Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Oh the places they’ll go! New grads and their plans

Taking our inspiration from the classic children’s book (and graduation gift), Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss, we asked some new graduates a couple questions. Those questions are:

  • What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?
  • Dr. Seuss says, “You have brains in your head. / You have feet in your shoes / You can steer yourself / any direction you choose. / You’re on your own. And you know what you know. / And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” Where will you go? Where will you be one year after graduation?
  • Dr. Seuss writes, “You’ll join the high fliers / who soar to high heights.” Which high fliers would you most like to join and what high heights will you soar to?
Jump to:
Devan Berkley | Myra Branch | Merzamie Cagaitan | Roman Camarda | Alex Catchings | Bryan Dosono | Andy Marzano | Christopher Nelson | Jennifer Nguyen | Helen Olsen | Vanessa Pham | Rachel Stubbs | Andrew Tran | Dawn Tuason | Benjamin Wiselogle

 

Devan Berkley

“This is probably one of my favorite photos. I was actually taking a photo for an open house for our office and one of my co-workers told me a joke to get me to smile. It’s a very ‘UW’ photo and I absolutely love it for that reason.”

Devan Berkley

  • Major: Political Science
  • Minor: Human Rights and Values in Society
  • Hometown: Tacoma, WA
  • Involved in: Dream Project, First Year Programs, and service learning through the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

My most memorable experience in undergraduate academic affairs has been my time working at the office of First Year Programs. Having worked there for the past two years I have grown a great deal both personally and professionally. I can honestly say it has been a life changing experience that has constantly opened doors for me. Apart from this, my work has been extremely fulfilling. I’ve had the opportunity to help literally thousands of students in making their transition to the University of Washington a little bit easier. Even something as small as giving a new student the right office to contact is very rewarding. I have been truly exposed to the diversity of the University of Washington and all that it offers and it has been absolutely thrilling.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

One year after graduation I will be finishing up a masters program at Seattle University. Next year I will be part of the inaugural cohort Seattle University’s Bridge Masters of Business Administration Program. After the program I hope to begin a career in local government so that I can continue to serve the people of Seattle and the state of Washington.

To what high heights will you soar?

As nerdy as it sounds, I want to join the high fliers in government. I love this great experiment known as American democracy and I hope to work within state government to make our state a better place for all of us to live in. My dream since I was child has always been to run for elected office and I plan to follow that dream. Even if I am unsuccessful, the journey itself will still have been worth it. Beyond my professional goals, I hope to continue to grow as a person and to constantly challenge myself. At the end of my life’s journey I hope to be a model for others and to inspire them to do great things. I believe everyone needs someone to look up to and I hope to be that person for others.

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Myra Branch

“In this picture, I am visiting Junior, the male jaguar at the Woodland Park Zoo, during my animal behavior psychology lab.”

Myra Branch

  • Major: Psychology
  • Minor: Anthropology
  • Hometown: Olympia, WA
  • Involved in: First Year Programs and service learning through the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

I have had nothing but memorable experiences with First Year Programs and UAA. My favorite memory though, was after my first quarter teaching a Freshman Interest Group (FIG). I had just spent the last 2 quarters learning how to plan lessons, facilitate discussions, grade, and do all the other things that go into teaching, then I had to implement all of that to a group of 24 first-year students, some of whom were older than me. Needless to say, I was a little relieved to be done.

During finals week, I was finishing my grading and I saw I had an email from a student. The subject said “Thanks.” The student thanked me for helping her feel comfortable talking to a group, even though English was her second language. This small gesture of thanks put all the work I had just done into perspective. I realized that in teaching, a small gesture from student to teacher or vice versa can be immensely powerful. This stuck with me; since then, I celebrate all victories, no matter how “small.”

Where will you be one year after graduation?

One year after graduation, I will be finishing up my first year of coursework at Columbia University’s programs in Occupational Therapy. I will be gearing up to begin my Level II Fieldwork (3 months in a mental health setting).

