Common Day of Learning 2015 takes place Tuesday, February 24.

The full schedule is also available on the APU Mobile app.

9:30–10:30 a.m. Session One
Duke Classrooms
10:45–11:45 a.m. Chapel and Keynote Address
Felix Event Center
11:50 a.m.–12:50 p.m. Noon Hour
Kresge Plaza
1–2:15 p.m. Session Two
(Including Poster Session)

Duke Classrooms
2:30–3:45 p.m. Session Three
Duke Classrooms


Tuesday, February 24

9:30 a.m.
A Cheerful Heart Is Good Medicine: Laughter Therapy

Diana Rudulph, M.A., Department of Exercise and Sport Science
Doug Crowell, M.S., Department of Exercise and Sport Science

Can laughter promote good health? At stated in Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Studies show that laughter has numerous psychological and physiological effects. In this workshop, faculty from the Department of Exercise and Sport Science will review the current research on how laughter therapy affects the brain, immune system, mood,
and overall well-being. Attendees will also be given the opportunity to learn and practice various laughter therapy exercises in a fun and energizing group setting. This workshop will be filled with valuable evidence-based research and active learning, sure to bring understanding, cheer, and good health to the heart.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Barriers to Undergraduate Participation in Local and International Service-learning Opportunities at APU

Anupama Jacob, Ph.D., Department of Social Work
Sarah Hyde, undergraduate, Social Work

Local and international service-learning opportunities provide undergraduate students with transformational learning experiences that enable them to expand their worldview and take their education outside of the classroom. However, students sometimes struggle to maintain their commitment to service-learning opportunities. The Center for Student Action at APU seeks to examine why undergraduate students decide to withdraw from service-learning opportunities after they have been accepted to a program and placed on a team. Drawing on online survey responses from students who withdrew from service-learning opportunities after being placed on a team in the 2013–14 school year, this study examines barriers to undergraduate involvement and follow-through in local and international community service projects. Understanding limitations faced by students and addressing some of the identified barriers to participation will allow APU to better recruit participants, equip students who have been accepted, and support students who are interested in service-learning opportunities.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Beyond Rhetoric: Digging Deeper in Diversity Discourse

Kathryn Ecklund, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Jacqueline Blanca, undergraduate, Psychology
Thalia Diaz, undergraduate, Psychology
Gabriel Lee, undergraduate, Psychology
Julia McJunkin, undergraduate, Psychology

The development of multicultural skills is often considered a critical goal for student, faculty, and university development. The purpose of this workshop is to move beyond rhetoric and engage participants in deeper reflection and discourse regarding developing multicultural competence. This workshop will involve facilitated conversations and small-group discussion regarding: (a) socially situating oneself in relation to culture, power, and privilege without being immobilized by guilt, shame, or guardedness; (b) how to manage feeling targeted, blamed, or put off when engaged in diversity discourse; (c) how identity development influences orientation toward, and willingness to dig deeper in, diversity discourse; and (d) the role and practice of cultural humility in diversity discourse between Christians.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Can Knowledge Help Us? Evaluating Psychoeducation as a Tool to Integrating Evidence-based Practices Into Community Mental Health

Anupama Jacob, Ph.D., Department of Social Work
Danielle Patterson, undergraduate, Social Work

The Wellness Recovery model is an evidence-based practice increasing in popularity within the mental health field, affirming that adults with mental illnesses can be empowered to live a high quality of life even with severe symptoms. However, despite promising research supporting the model, there is evidence to suggest clinician resistance due to lack of understanding. To address this, a one-hour psychoeducational training will be given to clinicians at an outpatient mental health facility undergoing a program shift toward the Wellness Recovery model. Data will be collected through surveys and interviews to determine if there is a significant difference in clinician attitudes and knowledge before and after the training. This research will help identify barriers toward the model in practice, and show if potential resistance toward the transition is due to lack of understanding or other factors. This will ultimately provide better service to clients in need of care.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Can We Fully Know? Understanding Low-Context Versus High-Context Communication Styles & How People, Food, & Medicine Intersect

Catherine Heinlein, Ed.D., RD, MS, CDE, RN, School of Nursing
Sara Brown, undergraduate, Applied Exercise Science
Katelyn Drury, undergraduate, Business
Rachel Hedden, undergraduate, Nursing
Megan Mercado, undergraduate, Nursing
McKenna Newell, undergraduate, Applied Exercise Science
Makena Nixon, undergraduate, Applied Exercise Science
Diana Wallace, undergraduate, Applied Health

The School of Nursing’s offering of a minor in nutrition brought about the concept of a cultural foods course. In fall 2014, the first-ever cultural foods class began a journey of deep questions about the traditional diet and medicine of a variety of ethnic groups, how traditions have been lost to assimilation in the United States, and how this might affect these people groups. We open up dialogue about the challenges our own students face as they move into professional practice and work with individuals of different cultures, including counseling them to take an active role in improving their health.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Celebrating Excellence in Undergraduate Research: Winning Entries from the Seventh Annual Honors Paper Competition

David Weeks, Ph.D., Dean, Honors College

The authors of the essays published in the seventh annual honors paper competition will present their essays and provide an open question-and-answer session with the audience. Each author receives a monetary prize toward their personal libraries, and six copies of the Honors College journal, Gratia Eruditionis.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Clergy as CEOs: Case Study of Impact of Stressors on Holistic Stewardship

Adele Harrison, Ph.D., School of Business and Management
Daniel Park, Ph.D., School of Business and Management

Research into stress factors of the clergy revealed similarities with stress factors of business leaders. This presentation will focus on the financial stressors faced by clergy, the impact of addressing the issue, establishing goals, and bringing others in as support/accountability. Financial stewardship is just one area of general stewardship. Discussion of individual discipline resulting in personal flourishing and that carrying over to organizational flourishing will complete the presentation.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Emerging Scholars in the School of Theology

Four papers will be presented by students from the four departments in the School of Theology: Theology and Church History, Philosophy, Biblical Studies, and Practical Theology.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Emotional and Social Intelligence: An Introduction and Application to Relationship Development

Ryan Montague, Ph.D., Department of Communication Studies, Lambda Pi Eta

Emotional and social intelligence is the No. 1 reason people get promoted in the workplace, have lasting and thriving marriages, and sustain strong friendships. In this presentation, you will be introduced to the basics of emotional and social intelligence, gain insight into how to improve your own emotional and social abilities, and learn to recognize opportunities to exercise and practice these skills in everyday life. Emotional and social intelligence is one way for us to know ourselves and others better, and thus love each other on deeper social and spiritual levels.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Enfolding Others: Social Holiness in the Bible

Karen Strand Winslow, Ph.D., Department of Biblical Studies, Azusa Pacific Seminary

When we examine the Bible, we find tensions that must be faced regarding Israel’s—and God’s—relationships to Others. The Bible supplies a mixed account of how Israel treated Others. The encounters between Israel and Others, as described in the Bible, embody or sometimes seem to undermine holiness, righteousness, and justice, broadly speaking. Winslow presents the correspondence and conflict between holiness and Othering, between set apart to be distinct from Others and set apart to serve and bless Others.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Global Peace and Friendship

Elisaveta Nica, graduate, Master of Arts in Teaching
English to Speakers of Other Languages

This demonstration provides an innovative approach to implementing the Culture of Peace issued by the United Nations and UNESCO as well as a traditional concept of friendship aimed at serving APU’s ideals for peace mentality, intercultural friendship, and racial harmony. The demonstration incorporates historical and cultural Christian values intended to inspire and motivate APU’s students to organize a Culture of Peace and Friendship Club. In this session, the presenter starts with a brief topic overview, including the definition of Culture of Peace, continues by historically demonstrating how a Culture of Peace and Friendship would inspire others to a new way of thinking for healing division through cooperation and development, and finally presents a proposal for a change in public schools curriculum. Then the presenter will describe her own experience with the Culture of Peace and conclude with a reflection and discussion.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Kenya: The Lived Experience— Caring for the Suffering

Janice Haley, Ph.D., FNP, PNP, School of Nursing
Tiffany Truesdell, undergraduate, Nursing
Brooke Stalions, undergraduate, Nursing
Lianna Tanis, undergraduate, Nursing
Dinah Hernandez, undergraduate, Nursing

Nursing students in a study abroad course led by Haley provided care for people of all ages in a remote village in Western Kenya for one month. A discussion of our experience in care provided for patients suffering from HIV, cancer, and other chronic conditions in their homes/huts, outpatient clinics, and a hospice center will be presented. Personal testimonies of patient encounters will be given.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Knowing God through Incarnational Living in the Global Slums

