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THE CIRCUIT 2013 GRADUATION ISSUE a publication of the whitman pioneer



‘ve sat down to write this letter half a dozen times, but it’s always seemed like an impossible task. My predecessors, sitting where I am today, have reflected elegantly on their time at Whitman and spoken about how much running The Pioneer and producing The Circuit have shaped their college experiences. These sentiments are no less true for me—without a doubt, The Pio has been the defining aspect of my college life. During my time here, I’ve gotten to interview the likes of Dan Savage and Rigoberta Menchú, received a national college journalism award and used my experience to get a real job at a daily newspaper. I’ve also had days where work kept me busy from 7 a.m. until midnight, nights spent curled up in a ball crying from sheer exhaustion and weeks where I relied on the promise of hugs and homecooked meals from my friends to find the strength to get out of bed. At Whitman as in the rest of the world, people with long lists of impressive accomplishments or leadership titles are held up as examples. But if there’s one thing my work on this campus has taught me, it’s that we’re only as good as the community that holds us up. During my time here, friends, classmates, professors and colleagues have supported me in more ways than I can count, by listening, caring, distracting, feeding, encouraging and inspiring. And while my experiences aren’t universal, I’m willing to bet that all leaders on this campus, whether they’re running ASWC, editing a publication or doing groundbreaking research, have only been able to achieve what they have with the love and support of others. Support work isn’t often acknowledged. It doesn’t raise your GPA and it can’t be put on a resume, but it’s absolutely vital for the structural integrity of a campus built on achievement. I’m immensely grateful to everyone who has allowed me to accomplish what I have while at Whitman, and I hope that someday, we can recognize how many friends cooking dinner or offering a shoulder to cry on are contained within a groundbreaking newspaper article. Rachel Alexander Editor-in-Chief


Production Manager


Production Associates

Rachel Alexander Adam Brayton Alex Brott Aleida Fernandez Karah Kemmerly Shelly Le Emily Lin-Jones

Web Editor

Blair Hanley Frank

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Illustration Editor Julie Peterson

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Sean McNulty

Callan Carow Maddi Coons Molly Johanson Madison Munn Annie Robison

Chief Copy Editor Marisa Ikert

Copy Editors Chloe Kaplan Matthew Nelson Katie Steen

The Circuit is a publication of the Whitman Pioneer.


The Pioneer is an entirely student-run publication published under the auspices of the Associated Students of Whitman College. Questions and letters to the editor can be submitted to editors@ All submissions must be attributed and may be edited for concision and fluency.

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Writing culture on campus


ERIC & LILY IDLE Senior Profiles


pg. 14

Matriculation list 20


What will you miss about Whitman?

TheCircuit | 3

Creative Voices of Whitman writing culture on campus


t is no secret that the Whitman community is one full of passionate people.

As a prospective student, I decided to come to Whitman for that reason. Whitties are all really interested in something and they pursue these interests passionately and humbly. Whether meeting environmental activists, artists, nonprofit starters, feminists or musicians, a walk across campus promises encounters with a variety of people who really know a lot

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about what they love. Among these passionate people is an incredibly strong culture of creative writers. This culture is fostered through student organizations devoted to the pursuit of literary arts, including blue moon, quarterlife and the slam poetry team Almighty Ink. Each year, many Whitman writers submit poetry and prose to campus publications so that they can share their work with other Whitman students. Some of these talented literary artists even work beyond the scope of these campus groups. Creative writing culture may be somewhat of an underground movement, but its members and followers are more active than ever.

by Sarah Cornett One of these creative minds is senior Jonas Myers. Myers is arguably one of the most well-known faces on campus: His involvement in the music department, membership in student band Humans Being and participation in Mr. Whitman have made him and his Buddy Holly glasses a recognizable presence. Writing is one of his many passions. He is currently pursuing writing by completing a novel for his creative thesis in the English department. Only a small number of students

choose to write creative theses each year, and this year Myers is one of five. He has worked on perfecting his style by taking a number of classes fostering fictional writing in the department. “I signed up for Intro to Creative Writing with [Associate Professor of English] Scott Elliott, who’s now my adviser. I was thrilled to get a chance to finally write what I wanted to write. And then I realized, wait, this is really, really hard. And that only made me want to do it more,” he said. Courses like the creative writing offerings in the English department allow students like Myers to explore something they weren’t always able to in high school. Many students find opportunities to express themselves creatively only in English classes in elementary and middle school. Ironically enough, when many high school students are overwhelmed with angst and ever-changing emotions, there are rarely any concrete opportunities within a high school curriculum to foster creative expression. Preparing students for Advanced Placement tests and placing emphasis on the perfect essay limits teenage writers in a really important time of development. Myers recalls some of the difficulties he faced in high school. “I loved creative writing in elementary and middle school. I would try to write the funniest thing I could to make my friends laugh,” he said. “In high school everything was so focused on working up to the AP tests and writing the formula essay, which, you know, is such crap.” Having the opportunity to take structured courses about writing and to work with an adviser who has written and published his own novels has helped Myers to become more confident in his own writing. He might even pursue publishing his thesis novel after graduation. “I really like the idea [of] having guidance from a published novelist ... I also recognize that this is my first attempt at a novel. This might have to be a throw-away novel. Like the first waffle.” Myers is not the first Whitman student to work on a novel while attending school. Alumna Maggie Allen ‘12 had two books published before she even graduated. Allen, an environmental studies-sociology major, began work on her first novel after being inspired by

a particularly memorable dream in high school. She went on to extend this dream into the creation of a young adult fiction trilogy. “I actually wrote the first [book] my senior year of high school. It just came from a couple cool dreams I had at night and I wrote them down. I would do that growing up, but these were interesting enough that I was able to write a really long story, long enough to be turned into a short novel,” she said. Her series revolves around a teenage girl who travels to Africa and is simultaneously caught up in a supernatural world. A boy gets involved, and together they try to figure out how to escape it. The second novel in the trilogy was released while Allen was a sophomore at Whitman. For Allen, balancing school and writing was often a difficult task. Whitties with many passions sometimes have trouble juggling them between classes and extracurricular activities. Writing was a way for Allen to procrastinate and release her emotions whenever she felt the urge to jot down a plot twist. “In college, writing often happened when I was avoiding work. Sometimes you get a random inspiration and sneak in a couple paragraphs during class. Really, most of my writing came during the summer and on breaks,” she said. Her books, “The Return” and “The Revival: Book Two of the Totoboan Trilogy,” are available in the Whitman Bookstore. She is making progress on the third installment, while simultaneously working as an Americorps volunteer in Oregon. Many Whitties also devote their talents to poetry. Junior Noah Orgish is one of these poets, and he plans to finish a poetry compilation for his thesis in the English Department. Orgish, a resident assistant in Jewett Hall, has his fair share of excitement. We met in the Jewett main lounge amidst the cries of the men’s lacrosse team outside and the knocking sounds made by lost projectiles against the glass. Because of his RA responsibilities, it is sometimes hard for him to find time to write, but that doesn’t stop him. He explores a variety of interesting and offbeat themes in his work, including that of language as an inefficient means of expression. “I’ve become very interested in language itself as a tool to express things,

TheCircuit | 5

Pio For The Holidays and how inadequate it is. But it’s the tool that I still use and feel the most comfortable using,” he said. His work also fosters his own sense of self. He uses poetry as a medium to explore and enhance his religious background. For Orgish, writing is almost as a religious exercise in itself. “Judaism also comes into poetry as well, and experiences I’ve had, and thoughts ... Poetry has kind of become connected to my Judaism. The act of creative writing feels very Jewish to me. Sometimes I’ll write something that has more explicitly to do with Judaism, but the act of expressing those things feels very Jewish. Sometimes I’ll use Hebrew in my poems,” he said. Like Myers, Orgish described the creative process as a challenging experience. For him, emotions in a poem are often difficult to convey, especially when words don’t seem adequate. “It’s definitely hard. I need to work on the revising process, and that is what’s hardest for to me. Getting it to be what I want it to be is sometimes the most frus-

trating. But that’s also the part that’s the most rewarding.” Orgish feels that Whitman writers are often fairly quiet about their work, and he’d like to see more discussion and collaboration between them. Viewing Whitman’s writing culture as “underground” is not uncommon. When a new edition of a campus publication is released, many students are surprised to see their peers’ work in print. Just as many Whitties are modest about their academic and personal achievements, many writers don’t speak openly about their creative pursuits, particularly when these pursuits are as personal as poetry. “Outside of my poetry class, writing isn’t talked about. You see people published in blue moon, and [say], ‘Oh, I didn’t know you wrote.’ I think it would be cool to talk about it more, to work together with someone on your work outside of class,” he said. Later this year, Orgish’s work will be published in Spillway, a poetry magazine based in Orange County, Calif. After he graduates from Whitman, he plans

to continue writing and possibly to explore a career in teaching, but he’s ready to do anything that comes his way. “I really have no idea what I don’t want to do with my life,” he said. “Page poetry” like Orgish’s is certainly not the only poetry showcased at Whitman. About a dozen committed students participate in Almighty Ink, Whitman’s renowned slam poetry group. Sophomore Devyani Gupta is the Almighty Ink president and a poet herself. Although slam poetry is distinct from traditional poetry, she feels that it is important to remember that it’s part of writing culture. She felt impassioned to represent her team, a group of people she obviously cares about. “I feel like there’s this expectation that poets should all be English majors, or slam poetry is rap, or the reason why it’s not page poetry is that it’s too boisterous. Just because it’s not page poetry, that doesn’t mean it’s not creative writing,” she said. Many people believe slam poetry is all about hardship and suffering one has


We will miss you at Penrose Library! Congratulations to our senior library assistants: Tia Butler Molly Esteve Erin Flannery Jack Hardiman Jeremy Howell Ross Kendrick Jennifer Lopez Rosie Loring Vincent Peterson Katy Witmer

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endured, presented in a form using the same techniques and vocal patterns and rhythms. Almighty Ink tries to get people to think beyond those classifications by recruiting poets with an incredibly diverse body of work. “Last year’s president, [alumnus] Elijah Singer [‘12], said something I’ll never forget about slam. He said, ‘You stand up on stage, you unload your own personal baggage or the baggage of someone else, [and] then you leave,’” said Gupta. Because slam poems are performed in front of an audience, the medium makes it difficult for writers to distance themselves from the experiences described in their work. Poets remove all barriers in what can be an extremely emotional and powerful performance on sensitive social and personal issues. “You don’t have anonymity. Even if I’ve done a poem about a friend, people ask if it’s me,” Gupta said. At team meetings, the group will use a number of different writing techniques to get thoughts flowing. These can include timed freewrites and team

critiques following the presentation of poems. Members try their best to make everyone perform the best work they can perform. “A lot of times we’ll try to write poems in our meetings where we invent a story that didn’t happen to [us]. It’s easy to write about the baggage. We walk this fine line between nurturing and pestering each other. If you start to disclaim your poem, we’ll scream at you. We’re making each other better, more as a team rather than a club,” said Gupta. Because other writers on campus rarely do in-person readings of their work, members of Almighty Ink often feel that they are the most visible aspect of writing culture on campus, and there is an element of vulnerability that comes with that feeling. There’s a divide in the page and slam poetry communities, which is unsurprising because poets in each group have vastly different methods of execution. Slam poets often garner more attention from their work because they share it in person with an audience, unlike a writer who is published in blue

moon or quarterlife. “Because the slam poets are there, they become a spectacle. We feel like a spectacle sometimes. There’s a lack of understanding for both sides [at] Whitman as a whole, how they understand page poetry versus slam poetry. It’s like in your face versus underground,” said Gupta. Still, the slam team has grown significantly in recent years. Almighty Ink has performed not only at campus events, but also at community events, like open microphone nights at the Patisserie and a Planned Parenthood event. Gupta feels there is something really powerful about watching your peers and friends break away a barrier of civility and politeness to release raw energy and feeling, and that high student attendance at campus events speaks to this. Slam has become a way for creative writing culture to push the boundaries of poetry into the realm of performance art, and it has caught students’ attention. “We’re really excited the campus has accepted us so much,” she said. C


The English Department warmly congratulates its majors on their graduation. We are proud and delighted to have been part of your successful journey. TheCircuit | 7

Sitting down with the Idles:

Eric and Lily The Pioneer: Do you ever sign body parts? Eric Idle: Only if they’re dead. I don’t like to sign living body parts … What made you say that? Pio: To me, it seems that celebrities are always signing body parts. Eric: I’m not really a celebrity; I’m just vestigially left over from doing stuff from before. (Laughs.) I try to not to be a celebrity as much as possible. Pio: Do you want to give us an idea for what your commencement speech is going to be about? Eric: No! (Laughs.) I’ll write it next week. I’m finding out the logistics and see[ing] what’s going on. After that I’ll concentrate on it. I’ve never written one before, I’ve never been to one. I have no idea what they’re about… Pio: Neither have I. Eric: At least you’re American. Pio: They don’t have those in England? Eric: At Cambridge, you have to kiss the vice-chancellor’s fingers. But I missed out on that, ‘cause I was doing a matinee. I don’t want to kiss a strange man’s fingers anyway. Only graduations I’ve been to [are Lily’s] kindergarten, junior school and high school. I gave the same speech at all three. Pio: What was that speech? Eric: Avoid strange body parts. (Laughs.) Pio: Perhaps I should talk about cricket. Eric: I get a degree for this, you know. It’s rather nice of them to

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Interview by Kyle Seasly do that. Pio: What are your favorite memories growing up with each other? Lily Idle: I think that I have a lot of fun memories of the pirate filming. Eric: She was about this high and we were filming with Leslie Nielsen. We were filming it for Sea World and Busch Gardens; I believe it was called “Pirates 4D.” Lily: We pranked this guy at the amusement park, too. They were taking volunteers at the amusement park as sort of this interactive thing, volunteer to throw confetti on. We had practiced our timing, so we would count “one, two, three” and I would duck. [And it would go into the audience.] Eric: Filming a pirate film is always good fun, with ships and indecent clothing.

