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Whitworth athletic-training students sharpen skills at national skating championships

December 31, 2009
When America's best figure skaters come to Spokane this January to compete for spots on the U.S. winter Olympic squad, they will meet a team of Whitworth University athletic-training students and faculty ready to help provide them with nearly around-the-clock medical care throughout the competition.

During the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, to be held Jan. 14-24, fourteen students will work with teams of doctors, athletic trainers and physical therapists from Group Health Cooperative, the event's official medical sponsor. The students will work under the direction of Ed Reisman, M.D., a family practice physician and former competitive skater who will serve as medical director for the championships. Reisman also is Whitworth's team physician and works closely with students in the university's nationally accredited athletic-training program that emphasizes hands-on clinical experience.

This is the second time Whitworth students will have worked at the figure skating championships. Whitworth also collaborated with Group Health to provide medical care when the championships were held in Spokane in 2007.

"Dr. Reisman knows the rigorous coursework our students receive, he has seen the quality care they provide our student-athletes, and he recognized that they were a valuable part of the medical team during the 2007 skating championships, says Russ Richardson, associate professor and director of athletic training at Whitworth."Working at the competition provides a unique learning opportunity for our students, both because of the caliber of athletes involved and because skating isn't an NCAA intercollegiate sport."

Richardson and other medical and skating experts will instruct students – 12 from Whitworth and two from Eastern Washington University – about the specific medical, biomechanical and psychological issues faced by elite figure skaters. The course will cover topics ranging range from conditioning and common injuries to the anatomy of a figure skater and a double-toe loop. Instruction will take place in the classroom and on the ice, including a simulation of an emergency response to a serious skating injury.

"Every sport has its own injury profile based on the activity of the sport," says Richardson, who has worked as an athletic trainer at international events such as Skate America, the World Cup of Wrestling, and the USA vs. Cuba Boxing Challenge. "Figure skating involves high speeds, rotary motions and an unyielding surface, which can lead to injuries that our students don't necessarily see in other sports and will need to understand for this competition."

Medical teams, each of which will include a student, will be ice-side at both skating venues, and at a medical suite in the skaters' official hotel for up to 18 hours a day that skaters are training or performing. The students will assist in providing comprehensive medical care, including initial injury assessment, application of therapeutic modalities, appropriate first aid, and preventive activities such as stretching and massage.

Established in 1987, Whitworth's athletic-training program enrolls 50 majors in a rigorous curriculum that includes 1,200 hours of clinical experience and prepares students for certification by the Board of Certification for Athletic Training. Several graduates have been selected for internships with professional sports teams; Whitworth athletic-training alums are sought after for teaching and athletic-training positions in high-school, college and university athletic departments. A number of Whitworth athletic-training graduates have earned advanced degrees to pursue other health-care professions including physician assistants, chiropractors and physical therapists.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which enrolls more than 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Russ Richardson, director of athletic training, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3244 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth wins large grant to start scholarship program for underrepresented students in the sciences

December 21, 2009
Grant also will fund science tutoring labs, supplemental science instruction for lower-division students

As enrollment in the sciences continue to decline at schools nationwide, threatening America's long-term ability to remain competitive and secure, Whitworth University has won a $587,494 grant to support its ongoing growth in science majors. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Whitworth’s "NSF Scholars: Training Tomorrow's Scientists Today" program will help financially support a total of 48 underrepresented students majoring in the sciences over the next four years.

Whitworth is the only liberal arts university in the Northwest to receive this type of NSF funding this year. Other Northwest schools that received funding this year include Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and Idaho State University.

The National Science Board has identified a critical need for more students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Yet highly-capable minority and low-income students often have trouble remaining in the sciences, usually because they lack learning strategies to help them understand how to learn science, knowledge of how to access resources, understanding that they need to ask for help early on, and understanding the vast job opportunities in scientific fields.

Whitworth, which has bucked national trends by increasing the number of its sciences majors by 50 percent in recent years, is seeking to continue that growth by undertaking a major science initiative that includes constructing a new $32 million biology/chemistry building, which is expected to be completed by next fall. The new NSF Scholars program, which will focus on helping underrepresented students such as women, ethnic minorities and the disabled receive the help they need to pursue the sciences, also is part of the university's commitment to the sciences.

"There is a recognized need nationally to train more students in the sciences, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, which is home to a lot of high-tech businesses," says Finn Pond, professor of biology at Whitworth and principal investigator for the NSF Scholars project. "We're excited about the grant because it allows us to address that need, and because we'll be able to bring students to Whitworth who many not have been able to come here otherwise."

The goal of the NSF Scholars program is to increase the number of underrepresented students graduating with degrees in the sciences by providing financial support and integration into the academic and social systems of the university. It will build upon the Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative started at the university in 2003 that has provided scholarships to urban minority and low-income students from Spokane and Tacoma, Wash. In its sixth year, Act Six has a 94 percent graduation rate, far higher than the national average of 53 percent for all students.

The NSF Scholars program will follow a cohort model similar to what is used for Act Six, and will provide $4,000 scholarships per student each year of the four-year NSF grant. The university will start with 12 students next year and will add 12 students each year thereafter. The NSF Scholar program will use student academic support and mentoring services created for the Act Six students, such as a bridge program, tutoring, and faculty and peer mentors. The cohorts also will take freshman seminar together. The NSF Scholars program will add to the Act Six model by providing peer-facilitated supplemental instruction in the freshman foundational science sequences and an interdisciplinary course designed to guide students toward learning their own specific strengths and values so that they can discover what kinds of scientific, technological, engineering, or mathematics-related vocational opportunities would fit them best.

In addition to Pond, co-investigators for the project include Assistant Professor of Chemistry Kerry Breno, Associate Professor of Physics Kamesh Sankaran, and Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Pete Tucker. Ginny Whitehouse, associate professor of communications, will be in charge of training peer instructors, tutors, and faculty mentors.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Lynn Noland, director, sponsored programs office, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3701 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth singers shine at competition for the National Association of Teachers of Singing

November 20, 2009
Students win a total of nine awards at regional contest

Eight Whitworth singers earned a total of nine awards in the classical voice and musical theatre categories when Whitworth hosted auditions Nov. 13-14 for the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

More than 160 students from universities across Eastern Washington auditioned in the Inland Empire Chapter of NATS. In addition to Whitworth, singers hailed from Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Walla Walla University, Spokane Falls Community College, Washington State University, Whitman College and Yakima Valley College.

Senior Mollie McComb received two awards, taking first place in musical theatre and second place in classical voice. Senior Ellie VerGowe took first place in classical voice. Freshman MacKenzie Covington, junior Tyler Kruse, senior Mac Merchant and freshman Kirsten Mullen all received second place in classical voice. Sophomore Ira McIntosh took second place in musical theatre, and freshman Jordan Kingma earned third place in classical voice.

