Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

UK & Ireland Scholarships Nominees – Churchill, Gates Cambridge, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes

The UK & Ireland Scholarship application process provides students with the opportunity to present their qualifications for the campus nomination for scholarships that support graduate studies at colleges and universities in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. These scholarships are the Churchill, Marshall, Mitchell and Rhodes. The Gates Cambridge does not require a campus endorsement or nomination; however, notifying our office of your intention to apply allows us to connect you with resources and to support the development of a competitive application.

2021-22 UW Nominees:

Emily Bascom

2022 grad, Informatics major

Emily Bascom

I am a graduating Senior pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Informatics with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction and a minor in Entrepreneurship. My interests include how information is created and disseminated and the world of misinformation and disinformation.

In my time at the University of Washington, I have engaged in many research projects at the UW Information School, UW Medical Center, and Seattle Children’s Hospital on topics ranging from microphone security to medical informatics. I am also the Accommodation and Nutrition Director for the Husky Ski Team.

I was drawn to continuing my education in Europe because of the European Union’s progressive data security regulation and how these regulations bind companies from tech giants to start-ups. I hope to have the opportunity to engage with these communities while earning a Master’s in Human Computer Interaction in Ireland or Scotland before returning to the United States to apply my knowledge in industry.

Emily’s near and longer term goals: I will be graduating from the University of Washington in March and hope to continue my education in Dublin, Ireland or Edinburgh, Scotland. Following this, I hope to either obtain a PhD or work in industry.

Emily’s tips for future applicants: My tips for future students who are interested in applying for this scholarship and really any scholarship is to start early and do your research! Just like for a job interview, the more information you have about the scholarship mission and review criteria, the more successful you will be at navigating the application process and having a chance of earning the scholarship. Having as much time to do this research as possible is helpful, but it will also allow for you to iterate on your application materials, making you as strong of a candidate as possible!

Sophia Carey

2022 grad, English & Comparative History of Ideas majors

Sophia Carey

Sophia Carey is a senior at the University of Washington studying English and the Comparative History of Ideas with a minor in Theatre Studies. She entered the UW through the Early Entrance Program at the Robinson Center for Young Scholars and has since acquired significant experience as an interdisciplinary researcher, theater maker, and community leader.

Sophia was recently named a 2021 Beinecke Scholar. A two-time recipient of the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, her current research focuses on the ways in which the Seattle Rep’s Public Works program utilizes, adapts, and exposes theatrical forms to make possible a heightened sense of the power of theater to catalyze transformation. Her past research has explored the ways in which residents of Villa El Salvador, Peru in the 1970s used community-based theatre to facilitate self-governance. Other projects have included a critical essay on the Public Theater’s 2019 production of Much Ado About Nothing and a paper exploring the discursive power of metatheatricality in the 1938 congressional hearing of Hallie Flanagan, director of the Federal Theatre Project. In 2019, Sophia won the UW Library Research Award for Undergraduates with her paper investigating barriers to Latin American youths’ access to educational support services.

Sophia is currently the President of the Early Entrance Drama Society (EDS), a student-run drama club at UW. In over three years of involvement with EDS, she has co-facilitated the translation of a 2020 production into a virtual format, performed in and directed several productions, and hosted community events. In addition to her work with EDS, Sophia has acquired significant experience with local theater, as a directing intern at Stone Soup Theater, a development assistant at ArtsWest, and most recently with the Public Works program as a student researcher, volunteer, and performer in the Rep’s filmed adaptation of The Winter’s Tale.

Sophia’s near and longer term goals: Within the next few months, Sophia plans to complete her critical performance ethnography research project on the Seattle Rep’s Public Works program and to present the results of this research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in spring 2022. Next year, Sophia plans to begin graduate studies that will allow her to more deeply explore the process of new work development in theater from practical and theoretical perspectives.

Sophia’s tips for future applicants: A detailed outline is a helpful way to begin. It helps make your essays organized and it is less intimidating than the prospect of writing an essay from a blank page.

Yogasai Gazula

2021 grad, International Studies major

Arwa Mokdad

2021 grad, International Studies major, Rhodes finalist

Arwa Mokdad

Arwa is an honors graduate in International Studies with a specialty in Human Rights. Her studies have focused on human rights in the Middle East. As a child of Arab immigrants, she is passionate about peace efforts and activism in the region. She has spent time in Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Lebanon, Yemen, Oman, U.A.E, and Jordan. Growing up between the U.S. and Middle East solidified her global perspective on regional challenges. While at UW, Arwa was able to study abroad in Nizwa, Beirut, and Rome. These experiences furthered her interest in international cooperation and cross-cultural exchanges. While studying advanced Arabic at the American University of Beirut, Arwa volunteered as an English teacher for Syrian refugees. She has continued this work and now teaches vulnerable populations within Oman.

Currently, Arwa is an intern and teacher at Al Jisr Foundation in Muscat. She is also working on a cultural webinar series “Beyond the War” that aims to build international solidarity with Yemeni communities. Arwa volunteers with Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation as a Peace Advocate. Through this work, she supports aid programs in Yemen while participating in anti-war campaigns in the U.S.

Her time as a research assistant at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies inspired her to pursue a career in foreign policy. In graduate school, Arwa hopes to build on her past advocacy and research experience to center Yemeni perspectives on conflict resolution. In the future, she hopes to work on progressive Middle East policy that centers the voices of people throughout the region.

Arwa’s near and longer term goals: Arwa plans on pursuing a MPhil and DPhil in International Relations. Following her graduate schooling, she hopes to work as a Gulf Analyst at a think tank.

Arwa’s tips for future applicants: Start early and utilize all the resources available to you! OMSFA offers workshops, counseling sessions, and much more. As you undergo the application process, stay in regular contact with OMSFA- they are incredibly helpful and supportive. Keep in mind that applications are a marathon not a sprint, so make sure to break up tasks and set realistic deadlines. While researching the programs themselves, consider how the program is a good fit for you and how you are a good fit for the program.

Elizabeth Peterson

2022 grad, Near Eastern Studies major

Emma Spickard

2019 grad, Public Health-Global Health major, Marshall finalist

Emma Spickard

2019 Public Health-Global Health and Honors Program graduate whose passion lies at the intersection of politics, policy and public health.

As an undergraduate I consistently leveraged my public health coursework to engage in first-hand experiences with the Seattle, and global, community. I was a part of GlobeMed, an RSO partnered with ecofarming nonprofit, NECOFA, in Kenya and worked with the Seattle nonprofit, Real Change Homelessness Empowerment Project’s, advocacy arm to facilitate community conversations around a proposed plan to redevelop unused Army land in Seattle into affordable housing. I also helped to organize a panel to prepare UW students to take part in Legislative Education Day, when public health advocates convene in Olympia to educate lawmakers about the importance of public health funding.

Following graduation I traveled solo as a Bonderman Fellow through South America and Southeast Asia for eight months learning about health systems abroad and the intersections of colonialism, conflict, health and resilience.

Upon my return, my passion for bridging public health and politics led me to work as a Campaign Manager to elect a progressive to the Washington State House of Representatives where I now work as a Legislative Assistant.

I am committed to a career in policy and public service to change the ways in which US citizens access and pay for health insurance as I fundamentally believe healthcare is a human right. I applied for the Marshall Scholarship to pursue a graduate degree in international health policy in order to learn firsthand in the United Kingdom- a country whose healthcare system is founded on this belief that health is a right for all.

Emma’s near and longer term goals: I hope to pursue an international health policy degree in the United Kingdom before returning to work in the US on health policy issues at a federal level to move our healthcare system closer to a single payer model.

Emma’s tips for future applicants: Do not be the one to say no to yourself!

