Monday, December 16, 2019 Seattle Pacific University

Campus News & Events

spac exhibit
Next exhibit at SPAC

The next exhibit at the Seattle Pacific Art Center Gallery (SPAC) is titled At the edge of botha group exhibition curated by local artist Serrah Russell and Assistant Professor of Art Zack Bent. The exhibit presents four artists who expose the complexity of  perceptions of geography and place. Through the bending of their chosen mediums, these artists appear to turn landscape and space inside out, revealing hidden seams and edges. The exhibit runs January 13–March 6 at SPAC, located at 3 West Cremona Street. The hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Thursday or by appointment. 

There will be a reception for the artists on Thursday, January 16, 5–7 p.m. at SPAC Gallery. Follow SPAC on Instagram or subscribe to our mailing list for upcoming events.

spu stories
SPU Voices now SPU Stories

A message from University Communications: SPU Voices, the web content focused on the stories of the people who make up the Seattle Pacific community, is now SPU Stories.  These stories feature SPU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We’ve also made changes to the different sections within SPU Stories, which now include:

  • Features
  • Life at SPU
  • Faith
  • Global Impact
  • Alumni (which includes Class Notes, In Memoriam, and SPU Voices Podcast)
  • Subjects
  • Response magazine

We are always looking for good stories from the SPU community. If you have a story idea, email

courseleaf logo
Time Schedule planning for the 2020–21 academic year is coming!

A message from Student Academic Services: All department schedulers will receive notification when the planning process for the 2020–21 academic year time schedule is open in CourseLeaf, no later than December 23, 2019.  All changes must be made by January 17, 2020, for summer courses, and February 21, 2020, for the remainder of the academic year. Department schedulers can learn about the process in the CourseLeaf wiki.

Van Pool
Seeking commuters for Federal Way area vanpool

Do you currently commute from the Federal Way area to SPU? If so, we are in need of vanpool and vanshare riders commuting from the south end. To learn more, contact Transportation Manager Heather Eide at 206-281-2821 or

Parents and families in the loop
December 2019 In the Loop parents’ newsletter

Nearly 3,000 SPU parents and family members received the December 2019 In the Loop parents’ e-newsletter, which included the president’s cookie-delivery video, Faith & Co.’s season two trailer and course information, an SPU Stories article about a senior visual communications student who worked in a Harvard bioengineering lab, and more.

10th of the month
Staff payroll and benefits changes due January 10

The 10th of each month is the last day to make changes to your upcoming payroll check. Do you need to add or remove your spouse and/or children from your health care plans? If so, contact Human Resources (HR) to complete the appropriate form. Changes might include events that are expected to impact your benefits and deductions, such as your spouse or children gaining or losing coverage due to employment, birth, marriage, etc. Additionally, any changes you wish to make to your 403(b) account contributions must be made by the 10th of the month. For changes to your 403(b) account, contact Transamerica Retirement Solutions at 1-888-676-5512 (5 a.m.–6 p.m. PST), or 1-800-755-5801. If you have any other benefits-related changes, call Mardeth Hughes in HR at 206-281-2816.

Blood Drive
Blood drive January 23–24

Bloodworks Northwest will host a blood drive on campus January 23–24, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. near the entrance of Tiffany Loop. Schedule an appointment online.

BeanRa image
Recommendations for 2020–21 Resident Advisors

A message from Residence Life: The resident advisor selection process begins Winter Quarter, and we need your help to recruit qualified candidates. Our campus is blessed with students who have academic, spiritual, and servant-leadership gifts. However, many students do not apply without the encouragement of faculty, staff, and peers. We are seeking an applicant pool that reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of our community, with increased numbers of male students who engage in the selection process. We hope you will partner with us by submitting your recommendations by email to with the names of students by Thursday, Jan. 9, 12 p.m. Thank you in advance for your support!

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, January 6. The deadline is Thursday, January 2. 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

Jill Heiney-Smith
Heiney-Smith's article published

An article by Jill Heiney-Smith titled "Don’t Forget the Mentor Teacher: Reflections on a Preservice Mentor Development Program" was published in the Autumn 2019 Washington Educational Research Association Educational Journal. Jill is assistant professor of teacher education and director of graduate teacher education.

Headshot of Professor Koskela
Koskela’s Article Published

An article by Doug Koskela, professor of theology, was published in the Fall 2019 issue of the Wesleyan Theological Journal. The article, titled “A Quick’ning Ray: Soteriology and the Divine Light,” explores the image of God as light as it relates to the Christian understanding of salvation.

Kirsten Koetje
Koetje's article published

Teacher Education Instructor Kirsten Koetje’s article titled "E-Mentoring Novice Teachers to Fill the Gapwas published in the journal Curriculum in ContextThe editors of this journal are School of Education faculty Jill Heiney-Smith, Pete Renn, and Emily Huff.

Sharleen Kato
Kato, alum give presentation

Sharleen Kato, professor of Family and Consumer Sciences, and alum Jordy Larsen, a teacher at Dimmitt Middle School in Renton, presented a workshop titled "In the Middle" at the Washington Family and Consumer Sciences annual meeting. Their workshop focused on current brain research and practical applications for the middle school classroom. Two current students, Emilie Kasperbauer, an FCS undergraduate, and Sara Collett, a graduate student in the SOE, also participated in the workshop presentation.

