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Spring 2004 | Volume 26, Number 6 | Campus
SPU Student Brings Her Interest in People to the Set of TV’s “The Littlest Groom”

reality shows,” says Jennifer Montzingo, a 21-year-old majoring in communication at Seattle Pacific University. So when someone suggested she audition for the Fox Network reality show “The Littlest Groom,” the 4'2" senior consulted with her pastor, Mark Abbott of Seattle’s First Free Methodist Church, and one of her professors, Kerry Dearborn of SPU’s School of Theology.

“Jen is a remarkable leader,” says Dearborn. “Others on campus rally to her boldness in living the Christian life.

”Montzingo wanted her participation in the two-part show — basically “The Bachelor” featuring little people — to be an opportunity to share her faith. So just before Christmas Break, she stood in Tiffany Loop with Dearborn, who held the camcorder and taped the audition video. “We had 30 minutes to put it together,” Montzingo recalls. “It was raining, and we were laughing as I stood there talking about my life at SPU.”

Montzingo’s grandfather, Lloyd Montzingo, is an SPU professor emeritus of mathematics. Her father, Darrel Montzingo, is a 1979 alumnus. Her uncles include David Montzingo ’68, Doug Montzingo ’74, Dan Montzingo ’87 and Dean Montzingo ’89. Her aunt, Joanne Jarvie Montzingo ’81, and cousins Sarah Montzingo Mork ’00 and freshman Jake Montzingo round out the family SPU connections. So far.

As she nears her own graduation, Jennifer Montzingo hopes to continue her education at Seattle Pacific through enrollment in the master’s degree program in marriage and family therapy. “SPU has helped me to understand the human heart,” she says. “It combines academics with student life and made me realize how much I love learning about people.”

An “off-campus” lesson in human behavior began for Montzingo when the casting director from “The Littlest Groom” called on a Friday afternoon in January, asking “Do you want to fly to L.A. tomorrow?”

By 7 a.m. on Saturday, Montzingo was flying to Burbank, where she joined 11 other women and met “Glen,” the 4'5" bachelor looking for “true love.” “We started filming that afternoon, and it went until 2:30 in the morning,” says Montzingo, who was one of Glen’s early cuts. “I got to meet a bunch of people and talk to them about their lives. We had the common label of being small, but we all had different stories.”

Although some critics argued that “The Littlest Groom” exploited little people, Montzingo disagrees. The experience, she says, was a lesson that little people are like everybody else. “When people give you a label, they miss all the other characteristics that make a person special,” she says. “Because I learned that early in life, it’s been a blessing to be small.”

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From the President
As today’s opinion-shapers declare the Christian message irrelevant, Seattle Pacific University President Philip Eaton reminds us: “For two billion people, the resurrection of Jesus Christ changed everything.”

“This Is Our Campaign”
Creativity and commitment are the hallmarks of faculty contributions, including finding precision science equipment and seeking grants. [Campaign]

When Disaster Strikes
As senior development officer for Northwest Medical Teams, alumnus Dick Frederick ’63 helps deliver care to those who need it most. [Alumni]

Fact or Fiction?
A new Response department reviews the best-seller The Da Vinci Code. Why is this page-turner disturbing so many Christians? [Books & Film]

Looking Ahead
Falcon women keep their sights on a national championship after a perfect season ends too soon at the Elite Eight. [Athletics]

My Response
Nicaraguan native Maria Antonia Caldera Hunter ’89 tells of an SPU study tour to her homeland that showed her the presence of Christ in unlikely places.