Art Student Kalissa Brooks Shares her Artistic Journey; 'We’ll just have to wait and see where God takes me.'
March 10, 2014Double majoring in graphic design and studio arts, George Fox University junior Kalissa Brooks keeps a full schedule. Upon enrolling at the college in the fall of 2011, Brooks’ artistic talents were almost immediately recognized as the submission of her artistic portfolio earned her the university’s art scholarship. “I have been passionate about the arts for as long as I can remember,” says Brooks, “I was initially only involved in studio arts but after getting involved in graphic design work I discovered that it was something I really enjoyed, too.” On campus, Brooks can often be spotted in the Steven’s building graphic design lab, working on her most recent technical illustrations, something that she claims to be her favorite part of her major. Though currently the majority of Brooks’ artistic works are completed for academic purposes, she strives to share her creations. Throughout the course of this school year Brooks has submitted multiple pieces for consideration to the university’s student art show, the Hagios book of student artwork, and the Beaverton symphony poster contest, all of which she expects to have positive outcomes. When not working on personal projects, Brooks continues her involvement in the art community through serving on multiple art committees and making preparations for the end of the year, student art, Lippy Awards. “I’m a very driven person. I like to interact and get to know people through getting involved,” says Brooks. “I encourage everyone to come to the art events.” In looking towards the future Brooks hopes that she may one day obtain a job as an art professor but claims that a position as a graphic designer in a large corporation is suitable in the meantime. “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where God takes me,” she says.
March 7, 2014Attending university is a not a cheap endeavor. Especially at George Fox, with our tuition being so high, many students wonder how their money is being spent. Why are they spending my tuition on a bus to shuttle in preview students? Why is my money going towards so many dances? Why are they spending my money on all of these things that we don’t need? We can complain, we can speculate, and we can certainly make suggestions. But I have yet to see anyone make a serious enquiry into the financial state of George Fox. -An Overview of Finances- Before the major complaints and rumors are addressed, it’s worth explaining how the annual budget is created year-to-year. “The strategic management team, vice presidents, deans, meet on a monthly basis and prepare the budget for each year,” said Ted Allen, Vice President of finance. “This year we had a bigger class, so we had more expenses. Costs related to welcome weekend, shifting housing, and we also try to keep a fund of money for looking at innovation; we did this with the library, use has changed, so we created a new collaborative space there. It’s a process we usually start in October, we have a preliminary budget by March, then a final one in July.” George Fox’s budget this year (2013-14) was around $63 million. Allen said that the majority of this money comes from tuition and housing expenses, combined with a federal endowment of around $20 million. “We have donations built into our general fund, but they only account for around 1% of the budget,” said Allen. “When we launch programs like the new stadium, like the new building for physical therapy, most of that comes from donations. It’s a specialized thing we don’t really use. We also fund certain scholarships through donations. Examples of those scholarships, like the leadership scholarship, and various scholarships for each department.” Typically, the biggest expense in the budget is personnel related. “Half of the budget goes into personnel related costs,” said Allen. The George Fox staff is typically paid a little bit less than at a public university, but Allen explained this by saying, “we have really great benefits . . . and we don’t have quite the same expectations of our professors as say, a public university, with research and such.” -An Overview of Financial Aid- Everyone complains about tuition. While this is certainly valid, in a comparison of public and private schools in Oregon, George Fox is definitely not at the top of the list in terms of cost. Reed College, for example, costs roughly $44,000 before living expenses. Willamette costs around $40,000, and before George Fox comes into the picture, there are five more schools that are more expensive in the state of Oregon. “Our base tuition is about $31,000, but very few actually people pay that,” said Allen. “We hire an outside firm each year to decide how much we should charge for tuition. We want to keep the cost down, but we also have to provide decent services. I know that when you look at the Pacific Northwest, we’re very competitive from a cost standpoint.” Aside from the discussion of scholarships and aid that is to follow, it is worth noting that George Fox consistently gives away around $30 million in grants and scholarships each year. In addition to this, every year colleges in the U.S. raise tuition (on average) an additional 4%. This may not sound like much, but over a ten year span that’s a 40% compounded hike