Seattle Pacific University

From the President

Kim Sawers
Search Update for Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

I am pleased to report we have made great progress on the search for a Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This memo will provide an update on the search, an overview of our commitment to the role, and a link to the original profile posting.

The Search Committee was led by University Chaplain, Dr. Bo Lim. Since the initial position posting in June (it was reposted and advertised after Labor Day), the Committee worked diligently processing the applications, checking references, narrowing the candidate pool, and then, developing and receiving supplemental answers to questions from a selected group of applicants. Dr. Lim has reflected how pleased he was with the depth and breadth in the number and quality of applicants.

The Search Committee Members were:

Faculty and Staff:
• Debra Sequeira, Professor of Communication; Dean, Division of Arts and Humanities
• Dave Stewart, Professor of Clinical Psychology
• Jorge Preciado, Assistant Professor of Education
• Raedene Copeland, Professor of Clothing and Textiles
• Susan Okamoto Lane, Dean of Multi-Ethnic and Wellness Programs
• Caenisha Warren, Coordinator for Events and Student Ministries, The John Perkins Center

• Lola Sosonya
• Miguel Escobar
• Ali Steenis
• Nathan Bennett
• Kelsey Lacanilao

I would like to thank the committee members for their diligence, commitment, and the hours of thought, discussion, and prayer that they invested as they represented our collective desire to move the University forward in this important work. Also, I would like to extend our thanks to Gary Womelsduff and the Human Resources team, as well as to Lindy Pearson for managing and coordinating the search details, documentation, and logistical support. The efforts of each person who has assisted in the search process are appreciated by all of us.

In December, the committee forwarded to me a slate of candidates for further consideration. I then interviewed each candidate prior to Christmas and identified two individuals as finalists. I have invited each of them to campus for extended conversations. Each candidate will visit campus over a two-to-three day period and interact with numerous individuals and campus committees and groups. I am grateful for Bo’s willingness to organize and lead each candidate’s time on campus. I have also asked Bo to collect feedback from those who meet with each candidate.

Out of respect for each candidate’s current employment, I will hold on releasing their names until closer to the time that each one visits the campus. The first candidate will visit campus on February 6-8, and the second candidate will visit February 22-24.

Be watching for candidate announcements as the times draw near. Until then, please keep the process, candidates, and our work in this area in your prayers.


Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion stems from our Christian identity. Dr. John Perkins reinforced this thought in a 2009 Winter Response magazine issue where he said, “An understanding of the biblical mandate for reconciliation should begin with Jesus Christ. Without his suffering and subsequent victory over pain and death, there would be no reconciliation of God to humanity. Christ’s agony was far beyond our comprehension, and yet without it, we would still be separated from God. We are called to enter into Christ’s pain by taking up our own cross and following the Great Reconciler.” We are to be a community where “all the members of the body, though many, are one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12).

The very nature and person of Christ, His teaching and exemplary life as God’s son, and His death and resurrection provide for us the possibility of living as a community where God has “torn the veil” by removing all divisions. In addition, the Holy Spirit, as revealed through the Holy Scripture, instructs us as to the value and prioritization of embracing, fostering, and living into the call to be reconcilers, transcending differences and appreciating and respecting each person’s humanity and uniqueness in the image of God, thereby reflecting the Kingdom of God.

Our own Free Methodist tradition, with its founding mission and consistent proclamation of class, race, and gender inclusion, is a direct contributor to our University’s emphasis on reconciliation. Church historian Howard Snyder wrote in a paper delivered at a conference held at Roberts Wesleyan last September that the founder of the Free Methodist Church, B.T. Roberts, believed the church’s mission was to focus on the disempowered in our society, especially the victims of political and economic justice.

Roberts and his wife, Ellen, were committed to a wide range of social reform efforts. Howard writes, “Securing justice in the social and political realm, he (B.T.) felt was a legitimate end for Christian action. Thus, his work for justice for farmers in the 1870s was consistent with his support for the abolition of slavery in the 1840s and 1850s and for other causes such as temperance and women’s rights.”

