The Study Abroad program offered by George Fox University (GFU) will reach its application deadline on Jan. 15. By that time, prospective students will need to have filled out an application online, which includes a two-page essay and faculty references, to be considered eligible for a semester-long trip. This fall, 23 GFU students are participating in the Study Abroad program. Their destinations span from the westward England, Spain, France, Italy, and Lithuania; to southern Americas of Costa Rica and Peru; to serving in the African nations of Rwanda and Uganda. Paul Chamberlain, the director of the Center for Study Abroad, champions the programs for its opportunity to help students grow culturally and independently. He once taught overseas in Africa and relays his experience to students in order for them to overcome unexpected challenges and become more confident, rounded individuals. Assistant Director of the Center for Study Abroad Lynn Scott adds that studying abroad is a positive outlet for students hoping to grow spiritually. Whether in a developed or developing nation, participants are prone to experiencing their faith in places outside of the United States. Study Abroad differs from the popular Juniors Abroad program because of its length and depth of immersion. If Juniors Abroad is like an introductory class on a culture, Chamberlain believes that Study Abroad is an intermediate class or above. The culture, including the language, are experienced in full. “Studying Abroad challenges the way you think, teaches you things you never knew you needed to learn, and changes you whether you like it or not,” said Paige Patterson, a junior currently in Lithuania. “In LCC, I’ve met people from all over Eastern Europe, and now when I hear the names of these countries I see the faces of my friends. I 100% recommend it and hope that people consider this amazing program.” For any students interested in studying abroad, Chamberlain encourages them to check not only the GFU website, but to locate the blogs of current travelers. This, he said, is the best way to gain the most accurate image of these trips.
November 24, 2015In 2001, Marty Baron (played by Liev Schreiber) began to oversee the Boston Globe, still a prosperous newspaper despite the upcoming of the World Wide Web. He proposed to dust off the cobwebs off of a story about a little-heard-of piece about sexual abuse charges in the Catholic Church. Baron sent the Spotlight team – seasoned vet “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) and a go-getter staff of Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) – deeper into an investigation nobody seemed to care about. What Spotlight ended up getting out of it was a rabbit hole of scandals and cover-ups of the Catholic Church’s influence over younger children. To call the Church to the stand would be an uphill battle at best, and would threaten to hurt their readership, which showed that over 50% were Catholic. They pressed on, uncovering the truth and bringing these figures of spiritual trust to justice. That, in its simplest essence, is the story of scandal. The film Spotlight is doggedly researched, completely journalistic in attempt. Directed by Tom McCarthy, the film is never about the operatic goings-on behind this nationwide investigation, but about the heart of journalistic integrity. Thorough and no-nonsense, Spotlight is a fine piece of film. What McCarthy does best in his direction is the way he emphasizes the ensemble performances instead of hovering over one character. This works as a platform for which the true story can meander naturally and allow the characters to react otherwise. The Spotlight team, same as the title, refers to an almost underground sect at the Globe. They seem to be some of the hardest researchers on the team, as there are only a select few. This exemplifies McCarthy’s stress of the ensemble. Michael Keaton, who had a stellar year revamping his career with Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), proves he’s equally effective in a supporting role as the weathered leader of Spotlight. His Robby Robinson is never too cynical or beaten down like his colleagues. He remains a sober center for the film, which he accomplishes with incredible gentility. Mark Ruffalo is also a standout, as the writer without a second life. In one scene, perhaps the film’s most personal, he confesses that he stopped going to church because he wanted a reason to go back. Ruffalo plays this with human vulnerability, never overacting. What makes Spotlight exemplary is how it simply is not extraordinary. Never in the script does McCarthy and co-writer Josh Singer cheat and make the story more personal than it needs to be. They know that they want to give information on the people who gave the information about this scandal. A hard-nosed look at the film detects that some of the plot is critical of the Church, and even if it flies to close to that sun, it is a mild detractor from the film. Other than this possible implication, Spotlight is a crackerjack film in journalism and in telling the truth.
