Graduation,  Scholarship

Class of 2020

The Palmer Society would like to recognize and celebrate 16 graduates in the Class of 2020! We would like to recognize their hard work and efforts in their academics, service, and sisterhood throughout their time at Whittier College.

Recognized below are the different awards received, abroad experiences had, and favorite memories made by our graduating sisters.

The Palmer Society wishes them the best as they enter the alumni chapter.

Aimee Armosilla

WSP- East Asian Cultural Studies

“My favorite memory would be the times that I have studied abroad because I really got to understand more about myself and my interests while spending my time with people that I love and care about. Post-graduation, I plan on developing my web portfolio with content and honing my skills in programming, gaming, and storyworld development while also doing research to see if graduate programs would be a good fit for me and my diverse interests.”

Honors & Awards: John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarship; Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honors Society; 4-year WC Music Talent Scholarship; Dean’s List Recipient; Outstanding Service to the Whittier Scholars Program

Pledged: Extreme 16

Positions Held: PLB PM, Secretary, Palmer Girl, Treasurer

Abroad Experience: Busan, South Korea (F’18) and Oahu, Hawaii (J’20)

Martha Avila-Zavala

WSP- Human Development and Health

“My favorite memory at Whittier College has been being able to create my own major based on all of my interests and career goals, as well as carry it out successfully. Another great memory has been studying abroad with my best friend and Palmer sister, Alondra, my PLB twin Sam, and my now little, Jacky. I will forever be grateful to the Palmer Society for everything it has given me, including my amazing big Dani, little Jacky and PLB little Jean, and Love Line. My plans for the future are gaining more experience in the healthcare field, study for the MCAT, and prepare applications for medical school. I also hope to travel to new places around the world, after quarantine of course.”

Honors & Awards: John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarship; Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society; Multiple External 4-Year Scholarships

Pledged: Extreme 16

Positions Held: Treasurer, Rush Chair

Abroad Experience: Jan Term – Sevilla, Spain

Alondra Chavira


“I have so many great memories at Whittier College that it is so hard just to pick one. Some of my favorite memories are becoming a Palmer and gaining a lifetime of sisterhood and then also extending that sisterhood further to my PLB Danny, my little Melissa, and Divine 5! I have definitely grown a lot as a person throughout my time at Whittier and with the Palmers. I am forever grateful for my amazing big, Yadira, gbig Gloria, the Dream line and all my close friends who have become family to me. After graduation, I will be looking for a job in the healthcare field, studying for the MCAT, and applying to medical school! I also hope to pursue a Masters in Public Health as well!”

Honors & Awards: Palmer Alumni Endowed Scholarship, Dean’s List Recipient, John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarship, SACNAS Travel Award Scholarship

Pledged: Surviving 9

Positions Held: Pledge Mistress, Gear Chair

Abroad Experience: Jan Term- Sevilla, Spain

CJ Esparza

English & Philosophy

“I am really thankful to have been introduced to some real friends, who I can honestly see being a part of my life for a really long time. Some of my favorite memories and proudest moments at Whittier College are wrapped up in silver and blue. Right now I’m applying to master’s programs and studying for the LSAT, on top of wrapping up my fellowship research and submitting pieces to literary journals. The amazing women I’ve met (my wondeful line of big sisters and my sweet little, my best plegde sister Taylor, my best friend Nayelli, my comadre Priscilla, my godlittle Alexa and her pledge class, Miss Kelsey, Miss Michelle, Miss Meeks and so many others) have always given me the support to never curb my ambitions and take care of myself, and they have a place in my heart always.”

