#PilotsGiveBack | University of Portland


Together we all add UP

Graphic says "University of Portland - #PilotsGiveBack - Spring 2020With the outbreak of COVID-19, UP wants to focus on #PilotsGiveBack, a celebration of what it means to be a Pilot — on what service, leadership, and faith mean in the face of great challenges. 

In the days ahead, we will collect stories and photos and share them with you. We will also bring you thoughtful prayers and ways to connect with your faith during this Lenten season.

While we all need to be apart right now, our stories, reflections, and actions can bring us together. Tell us what you and your fellow Pilots are doing to help. Share a story that will warm our community's hearts.

Share your #PilotsGiveBack story.

Resources for the UP community

Ways to Help

#PilotsGiveBack Stories

Beth Biggs in uniform

Oregon Army National Guard 1st Lt. Beth Biggs ’18 Provides Essential PPE to Communities Throughout Oregon

When 1st  Lt. Beth Biggs ’18 received her orders on March 29, she was ready. She was in the Army ROTC program during her time at UP and now part of the Oregon Army National Guard 141st Brigade Support Battalion’s COVID-19 response team, distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout Oregon.
Kene Anigbogu and friends from Morrocco smiling

Peace Corps Volunteer Returns to the US

Kenechi (Kene) Anigbogu ’18 was a member of the 100th group of American Peace Corps volunteers to serve in Morocco. He served in Afourer, a town in the Beni-Mellal region of central Morocco, but his Peace Corps service was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic

Kathryn Briggs

UP Music Professor Challenges Her High School Students to Have Fun Outside Their Comfort Zones

Kathryn Briggs, University of Portland adjunct faculty member and Bel Canto treble choir director, recently challenged her St. Mary’s Academy high school students to go outside their comfort zone by learning to beatbox. Briggs composed four measures of a sample beatbox rhythm and included her own video demonstration, then asked her students to submit their attempts. 

Two women playing cello outside

Jessica Steinhebel ’09 Gives Tips to Manage Stress with Music Therapy

Jessica Steinhebel ’09, a licensed therapist, uses music as a tool to aid clients with pain management and anxiety, to increase relaxation, and elevate moods. Because so many of us are feeling stressed about the pandemic, she offers some suggestions on how to use music therapeutically for self-care.

Jennifer Graves in nursing scrubs

Nurse Leader Staffs Health Facility to Care for People Experiencing Homelessness in King County, WA

In a matter of mere weeks, the government of King County, WA, completed the construction of a new public health facility—two massive white tents with ventilation, a wireless network, adjacent showers and sanitation and 140 beds in individualized spaces—for the purposes of COVID-19 assessment and recovery. The nurse leader who stepped up to staff these facilities is double UP alumna Jennifer Graves, the regional nursing executive of Kaiser Permanente Washington.  

Students dressed like characters outside

Student volunteers continue to bring joy to hospitalized children during quarantine

A Moment of Magic, the national foundation that creates the opportunities for bedside visits for children, has a robust, 60-member chapter here at University of Portland. And UP students have continued to bring joy to children, even during COVID-19. The hospital visit may need to be on a screen right now, but rest assured, if a child wants a visit with a princess or superhero, the princess or superhero of choice will come.

Gregory Pulver wearing mask

PFA professor uses costume design skills to make masks for community members

At this point in the semester, Gregory Pulver, associate professor of costume and makeup design and choreography, is usually busy working on spring theater productions with performing & fine arts students. This spring, Pulver is putting his costume design skills to use by making masks for his friends and for the priests on the University of Portland campus.

Fedele Bauccio and José Andrés addressing group

Fedele Bauccio ’62 partnered with World Central Kitchen to Feed Those Aboard the Quarantined Grand Princess Cruise

Founder and CEO of Bon Appétit Management Company Fedele Bauccio ’64 partnered with World Central Kitchen to help feed the 3,500 passengers and crew aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship. The Bon Appétit-World Central Kitchen partnership made about 50,000 meals for passengers and crew of the ship, which was quarantined off the coast of California due to a COVID-19 outbreak onboard.

