UW News

June 25, 2009

New Graduate School Making a Difference staff award a nice surprise for UW Press designer

UW News

Ashley Saleeba, senior designer with UW Press, got a nice surprise last Thursday — she was named the recipient of the Graduate School’s first-ever Making a Difference staff award.

The new award celebrates a staff member “dedicated to excellence in service who is respectful and approachable, collaborative, and collegial, visionary and an innovative problem solver,” according to notes from the Graduate School. And better yet, it comes with a check for $500, funded by a UW alumnus.

Saleeba has been with UW Press for about six years. She said she applied for the job after making a career change; her previous position was in public health research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She already had earned a bachelor’s degree from Smith College but “a lifelong interest in art and design” sent her to study design at Seattle Central Community College. She started at UW Press as an intern.

She said designers generally start to work with a book after the editorial process has been completed. “Basically, our job as a book designer is to simplify information, to kind of step back and let the content speak for itself.”

The Making a Difference Award is a sort of grassroots recognition, Graduate School administrators say, with nominations coming from staff members throughout the Graduate School. The nomination letters received in support of Saleeba tell the story of a creative and cooperative staffer. “Ashley has brought a freshness to UW Press Design evident in the quality of our publications,” wrote UW Press colleague Kirby Diane Murphy. “Ashley has talent and contagious enthusiasm. But most of all, she is a delight to work with.”

Saleeba learned of her selection Thursday, June 18, at the annual Graduate School Awards Ceremony in Kane Hall’s Walker-Ames Room. The Making a Difference Award is one of two awards new this year from the school.

The other is the Legacy of Excellence Award, given to “someone who has provided long-term and extraordinary support and service for graduate education at the UW.” That honor was given to former KIRO-TV health reporter Micki Flowers.

Flowers is a member of the Graduate School Advisory Board and a director of the UW Foundation Board, serving as the Graduate School’s representative. She is also the Seattle chapter president of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, one of the largest organizational donors to the UW.

In other news from the Graduate School:

Grad school has banner year for Fulbright dissertation awards

Five UW doctoral students have received the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships for the 2009/2010 school year — more than in recent memory, according to the Graduate School.

This month the U.S. Department of Education notified the school that the five Fulbright recipients will receive a total of $163,907 for the fellowships, allowing them to pursue research in China, Nepal, Russia, and South Korea. 

George Martinez, director of communications for the Graduate School, said the record year for Fulbright-Hays dissertation awards is due in part to aggressive promotion of fellowship opportunities campuswide by the Graduate School Fellowships & Awards Office, which also advised applicants how to maximize their chances for selection. The Graduate School processed applications for 11 Fulbright-Hays fellowship candidates this year. 

The 2009-2010 awardees are Jeff Masse from the Department of Geography; David Citrin, Matthew Hale, and Bonnie Tilland from the Sociocultural Anthropology Program; and Andrew Stone, from the Department of History.

The Graduate School’s Fellowships & Awards Office manages approximately 20 funding programs for graduate students universitywide. Graduate School Director Helene Obradovich recently restructured the office to create more campus outreach and promotion about funding opportunities for graduate students. In addition to overseeing extensive administrative processes, the office also has expanded its services to include advising students on how to apply and create winning applications.

There was but one Fulbright-Hays dissertation fellowship during the 2008/2009 school year. The Fulbright-Hays Program is one part of the overall Fulbright initiative to support study and research abroad for both domestic and international graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and others.

For more information about The Graduate School and its programs, visit online at http://www.grad.washington.edu/index.html