Joyce Merkel

Anticipated graduation year: 2012

Major: Mathematical Economics; Peace Studies

Hometown: Spokane Valley, Wash.

Whitworth activities/clubs: Intramural volleyball; student worker for the bookstore and human resources; teaching assistant. I'm also in a Sports Fan Theme House and I am going on two study abroad trips this year.

Favorite book: The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

Favorite food: Mashed potatoes. This doubles as my guilty pleasure, too. :)

Favorite movie: I am obsessed with far too many movies to pick just one. My collection is currently at around 287.

Favorite thing about Whitworth: Quirky professors.

Best class: The very first class of the very first day of the semester. Yes, I know it means the end of summer, but it's also the start of a really exhausting, really amazing semester of school. You only get that feeling with the very first class.

I like my major because... it has unique aspects that play into my favorite experiences in life as well as my background. Growing up in different countries gave me a love of the international arena that has developed into my peace studies major. Beyond this, math has been a constant (haha) in my life. I needed an applicable study, though, and this led me to Mathematical Economics. My majors give me the best of both worlds and come together to make the perfect combination for my future.

Why I chose to attend Whitworth: I didn't actually choose Whitworth. In a way, it chose me. My mother works at Whitworth and my brother was a student there as well, so I sort of always knew I would be attending this school. I was only planning on going to Whitworth for two years to get my general ed classes but I ended up falling in love with the atmosphere, the faculty, and people. I guess I'm a Pirate for life.

Advice for incoming students: Get to know your professors, get to know your classmates and dormmates, and stick to your guns. College is amazing and life-changing, but more than that it's a place to make your own decisions, regardless of what your life was before you came to Whitworth.

What I plan to do after graduation: After graduation, I plan on going after my master's degree. After that, I would love to find an internship at the UN or with USAID and  to continue further on with developmental economics and international studies. At least, that's the plan.