For Roberts, the mission of the Free Methodist Church was Christological in nature; fulfilled when it was embodied and enacted through the lives of individuals. Since our founding, SPU has had a similar focus. We have sought to graduate people who live a life of service and reflect the optimism of grace; students who can recognize the gaps, inequities, and the needs in our world, and then imagine how life could, or should, be and work toward that end. It is a guiding purpose drawn from our Wesleyan tradition that calls us to work toward the greater good, toward human flourishing.

The VPDEI role will be to provide vision, leadership, coordination, and strategic planning in a collaborative manner for the design and implementation of institution-wide efforts to ensure diversity, inclusion, equity, respect, and the promotion of reconciliation in the SPU community.

Given the position was defined and posted prior to last summer, I thought it would be beneficial to reflect on the role’s purpose and duties. As we begin to interact with the finalists for this key role, it will be good for all of us to enter the conversations with a shared understanding.

You can read the complete job profile used for the position posting online.

Campus News & Events

Vice President Louise Furrow
Update from University Advancement

A message from Louise Furrow, vice president of University Advancement: We are celebrating good news in the fundraising area. Following two years of record fundraising, we are now halfway through this fiscal year. As of December 31, 2016, SPU’s total Year-to-Date (YTD) giving is at $5,218,167. This is the highest YTD giving amount in the past 11 years, with the exception of fiscal year 2015 when one huge gift was received in the fall. Below are some more numbers to note in our fundraising efforts.

As of December 31, 2016, SPU has:

• Exceeded the total fiscal year dollars raised by June 30 in six of the last 10 years
• Reached the highest number of gifts YTD in the last seven years
• The highest number of donors YTD in the last six years (other than fiscal year 2013, which had 18 more donors)
• The best November in the past 11 years by all measures: dollars, gifts, donors (other than 2008, which had two more donors)
• The best December in the past 11 years in dollars by a long shot; gifts and donors are ahead or very close in the last six years

In the last six months, SPU has received:
• A gift of property, which was placed in a Charitable Remainder Trust
• Bequest gifts through the estates
• Many gifts for scholarships
• Newly established endowments

In the coming months, we will share stories behind some of these gifts. Many of you give not only of your time and talent to SPU, but also give regularly through payroll deduction. Thank you!

Stained Glass
Expressions of Hope and Justice: Honoring the Legacy of MLK Jr.

This week the Office of Student Life is offering spaces in the SUB and Weter Lounge to honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and give students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to express messages of hope, empathy, grief, and justice against the backdrop of our national political climate. A “Wall of Empathy” will be set up at the ASSP Office, and a chalkboard inspired by the life of Dr. King will be available in Tiffany Loop.

Faculty, Student Research Information Needed

A message from Response Contributing Editor Colleen Steelquist: To expand Response magazine’s ongoing coverage of SPU faculty and student research, we’re adding a new section of short pieces focused specifically on research. If you have interesting research or research-related stories to share, please contact me at

Flashlight beam pointing upward
Ghostlight Project on January 19

A message from Professor of Theatre Andrew Ryder: Shine a Light for Inclusion! Join us on the steps of McKinley Hall at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 19. Together we will pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone – regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Bring a flashlight or other bright, electric light to shine as part of the nationwide #GhostlightProject of theatres uniting to declare our commitment that #AllAreWelcome in our theatres and our communities. (Learn more about the Ghostlight Project.) 


Seeing Double Wellness Initiative program
Informational Program on Alcohol, Marijuana Use

The Wellness Initiative is hosting “Seeing Double: Separating Substance Use Fact From Fiction” — a one-day program on Tuesday, January 24, that will provide information about alcohol and marijuana use. Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and bring their classes. “Test Your Vision” with interactive activities and get questions about alcohol and drug use answered from an expert panel. Learn the latest science behind alcohol and marijuana use during the evening keynote address by Dr. Jason Kilmer, a leading researcher on substance use on college campuses. To learn more, visit the Wellness blog.


Adventures Abroad Week
Study Abroad Fair on January 27

The SPU Study Abroad program is hosting its annual Study Abroad Fair on Friday, January 27, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in Weter Lounge. Encourage your students to attend. SPU faculty leaders and program representatives will be present for every program offered. It’s the perfect one-stop-shop to find out about all of the options. Students will not want to miss this. 


