The Modern Linguist

Faculty Spotlight

Jacob Rapp, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Jacob Rapp

¡Hola! I am so excited to join this community of people who support language-learning at Whitworth University, and what a blessing it has been to settle in the Inland Northwest! These last few months have been full of new experiences for this newest member of the world languages & cultures department, and I am so thankful for the opportunities that arise every day to create and nurture relationships with the students, faculty and staff who have committed themselves to the path along the narrow ridge where Whitworth’s mind-and-heart education can and does flourish.

My wife, Angela, and I arrived in Spokane in late July after driving from the Midwest through the high prairie and mountains of Wyoming, Montana, and that narrow swath of Idaho along I-90. Married now for eight years, we spent the last six in Lawrence, Kansas, where I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Kansas while Angela taught English and math at a high school nearby. We are self-identified nerds who love to read and play board games, a fact that became apparent quite quickly to the moving crew who dutifully relocated several dozens of heavy cardboard cartons from the moving van into the basement of our new home in Spokane. For this Colorado native who enjoys running and his wife, a talented musician and avid knitter from North Dakota, the Spokane climate feels familiar; still, the natural beauty fills us each with awe every morning when we look out into our backyard.

I come to Whitworth with a broad set of teaching interests that I look forward to sharing with this community. In addition to working with students in the Spanish foundational language classes, I will be teaching the Spanish and Latin American Women Writers course this spring, and I will be designing and teaching more courses on Latin American literature, culture and history in the future.

Thank you for the kind welcome that this department has extended to us. We look forward to growing with you as we continue to listen together to God’s loving and challenging call to share the good news of His grace.

Eye on Alumni

Dr. Matthew Krieger, ’06, Spanish Major and Pre-Dental Science Track

Matthew Krieger

In fall 2002 I left Yakima, Wash., excited for a new chapter in my life. I was ready to become a “Whitworth Pirate” and enjoy the adventures and growth mentally and spiritually that only a university like Whitworth can offer.

During my time at Whitworth I completed a B.A. in Spanish and the “pre-dental science track,” and I also became very passionate about the Spanish language and culture. In my studies I researched and came to understand the strong need for oral healthcare among the Spanish-speaking community (the primary reasons being limited access to care and language barriers). As a result, I made a decision to incorporate my Spanish skills in the pursuit of my future dental degree.

After graduating from Whitworth I attended a four-year program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine, where I received a doctor of dental medicine (DMD). My Spanish-language skills were a strong asset during this time, since there was a large Spanish-speaking patient population at the UNLV School of Dental Medicine. I saw firsthand my patients’ comfort and relief when they realized they were able to talk to their student-doctor in their native language. During my time at UNLV I also realized a strong love for oral and maxillofacial surgery – a specialty of dentistry.

Following graduation from UNLV I chose to pursue a four-year residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery. I attended Christiana Care Hospital’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery program in Wilmington, Del. I trained in procedures ranging from wisdom teeth extractions and dental implants to corrective jaw surgery and facial trauma reconstruction.

In 2015 I graduated from the residency program at Christiana Care and returned to the Las Vegas Valley, where I have begun private practice as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. I look forward to serving the Las Vegas Valley through the surgical skills I have acquired in my training. I also look forward to connecting with Spanish-speaking patients on a more personal level, speaking with and treating them in their native language.

Matthew Krieger

Finally, I look forward to continue growing as a person of faith – both in my personal life and my career. It is only at a university like Whitworth where you can truly receive an education of mind and heart. I will never forget a statement that Instructor Kim Hernandez said to me as a senior Whitworth student: “Remember, as you go on in your training and become busy with life, that relationships are what really matter. God’s love is shown through your relationships with others – not accomplishments.” It has not been an easy task trying to fulfill this goal. However, I do my best to remember that relationships, whether with family, friends or patients, are what really matter.

A View from Abroad

Christy Haase, ’16, International Studies and Spanish Double Major

Christy Haase

The moment I stepped off the plane in Murcia I felt out of place. It was September and I had dressed for fall weather, excited and nervous for the next five months I would be living and studying in Spain. The only issue was that I looked like a fish out of water in my sweater and boots amongst Spaniards and vacationers alike dressed in board shorts and flip-flops. I very quickly understood just how far out of my comfort zone I had stumbled and my first couple of minutes in Spain reminded me of just what, exactly, I had gotten myself into. My first few weeks were a mix of my deepest fears and my greatest dreams. I cried long and hard that first night, but after a little while I began to regard my cozy little apartment and the city I lived in as home.

As in most study-abroad experiences, the small everyday things can be the hardest. It is a humbling experience to have to ask the man delivering mail where you can find the nearest grocery store or ask the elderly lady shopping beside you how to cook a certain dish, but it is also very rewarding. Even for someone who considers herself outgoing, it was difficult to be comfortable in my ignorance. Not comfortable in a way that I was okay being ignorant, but comfortable in the idea that it was okay to not know a word, a custom, a place or how to do something. Within my first couple of days I got lost trying to find my way to the bus station. I mustered my courage and went to discreetly ask an old man for directions. Naturally he was partially deaf, so I had to shout in his hearing aid as he shouted directions back to me. My efforts to stay under the radar had been in vain and I walked, quite red-faced, in the direction he had directed me. Experiences like these, however, are what make studying abroad such a rich and meaningful experience. I now no longer stumble down streets looking for evasive addresses, and I have even been able to direct tourists and locals around the city. The panic I first felt when someone addressed me in Spanish is now gone and I have several close local friends as well as many who are foreign-exchange students. It is beautiful to see how students who do not have the same mother tongue can communicate and form relationships through the study of another language, such as Spanish. I’m certain that I’ll carry these friendships back to the U.S. with me and it makes the world seem to be a much smaller place.