Pio: What’s your favorite piece of clothing to wear on film? Eric: Nightgown, toga. Something Roman or Greek. Lily: You’ve worn a lot of costumes. Eric: There’s nothing that I haven’t worn. It’s insane. My life has been wasted getting into other people’s clothing. Pio: What do you think about modern comedy? “South Park” is said to be influenced by Monty Python. Eric: I don’t like animation. I hate animation, actually. I interviewed Matt [Stone] and Trey [Parker], actually, and I got to ask them questions. I love them deeply because they appeared dressed as J-Lo and someone else [who had worn the same scandalous dresses the year before at the Oscars]. They confessed they were on acid. (Laughs.) They said it was so funny until they got to the Academy Awards. Then they realized they were in full drag. It took them a half an hour to get out of the car. (Laughs.) They’re very good; I like those boys a lot. I don’t necessarily know much about comedy, I don’t spend a lot of time watching it. Mainly because all my life for about 50 years I’ve had comedy. When we’re here, I like to go see the boys and girls. What are they called? Lily: Varsity Nordic. Pio: Did you do a lot of writing early on in your career? Eric: I still do. It’s about writing for me. Not very fond of improv. Pio: What advice would you give for writing comedy? Eric: It’s fun writing, but the secret of writing is rewriting. Throw away and refine, get it down. Then, of course, you have to try it out on people. It’s about the audience and people reading it. Even if you’ve written something for print, I think it’s good to try [it] out on someone because it changes. You can think it’s hilarious and they can tell you it’s not. (Laughs.) And it’s better to find that out sooner rather than later. That would be my only tip. I got locked into a tradition [at Cambridge] of doing comedy. When we graduated, we were grabbed right into television. I was grabbed straight into the practice of writing comedy. It was all writing and performing. You wrote something in order for you to perform it. There’s no gap between the writer and the performer,

Lily: I’m really excited. My friend Tasha, her dad was the speaker at her graduation; I was always very envious. I didn’t know how to go about it: “Hi, we should have my dad be the speaker.” Way better than past years. Eric: I said I would, but I had to ask her first, because it’s not my day, it’s her day. I didn’t want to be big Mr. Ego walking around. But then they said, “You know, you could give her her diploma,” and I said, “Aw, well, that would be a lifetime experience. I’ll ask Lily and then I’ll get back to you.” I’ve never been to a commencement. Her friend Tasha is Tasha Goldthwait, and her dad is Bobcat Goldthwait and he did a particularly brilliant thing. He just did Oprah’s commencement speech word for word. Lily: Why, is that [why] you wanted to go to Wellesley-Hampshire college?

Pio: What’s it been like having Eric Idle be your dad? Has it changed from childhood to Whitman? Lily: It’s been interesting, to say the least. Family gatherings and things were strange. (Laughs.) During the teen panic years I felt a little overshadowed. Then I realized my friends were friends for me, and if anyone has any ulterior motives then they’re not really worth my time. It’s been fun, an adventure. High school with “Spamalot” was a unique experience. I would go hang out backstage. Eric: One of the reasons we moved to L.A. in the first place [was] so that it was no big deal that I was in show business. We decided if we move[d] to L.A., then everyone in one way or another was involved in it. It worked out, it wasn’t a big deal. Don’t want to turn into mini-me. Lily: All he said my entire life was, “Don’t act, don’t act, stay away from show business. It’s the worst.” Eric: It’s good advice. Lily: Going to a set, I would be like, “This is so cool, maybe I should do this.” He would say, “No, no.” Pio: When was the last time you were interviewed by a college newspaper? Eric: I don’t know, you get interviewed when you’re out promoting something. So, I guess ... We went on tour in 2003, so that’s when we talk[ed] to them. Pio: What was your favorite Monty Python film to work on? Eric: I don’t think there was one. Lily: If it was a movie, he probably didn’t like it. Eric: I hate movies. They’re so boring. So tedious. Pio: You preferred “Flying Circus”? Eric: I liked doing live things, and with the Circus we had a live audience. I like doing live things and plays. You can perfect the laugh or extend the laugh, you can get them on a roll. Versus improv, which I hate. Put it all together. They’re more vignettes. Improv makes me slightly anxious because I feel for them.

which is what I think makes [Monty] Python unique. Five or six people who write Python and five or six who act it. That’s what makes it unique. Pio: Lily, how do you feel about your dad giving your commencement speech?

Pio: Final thoughts? Eric: I get to be the first doctor in the family [because of the honorary degree they’re giving me]. Lily: I think “always look on the bright side of life” is a good motto.


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Your guide to



ome June, the Whitman campus can start to look a bit deserted. However, as anyone who’s stayed on campus over a break can attest, Walla Walla doesn’t actually shut down just because Whitman’s not in session. If you’re a grad who’s sticking around for a few months, or a student who has summer plans in Walla Walla, don’t fear: There’s plenty to do once classes let out. Here are our picks for having a funfilled summer, with or without a car.



f you’re a music lover, the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation hosts a summer concert series every Saturday and Sunday from 4-7 p.m. at the Land Title Plaza on 1st and Main. Sure, it’s not Sasquatch, but you can listen to local bands and enjoy the cooler summer evenings, all for free. A listing of concerts can be found at the Foundation’s website, Summer blockbusters are always fun, but if you want something a bit different, try checking out a live show or indie film. The Liberty Theater in Dayton brings in a mix of current movies and more obscure indie and foreign films, with a different movie screening each week, listed on their website. It’s about half an hour east on Highway 12—the highway will turn into Main Street once you get into Dayton, and the theater is on the right just across from the courthouse. You can also check out live theater within walking distance of campus. The Little Theatre is hosting “The Foreigner,” a play involving the unlikely escapades of two strangers who meet in a rural Georgia fishing lodge. Shows run May 31-June 15. If you’d rather hear music, the Powerhouse Theatre is bringing the IV Tenors in to sing hits from Broadway, country, classical, pop and rock from May 30-June 9. Tickets can be ordered via their website and are available for as little as $12.

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ans of watching people crash into each other have a lot to look forward to this summer. Walla Walla’s own rollergirls, the Sweets, will have two home bouts on June 1 and 29. Tickets are available on their website,, and can be purchased at the door. If women on roller skates isn’t your thing, the county fairgrounds is also hosting a demolition derby Sunday, June 9 at 1 p.m. You can check out the other special events on the Walla Walla Fairgrounds website. (There’s a goat tying clinic in late July you won’t want to miss.) If you’re a baseball fan (or have ever thought of becoming one), the Walla Walla Sweets will be playing home games all summer. Tickets are a steal—$8 if you preorder online or $9 at the game. Casual fans of the sport might appreciate the annual Battle of the Badges, where Walla Walla’s police and fire departments face off to earn money for charity. The event takes place Saturday, June 1 with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tickets can be purchased from the police station, the fire department or the Sweets shop on Main St. Of course, you can always get in-

volved in your own athletic activities. Walla Walla’s Parks and Recreation department offers a variety of programs throughout the summer, including adult sports leagues. Check out the city’s website and head to Parks and Recreation for a full course catalog, including art and ukelele classes and opportunities to coach or referee youth soccer. The area around Walla Walla is also home to world-class hiking opportunities. Whitman’s Outdoor Program Rental Shop will be open during the summer and offers gear, as well as plenty of hiking maps and guidebooks to help you select the perfect hike. For a day hike, try Juniper Canyon. To get there, head west on Highway 12, continue into Oregon on Highway 730/395 and look for the canyon across the road to your left. The Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, just past Dayton, has many day hike options as well. If you’re up for a longer weekend or have more time to spend driving, be sure to check out Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. It’s about a three-hour drive, but worth it for the gorgeous scenery and chance to check out the towns of Joseph and Enterprise.





“Bes d e ot

t of the B est ”



hese are just a few special events, but there’s plenty more happening here during the summer. If you’re short on ideas, you can grab a free copy of the Union-Bulletin downstairs in Reid. There’s a daily events calendar, and the Thursday paper includes a Marquee section with listings for the entire week. There’s also a summer listserv for Whitman students sticking around for the summer, which people use to plan events and find others to carpool or hang out with. It’s, so email to be added to it. Finally, The Pioneer has a guide section on our website with listings for hikes, suggestions for traveling to nearby towns and other ideas for entertainment around campus. Check it out at whitmanpioneer. com/category/guide-2. C

Get Cultured.

Come enjoy one or more of our 10 flavors. Choose from 50+ toppings to make it your own!! 1417 Plaza Way, Walla Walla (509) 876-2389 Blue Palm Frozen Yogurt

THECirCuit | 11

The Circuit guide to

Walla Walla


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Walla Walla Area Wineries

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Woodward Canyon Winery 11920 W. Hwy. 12 Lowden, WA 99360 (509) 525-4129 Open daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (last tasting of the day starts at 4:30 p.m.)


L’Ecole 41 Lowden School Rd. Lowden, WA 99360 (509) 525-0940 This weekend Whitman parents enjoy complimentary wine tasting— with this ad.


Three Rivers Winery 5641 Old Hwy. 12 Walla Walla, WA 99362 Open daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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5 6


College Cellars 500 Tausick Way Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 524-5170


Amavi Cellars 3796 Peppers Bridge Rd. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 525-3541


Open daily 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Robison Ranch Cellars 2839 Robison Ranch Road Walla Walla, WA 99362


Open Saturdays 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. or by appointment

Northstar Winery 1736 JB George Rd. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 525-6100

10% discount on wine purchases to Whitman associates who come out to the ranch this weekend to visit

Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m.


Gifford Hirlinger 1450 Stateline Rd. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 301-9229 Fri-Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Open Fri 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sat 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. No tasting fee. Tours of teaching winery available upon request.


Adamant Cellars 525 E. Cessna Ave Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 529-4161 Open daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.



Dusted Valley Vintners 1248 Old Milton Hwy. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509)-525-1337

Ensemble Cellars 145 E. Curtis Ave. (509) 525-0231

Fri-Sun 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

Open Saturdays 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. or by appointment


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St. ai n Ea st




st R

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East Isaacs Ave.











nd e. Av

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1413 16 15

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Downtown Wineries




Corvus Cellars 596 Piper Avenue Located at the Port of Walla Walla Airport 11a.m. - 5p.m. Saturday and Sunday


Tero 6 W Rose St. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (541) 203-0020 Sun-Thurs 11a.m. - 5p.m. Sat 10a.m. - 6p.m.


Lodmell Cellars 596 Piper Avenue Located at the Port of Walla Walla Airport (509) 525-1285 11a.m. - 5p.m. Saturday and Sunday


Mackey Vineyards 4122 Powerline Road (509) 526-5160 Open Fri-Sat 11a.m. - 4p.m. or by appointment


Sweet Valley Wines 18 N. 2nd Ave (509) 525-1506 Open 10:00am - 4:30p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Monday, Sunday 11:00a.m. 4:30p.m.


K-Vinters/ Charles Smith Wines 35 S. Spokane Street (509) 526-5230 Open Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


Cadaretta 315 E. Main Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 525-1352


Stephenson Cellars 755 B St. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 301-9004 Fri-Sun 11a.m. - 5p.m.

THECirCuit | 13



photography by Devika Doowa

t’s easy to get trapped in your own world at Whitman. Interacting with the same group of friends every day has its benefits, but students sometimes miss chances to hear about the accomplishments of their classmates. The Pioneer interviewed graduating seniors with a wide variety of interests and achievements during their time at Whitman, to hear about their work and their plans for life beyond Whitman. Molly Blust, Emilie Gilbert and Ryan Gilkey reflect on athletic careers; Calvin Atkins, Rebecca Helgeson and Eric Niehaus share findings from their thesis research; Ethan Maier, William NewmanWise and Jeremy Howell offer perspective on the arts; fellowship recipients Lauren Kutler, Lian Caspi and Cory Rand share their plans for changing the world; and Lisa Beneman, Erin Kiskaddon and Julia Bowman tell us about their outsidethe-box plans for life after Whitman.

Interviews by Cole anderson, daniel kim, emMA dahl, serena runyan and Maegan Nelson

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Molly Blust

“After college I’m going to take a year or two off before going to graduate school. I definitely plan to continue being heavily involved in the sport of cycling. I plan to continue road racing through the summers and cyclocross racing in the fall. I got hooked on track racing recently as well, so I’ll likely continue that. I’m actually really looking forward to having some more time to ride/train and not feel guilty about cutting down my time to do homework because of it. I cannot even begin to describe the huge impact that sports at Whitman have contributed to my experience. I have gained so many helpful skills from the administrative positions I’ve been in on the team. I have gained leadership skills; can plan travel for a large number of people; am really good at sending emails, if I do say so myself; can talk professionally with sponsors/potential sponsors/alumni/parents/supporters/clothing companies; and [have] learned how to use blogs, Twitter and Facebook to keep all of the people mentioned earlier informed on our results and progress. I have also learned that sometimes winning and results are not the most important thing in the world. I have learned so much from all of my teammates about teamwork, perseverance, character, spirit and confidence. I have met amazing people that I would have never had the chance to meet if I weren’t riding my bike. Through our sponsorship with Allegro Cyclery in downtown Walla Walla, I’ve gained a second family, and having a strong community connection has influenced me in my time at Whitman so much. I could go on for pages about my experiences and how this sport has impacted my experience at both Whitman and my life in general.”

Cross Country and Basketball

Emilie Gilbert

“My time at Whitman has been truly amazing. I was so fortunate to be a part of women’s cross country and basketball, representing Whitman College at the NCAA National Championships in both sports. However, the best experience was the journey every season provided, and the support I felt from my teammates and the athletic department. Every season was memorable because of my wonderful teammates, and I truly value the friendships I have built these past four years. After graduating Whitman with a degree in economics, I am hoping to get a job in business, and possibly pursue an MBA. My participation and accomplishments in Whitman athletics have caused me to grow as a person, perfect my time management skills and develop lifelong friendships. Whatever my future holds, both my academic and athletic experiences will help me succeed.”


