Undergraduate Academic Affairs

July 18, 2017

2017 UAA Staff Awardees Announced

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Congratulations to the 2016-17 Undergraduate Academic Affairs staff recognition awardees. Selected for their dedication to supporting UAA’s mission of creating innovative academic experiences for undergraduates, these six UAA staff members made an indelible impact on UW students, faculty and staff.

And the awardees are…

Award for Excellence

Outstanding Achievement Award

  • Ali Albrecht, transfer engagement manager, First Year Programs
  • Carey Christie, alumni and communications specialist, Honors Program

Outstanding Student Employee Award

Award for Excellence

Awarded to employees who have worked in UAA for at least five years, this award celebrates the employee’s leadership in creating formative student experiences and building the necessary infrastructure to support their vision. Recognizing the critical role advisers play in the undergraduate experience, Aley Mills Willis evolved the Honors advising program to be an essential piece of her students’ experience. Understanding the importance of experiential learning, Kathryn Pursch Cornforth actively works with peers across the campus and community to lay the foundation for students to engage in service learning.

Aley Mills Willis, the advising mastermind

161122_AleyMillsWillis _BryanNakata-1CROP-sm“Aley is a natural and gifted adviser, always fully engaged with each student she works with, while simultaneously thinking about the bigger picture of academic services. She is thoroughly dedicated to students and works tirelessly and creatively to ensure that they have rich and challenging experiences, while also supporting them in that journey. When recent graduates of our program are asked ‘How did Honors help you in your time as an undergrad?’ the nurturing, individually tailored advising experiences is most-often cited.”
— UW Honors Staff

Achievements of note: Created the Honors advising program, consistently provides support for her staff to grow; founded the Honors Field Studies Program; played a key role in building the Honors admission process; integral in developing the Honors 100 first-year seminar and the 2010 Interdisciplinary Honors curriculum; instrumental in creating the peer mentoring program; and formalized the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Partners in the Parks program.

Kathryn Pursch Cornforth, the visionary facilitator

“Kathryn is an inspirational, thoughtful and patient lead for UAA and for faculty teaching around the presence of Tent City 3 on campus during winter quarter. She worked tirelessly with the Tent City Collective, Tent City residents and with faculty to ensure that our collaborations were substantive, ethical and appropriately engaged. I could not have successfully offered my own class, ‘Engaging Homelessness,’ without her wonderful partnership. We are so lucky to have Kathryn in the Carlson Center!”
— Dr. Vicky Lawson, director of Honors and professor of geography

Kathryn Pursch Cornforth2_Cody Scott-smAchievements of note: Played a critical role in fostering an impactful stay for Tent City 3, including building relationships with Tent City 3 residents, vetting learning opportunities with Tent City 3, including classes, conversations and meals; led the development of MLK week; heads the service learning teams, which impacts 3,000 students, 350 community partners and 100+ faculty; assisting with the development of a pilot study aboard program in Berlin, Germany.

See highlights from MLK Week, which Kathryn Pursch Cornforth plays a large role in organizing.

Outstanding Achievement Award

Recognizing the innovation, collaboration and tenacity it takes to initiate change, this award acknowledges the leaders behind some of UAA’s innovative programming. Ali Albrecht’s commitment to serving transfer students led her to create more robust experiences for them. Carey Christie’s vision for an Honors alumni network inspired her to build an active and engaged community of alumni.

Ali Albrecht, the transfer student advocate

Ali Albrecht_Cody Scott-sm“Ali has taken the lead on improving the transfer experience for more than 2,000 new transfer students every year. Even before she formally took on this role, Ali exhibited innovative thinking by hosting a Transfer Husky Kick-off event with remarks from President Cauce … Ali has always thought creatively about how we can broaden the UAA footprint to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity a transfer student brings to our campus.”
— The First Year Programs Team

Achievements of note: Collaborating cross campus to improve the transfer student experience, including: hosting a Transfer Husky Kick-off event, establishing the Transfer Ambassadors peer mentor program, a seminar for transfer students and strategic plan to stay engaged with these students year-round and actively mentors students.

Virtually attend Transfer Dawg Daze, which Ali initiated:



Carey Christie, the alumni network architect

Carey Christie3_Cody Scott-sm“Carey has made the position her own, defining and crafting it to create a model of innovation, imprinting her creativity, her ‘can do’ attitude, and diverse communication skills to the task of alumni outreach and community building. Her special achievement of increasing alumni engagement in Honors has accomplished many layers of good for the Program and ripples across our work in Honors, as well as advances UAA’s mission to deepen and strengthen community.”
— UW Honors Staff

Achievements of note: Establishing the Honors Alumni Program from scratch; producing and coordinating the Global Challenges Event; creating the Honors Alumni Panel, now an integral part of the program; managing and steering the Advisory Board; Honors Hearths, which brings faculty and alumni into the residence halls for heartfelt conversations; and marketing the Honors Program.

Outstanding Student Employee Award

Student employees are an integral part of the UAA staff. This award recognizes the outstanding achievements of two student employees. Chloe Lee’s enthusiasm for her work as a TA is contagious and regularly inspires those around her to get involved with causes they feel passionate about. Bryan Nakata’s creativity has played an integral role in shaping UAA’s communications work.

Chungeun “Chloe” Lee, leading by example

Chloe Lee3_Cody Scott-sm“Many Robinson Center students have been inspired by Chloe’s initiative and leadership and have followed her into these groups to give back to their community in ways that Chloe has modeled. … Chloe’s contributions to the Robinson Center’s mission have been vast and, in every role she takes on, she demonstrates exceptional professional integrity, personal responsibility and care for others. We simply could not ask for a better teacher, leader and mentor for our community of students, and we feel so lucky that Chloe has given so much of her professional and personal energy to supporting others who wish to follow in her footsteps.”
— Curtis Hisayasu
, associate director of programs, UW Academy, Robinson Center

Achievements of note: Founder, “Huskies for Kids” registered student organization (RSO) which raises awareness of childhood poverty and illness; officer in “Hand2Hand,” which works with several women’s and youth shelters. As a T.A. performed better than most graduate students and set the bar for future T.A.s

Bryan Nakata, the up-and-coming filmmaker

Bryan Nakata3_Cody Scott-sm“Bryan has great technical knowledge and ability, and he also has a strong degree of self-awareness, creativity, drive, narrative instinct, receptivity to others’ ideas, and empathy to tell stories really, really well. His technical ability supports his creativity in his video work. He knows the effect of a particular camera lens, or lens flare, or angle, or lighting. And he’s constantly striving to push himself to learn more and use the technical to support the story.”
— Kirsten Atik, communications director, Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Achievements of note: Consistently producing top quality films and photos, including the MLK video above. Here are some additional videos he’s produced:

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