experience spring – s ummer 2020
the magazine of Warner Pacific University
WPU at the Head of Tomorrow’s Classroom
WPU RESPONDS T O C O V I D -19 p. 2
WPU ANNOUNCES EIGHTH PRESIDENT p. 4
ALUMNUS LEADS WITH LOVE FOR STUDENTS p. 18
The classroom is changing, and students need you.
Take the Path to Earn Your Teaching License Warner Pacific University offers several tracks to advance your career in education, no matter where you’re starting.
For Working Professionals As a busy school district employee, it may seem challenging to find the time to earn your degree. But at WPU, you can earn your Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood/Elementary Education in as few as two years or your Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in just 18 months. These programs are offered in convenient evening or online formats designed for working adults.
Enroll now. Learn more about how you can take the path toward an education career: warnerpacific.edu
We invite you to learn more about how our Paraprofessional Education Program is meeting the challenges of a changing educational system by reading the profile by Interim Dean of Education Gustavo Olvera on pp. 10–13.
spring – s ummer 2020
Relevant Faculty Achievements
Living the Mission Update on Strategic Plan
Experience Magazine is a publication of Warner Pacific University intended to express the mission of Warner Pacific University by providing authentic information and stories that engage and encourage University constituents—especially alumni,
Heart of WP Meet Gustavo and Darbi
donors and friends—to pray, volunteer, promote, attend campus events, give and advocate for the University. editor-in-chief
With and For Diverse Students: Why We Need Greater Teacher Diversity
WP Library is More Than Books
Partners with Portland
Molly Smith contributors Andrea Cook, Shannon Johnson, Jon Sampson, Molly Smith, Abby Wilson, Vandella Wright, Diane Minor, Aimee Hosemann, Gustavo Olvera
WPU Signs on to Multnomah Countywide Grow Your Own Educators Collaborative
photos Tom Galliher, Grant Benesh, Molly Smith, Ben Baldizon president of warner pacific university
Heart of WP
Andrea Cook director of alumni relations
Happenings Night of Knights
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Supporting the Mission
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“What do I do now that I know?” With each issue of Experience, we intend that you’ll be inspired, entertained and certainly better informed about Warner Pacific University. Whether you read cover to cover (you do, don’t you?) or spot-read throughout the pages, we want you to be empowered to act on what you read. Among our core values is to innovate toward experiential learning and to cultivate curiosity, creativity and purpose. To live our values, we invite you to engage with what you glean from this publication. Following most articles, we’ve added icons representing actions you may take in response to what you learn: i c o n le g en d represents P R O M O T I N G , by telling others what you’ve learned about WPU
represents G I V I N G , which we encourage you to do through the Annual Fund,
or recent news and achievements worth sharing by social media or word of mouth.
estate planning or other forms of contribution.
represents V O L U N T E E R I N G , which may mean giving your precious time
represents A D V O C AT I N G , which may include representing WPU, alerting
in service as your schedule permits.
civic or government leaders in support of WPU, or engaging others in support of WPU.
represents P R AY I N G , which we trust you are doing anyway, but we’ll note
represents V I S I T I N G , when we’ll encourage your presence at events.
special prayer requests.
R E L E VA N T
Responding to COVID-19: We’re Doing Well–And Good The American cultural foundation has been rocked by COVID-19, a virus that invaded every state, many counties and all large cities across the U.S. Communities have experienced challenges during this time to make sense of the disruption, grief, frustration and social isolation that became a part of daily reality. This disruption has been as real for Warner Pacific University as it has for any other community or organization around the globe. Warner Pacific started spring break a week early and extended the pause to two weeks, to provide professional development and time for faculty to prepare, as guidance and executive orders from local, state and federal authorities made it clear the semester would have to be completed online. The faculty were led by an excellent team of educator trainers in preparing for the implementation of online course delivery. WPU is fortunate to have talented and dedicated faculty who are committed to making students’ educational experience vibrant and engaging, and who worked tirelessly to go online very quickly. Moving most employees to remote work meant a significant deployment of technology, virtual private networks (to ensure security), development of remote work protocols, and training in order to telecommute. The Information Technology (IT) department served the university community well by providing equipment, software and protocols for using technology to work from home, along with as-needed technical support. Employees adapted to working from home with grace and dedication to ensure that students were served, tasks were completed and the University operations continued as seamlessly as possible in this time. The Executive Cabinet has taken seriously the importance, both now and leading up to this point, of making decisions that adapt to changing conditions, both anticipated and not. The University extends gratitude for their leadership and faithfulness to the mission and the work of leading well. 2
Students are at the center of Warner Pacific’s concern. Through all of this, the main priorities have been their safety, health and access to the education that will provide opportunities for their future lives, that for many will transform the trajectory of their family’s history. Faculty diligently reached out to students to encourage and engage them during the last segment of the academic year. For some, campus is the home they relied upon for housing and food security and access to technology. Other students completed the year from home. During this season, the University launched KnightsCare to provide a convenient way for Warner Pacific students to receive 24/7, no-cost medical and counseling assistance for common conditions that can be safely and accurately diagnosed and treated online. We have missed students, as well as all of the athletic contests and student activities that highlight their abilities, service, leadership, achievements and passions. The University community is anxious to welcome students back with all of the energy and excitement of a new year. No one expected or wanted something like this to happen. COVID-19 has removed us from one another and created new challenges to address each day. And yet, opportunities and possibilities are present that may have been less obvious in “usual” circumstances. We have learned how to have an accreditation visit virtually, we have held monthly all-employee meetings; weekly employee check-in meetings, and even our Good Friday Service on Zoom with nearly 100 people “together”; and we have seen grace upon patience given for the workarounds that have been necessary. We have all come together, while being apart, in a way that demonstrates the vitality of our University community and our bond as a Christ-centered body. We’ve prayed together for one another, and most importantly we have prayed for our dear students. ▪
Trust and Obey
r elevan t
President Cook Comments on Pandemic
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.
In the midst of the COVID-19 disruption, I was reminded of an old hymn that we sang in the church of my childhood. The inspiration for this hymn began in 1886 when the composer of the music, Daniel B. Towner, was the music conductor during one of Dwight L. Moody’s renowned revivals. “Mr. Moody was conducting a series of meetings in Brockton, Massachusetts, and one night a young man rose in a testimony meeting and said, ‘I am not quite sure—but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.’ I just jotted that sentence down and sent it with a little story to the Rev. J. H. Sammis, a Presbyterian minister. He wrote the hymn, and the tune was born.” We “aren’t quite sure,” either. But we have a God who is trustworthy in the midst of all our life situations. Every day and in many ways, the students, faculty, staff, donors and friends have shown their trust and obedience through their diligence, faithfulness, work ethic and support. Thank you each and all for demonstrating your passion and care for the work that God called us to do together at WPU. The “obey” part of the equation is important in this season as well. The guidance and executive orders issued are challenging our American individualistic mindset, which sometimes finds it difficult to submit personal choices to a higher authority. Clearly the evidence of the spread of the coronavirus shows us the importance of submission in our lives. May we all trust and obey the God who loves us and came so that we could have the most abundant life. ▪
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies, But His smile quickly drives it away; Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear, Can abide while we trust and obey. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share, But our toil He doth richly repay; Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross, But is blessed if we trust and obey. But we never can prove the delights of His love Until all on the altar we lay; For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows, Are for them who will trust and obey. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet. Or we’ll walk by His side in the way. What He says we will do, where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. — REV. J. H. SAMMIS
t h e mag azine o f Warner Pacif ic University
WPU Announces Eighth President Just as this issue went to press, there was exciting news: The Warner Pacific University Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Dr. Brian L. Johnson as our eighth president on June 12. Dr. Johnson is currently vice president at Mercy College and campus administrator for its Manhattan Campus and was president of Tuskegee University from 2014-17. He succeeds Dr. Andrea Cook, who has served as Warner Pacific’s president since 2008. He officially takes his position on Aug. 1, 2020 and will be on campus full time beginning Sept. 01. Dr. Johnson is also a highly regarded scholar of American literature. He earned his PhD in English in 2003 from the University of South Carolina. He earned his MA in English at the University of WisconsinMadison and his BA in English from Johnson C. Smith University. ▪ learn more about dr. johnson online at warnerpacific.edu
Goble Appointed Interim VPAA
Humanities department chair, as Arts and Letters division chair and, most recently, as Chief Innovation Officer focused on sourceU. Dr. Warner Pacific University is Goble is passionate about teaching excited to and learning and is invested in announce Dr. equity and inclusion for all students. Luke Goble as the Additionally, Dr. Goble’s leadership interim Vice was critical in the development, President of grant writing and implementation Academic Affairs of the First Year Learning and the Dean of Community program, and he has Faculty (VPAA). led other campus-wide initiatives Dr. Goble has been appointed to across the University. the role to replace Dr. Reginald “The mission focus of Warner Nichols, who has accepted a position Pacific has allowed me to thrive as a as the Director of Leadership person, teacher, and leader. I am Programs for the United Methodist looking forward to continuing the Church in California and Nevada. good work that has been done to Since coming to Warner Pacific in move us toward becoming a the fall of 2007, Dr. Luke Goble has recognized leader in equitable, demonstrated his competence as a faith-based education” offered Goble. scholar, teacher and leader. Dr. Dr. Goble’s experience across the Goble holds the rank of Associate University and his passion for Professor of history and earned his innovation will serve the University Ph.D. at University at Buffalo-SUNY. well as it focuses on achieving the He earned an A.B. (Artium imperatives of our strategic plan. ▪ Baccalaureus, or Bachelor of Arts) in English literature from Harvard University. Goble has served as the
Nursing Lab Dedication On November 12, 2019, President Dr. Andrea Cook and Dean of Nursing Dr. Linda Campbell invited donors and friends of the University to an open house and reception at Centre 205 to acknowledge the generosity of donors toward Warner Pacific University’s Nursing Labs. The event honored the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust and the late Dr. Betty Blomquist Thompson, as well as other supporters for their gifts of time, money and resources. Two plaques were unveiled by the classrooms to commemorate the support of the Murdock Trust and Dr. Betty Blomquist Thompson.