Ryan Gilkey

“Some highlights for me were making it to two conference championship games—that was obviously a blast—and beating the number one team in the nation (and at that time undefeated) was also a blast. I mainly just value the people you meet and who slowly become family to you. Absolutely, I learned some lessons; that is by far the best personal gain anyone can get from athletics, unless you’re David Beckham and marry a Spice Girl. Probably the most important skill I learned is the mental willpower. Athletics teaches you the willpower necessary to grind through tough situations like nothing else can. Everyone experiences tough mental situations, but athletes are also forced to face physical strain on top of that. A well-taught athlete is a tough person to beat, in any environment. I have become an avid hunter and fisher. I will also continue lifting, as that is now a habit of mine. There is a reason why college athletes are given preference (if all else equal) while searching for jobs. The combination of teamwork, leadership and what I call mental willpower training is driven into you every day for four or more years. At the end of the road, they are habits. I came to school my senior year already having signed a contract for my job because of these skills. To give you a specific example, athletics teaches people the mental willpower and ambition it takes to drive 10 hours overnight in the middle of finals week and sleep in your car just so you can interview in person rather than over Skype. However, those are the kinds of things and the kind of people that get things done and put themselves in opportunities to achieve great things. When opportunity knocks, you better break down the door before someone else beats you to it. Athletics teaches you that not everyone can win, and it teaches you to take the necessary steps beforehand so that you can put yourself in the best situation possible when opportunities are presented to you.”

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THESISRESEARCH Insulin Signaling in the Ketogenic Diet: An Exploration of the Role of Insulin in the Anticonvulsant Effects of the Ketogenic Diet

Calvin Atkins with Haley McLeod

“[Our thesis deals with] the influence of a high-fat diet on insulin receptor expression in key output regions of the hippocampus. [We] researched with Professor Leena Knight for two years analyzing the effect of the Ketogenic diet on insulin receptor expression with the brain. The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has been used to treat difficult cases of epilepsy for almost 100 years. Although the diet has been around for so long, no one knows how it works. We hypothesized that the diet’s efficacy is linked to insulin signaling. [We] decided to focus [our] analysis of insulin receptor expression on one particular brain region that is heavily implicated with seizure generation. If insulin is the link between the Ketogenic diet and its use as an anti-epileptic treatment, then we would expect some change in the expression of the insulin receptor in that brain region. We administered the Ketogenic diet to rats, then harvested and sectioned their brains ... [we] found that administration of the Ketogenic diet results in decreased expression of the insulin receptor in the brain.”

Colorblind Racial Ideology and Responses to Racism in Public and Private Contexts: Type of Colorblind Ideology Matters

Rebecca Helgeson with Jazzmyne Ross

“We partially replicated a previous study that looked at students’ public responses to race-themed parties. This study found that people who scored higher on colorblind ideology were more likely to not respond to the racism that they saw. We hypothesized that while this was likely, other factors led into it such as in what context you were asking them and what type of colorblind ideology people endorsed ... a type that believes that racism doesn’t exist, and therefore doesn’t respond to the racism [or] a type that believes racism exists, but can’t talk about race. We thought that the first type wouldn’t respond to racism in private or public, but the second type would respond in private. We found a significant effect of context (so people were more likely to respond more positively in public than in private) and a marginally significant interaction between category of colorblindness and context (so people scored differently in public and private based on which category they were in). It was pretty eye-opening seeing these results even at Whitman. I’m not sure if I will continue doing research about racial issues, but I hope that it both inspires me and maybe anyone else who reads it to keep in mind that speaking out about issues of inequality is really important. If we are teaching kids not to talk about race, this study kind of indicates that kids won’t speak up about racism when it really matters and with people that they should be able to talk to about it.”

A Twang and a Pluck: Southern Folk Music and American Identity

Eric Niehaus “Folk music of the South, specifically old-time music in the Appalachian Mountains and slave songs in the cotton states, is a literature of place, a self-identification of southerners with the South as a region. It is the music of a defiant people. There has been a lot of research done on slave music, which comes from styles that originated in Africa, about how it is a social commentary on slavery. And so using that, I’m looking more at white backcountry music, which is derived from British styles, to see how that is also a form of self-identification, especially in response to Northern aggression during the Civil War and industrialization. The music reflects the way we respond to government, our political and social philosophies, and our values. I did a lot of research into historical records of the old antebellum South by people like Frederick Law Olmstead and other travelers. The cornerstone was Alan Lomax, who was a folklorist working in the South. He definitely did the bulk of the work in terms of recording and documenting American folk music. So, everything that came after was largely thanks to him; he was where I started. I plan to take [what I learned] and keep playing the music and try to learn more and hopefully go spend more time in the South.”

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Ethan Maier “Musically, my thesis was embodied in my senior recital. I composed ... a set of seven pieces, which are reflections of my musical development up to this point. To guide the compositional process for each piece, I chose one musical influence and used that influence to guide the stylistic way I’d write a piece. I’m actually going to finish my [biology] thesis in the fall ... The research I was doing in biology was really exciting because it’s never been done before. It’s kind of strange when you first hear it, but what I’m doing is I’m measuring the sexual fitness of male bees, and how their food intake affects their sexual fitness. I’m basically doing sperm counts on male bees ... What I have to do is raise the male bees in a certain way, and mate each male with a female, and then I extract the sperm from the female. I became a double major so I wouldn’t have to decide ... Right now, music is forefront in my life, but this summer, I’ll be doing a lot of biology stuff. However, I could easily see myself doing both at the same time ... One of my post-graduate dreams is to finish out my thesis next fall, spend a lot of time working to earn money, and then go down to Latin America and try to find a beekeeper in South or Latin America and learn Spanish. I love bees. They’re beautiful. They’re so wonderful and they produce such a delectable elixir ... I wouldn’t mind becoming a beekeeper. The biggest thing I’d miss [about Whitman] is actually having a community that will read or listen to my academic, intellectual ideas and thoughts ... just people who are actively searching out knowledge alongside me and who are willing to share that with me.”


William Newman-Wise “I worked in ceramics, sculpture and video for my thesis. I included three sculptures and three videos. The work looks at lingering desire and intuitive play. I was inspired by materials, queer history and weightlessness. Flighty lines stretch across and compress inflated materials. Constraint infects the work. Cheap, plastic and fragile materials swell into one another. I worked closely with a few professors whom I trust and respect to develop ideas and curate my thesis. I am attending a residency at the Contemporary Artists Center in Troy, N.Y. this summer. I’ll work on more immersive sculpture/video projects. After that I’m moving to Philadelphia. A few years down [the road] I might apply to MFA programs. I’ll miss the art facilities and professors with whom I’ve worked closely. Also, Ming Court!”


Jeremy Howell

“The inspiration for my senior project came from a need to come to terms with the struggle inherent to continually portraying an elderly character in theatrical productions ... Introspectively, I wanted to understand the boundaries of my abilities as an actor and explore my appeal as a candidate for numerous elderly characters. Essentially, I did not fully understand why I was particularly skilled at understanding the psychology and physicality of someone decades apart from my age. Furthermore, the idiosyncrasies involved in a relationship between two people of differing ages fascinates me. The largest source of inspiration came from my love of old British stage actors in classic films such as ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel.’ My plans following graduation involve a relocation to Brooklyn to pursue the creation of ensemble-driven theater that offers accessibility to any specific audience. I will be hard pressed to recreate Whitman’s ability to foster the organization of events and people. The design and layout of the Whitman experience offers a unique opportunity to rally fellow peers behind a cause, whether it is a theatrical event, a sport, social gathering or even a simple idea taken seriously. Ultimately, I will miss the sense of community and the ability to have an identity and a voice.”

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Lauren Kutler Lauren Kutler will travel to Boston University next year to take classes and student-teach as a part of the Math for America program. Math for America is a private nonprofit organization that will allow Kutler to take math and education classes at Boston University for a year to receive her master’s degree, and then will aid her in finding a four-year teaching job at a high school around the area. “I really liked this program because of how it prepares you to be a teacher. One of the aims of the program is to improve the quality of math teaching in the country by attracting students to become teachers who are good at math.” With her double major of philosophy and math from Whitman, Kutler will apply her passion towards a new kind of educational process. “A lot of people are drawn to math or hate it because they think that there is one right answer, and I think unpacking what that means and why we think that will lead to understanding of how mathematical knowledge is understood.”

Watson Fellowship, Davis Fellowship for Peace

Lian Caspi

Before psychology major Lian Caspi takes on her Watson Fellowship, she will also do work with the Davis Fellowship for Peace with senior Alex Brott in Israel, with a focus on conflict resolution. “[We will focus on] music as a way of conflict resolution, working with Arab and Jewish populations. [I will be] trying to bring some groups that already do this together in certain events, to share resources and also get to know each other, and involve the community in music and speaking about conflict.” In August, Caspi will study music therapy in five different African countries with the Watson Fellowship. “[It’s an] exploration of music therapy and how culture and the music from a place interacts within the therapy, how they use it with different populations in different places, to get a more holistic understanding of music therapy. When I started thinking about the project, I got really excited about the process of creating a project ... to design my own, where I’m motivated by myself. I’m excited about therapy, but what kind of therapy is a different question. This is a way to merge two of my biggest passions and see if this is the right way to combine them.”

Coro Fellowship for Public Affairs

Cory Rand In the fall, politics major Cory Rand will head to St. Louis for the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, which is “a nine-month long leadership training program as well as an introduction to the public affairs arena. Throughout the course, I’ll have field placements with an NGO, labor organization, electoral campaign and the state or federal government. I decided to apply for the fellowship because it seems designed for people like me: I want to be part a larger effort to achieve political and socioeconomic equality in the United States, but I have no idea where or how to do this. The Coro Fellowship will give me an opportunity to explore the many different channels through which change can occur. I think my experiences at Whitman were instrumental in my decision to apply for Coro, as well as my ultimate acceptance into the program. The leadership opportunities I’ve had at Whitman, including leading Scrambles, OP Trips, teaching climbing classes and being a captain on Whitman’s cross country team, helped me develop the communication and leadership skills that Coro values. Keith Raether worked closely with me throughout the Coro application process; I could not have gotten the position without his help. Varsity Nordic ... helped me pretend I was carefree and relaxed.”

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FUTUREPLANS Lisa Beneman “After graduation, I am immediately heading out on the U.S.-Mexico border trip with [Associate Professor of Politics] Aaron Bobrow-Strain and 10 other awesome Whitman students. It is an amazing program that I am excited to be a part of and learn from. After the trip I am moving to Siena, Italy for the summer to work at Tenuta di Spannocchia, a diversified organic farm in rural Tuscany. I will be working in the vegetable gardens, in the olive orchard and with farm animals as a first step towards my dream of one day having my own farm. The farm is part of a larger 1,100acre estate run by the Spannocchia Foundation. Present-day life at Spannocchia attempts to show in a very fundamental way how the past of this historic rural agricultural community can be preserved and its traditions maintained in a manner that affords a viable existence within the modern world ... After the summer I plan to travel for a little while overseas and then return home to Maine to figure out the next adventure.”

Erin Kiskaddon “In the future, I have hopes to go to graduate school in marine biology, and I don’t know yet if I want to be a researcher or a teacher or some combination of the two. But what I really hope to do is to save the oceans one way or another. I think that there is [worth] in teaching people about the oceans and protecting it with research . . . [Next year] I am helping a writer do research for his book on the ecology and behavior of marine mammals. He wanted a student with a strong scientific basis and a liberal arts perspective to help him sort out the North American species. The book is sort of a behindthe-scenes guide to what these critters do beyond just existing and looking the way they do. I will be building a bank of scientific references and composing the details for each chapter, then he will go in and do all the nice writing . . . I will also be volunteering at the America’s Cup Sailing Competition in San Francisco and finding work at a marine lab to get experience before grad school.”

Julia Bowman “I did my thesis on Lincoln High School, and through that process it was interesting to see how they perceive Whitman students and to see how the whole community supports the high school. And it’s been compelling seeing the connections there ... I probably want to ultimately work with at-risk youth. Next year I will be the manager of an ice cream shop in Malibu, Calif . . . I have been working at Malibu Yogurt during breaks for the past four years. It is an old-school surf-friendly ice cream shop where you can sit in the courtyard and smell the beach air. When I was offered the position of store manager in charge of the shop and its 15 employees, I thought it would be a good experience while I work on my yoga teaching certificate and decide on graduate school plans.”

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Whitman’s Class of 2013 will walk across the commencement stage on Sunday, May 19, before heading off to pursue grad school, jobs, internships or more adventures. We wanted to know where seniors envisioned their lives heading, whether they have plans for the summer or a hazy vision for 2023. So, for our senior survey, we asked each graduate this question: What’s in your future? We’ve printed their answers, along with a complete matriculation list for the class of 2013. The pages following the list are a collection of responses reflecting on graduates’ time at Whitman.

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Abiy Aberra Philosophy

Lea Baker

Molly Blust

Kasey Burden

Nico Celi

Beth Daviess

“Working this summer hopefully, going to Columbia University for my engineering degree and masters.”

“Teach for America in South Carolina.”

Katy Bartzokis

Diana Boesch

“This summer I am spending time with my brother at his home on Maui, then moving to Wyoming through the fall to work on a ranch. I hope to spend the next five years traveling quite a bit through the West as well as abroad, making memories, discovering new passions and following my inner compass.”

“Children and more school.”

Claire Baron

“Taking a year or two off in which I will apply to graduate schools probably for a biochemistry program. Right now I want to stay in the subject area of infectious disease work.”

Stephanie Burk

“I will be working at a charity clinic next year and will be applying to medical school. Hopefully I get in!”


“Living the inspired life.”

Nathan Abrams

Natural & Mathematical Sciences

Sarah Adler

Psychology, Philosophy

Race & Ethnic Studies


“Working for the Forest Service.”

Rachel Alexander

Politics-Environmental Studies “Starting my career in journalism as a reporter for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.”

Chris Andrews Economics

“Master’s of Accounting degree at KenanFlagler Business School at UNC.”

