Thursday, September 22, 2016

Center for Peace and Spirituality

World peace.
At one point or another, it's been something all our five-year-old selves said we wanted for our birthday gifts.

But then something happened.
We grew up. The world became messy. We caught a glimpse of the news. 
We became disheartened.

Well here at Pacific, we're working to get back to that place of hope. We know that in every one of us, there is a desire for peace and harmony among our friends and neighbors whether it's down the street or across the world. 

That's why we created the Center for Peace and Spirituality. We know that there is more to academia than textbooks and classrooms; we know that there are solutions to world issues all around us. 

So we're searching for them. We're finding those solutions. 

We are bringing peace and hope back into the hearts of our students and our society.

Working alongside other campus centers like the Center for Civic Engagement, the Center for Gender Equity, and the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation, the Center for Peace and Spirituality works to create a welcoming and safe environment for all everyone to explore their spirituality, whether it's through inner reflection, or societal peace and justice.

Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific University where we care about using what we know and the spirituality we abide in to improve the lives of others. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Inclusive Restrooms

Bathrooms; maybe not the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when they think of changing the world, but here at Pacific, we take them pretty seriously.

That’s why we offer over 30 all-gender, single-user restrooms, to serve the needs of our diverse community. Each lockable space includes a toilet and sink and is open to anyone.

Here at Pacific, we’re constantly looking for ways to provide safer spaces for all students, staff, faculty, and community members. That’s why we provide restrooms that help serve the needs of trans and gender nonconforming people, as well as families with children and alter-abled people who may require an attendant of a different gender.

The best part is, they’re offered in over 10 buildings on our Undergraduate campus.
If you’re on our campus, it’s more likely than not that you’ll be near a bathroom that meets your needs, regardless of who you are or how you identify.

We heard the call of students to update our facilities, and we answered. The creation of these restrooms began at the request of the Undergraduate Student Senate, with support from the Professional Student Senate, and the Center for Gender Equity.

Do you want to be a part of a community that is intentional about inclusivity?

Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific University where we celebrate diversity and insist on inclusivity.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Diverse Perspectives

Raise your hand if you think you need to know about people and places around the world, in order to know how best create change?

Yeah, our hand is up too.

Here at Pacific, we believe that changing the world should be integrated into your everyday life; the way you live, the way you vote, the way you do everything, should reflect the type of world that you want to have. This means that one of the four cornerstones for your time at Pacific is International and Diverse Perspectives.
We believe that, in order to effect true world change, we all need to continually increase our awareness of and competency with diverse cultures. If we know how all parts of the world interact to create our current state of being, then we can better know how to change the parts that make our existence less than what we might have hoped for ourselves and for others.

Sounds great, right?

We think so too. Here’s how we do it:
·         Pro-social clubs and organizations, like Black Student Union, which are open to all students for participation.
·         On and off campus events that extend your cultural horizons, whether it be a panel on gender and sexuality diversity, or a serve day on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
·         Study abroad, and immerse yourself in another culture, learning the about the issues most pertinent to that part of the earth.
And if that’s not enough, your cultural horizons will be expanded just by showing up to class. We offer classes that emphasize diverse thinking in everything from Anthropology to Art, and everything in between. If you want to learn how to think more inclusively, and you want to do it through a Music, we even offer that.

Diversity is something we take seriously here at Pacific, and we’re excited that you do too. Come see what we’re all about: contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Professor Highlight 002: Erica Kleinknecht

Professor Highlight 002
Erica Kleinknecht, PhD
How is Dr. Kleinknecht changing the world?

She is a professor of Psychology on our Undergraduate campus who has been dedicated to giving her knowledge away to those who will use it to better the lives of those around them. She’s passionate about Psychology because it's a field that has so much to offer the world and current social issues.

