When Being Known Means Sad Goodbyes

Professor Melanie Springer Mock with senior English majors Ryan Lackey and Julia Howell.
Professor Melanie Springer Mock with senior English majors Ryan Lackey and Julia Howell.
By Melanie Springer Mock, Professor of English

Over 25 years ago this week, I celebrated my first George Fox graduation, as a student. Just days before our processional into an already-overheated Wheeler gymnasium, I stopped by Minthorn Hall to say goodbye to a favorite professor. Yet as I stood at his office door, trying to tell him how much his mentorship had changed me, my professor refused to engage, keeping his head focused on his desk and the papers he needed to grade.

I couldn’t understand why this usually warm, friendly man had suddenly turned distant, and I left his office that day feeling perplexed and a little hurt. It only took me about one decade to figure out why my old professor had acted so disconnected: he couldn’t say goodbye. Or, more pointedly, he couldn’t say goodbye without crying.

Turns out, graduation can be emotionally difficult for faculty members, something I discovered my very first commencement as a professor at George Fox University, and rediscover every April, when graduation rolls around again. (more…)

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Reflections on Easter: A New Orientation

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IMG_0303-2By Brian Doak, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies

As a way of reflecting on the core Christian message and connecting that message to a learning process, I often suggest to students that we can think of our journey in terms of three phases: Orientation, Disorientation and New Orientation. I picked up these exact terms from the eminent biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann, but others have used them before. For example, the philosopher Paul Ricoeur spoke of “first naïveté,” “critical distance” and “second naiveté” to describe something of the same journey.
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Herrera Discovers Passion for Bringing Stories to the Stage

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By Emily Lund, Class of 2015

Cambria Herrera sits back in her chair. Listening, thinking. Her arms and legs are crossed as she watches the scene in front of her unfold, pauses and all. Her eyes move from actor to actor, then stare out into the rehearsal room. Every once in a while, a slight smile appears on her face, then fades before reappearing.

It’s five weeks into rehearsals for David Auburn’s Proof, last fall’s production at Valley Repertory Theatre in Newberg, Ore. Tonight is the first night the four actors are off-book – no scripts in hand – and such a transition inevitably means some pauses, some “ummmms,” some exasperated laughs and calls for “line.”

The scene reaches its end. Herrera stretches her arms out to the ceiling. “Great!” she says, and sits up straight. “How did you guys feel about it?”

They answer, laughing, groaning. Herrera nods in agreement, leans forward in her chair and asks questions. “How did that go for you guys? The last bit?” “Did you feel good sitting there for that long?”

They’re good questions, and the actors know it. “She’s never dismissive, never impatient,” says Nicole Greene, one of the four actors Herrera directed in Proof. “She’s creative, she’s highly intelligent, and most of all, she’s deeply talented.”

She’s also 20 years old.
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Student Recognized for Cancer Research Presentation

12194599_10153620213005470_4848853462791335245_oBiology major and pre-med student Lael Papenfuse earned high honors with her research project, “AKAP7 and Calcineurin Control CaM Kinases and Cell Growth,” at the 24th annual M.J. Murdock College Science Research Conference in Vancouver, Wash., as her presentation was selected the top poster within the event’s Cell and Molecular Biology category.

According to biology professor John Schmitt, in whose laboratory Papenfuse worked this past year, this was the first time a George Fox student earned a ribbon of any kind at the Murdock Conference, held this year at the Vancouver Hilton Hotel Nov. 5-7. “I am really proud of Lael and the other students on my cancer-fighting team,” Schmitt said. “I’m really pleased that our students have already been able to put our new confocal microscope to good use, as Lael was able to show that these two proteins may be contributing to cancer.”
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Hostetler Challenges Individuals to ‘Better My Town’

Casey HostetlerAlumna Casey Hostetler doesn’t recall the exact moment the idea hit her. She just woke up one day last summer with a thought: What are practical things people can do to help make their hometowns a better place?

It was a simple concept, but profound in its potential. What would happen if – like the massively successful ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 – this thing went viral? What kind of impact would it have in Yamhill County … Portland … Oregon … the nation?

Hostetler couldn’t wait to share her idea, dubbed the “Better My Town Challenge.” She started with coworkers at her place of employment, Hagan Hamilton Insurance in McMinnville, Ore., thinking it might make for a nice marketing campaign. She told friends, who suggested it might work but weren’t sure, before ultimately consulting with Nathan Knottingham, president and CEO of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Nathan and I talked for quite a while before finally saying, ‘Why not, let’s do this,’” says Hostetler, who earned both a degree in business management (2013) and an MBA (2014) from George Fox. “We obviously didn’t know what to expect because you just don’t know how people will respond. But I was encouraged by what I saw with the Ice Bucket Challenge. This was the same idea, just that you would be doing practical things rather than dumping a bucket of cold water on your head.”

