Seattle Pacific University: Connections Alumni News

Summer 2009 | Volume 3, Issue 3

Job Seeker? SPU's Got Your Back

Job Applicants

Searching for a job this summer? While we all know that it's a difficult job market this year, still there are good jobs available, and SPU alumni are fortunate to have great assistance available from the Career Center.

So rather than allow fear and anxiety to overtake you, focus your energies on creating or finding the work to which you truly feel called. Here are a few highlights of how career services and resources at SPU can help alumni seeking employment. For more information or to access these resources, visit the Career Center.

  • Workshops. A terrific video series on "How to Find a Job in the Current Economy" created specifically for our alumni is on iTunes.

  • JobLink. SPU's proprietary online posting system for job and internship openings (both SPU-specific and local/national job postings).

  • Career Beam. Career assessments and tools for managing your job search, as well as great databases for researching organizations, industries, and companies.

  • Career Counseling and Resume Assistance. For one year after graduation, alumni are eligible for unlimited counseling/coaching appointments in the Career Center. After that, alumni can access one free appointment yearly and subsequent appointments at vastly reduced rates.

  • Network, Network, Network. While the term "networking" may initially have negative connotations, think of it rather as cultivating a community of people who share your interests and passions. This will allow you to be inquisitive, to eagerly meet new people, and be open to the future by getting involved with like-minded others. Join Linked-In, especially the SPU alumni network, and become a member of the new SPU Career Center Network.

So while job hunting can feel overwhelming, it helps tremendously to have the support of your alma mater behind you, and to access career resources at SPU that can make the process much less daunting!

Quality Schools International Recruit in Seattle

Learning in the ClassroomMedallion Award honorees Jim Gilson ‘56 and Duane Root ‘57 wanted to create a nonprofit secular private educational experience taught by experienced international educators, business executives, and diplomats who recognized the special needs of international students. Today, Quality Schools International (QSI) has 35 schools in 25 countries from Armenia to Venezuela.

Despite global economic change, QSI schools experienced a nine percent growth rate in 2008–09.

By several standards, QSI is one of the most successful private K–12 school systems in the world. It was created by two men who remained true to their faith and are quick to give God the credit for their success. For 37 years, they have walked a careful line in hiring Christian teachers and staff, wherever possible, to educate students with numerous religious affiliations, or none at all.

"Whether a person is an atheist, a Bible Baptist, or a Hindu, they are not going to have a problem with the honesty and integrity that we teach along with science, communication, and math skills," says Gilson.

Last month, QSI's annual meeting was again held in Seattle on the SPU campus, where scores of their teachers and directors come from around the world for training. Gilson and Root typically hire approximately 150 new teachers and administrators each year. They have been especially delighted by several Seattle Pacific graduates who have joined the faculty over time. Mark Boyd ‘76, for example, was QSI's pioneer teacher in Yemen.

"We're always looking for more," says Root. "It's a huge world out there, and we need people who want to change it for the good."

Alumni interested in more information about teaching opportunities with QSI should visit the QSI website and submit an application (and send an email to indicating interest.) QSI is particularly interested in hiring married teaching couples.

Ranch Offers Hope to Stressed Families

A Youth from Yellowstone Boys and Girls RanchIn its 52nd year of operation, Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch (YBGR) is recognized as one of the top 10 private employers in Montana's Yellowstone County. Bob McFarlane ‘50 was the facility's first superintendent, which included running the farming operations, planting and cultivating the harvest, repairing machinery, and managing the staff.

Son Glenn McFarlane ‘72 studied business administration at Seattle Pacific and became director of marketing and admissions at the ranch in 1990, and then chief financial officer in 1992. Today he is president and CEO, and well-known for his servant leadership approach to the job.

Glenn's daughter, Carey McFarlane McMann '03; his sister, Gloria McFarlane Dady '74; and his niece, Michelle Dady Bakke '04 have upheld the family's SPU tradition to the second and third generations.

In addition to focusing on the caring part that is vital to the ranch's success, Glenn says good stewardship of money, resources, people, and talent are needed for such a complex operation to succeed.

Guiding principle number one under which the McFarlanes and their team have operated is, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, based on our belief in God."

Upon that foundation, Yellowstone has helped more than 4,500 youth and their families with behavioral and mental health issues through intensive residential treatment and extensive community-based services. Nationally recognized, the ranch three years ago received a $700,000 grant from the U.S. departments of Labor; Health and Human Services; and Education.

Among the therapies employed are equine-assisted psychotherapy, including some rodeo events such as barrel-racing and team-roping, and therapeutic work experiences. Students take classes in the arts, horticulture, computers, welding, and woodworking, among others.

YGBR and its accredited school, Yellowstone Academy, employ more than 500 people in Billings, Montana, and other communities in the state. For information about career opportunities, you can visit the YGBR website or email Human Resource Coordinator Mark Jaskot.

A New Addition: Long Distance

Grady walking with the help of Shad KayserShad Kayser ‘00 says the recipe for absorbing an adopted child into your home is relatively simple: "Feed them, love them, teach them about Jesus, and … pray, pray, pray."

