October 10, 2015By Rory Phillips Austin Coburn was eleven and almost exclusively watching relatively kosher movies like “Left Behind,” in place of essentials like “The Godfather,” when he was given a film camera as a Christmas present. “Point and shoot” was about all the advice his parents gave him. Prior to this gift, Austin knew that he was over the moon about the movies. He had never shot a film, produced a script, or cut a scene. What he did have under his belt, or perhaps in his heart, was the sympathy of gathering stories. Finally, with the “click” of the power button and the cool breathing of the reeling frame rate, he was given the life-defining incentive to share stories. Since then, Austin has been shooting films for himself and others; and has been garnering awards and attention along the way. In 2012, he was charged with producing a Veterans Day short film, in which he looked through student and teacher interviews; then spliced (by hand) a warming tribute to the troops overseas. For this film, he was awarded the Oregon Optimist prize for the Salem-Keizer District. “[This] was probably the film that I learned most about,” Coburn said. “Like what goes into the producing of film, and looking at it from that side of planning and how you’re going to do different elements.” “Dear Veteran,” the name of this tribute piece, served a higher purpose than just local attention. He entered the film to the George Fox University Scholarship Competition in 2013 to apply for funding as a student of film. This movie, which he considers a personal favorite, earned him a safe place in the school as a cinema and media communications major. For the first time, he felt like a director. “It was the first time I remember people looking at me for direction. People would sit down in this chair I set in front of them and would say, ‘Okay, hey, what am I going to say?’ And I had to have the answer.” Austin has crafted a life in pictures. He gathered his intuition, on- and off-set, with his pictures. His high school vlog, “Vinny and Austin,” provided him the skills he needed to work cooperatively with others. From working on promotional bits for S.K.I.T. (Salem Keizer Inspirational Teens), he acquired the insight of working toward a higher goal, even when partnering with administrators and kids interested in the arts. In sharing and in loving film, Austin is taking stories, thoughts, and words and making something new and comprehensive out of them. He is the photographer, capturing little of moments of life just being life, without disturbing them.
October 10, 2015By Heather Harney Five years ago, senior Wonsil Lee left South Korea and her parents to come to America. Shortly after arriving, Wonsil accepted Christ as her Savior, becoming the first person in her family to do so. She decided to change her name to Serena, a variation of a Korean word meaning baptized, because she believed it was important to honor the fact that she was a new creation. Serena no longer wanted to be Wonsil, the embarrassing one who had made so many mistakes. “Whenever someone called me Serena that made me happy,” she said. “It is like someone calling me ‘baptized person’ and I really liked that.” The new name has also made for introductions. Serena is a nursing major with a biblical studies minor. Both areas of study allow her to help those who suffer mentally, physically, and spiritually. She exudes an infections love for Christ. . During her junior year, Serena found a deep passion for working with geriatric patients, yet she was unsure of how this would translate after graduation. Over the summer, Serena flew to Boston to spend some time with her brother. He told her that he wanted her to come back after graduation and work for his business. “He has a plan for me,” she said. This conversation weighed heavily on Serena’s heart. How does she honor her brother who has been helping her pay for school school? Her heart was not in his business. Serena was stuck. One day, after returning to Newberg, Serena sat in the Bruin Den with her journal and a pen. She started to write, seeking God’s help in regards to her future. A question popped into her mind: “What do you want?” Serena quickly wrote that she wanted a community where she could continue to help people heal mentally, physically, and spiritually. A few minutes later, a sophomore and fellow nursing student, Tiffany Nguyen, asked her how things were going. With a refreshed heart, Serena told Tiffany what she just wrote. “Tiffany told me to look up Good News Community Health Center in Gresham,” Serena said. After her discussion with Tiffany ended, Serena began to research the faith-based volunteer clinic. The clinic was started by Dr. Bob Sayson (lovingly known as Dr. Bob) and his wife in May 2007. Those at Good News are unabashedly open about their faith and ask patients if they can pray for them. After reading about the clinic, Serena decided she wanted to check it out. She made an appointment to get a shot. She left Newberg early one morning and drove to the clinic, arriving early. She could see the staff inside praying and instantly felt connected to Good News. “The day I met Serena, the staff had done a morning devotion on Isaiah 43:1, which says. ‘But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine,”’” explained Dr. Bob. During their meeting, he asked Serena what her Korean name was and what it meant. She explained that it was “Wonsil, and it means first fruit.” Dr. Bob shared that before she arrived at the clinic, the staff had been studying a passage that spoke to being