Maggie Appleton Anthropology

“MFA in illustration. Freelancing as an anthropological illustrator, political cartoonist & designer. Becoming a professional chartist-blogger. Living on the edge. (Note: not listed chronologically).”

Libby Arnosti

Environmental Humanities “Two months of trekking in Nepal wth my brothers.”

Jessica Asmus German Studies

“I plan to stay in Walla Walla this summer and work. Sometime soon after that I will (hopefully!) be heading off on a grand adventure with the Peace Corps. I was nominated to an English teaching program, but I have yet to receive my specific placement.”

Laine Atcheson Psychology

“I’m going to be attending the five-year doctorate program in Clinical Psychology at Pacific University, starting this fall.”

Calvin Atkins Biology

“I am headed off to Nashville, Tenn. May 21st to begin my prospective lifelong career in education. I was accepted into Teach for America back in November to teach high school chemistry and biology.”

Peter Atkinson Geology

“After participating in a five-week geologic field mapping course, I will be guiding fly fishing for the summer. After fishing this summer I am moving to Durango to work again as a fly fishing guide. During that time I will be looking for a job in the geologic field combining geology with economics. My hope is to find a job with a mineral exploration company and possibly going to graduate school once discovering exactly what I want to do.”

Navkiran Aujla BBMB

“Next few months: Study and take the MCAT, apply for jobs. Next few years: Apply, get accepted into, and attend medical school.”

Lillian Bailey Psychology, Spanish

Michael Bathurst Economics

Jeremy Batterson Economics-Mathematics

“Becoming the Nerevarine.”

Hannah Bauer English

“Editing tech articles and communications work for a hospital IT department. Also: poems, travel, quesadillas.”

Aaron Baumann Philosophy

“Law School, University of Arizona.”

Matthew Beatty Environmental Humanities “Birds!”

Hayley Beckett Race & Ethnic Studies



“Job hunting, adventuring, living in new places, maybe grad school for an MPA.”

Sally Boggan History

“Long term: teacher/education professor.”

Julia Bowman Sociology

“I will be managing a small business for a few years while becoming certified to teach yoga.”

Dieter Brandner Biology

“Pilgrimage to study the teachings of the One True Prophet, His Imperial Majesty Selassie and to embrace the universality of his timeless word.”

“Applying to physical therapy school.”

Will Bender Chemistry-Geology

“Ph.D. program at University of Michigan.”

Lisa Beneman

Politics-Environmental Studies “A summer gig and then ...Fun employment!”

Jordan Benjamin Biology

Cameron Benner Biology

“Research Assistant at OHSU this summer. Finishing up pre-med requirements. Africa in May 2014 doing medical work. Goal:medical school in Fall 2015.”

Ethan Bergeson Psychology

Richael Best English


Courtney Brewer Psychology

“Moving back to Alaska and teaching and coaching.”

Danielle Broida

Environmental Humanities “After graduation I will spend my summer working for Rustic Pathways, an American travel and service program, where I will be leading high school students on backpacking trips through Northern Thailand. In September, I will head to the Panya Project, a permaculture farm, community and education center outside of Mae Taeng, Thailand, where I will work as the garden manager for one year. My next few years will be spent trekking in Nepal, living at an Ashram in India and traveling, studying and exploring Buddhism, culture and sustainable living practices around South East Asia and beyond. Bon Voyage!”

Alex Brott

Tiluck Bhatt

Cassandra Baker

Grace Birkenbeuel


“Going to Mexico City for a year to work on migration issues and assist with local economic development initiatives.”


“Getting my master’s in education and becoming a teacher!”


Tia Butler Spanish

Theatre, French

Christopher Bryson History

“Unknown, hopefully a position in theater or working for a museum.”

Osta Davis


“USGS internship playing with earthquakes, then kayaking in an endless summer.”

“Life and then eventually death.”

Lauren Davis Biology

“I’m applying to do AmeriCorps next year.”

Anna Dawson English, Art

Joyce Chen

“Will be working in community outreach and artist recruitment for the startup art rental company, Artsicle.”

“Either Teach for America or law school.”

Marcial Díaz Mejía


“Who knows? Maybe I’ll become a scientist, or a food critic, or a travel writer. It’s all in the cards ... Now if I can just figure out how to play them right...”

Lacy Clark French

“Teaching high school English.”

Peter Clark Politics

“Sports writing!”

Sociology-Environmental Studies “I will be leading an outdoor trip in Ecuador this summer. In the future, it is hard to decide between many possibilities. I want to move to Lebanon and learn Arabic. I also want to live in Brazil for a bit and become fluent in Portuguese. I want to go to grad school, hopefully in Paris or London. Eventually, I see myself living back in Guatemala working in the intersection between the arts and politics.”

Bao-Tram Do Sociology

Heather Domonoske Sociology-Environmental Studies

Andrew Clark Art

“Working for North Carolina Outward Bound in the summer and working for a ski resort in the winter.”

Mari Cannon

“Continuing to play soccer and work on a portfolio before applying to graduate programs.”

Katie Douglas

“Working in theaters anywhere I can find work.”


“Cross-country road trip over the summer; teaching English in France for the 2013-2014 academic year.”


Vy Cao-Nguyen Psychology

“Research, grad school and then hopefully moving on to live in one of those tiny houses as a DIY aficionado.”

Emmy Coleman “Job hunting while applying to medical school.”

Kathryn Collins Biology

“Working in environmental consulting.”

Erin Carnahan

Anna Conrad

“Applying to grad school.”

“Teaching high school English through Teach for America.”


Caroline Carr Religion

“I’ll be working in the wine industry in Walla Walla this summer. In addition, I’ll be working for the Walla Walla Sweets! In the next year I hope to be working in the nonprofit sector.”

Ariel Carter-Rodriguez Psychology

“A project in Israel with Alex Brott. Watson exploring musical therapy for a year. Exploring the American West. Biking across Argentina.”



Peter Burrows

“This summer I’ll be working at YMCA Camp Orkila!”

“Living life.”

Katie Chapman

Nicholas Chow

Lian Caspi

Biology-Environmental Studies


“I am joining Teach For America and will be teaching high school English at a charter school in Dallas, TX.”




Paul Chang


Haverty Brown Race & Ethnic Studies

3-2 Engineering

Allison Burns

“Traveling to Israel and hiking the John Muir Trail in California over the summer, Seattle for a bit after then who knows where.”

Politics-Environmental Studies

Sarah Brown

Jeffrey Bak

“Working with some local hospitals while preparing to apply for medical school.”

“This summer I plan on gaining more research in psychology before applying to graduate school next year. As of now, my longterm goal is to work as a mental health practitioner with children and teens, and— hopefully—eventually write a book!”

“This summer I will be a publishing intern with Copper Canyon Press. After that, who knows?”

“Hopefully being a medical interpreter.”


Ryan Campeau

Max Breitenbach


Geoffry Burks

Media Studies

Environmental Humanities, Rhetoric &

Carolyn Beckman

Sara Behrens

“Personal trainer next year, physical therapy in two years.”

Adam Brayton

“I am applying for AmeriCorps positions in high school health centers throughout the Bay Area.”

“I don’t know what I am doing this summer. I plan to get a job and go to business school in the next few years.”


“I am entering the Ph.D program in Spanish and Portuguese at UT Austin in the fall of 2013.”

“Riding a tidal wave of wine on a surfboard made out of don’t care. But actually, working in Walla Walla to fund totally glorious travel abroad.”

Sociology-Environmental Studies

Politics-Environmental Studies


Morgan Caverhill Psychology

Carrie Cecil Anthropology

“Working for Metcalf Archaeology as an archaeological field technician.”


Sydney Conway Sociology

“University of Washington School of Law.”

Caritina Cortez

Politics-Environmental Studies “Looking for a job.”


“In the next 5 years I plan on pursuing a career in public health.”

Diana Dulek Spanish

“Becoming the voice of my generation.”

Mitchell Dunn Politics

Kevin Dyer English

“This summer I will be returning home for a short while, where I will be working part time as a cashier at the local Aquatic Facility. After that, I hope to find a job working in admission as a career. I am currently a senior admission intern at the Whitman College Office of Admission, and have decided this is something I really want to do with my life.”

Ashley Ehlers Biology

“Work for a while, then medical school.”

“Next year I’ll be in Portland working with low-income high school students helping them on their journey to college. After that, all I know is that I want to spend my life living curiously and loving others radically!”

Samuel Couey

Anna Eilertsen

Rose Cotter BBMB

Asian Studies

Devan Courtois Chemistry

“I will be doing Teach for America for the next two years in Houston, Texas.”

William Crawford III Mathematics

Nicholas Cross Philosophy

Nehali Dave

Economics-Mathematics “Debauchery in every way, shape and form.”


Ahmed El Kottby Science, Technology & Policy

Eleanor Ellis

Race & Ethnic Studies “Studying Arabic.”

Alex Emrie Biology

“‘The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion’ (Albert Einstein) ... in other words I have no clue what the future holds in store, and I take great comfort in the promise of uncertainty.”

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Bo Erickson

Alejandro Fuentes

“Publishing or academia.”

“Two years of Teach for America in Denver, Colo. while getting masters in Education. Then grad school.”


Molly Esteve

Environmental Humanities “I plan to wander for a bit.”

Misha Evertz Biology-Geology

“Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.”

Sonya Fabricant Politics

“Med school?”

Lindsay Fairchild Economics

“Job hunting, getting my CPA (if I can’t find employment).”

Carly Fischer

Biology-Environmental Studies “Environmental education.”

Erin Flannery Biology

“For the next year I plan to do a variety of things—all of which will hopefully prepare me for veterinary school, to which I will soon be applying. I will be working several hours per week at a veterinary hospital, as well as a microbiology lab at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University. In addition to working, I will be shadowing a veterinary professor and his class as they visit farms in the area, as well as beginning to take classes at the College of Veterinary Medicine. I plan to apply for veterinary school in time to begin in the fall of 2014.”

Taylor Folt BBMB

“I’ll be moving to Boston this summer as I am starting grad school in September at Boston University (School of Public Health).”

Dana Fong Asian Studies

“Working in China for a year as a Resident Advisor for IES Beijing.”

R. Hensley Fradkin Geology

“Hopefully I will be moving to Aspen for the summer and following winter to work at The Little Nell as an events coordinator, then its off to architecture school perhaps.”

Blair Hanley Frank English


Henry Gales Politics

“I have decided that I want to live in Mexico. So, I will work this summer in Walla Walla, save up some money, and find a job in Mexico City.”

Ally Gibson

Economics-Mathematics “Employment at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash.”

Adam Gilbert Astronomy

Emilie Gilbert Economics

“I am currently applying for jobs in business, and may possibly pursue an MBA in the future.”

Katri Gilbert

“Rockin’ out and doing environmental work.”

Gabriella Friedman English

“Next year I will be teaching English in France through TAPIF (Teaching Assistants Program in France). After that, I hope to begin a Ph.D program in English.”

Jenna Fritz Sociology

“Staying in Walla Walla for the summer and then who knows!”

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Charles Kistler

“Doing that life thing!”

“This summer I am attending Park City Mathematics Institute’s summer program. Next fall I am going to Budapest Semesters in Mathematics, a math study abroad program in Budapest, Hungary.”

Kendra Klag

Tom Haffner

Erika Horwege

“Working as an EMT in Seattle then off to medical school.”

“I will be teaching English in public schools in Japan through the JET program.”

Nik Hagen

Kelsey Houghton



“Hopefully I’ll be a professional waiter, who acts on the side.”

“NGO work, and then a master’s in Public Health.”

Madeleine Hale

Jeremy Howell





Kelley Hall

Josephine Hoyne

“Graduate school in Geophysics.”

“Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (teach English in Japan for the next two to three years), then hopefully move to China for a year.”


Elizabeth Hambleton Music (Theory/Composition)

“This summer: interning in the Smithsonian music archives. Next year: job somewhere in Walla Walla. After that: grad school!”

Asian Studies

Dandi Huang BBMB

Mathematics, Psychology

“Hopefully veterinary school in a couple years!”

Steven Klutho Mathematics

Carly Johnson Gender Studies “Unknown.”

Hadley Jolley Biology

“I hope to go to grad school.”

Owen Jones Mathematics

Kelsey Jonker

Environmental Humanities

Alexandra Kerl

Tom Glass

Jack Hardiman



“Heading to grad school for chemistry at Berkeley.”

“Europe in the summer, working for non-profits in the next three years, then (hopefully) a master’s in Public Policy.”

“Hiking the Sierras on the Pacific Crest Trail, slinging some fish around in Alaska, bumming around Chile, skiing across Idaho.”

Katherine Hardy

Andrew Gordon Philosophy

Brianna Gormly English

“Dual Master in Archival Studies & Master in Library and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia starting next fall.”

Charlotte Graham Biology

“Become an intrepid explorer/connoisseur of exquisite cuisine. The plan is to eat my way across the globe.”

Film & Media Studies

Whitney Griggs

BBMB, Applied Mathematics “I will be working in Denali National Park this summer followed by a research position then MD/Ph.D school.”

Tyler Grisdale


Mzuri Handlin


“Wonder and discovery.”

Andrew Hawkins English

“I will be working at an immigration and employment law firm this summer before seeking full-time employment in student affairs or video game marketing.”

Taylor Head Psychology

Kelsie Helberg

Mattie Griswold

Geology-Environmental Studies

Lily Idle Art

“I’m hopefully going to apprentice with an artist.”

Zoe Ingerson Anthropology

“Working with kids, making music, baking bread, and exploring the world.”

Haley Ireland

Art History & Visual Culture Studies “Summer: camp! (again!) After: scavenging for jobs.”

“Moving to Mammoth to ski for a year or so.”

Ross Kendrick Chemistry

“Working in the chemistry industry, specifically in an analytical lab.”


Alicia Kerlee

Environmental Humanities

Chelsea Kern English

“Teaching English with the Whitman in China program, and then heading to Boston for grad school.”

