Joshuah Whittinghill—Steering Students in the Right Direction

“Teaching 55 freshmen a semester and working with them on issues that are directly related to them—who they are and where they come from—is inspiring.”

Whittinghill has spent 12 years working with first-generation students as an academic advisor for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). “I started to see students I helped as freshmen graduate,” he says. “Meeting their families at graduation and seeing their parents cry and tell me ‘thank you’ allowed me to see that I was helping not just students, but their families as well.”

“After about four or five years working here, I started to see students I helped as freshmen graduate,” says Whittinghill. “Meeting their families at graduation and seeing their parents cry and tell me ‘thank you’ allowed me to see that I was helping not just students, but their families as well.

“It felt good. But really, I just pointed them in the right direction. They did all the work.”

Whittinghill doesn’t confine his outreach to the office, however. In addition to supporting first-generation students and helping students on academic probation get back on track, he also organizes events to bring students together and make them feel more included on campus. He puts on the EOP Art Show, the Diversity Art Show, and various workshops for students.

Whittinghill also teaches Introduction to Multicultural and Gender Studies and Introduction to University Life. In his classes, he is able to question, push, and challenge his students in their beliefs and get to know them in a way he might not otherwise be able to.

“Teaching 55 freshmen a semester and working with them on issues that are directly related to them—who they are and where they come from—is inspiring,” says Whittinghill. “There’s a lot of life in my job.”

Joshuah Whittinghill