Women in Leadership Symposium: A Yearly Tradition!

On October 22 from 4pm-5:30pm in the Reid Campus Center Ballroom Whitman will host the annual Women in Leadership Symposium to celebrate and share the leadership achievements of three accomplished women in their respective fields. Co-sponsered by Colleen Willoughby ’55 and Whitman College, this event will also allow Whitman women the opportunity to connect with and ask questions of these inspirational individuals. Grace Chien, Kristen Eddings, and Heather Tarr bring years of experience in leadership in their careers and in their respective communities. Below is a brief biography of each of these accomplished women.

Grace Chien

Grace Chien

Prior to retiring, Grace Chien was the Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Western Washington (GSWW).  During her tenure, GSWW provided an array of leadership programs to 26,000 girls through the guidance of 12,000 volunteers in western Washington.  Since retiring Grace has turned her full attention to her personal volunteer commitments and currently serves on the boards of the Group Health Foundation, the Washington Women’s Foundation, and the Washington Athletic Club.  An active member of Seattle Rotary #4, she also serves on the Seattle Rotary Service Foundation.  An alumnus of Leadership Tomorrow, she is a member of the Curriculum Committee.  She has also served as an appointee of the Governor on the Washington State Commission for National and Community Service which oversees Americorps program in the state.  Grace is a graduate of WSU and received her Juris Doctorate and Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington.  She is also an alumna of the Executive Development Institute and was recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as a Woman of Distinction in 2006 and by the Northwest Asian Weekly as a Woman of Color Empowered in 2007.  Grace and her husband are the proud parents of two adult daughters, one of whom got married in August and the other who started her PHD program this fall.  When she is not volunteering, Grace is working on getting in shape to run her first 10K, learning how to play golf, and traveling.  In 2015 she will be traveling to Buenos Aires with Habitat for Humanity to participate in her first build.

Kristen Eddings

Kristen (Eddings) Tetteh

Kristen Eddings directs communications for the Washington Global Health Alliance. She manages WGHA’s community partnership with the Seattle Sounders FC and brought a team delegation to observe global health projects in Tanzania. She co-founded WGHA’s Party for the Health of It (formerly Party with a Purpose) which engaged 3100 young people in global health. Kristen was honored by Seattle Met Magazine as the 2013 “Emerging Leader” in the Light a Fire awards and was recently named Seattle Pacific University’s “2015 Young Alumnus of the Year.” She was featured in the book, “Ten Ways to Change the World in Your 20s”. She shared a speaking platform with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and has spoken at events for World Vision, Seattle CityClub, Washington Women’s Foundation and the Northwest Development Officers Association.  She received a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Seattle Pacific University. Kristen and her husband Michael live in West Seattle with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Finnley.

Heather Tarr

Heather Tarr

Heather Tarr will enter her eleventh year at the helm of the Husky Softball team in 2015. Tarr has compiled an overall record of 401-179-1 with her alma mater. In 2014, UW made their 21st consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 10th straight under the leadership of Tarr. The Huskies hosted the Regional tournament for the 5th consecutive year and for a 6th time in Tarr’s 10 seasons. Tarr earned her 400th win after defeating Northwestern, 9-0 in five innings to make their seventh consecutive Super Regionals appearance. Tarr guided the Huskies to their ninth Super Regional berth in her tenure.
In 2012, Tarr led the Huskies to a 39-19 record and the right to host the NCAA Regional. UW went 3-0 in that regional and advanced to face No. 1 and Pac-12 foe Cal in Berkeley. It was the 19th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance for the Huskies.

Come and meet and engage with three phenomenal women leaders!



Whitman Internship Grant Celebration Dinner

By: Annie Boyenneh ’16

WIG Dinner-11During the summer, I was the Program Officer intern at a non-profit organization, called Mobility Outreach International that is dedicated to helping the developing world walk. My experience working at this organization was life-changing. I learned so much about global health, built my professional network and even discovered my passion for public health.

WIG Dinner-3

This invaluable experience would not have been possible without the Student Engagement Center providing me with an internship grant. I was not the only student who shared this gratitude. During the Whitman Internship Grant celebration dinner, many students shared their experiences interning in the US and abroad. At the dinner, we sat together in groups of 8-10 students and shared our internship experience. We were given questions relating to our academic and professional growth, internship challenges, what we gained and how the SEC could have better assisted us during our internship. Listening to others talk about their internship experience and personal growth was very rewarding, because I reflected on my personal growth and also the growth of my peers. I thought the dinner was a good way of ending the summer internship program, because it was a time of reflection, and a time of growth.

