The 140th Annual Ceremony | June 13, 2015 at Husky Stadium

The Gonfalonieres

Gonfaloniere leading gradsEach year the various schools and colleges select a student or students to lead their degree candidates in the procession at the University of Washington’s Commencement Ceremony. These students are called gonfalonieres because they carry the school’s gonfalon, a banner that hangs down from a crosspiece and bears that school’s name and symbol.

The gonfaloniere was a prestigious post in Italian medieval and Renaissance communities. Each of our gonfalonieres has compiled a record of outstanding achievement at the University and is worthy of special recognition. We think when you hear their stories you’ll understand why their schools selected them for this distinct honor.


The Graduate School

Naomi CampaNaomi Esther Campa-Thompson
– Mrs. Campa-Thompson is graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy in Classics.  She left the sunny beaches of Miami, FL for cloudy Seattle in order to work with top-notch, supportive faculty and drink fancy coffee. She is glad to have had the opportunity to teach so many different kinds of students about the ancient world and classical languages. During her time at UW, she also served as a GPSS senator, a Union steward, and as the graduate student representative for the Lambda Classical Caucus, a national classics organization. She has presented her work on ancient democracy at several conferences. She counts living and teaching in Rome with the Classics study abroad program as one of the most rewarding and formative experiences of graduate school. Naomi also studied in Greece through a scholarship from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. She has spent the last year as Visiting Professor of Classics at New College of Florida. Now that her dissertation is done, she hopes to spend more time cooking and to continue getting students as excited about learning as she is. She would like to thank her advisors for guiding her through this process, her wife for her unwavering confidence, y a su familia por su apoyo en todo.

Anat Lubetzky-VilnaiAnat Lubetzky-Vilnai
 – Ms. Lubetzky-Vilnai is graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science. She is a physical therapist from Israel. She chose an academic research path because she wants to better understand how the brain controls human motion and apply this information in the clinic. Rehabilitation Science is an emerging research field aiming to promote quality of life and function in patients across the life span. During her years at the UW, Ms. Lubetzky-Vilnai was fortunate to learn from an interdisciplinary team of colleagues and mentors.  She was involved in multiple different research projects and designed and conducted a dissertation study to answer questions that evolved from her clinical background. She wrote or was involved in the production and submission of 9 manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication. She also enjoyed teaching Doctor of Physical Therapy students, both as a teaching assistant and as an instructor. In summer 2011, a class Ms.  Lubetzky-Vilnai developed and taught was the highest rated class in the medical school based on students’ rating. Following graduation she will continue to be a life-time learner.  She wishes to conduct research that will promote rehabilitation research and teach physical therapy students to become evidence-based practitioners.  She will be joining the Physical Therapy Department at New York University this fall.

Kent OglesbyKent Oglesby – Mr. Oglesby is receiving a Master of Arts in International Studies. Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, he was an exchange student to Germany in high school and in college.  Graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 1990, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy, became a Naval Flight Officer, and had a very fulfilling 22-year career flying tactical jet aircraft.  He was stationed overseas and deployed around the world.  After he retired from the Navy in 2012, his experiences as an exchange student and a naval officer led him to seek a second career in the international arena.  After researching programs, he chose the Jackson School at UW.  “I’ve very much enjoyed being back in an academic environment,” he writes.  “Working with my professors and fellow students has allowed me to both tap into my experience and expand my knowledge of international topics.  I’ve particularly enjoyed the interdisciplinary approach at the Jackson School, which has allowed me to explore subjects as diverse as history, economic development, and security.”  Mr. Oglesby was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) for Western European studies and hopes to start a second career in international education or international relations.

