Newsletter

SPFC Newsletter

Interactions: E-Newsletter for the School of Psychology, Family, and Community

APRIL 2016

A Message From the Dean

Psychological Well-Being of Men and Women in Uniform and Veterans

Every quarter for the past decade, I have taught Senior Seminar — the capstone course in our undergraduate Psychology program. The seminar challenges students (and their instructor) by facing difficult psychological issues and their relationship to faith and the nature of humankind. Among the many topics, we address the neuropsychology of blast-related traumatic brain injuries (the “signature injury” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), the social psychology of enemy images, and the developmental psychology of resilient children even in settings of ongoing political violence. And every quarter I face my class and make the proposition, perhaps admonition, that we who study psychology, even at the undergraduate level, are privileged with knowledge of human development and behavior that places us at greater responsibility for understanding, advocating, and serving the needs of those in uniform, whom we send to war.

I come from a family of veterans (grandfather, father, one of my sons), and yet I identify with the theology and practices of the Peace Church tradition (e.g., Quaker, Mennonite). I feel a persistent call to work for a decrease in conflict and violence — for a world in which our armed services need not be deployed. But I also feel a persistent call to serve the needs of those who have returned home from just such deployments. A local example is the partnering of Community Psychiatric Clinic with Seattle Mennonite Church to develop housing for veterans with the dual diagnoses of mental illness and substance abuse. So, as the dean of a school of behavioral science and scientists, and as a follower of Jesus in the Peace Church tradition, this issue of our newsletter is particularly meaningful to me.

It is the psychological well-being of men and women in uniform and veterans that defines the theme of this spring’s newsletter. I draw your attention to our lead article by Professor of Psychology and U.S. Army Vet, Margaret Brown, who describes the experiences of and resources for SPU students who are veterans or currently serving in the military. Be encouraged by the words of Dave Stewart, as he describes our doctoral students and graduates in internships, post-doctoral fellowships, and careers that serve those who have served our country. (I would venture that there is no clinical psychology PhD program in the five state Pacific Northwest region that places as many students and graduates in service to veterans, as ours.) Be inspired by the story of I/O doctoral student and U.S. Marine Vet, Jared Wymer, whose positive experiences of being mentored while serving in the military led him to our I/O program and research into effective mentoring under the guidance of Dana Kendall.

I invite you also to enjoy the updates on our programs, faculty, and students. Learn of a major transition in our school’s leadership, and become acquainted with our soon-to-be new dean, Katy Tangenberg. There is always much happening in SPFC, and in this issue of our newsletter, as we pursue the psychological well-being of servicemen and women and veterans through learning, research, and practice in the community and beyond. 

I am respectfully and thankfully yours,

Dean Mícheál Roe

—Mícheál Roe, Dean
School of Psychology, Family, and Community

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SPFC News

SPFC Dean Mícheál Roe Stepping Down

Last fall, Dean Mícheál Roe announced that he would be stepping down from his SPFC leadership role and returning to the full-time faculty in Psychology on June 30, 2016. His reason was simply, “It is time.” He has been dean for over a decade, SPFC is in good health, and he desires to return to full-time teaching before he retires. In the words of Provost Van Duzer: “During his 12 years of service as dean — in addition to his earlier 16 years of service as a department chair — [Roe] has consistently modeled servant leadership to the University. A tireless advocate for his school, [he] has also brought a wise and generous perspective to Deans’ Cabinet, as we have discussed and debated a number of all-university issues.” When you pass Mícheál Roe in the hallways, please thank and congratulate him for his 12 years of service as dean. Our school’s excellence owes much to his leadership.

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A Grand "Thank You" for a Grand Dean

Even in a short conversation with Dean Mícheál Roe, one will likely hear him positively exclaim “ ’Tis grand!” before its end. How appropriate that his leave-taking from his role as dean is honored in a way that is grand in every sense of the word.

Last November, Dina Wells, a founding member of the School of Psychology, Family, and Community Advisory Board, and her husband, John, gave $25,000 to establish an endowment to honor Mícheál Roe: the Dr. Mícheál Roe / School Of Psychology, Family, and Community Graduate Student Scholarship Endowment.

The mission of the SPFC Advisory Board is to support scholarships for SPFC graduate students in the academic program areas of Clinical Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy, which includes Medical Family Therapy.

“John and I strongly believe in the integrity and high standards representative of Mícheál Roe as dean,” says Dina,“and the faculty and students who through him we have had the privilege to meet. The work of the faculty and students and how significantly they give back to our community has impressed us immensely.”

