Faculty Award for Service
The Whitman College Alumni Association Faculty Award for Service is given yearly to a faculty member who has distinguished himself/herself in service to the Alumni Association. Although this service may take any number of forms, the underlying theme involves strengthening and maintaining ties between the College and its alumni. Examples of service include participation in alumni gatherings, both on and off campus, and assistance in the planning/implementation of alumni events.
Recipient for 2017 is Phil Brick, Miles C. Moore Professor of Political Science, Director of Environmental studies and the Semester in the West program
It’s been nearly 20 years since Professor of Political Science Phil Brick traveled to Spokane to speak to alumni, and since then he has paddled down the Rogue River, flown to San Francisco, driven to Portland and Seattle and made presentations during reunion weekend on campus. He has presented lectures on the geology and ecology of the West, the reappearance of wolves in Oregon, and Semester in the West (SITW), a signature educational program of the College.
Phil was the mastermind behind a 2011 SITW reunion, held on Comb Ridge, roughly 350 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah. A significant stop of the Semester in the West program, the site has special meaning for “Westies,” as participants are known. Alumni office staff was initially skeptical that an event in this far-flung location would have much of a draw for busy young alumni.
Phil knew what he was about – 69% of alumni Westies attended the reunion. Alumni came from Alaska, Vermont, New York, California, Minnesota and points in between. It was the best-attended reunion in Whitman recorded history.
“As SITW turns 10, I am aware now, more than ever, how fortunate I am to work at a place where such a program is possible,” said Phil at the time. “It’s no accident that SITW emerged from the creative, liberal learning culture that prevails at Whitman.”