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Alumni Achievements

Featured Alum Jordan Michelson, '10

Major: English

Current Position: Michelson teaches English in northeastern Syria through the Mennonite Central Committee. His school is in an Orthodox community with one of the oldest Christian traditions in the world. In addition to teaching courses in conversation, critical thinking and debate, Michelson assists local English instructors, improves the language skills of local professionals, and helps write, edit and revise formal documents.

Why Whitworth? "I heard about professors who eat meals and play sports with students. They sounded like real human beings with a passion to share their knowledge with others. Also, the students invest in a community with one another, making Whitworth a beautiful place to learn and grow."

Whitworth Activities: Played brass in music ensembles, shed blood in the name of Frisbee, worked in the writing center, and served as a teaching assistant. Studying abroad in the British Isles was very meaningful, both for Michelson's studies in literature and for his development as a global citizen.

Quote: "My education of mind prepared me for my job's professional qualifications, but what will really help me succeed in this field is my education of heart."

Influential Whitworth Experiences: "Serving as a resident assistant for three years provided me with a parallel education that I value just as much as I do my English degree. I was challenged to examine Jesus' example as an incarnational servant leader."

Career Goals: "My calling in life right now is to honor Christ and serve humanity. Teaching allows me to invest in the lives of the people around me. Jesus was a teacher, and he focused on the relationships of those around him."

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

  • Josh Colwell attends Lewis & Clark Law School, in Portland, Ore.

  • Sarah Glady earned a master's degree in literature from Arizona State University and is now a representative for literature-anthology publisher W.W. Norton & Company, headquartered in New York.

  • Laura (Adams) Brown runs an online bookstore from her home.

  • Courtney Varney earned a master's degree in library science from the University of Washington and is a young-adult librarian in Beaverton, Ore.

  • Heather Wallace is pursuing her Ph.D. in philosophy at Duke Unviersity.

  • Nick Vargas is a writer for iTunes.

  • Alyssa Parkinson is a marketing communication specialist for Solid Concepts, Inc., where she does technical writing for the company's 3-D prototyping technology.

  • Pax Gutierrez-Neal attends the University of Texas, Austin, where she is pursuing a master's degree in medieval studies.

  • Amy Schroeder was chosen as one of 16 students for the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program. She taught literature at Payap University, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and she is now pursuing a Ph.D. in literature at Baylor University.

  • Dani Dubois writes for Nordstrom, Inc., in Seattle.