(San Diego, Calif. – May 6, 2014) – She has been called “the quintessential water-woman,” and on May 6th, PLNU Junior, Emmy Merrill proved her dominance once again.  

On the final day of the StandUp Paddle (SUP) surfing portion of the 2014 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship (WSUPPC) in Nicaragua, Emmy took home the gold in the women’s SUP Surfing event.  

With 27 countries representing five continents, the 2014 ISA Championship events in Nicaragua kicked off on Sunday, May 4th.  The 2014 Men’s and Women’s SUP Surfing Gold Medalists were decided on Tuesday with excellent performances from the best men and women SUP Surfers in very contestable waves in La Boquita, Nicaragua.

Emmy, the 2012 ISA WSUPPC Gold Medalist, came out of qualifying rounds with a strong performance, posting the highest total heat score of the round. She took the gold on Tuesday with a score of 13.50. The 2014 ISA WSUPPC victory is the latest achievement for the talented Merrill who has been a fierce competitor since her days at San Clemente High School. We had a chance to sit down with Emmy after her 2012 gold, read the Q&A on PLNU’s blog

Photo credit ISA/Rommel 

Alum, External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU

As part of PLNU’s commitment to maintaining academic excellence and long-term student success, the university has spent two years completing a comprehensive self-study. This deliberate, data-driven process involved both faculty and staff while reviewing student interest in academic programs along with such factors as career outcomes and financial viability.

As a result of the study, over the coming four years, PLNU will be implementing a number of changes. Several departments will be altering their elective options and revising their budgets. A small number of majors will be phased out by the summer of 2018. However, all current and admitted students will be able to complete their degrees in their desired majors. Because the changes took into account upcoming faculty retirements and known departures, no full-time faculty personnel changes are necessary to implement these plans.

For more specific information about these changes and our self-study, you may visit If you have questions, please direct them to

Alum, info-center, PLNU

Graduate degrees are becoming increasingly important for many career positions.  According to the Interim Dean of the Fermanian School of Business, Dr. Ken Armstrong, "MBA Degrees are now being sought and attained by younger and younger people in the workplace."  Point Loma Nazarene University is a highly renowned undergraduate educational institution; however, many people still do no know about the graduate programs offered at the University, specifically in the realm of business.  The FSB offers evening MBA courses targeted at professionals in full-time careers seeking to further their education.  Recently, a new format was made to the FSB graduate system: the Daytime MBA program.

Traditional graduate courses function to sharpen existing skills of individuals already well immersed in their careers.  Claire Buckley, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions, explains that the Daytime MBA program "is designed for students coming straight out of undergrad who want to earn their MBA in just one year so they're equipped with the business knowledge and practical skills they need to start their careers."  Essentially, the program is a three-semester (fall, spring, and summer), 42-unit, daytime program to be completed within twelve months.  Courses are offered Monday through Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Apart from the Monday through Thursday courses, there is also a capstone Leading with Integrity course to be taught three Saturdays per semester.  The Daytime MBA program facilitates an environment where students can further develop their ability to think strategically and improve skills highly sought in the business world.

The Fermanian School of Business already had an evening graduate program, so why did they decide to add a 5th year?  Dr. Ken Armstrong says that 5th year programs are the "fastest growing segment of the MBA market" and that from a marketing standpoint, "the need is there."  Claire Buckley personally advocates for this specific program because "students can set themselves apart to employers who will see they are motivated, educated and disciplined."  Buckley and Armstrong both agree that the program is highly beneficial for non-business undergrad students who are seeking to round out their undergrad education.  So the benefits reaped are not exclusively for business students.  Jamie Ressler, Associate Dean of Graduate Education, adds that "the benefits of the Daytime MBA mirror many of the benefits of the undergraduate program at PLNU" by offering "small class sizes with professors who have incredible real world experience.  And professors truly care and invest in each student."  Furthermore, Ressler, Buckley, and Armstrong stressed the benefit of receiving an MBA degree in as little as one year as opposed to other programs that take 2-3 years.  Something highlighted by not only these three major contributors to the program but also by a current student in the program, is the networking opportunities and the professional team of professors.

