latest from Video

“We are uncatchable” | PLU Women’s Rowing

“There is this moment, where everything around you disappears. Where your vision goes dark, and all you feel is the handle of the oar…” Today is National Girls & Women in Sports Day, so we invite you to put on a life jacket, grab a…

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Campus Tour: PLU’s newly renovated anatomy and physiology lab

PLU Resident Instructor of Biology Michelle Crites gives a tour of the newly renovated anatomy and physiology lab in the Rieke Science Center. Learn more about the PLU Department of Biology.

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A conversation with novelist Mari Matthias ‘94, author of “The Runestone’s Promise”

Mari Matthias ‘94 loved diagramming sentences back in the ninth grade. Later, she served on the staff of Saxifrage, PLU’s student-run literary and art magazine, during all four of her years on campus. Matthias describes herself as a self-taught novelist. “Once I decided to write…

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PLU students go on stunning rock climbing adventure in Vantage, Washington

Pacific Lutheran University student videographer Matt Shaps ’24 joined our Outdoor Recreation program on an epic rock climbing adventure in Vantage, Washington. Learn about Outdoor Rec’s upcoming day and weekend trips at plu.edu/recreations/outdoor-rec .

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PLU Football: Behind the Scenes

The PLU football team has begun its 2022 season. Join us at Sparks Stadium for home games in September, October and November. Full schedule available at: golutes.com/sports/football

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My Story, My Words: Ricky Haneda ’22

Recent PLU graduate Ricky Haneda gives a first-person perspective on his experience as an international student making the transition to an American school.

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Confronting Mental Health: How the PLU community is demonstrating transformative care

Walk across campus and you can see the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic everywhere. Masks on faces, signs reminding you to wash your hands, restrictions on classrooms and more. But the pandemic hasn’t just caused physical changes, but also unexpected mental challenges. And that is…

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PLU Wind Ensemble: Musica Ignota

The PLU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of Ingrid Stolzel’s “Musica Ignota” on October 9, 2021. Stolzel traveled to PLU to attended the premiere and work with the PLU wind ensemble and Professor of Music Edwin Powell in advance. A composition almost 1,000 years…

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Yesenia Arellano ’13 discusses her work as a bilingual mental health counselor

PLU alumna Yesenia Arellano ’13 was recently honored by the City of Tacoma during National Hispanic Heritage Month for her work as a mental health counselor providing bilingual therapy to diverse community members and an immigrant clientele. Yesenia spoke with PLU Assistant Director of Communications…

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Community First: PLU alum supports local sellers and town with 3 Sisters Market

For Whidbey Island business owner Roshel Donwen ’17, her close-knit island community is everything. She finds fulfillment in running her store, 3 Sisters Market, providing local food and goods to the people she considers family. “The best part about running and owning 3 Sisters Market…

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latest from Alumni, Internships, Career

PLU alumna Jenifer Leavens ’18 leads elementary education at Chief Leschi Schools

Jenifer Leavens was an experienced educator when she decided it was time to pursue a master’s degree in education. A transplant from California, she wasn’t sure which Puget Sound area university had the best program. So she asked some of her colleagues. “Hands down, people…

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Building Community: A PLU Special Education Major Discovers the Beauty of Returning to His Childhood School District

Gavin Knapp ’23 reflects on Fife Public Schools with a new lens, now student teaching with one of his former educators. Gavin Knapp discovered his vocation for special education in an unusual way – coaching unified sports in high school. Although his former high school…

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Melanie Helle ’97 applies lessons learned at PLU to her work at Chief Leschi Schools

Melanie Helle ’97 walked into a new job in 2020, during the first year of the Covid pandemic. “That was my first year — the pandemic, virtual learning. I was learning on the job,” says the director of special services at Chief Leschi Schools, operated…

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Quan Huynh ’25 Discusses her Internship at the Washington State Senate

Pacific Lutheran University Pre-Law Club President Quan Huynh ’25 unexpectedly stepped into the world of state government, with a bold new perspective. A self-described political newcomer, Huynh proudly represents PLU in Olympia as an intern at the Washington State Senate. As a member of Sen.…

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PLU’s culturally sustaining STEM program helped prepare Becca Anderson to be a dynamic teacher

PLU alumna Becca Anderson ‘19, ‘22 is in her first year teaching biology to ninth graders at Sammamish High School in Bellevue. Her classroom consists of a diverse population of students — something her recent completion of the Culturally Sustaining STEM Teacher Program at Pacific…

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A conversation with novelist Mari Matthias ‘94, author of “The Runestone’s Promise”

Mari Matthias ‘94 loved diagramming sentences back in the ninth grade. Later, she served on the staff of Saxifrage, PLU’s student-run literary and art magazine, during all four of her years on campus. Matthias describes herself as a self-taught novelist. “Once I decided to write…

