MLK Jr. Day of Service 2016

115On Saturday, January 23rd, over 100 students, faculty, staff, and community members went out for an early morning of service projects. The day of service was the final installment in our campus’ week-long celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Members of the Whitman community connected with 12 different Walla Walla organizations putting in hundreds of hours of collaborative effort, but they also joined people in spirit from across the country as national days of service were organized throughout these past two weeks.

DSC_0346MLK, Jr. once told us that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” The kind of collaborative community service work that happened last Saturday is certainly one among many ways to respond to his question. Students at Whitman resonate on some level with this urgency every time they volunteer, every time they spend an hour working in the community for the mutual benefit of others when they could be studying. We choose to do it now, we choose to put others first because we agree with Dr. King: it simply cannot wait.

“An individual has not started living fully until they can rise above
the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity. Every person must decide, at some point, whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Make a Difference Day 2015

There were 74 members of the Whitman community participating in Make a Difference Day this past Saturday, including students, staff, and faculty. IMG_5187We partnered with 17 community organizations this year, which may be a record breaker! Thank you so much to these organizations* for collaborating with us on this event, all of us are grateful for the opportunity to engage with our broader community here in Walla Walla. The gallery below has pictures from almost every one of these projects, but I want to share in particular some highlights from our volunteers’ reflections on the day. The most rewarding parts of some folks’ morning included: “learning that some of the food from the garden would be used to improve school nutritional options,” for another it was “finding a new organization with a cause that I really care about,” or IMG_5186“helping get a school garden up and running smoothly so it will be able to produce yummy snacks and valuable education for students for years to come!” and another student enjoyed “supporting local organizations that I love (like the library)! Giving back to people who give so much!” Participating in Make a Difference Day inspired one volunteer to want to “participate in a service project in Walla Walla for an extended period of time or make lasting connections with community partners.”  We are grateful to all of the volunteers and our community partners for helping us make this event a great success.  For more information on Make a Difference Day or to learn how to get involved in service, please email

*Our Wonderful Community Partners for Make a Difference Day: Walla Walla Housing Authority, Habitat for Humanity, The Children’s Museum of Walla Walla, The American Red Cross, Fort Walla Walla Museum, Friends of Children, Walla Walla Hospice, Berney Elementary School Garden, Odd Fellows, Care-a-Lot Center, Girls Council, Elks Highway Clean Up, Walla Walla Public Library, Green Park Elementary School Garden, Shaprstein Elementary School Garden, Builder’s ReSupply, andEdison Elementary School Garden.

Recruiting at Whitman – business, State Department, service and grad school

Koru… US State Department… Grad schools… Peace Corps

Whitman students are inspired by a variety of careers, internships, experiences and opportunities.  From East Coast to West Coast, US and abroad, organizations are interested in Whitman students and they are recruiting for roles in marketing, finance, consulting, business analytics, service, grad school, foreign service, design, and more. Here is a list of organizations and dates that are confirmed right now:koru_logo-02-01

October 12thKoru | Reid G-02| 12:00, Lunch Provided – Whitman students and grads have a long story of success with this organization.  Whether you’re interested in their 4-week intensive program, the 2-week X-program, or their new FREE online Job Finder, Courtney Sanford ’12 will be here to share more will you.  A free workshop will follow at 4:00 PM in Reid 240 if you cannot make the noon session.

October 13th US Foreign Service | Reid 240 | 12:15, BYO Lunch – dos-fbConsidering a career abroad?  Consider the Foreign Service.  Ambassador Lew Lukens will be on campus to discuss careers with the State Department and their recruiting protocol.  If you’re considering a role in diplomacy with the US government, you will not want to miss this opportunity to speak with the former Ambassador to Senegal.

October 14th Pacific Rim Constructors| Reid 240 | 12:15, BYO Lunch –

PRC image PRC image 2International careers are again the focus with this organization run by Bill Davis ’88.  They are doing work in Russia, Mongolia and South Africa, the US and Kazikstan.  Learn more about this unique opportunity for students that are driven, hard-working and looking to immerse themselves in an international opportunity – Seniors, please.

October 15th Grad School Fair | Young Ballroom, Reid Center | 12:00-3:00 – This fair is planned to be a no-pressure opportunity to gather information, talk to admissions offices and learn more about the opportunities to continue your education beyond undergrad.

Curious to learn more about the application and financial aid process?  Join the field-specific panels scheduled from 11-12:

Law School Panel – Reid 240 | Pre-Health Panel – Hunter 205

Business School Panel – Reid 110 | Education Panel – Reid 207

Juniors and Seniors don’t miss this!

