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The Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities

2013 Summer Institute Participants

See the 2013 Call for Applications to read about the 2013 theme

Below are the participants in the 2013 University of Washington Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities

Omar J. Acosta - Pre-Social Sciences

The word that describes me the best is "passionate." One of my passions in life is the health of the human body and mind. This is the reason why I'm here at the UW, intending to major in Psychology and Global Health. I'm deeply interested in how we have defined mental health, and how we have developed patterns to use those definitions on a global scale. When I'm not immersed in my academic interests, I enjoy long distance running and cooking.

David Chen - Public Health

I was in San Francisco walking through a park on the side of the Golden Gate Bridge. At the peak of a steep hill overlooking the inlet leading to the bay there was a small dug-out cave, and on the inside was written: "You are helping to heal the world." In order to be a part of the community that does just that I study Public Health, and hope to work in medicine and/or policy. I especially hope to contribute to changing the norm of global and local inequality, grounding myself in the belief that people are better off without walls that separate them from each other. Besides learning, I love to play the guitar, play sports, and be outside.

Mollie Holmberg - Biology (Ecology, Evolution & Conservation); Mathematics; minor in Global Health

As a rising senior majoring in ecology, most of my coursework up to this point has been in the "hard sciences." However, after working in the geography department and helping run a health equity-oriented nonprofit over the past two years, I have developed a passion for using social science perspectives to understand topics in science. This is especially true in topics related to environmental change and global health. At the Summer Institute, I look forward to delving into both of these topics in my work on emerging disease and developing strong research skills in the humanities.

Vedran Jankovic - English (Language and Literature, Creative Writing)

Apart from his connoisseurship in German literature, Italian cuisine, and French wine, Vedran is a paragliding enthusiast who relishes his Fridays with Barthes, Kafka, Beckett, and co. He nibbles through his Saturdays via un café macchiato,The New Yorker, The Independent, and the like. Sundays, he affirms, are reserved exclusively for Thomas Mann only and only Thomas Mann himself may annul this privileged membership. Not to forget, Jankovic is a student of literature in pursuit of literary exactitude (“affirmation, never!” he ensures), with ambitions of becoming an academic thus taking stance in such a “reciprocal grandeur,” as he formulates it. And here, at the SIAH, by interpolating war and disease Jankovic hopes to identify the linguistic perpetrators operating the spectrum between nationalism (collectivity) and individualism (survival of the fittest), exploiting hierarchies within an outbreak.

Lizzy Jansen - Public Health

I am going into my third year at UW, majoring in Public Health. The spread of disease has always fascinated me, and I am looking forward to this opportunity to explore this subject more seriously. During this experience, I hope to look more into a variety of cultures, the different ways that they address disease outbreak, and what psychological effects this has on their society. Between studying this summer, I hope to do some of the many things I enjoy such as running, hiking, traveling, and exploring the food and streets of Seattle!

James Kelley - Geography; Social Welfare

I am a first year at the University of Washington with the intent to major in Geography and Social Welfare. Having the opportunity to conduct research on disease "outbreaks" is very exciting to me because I get to work with knowledgeable faculty and motivated undergraduates. I am particularly interested in understanding how politics and culture shape the development of "outbreaks". Aside from participating in all things academic, one can find me hiking, spending time with my friends and family, or sampling the new flavors at the local ice cream parlor.

Sarah Kislak - Public Health; CHID

I have just finished my third undergraduate year at UW and am majoring in public health and CHID (Comparative History of Ideas). The most valuable thing I have learned in college is how to ask questions, and this summer I will be exploring the intersections between health and happiness. I will be using the guidance and resources of The Happiness Initiative alongside the faculty, peers, and mentors I have here at UW to help me navigate my research. Everyday I feel gratitude for the role I have as a student right now to think and learn, and I am always looking for ways to ground my scholarship in spaces outside of the academy. I enjoy being in nature, yoga-ing, traveling, cooking, spending time with good people, and thinking about this curious world we live in when I'm not too busy trying to be practical.

Jennifer Look - Pre-Heath Sciences

I'm currently between my first and second year at UW, on the path to majoring in Biology and Statistics. I am excited to be researching with SIAH about disease outbreaks and their various components; the advancement of medicine as well as drug resistant variants of diseases, and how society’s perception of a disease influences the development of cures. When I'm not engaged in academic studies, I enjoy swimming, dancing, exploring the beautiful city of Seattle, presenting about astronomy, looking at new fashions, and trying new foods.

Oliver Miska - Comparative History of Ideas

Defining what I have studied as a focus is a difficult task, for I have varied interests that linger around the disciplines of literature, philosophy, and anthropology. However, I have more profoundly focused on critical theory and its interactions with political-economy, control, and ideology. I've been fortunate to have lovely professors who take their time to unpack dense paragraphs so that I can understand, at times, some of these critiques of contemporary society and for that I am grateful. I am interested in doing my own research with SIAH this summer in order to continue my understanding of some of western society's greatest critics and to decipher how violence is signified as a cultural practice in such a manner that mirrors the discursive fields of production as created by competing powers under global neo-liberal values. More personally, I was born and raised in Seattle, work as a tutor at my old high school (Seattle Academy), and work at two rock climbing gyms in Seattle.

Meredith (Rosie) Morrow-Okon - International Studies

I am an International Studies major on the Human Rights track, with a minor in Global Health; I am also an intended premedical student. This quirky combination of passion for the medical field and human rights issues has led me to become interested in hidden health narratives, especially the ones which affect college students. I am incredibly fortunate and honored to be serving as the Director of the Student Health Consortium within ASUW for the upcoming academic year, so I am happy to have the opportunity to prepare myself for this position through exploration with SIAH. When I’m not living in Suzzallo working on academic or ASUW research, I love exploring Seattle for the best coffeeshops or concert venues, hiking and running in the PNW, and spending time on the water windsurfing, kayaking or paddle-boarding.

