Whitman College March Newsletter

Welcome to the March edition of the Whitman E-Newsletter! In this issue, you will find:

Save the Date: Spring Visitors' Day is on the Way!

April is around the corner and it’s time to start making plans to come visit Whitman on Friday, April 20, for our annual Spring Visitors’ Day. Come learn everything you need to know about Whitman and much, much more. Discover how you could find yourself in front of the Washington State Legislature presenting original research on Latino voting rights, or making a documentary on the streets of Denver about the city’s homeless population through a student government grant. Tour campus, meet and eat with current students, sample classes, and check out the largest collegiate rock wall in the country, to name just a few options. Even if you can’t make it to campus for a slice of Whittie life, check out our Facebook page for regular updates from students on exciting campus happenings, like the Macklemore concert last weekend! 

Zack Ellenbogen '12 & Dr. Robert Sickels Launch Sterling Hallard Bright Drake

Senior Zach Ellenbogen and Professor of American Film and Cultural Studies Robert Sickels will be premiering their collaborative short film Sterling Hallard Bright Drake at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose later this month. The documentary sets out to challenge the old maxim “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” by exploring the wavering lines between truth and memory while solving the mysteries surrounding one of the world’s most infamous tombstones. The film has already been accepted to three major festivals and was scored by Whitman graduate Joseph Karp, better known in the music world as Budo. On a side note, Joseph was just nominated for songwriter of the year in Ghana for his work with Ghanaian artist M.anifest.

Mikayla Briere '14 Training for U.S. Paralympic Team

Mikayla Briere had never tried Nordic skiing before receiving an Outdoor Environmental Leadership Fund grant that sent her to a training camp in West Yellowstone.  It was an exhausting training regime, but she Skyped into class and worked with professors individually to keep up with academics. Now her hard work has paid off; last month Mikayla placed fourth at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup, a qualifying event for the U.S. Paralympics, beating some of the best skiers in the world. Read more of Mikayla’s remarkable story here.

Whitties Work to "Cool the Schools"

Every spring Whitman students hit the elementary and middle schools around Walla Walla as part of Campus Climate Challenge’s “Cool the Schools” program. For two weeks in April, Whitman students will work through discussion-based curriculums with elementary and middle school students, helping them better understand their impact on the environment and the complex issues of climate change, as well constructive solutions to enact broader social change. Discover other great ways to get involved with the Walla Walla community at the Center for Community Service.

What do Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo & The Devil Came on Horseback Have in Common Besides Horses?

They’re both films that showed at Whitman last week: The Devil Came on Horseback is a gripping documentary that explores the layers of the conflict in Darfur through the eyes of an American witness. Professor of History Jackie Woodfork gave an update on the conflict at the end of the screening to a rapt audience. The Whitman community was also fortunate to host highly acclaimed director Bradley Beesley for a Q&A session accompanying the screening of his film Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo. The documentary goes behind prison walls in Oklahoma, home to the highest female incarceration rate in the nation, to examine the last-of-its-kind spectacle that is the annual “Prison Rodeo,” now almost 75 years old. 

Slam Poet Myrlin Hepworth Visits Whitman, Holds Workshops

Renowned slam poet Myrlin Hepworth traveled to Walla Walla this week to perform his fantastic slam poetry at the weekly Coffeehouse concert / performance. He also led two spoken word / writing workshops open to all Whitman students. Other Coffeehouse favorites include always-packed open mic night and Seattle rap stalwarts the Blue Scholars.

Swim Team Finishes Best Season Ever

Last month both men’s and women’s teams had strong finishes to the season at the Northwest Conference Championship meet, hosted at the King Co. Aquatic Center in Federal Way, WA. The men took second place in the conference for the first time in school history and junior Galen Sollom-Brotherton was named men’s swimmer of the meet. He was the first Whitman swimmer to ever win three events at the championship meet. The women’s team took a solid third place conference finish and head coach Jen Blomme was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year. Read more on Whitman swimming here.

Writing House Hosts Seuss Day

In honor of Dr. Seuss, the Writing House celebrated Seuss Day on February 28, inviting students to wear pajamas, bring their homework, and enjoy delicious hot drinks and yummy treats, while being read Dr. Seuss stories, of course. The Writing House is part of the Interest House Community or IHC, which in addition to being a fantastic living option for upperclasswo/men, provides tons of programming to campus. Some of the most popular include the all IHC Block Party or La Maison Francaise’s Paris Nights Café.