English, Philosophy

“Soccer, psych grad school.”

Rebecca Helgeson

Aleah Jaeger

Katie Kight

Madeline Hess-Maple Biology

“Trophy wife (just kidding).”

Charlotte Hill English

“I hope to work with a conservation organization in San Francisco either as a continuation of my thesis research on the presence of wolves in the Western US, working to help people and wolves coexist, or with a marine conservation organization. I have also deferred my acceptance to teach English to elementary school kids in France and may do that next year. Who knows?”


Natalie Jamerson

Victoria Holder

“Pursuing a job at the intersection of environmental policy and science.”


Laura Holford

Biology-Environmental Studies

Jacob Janin

Alexis Guy

Caitlin Holland



“Flying trapeze school.”

“I plan to be a special agent for the FBI sometime in my future.”

Kenn Kochi Philosophy

“Hopefully working for an environmental NGO. Maybe I’ll be a climbing guide for a bit.”

Miriam Kolker Biology

“Scientific educator-filmmaker-journalist-designer.”

Chelsea Kollmar Biology

“This summer: working on an organic farm. Next five years: maybe grad school, maybe international volunteering, probably getting a ‘real’ job.”

Ami Koreh

Sociology, Economics “I am pursuing graduate school and a master’s in Business Administration with the intention of finding a job in the technological and/or business fields.”

Jeremy Kotler Philosophy

Merrett Krahn Philosophy

Mathematics, Economics “Teaching kayaking and high school math.”


Tyler King English

“Working at a PR firm (MSL Group Seattle), getting my Editing Certificate from the University of Washington.”

Chloe Kinsey Sociology

“My plans are to work in the non-profit sector for several years before returning to school to get my master’s in either Health Administration or Public Health.”

Olivia Kipper

Kate Kunkel-Patterson History

“NPS Ranger Kate.”

Lauren Kutler

Mathematics, Philosophy “Math for America Fellowship—funding for an MAT at Boston University and teaching secondary math in a Boston public school for four years.”

Rick Lamb Philosophy

“I plan to go to graduate school in Philosophy and also become a rock star.”

Ian Lambie



“Museum and/or art gallery work.”


Suzanne Jaszczult

Erin Kiskaddon

Mariah Lapiroff

“Assisting in researching a book on the ecology and behavior of North American Marine Mammals. Swimming with manatees in the near future. Graduate school in the far future.”

“This summer I am taking a German class at UC Berkeley (funded by an APA Minority Fellowship). Next fall I will be attending UMass-Amherst for an master’s in Arts in Teaching in Latin and Classical Humanities.”


“I want to be a vocational lover. I want to love people with my life!”

“I’m going to start a career path that will hopefully culminate with me playing Paul Bettany in all the remakes of his previous films.”

Devin Kuh

“This summer: a Wilderness EMT course and some time for adventuring...”

“Anything I want because I majored in Sociology. No but seriously, I eventually want to be a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, so nursing school.”

Sociology-Environmental Studies


“I’ve been accepted to the two-year Elementary Teacher Training Program at the Montessori Institute Northwest.”



“An accelerated Masters in nursing after a few-year break.”

Thomas Knook

Ailie Kerr

Jed Jacobson


“Working as a kayak guide on Lake Superior this summer, working for Habitat for Humanity after that.”

“Pursuing a career in acting.”

Joseph Kern

Biology, Philosophy


“Grad school.”



Biology-Environmental Studies

Katharine Jessup

Tyler Hurlburt

Paul Hamilton-Pennell


“Summer in Walla Walla doing research with a professor, studying for the MCAT and GRE, shadowing doctors, working in a lab at OHSU and/or Germany, then go get a Ph.D or MD or both.”

“Something completely unrelated to chemistry for the summer, then grad school (for chemistry).”


“This summer I will be working at restaurants in the Bay Area while furthering my persuit of working in news media. Next year I hope to be well established in either or both careers. Ultimately, I am aiming to have a position in upper management. To be realistic, I would have to complete my MBA much sooner than later and go from there.”

Chemistry-Environmental Studies

Helen Jenne


“Product Owner, Clearwater Analytics.”

Ryan Gilkey

David Friedman

Gus Friedman

Hannah Holloran

Chemistry, Mathematics

“Grad school, family shindigs and shenanigans, and lots of adventures!”

Jack Gretsch

“Starting this summer I am working as a Cancer Research Associate at the Providence Cancer Center in Portland, Oregon. I will work there for at least two years and then hopefully apply to graduate school for Cancer Immunology.”


“Global health internship in the Thai/ Burma border this summer and either deferring medical school to teach English at the Northwest Polytechnic University in Xi’an China or heading straight to medical school at the University of Washington in the fall to pursue a career in global health and infectious disease!”

Mathematics-Physics, Music (Performance)

“I’m going to be working as a freelance technology journalist.”


Katherine Haaheim


“This summer, spending time with trees, maybe learning how to ride a bike; next year, teaching English in France.”



Andrew Larson


“This summer I will be working at the Whitman National Debate Institute, and will hopefully coach our school’s policy or parliamentary debate team.”

Mary Madden

Economics, Politics

“Applying to grad school for urban planning.”


Bridgeport, Conn. to do a year of service with Jesuit Volunteer Corps. There I will be working as a program assistant at The Caroline House, a center for immigrant women and children.”

David McGaughey

Politics, Spanish

“For the next two years, I’ll be at Mississippi State working towards my MA in Applied Anthropology. I have received a research assistantship. Hopefully afterwards, I’ll have a job in Cultural Resource Management.”

“I’ll be a supervisor of American and Dominican volunteers with Amigos de las Américas this summer.”

Laetitiah Magara Sociology

“Who knows, but it’s gonna be fun.”

Jack Lazar

“Whitman in China.”

Haley McLeod

Erik Larson

Global Health

“Wherever the winds take me, ya dig? I’ve got plans to climb in Patagonia and to set up new routes in unexplored places. I’ve mapped out a promising two or three years in which I’ll be a dirtbag climber and work as a mountain guide, EMT, and in search and rescue—and then I’ll work with Teach For America or another nonprofit oriented toward social justice (like Nyaya Health or Partners In Health). Following that, off to medical school at OHSU or UW (Portland or Seattle) to become a family doctor and pursue a life in social medicine.”

Elizabeth Lee Asian Studies

“Teaching English in Japan with the JET Program.”

Christine Leibbrand

Economics-Environmental Studies, Sociology “Attending University of Washington’s Sociology Ph.D. program in fall 2013.”

Walter Leitz History

Nicholas Leppmann Art

Benjamin Lerchin Art

“Synthesizing hacktivist art with corporate resources. Conflating free culture with open space.”

Nathan Lessler Film & Media Studies

“Working in Seattle for a year and then grad school for film production.”

Kenna Little Psychology

Lauren Maher-Payne Spanish

“This fall I will be attending Gonzaga University School of Law as a part of the class of 2016. I have a full-time summer job at the local gym that I will continue part time during the following school year. I also plan to help my high school debate team by judging and assistant coaching.”

Ethan Maier

Roseanna Loring

Art History & Visual Culture Studies “Time.”

Isabella Lowery Biology

“This summer I will be rafting the Grand Canyon. I am hoping to live and work abroad in field biology for at least a year, perhaps in Australia or South America. Long term, I am planning on enrolling in Veterinary School.”

Owen Lowry Music

“Music Education.”

Claire Lust

Biology-Environmental Studies “Peace Corps in September? Or perhaps teaching English in France. After that, I intend to open a chocolaterie/boulangerie and eat pastries until the end of my days.”

“I’m finding an internship and taking a year off before going back to school for an MFA for video game design.”

Nicholas Marquiss Economics

Alisha Marshall

Biology-Environmental Studies “Internship near Enterprise, Ore. this coming summer. Hopefully graduate school majoring in Ecology in the next year or two.”

Carver Marshall History

“Graduate school.”

Wilbur Martin Economics, History

“Law school at the University of Minnesota.”

Miguel Martinez Sociology

Julianne Masser Psychology

Katie Matresse Sociology

Claire Matsunami Religion

“In June I’m going on a graduation trip to Harry Potter World with my siblings! Then I’ll be nannying and waitressing all summer to save money. In the fall I’m heading to Jerusalem to study Arabic, hopefully also interning somewhere amazing. After my return I plan on adopting a cat.”

Leland Matthaeus Psychology, Economics “Playing soccer abroad.”

Spencer May BBMB

“Public Health Research, working with the Breakthrough Collaborative, or working in Peru for a year.”

Shannon McCarty Spanish

“At the beginning of August I am moving to


“Spontaneous wanderings!”

Peter Mullins Chemistry

“Dope, money, hoes.”

Anna Murveit

Environmental Humanities, Geology “Field work, sustainable entrepreneurship, graduate school, time to read before bed.”

Jonas Myers English

Hannah McNamara Theatre

“My future will include constant music, the reading and writing of novels, obsessive adventure through wild places, and, eventually, my death.”

“I want to build costumes whenever and wherever I can!”

Abbye Neel

“Starting an English school in the Occupied West Bank, then going to graduate school.”


“I’ll be working, gardening, and applying sociological concepts to popular culture until my friends and family are driven insane.”

“Teach for America.”

Biology-Environmental Studies

Lauren Maricle

Michael Lollini Sociology

Jesse McKeen-Scott

“Making honey and making beer. Eating well.”

“This summer... Next year... Next five years... My life is (obviously) pretty undecided at the moment, but I am in the process of applying to lead international adventure and service trips for teens as well as adaptive sports programs for children and adults with special needs.”

Jennifer Lopez

“I plan on starting my own small business.”

Lesli Meekins

Biology, Music (Jazz)

“Take a year off and pursue clinical experience with at-risk youth before going on to get a Ph.D. in clinical or school psychology.”


Gender Studies

“Internship at an architecture firm.”

Hadley Mowe


Sam Mehoke Psychology

“Take a gap year between Whitman and grad school, apply to Claremont’s Positive Psychology program and eventually work my way into the video game industry to provide a unique perspective on gaming, as well to help create beautiful games that can aid in mental health.”

Lori Mendelsohn Biology

Al-Rahim Merali

“Working in Seattle over the next year and then medical school.”

Robyn Metcalfe Psychology

“Hopefully I will be doing research on clinical outcomes for PTSD, but I don’t know for certain as of the survey deadline.”

Coleman Metzler Mathematics-Physics

John Mighell Psychology

Trevor Miller BBMB

“Working at a clinic in Guatemala ‘til December then applying to med schools!”

Matthew Morriss Geology

“I will be attending graduate school next year with the goal of a Ph.D in the next six years. I hope to be in academia the rest of my career, teaching geology.”

Miranda Morton History

“Getting paid to drink beer.”

Lauren Moscovis History

“Working as a waitress somewhere probably, then law school, then who knows...”

“I will be working at an environmental nonprofit in the Eastern Sierras in California.”

Lucia Osei-Shearman Art

Johanna Otico Psychology

“Teaching English in Thailand for a year.”

Annette Patton Geology

“This summer, I will be a TA for a field geology program run by James Madison University.”


“Play a lot of basketball.”

Ryan Nesbit

Zoe Pehrson

“The wilderness. The world. Wonderment.”

“I will be teaching elementary school in Denver, Colo. through Teach for America.”


Becky Nevin Physics-Astronomy

“Parents’ basement/career as a professional cartoonist (activities are not mutually exclusive).”

William Newman-Wise Art

“Artist residency in Troy, N.Y. this summer.”

Dannie Nguyen “Heading to Portland, OR in the fall for a job shadowing a general surgeon while studying for GRE & MCAT.”


Biology-Environmental Studies

Ignas Pavilonis

“I’ll be working at Google!”

Taylor Mesojednik

Emma Oschrin

“I will be teaching high school math with Teach for America.”






Daniel Merritt

Lauren Olson


Vincent Peterson BBMB

“I will be spending the next four to six years at Georgia Institute of Technology getting a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.”

Elizabeth Peterson Biology

“I’ll be doing promotions/communication work with a marketing start-up.”

Drew Raher Sociology

Rachel Ramey English

“I’m planning on taking a year off, and then will hopefully be applying to law school.”

Allison Ramp Spanish

“This summer I will attend summer institute training for my placement as a Secondary Math Teacher in the Four Corners Region of New Mexico with Teach For America. As soon as training ends, I’ll be walking down the aisle and tying the knot with my favorite Whitman alum, Matthew Manley (‘11). Together we’ll spend two years teaching in New Mexico, with hopes to teach internationally later on.”

Cory Rand Politics

“This summer I’m working for Overland, leading a six-week bike trip across the United States. In September, I’ll be a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in St. Louis.”

Matthew Raymond English

“I want to start a nude sea kayaking club, climb really cool rocks and write as much as I possibly can.”

Rachel Reiter Biology

“This summer I will be spending my time in Bend, Ore. and traveling around the West Coast, then I will be going to Oregon State Vet School in the fall.”

“Physical therapy school.”

Kelly Peterson Biology

Alyssa Roberg Psychology

“Working in the special education realm.”

Madelyn Peterson

Kathryn Roberts


“Working as a summer intern for Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT).”

“Teaching English in Spain, and then hopefully continuing in the graduate education program at the University of Washington.”

Phi Phan

“Next year I’ll head to Argentina to teach English, learn Spanish, and hopefully pick up a mean tango. Five years down the line is a bit of a scary thought right now, but I hope future Kate will be getting the ball rolling towards the elementary or high school education scene.”

Eric NickesonMendheim

Genay Pilarowski

“Working as a waiter in Walla Walla. Never thought that would happen.”

“Grad school in Human Genetics/Biomedical Research.”

Kathy Nguyen






Richard Roberts III

Natural & Mathematical Sciences

Ethan Robertson

Eric Niehaus

Marisa Poorboy


Environmental Humanities


“I will be doing Teach for America for the next two years. After that, no one knows!”

Olivia Nielson

Sara Portesan

Andrew Roehrig



“Whitman in China.”

