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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]


In the News


U.S. Rep. Lois Capps '59

2001 Commencement highlighted by Lois Capps ’59
U.S. Rep. Lois Capps ’59 of Santa Barbara, Calif, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters, and 605 PLU graduates earned their degrees at Spring Commencement May 27. At this year’s ceremony, PLU awarded 570 un-dergraduate degrees and 35 graduate degrees. PLU awards about 900 undergraduate and graduate degrees every year.

Capps was the honored speaker. She was elected in 1998 to succeed her husband, Walter, in the seat representing California’s central coast after his death.

She earned her nursing degree from PLU, her master of arts in religion from Yale University and a master’s in education from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Capps is co-chair of the House Democratic Task Force on Medicare Reform and founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional School Health and Safety Caucus, which educates House members and staff on important issues such as playground safety, school sports safety and nutrition in schools.

Also honored at commencement were retiring faculty members Stewart Govig, religion; Jerry Kracht, music; Jerome LeJeune, psychology; Jon Nordby, philosophy; Linda Olson, nursing and Paul Webster, languages and literature.

Author, award winner to give Koller Lecture
An award winning authority on the sociology of religion, Robert N. Bellah, will deliver the Heather Koller Memorial Lecture, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m. on campus.

Bellah’s scholarship, ranging from American civic history and responsibility to East Asian religions, has affected trends, methods and current research in the academic study of religion.

Last year President Clinton awarded Bellah the National Humanities Award. The award honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities.

Bellah’s best-selling 1985 book, “Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life” won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It examines the tension in contemporary American life between radical individualism and the deep yearning for community.

Bellah is Elliott Professor of Sociology, Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley.

PLU becomes ROTC host institution
PLU will become a host institution for its award-winning Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

The move will establish a military science program at PLU and will provide cadets more scholarships and better Army assignments when they graduate. Currently PLU’s ROTC program is affiliated with the parent program at Seattle University, even though PLU has 125 cadets, compared to Seattle University’s 75.

The move to host status was controversial on campus because of the military’s “don’t ask/don’t tell” policy. Gay and lesbian individuals are banned from military service, unless they keep their sexual orientation secret.

PLU has a non-discrimination policy that promotes inclusiveness for sexual minorities. Some faculty members and students opposed creating a department on campus that conflicts with this policy.

A majority of faculty members voted to approve the host status, and the Board of Regents followed their recommendation.

Kathryn Lehmann Olson

PLU alum to take over choral activities and the Choir of the West
Master conductor, inspirational teacher and exceptional soloist Kathryn Lehmann Olson has been named conductor of the Choir of the West and new director of choral activities.

Olson, a 1976 PLU music education graduate who was a member of the Choir of the West, is the fifth person to hold the position and the first woman. She is the first woman to conduct a major choir at a Lutheran college. She will succeed Richard Sparks, who is leaving PLU after 18 years to work more closely with the professional choirs he conducts.

“Kathryn brings incredible energy,” said Professor David Robbins, chairman of the music department. “She is not only a superb choral conductor, she is deeply committed to music education, and she’s a performer of professional caliber, with an insider’s knowledge of the physics and psyche of singing.”

Olson most recently was an associate professor of music at the University of Oregon and conductor of the University Chamber Choir. She also has held positions at Oregon State University, Westminster Conservatory in Princeton, N.J., and in the Clover Park School District. She regularly performs, acts as a guest conductor and lectures on vocal performance. She earned her master’s degree in vocal performance from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and is pursuing her doctorate in musical arts at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Olson is dedicated to preparing students to teach music in public schools and has an ability to work with voices that are just forming and those of more mature, well-developed singers, Robbins said.

She looks forward to returning to campus: “I have extremely good memories of how I was treated as a student at PLU,” Olson said. “Since I’ve been a teacher, I haven’t found that kind of atmosphere, where students are the priority and are so valued.”

