Macy Olivas

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Macy Olivas photo
Macy Olivas photo

Anticipated graduation year: 2013

Major: Sociology

Birthplace: California born and raised :)

Hometown: San Diego, Calif.

Whitworth activities/clubs: Students For Education Reform (SFER) Chapter Leader; Teach For America Campus Campaign Coordinator; BELIEF Program Organizer; 2010-2011 Cultural Diversity Advocate; admissions ambassador

Research/special academic programs: Laureate Society and sociology department student researcher

Whitworth off-campus study programs: In 2013 I wil travel to Rome, Florence, Vienna and Berlin through Whitworth's Power of Art and Politics Jan Term program.

Favorite music artist/group:
Morning pick-me-up: Mos Def
Favorite study partners: Common & John Legend
Always good for the soul: Lauryn Hill

Favorite book: Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough. Geoffrey Canada is one of my favorite education reformers and, like him, I believe the best reform involves empowering and supporting communities. Tough makes you feel like you are witnessing Canada's work in Harlem firsthand and makes you want to transform 97 blocks of your own.

Favorite movie: Selena. It is what my parents used to keep me quiet when I was little, and I know every line by heart. Favorite scene: When Selena's dad discovers her new Paula Abdul look.

Favorite food: Sushi

Favorite quote: "To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart." – Eleanor Roosevelt

You'd be surprised to know that…One of the first websites I check when going online is Perez Hilton. For some odd reason I care about what is going on in the celebrity world. I follow which celebrity has a new reality TV show, who is working on what film, and who launched a new product line. Basically, I am one of those that keeps E! in business. Embarrassing truth, but I promise I always follow up with The New York Times. Helps keep my dignity intact.

If I could try anything and not fail: Restructure our public school system. Lofty goal, but for the 1.2 million students that drop out in our country every year, it is much needed.

If you could go on a road trip with anyone (from the past or present): Maya Angelou, on a cross-country road trip. The longer I could bask in her wisdom, the better. Her stories would make for great road-trip talk and I would love to hear about her early work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What I like best about Whitworth: Everyone on campus is in on your learning experience. From the registrar helping you get transcripts and your summer internship, to the helpful Sodexo staff supplying you with an extra shot of espresso to get you through your day. You are never in on it alone.

What I would like to do after I graduate: I would like to continue my work in education reform. I will be applying to Teach For America and graduate schools come fall. I have not decided whether I want to pursue education policy, work in the nonprofit sector, or continue teaching – but whatever I end up doing I want to remain in close contact with students so I never forget that I am working for them.

The most important life lesson I've learned in my time at Whitworth: Never let your "full-time student" status sway you away from fighting for what you believe in. Use it as empowerment and don't wait until after you graduate to start actively seeking change. There are too many social justice issues to wait for your diploma.