Point Loma Nazarene University

Contact: Nicholle Jaramillo

Point TV: Channel 23 Marketing & Promotions Mgr.

Advisor: Alan Hueth (619) 849-2358

Date: March 18, 2011

Written by: Nicholle Jaramillo




Dreaming Big, Fulfilling a Dream:

Recent PLNU Alumnus Gets Job Promotions at DreamWorks


            There is one thing that some college seniors spend endless nights losing sleep over: post college employment.  One PLNU graduate, Shelby Martin (a 2009 PLNU alumna) took matters of landing her dream job into her own hands, and this has led to two promotions in the last two years. 

Her first promotion came right after she ended her DreamWorks internship on December 11, 2009.

            Martin sought out an internship with DreamWorks Animation in search of a challenge. Without a PLNU course or curriculum on animation, she wanted to learn about the process and something she had never done before.  She submitted an application without thinking she would be picked.   

            “I submitted an application to DreamWorks and a couple of TV stations in San Diego,” said Martin. “I got a call back from all the news stations, but did not think I would get a callback from DreamWorks. With Jason Carter’s (PLNU, ’04) help and recommendation, it came through.”

            During her time as an intern, Martin fell in love with the company and knew it was the place for her.  However, when the internship was over, Martin was faced with the reality that DreamWorks was not offering any full-time positions for the interns after this particular semester.  So, she pitched an idea to create a new position that she thought the company was in need of:  a Production Assistant in the Show Development Department.   Without any knowledge of how her pitch would be received, the company’s executives saw her passionate drive and offered her a position with the company.  Promotion number one.

            “I was like ‘I love this company, I have a lot of heart and I want to be here,’” said Martin.  “God has blessed me so much with this.  Every door seems to open and seems to work out better than I ever planned.”

            As a show development production assistant, Martin was responsible for a slew of activities involving shows that are in the in-between stage: “not in development and not in production.”  Her department worked on script treatments, pitching ideas for movies to Jeffery Katzenberg, DreamWorks CEO, scheduling meetings, taking notes, handling artwork and much more.  Martin has been extended the opportunity a number of times to take notes during meetings with Katzenberg, who is known for producing movies like Shrek, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and more.

            “Anything can go in those meetings, good or bad.  If you look at a lot of other P.A.’s they don’t get to work with him,” said Martin.  “It’s a neat experience to be in the room, you learn to appreciate what he’s done for the company.”

            Martin’s hard work and dependability soon led to promotion number two: an offer to be the Production Coordinator on Turbo, a film that tells the tale of a garden snail who hopes to become the fastest snail in the world.   With a background in figure-eight racing, Martin has brought some unique features to the film.

            “It’s been great to see an idea develop as an intern, and see that and see how everything has gone forward,” said Martin.  “This new position has been very challenging and I’m learning a lot of new things, so it’s been really great.”

            Regarding future career goals, Martin can see herself still working at DreamWorks 20 years down the road.  She hopes to become an associate producer or executive, but realizes that will be a long hard road to travel.  As per usual, she’s up for the challenge and any new opportunity that comes her way.

            “It’s hard right now. I’m 22, I’ve had a lot of opportunities that a lot of 22 year olds haven’t,” said Martin. “I feel grateful, excited and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else with any other company.”

            In a business that can, at times, be impossible to break into, Martin’s success is something other communication and theatre students can look up to.  For students looking to break into the world of entertainment, she has some simple advice.  Martin says it’s all about persistence and faith.

            “Have faith that God will provide,” said Martin.  “Think out what you want to do, stay committed, keep trying, be open and don’t be discouraged.  It’ll happen if you put yourself out there.”


For more information regarding Shelby Martin’s work with DreamWorks please contact her at




Communications & Theatre


1.    Do students have to attend chapel?
          +    At PLNU, spiritual growth opportunities are priority, so we do ask that our students attend a certain number of chapels each semester.  That number varies, based on several things, including what year you are, if you live on or off campus, etc.  Check out the guidelines here.
2.    How many chapel sessions are offered?
          +    Chapel meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning from 9:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m.  There are no classes offered during chapel, so it’s easy to attend!  We also offer an evening based chapel option called Time Out, which is completely facilitated by our students.
3.    Who speaks in chapel?
          +    PLNU is blessed to have several full time staff members who work to make our chapel services amazing.  Our full time chaplain, Mark Carter is connected to our student body not just through speaking in chapel several times a month, but also in staying connected to our student body in many ways.  We see him in chapel, all over campus, with students in our local off campus neighborhood having coffee…he’s even an avid surfer, so you can often find him out catching a wave with students.  Mark is also involved in helping select other speakers for chapel.  Since chapel is offered four times per week, we do our best to keep it varied so it stays relevant in your life.  We have students speak, community leaders, world famous authors, professors, local pastors…the list goes on and on!  See the Spring 2011 schedule here
4.    Can I visit a chapel to get a good idea about what it’s like?
          +    We encourage our visitors to check out chapel!  Let us know when you’re setting up your visit, and plan to visit on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, and we’ll make it happen!
5.    Is every chapel the same format?
          +    It’s definitely not.  Chapel is offered four times per week, and we want it to be something that’s relevant to you!  Sometimes chapel is music and a speaker.  Sometimes it’s just music.  Sometimes you’ll hear from student speakers.  Sometimes you only meet with your major or class during chapel.  It’s pretty rare that you have the same format of chapel twice in a week! If you want to see what chapel is like, you can check out the chapel archives and listen live to chapel on your computer.
6.    Who does music for chapels?  What’s it like?
          +    PLNU has the best worship music around!  Led by George Williamson, our full time Director of Worship ministries, chapel bands are made up of students, and provide chapels and events with worshipful music each week.  The chapel bands are diverse in everything but quality, so some are acoustic, some are full bands, some focus on traditional music…there are many ways to experience worship at PLNU!
7.    Can I listen to chapel online?
          +    Absolutely.
8.    What’s Time Out?
          +    Offered as a chapel option on Wednesday evenings in PLNU’s Rec Room, Time Out is a time for students to worship through reflection, prayer, scripture, silence, and music. Music is typically led by one of our chapel bands, but we occasionally invite special guests. This weekly meeting provides a time for students to break away from the stress of college and worship with a community of believers in an informal setting.  Time Out is largely planned and facilitated by our students!

Admissions (Undergraduate)

At PLNU, tuition currently covers only 77.5 percent of the education costs for a PLNU student.  In fact, never in the history of our university has tuition covered the entire cost of a student’s education. Who's paying the other 22.5 percent? PLNU receives generous financial support, both large and small, from alumni contributions, donor gifts, corporate sponsorships, and foundations.

For example, if current tuition is $26,500, and a student pays only 77.5 percent of his or her education costs, he or she is getting an unknown scholarship of about $20,000 over the course of four years.

On March 25, PLNU students will celebrate Tuition Freedom Day. The PLNU Alumni Association took the initiative to ASB leaders and Student Congress two years ago. All three have collaborated on designing this event for three years. On this day, PLNU celebrates and thanks the alumni, donors, corporations, and foundations who provide support for our current and future students.   

Students will write thank you notes, get a Tuition Freedom Day t-shirt, enjoy free coffee and pastries, and listen to live entertainment.

Click here to learn more.


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.


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