The Modern Linguist
Faculty Spotlight

Eye on Alumni
A View from Abroad
Scripture of the Month

Faculty Spotlight

Lily Liu, Lecturer of Chinese

Happy New Year and welcome to a new semester!

I feel particularly blessed to be here at Whitworth this year, as it marks my 25th year of being a Pirate! I taught Chinese at Whitworth in 1987 and I graduated with my master’s degree from Whitworth in 1989. Though I went on to pursue a Ph.D. and spent years at other institutions and in other fields of work, I am proud to say that three-and-a-half years ago I returned to Whitworth to be the Chinese instructor here. In addition to teaching Conversational Chinese and the 100-, 200-, and 300-level Chinese classes, I’ve also worked with students on independent studies in ancient Chinese literature.

Even though I was trained as an English language teacher, I got roped into teaching my native language six years ago at another school; I’m incredibly grateful that I now get to infuse my classes with my passion for ancient Chinese literature and poetry. My family has lived in the Pacific Northwest for the better part of the past 25 years. As much as I love Spokane, I do enjoy travelling, especially to China, to teach my daughter about the richness of the Chinese culture and how much it has changed since my time there.

Some of my students have majored in business, history, art, international studies, theology, biology or music, but each of them has been able to integrate their Chinese language studies into their educational experience here at Whitworth. Being married to a businessman, I know firsthand that being familiar with the Chinese language can give you a new and exciting edge in the workplace. With China’s growing influence on the global stage, I’ve found that knowing the Chinese language can open many doors and opportunities! Some Chinese-language students have done study-abroad programs, Whitworth in China, and even participated in the highly selective Critical Language Service of the U.S. State Department.

Over the past 25 years, I’ve seen Whitworth’s Chinese language program grow from a few classes to now offering a minor in Chinese. I hope that in the next 25 years, I can help the program to grow exponentially more. See you around campus!

xing nian kuai le, xue ye jing zhan!

Lily Liu

Eye on Alumni

Morgan Yost, '10

After graduating from Whitworth in 2010 with a degree in Spanish and peace studies, I participated in Jesuit Volunteer Corp Northwest in Portland, Ore. It was a fabulous experience – I lived in community with seven strangers (now close friends), and attempted to live simply and include the values of social justice and spirituality. I served as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate for Latina immigrants. This experience allowed me to turn my interest in social justice, nonviolence, and women’s issues into practical action. My views on immigration, nonviolence, social justice, racism and gender violence were challenged every day. The oppression and violence my clients experienced on a daily basis made clear to me the challenges immigrants face in their home country as well as in the United States. My relationships with the women I served solidified that I wanted to continue working with under-served populations, especially Latina immigrants.  

The past year and a half have been much different than my time in Portland, as I am now a teacher at a Spanish-language immersion preschool in Seattle. I enjoy teaching children a second language and providing an opportunity to learn about a culture different from their own. Our annual celebration of Dia de los Muertos is a highlight for me, because it allows the students to learn about a new tradition and to ask important questions about traditions in Latin America. This celebration allows my students to see the complexities of this world and has instilled in them an interest in Latin American culture.

I am currently asking myself what is next. I am in the process of applying for graduate school in both Latin American studies and master’s in teaching. Who knows where I will end up, but it has been a fun journey exploring different ideas! Since graduating from Whitworth, I have been so thankful to use my Spanish language skills on a daily basis, and I hope to be able to continue doing so.

A View from Abroad

Sarah Jaymes Kenney, ’14
Reflections on the Study Trip to Cuba through the Whitworth Costa Rica Center

I don’t think any college student wakes up in the morning and thinks that their academic career will take them to Cuba.

I certainly didn’t. But I was lucky enough to be part of the first group of students from the Costa Rica Center to participate in a one-week study trip to Cuba. The first night we were there we walked around the Malecón, the boardwalk that stretches for miles around cataclysmic waves. Throughout the week I was able to experience the arts in Cuba – my personal favorite being a trip to the Cuban National Ballet to see the production of “Dracula.” We were able to tour the historic district, with buildings so vibrant they were almost blinding, and historic forts where we saw U.S. and Cuban history collide. But Cuba has two faces: the face that the government wants tourists to see and the face that the Cuban citizens meet on a daily basis. When we walked outside of the historic district, it wasn’t hard to miss the rundown buildings that people lived in: cracks ran down the sides of buildings, and the paint was chipping off in mass quantities. You could say that the lowly state of the buildings reflects the economic hardships of the people. They are underpaid for their work to say the least, and they’re not happy about it.

The Cuban people didn’t complain too much, though. They were too busy asking for our opinions about everything: what we thought about the embargo, how we liked President Obama, even what kind of music we liked to listen to. They were also busy praising God. Near the end of our week in Cuba we attended a college-age youth service, where college students were lifting their hearts and hands before God – the same God I worship. At that point it didn’t matter that we spoke different languages: our love of each other through Christ gave us the connection we needed to have open, honest conversations about politics, economics and life.

