Incoming Emeriti Faculty 2024

Elena Brezynski

Elena M.V. Brezynski, PhD

Dr. Elena Brezynski, esteemed associate professor of biology at Seattle Pacific, has dedicated 12 years of exceptional service to the University. With a PhD in Physiology from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, her research on melatonin’s impact on female rat circadian rhythms has garnered acclaim, reflected in numerous peer-reviewed publications. As a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of California - Berkeley, she further solidified her expertise in circadian and circannual rhythms in mammals.

Elena’s contributions extend beyond research. She spearheaded the BioCORE Scholars program, enhancing student retention and success through innovative mentoring initiatives. Her commitment to pedagogical excellence earned her the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019, a testament to her dedication to student development. Moreover, she actively engaged in service to her department and the University, serving on committees, mentoring students, and supporting colleagues.

Beyond academia, Elena is a passionate birdwatcher and ardent supporter of English football. Her faith is integral to her life, evidenced by her active involvement in her parish and commitment to lifting others up in prayer.

In celebrating her retirement, we honor Elena’s profound impact on the Seattle Pacific community and her enduring legacy of scholarly excellence, mentorship, and faith-driven service.

Christine Chaney

Christine Chaney, PhD

Dr. Christine Chaney’s illustrious tenure of 30 years at Seattle Pacific in the Department of English and Cultural Studies culminates in a legacy of exemplary service. From adjunct instructor to full professor, she modeled a transformative dedication to teaching and pedagogical innovation.

A co-founder of the journal Pedagogy, her passion for teaching literature, language, and composition was evident early on. Throughout her career, she embraced leadership roles with charisma and vision, revitalizing academic programs and advocating for inclusivity and equity. From overhauling the English major to restructuring the Honors program to enable greater access, her impact has been profound.

Christine’s commitment to pedagogical excellence extended beyond campus, fostering partnerships with institutions such as the University of Washington. A champion of diversity and inclusion, she spearheaded initiatives to enhance faculty representation and student support.

Her scholarly contributions, ranging from 18th- and 19th-century British literature to writing pedagogy and faith integration, showcase her breadth of expertise. Yet her generosity and warmth, evident in her mentorship and hospitality, define her legacy as much as her academic achievements.

In celebrating Christine’s retirement, we honor her remarkable contributions to SPU and salute her enduring commitment to education, equity, and community.

David Diekema

David Diekema, PhD

Dr. David Diekema’s 32 years of extraordinary service to Seattle Pacific as a professor of sociology mark a legacy of scholarly excellence and unwavering dedication. A prolific scholar, he has contributed 10 peer-reviewed articles, delving into social psychology and vital faith issues, exemplifying a commitment to uncovering truth even when uncomfortable.

David’s impact extends beyond research. He played a pivotal role in designing the Criminology major and developed innovative courses such as “Serial Killers” and “The Sociology of Evil,” captivating students with his engaging teaching style. His ability to navigate controversial topics with grace and humor endeared him to both students and colleagues.

As a beloved mentor and colleague, David’s self-deprecating humor belies his profound intellect and passion for learning. His embodiment of the Reformed tradition, coupled with his fearless exploration of theological questions, reflects both his deep faith and his intellectual curiosity.

Throughout his tenure, David has shown a commitment to SPU’s mission and community, evidenced by his service on vital faculty governance committees. Amidst his academic endeavors, he cherished his family and beloved dogs, demonstrating a remarkable balance between professional and personal life.

In honoring David’s retirement, we celebrate his remarkable contributions and the deep impact he has left on SPU and those fortunate enough to know him.

Cher Edwards

Cher Edwards, PhD

Dr. Cher Edwards, with 23 years of dedicated service as a professor of counselor education at Seattle Pacific, leaves behind a profound legacy of shaping future school counselors. Her commitment to equipping students to thrive emotionally, academically, and physically has made a lasting impact.

As a prolific scholar, Cher has contributed extensively to her field, publishing numerous articles and book chapters and presenting at international, national, and state levels. Her collaborative approach, often involving graduate students as co-authors and co-presenters, reflects her dedication to mentorship and education.

Throughout her tenure, Cher has demonstrated exceptional leadership, serving on various committees, including the Graduate Policies and Evaluation Committee, Faculty Budget and Stewardship Committee, Campus Ministry Committee, and Intercollegiate Athletic Committee. Her contributions extend beyond SPU, as evidenced by her roles as president of the Washington School Counselor Association and board member for Counselors for Social Justice.

