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Student Profiles

Alex Navarrete

Alex Navarrete

Warehouse Manager
FLSmidth Spokane, Inc.

Major: B.A. in Organizational Management

Hometown: Othello, Wash.

His Story: Alex Navarrete grew up in Othello and moved to the Spokane area just over 10 years ago. After earning his associate's degree at Spokane Falls Community College, Navarrete took a break from his education to focus on his family before continuing his education. When he began looking for a bachelor's degree program, he compared Whitworth University's B.A. in Organizational Management Program to other degree programs available in the area. The decision was clear: Whitworth's reputation and unique cohort-format evening courses, which focus on both theory and practical application in management, fit exactly what he wanted to enhance his professional goals. Navarrete says, "The Whitworth model gave me a chance to advance my career and be a leader for my family. And I didn't need to schedule time off from work to go to school."

Beth Vercic-Scott

Beth Vercic-Scott

Physician Recruiter for Rockwood Clinic

Major: B.A. in Organizational Management

Her story: Beth continually found that when applying for jobs, she had the experience needed but not the required undergraduate degree. This led Beth to pursue her undergraduate degree at Whitworth, and she found confidence and help from the Whitworth staff. The evening classes helped Beth maintain her daytime schedule, and the information taught in class provided real world application. Beth's recommendation for others considering going back to school? Even though it may seem intimidating and the timing may not seem right, going back to school at Whitworth was one of the best decisions she made. "I wouldn't be in the position I am if I didn't have an undergraduate degree," Beth states.

Eric Rosentrater

Eric Rosentrater

Spokane Operations Manager at Avista

Major: B.A. in Organizational Management

His story: When looking to advance his career, Eric's supervisor at Avista recommended Whitworth's organizational management program. "I actually fell in love with the program," states Eric. Eric's busy home life - his wife works full time and they have four small children - meant he needed a program that worked with his schedule. He found this at Whitworth. The regular schedule allowed him to plan around classes, and Eric attributes the positive influences from those on campus for shaping how he conducts himself at home and work. And after earning his B.A. in Organizational Management from Whitworth, Eric went on to earn a promotion at Avista.

Brent Murkami

Brent Murakami

Major: Evening Teacher Certification Program

Home state: Hawaii

The Decision: I completed my undergraduate degree at Whitworth, and after graduation I worked as a television advertising executive. During my career in TV, I decided to change careers and return to Whitworth to pursue my teaching certification through Whitworth's evening degree program.

The Program: The flexibility of the Whitworth Evening Teaching Certification Program allowed me the chance to pursue a second undergraduate degree in kinesiology at Whitworth during the day. With the help of Whitworth staff, I secured a student-teaching position at Waipahu High School, in Hawaii, and was hired for a full-time position after my graduation from the evening teaching certification program.

The Fun: I was born and raised in Hawaii, and I met my wife, who is also from Hawaii, while pursuing my undergraduate degree at Whitworth. Now that I'm back home in Hawaii, I am pursuing my master's degree through Whitworth's online program.

Michelle Davis

Michelle Davis

Major: Evening Teacher Certification Program

What do you like best about Whitworth's ETC program?
The teachers in the ETC Program: I have learned so much from them that will help me in the classroom. Since most are either current or recent teachers in local school districts, they are willing to share their experience and are incredibly helpful and insightful.

How has your work experience aided your classroom experience?
I work for Spokane Public Schools and am in the classroom every day. My work has helped me with my classes by allowing opportunities to see different instructional strategies in use. I was also able to talk to teachers about the things I was learning in class.

What made you choose Whitworth?
Going back to school was something I needed to do. Laws involving my profession are in the process of changing, and Whitworth is the only university that offers a program that is completely in the evening, except for practicum experiences of course. Since I needed to be able to work while going to school, this was a must.

How do you balance work and classes?
Balancing work and classes can be difficult at times. I have a very supportive family to help me out and I also make use of my breaks at work to do reading and other assignments. A few minutes here and there really goes a long way.

What was your most memorable moment at Whitworth?
Having classes with the same people throughout the program is very nice and I am glad to have the support of my cohort. We are all there for each other, whether someone needs help with an assignment, or just needs to relax and let off some steam. My cohort members have made a huge difference in my education and I am glad to call them all friends.

Brent Christensen

Brent Christensen

Major: Evening Teacher Certification Program

What do you like best about Whitworth's ETC program?
The program has been great working with my schedule, and my classmates make coming to class each week something I can look forward to.

A bit of your background...
In 2008 I moved to Spokane, began working at Starbucks and started getting involved with coaching. I attended EWU and then transferred to Whitworth's ETC Program. It's a decision I could never regret. Recently, I have been working two jobs and coaching middle school cross country and track while I complete my degree.

What made you decide to return to school?
I had to take some time to figure out what I wanted to do. I am getting my degree in what I originally went to school for, but now I know for sure that this is what I want to do. I want to be a teacher.

What do you plan to do after you graduate from Whitworth?
Besides getting a job, I would like to continue coaching as I raise my daughter with my wife. We would love to stay in the Spokane area.

What was your most memorable moment at Whitworth?
When we realized that almost half of our class has had a child or were pregnant during the cohort. It's been great knowing that so many of us are in the same stage of life, with growing families.

Leah Acord

Leah Acord

Major: Evening Teacher Certification Program

What do you like best about Whitworth's ETC program?
My favorite part about Whitworth's ETC Program is the cohort design. I love being part of a tight-knit group all going through the same program together. Being part of a cohort provides another level of support, and it's a lot of fun.

How does the program work with your schedule?
I have been putting off going back to school because I am a busy wife and mother who works full time. When I discovered Whitworth's ETC Program I knew it would fit my schedule. The program makes it possible for me to complete my degree while working and taking care of my family. I have been able to give 100% to both my family and my education because of Whitworth's ETC Program schedule.

Why Whitworth, and why now?
I've wanted to be a teacher ever since elementary school -- but then life happened. It took a few years for me to get enough courage to look into finishing my college education and becoming a teacher. I chose Whitworth because they offered a schedule that fit my busy life and the staff was so warm and welcoming when I inquired about the program. They made it easy to get started and walked me through each step. I have felt completely supported from the beginning.

Looking forward…how do you plan to use your degree?
Whitworth has prepared me to be the kind of teacher that students need today, using my education to teach them and change lives. I feel prepared to step into a classroom and be the best teacher I can be.

How do you balance work and classes?
I have learned to be extremely organized and prioritize. The hardest part of going back to school is learning to balance work, family, and classes, but Whitworth's professors and administration are also supportive and work with your schedule when necessary.

What was your most memorable moment at Whitworth?
I will always remember our science methods class. Our cohort had the opportunity to be part of a science night at a local Spokane school. We worked with partners to design our own science-themed station. We had so much fun interacting with the students, their families, teachers, principals and community members. Hands-on experiences like this are what set Whitworth apart!

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