Internship Spotlight: Emily Roth (’12) Develops Daily Devotional for Olive Tree Bible Software

OK, so technically Emily Roth (’12) isn’t an EL major. Whatever. She’s a fine writer with a neato internship. (You can sample her creative nonfiction here.) Emily also submitted the photos for this post, including the two self-portraits and the photos with her friend Amy Erickson, who works at Olive Tree and encouraged Emily to apply for this internship.

Whitworth English Blog: So, Emily, tell us about yourself.

Emily Roth: An idea that struck me recently is how an identity changes daily, even hourly. An identity is a story in revision. But I’ll give it a go at telling my revised story. A few weeks ago, I was a student majoring in journalism with a theology minor. Now I’m a graduate looking for the next step in the river. I grew up in Wenatchee, Washington, but I most likely won’t move back there, since I hope to become a book editor with a publishing house. Only God knows if or how I will get there. In the meantime, I will continue part-time with the company that took me as an intern and also keep up my blog on faith, publishing, and Christian theology at

Whitworth English Blog: Describe your internship. What are your duties?

Emily Roth: Olive Tree Bible Software is an expanding Spokane company with the mission to “inspire people to connect with God and the Bible.” I am the editing intern for the content department, working with the content writers to polish their projects for release as Bible resources. I also am developing my own project, a year-long daily devotional compiled from Christian authors such as Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, and Andrew Murray. The first 30 days recently became available for free download.

WEB: What’s been the biggest surprise about your internship?

ER: Honestly, what a blessing working at Olive Tree has been. When I looked at the internships open in Spokane, I never imagined finding one so perfectly suited to my needs. God knew the best fit for me. I don’t have a car, but with Olive Tree, I work remotely from my computer. My friend, one of the content writers, drives me to the occasional office meetings and free company lunches. I have complete flexibility with my schedule, which helps when homework gets overwhelming. I practice editing, writing, and collaborating with co-workers, and I get paid for my work. I also am studying theology and it so happens that all of my projects have to do with the Bible and Christianity. Not to mention, the other employees and my manager are all welcoming, friendly, and helpful. I don’t believe I could have found a better internship to finish my senior year.

WEB: What advice would you give to students who are seeking internships?

ER: Pray. Ask God to surprise you. The surprise may not be exactly what you want, but it will be exactly what you need. Invite his will. Last fall, I was convinced I wanted to intern somewhere else, but it didn’t work out. I later realized it wouldn’t have fit right even if I had been hired. So I prayed God would give me anything, to point me in the right direction, just so I could graduate on time. He sent a friend to suggest applying at Olive Tree even when they were not looking for an intern. I started work a couple of weeks before spring semester. And it turns out this is exactly where I needed to be.

WEB: You’re a freshly minted Whitworth grad. If I may be so bold to ask, what’s next?

ER: From my experience, graduating college seniors usually make vague plans. When I graduated from high school, I knew exactly where I was going. College was a given. Now there is no given. I will work part-time with Olive Tree at least through the summer. Someday, I would like an internship working more directly with publishing trade books, perhaps as an editorial assistant. I want to eventually be a book editor. That is my practical dream.

I try to not worry about it too much, though. I worried too much about finding an internship, and when I thought I couldn’t possibly find a decent internship before spring semester, God brought me to Olive Tree. God opened the right door before, and he can do it again.

Majors Abroad: Claire LePage (’11) Shares the Straight-Up Beauty of Honduras

Claire LePage graduated from Whitworth in 2011 with a major in English Literature and minors in Theology and Peace Studies. She recently sent us this dispatch and photos from Honduras, including this one of little girls in a pony race:

Hello Whitworth English Department!

I miss you all.  I’ve spent this year in Siguateqeque, Honduras, working as a preschool assistant and as an ESL teacher for adults. It’s been a challenging year but a good one. One of the best things about it has been the straight-up Beauty, capitalized, of this part of the world.  There’s a mango tree near my house that looks like this:

That little room where all the branches come together is perfect for reading in with tea, and is also the neighborhood casa del arbol. On different weeks, the kids have covered the tree with glitter and rigged it with a pulley system for secret messages. Love the tree.