Within the School of Education, Cher has provided invaluable leadership as program chair, associate dean, and member of the Diversity Committee. Her commitment to mentorship, both as a faculty mentor and as a supporter of graduate students, exemplifies her dedication to giving back and nurturing future generations of counselors.

Randy Franz

Randal Franz, PhD

Dr. Randal Franz has dedicated 33 years of exceptional service to SPU as a professor of management, bringing profound expertise to SPU in the realms of organizations, management, and Christian faith.

Throughout his tenure, Randy has been a beacon at the intersection of organizational behavior, social enterprise, and faith-driven business. His teaching repertoire spans a wide array of undergraduate and graduate courses, from “Management Theory and Behavior,” “Organizational Behavior, and “Managing Systems” to Faith & Co. courses on “Serving Employees and Serving the World.” Beyond the classroom, he has tirelessly mentored students, sponsored Honors projects, and nurtured junior colleagues.

Randy’s impact extends globally, from pioneering online learning collaborations with Lithuania Christian College to teaching at the International University in Vienna. He has led study abroad trips to Rome, Prague, and Paris, and facilitated SPRINT trips to Uganda, Kenya, and Lithuania, sharing his passion for travel and cultural immersion with students.

As a co-founder and longtime fellow of the Center for Integrity in Business/Center for Faithful Business, Randy has played a pivotal role in shaping SBGE’s thought leadership in the intersection of faith and business. He has also championed SBGE’s involvement in initiatives such as the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME), nurturing students’ readiness to utilize business for the common good.

Randy’s scholarly contributions are vast, with numerous peer-reviewed articles, conference presentations, and the production of acclaimed Faith & Co. documentary films. Beyond academia, he has provided consulting services to regional organizations, contributed to advancing the field through reviews and judging, and served on many University committees.

In recognition of his excellence, Randy has received multiple awards and grants, including SBGE’s Teacher and Scholar of the Year accolades, and the Joseph C. Hope Professorship in Leadership and Ethics. His legacy is one not only of academic achievement but also of embodying Christian virtues, hospitality, and inclusion, leaving an deep impact on colleagues and students alike.

Greg Fritzberg

Greg Fritzberg, PhD

Dr. Greg Fritzberg has dedicated 23 years of exemplary service to Seattle Pacific as a professor of education, imparting knowledge on the historical and moral underpinnings of public education, always with a commitment to educational equity.

His impact extends beyond the classroom, fostering partnerships with over 30 Seattle schools and securing $5.5 million in grants to provide in-class tutors, benefiting countless students. Greg’s contributions to University governance are notable, having served on Faculty Council and the Admissions, Advising, and Retention Committee, and presenting at SPU’s Day of Common Learning.

A prolific scholar, he is the author of In the Shadow of “Excellence”: Recovering a Vision of Educational Opportunity for All (1999), as well as numerous scholarly articles and popular press essays, and he has engaged in radio interviews, including an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered. His establishment of the Research Dissemination Fund for School of Education faculty underscores his dedication to fostering collaboration and diversity initiatives.

In addition to teaching and chairing programs, Greg served as the editor of Curriculum in Context, a Washington state journal. His unwavering embodiment of Christian virtues, including humility, equity-driven creativity, humor, kindness, and respect, has left a profound impact on the SPU community.

Daniela Gheleva

Daniela Gheleva, PhD

Dr. Daniela Gheleva’s illustrious Seattle Pacific career spans 18 years as associate professor of nutrition, advisor, entrepreneur, colleague, and cherished friend.

Her visionary leadership led to the establishment and stewardship of the SPU Community Kitchen from 2011 to 2022, profoundly impacting food security within the greater Seattle community. Dani’s academic innovation is exemplified by the creation of the courses “Nutrition Research,” a rigorous “W” course integral to Food and Nutritional Sciences majors; and “Food and the Consumer,” a general education course exploring nutrition’s role in human health and disease.

Renowned for her teaching prowess, she has offered a spectrum of upper-division courses, including “Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism,” “Nutrition Research,” and “Medical Nutrition Therapy.” Dani’s global perspective enriched cultural food studies through the Mediterranean Diet and Sustainable Food Production Study Abroad Seminar in Florence, Italy.