Andrew Schalin received his B.S. in Engineering Physics with a focus in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Computer Science.  He is in pursuit of his MBA in hopes of settling in a career in engineering and eventually in engineering management.  The very two things he really enjoys about the MBA program are that "the professors are very genuine," and the networking opportunities.  He emphasizes "the connections that have been made both in the classroom and at the FBEI events have been great."

Though the program is fairly new, the feedback has been positive and the direction it is going looks encouraging.  "The Daytime MBA is in its first year and we have already made a few changes," says Jamie Ressler.  Among the alterations Ressler says, "we are working on planning several [company visits] for students to get a behind the scenes look at local businesses and have the opportunity to meet some of the executives. We are also establishing a mentoring program to match the students with mentors in their selected area of study."

Yes, the MBA program is new.  However, the faculty is supportive, and the education is valuable.  As Jamie Ressler put it, "the Daytime and the Evening MBA programs both are a great value with competitive pricing."  The Daytime MBA is a great program to take advantage of - whether you are a PLNU grad or from a university across the nation, or a business student or a student in a seemingly unrelated field!

For additional information, click here or send an e-mail to:

Written by: Alicia Wagoner (Contributors: Jamie Ressler, Ken Armstrong, Claire Buckley, Andrew Schalin)



Point Loma Nazarene University

Contact: Kalyn McMackin (760) 685-3312

Point TV: Channel 23 

Advisor: Alan Hueth (619) 849-2358

Date: April 25, 2014

Written by: Kalyn McMackin


Communication &Theatre Department to Host 11th Annual Television & Film Festival

The Communication and Theatre Department will hold its 11th annual PLNU TV and Film Festival on May 1 in Solomon Theatre from 8-10p.m. Sponsored by Point TV-Channel 23, PLNU’s student operated cable television station and TV-film production company, the festival highlights the best student television and film work from the year. Awards will be handed out in several different categories. 

“It’s the best of Point TV television shows and short films,” said Alan Hueth, professor of Communication. “Our goal is to identify student work that really stands out and then award those students for their excellent work.”

Many of the projects that will be selected include short films, news and television broadcasts and independent projects created by both Media Communications, Film and Broadcast Journalism students. 

“Usually we select winners in the categories of  best film, best COM243 project and beyond that are individual awards for student work including overall best film, best director or best editing,” said Hueth.

The highest accolades students can receive include the award for best film, best director and the Carol Lebau award for excellence in broadcast journalism. Winners are selected through a process that includes critique of overall work and consultation with peers and professors. 

Professor of Communications, Dr. Clark Greer, and assistant professor of journalism, Stephen Goforth, will serve as judges for the broadcast journalism awards while Hueth and (ricks title) Rick Moncauskas are responsible for critiquing the media communications film projects. Greta Wall, Coastline News Manager, and Erich Rau, Point TV Station Manager, are also consulted on awards.

Despite the highest of awards that will be given, other accomplishments in student work will be recognized as well.

“Other things that are done uniquely well include the overall skill set of the new group of students,” said Hueth. “Some are strong in graphics or production and others are killer shooters, editors or on air reporters.”

Final decisions will be made by Wednesday, April 30 on awards. 

Doors will open at 7:45pm and all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to come out and enjoy watching the best student projects of the year. For more information regarding the Film Festival or for more details, please contact Alan Hueth at or Kalyn McMackin at 

Communications & Theatre

On Wednesday April 9th, the Fermanian School of Business students in Dr. Randal Schober's entrepreneurship class had the privilege of meeting and learning from the man who is responsible for bringing UGGs to America, motivational speaker and renowned entrepreneur Mr. Brian Smith.  Originally from Australia and a local Southern California resident for over thirty years, Mr. Smith shared his journey to success in a field full of obstacles and restraints.  A key point to the night's lecture was overcoming obstacles and never giving up, and Brian Smith had quite a stack of obstacles of his own before becoming a revolutionary entrepreneur.

