From the Dean: Honoring 100+ years of service
Saying goodbye to three professors who have been my colleagues for the past 33 years is not easy. After more than 100 years of collective service to the University, Professor of Marketing Regina Schlee, Professor of International Business Joanna Poznanska, and Professor of Finance Dan Hess are retiring this spring.
All three are scholar-teachers who create classrooms where every student’s voice is valued. They are wonderful professors and researchers who have advanced scholarship in their fields and contributed to the curriculum and life of the University.
These faculty members are deeply grounded in their Christian faith and have helped develop graduates who advance human flourishing. We have committed this issue to honoring Dr. Hess, Dr. Schlee, and Dr. Poznanska.
I hope to see you at Homecoming weekend February 1–3!
“I can’t think of a better way to spend a professional career.”
Retiring faculty on why they chose to teach at SPU
If you’ve given Professor of Marketing Regina Schlee a thank-you note, it probably lives in a dedicated desk drawer. If she’s feeling down, she may reach inside and pull it out. One note from last November reads, “I hope you realize the impact you’ve had on my life and many others.”
“It makes my heart jump,” she says. “Engaging with students and making a difference is what makes teaching worthwhile.”
Dr. Schlee is one of three retiring faculty members from SBGE who have served Seattle Pacific for at least 30 years. She joined the University in 1984, followed by Professor of International Business Joanna Poznanska in 1987, and preceded by Professor of Finance Dan Hess in 1977.
Dr. Schlee continued her practice as a marketing research consultant while a professor, and also served in leadership for several professional marketing organizations. She says that SPU faculty are the best colleagues she’s worked with during her career. “The way the faculty relate to each other and to students reflects the work of Jesus.”
Dr. Hess has enjoyed teaching in the classroom, but it’s the moments with students outside of the classroom — in his office or for dinner in his Queen Anne home — that have been the most memorable.
“Students talk about their lives, their struggles, and their families,” he says. “The majority of students have a personal faith, which creates a common link.”
He’s enjoyed collaborating with faculty on research projects and advising the student investment fund at SPU. “I can’t think of a better way to spend a professional career,” he says. “Immersing myself in finance, working with young people, having great colleagues, and working in the Pacific Northwest is hard to beat.”
After emigrating from then-Communist Poland in 1980, Dr. Poznanska was interested in connecting her Catholic faith to her scholarship.
“It’s a great privilege to be at a learning institution that’s not only about academic excellence, but also about educating students to love service. When they told me, ‘we integrate faith and your discipline,’ I was excited. It was meant to be.”
Dr. Poznanska has also led several study abroad trips to China, where she says she developed deep bonds with students. “Our students stand out as being kind, caring, and behaving nicely,” she says.
Alumni: Reflections on retiring faculty
We caught up with three alumni who have been impacted positively by our retiring faculty members.
Anna Martca MBA ’09
Business Broker at Homes and Equity Real Estate Group
Master of Business Administration
Dr. Poznanska and I get together several times a year, and I’m so thankful for her incredible mentorship and friendship. As a student, I was impressed by her deep knowledge and research. When she taught about the economic perspective in China, she drew not only from books and articles, but also upon her own research and experience leading a study abroad trip to China regularly with students. In addition, she participated in conferences abroad annually, and shared the insights from other prominent researchers with her classes.
I will never forget the time she invited my family to celebrate Easter at her home. Easter is a very important holiday in Poland, and Dr. Poznanska made delicious dishes, such as Babka wielkanocna, a Polish Easter cake, and Zurek (sour soup). She is a highly intelligent, supportive, and hospitable professor who will be greatly missed at Seattle Pacific.
Travis Mann ’06
Partner at The Smith Richards Group
BA in Business Administration
Dr. Hess’ positive influence on my career continues beyond my time at SPU.
As his student, I found that his commitment to providing a real-world look into the financial industry through various guest speakers helped me crystalize my decision to enter the financial industry myself. As a professional in the financial world, I’ve had multiple opportunities to speak in his class — and maybe influence a student, too. Now, as an employer, I appreciate how he has introduced us to students who have become some of our best employees.
