Food columnist moving on after five years at WSU, four years at Evergreen

Carson Holland reflects on extracurriculars, influential people during his time in school



Carson Holland, Daily Evergreen copyeditor and food columnist.


When Carson Holland first stepped foot on the WSU campus, he had a different idea of where he wanted to be; five years later, he is set to receive his second degree on Saturday.

Holland, Daily Evergreen columnist and copy editor, will receive his master’s degree in teaching this year after receiving a bachelor’s degree in history just one year ago.

When deciding what school to attend as a senior in high school in 2018, WSU was a fallback school and was not on the radar for him, he said. But he decided to tour the school eventually and immediately fell in love.

“It really has a community feel and community vibe, and I just love the campus,” Holland said. “It felt like a community, and not just a college. It felt like you would belong there, and [I have] been proven right, I’ve loved it ever since.”

Initially, Holland was going to pursue a degree in economics and wanted to go into the army for ROTC as well.

But one day, he sat back in one of his classes and asked himself if that was something he truly wanted to do for the rest of his life. The answer was no, he said.

He took into consideration what he enjoyed doing and was passionate about and landed on history, so he went from an economics major to a history major.

“I met a lot of people who challenged what I wanted to be and I thought a lot, had a lot of self-reflection and was able to find something that I would enjoy,” he said.

Someone who has inspired Holland is Jesse Spohnholz, a professor in the history department.

Holland said Sponholz pushed him to get a master’s degree in teaching, and was the first person to write him a letter of recommendation.

Initially, Holland said he asked for a letter over email, but Spohnholz asked him to go into his office and chat.

“He was the WSU staff that I saw so much support from and so much care from,” he said. “Not to mention, he was just super passionate about his area and his field … he was a person I wanted to emulate when I was teaching.”

Holland now has a job lined up in Arizona and plans to move there with his girlfriend to teach high school students in the Phoenix/Chandler area, he said.

Currently, Holland works as a student teacher in Colfax, which has been a good experience and a good challenge for him at the same time, he said.

“One of my favorite parts of teaching is the kids, which was something I expected going in, but student teaching just confirmed that,” he said. “I’ve only student taught for a … full school year, but I’ve really made some good relationships with these kids.”

Holland said he grew up in Spokane, which is not a rural setting, so student teaching in Colfax introduced him to something different, and it was not what he thought it was going to be.

“It definitely helped me grow,” he said. “I think I learned a lot more from the students than they did from me.”

When Holland was a freshman living in the dorms, he was involved in hall government and treasurer for the floor.

“I still don’t understand how to spell treasurer,” he said. “My running platform was I couldn’t spell it.”

Holland said being involved in hall government helped him meet people he probably would not have met otherwise, and one of his current roommates was someone he met in hall government.

“It really built those early connections and got me out of my shell,” he said. “I was allowed to express my ideas and try things in a non-confrontational setting, but also still having friends and help.”

Trevor Parke, fifth-year computer science major, said he met Holland five years ago in Honors Hall when they were both in hall government and has been best friends with him ever since.

Parke said he was a Resident Technician Assistant in Global Scholars Hall the same year Holland was an RA in the same building. Holland and Parke would end up taking the elevator together consistently with a couple of other people, and Holland would tell elevator jokes every time they got in, Parke said.

“It almost got to the point where we just get into the elevator and we’d all stare at him, waiting for him to say [the joke],” he said. “[He has] that kind of dad energy in the best way possible.”

While the two were working their individual positions at the same time, Parke said he got to hear stories of Holland’s RA life and the ups and downs of the role.

“It was definitely very hard on him in some ways, but I know he enjoyed it a lot,” Parke said.

Holland has been working at the Daily Evergreen for just over four years and joined with no journalism experience when one of his friends pushed him to try it out.

He joined the Mint section at the time, and did not have a lot of confidence in his writing because he was just testing the waters, he said.

After taking a break from the Evergreen, he went back and slowly gained more confidence in his work. He said he wrote satires and started writing food reviews.

Holland has also been a copy editor for the Daily Evergreen since his junior year, which he did not think he would do, he said. But it has been a good experience to see the administrative side of the paper and how it is made, and how he could contribute to that.

“I’m not a journalism major, I’m not what you would stereotype as a reporter for the Daily Evergreen. But I’ve been here for four and a half years now,” Holland said. “I’ve enjoyed working under different editors and really experiencing their styles.”

Holland said the food reviews are something he will take with him after graduating because the pieces connected him with the WSU and Palouse community.

“I found out about so many cool clubs, I attended so many cool events, I ate at so many cool restaurants I just never would have,” he said. “It gave me a reason to be there, and being there is so much fun.”