To what high heights will you soar?

I am excited to first become an alumna of the University of Washington. I have been working towards this for four amazing, challenging years, and I would not be able to pursue continuing education without the training and challenging coursework I have been exposed to during my time here. I then plan to get my master’s of science in occupational therapy, practice for a few years, then go back to school to get my doctorate, with my end goal being to teach and continue to practice OT.

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Merzamie Cagaitan

“This photo was taken around the U-District, right before I accompanied my youngest sister, who has autism, to her senior prom. It was a remarkable honor to be her date and chaperon for the evening!”

Merzamie Cagaitan

  • Majors: English Language & Literature, Comparative History of Ideas
  • Minor: Diversity Studies
  • Hometown: Puyallup, WA
  • Involved in: Academic Support Programs, Dream Project, First Year Programs, Global Opportunities, Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards, Pipeline Project, Undergraduate Research Program, and service learning through the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

One of my most memorable experiences as an undergraduate has been serving as a peer instructor for First Year Program’s Freshman Interest Group seminars. I was in a FIG seminar during my freshman year, and—together with my life-long dream of becoming an educator—was inspired to lead FIG seminars for the next three years. I have been extremely blessed by the students I worked with, learned with, and played with, and by the support the FYP staff lent me all throughout those challenging weeks of navigating what student-leadership really looks like at a university setting. My active involvement in the FIG program has given me the skills, confidence, and courage to then design my own course at the UW and teach it during my last year as a senior!

Where will you be one year after graduation?

I am accepting a Fulbright Award to teach English in South Korea for the 2013-2014 academic year. My destination within the country is still unknown, but, a year after graduation, I will still be there, in front of a classroom, hopefully building community and relationships much like I have done here.

To what high heights will you soar?

Ever since I was in second grade, I have made make-shift classrooms where I would teach my younger sisters and cousins how to read and write. The spirit to mentor and teach has only strengthened over the years. My ultimate goal is to claim a Ph.D. in English language and literature and to one day research, write, and teach as an English professor at a university.

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Roman Camarda

“In this photo I’m on Capitol Hill in Seattle celebrating my cousin’s wedding.”

Roman Camarda

  • Majors: Biochemistry and Photomedia
  • Hometown: Seattle, WA
  • Involved in: Honors Program, Undergraduate Research Program

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

It is hard for me to label a single experience as most memorable when I think about my time in the Honors Program and working on undergraduate research. However, I can’t imagine a more memorable experience than studying abroad with Honors in Rome and Istanbul. Also, the excitement and happiness I felt upon finding out I had been accepted to my top graduate school choices wouldn’t have been the same had I not shared it with my undergraduate research mentor and the rest of the lab members.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

One year after graduation I will be finishing up my first year in the Biomedical Sciences Program at the University of California San Francisco.

To what high heights will you soar?

I am immensely excited about joining the ranks of amazing researchers at UCSF. The goal of my Ph.D. thesis work is to gain a better understanding of the role altered metabolism plays in cancer, which in my mind counts as some pretty high heights.

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Alex Catchings

“I’m trying to make a compelling case about some piece of African American literature at Rutgers University in summer of 2012.”

Alex Catchings

  • Major: English
  • Hometown: Vancouver, WA
  • Involved in: Honors Program, Undergraduate Research Program

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

Being a part of the Undergraduate Research Leaders program in varying capacities has been one of the most delightful parts of my undergraduate experience. Without a doubt, being an Undergraduate Research Leader allowed me to really wield and take pride in my research, and see how far I’ve come since I started here in summer of 2008. The staff have been enduringly supportive through my most anxious moments and euphoric of victories, and the community of Undergraduate Research Leaders has been a treat to know and to watch as they all pursue their own boundless trajectories.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

I will be a graduate student in the English department at U.C. Berkeley. In a year, I will be finishing up my first year of coursework and starting to put my oral examination list together of three or four hundred books so I can start working toward writing my dissertation the following year. I’ll hopefully be active in the Bay Area music scene, as well, playing folk-jazz music.