Denise Gallegos-LeavellDenise Gallegos-Leavell – Ms. Gallegos-Leavell is receiving a Master of Social Work.  She was born and raised in New Mexico, settling in Seattle to pursue work with victims of violent crime. After working for several years in the Criminal Justice system, she felt the need to obtain a treatment-oriented degree to round out her previous Master of Arts in Criminal Justice.   She was drawn to the MSW program at the UW because of its leadership in addressing injustice in society through a combination of theory and practice.   As the Joshua Foundation Fellow, she has enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with outstanding faculty to pursue her interests in prevention of child abuse and treatment of trauma. She also had the experience of developing the curriculum and teaching a class addressing cultural considerations in clinical mental health treatment. She was given the chance to further develop clinical skills through field placements at Swedish Behavioral Health, in the Family Medicine Clinic, and at Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress.  Ms. Gallegos-Leavell plans to continue working with trauma victims through direct mental health treatment and participating in projects in the community related to abuse prevention, particularly in multi-cultural settings.


The College of Arts and Sciences

Christiane StachlChristiane Stachl – Ms. Stachl is graduating as a Gates Millennium Scholar with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Neurobiology. She was born and raised in Miami, FL, and came to the University of Washington to study neurobiology as an aspiring premedical student. However, during her year of study abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Ms. Stachl discovered her passion for chemistry and has since then decided to pursue a Ph.D. in either physical or analytical chemistry. She currently conducts research in the lab of Matthew Bush, using ion-mobility mass spectrometry to investigate the effects of supercharging on the charge-state distribution and structure of protein complexes. Throughout her time at the UW, Chrissy has worked as a teaching assistant for the department of chemistry, helped found the Gates Millennium Scholars Campus Connection Club, and has even been fortunate enough to study abroad four times (Italy, Scotland, India and England). She will continue to satisfy her wanderlust this coming academic year, as she has been awarded the DAAD German Study Scholarship, which will fund her to do research at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin. Outside of her scholarly activities, Chrissy loves to figure skate and dance both Salsa and Bachata Latin styles.

KayYoYuanChaiKay Yu Yuan Chai – “When I moved from my hometown Kuching, Malaysia to Seattle in 2010, a long and painful existential crisis awakened me to the depths of human suffering and motivated me to have a career in mental health counseling, especially to work with hospice patients and depressed elderly adults,” writes Ms. Chai.  “My psychology coursework has allowed me to develop a multifaceted understanding of the human mind, whereas my philosophy minor has helped me cultivate rigorous philosophical thinking and a strong ethical sensitivity.”  As an honors student at the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, Ms. Chai has had the opportunity of conducting a randomized controlled trial to develop a brief mindfulness intervention – an endeavor that won her the department’s Guthrie Prize for Best Research Proposal in 2013 and a Mary Gates Research Scholarship. In addition, her “incredibly rewarding experiences” serving as a teaching assistant for three psychology classes inspired her to include teaching as a career goal. When not doing schoolwork, she can often be seen playing the fiddle in Old Time music circles and at folk dances, or hoeing weeds and taking care of crops at the UW Farm! This fall, she will be attending a clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.

Sarah Kislak
Sarah Paige Kislak – Ms. Kislak is from Agoura Hills, California and is graduating Summa Cum Laude in Public Health and Magna Cum Laude in Comparative History of Ideas (CHID). She has been privileged to travel and practice her scholarship abroad on three occasions while at the University. Sarah studied on an Honors Social Justice and NGO Activism program in Bangalore India with Dr. Anu Taranath, as a junior she traveled to Tokyo, Japan as a C21 research fellow studying liberal learning practices, and as a senior she participated in a Spanish language immersion school in Granada, Spain. Sarah was named a Mary Gates Research Scholar through the Summer Institute for Arts and Humanities working under the mentorship of Dr. María Elena Garcia, she is a Phi Beta Kappa member, UW Drag Show 4th place winner, and Jewish Sunday School teacher. She has been involved with many on and off campus communities, including her roles as a Freshman Interest Group leader, GlobeMed Intern, and ASUW Woman’s Action Commission Intern, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) volunteer, Dream Project and Pipeline Project tutor, Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled intern, SEED Club Liaison to McMahon Hall Council, and Alpha Gamma Delta sorority member. She feels most proud of the relationships she has cultivated with her professors, mentors, and UW community members and feels incredibly grateful to have had these challenging and nurturing spaces. Sarah has a passion for education and learning, social justice engagement, and travel and she plans to apply to law school this fall.

