In the Loop

August 2021

100 Years: SPU School of Education

For 100 years, the School of Education has been an integral part of Seattle Pacific’s vision to prepare future educators to serve others throughout the region and around the world.

From its humble beginnings in 1921, Seattle Pacific’s teacher training program quickly gained accreditation and became known for the quality of its educators. This year, we celebrate the school’s centennial year with a look at significant milestones and some of the people who are carrying forward the School of Education’s legacy.

Journey with SPU’s Response magazine to see some of the highlights of the past century for the School of Education. View these important milestones.

New deans for School of Health Sciences and College of Arts and Sciences

This July 2021, two new academic deans took their places in the Seattle Pacific University community following nationwide searches.

College of Arts and Sciences: Margaret Watkins

The College of Arts and Sciences welcomed Margaret Watkins, PhD, to its helm as dean over the undergraduate majors and minors in 16 different academic disciplines, as well as the MFA: Creative Writing program.

Dr. Watkins was most recently dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and professor of philosophy at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. She is president of the international Hume Society and the author of the Philosophical Progress of Hume’s Essays (Cambridge University Press, 2019). In 2018, she was the David Hume Fellow at the Institute for the Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh.

School of Health Sciences: Tyra Dean-Ousley

The School of Health Sciences — which is recognized throughout the region for superior quality of its undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, as well as the undergraduate Health and Human Performance programs — welcomed Tyra Dean-Ousley, PhD, as its new dean.

A native Chicagoan, Dr. Dean-Ousley has worked in a variety of acute and ambulatory care settings with a primary focus in maternal-child nursing and medical surgical nursing. Her previous academic positions including tenured professor, director, and dean of nursing. Dr. Dean-Ousley is also a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Education and Sustainability Committee with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

The Perkins Center guiding students’ community engagement

With a reach both locally and globally, SPU’s John Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership Training, and Community Development has been training students in reconciliation and community development since its founding in 2004. 

During the 2021–22 academic year, the JPC will continue to emphasize service and community engagement by mentoring students as they build their cross-cultural competence and explore vocational calling through these distinct student-involvement groups:

  • Latreia is a resource for SPU students interested in serving in greater-Seattle in one-time projects or through ongoing service. Twice each quarter, Latreia will help connect students’ passions, focus of study, and/or general interests with local agencies looking for volunteers.
  • SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reach-out International) encourages students to engage in global topics, culminating with an immersive trip to another country with a partnered community organization. Through SPRINT, students have traveled to countries such as India, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Colombia over its 40-year history. Students receive training in cultural awareness and Christian community development principles.
  • Urban Involvement connects students to organizations such as Bridge Care Center, World Relief, and Neighborhood House Tutoring. UI sends out service teams regularly and gives students an opportunity to develop relationships with organizations by committing to serve an organization throughout the academic year.
  • In Context is a Catalyst ASSP program through Associated Students of Seattle Pacific (i.e., student government) with student, faculty, and staff participants. In Context topics include “Deconstruction of Race,” a discussion group around the construct of “race” in America and its legacy and relevance today, and “White Privilege,” a discussion group that provides an introduction toward understanding the foundations of white privilege and its relevance.

For more information, visit Student Involvement on the John Perkins Center website.

Updated COVID-19 health and safety guidelines

With the University preparing for in-person instruction for the 2021–22 academic year, SPU students, faculty, and staff recently received notice of the latest COVID-19 campus protocols.

SPU Health Services staff are currently processing COVID-19 vaccination records for students, faculty, and staff. Once your student has submitted their documentation through the patient portal, and Health Services staff have verified it, your student can expect a confirmation email. This may take a few weeks due to the volume of records the staff is processing.

You can review the information on face coverings, gatherings, personal health self-screening, and more on the COVID-19 Health and Safety Expectations website.

SPU's Fulbright Scholars named

This past spring, three SPU students received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.

“Of our seven applicants last October, six moved to the semi-finalist round at the end of January,” said Michelle Beauclair, associate professor of French and Francophone studies and member of SPU’s Fulbright Team. “Of those six, three have been granted Fulbright awards for 2021–22.” The new Fulbright Scholars from Seattle Pacific University include:

Jonathan Colladay Roberts ’17, a French and Francophone studies and global development studies double-major, received a Fulbright Study Award to pursue a master’s degree in international relations and political science in Turkey. This highly competitive award was only offered to five individuals in the previous award year.

Elizabeth Davisson ’20, a Special Education major and Spanish minor, received a Fulbright English Teaching Award to teach in Spain. With her highly sought-after expertise in special education, Davisson will go to the Canary Islands this autumn.

Ann Lam ’21, a Business Administration: Information Systems and Apparel Merchandising double-major, received a Fulbright English Teaching Award to teach in Vietnam. A native speaker of Vietnamese who learned English as a second language in school, Lam will be uniquely placed to teach English to Vietnamese children and young people.