Dina and John Wells hope their gift will inspire others to contribute to the endowment in honor of Roe for his 12 years of service as dean, to which he would likely comment with a humble but hearty, “ ’Tis grand!” 



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Katy Tangenberg

SPFC Announces New Dean

The School of Psychology, Family, and Community is pleased to announce that Katy Tangenberg has been hired as the new Dean of SPFC. She will begin July 1, 2016. Tangenberg earned her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington and comes to SPU from Azusa Pacific University, where she has served as director of the First Year Experience for APU undergraduates. In her tenured faculty role as professor of Social Work, she served as Graduate Department chair/program director — where she was responsible for developing APU’s Master of Social Work program — and as associate dean of the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences. In addition to her own fine scholarship, she has rich experience in working with curriculum supervision, assessment, grant-writing, and Student Life and Campus Ministries offices on academic/co-curricular integration.

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Margaret Diddams

Margaret Diddams New Provost at Wheaton College

Margaret Diddams, assistant provost, director of the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development, and professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology, has been selected as the new provost at Wheaton College. She starts her new position June 1, 2016.

During more than 20 years, Diddams has been involved in almost every aspect of academic life at SPU. She has served as a professor to both undergraduate and graduate students, led Faculty Senate and numerous professional development programs for faculty and staff, organized six Day of Common Learning events, administered and supervised faculty grants, founded the SPFC research conference, provided leadership for the SERVE program, led the New Faculty Seminar, oversaw the Fulbright and other student fellowship programs, and supervised the Educational Technology and Media services unit, as well as Office of Sponsored Programs. In all her roles, she consistently brought a spirit of cooperation, wisdom, and dedication, and we know she will bring those qualities to her new role at her alma mater.

Her last official day at SPU will be Wednesday, May 4. There will a farewell reception for her 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3. Check the SPFC website for more details. 

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Margaret Brown

Margaret Brown Appointed Director of the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development

With Margaret Diddams moving into her role as provost at Wheaton College, SPFC is pleased to announce that Margaret Brown has agreed to serve as the new director of the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development and assistant provost for Special Projects, beginning on June 1.

For the past 14 years, Brown has served Seattle Pacific University as a professor in the Department of Psychology, with seven of those years as its department chair. From the beginning of her time at SPU, she sought ways to serve the community beyond her department, and her long list of service roles are a testament to her belief in faculty voice and the importance of shared governance. In 2013-14 she was chair of the Faculty.

Brown has consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching and was the 2013 recipient of SPU’s Teacher of the Year award and our institution’s nominee for the Carnegie Foundation U.S. Professor of the Year award. She is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation fellowship, the author of numerous scholarly publications, and SPFC’s 2016 nominee for the Scholar of the Year award.

Much of her research over the past several years has been within the scholarship of teaching and learning. Her book entitled Service Learning in Psychology: Enhancing Undergraduate Education for the Public Good was published in 2016 by the American Psychological Association, and she is currently working with APA’s Education Directorate to create better resources for instructors who are interested in civically engaged pedagogies.

When she is not at work, she is usually spending time with her husband and two young sons, and participating in ministries at Seattle Baptist Church. She is an advocate of the liberal arts and the unique role that Christian higher education plays in the holistic development of students.

Please join us in congratulating her! 

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Top Stories

Student Veterans: Warriors, Scholars, Leaders

by Margaret Brown

Student veterans are “yesterday’s warriors, today’s scholars, and tomorrow’s leaders” (Student Veterans of America, 2016), and they are over 1 million strong on college and university campuses across the United States. Who are these unique students?

Twenty seven percent are women, 47 percent are married and have children, 62 percent are first-generation students, and 85 percent are over age 25 (Veterans Administration, 2016). They are not “traditional” students, and that is true in ways that go far beyond demographics. Veterans often face significant adjustment issues as they leave the armed forces and enter higher education, including shifting cultures from military to civilian life, navigating a complex system of supports through the Veterans Administration and other agencies, and coping with the effects of PTSD and other mental and physical health challenges.

Yet, unprecedented educational opportunities await veterans today. Since August 2009, an expanded G.I. Bill has allowed veterans to recoup the cost of any public college and to receive a housing allowance and an annual stipend for books. The Yellow Ribbon program (which Seattle Pacific University participates in) makes up the tuition gap between the cost of public and private colleges, enabling veterans to attend participating private colleges as well. It is no surprise that the number of student veterans continues to grow each year.

