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November 8, 2012 / The Loop

Whitworthians working together in Spokane

by Josie Camarillo, ’14

Did you know…10 recent Whitworth alums currently work for GreenCupboards?  Today we’re highlighting three of them, all from the Class of ’11: Hannah Kinnier, Kenny Dill, and Kyle Scott.

GreenCupboards Whitworthians: Kneeling (left to right): Hannah Kinnier, ’11, Aaron Farance, ’12, Kenny Dill, ’11. Standing (left to right): Mitchell Bailey, ’11, Will Higgins, ’11, Aaron Newby, ’11, Amber (Todd) Darling, ’12, Kyle Scott, ’11, Kris Mayhew, ’10. Not pictured: Luke Laughlin, ’12.

Based in Spokane’s Gonzaga neighborhood, GreenCupboards was founded in 2008 by Gonzaga alums Josh Neblett and Sarah Wollnick, now married. They won the regional university

business plan competition with the idea of selling eco-friendly products online. With the help of their Gonzaga University professor, Tom Simpson, Neblett’s “glorified science project” turned into a profitable and rapidly growing business. The company sells over 15,000 green products on their website annually and continues to seek out new brands with which to work.

These products are listed under a variety of “eco-traits” including vegan, free trade, organic, kosher, handmade, energy efficient, and cruelty-free. The company’s goal is to become the leading online retailer of eco-friendly products.

Read more…

October 11, 2012 / The Loop

If you know Larry…

…you know that this will be a great event.

If you’re in the Seattle area, grab a friend and join Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Intercultural Relations Lawrence A. Burnley, Ph.D., for dessert and conversation as we hear his presentation, “An Inclusive Education of the Mind and Heart: Preparing Global Citizens for Christ,” on Friday, Nov. 2.

Larry’s presentation will help guests to understand the university’s commitment to intercultural competency and will engage guests in dynamic conversation and thoughtful reflection.

Join us from 7-8:45 p.m. in the Murray Boardroom in the Wheelock Student Center at the University of Puget Sound, 1500 North Warner Street, Tacoma, Wash.

Cost: $8. Hey, if finances are an issue, let us know, we’ll see what we can do to help you out.  Please click here to register by Wednesday, Oct. 31. Registration is required. 

Questions? Email

September 27, 2012 / Liz

Psych – They’re Back!

by Andrea Idso, ’12

Among Whitworth’s new arrivals this fall, you’ll find three “Tenners” in the psychology department:  lecturers Cara Bellwood, ’08, and Joelle Czirr, ’06, and assistant professor Elizabeth “Bethy” Campbell, ’05. We thought we’d introduce you to these Whitworth boomerangs by sharing a bit about their backgrounds, what they’ve been up to since graduation, their mutual love for Tigger, and what brought them back to the pines.

Cara Bellwood, ’08

Birth place: Corvallis, Ore.

Hobbies: Playing and coaching rugby, cooking, knitting, crocheting, reading, camping

What is your life motto? It’s not what you do or where you go, it’s the relationships you make.

Best high school class subject: Psychology; Anatomy & Physiology

What have you been up to since you graduated from Whitworth? I moved back to my hometown of McMinnville, Ore., for a year while applying to graduate schools. I attended a master’s program at the University of Oregon (GO DUCKS!) in Eugene, and then obtained a master’s degree in psychology (with specified interest in developmental-social-neuroscience) in June 2010. I taught multiple psychology course for Chemeketa Community College (Yamhill Valley Campus) in McMinnville, Ore., for two years. During this time I was also involved in coaching and running high-school boys’ and girls’ rugby teams.

What activities were you involved in at Whitworth? Hawaiian Club (4 years), Psi Chi (3 years), theme house residents (2 years).

Which Whitworth professor(s) most influenced you? Every faculty member in the psychology department contributed great influence over my time at Whitworth. The faculty member that influenced me the most is Dr. Patty Bruininks. I only had one year with her, but she encouraged me academically and personally. I was able to learn classroom management from her, that I now apply to my classes, obtained great research experience as a study coordinator, and went on to U of O, where she also studied.

What led you back to Whitworth to teach? I greatly enjoyed my time teaching at community college, but was debating what my next step would be. My interests in the field of psychology are in teaching and in research. I had kept in contact with the department over the years and learned of an open lecturer position. I had such a positive experience at Whitworth as a student that I was honored to get the position.

In transitioning from a Whitworth student to a professor, what’s changed for you? Having previous teaching experience has helped with the transition. My old professors (that I still look up to) have now become my colleagues. I am definitely at an interesting stage in my life where I am no longer a student, but not quite settled either. It’s an exciting time though!

What advice would you give to current Whitworth students? The same advice that someone gave me: make sure you find a balance in your academic and social life. Your studies should be your number one priority, but seeing friends and being involved in extra-curricular activities is also important. And sleep – make sure you get sleep.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that you feel readers should know? I am happy to be back in Spokane. I’m looking forward to meeting students and being involved in the Whitworth community. Read more…

September 24, 2012 / The Loop

The charity of the future

by Lydia Buchanan, ’13

At age 16, Kris Asleson, ’10, began to feel burdened by the inequalities between the United States and impoverished countries and even more so by the lack of exciting and relevant ways to engage the problem. Out of this need, Kris, along with two of his childhood best friends, formed Truth x Vision.

