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Paul Yancey, who came to Whitman in 1981, holds the Carl E. Peterson Endowed Chair of Sciences. He won the 1994 Lange Award for Distinguished Teaching in Science. Above, Yancey visits with one of his students, senior psychology major Judson Heugel.

Matt Carter, known at Whitman for his finely-honed talent for comedic improvization, brought expert leadership to the College’s TheatreSports program. He also sang with the Testostertones and performed a leading role at Harper Joy Theatre. His talent for entertainment, however, was the icing on the cake of a fine academic record. Carter graduated magna cum laude with honors in his major, biology, and a minor in chemistry. Now working as resident director of Jewett Hall, he plans to pursue a medical career. He is from Bothell, Washington.

Paul Yancey, Biology

by Matthew Carter, '00

Attending a physiology or marine biology lecture by professor Paul Yancey is a lot like going on a field trip to all parts of the world at once. We start our tour on the chalkboard and overhead projector, but soon we are transported throughout the globe with photographs of the Great Barrier Reef, video clips of hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, slides of adaptations in the intertidal zone, and internet links to current research around the world.

Biological and chemical samples are routinely passed around for us to see, smell, and touch. We get to fly inside an animated human heart like a theme park ride and watch muscle cells contract as if they are moving parts of an automobile. I cannot recall a single class or concept that wasn’t complemented with colorful pictures or memorable sounds.

Imagine coming to class each day knowing that the professor will use slide shows, animations, videos, and other multimedia tools that make the subject come alive. Imagine receiving a custom-made lecture outline by the front door each time you enter the classroom. Imagine that each day you are provided with copies of current magazine and newspaper articles that complement what you learn in class, connecting biological concepts with actual research throughout the world.

Even our exams required us to read a portion of an article or watch a documentary clip and critically analyze the scientific concepts. To this day I connect aspects of the news and current events with key ideas learned in Professor Yancey’s courses.

I’ve never known another teacher who was able to use multimedia tools so effectively. I look back on Professor Yancey’s courses amazed at how much I learned and experienced in his classroom without walls.

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