Meena Vasudevan

2021 grad, Law, Societies, & Justice major

Meena Vasudevan

I am a recent graduate from the Law Societies and Justice Department at UW. Throughout my time at UW I was involved in working with the Dream Project and tutoring with Student Athlete and Academic services. These positions along with classes in the Education department inspired a passion within me to understand barriers existing for students and increase access and equity in higher education. I am currently working as a College Success Advisor at a non profit agency and through this experience I have really been able to get a deeper understanding of what kind of work I’d like to engage in to change the higher education landscape. I hope to take the learning I did at UW, along with what I’m learning through work currently into a graduate program focused in Education Policy.

Meena’s near and longer term goals: Right now I’m focused on working as a College Success Advisor with a non-profit in Chicago. I am also currently in the process of applying to graduate school so I hope to have a successful application cycle and start in Fall of 2022!

Meena’s tips for future applicants: Use this application to really dig in as a space to think about what you’d like to do in the future and what your goals are!

Milli Wijenaike-Bogle

2022 grad, Public Health-Global Health major

Milli Wijenaike-Bogle

Milli Wijenaike-Bogle is a senior in Interdisciplinary and Departmental Honors, majoring in Public Health- Global Health and minoring in Data Science. Milli is passionate about improving population health, especially in the fields of maternal and pediatric health. She also wants to work to improve global mental health by identifying and reworking systems that cause trauma and adverse childhood experiences. Milli has been involved in PTSD research at the Puget Sound VA since her first year at UW and was named a 2020-2021 Levinson scholar for her original research on Hostile Assessment Bias (HAB) in people who have experienced trauma. Hostile Assessment Bias refers to the tendency to interpret a neutral or ambiguous situation as hostile or dangerous. Specifically, her research examines the link between Hostile Assessment Bias and PTSD severity and the impact of prazosin in normalizing Hostile Assessment Bias patterns with the goal of alleviating PTSD symptoms. Milli has worked as a research assistant at WSU’s IREACH, served as a Public Health Major Steering Committee Representative and worked as a data extraction assistant at the Institute for Health Metrics. Milli also has been involved in creating and assisting with the University of Washington’s first undergraduate course specifically centered on Indigenous Health (HSERV 473/573). She also enjoys reading, painting, and engaging in various musical endeavors.

Milli’s near and longer term goals: In the future, Milli hopes to undertake a MPH in Maternal and Child Health and eventually pursue a PhD in population health. She hopes to work in international health to improve MCH in South/Southeast Asia where much of her family lives.

Milli’s tips for future applicants: Start early—you will undoubtedly go through multiple revision processes and it’s important to allow time for your work to grow. The process is intense—you will be asked to reflect deeply on the contribution you hope to make in the world in your future work and the aspects of your life that have led you to this point. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and emotive in this work, the more you put into your essays the more you will get out and be able to use for other projects.

Naomi Yuen-Schat

2022 grad, Political Science major

Naomi Yuen-Schat

Naomi is a senior in the Political Science Honors program majoring in Political Science with a focus in Political Economy and minoring in Gender, Women and Sexualities studies. She was born in Taiwan and raised on Oahu, two places she is happy to call home. Her exposure to a multitude of cultures and her identities as an Atayal—one of sixteen Indigenous tribes of Taiwan—woman and immigrant led to her passion for social equity, in turn her lifelong goal to practice immigration law. This past summer, she partook in research with the Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous Knowledge, Local Knowledge and Sustainable Studies at the National Chengchi University in Taiwan. This inspired her to currently write her honors thesis studying the effects of social mobilization on government policies geared towards creating equitable education with a focus on Indigenous language preservation in Taiwan. In addition to school, she works as the Assistant Director of the Asian Student Commission and is an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Center for Evaluation and Research for STEM Equity: both positions which enable her to work towards advancing gender and racial equity.

After partaking in a study abroad program in Italy, she sought another opportunity to study abroad. With an interest in gender and migration, she found the Gender Studies and Law program at SOAS University of London. She believes this program is a great fit as London is a truly multicultural city and the best place to study the United Kingdom’s Afghanistan Resettlement Scheme firsthand. Should she receive the Fulbright award to study at SOAS, she hopes to apply an interdisciplinary framework such as gender study in relation to global legal issues and feminist legal approaches to her future work in immigration law.

Outside of school, Naomi enjoys swimming and hiking. Over quarantine she started playing the guitar!

Naomi’s near and longer term goals: I hope to attend SOAS University of London and partake in the Masters of Arts in Gender Studies and Law program. Then, I plan to attend law school in the United States and practice immigration law. Eventually, I hope to work in policy making!

Naomi’s tips for future applicants: Start early, reach out to advisors because they are SUPER helpful and edit edit edit!

Vanessa Zelenović

2022 grad, Political Science major

Vanessa Zelenović

I am finishing my fourth-year at UW. In addition to studying nonstop and working, I spend a lot of my time writing, reading, playing with my dog, and cooking. I was motivated to apply to this scholarship because I felt that it would align with my long-term goal of becoming a diplomat. I would be able to gain my graduate education abroad and become accustomed to immersing myself in a foreign culture.

Vanessa’s near and longer term goals: My short-term goals are to graduate with my BA and then go to graduate school. My long-term goals are to become an American foreign service officer.

Vanessa’s tips for future applicants: Start months in advance.

2020-21 UW Nominees:

Kaley Aldrich

2021 grad, English and Political Science majors, Rhodes finalist

Kaley Aldrich

Kaley Aldrich is a Senior at the University of Washington in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program, studying English and Political Science. As a strong advocate for women’s rights and feminist jurisprudence, Kaley dedicates her research and career ambitions to their advancement.

At the UW, Kaley founded the Undergraduate Law Review and began her work as a research fellow at the Center for American Politics and Public Policy. There, she developed a successful measure of the Equal Rights Amendment’s impact on the sexual subordination of women. In her research on the effects of poverty and geography on abortion access in the United States, Kaley successfully measures the disparate impact of abortion restrictions on women existing in poverty in the United States through her Undue Burden Index.

Finding that legal precedent does not protect all women’s right to choose abortion in the United States, Kaley founded in 2020, making her findings and data accessible to anyone visiting the website. Currently, Kaley is working on her two honors theses and an independent project on the comparative concept of privacy in Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” and Roe v. Wade. After graduating from the University of Washington, Kaley plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in English and later attend law school. In the future, she plans on becoming a Professor of Law specializing in feminist jurisprudence and the integration of feminine consciousness in Constitutional Law.

In her free time, Kaley enjoys CrossFit, painting, music composition, and spending time with her dog, Alta. Kaley also spends her time writing her fiction novel titled “Penumbra” about the varying and intersectional impact of abortion restrictions on women’s lives. Out of all her activities outside of UW, Kaley’s most rewarding is spending time with the two girls she nannies, explaining that being a role model to them is her most important title.

Kaley’s near and longer term goals: After completing my undergraduate education, I plan to complete my Ph.D. in English, and later attend law school. Ultimately, I plan to teach feminist jurisprudence and Constitutional Law as a Professor of Law.

Kaley’s tips for future applicants: Approach these applications with an open mind—be open to suggestions, do not doubt yourself, and continuously communicate with your advisers and mentors throughout this process.

Ewan Cameron

2021 grad, Political Science and English majors

Ewan Cameron

I am studying Political Science and English here at the University of Washington. You may recognize me from various volunteer events; advocating on behalf of student interests in the ASUW Senate; or running D&D games at the Pen & Paper Gaming Association. When not doing these or held up studying in Suzzallo, I am usually hiking, playing music, writing, or taking on some eclectic new hobby. I also run youth retreats and help in various missions around eastern Washington, focusing on at-risk youth and families through the network of nonprofits and church diocese working hard to fight the good fight in our state.

My work has principally been in the courts, where I have been fortunate enough to get involved in consumer rights advocacy—mostly surrounding class-action and appellate landlord-tenant and debt defense law. I have helped take on predatory lenders, abusive landlords, major banks, and even certain popular app developers—all who have sought to target and take advantage of those who are already underserved. Recently, I assisted our attorneys before the State Supreme Court against Toyota, where the court ruled in our favor to redefine ‘deception’. This month, we will be arguing before the Supreme Court again over the rights of tenants evicted during the pandemic. While enjoyable, this work has shown the deep, systemic perpetuation of inequality in the United States.

