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“To sum up my PLU experience is nearly impossible – I can talk about it for hours, considering all the opportunities I have been blessed with, and all the people that I have met along the way.”

SEE PAGE 20 Chelsea Putnam ’12 Fine Arts East Wenatchee, Wash.




What’s the one thing students in the Honors Program have in common?

I never thought I’d

and still graduate on time


Page 8

Page 12

Page 30

study away four times

Women’s Softball wins

NCAA Division III National ASK A LUTE




for First-year Students September 4 First Day of Classes

TEST DATES: ACT: Sept. 8, Oct. 27, Dec. 8 SAT: Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 1 September 23 Fall Preview Day October 15 APPLICATION REVIEW DATE Applications completed by this date will receive an admission decision and notification of merit scholarship eligibility within four weeks November 12 Fall Visit Day November 15 APPLICATION REVIEW DATE Applications completed by this date will receive an admission decision and notification of merit scholarship eligibility within four weeks December 15 APPLICATION REVIEW DATE Applications completed by this date will receive an admission decision and notification of merit scholarship eligibility within four weeks

Receive up to full tuition! President’s, Harstad Founders, & Regents’ Scholarships Deadline is December 15 choose.plu.edu/scholarships

To find these and other events, visit choose.plu.edu. 2


>>> choose.plu.edu

Table of Contents


International Honors at PLU Four first-year students discuss why they value PLU’s challenging International Honors Program


Game On!


You don’t have to be an athlete to play intramural sports at PLU. You just have to be ready to have fun



In Their Own Words We asked several graduating seniors if their time at PLU was a good investment. Read them in their own words


Hello There


The Great Northwest




Your New Home


Direct from Campus


Lute Pride


Something I thought I’d never do





Financial Aid








ON THE COVER: Chelsea Putnam ’12, who received her fine arts degree in ceramics, came to PLU to run track. During her years, she also became a Rieke Scholar, a Diversity Advocate, and president of the Art Club. Of her time at PLU, she says, “the experience has been challenging and inspiring – but most of all, priceless.” To read more graduating seniors ‘in their own words,’ see page 20. Photo by John Froschauer.






Greetings from Pacific Lutheran University

STORIES This magazine has found its way into your hands because you have indicated an interest in PLU as a place to continue your education. Published three times a year, “U” is a little bit different than the materials you might receive from other colleges and universities. But that’s because PLU is a little bit different from other colleges and universities. So instead of just the facts and figures you might get in a typical college brochure, we tell you real stories about the students, faculty and alumni that make PLU such an extraordinary place.


Executive Editor Greg Brewis Editor Steve Hansen Writers Barbara Clements Chris Albert Katie Scaff ’13 Nick Dawson Art Director Simon Sung Photographer John Froschauer Vice President for Admission and Enrollment Services Karl Stumo Director of Admission Jennifer Olsen Krengel

I know it’s not easy choosing where to go to school. But no matter what university or college you ultimately choose, be sure to take the time to explore your options. This magazine is a great start. Ask a lot of questions. Explore the Web. Come to campus to visit and take a tour. Talk with students. And remember that college is not just a place to earn a degree; it’s a place to experience life, to be challenged and to grow. By that measure, PLU ranks among the best. I hope you enjoy “U” magazine.

Admission Communication Coordinator Emily McCann ’06 Online Manager Toby Beal Volume 5, Issue 1 U is published three times a year by Pacific Lutheran University, S. 121st and Park Ave., Tacoma, WA, 98447-0003. Postage paid at Tacoma, WA, and additional mailing offices. Address service requested. Postmaster: Send changes to PLU Office of Admission, Tacoma, WA, 98447-0003, admission@plu.edu. © 2012 by Pacific Lutheran University Printed using: Eco-friendly Inks – vegetable based and certified as Ultra Low in Volatile Organic Compounds. Sustainable Papers COVER 55% Recycled paper, 30% Post Consumer Waste (PCW), TEXT 100% Recycled paper, 50% (PCW), REPLY CARD - 100% PCW Printed at a Forest Stewardship CouncilTM certified plant.



>> WINTER ’12


Meet real PLU students and their real-world mentors in the workplace


Go ‘On the Road‘ with several first-year students as they discover all the Pacific Northwest has to offer


26,700 – give or take a few – reasons why you should fill out the FAFSA

and much, much more...




For more detailed information visit choose.plu.edu




Your questions answered by real PLU students Should I visit campus, or can I find enough on the website? I highly encourage you to visit PLU's campus. There’s only so much information a website can provide, and taking the time to come and visit PLU gives you the opportunity to get a more personal feel. When you visit, you can take a tour of campus, meet with your admission counselor, eat lunch with a student, meet with a financial aid adviser, sit in on a class and meet a PLU professor.

I’m told you can spend the night. Is it worth it? Yes, PLU gives prospective students the chance to stay overnight. Staying overnight allows you to actually see what life is like as a college student. You also get to interact with students in the residence halls, and get to try the food at PLU. Another advantage to staying overnight is that you get to brag to all your friends that you were a college student for a day!

Do I have to be Lutheran? You do not have to be Lutheran to attend PLU. We have students from many different religious backgrounds, and PLU is an all-inclusive environment. There are many resources, like campus ministries, and chapel is available to students who choose to attend, but it is not required.

