Campus Gathers for Solar Eclipse Viewing

The first day of classes is always exciting at Warner Pacific but this year is extra special as we look to the sky to experience a “once in a lifetime” event,  the 2017 Solar Eclipse! On Monday, August 21, students, staff, and faculty will gather from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. to follow the sun on this momentous morning with a schedule that will celebrate and educate, but not cause too much interruption to classes.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. All students and faculty are expected to attend their regularly scheduled classes on the first day, August 21. All classes will be held as usual and campuses will be open; staff are invited to participate in the viewing with students and faculty.
  2. From 9:30 -10:30 a.m., students, faculty, and staff are welcome to gather on the lawn and watch the sky darken. Dr. David Terrell, Professor of Physical Science, will provide context for what we are seeing and information about the phenomenon that we are witnessing.
  3. Streaming televised coverage will be available in McGuire Auditorium for those who wish to see how the eclipse is being seen across the country. Resource information is also available in the library and you can learn more through the Oregon Observatory.
  4. Commemorative Warner Pacific eclipse glasses will be available for $1.

In order to accommodate this viewing, the class schedule for August 21, 2017 will be as follows:

  • 8:00-8:50 classes meet 8:00-8:40 a.m.
  • 9:00-9:50 classes meet 8:50-9:30 a.m.
  • Break for eclipse coverage 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • 10:00-10:50 classes meet 10:30-11:10 a.m.
  • 11:00-11:50 classes meet 11:20 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • 12:00-12:50 classes meet 12:10-12:50 p.m.
  • 1:00-2:15 p.m. classes meet as scheduled


Social Work Program Earns CSWE Accreditation

The Warner Pacific College Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work degree (BSSW) has been granted accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This is an exciting and important step for the Social Work Program, which achieved candidacy status in August 2014 under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Mace, Professor Debra Penkin, and Pamela Harrington.

Although optional, CSWE accreditation is a widely respected “stamp of approval” that communicates to students and future employers that the program meets the rigorous standards, policies, procedures, and behaviors outlined by the CSWE. Warner Pacific is one of only 6 accredited baccalaureate programs in the state of Oregon.

“The Warner Pacific College administration and faculty are very thankful and proud of all partners that have contributed to the accomplishment of the accreditation of the Social Work Program, including students, staff, faculty, alumni, field agency staff, and volunteer advisory members,” said Dr. Stephanie Mace, Assistant Professor and Director of Social Work at Warner Pacific. “It is an honor to receive CSWE accreditation and marks a great milestone in the growth and development of our program. We celebrate this exciting time and are looking forward to the opportunities it will provide our students, graduates, and the community we serve.”

The CSWE accreditation will allow Warner Pacific to:

  • Continue to build the strong reputation of the College in excellence of programming
  • Be positioned to competitively and nationally attract students who are interested in social work as a major and are looking for an accredited program
  • Potentially participate in federally-funded programs such as the Title IV-E Child Welfare initiative and other grants
  • Increase internship opportunities
  • Develop opportunities for collaboration with other CSWE-accredited programs

Warner Pacific offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work (BSSW). The social work curriculum is intentionally designed to build upon the liberal arts core and multi-disciplinary foundational courses, providing students with a strong framework for generalist social work practice or graduate studies.



Faculty Welcomes Dr. Courage Mudzongo

Warner Pacific is pleased to welcome Dr. Courage Mudzongo to the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences as Assistant Professor of Psychology.

Courage Mudzongo - Assistant Professor of Social Science

Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, Dr. Mudzongo imagined a career at an international development agency but while attending college, he discovered that he was truly a sociologist at heart. Dr. Mudzongo’s research seeks to expand scholarship on adolescent reproductive health, goal setting, and helping young people take steps to achieve their dreams by preventing pregnancy and disease. In 2013, he had a unique opportunity to do research on the impact of faith-based mission trips on the lives of the people who participated in them.