October 16th Peace Corps | Reid G02, BYO Lunch | 12:15 US-PeaceCorps-Logo– Whitman graduates have a long history of amazing adventures, positive experiences and continued success with the Peace Corps.  Travel, service and more – come hear about how you can join Peace Corps. Open to all classes, all majors.


And yet to come… Facebook, Scribe America, The Spur Group, and Goldman Sachs.  Stay tuned to the NEW SEC Recruiting Calendar for times, locations and more recruiters, or e-mail for more info.

Whitman hosts first annual career center event

Originally Published by Whitman Communications
May 18, 2015

Career Center EventThis past Friday, career center administrators from 15 colleges around Washington state met in the Reid Campus Center ballroom to discuss their work connecting students with professional development opportunities.

“Getting together with your professional colleagues from different schools provides for a wealth of new ideas, support and engagement in trends for career counseling, advising and networking,” Assistant Director for Career Development Gayle Townsend ’80 said.

The morning consisted of a session addressing key issues for career centers, including living/learning communities, bridge-to-work programs, career trends, conferences and more.

This was followed by a discussion with four students (two from Whitman, two from Walla Walla University), who joined the group to give some insight into how career centers can best engage with students.

Whitman student and economics major Susanna Bowers ’15 (pictured above) has worked in Whitman’s Student Engagement Center for the past three years. She got a spring internship with the Walla Walla Sweets baseball team and a summer internship with Alaska Airlines.

“I wouldn’t have had such a great experience without the SEC,” she said. After she graduates, Bowers has a job with Expedia, which she credits to her experiences with her past internships.

“I feel like a lot of my friends don’t know what services we offer,” she added, suggesting that students should have to produce a resume after their first semester of college just to get them started.

Tyler Sherman, a junior business major from Walla Walla University, agreed, commenting that the key to engaging with students is awareness. This past summer, he interned for the Washington State legislature. To get this job, he relied on the Walla Walla University career center for help.

“I appreciated the help navigating the job search. David [Lindstrom, the director of the career development center,] coached me through the interview, resume and so much more,” he said, but wished that he had known about the resources available to him from the start of his college experience.

After the student panel, employers from both sides of the state replaced the students to discuss what employers want from recent college graduates.

Townsend said of the student panel, “[We learned that] it is incredibly important to connect with first-year students right at the beginning. Being accessible and familiar to students will increase their tendency to seek out help from the Student Engagement Center. Also [to] tap into ideas from current interns and office employees working in the SEC to find out what they think is on student’s minds and what they are concerned about.”

The group moved to Walla Walla University after lunch to discuss the future of college career centers, which they did in small groups until the end of the day.

“Developing professional relationships with career center staffs from schools around the state provides a connection that is invaluable to professional development in our profession,” Townsend said.

Community Service Year-End Celebration


Romanita Hairston, Vice President for US Programs for World Vision ( spent an engaging day on campus this past Monday, May 11, listening and responding to students from the service, faith and social justice orientation which informed her about both the Whitman and the Walla Walla communities. Through telling stories about herself coming from a poor childhood in Arkansas to being  the national leader she is today on child well-building and community transformation, Romanita compelled us to continue to “make service a life-choice, not a vocational choice.”

Over 120 Whitman students who participated in service events, trips, weekly programs,  internships, and fellowships in the local community were honored and thanked for being “actionists” – people who, at the end of the day are willing to do something for someone else. Also, prestigious Community Service awards were given to the following volunteers for outstanding and exceptional participation:

America Reads/Counts – Marci Parra

Adopt a Grandparent – Mary Welter

The Buddy Program – Isabel Mills

College Coaches – Clara Merlino

Events and Reflection – Nicole Hodgkinson

Green Park Bilingual – Carrie Walker

Mentor program – Alex Waheed and Callie Brown

Science Outreach – Willem Rasmussen

Spring Break Service Trips – Sarah Dunn (participant) and Molly Emmet (leader)

Storytime – Ali Holmes

Whitman Teaches the Movement – Drew Edmonds

Attendees were left with questions to ponder both individually, and in community – What is shaping you?  What do you worship?  Are you willing to be a person of paradox who is willing to be uncomfortable with the coexistence of both pain and hope?

Unsolicited feedback has been so very positive about this year-end celebration of service.  As Rachel Palfini shared, “… in my religion class, multiple people told me how much they enjoyed Romanita’s key note. One student had mentioned that at these types of events, she knows what to expect from the key note, but how Romanita surprised her and really tackled tough issues in a lighthearted manner. Great job on getting us a fantastic key note addressee!”

In President Bridge’ final Union Bulletin article, he thanked the Walla Walla community for welcoming “Whitman volunteers into schools, community organizations and agencies which helps the College achieve the well-rounded education we define as part of our institutional mission.”