Her dedication extended beyond the classroom, guiding nutrition and dietetics students towards success in internship programs and the Registration Examination for Dietitian Nutritionists. Dani’s scholarly contributions encompass academic publications and presentations, reflecting her commitment to advancing food and nutritional sciences.

Through her multifaceted contributions, Dani has epitomized the Seattle Pacific mission, demonstrating unwavering dedication to SPU’s programs, people, and her calling to serve through teaching and scholarship.

Richard Lorig, MFA

Richard Lorig, MFA

Richard Lorig has dedicated a decade of remarkable service to Seattle Pacific as a professor of theatre, leaving an indelible mark on the Seattle Pacific community. Throughout his tenure, he served in multiple roles—scenic designer, director, teacher, advisor, colleague, and friend.

His passion for teaching extended across a diverse array of courses, from University colloquium and writing courses to specialized offerings such as “Stage Makeup” and “Theatre Management.” As head of design for SPU Theatre, he oversaw the visual aspect of productions and lent his creative touch to 22 memorable shows.

Rick’s talent as a scenic designer garnered widespread recognition, earning him three Meritorious Achievement awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. His artistic contributions extended beyond the stage, as he meticulously crafted posters for every SPU Theatre production since 2014.

Beyond his creative endeavors, Richard contributed to the University’s governance, serving on the Curriculum Committee and the Faith and Scholarship Task Force. His dedication to student development has shone through his mentorship, guiding aspiring theatre artists towards fulfilling careers.

In his retirement, Rick leaves behind a legacy of artistic excellence, mentorship, and unwavering commitment to Seattle Pacific and our mission.

Patrick McDonald

Patrick McDonald, PhD

Dr. Patrick McDonald has devoted 22 years of exemplary service to Seattle Pacific and the SPU Department of Philosophy. He has been a guiding force at the intersection of faith and science, teaching courses such as “Faith, Philosophy, and Science” and contributing scholarly works such as “In Defense of Simonian Science.”

Voted Professor of the Year twice and a participant in the John Templeton Oxford Seminars, Patrick has left a profound mark on campus. He played key roles in developing academic programs such as the Bioethics and Humanities minor and advising student organizations such as Ratio Christi and MEChA.

Patrick’s dedication extends beyond academia; he actively engages in Christian practice, fostering fellowship and volunteering for local food banks. His commitment to service has also taken him to Tijuana, Mexico, aiding house-building projects with Esperanza International.

Renowned for his eclectic taste in music and enigmatic lecture whiteboards, Patrick’s impact on the SPU community is immeasurable. As he embarks on retirement, his legacy of scholarship, mentorship, and service will continue to inspire.

Amy Mezulis

Amy Mezulis, PhD

Dr. Amy Mezulis, a pillar of excellence in clinical psychology, retires after 17 years of extraordinary service. With a doctoral degree from the University of Madison-Wisconsin and extensive training, Amy brought unparalleled expertise in Child Clinical Psychology to her teaching, advising, and leadership roles.

In her roles as director of research and department chair, Amy was instrumental in guiding the department through accreditation and unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Her dedication to scholarship is reflected in over 50 publications and numerous grants, as well as prestigious awards from the National Institute of Mental Health and international recognition from organizations such as FWO Belgium.

Amy’s impact extended beyond academia, with contributions to student wellness programs, counseling services for athletes, and comprehensive health surveys. Her commitment to student success is exemplified by the establishment of the Shea Grant program, ensuring ongoing support for Clinical Psychology scholarships.

Seattle Pacific extends our deepest gratitude to Amy Mezulis for her transformative contributions, wishing her well in retirement and acknowledging her enduring legacy of scholarship, leadership, and compassion.

Katya Nemtchynova

Katya Nemtchinova, PhD

Dr. Katya Nemtchinova, esteemed professor of linguistics, is retiring after 26 years of dedicated service. Her illustrious career has left an enduring mark on the Seattle Pacific community. With a passion for language and culture, Katya has enriched the lives of students through her teachings in Russian language and literature, fostering a deep appreciation for global understanding.

Beyond the classroom, Katya’s influence extended far and wide, guiding students through study abroad programs, advising on degrees, and nurturing connections within the Russian Club. Her commitment to education spanned disciplines, mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students in linguistics and cultural studies, leaving an enduring legacy of excellence.

As a prolific scholar, Katya’s contributions to language education are unparalleled, reflected in her extensive publications and presentations nationally and internationally. Her expertise in technology-enhanced learning has earned her recognition as a leader in her field, shaping the future of language instruction.