named by God. “Her father, who does not believe, had the foresight to name her ‘first fruit,” said Dr. Bob. “I find that powerful.” Serena left the clinic feeling that she had found the community she wanted to be a part of, but she also felt compelled to think about her birth name. “After I became a Christian, I did not want to think about the old me anymore,” Wonsil said. “I was happy with Serena. I only wanted to think about good things. However, after talking with Dr. Bob, I saw the beauty of the name my father had given me. I decided to go back to being called Wonsil.” This decision allowed Wonsil to embrace her old self in the knowledge that God had called her by name. She annnounced this change on Facebook in August and became a volunteer at Good News. While some people still call her Serena, Wonsil explained that “it doesn’t really matter what name I use. What matters is who I am. Now I can be Wonsil, which is really special. There is a reason my father named me Wonsil.” Dr. Bob and his family have become her surrogate family. They do devotions each morning and pray for each other. Good News Community Health Center allows Serena to not only gain practical experience in being a nurse but also gives her the community she longed for. From the moment she let God know what was on her heart, Wonsil has seen Him bring her a wonderful gift and help her reconcile the past. Wonsil said, “We have to let God know what is on our hearts. Only then can He answer us.”
September 26, 2015By: Kelsey Herschberger “The War Room.” The title of the film evokes images of maps in a poorly lit room, with strong men in identical clothing who are arguing and bargaining over the lives they feel obligated to send out into danger. If this was reflected in the film itself, it would be much easier to explain why it was the number two movie its opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. “The War Room” is instead a film centering on the call for followers of Christ to have an active prayer life. However, the film has been panned by secular critics, earning a 37% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and film critic Brad Wheeler reported the film as being so “oppressively preachy that Jesus himself reportedly did a sacramental-wine spit take during an early test screening.” This isn’t the first time that Christian film has been dismissed as being purely didactic, and it certainly won’t be the last. Perhaps the Christians who line up for the film consider it par for the course, being dismissed by secular media. Shouldn’t there be a hunger for art that is centered toward God? Isn’t the message all that matters? No, it is not. What matters is that true art is created. But what does true art accomplish? Dr. Steve Classen, professor and chair for the Department of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts, answered this question by quoting C.S. Lewis: “What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects with their Christianity latent.” “What good art does, what good Christian art does, is encourage the good reader—somebody who approaches art or literature—to expand his or her world, to experience a new insight into life, to put them into the experience of the other,” Classen said. This idea of art being somewhat alienating is supported by Dr. Abigail Favale, William Penn Honors Program faculty fellow and assistant professor of English. Favale maintains that “there needs to be a space in Christian media, art, or literature that isn’t quite so moralistic in the sense that there is a coherent moral vision, but it allows for the ambiguities, mysteries, and paradoxes of the human experience to be displayed.” Favale uses the book of Job as an example, as it raises questions that are essential to the human experience and doesn’t excuse them, but brings God into those sufferings. These stories ring true for readers centuries later because of that dedication to realistic human emotion that is filled with nuance. Favale argues that “the whole point of literature is to create an experience that draws the reader into the dream of the story, and if you don’t have a compelling dream, then the reader isn’t going to be drawn in.” Furthermore, this is not a new idea to be pioneered. There is a rich history of this approach, according to Dr. Joseph Clair, director of the William Penn Honors Program and assistant professor of religious studies. “A lot of the great artists from Western civilization—the Dantes, the Christina Rosettis, etc. —they had pretty sophisticated understandings of how beauty relates to God and our knowledge of God,” Clair said. “They all had a rich understanding of how our experiences of materially beautiful things—whether paintings, or poems, or even natural landscapes—could draw our souls up to He who is the source of all beauty, the truly Beautiful One.” There has been a consistent lack of focus on beauty and therefore artistry in Christian media, and “The War Room” is no exception. Its plot is formulaic, and the direction is subpar. The film settles on a saccharine comfort that serves to placate the person who already believes. It is American-centric, focusing on the neat lives of a nice, clean, middle-class family. There is nary a hard-hitting consequence for their humanity and brokenness. It is familiar, and striving to be familiar is not what good art tries to accomplish. “The War Room” may borrow from imagery of strife and conflict, but instead it serves as an opiate, dulling the audience’s senses to whatever higher messages that may have otherwise been revealed.
