Alumni Spotlight: Dana White, PhD Myth 2003
PGIAA proudly features Alumni Profiles toward sharing stories of the Pacifica experience. Our initial offering (‡) derives from an online collection of stories — the now defunct depthstories.com as maintained by current Core Faculty Jennifer Selig, Ph.D. (Depth Psychology, 2004). We welcome these stories, and further stories from all of Pacifica’s degree programs.
‡ Dana White | Ph.D. (Mythological Studies, 2003)
Producer, Editor, Educator
Where do you live?
Santa Monica, California.
What brought you to Pacifica?
As a producer for universities, corporations, and educational publishers, I witness much stress and attachment to goals and rewards. In choosing Pacifica, I felt that the study of Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, and others would contribute to my own individuation process and, by extension, assist others in awakening the call of their own right livelihood.
How has your Pacifica degree served you professionally in your occupation or your vocation?
From the first classes, my courage and commitment to service in education began to flower. I saw the potential in the study of myth and Depth Psychology, and transformed my professional services career from freelance producing to the classroom and through developing books to the culture at large.
How has your degree served you personally?
The study of myth and Depth Psychology opens the full range of the human senses and psyche — for me it has enabled an ability to listen with more than my ears, to see with more than my eyes, and to engage life with passion and compassion. I communicate with nature and the cosmos very differently — interacting and feeling life with vulnerability, trust, and timing. The degree itself has become a stepping stone to a continued involvement in the community of people pursuing their own mythic aspirations.
What was a particularly meaningful or memorable part of the Pacifica experience for you?
Entering the Pacifica program is a rite of passage, an initiation into a culture that has as many facets of character as there are people involved. My difference and uniqueness were as much celebrated as they were confronted. The seeds of my initial Pacifica encounters have given rise to new involvements. I now serve Pacifica as an adjunct faculty member teaching “Psyche and Nature” in the Mythological Studies Program, as a lecturer, and as a dissertation adviser for doctoral candidates. Wherever I turn, there are new opportunities to serve and be appreciated.
What is the title of your dissertation?
Reimagining Work — Awakening the Call of Right Livelihood.
Would you like to mention any recent publications?
Essays: “Out of Control” (Journal of the Earth, Harvard, 2012); “A Change of Place” (ICC, 2010); “Square Peg Round Hole” (2010); “It Stands to Reason” (FMS, 2008).
Books: Producer, Editor, Designer: Phaethon— A Story for Our Mythic Moment, Vol. 1 (with F. Gard Jameson, Ph.D,, Copper Cauldron Publishing, 2009; revised 2012); Monkey — Journey to the West — A Story for Our Mythic Moment, Vol. 2 (with F. Gard Jameson, Ph.D., Copper Cauldron Publishing, 2012).
Photography: assignment work for individual and corporate clients.
What are your areas of interest?
I have been an artist, athlete, activist, and adventurer for more than 30 years. The boundaries between my loves, work, home life, and personal interests are convoluted. I am married to Michele Vercoutere, and the father of two sons: Michael, 28, and Andrew, 25. I love to travel, cook, garden, play, and collect music, and open our home to visiting friends and travelers. I love to explore and to deepen the processes of change and human expression. I practice love and trusting — feeling that our relationships with one another, our community and the environment nurture and heal.