Three Faculty Say Good-Bye
Retiring Professors Honored at May Banquet
Evette Hackman, Leo Mármol and Marilyn Severson have something in
common. They’re all scholars and practitioners who also excel at teaching.
It’s a combination you won’t find just
anywhere, says Vice President for Academic Affairs Les Steele.“
University ensures that students learn from experienced professors, not teaching
assistants,” says Steele. “Because SPU is a comprehensive university, faculty
members must be skilled in teaching and exhibit a very high level of scholarship.”
description applies to all three professors who retired from Seattle Pacific
thisspring. They were recognized by colleagues
at a special Retirement Banquet on May 6.
Evette Hackman: A Tale of Two Careers
While many workers consider
their daily commute a bore, Evette Hackman, associate professor
for family and consumer sciences, made her seven-mile commute to
campus unique. In 13 years, she drove, biked, walked, ran, bused,
rollerbladed, kayaked and snowshoed.
Raised in Omaha, Nebraska,
Hackman was surrounded by good food from her parents’ catering
service, so she worried about her weight. When she was 25 years
old, she did something about it. “I stopped dieting and learned
to live a healthy life,” says Hackman. She boosted her activity
level and continued studying food and nutrition, earning a B.S.
from the University of Nebraska and an M.S. from the University
of Kansas. Moving to Seattle with her husband in the 1970s, she
earned a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
For the next
20 years, Hackman, also a registered dietitian, worked in medical
nutrition therapy and contributed regularly to consumer magazines
such as Shape and Northwest Runner.
In 1990, Joyce Ostrander, then
an SPU professor of home economics, asked Hackman to join Seattle
Pacific and design a dietetics program. "Do you ever feel like you're called?" asks Hackman. “I just felt like that.” She
came to SPU, helped forge the now nationally accredited dietetics
program and began guiding scores of undergraduates in the study of
food and nutrition.
“In Evette,” says Steele, “students saw a practicing
scholar.” And like many before her, 2004 dietetics graduate Andrea
Reichert will enter graduate school in public health nutrition this
fall, largely because of her professor. “Dr. Hackman offered straight
advice to students,” says Reichert.
Although retiring after 13 years
as a Seattle Pacific professor, Hackman won’t stop her study of food
and nutrition. “I’m a great cook,” she says. “And I want to figure
out how to make artesian breads.”
Leo Mármol: Rich Experience
and Cuban Warmth
From Havana, Cuba, Leo Mármol, professor of graduate
psychology, was a third-generation Presbyterian in a Catholic land.
In 1956, he earned a bachiller en letras and met a Los Angeles pastor
who encouraged him to continue his education in California. Mármol
agreed, traveled to Los Angeles and enrolled at Pepperdine College undecided
on a field of study. “I majored in psychology by a fluke,” he says,
adding that the discipline soon fascinated him. “I stayed for my
By 1973, he had earned two degrees from Pepperdine,
a B.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from
the California School of Professional Psychology. He was ordained
in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
As a mental-health practitioner,
specialized in neuropsychology, and clinical and forensic psychology.
He also began teaching. “It’s in my blood,” says the son of Cuba’s
former director of secondary education and an elementary school teacher.
After four years as director of clinical training at Fuller Seminary’s
School of Psychology, Mármol moved to Oregon in 1997 to help George
Fox University’s Graduate School of Clinical Psychology attain accreditation
from the American Psychology Association (APA). Then Seattle Pacific,
planning for its own APA accreditation, sought out his expertise.
Mármol joined SPU in 2001, quickly becoming a popular guide. Mark
Cross, with Alliance Counseling of Tacoma and Yakima, completed his
Ph.D. at Seattle Pacific with Mármol as chair of his dissertation
committee. “He was more than a professor,” says Cross. “He became
a part of me that I will carry forward and use to help others.”
retirement, Mármol and his wife will return to California, but he
leaves SPU’s graduate psychology programs with the foundation needed
to seek APA accreditation. “Leo brought us professionalism and stability,” says
Steele. “To have that package wrapped with a gentle pastor’s heart
was a wonderful gift.”
Marilyn Severson: Au Revoir to a Beloved Professor
25 years, Seattle Pacific students have often stopped in mid-conversation
to wave and call, “Bonjour, Madame Severson!” to Marilyn Severson,
professor of European studies-French. And even after they graduated,
Severson’s students often kept in touch, sending wedding invitations,
baby announcements and updates on careers. “She’s not only a great
professor, but her example pointed me in the right direction for
the rest of my life,” says Becca Morton, a 2004 graduate who double-majored
in European studies-French and political science.
Severson is a second-generation
educator from Salem, Oregon. Her father was a physical education
professor at Willamette University; her mother was an elementary
school teacher. In her academic career, she’s led the SPU Foreign
Languages Department; written books, including Masterpieces of French
Literature (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004); and taken students
on several study tours to France.
Yet Severson didn’t begin her love
affair with the Romance language until college, when she signed up
for a French class. “By the end of my freshman year, I thought, ‘I’m
majoring in this’ with no particular idea of what I might do.” Her
first trip to France came after completing her master’s degree at
the University of Pittsburgh. Her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado
followed in 1973.
Severson joined the SPU faculty in 1979 and, years
later, Steele, then dean of the School of Theology, was invited
to observe one of her classes. “It was just a kick,” he recalls. “Marilyn
is one of those women who appears demure and quiet, but she has a
twinkle in her eye and an energy to her teaching.”
As she completes
her career at Seattle Pacific, Severson is leaving her options
she admits she’d like to rent a home in France and stay awhile.
— BY HOPE MCPHERSON
— PHOTOS BY JOHN KEATLEY
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