in tuition costs. In comparison, George Fox has stayed at (roughly) 2.9% increase over the last few years, despite adding several new departments and programs. “Because of our relationship with the Quakers, part of our mission is to develop the missions’ field, so we can’t raise our tuition a lot,” said James Oshiro, the director of financial aid. Despite all of this, $31,000 a year is still an enormous amount of money. Oshiro said that the biggest mistake students make when it comes to financial aid is procrastination. “Here’s the thing, it’s really hard work. You have to prepare early, and you have to apply for outside scholarships,” said Oshiro. “You also need to apply for federal aid early, and that will hopefully get you state aid as well.” Now, scholarships are a great option if you are deemed to have a need, but what about the middle class? Oshiro admitted that attending college from a middle class family is extremely difficult. He said that; “It takes a lot of planning to go to college, especially for the middle class. Some families have saved up, and they are actually doing ok. That’s what it takes, as a middle class student, all that saving. Ninety percent of families are unfortunately not doing that, and is instead counting on federal aid.” George Fox students typically graduate with around $23,000 to $24,000 in student debt, which is “well below the national average” (of around $30,000) This is due to George Fox students typically graduating on time (in four years) whereas public school students often have an extra semester or two when finishing up their degrees. “I’m a Fox graduate, and even then it was fairly expensive,” said Oshiro. “But I know I had a much better education here, than at other schools. When I enrolled in grad school, I was taking grad-level classes that were actually repeats of classes I had taken at fox.” Students commonly complain that racially diverse students are more likely to receive scholarships. In response to this, Oshiro said, “Not really. You can’t actually have racial scholarships anymore because of lawsuits and such; we do have ‘multicultural’ scholarships. But we have also seen some [Caucasian] students get them. In reality I say no, the real truth in terms of outside scholarships is if you have a ‘story’ to tell, you are more likely to get outside scholarships. People with immigrant families have a story; in turn the story gets them these scholarships. Everyone have stories to tell, it’s all about finding yours.” The third rumor concerning finances at George Fox is that the amount of money you receive is affected by your class standing. Oshiro flatly denied this, saying, “That’s not true, simply because if you were to come in as a freshman with a certain amount of need, the aid would change depending on your situation. You never hear about the other [well-funded] side, because they are getting more aid.” -An Overview of ASC Finances- Of the institutions on campus, ASC is consistently the most criticized for the management of their money. This may be because their budget comes from a separate fund, or maybe because it is a student-led organization. Regardless, of the interviews that were conducted, Tausha René, (the vice president of ASC finance) was certainly the most open and transparent with regards to spending habits. “The beginning is looking at last year’s budget, and trying to make changes in order to use that money better.” Said René, “…It’s not our money, it’s the students money, and we want to spend if efficiently.” Despite this encouraging view, it is worth nothing that ASC spending has virtually no staff oversight from George Fox administrators. The ASC spending committee has a faculty advisor, (Stephanie St. Cyr) and while she attends the budget meetings, she does not actually have a vote. This year’s budget, amounted to some $440,000 Over $92,000 is spent on student stipends, which is vaguely reminiscent of congress’s ability to decide their own paychecks. Followed closely by $75,000, which was dedicated to the activities’ budget. The third large expense was at $41,000, for the “Executive VP fund.” After these, it is dispersed among such things as the communication budget, various clubs, and campus ministries. According to René, a large part of their spending strategy is to “assess what the students want.” Despite this noble sentiment, surveys about the student’s desires with regards to ASC have been mysteriously absent from campus life. While I do believe whole heartedly that the ASC budget committee has the best of intentions, it seems that their execution of those ideals seems to be a bit lacking. In summary, it appears that ASC spending is more or less unregulated, and is apparently under the whim of the core group of ten students who were elected by the student body. An immense amount of money is given to these students, who are all within three years of being college freshmen. The student body seems to be uninformed as to how their money is spent by ASC. Some have expressed the opinion that the ASC budget should be downsized to the core “needs” of the student body. Letting the Bruin Grounds be self-funded, removing several unnecessary elected positions from ASC, and having a separate fund for campus ministries. Events certainly add to the college experience, but it is unclear if $75,000 worth of them is entirely necessary.
