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Alumni Achievements

Jessica (Butelo) Anderson, '10

Major: Psychology

Current Position: Recently completed a two-year term with Teach For America, in Miami, Fla.; is pursuing a Ph.D. in educational psychology at University of the Pacific, in Stockton, Calif.

Why Whitworth? "The minute I stepped on the campus, I knew it was the right school for me. Right away, students asked me if I was looking at attending the school and welcomed me. This was something that I did not experience at any of the other colleges I visited. There were so many activities and clubs available, and I was extremely attracted to Whitworth's desire not only to educate students' minds, but also to educate their hearts."

Whitworth Activities: Track & field, intramurals, co-president of the Artists' Guild, head of PR for Colleges Against Cancer, Invisible Children, Psychology Club, KWRS deejay, and studied abroad in Italy and Germany during Jan Term.

Quote: "Attending Whitworth was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. It taught me how to think for myself and fight for what I believed in. It exposed me to the needs of the world and gave me the tools necessary to make positive changes."

Influential Whitworth Professor: "Whitworth is unique in that the professors not only want to see their students succeed, but they genuinely care about their students' growth as people. One professor who really had a major impact on my life was Psychology Professor Patricia Bruininks. I would not be where I am at right now if it was not for her constant encouragement and belief in me. Her passion for helping others spills over to her students. I still contact her for advice and support!"

Career Goal: "I hope to graduate with my doctorate in educational psychology and work as a psychologist in inner-city schools. My dream is to close the devastating achievement gap by turning failing schools around. I believe that this begins with improving the mental health of the students as well as the culture of the school."

Here's what some other recent Whitworth graduates are doing with their psychology degrees:

  • Erin Arner is working on a master's degree in social work at Arizona State University.

  • Stacey (Webber) Villanueva published an article for Sleep Wake Research in the Netherlands, two abstracts for Sleep journal, and is working on her dissertation about couples therapy. She is involved in an internship at Washington State University to complete her Psy.D. requirements for Regent University.

  • Steve Merriman attended Gonzaga Law School and is now an attorney for Perkins Coie LLP, in Seattle.

  • Emily (Miller) Gerhard is a research assistant for RADARS System (Colo.), where she collects and analyzes nationwide drug- and poison-exposure cases for major pharmaceutical companies. 

  • Amber Kraft completed four years of service in Bolivia in a girls' orphanage and also directed psychology research in Cochabamba. She is beginning a doctoral program in community psychology at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

  • Tyler Hamilton works for Teach For America, in New York. He works at a school in Brooklyn with juvenile offenders.

  • Melissa Garner is earning a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Seattle Pacific University.

  • Amanda Tufts graduated summa cum laude from Lewis & Clark Law School, in Portland, and is pursuing a career in law.

  • Annie Merriman completed a year-long master's program at Harvard University.