“Internship at PATH in Seattle this summer. Applying to medical schools for fall 2014.”

Max Pullman

Zoey Rogers

English, Theatre

“I still have no idea.”

“Hopefully acting with a Seattle-based theatre company or working with a publishing company.”

Michael Putnam

“Moving to the Bay Area and pursuing the field of mental health! Teaching English in South America some point down the line and eventually grad school.”

Alex Norman

“I’m joining the Jesuit Volunteer Corps; I’ll be working with a nonprofit, providing legal services for victims of domestic violence.”


“Go to graduate school for physical therapy and get my doctorate.”

Henry Nolan

Anthropology, Classical Studies “I’m planning to attend grad school in about a year. What I’ll do in the meantime is uncertain but it may involve moving down to New Mexico, or it may not.”

John Nortz Astronomy “Unknown.”

3-2 Engineering



Stacey Rosenzweig Biology

“Medical school.”

Madelaine Pyatt Race & Ethnic Studies “Stripping.”

Rachel Quednau Religion

“Episcopal Service Corps.”

Allan Okello

Sociology-Environmental Studies

Hari Raghavan

Jazzmyne Ross Psychology

Jaclyn Rudd Mathematics

“Saving the world one math problem at a time.”

Rhetoric & Media Studies

TheCircuit | 23

Jon Ruffin

Max Settle-Winick

Stephanie Steiner

Karin Tompkins

“Optics at Key Tech. in Walla Walla this summer, and University of Oregon’s physics Ph.D. program for six years after that.”

“Nonprofit director.”

“I’m attending graduate school next year. I’ll be getting a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Michigan.”

“I am moving to Japan to teach English as an Assistant Language Teacher with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. I receive word on my placement in May, so I won’t know until then where in Japan I’m actually going, but I’m pretty excited to find out!”



Sarah Shaffer Philosophy

Edgar Ruiz


Meaghan Russell

Music (Theory/Composition), Sociology

“I hope to get a job teaching writing, possibly in a therapy setting.”

David Shapiro

Environmental Humanities

“Teaching ceramics to kids this summer.”

“Working for the Cape Cod National Seashore.”

Martha Russell

Rachel Shober



“Bumming around Southeast Asia in the summer. Beyond is unknown.”

“Teach For America immediately, and eventually maybe medical school.”

Rebecca Ryle

Hannah Siano


Politics-Environmental Studies

“Finding a job.”

“Hoping to teach English in Spain next year as a cultural ambassador, and explore Europe for some time.”

Sam Sadeghi Economics

Jessica Simmons


Nalani Stolz Art

Joseph Stover Art

Andrew Strong

Environmental Studies-Art “Artist residency and job searching.”

Catherine Sturtevant Anthropology

“I’m moving to North Carolina to teach elementary school with Teach for America.”

Sage Stutsman Biology

“Job hunting, traveling, graduate school, who knows?”

“I’m taking a year off to decide what I want to study next, potentially headed to China to teach, or a year’s service in AmeriCorps. Further down the line, well, I’ll see when I get there.”

Benjamin Skotheim

Kayla Sua

Abby Salzer

“Working on my butterfly collection.”

“Working for a year with Habitat for Humanity through AmeriCorps in HOPEFULLY New Orleans.”

“One last semester at Whitman this fall, traveling Oceania and the UK, and then hopefully Food Corps.”


“Interviewing for a couple banking/ finance jobs.”

Boris Sagal Geology “Music.”

Sociology-Environmental Studies


Spanish, History

Elijah Smith “Brahman—performing Dharma/balancing Karma.”


Daniel Swain Anthropology


Stephen Toyofuku Film & Media Studies, Theatre “No Idea.”

Owen Unbehaun Geology

Alfredo Villasenor Biology

Tom Vogt Biology

“I’m spending the summer working with Columbia Land Trust, then heading off for a year to a Quaker intentional community and semester school called Woolman to work as a teaching assistant and mentor for high school students.”

Joseph Volpert Politics

Marie von Hafften Anthropology

Stanislav Walmer

“Attending the University of South Florida to study volcanic seismicity for a master’s degree.”

“Mountain Bike Tour Leader for Escape Adventures.”

Sociology-Environmental Studies

Clare Sobetski

Nick Tacke

“Road tripping this summer, celebrating my friend’s wedding this summer, doing an internship with a Christian ministry next year at Willamette University, and hoping to find work in construction and/or chemistry.”

“After graduation I get to adventurously navigate all God’s goodnesses with my best friend/husband for the next undetermined and decidedly infinite amount of time.”

Environmental Humanities


“For the next two years I will be teaching high school biology through Teach for America in Richmond, Calif.”

“For next year, volunteer for AmeriCorps or work doing research. Then I hope to apply to medical school and become a pediatrician.”

Geneva Scharff

Jung Song

Wataru Takagi

Sarah Schaefer


“Peace Corps. Then grad school.”

Marta Schenck Biology

“Medical school.”

Eric Schmidt Anthropology

“Master’s degree in architecture with the University of Oregon! Begin over the summer and will be there for the next three years.”

Jacob Schwartz Geology

Olivia Schwarz Biology

“I’m living in Spain and working as an English teaching assistant for a year.”

Robby Seager Economics

“I will be playing and recording music professionally around the Northwest. Stay tuned!”

Isabel Seixas Biology

“Teaching! (I hope.)”


“I plan to look for a job in the field of chemistry (researcher, lab technician, etc) after graduation. No specific position in mind yet...”

Stewart Sorey

Biology-Environmental Studies

Economics-Environmental Studies

Andrew Terrell BBMB


Matt Tesmond

Clare Spatola-Knoll

“Working as an Assistant Production Manager at The Production Network.”

“This publication of The Circuit.”

Logan Thies

Art History & Visual Culture Studies

Andrew Spickert Geology

“Filmmaking and working for an oil and natural gas company.”


Mathematics-Physics “Internship and then graduate program.”

Sarah Stanger Psychology



“Secured employment at the Walla Walla Foundry immediately following graduation. Work on a large body of work in preparation for graduate school.”

Alison Thoma

Chemistry-Environmental Studies

LuQuam Thompson Art, Sociology

“Attending graduate school in clinical psychology at the University of Vermont.”

Adele Thornton

William Stark

“Something exciting!”


“Graduate school, work, personal and vocational fulfillment.”


Frederick Tomlin Chemistry

“Traveling Europe during the summer, then starting a five-year chemistry Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley.”

24 | TheCircuit

Geology-Environmental Studies “Running around Idaho doing research for a master’s degree with Idaho State University.”

Danielle Wilson Physics-Astronomy

“Summer internship at Key Technology.”

Kathryn Witmer Will Witwer

Zephyr Sylvester

Cassandra Smith

John Whiting

“Event planning.”


“This summer I will be working for Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, a non-profit on the island of St. John.”

“Aquarium Manager, Sitka Sound Science Center.”



“Figuring out what’s in my future.”

Environmental Humanities

Biology-Environmental Studies

Amy Vo

“Freelance journalism, traveling and being outside!”

Ryann Savino

Taylor White


Shanglun Wang Economics

Olivia Ware BBMB

“Develop Whitman’s pre-med program, work with oncologists, take some time off to travel, and start medical school in a year.”

Aedan Weber



“I can only tell you what I won’t be doing: No grad school for at least two years, if at all; no wallowing in idiotic navel-gazing about not knowing what I’m doing long term; and no moving to a city totally friendless. It gets hazy after that.”

Nathan Wong History

“Several possibilities, maybe staying to work at Whitman, maybe helping middle school students, but no set plans yet.”

Oliver Wood

Environmental Humanities “European country hopping tour by bicycle with a co-leader and 12 high school students for the summer. Then I’ll work as an outdoor educator and teaching fellow at a high school in North Carolina.”

Alex Woodward Economics

“American University for a Ph.D. in economics.”

Emily Woolley Economics-Mathematics

“Intern for my local farmer’s market, master’s in statistics at WSU, business world.”

David Wright Biology

Diana Wu

Music (Theory/Composition)

“Graduate school is in my near future I suppose.”

“Hopefully internships, professional experience, maybe grad school in a couple of years.”

Justin Weeks

Margaret Yang


“City Year. Apartment Manager-Capitol Hill.”

Sarah West Biology

“Grad school, live abroad.”

Kelly West Psychology

Cambria Wethey Biology

“I hope to work in a scoliosis lab for the next two years to gain clinical and research experience prior to going to medical school to become a pediatric endocrinologist.”

Spencer Wharton Sociology

“Moving in with my girlfriend and hopefully getting a career in sex education off the ground.”

French, Economics

“Working in business management at Hertz Car Rental for the summer and then pursuing a career in the banking industry.”

Shane Young Philosophy

What will you miss about Whitman?

the People

i’ll miss being around the best friends a person could ask for at all times of the day.

The birds and the bees and the evergreen trees in the big glacial flood plains.

free booze and stimulating conversations The best friends I’ve ever had, the passionate professors, the fake-real life I’ve been spoiled with for four years

The Library at Four AM Singing with Chorale, Chamber Singers, and Sirens

Walking across ankeny on a crisp, clear night

Friends & friendly squirrels

all the granola Sitting through lectures! Professors. my art studio. the rolling hills. Professors. the support. the seC. all the acronyms, actually. the man who works in Jewett in the dish room.

i will miss spontaneously deciding to attend a presentation one night just because, and then being so fascinated by it that i talk with my friends about the topic for days.

The weird buzzing noise outside of the science building. Good conversation whenever you want| 25 it THECirCuit

Most Memorable Classes at Whitman Organic Chemistry Mark Juhasz I chose my major almost solely because of that class experience. Natural History of the Inland Northwest Delbert Hutchison America in Vietnam David Schmitz Cryptozoology Kate Jackson Because nobody believes that it was a real class! Intro to Gender Studies Melissa Wilcox Raw Geographies Michelle Acuff & Aaron BobrowStrain Japanese Art and Aesthetics Akira Takemoto

Genealogies of Political Economy Aaron Bobrow-Strain Social Stigma Brooke Vick changed my life and my perspective on people. Expository Writing Irvin Hashimoto Hands down the most practically applicable skills I learnt from any Whitman class. Critical Voices Melissa Wilcox, Helen Kim, Jenna Terry Politics of International Hierarchy Shampa Biswas Marine Biology Paul Yancey Punishment and Responsibility Mitch Clearfield

Paleoanthropology Gary Rollefson It made me completely change my major and life path. Reptiles and Amphibians Kate Jackson State of the State for Washington Latinos Paul Apostolidis Politics of James Bond Helen Knowles Banality of Evil Tom Davis Contemporary and Historical Issues in Psychology Melissa Clearfield CORE/Encounters with… Rogers Miles, Paul Apostolidis, Tom Davis, Patrick Keef, Don Snow


Any Regrets?

Congratulations to Gender Studies majors Carly Johnson and Dave McGaughey.

Best of luck on your future endeavors!

26 | TheCircuit

• Not being too successful at turning the Anderson B-Sec shower room into a sauna. • Not doing KWCW • Trying to be a “normal Whitman student”. Conformity is useless and dangerous. • Not rock climbing • Never acting in a theater production • Not taking more advantage of the OP • Not meeting as many people as I could Freshman year. • Not infusing “gender normative” within the context of everyday conversation

• Not taking any philosophy or religion classes. • Not getting in the canoe in the library • Being way too stressed during most, if not all, of my time at Whitman. • It took me a while to realize that you can go to parties and not drink and still have fun. I wish I would have figured it out sooner! • That I have never been inside Beta House • I never had the chance to visit the prison. • I’m not sure about this one yet. Maybe I will a few years down the line, but right now I’m happy.

Seniors’ Favorite Whitman Memories • Freshmen Dorm life remains one of those interesting experiences that simply can’t be topped. 2-West! • Warm nights running around Ankeny freshman year • Defeating Whitworth’s men’s swim team for the first time in school history, and snapping their 10 year undefeated streak • Writing House homework sessions • Freshmen year, Fall HvZ session. I learned the true terror a crowd mentality can bring to zombie horde over a hundred strong. • Putting a girl’s bike on top of the Memorial fire escape as a prank • Soap bubbles in the Hunter fountain. • Taking pictures with every sculpture on campus. • Freshman year, my friends and I spent a whole day buying Christmas decorations, and put

• •

• • • • • • • •

together a really fun Christmas party. We’ve kept the tradition up every year since. Body painting before beer mile One of my favorite memories is watching a thunderstorm with my housemates while perched in the Birch tree in our front yard. strip soccer at night when someone drove a car across Ankney with a canoe on top Being an R.A of a section of the sweetest, most wonderful ladies the world has ever seen. Rappelling from the top of Jewett TOO MANY TO COUNT, SUCKAZZZZ trying to catch a duck for two years. losing my teeth...twice Playing hide-and-go-seek in the library. shooting a shotgun into Ankeny for legitimate academic purposes

• My Freshman roommate and I lived in a triple with just the two of us. We decided that we needed a third roommate so we built a life-size paper doll that we named Hester. She hung on our wall and creeped out most people that came in to our room. • Running naked in a wheat field on a rainy night, getting spotted by the farmer, hiding in the tall grass. • Getting really sandy while playing IM volleyball. • Don’t Pull 2012 • Watching lightning strike the KWCW tower then running around in the giant thunder storm of ‘12. • Slipping and bouncing all the way down the stairs in Mem only to have a professor walk up the stairs past me and say, “Whelp, that could have been worse.” • Every day is a new favorite Whitman memory

What’s on your whitman bucket list? • Running up every staircase on campus in one run. • To find the secret Napoleon room in Penrose Library. • Use the sauna as much as possible • Talking with all the professors I’ve heard tell of, but haven’t been able to take a class with. • I think it’s time I frolfed. • Conquer the Maple Counter apple pancake. • Beer Mile! • Attend a service at the cowboy church on Alder. • Ride the Waitsburg Camel • pulling an all-nighter (believe it or not I still haven’t done this)

• Seeing if Whitman really is a “clothing optional” campus... • I want to run across Ankeny in my graduation gown with my closest friends. • dance unabashedly in the quiet room, with or without others present. • Do cartwheels around the entire perimeter of the library basemen. • Say up till sunrise in the wheat fields. • Dance party on Ankeny with friends on a sunny afternoon • Learning the TRUE meaning of YOLO • Get up to the Mem bell tower.