Do I have to live on campus my freshman year? Students are required to live on campus unless they are 20 years of age or older, or commute to campus from home. For me personally, I don't


PLU GUEST EXPERT Shaun Bradley ’15 MAJOR Business and Economics HOMETOWN Fontana, Calif. INTERESTS Watch movies and cook dinner with my friends, when off-campus I like to go to the movies and to the mall

think of it as a requirement, because I absolutely love staying on campus, living right next to my friends. I live in Foss Hall, and we have a blast living here. When the sun is shining, you can walk outside and find people hanging out, reading books, playing Frisbee, or playing volleyball on the sand court. Foss Hall is in a great location! I play football, and our athletic field is close by and Names Fitness Center is just outside the front door. Foss Hall is also in a convenient location for both upper campus and lower campus classes.

What is there to do on weekends? There are tons of activities to do on the weekend, such as skiing or snowboarding near Mt. Rainier, hiking, going to the mall, taking a trip to Seattle, or just enjoying the events on campus. You can also find plenty of restaurants and hangout spots on Garfield Street just off campus. Even though I don't have a car, I can easily catch a ride with a couple of friends

to go to the movies. I usually stay on campus and play basketball on the courts outside of Foss, or relax on Foss Field. My favorite on-campus weekend event this year was F-games. F-games was a Foss Hall collaboration with Ordal Hall, and we had music, food, an obstacle course, a dunk machine and a slip-n-slide – my favorite!

What are professors like at PLU? Professors have high expectations and will challenge you to be the best you can be. Professors will also support you along the way. They have office hours for students to ask homework questions, or get help with a major project or paper. Professors get to know you by your first name. My favorite professor this year was Dave Wittenberg, because he was very passionate about teaching my Intro to Business class. I loved going to his class and learning new things every day.

What do you like best about PLU? For me, the best thing about PLU is the quality of learning, and the opportunities that come with it. In my first year here, I went to a presentation by a senior director from Microsoft, and attended a job and internship fair on campus, where I met with a representative from Experience Mission. I feel like these kinds of companies invest their own time in PLU because they know that PLU students are the best of U the best!

GOT A QUESTION? your questions about PLU answered  Have by the experts – real students. Send your questions to askalute@plu.edu.



Photo courtesy


of Claire Todd


KEEP ON COMING! When it comes to amassing prestigious international fellowships, PLU keeps adding to an already impressive total. This year, four PLU students increased the number of student U. S. Fulbright recipients since 1975 to 91. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of other countries.” PLU’s four Fulbright recipients for 2012: Carolyn Hylander, Caitlin Walton, Mycal Ford and Gretchen Elyse Nagel.


To see a cool video about Mycal’s undergraduate experiences in Taiwan, see choose. plu.edu/mycal-ford

It is fair to say that Gretchen Elyse Nagel speaks for the group when she anticipates her upcoming experience: “Receiving a Fulbright is an unbelievable opportunity and it will open doors I haven't even considered yet, nor imagined. I look forward to the growth it will bring on personal and professional levels through fresh perspectives, learning curves and losing my comfort zone.” Carolyn Hylander, a double major in Hispanic studies and global studies from Seattle, will split her time teaching English at the Universidad de Ibagué in Ibagué, Colombia, and researching U.S.–Colombia free trade policies. Caitlin Walton, from Colorado Springs, Colo., received a bachelor of arts in elementary education. She will be teaching English in Malaysia, as well as working to engage the community through activities, workshops and games. Gretchen Elyse Nagel, from Portland, Ore., majored in German and will be teaching English in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. She’ll also work on after school activities to encourage community involvement. Mycal Ford, from Tukwila, Wash., double-majored in Chinese studies and political science. He has accepted a teaching assistantship in Kaosiung, Taiwan, and, as part of a service project, he will be teaching hip-hop choreography.

The Pharaoh, aka Assistant Professor of Chemistry Justin Lytle, catches up on campus news during the Hebrew Idol competition.






Relay For Life raises $24,000

Anything goes during Hebrew Idol

More than 400 members of the PLU community stayed up all night as part of Relay For Life, raising more than $24,000 for the American Cancer Society. The mid-May fundraiser is always a huge event on the PLU track – even for the students who took part with pie all over their faces. Why? Don’t know. But the crowd ate it up.

All four students interviewed in this issue about PLU’s International Honors Program (pages 8-11), called-out Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion Brenda Ihssen for her mindblowing teaching style. Here, we focus on her mind-blowing outfit. For the fifth consecutive year she’s been a guest judge in Hebrew Idol, which challenges students to produce video interpretations of biblical stories. Anything goes during the event – as evidenced by the outfit – with the final results decided by a panel of faculty and staff judges, including Ihssen. U

Greetings from Wall Street




To see a slideshow from the event, visit choose.plu.edu/hebrew-idol

Lutes find success on Wall Street Members of PLU’s Mary Lund Davis Student Investment Fund – Cameron Lamarche ’12, Kirk Swanson ’12, Phillip Magnussen ’13 and Arne-Morten Willumsen ’13 – check out the Wall Street Bull while in New York City as part of the Global Asset Management Education (GAME) forum. The nationwide event gives students the opportunity to present their financial portfolio in front of professional fund managers. Hundreds of professional firms take part in the competition, as well as approximately 140 universities. It is something Assistant Professor of Business Kevin Boeh, who accompanied them, considers “a must-do for students interested in finance careers.” How’d the PLU contingent do? They placed fourth in the competition. DIRECT FROM CAMPUS






at PLU Four first-year students


discuss PLU’s honors program


sk four first-year students from different backgrounds and hometowns – each with different major and career goals – about what they expect from their PLU education and you’re bound to get different answers. But on one subject, they speak in unison: their participation in PLU’s innovative International Honors Program. The program, which consists of seven classes that build on each other, focuses on issues of great concern across the globe. The courses are multidisciplinary – meaning they look at issues from many views and perspectives. Below is a conversation with four PLU students who have just completed their first year in PLU’s IHON Program. They speak of small classes that are challenging. They talk of reading lots of primary texts, and of freewheeling discussions guided by their professors. They talk about thinking about difficult issues in ways they’ve never considered before. They talk of never having to work harder in their educational lives. And they have one other thing in common:

They love it. 8


by Steve Hansen

— H elen

“ N ellie ” M oran


t may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: PLU’s IHON program is both international and honors. It’s what students like about it.