November 11, 2015The chills of winter approaching and fall ending mark the sprouting of the film awards season. Destination? The Oscars, the Academy Awards, the cream of the Hollywood crop of art. By the new year, filmgoers and Academy voters will be faced with an opportunity to support a minority voice: women in cinema. Many do not attempt to give the time of day to this, as there is a Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress category. It wasn’t until 2010 when Kathryn Bigelow won the Best Director prize for The Hurt Locker; a monumental day in movie history. But something deeper arises this year. A generous handful of films not only support but completely champion the women’s role in film, society, their voice. Should the Academy play their cards right, this next year could mark a major movement to promote women into actual power in cinema. 2015 began strong, with the surprising critical and box office success of George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. The film features a female co-lead in Charlize Theron, and the plot revolves around the protection and value of women in a desolate society. Inside Out follows a slew of emotions, two of which are portrayed polar-oppositely by women. Even the child which the emotions represent is a coming-of-age girl. Now as the season progresses we are gifted to expect so many strong roles for female actors. Many of these are expected to garner awards attention, and with hopes held high they will deserve them. As a prime example, Suffragette will mark the historical perspective of women fighting for their social rights. Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, and Meryl Streep will head a supposedly wonderful female ensemble. Quality-wise, Carol is said to feature two strong, Oscar-worthy performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. The director Todd Haynes has directed great female performances to nominations, namely Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven and Blanchett in I’m Not There. Joy should also be a crowd-pleaser for men and women alike. Jennifer Lawrence will lead a strong ensemble cast as a determined woman of her own business and affairs. It help that director David O. Russell’s last two nominated films scored nomination for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress. While these are some of the strongest and safest examples, so many more deserve mention. The young actress Saorise Ronan is said to be relevatory in Brooklyn, Blanchett may compete with herself for her fiery work in Truth, and Brie Larson is a strong Best Actress candidate for leading the heavy domestic drama Room. This is a big opportunity for the Academy. Perhaps it seems slick and two-faced to prod Oscar voters to support this women’s movement for the movies. It is up to us, as audiences, to support these pictures just as much, for if not the issues will not receive proper attention.
November 11, 2015George Fox University (GFU) provided a one-day self-defense class on Nov. 7 for any female students who want to take control of their own safety. The class is designed for students with a wide range of experience and capability. The Newberg, Ore., police officer who teaches has been practicing martial arts for 15 years and has earned a third degree black belt. The class focuses on basic physical self-defense techniques which can be modified for people of all ability levels. As well as the hands-on instruction, participants are taught how to stay aware of their environment. This is the first year the class has been full, and Student Life will possibly offer the course each semester if interest holds. Whatever the reason for the uptick in sign-ups, Associate Dean of Students Dave Johnstone hopes female students can increase their abilities to keep themselves safer. “There’s something about a five foot tall woman being able to throw a 250-pound man over her shoulder that’s pretty amazing and brings a lot of confidence to her,” said Johnstone. “She has the confidence to say, ‘You’re invading my space, and I’m not going to let you bully me.’” Since not everyone can take this particular class, there are many ways a student (male or female) can be proactive about their safety. For instance, try to travel with friends or in groups, especially when it’s dark. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened, try to get to a safe zone like the student union building which every student has card access to 24 hours a day. You can call campus security, even just to keep them on the Director of Security Ed Gierok advises communication between peers to try and resolve conflicts, but he is well aware not all situations can be solved in such a manner. If a physical altercation ensues, “Be aggressive, make noise, and try to get away if you can. Just keep telling yourself, ‘I can survive this,’” said Gierok. “I don’t ever want female students to feel stuck, and this class will provide some skills to help diminish those possibilities,” said Johnstone.
November 5, 2015Ah, the election. I still cannot believe I have to talk about this so-called race over twelve months before it takes place. But, nevertheless it will be the news’ bread-and-butter, and therefore mine. So here are the people I am betting on putting their best foot forward in the third Republican debate. So, strap in kids, because I’m going to say a bunch of snide things about people more successful than me! Jeb Bush He’s the former governor of Florida and his candidacy makes the Adams presidential legacy look like a grassroots movement. Bush has faced dipping polling numbers with conservatives joining the mass followings of Carson and Trump, but hopes to be seen as the man with the plan to fix Washington. “Guess what I am! No, no, you have to guess.” Ben Carson Carson is a retired neurosurgeon who somehow stumbled his way into the presidential race. Although I understand he can’t actually set up a lobotomy stand in the middle of the Oval Office. He has no idea what’s going on. Chris Christie Christie is the current New Jersey governor, and generally known for cracking down on teacher unions and criticizing Black Lives Matter. I’d put in a joke about Jersey bringing universal annoyance to anyone listening, but even I wouldn’t go that far. Here to fix our country’s broken bridges. Ted Cruz Cruz may be considered one of the more serious candidates for the nomination due to significant success in early polls and organizational muscle, but his very conservative backing may alienate some voters. Debate and chill, anyone? Carly Fiorina A woman in a major Republican debate is like finding a four-leaf clover underneath a rainbow. If only she actually cared about women’s healthcare. Fiorina and I had the same reaction to Cruz’s proposal. All right, now that we have our panel of finalists, it’s time for the show to begin. Wait, you have to have a cable connection to watch the live stream? Son of a-