What does it mean to you to be a professor dedicated to community engagement?
Part of our job description as faculty members is to engage in “service” to our community. The traditional definition of community service, to university faculty, is the academic community. I want my work to have a broader impact too though, so I additionally choose to follow a different definition of community. That is, one can also define community as the local community – the folks and organizations we live with outside the university and research settings. I do this too – find ways to apply my professional and personal skills outside “the academy”. As I do this, I blend my personal interests in helping the community with my professional teaching and scholarship. 

Could you elaborate on how you apply yourself to the varying definitions of a civically engaged professor?
1. Public Intellectual - As a public intellectual, I “give psychology away.” When folks ask, I provide them with print resources and offer suggestions for how to put research and theory into practice in their lives and work, as relevant. For example, several years ago, the principal of the Forest Grove Community School asked me if some students and I could build a school-wide curricular package for her teachers to use, to help boost the social-cognitive development of the student body. We did that, and some (though not all) of the activities were adopted by a few of the teachers there and at other local elementary schools as well.
2. Civic EngagementIn the spirit of “service learning” for several years running students enrolled in my Child Development Class have been placed in a local elementary classroom where they simultaneously help out in the classroom and conduct observational work that brings course content to life for them (in fact, I have been doing this with my students for longer than the center for civic engagement has been in operation). My students have worked in this capacity in the on-campus Early Learning Community and in the Forest Grove Community School.
3. Applied Research Mentor - Using the volunteer projects mentioned below, I create applied research experiences for appropriate students, that is, students with civic minded and research interests. Over the years, several students have worked on the Pixel Arts project and the Perspective Taking project in a variety of ways.
  • Pixel Arts program mentors: Pacific students have been trained and then volunteered in Pixel Arts camps and After School Programs 
  • Pixel Arts program evaluators: Pacific students have worked alongside me in designing, analyzing, and writing up assessment reports. Our reports are often presented at peer reviewed research conferences
  • Perspective Taking programming: Pacific students take my program curricula and use them in elementary classrooms. As they do this, they provide students with meaningful opportunities 
Why do you feel it is important for you to share your knowledge?
I believe that the work we do as experimental psychologists has much to offer the world, and so I work to make that information accessible as much as I can. In terms of how I work to make the world a better place then, I blend my personal and professional interests and skills.I work to blur the lines between scholarship and life, in both directions too. Not only do I take my students out into the world, but I also bring the world into my classrooms. I blend social issues and facilitate discussions on how to handle them in all the courses I teach. I train students to be critical thinkers and I offer them opportunities to take what they are learning and apply it to real-world challenges, just as I do myself.

Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific; a University that has professors who are passionate about change.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Whole Student: From Sports to Theater

How is Pacific University changing the world?
By engaging the whole student.
We know that you're here to study what you're passionate about. And we also know that that is not the only thing you are passionate about.
Whether it's FootballBoard GamesMusicUltimate Frisbee, or Theater, there is a way for you to be involved and express yourself in every way you can imagine. With over 60 clubs and organizations, and one-third of our student body participating in a varsity sport, there are plenty of ways for you to have a wholistic college experience at Pacific.
Now, how does that change the world?
Well, we know that you are at your best when you are able to express every part of who you are. And when you're at your best, you're best able to connect with those around you, and help them in whatever ways they need help.
On top of that, Pacific empowers you to be successful in whatever career you might dream of, and helps you to become a well-rounded professional who can connect with others on many personal levels, like interests and hobbies, making them feel even more welcome and excited to be working with you.
That's why we support the whole student here at Pacific. We know that it makes you better now, and in your future career.
Want to have four years of excellent academics, giving back to the community, and having fun while doing it all? Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific; a University that likes wants you to express exactly who you are.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Alumni Highlight 001: Mia Prohaska

Alumni Highlight 001: 
Mia Prohaska '16, BSW

Mia Prohaska graduated in 2016 with a Bachelors degree in Social Work, and a heart for the people around her. Read on to hear how Pacific gave her the tools she needed to change the world.