There are many ways for colleges and universities to support student veterans in their pursuit of educational success. The American Council on Education suggests several factors that make a campus “veteran friendly.” In order to be successful, student veteran support programs should have (a) top-down support from administration, (b) a central point of contact for veterans’ issues, (c) adequate funding, (d) policies that provide support and accommodations for veterans in admissions, registration, and transfer credits, (d) a system for identifying and tracking veterans, and (e) a veteran-specific space.

Over the past few years, SPU has been working hard to make our campus more veteran friendly. In 2011, a Veteran and Military Support Cadre was formed, bringing together faculty, staff, and student veterans to provide fellowship and advocacy for student veterans. There have been many positive outcomes of this effort. For example, in 2014, the Office of the Provost allocated funds for a full-time campus Vet Corps Navigator to serve as a primary point of contact and support for student veterans. Also in 2014, the University approved a petition to allow early registration for student veterans. The Associate Vice President of Academic Success is currently working on a plan to allocate space for a campus veterans’ center, as well as fine-tuning academic policies to better recognize veterans’ transfer work.

Although student veterans face many adjustment issues, they are resourceful, hard-working, disciplined, and motivated. These characteristics allow them to face challenges effectively. A recent study of approximately 1 million student veterans’ records (Million Records Project, 2014) found that a majority (51.7%) earned a post-secondary degree or certificate, a rate comparable to traditional students. As campuses effectively support student veterans, they promote the flourishing of men and women who have made tremendous sacrifices in their military service, a group of warrior-scholars who are indeed the next generation of our nations’ leaders.

Margaret Brown, professor of Psychology and U.S. Army veteran, is a co-founder of SPU’s Veteran and Military Support Cadre and is faculty advisor to the ASSP Military and Veteran Support Club. Read more about her.

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Margaret Brown

Meet Margaret A. Brown, U.S. Army Veteran, Professor of Psychology

Professor of Psychology Margaret Brown enlisted in the United States Army when she was 17 years old. She wanted to serve her country and forge a better life through the opportunities the military afforded. After three years in the regular Army as a Communications Specialist, she returned home and began her time as a student at the University of Washington. While she completed her bachelor of science in Psychology, she continued her military service for two more years in the Washington State National Guard. She learned what it was like to be a student veteran, and some of the unique challenges they face. In 2011, she and two other faculty veterans founded the Veteran and Military Support Cadre at SPU to provide a place of fellowship for faculty, staff, and student veterans. In addition to veterans, the VMSC also supports military family members and ROTC cadets, and its efforts are complemented by the ASSP-recognized, student-led Military and Veteran Support Club, founded in 2012. Brown is the club’s faculty advisor as well.

The VMSC serves multiple functions. First, it is a fellowship mechanism for the veteran and military community on campus. The sense of social support that is gained by being around individuals with common interests and backgrounds is invaluable. Second, the VMSC organizes the two main annual events each year for Veterans Day and Memorial Day. These are important moments in the life of the entire campus community to recognize and honor veterans. Third, the VMSC is a useful point of contact, connecting its members with the resources they need, and serving as a hub of information. Fourth, the VMSC provides an organized structure for advocacy, especially on behalf of SPU’s student veterans. Finally, the VMSC supports service projects, such as an annual Christmas card drive for deployed service members, fundraisers for struggling student veterans, and participation in the Stand Down Seattle event that assists homeless veterans. Through the efforts of the VMSC, Margaret Brown is honored to continue to support the troops, even though she no longer wears a uniform. 

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SPU Clinical Psychology Students and Alumni in the Nation’s Service

By David G. Stewart, PhD, chair, Clinical Psychology

In February of this year CPY students and faculty were thrilled to learn that 12 CPY students matched to quality, competitive APA-accredited internships around the country. Even more remarkably, eight of the 12 students matched to military or veteran’s affairs internships, an unprecedented number for us.

CPY students have consistently sought and obtained VA and military internships, post-doctoral fellowships, and early career positions since we became eligible for such placements in 2006. Our students seek these positions not only because of the excellent training, but also to serve our troops and veterans who have served them. Notably, many of our students have chosen to join these men and women directly by serving as commissioned officers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Full-time internship positions in the VA healthcare system expose SPU students to the cutting edge of clinical psychology. They are engaged in treatment and research for traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, integrated primary care behavioral health, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and broad areas of health and neuropsychology — all in the context of military culture. They are engaged with expert clinicians and researchers who become their colleagues. Most of our interns in the VA system stay within the system as postdoctoral fellows after going through another round of competitive match. Our alumni are currently post-docs at VA’s in San Diego, Seattle, and Northern California, among others.

Our military interns serve as officers for at least three years after graduation, immediately assuming leadership roles at the rank of Captain or Lt. Commander. They not only learn psychology but are fully integrated into military command structure. Like their VA counterparts, these interns, post-docs and early career officers are exposed to a high-quality and innovative health care system.

