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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