To what high heights will you soar?

I hope to be like my mentors, who happen to be professors and close friends. Sonnet Retman is my UW mentor who is without doubt the best educator I have ever known. I hope to be a fraction of the professor she is, and I hope I can develop the sense of currency, family focus, and intellectual power she maintains on a daily basis. My other mentor, Daphne Brooks, is at Princeton University, and I hope to be an accomplished cultural presence like her. She has penned the liner notes for the most recent Aretha Franklin Anthology Box Set, is an active and influential music critic, and keeps an unbelievably busy schedule touching glasses with some of the most powerful figures in pop culture. Finding a sweet spot where my network and my nature are constantly expanding while I maintain a truthful, sturdy center like these powerful professors would make for a perfect career, to me.

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Bryan Dosono

In this photo, Bryan was “getting crowned UW Homecoming King at CenturyLink Field.” Shelby Handler was UW Homecoming Queen

Bryan Dosono

  • Major: Honors Informatics: Human-Computer Interaction
  • Minor: Music
  • Hometown: Wapato, WA
  • Involved in: Academic Support Programs, Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment (CLUE), Dream Project, First Year Programs, Global Opportunities, Honors Program, Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards, Undergraduate Academic Affairs Advising, Undergraduate Research Program

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

I found my calling as a scholar when I began conducting research with Dr. Ricardo Gomez of the UW Information School. Under his tutelage, I investigated fieldwork data he collected in South Africa that assessed the country’s current challenges in information and communication technologies for development. Presenting my work at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium was an intrinsically rewarding experience. Engaging in the exciting talks and poster sessions at these academic conferences allowed me to increase the visibility of my research topic to people outside my specific discipline. Sharing my research developed my expertise in discussing my research in a clear and meaningful way, and the feedback I received from my colleagues shaped further exploration into my research questions. At the conclusion of our research project, Dr. Gomez and I submitted our findings to The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, which accepted our paper for publication.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

I have been admitted into Syracuse University’s Ph.D. program in information science and technology this fall, and will be spending this summer in the heart of Washington, D.C., as a Google Policy Fellow. Continuing my education through doctoral studies would be the ideal next step to producing meaningful research contributions in my domains of expertise.

I hope to refine my understanding of the interconnectedness between technology and government as agents of social change. With my doctorate degree, I plan to reshape the dialogue about the role of technology in developing regions. Receiving a world-class education will also appropriately instruct me to advise federal agencies and fine-tune the innovative policy solutions of global think tanks. In turn, I hope to refine my understanding of the interconnectedness between technology and government as agents of social change.

To what high heights will you soar?

I am currently aiming to become the next Chief Information Officer for the United States of America so that I can directly influence how information is disseminated to vulnerable populations and create opportunities for these communities through technology. I aspire to bridge the gap between engineers, policy makers, scientists, and other key national stakeholders in transforming the landscape of the nation’s information infrastructure so that underserved places like my Yakama Reservation back home can benefit from improved technology access.

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Andy Marzano

“I am the second from the left, and I am in front of Suzzallo Library with three of my orientation leader co-workers and Dubs!”

Andy Marzano

  • Major: History
  • Hometown: Sammamish, WA
  • Involved in: Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, Dream Project, First Year Programs, Pipeline Project

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

It’s difficult to pinpoint one experience as my favorite or most memorable because all of them were very unique and meant a lot to me respectively. I did have a fantastic summer as an orientation leader though. My co-workers were awesome and made the experience hardly feel like work because we all enjoyed each other’s company and had a plethora of good times together on and off the job. We’re still close today as well. The more I look back, the more I realize how lucky and how happy I am that I got to spend a summer working with those people and representing the UW. Also, who wouldn’t like having to hang out on the UW campus during the spring and summer??

