Feature

  • The Weekly Dress with Melissa Harris: Happy Holiday Dresses!

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    December 11, 2014
        Looking forward to all of those Christmas and New Year’s parties… what to wear, what to wear. As the holidays approach in this crazy and busy season, let what you wear be the least of your worries. It is possible to look fantastic, make your friends envious, and still keep your budget intact.       There are of course great black and white possibilities, as well as the classic red. Sequence and flash are always in, especially when it comes to the shoe. Your outfit can be more muted as you dress it up with a powerful pair of shoes, or chunky necklaces and earrings. And remember that great clutch purses are always in and fun to carry. And if its comfort you’re looking for, making a statement piece with colored jeans and a blouse is always good too.       It’s also good to play with your hairstyle. Try pulling your hair back in a tight and slick bun or making it wavy and letting it fall down off your shoulders. There are also eye-catching hair accessories with feathers and rhinestone pieces that will add to your look.   This Week’s Top Tip: The holidays can be a stressful time. It’s okay to dress down, but treat yourself to at least one time where you get to dress it up. Grab some once-loved or seldom-used clothes and shoes from your closet. You can also play it up with your make-up being on the lighter and simpler side, paired with a drastic eye shadow or lipstick. Don’t forget that second hand is always recommended and be bold enough to live outside your box.  

    SALT: Money Knowledge for College and Beyond

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    December 9, 2014
    By Charlotte Gray – Guest Contributor College is a financial investment for most students. Especially attending a private university like George Fox University, most students graduate with some form of financial debt. Starting a life after undergrad with great financial debt can be scary and intimidating. GFU provides some resources to help students become financially literate; however, students still graduate not understanding how to pay back loans responsibly. SALT was created for students who are financially illiterate and desire to learn about managing money and paying back loans. “SALT a free, nonprofit-backed educational program that helps every student who wants a college degree to get it in a financially responsible way,” states the organization’s website. SALT covers all different types of topics like loans, budgeting, finding internships and career choices. They also state on their website that they attempt to give neutral advice, information, and provide interactive lessons for students to help them learn how to manage money in college and beyond. On the SALT website, www.saltmoney.org, students can select different topics or goals, read articles, participate in interactive tools, and even ask questions to experts in the field. SALT analyzes and looks deeper into different kinds of school loans in order to help students better understand the ins and outs of each loan. Overall, SALT can be a beneficial tool for students. There is a need for students to know and understand how to manage finances, whether that is personal finances or repaying loans. However, SALT is not the only resource and students should look at a variety of sources to make sure they are getting the most accurate information. GFU offers minimal resources and some seminars to help raise awareness of the importance of financial literacy. For students to be knowledgeable and responsible about finances it is important that they seek out other resources, whether that is seminars, financial advisors, or websites like SALT.

    Mind games in athletics

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    December 2, 2014
    “Ninety percent of this game is mental, and the other half is physical.” Thus said Yogi Berra, a Hall-of-Fame major league baseball player for the New York Yankees. His words ring true in any athletic endeavor. When an athlete is out on the playing field, more than just physical habits are put to use. The mental aspect of sports provides a door to higher potential than just focusing on the physical. Coaches often implement one or more mind-relaxing skills to enhance athlete performances. One method suggests visualizing your performance. When you’ve practiced something for a long period of time, your brain learns how to respond to that situation. Just thinking of how you’re going to play in an upcoming game or how you’ll run at a meet can improve performance. This method can be used by meditation, or before going to sleep at night. Another method suggests voiding all negative thought directed toward your performance or self-esteem. All doubt and anxieties have to be put aside. If you’re going to perform your best, other stressors can’t be sitting on your shoulders.  Verbally and positively reinforcing yourself overrides the negative thoughts and stressors that can affect performance. Setting goals is another outlet for athletes hoping to improve their athletic achievements. Making lists and staying organized is a technique used for academics or day-to-day life, but this can also improve athletic improvements. Setting a core drive behind an effort sets up a focal point for any athlete. Keeping those goals in the front of your thoughts can boost mental habits. Anything used to calm or prep for a game is considered a mental attribute and can contribute to a positive outcome. Superstitions and traditions fall into this method, helping athletes get into the zone or pumped up in their personal way to find a focus. All these are simple adjustments that can be made to better the outcome of an athletic performance.