What was your favorite part of Pacific and why?
I love the community feel Pacific has, both the students and staff have are so welcoming and encouraging. I don’t think I would have become the person I am today without the encouragement Pacific gave me. I truly felt accepted and included in the Pacific community.

What was your favorite service project you participated in at Pacific? Why?
Well I worked for the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) so this is really hard! I would have to say the Thanksgiving I hosted with the students from Saudi Arabia. It was such a special time where two cultures came together and celebrated unity. I think now more than ever it is important to celebrate diversity. That day was just filled with some much joy, love and great food; I don’t think I’ll ever forget that Thanksgiving, and all the amazing students that made it so special! Plus who doesn’t like a service event with delicious food!

What are you most passionate about, when it comes to “making the world a better place”?
This is hard because there are so many great ways to make the world a better place and I am in general just a pretty passionate person. I think my greatest passion is youth empowerment; I think it is so important that kids feels safe and welcomed in their daily environments. I think our school system really expects kids to be great at everything, and kids really feel that pressure at an early age. You can have a student who is incredible at something, maybe art or writing, but because they struggle with math they go through the school system feeling as if they are inadequate. I think it’s so important that we work to really shine a light on each and every persons individual strengths instead of their weaknesses. Using someone’s own personal strengths to build them up is what empowerment is all about to me. Whether I am working in the political sphere, international sphere, or local sphere that is what I hope to do with my life. 

How did Pacific help you in your aims to “make the world a better place”?
I got to major in social work which is all about making the world a better place. Because of my major I got to have so many hands on experiences with different populations. My biggest experience was my 440 hour practicum I was able to do with Representative Joe Gallegos. I was actually able to  help him form policy that will reintroduce social workers into the Oregon school system.

Working for the CCE for four years also helped me make the world a better place; it was basically my job to do just that. I was able to work with so many incredible students in the community. I was able to teach cooking, form an elementary explorers club, and do tons of fun arts and craft activities thanks to my time at the CCE. When I look back I have so many incredible memories because of my work there. I don’t think I would be where I am today without the CCE. 

How were you able to use your academics at Pacific to “make the world a better place”?
Well thanks to all the amazing academic experience Pacific gave me I was awarded a Fulbright to Thailand. I now get to live my dream of being a teacher in my favorite place ever for a year. I know with the skills I have learned in social work and through personal experiences I am going to make a difference in my students' lives and hopefully make the world a better place. 

Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific; a University that's empowering passionate students to become alumni who are prepared to make a difference in our world.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Academic Highlight 001: Health Professions

Academic Highlight 001: 
Health Professions 

Heath and happiness often go hand in hand.

Here at Pacific, we know that one huge way you can make the world a better place, is by helping people be and feel healthy. If people can spend less time worrying about their injured knee, then they can spend more time doing the things they love.

That's why we take care to study how we can all take better care of our bodies. And we do it pretty well too.

We have nearly every undergraduate field of study under the sun, ranging from Biology, to Exercise Science, to Vision Science. If you want to help people live healthier lives, you can do it at Pacific.

As if that wasn't enough, those same undergraduate programs also give back to the community through their coursework. Every Pacific student completes a Civic Engagement course, which gives you a chance to use your passions to make the community a better place. Whether that's running a free yoga class at a retirement home, helping a faculty member work out a fitness plan, or creating a relaxation room for youth, you can get college credit to help people live healthier lives as an undergraduate student at Pacific. 

And with graduate programs ranging from Physical Therapy, to Optometry, to Physician Assistant Studies, and beyond, you can also become a certified health care professional through your time at Pacific. And better yet, we can give you the tools you need to be a competitive applicant into any one of those health professions graduate schools, so you can get out and use your degree to improve the lives of others.

Want to make the world a better place by helping people feel healthier?
You can do that and so much more here at Pacific.
Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific; a University that's empowering passionate students to help others live healthier and happier lives.