Monday, March 18, 2019 Seattle Pacific University

Campus News & Events

Staff Council
Staff Council Forum with President Martin

A message from Staff Council: Join us Wednesday, March 27, 10–10:50 a.m. in Otto Miller Hall, room 109, for a staff forum with President Martin regarding the announced provost change. The presentation will be guided by submitted staff questions. Please submit questions prior to Friday, March 22, through this online form.

Learn about course set-up in Canvas

Faculty: Do you have questions about finalizing your course set-up in Canvas or the integration of other digital tools in your courses this spring? Then join us Thursday, March 21, or Friday, March 22, in the lower level of the library from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by email (, or by phone  to 206-281-2170, or by Zoom.

Two upcoming diversity workshops

Supervisor Training 302: Diversity Issues for Supervisors
Wednesday, March 20, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. in the Ames Library Seminar Room.

This workshop provides practical strategies for navigating difficult conversations in the workplace around issues of race, equity, and inclusion. During this session, participants will explore common examples of difficult dialogues; examine how past experiences, biases, and fears can trigger unproductive responses; and acquire tools to turn challenging situations into opportunities for growth. This training is intended for supervisors who want to learn how to communicate across differences more productively and with less stress and anxiety. Register using Skillsoft.

Diversity 101 @SPU
Thursday, April 4, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. in room 117 of the new School of Health Sciences building (6 Nickerson).

What do we mean by “diversity” at SPU and why does it even matter? With a focus on building individual and institutional capacity, this training provides a shared language and framework for SPU employees to move forward productively in the work of diversity. Registration is open to all, while priority will be given to new employees. Lunch will be provided for those who sign up by Thursday, March 28. Register using Skillsoft.

Barnabas Award 2018
Nominate a student for the Barnabas Scholarship

Do you know a student who demonstrates Christian character, has made a commitment to on- or off-campus service, shows a willingness to take on tasks regardless of recognition or challenge, demonstrates leadership, and is currently a junior? If so, we encourage you to nominate them for the Barnabas Servant Leadership Scholarship. Recipients of this scholarship receive a $750 cash grant and a contribution of $250 given in their name to a charity of their choice. Online nominations are due by March 29, 2019, and can be found on the University Ministries Student Leaders web page.

Camp Casey
Camp Casey summer vacation requests due April 1

Summer reservation requests are now being taken for the Faculty/Staff House at the Camp Casey Conference Center for full-time faculty and staff. The dates of stay are June 10 through September 30, 2019.

Summer awards are based on years of service to SPU and past summer stays at Casey. Employees are ranked by their years of service as verified by Human Resources. Once the ranking is developed, the past summer stay history is cross checked. If you have stayed at Casey during the summer, your ranking is replaced with the years it has been since your stay at Casey. If you have questions, contact Camp Casey at 866-661-6604. Online reservation requests are due by April 1, 2019.

Alexander Hall
Call for Staff of the Year nominations

Nominations are now open for the two 2019 Staff of the Year awards. Learn about the criteria — and nominate a colleague to be recognized for his or her outstanding contribution to the SPU community. Nominations are open through Tuesday, April 9. Find out more, and nominate someone today

New from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

For recommendations to expand your diversity learning, as well as information about the Winter 2019 Diversity Seed Grant recipients and upcoming professional development opportunities, check out the March edition of ODEI Connections.

Parents and families in the loop
March 2019 In the Loop parents e-newsletter

More than 6,300 SPU parents and family members received the March 2019 In the Loop parents e-newsletter, which included an SPU Voices story about how majors are created, the Body Positive Week video, and an article about the book theology professors wrote to honor colleague, Rob Wall, the Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies.

John Perkins Center
Connected to engagement, community, and the John Perkins Center

During the academic quarters, the John Perkins Center publishes a weekly e-newsletter to students and our campus community. This e-newsletter, Connected to Engagement, Community & the JPC, features a short reflection and highlights calendar events (both on- and off-campus) that focus on reconciliation, justice, and community engagement. The e-newsletter serves as a connection point for engagement between campus and community. To sign-up for this resource, or to submit any relevant upcoming events, email

Thursday deadline
Faculty/Staff Bulletin deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published every week 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, March 21. The next Bulletin will be published on Monday, March 25.

Faculty & Staff News

Danny Helseth
Helseth promoted in Air National Guard

Danny Helseth, assistant professor of music and head of instrumental studies, was promoted to the senior non-commissioned officer rank of master sergeant in the Washington Air National Guard on Saturday. March 2. MSgt Helseth is the unit training and education manager for the 252nd Cyberspace Operations Group at Joint-Base Lewis McChord. Congratulations, Master Sergeant Helseth!