MJ Murdock Charitable Trust Simulation Laboratory and Classroom In March 2019, Warner Pacific University’s Nursing Program received a $350,000 grant from the Trust to furnish the University’s simulation-based learning labs and support the University’s mission to increase the number of diverse students entering the nursing profession. Increased diversity among healthcare providers can lead to higher patient satisfaction and improved communication. With the support of the Trust, Warner Pacific Nursing is positioned to improve health outcomes in Portland and beyond, and this classroom is named in the Trust’s honor. ▪ Read more about how dedicated WPU alumna Dr. Betty Blomquist Thompson helped make this important project possible on pg. 24.
Serving Concordia University Portland Students The announcement of Concordia University Portland’s closure after 115 years of operation was a shock to everyone. We grieve with the students and employees whose lives have been further disrupted by the loss of their beloved academic and campus community. While we were saddened to hear the news, Warner Pacific is dedicated to helping students complete their degrees at a faith-based school in Portland. The Warner Pacific administration and faculty worked with Concordia officials to make accommodations for any students that would be well-suited to our institution and academic programs. We are happy to provide an educational home for these new Knights. ▪
R E L E VA N T
Faculty Updates Rev. Dr. Cassie Trentaz Published in Christian Higher Education
For the past ten years, Rev. Dr. Cassie Trentaz, Associate Professor of Theology, Ethics and Church History and Interim Chair for the Division of Arts & Letters, and her team has worked tirelessly on Warner Pacific’s ministry and community engagement program. Rev. Dr. Trentaz says, “We have learned a lot over the past ten years regarding theological education. I am proud of the program we have crafted, the ways we have listened deeply to what is needed in our time and place, and our ability to ‘look around the corner’ in some ways of what will be needed in the immediate future.” With this foundation, Trentaz was asked by Christian Higher Education: An International Journal of Research, Theory, and Practice to write an article on what it means to be an engaged institutional neighbor. This article was published in January 2020 and is a self-study of Warner Pacific University’s Undergraduate Program in Ministry and Community Engagement. As a University, we celebrate Rev. Dr. Cassie Trentaz in this accomplishment! If you would like to read the article, you can reach out to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three Warner Pacific Faculty Members Receive Promotions President Andrea P. Cook announced the promotion of three faculty members effective June 1, 2020. Elizabeth DuPriest, Ph.D., an associate professor, was promoted to full professor of biology; assistant professor Shelly Hartzell, CPA, MBA, was promoted to associate professor of accounting; and Ryan Hubbard, Ed.D., an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor of sports management. Dr. DuPriest joined the faculty of Warner Pacific in 2009, having earned her Ph.D. in Integrative Biomedical Sciences from the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Dr. DuPriest’s research has focused primarily in the specialty of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. This relatively new field of study investigates the way an individual’s gestational and early childhood environments can influence their risk of disease later in life. In addition to her teaching and research, Dr. DuPriest has served as Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Health. Her leadership has resulted in the creation of several new majors, including nursing, sports medicine, mathematics and information science (which served as an impetus for the creation of sourceU). Dr. DuPriest is a highly regarded colleague and faculty leader who is passionate about living into God’s call for her life as a professor at Warner Pacific University. Accounting professor Shelly Hartzell joined Warner Pacific in 2011, after spending 21 years in the field in both private and public accounting before becoming a professor. Hartzell is a Certified Public Accountant and is a candidate for the Certified Management Accountant certification. In addition, she earned her Master of Business Administration from Warner Pacific University. Hartzell is respected as an excellent teacher by her colleagues and students, as evidenced by her selection for the 2018–19 Kendall Faculty Achievement Award
for Excellence in Teaching as recommended by her faculty colleagues. She also received the Faculty of the Year Award as given by students for the same period. Recent accounting graduate Manny Garcia raves about Hartzell as a professor, tutor, mentor and friend. “She looked over my resume and helped my interview skills as I pursued a public accounting position. With her advice and guidance, I was able to get multiple job offers a year before I was even done with school. Shelly has always been there to support, guide me and be a friend most of all. She was the first person I called when I got a job offer at my first firm of choice.” Sports Management professor Ryan Hubbard joined WPU as an assistant professor in 2013, after teaching at California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Hubbard completed his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership– Higher Education Administration at University of Southern California (USC) and an M.Ed. in Applied Kinesiology–Sport Management at University of Minnesota. Dr. Hubbard is passionate about his students and their personal and intellectual development. He is regarded as a leader among his faculty peers, serving currently as the Faculty Chair and previously as the Chair of the Core Studies Committee. Hubbard’s teaching philosophy emphasizes creating an interactive and collaborative environment. Knowledge is co-created by building on what students already know and engaging them in meaningful collaboration to develop critical thinking and creativity in the problem-solving process. Dr. Hubbard studies how sports can be used as a vehicle for social change. His current focus is on studying the emotional and mental wellness of student athletes, and he plans to collaborate with colleagues in sports medicine and counseling to identify the needs and resources that will promote academic, life and personal success for student athletes.
t h e mag azine o f Warner Pacif ic University
LIVING OUR MISSION
WPU’s Strategic Plan Provides Clarity in Times of Change Jon Sampson, Ph.D. Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students
hen Warner Pacific’s community prioritized Innovating Models of Education Continuously and Efficiently in the strategic plan, moving to online formats within two weeks wasn’t on the agenda. But rapid work this spring to adapt during a global pandemic highlighted the agility and care WPU faculty and staff take to adjust learning to reflect the needs of the moment. Explorers entering new territories use a process of way-finding to guide their navigation. By identifying a point of reference in the direction they wish to travel, they are able to use the distant object to stay on the desired course. These reference points become even more important when traveling on difficult terrain. Warner Pacific’s Strategic Plan, approved by the Board of Trustees last year, continues to serve as a key point of reference in a time of rapid change for the campus, nation and world. The plan’s strategic imperatives—to innovate models of education continuously and efficiently, lead with excellence in equitable education, upgrade strategic infrastructure for the future, and enhance market position—are as relevant in a world where the “coronavirus” and “social distancing” are common phrases
as they were before. These imperatives filter and prioritize decisions as faculty, staff and students adjust their patterns, adapting to remote work and distance learning. The emphasis on innovating models of education frames the work of creating and supporting remote learning. The commitment to pursuing excellence in equitable education stimulated responsive follow-up to student needs and encouraged donors to step in to support students who needed additional access to laptops and equipment. The imperative to upgrade strategic infrastructure highlights the growth in cloudbased and remote learning tools needed to support this work. And efforts to enhance market position guide the work to recruit new students in a world that is rapidly changing. Students have shared appreciation for the support they received from faculty during this transition. “I am so very grateful to WP staff that our education may continue, and it is nice to be in touch with our peers instead of feeling isolated and worrying,” PGS student Gwendolyn Collver shared. “I am grateful the teachers are doing a great job offering an option to keep going as we navigate this together.” ▪
R E L E VA N T
Internship Fair First-Ever Internship Fair Connects Students and Organizations On February 20, over 40 organizations, companies and nonprofits came together at Warner Pacific to recruit among dozens of eager and qualified internship candidates during the first Annual Spring Internship Fair. The WPU Department of Business convened a committee to prepare for this event months in advance to ensure its success. The committee believed inviting students from local universities and high schools would only offer a more-attractive crowd of businesses—and they were right. Companies of all different capacities attended, including Intel, Pacific Office Automation, Sherwin Williams, Volunteers of America, The Latino Network and many more. Students walked through the maze of businesses with resumes in hand, prepared to give their elevator speeches. It was a successful day for all attendees—especially for the student who was offered an internship on the spot. Warner Pacific looks forward to hosting its second Annual Spring Internship Fair next year. ▪
t h e mag azine o f Warner Pacif ic University
HEART OF WP
Gustavo Olvera Interim Dean of Education
As one of the two deans of color in the state of Oregon, leading a university education program, Olvera describes his passion for advocacy in equity and inclusion.
Interim Dean of Education Gustavo Olvera has spent the past few years at Warner Pacific University advocating for teachers, leading the Warner Pacific Education Department as well as molding minds in the classroom every day. As one of the two deans of color in the state of Oregon, leading a university education program, Olvera describes his passion for advocacy in equity and inclusion. Olvera was born in one of the five largest cities in the world, Mexico City, Mexico. His family migrated to the United States when he was seven years old. Even at that age, Olvera was interested in becoming a teacher, but because this dream seemed distant into the future, he went with his natural abilities. Olvera said, “As early as I can remember, I have always loved school. As a result, I have always been determined to succeed in spite of any hurdles that have come along the way.” Discovering his artistic abilities in high school, he decided that art school would be a smart next step. He spent his undergraduate years in digital filmmaking at the Art Institute of Portland, and within a few years’ time, he was working in the film industry. However, the Lord had a different plan for him. With an opportunity to lead an after-school film club at a local high school, he soon found himself serving as an instructional assistant at all six of the district’s elementary schools, directly supporting the academic needs of migrant students. This is where Olvera discovered his true passion for education. “I could see myself represented in each one of the
elementary students I worked with, and I deeply understood the challenges they were facing inside an education system that was not set up to meet their unique needs as diverse students. I truly believe that our Lord Jesus Christ placed me in that environment to present me with my gifts as an educator.” With this newfound call on his life, he decided to earn his Master of Arts in Teaching and began working as a bilingual elementary teacher in August 2009. Since that time, he has been an instructional coach, a bilingual program liaison, an elementary school principal and a central office administrator. Olvera accepted a faculty position at Warner Pacific University in 2017. He came to WPU because the “mission and vision attracted me to pursue a career in higher education. While I had spent my entire career teaching in suburban and rural settings, I have always yearned to work in an urban setting. I was also attracted to WPU because of the diverse population of students, faculty and staff. One of the major struggles in P-12 public education is the significant gap between the diversity of students and teachers. I believe that WPU is consciously working on having equal representation amongst the staff and faculty so that we mirror our students’ demographics.” As Olvera has gotten to know Warner Pacific education students over the years, he has noticed how kind and caring they are, and he enjoys their shared love for Christ. He is confident that their connection in Christ makes them great allies who will be able to support the well-being of their future students.