Viv Grigg, Ph.D., International Director, M.A. in Transformational Urban Leadership
MATUL graduate students, TBA

The knowledge of God is found in the darkest places. Jesus says he will manifest himself if we follow him. He goes to the places of injustice and loves the unlovely. Graduates (and students currently in the slums who will Skype in) will reflect on their two years living among the urban poor during the MATUL program, and discuss the impact that incarnational living, engagement in justice making, and serving the needy have had on their spiritual formation.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Knowing Students with Special Needs as God Knows

Paul Flores, Ph.D., director, Liberal Studies Program
Sarah Ritter, undergraduate, Liberal Studies
Cassidy Krueger, undergraduate, Liberal Studies
Ashley Whitelaw, undergraduate, Liberal Studies

Students with special needs are often marginalized by academic institutions. Even though there are many different programs in which students with special needs are placed in educational settings, many beliefs exist about individuals with disabilities. Understanding history, challenges, and benefits of mainstreaming and inclusion enable programs, teachers, and students to be known in order to reflect the Imago Dei. Transition services enable students to become productive and successful members of society. Furthermore, improvements need to be made in increasing the quality of special education school options, including developing effective teachers who ultimately impact all students for success. A variety of programs will be presented, along with teacher quality concerns, providing knowledge to consider how best to know students with special needs in order to improve teaching practices.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Knowing Who You Really Are: Embracing Our Identity in Christ Daily

Kenneth D. Litwak, Ph.D., Information and Media Technology

We all have several roles—student, employee, teacher, driver, advisor, etc. We also all have a past that shapes who we are, for better or for worse. For Christians, however, our most important identity is as people loved, chosen, called, redeemed, and adopted into God’s family. In this session, we will look at things that have shaped us in light of our most important identity: children of God. From this, we can evaluate attitudes and actions that God desires for us, knowing we have a new identity in Christ. We need to know who we are in order to “be” who we are.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Mothers Are Leaders

Kim B.W. Denu, Ph.D., Department of Global Studies, Sociology, and TESOL
Janet S. Walters

Who is a leader? This session will look at the definition of a leader and how leadership is in fact a fundamental element of motherhood. The presenters will discuss the latest literature on this topic, including highlights from their new book, Mothers Are Leaders. In addition, they will highlight skills that mothers utilize every day that are transferable to the workplace, and discuss how we can empower women by empowering mothers.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Our Brain on God: The Science of Our Relationship With the Divine

Lori Lacy, Psy.D., University Counseling Center
Caroline Carter, M.A., University Counseling Center, Department of Graduate Psychology

Have you ever wondered what is happening in your brain when you are praying or worshipping God? Or if your brain responds uniquely to God based upon your religious tradition? This presentation will discuss current neurological research on the interrelation of the brain and one’s experience and understanding of God. Specific attention will be given to how one’s relationship with God and their corresponding religious/spiritual practices can increase their brain health. Audience members will also be given suggested practices to strengthen their experience
of knowing God and to experience themselves as known by God.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Our Tragic Age: What Shakespearean Tragedy Can Teach Us About Our Consumerist Culture

Matthew J. Smith, Ph.D., Department of English
Student Presenters TBA

Shakespeare inherited traditional conventions of the tragic dramatic genre but famously used them for his own purposes—diverging from the classical form where he thought useful for representing his own culture. This is one of the most important deliverances of Shakespeare’s heritage today: the relentless use of tradition, pastiche, genre, and audience experience in order to reflect the values of his own day. This panel seeks to apply readings of Shakespeare’s genre strategy to our own cultural products. Students of ENGL 377 Shakespeare submit essays on the use, appropriation, and/or misuse of tragic conventions in a contemporary work or movement of art, film, literature, or journalism. The three or four best submissions are chosen, and these students will convert these essays into 10-minute presentations to be delivered at CDL. Nonparticipating students of ENGL 377 are required to attend.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Pop Culture Articles and Their Truth Quotient for Nonverbal Communication

Marcia Berry, Ph.D., Department of Communication Studies
Student Presenters TBA

Pop culture articles promise to reveal the nonverbal secrets to developing that great relationship, attracting attention from the right person, or learning the necessary information for success at work. Come test your knowledge of nonverbal communication as the students from the Nonverbal Communication class document the truth, the half-truths, and the lies you have heard from pop culture.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Poster Session: Dietary Considerations for Christians

Kyle Louie, undergraduate, Center for Research in Science

How often do we reflect upon what we eat? Many religions adhere to both regular and special-occasion dietary regulations. While some Christian denominations practice dietary restrictions, the majority of Christian denominations do not. The authors contend that we have a responsibility to thoughtfully consider the impacts of our dietary choices as God-appointed stewards of the rest of creation. Our dietary decisions should reflect careful consideration of ethical, theological, environmental, and health implications of the variety of dietary choices available to us.

We hypothesize that the healthiest dietary choices will also be the best for the environment and the wisest from ethical and theological perspectives. This presentation explores the guidance of scriptural, theological, and ethical disciplines as well as scientific evidence from the environmental and health fields for the multidisciplinary implications of various dietary regimes. Diets considered will be Vegan, Vegetarian (Lacto-Ovo), Pescetarian, Fish and Fowl, White Meat, and Western/Omnivore.

9:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
Poster Session: Exploring Spirituality Among Substance-Abusing Youth in Recovery

Rachel Gonzales-Castaneda, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Andrew McKeown, undergraduate, Psychology
Bailey Bagwell, undergraduate, Psychology
Grace Kim, undergraduate, Psychology
Alexis Guillen, undergraduate, Psychology

According to the bio-psychosocial model of health, spirituality is an important psychosocial phenomenon to consider when examining health behaviors. We explored spirituality, as a multidimensional construct encompassing beliefs, practices, and coping, among youth in recovery and the extent to which it impacted substance use outcomes. To date, we have a very limited understanding of the underlying mechanisms and bio-psychosocial developmental processes that influence substance use relapse among youth. While there is a growing body of literature on substance abuse recovery and spirituality, few studies have contextualized the interplay between spiritual trajectories and relapse for young people in recovery.

9:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
Poster Session: Interpersonal Relationships & Social Setting: Positive & Negative Impact on Youth Recovery from Substance Abuse

Rachel Gonzales-Castaneda, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Kendelle Abts, undergraduate, Psychology
Cassandra Nuzum, undergraduate, Psychology
Shannon Davidson, undergraduate, Psychology
Jessica Welch, undergraduate, Psychology

According to the Social Cognitive Theory, there is a strong interaction between one’s social environment and behavior. We examined the influence of social context, measured as living status, positive and negative interpersonal relationships, and recovery contextual factors, on primary substance use relapse outcomes among young people in recovery from substance abuse. A total of 80 substance-abusing youth completing drug and alcohol treatment in community settings are included in this study. We found that the majority of the sample stayed in the same location, which impacted their recovery status. Repeated measures in ANOVA results showed that duration spent in a social setting was significantly related to relapse in primary drug use over time, such that those who reported spending more time (months) in a social location had higher odds of relapse (F = 5.39, p<.05) compared to those who spent less time in a social location during the time of recovery. We also found that negative interpersonal interactions were significantly related to relapse over time, including: spending time with peers who use, being exposed to high-risk situations, and family/peer conflict. The findings indicate that social setting location and interpersonal relations play a role in the context of substance abuse recovery.

9:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
Poster Session: Parent-Adolescent Relationship Quality and Depressive Symptoms Among Immigrant Youth

Piljoo Kang, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Jessica Lesure, undergraduate, Psychology
Joy Ju, undergraduate, Psychology

Studies have shown that parent-adolescent relationship quality has a direct link to depressive symptoms (Piko, 2012). In addition, high discrepancy in father-adolescent acculturation levels was shown to relate significantly to depressive symptoms (Garcia, Manongdo, and Ozechowski, 2014). The present study examines 1) the influence of parenting relationship quality on depressive symptoms, and 2) how the discrepancy in parent-child acculturation levels (language preference as proxy) is related to depressive symptoms. Data came from 328 adolescents in grades 7 through 12 from immigrant families. The participants responded to 10 statements about the quality of their relationship with their mother and their father. Depressive symptomatology was assessed using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (Radloff, 1977). Results indicate that higher parent-child relationship quality was correlated to lower depressive symptoms. Specifically, the greater the discrepancy in parent-child acculturation levels, the greater the adolescent depressive symptoms, regardless of the gender of the parent or child.

9:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
Poster Session: Personality Type, Anxiety, and Sleep

Abel De Castro, undergraduate, Center for Research in Science

The purpose of this study is to investigate correlations between individual personality types, anxiety levels, and the quality and quantity of sleep. The first phase is to conduct a survey of several dozen college students (ages 18–22). The subjects take a series of three tests: the Type A/B Personality Test, the Myers-Briggs personality test, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The first two tests determine the subjects’ personality types based on a series of simple multiple-choice questions. The PSQI determines the overall quality of sleep based on a series of short-answer questions. We hypothesize that those with Type A personality will have a lower quality of sleep due to higher amounts of brain activity when trying to go to sleep. This study will provide information on the relationship between personality type and sleep quality in an effort to better understand how anxiety affects one’s health.

9:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
Poster Session: Sustainable Water Reclamation for Healthier Living

Tristan Pacba, undergraduate, Math, Center for Research in Science
Joseph Steidl, undergraduate, Physics, Center for Research in Science

Water reclamation research combats scarce global potable water. Current technologies can purify wastewater, but only through costly and highly managed microfiltration and ultraviolet methods. Reclamation processes must then be minimal in both energy and resource use to be accessible by communities lacking clean water. This research purposes to approach reclamation ecologically in order to resolve problems of functionality, attainability, and sustainability. An ecological reclamation system emulates the natural water cycle stages according to levels of filtration: primary, secondary, tertiary, and polishing phases. The primary phase through percolation removes unwanted solids. The secondary phase disinfects with local UV radiation, oxidation, and halogens. The tertiary phase uses biological treatment stages to break down chemical impurities. The polishing phase removes unwanted color, odor, and taste through natural distillation. Application of purification degrees enhances the water efficiency in more-affluent areas while mitigating potable-water scarcity in impoverished communities.

9:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
Poster Session: Testing the Sleeping Beauty System for Stable Insertion of Transgenes Used in Adoptive Immunotherapy

Anna Adamson, undergraduate, Department of Biology and Chemistry

The Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon system was created to provide an efficient, nonviral method for introducing defined DNA sequences into vertebrate chromosomes. It consists of a transposon, which is composed of inverted terminal repeat sequences that flank a desired DNA sequence, and an enzyme, which functions to mediate the insertion of the genetic cargo into the host genome. The SB system offers an alternative to the use of viral vectors and has been used to introduce a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) to direct the specificity of T cells, independent of the major histocompatibility complex. In comparison to its viral counterparts, SB provides a safer, less expensive, nonviral vector for use in gene therapy.

9:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
Prevailing Worldviews of MSW Students and How They Inform Their Social Work Practice Orientation

Shaynah Neshama Bannister, Ph.D., MSW Program, Department of Social Work

The study compares the worldviews on human nature and social justice of two cohorts of MSW students—clinical and community concentrations. The curriculum is built around specific objectives, competencies, and practice behaviors the students from each concentration have to acquire during the course of their training. This specialization also determines the subject matter covered by the corresponding syllabi. While the health of an individual is addressed by the clinical concentration on a mind-body-psyche perspective, the community concentration examines the same issues but from a human rights and social policies perspective. An original instrument—a 30-item questionnaire—was developed to measure students’ understanding of human nature and social justice as applied in the social work micro and macro practices. The study is expected to display worldviews congruent with the specialization of each cohort.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Screening of Eyes to See

Thomas Parham, Ph.D., Department of Cinematic Arts

A news cameraman covering the Haiti earthquake must choose between doing his job and helping the victims he encounters. Inspired by writer/director David de Vos’ personal involvement with the Haitian relief effort after the 2010 earthquake. Starring Matthew Marsden (Rambo, Black Hawk Down), Garcelle Beauvais (Franklin & Bash, NYPD Blue), and Joelle Carter (Justified, High Fidelity). A talkback with de Vos will follow the screening.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Sigma Tau Delta Presents: Critical and Creative Work

Andrea Ivanov-Craig, Ph.D., Department of English
Caitlin Trude, undergraduate, English
Sara Champlain, undergraduate, English
Theresa Chumacero, undergraduate, English
Christina Ligh, undergraduate, English

Members of Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honor society, will read their creative and critical work, most of which will be presented at the 2015 annual convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in March.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Spiritual Care: Discerning the Path to Healing

Pamela Cone, Ph.D., CNS, RN, School of Nursing

Spiritual care is important in nursing, but most nurses feel ill-prepared to provide it to patients. Nurses working in diverse settings have varying levels of comfort about asking questions related to spirituality, so it is often a challenge to provide spiritual care. A classical grounded theory study was conducted that identified a process of facilitating spiritual care; the process has three stages and is shepherded by the nurses’ willingness to step out of their comfort zones and continuously build rapport and trusting nurse-patient relationships. Knowing oneself deeply is critical to this process. This session will explore how nurses facilitate spiritual care and improve overall health outcomes. Scenarios and questions will be discussed in pairs and small groups to dialogue about the process of spiritual caregiving.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Suspending Judgment: Knowing Our Neighbors and Ourselves

Monica Ganas, Ph.D., Department of Theater Arts
Christiana Bergantzel, undergraduate, Theater Arts
Tory Freeth, undergraduate, Acting for the Stage and Screen
Angela Pacheco, undergraduate, Communication Studies and Journalism

It takes no particular training to cast judgment—against both neighbor and self—but it does take training to develop judgment. As Terry Cooper observes in Making Judgments Without Being Judgmental (IVP Books, 2006), such training requires us to “nurture a clear mind and a generous heart.” This panel explores both functional and dysfunctional approaches to judgment calls concerning everything from personal identity formation to immigration law to high school cliques. How can we overcome our natural, and even neurological, inclination to misguided assumptions about self and neighbor that keep us from truly knowing each other?

9:30–10:30 a.m.
The Study of Autism and Related Developmental Disorders Through Archival Clinical Data and Genetic Mouse Models

Loren Martin, Ph.D., Department of Graduate Psychology
Noel Roberts, undergraduate, Psychology

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by social and communication difficulties as well as restricted interests and/or repetitive motor movements. The prevalence of ASD has risen over the past 20 years from estimates of 1 in every 2,500 individuals to current estimates of as high as 1 in every 66 individuals. In this presentation, we will discuss the rise in ASD cases over the past two decades and share our findings on the effects of birth order and birth spacing on autism symptom severity. We will also share how we are exploring the relationship between ASD genetic risk factors and social behaviors by using genetic mouse models. Finally, we will present our research on a genetic mouse model of another developmental disorder, Williams-Beuren syndrome (or Williams syndrome), which is characterized by hypersocial behavior.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Understanding the Impact of Low Socioeconomic Status on African American Male Education Experiences

Paul Flores, Ph.D., Director, Liberal Studies Program
Hailey Heikkinen, undergraduate, Liberal Studies
Annette Hoersting, undergraduate, Liberal Studies
Norris Spagner, undergraduate, Theology

Research suggests there is educational inequity in terms of academic achievement based on socioeconomic status. Thus, students attending low-income schools are dropping out of high school at a higher rate, with an impact seen with African American males. Myths of poverty, negative stereotypes, and the number of unqualified teachers serving African American males continue to expand the achievement gap, often leading to lower expectations resulting in dropout. However, research shows that schools that focus on reaching students of low socioeconomic status, including African American males, can improve the quality of classroom experience. Conclusions suggest that knowing African American male students as they are known can challenge myths of poverty and other contributing factors that lead to high dropout rates in low-income schools, and therefore enable educators and administrators to address the bias they bring into the classrooms in order to close the academic achievement gap and lower the dropout rate.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
What Does the Bible Really Say About Money?

John M. Thornton, Ph.D., CPA, Leung Chair of Accounting Ethics

We’ll look at several questions, including: What would it look like if I took Jesus’ terrible financial advice? Since God is so rich, why give Him anything? Does Jesus want you rich or poor? Do I have to cheat to get ahead? What is God’s hang-up with money?

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Where in the World Can a Fulbright Grant Take You?

Diane Guido, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Graduate Programs and Research
Nicole Roberts, Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs and Research  

Learn about an opportunity for a year of fully funded teaching or study abroad. Hear from a past Fulbright recipient about their time overseas, how the grant has impacted their future, and what it is really like to live in a foreign country for a year. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to apply. Are you ready to immerse yourself in a foreign culture, pursue academic excellence, and experience a life-changing year?

