November 24, 2014Walking around campus feeling the chill of winter… we can be prepared and not sacrifice our unique style just to bundle up. There are so many great ways to layer, and also to cover the head, neck and hands while still looking fantastic! We can see the latest in matching headbands, gloves, scarves and hats that match and go great together. There are so many choices from knit and cotton scarves, fingerless gloves and mittens to breathable athletic material that we can wear for our outside workouts. The Blue Zone bookstore even has great fleece bands with our school logo on them. The infinity scarf is a great cold weather accessory as it bundles around the neck and doesn’t slip or fall down like a regular scarf might. The scarf is a wonderful alternative to wearing a necklace because it’s simple, warm and can really play up an outfit. The big knit scarf is great as well, thrown over the shoulder or just hanging down. The newest headbands can be just a simple one color design, or show off large flowers and ribbons woven in and out of it. You can also wear a traditional thin hair band accessory around the larger knit band around to accent your long locks and add some flare. Short hair is also fun to work with, as a great band or knit hat can have your shorter do curling out from underneath. The possibilities are endless, so express yourself and stay warm! This Week’s Top Tip: Dress appropriately for the weather conditions, including covering your head, hands and feet. This can be your last line of defense for staying healthy. The other trick is controlling your cool downs from your work outs, especially when you exercise outside. This is a tough one, but it can be a major way to get sick if not done properly. Bundle up even though you will be sweating, take your Vitamin D and C, and stay hydrated.
November 24, 2014For three years, Miranda Fletcher studied at Portland Community College (PCC). She had a plan. She would move forward. Ever since her junior year of high school, Miranda knew she wanted to graduate from George Fox University (GFU). She decided to first take classes at PCC in order to cut costs. Unlike many college students whose parents pay the tuition, Miranda’s family saw it as important that she work and earn this for herself. This concept was not foreign to Miranda. She said, “I have worked since the age of 12 as a babysitter. Then, at 16, I got a job, got my license, and started paying car insurance and my phone bill (I couldn’t have a phone until I was 16 and could pay for it). At 17, I bought my own car with my own money, then I had to pay for gas.” “I grew up being taught how to be responsible,” said Miranda. “It’s hard because I don’t relate to most of my peers that have their parents pay for things.” Besides developing an early work ethic, Miranda felt she mentally matured “extremely fast.” “I tend to get along better with people older than me,” she said. “At 21, people like to have sex, get drunk and party. I like to obtain knowledge, form relationships, and start becoming financially independent…I relate more to the people who have gone through the stage of learning responsibility.” A large reason for this is her older brother, Vahit. “When I was eight, my family of four adopted my older brother from Kazakhstan,” Miranda explained. “Long story short, I grew up when I was eight. My family become more distant. Still loving and stuff. It was just a hard concept for me to get my mind around at age eight and growing up.” She had been used to the idea of being the oldest child. When Vahit came into the family, she became the middle child. Still, she felt higher expectations in some ways. “Of course my parents had higher expectations for me partly because I knew English. Vahit spoke Russian and had to learn English as a second language,” she said. “I had to make it a point to get to know my older brother, partly because of the language barrier,” Miranda said. “It helped me be aware of being sensitive to other cultures.” Her time at PCC also contributed to her value for diversity. “Being here [at GFU], I really value having gone to PCC. I met a very diverse population. My first month here, I realized there is one dominant type of person here,” Miranda said. This is her first semester as a student at GFU and she is quickly learning that it is different from anywhere else. “Newberg has its very own culture. It’s also a small town and I’m not used to that,” she continued. “The longer I’m here, though, the more friends I make and the more I get used to it.” She makes sure to visit home—Hillsboro, Ore.—whenever she can, usually four to six times each month. “My younger brother, Ethan, moved into my bedroom—a larger room than his—when I moved to Fox,” she said. “So it feels less like home than before. But it’s still good to visit.” Her older brother, now 25, has two young children. Miranda lit up as she talked about getting to visit them. “The three year old is getting to the point where he remembers me, so that’s amazing. The baby is five months old and is so adorable,” she said. When she’s at school, she is focused on her work as a Nursing major. “In middle school, all my friends would come to me with their problems. The information I get stays with me—I’m a safe person to tell things to, and I want to help people. So I thought of being a counselor or psychologist,” Miranda said. “But I wanted to help take care of people on the physical side of things, too,” she went on. “My dad’s friend is a doctor who showed me the need for psychiatric nurses. Now, I want to work as a psychiatric nurse at any Veterans Hospital. I would mainly like to help veterans that have PTSD.” As Miranda discussed her dream to work with veterans, she showed a tremendous amount of respect for soldiers, especially those who return from war with psychological disorders. “I just want to help them!” she said emphatically. To be a psychiatric nurse is to help with “day to day things.” As Miranda explained, “You are the first person to notice if anything’s wrong. If they have an episode, you keep the care plan up to date. It’s a lot of monitoring.” “I just want to work in a field that I can support myself and others in,” she said. Her faith plays a large part in her dreams. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Those are the two main things I try to uphold. And man alive those are some of the hardest tasks,” Miranda said. “I even try to let my thoughts, even when they are not said out loud, replicate the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. Like I said: It’s hard.” “In every conversation I have, I strive to be sensitive to the other person’s religious beliefs. I value friends and relationships. I value helping others,” Miranda said. She identifies herself as an encourager—a loving, supportive friend. As she works on her Nursing degree, she said she sometimes has pessimistic thoughts about the future. “There are things I would like to do or have happen, but I will not allow myself to make permanent plans,” she said. Regardless of whether or not Miranda becomes a psychiatric nurse for veterans as she currently dreams of doing, she will undoubtedly make an impact in countless people’s lives as she cares for them in many capacities. “The Known,” a weekly series written by Amy Rose, introduces you to people at GFU who deserve to Be Known.