At the age of 29, Brian Smith had been an unfulfilled accountant.  He recalled a pivotal moment in his life as he sat in his living room listening to "Time" by Pink Floyd, when a section of lyrics about growing older and missing opportunities gave him goose bumps.  Distraught by the haunting lyrics, the Australian accountant moved to action.  He hopped on a plane to California where he had noticed many Australian trends were birthed; but rather than discovering the next big thing for Australia, a magazine gave him an idea to bring to California.  He noticed there were no sheepskin boots in California which came as a surprise to him due to their popularity in Australia.  Smith came to the U.S. as a distributor of sheepskin boots, believing that they would be a hit in the United States.  He showed up to a trade show in New York with just three pairs of boots and to his disappointment, it was a total bust.  However, people in the California surfing industry knew about these boots because many surfers had traveled to Australia for surfing and had been exposed to the product.  Now Smith would make a shift in market and begin targeting surfers.  The next step was raising the money.

Brian Smith explained that he was so inexperienced and naive during his first pitch that it somehow worked.  He was able to raise enough capital to produce 600 pairs of UGGs in two colors, brown and white.  His own house became a warehouse and his van became his distribution method.  He drove from surf shop to surf shop with little success.  UGGs first year sales were 28 pairs and exactly $1,000.  Desperate to increase sales, Smith decided to put out an ad offering a free pair of boots for the manager of surf shops carrying the product, if six pairs were purchased.  With the aid of advertising strategies, sales went up to $30,000.  His efforts to sell the boots to department stores however was halted.  "Elephants don't move until mice do," was the comment made by a surf shop owner and friend at his efforts.  He realized that until all the specialty stores bought the boots, department stores wouldn't.  Why weren't specialty stores willing to carry the product?

Having heard comments about the models in his ads not being "real surfers," the skill of marketing was realized for Brian Smith.  "I was sending the wrong message to my target market!" says Smith.  Instead of hiring photographers, he followed classic surfers with his camera at popular surf spots, like Black's Beach in San Diego.  He wanted  other surfers to want to be in that ad, walking down that popular path toward great surf.  The success that followed was "purely because of an image change.  Everything else stayed the same."  Kids asked mothers for UGGs, moms looked for them in department stores, and consequently department stores answered the demand by supplying Smith's UGG boots.

In closing, Brian Smith shared several philosophical gems with the class; the first was that "the quickest way for a tadpole to become a frog is to live every day loyally as a tadpole."  Smith had explained that all entrepreneurial ideas go through a life cycle consisting of birth when an idea is produced, infancy when that idea is going through obstacles that entice the entrepreneur to quit, youth when the business processes are smoothed out and going well, and a rebellious teenager stage when the company gets so successful that it becomes chaotic and requires cost controls among other things.  "You can't give birth to adults," Smith wisely explained.

He also shared examples from his business experience that "sometimes your most disappointing disappointments become your greatest blessings."  He encouraged the students by showing how disaster can often lead to more positive outcomes.

Smith spoke highly of his customers' loyalty when a competing brand "Thuggs" entered the marketplace.  "The most heartwarming thing was the loyalty.  People refused to abandon UGGs for those knock-offs." he said, getting a little choked up.  He also warned the students that the greater the success, the greater the challenge.  When asked what advice he would give to young entrepreneurs, he responded, "Do what you love and it's easy to stick to it."

Brian Smith's book, The Birth of UGG in America, will officially be released in October 2014.  You can read more about it on his website,


Written by Alicia Wagoner


Twenty years in the making, a vision is becoming a reality. On Thursday, May 8, Point Loma Nazarene University will break ground on the long awaited science complex on the Point Loma campus. 

The new complex will accommodate the increasing number of students who want to study science at PLNU. “The current Rohr Science Building, built in 1962, is no longer equipped to meet the demands of contemporary science” says PLNU President Dr. Bob Brower. “The new, innovative facility will offer ample space and modern technology to ensure the growth of our program and the success of our PLNU science faculty and students.”

The 32,900-square-foot science complex will include a two-story laboratory, four attached classrooms, and a rooftop patio with an elevated walkway that connects to the existing Rohr building. The facility will enable the science program to reach new heights with collaborative research opportunities, the establishment of new majors, and modern technology to attract quality science faculty and students.


External Relations, Office of Community & Government Relations, PLNU