The Modern Linguist
Highlights 2013-14

Eye on Alumni
A View from Abroad
Scripture of the Month

World Languages & Cultures Highlights 2013-14

Angeles AllerÁngeles Aller, Associate Professor of Spanish
This year I have taken part in a three-month international collaboration project, Transatlantic Educators Dialog, sponsored by the European Union Center at the University of Illinois. Through this program I have been in weekly conversation with educators from countries all over the world, including Turkey, Spain, Colombia, Germany, Moldova, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Estonia and China. Our conversations have centered on common topics and how they are experienced and carried out in different countries. The topics have ranged from evaluation and assessment systems, religion in education, and immigration and rural & urban systems, to international collaboration and intercultural competence. Meeting people from all over the world and sharing conversation with them have been a definite highlight of my year. It has continued to confirm my belief that humanity shares a wealth of common traits.

Jennifer Brown Jennifer Brown, Associate Professor of French
Highlights this year have included helping to create an International Women's Day event (at which Lobna Saeed was the keynote speaker), a particularly enthusiastic Jan Term conversation class, and having my article on Julien Gracq's treatment of the Holy Grail accepted in Literature and Theology. But the best thing about this year has been the way this department has made my very steep learning curve on becoming chair seem welcome and natural. I am so very grateful for my colleagues; each one is a highlight, in spirit and in truth.

Frederic DugenetFrédéric Dugenet, Lecturer in French
Last January, I represented Whitworth by co-hosting a French movie at the Spokane International Film Festival. "Bicyling with Molière" (Alceste à Bicyclette) deals with two actors and lifelong friends who are competing for the same part in a play during the read-through. I asked my French colleague (and also longtime friend) Philippe, from North Idaho College, to co-host the movie with me. To put the audience in the mood, Philippe and I pretended to argue who was best to introduce the movie. For example, to mirror a scene from the movie, we flipped a coin to decide who would start. Because we had rehearsed a great deal and acted it out rather well, the audience was a little confused whether or not we were really antagonistic to each other. We did it on purpose and knew that as the movie would later play, it would become clear it was part of an act. The movie started playing subtitles would display! It was an absolute nightmare: the non-French-speaking audience was about to ask for their money back and leave, thinking they witnessed two immature rude French men! I asked the projectionist whether he could do something, but he had no experience with that kind of problem. Fortunately, Whitworth Professor of English Leonard Oakland was in the audience and said the magic word: the movie needed to be "re-framed." The movie re-started 20 minutes later with the subtitles displayed properly and we did not lose any spectators. As the movie developed, the audience laughed at the parts that were reminiscent of our presentation (notably, the coin-flipping joke). We had a great response during the Q&A and had quite a large audience for a Sunday evening. All is well that ends well!

Kim HernandezKim Hernández, Instructor of Spanish
This year has been full of new and ongoing highlights in my Whitworth life. In June I will finish a master's degree in Spanish linguistics from the Universidad de Jaén, in Spain (yes, I've been doing homework, too!). I was also privileged to speak at the Unity with Difference theological conference that was held on campus in March. What a rich time to exchange perspectives about God's work of redemption in our world and to recognize that difference is sacred. I continue to be blessed by my work as the coordinating faculty team member for the Central America Study and Service Program (CASP), which has eight students learning, living and serving in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica this semester. It is another wonderful semester in my Spanish for Christian Ministry class, and we were excited to share a time of worship in Spanish with our campus community this April with the theme, "new creation in Christ." Finally, one of the biggest highlights of my year is my ongoing role as the faculty mentor for the men's basketball team. As an avid fan of basketball and an even bigger fan of mentoring students, I have enjoyed working with the players and getting to know them personally.

Katherine Karr-Cornejo Katherine Karr-Cornejo, Assistant Professor of Spanish
Highlights for this year include giving three conference presentations: on ethnic studies in Chile, in Vancouver, Wash.; on race and a 19th-century French historian, in Santiago, Chile; and on Chilean film and democracy, in Chicago, Ill. Two teaching highlights were working with and learning from the awesome community of scholars in my SN/WGS 434 course in the fall, and the experience of teaching Whitworth students in Santiago, Chile, for Jan Term. I'm also honored to have been elected an alternate delegate to the 2015 General Convention of the Episcopal Church for the Diocese of Spokane.

