The Modern Linguist
Eye on Alumni

Faculty Spotlight

News & Events

Costa Rica Center
Eye on Alumni
Chelsea Leahy
graduated from Whitworth University in 2009. These days, Leahy works for video game giant Nintendo™ as a French localization editor. Her major responsibilities include editing game text for video games soon to hit the market. Currently she is working on "reading and editing the manuals and in-game text for most games that go through the home of Mario and Luigi," for her target market, in Canada. Leahy faces unique challenges with a job of this kind. First, she is part of a very diverse team of individuals that includes a Puerto Rican man, a woman from Ohio, and a French Canadian woman. Leahy is quick to relate how much she enjoys working with a team from diverse backgrounds. "With the three of them," Chelsea says, "we are constantly learning new 'slang' words from the various French- and Spanish-speaking countries, as well as learning more and more about French in Canada." To demonstrate the types of issues that her team of editors faces, Leahy tells how "in a few different games, there was a phrase that was supposed to convey that the player was doing well, and in French-French it made perfect sense. However, in Canadian-French, it was horrible profanity. Sometimes we get developers (like the one for the game I just mentioned) who fight tooth and nail that they KNOW what they're saying…in France. But here in the lovely Northern American market, what they know isn't always applicable. It's a learning experience in language, culture and patience."

Chelsea Leahy is engaged to be married this coming October to Patrick, the son of her high school French teacher. We wish them many happy years of marital bliss.

Faculty Spotlight
A Quick Q&A with Mike Fulton
I recently asked Whitworth’s newest Spanish professor, Mike Fulton, to answer some questions that might allow the Whitworth community to get to know him a little better. He is an excellent addition to an already stellar cast of professors in the Whitworth Modern Languages Department, a man who weaves passion, joy, and life into his calling as a professor.

Aaron: What is your background in education and linguistics?

Mike: I started taking Spanish in ninth grade, and immediately fell in love with it. I went to Washington State University, thinking I wanted to major in pre-vet, but I couldn’t stop taking Spanish, so I switched majors my sophomore year. Then I went to the University of Arizona (in Tucson) for graduate school, and it was there that I began teaching Spanish language courses as a graduate student. I loved it and felt sure that was where God wanted me, career-wise.

Aaron:  Why did you choose Whitworth? What here appealed to you?

Mike: I love the idea of teaching in a place where the university administrators truly have a Christ-like approach to leadership. Their sincere concern for faculty was evident to me from the get-go. And Whitworth’s mission – equipping young people both intellectually and spiritually – lines up with why I felt God wanted me teaching. My hope and prayer is that my teaching will encourage students to love language and also help them find ways to use their intellectual gifts to serve the Lord.

Aaron:  Have you had any experience living or studying abroad? If so, where did you study/live and would you recommend a similar experience to the students studying a foreign language here at Whitworth?

Mike: I did not have a chance to go abroad as an undergrad, and I really wish I could have done so. One summer in grad school, though, I got to live in Spain for two months. That was a wonderful experience, and really helped my Spanish skills, as well as my understanding of the way Spaniards live, think, etc. I also have had the chance to take one-week trips to Guadalajara, Mexico and Lima, Peru. I would definitely recommend experience abroad, and not just for students who plan to major or minor in a foreign language. Seeing the way other people live – not just reading about it, but living it with them – is great in so many ways.

Aaron: Enough about the academic side of things. Tell me a little about yourself, your passions, hobbies, family etc. What makes Mike Fulton tick?

Mike: In addition to Spanish, I love being outside. Biking, hiking, walking, camping, and just about any outdoor sport are great ways to recharge, and staying healthy is an important added benefit. I’m also amazed by the way nature points to God’s power and wisdom. My wife, Jen, and our three kids enjoy the same activities, and we also like to read and watch movies together.

News & Events
The following was written by Hayley Dannetell. Hayley is an economics and French double-major here at Whitworth who spent the entire 2009-10 school year studying at the Université de Savoie, in Annecy, France.

Studying abroad was an amazing experience.  I could probably write a whole book on everything that happened, but I will spare you.  I want to focus on one aspect of my experience: my French family.  I was not lucky enough to be in a host family, but a French family adopted me as their own for the weekends. It started when I met Léa at school.  She invited me over one weekend to meet her family.  They made me a delicious, three-course French dinner.  I loved hanging out with them!  I spent almost every weekend at their house for the rest of my 10-month study-abroad experience.  The countless meals, birthdays, holidays, lazy Saturday mornings, homemade orange juice, great conversations, etc., showed me how much they appreciated me.  I felt like a part of the family.  They welcomed me into their home without any strings attached and made my study-abroad experience something I will never forget.  The hospitality I experienced staying with the Troulays was the best I have ever seen. 

I am looking to take home what I learned from them.  This family, which doesn't affiliate with any religion, welcomed me into their homes like they talk about in the Bible.  In America, we will welcome people into our homes with an "on the condition that…" mentality.  I mean that we will only welcome people when it is convenient to us, or on the condition that they don't use our most valuable things.  In France, they offer up their most valuable items for their guests to use.  They go and buy all the best, fancy products for extravagant meals for their guests.  I want to take these habits back to the U.S. of A. I have realized through my experience how I should be treating my guests.  I want to be a model of great hospitality to others because I was displayed great hospitality by the Troulays. I want to return the favor to people here in the U.S.

