Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

The Endowment for the Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholarships was created to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students at the University of Washington who are pursuing degrees in any of the following areas of study: Physical sciences, Life sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, and/or other areas of national need as determined by the National Science Foundation.

It was Thomas Joseph Sedlock’s philosophy that the future will be dominated by the best ideas, not the most ideas. Recipients awarded this scholarship break the mold. The scholarships support self-motivated individuals who demonstrate academic achievement, persistence and follow-through, as well as objectively manifested initiative shown through activities such as (but not limited to): notable self-created experiments in some scientific endeavor, demonstrated leadership in some activity, exceptional writings, etc.

2023-2024 Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholars:

Dylan Clark

Molecular Biology & Philosophy

Dylan is a returning senior at UW pursuing College Honors in Molecular Biology (BS) and Philosophy (BA). He originally became interested in computational genomics and infectious disease modeling during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic his freshman year. Pursuing this interest, he joined the Feder Research Group in the Department of Genome Sciences inspired by the lab’s focus on tracking viral evolutionary dynamics within people, not just between them. He originally began working on making and visualizing a fitness landscape for an HIV gene using Deep Mutational Scanning data, but has now transitioned to modeling evolutionary dynamics of HIV resistance to immunotherapies.

This year, he has written a simulation which approximates how HIV evolves within people taking these treatments, with the goal of determining how evolutionary processes within the HIV population are responsible for the emergence of this resistance. During his time in the lab, he has benefited greatly from excellent mentorship (Elena Romero & Alison Feder) and has been able to learn about current computational techniques involved in genomics and evolutionary biology due to the welcoming lab environment. The perseverance and effort he put into self-teaching many of these techniques without a strict computer-science background led him to apply to this scholarship. He is very thankful for having received this scholarship that recognizes these efforts.

This award will allow him to devote more time towards finishing analyses on his research project during his final spring quarter, as he prepares to share his research findings at the UW Undergrad Research Symposium and the International Dynamics & Evolution of Human Viruses Conference this June.

Outside of school, Dylan is part of the UW Triathlon Club and enjoys competing in summer races. He also loves rock climbing and mountaineering trips in the Cascades with his friends. In mellower times, he enjoys watercolor painting, drawing, and reading.

Dylan’s near and long-term goals: I am currently planning on performing clinical research in Harborview Emergency Department after I graduate. Then, I plan to apply to medical school. My main long term goal is to become a physician. I could see myself becoming an infectious disease specialist, researching precision medicine, or maybe wilderness/expedition medicine since I love remote expeditions!

Dylan’s tips for future applicants: Deliberately start writing a week earlier than you think you need to, since it’s better to have something down on paper to reshape than nothing at all. Your future self will be thankful!

Shreya Pekety


My name is Shreya and I am a graduating senior majoring in Physics. Outside of school, I love spending time with my friends, baking, and painting. I am very interested in understanding the properties of materials at a nanoscale and how they can be manipulated to advance modern technology. I believe that the intersection and application of the sciences can lead to innovative solutions for relevant problems in a broad range of fields and I am really passionate about contributing to these developments.

Towards the end of my sophomore year, I joined Professor David Cobden’s nanodevice physics lab where I assisted in projects studying 2D materials. Specifically, I worked on studying the dielectric properties of wide-gap insulator Bi2SeO5 by fabricating 2D heterostructure devices and taking transport measurements. Studying the dielectric properties of materials provides us with information that could let us apply a significantly higher displacement field and dopings to samples which would let us access new, exotic phases in various 2D materials. During my time here, I have grown a lot as a researcher and I am very thankful to everyone in my lab for supporting me and providing me with opportunities to learn and succeed in this regard.

I am also very grateful for the funding provided by the Mary Gates Research Scholarship and the Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholarship and the implications this funding has for my research. This funding will allow me to invest time and funds into developing technical skills allowing me to be a more capable and independent researcher. The financial support from this scholarship will also help me invest more time and effort into my project during my last quarter here at UW- potentially allowing us to expand the project and see it through to completion.

Shreya’s near and long-term goals: After graduating, I will be attending Columbia University pursuing a PhD in Physics focusing on further studying 2D materials and device fabrication. In the future, I plan to use this expertise to contribute to research regarding nanotechnological developments in relevant fields like clean energy research or biotechnology.

Shreya’s tips for future applicants: Be confident in your application and don’t undermine your work and the effort you put into it! I also think it’s important to not be shy about asking for help and support from those around you when revising and editing your application as it’ll only make it stronger.

Ben Wieland


Ben Wieland is a graduating junior majoring in chemistry. He has had an interest in virology and bacteriology since middle school, and the research opportunities in Seattle and at the University of Washington provided an inlet towards learning more about these fields. Shortly after his freshman year at UW Ben began working at Dr. Alex Greninger’s virology lab in South Lake Union. Now, two years later, his research is focused on the bacteria T. pallidum, the etiological agent of the S.T.I syphilis. Specifically, his research lies in utilizing phage immunoprecipitation sequencing (PhIP-Seq) techniques for epitope-mapping T. pallidum-specific antibodies generated from various vaccine candidates in rabbits with the aim of enhancing vaccine efficacy.

His mentor, Dr. Greninger, and the numerous other research scientists at the Greninger Lab have been instrumental in building his knowledge in programming languages including R, python and bash, and wet lab techniques such as PhIP-Seq, cell culture and DNA sequencing.

The Mary Gates Research Scholarship and the Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholarship will reduce the pressures of tuition and thus allow Ben to devote more time to his research and ease the cost of applying to graduate school.

Outside of research and academia, Ben enjoys reading and origami. He has been a member of the climbing team at the UW throughout his college career, serving as varsity captain of the climbing team for the last two years.

Ben’s near and long-term goals: Ben plans to take a gap year to focus on his research and build knowledge in virology and microbiology, then apply to graduate school for molecular and cell biology. He plans to pursue a career in virology, either in academia or industry.

Ben’s tips for future applicants: Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself, your aspirations and interests when applying. Spend time reflecting on what your research and your goals mean to you.

Briza De La Cruz Trujillo

Anthropology: Medical Anthropology and Global Health / Anthropology: Human Evolutionary Biology

My name is Briza and I am a first-generation college student! Being the oldest of three, my immigrant household expected me to set an adequate example for my siblings. When I was younger we moved around a lot in the south part of Seattle, but my parents moved us to Bothell in 2015 and that has been my home since. My hobbies include baking, reading, giving back to my community, and spending time with my loved ones. The healthcare field has always interested me and I have been actively working in it since 2021. I love the fulfillment that working in healthcare brings, which has led me to work as a nursing assistant in a memory care facility and currently as a care coordinator at a physical therapy clinic. My current position as a care coordinator is preparing me for my future endeavors. I hope to earn my Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA). Working with patients daily has prepared me for the work I plan to do with my scholarship funds.

Anthropology has been a passion of mine since my freshman year at UW. I took a beginner anthropology course and fell in love with the study of human culture and its origins. After some time in my major, I met my mentor Dr. Melanie Martin. We bonded over our shared experiences in Latin America and she is the one who pushed me to apply for this scholarship. This scholarship is allowing me to work with the Qom, an indigenous group from Argentina. We hope to listen to and understand their concerns about access to and quality of healthcare in their region. We hope this work will allow us to implement changes that will benefit the community. This entire trip is being made possible through this scholarship!

Briza’s near and long-term goals: My near term goals include earning my Masters in Healthcare Administration at Louisiana State University starting January of 2025. My longer term goals include working for a larger healthcare parent company as a regional office manager, or working for the government in a human resource position.

Briza’s tips for future applicants: The worst thing that can happen is that they say no. No matter what you think of your work don’t let imposter syndrome stop you from achieving greatness.

Gina Goble


Gina is a graduating senior in the Honors program majoring in Psychology. Her interest in psychology began in high school, and her love for it has grown as she has learned more about its importance, impact, and many subfields throughout her time at UW. Her passion for this field, neuroscience, and mental health, as well as her experiences volunteering at a memory care facility, motivated her desire to embark on a research project in a behavioral neuroscience lab.

She began working in the KIM lab in 2023 under the supervision of Dr. Jeansok Kim on a project that aims to increase our knowledge about fear-related disorders through the improved understanding of social transmissions of fear. Specifically, she is examining social buffering and observational fear learning through individual and dyad pairs of rats in a naturalistic foraging environment. This experience has taught her about the comprehensive research process, challenging her and increasing her confidence in her abilities as a researcher. She is incredibly grateful for the encouragement and support she has received from her mentor, as well as the generous funding from the Mary Gates Research Scholarship and the Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholarship that will allow her to continue and expand her project to include a larger and more diverse sample size, as well as offer more time she can devote to her research. By aiding in the completion of her thesis project, these scholarships are supporting her goal of pursuing graduate school and becoming a clinical psychologist. In addition to her research project, Gina is also a teaching assistant for the psychology statistics courses and a mentor to three undergraduate psychology majors. She enjoys supporting her peers and strengthening her leadership and communication abilities through these experiences. Gina is also a member of the UW treble choir and the UW women’s ultimate frisbee team.

Gina’s near and long-term goals: After graduating, Gina will be taking a gap year to gain more clinical research experience and apply to graduate schools. She plans to have a career as a clinical psychologist and pursue her interests in therapy, research, and teaching.

Gina’s tips for future applicants: Show your passion and dedication to your research through your knowledge, experiences, values, and future goals. Begin writing your essay early so you have plenty of time to ask questions, edit, and receive feedback from others.

Xuanchang Hu

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Xuanchang Hu is a graduating senior at the University of Washington majoring in electrical & computer engineering. His research interest lies in signal processing and embedded systems. With a passion for protecting the ecological environment, his experiences conducting the development of a rapid assay and a portable device to detect tuna species and utilization of electrical chemical sensors to identify salmon species.

Xuanchang began his research in his junior year under the mentorship of Dr. Nuttada Panpradist. He collaborated with his teammates on the tuna project. This project aims to curb Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing by identifying caught fish whose heads were cut off by criminals and thus hard to distinguish. Xuanchang utilized the skills of signal processing to develop a Python-based algorithm that analyzes the fluorescence intensity of the sample image produced by a heating device with light filters. His research abstract was selected by the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Conference 2023 and he gave a presentation during the conference.

With the support of Thomas Sedlock Icon Scholarship and Mary Gates Research Scholarship, Xuanchang can invest more funds in the salmon project to purchase necessary sensors and heating devices that can heat the salmon sample. Also, the scholarships can reduce the pressure of tuition fees to help Xuanchang focus on his courses and research. This research will help protect fish and maintain the marine ecological environment.

Xuanchang is grateful to her research mentor Dr. Nuttada Panpradist, Professor Karl F. Böhringer, and Mr. John E Brown III for their support.

In addition to his researches, Xuanchang also loves photography and traveling. He is passionate about road trips and likes to use his camera to record the scenery along the way.

Xuanchang’s near and long-term goals: In the short term, Xuanchang plans to pursue a master’s degree in electrical engineering, focusing on computer systems, signal processing, and artificial intelligence. In the long term, Xuanchang plans to become an expert in electrical engineering, either in industry or academia. Xuanchang hopes to continue to contribute to the protection of fish ecology.

Xuanchang’s tips for future applicants: I hope that applicants can start to find a research project that interests them during their sophomore or junior year and continue doing it. This will make your application essay full of content and demonstrate your interest in research and your future outlook.

Scholarship Archive

Browse our archive for more Sedlock Icon Scholarship history.