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

Lin-Ya HsuLin-Ya Hsu – Ms. Hsu is graduating with a PhD in Rehabilitation Science and is a pediatric physical therapist from Taiwan. She chose an academic research path because she wants to better understand the mechanism of motor control and development in children, and how we can apply the information to help children and families with special needs. Ms. Hsu’s long-standing clinical interest in children with disabilities has driven her research and learning process. During her years at the UW, Ms. Hsu was fortunate to learn from an interdisciplinary team of colleagues and mentors. She was involved in multiple research projects and developed a dissertation study to answer questions that were evoked by her research and clinical experience here. She successfully got financial support by introducing her research ideas through the Experiment crowd funding. Besides the schoolwork, she got the certificate of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities training program in the Center on Human Development and Disability as a pediatric physical therapist. She knows she will continue being a life-time learner after graduation.  She hopes to conduct research and do clinical work that can help more children and families with special needs.

Carlos A. Camal SanchezCarlos A. Camal Sanchez – Mr. Camal Sanchez graduated with a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner degree.  He is married and has two sons.  He is grateful to his wife, Masumi, for her unrelenting support during his training. Mr. Camal Sanchez moved from Veracruz, Mexico to Seattle, Washington to pursue his Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree at the University of Washington. His education in Nursing was inspired by his mother, who was a nurse. He has had extensive interdisciplinary work experience as an ICU nurse at Harborview Medical Center, and maintains all of his professional certifications, to support his current practice. Mr. Camal Sanchez works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he teaches Basic Life Support to parents whose babies and young children have congenital and structural heart defects, and have undergone cardiac procedures. He has been honored to serve as a clinical assistant professor for the University of Washington’s School of Nursing (UW SON).  He is grateful to his professors who have inspired him throughout his doctoral program. With their support, he will continue the UW SON tradition of excellence.  His goal is to provide the best collaborative care, and therefore to provide a consistently positive experience for patients and their families.

Twanna HodgeTwanna Kinya Hodge
– Ms. Hodge is receiving a Master of Library and Information Science. Originally from St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands she came to Seattle to pursue her passion for information technology, education, libraries and community empowerment. She chose the UW MLIS program because of their dedication to diversity, study abroad opportunities, and financial support. She enjoyed the fact that she could learn about anything the caught her interest and that the program supported her varied endeavors.  Ms. Hodge has enjoyed the connections between information and people and gained the ability to help connect people to the right information so that they can make informed decisions.  She has traveled to Rwanda and Ghana to understand the needs of those without a voice, which in turn strengthened her goals to become an academic librarian and start her own non-profit  organization. Her specialization in the MLIS program is academic librarianship. Ms. Hodge served as an officer for three different student organizations in the iSchool, volunteered for various projects with the Northwest African American Museum, as well as working as a Graduate Reference and Instruction Specialist for the UW Libraries. Ms. Hodge is the first in her family to earn a Master’s degree.

Sigolene OrtegaSigolène Abigail Ortega – Ms. Ortega is receiving a Master of Public Health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP). Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, she’s the second of four children from a tightly-knit family that migrated to Santa Cruz, CA. She is a first-generation college student. Following her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, she worked in non-profits and volunteered for a grass-roots organization dedicated to ending poverty for low-income workers. Witnessing social and economic inequities and health disparities prompted her to pursue a graduate degree to equip her with the practical skills to solve pressing public health issues. COPHP appealed to her values that aligned with the program’s focus on social justice and health equity, and because of COPHP’s problem-based learning pedagogy. While at UW, she interned for Fred Hutch, and served as the national liaison for the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Chapter.  With funding from the School of Public Health Diversity Committee, Ms. Ortega presented her work on healthy housing at the Washington State Public Health Association conference. She is a recipient of the Health Services Outstanding Master’s Student Award. Additionally, she was selected as a UW delegate to the CDC’s Millennial Health Leaders’ Summit. She plans to return to California to serve her low-income community by advancing health policy and public health practice that builds healthy communities and reduces health inequities.

