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.
Kevin Pogue, professor of geology, almost feels “a little guilty” about the Faculty Award for Service recently bestowed on him by the Alumni Association. “It’s like getting an award for something you do that’s fun,” he said. “I lead field trips and give lectures, and I enjoy doing it. I don’t view it as work.”
Now in his 17th year at Whitman, Pogue’s long list of service to alumni includes everything from lecturing at Summer College sessions to attending faculty receptions to exploring the geology of the wine regions of France on a alumni trip in 2006.
What make these trips fun are the alumni, he said. “As an instructor and teacher, the most rewarding thing is to have an attentive, interested audience that is excited about being there. That has always been my experience with alumni groups.”
Whitman alumni are “so enthusiastic and inquisitive and fun to be around,” Pogue said. “The trip to France was just a blast. They kept pumping me with questions.”
The France trip was “so much fun for all of us, I really want to do more,” he added. If Pogue has his say, next up may be a trip to explore the geology of the wine regions of Italy. “I was there this summer, and I was thinking the whole time that this would be a really great place (and this would be a really great place, and this…),” he said. “I’ve already had a dozen or so alumni say to let them know as soon as we plan another trip.”
Pogue’s current research focuses on how soil type and landscape influence the terroir of the Walla Walla Valley American Viticulture Area and the Quaternary clastic dikes of the Columbia Basin. He has lectured on Walla Walla terroir and wines at recent reunion weekends.
Alumni who seek a Pogue-geology fix between alumni trips can visit his Web site, which features his “Mountain Bike Guide to the Blue Mountains,” and a rock-climbing page with advice about where to climb near Walla Walla and other information on rock, ice and mountain climbing. See http://people.whitman.edu/~pogue/