Conference Speakers

Who:
Rev. Jen Rude, University Pastor, PLU

Bio:
Rev. Jen Rude was named the University Pastor at Pacific Lutheran University in August, 2016.

Before coming to PLU Jen served as the program director for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a national support and advocacy organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer) pastors and seminarians. For eight years Jen served as an Outreach Minister with The Night Ministry in Chicago, where she provided pastoral care, crisis response and advocacy in an interfaith and multicultural setting for street-based young adults. In 2007, Jen was extraordinary ordained at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago and served there as Associate Pastor. After policy change at the national level removed barriers for partnered LGBTQ clergy, Jen was received onto the ELCA roster in 2011.

Jen received her Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and her B.A. in Religion with Gender Studies and Psychology minors from ELCA-affiliated Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jen is a member of Proclaim, the professional community for publicly identified LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders and those preparing for rostered leadership. Proclaim is a program of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.

Outside of work, Jen enjoys hiking, cooking, brewing homemade kombucha, the Enneagram, reading about minimalism/simple living, tending to her composting worms and exploring Tacoma and the Pacific Northwest with her spouse Deb.

As part of her role as University Pastor, Pastor Jen leads Sunday worship, Wednesday and Friday chapel, and seeks to accompany students, faculty and staff wherever they are on their faith or spiritual journey.

Who:
Dr. Marit A. Trelstad, PLU Chair of Lutheran Studies and Professor of Constructive and Lutheran Theologies at PLU

Bio: 
Dr. Marit Trelstad is Professor of Constructive and Lutheran Theology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Her scholarly work combines feminist, process and Lutheran theologies and has focused on Christology, theological anthropology, the doctrine of God, and science and religion (including economics, geoengineering and ecology). As a contributor and editor, she published Cross Examinations: Readings on the Meaning of the Cross Today (Fortress, 2006) and contributed to Transformative Lutheran Theologies (Fortress, 2010) and Lutherrenaissance: Past and Present (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015) along with several other journals and books.

Who:
Imam Jamal Rahman, Muslim Sufi interfaith minister, Greater Seattle Area, Religon Department lecturer at PLU

Bio:
Co-founder and Muslim Sufi minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary and adjunct faculty at Seattle University, Imam Jamal Rahman is a sought after speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations. Since 9/11, he has been collaborating with Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Don Mackenzie, affectionately known as the Interfaith Amigos. He has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs. He is a former co-host of Interfaith Talk Radio and travels nationally and internationally, presenting at retreats and workshops. His passion lies in interfaith community building. He remains rooted in his Islamic tradition and cultivates a “spaciousness” by being open to the beauty and wisdom of other faiths. By authentically and appreciatively understanding other paths, Rahman feels that he becomes a better Muslim. This spaciousness is not about conversion but about completion. He has served as a visiting lecturer at PLU teaching Islamic Traditions.

Who:
Dr. Dakotah Lane, Lummi Indian Health Center of Bellevue, WA

Bio:
Dr. Dakotah Lane, Lummi Indian Health Center of Bellevue, WA is the medical director for the Lummi Nation. In an interview for UW, he said he is glad to be where he is. He came back to the reservation in 2016 to practice family medicine after getting his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medicine at Cornell University in New York. It was a switch for him after starting out as an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Washington (UW) in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE).

Who:
Rabbi Bruce Kadden, Temple Beth El, Tacoma, Religon Department lecturer at PLU

Bio:
Bruce Kadden is rabbi of Temple Beth El in Tacoma and Adjunct Professor in the Religion Department, part of the faculty of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Affiliate Chaplain at PLU. He and his wife, Barbara of blessed memory, are authors of three books in Jewish education. He earned a B.A. in Religious Studies at Stanford University and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Who:
Rev. Mara Forster-Smith, staff chaplain Swedish Medical Center, Seattle

Bio:
Rev. Mara Forster-Smith is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and has served as a staff chaplain at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle since 2015. Her spiritual care emphasis is surgical oncology and end-of-life care. Rev. Forster-Smith holds a M.Div. degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and is a Board Certified Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains. She is particularly interested in the contribution of storytelling and ritual as part of the healing process, and enjoys bringing her love of choral singing and music into her chaplaincy practice.

Mara Forster-Smith

Who:
Rev. Tadao Koyama, Tacoma Buddhist Temple, Tacoma, WA

Bio:
Rev. Tadao Koyama is the officiating minister of Tacoma Buddhist Temple, starting in 2020. A West Coast native, he was born and raised in Sacramento California.

