Academic Rigor

New labs and classrooms at 6 Nickerson benefit SPU’s nursing students.

New nursing building opens, paving way for program expansion

Last October, the School of Health Sciences moved to a newly remodeled, state-of-the-art facility at 6 Nickerson with improved teaching and learning spaces for nursing students. The new facilities will allow for the expansion of SPU’s nursing program both at the undergraduate and at the graduate level. This, in turn, will allow the University to better respond to a societal need for more nurses and address the constant high demand for the limited number of seats in the program.

Movement research featured in The New York Times

Professor of Biology Cara Wall-Scheffler, together with Leah Bouterse ’17, published a study that found how humans walk depends on their companions and location. The cross-cultural study of pedestrians in several nations, featured in The New York Times, revealed men tend to walk differently with other men than with women. And Americans walk faster with children, whereas Ugandans move more leisurely. People move differently when they walk in groups than when they walk alone. And their walking style is especially distinct when they walk with children, all of which underscores that how we move is not dependent solely on physiology or biomechanics.

Professor featured on National Public Radio

Professor Emerita of Languages and Linguistics Kathryn Bartholomew was interviewed by Seattle’s NPR station KUOW-FM last July about “discourse markers” in conversation. She also talked about texting as a form of speech rather than writing, and that young women tend to be at the forefront of creativity in language.

Record number of SPU students and alumni named Fulbright scholars

Under Assistant Professor of Political Science Brad Murg’s expertise and guidance, SPU had a record number of students receiving Fulbright awards to study abroad this year, including history major David Dovgopoly (Ukraine); global development majors Rachel Long (Kyrgyzstan) and Abby Jensen (Jordan); and global development alumna Rachel Weeks (an alternate for Laos).

Biology professor appointed liaison

Assistant Professor of Biology Max Hunter was appointed liaison to the Committee on Student Diversity Affairs for the Association of American Medical Colleges. He also participated in the 2018 National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions meeting on the panel “Minding the GAPS: Supporting the Growth Mindset and Aspirations for Minority Pre-health Students.”

Theology faculty present at Oxford

Daniel Castelo, professor of dogmatic and constructive theology, and Rob Wall, Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies, attended the 14th quinquennial meeting of the Oxford Institute of Methodist Studies at Pembroke College-Oxford last August. An international group of invited Methodist scholars gathered for fellowship and testimony and to hear and discuss academic papers in various theological disciplines around the theme “Revival, Reform, and Revolution in Global Methodism.” Wall’s paper, delivered to a plenary of biblical scholars, targeted the theme of reviving dispirited and disillusioned believers by considering the “wilderness” theme in the New Testament letter of Hebrews. Castelo delivered a paper, “Christian Perfection and Christian Mysticism: A Way to Resurrection?,” to the constructive theologians there, arguing for a different way of understanding the most distinctive feature of Wesleyan theology — the full formation (or transformation) of a believer’s love for God and neighbor.

“First Fridays Colloquium” series launched

The social justice and cultural studies program held vocational colloquiums under the theme “Seeking Justice.” Topics in the well-attended series included immigration law, the politics of fear in America, racial microaggression, a conversation with American Muslim women, and the politics of the movie Black Panther.

History Department hosts “News and Nachos” series

The History Department hosted a new monthly brownbag series, “News & Nachos,” to help students, faculty, and staff move past soundbites and headlines for substantive conversations about current events in historical perspective. Brexit, China and the trade war, and science news were discussed.

Sociology students present research

Seven sociology students presented original research projects this spring at the Pacific Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Oakland, California. Accompanying the students were sociology professors Karen Snedker, Raphael Mondesir, Joshua Tom, and David Diekema.