The Modern Linguist
Faculty Spotlight

Eye on Alumni
A View from Abroad

Faculty Spotlight

Kim Hernández, Whitworth Instructor of Spanish

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! The start of a new year refocuses my thoughts on the work that God is always doing in our lives; much of that work has to do with giving us many “new beginnings” as we journey through life. I pray that you are finding joy in the newness of this new year, your new classes during Jan Term and spring semester, and perhaps your new-found excitement about studying language!

The month of January often finds me abroad with students on our Spanish language and culture program, or on the Central America Study Program. Sharing this experience with my students is one of the highlights of my role at Whitworth and of my life in general. Nothing compares to the privilege of witnessing the language breakthroughs, cultural encounters, and personal growth that take place in the lives of the students on these trips. It’s not a cliché – it truly is life-changing! If I could give one piece of advice to every college student, it would be to study abroad. The opportunity to enter the lives of other people and call their country your home, even for a short time, will grant you life lessons that will remain with you always.

Learning and teaching language has become an integral part of who I am and what I endeavor to share with others. Learning Spanish opened my eyes to a whole new world outside of the life I knew growing up in Montana (no, not on a ranch – I’m a “city girl”!). As I began to pursue my interest in the language through study and travel abroad, I realized that Spanish would definitely be a key part of my life no matter the context. I have used Spanish in international business, professional interpreting and translating, ministry and teaching. I think that’s why the opportunity to be an academic advisor is my favorite part of my job, because I get to walk with my students as they explore their emerging passions, pursue their studies here, and discern their next steps after Whitworth.

As much as I love teaching Spanish, it is the “why” of studying Spanish that I most enjoy facilitating in the hearts and minds of my students. When I teach the stories in the SN 301/302 courses and see how my students’ personal connection with the themes and characters in the stories often propels their language proficiency to a whole new level, I get excited because I know the feeling of getting to the point in one’s language learning when it begins to become part of you instead of just knowledge you are acquiring. The Spanish for Christian Ministry class is another highlight for me. In this course, we explore topics of personal faith, evangelism, and faith in the Hispanic cultural context. It is a privilege to teach a class in which students interact with their peers about their faith and worldview, pursue new understandings about Scripture together, and explore the vocational possibilities for using their language skills in ministry or simply personal evangelism in their daily lives. And our campus ministry events are always memorable!

I have been teaching at Whitworth for 10 years – initially as an adjunct instructor, teaching a class here and there, and then as a full-time faculty member since 2006. My family is the most important part of my life, and thankfully, they are very invested in my work at Whitworth. My husband, José, and our 13-year-old twin boys, Ilan and Isaiah, have been part of several Jan Term programs, and they also enjoy having students over to our home and staying in touch with many graduates who become like family to us during their time at Whitworth. In our “spare time,” my husband and I coach our boys’ school cross-country and basketball teams, and help with their theater productions.
I hope you find a personal connection to your language studies and an abiding joy in all that you pursue!

Profe Kim

Eye on Alumni

James Bettis, ’08, Spanish and Elementary Education Double Major

Annie Dugas

Since graduating from Whitworth I have been working as a teacher; I am currently in my fourth year in Northshore School District, located north of Seattle. I teach 4th grade in a dual immersion program in which content is taught in Spanish and in English. Each day I teach half of my subjects in English and the other half of my subjects in Spanish. In our program students study math, reading and writing during the English half of our day. Then students study reading, writing, social studies and science during the Spanish half of the day. It is a great model that benefits ELL students as well as native English-speaking students who are working to acquire a second language. It has been a great experience for me because I am able to continue using Spanish through teaching each day and interacting with Spanish-speaking students and parents.

I love my job because I am able to help students learn something new every day. I also like just talking to my students during lunch and after school as I walk them to the bus. These are the times I really get to know my students and their individual personalities beyond the way I know them as learners and students. It is great how excited students are about learning, especially learning content through the Spanish language. It is nice that students in my class who may just be learning English can be experts during the Spanish half of our day. It feels great to be using my Spanish every day as a part of my career. It makes all of the hard work and time spent learning Spanish really worthwhile. I would encourage any student considering a major in Spanish to pursue it, because the Spanish language is an invaluable resource in so many different professions around the country and around the world.

A View from Abroad

Lindy Scott, Director of the Whitworth Costa Rica Center

Dear Students (at Whitworth North),

Warm greetings from Costa Rica (where it will get to over 80 degrees today)! I have some great news. For the first time since 2001, Whitworth will be sponsoring a trip to CUBA! (More on that below.) As you already know, our semester program includes a full range of Spanish classes for you at various levels: IDS 301 (Introduction to Latin American Studies), BI 115 (Conservation and Human Rights), and Core 350, plus eight hours per week of an internship in the student’s major, and three field trips (Caribbean, Pacific, Nicaragua).

In addition, Whitworth academic departments “adopt” a semester in which you can take upper level courses with a Latin American flavor. Katie Creyts (Art) will teach with us in spring 2012; Nicole Sheets (English) and Karla Morgan (Business/Economics) in fall 2012; and Patrick Van Inwegen (Political Science) will take a year’s semi-sabbatical with us and teach Political Economy in fall 2012 and two courses in spring 2013. Wow!