Charles DickeyCharles William Dickey – Mr. Dickey, from Bainbridge Island, Washington, is graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Arts & Experimental Media and a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology. Through the mentorship of Dr. James Coupe of DXARTS, he has created projects that explore the intersections of art, science, and technology. In the Department of Biology he has conducted developmental neurobiology research with Dr. William Moody, and for this work twice received the Mary Gates Research Scholarship. He has also investigated brain-computer interfaces with Dr. Lise Johnson at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. Supervised by Peter Wallis, he has worked as a digital video instructor for UW-IT, teaching walk-in workshops for students and staff as well as custom lessons for undergraduate and graduate courses. He has led teams of undergraduate students on rural medical shadowing trips through the program Health Care Alternative Spring Break. Currently he volunteers at Full Life, an adult care center, and also judges Men’s Junior Olympic Gymnastics competitions. He loves recording, engineering, and listening to music. Next year he will continue developmental neurobiology research at the Brain & Spine Institute in Paris, France. He hopes to matriculate to a Medical Scientist Training Program in pursuit of an MD-PhD.

Shange PurnellShangé 
Elizabeth Purnell
– Ms. Purnell is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English.  She is from Everett, WA.  She is a first-generation college student and will be the first one in her family to graduate from college.  “I’ve always loved reading and writing more than anything and I firmly believe in the inherent worth of literature as an art form, so English seemed like the natural choice for me,” she says.  She is particularly interested now in the construction of literary canons, the social and political implications such constructions have, and the ways in which literature and writing can empower, subvert, devalue, enlighten, manipulate, emancipate, and inspire populations, especially in light of dominant social/cultural/political systems.  Two of the highlights of her time at UW were studying abroad in London and Ghana.  She writes that both trips gave her invaluable experiences with other cultures and values, as well as a look at some of the lasting legacies of imperialism, slavery, and history in general.  She is also extremely grateful for her experiences with various student organizations on campus and the Ethnic Cultural Center.  “The ECC served as my home away from home for a long time, and gave me my first experiences of truly feeling like I was a part of a real community. I’m probably most proud and grateful though for my work with the Students for Diversity Coalition in establishing a diversity credit requirement. I felt like I learned so much and accomplished a good thing with some of the most passionate and hard-working people I’ve ever met.”  Ms. Purnell hopes to eventually obtain a Ph.D. in English Literature and Theory and teach at the college-level.

Anja SpeckhardtAnja Elizabeth Speckhardt – Ms. Speckhardt is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Economics with Departmental Honors and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.  She was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but moved to Issaquah when she was sixteen and graduated from Issaquah High School. She chose her degree path because she loves learning about how politics, economics and social systems work together to shape our world. One of her proudest academic accomplishments at UW was completing her honors thesis in Economics on the effect of the availability of social services on American women’s fertility decisions and presenting at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. In her time at UW, she have been chosen as a George and Pearl Corkery Scholar, Alberta Corkery Scholar, and Mary Gates Research Scholar. In addition to school, she worked as a student assistant in the UW’s Office of Planning and Budgeting for four years, where she contributed to the university’s legislative bill tracking efforts and wrote for the OPB Blog. She also worked as a writing and comprehension tutor for the economics department and was a Resident Adviser in Haggett, Elm, and Cedar halls. After graduation, she will be moving to Baltimore, MD, to work as a secondary math teacher with Teach for America.


College of Built Environments

Biruk BelayBiruk Yoseph Belay – Mr. Belay is graduating with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture.  Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mr. Belay’s curiosity for iconic place making was greatly fostered as a student in the College of Built Environment. His degree in Bachelor of Landscape Architecture has allowed him to pursue his passion to interweave people and nature, while also highlighting culture through a site-based design approach. This has empowered him to discover ways to implement green sustainable design, cultural place making, and the opportunity to shape the built and natural environment. His commitment to applying innovative design to serve future generations has propelled him to work on projects across the nation and globe. One such project was the study abroad program in Croatia.  As part of a group of students, he was able to design and build a therapeutic garden that can be used by patients who have suffered greatly from traumatic civil wars that have affected the majority of the Eastern European region.  He was able to work with the community and patients, learning their ways of building and crafting. Building on his broad cultural interests and experiences, he plans to work with a variety of international communities because of the mutual opportunities afforded to all involved.


