In the Loop

September 2021

Jeff Jordan talks to a student

The “strength” of adaptability

By Jeff Jordan, Vice Provost for Student Formation and Community Engagement

Years ago, I was introduced to the concept of strengths and leadership. The basic concept was that a leader should develop natural talents and not focus as much on one’s shortcomings. One of my top five themes, according to the Clifton Strengths, is adaptability. I’m not sure if I was born with this or if it’s the result of more than 35 years of working with students!

Over the past year and a half, we have all needed to live into the “strength” of adaptability. At SPU, we’ve needed to live in the moment and be creative with the unpredictable. As one who has helped lead our efforts related to COVID-19, I am appreciative of the commitment our faculty, staff, and students to adapt for the good of the community. We learned to be patient as guidelines changed. We sought out creative ways to engage, develop, and deepen community commitments. We researched and created new ways to learn.

As we enter into this new academic year, we understand that we’ll need to keep applying our community adaptability strength. And we need to be more confident in the broad strengths of our community that utilize the best themes of our faculty, staff, and students.

At Seattle Pacific University, our collaborative strengths in classrooms, residence halls, athletic teams, performing arts groups, etc., will continue to provide our students (and all of us) with an experience leading to increased competence, character, and grace as we all develop into people of wisdom for God’s work at SPU and beyond.

Welcome to the 2021–22 academic year. Our faculty and staff look forward to interacting with you and your student in the year ahead!

Since 2004, Vice Provost for Student Formation and Community Engagement Jeff Jordan provides leadership to the departments that facilitate, coordinate, and complement student learning, support services, and community development consistent with the SPU mission.


Photo gallery: Orientation adventures

As we make the final preparations for students and families to arrive for Orientation 2021, check out these photos from Orientation 2020!

A rear-view image of SPU faculty members in regalia

New faculty members join the SPU community

The incoming students aren’t the only new faces in the classrooms this Autumn Quarter. Meet faculty members joining the Seattle Pacific community this year.

“This year’s class is rich in experience and eager to be part of our educational community,” said Cindy Price, vice provost for academic affairs. “Also, more than 50% of this year’s class are faculty of color, furthering our commitment to diversifying the SPU faculty. These new faculty members are committed and eager to be part of a faculty that seeks academic excellence grounded in our Christian tradition.”


  • Quin'Nita Cobbins-Modica, Assistant Professor of History
  • Eduardo Fernandez, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Djidjoho Gnonhossou, Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Charles Gressard, Professor of School Counseling; Interim Chair of School Counseling
  • Erin Griffin, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
  • Ben Hartley, Associate Professor of Mission and World Christianity
  • Bethany Hoff, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Gwia Kim, Assistant Professor of Apparel Design
  • Nerissa Lewis, Assistant Professor of Chemistry*
  • Lin Liu, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering
  • Jorge Lumbreras, Assistant Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology*
  • Maira Monteiro, Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering
  • Yuri Rodrigues, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering*
  • Chakrita Saulina, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies
  • Sarah Bassingthwaighte, Assistant Professor of Music
  • Grace Blum, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Erica Ingalls, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

*First in the family to attend a four-year college.


The 2021 Parent Engagement Webinar Series

Provost Laura Hartley will again host a four-part webinar series for parents and families during Autumn Quarter. The series begins with the webinar, “Getting off to a Good Start,” on Thursday, Sept. 16. 

Parents and other family members will hear from faculty, staff, and administrators about their students’ support, academics, and opportunities at Seattle Pacific University.

For more information, to register for the first webinar, and to send in your questions, visit the 2021 Engagement Webinar Series web page.


An SPU student works on her laptop while in SPU's Tiffany Loop

SPU’s tuition commitment to your student

When Seattle Pacific announced Tuition Reimagined, the University wanted to give students and families an opportunity to better plan for future years — and that included a limit on future annual tuition increases for incoming and continuing students.

For undergraduate students who enrolled by autumn 2021, SPU is guaranteeing that any increases to net tuition costs will not exceed 4% for three additional consecutive years or through their graduation, whichever comes first. Historically, tuition rates have risen about 5% every year. This provides students and families with a known tuition cost during their time at SPU and gives the opportunity to better plan. Read more about Tuition Reimagined and how it will benefit your student and family.