Headshot of Professor Newby
Newby to be featured performer at MLK tribute

Stephen Newby, professor of music, director of composition, and director of the Center for Worship, will be the featured performer on Monday, Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m. at the second annual tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. titled “Be the Light, Inspiring a Beloved Community in Song, Spoken Word, and Dance” at the Edmonds Center for Arts. Visit the website for more information and tickets.

eugene lemcio
Lemcio interviewed for new podcast

Professor Emeritus of New Testament Eugene Lemcio was interviewed in a new podcast by the University of Washington's Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. The first episode was about Ukraine, and the "successful campaign by the recent president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to create a Ukrainian Orthodox Church independent from the Moscow patriarchate.” (Eugene would like to add this correction to the podcast. "The tomos granting autocephaly to Ukraine's Orthodox Church was issued on January 6 of this year, not January 2.") Eugene is also affiliate professor in the UW's Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and adviser to the Honorary Consulate of the Government of Ukraine in Seattle.

doug downing
Downing's book now in sixth edition

The sixth edition of Algebra the Easy​ Way by Professor Emeritus of Economics Doug Downing has been published​ by Barron's Educational Series. The book​ is an adventure story that teaches algebra.​ The first edition was published in 1983.​


professor roger anderson
Former Professor of Physics Roger Anderson

Roger Anderson, a physics faculty member for 35 years until his retirement in 1996, passed away on December 6 at the age of 89. During his tenure at Seattle Pacific, Roger received the Burlington Northern Award for Research, and gave the Weter Lecture in 1995 titled “Disorder in Science and Religion: A Pedestrian Theology of Irony. He received a BS and PhD in physics from the University of Washington. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, December 17, at 11 a.m. at the Harvey Funeral Home, 508 N 36th Street in Fremont.

This Month in the Garden

Christmas Tree
Christmas trees

From master gardener Jeff Daley: I always find myself nostalgic when we get around to December, as this seasons tends to hearken us back to Christmases past. Christmas is an exciting opportunity to make precious memories with loved ones, and on top of that the decorations, the lights, music filling the house, car, and stores with carols in celebration of Christ birth — I just love it all!

I especially love bringing nature in the house in winter. I love the pursuit of the "perfect Christmas tree." For several years, our family would pick up a $5 tree-cutting permit at the ranger station and trudge our way up to the mountains at about 4,000 feet to choose the right tree for ourselves. On the other hand, when I was a kid, my family would go to the Chubby and Tubby tree lot and sort through stacks of Douglas firs. Even today, when I smell the crushed needles of a Doug fir I am immediately transported back in time to that crazy lot in White Center. We have also enjoyed going into the countryside to family-owned U-cut tree farms, since cutting one yourself is a good way to guarantee a fresher tree that will last longer. 

Here are a few helpful suggestions.

  • Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii. Distinct citrus fragrance. Thinner more delicate needles. Most trees are sheered nowadays creating a thicker tighter branching structure. This tree will have a tendency to dry out faster than the more thick-needled fir trees. Usually a more inexpensive tree with a bargain price tag.  
  • Noble fir, Abies procera, is the granddaddy of all Christmas trees. A thick-needled fir with a sturdy and open branching structure, a Noble is a good choice if your ornaments tend to be on the heavy side. It has a very pleasant alpine fragrance and a very stately presence in the home.
  • Grand fir, Abies grandis, is also known as "silver fir." This fir has very long, flat needles with a great alpine-citrus fragrance similar to a Noble, and it presents well as a decorated tree.
  • Nordmann fir, Abies nordmanniana is a tree that is not as easily found in tree lots, but more tree farmers are growing them. It is originally indigenous to the Caucasus Mountains east of the Black Sea. Even if it isn't a Pacific Northwest native, I still think of it as another good choice. 
  • Fraser fir, Abies fraseri, is one of the only Christmas trees found locally that really doesn't have a very strong fragrance. Perhaps this one could be a good choice for people that have allergic reactions to indoor trees. With tighter, shorter needle growth, its branches tend to be more flexible and heavy ornaments may weigh the branches down more than you expect.
  • Norfolk pine, Arucaria heterophylla, is a delicate tropical pine also known as the "Hawaiian Christmas Tree" with a fan shaped branching structure. When I was a kid this was very popular in Seattle — everyone wanted to have a Hawaiian Christmas. It was about the time tree flocking was also popular; it's always interesting to watch fads like that come and go.

When choosing a tree from a lot, make sure to check the dryness of the needles. Remember that any tree you see may have been cut as many as two or three weeks prior to you taking it home. A tree whose needles are starting to fall off will not last as long as one that is freshly cut.

I would recommend taking measurements of how tall your ceiling is at home. It's funny how when you get outside, especially in the mountains, the trees are so much taller than what you think. It is nice, however, to have a few extra branches you can use as decorations on the mantel of your fireplace or for making a wreath for the door.

Regardless of what variety of tree you choose, always cut at least 1/4 inch off of the trunk. This will help with water absorption. And remember, your tree will be drinking up a lot of water for at least the first week you have it.  You might need to fill it up daily. Don't let it dry out, as the bottom of the trunk will callus over and water uptake will be further hindered. There is nothing more dangerous than a dried-out Christmas tree just waiting for a spark to ignite the dry needles engorged with pitch. Another a word of wisdom: "A  Christmas tree so lovely and pleasant. Turn out the lights when no one is present."

If you don't have a dog or cat at home who might enjoy taking a drink out of the tree water container, I might add a few packets of the florist's flower fresh to the water. This adds sugar to feed the plant and changes the pH-level of the water. My experience has been adding this product will help prolong the life of the needles. But you wouldn't want your pet to drink it.

I think location is important as well. You don't want to place your tree near a heat register, as that will dry it out faster. Placement near a large window is fine because the cool temperatures coming off the window will help the tree last longer. The warm temperature inside the house will in time dry out the tree eventually. 

Happy tree hunting, and have a Merry Christmas! (Select the link to see photos of artificial trees around campus.) 


Volume #46 , Issue #43 | Published by: University Communications

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