November 5, 2015Did you hear about the new Aaron Sorkin play? That’s right: in just three acts, this modern master of dialogue has treated an adaptation of the Walter Isaacson biography into a staged morality display of Steve Jobs, the man and brains behind Apple. Well, that rebel Danny Boyle and his director of photography Alwin Kuchler went in to film the show, and what we got is this film called “Steve Jobs.” The three acts center around three different product launches which defined Jobs’s career, and each leech on to the parts of life outside of his genius: that is, his relationships, family, all of those Capra-esque values. In all seriousness, this is what “Steve Jobs” really is like. The three-act presentation is a nifty little plot device, each act distinct and with reasonable rise and fall. Sorkin’s words are crisp and full of jargon as always, yet this film did not have the same impression on me as the “The Social Network” and “Moneyball.” Almost instantly within the first act, Sorkin’s rapid-fire dialogue places us in the tension, where Jobs blames and harasses Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg) for a technical mishap. His main confidant Joanna (Kate Winslet) panics and tries to get him to talk to the mother of Steve’s child Chrisann (Katherine Waterston) about her financial problems. His friend and co-lead in the computer project, Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), carefully pries at Jobs to mention the secondary company. And the money behind the project, John Sculley, toasts Steve just before the big boom of his product. The second act…the third act…well, I suppose they all achieve the same goals essentially. Not that any of them are particularly poorly written: I don’t think that at this high point in his career Sorkin could really crash and burn too hard. In “Steve Jobs,” there definitely is a sense of intimacy between Jobs and the surrounding characters. In ways, it reminded me of last year’s “Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” where our frazzled hero Riggan (Michael Keaton) is drowning in the people surrounding him, both in body and in mind. Like any good artist, Sorkin can also be deceptive, if his dialogue should overrule the fact that the story may be good. With all due reluctance, I did feel this was the case. While I admire the backbone, the three-act structure, for a sense of theatricality and character drive, by the third act I began to put these situations into question. What exactly are the odds that on three different product launches, Jobs talks to the same group of people about the same issues in almost the exact same order over fifteen years? Rich and thought-provoking, yet never boring, Sorkin’s dialogue is as masterful as always: just disappointing on story. Perhaps if the characters interacted at differing points in his life – maybe all wouldn’t even have to be promotions – I would be more convinced by Jobs’s moral crisis. With one last note for Sorkin: the very final five or ten minutes seem very milked and rushed, which is almost NEVER a Sorkin aspect. It makes one wonder why he chose the ending he did. Outside the sound script, the actors are all stellar in one of the year’s finest ensembles. Fassbender never really looks like Jobs, but he uses voice and distinctive inner calculations to hint at Jobs’s soul as best he can. Rogen proves somewhat distracting with his “Seth Rogen” voice, but in a smaller, weaker part, he deserves kudos. Winslet brings a calm gravity to any scene she is in, and Daniels plays cool and slick and confident like no one else. For me, Waterston was a highlight in her fewer (but most heartbreaking) scenes. Kuchler’s photography accompanies the variety of the changing times Jobs lives in, and Elliot Graham’s work is slight but economical. Danny Boyle’s direction is a bit hidden behind the script, but at high times, there are sensations of energy which are signature Boyle. Overall, the film is never awful and never dull. Its wits are sharp, its characters grounded and real. The characters simply need a better platform to stand on.
October 12, 2015Kiana Neisig, a sophomore at George Fox University (GFU) and resident assistant in the Hobson-Macy-Sutton dorm complex, received an unwelcome shock on Oct. 1 when she discovered her car missing. Her 2003 Kia Rio, which she spent all summer earning for, had been locked and parked just a block from The Human Bean coffee shop on Villa Rd.. Her temporary parking pass had been expired for three days due to a mix-up with the delivery address for her permanent pass. This led her to believe her vehicle could have been towed. Neisig queried Providence Hospital about what company they use for a tow service. After calling the tow company, she was referred to the Newberg Police Department, through which she filed a stolen vehicle report. The last time Neisig used her vehicle was Sept. 30. She is shocked a car would be stolen anywhere near campus. She said, “I never thought something like this would happen here.” As a reminder, make sure the parking pass on your vehicle is up to date. Be sure to take proper security precautions such as locking your vehicle and ensuring all items of value are not left in plain sight overnight. At the time of this writing, there has been no new development in locating Neisig’s car. If anyone has information of the car’s whereabouts, please contact GFU Security Services.
