Point Loma Nazarene University

Contact: Kalyn McMackin (760) 685-3312

Point TV: Channel 23 Public Relations Manager. 

Advisor: Alan Hueth (619) 849-2358

Date: September 16, 2013

Written by: Kalyn McMackin


Students Attend Alumnus Film in Local Theaters

The San Diego community welcomed the local debut of PLNU alumni Destin Daniel Cretton’s film “Short Term 12” Friday at La Jolla’s ArcLight Cinemas. What started five years ago as a Master’s thesis has since captured national attention, including those of Point Loma Nazarene University students. 

“I had heard great things about Short Term 12, from individuals I knew as well as prominent film critics,” said Erich Rau, Point TV’s station manager. “I thought this would be a great opportunity for us, as PLNU students, to be encouraged and uplifted by the quality work of an alumnus.”

In March of 2013, Cretton entered his film into the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival and won the prestigious Grand Jury and Audience Awards for a narrative feature. Since then, his film has Photo Credit: Google Images      hit 63 theaters across the country. 

Inspired by his own time working at facilities for troubled kids, the 2001 graduate wrote and directed “Short Term 12,” a story told through the eyes of Grace, a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Grace’s own difficult past is made all the more clearer with the arrival of a new intake at the facility: a gifted yet troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has an electric connection. 

“The writing was spectacular. I've scarcely heard more intimate, authentic dialogue, and the pacing of the film was near perfect,” said Rau. “Cretton has a deep understanding of how to develop characters and plot simultaneously.”

Similarly, Film Studies major Marinna Martens, was moved by the film’s emotional yet powerful message. 

“It inspired me to care more about people who are hurting emotionally and because of their past are unable to trust and love others,” said Martens. 

For Rau, it was Cretton’s work ethic and determination that stood out.

  “I was inspired by Cretton himself and the hard work and dedication he put into Short Term 12,” said Cretton. “I love to see filmmakers who still care about the art and care about the people they are working with.”


The continued and accruing success of Cretton’s film is reason enough to attend a local showing of the film. 

“Short Term 12” is now playing at La Jolla’s ArcLight Cinemas and Hillcrest’s Landmark Theatres.

Communications & Theatre

Hola a todos!

Welcome to another wonderful school year at PLNU, both to those returning and those embarking on this journey for the first time. Thank you again for your desire and willingness to partner with Ministry with Mexico in our efforts to promote relationship with our brothers and sisters across the nearby border.

 As part of the collaborative work we do with the Niños de Fe orphanage in Tijuana, PLNU supports an English Sponsorship Program to provide funds for the children’s English classes and school supplies. If you have a desire to help out with Ministry with Mexico, but either don’t have a passport, aren’t permitted to go to Mexico, or simply don’t have the time in your schedule for a trip, this is a great way to get involved.

The sponsorship program consists of 20 children who will be supported for the coming year in school supplies, uniforms, English classes, etc., and the cost for sponsors is $55 (USD) for the entire year. Each child will be assigned to interested groups or individuals, and will exchange one letter a month with their sponsor/s. Letters are delivered through the Las Casas Ministry with Mexico, which also gives participants ample opportunities to visit their sponsored child. When writing letters, it is essential that only one person consistently build this specific connection with the child so as to avoid making them feel unimportant in any way.  

Those who do sign up to sponsor will receive a poster with a photo and fun facts about their child, as well as regular updates on them throughout the year. In addition, those who participate will get to make a videotaped introduction of themselves to send to the kids. 

To sign up or merely to express your interest, follow the link for the English Sponsorship Program. The $55 is not due until October 6, and, if you decide to sponsor as a group, you have plenty of time as well to decide who will be the designated writer of the letters.  

Again, thank you so much for expressing your interest in this vital part of our bicultural community here in San Diego. We are called to continually be in partnership with one another as the body of Christ, and what better way to fulfill that calling than to support each other in each endeavor we make. 



Morgan Carne

Coordinator of the English Sponsorship Program

International Ministries

August 30 and 31, PLNU will host New Student Orientation (NSO) on the Point Loma campus. 

NSO is a two-day experience over Labor Day Weekend designed to help students and parents/guests become acclimated to university life. Recognized as one of the premier orientation events for new students, PLNU has spent the past fifteen years refining and enhancing their campus welcome for students and parents alike.  

“The purpose of NSO is really about student success,” says PLNU President, Dr. Bob Brower. “We've found that when new students and their family experience an informative, helpful, and engaging welcome by hundreds of students and staff, the transition into the university creates a strong start for students and erases many unknowns in their adjustment to college.”

To avoid congestion on Friday and make the process as smooth as possible, each new student is assigned a time to check in. Check-in is in Nicholson Commons at assigned times. Following check-in, residential students will move their belongings into their residential hall rooms. Greeted by large teams of student leaders, vehicles are unloaded swiftly and painlessly, to allow students and families maximum time to participate in the weekend’s events.  

In addition to the many social activities during NSO, students have the opportunity to meet several times with faculty and students in their academic major area. All students are encouraged to select a major in an area of study they plan to pursue or in which they have an interest even if their choice is tentative.  

The welcome is not limited to freshman students. Transfer students attend many of the same sessions as first-time freshman in addition to the Transfer Student Track on Saturday. According to Caye Barton Smith, Psy.D., Vice President for Student Development, “These sessions were created specifically for transfer students, to encourage and welcome these ‘students with experience’ into the PLNU community.” 

