April 23rd, 2015 §
Former English major Heather (Eggen) Bowman was recently elected partner at the Portland, Oregon law firm Bodyfelt Mount, where she practices civil litigation, focusing specifically on employment litigation and defense of professional malpractice claims.
After graduating in 2001, Heather put her English degree to direct use teaching English literature at Qiqihar University in northeastern China. Teaching Chinese English majors their only English literature class in their college careers was a challenge, writes Heather, not only because of the intricacies of English language and literature, but also because of the foreignness to her students of the history, politics, geography, and thinking of the West.
As a lawyer, Heather continues, on a daily basis, to develop skills first honed at SPU. Although she rarely has an opportunity to quote William Blake, she constantly interprets documents and case law, tells client stories, and writes and argues her way to (she hopes) good results.
April 16th, 2015 §
Riley Dopps says that graduating this spring is “scary but exciting,” a feeling many of her classmates surely share. It’s the prospect of “no limit or structure set for me,” says Riley, that elicits both emotions.
A senior creative writing major, Riley feels that her writing classes “opened doors” and made her “confident that I can sell myself” in all sorts of areas when she goes on the job market in June. Best things about the English major? Class sizes and structure, says Riley. The discussion format of English courses “made information easier to absorb” and allowed the opportunity to get clarification of facts and ideas if needed. The upper-division courses, like Middle Eastern Literature, made the major relevant to current issues too.
As a former SPU soccer standout who passed on playing her senior year, Riley finds this year “bittersweet.” She’s happy to have moved on but misses the structure and “extra purpose” that athletics added to her college experience. Nevertheless, making the transition from “student-athlete” to “student” has prepared her for the equally challenging transition from “student” to “employee” that’s on the horizon. “Not everything happens for a reason,” says Riley, “but every situation has takeaways that are valuable.”
Riley has loved the small size of SPU because it’s allowed her to make friends from different areas of the university. She misses the time she spent living on campus as freshman and sophomore because it made getting where she needed to go easy and offered opportunities for casual social interaction. Now, Riley says, she needs to be more intentional about seeing, outside class, the people she’s had courses with over and over—“friends and study partners with lots to talk about.”
April 10th, 2015 §
For Such a Time as This: The
Challenges and Hope of
April 23 – 25, 2015
An international conference on the challenges and hopes of reconciliation. Join interdisciplinary conversations – led by scholars, visionaries, local leaders, and Seattle Pacific University faculty and staff – as we explore stories, theories, and practices of being a reconciled people.
Speakers include Dr. Kimberly Segall and Dr. Doug Thorpe of SPU’s English Department.
April 2nd, 2015 §
From Stony Brook University’s Southampton Campus:
“We’re writing to update you on Stony Brook Southampton’s annual short fiction contest, now in its 24th year. We seek original fiction from undergraduate students and offer a prize of $1000 for a story that stirs, shifts, or shakes us in some way. We hope that you could help spread the word about this rewarding opportunity.
Out of our desire to keep this contest accessible to all, we do not charge a fee for submissions and also ensure that judges read stories blindly, without knowledge of the entrant’s identity or academic institution, because what matters to us fundamentally, is the work itself. The deadline has been extended to May 1, 2015. You can read more about the contest at: www.stonybrook.edu/southampton/mfa/special_programs/fiction.html.”
April 2nd, 2015 §
Kate Hoskins, former English major (Class of 2010), recently got in touch with the English Department to report on her life post-graduation. She offers advice for all those finishing up in June:
“I spent the next few years [after graduation] teaching elementary school, and was extremely grateful for a degree that helped me make a difference in my community. College prepared me to teach, but at twenty-five, I had hit the mid-life crisis of Millennials and needed to make a change. I didn’t have a back-up plan. Or a game plan. I just knew I needed to make room for something new.
There are a million ways to make a difference in the world, and I’m learning to see that my way of making a difference might look different than I thought it would. I have friends that have made it into Response and etc. publications for their work in cancer research and non-profits. Other friends made post-grad life look charmed by having jobs or weddings lined up directly following graduation. At the time, my heart ached with envy, and I longed for a similar security. In the four or five years since graduating, many of these friends have realized that they desire something other than the security and success that they’ve found in their professional careers. Some have left jobs, others have gone back to school, and I’ve been humbled to realize that everyone goes through seasons of uncertainty, questioning, and transition in their own good time.
The good news is that your major does not determine your life. You will continue finding out who you are and who God has made you to be long after graduation. Thankfully, it is a lifelong process—a process that is not to be feared, but welcomed. Trust that God will continue to guide you as you move beyond this campus and your next job or internship. It’s okay to be a barista, to move home, to rest, to travel, to stop, and to let things go. Listen to your instincts and don’t force something to happen. Know that you’re going to be okay and there is no formula for your freshman year of life. Take comfort knowing that the first year out is surprisingly unsettling.”