People in the business of serving others appreciate the small and significant ways in which they're able to impact people's lives. Students drawn to this type of career are usually good communicators and have a strong desire to help others. Volunteer work and courses in psychology, sociology, gender studies, religion, and philosophy could all lend themselves to preparing for this field.
Following a summer internship with the Burma Humanitarian Mission fundraising for and assisting organizations that help displaced peoples of Burma, Kari Hampson '17, said:
"My internship with Burma Humanitarian Mission helped me engage in cross-cultural interaction and international aid. I'm glad I had this internship, as it helped me realize interest that I had access to community healthcare, and the foundations that a community needs in order to foster good health, such as youth education, clean water, and conflict-free areas. My internship helped me academically by realizing the need and use for the liberal arts, in order to think in interdisciplinary ways to try to combat humanitarian crises."
There are many clubs on campus that will allow you to explore your interests, stretch your skills, and make an impact in an area about which you're passionate. Contact the ASWC Club Director at email@example.com to learn more about current clubs or start your own.
All Students for Consent (ASC)
All Students for Consent helps the community support survivors of sexual violence and combat rape culture through education.
Community Service House (The "Coop")
Residents of this interest house promote volunteerism and complete at least 30 hours of community service each semester. Up to seven students and one resident assistant can occupy the Community Service House.
Council on Student Affairs
Five students (and at least two alternates) work as a disciplinary body to make rulings on student infractions of school policy.
Diversity Governing Board
Two students sit on the Diversity Governing Board, where they engage in frank discussions about creating a learning environment that attracts and embraces a more diverse community. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.
Enrollment Governing Board
Two students sit on the Enrollment Governing Board and work with the Office of Admission to develop ideology, improve the admission process, increase retention, and evaluate financial aid systems. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.
Feminists Advocating Change and Empowerment (FACE)
FACE supports marginalized groups and advocates for a feminism that includes people of various backgrounds, genders, races, etc., rather than limiting their efforts to a particular "kind" of woman.
A chapter of the national non-profit, GlobeMed at Whitman educates the community about issues of global public health through discussions, events, films, and a close relationship with Burma Humanitarian Mission (BHM). BHM supports grassroots education, community-based backpack medics, and refugee collaboration projects in Burma.
Health Center Advisory Committee
Three students work as a liaison between the Welty Health Center and the student body, advising the Health Center on program and policy changes and students on service availability.
Multi-Ethnic Center for Cultural Affairs (MECCA)
The MECCA houses up to four students and one resident assistant who host race discussions, international potlucks, current events forums, and other events that celebrate and promote different cultures.
Affiliated with the Counseling Center, this program fosters emotional well-being on campus by providing students with a safe space to discuss any issue with a peer.
Planned Parenthood Generation Action
This group educates the community about reproductive health and rights, providing a safe space to learn about healthy, enjoyable, and empowering ways to approach sex.
Power & Privilege
The P & P Operations Sub-Committee includes a Volunteer Coordinator who organizes hundreds of students for this day of presentations, discussions and workshops about the hierarchies of power and the intersections of identity.
Story Time Project
Story Time volunteers travel to classrooms and daycares throughout Walla Walla to read stories to children each week. Bilingual volunteers, especially those fluent in Spanish, are welcome.
Student Life Committee
Six students serve 2-year terms and address non-academic or non-disciplinary matters relating to student life, often by recommending policy changes.
Student Life Governing Board
Two students sit on the Student Life Governing Board, where they work with the dean of students, provost, faculty, and president of the college to address the quality of life on campus. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.
Whitman Events Board (WEB)
WEB is a volunteer-driven student committee funded by ASWC which plans a variety of campus-wide events. The WEB Campus Relations Coordinator manages student engagement efforts and increases campus awareness.
This club addresses mental health issues, educating the community and welcoming anyone who seeks information about how to help themselves or support loved ones.
Community involvement helps students understand a broad range of issues and is becoming increasingly important in the eyes of many employers. For more ways to connect with local organizations, contact the Student Engagement Center in Reid.
This program pairs Whitman students with residents at the nearby Odd Fellows senior home. Volunteers visit their adopted grandparents each week to tell stories, play games, listen to music, read books, and craft together.
The Buddy Program connects students with intellectually or developmentally disabled adults in Walla Walla. Students meet with their community buddies twice a month for various activities, including dances, movie nights, crafts, bowling, and more.
These tutors volunteer in Walla Walla high school classrooms to model self-confidence, foster academic commitment, strong study skills, and planning for college.
Eye to Eye
Eye to Eye connects fourth and fifth graders from Walla Walla public schools with Whitman students with learning disabilities. Each week, the pairs create art projects that instill confidence and self-advocacy skills in the elementary schoolers.
Green Park Elementary Bilingual Program
Once a week students tutor children at Green Park Elementary School as they transition from learning only in Spanish to learning in English. Volunteers must be able to teach various subjects in Spanish, including math, reading, writing, and science.
