Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Yishi Zheng

Mary Gates Leadership Scholar, Winter 2024

Leadership Project: CIRCLE Student Web Application

Project Description: Me and a team of 6 students are creating a web application that helps to improve international students’ access to information to campus resources and immigration-related deadlines. Currently, the application’s core features include onboarding resource modules, a critical to-do list, an international student news channel, and an office directory. In the future, there will also be more features like event RSVP. Our goal is to assist international students in navigating a decentralized institution like the UW during onboarding and throughout their academic journey.

What have you learned throughout your leadership project?

By engaging in user experience (UX) research, coming up with digital prototypes, and leading the group meetings, I learned the challenges of being a UX Designer, the resilience needed when the project does not progress as expected, and effective ways to communicate with group members while respecting everyone’s time.

More broadly, this project has taught me that leadership has many shapes and forms. Rather than a title, it is more about the impact that one can make in a community. Leadership ranges from small commitments, such as giving free hugs during the final week, to bigger innovative ideas, such as creating the teleportation machine. As long as you are promoting positivity, you are a leader!

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

Take a chance on your idea! You will be surprised how many people want to promote positive impacts just like you!