Ingrid Lavoie Ingrid Lavoie, Senior Lecturer in German
I celebrated Oktoberfest with my students and family last November. I usually cook for 35 people (a six-course German meal) each year, and it's a highlight for GR 101 and 201. The students love coming to a "real home," meeting my family, eating, playing games, laughing at my German dirndl (traditional dress) and learning how to yodel...

Lily Liu Lily Liu, Lecturer in Chinese
The highlight this year for me as a Chinese language instructor is to watch my students studying hard and progressing well in learning the language. Having lunch with my students and getting to know them are also highlights. It makes my heart sing when I see the students challenge themselves in learning the language at a higher level. I have great joy in watching them studying hard to get ready for the upcoming Whitworth in China program in fall 2014!

Stacey Moo Stacey Moo, Program Assistant
I'm nearing the end of my third year working in World Languages & Cultures, and my fourth full year of living in Spokane. It takes time to make connections with people, and a highlight for me this year has been the deepening friendships with so many of my wonderful colleagues and students at Whitworth. Another highlight has been the chance to combine my passions for reading and eating: I've found a book group of faculty and staff across the Whitworth community who discuss awesome books while visiting restaurants around Spokane. A final highlight is a developing love of art history, after taking classes from Meredith Shimizu, Whitworth's art historian. Stop by the front desk—I'm always happy to talk about books, food, art, culture, gardening and the outdoors!

Jose Rojas José Rojas, Visiting Instructor of Spanish
This year I was able to see the blessing of so many Ugandese people through the work of my mother-in-law and her husband in Uganda, Africa. One of the things that really got my attention is how humble and minimalist the people there are when it comes to worshiping the Lord. Also, this year at Whitworth I was shocked by Abigail's accident. On the other hand, this accident made a lot of the faculty gather together and pray for her and be able to witness the miracle of her life through Jesus' healing power.

Donna Sampson Donna Sampson, Senior Lecturer in Spanish
The saying "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get," from the movie "Forrest Gump" describes my year! Two particular highlights stand out for me, and both have to do with Spanish. The first was a trip in January to explore South America. The second was teaching the Spanish language—one of my passions in life. This semester I've taught an additional Spanish class for a colleague, and I have been extra blessed to teach Spanish to more students and to have them enrich my life.

Bendi Benson Schrambach Bendi Benson Schrambach, Associate Professor of French
I chaired a panel on "Madness in Literature" and presented a paper on the wonderful French film "Les Intouchables" at a conference in San Diego last fall. I also created a new honors course on Arthurian legends.

Lindy Scott Lindy Scott, Professor of Spanish; Director of the Costa Rica Center
One of the most important ways to use our lives is to invest ourselves in our students. In spite of the ups and downs of this year, I take great joy in seeing our CRC and CASP students walking in love and grace. They are coming to know our passionate God in deep and costly ways.

Eye on Alumni

Taylor Faranda, '12, Spanish and Cross-Cultural Studies Double Major, and Aaron Korthuis, '12, Political Science Major and Spanish Minor

Follow Taylor on her blog:
To learn more about ASJ's work, please visit
Click here to view the job description for a volunteer internship position at ASJ-Honduras.

Taylor Faranda and Aaron KorthuisSaludos from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where we live and work!

Aaron began working for the Asociación para una Sociedad Más Justa (Association for a More Just Society) in August 2012, while Taylor spent that year as a student-life and program coordinator at Whitworth's Costa Rica Center. In August 2013, Taylor joined Aaron in Honduras to also work for ASJ, a Christian organization whose work focuses on revealing corruption and promoting peace in various sectors of Honduran society, striving to implement justice in accordance with God's call to us as Christians. Aaron's work focuses on Honduran security and justice sector reform through research and writing, and Taylor serves as a research assistant, aiding in various investigative projects and event coordination efforts.