The College of Arts and Sciences

Elise ButterfieldElise Butterfield
– Ms. Butterfield graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Dance, a minor in Spanish, and college and departmental honors. Entering UW as the Betty Eberharter scholar in the Honors Program, Elise went on to earn the Neal and Helen Fosseen Scholarship in International Studies, and the Mary Aid DeVries Award in Dance. She was awarded two Mary Gates Research grants for her work with the Chamber Dance Company and her participation in the Summer Institute for the Arts and Humanities focused on Indigeneity, arts, and politics. Elise investigated embodied and transgenerational knowledge and the failures of development in her honors thesis, Mapping Silence, Missing Borders: Performance and Politics in Rural Nicaragua, based on field research as Associate Project Director for an Amigos de las Americas program. She served as Officer and President of the Dance Students’ Association and as an Undergraduate Research Leader. She now lives in Salt Lake City and works as the Programs Administrator at Art Access, a non-profit that provides equal opportunities to inclusive arts programming for Utahans of all abilities and those with limited access to the arts. Ms. Butterfield is humbled to represent a college of thoughtful, passionate, and talented professors and peers.

Sarah HoveySarah Harvey – 
Ms. Harvey is from Covington, Washington, and is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in Comprehensive Physics and Astronomy.  She chose to study physics for its elegance and breadth, as physicists both attempt to answer fundamental questions about the nature of the universe as well as develop new technologies.  During her undergraduate degree, she has enjoyed performing independent research with various research groups on campus, such as the Winglee Advanced Propulsion Laboratory, as well as studying abroad in the United Kingdom.  Ms. Harvey has also enjoyed studying classical and folk violin with the UW School of Music and playing in local music groups.  She worked as an intern at the technology startup Eagle Harbor Technologies and the Boeing Applied Physics Laboratory.  Most recently, she has worked with Professor Kai-Mei Fu in the UW Optical Spintronics Laboratory in experimental condensed matter physics, specifically building a photoluminescence confocal microscopy system to investigate semiconductor defects.  During her time at UW, she was supported by the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium, and was awarded the Mary L. Boas Endowed Scholarship in Physics.  This fall Ms. Harvey will be begin a Ph.D. program in Applied Physics at Stanford University.

Deniz IrgiDeniz Irgi – Mr. Irgi is graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and was recently nominated for the Dean’s Medal by the Political Science Department. He is also a member of the Departmental Honors program and was awarded an undergraduate research fellowship last year for the Center for American Politics and Public Policy. In addition, he was a policy intern for the Attorney General of Washington State and later a legislative intern in the United States Congress. Born in Izmir, Turkey, he immigrated to the United States at the age of seven. Mr. Irgi is very interested in immigrant’s rights and political discourses surrounding immigration. His political science background allows him to think critically about these topics and appreciate the complex ways power hierarchies interact in our society. He considers his honor’s thesis centering on the discursive treatment of undocumented students as a culmination of his undergraduate education. In the immediate future, Mr. Irgi hopes to use his knowledge as an advocate for undocumented students and immigrants as he moves onto law school. In the long run, however, he hopes to serve his community as a public official.

Alex KaleAlex Martin Kale
– Mr. Kale is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is from Pullman, WA. When he was accepted into UW, he became especially interested in the brain and the mind-body problem, so he decided to study psychology with an emphasis in perception. Mr. Kale’s most rewarding thing about being a psychology major has been his involvement in research and his wonderful teachers. Highlights from his experience at UW include research on human color vision with Steve Buck and his graduate students as well as studying statistics with Laura Little. Other highlights from his time spent at UW include studying philosophy of science with Lynn Hankinson-Nelson as well as studying trumpet with Fred Radke and performing with the UW Studio Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Kale was on the Dean’s List throughout his experience at UW and also received the Guthrie Prize for Meritorious Undergraduate Writing in Psychology in 2014. He was recently nominated for the Dean’s Medal. In the future, Mr. Kale aspires to continue playing trumpet with friends, taking classes, and gaining research experience. In a year, he will start applying to graduate programs.

Stephanie KingStephanie Elaine King – Ms. King is graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Classical Studies. The UW English department turned her passion for words into a more focused desire to work with writers. With that goal in mind, she’s spent four years on the staff of Bricolage Literary & Visual Arts Journal, serving as Managing Editor this year. Ms. King is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, as well as a member of the English department Honors cohort where she penned her senior thesis on the symbolism of gladiators in Victorian novels. She was awarded a Jim Greenfield Undergraduate Scholarship and the Ringland Rome Prize, which provided her the opportunity to study abroad in Rome and travel throughout Europe. Ms. King has spent four years playing trumpet in the Husky Marching Band, allowing her to travel all over the US. She also received two Husky Marching Band Alumni Association scholarships for her dedication to the program and living her life with a Touch Of Class. After graduating, Ms. King will be attending graduate school at the University College London to acquire a Masters in Publishing with the hope of discovering the next J.K. Rowling.

