With a collective 238 years of service, 10 distinguished faculty members retired this year, having made a difference in the lives of hundreds, even thousands, of Seattle Pacific University students. Find out a little bit more about them — and offer your former professor a word of congratulations below.
Martin L. Abbott
Professor of sociology (32 years)
After seven years as full-time director of a research project exploring national trends in math education, Martin Abbott published his 2010 book Winning the Math Wars: No Teacher Left Behind. He was Seattle Pacific’s first dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and played major roles in accreditation, developing Eaton Hall, and creating the School of Psychology, Family, and Community. He also served as dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and had a term as acting provost.
After retirement, Abbott expects to shift his writing focus to hermeneutics and Christian faith. Besides that, and a promised fishing trip with a former dean, one of his favorite roles will continue to be Papa to his two grandchildren.
Albert M. Erisman
Executive in residence (16.5 years)
Al Erisman came to Seattle Pacific in April 2001 after a 32-year career at The Boeing Company, where he led a staff of 250–300 as director of R&D for computing and mathematics. He holds a PhD in applied mathematics, and is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Accidental Executive: Lessons on Business, Faith, and Calling From the Life of Joseph. He is executive editor and co-founder of Ethix magazine, and has taught on business, faith, ethics, and technology in 25 countries on five continents. Erisman is currently working on two books: The God of Good Technology (with David Gill) and A Mathematical Way of Seeing.
Roger L. Feldman
Professor of Art (17 years)
Roger Feldman created and oversaw the visual communication, photography, and film studies majors. He studied theology at Fuller Seminary, earned an MFA in sculpture at Claremont Graduate University, and has built a distinguished career creating site-specific sculptural installations around the world in Texas, Canada, Austria, Scotland, and more. He is the recipient of several grants, including an NEA Individual Artist Fellowship Grant in Sculpture, and awards, such as the Prescott Award in Sculpture.
With at least three shows scheduled for this coming year, Feldman plans to continue his art career, travel with his wife and continue to nurture emerging artists.
Thursday, July 13, 2017, at 7:20 a.m.
I still have such fond memories of your first year at SPU and our small class of “guinea pigs” who were the first to graduate with the Visual Communication degree! It’s hard to believe it’s been 17 years since then. Congratulations on all those years of service at SPU and on your retirement! Anyone who had the chance to learn from you was lucky. You were an inspiring professor, a mentor, and a friend. I am celebrating 15 years this year as the graphic designer at the same company I landed a job with right out of SPU and you are one of the people I have to thank for that! Congratulations again!
Trisha Baker Haywood, Class of 2002
Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy (17.5 Years)
Describing Claudia Grauf-Grounds’ 13 years of service as department chair, former Vice President of Academic Affairs Les Steele said the MFT program “truly came of age under Claudia’s strong and able leadership.” She oversaw its 2002 national accreditation and played a key role in development of the Medical Family Therapy certificate program.
Since becoming director of clinical training and research in 2014, Grauf-Grounds has maintained a full course load and served as mentor, advisor, and clinical supervisor to all student cohorts. Her co-authored textbook, Essential Skills in Family Therapy, has been translated into Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, and her newest book, We’ve Had This Fight Before, was published in March 2017.
Michael S. Hamilton
Professor of History (18 Years)
A long-time department chair, Michael Hamilton has mentored faculty and spearheaded the creation of programs in museum studies, Asian studies, urban studies, and within the Core Curriculum. In his 10 years as an internal consultant, the SPU alumnus led successful efforts to garner over $2.9 million for SPU programs from such organizations as Lilly Endowment, Keck Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and Pew Scholars. His newest book, Calvin College and the Revival of Christian Learning in America, is forthcoming.
Hamilton will take up new professional duties as vice president for programs and special initiatives at The Issachar Fund of Grand Rapids, Michigan, but he and his family will remain here in the Puget Sound area.
Monday, July 3, 2017, at 2:34 p.m.
