Serving the World

8 | Seattle Pacific University | 9 Author A.J. Swoboda spoke about creation care at the Day of Common Learning.

Engineering students, faculty partner on life-saving research for Syria

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Adam Arabian, Senior Engineer in Residence George Roe, and engineering students Al Habeeb, Seraj Alshakhoori, and Linnea Weicht collaborated with Hala Systems, which awarded Arabian’s team $55,000 to develop and test siren systems that can be triggered by remote sensors and warn nearby residents in Syria when military aircraft are likely to be in the area to attack. They designed and analyzed solar power systems for alarm units that could withstand desert heat and other extreme temperatures for long periods. The design is currently being tested in Turkey and will be shared with civilian defense organizations operating in Syria, to be deployed in areas that are at risk of air strikes. The project satisfied the students’ engineering internship graduation requirement while also expanding their research skills.

Day of Common Learning addresses creation care and sustainability

The Seattle Pacific community gathered in October to discuss creation care at the Day of Common Learning, a campuswide daylong event to discuss important topics. Caring for the created world is an important part of being a compassionate Christian and human in today’s world, said keynote speaker A.J. Swoboda, who has written several books about the environment and theology, and is lead pastor at Theophilus Church in Portland, Oregon. Afternoon breakout sessions — held in lieu of regular classes and open to all — expounded on aspects of the theme.

Roads to Reconciliation event explores healing through the arts

In November, the SPU Music Department, community leaders, and local arts organizations gathered for dialogue and artistic presentations exploring reconciliation within the African, African American, Latin American, and Caribbean communities. Participants engaged in stories around liberty, reconciliation, hope, love, and faith through music, spoken word, dance, art, and dramatic arts. The event was inspired by Associate Professor of Reconciliation Brenda Salter McNeil’s book Roadmap to Reconciliation.

young lady presenting

Social Venture Plan Competition held

April brought the 13th annual Social Venture Plan Competition to campus. Student teams pitched their innovative ideas for social change, with a chance to win funding for their projects. Recognizing the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe, the aspiring entrepreneurs developed solutions for safe water, warm shelter, and economic opportunity. Several top projects featured ideas that would make life easier for those driven from their homes or countries due to disaster, political unrest, or war. The winning project was Rush, whose team engineered a water condenser that cools ambient air below its relative dew point, causing vapor to condense to its liquid form. Each small unit produces up to eight liters of water a day, enough to sustain a family of four. The units would be sold to humanitarian aid and relief organizations for use in disaster situations, refugee camps, and more. The team included mechanical engineering major Coby Olson, electrical engineering major Jon Xayasy, global development studies and social justice double major Carly Strayer, and Mikael Mulhall and Aubrey Payne, both economics and global development studies double majors.