A US-UK citizen interested in the comparative politics of the Anglo-American relationship, I believe both sides of the Atlantic can learn a great deal from the other about protecting the welfare of historically underserved communities. If accepted, I aim to study these differences with a mind towards government, nonprofit or other policy work—directly pushing for more productive reforms in the fight for socioeconomic justice.

Cameron’s near and longer term goals: I would like to continue advocating for consumers’, debtors’, and tenants’ rights and for their humane and equal treatment by the law. If accepted, I would like to study the politics of poverty while in the UK in order to help governments and nonprofits better implement legislation that truly reforms systemic inequities. If not a policymaker, lobbyist, or nonprofit worker, I would like to go to Law school and become an attorney in order to directly serve those who are most in need.

Cameron’s tips for future applicants: Apply! But relax and put your best foot forward. Be confident and be passionate about your subject–show them what you have done, but also show them what you can do, what you want to do, and what you will do.

Alton Cao

2019 grad, Bioengineering major, Marshall finalist

Marissa Gaston

2020 grad, Political Science major

Marissa Gaston

Marissa Gaston graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle, in June 2020 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Classical Studies. Her multi-faceted academic interests include political philosophy, public policy, Middle Eastern affairs, language, and Christian theology. With a long-standing interest in the American founding, she spent her senior year of high school portraying First Lady Abigail Adams in a one-woman living history show.

During her sophomore year, Marissa earned multiple grants and scholarships to study abroad at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be’er Sheva, Israel. Her time living and learning in Israel solidified her focus on both theology and international politics. Shortly thereafter, in early 2020, Marissa interned with the State Department at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in Rome, Italy. Serving under Ambassador Callista Gingrich, she learned about American diplomacy and the Vatican while working in Political Economy and Public Affairs. Additionally, she has completed research internships with Dr. Natan Aridan, editor of the Israel Studies journal, and with the Washington Policy Center. She also recently finished the manuscript of her first book.

Throughout her undergraduate career, Marissa was an active staff writer at the The Daily where she especially enjoyed writing political opinion pieces. She has also been involved with AIPAC and the WPC Young Professionals. Following her graduation, Marissa managed the 2020 reelection campaign of a Washington State representative before beginning an academic fellowship at the John Jay Institute in Pennsylvania.

Marissa speaks several languages, including French and Norwegian, and enjoys writing, swimming, and cat-cuddling in her free time. She hopes to earn a graduate degree in politics or international relations and aims to work in policy and politics.

Marissa’s near and longer term goals: In the short term, Marissa hopes to earn a graduate degree in politics or international relations before transitioning into policy or advisory work. Long term, Marissa aims to build a career centered on principled leadership in the political sphere.

Marissa’s tips for future applicants: Allow substantial time to thoroughly research all the program options available in order to identify the one that is best suited to you. This can be the most overwhelming part of the process, but it is absolutely essential to crafting a compelling application. Make sure to formulate a key question or idea that will act as a touchstone to ground and unite all of your different short answer and essay components.

Julia Jannon-Shields

Class of 2021, Community, Environment & Planning and Communication majors

Julia Jannon-Shields

Julia Jannon-Shields is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Washington. Born and raised in the Silicon Valley, Julia has become highly aware of the range of detrimental impacts that rapid development poses on underrepresented communities and the surrounding environment. As a womxn of color, Julia’s intersections inform her perspective as she navigates space and advocates for justice. These experiences have led Julia to pursue degrees in Community, Environment & Planning and Communication at the UW to address issues of environmental injustice & work towards a sustainable and equitable future. Since arriving at the University of Washington, she has immersed herself within the community through the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW), Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMAD), and various other organizations while maintaining strong academic standing. Through her academic ambitions and involvements, Julia has been recognized as part of the 2020 Husky 100, a cohort of one-hundred undergraduate and graduate students across the three UW campuses making the most of their time at the UW. She plans to continue making the most of what life has to offer by seeking opportunities that contribute to community, challenge her & further her growth. Julia hopes that her passion for advocacy, sustainability, and international unity leads her to a fulfilling career in the public sector, non-profits, and/or international organizations. She is grateful for the University of Washington for allowing her to develop the tools necessary to get there.

Julia’s tips for future applicants: Please feel free to reach out to me if you’re applying in the future!

Willa Jeffers

2020 grad, Political Science major

Willa Jeffers

I am a recent graduate in the Political Science Department, Political Economy Track. I have participated in several research projects since coming to the University of Washington focusing in American Politics, Security Studies, Foreign Policy, and Environmental Policy. In my current research position I am writing a paper on rebel dynamics in the Syrian Civil War. I am a Fellow in the Sierra Club Women and Gender program, and have participated in local and state political campaigns. Moving forward I am planning to focus my work on the economics of environmental policy, analyzing how varied levels of governance can most effectively pursue economically productive environmental transitions. I hope to earn a graduate degree in the areas of global environmental policy and progressive economic development. After graduate school I would love to work at the international level creating global climate policy in organizations such as the UN, World Bank, and various multilateral negotiating systems.

Willa’s near and longer term goals: In the near future I hope to gain career experience in the environmental policy sector, either in public or NGO positions. I will then move on to a graduate programs that can provide more specialized training on analyzing policy schemes and scaled research on environmental action at differing levels of government.

Willa’s tips for future applicants: You are in this position, having the honor to apply to amazing opportunities, because of the what you are passionate about. Nothing will serve you as well as voicing your honest reflections on why you want to engage with this work and how it will positively affect your community and our world.

Sasha Jenkins

2019 grad, International Studies major

Sasha Lee

2018 grad, Law, Societies & Justice major

Sasha Lee

Sasha graduated cum laude from UW in 2018 with a major in Law, Societies, and Justice (LSJ). Following graduation, she spent a year in Germany as a fellow in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) studying the pre- and post-war contexts of identity and rights, as well as learning the German language. During this time she worked for local nonprofits supporting immigrant transition services as well as the state chancellory organizing civic engagement events. Since returning last year, she has worked as an academic advisor in the LSJ Department. As a potential Marshall Scholar, Sasha seeks to continue expanding upon LSJ themes by researching government accountability via legislative and corporate oversight as a student at the London School of Economics (LSE). Moreover, through a comparative European studies lens she hopes to integrate history, culture and sociopolitical trends to be a leader in meaningful citizen engagement and oversight of their society’s institutions.

Sasha’s near and longer term goals: In the near future, Sasha plans to work either domestically or abroad with oversight organizations that hold institutions accountable, while educating the public. More broadly and in the long term, she hopes to found her own organization that provides non-partisan news and analysis that exposes and addresses inequity, as well as builds communities of engaged citizenry.

Sasha’s tips for future applicants: Engaging your full self is critical for these kinds of scholarships! Take the time to be introspective about your ambitions, what personally and intellectually inspires you, and what you hope to accomplish. Remember that friends, family, coworkers and faculty are there to support you and can add meaningful insight to the application you’re creating. Lastly, don’t be afraid to be authentically bold in every step of the process: who you ask to help you, how you articulate your future goals and communicating what makes you a competitive applicant.

Keong Mu Jason Lim

2021 grad, Neuroscience major, Rhodes finalist

I am a senior in the UW Honors Program, majoring in neuroscience and minoring in chemistry. I am from South Korea, but I went to middle and high school in Puyallup, Washington. Having two homes—Korea and America—I was immersed in different cultures, which I think naturally led me to take on a myriad of academic interests and hobbies.

I conduct research with three different groups. I have been helping Dr. Hak Sil Kim at Chungbuk National University in social sciences research since junior year of high school. Currently, I am studying global medical welfare systems with COVID in context. As my interest in STEM grew, I joined the Kaeberlein lab my freshman year of college. I was recently awarded the Washington Research Foundation Fellowship and will start research as the first author on large-scale screening of genes that affect hypoxic rescue of frataxin deficiency in yeast. I have also been part of the Stroke and Applied NeuroScience Center since sophomore year, where I study the molecular pathophysiology of aneurysm development.