His connections to the Tacoma Buddhist Temple and the Northwest District were made long ago. He is the nephew of Rev. Dean Koyama of the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple who was Tacoma Buddhist Temple’s was minister from 1996 – 2002 and he studied under Rev. Yuki Sugihara, Oregon Temple’s minister.

Under the guidance of Rev. Sugahara, Tadao became an official minister’s assistant in 2013 and the following year Tadao received his Tokudo ordination in Kyoto, Japan.

He began his education at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley California for three years. After graduation, he spent two years in Japan studying first at Nishi Hongwanji’s seminary school, Chūōbukkyōgakuin (Chūbutsu) where he eventually received his Kyoshi, and the next year he studied for the year-long program at ritual and chanting school, Gonshikishidōsho. Tadao is the first North American-born minister to receive the specialized chanting and ritual license from Nishi Hongwanji.

He enjoys practicing Aikido and spending time with his family and wife Cyndi Yasaki. Cyndi was the minister’s assistant at the Gardena Buddhist Church in California and received her Tokudo in the Summer of 2019.

Who:
Dr. Samuel Torvend, Professor of the History of Christianity, PLU

Bio:
Dr. Samuel Torvend teaches courses in the history of early, medieval and reformation Christianity as well as historical courses on the reform of social welfare, Christian responses to local and global hunger, Christian art and architecture, and Christian rituals. As the university professor of Lutheran Studies, he teaches courses and seminars on Martin Luther, the Lutheran Heritage, Women Reformers, Lutheran higher education, Lutheran art and music, and the Reformation. He also serves in the International Honors Program and, on occasion, teaches a January Term course in Rome, Italy. In addition to his work in the academy, Dr. Torvend also serves as a theological consultant to various regional and national church agencies and societies. He is currently engaged with an international consortium of scholars whose work on economic, political, and social questions will be presented during the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

Who:
Rev. Dr. Beverly Wallace, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, North Carolina

Bio:
Dr. Wallace is currently the Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, North Carolina – the oldest Historical Black University in the South. She is an ordained Lutheran Pastor and was formerly the Assistant to the Bishop for the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as the former Interim Director of the Lutheran Theological Center in Atlanta housed at the Interdenominational Theological Center. Currently assigned to the North Carolina Synod, Dr. Wallace is on the Synod’s Committee on Social Justice.

Rev. Dr. Beverly Wallace

Dr. Wallace holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare from Adelphi University in New York, a Masters of Education in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, a Masters of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina and holds a Ph.D. in Family Social Science with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Wallace has a long-standing involvement with the Conference of International Black Lutherans – the Black Teaching Theologians of the Lutheran Church. For the last eight years, Dr. Wallace has also been involved in the bi-annual Consultations of the Daughters of Africa, with their emphasis on Violence of Women and Girls in Africa and her Diaspora. She most recently attended the Consultation held this year in Salvator, Brazil. For the past two years, Dr. Wallace has also served on the planning committee for the Lutheran Ethicist Gathering held prior to the Society of Christian Ethics’s annual meeting. She is also a board member of the North Carolina Council of Churches, a member of the Society of Pastoral Theology, and a member of the American Academy of Religion where she also presented at their annual meeting.

Dr. Wallace has authored several articles and book chapters including “Hush No More: Constructing an African American Lutheran Womanist Ethic”, “Narratives of Grieving African Americans About Racism in the Lives of Deceased Family Members”, “A Womanist Legacy of Trauma, Grief, and Loss: Reframing the Notion of the Strong Black Woman Icon”, and is the co-author of the book, “African American Grief”. Her current research agenda include understanding Community Trauma and End-of Life Decisions among older African Americans. She’s also in the process in writing her second book to be entitled, “African American Grief – Revisited”.

Dr. Wallace considers herself a “womanist” and so embraces the wholeness of all people – both men and women. She has a passion for healing and wholeness for God’s people – physical, psychological, and spiritual healing especially with women. A native of Brooklyn, New York, more recently residing in Atlanta, Dr. Wallace now lives in Smithfield, North Carolina where she is caring for her mother and father. She is the mother of two adult children – William and Yolanda, both educators – and two grandsons, Jaylen Samuel aged 17 and Andre’ (A.J. Tickle) aged 1 year.

Who:
Dr. Mark Mulder, Dean of the School of Business, PLU

Bio:
Dr. Mulder is currently Dean and has taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs (Master of Business Administration – MBA and Master of Science in Marketing Analytics – MSMA) in the PLU School of Business. His coursework includes marketing strategy, consumer behavior, market research, nonprofit marketing/management, sustainability, and social impact.

Professor Mulder regularly leads global courses and projects, and in 2013 created an innovative new course in the PLU School of Business that allows students to earn internship credit and participate in a unique, global project.