November 18, 2014We’ve all heard of speed skater Apolo Ohno, big-time swimmer Michael Phelps, or figure skater Yuna Kim. These three Olympians have engraved themselves into history by their own achievements, but they also have been successful models for aspiring athletes, even those who compete with disabilities. The Special Olympics is an international organization, but Oregon has really invested in these athletes. Today, 12,000 Oregon athletes take part in the games. Oregon’s branch works hard to offer inclusion in the Special Olympics program to anyone who is eligible to compete. In most cases, these athletes take on a hard-core training course that lasts eight weeks. Sponsoring celebrities might make an appearance, as Michael Phelps occasionally does through his position as a Special Olympic Global Ambassador. Apart from the Special Olympic contributions he makes, Phelps has created a self-titled, non-profit foundation to promote the benefits and athleticism of young swimmers. Speed skater and decorated Olympian Apollo Ohno also has invested himself in the Special Olympics by hosting skating classes for the athletes. Yuna Kim, also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics, has provided classes and courses, too. At the Special Olympics in Oregon, everyone is a volunteer: coaches, supporting individuals, or present sponsors. When it comes to training and investing in the athletes, everyone takes on an influential role. The Gold Medals awarded to the athletes make them heroes, and the people volunteering behind the scenes make such heroism possible. http://www.soor.org/ http://www.specialolympics.org/
November 17, 2014After another hard day of working at a homeless agency in Portland, Chris Miller was ready to go home. It would be a long way back home, so he picked up his pace as he headed for the train station. “Man, you must really can’t wait to get home.” The man’s voice caught him off guard. Who would be talking to him now? The words came from a homeless man who had noticed Chris’s quick gait. It was a weighty statement. It was as if he was telling Chris a story of a time when he once had a home to return to. However long he had been on the streets, he remembered the sense of home. It was nostalgic. Homesick. At that moment, Chris had a realization: I have a home to go to. As a senior majoring in Social Work at GFU, Chris faces the challenges of poverty head-on. Born in Indonesia to missionary parents, Chris spent most of his life in the Philippines when his parents’ ministry positions changed from language teachers to seminary professors. He attended a K-12 international school. “It was like a mini college campus,” Chris said. “It was on a hill overlooking the city, with great sunsets.” Soccer was his passion growing up. Later in high school, he was given the opportunity of teaching soccer clinics for kids. He managed about 50 kids for a couple weeks, with a big tournament at the end of the season. “That’s where I found my love for the innocence of youth,” Chris said. “I found it very comfortable to be with kids because I was a silly, rambunctious kid too. It was easy to get on their level, something God has blessed me with.” “It was cool to find that passion out of an interest in a sport,” he said. When it came time to decide on college, Chris knew only three things: The school had to be a Christian campus, on the west coast, and near a big city. “I’m a city boy,” Chris said. “Home, for me, is the concrete jungle.” It was too expensive to travel to the United States to visit colleges, so he relied on his basic criteria. He still had no idea what major he would choose. “The first year was rough, but freshman year is always awkward for anyone,” Chris said. “But God took care of me.” “I definitely experienced culture shock, which is another way to put ‘Life sucks because you’re in a new place,’” Chris laughed. “That’s definitely an MK [Missionary Kid] joke.” He repeated the sentiment that God took care of him. “He sent me a senior, Omar Medina, who was a Social Work major. Sometimes I think he was an angel,” Chris said. “We met through a mutual friend at church.” “It was cool to see someone who was so passionate. I learned about a lot of social issues from him,” said Chris. “I’ve been blessed my whole life,” Chris said. “I was surrounded by poverty in the Philippines, but I never truly engaged it. You don’t really pay attention to it unless you have to.” “Because I am blessed, I should be blessing others,” he continued. He signed up to take the introductory Social Work class with Clifford Rosenbohm, and he was hooked. “It’s a very real, very raw major because you’re not in it for yourself, that’s just straight up,” Chris said. “You don’t do it for the money or because you want to be happy all the time. It’s so emotionally taxing.” Chris began experiencing this firsthand through his internships