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Writing for Children and Adolescent Audiences: Authors and Illustrators Share Their Secrets

Nancy Brashear, Ph.D., Department of English
Kristen Sipper-Denlinger, Ph.D., Department of English
Student Presenters TBA

Join guest authors and illustrators (students and faculty) who will share excerpts from their written and visual work, discuss their creative processes, and reveal strategies for “hooking” readers. The literature they produced is an effective way to engage and extend thoughtful discussion between children, adolescents, and young adults.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
You Think You’d Eventually Like to Raise Your Children Bilingually—Really?

Eric Drewry, JD, Ph.D., Department of English

What pitfalls would prospective parents like to know about beforehand that could make growing up less difficult for such children? Most of us recognize the increasing interconnectivity between cultures and some of the obvious advantages of being able to function in multiple languages. But what about the children growing up? From the standpoint of a parent who’s observed this process, children can suffer while being raised bilingually and biculturally in a largely monolingual society like that of the U.S. Some facts about bilingual and multilingual growing up and several case studies serve as warnings. Properly warned, future parents may be better able to keep the dream without traumatizing their children.

9:30–10:30 a.m.
10:45 a.m.
Keynote Address: Jesus, Who Do You Say We Are? Reimagining the University as Seeking and Living Truth

Mary Poplin, Ph.D., School of Educational Studies, Claremont Graduate University

Imagine a blockbuster movie about a planet caught in a battle between good and evil. Suddenly a man appears whose substance is both physical and spiritual, whose identity is one and many, and who has come to reveal the secret set of principles that would allow all inhabitants to flourish. Imagine he ultimately overcomes evil by living in but not being of the world. In the final scenes he is murdered and comes alive again for all time and we discover we are living, self-determining cells in a larger body—the matrix of God. Aberrations of this life of God on Earth are produced endlessly in science fiction and the cinema; it is and always has been the zeitgeist of human culture, one of millions of signs that Christianity is true. Imagine for a moment we stop and ask this man/God, “Who do you say we are?”

10:45–11:45 a.m.
11:50 a.m.

Food service will be available outside on Kresge Plaza and in Heritage Court from 11:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.

Kresge Plaza
11:50 a.m.–12:50 p.m.
SPECIAL SESSION: The Dance of Racial Reconciliation

Richard S. Martinez, Ed.D., Office of Diversity
Rudy Gonzalez, Director of Race Relations,
Christian Reformed Church

The Dance of Racial Reconciliation (DORR) is a diversity workshop that helps examine societal values and beliefs that impact the norms and values we hold as Christians for justice and equity for all people. The mission of the church is to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ and to gather the nations, while building peace in our communities. This happens when disciples make disciples of one body united by one Spirit serving one Lord (Matthew 28, I Corinthians 12).

11:50 a.m.–1:50 p.m.
1 p.m.
Addressing the Need for Knowledge of Autism Among Hispanic Parents of a Child Diagnosed with Autism

Anupama Jacob, Ph.D., Department of Social Work
Eliana Tarazon, undergraduate, Social Work

In the United States, 1 in 68 children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Hispanics today represent the largest portion of minority children, comprising 16 percent of the population under the age of 18. However, Hispanic children are less likely to be diagnosed with autism, which points to larger issues such as underdiagnosis of developmental disorders. The cultural traditions of Hispanic parents may be a factor, due to unawareness of abnormalities in behavior related to developmental delays in their child. Survey data collected at a behavioral services provider examines the relevancy and usefulness of a Spanish-language-group parent education and training class on autism. Parent education includes understanding services and behavior modification. This will inform professionals of the effectiveness of group parent education and training to promote accessibility to knowledge and the development of programs that will train Hispanic parents of a child diagnosed with autism.

1–2:15 p.m.
A Once-Dim Reflection Now Fills With Faith

Catherine Heinlein, Ed.D., RD, MS, CDE, RN, School of Nursing
Sharon K. Titus, MSN, RN, School of Nursing

What began as an APU study abroad experience became an opportunity to disciple students in their faith. The densely populated city of Kolkata, India, was suitable for nursing students to provide acts of service. It was during our nightly debriefings that students sought answers for injustice, extreme poverty, and spiritual darkness. Faculty challenged students to seek God’s Word for answers to these hard questions. By the time the team returned to the Los Angeles area, it was apparent faculty needed to continue building on the Holy Spirit’s work. This was further expressed in engagement of nursing scholarship, career choices that emphasized spiritual care, and altered worldviews that sought holiness. Today, students and faculty continue their relationship in serving God across the globe. Many have joined health evangelism teams that boldly share Christ as a reflection of God working in their own lives—lives now filled with great faith.

1–2:15 p.m.
Assessing the Effectiveness of One-On-One Counseling at APU’s Office of Academic Advising for Students on Academic Probation

Anupama Jacob, Ph.D., Department of Social Work
Hazelle Tang, undergraduate, Social Work

Using data collected from APU’s Office of Academic Advising and Retention, we examined the effectiveness of one-on-one counseling sessions in improving the cumulative GPA over one semester among APU first-generation and transfer students on academic probation. We’ll discuss the importance of this research project in relation to one of the services offered by the office to help students get off academic probation. This will help the office understand how successful the counseling service is in addressing the needs of first-generation and transfer students.

1–2:15 p.m.
Building the Chicano Community Now and Then

Marcela Rojas, Ph.D., Department of Modern Languages, Ethnic Studies Program
Angelica Amezcua, graduate, California State University, Northridge, Chicano Studies
Ashley Lujano, undergraduate 

This presentation will discuss the historical elements of the formation of the Chicano movement during the 1960s, its relevance today for Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic/Latino youth, and its pertinence to our school community.

1–2:15 p.m.
Celebrating Excellence in Undergraduate Research: Winning Entries from the Seventh Annual Honors Paper Competition

David Weeks, Ph.D., Dean, Honors College

The authors of the essays published in the seventh annual honors paper competition will present their essays and provide an open question-and-answer session with the audience. Each author receives a monetary prize toward their personal libraries, and six copies of the Honors College journal, Gratia Eruditionis.

1–2:15 p.m.
Co-Authors in Scholarship: A Shared Road to Being Known

Dave Harmeyer, Ed.D., University Libraries
Scott Bledsoe, Psy.D., Office of Graduate Psychology

Learn tips and traps that a group of APU faculty discovered during the multiyear publishing journey of a recently released scholarly article. Students with an interest in publishing may find this presentation a useful road map for current and future projects. Learn how the process began innocently enough (as through a glass, darkly), with an email and a challenge. Then follow along in the process from concept to methodology, from literature review to research results, from journal submission to rejection, and from rejection to, finally, acceptance! A learning time for all, with a question-and-answer session at the end. Candy will be served.

1–2:15 p.m.
Do You See What I See? Using a Strengths Perspective to Initiate Positive Change

Keith E. Hall, Ed.D., Noel Academy for Strengths-Based Leadership and Education  

This interactive session will highlight the benefits of using a strengths perspective to promote positive change. Participants will engage in reflective conversation to consider practical strengths-oriented strategies that can be applied to unveil and unleash the potential and possibility in people and situations. The first 20 participants will receive a free strengths code to access the Clifton StrengthsFinder.

1–2:15 p.m.
Emerging Scholars in the School of Theology

Dennis Okholm, Ph.D., Department of Theology
Student Presenters TBA

Four papers will be presented by students who represent the four departments in the School of Theology: Theology and Church History, Philosophy, Biblical Studies, and Practical Theology.

1–2:15 p.m.
Factors Driving Mass Immigration from Mexico and Guatemala—Analysis from Human Rights Perspectives

Shaynah Neshama Bannister, Ph.D., MSW Program, Department of Social Work
Alicia Trent, graduate, Social Work
Sarah Henry, graduate, Social Work  

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported 52,193 children from Central America apprehended between October 1, 2013, and June 15, 2014—an average of 205 children per day. This presentation discusses some of the factors contributing to this mass exodus from two Latin American countries, Mexico and Guatemala, from a human rights perspective. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 1, “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” This presentation is a joint effort of MSW students to bring public awareness of some of the factors contributing to the high immigration from Mexico and Guatemala. The research serves as a social work advocacy tool for mitigation of the current problems.

1–2:15 p.m.
Garden Walks: What Else is in the Garden, and Do We See Ourselves as Stewards of the Planet/Garden?