As an aspiring physician, I hope to utilize these experiences to advance medicine both scientifically and systematically, breaking down the socioeconomic barriers that hinder marginalized populations from receiving medical care. At Oxford, I hope to study neuroscience and public policy to build my frameworks in translating scientific discoveries into medical innovation and grounding my goals in reality through progressive policy change. Afterwards, I plan to return to the US and get my medical degree to serve the local community while collaborating with healthcare allies in Korea and the UK.

Beyond the classrooms, I enjoy playing soccer, lifting, and watching movies.

Jason’s near and longer term goals: Should I receive the Rhodes Scholarship, I plan to study neuroscience and public policy at Oxford. Afterwards, I plan to return to the US and pursue a medical degree. Ultimately, I want to advance medicine through medical innovation and policy changes in the US, Korea, and UK to make medicine more accessible and affordable.

Jason’s tips for future applicants: Prepare early and do not be afraid to take your chances! I found out about the Rhodes Scholarship summer after sophomore year in college. While applying, I learned a lot about myself. There’s everything to gain and nothing to lose from taking your chances.

Shannon Pierson

2020 grad, International Studies major

Shannon Pierson

I received my BA in International Studies from the University of Washington in March 2020, where I specialized my coursework and centered my research on cybersecurity policy and disability studies. Since graduating and during the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’, I pursued a research assistant role under one of the US’s leading experts on influence operations, the Wilson Center’s Disinformation Fellow Nina Jankowicz. Together, we track disinformation campaigns directed at women running for public office that employ gendered tactics.

As democracies around the world begin to recognize the threat of election interference and begin to extend their administrative reach into cyberspace to rein in the proliferation of disinformation, I want to play a role advising regulatory policy that strikes at the correct angles of these threats and is framed by democratic and human rights standards. I have studied attempts by States to regulate social media platforms in response to disinformation and observed the tensions and trade-off’s democracies often face between fighting disinformation and protecting freedom of speech online. The world needs more Internet-literate experts who understand the nuances on the battlefield of information warfare weighing in on technology regulatory policy and international relations in cyberspace. I am committed to helping identify the best strategies for addressing the assaults on democratic institutions, discourse, and elections democracies around the world experience today from foreign and domestic actors. It is my highest aspiration to devise and roll out future-proof policy solutions that engage governments, Silicon Valley, and civil society to safeguard democracy against disinformation.

Shannon’s near and longer term goals: I intend to position myself as both a digital rights-focused internet policymaker and national security expert specializing in information warfare and democratic interference defense strategy. I hope to pursue roles at organizations like the National Democratic Institute, Ranking Digital Rights, or the State Department. In these capacities, I could make a difference influencing policy decisions that have implications for democracies around the world in their fight against disinformation. In the future, I hope to contribute to US leadership establishing global precedent-setting democratic responses to evolving digital threats at the National Security Council.

Shannon’s tips for future applicants:Be very specific and honest about your dreams and aspirations in the application — don’t censor yourself. Start early and set aside time to mull over your statement/answers. Read books/studies associated with your field/intended masters degree while you mull it over. Do in-depth research into the programs you’re proposing– read the course plans, identify the research groups you wish to work with, and have a very clear idea of what your outcomes are. It may seem overwhelming when you start these applications, and you may experience imposter syndrome. Apply anyway and put yourself out there. Begin preparing for the interview after you submit the application. Give yourself an advantage over the competition by starting early.

Irika Sinha

2021 grad, Biochemistry and Biology (Molecular, Cellular, Developmental) majors

Irika Sinha

I am currently a senior at the University of Washington and a 2020 Husky 100 scholar. I am planning to graduate Winter 2021 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and B.S. in Biology (Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental). Additionally, I am a part of Interdisciplinary Honors at UW and plan to complete College Honors for Biochemistry.

Currently, I am a part-time researcher in the McGuire Lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center studying Epstein-Barr virus. I am also a C.L.U.E. tutor for chemistry and illustrate for The Daily at UW. Previously I have also researched in the bioinformatics and chemistry fields as a member of the Yang Lab at UCLA and Ginger Lab at UW, respectively. I am very grateful to have been funded by the Goldwater Scholarship, a Mary Gates Endowed Research Scholarship, and a Washington Research Foundation Fellowship over the years.

This year I have been nominated from the UW for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships in the UK. Through these scholarships I am applying to research neuroimmunology as it pertains to dementia and Alzheimer’s at either Oxford or University College London.

Irika’s near and longer term goals: Currently I am applying to graduate schools to study neuroimmunology or neuroscience pertaining to dementia and hope to begin in Fall 2021. Long term I hope to be able to both research and mentor other students who may lack support or opportunity in the sciences.

Irika’s tips for future applicants: Starting these applications is intimidating but the first step is always just writing (often a somewhat terrible) draft. But once you have a draft you can come back to it and work on it a few hours every day to change the parts you don’t like! So, regardless of how confident you feel about the essay, try to write down SOMETHING, even if it’s bullet points at first, to get your thoughts down on the paper. After that, definitely talk to mentors and friends to help streamline your thoughts. If you’re explaining your reasoning and ideas to them, then it will help you word it in the essay itself. (Be careful with the Rhodes essay though! make sure that’s done first!)

Kayla Van Kooten

2020 grad, International Studies and Near Eastern Studies majors

I am a recent International Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations graduate with a minor in European Studies. During my time as an undergraduate, I was fortunate to have the ability to study Arabic, Persian, German, and Spanish, as well as complete an honors thesis on the influence of migration and multicultural identities on rap and hip-hop in Germany and the UK. I am currently an English language teaching assistant in Seville, Spain, with the Auxiliares de Conversación program administered by the Spanish Ministry of Education, as well as volunteer English tutor at a migration nonprofit. As a Marshall or Rhodes scholar, I hope to continue my language training and research on integration and multiculturalism within migrant communities in Europe, using an interdisciplinary approach that blends humanities with the social sciences at Oxford or London School of Economics.

I draw my urgency from the rise of political regimes on both sides of the Atlantic that have tried, with terrifying success, to unravel long-standing immigration, asylum and refugee laws. As many politicians threaten the future of migration and declare multiculturalism as a policy failure, it is now more important than ever to understand the unique identities 1st and 2nd generation migrants to Europe. I feel a deep sense of responsibility as an American to use my voice and my knowledge to help reframe the question of migration, not as an external problem, but as an internal, humanitarian problem.

Kayla’s near and longer term goals: After my time in Spain, I hope to either continue my English teaching assistantship experience in Germany as a Fulbright awardee or start graduate school. I’m currently in the process of applying to several different graduate programs both in the US and in Europe that would allow me to continue my passion for studying languages and my research on multiculturalism within migrant communities in Europe.

Kayla’s tips for future applicants: Start early and use your network of professors, advisors, and friends, they are all eager to help you! Don’t get discouraged by being “behind” on applications and most importantly—don’t self sabotage!

Karen Zhang

2021 grad, Biochemistry and Microbiology majors

Karen Zhang

Karen Zhang is a senior studying Biochemistry and Microbiology. She is part of the Interdisciplinary Honors program and is working to complete Departmental Honors in Biochemistry. After graduating from UW, she aims to obtain a PhD in Bioengineering with a focus on synthetic biology. She is deeply passionate about studying the machineries of life at a molecular level and engineering them to perform novel tasks. She was first introduced to this concept of “hacking” biological systems in high school when she participated in iGEM, an international synthetic biology competition. Since then, she has been fascinated by the numerous issues that synthetic biology could help solve in a wide range of fields, including medical, environmental, and industrial.

Currently, Karen is an undergraduate researcher in the Molecular Information Systems Lab (MISL) at UW. Her lab investigates technologies for storing digital data in DNA and is interested in all things at the intersection between computer science and biology. Her projects so far have focused on using nanopore sensing technology to read out information from engineered biological systems. Through this interdisciplinary lab, she has gained invaluable experience in professional research and delved deeper into synthetic biology. She has also developed an appreciation for bioinformatics and the essential role that computational algorithms play in interpreting biological data.

