On Feb. 19, PLNU hosted the annual Report Card on the Media. Sponsored by the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, this event featured panelists who recently made headlines in the media.

This year’s participants were: Michael Shames, formerly of the Utility Consumers’ Action Network; Jan Caldwell of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department; and Darren Pudgil, former spokesman for Mayor Jerry Sanders. The panelists discussed the media’s coverage of the news-breaking events with which they were involved, and gave grades accordingly.

Cox Communications’ Dennis Morgigno moderated the event.

‪The Report Card on the Media will be aired on ‪Cox 4, March 18 and March 22 at 5 p.m.

info-center, PLNU

Point Loma Nazarene University announced that after a yearlong search process it has hired Tim Whetstone to serve as university chaplain. Whetstone is an ordained minister and most recently served as pastor of New Start Church of the Nazarene in the south hills of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh District).

Born in Los Angeles, Whetstone grew up in Queens, New York. He is a graduate of Northwest Nazarene University and Nazarene Theological Seminary, and has degrees in philosophy, Christian education, and intercultural studies. He has extensive training in family life education, leadership development, and emergency disaster response. 

In addition to serving in various ministry opportunities, Whetstone spent several years in overseas missions as a missionary in Italy and the Asia-Pacific Region. He has an innate love for learning about places and feels blessed by the opportunity to dive into the culture of San Diego.  

"God is working on PLNU’s campus and has a brilliant new sea­son awaiting the community," he said. "I am humbled to play a small role in something as big as God’s plans."

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Spring Fellow participates in symposium March 11-15 in San Diego; offers access to 2012 Kyoto Prize Laureates for Q&A on technology, science and arts

Point Loma Nazarene University is now accepting applications for the 2013 Kyoto Prize Symposium Journalism Fellowship, a program that provides an exceptional learning opportunity for journalists seeking to further their knowledge and depth of reporting in technology, science and the arts. The selected journalist will travel to San Diego in March 2013 where he or she will attend the annual Kyoto Prize Symposium, including March 12 opening events at PLNU and lectures by the latest Kyoto Prize laureates on March 13-14 at San Diego State University, University of California, San Diego and the University of San Diego.

During the program, the journalist will have opportunities to meet and interview the 2012 laureates of the Kyoto Prize, Japan’s highest private award for global achievement. The fellowship experience is intended to enhance the journalist’s ability to report on fields affected by the works of the latest laureates, to better understand the global impact of advances in each field, and to gain an historical context of the laureates’ work.

The application deadline is Friday, February 1, 2013. 
The 2012 Kyoto Prize laureates are:

  • In “Advanced Technology” ― Dr. Ivan Sutherland, 74, an American computer scientist and visiting scientist at Portland State University, is widely regarded as the “Father of Computer Graphics” for his lifetime of pioneering work in developing visual methods of interacting with computers. Dr. Sutherland gained early attention in 1963 by developing Sketchpad, a graphical interface program that established a paradigm for today’s computer-aided design (CAD) systems and numerous other computer graphic-based applications.  Sutherland is currently engaged in research of asynchronous computing.

  • In “Basic Sciences” ― Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi*, 67, a Japanese scientist, researcher and professor at the Frontier Research Center of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has made groundbreaking contributions toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms and physiological significance of autophagy. Autophagy, the process by which a cell degrades its own proteins in order to adapt to nutritional deficiency and other influences, is now regarded as a vital cell-recycling system and may aid in future developments to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and other age-related ailments.

  • In “Arts and Philosophy” ― Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak*, 70, an Indian intellectual, activist, and University Professor at Columbia University, exemplifies the modern intellectual through her theoretical work for the humanities based on comparative literature and her devotion to multifaceted educational activities, especially in developing regions. She is perhaps best known for her essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?,” which spotlights those who are economically dispossessed, forcibly marginalized and rendered without agency by their social status.

“The Kyoto Prize laureates are at the top of their fields in science, technology and arts and philosophy,” said Dr. Bob Brower, president, PNLU. “Beyond that, the Kyoto Prize recognizes the significance of their contributions to mankind. The fellowship gives journalists unique access to these laureates in the engaging, interactive setting of the Kyoto Prize Symposium.”

The fellowship is open to North American journalists and covers transportation, accommodations, and per-diem expenses. The selection committee, comprised of professional journalists and journalism professors, will announce the 2013 Spring Fellow on February 8. Applications are available at

The Kyoto Prize – an international award for lifetime achievement – is given to individuals and groups worldwide who have made outstanding contributions to humankind’s scientific, cultural and spiritual development. Each prize consists of a diploma, a 20-karat-gold Kyoto Prize medal, and a cash gift totaling 50 million yen (approximately US$630,000).

