Ysu Umbalo '99
Warner Pacific College is honored to award the 2012 Distinguished Young Alumna Award to naturopathic doctor Ysu Umbalo '99.
Ysu is the medical director at the M. SOMA clinic in the city of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The clinic provides free health care to impoverished people who might otherwise go without.
Ysu earned a Biology degree from Warner Pacific College in 1999. He endeared himself to the college community with his friendliness and genuine charm. Ysu exudes a sense of calm, confidence, and humility.
After graduating from WPC, Ysu studied at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, in Portland. While there, he went on a medical mission trip to Peru in which he and a classmate provided free medical examinations in small villages. That sparked a vision in Ysu to do the same in his home country, where basic medical training is often antiquated and inferior, and there are only 11 doctors for every 100,000 people.
In 2005, Ysu and an American business partner established the M. SOMA medical clinic with $400,000 worth of donated medical supplies. The clinic began in his home, and later moved to the current home-turned-clinic and is currently being expanded to function more appropriately.
Since its beginning, the clinic continues to provide a host of medical services, as well as outreach to support healthy pregnancies, healthy children, and healthy communities.
Ysu doesn't believe the impoverished need to settle for less. He won't hesitate to seek the support of others – whether donors, medical professionals, or volunteers – to advance the clinic's mission. As Ysu once asked, "What if a poor man could get a CAT scan or a pregnant village woman deliver with the assistance of a competent physician and have a good Samaritan pay for it?" This passion of providing healthcare for all continues to empower Ysu's drive and ambition. He is currently working to expand clinical services by collaborating with interested partners to create a laboratory with increased abilities.
In addition to his medical service, Ysu enjoys spending time with his family, wife Therese, and children Kaila and Elija.
For committing so faithfully to using his gifts, entrepreneurial drive, and medical education to serve the neediest among us, Warner Pacific College is pleased to welcome Ysu into the circle of distinguished alumni, this day, Saturday, February 11, 2012.
Ethel C. Willard '58
Warner Pacific College is honored to recognize Ethel C. Willard '58 with the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Ministry Award. Ethel Willard came to Pacific Bible College from West Plains, Missouri. She learned about the College while attending Missouri Youth Camp in the summer of 1952. In all, five students from West Plains, including Bob Thompson, Paul Findley, Robert Bixler, Leaota (Baughman) Hardt and Ethel, enrolled at PBC in January 1953. It was a milestone in Ethel's journey in ministry.
Ethel Willard studied at PBC from 1953 to 1958. She studied Music and Christian Education. She was involved with student government, serving as sophomore class president, junior class vice-president, and as student council secretary.
Ethel was well respected on campus and was a true friend to many students.
While in school, Ethel worked as a bookkeeper at the Bank of California. A year after graduating, she returned to PBC, now named Warner Pacific College, to work as a bookkeeper and accountant until 1969.
Ethel then began a 29-year career with Church of God Ministries. Her first assignment was as a missionary in Hong Kong, serving in the financial department of the Junk Bay Medical Relief Council, which operated a hospital, children's hostel, and a clinic. During her twelve years in Hong Kong, Ethel served as a secretary, business manager, treasurer, and assistant administrator. She also volunteered as the choir director at Emmanuel English Church, in Hong Kong, for eleven years.
In 1982, Ethel was back in the United States, serving as a bookkeeper at Church of God Ministries headquarters in Anderson, Indiana. From 1987 to 1997, she worked as the assistant treasurer, handling missionary remittances, insurance, and payroll, among other duties.
From 1998 to the present, Ethel has been a Chaplain in Residence at Anderson University School of Theology. She makes her home in Anderson, Indiana.
Friends describe Ethel as one of the most selfless people they know. For a life dedicated to supporting the work of the church, Warner Pacific is pleased to welcome Ethel into the circle of distinguished alumni, this day, Saturday, February 11, 2012.
Robert C. Stewart '75
Warner Pacific College is honored to recognize Robert C. Stewart '75 with the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement. Bob Stewart is a visionary leader in Oregon's public school system. Since 1999, he has worked as superintendent of the Gladstone School District. Bob is a leader among his peers who has served on a number of Governor-appointed committees to establish state policy for early childhood education.
Bob graduated from Warner Pacific in 1975 with a degree in Physical Education. It was at WPC that he met his spouse of 38 years, Diana (Friesen) Stewart, and developed lifetime friendships and received mentorship from faculty and staff, alike.
After graduating from WPC, Bob became the Director of Community Education for the Molalla Union High School District. In 1980, he embarked on what is currently a thirty-two-year career with the Gladstone School District. Bob was involved with facilities, curriculum and instruction, public information, community education, and human resources prior to his current role of superintendent.
One example of Bob's legacy as superintendent is the Gladstone Center for Children and Families, which he helped establish in 2009. Bob envisioned the school district partnering with community health and social services agencies to address the educational, physical, and mental health needs of children and families, regardless of income level.