Founded in 1946 by U.S Senator J. William Fulbright, this highly competitive program operates in more than 160 countries and gives recipients an opportunity either to teach English, conduct research, or study in another country for a full year.

If your student is interested in applying to be a Fulbright Scholar, visit the Fulbright Program at SPU website to learn more about preparing to apply next summer.

Study Abroad Scholarships for Pell Grant Recipients

Five out of five SPU students who applied for the Gilman Scholarship in Spring 2021 received an award. The program offers PELL grant recipients an opportunity to receive up to $5,000 in scholarships to use toward study abroad.

Is your student interested in studying abroad? Applications open in mid-August 2021 for programs that start between December 1, 2021, to October 31, 2022. The application deadline is Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.

Encourage your student to visit the Gilman Scholarship website to find out more about requirements and eligibility. Also, students should contact Study Abroad for application advice and support.

Student employment: Gaining real-world experience

In today’s fast-moving economy, most employers look for college graduates with real-world work experience — not just good grades. According to the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), 70–80% of full- or part-time college students are employed either on or off campus, and student employment can provide students with a greater financial security, while also improving learning and career-readiness.

As SPU students prepare to return to campus, now is a good time for them to begin looking for that on- or off-campus job. They’ll gain the experience, the tools employers look for in candidates, and earn some money at the same time. If your student is seeking a student position, the Office of Student Employment is here to help. 

To view current job opportunities and apply, encourage your student to visit Handshake. Each job description will detail how an applicant can apply for the position.

You and your student can also visit Student Financial Service's Student Employment site for the latest information on upcoming events, work-study options, and much more.

SPU Voices Podcast

The SPU Voices Podcast is a bimonthly interview show dedicated to telling inspiring and compelling stories about the greater SPU community. Recent episodes include:

  • “Weekdays,” with tech veteran Shauna Causey, CEO of a company working to solve the massive child care shortage across the U.S. through neighborhood micro-schools and an Airbnb-like platform.
  • “Eden Por Salud,” with Annie Jameson, a special education teacher and one of the founders of a natural wellness business in Guatemala providing income opportunities to people with disabilities.

Visit the SPU Voices Podcast website to listen to the episodes, view transcripts, and explore past shows. Subscribe on all streaming platforms.

Upcoming events

September Session 
Monday, Aug. 16–Friday, Sept. 10

September Session provides students an opportunity to attend unique or specialty courses offered in a number of traditional and nontraditional formats. Visit the September Session page to learn more.

Labor Day
Monday, Sept. 6

Offices closed.

International Student Orientation 
Tuesday, Sept. 7
9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Summer Sessions are four to nine weeks long — allowing students to earn credits during the summer, take charge of their degree, and graduate sooner. Visit the Summer Sessions: Undergraduate page to learn more.

New Student Move-in and Orientation
Wednesday, Sept. 8–Sunday, Sept. 12

Orientation is an exciting and informative experience that connects new students to the SPU community and all of the resources we have to offer. Parents and guests are invited to their own special sessions! Visit the Orientation website for schedules and more.

Autumn Quarter 2021 
Monday, Sept. 13

Class instruction begins.

Résumé Rescue 2021
Sept. 14–15

Students can learn résumé basics and have their résumés reviewed by the Center for Career and Calling to be fully prepared for SPU’s Part-Time Job Fair on Sept. 16. 

  • Tuesday, Sept. 14, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. In person at the Center for Career and Calling, second floor of the Student Union Building (SUB)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15, 1–4 p.m. via Zoom (Register on Handshake by booking a “Résumé Rescue” appointment with a CCC counselor.)

Part-time Job Fair 
Thursday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Hosted by SPU’s Office of Student Employment for students looking for a part-time job on or off campus. (More information soon on the Student Employment website).

Study Abroad 101 Info Session 
Thursday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Weter Hall 202

Students will get information needed to begin planning for a student abroad program, including information about financial aid, transferring credits back to SPU, the benefits of partner programs, and the SPU faculty-led offerings.

Men’s Soccer vs. Regis University  
Thursday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m.
Interbay Stadium, 3027 17th Ave. W., Seattle

In their opening home game, the Falcon men’s soccer team takes on the Regis University Rangers. Fans are permitted in the stands. SPU students, faculty, and staff with a current Falcon Card are admitted free to Falcons’ regular-season home events. For complete schedules, online tickets, and complete information about Falcon Athletics, visit

Women’s Soccer vs. Montana State University-Billings  
Thursday, Sept. 23, 3 p.m.
Interbay Stadium, 3027 17th Ave. W., Seattle

In their opening home game, the Falcon women’s soccer team takes on Montana State University-Billings Yellowjackets. Fans are permitted in the stands. SPU students, faculty, and staff with a current Falcon Card are admitted free to Falcons’ regular-season home events. For complete schedules, online tickets, and complete information about Falcon Athletics, visit

Academic calendars

SPU academic calendars, including important deadlines, final exam schedules, holidays, and academic highlights for 2020–21.