Caitlin Johnson ‘20

Hometown: Orange County, California
Majors: Linguistics and Cultural Studies, Political Science

What initially attracted me to Seattle Pacific University was the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics and the reputation of outstanding faculty it had. I was drawn to the department for its path to foreign language teaching and its language programs. Paired with small class sizes, I felt the program had an equitable mix of paying respect to the classics of Latin and Greek while gaining traction with engaging with more diverse cultures. After learning more about the University’s actions beyond the message of “engaging the culture,” I felt that by choosing this department it would be an opportunity to learn how to do so both locally and globally by attending Seattle Pacific. 

Before coming to college, I lived in Southern California never venturing north of Los Angeles for my entire 18 years. I grew up hearing stories of my mom and grandparents living abroad in Ireland and craved to see a world I hadn’t yet come to know or understand. This caused me to want to learn about other countries and their differences from my home country whether it was cultural, political, or linguistic differences. Having these interests in high school led me to seek a college that was also passionate about engaging across cultures domestically. I felt Seattle Pacific fit that mold for me perfectly. I was amazed how instantly I felt safe and part of a community that felt like family when I first stepped foot on campus despite never being to Seattle. 

I have wonderful memories from my time in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics. I enjoyed having meals with fellow students and professors, including Dr. Bian, who allowed language learning to be enjoyable and practical. Her courses brought a human quality and real-life application to my studies, which I am grateful for. Another highlight is being asked to attend a Rome study abroad program where I studied poetry, art history, and writing with Dr. Willett and Dr. Maier. During that trip we had a private tour under the Vatican, saw inside the Sistine Chapel, and became “locals” of our little town in Trastevere amongst many other things. 

The department introduced me to incredibly supportive faculty like Dr. Bartholomew, Dr. Ewald, Dr. Willett, Dr. Nemtchinova, and Dr. Bian – all who welcomed me into their office with open arms. Our afternoon conversations will always be a highlight of my time at SPU. Thanks to the incredible faculty, my experiences in the program exceeded my expectations. I consider some of the faculty to be mentors and friends to me. I feel grateful for their support in my educational and professional career. 

Following my graduation from SPU, I started my master’s degree in international affairs in international politics and international management with a regional specialization in China from the University of California San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. I am now in my final year. Over the summer of 2021, I interned with the United States Mission to the United Nations. I was lucky enough to be asked to stay on for an additional few weeks to see through the end of high-level week with the General Assembly. The work of the entire USUN team is unmatched, thanks to everyone’s commitment to go above and beyond to meet the expectations of exceptional public service. Now, I am beginning the process of applying to full-time positions for after graduate school, and I remain constantly inspired by the supportive network I have come to know at Seattle Pacific.

 Kailee Luebke ‘19

Kailee Luebke ‘19

“My pursuit of Chinese has been part of a personal journey to discover more of who I am.”

Martin Horn

Martin Horn '15

After double-majoring in Linguistics and French and Francophone Studies, with a minor in Computer Science, Martin Horn pursued a Master of Science in Computational Linguistics from the University of Washington.