That is certainly true for Nellie Moran. As someone who hopes to someday work for the U.S. Foreign Service, she is very interested in the cultural and historical contexts that shape the world. “The fact that the program was internationally focused was a huge draw to me,” Moran said. “Taking classes that force me to think more globally is so beneficial for the work I want to do in the future.” Thinking globally is the key. IHON students don’t simply study issues from afar – they study them from a variety of perspectives and in a variety of disciplines like the arts, economics, philosophy, politics and religion. They are not simply reading about the great thinkers and the great ideas that have made the world what it is – they are systematically dissecting and testing these ideas and looking at them from every perspective.


Helen “Nellie” Moran

It means a lot of reading. It means a lot of discussion. It means a lot of work.

“I enjoy the IHON classes because they give me more of a challenge,” Moran said. “As someone who came to college to be academically challenged, IHON has definitely offered that.” Hamilton, Mont. French & Political Science



‘As someone who came to college to be academically challenged, IHON has definitely offered that’

There is even a wing in Hong International Residence Hall that is populated exclusively with students in the IHON program. It allows fellow IHON members continue the conversation beyond the classroom – whether in the in the residence hall, in the classroom or anywhere else. That intellectual spirit is infectious. “I like to be with peers who are as just as committed to school as I am,” she said.




with distinct historical and cultural norms. Similarly, the professors who teach the IHON classes also bring diversity in their disciplines – Randhawa’s two first-year IHON classes, for instance, were taught by experts in historical theology and French Literature. Randhawa loved them both.



at PLU


Others see it that way, too. And the benefit isn’t just in the classroom. “I like having friends who have completely different views and completely different visions of where their life is going to go,” said Nellie Moran. “It is so good to interact with other majors,” Randhawa added.


hen Kyle Schroeder thinks about how his IHON classes differ from his other classes, he talks about how one of his professors made him argue for one side of an opinion – then, when he was done, he was asked to argue Kyle Schroeder exactly the opposite side.


Oak Harbor, Wash. Political Science



‘It is so good to interact with other majors’ — N AV K I R A N

The prof made the whole class do that.

This is not uncommon for IHON classes, many of which are discussion-based, as (vs. lecture-based), so to encourage dialogue. It allows students like Schroeder to really get a chance to dig deep into the subject matter and explore it – from all sides.

" N AV I " R A N D H AWA

It’s not just that she’s being introduced to new people. She’s being introduced to new ideas, and new ways of examining those ideas through the lens of different disciplines. Navkiran “Navi”



“Because there are so many majors in the IHON classes, Tacoma, Wash. you see issues from a difBiology and Chemistry ferent points of view,” she said. “When we talk in class about something we read, the [perspectives] are totally different – sometimes they even contradict.”


Randhawa loves this – she sees it as a way to engage in ideas she might not otherwise encounter if she spent all her time in the science building. This is by design. Whereas many universities, have programs that focus on global issues, what makes PLU’s truly unique, is that such issues are looked at from multiple perspectives and multiple disciplines – course material is drawn from at least two countries




t is hard to find someone as committed to school as Navi Randhawa. As a biology and chemistry doublemajor with a very busy schedule, she finds that it can be very easy to spend much of her time in PLU’s science building. After all, it is where her labs and classes are, where her profs are, and where many of her fellow majors are. For this reason, she really appreciates the fact that her IHON classes bring together so many students from other majors and disciplines.

‘IHON challenges me to think in a different manner – and that affects everything else I do’ — K yle

S chroeder

“IHON challenges the way I interact in my academic environment, my social environment,” Schroeder said. “IHON challenges me to think in a different manner, and that affects everything else I do.” There’s another benefit. That same lively discussion means that students have to be prepared. Students can’t skip readings, or classes – simply having a larger workload is no excuse. Many of the discussions are in small-group settings that keeps everyone razor sharp – and accountable. A small group setting also ensures that students quickly get to know each other. According to Navi Randhawa, that means the discussions can be more free-flowing and honest. “I know everyone in my IHON classes,” she said. “We are comfortable with each other, and that means we are comfortable sharing our opinions.” It makes students feel they are not simply getting lectured – they are, together, all part of the discovery process. “Almost every class I’m satisfied by the conversation,” Schroeder added.