Founded in 2008, Truth x Vision, “the Charity of the Future,” began its mission to help some of the poorest people in the world. Truth x Vision uses pop culture to reach out to the youth of areas such as Ghana and Sierra Leone and then works to set up agricultural development projects to support the communities. Kris believes the pop culture aspect is vastly important to the relevancy of the charity.

“Everyone has a small section of their brain dedicated to charity, but a much larger space devoted to their lifestyle. If we could build our brand in a way that appealed to both areas, we believe we’d have access to a largely untapped and very thirsty spiritual market share.”

Kris and his team have worked though challenges to get Truth x Vision to the point it is today, but with faith and hard work, the organization is moving forward. Kris says, “We have had to consistently work at effectively sharing our story, but we are definitely gaining momentum. We aren’t there yet, but God has continued to affirm and reward our hard work, and it is very humbling.”

Whitworth was formative in Kris’ growth as a leader and in Truth x Vision’s beginning. He says, “Truth x Vision is a big idea and in college I didn’t really quite know how to handle it. I had a lot of growing up to do, and the culture of Whitworth really helped me stay focused through it all.” He names John Hengesh, Bill Robinson, and Jack Burns as mentors who have supported Truth x Vision as it has grown.

Truth x Vision’s most recent project is called the Ghana Development Initiative, which is targeting youth unemployment and the possibility for agricultural growth. Truth x Vision is using pop culture to reach the youth sector and to offer them economically sound ways to create a supplementary income as well as to nourish themselves by means of projects such as “Farm-in-a-Barrel,” which gives them miniature poultry farms to manage.

Kris and Benjamen Okyere, the Development Director from Ghana will soon be visiting Spokane to meet faculty and friends at Whitworth as well as to interview candidates for a Banquet Coordinator internship that Truth x Vision will be offering to Whitworth students.

When asked about the future of Truth x Vision, Kris is very hopeful and excited, “There are plenty of youth looking for positive, creative outlets, and Africa is a pretty big place, so we are hoping the party really starts to get loud over the next few  years, and after that—who knows!”

To learn more about Truth x Vision, or to get involved, please visit the Truth x Vision Facebook page, or visit their website.

September 18, 2012 / The Loop

Catching up with Taylor and Hollie at the CRC

Over the summer, Taylor, Hollie, and Lindy ran the very hilly “Carrera La Suiza” 9k. The proceeds went toward a development project in La Suiza, a neighborhood within San Rafael.

by Josie Camarillo, ’14

Taylor Faranda and Hollie McCrea, both 2012 graduates, felt a strong call to return to Latin America after studying there during their time at Whitworth. Taylor is a native of Colorado Springs and graduated with Cross Cultural Studies and Spanish degrees. Hollie hails from Boise, Idaho and graduated with Spanish and English degrees, as well as a Sociology minor.

The two friends recently accepted positions at “Whitworth South,” the university’s Costa Rica Center (CRC), and after spending their first two months living and working abroad, they are settling in to the Tico culture.  Hollie and Taylor are thrilled to be involved with Whitworth in a new way and to see their alma mater from a new perspective.  We recently caught up with them to learn more about them, and about their time at the CRC.

Read more…

September 13, 2012 / Liz

Mourning the loss of Shawn Towry, ’10

It is with a heavy heart that Whitworth’s Campus Ministry staff announces the unexpected death of Shawn Towry, ’10, on Monday, Sept. 3.

Shawn was born March 23, 1988 in Camarillo, Calif., and was a 2006 graduate of Mt. Spokane High School. In 2010 he graduated Cum Laude from Whitworth with degrees in computer science and music. He worked for Ciena as a software engineer. Shawn played the upright bass professionally from the age of 16, and he particularly loved jazz music. After the death of his father nine months ago, Shawn moved home to take care of his mother.

Shawn is survived by his mother Patty of Spokane; sisters Kristie Towry and Heather (Mike Mackey) Towry, all of Mead; brother Ryan (Caitlin) Towry of Cool, Calif.; nieces Cloe, Maddy, Ashlin and Katie; and grandpa Gayle Towry of Spokane.

Shawn’s service will be held Friday, Sept. 14, at 1 p.m. at Hennessey’s Funeral Home (2203 N. Division St.).

Friends may leave condolences to Shawn’s family online on his tribute wall.

