Internship and Job Search Course

November 14th, 2020 § 0

From Dr. Mark Walhout, Chair of English & Cultural Studies:

Thinking about an internship while you’re in school or a job after college? Then you should consider taking GS 3001–Internship and Job Search Strategies: Arts and Humanities, a one-credit course offered in both winter and spring 2021. Here’s the course description:

Tailored to arts and humanities majors but open to all, this class assists students in preparing to find an internship or post-graduation job. Students will identify and learn to articulate their calling, strengths and skills, explore career options, and prepare to market themselves successfully. Students will learn to network, write a powerful résumé and cover letter, create an effective LinkedIn profile, search for a job or internship and prepare for interviews.

The winter section will be online; we’re not sure about spring yet.

Alumna Lexi Garrity

November 13th, 2020 § 0

Lexi Garrity checked in with the Department recently to inform us that she had bought her first house recently. Congrats to Lexi! Her path has been a steady one since graduation, and this feat, not easy in Seattle, isn’t surprising, given Lexi’s grit and determination.

Lexi teaches fourth- and fifth-grade social studies at Seattle Country Day School. She’s now in her sixth year of teaching. Choosing to focus solely on an English major while an undergraduate, Lexi took the pre-requisites for SPU’s masters in education program at night after graduating, working full-time during the day to support herself. She then took advantage of SPU’s two-year, part-time grad program in teaching so she could continue to work while completing her education.

When she’s not teaching and a pandemic isn’t raging, Lexi is a serious ultimate player. She’s had both a club and professional career in the sport, competing with the Seattle Cascades in the Western Ultimate League. Lexi reports that her favorite book this year has been Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It’s no surprise that someone like Lexi is drawn to a novel featuring an independent protagonist who finds her own way in the world. Keep going, Lexi!

Direction During the Pandemic Detour?

October 29th, 2020 § 0

A message from Professor Emeritus of English, Dr. Doug Thorpe:

For over forty years, I’ve worked to guide learners towards their own answers to these questions:

o What are your skills and talents?
o What do you love to do? What are you passionate about?
o How can you translate your skills and your passion into true
service out in the world?

As a mentor, spiritual director, and life coach, I’ve worked with college students as well as older adults in traditional academic settings and beyond. Having created a vocationally focused university course developed out of these years of work, and published the anthology Work & the Life of the Spirit, I’ve developed ways to explore the practical aspects of vocation while also allowing individuals to reflect more deeply on their own underlying talents and desires. The goal is to find work that feeds the body while also feeding the soul.

This is vocational work, but, more deeply, it is life work—meaning that I’m interested in getting as close to the truth of who you are as possible, and from that place helping you be that person: creative, imaginative, compassionate, joyful, relational.

I invite those with whom I work to explore these same questions—wherever that exploration takes us.

If this sounds at all interesting let me know and we can meet for an initial free session, no strings attached. We will talk, I will ask questions and get to know you, and then you can make up your own mind whether entering upon this journey together will be helpful. Pay what you can afford—we can discuss my sliding scale—and of course you can pause or stop at any time.

Also happy to provide references.

Doug Thorpe, Ph.D.

Veterans Appreciation Postcard Event

October 29th, 2020 § 0

Celebrate Veterans Day by writing postcards of thanks and appreciation to the three-hundred veterans at the Port Orchard Veterans Home and Transitional Housing Facility. Our goal is for each veteran to receive a hand-written note from an SPU student, faculty, or staff member thanking her/him for serving.

Cards will be available for delivery to campus offices starting on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Instructions will be included. Contact Ruth Adams at if you have questions. If you are working remotely and would like to participate, contact Ruth for options. Look for the Zoom Postcard Writing Event on Monday, Nov. 2.

Recent Grad Hannah Hinsch

October 15th, 2020 § 0

Hannah Hinsch recently got in touch with the department to report on what she’s been up to since graduating last June.

“Currently, I’m hard at work on my graduate school application for next fall, which (surprise) involves a lot of writing (and reading–so much reading),” Hannah said in an email. “For my writing sample, I’m adapting a paper I wrote for Dr. Maier’s seminar on Modernism last winter; the paper examines Katherine Anne Porter’s short story ‘Flowering Judas’ and how it deconstructs, in a way bordering on iconoclasm, the use of women’s bodies as religious icons.

“During grad school, I hope to really bolster my scholarship and cultivate my love of studying lit as a perpetual learner. I hope to meet more scholars in my field, both budding and seasoned, and build a network of people with which to share my passions (a network I have also found at SPU).”

As for her time as a student in the English and Cultural Studies Department, Hannah had this to say: “I loved being an English major[. . . .] [C]ritical inquiry and attentiveness to language required of anyone studying English are skills that I want to make my life mission to engage. Studying English doesn’t just mean you like reading; studying literature, asking questions of it, responding to it, provides you with a way of being in the world and encountering discourses. It’s amazing what a love of reading and writing can become, and the broader conversations that you can join from the hundreds of years of scholarly thinking on writers that continue to move us.”

Thanks for the insights, Hannah, and best wishes on the grad-school applications!