1.) What is your major and minor(s)? What is your hometown?
English Literature and Writing, with a minor in Editing & Publishing. I’m also in the Honors program, if that counts as a minor of sorts.
My hometown is Aberdeen, WA.
2.) What are memorable experiences you’ve had as an English Major here at Whitworth? This can include travel/outside of class, as well as specific classes.
I’ve been unbelievably lucky in all the experiences that I’ve been able to have through Whitworth over the past four years. It’s difficult to choose which ones to write about here.
During the fall semester of my junior year, I worked as an intern for the Smithsonian Latino Center in Washington, DC. It was an amazing experience to be able to work as a writer and editor for a major cultural institution, and to be able to learn from museum professionals about all that it takes to run a place like the Smithsonian. Over the course of the semester, I wrote the language for two complete fundraising campaigns, which raised over $16,000. I also helped prepare for and staff the press announcement for the establishment of the Molina Family Latino Gallery at the National Museum of American History, which is set to open in 2021. This gallery will be the first permanent space at Smithsonian dedicated to the representation and celebration of Latino history and culture, and I am honored to have played a tiny role in bringing it to life. My work with the SLC was humbling, and I’m so thankful for the ways in which it prepared me to be a better, more responsible writer and editor after my graduation from Whitworth. Also, the other interns and I got to go into the museums before they opened to the public as part of our Smithsonian Seminar classes every Friday, and something about empty, silent museums is seriously the most magical. I spent a great deal of the semester feeling like a character in Night at the Museum 2, and I can’t recommend that experience highly enough.
This January, I was able to spend a month in London on the British Culture Through the Arts study program. It was a dream to have the chance to dwell in the same space as so many of the writers that I’ve studied in my classes, attend theatre performances nearly every night, and spend hours roaming museums and bookshops. I don’t think that I’ll ever stop wishing that I could have hit the world’s pause button on the mornings that I spent reading in Hyde Park.
I’m incredibly grateful for all of my on-campus experiences as well.I’m already homesick for the seminars and poetry workshops, homework sessions in the Westminster lounge, long evening conversations in Laurie’s office, and chatter with all of our wonderful professors during my shifts at the front desk.
3.) What are your goals for after graduation?
I’ve been accepted into the University of St. Andrews as a postgraduate student to obtain my MLitt in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture, global pandemics and travel restrictions permitting.
4.) What are your plans for the remainder of senior year?
That’s a bit up in the air right now, what with the madness of the current global health situation. I’m definitely heartbroken that I won’t be able to finish my last semester at Whitworth in the way I expected to. Even so, I am looking forward to working with the rest of the Rock & Sling staff to put together my final issue as the journal’s Assistant Managing Editor, and I’ll be joining as many conference calls and WebEx meetings as I can for these last months of book discussions, editorial meetings, and writing workshops with the people I love so dearly.
5.) What advice do you have for new majors coming to Whitworth?
I’m sure new English majors will be sick of hearing this within the first week of classes, but I would really encourage anyone new to the department to be intentional about visiting profs during their office hours. Some of my very favorite conversations from the past four years started out as quick check-ins during office hours (one time, Laurie and I got so caught up in our conversation that we accidentally stayed in her office talking for four hours after class).
I would also recommend getting as involved as possible with all the wonderful things that our department does. I would not have been able to build nearly as strong of a support system here had I not joined Rock & Sling’s staff or gone to as many readings and department events as I could.
I feel so lucky to have had these things that are going to make leaving this place so difficult, and I’m so excited for everyone who still has all of this and more on the horizon.