The Modern Linguist
Faculty Spotlight

Eye on Alumni
A View from Abroad

Faculty Spotlight

Ingrid LaVoie, Whitworth Lecturer of German and 1990 Alumna

Herzliche Semestergrüße!

I pray this letter finds you thriving and growing in both wisdom and understanding as you pursue your studies and the various responsibilities that are part of our Whitworth mission. It is this mission that drew me over 20 years ago to become a student at this university, and it is this same mission that attracted me to return to the Whitworth community in 2006 as an instructor. It has been my privilege to teach entry-level German in the Whitworth Modern Languages Department, first as an adjunct instructor, then as a part-time lecturer and soon a full-time lecturer, teaching 100- and 200-level classes.

I was born and raised in Southern Germany, the second of four daughters. My father was a true Renaissance man: a professor of English, German and biology, a naturalist, an explorer, a man who could imitate the voices of any known bird in our Alpine regions, and who knew the names of plants and flowers in three languages. Unfortunately, this same man was also a victim of the Hitler regime and my childhood was rough and unpredictable, to say the least. I found my escape in academia and intellectual pursuits, and in the arts and in music. This was both expected and celebrated in my culture as the ultimate end-all. It wasn’t until I came to this country at age 17 that I learned that the ultimate end-all is God, the Creator, His wisdom and truth. It wasn’t until then that the connection between learning and wisdom started to make sense to me, and it has been a wonderful journey ever since to pursue my interest of languages and literature with a new worldview that intricately combines faith and learning, celebrating the author of all wisdom, our Lord Jesus Christ. This is why I am so excited to be at Whitworth and share in its mission to provide an education of the mind and the heart.

Before returning to Whitworth as a German instructor, I taught languages, music and literature for over 15 years to students in a wide range of ages and in many settings. As a stay-at-home mother of four, I found numerous opportunities to use my love for teaching, first in homeschooling and beyond that in other academic settings. Much like my father, I became an entrepreneur in private education, first starting a language school where I taught Latin, French and German, and later becoming the founder of a classical Christian homeschool co-op that has now existed locally for 16 years. In this context I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a Great Books course, Latin, German and French, as well as Bible character and music. With my children nearly grown, I am excited to expand in my new role here at Whitworth, focusing on my native language, German, and carrying on my vision for academic excellence through faith and learning. I have been very blessed to receive the mentorship of Whitworth’s former German professor, Elisabeth Buxton, and I’m excited to carry on her vision to build up the German program and to inspire students to explore living language through immersion, through the study of the German culture and literature, and, ultimately, through studying abroad at universities in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. 

My family continues to be my joy and priority, and I feel blessed to have them as my greatest supporters and cheerleaders for my work here at Whitworth, as well as for my future ambition to design a new Jan Term trip to Germany and a dynamic, study-abroad program for German. In my free-time my husband, Mark, and I enjoy road-biking, skiing, and gardening together, visiting our college-age daughters, and being involved in our younger children’s lives and in our church through music and inner-city ministries, community theatre, foreign exchange programs and more. 

May Jesus be the Alpha and Omega in all you do, your strength and comfort as the semester speeds up, and ultimately your source of joy and wisdom.

Gottes reichen Segen,

Ingrid Elisabeth LaVoie

Eye on Alumni

Julia Bovee, '11, French and English Double Major

I graduated from Whitworth in 2011 with a double major in French and English. After working at home for the summer, I was blessed with the opportunity to spend five months as a live-in nanny for a very large, very French family in Rennes, France. In addition to watching their four-year-old boy, I took French courses at a private school. I spent a lot of my free time getting to know my French family as well as other au pair friends from around the world.

While it definitely wasn’t the most glamorous job, being an au pair gave me the opportunity to do a lot of things I normally wouldn’t do, like living in a home built in the 16th century, taking daytrips to the Brittany coast, and getting to practice my French every day. I loved getting to know other foreign students in my courses, and I even met up with French friends I had met during my semester exchange while I was a student at Whitworth.

