Tag Archives: Talking Point

Q&A with Dana Hojsack

On Oct. 29, in collaboration with the School of Theology and Christian Ministry and the Office of Spiritual Development, Dana Hojsack, director of community ministries, accompanied faculty and staff members Dr. Mary Paul, Dr. Rebecca Laird, Dr. Kara Lyons-Pardue, and 14 female students to the SheLeads: Reclaiming the Blessed Alliance for Faithful Mission regional summit at Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene (PazNaz). The students heard from expert speakers and a panel of female pastors, and were led by an on-site worship team that featured…

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Talking Point: Q&A with Dawne Page

Dr. Dawne Page, chair of the Department of Biology, holds a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of California, San Francisco, and teaches courses in genetics and immunology. Her research involves exploring B cell development and maturation in zebrafish, and she recently had her endings published in the medical journal Blood. We sat down with her to learn more about her journey in the sciences. Q: How did you first fall in love with science? A: My science professors drew me in—a fantastic chemistry teacher in…

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Q&A with Sam Kwapong

Sam Kwapong, director of the Office of Multicultural and International Student Services, oversees the programming and leadership development of all the MOSAIC student affinity clubs on campus, as well as the personal development of all international students. Recently, he played a key role in planning the student-led diversity forum, an annual campus event. We sat down with Sam to learn a little more about his work with students. Q: What experiences in your life led you to this role? A: To be in this role,…

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Q&A with Jamie Gates

A groundbreaking, three-year study examining the relationship between gangs, the community and sex trafficking in San Diego County was recently published by Dr. Jamie Gates, PLNU director of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation, and Dr. Ami Carpenter, associate professor of peace and conflict resolution from the University of San Diego. We sat down with Gates to learn more about this large-scale research project titled “Measuring the Nature and Extent of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in San Diego.” Q: What type of data informed…

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Q&A with Sandy Soohoo-Refaei

In March 2015, Sandy Soohoo-Refaei joined PLNU’s staff as the new director of the Office of Global Studies. She has a B.A. in sociology from Western Washington University and a master’s degree in education counseling in higher education from Pacific Lutheran University in Washington. She has served as an assistant dean with the Semester at Sea program and associate director and summer “acting director” of the International Programs Office at Linfield College in Oregon for more than 10 years. Q: What inspired you to join…

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Q&A with Deborah Erickson

Dr. Deborah Erickson, dean of the School of Education, has been on faculty at PLNU since 2013, after serving 11 years in faculty and leadership positions at the Graduate School of Education at California Lutheran University. In honor of the School of Education’s 100-year anniversary of preparing and graduating successful educators, we talked with Dean Erickson to learn more about her background and the School of Education’s new program initiatives. Q: How did you personally come to choose education and now education administration as your…

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Q&A with Brandon Sawyer

Dr. Brandon Sawyer, assistant professor of biology and kinesiology, has been on faculty at PLNU since 2013. We sat down with him to find out more about his background and recent research in maximal exercise and weight loss. Q: You graduated from PLNU with a degree in kinesiology and athletic training. What first sparked your interest in these fields? A: I first became interested in sports medicine during my senior year of high school after I fractured my pelvis in football and my knuckle in basketball.…

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Q&A with Dean Nelson

  Dr. Dean Nelson, founder and director of the PLNU journalism program, has hosted the Writer’s Symposium by the Sea since its beginning in 1995. In celebration of the symposium’s upcoming 20th anniversary and the current anniversary of Nelson’s 30th year on campus, we caught up with him to learn more about the significance of both milestones. Q: What brought you to PLNU and has kept you here all this time? A: I was hired in 1984 to start the journalism program, but my wife and I didn’t plan on staying for more than a couple of years. The Literature Department needed…

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Q&A with Jeff Youngren

Jeff Youngren graduated with a biology degree. Now, he and his wife, Erin, own photography businesses. Nevertheless, Jeff serves on the Research Associates board and is a passionate supporter of the Campaign for the Sciences. Q: How did you go from your biology degree to being a professional photographer? A: I was drawn to PLNU because I wanted to go to med school, and the program was amazing. So that’s why I started there. And then a few years in, it kind of became obvious…

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Q&A with George Williamson

We sat down with PLNU’s director of worship ministries to discuss his views on effective worship and what he hopes students take away from their time at PLNU.  Q: What is your understanding or practical theology of worship? A: In my early years of leading worship, I came across a book in which somebody examined the Old English word “weorthscipe.” It speaks about the recognition of worth. It was a helpful thought for me to hold in my mind as I figured out how I…

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Q&A with Dr. Ron Benefiel

Q&A with Dr. Ron Benefiel BY BRIAN BECKER PLNU was founded by P.F. Breese and is affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, a holiness denomination birthed out of Wesleyan Methodism. PLNU’s dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry shares some of the ways this tradition informs life at PLNU today. Q: What are some distinctives at PLNU that are formed by Wesleyan/ Holiness thought? A: For me, it is really important to see the Methodist movement and the American Holiness movement, this Wesleyan tradition, as part of a larger Church…

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Q&A with Alan Hueth

by Christine Spicer Dr. Alan Hueth, professor of communication, has helped launch PLNU grads into the media for the past 11 years. Q: Where did your interest in communication and film begin? A: It started out in high school—being one of the editors for my high school newspaper, the South Pasadena Tiger, and getting some stories published in the local newspaper, the South Pasadena Journal. In college, I explored radio, film, and TV at Cal State Chico—where I did radio news for the local PBS…

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