‘My professor had really high expectations, but she gave us the tools to reach them’ — C arly

B rook


s Carly Brook reflects on her first year in the IHON program, she is similarly satisfied. Her two honors program classes were easily her favorite – this is what college should be like, she believes. It has everything to do with her professors. “Even though we were freshmen,” she said, “we were treated like adults.” To be sure, students will find that to be true across PLU’s campus. But Brook’s point is this: IHON has been a great opportunity for her and her fellow students to really engage with her professors Carly – to dig into the material and Brook discuss it like scholars. Brook Kenmore, Wash. uses the word “respect.” She Undecided feels respected in her IHON classes by her profs – and her fellow students.

n n

That respect is earned, she realizes, through a lot of reading of primary texts, a lot of thoughtful interaction, and a lot of hard work. But that’s what she came to college for – a challenge. And that’s what she got from her profs. “My professors had really high expectations,” Brook said. “But they gave us the tools to reach them.” It is fair to say that Kyle Schroeder speaks for all four students when he agrees. “These aren’t the types of classes where you can show up and not have the work done and expect to fly by,” U he said. “It is hard work.”

The International

Honors Program Do you have what it takes? The International Honors Program is very competitive and spots are limited. Students with a high school GPA of 3.6 or higher can apply. There is a separate application for the program, which must be submitted by March 1. For more information on PLU’s International Honors Program, visit choose.plu.edu/honors.

For some, the honors program isn’t the right fit. There’s a lot at PLU for them, too. Students who aren’t in the International Honors Program will still find that courses are challenging, too. PLU has a reputation for preparing students for success in the world, largely through rigorous courses and constant engagement with faculty members who are experts in their fields. That said, PLU also has a much-deserved reputation for supporting its students. A low studentto-faculty ratio (15:1), small classes and faculty members that are here because they love to teach, ensures that all students have the opportunity and resources to engage the world. That is the PLU experience.





I never thought I’d study away four times and­still

graduate on time


hen Maryn Johnston ’12 came to PLU, she knew she wanted to study away. The Phoenix native traveled to Europe for two weeks with her family in high school and took a 10-day trip to Mexico after graduation, but those trips pale in comparison to the experiences she’s had since she’s been at PLU. Since coming to PLU, Johnston has studied in China, Switzerland, South Africa and a combined program to Argentina and Antarctica. After four trips to five continents, Johnston still graduated on time with a double major. Magna cum laude, in fact. “I didn’t think it would be four times. I was thinking once, maybe twice, if I was lucky," she said. Her secret? January Term, the one-month mini-semester between fall and spring. She spent two J-Terms studying away, plus part of a summer. She also completed a semester-long exchange in Geneva, Switzerland. The J-Term structure allowed Maryn to get off campus and still be involved with other programs and groups at PLUlike the Wind Ensemble and peer tutoring. “It all comes down to curiosity,” she said. “Do you want to see what’s out there?” Johnston certainly had the curiosity for many things


- and it wasn’t limited to one discipline or another. She studied multilateral diplomacy and French in Geneva; environmental literature in Argentina and Antarctica. When she was in South Africa, she studied the transition from apartheid to democracy. And when in China, she performed with PLU’s Wind Ensemble. PLU made it easy for Johnston, a global studies and religion double major, to reach her personal and academic goals. PLU’s Wang Center for Global Education is dedicated solely to that purpose - it helps students find the programs they are interested in, the scholarships that are available, and the center helps them get the appropriate academic credit, too. For Johnston, she believes it wouldn’t be a PLU education if didn’t have all this - the classes, the study away experiences, the music. And when she walked across the graduation stage last May, she knew these essential experiences won’t just help her in her career - they will be with her forever. “It’s about the experience, but it’s also about what comes after,” Johnston said. “Now, these things will always be a U part of me.” -Katie Scaff ’13







FRICA Antarctica IS 9,468 miles from Tacoma, Washington







Want to study away four times like Maryn? Just once? Either way, visit www.plu.edu/ wangcenter to find out how SOMETHING I THOUGHT I‘D NEVER DO


Life on Campus

By Steve Hansen Allison McClure ’15 digs deep on the sand volleyball courts on PLU’s lower campus.


Game Intramural sports is fun – and a great way to educate the whole student

Chris Guiducci ’14 likes to yell. So does his intramural team. It all started when Chris got together with some people from his residence hall to play in a co-ed volleyball league. At the time, they didn’t know each other that well, and they certainly weren’t used to interacting

On! as teammates. The play was slow and tentative.

So Chris started to yell. Yell like a howler monkey whose diaper was way too tight. NEXT PAGE





“A lot of people will tell you that school is supposed to come first. But sometimes, stress-relief comes before school. In the end, it helps you do better on your schoolwork.” —chris guiducci His teammates – and everyone else in gym, for that matter – gave him the what’s up with that guy?! look. Then they realized he was just having fun. His team laughed and relaxed. And then they started screaming like howler monkeys. They still do it every game. Since then, the Portland, Ore., native has organized numerous teams – volleyball, softball, dodgeball, basketball – based almost exclusively on students from his residence hall, Stuen. They’ll sign-up for any sport they can, and will accept any student with any skill-level. Everyone is welcome.

level, Allison finds the opportunity to play intramural sports fulfilling, athletically, mentally – and socially. As a member of a varsity sport, Allison can’t play intramurals in that same sport. But she can play anything else. Many PLU athletes do. In fact, she has found that many athletes who chose not to play collegiately, because they wanted to focus solely on their academics, have still found much satisfaction playing intramural sports. “I have a friend who chose not to play collegiate softball, so she uses intramurals to get that team aspect she craves,” Allison said. “Intramurals work for her because she can’t commit the time to a team sport.”

Sometimes they win championships, and sometimes they don’t win any games at all. But that’s not the point. For Chris, the idea is to have fun and build camaraderie, like college kids should.