She said she is honored to conduct the choir in which she performed under Maurice Skones. She hopes to continue the traditions he and Sparks have maintained, as well as try some new things, such as introducing the choir to more ethnic and European music.

Olson will join PLU as an associate professor in the fall. The Choir of the West celebrates its 75 th anniversary this year. Sparks will take the choir on a tour of Scandinavia in May and June, and a reunion concert with past members will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at Lagerquist Concert Hall.

Online…instead of in line
LuteWorld logoOne of the longest standing and most aggravating student traditions—waiting at the bookstore to purchase textbooks—could be a thing of the past. Soon, the tradition will become a short stroll to a computer, as the PLU Bookstore makes online ordering available. Not only will students be able to purchase books online, but alumni, parents and other shoppers can order sweatshirts, CDs and other merchandise.

It will all be done through Luteworld, the PLU Bookstore’s new Internet venture, scheduled to launch Aug. 1. Find it at luteworld.plu.edu.

“We’re replicating most of the store online, and in some ways, we’re going to expand the store,” said Mark Mulder, BBA ’93, MBA ‘00 director of Auxiliary Services.

The electronic store will reduce crowds in the bookstore and make items available to a much broader audience.

Students will be able to order books for their classes and have them delivered or ready for pickup. The Lutes Team Store will offer athletic wear and PLU clothing, and the “Uniquely PLU!” section hopes to showcase authors, artists and musicians with ties to PLU. Luteworld also will offer a New Lutes Center, with information for incoming students about how to find the right books, how to order a computer and other tips. Future plans include selling tickets to campus events online.

PLU MBA and marketing students helped the bookstore prepare to enter the world of e-commerce.

“These are things that have been researched by and for our students,” Mulder said. “We surveyed our students and they even picked the name.”

Items will be offered at the same price as in the store, and as with most online services, there will be shipping charges for delivered items. Gift-wrapping will be available.

“It is a huge service improvement,” Mulder said. “And when you buy from Luteworld, all the money stays on campus. We give every dollar we make back to the university.”

Encore! off and running
Thanks to all of you who have visited our new online supplement to Scene, Encore! (www.plu.edu/encore). In this edition, we introduce a new design as well as expanded content. As some who have visited already know, you can find exclusive Web-only articles, links to various PLU Websites and information related to the articles you are reading in this edition. Keep your comments coming to encore@plu.edu. They have been extremely helpful in making Encore! a great site.

Along with many supplements to Scene stories, you will find these Encore! features:

NAICU president discusses changing face of higher education
Higher education in America faces challenges in the next 10 years exceeding any since the late 1940s, according to David Warren, president of the National Association of Colleges and Universities, who recently visited PLU. Only colleges that are prepared to meet the expectations of these students— from the food they eat, to the racial mix of the faculty and staff and the involvement of institutions in the community—will succeed in attracting and retaining these students.

Student filmmakers make movies, spark PLU Film Society
While other students are trying to figure out what they want to do for a career, Ben Dobyns ’02 is trying to figure out how to finance his next film. Dobyns, along with screenwriter/actor Matt Vancil ’01, have created two back-to-back comic horror films, a PLU Film Society and their own production company, Dead Gentlemen Productions.

Robot Building
His name is Morris, and he hopes to be a fully operational robot. See how a group of computer science and computer engineering majors, as a part of their Senior Capstone Project, built a robot using the Lego® Mindstorms™ Robotic Invention System.

Dealing with a bearish market
Higher-education officials and experts around the country say fund raising has slowed in the past few months, as the major stock markets have looked more and more bearish. When the Chronicle of Higher Education investigated the situation, they went to PLU President Loren J. Anderson, among others. Kit Lively’s special report investigates how President Anderson is planning instead of panicking.

Q Club Banquet Photo Essay
Q Club held another successful spring banquet this May. This issue’s photo essay, by Chris Tumbusch, consists of this year’s highlights. You will also find associate provost Bill Teska’s speech on the PLU study abroad experience and Mooring Mast coverage of the event.

