Seattle Pacific University

Campus News & Events

SPU Flame
Templeton Foundation Award to SPU integrates faith, science and diversity

A message from Derek Wood, dean of STEM and social sciences: We received news that Seattle Pacific University received a Supporting Structures grant from the John Templeton Foundation and the Murdock Trust. This three-year grant, hosted by the Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO) group provides research support and professional development training in the integration of faith, science, and diversity for three faculty. Please join us in congratulating the following faculty who were named fellows for this program:

Dr. Tracie Delgado, Associate Professor of Biology
Dr. Phillip Baker, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Dr. Nerissa Lewis, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

The grant will provide support for a campuswide lecture series starting this fall focused on faith, science, and diversity that will be coordinated by the Office of Inclusive Excellence. This lecture series will bring three high profile speakers to campus each year and host smaller integrated course-based discussions across campus each quarter in coordination with our general education program. The theme for the first year will be "What is creation?" with a quarterly focus on the following questions "What does God think about creation"?, "Were humans inevitable," and "How do humans create"?

In addition to the speaker series, we will host a play on campus developed in collaboration with the SCIO group titled: Fire from Heaven: Michael Faraday and the Dawn of the Electrical Age.

The speaker series was developed and will be led by Dr. Sandy Mayo, vice provost of Inclusive Excellence and Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler, professor and chair of biology. As a former SCIO fellow, current fellow of the International Society of Science and Religion (ISSR), and international speaker on faith and science, Cara brings years of vision to this project and will serve as the program coordinator and lead mentor for the fellows. Her experience is complemented by the strong diversity and inclusion programs, including our new Search Advocate Program and annual speaker series that Sandy has developed and implemented since her arrival at SPU. This team strongly ties together the three areas of faith, science, and diversity with the promise of moving SPU to the center of this discussion on a national level.

Finally, we want to thank the STEM, psychology, and UCOR faculty who contributed to the success of this application by providing feedback about their scholarship and sharing their ideas with the developers. Our faculty have a strong reputation for excellence, and it is that reputation that is the foundation for this award. Thank you for all you do for our students and SPU and we look forward to partnering with you on this work in the years ahead.

Memorial Day Tree

Whether or not you are a veteran, you may have a connection to someone who was killed in action (KIA) or missing in action (MIA) while serving this country. Some of us may have a connection to a veteran who died by suicide. This year during May and in honor of Memorial Day on Monday, May 31, we invite you to add the name, photo, and/or brief story about the fallen service members who have impacted your life on the Memorial Day Tree.

computer illustration
Illustration/New Pictures Senior Exhibition Dawning

The SPU Art Department is pleased to announce this year’s Illustration/New Pictures Senior Exhibition "Dawning" featuring the work of students Jessica Brown, Verity Gritter, Elly Ha, Emily Lembke, Daniel Lilly, Caitlyn Olexer, and Sabrina Waller. Due to COVID-19, instead of celebrating this work on display at SPAC Gallery on campus, you can view the student projects in their online galleries.

Camp Casey trees
Camp Casey fall/winter reservations

Fall/winter reservation requests are now being taken for the Faculty/Staff House at SPU's Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island for full-time faculty and staff. The dates of stay are Sept. 13, 2021, through Jan 3, 2022. Reservation requests are due by June 4, 2021. These requests are selected by lottery and are not affected by summer stays at Casey. Please visit this link to request a reservation. If you are curious how the lottery works or how to stay at Camp Casey with discounted faculty and staff rates, checkout the new HR wiki. Questions? Contact Camp Casey at

Students celebrating
Looking for student Orientation leaders

The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (OSIL) is seeking returning undergraduate students interested in serving as Orientation leaders this September. Orientation leaders are responsible for a group of new students throughout the Orientation program, and they must possess strong leadership, collaboration, and communication skills. If you have a student to recommend, contact OSIL Campus Program Coordinator Alli Bautista at

Microsoft Teams
Become a Microsoft Teams power user

If you’ve been using Microsoft Teams and feel comfortable with messaging and calling, this training session is for you. RSVP here to join CIS on Thursday, May 27, 1–1:45 p.m., for an overview of the advanced features this platform has to offer, plus time to have any of your questions answered. Become a Teams power user by using Teams’ collaboration features: Create your own teams, manage communications, file sharing, shared notebooks, and more. This session will be recorded so you may watch it at a later date if you’re unable to attend. Contact with any questions or to let CIS know you want to be notified when the recorded session is available. In the meantime, find more information on the CIS Training Program.

latinx meetings
May 21: Latinex Flagg

Latinex Flagg is a safe space for Latinx identifying faculty and staff to create a strong sense of community dedicated to professional support and success. To join the Friday, May 21, noon, meeting, send an email to to receive the Zoom link. 

