A Vietnam Odyssey

In the midst of the Vietnam War, two of South Vietnam's best young students, Khiem "Tim" Manh Tran and Thuy "Cathy" Trinh Tran, were sent to Pacific University on prestigious academic scholarships. The students stayed at Pacific only two years — just long enough to fall in love, acquire skills that saved their lives, and form friendships that helped them achieve freedom. Read the full article

Questions & Answers: Mark Szymanski

Mark Szymanski began teaching at Pacific's College of Education Eugene campus in 1999. He earned his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin. He taught in Milwaukee, Wis., and has focused much of his work on technology and the power of connecting communities.

Alumni Profiles

Bike trip of a lifetime

British climber George Mallory, when asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, famously replied, “Because it’s there.“ Similarly, Dave Mertes ’00, could have just hopped a plane or a train to head home to Portland from New York City this summer. After four years in the Big Apple, he had added a certificate in outdoor apparel design from the Fashion Institute of New York to his Pacific degree in sociology and English Literature.

A story in wood

Anne Balser ’96 returned to Pacific in the fall with her display of woodworks in a Katherin Cawein Art Gallery exhibit, which ran through the month of September. Her work in woodworks is a new development in her career, after working with a variety of mediums. Balser said she is grateful to have found the natural surfaces of wood. ”Wood has the natural warm tones and values that I consistently paint with,” she said. ”I have a new appreciation of the material and its tendency to tell a story.”

Running away with life

Shawn Hnatko, P.T. ’98, is giving new meaning to the phrase “dad on the run.” Since his final year in the physical therapy program at Pacific, he has competed in more than 50 triathlons around the globe. Now living in Okinawa, Japan, he is combining his athletic passion with fatherhood.


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