Seattle, WA, United States

Seattle Pacific University

spu.edu/
Seattle, WA, United States

Seattle Pacific University is a Christian university of the liberal arts, science and professions, located at 3307 3rd Avenue W. on the north slope of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, Washington, USA. It was founded in 1891 by the Oregon and Washington Conference of the Free Methodist Church as the Seattle Seminary. It became the Seattle Seminary and College in 1913, changed names again to Seattle Pacific College in 1915, and took its present name in 1977. Seattle Pacific University is a member of the Christian College Consortium. Wikipedia.


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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has announced its list of the best colleges and universities in the state of Washington for 2017. Of the 19 four-year schools that made the list, Gonzaga University, University of Washington, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University were the top five institutions. Of the 21 two-year schools that were also included, Edmonds Community College, Shorelines Community College, Renton Technical College, Bates Technical College and Clark College took the top five. A list of all the winning schools is included below. “Washington state’s unemployment rate recently hit a nine-year low, which is great news for people interested in pursuing a college degree,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “Our analysis shows schools going the extra mile for students in terms of career preparation, by providing high-quality programs and resources that are translating into student success in the job market.” To be included on the “Best Colleges in Washington” list, schools must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit institutions. Each college is also scored on additional data that includes annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering college, career services offered, availability of financial aid and such additional metrics as student/teacher ratios and graduation rates. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in Washington” list, visit: Washington’s Best Four-Year Colleges for 2017 include: Bastyr University Central Washington University City University of Seattle Eastern Washington University Gonzaga University Heritage University Northwest University Pacific Lutheran University Saint Martin's University Seattle Pacific University Seattle University Trinity Lutheran College University of Puget Sound University of Washington-Seattle Campus Walla Walla University Washington State University Western Washington University Whitman College Whitworth University Washington’s Best Two-Year Colleges for 2017 include: Bates Technical College Bellingham Technical College Big Bend Community College Cascadia Community College Clark College Edmonds Community College Everett Community College Grays Harbor College Lower Columbia College Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom Pierce College at Puyallup Renton Technical College Seattle Vocational Institute Shoreline Community College South Puget Sound Community College Spokane Community College Spokane Falls Community College Tacoma Community College Walla Walla Community College Wenatchee Valley College Whatcom Community College About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


Grabow W.W.,Seattle Pacific University | Jaeger L.,University of California at Santa Barbara
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

ConspectusNanotechnology's central goal involves the direct control of matter at the molecular nanometer scale to build nanofactories, nanomachines, and other devices for potential applications including electronics, alternative fuels, and medicine. In this regard, the nascent use of nucleic acids as a material to coordinate the precise arrangements of specific molecules marked an important milestone in the relatively recent history of nanotechnology.While DNA served as the pioneer building material in nucleic acid nanotechnology, RNA continues to emerge as viable alternative material with its own distinct advantages for nanoconstruction. Several complementary assembly strategies have been used to build a diverse set of RNA nanostructures having unique structural attributes and the ability to self-assemble in a highly programmable and controlled manner. Of the different strategies, the architectonics approach uniquely endeavors to understand integrated structural RNA architectures through the arrangement of their characteristic structural building blocks. Viewed through this lens, it becomes apparent that nature routinely uses thermodynamically stable, recurrent modular motifs from natural RNA molecules to generate unique and more complex programmable structures. With the design principles found in natural structures, a number of synthetic RNAs have been constructed. The synthetic nanostructures constructed to date have provided, in addition to affording essential insights into RNA design, important platforms to characterize and validate the structural self-folding and assembly properties of RNA modules or building blocks. Furthermore, RNA nanoparticles have shown great promise for applications in nanomedicine and RNA-based therapeutics.Nevertheless, the synthetic RNA architectures achieved thus far consist largely of static, rigid particles that are still far from matching the structural and functional complexity of natural responsive structural elements such as the ribosome, large ribozymes, and riboswitches. Thus, the next step in synthetic RNA design will involve new ways to implement these same types of dynamic and responsive architectures into nanostructures functioning as real nanomachines in and outside the cell. RNA nanotechnology will likely garner broader utility and influence with a greater focus on the interplay between thermodynamic and kinetic influences on RNA self-assembly and using natural RNAs as guiding principles. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 214.09K | Year: 2016

The Next Generation of STEM Teacher Preparation project is led by five institutions of higher education in Washington State. This collaborative effort will engage institutions involved in the preparation of teachers of STEM disciplines, Washington States Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, P-12 educators, and other key stakeholders from business, government, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in bringing about statewide sustainable change in the preparation of STEM teachers at all levels. The project moves away from isolated, single institutional program improvement efforts, to colleges and universities in Washington State working collaboratively to improve STEM teacher preparation in partnership with two-year colleges, P-12 schools, community groups, and businesses. The project will result in the production of more, highly qualified, P-12 science and mathematics teachers, including a new cadre of teachers prepared to teach computer science and engineering. In addition, the project seeks to increase the diversity of the STEM teacher workforce by actively recruiting and incentivizing underrepresented students from STEM majors at 2- and 4-year colleges to become P-12 middle and high school STEM teachers. Financial support for this project comes from NSFs Improving Undergraduate Education program and the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

