Harris works directly with students, combing through résumés and cover letters and equipping potential job applicants with interview preparation.
“The students sell themselves with their genuine personalities, thankful hearts and intelligence,” says Harris. “I just have to get them out there so the rest of the community can realize in one interview what I learned in a matter of days.”
Harris attended Gonzaga University as an undergraduate, after which she joined the Peace Corps. She was stationed in Ethiopia for one year before she was medically evacuated due to kidney failure. During this time, she worked with a Christian organization to help commercial sex workers escape prostitution and find alternative sources for income. After returning to the U.S. she settled in Spokane, where she was hired as an events manager at the Spokane Arena, Convention Center and Opera House.
After a couple of years working in Spokane, Harris was accepted into a graduate program for the master of science degree in development practice at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland. During this two-year program, she spent two periods of six months travelling around the world. During her first six-month trip she backpacked in East Africa and researched child sexual assault cases post-genocide in Rwanda for her dissertation. Her second six-month journey took her east across Asia, where she spent time in France, Turkey, Nepal, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and South Korea.
“Along the way I met God in people, moments and stunning views,” says Harris. “It is unreal how Jesus will greet you in an elderly woman who walks seven miles up a hill with you in Ethiopia, in the Himalayan Mountains as you reach base camp, or as you rest under the stars in the Ugandan sky.”
After completing her program, Harris returned to Spokane once again.
“After visiting more than 30 countries spanning four continents, I realized that Spokane is home, and I just can’t seem to pull myself away,” says Harris.
The SGCM, which encompasses Whitworth’s business and economics department, includes undergraduate programs in accounting, business management, economics, marketing and international business and a master of business administration graduate program.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.