Response Online


From the Editors

Helping People Thrive


Hannah Notess joined the Response staff as managing editor in 2010. She not only brought the eye of an experienced editor, the sensibilities of a published poet, and the leadership skill of a former adjunct professor and Milton Center Fellow at SPU, she also brought a personal affinity for the Response magazine vision.

Working with Hannah is a true pleasure. She keeps the Response team on track and humming, and she brings new ideas to every issue. I’ve asked her to occasionally contribute the Response editor’s note so that you, too, will get to know how amazing she is.

— Jennifer Gilnett, Senior Editor

When freshman Marley Taylor of Puyallup, Washington, arrived on Seattle Pacific University’s campus this fall, there was just one thing she had to take with her: her favorite squirrel mug. A gift from her best friend, the furry woodland creature is there to remind her of home — especially when the mug’s full of comforting hot chocolate.

Elishia Chun of Honolulu, Hawaii, brought rice and a mini rice cooker with her: Older Hawaiian students had warned her that rice on the mainland is not the same as rice on the islands. And Graham Landies of Novato, California, showed up with a couple of his favorite books: Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Can you tell he wants to become a philosophy or theology major?

Every autumn it happens: Hundreds of young people from around the country make a major life transition right here on campus. The things they take with them hint at both the childhood left behind (Elizabeth Bartholomew of Salem, Oregon, hung on to her zebra pillow pet) and the newfound freedoms of adulthood (David Kimn of Woodinville, Washington, showed up with some pretty loud speakers).

But even though many SPU students aren’t far from their own youth, they’re deeply invested in the lives of children and teens. This autumn, SPU’s Day of Common Learning highlighted organizations working together to “Help Youth Flourish” — and students were front and center.

On any given weeknight, there’s a team of 6–15 Seattle Pacific students volunteering to spend time with teenagers through the Urban Involvement program of SPU’s John Perkins Center. Meanwhile, doctoral students in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community are conducting research on topics such as developmental disabilities, depression, and substance abuse in young people. And Falcon athletes invest hours of time in coaching youngsters, building relationships on and off the field. These are just a few examples of SPU students assisting our community’s youth, and you’ll read about them — and many others — in this issue of Response.

And what will those freshman students take with them as they go into adulthood? Maybe they’ll take on a family legacy, like Glenn McFarlane ’72 of the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, who is building on his dad’s vision for helping kids in desperate places. Or maybe, like Amber Frazier ’13, a first-generation college grad who’s training to teach physics, they’ll strike out in new directions. The next four years will be a key part of their journey.

Hannah NotessHannah Notess

View portraits of SPU freshmen with their “must-have” items.