Zachary LimZachary Lim
– Mr. Lim is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Japanese. Born in Singapore, he moved to Seattle when he was 14. After studying Japanese for a year in high school, Mr. Lim decided to enter the UW via the Robinson’s Center’s UW Academy to further his study of the language. While he liked studying Japanese, he longed for the rigor of scientific inquiry, so when he took an introductory linguistics class in winter, he was sold. Being a young discipline, there was much room for theorizing rather than simply learning what has been established, and it was this wealth of opportunity to theorize that drew Mr. Lim to major in linguistics as well. Due to personal reasons, Mr. Lim had a time limit of three years to graduate, but he wanted to make the most of his undergraduate experience, so he did interdisciplinary honors, disciplinary honors in both of his majors, and a study abroad. As a result, Mr. Lim experienced what he would describe as a whirlwind of drama from which he was protected by those around me. The level of kindness and guidance he received from professors and advisors enabled him to survive the toughest times, and he is eternally grateful. Moving forward, Mr. Lim intends to go to graduate school to continue studying linguistics.

College of Built Environments

Kristopher ChanKristopher Matthew Chan
– Mr. Chan is graduating with a Master of Architecture. He was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and also completed his undergraduate degree in Architectural Studies at the University of Washington. During his time at the UW, he had the opportunity to travel through India and study the work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh. Mr. Chan was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal by the Department of Architecture in 2014 for exemplary leadership, scholarship, and professional merit. Throughout his time at the UW, Mr. Chan helped design and install numerous exhibits as well as books documenting student studio work. He is currently working on illustrations for an upcoming book on urban agriculture. His passion for architecture lies at the intersection of building, culture, graphics, and urbanity. His degrees have also allowed him to pursue interests outside of architecture, specifically graphic design, typography, and furniture design. A walnut credenza Mr. Chan designed and fabricated in a furniture design studio at the UW won honorable mention in two regional furniture competitions. Now that he has graduated, Mr. Chan is able to cook and perfect his almond croissant recipe and in the near future hopes to be able to backpack through Europe and Scandinavia.

Foster School of Business

Norma DomingoNorma Domingo
– Mrs. Domingo is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with concentrations in Human Resources and Finance. Originally from El Paso, TX, she is a veteran of the United States Navy serving as an Aviation Structural Mechanic and Maintenance Administration Program Manager.  She was stationed at Oak Harbor, WA and deployed with the USS Truman (CVN 75) conducting security operations and supporting cooperation efforts in the Middle East.  She transferred from Skagit Valley College where she served as the President of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was honored as a member of the 2013 All-Washington Academic Team.  Mrs. Domingo holds leadership roles as the Mentorship Chair for the Undergraduate Business Council and as the Recruiting Chair for the Society of Human Resource Management.  She also works with the Foster Veterans Association in partnering with companies to provide education, guidance and support to military veterans and their families.  She is grateful for the love and support from her parents, Rosa and Juan, her sister, Oneida, her husband, Marlou, and her family in Monterrey, Mexico.  She also appreciates the University of Washington and the Foster School of Business family for the all the knowledge and life changing experience and memories.

Stanislau KabacheuskiStanislau Kabacheuski 
– Mr. Kabacheuski is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and Finance. He was born in Minsk, Belarus and moved to United States at the age of 17. He was blessed with having amazing parents who always motivated him and pushed him to be a better person. At the University of Washington, he joined the first pledge class of a newly established Phi Delta Theta fraternity where he served as a Recruitment Chairman and Vice President.  Furthermore, he was one of the first students to join the newly reestablished Boxing Club at the University of Washington, where he served as a Treasurer and a Team Leader. This year the Husky Boxers became two time collegiate National Champions. At the Foster School of Business, he became involved with Beta Alpha Psi and served as a Vice President of Membership and Vice President of Community Relations. Mr. Kabacheuski was also involved in promoting the Foster School of Business, whether it was by presenting in front of high school students or volunteering at events like the Foster Experience.

