Staff Council

Staff Recognition


SPU staff members of the month are nominated by their peers and selected by Staff Council. If you would like to nominate a person for this recognition, proceed to the nomination page.

Meet the SPU Staff Member of the Month for July 2015


Michelle McFarland

Ex Asst Provost; Office Mngr, Office of the Provost

Michelle has worked at SPU for 5 years and has an international relations degree from Pacific Lutheran University and a TESOL certificate from Portland State. She studied abroad in Japan, Mexico, and Central America, and she spent a year teaching English in Chile.

She grew up in Newport, Oregon, and because her dad is an Oregon State University marine biologist specializing in whales, Michelle and her family have had many unique experiences.

Michelle attended the Lutheran church, but really embarked on a personal relationship with Christ after her high school graduation as a result of a friend’s injury and subsequent healing from a serious car accident.

Though she describes the majority of her job as being “other duties as assigned,” Michelle specifically supports the Provost and the Provost Leadership Team. She facilitates faculty hiring, and she coordinates all of the Commencement, high ceremony, and academic events involving faculty.

SPU’s focus on racial reconciliation is near to Michelle’s heart. She loves it that, at SPU, it’s all about the students — next to God, of course — and she values the opportunity SPU gives her to serve side by side with believers from different Christian traditions. Michelle recently returned from serving as cook for 70 high-schoolers on a mission trip to Jackson, Mississippi, where they had the opportunity to continue to learn from Dr. John Perkins.

Michelle and her husband of 19 years, Chuck, have three children: a daughter who is a junior in high school, a son in eighth grade, and a daughter in fifth grade. They attend Bethany Presbyterian Church on the top of Queen Anne and live right around the corner, which, she says, explains why they are always late to church. She and Chuck love working with college students and Young Life in any supportive role they can find. Michelle loves to garden, hike, hang out with friends and family, and she is not ashamed to say that she still loves ’80s music.

Please join Staff Council in congratulating Michelle McFarland as Staff of the Month!