Seattle Pacific University

Campus News & Events

mountain graphic
Oct. 12: Indigenous Peoples Day Chapel

Come join University Ministries in the second All University Chapel of the year on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 11:10 a.m. in Upper Gwinn as we honor Indigenous Peoples Day. Mending Wings will lead worship through song, dance, and testimonies.

Library Picture
For Indigenous Peoples Day: SPU's work with the Duwamish Tribe

In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day, the library is featuring a special display of some of SPU's substantive work with the Duwamish Tribe led by Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Ken Tollefson. This display is in the library's Reading Room (main level of the library) The display will be available through Monday, Oct. 25.

In addition, an online library resource guide curated by University Archivist Adrienne Meier includes a list of readings, films, and more information about and by the Duwamish, Swinomish, and Samish, the original inhabitants of SPU’s Queen Anne, Casey, and Blakely campuses.

Oct. 20: Evacuation Drill and earthquake preparedness

A message from Cheryl Michaels, associate director of Safety and Security and director of emergency management: Our yearly all-campus evacuation drill will occur at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and will recognize the annual Great Washington Shakeout, a statewide opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes. We are asking students, faculty, and staff to practice “drop, cover, and hold on” at the start of the drill before they evacuate campus buildings.

In most situations, you will reduce your chance of injury if you:

drop-earthquake  DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby. 

cover-earthquake  COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand.

  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs

hold-on-earthquake  HOLD ON until shaking stops.

  • Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands
In addition, everyone is encouraged to develop personal and family earthquake preparedness plans and maintain personal emergency supplies. For more information, see the Personal Preparedness webpage at

in context
In Context: Racism and capitalism

Sign up for In Context, a quarterly discussion series on racism and capitalism run through Catalyst, an Associated Students of Seattle Pacific (ASSP) program. The goal is to equip SPU community members to build imagination for a better world by thinking critically about systems of exploitation. All SPU students, staff, and faculty are welcome! This quarter, meetings will be held on Fridays, 4:30–6 p.m. in Bertona, beginning in week 5 and ending in week 9. The specific dates are Oct. 15, Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5, and Nov 12. Register using this link.

Social Venture Plan Logo
Tell your students about the Social Venture Plan Competition Kickoff Meeting

Each spring, the Center for Applied Learning sponsors the Social Venture Plan Competition — a unique event designed to encourage SPU students from all majors to develop entrepreneurial projects that can make a difference in the world. At this kickoff meeting, students will learn how to get involved in the competition where teams of students from different majors plan sustainable businesses that meet real needs — and make a profit. It’s all about competition, innovation, and social benefit — not to mention thousands in prize money!

Date: Thursday, October 21
Time: 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Location: McKenna Hall 111

When Did Sin Begin? by Loren Haarsma
Oct. 14: Science and faith lecture to consider “When Did Sin Begin?”

Loren Haarsma, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Calvin University, will be on campus to talk about his new book, When Did Sin Begin? Human Evolution and the Doctrine of Original Sin (Baker Academic, 2021). Loren has studied, written, and spoken on science and faith for decades and will discuss how human evolution can be viewed alongside a belief in the original sin. Hosted by the student Faith and Science Club, this lecture is open to all in the SPU community and will be held on Thursday, Oct. 14, 6–7:30 p.m., in Eaton Hall 112. Questions? Contact the club president, Carrie Cox at or the faculty advisor, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Wade Grabow, at

2021 International Photo Contest

The Office of Global Engagement invites students, staff, and faculty to submit photos from their journeys around the world in the 2021 International Photo Contest. 

  • Photos must be the original work of the person submitting the photo and must have been taken in a country outside the United States. 
  • Each photographer can submit one photo in each category, for a total of up to three photos. 
  • Categories include People, Places, and Culture. 

Photos can be submitted Oct. 4–29. Get more information and submit a photo.

Office of Inclusive Excellence
Oct. 19 and 21: DEI Workshops

The Office of Inclusive Excellence invites you to join us for two upcoming DEI workshops: Navigating Difficult Conversations (training for supervisors), Oct. 19, 12–1 p.m., and Diversity 103: “Becoming a Faith-Formed Inclusive Community,” Oct. 21, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Learn more and sign up online.

Camp Casey Beach
Camp Casey reservations now open for winter, spring

Winter/spring reservation requests are now being taken for the Faculty/Staff House at SPU's Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island. The dates of stay are January 3–June 13, 2022. Reservation requests are due by Oct. 31, 2021. These requests are selected by lottery and are not affected by summer stays at Casey.

Due to COVID-19 and our continued desire for guest safety, some reservations may be shorted due to vacancy requirements. If we have to cancel your stay due to COVID-19, we will refund your payment. Please request a reservation online. If you have questions, contact Camp Casey at 866-661-6604 or We look forward to seeing you soon!

africa continent
Oct. 25: Re-examining the Berlin Conference: How Africa was colonized and its lasting impacts

The African Student Association and SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reachout International) invite students, staff, and faculty to a special event, “Re-examining the Berlin Conference: How Africa Was Colonized and Its Lasting Impact," on Monday, Oct. 25, 5 p.m. in the Library Seminar Room. Professors Mathieu Gnouhossou, assistant professor of theology, and Rebecca Hughes, assistant professor of history, will share their insights as to how the continent was exploited and its historic and current effects for the land and its peoples. We look forward to sharing in this important conversation with our friends.