About the Inamori Foundation and the Kyoto Prize
The non-profit Inamori Foundation was established in 1984 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, a Japanese entrepreneur and humanitarian. The Foundation created the Kyoto Prize in 1985, in line with Dr. Inamori’s belief that a human being has no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of society, and that the future of humanity can be assured only when there is a balance between our scientific progress and our spiritual depth. With the 2012 laureates, the prize has honored 90 individuals and one foundation — collectively representing 15 nations. Individual laureates range from scientists, engineers and researchers to philosophers, painters, architects, sculptors, musicians and film directors. The United States has produced the most recipients (36), followed by Japan (16), the United Kingdom (12), and France (8). More information can be found at

PLNU, President's Office
(Dec. 11, 2012) San Diego, Calif. – In response to a recent request that Point Loma Nazarene University charter a club that focuses on the issue of homosexuality, the university has noted that the club system is not the appropriate venue for a social issue that is often contentious and divisive. Dr. Caye Smith, Vice President for Student Development, said, “We recognize it is common for students to struggle with issues of sexual identity. Rather than chartering a club, PLNU provides multiple avenues for students to engage respectfully and safely in discussions regarding sexuality.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to facilitate conversations on significant issues, the Office of Residential Life has offered to host a reading group discussing Andrew Marin's book “Love Is an Orientation,” in response to the students’ interest in the book. Over the past few years, PLNU has provided a variety of other events and discussions on issues of human sexuality in both small and large group settings. Additionally, professional counselors are available to students individually and confidentially regarding a broad range of personal issues including sexual identity.

PLNU remains aligned with the Nazarene church’s position on sexuality and sexual orientation. The Church holds the position that a homosexual lifestyle is contrary to the Scriptures.

Vice President Smith noted that, “The Church of the Nazarene’s ‘A Pastoral Perspective on Homosexuality’ calls for us to treat every person with dignity, grace, and holy love, whatever their sexual orientation. In situations of disagreement with one another or with official university positions on this or other important issues, we must be committed to remaining in respectful, supportive relationships as a community.”

Officials noted that discussion and debate surrounding contentious issues are an important part of a liberal arts education. PLNU has a strong tradition of student, faculty and staff engagement when difficult issues arise. However, the goal is not to change the position of the church, but to have integrity in seeking to understand the varied perspectives around the issues.

Kirsten Shetler, a senior PLNU composition major, is the winner of the Southwest Division Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Composition Competition in the Young Artists’ Division (ages 19-26). The Southwest Division includes musicians from California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. To reach the division level, Shetler previously won first place in the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) composition competitions for San Diego and the state of California.

Shetler’s composition, “Envisaged Dance,” will now advance to the national level and will be evaluated with all seven regional division winners. The national winner will be asked to perform at the MTNA National Conference, which will be held in March 2013 in Anaheim, Calif. Cash awards and plaques are presented to national winners.

The purpose of the MTNA Composition Competition is to encourage creativity and self-expression in student musicians through the art of composing and to recognize their achievements, as well as the significant work of their teachers. Shetler is taught by PLNU music professor Dr. Victor Labenske.

Music, PLNU

PLNU's chief economist, Dr. Lynn Reaser, joined State of California Controller John Chiang on Thursday, Nov. 15, at PLNU’s Economic Outlook 2013 to discuss "Will the fiscal fog clear?" This timely forum discussed jobs, housing, recovery, recession and sequestration. Invaluable insights were provided through analysis of the local, state, national and global economies in the year ahead, with a special focus on technology, military and tourism. 

The forum was put on by PLNU’s Fermanian Business & Economic Institute (FBEI) and held at the Liberty Station Conference Center in Point Loma. Torrey Pines Bank was pleased to be this year’s title sponsor.

Reaser, who was recently named chief economist for the Controller’s Council of Economic Advisors and also recently received the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) Outlook Award for the most accurate economic forecast in 2011-12, discussed the 2013 outlook for the global, national, and local economies and financial markets. The Honorable John Chiang provided unique insights into the effect of the elections on California’s economy. At this time of heightened anxiety, and as crucial political and financial decisions are being made, Reaser concluded the event with meaningful strategies for business and personal planning and investing for the year ahead. Each attendee received Reaser’s extensive economic forecast in published form.

Business, Fermanian Business & Economic Institute, PLNU