Where will you be one year after graduation?

Upon graduation, I will head to the Midwest to join the Teach For America (TFA) corps in Detroit, MI, where I will be teaching secondary social studies. I have always wanted to be a teacher, so I feel blessed to be given this opportunity. The minimum commitment to TFA is two years as a corps member, but I have a feeling I will remain in education for much, much longer.

To what high heights will you soar?

I believe that the most monumental struggle of our generation is the one currently being waged to end educational inequity. Just like the Civil Rights Movement and the Civil War before it, the fight to close the educational achievement gap is one against oppression and to bring about the promises of freedom and equality upon which our nation is founded. I think those involved in educational reform and who are committed to the quality education of our nation’s youth are doing the things necessary to allow kids to soar to high heights and know no limits to what they can do with their lives. I cannot think of any work I’d rather do than join those already working to make this possible.

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Christopher Nelson

In this photo “I was at the National Student Nurses Association Council of State Presidents in Pittsburgh, PA, representing the nursing students of Washington state.”

Christopher Nelson

  • Major: Nursing
  • Hometown: Key Biscayne, FL
  • Involved in: Mary Gates Endowment for Students, Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

Designing the Mary Gates Venture Scholarship proposal to go to Denmark and Greenland to study the expanded nursing scope of practice of registered nurses at isolated Arctic settlements.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

I’ll be on my Fulbright in Nuuk, Greenland, doing research as part of my masters of circumpolar health through the University of the Arctic consortium.

To what high heights will you soar?

I’ll be working towards my Ph.D. in nursing science and public health!

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Jennifer Nguyen

“This photo was taken in summer 2012 in Moore’a an Island of Tahiti where my group and I went to visit and volunteer at a youth camp for children with disadvantage backgrounds. This was a photo taken during our activities.”

Jennifer Nguyen

  • Major: Psychology
  • Minor: Diversity
  • Hometown: Seattle, WA
  • Involved in: Academic Support Programs, Dream Project, First Year Programs, Global Opportunities, Undergraduate Academic Affairs Advising, Undergraduate Research Program, and service learning through Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

Growing up I knew I wanted to help people and being a part of the Undergraduate Academic Advising program allowed me to do that. Through Undergraduate Advising, I created many memories with the staff and especially with the students I worked with. My most memorable experience was when I met with a student who was at a crossrsoad in his life, confused and lacking motivation. He was a sophomore and began feeling the pressure of figuring out what to do with his life. As a peer adviser on drop-ins, we only had 15 minutes with the students we meet.

I listened, pondered and guided, sharing my experience as an undergraduate and what I’ve learned from it. After about 20-25 minutes later, he gave me a sigh, placed his hand out and smiled at me. “Thank you for listening. I was not sure who to come to.” He stood up, shook my hand and looked more confident leaving. Nothing beats knowing you can put a smile on someone’s face by simply listening to them and being able to use your experience to help others.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

I love traveling. After my two amazing study abroad trips to Brazil and Tahiti, I hope to take a year off and travel. I hope to travel and experience other cultures, food, meet new people and build a web of knowledge. I would like to travel as a flight attendant. I like to help people and hope that I could do so by being a flight attendant and see the world. I also hope to join an organization and travel to other states or countries and help communities that need a helping hand. They say the best teacher is the experiences you gain and the people to interact with day to day.

After a year I plan to go back to school through a psychology or public administration program to continue to my education and participate in programs where I can give back to my community.

To what high heights will you soar?

I love working with the undergraduate advising program here on campus and I hope that one day I can return and work on campus again to give back to an office that has given me so much more.

I want to continue my pre-med track and apply to medical school, however after working closely with the pre-med advisers, I realized there are so many ways to help others.

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Helen Olsen

“This is a picture of me outside of my favorite place to study on campus, Molly’s Cafe in the bottom of the Henry Art Gallery.”