All this to say, the competition level can be pretty high. Given this, both Allison (and her fellow athletes) and Chris (and his yelling Accommodators) love the intramural program for exactly the same reasons. It is a great way to get exercise and blow off some steam. And it is also a great way to meet new people, get sweaty and have a bunch of fun. It is also a great way to try new sports – even if you have never done it before.

They call themselves the “Stuen Accommodators” – a name he and his team found funny, in a random way. Even funnier to them, was yelling at eardrum-splitting levels weirdly benign cheers like “Accommodate! Accommodate! It’s what we do!” Allison McClure ’15 doesn’t yell like Chris. But she takes her intramurals just Steffi Mack '15 as seriously — if you can call it that. The first-year student from Richardson, Texas, plays on PLU’s varsity women’s tennis team, but still enjoys playing intramural sports whenever she can. Particularly volleyball. Even as someone who is able to compete at the collegiate


Allison laughs about the first time she played intramural racquetball. As a tennis player, she thought she’d be good. She wasn’t. “All my friends made fun of me – they said ‘you should be good at this, why aren’t you?’” Allison recalled with a laugh. “It turns out I might be slightly claustrophobic.

n! Some of the ‘Stuen Accommodators’ get loud – it’s what they do. From left to right: Krog Miller ’14, Amy Delo ’15, Chris Guiducci ’14, Steffi Mack ’15.

soccer, to more playful ones like 3-on-3 basketball and dodgeball. In all, there are more than 30 sports opportunities a year.

And I hate having these crazy bouncing balls buzzing around my head!” Similarly, she talks about her intramural dodgeball experience. “It turns out I’m just not good at that, either – I’m always the second person knocked out,” she said. “But that’s okay, because then I could be on the sidelines and heckle everyone else. That’s just as much fun as anything.” And that’s why intramurals are so great. It is sport. It is also fun. This all squares with the ethic of PLU to “educate the whole student.” Yes, university life is about classes, preparing for a profession, and discovering a passion. But it is also about building relationships – living in residence halls, having dinner with your friends, playing sports in the gymnasium in the wee hours of the night. More than 400 students play intramural sports, ranging from traditional sports like basketball, flag football and

Altogether, it is good for the body, and it is good for the mind. That’s why everyone is here, right? “I’ll play for an hour and then come back to my room, and I’ll be more mentally refreshed.” Allison said. “It’s like a study break.” Chris concurs. “A lot of people will tell you that school is supposed to come first. But sometimes, stress-relief comes before school,” he said. “In the end, it helps you do better on your schoolwork.” U


To learn more about PLU’s intramural program, visit choose.plu.edu/intramural LIFE ON CAMPUS





Language shapes how we see the world >>> Adela Ramos, assistant professor of English Adela Ramos will never forget the day when, as a graduate student at Columbia University in New York City, she was reading a New York Times article about a Mexican immigrant who was described as crawling under a fence to make it into the United States. The word “crawling” struck Ramos as an odd way to describe a person crossing the border. People aren’t typically described that way, animals are. “It wasn’t the journalist being derogatory,” Ramos, an assistant professor of English, said of the article. “But it was animalizing the immigrant. It’s one way of dehumanizing people – for sure.”

“When I was in grad school, I started to focus my work on animals and how they are portrayed in language,” Ramos said. The field of studies she draws from is critical animal studies with a focus in “anthropomorphism” – the attribution of human characteristics and purposes to inanimate objects, animals, plants or pretty much anything that isn’t human. She also focuses on its counterpart “animalization,” which is the attribution of animal behaviors – like crawling – to human beings. It wasn’t long before Ramos noticed how often descriptions used to describe animals are attributed to humans to disparage gender, class and race.

In fact, Ramos noted that using the word “crawling” to describe an immigrant was not simply limited to this one instance – it had become accepted. For Ramos, that was troubling.

“We can all think of a few ways animal descriptions have been used to describe women,” Ramos said. “We tend to think of ourselves as supreme to animals.”

“Language says a lot about how we see the world,” she said.

Ramos’ examination of language – and particularly how women and animals are described – intersected with immigration issues on the day she noticed the word “crawling” in that New York Times article. Ramos understood the issues being a Mexican-American, but she never thought she’d want to examine them as part of her profession.

Ramos has been fascinated with language and how it is used in literature since her time as an undergraduate student at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. It began with a teacher who brought to life 18th century British novels – and in particular, the role women played in the development of such novels. Her interest in understanding how women are portrayed led Ramos to become interested in how language is used to describe other things.


“I always thought I’m glad I don’t do scholarship on immigration because it would get me too fired up,” she said. “But that was when it all came together.”

At PLU, Ramos has been able to combine her interests in language and immigration through courses she teaches, as well as through the university’s Common Reading Program. This year for the first time, the entire campus – students, staff and faculty – is reading the same book at the same time, exploring immigration, race and gender identity through the novel “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea. Urrea’s novel is the story of a 19-year-old woman from Mexico who, after realizing that all the men have left her small village looking for work, heads north to recruit seven men who will return to the village to repopulate it and help defend it from gangsters. For Ramos, stories like “Into the Beautiful North” are appealing because they are not simply a good read, but they accurately show just how complex the world really is. And those complexities can be lost, she believes, when people casually use loaded words to describe people who are different from them – such as describing an immigrant to be “crawling” like an animal. “I think on my better days as a teacher I do make that connection,” Ramos said. “That’s what’s great about PLU students. They want to make those connections. “They (students) really value education in ways you don’t get at all institutions.” U — C hris A lbert







This year, more than 850 students graduated from PLU – 650 of whom strutted across the Tacoma Dome stage in their caps and gowns ready to begin the next exciting chapter of their life. Before they did, we asked a few to reflect on their time at PLU – was it a good investment, in both time and money? Here’s what they told us:

Interviews by Chris Albert Photos by John Froschauer


VISITING PLU I sat in on a class and the professor knew everyone’s name. The class itself was a space where people could come together as valued intellectuals on a common search for more knowledge. There was no feel of hierarchy, just a shared passion for learning. That’s exactly what I wanted out of my collegiate experience.

