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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|2007 Grads Represent Wide Range of Ideals, Talents|
Following are stories about a handful of Gonzaga University graduates during the University’s 120th commencement exercises this weekend (May 12-13). The ROTC COMMISSIONING leads off the ceremonies at 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 11 in Cataldo Hall with a reception to follow. The LAW SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT begins at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 12 in the McCarthey Athletic Center, featuring as keynote speaker William Neukom, president-elect of the American Bar Association. Neukom will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his contributions to the law. Also at that ceremony, the Law School will honor Norman L. Roberts — a university Regent, benefactor, and 1959 GU alumnus — with its Law Medal, awarded to individuals who have provided exemplary service to the law. The GRADUATE COMMENCEMENT begins at 5 p.m., Saturday, in the McCarthey Athletic Center, with Martin Favero as the keynote speaker. Favero, an expert in infection control, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. The UNDERGRADUATE COMMENCEMENT will begin at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 13, Mother’s Day, in the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The keynote speaker will be Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Co. Mulally will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and will watch his daughter, Molly, receive a bachelor’s degree. Harry Sladich, a Gonzaga alumnus, university vice president and secretary for the Board of Trustees, will be honored with the DeSmet Medal, Gonzaga’s highest honor. Sladich earned a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga in 1959 and a master’s degree in 1967. Sister Phyllis Marie Taufen, SNJM, a Holy Names sister and retired GU professor, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Maj. Gen. Jason K. Kamiya, a 1976 Gonzaga alumnus and GU ROTC Distinguished Military graduate, also will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He was commander of Combined Joint Task Force 76 in Afghanistan from February 2005 to February 2006 and is now stationed at Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.
Following are brief profiles of some of Gonzaga’s 2007 graduates.
“I’ve probably put as much time into Campus Kids as my academic career. The kids are amazing,” he said. Kellogg also has participated in the April’s Angels service project and has tutored in local elementary schools while deciding whether to become a teacher. “I tutored an autistic girl for a semester,” he recalled. “That really taught me patience. It’s a valuable asset to be able to stay calm and motivated through new situations.” Kellogg says he has been shaped by his academic and social experiences at Gonzaga, living in St. Catherine/St. Monica Residence Hall his first year and later moving off campus. Like a true sociologist, he had fun in the dorms. “It was definitely a social experience like none other I’ve ever had before,” said Kellogg who is contemplating his next steps in life. “I’m not going to use my degree quite yet,” he noted, adding that he will work at a golf course, mowing lawns and playing after-hours golf for free. Ultimately, he wants to work in human resources: “I just really like people, so I’ll do anything that can get me out with them.”
The sisters have more in common than just their last name and major. After growing up in a secular environment, both wanted to attend a private Catholic university; both have been involved in the Catholic community on campus. Monica has participated in the Pope John Paul II Fellowship and Catholic Daughters of America, and both were active in Right to Life. “Having all the different options for Mass was probably the best part of it for me,” said Naomi when asked what she liked best about Gonzaga. Both sisters also participated in Mission: Possible, the weeklong service project that occurs during Spring Break, although they attended different sites.
Maintaining their individual identities was an important challenge for both sisters during their time at Gonzaga. “Everyone knew me as Monica’s little sister,” said Naomi. “That might be why I got involved in so many other departments, forming a niche.” Monica agreed that independence was important: “We still went out and did our own things, because there are interests we have that aren’t the same.” Still, they were glad to have each other’s support when they needed it.
“We’ve always been fairly close to each other as well as to our parents,” Monica said. “I think being at the same college and living close to each other has deepened that closeness.”
Turpen began mentoring during her freshman and sophomore years. She joined the staff as mentor coordinator her junior year and became the parent-teacher liaison as a senior. Turpen chose to get involved with Shaw Connection to help students. “Middle school is a time when there are so many transitions and a lot of peer pressure,” she said. “The mentees in Shaw Connection don't always have a strong role model and this program allows them to have a role model and friend who will help them get through these tough years.”
As a staff member, Turpen’s devotion to the program grew: “Seeing the friendships and bonds that the mentors form with their mentees is so rewarding. I feel like a proud parent when I go to Shaw Connection.” Turpen is excited to spend another year with the program before she hopes to attend law school to study child or family law.
