UW College of Education e-news
February 2009  |  Return to issue home

Current Student Profiles

Irene Monica Sanchez
Irene Sanchez

Meet Irene Monica Sanchez
Irene Monica Sanchez, an incoming student in the Masters Program in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies-Higher Education, is currently working with Dr. Frances Contreras, who notes that the College is lucky to have a student of Sanchez’ caliber. The feeling is mutual.

“I chose the UW College of Education because I believe in the work of Professor Contreras and felt I would be supported in the work I want to continue to do on the transfer portion of the pipeline,” Sanchez says. “I also chose the UW after the welcome I received when I visited the campus during GOMAP's perspective student days.”  

Hailing from Riverside, California, Sanchez began her higher education at Riverside Community College. As she states, “I think that's important because I spent five years there and it informed what I wanted to do and was where I first got the idea to pursue a Ph.D.”

She obtained her undergraduate degree at University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), where she stayed busy working full-time for the UCSC Educational Partnership Center for the GEAR UP and Early Academic Outreach Program as a college facilitator at Pajaro Valley High School in Watsonville, specifically community and cultural organizations in Watsonville.

“At UCSC I was involved with a group dedicated to educational rights for undocumented and immigrant students,” Sanchez says. “Students Informing Now (SIN) as well as community based organizations in Watsonville such as The Watsonville Brown Berets and Girlzpace. In fact, I co-founded a girls empowerment group, worked for migrant education in Monterey County and danced with White Hawk Indian Council for the Children.”

As a Sociology and Latin American/Latino Studies major at UCSC, Sanchez wrote an outstanding thesis based on interviews with 10 Latina/o community college transfer students at UCSC and their educational journeys and experiences. Prior to UCSC, she was one of 30 Latino students nationwide selected for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus summer internship program.

In 2006, she was selected for the UCLA Summer Program for Undergraduate Research where, under the mentorship of Professor Daniel Solorzano, she did research at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies exploring issues relating to Chicano community college students. Much of this informs her future work.

“I would like to continue to do work related to Chicana/o and Latina/o students access and educational opportunities, specifically focusing on the transitions between high school to community college and community college to four year universities for students of color. I would also like to continue to be involved in the community here in Seattle.”

Joe King
Joe King

Meet Joe King
Joe King, a first-year Ph.D. student in the Special Education department, comes with a strong background in clinical psychology and a razor sharp sense of humor. After obtaining an undergraduate bachelor of arts in psychology, King pursued a clinical psychology masters degree from Teachers College at Columbia University.

“Teachers College gave me research experience,” says King. “I dabbled in a lot of things such as psychological issues in persons with physical disabilities. I co-wrote a chapter on health care disparities among persons with physical disabilities. I also did an internship at Washington, D.C., at the Office on Disability in the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Add to that extensive list King’s community involvement as a diversity senator, parliamentarian, and vice president of the student senate. He stayed connected with the community through this service, working on institutional access for persons with mobility issues.

King chose the UW College of Education based on research interests and his adviser, Dr. Cap Peck. Peck’s research interests aligned perfectly with King's and, after corresponding with Peck, King felt he could pursue his research interests and thrive at the College of Education.

King says that his primary research interests stem from the analysis of social relationships between young adults with disabilities and their non-disabled peers, especially late-adolescent to college-aged persons.

“I want to look at their social networks, their social support, at how persons with disabilities differ from persons without disabilities,” King says. “Also, how to improve integration programs and the policy implications. How can we make socialization and community or civic interaction better? Better transportation? Employment opportunities? Recreation activies? Things that would inspire more engagement and socialization with the physically challenged community.”

Already, King has found that he is learning the similarities and differences between the methodologies of his psychology background and his current work in the field of education. And he has enjoyed working with Peck, who has shown him the ropes.

“I’m enjoying the people and I’m really appreciative of Cap,” says King, “who has been a great advisor helping me acclimate to the school. I’m also enjoying Seattle, although I’m waiting for the rain to come!”

Learn more about King’s time at Teachers College through his blog.

February 2009  |  Return to issue home

UW College of Education, Campus Box 353600, Seattle, WA 98195-3600
© 2008-2009 University of Washington  | Contact Us  | Privacy Policy