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Alumni Achievements

Featured Alum Emily Harpel, '12

Major: Education and English

Current Position: English teacher to eighth- through 10th-grade students at Village Schools International, in Tanzania. VSI is a Christian organization founded in 2005 with the goal of building secondary schools in rural areas of Tanzania.

Why Whitworth? "I worked at Camp Ghormley, and most of the staff attended Whitworth. I had never heard of it before. I went on a tour and fell in love with Whitworth. I knew I wanted to go to a smaller school where the class size was small and personable, and Whitworth was perfect!"

Whitworth Activities: "I played softball my freshman year. Then I decided to just play intramural sports, to give me more free time to build relationships and study. I was an active member of the Ultimate Frisbee Club all four years. I worked on the yearbook staff as the assistant photo editor my junior year."

Influential Whitworth Professors: "Lisa Laurier. She is always sacrificing her time to help her students. I was blessed to have her as one of my professors, and I learned so much about teaching from her. She really encouraged me in my path to become a teacher.”

Influential Whitworth Experience: "I had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania for a Jan Term with 10 other students from the Whitworth education program and professor Ann Teberg. This experience was invaluable for me. I was able to get a sneak peek into the country where I would be living and teaching the following year. I was able to gain knowledge of the language (Swahili), learn about the way of life and traditional customs, and, most important, I fell in love with the people."

Career Goals: "I know only that this year I am following God's call to Tanzania. I am fully aware that God could call me anywhere after this year. And that is why I have chosen not to make plans at this time. God usually changes our plans anyway. My career goal is to follow Christ, in whatever or wherever that might be."

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

  • Carly Dorsey Roberts has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is now an assistant professor in the department of educational studies at Purdue University, in Indiana.

  • Andrea Naccarato completed a master's degree in leadership and administration and is the assistant principal at Hayden Meadows Elementary, in Hayden, Idaho.

  • Luke Rettele is a fourth-grade teacher at Arlington Elementary, in Spokane.

  • Sheburra Moore earned a master's degree in literacy; she teaches at a low-income school in Las Vegas.

  • Lindsey Wayman is teaching at an international school in Bonn, Germany.

  • Jessica Shawley was recognized in 2012 as National Teacher of the Year for Middle School Physical Education.

  • Amy Watts is a fourth-grade teacher at Pine Crest Elementary, in Bremerton, Wash. She recently gave a presentation at the 2011 Future Educators Association's national conference, in Atlanta.

  • James Mitsuyasu studied in Germany on a Fulbright grant and now is the band director at Icicle River Middle School and Cascade High School, in Leavenworth, Wash.

  • Katie Fergus teaches second grade at Brewster Elementary, in Brewster, Wash.

  • Natalie Thompson is teaching fourth grade at Chop Point School, a private school in Woolwich, Maine.