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P O R T L A N D, O R E G O N

MUSIC “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”

» Martin Luther

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A Teachable Moment

I am a first generation college graduate. I am transformed, and my family is transformed in a way that only a university with a mission to prepare leaders for the transformation of society can do. Graduating from college always been an uncompromising goal for me and another step toward my desired vocation as an attorney and judge. My family is proud that I am the first among them to attend college, and my siblings now have an example to follow. When they are ready to consider college, their aspirations will be high, and they’ll have someone who has gone before them who can help make the journey just a little bit easier through support and understanding. Scholarships made the difference in my ability to afford college, and, I know, that alumni and individual donor gifts to the Concordia Fund fuel those scholarships. I truly could not have attended Concordia without them – I am blessed. The most important scholarship was the honors scholarship because it paid half my tuition. And, having an “honors” distinction at the collegiate level is important for consideration at the graduate level. I also received scholarships through the Concordia Fund. Other foundations and my church also provided important tuition assistance, but Concordia’s support was by far the most abundant. What I gained from college was the greatest experience of my life. Living away from home and growing my independence in a stable, nurturing environment helped me mature. Studying abroad opened up a new world to me. Participating in Concordia’s Teacher Corps program allowed me to experience serving others in a way that has forever shaped my desire to transform the world. I learned that there is still so much more to learn and do and contribute to the world. I learned that my family’s support was invaluable. And, I learned that the love and support – financial and otherwise – from the Concordia community ensured that I am prepared for the next steps in life. 

» Dinisha Gray-Mingo, Class of 2010

P O R T L A N D, O R E G O N


22 FALL 2010 Concordia Connection is published twice per year by Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. Please address all correspondence to:

Concordia Connection Concordia University 2811 NE Holman Street Portland, Oregon 97211 or email: Editor:

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Campus Life. Concordia University School of Law breaks

ground in Boise; Accounting students provide tax assistance; University pays tribute to past president E.P. Weber; Students provide elder care in Nicaragua, and more.

Music in the Making.


The Lutheran Church is often called “the signing church” and music continues to take on new prominence at Concordia with expanded choir and instrumental music ensembles.

Current Issues.

Gary Spanovich, executive director of the Wholistic Peace Institute explains relations between North and South Korea and what the Institute, now housed at Concordia, is doing to promote peace.




Alumni Notes.

Alumni Ann Donaca-Sullivan spreads compassion, understanding, and inclusion through Bike First!, a camp that encourages young people with physical disabilities to learn bicycling. Also, read about more news and highlights of alumni life after Concordia.

Navy & White. Andria Scheese is ‘All That’s Right

in Sports;' Facundo Dipascuale demonstrates skill in soccer, service, and selflessness; Cavs share top 10 athletic highlights, and more.

Nailed to the Door.

Psychology Professor Jane Graves Smith, shares her impression of the 6th annual Senior Symposium.

Madeline Turnock, APR Art Director:

Christine Dodge Graphic designer, photographer:


Mark Deuel, Matt English, Ron Miolla, Kelly O’Gara, Glenn Smith, Dr. Michael A. Thomas ’93, Dr. Sonja Vegdahl

Washington Monthly ranks Concordia #1 for student participation in community service! Read more by visiting: © 2010 Washington Monthly

Fall 2010


Campus Life

Concordia Law Breaks Ground in Boise “We think we’re going to provide a On June 22, Concordia broke resources and talent to Boise’s ground on the University’s School of Law with the help of more than 200 dignitaries and friends in downtown Boise, Idaho. Following a year of construction and renovations, the 50,000 square foot complex is anticipated to usher in its first class projected to begin in the fall of 2011. “We’re delighted about the prospect of settling the Concordia University School of Law in the heart of Boise, within close proximity of the courts, state and local governments, and law firms,” said Concordia University President Chuck Schlimpert. “With our emphasis on community service and engagement, we look forward to contributing a wealth of new

downtown core and to the State as a whole.” Boise is one of the four largest metropolitan areas without an ABA-approved law school within 100 miles. Cathy Silak, a former justice of Idaho’s State Supreme Court, was hired to be the school’s dean in 2008. She said Concordia will be providing a much-needed service. “It has been recognized for quite some time, this being the state capitol and the largest metropolitan region in the state, that there needed to be legal education in order to help people who really cannot leave the region to go to law school but also to bring in some interesting new people, such as faculty and students from outside the area,” she said.



JANUARY 18 In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., more than 1,200 students representing 11 local colleges and universities descended on the Concordia campus for a celebration rally. Students participated in several service projects around the Portland metro area, the largest day of service in the City's history. concordia connection

unique metropolitan experience.” With the state capitol, courts, and government offices within walking distance, and nearly half the state’s lawyers in town, Concordia seems poised to thrive in its new locale. “Ada County Courthouse is right here, obviously the Supreme Court is not too far away, and Boise State is just across the river,” said Dave Bieter, Boise’s mayor. “I really don't think they [Concordia] could've done a better job at locating it here.” Once renovations and construction are complete, the school will house a full legal library, classrooms, study areas, legal clinic, offices, and other amenities. In line with Concordia’s Lutheran tradition, the curriculum

FEBRUARY 5 Nike awarded a $5,000 grant to launch Athlete Corps, a new service and mentorship program for at-risk students in Portland Public Schools.

Campus Life

Students Give Tax Assistance

ABOVE: Groundbreaking guests and speakers included Executive Vice President, Gary Withers; Dean's Advisory Committee Chair, Richard Fields; Boise Mayor, Dave Bieter; Provost Mark Wahlers; President Chuck Schlimpert. BELOW: School of Law Dean, Cathy Silak, answers the media’s questions.

will emphasize academic rigor, community engagement, and ethical decision making to help prepare graduates enter the legal profession, as well as a variety of other careers. The inaugural class is anticipated to have approximately 95 students. For more information, please visit 


FEBRUARY 10 The Wholistic Peace Institute and its Nobel Peace Laureate Program opened its Concordia location with the signing of cooperative agreements between Concordia and two private universities, one in China, the other in North Korea.

Using free time to work on tax returns may not be the first choice for most people, but this is how several Concordia students spent their evenings and weekends during the 2010 tax season. And they actually had fun. Under the leadership of accounting professor Dr. David Tucker and in partnership with CASH Oregon, AARP Tax-Aide, Multnomah County, the City of Portland, and the Internal Revenue Service, the accounting students put their skills to work by preparing tax returns for local individuals and families. The program not only provided free tax assistance for Concordia’s neighbors, it also provided valuable hands-on experience for students. “I think the most surprising part of the experience was finding out that I really enjoy preparing taxes,” said Tabitha Magda, a junior Business Administration major who volunteered 60 hours for the project. “I found myself talking about it with friends and family members and being quite enthusiastic about it.” In all, the students along with Tucker and his wife, Lori volunteered more than 500 hours and helped prepare 80 returns. As a result, they

generated $122,078 in state and federal refunds with several families receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit, child tax credit, and education credit. “I am very proud of the Concordia students for working so hard on this project,” said Tucker. In addition to Magda, seven other students contributed more than 40 volunteer hours each: Dani Clauson, Benedict Liambila, David Picker, Corinne Rice, Sean Rivera, Marie Selby, and Ryan Sexton. For both the students and the community members, the project was much more than forms and calculations. Many of the clients discovered that they were entitled to larger refunds than they would have found on their own—relieving some of the stress from their personal finances. For the students, the program provided real-world experience and the personal satisfaction of helping people. “There is nothing more rewarding than hands-on experience,” said Magda. “Communicating with people face-to-face and being accurate and thorough were extremely important. By far the best part was seeing the excitement and happiness on peoples’ faces when we told them they would receive refunds.” Magda is even looking forward to the 2011 tax season, adding “I really enjoyed the experience and can hardly wait for next year!” 