“It is my desire as an educator that students use their knowledge to improve the human condition,” explains Mudzongo. “My approach is to empower students to share and articulate their thoughts and ideas. I teach students to master the art of learning and develop the confidence to ask and discuss questions about human development across the lifespan.”

Dr. Mudzongo holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Science and a M.S. in Sociology from North Dakota State University; and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Africa University, Mutare, Zimbabwe.

Professional affiliations include:

  • Society for Research on Adolescence
  • The Society for Research in Child Development
  • The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Research and publications include:

  • Secor-Turner, M., Randall, B. A., Mudzongo, C. C. & Garama, M. (2014). Barriers and facilitators of adolescent health in rural Kenya. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, doi: 1043659614558453.
  • Mudzongo C. C. & Whitsel, C. (2013). Determinants of child labor in Malawi and Tanzania, Journal of Community Positive Practices, (3), 3-24.
  • Mudzongo C. C. Understanding Child Work and Child Labor in the 21st Century: Case Study of Malawi and Tanzania. ProQuest.





WP Receives Historic Estate Gift from Portland Business Owner

Merlin Radke passed away on February 17, 2017, leaving Warner Pacific an estate bequest that could be the largest single gift in the College’s history, with cash and property totaling at least $4 million.

Merlin was born in Baker City, Ore., on November 5, 1931 to Julius and Letha Radke. He attended George and James John Schools, Roosevelt High School, and Vanport College. Merlin became Vice President of the family business, Radke Auto Parts, when he returned home from the Air Force in 1957. He was responsible for adding the line of high performance products at the store, becoming the premier hot rod parts dealer, creating Radke’s Speed and Kustom. As president of the company, Merlin built upon the already successful family business of Radke Auto Parts, making the Radke name an icon in the St. Johns community of Portland and throughout the region.

The College is still processing the full scope of the gift, which includes cash, real estate contracts, and several pieces of property in the Portland area. While no definitive plans have been made at this time, Merlin Radke’s generous gift will be used as he intended, to strengthen the future growth of Warner Pacific and support our students as they dream, achieve, and flourish.

Athletic Trainer Joins Faculty to Support New Major

The Knights’ Head Athletic Trainer is taking her expertise to the classroom this fall. Amy Engilis has spent nine years providing injury evaluation, prevention, and rehabilitation for the athletes on the College’s 13 athletic teams. In August, Engilis will join the faculty as Associate Professor of Sports Medicine for the newly developed B.S. in Sports Medicine.

With openings in the Sports Medicine and athletic training fields predicted to increase 21% over the next 10 years, this new program has the potential to open the door to exciting careers for students who have a passion for health and wellness. Majoring in Sports Medicine can be the first step in many career paths including athletic trainer, physical therapist, exercise physiologist, and physician.

Professor Engilis completed her bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University and has a master’s degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University. She was recently published in Athletic Training and Sports Health Care. The article highlighted research using easy pre-season jump tests on NAIA female athletes and found those with previous ACL reconstructions jumped significantly shorter distances. This has future implications for finding these at-risk athletes and focusing their strengthening and conditioning to address deficits and lower injury risk.

Fitness Facilities Bulk Up Thanks to Generous Gift

MÜV Fitness Brands has donated nearly $100,000 in exercise equipment to the College, providing a significant
upgrade to the Mt. Tabor campus Recreation and Fitness Center.

Students and employees alike are already taking advantage of the donation as they enjoy the gift of commercial quality treadmills (6); rowers (6); stair mills (3); air bikes (6); a cable weight machine; yoga mats; and other assorted equipment during their workouts.

Warner Pacific alumnus Joel Tallman ’84, is the CEO and President of MÜV Fitness Brands.




Faculty Welcomes Dr. Lloyd Chia

The College’s newly organized Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences welcomes Dr. Lloyd Chia as Associate Professor of Social Sciences. Previously, Dr. Chia was Assistant Professor in the department of Sociology, Global Studies, and Criminal Justice at Spring Arbor University in Michigan.

