Real Talk with Alumni

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“Real Talk With Alumni” is a series of workshops featuring recent Whitman grads from a wide range of professional fields. Students are invited to engage them in small group discussions about how they got where they are now, the role Whitman played in their journey, and anything else students are interested in.

If you are interested in attending a session, please RSVP to Noah Leavitt ( to be notified of the location and reserve a spot (along with lunch if during a noon session). 

– Sessions –

Prof. Anne Helen Peterson  ’03

Tuesday, Sept 10th. 12pm – 1pm.
Major: Media Studies

Anne Helen Petersen received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, where she wrote her dissertation on the industrial history of celebrity gossip and spent a lot of time eating breakfast tacos. At Whitman, she teaches classes in television, stardom, feminist media studies, and theory. She has published articles in the Journal of Film and Video, Television & New Media, Feminist Media Studies, Celebrity Studies, and Film & History, authored several book chapters, and writes a regular column on classic Hollywood for The Hairpin. Her first book, Scandals of Classic Hollywood, is forthcoming from Plume/Penguin in 2014.

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Andrea Burkhart  ’00

Thursday, Sept. 12th 4pm – 5pm.
Major: Philosophy

Andrea grew up in Washington’s Tri-Cities and she is a graduate of Whitman College. She attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, where she graduated summa cum laude. She served on the executive boards of the Law Review and the Moot Court Society, and is a published author. Andrea served as a law clerk to Washington Court of Appeals Judge Elaine Houghton in 2006-07. Andrea has experience in a wide range of legal issues. She gained significant courtroom experience as a public defender in Yakima, winning multiple jury trials and dismissal motions. She currently maintains a general practice, emphasizing criminal defense, appeals, water law, and real estate. Andrea is President of the Blue Mountain Land Trust, a member of the board of directors of the Walla Walla Symphony, a member of the Rotary Club, and she is on the Policy Advisory Group of the Walla Walla Watershed Management Partnership Board.

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Dr. Nicole Marshall ’00

4pm on Thursday, Sept 12th
Major: Biology and Chemistry

Dr. Marshall specializes in maternal-fetal medicine. Her current research focuses on placental function. Dr. Marshall chose a career in medicine to be able to help improve the lives of individuals on a daily basis. Her favorite part of her job is being a part of the joy surrounding delivery. Dr. Marshall was raised in Washington state and came to OHSU to be part of a healthcare system with wonderful clinical and research opportunities. “Pregnancy and childbirth are some of the most important times of our lives. Although most of the time everything goes well, I want to be able to help those individuals who face additional challenges in making these events possible.”

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Dr. Richard Simon ’72

4pm on Tuesday, Sept. 17th
Major: Chemistry

Richard Simon graduated from Whitman College in 1972 with a Chemistry degree. In the beginning of his medical career, he devoted most of his time to caring for HIV/AIDS patients and was the first doctor in Walla Walla to do so. He now works at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in the Kathryn Severyns Dement Sleep Disorders Center.

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Nina Buty ’97

12pm on Wednesday, Oct 2nd
Major: Studio Art

Nina Buty is the founder of Buty Winery, a Walla Walla-based winery that makes a small selection of acclaimed Washington State wines. These sought-after wines are made using grapes from a handful of renowned Washington winegrowing sites, including Nina’s own organic Rockgarden Estate. Buty was named Wine & Spirits “Winery of the Year” in both 2011 & 2012.
“I studied art history and geology at Whitman, and what’s interesting looking back is how much this foundation in both art and science ended up being relevant to Buty. When it comes to wine, the two are remarkably intertwined.”

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Dr. Chris Perdue ’93

4pm on Monday, Oct 7th
Major: Biology

Chris Perdue is from Moses Lake, WA and graduated from Whitman College in 1993. He has earned his MD/MPH and now works for the Public Health Service. He will be an O’Donnell Visiting Educator in Global Studies this October, look for his public lecture on “Global Health Surveillance against Emerging Pathogens”.

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Mark Anderson ’78

Friday, November 1st
Major: Studio Art

Mark was home grown in Walla Walla and graduated with a Studio Art Degree from Whitman College. He and his wife Patty have been married for 33 years and have raised two children at the property which is home to Stonemarker – their estate vineyard. Mark’s background is in art and entrepreneurial business, which explains his continued desire to explore the potential in new projects. Patty’s knowledge of accounting and business structure is the perfect complement to that creative side. Their first love is the arts, which is a large part of their lives as founders of the Walla Walla Foundry in 1980.

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Megan Clubb ’79

Wednesday, November 20th
4pm in Reid 207
Major: Economics

Megan Clubb is currently President and CEO of Baker Boyer Bank in Walla Walla which was established in 1869 making it the oldest banking institution in Washington State. Megan graduated with a degree in economics from Whitman College, Walla Walla. Megan and Marty met while in graduate school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. After graduating with a M.S. in Management and a wedding in Walla Walla, they began their business careers in San Francisco. Marty was a representative with Bechtel Development Company and Megan with Marakon Management Consulting. During the early winery years, Marty and Megan often returned in the fall to help Jean and Baker with harvest activities. In 1989 they took a leap of faith and moved to Walla Walla permanently, where Marty assumed responsibilities as manager and winemaker of L’Ecole N° 41.

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Kirsten Adams Gable ‘01

4pm on Thursday, Nov 7th
Major: Biology

Kirsten Adams Gable, Vice President of the alumni board, graduated from Whitman College in 2001. She majored in Biology, minored in Environmental Studies and received her MBA at Gonzaga in 2010. Kirsten has worked as a Management Consultant at Sapere Consulting for the past ten years. Their areas of expertise include business process improvement, organizational strategy, project planning and management, product strategy and development, and regulatory and policy analysis. Her work supports clients in the energy and natural resources sector. Clients range from large government entities to smaller local utilities. In addition, she heads Sapere’s Recruiting Committee.

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Erich Wolf ’02

Major: Economics

Mr. Wolf holds a B.A., Cum Laude in Economics with Honors from Whitman College and participated in the Business Bridge Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Erich Wolf is a Senior Consultant with over 10 years of professional experience in risk management, baseline development, strategic planning, and decision analysis. He has led and contributed to engagements with governmental, private and energy clients. Mr. Wolf’s work has included planning, development and management of project baselines, risk management and strategic planning for multi-million dollar projects. His diverse experience has included work on construction projects, facility disposition, fish propagation programs and LEED-certified buildings.

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Prof. Dana Leighton ’01

Major: Psychology

After completing his degree in psychology, Leighton earned his master’s in social psychology at the University of British Columbia and his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of Arkansas. he is currently an assistant professor of psychology at Marywood University in Pennsylvania.

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