FEBRUARY 18 In partnership with the American Association of School Administrators, Concordia launched a new online program for students wishing to earn a customized, districtspecific Master’s of Education degree. For more information, visit Fall 2010


Campus Life

Friend and former colleague, Dr. John Buuck, remembered Weber as a “giant” in the history of the Lutheran church. “(E.P.) presided for 25 years at a time when rival junior colleges were about to go the way of the dinosaur and during a very troubling time in the Lutheran church,” he said. “Yet under his leadership the school moved forward and thrived.” Weber came to Concordia following a stint as the first fulltime Lutheran chaplain at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Upon his arrival, he worked to separate the administration of the high school from the college. At the memorial service, Rev. Dr. Hans Spalteholz recalled the familystyle meals that he and Weber shared with the school’s 120 students. He said it was there – as well as in other interactions with faculty and students – that Weber built the relationships that would sustain the school. “The Concordia family thrived under E.P.” Spalteholz said. “He modeled it himself and cogently articulated a passion for servant leadership in that particular canon of faith and work – in our Concordia canon.” In 1977, Weber oversaw Concordia’s transition to a fouryear college. Three years later he helped hand out the school’s first baccalaureate degrees. In his 25 years as president, Weber used his administrative skills and his relentless tenacity to expand dramatically the diversity of Concordia’s student

Tribute to Past President E.P. Weber Hundreds of friends, family, and colleagues filled St. Michael’s Lutheran Church on June 27, a beautiful Sunday afternoon, to celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Erhardt Paul “E.P.” Weber, Concordia's third president. Weber took office as president in 1958 and served for 25 years. During his tenure, he oversaw the school’s transition to a four-year college and defined its christocentric approach to scholarship. He died Monday, June 21, at the age of 92 at his residence in Lake Oswego, Ore.


MARCH 3 For the second year in a row, Concordia was recognized on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Each year, the CU community contributes more than 223,000 service hours through practicum, internships, and service learning projects. 4

concordia connection

body. He secured Title III grants to reach out to minority populations and worked hard to bring in international students. Weber also oversaw the dramatic expansion of the school’s physical footprint, including a new gymnasium, the Hagen Center and new dormitories. Peering out the windows of St. Michael’s, it seemed fitting that the new George R. White Library & Learning Center and the future site of Concordia’s new athletic complex were visible, representing the continued growth and evolution of the University under current President Schlimpert. Spalteholz recalled Weber telling him that attending the dedication of the new library was “one of the best experiences of (his) life” and a sign that “the spirit of Concordia was alive and well.” Weber retired from Concordia in 1983, at the age of 65, but never strayed far from the school or the Lutheran Church. He helped develop the Lay Assistant Ministry Program of the LCMS Northwest District and served as its first director. He also served as a member of the Tualatin Valley Board of Directors and never stopped rooting for his beloved Chicago Cubs. Dr. Timothy Weber, E.P.’s son, eloquently summed up what made his father so special: “He ‘thought’ the faith and he ‘felt’ the heart of God.” 

« MARCH 22 - 26

A group of Concordia students, faculty, and staff traveled to New Orleans during Spring Break to build houses for victims of Hurricane Katrina in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Concordia University Alumni & Friend s To ur Campus Life

You’re invited on the trip of a lifetime‌


9-day tour through the Holy Land Tel Aviv, Haifa, Galilee, Dead Sea, Masada, Bedouin settlement, and Jerusalem. Departs Thursday, June 23, 2011. The tour is led by Concordia University alumnus and Associate Professor of Classics and Religion, Dr. Michael A. Thomas. A completed application and $100 deposit are due by March 30, 2011 to hold travel rates. For more detailed information, email or call 503-280-8505 or 1-800-752-4736 and ask for alumni relations.

Fall 2010


make a



At Concordia University, we strive to educate the body, mind, and spirit of our students, in order to prepare Christian leaders for the transformation of society. This past academic year alone, our students volunteered over 223,000 hours to help transform the community. It should come as no surprise that we need your help to continue to make Concordia a thriving place of opportunity. In light of the current economic situation, our students need your support now more than ever. One example is Concordia sophomore Meagan Delgado. Like many of our students, Meagan is the first in her family to go to college and finances are tight. One week before school started, she was notified that she didn’t have enough money to attend. But thankfully, because of amazing people like you, we were able to give extra scholarship money to Meagan at the last minute, which allowed her to stay at Concordia.

You make the difference! Whether it’s $5 or $500, every dollar counts and your donation to support the Concordia Fund allows us to provide scholarships to deserving students who would not be able to attend otherwise. Call 503-280-8505 today or visit us online at www. to ensure another student, like Meagan, can receive the life-changing blessing of an education at Concordia.

Coming Soon... The Annual Report featuring our Honor Roll of generous donors will be available online in early December at 503-280-8505

Campus Life

CU Students Serve, Travel to Nicaragua Concordia students provided elder care in Jinotepe, Nicaragua this past June and plan to return annually. The five Concordia nursing students, two nursing faculty, one alum, and one pre-med student made this service trip May 10–20, 2010. Concordia students treated more than 375 elders in a period of three days and trained local health care professionals at elder care facilities called “hogars.” Elders were treated for ills ranging from persistent wounds to diabetes and

open to,” said Elaine Aarestad, a senior in Concordia’s BSN program who retired from the corporate world to study and become a mission nurse with the hope of serving in community health settings as both a professional and volunteer. “The elders I experienced in Nicaragua had incredible tenacity and an ability to keep an open heart with us, even while suffering through physical and emotional hardships,” said Aarestad. “The people of Nicaragua are a wonderful, warm, and loving people, and I would encourage other students to go and serve.” The trip was led by Portland social entrepreneur and Concordia University Foundation Board of Directors member, Keren Brown Wilson.

skin infections. Thirteen people were identified as having life-threatening conditions and received immediate and successful emergency care. “I was reminded how much knowledge and wisdom these elders have, which all of us can be more

Wilson continues to develop the concept of “assisted living” as we now understand it in the United States, and she is now revolutionizing elder care internationally. Concordia’s efforts are in collaboration with Wilson’s


Portland-based JFR Foundation and three other Oregon universities. As to why Concordia stepped up to help: “Caring for one of the world's most vulnerable populations in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere is a rewarding way to give back, while integrating hands-on service learning into university curriculum,” said Gary Withers, Executive Vice President at Concordia University and JFR Foundation Board Member. Following the trip, more than 100 friends, supporters, and donors of Concordia University, Pacific University and Portland State University gathered Tuesday, June 8 at Concordia's George R. White Library & Learning Center to raise scholarship funds for future student trips to Nicaragua. For more information about Wilson and her nonprofit, or to donate, visit 

April 19 Shakespeare scholars and the Concordia community gathered to dedicate the Richard Paul & Jane Roe Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre during the 14th annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference. Richard and Jane Roe of Pasadena, Calif. have long supported the Centre, and are passionate about its mission of addressing the Shakespeare authorship question. Led by Professor Daniel Wright, the Richard Paul and Jane Roe Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre is located on the third floor of the George R. White Library & Learning Center. The Roe's children are pictured here: Betzi Roe Weinberg, Fall 2010 7 Richard T.W. Roe, Hilary Roe Metternich

Campus Life

New Library & Learning Center Earns LEED Gold Certification Concordia University’s new George R. White Library & Learning Center earned LEED® Gold certification as established by U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. “At its core, environmental stewardship is an expression of community engagement, and Concordia wants to be a good neighbor by respecting the health and well-being of our community and our employees,” said Krista Reichard, Reference and Instruction Librarian. In addition to being a valuable resource for the Concordia campus and surrounding community, the new library and learning center utilizes the latest technology to make it energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The architecture firm on the project was Group Mackenzie and the general contractor was Union Corner Construction. 

Concordia Graduates Largest Class in History Grads Double in a Decade For Dinisha Gray-Mingo ’10 of Las Vegas, Nev., earning her bachelor’s degree was not only a step toward achieving her goal of becoming a judge, but also the realization of a dream shared by her entire family.


April 20 More than 350 business and civic leaders gathered to discuss “Civic Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship” at the 16th annual CEO Roundtable luncheon presented by the VTM Group. 8

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Gray-Mingo was one of 445 graduates who made up Concordia’s Class of 2010, the largest graduating class in the University’s 105-year history and twice the number of students who graduated just a decade ago. She was also one of several firstgeneration university graduates. “Being a first-generation college graduate is a huge deal for my family,” said Gray-Mingo, who delivered one of the student commencement addresses. “It means that I've broken the cycle of no higher education in my family. It means that my siblings have an example to look up to, and

MAY 1 Concordia awarded 445 degrees during spring commencement ceremonies, making the Class of 2010 the largest ever in the University’s history. See related story on this page.

Campus Life

someone to help them understand how they feel when they go through the same process. That support and understanding may make their paths just a little easier and maybe their aspirations even higher.” The availability of financial aid (more than 97 percent of Concordia’s freshmen receive financial assistance averaging $12,000 per student), and expanded undergraduate and graduate programs on the Portland campus, as well as in Klamath Falls, Medford, and Bend, have contributed to Concordia’s increased enrollment and graduation rates. Concordia’s graduating class was not only the largest, but it was

also one of the most geographically diverse, with students from 26 states and five countries receiving degrees. The graduates and their families celebrated their accomplishments during commencement ceremonies in four cities: Portland, Bend, Klamath Falls, and Medford. Equipped with new degrees and their experience at Concordia, they are set to become leaders transforming society. “Concordia set out to prepare these graduates with rigorous coursework for lives committed to service leadership,” said Gray-Mingo. “And the University has accomplished its mission.” 

