Undergraduate Academic Affairs

UW senior selected for national fellowship for aspiring teachers of color

Emily Lee

UW senior Emily Lee was recently selected for a Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color.

Issaquah native Emily Lee named a Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellow

University of Washington senior and Issaquah, WA, native Emily Lee was recently named one of 25 fellows selected through a competitive process for the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color. As a fellow, Lee will receive a $30,000 stipend to apply toward the cost of a masters degree in teaching, guidance toward teaching certification, support and mentoring during the first three years of teaching, and a lifelong membership in a national network of Woodrow Wilson Fellows who are intellectual leaders. Fellows were nominated by one of the program’s 25 university partners and needed to be undergraduate students in their senior year.

Lee, whose academic record has placed her on the Dean’s List multiple times, will graduate from the UW this spring with bachelors degrees in English and public health. As an undergraduate, she has served in leadership roles in the UW Dream Project, a student-initiated program that helps low-income and first-generation students attain college and Students Promoting Equal Health, a student group addressing health inequalities. Additionally, Lee is a student assistant in the College of Education.

Lee has worked extensively in the Seattle educational community through volunteering at Cleveland High School, Chief Sealth International High School, and participation in the Pipeline Program’s Alternative Spring Break. She has completed a number of internships in public health, including work at the Washington Global Health Alliance and UW Department of Global Health. Last summer Lee participated in a seminar on social justice in a study abroad program in India.

“I was lucky to have a variety of different experiences as an undergraduate,” says Lee, “and so when I became more involved in doing work in education, I knew this is where I wanted to be for the long run.”

Lee plans to attend graduate school at Stanford University in the Stanford Teacher Education Program. Following graduate school, she will teach English in a high-need urban school. She seeks to work collaboratively with communities of teachers to advocate for equal and quality education for all students. She believes that stories, writing and community support are powerful vehicles for social justice.

Established in 1992 by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color were created to help recruit, support, and retain individuals of color as public education teachers and administrators. Since the program’s inception, it has awarded nearly $8 million in grants and financial assistance to 375 Fellows. In January 2009, RBF transferred the program to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation following a national review of potential host organizations.

The University of Washington was selected as an institutional partner for Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color in 2010 because of our impressive record of success in preparing excellent teachers for the nation’s urban and rural schools.

“The Foundation is pleased to add this impressive group of young and promising teachers to its national network of outstanding teachers and scholars,” said Bill Dandridge, program officer and director of the WW-RBF Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color. “Their desire to serve children in the nation’s most challenging schools and communities is an important reason to be hopeful about the future of our public schools.”


Housed within Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards helps UW undergraduates develop the tools and personal insights necessary to match their goals with local and national merit-based scholarship opportunities. National scholarship opportunities include the Fulbright, Goldwater, Marshall, Rhodes, Truman, and many others.

The UW College of Education is ranked in the top ten of all public and private colleges of education in the nation. The College offers several areas of study for undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.

Learn more about the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color and see a complete list of the 2011 fellows here.