On- and off-campus partnerships introduce students to new experiences
Two academic areas launched monthly events to take important discussions out of the classroom and into the campus community, while an off-campus partnership extended Seattle Pacific’s relationship with students and faculty in other countries.
Faculty leading the new social justice and cultural studies major introduced a monthly lecture series aimed at “Seeking Justice Through Stories.” Topics included immigration law, environmental justice, health crises in the Middle East, and racial microaggressions. Local experts joined Seattle Pacific faculty to share perspectives and discuss the topics.
“News and Nachos,” hosted by the History Department, examined current news in light of historical events. History professors met with students and other members of the SPU community over Winter Quarter to discuss the Islamic State and Brexit.
The History Department also co-hosted an event with student history club Hindsight featuring Carol Aiko DeShazer Dixon, author of Return of the Raider: A Doolittle Raider’s Story of War & Forgiveness (Creation House, 2010). She is the daughter of SPU alumni Jake DeShazer ’48 and Florence Matheny DeShazer ’48.
Dixon spoke about her parents and their life together as missionaries in Japan. Jake was an Oregon farm boy and U.S. Army Air Corps bombardier, and a member of the Doolittle Raid over Japan in 1942. He was a prisoner of war of Imperial Japan from 1942 to 1945. Florence was an Iowa girl who came to Seattle Pacific to advance her education and improve her teaching skills. They met at Seattle Pacific, married in 1946, graduated in 1948, and returned to Japan six months later for a decades-long career of ministry service with the Free Methodist Church.
University Archivist Adrienne Meier is helping Dixon digitize some of the DeShazer material with the intent to preserve the story and make it more widely available in the future.
Off-campus, Seattle Pacific formalized a partnership with Quality Schools International, allowing SPU students to participate in exchange programs with the organization and faculty across the programs to collaborate on teaching opportunities.
QSI is a nonprofit school organization based in Slovenia. The organization was founded in 1971 by SPU alumni Jim Gilson ’56 and Duane Root ’57, who were convinced that one of the best aids to national development is the existence of schools with no dropouts, high expectations, and encouragement for students to succeed. It currently operates 37 schools with more than 7,000 students in elementary through high school.
QSI’s agreement with Seattle Pacific will also provide a college preparatory program for QSI high school students.
SPU recently launched the Office of Global Engagement to serve international students, connect with international communities, and seek academic exchange opportunities. This new partnership represents one way the office is pursuing these goals.