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PLU interns combat climate change one tree at a time

A group of PLU students interning with the Tacoma Tree Foundation spent the summer increasing the number of trees in the city to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and heat during the summer months and improving the livelihoods of those who live in urban areas. The…

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Lute Powered: Port of Tacoma and Northwest Seaport Alliance

Together, the ports of Tacoma and Seattle are the fourth-largest container gateway for containerized cargo shipping between Asia and major distribution points in the Midwest, Ohio Valley and the East Coast. For this installment of Lute Powered, we interviewed three PLU alumni who are serving…

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latest from Research and Academics

Full Circle: Brandi Hilliard, Director of Career, Learning & Engagement

As a first-generation college student, Brandi Hilliard was nervous when she began her studies at Pacific Lutheran University. But those uncomfortable feelings soon diminished. “I found PLU to be a warm, supportive and an intimate community, which made it an easy place to fit in,”…

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Theatre Professor Amanda Sweger Finds Family in the Theatre

Like it did for so many, the theatre called to Associate Professor Amanda Sweger when she was in those awkward teen years. “For the first time, I felt accepted,” she said. Yet she quickly realized she didn’t like acting or auditioning. So, she spent a…

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Beautiful mutants: a PLU biology class harvests for the future

About two years ago, PLU professor Neva Laurie-Berry partnered with a world-class plant research center. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Mo., sends Laurie-Berry’s BIOL 358 Plant Physiology class millet seeds with random mutations. Student teams study plants in PLU’s warm, sunny…

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PLU’s new anatomy and physiology lab is the first in a series of science upgrades

When PLU science students returned to campus in fall 2022 they were in for a surprise. The previously outdated anatomy and physiology lab in the Rieke Science Center had been transformed into a cutting-edge learning facility, complete with best-of-its-kind educational technology, thanks to contributions from…

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Campus Tour: PLU’s newly renovated anatomy and physiology lab

PLU Resident Instructor of Biology Michelle Crites gives a tour of the newly renovated anatomy and physiology lab in the Rieke Science Center. Learn more about the PLU Department of Biology.

continue reading

Uncomfortable Truths: Introduction to Holocaust and Genocide Studies class examines the past to change the future

“There is nothing comfortable about studying genocide,” Beth Griech-Polelle, a Pacific Lutheran University history professor and the Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies, says. “It’s filthy, violent, degrading, and the worst of humanity.” Yet Griech-Polelle says the study and discussion of these atrocities are crucial…

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Saving the World with a Starship

On day one of PLU Professor of Mathematics Daniel Heath’s Designing a Starship class, students have no idea what they have signed up for — and that’s exactly how Heath wants it. The course is part of PLU’s International Honors Program (IHON), which means it…

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latest from Student Life, Resources, Community

Dhaval Patel on Forging His Own Path

Dhaval Patel found his calling when he was a computer engineering major at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Spoiler alert — it had little to do with binary digits, buffer or bandwidth. “I was drawn to student affairs because when I was a college student,…

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On the Court and in the Classroom: A Brother and Sister Find Success at PLU

On the day of high school class choices, a middle school teacher noticed the normally outgoing Jackson Reisner sitting quietly, acting withdrawn. Jackson grew increasingly anxious as the morning progressed. A movie buff, the Burlington eighth grader had seen all the difficult depictions of high…

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Camp Songs: PLU music majors produce free music camp for Parkland students

It’s a warm summer morning and the scent of scrambled eggs drifts from the kitchen at Trinity Lutheran Church into an adjoining room where more than a dozen campers busily make beaded jewelry. Ranging from second to sixth grade, the kids are participants in the…

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PLU students go on stunning rock climbing adventure in Vantage, Washington

Pacific Lutheran University student videographer Matt Shaps ’24 joined our Outdoor Recreation program on an epic rock climbing adventure in Vantage, Washington. Learn about Outdoor Rec’s upcoming day and weekend trips at plu.edu/recreations/outdoor-rec .

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Makaela Whalen ’23 adds a pre-law minor to full schedule as she prepares for law school

Makaela Whalen ’23 has a passion for the environment and animals. Her desire to find a meaningful vocation that feeds those passions resulted in her pursuing a degree in either environmental or animal law. “As long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to…

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Despite pandemic challenges, transfer student finds community at PLU

Monya-Dawn Wilson ’22 is a DJS Fellow and Rieke Scholar who came to PLU as a transfer student. Wilson is a Biology major, and dreams of becoming a pediatrician. “I’ve always liked science and learning,” said Wilson. “I like learning about the body, learning about…

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Karen Marquez ‘22 aspires to help her community through her studies

Karen Marquez ‘22 is a senior social work major with minors in Hispanic studies and criminal justice. Marquez is a heritage speaker of Spanish, and has a deep love for languages, culture, and diversity. She hopes to use her degree and the skills she is…

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