Another tree near my house is blooming like this right now:

This is the view from the comedor where I teach evening classes, at about 6pm:

And here are some pictures of me as a teacher, just to prove I’m really doing it.

With the preschoolers:

With a class of parents:

But really, friends, I have seen the most incredible things this year. We travelled to Antigua in October to renew our visas and went to a kite festival celebrating the Day of the Dead. There were kites made out of crepe paper and bamboo that were 40 feet tall:

I got engaged:

Heather Wallace and I met up in Antigua over Semana Santa and saw 7-ton floats of Jesus and Mary carried over alfombras of sawdust and vegetables:

Last weekend some of the other teachers and I visited a waterfall named Pulhapanzak. This happened:

It’s been a spectacular year. I’ve missed the English department, but (to quote Pam) I feel like y’all have travelled with me in space if not in place.

So much love.


Internship Spotlight: Jacquelyn Wheeler (’12) Coordinates Browne’s Addition 2012 Concert Series

EL major Jacquelyn Wheeler (’12) recently graduated from Whitworth. Jacquie’s many accomplishments include her role as editor of Script, Whitworth’s student-run literary journal, and the EL department’s Writing Track award for a graduating senior. Jacquie lives in Browne’s Addition, Spokane’s hippest neighborhood (in my unbiased opinion). This summer she’s coordinating the Browne’s Addition Concert Series. Jacquie submitted the photos, including the ones below of local band Six Foot Swing and of a happy audience at one of last year’s shows in Browne’s.

Jacquie on Jacquie:

I’ve been studying literature and writing. My primary interest moving forward is writing, editing, design, and oil painting. I grew up living just outside of Portland, Oregon. I’ve kept a blog for about four years now: (though it hasn’t been updated since fall, something about senior year, but I’ll get back to it soon).

Jacquie on Her Internship with the Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council

I first got involved with the Browne’s Addition Neighborhood Council because I had just moved to the neighborhood for the sake of preaching the gospel alongside my church community that lived there. Part of loving a place with the love of Christ involves knowing its needs and striving to serve in that capacity. BANC needed a Concert Series Coordinator, and at least three different people approached me, saying that I would be great for the job. I accepted the position at the Christmas party in December, and I’ve been working since January to raise support, organize fundraisers, keep track of the budget, publicize, book talent, secure insurance and permits, design and print programs and posters, and coordinate volunteers for a series of nine concerts that take place every Thursday evening in July and August.
I doubt I would have had the confidence to take on a project so much bigger than me if it weren’t for the support of my church family. Another group in the neighborhood is in charge of the big fundraiser event, my roommate is taking on the challenge of getting sponsors, and my pastor is coordinating volunteers from the church. Another council member is a yoga teacher in the neighborhood, and she’s offered to teach classes on Monday afternoons with a donation for the series. They pay me a stipend of $1200, which I am trying to figure out how to invest back into the neighborhood, because I would do this job for free.

Jacquie on the Importance of Internships:

Talk to professors with connections in your area of interest, and be involved in the community outside Whitworth (where those opportunities are). I have had this job and one other internship during my time at Whitworth. The first was a job as an editorial assistant at Gray Dog Press, which I learned about because I asked for Spokane publishing connections from Thom Caraway, who then introduced me to Marcus, the GDP senior editor. I found this concert coordinator job due to my prior community involvement. I can’t advocate enough for the importance of dipping your toe in the practical-application side of a field. It gives you a taste of what you’ll be dealing with when you leave college life, helps you know how to market yourself in that field (and others) because you know firsthand what it demands, and allows you to give back to the community.

Students From Creative Nonfiction Workshop Publish in Airplane Reading

We’ve just finished commencement weekend at Whitworth. It’s a time of celebration for our graduates and their families.

I’d also like to congratulate students from EL 347 Creative Nonfiction Workshop who’ve recently published in the online anthology Airplane Reading. (The image above is one cover of Checking In/ Checking Out, co-written by the site’s editors Mark Yakich and Chris Schaberg).

