Tag Archives: Faculty Spotlight

Michelle Chen

BY SHARON AYALA To explain her field of study, Dr. Michelle Chen, PLNU associate professor of physics, refers to a ball on her desk. It is hand-sized and made up of hexagons, like a soccer ball you can see all the way through. She points to each part and explains: each intersection of lines symbolizes a carbon atom and each line is a bond between them. It’s a visual representation of a carbon buckyball—the angstrom-sized (one ten-billionth of a meter), perfectly round molecule. If that…

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Nancy K. Murray

by Sharon Ayala In junior high school, Dr. Nancy K. Murray, professor of fashion and interior design, took her first sewing class. She made a basic skirt and was one of two students to receive an A. For her 16th birthday, she received her first quality sewing machine, with which she made a dress and jacket for her grandmother’s 50th anniversary party. She was captivated. Her first job in fashion was as a sales associate for Horne’s Department Store in Pittsburgh, where she later took…

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Rick Kennedy

by Christine Spicer At sea off Santa Cruz Island headed toward Santa Barbara, six students and a professor are reading aloud to one another from Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. They are in history class, albeit a quite unconventional one. For the past 10 years, Dr. Rick Kennedy, professor of history at PLNU, has been taking a group of six to eight students on a California history course where they also learn to sail. Passionate about both history and sailing, Kennedy…

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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jill Hamilton-Bunch

by Liz Green Dr. Jill Hamilton-Bunch graduated from PLNU in 1990 with the desire to be a teacher, and that’s exactly what she’s done for the past 22 years—plus much more. Hamilton-Bunch lives in Bakersfield with her husband, Darin (90), and their 8-year-old Queensland shepherd, Franklin, who they rescued from the pound. Also a graduate of PLNU’s Department of Literature, Journalism, and Modern Languages (LJML), Darin pursued a career in journalism under the guidance of Dr. Dean Nelson. Jill, through the impact of her professors…

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