The son of a pastor and seminary president, Dr. Chia lived most of his life in Singapore, but has also spent time in Mongolia and New Zealand. He has traveled widely in North America, Central America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He served as an officer in the Singapore Armed Forces; was a collegiate rugby player and coach; and performed as a vocalist for a band that produced two albums and toured extensively in Asia.

His ministry background includes serving as the worship director of All Nations Fellowship, a multicultural church in Columbia, Mo. During his time at Spring Arbor University, Dr. Chia led Cross Cultural Studies trips to both China and Cambodia, bringing students out to experience the world they study.

Dr. Chia has published on the Emerging Church Movement in America and researched the experience of LGBT students on Christian College campuses, and why some leave.  He is also passionate about diversity, interfaith relations, and racial reconciliation.

He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Missouri, and a MSoc.Sci. in Sociology and B.A. in Sociology and History from National University of Singapore.

Research and publications include:

  • 2016 “From Boundaries to Borderlands: the Emerging Church’s imaginative work of fostering relationships across difference”, in Crossing Boundaries, Redefining Faith: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Emerging Church Movement, Michael Clawson and April Stace Vega (eds.), Wipf and Stock.
  • 2010 Brent, Edward, Jeffrey McCully, Lloyd Chia. Sociology Online (5th Edition), Columbia, MO: Ideaworks, Inc.
  • 2006 “Cultural Missionizing: Islam, Christianity, and Popular Culture in Singapore”, in Proteus: Journal of Ideas (23:2, 2006 Fall).

WP Honored Highlighting Business and Education

Colleges of Distinction - Education Award

Warner Pacific was honored as a College of Distinction for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, a designation the institution has been awarded consecutively since 2013. The College of Distinction designation is given to select schools to honor their excellence in student-focused higher education.

Eight Oregon colleges made the list and Warner Pacific is one of only three Oregon Christian colleges awarded. In order to be given this designation, Warner Pacific was found to excel in all four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes.

This year, College of Distinction introduced new Fields of Study distinction badges for programs in Engineering, Business, Education, and Nursing. Warner Pacific’s Business and Education programs were both awarded badges to signal their professional excellence.

“We focus on colleges that are the best places to learn, grow, and succeed,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor of Colleges of Distinction. “Schools designated as ‘Colleges of Distinction’ create well-rounded graduates and are among the very best in the country.”

Colleges of Distinction is an online resource that connects individual students to information that empowers them to make confident choices from among nationally recognized colleges. Colleges and universities are nominated for participation by high school counselors and then evaluated using qualitative and quantitative research.


Dr. Murillo Fountain Steps into New Role

Warner Pacific College welcomes Dr. JoEllyn Murillo Fountain in her new role as Assistant Professor of Social Science and Chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

WPC Adjunct Professor JoEllyn Murillo FountainDr. Fountain joined the College in January 2016 as an adjunct instructor, teaching American Government to both the Traditional and Adult Degree Program (ADP) students. She was hired as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the 2016-2017 academic year to teach political science, sociology, an FYLC – “Power, Privilege and Identity:  Developing Leaders in PDX”, and other social science courses in the Traditional program and the Master of Arts in Human Services courses for ADP.

“I am excited to move from a temporary to a permanent faculty member at Warner Pacific because I can further develop the relationships I have had with students to learn from each other,” explains Dr. Fountain.  “I look forward to being a part of growing the social and behavioral sciences at the College.”

Dr. Fountain has taught social science courses at a number of universities throughout her career – including Uganda Christian University (UCU) where she and her family lived for more than eight years. UCU hosts a “Best Semester” study abroad program and she taught Ugandan politics to numerous American students from a variety of Christian colleges like Warner Pacific, while also doing administrative work for the university.

As the Assistant Professor of Social Science and Chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Fountain will teach courses in American Government, Social Problems and Social Policy, International Relations, Government of States and Localities, Public Policy & Advocacy, Introduction to the American Legal System, and provide leadership to Social and Behavioral Sciences programs. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Oregon.