with Love INC in Newberg and Join (a Portland-based homeless agency). “It’s so rewarding to see people grow,” he said. “And the people who don’t seem to grow, you still learn so much from them… You can’t judge a person—there’s more happening that just what’s on the surface. That takes an exorbitant amount of time and effort to see below the surface.” He has discovered the rawness of homeless populations. “They will tell you exactly how they feel,” Chris said. “It was shocking at first when you get those outbursts. You have to remember, it’s not about you. It’s not personal. You definitely see the base level of human emotion.” Besides his internships, Chris finds ways to live out his passions in other capacities. For two years, he has worked at Camp Tilikum. “A lot of spiritual growth came out of that,” he said. Even though he identifies five years old as the age when he became a Christian, Chris admits “it felt kind of fake for a long time.” “Faith became real my first summer as a camps counselor at Tilikum,” Chris said. “It was week five, when I was exhausted. All the kids were gone. After a staff meeting, I went out into the woods. There’s a path around the lake, a freakin’ Garden of Eden walk.” He smiled as the memory came back to him. He continued, “I went far enough out that no one would think I’m crazy talking out loud by myself. It was outstanding. In subtle ways, I could feel that God was there.” He said that sometimes it takes being at an ultimate low in order to begin building faith up. “You kinda [sic] have to be at the bottom. A point where I don’t give a f— anymore. You can be as honest as you want with God,” Chris said. “That prayer walk was an extremely empowering experience. It was the shift from my strength to God’s strength.” It is God’s strength he feels he must rely on in order to live out his passions. After graduating next semester, Chris plans on moving to San Francisco. “It is a place of advocacy. I want to be a part of that melting pot. My huge ambition is to be in an environment in which I’m forced to grow,” he said. Chris emphasized how blessed he feels, given that he has the choice to move anywhere he wants. He said, “My goal is thrive in the chaos . . . To be in the city, where there’s always something to do and no excuse to sit on your butt.” “The Known,” a weekly series written by Amy Rose, introduces you to people at GFU who deserve to Be Known.
November 14, 2014George Fox University has an wide-ranging marketing presence. Whether through billboards, online advertisements, or social media, GFU tries to send a simple, well-written message to perspective students. Clearly, with two record enrollment years, (despite national averages) the university is doing something right. Ryan Dougherty, executive director of admissions, attributes this success to GFU’s singular messaging. “I believe the synchronization of our efforts is key,” said Dougherty. “The marketing department does a fantastic job with the website and SEO [search engine optimization] . . .Our campus visit program is a hallmark of our efforts as our current students and staff are tremendous representatives of the educational experience we are out selling.” Rob Felton, director of marketing communications, says that the research-driven approach has had a large impact on GFU’s marketing tactics. According to Felton, the university used to spend a large amount of money on print advertising, but when they began putting those resources into billboards around the Portland area, they found more success. Another medium that GFU heavily invests in is the website, which according to Felton, “is how many of our prospective students learn about us.” Perhaps GFU’s success is because of the feel-good messages that its advertising produces. Looking through the content of GFU’s marketing, you will find eight key messages. According to the university’s website, the key messages say that GFU is: “Nationally recognized, academically rigorous, student focused, relationally designed, opportunity rich, faith infused, service minded, and globally engaged.” Another factor is the huge influence social media has had in the marketing sector. “Certainly it has provided new avenues for students and families to research and explore college options,” said Dougherty. The marketing department invests lots of time and research into optimizing their social media outlets, and making sure they use the most of those tools. In addition to this, according to Dougherty, the university does seem to genuinely deliver on the promises made in its marketing: “George Fox is a special place and our marketing and admissions teams are fully committed to the vision of making this place the Christian university of choice…The draw is apparent on the campus visit and we are thankful for current students who choose to authentically share experiences with prospective students.”