Scott Miller, director of voice studies and assistant professor at Whitworth, serves as the NATS audition chair.

“In addition to the Whitworth students who were recognized with awards, we had many who set goals for themselves heading into the auditions that they were successful in reaching, which is equally important and rewarding,” Miller said. “The best part is seeing students achieve that kind of personal and artistic growth, whether they ‘win’ or not. It’s an honor to teach such bright, talented, intellectually mature students. They represented the university very well.”

Miller credited Whitworth's strong performance at the competition to the students, voice faculty and pianists. He described the students involved in NATS as talented, hard-working, dedicated and receptive. The Whitworth voice faculty features excellent teachers who use their professional experience to help students, he says. And the pianists, who had to perform about 30 songs apiece, collaborated well with their students and essentially represented half of every performance.

The singers were students of Whitworth voice professors Patricia Blankenship-Mortier, Marjory Halvorson and Scott Miller, and were accompanied by staff pianists David Brewster, Beverly Rhodes and Mary Trotter.

The National Association of Teachers of Singing Inc. was founded in 1944 and is now the largest association of teachers of singing in the world. Today, NATS boasts more than 6,500 members in more than 25 other countries around the world. NATS offers a variety of lifelong learning experiences to its members, such as workshops, intern programs, master classes, and conferences, all beginning at the chapter level and progressing to national events.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Scott Miller, NATS audition chair, director of voice studies and assistant professor, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3382 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth choirs to present 2009 Christmas Festival Concert, "Ye Shall Have a Song"

November 18, 2009
The 2009 Whitworth University Christmas Festival Concert, "Ye Shall Have a Song," will take place in Bellevue, Seattle and Spokane, featuring the Whitworth Choir, the Whitworth Women's Choir, and, for the first time, the Whitworth Men’s Chorus. The production, built around themes of pilgrimage and song, will involve 110 student singers, accompanists and instrumentalists. For more information, please call (509) 777-3280.

The concert will include its title piece, Randall Thompson’s “Ye Shall Have a Song,” from The Peaceable Kingdom. The Whitworth Choir will sing the featured work of the program, John Rutter’s “Gloria,” which is accompanied by brass, organ, timpani and percussion. Other concert selections include “Cantate Domino,” by Jackson Berkey, Healey Willan’s “The Three Kings,” “Pilgrims’ Hymn,” by Stephen Paulus, Peter Louis Van Dijk’s, “Susa Ninna,” and “There is No Rose of Such Virtue,” a setting of the 15th-century English text composed specifically for the Whitworth Men’s Chorus and the 2009 Festival Concerts by Marc A. Hafso.

The Whitworth Choir and the Whitworth Men’s Chorus will perform under the direction of Marc A. Hafso, professor of music and director of choral activities. The Whitworth Women's Choir will perform under the direction of Debbie Hansen, associate director of choral activities and chair of the music department. Diana Trotter, professor of theatre, will serve as narrator, and Bonnie Robinson will serve as organist.

Following is concert and ticket information for each performance location:

  • Bellevue
    When: Saturday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m.
    Where: First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, 1717 Bellevue Way NE

  • Seattle
    When: Sunday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m.
    Where: First Presbyterian Church of Seattle, 1013 8th Ave.

  • Spokane
    When: Friday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 12, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
    Where: First Presbyterian Church of Spokane, 318 S. Cedar St.

Tickets: $18 general admission, $15 for students and seniors 62 and older. Tickets may be purchased by calling (800) 532-4668, online at or at the information desk in the Hixson Union Building at Whitworth. A limited number of tickets may also be available for purchase at the door prior to each concert.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Marc A. Hafso, professor of music and director of choral activities, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4589 or

Joan Lack or Loree Swegle, music department program assistants, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3280 or or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth team takes third place in Northwest Regional Ethics Bowl

November 17, 2009
A team of Whitworth students took third place at the eighth annual Northwest Regional Ethics Bowl, hosted Nov. 14 by The Avanade Co., in Seattle, Wash. The Whitworth team defeated groups from Central Washington University and Montana State University to advance to the semifinals, where they lost a close match to another team from Central Washington University. This year marks the seventh time in eight years that a Whitworth team has placed in the semifinals or finals.

The Northwest Regional Ethics Bowl was one of 10 regional competitions held this fall as part of the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB).

In the IEB, a moderator poses questions to teams of three to five students. Questions may concern ethical problems on a wide range of topics. Each team receives a set of ethical issues in advance of the competition, and questions posed to teams at the competition are taken from that set. A panel of judges evaluates answers; rating criteria are intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness.

Prior to the Nov. 14 competition, Whitworth's interdisciplinary ethical-debate team analyzed 10 ethically complex cases pertaining to topics such as the creation of synthetic meat, policies in which women pay higher rates than men for similar types of health insurance, and how Kenya should manage national parks and resources in cases of severe food shortages.

In each round of the competition, a panel of judges posed a question about a topic; the teams prepared responses using reasoning, application of ethical theories, and cogent-policy analysis. The teams gave short presentations on their responses and then fielded questions from the judges.

Members of the Whitworth team include philosophy and theology majors Dan Herve, '10, and Jared Lollar, '11, philosophy and sociology major Benjameen Quarless, '12, philosophy and marketing major Mary Rupert, '10, and speech communications major Michella Sutherland, '12. The team was coached by Mike Ingram, professor of communication studies and associate dean for faculty development and scholarship, and Keith Wyma, associate professor of philosophy.

Organized by the Illinois Institute of Technology's Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, the IEB develops students' intellectual abilities and capacities, deepens their ethical understanding, and reinforces their sense of ethical commitment. The IEB has received special commendation for excellence and innovation from the American Philosophical Association and won the American Philosophical Association/Philosophy Documentation Center's 2006 prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs. The format, rules, and procedures of the IEB all have been developed to model widely acknowledged best methods of reasoning in practical and professional ethics.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Mike Ingram, professor of communication studies and associate dean for faculty development and scholarship, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4428 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth students stand out in Pacific Northwest Regional Computer Programming Contest

November 16, 2009
Three teams of Whitworth computer-science students outmaneuvered their peers and solved a series of complex programming problems during the 34th annual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Pacific Northwest Regional Computer Programming Contest. Eighty teams from the Western United States and Canada took part in the Nov. 7"battle of the brains" competition at the University of Idaho, in Moscow, Idaho. Four other contest sites in the region also hosted schools, and teams submitted their problems electronically to a central judging location.

The top Whitworth team - seniors Timothy Bull, David Jackson and Josh Simmons - solved five out of 10 problems in 428 minutes to beat 62 other teams and rank 18th. To view complete contest results, please visit

The second Whitworth team - juniors Ian Thompson and Cole Wardell - solved five problems in 1155 minutes to beat 48 other teams and rank 32nd among their peers. The third Whitworth team – freshman Eric Fode, senior Nathan Sargent, and senior Jason Heide – turned in a strong performance by solving two problems.