School of Education
School of Education hosts virtual exchange

The School of Education recently hosted a virtual student exchange with its Japanese partner, Seirei Christopher University. More than 60 teacher education faculty and students from both institutions discussed life in their countries, academic programs preparing them to serve as teachers, and how they were coping with the pandemic.

Held Together
This week: Spring Theatre production: Held Together

Filming is complete and the editing process is underway for the SPU Theatre Department’s Spring production, Held Together, an original play devised by student members of the SPU Theatre community under the direction of Associate Professor Candace Vance. Held Together magically weaves together three artists’ stories as they live through pandemics — past and present. This production is free and will be streaming Friday–Saturday, May 21–22, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 23, 2 p.m. Register here for show access.

Coming to campus? Remember to submit your self-attestation form

All faculty and staff who come to campus must complete an online self-screening to attest that they meet certain criteria for being on campus (e.g., not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms). SPU has developed a campuswide tool through Banner (login into Banner and select Personal Menu) to report a daily COVID-19 self-attestation for faculty and staff working on campus (including Camp Casey and Blakely Island). A link to the self-attestation form is also available on the Stay Smart website, which is now highlighted in the top banner on the SPU homepage.

Thursday deadline
Faculty/Staff Bulletin deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published weekly during the academic year. The next Bulletin will be published Monday, May 24, and the deadline is Thursday, May 20. If you have information or event news, send it as soon as possible with an image or graphic to Bulletin editor Tracy Norlen at Submissions may be edited for clarity.

Faculty & Staff News

Reed Davis
Honoring our retiring faculty: Reed Davis

From the Office of the Provost: We have four faculty retirements at the end of this academic year. Each week in the Faculty/Staff Bulletin we will highlight one retiring faculty member.

Reed Davis, professor of political science, 32 years of service.

Dr. Reed Davis came to SPU in 1989 after serving for three years as chief of staff and research fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

Shortly after his arrival at SPU, Reed launched the Augustinian Fellowship, a summer study abroad program in Honfleur and St. Maximin, France, which he directed for 22 years. The program was a logical extension of Reed’s interest in French intellectual history: he is the author of A Politics of Understanding: The International Thought of Raymond Aron, and several peer-reviewed publications dedicated to the work of French philosopher Raymond Aron. He has also published in La Revue Réformée, a journal associated with the Faculté Jean Calvin in Aix-en-provence, and is one of only two American authors invited to contribute a chapter on Aron to a book published by a new generation of French scholars, The International Thinking of Raymond Aron.

Reed was also active for a decade in state and local politics, serving as chair of the King County Republican Party from 1994 to 2002 and running for the United States Senate in 2004. In addition to his political interests, he served on the board of directors for American Financial Solutions, a debt consolidation company, from 2013 to 2020. He currently sits on the board of Solar Solutions, a nonprofit that installs solar power panels in central Peru.

Though Reed enjoyed the administrative responsibilities that went with his tenure as department chair from 2006 to 2014, what drew him to higher education was the opportunity to teach. He was a four-time finalist for Teacher of the Year and was named Ivy Honorary Professor of the Year in 2011. He has been grateful for the opportunities SPU has afforded him to share his exploration of Christian political philosophy with so many students over the years, and for SPU’s academic research support that allowed him to publish his studies of Christian political thinkers, most notably Kenneth W. Thompson and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Reed was a member of Maple Valley Presbyterian Church from 1989 to 2015, serving two terms as an elder and teaching Sunday school.

Bo Lim, 2016
Lim's essay published

An essay titled "Nahum" by Bo Lim, professor of Old Testament, was published in The Oxford Handbook of the Minor Prophets (pgs. 474–486. Edited by Julia O’Brien, New York: Oxford University Press, 2021). This collection of essays represents the best current scholarship on the minor prophets.

Mischa Willet
Willett's poem published

A poem about St. Julian of Norwich by Mischa Willett, assistant professor of English and writing, was published in the new issue of Trinity House Review. You can read the poem here.

Alberto Ferreiro
Ferreiro's chapter and article published

A chapter by Alberto Ferreiro, professor of history, titled “The Visigothic and Suevic Kingdoms: The Road to Unity in post-Roman Hispania.” was published in The Routledge Companion to Medieval Iberia: Unity and Diversity, Michael Gerli (ed.), Routledge. His article, “Stela de l’alba és appellat sent Johan Babtist: The Martyrdom of John the Baptist in a Sermon in Catalán of St. Vicent Ferrer," was published in Gregorianum (102, 2: 2021: 311-328).

Volume #48 , Issue #20 | Published by: University Communications

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