Foster School of Business

KatelynSchneiderKatelyn Anisa Schneider – Ms. Schneider is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. She was born in Texas to a military family.  As a result she moved all over the world, with a final station in Oak Harbor, WA, before coming to the University of Washington. Admitted into the Foster School of Business as a Freshman Direct Student, she has since enjoyed being a part of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program, UW Study Abroad Program – Ecuador, Foster Student Ambassador Program, and the Foster Business Council. She believes in the positive impact of meaningful strategic design in the context of entrepreneurship within communities. She is grateful to the staff of Foster Undergraduate Programs for their support and guidance, helping her connect to the community and get more involved as a student leader. In the fall she will be spending time traveling.

Alexandra KamenzAlexandra Kamenz - Ms. Kamenz is receiving a double degree – a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems and a Bachelor of Arts in History. She came to the UW from Lacey, WA, and immediately distinguished herself as a leader among the Foster School’s Freshman Direct entering class, completing the BUILD Certificate, participating in Haggett Hall Council, and joining Alpha Kappa Psi and the Business Impact Group, all while keeping up her music career with the concert and symphonic bands. She is particularly proud of her support of the South Park Retail Merchants Association and of the growth and development of the Undergraduate Business Council in facilitating collaboration and community among all students in the Foster School of Business. She is the first woman hired by Praece, a growing IT consulting firm. She is grateful for her parents’ support of everything she has done and for instilling the value of education.


School of Dentistry

Jane StieberJane Stieber – Ms. Stieber is graduating with a Master of Science in Dentistry and a Master of Public Health.  She is from a town of 3,500 people in Michigan’s northwestern Lower Peninsula. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Northern Michigan University in 2006 and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan in 2011. After dental school, Ms. Stieber moved to Seattle to concurrently pursue residency training in pediatric dentistry, a Master of Science in Dentistry degree, and a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Washington.  She chose this combined program for its unique and highly-regarded ability to train pediatric dentists clinically and academically. During her residency and graduate school training, she most enjoyed the camaraderie among her co-residents and the diverse perspectives imparted by her pediatric dentistry and public health professors. Some of the highlights from her time at the University of Washington include presenting her research to multiple types of audiences, practicing dentistry in a variety of clinical settings, and surprising one of her patients with a visit from a Seattle Sounders player during a dental appointment. Her plan for the future is to practice pediatric dentistry in northern Michigan, with aspirations to participate in practice-based research and to teach dental students and/or residents.

Walaa AlalawiWalaa Alalawi – Ms. Alalawi is receiving a Master of Science in Oral Biology. She was born in Safwa, a gorgeous town at the east cost of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ever since she was a child, she was fascinated and interested in disease prevention and treatment. She has been curious about all the factors that are linked with the diseases patterns.  “That desire of learning about health and diseases still blossoming and grows within me,” she writes.  “I believe that we live to learn and to give, and we are the ones who can create our chances and make everything possible by working hard to reach our goals.”  Ms. Alalawi quit her previous job and moved to the United States with her two sons to continue her education.  She enrolled in the University of Washington’s 2-year Oral Biology program.  It was, she says, the best thing that ever happened to her.  “I gained so much knowledge and experience, and I feel that my mind has been opened and developed to connect all the knowledge that I have from all different aspects.”  She is interested in oral cancer research, especially tumor formation and metastasis, and would like to engage in research about the factors that cause oral cancer, such as virus infections.