The top two Whitworth teams beat out Whitworth's peer schools in the region, as well as many teams from larger schools. The other participating teams at Whitworth's contest site included Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University and the University of Idaho. Some of the other schools that participated in the regional competition included the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Stanford University, and the University of California at Berkeley.

"The standings say a lot about the top-notch caliber of students that Whitworth attracts," says Kent Jones, professor of math and computer science at Whitworth. "Teams who rank well in the regional competition are looked on favorably by recruiters from corporations."

The ACM Pacific Northwest Programming Contest challenges teams of three university students to use their programming skills and rely on their mental endurance to solve complex, real-world problems within a five-hour deadline. The Whitworth contest is a regional competition of the IBM-sponsored ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, which will gather 6,099 university teams from 82 countries on six continents during its preliminary rounds through December. The top two teams from each regional competition will earn coveted spots at the world finals, to be held in February, in Harbin, China.

The Pacific Region comprises Alaska, Hawaii, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, northern/central California and western Nevada. Because of the large geographic area of the region, the Pacific Northwest contest is held simultaneously at multiple sites: California, Washington/Oregon, Canada and Hawaii. For more information on previous contests, problem sets and last year’s final standings, please visit

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Kent Jones, professor of math and computer science, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4248 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth Cultural Awareness Week to encourage exploration of diverse perspectives

November 11, 2009
Whitworth University is sponsoring Cultural Awareness Week, "Open your Mind: LIVE...LOVE...LEARN...." Nov. 16-20, featuring Whitworth clubs and community groups representing traditions, beliefs and lifestyles of different cultures. The event will promote learning and understanding of various cultures at Whitworth, in the surrounding community and throughout the world.

"We are a multicultural society, and cultural competence is vital in today's world," says Jaquette Easterlin, cultural events coordinator for the Associated Students of Whitworth University. "I hope people walk away from this week with a newfound understanding of something or someone different from themselves."

In conjunction with Cultural Awareness Week, Whitworth will also hold an event in honor of Native American Awareness Month, which occurs in November. The Four Directions Native Club will host an Alaska Native Night, featuring a traditional Alaskan dinner and arts and crafts, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 6 p.m. in the Hixson Union Building's Multipurpose Room.

Following is information about Cultural Awareness Week events (events are free unless otherwise noted):
  • Monday, Nov. 16: Whitworth's Hawaiian Club will make Spam musabis, which are similar to sushi, at 11:30 a.m. in the HUB Multipurpose Room.

    Monday, Nov. 16: The Black Student Union will host a "Bag of Hope" kickoff event at 12 p.m. in the HUB Lied Square. Bag of Hope is a fund-raising event, which will take place at 5 p.m., to assist an alumna from Whitworth who teaches in New Orleans. Her students need new supplies and snacks.

    Monday, Nov. 16: Slam poets Shihan and Martin Boston will perform at 7 p.m. in the HUB Multipurpose Room.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 18: A film, "Born into Brothels," will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall.

  • Thursday, Nov. 19: The Open Conversation: Gay-Straight Association club will present
    a screening of the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So at 7 the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall. For the Bible Tells Me So explores the intersection of homosexuality and Christianity in the U.S., and presents various interpretations of how the Bible addresses homosexuality. It also includes interviews with Christian parents who have raised gay and lesbian children and interviews with those adult children.

    Thursday, Nov. 19: A gospel workshop, "The Birth of Gospel," will explore gospel music at 6 p.m. in the ASWU Chambers in the HUB.

  • Friday, Nov. 20: International Banquet, sponsored by the Whitworth International Club. A buffet dinner will be served at 5 p.m. in the Whitworth University Dining Hall. The dinner will feature an array of specialty foods from countries around the world.

    An international fashion show and entertainment program will start at 6:30 p.m. and will feature Whitworth students and groups from the Spokane community. Performances will include a guest speech by Whitworth Professor of Sociology Raja Tanas, as well as Hawaiian dancing, steel drumming, French singing, African dancing, spoken word, and the Whitworth Exceptional Praise Gospel Choir. Tickets for the banquet are $15 general admission, $12 for students and children, and free for children five and under. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event by calling the Whitworth University Information Desk in the HUB at (509) 777-3796. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Jaquette Easterlin, ASWU Cultural Events Coordinator and MAC Chair, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4790 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Third annual Whitworth Symposium Nov. 12 to feature speaker from Mukogawa Women's University

November 10, 2009
International Education Week also to include student poster presentations, faculty-led roundtable discussions with students from Japan and Whitworth

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In anticipation of International Education Week Nov. 16-20, the Whitworth University School of Education will sponsor a symposium, "Building Bridges and Breaking Down Barriers," featuring a keynote speech by Takashi OTSU, a lecturer at Mukogawa Women's University, in Japan. OTSU will speak on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m., in the Hixson Union Building at Whitworth. The symposium also will feature student poster presentations and faculty-led roundtable discussions with students from Japan and Whitworth students, who will discuss the similarities and differences between education in the U.S. and Japan.

Ken Wrye, former director of the United Nations International School, in New York, will present a closing address at the symposium. Wrye, who graduated from Whitworth in 1966, has extensive teaching experience in Afghanistan, Greece and Moscow. Admission to the symposium is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (509) 777-3459.

OTSU's teaching specialties include French and English citizenship education. He received his bachelor of law degree in 1991 and his master’s in education in 1994. He has experience in teaching on the high school level and the university level in Japan. He was on the law faculty at the University of Tokyo, and he also taught master's- and doctoral-level courses in education. Additionally, he was a lecturer at Science University of Tokyo and Chuo Gakuin University.

The education symposium is a collaboration between Whitworth, Mukogawa Women’s University, Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute, Gonzaga University and Eastern University. The first symposium was hosted by Mukogawa Women's University and the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute. Kaoru Nakatani, a former professor at the Mukogawa Women's University, first conceived the idea.

"The symposium is designed to promote a greater understanding of international issues in teacher education and appreciate of other cultures," says Roberta Wilburn, director of graduate studies in education at Whitworth.

The purpose of International Education Week, which is endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Education and State, is to build international understanding, to encourage programs that prepare Americans for life in a global environment, and to attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States. The week is celebrated by more than 100 countries worldwide, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.

Whitworth requires all students to take a cross-cultural studies course as a component of their graduation requirements and offers dozens of international study tours and exchange programs that take students to the far reaches of the globe. A few years ago, the university launched its School of Global Commerce & Management, reflecting the growing international focus of Whitworth's undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting, economics and management.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Whitworth Graduate Studies in Education office, (509) 777-3228.