Brandie Nordstrum - Anthropology: Medical Anthropology & Global Health

I will be a senior in the Anthropology department for the upcoming year at the UW. The courses that I have taken so far have broadened my understanding of how globalization impacts various cultures. I am curious how solutions are developed or attempted as we have become aware of the consequences through various influential sources associated to western perspectives. One such source that I am interested in researching is how medical involvement affects world cultures. I would like to understand how medical students are trained to work with patients who do not wish to be vaccinated on a global scale in comparison to those who wish to practice within the U.S. With my free time I enjoy hiking, running and exploring Seattle with my friends.

Sharon Pan - Public Health

I will be entering my second year this Fall 2013. I am a Public Health major who plans to also major in Biochemistry. Having had little exposure to disease outbreaks and global health prior to coming to this school, I took some public health courses here out of curiosity. These classes transformed the way I think and have shown me a new field of study that I am able to excitedly learn and passionately read about. I love learning about and looking at impacts of diseases and how diseases develop from the biological level to the global scale. Outside of academics, I am very involved with art and fashion: I love designing and making clothes, I love playing piano and creating studio art. I love staying active and enjoy playing all sports, especially tennis.

Vincent Pham - English; minors in Education and Diversity

I am an English major with a double minor in education and diversity, while also pursuing two teaching endorsements in English and Social Studies. I will be graduating a year early, so I figured that doing research would be a nice follow up to my honors thesis that I recently completed in the spring. I cite my experiences working in the Dream Project as one of the main reasons for my happiness and motivation today. Not only have I been able to participate in an active community of undergraduate students interested in the relationship between higher education and social mobility, I have been privileged enough to work with other first generation Americans like myself. In particular, the work I have done in this field as also raised my awareness regarding race representations in the education world, and I look forward to analyzing the topic of disease outbreak in the context of racialization. Fun fact: I'm on an Indian dance team!

Sam Pizelo - English

I am a rising senior who recently completed the English Honors program here at UW. I am interested in how discursive-epistemic patterns in medicine and the sciences inform and construct subjectivity. I encounter this broader topic through a very interdisciplinary approach; mingling my interests in cultural studies with philosophy of science, history of thought, sociology and anthropology. For the Summer Institute, I plan to write about representations of the diseased subject once alienated from structures of power, such as during the 'AIDS epidemic' in the United States. I enjoy competitive debate and playing the piano.

Vickie Satele - Pre-Sciences

If life were defined by passions, my life in a nutshell would consist of an obsession over family, food, outdoor adventures, a tendency towards curiosity, and being a servant to the community. My interest in this year's Summer Institute can be attributed to my growing enthusiasm for global health. I was first exposed to the topic while participating in biomedical research focusing on infectious disease in underdeveloped countries. From there, my vision for health equity has prompted me to actively participate in this field in other ways. I am more than excited to engage in SIAH to see the interconnectedness of global health and its transcendence into all disciplines of knowledge and into our everyday lives.

Rachel Schlotfeldt - English; minor in French

I'm currently going into my third year at UW, majoring in English and minoring in French. For my project I would potentially like to explore how disease becomes intertwined with identity, particularly in minorities living outside of their country of origin. I hope to somehow integrate my love of literature and French language into my project. When I'm not studying I like to read, catch up on my Netflix queue, get sucked into Tumblr, and dream about my future travels.

Katherine Schroeder - Russian Language, Literature, & Culture; International Studies

I will be a junior at the University of Washington majoring in Russian and International Studies. Languages are one of my passions, and I speak Italian and am in the process of learning Russian. After traveling to Russia for a summer four years ago, I became obsessed with Russian politics and culture. I come from a very small town in central Washington, but I love traveling! When I am not studying or working on research, I read mystery novels, drink Seattle coffee, and hike.

Leah Trangen - Public Health

I am a senior in the Public Health major. I chose my track of study because I want my future career to focus on the alleviation of healthcare disparities. Outside of class, I love to travel, hike, watch movies, see live music, and explore Seattle's restaurant scene. This program will provide a great opportunity to broaden my base of knowledge and to improve my research skills, and I'm excited to see what we can all produce.

Will Tsang - Biology (Molecular, Cellular & Developmental)

I am a rising junior at the University of Washington studying Public Health and Microbiology. What drew me to the Summer Institute was the interdisciplinary approach to deconstructing the various health and disease issues we face today in a globalized community and also the great faculty support to help foster our learning. I will be studying in India this fall semester, learning about the cultural and political aspects of its public health system through a human rights lens; I hope to use my experiences with SIAH to gain an insightful grasp on my travels and research abroad. Outside the lovely MGH 171 office, I enjoy playing tennis, exploring Seattle, working with the Red Cross, and playing live music for people in elevators and making them feel awkward.

Louie Vital - Pre-Social Sciences

I will be entering my sophomore year this upcoming fall and intending to major in Political Science. This summer, I hope to look at disease and outbreak from a political perspective, specifically looking at the relationship of the government and its response to outbreak. Through legislation, media, and bureaucratic branches, the government has the power to shape perceptions of life, death and outbreaks. It is present at every step of an outbreak, therefore studying this relationship is crucial to understanding outbreaks themselves. I love studying and I love Udub! I'm really excited to spend my summer on campus with amazing students and faculty. If I'm not studying, you'll find me playing Nintendo games, cleaning, or working out to offset my addiction to all things sugary and sweet.