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Summer 2003 | Volume 26, Number 3 | Faculty
A Great Experiment: Faculty Helps Science Undergrads Present Their Research

to simultaneously check temperatures at various depths of lake water. A device that would allow students to open a residence hall garage from their cars. In-depth observations on weather in space.

These were three of several dozen research projects presented at Seattle Pacific University’s first Undergraduate Research Conference, held in May. At the one-day conference sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, students presented their findings in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

SPU science faculty members served as mentors for individuals or groups of students in preparation for the conference. For each project, the faculty members helped students decide how to conduct and present their research in a professional manner within the low-pressure environment of an all-student forum. Students participated either by reading their research papers or by displaying their experiments, designs and inventions in a poster session.

According to Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Melani Plett, the conference was meant to spur scientific research at Seattle Pacific. “It was the kickoff for a new emphasis in undergraduate research,” she says. Keynote speaker Michael Doyle, professor of chemistry at the University of Arizona, urged students to view scientific research as a possible vocation.

The event was judged by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Russ Killingsworth to be a great scientific experiment of sorts. “It was a huge success,” he says. “We had a speaker who knew how to relate to the students, and we had a strong turnout. Up to 100 people at a time came to the presentations. Faculty members helped students experience what it is like to be presenters at a professional conference.”

The Undergraduate Research Conference will likely be held next year in the new Science Building, which opens in the fall. With the state-of-the-art facilities and labs in the Science Building, says Killingsworth, “students will have a lot more opportunities for research.”

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From the President
Americans today are searching for a new tone for their lives. “We are talking here about another set of values — not the giddy sense of entitlement that emerges out of exuberant times,” says President Philip Eaton.

A Gift at Any Age
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Like Grandfather, Like Grandson
On June 7, 80-year-old Sheldon Arnett finally received his bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific. His grandson, Jeremiah Johnson, earned his SPU bachelor’s degree the same day. [Campus]

Still Exploring
Missionary bush pilot Roald Amundsen ’41 founded Missionary Aviation and Repair Center (MARC) — becoming an explorer just like the famous Norwegian for whom he was named. [Alumni]

Second Wind
A marathoner, wife, mother and business alumna, Claudia Shannon came back after tough times. As a 45-year-old senior, she was on the SPU cross country team that ranked 14th in the nation. [Athletics]

My Response
After 25 years, Joyce Quiring Erickson, retiring professor of English and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, reflects on glossy brown chestnuts, home and the Promised Land.