Helen Olsen

  • Majors: Geography and Public Health
  • Minor: African Studies
  • Hometown: Newport, OR
  • Involved in: Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment (CLUE), Global Opportunities, Honors Program, Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards, Undergraduate Research Program

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

I have had the opportunity to be involved with a number of Undergraduate Academic Affairs programs during my time at the University of Washington. From running CLUE discussion session for geography classes to participating in an Honors Experiential Spring Break experience, I have tried to take full advantage of the range of learning experiences available to undergraduate students outside of the classroom. Without the support of the Fritz Scholarship, which is facilitated by Global Opportunities, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in the Honors Study Abroad program in Sierra Leone during the summer of 2011. By studying women’s maternal and reproductive health access in the region, I had an opportunity to see firsthand the way in which development programs play out on the ground in low-resource settings. Returning to the UW, my research experiences in Sierra Leone have continued to inform my research interests and personal goals.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

After graduating from the University of Washington, I am planning on moving across the country to New Jersey to begin a graduate program in geography at Rutgers University: New Brunswick. This opportunity is both exciting and terrifying. I know that this will be a new intellectual adventure and one that the Department of Geography, as well as the many programs offered by Undergraduate Academic Affairs, has prepared me for. Wish me luck!

To what high heights will you soar?

At the moment, the high flyers I’d like to join are people who have successfully completed a Ph.D. program in seven years or less! But, in all seriousness, I’m hoping that my time in graduate school will be a space for me to learn more about myself, about my personal motivations and professional goals for the future. I am humbled and inspired by the work of people like Kavita Ramdas, Melinda Gates, and Ananya Roy. Right now, I’m not sure if I want to be an academic or a development professional but I know that whatever path I choose, I want to be an advocate for health equity both at home and abroad.

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Vanessa Pham with student

“This is me as Jumpstart Corps member, showing off a student’s artwork.”

Vanessa Pham

  • Major: Early Childhood and Family Studies
  • Minor: Education, Learning and Society
  • Hometown: Federal Way, WA
  • Involved in: Dream Project, First Year Programs, Honors Program, Jumpstart, Pipeline Project, Undergraduate Research Program, and service learning through the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

One of the highlights of my undergraduate career has been my involvement with the Pipeline Project’s Neah Bay “Telling Your Stories” project. This year I spent two weeks in Neah Bay, Washington, doing my favorite type of work (and play) with the most amazing group of people. It just goes to show that you do not have to travel far to meet passionate people and experience and learn from a new community.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

A few weeks after graduation, I will be diving right back into school! Still a Husky, I have been accepted to the the UW’s Elementary Teacher Education Program. By the end of four quarters I will have my masters in teaching and residency certification for teaching. After graduate school, I will teach somewhere in the Puget Sound area.

To what high heights will you soar?

Teaching is not a career I take lightly. The “high fliers” I hope to join are those teachers who think critically about their practice and are on a social justice mission. I also cannot wait to meet my future students, who I also consider “high fliers.” I think of “high heights” in terms of roles I will take on in the future. For instance, I know I am a lifelong learner and will always seek out new ways of understanding the world. The “highest height” I am aiming for right now is to become more of a leader and activist.

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Rachel Stubbs

“On the UW Farm site at the Center for Urban Horticulture, at a work party!”

Rachel Stubbs

  • Major: Biology
  • Minor: Education, Learning, and Societies
  • Hometown: Nashville, TN
  • Involved in: Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, Honors Program, Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards, Pipeline Project

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

Teaching environmental science in Eastern Washington through the Pipeline Project’s Alternative Spring Break program helped me to realize that I get so much joy and energy out of teaching, especially in a hands-on, inquiry-based way. That was freshman year, and the rest of my time at UW has been shaped by this experience as I’ve continued to seek out science-teaching courses and experience through Pipeline and other venues.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

Living in Seattle and learning at UW about science, education, and urban food-production (through the UW Farm!) has opened my eyes to some amazing ideas. After graduation, I aspire to share these insights with school communities in my hometown in Nashville. I want to teach science, inspiring young people with cool student-directed, inquiry-based activities and lessons like those I’ve been privy to here!

