Updates from Alumni: Mary Schmick ’14

By: Emily Church

There’s always a good reason to catch up with an alumni of Whitworth University. Not only are they great people, but they help remind students, like me, that there is a life after Whitworth and it can be pretty awesome. I got the chance to ask Mary Schmick, a Whitworth graduate from 2014, about her life beyond the pinecone curtain.


So, what are you up to these days?

I am now a technical writer/technical editor for Mission Support Alliance, a company that supports the Hanford clean-up project in Richland, WA.  I edit environmental permitting and regulatory documents that will be submitted to the Department of Energy and other government agencies (EPA, Department of Ecology, etc.).  Editing a document involves fixing formatting and copy editing, as well as looking at sentence clarity.

How did you get to where you are now?

I had become interested in editing in college and also began to see technical writing as a possible career path when I spent a summer interning for a geologist at a research laboratory. There I got to help research and write scientific articles on topics like carbon sequestration. I graduated from Whitworth University in 2014 with an English degree on the writing track. After graduating, I moved to the Tri-Cities where there are several companies that need technical writers. I spent ten months working a part-time job and applying and interviewing for technical editing positions before I got my first technical editing job. The job was editing safety procedures on topics such as electrical safety and working with beryllium, which were used by workers for the different companies across the Hanford Site.  I was in this position for a year and a half. During this time, I started editing for a different organization within the company I worked for when their technical editor retired. When the position came open, I applied and got the job, which is the position I currently hold.

 How has your English degree from Whitworth served you since graduation?

My English degree has been so valuable to me since graduation from Whitworth. In terms of a career, strong writing skills have been very helpful. So many different types of work involve writing, which makes strong English skills indispensable. As an English major, writing was something I sometimes took for granted, but in the workforce it is viewed as being an area of expertise. Apart from my career, my English degree has also shaped my critical thinking and communication skills. Also, the things I have learned from reading and analyzing literature has had an impact on how I look at situations in life and has given me a better understanding of viewpoints different than my own.

Emily Church (’17) is an English Writing and Sociology major at Whitworth University from western Washington and dreams of one day traveling the world. She enjoys writing, reading, painting, collecting journals (not writing in them), fall leaves, summer warmth., and adventure.

Mindful of the Change

By: Devon Clements

Exploring the traverses of the internal,

Like some long forgotten picaroon.

Delving into the abstractions,

Contrasting like the bloody snow.

One sunset is another, and who am I to stay between?


I thought one day perhaps I’d find it.

The search as fickle as our hearts.

Lost in the endless sea of time

Each day we yearn to break our backs,

For the sake of the forgotten dream.


As drink is to the alley dweller,

So too does it quench my thirst.

It leaves me yearning ever-after,

I’ve been stumbling since my birth.


I didn’t ask for what I’m given,

Never sure of what I’ve got.

The song, methinks is ending,

I only have one more shot.


Devon Clements. Class of 2018. English Philosophy major. Missouri. Soccer. Coffee. Historical Fiction. Edward Sharpe. Of Human Bondage. Travel. Moleskine. Pens. Vans. United Kingdom. Trees. Gym. Literature. Sour. Northwest. Theatre. Explore. Skateboard. Run. Cats. Blue. Finished.

The Harvest Party: Following Rule #4 of Being an English Major

By: Jordin Connall fall-dog

I know, I know, you’re all wondering “but I don’t like going places” and I understand that really I do, but the things is, you will one hundred percent not remember that night you stayed home and got an early start on your weekend homework. Take, for example, the recent harvest party put on by Westminster Round. There was poetry and games and tons of random food stuffs to nibble on (and/or feed to the tiny wizard your have hidden in your hoodie pocket). Was it awkward at first, of course it was.

We’re English majors for crying out loud, we were born awkward and uncomfortable. But we do not stay that way, once we get enough sugar in us and someone breaks out spooky Halloween poetry, everyone loosens up and really interesting academic and non-college-student-fallacademic conversations occur. It’s very easy not to go anywhere on your friday night, but as I’ve said before you definitely did not stay up with your roommate talking about Advanced Calculus (or whatever horrid torture device you prefer).

English parties are relaxed and fun and give you the opportunity to meet new people with whom you will be sharing classes for the next four or so years. They are havens to develop and find your very own discourse communities of like-minded individuals. Even if you’re not an English major, and I pity those of you that aren’t, you can come and talk about books, or movies, or your secret desire to learn unicorn husbandry (see John Pell for more information). All I’m suggesting is that you try it a few times, you might like it.

Who knows, you could end up accidentally forming an English karaoke band an hour and a half after the party was supposed to be over.

Jordin Connall is a Senior English Major. Her hobbies include: long walks on the beach, making baked goods, taking long walks on the beach with baked goods, and interpretive macaroni art.