November 13, 2014Zombie apocalypse and dystopian end of the world movies seem to be all the rage these days. “The Maze Runner,” an action, mystery, sci fi thriller, which came out in September, fits into this category with no question. Think “World War Z” meets “The Hunger Games” meets “Divergent” and you’re getting warm. “The Maze Runner” sends viewers on a wild quest that leaves them second-guessing through plot twists and jumping at surprises. Although “Maze Runner,” directed by Wes Ball, is like the movies previously mentioned, it does have its own distinct story. The movie opens with a young man named Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) waking up in an elevator that takes him to the middle of a glade. He doesn’t remember who he is, only that his name is Thomas. Already there are a group of teen boys in this place they call “The Glade.” Upon his arrival, Thomas sees that the glade is surrounded on all four sides by giant cement walls and soon learns that they are in the center of a huge maze. He discovers that just like him, everyone in “The Glade” can remember their first names but nothing else. A new boy arrives every thirty days via the elevator. No one knows why they are there or who is behind their imprisonment. Many of the young men have seemed to give up hope that they will ever be able to leave this place. Though trapped, the boys have made the glade their home, and created their own society. This society exists based off of three rules: do your part, never hurt another Glader, and never go beyond the walls. Only runners are allowed to leave the glade; their job is to map the maze and try and find a way out. Every evening the doors leading to the maze close, protecting the glade from the monsterous Grievers. The leader of the group is named Alby (Aml Ameen) and his right hand man is Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster). Some other notable characters in The Glade are Gally (Will Poulter), who is the lead builder; Minho (Ki Hong Lee), the leader of the runners of the maze; and Chuck (Blake Cooper), who serves as comic relief as well as a helper to everyone. Chuck reminded me a lot of the character Chunk from the 1985 movie “The Goonies.” Truffle shuffle, anyone? With Thomas’s arrival, things quickly begin to change for the gladers. Thomas is curious and not afraid to ask questions. His behavior sets off a chain of intriguing events that make this movie fun to watch and full of suspense. This includes the introduction of a girl to the glade named Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), who really causes a stir among the boys. I really enjoyed this movie. The special effects were believable and not at all overdone. In fact, at points I was so sucked into the movie that I forgot I was watching it and felt like I was actually there. I was also impressed with the acting. There were only a few secondary characters who I felt were not as strong as they could have been. This movie was an overall enjoyable experience but there were a few things I wasn’t so sure about. For instance, if you suffer from claustrophobia this may not be the movie for you. There are several scenes that were close calls, and I would get so engrossed in what was happening that only a few minutes later would I realize that I had tensed myself up into a tight ball of bunched up nerves. It wasn’t a bad feeling as much as a bit of a physically uncomfortable one. One thing that I didn’t care for was that this movie left me with a lot of questions. Maybe if I had read the book series by author James Dashner, I would have understood the plot better. This movie is also the first of a trilogy series, and it leaves you with a cliffhanger. Overall it was a positive cinematic experience and one that I am excited to continue with the sequel, “The Maze Runner Chapter II: The Scorch Trials,” expected to come out in Sept. 2015.
November 10, 2014The last day of August seemed like it would be a normal Sunday for Noemi “Mimi” Camacho, a junior at GFU. She woke up early enough to go through her regular morning routine before heading to Newberg Foursquare Church, as always. Surprisingly, she was ready extra early. Ignoring her car, Mimi decided to walk to church—it looked like a beautiful day outside and she had time to spare. Something nagged at the back of her mind: This morning was odd, unusual, out of the ordinary. On her way to church, there was a woman sitting at Memorial Park. Mimi smiled at the stranger, as is her nature. The stranger smiled back, waved, and said hi. Her greeting, albeit simple, drew Mimi in, and the pair began to talk. Her name was Joana. She said she was waiting for a ride to the Mormon church her daughter had been going to. The park was one of her favorite places to be, as long as the weather was good. It was almost time for church to begin, so Mimi told Joana that she’d see her around, and went on her way. After service, Mimi went to the assistant pastor and told him about her encounter with Joana. She told him she knew God had put Joana in her life for a reason. “I knew in my heart that God sent her to me,” Mimi said. The Thursday before, Mimi had a powerful experience with God, “one where I ended on the floor crying, talking with God about how I feel closest to him when things are hard.” With a chuckle, Mimi said, “Be careful what you ask for from God because you never know what’s going to happen. I had asked him to present me with more challenges to get me closer to him.” It wasn’t hard for Mimi to conclude that God answered her prayer through this new woman. After some time of prayer, she started her walk back home. There was the woman, sitting on a park bench, crying. A man—a stranger—was trying to console her, but his efforts seemed unsuccessful. It was tempting to pass them by, to ignore the distraught Joana. “For a split second, I had the choice to walk by or