Fredericks, who has been active in the honors program, French club and Gregorian Chant Schola, did not let Gonzaga’s lack of a linguistics program stop her. “I was apprehensive about coming to such a small school because they didn’t have the major I wanted, but there have been some really great things about that,” she reflects, pointing to the availability of her professors as one example.
Fredericks has taken every opportunity she could to study language and linguistics. Her junior year was spent studying abroad at not one but two locations: Paris, France and Granada, Spain. “It was the best year of my life, by far,” she recalls. Knowing the many languages she does enhanced her experience. “I love to…talk to as many people as I can, so [language] has been a great way to meet people,” she explains.
Fredericks also studied linguistics as much as she could in the classes that were available to her: “Whenever I could, I did a paper or a project related to linguistics.” She also wrote her honors thesis on linguistics, examining several Italian dialects and arguing that dialects should be taught in language courses. The topic fascinated her, as well as the fact that the Foley Center Library was filled with useful resources: “What I really enjoyed is how much information there actually is…The library was full of stuff, so it was possible to do research on something that’s not really dealt with here.”
As Fredericks moves on, she has valuable advice for Gonzaga students wanting to create their own programs. It’s possible to do in almost all cases, she asserts. “Take the initiative,” she urges.
Senior Angela Wier Commits Two Years to Inner City School to ‘Do Her Part’
During her senior year, Wier worked as Gonzaga’s campus campaign manager for TFA, recruiting other students to join the program. “ I got involved because I strongly believe in TFA’s mission. I want to dedicate my life to helping others, and at this point in my life this is the best way I can do that,” she explains. TFA aims to end educational inequity, an issue about which Wier is deeply passionate. “Kids in low-income communities are already three grade levels behind their peers in higher-income communities by the time they are nine simply because of where they were born. I have committed to teach for two years…to do my part to give these kids the opportunity they deserve.”
Wier, an avid musician, has been involved in Gonzaga’s pep-band, wind ensemble, and chamber winds group. She has also mentored, volunteered for several retreats with Campus Ministry, and been active in GU’s Residence Hall Association as a resident assistant. In addition, she has served as vice-president of member affairs for Career Center Representatives, where she helped facilitate student presentations and assisted in career workshops and events.
In spite of her accomplishments, it is Wier’s humility that stands out. Rather than boast, she offers gratitude for Gonzaga. “ I am appreciative of the sense of justice I have gained through my time here and the skills of leadership and knowledge I have gained to be proactive about it.”
Irish Immigrant Overcomes Obstacles, Sets Sights on Saving World
Harris-Jones has set her sights on nothing less than saving the world. She will be one of the first Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership scholars to join the Peace Corps and was firm in her request to be sent straight to Africa.
“I can only find my limits by stretching them,” she said. “It would be a waste for me to have these talents and not share them.” Described by her peers as a breath of fresh air, Harris-Jones will bring her skills and compassion to Africa as she focuses on her work as a community development worker concentrating on HIV/AIDS prevention. Once her Peace Corps service has been completed, Harris-Jones aims to earn a master’s degree in international relations with concentrations in human rights and development of the Third World.
“Learning how to serve other people effectively and efficiently with a heart for God is perhaps the noblest thing I can do at this point in my life,” she said.
GU Law Student Berhow Finishes School After One-Year Army Stint in Iraq
“I took my first-year fall finals at Fort Lewis ( Wash.) in between training exercises for the operation,” he said. “After training at Fort Lewis, our unit departed to Kuwait/Iraq and installed and operated microwave communications equipment between several sites around Basra, Iraq and Northern Kuwait. My job was to prepare the locations, plan the site security and the network, and supervise the installation and operation of the systems.”
He returned in time to join the next Law School class for his second year. Now a captain, Berhow serves as the signal officer of the 161 st Combined Arms Battalion, Washington Army National Guard. He will deploy with the unit to Egypt for a month in October 2007.
“I have accepted an offer from the Army to return to active duty as a JAG (Judge Advocate General) officer,” Berhow said. He will report to the JAG’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Va., in February 2008 to attend school.
For more information on any of these stories, please contact Peter Tormey at (509) 323-6132 or via e-mail.