The PLNU speech and debate team’s competitive intercollegiate season has now drawn to a close with their last tournament. But the team went out with a bang at National Parliamentary Debate Nationals, hosted by Colorado College in Colorado Springs March 16 - 20.

The team ended the year as the third highest ranked school in the yearlong nationwide sweepstakes.  There were hundreds of colleges and universities competing from across the nation, all in one large division at NPDA, including schools like UCLA, Cal Berkeley, and the United States Air Force Academy.

At the NPDA National Championships, the six teams representing PLNU were ranked the 8th top program at the national championship tournament sweepstakes, a ranking that counts your top four teams against all the other program’s top four teams at the tournament, all competing within one senior division.  PLNU has had many strong teams in the past that have not even cracked the top ten awards in that category.  PLNU's 1999 team won the top spot in this particular category.

Senior and team co-president Daniel Nadal was one of only three debaters in the nation selected to this year’s All American Parliamentary Debate Team.  Nadal was awarded this honor based on his forensics success, high academics, and service to the community.  He is now choosing which law school to attend next year.

The team of Ashley Nuckels and Ian Sharpels advanced to the double Octa Final round, and the team of Daniel Nadal and James Wilson advanced to the Triple Octa Final round.  Their winning records in preliminary rounds allowed them to participate in the elimination rounds.  Three of PLNU's other teams missed that opportunity by only one round.


On March 19, Dr. Doretha O’Quinn, associate dean in PLNU's School of Education and director of the Arcadia Regional Center, was honored as an outstanding African American Educator by Phi Delta Kappa, an international professional association for educators.  The honor was based upon her current work at PLNU in reaching out to urban schools, previous work at Biola University and Azusa Pacific University, her publishing, and service to the wider church as a part of the board of directors for the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.


Read more about the impact of Dr. O'Quinn in this year's annual report.


FAQ Friday - Financial Aid

1.    How much does it cost to attend PLNU?
          +    For the 2010-2011 school year, the total cost including tuition, fees, and room and board was $35,700
2.    How can I afford that???
          +    Point Loma is committed to offering you as much financial aid as possible, and our Student Financial Services employees are your advocates in making attending PLNU a reality!  We offer performance based scholarships (like athletics, music, speech and debate and more!) , merit based scholarships (based on GPA and test scores), need based grants (that require the FAFSA, but are awarded on different standards than a CalGrant!), and more.  We will work with you from the moment you become interested in PLNU—it’s never to early to start thinking about finances!
3.    How many students get financial aid?
          +    Most students—in fact, more than 90% of students get financial aid. 
4.    Can I use VA benefits?
          +    Definitely!  Veterans Administration (VA) benefits are awarded to veterans of the Armed Services and dependents who qualify, and Point Loma is a Yellow Ribbon institution. More info here!
5.    What scholarships are available?
          +    Point Loma is committed to offering you as much financial aid as possible, and our Student Financial Services employees are your advocates in making attending PLNU a reality!  We offer performance based scholarships (like athletics, music, speech and debate and more!) , merit based scholarships (based on GPA and test scores), need based grants (that require the FAFSA, but are awarded on different standards than a CalGrant!), and more. There are even some scholarships available based on your major.  Just get in touch with your Admissions Counselor
6.    How do I apply for scholarships?
          +    Applying for merit-based scholarships is easy—just apply to PLNU!  Your scholarship application is a part of your admissions application.  Need based aid requires that you apply to PLNU and that you file a FAFSA by March 2.  Involvement scholarships (like athletics, music, speech and debate and etc.) are awarded by those departments, and each have their own timelines.  Don’t wait until after you’ve been admitted to pursue those, though—the sooner you get on their radar, the better!  See Financial Aid FAQ #5 for more info!
7.    When will I hear about my scholarships?
          +    Point Loma wants to be sure that your first financial aid letter is your most accurate, so we don’t estimate aid.  That means that we wait for all of your financial aid information to come in BEFORE you get your first letter!  If you’ve been admitted to PLNU, you can expect to hear from Student Financial Services in March!
8.    I am not going to get a CalGrant…should I still file a FAFSA?
          +    We don’t require the FAFSA, but recommend that EVERYONE files one!  PLNU has our own need-based aid that is awarded differently than federal or state aid.  That means that even if you don’t qualify for a CalGrant, you may still qualify for a PLNU Need Grant…but the only way you can receive that is by filing that FAFSA!  Also, students can’t get federal loans (the best kind—many of them don’t accrue any interest the entire time you’re in school!) without a FAFSA.  Be sure to file by March 2!
9.    Are your scholarships need-based?
          +    Many are!  But don’t forget to file that FAFSA—that’s how we award need-based aid!
10.    What are you GPA and test score requirements?
          +    Our merit scholarships have certain GPA and test score minimums, and you have to meet both to qualify.  Click here for more info!
11.    What is your FAFSA/SAT/AP/ACT code?
          +    FAFSA: 001262
          +    SAT and AP: 4605
          +    ACT: 0370

Admissions (Undergraduate)

The PLNU Speech and Debate Team just won the National Championship in Debate Sweepstakes, scoring double the number of sweepstakes points of the second place school in the Debate Division of the Christian College Nationals.  PLNU also won Second Place Sweepstakes in the combined division of Speech and Debate at this 2011 National Christian College Forensics Association (NCCFA) Championship Tournament, hosted at Azusa Pacific University March 11-13. 