WHAT I’LL LEAVE WITH The time I’ve experienced at PLU has been the most rewarding, challenging, and enriching years of my life. I found my passion here, along with friends I know will stay with me beyond graduation, mentors I intend on keeping for life, and a fervor for asking questions and seeking justice.

WHAT’S NEXT? I have been accepted to The New School for Drama in New York City, and will begin working toward my MFA.


JOINING A COMMUNITY During my interview for the Regents’ Scholarship, I met [professor] Cliff Rowe and we had an incredible discussion about education and what it means to live in community. I walked away thinking: “What a great conversation – who cares if I get the scholarship?” Later, I was offered a Regents’ Scholarship, and that sealed the deal.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED I’ve learned about the way we tell stories to ourselves and to our communities – and I’ve trained to be the most effective engaging storyteller that I can be. I’ve developed a strong commitment to social justice and sustainability.








THE RIGHT FIT I came to PLU because it was the best fit for me personally and academically. I knew I wanted to go into healthcare and PLU’s biology and nursing programs are very well regarded. Competitive swimming has also been a big part of my life, and I lettered all four years I swam at PLU.

NOTHING LEFT UNDONE I’ve had some solid athletic and academic successes and made some enduring relationships in the process – I don’t feel like I have left anything undone.

WHAT’S NEXT? I will be preparing for the NCLEX examination for my RN certification while I hunt for a critical care position.



A GLOBAL CITIZEN I came to PLU because I was excited about PLU’s opportunities for global education, both on and off campus. I was able to experience our great Chinese studies program and to immerse myself in a livinglearning language and culture community in Hong International Hall.

FINDING MY PASSION I find myself constantly filled with inspiration to find where my greatest passions meet the world’s greatest needs. I have learned so much about myself – and the world – that I cannot even fathom the extent to which I have grown over the last four years.

What’s next? There is the possibility I will teach English in Guangxi, China, for a year. I would like to get my master’s degree in international relations and, eventually, I would like to work for the United Nations, the State Department, or a nongovernmental organization.






Riley HOYER BIOLOGY L ibby, M ont.

THE RIGHT FIT Growing up in rural Montana, I wanted to experience an urban area in a controlled environment, and I wanted to play soccer for a university in the Northwest Conference. But most importantly, I knew that PLU had an extremely strong biology program backed by a wonderful group of dedicated professors who really do care about their students’ success. By attending PLU, I avoided becoming just a student I.D. number, but a recognizable face.

THE PEOPLE I’VE MET PLU has been an absolute blast. From the classic pranks of freshman year to stressing over completion of our final capstone papers together, my PLU experience would have been far less enjoyable without all the wonderful people that I have met.

WHAT’S NEXT? I was accepted into the M.D. program at the University of Arizona. For the last four years, the worry has been about staying dry in the Pacific Northwest – I will no longer have anxiety from this thought!



TA C O M A , WA S H .

THE mission and me I felt called by the mission of Act Six* and the call to be a leader on the PLU campus. I was very excited to see how our presence and different leadership skills and passions could benefit the campus.

My JOURNEY My time at PLU has been a self-discovering journey. PLU presented me the opportunity to learn more about the world, our community, and my passion to fight against social injustices. Studying abroad in Trinidad and Tobago gave me the opportunity to discover what it means to be a citizen of this world.

What’s next? I have been accepted into the Dudley Edmondson Fellowship in Youth Development and Education through the YMCA and Americorps. After the 15-month fellowship, I plan get my master’s in social work. U

To see longer versions of these interviews – plus 23 more interviews from PLU’s graduating class of 2012: choose.plu.edu/own-words

*The Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative is the Northwest’s only full-tuition, full-need scholarship for emerging urban and community leaders who want to use their college education to make a difference on campus and in their communities at home. www.actsix.org




Blue ( green) heaven B


ack in high school, Erica Boyle was on her way to a soccer tournament in Alaska when she looked out the window of her plane. “That’s a lot of water down there,” she thought to herself. “I should check that out.” Below was Puget Sound. For someone who loved to hike and explore the arid slopes of the Rocky Mountains near her hometown of Lakewood, Colo., the lush green mountains and the shimmering blue water had an undeniable appeal. Erica did check PLU – and the region – out. And she’s happy she did. Since then, Erica has been snowshoeing at nearby Mt. Rainier National Park. She’s been hiking numerous trails in the Cascade Mountain Range, like the thigh-burning inclines of Mt. Si. She’s even been able to kayak those great blue stretches of Puget Sound she first saw from her airplane window years ago. For Erica, the Pacific Northwest has been like nothing she could have imagined. The rain? Yeah, it rains – but that’s what keeps the green so green, and the blue so blue. (Even so, it never prevents Erica from doing what she wants to do.) “Being from Colorado, I’ve always loved the outdoors,” she said. “Venturing to the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest has been incredible and I have realized there is so much opportunity, so much to do. It has been great to be able to experience it — and yet, there is still so much more to explore!” U

— S teve H ansen

Erica Boyle ’13 Hometown: Lakewood, Colo. Major: Psychology PROFILE: Four-year member of the women’s soccer team; Semester-long study away program in Granada, Spain; Going on unexpected adventures throughout the Pacific Northwest.