Outside academia, Katya’s service extended to various committees and organizations, embodying her commitment to community and faith. A devoted wife, mother, and friend, she balanced her remarkable career and personal life with grace and style, leaving behind a legacy of inspiration and admiration. Katya’s retirement marks the end of an era, but her impact will continue to resonate for years to come.

Cindy Price

Cynthia Price, PhD

Dr. Cynthia Price, a pillar of Seattle Pacific for 31 years, has left a lasting mark as a sociology professor and in various administrative capacities, notably as vice provost for academic affairs. Her scholarly prowess shines through publications such as “Effects of Welfare Laws on the Family,” showcasing her dedication to rigorous research. As chair of Sociology, she provided steadfast leadership, fostering departmental growth and excellence.

Renowned for her teaching, particularly in the “Marriage and Family” class, Cindy’s impact extended beyond the classroom. Instrumental in establishing the Women’s Studies minor, she championed gender equality and empowerment. Her service on faculty governance committees and advisory roles demonstrated her commitment to student success and community engagement.

In her extensive administrative roles, from directing general education to steering the University through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cindy’s strategic vision and tireless dedication propelled SPU forward. Her legacy of leadership, scholarship, and advocacy for students and faculty alike will endure for years to come.

Daniel Schofield

Daniel Schofield, PhD

Dr. Daniel Schofield, a beacon of excellence in the realm of chemistry education, concludes a remarkable 13-year tenure at Seattle Pacific. As a revered professor of chemistry, mentor, and colleague, Daniel has had a profound and far-reaching impact.

His commitment to teaching, particularly in physical and general chemistry, has impacted countless students, instilling in them not only knowledge but also a deep sense of stewardship for the environment and cultural appreciation through innovative initiatives such as the New Zealand travel abroad course.

Daniel’s dedication to research is exemplified by his mentorship of undergraduate students, resulting in publications in top-tier journals and presentations at prestigious conferences. His service to the University, including leadership roles on committees and the receipt of prestigious grants, reflects his unwavering commitment to academic excellence.

Beyond academia, Daniel’s influence extends to his church and community, where he served as an elder and coach, embodying the values of servant leadership.

Lane Seeley

Lane Seeley, PhD

Dr. Lane Seeley, esteemed professor of physics, bids farewell to Seattle Pacific after 22 years of devoted service marked by his unwavering scholarship, Christian faith, positivity, and generosity. Lane’s impact on the University community has been profound, extending far beyond the confines of the classroom.

As a dedicated educator and mentor, Lane has guided students through the intersections of faith, history, and science, offering courses that inspire thought and reflection. His commitment to excellence is evident in the redesign of numerous courses and his exceptional teaching achievements, including record-breaking learning gains scores.

Lane’s leadership as chair of the Physics Department showcased his empathetic, imaginative, and selfless approach, leaving an enduring legacy of collaborative spirit. Beyond his academic duties, Lane’s involvement in co-curricular activities and research grants has enriched both the University and our students.

His open-door policy and gracious encouragement have touched the lives of faculty, students, and friends, embodying his love for SPU and our mission. Seattle Pacific extends our heartfelt gratitude to Lane Seeley for his invaluable contributions, wishing him well in his retirement and acknowledging the profound impact of his service on the University’s legacy.

Karen Snedker

Karen Snedker, PhD

Dr. Karen Snedker, an exemplary professor of sociology, concludes her remarkable 18-year journey at Seattle Pacific. Renowned as a scholar, mentor, and colleague, Karen’s impact spans disciplines and communities.

Her groundbreaking research in alternative court systems and homelessness, exemplified by her seminal work, Therapeutic Justice: Crime, Treatment Court and Mental Illness, has earned national recognition. With over 20 peer-reviewed publications and essays in “public sociology,” Karen has bridged academia with the broader public, enriching discourse on pressing social issues.

As a visionary educator, Karen pioneered new majors in urban studies and criminology, engaging students in hands-on research and fostering a passion for inquiry. Her dedication to teaching, coupled with her tireless service to the University and community, reflects her unwavering commitment to excellence.

Beyond academia, Karen’s devotion to family and faith has been unwavering, balancing her professional achievements with service to her church and community. Seattle Pacific extends our deepest gratitude to Karen Snedker for her extraordinary contributions, wishing her well in retirement and acknowledging her lasting legacy of scholarship and service.