Learning for a Lifetime

Warner Pacific College science classroomThe over-educated and under-employed liberal arts graduate is a trope commonplace in American society today. Graduates face a career landscape that is markedly different than the one the previous generation found after college. Recently, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and the Associate of American Colleges and Universities published a report titled, “How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment.” The report is based on an analysis of U.S. Census and other economic data, and provides a broad view of employment outcomes for recent graduates, as well as for more experienced workers.

Of those surveyed, 4 out of 5 employers agree that all students acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences. When asked to identify the ranges of knowledge and skills that are important for recent graduates wanting to pursue advancement and long-term career success at their company, 55% of employers indicated that they want employees with both field specific and broad range knowledge and skills. Finally, 93% of employers agree that candidates’ demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.

Warner Pacific College student studyingAll of this data gets to the heart of what many who work in higher education already know, the most valuable outcome of a bachelor’s degree is cultivating the habits of lifelong learner. This is intrinsic to the experience found at Warner Pacific, which is dedicated to providing students from diverse backgrounds an education that prepares them to engage actively in a constantly changing world. Of course, a mission statement is only powerful if it is lived out. So, we caught up with five alumni and asked them to share their thoughts on the value of a Warner Pacific education.

The Rev. Andria (Cotton) Skornik,’05, earned her degree in Communication Arts and now serves as Assistant Priest in an Episcopal parish outside of Chicago. “My experience at  Warner Pacific was great preparation for becoming a preacher,” shares Skornik. “On any given Sunday, I have the challenge of keeping people awake and engaged, exploring issues in their difficulty and complexity, and making a case for hope and redemption without resorting to easy answers. A big part of the Humanities Core at the College is about making connections across disciplines, articulating issues in terms of paradox, and learning to craft a compelling argument, all of which are essential to the art of preaching.”

The lessons learned in the classroom combined with the deeply relational nature of the campus were vital to Skornik as a young student. “A significant part of my discernment to the priesthood began while I was at
Warner Pacific. I remember many office visits with professors, agonizing over what I should do with my life. They didn’t give me ‘the answer’ but they helped me think about my gifts and interests in relationship to the issues I cared about.”

Warner Pacific College Adult Degree Program AlumniThe work that Rev. Skornik gets most excited about today was first cultivated during her time at the College. “The philosophy seminar on community was where I realized that I wanted to create communal spaces and opportunities for people to engage in the kinds of conversations we were having in that class,” Skornik explains. “Today, I am able to enjoy a calling that includes creating spaces where people feel connectedness to God and others.”

Roy Adams, ’09, is discovering the benefits of his
Warner Pacific education on the battlefield as an Emergency Care Sergeant in the Army. “There are many experiences that I can point to that shaped my life while attending the College,” says Adams. “Perhaps the hardest hitting moment came during my junior year while taking one of Terry Baker’s philosophy classes.”

“I thought that my grade was good enough to finish the term with a C, and neglected to do an assignment. But, when the final grades were posted, mine was not passing. Professor Baker called me to his office and informed me that the one assignment was required for the class. I pleaded with him, noting how this would make me ineligible to run track in the spring. He understood, but saw that it was an important life lesson for me to learn that actions have consequences, and ultimately we are accountable for our own choices. In the face of losing my athletic scholarship and having to drop out of school, I rose above the adversity and found a way to take an online class. This fortitude, inspired by my professor, led to a great year for me academically and athletically.”

This type of real-world preparation is a key component to Adams’ personal and professional success in the military, where he trains and mentors Army Paratroopers in medical and combat skills. “I had wanted to be a soldier ever since I was a child,” shares Adams. “Being out of the classroom for five years, I cannot immediately recall some of the ‘book smarts’ a college degree requires; however, every day I utilize the critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills that I developed during my time at Warner Pacific.”

Ruby Mitchell, ’09, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work and found her calling serving overseas as well, through her time in the Peace Corps. After earning a B.A. in Cross Cultural Ministry, Mitchell found herself using her undergraduate experience immediately upon graduation. “I walked away from Warner Pacific with a solid liberal arts education, and four years of experience of living in a small community,” Mitchell explains.

“Being in the Peace Corps demanded nothing less than these two components. By the time I was placed in my own village with a two-year assignment to work on youth development, I was familiar with the pace and intimacy of close community. I knew the importance of my own conduct and reputation; I also knew the importance of treating others with respect and consideration. The breadth of coursework provided foundational knowledge for any type of class or project that my community could want. It was learning to ‘continuously learn’ that made it possible to tackle everything from planting gardens to teaching nutrition or developing English activities.”

