Monday, October 30, 2023 Seattle Pacific University

Campus News & Events

Benefits Open Logo
Final Week of Open Enrollment! Oct. 23–Nov. 3

A message from Human Resources: Open Enrollment ends on Friday, Nov. 3! This is your opportunity to make changes to your benefits election, including medical, dental, vision, and flexible spending accounts executed through Banner.  Voluntary Life and AD&D insurance enrollment will require a meeting with a company representative to execute enrollment for the 2024 plan year.

Please review: 2024 Open Enrollment Information.

Here is how to make changes: Banner Instructions.

To enroll in Voluntary Life, AD&D and other voluntary benefits, Make An Appointment

Friendship Bench Dedication on Oct. 31

A dedication of the Dr. Ken Tollefson Friendship Bench will be Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 11:30 a.m. near the Story Pole behind Alexander and Adelaide Hall. The late Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Ken Tollefson spent his life committed to serving indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska and mentoring colleagues and students. He was given full membership into the Tlingit, Snoqualmie, and Duwamish tribes in gratitude for his advocacy for the tribes’ federal recognition and protection of their aboriginal sites, including naming Snoqualmie Falls as a natural and cultural historic site.

The bench will serve as a reminder to honor and maintain the legacy of friendship that Professor Tollefson fostered with the Coast Salish and Alaskan tribes and to commit to the work of continuing to cultivate true friendships with indigenous neighbors on this land.

Fundraising for the bench was completed during Giving Day last May, and the bench was built by SPU Facilities. Members of the Snoqualmie Tribe and the Tollefson family will be present for the dedication. An exhibit displaying artifacts from Professor Tollefson's work will be on display in the Alexander and Adelaide Hall foyer.

camp casey
Camp Casey: Winter/spring reservation requests

Winter/spring reservation requests are now being taken for Camp Casey's Faculty House for full-time faculty and staff. The dates of stay are Jan. 8–June 10, 2024. Reservation requests are due by Nov. 10, 2023. 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, check out the Human Resources wiki. Questions? Contact Camp Casey at

Nov. 8 in Gwinn Commons: Flavors of Paradise

Join the Pacific Islanders Club of Cultural Arts (PICCA) and SPU Dining Services on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. in Gwinn Commons for an immersive experience into the Pacific. Showcasing the islands of Fiji, Samoa, Hawai’i, Māori (New Zealand), Micronesia, and Guam, the event will feature delicious flavors, live music, and cultural performances. With an entrance fee of just one Gwinn meal swipe, everyone is welcome to celebrate the beauty of these cultures alongside PICCA.

Networking lunch for faculty and staff of color

The Faculty Diversity Committee and Faculty Life Office invite faculty and staff of color to a networking luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 16, 12:30–1:30 p.m., in the Library classroom on the main floor. Please register here by Wednesday, Nov. 8, so that we can order the appropriate amount of food. Please let us know if you have any questions by contacting Assistant Professor of Communication Sara Shaban at

katie douglass
SPU Voices podcast: Faith Formation Project with Prof. Katie Douglass

The latest SPU Voices podcast features Rev. Dr. Katie Douglass, associate professor of educational ministry and practical theology. She and her team received $1.3 million in grants for the Faith Formation Project. This project is about partnering with congregations and families in the Pacific Northwest to help kids grow in faith. If you’re a parent, you know today’s fast-changing world is making your job even harder.

Listen or read the transcript online.

Nov. 1 in Gwinn Commons: Celebrating Filipino-American Heritage Month

SPU Dining Services and the Filipino American Student Association (FASA) are collaborating to celebrate Filipino-American Heritage Month with a special lunch featuring a variety of traditional dishes to give a glimpse of Filipino culture! Come enjoy a Filipino lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Gwinn Commons on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.

It's Cybersecurity Awarness Month
CIS: Check out our blog during Cybersecurity Awareness Month

A message from Computer and Information Systems: During October, CIS is posting weekly blogs about phishingspear phishing emails. social engineering (whaling), passphrases for passwords, and ransomware as part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. At the end of the month, there will be a quiz released to employees and students. Receiving 100% on the quiz will automatically enter the user into a raffle. The raffle will have two winners, one student and one employee, who will each receive a prize from CIS! Be sure to check out the CIS blog each week.

10th of the month
Monthly deadlines for payroll, benefits changes

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 to your 403b account may take up to seven days to be provided to SPU for processing, so please contact Transamerica by the first of the month prior to your requested change. 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 Cherylin Shdo in HR at 206-281-2816.

Thursday deadline
Faculty/Staff Bulletin deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published every Monday during the academic year, or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday. The next deadline is Thursday, Nov. 2. The next issue will be published Monday, Nov. 6.

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

Brown earns doctorate

Jenn Brown, Center for Professional Education program manager, successfully defended her dissertation on Oct. 19, completing all requirements for her doctoral program in Higher Education Administration: Educational Leadership at Liberty University. Her dissertation is titled “Leadership Development Through Service-Learning of First-Year Students: A Phenomenological Study of the Significance to Leadership Studies." Congratulations, Jenn!

SPU Flame
McKinney, Tom present paper

Sociology professors Jennifer McKinney and Joshua Tom presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in Salt Lake City, Oct. 19–22. They presented their paper, “Human Sexuality and Culture Wars in Christian Higher Ed" in the “Future of Christian Higher Education” session.

Tom also presented a paper with Aida Ramos, associate professor of sociology and dean of the College of Education and Social & Behavioral Sciences at John Brown University. They presented their paper, “An Exploration of Latino Nones in America," in the “New Approaches to the Study of Nones” session.

Shah's chapter published

A chapter co-authored by Mohammad Qadam Shah, assistant professor of global development, titled "Corruption and Corruption Control in the Development Agenda" was published in Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance.

Willett's essay published

An essay by Mischa Willett, assistant professor of English and writing, about The Merchant of Venice and The Karate Kid titled ”Mercy is for the Weak” was published in a special print issue of The Mockingbird.

Professor Alberto Ferreiro
Ferreiro's articles published

Two articles by Alberto Ferreiro, professor emeritus of history, were recently published.

“A Possible Influence from the East: Ephrem the Syrian ("Une influence possible venue d’Orient: Ephrem le Syrien"), 306-373).” Aux Sources de la Provence, Volume 5, Césaire d’Arles et les cinq continents (Caesarius of Arles and the five continents). Influences des Pères de l’Eglise (Influences of the Fathers of the Church), 2023, French, 237-246; English, 247-256.

“The First Introduction of the Cult of St. Martin of Tours in Gallaecia in Late Antiquity: Portucale, Auriense or Dumium/Bracara Augusta?” (San Martín de Tours y su proyección en la Gallaecia de época Sueva), "Congreso Internacional del nacimiento de San Martín de Tours (316-2016)," Patrón de Ouresne, 14-18 de noviembre de 2016. Compostellanum 68, 1 (2023) 27-64.

SPU Arch
Welcome, new staff members!

Please join the Office of Human Resources in welcoming the following new staff members.

Gracie Hoidal, assistant rowing coach, Athletics

Ryan Movahed, assistant controller, Financial Affairs

Volume #50 , Issue #37 | Published by: University Communications

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