Featured Topics


Free the Captives

9-9:45 a.m., Duke 123

Kennedy Boeve, Undergraduate Student, Public Relations

Free the Captives is an on-campus group fighting human trafficking, and in this presentation addresses the different forms of trafficking globally and locally, what is being done to end the practice, and how the community can get involved. Resources will be available to provide ways to get involved with us.

Sense of Belonging Among Sexual Minorities in Religious Spaces

9-9:45 p.m., Duke 520

Tori Jones, Undergraduate Student, Psychology
Nicole Minor, Undergraduate Student, Psychology
Rey Gonzales, Undergraduate Student, Psychology

We hypothesized that students at Azusa Pacific University who are sexual minorities feel a lower sense of belonging in religious spaces. We chose to research this topic due to current events on campus and the lack of research addressing this issue. We are among the first to research sense of belonging among sexual minorities in religious spaces, and particularly at a Christian college. A questionnaire was sent to students at APU regarding demographics and sense of belonging, as well as open-ended questions asking students to express how they felt about certain topics. The expected results of this study are that students who are sexual minorities at APU feel a lesser sense of belonging in religious spaces than those who are not of a sexual minority. The presenters state what data the research found, with little diversion.

Theology of the Body: The Biblical Vision for Sex, Love, and Marriage

10-10:45 p.m., Duke 513

Andre Villeneuve, Ph.D., Honors College

Since the sexual revolution, our world has witnessed seismic shifts in its understanding of sex, love, marriage, and most recently of the very identity of the human person as created male and female in the image of God. These changes have occurred so quickly that many Christians today are at a loss as to how to respond to them. One significant contribution to this topic has been the “Theology of the Body,” a series of teachings popularized by Pope John Paul II that unveils the beauty of God’s plan for human love. This profound biblical reflection on the Christian vision of love and sexuality has been called “a theological time bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences…perhaps in the 21st century.” This presentation will introduce the “Theology of the Body” as a faithfully biblical and Christian response to the challenges posed by today’s sexual ethics and gender ideology. This rich biblical vision of human love reveals that “today’s sexual confusion is not caused because the world glorifies sexuality, but because the world fails to see its glory.”

Evaluation of Student Experiences on the APU Campus to Inform University Initiatives, Policies, and Practices

10-10:45 p.m., Duke 520

Elenoa Tupouniua, Undergraduate Student, Social Work
Itati Osorio, Undergraduate Student, Social Work
Patty Floyd, Undergraduate Student, Social Work

The American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare has identified 12 Grand Challenges that call social workers to address some of the most challenging social issues in the U.S. Based on data collected from various APU departments, three social work seniors present empirical research projects, as a requirement for the Bachelor of Social Work program, that address at least one of the 12 Grand Challenges. All three projects are based on data provided by Azusa Pacific University, and look at issues such as raising awareness about sexual assault among undergraduates at APU, which relates to the Grand Challenge of achieving equal opportunity and justice; the extent and experience of food insecurity, which relates to the Grand Challenge of reducing extreme economic inequality; and perceived barriers to social work student-led research projects, which affects all Grand Challenges since research informs social work practice across all specialties of social work. Together, implications of their research inform initiatives, practices, and policies at APU regarding sexual assault awareness, food insecurity, and barriers to social work student-led research projects.

Blueprint for Life

Pop Culture Blueprints

9-9:45 a.m., Duke 515

Marcia Berry, Ph.D., Communication Studies and Honors College

Popular culture articles often suggest a blueprint for your life, telling you whether someone is interested in you, how you should interview for that next position, and so on. You should, however, ask if the advice is good advice. Come and learn whether many of these pop culture blueprints are correct, as the Nonverbal Communication students whose presentations were voted the best by their classmates document their researched analysis of many pop culture blueprints. Their analyses may save you some costly mistakes! The following students analyze the veracity of the nonverbal concepts in the following popular culture articles:

