Concordia alumna, Skyler Kamaka ('11), a former exercise and sport science major and premier athlete on the Cavalier volleyball team, was crowned Miss Hawai'i in 2012.
As a native of Kaneohe, Hawai'i and graduate of the distinguished Kamehameha School, Skyler was a perfect ambassador for her home state. Describing the moment she won Miss Hawai'i, Skyler says, "My heart was racing while I was waiting. As soon as they called my name I was in shock. I couldn't breathe. I am just so honored."
Kamaka went on to use her title to promote the issue of disabilities, especially in young athletes. As someone who struggled to overcome dyslexia to achieve her career goals, she wanted to serve as a role model to young people, showing them that if you set your mind to something, you can accomplish it. She spent much of her tenure as Miss Hawai'i involved with the Special Olympics. Additionally, she learned to have empathy for those with disabilities by watching the example of her family. Her family's company, Kamaka Hawai'i Inc., manufactures ukuleles – and has employed the hearing impaired since 1955, a time when the disabled were often considered a liability.
Friends and supporters at Concordia watched anxiously as she continued on to compete for the crown of Miss America in January, 2013. She competed alongside 53 other contestants from across the United States and her territories. She danced the hula for her talent segment and braved the often controversial question-and-answer segment with grace. Skyler had the opportunity to meet dignitaries from around the country and educate them on the important social issues facing her home state. Although she did not end up winning the crown, she is honored to have made it to the national level. Next up, Skyler has plenty of work ahead of her in handing off the Miss Hawai'i crown to the next young woman chosen, and she will serve as a source of mentorship for her successor and future Miss Hawai'i winners. Skyler brought, "her hula, her smile, and her Aloha spirit" and her alma mater could not be more proud.
Three Oregon Governors – Atiyeh, Kulongoski and Kitzhaber – and 600 attendees filled the Kridel Grand Ballroom at the Portland Art Museum February 5 to raise funds for Concordia student scholarships.
The second annual Concordia University Governor Victor Atiyeh Leadership in Education Awards (VALE), presented by HotChalk Inc, recognized two honorees -- Ken Thrasher and the late Dick Alexander -- for their leadership in early childhood education in Oregon.
Following the event, 120 iPads were donated to Faubion School by presenting sponsor HotChalk Inc. The iPads will be used by students and educators to help improve access to technology.
Keynote speaker Salman Khan shared his story of founding and growing Khan Academy an online educational site that now sees seven million users each month. He emphasized its mission to provide "A free world class education for anyone, anywhere," and closed the event by stating his view that "Education should be a right, like drinking water."
This year's 2013 Atiyeh Scholars include the following 16 Concordia University students: Anab Abdirahman, Temari Asazuki, Scott Cozza, Marcie Fitzgerald, Megan Haug, Emmanuel Henreid, Feliza Lopez-Sanchaez, Shannon Mackaben, Jennifer McDonnell, Danetta Monk, Damien Ntawumpora, Sable Phillipi, Yuki Rutherford, Naiby Tejero, Angela Tsoumas, and Leily Villela.
Concordia is pioneering education innovation in the region by preparing the next generation of teachers. The university's greatest growth over the past few years has come from its Masters of Education degree programs online. And beginning this May, Concordia will launch an Ed.D. program, both on-campus and online.
Amber Neeck is one of those students that everyone feels welcomed around. A native of Kehei, Hawai'i, she is a third year Resident Assistant here at Concordia, leading the Coates Apartments Global Community this year. For the past two years, she led Elizabeth Hall as the Resident Assistant.
Besides being an RA, Amber is an active member in the Concordia Nerd Alliance, Mafia Game Club, and Ultimate Frisbee Club. She is president of the Video Club, volunteers for ASCU activities, and is involved with L.E.S.T.'s Lutheran malaria initiative.
When asked what caused her to make the big move to Portland, Amber notes that while she loves her home state, she was looking to expand her exposure to life outside the Island. "You can't get bored in Portland," she says. "There is every type of person, food…crazy stores to explore." Amber also enjoys the diversity of outdoor activities in the area. "I like the rain which is part of the reason I chose Concordia. The part of Hawai'i I'm from doesn't get much rain." Like many students and alums, Amber was drawn to Concordia due to its small size and community feeling. "At Concordia, students actually have a voice. I would have an idea and then approach a professor or administrator and tell them about it. Their response would be, 'Okay, how can we make it happen?' "This willingness to listen to student ingenuity and creativity continues to cause her to feel genuinely "part of a school, not like I'm just another student on the roster."