Get a jump start on your summer reading by checking out their essays:

Mitchell Linn Harris (EL ’12): A Brief Guide To Winning the War (For the Armrest)

Lauren Hunt (EL ’13): Missed Connections

Elaine Bassier (Sociology ’13): Unaccompanied Minor

Krystal Valle (EL ’13): If I Lived In A Disney Movie, We Would Have Ended Up Married

Lydia Buchanan (EL ’13): When It Comes To Flying

Katie Harriman (EL ’14): Baby Vomit and the Pains of Single Motherhood

Jessie Hodet (Psychology ’12): A Birthday Jinxed

Susan Vander Kooi (Art ’13): Fears and Affections

Emily Roth (Communications ’12): Experiential Learning

Jourdyn McClain (EL ’13): The Airplane God Doesn’t Mind Me

Kyle Talbot (EL ’13): Please, Not Dallas!

Asia Stephens-Argraves (Biology/Chemistry ’13): Oh, Airplanes! Gotta Love Them

(The two photos above are from Airlines History.)

Nelsonic Philsophy: Special Edition for the 5/11 Senior Reading

You may remember Isabel Nelson (’12, and not pictured above) as the winner of the 2012 Shut Up & Cut Up Found Poetry Contest. But did you also know that she’s an advice columnist? And the coordinator of the 2012 Senior Reading (Friday, May 11, 6 p.m., Music Recital Hall)?

Here’s Isabel’s counsel for the big event:

Good afternoon, all. Almost done with finals week, are you? I see you’ve relinquished real pants in favor of those giant “finals pants” but that you’re still ahead of the point where you want to see how many people you can fit in them—it’s a good omen. The final pitfall, before you decide to pickle yourself in bottom shelf vodka, will be to navigate senior readings.

            Step one: Put on some clothes. Nope, take those off. People’s grandmothers are going to be there, what is wrong with you? Yeah, those are better, I guess. Maybe not the leather jacket, though.

            Step two: Look in the mirror and say to yourself “I can totally read my work to a room full of strangers and their Gam-gams.” Fluff your hair, adjust your clothing. “I can totally read my work to these people, because I’m never going to see them again.” Brush your teeth. Try again: “I can go sit in the Music Recital Hall and listen to some sensitive poets talk about birds for an hour. After all, there might be snacks!”

            Step three: Put on your shoes, you lazy grub. The reading is at 6 and it’s 6:02.

            Step four: Brace yourself: there might not be snacks.


In Which Annie Stillar Defies Weather Forecast For An Epic Hot Dog & Book Sale 2012

Among the many Whitworth rituals that wind down the academic year, the English department’s annual Hot Dog & Book Sale is one of my favorites. The event raises money for the courtyard garden between Westminster and the Lied Art Building. It’s a chance to take a break during the last Friday before finals, grab some lunch, chat with friends, and ponder the mysteries of the universe (such as those pictured above).

Our fearless leader, Annie Stillar, recruited student and faculty to help with the event, including grill master Jack Downs (above).

Folks from many departments showed up for the fun.

EL majors were well represented, including Ana Quiring (above) and Shannon Kelly (at the moneychanger table, below).

EL department spouses and offspring, including Liv Larson Andrews (below, navy cardigan) and Molly Shaw Johnson (below, rad red print coat), enjoyed the event, too.

After the sale, some of us shuffled off to class or office hours, and regrouped later for the Script reading in the HUB. What a great day to be an EL major!

Big thanks to Annie Stillar for convincing the clouds not to rain until after the event. Three cheers for all who stopped by yesterday, and for those who donated books, time, and effort for the Hot Dog & Book Sale 2012.

Have You High-Fived Your Administrative Professional Today? A Tribute to Annie Stillar

Last Wednesday, April 25, our department celebrated Administrative Professionals’ Day in the company of our beloved Annie Stillar (pictured above, between Laura Bloxham (left) and Michelle Smith (right).

Only Annie has the magnetism to pull the faculty (including Casey Andrews (below left) and Fred Johnson) out of our squirrelly offices for a festive lunch at the nearby Petit Chat Bakery.

In addition to our unflagging gratitude and occasional copier mishaps, Annie also received a multi-pack of fake mustaches, one of which she’s modeling in the photo below (stolen from her Facebook page. Oops).