonsense Approach to Understanding and Applying the Bible.

Chris Swanson

Gutenberg College tutor Chris Swanson and wife CindyChris Swanson, president and tutor at Gutenberg, was one of the men who began planning Gutenberg College a few years before it opened in 1994. Prior to that he taught at the University of Oregon, Northwest Christian College, and Westmont College (his alma mater). He became Gutenberg College’s second president in 2016.

Chris believes that Gutenberg’s discussion-based approach helps students to retain far more of the material than do other teaching methods. He also values the Christian commitment shared by the faculty because it provides a forum for pursuing truth as students form their worldview. Chris primarily teaches mathematics and the sciences, but he also greatly enjoys tutoring in areas such as philosophy and literature.

Chris and his wife, Cynthia, are blessed with three children, two sons and a daughter. They homeschooled their two sons, both of whom went on to graduate from Gutenberg, and they homeschool their daughter.  All the Swansons share an addiction to Chris’s excellent homemade pizza.

Cynthia Swanson

Cynthia Swanson has been happily married to Dr. Chris Swanson (Gutenberg’s president) since 1986. The couple have three children. Cindy became a believer while in high school, which led her to enroll at Westmont College. She earned a degree in English and an independent major called “Dramatic Studies” at Westmont. She then studied at the University of Oregon, earning a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts. She worked with theatre companies for several years prior to returning to teach at Westmont College as an adjunct professor of English. Cindy joined the teaching staff at Gutenberg in 1994. She helps homeschool her daughter (her two sons attend Gutenberg) and has written three children’s novels. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and traveling.