Amber also appreciates the various outlets for faith exploration and development that Concordia offers. She detailed how when she was selecting a school, she wanted an environment where students shared similar Christian values, and had other goals besides partying. And while Amber admits that her faith development still involves some questioning, Christian values do guide her life and she appreciates that cohesiveness throughout her college experience.
Dr. Michael Thomas, professor of Humanities and Theology, served as the Visiting Faculty member for the AHA International Studies program in Siena, Italy this past fall semester. He was joined by sixteen students from eight different universities, including four students from Concordia. Dr. Thomas taught two courses: Apostles, Martyrs, Emperors, and Popes: Christianity in Italy from Christ to the Reformation, and Emperors, Slaves, Gladiators, and Centurions: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. While he teaches similar courses at Concordia, these classes took on a much different context in Tuscany. In Italy, the classes were able to make more than dozen excursions to Tuscan hill towns such as San Gimignano and Montepulciano, visit Renaissance cities like Florence and Pienza, and explore the Christian sites connected to Saints Peter, Paul, Catherine of Siena, and Francis of Assisi. The courses came alive as the students walked through churches, monasteries, piazzas, and the ruins of the Roman Empire.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Thomas was also a student in Italy. He worked on increasing his fluency in Italian and took an Art History course on the Renaissance Masters alongside his students.
Along with all the memories, two highlights of this semester abroad stand out. The first is that he undertook this adventure with his 13 year-old-son who rapidly learned Italian and mastered the back alley passages through the medieval, walled city on his way to school. The other is that he really got to know the students in the program. Each Wednesday they gathered together for "family night." Opening the kitchens of the three adjacent apartments, all the students gathered together to cook and share an elaborate meal. Utilizing the knowledge gained in their Tuscan cooking class, a competition ensued each week to see who could cook the best dish! "It was a wonderful way to get to know the students and to share time together outside of the classroom!"
Join us on Wednesday, April 17 at McMenamin's Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave in Portland, to learn more about Concordia University's MBA program (Concordia alumni receive 20% off tuition!). Meet professors, speak with current and past students, and get information about the program and the application process. Selections of wine and cheese will be served along with a variety of tasty appetizers and refreshments. Doors open at 6:00 pm with the program beginning at 6:30 pm. To RSVP, please visit concordiamba.com or call 503-280-8501. For more information, go to www.concordiamba.com.
Concordia University-Portland, Oregon alumni qualify for a special Concordia Alumni Grant equal to 20% off tuition on most graduate programs. This grant applies exclusively to programs offered on campus or online by Concordia University-Portland, including Master in Education, Teaching, Business Administration, and the Doctorate in Education. This grant is available to alumni graduating from any of the 10 Concordia University campuses who attend Concordia University-Portland, Oregon. Call 503-280-8501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about the new grant and a list for approved programs. For a list of Concordia University System schools, please visit: http://www.lcms.org/cuscampuses.
Mark your calendar now for the Annual Spring Concert! Sunday, April 21 at 3:00 pm at St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 6700 NE 29th Ave, adjacent to the Concordia campus. This concert features all of our choral and instrumental ensembles.
For more information on the concerts and about Concordia University's music program visit: www.cu-portland.edu/music.
Concordia University-Portland is pleased to announce that our Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program has received approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Launching in May, 2013, this doctorate degree program is designed to prepare candidates to become transformation leaders in education, ready to make an immediate and long-term positive impact in schools, government, academia, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Candidates can complete the program on campus or online.
"Our new doctorate in education emphasizes the personal relationships between student peers and professors that Concordia is known for, by grouping students in cohorts of 15 to travel through the 3-4 year program together," said Joe Mannion, Dean of the College of Education.
Concordia alumni receive a grant equal to 20% off tuition for enrolling in the doctorate of education program.
For more information about the Concordia doctorate program, visit landing.cu-portland.edu/doctorate-teaching or call the office of admissions at 1-800-321-9371.
On March 23rd, 2013, Concordia University will host the third annual TEDxConcordiaUPortland event. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of smaller, local events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
Kicking off at 8:00 am, TEDxConcordiaUPortland 2013 will be filled with inspiring speakers, exciting performances, delicious food, and fascinating conversations. A variety of entrepreneurs, artists, and activists will present their ideas worth spreading, and attendees will leave the day ready to take action in whichever figurative or literal direction they choose.