Alberto Ferreiro
Ferreiro's essay published

An essay by Professor of European History Alberto Ferreiro titled “Fructuosus of Braga” was published in the Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. Fructuosus, among other things, is known for introducing Eastern monasticism into northwestern Spain in the seventh century, which had an impact on all of the Iberian Peninsula. His essay offers a state of the question, and includes a analytical historiography essay and essential bibliography.

Headshot of Professor Newby
Newby part of Brooklyn to Ballard Concert

Stephen Newby, professor of music and director of composition, participated in the recent Brooklyn to Ballard event in the Seattle Symphony's Octave 9, a new space for performance and learning. The concert was curated by Seattle Symphony composer in residence and clarinetist Derek Bermel, and Stephen performed the world premiere of  “Spiritual Fantasy." 

Bill Woodward
Woodward gives two lectures

Bill Woodward, professor emeritus of history, recently gave two talks to two different senior communities. On Monday, March 11, his talk was “Baseball’s America,” which he gave at Warm Beach. On Thursday, March 14, he spoke at North Seattle Church and his talk was “1919: The Worst Year in American History?”

SPU in the News

Karen Snedker
Snedker in The Seattle Times

Karen Snedker, associate professor of sociology, was quoted in an article in the The Seattle Times on March 18 about homelessness.

SPU Full Logo
Seattle Pacific Mentioned in Wall Street Journal

Seattle Pacific University was mentioned in an article in the Wall Street Journal on March 16 titled "Remember, It’s Their College Years, Not Yours." This is the excerpt from the story, which requires a subscription to read in its entirety.

“Ms. Giblin, a human-resources executive who lives in Mount Hermon, Calif., encouraged her daughter, Gabrielle, to lead a well-rounded life in high school and to consider a variety of schools. She emphasized finding one where Gabrielle could excel academically without sacrificing time for other activities and having fun. Her daughter is now a sophomore nursing student at Seattle Pacific University.”

Bradley Murg
Murg Interviewed in The Diplomat

Bradley Murg, assistant professor of political science and director of Global Development Studies, was interviewed for an article in The Diplomat on March 15 about smuggling in Myanmar and the role of China's Belt and Road InitiativeThe Diplomat is an international current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region.

This Month in the Garden

Coral Bark
Japanese coral bark maple

From Master Gardener Jeff Daley: This month I wanted to focus on one particular tree with many seasonal qualities that is ideal for a Pacific Northwest garden: the Japanese coral bark maple (Acer palmatum). This plant is also commonly known by its Japanese name “Sango kaku,” which essentially means “coral pagoda” or “coral pavilion.” The coral bark maple is a natural focal point in the garden when planted solo as a specimen tree or, providing you have the space for it, planting a group of them for a delightful little grove.

Let’s talk about what a year with a Japanese coral bark maple looks like.

The Sango kaku’s canopy is partially conical like a pagoda, and its branching structure does not take up as much space as its cousin the native Japanese maple. This allows for it be planted in narrower spaces and smaller gardens. It will be fine in dappled shade, but morning sun is its first preference. Its outer leaves are known to get a little scorched by hot sunlight during the summer months in warmer climates, but the weather in our area is not as intense so any damage would not be life threatening. Its growth rate is relatively slow, topping out at about 15 to 20 feet in height, and it can be controlled with selective pruning. For this reason, the coral bark is a great choice for bonsai or to be grown in a container.

Its leaves are a basic dark green, but as summer gives way to fall the leaves turn a striking golden yellow, particularly on a sunny fall afternoon. As daylight shortens and consistently cooler weather arrives, the trademark coral pink color of the branches reveals itself almost overnight. This color intensifies through the passing of winter to a nearly fluorescent coral red. With a dusting of snow, the contrast of white on red can be downright magical. I enjoy pruning a few twigs for my holiday wreaths or to decorate my mantel along with evergreens and holly at Christmas.

Because the tree is temperature sensitive, a mild winter won’t give as intense a color. This past February, the color of our trees here on campus made a dramatic change with the three weeks of snow and below freezing temperatures.

In the spring, newly emerging lime green colored leaves pop out making a fun contrast with the coral bark color. Eventually as the season progresses the leaves turn darker green and the branches turn from coral pink to grey until the following winter.

Because the seeds of this tree will not always sew true, most Sango kaku trees bought in a nursery are grafted, making them more readily available to purchase. The top portion of the tree would be Sango kaku while the root stock is native dime-a-dozen Japanese maple. One important thing to look for when purchasing a grafted coral bark maple, or any grafted tree really, is the graft union: the point where the trees are grafted together. Any vegetative branching below the graft union indicates that the two trees were not grafted properly, and those branches will never have the coral color. Not that there’s anything wrong with a plain Japanese maple mind you, but if you purchased and planted it specifically for the coral color, why settle for second best? Happy gardening! (Select the link for more photos of coral bark maples around campus.)


Volume #46 , Issue #11 | Published by: University Communications

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