March 30, 2015Jana and Spencer Giles, students at George Fox University, have been married since May 31st, 2014. Jana is a junior majoring in Elementary Education, and Spencer is a senior majoring in Accounting. They have been married for less than a year, but they first started dating five years ago. They were high school sweethearts, and they got to know each other well because they were both in band. Jana and Spencer got engaged December 23rd, 2013. After that was one semester of planning the wedding as it quickly approached. Spencer said that it was not necessarily stressful planning the wedding, “but very busy.” They both said the one thing that made it more difficult was the fact that they were getting married in southern Oregon. Jana’s mother helped a lot with the planning, but it was difficult to touch base with her since she was so far away. After being married, Jana says that “schedules are crazy, like trying to figure out lunch together is hard. I wouldn’t say that it’s harder. I think it was harder when we were dating because we weren’t living together.” Spencer said, “I find [marriage] easier because I have a support network right here.” Having someone to study with, and work together with makes the going easier. Jana and Spencer gave some good marriage tips. Jana said, “Get a dishwasher. I know that sounds really weird.” Jana explained that sometimes little things, like cleaning and doing the dishes, can add up, because there is another person now. Little things, like a dishwasher, can help minimize the busyness. They both said one of the most important things in a marriage is communication.
March 30, 2015The rumor that Netflix is making a live-action Legend of Zelda show has been a popular discussion point among fans of the video game. The show is being described as similar to Game of Thrones, but directed towards a family audience. Before this, Netflix has developed other shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and Marco Polo. These shows have been fairly successful, giving hope to fans of Legend of Zelda. The show is still in the beginning of its process—a writer has not even been chosen. Because there is little information on the direction of the show, there are mixed feelings among fans of the video game, including fans at George Fox University. Alec Deering, a freshman at GFU, said that judging by what Netflix has done in the past the show could definitely turn out great. On the other hand, that format might not work due to the silent protagonist. But that very fact could be the source of a new twist or interesting change in giving the protagonist a voice. Garrett Burr said, “I think a live-action Zelda show is what a lot fans have been waiting for, and since Netflix would be making it, I think it’s going to do well. I can’t wait to see what it’s like.” Daniel Mellers, also a freshman, said “Personally, I think a show based on a video game, especially one with such a large and loyal fan-base, is almost certainly destined to fail. The show could go two different directions—it could come up with a storyline largely unrelated to the games, simply borrowing the characters and the fantasy world, or it could attempt to follow the games’ storyline, at least as a general rule. If it decides not to follow the games, then fans of the games are almost certain to think of it as disloyal. If it does decide to follow the games, then the plot would likely be lacking, because plots designed for interesting gameplay do not necessarily make interesting TV shows. Plus, there is a good chance that a live action show will fail to capture the artistic charm of the world of the game, which was enhanced by the style of animation.” There are clearly many mixed feelings about Netflix and Nintendo working together on this project. All the fans can do now is hope that Netflix honors the spirit of the Legend of Zelda.
