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Year in Review: 2011–12 Highlights

by University Relations

APU Professor Leads Dig in Israel

Robert Mullins, Ph.D., associate professor of biblical studies, led an initial survey of Abel Beth Maacah, one of the few remaining biblical sites in Israel not yet excavated, May 22–27, 2012. A joint archaeological project between Azusa Pacific and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in partnership with Cornell University, excavation of the area, involving 20–30 APU students, is planned for next summer. The dig could uncover ancient artifacts from the time of King David, providing another piece to the puzzle of Israel’s past as described in the Bible.

Azusa Community Scholars Established

Judy Hutchinson, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Academic Service-Learning and Research, launched Azusa Community Scholars, a visionary program that brings together agency representatives from eight sectors of the community, including APU, as scholars learning and working together to identify Azusa’s resources and challenges to create new visions and programs for community-wide change.

WASC Accreditation Culminates

The four-year accreditation process by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) concluded in fall 2012, confirming that APU remains steadfast in its core values and motivates faculty, staff, and students to continue in APU’s mission of understanding its identity as a Christian university.

APU Wins Record-Setting Eighth Directors’ Cup

APU’s final year in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) ended on a victorious note as the university won the 2011–12 Directors’ Cup, distinguishing it as the best intercollegiate athletics program in the NAIA for an unprecedented eighth consecutive year.

New Deans Assume Roles

Demonstrating a commitment to academic excellence and visionary leadership, APU appointed Anita Fitzgerald Henck, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education, and Robert Welsh, Ph.D., dean of the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences. Both deans possess impressive scholarship records and bring the enthusiasm and credentials needed to build upon their respective school’s strengths and accomplishments.

Values and Ethos Reaffirmation Continues

This year, APU continued re-examining its core values and Christian identity as four task forces considered effective ways to more deeply infuse these values into university life; strengthen faith integration; and encourage faculty, staff, administrators, and board members to take ownership of the university’s mission to become a “city on a hill that reflects the life of Christ and shines the light of Truth.”

Dillon Recreation Complex Completed

APU celebrated the completion of the Dillon Recreation Complex, a new recreational area behind Adams Hall that features a synthetic turf field, two sand volleyball courts, and a basketball court. Rick ’79 and Robyn (Delamarter ’80) Dillon funded the project that provides students with a place to participate in recreational activities and build stronger community.

Fulbright Scholars Awarded

Prestigious Fulbright scholarships allowed two recent alumni, Mathew Gonzales ’10 and Margarita Ramirez ’12, to conduct research in Spain and the Azores, and two APU professors, Michael Smith, Ed.D., and Mary Wong, Ph.D., to work in Jordan and Hong Kong, respectively. Success in this national competition positions APU faculty and graduates among the world’s elite scholars as they seek global engagement and understanding from a Christian perspective.

Significant Grants Presented

The university received three significant grants this year, providing faculty and students with invaluable opportunities for research and scholarship. Kaiser Permanente funded a new program at APU’s Neighborhood Wellness Center that fights obesity and diabetes among women. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded a grant to APU’s cinematic arts internship program. In addition, the National Science Foundation committed funds to the research of Bin Tang, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science, and his students as they develop innovations in critical data preservation and storage.

Originally published in the Winter '12 issue of APU Life. Download the full issue (PDF).