The Modern Linguist
Eye on Alumni

Faculty Spotlight

News & Events

Eye on Alumni
Kadyn at the Jardin de Luxembourg, in Paris

Eye on Alumni: Kadyn Schmautz, '06 (B.A. in fine arts; minor in French)

It all began with a conversation with a friend, as good things often do. We balanced in our kayaks with the mountains nestling in for the evening while the crepuscular light hovered over the river's surface in a sleepy rhythm. I've been thinking…I think you should! Really? Of course. I would love to…do you think it is a good idea? Why not? Well…

So, the essays and application slid in under the deadline, a couple interviews were conducted, and I road-tripped out to the Washington-Oregon Coast (which was awesome – thanks, K.C.) last fall, wondering where my future lay. Enter a phone call. Congratulations, Rotary Cultural Ambassadorial Scholar!

What the heck is that? Let's start with the basics: Many of us recall Rotary as those old guys who ran the Rotary Basketball Program that allowed us to trip around a court at our most awkward age, in T-shirts and feet that were too big. Rotary is much more than that, in fact, quite a lot more. Ahem. Rotary is an international community of business professionals who give humanitarian service and advance international understanding and goodwill. If that isn't up my alley, I don't know what is!

Rotary seeks to address issues of poverty, health, hunger, education, and the environment, and to maintain high ethical standards. A current focus is to eradicate polio. They have given over $650 million and joined forces with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others to create the world's most extensive public-private health undertaking. As of 2006, the number of polio cases has been reduced by 99 percent since Rotary started its work in 1985. In addition, in 1913 Rotary formed the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (sound familiar Montana folk?), the first of many. Albert Schweitzer, Winston Churchill, Charles Lindbergh, Sir Edmund Hillary (Rotarians climbed McKinley and Everest in 2004-05), Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Bob Hope, Margaret Thatcher, and many kings and U.S. presidents have been Rotarians.

Great. So… what does this aforementioned collection of phenomenal people have to do with regular 20-something-year-old me? My scholarship is part of the world's largest privately funded international scholarship program. People from 110 countries are traipsing around as ambassadors to further international understanding and friendly relations. It all boils down to me being here in Brussels, Belgium, for a few months. I will be studying French, volunteering, and giving speeches/connecting with local Rotarians. Am I excited? You bet. Am I ready? Umm…guess we'll just have to wait and see. – October 2008

Faculty Spotlight

A Quick Q&A with Ryan Peterson, visiting instructor of Spanish
ML: What is your background in Spanish?

RP: I took Spanish all four years of high school, but I was always interested in history much more and wanted to be a history professor. It wasn't until after my study-abroad experience in Spain that I really began to take Spanish seriously in terms of a career. At that point I decided that I wanted to speak Spanish every day in my career, not just a have reading knowledge of it, so I enrolled in the graduate program at the UW and the rest, as they say, is history.

ML: Why did you choose Whitworth? What appealed to you?

RP: Whitworth actually chose me. I was looking for work in June 2006 and got a call from Carol Smucker, who invited me here for an interview. I was hired a week later. I really enjoy the close-knit atmosphere and being able to get to know my students. Also, I enjoy how Christian faith is linked to every facet of campus life, not just chapel. At the UW I would always subtly pick topics about Christianity/religious themes in literature. It is great to be encouraged to address those ideas here at Whitworth.

ML: Have you lived or studied abroad in a foreign country? If so where did you study/live?

RP: Yes, I spent one semester in Cádiz, Spain, a summer in Guatemala, and three weeks in Brazil. These experiences made me realize how similar and interconnected people really are. I recall meeting a Brazilian woman of Norwegian descent in Curitiba, Brazil. Her family emigrated from Norway around 1900. That is about the same time my family came to the U.S. They could have very easily decided to go to Brazil and I would be speaking Portuguese right now.

ML: Tell us a little about yourself – your passions, hobbies and interests.

RP: I enjoy tennis, reading, and watching silly programs, like "Seinfeld." I am active in my church as the high school Sunday school teacher. I am a big Seahawks and Mariners fan. I am getting married next summer. I am hoping to travel at some point for a few months to the north of Canada to see the tundra, caribou, the Aurora Borealis, and polar bears.

ML: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?

RP: Three things: Time passes very quickly, so make every moment meaningful. Everything you do and say has an effect on others and your environment. God is watching you.

News & Events

Caitlin Dill – Costa Rica

Dearest Friends and Readers,

Despite all the preparing and reading and talking with people about Costa Rica before coming here, I still hardly had any idea what this small Central American country would be like. I somehow got the notion in my head that it would be very rural, have a very islandy, beachy feel, and that I would live in some jungley sort of cabin with large bugs and poisonous reptiles to watch out for. Although I have traveled to places around the country that actually do fit this description, I have to say that I was pretty surprised by what I found upon arriving in Costa Rica.