The projects primary goals are:
1. To improve STEM teacher preparation programs in Washington State (impacting greater than 90% of the states future STEM teacher graduates,
2. Increase recruitment of qualified and diverse STEM students into teaching, and
3. Create an adaptive, research-based model for improving STEM teacher preparation through collaboration.
To achieve these goals, the project will: (a) create a common vision for STEM teacher preparation in Washington State, (b) share, develop, adapt, implement, and evaluate resources and models to achieve this vision, and (c) build and assess a model of continuous, collaborative program improvement. The critical components of teacher preparation this project will address include: improving pre-service teachers clinical practice and new teachers induction experiences, improving the disciplinary and STEM pedagogical content knowledge of pre-service teachers, and integrating computer science, engineering, and sustainability into teacher preparation. Cross-institutional Working Groups dedicated to improving each component will research, create, and produce a set of materials and professional development workshops. Regional Teams of faculty and administrators from institutions of higher education, P-12 educators, and representatives from STEM businesses, NGOs, and government agencies, will in turn adapt these materials and professional development experiences to support and sustain STEM teacher preparation program improvements at their institutions. Three capacity-building components: organizational change, increasing the diversity of the STEM teaching workforce, and collaboration building, will underlie the efforts of every Working Group and Regional Team.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 154.91K | Year: 2016

This project aims to help physics instructors: (a) value students intuitive thinking and (b) improve their instruction by building on those student intuitions. The project is grounded in the premises that students bring stores of ideas about the physical world to the classroom, and taking into account these ideas, however informal, can improve their learning. This project will develop instructional materials in forces, waves and optics, and the particle nature of matter that utilize students intuitive ideas.

Researchers have taken very different stances toward students intuitive knowledge. The misconceptions theory of knowledge takes the stance that students intuitive understandings are often inconsistent with the scientific consensus and thus are obstacles to learning unless addressed. From this perspective student knowledge is relatively rigid and mostly context-independent. Thus researchers search for common, incorrect patterns in student thinking, and instructors elicit, confront, and resolve misconceptions. Alternatively, according to the resources theory of knowledge: 1) students intuitive understandings develop from their experiences of the physical world and 2) student knowledge is dynamic and context-dependent. Hence, researchers should attend to productive and potentially useful student intuitions on which instructors can build. While instructors and researchers need not ascribe to a single theory of knowledge, misconceptions research has had a more pronounced impact on physics education research and instruction than resources research. This project has the long-term goal of promoting instructor adoption of this second perspective, the resources theory of knowledge. Researchers will first document the common, prevalent resources that students marshal to reason about physics. Then they will develop instructional materials that embed a resources orientation toward student thinking and build on the resources they document. The PI team will also test the effectiveness of these instructional materials in improving students conceptual understanding. The STEM education community is embracing resources-oriented instruction for reasons of equity and agency. Framing students intuitive physics ideas as misconceptions disadvantages students from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic communities. Conversely, framing student ideas as resources -- as productive beginnings of more sophisticated thinking -- has the potential to broaden participation in physics.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 396.09K | Year: 2013

Researchers at Seattle Pacific University are creating a Video Resource for Professional Development of University Physics Educators that is based on compelling classroom video of best-practices university physics instruction and are disseminating the Resource for professional development of university physics educators, including four-year university faculty, two-year-college faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and undergraduate learning assistants. This resource creation and dissemination is occurring in tandem with needs analysis for the various populations, so that as the researchers learn how best to serve, for example, two-year-college faculty, iterative improvements to the resource will reflect that understanding.

The video workshops produced for this project provide structured opportunities for physics educators to examine critical moments in real university classrooms. The Video Resource offers users a view of other institutions transformed courses, supporting and expanding the home institutions vision of its own instructional improvement. The project showcases a variety of exemplary instructional formats including Tutorials in Introductory Physics, Modeling Instruction, Peer Instruction, and Open Source Tutorials, expanding on the success of a prior project aimed at undergraduate learning assistants.