“As Chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and as an instructor in the same, I see my role as a facilitator between the college (students and staff) and the Portland metropolitan area,” said Fountain. “As a Christian institution, we have the opportunity to uniquely impact the city in positive ways.”

Dr. Fountain’s professional affiliations include:

  • American Political Science Association
  • Christians in Political Science
  • World Affairs Council of Oregon

Her research and publications focus on:

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics and Political Institutions
  • Policy Making






Dr. Ramos-Montañez Named Assistant Professor

Dr. Smirla Ramos-Montañez Dr. Smirla Ramos-Montañez joins the Warner Pacific faculty in a full-time capacity as Assistant Professor of Biology after serving at the College as an adjunct instructor. “I see my role as an advocate and supporter of students as they grow spiritually and academically,” she explains. “I want to provide opportunities for students to explore science, expand their understanding, and build critical thinking skills.”

Dr. Ramos-Montañez is a native of Puerto Rico, where she earned her undergraduate degree at the Inter American University. She completed her graduate education in Microbiology with Dr. Malcolm Winkler and holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Indiana University, Bloomington, and was a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at University of Washington, Seattle.

As the Assistant Professor of Biology, Dr. Ramos-Montañez will teach science courses including anatomy and physiology, genetics, and microbiology. When asked what she is looking forward to in her new role, the professor replied, “…I’m excited about the opportunity to build relationships and work with talented and collaborative faculty, students, and staff. I am also excited about trying to find ways to bridge formal and informal learning experiences to serve students.”

Dr. Ramos-Montañez’s research and publications include:

  • Pattison S, Gontan I, Ramos-Montanez, S. The Identity-Frame Model: A Preliminary Framework to Describe Situated Identity Negotiation for Adolescent Girls Participating in an Informal Engineering Education Program. IN REVIEW Journal of Learning Sciences 2017
  • Pattison S, Rubin A, Benne A, Gontan I, Andanen E, Shagott T, Francisco M, Ramos-Montanez, S, Bromley C, Dierking L. The Impact of Facilitation by Museum Educators on Family Learning at Interactive Exhibits: Results of a Quasi-experimental Study. Visitor Studies Journal 2016 IN REVIEW
  • Pattison S, Randol S, Benne, M, Rubin A, Gontan I, Andanen E, Bromley C, Ramos-Montanez S. A Design-Based Research Study to Model Staff-Facilitated Family Learning at Interactive Math Exhibits. Visitor Studies Journal 2016 IN REVIEW
  • Lisher JP, Tsui HT, Ramos-Montanez S, Hentchel KL, Martin JE, Trinidad JC, Winkler ME. Biological and Chemical Adaptation to Endogenous Hydrogen Peroxide Production in Streptococcus pneumoniae D39.mSphere 2017 Jan 4;2(1).
  • Kinkel TL, Ramos-Montanez S, Pando JM, Tadeo DV, Strom EN, Libby SJ, Fang FC. An essential role for bacterial nitric oxide synthase is Staphylococcus aureus electron transfer and colonization. Nature Microbiology Nov 28:2:16224
  • Ramos-Montañez S, Hentchel KL, Kazmierczak KM, Winkler ME. Instability of ackA (Acetate Kinase) Mutants and Their Effects on Acetyl Phosphate (AcP) and ATP Production in Streptococcus pneumoniae D39. Journal of Bacteriology, 2010 Dec;192(24):6390-400.
  • Ramos-Montanez, S, Tsui HC, Wayne KJ, Morris JL, Peters LE, Zhang F, Kazmierczak KM, Sham LT, Winkler ME. Polymorphism and regulation of the spxB (pyruvate oxidase) virulence factor gene by a CBS-HotDog domain protein (SpxR) in serotype 2 Streptococcus pneumoniae. Molecular Microbiology, 2008 Feb;67(4):729-46.
  • Winkler ME and Ramos-Montañez S. (2009). Histidine Biosynthesis. In J.L. Ingraham and F.C. Neidhardt (Eds.). Escherichia coli and Salmonella: Cellular and Molecular Biology 3rd edition. In Press. Module on web edition