Van Pool
Eastside vanpool looking for more riders

Do you commute across the Highway 520 bridge? If so, you could be saving as much as $300/month by joining our vanpool. We meet up at the South Kirkland Park and Ride, Monday–Friday at 7:05 a.m., and work a 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. schedule. The vanpool is completely free to SPU employees which means the 520 toll, gas, parking, and car maintenance are all covered through the Trip Reduction Program. Can’t ride every day? Even if you can only ride part time, we’d love to talk to you. Please email Lynn Anselmi at For more benefits of riding in the van, visit

Benefits Open Logo
Mark your calendar! Open enrollment virtual benefits webinars and meetings

A message from Human Resources: Open enrollment is coming Oct. 20–Nov. 5, for the benefit plan year that begins Jan. 1, 2022. To help you with your benefit decisions, Human Resources will host upcoming virtual benefits webinars and meetings:

  • “Taking Full Advantage of Your HSA” — Oct. 26, 1 p.m. 
  • “Retirement Plan Essentials” — Oct. 28, 1 p.m. 
  • “Navigating Aetna’s Tools” — Nov. 2, 1 p.m.      
  • “Aetna’s Wellness Program” — Nov. 4, 1 p.m. 
  • Aetna 1-on-1 individual meetings — Oct 26, 8–10 a.m.; Oct 27, 1–3 p.m. 

These webinars and meetings will give you opportunities to ask questions and learn more about your SPU benefits. Watch for upcoming sign-up links.

Office of Inclusive Excellence
Diversity Seed Grant Application open until Nov. 12

The Office of Inclusive Excellence offers diversity seed grants up to $1,500 to support departmentwide initiatives that advance one or more of the University’s strategic diversity goals. The application window for the quarter closes on Friday, Nov. 12.

Thursday deadline
Faculty/Staff Bulletin deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published weekly during the academic year. The next deadline is Thursday, Oct. 14, and the next issue will be published Monday, Oct. 18. 

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

professor matt benton
Benton awarded grant

Matthew Benton, associate professor of philosophy, was recently awarded a Philosophy of Honesty research grant through The Honesty Project based at Wake Forest University. The Honesty Project is a three-year project supported by a large grant from the John Templeton Foundation). He will attend two conferences with other research award winners on both the philosophy and science of honesty, and write two articles during the 2022–23 year on the topics of linguistic and interpersonal honesty.

health and human performance
Cannavan, Butte contribute chapters to new book

Dale Cannavan, associate professor of health and human performance, and Katie Butte, assistant professor of health and human performance, contributed two book chapters on strength testing and clinical strength testing for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Scientists. The book will be out at the end of 2021.

Ben McFarland
McFarland contributes to biochemistry book

Ben McFarland, professor of biochemistry, wrote 12 entries in the upcoming book, 30-Second Biochemistry: The 50 vital processes in and around living organisms, each explained in half a minute. The book, published by Quarto Press and edited by Stephen Contakes, will be released Nov. 9.

Jason Thornberry
Thornberry’s essay published

For the 20th time in 2021, Jason Thornberry, receptionist in the School of Education, has had an essay published. His essay, “The New Gary” was published in Broadkill Review. Jason’s writing has also appeared in The Stranger, Praxis, Dissident Voice, Entropy, Adirondack Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.

SPU Arch
Welcome, Tyanna Rivera

Please join the Office of Human Resources in welcoming new staff member Tyanna Rivera, admissions counselor, Undergraduate Admissions.


Jim korner
Jim Korner, former executive director of University Services

James Korner died Sept. 6, 2021, at the age of 72. As executive director of University Services from 1992 to 2001, he was instrumental in helping to design and renovate Gwinn Commons, which opened in 1999. Through 40 years of active involvement in the National Association of College and University Food Services, Jim initiated innovations in the campus dining industry. He won multiple awards, served as president for two different regions, and was elected national president for 1999–2000. He prioritized fostering relationships among nearly 1,000 campus and industry members and championed volunteer opportunities.

Born in Ohio, James earned a degree in music education at Ohio University. While a student, he worked in the dining halls and nurtured his love for cooking. When he finished his degree, he joined Bob Evans at the original farm restaurant, becoming a favorite of the founder. In 1972, he returned to his alma mater and became part of OU’s dining services management team.

James’ path of promotions, awards, and increasing responsibility evolved throughout his career as his portfolio expanded beyond dining into student and business services — at Ohio University, the University of Missouri, Seattle Pacific University, VA Hospital Brain Rehabilitation Research Center (Gainesville, Florida), and Penn State University. In each instance, Jim’s visionary leadership combined with his extraordinary ability to assess challenges, communicate effectively, and establish positive relationships with others, led to continuous advancement. Among his final words were, “God is still on the throne. His grace is sufficient. God will give me strength.”

James is survived by his wife of 42 years and former SPU Associate Professor of Theatre Barbara Korner, his brother, Tom, and other extended family members.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 16, 1 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, Gainesville, Florida. 

His obituary was published in The Gainsville Sun.

Volume #48 , Issue #35 | Published by: University Communications

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