Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

May 27, 2004

Whitworth Alumna Postpones Law School for Fulbright Work in El Salvador

Carla DePriest, '04, likes to make a plan and see it through. After graduating from Whitworth in May, her immediate plan was set: she would attend Baylor University Law School in the fall on a full-tuition scholarship. But the accomplished DePriest also knows that when making plans being flexible is critical, as was the case recently when she learned she had been awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research in El Salvador for the 2004-5 academic year.

DePriest will defer attending law-school in Texas to travel to El Salvador in the fall, where she will conduct a comparative analysis of the role women play in the legal and social services provided to children in Latin America and in the United States.

"Carla's stellar 4.0 grade point average is a reflection of her ability to work hard, think clearly, write persuasively, and evaluate effectively," says John Yoder, professor of political studies and Whitworth Fulbright adviser. "Her calm demeanor, her non-judgmental approach to people, and her reliability will all contribute to the quality and success of her work in El Salvador."

The core purpose of the Fulbright Program, established in 1946, is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of the approximately 150 countries that currently participate in the program.

As a Fulbright recipient, DePriest joins the ranks of 261,000 Fulbright grant recipients who have gone on to become heads of state, ambassadors, CEOs, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors and teachers; 34 Fulbright recipients have been awarded Nobel Prizes. This is the third year in a row that a Whitworth student has received a Fulbright. Alumnae Kelly Siebe won an award to study in the Netherlands in 2003-04 and Alissa Johnson received a Fulbright to study in Burkina Faso in 2002-03.

According to Whitworth Political Studies Professor Julia Stronks, DePriest has an inquisitive mind eager to engage the world.

"In all of the legal-analysis classes that I teach," Stronks says, "Carla leads the class in developing a thorough method of researching legal issues. As an attorney myself, I can attest to the fact that her analysis of cases and her ability to analyze the opinions of judges is outstanding."

DePriest, who majored in political studies with minors in history and Spanish at Whitworth, spent spring 2004 in Washington, D.C., where she studied with the American Studies Program of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. During the semester she also interned at the Protection Project, a research group based out of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies that investigates the trafficking of women and children in the United States and abroad.

This May DePriest was one of four recipients of the President's Cup Award, given each year to a Whitworth senior or seniors with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. During her Whitworth career she was a member of the Dean's Honor Roll and the Laureate Society, she competed on the cross-country team, and she was instrumental in starting Whitworth's political awareness theme house and the Political Activism Club. DePriest also volunteered with the Center for Justice, working in the legal system on behalf of the poor.

This summer DePriest is working as a legal clerk at Hobson & Angell in Portland, Ore., where she has worked each summer during the past four years. After completing her Fulbright assignment in El Salvador, she will return to the United States and pursue her original plan: attending Baylor University Law School.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


John Yoder, Professor of Politics & History, (509) 777-4432 or johnyoder@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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