As part of our time abroad, we intentionally sought to live in a poor hillside community that is directly affected by the work of ASJ. We each live with a host family, which has allowed us the opportunity to truly experience Honduran life and culture. Our time here has taught us much about loving our neighbors and living in solidarity with them. Food, convenience and personal security are all issues that look much different to us now. Our language abilities have also increased, after daily interaction with our families and co-workers. We have become proficient in regularly using Honduran slang such as "cheque," "que barbaridad" and many others!

Our return to Central America after college was certainly influenced by our study abroad and language journeys at Whitworth. We both participated in the Central America Study and Service Program during our junior year, which opened our eyes to the realities facing our southern neighbors and impassioned us to work for justice in a way that matched our talents and abilities. Our Spanish language skills have certainly opened doors for work and service in the international context and have allowed us to communicate in the cross-cultural contexts in which we have found ourselves. We would both advocate for students to spend time abroad during their studies, as an ever-more globalized world calls for relevant and informed world citizens. Knowing a second (or third! or fourth!) language is extremely important in developing cross-cultural trust and understanding, which of course is foundational for any international or development-related work.

After we get married this coming August, Aaron will continue his studies at Yale Law School and Taylor hopes to begin an M.A. in international relations, focusing on development in Latin America.

A View from Abroad

Rueben Otero, '13, Master in Teaching, Elementary Education

Ruben OteroStarting from those moments sitting in German class in high school, I had no clue what I would be doing after college, or if it would involve German. If you had asked me at the beginning of my undergraduate career (six years ago now – yikes) where I would be today, I don't think I could have imagined I would be living and working in Germany. What started out as learning the language that none of my close classmates cared about in high school has somehow turned into an integral part of why I am where I am today.

Where I am right now is sitting in my apartment in Hof, Germany. I have lived in Hof for the past nine months now, working in the bilingual Kindergarten Clever Kids Planet. Kindergarten in Germany means something totally different from what we have in America. In Germany, children don't start school until they're six or seven, as opposed to America, where most children begin at age five or six. The concept of kindergarten in Germany is much more like preschool in America. Here, I work in the preschool group of the kindergarten, the Bobcats group; my children are aged four-and-a-half to six years old.

As an English native speaker, I enjoy the privilege of coming to work every day and speaking only English with my native German children. When the children speak to me, ask me a question, ask for permission, anything at all, they can ask me in German or English and I reply to them in English. I am one of three adults in my group of 25 children. The other two people in my group are native German speakers. Our kindergarten works on the immersion model of language learning. The children aren't forced to speak English; they simply learn it by hearing me speak every day.

All of my children understand what I'm saying (depending on their mood and caprices, of course), and the older ones are starting to trust themselves to speak more, too. It really is amazing to watch these children pick up English bit by bit. It's almost like watching a baby learn to talk, but much more rapidly. For some kids, it's like a switch being thrown: one day they simply decide to ask me in English to play a game. Other children are like a leaky faucet: every day brings another word, another nod of understanding.

Learning German in high school and earning my bachelor of arts in German at Washington State University was just the beginning of my journey to living and working in Germany. This door would not have been open to me were it not for the excellent and supportive faculty members in the Whitworth Master in Teaching Program. My master's degree in elementary education has led me to a wonderful teaching position in a country I love, working with amazing people in a truly unique environment.

It's funny how life sort of just comes together perfectly for you sometimes, as if there is a hand guiding you and showing you the place where you'll be the most happy. I don't know where I will be in the future, but I know when I arrive there, it will be just where I was meant to be.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Cinco de Mayo Football (Soccer) Tournament
Friday, May 2, at 4 p.m.
The WLC department and the Spanish Club invite you to participate in the 5-on-5 football tournament at Omache Field. There will also be a talk about the history of Cinco de Mayo and how it ties in to American culture, and the WLC Departmental Award winners will be announced. Refreshments will be provided. This event meets the cultural experience requirement for SN 102/111/202.

Class of 2014 Senior Breakfast
Mark your calendars for the annual World Languages & Cultures Senior Breakfast on Saturday, May 17, from 9:30-11 a.m. This event is for you and your family to enjoy on graduation weekend. Please contact Stacey Moo or stop by the WLC front desk by May 9 to reserve your place or purchase tickets for your guests.

Tutoring: Open Finals Week; All levels – FREE; Walk-ins are always welcome!
Review grammar, check homework, review for tests, get help with proofreading and editing papers, and practice your conversational abilities.