Roberta Wilburn, director of graduate studies in education, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4603 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth to mark ground-breaking on $32 million science building Nov. 12

November 9, 2009
Critically needed science facility expected to open fall 2011

Whitworth University is taking a major step forward in ensuring the continued success of its thriving science program as construction begins on a new $32 million biology/chemistry building this month. The science center will be the first phase of a planned $53 million project to revamp the university's science facilities in response to a 50 percent increase in the number of science majors in recent years.

A ground-breaking ceremony, which will be open to the public, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. at the project site, which is located on the north end of campus, just west of the Eric Johnston Science Center. State and local officials, representatives from Spokane-area businesses, and friends and supporters of the university are expected to attend.

The three-story, 63,000-square-foot structure, which primarily will house Whitworth's biology and chemistry departments, will be the most expensive building in school history. It will feature state-of-the-art laboratories and instrumentation, animal-research facilities, and classrooms that can be converted to labs to meet the university's science and classroom needs for the next 20 years.

By implementing a number of sustainable practices in the construction and operation of the building, Whitworth has designed the facility to meet the Green Building Council's LEED Silver Certification. An example of the design’s green emphasis is a skylight that will flood the building, including the circulation atrium, with maximum natural light. Other sustainable options include rainwater collection for landscape irrigation, steam or geothermal heating, energy-efficient air-handling, and the use of locally produced building materials.

Spokane-based Bouten Construction Co. is the contractor for the project, which was designed by Seattle-based Miller Hull Partnership LLP. The project will have an estimated economic impact of $100 million on the Spokane area at a time when a number of other big construction projects in the community have been put on hold due to the slumping economy. The building is slated to open in late summer or early fall 2011.

Plans call for an estimated $16 million second phase of the project, which would involve building a 16,000-square-foot addition to the north end of the Eric Johnston Science Center. The rest of the building also would be remodeled.

Whitworth's biology, chemistry and physics departments currently are housed in the Johnston Center, which opened in 1966. The physics department will remain in the Johnston Center after the new building is completed, and the math and computer science department, which is currently in the Lindaman Center, will move in to the vacated space in Johnston, as will the health sciences department.

Whitworth is pursuing this substantial project partly because recent enrollment growth in its science programs has put significant strain on its science infrastructure. The number of science majors has grown from 420 to 632 in the last decade. Completion of the project also will enable Whitworth to continue to compete for high-caliber students against regional peers that have built new science facilities within the past 10 years.

In a larger context, by investing in its science programs, Whitworth seeks to help meet increasingly urgent local, regional, and national demands for graduates in science, engineering and education fields.

Locally, the continued strength of Spokane's economy depends on a highly trained and adaptive workforce, and the city is investing in institutions that will inspire a new wave of science and engineering entrepreneurs. In Washington state, employers are having to import graduates with science degrees because the state isn't producing enough of them. As a result, state leaders are calling for 8,000 more in-state graduates in science-related fields by 2010 and 10,000 more by 2020 to fill the jobs that are driving its economy. And on a national scale, the U.S. must make major investments in its science infrastructure to be able to continue to compete in the global economy.

Two weeks ago, President Obama signed into law the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, in which U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers was able to secure $300,000 for the new science building. Also, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is supporting a pending $100,000 appropriation in the Senate's fiscal year 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

"We're enormously grateful for the support of our congressional delegation in securing a federal appropriation for this project, which is critically important for Whitworth and also for our region, state and nation," says Whitworth Vice President for Finance and Administration Brian Benzel. "Our nation's role in the global economy depends on expanding the pipeline of scientists and engineers to sustain a fertile environment for innovation, discovery and service. Representative McMorris-Rodgers and Senator Cantwell recognize that Whitworth is meeting this need by educating a growing number of qualified and urgently needed doctors, nurses, scientists, engineers and science educators."

Whitworth is paying for the project through a combination of donations, government funds, and a bond issue. The university has raised $3.6 million so far and needs to raise additional funds in excess of $5 million before fund-raising for phase one is completed. To learn more about the project and to make a donation, please visit

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Nancy Rau, associate director of donor relations & special events, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4250 or

Greg Orwig, director of university communications, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4580 or

Professor of English receives esteemed Chawton House Fellowship

November 5, 2009
This spring, Pamela Corpron Parker, '81, professor of English and department chair at Whitworth, will travel to the village in England where Jane Austen wrote several of her celebrated works, thanks to the Chawton House Fellowship she received recently.

The highly-competitive fellowship for British literature scholars will allow Parker to live onsite in Hampshire, England, while she works in the Chawton House Library on her book about British women writers. She will conduct research in Chawton’s British women writers’ special archive. The archive has many materials of first editions and biographical critical materials, specializing in 18th- and 19th-century British women writers.

"As the president of the British Women Writers’ Association, I am very pleased to be able to go and look at this new resource, and to be able to recommend it to other scholars and younger graduate students," Parker says. "It’s an honor to be invited."

Scholars from around the globe compete for the fellowship and a chance to stay at the Chawton House, where they have access to some of the greatest resources of British literary culture. Horse stables on the grounds were converted into apartments for scholars to stay in during their visit, and Parker says she’s looking forward to living in community with the scholars she’ll be working alongside when she stays there in April. The Chawton House is about an hour outside of London.

According to the Chawton House website, the aim of the fellowship is to enable individuals to undertake significant research on the 18th century and projects that focus on women's writing or lives during the period. Fellows are invited to present their work in progress at a seminar during their time at Chawton, and to participate in events organized by the Southampton Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

In 1991, Parker co-founded the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers Association (BWWA), and currently serves as the organization’s president and chairperson of the board. Last year she received the BWWA’s inaugural Award for Contributions to the Study of British Women Writers.

Parker's recent publications include "Elizabeth Gaskell's Autograph Collections and the Victorian Cult of Personality" in Women and Things: Gendered Material Practices, 1750-1950 (Ashgate, 2009), and "Locating Elizabeth Gaskell: Literary Tourism and Cranford" in Literary Tourism and Nineteenth Century Culture (Palgrave, 2008).

Parker holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, master's degrees from Middlebury College and Eastern Washington University, and a bachelor's degree from Whitworth. She was the recipient of a 2007-2008 Armstrong Browning Fellowship at Baylor University, where, during Jan Term 2009, she conducted research on Elizabeth Barrett Browning for a forthcoming book, Literary Tourism and the Victorian Woman of Letters. The book will focus on how visiting the homes of female writers contributes to the way in which we imagine the authors. In August, Parker will present a lecture at the John Rylands Library at Manchester University, in Manchester, England, as part of their Elizabeth Gaskell Bicentenary Celebration.

