Monday, May 11, 2020 Seattle Pacific University

Campus News & Events

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Update from Undergraduate Admissions

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is pleased to report that virtual events during SPU Comes to You Week in late April, as well as ongoing virtual visit opportunities, have been well received by prospective and admitted students and families, and we are seeing positive signs in early numbers of fall enrollment confirmations. We continue to press towards an extended decision deadline of June 1 for those who were admitted during our regular cycle. We will also continue accepting more applications over the summer until August 1. The Admissions team would like to wholeheartedly thank all of the faculty, staff, and administrators who have invested time with prospective students and families via webinars, pre-recorded information sessions, and email, especially when time is at a commodity for everyone during this season. Your efforts are much appreciated, and we look forward to continuing to partner together on securing our new class of students this fall!

Grad Prof 2019
Share a video greeting with graduates by May 15

From the SPU High Events Team: Please share a video greeting with graduating students in your department or school, or to all students by following these instructions. Deadline is Friday, May 15. We would like to have as many faculty and staff join in this labor of love as possible! If you have questions, please contact David Rither in Educational Technology & Media at (Note: Please no messages to individual students, unless you have a graduate in your immediate family.)

University Communications
New SPU homepage

University Communications will unveil a new SPU homepage next week. The site will feature an emphasis on SPU’s unique combination of Seattle, academics, and faith, and key distinctives on undergraduates, graduates, faculty-to-student ratio, and more. A new toolbar will make is easy to search for degrees and programs. An expanded news section will highlight campus news, research, stories from SPU Stories and Response magazine, event information, and athletics. A new social media section will pull images and text from SPU's Instagram account, with the ability to like and share from the home page. The same quick-access menus at the top and bottom of the homepage, including the “mySPU” link at the top right, will remain the same. Look for the new website next week.

Go Here Go Far
SPU’s new "Go Here. Go Far" enrollment campaign

A message from Alison Estep, assistant vice president, University Communications: Recent research by the Maguire Group indicated in light of COVID-19, admitted students are reconsidering studying closer to home. University Communications launched a new application generation ad campaign called “Go Here. Go Far.” These animated digital ads are targeting prospective students living in Washington state and the Portland region and are running as Google display ads and on Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat. There are three distinct versions of these ads; encompassing target audiences we know are interested in Christian faith, those who have an interest in global service or study abroad, and a more general academic version that emphases SPU’s small class sizes. There are two phases to this application-generation campaign that run throughout the summer; one directed to first-year freshmen and a second directed to prospective transfer students. “Go Here. Go Far.” leverages Seattle Pacific’s location, our Christian identity, and rigorous academics. Look for these ads in social media. Learn more.

Human Resources
SPU faculty and staff have access to confidential support

A message from Human Resources: As a member of the SPU community, you and your dependents have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at no charge to you, provided by SPU as part of the University’s commitment to promote faculty and staff’s health and well-being. This program provides a valuable resource for support and information during difficult times, as well as consultation on day-to-day concerns such as:

  • Professional counseling referrals
  • Financial/legal support
  • Nutrition support
  • Family support
  • Educational articles and webinars

Learn more about available services and contact information.

Summer at SPU
Summer sessions registration starts May 15

To give current undergraduate students more options to meet their academic goals on time, Seattle Pacific is offering an expanded selection of summer classes at a reduced cost of $600 per credit, down from $829 per credit. Students will be encouraged to work with their faculty advisor and Student Academic Services counselor to identify how to complete general education requirements over the summer.

Included this summer is THEO 3100 ($50 for the class), a community Bible study taught by professors Katie Douglass, Bob Drovdahl, Sara Koenig, Bo Lim, Rick Steele, and Rob Wall. Titled "Texts of Hope," the course will guide students through Scripture to help them navigate these challenging times. The course is open and accessible to all undergraduate students, freshman through seniors. Registration opens Friday, May 15. Visit the Summer Sessions webpage for more information.

Camp Casey
Time to make fall/winter requests for Camp Casey

Fall/winter reservation requests are now being taken for Faculty/Staff House at the Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island for full-time faculty and staff. The dates of stay are September 28, 2020, through January 4, 2021. Reservation requests are due by June 5, 2020. The fall/winter requests are selected by lottery and are not affected by summer stays at Casey. Please remember: If you will be away from your SPU email over the summer, provide an alternate email to contact you, should your name be drawn.

Due to COVID-19 and governmental restrictions, there is some uncertainty about the fall, but we hope to be open! If we have to cancel your stay due to COVID-19, we will refund your payment.

Visit the Camp Casey website to request a reservation. Questions? Contact Camp Casey at 866-661-6604 or We look forward to seeing you this winter or sooner!

Diversity Equity And Inclusion
New from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Check out this month’s ODEI Connections to learn about the new Search Advocate Program, find recommended DEI reading and teaching tools, and more. We look forward to connecting with you!

Julie Otsuka
Online event with bestselling author Julie Otsuka May 19

The NEA Big Read: King County event with New York Times bestselling author and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Julie Otsuka, originally scheduled on campus for March 9, will take place online Tuesday, May 19, 7–8:15 p.m. via Zoom. The event will be hosted by Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho, a local nonprofit preserving and sharing the history of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Otsuka is the author of When the Emperor Was Divine, an historical fictional account of the Japanese American internment during World War II. Her book is featured in King County’s National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, a community literacy endeavor co-sponsored by SPU to provide opportunities to read and discuss a book that matters to Pacific Northwest history and culture.

Register online to receive an Zoom invitation to the event, and please share this information with anyone interested in World War II history, local history, or reading and discussing great books.

