Alyssa Ortiz

Senior Intern

Hometown: Denver, CO

Major(s): Psychology, Minor in Sociology

Why you chose Whitman: I had always thought that I wanted to go to a really big state school because I loved the hustle and bustle of growing up in Denver, and I applied to Whitman because my godmother, who graduated from Whitman, said that I would love it but I didn’t really believe her at the time. I ended up getting a really great scholarship and decided I needed to tour the college and see the campus in person to really get a feel for the community. As soon as my tour finished, I knew I wanted to go to Whitman (and that my godmother had been right all along). I was so amazed by people knowing each other by name, saying hello to everyone in passing, and the multitude of resources the college offered to students.

Favorite things to do in Walla Walla: I really enjoy hanging out with my friends, looking at the stars while laying down on Ankeny Field, ordering food from local restaurants and then going to the wheat fields to watch the sunset, and even rolling down the hill at Pioneer Park.

Favorite spot on campus: I love sitting in the cafe in Reid! It’s a great study space, super easy to grab a quick snack, and a place that I tend to run into a lot of people and strike up a conversation with.

What advice you’d give yourself when you were going through the college process: It’s okay to not know exactly what you’re looking for. That’s part of the fun in the college search -- finding pieces of colleges you like until you find one that has so much of what you’re wanting.

Fun fact(s) about yourself: I am an iced chai enthusiast and when I was younger, I used to read so much that my parents’ form of punishment whenever I misbehaved was to take away my books.

Best class you’ve taken on campus: Psychology of Learning. I worked with a partner to operantly condition a rat to play basketball and then we made a tournament of it with the other students’ rats in the class.

Favorite campus traditions: Definitely eating food from Taq in the wheat fields at sunset, hands down.