Congratulations Dr. Hamilton! Wish you well in your new position!
Jerry Essenpreis, former SPU staff
Thursday, June 29, 2017, at 10:44 p.m.
Dear Dr. Hamilton,
Congratulations on your retirement from SPU! Although I did not actually have you as a professor, I would like to thank you for your support in my efforts to apply to the Masters in History program at UW. Your administrative expertise and constructive criticism were very much appreciated. Thank you also for your years of service to the SPU History Department!
Blessings on your next endeavor.
Thursday, June 29, 2017, at 9:16 p.m.
Congratulations on a successful career! I can still remember being in one of your history classes my sophomore year, and you demanded that students put time into their studies by orally quizzing us at random. Not only that, but you memorized our names and faces so quickly, we didn’t feel invisible or unknown in your class. These are practices I brought into my own classroom (high school English). Even though history was not my major at SPU, you taught me that history is connected to all other subjects, and I often relied on the knowledge I gained in your class to help my students understand the context of an author or piece of literature.
Jennifer Williams Don, Class of 2004
Linda M. Pedersen
Instructor of Nursing (14 Years)
After receiving her master’s in nursing, Linda Pedersen came to SPU for two post-master’s certificates. She served as adjunct faculty for three years, became co-director of the RN to BSN program in 2003, and began serving as director of the nurse practitioner program in 2009.
Pedersen and her husband, also a nurse practitioner for over 20 years, have both practiced in underserved areas and collaborated to provide health care in the Jefferson County jail. In the years to come, she looks forward to spending time with her husband, who has also retired, and seeing her daughter and her family in Memphis — especially a 7-year-old grandson who regularly beats the adults at chess fair and square.
Donald M. Peter
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering (30 Years)
Don Peter joined Seattle Pacific College in the early 1970s as a physics student. After graduation, he spent 11 years as a Tektronix engineer before joining the SPU faculty. He has been a Summer Faculty Fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, where he contributed to work on both the Voyager and Magellan spacecraft. In addition to consulting work with local engineering firms, Peter dedicates countless hours to his church and its outreach ministries, and always has time to talk with students who need advice on class work, as well as personal and spiritual matters.
Richard D. Scheuerman
Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction (13 Years)
Dick Scheuerman came to SPU after 25 years as a public school teacher and administrator. For seven years, he served as chair of the master of arts in teaching (MAT) program, regularly advising students, and significantly increasing the reputation of the program.
His 2009 book, Finding Chief Kamiakin: The Life and Legacy of a Northwest Patriot, was a Washington state Book of the Year author finalist. Scheuerman has received numerous academic awards, and is co-author of the interdisciplinary curriculum series Journeys of Discovery. He is also co-founder, and has served as the executive director, of The Joseph Fund, a foundation devoted to orphan-care education and placement in Eastern Europe.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at 8:20 p.m.
Congratulations on your retirement Dr. Scheuerman! Thank you so much for giving me a “second chance” during the application/interview process for the MAT program. Thanks to you I am able to do what I love and am looking forward to my 5th year of teaching special edu. Thanks again! I wish you many blessings on your retirement.
Michael H. Tindall
Professor of Computer Science (37 years)
Get together a group of computer science graduates from SPU, and they’ll all say: “I survived Tindall!” Michael Tindall has the unique distinction of having taught every graduate of the program, and his systems programming assignments are the stuff of legends.
He served as Computer Science Department chair for over 25 years, including its early and most formative ones. Tindall’s family define him in a significant way, particularly his grandchildren. When he came to SPU, Tindall was a pioneer — computing was the not-yet-tamed wild frontier. Now technology is a part of daily life, and Tindall is still about the business of engaging the digital culture, while challenging his students and colleagues to do the same.