“Concordia set out to prepare these graduates with rigorous coursework for lives committed to service leadership... and the University has accomplished its mission.”

MAY 16 Hundreds of people gathered for games and outdoor activities in a celebration of Concordia’s Northeast neighborhood and healthy communities through the City of Portland’s Sunday Parkways. The event was sponsored in part by Concordia University,

2010 Honorees Demonstrate Service, Civic Leadership Concordia awarded honorary degrees to Don Frisbee and Rev. Hans G.R. Spalteholz. Frisbee, former CEO and chairman of PacifiCorp, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his contributions both professionally and in the areas of civic leadership and social welfare. Rev. Hans G.R. Spalteholz, a former Concordia professor who was influential in developing the University’s theology and literature curriculum, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree for dedicated service to his Church and to Concordia, and for his lifetime pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, and academic excellence. 

MAY 17 The Portland–Suzhou Sister City Association presented its 2010 Educational Award to CU in recognition of the School of Management’s China Experience, a new program offered to MBA students and alumni. Fall 2010


Campus Life

Concordia Smooths Entry for SW Washington Transfer Students Concordia Student Nova Sehorn is passionate about physical fitness and helping others. When she was close to completing her associate’s degree in fitness training from Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., she knew her next step would be getting her bachelor’s degree in Exercise & Sports Science at Concordia. But when Sehorn faced the challenge of transferring credits into Concordia, she looked for help from her Clark advisor Lisa Borho, chair of Clark’s Health & Physical Education Division. Clark’s Borho found a listening ear in Concordia’s Dr. Joel Schuldheisz, chair of the Exercise & Sports Science program. Schuldheisz stepped in to help smooth the transition for transferring students, along with the support of his willing colleagues from the College of Health & Human Services.

New agreement benefits transferring students Schuldheisz and collaborators worked tirelessly to develop new arrangements for students transferring into Concordia. The result is a new agreement that makes the transfer process from Clark’s fitness training program to CU’s Exercise & Sports Science program smooth and transparent. Signed in June, the agreement allows students who earn their

ABOVE: Dr. Mark Wahlers, Blake Bowers, Dr. Mark Jager, Lisa Borho, Dr. Joel Schuldheisz '74, Tim Overholser '06, Celeste Krueger '03 MBA '08, Scott Besemann, Carrie Duffey OPPOSITE PAGE: Joel Schuldheisz signs the expanded Clark-Concordia transfer agreement.

AAS degree at Clark to seamlessly transfer their credits toward a bachelor’s degree in Exercise & Sports Science at Concordia. As part of the agreement, Borho, Schuldheisz, and administrators from both schools reviewed course syllabi, objectives, and outcomes, and determined that the courses completed at Clark meet the requirements of select courses at Concordia. “Our students now have a wonderful opportunity to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree at Concordia,” said Clark

College President Robert K. Knight. “In June 2006, Clark and Concordia began a co-admission agreement. Four years later, it’s exciting to see how that partnership continues to grow through our mutual commitment to excellence in education and student success.”

Health & Wellness Trends Fuel Program Growth Concordia’s Exercise & Sports Science program launched in 2009 and applies the best of sports and science knowledge.



JUNE 4 For the third time in the last four years, CU earned the Cascade Collegiate Conference All-Sports Trophy. During 2009-2010, Concordia won or shared regular season CCC titles in women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, softball, men’s and women’s track, and posted runner-up finishes in men’s soccer and women’s cross country. In addition, seven Concordia teams advanced to NAIA postseason play, with top-15 national finishes posted by women’s soccer, women’s golf, men’s and women’s track, and women’s and men’s cross country. concordia connection

Campus Life

Since its inception, the program has more than doubled. Schuldheisz knows that the program has struck a chord with young people who want to be part of the movement toward increased community health, wellness, and disease prevention. “Students are looking for meaningful careers in fields that promote physical health and improve quality of life for individuals and communities,” added Schuldheisz. Prevention is now a wellrecognized consumer trend, and is now a major focus in the national debate on health care; large U.S. companies continue to take up health and wellness programs in an effort to

reduce health care costs that continue to grow; and, Americans recently ranked prevention as the most important health care reform priority under consideration in congressional proposals. Students graduate from the program to pursue careers in personal training, physical


june 14 CU supporters hit the greens for the 9th annual Fore The Students Golf Tournament presented by Group Mackenzie and benefiting scholarships for student athletes. The winning foursome included Jeff Gustafson, Bob Brewer, Aaron Maunu, and Chris Helmes.

education, and coaching, among others. These graduates are also likely to pursue advanced degrees in athletic training, exercise physiology, and kinesiology.

New Human Performance Lab Opens Concordia recently opened a new Human Performance Lab in the George R. White Library & Learning Center. The Lab features the latest testing and measurement equipment, including a Quinton Treadmill and EKG computer testing system donated by Nike. The treadmill and computer, combined with a new metabolic cart, will give students

principles of exercise testing and assess the core components of fitness. “I chose the Exercise & Sports Science program for the fact that our nation’s health issues are getting out of control,” said Sehorn. “I believe healthy habits are learned early in life. I want to use this degree to teach children that exercise does not have to be a chore, but a fun way to connect socially with other children in their community.” This fall, Concordia is welcoming Sehorn and several of her fellow Clark College graduates who will continue pursuing their passion in the field of exercise and sports science. 

the opportunity to research oxygen consumption and circulatory responses. Other equipment, along with anatomical charts, full body models, skeletons, and other teaching tools, will help students understand the

june 22 Concordia broke ground on the new Concordia University School of Law in Boise. The property, which was purchased in May, is located at 501 Front Street in downtown Boise. The law school is expected to open in 2011. Read the full story on page 2. Fall 2010 11

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ircled in prayer with arms crossed and hands held, Concordia University’s music students prepare to greet an eager, hushed audience. In addition to delighting audiences regularly at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, adjacent to campus, music students travel across the country during their annual spring tour and across the seas on international tours every four years. “Your music was the essence of God,” commented one priest outside a church in Venice following one such Concordia performance. It is that appreciation that keeps the students in the ensembles coming back and Concordia’s music program growing. Music—both voice and instrumental—has always played an important role at Concordia, and now even more so with a bachelor’s degree in music. The recently established bachelor’s degree is just the latest development in the school’s blossoming music program. Fall 2010


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Concordia’s music program crescendos When Kurt Berentsen assumed leadership of Concordia’s music program in 1999 it consisted of a small handbell ensemble and a choir of twelve. Since then, a new music major was added, the music faculty expanded, the Concert Choir multiplied to its current 70 students, Christi Crux Vocal Ensemble was reinstated and expanded to 50 students, and a new brass ensemble, string ensemble, praise ensemble, and wind ensemble were formed. In another boost to the program, Dr. William Kuhn was hired as a new full-time music professor in 2007. “So much is happening with the arts in Portland,” commented Kuhn on what brought him to the Northwest and to Concordia. “We are able to draw from an incredible pool of top local teaching talent.” With the support of the University’s administration and Friends of Music donors, instruments and equipment were purchased and Kuhn launched a wind ensemble, drawing upon his experience instructing and directing the acclaimed wind ensemble at Concordia Nebraska where he taught for 15 years. Now, going into its third year, the wind ensemble has more than 35 members playing progressively more difficult musical compositions.

Other program growth along the way included recreating the Christi Crux Vocal Ensemble, based on an earlier tradition established by former Professor Dale Fisk and the 2001 creation of a five-member brass ensemble. Additionally, the handbell ensemble has grown to more than a dozen students under the direction of Professor Judy Schumacher. Perhaps most impressively, Concordia students’ musical repertoire has expanded in scope and level of difficulty during the past decade. Students are performing works by 16th century Italian composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, considered among the greatest composers of liturgical music of all time, as well as works by the likes of the contemporary 20th century American composer Eric Whitacre, best known for his challenging choral and wind ensemble compositions. For this increase in performance quality, Kuhn credits multiple learning methodologies. For example, on a new, challenging piece of music, students sing the music, play it, then tape themselves and listen to the recording. To top off all this growth, the University approved a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 2008. The program emphasizes music education, church ministry, and graduate school preparation.