go over there. I had that internal conflict,” Mimi admitted. “I definitely was walking, stopped, turned around and went back to her.” “Joana, what’s wrong?” “I was thinking about my son,” she replied. “What happened?” The question seemed simple enough, but the answers were full of deep pain and loss. Her son, when he was about one year old, died. While she was at her daughter’s church, something made her think of this painful memory. The family that had taken her to church drove Joana back to the park because she was making too much of a scene. Mimi and Joana began walking together as Joana talked about how she felt her son was taken from her. “How does that make you feel? Angry? Sad? Do you blame God?” Mimi asked. “Yeah I do blame God! And I’m sad. It’s not fair!” Joana responded. Mimi reassured her that God loved her and that “he’s not a mean, horrible person.” “I said, ‘He is to be feared, but he’s not out to get you.’ That’s important for her to know.” Because of her three suicide attempts, mild schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, Joana is currently in a rehab program. Upon hearing this, Mimi broke down. “I started crying because she wanted to die. I just looked at her and threw my arms around her, bawling. ‘That’s not fair for your kids! You can’t leave them!’ I told her.” “After we hugged and cried, she asked if I could be her friend. I said, ‘Yeah! Absolutely!’ so I gave her my number and we walked back to Memorial Park.” Every week, the two meet up to talk. Mimi never pressured Joana to attend church, but every so often she’ll ask to come along. Mimi said, “I feel like I’m there for her, to help her, but really, it often feels like she’s there to help me.” Their unexpected friendship is a testament to Mimi’s character and faith. Deeply loyal. Caring. Magnetic. “I get emotionally attached to people,” she said. “I feel their emotions. My emotions are tied to other people’s, which is good and bad. I just want to help people!” As a biology major, Mimi initially desired to be a veterinarian. However, her attitudes changed as she realized how much higher education she would need. “I don’t want to spend another six years in college, especially in a hard route. I wouldn’t enjoy it,” Mimi said. “My plan is just to graduate and see what happens.” New opportunities are springing up for her as she participates in research. Over the summer, she conducted research on behalf of Don Powers, professor of biology. Along with another student, Mimi spent her summer months completing an internship in southeastern Arizona. Two other students from the research team went to Ecuador. “My project specifically was taking a look at thermal landscapes in the area and seeing how different landscapes could affect what’s called ‘hummingbird thermoregulatory cost,’” she said. “I set up a ton of temperature sensors out in the wilderness. Weekly, we would go hike all these areas and I would download the data off the sensors.” There were plenty of trying days. The Arizona heat was intense and convenience was two hours away. However, Mimi said it was “pretty fun.” As part of the Murdock Charitable Trust Fund, she and her team get to present their posters on their research. “The research and poster-making consumes so much of my time still,” Mimi said. “I’m always in the lab, locked away in my cave.” For Mimi, the science building is a second home. “It’s coming to an end soon, but then it’s going to start all over when I do my next research project, which is probably going to be something to do with resting metabolic rates of a hummingbird species on the Oregon coast,” Mimi said. However, she isn’t too worried about the future. “I haven’t come across the thing that I want to do for the rest of my life. I think it’s just hard because a lot of people expect me to go on because they feel that if I stopped here [after undergrad] I wouldn’t reach my full potential. But I don’t exactly believe in ‘full potential.’” Both of her parents graduated from college and worked for elementary schools; her dad has a Master’s degree. It would only be natural for Mimi to pursue higher education. But Mimi has other thoughts. “There’s this false perception that people have to make it big. What about those in-between jobs? We don’t remember those guys who get our garbage every week, or the guys packing your groceries at the store. Maybe their jobs aren’t super glamorous or super rewarding, but they’re happy doing what they’re doing.” For her, college is a perfect time to practice trusting God. The ring on her right index finger reminds her daily to not worry, something she feels prone to do. Black words on a twisted silver band read, “Jn. 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God: trust also in me.” As a nervous habit, she finds herself playing with the ring when she’s most stressed. The edges have become noticeably worn because of how much she twirls it on her finger. Feeling the metal and re-reading the inscribed words help her remember to trust God. “Especially in college, we always have this idea that we need to look for God’s purpose for our lives, what God has planned for us,” Mimi said. “I realized that, as Christians, we have been given the discerning Holy Spirit. We are God’s children. He gives us wisdom.” “It’s easier to rule out the paths that we shouldn’t take because they don’t align with the Bible. When making decisions and we still have, like, five options, it ultimately comes down to: You are a child of God. You live for God.” “There are blessings behind each direction. There isn’t a right choice, but God gives us the ability to choose and He will bless each path differently,” she said. Regarding the future, Mimi knows not to worry—her faith allows her to trust God to lead her in the right direction. “The Known,” a weekly series written by Amy Rose, introduces you to people at GFU who deserve to Be Known.
