Whitman Student Consulting Corps Fall 2020 Cohort
The Fall 2020 Whitman Student Consulting Corps From Top Left: Anna Allgeyer '22, WSCC Shelly Rasmussen, Allie McCann '22, Joseph Christensen '21, Hailey Zimber '22, Juan Pablo Liendo- Molina '21, Grace Fashanu '22, Alejandra Wait '22

Started in August 2019, the Whitman Student Consulting Corps is a three-year pilot program funded by a Core Grant from the Sherwood Trust that brings benefits to both local nonprofits and Whitman students. The basic goal of the corps is to provide high-level, broad-based management consulting to nonprofit organizations in the Walla Walla area.

Mission Statement:

Connecting Whitman College students and the local community, the Whitman Student Consulting Corps provides individualized, free of charge management consulting to the non-profit organizations of the Walla Walla Valley.

What is the Whitman Student Consulting Corps? 

Established in 2019, the Whitman College Student Consulting Corps is a program operating through Whitman’s Career and Community Engagement Center. The Consulting Corps, generously funded by the Sherwood Trust, creates paid Student Consultant positions which give current Whitman students real-life experience in the growing field of management consulting while benefiting nonprofits of the Walla Walla community.

Each Student Consultant belongs to a consulting team along with our Community Consulting Specialist, Shelly Rasmussen, that works with a nonprofit organization. The local organizations represent sectors in the community ranging from healthcare to education to the arts. The WSCC partnered with the Seattle based nonprofit consulting firm, 501 Commons, to receive training in facilitating the 501Commons Pathways Program, which is a self-assessment based management consulting program. Each Consulting team analyzes an organization’s responses to the self assessment, discovers organizational priorities that the group would like to receive help with, and researches and offers recommendations for those areas. At the end of the process, the Consulting teams will present the recommendations and resources to the organization’s lead and key stakeholders.

501 Commons and the Pathways Program

501 Commons is a Seattle based consulting firm founded in 1989 that works with nonprofits primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Each year they work with over 1000 non-profits, offering a wide range of services to strengthen these non-profits and the communities they work in. In partnering with 501 Commons, the Consulting Corps has learned how to administer one such service, the Pathways Program.

In the words of 501 Commons:

“Pathways is like a personal trainer for your organization. You will receive guidance on what you’re doing well, what you need to improve on, and what practical steps can be taken to advance your ability to serve your mission. Pathways provides a short consultation - with consultants that have nonprofit expertise - to help you capture the benefits of using our Five Elements of a Healthy Nonprofit Self-Assessment.”— 501 Commons Website

How to contact us:

Shelly Rasmussen, Community Consulting Specialist

Email: rasmussa@whitman.edu or studentconsulting@whitman.edu

Phone: 509-527-4791

Name: Brenna Donohue 

Major(s): Politics

Year: Senior

Organization: Vital Wines

I'm very excited to be working with Vital Wines in my capacity as a student consultant this semester. Getting to engage with and give back to the Walla Walla community is a central part of why I applied to be a student consultant. Being able to take part in reciprocal learning outside of the classroom through the WSCC will allow both me and the nonprofit I'm working with to grow and I can't wait to dive in! As a Politics major, I'm thrilled by the chance to step away from theory and see the benefits Vital Wines provides to local workers in the real world. Being able to assist an organization with such an ingenious solution to meet the healthcare needs of laborers is both touching and intensely inspiring. I'm so very thankful for the unique opportunity to work with Vital Wines and the WSCC team! 

Name: Ashley Joe 

Major(s): Economics and Sociology

Year: Senior

Role: Trilogy Recovery Community

I am super excited to be a part of this semester's WSCC cohort! I see the consulting cohort as the perfect opportunity to utilitze what I have learned at Whitman and give back to the community. I can also see consulting as a potential career option post-graduation so I am really grateful for this program that gives me the change to explore the field. This semester, I am working with the Trilogy Recovery Community. They offer resources, support, and hope to those in their path of recovery from addition or substance abuse.  

Name: Sam Gray 

Major(s): Sociology

Year: Junior

Organization: Tri-State Steelheaders and Implementation Projects

I am excited to join the WSCC and have this unique opporutnity to contribute to the Walla Walla community during my time here at Whitman. I hope to be able to apply my knowledge gained through studying sociology and economics in the classroom to a real life setting. 

I am going to be working with the Tri-State Steelheaders, which is a nonprofit that works on restoring native salmonid populations. I am so happy to be working with an organization with such an admirable mission, and hopefully, my report will be able to further that goal. I will also be working on implementation projects by looking back at previous cohorts reports and helping nonprofits with the action items provided by previous consultants. 

Name: Elea Besse

Major(s): Rhetoric, Writing, and Public Discourse & Art History

Year: Junior

Organization: Kirkman House Museum

The Whitman Student Consulting Corps sparked my interest because I have had a desire to work with nonprofit organizations for years. I believe nonprofits are telling of a community's needs and a collaborative effort between community members to support one another through organizational work. The WSCC lends itself to benefit the community initiatives in receiving consulting recommendations at no cost to the organization and to students in developing substantive and applicable problem solving skills. 