Spain is a gorgeous country, with a rich cultural history and people who can only be described as genial. As much as I am learning in my classes, I have found that my most informative learning experiences happen outside the classroom. Traveling to new cities, eating out at restaurants, going to house parties, grabbing some tapas from a local bar, and going to the grocery store are opportunities for further growth in my language skills as well as in my personal character. Living in another culture and speaking a different language daily challenge my worldview, and it is clear that I will not be returning to the United States as the same person I was when I left. I have learned so much about the world, myself and God’s faithfulness during my time here. God has opened so many doors for meaningful conversations about life, its joys and hardships, and especially about His unconditional love and faithfulness I’ve been able to experience each and every day. To study abroad is to look at your life and dare to challenge its very foundations—never knowing what conclusions you’ll reach at the end of it all. It’s an adventure in the truest sense of the word, and thankfully at Whitworth it’s one that all students have the chance to experience.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

World Languages & Cultures Fall Event Nov. 4

Satori Dance Studio instructed merengue, bachata and salsa.

Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow

Anita Perez Ferguson Anita Perez Ferguson will be at Whitworth Feb. 16-20, 2016. The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program is a cost-effective way for campuses to host a weeklong residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures and informal discussions. The program creates better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds for the entire campus community. For more information, contact Katherine Karr-Cornejo: or 777-4371.

Tutoring: All levels – FREE; Walk-Ins Are Always Welcome!
Review grammar, check homework, review for tests, get help with proofreading and editing papers, and practice your conversational abilities.

  • French: Thursdays and Sundays, 8-9 p.m., Westminster 252

  • German: Wednesday afternoons, 4-5 p.m., Library, Room 208

  • Spanish: All levels, five nights a week! Library, Room 208
    • Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 7-8 p.m.
    • Mondays, Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m.

Language Proficiency Exams

Language proficiency refers to one’s ability to use language for real world purposes to accomplish real world linguistic tasks, across a wide range of topics and settings. ACTFL (American council on the teaching of foreign languages) Proficiency Tests reflect and measure these real world tasks. Differing from an achievement test that measures knowledge of specific information (what a person knows), a proficiency test targets what an individual can do with what one knows. As in a driver’s test, an achievement test would represent the paper and pencil questions that one answers, while a proficiency test determines how well the person can drive the car. The language proficiency test is an evaluation of how well a person can use language to communicate in real life.

Do you need to complete the senior requirement of language proficiency for your major? You can schedule an OPI (oral proficiency interview) convenient to your schedule and have it proctored by a faculty/staff member in the department. For more information, check out the Language Testing International website, or contact Rachelle Hartvigsen at or x4765.

DELE: Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language

This test provides an official accreditation of a student’s degree of fluency in the Spanish language. The accreditation is issued by the Spanish Ministry of Education and is an internationally recognized certification. The test provides students an official means to demonstrate their level of fluency to potential employers. It measures fluency and accuracy across reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students interested in taking the DELE must take the online placement test to determine which level is right for them. Students should make a well-informed decision in this regard since it is a PASS/FAIL assessment. Please note that Whitworth faculty members are currently certified to offer the B1, B2 and C1 exams. Students wishing to take other levels may do so at other testing sites.

The next testing date is Friday, May 20, 2016. The registration deadline is Monday, April 11.

For more information, please contact Rachelle Hartvigsen at or x4765.

Scripture of the Month

English: John 3:17
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.


ﻳﻮﺣﻨﺎ 3:17
فَاللهُ لَمْ يُرْسِلِ ابْنَهُ إلَى العالَمِ لِكَيْ يَدِيْنَ العالَمَ، لَكِنَّهُ أرسَلَهُ لِكَيْ يُخَلِّصَ بِهِ العالَمَ.

Chinese: 約翰福音3:17
因 为 神 差 他 的 儿 子 降 世 , 不 是 要 定 世 人 的 罪 ( 或 作 : 审 判 世 人 ; 下 同 ) , 乃 是 要 叫 世 人 因 他 得 救 。

French: Jean 3:17
En effet, Dieu a envoyé son Fils dans le monde non pas pour condamner le monde, mais pour qu'il soit sauvé par lui.

German: Johannes 3:17
Denn Gott hat seinen Sohn nicht gesandt in die Welt, daß er die Welt richte, sondern daß die Welt durch ihn selig werde.

Greek: ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 3:17
οὐ γὰρ ἀπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν υἱὸν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἵνα κρίνῃ τὸν κόσμον, ἀλλ’ ἵνα σωθῇ ὁ κόσμος δι’ αὐτοῦ.

Spanish: Juan 3:17
Porque Dios no envió a su Hijo al mundo para juzgar al mundo, sino para que el mundo sea salvo por El.

Swahili: John 3:17
Maana Mungu hakumtuma Mwanae ulimwenguni ili auhukumu ulimwengu, bali aukomboe ulimwengu.

Vol. 22 Issue 2 December 2015

The Modern Linguist was birthed from the desire to unite those who study in the world languages discipline at Whitworth University. The newsletter features information, news and stories applicable to those involved in the program. Let it serve you well.

World Languages & Cultures Department
Westminster Hall
Whitworth University
Phone: 509.777.4765
Department Chair and Editor-in-Chief: Jennifer Brown
Editor: Rachelle Hartvigsen
For student employment information, please contact Rachelle Hartvigsen, program assistant, at 509.777.4765