The Modern Linguist
Faculty Spotlight

Eye on Alumni
A View from Abroad
of the Month

Faculty Spotlight

Katherine Karr-Cornejo, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Greetings, everyone!

I am very happy and blessed to be here at Whitworth University, and I thank you all for your kindness and welcome during my first month on campus. The highlight of my time here so far has been my students! I am teaching 300-level Spanish and several upper-level courses as well, some of which are new to the university. It is an exciting time for me, especially because I get to fulfill a personal goal of teaching a class on Latin American poetry. I am also looking forward to my future classes and to getting to know more of you better.

I came to study Spanish though several different avenues – it was only by chance that I took Spanish courses in college. I fell in love with my courses in Spanish and Latin American studies, because they helped me make sense of the world, and to better understand my own culture through learning about other cultures. I’ve studied or travelled in Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba and Uruguay. I studied abroad in Chile during my college years and have returned many times, though, most recently, not as often as I or my family might like! My biggest academic passion is for Chilean culture; I love studying the ways in which humanity uses artistic expression to work out societal conflict and its repercussions. As my upper-level-course students will tell you, I get very excited about studying identity construction, especially when we focus on constructions of race and gender. Humanity is wonderfully creative and diverse, and I am fascinated by the ways in which we try to separate ourselves when we are all beloved children of God. Studying the humanities is a great way to get at the questions we all have, and knowledge of languages and cultures other than our own are fundamental to a greater understanding of the amazing world in which we live.

Mi pareja, Sebastian, and I moved across the country this summer – neither of us has ever lived in the Northwest before. I grew up in various places east of the Mississippi (mostly in the Milwaukee area), and Sebastian grew up in Santiago, Chile. We are slowly getting to know Spokane, so if you have any recommendations for things we must do or see, we’d really appreciate it. We both enjoy fantasy and science fiction (books, films, television, games, etc.); I practice yoga and he plays soccer. I also like to relax by playing keyboard instruments (piano and organ), among other activities.

Though I have only been at Whitworth a month, you all have made an enormous impact on me. I pray we may all continue to grow and learn together!

Saludos cariñosos,

Katherine Karr-Cornejo

Eye on Alumni

An Interview with Marylee Keller, ’12, Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Germany for 2012-13

Q. Tell us a bit about where you’re from, your major, and any particular focus within your major.

MK: Growing up in Las Vegas, I was very excited to attend Whitworth because of the abundance of trees in Spokane. I studied political science and especially enjoyed taking law classes taught by Julia Stronks. I also minored in music and German, and was fortunate to participate in a Jan Term trip to Germany led by Professor Elisabeth Buxton.

Q, How were you involved in music at Whitworth? Are you planning to use your musical gifts in the future?

MK: I am a violist and had the opportunity to be involved with many ensembles at Whitworth, including the symphony orchestra, chamber groups and Hosanna. I currently work at a nonprofit performing-arts center in Las Vegas, and I have been learning a great deal about the world of nonprofit arts management. I hope to continue playing music, perhaps in a community group or by teaching lessons.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about your Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Germany, and how are you planning to use your language skills while you are abroad?

MK: Many Whitworth students have had great experiences living abroad and participating in cultural exchange through the Fulbright program. I have always enjoyed exploring new places and travelling, and I am excited about being involved long-term in a community abroad. I am also looking forward to using the language skills I acquired at Whitworth and building on my knowledge of the German language through classes and everyday interactions with students.

Q. Do you have long-term plans for when you return from Germany?

MK: I would like to return to school to study either law or foreign policy.

A View from Abroad

Lauren Davies, ’13  

Congratulations to Spanish major Lauren Davies, ’13! Last spring she was awarded a $250 scholarship for her winning essay in a contest by one of our publishers, Cengage, that called for students to share an “Aha” moment in their language learning.  Lauren’s beautiful essay expresses the true mission of Whitworth’s mind and heart education in the context of her Spanish language pursuits. In addition to the scholarship award, Lauren will be featured in an upcoming edition of an Spanish-language textbook and/or the publisher’s online resources. Click here to read her winning essay.

My first few weeks in Costa Rica were a challenge for me. Transitioning from English to Spanish was mentally exhausting, and I was frustrated with my inability to fully express myself. During this time of language frustration, I learned the power of listening. Everywhere I turned started a new chapter of stories. From conversing with people in restaurants about trying to learn English, to cab drivers telling me about the people they encounter at work, I learned that everyone’s story has value. Listening to these stories brought insight and a window into people’s lives.
As time progressed, my language abilities and confidence grew and flourished. I lived with a loving host family, and spent evenings having deep conversations with my host mom about her views on the United States and immigration, and I laughed with my host sister while teaching her how to bake cookies. 

Studying abroad in Costa Rica is by far the best thing I have ever done. The lessons I learned in and out of the classroom have had an immense impact on my life, and I will be forever grateful for this experience.
Announcements and Upcoming Events

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars for the DELE (Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language) examination, to be held at Whitworth on Saturday, Nov. 10. Registration closed on Oct. 3. See Stacey Moo or Ángeles Aller if you have questions or would like information about future test dates.

There are online activities available to help you prepare for the DELE, as well as a level-check test. Following are some helpful sites: (“Prueba de nivel”): This is a practice test to check your level. It is quite comprehensive and includes multiple-choice, reading comprehension, and listening activities. Sample examination materials by level; at the end of each level page there are practice materials, including reading and listening comprehension exercises. Seattle Instituto Cervantes website. You can find the registration documents under “formulario.” We also have copies available in the modern languages office.

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 abilities.

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 abilities.

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

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. Youc can take your general-education classes in an exotic locale.
  • Get to know the people and culture by staying in a local home.
  • Your cost? The same as tuition, room and board at Whitworth, plus use your scholarships and financial aid.

Applications for any semester are available online at the Costa Rica Center website.
Questions? Please contact Kristina Kielbon, CRC student recruiter, at; Kim Hernández, faculty liaison,; or Olivia Godt, program TA,  

Scripture of the Month

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Filipenses 1:6 Estoy convencido de esto: el que comenzó tan buena obra en ustedes la irá perfeccionando hasta el día de Cristo Jesús.

Philippiens 1:6 Etant assuré de cela même, que celui qui a commencé cette bonne œuvre en vous, l’achèvera jusques à la journée de Jésus-Christ.

Philipper 1.6  Wobei ich eben dieses Vertrauen habe, dass Er, der ein gutes Werk in euch angefangen hat, es bis zum Tag Christi Jesu vollenden wird.

Wafilipi 1:6  Nina hakika kwamba, yeye aliyeianza kazi yake njema mioyoni mwenu, ataiendeleza na kuikamilisha siku ile ataka porudi Yesu Kristo.

腓立比   1:6

ピリピ人への手紙 / 1 6


Vol. 14 Issue 1 Oct. 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