Year: Junior Major: Music Performance Education

Zeke Fetrow

Hometown: Portland, Ore. Music ensemble participation: Sings Baritone in the Concert Choir, Christi Crux Vocal Ensemble and is the bass section leader / Handbell Ensemble / Member of Battery Percussion in the Wind Ensemble Current favorites on my playlist: Ave Maria by Chanticleer / Lux Arumque by Eric Whitacre Age when I first got involved in music: End of my junior year of high school, I was 17. What inspires me musically: I want to be part of something much greater than myself, and I’ve found that in music. I want to write songs that change lives and give performances that wow the audience—giving people a musical experience unlike any they’ve had before.


concordia connection

Feature Story Year in School: Senior Major: English

Students evolve as music aficionados, global citizens “We want each and every student to realize their full talents and abilities during their four years here – musically and otherwise,” described Berentsen. His love of music began to take shape at age five and eventually landed him opportunities to perform in venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Opera House. “I take the approach of being a musical cheerleader of sorts for our ensembles, encouraging them to create music as a spiritual experience, not just an intellectual one,” he said.

Known for his “Kurt-isms,” Berentsen can often be heard at rehearsals telling students “I can’t sing you!” Students quickly understand this to mean that they must make their own individual commitment to the song, to the group, to their classmates, even to matching a particular vowel or to bringing more energy to the tone. These musically-inclined Concordia graduates go on to various pursuits, including professions as music teachers,

Hometown: Fairview, Ore. Music ensemble participation: Sings Soprano II in the Christi Crux Vocal Ensemble and the Concordia Choir / Handbell Ensemble Current favorites on my playlist: All Around Me by David Crowder Band / Forgiven by Skillet / Again by Flyleaf What inspires me musically: I am inspired by our director, Kurt Berentsen. He has such a love for music, and his passion transfers to his students.

performers, directors of Christian education, and pastors, in addition to excelling in a variety of other career pursuits. Sarah Shewbert graduated from Concordia in 2001 with a degree in English and theater arts, before the music major was established, and she is pleased the University now offers an academic option for music as a major. She went on to complete a bachelor’s in music from Portland State, a master’s in music from University of Portland and is currently pursuing her doctorate in music history at University of Washington with the hope of being a university music professor. “During my years at Concordia, my understanding of music evolved from thinking about music as a hobby to thinking about it as a profession and academic pursuit,” said Sarah. “It was at Concordia that I learned about letting music ‘speak’.” She credits much of her musicality, musical expression, and interpretation to her more than six years accompanying Concordia’s musical ensembles with Berentsen.

To support these students and the entire music program, you can become a Friend of Music. Visit for more information.

Fall 2010


Feature Story

Support bolsters music program growth The rapid growth of Concordia’s music offerings wouldn’t be possible without the Friends of Music. The group now consists of more than 1,800 donors who have helped grow the program with gifts ranging from $1 to $15,000. In fact, during the past few years, there has been a steady increase in giving to Friends of Music, with giving up more than 190% since 2006. One such Concordia music advocate is long-time Portlander, Mary Ausplund Tooze, whose connection to music was fostered by piano lessons beginning at age seven. “What inspires me is extraordinary teachers who can tap students’ talents,” Ausplund Tooze said. She is impressed by what she’s seen from Berentsen and the student musicians in Concordia’s program. “Music is such an important part of a well-rounded education,” Ausplund Tooze urged. Not only does Ausplund Tooze continue to hold monthly gatherings of her repertory group to continue piano practicing and performing, but she has brought performances such as Portland SummerFest’s popular Opera in the Park Series to Concordia’s campus this past August (photo at right). “Any truly successful liberal arts college needs music,” Berentsen said. “Creative thinking is critical to all students’ success. Creativity is a learning process no different than any other academic pursuit.” He also noted that other important life-long benefits of students’ musical pursuits include discipline, patience, responsibility, and compassion. Concordia ensembles perform across the region, regularly visiting locations across Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Utah. This school year will feature a tour by the choirs to Austria, the Czeck Republic, Germany, and Poland. All tours are financially supported by the University, Friends of Music donors, and host congregations, but a majority of the costs are paid by students themselves. No matter one’s musical interest and talents, Ausplund Tooze reminds us that “Everyone has a God-given gift, and you should use it. Part of living is music, so get at it: practice your art.” 16

concordia connection

Feature Story

Fall 2010


Feature Story

Yuliya Karpuk Year in School: Junior Major: Biology, Pre-Medicine Hometown: Tacoma, Wash. Music ensemble participation: Plays piano for the Praise Ensemble / Sings Alto II for the Concordia University Choir / Plays clarinet for the Wind Ensemble Current favorites on my playlist: From the Inside Out and Hosanna by Hillsong United / I’m Ready Now by Desperation Band / Happy End (Russian group) Age when I first got involved in music: I started playing the piano at age eight, and singing at age 12. My hope or dream for the future: My dream is to go back to Ukraine and open a Christian music academy in an orphanage. I also hope to finish writing a worship music album I’ve been working on, and eventually record it.

Emmanuel Hendreid Year in School: Junior Major: Music Performance Hometown: Portland, Ore. Music ensemble participation: Sings Tenor II in the Christi Crux Vocal Ensemble and the Concordia Choir Current favorites on my playlist: Stevie Wonder / Jazmine Sullivan / Kim Burrell Age when I first started singing: Seven What inspires me musically: To know that we have the ability to touch and change people’s lives and glorify God through music is fulfilling.

Feature Story

bj swearer Year in School: Senior Major: History Hometown: Hilton Head, S.C. Music ensemble participation: Plays trumpet in the Brass and Wind Ensembles Current favorites on my playlist: Anything John Williams / Any Canadian brass music / Bohemian Rhapsody Age when I first got involved in music: 4th grade band What inspires me musically: If I can provide an enjoyable and meaningful musical experience for the audience then that’s what inspires me.

sHANNON aGNE Year in School: Junior Major: Nursing

Katie Ledington Year in School: Junior Major: Music Education Hometown: Caldwell, Idaho Music ensemble participation: Sings Soprano in the Christi Crux Vocal Ensemble and the Concordia Choir / Plays violin in the String Quartet / Percussionist in the Wind Ensemble / Choir Director’s Assistant Current favorites on my playlist: Gabriel Fauré / Tegan and Sara / A.C. Newman What I like best about CU’s music program: I like the flexibility and availability of the professors. Concordia has a nourishing quality with an emphasis on personal relationships that other universities don’t have.

Hometown: Sitka, Alaska Music ensemble participation: Plays first chair flute for the Wind Ensemble Current favorites on my playlist: Irlandaise by Claude Bolling (Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio) / Insomnia by Craig David / Everytime We Touch by Cascada Age when I first got involved in music: 10 What inspires me musically: Music is another way to express what I feel or have to say. There are challenging pieces out there, and to be able to master and perform them reminds me that I have so many still to learn.

Feature Story

Martin Luther and Music


he Lutheran Church has often been called “the singing church.” Lutheran worship has been enriched over the centuries with a priceless collection of liturgies, choral works, and hymns through which people’s faith is expressed wonderfully and powerfully. This love of music and singing can be traced directly to Martin Luther’s own deep love for music. Luther wrote: “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world! The riches of music are so excellent and so precious that words fail me whenever I attempt to discuss and describe them.”1 This treasuring of music led Luther to compose some 36 hymns – hymns like “A Mighty

Fortress is Our God” and “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come.” For Luther, music was a wondrous gift of God’s creation. He affirmed the power of music to move emotions. Luther wrote: “Whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate — and who could number all these masters of the human heart, namely, the emotions, inclinations, and affections that impel men to evil or good?—what more effective means than music could you find?”3 Music also had profound theological implications for Luther. From Luther’s perspective, music is a powerful tool in the hands of the Holy Spirit and the greatest use of music is to carry the Gospel message. He wrote: “Music and theology alone are capable of giving peace and happiness to troubled souls. This plainly proves that the devil, the source of all unhappiness and worries, flees music as much as he does theology.”2 Music was a critical way to bring worship to life for the “priesthood of all believers.” Writing hymns and liturgies in German allowed worshippers to praise God, not in a foreign language (Latin) but in the language of their heart. Liturgies and hymns in their own language meant that worshippers could participate more fully in worship – and even more importantly, could have direct access to God in their prayer and praise. Luther also saw music as a powerful educational tool. For Luther, there was no better way for to memorize Scripture or to teach the Gospel to children and adults than through sacred verse set to music. Without a doubt, the legacy of Luther’s love of music and his own work in musical composition have inspired countless others to follow in his footsteps, to cherish the gift of music and to develop their musical gifts. This legacy has certainly been a rich part of Concordia University’s history from the very beginning; and it is certainly a rich part of our present life together, as evidenced by the quality of our faculty and students involved in the wondrous gift of music here on our campus!  Contributed by Rev. Jim Pressnell, Director of Church Relations Endnotes 1 Foreword to Georg Rhau’s Collection, Symphoniae iucundae. Quoted in Walter E. Buszin’s essay, entitled “Luther on Music,”published in the January 1946 issue of the Musical Quarterly, G. Schirmer publisher. 2 St.L., XXIa, 1574. Quoted in Walter E. Buszin’s essay, entitled “Luther on Music,”published in the January 1946 issue of the Musical Quarterly, G. Schirmer publisher. 3 Martin Luther, “Preface to Georg Rhau’s Symphoniae Iucundae” in Vol. 53: Luther’s works, vol. 53 : Liturgy and Hymns, J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed. (Fortress Press: Philadelphia, 1999, c.1965), 323.


concordia connection

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Master of Education Degrees available in Educational Leadership or Curriculum & Instruction

(with specialties in Reading, Math, Science, Special Ed, Methods & Curriculum and ESOL)

Congratulations to this fall’s first ConcordiaOnline graduating class!