Summer Community OutReach trips allow students to explore Walla Walla before classes start through work with great nonprofits and community organizations in town. The excursions are student-led, pre-orientation service trips for incoming Whitman students. These trips allow new students to participate in community service projects in Walla Walla and get to know their fellow peers through hard work and lots of fun. SCORE participants volunteer at a primary service project each day and go on field trips to non-profits to gain an understanding of the social issues that affect our community.
Whitman Mentor Program
Whitman students join their mentee, a local elementary schooler, at recess once a week to build a healthy relationship and have fun.
Fellowships and grants afford many students the opportunity to continue their learning beyond graduation in high-impact programs. For more information, please contact the Office of Fellowships and Grants in Reid Campus Center.
Greenlining Institute Fellowship
The Greenlining Institute is a national policy, organizing and leadership institute working for racial and economic justice. Greenlining ensures that grassroots leaders are participating in major policy debates by building diverse coalitions that work together to advance solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. Greenlining builds public awareness of issues facing communities of color, increase civic participation, and advocates for public and private policies that create opportunities for people and families to make the American Dream a reality.
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards a merit-based scholarship to college students who are going to pursue a pursue a career in government or elsewhere in public service. The Truman Scholars will receive up to $30,000 that can go towards graduate or professional school, participating in leadership development activities and will provide special opportunities for internship and employment within the federal government. Scholars are also required to work in the public service sector for three of the seven years that precede the funded graduate degree program, and those who fail to do so or lack proof of employment will be required to pay back any funds received along with interest.
The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or the environment. In 2016, the Udall Foundation will award 60 scholarships of up to $7,000 each, and anticipates that at least 20 scholarships will be awarded in Tribal Public Policy and Native Health Care. The Udall scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on American Indian self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources. Scholars will receive $5,000 dollars for tuition, room and board and other education expenses, along with an all-expense paid four-day Udall Scholar Orientation in Tucson. Also, access to the Udall Alumni Listserv of environmental and tribal professionals. The Foundation may withhold or terminate a scholarship due to unsatisfactory academic performance, withdrawal from full-time academic enrollment, or failure to comply with the conditions of the scholarship.
Emerson Hunger Fellowship
The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship, a project of the Congressional Hunger Center, is a unique leadership development opportunity for motivated individuals seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty. Each year 16 to 20 participants are selected for this eleven-month program. Fellows are placed for half their term of service with urban and rural community-based organizations all over the country involved in fighting hunger at the local level, such as grassroots organizing groups, food banks, economic development agencies, local advocacy groups, and faith-based organizations. Then they move to Washington, DC to complete the year with national organizations involved in the anti-hunger and poverty movement, including national advocacy organizations, think tanks, and federal agencies.
To learn more about working on campus, visit the Student Employment page. We have general job search resources here. For employers committed to diversity and opportunities for minorities, visit workplacediversity.com, nemnet.com, and blackcollegian.com.
Industry Job Boards & Resources
- Human Rights Campaign careers
- Operations Crossroads Africa - Volunteer programs and cultural exchanges designed to promote understanding of Africa and the African Diaspora based on the belief that one can truly enter another culture only by living and working in it.
- National LGBTQ Task Force employment page
Internships and on-campus employment are excellent for accumulating work experience, developing your narrative, and broadening your network. Note that the list below is not comprehensive. Check sites such as vault.com and internships.com for more opportunities.
- American Psychological Association
- Blue Mountain Action Council
- Eagle Condor Humanitarian Internships
- Global Internships
- Health and Human Services
- The New American Youth Opportunity Project Intern
- The Peace Corps
- The STAR project
- Washington DC Internships in Human Services & Social Policy
- Walla Walla County Juvenile Justice Center
- Washington State Department of Services for the Blind
Studying away from campus is a fantastic way to learn more about the world, as well as an excellent experience upon which you'll draw throughout your academic and professional career. For more information, contact Off-Campus Studies in Memorial.
The DIS Copenhagen program, students can take a variety of courses in English while experiencing immersion in Copenhagen, Denmark. This program provides students with an academically challenging environment where students can take over 200 elective course that are all taught in English. There are several cultural engagements opportunities like course-integrated study tours, DIScovery Trips, housing.
IES: London Health Practice & Policy
Through the IES: London Health Practice & Policy program, Whitman students can study current issues related to health care, public health practices and policy, and the structure and administration of health care systems. Students enroll in courses at the IES Abroad Center (located near the British Museum) and travel to Oxford once per week for a course taught at Oxford's St Catherine's College. Students travel to Kingston, Jamaica for the final 8-10 days of the semester to study health issues in a country with a developing economy.
Here are some possible post-graduate degrees pursued by people in social services. Contact Gayle Townsend at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
- Master of Social Work
- Ph.D. in Social Work
- MA Education-Family and Community Services
- Master in Public Administration and Policy, JD
AllPsychologySchools.com - All Psychology Schools provides a wealth of information for students who are looking for the right school and program to get their psychology degree.
American Psychological Association - A resource for students exploring careers and graduate education in psychology.
Careers in Psychology - Learn about the variety of careers in Psychology with expert interviews.
Potential Job Titles
Clinical Social Worker
Child and Family Social Worker
Social Services Lawyer