Honors & Awards: Mellon Mayes Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society, Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society, Dean’s List Recipient, President for a Day, Dean of Students for a Day, English Department Writing Award for Prose, Sigma Tau Delta/Aunties Bakery Writing Award for Poetry, Palmer Alumnae Endowed Scholarship, Outstanding Academic Achievement in Philosophy, John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarship

Pledged: Extreme 16

Positions Held: President, Vice President, PLB PM, ISC Representative, 100th Homecoming Chair

Abroad Experiences: Jan Term – Paris

Aileen Figueroa


“I have so many good memories at Whittier and almost all of them linked to the Palmer Society. I loved going on retreats with my sisters, winning the Palmer scholarship, going on roadtrips with my close friends. I loved being able to grow as a person and to do it with people who supported my growth. However, my all time favorite memory was going to Palm Springs with three of my closest Palmer sisters and having such a great time there.”

Honors & Awards: 1st place Palmer Alumni Scholarship Recipient, Dean’s List Recipient

Pledged: Extreme 16

Positions Held: President, Vice President

Abroad Experience: Jan Term – Paris

Jenna Gilb

Child Development

“My favorite memory is either the day of my convocation or my sophomore retreat. I plan to work towards getting my teaching credential.”

Honors & Awards: Palmer Alumni Scholarship, Child Development Honors Society

Pledged: Extreme 16

Positions Held: Palmer Girl, Social Chair, Secretary

Ana Gimber


“Palmers has made college what I had hoped it would because I gained the EXTREMEly supportive sisters who I can trust. And that includes my sisters from other pledge classes as well. I just wanted to add in a Extreme 16 pun 🙂 My favorite memory is when we were newly pledged in and I invited sisters to come to visit me in San Diego during the spring break in 2017. I didn’t know at that time how much my sisters would mean to me. Looking back at those times of pure happiness it makes me grateful I have had this opportunity to love and be loved by such incredible women. Plans for the future include working more at my job until I secure a career following my passion for mental health awareness.”

Honors & Awards: Dean’s List Recipient, Psi Chi Honors Society, John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarship

Pledged: Extreme 16

Abroad Experience: Jan Term – South Africa

Danielle Gutierrez

Child Development

“At Whittier College, my favorite memory is establishing a strong organization focused on student life on campus and mentoring 20 emerging leaders. Their success means everything to me and I am proud of the growth my mentees have exhibited. I am also thankful for the memory of welcoming my sweet Miss Anica Falcone-Juengert into the Palmer Society Family. She will do great things for the future of our girls. My plans are to earn my MAT and teach in early childhood education classrooms.”

Honors & Awards: Dean’s list Recipient, Delta Phi Upsilon Honor Society, John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarship

Pledged: Surviving 9

Positions Held: ISC Representative, Publicity Chair

Amanda Hessey

WSP – Visual Storytelling & Design

“My favorite memories at Whittier College is being super involved on campus in a multitude of clubs and extracurriculars. I am blessed and lucky that one of them is the Palmer Society. Being a part of this Palmer sisterhood was so wonderful, to work alongside and create friendships with other women who are as hardworking as myself. I am so thankful for my PM, Irene who brought me into the sisterhood and taught me about sisterhood and loyalty. She kept me strong and going during the time of NME. I really enjoyed my time with my two close friends (aka Blue Team) and having many exploratory moments with them and they taught me so much about myself and the world around me. They truly showed what California is, and I will carry it within my heart whilst being back in my home state of Colorado. I am so proud of my little and grand little continuing on my legacy and sisterhood with their leadership skills. I will miss the little things such as going out to eat spontaneously, or even just lounging on the beach in the sunshine. College is an experience and journey on its own, and I am so thankful for all of the support and encouragement from my Palmer sisters. As I continue on this path in life, I will be working and finalizing a portfolio to apply to graduate schools with an arts focus and hopefully will travel the world to help those in need. I will also continue on my passions and ambitions in experimental filmmaking.”

Honors & Awards: Dean’s List Recipient, John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarship

Pledged: Extreme 16

Positions Held: Publicity Chair

Abroad Experience: Jan Term – NYC & Fall 2018 Semester Abroad in Florence, Italy

Alexa Lidskin

Double WSP – MultiModal Storytelling, Fashion and Costume Development

“I have too many favorite memories from my time at Whittier College, some of them having been made in this last year despite the fact that it was cut short. My two biggest ones being the day I turned in both of my senior projects in February and the day I officially became a Palmer.”