As a consultant with WSCC, I will be working with the Kirkman Hosue Museum. The historic Kirkman House was restored to its original condition in the 1970s by the Historic Architecture Development, Inc. to serve as a representation of a piece of Walla Walla's rich history. The museum now aims to inform its visitors about such history and the Kirkman family saga through preservation, education, and exhibition. As an art history student, I am looking forward to discovering the inner workings of a nonprofit museum in hopes to translate that knowledge into my future career plans. Furthermore, I hope that the research and recommendation skills I learn from this project will support the Kirkman House Museum in representing Walla Walla's robust and complicated history to the best of its ability. 

Name: Arron Yuan

Major(s): Economics

Minor(s): Psychology

Year: Senior

I applied to be a student consultant with the Whitman Consulting Corps because I was interested in deepening my engagement in the greater Walla Walla community and exploring the field of consulting as a potential career path. Through this experience, I hope to gain a fruitful connection with my community partner and learn skills associated with consulting that will prepare for life after Whitman, regardless of what field I go into.

Name: Tucker Grinnan

Major(s): History and Chinese

Year: Senior

Organization: Tri-state Steelheaders

The WSCC originally caught my attention because of its unique approach to community engagement. I'm passionate about both hearing people's stories and helping them address issues they care about deeply, which is why I thought the WSCC would be a good fit. 

This semester, I have to pleasure of working with the Tri-state Steelheaders, a Walla Walla based nonprofit focused on restoring native salmonid populations in the Blue Mountains region to sustainable levels. More than anything, I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with an organization important to the Walla Walla Valley community and help make a lasting positive impact.

Name: Alejandra Wait 

Major(s): Environmental Studies/Sociology

Year: Junior

Organization: Campfire Walla Walla

I applied to be a student consultant because I wanted to learn more about different organizations in Walla Walla, and I wanted to practice my sociological skills of investigating the efficacy of structures within organizations. Within my first two years at Whitman, I have worked with various organizations and learned about the amazing work that they are doing in this community. I am excited to learn about new organizations and help them to become even stronger in their work. 

I am working with Campfire Walla Walla, which is a local organization dedicated to providing young people with outdoor service experiences, programs, and camps that will inspire them to be confident and curious. I am excited to work with them because my own experiences learning outdoors were important to my own growth and curiosity as a young person. Outdoor experiences and service opportunities are a wonderful privilege, and I am grateful to be working with an organization that is making these experiences accessible to more people.

Name: Anna Allgeyer 

Major(s): Environmental Studies/Sociology

Year: Junior

Role: Student Reseacher

I applied to the WSCC to maintain engagement with the Walla Walla community and to learn more about working with nonprofits in order strengthen community foundations. I appreciate the practical skills that I am gaining from this program and hope to learn all that I can about the different nonprofits in Walla Walla. 

In my role as a student researcher, I enjoy developing my communication and outreach skills, as well as recruiting new community partners for the program. I also enjoy establishing a broad understanding of the nonprofit community in Walla Walla and look forward to making a real world difference using my skills. 

Name: Joseph Christensen 

Major(s): Politics & French

Year: Senior

Organization: Asclepius Snakebite Foundation

I am thrilled to be a Student Consultant working with the Asclepius Snakebite Foundation (ASF) this semester. Seeing as it is my senior year, I see this position as part of the culmination of my undergraduate education. I am a Politics and French double major from Seattle with an interest in goverment. I applied to be part of the Consulting Corps because I wanted to engage with the local community and bring my coursework to bear on a practical, hands-on project. The life-changing impact of ASF, its involvement in francophone West Africa, and the passion of its team have me raring to go! I am grateful to ASF and the Sherwood Trust for providing this opportunity for me to try out unfamiliar approaches to business dilennas and work collaboratively with experts to address areas of organizational growth. 

Name: Hailey Zimber

Major(s): Politics & Spanish

Year: Junior

Organization: Doughty Home for Veteran Women

When I first heard about the WSCC, it didn't take long for me to realize that the program provides the perfect opportunity for me to engage meaningfully with the Walla Walla community while gaining experience in the type of community-oriented advocacy work that I am most passinate about. 

This year, I look forward to assisting the Doughty Home for Veteran Women, a truly wonderful nonproft that works with female vets at a critical stage in their lives. As a firm believer in their mission, I am proud to be working with an organization that aticulates the needs of these heroic women at its center, providing them with the housing, support, and tools they need to ensure their future stability within our community.

Name: Allie McCann

Major(s): Politics & French

Year: Junior

Role: Student Consultant Peer Coach

I applied to be a student consultant with the Whitman Consulting Corps because I was interested in deepening my engagement in the greater Walla Walla community and exploring the field of consulting as a potential career path. Through this experience, I hope to gain a fruitful connection with my community partner and learn skills associated with consulting that will prepare for life after Whitman, regardless of what field I go into.