College of Education

Paul TeskePaul Robert John Teske – Mr. Teske is receiving a Doctor of Philosophy in Education. He moved from Minnesota to Seattle to teach 15 years ago. As a new teacher, he was known as the guy that did projects with kids. A highlight from my time in the classroom came when he taught Animal Farm. Three boys were clearly disengaged with the book, but they became alive when Mr. Teske said they could create a graffiti mural of the book in his room. He got permission of the principal, but word never got to the janitor, who upon smelling fumes from spray cans, burst into the room yelling, “Busted! Put your cans down!!!” It was a life-imitating-fiction moment. When he left teaching for ed-tech, Mr. Teske wanted to create sparks for kids through projects. During the last 10 years at the UW, he has worked toward that goal at Technology Access Foundation, the Teacher Education Program, and Educurious. He built project-based programs and tried to instill a mindset of possibility in the teachers with whom he worked. Now, at the Teaching Channel, he is part of a team charged with inspiring, honoring, and helping teachers get better at what they do. “It is exciting and rewarding work,” he says. “I’m in awe of teachers every day.”


College of Engineering

Hunter BennettHunter Bennett – Mr. Bennett is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering. Mr. Bennett grew up a short drive away from the University of Washington in the town of Bellingham, Washington. He decided to follow his interest in drug delivery research by joining Dr. Kim Woodrow’s lab in the Department of Bioengineering, where he was given an independent research project to investigate the potential of cell-seeded biopolymer systems to induce mucosal and systemic immunity to HIV. He recently presented his research at the 2013 Biomedical Engineering Society’s International Conference in Seattle and has presented at the past three University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposiums. He is a Washington State Scholar, a Washington Research Foundation Fellow, an Art Levinson Emerging Scholar, and a Mary Gates Research Scholar. Mr. Bennett is also the Vice President for both Bioengineers Without Borders and the Biomedical Engineering Society. After graduation, he will begin working in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology Branch at the National Institute of Health through their post baccalaureate training program and will apply to MD/PhD programs this summer. Mr. Bennett’s ultimate goal is to engage in translational epidemiology research that can help patients and physicians make informed choices about their healthcare decisions when faced with chronic disease.

Rainie NelsonRainie Dean Nelson – Ms. Nelson is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, with an emphasis in nanoscience and molecular engineering. She was directly admitted into the Department of Chemical Engineering as a freshman. After her first year at the University of Washington, she participated in the Engineering Undergraduate Research Program with the Pozzo Research Group and presented her results at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Her research focused on improving the active layer in organic thin film photovoltaics constructed of a fullerene and polymer blend.   Ms. Nelson was a founding member of the UW Engineering Ambassadors program and was named Outstanding Female Engineer by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  In her senior year, her research with the Pozzo Group involved the creation of emulsions coated with gold nanoparticles for use in medical applications.  In the fall, Ms. Nelson will begin pursuing her PhD in chemical engineering at Iowa State University, with support from the Diane Brandt Fellowship. She plans to continue research in biomedical science or renewable energy.


College of the Environment

Heather BervidHeather Dawn Bervid – Ms. Bervid is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Earth & Space Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in English. She grew up in a small town on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, California. She originally came to the University of Washington to pursue an English degree, finding the urban-yet-close-to-nature setting to be a perfect fit. Not long into her first year, she decided that she wanted to pursue her scientific interests in the natural world as well and began to work on her Earth and Space Sciences degree, initially as a minor and switching to a major as she realized how much she enjoyed my ESS classes. Both of my degrees have led me along paths of excitement, appreciation, struggle, and achievement.  “My experience in the Earth and Space Science program in particular has been filled with adventures of knowledge and has helped me discover my own abilities as a professional, “she says.  “The ESS GeoClub’s trip to New Mexico in Spring 2013 stands out as one experience that has defined my time at the University of Washington, introducing me to people who have helped support and guide me through the rest of my undergraduate years.”  After completing an internship with the USGS in Portland, Oregon this summer, Ms. Bervid will take a year off before pursuing a PhD in Earth Sciences with a focus on glacial geomorphology.