Chawton House Library is an independent research library and study center that focuses on women's writing in English from 1600 to 1830. Accommodated in the Elizabethan manor house that once belonged to Jane Austen's brother, in the village of Chawton, in Hampshire, the library's main aim is to promote and facilitate study in the field of early women's writing.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Pamela Corpron Parker, professor of English and department chair, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4204 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

President of World Vision's U.S. offices to present Nov. 14 lecture at Whitworth

November 4, 2009

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WHAT: A lecture, "The Hole in Our Gospel," by Richard Stearns

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Seeley Mudd Chapel at Whitworth University

COST: Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-4263.

Richard Stearns is president of the U.S. offices of Federal Way, Wash.-based World Vision, an international Christian humanitarian charity organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to help tackle the causes of poverty and injustice. Since Stearns joined the organization in 1998, donations have nearly tripled from $358 million in 1998 to more than $1 billion in 2008, and overhead has decreased by nearly one-third.

As one of his first initiatives as president, Stearns called for focused efforts on increasing awareness of and funding for AIDS programs. His leadership in this area is even more significant given that at the time, the organization's research found that donors had little interest in helping to stop the spread of the disease; donors actually were less interested in helping children orphaned by AIDS than in aiding other disadvantaged children.

Stearns' lecture at Whitworth will be based on his book of the same name, which was published by Thomas Nelson earlier this year. The Hole in Our Gospel follows Stearns' journey from corporate CEO to advocate for those held captive by poverty and injustice, and challenges readers to view the gospel as more than a private transaction between God and individual Christians.

World Vision has more than 1,200 employees in the U.S. and partners with corporations, government agencies, foundations, churches and more than a million donors. It is the largest member of the global World Vision Partnership, which last year reached an estimated 100 million people in nearly 100 countries worldwide.

This year, Stearns was appointed to President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. A native of Syracuse, N.Y., he received a B.A. in neurobiology from Cornell University and a master's degree in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has received honorary doctorates from Eastern University and Azusa Pacific University. He launched his career in marketing for several Fortune 500 companies, starting with the Gillette Company. Prior to joining World Vision, he had served as president of Parker Brothers Games and as president and CEO of Lenox Inc.

Stearns' lecture is being sponsored by the Speakers & Artists Series and the Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Julie Shanholtzer, program assistant, Speakers & Artists Series and psychology department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4263 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth's student newspaper wins prestigious Pacemaker Award

November 3, 2009
Whitworth University's student newspaper, The Whitworthian, has won an Associate Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker Award. Pacemaker awards are considered the most esteemed honors in student journalism.

Roughly 220 schools nationwide participated in the 2009 ACP Online Pacemaker contest. The entries were divided into four categories: four-year daily newspaper, four-year non-daily newspaper, two-year newspaper, and non-newspaper publications. The Whitworthian, which competed against universities as much as four times Whitworth's size, was one of 20 schools named as finalists in the four-year non-daily newspaper category and is the only school from the Pacific Northwest represented in that category. Other finalists for the award included the University of Miami, the University of Missouri, Temple University, Loyola Marymount University and the College of William and Mary.

The Whitworthian also was named a finalist in the print edition category of the awards, making it one of only four non-daily newspapers in the country that was nominated for both the print and online categories. Other print edition finalists included the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Vanderbilt University, and Ithaca College.

"The Whitworthian has a record of doing excellent work; last year under the leadership of editor-in-chief Joy Bacon and web editor Jasmine Linabary it reached new levels, and this year's staff is picking up right where last year's left off," says Jim McPherson, associate professor of communication studies and The Whitworthian advisor. "As this latest recognition indicates, the online version has been especially noteworthy, combining text and photos with a variety of multimedia tools such as video, slideshows and interactive timelines."

The newspaper's staff includes 18 editors and roughly 40 reporters, columnists, photographers and graphic designers.

"The editors and staff have worked diligently to create an excellent website and stellar print copies," says Morgan Feddes, editor-in-chief of The Whitworthian. "These awards are proof that our work through the years has paid off, especially online. But we can't stay where we are; the bar has been set, so we need to aim higher."

The contest was judged by Ellyn Angelotti, interactivity editor for the Poynter Institute, a leader in online journalism training and education. Angelotti noted that the top sites displayed excellence in integration of multimedia and user-generated content, navigability, breadth of coverage, clean design, and sound news judgment on the home page.

The awards were announced at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisors National College Media Convention in Austin, Texas, in October.

The Whitworthian website and its print edition also recently were selected to receive Region 10 Mark of Excellence Awards given by the Society of Professional Journalists. In both 2008 and 2007, The Whitworthian took third place in the Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper category in the Region 10 Mark of Excellence Awards. In fall 2007, The Whitworthian won third place in "Best of Show" in the four-year weekly tabloids category at the 86th annual Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisors National College Media Convention. In spring 2007, the newspaper won the top award in the Inland Northwest Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists 2006 Excellence in Journalism Competition.


Jim McPherson, associate professor of communication studies and The Whitworthian advisor, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4429 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth Sustainability Challenge encourages individual awareness, commitment

October 30, 2009
Dinner with Bill Robinson, $1,000 donation to Second Harvest, pizza party
up for grabs in friendly competition among students, employees

Whitworth University’s Fall Sustainability Challenge, Nov. 8-14, will offer students, faculty and staff a fun way to learn how individual decisions they make about recycling, food, energy, transportation and water to meet their needs affect the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

"I hope more students become aware of the changes that need to be made on campus and in their own lives in order to be a more eco-friendly school," says Katie Staudinger, a junior peace studies major who is president of the student environmental club Good Deeds for Trees. "I want students to realize how easy it is to make small changes that have big impacts in saving the planet. Additionally, it's our calling as Christians to be stewards of the creation that God made for us."

The challenge pits each of Whitworth’s residence hall communities, off-campus students, and faculty/staff against one another to determine who can do the most to learn about and promote sustainability. Participants can learn how to live more sustainably and win prizes by:

  • Taking the Whitworth sustainability pledge

  • Completing an online quiz that details one’s ecological impact

  • Submitting entries in poster and YouTube video contests promoting activities that make Whitworth a more sustainable campus

  • Taking part in Prime Time sustainability activities in the residence halls each night of the challenge. Activities will include guest speakers, videos, games, discussions and opportunities to create and view entries in the poster and YouTube video contests.

Details of the sustainability challenge are available on Whitworth’s website at

The group with the highest point total by the end of the week will be able to choose from the following prizes: a formal dinner hosted by Bill Robinson, a pizza party during finals week or a $1,000 donation to Second Harvest food bank made in honor of the winners. The winner of the sustainability poster contest will receive an iPod and the winner of the YouTube video contest will receive a Flip video camera. All of the prizes are provided by Sodexo from savings created when Whitworth’s students voted to remove trays from the dining hall to reduce food waste.