April 28, 2015Career planning, networking, and internships—these are some of the scariest words for college students trying to figure out what to do with their life. Fortunately, these words don’t have to be frightening if a student knows where to start. Two of our own GFU students have secured internships for this summer with some of the biggest organizations in the world—Nike and SpaceX. Both have worked long and hard to get there and are being rewarded with an incredible opportunity. They will learn from business professionals and discover their own passions and interests as they pursue their dreams of making a difference in the world. _____ JJ Switzer landed an internship with one of the largest sport manufacturers centered right here in Portland—Nike. The senior-standing Organizational Communications major was approached by the IDEA Center earlier this year when Nike announced they were looking for summer interns. He had already been meeting with the career coaches about his resume and graduation plans when Nike came to campus and interviewed 35 George Fox students. JJ was excited to try for the internship and jumped at the chance to be interviewed. After the first round, Nike only asked four students to visit their campus for a second interview—and JJ was one of them. “The first two interviews were only five minutes,” he said, “so you really had to make a good first impression.” Fortunately, JJ had a lot of professional experience to draw upon during his interviews. He had already held several internships in a variety of different work environments, including being the communications director at a church and working in marketing at an insurance agency. “What helped me get the internship was my wealth of experience in a lot of different random areas,” he said. He also went into the interviews with the mindset that God would allow the internship to work out if it was meant to be. He wasn’t nervous because he knew God was in control. “I’m walking through whatever doors God opens for me,” he said. JJ will be working as an operations specialist intern, meaning that he will be working in logistics and making sure that products are distributed, controlled, and displayed correctly. This position requires a high level of strategic thinking and problem solving. He hopes to grow from this experience for his future career plans—mainly because he hopes to go into business or administration. “I have a lot of interest in business and marketing, and operations as well,” he said. “But I view this internship as an opportunity to learn how they do their processes, so I can apply that to wherever else I go.” To other students looking for internships, JJ advises getting started early to get experience for your resume. “Try to get internships as a freshman and sophomore and work with the IDEA Center to get hooked up with internships in the area,” he said. “What gets you to landing that internship, and eventually landing that job after college, is the little things you do at the beginning.” Switzer Kevin Greco has gained an internship with SpaceX, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company is located in Hawthorne, CA, and Kevin has been dreaming of working there his whole life. A senior-standing Global Business major, Kevin had been tracking space organizations and upcoming technology for as long as he can remember. The opportunity for an internship was one of his greatest dreams, and now he hopes to be able to work in a high-intensity environment like SpaceX once he graduates. “Being able to advance technology for the betterment of humanity is my ultimate goal,” he said. He will be working in the business department of avionics. The avionics department specializes in developing the electronics used in their aerospace vehicles. Getting the internship was no easy feat, however. Each year, the organization receives thousands of applications and only selects a couple hundred students. “It’s very difficult to get into,” said Kevin. “You can call them everyday for a year, and you won’t get anywhere. . . I feel really blessed to be a part of the SpaceX team, and be a part of what they’re doing.” What set Kevin apart in the sea of applicants? He credits his amount of focus. ”I worked really hard at a lot of different jobs and met a lot of different people, and then figured out what kind of people they were looking for at SpaceX, and then I built my resume around that,” he said. “I was really persistent, and I knew where I wanted to go and set my sights on that.” Kevin has held a variety of internships at Intel, Climax, and in government, but he doesn’t put as much value on his experience as on his specific focus. He knew he wanted to work at SpaceX, and did everything possible to get there. For students unsure about their career plans, Kevin advises getting an internship to discover what they enjoy or don’t enjoy. Getting an average summer job might help students make some money, but it might not help them in the long-term as much as professional experience with a company. “[Internships are] exploratory options to find out who you want to be, what you want to do, and what your calling is in life,” he said. Greco