• Float Mill Creek on an innertube. • Eat one last Prentiss omelet. • I still haven’t pinged. • Ignore academics for a time and just be a care-free 22 year old. • Get drinks with a professor. • Sign the book in the quiet room. • Actually make use of my 24hour access swipe into the science building. • To finally find the abandoned wishing well under the basement of Olin. • Graduate! TheCircuit | 27


PRODUCTIVITY We can’t express it in terms of facts and figures and productivity, so we shy away from talking about the possibilities, about that which we cannot comprehend.


ike every single one of the millions of college grads that have come before me, I find myself thinking more and more the quintessential question of “Where did the time go?” When did this whole senior graduation thing happen, and how is it that we’re standing here, 31 days from graduation? (Although, personally, I like to think of it as 2.7 million seconds—it makes it sound at least a little bit longer.) Here at Whitman, and especially as seniors, we love to measure our time in terms of “productivity”: how many pages of our thesis we wrote, how many hours we spent in the library or how many days it’s been since we last showered. Don’t get me wrong, these numbers are useful; but, being here, we become time management fiends, calculating how many credits we can take while at the same time

28 | TheCircuit 28 | TheCircuit

making time to volunteer 8.2 hours a week, apply for those 22 internships, be president of the club we founded and still be able to “be productive” when we know we’ve spread ourselves far too thin. Part of the reason we’re so good at this is that we’ve been trained exceptionally well—it’s become a game, calculating our odds of success at “using our time responsibly” in order to reach our peak efficiency. But I also think that we like it simply because it’s just easier to think in terms of something tangible. When you start thinking about all the other stuff, the memories, the friends, our own quality of life, not to mention our favorite “what are you doing after graduation?” question, the waters get murkier, and things get scarier. We can’t express it in terms of facts and figures and productivity, so we shy away from talking about the possibilities, about that which we cannot comprehend. Even those who do know what

by zoe ingerson

their next, cautious steps are can’t help but feel somewhat terrified of what lies beyond. So we end up talking about what we do know, the easily measurable facts: where we are going, for how long, or how much it will pay (if we’re lucky). However, these facts simply cannot do justice to the excitement and magic that these entail. Our times at Whitman have been marked by incredible opportunities: to take challenging, often bizarre classes; to study abroad in otherworldly places; to direct our own learning; to meet people who are passionate about literally anything and everything. Yes, we know how to write a paper in the span of one evening, but let’s not allow ourselves to only come away with this sense of “productivity.” Though capitalism may tell us otherwise, we are more than just “productive members of society.” If Whitman has taught us anything, it’s that there is an infinite number of opportunities out there, and that it’s okay to say that we don’t know, to acknowledge and embrace the unknown. Measuring all this in terms of time isn’t going to cut it. Let’s measure in terms of opportunity, in terms of happiness—What’s that? You can’t come up with a definite parameter? That’s okay. That’s the point. Maybe sometimes there is no measurement. To quote one of my favorite teachers of all time, Ms. Frizzle, now is the perfect time to “take chances, make mistakes and get messy.” Clichéd? Perhaps. Accurate? You bet. The truth is that life is messy, and if we spend most of the little time we have worrying about the fact that we have little time, we risk losing the beauty of the intangible, the spontaneous and the unknown. So, for our last few weeks, let’s please not talk about what we’re getting done, for a change. Let’s talk about getting started. The possibilities are endless.


by Heather Domonoske


arrived at Whitman looking for a fresh start and the ability to find myself. I pictured smiles, new friends, excursions, dynamic classes, falling in love with four seasons and more. Instead, I was bombarded with a multitude of moments where I struggled to find the light at the end of the tunnel—where were the promised 300 days of sunshine? As my time at Whitman passed, I learned where to find the sunshine. I got my first A on an Encounters paper. I was accepted to live in Tamarac. Thirty-one boys sang to me in the Jewett Dining Hall on Valentine’s Day. I stood with 12 others and held up my grand-slammer scramble swag. I passed my oral defense and many, many more. Those are all YOLO moments I could add to my Facebook album called “Whitman.” But, at the end of the day when I look back at my Whitman experience, the moments I will remember the most are of-

ten attached to those hard, unexpected challenges I faced. Hard and unexpected experiences are the building blocks for the good times. They are the reason why going out on Friday night feels so good, or why late-night conversations freshman year on your way to brush your teeth lead to lifelong friendships. When we are pushed to our limits, when we have spent hours upon hours on our thesis and just want to scream, we open up the doors to moments we never imagined. Grades are important, but learning ... learning is what will get us where we want to go, or maybe where we don’t. And that’s okay too. Today we are faced with the terrifyingly awesome experience of moving away from Whitman. In some ways we are more prepared for the hard moments to come thanks to our Whitman experience. However, by leaving Whitman we are leaving behind the support group we have created to get us through challenges. What we have to remember is that the Whitman community is going nowhere and we created friendships upon a foundation that is hard to break. We have lived with each other for four years. We have seen each other at our best and at our worst and we are finishing together. I am constantly amazed by the power of relationships formed at Whitman. Let those relationships and the lessons we learned at Whitman be the foundation of our future. Do not cast shadows on them because they are the past, but also be aware not to paint them too green. The YOLO days in the photos, they had their hard parts; the difference is that now we can see the beauty in those moments. We have learned from them.

We are entering a phase in which we may be more aware of the challenges to come, but we must remember to embrace them,

to learn from them. But even knowing the Whitman community is not gone, there will still be the moments we feel totally alone, lost and confused, just like so many of us have felt at one point or another during these last four years. In these moments, know that they provide a learning opportunity the brighter moments do not. Know that by pushing through, we will end up with stories we never imagined and before we know it, we will be back in Walla Walla for our 10year reunion, and those hard moments may be the most influential on our journey after Whitman. Whitman has been an exceptional experience. We have paid the price and received a plethora of rewards, many intangible and some of which we will not reap for many years to come. We are moving on, which is scary as hell but also exhilarating. The rush of adrenaline that comes with the next chapter can be at times too much to handle, but we have to remember that just because we are leaving Whitman campus, that does not mean we are not taking a lot of Whitman with us and that the learning stops. We are entering a phase in which we may be more aware of the challenges to come, but we must remember to embrace them, to learn from them and to know that in one way or another, they too will lead to moments of joy and fulfillment. And remember, don’t stop learning and pick more TheCircuit | daisies.

29 TheCircuit | 29


Although Whitman is and should be a place for intellectual curiosity, in my experience, most Whitman students are

afraid of conflict, afraid of disrupting peace, afraid of questioning their beliefs


y first year, I had a pro-Palestine picture on my wall. Someone in my section saw it and asked me why I had it up. I explained my position. Later, that same person told that I should probably remove it from my wall, as another section-mate could get offended. I refused, explaining that this was one of the reasons why I put it up, to start a conversation about the issue. Except for him, no one else made a comment about it, even after visibly being surprised. This was my welcoming to politics at Whitman. Soon I would discover that a majority of Whitties are scared of offending others, or that we believe that everyone has an opinion similar to ours. Thus, we fail to question them. Often this translates into apathy and a lack of engagement in political affairs. I feel privileged for being able to attend this institution. Whitman has

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pushed my boundaries, encouraging me to ask “why?” During my four years here, I’ve met smart and engaging people who have questioned my beliefs and pushed me to another intellectual level. There’s a reduced group of students who organize and participate in activism, political organizing, educational outreach and student politics. However, on a large scale our campus lacks any major political discussion outside of the classroom. Although Whitman is and should be a place for intellectual curiosity, in my experience, most Whitman students are afraid of conflict, afraid of disrupting peace, afraid of questioning their own beliefs. Eventually, we will all leave this place. Outside of the bubble, the world showcases an array of perspectives and opinions, and we will have to make decisions on what we stand for and justify our way of thinking. Even if we delay, the time will come. Whitman is a safer environment to experiment with who you are and what you think and to just be different. To those staying, I urge you to take advantage of the bright people around you, the most valuable resource we are offered here. Ask questions. Engage in meaningful conversations. We might not find the

answers, but it can take us down other paths that might. Rest assured that conflict is all right, as it is part of our daily lives. Inform yourself. Read. Challenge your own beliefs, the reasoning behind your thinking. Most importantly, be ready to feel uncomfortable. You don’t have to agree with everyone. At times you can be on completely different sides of an issue ... and still be friends. Encourage public discussions amongst your friends, even outside of a frat on a Saturday night. To those graduating, don’t forget what you have learned here as we disperse around the world. Continue to ask the tough questions. Engage with your community. Be ready to feel uncomfortable. I leave Whitman knowing that it transformed me. Almost four years later, I had a conversation with my (now) friend on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the TKE kitchen. Soon after, more people joined in, and our topic morphed into consent and sexual relations. Many had honest questions, while others answered passionately, speaking from personal experiences and their academic expertise. It was not only a moment of exchange, curiosity and education. It was one of my favorite moments of my time at Whitman, which I will treasure. I just hope that many more create this kind of memories. The kind that makes you who you are outside of the bubble.

The inimitable, irreplaceable Professor Hashimoto


eaning back in his swivel chair, hands clasped over his stomach, Associate Professor of English Irvin “Hash” Hashimoto sits calmly in an office that looks like it was torn apart by a natural disaster. This is because Hashimoto, 68, is retiring, and packing up all of the belongings he has accumulated after working at Whitman for 30 years. There are stacks of books and papers strewn about, as one would expect from an English professor. However, one can also find a banjo, a mountain bike, a log and a Frisbee. Hashimoto is certainly a unique professor and person, one that Whitman will miss dearly.

“He has this delightful quirkiness about him.”

There is very little about Hashimoto’s teaching style that one would consider conventional. “The first day of class, he threw bouncy balls all over the classroom. He was trying to give them to people, but it turns out people aren’t very good at catching bouncy balls,” said junior Nathan Sany, who is currently in Hashimoto’s expository writing class. Sany also has a gold bookend in the shape of a duck head that he got from Hashimoto. Associate Professor of English and General Studies Sharon Alker once sat in on his class and he taught an entire class on the semicolon. “By the time I got out of there, I was passionate about the semicolon,” she said. Via email, junior John Masla recalls “writing about apple pie recipes” and “bartering for a toy whistle” among the more unusual moments in Hashimoto’s class. “He’s really original and creative,” said Alker. “He has this delightful quirkiness about him while bringing such academic rigor.” This is a sentiment echoed almost verbatim by fellow Professor of English Roberta Davidson. “I think that for Hash, the line between expository and creative writing doesn’t exist. He sees that all writing has a creative component, and all teaching has a creative component as well,” she said.

Seeing the world

After this laundry list of anecdotes and quotes, Hashimoto sounds like an eccentric genius, and he may be; he has a rare ability to combine creativity and sub-

stance. Here’s another important duality with Hash: He is both very successful at what he does and very humble. He has won a number of awards, including the 1986 Burlington Northern Award for Faculty Achievement, but talking to him, you would never know. “He is the most modest person I know,” said Alker. “I think he is one of the most accomplished and modest people I have ever met. And that is quite the remarkable combination.” This is very apparent when talking to Hashimoto, who is nothing like the bombastic presence one might expect after hearing of his classroom exploits. Reclining in his chair, he gives quiet, thoughtful answers often punctuated with a quick laugh that sounds like a cough. After teaching at Northern Colorado Laboratory School, Idaho State University and University of Michigan, Hash came to Whitman in 1983, where he has taught and directed the Writing Center. “I like the students here,” said Hashimoto. “And I like the freedom that Whitman gave me to do the things I wanted to do here.” “I have a lot of fun. I like to challenge people to do things better, to think in ways that they aren’t comfortable thinking,” said Hashimoto when asked about his unique teaching approach. This concept of challenging students and getting them out of their comfort zones is the reason Hashimoto does things like give seemingly random essay prompts, such as on apple pie recipes. “It’s easy to write about something you know, rather than something you have to go out and learn about, explore and think about. I want to make writing a more active endeavor than just thinking about what you’d say,” he explained. This is because Hashimoto sees his writing courses as more than just about becoming a better writer. Most of his students are not English majors, but the class is valuable in a broader sense. “It’s about seeing the world better and seeing issues. I think writing courses are about that, working on what they see and what they think about,” he said. Sany, an anthropology major, sees how Hashimoto’s teaching has extended beyond his class. “I’m more in touch with my writing. I’ve really fine-tuned my skills and how my prose flows, but it has also helped reading articles for anthropology. It’s easier to break

by Quin Nelson down how different genres work and critique what the authors are saying,” he said. Hashimoto is certainly teaching writing, but more than that, he is teaching life skills and the ability for his students to develop new perspectives. In this way, Hashimoto is the liberal arts ideal; he is helping his students become well-rounded individuals through his English classes. Alker remembered a time in which she asked Hashimoto for advice on what she should look for in hiring a new English professor for the department. He said simply, “They need to know how to fish.” What he meant was that the professor needed to have skills other than writing to be an interesting teacher. Hashimoto sees writing in a holistic manner: The other aspects of one’s life will guide the way one writes. “I think that to be a good writer, you have to be an interesting person,” Hashimoto said.


