Five Whitman Graduates Embark for Year of Teaching in China while two 2017-18 teachers will remain in China to teach for a second year.

In keeping with a 35-year tradition, five Whitman graduates depart this month for yearlong positions teaching English at Chinese universities through the Whitman in China program.

Sam Jacobson ’17, Politics-Environmental Science major will continue teaching at Yunnan University in Kunming, Yunnan Province. This will be Sam's second year at Yunnan University. Olivia Thomson ’18, Biology major will join Sam in Kunming at Yunnan University for her first year of teaching.

Nadir Ovcina ’17, History and Philosophy major, will continue his teaching for a second year at the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. Kerr Ivan Cirilo ’18, Religion and Art major, Chris Hankin ’18, Politics major, Jessica Kostelnik ’18, Rhetoric Studies major, and Peggy Li ’18, Economics and Philosophy major will join Nadir in Xi'an at the Northwestern Polytechnical University for their first year of teaching.

Founded by David Deal, Professor of History, in 1982 the aim of the program is to promote understanding between the people of China and the people of the United States.  Throughout the years over 200 Whitman alumni have participated in the program and many went on to pursue careers in business or journalism in China or have become academics in China-related fields.

I think there is something to be said for the unknown. When you travel and live abroad, you carry a different version of yourself with you. You become more accustomed to challenges unforeseen, more trusting of those around you, and more willing to ask for help. You learn how to take risks, how to listen, and how to be alone with yourself. If you’re lucky, your experience in a different country will carry home lending to a vastly richer and more creative life; ever enabling you to pack a bag for the next adventure.. – Sam Jacobson ’17, WIC Teacher at Yunnan University in Kunming

Whitman in China gave me everything I was looking for in a post-graduation opportunity: the chance to spend a year living in China, a work experience that developed my teaching and interpersonal skills, and ample opportunity to travel and self-reflect. I made so many great connections here and had unforgettable experiences that I hope will prove valuable to me long after I leave China. – Emily Lin-Jones ’15, WIC Teacher at NPU in Xi’an