Summer Serve Grant
SERVE Internship Grant applications for summer 2020 due Friday, May 15

Juniors and seniors with unpaid internships at nonprofit organizations are eligible for the SERVE Internship Grant. The Center for Career and Calling will award three $1,500 grants. Please inform your students of this opportunity. Details, application instructions, and stories of past SERVE Internship Grant recipients are on our web page.

Image: mortar board
Commencement ceremonies June 13 and 14

Please join our students and their loved ones by watching the (prerecorded) virtual ceremonies that will “go live” on the following dates and times (and will be available afterward online):

  • Graduate Commencement – Saturday, June 13, 2 p.m.
  • Undergraduate Commencement – Sunday, June 14, 4 p.m.

Ceremony viewing will be available at Feel free to engage in the social media campaign happening as we get closer. Use #SPUgrad when you post or share.

Connect with university ministries
Come worship with us

The SPU community continues to gather for worship online every week. Please join us LIVE at this link on Tuesday, May 12, at 11:10 a.m., or feel free to view the service online at any time in the weeks to come. Visit the University Ministries YouTube channel to subscribe or watch past services.

Online Storage
Learn SPU’s online file storage solutions

Join CIS on Wednesday, May 13, at 10 a.m. or Thursday, May 14, at 1 p.m. to learn their recommendations on moving your individual and departmental work files from your desktop to SPU’s easily accessible solutions online. RSVP here to receive a link to a virtual Microsoft Teams meeting. Contact Allison Pincus in CIS at with questions, and find more information on the CIS training program.

Emerson Hall
2020 summer housing for student employees

As you begin to hire students for summer employment, remember that on-campus summer housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please advise your student employees to complete an application in the Housing Portal by Thursday, May 14, if they hope to live on campus during the summer. If you have any questions, contact Housing and Meal Plan Services at 206-281-2188 or

Thursday deadline
Faculty/Staff Bulletin deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published every Monday (or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday) during the academic year. The next Bulletin will be published Monday, May 18. The deadline is Thursday, May 14. 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.

Faculty & Staff News

Dr. Debra Sequeira
Honoring our retiring faculty: Debra Sequeira

From the Office of the Provost: We have six faculty retirements at the end of this academic year. For the next six editions of the Faculty/Staff Bulletin, we will highlight one retiring faculty member.

Debra Sequeira, dean of Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences. 37 years of service. 

Debra Sequeira has been a faithful and fervent citizen of Seattle Pacific University for 37 years. She has worked at SPU from 1978 to 1985 and since 1990, serving in a myriad ways, including as chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism, chair of the Faculty Status Committee, and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She is currently dean of Arts and Humanities in CAS.  

Debra has always been in the vanguard of creating dynamic teaching and learning environments, and her excellence in the classroom remains a distinction within the Department of Communication and Journalism. Always a rigorous and approachable professor, she is especially remembered for enhancing students’ relational skills in her interpersonal communication courses, as well as introducing upper-division majors to the ethnography of communication.

Debra’s tremendous personal vitality and her commitment to Christian education are evident to all. Her thirst for intelligent, lively, and candid conversation is a treat. She listens intently, argues convincingly, and cares deeply. Debra thrives in her work because she avails herself to all and appreciates the give and take of friendship. Her door is open — literally and figuratively — and her concern and influence border on omniscience. If she’s not in eyesight, you’ll still hear her earthy laugh, streaming down hallways and beneath doors, spreading cheer and lightening the load.

Her curiosity about others is also evidenced in her research, which involves analyzing everything from the verbal shorthand of truck drivers to speaking in tongues in Christian communities. Her scholarship appeared in Text and Performance Quarterly, Research on Language and Social Interaction, Communication Studies, and Research in Christian Higher Education, as well as a range of book chapters in interpersonal, cultural, and spiritual communication. She shares these passions with her husband, Dr. Mark Taylor, and their church family at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Seattle.

Debra is a treasure. She has the audacity of Caravaggio, the collective courage of Sacco and Vanzetti, the compassion of Leo Buscaglia, and the fire of Gina Lollobrigida. In fact, any number of Lollobrigida’s films, with titles like Bread, Love and Dreams; Love I Haven’t . . . But, But; and Me, Me, Me . . . and the Others, will serve as fitting titles of her inevitable, tell-it-like-it-is autobiography.

Kanehen named May 2020 Staff of the Month

In recognition of her service to the SPU community, Kristi Kanehen, certification officer in the School of Education, was nominated by her peers and selected by Staff Council as the May Staff Member of the Month. Congratulations, and thank you, Kristi! Learn more about Kristi and nominate a colleague for recognition on the Staff Council website.

SPU Arch
Welcome, Veronica James

Please join the Office of Human Resources in welcoming Veronica James, student financial services coordinator, Student Financial Services. 

Alexander Hall
New staff appointment

The Office of Human Resources would like to congratulate Mike Sandahl in his new appointment as interim Camp Casey site manager, Casey Conference Center.

SPU in the News

Daniel Castello 2016
Castelo in Christianity Today

Daniel Castelo, professor of dogmatic and constructive theology, was included in the Christianity Today article, “Coronavirus Calls for Revival of Real Pentecostalism.”

Salter McNeil quoted in Religion News Service article

Brenda Salter McNeil, associate professor of reconciliation studies, was quoted in the article, “What would Rachel Held Evans do? Late author’s voice lives on through those she championed,” at Religion News Service.

Volume #47 , Issue #19 | Published by: University Communications

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