But, you want to know more about the Cuba trip, right? We have been authorized to take a small number of students on an eight-day trip to Cuba. This is limited to only the students registered for the fall semester of the Costa Rica Center program. Space is quite limited and will be allotted primarily on a first-come, first-served basis. Nevertheless, you might have some questions that you (and your parents/guardians/significant others) would like answered first. Here goes:

  • Is it legal for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba? Yes. Visitors must get a permit from the U.S. Treasury Department, but restrictions have been relaxed and we can obtain an academic permit. In fact, our friends at the CCCU-Latin American Studies Program (LASP) have taken students to Cuba every semester for decades.
  • Is it safe? YES! Although absolute safety can never be guaranteed, my various trips to Cuba have persuaded me that Cuba is one of the safest countries in the Latin America/Caribbean region. Our daughter, Stephanie, spent a semester there and LASP goes every semester, and they have never had a problem.
  • What experience do you have with taking students to Cuba? When I taught at Wheaton College, I took students to Cuba on two occasions. As a consequence, I have many excellent contacts there.
  • If students participate in the CRC fall program, do they have to go to Cuba? No, they can choose to go on the Nicaragua trip, which will take place at the same time and will be led by one of our professors, two of our TAs, and our seasoned contact in Nicaragua, Freddy Mendez.
  • How will you decide who gets to go to Cuba? The selection process will be largely determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, those who apply early will have preference. We also reserve the right to use other criteria (gender, age, major) to form balanced groups for Cuba and for Nicaragua. Interested students should fill out the Online Cuba Application Form.
  • Will the Cuba trip be offered every semester? Probably not. During the next few years, we are considering offering the Cuba trip only during the fall semesters.
  • Will there be an additional charge to participate in the Cuba trip? Yes, there will be a surcharge of $400 to cover the airfare and other costs.
  • Who will students get to meet in Cuba? A wide variety of people: a university art professor and her students; the urban planner of Havana; typical Cubans; politicians in favor of the Cuban government, as well as citizens who oppose it; plus, the opportunity to attend two packed-out church services and meet religious leaders.
  • Where will you stay in Cuba? We are planning to stay at a former convent that currently houses foreigners in the heart of downtown Havana, or at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center.
  • How will we get to Cuba? There are direct flights from San Jose, Costa Rica.

If you are interested in participating or if you have additional questions, feel free to contact me by e-mail at, or you can call me at my Whitworth phone number, 509.777.4837, which reaches me at the Costa Rica Center (alias Whitworth South).

Lindy Scott

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Class of 2012: Mark your calendars for the annual Modern Languages Senior Breakfast on Saturday, May 12, from 9:30-11 a.m. This event is for you and your family to enjoy on graduation weekend. More information will be forthcoming, along with invitations to send to your family members.

Witness for Peace Event Online Video
For those of you who were unable to attend Eleazar Garcia's presentation on Thursday, Nov. 10, there is now a video of his talk at Fairhaven College posted on their website:

Eleazar's presentation was on “Food Sovereignty and the Roots of Migration: Defending Corn and Culture in Oaxaca” and was presented in Spanish with an English translation. 

Jan Term Study Abroad Fair
Be sure to attend the Jan Term Study Abroad Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m., in the HUB Multipurpose Room. The fair will include details about the 2013 Spanish language trip.

Costa Rica Center: “Have your own adventure”
The Costa Rica campus offers classes and internships for all students /all majors!

  • Classes are taught in English and Spanish—take gen ed classes in an exotic locale. Fall 2012 special course offerings will be in political science, economics and English.
  • Get to know the people and culture by staying in a local home.
  • Explore the Caribbean, Pacific Coast and either Nicaragua or Cuba Cuba (Cuba option only available in fall 2012; additional charge required).
  • Your cost? The same as tuition, and room and board at Whitworth + use your scholarships & financial aid (the Cuba trip requires a $400 surcharge to cover the additional cost of airfare and other expenses).

Costa Rica Center enrollment for fall 2012 and spring 2013 is now open. Applications for any semester are available online at the Costa Rica Center website.
Questions? Please contact Kim Hernández, faculty liaison, at or Olivia Godt, program TA, at

French Tutoring
All levels – FREE
In the library every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, from 8-9 p.m. in Westminster 142. Review grammar, check homework, review for tests, get help with proofreading and editing papers, and practice your conversational abilities.

Spanish Tutoring
All levels – FREE
FIVE NIGHTS A WEEK! Sunday – Thursday, 7-9 p.m., library second floor, Room 208 (across from the Whitworth Writing Center). Review grammar, check homework, review for tests, get help with proofreading and editing papers, and practice your conversational abilities. Advance sign-up (on the door) is recommended. Walk-ins are always welcome!

The spring DELE exam dates have been announced! Exams will be on May 25, 2012 (May 26 in some countries). Sign-up dates for the May test are Feb. 27-April 20. Whitworth will once again be a test site for the DELE. Information about the exam can be found at E-mail Stacey Moo at with any questions. More information will be forthcoming.


Vol. 11 Issue 1 Feb. 2012

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: Stacey Moo
For student employment information, please contact Stacey Moo, program assistant, at 509.777.4765

Scripture of the Month

English: Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Spanish: Salmo 37:4 Deléitate en el Señor, y él te concederá los deseos de tu corazón.

German: Psalm 37:4 Habe Deine Lust am HERRN; der wird dir geben, was dein Herz wünschet.

French: Psaumes 37:4 En Dieu, mets ta joie et il comblera les *voeux de ton coeur.

Chinese: 要以耶和华为乐, 他就将你心中所求的赐给你。