Willie Painter '06
Major: English and environmental studies
"My career and leadership in the community demands that I communicate effectively, with ease and empathy. Having been a PLU student who participated in the first years of the Wild Hope Project, I find that I'm drawn to work and volunteer in ways that allow me to help raise the level of dignity for communities of people.
"I do that whether in the form of advocating for civil rights legislation, providing training on cultural competency, serving people living in poverty, or myriad other strategies to break down the foundations upon which social inequities sit and thrive.
"Every day, I use critical thinking in a multidisciplinary framework to help form my values and decisions. I've learned that trust in both my professional and personal life is earned by showing good intentions, sound reasoning, and consistent follow-through. The philosophy courses I took taught me to never accept arguments at face value, always challenge points of view no matter how common-sensical they may seem, and to methodically support my own arguments with sufficient evidence and logic. These things I consider to be hallmarks of the first-rate liberal arts education I received at PLU."