Shepherd Family Chiropractic logo
Free Stress Scan With Shepherd Family Clinic

SPU Athletics invites faculty and staff to participate in a free “Stress Scan” sponsored by Shepherd Family Chiropractic on Friday, January 20, 3–5 p.m. in The Falcon Club in Royal Brougham Pavilion.

Site core Brown Bag
Sitecore, Contribute Brownbag January 19

Join the University Communications Web Team for the January brownbag on Thursday, January 19, 12–1 p.m., in the Lower Weter large conference room. Bring changes you need to make to your website, and the Web Team will walk you through them. If you have a work laptop, please bring it. Feel free to bring your lunch, and cookies will be provided. Email Kathy Henning in University Communications at if you plan to attend. Sitecore/Contribute Brownbags occur the third Thursday of every month except December and July.

Recycling logo
Recycling and Composting on Campus

A message from Facility and Project Management: Last year, you helped divert 74 percent of SPU’s waste stream from the landfill by recycling (61 percent) and composting (13 percent). Well done! As a reminder, all offices and classroom buildings are furnished with recycle bins, and compost bins can be found in kitchenettes and other locations where food is regularly prepared or consumed. Paper, plastic, metal, and glass items may be deposited in any recycling container on campus — no sorting necessary. In areas without a designated confidential recycle console, confidential recycle should be placed in boxes sealed with tape and clearly labeled “confidential recycle” on all sides. Food waste and food soiled paper products should be placed in compost bins. For more information about what can be recycled or composted, visit the Facility and Project Management website.


Larry Gossett
SBGE Dean’s Speaker Series: Metropolitan King County Councilmember Larry Gossett

Faculty and staff are invited to the next School of Business, Government, and Economics Dean’s Speaker Series event on Tuesday, January 24, 12:50 p.m. in the Library Seminar room. Metropolitan King County Councilmember Larry Gossett will share his story and discuss the challenges of public policy and administration. Space is limited, so RSVP the Center for Applied Learning at

Faculty Concert Series 2016-2017
Musical Soul of Brazil

Don’t miss this special evening featuring SPU music faculty and Choroloco, a Seattle-based acoustic ensemble specializing in vintage Brazilian jazz from Rio de Janeiro, on Friday, January 27, 7:30 p.m. in Nickerson Studios. The ensemble will be joined by faculty members Mary Kantor on clarinet and Julian Catford on guitar.

Life after college. Prepare now, don't just spin the wheel!
Next Week Is Life After College Week

Join the Center for Career and Calling next week for Life After College Week. On Tuesday, January 24, Catherine Basl from the University of Washington Career Center will help students decide whether Graduate School is for (them). There will also be an SPU Graduate School Open House with representatives from Seattle Pacific Seminary, clinical psych, I/O psych, MFT, MAMSSM, School of Education, and more.

On Thursday, January 26, SPU alumnus, motivational speaker, author and hip hop artist, Philip “Sharp Skills” Jacobs will share his wit and wisdom on how students can live into their calling and Be Who (they) Are Meant to Be.


International Food Festival Logo
Faculty, Staff Invited to International Food Festival for International Students

International Food Festival for SPU international students, a campuswide potluck for international students, faculty, and staff, will be held Friday, January 27, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in Eaton Hall lounge. Participants are asked to bring an appetizer, main dish, dessert, or any food dish distinctive to their culture or background. (American foods from different cultural backgrounds are welcome!) This will be a wonderful time to share cultures and welcome our international students. Please RSVP to Professor of Clothing and Textiles Jaeil Lee at and let her know what dish you will bring.

