Our Stories

Faculty Connections

Thorsett’s quick response to a prospective student's letter is one of many ways Willamette administrators and faculty connect with students.

Here’s what students had to say when we asked about their connections to faculty:

Politics professor Jonneke Koomen goes above and beyond her professor duties. She is great at helping you succeed in class, but also takes the time to know you as a person. By doing that, she can cater her resources and expertise to who you are and your goals. In a classroom setting, she makes you feel appreciated.” — Yasmine Genena ’16

Christopher Harris, a professor from the Theatre Department, is easily one of the most incredible professors I have had the pleasure to take a class with and get to know on a more personal level. … He truly goes above and beyond the role of a classroom professor and is one of the most reliable and helpful people I know.” — Kassie McKay ’15

Sociology professor Stas Vysotsky is one of the most intelligent, relaxed professors who cares first and foremost about creating an environment where all of his students are comfortable with each other and able to discuss material in a meaningful way. … He represents everything a good professor should be — someone who not only loves teaching, but someone who will go out of their way to help their students reach their fullest potential.” — Jennifer Allaway ’15

Sociology professor Brianne Dávila wrote a letter of recommendation for me for my involvement in the Columbia Summer Public Health Scholars Program at Columbia University in New York this summer. While at Columbia, I learned about the importance of a reference, along with the other valuable career, professional, life lessons. I consider her a phenomenal mentor because she has intentionally connected with me and other students and initiates academic interventions. Her office has always been a safe space for me.” — Emmanuel Rodriguez ’15

“In the Japanese Department, professor Miho Fujiwara is an exemplary teacher. Her door is literally always open, and discussions during her office hours can start with extra help on assignments but end with powerful life lessons. … There is no professor on campus who is more caring and invested in her students as professor Fujiwara.” — Matt Tom ’15

Professor Jon Cole of the Theatre Department has gone above and beyond for me. I needed a directing class to graduate, so he is teaching a directing independent study class for me this semester. That means he has committed to extra hours of class time to teach directing, so I can graduate with a double major.” — Rebecca Wirta ’14

Prospective student asks President Thorsett "Why Willamette?"

Like most prospective students, Zöe Sprott is inundated with choices. The junior at Sacred Hearts Academy in Hawaii visited eight schools in three days and wanted to know why she should choose Willamette. 

So who better to ask than President Steve Thorsett himself?