Current Issues

Concordia hosts conference to by Gary Spanovich

promote peace Lee Hee-ho, the wife of former South Korea president and Nobel Peace Laureate, Kim Dae Jung and the chief of the Kim Dae Jung Peace Center in Seoul and former Unification Minister of South Korea, Jeong Se-hyun. The conference couldn’t be timelier. A ten-year period of relative peace came to an end two years ago with the inauguration of President Lee MyungBak, who promised a “get tough on North Korea” approach. The March sinking of a South Korean ship has

ABOVE (l to r): Kathy Larson, Larson Legacy & WPI member; Victoria Clevenger, WPI member; James Kim; Prince Darlington, WPI member. The Wholistic Peace Institute offices moved onto Concordia's Portland campus in Spring 2010.

Ever since military actions ended in the Korean War in 1953, tensions between North and South Korea have simmered. While the rest of the world has moved on from the Cold War, the two nations remain technically “at war,” divided only by a 2.5 mile demilitarized zone and a truce. This September, some of the best and brightest minds will convene at Concordia University to try to thaw out the frosty relations between the two nations.


concordia connection

On the official United Nations Day of Peace, September 21, the University is hosting the Wholistic Peace Institute’s Sixth Annual Summer Peace Institute, focusing this year on “New Solutions to Deescalate the Tension on the Korean Peninsula.” Korean, Asian, and Peace scholars from around the world will offer papers and presentations on the topic. The event will be highlighted by keynote speeches from Madame

brought the two countries closer to war than any time in recent history, even though North Korea denies any involvement.

Current Issues

Concordia’s commitment to prepare leaders to transform society doesn’t stop with its neighbors in Northeast Portland, but extends to all communities where it can have a positive impact and promote peace. The Wholistic Peace Institute, now based at Concordia University, was founded to tackle just such difficult issues. The Institute’s mission is to build a world peace movement by bringing together Nobel Peace Laureates, scholars, and dignitaries and applying new methods of holistic mediation, conflict resolution, and dialogue. The Institute’s Summer Conference is an opportunity to discuss and promote peaceful solutions. The best ideas will be compiled into a booklet for immediate publication and circulation. Representatives will then spend the next year discussing the ideas with the South Korean and North Korean ambassadors to the United Nations in New York. The Institute will also spend the year in Seoul, South Korea, talking to government officials, as well as in Pyongyang, North Korea, talking to government officials and colleagues at Pyongyang University. Finally, the Institute will convene a large Nobel Peace Laureate

Conference at Yanbian University in Yanji, China, inviting both Chinese, North Korean, and South Korean officials to listen to, participate in

and discuss the Nobel Peace Laureate ideas for resolving the Korean Conflict and exchanging ambassadors with a formal peace treaty. 

PEACE WEEK SCHEDULE OF EVENTS | Sept. 17 – Sept. 24 Sept. 21

Summer Peace Institute. Concordia University’s Hagen Center 2nd Floor, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. with registration at 8 a.m. Free to full-time students and Peace Institute members, $75 for the public.

Sept. 22

World Peace Dinner. Downtown Hilton Hotel, 6 p.m. This event is a fundraiser for Wholistic Peace Institute’s global efforts. Tickets are $100.

Sept. 23

Student Peace Summit. Concordia University Gymnasium. 9 a.m.– 2 p.m., with registration at 8 a.m. Free for middle and high school students and teachers. $25 for public.

REGISTRATION For more information, or to register for Peace Week events, please e-mail Gary Spanovich at

PICTURED AT RIGHT: Concordia University President, Chuck Schlimpert, pours tea for James Kim, president of Yanbian University Science & Technology in Yanbian, China and Pyongyang University Science & Technology in Pyongyang, North Korea .

For more information about the Wholistic Peace Institute, visit Fall 2010


Alumni Notes

Alumni otes N

What’s new in your life?

Stay in touch and keep us posted on all of your news. New baby, new job, new spouse, new house, great vacation, milestone anniversaries, recent retirement... send us an e-mail and give us the update on what’s happening in your life. Feel free to include photos, especially high-resolution (300 dpi) wedding and baby pictures:


50 60’s


Or send mail to Alumni Notes, 2811 NE Holman Street , Portland, OR 97211



Carolyn (Wilk) Steuer retired from teaching in December 2009. She now has more time to read, be involved with church, work, and travel. She currently lives in Hawaii.


Gary Gable JC and his wife, Kathy celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary with good friends, Marty Duchow ’61 and his wife, Carol by traveling to Germany to see the Passion Play. Marty and Carol were also celebrating their 45th anniversary. Following the tour, they all traveled to Florence, Italy for five days. Then they returned to Germany for sightseeing and visits with relatives in Gemund before returning home.

80’s 1986

Cheryl Anglin writes, “After retiring from teaching years ago, I now enjoy a second career working as the office manager of a veterinary hospital here in Los Angeles.”


concordia connection


Bobbi Day is working for the NARA in Portland as an addictions counselor. She also recently celebrated the birthday of her one year-old granddaughter. She says, “my life is filled with joy and happy moments.”

1995 Dia (Edinger) Nickelson and her husband, Brian welcomed their first child, Rylan James Nickelson, on April 15, 2010. Dia writes, “He is such a blessing from the Lord; he’s a very content, happy baby. God is sooooo good! With all the kicking he did while still in the womb, I’m sure he’s going to be a wonderful addition to the Concordia soccer team!”

1996 Jill Runyan MBA ’05 is now a territory recruiter for Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company for SW Washington, Oregon and Idaho. As a territory recruiter, Runyan is responsible for recruiting district managers, assistant district managers, and account executives.

1997 Keylah Boyer Frazier, PhD Candidate, was recently elected President of the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators (OABSE), Lisa Mallory MAT is in her third year teaching fifth grade in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for ARAMCO, the world's largest oil company. She lives in a community of 14,000 expatriates. It is a ten square mile oasis and has it all, except culture. “If I want to go to a restaurant or see a play, I need to go to Bahrain which is 45 minutes across the Arabian Gulf. Bahrain is part of the U.A.E. and an ex-British colony,

so it is very modern and diverse and has all the comforts of western living,” Mallory says.

Alumni Notes

1998 Koty Zelinka married Jason Cole in an outdoor ceremony at her parent’s cabin in Elsie, Ore. on July 3, 2010. Koty is in her eleventh year teaching English at Portland Lutheran High School and is a partner instructor in the College of Education at CU.

00’s 2000

Gustavo Agiuar recently celebrated the birth of his second child. Rafael Aguiar was born in March of 2009 and has already taken a liking to big sister, Raquel.

2002 Alexandria (Flintjer) Whitehead and husband, Glenn Whitehead ’00 recently welcomed their third child, Lilly, born November 9, 2009. Alexandria writes, “Along with Gavin (7) and Keira (5), Lilly completes our family!”

2005 Matt Hamlin MAT was recently hired at Walla Walla High School to coach football and teach math. According to Hamlin, “This is my dream job. I love coaching football and am excited to come home.” Theresa Todd recently graduated from Officer Candidate School and is now a Commissioned Officer in the United States Navy. Theresa is a new officer aboard the USS GONZALEZ stationed in Norfolk, Va.