Photo by Bart Nagel Photography

Decorative image of Financial Self-Care Week poster

UP Cash Flow Club hosts Financial Self-Care Week

In honor of Financial Literacy Month, the UP Cash Flow Club has created a new, virtual series to help UP students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni. The Financial Self-Care Week will run from Saturday, April 18, to Friday, April 24, with online workshops available once a day during the evening.
candles lit in the grotto

Light a Candle for Community

At dusk in Pacific Grove, California, UP parent Cari Rotoli takes her nightly neighborhood walk. A neighbor extended an invitation to light a candle as a symbol of unity and an offering of “peace, healing, and community.” Every evening, porches and front windows radiate the soft glow of candles or outdoor lights, sending an incandescent warmth into the spring evenings. 

Fr. John Kerns in front of altar

The Way We Do Church: Fr. John Kerns ’81 Goes Digital

When Archbishop Sample announced the cancellation of all Masses for the Portland metropolitan area, Fr. John Kerns ’81 started recording his homilies and daily masses for his church at Our Lady of the Lake (OLL), located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Kerns has been updating his YouTube channel with a new video for his parishioners every day.

Blanchet House of Hospitality sign

Greater Need at Blanchet House

Rebecca Seibert, a University of Portland alumna and staff member, recently signed up to volunteer to help meet the need at the Blanchet House of Hospitality. The organization, which has always served a warm meal restaurant-style, pivoted to a to-go meals plan.

Kimberly Train in nursing scrubs

UP Nursing Students Step Up to Provide Childcare for Moms and Dads Working on Health Care’s Frontlines

School of Nursing students have stepped up to provide free babysitting, or even run errands, to help support the doctors and nurses in the community. Student volunteers from UP get matched with health care providers who need the help. There’s now a hotline for those who want to take part in the program (503.383.9776).

Father Dan Parrish holding guitar

UP Profs Keep Learning and Connections Going

Given the new nature of the classroom, we’ve heard stories of children and pets making appearances in class. Fr. Dan Parrish’s newest class member is his guitar. Now students in Fr. Dan’s class look forward to his weekly song.

Poster with text that reads Active Minds Virtual Active Minds meetings every Wednesday at 7:15 pm via Zoom

Active Minds Meetings Continue

When students were asked to leave campus in response to COVID-19, the student leaders of Active Minds, UP’s mental health awareness and advocacy group, decided to be proactive and move their group meetings online every Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. on Zoom. They will meet through the end of the year and all students are welcome to join, whether they’ve been involved with the group previously or not.

Stained glass with text that says University of Portland campus Stations of the Cross Spring 2020

Stations of the Cross and Holy Week Offerings

Campus Ministry has been quick to adapt to social distancing precautions and have created a video with UP staff of all 14 Stations of the Cross around different locations on campus while building a unifying message of support during these difficult times.
Michael Rittman standing in living room

PE Teacher and UP Alum Brings the Fun to Fitness at Home

The emails came pouring in all day long. Pictures of siblings doing bicycle crunches in front of an iPad, grandpas and grandkids doing planks in front of the TV, whole families off the couch and jogging in place inside. It was the first day of Michael Rittman’s ’08 virtual PE class—something the K-8 PE teacher at John Fisher School in Southwest Portland had never done before—and if his inbox was any indication, it was a big hit.
Maureen Briare with harp

Maureen Briare’s Healing Harp

The musical gifts of Maureen Briare ’92, MA ’04 may seem ubiquitous on The Bluff. A skilled soloist on piano, guitar, flute, and percussion, she chose to soothe the anxious with weekly online posts featuring spiritual hymns, mindful meditation, and the gentle plucking of her Celtic “Healing Harp.” 
nurse giving thumbs up in protective scrubs

UP Nurse’s Rally Cry

At a time when inspiration is needed more than ever, we have this Facebook post from Erika (Nest) Cadres ’02, who finds herself on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA.
UP students performing Lū'au dance

Mehling Hall seniors share Lū'au dances with fellow students

When the UP community received the difficult news that students would need to leave dorms due to COVID-19 concerns, the University’s robust Hawai’i Club sprang to action.