Engaging the City

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin spoke at SPU’s 20th Downtown Business Breakfast.

Doris Kearns Goodwin speaks at 20th Downtown Business Breakfast and on campus

Doris Kearns Goodwin, world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was the keynote speaker for SPU’s annual Downtown Business Breakfast on April 8. She discussed the current political climate, looked back at the presidential primaries of 1912 between William Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, and criticized campaign financing and misguided journalism. She also spoke at SPU on Thursday, April 7, in Royal Brougham Pavilion. In her campus presentation, “When They Were Young,” she offered reflections on presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt and their paths to leadership. After her talk, SPU Professor of History Michael Hamilton hosted a Q&A session. Goodwin has chronicled the lives of numerous U.S. presidents. Her book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln was recently adapted by Steven Spielberg into the Academy Award-winning film Lincoln. 

Sacred Sounds of Christmas

Students playing instrumentsOn November 30 at Seattle’s McCaw Hall, SPU’s annual Sacred Sounds of Christmas performance once again treated the region to the best of sacred Advent and Christmas music from around the world. Ringing in the holiday spirit through their performances of traditional Advent and Christmas carols were established Music Department favorites, including the Concert Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Women’s Choir, and Men’s Choir, with a new addition: SPU’s Gospel Choir. For 16 years, this concert has grown in both acclaim and popularity. Sacred Sounds is highly anticipated; it attracts an audience from all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 

Tate speaks in Professional Development Series

On Thursday, October 8, the Professional Development Series hosted by the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development and by Educational Technology and Media featured Daryl A. Tate. An instructional technology scholar and professional, Tate is currently the eLearning instructional developer for Tarrant County College District. He gave a lecture called “Practicing What We Preach: Capitalizing on the Dynamic Interactions Between Content, Pedagogy and Technology” in the SPU Library. That evening, in a public lecture for SPU’s Pedagogy Speaker Series, Tate presented “Technology, a Tool for Greater Works” at First Free Methodist Church. 

Dean’s Speaker Series welcomes Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line

On Tuesday, October 27, Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, spoke on campus as a guest in the quarterly Dean’s Speaker Series hosted by the School of Business, Government, and Economics. This series brings together outstanding local and regional business professionals with our undergraduate students to share insights and bring the work world into the classroom. As Holland America Line’s president, Ashford oversees sales, marketing, revenue management, deployment, itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations, and strategy. Ashford’s book, Talentism, examines how technology and human networks can bridge skills gaps, enhance business performance, and improve society. 

Digital Wisdom Series hosts three guest speakers on technology, theology, and culture

Funded with support from the Provost Innovation Fund, SERVE, and the SPU Library, the Library hosted a lecture series: “Digital Wisdom: Conversations at the Intersection of Technology, Theology, and Culture.” Three special guests visited in November: Jana Bennett from the University of Dayton, who spoke on theology, identity, and social media; Brent Waters of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, who spoke on “The Moral Terrain of the Emerging Technoculture”; and Michael Burdett of Oxford University, who spoke about “Forming the (Virtual) Self: Christian Practice and Internet Living.” 

Yale’s Willie James Jennings speaks on theology, art, and the body

On Thursday, October 15, Willie James Jennings, an associate professor of systematic theology and Africana studies at Yale Divinity School, participated in a panel discussion on theology, art, and the body. Joining him were Chelle Stearns, associate professor of theology at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and Laura Lasworth, professor of art at Seattle Pacific University. Afterwards, Jennings delivered an evening lecture at the University of Washington titled “Embodying the Artistic Spirit and the Prophetic Arts.” Jennings’ visit was hosted by Seattle Pacific Seminary and the University of Washington Comparative Religion Program, and presented by the Oxford journal Literature and Theology. 

ETM hosts Pacansky-Brock “Year of Empowerment” workshop, Gary Stager on “Invent to Learn”

On Thursday, March 31, Michelle Pacansky-Brock led a workshop on inclusivity in learning environments as part of “2015–2016 The Year of Empowerment,” the Educational Technology and Media speaker series. Pacansky-Brock is a noted leader in higher education with more than 15 years of experience teaching diverse students in face-to-face, blended, and online environments. She was the recipient of the Sloan-C/ OLC Online Teaching Excellence Award and served as conference chair for the 8th Annual OLC International Symposium of Emerging Technologies for Online Learning. Pacansky-Brock is currently a teaching and learning innovations specialist at California State University, Channel Islands, where she also teaches Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age, an online course for future teachers. 

Student earns spotlight for effort to distribute unused food from Campus Dining to homeless

Physiology major Maya Swinehart was featured in a story by radio station KPLU for her leadership in establishing a certified chapter of the Food Recovery Network at SPU. Through the efforts of Swinehart and her team, leftover food from Dining Services is being recovered to feed the homeless at Peter’s Place, a shelter in South Seattle. Since January, staff have helped recover nearly 3,000 pounds of food. SPU is now one of three universities in Washington state (and the first private university) involved in the Food Recovery Network.

Students build community through CityQuest service

During the week before Autumn Quarter 2015, SPU’s incoming class spread out across Seattle to help local community members with service projects. Around 700 students participated in CityQuest — doing forest work at Cheasty Greenspace in Rainier Vista; landscaping and cleaning at the Ballard Boys and Girls Club; tent mending at the Seattle Housing and Tent City 3 at Bryn Mawr United Methodist Church near Renton; distributing flyers for Hope Central, a pediatrics medical center in Rainier Valley; inventorying supplies from a backpack drive at Coalition on Homelessness; and helping set up a fundraising event for Food Lifeline. 

Soong-Chan Rah speaks at Church Leaders Forum

As part of the Church Leaders Forum, Soong-Chan Rah spoke in chapel on Tuesday, February 9, at First Free Methodist Church. He is an SPU adjunct professor teaching the first course in Seattle Pacific Seminary’s new Master of Arts in Asian American Ministry degree. Rah is the Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Seminary, an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church, and founding senior pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a nationally recognized speaker and author of several books, including his most recent publication, Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times (2015).