November 3, 2014Not every student at George Fox University (GFU) gets a chance to dine with the school’s president. Yet as a student at View Park Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, Nile Haynes-Irby was invited to dinner with President Robin Baker. Nile, now a junior at GFU, is originally from South Central Los Angeles, a rough area to live in. “I guess you could say I grew up in ‘the hood,’” Nile said. He solemnly described South Central as a place where many people are noticeably less fortunate than others, where kids joined into gangs at a young age, where education was not so great. It’s a place of dichotomy. Nile said, “I lost some friends to violence. But I had some friends who became stars on Disney or ABC TV shows.” “You lose friends to gang violence, but despite all of that, you still find the connections with friends that you love. The childhood I had was rough, but relationships helped me get through all of that. So that was good,” he said, ending with a big grin. “I learned how to survive on the simple things in life,” he continued. “Like Kool-Aid packets! We didn’t have enough money to buy real juice, so we had Kool-Aid. And we just drank tap water because we couldn’t buy water.” “My mom had an accident and was handicapped so I had to become the man of the house at a young age, and because my dad went to jail when I was two—he’s still there now,” he said. “I grew up in a household of females, so I was always told to be the man of the house. It led me to want to protect my family and the women in my life.” Despite the challenges put before him, Nile strove for greatness. His former high school is a part of a charter school network intended to raise African-American achievement and close the achievement gap. If students have a high enough GPA, school counselors work to match students with colleges. Because of that, Nile was introduced to Randy Winston, the current president of Student Services for South Central Scholars. He had graduated from George Fox College (now GFU) and works to coordinate college fairs and financial aid workshops for his organization. Randy visited View Park and asked Nile if he wanted to have dinner with the president of GFU. Nile said, “I just thought, ‘How can I turn this down?’ This is my first time ever getting to meet with a president of a university!” They set a date and had dinner at Randy’s house. “I had nervousness and uncertainty whether this school [GFU] was the place for me or not. But the atmosphere set from the President and Randy Winston made everything feel comfortable,” Nile said. President Baker told Nile about the attractions of GFU, and Nile was able to ask different questions about what they had to offer. Meanwhile, Nile applied for the South Central Scholars scholarship. After being interviewed, Nile was awarded the scholarship. “During the meeting [with the president] I heavily considered going to the school, but it was once I got the scholarship that I really wanted to go to GFU,” he said. The choice was between Texas Christian University and GFU. After receiving his scholarship and visiting the campus at Bruin Preview, Nile knew he would be moving to Oregon. Nile said, “My host, Josiah Shoemaker, showed me around campus and welcomed me. I felt the presence of family on the campus and that’s when I knew I wanted to stay and study for my career at GFU.” He majors in Mechanical Engineering, and minors in Music Theater and Mathematics. Nile said he is “what you might call a ‘Theatrical Engineer’—definitely not the typical mechanical engineer.” He said he has always excelled at math. “I’ve always loved calculations,” he said with a smile. Engineering started for Nile when he was a little kid. He was the child who always pulled things apart just to see how they worked and put them back together. “Creating and understanding how things work was a skill I learned at a young age,” Nile said. “As I got older, I was like, ‘I keep doing the same thing! Taking apart the same type of pencil and stuff. With engineering, I can experiment and create!’” Nile described engineering as “the part of me that interests me. But theater is what I love. It’s who I am.” Theater has been a part of most of his life. He started dancing when he was eight years old. By eighth or ninth grade, he was acting. Singing is a more recent talent, something he said he is just “okay” at. “Theater has always been a passion of mine,” he said. At first glance, it might seem impossible to find overlap in his areas of study. For Nile, though, incorporating them is not a challenge. “I want to design different objects that evoke emotion and show creativity,” he said. His ambition is to work at Disneyland. “I want to build attractions that affect human emotion,” he explained. “If I don’t get a job there after graduation, then I will probably go on to get my master’s in mechanical engineering.” Another option for the future is a plan he made with friends back home in LA. “We want to, one day, open a sort of school for theater, music, dance, math, and science for kids. It would be more like a conservatory,” Nile explained. As he prepares for the future, many students at GFU look at Nile in awe and wonder, “How can he do it all?” Nile has a challenging major and two minors, participated in two theater productions, has been a Peer Advisor for the last two years, and is a part of GFU’s dance company. “The trick to it all is doing one thing at a time,” Nile said. “My mom told me to just take one thing at a time. When you do, you’ll get it done in an orderly fashion. You have to be organized. Know you can’t do everything, but you can do a lot.” “Don’t focus on all the things you have to do until