March 6, 2014It may be gray and rainy in Newberg, but spring trends are heating up. Sheer tops are highly in style this season and can be seen as girly or sporty, depending on the color and design of the top. Black and white graphic prints were seen at the Spring Fashion Show on skirts, jackets, jumpsuits, blazers, and dresses. Embellished details bring an elegant feel to clothing this season. To make itmore casual, pair an embellished shirt with boyfriend jeans, or go fancy by wearing an embellished dress with ballet flats. Florals are a high favorite this season. A favorite on dresses, this trend can also be seen on leggings, and maxi skirts.
March 6, 2014So you have to babysit. The kid wants to watch a movie. Instead of suffering through two hours of a meaningless new kids’ movie, it’s time to introduce them to some of the things you watched as a kid. Here are just a few suggestions, a list of movies adapted from books by children’s author Roald Dahl. Matilda. This is a story about a little girl who realizes it is possible to punish grown ups (only when they deserve it of course), and finds a way to harness the power within herself to create her own destiny. Directed by and starring Danny Devito, this movie really is a great story with a great message, especially for little girls. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (The original 1971 adaptation) A musical film about a boy who finds a golden ticket, and journeys into the magical chocolate factory owned by the candy genius, Mr. Wonka himself. Starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, this is a well-loved classic. James and the Giant Peach. This movie combines live action and stop motion to create an adventure starring giant bugs and magical flying peaches. The story follows James, a boy who inadvertently grows a gigantic peach in his own backyard, and uses it to escape from his evil aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker.
March 6, 2014When I think of the color orange I think of . . . oranges, (shocking, I know), carrots, my old Harriet the Spy VHS tape (90′s kid moment), the Nickelodeon sign, and probably the last color I would want to wear out in public. BUT word on the street is orange is the new black. One of the upcoming trends for Spring is the color orange. It adds a splash of life and sass to any outfit. Seen all over the runways for Spring 2014 in shoes, accessories and even has been called the “it lip” color as of late. Some quick and easy ways to work orange into your wardrobe is to start out with the accessories. Switch out your tired winter bag for a brightly colored orange one. Tote your books around campus in a chic vibrant bag! Who knows, maybe it’ll make studying more fun? Wishful thinking most likely. Another great start is adding orange to your outfit with a skirt or blazer. Subtle ways to spice up your life. If you aren’t comfortable with this color quite yet, starting with one piece will turn it into the outfit’s staple piece without causing you to go too far out of your color comfort zone. Turn it up a notch and strut your orange from head to toe. Rock an orange dress or feel sassy in some orange heels. If you are feeling like an adventurous fashionista you could even try out some orange fur. I don’t know if I could say I would, but hey, rock it if you got it! “Yeah, no way am I going to wear orange!” then consider just painting your nails. I am a huge nail polish addict, or nail polish-a-holic if you will. This is a super easy way to incorporate this trend in your day-to-day life without having to do much at all! Get spring and summer ready with your best orange foot forward. That was cheesy, I know. Start simple with a bag or nail polish and work your way up to full-on outfits. Own that orange! Stay stylish and stuff like that…