In addition to training and early career opportunities, SPU students are already influential in contributing to military and veterans’ clinical psychology. Capt. Jordan Simonson (USAF) has a central command position developing the resiliency program for all USAF airmen and women. Dr. Renee Gibbs has recently accepted a position at the national office of the VA to develop and disseminate an eating disorder treatment program to all VA’s. Dr. Amanda Stewart is serving at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Capt. Chrystal Agnor (Army) has served cadets at West Point and troops in Afghanistan. We are proud to be associated with these students and alumni and thank them for their service. 

Jared D. Wymer

Jared Wymer: Marine Corps Veteran, Industrial-Organizational Doctoral Student

Originally from Kitsap County, Jared Wymer joined the SPU community in 2014 immediately following the conclusion of eight years of service in the United States Marine Corps. He comes from a proud military family tradition: His grandfather served during the Korean War, and three of his brothers currently serve in the U.S. Army National Guard, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy.

After joining the Marine Corps in 2006, Wymer deployed to various Pacific Rim locations as a member of the ground combat element of the 31st and 11th Marine Expeditionary Units. His trajectory shifted dramatically in 2010 when he renewed his contract to serve another four years. He transitioned to a highly autonomous role working with the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC), and dedicated all of his free time to obtaining an education, which included a bachelor of arts in Psychology and a master’s in Business Administration.

Wymer did all of this in addition to executing duties with various partners in USIC and foreign militaries across three continents. His academic and professional success led to accelerated promotions and preferred assignments throughout his final years in the military. During this time of growth and development, he realized that much of his success was due to timely guidance and mentoring from individuals he respected along the way. As a result, he decided to pursue an education in a program and field that conducts mentoring research.

His search brought him to Dana Kendall’s research vertical team in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program at SPU. Ever passionate about mentoring, he partners with other graduate students to administer a mentoring program within the IOP department, and he serves as a mentor to transitioning service members through Service to School and partners with former service members through Second Fight, a Seattle-based nonprofit providing peer support to local veterans in crisis.

Wymer’s current research interests include the extent to which mentoring experiences influence future self-continuity, perceptions of short- and long-term time horizons, and the resulting individual and organizational outcomes such as organizational citizenship behaviors, attrition, or absenteeism. During the 2015-16 academic year, he was a semi-finalist for the Class of 2016 Presidential Management Fellowship, and a finalist for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Graduate Student Committee Chair. He received scholarships from the Harold & Muriel Berkman Charitable Foundation, Inc.®, the International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement, and the Nicholas Aaron Madrazo Endearing Service Foundation, among others. In addition to his studies, he is the budget manager at the School of Business, Government, and Economics. He intends to pursue a career in industry upon graduation. 

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Upcoming Events

First Annual Alumni Dinner

The Clinical Psychology (CPY) department invites all CPY alumni to the first annual Clinical Psychology Alumni Dinner with special guest speaker Amanda Edwards Stewart, Ph.D., Program Manager for the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Thursday, June 9, 2016 6:00 - 8:30 pm
McCormick & Schmick's Harborside
1200 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Register for the dinner here.

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David Myers

David Myers

14th Annual SPFC Research Conference and Lecture on the Integration of Faith and Professional Practice

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A day of research, celebration, and learning! This year’s featured lecturer is noted social psychologist David Myers, a communicator of psychological science to college students and the general public. His research and writings have been recognized by the Gordon Allport Prize, by an “honored scientist” award from the Federation of Associations in the Brain and Behavioral Sciences, by the Award for Distinguished Service on Behalf of Personality-Social Psychology, and by three honorary doctorates. The title for this year’s lecture is “Psychological Science Meets the World of Faith.” The lecture will be followed by student research sessions, the recognition of student achievement, and an awards buffet.

More information will be available soon. Check the SPFC website for updates. 

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Grand Reunions

SPFC at the Grand Reunion in celebration of SPU’s 125th Anniversary

October 8, 2016

All programs in SPFC will be participating in academic reunions during the Grand Reunion Weekend (October 7-9, 2016) in celebration of SPU’s 125th Anniversary. Mark Saturday, October 8, 2016 on your calendar. More information will follow as our plans develop. Learn more about the Grand Reunion.

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Faculty News

Gina Ogden

Sex therapy and Spiritual Intimacy Training

The department of Marriage and Family Therapy with the Northwest Institute on Intimacy hosted “An Evening with Gina,” on March 23 with Dr. Gina Ogden, considered an international expert in the field of sex and couples therapy. Alumni and professionals in our community attended this sold-out event to add skills in sex therapy and spiritual intimacy to their couples therapy competencies.