In this course, students experience and grow in the areas of community building and engagement, outreach and education (locally and globally), fundraising, crowdfunding, and international nonprofit projects. The course utilizes an interdisciplinary approach blending business, philosophy, Hispanic studies, communication, culture and the political environment to prepare students for their global experience. During that experience, students work collaboratively with a community in Nicaragua, installing a well and teaching health to adults and children. In the MBA program, Professor Mulder leads courses in Peru for the PLU MBA program, showcasing business in an emerging economy and connecting business practices to indigenous, sustainable and social impact (i.e., UN Global Compact) programs.

Dr. Mulder is also an active consultant, assisting business and nonprofit clients to realize their market potential. This work includes identifying the existing market position, opportunities, and branding strategies. He consults professionally, academically and with students, and has completed over 20 research projects with students and clients through their academic coursework, and via over a dozen internship/capstone/grant funded research projects. The active practice of research and consulting connects well with the academic learning and research integration. In many cases, client consulting projects serve as the “lens” from which students apply their learning and build real-world skills through their coursework. In other cases the research is focused on community change, as in 2014 when Dr. Mulder help co-lead a student research project which was awarded a $10,000 research grant by the Independent Colleges of Washington and Puget Sound Energy.

As an active researcher, Dr. Mulder has published in leading marketing journals and presented research at leading national and international marketing conferences. His research in the areas of Consumer Behavior, Transformative Consumer Research and Branding/Narratives has resulted in over 30 journal and conference publications. In 2016, one of the articles he co-authored (Transformative Services Research) was awarded the Emerald Insights Citations of Excellence Research Award for most impactful research. In 2017, Dr. Mulder will co-lead a team of marketing researchers focused on poverty alleviation efforts, which is focused through the lens of business and transformative change. This multi-year research project will commence at the 2017 Association of Consumer Research/Transformative Consumer Research Conference at Cornell University, and will include a diverse team of marketing faculty/researchers who will collaborate with nonprofits and communities in Central America. Dr. Mulder believes the blend of teaching and research is important – and he actively integrates research into his coursework – blending his own research findings/expertise with insights from other marketing research areas. In addition, his research into pedagogy and transformative learning processes is integrated into his global projects and PLU courses.

Dr. Mulder is a recognized educator, researcher and servant leader. A two-time recipient of the PLU School of Business Teaching Award, he has also been selected as Professor of the Year (Beta Gamma Sigma honor society), and has been awarded with the PLU School of Business Research Award. As a community leader and servant, Dr. Mulder has been a recipient of the LIVE UNITED Award from the Tacoma/Pierce County United Way, and with the David T. Alger Service Community Leadership/Service Award. In the business community, Dr. Mulder has been recognized with the 40 under Forty Leadership Award from the Business Examiner, and has served on the board and as President of the local Chamber of Commerce. Serving locally, he has also served as co-chair for the 2016 Franklin Pierce Schools Bond Campaign, which seeks to have voters approve a bond for the first time in 20 years and significantly improve the district facilities which are educating the leaders of tomorrow. Serving globally, Dr. Mulder has led six global service projects around clean water, collaborating and assisting almost 2,000 community members in Honduras and Nicaragua achieve reliable access to clean water for decades. Through this work and the creative approaches to involving others in clean water projects, he was recognized in a 2015 annual report for a global nonprofit for these efforts.

Professor Mulder is a proud member of the Parkland community, and seeks to find ways to not just live in Parkland, but to live FOR and WITH Parkland. He is an active supporter and volunteer in the Parkland and greater Tacoma communities. He is also a proud LUTE, and as an alum appreciates the opportunity to teach and mentor at the institution he loves. “PLU was transformative for me, and I hope I can make it transformational for my students.” Go Lutes!

Who:
Satya L. Jaech, Counselor and Spiritual Director, SoulWork
Tacoma, Washington

Bio:
Satya L. Jaech, MA, LMHC, is a licensed counselor and spiritual director in Tacoma, WA. She has been in private practice for over 30 years. Her approach includes body-centered therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness techniques, and the central role of spirituality in healing. She earned a Master’s in Psychology from Antioch University West in San Francisco, and completed a 2-year certification course in spiritual direction with the Benedictine sisters at Queen of Angels Monastery in Mt. Angel, Oregon. As a mother, teacher, musician, and friend, Satya brings wisdom and sensitivity to her vocation.

Who:
Dr. Deanna Thompson, Director of the Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community and Martin E. Marty Regents Chair of Religion and the Academy at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Bio:
Keynote Speaker