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Division III, Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Natural sciences are a branch of science concerned with the description, prediction, and understanding of natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. This is important in various components of life for either predicting or understanding certain values in our world.

Mathematics focuses on understanding mathematical relations and calculations, which is useful on its own and in natural sciences. But the disciplines are distinct. Nevertheless, the two disciplines complement each other and often support the work and findings in the other field.

Rain Naylor standing with arms spread openRain Naylor ’22 (she/hers)

Astronomy/Physics (Combined Major)

Hi! My name is Rain and I'm a senior Astronomy-Physics major from Seattle Washington. When my head is not up in the stars, you may catch me out playing Frisbee as a part of the Whitman Sweets, baking tasty desserts, or with my nose in some fantasy novel as I walk around campus. I'm always super excited to talk about astronomy, so ask me about anything!

Favorite class or classes in major: ASTR 330: Cosmology, PHYS 348: Optics

Favorite class out of major: CLAS 130: Ancient Mythology

Contact:  naylorrc@whitman.edu

Grace Kim standing outside Grace Kim ’23 (she/her)

Biophysics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

I am swimmer that has two wiener dogs and loves science and math. I love BBMB because it gave me the freedom to choose between any STEM class.

Favorite class or classes in major: Biochemistry

Favorite class out of major: Differential Equations

Contact:  kimgm@whitman.edu

Olivia Anderson standing outsideOlivia Andersen ’22 (she/her/hers)

Biophysics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

I'm pre-med and a big fan of chemistry and biology and spending time in the lab. I also love to dance, ski, spend time with friends and watch movies and TV and drink a nice warm cup of coffee.

Favorite class or classes in major: Biochemistry

Favorite class out of major: Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology

Contact:  anderso@whitman.edu

Portrait of Fadia ChedadehFadia Chehadeh, ’22 (she/her/hers)

Biology Major and Psychology Minor

Hello everyone! I am a Biology major and Psychology minor from Beirut, Lebanon. I was a senator in ASWC during my first year at Whitman and a member of the Finance Committee. I love working out and more specifically doing yoga. So if you ever find yourself in need of a company to the gym, you know exactly who to call. I am looking forward to meeting you!

Favorite class or classes in major: BIOL 111: Biological Principles

Favorite class out of major: Beginning Aerobic Conditioning

Contact: chehadfm@whitman.edu

Portrait of rebecca JohnstonRebecca Johnston ’22 (she/her)


I am a member of the Whitman College volleyball team and Vice President of the Pre-Health Society. I enjoy a good latte, sunsets in the wheat fields with friends, and making Spotify playlists. I am also currently training to make the US Paralympic snowboarding team.

Favorite class or classes in major: Physiology

Favorite class out of major: Rhetoric of Health & Medicine

Contact: johnstrj@whitman.edu

Lea Molacek standing in front of lake waterLea Molacek ’22 (she/her)


I'm originally from Colorado and have been very involved with the outdoor program on campus since freshman year. I am also currently the Climbing gym manager. I work with a professor doing synthetic organic chemistry research on the synthesis of macrocyclic molecules for enzyme inhibition as an approach for drug therapy.

Favorite class or classes in major: Organic Chemistry

Favorite class out of major: Creative Writing-Poetry

Contact:  molacelr@whitman.edu

Leila Peterson ’22 

Computer Science


Favorite class or classes in major: TBA

Favorite class out of major:   TBA

Contact:  petersl@whitman.edu

Portrait of Mikayla CrowderMikayla Crowder ’21 (she/her/hers)


I really enjoy being able to go out into the field and applying concepts learned in the classroom to the real world. With every new class, I see connections between geology and its relationships with society through the environmental studies lens, thus getting the full effect of an interdisciplinary education that attracted me to a liberal-arts college. 

Favorite class or classes in major: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Favorite class out of major: Religion and the Senses

Contact:  crowdeme@whitman.edu

Portrait of Sam FixSam Fix ’ 23 (he/him/his)


Hi, my name is Sam and I am a math major from Spokane, Washington. I've known from the time that I was little that I was drawn to math and I used to have my mom print off my older brother's math homework so I could do it with him for fun. Choosing to come to Whitman was not a very adventurous choice for me as my dad, two older sisters, and older brother all came here as well. However, I'm happy that I followed in their steps. I played soccer my entire life but gave it up in college to pursue sports that are a bit more casual and enjoyable to me such as volleyball and disc golf. I'm a big fan of technology which is why I spend a decent amount of free time playing video games and I also work on campus for technology services.

Favorite class or classes in major: Introduction to Higher Mathematics

Favorite class out of major: Hispanic Studies: Analyzing the Visual; a course taught in Spanish that involves the analysis of comics and movies.

Contact:  fixsb@whitman.edu

Portrait of Leila PetersonLeila Peterson ’ 22 (shw/hers)

Mathematics and Computer Science

Hi! I'm Leila, a senior studying Mathematics and Computer Science. I came into Whitman unsure of what I wanted to study, but I took Calculus II my first semester and fell in love with the rigorous math we were learning. I was still unsure of how I wanted to apply this knowledge when I took my first computer science course and realized that it scratched the same puzzle-solving side of my brain that math did. Outside of classes, I'm an officer in my sorority and spend a lot of time reading, playing video games and hanging out with my roommates.

Favorite class or classes in major: This is a really hard question, because I have genuinely loved all of the CS courses I've taken. I would have to say maybe data structures, as that was where I first started learning about efficiency and designing optimal algorithms for a given problem, but everything I loved about that class I've been able to continue studying in my higher level courses as well. I'm probably also biased towards it because I worked as a mentor for that course two semesters in a row.

Favorite class out of major: I took Intro To Fiction sophomore year and eally enjoyed it! I love literature and being able to have discussions about it.

Contact: petersl@whitman.edu

Portrait of James KlinmanJames Klinman ’22 (he/him)


I've thought space and physics were cool for a long time, and my time here at Whitman has helped to turn my interest into a passion. The classes have been awesome for growing my appreciation and understanding of Physics and Astronomy, plus I now find myself outside at night stargazing or taking pictures with friends whenever the opportunity arises.

Favorite class or classes in major: Observational Astronomy

Favorite class out of major: Fundamentals of Argumentation

Contact: klinmajw@whitman.edu

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