March 30, 2015George Fox University will be hosting a fashion show this Friday entitled “La Belleza del Chiaroscuro” which means “The beauty of shades of light and dark.” This show is a culminating project for upperclassmen majoring in fashion design, and begins at 8 p.m. Eileen Celentano, assistant professor for Visual Arts said this is their “culminating project for them [using] the skills that they’ve developed and the education they’ve had here.” Racsan Limbauan, one of the designers, said that the designers will have a chance to meet people from the professional fashion world at the show. They will also have the models walking around in their designs after the show so the designs can be seen up close. This event gives students the opportunities to show their work to professionals, add to their portfolio, and show the culmination of their years at GFU. Because of this, the fashion show carries a lot of weight for the designers. The fashion show has been in the making for several months. Celentano said that she, the two directors and the other assistant began discussing the fashion show in October. They started to decide when it would be, the theme, and how they wanted the mechanics to work. The students have also been working on the fashion show since last semester. Limbauan described the work that goes into this for the students. They have each developed a “story” or theme for their line. After determining their theme they worked on sketches and reworked them until they were just right. They then created muslins which Racsan described as “rough drafts for your garment.” It must be fitted to the model, then the final works are created. In a way they have been preparing since they were freshman. The students came in knowing that the fashion show would be one of their final projects. Through their classes they have learned the styles they like and how to apply the skills they have learned. This has helped them slowly develop their ideas for what their “story” will be. Because each designer chooses a “story,” each line is not connected to the others with an overarching theme. There is a lot of diversity in the lines. Each line reflects the personalities and passions of the designer. The designers, models, and all others working on the fashion show invite students to come enjoy the fashion show and see what the designers have created.
March 30, 2015The music can be overheard coming from the FoxHole to the Student Union Building hallway as students walk by. Music such as “Friend like Me” from Disney’s Aladdin or “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman reaches the ears of those nearby. On Saturdays or Sundays, depending on the weekend schedule, the Swing Dancing Club plays music and teaches anyone willing to stop by in the FoxHole how to dance. The dancing starts with a 30-45 minute learning time where anyone can come and learn how to swing dance. People such as Victoria Guiher, the president of the club, or Aaron Panganiban, the vice president, are willing to give tips or show moves to anyone who asks. Guiher took over the club around a year ago after the fervor for swing faded, but she brought it back, keeping the beat going and continuing lessons. Guiher and Panganiban both have a passion for swing dancing. “It’s a lot less intimidating than it seems,” says Panganiban. “Truth is that a lot people who come are beginners too.” On this last Sunday, students were incorporating tango moves into swing to go with the pretzel, the flower, and the copious amount of spinning. It was led by Panganiban, Guiher, MaKenna Hickey, and Vivian Diebel who could all be seen twirling up and down on the FoxHole floor. The vibe when walking in can be intimidating if you do not know anyone, but people are friendly and willing to dance with whomever. You do not need to have a date; you can just go with friends and dance with anyone you want. Or you can bring your significant other and have a nice time with each other. The environment is relaxed. There are fans blowing by the doors and water to drink when you get hot. And thankfully the chairs are still set up, so you can take a seat when you get tired of dancing. You can come late, leave early. There is very little pressure. The lack of structure is welcoming; it makes it easy for people with different ranges of abilities to show up. If the song playing is not your favorite, sit it out, and then ask the person with the computer (usually Aaron) to play your favorite, as long as it has some swing to it. The key seems to be to not be afraid to ask someone to dance. Then once you’re dancing, don’t be afraid to mess up or try new things. Sure, the couple next to you has taken ballroom for years, but that’s OK; they are probably friendly and willing to show you some new moves.