Greetings from the New Director of Alumni & Parent Relations 2006 Michelle Fusco recently began working for Prestige Care, Inc. as a Medical Records Manager in Porthaven Care Center. Tim Krajcar MBA has been working for The New Group, a digital marketing agency, as the Director of Technology. He also spent time teaching an e-business course in Concordia’s BS Business program and continues to find ways to plug into Concordia’s programs. Julie Ann MijangosGuzzardo MED, married Dr. Jose Mijangos Reyes in June 2008 and are expecting their first child in July of 2010. They are currently living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and working at the Prince Mohammed bin Fahd University. Christopher Paulk married Calandra Jackson in a small ceremony in Virginia Beach, Va. Chris is currently working as a defense contractor and Calandra teaches French and English as a Second Language (ESL) to elementary and middle school children.

Dear Concordia Alumni, It is my pleasure to join this team and to be part of the continued success here at Concordia University. I recently moved to Portland from New York City, where I worked in the Alumni Relations Department at Columbia Law School. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been continually impressed with the kindness, strength, and commitment of the people associated with Concordia. A key component of that has been my interaction with you. I am excited to build a team that serves your needs, and we’ll be looking to you to shape our focus in the months and years to come. I am excited to meet more of you in the near future, and hope to see you all at Concordia’s next reunion.

Brooke Krystosek Director of Alumni & Parent Relations

I always want to hear from you! Please contact me by calling 503-493-6454 or emailing

Winter 2010



Mark your calendars now!

Reunion Weekend { October 22-24, 2010 } You’re invited back to campus for a special weekend created for alumni and friends. Reconnect with your classmates, faculty and staff and enjoy the festivities. Visit for more information and register today.

Want to be involved? Serve on your Reunion Committee! If you would like to participate, please contact us at 503.493.6454 or

Alumni Notes Alexander Platanias married Heather Hensley on July 10, 2010 in Oregon wine country.

2007 Molly (Huston) Lopez had an eventful 2008, getting married and giving birth to a daughter. She says, “I have been teaching middle school PE for three years now in the Vancouver School District.”

2008 Francesca Jackson has begun her Master’s in Counseling Psychology at Walden University. Marc Thomas married Lacey Yarbrough on September 8, 2009 and moved to Oregon City.

Jennifer Wetter and husband, Joshua welcomed their first child, Abigail Naomi Wetter, born June 17, 2009.

2009 Caitlin Deschner has been working for Norwegian Cruise Lines as a Youth Counselor. She is coordinating the activities for youth and families. She is also assisting Nickelodeon at Sea by acting as one of the characters during productions.

Caitlin (Verhofstadt) Sullivan and her husband, Casey recently gave birth to their first baby, Taylor Jean Sullivan, on June 12, 2010. Taylor weighed 6lbs, 14oz and was 19.5 inches long. Caitlin says, “it has been a whirlwind for the past month getting used to all the adjustments, but we have never been so happy. And we never thought we could love a little person so much!” Caitlin will continue to teach PE next year and just received her certification to teach an exercise workout called Crossfit for Kids at the school.

In Memoriam Janice Bickel ’81 passed away in December. Janice is survived by husband, Keith Atkinson ’80.

September 20–24 Peace Week, with Friday Peace Summit

October 29–30 Preview Weekend for high school seniors

October 16 Concordia-Puma Cross Country Classic Fernhill Park, Portland, Ore.

October 31/Halloween Residence halls open to public for trick-or-treating

October 22–24 Reunion Weekend, with special gatherings for the classes of ’60, ’90, and ‘00; Alumni Basketball Games, and retrospective of Concordia's music and choir.

November 5 Wind Ensemble Fall Concert

October 23 Martin Luther Bronze Sculpture Dedication & Concordia Music Ensembles Concert

November 6 Small Ensembles Fall Concert November 7 Fall Instrumental Ensemble Concert November 20 NAIA Cross Country National Championships, Fort Vancouver, Vancouver, Wash.

December 1 Christmas Tree Lighting December 3–5 Christmas Chorale December 12 Christmas Carol Sing-Along Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland, Ore. January 29 Lutheran Night at Cav Basketball Games February 17–19 Lutheran Elementary School Tournament March 12 Preview Weekend for high school juniors

Stay in the loop and get details on above events & more at

Fall 2010


Alumni Notes “I called the national organization to see if they would come do a camp out here (in Portland),” Donaca-Sullivan says. “They sent out bikes, the floor supervisor, and the mechanics.” There were 32 kids that first camp week, including DonacaSullivan’s son, who finally figured out how to ride during the camp. Now, the annual camp serves more than 90 youth throughout the year. Donaca-Sullivan struggles to put into words her reaction to seeing Cody master the bike. “Absolute tears,” she said. “Just…tears.”

“Concordia’s mission statement is right in line with Bike First!,” DonacaSullivan said. “All the things CU does to help the community, draw them in and serve the neighborhood are exactly what we are trying to promote with Bike First!. We hope that these camps will help spread compassion, understanding, and inclusion throughout society, and that is where Concordia already excels.” Donaca-Sullivan’s vision for the program is to continue to work with Concordia and further expand its involvement by working with other universities. She would like to see the program work with veterans suffering from brain trauma or post traumatic stress disorder in order to give them the freedom and joy of riding a bicycle. For motivation, DonacaSullivan needs only to look at Cody, who is about to enter his freshman year at Grant High School. Cody has more than mastered the bicycle and will be riding his bike to school each morning. “The freedom and independence that riding a bike has given him is incredible,” Sullivan said. “It feels to him as if the whole world has been opened up. It is so fun to see.” 

Alumni Gives Youth with Disabilities Confidence Through Bicycling


ornings in June are typically a quiet time in Concordia’s Gymnasium but not this past June. A cadre of volunteers and dozens of young people with physical disabilities enlivened campus for Bike Week. In its fifth year, Bike Week is organized by Concordia 2005 alumni and College of Education adjunct professor, Ann Donaca-Sullivan, clinic director for Bike First!, the Portland, Ore. affiliate of Lose the Training Wheels™. When DonacaSullivan’s cadre of volunteers arrived at Concordia, the gym became a hive of activity. The camp allows children to blossom and beam with pride over their new-found skills while volunteers cheer and parents tear-up as the youngsters bicycle, alone, often for the very first time. Children with a variety of disabilities have had success at the camps—some of their conditions include Down syndrome, mild to moderate autism, mild cerebral palsy, visual impairments, and other developmental delays. Back in 2006, Donaca-Sullivan’s 10-year old son, Cody, struggled with learning to ride his bike. Living with Down syndrome was difficult for Cody, who wanted desperately to learn to ride a bike. Donaca-Sullivan discovered the national Lose the Training Wheels organization and felt it would be a perfect fit to teach Cody to learn to ride.

Certainly many more tears were shed in the following four years, as more and more people learned to ride bikes. The success rate of the camp is astonishing. After just one week of camp, 80 percent of the participants are able to ride unassisted.

“We hope that these camps will help spread compassion, understanding and inclusion...” » Ann Donaca-Sullivan '05

Four years later, Donaca-Sullivan continues to be involved with Lose the Training Wheels. She created Bike First!, the Portland division of Lose the Training Wheels, which recently finished its fifth summer of the Concordia-hosted camp. Donaca-Sullivan organized all the volunteers necessary to support the riders during the week and also raised the funds to market the camps. This year she scored a major coup when former Portland Trailblazer Martell Webster spent the day working with the campers and posing for pictures. “This year we had over 80 volunteers who were here all day, every day,” DonacaSullivan said. “It’s phenomenal the way the volunteers have been willing to give back to the community and help people.”

To view news coverage of this event, visit


concordia connection

Shirley’s passion is helping students turn their dreams into reality. Shirley Vradenburgh ’64 understands the value of a quality education. She has spent more than 40 years working with high school students and realizes that finances are frequently the deciding factor for choosing a dream school. Attending Concordia Teachers College, her top choice, was a life-changing experience that occurred simply because of the scholarships she received. Her dream of becoming a Lutheran educator was made possible because of the generous foresight and faithful support of alumni and friends. Shirley wants to return the favor to future generations of Concordia students. She is committed to making an annual scholarship gift and has also included a bequest in her will to provide future students the opportunity to pursue their calling.

What is your passion? Take the opportunity to create your own legacy of giving and inspire others. If you want to help a student realize their dream of attending Concordia University, consider including a bequest in your will, like Shirley. For more information, visit our website at or contact Erinn DeGroot at 1-800-752-4736.