To what high heights will you soar?

I want to be the coolest science teacher ever, convincing students that studying the natural world and our relationship to it is the coolest thing. Ever. I also want to grow a lot of food and teach others how to do it, too!

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Andrew Tran

“In this photo, I was actually standing in front of a chalkboard in my classroom, wearing the red Jumpstart shirts that corps members and team leaders wear when we go into the classrooms.”

Andrew Tran

  • Majors: Psychology and Sociology
  • Hometown: Seattle, WA
  •  Involved in: Jumpstart, Pipeline Project, service learning through Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

My first memorable experience with UAA has to be my 2 years of service with Jumpstart, both as a corps member and team leader. The best feeling was walking into the classrooms of my preschools and being bombarded with hugs and smiles from all the children I helped. I was able to be part of the many lives of underprivileged preschool children in south Seattle—preparing them for a successful academic future.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

One year after my graduation, I will be taking part in the masters program of social work at the University of Washington in Seattle.

To what high heights will you soar?

The high fliers I would most like to join are the individuals who are helping people who are not able to help themselves.

I would like to join the heroes who are helping low-income families, displaced children, the homeless, and other underrepresented populations, each and every day. As long as I put my heart and effort into all that I do, I know it will make me into the high flier I want to be.

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Dawn Tuason

“In this photo, I am sitting at the edge of a dock staring at the beautiful view that is Lake Crescent on my way to Neah Bay to reconnect with the amazing community I first met through the Pipeline Project. I’m enjoying the last few weeks of summer prior to my senior year of undergrad. I’m feeling the breeze and the warmth of the sun in anticipation, excitement and hope for the year ahead.”

Dawn Tuason

  • Major: Early Childhood and Family Studies
  • Minor: Global Health
  • Hometown: Seattle, WA
  • Involved in: Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment (CLUE), Dream Project, Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards, Pipeline Project, Undergraduate Academic Affairs Advising

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

Being a participant through the Pipeline Project has allowed me to partake in a rich experience full of new adventures, new friendships and a new perspective on the meaning of community and the preservation of one’s culture. The program has given me many opportunities to reach outside my comfort zone, connect with other community members and young students, and truly become interested in education and the equal access we must all advocate for.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

One year from now, I will have completed my first year of my master’s program here at the UW’s College of Education special education program. I will be waiting to see which direction the wind steers me next, in the hopes that it involves studying or traveling abroad or teaching young children during the summer months.

To what high heights will you soar?

I would like to continue my work in the early childhood field, be even more immersed within the deaf community and truly be fluent in American Sign Language, and be a part of the research taking place that fosters programs to support youth in being empowered, inspired, and positively impacted.

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Benjamin Wiselogle

“I’m in Leogane Haiti, improving relations with the locals after an incredibly hard day working with an amazing group of Haitian and international volunteers helping the Leoganese dig out from the 2010 earthquake.”

Benjamin Wiselogle

  • Major: Global Studies
  • Hometown: Bothell, WA
  • Involved in: Academic Support Programs, Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center, Dream Project, Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards, Undergraduate Academic Affairs Advising, Other: Student Veteran’s Association (UW Bothell)

What’s your most memorable experience with an Undergraduate Academic Affairs program?

I’m not sure if this applies, but living and working in Haiti during the 2011-2012 school year, at the same time earning academic credit.

Where will you be one year after graduation?

Well, thanks to the mentorship of Natalia Dyba, I’ll be at the University in Cambridge in the UK, or if I earn the position I’m currently interviewing for, I’ll be working in Afghanistan on a deferment from Cambridge.

To what high heights will you soar?

With a little help from my friends, I’m going to change the world and make it a more equitable place. Like Hilary from Carolina for Kibera says, “Talent is universal, opportunity is not.”

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