March 30, 2015February 27 marked the death of Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy is best known for playing the iconic character of Spock from the original Star Trek series. He also played Spock in eight Star Trek movies, ranging from 1979 to 2013. Though he was most popular for his role as Spock, his career encompassed much more. He was a voice actor and director for many other movies. He wrote two books, one entitled “I Am Not Spock,” the other “I Am Spock” resulting from struggling for many years with only being known as Spock, but he later saw good in the character and what he brought to it. Nimoy also had an interest in photography and music. Nimoy’s death affected many of his fans in different ways. Katelynn Courteney, a student at GFU, described her reaction to the news. “Friday morning I found it on Facebook and clicked on the link to see if it was real…I freaked out and said to my roommate ‘Megan! Leonard Nimoy is dead!’ It was a shock to everybody, including me,” she said. Daniel Mellers, a student at George Fox University, commented on the fact that Nimoy is constantly associated with only the character of Spock. “I think it’s interesting that after Leonard Nimoy died, even though he was just an actor, albeit for a very popular show, he has become a cultural icon,” Mellers said. “[I] associated with his character and in some way having the characteristics of his character. He is seen as the wise, intelligent man because of the character he played.” Despite Nimoy’s death, he will be remembered: not only by the iconic character he played, but also by the photography, books, and music he produced.
March 30, 2015The dish carousel at Bon Appetit (the Bon) spins in a circle, laden with dirty dishes, and behind it, five days a week, Rafael Mancilla works in the dish room. Rafael, better known as Rafa, pulls used trays and dishes covered in food off the racks, scrubs them off and loads them into the dish room’s giant dish-washing machine. He and the other members of the dish room staff work late into the night ensuring that the Bon will be prepared with clean pots and pans for the next day. Cart after cart, all stacked high with dirty pots and pans from the kitchen, are shoved back into the dish room to be cleaned and put away. Rafa, dressed in a black waterproof apron, doesn’t let the mountains of dishes slow him down, but works cheerfully with a big smile on his face. Rafa has worked at George Fox University since November of 2005. “[Most of] the George Fox community probably don’t know who Rafa is, but students should know he is one of the many hard working dish-room staff,” said Brett Harvey, the board manager at Bon Appetit Co.. “I really like working here, especially with the student workers,” said Rafa. He likes to help students feel at ease and is always ready with a joke or to help students learn some basic Spanish. Rafa works very hard, and when asked what he does in his free time, he laughed shyly. “Free time? I have no free time. I work every day, five days here at The Bon and two days a week at the dish room over at Friendsview. I work to make money to help support my family. I work hard for little money.” Rafa rides his bicycle to and from work everyday, rain or shine. He works every day, not only to support his family, but also to save his money for an annual two-week trip down to Mexico so that he can be reunited with his brother and sister. “We always have such a good time!” said Rafa. The workers of the dish room, people like Rafa, are often seen but unnoticed. This does not detract from their importance; they are the backbone, and often what keeps the operation going. “Rafa is one of the hardest working people I know,” said Harvey. “[Not only does he] help to keep our kitchen running smooth and our guests happy with clean plates, silverware and cups, he also brings to our Bon Appetit team strength, consistency and understanding.” When placing trays on the dish carousel, some students yell out thank you to the dish room staff. It might just be Rafa who is on the other side, smiling and yelling back “You’re welcome!”
March 30, 2015While many students will be taking road trips to sightsee and or returning home, a small group of George Fox University students will be spending the next week traveling to three different locations (Seattle, San Francisco and Flying H Ranch) to volunteer their time and effort in service. Although this year’s volunteers are fewer in number than past years, the trips’ coordinator, Lene Ferrari, is excited about the prospects. The purpose of the trips in Ferrari’s words is “getting students connected with outside community partners who are doing more permanent service work.” The focus is on partnering with established ministries, rather than attempting to start from square one at the beginning of the week. Ferrari continued, “Another perhaps more inexplicit goal would be for students to build relationships with each other on these trips, and create a space for students to process what they are learning in friendship.” She hopes to create a two-way street in which students serve and in doing so are placed into an environment where they themselves can be served. “I am most excited to hear about what students learned on the trips afterwards” and “how this trip relates to individual student’s vocations,” she said. There are any number of reasons why students should go on a serve trip. “I don’t think there is a universal reason students should participate on a serve trip. I think these trips can offer a variety of positive things for students,” said Ferrari. “I would encourage any student to apply, whether they are new to serve trips, or have gone on twenty. Everyone has something unique to offer to a team.” Originally five trips were being offered but two were cancelled, about which Ferrari commented, “Three trips out of the five that were offered to students are going. I think this is partially due to the overall number of signups, but also due to what trips student leaders wanted to lead. We have plans to continue our partnerships with [the two cancelled ministries], possibly during the next Winter Serve or next Spring Serve.” Ferrari clearly feels strongly rewarded by coordinating the serve trips. The most difficult part for her is, “trying not to feel annoying with the number of emails I send!”