Spanish Conversation Table
Spanish Conversation Table Starts for Winter Quarter

The Spanish Conversation Table will be available Winter Quarter to anyone who wants to speak with others in Spanish. Beginners are welcome. Meet your classmates and colleagues, make new friends and improve your Spanish. If you want to get some help on vocabulary or figure out how those reflexive verbs work, come see us. You don’t have to sign up ahead of time; just bring your lunch and join us. The table meets on Fridays, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Eaton Hall, conference 305. If you have questions, email adjunct faculty member Vilma Illanes at

School of Psychology, Family, and Community
Adolescent Sleep Challenges Across the Developmental Spectrum

Maida Chen, University of Washington professor of pediatrics and director of the Sleep Disorder Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital, will give a lecture on campus about adolescent sleep challenges (and opportunities) across the developmental spectrum. The lecture is Tuesday, February 7, 7-8:30 in Demaray Hall 150. The event is presented by SPU’s Initiative for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the School of Psychology, Family, and Community Advisory Board. Please let others know who might be interested.

Falcon Home Games

For the latest information on Falcon sports, visit the website.

Thursday, January 19
Women’s basketball vs Alaska Anchorage, Brougham Pavilion, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 21

Women’s basketball vs Alaska Fairbanks, Brougham Pavilion, 2 p.m.
Men’s basketball vs Montana State Billings, Brougham Pavilion, 4:30 p.m.


Thursday deadline
Faculty/Staff Bulletin Deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published weekly during the academic year. If you have information or event news, send it as soon as possible to Bulletin editor Tracy Norlen at Submissions may be edited for clarity. The next deadline is Thursday, January 19. The next Bulletin will be published Monday, January 23.

Faculty & Staff News

Julie Pusztai
Pusztai Wins Award

Julie Pusztai, assistant professor of nursing, was recognized with a “Difference Maker” Award by Azusa Pacific University for her work in the community of Azusa, California. Julie was recognized as an alumna, former faculty member, and director of the school’s Neighborhood Wellness Center, which focused on supporting an underserved community through health promotion and disease prevention programs. Congratulations, Julie!

Tom Carpenter
Carpenter’s Article Published

An article by Assistant Professor of Psychology Tom Carpenter titled “Are Psychology Students Getting Worse at Math?: Trends in the Math Skills of Psychology Statistics Students Across 21 Years” was published in the journal Educational Studies. The article documents declines in the math abilities of psychology students from the 1990s to the 2010s, the importance of those skills in psychology education, and strategies for coping with these trends. Tom would like to recognize his co-author, Dr. Roger Kirk of Baylor University.

Alberto Ferreiro
Ferreiro’s Article Published

An article by Professor of European History Alberto Ferreiro titled “Sancte Agnetis, màrtir e verge: A Model Virgin for Laity and Clergy in St. Vicent Ferrer’s Catalán Sermon” was published in Catalan Review, 30 (2016) 33-50.

Portrait of Carlene Brown
Brown’s Article Published

Carlene Brown, associate professor of music, was invited to write an article on music therapy for the “Careers in Music” edition of Voice, the official publication of the Washington Music Educators Association. The article, “A Cool Job: Music Therapy,” offers detailed information for high school students and career counselors on music therapy and educational options when pursuing a music therapy degree. 


SPU Arch
Welcome, New Staff Members

The Office of Human Resources would like the SPU community to welcome the following new staff members. Contact information can be found in the SPU online White Pages.

Scott Henry, business intelligence/data analyst, Computer and Information Systems
Alisah Hilt, access services specialist, University Library
Brooke Holt, clinical placement coordinator, Health Sciences
Amanda Keithley, access services specialist, University Library
Davinah Simmons, career counselor, Center for Career and Calling

SPU in the News

Leong Featured in Christianity Today

David Leong, associate professor of missiology, was interviewed by Christianity Today for the article “Is the Way Our Cities Are Designed Keeping Us Apart?” David is the author of  Race and Place: How Urban Geography Shapes the Journey to Reconciliation (InterVarsity Press). Read the article online.


Hamilton in Comment magazine

Professor of History Michael Hamilton was quoted in an article in Comment, a Canadian Christian intellectual magazine. The article also mentions Image journal, which is housed on SPU's campus. Read the article online. 


Renn’s Op-ed Published in USA Today

An op-ed discussing the privatization movement and public schools, written by Center for Professional Education Director Peter Renn, was published in USA Today on January 10. The op-ed is titled “Betsy DeVos is no Horace Mann." Read the op-ed online.


Volume #44 , Issue #3 | Published by: University Communications

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