When Olvera took on the role of Interim Dean of Education at Warner Pacific in 2018, he took on a new level of responsibility and collaborated with many to make one dream a reality. In July 2019, the WPU Education Department launched its first two Paraprofessional Education Program (PEP) cohorts. This accomplishment positions WPU as one of the leading Oregon institutions responding to the need of creating accessible and sustainable “Grow Your Own” programs. As such, WPU developed a program that recognizes the numerous assets para-educators naturally bring into the classroom and, as a result, created a pathway for them to become licensed educators. While Warner Pacific celebrates answering the call to create a new program to better prepare our future educators, we also celebrate leaders like Gustavo Olvera who take on innovative opportunities and step up in a time of need. As Olvera continues to serve and teach, he is reminded of where his passion for advocacy and equity and inclusion began, a small after-school film club. He continues his mission to educate because for him, “there is nothing more rewarding than seeing and knowing you have made a positive impact in the lives of your students.” ▪ Learn more about how Interim Dean of Education Gustavo Olvera and the PEP strive to increase teacher diversity on pp. 10–13.
Darbi Pink ’20 Early Childhood/Elementary Education Pasco, Washington “I want to continue being involved in my community and help make a difference for the youth.” Pink has been able to live her dream of playing basketball, as a guard for the women’s basketball team. She just wrapped up four years playing for the Knights, and was a three-year starter for Coach Matt Gregg, starting in 81 contests wearing Columbia Blue and Black. She had a stellar senior season, breaking records and moving up in the leaderboards—all the way up to No. 4 All-Time in scoring, tallying up 1,086 career points. She passed the 1,000-point mark on February 7, 2020, in fitting fashion with a career-high game scoring 25 points. She will leave Warner Pacific as No. 2 All-Time in 3-point field goals, No. 10 All-Time in field goals made, and No. 5 All-Time in steals. Along with her excellence on the hardwood, she is a three-time All-Academic Student Athlete with a 3.5 GPA. “I’m thankful for the people around me as it’s a team sport, and I couldn’t do it without my teammates and coaches,” said Pink about her time at Warner Pacific. “While the athletics only last for a short period of time, the friendships and life lessons last forever, and I’ll always cherish that! I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to play four years of basketball beyond high school, and
I will definitely miss being pushed every day to work my hardest.” The person that has impacted Pink the most has been Lexy delos Reyes. Lexy has been dubbed the team’s “sixth man,” a term given to honor the inspiration and support she offers the team. “She has suffered from brain cancer since she was a couple of months old. She is now 17 years old and has undergone 11 brain surgeries. She made a huge impact for me as well as our team, because we see her and are reminded of how lucky we are to be healthy and to be able to play the game of basketball together. We also see how hard she works to fight cancer every day of her life. She has been an inspiration and a light in our time here at Warner Pacific.” Lexy suits up for each game and cheers for the women on and off the court. As Pink now reflects on her four years at Warner Pacific, she explains what brought her here: “I was drawn to Warner Pacific because of the location. I also really liked how small the class sizes were and was interested in the one-on-one support with faculty.” Because of this support, she was able to switch her major during her sophomore year from nursing to
education and remain on track to graduate in four years. Upon graduation, she plans to move back to her hometown, teach elementary school with hopes of coaching basketball and starting up basketball skill clinics for local children. “I want to continue being involved in my community and help make a difference for the youth.” Throughout Pink’s four years at Warner Pacific, she has learned from her teammates how to work hard on the court and remember what is important in life: caring for others. She has excelled academically and personally because of her professors, peers and practice teaching in the classroom. Her parents and sisters supported her through every mountain and valley she experienced and are excited to see her pursue her teaching career close to home. Darbi Pink inspires many at Warner Pacific to chase after their passions and slow down to encourage people along the way. ▪
t h e mag azine o f Warner Pacif ic University
h eart o f wp
Graduating senior Darbi Pink was raised in a first-generation farming family in a small town just north of Pasco, Washington. Growing up, Pink learned about the complexity of the agriculture industry as she watched the family business grow potatoes, peas, sweet corn, field corn, seed corn, alfalfa hay, grass hay and timothy hay. They also raised livestock including cattle, pigs and horses. With Pink’s father running the family business—and her mother working as an elementary school teacher for over twenty-five years as well as running a ten-wheeler trucking business during the summers—Pink and her two sisters felt supported as they chased their dreams. Pink’s dreams included playing basketball and following in her mother’s footsteps to become an elementary school teacher. Academically, Pink has worked hard and gained knowledge and wisdom from her professors. “My experience with the education department has been wonderful. Every education class I have taken has been beneficial in learning and developing skills to use while teaching in the classroom.” Throughout her time at Warner Pacific, she has student-taught at local elementary schools and put her lesson plans into practice. Pink spent her remaining free time as a Peer Mentor and the Retention and Student Success Intern. She is known by many as a persevering person with a caring heart.
F E AT U R E
ABOUT THE AUTHOR While I currently serve as the Interim Dean of Education, I am a classroom teacher at heart. In order to be truly connected to what is happening in the classroom, it is as important that ethnically and linguistically diverse teacher candidates are taught by professors with the same characteristics. As a result, I recently had the opportunity to teach a course to Warner Pacific’s very first cohort of adult students earning a Bachelor of Education. Teaching a classroom full of working paraprofessionals is unlike anything I have done in my career as a professional educator.
WITH AND FOR DIVERSE STUDENTS
Why we need greater teacher diversity By Gustavo Olvera, Interim Dean of Education
arner Pacific University has staked out a frontline position in the critical work of preparing educators to engage in an urban setting. Since the diversity of our K-12 students is increasing, we need to prepare teachers that reflect their racial and cultural backgrounds in order to make sure those diverse students attain success in equitable classrooms. At Warner Pacific, we believe this purpose aligns exactly with our core themes, particularly “collaborating with and for our urban environment” and “investing in the formation and success of students from diverse backgrounds.” In a concerted effort to contribute to the diversification of the teacher workforce, WPU developed a program that would meet the needs of future licensed teachers who are already working in neighboring school districts as paraprofessional educators. The Paraprofessional Educators Program (PEP) is designed so that students can complete either the Bachelor of Science in Education or a Master of Arts in Teaching in an evening format, while they continue to work in their current positions. It is important to note that Warner Pacific University is geographically located within Oregon’s largest school district, Portland Public Schools (PPS). PPS is home to more than 49,000 students in over 80 schools. Data from the 2017–18 school year shows that 43% of students enrolled in PPS are students of color, and 35% are considered economically disadvantaged.
WITH AND FOR DIVERSE STUDENTS: WHY WE N E E D G R E AT E R T E A C H E R D I V E R S I T Y
ignificant challenges for providers of educator preparation programs include the demographic gaps between the state’s students and teachers. Data published by the Chief Education Office in the 2019 Oregon Educator Equity Report demonstrates that 39.9% of students identify as ethnically diverse compared to only 10.4% of the teacher workforce. The unbalanced representation of the student population among teachers presents a significant issue to all education program providers in Oregon. WPU’s location in Multnomah County places the University in the heart of highly diverse student populations, where it is well placed to address a significant need for an
increasing number and percentage of teachers of diverse backgrounds to better reflect the demographics of the student population. We believe the PEP addresses the need for a more diverse teacher population, while also contributing to the economic stability of the para-educators who are serving our school districts so well. Currently, para-educators are paid a modest hourly wage, while completion of their degree and attaining their licensure would provide opportunity for them to earn a living wage. Paraprofessionals bring lived experiences into the university classroom, which significantly enhanced the coursework, enriched classroom discussions and elevated the relevance of instructional
methods. As cohort members progress in every course, it is evident how the self-esteem of the paraprofessionals increases as they fortify their teacher identity. The wealth of experience that paraprofessionals bring to their learning is accelerating their path toward a teaching license. The majority of paraprofessionals serve as education assistants who work under the guidance of licensed teachers to attend to the needs of PK-12 students in a variety of academic, as well as social-emotional, areas of development. With the support of Warner Pacific’s President, Dr. Andrea Cook, and with the collaboration of education leaders in the six neighboring districts in Multnomah County, WPU launched its first adult Bachelor of Education (BSED) program in September 2019. School district superintendents, HR directors, and teacher leaders were excited to partner with highereducation faculty at Warner Pacific to bring the concept of “Grow Your Own” teachers to life. The first BSED cohort is highly ethnically diverse. While not all of the WPU Education teaching faculty are people of color, we all work collaboratively to ensure that we continue to develop and strengthen students’ teacher qualities, dispositions and knowledge of teaching and learning. This very diverse group of teachers in training
Multnomah County: Comparison of Diverse Students to Teachers and Administrators 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Centennial
Diverse Students 12
will undoubtedly bring a positive impact to the lives of every student they encounter in the Portland metropolitan area. Diversifying the teacher workforce is not done in isolation. We are working closely with our partnering districts, Portland Public Schools, Gresham-Barlow, David Douglas, Centennial, Parkrose and Reynolds. Several PEP cohorts have already started in school districts such as David Douglas and Gresham-Barlow. Our commitment to paraprofessionals has led us to develop partnership agreements in order to maintain students at the center. Clear partnership agreements will allow Warner Pacific and school districts to be goal-oriented and to be very deliberate in designing the supports we provide for paraprofessionals as they prepare to become licensed teachers.