Talking to Hashimoto about his banjo playing, he said, “Mastery is not just about how much you practice, but it’s about what you do and how you live, what you see. It all affects the way you become better.” While he was talking about playing the banjo, Hashimoto could have easily been talking about any craft. By his own standards, Hashimoto has achieved mastery of his own craft: teaching. He is interesting and has an original way of seeing the world that challenges his students. Perhaps this mastery is why he sounds so at ease with retiring and moving on to the next phase in his life. It is also probably why when Alker and Davidson were asked about replacing Hashimoto, they both quickly replied that he is irreplaceable. Hashimoto wants to continue teaching in some capacity and is looking forward to having more time to play banjo, travel with his wife Marianne, visit his children and grandchildren and tend to his yard at his home in Milton-Freewater. “I want more time to sit in my backyard and watch the things grow,” he said. After a career of helping students grow in unique and exciting ways, this seems to be the perfect picture of Hashimoto in retirement: leaning back in his chair, hands clasped over his stomach, watching the things grow. C

TheCircuit | 31

Whitman Alumni Find

Environmentalist Views Evolving by SaM CHaPMan

32 Top: Artists pose around the completed ‘big salmon.’ Bottom Left: Lisa Curtis organizes a display of her Kuli Kuli products. Bottom Right: Gilman’s 32 | THECirCuit

completed thesis project. 33 Curtis during her Peace Corps service in Niger. 34 Left: Gilman’s thesis. Right: Curtis’ energy Bars. 35 Gilman’s thesis project.


t Whitman, ideals are one thing you can always count on finding somewhere. These is no shortage of people who believe strongly in something—in the end of rape culture, the abolition of modern slavery, the inadvisbility of GM crops—and assert that the only way to get it is to fight for it. This semester, with the Now is the Time campaign to divest from fossil fuels, environmental issues have taken center stage. However, wherever there are young activists, there are claims that their activism stems directly from their youth—that their desire to defend their beliefs will die out as they get older and are forced to deal with the “real world.” The Circuit was cuwrious if this was true and decided to track down alumni who had been involved in environmentalism during their time at Whitman. Camila Thorndike, who graduated in 2010 with a degree in environmental humanities, says that she initially got involved with the Campus Climate Challenge (CCC) because she is “a humanist.” “I work on climate change because in its full realization, it threatens the human species and its well-being as much as that of any other,” said Thorndike. In addition to being part of CCC for four years and serving as president for one, Thorndike worked for an indirect sustainability effort called Network for Young Walla Walla, which got local students involved in environmental initiatives. She described this as one of her first encounters with community organizing, and had particularly fond memories of a three-day summit at Walla Walla Community College. “It was an incredible networking experience, getting to know each other and bridging socioeconomic divides,” said Thorndike. “It reflected my evolution towards community development that creates the links to place—if you have a strong ‘sense of place,’ you are less likely to abuse it.” Though the Network is now defunct, Thorndike’s experience led her into a series of environmental jobs that encompass a broad cross-section of the green movement. Among other things, she has worked in Tuscon, Ariz., as an urban planner, and in Vermont, connecting racially diverse conservation movements. Currently she serves as director of engagement for “Coal: The Musical and Movement,” a musical storytelling project. In one way or another, all of Thorndike’s post-college jobs connected with the human side of the environmental movement. As she has grown professionally, she has begun to think of organizing people as something that must be positive, not reactive. “It’s not assuming people don’t care, it’s assuming that they do,” she said. “If you want to build the chorus of voices that will sing us in the direction of sustainability, you don’t start with the world. You start with them as individual[s].” Elena Gustafson ‘10 and Lisa Curtis ‘10, who graduated with Thorndike, also attended the three-day WWCC summit. Though they shared some of her ideals in college, their differing conceptions of environmentalism led their paths to diverge. However, they have had some similar experiences—particularly in discovering that changing the world does not need to begin with resistance or accusation. Since college, Gustafson has believed in the potential of outdoor

leadership to educate the next generation that will inherit the Earth. “I was definitely active in climate and went to Powershift one year, but my main passion was environmental education,” she said. “If we don’t set up the next generation to care for the earth, we won’t have the next generation of environmentalists in place.” While in Walla Walla, Gustafson founded the Youth Adventure Program to lead day trips with local schools and organizations such as the YWCA. Since then, she has worked several other outdoor leadership jobs. Recently, she has been working with youth again as the director of the children’s program at a domestic violence shelter in Alaska. She said that the things she has seen there have run contrary to the way she saw the world as a college activist. “I’m working right now with families and kids who are in such difficult situations that if someone tries to talk to them about climate change or recycling, they won’t care,” she said. “Families are dealing with such internal trauma that there’s no extra energy for them to engage in an environmental ideal.” Though Gustafson is no longer working an environmentalist job, she shares Thorndike’s belief that the green movement is ultimately about individuals. She said that she now has a better understanding of something which frustrated her in college—the reason why not everyone cared about her cause as much as she did. “I think it’s important to be able to step back and think about the issues that might be going on in these people’s lives,” she said. “As environmentalists, it’s important to meet them at their level.” Curtis, who served as sustainability coordinator in her senior year, had a successful career as an activist while at Whitman. As a member of CCC and a Pioneer journalist all four years, she was able to secure funding for five separate green projects, as well as attend a United Nations conference as an environmental lobbyist. “You can’t go to a U.N. conference and not be frustrated by how little our policymakers are doing to address this issue,” said Curtis. “You also can’t not be awed by all these people around the

“if you have a strong sense of place, you are less likely to abuse it.” Camila Thorndike ‘10 world who are working so intently on making our planet a better place. Talking to people from Africa or small islands like the Maldives inspired me to remember why I was doing what I was doing.” After graduation, Curtis joined the Peace Corps, which sent her to Niger. Unfortunately, a terrorist attack forced her to evacuate only seven months into her service, and she went to India instead. There, she took a job at an impact investing firm, which inspired her to put her trust in market forces to save the world’s ecology. Upon returning to the United States, Curtis settled in the Bay Area and turned her attention towards the malnutrition she had witnessed in Africa. Her startup company, Kuli Kuli, aims to promote a nutrient-rich grain to fight hunger while funding its effort by selling bars made of the same grain in the United States.

THECirCuit | 33

“Starting a company is way harder than I imagined,” she said. “We’ve been working on it for two years, and we’re starting to see some progress. One thing that was hard for me to learn was that to maintain a sustainable business model, we had to create a product in the U.S. before working in West Africa.” Unlike Curtis, Thorndike and Gustafson, Sarah Gilman ‘04 did not consider herself an environmentalist in college. A double major in art and biology, Gilman developed an interest in nature writing after participating in Semester in the West. Rather than an activist, she considers herself a journalist telling the stories of people. “I’m not an environmental activist,” said Gilman. “I am not out there putting pressure on the government to, for example, not approve Keystone XL. My sort of environmentalism is more philosophical. My personal brand of environmentalism is to be involved in the processes that exist and to examine people’s relationship with energy resource use and the landscape itself.” Gilman is the associate editor of High Country News magazine, based out of Montana. At Whitman, she used her artistic ability to inspire people to think of themselves and the landscape they inhabited as unified rather than dichotomous. For her art thesis, she created a quilt that doubled as a topographic map of eastern Montana. “I was trying to convey how the landscape and the body were the same thing,” she said. “I didn’t have an action in mind for people

to take. I wanted a sense of the world as one thing changing form.” As a journalist, Gilman still writes to inspire her readers to think differently about issues of the land, resources and humanity. While her attitude towards environmentalism—that we should consider the best information available to us, rather than rushing to blame others or ourselves—remains consistent, she said she has become more literal in the way she approaches it. She recalled one instance in which she found herself disagreeing with the mainstream environmental movement in her home lands. “I wrote for HCN about a lease proposal for 30,000 acres of land for oil and gas development,” she said. “I [ran] across the argument from environmentalists that it wasn’t about resource extraction being bad; it was about it not being the right place to drill, or not responsible development. I’ve always wondered, where, then? If you acknowledge the necessity to your own life, what is to be done? You have to look at yourself and ask how much you are willing to give up.” Since college, Curtis has stood firm in her commitment to her causes of clean energy and an end to malnutrition; however, she has also reevaluated her approach to these causes in a way

34 | THECirCuit

that might make Gilman proud. Instead of fighting against the system, Curtis now takes control of it to effect positive change. “[At Whitman] I felt very anti-government, anti-business—more of an activist in the stereotypical sense than I am now,” said Curtis. “I was almost an econ major—I switched to politics at the last minute—but I’ve always been interested in the potential for the markets to make change on a broader scale than you can do with just donations and grants.” Kuli Kuli, Curtis’ energy bar company, is operating a campaign on finance website Kickstarter to get

its product into American grocery stores. Curtis has used her economics-based approach to solving world issues to great effect, gathering investors for the project. “It’s amazing to see how much more people like that plan when there’s something in it for them,” she said. “That has reinforced my idea that to make gains on a broader scale, we have to show people what’s in it for them.” While working on “Coal: The Musical and Movement,” Thorndike also organized an artistic action near Medford, Ore., in the Willamette Valley along with Colorado College graduate Hannah Sohl. More than 13,000 participants came together to create a giant painted salmon on which they answered the question of why they love their home in the valley. Using the concept of a sense of place, Thorndike united a diverse group of people in defense of the home they shared. Her explanation recalled Curtis’ idea that people will help the planet if there is something in it for them; however, that something need not necessarily be money—it could be health, family or a place to call home. “We’re taking that big salmon up to the capital and convening a statewide day of citizen-driven climate action,” she said. “The region is actually quite conservative and diverse in terms of culture. One of the best practices in organizing work is to meet people where they are.” Thorndike characterized herself as far more of a psychologist, therapist and community organizer than she once was, and said that the change is in line with her humanist way of thinking. Like Gustafson, she discovered since graduating that people will never unite behind an environmental cause if activists only tell them what they are doing wrong. “You try to elevate people to the level of consciousness and of care and of integrity in actions that align with their values,” she said. “It’s about listening to what they care about and about how to make the link that we both care about the same thing. If you are driven to increase your fami-

ly’s welfare, well, you can’t do that without clean air, water that your kids can drink and biodiversity on the planet.” As Gustafson progressed in her professional life, she too gained a greater understanding of the psychology that determines whether or not a person will care about the state of the planet. She said that she too has learned that environmentalism won’t succeed

endowment can go from here. The collective sentiment of the people to whom The Circuit spoke—insofar as their diverse stories and viewpoints agreed—seemed to indicate that the 350 effort will not succeed without focusing on positivity, demonstrating specifically how we can use the college’s money for good instead of harm. Gilman, the environmental journalist, asked us all to con-

even people who disagree politically will unite to defend something they care about. if its activists draw too distinct lines between right and wrong. “Psychologically, it’s difficult to get people to engage outside their local level just because we can’t understand the numbers that are being thrown around,” said Gustafson. “There’s only a handful of people who will work on a national campaign, but you can get a lot of people involved in a local campaign— even people who initially wouldn’t support environmental work.” At her job in Alaska, Gustafson has seen firsthand the power of a community issue to bring people together who will work in the best interests of their home. She cautioned the environmental movement not to lose sight of this power, reminding us that even people who might disagree politically will unite to defend something they all care about. “I can still support the national campaigns in limited ways, but I can’t forget the importance of diving into local issues and not thinking they’re too small to matter,” she said. Whitman College’s divestment campaign is building momentum, heading into further meetings with the Associated Students of Whitman College and administration about where the school’s

sider our true contribution to what Thorndike called “an absolute explosion of problems.” For her part, Gilman puts her faith as she always has in the constancy of the planet Earth. Her artistic quilt, which included bones made out of sheeting material, was intended to make death less scary by placing it as part of a cycle. In the same way, Gilman’s brand of environmentalism teaches that the Earth will not be destroyed if we can’t win every battle. “The goal is to inform more than anything else, but I do still write essays. I still express those ideas pretty regularly,” said Gilman. “I wrote an essay about the beauty of a blasted place in Montana—it’s beautiful because it’s not destroyed. The world is not a breakable thing ... it will persist no matter what we do to it.” C ADVERTISEMENT

Congratulations, Whitman Class of 2013!

Always treasure your Whitman ties. Best wishes! Sincerely, George S. Bridges President

THECirCuit | 35

Comic by asa mease


Front and back cover: Photo by Catie Bergman Pg. 2: Photo of Rachel Alexander by Susie Krikava Pg. 3: Illustration by Julie Peterson, photo of Idles by Halley McCormic, profils photos by Devika Doowa, graduation and flower photos by Catie Bergman Pg. 4: Illustration by Julie Peterson Pg. 8-9: Photos by Halley McCormick Pg. 11: Illustration by Kelsey Lund Pg. 14-19: Photos by Devika Doowa Pg. 20: Photos by Catie Bergman Pg. 25-27: Photos by Catie Bergman Pg. 28-30: Photos by Skye Vander Laan Pg. 32: From top left, photos contributed by Camila Thorndike, Lisa Curtis and Sarah Gilman Pg. 33: Photo contributed by Lisa Curtis Pg. 34: Left photo contributed by Sarah Gilman, right contributed by Lisa Curtis Pg. 35: Photo contributed by

Sarah Gilman Pg. 37: Zodiac graphics by Katie Berfield


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11 So. PalouSe • Walla Walla • 522-2440


1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments For Spring 2013 and beyond Adjacent to the campus—affordable No smoking please

Coldwell Banker First Realtors (509) 525-0820


renowned, small production, family owned wineries


Come and see what is hatching at the wine incubators!

Cavu Cellars Kontos Cellars Corvus Cellars Walla Faces

charming, unique location Located at the east end of the Walla Walla Regional Airport on Piper Avenue in Walla Walla Take the G Street exit off Highway 12, just east of the Airport exit

Wouldn’t expect… Won’t forget! Port of WW Incubator Family

38 | TheCircuit

Congratulations Graduates! crossword & horoscope

As you take your next steps... know that the Student Engagement Center extends its services to you. Student Engagement Center Reid 219, 509-527-5183 Green Gables Inn 1909 craftsman mansion located within the Whitman campus. Five guest rooms offer modern convenience, old-world ambiance, & full gourmet breakfast 922 Bonsella St Walla Walla, WA 509-876-4373

Graduation Weekend Events May 18, 2013 Picnic @ the Inn

WC VIP Program Sign up and receive special promotions exclusively for Whitman students & parents

THECirCuit | 39

Congratulations Graduates

Circuit Issue 7  

The Whitman Pioneer's Summer/Graduation issue for 2013