(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

After the significant campaigns of Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton in 2008, women are not center stage in the current election, but women voters remain a critical target for both campaigns. In her book, Framing Sarah Palin: Pit Bulls, Puritans, and Politics, co-authored with Rhonda Kinney Longworth, Point Loma Nazarene University political science professor Linda Beail looks at what the frames applied to Palin during her campaign tell us about the state of American politics—and about the status of American women in politics in particular.
Palin’s 2008 vice presidential candidacy garnered tremendous levels of interest, polarizing the American public—both Democrats and Republicans alike. Using the notion of "framing" as a way of understanding political perception, the authors analyze the narratives told by and about Sarah Palin in the 2008 election – from beauty queen, maverick, faithful fundamentalist and post-feminist rolemodel to pit bull hockey mom, frontier woman, and political outsider. They discuss where those frames are rooted historically in popular and politicalculture, why they were selected, and the ways that the frames resonated with the electorate.
While many have wondered who Palin “really” is, trying to cut through the persona she projects and the one projected by the media, Beail and Longworth analyze why she touches such a nerve with the American electorate. Why does she ignite such passionate loyalty – and such loathing? How did her candidacy mobilize new parts of the electorate? What do the debates engendered by these images of Palin say about the current roles and power available to women in American society? What are the implications of her experience for future candidates, particularly women candidates, in American politics?
“We examine media and popular culture portrayals of Palin, looking at the implications for party and gender politics. The book also has a good examination of evangelicals in American politics,” said Beail.
Beail gave a lecture on the book on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 3:30-5 p.m. In addition to serving as political science professor, Beail is director of the Margaret Stevenson Center for Women’s Studies at PLNU.

History & Political Science, Margaret Stevenson Center for Women's Studies, PLNU

In October, Point Loma Nazarene University’s School of Education received national accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation to accredit education programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel.

In addition to meeting the NCATE gold standard of excellence, PLNU’s School of Education credential and certificate programs were recently reaccredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

“This is a reflection of the high quality of all the programs in the School of Education and the hard work of our faculty, staff, and community partners,” said Dr. Carol Leighty, interim dean of PLNU’s School of Education.

Achieving national accreditation was a big milestone for the School of Education, which received both California and national accreditation this year. From start to finish, the national accreditation process took nearly five years of research, preparation, application, and site visits.

“We decided to go through NCATE accreditation because it’s the right thing to do,” said Leighty. “Not only that, but NCATE really looks at the entire function of the unit. They not only look at the knowledge and skills of our educators, but how we assess our students and faculty, governance, diversity, our relationship with the community, etc. They step back and get a bigger picture.”

With NCATE accreditation comes national recognition, but also greater marketability for PLNU School of Education graduates entering careers and better reciprocity for graduates who go on to teach in other parts of the U.S.

In the past six months, only 60 schools nationwide have earned this level of accreditation.

“We also wanted to prove with reports and substantive data that we produce quality students,” said Andrea Liston, associate dean for accreditation, assessment & Mission Valley programs, who worked extensively on the accreditation application process.

“In our classrooms, we all have to model being reflective educators,” said Liston. “This accreditation truly models that.”

Education, PLNU

For the second year in a row, soprano Christen Blair Horne (12) has won a major opera competition, capturing the Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Audition for the Western Region, San Diego District, held Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Crill Perfomance Hall on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University. Joining Horne on the winners' podium was mezzo-soprano Alexandra Rodrick (11), who won the Robert Faulk Encouragement Award. Winners of the district auditions advance to the Western Region Finals on Sunday, November 4, at The Colburn School in Los Angeles.

This is the fifth consecutive year PLNU students or recent alumni have won awards from the MONC. Horne’s achivement marks the fourth first-place finish for PLNU and Rodrick’s is the twelfth encouragement awards in the past six years

“This is an outstanding achievement for an undergraduate university,” said PLNU associate professor of music, Dr. John Craig Johnson, who taught and mentored both Horne and Rodrick.

Last spring, Horne took first place in the prestigious Virginia Hawke Scholarship Competition before graduating with honors from PLNU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. She contines to study with Johnson. This spring she will debut with the San Diego Opera as an American Guild of Musical Artists member in the chorus of Samson et Dalila and Assassinio nella cattedrale, and she will appear with Point Loma Opera Theatre on November 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 as "Valencienne" in the student-led company's production of Die Lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow).
Rodrick earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in music and ministry from PLNU in 2011. Rodrick was most recently seen with Wolf Trap Opera in productions of Rake's Progress and Don Giovanni. She was one of two mezzo-sopranos chosen to be a member of the highly selective Wolf Trap Studio Artists, working with leading directors, coaches, and teachers in the field of opera. She is now a graduate student on full-tuition scholarship to Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, California State University, Long Beach, studying with internationally renowned soprano and teacher Shigemi Matsumoto.

Since 1954, MONC has been holding auditions to discover and help support upcoming opera singers.

Music, PLNU