“Five Ways to Tell that Someone Likes You” by Jack Schafer
Michael Cerfogli, Undergraduate Student, Communication Studies and Honors College

“The Body Language Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making at Work, According to Experts” by Sophia Gottfried
April Rivera Marmol, Undergraduate Student, Communication Studies and Honors College

“11 Ways to Use Body Language to Get What You Want” by Jayson DeMers
Kimberly Sermeno, Undergraduate Student, Communication Studies and Honors College

When You Know It, You Show It: An Analysis of “A Body-Language Expert Explains Why Jenna and Channing Were Always Touching” by Elizabeth Narins
Anne Shiraishi, Undergraduate Student, Communication Studies and Honors College

Ladders to Jungle Gyms: Discerning and Discovering Your Future in Today’s World of Work

10-10:45 a.m., Duke 125

Stephanie Fitch, M.S., Career and Calling
Alexandra Oliva, M.A., Career and Calling
Andrew Henck, M.A., Career and Calling

“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:11-12 (NLT) Do you know what could be next in your professional future? Have you been struggling to identify God’s calling on your life? Are you ready to explore and narrow down the possibilities? This interactive session provides participants with guided exercises to brainstorm future pathways while reviewing the latest literature on career development theories and the changing world of work. Participants receive practical tips and relevant resources to support their career discovery and exploration process. The session concludes with a Q&A with specialists from APU’s Career Center.

S.H.A.P.E.: Your God-given Design for Work and Service

1:30-2:15 p.m., Duke 127

Jody Wilkinson, MD, Kinesiology

This presentation explores the S.H.A.P.E. concept as a faith-integrated curriculum for helping students explore their vocational identity. The S.H.A.P.E. process includes identifying (S) spiritual gifts, (H) passions, (A) abilities and skills, (P) personality, and (E) life experiences. This curriculum represents a unique tool for enhancing the quality of service to our undergraduate population by intentionally supporting them in developing a vocational identity distinctly aligned with God’s call and design for their lives.

Is Graduate School the Right Next Step for You?

1:30-2:15 p.m., Duke 520

Joseph Bentz, Ph.D., English, and Alpha Chi Scholars Association
Brian Eck, Ph.D., Psychology
William Watkins, Graduate and Professional Admissions

In fields as widely varying as psychology, medicine, theology, law, nursing, and others, many 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 Alpha Chi Scholars Association, an organization dedicated to helping good students get into graduate school, will answer questions as widely varying 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?

Creating Your Relationship Blueprint

2:30-3:15 p.m., Duke 127

Julie Whipple, University Counseling Center
Austin Johnson, University Counseling Center

Romantic relationships are a major part of many people’s lives. This presentation will help students think through important topics and create a plan for how to proceed with romantic relationships. Topics will include: dating, how to define the relationship (DTR), boundaries, and conflict management.

Our Footprint in Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

Duke 507

Louise Ko Huang, Ph.D., Center for Research in Science, Biology and Chemistry

This symposium explores and discusses:

9-9:45 a.m. Results from the Recent Carbon Cycle Report and National Climate Assessment
Louise Ko Huang, Ph.D., Center for Research in Science, Biology and Chemistry

10-10:45 a.m. Microorganisms and Plastics with Regard to Climate Change
Sarah Richart, Ph.D., Biology and Chemistry

1:30-2:15 p.m. Practical Ways to Reduce Carbon Footprint through Polystyrene-Free Azusa (PFA)
Nathan Nunez, Undergraduate Student, Kinesiology

2:30-3:15 p.m. Sustainable Societies: What Do They Look Like?
Richard Slimbach, Ph.D., Global Studies

3:30-4:15 p.m. History of Complex Issues in the Church: Comparing Heliocentrinism and Climate Change
Rachel Roller, Undergraduate Student, Chemistry and Honors College
Louise Ko Huang, Ph.D., Center for Research in Science, Biology and Chemistry