Shawn’s friend and band mate Charles Tappa wrote the following tribute of Shawn:

“Shawn Towry was a big guy with a big heart who lived life in a big way. Sometimes it seemed like he was everywhere; I’d see him at Whitworth, Mt. Spokane, the local music scene. There was his mountain bike, motorcycle, snowboard, and of course, his music. He played in a lot of different musical environments. For me it was just my little jazz combo. He was quiet and unassuming but always perfectly ‘in the pocket.’ At least once a night, when Shawn would be taking a solo, I’d look over my shoulder and get lost on the chart because all I could think was, ‘Man, that is some sweet singin’ bass!’ He was not prone to grandiose expression so his subtle facial expressions, the eyebrow lift, the sideways look, and the half-grin that told you he was in on it, could be quite hilarious. Shawn was a kind man who spoke lovingly of his family and took care of his friends. Some people leave a lasting impression long after they’ve gone. They grow on you without you knowing it until, someday, you realize that you just might be better because of them. That’s Shawn.”

September 11, 2012 / Liz

Alumni City Guide: Seattle

We recently asked fans of our Facebook page to name their favorite Seattle places to take out-of-town guests – and we were flooded with responses! The next time you’re visiting Whitworth’s neighbor to the West, check out the following attractions, as recommended by Eric Vander Hayden, ’10, ’11; Ira McIntosh, ’12; and Jenna (Ronnquist) Spitzer, ’03.

Best Eateries

For the best Seattle restaurants, here’s what Eric recommends:

The Ave, or University Avenue, has been called the last true melting pot of Seattle culture. Running parallel between I-5 and the west side of the University of Washington it is an eight street global food court with enough coffee shops to power all the Maasai tribesman of Africa for 18 years. With a smattering of bubble tea shops (WOW Bubble Tea is the best) it also hosts the U-District Street Fair usually in late May that is ideal for food lovers. It’s the place to be in Seattle for an eclectic collection of the food and people of Seattle; get your education on The Ave.”

Other contributors recommended: Peso’s Kitchen & Lounge, King Street Bar and Oven, Pacific Inn Pub, Ivar’s Salmon House, Bick’s Broadview Grill and Dick’s Drive-In.

Seattle Art Museum
photo courtesy of

Best Free or Cheap Things to Do

Ira suggests the Seattle Art Museum: “Normally you have to pay $12 or so to get in, but the first Thursday of every month is free to all guests. They have some awesome things there and they bring in wonderful traveling exhibits.” And while you’re there, check out the Olympic Sculpture Park, recommended by Jenna.

Runners-up (two or more votes each): Green Lake Park, the Ballard Locks and the Fremont Troll.

Other suggestions: Snoqualmie Falls, Golden Gardens, Kerry Park, Discovery Park, Gas Works Park, the Seattle waterfront, the Kirkland waterfront, the Puget Sound ferries, Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club, Alki Beach and the Lakeview Cemetery (resting place of Bruce Lee).

Best Museums or Attractions

For this category, we return to Eric:

“For the people who regularly attend Compline at St Mark’s on Capitol Hill, words seem to be too much to describe such an event. It’s one of the most pure, cleansing, fulfilling experiences Seattle offers. St. Mark’s is located on top of a bluff upon Capitol Hill overlooking Lake Union and the Seattle Center and is an enormous cathedral that is filled with the magnificent voices of the Compline men’s choir every Sunday night at 9:30. The regular attendees are the most diverse gathering of travelers as they drape themselves over the pews, floor, and even alter. Most people use it as an immeasurable place of peace and meditation to end one week and start another. Every once in a while after the choir has left an organ player will fill the giant pillars of the building with the rare sounds such a large organ. If you want to end a week well this is the place to be.”

Other recommendations: Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Museum of Flight, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Glassblowing Studio, Klondike Gold Rush Museum, and The Seattle Center and the surrounding area (Center House, the International Fountain.)

Best-Kept Secret:

Scarecrow Video
photo courtesy of Henry Art Gallery blog

According to Jenna, Seattle’s best-kept secret is the University District’s Scarecrow video, which claims to be the largest video rental store in the country with over 100,000 titles. “If

you can think of it, they have it – but perhaps only on VHS and, if it’s extremely rare, they may require a hefty deposit,” she says. “But the store is a favorite among film directors, so it’s not unusual to discover movie cases signed by filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino.”

Runner-up: Bagel Deli on Capitol Hill

Best-Independently Owned Coffee Shop:

Since this is Seattle we’re talking about here, our list would be amiss without mentioning coffee shops. Clearly, there are a plethora of coffee shops to be found, each bringing something unique to the table (and taste buds). But Ira’s vote is Caffe Umbria in Pioneer Square, near CenturyLink Field. In addition to the coffee, which Ira claims is some of the best around, Caffe Umbria also offers something you wouldn’t expect in a coffee shop: gelato.

Runner-up: Espresso Vivace

Underground Seattle
photo courtesy of Flickr user docmaynard


Quirky/Unique to Seattle:

We end today’s tour with those places in town that are a bit off-kilter, or else one-of-a-kind in town. Jenna recommends the Seattle underground tour, featuring the Seattle of yesteryear when the city was a full street-level below where it is today. And, of course, during the course of the tour you’ll pass underneath 42 Starbucks.

Runners-Up: The Duck Tour and Ye Olde Curiosity Shop


Thank you to Andrea Idso, ’12, for spearheading  this informal city guide. Did we miss your favorite spots? Add them in the comments!


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