Dissemination is a major activity in this project and is taking place primarily through the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and online at the Physics Education Research Users Guide. This project facilitates the implementation of instructional strategies that reflect advances in what is known about teaching and learning, improving physics education for a broad group of undergraduates - including at two-year colleges, where many underrepresented minorities and women experience their first physics and science courses and make critical career choices.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY | Award Amount: 8.41K | Year: 2016

Algae are a promising future platform for the sustainable production of liquid biofuels from sunlight and atmospheric carbon dioxide. There is rapidly growing research activity and investment by academia, government and the private sector to establish an algal biofuels industry in the United States. To move the scientific principles underlying this emerging area forward, there is a strong need for phycologists with expertise in the biodiversity and ecological significance of algae and seagrasses in aquatic environments to come together with scientists and engineers that conduct research on using algae to make biofuels. Towards, this end, the 2016 Northwest Algal and Seagrass Symposium (NWASS) will be held from May 6-8, 2016 at the Casey Conference Center, Whidbey Island, Washington. This conference award will sponsor 50 students from a diversity of academic institutions ranging from community colleges to research universities in the Pacific Northwest to attend the symposium as participants, poster presenters, and speakers.

Phycology is the scientific study of algae and aquatic plants. Since 1984, the Northwest Algal Symposium has been a unique forum to bring together phycologists from many bioscience disciplines, including marine biology, microbiology, ecology, from both academic and government institutions in Pacific Northwest, a geographic area spanning northern California to Alaska. The three-day symposium will have two keynote presentations, oral presentations, and poster presentations. The first set of presentations will overview the current state of algae and seagrass diversity in the Pacific Northwest, and the second set will highlight current efforts in algal biofuel research at institutions in the Pacific Northwest. The presentations will be delivered principally by students and post-doctoral research associates. The symposium will not have parallel sessions, but each presentation will be limited in time to maximize participation and engagement in an informal, supportive environment. The Pacific Northwest is home to many of the highest zones of biodiversity for algae and marine plants in North America. A unique aspect of NWASS is that the conference is situated several marine science stations and parks along the Pacific coast. As part of the symposium activities, phycologists and algal biofuel scientists will participate in field trips with hands-on sample collection activities to see algae in their natural environment. These relationship-building interactions will facilitate future collaborations, leading to a closer connection of the phycological research community with the algal biofuels research community.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 527.75K | Year: 2013

This collaboration among Seattle Pacific University, Augustana College, the University of Arizona, and Hiram College will formally evaluate the impact of authentic project-based research in core sciences curricula. In a previous CCLI project, the PI team constructed the Genomics Education National Initiative (GENI portal), a web-based project delivery system that provides remote access to authentic research. GENI supports classroom implementation of this research by providing protocols, training materials, expert advice, a networking community, and physical resources. The PI team is using this resource to integrate authentic project-based research into the curricula of five participating institutions (those listed above and the University of Wisconsin Madison). The PI team is also inviting current and future users of the program to participate in this assessment. The project is focusing on the evaluation of student learning, engagement, scientific literacy, problem-solving, and retention in the sciences and will study factors that influence faculty integration of authentic research into courses. In addition, they are evaluating the utility of the GENI portal curricula delivery system.

The Intellectual Merit of the proposed project lies in the systematic implementation and assessment of authentic project-based research in science curricula. These results will add to the limited research base on the effectiveness of integrating authentic research in major and non-major components of core science curricula across multiple disciplines and institutions. Through the use of mixed research methods, including controlled studies and qualitative approaches, data are being collected regarding the impact of authentic project-based research on student learning, attitudes, science career involvement and retention, problem solving, and collaboration. A focus on process and context variables is providing critical information regarding integration of authentic research into core science curricula including benefits and challenges for faculty and students, the role of an electronic delivery and project management system, and their use in multiple settings and across disciplines.

The Broader Impacts of this proposal reside in the comprehensive application of project-based research as the foundation of institutional change in undergraduate education. The combination of the resources provided by the GENI portal and the community it supports, complemented by in-depth assessment across multiple educational levels will facilitate integration of research at institutions that were unable to offer a high-quality research experience to their students and will allow the integration of research across curricula, making it an outstanding tool for reaching underserved populations and non-majors. It also provides a way for instructional faculty to re-integrate with mainstream research communities and for full-time researchers to disseminate their science to students of all levels at any institution or location. The data produced will help faculty and administrators integrate undergraduate research at their institutions.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PROGRAM EVALUATION | Award Amount: 821.11K | Year: 2012

This project develops an instrument to measure the content knowledge that teachers need to teach about energy in high school classroom instruction that focuses on mechanical energy. There is significant research that indicates that teacher content knowledge differs from what people in other professions need to know about particular domains such as mathematics, and the development of a Content Knowledge of Teaching Energy in mechanics is an extension of those research and development efforts. The project embeds the development of the instrument in a program of measuring effective teaching of physics in the classroom and develops a strong validity argument for the resulting assessment based on its use as a measure in a professional development project that intends to improve teachers understanding of energy in physics. The research team consists of experts in physics, assessment and classroom teaching of physics. The collaborative project includes researchers at Rutgers, University of Maine, Seattle Pacific University, Facets Innovation, and the Educational Testing Service.

The project uses a framework for effective teaching developed in the Measures of Effective Teaching project funded by the Gates Foundation to construct a theoretical framework for the teaching of mechanical energy. That framework includes items and tasks based on instructional practices in the classroom that can identify the extent to which the teacher understands both the disciplinary knowledge and the appropriate teaching processes that support student learning. A strong framework of validation based on multiple lines of evidence of the relationship between the items developed for the study and observations, analysis of video, and artifacts from the classroom is one element of the study. Another element of the study examines multiple psychometric lines of evidence to determine the reliability of the instruments and the validity of the inferences drawn from them. The resulting instruments will be used in the measurement of changes of teacher content knowledge for teaching in professional development programs as another source of validation.

The improvement of teachers content knowledge for teaching is an important intermediary goal of professional development of teachers. Without adequate understanding of the gaps in teacher knowledge and precise evidence of the improvement through professional development, the efficacy of different professional development projects is not possible. This project develops a model of teacher assessment instrument development that addresses a cross-cutting theme in the Next Generation Science Standards and contributes an important tool to the research and evaluation processes that are needed to make those standards a reality in the classroom. Findings from the use of the instruments across multiple projects inform policy decisions on local, state and federal levels.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 299.71K | Year: 2016

This significant project will share examples of university physics departments that effectively support women and minorities; learn what physics faculty know, believe, and value that could help them create inclusive learning environments; and provide evidence-based guidance to physics faculty who want to include more women and minorities in physics. The intellectual motivations of this project are captured by the American Physical Societys Joint Diversity Statement: To ensure a productive future for science and technology in the US, we must make physics more inclusive...Underrepresented groups constitute a largely untapped intellectual resource and a growing segment of the U.S. population

Unfortunately many faculty remain convinced that traditional instruction, assessment, and admissions reliably identify the best students, in spite of evidence that these practices discriminate against underrepresented groups. To make physics more inclusive, physics teaching should be transformed to increase its effectiveness for women and minorities; physics assessments should accurately reflect student learning without discriminating against disadvantaged groups; and physics departments should enact admissions, mentoring, and advising practices that support all students intellectual and professional growth. In this project physics education researchers, social justice professionals, and physics professional societies will work together to (1) identify physics faculty and departments that are already striving for inclusive physics learning environments through specific teaching efforts or departmental practices, providing examples of practices, values, knowledge, and programs that support equity in physics; (2) learn what knowledge, beliefs, values, and priorities physics faculty share that could support them in creating more inclusive learning environments; and (3) produce pilot resources for physics faculty to change their instruction and their departmental practices to better support inclusion of women and minorities. These pilot resources will include lessons about physics teaching and learning based on short episodes of video illustrating physics classrooms best-practices and guidance for faculty on analyzing demographic data on student assessments.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AISL | Award Amount: 795.11K | Year: 2014

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) identify an ambitious progression for learning energy, beginning in elementary school. To help the nations teachers address this challenge, this project will develop and investigate the opportunities and limitations of Focus on Energy, a professional development (PD) system for elementary teachers (grades 3-5). The PD will contain: resources that will help teachers to interpret, evaluate and cultivate students ideas about energy; classroom activities to help them to identify, track and represent energy forms and flows; and supports to help them in engaging students in these activities. Teachers will receive the science and pedagogical content knowledge they need to teach about energy in a crosscutting way across all their science curricula; students will be intellectually engaged in the practice of developing, testing, and revising a model of energy they can use to describe phenomena both in school and in their everyday lives; and formative assessment will guide the moment-by-moment advancement of students ideas about energy.

This project will develop and test a scalable model of PD that will enhance the ability of in-service early elementary teachers to help students learn energy concepts by coordinating formative assessment, face-to-face and web-based PD activities. Researchers will develop and iteratively refine tools to assess both teacher and student energy reasoning strategies. The goals of the project include (1) teachers increased facility with, and disciplined application of, representations and energy reasoning to make sense of everyday phenomena in terms of energy; (2) teachers increased ability to interpret student representations and ideas about energy to make instructional decisions; and (3) students improved use of representations and energy reasoning to develop and refine models that describe energy forms and flows associated with everyday phenomena. The web-based product will contain: a set of formative assessments to help teachers to interpret student ideas about energy based on the Facets model; a series of classroom tested activities to introduce the Energy Tracking Lens (method to explore energy concept using multiple representations); and videos of classroom exemplars as well as scientists thinking out loud while using the Energy Tracking Lens. The project will refine the existing PD and build a system that supports online implementation by constructing a facilitators guide so that the online community can run with one facilitator.

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