The idea: Post a video on social media in which you state your name, who nominated you and what task you are performing to better your town. It could be anything from disinfecting doorknobs around town to donating food or clothing to a local charity. Conclude the message by nominating three people and encouraging them to keep the chain going by nominating three individuals each.
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My Serve Day Experience

imageBy Alexis Cavanaugh (Class of 2017)

Every year, George Fox sets aside a day during the first semester to gather together as a school and pray for our community. Serve Day starts off with breakfast on the quad followed by worship and prayer over our city and the people in it. After the morning session is finished, everyone goes out in groups into the community to serve for an entire day.

I think one of the many great things about Serve Day is how different each experience is every year for each student. This year is my third Serve Day and I was blessed to be able to serve with all the girls in the house I live in! We went to one of the Habitat for Humanity sites in McMinnville and got to clean up the site so the construction workers could continue building houses. Before we started working, some of the people who worked there gave us a tour of the site and the houses that were being built or were almost finished. It was neat getting to see houses that were in different stages of construction.
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Video & Time Lapse: New Bridge Installed at George Fox

Aug. 12, 2015 – The installation of a 220-foot pedestrian bridge provided quite a spectacle on the Newberg campus of George Fox University.

It took about two hours for two massive hydraulic cranes to lift the 29.5- and 36.5-ton preassembled bridge halves into place so they could be joined to span the Hess Creek Canyon in the middle of the campus.

The Liebherr LTM 1500/8.1 and Grove GMK7550 mobile cranes each have booms over 250 feet and each can lift more than 550 tons.

The clear-span timber bridge will connect a new 30,000 square-foot dining facility (to be completed summer 2016) on the east side of the canyon with the primarily academic west side. Anderson Construction Company is overseeing both projects.

The bridge project is projected to cost about $600,000. Pedestrians should be able to use the bridge by Aug. 27.

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The Story Behind the ‘iWheel’

36 cardboard iMac boxes, packing tape and ingenuity created a viral photo viewed millions of times
A subsequent YouTube video was viewed more than 250,000 times and featured on CBSNews.com

Photo by Jeremy Lloyd, George Fox University
Photo by Jeremy Lloyd, George Fox University

Video by Megan Clark, George Fox University



Updated Aug. 12, 2015

For more than a year, George Fox University systems administrator Mike Campadore had an idea and 34 iMac boxes stored in the back of an engineering classroom. When the dean of the engineering school asked why he didn’t recycle them and clear up the space, he merely said he was saving them for a project.

When more computers arrived in July for a new computer lab, Campadore finally had the boxes he needed to make his “iWheel.” He had estimated it would take 38 boxes to create the perfect wheel, but when he taped together the two sides, he discovered the number was 36.

On his first attempt, he left the Styrofoam inside the boxes, but it made the wheel too heavy. Even without the extra weight, he estimates the finished product weighs 130 pounds and is nearly nine feet tall.

Finally, on Friday, July 31, Campadore asked IT coworker Rich Bass to help him complete the wheel. The two then rolled it out onto the campus quad and made a call to the university marketing department, which sent a photographer. The initial Facebook post was successful, but when a former student shared the image on Reddit the iWheel quickly rose to the top of the popular website’s homepage and went viral. Within a matter of hours the photo had been viewed 3.4 million times on Imgur, was trending on Tumblr, was posted on Twitter by Chris Espinosa (well-known as Apple’s longest tenured employee) and retweeted more than 8,000 times …
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My Be Known Story

By Amy Massingale (Class of 2017) Amy

Here at George Fox we live by the motto, “Be Known.” It isn’t just something that we say to lure students into our school, it is something that is lived out every single day by our staff and students. I have never been a part of a community that is so driven to get to know who I am, not only as a student, but also as a person.

I have many Be Known stories from my short time here at Fox, but the one that stands out to me the most came from the first semester of my sophomore year. I walked into my Christian Foundations class and was greeted by Dr. Anderson Campbell. He told us to fill out an index card with our name and a prayer request; he said that this was the way that he was going to be taking attendance for the rest of the year. At first I didn’t think anything of it – I thought it was just a clever way to take attendance without having to take time out of class.
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Scholarship Competition from a different perspective

imageBy Alexis Cavanaugh (Class of 2017)

Every year, George Fox invites incoming students to participate in Scholarship Competition. This is a two-weekend event where students come to campus to compete for leadership and academic scholarships. When I competed a couple years back, I remember feeling all the nerves, wanting to say the right words, and just the crazy feeling of being at a place that could potentially be my home for the next four years.

Well, things have come full circle now that I work in admissions as an intern, and I got to help with both weekend events. It was a really neat experience getting to see all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into these weekends. The whole admissions team works really hard to make sure everything is set up and ready to go for when the students arrive on campus. It felt really great to be able to be a part of such a memorable weekend for students.

However, I think my favorite part of the whole experience was being an evening host. Evening hosts are students or interns on campus that hang out with the preview students that don’t plan on staying the night but still want to experience campus life a little more.
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