The center serves more than 400 students and families daily, offering adult education classes, a community health clinic, a toy and book lending library, access to technology and a summer reading program. In 2011, the Gladstone Center received an honorable mention from the American School Board Journal's 17th annual Magna Awards program.
Bob is also active in the community. He serves on the Warner Pacific College Board of Trustees, the CareOregon Board, the Clackamas County Commission for Children and Families, and the Gladstone Education Foundation, among others. He is a board member with the Canby Center, a faith based non-profit serving the needs of the underprivileged in Canby, Oregon. He is also active with the Canby Missionary Alliance Church.
Bob and Diana have five adult children, Jeremy, Janae, Brent, Tyler, and Shane, who share in this award.
Bob represents a model for leadership that is born out of a fundamental desire to serve. Warner Pacific College is pleased to welcome him into the circle of distinguished alumni, this day, Saturday, February 11, 2012.
Robert I. Williams '59
Warner Pacific College is honored to recognize retired Church of God pastor Robert I. Williams '59 with the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Legacy Award. Bob studied music at Pacific Bible College from 1956 to 1959. He left early to study Radio and TV Broadcasting at Northwest Schools. He later studied at the Universal Bible Institute and also studied music at Azusa Pacific College.
Reconciliation has been a major part of Bob's ministry. He chaired the Credentials and Advisory Committee in the Inland Empire District of Eastern Washington, Oregon, and Northern Idaho. In that role, he helped heal many fractured relationships between pastors and congregations, while giving God all of the credit.
Bob has also spent much of his life serving under-resourced people, through prison ministry, chaplaincy work, and outreach to the elderly. From 1978 to 1984, he led the First Church of God in Toppenish, Washington, a mission church full of migrant workers and children. Bob also specialized in evangelism; directing youth conferences; leading music and worship; and producing commercial radio broadcasts. He later served on the National Curriculum Committee for the Churches of God.
Bob has turned his own hardship into opportunities to bless others. He experienced partial hearing loss while in the Army. As he grew older, Bob eventually experienced complete deafness, requiring bilateral cochlear implants. Since then, he has helped many organizations, including Warner Pacific College, Corvallis High School, and Samaritan Medical Services, better serve the needs of people with hearing loss.
Bob has served as the Oregon State Chapter Coordinator for the Hearing Loss Association of America and is currently the president of its Linn-Benton Counties Chapter. He remains active as a Bible teacher, pianist, preacher, and author.
Bob is married to his wife, Carolyn, and they have three children, Deborah Landers, Kimberly Williams, and Teresa Jackson.
Bob's family legacy at Warner Pacific includes daughters Deborah '88 and Kimberly '88; son-in-law Roger Landers '91; brother Roy Williams '66; sister Betty Jo Jacobson '75; nephews Richard Williams '87 and Daniel Williams '04; and current freshman student and granddaughter Kaleigh Mason.
In recognition of his life of faithful ministry and to his long-lasting impact on Warner Pacific through the many alumni in his family, Warner Pacific is pleased to welcome Bob into the circle of distinguished alumni, this day, Saturday, February 11, 2012.
Sonya Fischer '88
Warner Pacific College is honored to recognize Sonya Fischer '88 with the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Service Award. Attorney Sonya Fischer has been advocating for the rights of vulnerable people for more than twenty years. She operates her own law office in Lake Oswego, Oregon and specializes in family, juvenile, special education, and guardianship law.
Sonya held the position of Director of State and Federal Legislative Affairs for the Oregon Department of Human Services during the 2011 Legislative session in Salem, and was the recipient of the Rising Star Super Lawyer Award for 2010-2011.
But the road to this vital and fulfilling career was anything but easy. When Sonya attended Warner Pacific College from 1985 to 1988, she was a young mother caring for a daughter with significant challenges who faced a life of permanently delayed cognitive development.
The Warner Pacific community became a key source of support and encouragement for Sonya. She majored in sociology and social work and started a support group for other parents of children with disabilities. That led to an opportunity to work as a case manager with Multnomah County. She went on to complete a master's degree in Public Administration from Portland State University in 1993.
Sonya gained valuable political experience at the State Capitol working as legislative assistant in the 1990s. With the help of other mothers, Sonya brought concerns before the Department of Human Services about the lack of state support available for families and children with severe disabilities. Eventually, the State Legislature passed landmark reform to provide for in-home care for these children and their families.
This work inspired Sonya to complete a law degree at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland in 2002. She is currently a board member of Disability Rights Oregon, the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, and the Vice President of the Clackamas Women Lawyers. She is married to her husband, Kirk, and has three children, Christine, Joy, and Nathan.
For her deep commitment to working on behalf of families and children, Warner Pacific is pleased to welcome Sonya into the circle of distinguished alumni, this day, Saturday, February 11, 2012.