February 26, 2014Oregon, to say the least, not an entertainment mecca. So, when a new movie comes out, it is exiting to find one made in Oregon. Here is a list of a few movies made in our current home state. The Goonies. This cult classic was filmed in and around Astoria, Ore. The plot centers on a group of kids who go on a treasure hunt to save their hometown. Directed by Richard Donner, and produced by Steven Spielberg, I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone looking for a little nostalgia. Overboard. This comedy was filmed in Newport, Ore., but takes place in the fictional city of Elk Cove, Oregon. When a billionaire pulls up to this tiny town in her gigantic yacht she falls overboard and loses her memory. Starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, this movie is great if you are looking for something funny. Paranorman. This modern stop motion masterpiece was made at Laika studios, a production company located in Portland, Ore. While the story does not take place in Oregon (it instead take place in the fictional Blithe Hollow) there is a definite Portland feel to the film as a whole. Besides being a great story, this movie is a little weird (in a good way) and incredible to watch. Every single thing in the movie was hand made. Coraline. This is another stop motion work by Laika, but this one actually does take place in the city of Ashland, Ore. Based on the book Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, this film revolves around a girl who discovers a passageway to another, somewhat creepy, world in her new home. Starring the voice of Dakota Fanning, this is another movie that is weird in a good way. Kindergarten Cop. This is another movie that takes place in Astoria. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a cop who goes undercover in a kindergarten class to protect a little boy from his psycho dad. This movie is funny and heartwarming, also a good one if you are looking for a little nostalgia.
February 24, 2014Rwandan student Ivan Patience Mutabazi has spent the past two and a half years adjusting to American culture as he pursues a degree in Global Business at George Fox University. After receiving an academic scholarship from Kitteison charitable foundation, based out of Portland, Ore., Mutabazi packed his things, said goodbye to his family and began his journey to Newberg. “I remember my first day of classes at Fox,” he says. “Culturally, everything was different. I didn’t even want to talk or meet anyone. I just wanted to be alone.” Though Mutabazi is quick to mention the tough adjustment to what he considers to be “tasteless” American food, perhaps the most significant cultural change he experienced was the overwhelming desire American people have for complete independence. “It’s crazy to me when people say, ‘that’s my parents’ house’ like it’s not their home too,” he says, “Everyone in college wants to emphasize the fact that they are separate and independent. In my culture living with your parents until you are married is normal. It’s even disrespectful not to.” Despite extreme culture and language differences, Mutabazi has managed to establish a second home. “Now my favorite part about school is having friends,” says Mutabazi. “Back at home I had great friends. I didn’t think I could find that here but I have met people who I am happy to call my very best friends.” Though Mutabzi is uncertain of where his future may lead he hopes that he will soon be reunited with his mother and two younger siblings and has high hopes for his career as he plans on attending graduate school and seeking out employment in the realm of economic integration. To fellow foreign exchange and transfer students Mutabazi offers encouragement and highlights the idea of social risk taking. “Adjusting is hard,” he says, “Oftentimes exchange students stick together. They don’t get to know anyone and their English doesn’t improve. You need to talk and get to know other people to adjust.” Outside of school, Mutabazi enjoys playing soccer, video games, dancing and hanging out with his adopted GFU family. “I love hanging out and meeting new people. Just come and talk. That’s the best way to get to know me.”