I could fill volumes with the thoughts and emotions that Cuba inspired in me. But I think the biggest thing it taught me is the importance of forming opinions for myself. For the first 20 years of my life I knew nothing about Cuba – except what the government and relatively tight-lipped history classes taught me, which is that Cuba is a communist country and therefore bad. These lies distracted me from the truth about Cuba and its people: that they are the same as we are, striving to attain economic stability, find friendship, and answer the big questions in life. I am indebted to Cuba for teaching me this, and I dream of the day when I can return to this awe-inspiring country.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Congratulations to Jane Muir!
Jane Muir, a 2011 Spanish graduate and currently a graduate student at Baylor University, won the NACFLA Emerging Scholars’ Award and will present her paper, “Ernesto Cardenal: Supplication and Ideology in ‘Oración por Marilyn Monroe’” at the NACFLA conference, in March.

Keep an Eye on Glyph, a Local Global Translation Services Company
Glyph ( is a global translation services company with an office in Spokane. Glyph provides international language/meaning translations/localization services for the government, companies like Nike, Coke, Amazon, Williams Sonoma, Microsoft and Starbucks, and over 1,000 free agents worldwide. Alumna Viktoyria Reed, ’06, has recently joined the Glyph team as global project manager. Looking for an internship or job? Apply from their website!

Class of 2013
Mark your calendars for the annual Modern Languages Senior Breakfast on Saturday, May 18, 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.

Study Abroad Fair on Feb. 12
Be sure to attend the Study Abroad Fair 2014-15 on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 11 a.m., in the HUB Multipurpose Room. The fair will include details about Jan Term trips to Santiago, Chile and Quebec, and spring semester trips to Central America and Tanzania.

The spring DELE exam dates have been announced! Exams will be on Saturday, May 25, 2013. You can sign up Feb. 25-April 17 for the May 25 exam. Whitworth will once again be a test site for the DELE C1. Information about the exam can be found at If you have any questions, please e-mail Stacey Moo at More information will be forthcoming.

Whitworth Costa Rica Center: Interdisciplinary Program for ALL Students!

Live, learn and serve in Latin America, one of the world’s most unique ecosystems!

The Costa Rica Center offers semester-long programs with a variety of interdisciplinary courses designed to meet general education requirements for students in any major. The courses are taught in English by Whitworth and Costa Rican professors.

Curriculum courses:Intensive Spanish (multiple levels); history and culture of Central America; ecology/environmental science; Core 350 with a regional emphasis; internships in a variety of majors; rotating courses in art, business, English, music, politics and more! (Specific courses for next year TBA.)

Co-curricular programs:Family home-stays; service-learning; travel to Nicaragua and Cuba, cloud forests, volcanoes and other regional sites; and cultural activities in the region.

Summer intensive language program: Intensive Spanish (all levels); family home-stays; service-learning; cultural activities in the area. Two sessions available – attend one or both!

Applications for summer 2013, fall 2013 and spring 2014 are available online at the Costa Rica Center website.

For more information, contact Kristina Kielbon, CRC student recruiter, at, or Kim Hernández, faculty liaison, at

French Tutoring
All levels – FREE
Every Sunday and Thursday, from 8-9 p.m., in Westminster 113. Review grammar, check homework, review for tests, get help with proofreading and editing papers, and practice your conversational skills.

Spanish Tutoring
All levels – FREE
Five nights a week: Sun./Tues./Thurs., from 7-9 p.m.; Mon./Wed., from 7-8 p.m., in the 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 skills.
Advance sign-up (available on the door) is recommended. Walk-ins are always welcome!

Scripture of the Month

Psalm 27: 13-14
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Salmos 27:13-14
Pero de una cosa estoy seguro: he de ver la bondad del SEÑOR en esta tierra de los vivientes.  Pon tu esperanza en el SEÑOR; ten valor, cobra ánimo; ¡pon tu esperanza en el SEÑOR!

Psaume 27: 13-14
N’eût été que j’ai cru que je verrais les biens de l’Eternel en la terre des vivants, c’était fait de moi. Attends-toi à l’Eternel, et demeure ferme, et il fortifiera ton cœur ; attends-toi, dis-je, à l’Eternel.

Psalm 27:13-14
Ich glaube aber doch, daß ich sehen werde das Gute des HERRN im Lande der Lebendigen.  Harre des HERRN! Sei getrost und unverzagt und harre des HERRN!

Zaburi 27:13-14
Naamini ya kuwa nitauona wema wa Bwana katika nchi ya walio hai. Umngoje Bwana, uwe hodari, Upige moyo konde, naam, umngoje Bwana.

诗篇 27:13-14
我深信今世必能看见耶和华的美善。14 要等候耶和华,要坚定不移地等候耶和华。

詩篇  27篇 13節             

詩篇  27篇 14節             

Vol. 17 Issue 1 Feb. 2013

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