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Sophomore dances her way to the top of Irish competition

Kelly Nagan ’07 is known throughout the Northwest for her Irish dancing abilities.

And she should be. Nagan, who has been dancing since she was 7, placed 11th in the World Irish Dance Championships and in the top 25 at the All-Ireland National Championships in Ireland last spring.

According to Nagan, there’s a lot of practice and hard work involved. “It takes up a lot of time, and the physical aspects of the dance are very demanding,” Nagan said. Before dancers can even compete, they must have the recommendation of a certified teacher.

Nagan, a 19-year-old from Seattle, was one of only a few U.S. citizens to receive honors at the All-Ireland National Championship, where she finished 24th. U.S. performers made up only 30 percent of the contestants at the competition.

To get to the World Irish Dance Championships, Nagan had to compete in regional competitions. At the world championship, she competed against about 90 others in her age group.

Nagan is so recognized for her dancing, that she was offered a job with the popular company Riverdance last summer, but she had already decided to go to PLU. “It’s definitely a possibility in the future,” she said.

Nagan not only enjoys dancing, she teaches it. At the age of 13, Nagan, who dances for the Tony Comerford School of Irish Dance, started helping out with classes. Now, she teaches students ages 4-17 three days a week.

“It’s a lot of fun to work with the kids,” said Nagan, who is considering an elementary education major. “They work really hard.”


PLU signs pact to promote environmental sustainability

PLU proved its commitment to responsible environmental practices by becoming the first college in the Pacific Northwest to sign The Talloires Declaration, a 10-point action plan to incorporate sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research and campus operations.

“It’s our obligation to protect our resources for the future,” PLU President Loren J. Anderson said.

Composed in 1990 at an international conference in Talloires, France, The Talloires Declaration is the official statement of university administrators dedicated to environmental sustainability in higher education. It has been signed by more than 300 universities in more than 40 countries. For more information, go to www.ulsf.org/programs_talloires.html.

The signing took place on Earth Day, during which Sandra Postel, one of the world’s foremost authorities on global water issues, presented a lecture.

The agreement is one more step by PLU’s active sustainability committee, which last semester started a new public awareness campaign and in June hosted a series of workshops. For more information on the committee or its programs, visit www.plu.edu/sustain.


Student reporters explore Parkland community

Journalism students stepped off campus and into the Parkland community as part of their In Depth Reporting class last spring.

The class, taught by Cliff Rowe and Kirk Isakson, chooses a different topic each year for a semester-long project. Students sensed a separation between the PLU community and the rest of Parkland and wanted to know why, so they chose to explore the stereotypes on both sides.

“Those of us who live in the surrounding community are fearful of the proximity of sex offenders. At the same time, we ourselves are bad neighbors with noisy off-campus parties,” Laine Walters ’05 wrote in the introduction to the special section in The Mast. “Stereotypes abound on both sides.

“We do not claim to have the whole answer or even a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between PLU and its community… What we have done is opened the door and said, ‘hello.’”

Focusing on topics including history, students, community, future and East Campus, the students researched PLU’s role in the history of Parkland, what students think of Parkland, impressions of Parkland residents of PLU and its students, outreach by students, the different ways students pay for school and more. The class then presented “Neighbors: Opening the Door” to the campus, using print, video and the Web.

For more information, visit http://www.plu.edu/neighbors/.


Choir of the West chosen to perform at prestigious concert

Choir of the West has been selected to perform at the American Choral Directors Association 2005 National Convention in Los Angeles. The choir was chosen from a record number of applications from throughout the United States and around the world, said Kathryn Lehmann, director of Choir of the West and Choral Activities.

Choirs submitted taped performances, including one choral selection from each concert season from 2001-2004. Choirs selected to appear at the National ACDA Convention are required to be representative of the highest standards of choral performance.

Participation and performance at the ACDA convention will follow the Choir of the West tour of the San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Grass Valley areas of northern California in early February.


Summer months allow time for campus remodeling

For many at PLU, summer is a quiet time. Not so for the facilities management team, which spent the season making needed improvements across campus. Beyond the usual painting, grounds work and maintenance that takes place throughout the year, the department had a hand in more than 35 upgrades, ranging from a new roof on Olson Auditorium and a new dishwasher in Dining Services to carpet replacement in the Diversity Center and new fire doors in the Lute Lounge.

“Last year, we had 37 office moves during the summer,” said Amanda Miller, facilities management project coordinator. “This summer, we had 140.”

The administration building saw major changes – the office of admission received new carpet and a fresh coat of paint. The business office and the offices of financial aid, the registrar, and finance and operations received similar treatment, as well as the construction of new reception areas and offices.

In the University Center, the PLU Bookstore has a fresh, contemporary look. New lighting has been installed, and new display shelves are located throughout.

The restoration of Ordal Hall, which is in the normal rotation of residence hall remodels, involved a complete plumbing installation, which includes the application of the same water-saving technologies employed earlier in Stuen Hall. The upper campus residence hall will also receive new paint, Ethernet connections and new phones.

All told, the projects totaled about $1 million.

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© Scene 2004  •  Pacific Lutheran University  •  Fall 2004

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