Of course, it was more than just the time spent in the classroom that shaped Mitchell. “At the end of my sophomore year I went on a Missions@WP trip with Dr. John and Gwen Johnson, two other students, and president emeritus, Jay Barber. We were in Myanmar, a country where the men wear a traditional long skirt called a lungyi. President Barber was given one as a gift, and wore it during a lesson that he taught on Elijah. I will never forget him demonstrating the story of Elijah ‘girding up his loins’ and running to Jezreel by hiking up his own lungyi and jogging across the stage, to the shock and joy of everyone attending,” Mitchell recalls fondly. “It was a moment of comedy and a moment of cultural exchange. It was also a moment when I was witness to the complex blends of humility, wisdom, and humor needed for effective cross-culture work.”

Earning a degree may not necessarily be the starting point of a career, often it is the next step on a path that has already begun. Bill Hall, ’13, knows that better than most. Hall, who earned his B.A. in Business Administration, is the Director of Services at Swagelok Northwest, a national producer and distributor of fluid system support. For Hall, the convenience of the Adult Degree Program (ADP) was a primary factor in choosing to complete his degree. “The one night a week format really appealed to me as a working adult with a family. It allowed me to maintain family time and study at times that had less impact on my wife and daughters.”

“I was working in this field prior to attending Warner Pacific but earning my degree allowed me the opportunity to advance,” explains Hall. “The program prepared me with the skills I needed to advance in my company to the highest level under the president. I am now a trusted advisor, which would have not been possible without the opportunity to earn my degree at Warner Pacific.”

The relational nature of his ADP cohort made an impact on Hall. “The bond that was created with my learning team was truly amazing. I thought we would get through the classes and go our separate ways but we are still in touch a year after graduation. Great friendships were formed! The openness and brutal honesty that was shared is a testament to the design of the classroom format.”

Gretchen Bossio, ’07, ’08, has discovered that her training opened doors to a career that she had never expected. Bossio, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Administration of Nonprofit Organizations, and a master’s in Management and Organizational Leadership, is a wife, mother, and freelance writer. When asked to explain how her educational experience has prepared her for life today, Bossio sees God’s hand at work. “My most important role is the one I play in my family. Although I attended Warner Pacific for education and training in a professional manner, I walked away with the confidence to embrace whatever work God led me to fulfill. In this season of my life, that work is primarily being a wife and mother. It is more rewarding and exhausting than I could have ever imagined, and I daily call on the Lord for grace as I aim to grow in my marriage and motherhood. In the evenings, I am a blogger and work on freelance projects for a number of parenting websites including ‘Baby Gizmo’, ‘What to Expect’, and ‘Natural Parents Network’. My passion for motherhood blends beautifully with these writing opportunities.”

Through conversations with each of these alumni, one thing becomes clear; a liberal arts education should not be seen as a golden ticket promising the future of your dreams. Rather, the experience of being nurtured within a relational, liberal arts environment provides you with a well-stocked toolbox, ready to serve you in building a promising future, wherever God may lead. Gretchen Bossio agrees, “…the pivotal years I spent at Warner Pacific influenced my career path greatly; first working in nonprofits, then in sales, and currently in my lifelong calling as a mom and in my hobby-turned-part-time-career in freelance writing. Higher education opens doors. Even more, having a degree where I practiced thinking outside of the box rather than just memorizing and reciting facts, has allowed me to flourish in each of my various positions. Warner Pacific equips students with foundational skills to thrive and traverse a world that is constantly changing while also staying very much the same. How’s that for a paradox?”

by Melody Burton

Posted in news | Leave a comment

Providing students and alumni with tools to manage and repay college loans/debt

Warner Pacific College partners with American Student Assistance’s SALT

romans-137-8We are committed to helping our students and alumni successfully manage their debt load and financial literacy. One of the tools we are providing is membership with the American Student Association’s SALT.

What is SALT?

SALT empowers students and alumni with financial education, personal budgeting tools, counseling, and other resources to manage the financing of their college education.  It provides a personalized and comprehensive approach to handling student loan debt beginning with informed choices through repayment options.  SALT enrollment is a lifetime benefit free of charge to students and alumni of Warner Pacific College.

American Student Assistance (ASA), a 56-year-old nonprofit that supports college students and alumni to successfully manage and repay their student loan debt, created SALT.  Previous ASA programs have demonstrated that students provided with proactive, customized, and targeted communication are 50 percent less likely to fail in loan repayment.

Warner Pacific joins a growing number of higher education institutions nationwide – from four-year private institutions to public institutions and community colleges – that have partnered with ASA in the SALT program.