    A Review of NBC's "The Mysteries of Laura"

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    December 1, 2014
    Fall has officially been here for a little while and so have the new fall television shows. When life gets busy, it’s easy to get behind on favorite shows or not have time to check out new ones. Back in September a new show called “The Mysteries of Laura” premiered on NBC as a new crime fighting comedy. The previews looked intriguing and funny, and so this show was put on my list of things to watch when I had the chance. I really wanted to like this show; I mean, it stars Debra freaking Messing, but after I viewed the 40 minute pilot, I felt very disappointed. This show had a lot of potential to be great, but the pilot did not sell me. Shows with strong female cop leads are nothing new to the television world, but “The Mysteries of Laura” tries to take a bit of a different angle. In the pilot episode, we meet recently divorced Detective Laura Diamond (Debra Messing) who works as a top police detective for the NYPD. She is asked by her boss to help with some investigation work for a man who has been receiving death threats. Laura and her boss go to the man’s residence and he is murdered before they are even able to leave the driveway to go home. Laura works with her partner Billy Soto (Laz Alonso) and her team at the precinct–Max Carnegie (Max Jenkins), a computer geek and Meredith Bose (Janina Gavankar), another detective–to solve the murder. All the while she must cope with the stress of being a mother to two rambunctious twin boys, Nicholas and Harrison Broderick (Charles and Vincent Reina) who are quite the holy terrors. At the same time she must balance dealing with her ex-husband Jake Broderick (Josh Lucas), a fellow police officer, who is more work than help. In the end, Laura is able to find the lead that cracks the case and through unforeseen events her ex  becomes her boss at the police station, further complicating their relationship. “The Mysteries of Laura” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC, and interestingly enough, the character of Detective Laura Diamond was adapted from a Spanish television series called “Los misterios de Laura.”   The pilot episode had some funny moments, but there were several aspects that I did not care for. To begin, I am not sure how I felt about Lara’s character. I liked her spunk, and though I felt that she was one of the strongest characters on the show, I also couldn’t help but feel that her character was a bit unbelievable. There were too many shifts back and forth between personality types. One minute she was in sweats and mom mentality, the next she was being the manly “bro” type at work and then in the next scene she was the sexy put-together woman who radiated femininity. In one scene, she would be painted as the overstressed, overworked, hanging-on-by-a-thread-for-her-sanity mom role. She would then walk into the police station like she owned the place, blow the case wide open with little to no clues and have nerves of steel when shooting at a suspect. All the while maintaining a stereotypical manly vibe of overconfidence, portraying and proving that she was a force to be reckoned with.   Let me be clear: I am not saying that I don’t think that moms can be good cops or successfully balance the two full time jobs of having a career and being a mom. I actually like the idea that this is trying to promote, but I felt that the constant shifts in her character made her feel unnatural. The writers of the show were counting on the fact that Debra Messing was so likable in the early 2000’s hit sitcom “Will and Grace” that she could hold together the show and frankly though Laura is a funny and capable woman, I don’t think that she is able to do this. Ex-husband Jake Broderick The cast of supporting characters just did not do anything for me, except irritate me. Laura’s ex-husband Jake is, for lack of a better word, a total jerk. He’s the stereotypical ex who comes in and tries to be the “cool dad,” bringing pizza and Nerf guns to reward his disobedient children, all the while manipulating Laura and trying to have a say in her life. He constantly cancels on watching the kids and spending time with them. He seems to think that it is okay to shirk all fatherly responsibilities, and leave Laura to fend for herself with the boys, even if she had plans or needs to work herself. This wouldn’t have bothered me as much if the writers would have allowed me to just think he was a sleaze and leave it at that. Instead they constantly try to make him charming; just because someone is handsome and flashes a smile does not mean that they are excused from their horrible behavior. The children, though they are cute, are devious brats. Though they say things like “Sawwy mommy!”, this does not excuse their horrible behavior, which seems to be left unpunished and even rewarded. The children are also allowed to run around the police station, terrorizing the place with, again, no consequences, which doesn’t seem likely to be allowed in a real police station. Another character I had a problem with was Meridith Bose, a fellow detective at the precinct. It seemed like her only purpose in the show was to be a sex symbol. Every scene I saw her in, she wore a tight tank top that left nothing to the imagination when it came to cleavage. When comparing her to Laura, who is coming to work in turtlenecks and trench coats (meaning it’s obviously cold outside) this becomes especially apparent. I get that shows like to make women dress provocatively, probably to ensure a male demographic, but they could at least make an attempt to make her look a bit more professional. She was also shot down every time she had anything to say, which might contribute to why she seemed like not a very nice person. Maybe she has a larger role in further episodes, but as for the pilot, I felt like the plot would have been fine without her. Detective Meridith Bose Still I couldn’t help but keep thinking that this show felt like a mashup of other crime series that I have already seen before. The show tries to take some fresh angles by making the single mom trying to raise kids a bigger part of the plot, but overall it felt like the show has already been done before. Even though there were a lot that I simply didn’t like about this show there were a few things that I did enjoy. I liked some of the comedy of Laura’s character. Laura had some funny lines and had some spot on physical comedy that had me giggling. Laura unashamedly “jamming out” to the radio. I also enjoyed some of the cuts and editing that the show played with. In one scene Laura and her partner Billy were examining evidence and the screen was cut into two shots. One view showed the two detectives, the other view showed what they were looking at in the box, almost as if the viewer was seeing through the eyes of the detectives. I felt that it was cut very strategically and I really liked being given those two views at the same time. I also enjoyed the fact that Laura’s character wasn’t the most clean or organized person in the world. Seeing her messy car, which looked like a small hurricane had blown through strewing behind toys, goldfish crackers and paint, made me feel a whole lot better about the soda that’s been sitting in my console for a week. Even though the pilot was not my favorite, I’d still be willing to give this show another try and maybe watch one more episode to see if it improves at all. The pilot had a few good moments, but I would not recommend watching this show. I really wanted to like “The Mysteries of Laura,” but I guess you can’t win them all. Below is the link to a trailer of the show: “The Mysteries of Laura” Trailer