We are intentionally building relationships and programs that are sustainable and contribute value that can be measured over time. As we look ahead, Warner Pacific is already working on continuing to recruit diverse faculty and university supervisors. We are in conversation with nonprofit organizations who are looking to support Grow Your Own programs in the state of Oregon. On a recent visit to Washington State, a group of WPU colleagues learned that in order to create sustainable Grow Your Own pathways, we must make it a community investment. In recognizing the need for high-quality, well-supported and
F E AT U R E
An Alumnus’s Perspective on the Crisis in Education WPU alumnus Bob Stewart, Superintendent of Schools, Gladstone School District, is featured in our Alumni Profile on p. 18. Here, Bob draws on his many years of leadership to respond to our questions about the future of urban education.
culturally responsive educators in schools to provide mentoring our schools, Governor Kate Brown support and long-term retention issued Executive Order 16-08 of high-quality teachers with creating the Governor’s Council diverse backgrounds. on Educator Advancement (EAC). With the firm intention of The recommendations of the EAC increasing the diversity of the include the following: teaching workforce, Warner 1. Create and deepen Pacific’s Education Department is partnerships between honoring the University’s Core Pre-Kindergarten services, Themes. Charged with the districts, community colleges mission to collaboratively and universities to promote co-construct programs that interest in the teaching recruit and educate diverse profession, coordinate teacher paraprofessionals within our and administrator metro school districts, we have preparation efforts, and share aligned our tasks with the needs data sets needed to achieve a of PK-12 schools in our urban high-quality pool of licensed area. We are fostering educational professionals. relationships that address the 2. Streamline career pathways current needs of area districts. into teaching and provide These relationships are built on financial resources and respect, honor for the unique supports to achieve an gifts of each member and trust educator workforce in Oregon that each of us desires to make a that is equity-driven and difference in the lives of each more reflective of Prestudent. We have honest, tough Kindergarten-12 student conversations about systemic demographics. issues such as institutional 3. Support all novice teachers racism, glaring inequities within with induction and current systems and the mentoring during their first imbalance of power and voice. two years. We are intentionally building The education faculty and staff relationships and programs that from Warner Pacific are are sustainable and contribute participating in work groups that value that can be measured over include other PEPs, school time. The Paraprofessional district administrators and Educators Program is one educational service district staff. example of the life-changing work These groups collaborate to find we do at Warner Pacific ways to streamline career University as we nurture our pathways and seek out financial dynamic ability to be the first to resources to support this work. respond to community needs, Recently, a study tour of whether they arise from a global programs in the metro area pandemic, economic shifts or featured the pioneering efforts of social or demographic changes. ▪ Warner Pacific to provide these degree programs. In addition, the groups are seeking out ways to build systems that will allow our
What is the crisis of urban education?
The need in Oregon (I think) is: 4,000 teachers a year need to be generated, and our college programs Too few people are ready to step into are generating about a third of that. the role as an educator. There are not So there is a tremendous growth enough programs anymore. opportunity. Warner Pacific is Nationally, fewer than half the number of college students are positioned well. WPU is nimble pursuing a degree that would put compared to other universities. The them in education as 10 years potential is in the partnerships that ago. There is a significant workforce Warner Pacific has formed with school shortage. districts in the Portland metro area That was supposed to be addressed and that can be expanded further to by the Oregon Student Success Act. other districts. Landing the needed people was going What can schools like WPU do to become incredibly competitive. In to lessen the workforce crisis? fact, some school districts were going There is a significant interest on the to end up in a worse position as part of the school districts to diversify employees might be hired away to locations that might be more desirable. the workforce, and Warner Pacific is perfectly positioned to help fill that Districts would be scrambling to role. The question is how fast can replace those people. It would be the Warner Pacific expand? only time in my 45-year career that we The target is to help students enter were making a substantial investment the field of education in college and into education to improve outcomes come out debt free. What avenues are for kids. In my career, all we have needed for that to occur? Grants and done is subtract—we have never scholarships aren’t the only answer. meaningfully added. This has all been Students need to complete a degree, put on hold. Education funding is in have a job at hand and have no debt a much different place due to when they finish school. Create a COVID-19. I am not aware of any robust dual-credit program and work districts around me that are hiring. with school districts to develop an The same issue will still exist. There internship program that will pay are not enough young people going students a salary while they are into education jobs. in school.
Why do you think people are not choosing education as a career?
Creative approaches are needed to training teachers. Students not going into teaching because of the cost of college exceeding the amount they can earn as a teacher. Also, the perception of education as a career is an issue. People see how hard teachers work, and they don’t want to work that hard.
Learn more about Bob, his many years of engagement with WPU and his service to the field of education on p. 22.
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R E L E VA N T
WP Library Is More Than Books Otto F. Linn Library has developed a reputation for providing more than books by offering space for rich discussion about important topics, hosting a series of faculty lectures and providing up-to-date summaries of current news and trends. The Director of Library Services, Dr. Lishi Kwasitsu, has worked diligently to expand the services offered by the library to bring more than books to students since he joined Warner Pacific University in March 2018. Dr. Kwasitsu says, “The library has been transformed from just another building on campus into a popular place for study, teaching and networking. The library reading room is now a teaching space for some professors, who are attracted by our new video and projection technology. The new children’s library is now popular with Champions Academy students who engage in learning activities on campus for six weeks during the summer. And the new Art Gallery is popular with both internal and external visitors.” Both commuter and residential students often spend hours in the library working quietly on their studies and meeting with their peers about class projects. This common area has truly become more than a repository of books. While the library houses a collection of 74,000 items, it is also the gateway to more than 30,000,000 volumes and resources through the University’s membership in Orbis Cascade Alliance, a nonprofit consortium of 39 colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The Fall 2017 Warner Pacific Faculty Lecture Series kicked off with its first program titled “Everyone’s Constitution: Citizen or Not!” Dr. JoEllyn Murillo Fountain gave the lecture and hosted a panel of Warner Pacific faculty including Dr. Lloyd Chia, Dr. Luke Goble and Dr. Courage Mudzongo. The event was a success, with several attendees registering to become new voters. The faculty lecture series has grown in popularity over the last six semesters and is now regularly attended by students, staff, faculty and guests. 14
Lecture Series Topics Fall 2018 – The Urban Church as Fair-Weather Friend: From White Flight to Gentrification by Dr. Lloyd Chia, Associate Professor of Social Science Spring 2019 – Missionaries’ Perspective on the Effects of a Short-Term Mission by Dr. Courage Mudzongo, Assistant Professor of Psychology Fall 2019 – Caring for the Climate Changed: The Intersection of Health, Environment and Policy for the Common Good by Dr. Gary Laustsen, Associate Dean and Professor of Nursing Spring 2020 – Looking Beyond “Bad” Behavior of Traumatized Children: A Trust-Based Relationship Intervention Model for Caregivers and Other Caring Adults by Professor by Debra Penkin, MSW, CFLE, Director of Field Education and Assistant Professor of Social Work Each semester, the Library hosts an educational series on topics that have included “Making Future Educators” with Dr. Dvan Watson, Teaching for Black Lives; “Making Future Visionaries” with Walidah Imarisha, scholar and activist; “Making Future Leaders” with Donna Barber, Educator and Author. Presentations also included “Census 101” with Blanca Gaytan Farfan, Census Equity Coordinator for #WeCountOregon and “Portland Fire and Rescue” with Sara Boone, Chief of Portland Fire and Rescue. Twelve topical presentations per semester are offered to the University and neighborhood communities. The Library provides University subscribers a “Daily News Service” that shares news stories, insights and analysis of Liberal Arts and Higher Education. Categories include: Advocacy and Social Issues; Business and Government; Early Childhood Development; Faith and Politics; IT Trends; In the City; Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion; Leadership and Management; Liberal Arts/Higher Education; Sports, Health and Science; Student Life and Community; Technology and Digital Literacies, and Also of Interest. In an age when the internet and digital information compete with libraries as a resource, Warner Pacific University’s Otto F. Linn Library team has created engagement opportunities that complement what can be accessed on a smartphone. ▪
PARTNERS WITH PORTLAND
WPU Signs On to Multnomah Countywide Grow Your Own Educators Collaborative Dr. Paul Coakley is the Superintendent of Centennial School District.
On April 23, 2020, Warner Pacific University signed the Grow Your Own (GYO) memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate with public school districts and higher education institutions in Multnomah County for the purpose of fulfilling two critical priorities for school districts: • Diversify the teaching workforce to more closely match the demographics and lived experiences of our students; and • Increase the available pool of licensed educators to meet current and projected hiring needs, particularly in hard-to-fill positions.
Dr. Danna Diaz is the Superintendent of Reynolds School District.