February 23, 2014Heading into midterms brings about a couple thoughts . . . We are halfway through this semester and that much closer to summer, but it also brings about the stress that comes along with the inevitable late night study sessions. But despite the drab weather and the rising pressure of midterms and all they entail, Sophomore Erika Muir has managed to stay looking fab on the George Fox campus. Get the low down… Grade: Sophomore Major: Fashion Merchandising Who or what inspires you? ”I am really inspired by poetry. One of my major outlets is writing and reflecting on how I am feeling. I love taking raw emotion and making something completely new and beautiful out of it.” Where do you like to shop? “My absolute favorite place to shop is H&M. They always have something so true to my unique and personal style. I also really enjoy Target; they have the best shoes. For jewelry, I shop at Charming Charlie, where I work back home. Their jewelry is trendy, comes in so many different types and categories, is reasonably priced, and I get a discount! Lastly, I love Pulp and Circumstance–a local shop here in town. It’s a specialty store with unique jewelry and the best stationary. It’s like Pinterest exploded, which is one of the best things that could ever happen to man kind!” Where is your outfit from? “Sweater: Charming Charlie- where I work back home, pants: H&M, shoes: target, jacket: H&M, rings: both from Charming Charlie, necklace: pulp and circumstance.” How would you describe your personal style? “I would say it is trendy with some vintage undertones. I also appreciate an urban style with a free spirited, hippie vibe. I sometimes partake in those looks as well. I mostly wear jewel tones because they compliment my skin tone, hair, and eye color. I also prefer comfort over all things. Knit sweaters and leggings are my best friends.” Why did you choose this outfit? “I liked the way the colors worked together, from the sweater and pants, to the shoes, to the gold of the necklace. Throwing in the lace gave a more feminine touch to a casual outfit. I chose the jewelry for a more unique reason. The key necklace says, “Live to Give.” I wear this as a reminder to put others before myself and remember how important it is to serve the people around me. The ring that I wear with a bow on it reminds me to care for myself and appreciate who I am as an individual.” Who are your favorite designers? “I like Betsy Johnson for her unique, edgy, yet feminine designs. For shoes, Steve Madden has my heart. I really enjoy Herschel for their bags; they are modern with a vintage twist. Kate spade has the most beautiful watches!” Any favorite trends? “I am really liking the Birkenstocks, open back sweaters, trends with hair: all things braids, bold lip colors, wool socks, knitted/crochet head bands, simple, delicate necklaces.” If you could raid anyone’s closet who’s would it be? “Lauren Conrad. I love her style. It’s classy, trendy, feminine and very tasteful.” Erika’s outfit is a perfect combination of “always a good idea” comfort with fresh feminine accents. The lace on her sweater and gold jewelry add that flare to the overall look. Oregon’s rainy weather always welcomes a nice sweater and a good pair of combat boots to walk from class to class. Erika owns her style while adding special accessories to really make it her personalized. Her radiant personality shines through, and she rocks her look around campus. Let’s take these approaching midterms by storm, and still look good doing it. Stay stylish and stuff like that…
February 19, 2014It can often be painful to watch the very last episode of your favorite television series, and suddenly be forced to come to realization that your show is over forever. So, to ease the pain, here are a few new suggestions. “Parks and Recreation”: This show contains some of the greatest characters in television history. As viewers, we follow the adventures of Leslie Knope, deputy director of the parks department in fictional Pawnee, Indiana. This “mockumentary” style comedy is almost unfailingly hilarious. “Raising Hope”: The morally questionable, but always well-intentioned, actions of this dysfunctional family trying to raise a baby girl named Hope are quirky, and fun to watch. “New Girl”: If you are a fan of Zooey Deschanel’s supposed “adorkable” personality, then you will enjoy this show. Jess (Deschanel) moves in with three single guys after breaking up with her former boyfriend. Awkward and funny situations ensue. “The Big Bang Theory”: Have you ever heard someone say Bazinga after a prank? Well, that punch line was made famous by this show. When an aspiring actress moves in across the hall from two physicists, two worlds collide into hilarious situations. “Seinfeld”: This show was one of the defining pop culture entities of the 90’s. A classic sitcom, and a self-proclaimed show about nothing, this series follows the exploits of four friends in New York. Definitely a must see if you can track it down. “Happy Days”: This sitcom revolved around teenager Ritchie Cunningham and his family and friends. Running from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties, this show presented an idealized version of life in the fifties and sixties. Another classic that is a must see if you can track it down.
