Distinguished Scholar - Rod Janzen, Ed.D.

Scholarship isn't all heavy reading in the library, says Rod Janzen(BA '75), university distinguished scholar. There can be adventure. "While writing a book on Synanon (the drug rehabilitation center turned commune that disbanded due to criminal activity and government lawsuits), I interviewed the infamous figure who placed a rattlesnake in the mailbox of one of the group's detractors," he says.

There's also the issue of honesty. "It is important that we (faculty) not ask students to do things that we are not willing to do ourselves," says Janzen, who also directs the individual master's program, is a member of the history faculty and taught in teacher education.

Being Distinguished Scholar has helped Janzen write books and articles and edit Communal Societies, the journal of the Communal Studies Association. He has also increased FPU's profile by co-creating and directing Pacific Journal, the university scholarly publication, and Scholars Speak, op-ed pieces written by faculty and staff and sent to more than 70 newspapers and magazines.

Research is fundamental to the Fresno Pacific Idea, which calls on the university to be Christian, a community of learners and to prophetically engage church and society. "The Christian angle in much research is central," Janzen says. "It is hard to think about history, for example, without thinking in moral terms. Questions of foundational meaning are basic."

FPU created the Provost Research Grant in 2008 to encourage faculty to develop their scholarship. Awards have been given in fields from science to religion and have funded the creation of new music and the translation of ancient languages. Read the full Provost Faculty Scholarship report which includes all the faculty recipients and an overview of their work.