Navy & White

Concordia’s Scheese is

All That’s Right in Sports W

hen Andria Scheese approached her 30th birthday a little over three years ago, she, like many, went through mid-life evaluations. Scheese, a mother of three, had advanced at Kaiser Permanente as far as she could without having a college degree and decided it was time for a change. “I needed something more,” she said. “I didn’t feel challenged enough.” That desire to challenge herself, coupled with her sister’s suggestion that she revisit her high school passion for running, started her on a path that would eventually bring her to Concordia University. Now, more than three years later, Scheese, is poised not only to graduate with the degree she sought, but also as one of the school’s greatest cross country and distance runners. She is a three-time NAIA All-American and received the NAIA’s “All That’s Right in Sports” award this year. Not bad for someone who had not run competitively for ten years and was competing against athletes a decade younger. Concordia coach Randy Dalzell watched as Scheese developed into an All-American during her two years at Clackamas Community College. He recruited her, knowing that there was still room for improvement. “When coach would say I want you to go run a sixminute mile it seems easy to say at half a mile ‘you’ll be at three minutes,’ but I didn’t have that ability to break it down, especially while I was running,” she said. “I was like, ‘Uh, what am I supposed to do?’…I didn’t get it.” When she started at Concordia, Dalzell would give her one thing to work on prior to each race, and then he’d sit back and marvel at how quickly she picked it up. “After she learned that one thing, I would never have to go back and teach that thing again,” he said.

Athletic Accomplishments & Awards NAIA All-American 2010 Indoor mile 2010 Indoor Distance Medley Relay 2009 Outdoor 1,500 meters


concordia connection

All-Cascade Collegiate Conference 2009 800 meters 2009 1,500 meters 2008 Cross Country

Navy & White In a sport where your performance is tied to your commitment to training, perhaps more than any other sport, Scheese has inspired all those around her with her ability to juggle her demanding personal, professional, and academic lives.

details of recovery because here’s a person who shouldn’t be as good as she is just with her ability, much less her schedule,’” Dalzell said. “She models exactly the kind of things (her teammates) need to do and then is an inspiration to them to do it.”

“Those younger kids watch her level of dedication...She models exactly the kind of things (her teammates) need to do...”

» Randy Dalzell, Head Coach

In addition to raising her three kids (5, 8, and 14), Scheese is almost always a phone call away from her work as an account manager for Medical Staffing Network. Still, she always finds time to get her runs in, even if she isn’t always able to practice with the team and occasionally has to take a call during a run. “Those younger kids watch her level of dedication and then go, ‘Oh, maybe I should be doing morning and afternoon workouts, maybe I should be making sure I do all the

“She is like Wonder Woman,” teammate Jenna Olson told The Oregonian in their recent feature story on Scheese. Scheese said the most challenging part of juggling all three commitments is that she doesn’t get to spend as much time with her kids as she would like. “We talk about how school is going to ensure that we’ll have a better life because I’ll have a better job, and the running is paying for school, so it all goes hand in hand,” she said. “They really understand that aspect.”

Scheese is currently working her way back from a break in her left foot, the second she’s endured in the last three years. After watching the cross country team from the sidelines while redshirting last season, she is eager to get back and optimistic about the team’s chances. “Our goal in the fall for cross country is to win the national championship, and I don’t think we’re far from that,” she said. Scheese will then look to improve on her indoor records in the winter before graduating with her degree in business. She is already planning to get her MBA from Concordia. While her initial motivation to go back to school stemmed from a desire to advance in the workplace, she’s now considering a career in coaching. “When I started back, I wanted to feel that love again for running in addition to getting my degree,” she said. “In the beginning (the degree) was number one, but I think running ended up number one in my heart.”  To read more about Andria Scheese, please visit:

Join the Team!

Support Concordia Athletics Year Round At Concordia, we believe in shaping leaders who will transform the world around them. By becoming a Cavalier Club member, you provide scholarships, equipment, and program support to make student-athletes' dreams come true. Join the team today, or gift a membership to someone special, at or by calling 503-280-8505.

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Fall 2010


Navy & White

Cavalier Top 10 for 2009-2010 No. 10 –

For the second straight year, the Concordia baseball team earned its first win of the year against Lewis-Clark State as the Cavaliers defeated the 16-time national champions 7-6 on February 13 at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho.

No. 9 – Senior Alex

No. 5 – The Cavaliers softball team, after being unranked to start the season, climbed to as high as a No. 4 ranking in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll, after ending the year with a 21-3 conference record before earning a berth into the NAIA National Championships.

Tiefenthaler erupted for 42 points in a 108-92 win over Corban on February 5. Tiefenthaler sank 16 of 22 field goal attempts (including all four of his attempts from beyond the arc) to fall one point shy of matching Concordia’s NAIA school record.

No. 8 – Cavalier track & field teams swept the men’s and women’s team chases for the fourth straight season at the CCC Championships. The two squads went on to score top-10 finishes at the NAIA Outdoor Championships where 15 student-athletes earned All-American honors.

No. 4 – Bettering his school No. 7 – The CU women’s golf team rolled to its third straight CCC title with all five golfers finishing in the top six individuals while the men’s squad held off a pair of threats in Northwest Christian and Corban to hoist its third straight conference trophy. The Cavalier women went on to place fifth at nationals, their highest result in the history of the program.

No. 6 – In a rematch of a game played earlier in the season when the two squads were ranked No.1 and No. 2 in the nation, a determined Concordia women’s soccer squad made it through the muddy conditions to dominate Cal Baptist with a 3-1 win in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Championships.


concordia connection

record in the 5,000-meter run by more than 13 seconds with a time of 14:33.22, Eric Burck, a senior from Ephrata, Wash., controlled the final kilometer of the race to pull away from the field for the school’s first men’s indoor national championship.

No. 3 – Concordia’s Andria Scheese and Dylan Smith were honored with national awards by the NAIA as Scheese, a junior distance runner from Oregon City, Ore., was named the “All that's Right in Sport” award winner, while Smith, a senior pitcher from Vancouver, Wash., received the Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award.

Navy & White

No. 2 – Concordia, along with the Cascade Collegiate Conference, brought the NAIA Cross Country Championships to the West Coast for the first time by hosting the event across the border at Fort Vancouver National Site. The CU harriers made the most of the local competition by claiming top-15 team finishes.

No. 1 – On the strength of six regular season conference championships, Concordia earned the 2009-10 Cascade Collegiate Conference All-Sports Trophy. The accomplishment is the third in the past four years for the Cavs. The Cavaliers finished the year ranked No. 13 among all NAIA institutions in the final Directors’ Cup standings.

Concordia Softball at CCC Championship

2009-2010 by the Numbers 6 CCC Championship Teams

98 All-Conference Honors

Men’s Golf Men’s Track & Field Softball Women’s Golf Women’s Soccer Women’s Track & Field

54 Academic All-CCC 34 NAIA All-Americans 15 NAIA Scholar Athletes 9 CCC Player of the Year Awards 7 ESPN-CoSIDA Academic All-District 1 ESPN-CoSIDA Academic All-American – Kayla Vickaryous 1 NAIA National Champion – Eric Burck 1 Dr. Leroy Walker Award winner – Dylan Smith 1 “All that’s Right in Sports” Award – Andria Scheese 1 CCC All-Sports Trophy 1 CCC Athletic Director of the Year – Matt English 1 CCC Sports Information Director of the Year – Jason Dormeyer

9 NAIA Championship Qualifying Teams Men’s Cross Country (13th) Men’s Indoor Track & Field (17th) Men’s Outdoor Track & Field (5th) Softball (No. 3 seed) Women’s Cross Country (12th) Women’s Golf (5th) Women’s Indoor Track & Field (11th) Women’s Outdoor Track & Field (7th) Women’s Soccer (Semifinals)

Dylan Smith, Pitcher, Class of 2010

Fall 2010


Navy & White

Dipascuale Delivers Beyond All Expectation


ince he was a child in Argentina, soccer has always opened doors for junior Facundo Dipascuale. When he moved to Beaverton with his mother and siblings at the age of nine, soccer was the conduit to help him make friends and adjust to a new culture. After graduating from Lakeridge High in Lake Oswego, he earned a scholarship to attend college and a chance to play at Concordia University. After two successful years in the classroom and on the field at Concordia, Dipascuale realized soccer helped him find something even more important: himself. “Soccer has given me an opportunity to grow as a person, both on and off the field,” he said. “I’ve grown up. I’ve matured, and I’ve become a better person because of it [soccer].” As a sophomore, Dipascuale finished third on the team in scoring, with nine goals and five assists to help the team advance to the Cascade Collegiate Conference finals for the ninth straight year. That Dipascuale would find success on the field came as a surprise to few, but his success in the classroom has even surprised him. This past year, he was named Academic All-Conference by the Cascade Collegiate Conference for his hard work in the classroom and his commitment to community service. He's made tremendous progress since the end of his senior year in high school when he wasn’t sure if he’d even graduate. “Now, I don’t even have to talk to my mom about grades or anything because she knows that I’m here for a reason,” he said. “I have a purpose now.”


concordia connection

That purpose revolves around giving back to the community and doing everything he can to make the world a better place. He volunteers at the local elementary school, Faubion, one of Concordia’s primary community partners, as a teacher and a mentor. He also works with kids in Nike’s Back Your Block program, and helps out with the homeless and Special Olympics.

