Alumni Spotlight


Jeanette Wong ’81, DMA
Director and Professor of Academic Advising
Azusa Pacific University

Major: Music, through the Whittier Scholars Program

What first attracted you to Whittier College? The reputation of the faculty in the Music Department and the beautiful campus. Additionally, I was a first-generation college student, and the faculty and staff at Whittier were so helpful and affirming in my initial (and subsequent) navigation of the academic programs and the financial and student records requirements

Why did you choose to study music? I knew I wanted to consider music as a major. When I began my music classes, the faculty kept me engaged, intrigued, and challenged! I also joined the Whittier Scholars Program because of the faculty's ability to articulate and involve us in a common liberal arts experience for all of us even with different majors.

Where was your favorite place to study? There was a specific practice room on the second floor of the music building that was "mine." I loved practicing there, but it was nerve racking at times because the music faculty's parking lot was directly below the window and they could hear me practicing (and knew where to find me if I was not getting to their class right on time!) 

What was your first job after Whittier? How has your Whittier education benefited you professionally? After Whittier, I went to graduate school at USC (so I went from being a Poet to being a Trojan). My first full-time job after graduate school was as an assistant professor at California Baptist College (now University). My liberal arts education prepared me for working with students of all majors and interests.

What advice would you give to future music alumni when they graduate? Stay interested in learning new things!

Finish this sentence: I am a ‘Poet for Life’ because… my four years as a Poet shaped me into the person I am today.

-Are you a graduate of the Department of Music and want to share your story? Contact the Office of Communications at