The Information School

KendallMorgan-2Kendall Morgan – Mr. Morgan is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Informatics, Human Computer Interaction.  He was born and raised in New Orleans, LA, and moved to Seattle in August of 2009 because he wanted to enroll in UW. He chose Informatics because of its focus on not just technology, but how to make technology work for people.  He remembers looking through DARS when he was applying to my program and thinking none of the other departments seemed fun.  “I do not think I would have enjoyed school as much if I chose another degree,” he writes.  “What I enjoy most about my program are the people in it. Informatics really focuses on developing the student body and community and it shows. I think the students in the program are what make it amazing.” Mr. Morgan won HCDE’s Shobe Entrepreneurship Award, researched the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, became a McNair Scholar, and was awarded the Samuel E Kelly Scholarship and the Boeing Diversity Scholarship. After graduation he will be working at Boeing as a Software Developer. He also plans to attend graduate school in the near future.


Law School

Lance PelletierLance A. Pelletier – Mr. Pelletier is graduating with a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.). He received his Bachelor of Arts in English, with high honors, from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois in 2006. He was the DePaul University Honors Program President, and Most Outstanding ROTC Cadet of the Year. He graduated from the U.S. Army Field Artillery School in May 2007 and was assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington. Initially commissioned as a Lieutenant, he rose to Captain. Lance served with distinction in Afghanistan, in the Joint Border Coordination Center. In 2011, after completing his tour of duty, Mr. Pelletier entered DePaul University College of Law where he excelled as a first-year law student. He transferred to UW Law in 2012. He has also excelled at UW Law, in the classroom and in Mock Trial competitions.  Mr. Pelletier’s  courtroom victories led to an invitation to join the Moot Court Honor Board. He also worked to reinstate the UW chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, the nation’s largest legal fraternity. He is a decorated veteran, an accomplished advocate, and a valued member of the Law School community.


School of Medicine

Chris VaradyChristopher Ryan Varady – Mr. Varady is receiving a Bachelor of Clinical Health Services.  From Seattle, Washington, he originally discovered his passion for medicine while working as an Emergency Medical Technician with the Puyallup Indian Reservation. There he learned of the growing need for providers in underserved settings throughout the region. Treating the critically ill who lacked access to proper healthcare inspired him to pursue a career as a physician assistant.  At MEDEX Northwest, Mr. Varady served as student body president for the Yakima class, where he oversaw measures to promote the need for physician assistants in rural and underserved settings and worked with fellow students to promote the message of preventative care. Currently he is finishing his underserved family practice clinical rotation at the Indian Reservation in Warm Springs, Oregon.  Mr. Varady is working with the local tribes to promote innovative, caring, and diverse healthcare that is trusted and responsive to the needs of their community. He plans to utilize these new skills and abilities to provide the highest quality of care to patients with limited or no access to healthcare upon graduation.

Anthony JordanAnthony C. Jordan – Mr. Jordan is a Physician Assistant Student of MEDEX NW.  He is from Cocoa Florida. He and his wife moved to Tacoma in Oct. of 1983.  He is the father of 6 awesome children and the grandfather of 4 beautiful granddaughters. One of his sons, Michael A. Jordan, will graduate from UWT on June 13, 2014.  Mr. Jordan is a USMC veteran who finally submitted to Voc-Rehabilitation and has been retrained from his former position of Registered Respiratory Therapist.   He has served his community in medicine and as a Pastor of a small church in Tacoma. He is very happy to be completing this process and returning to medical care as a provider.  “MEDEX is guided by a principle of excellence and caring,” he writes.  “I have been challenged and have grown due to the demands of the first and polished as a human by the gift of the second. I look forward to finding many ways to integrate both of those characteristics into my life and medical practice.  My picture is of Monique and I because, as she describes, ‘we are a gadget.’  Life’s struggles and pains have woven two into one. I am so proud to say she is my best friend.”