you finish the task at hand,” he continued. “Think of an old typewriter. You finish one line, then go back and move on to the next line,” he said as he illustrated the thought with his hands, handling an imaginary typewriter by sliding the carriage over and turning the knob. With this typewriter mentality, Nile is able to accomplish much more than an average student might think possible or sane. Also present is a motivation to excel. “After my first year [at GFU], I came back home and I got to see all my friends and family and I realized that I am not going to college just for myself,” Nile said. “I’m going for my mom, my little sister, and my best friends. Because, once I make it, everybody around me makes it. “It made me define my character as a guardian. My character is called to protect and include people, the bridge between cultures.” He lives this out in many ways, particularly as a Peer Advisor. Nile knows that adaptability is one of his strengths, but adapting is hard for many incoming freshman. “I want to embrace people and help them feel at home and welcome,” he said. “I always want to hear their stories and know their backgrounds. Where can I relate and empathize with them? It’s interesting to see how people grew up and how they think,” Nile said. “Things like, ‘How did you come to be such a strong believer even though you didn’t grow up in a Christian home like I did?’” His values are apparent in how he treats people—equality, fairness, and respect. It is important for him to not be close-minded but to be open-minded to other things—yet not to the extent of accepting everything he hears. “I respect others; I’m not gonna [sic] devalue their humanity just because I disagree,” he said. His journey as a Christian has taken the form of asking questions of authenticity. “Am I a fake Christian or a ‘good’ Christian? Am I being real, or doing it just because it’s the thing to do?” These are questions that he is facing. “For the past year, God has been having me on a journey of reevaluating my faith,” Nile said. “What do I believe? It has to be for certain.” It is difficult sometimes to be certain on anything when it is more natural for him to be in the middle. “I’m not awesomely good or horribly bad. I see myself as the middle,” he said. He often is a bridge between people with different views and struggles to pick a side. But when it comes to his faith, he knows he can feel more confident in his beliefs. The journey is about making mistakes, moving forward, and becoming a better person. “To learn is to make mistakes,” Nile said. “You have to change. You can’t stay stuck in one thought process if you want to be a better person. I feel like everyone should strive to be a better person at the end of the day.” “The Known,” a weekly series written by Amy Rose, introduces you to people at GFU who deserve to Be Known.
October 29, 2014As the warm weather is coming to a close, we can start thinking about how to warm up without going right to the sweater or the big heavy winter coat. And if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, you know this means layering with blouses. These little numbers are from denimhunt.com Here are some great examples of our GFU women sporting patterned blouses with bright colors. Layer your blouse with a tank top underneath as the warm weather fades out, and then as it gets colder, you can do a light sweater or jean jacket. These great blouses can be paired with jeans, skirts or even dressed up with a blazer and some jewelry like a brooch or fashion button at the top of your lapel. You can even go super biker chic by wearing your fantastic blouse under a great leather or motorcycle jacket. And if you ride a motorcycle, you can wear these ensembles when you are riding around town. Fall means layering and discovering some amazing combos to keep you warm and look great doing it. The next couple of weeks, we will be looking at what is trending for Halloween costumes this year, so stay tuned, it’s going to be a great year for fun fashion experimentation. Elise Porter, Senior This week’s top tip: Don’t be afraid to take risks. Step out of your comfort zone and buy some great pieces that might have more color than you’re used to. Buy some great heels for parties or going out at night with your friends. Your great new shoes can even be the focal point of your outfit, and this means that you don’t have to wear much in the way of accessories. Less is more ladies, less is more. Cydney Thompson, Senior
October 28, 2014Pumpkin Adventure In case you haven’t noticed, it’s fall. It is perfectly fine if you didn’t notice initially because the first couple weeks of fall we were cursed with temperature highs of 75. But now I think it is officially fall from the copious amounts of rain and the leaves on the ground. That means it is time to go get your pumpkins. Find a place to get your pumpkin I guess you could go to a store and buy one… but you could also go to a pumpkin patch! So figure out which one. There are plenty in the area. I went to French Prairie Gardens. Explore You cannot tell me that you went to the one pumpkin patch that only has a field of pumpkins and nothing else. Pet some animals Or take pictures with them. Stick your face in a cut out. Model your pumpkins …Or yourself. Carve your pumpkins however your heart tells you to. Eat food and enjoy being in your friends’ company. There are so many things to do in fall. It’s a wonderful season filled with hot drinks, rainy weather, crunchy leaves, jackets and scarves. Have adventures by enjoying the season and God’s creation. Just because it’s getting colder doesn’t mean that it’s time to hibernate; it’s time to be active and explore.
