Student Stories

SERVE Vocational Exploration

Lats.Tatyana PicTatyana Lats

Interning with Lutheran Community Services Northwest’s (LCSNW) International Counseling and Community Services (ICCS) program has given me invaluable insight into both the world of human services and into myself. I have had the opportunity to work in an office setting, witness the behind-the-scenes work of counselors and case managers, get to know the incredible stories of local refugees.




Kate Morgan

As a graduating senior at SPU, it has been interesting approaching this year in a significantly different way. The question of “what do you want to be when you grow up” has more depth, more importance. As graduation rounds the corner, I find myself in a restful state of peace because I have learned that the question is not “what” do I want to be but rather “who” do I want to be. My experience at PATH has proven to be one of the most influential times I have had at SPU.



Grace Crawford

For the past three months, I have been volunteering as an intern at the Crisis Clinic. As a phone worker on the 24-­‐Hour Crisis Hotline, I help callers who are in an emotional crisis to identify coping strategies and find a solution to their crisis. Through this experience, I have learned so much about how to help people in crisis. One of the most important things I’ve learned is how to connect and empathize with callers

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Taylor Cline

I was fortunate enough to receive the SERVE scholarship to attend the 95th annual WPA Convention in Las Vegas, NV with Dr. Bikos and her research team. I have already received a glimpse into the graduate school world of clinical psychology through participating in Dr. Bikos’s team as they prepared for WPA, it was attending WPA that truly gave me a unique insight that I know so few undergraduate students have access too.

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WRAMTA pic (2)

Students Attend Western Region American Music Therapy Association 2015 Regional Conference

This conference was a great opportunity to meet professionals in the Western Region in the field of music therapy. We also got to meet other students from the region, building connections early and bringing our schools together- Dan Diaz

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Students Compete in Cornell Cup 2015

For my educational and professional experience this competition was for sure the best
thing that could have happened to me. I was able to meet employees who work in companies that
I dream to work for after I graduate, I could observe the projects of other teams, understand new
ideas and new solutions to products that already exist- Lucas Martiniano de Oliveira

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Sarah Andrews 

As a refugee resettlement intern at World Relief, I am blessed with the opportunity to walk along-side refugee families in their first days and weeks in the United States. The majority of my internship involves direct contact with refugee families. Each day looks different.

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Lozano conference pictureKayla Lozano

On March twelfth through the fifteenth, I attended the Personal Leadership Foundations Seminar on Whidbey Island at the Whidbey Institute. The seminar’s focus was on how an individual can improve both their strengths and weaknesses as they act in leadership roles, particularly when stress levels are high.

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AAPA Conference PhotoStudents Present Research at the 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists

 I am so grateful to have had such an amazing experience made possible only by this SERVE Scholarship… Hopefully in attending this conference, as I prepare to graduate this summer, I am better equipped to engage the culture and change the world. – Erin Apple

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senior picture.1.jpgLisa Goodhew

Because of the support I received through SPU’s SERVE grant, I was able to attend the summer 2014 meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Physics Education Research Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I attended various talks, poster sessions, and discussions related to the field of physics education research and I presented my own research in a poster session at the Physics Education Research Conference.  I felt this was an extremely valuable experience that helped me to network in the field I hope to be in and to develop the professional skills relevant to this field. Read More>>





The organization I am working with, Operation Mobilization (OM), has a main focus on mobilizing people to build relationships for the Gospel. Days before arriving in El Salvador, one of the biggest preparation points given to me by my internship supervisor was this: be ready to be flexible. That being said, it has been typical for a lot of the things I have been doing and observing to feel spontaneous in nature.