School of Nursing

Adrianna BernalAdrianna Bernal – Ms. Bernal is an honors student graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a minor in Global Health. She is a Seattle native from Mercer Island and has worked at Harborview Medical Center on the Burn & Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and at Seattle Children’s Hospital on the Surgical Unit as a nurse technician. She enjoyed the wealth of opportunities the School of Nursing had to offer including skills lab simulations, diverse clinical placements, research, and talented faculty that challenges students to maximize their potential and critical thinking skills. She was elected by her peers to serve on the Professional Organization of Nursing Students Executive Board and Student Council where she acts as a liaison between the student body, school of nursing Dean and administration. Ms. Bernal received scholarships from the American Cancer Society, King County Nurses Association, and UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, and the Krishna D. Vara Foundation. She aspires to work as a critical care RN serving the diverse population at Harborview Medical Center and will eventually apply to nurse anesthetist programs. She has traveled to Panama and Honduras with medical professionals to provide primary care in rural communities. She hopes to continue traveling internationally throughout her career and create innovative approaches that empower families with preventative care knowledge and healthcare resources. She is a firm advocate of education being the most crucial social determinant of health. Furthermore, she strongly believes that the most powerful way healthcare providers can promote well-being is through providing patients with the services, resources, and confidence to nourish their health.


School of Pharmacy

Catlin GoodfriendCatlin Tolzmann Goodfriend – Ms. Goodfriend is receiving a Doctor of Pharmacy.  She is originally from Virginia, and lived in Baltimore, New York, and Chicago. She moved to Seattle seven years ago for its culture and natural beauty, and has been in love with this city ever since. Before pharmacy school, she was an infectious disease researcher.  She decided to become a pharmacist in order to help people more directly. “The University of Washington has been a great place to go to pharmacy school,” she writes.  “Our state and our school are known nationally for advancing the pharmacy profession. I am lucky to have participated in these efforts, and to have led our school’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association to two national awards.”  Her goal is to become a clinical pharmacist, improving people’s health through the optimal use of medications.


Evans School of Public Affairs

Richard CrawfordRichard Crawford – Mr. Crawford is receiving a Master in Public Administration. Originally from the thriving metropolis that is Salem, Oregon, he attended Oregon State University, where he earned a degree in history and a minor in political science. In the Evans School of Public Affairs he is honored to serve as the Evans Student Organization President. Mr. Crawford is focusing on non-profit management with interests in non-profit finance and development. He hopes to be an executive director some day, preferably at the Woodland Park Zoo. When he is not earning his master’s, Mr. Crawford likes camping, watching terrible movies, and rooting against Seattle sports teams.


School of Public Health

Nganga2Stephen Wabeti Nganga
– Mr. Nganga is graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health with Honors. Born in Kenya and fluent in four languages, he lived in various countries before residing in the U.S. His experiences granted him insight into his purpose and passion in enhancing the lives of others through science. As a Mary Gates Scholar, Millie-Russell Scholar, Paul-Lauzier Scholar and Sterling and Gene-Munro Public Service Fellow he undertook two major projects. One was a research project and film on U.S. health-expenditure. The other involved coordinating a Health Resource-Fair in South King County. His passion for underserved communities is reflected by both his global and local work. As a junior he co-founded and has served as President of Tumaini For Health, a Non-Profit-Organization, dedicated to providing health services to those living in Kenyan slums.  Locally, he works as a Referral-Coordinator at a free-clinic. Active on campus, Mr. Nganga was Co-Chair of the Pre-Health organization Chicanos/Latinos for Community Medicine, and was a Student Athlete Academic Tutor. This summer he’ll be working at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital while applying to medical school. He plans to practice medicine as a physician and health administrator to continue his work with underserved globally and locally.


School of Social Work

Gurminder Singh HothiGurminder (Gary) Singh Hothi – Mr. Hothi is receiving a Master in Social Work. He has served as a Student Advisory Council member in the School of Social Work and as a Student Senator for the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. Mr. Hothi sees the role of a social worker as a servant. He has served and hopes to continue to serve his community in the area of adolescent substance abuse prevention and treatment. Mr. Hothi intimately knows how hard it is to face obstacles such as addiction, which is why he chose to pursue graduate education in social work with a concentration in health/mental health. He has spent over a decade of his life working in and advocating for recovery. After graduation, Mr. Hothi is planning to move to India to help implement a comprehensive substance abuse prevention/treatment curriculum in his home state of Punjab. He also hopes to continue as a life-long learner and pursue a doctoral degree in health psychology.



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