The challenge is organized by the Presidential Planning Commission’s sustainability sub-committee, which was established to identify and prioritize activities that should be undertaken to make the campus more sustainable. The sub-committee has identified short- and long-term goals for education/curriculum, research operations, and external communications/outreach. These goals, as well as sustainability initiatives already undertaken by the university, are outlined on Whitworth’s website at: Recent sustainability initiatives include plans to construct a $31.7 million biology/chemistry building to meet LEED silver requirements for green building and operations, a board endowment committee decision to invest $2.5 million in clean technologies, completion of a comprehensive carbon audit of university operations and sustainability challenges to raise campus awareness.

"The point of the sustainability challenge is to help people see the little things that they can do to make a big difference toward sustainability," says Patrick Van Inwegen, associate professor of political science and co-chair of Whitworth’s sustainability sub-committee. "I hope that by participating in the challenge, people will be more conscious consumers and have a better sense of how their actions affect those around them. Our consumption of natural resources increasingly comes at the expense of the rest of the world. We have a mission of following Christ, whose life exemplified caring for the poor and marginalized in society."

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Patrick Van Inwegen, associate professor of political science, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4844 or

Greg Orwig, director of university communications, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4580 or

Whitworth senior wins prestigious award for scientific research

October 26, 2009
Danjuma Quarless presented research at University of Massachusetts, in Boston

Senior Danjuma Quarless received first place in the 2009 Scientific Poster Presentation this summer while participating in the University of Massachusetts Medical School Summer Research Fellowship Program. Recently, he also was accepted to present his research at the American Society of Cell Biology's annual conference, which will be held in San Diego this December.

Quarless received the award from the University of Massachusetts for his research in deflagellation-induced gene expression in Chlamydomonas. Chlamydomonas is a type of green alga and unicellular flagellates. Flagellate are cells with one or more whip-like organelles called flagella, found in some animals.

"My experience presenting in Boston paled in comparison to the experience of performing the research at UMass Med," says Quarless, who is a resident of Lakewood, Wash. "I was treated as a true grad school student and I carried a major portion of responsibility for the project, which forced me to step up to the plate and provided an opportunity for personal and professional growth."

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, Quarless’s study examined the genetic regulation of flagella growth in the microbe Chlamydomonas. These are similar in structure and function to human cilia, which are cells that create a lashing movement, especially found in free unicellular organisms. Defects in human cilia are linked to kidney disease, male sterility, retinal degeneration and obesity. With help from the Whitman lab’s Jason Brown, Quarless developed an analysis that can be used to measure the extent of flagella gene expression in Chlamydomonas.

All three judges gave Quarless perfect scores for the presentation of his poster in the categories of overall verbal skills, overall poster quality, effectiveness of the verbal presentation, effectiveness of the poster presentation, quality of work and organization. He took first place in the competition for the entire program as best overall poster, presentation, and experiment.

"He is always one of the first students to ask an insightful question, and he is always engaged in the material," says Frank Caccavo, Whitworth professor of biology and Quarless's advisor.

Caccavo adds that Quarless has been instrumental in the development of a new bioinformatics degree at Whitworth. The degree will combine the fields of biology and computer science. Quarless is majoring in mathematics with a concentration in bioinformatics. After graduating in May, Quarless plans to attend graduate school in the field of bioinformatics, mathematical biology or biomedical sciences.

During his sophomore year, Quarless completed a study, "Comparing Beta-globin Gene Clusters Using a Fractal Geometry Visualization Tool." He teamed with Finn Pond, professor of biology, and Kent Jones, professor of mathematics and computer science, to compare human and chimpanzee DNA through a computer program created at Whitworth. Their goal was to create a computer program that could analyze and determine information about genetic sequences acquired from online sources, such as the National Institute for Biotechnology Information, Quarless says.

Outside the lab, Quarless played football for two years and is in his third year as a member of Whitworth’s track and field team. He also is part of the fourth cadre of Act Six, a leadership and scholarship program that equips emerging urban leaders to engage in the college campus and their communities at home. Quarless served as a student representative for ASWU his junior year, and attended two of the national Act Six meetings.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Frank Caccavo, professor of biology, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3454 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth named a top producer of Fulbright students for 2009-10

October 22, 2009
The Fulbright Program recently announced that Whitworth was a top producer of students who received Fulbright awards in 2009-10. Whitworth was the only private institution in Washington state to be recognized. The success of the top-producing institutions was highlighted in the Oct. 19 print edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education and in its online edition. Whitworth, which submitted seven applications and had two Fulbright scholars selected, is listed in the master's institutions category, along with 28 other institutions including University of Redlands, Drake University, and Ithaca College. Visit to view the top-producers list (the list appears below the article).

Whitworth alumnae Kendra Hamilton and Amy Whisenand, both '09, were selected last April to receive Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grants to teach English as a foreign language in Malaysia and Germany, respectively. This was the second time two Whitworth students had received Fulbright awards in the same year. Since 2000, 10 Whitworth students and four faculty members have been selected as Fulbright scholars, according to John Yoder, Whitworth professor of political science and the university's Fulbright advisor.

"The fact that Whitworth students are consistently winning Fulbrights, among the most prestigious academic awards in the U.S., is evidence of the high caliber of our undergraduate programs," Yoder says. "More important, winning a Fulbright opens doors to great academic and professional opportunities for students in the future."

The achievement of having two students receive Fulbright awards in 2009-10 is notable in light of the fact that of the 29 schools in Whitworth's category, only three are smaller than Whitworth, while others, such as Villanova, City College of New York, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Hunter College, have between 10,000 and 20,000 students. Another category of schools receiving multiple Fulbright grants includes top-name research institutions that submitted applications at every level, including numerous proposals for master's or Ph.D. research. For example, the University of Chicago had 128 applications at all levels while Whitworth submitted seven at the bachelor's level. Many of the schools that won more than one award are Ivy League schools and prestigious institutions such as Bryn Mawr and Macalester, according to Yoder.

In October, Whitworth submitted six undergraduate applications for the 2010-11 Fulbright awards: three for English teaching awards in Argentina, Belgium and Malaysia, and three for research awards in Bahrain, El Salvador and Ethiopia. Applicants who make the first cut will be announced in early February; Fulbright recipients will be named in late spring.

Under the Fulbright Program, more than 1,500 American students in more than 100 different fields of study were offered 2009-10 grants to study, teach English, and conduct research in more than 125 countries throughout the world beginning this fall.

Of the roughly 1,500 Fulbrighters, 65 percent are at bachelor’s-degree level, 17 percent are at master's-degree level, and 19 percent are at Ph.D. level. Students receiving awards for this academic year applied through 570 colleges or universities. Lists of Fulbright recipients are available at

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program equips future American leaders with the skills they need to thrive in an increasingly global environment by providing funding for one academic year of study, research or assistant teaching abroad. Fellows undertake self-designed programs in disciplines ranging from the social sciences, business, communication and performing arts to physical sciences, engineering and education.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 290,000 participants worldwide with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants. In the past 61 years, almost 42,000 students from the United States have benefited from the Fulbright experience.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


John Yoder, professor of political science and Fulbright advisor, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4432 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Poet Bruce Guernsey to present Endowed English Reading Nov. 6 at Whitworth

October 21, 2009

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Award-winning poet Bruce Guernsey is Whitworth's Endowed English Reader for 2009. Guernsey will read from his works on Friday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University. A book sale and reception will follow the reading. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-3253.