Outside of academics and research, Karen works as a chemistry tutor for CLUE. She is also a student officer for UW’s Free Radicals Chemistry Club and Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemistry Honor Society. In her free time, Karen enjoys reading (and maybe one day writing) fantasy novels.

Karen’s tips for future applicants: Let your passion shine through, especially in the personal statement portion of the application. Think about what motivates you and what makes you excited about your research, and use that to explain the actions you took and the things you achieved.

Alexander Zhu

2019 grad, Neuroscience major

Alex Zhu

I call Tacoma home and currently live in Teejop/Madison, Wisconsin. I am the child of Chinese immigrant parents for whom I am eternally grateful. I feel it is my responsibility to use my power and privilege to give others what my parents gave me: the chance to live a meaningful, impactful life.

My values are shaped by my communities. The atmosphere of curiosity and kindness in the Promislow lab fostered an environment where the scientific process could thrive, where it was possible to be vulnerable, admit mistakes, and ask for help. CHID brought together students of all disciplines, backgrounds, and interests to create space for a more loving, inclusive world. While studying creative writing in Rome, I shared my roughest drafts, ripest tomatoes, and longest nights with my cohort, solidifying my understanding that a meaningful life is composed of novelty, intentionality, and community. The Filipino American Student Association (FASA) and Filipino Night created family through shared stories and histories, emphasizing empowerment through learning history and culture. I have shared many wonderful moments with all my friends in the Neuroscience cohort, Stevens Court Community Council, UW Glee Club, and beyond.

Looking forward, I hope to study the social factors that contribute to marginality and exclusion, followed by studies in public health to understand the methods to quantitatively identify, communicate, and address issues affecting health on a large scale. My vision is to create multicultural, interdisciplinary organizations composed of people who ask important questions, who can understand and communicate their community’s needs, and who can collaborate to effectively enact change.

I currently work at Epic, where I provide healthcare organizations with interoperability support and implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives to educate and empower Epic employees to address bias in processes and software and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare.

My free time now is spent around stovetops, books, bikes, podcasts, and plants.

Alex’s near and longer term goals: Following my studies, I hope to volunteer with the Peace Corps Response to apply my public health knowledge to improve health in our global community. My goal is to identify and address the interconnected systemic causes of public health problems and to be a bridge between communities with power and those which are excluded. I intend to cultivate communities through shared space and stories, shift cultural paradigms of health to be more inclusive, and produce knowledge that can change policy and institutional frameworks.

Alex’s tips for future applicants: Take care of yourself! Spend time with loved ones, read authors who inspire you, do things that bring you joy, and take breaks. I’m more than happy to chat! Send me an email.

2019-20 UW Nominees:

Ian Bellows

2017 grad, Geography, International Studies majors

Jordan Brown

Senior, Mathematics major

Jordan Brown

I am an early entrance student at the University of Washington pursuing a degree in mathematics. I hope to become a research mathematician. My current research is focused on recent developments in type theory and the foundations of mathematics. The expansion of the use of computers in formal mathematical proofs is of great interest to me, and I hope to ascertain the extent to which type theory can be used not only to create programs which can check the validity of proofs, but which can independently generate mathematical proofs.

I come from Seattle, Washington and I have been interested in mathematics since I was very young. For the past few years, I have volunteered with the eMode Learning Foundation, teaching mathematics in Mount Baker and Rainier Beach to elementary- and middle-school students. I enjoy sharing my love of mathematics with people from my community, many of whom receive a very poor mathematical education in school.

Although I spend most of my time doing mathematics, I also act and play the clarinet. I love libraries and have visited nearly every branch in the Seattle Public Library system. One of my favorite activities is reading mathematical papers in German, both because I enjoy the mathematics and because I enjoy reading German. While I am far from fluent in German, I am rather adept in reading mathematical writing in German. This is convenient, as much of the literature on the foundations of mathematics in the twentieth century was written in German. Many other academic subjects interest me, and I have spent significant amounts of time reading about ethics, epistemology, psychology, physics, history, and sociology. My favorite authors of fiction are Paul Auster and James Baldwin.

John Day

Senior, Biochemistry major

Caroline Kasman

2019 Graduate, Economics & International Studies major

In my undergraduate career, I have explored the determinants of population health through the lens of the social sciences. Working in Harborview Medical Center and volunteering in a pediatric hospital in Ecuador, I became more familiar with the complex causes of health disparities within communities as well as between them. I additionally participated in UW’s chapter of GlobeMed, partnered with a grassroots organization in Kenya, and the Jackson School Student Association, in which I engaged with both my peers and colleagues abroad to support social justice and health initiatives. Through interning with RTI International’s Noncommunicable Diseases Initiative and participating in the International Studies’ Task Force, I developed my interest in how historical state relationships and global systems of foreign aid influence healthcare infrastructure and resources in low- and middle- income countries. I chose to further explore this topic through an Honors thesis in Economics, in which I conducted original research on how patterns of foreign aid for noncommunicable diseases correlate with disease burdens and socioeconomic factors of recipient countries. Wanting to understand more of the health sciences components of population health, I am currently working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in which I am helping to conduct a meta-analysis on global biomarkers in the gut microbiome and study bioinformatic methodologies.

I plan to pursue a master’s program in public health to engage in health economics, epidemiology, and biostatistics coursework in addition to more research experience. I am very interested in graduate school in the United Kingdom for their ethos towards the study of public health, which combines an understanding of climate change, food supply chain systems, biology and social determinants. In addition to the opportunity to engage in an entirely different health system, this education would allow me to gain an understanding of how countries collaborate to developing effective and sustainable health interventions as the UK navigates its history of imperialism and current relationships with the Commonwealth. Moreover, as I enjoy participating in ballet, painting, and drawing, I am very excited to be a part of England’s art scene as well as further my commitment to social justice organizations.

Caroline’s tips for future applicants
The Odegaard Writing Center is incredibly helpful for writing personal statements, even if it’s just to have another pair of eyes!

Sara Mar

2017 Graduate, Environmental Health major

Sara graduated Summa Cum Laude with her B.S. in Environmental Health in 2017. During her last semester of college, Sara studied abroad in rural Thailand conducting community-based research. The opportunity to build relationships with local villagers cultivated Sara’s passion for hearing the stories and perspectives of other people. After spending another two months traveling abroad in Southeast Asia, Sara accepted a fellowship through CDC’s Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) and was placed at the Ohio Department of Health. She worked in both health preparedness and health equity to promote more targeted emergency response efforts and public health program interventions through policy and data analysis work. In January 2019, Sara deployed to Charleston, West Virginia to assist the hepatitis A outbreak response, where she helped coordinate vaccine outreach clinics at homeless shelters, faith-based organizations, and Medication-Assisted Treatment centers to get more than 600 people vaccinated. After her deployment, Sara garnered lessons learned and helped lead the state health department’s hepatitis A response efforts back in Ohio.

Seeing the influence of federal and state policy on public health programs, as well as Sara’s passion for global health and community-focused health programs, motivated Sara to apply for the Marshall scholarship. Sara hopes to use the Marshall scholarship to obtain her Masters in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Masters in Public Policy at the London School of Economics. With these two degrees, Sara wants to begin a global health career where she can bridge the gap between local communities and policy makers.

Sara’s tips for future applicants
Thoroughly research your graduate opportunities in London. Each school has slight variations in their curriculum and course structure, so try to figure out which are the best fit for your career goals. Additionally, look into opportunities to get involved outside of your coursework. This may include research centers or institutes where you could complete your final graduate school project, as well as places where you could engage with the London community and continue (or pick-up) a hobby or extracurricular activity!