One of the prominent priorities of the collaborative is to ensure that racial equity, social justice and culturally sustaining practices are at the center of all regional GYO programs. Warner Pacific is the most racially and ethnically diverse university in Multnomah County and committed to preparing future teachers who are equipped to teach and serve students in a culturally responsive manner that honors and respects them and their heritage. As a university partner, Warner Pacific will continue to work actively to recruit students through our Paraprofessional Educators Program (PEP) and to provide scholarships to assist with the cost of education and responsive scheduling that supports paraprofessionals’ continued employment. ▪
Dr. Katrise Perera is the Superintendent of Gresham-Barlow School District. Also 15 pictured is Lavert Robertson, CEO of All Hands Raised.
Jay Jeffers, Ph.D. ’72 graduated with his Bachelor of Science at Warner Pacific and now works as a Christian Marriage & Family Therapist. Jay has been married to his wife Virginia for 55 years and together, they have two grown adult children: son Brent, who is married and lives in Tennessee, and daughter Janelle who helps Jay in his practice. He is proud of his accomplishments in life including being a chaplain for over 10 years and the Mental Health Services Director for American Red Cross for 10 years. As Jay reflected on his time at WPU he said, “The sphere of influence the teachers had on many of my life decisions will be remembered forever. The personal touch from everyone connected with WPU to make me feel valued and welcomed and giving me opportunities to explore.” Tanja Bass ’89 earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development degree in 1989. She is now working as an Administrative Assistant, to the Director of Special Services at Oregon City School District. Tanja has three children: Christian, a youth pastor at Mt. View Christian married with two children of their own; Taylor, a Dental Assistant and Sidney, a student at PSU. Her fondest memory of her time at Warner Pacific was of a choir tour to Canada. She shares, “My experience at Warner Pacific has given me many tools to use as I have served children, families and staff in the Oregon City School District. My skills have been a great asset and my faith in God is the passion that drives me to serve.” Stella Funk Butler ’94 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development Degree at WPU. Since then, Stella has spent 29 years working with homeless youth in Downtown Portland
for various agencies. Stella now works as an educational assistant at a behavioral school. As Stella reflects on her time at Warner Pacific, she says that it “became a place of healing for me. I didn’t fully realize how instrumental the professors and the academic classes would become to my healing. Some of the courses touched on places that would have a profound effect on me.” Stella shared that she is so grateful for the growth and awakening she experienced at Warner Pacific. Matt Sumner ’96 married Nikki (Wright) Sumner ’96 on July 13, 1996, and two months later embarked for California for what was the beginning of 10 years in youth and music ministry in the Church of God. After five years in Whitefish, Montana, they moved to Bozeman, Montana, where Matt took a job in support for what eventually became LexusNexis. After a few years there, he took a job in Professional Services with Oracle. Two and a half years there led to an opportunity as a software admin with Walmart eCommerce in their corporate office. Since then he has been with a few Oracle partner consulting firms. He now works with SoftClouds based in San Diego. Nikki has been actively raising their two children, Caleb and Alisa, who are both now in high school. She presently owns and operates Clean Queen PDX, a house-cleaning company she started 3 years ago. They moved to Sherwood, Oregon, in 2016 and are enjoying all the area has to offer. Dorcie R. Johnson ’09 earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development in 2009. She is now a Corrections Technician for the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, where she manages and monitors cases for justice-involved people in the mental health unit. As Dorcie reflected on her time at Warner Pacific, she shared a fond memory that helped her overcome a challenge that
What’s going on with you?
many university students face. “There Crystal Rose was a time when I was struggling with (Bradford) Mettee the balance of life, work and school, and ’15 graduated with a I was contemplating quitting school, in Bachelor of Science order to manage the other areas of my in Human Biology life. I went and informed my learning with an emphasis in team of my choices and they were there Biological Science. Crystal is currently a like a family. They encouraged me to stay Naturopathic Medical Student, a wife and and highlighted my strengths and helped mother to their 9-month-old baby boy. As me understand my position within Crystal reflected on her time at WPU, she the team. Because of their support, I shared that her fond memories included continued in my program and was able to “getting one-on-one help from the brilliant get through that challenging moment.” and amazing Dr. DuPriest…and one Dorcie acknowledged that her Warner foundational moment when President Pacific experience impacted her career Andrea Cook gave me some encouraging choice and has “given me a higher words down by the coffee shop.” ranking for positions.” She recently Crystal said when she got to medical purchased her childhood home, which school, she started ahead of the curve her grandmother previously owned, in some areas and is extremely grateful and is extremely proud of this great for her education and experience at accomplishment. In Dorcie’s free time, Warner Pacific. she volunteers and helps organize an Charles (Chaz) Nels annual girls’ conference called “Why I Peterson III ’19 Rock,” hosted at Warner Pacific. Along earned his Bachelor with her involvement in the community of Science in Human development initiative at Prosper Development. After Portland, she spent the years following graduating, the former her education at WPU in service wrestler moved to his hometown and to others. became an assistant wrestling coach Kate (McGregor) at Hood River Valley High School and O’Neal ’13 earned the head wrestling coach at Hood River her Bachelor of Arts Middle School. In addition, Charles has in Communications. started his own construction business. Kate says she “loved As Charles reflects on his time at Warner the girls I lived with in Pacific, he shares, “I had a lot of great Sandy House and chatting with sweet professors. Some still reach out to see Anner at the coffee shop.” Kate is now a how I am doing. I always felt as if they all Senior Administrative Assistant at Whole cared about me, and I knew they wanted Foods Market, where she assists four vice me to do good in their class as well as in presidents in the Retail Operations and life. They didn’t just care about grades. Distribution department. As she reflects They wanted to know me as a person, on her time at Warner Pacific, she says, not just as a name on a list of students.” “WPU gave me the knowledge to succeed Charles is a very proud uncle of a little in my career. The professors and small niece named Kella. class sizes gave me a great education.” In 2017, Kate married her best friend Nathan in Charleston, South Carolina, and traveled the United States in 2018 until they settled down in Austin, Texas.
WPU alumna and Director of Alumni Relations Stephanie Harvey wants to hear the scoop about you: marriages, new jobs, professional recognition, service awards, accomplishments, updates. send your latest news to warnerpacific.edu/about/alumni
Your Experience in tribute to our classmates Annette Margaret (Theios) Evans ’51 was born February 20, 1929 and passed to her heavenly reward on January 2, 2020, after suffering from Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Annette married Cecil Evans ’53 on June 14, 1951, after graduating from Pacific Bible College (now Warner Pacific University). They shared over 68 years of marriage, living in North Dakota; Denver, Colorado; and Norman, Oklahoma. Martha Jeanette (Kaufman ’54) Perry passed away on January 10, 2020 at the age of 91. She was born on July 3, 1928, to Fred and Beulah Kaufman in Liberty, Arizona, on a farm. Martha attended Pacific Bible College (now Warner Pacific University) and graduated with a Bachelor of Theology degree on May 28, 1954. She met her husband-to-be, Walter Eugene Perry, while she was leading Christian Education workshops in churches throughout California. They were married on October 25, 1955, and enjoyed over 64 years of marriage. Martha is survived by her husband, Walter; her brother, Wilbur Kaufman; children David (Susan Broadwell ’78) Perry ’80, Diane (Jeff) Minor ’81, Danette (Doug ’87) Beisley ’87, Darla (Dan) Smatlak, and Donelle (Vadim) Sokolov; 12 grandchildren including Allison (Beisley) Angulo ’16, and four great-grandchildren. Robert (Bob) H. Moore ’58 was born on September 3, 1934 in Palouse, Washington, and passed away at home in Gresham, Oregon, on January 3, 2020, after a long-fought battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Bob is survived by his wife of 64 years, Lois J. (Gibson) Moore ’55; children Robert, Doug, Kathy, Daryl and Jason and their spouses; seven grandchildren and their spouses, and five great-grandchildren. A celebration of life was held at Lynchwood Church of God on January 19, 2020. Donna Faye (Brown ’59) Manor went home to be with Jesus December 19, 2019. She was born on January 25, 1938, in Camas, Washington. On February 12, 1960, Donna was married to George A.
