Tag Archives: features

Across All Barriers: Choosing Risk & Vulnerability Over Differences

“The world has never been an easy place, but the past decade has been traumatic for so many people that it’s made changes in our culture. From 9/11, multiple wars, and the recession, to catastrophic natural disasters and the increase in random violence and school shootings, we’ve survived and are surviving events that have torn at our sense of safety with such force that we’ve experienced them as trauma even if we weren’t directly involved … “ … Worrying about scarcity is our culture’s version…

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Risk and the Entrepreneurial Mind

Not only did Jeremy Swift (03) not get paid for his internship at a startup email marketing company, but it also cost him. Every day on the job, he bought a downtown parking spot and a Starbucks latte for the boss as part of his internship agreement. “I didn’t care,” Swift said. “I wanted to be part of something that was bigger than me and had potential for success.” He was a junior at the time and was eager to become part of the PLNU founding team of…

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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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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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The Restorative Power of Street Art

“The idea of being made in God’s image—that we were created and that we can create—is an incredibly powerful characteristic of being human,” said Dr. G. James Daichendt, PLNU’s dean of arts and humanities and professor of art. For Daichendt, what it means to be human involves creativity, an impulse seen and experienced clearly in art. And according to him, the most exciting and meaningful movement in the art world today is street art, an area he has studied extensively. From stickers found on the backs…

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Setting out Into the Deep

Alvin, a compact, pointed submersible reminiscent of a small starship out of a science-fiction film, descends slowly. The welcoming light blue of the water, colored by the sunlight above the surface, gradually gives way to a heavy, blinding darkness. Dr. Walter Cho, PLNU assistant professor of biology, and two other marine scientists are cocooned in a spherical cockpit as Alvin continues to tread cautiously toward the depths of the ocean. It’ll take roughly two hours for them to reach their destination. To save power, they descend…

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How to Form Healthy Habits that Last

Trying out the latest fitness trends? Easy! Sticking to them? That’s the tough part. Whether you’re just beginning or well on your way toward a healthy lifestyle, these tips, developed by alumnus Taylor Robbins (12), can help. Taylor and his wife, Nikki (12), own an online fitness company called Body Temple System. Their expertise reaches people from San Diego to Germany, helping them form healthy habits for the (literal) long run. Tip #1: Determine Commitment is essential. Determine in your heart and mind exactly what…

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A Bear on the Loose: When Habits are Mindless and Stress Goes Unchecked

Picture a grown man—husband, father, college professor—lying in his bed. The lights are off and the shades drawn, even though it is the middle of the day. On one side sits his wife, trying to get him to eat a little cherry Jell-O. On the other side are his in-laws, holding his hands and praying for him. His body is shaking and all his muscles ache, like symptoms of a severe flu. When he sits up, his head pounds and the room spins as if…

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The habit maze in the brain

Habit-Making, Habit-Breaking

“By servitude to passion, habit is formed, and habit to which there is no resistance becomes necessity.” – Augustine, Confessions Who hasn’t struggled to gain and keep good habits— and break negative ones? Take comfort: we are not alone. The apostle Paul expressed in Romans 7: 15-20, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” Though we are redeemed by Christ, most of us still wage the habit battle. Debates…

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