Dipascuale credits Gary Withers, the University’s executive vice president for external affairs, for showing him the value of community service. Withers was paired with Dipascuale as a mentor through the University’s Commitment Program when Dipascuale was a freshman. The relationship has paid dividends for both men.

“He has a great opportunity for leadership. He is aware of that and he understands the responsibility that comes with it.” » Dan Birkey, Head Coach “I changed as a person because of community service and because of Concordia. Doing service work brings my spirits up, it just makes my day – I look forward to it,” he said. The community service has also changed his perspective. “I get to have the deep conversations with my family now, not just soccer, soccer, soccer; it’s more about what’s happening in the world and what we can do about it,” he said.

“I may be his mentor,” Withers said, “but I think I’ve learned far more from him than he has from me.” Dipascuale’s sense of service and selflessness have made him a true role model according to Withers. “He is a young man of reasonably modest means, yet he has this deep abiding commitment to serve others and to make the world a better place for others,” Withers said. “It has been

To participate in upcoming CU service events, visit

Navy & White

complex and its potential impact on the team and the Northeast community he has grown so close to. “With a new field, we could walk over to Faubion (School) and invite the kids to come to our games since its only 100 yards,” he said. “We could get our students who are coming out of class and our teachers to just walk over and watch our games.” “It would have such a big impact on Northeast Portland,” he said. “What I want in the future is to have the community behind us.” A fitting sentiment for someone who has truly come to call Concordia University home. 

2009 Athletic & ACADEMIC Accomplishments First-Team All-CCC Academic All-CCC

his own drive, looking at things from a long-term perspective and his willingness to make sacrifices that have helped him accomplish so much.” Dipascuale is currently focused on avenging the soccer team’s loss to Warner Pacific in last year’s conference championships. Coach Dan Birkey is excited to watch

Dipascuale’s continued development and hopeful the team can win its ninth title in the last ten years. “He has a great opportunity for leadership,” he said. “He is aware of that and he understands the responsibility that comes with it.” Dipascuale is equally excited about the future opening of the new athletic

Started in 18 of 20 matches Second on team with 9 goals Third on team with 23 points Two game-winning goals against The Evergreen State College (10/20) and College of Idaho (10/26)

Fall 2010


Vision OUR Mission Statement Concordia is a Christian University preparing leaders for the transformation of society.

OUR CORE VALUES At Concordia the following five core values, values currently in action, inform and delineate our decisions and choices: Christian Teaching and Learning Excellence Community Service


Concordia grounds its future in a rich understanding of its history, while embracing opportunities that lie ahead. The Vision for what we choose to be in the year 2020 is based on the input of hundreds of people across a variety of internal and external constituent groups over the course of the past year. In the execution of its mission as informed by its core values, and its historic, active and ongoing relationship and partnership with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, in 2020 Concordia University will be known for and characterized throughout the region by the following attributes:

Servant Leaders.

Concordia creates an environment in which individuals are transformed, becoming servant-leaders who are agents of positive change, through ethical, humble and rigorous leadership, with and for their communities and around the world.

Community Connected.

Concordia exemplifies rich, reciprocal community relationships which infuse and energize every aspect of the campus and bring demonstrable and sustainable value to the university, the students, and the communities.

Student Choice.

Concordia’s programs and services are structured to meet the evolving demands of student choice and market direction, including the method and location of delivery.


Concordia provides “the Concordia Experience” to all its students, including attention to intellectual, creative, spiritual, physical, emotional, social and ethical development delivered through nurturing and respectful relationships, rich cocurricular offerings and vibrant community engagement.


Concordia’s programs prepare students for meaningful vocations through intellectually challenging academic engagement, research and global preparedness.


Concordia engages diverse perspectives in an environment of open discourse and academic freedom while bringing a distinctive voice and lens, rooted in the Christian faith, Lutheran understanding and heritage, and liberal arts tradition.


Concordia is anchored by its Northeast Portland residential campus which is a spirited, vibrant community and a hub from which other relationships and offerings emanate.


Concordia embraces organizational learning and readily explores new opportunities and practices in light of its core values and vision, facilitating learning across the university and continuously transforming itself in ways that are responsive to student needs and changes in the environment.

to the




Nailed to the Door provides Concordia staff, faculty, alumni, and students a forum for editorial comment. This issue’s guest writer is Jane Graves Smith, EdD, Professor of Psychology, Social Science Department Chair

Fruits of Academic Achievement & Christian Compassion This past spring I attended the sixth annual Senior Symposium held by the College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences (CTAS) at Concordia. This event highlights the dynamic “capstone” experiences of students from various departments in the college, including Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, English, Humanities, History, and Theology. During their final academic year, each student completes a thesis, internship, or practicum and presents their research to an audience of faculty, staff, and students at Concordia. Organized as a professional conference, each student must also respond to comments, questions, and critiques from the audience. I am left in awe by the accomplishments of these bright, diligent individuals, and many of the presentations offered this year were particularly moving. At Concordia University, we speak often about “servant leadership.” It is enshrined in our mission statement in which we profess boldly to prepare leaders to transform society. The presentations at the Symposium provide concrete evidence that these lofty goals are being met. A few synopses from a sample of this year’s presenters illustrate what I mean: Danielle Forster completed her psychology internship by volunteering at the Portland Women’s Crisis Line. In her presentation, Danielle described the pain of listening to the many heartbreaking stories. She learned to respond with intelligence, tempered by care, and brought her innate compassion to the task. She also described the heavy burden that she bore weeks later in not knowing whether her callers acted on her advice and guidance. At the Symposium she was asked how she managed to carry that load; she responded, “I have to do my best, listen with compassion, then leave them at the foot of the cross.”

DeAndre Burton summarized his volunteer service at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center as “listening with compassion.” DeAndre recounted his many interactions with men who were addicted to substances and/or had criminal pasts. With great care and compassion—and without expressing judgment or fear— DeAndre recounted how he listened to their stories and showed Christian care by just sitting with them. Meredith Polhemus works as a Community Support Specialist with Catholic Community Services. In this role, she serves as a mentor to children and teens who have survived trauma and/or are diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses. In her final essay, written to fulfill the requirements of her psychology internship, she captured the palpable nature of her transformation at Concordia: “To Martin Luther King Jr.’s life question—“What are you doing for others?”— I now have an answer. I am earning an education that can be utilized to assist those who are in need of help. I am coming alongside those who are in pain and am trying to bring comfort and support to let them know that they are not alone. I, by the grace and love of God, am showing love to the broken, wounded, and suffering, and showing them that there is in fact a different way to live life.” Concordia faculty frequently discuss how to continue to enliven the University’s mission statement. During the Senior Symposium 2010, I saw life breathed into that statement as students fused academic achievement and Christian compassion into the service of others. As I watched these students present both their research and share their experiences with such poise and professionalism, I thought to myself that I am richly blessed to call myself a professor at Concordia University.  - Jane Graves Smith, EdD Professor of Psychology, Social Science Department Chair Fall 2010


NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID PORTLAND, OR 2811 NE Holman Street Portland, Oregon 97211-6099


. . . C IS TI Y E



L H T ! A d l W e E i f N A

Our Character is contagious. From our coaching staff to our student-athletes, we teach and live out the Champions of Characters' five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship.

Victory is…strength of character.

Adversity makes us stronger. 97 percent of our students receive tuition assistance. Many are first-generation college students. V i cto r y i s … ove rco m i n g a d ve rs i t y .

V i cto r y i s … a h e a l t h y co m m u n i t y . Sport empowers communities. We know how the power of sports and the spirit of fans can empower a community. Our athletes are coaching summer camps for 1,000 local kids, running free basketball clinics, and volunteering with Special Olympics.

Field space is community space. More than 2,000 hours of the new well-lit, year-round turf field and facilities will be dedicated for community use.

V i cto r y i s … a s h a re d s p a ce t o p l a y .

To ge t her , l e t ’ s g o an d ge t The B i g V. Fo r m o re i n fo r m a t i o n o r t o d o n a t e

please visit or call Kevin Matheny at 503-493-6521 or email

Concordia Connection, Fall 2010  

Concordia Connection magazine

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