Manor. After 51 years of marriage, Jesus called George home in 2011. Donna loved her children: son Dale (Michealine) Manor, daughter, Brenda (Gerry) Hofman and daughter, Bobbi, who sadly passed away last April. Donna has six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren whom she adored. Her son, Dale, shares that she was very proud of her college time at Warner Pacific and always enjoyed the correspondence. Roy R Dockter ’60 passed away peacefully Dec. 12, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. Roy was born on Nov. 1, 1925, in North Dakota, and he grew up in a large family full of laughter and love. Roy met the love of his life, Alverta Hager, while working on her family’s farm. He served in the army in World War II, stationed in the Philippines. Roy and Alverta married in 1951. Roy was preceded in death by his wife, Alverta, in 2004, and is survived by his five children, 20 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-greatgrandchild. Burial with military honors was at Willamette National Cemetery on Dec. 30, 2019. A Celebration of his life was held on Saturday January 18, 2020, at Lynchwood Church of God. Julia Hilda (Honeycutt) Shrout ’68 passed away November 19, 2019 in Keizer, Oregon, at the age of 95. She was born to Lewis and Julia Honeycutt on July 4, 1924, in Hickory, North Carolina. In 1946, she met William (Bill) C. Shrout, Jr., who had been recently discharged from the U.S. Navy. They were married on February 8, 1947, in Anderson, Indiana, and shared 62 years together until his passing in 2009. Julia completed her bachelor’s degree in English and teacher education at Warner Pacific College (now University) in 1968 while working for Multnomah County Mental Health. In 2007 she received the Distinguished Alumni Legacy Award from Warner Pacific College (now University). She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; son-in-law, Steve Graham; and daughter-in-law, Toni Shrout. She is survived by her daughter Linda (Shrout
Graham) (Raul) Villalva ’72; sons Terry (Betty Jo Martin ’75) Shrout ’75 and Rick Shrout ’85; grandchildren Charley (Melissa) Graham, Laura Avina, Jonathan (Carissa) Shrout ’03, Melissa Shrout ’07 and Sarah (Shrout) (John) Peters ’07; and three great-grandchildren. Richard (Rich) Kenneth MacLean ’71 entered into Glory on November 4, 2019 at 70 years of age. Rich was born and raised in San Diego, California. He played basketball at Mesa Junior College and transferred to Warner Pacific College (now University) on a basketball scholarship. It was there that he met his bride, Joanne (Baker) ’71. Rich is survived by his wife of 48 years, Joanne; his sons, Todd and Kevin, and daughter Melinda Esquerra, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Cheryl Dianne (Ninemire) Walker ’76 was born July 12, 1954 in Portland, Oregon, and departed this life in Bakersfield, California, on October 27, 2019, at the age of 65 due to complications following surgery. She was the oldest of five children of Paul ’58 and Gussie Ninemire ’56. She graduated from Warner Pacific College (now University) in 1976. Cheryl was married to Steve Walker ’75 for 41 years; they shared two sons, Ryan and Jonathan, as well as two foreign exchange students who were like adopted children, Mariana Timponi Rodriguez (Leo) and Yoon Ho Song (Kowoonlee). Cheryl was preceded in death by her son Jonathan in March 1999; her mother, Gussie Ninemire; and a sister, Mona Ninemire. She is survived by her loving husband, Steve Walker; son Ryan Walker (Joslyn); three granddaughters: Gracie, Katelyn, & Aubrey; father Paul Ninemire; sisters Paula Riley (Don) and Teressa Traylor (Reese); brother Tim Ninemire (Debbie), and brothers-in-law Rod Walker (Pam), Glen Walker (Becky) and Greg Walker (Lynn).
Experience Magazine is just the start of the conversation. If you have comments about the content, or if you want to share memories or let us know how you’re doing, we want to hear from you! get in touch on social media or by emailing email@example.com Uplifted by President’s Report “I just finished your president’s report in the Warner Pacific periodical. It was very encouraging and uplifting. That is just really fabulous, Andrea. Well done.” – From social media Praise for Warner’s Transformation Dear Dr. Cook, As an alum from 1988 and the son of former professor Mike Conley, I have some strong connections to Warner. As a student, I struggled with the school’s limited vision, the rejection and fear of the city around it, and what was for me a shocking rejection of diversity. As editor of the student newspaper, the first issue we ran focused on the racial split in the Church of God. So reading about what you have done at Warner this morning quite literally brought tears to my eyes. I’ve spent my career in higher education, becoming increasingly disparaging of the direction it heads, and yet here at my own alma mater the very work I would like to see happening in higher ed is happening. Let me just close with saying thank you for what you’ve done for a gem of a college that I so deeply value for the profound liberal arts education it provided me. Warm regards, Sean Conley ’88
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HEART OF WP
Leading With Love for Students Bob Stewart, ’75 Superintendent of Schools, Gladstone School District When Bob Stewart heard about Warner Pacific University (then College) through his church, it seemed like a natural choice. Growing up in a Church of God family in Seattle, Washington, Stewart was a basketball player who knew he wanted to continue to play the game he loved while attending college. Stewart played for the Knights and received much more than an athletic experience from his time at Warner Pacific. From his time as a student, Stewart remembers his faculty fondly. Stewart reflects, “The thing about Warner Pacific, that is still true today, is the personalized approach to what happens. You get to know the professors, not just by name. They become friends and advisors; they know you well enough that they can look at you and say, ‘you really should…’ and give you advice.”
“In working with kids, there was a level of meaning that other jobs didn’t have.” When Stewart started college, he was undecided about a career. As time went on, he knew he would have to decide on a major and found that working with kids was rewarding. “I knew I could see myself working with kids for a long time,” Stewart shares. “In working with kids, there was a level of meaning that other jobs didn’t have.” He majored in education and has served as an educator ever since. Stewart’s first job out of college in 1975 was as a community education assistant in Mollala, Oregon, where he became the director of the program. In 1980 he moved to Gladstone in a similar role and served in a variety of positions in the district. He took on the role of Superintendent in 1999 and still serves in that role today. As a 21-year superintendent, Stewart is a bit of an outlier. According to the Oregon Association of School Executives (OASE), superintendents serve for an average of between five and six years. Stewart reflected on his time in his role that, “I have been blessed. It’s been a good journey.” 18
In 2005 Stewart reconnected with Warner Pacific University (then College) by joining the Board of Trustees. He became the Board Chair in 2014 before ending his service in 2019. During that time, Stewart was reminded that “Warner Pacific University is a special place where people grow and become young adults that are grounded and are ready to make their mark on the world. In many ways, the college is just the same as it was when I attended, and in some ways, it is very different. In my era, the city of Portland was not embraced at the college, and today, it is embraced as who we are. “During my time on the Board, there were some challenging issues in higher education, everything from cost implications of going to college as a kid, to making sure that the college is offering what is relevant and what kids need to have to go on into the world.” When asked about the college advice he offers students, Stewart replied, “I tell them to know why they are going, to know they will find bumps in the road, but they can navigate the bumps if they choose to, to find a place where they feel accepted and a place where they feel they will thrive. I also tell kids that I know are planning to go to Warner Pacific that they are making a good choice.” Stewart’s career is defined by his dedication, advocacy and community service. Over the years, Stewart has served many community organizations including “Family Stepping Stones” (the first Relief Nursery in Clackamas County), the Clackamas County Commission for Children and Families, Care Oregon, the Oregon Association of School Executives, the Gladstone Education Foundation, and the Education Leadership Council (COSA). He was also a member of Governor Kitzhaber’s Early Learning Transition Team. The leadership that Bob Stewart has exhibited in the field of education is unmistakable, and there is no doubt that he has impacted the lives of students throughout Oregon. ▪
distinguished alumni award “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” Matthew 25:21 (ESV) Each year Warner Pacific University recognizes outstanding graduates whose individual achievements have brought honor to themselves and the University. The Ministry and Service Award is awarded to an individual who has given their life to ministry or has provided outstanding service in their field or in the community. On April 30, 2020, Dr. Andrea P. Cook conferred on Jay McKenney ’01 the Distinguished Alumni Ministry and Service Award in recognition of his devotion to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the ministry of music. Jay’s passion for God, his family, friends and community are evidenced by his relentless pursuit of relationships, his unswerving faith in the midst of crisis and his desire that everyone he encounters would know Jesus in a lifechanging way. “I am deeply honored and humbled to share with you today that Warner Pacific University is bestowing upon you the Distinguished Alumni Ministry and Service Award,” said Dr. Andrea Cook. “This award recognizes your life of ministry and faithfulness to God, your Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of your soul.” Over the years, Jay has shared his love and passion for God through various avenues including years as a vocalist and songwriter with Rescue, serving as a Worship Minister and as a health coach, and throughout his seven-year battle with cancer. The evidence of his faith in this season of crisis in his earthly life has made his ultimate trust in God clear to all who know him and who encounter his story. Jay exemplifies all that was intended when the Ministry and Service Award was established. His life of faithfulness and availability to serve God through ministry, relationship, music, coaching, and most of all loving his wife, Allison ’97, and daughters, Macy and Ava, have borne witness of his trust in God to all those in his circle of influence and in the broader community. For living in a manner that is worthy of the calling of God through sharing the life-changing story of Jesus each and every day through his words and life, Warner Pacific University is honored to recognize Jay McKenney ’01 with the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Ministry and Service Award. ▪
Night of Knights INAUGURAL NIGHT OF KNIGHTS EVENT
On Thursday, February 13, 2020, Warner Pacific University Athletics and supporters celebrated the accomplishments of athletes and coaches, past and present, at the inaugural Night of Knights event. The evening took place at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Downtown Portland, hosted by Michael Holton, retired NBA player, founder of Michael Holton Basketball Academy and current commentator for the Portland Trail Blazers. The event highlighted past coaches including Kathryn (Katy) Steding, Gary Bays and Bernie Fagan. Warner Pacific announced the inauguration of the Bart Valentine Coach Award, named for alumnus and former Men’s Basketball Head Coach and Athletic Director Bart Valentine. This award recognizes Valentine’s significant role in reviving and growing the University’s athletic program from four sports to 11 from 1999 to 2010. Under his leadership, the Knights basketball teams were perennial Cascade Collegiate Conference championship contenders, and his teams qualified for the NAIA Division II National Men’s Basketball Tournament six times—launching him into the University’s Hall of Honor in 2017. Valentine holds two Cascade Collegiate Conference titles. Both Steding and Bays received the Bart Valentine Coaching Award,
commemorating their years of service and coaching successes. As a power forward, Steding led Stanford University to its first NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. As a member of the U.S. Women’s National team, dubbed the “Women’s Dream Team,” she earned a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. In her first head coaching role, Steding spent seven seasons at the helm of the Warner Pacific College program, helping it transition from a club-level program to a varsity team. Steding recorded a pair of 20-plus win seasons, leading the Knights to the NAIA Division II National Tournaments in 2004 and 2006. Steding was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the 2005–06 season. Bays taught P.E., was the Men’s Basketball Head Coach and served as the Athletic Director at Warner Pacific University from 1976–1988. He was named NCCAA Regional Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1986 and has been selected as Coach of the Year multiple times. At Warner Pacific College, Bays spent 12 years building a competitive program in a tough conference. Warner Pacific honored Bays in 2009 as “Coach Emeritus.” Bernie Fagan received the Legacy Award for his 26 years of commitment to Warner Pacific. Fagan played professionally in England and as a member of the Portland Timbers. He led the men’s soccer team at Warner Pacific for two stints, 1982–1990 and 1998–2014. During his tenure as WP head coach, he received multiple awards for college coaching, including Regional Coach of the Year. Fagan led the Warner Pacific Men’s Soccer Team to the University’s only Cascade Collegiate Conference Soccer Championship in 2009.
