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Alumni Achievements

Featured Alum A. James Spung, '09

Majors: Political Science and Journalism

Career Path: J.D., 2012, Emory Law School, Atlanta, Ga. Currently clerking for the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Why Whitworth? "I remember visiting as a high school senior and staying in Baldwin-Jenkins Hall. Everyone was friendly and seemed to deeply enjoy each other. Also, we kicked out a rousing round of Frisbee golf at 1 a.m. The combination of people, atmosphere and late-night fun had me hooked."

Whitworth Activities: Wrote for The Whitworthian, Whitworth's newspaper; was an RA in Arend Hall; was a D.J. for KWRS, now whitworth.fm; worked as an info desk manager in the HUB; tutored at the writing center; studied abroad in South Africa during Jan Term; and played on Frisbee and basketball intramural teams.

Quote: "Successfully studying and practicing law demands an understanding of your own values and abilities. My Whitworth experience -- classes and everything else -- helped me develop that understanding. I came out of Whitworth focused, confident, self-possessed and motivated, and each of those characteristics has been essential to me."

Influential Whitworth Experiences: "My relationship with professor Julia Stronks was and continues to be particularly influential. Speaking with her and taking classes from her pushed me to clarify my interest in law and helped prepare me for the rigors and emotions of law school. She's a tremendous individual who helped me become a better person."

Career Goals: "For now, I'm looking to begin practicing law following my clerkship experience. However, I know that my experience at Whitworth has me well-prepared to do whatever I'll ultimately want to do."

Here's what some other recent Whitworth graduates are doing with their political science degrees:

  • Noah Patterson, '07, received his J.D. from the University of Denver and is the assistant attorney general with the Colorado Attorney General's Office.

  • Pierre Biscaye, '11, works for World Vision International in Federal Way, Wash., where he develops education and life skills curriculum and sets up resource localization systems in East Africa.

  • Jessica Gawryn, '08, is fully funded as a Ph.D. student in political science at Loyola University in Chicago.  She is working on issues related to Muslim support for democracy in the Middle East.

  • Jena Lee, '04, is director of Blood:Water Mission, Grammy-winning band Jars of Clay's ministry to provide clean blood and water to Africa.

  • Brian Reaser, '11, will earn an MBA in international development in Aug. 2012 from Hope International University.

  • Doug Smith, '08, is a legislative correspondent for Sen. John McCain and a student at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

  • Laura Thaut, '05, received a 2005 Fulbright grant to study emigration-related issues in Lithuania and is now in the Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota.

  • Gene Emmans, '04, earned a graduate degree from the Harris School of Management at the University of Chicago, and now works as a budget preparation specialist at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, in Washington, D.C.

  • Mark Feddes, '09, and Jenifer (Tracy) Ford, '08, are attending Pepperdine School of Law. 

  • Greg Svanidze, '06, is pursuing a master's degree at the George Washington School of International Affairs.

  • Corey Dugan, '11, is an English teaching assistant through the Fullbright Program in Madrid.



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