The rain? Yeah, it rains. But that’s what keeps the green so green, and the blue so blue. GREAT NORTHWEST ASK A LUTE




PFLUEGER HALL The best of both worlds

PFLUEGER by the numbers

“I was told that it was one of the more social dorms, but it wasn’t so crazy that you can’t get work done”


150 residents

n 3 floors and 6 wings (2 are first-year student wings and 4 are returning student wings)

Each room is equipped with 2 recycling bins, and there are 3 recycling centers located in the hall


B rennan D ay ’ 1 5

10 washers and dryers all located in spacious laundry room n


6 Resident Assistants

n 25

Resident Hall Council members n Large

study lounges with whiteboards and tables


Large lounges with large flat screen TVs


Wifi throughout the hall


2 kitchens with composting bins


1 sand volleyball court, 4 basketball courts


10’ by 17’ rooms


Annual hall events like Pflueger's Pfright Night, End of the Semester Celebration, and Night at the Mariners

For Brennan Day ’15, choosing where to live on campus couldn’t have been easier. It had to be Pflueger Hall. “I was told that it was one of the more social dorms, but it wasn’t so crazy that you can’t get work done,” said Day. “I liked the prospect of it being a place I could be social, but also get work done.” Being able to get work done is important to Day, a Mukilteo, Wash., native who has his hands full with two majors (communication, and publishing and printing arts), a position with the student government and a spot on the men’s crew team. “You can still have a friendly atmosphere and be able to be social and focus on what you’re here to do. It allows you to have the best of both worlds.” Pflueger’s “open door” policy is part of what makes it so great, according to Day. An open door sends out a warm, welcoming vibe and lets others know you aren’t too busy to socialize and make a new friend. “If the door is open it gives you a reason to say hi and introduce yourself,” said Day. “Almost every single door is always open.”

Pflueger (pronounced “flee-ger”) has is well known across campus for its hall events. From ice cream socials to the annual “Pflueger Pfright Night” Halloween party, there are always opportunities to hang out and get to know people. “Outside of wing events, we have times where we all just hang out in somebody’s room,” said Day. “I really like how close-knit the wings are and, because of that, how people are able to come together and become a family.” U — K atie S caff ’ 1 3

Photos by Andre Tacuyan ’15






Somewhere, probably near the bottom of the pile, Stacey Hagensen ’12 is in there. (She’s also at left, next to the big national championship trophy.)

The math major from Bellevue, Wash., pitched the Lutes to its first-ever NCAA Division III Softball Championship (third if you count the two NAIA championship titles in 1988 and 1992) at the national tournament this May in Salem, Virginia. In PLU’s perfect eight-game run through the regional and national tournaments, Hagensen pitched all 58 innings with a 0.60 earned run average, allowing 40 hits, striking out 37 and walking just three. She held the reigning national champions (and Northwest Conference rival!) to only three hits in the title game. For her efforts, Hagensen was named the tournament’s


Most Outstanding Player. Moreover, a few weeks later, she was named Northwest Conference Woman of the Year, and Honda Sports Award Division III Player of the Year, recognizing her as the top Division III female athlete. (She’s also an Academic All-American.) “It's not only a reflection on me, it’s a reflection on my team,” Hagensen said of her awards. “I couldn’t have done anything without them.” Indeed, it was a team effort. The Lutes put together its best season in history, finishing the season with a 45-11 record. And they’ll be back next season primed to defend their title.


To learn more about the national champion softball team – as well as the hundreds of other reasons to cheer for Lute athletics – visit www.golutes.com.


Photo by Keith Lucas





Kelli Blechschmidt ’15


Political Science


Mountlake Terrace, Wash.


Intramural sports, events in the Cave and the political science department, exploring shops in Tacoma

Visiting PLU

is one of the most important things you will do during your college search. For that reason, we hope you visit campus to become better acquainted with the special atmosphere at PLU. Hundreds of students visit each year. To schedule your visit go to choose.plu.edu/visit.

Things to do during a PLU visit. Talk one-on-one with an admission counselor. Ask everything that’s on your mind. Counselors in the Office of Admission are ready to answer your questions about admission, academic programs, financial aid, cost, campus activities, residence halls and much more. Take a tour of campus. It’s a great introduction to PLU. Tours are guided by students like Kelli who know all the essential information about our university. Tours are available by appointment Monday through Saturday during the academic year.

A Day in of a P the life LU st udent

Mid-afternoon study session in Rieke

Evenin g Native lecture on A religio merican n: a li vely to end the da way y



Mordtvedt Library is a quiet place to study, with snacks downstairs!

Attend a class. This is a great opportunity to get a feel for the academic atmosphere at PLU. You can also request to meet with an athletic coach, music director or professor. Stay overnight. You can stay with a friend on campus, or we can arrange for you to stay with one of our Red Carpet Club student hosts. You will be given meal passes and a guest pass to athletic facilities and campus activities. Available Monday through Thursday during the academic year only. Give us a call. Reach us at 253-535-7151 or 800-274-6758 so we can make the necessary arrangements for your visit. You are still welcome to drop by anytime – even if you aren’t able to plan ahead.

For a list of preferred hotels, directions to and from campus, please visit choose.plu.edu/visit.