During my first week here, I worked with doctors, nurses, and pharmacists from Germany, Canada, and the U.S. in medical clinics that we would set up at a different school each day in the El Salvadorian city of Citalá. Read More >>



Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetMelanie Loud

Josiah Venture is a ministry organization dedicated to the movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church. Josiah venture is currently located in twelve countries in Europe. I am serving this summer as a short-term missionary in Havirov, Czech Republic working with Josiah Venture’s performing arts focused ministry Fusion. My main responsibility is leading evangelistic music/performing arts camps for high school students. These camps are not only a vital tool to bringing the gospel to youth in a relevant and relaxed environment, but they also set the foundation for year-round music/performing arts based ministries run by local churches. Read More >>



Katie Jaimes.jpgKatie Jaimes 

This summer I have been interning for Bethany Christian Services. My title is Foster Care Adoption Intern. I work alongside the Foster Care Adoption social worker providing assistance with cases. During my time here I have been exposed to a variety of situations and cases. My main responsibilities include a few different things. I am in charge of hosting the info. nights for the public in both July and August. I have been preparing for that night as it approaches in the next the week. For the past few weeks I have been working on closing up the child and family files for cases that are no longer active. This involves a lot of paperwork processing. I have also been going to home visits with my supervisor and shadowing the visits with the adoptive parents and foster child. Lastly, I have been in charge of working on the CRM database for foster care adoption.  Read More >>


Giselle Gonzales.jpgGiselle Gonzales

Zdravo (hello)! I’m writing this from a friend’s couch, in a tiny flat, in a sleepy Eastern European town, Celje, all the while being amazed at where God has brought me. This town is where I spent my entire summer last year, and where I have returned to work with a group of missionaries from the Christian non-profit, Josiah Venture. Celje is situated in the mid-eastern side of Slovenia, a nation few people have even heard of (and if they have, often confuse it with Slovakia). Until the 1990’s Slovenia was a part of the former Yugoslavia and under communist rule. So what would motivate a 19-year-old American girl from Seattle to spend two summers in a small, ex-communist country tucked away in the western corner of Eastern Europe? Read More >>



Fredrickson.JPGNathan Fredrickson

This experience, of starting and managing a robotics team at SPU, has really stretched me to the limit and helped me to find who I am. It was my responsibility to run the logistics of the team, as well as serve as the project manager. I discovered throughout this competition, both in the prep leading up to it and actually at the competition, that I really enjoy managing the team. This whole robotics competition has served to show that I have made the correct choice in choosing engineering as my field. I strongly enjoyed working with my team, as well as with others, to complete our goal. We met and worked with teams from around the world, including Armenia, Israel, and Indonesia. Read More >>


Carl-SalleeCarl Sallee

I am interning for Valley Cities Counseling, a non-profit mental health agency that serves the greater King County area. There are several sights in Auburn, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, and Midway, and I work at the Renton site. Basically, Valley Cities is like any mental health provider, except it only takes clients who would qualify for or already have Medicaid and a few other insurances under the Washington State Apple Care act. The clients that we serve at Valley Cities have every sort of mental disorder ranging from not as serious change of life issues, to extremely serious, like Schizophrenia. I believe in the importance of this work because the people being served here have no less need than anyone else with mental health disparities, yet their social status causes them to fall through the cracks. Most people who come in are either homeless, on the verge of homelessness, and are living well below the poverty line. Read More >>


KatarinaKatarina Krueger

During my time of interning at Landesa, I learned the most through my various meetings with different staff members. These meeting were set up to discuss different projects Landesa is involved with, the work of the Center for Women’s Land Rights focuses on, and further advise about careers in development. I learned more about the limitations women face when it comes to land tenure and ownership. Read More>>




Meighan Howell

My time at Image has revealed many details about how I work best. It has offered me the opportunity to learn and grow professionally. It has expanded my skill set and knowledge of the nonprofit workplace. And it has allowed me to delve into my strengths and weaknesses in order that I might develop and even more importantly that I might better understand who I was created to be. The most important thing I have learned from Image has some to do with the workplace but everything to do with purpose. Read More>>




Katie Stutts

Attending the Western Psychology Association research conference in Oregon was an invaluable experience to my educational and vocational aspirations. Being exposed to the conference atmosphere was very exciting for me, and I learned a lot about the current research in psychology. The conference also instilled within me newfound motivation to pursue graduate school in psychology, with the hopes of one day being able to present a topic that I am passionate about in a conference type setting. Read More>>


WP_20140502_004-small4Navjit Grewal

This quarter I was fortunate to be able to accompany team ETC to the 2014 Cornell Cup. This is a fairly prestigious event where 40 teams are carefully selected from a national pool of entrants. ETC and their project was selected to represent not only SPU but also Washington. My role on the team was to provide assistance with any software or electrical issues that arose. I would also help with putting together and taking apart the project because of the complexity and overall size that is involved. Read More>>


WP_20140502_004-small2Jamey Frykholm

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Cornell Cup USA in Orlando, Florida.  Cornell Cup is an annual embedded design competition sponsored by Intel.  Teams from around the country compete to develop innovative solutions to real world problems.  All school year built up to this event as my team and I worked developing our entry which is also our senior design engineering project.