DR. LYNN STEIN CUTS THE RIBBON AT THE CLASSROOM DEDICATION. (FROM THE LEFT) School of Education Dean Lynn Beck, Diana Pederson '86 behind Stein, Mr. Arne Pederson and David Aubrey, Vice President of Development and University Relations.

School of Education dedicates technology classroom
Education students have access to cutting-edge technology thanks to a generous gift from an alum in honor of two retired faculty members, including her grandfather.

Diana Pederson ’86 contributed the funds to equip a classroom in the Administration Building. She made the donation to honor her grandfather, Arne Pederson, and Dr. Lynn Stein. Both taught at PLU for nearly 30 years before retiring in the late ‘80s.

“Long before care and service became core values of the School of Education, these gentlemen embodied those values,” Associate Dean Dr. Myra Baughman said at the dedication of the Pederson-Stein Technology Enhanced Classroom.

In use since last fall, the room was formally dedicated in April. Equipped with computers, digital cameras, a video camera and other computer equipment, the TEC enables students to put together digital reports and develop innovative programs for use in the classroom.

President Loren J. Anderson thanked both retired teachers for their years of service to the university and Diana Pederson, who earned degrees in Norwegian and computer science and works for Microsoft.

“Today we also celebrate the accomplishments of one of our very young and successful graduates,” he said.

Student Satisfaction Survey shows PLU’s continued excellence
Students ranked PLU high in most components of campus life, academics and services on the USA Group Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory, administered last October to a randomly selected group of 46 undergraduate classes. The survey is a national poll, taken by more than 300,000 students attending four-year private colleges.

The university has conducted the SSI for several years, and plans to continue using it on a biannual basis for monitoring student feelings and opinions.

“Student feedback is important to us,” said Laura Majovski, vice president and dean for student life. The SSI is widely distributed on campus and is used in planning university initiatives, she said.

PLU ranked above the national mean in the areas of campus climate, campus life, campus support services, concern for the individual, instructional effectiveness, recruitment and financial aid, service excellence and “student centeredness.” It scored at the national mean in the area of registration effectiveness and scored below the national mean in academic advising, responsiveness to diverse populations and safety and security.

The registration effectiveness and recruitment and financial aid rankings both represent marked improvements over previous years—indicating that university officials have taken the SSI seriously.

“We’ve gotten better over time, and we’ve continued to excel where we are good,” Majovski said, mentioning that the four factors students rate most highly in affecting their decisions to come to PLU—academic reputation, financial aid, size and cost—have remained stable throughout several years of survey results.

When asked how their college experiences have met their expectations, how satisfied they are overall with their experience so far, and whether they would enroll at PLU again, PLU students consistently rank the university significantly higher than the national mean. Ninety-two percent of students polled last October plan to graduate from PLU, and for 73 percent of them, PLU was a first choice.

Tim Vialpando
Tim Vialpando

Students elect Vialpando, Holmes to hold ASPLU executive posts
New executive leaders of ASPLU for 2001-2002 were elected this spring. Junior Tim Vialpando, an English education major from Westminster, Colo. was elected president by a small margin over junior Sean Howell. Senior Cale Holmes, a communication and political science major from Lacey, Wash. won the vice presidential race over junior Tommy Gunston.

Vialpando has served in a variety of student government positions, including Foss Hall president and ASPLU programs director. Holmes has also held a number of leadership roles, including Pflueger Hall president and Residence Hall Association president.

Cale Holmes
Cale Holmes

Better communication between ASPLU and the student body is a priority of the new officers. “I think one of my greatest strengths is the fact that I am so approachable,” Vialpando told the Mooring Mast. “Students can come to me any time and share ideas or concerns that they may have."

The new executives also have plans to rework the ASPLU budget, increase free programming on campus and increase communication between students and administrators.