Name: Grace Fashanu

Major(s): Economics

Year: Junior

Organization: Hope Heals

My name is Grace, I am a junior from Houston, Texas. I really enjoy working as a consultant for WSCC. I got the amazing and unique opportunity to work with Hope Heals which is a non-profit in Walla Walla that works with its homeless population to deliver care packages to those in need. Every part of this job is fulfilling because I have the opportunity to organize a meaningful project that will help the organization run more efficiently. I think that being a consultant really allowed me to use the skills that I learn in the classroom and translate it into meaningful projects. 

Name: Ruilong Zhuang 

Major(s): Mathematics & Computer Science

Year: Senior

Organization: Catholic Charities of Walla Walla

I wanted to be a student consultant with the Whitman Student Consulting Corps because I would like to have more engagement with the Walla Walla community, and obtain practical experience in consulting. As a student consultant, I enjoy collaborating with our community consultant specialist Shelly Rasmussen to build a strong relationship with our clients. I hope to develop the skills of synthesizing problems, facilitating meetings and developing practical recommendations. As a Whitman student, I want to use my knowledge ot contribute to the development of our local community. 

Our team is working with Catholic Charities of Walla Walla, an organization that is dedicated to serving the rapidly developing community and building a place to promote life and dignity for all. Recently, Catholic Charities of Walla Walla opened The LOFT to provide emergency shelter and family reunification services to homeless youth aged 12–18. It is very exciting for me to work with them to help them to promote their values.

Name: Allie McCann

Major(s): Politics & French

Year: Sophmore

Orginzation:  Walla Walla Public Schools 21st Century Community Learning Centers

I applied to be a student consultant with the Whitman Consulting Corps because I was interested in deepening my engagement in the greater Walla Walla community and exploring the field of consulting as a potential career path. Through this experience, I hope to gain a fruitful connection with my community partner and learn skills associated with consulting that will prepare for life after Whitman, regardless of what field I go into.

My organization, 21st Century,  provides academic enrichment opportunities in an after school program that primarily serves children who are on Free and Reduced Lunch. I am especially excited to work with 21st Century because I had already come into contact with this amazing program before starting at WSCC and I thought it was an extremely important program for the Walla Walla community so I am excited to help support their work!

Name: Sofia Gispert Tello 

Major(s): Economics

Year: Senior

Organization: Trilogy Recovery Community

During my first couple of years at Whitman College, I didn't know I would be an Economics major. However, I knew I wanted to be involved in more than Whitman--I wanted to “pop the bubble” and be part of Walla Walla as well. In my first year, I was part of various committees, including the Career and Community Engagement Center Dimensionality Advisory Group, and was a Special Project intern for the Center where I got to inform myself of the complicated issues and workings of the community. One summer, I interned with the Commitment to Community, a grass-roots nonprofit in Walla Walla. Moving forward, I wanted to do something directly linked to my major but that would still allow for involvement in the larger community. I found the Whitman Student Consulting Corps to be the perfect fit.

While being introduced to the work of a consultant, I work with a nonprofit in Walla Walla called Trilogy Recovery Community. Trilogy helps individuals struggling with addiction and their families through the recovery process. They provide services to people of all ages but have a special focus on the youth of the community. I find it praiseworthy and appreciate how Trilogy teams up with other nonprofit organizations to provide their clients with the best resources. I am so excited to continue working with them and see what lies ahead as a member of WSCC!

Name: Brit Stocks

Major(s): Economics

Year: Senior

Organization: The Health Center

When I saw the WSCC position appear on Handshake I was convinced it was the perfect job for my senior year. A friend had gotten me excited about pursuing consulting after college, so when I saw that Whitman was starting a student consulting program that worked with real non-profit clients I couldn’t apply fast enough.

When I learned my client was The Health Center I felt truly excited to get to work! As I learned more about the organization, I saw how simple but effective their mission is: The Health Center makes a direct impact in many Walla Walla Public School students lives by providing mental and medical care right at school. This has led to a dramatic increase in graduation rates and, more importantly, has really made many students’ lives better. My goal for this project is to be a beneficial asset to the organization so they can continue to improve the wellbeing of students.

Name: Ally Collier

Major(s): Math and Economics

Year: Senior

Orginzation: The Star Project

I applied to be a student consultant because I really wanted to continue working in the Walla Walla community. I tutor for the GEAR UP program at Walla Walla High School, and I’m excited to continue my community involvement through the consulting position as well as learn more of the intricacies of both consulting and non-profits.

The STAR Project was the recipient of the 2018 Mx. Whitman Fundraiser put on annually by Kappa Kappa Gamma which I am involved with. I learned more about the incarceration system and how it affects the local area during the fundraiser, but I hope to learn more as I work with the STAR Project throughout this process.

Name: Jun Cai

Major(s): Economics

Year: Sophmore

Orginzation: Helpline

When I first heard about the newly established WSCC, I thought it was the perfect combination of my interests in developing meaningful relationships with the Walla Walla community and a hands-on exploration into what I consider the most intriguing aspect of a career in consulting—the opportunity to make a difference by applying critical thinking skills to real-life solutions.

I’m excited to work with Helpline Walla Walla, a wonderful multi-faceted organization that serves to assist people in meeting their basic needs through various services in order to prevent homelessness and achieve stability; I’m consistently impressed by the number of services Helpline manages to offer and look forward to helping them thrive in their endeavors.