Explore! Connect! Launch! 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 4th Year Fall Career Workshops: It’s never too early to start exploring your future!

There are several steps in the development of making decisions towards a major and a profession. It is never too early to start to think about this. These steps can generally corroborate with four years of the college experience, although different students will progress at different paces. It’s a time to explore and understand what matters to you most, and to learn as much as possible about the potential majors and careers available in your fields of interest.

To this end, three awesome workshops were offered to students during the week of Sept.15-19. With the goal of connecting to students and supplying them with information about the SEC and all the services we provide, we set about developing workshops focused on students by year.

!st Year Fall Workshop

First Year students engage in learning how to connect to resources through the Student Engagement Center

The FIRST YEAR workshop titled Navigating Whitman, looked at how to connect, investigate, and do some self-assessment. We identified ways for students to evaluate their interests, skills, and values. Ideally this will help them get a better understanding of who they are and to start looking at classes, and possible internships to help them identify majors they might be interested in. We asked them to target ways that they can gain exposure and experience in career fields through experiences provided campus wide. It is never too early to ask questions and begin exploring! The SEC can help them to develop their resume, practice interview skills and so much more.

Second and Third Year Fall Workshop

Second and Third Years listen intently as they explore ways to develop skills for major and career exploration

The SECOND and THIRD YEAR workshop was all about Digging Deeper into Whitman. They have now been at Whitman for a couple of years and have different experiences and questions. Exploration and Experimentation was the focus of the day. Interacting with people on campus and beginning to develop networking skills with alumni and people in business was identified as a major focus. Using the internet and other resources was reinforced as a way to gather information about career fields, alumni working in those fields, and the academic preparation which would be helpful to propel them forward into the working world. Accessing Whitman Online, developing a LinkedIn profile, applying for spring and summer internships, thinking about study abroad options, job shadowing and informational interviews were just a few of the unique ways they could connect with the SEC to move forward. Also a reminder to sophomores about our special Soph-Serve Drop-in hours on Fridays from 3-5 in the SEC

Fourth Year Fall Workshop

Fourth Years start the launch into their lives after graduation!

The FOURTH YEAR workshop, Life After Whitman, encouraged seniors to finalize and prepare their ideas, to initiate their plans for life after graduating, and to launch out into the world of work or graduate school. We emphasized that not everyone is going to know exactly what it is they want to do right at this moment, but that the SEC could help guide them through this process. The focus of this workshop was to connect, ask questions, attend upcoming graduate school fairs and information sessions presented by employers, and prepare for face-to-face interviews. We also talked about preparing for the graduate school entrance exams and to be aware of deadlines! And that there is no such thing as too much networking!

Overall the workshops were a great success. We had about 60 students attend and from that, many have already come in for follow up appointments in the SEC. A great start to our year! We look forward to working with more students and helping them develop their own personal map towards life after Whitman!


What does “networking” have to do with me??

Networking… building relationships… connecting with professionals… these phrases have come up in many SEC discussions and workshops at Whitman over the past year.  But what does it mean??  Why do Whitman students and alumni alike find themselves encouraged to connect with industry professionals more and more through events and outreach?

Some recent statistics –

  • 80 percent of all jobs are filled before they are ever advertised


  • Based on recent reports by the Economic Policy Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 25.3% of recent college grads find themselves unemployed or underemployed, while 44% of grads 22-27 years old are working in positions that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.

Building relationships with people who can help inform your understanding of the professional landscape and have the ear of hiring managers will aid you in finding and landing positions that utilize the breadth of your education in organizations whose values match your own.  Knowing how to reach people who share your interests and passions can help you connect in industries and organizations now, but will be a valuable skill to use throughout your entire professional life.  The below article illustrates how two established entrepreneurs connected at a holiday event and built a relationship that benefited both of their organizations.


As I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many Whitman alumni over the course of my first year here, the one consistency that rings true is the influence of other professionals in securing or succeeding in a new role.  Pairing this with the broad education and exceptional communication skills that a Whitman education offers and you have a powerful combination to take you where you wish to go.


If you weren’t able to join the Whitties Helping Whitties networking events on campus last Friday, please contact the SEC to learn about the many ways we can help students and alumni expand professional relationships – both online and at future WHW events