Each year, the department invites students into the home of one of its professors to celebrate the end of the academic year. We share food and soft drinks, the faculty give away books, and the winners of the Arksey Prizes are announced. Seniors hold a special place of honor in our celebration. We are always happy for their accomplishment but a bit sad to lose their company, at least as students.
For many faculty and majors, the party represents the calm before the onslaught of final papers, exams, and, for many, the high ceremonies celebrating graduation. A little breather.
This year, our party celebrated the retirement of Dr. Doug Thorpe and bid farewell to Dr. Yelena Bailey, who will be greatly missed.
Congrats to all our students for (nearly) another year of accomplishments. Special congratulations go to our graduating seniors!
After thirty-one years of teaching in SPU’s English and
Cultural Studies Department, Dr. Doug Thorpe is retiring.
Dr. Thorpe’s academic and teaching interests have included Romanticism,
world literature, American ethnic literature, and environmental spirituality.
His combined love of William Blake, Christian contemplative
traditions, and the Pacific Northwest’s mountains led to Thorpe’s award-winning
book, Rapture of the Deep: Reflections on
the Wild in Art, Wilderness and the Sacred (Red Hen Press, 2007). In Wisdom Sings the World: Poetry, Creation,
and the Way of Dwelling (Codhill Press, 2010), Thorpe reflects on the
connections between spirituality and the arts.
An active member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, his
favorite memories of Seattle Pacific include teaching students abroad in
England, collaborating with colleagues at home, and many rich conversations
with students in his office or at local coffee shops.
For those lamenting Dr. Thorpe’s retirement, there’s some comfort in
knowing he’ll continue to teach at SPU on a part-time basis into the
Dr. Kimberly Segall, Professor of English and Cultural Studies, has received the 2019 Undergraduate Professor of the Year Award from SPU’s student government. Dr. Segall was recognized for her outstanding teaching in classes such as Middle Eastern Literature, International (Postcolonial) Literature, African Literature, and Intro to Justice: Cultural Studies. Her dedication to teaching racial reconciliation and cultural understanding is evident through her co-creation of the new Social Justice and Cultural Studies Major, as well as her study abroad programs to South Africa and Spain/Morocco.
It’s time for the English Department’s annual Arksey Essay Contest, which features an enormous $100 prize for the best undergraduate essay in each of two categories: Critical and Creative. It would also be a nice award to list on your resume.
For submission guidelines, visit the Best Student Essays page on the English Department web site. The deadline is Friday, May 10. In most cases, students submit essays previously written for courses.