The director of sales for YRC Worldwide Inc. and his wife, Jennifer, believed God wanted them to expand their family of three biological children — Griffin, Grant, and Garrett — through adoption.

They sensed one other thing strongly. They should go looking for adoptable children in Ukraine.

With the help of Leavenworth, Washington-based Orphan's Hope, they made their way through nine months of paperwork and immigration preparation to the Ukrainian city of Krivoy Rog. There they met 4-year-old Grady (all the names of their children begin with "G"), a Down syndrome child, and orphan since birth.

They also found 10-year-old Grace (Liera is her Ukrainian name), who had been neglected by her birth mother. Grace is allowed to phone her two biological siblings in Ukraine every few weeks.

How was it expanding the Kayser family in the midst of a slumping US economy? "We get that question a lot," says Shad. "God said ‘yes' all along the way, and to think that a matter of a little money should get in the way? To this day, I don't know how the math added up, but it did. For a business major, that's hard. I deal with money every day. This one was a walk of faith." A combination of gifts, grants, church support, savings, and some divinely timed work bonuses helped cover the cost.

Shad admits the adoption has its challenges. Grady does not walk, is not toilet trained, and requires special nutrition and physical therapy. For Grace, the transition has been mostly emotional — a language barrier, tackling a new culture, and missing her friends and siblings.

"I don't feel that everyone is called to adopt and parent an orphan, but I do feel that each of us is called to participate, donate, pray for, and show love to make the lives of widows and orphans better," says Shad, citing James 1:27. "We are all adopted into the family of God; without the love and ‘adoption' of our heavenly Father, we would all have a terrible (eternal) destiny."

The Kaysers hope to find a "forever family" for two Ukrainian boys, Igor and Edic, brothers who know Jesus, and who are healthy, athletic, and studying English.

The Kaysers welcome alumni to their blog to check out the archive section January to March of this year for day-to-day information on their adoption journey. Try the delicious Ukrainian pancake recipe while you're there!

"Martha? Have You Seen My Yearbook?"

If Martha hasn't seen your yearbook, or perhaps it was lost in the move or accidentally left on the shore of a remote wilderness lake last vacation, take heart. The Alumni Office may just have a spare copy.

SPU yearbooks from 26 different years since, and including 1950, are yours free for the asking! The only catch is that due to the high cost of shipping and handling, the yearbooks will not be mailed. They may instead be picked up in the Alumni Office on-campus during regular work hours.

Here are the yearbooks on hand:

1950 1961 1972 1981 1990 2000
1951 1962 1975 1984 1991 2001
1953 1967 1976 1985 1993 2002
    1977 1986 1994 2007
      1987 1995  

Come on by!

Did You Know?

John Terwilliger ‘81 never rowed before attending SPU but went on to earn a silver medal in the sport at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Team Soccer Mommy (consisting of six male SPU students) was this year's intramural soccer team to beat.

The Falcon athletic mascot, the winner in a 1934 campus contest, was voted in by the students "because of the raptor's aggressive nature and deadly hunting instincts."

President's Blog Invites Your Participation

Many of the things on SPU President Philip W. Eaton's mind can now be found on his new blog, "Saturday Morning From My Study."

Through the blog, he shares his thoughts about big ideas, current events, and cultural trends and concerns. His aim? To engage blog visitors in a conversation about how the Christian gospel speaks into today's culture in order to make the world a better place.

You're invited to read the posts and book reviews, watch exclusive videos, and hear about special offers relating to the subject matter. Most importantly, you're invited to join this important conversation on "things that matter." Together we can envision a world, the president says, "where hope abounds, where all God's children might flourish."

Join the SPU Online Alumni Community

Membership has its privileges, and because you are an SPU alum, you have exclusive and free access to the cyber community of SPU's online alumni directory. Register, search for friends, make new connections, and share in the legacy that is Seattle Pacific University.

Enjoy Alumni Access to the SPU Library

Discover wonderful library resources available to you at SPU's library. To order your own free alumni library card, call Linda Nolte at 206-281-ALUM.

SPU Twitter Accounts Invite You to Follow Along

Be super informed! Follow the SPU Bird for fun, informal, insider scuttlebutt on your favorite alma mater. For the latest SPU news and happenings, follow Tracy Norlen, SPU's news and media relations manager.

Link to Athletics for Automatic Updates

To stay current with Falcon Athletics news, visit the Falcons website and sign up for periodic updates. Go Falcons!

Calling All Alums

IF you know an SPU alum who would enjoy receiving Alumni Connections, forward this email newsletter copy or urge the alum to contact Thanks for getting the word out!

The Envelope, Please

You are an important part of the process to nominate outstanding SPU alumni for Alumni of the Year, the Medallion Award, and the Distinguished Leadership Award.

Criteria for nomination and a nomination form for submitting names are available online.

Please help give wider attention to deserving individuals and to honor those who fulfill the mission and goals of Seattle Pacific. Together, we can bring more names to the table and better pay honor where honor is due. Questions? Call 206-281-ALUM.

This Month's Featured Podcast

"Gender Roles in the Church: Two Perspectives on I Timothy 2:8–15 " with Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, and Rob Wall, professor of Christian Scriptures.

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