School of Dentistry

Emily ChuEmily Chu
– Ms. Chu graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Oral Health Sciences. She entered the UW School of Dentistry’s DDS PhD program in 2008 aspiring to become a clinician and a scientist.  In 2012, she earned her DDS and began practicing as an associate dentist part-time.  She has received many awards including the Academy of General Dentistry and William Howard Student Case Presentation Competition Award, the Academy of Dental Materials Award, and the American Association of Oral Biologists Award.  Under the mentorship of Dr. Timothy Cox and Dr. Martha Somerman, she began her dissertation research in Dr. Cox’s Seattle Children’s Research Institute laboratory.  Ms. Chu’s research involved studying genes implicated in lip/primary palatal development and dental disorders.  While conducting her PhD research, she was selected as a Magnuson Scholar, received a NIH individual F30 training award, and was awarded a Cleft Palate Foundation Junior Investigator Research Grant.  Overall, Ms. Chu has found the DDS PhD program stimulating and challenging, and she is grateful for the opportunities.  Following graduation, she will begin a research fellowship at the NIH and hopes that by becoming a clinician and a researcher, she will ultimately be more equipped to make a positive difference in others’ lives.

Ara GreerAra Rachelle Greer
– Ms. Greer is graduating with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Oral Biology.  She is from Seattle and earned her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Bowdoin College in Brunswick ME.  After college she returned to Seattle where she worked as an Environmental Microbiologist for King County, developing an interest in biofilms.  While she enjoyed laboratory work, she wanted to combine research with health care.  To achieve this goal, she entered the combined DDS/PhD program at the University of Washington School of Dentistry in 2006.  She completed her Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 2010 at which time she changed her focus to completion of the PhD portion of the program. Her research is focused on the bacterial host interaction where she investigates the complex interactions of the oral cavity with biofilms. Some of the highlights from her time at the UW are presenting her work at conferences such as the Penn Perio conference, giving lectures to students, publishing her first paper, and working with her fellow students to further the field of Oral Biology.  While completing her PhD, she has been working as a dentist part-time in the Department of Oral Medicine, treating patients with special needs.  Ms. Greer’s plans for the future are to continue to work in an academic setting, combining her love of dentistry and research.

College of Education

John HopkinsJohn Paul Hopkins
– Mr. Hopkins graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education. From Puyallup, WA, where he currently live with his wife, Regina, and three children, Zac, Tristan, and Abigail, he dreamed that one day he might be a Husky. Mr. Hopkins chose his degree program because it allowed him to bring together all of his academic interests.  The College of Education made it possible for him to combine philosophical analysis with multicultural education and Indigenous studies.  The most significant highlights while studying at the University of Washington include publishing two peer reviewed articles and presenting them at national conferences.   These achievements would not have been possible without the mentorship of faculty.  They not only inspired him to be a quality scholar: they also inspired him to be a quality teacher.  Mr. Hopkins’ future plans include the following:  publish in the philosophy of education and multicultural education; teach undergraduate students the joys of life-long learning and the need to transform their world for justice; and raise his children with the love of his life.  But his immediate task post-graduation is to read The Hobbit.

College of Engineering

Darcy AkersDarcy Akers
– Ms. Akers will be receiving a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. She grew up in Washougal, a small town in southwest Washington and chose to be a Civil Engineer and specialize on transportation because she likes to not only build and know how things work, but also make an impact on society. Ms. Akers enjoys the never ending challenge of traffic engineering and the ability to make a difference. Since her first quarter at UW, she has been a member of Engineers without Borders and has served as International Project Director of the club’s project in rural Guatemala for the last year and a half. Ms. Akers led the design of a community center structure and traveled to Guatemala for the initial assessment and surveying.  Her research at UW has included both signal performance measures and the Greenroad’s sustainability rating system. She has also participated in the Emerging Leaders in Engineering Program, studied abroad in Rome, and been a peer mentor. After graduation, Ms. Akers will pursue a career in transportation engineering and intelligent transportation systems and will work for the City of Bellevue as a Signals Operations Engineer.

