A Look Back

For more than a century, Walla Walla College (WWC) students have been making their mark in the world, and they start before they ever leave campus.

Two seniors recently placed first and second in an annual student-paper competition sponsored by the Pacific Northwest region of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature (AAR/SBL). A paper submitted by a WWC student has not won this competition since the first student entered in 1996. Will Frei, theology major, won first place and a $100 award in the biblical studies undergraduate section with his paper “Deborah’s Song: Active Friends and Passive Enemies.” In his paper, Frei hypothesizes that Deborah’s Song contrasts those who acted for Yahweh with those who did not and metes out blessings and curses based on that criterion. Frei was also named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for the 2003–04 school year.

Janelle Worthington, history major, won second place and a $50 award in the same section of the competition with her paper “Judges 10:6–11:11 Parallels and Ironies.” Janelle’s paper focuses on the parallels and ironies between Israelite interaction with Yahweh and interaction with Jephthah in these biblical passages. This involves looking at Israel’s relationship to prostitution, the Israelites’ inconsistency in relationships, which creates skepticism in both God and Jephthah, and the comparative scenes of repentance and salvation.

Social work graduate student Sue Anne Imhoff was surprised during her master’s degree hooding ceremony with the news that her paper, “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Toward an Understanding of Loss and Mourning,” had won outstanding clinical paper in a competition sponsored by the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work. The paper looks at the reality of loss and what constitutes healthy mourning. Imhoff's paper will be published in the society’s journal.

Jody Foster, junior theology major, was named an undergraduate fellow by the Fund for Theological Education. Undergraduate fellows receive a $1,500 award to be used for educational expenses or a special project to explore ministry. A $500 stipend is also available, which Foster used to purchase a small library of books that she discusses monthly with her mentor, Ruby Stafford, of the College Place (Wash.) Village Church. Foster has done taskforce work as an assistant/youth pastor at South Hill Church in Spokane, Wash. She has also preached in the Philippines, Russia, Ghana and the Dominican Republic through the Falkenberg Evangelistic Program.

For his senior project, Matthew Vincent, biblical languages and theology major, chose to translate and put into historical context a clay cone describing a temple dedication in ancient Lagash and seven Sumerian tablets. The tablets are from the Ur III Dynasty of ancient Mesopotamia, which dates from 2100–c. 2000 B.C. They are economic in nature, typically describing a transaction of some kind and shedding light on daily life in the ancient world. Vincent will seek to have his translations published professionally.

As WWC’s 113th year begins this month, the entire college family looks forward to aiding each student in discovering new talents, exploring new options and realizing their potential. WWC fosters a nurturing, supportive and spiritual environment, creating a life-changing experience for each individual.

September 01, 2004 / Walla Walla University