  • French: Every Sunday and Thursday, 8-9 p.m. in Westminster 113
  • German: Monday afternoons, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Library 208 (across from Compositional Commons)
  • Spanish: Five nights a week: Sun/Tues/Thurs from 7-9 p.m.; Mon/Wed from 7-8 p.m., in Library 208 (across from Compositional Commons)

WLC is on Facebook!

Internship Position in Honduras for Soon-to-Be or Recent Graduates
A volunteer internship position with Association for a More Just Society (ASJ) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is available for soon-to-be or recent graduates. Two recent grads, Taylor Faranda and Aaron Korthuis, currently work for ASJ (read their story in the "Eye on Alumni" section of this newsletter). The job description is available for download here.

STA Travel Scholarship Drawing – Don't Miss It!
Two drawings for $500 scholarships from STA Travel will be held each academic year. Deadline: Aug. 1. Student must use either the phone number or e-mail address below to purchase their airline ticket in order to qualify for the scholarship drawing. Once travel is booked, confirmed and paid in full, the participant's name will be entered in a drawing. Phone: 866.557.8529; e-mail: For more information, please contact Karlene Masters at

Summer 2014 in Costa Rica!
Summer Session A will run May 26-June 20 at the Costa Rica Center. Professor Vange Osorio will teach the course Economics of Micro Entrepreneurship and will supervise businex css internships for her class. Other students are taking a variety of upper-level Spanish classes.

Lobna Saeed Gives International Women's Day Presentation and WGS Lecture
Lobna Saeed, a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant of Arabic at Whitworth, gave an excellent keynote presentation on Saturday, March 8, at the annual celebration of International Women's Day, in Spokane, and she gave a Women's and Gender Studies lecture at Whitworth on Thursday, April 3. If you missed her lecture, "Women Rising, Women Uprising: The Status of Women in Egypt," stop by Westminster 214 to have a chat with Lobna, who will be with us through May!

Scripture of the Month

English: Mark 12:30
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Arabic: 12:30 ﻣﺮﻗﺲ
وَ‹تُحِبُّ الرَّبَّ إلَهَكَ بِكُلِّ قَلبِكَ، وَبِكُلِّ نَفسِكَ، وَبِكُلِّ عَقلِكَ، وَبِكُلِّ قُوَّتِكَ،›.

Chinese: 马可福音 12:30
你要尽心、尽性、尽意 、尽力爱你的神。

French: Marc 12:30
Tu aimeras donc le Seigneur, ton Dieu, de tout ton cœur, de toute ton âme, de toute ta pensée et de toute ton énergie.

German: Markus 12.30
Und du sollst den Herrn, deinen Gott, lieben von ganzem Herzen, von ganzer Seele, von ganzem Gemüt und von allen deinen Kräften.

Greek: ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΡΚΟΝ 12:30

ἀγαπήσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆς σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς διανοίας σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος σου.

Japanese: マルコ 12:30

Spanish: Marcos 12:30
Ama al Señor tu Dios con todo tu corazón, con toda tu alma, con toda tu mente y con todas tus fuerzas.

Swahili: Marko 12:30
Nawe mpende Bwana Mungu wako kwa moyo wako wote, na kwa roho yako yote, na kwa akili zako zote, na kwa nguvu zako zote.

Vol. 20 Issue 6 May 2014

The Modern Linguist was birthed from the desire to unite those who study in the world languages discipline at Whitworth University. The newsletter features information, news and stories applicable to those involved in the program. Let it serve you well.

World Languages & Cultures Department
Westminster Hall
Whitworth University
Phone: 509.777.4765
Department Chair and Editor-in-Chief: Jennifer Brown
Editor: Stacey Moo
For student employment information, please contact Stacey Moo, program assistant, at 509.777.4765

Facebook Twitter YouTube Google+ Instagram Directions | Campus Map | Employment | Pod | RSS | Contact Us | Site Map Pirate Port
Copyright © Whitworth University. All Rights Reserved. | 300 W. Hawthorne Road, Spokane, WA 99251 | Campus Phone: 509.777.1000