Welcome to Whitman’s Intercultural Center!
Meet the Staff:
Kazi Joshua- Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion
“Kazi teaches in the Encounters program. He is originally from Malawi, southeast Africa. He studied Political Philosophy (at Trinity College of Vermont ) and holds graduate degrees in Theology and Philosophy. He has served at other institutions as a faculty member and dean before joining Whitman in 2015. His service is animated by the pursuit of justice and the creation of a truly equitable and inclusive community.”
Sonja L. Aikens– WISE Program Coordinator and Intercultural Center Administrative Assistant
“Sonja provides administrative support to the Intercultural Center and coordinates the WISE (Whitman Institute for Scholastic Enrichment) program. WISE has the goal of bringing local middle school students to campus to introduce them to college life and to encourage them to make plans to attend college in the future. Sonja is also the staff adviser for Namasté, a student club for those interested in meditation, and is active in the Whitman College Prison Research Group.”
Maggi Banderas– Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center
“Maggi first came to Whitman College as an international student from Ecuador, and she earned her degree in Art History and Visual Culture Studies in 2005. Maggi has worked in different areas at Whitman during the last decade, and now, as the Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center, she works to support multicultural and international students through different advising and programming opportunities.”
Adam Kirtley– Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center and Stuart Coordinator of Religious & Spiritual Life
“Adam joined the student affairs staff in September 2006. He received his BA in religion from Wabash College, and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University. In addition to addressing the spiritual needs of students, Adam works to facilitate religious life and promote religious diversity on campus. Adam is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) tradition.”
Jennifer Lopez– Intercultural Center Program Adviser
“Jennifer works as the Program Adviser for the Center. A local Walla Wallan and a graduate from Whitman in 2013, Jennifer joined Teach for America and taught in New Orleans. She then went on to teach English in Chile, and upon her return, she worked in the local public high school. Jennifer manages the Glover Alston Center, supports IC programs and events, provides club advising, and acts as a support for students.”
Kyle Martz– International Student and Scholar Adviser
“Kyle graduated from Whitman in 2007 as a double major in German Studies and Gender Studies. Before returning to Whitman to join the student services division, he spent several years teaching and studying in Germany. Kyle is the primary staff contact for international students within student services. Aside from ISSS, Kyle advises the GLBTQ affinity group as well as other student organizations, and provides support to his colleagues for other IC-sponsored programs.”
Victoria Robinson- LGBTQI Program Coordinator (Newly established position!)
Mission Statement: “The Intercultural Center seeks to foster intercultural awareness, inclusiveness and respect for all in the Whitman community. We are committed to the enhancement of a positive Whitman experience for students, staff and faculty, especially those from culturally and ethnically diverse communities. The Center seeks to enhance partnerships with academic and administrative offices to infuse multiculturalism throughout all aspects of campus life. We facilitate and encourage ongoing dialogue regarding issues of diversity in order to move towards a more inclusive campus climate.”
The Intercultural Center’s mission statement has been manifested into campus life in many different ways. Just to name a few, supporting and sponsoring campus multicultural events, supporting campus multicultural clubs and organizations, providing pre-college counseling to local grade school students, and establishing a mentorship program for First-Generation/Working Class identifying students. Whitman acknowledges the importance of providing support catered to students that come from marginalized backgrounds, so the establishment of the Intercultural Center fulfills that need and is a foundation set to creating an equitable campus environment.
Some of the Intercultural Center clubs include: the First Generation/Working Class Club, Whitman Christian Fellowship, PRISM, Hillel-Shalom, and much more. As a current Whitman student, and also a student that identifies as a Christian, woman of color, I have been able to immerse myself into campus because of the endless support from the Intercultural Center. Not only do I know that I belong here, but I know that Whitman has invested in me and will do everything it takes to help me succeed here. The Intercultural Center is just one example of the plethora of resources that are available to all students, and makes it evident that all students will find a community on campus, and that is what makes Whitman special.