Senior Daniel Nadal, co-president of the team was named top speaker in the nation, in the Open Division of Parliamentary Debate, and all nine of the PLNU teams entered in Parliamentary Debate advanced to the elimination rounds through posting winning records in preliminary rounds. 

In Lincoln Douglas debate, PLNU students won several individual national champion titles as well.  MacLean Andrews is the national champion in the senior division. Also noteworthy is two brand new, walk-on debaters this year (with no previous high school debate experience), Ben Carney and Brian Bentley, were both named co-national champions after winning their respective semifinal rounds in Lincoln Douglas debate, advancing to the final round in that division’s bracket.

The team has one last National Championship tournament this year.  It will be at Colorado College, Colorado Springs.

NCCFA 2011 National Championship Tournament Results

Parliamentary Debate Results:

Senior Division –

Team results:

Ashley Nuckels and Ian Sharples – Semi Finalists

Mac Andrews and Michelle Diaz – Semi Finalists

Kim Jensen and Alex Pineda – Quarter Finalists

Barbara Gausewitz and Ciera Wilson – Quarter Finalists

McKayla Carpenter and John Morris – Quarter Finalists

Daniel Nadal and James Wilson – Octa Finalists


Speaker Awards:

1st Speaker: Daniel Nadal (Tournament Champion)

8th Speaker: James Wilson

9th Speaker: Ian Sharples

15th Speaker: Ashley Nuckels

17th Speaker: Kim Jensen


Junior Division –

Team Awards:

Benjamin Carney and Christy Wright – Semi Finalists

Brooke Rakes and Kassi Sanstrom – Quarter Finalists

Hailey Courtney and Brian Bentley – Quarter Finalists 


Speaker Awards:

5th Speaker: Haley Courtney

7th Speaker: Brian Bentley

9th Speaker: Brooke Rakes

15th Speaker: Kassi Sandstrom


Lincoln Douglas Debate:

MacLean Andrews: Open Division National Champion

James Wilson: Semi Finalist Open Division

Ben Carney:  Co National Champion Novice Division

Brian Bentley: Co National Champion Novice Division


Individual Events Results:

Daniel Nadal:  Open Impromptu Third Place

Ashley Nuckels: Open Extemp Third Place;  Open Rhetorical Criticism Fourth Place

Kim Jensen: Open Informative Sixth Place

McKayla Carpenter: Open Impromptu Semi Finalist


Cynthia L. Swann, MS, RD, CDE, associate professor and director of dietetics at PLNU, was selected as an "Outstanding Dietetics Educator" by the American Dietetic Association. The award is given in recognition of her achievements as a teacher, mentor and leader in dietetics education.

The American Dietetic Association award states: "Cindy exemplifies the values of the Association and plays a vital role in 'leading the future of dietetics.' She serves as a role model to future dietetics practitioners and through her efforts members of the American Dietetic Association will become the nation's food and nutrition leaders."

The faculty and students of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences are proud of Professor Cindy Swann and the recognition given her for excellence in teaching.

Family & Consumer Sciences

On March 15, the Center for Justice and Reconciliation hosted representatives from Tiny Hands International as a part of its speaker series, Brewed Awakening. 

Jenna Hudlow, a justice advocate for the Christian nonprofit organization, presented about the issue of sex trafficking between Nepal and India, which Tiny Hands addresses through border monitoring and rehabilitation.

More than 10,000 girls, many of whom are promised false jobs or marriages by traffickers, are taken from Nepal each year and sold into sex slavery in India. 

Tiny Hands works to decrease this number by intercepting at-risk girls and potential traffickers at its 10-15 border monitoring stations. Committees from local churches, also dedicated to addressing this social injustice, primarily run these stations along the Nepal-India border.

In an effort to further address sex trafficking, Tiny Hands is working toward effective prosecution of sex traffickers. Tiny Hands also runs 11 children’s homes which provide shelter and a nurturing environment for abandoned or orphaned children in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.

For more information, visit Tiny Hands International.

View this semester’s Brewed Awakening schedule.

photo used courtesy of Tiny Hands International
Center for Justice & Reconciliation