William H. Woodward
Professor of History (43 Years)
Since joining the Seattle Pacific faculty, William Woodward has accumulated an astonishing register of accomplishments: three stints as chair of the History Department adding up to 16 years; chair of the faculty from 1989 to 1990; SPU Professor of the Year in 1996; Pacific Northwest Historians Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000; SPU’s Winifred E. Weter Faculty Award Lecture for Meritorious Scholarship in both 1978 and 2005.
In 1997, Woodward completed service in the Washington State Army National Guard, (That’s Lieutenant Colonel Woodward to you, soldier!), during which he was also their state historian. As Woodward heads into retirement, he and his wife plan to stay in the area, and he has promised to continue to be available to the History Department to teach his beloved “History of the Pacific Northwest.”
Friday, July 7, 2017, at 1:09 p.m.
I never had the opportunity to take one of your classes, but I was fortunate to know you through my role with ASSP and as part of Centurions. Thank you for making it a priority in your life to pour into and mold the lives of so many students over the years. Much appreciated!
Ryan T. Smith ’98
Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at 7:02 a.m.
Thank you Professor Woodward. You inspired many by your integrity and steadfastness. Retire well. Retire strong and know that you made a difference in the lives of many. Peace and blessings to you!
Karl Lambert ’86
Monday, July 3, 2017, at 2:35 p.m.
Congratulations Dr. Woodward! I wish you all the best in your retirement!
Jerry Essenpreis, former SPU staff
Friday, June 30, 2017, at 6:14 a.m.
Congratulations!! Fond memories of sitting in your very first SPU class. You touched my life and many others during your distinguished career Enjoy your family and retirement. You earned it!
Leann McComb, Class of 1978
Friday, June 30, 2017, at 3:07 a.m.
Congratulations on your retirement! Your classes were very challenging academically! Your enthusiasm for history, accents, and faith in God were conveyed to your students. I will always remember the dinner at your home with the Colonial America History class, complete with costumes and food from the time period.
Amy Roberts, Class of 1995
Thursday, June 29, 2017, at 10:38 p.m.
Dear Dr. Woodward,
When I decided to study history at SPU, my aunts and uncles, all alumni, regaled me with wonderful stories of their experiences in your classes. My aunt Kelli (Shepherd) Kesler recounted how when she was student teaching, you came to her class dressed in civil (or revolutionary, I can’t remember) war regalia. My uncles Brian Kesler and Mike Cardinalli also have fond memories of your classes, especially of your mutual loves of history and baseball.
I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to take U.S. History Since 1876 with you (Spring 2010). It allowed me to learn from a passionate, infinitely knowledgeable, and lifelong historian and teacher, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hearing your stories of studying at Georgetown and working at the Library of Congress intermixed with your experiences of living in Seattle through its many phases made the subject all the more engaging. I still wish I would have kept my Library of Congress catalog card from that first day of class.
Your long tenure at SPU is truly admirable and shows your commitment to sharing your knowledge and passion with the students of SPU. Thank you for your service and for imparting your wisdom to us fellow historians.
Enjoy your much-deserved retirement!
Thursday, June 29, 2017, at 10:22 p.m.
Thank you, Dr. Woodward, for your engaging lessons on a memorable Bicentennial History Study Tour that was the highlight of my time at SPU. Best wishes as you move on to new ventures.
Cheryl Robinson Beavers ’78
Thursday, June 29, 2017, at 9:49 p.m.
Congratulations Dr. Woodward, I enjoyed the days in your classes, way back in the late ’80s.
Seth M. Webster
Thursday, June 29, 2017, at 8 p.m.
Dr. Woodward, Congratulations on your retirement! I always enjoyed your classes. Enjoy your retirement. God Bless.
Brenda Hubert ’83
Thursday, June 29, 2017, at 7:25 p.m.
The enthusiasm you brought to your teaching was contagious. Thanks for inspiring me to teach history as well.
Doug Sessions ’85
Want to send your former professor a note of congratulations on his or her retirement? Send it to us through this moderated bulletin board and we’ll post it here!