Gettin g run ar in a quick ound lo campu s betw wer class een es


Exploring the mysteries of the e oceans ... from th classroom

After a run outsi de in th Pacifi c Nor e thwes rain t

Friends can be found anywhere ... even at work!

Want to see more? VISIT THE PLU VIRTUAL TOUR choose.plu.edu/virtualtour PLU Admission on the web http://www.plu.edu/admission/first-year/ or download the free QR code reader application at: http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/ and take a camera phone photo of the image on the left.





How to finance your college education


Here’s the main thing to remember when it comes to deciding if you will be able to afford to attend PLU: Take the time to work through the financial aid process.

Many students just like you – and families just like yours – have discovered that PLU is highly affordable. More than 96 percent of PLU students receive some form of financial aid, and many students find that, once these factors are figured in, their cost to attend PLU is comparable to the many other institutions they may consider – even state schools. So, we’d like to invite you to work through the financial aid process with us. Ask a lot of questions. Know that we are here to help. We think you will like the results. “Choosing a university is among the most important, most life-shaping investments you will ever make. And not just for you – for your entire family,” says Kay Soltis, PLU’s financial aid director. “Think hard. Take your time. And remember that value is more than just money spent, value is what you get for your money.” Value of a PLU education The value of a PLU education is different from other colleges and

Choosing a university is among the most important, most lifeshaping investments you will ever make.

2012-13 COSTS $32,800 tuition

$9,620 room and meals $42,420 total

Links & Info

universities. To be sure, there are many private colleges that cost far more than PLU. There are dozens of less expensive options, too. But the question “How much is this going to cost?” represents only part of your decision.

choose.plu.edu www.plu.edu/financial-aid n 800-274-6758 n 253-535-7151

FAFSA on the Web, www.fafsa.ed.gov

We think there’s a more important question to ask: “What do you want to accomplish during your college years and beyond?” That’s why we believe in the things that make PLU so unique – the student-faculty interaction, the opportunity to get hands-on experience, the chance to get the classes you need, when you need them. We also know that college is about experiences and relationships, both in and out of the classroom. At PLU, you will find this, and more. You will be challenged. You will have support. And because of this, PLU students find success – any way you choose to define it.

All of these characteristics mark the value of PLU, what you can expect from your time during your college years and beyond. At PLU we look to extend the classroom by emphasizing experiences and relationships, and the impact those will have on your life. And that is why we value the investment in a PLU education. We know that the financial aid process can sometimes be confusing, so please take a look at the resources that are available to you on our website or call or e-mail us with questions. Kay Soltis and her financial aid staff are delighted to be of help to U students, parents and families.

What’s the average total PLU scholarships and grants for your family’s combined income? Combined family income for first-year students, Fall 2011

Number of aid recipients

Average total scholarships and grants from all sources




$20,000 - $39,999



$40,000 - $59,999



$60,000 - $79,999



$80,000 - $99,999



$100,000 +






Applying to college is easy

You can find everything you need to know about applying to PLU online at choose.plu.edu. Once you’re there, check out our upcoming events, learn more about financial aid, set up a campus visit, and take our virtual tour. You can always give us a call at 800274-6758, and an admission counselor will be happy to answer your questions, or send you information that will be helpful in your college search. “The best advice for you while you’re comparing colleges and universities is to surf the Web, ask lots of questions, and be sure to visit campus,” said Karl Stumo, vice president of admission and enrollment services. “After all, universities are as unique as you are, and finding the best one will take time and research. The rewards, however, are life changing.” Holistic Review Your application will be read by your admission counselor who is looking for students who will bring their special talents and abilities to PLU. Test scores and GPA are part of that – admission to PLU is selective and competitive – but we also take the time to look at the courses you’ve taken, the activities you’ve been involved in, and your essay and recommendations. A personal visit with an admission counselor during a visit to campus can be part of the process, too. When you get down to it, the application process at PLU is simply about you getting to know us and us getting to know you. We take the time to get to know you as a person, not just a student, and we hope you’ll do the same by getting to know our community.

Apply Online! PLU accepts the Common Application as well as the PLU application. Apply online and it is free. If you apply by the 15th of the month, we guarantee you’ll get a response – including if you qualify for academic merit scholarships – within four weeks.

choose.plu.edu/apply We’ll also let you know if you qualify for an academic merit scholarship. Applications received after February 15th will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Learn More Check out choose.plu.edu to learn more about the SAT and ACT, required and recommended prep

courses, AP, IB, and Running Start credit, transfer admission, and international admission. You’re bound to have questions during your college search, so don’t hesitate to contact us. Look us up online, give us a call, and come visit! We believe it’s the best way to get a real feel for life on campus. We think you’ll like what you discover. U APPLY


U, PLU Office of Admission, Tacoma, Washington, 98447-0003 Address change: If you do not wish to receive U, or wish to change your mailing address, please notify PLU Office of Admission. You can reach us by phone at 800-274-6758, by fax at 253-536-5136, or by e-mail at admission@plu.edu. PLU.UMG.0212


Surf’s Up Clayton Bracht ’14 rides a revved-up crowd at PLU’s annual end-of-year fest, LollaPLUza. Oakland (Calif.) hip-hop duo Zion I headlined the community festival that is run by PLU students and pretty-much takes over nearby Garfield Street for music, food and general summer-isalmost-here (and so are final exams) craziness.

Profile for University Communications

U magazine - Fall 2012  

A magazine for prospective students of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash.

U magazine - Fall 2012  

A magazine for prospective students of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash.