Awards and Honors
Honor Roll & Dean’s List
Undergraduate students who earn a current grade point average of 3.5 or better, while carrying twelve credits or more of courses that affect grade point average (i.e., non-pass/no credit courses), are placed on the Dean’s List. Full-time students with a current grade point average of 3.3 to 3.499 are placed on the Honors List.
Honorary Sigma Chi Pi Recipients
The Alliance for AG Higher Education sponsors the Sigma Chi Pi Honor Society. The faculty nominate alumni who satisfy scholastic, character, and leadership qualifications, as well as have graduated from Northwest University ten or more years ago. These recipients are honored at our commencement ceremony each May.
Mr. Jeff Lockhart (1989)
Jeff Lockhart is a Northwest University alumnus, holding a Master’s degree in Business Administration. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Kirkland Performance Center, where he oversees programming, funding, and operational revitalization strategies for the organization. Jeff spearheaded NU’s music industry business and recording arts program, Creatio, and helped develop and launch two fully accredited degrees for our students. Jeff co-founded, manages, and plays drums for Crème Tangerine, a Beatles tribute band. His love of music provided him with a vision and career direction. Jeff has said that everything he learned to succeed in leadership and business, he learned from being in a rock and roll band – passion, collaboration, and grit. Today he uses music to motivate and inspire people to create and to contribute to the community in a positive way.
Ms. Vickie Rekow (1999)
Vickie Rekow is alumna of Northwest University, graduating with the BA in Organizational Management in 1999. She is also a valued employee at Northwest, serving as the Senior Director for Student Financial Services. In just two years she led a team to combine two departments into one and is transforming the way NU serves students and families with financial aid. Before coming to NU, Vickie served as Director for scholarship Services for the College Success Foundation and Director of Student Financial Services at SPU before that. In addition to her business and financial acumen, and reputation as a thought leader in higher education, it’s evident to both colleagues and students that Vickie’s mission is to make Christian higher education accessible and affordable. She and her husband, Dana, serve on the National Christian Foundation board, work with the Generous Giving organization, and have a long history of giving their time and talents to higher education.
Dr. Jacob Witt (1999)
Jacob Witt came to Northwest University as a student in 1995. He found his place as an Interdisciplinary History major, as a Resident Assistant, and as a member of the debate team. As debate team captain, Jacob led the team to their highest national placement, 6th place. After graduation, Jacob and his wife, Autumn, embarked on a 3-year teaching assignment in rural Northern Japan. They grounded themselves in a local church, serving in various roles. This experience made such an impact that he would later return to the earthquake and tsunami devastated region of Northern Japan in 2011 to help with clean-up and donation delivery. Jacob has earned two Master’s degrees: in Communication theory and in Linguistics, followed by a PhD in Second Language Acquisition & Teaching at the University of Arizona. Jacob joined the NU English department in 2010. In addition to his faculty role, Jacob returned to his NU roots to coach the debate team, and is a deeply respected coach in the national debate community.
Ms. Mako Minegishi (1998)
Mako came to Northwest University in the summer of 1996. She was an outstanding student and sought out professors who were notoriously rigorous, but who challenged her in new ways. After completing an MA in Translation and Interpretation from the Monterey Institute for International Studies, Mako was selected to be an interpreter for executives at the opening of Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan. She also was contracted to translate classic texts like Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ” and contemporary works like “Every Good Endeavor” by Timothy Keller. In 2004, Mako was invited to the Rose Bowl in California to provide Japanese interpretation for the Billy Graham Crusade. Mako and her husband, Taka, also an NU alum, along with their son Noah, have recently moved to Torrance, CA where they now make their home. Mako has already begun serving in Los Angeles as translator for exhibits in the Japanese American National Museum.
Mr. Stephen Olson (2007)
Stephen Olson graduated from Northwest University at age 20 with his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Literature. He continued his studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, where he focused on the biblical languages. He graduated with his Masters in Divinity in 2011 and was joined the staff at his home church of Bethel Church at Vista Pointe in Medford, Oregon. While on staff as the Children’s Pastor, he authored a through-the-Bible children’s curriculum and was part of the Oregon Ministry Network Young Leaders Forum. In 2014 he left Medford to become the Associate Pastor of Adult Discipleship and Missions at Parkway Christian Center in Grants Pass, Oregon, where he continues to serve as an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God. Stephen is married to Corissa, also a graduate of Northwest University, and they have three children.
Dr. Troy Jones (1989) Award accepted by Mrs. Jana Jones
Dr. Troy Jones is a Northwest Alumnus; he later earned his doctorate in Ministry from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, and has taught as an adjunct professor at NU. Currently he is the Lead Pastor of New Life Church in Renton, an innovative multi-site church with five campuses in the Pacific Northwest. New Life Church collaborates with NU through the Church Partnership Program; for the past three years they’ve had a strong program of church interns earning college credit. Troy has built a reputation as an expert on leading change and innovation in established churches. Driven by a passion to see each of America’s 350,000 churches reach their full Kingdom impact, Troy is a sought-after speaker, coach, and consultant specializing in helping church leaders draft a blueprint to restore passion and reinvigorate their church’s mission. A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, he is committed to seeing healthy pastors lead healthy families and healthy churches.
Mr. Ben Sterciuc (2006)
Ben Sterciuc was born in Communist Romania. At age 20 he made his first attempt to escape, which landed him in prison. On his second attempt, he made it to Hungary and from there immigrated to the US. In 2006, Ben graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Music Ministry from Northwest University, having previously earned bachelor and master’s degrees in Nursing from the University of Washington. In business Ben is the founder and president of Elder Placements Incorporated in Bothell WA, has been a delegate for the Washington Business Advisory Board to the US Senate and represented the Small Business Advisory Board to the Whitehouse. In ministry, Ben is the founder and pastor of Elevation Churches International and serves as president of Vital Solutions—a non-profit working in Kenya. Ben also teaches as an adjunct faculty member in Northwest University’s Buntain School of Nursing and for the last three years has led a team of senior nursing students to Kenya in their month-long Nursing Practice as Ministry course. In his spare time, Ben is earning his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.
Ms. Aimee Altizer (1986)
Aimee Altizer has devoted her life to her calling and passion of working with those living in marginalization and oppression. After graduating from Northwest University in 1996, she earned a master of divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge MA. Now an ordained minister, Aimee serves as the chaplain, chef, and horticulture therapist for Acqua Recovery, a premier residential drug and alcohol treatment facility in Utah. At Acqua, Aimee is able to marry her passions of feeding people both physically and spiritually by leading a team in organic gardening and gourmet meal preparation for those in recovery. She is also collaborating to launch Unshackled, a social enterprise that seeks to empower those from backgrounds of incarceration and addiction build equitable and productive relationships.
Dr. Charles Kinman (1985)
After serving 9 years in the United States Air Force, including 3 years during the Vietnam War, Dr. Charles Kinman came to Northwest University to train for ministry in 1981 where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministries. He has sinced become an ordained minister, earned an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, completed a residency in Marriage and Family Therapy, and earned a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University. In his current role as a license marriage and family therapist, Dr. Kinman has served for the past 18 years as the Director of Counseling at Bethany Christian Assembly in Everett, accomplishing over 30,000 hours of individual and family counseling. Dr. Kinman has also taught at Northwest University for the past 13 years, impacting over 3,000 students in our undergraduate and graduate programs.
Reverend Ricardo Quintana (1985, 2014)
Ricardo Quintana graduated from Northwest University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministries. Following graduation, he served as our first full-time Admissions Counselor, recruiting students from 1985-1988. He married Karen Hendrix in 1988 and became the Youth Pastor for Neighborhood Church in Bellevue. While on staff at Neighborhood, he became the proud father of daughters Stephanie and Taylor, who would both go on to attend Northwest University. Then, after serving thirteen years as pastor of Woodside New Life Church in Marysville, Rev. Quintana began a successful managerial career with a Fortune 500 company. In 2009, he accepted the opportunity to join the team at New Life Church in Renton as Executive Pastor where serves to this day. Pastor Quintana recently finished his Master of Arts in Missional Leadership at Northwest University and has stayed with us as a part-time faculty member.
Dr. Jacqueline Gustafson (2000, 2003, 2008)
Dr. Jacqueline Gustafson earned a B.A. in Psychology in 2000, a M.A. in Counseling Psychology in 2003, and a Post-Master’s Certificate in International Community Development in 2008; all from Northwest University. Then in 2011, she completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership with a dual Cognate in Higher Education Administration and Global Studies from Seattle University. During that time, Dr. Gustafson served the Northwest University community and specifically the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences in many critical roles such as Core Group Leader, Program Director, Director of Curriculum, Director of Doctoral Dissertation and Research, Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, and finally as the Associate Dean of Academic Programs. Last year, Dr. Gustafson accepted a role with California Baptist University as Dean of the School of Behavioral Sciences. Cal Baptist’s gain is truly NU’s loss.