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Karen Petersen Finch (2008-present) Instructor in the Department of Theology

I came into our department at the level of instructor in July 2008. A lighter teaching load in the fall semester enabled me to keep working on my doctoral dissertation, "Knowledge that Divides: Reformed-Catholic Dialogue and the Challenge of Epistemology," through Gonzaga University. Much of my time went to learning the ins and outs of Core 150, Whitworth's Western Civilization course, in anticipation of joining the lecturing faculty in the spring semester. I also enjoyed planning and hosting the department's open house for students in November.

On April 15, my dissertation committee signed off on my work, making me simultaneously a Ph.D. and an assistant professor. To my surprise and delight, the faculty at GU also voted me the outstanding student of the doctoral program for 2009, and invited me to give a public lecture at Gonzaga on postmodernism from a classical Christian perspective. I am developing a wide range of pedagogical approaches, given that I move from lecturing to 250 students in Core 150 to teaching 20 adults in Whitworth's evening Continuing Studies Program - sometimes in the same day. Yet I am enjoying the challenge and the company of students and colleagues.

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