Classes begin at PLNU on Wednesday, September 4th. The Fall 2013 semester marks the largest group of incoming students to campus. With nearly 800 new students, and an average GPA of 3.77 for the incoming class, NSO will usher in an exciting semester at PLNU.

Admissions (Undergraduate), NSO, PLNU

July 30 through August 3, PLNU will host Make-A-Wish recipient, Sarah Fallon at the Training Minds Speech & Debate Camp on the Point Loma campus. Michael Hyatt, bestselling author of “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” will be the keynote speaker at the event on Wednesday, July 31.

Nationally recognized for having one of the top speech and debate programs in the country, PLNU regularly competes successfully against university teams from across the nation, including the University of California, Berkeley, Rice University, the University of Colorado, and others.

To build the program’s continued success, PLNU coach Dr. Skip Rutledge, professor of forensics and communications, sees value in exposing young high school debaters to university caliber forensics through hosted debates and events.

“Hosting a camp allows us to help train, equip and empower this community, and possibly to recruit some of them to join our campus community and speech and debate team, as they are looking for colleges or universities to attend,” said Rutledge.

Sarah, a 17-year-old from Missouri, has made her Make-A-Wish wish to attend the Training Minds Speech & Debate Camp at PLNU. A homeschool student who got her first taste of speech and debate last year, Sarah put the camp on the top of her wish list after learning the details from her coach. Her entire family will travel to San Diego for the upcoming camp.

Make-a-Wish Foundation raises funds to grant wishes to children suffering from fatal and high-risk sicknesses. Sarah is in the midst of a long battle with Acute Lymphatic Luekemia (ALL), a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. Sarah is receiving chemotherapy every week and is on four medications.

“The medical summaries state her health is ‘good,’ which means she's fully functioning but may get tired at times,” said Training Minds Ministry president Chris Jeub.

“Of the five speech tracks available to students, Sarah chose 'platform,'” said Jeub. “This means she will be trained to write a platform speech (e.g. an oratory, expository, or persuasive speech). Platform speeches written by young people tend to be about other people or things in life as they often don’t yet have a powerful platform from which to build. But Sarah has a platform. She's struggling with a brutal sickness. Training Minds will be out to turn that platform into action and win some tournaments.”

Communications & Theatre, Forensics, info-center, PLNU

Irwin Herman has been known as “the Bookman” in San Diego for the past 23 years. During the past two-plus decades, he and his nonprofit organization, The Bookman, have given away more than 8 million books. His quiet but expansive work has garnered media attention in the past, and now his journey has been chronicled in a new book, The Bookman, by Art Seamans, professor emeritus at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU). 

Seamans’ book will be presented to Herman at a literary tea held on the PLNU campus on Thursday, July 18 at 2 p.m. at the Bond Academic Center patio. Media and interested community members are invited to attend and to celebrate the great philanthropic efforts of this local hero. Both Herman and Seamans will be available for interview and comment. 

Herman freely gives out new and used books to charitable organizations, teachers, active duty military, students, homeless shelters, prisons, and other individuals and organizations in need of reading materials. San Diego City College alone receives approximately 5,000 books a week. Donations have been made in all 50 states and many foreign countries. The Bookman operates his charity out of a 5,000 square foot warehouse at El Cajon Boulevard and 37th Street in City Heights, the space and electricity having been donated by San Diegan Jack Grace. The Bookman is an entirely volunteer-run, 501(c)3 organization.

Seamans is a retired professor and author of six books. Despite having lost his vision, he continues to read and write prolifically.

info-center, Literature, Journalism & Modern Languages, PLNU

PLNU is pleased to welcome Dr. Deborah Erickson as the new dean of the School of Education. Erickson has extensive experience in Christian higher education. She will be coming to PLNU after serving 11 years at California Lutheran University as a faculty member, interim department chair, and, since 2007, assistant dean in the Graduate School of Education. In addition to her work at CLU, she has served on numerous state and national education boards and committees in key leadership roles. She was the president of the California Association of Professors of Educational Administration in 2006-07 and is currently a member of the executive board of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration. She is well versed in both state and national accreditation issues and is currently serving in multiple roles with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Prior to joining CLU, Erickson served as a teacher, vice principal, principal, and district curriculum director in several K-12 districts throughout California.

Erickson received a B.A.E. (elementary education) and an M.A. (integrated study in business and psychology) from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. From there, she went on to earn another M.A. (educational administration) from CSU San Bernardino and her Ed.D. (educational administration) from University of the Pacific.

Erickson brings to PLNU a reputation as a tireless worker and skilled leader as well as an excellent record of scholarship, professional engagement, and community service.

“We are very grateful to the faculty and staff in the School of Education for continuing during this interim period to build on the progress that we have made over the past few years leading up to our NCATE accreditation,” said PLNU provost Dr. Kerry Fulcher. “I especially want to thank Dr. Carol Leighty for stepping in as the interim dean and doing much more than maintaining our programs and processes but actually moving us forward in them. It is on this good foundation that we welcome our new dean. I am excited to have Dr. Erickson joining us at PLNU and look forward to her strategic leadership that will help our School of Education to continue to offer quality programs that meet the needs of the K-12 communities that we serve.

Erickson will begin her duties at PLNU on August 19.

Education, info-center, PLNU