Vialpando and Holmes took office April 1 and will serve through March 2002.

2001 Faculty Retirees

Stewart D. Govig

Stewart D. Govig
Professor of Religion
• At PLU from 1958 to 1960, 1961 to present
• Bachelor of Arts in History, St. Olaf College, 1948
• Master of Divinity, Luther Theological Seminary, 1952
• Master of Theology in Biblical Studies, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1954
• Ph.D. in Religious Education, New York University, 1966

Jerry Kracht

Jerry Kracht
Professor of Music
• At PLU from 1967 to 1968, 1969 to present
• Bachelor of Music, University of Iowa, 1963
• Master of Arts in Clarinet Performance, University of Iowa, 1965
• Master of Fine Arts in Orchestral Conducting, University of Iowa, 1967
• Doctorate of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting, University of Iowa, 1974

Jerome P. LeJeune

Jerome P. LeJeune
Associate Professor of Psychology
• At PLU since 1972
• Bachelor of Arts in Classics, Gonzaga University, 1964
• Master of Arts in Psychology, University of Victoria, 1970
• Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Victoria, 1974

Jon J. Nordby

Jon J. Nordby
Associate Professor of Philosophy
• At PLU since 1977
• Bachelor of Science in Philosophy and Art, St. Olaf College, 1970
• Master of Arts in Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, 1975
• Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, 1977

Linda N. Olson

Linda N. Olson
Professor of Nursing
• At PLU since 1967
• Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Washington, 1959
• Master of Nursing, University of Washington, 1964
• Ph.D. in Education, University of Washington, 1986

Alexander Szabo

Alexander Szabo
Assistant Professor of Social Work
• At PLU since 1994 Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy, St. John's University, 1963
• Master of Social Work, Hunter College, City University of New York, 1968
• Master of Education, Columbia University Teachers' College, 1989
• Doctorate in Education, Columbia University Teachers' College, 1990

Paul M. Webster

Paul M. Webster
Associate Professor of German
• At PLU since 1969
• Bachelor of Arts in German, University of California at Los Angeles, 1964
• Master of Arts in German, University of California at Los Angeles, 1967

Published Corner

Lynn BeckLYNN BECK, professor and dean of the School of Education, co-authored a book titled “The Productive High School: Creating Personalized Learning Communities” (Corwin Press, 2001). Her co-authors included Joseph Murphy, Marilyn Crawford, Amy Hodges and Charis McGaughy. The book provides a historical overview of the development of the modern, comprehensive high school, and makes recommendations for improvement of the current system.


Megan BentonMEGAN BENTON, associate professor of English, co-edited a book titled “Illuminating Letters: Typography and Literary Interpretation” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2001) with Paul C. Gutjahr. The book is a collection of essays that examine the role of book design in shaping the meanings that readers derive from printed texts. Her own essay included in the volume is titled “Re-Masculating the Modern Book: Typography and Gender.”

Faculty Newsmakers

Coleen HackerHacker awarded presidential citation
COLLEEN HACKER, Ph.D., PLU professor and assistant dean in the Department of Physical Education, was one of two members of the Washington State Psychological Association to receive presidential citations from the American Psychological Association. The award was presented by APA President Pat DeLeon at an awards dinner earlier this year. The APA cited Hacker’s approach to mental skills training from a practical, application-oriented perspective, and noted “Colleen’s commitment to the diversity between and among team members, team chemistry and dynamics in concert with the coaching staff.”

History professor’s innovative curriculum receives national notice
History professor BETH KRAIG’S innovative teaching methods are receiving national notice. Kraig’s 20th Century U.S. History course, profiled in the Spring 2001 issue of Scene, was the focus of a March 2 column in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle, a national trade journal, devoted its weekly “Syllabus” column to a discussion of Kraig’s plan for using service learning to make historical connections. Kraig will teach the course each fall.


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