Cornell Cup presented a great opportunity for furthering my education, networking, developing professional skills, as well as simply being a fun, memorable experience.  Read More>>



Everan Chaffee, Team ETC

The Cornell Cup presented by Intel is a senior engineering design competition for undergraduates. Our senior design group, team ETC designed an active suspension scheme that we mounted to a go-kart. We entered our project in the Cornell cup in October and were accepted as one of the 40 finalists for the competition! Read More>>



WP_20140502_004-small3Bartley Hallinan

The Cornell Cup presented by Intel was a highly valuable experience for me. Skills I gained by attending the competition included improved communication, networking and the ability to work under extreme stress. At the competition we demonstrated the potential of our project in an expo. An advantage our project has is that it is interdisciplinary, meaning that it has something that everyone will understand and enjoy learning about. This also meant that I had to learn discern what topics interested the people who I was talking to and focus the discussion on those topics. For example, one of the professors from the system engineering program at Cornell University was very interested in my FPGA implementation, so I took the lead in the conversation with him by discussing the advantages, disadvantages and challenges of my implementation. Read More>>


AAPA-thumbCarmen Hove

With funds from the SERVE grant, I was able to attend the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) in Calgary, Canada, where I was able to present my own undergraduate research as well as attend lectures given by leading experts in the field. One of the most important aspects of any scientific career is the ability to effectively present and share data with the rest of the scientific community. It is through this exchange of ideas that meaningful progress is achieved. At the AAPA meeting, I was able to practice crucial communication skills in a rigorous, professional setting, and in doing so received helpful feedback, regarding both what I have done well and what I can improve in the future. Read More >>


connections-thumbSara Cannon

I recently attended the WRAMTA (Western Region of the American Music Therapy Association) conference in Portland, OR from March 25-30. This is my fourth regional music therapy conference, and the fourth scholarship I have had the opportunity to receive. With this in mind, I spent a good amount of time reflecting on my personal growth; from a wide-eyed, optimistic freshman in Long Beach, CA in 2011, to a student leader about to enter into the professional world today. On May 1 of this year I take my position as President of the WRAMTAS (student) executive board, so at conference this year I spent time with the WRAMTA (professional) executive board – getting to know them, attending their meetings, and becoming familiar with the decisions they will be making this year, as I will soon have a voting presence. Because of my position as a student leader, I have had opportunities to network with professionals that I never would have had if I were unable to attend conference. Additionally, I got to meet many other students from other parts of the country, including one who will be interning in San Diego at the same time as me later this year. Read More >>

Dani-Valdes-SERVEDani Valdes

This is my first time attending a conference, so I did not know what to expect. I attended the Western Region Chapter of American Music Therapy in Portland Oregon for four days. I understood the importance of attending this conference in order to further develop networking within the music therapy field and continue learning and developing my skills and understanding of the work being done through this profession. However, I did not fully understand the extent of the value of attending this conference until being there and seeing the community of music therapists and music therapy students around me. It helped me develop a larger understanding of my vocational calling and affirmed my discernment in choosing to study music therapy through Seattle Pacific University. Read More >>


_MG_5928.JPGNaomi Metzler

Attending the WRAMTA (Western Region Chapter, American Music Therapy Association) conference in Portland, Oregon from March 27th to March 29th was very beneficial to furthering my discernment of my vocation. 
Since high school, I have believed my vocation was to be a music therapist because it is about using the gift of music to bring healing into others’ lives.  I am passionate about that.  The conference was a taste of reality for me in a sense.  I can tend to get idealistic and did not fully realize all the work and involvement it takes to provide successful music therapy services.  I learned that research, and continuing education (CMTE courses) is essential and required for all music therapists.  I did not realize that after one enters the field, they have to get 20 or so credits within 5 years to be able to keep their license.  At first, I did not like the idea of that but then I realized that as a music therapist, there is still so much more to learn from others in the field. It ultimately will be more advantageous for the clients if the therapist continues to gain knowledge. Read More >>


Carly_Bouma-thumbRiley Sanderson

As a current music therapy intern, being given the opportunity to attend this most recent music therapy conference was a special privilege. Although I gained much from participating in the previous year’s regional conference, this time around I was able to approach the educational content with a different perspective. While I was still a full-time student, my time spent in the field was minimal, and therefore I had limited chances to practically utilize much of what I learned during my first conference.  In contrast, I now serve roughly twenty clients for up to 40 hours a week, which makes my new knowledge just as immediately relevant to me as it would be to a paid professional. Read More >>


Chiara_FrancolinoChiara Francolino

This March I had the privilege of attending the Western Region American Music Therapy Association’s (WRAMTA) annual conference. As a music therapy student, it was an honor to have the opportunity to meet and learn from so many talented and knowledgeable music therapists. I was struck by the loyalty of these professionals to their field – some having been working as music therapists for over 40 years – and by their dedication to making music therapy the best and most reputable field it can be. These professionals’ commitment to their work was inspirational on it’s own, but combined with the knowledge they shared in their seminars, my passing for music therapy and calling to this line of work was confirmed. Read More >>


Carly_Bouma-thumbCarly Bouma

By being awarded the support from the SERVE Grant here at Seattle Pacific, I was able to attend The Western Region American Music Therapist Association Annual Conference. I was able to connect in a powerful way with future peers, to get inspired about my future career by listening to professional presentations, and to discover a community so rich and self-supportive that I felt immediately at home. Read More >>


nathan-neslonNathan Nelson

I am the mission and outreach intern at Bethany Community Church.  Elli Oswald, the director of mission and outreach is my direct supervisor.  The mission and outreach department at Bethany contains both local and global outreach programs and organizational partnerships.   My internship responsibilities include a variety of tasks and projects with both global and local focus.  I began my internship in September 2013 and it will conclude in June 2014.  The following will be a reflection of my experience thus far as well as include a projected timeline for current and future tasks and responsibilities.  Read More >>




SERVENatalie Pimblett

As an intern at the EEOC Seattle Field Office my primary responsibility is to process incoming charges of discrimination and prepare them for the legal team. This involves entering the Charging Party’s (CPs) information into the government database, making the initial contact with CPs, scheduling interviews, assisting with interviews, serving charges of discrimination, and making assessments of cases. Since I am the first person a CP comes in contact with I have had to learn how to effectively interact with the public. Working with a wide range of people from different ethnic, linguistic and social backgrounds requires me to be a patient and effective communicator and has shown me that kind words and a polite demeanor go a long way.  Read More>>



Meg Guchee

This summer I have had the opportunity to join three other staff members at a Renton-based non-profit, CryOut!, in empowering nine diverse high school students. These students were selected to engage in the first year of an internship program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that teaches professional skills and promotes leadership development. The summer culminates in a community concert, featuring young and established artists, as planned and implemented by these interns and staff.  My role at CryOut! emerged as I began delegating tasks and encouraging the youth to accomplish the necessary tasks to plan a community event. Read more >>



Mariel's photo

Mariel Rieland

Throughout my summer internship with Hope 2 One Life, I learned many technical skills, such as how to conceptualize and formulate a concrete program plan for a grant application, compile needs assessment data, form a program budget, etc.  However, I have also gained many insights into the non-profit world, including the importance of team dynamics, vision planning vs. strategic planning, and marketing.  I particularly enjoyed meeting one-on-one with my supervisor Nadine, and learning from her valuable personal experiences.  Read More >>



Hershberger.SusieSusie Hershberger

Making a distinction between the idea of “career” and “calling” has really made an impact on how I view not only my current internship and its responsibilities, but also my role as a follower of Christ.  In Sittser’s article, he makes the distinction between career as a secular word defined through the line of work an individual does to earn an income and keep society running. Calling is thought of as a purpose that is able to serve God in the world.  Though many individuals see these two words as synonymous, it is clear that a distinction must be made between them as a Christian. Read More >>



Chelsey Armstrong

Throughout my intern experience at World Relief I have learned so much. Starting with the basics I have learned about refugees who are people that are fleeing their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership or politics. Before my time at World Relief I honestly didn’t know what a refugee was, but now I feel incredibly well versed in the refugee crisis around the world. Read More >>


Ellie Baue

Seattle Pacific University (SPU) is a unique place where education is not confined within a classroom, but is treated as a dynamic way of life.  Learning happens in the dormitories with roommate conflict, in wrestling with topics at coffee shops, and in exploring careers at internships. During my last quarter at SPU, my time has been filled with learning.  One, in particular, that I thoroughly enjoyed is interning at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Read More >>


Alli Cutting

Through Seattle Tilth, I serve as the Garden Steward Intern of Bradner Gardens Park, located in the Mt. Baker neighborhood of southeast Seattle. I appreciate the multifaceted ways in which Seattle Tilth inspires and educates others to care for their own physical and emotional well-being, the health of their community, and to care for the Earth. The organization encourages Seattleites of all ages to get involved in urban gardening and farming. Read More >>

Emily Johnson

During my internship, I learned more than I imagined about communication, fundraising and the inner workings of a non-profit. My internship came at the most exciting time possible for the Washington Global Health Alliance, as I was there for the final months of planning and execution for a two month long exhibit and activity tent, as well as the planning and executing of three global health events that ranged in audience from 800-2600 people. Some of my favorite parts included working with such a dynamic and great staff who are excited about their work and want to find ways to get others excited about it as well. Read More >>


Glenn Jones

My Internship at the Moyer Foundation was an experience I was proud of. Being a Program intern was fun and I learned skills such as data entry and learning about media and programs like excel, that promoted the organization. I contributed to all the tasks necessary and I felt honored in having to join a non-profit that helps others as the Foundation does. I learned from this experience how a non-profit organization is run, how things run behind the scenes, how to expand and better my oral and written communication skills, and how to develop time management skills. Read More >>

Kenneth Kuhn

One of the things that my internship has made abundantly clear is how well my education has prepared me for ministry. I am an Educational Ministry major in my final year and when rubber met the road over the last quarter, I was ready for it. That alone is such a huge blessing. Most valuably, I learned how to take the knowledge that I have gained through my education and apply it to real life ministry. As I hinted above, the transition was really smooth and it was so fun to see it all come together! The best part of working with the children’s ministry team at Bethany Community Church was receiving tips from all of their hard earned lessons. They provided a lot of the polish for my rudimentary skill set. Read More >>

Kyle Peterman

I don’t know if I can put into exact words what I’ve learned at my internship but I know that I have been stretched, challenged, and learned more than I ever expected. I appreciate Sittser’s distinction between calling and career: “a calling often uses a career, though it should never be reduced to a career.” Through this internship I have been able to further discern my distinct calling and how that can be played out in at least one career, for example working as a Chaplain at a homeless shelter. However, I have also learned that a calling does not have to be restricted to a specific career path. Sittser’s definition of a calling as “a God-given purpose to use one’s time, energy, and abilities to serve God in the world,” helps me to realize that one of my callings is to work for justice and healing in the lives of those on the margins.


Sheila Kelley

I can honestly say that I have learned a lot working at EarthCorps. I have learned the importance of communication both internally and externally. Communication internally produces better departmental connection and support as well as better data which is really the lifeline of a non-profit’s outreach and financial support. External communication in the form of networking at events as well as newsletters, reports, among others to reach your supporters, both financially through individual donors and grantors, as well as the volunteers and home stays (those that host our international corpsmembers) that really make this organization a success is really non-replaceable. EarthCorps has managed to do this through structured meetings, open door policies, having good information systems and training on how to use them, as well as great processes around event coordination and consistent interaction with the community that supports the organization. Read More >>

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