Costa Rica Center
The following is an update from Lindy Scott, the director of Whitworth's Costa Rica Center. The images above depict the center's construction process and show students building a compost bin for the campus.

Building a compost bin…hearing a passionate Michael Le Roy teaching on the theology and practice of creation care… being stretched beyond one's Spanish ability and comfort zone through living with fascinating host families… studying Spanish language and linguistics and discovering why Central Americans use "vos" instead of "tu"…hiking through Costa Rica's beautiful forest and enjoying God's humor and love for diversity…doing an internship where you can serve immigrants, minister to children, help the government recover the history and charm of old neighborhoods in San Jose, or use your medical skills to serve people in need… participating in a Latin American culture class using a Paulo Freire methodology that accentuates the existential tension between the traditions of the past and the new challenges of the with God in planting dozens of fruit trees and smelling the tantalizing aroma of orange blossoms…meeting wonderful Costa Ricans…making new friends among our neighbors from widely diverse social classes…working with eight magnificent students and a fabulous team…and being sustained in prayer and support by colleagues back at Whitworth's "northern" campus. What could be better that Costa Rica in September?

Whitworth's southern campus opened its doors for classes on Sept. 8 in the beautiful environs of Heredia, Costa Rica. Our campus sits on more than 25 acres of God's beautiful earth and occupies a Belgian/French restaurant/inn that is undergoing the most fascinating process of renovation. It reminds me of our human condition: beautifully created, profoundly fallen, but wonderfully experiencing God's graceful restoration. Starting up a new center has allowed us to begin some new traditions. We celebrated Costa Rica's independence day (Sept. 15) with the local InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group with a shared meal, games and a time of singing. We offer almost every first-time visitor a tour of our site and some fresh-picked wild blackberries. We are planting many new, native fruit trees. Next week, our students will begin some very exciting internships where they will learn a ton and make significant contributions to the Central American neighbors they will be serving alongside.

Why do Dinorah and I love what we are doing? First, we work with a team that can be relied upon totally: our two "volunteer" TA/RD staff, Kristina Kielbon and Emily Dufault, have been renamed the "24/7s" for their willingness to go beyond the call of duty. Our Costa Rican team (maintenance man Diego, secretary Andrea, gardener Julio, cleaning lady Roxana, cook Juan, security personnel and construction workers) have generally been all that we could have hoped for. Then as teachers, we have this special privilege of working in an environment of immersion and service-learning. The Spanish that Dinorah teaches in the classroom is multiplied tenfold by students living in Spanish in their home stays, their internships and out in the byways of Costa Rican life. The content that I share in my Latin American culture class is confirmed, challenged and refined by what students experience with their host families and through their rigorous journaling of their observations. It is a special joy to teach worldviews, ethics and Niebuhr's paradigms (in Spanish!) and then to see students beginning to articulate and debate important policies of U.S./Latin America relations, to discuss Costa Rican domestic social and political issues, and even  to propose serious policies that will help shape Whitworth's Costa Rican identity.  Nevertheless, our lives are not without our share of challenges (the cafeteria not being ready on time and students cooking, eating, and washing dishes in the Restaurante Scottiano; heavy rains every afternoon; searching for solid host families and significant internships; construction delays; balancing dozens of urgent tasks that all cry out for attention), but these have been (or will be) overcome by a lot of laughter, mutual support and God's grace.

Muchas gracias,

Lindy Scott

French Tutoring
All levels - FREE

In the library every Tuesday and Thursday from 8-9 p.m. 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.

Spanish Tutoring
All levels – FREE

FIVE NIGHTS A WEEK! Sunday – Thursday evenings, 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!

Mark your calendars for the DELE (Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language) examination, to be held at Whitworth on Saturday, Nov. 20.  All levels are available, including the new C1.  REGISTRATION  IS NOW CLOSED.   Information will be distributed in your Spanish classes and is also available in Westminster (see Vicki Daggy or Ángeles Aller).

International Education Week (Nov. 15-19)
This year, the Whitworth School of Education, in conjunction with the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute, is celebrating International Education Week by sponsoring an interactive student forum with speakers and a poster session the evening of Thursday, Nov. 18, in Weyerhaeuser Hall. Our theme for this event is Education for the Global Mind & Heart. You don’t want to miss it!

Vol. 2 Issue 1 Oct. 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

1 Chronicles 28:20 – Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God is with you.

¡Sé fuerte y valiente, y pon manos a la obra! No tengas miedo ni te desanimes, porque Dios el Señor estará contigo.

Fortifie-toi et prends courage. Ne crains point, et ne t’effraye de rien, car l’Eternel Dieu, mon Dieu, sera avec toi.

Sei getrost und unverzagt...!  Fürchte dich nicht und laß dich nicht erschrecken!...Gott der Herr, mein Gott, wird mit dir sein...