Ogden is the author of 10 books in the field of sex therapy and the creator of a proven model on the integration of spirituality into sexuality from research into the stories of over 3,000 women. Her books include The Heart and Soul of Sex, Women Who Love Sex, A Return of Desire, and Expanding the Practice of Sex Therapy (awarded the AASECT 2014 book of the year). 

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Industrial-Organizational Psychology Establishes Endowment

The Industrial-Organizational Psychology (IOP) program at Seattle Pacific University celebrated 10 years of developing leaders of character, competence, and calling at the Georgetown Ballroom on March 3. Alumni, students, and faculty gathered to reflect on the transformative power of the program and to celebrate the launch of the program’s first endowment established to provide scholarships for future IOP graduate students.



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John Thoburn

Thoburn Travels to India

John Thoburn, professor of clinical psychology and clinical psychology, students Noel Clark, Fiona Kurtz, and Sadie Olson travelled to India and Dubai during Spring Break. The team presented a well-received two-day workshop on psychological first aid to 100 pastors at Immanuel University in Hyderabad, India — an area of the world where Christians have experienced intense trauma from life-threatening persecution in recent years. The team then went to Dubai and presented a one-day workshop to professional counselors and psychotherapists on the treatment of trauma, offering CEU credits through SPFC.

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Family Psychology: Theory, Research, and Practice by John W. Thoburn and Thomas L. Sexton

Thoburn’s New Book

Professor of Clinical Psychology John Thoburn is co-author of the new book Family Psychology: Theory Research and Practice, published by Praeger Press. The textbook is an introduction to the ecosystemic nature of the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and contextual worlds of psychology, focusing on the interlocking and reciprocal relationships between theory, research, and practice.

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Dana Kendall

Kendall’s Article Published

An article by Dana Kendall, assistant professor of industrial/organizational psychology, was published in the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching. The article was titled “The Influence of Protege Input to the Match on Mentoring Processes: An Experimental Investigation.” This piece provides empirically based, practical suggestions for structuring formal mentoring programs for success. Kendall would like to acknowledge her co-author Kimberly Smith-Jentsch from the University of Central Florida.

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Rob McKenna

McKenna Speaks on Leadership

Rob McKenna, chair of the Department of Industrial-Organizational Psychology, spoke to faculty and students at California Baptist University on the topic of “Developing Whole Leaders for the Whole World.” Here is a synopsis of his talk:

What does leadership development on our campuses have to do with the most pressing moral imperatives we face today? Every complex challenge we face as Christians requires leaders who are willing to go first and enter into the difficult dialogues that are necessary to bring our testimony of hope to the world, and generate a better and more sustainable future for so many.

The challenges are replete: poverty, famine, political corruption, sexism, radicalism, racism, classism, slavery, religious freedom, and certainly climate change would all make the list of polarizing topics that require Christian leaders who are willing to proceed with conviction while being willing to admit they don’t have all the answers.

Whether we are talking about global issues or our local communities, developing leaders with the character and competence to lead in this complex world requires a radical rethinking of what it means to intentionally prepare this generation of leaders. Injecting intentionality around those who we prepare to lead, and in how we prepare them, could make all the difference in and for our world. 

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Article by SPFC Faculty Published

An article by School of Psychology, Family, and Community faculty Dana Kendall and Paul Youngbin Kim was recently published in the official peer-reviewed journal of the Asian American Psychological Association, Asian American Journal of Psychology. The article, titled “Emotional Self-Control, Interpersonal Shame, and Racism as Predictors of Help-Seeking Attitudes among Asian Americans: An Application of the Intrapersonal-Interpersonal-Sociocultural Framework,” provides an empirical examination of factors underlying the mental health service utilization of Asian American college students. Dana and Paul would like to acknowledge their co-author and recent SPFC/Marriage and Family Therapy Program graduate Liz Chang.

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Paul Youngbin Kim

Kim’s Article Published

An article by Associate Professor of Psychology Paul Y. Kim was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. The article, titled “Religious Support Mediates the Racial Microaggressions-Mental Health Relation Among Christian Ethnic Minority Students,” is an empirical study identifying the harmful correlates of racial microaggression experiences among students of color.

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Make your gift to honor Dean Michael Roe

To make your gift go to spu.edu/give. Designate your gift to Dean Roe’s Endowment by clicking “other” at the drop down box, and in the space provided type: Dean Roe SPFC Graduate Student Endowment. Thank You!

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