It's been a pleasure staying in touch with Dr. Hess all this time — 15 years and running!
Shelby Gagnon ’05
Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft
BA in Business Administration
As a professor, Dr. Schlee is warm, funny, and passionate about marketing. She brings the textbooks to life through case studies, business plans, and by inviting guest speakers from the industry to speak in her classes.
For the past five years, I’ve presented in her marketing class. She always asks key questions to help her students learn the tools and skills they need to be prepared for the workplace. Dr. Schlee is also extremely well-connected, which is an asset to her students. I love how she bridges the gaps from the classroom to graduation to jobs.
My study abroad to Rome, Paris, and Prague
Bailey Shrum, junior
Business Administration major
As someone who had never left the country, studying abroad in Rome, Prague, and Paris during Spring Quarter was a huge and terrifying decision.
I traveled with Dr. Randy Franz and 17 SPU students to explore international business. We learned about the cultural, historical, political, and economic context of each country during our three-week stay in each.
Our first stop was Rome, where the constant pizza and gelato never got old. I loved attending Easter Mass at the Vatican with Pope Francis — even though I had to wake up at 4 a.m. The high emphasis on family values and tradition drives the long-term-oriented decisions of Italian businesses.
Our next destination was Prague, with its green hills, red rooftops, and delicious goulash (a meat and vegetable stew). The Czech Republic has rich history tied to early industrialization and to the Communist era. We learned that Czechs fear losing their country again and score high on uncertainty avoidance when it comes to business decisions.
We ended our time in Paris, where I could walk to the Eiffel Tower from my apartment. Quality, tradition, and prestige are key to the French, which is shown in their top products of wine and perfume.
While learning valuable information about different cultures and how they conduct business, I was also able to gain confidence, independence, and travel skills. I now hope to work abroad one day — something I never would have considered before this trip!
Recent SBGE study abroads
In December, two SBGE faculty members led students on two-week study abroad trips. Dean Ross Stewart co-led a study abroad trip to Auckland, New Zealand, with fellow Kiwi Daniel Schofield, associate professor of chemistry. Students concentrated on either international accounting (taught by Stewart) or environmental chemistry and sustainability (taught by Schofield). Brad Murg, assistant professor of political science, led students to Havana, Cuba, to study political science.
Free graduate-level course
At SPU, we want to be the hub of your ongoing learning! That’s one of the reasons we developed Faith & Co.: Business on Purpose, a free online course taught by Dr. Kenman Wong. This 8-week course is meant to equip and inspire businesspeople to approach their work as service to God and the common good. We will study 13 short documentary films, which feature stories of Christians living out their callings in a wide variety of industries and positions. While the course is free, it can be taken for credit for a small fee. The study guide is now available online, and the course starts January 22. Sign up now!
We hope to see you back on campus February 1–3, 2019, for Homecoming and Family Weekend. The event includes academic and activity reunions for networking and reconnecting, a Falcon men’s basketball game, theatre, music, the student talent show, and more. Don’t miss this chance to reconnect with faculty and alumni and enjoy a weekend celebrating all things SPU.
SBGE will have its own brunch on Saturday, February 2, from 9 to 11 a.m., so RSVP for this event on the registration page. (Click on the box next to “Homecoming Academic Reunions.”)
THE 2019 DOWNTOWN BUSINESS BREAKFAST: “LEADING THROUGH THE TECH REVOLUTION”
Date: Friday, April 5, 2019
Time: 7–8:45 a.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Location: Westin Seattle
This year’s Downtown Business Breakfast features Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva (an online graphic design tool). He is a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz and an executive fellow at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Former chief evangelist of Apple and a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation, Guy Kawasaki is also the author of over a dozen books, including Wise Guy, The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, and Enchantment. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA, as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College. If you are interested in sponsoring a table of 10 ($550), email Lynne Hall. Beginning March 15 and depending on availability, individual tickets will go on sale for $75.