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Alumni Achievements

Featured Alum Aaron Korthuis, '12

Major: Political Science

Current Poisition: Korthuis is a political advocacy assistant at the Association for a More Just Society, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. AJS is a Christian nonprofit organization that works on issues of violence, corruption and land rights in Honduras.

Why Whitworth? "I wanted the opportunity to challenge myself to grow intellectually and spiritually by interacting with people from different backgrounds and worldviews, while still knowing that I could find both spiritual kin and opportunities to deepen my faith."

Whitworth Activities: Political Awareness Club, intramurals, Weyerhaeuser Younger Scholar, and campus spiritual life activities.

Influential Whitworth Professor: "Julia Stronks. Our common theological heritage and her continual willingness to challenge my intellectual development and lend me resources to do so helped strengthen my desire to work as an agent of God's redemption in this world. Her experience and encouragement toward a career in law, and my conviction of the important role it can play in transforming our world, have led me to pursue a career as a lawyer."

Quote: "Many of my professors were truly (and still are) close friends of mine, and the mentoring they provided contributed more to my intellectual development than any other aspect of my time at Whitworth. The fact that your professors know you well means they can write specific and excellent recommendations. Example: I was accepted to Yale Law School, the nation's highest-ranked law school (with an acceptance rate of around 7 percent). I am convinced that my close relationships with Julia Stronks, Andy Hogue (now at Baylor), and Michael Le Roy (now president of Calvin College) allowed me to provide recommendations that separated me from the rest of the application field."

Career Goals: In fall 2014, Korthuis will begin his studies at Yale Law School, where he hopes to focus on international rights and security issues and the First Amendment's religion clauses.

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

  • Pierre Biscaye works for World Vision International, in Federal Way, Wash., where he develops education and life-skills curricula and sets up resource-localization systems in East Africa. He is also pursuing a master's in public administration at the University of Washington.

  • Jena (Lee) Nardella is co-founder and president of Blood:Water Mission, a ministry of the Grammy-winning band Jars of Clay that provides clean blood and water in Africa.

  • Brian Reaser completed an MBA in international development from Hope International University. He is currently working for Compassion and Mercy Associates as a development consultant in Ishinomaki, Japan.

  • Laura Thaut received a Fulbright grant to study emigration-related issues in Lithuania and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. She is doing post-doctoral work as an international security and U.S. foreign policy research fellow at the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, N.H.

  • Gene Emmans earned a graduate degree from the Harris School of Management at the University of Chicago. He is now a budget analyst for the U.S. House Budget Committee.

  • Jenifer (Tracy) Ford graduated from Pepperdine School of Law (Calif.), and is working at a police litigation firm in Los Angeles.

  • Greg Svanidze completed a master's degree at the George Washington School of International Affairs and is now a geographical and linguistic consultant for Glyph Language Services (Wash.) and a freelance research writer and editor.

  • Blair Daley taught in Malaysia through the Fulbright Program and now works with Malaysian-American Commission Educational Exchange, in Malaysia.



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