SPU Orchestra members place in Martin Square

Videos: The SPU Orchestra explores music and dance

SPU’s Orchestra, under the direction of director Dr. Christopher Hanson, put together three short videos featuring student musicians and dancers performing throughout campus to the pieces, “Restless,” “Danse Negre,” and “Dance Monkey.”

Recorded and engineered virtually in accordance with University COVID policies, this project was developed in the spring and summer of 2021 to celebrate the resilience of the SPU Music Department and local artists who collaborated to make art in the most trying of times. Watch the videos here.


Icon of praying hands

Parents Prayer Network in a new year

The Parents Prayer Network, led by SPU parent Gretchen Stehr, invites families to join in praying for students and campus life as the 2021 Autumn Quarter begins. As faculty and students are returning to campus this September, the Parents Prayer Network suggests these specific prayer requests for students and the University community.

  • For students to receive clear direction for each day, following God’s leading.
  • That students are able to connect with other students and their faculty as the year begins.
  • To protect our SPU students and help family members be an encouragement to them.
  • For God’s strength for student leaders, especially the resident advisors (RAs) in residence halls, as they help build community among students.
  • Help us and the campus community to “count our blessings” in the midst of everything we face right now.

Visit the Parents Prayer Network web page on the Parents and Families website to find more brief prayers that you can join in saying for SPU students. And sign up here to become part of the Parents Prayer Network; you will receive two emails a quarter that will suggest specific ways to pray weekly during the quarter.


Demaray Hall and its iconic clock tower on the SPU campus

News from Student Financial Services


Believe it or not, it is already time to start applying for financial aid for the 2022–23 academic year. All students must submit a new FAFSA each academic year, and the 2022–23 FAFSA will ask families and students for 2020 tax and income information, as well as current investment and asset information as of the date the FAFSA is filed.

The priority deadline for Early Action first-time freshmen is Nov. 1, 2021; the deadline for regular first-time freshmen is March 1, 2022; Early Action new transfers have a deadline of April 1, 2022; and new transfers' deadline is July 1, 2022. Current SPU students who will be continuing their studies in 2022–23 should file the FAFSA by April 1, 2022.

For more information about the FAFSA process, please visit the SFS website.


It’s not too late to sign up for the annual payment plan! The nine-month payment plan application is available through Friday, Oct. 1. Visit the SFS payment plan website for more information.


COVID-19 health and safety expectations

Not sure if you need to wear a face covering while inside campus buildings? Are SPU gatherings limited by size these days? For answers to those questions and more, read Seattle Pacific University's COVID-19 Health and Safety Expectations.


SPU Voices Podcast: “Acts on Stage” and “Feeding Your Passion” 

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

  • “Acts on Stage,” with Michelle Lang-Raymond, co-founder and executive managing director of Acts on Stage Theater, a theater company that serves various artistic communities within the Pacific Northwest while increasing access and opportunity to artists of color and activists of faith.
  • “Feeding Your Passion,” with Ashley Rodriguez, the creative genius behind the award-winning food blog Not Without Salt, author of bestselling cookbooks, and host of the Kitchen Unnecessary YouTube series.

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


Upcoming events

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.

Sunday, Sept. 12, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Tiffany Loop

More than 50 student-led groups will be represented to give students an opportunity to participate through events, clubs, leadership, and more throughout the year. All SPU undergraduate students are invited!

Autumn Quarter 2021 
Monday, Sept. 13

Class instruction begins.

Résumé Rescue 2021
Tuesday–Wednesday, Sept. 14–15

Students can learn résumé basics and have their résumés reviewed by Center for Career and Calling staff to prepare for SPU’s Fall 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 (Students can register on Handshake by booking a “Résumé Rescue” appointment with a CCC counselor.)

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

More than 50 employers will be present with dozens of part-time openings for on- and off-campus work-study and non-work-study positions. 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. 30, 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

Commuter Social
Friday, Sept. 17, 5–6 p.m.
Collegium, Student Union Building

Commuter students are invited to meet other SPU commuter students and play some board games with new friends.

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

The 20th annual Day of Common Learning
Thursday, Oct. 7, 10–11 a.m.
Upper Gwinn Commons, and various classrooms

The 20th annual Day of Common Learning presents “Unbreakable: Unifying Principles of Long-Lasting Communities,” beginning with keynote speaker Dr. Monica Coleman, professor of Africana studies at the University of Delaware. For more information, visit the Day of Common Learning website.

Academic calendars

SPU academic calendars, including important deadlines, final exam schedules, holidays, and academic highlights for 2021–22.