Honors & Awards: Dean’s List Recipient

Pledged: Divine 5

Positions Held: Social Chair

Abroad Experience: May Term – Rome, Italy Jan Term – Cuba Fall Semester – Liverpool, England

Nayelli Reyes


“I plan to take a two year gap before applying to med school and become either a dermatologist or a physician assistant. I am applying to jobs in the healthcare and administration fields, take some additional courses at a community college, and study for the MCAT. As far as the memories I have made in the last 4 years here at Whittier, I am proud to say that I met some amazing friends in Palmers and outside of Palmers who I will most likely keep for a lifetime. I am grateful for my wonderful line and a few other sisters who accept me for who I am and know that I am not afraid to show it.”

Honors & Awards: John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarship

Pledged: Surviving 9

Positions Held: Social Chair

Yvonne Rodriguez

Social Work

“My favorite memory is running around campus to recreate the scenes from Mean Girls with my pledge sisters on Halloween. I plan on attending USC this next academic year and partaking in an advanced standing graduate program to earn my masters in social work.”

Honors & Awards: Phi Alpha Honors Society

Pledged: 6th Sense

Positions Held: Secretary, Palmer Girl

Abroad Experience: May Term- Denmark

Maddi Schmidt


“My favorite memories at Whittier College all revolve around Palmers. From becoming a Palmer active and getting sisters that I can count on for everything. To making fun memories that last a lifetime and to so much more. Palmers had a huge impact on my life that I will be forever grateful for and will take on past college. For my future I will be taking a year to look for job opportunities and also take the GRE for graduate school.”

Honors & Awards: Psi Chi Honors Society

Pledged: 6th Sense

Positions Held: ISC Representative

Taylor Telles


“My goal is to become an MD/PhD with a focus in immunology or oncology. My mentor from freshman year told me to enjoy the time you have before applying to medical school. It’s okay to take a gap year as long as you don’t lose sight of your goal. During this time I will be applying for a masters in Medical Science, working in research or hospital labs, and hopefully finishing my research project. My favorite memories are the ones with my big and my closest sisters (y’all know who you are). I will definitely miss our talks and adventures together. Hopefully we will make more in the future.”

Honors & Awards: Keck fellowship, Acceptance to the American Association of Immunologist, Shirley M. Hole Scholarship, John Greenleaf Whittier scholarship, Emil A. Buehler M.D. Scholarship, Dean’s List Recipient

Pledged: Extreme 16

Positions Held: Social Chair

Priscilla Villa

WSP – Social Justice Studies

“My favorite memory is the day I became a Palmer. The Palmer Society has given me such amazing sisters who always support me and push me to be the best person I could be. After taking a gap year I plan on receiving my masters in social work.”

Honors & Awards: Jeffrey Lindstrom ’94 Fellowship in Political Science, Outstanding Service to the Whittier Scholars Program, Alpha Kappa Delta Society, The Martin Ortiz Endowed Scholarship, Dean’s List Recipient

Pledged: Surviving 9

Positions Held: Secretary, Scholarship Chair

Abroad Experience: Jan Term- Brazil

Isabella Zonni

WSP – Travel and Wellness Studies

“There are so many amazing memories that come to mind but it is the incredible people I met and the moments we shared that I will cherish forever. I know that the relationships I have built will last a lifetime and I am forever thankful. My plans for after college are to enter the tourism industry and focus my efforts on accessible tourism. For the time being though, I am dedicating time to building my online business through Rodan and Fields. I have a passion for the wellness of others and their skincare truly changed my life. I am so thankful to be an ambassador for an incredible organization where I can help others see their true beauty.”

Honors & Awards: Whittier College Senior Key

Pledged: Extreme 16

Positions Held: Coke Acceptance Chair

Abroad Experience: Jan Term 2018 – South Africa & Junior Year – Australia / Southern Cross University Lismore

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