One of the first things that struck me was how modern and Americanized it is here. Heredia, the city I live in, definitely has a modern transportation system (although stoplights, crosswalks and those yellow lines in the middle of the road are considered more suggestions than rules). Ticans (what Costa Ricans call themselves) are very into their fashion! Unlike Whitworth, where it is perfectly acceptable to arrive at class in sweatpants, the girls go to school every day fully done up, many even wearing high heels. Not to mention that there are dozens and dozens of little boutiques and clothing stores in Heredia. Also surprising was the number of U.S. fast-food chains that have reached Costa Rica. Just within a 15-minute walking distance from my school, there is a McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Subway. My younger host brother and sister tell their mom they don't want rice and beans anymore – they want McDonald's!

Don't get me wrong, though! After moving past these initial shockers, I've gotten to know Costa Ricans as a distinct people with a zest for life and pride in their heritage. Ticans are known for being a peaceful people (Costa Rica has no army) who make a deliciously strong cup of coffee. Ticans even have their own fun set of phrases that are distinct from the bordering countries of Panama and Nicargua. For example, "Pura vida" is the trademark phrase of Costa Rica, which can be used as a greeting, as "okay," and as "no worries," etc. Another very cool Tican linguistic characteristic is their reference to God in common speech. For example, "Cómo está?" about half the time is responded to with, "Bien, gracias a Dios!" (Good, thanks to God!) Also, one of the favorite adjectives in Costa Rica is "rico" for rich ("Costa Rica" means "rich coast"). Almost anything enjoyable, from food to warm sunshine, can be referred to as "rich."

I can't talk about Costa Rica without mentioning its natural beauty, which has far surpassed the high expectations I had before my arrival. I am happy to report that I have been able to visit mountains, volcanoes, beaches, and waterfalls, and have seen all sorts of wildlife, including iguanas, hummingbirds, sloths, monkeys, snakes and frogs, in one of the most biologically diverse countries on earth. My host parents, teachers, friends and even the occasional taxi driver are constantly telling me about some gorgeous place that I absolutely have to visit before the end of my stay.

All in all, my experience here in Costa Rica has been "muy bonita," complete with lots of dancing, practicing Spanish, studying, traveling, volunteering, spending time with my host family, eating fried bananas, and lots of rain. In my last few weeks here, I plan on visiting Whitworth's satellite campus, the Costa Rica Center, and making a second trip to Nicaragua to stay with my grandpa (who's lived there for the past 20 years) before heading home for Christmas break. To anyone who is considering studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country with a laid-back lifestyle, I would definitely recommend the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Well, friends, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my experiences as much as I have enjoyed writing about them. I'm very much looking forward to seeing everyone at Whitworth again in the spring.

God bless,

RE: Latin American Theology

For those interested in Latin America, the Spanish department would like to let you know that there are copies of The Journal of Latin American Theology available in the library and in the modern languages department. This publication, edited by our very own Lindy Scott, discusses a variety of topics such as short-term missions through the eyes of Latin American and North American Christian leaders, and Christian higher education throughout the world. Any questions can be directed to Lindy at

Modern Languages Department Reception
The Whitworth Modern Languages Department will hold a reception on Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 3-5 p.m. in the Westminster Hall upper lounge (east side of the building). The reception is open to students on campus who want to know more about the department and its programs. There will be food!

The spring DELE exam dates have been announced! On Saturday, May 21, Whitworth will once again be a test site for the DELE. More information can be found at E-mail Vicki Daggy at with any questions. More information will be forthcoming.

French Tutoring Schedule (Revised)
Revisions have been made to the French tutoring schedule. The free tutoring sessions are now offered on Sundays and Tuesdays, from 8-9 p.m., and on Thursdays, from 9-10 p.m. All French tutoring sessions are held in Westminster Hall, Room 142.

Vol. 3 Issue 1 Dec. 2010

The Modern Linguist was birthed from the desire to unite those who study in the modern languages discipline at Whitworth University. The newsletter features information, news and stories applicable to those involved in the program. Let it serve you well.

Modern Languages Department
Westminster Hall
Whitworth University
Phone: 509.777.4765
Department Chair and Editor-in-Chief: Bendi Benson Schrambach
Editor: Aaron Newby, '11
For student employment information, please contact Vicki Daggy, program assistant, at 509.777.4765

Scripture of the Month

English: 1 Chronicles 16:34
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Spanish: 1 Crónicas 16:34
¡Alaben al Señor porque él es bueno, y su gran amor perdura para siempre!

French: 1 Chroniques 16:34
Célébrez l'Eternel car il est bon, car son amour dure à toujours.

German: 1 Chronik 16:34
Danket dem Herrn; denn er ist freundlich, denn seine Gnade währet ewiglich.

Directions | Campus Map | Employment | Pod | RSS | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © Whitworth University. All Rights Reserved. | 300 W. Hawthorne Road, Spokane, WA 99251 |  Campus Phone: 509.777.1000