Native Narratives: Re-telling History Through Story

The stories told and passed down through generations are what we use to form ideas about who we are as a people, country, tribe. These stories of family and culture, land and origin, if remembered, give value to our experiences and inform our identities, our relationships with each other, and our purpose and meaning. The story of America’s origin told for centuries centered on Christopher Columbus, a European explorer, who was commissioned by the Catholic monarchs of Spain to discover and claim new land. Here, he…

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Exploration: Cultivating Curiosity

In PLNU’s Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC), there sits an unlabeled piece of play equipment. “It kind of looks like a jeep, or a car maybe,” said Susan Rogers, director of the ECLC. “Because it’s unnamed, it can be a number of things. That’s what’s amazing; it can be absolutely anything to the children.” It has been a bus and a spaceship. Four or five times a week, it goes to Disneyland. It’s gone to Paris. It’s even gone to the moon. And it can go…

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Connecting the Dots … from Here to Mars

Thirty years ago, on Jan. 28, 1986, President Ronald Reagan decided to forgo his State of the Union because that day, a Tuesday, became a “day for mourning and remembering.” It was the day the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded 73 seconds after launch, killing all seven astronauts aboard. Among the brave skyriders was civilian volunteer and elementary school teacher Christa McAuliffe. Imagining the pain and confusion of America’s schoolchildren watching the launch from classrooms across the nation, the president offered these words of wisdom: “I know…

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Stewardship of the Sacred

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” These words by 19th century environmental philosopher John Muir perfectly capture the heart Rick Jenkins (09) has for his work as supervisory park ranger at Gateway National Recreational Area in New York City. Like Muir, Jenkins is a strong advocate for the preservation of the natural world, not only for the enjoyment and recreation of visitors, but, more importantly, for the…

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CPMV Infection 2015

Seeking the Unseen

Dr. Kris Koudelka, assistant professor of biology, spends his days working in the realm of the invisible. Based on indirect detection, his research can’t be seen or summarized in a concrete sense, but rather consists of what Koudelka describes as “moving liquid around in small tubes” and analyzing it with the help of a variety of machines. But, it’s this aspect of his work—the inability to really visualize what’s taking place—that forces him and his students to grow the most, offering opportunities to think critically, problem…

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From RN to BSN: Allison Gold’s Journey of Vocation

Each day on my way to work, I call my mom just to hear her simple, loving words: “I hope you have a nice day.” I park my car, finish my coffee, and pray for guidance. These prayers continue as I walk into work, through the automatic doors of the emergency room at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, and hit the ground running, never knowing what adventure I may be in for or what God will teach me. Growing up, I always had a love for family and caring for others. My father,…

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Athletics: A Season to Celebrate

The fall season brought plenty to celebrate for the PLNU Sea Lions. Between several teams making it to the NCAA championships, multiple athletes earning Player of the Year status for the PacWest Conference, and a number of new milestones etched into the PLNU record books, it was a season full of success. FALL TEAM WRAP-UPS Women’s Volleyball The PLNU women’s volleyball team made school history as it battled its way to the NCAA championships for the first time this fall. PLNU had a strong finish…

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Ronda Winderl

For Dr. Ronda Winderl, professor of communication and theatre and director of the London Semester Program at PLNU, performing has always been as natural as breathing. With a dramatist for a mom, Winderl grew up learning that everything could have a theatrical base, and was often the assistant and resident actor for her mom’s creative endeavors. Those seeds took root, prompting Winderl to earn a bachelor’s in drama and speech from Olivet Nazarene University, a master’s in directing from Emerson College, and a doctorate in…

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