    Shalom: By the Students, For the Students

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    November 26, 2014
      Andrew Upchurch, coordinator of Shalom, a weekly student led chapel-elective, knows what he is about. Though it can be a challenge to pull together everyone needed to make Shalom a weekly success, Upchurch makes it happen. Explaining the purpose of event, Upchurch said, “Shalom is intended to be a space that breaks the norm of a ‘regular’ chapel worship gathering.  We make as much of an effort as possible to include interactive activities and a more intimate, personal worship experience for those gathered.” He went on to explain, “Shalom is intentionally-student led.  We wish to provide students … with a space to share with others how they are passionate about bringing Shalom into our world. The intent is that this encouragement and inspiration is amplified when someone … sees their peers intentionally living out the Gospel message through what they may be sharing at that gathering. This is why student leadership is so essential for this gathering.” The theme of Shalom this year is “Focus.” Through exploration of different manners in which Shalom participants focus on God, Upchurch hopes that “the speakers, musicians, and participants collaborate together to think about this idea and to, in turn, invite Shalom and the Kingdom of God to exist in our present world.” On the organizational side, Upchurch must coordinate the speakers with musicians and sound technicians as well as any other assistants that may be required for that night. “I try to organize the programming for each week as far in advance as possible,” Upchurch said. From there he organizes the evening around “whatever he or she has on their heart to share … We try to keep the songs as relevant to the shared message and to include whatever interactive activity we can if possible.  Finally, all of this is done prayerfully and intentionally, keeping to our semester’s theme of Focus.” Lastly, Upchurch wanted to make clear how open Shalom is. “The invitation is extended to all,” he said, “As Jesus puts it, ‘Come and see.’”

    The Weekly Dress With Melissa Harris: Men’s Trends Welcome Back Letterman Jackets

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    November 26, 2014
        Fall fashion doesn’t discriminate against gender, so why should we? Let’s let the boys in on all the fun. Layering is always in for looking great in the cold weather with sweaters, scarves and jackets complimented with ties. But something we haven’t seen for a while is Letterman jackets. Yes, the jackets you wore in high school with your school’s logo on it. Back in style on a major level you say… yes, and they are hot. We can also see a trend in tandem with these jackets in the lower v-cut, three button “old man” sweater. This style looks great over a dress shirt and tie or even with a t-shirt.             These looks can be playful for a day on campus, a Friday night football game, or worn for a job interview. You can also go so far as to having the George Fox logo put on your jacket or sweater. There is a local shop in Hillsboro called LaHaie’s, which deals exclusively in putting logos on jackets, sweaters, and even socks. So let your college pride show and flaunt your great fashion sense. And bow ties seem to be making it through the seasons too, so compliment your look with a great solid or patterned print. Don’t be shy to buy second hand, especially if you are on a budget. These items can be found new or used. Bargain hunting isn’t just for the ladies.     This Week’s top Tip: Don’t be afraid to put a little thought into your daily duds. The ladies like a man who can dress for the occasion, beyond sport shorts and sneakers. Having some play in your wardrobe can be as simple as owning a few key pieces.    

    The Weekly Dress With Melissa Harris: Staying Warm and Stylish!

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    November 24, 2014
        Walking 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.

    The Known: Impact through Hard Work

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    Miranda Fletcher
    November 24, 2014
    For 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.

    Making the Olympics means more to Oregonians

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    November 18, 2014
    We’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/

    The Known: Thriving in the Chaos

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    Chris Miller
    November 17, 2014
    After 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.

    George Fox University's Marketing Targets Online Viewers

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    November 14, 2014
    George 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.”