February 17, 2014Often recognized for his unique Moldovan accent, George Fox University sophomore and Global Business Administration major Ilya Gladkiy gives the community a glimpse into his life through sharing his college experience. What made you decide upon GFU? “Though I am originally from Edinets, Moldova, I grew up in Woodburn, Ore. I always wanted to attend the school. [A] Christian-based foundation that this school was brought up on. The values that this University, and prestige that also comes with this school was a perfect place to get my education. “ What is your favorite part about being a Bruin? “The social environment. Everyone is friendly and easy to get to know. Even though it takes effort from every individual to meet someone new in this school, I have yet to meet anyone who would not introduce themselves if you started talking to them. “ Where do you see yourself after graduation? “My plans are simple. If by the end of the graduation for my bachelors I don’t have a set job or a job offer, I will continue working on my masters immediately. If I do find a job that I like I am hoping of being in a company that works with world wide supply chains. “ Is there any advice you would give new students about how they can get the most out of college life? “Don’t be one of those people that go to class and then immediately home to either watch something or play something online. It is better if you sacrifice your free time to talk and meet people around GFU. Once you know people around GFU not only will you be invited to exclusive events but you will be able to enjoy your self to your hearts content Is there anything you could say that would give the community a better sense of who you are as a person? “I am a free spirit. I like to meet anyone and everyone. If you do not have a friend yet, feel free to call me your friend. If you need someone to listen to you. I am easy to spot and don’t be afraid to start a conversation.”
February 9, 2014Currently holding the titles of George Fox University professor, associate athletic director and head volleyball coach, George Fox University faculty member Steve Grant holds a busy schedule but delights in his work. “My job is a constant joy,” says Grant, “The students are so great. At my age, to feel like I am 35 years younger than I am, just by being around these people. That’s a blessing” At the request of a friend, Grant applied for his first position at GFU in 1982. After what university announcements called a “nationwide search,” Grant was hired into dual roles as both assistant women’s basketball coach and head volleyball coach. Though Grant withdrew from coaching GFU basketball after 14 years, his involvement in volleyball still remains 32 years later. Throughout this time Grant has led the women’s volleyball into 13 straight winning records and two conference championships. Though the numbers in themselves would permit bragging rights, Grant remains humble in his approach, reiterating his love for his job and saying, “Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn once in a while.” After years of coaching, Grant expanded his job title and took on the role as instructor of the university’s dance class in 1989. “When I first came the class was called Rhythms, because there was no dancing allowed on campus,” says Grant. “They taught a lot of square dancing and educated students on international and traditional dances.” After some time it was becoming obvious to students that such lessons were not useful outside GFU’s campus. “Students finally convinced me that they needed to learn the Foxtrot and the Tango,” he says, “ so I began to teaching them but remember thinking that if the president ever walked in, we needed to figure out how to get from swing dancing to square dancing really fast.” It was not long after that the GFU president at the time entered Grant’s classroom with a number of GFU board members. “I thought there goes my job,” says Grant, “but the president loved it and had come because the students had been writing notes to him about the class. They were protecting me. I felt very blessed.” The class is now titled “Ballroom Dancing,” and Grant instructs a full gymnasium of students in a variety of modern swing and ballroom dances each week. When not on the court or dance floor, Grant takes his involvement in GFU outside of campus walls as he strives for excellence in leading annual Juniors Abroad trips throughout Europe. “I feel like students are paying a lot of money to go on these trips and I want to make it worthwhile,” he says. “It’s not a vacation for me. I love doing it but I’m exhausted at the end, as are the students.” Grant credits such motivation and need for excellence to his faith. “As a believer, I have the responsibility to be a good example,” he says. “If you are given something, you need to honor God with it. God made me who he made me and I want to try as hard as I can to make a positive impact.” Outside of his work, Grant continues to serve in multiple roles as a husband, father and grandpa and enjoys staying active as he water skis, dances and rides his Harley in his spare time. Though the closing of the school year will mark the end of Grant’s role as associate athletic director, Grant is enthusiastic about keeping his involvement in the Bruin community and encourages students to think likewise. “People have the opportunity to be real, to change and grow in this environment,” says Grant. “Because we have such a broad range of students and lifestyles, you get to decide where you go with it.”