Ralph S. Carlson, Ph.D., Department of English
Student Presenters TBA  

A PowerPoint presentation of birds, butterflies, and other creatures around us on the APU campuses and elsewhere, followed by online visits to websites of several environmental nongovernment organizations showing what people can do (or not do) to be good stewards of our God-given resources, followed by discussions of current controversial topics in development versus conservation. Three or four students will present the concerns of three or four environmental groups and lead discussions about what appropriate “Christian” responses to those concerns may be.

1–2:15 p.m.
How Academic Study Can Enrich Your Spiritual Life

Paul Kaak, Ph.D., Office of Faith Integration  

The faith of too many Christians is often fragmented. On one hand there is “my personal faith” (which tends to be about “the heart”), while on the other hand there is “what I believe” (which usually puts the focus on “the mind”). We are, however, wonderfully unified creations of God. In the university, robust conversations, study, research, and writing about truths, concepts, and  ideas can be pivotal means to ground followers of  Christ in their personal faith commitment. This session will speak to the spiritual value of academic pursuits. Practical suggestions for members of APU’s education community to meaningfully grow in their faith by connecting what they are learning to the Way, the Truth, and the Life of Christ and the Christian faith will be offered.

1–2:15 p.m.
Is Graduate School the Place to Learn to Know and Be Known?

Joseph Bentz, Ph.D., Department of English,
Pew College Society
Brian Eck, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Steve Syverson, Director, Graduate Admissions
Thomas Eng, Office of Career Services

In fields as widely varying as psychology, medicine, theology, law, nursing, and others, many undergraduate students will need not only the undergraduate education they are receiving at APU, but also graduate education in order to pursue their goals. This session, sponsored by
the Pew College Society, an organization dedicated to helping good students get into graduate school, will answer a wide range of questions, such as: “Is graduate school necessary for me?” “If so, how soon should I go?” “How do I choose a school?” “How do I get in?” “How soon should I start?” “How will I pay for it?” The panel will be made up of the Pew College Society director and others, including professors in key graduate-school-related fields and career services and graduate admissions experts.

1–2:15 p.m.
Knowing Academic Integrity

Vicky Bowden, Ph.D., RN, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs
Sean Brennan, senior, Biochemistry
Sara Flores, senior, English
Kelsey Burgess, senior, Social Work
Layla Kouyoumdjian, sophomore, Nursing
Meredith Bird, senior, Theology
Rachael Morrell, sophomore, Nursing

Academic integrity can be a struggle. What is it? How do you avoid violating it? Why is it important, both as a student at APU and in the world beyond? This group presentation will attempt to help students understand what academic integrity is and the biblical principles behind why it is so important, how to avoid violating it, and what to do as a student if you should find yourself in violation of academic integrity.

1–2:15 p.m.
Knowing in Part: The Function of Creativity

David Esselstrom, Ph.D., Department of English

All artists—whether they work with paint, stone, words, or the flow of their own bodies—grapple in that murky borderline between what can be known and what lies, perhaps, just beyond our knowing—that edge of experience that eludes us as we try to grasp it, and taunts us as we turn away. This grappling often yields for the audience a sense of knowing. This is, or course, illusory, as is all knowing from our human perspective, but we live with and embrace it, since feeling that we know affords us a modicum of imagined control. For the artist, however, the grappling yields not a sense of knowing but rather a sense of being known. In this way, all acts of art are, in part, acts of worship.

1–2:15 p.m.
Know Yourself, Know Your Purpose, Know Your Calling

Freddy Rivas, Kern Center for Vocational Ministry
Student Presenters TBA

Can you know yourself more fully by aligning your serving with your calling, gifts, and passions? What activities bring you deep joy? What do you do well? What have you sensed, or what has been affirmed by others, that you might be called to? Come to this CDL session to interact with three people who are finding peace and fulfillment in a vocation that is aligned with their personal callings, gifts, and passions.

1–2:15 p.m.
Leadership Identity 2.0: Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Kristine Cody, Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity
Jacqueline Blanca, undergraduate, Psychology
Megan Mercado, undergraduate, Nursing
Quanesha Moore, undergraduate, Psychology
Cori Polynice, undergraduate, Communication Studies
Isaiah Vasquez, undergraduate, Political Science

As student leaders, we often find ourselves or others becoming lost or left behind in the community. Based on Genesis 4:9, where Cain responds to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”, we will discuss what it looks like to consider where my brother or sister is on his/her leadership journey. We will primarily focus on practical ways in which we can intentionally support and affirm all of our brothers and sisters in the APU community. This presentation will examine beneficial characteristics and skill sets applicable in developing leaders. We will analyze the numbers of minority leaders accepted into leadership positions on campus from the sophomore class, which will be compared with the senior class. We will also examine the sophomore class to see what percentage of minority students was retained. Qualitative research will be examined to see if the percentage of minority student leaders went up or down.

1–2:15 p.m.
Martyrs and Confessors: Assessing the Cost of Christian Fidelity

Edmund Mazza, Ph.D., Department of History and Political Science
Rebecca Russo, M.Div., MLS, University Libraries
Rico Vitz, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy
Scott Rosen, M.A., MLS, University Libraries
Alice Yafeh-Deigh, Ph.D., Department of Biblical Studies

Martyrdom has been a part of the Christian Church since its inception, beginning with the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Lord said that those who follow Him will be persecuted, since “no servant is greater than his master” (John 15:20). Many Christians have died for their faith throughout the centuries; in many countries, persecution, torture, and death continue to this day for believers in Jesus Christ. But is martyrdom just about dying for one’s faith? Are all believers in Christ called to be martyrs in one way or another? This panel presentation will cover the following topics: The history of Christian confessors and martyrs, with some examples (past and present); the theology of martyrdom; whether there’s a relationship between martyrdom and spirituality; and what martyrdom means for those of us who live in the Western world today.

1–2:15 p.m.
My Life Is a Primary Source: Learning the Art of Memoir in a History-writing Course

Veronica A. Gutiérrez, Ph.D., Department of History and Political Science
Evan Darcey, undergraduate, History
Austin Ouellette, undergraduate, History
James Lohan, undergraduate, History
Brian Espinosa, undergraduate, Social Science
Trevor Campbell, undergraduate, History 

In this interactive session, Gutiérrez, a trained creative writer and Latin American historian, will outline her pedagogical decision to assign spiritual memoir in HIST 300, a writing-intensive course she designed to teach history and social science majors to think, read, and write like historians. Though memoir may not appear to have a place in historical writing, its value lies in teaching students to “read” their life as a primary source, to select only the most compelling facts that move the narrative forward, to focus on crafting an effective hook, and to write vibrant prose, all without conducting additional research or including citations or footnotes. Five of her students will provide the bulk of the presentation’s context, individually sharing their experiences with this assignment and discussing how it positively affected their subsequent assignments and their understanding of historical writing. The goal is to change the way the audience understands memoir.

1–2:15 p.m.
Nobody Reads Mere Christianity Anymore—Do They?

Diana Glyer, Ph.D., Department of English  

C.S. Lewis is old-fashioned, British, and far too academic. Or so some people say. A panel of APU students will discuss their encounter with Lewis’ Mere Christianity, what makes Lewis hard to take, and whether it is worth it.

1–2:15 p.m.
No Place to Go: The Ethics of Discharging Homeless Patients

Connie Brehm, Ph.D., FNP, RN, School of Nursing
Kelly Ferguson, undergraduate, Nursing

Homelessness is a complex and pervasive issue within many communities. Living in homelessness causes serious health risks and complicates existing health problems. These complications, paired with a lack of financial resources, lead to an influx of homeless patients seeking care in hospital emergency rooms. Health care professionals have a responsibility to care for their patients’ well-being, a duty that is based upon the deontological view that all persons have inherent worth based on their humanity. The beneficence and justice owed to patients mandates that care should extend past direct inpatient care to appropriate discharge planning, because if a patient’s basic physiologic needs such as housing are not met, then no medical intervention will be effective. If inpatient care is a point at which the cycle of homelessness and health problems can be broken, it becomes a deeper responsibility of hospitals to be involved in a solution to this issue.

