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

The PLNU Speech and Debate team’s competitive intercollegiate season has now drawn to a close with our last tournament.  But the team went out with a bang at National Parliamentary Debate Nationals, hosted by Colorado College in Colorado Springs Wednesday March 16th through Sunday March 20th.


·         The team ended the year as the third highest ranked school in the yearlong nationwide sweepstakes, ahead of much larger institutions like UCLA, Cal Berkeley, the United States Air Force Academy, etc. . . , all of which have outstanding programs.  There are hundreds of fine colleges and universities competing from across the nation in NPDA, all in one large division.  Points can be accrued in Novice, Junior and Senior divisions at your best four tournaments of the year, counting your top four teams in those tournaments.

·         At the NPDA National Championships from which we just returned, the six teams representing PLNU were ranked the 8th top program at the national championship tournament sweepstakes, which is incredibly difficult.  This ranking counts your top four teams against all the other program’s top four teams at the tournament, all competing within just one senior division.  We have had many very strong teams in the past that have not even cracked the top ten awards in this category.  Our 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.  This honor was richly deserved by Daniel based on his forensics success, his high academics, and his service to the community.  He is choosing now which law school to attend next year.

·         The team of Ashley Nuckels and Ian Sharpels advance 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 our other teams missed that opportunity by only one round.


It will be especially sad to see this year’s season end.  Of the twelve students competing for us at Nationals this year, all but one will be graduating or studying abroad next year for the bulk of the competitive season.  This means though that there will be many opportunities for new students to join us either from your classes, or from the number of outstanding recruits I have been speaking with this year from other schools (both high schools and junior colleges). 


So please help us in our recruiting of bright, competitive, well spoken and hard working students.  And a special thanks to Admissions counselors for keeping on the lookout for promising talent for next year’s team.


Communications & Theatre

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 this past weekend (March 11-13, 2011). 

Senior Daniel Nadal, Co-President of the team was named Top Speaker in the nation, in the Open Division of Parliamentary Debate, and all 9 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 that two of our 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 Semi Final rounds in Lincoln Douglas debate, advancing to the Final Round in that division’s bracket.  Imagine the NCAA Basketball bracket, but a little smaller, not as much media attention and very few commercial endorsements.

We have one last National Championship tournament this year, unfortunately taking place this Wednesday through Sunday for our Senior Teams.  It will be at Colorado College, in Colorado Springs.  Thanks for your continued encouragement of the students in your classes and the institutional and prayer support from the PLNU community that make this possible.


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

Communications & Theatre

Our mission at PLNU is to equip students to become future leaders in our community.  We welcome Point Loma residents to visit campus and become involved with our programs. To learn more about how PLNU is making an impact on our community, we invite you to view our 2010 annual report at, or if you prefer, you can request a print copy by mail.

To request a copy of the annual report, or if you are interested in making a donation to support a student scholarship, program, or department, please contact Sandy Liarakos at (619) 849-2992.









Office of Community & Government Relations
Hey golfers! Come play in the 28th annual W. Shelburne Brown Golf Classic

on Monday, March 21 at Sycuan Resort.  Tee time is 1 p.m. for the 18-hole,

four-person scramble format.  The cost is $195 per golfer and includes a steak sandwich

lunch, banquet dinner, awards, and tee prizes. Join us to support PLNU athletics!

For more information, visit, or call (619) 849-2265!



Office of Community & Government Relations