Guernsey is a distinguished professor emeritus at Eastern Illinois University, where he taught creative writing and American literature for 25 years. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic, American Scholar, and more diverse publications such as The Journal of Medical Opinion, Cat Fancy, and Yankee. His prose has been published in War, Literature and the Arts, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Fly Rod & Reel. His essay "The Raven's Gift" won the creative nonfiction award from the journal, Flyway. He also was a featured poet in Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry.

Guernsey has published three of his own poetry collections, including New England Primer (Cherry Grove Editions, 2008), The Lost Brigade (Water Press and Media, 2005), and January Thaw (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982). In 2007, he took over as editor of Spoon River Poetry Review.

Guernsey has received fellowships in writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He was awarded seven faculty excellence awards while at Eastern Illinois University, and in 1992 he received the State of Illinois Board of Governors' Distinguished Professor Award, the highest honored offered by that state. He also was nominated twice for the Carnegie Institute's United States Professor of the Year. He received Fulbright Lectureships to Portugal and Greece, and he has sailed around the world twice with Semester at Sea.

Guernsey taught previously at the College of William and Mary, Johns Hopkins University, the University of New Hampshire, and Virginia Wesleyan College, where he was the poet in residence for four years. He graduated with honors from Colgate University, holds M.A. degrees from the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire.

The English Readings Endowment was established to bring nationally recognized writers to the Whitworth campus and the greater Spokane area. During their time on campus and in the community, visiting writers offer classroom visits, workshops, meetings with students and faculty, and literary readings.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Doug Sugano, professor of English, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4212 or

Annie Stillar, program assistant, English department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3253 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth chemistry major awarded full-tuition scholarship from Woodrow Foundation

October 16, 2009
Rebecca Johnson, a junior at Whitworth University, has been awarded the prestigious Woodrow Foundation Scholarship. The $29,280 scholarship covers Johnson's tuition and books for the 2009-10 academic year.

"Winning this scholarship is very significant to continuing my education as a pre-med student," says Johnson, a chemistry major on the biochemistry track with a minor in music. "I have many more years of education ahead of me in medical school, and this scholarship has given me confidence to keep going when the classes become even more difficult."

Originally from West Linn, Ore., and now a resident of San Diego, Johnson plans to study osteopathic medicine. She's considering pursuing the field of infectious disease, both in her research and her work with patients, which led her to work at an AIDS camp last summer. Johnson says she's not sure whether she will pursue her dream locally or internationally, and says that her main goal is to help those who are forgotten or overlooked by their societies.

During her years at Whitworth, Johnson has been active in Good Deeds for Trees, Cup of Cool Water, the Bonner Leadership Program, and the Whitworth Wind Symphony, and she has served in a leadership position at En Christo. She credits the organizations, specifically those that aim to help the homeless, with providing a large part of her off-campus education. In Oregon, she worked at an assisted-living facility and volunteered at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, in Portland.

"Volunteering with the poor and homeless has changed my worldview," Johnson says. "It's not about giving people a lunch as much as it is about loving people for who they are, having conversations with them, and letting them know that they are important and have a purpose."

Kerry Breno, assistant professor of chemistry at Whitworth, says Johnson's diverse interests and demonstration of campus leadership make her highly qualified for the scholarship. As Johnson's professor and adviser, Breno describes her as a well-rounded student who is organized, efficient and dynamic.

"Rebecca is highly qualified for the scholarship," Breno says. "She has tremendous potential for success in all her endeavors. I am very pleased that she is the winner of this year's Woodrow Foundation Scholarship."

The Woodrow Foundation Scholarship is awarded each academic year to one student at Whitworth University. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must have a 3.75 or higher GPA, demonstrated leadership skills, and high financial need. Students are nominated by an academic department; the nominations are reviewed by a university committee that selects five finalists. The final selection is made by US Bank, which serves as the trustee for the Leon Woodrow estate.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Nancy Morlock, assistant director/scholarship coordinator of financial aid, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4378 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Jazz legend Lee Konitz to perform Nov. 7 with Whitworth Jazz Ensemble at the Fox Theater

October 14, 2009
Concert part of 20th anniversary celebration of Whitworth's thriving jazz program

Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, winner of the 2009 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award—our nation's highest award in jazz, will perform in concert with the award-winning Whitworth Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. at the Fox Theater, in downtown Spokane. Admission is $17. For tickets, call TicketsWest at (509) 325-7328 or purchase online at Tickets also can be purchased at the Fox Theater's box office.

Konitz will conduct a free jazz clinic for Whitworth students, Spokane-area students, and the general public on Friday, Nov. 6, at 5:15 p.m. in the Music Building's Recital Hall. For more information about the concert or clinic, please call (509) 777-3280.

"This fall, Spokane will have hosted two of the most important living jazz musicians—Dave Brubeck, who performed at the Fox in September, and now Lee Konitz," says Dan Keberle, professor of music and director of jazz studies and the jazz ensemble at Whitworth. "Not only will the Whitworth jazz students learn from hearing Konitz perform, but they also will have the rare opportunity to spend time with a jazz musician who has been playing with all of the jazz greats since 1945. Konitz is a walking jazz history book, as well as a supreme musician."

The concert will be part of a weekend of events, including a reunion for alumni of the jazz program, celebrating the 20th anniversary of jazz studies at Whitworth. To register and find a complete listing of jazz reunion events taking place Nov. 6-8, please visit For more information, please call (509) 777-4250.

During the concert at the Fox, Konitz, who helped launch the "Cool Jazz" movement, will play expanded jazz band arrangements of tunes from the landmark jazz album, Birth of the Cool, which he recorded with Miles Davis and Gerry Mulligan, et al., in 1949 and 1950. The album represented a major development in post-bebop jazz and was significant to the history of cool jazz, which is a style of jazz music that rose to prominence after World War II, when predominantly white musicians from California mixed with mostly black bebop musicians from New York to form a smooth, composed sound that include improvisation.

Konitz has been playing jazz music for more than 60 years, during which he has produced more than 50 albums. A few contemporary artists in whom his influence can be seen include West Coast alto saxophonists Art Pepper, Bud Shank and Paul Desmond

In his youth, Konitz studied alto saxophone with several teachers in Chicago. As a teen in the early 1940s, his jazz style began to mature as he studied under noted pianist Lennie Tristano. Their recordings together include the 1949 releases Intuition and Digression, which represented the first free improvised recorded music.