William HwangWilliam Hwang – Mr. Hwang will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering. As a Seattle native, he participated in the Robinson Center for Young Scholars’ Early Entrance Program and his research interests include electronic materials, natural language processing, and robotics.  Mr. Hwang worked under the mentorship of Professors Ostendorf and Hajishirzi to analyze disfluent speech and develop text similarity metrics for use in text alignment.  He received a Mary Gates Research Scholarship for this work and presented his findings at the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Mr. Hwang also worked with Professor Luscombe where he synthesized silver nanoparticles for use in conductive inks, which have applications ranging from 3D printed electronics to transparent conducting electrodes.  Mr. Hwang is also involved in a number of other independent research projects, and serves as the leader for a team of undergraduates working to construct a research grade spin coater. Mr. Hwang plans to intern at Intel this summer, and he will then return to the UW in the fall to complete his Master’s degree in MSE and has future plans to pursue a PhD.

College of the Environment

Julia MarksJulia Marks
– Ms. Marks will be receiving a dual degree in both a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Originally from Bellevue, WA, she started her undergraduate schooling at Northeastern University, studying political science with the hope of pursuing a career in environmental policy. After one year, Ms. Marks realized that political science would never give her the scientific foundation needed to understand environmental policy, so she decided to come back to UW to receive an education through the College of the Environment. Ms. Marks decided to pursue oceanography because it required that she learn every hard science, and because there were so many opportunities to do research and fieldwork. Over her time in oceanography, she has been involved in many different labs, but the most incredible experience was during her time with the Sediment Dynamics Group when she participated in a research cruise to the Amazon Tidal River. It was an invaluable and unforgettable experience. Looking ahead, Ms. Marks hopes to meld her two degrees in some form. She is fascinated by the confluence between science and society and would like to explore possible careers in science communication, whether it is policy, education, or something totally unforeseen.

The Information School

Stephen RamirezStephen Ramirez
 – Mr. Ramirez is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Informatics. He was born in Los Angeles, CA and grew up in Kent, WA before moving to Seattle once he was accepted into UW. Mr. Ramirez is a first generation college student, inspired to succeed in school and attend UW by his family at a very early age. Once he began classes at UW, he enjoyed getting involved in student life and leadership opportunities on campus such as working with Dream Project, spending time teaching a class about the importance of college at Kimball Elementary in Beacon Hill, becoming Vice President of Young Democrats at UW, and joining the fraternity Phi Kappa Theta. Mr. Ramirez chose to major in Informatics because it’s an extremely collaborative, team-driven community that fosters undergraduate learning as well as a sense of belonging and peer-to-peer networking. He became President of the Informatics Undergraduate Association at the end of his first year as an Informatics student and has been organizing social and networking events for the Informatics community since then. He looks forward to coordinating networking events with the Alumni association of Informatics majors around Seattle after he graduates.

Law School

Carolyn KrolCarolyn Ann Krol – Ms. Krol is graduating with a Juris Doctorate. Her interest in law school started when she graduated from Santa Clara University and moved to San Francisco to work in the legal industry.  After two years as a paralegal she transitioned to a position in Google’s legal department.  It was at Google Ms. Krol knew she wanted to go to law school and eventually work as a lawyer for tech companies.  Her second year she externed for a federal judge, was elected Co-President of the Technology Law Society, and travelled to Washington D.C.  to present at a robotics conference hosted by Microsoft.  She also joined the Washington Journal of Environmental Law and Policy and took a position on the journal’s editorial board and helped put together the 2015 Arctic Encounter Symposium.  The Symposium was recently nominated for the 2015 ABA Law School Program of the Year.  This year Ms. Krol was part of the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic where she worked directly with start-up clients.  She currently works for a boutique privacy and data security law firm advising tech companies and hopes to work in-house for one of Seattle’s many tech companies.

School of Medicine

Brianne GouldBrianne Gould
– Ms. Gould is graduating with a Master of Occupational Therapy. Originally from Kent, Washington, she graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and a minor in Spanish in 2013. She chose to pursue a Master’s degree in occupational therapy because she loved interacting with people, especially children. In addition, Ms. Gould wanted a career that would allow her to be creative and provide new opportunities and experiences on a daily basis. What she has enjoyed most about the degree she chose is the sense of community among her fellow classmates, professors, and professionals in the field, including the genuine passion these individuals demonstrate towards serving others.  Some of the highlights from Ms. Gould’s time at the University of Washington include volunteering at the Latina Health Fair, social events with classmates, and earning a scholarship from the Folsom Endowed Fund for Occupational Therapy Students.  After graduating, she hopes to work in a pediatric setting or inpatient acute care.

