Jessica Matthews named YWCA campus advocate

A new Sexual Assault Victims Advocate for Whitman College has joined the YWCA staff.

Jessica Matthews recently arrived from Seattle, where she worked for the Firland Northwest Tuberculosis Center at Harborview. Prior to that, she served as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Malawi, leading efforts to establish a men’s HIV and violence prevention program in the prison system. Her professional interests are focused in social justice and advocacy for marginalized populations.

Jessica earned her Master of Public Health degree at Oregon State University. During her Master’s she was the Peer Health Advocate Graduate Assistant, working with undergraduate students to institute educational health outreach programming on campus. She received her B.A. in Sociology and Education from Colorado College. In college, she helped organize “Take Back the Night” events and worked at a homeless shelter.
Jessica grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and returns to visit family as often as possible. In her free time she enjoys traveling, skiing, and practicing yoga.

“I am really excited about advocating for the men and women of Whitman College to make the campus and community safer,” Jessica says. “I hope any student or staff member will feel comfortable reaching out to me, knowing that, as a YWCA employee, I’m not required to report assaults to the college. I can keep your stories absolutely confidential.”

Jessica, shown here on a visit to India, loves to travel.