Our inaugural Night of Knights was a huge success with a sold-out room, shared memories of past and present coaches, and student stories pointing toward the future of Warner Pacific Athletics. We are incredibly grateful for your support and look forward to the renovation of the gym floor and the lives forever changed through sports at Warner Pacific. ▪
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K N I G H T S ’ TA L E S
More than 40% of Warner Pacific students represent the University as scholar-athletes. We invite you to follow the Knights by attending athletic events to cheer for our teams, visiting wpuknights.com for the latest news and following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
CLASS OF 2020 Senior Knights Finish Spring Season We are so proud of our Senior Knights that completed their spring seasons or had their seasons cut short:
MEN’S BASKETBALL: Jalen Ballard, Morris Bethea, Mark Borgeson, KJ Bosco, JD Esters, Joshua Hernandez and Stephon Shaw WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Mya Kirzy, Samantha Morgan, Celeste Pantoja, Darbi Pink, Gennah Schoen and Payton Whitmore WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY: Martina Avendano SOFTBALL: Jazzmine Alcala MEN’S TRACK & FIELD: Isaac Swillie WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD: Brittany Coleman and Samantha Morgan MEN’S WRESTLING: Alvaro Venegas WOMEN’S WRESTLING: Taj-Destiny Vierra
Sportsmanship and Servant Leadership,” stated CCC The Warner Pacific Women’s Commissioner Robert Cashell. “The Basketball team’s season was Les Schwab Team of Character/ upended by Southern Oregon Sportsmanship awards serve as a University in the first round of the way to celebrate the efforts.” Cascade Collegiate Conference The team calls Lexy delos Reyes, Tournament presented by U.S. a 17-year-old girl who has a brain Bank. “This was an up-and-down tumor that has left her blind, their season,” Coach Matt Gregg “sixth man.” When delos Reyes can commented about the season. attend a WPU home game, she is “With early injuries, family issues announced with the starting lineup and some unforeseen drama, we and cheers the team on from the were still able to stay resilient and keep our composure throughout the bench. She has become an important team member. season.” The Knights finished with As well, the Knights head into a 13–16 overall record and a .500 downtown Portland once a month record in conference play, hitting to serve the homeless community some milestones along the way. warm meals alongside Potluck in In their last regular season game, the Park. On average, the team Warner Pacific defeated Southern serves 400–500 people and have Oregon on their home floor, built relationships by having a breaking a seven-year, 15-game consistent presence. The Knights losing streak since their last win also hold “Hoopin’ for the against the Raiders on January Homeless” every February, where 25, 2013. socks are collected at WPU home Through the ups and downs, the Knights remained a consistent force games over a weekend and then donated to the community. to be reckoned with. “I felt as though nobody really wanted to play us because we were capable of beating any team on any given night and we proved that,” said Gregg. After a tough loss in the first round of playoffs where the Knights led for 36 of 40 minutes, it was hard to accept the season would end that way. But Coach Gregg and his staff are ready to begin building for next BRUNO NAMED year, saying, “We have several kids HONORABLE MENTION in the recruiting hopper, and I am excited for a new group of Knights ALL-AMERICAN to take the floor next year.” Gabby Bruno was named to the The Knights are getting notice for NAIA Honorable Mention Alltheir off-the-courts action, as well. American Team on March 19, 2020. The team was honored with the Les The junior, out of Lake Oswego, Schwab Team of Character honors Oregon averaged 15.2 points per on April 13, 2020, which they share game for the Knights, shooting 41 with The College of Idaho men’s percent from the field and 24 basketball team. Teams are percent from beyond the arc. Bruno nominated for the award by set school and career highs in their schools; conference athletic points scored in a game with 40 on directors then vote on February 20. She was named to the nominated teams. First Team All-Conference team for “Each of the athletic departments her efforts in the 2019–20 season. on our member school campuses This is Bruno’s first Allare fully engaged in activities that American appearance. ▪ exemplify the NAIA core values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity,
WRESTLING TEAMS WRAP UP SEASON
SOFTBALL, TRACK & FIELD SEE SUCCESSES
The Knights battled through a few injuries throughout the season. Junior point guard Kadeem Strickland led all WP Knights in scoring with 16.7 points a game. The Knights headed into the playoffs with a No. 7 seed, getting knocked out in the first round by Southern Oregon University and finishing with a 14–16 record. Two Knights, both juniors, were named to the Cascade Collegiate Conference Honorable Mention Team for the 2019–20 season. Miles Brown, a junior from Big Bend Community College, averaged 12.3 points for the Knights while shooting 47 percent from the field, with a 36 percent 3-point field goal percentage. Kadeem Strickland, the Knights’ leading scorer, averaged 15 points and 2.1 assists per game, shooting 37 percent from the arc. Strickland scored a career-high 37 points against Corban University. With these two players having another year at WPU, they will provide a strong foundation for the squad next season. “We had some good wins, but ultimately we were disappointed with the on-court results,” said head coach Jared Valentine. “With some hard work in the spring and fall, and lots of talent returning, we are optimistic for next season.” With some big wins under their belt against Eastern Oregon and Northwest Christian, the squad has some momentum to build on heading into the recruiting season for next year. “I’m grateful for the hard work of our seniors and am looking forward to seeing many of them earn diplomas in May,” Coach Valentine noted about the class of 2020. ▪
Warner Pacific University Men’s Wrestling Team competed in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament on February 22, 2020. At the end of the tournament, two Knights had placed. Zachary Sias, a junior from Arizona, finished sixth in the 149-pound weight class, and Austin Wallace-Lister placed second in the 133-pound weight class. With a second-place finish, Wallace-Lister qualified for a spot at the NAIA National Championships in Wichita, Kansas. The junior out of Portland held the No. 1 ranking in the nation for five weeks before receiving a No. 6 seed at Nationals. Wallace-Lister moved quickly through his opponents in Wichita, defeating two before making it to the Championship. The National Championship match was a repeat of the Cascade Collegiate Conference where Wallace-Lister was hoping to get revenge; however, he fell 0–2 in the match and was named the 2020 NAIA 133-pound National Runner-Up. In his spectacular junior season, WallaceLister was named to the NAIA All-American team, just the seventh Knight wrestler to reach the milestone. Of his losses over the season, only two came against NAIA opponents—both at the hands of Blaysen Terukina of Menlo College, who won the Championship match. Senior women’s wrestler TajDestiny Vierra from Waianae, Hawaii, was invited to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Women’s Wrestling National Invitational on March 13, 2020, in Jamestown, North Dakota. Vierra spent weeks training and working out for this prestigious opportunity. However, upon her arrival in Jamestown, the NAIA made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining of all winter sport championships due to COVID-19, and Taj-Destiny’s run was cut short. Nevertheless, the senior 147-lbs weight class wrestler received the honor of nationals qualification. ▪
In their inaugural season as a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference, the Warner Pacific University Softball team was led by Coach Nathan Ohta. “I love the game of softball and am blessed to be able to continue my coaching career where I am surrounded by people whose goal is to help each athlete be the best they can be in all aspects of life,” said Ohta. “There are exciting days ahead for Warner Pacific Softball, and I am excited to be a part of them.” The Knights started the season with a 10–3 record. Devinne Amesquita was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference Red Lion Player of the Week after just the opening weekend of conference play. The junior third-baseman out of Lake Oswego, Oregon, and teammate Rebekah Roe led the team in home runs, with five each. The Knight’s season may have ended abruptly due to COVID-19, but they are excited to get back on the field next season and make their mark in the conference. As the outdoor Track & Field season prepared for the first shotgun of the 2020 season, junior triple-jumper Brittany Coleman qualified for the NAIA National Indoor Track & Field Championships. In the first meet of the indoor season, Coleman jumped 11.52m, placing fourth overall. The jump was good enough to automatically qualify for nationals, not to mention the No. 2 mark in WPU history. At the National Indoor Championships, which took place in Brookings, South Dakota, Brittany jumped a personal-best 11.61m but came up two inches short of making the finals and getting her chance at All-American status. Last Spring, Coleman ended her outdoor season with a fourth place. The WPU Track & Field team was unable to complete the schedule they had anticipated this spring but, they plan to return stronger and faster in 2021.