After working with Miles Davis on Birth of the Cool, Konitz went on to play with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker's prominent band and then in Stan Kenton's big band. Since then, he has mainly led his own small groups and toured abroad. In the 1960s, he took a break from the music business but continued to cultivate his unique sound; during that time he worked with musicians including Paul Bley, Martial Solal, Charlie Haden and Brad Mehldau. He also worked as a private teacher, conducting lessons by tape with students worldwide. In the mid-1970s, he toured Europe with Warne Marsh, and in the 1980s he formed his own nine-man group and performed regularly.

In 1992, Konitz won the prestigious Danish JAZZPAR Prize. Over the past decade, his recordings have included Lee Konitz & The Axis String Quartet: Plays French Impressionist Music of the 21st Century (Palmetto, 2000) and One Day with Lee (2004), for which he joined with the Mark Masters Ensemble. Other releases include Inventions, featuring the Spring String Quartet (Omnitone, 2006); New Nonet (Omnitone, 2006); and Portology, featuring Orquestra Jass de Matosinhos (Omnitone, 2007). His newest CD, released earlier this year, is Parallels (Chesky Records).

Konitz represents the most prominent guest artist in a long list of internationally-renowned jazz musicians who have performed with the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble over the years. These artists have included Terence Blanchard, Bob Mintzer, Joe Lovano, Slide Hampton, Nicholas Payton, Kenny Garrett, Phil Woods and Gene Harris.

The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble performed at the 2008 Washington Music Educators All State Conference and won first place at the 2008 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival; the ensemble has won first place seven times since 1994. The 18-piece ensemble performs several concerts each year on campus, as well as at jazz festivals, in public schools, at civic events, and on annual tours throughout the United States. In January 2008 the ensemble traveled for the seventh time to Rome, Italy, for several performances with leading Italian jazz artists. In January 2006 the ensemble traveled to Sao Paolo and Salvador, Brazil, for concerts at two music festivals. In 2004 they traveled to Rome, followed by a performance trip to Hawaii. Other performance residencies in previous years have included trips to Havana, Cuba, two trips to Munich, five others to Rome, and nine performances in Australia, at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and in the surrounding area. This January, they will embark on a tour of New York City and New Orleans.

The ensemble has produced eight CDs; the most recent is Travelin' Light, released in 2008. For more information on the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble, please visit

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Joan Lack or Loree Swegle, program assistants, music department, Whitworth University (509) 777-3280, or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Whitworth professor elected a vice president of the American Journalism Historians Association

October 13, 2009
Jim McPherson is best known on the Whitworth campus as a professor of communication studies and advisor of the student newspaper, The Whitworthian. Some also know him as an author and lecturer, as well as a former newspaper reporter, editor and public relations professional. This week, McPherson assumed a new role when he became first vice president of the American Journalism Historians Association.

McPherson was elected second vice president at the 2008 AJHA national convention, in Seattle, and became the first vice president at the 2009 convention in Birmingham, Ala., held Oct. 7-10. His primary duty is to oversee the program for next year's convention in Tucson, Ariz., where he will assume the position of president.

"I'm happy to be able to serve an organization that has done so much for me," McPherson says. "My two books, my four book chapters, and various other projects have come as a direct result of contacts I made in AJHA."

David Sloan, professor of journalism at the University of Alabama, founded the AJHA and has served as the organization's president. Sloan nominated McPherson for the position of vice president, which he says he would not have done if McPherson weren't exceptionally qualified.

"Like most of the other people who have served as AJHA president/vice president, Jim has the interest of the organization and of history at heart, rather than his own personal benefit," Sloan says. "People throughout the organization appreciate him for those qualities and think very highly of him."

Sloan says McPherson is an excellent and creative historian who is dependable, personable, hard-working and committed to the AJHA.

McPherson joined the AJHA in 1994 and has served on the board of directors, as co-chair of the history in curriculum task force, and as a member of both the publications committee and the oral history committee. He organized and hosted the 2008 AJHA national convention and also was the editor of the association's newsletter, The Intelligencer, for six years.

A member of the Whitworth faculty since 2000, McPherson received the university's 2007 Academic Challenge Award. He also is the author of several media-related articles and book chapters. His two books, published in 2008 and 2006, respectively, are The Conservatism Resurgence and the Press: The Media's Role in the Rise of the Right and Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. He also has experience in various newspaper positions, has been a freelance writer, editor and photographer, and once hosted a news-talk radio program on Whitworth's KWRS station.

Founded in 1981, the American Journalism Historians Association seeks to advance education and research in mass communication history. Through its annual convention, regional conferences, committees, awards, speakers and publications, members work to raise historical standards and ensure that all scholars and students recognize the vast importance of media history and apply this knowledge to the advancement of society.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Jim McPherson, associate professor of communication studies, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4429 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or

Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq to discuss foreign policy lessons during Oct. 21 lecture at Whitworth

October 8, 2009
Whitworth faculty also to conduct panel discussion about U.S. involvement in the Middle East

As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq rage on and tensions boil over in the rest of the Middle East, Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to that region, will present a lecture, "A New Foreign Policy? Lessons from Iraq," on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, Whitworth Academic Dean Michael Le Roy will lead Whitworth faculty members in a panel discussion about U.S. foreign policy opportunities and challenges in the Middle East. The panel will include Professor of Sociology Raja Tanas, Associate Professor of Sociology Jennifer Holsinger, Professor of Political Science John Yoder, and Professor of History Dale Soden. The discussion will take place at 7 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall. Admission to both events is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-4263.

Crocker, a Spokane Valley native, recently retired from a 30-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service that included appointments as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq (2007-09), Pakistan (2004-07) and Afghanistan (2002-04). His accomplishments earned him the Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the State Department Award for Valor. When President George W. Bush awarded Crocker the Medal of Freedom, he called him America's Lawrence of Arabia for his deft handling of U.S. diplomatic relations in that tumultuous part of the world. Prior to that, Bush also conferred on him the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest position in the Foreign Service.

"Ryan Crocker combines a profound commitment to the best of American values with a broad knowledge of history, strong language and cultural skills, and a sophisticated understanding of non-Western political systems," Professor Yoder says. "He will draw on his experiences in the Middle East to help the audience understand the guiding principles of a sound foreign policy."

Crocker grew up in an Air Force family, attending schools in the U.S., Morocco, Canada and Turkey. He holds a B.A. in English and an honorary doctor of laws degree from Whitman College, in Walla Walla, Wash. Since joining the Foreign Service, in 1971, he has had assignments in countries such as Iran, Qatar and Egypt. He was assigned to the American embassy in Beirut during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the bombings of the U.S. embassy and military barracks in 1983. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state for near Eastern affairs from 2001-03. In 2003, he joined the faculty of the National War College, where he was the international affairs advisor.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Julie Shanholtzer, program assistant, Speakers & Artists Series and psychology department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4263 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or