SALTFeatures of the SALT program include:

  • Benefits and incentives that lower the total cost of college attendance such as scholarship services, job/internship searches, and discounts on discretionary items
  • Highly interactive web-based financial education curriculum and other educational content that develop student financial competencies
  • Multiple self-serve web tools and budgeting calculators
  • Personalized online dashboard to track all federal and private student loans in one place and compare payment options
  • One-on-one repayment counseling with student loan experts
  • Advocacy and assistance with resolving complex student loan-related problems
  • Proactive communication about student loan repayment options
  • Tools to equip students and alumni with personal financial management skills for life

Periodically you will see SALT messages and information shared on the Warner Pacific Facebook and in our Twitter feed. We want to make sure you are aware of all the latest resources and information  provided by SALT.

Posted in news | Tagged | Leave a comment


Join us as we celebrate the achievements of our graduates.

When:  Saturday, May 10, starting at 10 am

Where: New Hope Church located at 11731 SE Stevens Rd, Happy Valley, Oregon 97086

Featuring: Bridgetown

Posted in Calendar Events | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reception to Celebrate Faculty Transitions – May 9

Please join us in celebrating the retirement of Sue Kopp, and the transition to Emeritus status for Dr. John Fazio, Phyllis Michael, and Dr. Lou Foltz.  The Warner Pacific alumni, faculty and staff community will gather to honor their outstanding service to Warner Pacific College.

Stop by to view photos from their time at Warner Pacific, share your personal memories, and wish them well. The faculty honorees are Dr. John Fazio, Professor of Developmental Psychology; Dr. Lou Foltz*, Professor of Educational Psychology; Sue Kopp, Director of Library Services and Associate Professor; and Phyllis Michael, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies.

*Unfortunately, Dr. Foltz will be unable to attend the gathering, but there will be an opportunity for you to write down your memories, prayers, and well-wishes, which will be shared with him after the event.

When: Friday, May 9, 2014

RSVP for the President's TeaWhen: 4 – 5 pm

Where: Egtvedt Room 203

There is no cost to attend this event, but we’d appreciate your RSVP by May 2 so we can plan for refreshments.





Warner Pacific retiring faculty Sue Kopp



Posted in Calendar Events, news | Leave a comment

Enactus Teams does extremely well at national competition

Warner Pacific Enactus TeamCompeting with 250 teams of college business students from across the county, Warner Pacific College’s Enactus Team were the first round Champions of the Western region and 5th overall (placing in the top 20) after three levels of competition during the Enactus USA Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio (March 31 – April 3).

Enactus is an international community of student, academic, and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world.

Teams were judged at three levels during the competition based on the content of their presentation, including delivery style, and the organization of the details from the projects presented. Presentations are designed to highlight community based activities that use business skills to create positive, local change.

The Warner Pacific Enactus Team’s presentation included:

  • Hosting an afterschool program at Bridger Elementary in SE Portland. Students from Warner Pacific created age-appropriate, fun, and interactive curricula in music, art, and business to keep students engaged in the learning environment during after school care.
  • Tabor Cycles solves the transportation challenge of Warner Pacific students. The Enactus club created a viable business plan to purchase and rent bikes to current Warner Pacific students. This enables students to experience all that Portland has to offer while getting some exercise and utilizing a sustainable resource that is eco-friendly. Still in its first months of implementation, the bike rental program is already receiving positive feedback.
  • Honduras Service Project in December led to the creation of three new businesses opportunities for residents of La Ceiba. Warner Pacific students offered entrepreneurial training, lead children’s vacation-Bible-school style activities, and assisted in the development of viable business plans for a hair salon, convenience store, and dance studio.
  • Offering financial literacy lessons on campus. The Club provides all students of the College with an understanding of student loans, debt, and budgeting.

The Warner Pacific Enactus Team members who represented the College at the Enactus USA Expo were: Daniel Ryan – Business Administration; Gimena Olguin – Social Entrepreneurship; Will Brauckmiller – Business Administration and Accounting; and Alexander Hayes – American Studies.

“It’s not just accumulating community service hours, these students are seeking out ways to use business skills to create positive social change,” says Dr. Roger Martin, Associate Professor of Business and the academic advisor for the Warner Pacific Enactus Club. About the Team’s appearance at Nationals, Dr. Martin had this to say, “I am very proud of them. The presentation was stylish, contained great quantitative data from the projects, and the team provided substantive answers to the judges’ questions.”

Enactus-club-of-the-year-2014As the largest club at Warner Pacific College, Enactus is comprised of students studying not just Business, but also American Studies, Communication, and Biology, who want to make a difference for the community. Recently, the WPC Enactus Club was honored as the Warner Pacific Club of the Year, for the second year in a row.

“Warner Pacific students have embraced the opportunity to lead and serve in our neighborhood and in our community through their engagement in Enactus,” says Dr. Andrea Cook, President of the College. “These students have discovered the importance of using their skills and abilities to make a positive difference in the lives of those they serve. This commitment to seeing individuals and communities flourish is at the heart of the College’s mission, and will equip them to take their place in the workforce after college. I couldn’t be more impressed and proud of the service and success that the Warner Pacific Enactus team has achieved.”