1–2:15 p.m.
Out of the Closet and Onto the Couch: Ethical Implications of Conversion Therapy

Patricia Hanes, Ph.D., MSN, MAED, RN, CNE, School of Nursing
Janine Ruth Lao Sy, undergraduate, Nursing  

The social landscape has always been one that continually evolves andexplores new frontiers. Some new frontiers that are continually shrouded under controversy and close crutiny are the areas surrounding sexuality and gender identity. With the current trends in sexuality, conversion or reparative therapy if often sought when scientific, social, religious, and political ideologies are seen as incompatible with homosexuality. This presentation will examine the implications of conversion therapy on the lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations that receive health care. This will be done through discussing reasons treatment is sought out, technical facets of the treatment, and the perceived benefits and consequences encountered through the lens of ethical theory in addition to other ethical principles. Discussion concerning its relevance and implications to nursing practice will follow.

1–2:15 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Portrayals of Women in Entertainment

Thomas Parham, Ph.D., Department of Cinematic Arts
Lauri Deason, Screenwriter/Playwright
Susan Isaacs, Actor/Comedian/Writer
Sarah Smick, Actor/Writer/Director
Rita Bakelaar, undergraduate, Cinematic Arts
Chloe Crouso, undergraduate, Screenwriting

After the Isla Vista shootings in Santa Barbara, the issue of misogyny in American culture moved to center stage. The tragedy struck a raw nerve, inspired the “#YesAllWomen” movement, and prompted questions about portrayals of women in entertainment media. Join a panel of filmmakers and scholars for a frank discussion on the treatment of women in film and television. Panelists include screenwriter/playwright Lauri Deason (A Radioland Christmas), actor/comedian/writer Susan Isaacs (Angry Conversations With God), actor/writer/director Sarah Smick (Friended to Death), and APU screenwriting majors Rita Bakelaar and Chloe Crouso.

1–2:15 p.m.
Scholarly and Popular Action in the Fight Against Indifference: Explorations of Nels Anderson and André and Magda Trocmé

Carole J. Lambert, Ph.D., Department of English
Andrew Soria, B.A., University of Southern California, Ph.D. candidate, Comparative Literature  

Nels Anderson, son of Swedish immigrants, became a hobo in his teen years and learned to successfully navigate travelling on freighttrains and working at a variety of short-term jobs until he jumped thefreights again. He began to see social structures and ethics in the lives of hobos and the homeless about which he, with a Ph.D. in Sociology, would eventually write (On Hobos and Homelessness). André and Magda Trocmé, a Protestant pastor and his wife, welcomed refugee Jews into their rural Southern France parsonage during the Holocaust and helped them find hiding places or escape to Switzerland, risking their own lives for the persecuted. These three exemplars refused indifference to the plight of the needy around them. Anderson honored them in his scholarly research, while the Trocmés offered them safety. Compassion and wisdom prevailed over indifference and hate. From them much can be learned.

1–2:15 p.m.
Sigma Tau Delta Presents: Critical and Creative Work

Andrea Ivanov-Craig, Ph.D., Department of English
Mercedes James, undergraduate, English
Madelyn Harris, undergraduate, English
Marissa Fackler, undergraduate, English
Christina Ligh, undergraduate, English  

Members from Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, will read their creative and critical work, most of which will be presented at the 2015 annual convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in March.

1–2:15 p.m.
Suffering, Disability, and the Helping Professions: A Spirituality of Advocacy and Action

Paul Shrier, Ph.D., Department of Practical Theology
John Swinton, Ph.D., University of Aberdeen, Scotland; director, Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability

John Swinton, Ph.D., is director of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is the author or editor of many books and articles, including Reflections on Autistic Love: What Does Love Look Like? (Practical Theology, 2012), Disability in the Christian Tradition: A Reader (Eerdmans, 2012), Dementia: Living in the Memories of God (Eerdmans, 2012), Raging with Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil (Eerdmans, 2007), and Resurrecting the Person: Friendship and the Care of People with Mental Health Problems (Abingdon Press, 2000). Swinton also has a background in nursing and mental health chaplaincy, providing a close, multidisciplinary understanding of suffering.

1–2:15 p.m.
The Call of the Christian Academic: Discernment, Deconstruction, Data, and Design

Mary Poplin, Ph.D., School of Educational Studies, Claremont Graduate University

All fields of study are now strongly, if not exclusively, secular. This means that within each of our fields there are some true principles, some false ones, and some that are essential to the truth of that field that are missing. Christian academics are not called to simply adapt what we
can but to reconstruct the field using the mind and wisdom of Christ. First, we must carefully discern what are the basic principles currently dominating our field and what ones are irreconcilable in the Christian worldview (having eyes to see); this deconstruction separates the chaff from the wheat. Next, we need to read the field’s data with new eyes and most likely even collect new data. Lastly, we reconstruct our field as it would look from Christ’s standpoint and design a strategy to enter the dominant discourse of the field with a new (ancient) vision. Poplin will share two brief examples—one from the sciences and one from education—and leave room for participant dialogue.

1–2:15 p.m.
To Flourish With the Transitions of Aging

Adria E. Navarro, Ph.D., LCSW, Department of Social Work
Louanna Bickham, MSW, Department of Social Work
Helen Cambara, graduate, Social Work
Matthew Figueroa, graduate, Social Work

Innovations have emerged to support and enhance how we function during our later years. This panel of gerontological social workers will discuss the goals of patient-centered care by looking at advance directives, a model for successful community living, and a model for returning home following a hospitalization. These are evidence-based models designed to help older adults maximize their personally inspired goals. Having  supportive care available during transitions in health and functioning is an important step to adapting and flourishing across the life span.

1–2:15 p.m.
Understanding the Importance of Support from Social Workers in Addressing Depressive Symptoms Among Older Adults

Anupama Jacob, Ph.D., Department of Social Work
Psalms Rojas, undergraduate, Social Work  

Research suggests that about 50 percent of older adults living in long-term-care facilities suffer from depression. Social workers attempt to address this issue by providing supportive visits to residents who report symptoms of depression. This research will present data collected at a health care facility that will examine the relationship between the number of supportive visits from social workers and the presence of depressive symptoms as identified by the PHQ-9 mood assessment tool used at the health care facility. The presentation will focus on the importance of social and supportive interaction for the growing older adult population. In addition, it will help inform professionals of how supportive visits conducted by social workers can potentially lower symptoms of depression among older adults.

1–2:15 p.m.
What Is Love? Feeling Connection in Relationships

Grant Goodman, M.A., University Counseling Center
Carolyn Foley, University Counseling Center
Caroline Carter, M.A., graduate, University Counseling Center
Jeff Creely, University Counseling Center

The need to be in close relationships is embedded in our genes. This presentation will discuss the current science behind our styles of attachment and how our past influences our current relationships, and offer tools for how to strengthen our connections with others, both platonic and romantic.

1–2:15 p.m.
Who Can You Trust? A Look at Cyber Security

Shawn Kohrman, Information and Media Technology
Holly Magnuson, M.A., Information and Media Technology

Join us as we discuss your personal security and well-being in light of today’s cyber threats. We will explore common tricks and tactics used to obtain your critical information, along with ways to ensure you are protected online.

1–2:15 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
Beyond Gender: Women as Human Beings

Monica Ganas, Ph.D., Department of Theater Arts
Mackenzie Floyd, undergraduate, Sociology
Arielle Wilburn, undergraduate, Psychology
Danielle Hill, undergraduate, Cinematic Arts

Although it seems self-evident that half the human population is in fact female, often that fact seems to be overlooked in the many assumptions about, and perceptions of, women. This panel explores some of the ways women are not only misrepresented and objectified within popular culture, but inadvertently within the church as well. It also asks the question, now that we are well into the 21st century: Is it possible to take a holistic, multifaceted, truly Christian and ultimately realistic approach to female humans and their actual selves? If so, what might the benefits be for us all? If not, what is the cost?

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Check All That Apply: The Color of Admissions

Kristine Cody, Associate Director, Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity
Kristin Atwan, undergraduate, Communication Studies
Crystal Reed, undergraduate, Liberal Studies
Alexandria Brooks, undergraduate, Communication Studies
Ariel Figueroa, undergraduate, Biochemistry

Check all that apply: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Are you of Hispanic descent? Why did your college application include a question about your race? Where did this information go, and why was it (and is it still) necessary? This session will explore the college admissions process, and why your racial identity matters to the university. We will break down this topic as it relates to the intentions of a diverse campus climate.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Chinese Students’ Conceptualization of Leadership

ShanShan Xu, graduate, Master of Arts in Leadership

In the past decade, the population of international students studying in the U.S. has increased, especially students from mainland China, whose number comprised about one quarter of all foreign students in the U.S. in 2012 (Farhang and Aker, 2013). International students remain an untapped group whose involvement in the leadership development program is largely attributed to how much the program speaks out their experiences and aims to answer these questions: How do Chinese students, as the largest ethnic group among international students in the U.S., conceptualize leadership? And in what way do their perceptions of leadership influence their engagement in leadership development programs in U.S. higher education institutions?

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Don Gregorio: Where History and Caribbean Culture Touches the Life of Its Characters (Presentation in Spanish)

Juan B. Guerrero, Ph.D., Department of Modern Languages

The second part of a trilogy narrates events beginning to take place during United States occupation of the Dominican Republic (1916–24). The novel presents the life of its characters in light of the political, religious, and cultural traditions during a time when some families were forced to give up their productive land to the U.S.-owned sugar cane industry, and others lost theirs to people in power.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Ethnic Studies Program: A Reflection of APU’s Commitment to Diversity

Patricia Andujo, Ph.D., Director, Ethnic Studies Program
Casimiro Pena, undergraduate, Ethnic Studies

APU’s commitment to God-honoring diversity is reflected in the Ethnic Studies Program. This presentation showcases the program and encourages the APU community (especially the student body) to get to “know” the Ethnic Studies Program and its transformational scholarship.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Facing Facebook: What Social Media Can and Cannot Do

Monica Ganas, Ph.D., Department of Theater Arts
Mackenzie Breeden, undergraduate, Acting for the Stage and Screen
Claire Schuttler, undergraduate, Acting for the Stage and Screen
Holly Ebner, undergraduate, Theater Arts

Discussions abound concerning the increasing role social media are playing in our lives, along with the various pros and cons of that phenomenon. This panel is attempting to create a somewhat more nuanced conversation by focusing on the particular ways social media are being employed to fulfill ancient human longings and create new kinds.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Genealogical Research to Novel: How a Family Dinner Conversation Began an Eight-year Journey Leading to a Published Novel

Brian Mercer, Office of Curricular Support

Eight years ago at Christmas, my father told me the story of his grandparents, which sparked an interest in researching our family history. What I discovered was such a wonderful surprise! I found the Underground Railroad, the Mayflower, national and personal tragedies, famous and infamous characters, and so much more. That information became a writing project that first produced a play and then a novel. My genealogical research generated so many wonderful discoveries that I have more than enough material to keep me busy writing for a lifetime. What intellectual and spiritual fruit might be hanging from your family tree? Topics for discussion will include how to get started, what to look for, and the value of family legacy.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
In Search of Political Perfection: God Terms and Devil Terms in Obama-Putin Crimean Rhetoric

Bala Musa, Ph.D., Department of Communication Studies

The diplomatic standoff between the U.S. and Russia over Russia’s annexation of Crimea has reopened Cold War-era politico-cultural wounds, reignited East-West rhetorical wars, and rekindled global media propaganda between the two nations. This paper draws on Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic theory and A Rhetoric of Motives, as well as Mikhail Bakhtin’s dialogic theory, to examine the rhetorical strategies employed by Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin in their efforts to influence global public opinion and win support for their positions. It examines the God terms and Devil terms each leader uses to justify his motives, actions, and positions while trying to undermine his opponent’s credibility on the world stage. It proposes a dialogic ethics approach to diplomacy as a way of promoting international understanding and a peaceful world order.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Knowing Culture Impacts Academic Achievement

Paul A. Flores, Ph.D., Director, Liberal Studies Program
Alyssa Palermini, undergraduate, Liberal Studies
Elizabeth Chan, undergraduate, Liberal Studies
Christine Heinrichs, Principal, Walnut Elementary School

To know the culture and language of students is to know the students, increasing academic success. The importance of multicultural education must first be established in order for effective multicultural education to take place in schools. Supporting the culture of the student and allowing that to be shared in the classroom encourages positive academic development for all students. The unfortunate reality is that while the student body is diversifying, the preparation of educators to address this reality is insufficient. To know students is to know their culture and language, making the educational experience more than just English language proficiency.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Leading Others Into Collaborative Conversation: Creating Openness Around the Topic of Diversity

Stephanie Fenwick, Ed.D., Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
Emily Belsey, graduate, Master of Arts in Leadership
Michelle Cross, graduate, Master of Arts in Leadership
Michelle Martinez, graduate, Master of Arts in Leadership
Amanda Wilson, graduate, Master of Arts in Leadership

Join four Master of Arts in Leadership graduate student researchers as they present scholarship about communication strategies that can help lead others into collaborative conversation about the topic of diversity. This interactive session will allow participants to learn about ways in which implicit bias, privilege, and microaggressions impact student and faculty experience in higher education classrooms and community spaces. The graduate student panel and their Leading Across Cultures professor will then cofacilitate discussion and a brief activity modeling approaches that foster nondefensive and open interaction with others.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Leaning in and Ministry: Are They Compatible in a CCCU School?

Sarah Adams, Ph.D., Department of English
Karen Sorensen-Lang, Ph.D., Department of Communication Studies
Katie Manning, Ph.D., Department of English
Kristen Sipper-Denlinger, Ph.D., Department of English

As feminism struggles to redefine itself in the 21st century, American women find themselves encouraged to “lean in”—to aggressively self-promote and to pursue greater opportunities in employment. At the same time, women teaching in CCCU institutions are always mindful of our work as ministry and vocation. Are these two visions compatible? Is it possible to “lean in” to one’s ministry? Can vocational calling be pursued through self-promotion? Or, to frame the issue differently, is “ministry” being used as a code word to justify oppressive workplace practices? How do our historical contexts for women in ministry and education color the current discussion? The members of our panel will address these questions from our personal experiences as Christian women scholars and from our varying areas of scholarly expertise.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Lessons from the Berlin Wall: The Liberating Power of Writing and Art in Freeing People From Bondage

Jim Willis, Ph.D., Department of Communication Studies

Willis will present from one of his recent books, which focused on the Berlin Wall and some of the forces that helped bring it down 25 years ago. Among those were the brave writers and artists who refused to buckle to their Communist leaders but found ways to rebel and, in some cases, flee the former East Germany. Willis will bring a fresh report from his recent trip to Berlin for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Looking Through a Different Lens: Gender Within Differing Cultural Contexts

Bill Fiala, Ph.D., University Counseling Center
Caroline Carter, M.A., University Counseling Center, Azusa Pacific University Graduate Psychology Program

This presentation will seek to expand participants’ awareness of gender by presenting non-Western understandings of gender expression and identity. Examples will include the Hijra of India, Fa’afafine of Samoa, Two-Spirit people within many Native American cultures, and eunuchs within the ancient Near East. Participants will also gain an awareness of the difference between gender identities and gender expression and be invited to look curiously at the role gender plays in “knowing and being known” uniquely within Western cultures, as well as within their own lives.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Opinions About Homosexuality among Christian College Students: Examining Attitude Functions and Ally Identity

Priscila Diaz, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Nathan Mather, undergraduate, Psychology

This psychology research study examined how in-group social influence could affect college students’ attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, specifically in the Christian university context. Participants were randomly assigned to watch one of three videos demonstrating differing views on the intersection of Christianity and homosexuality. After watching one of these videos, participants then filled out a survey. Significant results were found, such that more-positive attitudes were positively correlated with having more nonheterosexual friends, basing attitudes on past experiences with gay men and lesbians, and having a quest (open) religious orientation. Less-positive attitudes were associated with a defensive attitude function. Female participants were significantly more likely to identify as allies of the LGBTQ community. This session will cover the implications of these findings as they fit into the broader context of current research. Practical applications for inclusivity and reducing discrimination on college campuses will be discussed.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Faith-Based Films: Sacred Cinema or Kingdom Slums?

Thomas Parham, Ph.D., Department of Cinematic Arts
Dean Batali, Television Writer/Producer
Ryan Izay, M.A., Department of Cinematic Arts
Teri Merrick, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy
Christina Lee Storm, Act One, Inc.

The Passion of the Christ’s unprecedented box-office success has incited most major studios to produce films for the Christian market. In 2014 alone, studio releases included Noah, Heaven is for Real, God’s Not Dead, and Exodus: Gods and Kings. But is this a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing? Our panel of media pundits, practitioners, and scholars will discuss whether the quest for “Passion bucks” is an opportunistic trend or a sign that Hollywood has truly found religion. Panelists include television writer/producer Dean Batali (That ’70s Show, What’s Up Warthogs!); film critic and Department of Cinematic Arts adjunct professor Ryan Izay; Teri Merrick, chair and professor of the Department of Philosophy; and Christina Lee Storm, president of Act One, Inc., and a member of the Oscar-winning VFX team for Life of Pi.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Racism Is a Health Care Problem

Edgar Barron, Executive Director, Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity
Megan Mercado, undergraduate, Nursing
Ariel Figueroa, undergraduate, Biochemistry

Doctors and nurses are trusted individuals who are to care for those who are sick. But what if there are certain populations that are sicker than others? In this interesting study, we will explore the role that racism has on the health of individuals of color. Studies have shown that the stress from internalization of daily racism has significant effects on overall health. Additionally, a doctor’s subconscious bias—internalized stereotypes about groups of people—may affect the prescribed treatment of their patients. Therefore, we will also address and bring to light how society shapes the way current health care professionals are affected by stereotypes, and provide awareness to help future health care professionals overcome preconceived bias.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Raising Public Awareness of Severe Child Abuse in Countries That Ratified the U.N.’s Convention on Children’s Human Rights

Shaynah Neshama Bannister, Ph.D., MSW Program, Department of Social Work
Ashley Humphrey, graduate, Social Work
Adriel Ross, graduate, Social Work
Stephanie Meyer, graduate, Social Work
Belen Guerra, graduate, Social Work
Shanknika Ainsworth, graduate, Social Work

The United Nations’ Convention on Children’s Human Rights entered into force on September 2, 1990, and has been signed/ratified by 194 countries. Article 19 states, “States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.” The reality, however, is different. Cases of severe child abuse continue to be widespread among the signatories of the convention, justified under cultural relativism and existing customary laws. Through this presentation, MSW students join forces in their effort to bring public awareness of disturbing practices among Afghanistan Bacha Bazi boys, child labor in Mexico, acid throwing in Iraq, and the one-child policy in China. Research on each topic is coupled with advocacy efforts for immediate changes in the lives of the children affected by these practices.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Seven Wonders of the World: Seek to See the World Through God’s Looking Glass

Catherine Heinlein, Ed.D., RD, CDE, RN, School of Nursing
Christina Hempill, undergraduate, Nursing
Layla Kouyoumdjian, undergraduate, Nursing
Makena Kapur, undergraduate, Nursing
Kim Schwarz, undergraduate, Nursing
Maddie Jackson, undergraduate, Nursing
Selena MacDuff, undergraduate, Nursing

A team of six nursing students and one nursing faculty member prepare a year in advance to realize God’s presence in their lives 8,000 miles away in the city of Kolkata, India. Emotional hardship and deep reflection on God’s ultimate purpose for their lives brought these women to a place of acceptance, dependence, and release—God’s ways are perfect. While nursing application was important, the experiences were more about relationships. While their relationships with Jesus were challenged, their confidence in speaking of Him to others was strengthened. They were able to clearly see God’s love for His people; He challenged them to truly love.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Singing His Glory: Three Latin American Hymnologists and Their Music

César Aroldo Solórzano, Ph.D., Department of Modern Languages

This presentation explores the lives and most important works of three important Latin American hymnologists and the music they created to sing the glory of God and build up His people.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Social Media and Professionalism

Ryan Montague, Ph.D., Department of Communication Studies, Lambda Pi Eta
Dori Eisenthal, undergraduate, Communication Studies
Avalon Wade, undergraduate, Communication Studies
James Dearborn, undergraduate, Communication Studies

This presentation seeks to educate students on how their social media presence affects how prospective employers view them. Social media sites have become a place for self-expression, but employers do not always share the same opinion. It is important for students to build a prominent and appropriate social media presence as a tool for their job hunting. This presentation will inform students on the do’s and don’ts of social media use from the perspective of employers and students who have job hunted or are job hunting.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Struggling Theologians: Theologies of Suffering and Disabilities through the Centuries

Paul Shrier, Ph.D., Department of Practical Theology
Brian Brock, Ph.D., University of Aberdeen, Scotland, Lecturer in Moral and Practical Theology

Brian Brock, Ph.D., is the author or editor of several books and articles, including Captive to Christ, Open to the World: On Doing Christian Ethics in Public (Cascade Books, 2014), and Singing the Ethos of God: On the Place of Christian Ethics in Scripture (Eerdmans, 2007). He is a moral and practical theologian, and a member of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. This talk will be based on John Swinton and Brian Brock’s widely read and highly respected recent book, Disability in the Christian Tradition: A Reader (Eerdmans, 2012). This lecture/discussion will focus on how theologians down through the centuries have struggled to gain Christian perspectives on suffering and disabilities. It will be surprising for students and faculty to hear the range of responses that theologians whose names we all recognize have given to these issues.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
Study Away: Reentry Experience Focus Group Research Results

Heather Castle, M.A., Department of Global Studies
Taylor Gustafson, undergraduate, Global Studies
Paige Lange, undergraduate, Journalism

This session will present the methods used in and the final results of focus groups held through the Center for Global Learning & Engagement. Three focus groups of 3–9 students each were held, with each group focusing on alumni participants of one of three APU study abroad programs (Ecuador, Oxford, and South Africa). Results will highlight the most predominant themes of student experiences while studying away, and how it has effected any shifts in their understanding of God, themselves, and career paths.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
The Aenigma: The Wisdom of 1 Corinthians 13:12 for Christian Living

Matthew Hauge, Ph.D., Department of Biblical Studies
Craig Anderson, Department of Biblical Studies

1 Corinthians 13 has captured the imagination and adorned the weddings of Christian communities for centuries. Despite this, we often overlook the epistemological significance of Paul’s recognition of human limitation in this portion of his correspondence with the church in Corinth, a recognition that is common in the biblical corpus as a whole. What is the aenigma of 1 Corinthians 13:12 and how does it inform the Christian life?

2:30–3:45 p.m.
The Ethics of Caring For Opioid-Dependent Patients: When Discrimination Stands in the Way of Quality Care

Diane Sadoughi, MSN, RN, NP, School of Nursing
Amy Ruth Lunde, undergraduate, Nursing

It is generally known that the nonmedical use of prescription drugs, commonly referred to as “prescription drug abuse,” can lead to physiologic addiction. The consequences of prescription drug abuse, however, go beyond addiction to include social discrimination and stigmatization. Public awareness of these consequences is gradually surfacing as more people are becoming addicted to prescription drugs. As prescription drug addiction becomes more of a problem in America, the population of hospitalized patients with a history of drug dependence increases. It is becoming increasingly crucial, then, that physicians and nurses learn how to care for such patients and the unique needs they have. Unfortunately, data shows that most providers treat opioid-dependent patients with significantly more mistrust and less compassion than they do other patients. This discrimination by health care providers against opioid-dependent patients is unethical, as it results in the patients’ need for management of pain to go unmet.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
The Financial Journey of APU Alumni

Liza Lemkuil, Marketing Specialist, America’s Christian Credit Union
America’s Christian Credit Union Staff and APU Alumni, TBA

Personal finances are hard enough to manage while focusing on getting your degree, but what happens after college if you haven’t been practicing healthy money habits? A panel of APU alumni weighs in on the personal finance journey from college student to retirement and what it means to put God First through it all.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
The Transformative Church: Thoughtful Action and Active Thinking

Patrick Oden, Ph.D., School of Theology
Nicholas White, undergraduate, Theology
Drew Brown, undergraduate, Theology

Justo Gonzalez called liberation theology “a critical reflection on Christian praxis in light of the Word of God.” This is also the task of any engaged theology. In his new book, Oden brings together systematic theology and missional practice, showing how our understanding of God must be transformative in our thinking, feeling, and practices. In this resentation, he will provide an example of this approach and include student voices in their own particular interests and applications so as to begin a conversation.

2:30–3:45 p.m.
U.N. Security Council Member Violates Its Own People’s Security

Shaynah Neshama Bannister, Ph.D., MSW Program, Department of Social Work
Lynn Palin, graduate, Social Work
Aimee Lo, graduate, Social Work

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) calls for political freedom and economic equity for all. According to Article 1, “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” China, as a signatory to the ICCPR and as one of the five permanent UN Security Council members, has taken the duty to assure and monitor the full implementation of the covenant. The facts, however, expose China’s gross violation of its own people’s security. This presentation is an effort of MSW students to bring public awareness of the suffering of two people groups from opposite sides of China’s social spectrum—prisoners and working-class citizens, both subjected to cruel treatment and inhumane living conditions. The research serves as a social work advocacy tool for mitigation of the identified problems.

2:30–3:45 p.m.