Henry Milander

2018 Graduate, Business Administration, International Studies, Near Eastern Languages & Civilization majors

My academic work and interests focus on developing a better understanding of development and mobility, and what roles state and society play in the process. Considering that extreme poverty is often understood as the largest violation of human rights, I am excited and honored to study in a field with huge implications for human well-being and global peace. The key realization through my community work and leadership, service and learning, and failures and successes, has been that each community’s needs and priorities are unique, and as the true beneficiaries of any development project they deserve dedicated, qualified professionals who recognize this fact.

With the support of one of these graduate scholarships, exposure to the latest in the development field, and heightened language skills, I will be well-equipped to pursue a career dedicated to economic justice and spatial mobility in the world. Ideally, this would be through working for an international or multilateral entity such as the Danish Refugee Council, Global Reporting Initiative, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and USAID. It will be in these organizations that I hope to add nuance, develop public opinion research, and give weight to mobility and locally-driven projects that I help develop, coordinate, and implement.

Earning a graduate degree is in no way the end of my learning as it simply opens a door to some of the institutions that house many of the great ideas and thinkers of our time whom I can learn from and together, positively impact the world for those who have historically been marginalized.

Henry’s tips for future applicants
Be cognizant of what the fellowship looks for and think about how that aligns with your own values, the experiences that have shaped those values, and how you think they apply to what you want to do in the fellowship and beyond. Embrace your inner perseverance, because fellowships, especially one with a UW nomination and subsequent national round, you’ll have to edit many a time more than what you’re likely used to. Seek out advice from a professor or professional that is familiar with the type of material or tasks you’ll be carrying out in the fellowship. They can really help guide your thought piece or personal statement and vet it for realistic application. Go to them early on in the process because at least for me, it took time to figure out what or how exactly I would contribute to the field I was hoping to enter, and they have plenty of insights into making contributions through research and/or through teaching.

Sacha Moufarrej

Senior, Neuroscience

I am currently a senior in the UW Honors Program, majoring in neuroscience and minoring in music. I conduct research on pediatric chronic pain at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and am currently working on a meta-analysis on the prevalence of chronic pain in young adults. Raised in a Lebanese-American household, I grew up in the midst of the sociopolitical issues plaguing Lebanon and its neighbors, and have witnessed the physical and mental trauma experienced in war-torn and displaced communities. I have volunteered as a tutor in Lebanon at SOS Children’s Villages, an international organization dedicated to providing homes, families, and other resources to abandoned or orphaned children, some of whom, within the Lebanese village of Bhersaf, are victims of the Syrian refugee crisis. I have also performed as a pianist and singer at fundraiser concerts in the Bay Area for SOS.

Through these experiences, I have developed an interest in studying disease patterns and health risks and disparities in vulnerable communities, with a specific focus on displaced, homeless, and refugee populations. Although I plan on pursuing medical school and becoming a physician, I also want to be able to play a role in informing public health policy through research. To do so, I hope to pursue graduate studies in medical anthropology and public health to develop a better understanding of the epidemiology of various diseases affecting different populations and to develop a strong foundation in health care policy, in order to identify key strategies for health care reform for systemically neglected displaced and migrant populations.

With the US and the UK being prominent global leaders and hubs of immigration, it is vital to have collaboration between the two nations in developing effective, people-focused domestic and foreign policies. However, these countries greatly differ in their approaches to public and global health. Pursuing graduate study in medical anthropology and global health in the UK, where many institutions have become leading proponents of public health reform, would allow me to widen my perspective on public health at an international level.

Sacha’s tips for future applicants
Do a lot of research on programs and scholarships that are available to you, and reach out to professors and advisers! UW has so many resources and people who provide a great support system during all stages of the application process.

Daniel O'Connell

Senior, Linguistics & English Creative Writing major

I was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1997, and moved to the United States just before I turned 10. Ever since that time, poetry has been of central importance in my life, not solely as a base art form or a technical pursuit, but as a tactic for managing and accepting the limitations of a human life. Poetry, as it seems to me, is the art of a moment at length, the elaboration and preservation of some instant of perception. There seems to be no form better suited to bottling such a thing, a nostalgia or a joy or a grief or a fear or a confusion, such that those who consume it later are then subject to the very same feeling. This can be the poet themselves, too, for memory fades and distorts over great time, and aside from those of us born with flawless or all-retaining memories, there’s a need for strategies to retain what we cherish. Far more of your life will be in the past than the present; the majority of experience is an amalgam of the sliver of the present, on the one hand, and the far greater tract of all memories to date, on the other. Effective poetry, it must be said, cannot rely on earnest feeling alone. Technique is a necessity; polished and intentional and egalitarian technique. If I really want to become the best poet I possibly can, to affect myself and others, I must commit to an intense and sustained study. As more and more of my efforts continue to center around the craft, a scholarship to facilitate my continued studies would be invaluable, not only to myself, I hope, but to everyone whom I might convince of their stake in poetry. I believe everyone has already, on some level, been the beneficiary of poetry, some phrasing or metaphor that’s remained with them unerring from whenever they heard it; to be shown that its name is poetry is all that remains for them.

Daniel’s tips for future applicants
Start your applications as early as possible! Make sure that you given yourself as much time as you possibly can to draft, re-read, edit, re-start, etc., because otherwise you’ll run the risk of forgetting something important, or missing glaring errors, or rushing your work, and on something as potentially important as these applications, it isn’t worth it.

Alexander Peterson

Senior, Economics major

Alex Peterson is a junior at the University of Washington in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program studying economics and statistics. Since his freshman year, Alex has been involved in several areas of campus leadership, including the ASUW Senate and Office of Government Relations, the Student Council on Insurance, the HUB Board of Representatives, and others. Alex’s academic interests are multifaceted, primarily revolving around US public policy, economics, Middle Eastern political history, and language, and he has taken steps to explore each of these in depth throughout his undergraduate career. As a freshman, Alex was awarded a Fulbright Summer Institutes Scholarship to study Middle Eastern politics at the University of London, and he has also conducted his own research project regarding the influence of language on political identity in Israel.

Outside of the UW, Alex is an intern at an economic consulting firm in downtown Seattle and is preparing for deployment as a humanitarian aid worker in Dominica this summer, assisting in disaster preparedness programs for public schools. After graduating from UW and through the potential support of a Rhodes or Marshall scholarship, Alex hopes to pursue a master’s degree in economics with an emphasis on policy, helping him to not only develop high economic literacy for a career in public service but also to conduct research on Brexit and broader questions of European economic integration. In addition to a future in politics, Alex is also interested in practicing law, teaching in a university, or becoming an economic policy adviser.

When Alex has free time, he enjoys making music, hiking, and fixing watches. He explains that his motivation in life comes from a combination of his Christian faith, a desire to be a good role model for his younger siblings, and an awareness of the importance of leadership in supporting the goals of others.

Alex’s tips for future applicants:
Be authentic, sometimes even to the point of discomfort. On applications for big scholarships or grad schools, it may feel like you need to portray yourself as perfect, but committees are interested in your humanity and ability to reflect on both successes and failures.

Katie Spink

Senior, Psychology major

Katie is currently a senior majoring in psychology at the University of Washington. She plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. In her future work, Katie’s aim is to support families by examining factors that enhance or hinder family functioning and child development, with an eye toward disadvantaged populations. She hopes to build on this understanding by developing and enhancing feasible, affordable interventions that will buffer disadvantaged families from negative health outcomes.

As a research assistant in Dr. Lynn Fainsilber Katz’s lab, she is involved in a study examining family adjustment in the context of pediatric cancer. In addition, as a part of the Department of Psychology Honors Program, she has developed an independent research project that is investigating parental beliefs and behaviors about emotions and its impact on marital adjustment in families facing pediatric cancer.

Katie is also a research assistant in Dr. Liliana Lengua’s laboratory, working on a study intended to support low-income new mothers and their infants in stress-management and parenting. Katie conducts interviews with new mothers, administers physiological measures for both mothers and babies, while performing various tasks to measure self-regulation and attention in infants.