Posted in news | Leave a comment

Spring Concert at Warner Pacific: May 2

We invite you to enjoy the beautiful music and melodic voices of Warner Pacific’s musicians and vocalists at these free Spring concerts.



The last concert of the academic year is Friday, May 2, featuring the Warner Wind Ensemble will feature a variety of concert band works, including the landmark Second Suite for Military Band by Gustav Holst, Puszta (Four Gypsy Dances) by Van der Roost, a new suite of music from Les Miserables and works by Konagaya, Mackey, and Wagner.  In addition, the Warner Brass Choir will be featured, featuring works by Gabrieli and Mozart.

On Wednesday, April 23, the Warner Pacific Jazz Band will perform an upbeat potpourri of straight ahead swing, rock, and Latin charts. It’ll sizzle! Followed by the Warner Pacific Vocal Jazz presenting an engaging and entertaining set of music of swing, Latin, contemporary, and ballad styles, with arrangements inspired by artists such as Stevie Wonder and The Manhattan Transfer.  This vocal package is loaded with beauty, fun, and groove!

On Sunday, April 27, the Concert Choir and Warner Chorale will be presenting an entertaining and engaging concert including many genres of choral literature, from classical to contemporary. Contributing composers: Mendelssohn, Whitacre, Courtney, and Tallis. Both choirs join with special guest, Bridgetown, for a climactic closing performance!


Posted in Calendar Events, news | Leave a comment

Holy Week Celebrated at Warner Pacific: April 14-18

The Seven Last Words

Join us as we celebrate Holy Week: April 14 – 18.


Posted in Calendar Events, news | Leave a comment

Free Community Job Fair: May 28

Organizations are hiring! Meet with local employers, attend workshops, and network with others at a free job fair on Wednesday, May 28.

Warner Pacific Job Fair May 2014

Looking for a great job in the Portland area? Come to a free community job fair at Warner Pacific College on Wednesday, May 28. Employers in Portland are hiring so remember to bring your resume.

Warner Pacific College’s Adult Degree Program is hosting a free community job fair where you can meet with a broad range of local employers who are actively hiring and attend free workshops. The event offers a great opportunity for adults seeking employment and career advancement.

When:              Wednesday, May 28, from 10:00 am – 2:30 pm (no rsvp required)

Where:             Warner Pacific College’s McGuire Auditorium, 2219 SE 68th Ave., Portland

  • Plenty of free parking

What:              Free community job fair

  • Employment workshops: Maximizing your Job Search and Navigating the Online Application Process
  • Local employers that have three or more job openings, including a broad range of industries, from large companies such as Kaiser Permanente, UPS, Oregon Health Authority, Costco, to state and city agencies, to local banks and small businesses

Contact:      Shirell Hennessy 503.517.1338

Posted in Calendar Events, news | Tagged | Leave a comment

President’s Tea was a great success. Thank you!

Warner Pacific President's Tea 2014 by Kai HayashiDr. Andrea Cook, President of Warner Pacific College, hosted the fifth annual President’s Tea & Scholarship Auction on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

It was a wonderful success.  We surpassed our fundraising goal of $85,000 by raising over $91,000 to benefit the to benefit our Urban Service Track of the Act Six Leadership & Scholarship Initiative.

The Tea was our opportunity to celebrate the significance of the Acts Six program in the lives of our students.  We are extremely grateful to Warner Pacific’s friends and supporters who gave so generously at this year’s event.

ent's Tea 2014 by Kai HayashiWe hope to see you at the 2015 Tea on Saturday, April 18, 2015.



Thank you to our major sponsors
Stoel-Rives-Tea-Sponsor-2014 McGee-tea-sponsor-logo sodexo-logo-small
Riverview Logo


Posted in Calendar Events, news | Tagged | Leave a comment

ASWPC Leadership for 2014-15

We are excited to officially announce the ASWPC for the 2014-2015 academic year:

Student Government

President: Jake Tront
Vice President: Luwam Kahassay
Commuter Rep: Hayley Tragis
Operations Manager: tba
Communications Manager: tba

Student Diversity Council

SDC Rep.: Britny Belcher
Marketing Manager: Cathy Lara
Research & Financial Manager: Kori Desimone
SMC Manager: Emily Potts

College Activities Board

CAB Chair: Jose Cazares
Director of Daily Operations: Liz Dominguez
Marketing & Advertising Coordinator: Thalia Garcia Aguilar
Warner Pac Representative: Quincy Jones
Intramural Representative: Ricardo Ruiz

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment