From the Editor, Autumn 2019: Inspired by you, from editor to professor

I am sad to say that this is my farewell note, as I am leaving Seattle Pacific (and Seattle!) for a faculty position teaching journalism and mass communication at Louisiana State University.

Portrait by Joel Kimmel

It has been an honor to serve SPU’s alumni and campus community for the last two years. I haven’t been here for long, but working as the editor has let me get to know many of you, and you have made an impression that I will carry with me for many years. A few things strike me as particularly special about this University and the people it attracts. One is the close-knit community on campus and the way it continues after graduation. I am also struck by the service-minded work that those people pursue and the way they do it with excellence. You don’t have to look any further than this issue to see what I mean.

Dozens of you wrote in with memories of Professor Robert Hughson, featured in the last issue’s From the Archive contest. You remembered him as an engaging professor who made learning about physics entertaining and who took a personal interest in his students, sponsoring an amateur radio club and hosting students for dinner with his wife, Rosalee.

“I am also continually amazed at how SPU’s alumni serve others and celebrate God’s creation while pursuing excellence.”

What struck me was the clarity of these memories — many of you remembered with great detail your encounters with a professor more than 50 years ago. College is a formative time, and SPU is full of committed and caring people, including staff, faculty, and fellow classmates, who journey with students through that time. It has been a privilege to work with some of those people and learn about many others during my time as editor.

As I transition from editor to assistant professor, I am inspired to embody the same care for my students that staff and faculty bring to their jobs at Seattle Pacific every day. I hope that 50 years from now, a few students will remember their encounters with me with the same clarity and feel that I made as resounding an impact in their lives as Hughson — and so many other SPU faculty we’ve written about over the past few years — made in yours.

I am also continually amazed at how SPU’s alumni serve others and celebrate God’s creation while pursuing excellence. One example of this is the dedication of alumna Brandi Williamson ’06 in training for a competition in canicross, an obscure sport that she discovered, realized she loved, and now pursues relentlessly.

Another example is embodied in the stories of Jamie and Alissa Shattenberg, the 2020 Alumni of the Year, who have been working alongside the Malagasy people for years to help them and the natural world of Madagascar to flourish.

These are just two stories that illustrate how SPU alumni are at work and play around the globe — from Montana to Madagascar — pursuing unique talents and utilizing gifts to make the world a better place. You inspire me to do the same.

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