As a mother of two daughters, Katie has first-hand experience into the demands of raising children, and this has been an additional source of inspiration for her future research. Katie’s desire is that her nontraditional path to pursuing her career goals will inspire courage and resilience in both her daughters and those around her.

Katie’s tips for future applicants
You and your story have immense value – never assume you’re not good enough.

Carlie Stowe

2018 Graduate, Community, Environment and Planning major

My degree in Community, Environment and Planning, an interdisciplinary Urban Design and Planning undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, was focused on sustainable community development. During my studies, I was able to focus my education on environmental studies, international and community development ,and ethics in relation to urban and community planning. My understanding of barriers to community sustainability, climate change, and the risk it imposes to community structures, as well as my background in planning and resiliency building, has shaped my desire to pursue a masters in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR.) This desire has been further influenced by my professional experience with PeaceTrees Vietnam, a humanitarian demining organization focused on removing unexploded ordnance from central Vietnam, and my work with post-conflict communities. I recognize that communities that deal with the impact of war have a specific set of barriers and development needs that must be addressed holistically while simultaneously addressing the need for DRR. My professional experience in international humanitarian aid, working with marginalized communities at high risk of climate-related disaster has given me field experience leading to a deeper understanding of the challenges within the field of DRR.

Pursuing a graduate degree in the United Kingdom will allow me to learn from leaders in the field of DRR and to gain a holistic education that addresses the urgent resiliency building efforts related to climate change and other natural disasters. I am passionate about researching ways to reduce disaster risk in conflict and post-conflict settings. By pursuing this degree in the UK due to their emphasis on DRR efforts in overseas development projects, I aim to highlight the importance of science and community based approaches in the field and to encourage the collaboration of the DRR with global frameworks.

In addition to my studies in the UK, I plan to continue birding and plan to join an ornithological society! I also hope to participate in citizen science projects and local conservation efforts. I am also passionate about engaging in efforts to end houselessness in the UK and applying lessons learned abroad to efforts here in Seattle.

Carlie’s tips for future applicants
Begin making connections and talking about your plans with people early on in the process. Don’t sell yourself or your accomplishment short and enjoy the experience!

Marielle Trumbauer

2018 Graduate, International Studies major

Marielle graduated from the University of Washington in June of 2018 and currently works in immigration constituent services for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. She initially began her academic career in business with the intent of pursuing entrepreneurship. After high school, she attended Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and studied business and Spanish. She then transferred to the University of Washington and continued her business education. Marielle started two companies, was a member of two business-oriented student organizations, and worked on several consulting projects. In 2016, she moved to Florida to work for Hillary Clinton and found her way into politics. After the election, she changed her major from business to international studies, worked on campaigns across the country, interned at the Department of State in the Dominican Republic, and spent six months as an intern in Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s office. In the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Marielle was a part of the undergraduate departmental honors program and conducted field research in the Dominican Republic, New York, and India. Her honors thesis was entitled, “Motivations Driving the Differentiated Electoral Behavior of the Dominican Diaspora in New York during the 2012 and 2016 Dominican Presidential Elections”. Marielle also served as an officer on the Jackson School Student Association and was subsequently elected to the presidency. In this capacity, she led 17 officers in the implementation of internationally relevant events, networking opportunities, and advocacy work. The events included two rallies for a UW alumnus detained in Iran, fundraising for a UW fire victim, a dialogue about Israel and Palestine with a senior U.S. diplomat, and career panels with ambassadors, UN advisors, and White House officials. Outside of her professional and academic lives, Marielle recently completed her first half marathon and has begun to train for a full marathon. She was born and raised in Seattle and enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, Patrick.

Marielle’s tips for future applicants
Take time to prepare your application and think extensively about the questions. Make sure that your answers are diverse and that you also spend time preparing for the interviews.

2018-19 UW Nominees:

Jessica Johnson

Senior, Bioengineering major

Jessica is a 5th year student majoring in bioengineering at the University of Washington. She has been involved in research since her freshman year, spanning topics from heart disease, to HIV, to her current project on spinal cord injuries. Presently, she is working under Dr. Saigal in the Department of Neurosurgery. Her research focuses on reducing the inflammatory response that occurs after a spinal cord injury by using polymers with encapsulated steroids. Spending time in the clinic shadowing Dr. Saigal has inspired her to pursue a Medical Degree, while still maintaining a research career. She is specifically hoping to become a rheumatologist where she hopes to help patients with complicated auto-immune conditions. Studying and pursuing research abroad would help set the foundation for her research career, while allowing her to also spend time in a different healthcare setting.

Melissa Krook

2018 graduate, Psychology major

Photo by Bryan Nakata

Melissa is a senior majoring in Psychology. Her future goals include earning a PhD in clinical geropsychology. She intends to research the psychological effects of aging, specifically, how our physical and mental state as well as our social environment affects our individual aging process. She believes that as the U.S. demographic shifts toward a larger elder population, the need for therapeutic interventions is critical. As caregiver for her grandmother, who suffered from pulmonary comorbidities, she experienced this first-hand. This award will help her to progress toward becoming a research geropsychologist.

In 2017, Melissa was selected to participate in the UW Scan|Design Innovations in Pain Summer Research Program. During this time, she worked full-time to design and implement a project measuring the effects of multisite pain on health-related quality of life in older adults. This was her first practical research experience and fueled her motivation to pursue a research career.

Currently, Melissa is researching how older adults perceive and prepare for disaster situations. Her goal is to increase recognition of this important population among the general public and to educate emergency organizations that service older adults about how to support them. With the support of her Mary Gates Endowment Research Scholarship, she will finish this project in time for graduation this summer 2018.

She is a member of the Psi Chi Honor Society, the APA Division 20: Adult Development and Aging and the UW Undergraduate Research Leaders, a group that educates students about the benefits of undergraduate research. She has also worked within a local retirement community to assist in the development of healthy aging programs.

Melissa is passionate to not only alleviate aging pains, but to contribute to the resources that enhance being alive. For her current research, this means increasing what we know about age-specific disaster preparedness and utilizing it to protect older adults. Ultimately, she aims to develop psychological interventions and link them to medical treatments to enhance wellness worldwide.

Melissa’s tips for future applicants:
You never know unless you try!

Nelson Liu

Senior, Linguistics & Computer Science majors

Nelson Liu is a senior undergraduate at the University of Washington, where he studies computer science and linguistics. He works on research as a member of Noah’s ARK, and is fortunate to be advised by Noah Smith. Nelson’s research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning and natural language processing, especially with linguistically sophisticated models. Through his work with Professor Smith and various research internships, Nelson has been fortunate to explore problems in computational social science, question answering, and automatic machine translation. After completing his undergraduate degree, Nelson plans to pursue a Ph.D. in natural language processing and finally a career in research.

Havana McElvaine

2017 graduate, Sociology major

2017 Graduate, sociology major and student-athlete. As a team captain and co-founder of the black student-athlete union, I sought to support diversity and inclusion through leadership. In my senior honors thesis I examined the impact of repeated video exposure to police violence on black male students at UW. Currently I am traveling as a Bonderman fellow on an 8 month solo journey spanning 3 continents and 8 countries, exploring global race relations, identity, community, and blackness. I hope to further my education through graduate study in the UK in programs focussed on social intervention, policy evaluation and inequality. My hope is to seek out a career in government leadership and a life dedicated to social equity and equality both in the United States and globally.

Havana’s tips for future applicants:
Don´t sell yourself short.

Cassandra McMaster

2017 graduate, Political Science major

I am applying to the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships with the intention of pursuing a master’s degree in Gender and Women’s studies at Cambridge or Oxford in order to conduct research that will prevent gender violence on college campuses in America. I believe that pursuing a master’s degree in the United Kingdom will give me a critical and unique perspective on women’s policy that will enable me to reach my professional ambitions.

