Seattle Pacific University - Parents and Families In the Loop
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April 2011 | Volume 5, Issue 4

Serving the World by Design

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How does Seattle Pacific University know that its students are, in fact, learning?

Many academic programs across campus, including Engineering, are using outcome-based approaches and hands-on scholarship to deepen their students' understanding of topics.

"We have a lot of applied projects," says Elaine Scott, professor of engineering and director of engineering programs at SPU. "Starting with freshmen all the way through senior design projects, applied learning and open-ended projects are fully integrated into our academics."

The projects help to connect academic theory with real-world challenges.

For instance, concerned about the number of deaths worldwide caused by unclean drinking water, electrical engineering major Devyn Byrnes and his classmates used the ancient principle of an Archimedes' screw to create a modern-day solution: an inexpensive hydroelectric water purifier designed for contaminated waterways in developing countries.

It's all part of SPU's efforts to train students to identify problems and apply what they are learning to serve the world. Read more.

Stellar Investments

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Dean Kato's job as director of sales for Esterline Control Systems keeps him traveling around the world. But he still finds time to support SPU in multiple ways.

When he's not in Japan or Brazil, Kato serves as a mentor, a member of the SPU Engineering Department's advisory board, a member of Parent Council, an employer, and a member of the President's Circle. Why does Kato -- who is the father of two SPU students -- give so much to Seattle Pacific University?

"I believe we are losing ground in the U.S. to other countries who are investing more in the education of their future workforce," says Kato. "I believe that SPU is successful in creating not only stellar future employees, but, more importantly, people who holistically can have a positive impact on their community. I enjoy being able to play a small part in that."

Learn more in this Q&A.


Dean Kato and SPU engineering graduates discuss the value of an SPU education. Watch the video.

In the Loop Recommends

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Do you have a student who is involved with the arts, whether as an academic major or as a hobby? Then Lingua, SPU's student-led arts organization, might be a good fit. For nearly two decades, the group has shown that SPU isn't kidding around when it comes to the arts. But the real beauty of the group is found in more than the paintings, poems, musical pieces, and journal it helps to produce. Learn more.

Read more at In the Loop online.

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Sophomore Connections
Avoiding the Sophomore SlumpSpacer

Want to help your SPU sophomore figure out how to create a future he or she will love -- and make junior year the best ever? Then encourage your student to attend SPU's Sophomore Connections workshops. Remaining sessions include "Ring-Ring! Your Future Is Calling" (4/28/11); "Revving Up Your Career ... in College" (5/4/11); and "Shake It Up! Doing Something Different Your Junior Year" (5/12/11). Learn more at

Read our article on Avoiding the Sophomore Slump.

Check This Out

Residential Living Requirements
For the 2011-12 academic year, SPU students are required to live on campus unless they turn 20 years old prior to the first day of class for the quarter for which they are applying; are a graduate student; are enrolled for eight credits or fewer; or are living at home with their parent(s), legal guardian, spouse, or dependent children. Read more.

New SPU Housing Incentives
Students who turn 20 years old prior to the first day of Autumn Quarter classes (9/26/11, for the upcoming year) and live in SPU housing all three quarters of the academic year will receive a 40-percent credit off of their Spring Quarter room charge. And if those students live on campus the following year, they'll receive 80 percent off of that Spring Quarter room charge. Learn more (PDF) and review our on- and off-campus cost-comparison chart (PDF).

Upcoming Events

Night of Beats
April 29

This hip-hop showcase in SPU's Royal Brougham Pavilion includes Seattle's and Portland's best dance crews, rappers, singers, and spoken-word artists. It's fun for the whole community and all ages! Cost is $3. Email for details.
Our Town
April 28-30, May 5-7

The classic Thornton Wilder play tells a magical and unexpected story of the average town of Grover's Corner and its citizens. Our Town is directed by SPU alumnus Scott Nolte, co-founder and artistic director of Taproot Theatre, and features SPU theatre graduates and current students. Purchase tickets.
Embracing the (W)hole Gospel
May 10

What does it mean to defend the cause of the poor and needy, and so to live out our Christian faith? Presented by SPU's Center for Biblical and Theological Education, this one-day conference and church leaders forum, inspired by Richard Stearns' book The Hole in Our Gospel, features Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., and Steve Haas, vice president and chief catalyst for World Vision, in conversation about social justice. Learn more.


Engaging the Culture, Changing the World

Seattle Pacific UniversityPublished by: Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119-1950, U.S.A.
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