Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Daniella Slowik

Mary Gates Leadership Scholar, Autumn 2019

Research Project: Power to the Pollinator Project

Project Description: This project is designed to bring native plants to the UW campus to provide habitat and food for critical pollinator species like bumble bees, mason bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. By infusing native ecological systems into underutilized spaces around campus, we can encourage lifelong, harmonious relationships between urbanity and ecology, people and nature, and art and science for a more balanced, productive, and healthy urban future.

What have you learned throughout your leadership project?

I have learned how important it is to ask for help and support from my community of professors, mentors, and friends. This has been my first time developing and leading a project, so I’ve stepped foot into a lot of new territory. I felt a bit unsure of how to move forward at times, but the relationships that developed through this project as a result of my asking for help- from my peers from the College of Built Environments, graduate students from the School of Environmental & Forest Services, interns at the SER nursery, and members of the UW Grounds Crew – strongly supported my growth and helped me find the next steps to take. Asking for support will help spark new ideas, lead to solutions or paths you may never have thought of before, and strengthen your relationships with your community.

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

Be in regular communication with your mentor so that they can guide you through the application process and help you develop your project into several basic stages. You do not need to have everything about your project figured out by the time you apply,  but it will be helpful for you to have a clear outline of goals for yourself, how you envision achieving them, and the long term impact you’d like your project to have. Also, go the Mary Gates application workshops! These events will walk you through the application requirements, clarify your questions, take away any worry or doubt, and help you form a powerful project statement!