My interest in women and gender studies began my freshmen year of college when I took a course in the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Department and was introduced to feminism. As a woman who grew up in a small, conservative town, I often describe my introduction to feminism as the discovery of a vocabulary that I desperately needed but never knew existed. My interest in the field was solidified after witnessing the impact of sexual violence on my college campus. I have since devoted my academics, volunteer efforts and career aspirations to the study of gender violence on university campuses. I am passionate about the intersection of research, policy and advocacy and believe that this intersection creates meaningful impacts within communities and it is my ultimate goal to become a leader in the effort to eradicate sexual violence from higher education through the creation of these intersections.

Sophia Winkler-Schor

2016 graduate, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science & Resource Management; MSC in International Nature Conservation & Master of International Nature Conservation

Sophia Winkler-Schor’s research is focused on understanding human behavior and human-nature relationships in order to influence and engage people in pro-environmental behaviors and ultimately increase conservation efficacy. She is currently a fellow at the United Nations Foundation working with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to develop behavior change interventions to increase adoption of clean cooking technology in developing nations. Sophia recently completed her master’s degree in International Nature Conservation at the University of Göttingen (Germany), Lincoln University (New Zealand) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her master’s, Sophia interned at the World Wildlife Fund as the first conservation psychology intern developing a practitioner’s handbook for designing and implementing behavior change interventions. Building on her internship, Sophia’s thesis research explored park-user behavior at Denali National Park and Preserve (AK) to better understand user values-orientations and how those influence pro-environmental behavior.

Prior to her master’s, Sophia completed a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a B.S. in Environmental Science at UW. She was an undergraduate research assistant in the Vogt Conservation and Ecosystems Management Lab, where she deployed eco-drones to improve forest conservation practices as well as the Asah Conservation Psychology Lab. Sophia was the founder and president of UW’s Brazil Club and the treasurer for the Xi Sigma Pi National Forestry Honor Society.

Sophia plans to pursue a PhD in Conservation Psychology focused on deforestation prevention in Latin America through integrating behavioral sciences. Her research applies interdisciplinary lenses to address these issues drawing on conservation science, conservation psychology as well as other social & natural science disciplines. Sophia has conservation experience in academia, the nonprofit sector and government agencies; she hopes to establish herself at the nexus of these sectors. She strives to engage and empower diverse stakeholder groups to develop multi-faceted solutions for the complex environmental and social problems we face. Sophia plans to be a professor upon finishing her PhD and hopes to teach as well as continue researching methods to improve conservation efforts. For more information visit her website at or Twitter @ScientistSophia.

2017-18 UW Nominees:

Julia Bauman

Junior, Neurobiology major

Julia Bauman

Julia is a third-year student majoring in neurobiology at UW. She plans to pursue an MD and a PhD in neuroscience with the goal of doing neurodegenerative disease research and seeing patients who are affected by such diseases. She would ideally like to spend a majority of her time in the lab and hopes to eventually teach at the university level.

Julia has a passion for science and medicine, and has been involved in scientific research for the entirety of her undergraduate career. Her long-term project investigates the genetics, neuropathology and risk factors associated with potential subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease. She has also researched cellular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease and neuroblastoma during summer internships at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and the University of Freiburg in Germany, respectively.

Aside from research, Julia is involved in many activities on campus. She is Vice President of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-medical honors society, where she enjoys organizing professional development programs for members and helping other pre-meds navigate their journey to medical school. As an outreach chair for the UW Neurobiology Club, she coordinates with scientists who come to speak at the club’s events. She is also an Undergraduate Research Leader with the university, helping to bring awareness to students about research opportunities.

Despite a busy schedule, Julia is always willing to make time for running and coffee. She also enjoys hiking, traveling, playing piano and reading in her spare time.

Ian Bellows

Senior, International Studies major

Jacob Gross

Junior, Physics: Comprehensive Physics, Computer Science majors

I first realized what I wanted to do as a career back in my junior year of high school. It dawned on me after reading an article about a four-star system that had a planet nestled between the second and third star. After working on a simulator for hours trying to recreate this system, I leaned back in my chair and realized that this is what I wanted to do; I wanted to be an astronomer. After that realization, I began working my way towards achieving that goal. I joined the Pre-Major in Astronomy Program in my first quarter at UW which is a program that assists freshmen who want to be astronomy majors. From this program, I got plugged in with various research projects and I have now been published two times and have worked on multiple projects. Due to my work on these projects, I have learned that astronomy is in fact the career path that I want to pursue and that I want to further explore X-ray astronomy subjects. Besides pursuing research opportunities, I have also joined the Society of Physics Students (SPS) club. The SPS aims to create a welcoming environment in the Physics department by hosting events to assist students with research and other academic goals as well as holding events to bring the students in Physics closer together. I joined SPS back in my freshman year and I have subsequently held the vice-president and secretary officer positions. I plan to continue my involvement in the SPS next year as I will be president of the club and also plan to continue working on research projects.

Benjamin Lee

Alumnus, Chinese, International Studies majors

Benjamin Lee graduated from University of Washington in June 2015 with highest honors in Chinese and International Studies. He studied under the departmental honors programs at the Jackson School and the Asian Languages & Literatures Department.

During his junior year, Ben studied abroad in National Taiwan University as a Boren Scholar. He studied Mandarin, Taiwanese politics, and cross-strait relations. He also received the UW Presidential Scholarship for the 2014–2015 academic year, which funded his senior honors research project that compared how democratization in Taiwan and South Korea affected cross-Strait and inter-Korean relations. Ben presented his research findings in three different undergraduate conferences in Seattle, Cheney and Seoul.

In November 2014, Ben participated in in Strait Talk, a student conference on cross-Strait relations at Brown University. He worked as the Editor in Chief of the consensus document, which listed proposals from U.S., Chinese and Taiwanese delegates on how to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait. Ben was also one of three undergraduate Young Global Leaders at the Slade Gorton International Policy Center, where he was awarded the Sally Gorton Leadership award for his preparation of a policy table with former U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke.

After graduation, Ben worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a junior fellow for the Asia program. He assisted senior scholars’ research on security issues in US-China relations and published several articles for the Diplomat. For the 2017-2018 academic year, he was awarded the Fulbright Research and Study Grant to China to conduct research on cross-Strait relations. Eventually, Ben would like to work in the government where he can contribute to American foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific.

Michael Monicatti

Senior, Drama Performance, Communications majors

Michael is a graduating senior at the University of Washington where he studies Drama Performance and Communications. He spends most of his time rehearsing and performing in plays and musicals as well as volunteering with the Undergraduate Theater Society as their Publicity Director. He currently works for a local catering company and is very passionate about health and wellness. Michael has spent his last chunk of time at UW taking advantage of the new musical theatre opportunities, expanding his repertoire beyond plays. After graduation, he plans to perform around Seattle building up his resume before attending graduate school in London for an MFA in Acting.

Timothy Welsh

Junior, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Applied Computation Mathematical Sciences: Biological Sciences majors

Throughout my life I have always been fascinated with many aspects the natural world. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and having the ability to enjoy the outdoors frequently during my childhood, I originally thought that I wanted to be a geologist, then transitioned towards forestry. However, my interests changed as a progressed in my studies and I have now finally decided that chemistry is the field which I want to pursue. What made me finally decide on chemistry as the path for me is an appreciation for the remarkable microscopic biochemical functions that are crucial to every aspect of interactions between the biotic and abiotic environment. In my life I hope to be able to elucidate some of the biochemical mechanisms underlying these processes. Elucidating these mechanisms will not only deepen our understanding of nature, but I believe will help provide solutions to some of the biggest problems facing the human race.

Beyond carrying out fundamental research and developing biochemical products for the progressing world, I also enjoy teaching others and seek to be an educator in order to enhance people’s appreciation for the significance of understanding the microscopic biochemical world at the level of structures and mechanisms. In order to make this contribution to education, I hope to pursue a role as a professor at the university level and also have interactions within the political sphere in order to help bridge the gap between scientists and non-scientifically inclined policy makers. In the end, I hope that my solving some of the major problems facing the world through fundamental biochemical research and bioengineering that others can see the same beauty in the life that I do.