Direction and speed are key ideas this year given the 2013 theme, Velocity. According to Sean Wheaton, TEDxConcordiaUPortland planning team member, the theme was chosen by the TEDxConcordiaUPortland planning team because it reflects the growing sense of purpose we're seeing take shape within our community. We're all heading in different directions, at different speeds, and with different purposes. Every day, people move forward, change course, or stop what they're doing in the name of positive action. Much like a bicycle, our community is composed of different parts that are unique in terms of origin, placement, and construction. Each piece was fashioned separately by someone, but together each piece contributes something meaningful to the larger, moving whole. When the wheels start turning and the gears begin propelling us forward, we move as one towards a collective goal.
On March 23rd, 2013, we want to celebrate this. Attendees will hear ideas worth spreading that reflect the actions people have taken in their lives, and by the end of the day we'll understand our community Velocity. We'll see people who've followed the paths they were on or who set out anew, fueled by passion and encouraged by their community to achieve a variety of accomplishments. Our speakers are the entrepreneurs, artists, leaders, and innovators that you see every day and who comprise each and every one of us.
Like our 2012 event, be prepared to see familiar faces both on and off stage. Speakers from our previous two events will be in attendance, and past attendees will be playing more active roles. Following the 2012 tradition of a Guest Curated session (2011 speaker Jefferson Smith), a session at the 2013 event will include a Guest Curator who originally spoke at the 2012 event.
TEDxConcordiaUPortland began in 2011 with the theme Think.Inspire.Go. This inaugural event brought about several traditions that will carry into 2013, including a tasty breakfast, on-stage art installation, inspiring speakers, a food cart lunch, more speakers, and a wealth of inspiration. While the 2011 stage spotlight was on local personalities and organizations who are unique to the city of Portland, the focus of 2012 was on Becoming Extraordinary. All of the day's speakers illustrated the theme through their stories, ideas and performances, and attendees left knowing that they, too, were capable of extraordinary feats.
Now the momentum from the two events has blossomed into a community that is moving in all kinds of directions. In addition to the relationships that have developed between many of our speakers and attendees, Portland based companies Pop Art and Forix collaborated to design the TEDxConcordiaUPortland website, and design firm Band is working on branding and design for 2013 and beyond.
You can find out about all of the 2013 speakers and event details on our website, TEDxConcordiaUPortland.com. There you can also find information about past events with links to previous talks. Finally, leading up to and following the event our planning team has organized TEDx Adventures - small, fun events taking place in the community with speakers and partners.
We look forward to seeing you on March 23rd! Tickets for TEDxConcordiaUPortland 2013 go on sale January 30th 2013. Go to our website to purchase tickets and get ready to find your Velocity!
Do you have a friend who can benefit from one of our graduate programs? Refer them to Concordia University and you may be rewarded. Every semester, we draw a name from those who referred a friend, family member, or colleague who ends up enrolling in one of our graduate education programs (MAT or M.Ed.) and reward them with a gift card for $150. For the MBA, every person who refers a student who ends up enrolling in the program receives a $50 gift card. To refer someone to one of our graduate programs, call 503-280-8501.
Our most recent winner of the $150 referral drawing for graduate education programs is Jenny Gronholm-Santos. Jenny is a 2011 MAT alumnus who was a member of the elementary ed cohort. After graduating she worked in a long-term sub position at Washington Elementary in Vancouver, WA. She was then hired as a full-time teacher there for the 1st grade.
To celebrate her new position, she travelled to Guatemala to visit her grandmother for a month. (This photo was taken by Atitlan Lake in Guatemala.) She is grateful for her education at Concordia and feels the level of preparedness of herself and other Concordia graduates is often noticed by other educators. Congratulations, Jenny!
Join Rev. Dr. Norman Metzler and his wife Mary on an inspiring and informative 14 day tour of Israel and Jordan. From November 2 through 15, 2013, you will visit the sites of biblical significance, including the very land and locations where Jesus lived and walked: Nazareth, Galilee, the Jordan River (for baptismal renewal in the same river in which Jesus was baptized!), Jericho, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem. Local guides will explain the history and significance of each location. And you will enjoy fine overnight accommodations arranged by Group Travel Directors, known for quality tours. For further information and questions contact Prof. Metzler at 360-254-1874, or email email@example.com.
Check out the University calendar for a complete list of all that is happening at Concordia.