October 27, 2014The walls of the apartment are filled with images. Posters representing various fandoms—Dr. Who, Sherlock, Lord of the Rings, Disney. Pictures of desirable destinations in this world and others—London, Hobbiton, Paris, Narnia. Photographs of her own. Each room bursts with color and personality. Keiko Fujii, a junior at George Fox University (GFU), lives here with her best friend and roommate of three years. This is her home away from home. Originally from Boise, Idaho, Keiko found GFU to be the perfect match. When she went through the college search process, she knew she wanted a Christian college in the northwest with a great Computer Science and Engineering program. All it took was one visit to know GFU was the one. “The campus was gorgeous and I loved the professors I met,” Keiko said. “Fox just had a super chill environment. I knew this would be my second home.” She initially declared a double major in Computer Science and Math, but eventually chose Math to be a minor. Over the last three summers, she has had different internships with major companies. As a sophomore in high school, Keiko began volunteering at the Make-a-Wish Foundation. This led to a summer-long internship with them. She completed office work, set up events, and made digital scrapbooks for families and donors, among other tasks. “After my junior year, I organized a fundraiser for the foundation to send a little boy named Lucas to Disneyland,” Keiko said. “We raised over $2000 for him. The best part was getting a handwritten thank you note from the family.” “Another rewarding part of the internship was working on the scrapbooks. I could see the process of granting wishes from beginning to end,” she added. Following her freshman year at GFU, Keiko completed an internship with A-T Solutions, Incorporated. “The company specializes in security; they’re contractors for the government,” Keiko explained. “I was working on a project for the state of Texas. My team was making a tool—a mobile app—for the law enforcement so they could easily diagram auto incidents. They’re using it now.” Even though A-T is a large corporation, the Boise campus was a smaller environment, which Keiko appreciated. Their branch had been an independent company, but A-T bought them out. Still, they maintained their more Christ-centered environment. “A lot of the employees went to my church. I loved having this more close-knit workplace. We were serious about our projects, but we could also have fun (like the Ping-Pong tournaments),” Keiko said. This past summer, after her sophomore year of college, Keiko worked as a Software Engineering Intern at Hewlett-Packard (HP). She was part of the Storage Division’s Testing and Verification group. “Part of my job was creating a tool for management that would automatically document all the hardware being tested. Before the end of my internship, my manager was already using the tool,” she said. An exciting part of the internship was HP’s Twiternship. For three weeks, selected interns competed in a social media contest. “Twiterns,” as they were called, used hashtags (such as #HPTwitern) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to gain points. In the first week, the #HPTwiternship had over 600 social media posts and Keiko had the week’s highest score. By the end of the competition, Keiko held that top position and won a red HP Tablet. Throughout her experiences, she has had the constant love and support of her parents, Dave and Lorraine. It would seem that Keiko was destined to work in a high-tech industry. Before their only child was born, Lorraine worked as a Senior Programmer Analyst at what is now US Bank and Dave was working at HP (his place of work for over 30 years). Keiko joked that her area of study is the exact combination of their careers. Lorraine chose to be a stay-at-home mom until Keiko went to college. This allowed Keiko to see the importance of family. “[My parents] were my world growing up… I’m really blessed to have such a good relationship with my parents,” she said. “I text them all the time and am so happy to see them on holidays.” Both parents have greatly inspired her, but her interests much more noticeably overlap with those of her father. Some time in junior high, Keiko discovered her passion for photography, just like her dad and grandpa. “It’s partly why I got into it,” she said. “Grandpa was a photographer when it was just film, not digital. He would shoot sporting events and would have to go straight to the dark room late at night after the games because he’d have to give the photos to the newspaper in the morning.” “When I took a film photography class at Fox, I was better able to connect with my grandpa and dad. I found the darkroom to be so calming.” She still prefers digital because it is quicker and less expensive. Nevertheless, the film class was important because “it takes you back to the basics.” Keiko now has her own photography business, Sakura, and has been hired by GFU to take senior portraits for certain departments. Besides admiring her dad’s photography, Keiko admires him in the workplace—but not just in regards to being a good employee. “I don’t feel like I have an exact calling right now other than being a light for Christ in the high-tech industry,” Keiko said. “One of my main inspirations is my dad. Everyone he works with says he’s a hard worker, brilliant, yet able to invest in people,” she said. “He not only makes sure people get their work done, but that they excel at it. And, ultimately, he pours himself into them. He has been able to witness to so many people.” Watching her dad be recognized as a valuable role model for others has inspired Keiko in her personal faith journey. “I think I started really living out my faith last year. I had been so broken, I had to start over. I had to evaluate my core values and what I believed,” she explained. She is determined to live out her calling to be a light for Christ now. She uses her musical talents for the worship team at GFU and values fellowship with peers. Her roommate and best friend, Caitlin King, said, “She is incredibly kind and thoughtful. She’s very good at taking the time to see things from the other person’s side before making decisions… I adore her to pieces.” Just a quick interaction with Keiko is enough to see the kindness King is referring to. Keiko has great ambitions to change the high-tech industry, one heart at a time. If you are interested in more about Keiko’s photography business, visit http://sakuraphotography.smugmug.com/. “The Known,” a weekly series written by Amy Rose, introduces you to people at GFU who deserve to Be Known.