At Olympic College, students can start here and go anywhere. Such is the case with two OC Alumni Chris and Bailey Jantzi. Bailey attended Olympic College from Spring 2010 through Winter 2012 and transferred to the University of Washington where she majors in Political Science. She may double major in Political Science and Geography or minor in Geography, but clearly she is very ambitious. Chris had two stints at Olympic College in early 2000-2003 and later in 2010-2011. Moreover, he and Bailey met in Dr. David Toren’s Political Science class so OC had a role in matchmaking the pair as well!
Chris started off his education with Music Composition. While in his gap year, he was in a band with the goal of becoming a rock star! His mother suggested that given his interest it would be a good idea to go to College and study music. Chris enrolled in Olympic College and took Composition 1-6 with Rick White and noted that he learned a great deal from him. After a couple of years of studying, he went into the Navy and worked on nuclear submarines.
Both Chris and Bailey served in the US Navy and returned to college as nontraditional students. During his second stint at Olympic College, Chris enrolled in Physics and notes that Professor Linnea Hess was a major influence and inspiration to him. He also mentioned that he fell in love with Physics largely because Dr. David Fong turned him onto quarks and his life hasn’t been the same since! This interest in quarks sparked his love of dark matter and inspired his quest to find it. In fact, he was so inspired that he now majors in Comprehensive Physics at the University of Washington. As an undergraduate in the Physics program, Chris is currently working on an experiment with several graduate students and professors. The title of the project is: “Axionic Dark Matter Experiment – ADMX” and because of his experience on nuclear submarines, which provided him with the necessary skill set, he was invited to work on the project. Specifically his experience in refrigeration and plumbing helped to earn him a spot on the team.
Chris cites Mathematics Professor Myong Stinson as providing him with a solid foundation in Algebra which he uses to this day. He also noted that Professor Linnea Hess worked with him throughout his tenure at Olympic College and encouraged him in his studies making it possible for him to move through the Physics track quickly. While Dr. Fong inspired his love of quarks and dark matter (Chris is determined to discover dark matter at the UW), he mentioned that what excites him the most is working with faculty at the UW who are published researchers and highly respected in the field. He feels that OC was the ideal stepping stone in getting him there. He plans to earn his Ph.D. in the field. However, music is still a great love for him and he is currently writing music for the play (“Who is Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?”) for a friend who will be directing it.
Bailey mentioned Dr. David Toren as a professor that should be cloned at OC. “The College should have 50 more of him!” She mentioned that he has high expectations and makes students work for their grade. She learned a lot and was inspired by him. Bailey also took a class in Geography. It was a course she needed as one of her pre-requisites for an AA. Little did she know that this course would inspire her to end up either majoring in the field or minoring in it! It is one of those courses that she took that surprised her and ended up igniting an interest in the subject.
Bailey also noted that because of her coursework in Logic and Ethics with Professor Dinshaw Jokhi, she has become a better writer and critical thinker. Her essays are well written and her arguments are solid. She attributes these skills to her experience in Professor Jokhi’s classes. She mentioned that he expects students to participate and discuss topics in the class and these experiences have prepared her for her coursework at the UW. This academic year she will be taking courses in GIS programming along with two other Geography courses and she mentioned that she has a keen interest in International Security as well. She is planning on pursuing her Masters in Political Science, but is open to the thought of getting a Ph.D. She is eager to begin working in her chosen field, however and finds it exciting to be working with professors who are active in the field.
Both Chris and Bailey feel that Olympic College is essential to the local community and both are grateful for their experiences at the College. When asked what advice they would have for anyone who is on the fence about going to college they said, “Try it. A lot of people think they don’t like school because of their experiences in high school, but college is different.” They both also mentioned the asset of being non-traditional students and how their life experiences have contributed to their success as students.
Olympic College exposed both of them to areas of study that were largely unfamiliar to them, but now have become their passion. Without that exposure, they would have lost out on what has ended up being great opportunities and a new life path for them both. Start here, go anywhere. Bailey plans to earn her Masters and work in the field and Chris says that in ten years he will be in Lucerne, Switzerland working on dark matter and quarks. Going to college opens up the world and provides new interest and opportunities ask Chris and Bailey.