2012 Award Winners

John Waller '98

John Waller ’98, majored in Environmental Science. He’s been a high school science teacher, whitewater rafting guide, outdoor adventure guide and president of an annual photography contest. For the past 8 years, has run a video production company, Uncagethe Soul Productions, dedicated to bringing unique and exceptional stories to life. John was a featured presenter at the 2012 TEDxPortland conference for his recent production,Finding Oregon, which has received critical acclaim.

Kirsten Wyatt ‘99

Kirsten’s major was Politics. After graduation, and before graduate school, she worked in public relations. She received her MPA from UNC Chapel Hill and then went to work on rural economic development issues and then as a finance analyst for the VirginiaDepartment of Education. In 2007 she returned to Oregon to work for the City of WestLinn. Her career has progressed and she is now Assistant City Manager. Kirsten is the founder of a popular group for young leaders, the Oregon Emerging Local GovernmentLeaders (ELGL) network, which gathers local government employees together to increase the effectiveness of local government professionals.

Dave Barrows ’57, L ‘61

Dave Barrows has been a legislative lobbyist since 1959. While this career path might not be unusual for a liberal arts grad today, it was a very unusual choice at the time.As a dual degree alumnus (Politics '57 and Law '61) when Dave announced to his law school classmates that he was planning on being a lobbyist, no one knew what that career was. In his own words, the work has been filled with “highs and lows”. He started his lobbying career representing the savings and loan industry. Now he is an independent lobbyist representing everything from pharmaceutical, insurance,transportation, medical and non-profit industries.

Adam Lutz '95

Adam was an art major at Willamette. His first job post-graduation, was somewhat job related, he was a CAD Operator designing office floor plans for a large insurance company. From there, he managed a retail store, then went back into the insurance industry as a first line supervisor in the department where he had his first job. Adam soon shifted into facilities management where he spent a number of years advancing within the organization. In 2007 he was recruited by Google as facilities manager inNew York where he helped the site grow from 900 to 3,000 over 5 years. In 2012 he was promoted to Real Estate Project Executive for Google New York.

Sean Gilleran ’08

Sean graduated in 2008 as a Psychology major. He found his first job before graduation and moved to New York City to work in the Annual Giving office at a small private liberal arts college. After a year, he received a promotion and gained another year of experience managing marketing strategy and donor research. In 2011 he was recruited to work at American Express as an Analyst in the Global Client Group. He was recently promoted into a relationship manager role for global retail accounts and is responsible for managing the North American business of Costco, the largest merchant partner forAmerican Express. While finance services and partnerships management is not the path he expected to find himself on he relies heavily on his Willamette education, particularly critical reading, persuasive writing and creative thinking.