Five Track & Field WPU Athletes earned U.S. Bank of America Academic All-CCC Honors. Brittany Coleman, Jackson Cooley, Mya Kirzy, Lindsay MacKenzie and Isaac Swillie were recognized for their performances on and off the playing surface. To earn recognition as a CCC scholarathlete, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 and sophomore standing. ▪
k n i ghts ’ tales
MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM LOOKS AHEAD
SPRING ATHLETIC SEASONS SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID-19 In alignment with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the guidance and orders issued by the Governors of Oregon and Washington, the Cascade Collegiate Conference and Warner Pacific University suspended the spring athletic competition beginning March 12, 2020. The Conference’s decision was followed by that of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) when on March 16, the remainder of the spring season was canceled. The NAIA announced that, “in an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged with a season of competition. Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance.” ▪
t h e mag azine o f Warner Pacif ic University
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” — Hebrews 12:1–2 The Message (MSG)
hen I announced my final year of service to Warner Pacific University, my intention was to finish my time well—to approach this year as a marathon runner might—to give my all to the last months of the presidency. As this semester started, I’ve faced the challenge of cleaning out my 12 years of accumulated documents, books, and other items, to preserve the past and prepare for the future president. Every weekend, I’ve dedicated hours to this task. I’ve cherished the time with students these weeks. Many of my lunches and dinners have been shared with community partners and donors who love the University and care deeply about the transition of leadership. Leaving a job that has also been a calling is a leadership challenge—and one I anticipated. I’ve always intended to finish my time as President as I lived it—fully present, pressing in, leading for the best outcome for the University. The challenges of the past several weeks have been challenges I did not anticipate facing in the last months as President of Warner Pacific University. The words of Hebrews resonate with me so strongly in this season of COVID-19. While I was planning to run the race well and cross the finish line giving my all, the last few weeks have brought to mind the discipline a runner needs to be able to run a steady race. I’m finding myself “kicking” into a faster pace to finish this race. Students are at the heart of the Warner Pacific mission. I remain convinced that the mission of Warner Pacific University is more important today than ever. “Warner Pacific is a Christcentered, urban, liberal arts university dedicated to providing students from diverse backgrounds an education that prepares them to engage actively in a constantly changing world.” We are working hard to make sure our students continue to have the opportunity to
receive an education that prepares them to engage actively in a constantly changing world. Our world is constantly changing—we feel this so acutely in this moment. And we are still preparing students with an education that will change the course of their lives MORE than COVID-19 changes their lives. They will earn an education that will provide social mobility for their families, a new understanding of themselves and others, a future that will allow them to have employment options, even in the midst of a global pandemic. As a university, we’ve held out hope to students in the form of education. And the finish line is as important today as it was when I began in 2008: to provide access to a Christ-centered, urban, liberal arts education for all students. Providing access has meant doing the work of identifying and removing the structural and institutional barriers that have limited this access for historically underserved students. Students who are no longer strangers to us but are now the reason we run this race. Students who, in the midst of COVID-19, find themselves underemployed, staying on campus because there is no safe home in which to return. Students who rely on the University for the stability they need to successfully navigate the transition between adolescence and adulthood. Too often the structures, systems, culture and nomenclature of higher education have limited access for students who don’t have a guide that personally and intentionally walks them through the process. This is as true for adult learners as it is for traditional-aged students. That’s on us! It’s not on students or their families! For me, this has been one of my greatest frustrations with higher education. Many higher education institutions make the claim of accessibility for all, but throughout the educational structures, systems, processes and examinations, barriers exist that challenge the notion of full access.
As we began this work more than a decade ago, an employee challenged the notion of providing students with the proposed intentional, highly personalized approach of supporting, reaching out to, and assisting with navigating processes, suggesting that we were hand-holding, and that we would be stunting students’ growth into adulthood by not making them “stand on their own two feet.” In response I asked, “If you were to suddenly drop into a place where you did not know the protocols, expectations, culture, nomenclature, etc., would you need someone to give you a hand and to guide you?” In that moment, I knew that we needed a story to illustrate the realities that students from diverse backgrounds face when they approach the usual higher education situation. Several years ago, I read the book, “A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League,” by Ron Suskind. The book follows the journey of Cedric Jennings as he enrolls at Brown University and encounters all kinds of hurdles that exist in many higher education institutions. Admission processes, standardized tests, curriculum, reading and writing assignments, social and residence hall realities, all historically framed in dominantculture sets of rules and expectations. I started by ordering 50 copies of the book and asking people to read it with me. When those ran out, I bought more. Then I invited Cedric to come to campus to share his story, and how education changed the trajectory of his life. In 1993, Cedric was an honor student in one of Washington, D.C.’s most dangerous neighborhoods. After his superhuman effort and dedication, he realized his ambition of going to college, only to find one barrier after another that nearly upended the achievement of his goal. Cedric ultimately earned two master’s degrees and worked as a clinical social worker and served in the administration of the Mayor of Washington, D.C. For me, Cedric’s story and that of hundreds of diverse students I have encountered over the years are the reason for our work at Warner Pacific University. Students who are as brilliant and worthy of a Christ-centered urban liberal arts
education, just like all their dominant-culture peers, who without any of their own doing, benefit from the “privilege” of knowing how to navigate the systems and structures that were built by and for people like them. Unfortunately, many of the structures and systems deeply embedded in higher education have perpetuated the ongoing historic practices that have failed to serve diverse students well and resulted in lower persistence and graduation rates, higher loan debt and impossible oppression by inequities in access to employment opportunities and living-wage jobs. The clear message of Jesus in articulating the purpose of his earthly ministry in Luke 4:18–19 provided the clarity for the expression of our mission in this time and place. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come” (NLT). It was time to “favor” those who had been left out of higher education.
ver the past decade, faculty and staff engaged actively in transforming many aspects of how education is delivered and ways decisions are made that impact the services delivered to students. Together, our University community took the dare to deconstruct the old and reconstruct something new. Creating new wineskins for new wine, rather than trying to retain the old wineskins that were detrimental to many of our students. Our mission and commitment led us to reevaluate one historic practice, structure, system of higher education after another. Asking ourselves about its necessity and relevance to our core mission, and whether it perpetuated the exclusion of students from historically underserved backgrounds. Time after time, it became clear that the “tried and true” protocols actually led to exclusion, bias and perpetuating the elitist obstacles. While we continued to recruit students in many of the same venues as the past, we added emphasis in recruiting students from high schools and community colleges in our immediate neighborhood, where the greatest percentages of diverse students in the state were enrolled. We began partnering with organizations, including College Possible and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Our student body began to reflect our neighborhood schools and community colleges— increasing in racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, first-generation demographics in significant ways.
We retooled our hiring practices to address implicit bias and to intentionally seek diverse employees. Our Board established aspirations to increase the diversity of its membership to include at least 50% women and/or people of color, which it has now exceeded. As this transformation began to take hold, Warner Pacific employees began to believe and create new processes, embrace new practices in supporting students and teach with a lens of inclusion and cultural responsiveness. Students today are persisting and graduating at rates similar to those of WP students in the past, and they go on from Warner Pacific to lead and serve across the city. Dozens of students come to mind who are in public office, leading nonprofits, serving as accountants, teachers, business leaders, social workers, and soon will include nurses, leaders in criminal justice, sports medicine, human resources and cybersecurity. When starting this journey, this marathon race, of serving as President of Warner Pacific, I could never have imagined the place this would become. I am humbled and grateful to see the Kingdom work that is taking place every day through Warner Pacific. God placed us in this city, with neighbors and community members that we could love and serve. Throughout, we have engaged students in a journey where Christ has been at the center of our work. It has been an honor to love our students, work alongside our employees and serve our city. God’s irony is using a soul that grew up on a cattle ranch in rural Oregon to lead Warner Pacific at a time of embracing its urban mission.
p r e s i den t ’s p er s p ect ive
“If you were to suddenly drop into a place where you did not know the protocols, expectations, culture, nomenclature, etc., would you need someone to give you a hand and to guide you?”
Andrea Cook, Ph.D. President Warner Pacific University
t h e mag azine o f Warner Pacif ic University
SUPPORTING THE MISSION
Nursing Skills Development Laboratory Honors Dr. Betty Blomquist Thompson Matthew 25:40 (NIV): The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Dr. Betty Blomquist Thompson (June 23, 1934–April 2, 2019) was passionate about medicine, learning and caring for patients as if she were providing care for Jesus himself. Because of their great love for Warner Pacific, Drs. John and Betty Thompson created a planned gift to benefit the University upon her death. In her memory and in honor of her beloved husband Dr. John Thompson, the University designated the proceeds of their careful planning to support Warner Pacific’s Nursing Program. The Nursing Skills Development Laboratory is named in her honor and in the hope that all who learn in the lab will share the passion for patient care and learning that both Drs. Thompson exemplified. ▪
Ruth E. Laughlin—Making a Life Plan to Provide Life Opportunities for WP Students Ruth and her husband, Robert (Bob), created an estate and life plan in the late 1970s that would someday benefit Warner Pacific and provide life opportunities for the University’s students. Their plan included annuities and trusts that named WPU as the beneficiary upon their deaths, and over the past more than 40 years provided them with a life income. Bob passed away several years ago, and Ruth more recently at 101½ years old. Bob was a construction engineer who in retirement worked on supervising repairs on the Painted Rocks Dam in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. Ruth was an accomplished organist and loved playing traditional hymns when visited by guests from Warner Pacific. Bob and Ruth loved Mt. Rainier and often spent time on the mountain in the summer. Their love for the mountain led them to purchase a large parcel of land that became a significant part of their gift to the University. Pastor Wilbur Skaggs of Woodlawn Park Church of God in Seattle encouraged the Laughlins to support Warner Pacific with their estate plan. Now, more than 40 years later, Warner Pacific has been blessed to receive the proceeds of their long-ago planning. Funds will be used to provide life opportunities for students through scholarship support. ▪
Planned gifts are a wonderful way to extend the legacy of your generosity. If you would like to get more information about the best options for your circumstances, please contact Shannon Johnson at 503-517-1220 or
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Congratulations to the one-of-a-kind Class of 2020!
At WPU, we’ve been telling you you’re special every day. You’ve got a special smile, a special heart, a special purpose. Turns out, we didn’t even know just how special you are. Well...we sure found out! You’ve got a real once-in-a-lifetime story to tell, and you’re on to the next chapter of your adventure. Thank you so much for spending this one with us. Sending the Class of 2020 our love and prayers for the journey. Congratulations, and don’t forget to write! #WeAreWarnerPacific