April 28, 2015Pennington House is an unassuming red house on the edge of campus. Within this quiet little house, the students and professors in the William Penn Honors Program have been meeting for the past year, and it has been anything but quiet. Dr. Joseph Clair, the director of the Honors program, often refers to it as “an unrehearsed spiritual and intellectual adventure.” Clair has never directed a program like this before, and the students, all of whom are freshmen, have never experienced this level of academic rigor. The Honors program is a four-year experience that replaces the general education package. In its place, students read through the classics of the Western world, from Greek philosophers and biblical texts to contemporary authors. Students are expected to read a total of 140 books over the course of four years. In terms of homework, this comes to over 200 pages per week. “It’s an incredible amount of work,” Clair said. The students meet twice a week for three-hour seminar classes led by Clair and other professors in the Honors faculty. There are currently 35 students in the Honors program, and Clair intends to keep each class around that size to better facilitate discussion in their seminars. Looking back on the first year, the program appears to be a success so far. According to Clair, the students are now starting to see the rewards of the work they have been doing. They have finished the year by studying Augustine’s writings on ancient Greek philosophers, and the students “are starting to see the way in which we ourselves are following along the history of ideas.” The first year of the Honors program has not been without challenges. Some students found the workload more intense than they expected and dropped out. It has also been a learning process for Clair and the rest of the faculty, as they are teaching through this curriculum for the first time. Clair said that he looks forward to completing all four years with this cohort of students, and seeing what themes develop as they travel through the 140 books. The Honors program is open to students in any major. While it is book-focused, it is also interdisciplinary, with things like music and fine arts incorporated into the curriculum. The application process is comprehensive. While the faculty certainly looks at the academic performance of incoming freshmen, they also interview every prospective student to make sure that the Honors program is a good fit for their learning styles. Once there are students in all four years, the program will include a total of 130 to 140 students. Looking forward to the future, Clair hopes to make the Honors program “be a place that feels welcoming to the university as a whole.” He does not want students in the program to be isolated in Pennington House and disconnected from the rest of the campus. The Honors program already hosts lectures that are open to the public, and Clair hopes to incorporate more public events such as debates and concerts. Together with this year’s students and prospective freshmen, he looks forward to continuing the adventure of learning and growing as an academic community.
April 21, 2015On March 2, 2015 the Mo Ibrahim Foundation officially awarded former Namibia president Hifikepunye Pohamba the 2014 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Ibrahim Prize is “the largest annually awarded prize in the world, consisting of $5 million over ten years and $200,000 per year for life thereafter.” The foundation maintains that the recipient of the Ibrahim Prize must be a democratically elected Executive Head of State of an African country, must have left peaceably left off office in the last three years, and must have “demonstrated exceptional leadership” among other qualifications. Hifikepunye Pohamba was one of the founding members of SWAPO, the lead party for Namibian independence from South Africa. He was jailed in 1962 for political activism against the South African government. Pohamba later became Namibia’s second president in 2004 and was re-elected to a second, five-year term in 2009. In 2015, Pohamba was peacefully succeeded by Hage Geingob. Salim Ahmed Salim, the Chair of the Prize Committee, says, “During the decade of Hifikepunye Pohamba’s presidency, Namibia’s reputation has been cemented as a well-governed, stable and inclusive democracy with strong media freedom and respect for human rights.” Mo Ibrahim, the founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, also commented on Pohamba’s accomplishments. “He has served his country since its independence and his leadership has renewed his people’s trust in democracy.” Pohamba intends to use the prize money to fund the Hifikepunye Pohamba Foundation, a source of money to encourage underprivileged youth to pursue higher education. Pohamba is only the third leader to have received the prestigious award in the last seven years. The last recipient was Pedro de Verona Rodrigues Pires of Cape Verde in 2011.
March 30, 2015“I have done nothing productive today.” Has someone ever told you this with a sigh (or maybe a laugh)? Have you ever said it? Maybe it was a weekend, a sunny Saturday or a rainy Sunday when finishing up that essay kept getting shoved further and further down your list of things you wanted to do until it occupied the last possible spot. You then spent your day ticking off some of the items that had crawled their way to the top: Netflix, a nap, a trip down to the river with some friends. A few Facebook visits and long talks with your roommate later, you might look back over the day’s events and activities only to arrive at our opening statement: “I have done nothing productive today.” Call me optimistic, but I see the potential for productivity in just about every event and activity. It may be a different kind of productivity than we’re used to thinking about, but I believe it’s productivity just the same. That trip to the river? That talk with your roommate? There are few things in life are more fruitful than friendship or the chance to laugh. What about that trip to your Facebook feed? With the wide variety of articles and blogs shared, chances are you might have learned something besides who just got engaged. That Netflix you spent some quality time with? You’re taking in plot and character, empathizing and sympathizing with people you feel you know. And even if you’re not thinking too deeply about any of these elements—or if you end up transitioning from watching to sleeping—you’re still giving your mind a rest, something that some pretty smart people seem to think is vitally important. So the next time you feel that “confession” about to slip from your lips, think about holding it back—because there’s a good chance it might not be true.