School of Nursing

Steven SimpkinsStephen Charles Simpkins
 – Mr. Simpkins graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science. He has been in the Seattle area for nearly 30 years now and always had the dream of being a Husky. So when it came time to start a new career, I knew immediately that I was going to finally see my dreams come true.  He finished his Bachelors of Science in Nursing at UW in 2010; knowing that he wanted to teach in a school of nursing, Mr. Simpkins jumped right back in.  In that first year, he was honored by being named as a GAANN Fellow for the School of Nursing; a distinguished fellowship from the Department of Education directed at areas of national need.  Over his seven years at UW, Mr. Simpkins has had the opportunity and honor to work with many different programs and faculty in many different capacities.  His most treasured endeavor by far, has been working with UW Nurse Camp, a summer day camp designed to inspire and encourage young minority students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience and pursue a career in nursing.  He has nothing but good memories of his time here and is beyond proud to be a part of the Husky family.

School of Pharmacy

Sophia YunSophia Yun
– Ms. Yun is graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy. Originally from Kent, WA and she chose to pursue the PharmD program for her love of life-long learning of science and helping people. She has most enjoyed the hands-on experience of seeing the impact that pharmacists have on patients’ health care. A few of Ms. Yun’s highlights from studying at the UW include completing The Biomedical Regulatory Affairs and The Plein Geriatric Certificate as well as honing her abilities to evaluate and assess medical literature to best apply clinically to patients. Ms. Yun’s immediate plan upon graduation is to travel as much as she can and complete a medical information internship at a biotechnology company.  For the future, she aspires to continue to be a part of an innovative healthcare sector to make positive impact on patients worldwide.

Evans School of Public Affairs

Lisa MikesellLisa Marie Mikesell – Ms. Mikesell is receiving a Master in Public Administration. A native of Bonney Lake, Washington, Ms. Mikesell moved back to Seattle 5 years ago after having lived in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and New Zealand. She completed her undergraduate degree in Politics at Occidental College in 2008, and subsequently worked with environmental nonprofit organizations before deciding to return to school to hone her policy and management skills so she could become a more effective agent of change. She is the recipient of a PCE Grant from the P.E.O. Sisterhood, and has been honored to serve as this year’s Evans Student Organization President. She is proud to be a 2nd generation UW graduate after her father, Allan Mikesell, who graduated from the School of Pharmacy in 1984. Going forward, Ms. Mikesell plans to work within the nonprofit and government sectors on issues of environmental and social equity.

School of Public Health

Alexandra WaltonAlexandra Marie Walton – Ms. Walton is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health. She was born and raised in Hobart, a small town in unincorporated King County. At a young age she was diagnosed with Type-1 Juvenile Diabetes, and her passion for health studies stems from living with this disease. Industrial hygiene and occupational safety was a natural fit for her interests in health studies and her strong desire to help people. Her first opportunity to apply her knowledge outside the classroom came when she worked in Maitreya Dunham’s genomics lab during her sophomore and junior years. She estimates that she probably cleaned 10,000 test tubes and autoclaved glassware 200 times during her time there. The knowledge and work skills she developed during her time there have been invaluable to her.  Ms. Walton hopes that with the knowledge she has obtained at UW, she can continue to improve safety and industrial hygiene practices in the workplace, especially for private industry.  Immediately after graduating Ms. Walton will complete her 2nd internship in occupational health and safety with Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Everett, Washington.

School of Social Work

Georgina MendozaGeorgina Margarita Mendoza Gutierrez
– Ms. Mendoza will be graduating with a Master of Social Work with an emphasis on Health & Mental Health, and a Global Woman, Adolescent, and Child Health Certificate. Volunteering with an organization that sought to prevent, assess, and treat child abuse in Santa Barbara, her passion for serving vulnerable populations and fighting for social justice led her to the University of Washington’s School of Social Work and Department of Global Health. Following a path to serving diverse and multicultural communities, Ms. Mendoza has dedicated her service work to women, children, and families in different scopes of practice. From birth work by supporting pregnant women through pregnancy and delivery, providing families emotional support during a child’s lengthy hospitalization, completing birth observations and qualitative research to support infants and mothers worldwide, she has had multiple opportunities to pursue her passion for health equity and develop her compassion for humanity. Ms. Mendoza hopes to further her career by building upon her leadership, mental health, and research skills to better serve international communities here in the US and abroad as an international social worker. She will always remember and value the communities that helped build the foundation and passion for her engagement in this work.


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