March 30, 2015One of the happiest places at George Fox University is the information window, behind which sits Barbi Doran. She is the Information Services Coordinator and has been a bright contribution to the GFU family for seven years. Barbi is always ready with a smile to answer the phone and to greet anyone who has a question as if they are the most important person in the world. “One of my favorite aspects of my job is getting to work with people, students, coworkers, and visitors,” said Barbi Doran. “I just love helping people and being a resource for them, and I get to do that all day long.” Before being hired in February of 2008, Barbi worked for the university as a temporary information coordinator who was on call. She worked at that position for about a year, until the person who had held the permanent position moved to the Portland campus. When this happened, she applied for the job and was hired. “It’s OK to have too much fun!” “I love my job so much!” said Barbi. “I throw myself an ‘I love my job anniversary party’, every year on the anniversary of my hire date, and I’ve done that every year since I was hired.” Her parties include lots of chocolate, fruit, cake, cookies, and prize drawings. “I try to have as many prizes as years that I’ve been here,” she said. Barbi also keeps a running list of all of the funny switchboard calls that she receives throughout the year, types them up and then sends them out so that people can read them and get a laugh. “This year I asked students and employees to write down what they like about their job, then I compiled all the answers. When I sent out ‘thanks for coming to my party’ emails, I followed up with the list of what others had said that they liked about their jobs,” said Barbi. “I think it encourages people and when they read over the list they can be like, you know what? I love that about my job too!’ It’s an acknowledgement and an encouragement, and it’s fun!” A typical day for Barbi includes working on several projects at a time. “I try to have things that don’t have a tight deadline, because you never know who’s going to call or who’s going to walk in the door and need help,” she said. She relies on sticky notes to stay organized and never throws one away until she has handled the task. Barbi also utilizes the calendar on her computer that pops up with reminders of when it’s time to complete something, even small things. “I am thrilled when students share their lives with me and I get to pray with them on the phone or in person,” said Barbi. “If I have a student who has a test or an important interview and I’m praying for them, I just put it in my calendar and then it just pops up on my computer, ‘pray for this person.’ It’s a good reminder and is very helpful.” Barbi makes the students of GFU– “her kids,” as she fondly refers to them–a priority not only at work, but outside of it as well. “I’m a big Bruins fan, and I love basketball, so I really love supporting my kids. Oftentimes when we are at the games, especially an away game, someone will ask, ‘Oh, which one is your kid?’ I always answer, ‘They’re all my kids!’” Barbie is also excited about the addition of the Bruins football team. “I have to be careful, [when cheering], because I don’t understand all the calls in football yet, but I’ve found that if I just yell, ‘Go Bruins!’ no matter what’s going on out on the field, it’s a good cheer,” she said. Barbi’s Desk In her free time, Barbi also loves to go shopping, and calls it her down time. Garage saleing is another of her favorite pastimes. “Although in Oregon it’s not a year round pastime,” she laughed. “But for sure in the summer, every Saturday I’m out.” When asked what motivates her, Barbi answered, “My heart is to serve, and I believe that if we love God, then his love flows through us and out to others. Like on my own, I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t serve and be and do, but when I open myself up to God’s love and allow myself to be a conduit of his love through me, then that’s how I can do what I can do. ‘Cause it’s never in my strength; I’d run out.” Barbi loves interacting with students, helping students, being a resource for students, and praying for students. “I love it when students come up and share their lives with me,” Barbi smiled. “So stop by, I would love to get to know more students and help them in any way I can, and it doesn’t matter the question or need, I am happy to help. Oh and I always have chocolate at my desk too!” Barbi hard at work!