Academic Achievement

Student asking a question

Physics Team Wins Award for Education Research

Physics faculty members Rachel Scherr, Amy Robertson, Lane Seeley, and Stamatis Vokos won the 2013 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings Paper Award by the Physics Education Research Community, part of the American Association of Physics Teachers. Their paper, “Content Knowledge for Teaching Energy: An Example From Middle-School Physical Science,” was selected for its quality of research, readability, and impact on physics education. This work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

Mezulis and Team Study Teen Depression

Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology Amy Mezulis launched research on adolescent depression, funded by a $400,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Mezulis and her team, which includes a clinical psychology graduate student and psychology undergraduate students, are working to understand how abnormal emotional, physiological, and cognitive responses to stress may predict the development of depression in adolescence.

New Engineering Programs Undergo Accreditation Review

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the primary accrediting body for university technical education programs, visited SPU in October 2013 to review a new general engineering major with concentrations in mechanical engineering, and appropriate and sustainable engineering. The accrediting decision was announced in July 2014, and now all of SPU’s BS engineering degrees are ABET accredited.

Maier’s Book Included in Poetry Collection

In 2013, Professor of English Jennifer Maier’s new book of poems was included in the Pitt Poetry Series, one of the largest and best known lists of contemporary American poetry. Now, Now is concerned with questions of time and memory, and how perceptions are shaped within the continuous meeting of past and future. Maier’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Poetry, New Letters, Smartish Pace, and American Poetry Review, and has been featured on Public Radio International’s “The Writer’s Almanac.”

Wall-Scheffler’s Walk Study Earns International Attention

Wall-Scheffler’s Walk Study Earns International AttentionIn October 2013, research by Associate Professor of Biology Cara Wall-Scheffler was published in the public-access journal PLOS ONE, inspiring headlines in more than 200 media outlets around the world, including The Los Angeles Times, CBS News, Time magazine, and others. Her research demonstrated that relationship status influences the walking speeds of men and women, specifically that men slow down if they’re walking with women in whom they’re romantically interested.

Education, Clinical Psychology Accreditation Renewed

During the 2012–13 academic year, both SPU’s School of Education and SPU’s School of Psychology, Family, and Community had accreditation visits, and positive results were announced in 2014. The Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation re-accredited all School of Education programs, and the American Psychological Association re-accredited the PhD in Clinical Psychology program. In each case, the schools were awarded the maximum number of years before another accreditation visit will be required.

Edwards Serves as President of School Counselors

Professor of Counselor Education Cher Edwards served as president of the Washington School Counselors Association during the 2013–14 academic year. As WSCA president, her leadership priorities were advocacy and awareness, including helping the community to understand the importance of professional school counselors in a K–12 education setting. She will serve as past president of WSCA in 2014–15.

Beers and Nagy Partner With UW in Literacy Study

Scott Beers, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, and Bill Nagy, professor of education, worked with colleagues at the University of Washington on a learning disability research project. The project, which focuses on creating curriculum for students in grades 4–9 with reading disabilities or challenges, is funded by an $8.1 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Latin Verse by Women Ewald’s Topic for Marston Lecture

On February 4, 2014, Owen Ewald, SPU’s C. May Marston Assistant Professor of Classics, presented the Marston Lecture, in which he explored Latin verse written by women in a time when literacy among women was rare. The annual lecture is presented by the faculty member appointed to the Marston professorship, named in honor of a scholar whose influence extends back to the earliest years of Seattle Pacific.

Saunders Receives Graves Award in Humanities

Assistant Professor of Philosophy Leland Saunders Assistant Professor of Philosophy Leland Saunders received a $10,100 Arnold L. and Lois S. Graves Award in the Humanities to support his research project “The Structure of Moral Judgment: Philosophical Perspectives.” This competitive national award is made biennially to younger faculty members who have submitted evidence of “unusual skill and enthusiasm as teachers and who can show that their projects will enhance their ability in the classroom.”

Layman Explores Atonement in Weter Lecture

Professor of Philosophy Steve Layman delivered the 2014 Winifred E. Weter Faculty Award Lecture for Meritorious Scholarship on April 10, 2014. Titled “Philosophical Reflections on the Atonement,” the lecture addressed the question: “How do Christ’s life, death, and resurrection put us right with God?” The annual Weter Lecture provides a public platform from which to espouse the claims of the liberal arts in the Christian university.

“Vision and Call” Grant Awarded to SPU

SPU’s Center for Biblical and Theological Education and Seattle Pacific Seminary were awarded a “Vision and Call” grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, with funding of $47,520 over two years. Beginning September 2014, the money will fund internships in which seminarians will spiritually mentor undergraduate students, and first-year seminarians can explore their vocational call.

Marketing Educators Recognize Karns

Professor of Marketing Gary Karns and Charles Duke, his collaborator from Clemson University, received the 2014 Marketing Educators Association Service Award in recognition of a teaching effectiveness seminar they have offered for many years to new entrants to the field.

Student Plan to Aid Amputees Wins Competition

Sound Steps At SPU’s eighth annual Social Venture Plan Competition on April 16, 2014, more than half of the participating student teams presented projects focused either on a mobile software application or on needs in Seattle’s Rainier Valley. However, an SPU student team called Sound Steps won the $3,000 Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize with a plan to help amputees in developing nations “step” out of poverty by providing them with high-quality, affordable lower-limb prosthetics. More than 75 judges rated the submissions and represented the business, nonprofit, academic, and professional communities.

Wall Speaks on Book of Revelation

Robert W. Wall, SPU’s Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies and an ordained Free Methodist elder, was the speaker for this year’s Paul T. Walls Lecture in Wesleyan Theology on May 7, 2014. His address, titled “The Book of Revelation in the Present Tense,” explored the truths of Revelation in a contemporary context.

Business Students Compete in Valuation Challenge

Promising finance students from across the U.S. competed in the third annual BVR/SPU Valuation Challenge, an opportunity for students to assess the stand-alone value of a real private company. Students used special appraisal information provided by Business Valuation Resources, LLP (BVR) and were judged by 20 of the nation’s senior valuation experts. In the final round of the competition at SPU on May 9, 2014, the University of Denver took top honors, followed by Portland State University in second place, and Seattle Pacific in third place.

Wall (With Steele) Wins Book Award

The Wesleyan Theological Society presented two SPU faculty members — Robert Wall, the Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies, and Richard Steele, professor of moral and historical theology — with the 2014 Timothy L. Smith/Mildred Bangs Wynkoop Book Award for Wall’s commentary on the pastoral epistles, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus (Eerdmans, 2012), to which Steele contributed three historical case studies. “Combined,” cites the award, “this publication offers a wonderful contribution to biblical studies, systematic theology, historical studies, the Wesleyan tradition, and ultimately the Church in ways that bring different disciplines into conversation with one another.”

Dissertation Honor Goes to Watson

Kevin Watson, assistant professor of historical theology and Wesleyan studies, received the Wesleyan Theological Society 2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award for his Southern Methodist University dissertation on the early Methodist band meeting.

Student Research Highlighted at Erickson Conference

The 12th annual Erickson Undergraduate Research Conference on May 16, 2014, showcased the outstanding research and design of students in the fields of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics. Presentations ranged from single-quarter, classroom-based original research projects to multi-year independent research programs and engineering design projects.

SPU Student Receives Fulbright Scholarship

This spring, Meagan Dooley, a 2014 graduate in political science and women’s studies, was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Turkey. She will work in the city of Eskişehir during the 2014–15 academic year.