Living abroad really pushed me to learn how to take initiative, and I ended up getting involved in a bunch of activities like private tutoring, Bible study, ceramics, and church. I’ve recently returned home, and I’m looking into some possible jobs or graduate school programs. I figure I’ve got the rest of my life to settle into a “real” job, so it was amazing to have the chance to take a break and live abroad like I’ve always wanted to do.



A View from Abroad

Rebecca Eng, ’14, took part in the Jan Term 2012 study abroad program in Spain, led by Ángeles Aller, associate professor of Spanish

The limited time I have here in Spain seems to be flying by. I can’t believe that Jan Term is already half over! This past week, I’ve had the opportunity to explore a few cities other than Valencia. On Wednesday, our class went on an excursion to Denía, a nearby beach town. It was refreshing to walk the streets of a different Spanish city. It’s amazing to think that just an hour’s drive can transport you to an entirely different environment. There are quite a few differences between Valencia and Denía. After living in the bustling atmosphere of Valencia for a couple of weeks, it was nice to relax in a more tranquil town. The streets were less crazy, and it was nice to be able to cross streets without the fear of being hit by one of those smart cars. Our class explored a castle settled on a hill overlooking the sea. The history of the castle blew me away; nowhere in America do we have castles that are hundreds of years old. The view was amazing from some of the towers. I could see almost the entire town below from one side, and the Mediterranean Sea on another. After roaming inside the walls of the castle, we walked to the beach. It was great to soak up some sun, especially while the current weather in Spokane is less than ideal.

In addition to Denía, our class trekked to Granada this past weekend. On Saturday we explored La Alhambra, a palace and fortress. So far, La Alhambra has been the most impressive site that I’ve seen this entire trip. Moorish rulers constructed it during the mid-14th century. One amazing fact that I still can’t believe is that every geometric design known to exist has been incorporated into the architecture of La Alhambra. That doesn’t seem possible! The garden that‘s housed inside the walls of the fortress is gigantic. Beautiful flowers surround every walkway, and hedges create mazes you can easily lose yourself in. After leaving La Alhambra we attended a flamenco dance show that night. It was a fun experience to see the dance performed by native Spaniards. Even some of my classmates got up and joined them on the dance floor! But, the best part of our weekend spent in Granada was the view of La Alhambra at night. We climbed up a cliff that faced La Alhambra and witnessed the most beautiful view. The illuminated palace walls were picture perfect, and if you looked closely, you could outline the Sierra Nevadas capped with snow in the background. It was a view worthy of the eight-hour bus ride.

So far, I’ve loved the time I’ve spent here in Spain. I’ve had so many incredible opportunities to make unforgettable memories, and I hope to enjoy even more!

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.

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

  • Classes are taught in English and Spanish—take general education 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 (the Cuba option is only available in fall 2012; additional charge required).
  • Your cost? The same as tuition, 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 (please note change in days)
All levels – FREE
In the library every Sunday and Tuesday, from 8-9 p.m. in Westminster Hall, Room 142. Review grammar, check homework, review for tests, get help with proofreading and editing papers, and practice your conversational abilities.

Spanish Tutoring (please note new hours)
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 abilities.

Advance sign-up (on the door) is recommended. Walk-ins are always welcome!

The spring DELE exam date has been announced! The exam will be on Friday May 25, 2012. Whitworth will once again be a test site for the DELE. Sign-up dates for the May exam are Feb. 27-April 20. Information about the exam can be found at E-mail Stacey Moo at with any questions.


Vol. 12 Issue 1 March 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: 1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.   

Spanish: 1 Corintios 13:13
Y ahora permanecen la fe, la esperanza y el amor, estos tres; pero el mayor de ellos es el amor.

German: 1 Korinther 13.13
Nun aber bleibt Glaube, Hoffnung, Liebe, diese drei; die größte aber von diesen ist die Liebe.  

French: 1 Corinthiens 13:13
Or maintenant ces trois choses demeurent: la foi, l’espérance, et la charité ; mais la plus excellente de ces vertus, c’est la charité.

Japanese: コリント人への第一の手紙 / 13章 13節

Chinese:  13:13      
如今常存的有信,有望,有爱, 这三样,其中最大的是爱