Undergraduate Academic Affairs

May 22, 2018

Spring Celebration honors Huskies’ commitment to service and leadership

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Poster session at Spring Celebration

University of Washington students’ dedication to community-based service and activism will be recognized at the Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership on May 23 from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Husky Union Building (HUB) on the UW Seattle campus. The annual event showcases UW undergraduate and graduate students who develop their leadership skills while committing their time and talent to serving their communities. On campus and off, UW students are expanding definitions of service and leadership and blurring the boundaries between classroom and community. This year’s theme — Explore. Ignite. Impact. — encapsulates how UW undergraduates are engaged with leadership, service and activism. In 2016-17, more than 5,500 students engaged in academic service-learning, volunteering an astounding 495,152 hours.

Students hold up their Husky Leadership CertificatesThis year’s Spring Celebration features culminating presentations from nearly 200 participants, including students in the Husky Leadership Certificate and Undergraduate Community Based Internship (UCBI), Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship, Jumpstart, Pipeline Project and Ellis Civic Fellowship programs; as well as breakout sessions from students in the Jackson School, social sciences and UW School of Medicine. To cap off the celebration, we’ll hear from members of Polynesian Student Alliance and Unidas Seremos about their community-based work. The entire UW community and network of community partners are welcome to attend.

In offering their valuable skills and time, students support the work of numerous organizations while simultaneously growing their own capacity for leadership and reflecting on the value of service.

Heaven Tesfamarium, a junior in medical anthropology and political science, stays connected to her Eritrean roots by organizing young people in the region and across the country through the Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (YPFDJ). Heaven is leading her peers in YPFDJ to listen to the needs of youth serving organizations in Eritrea, and mobilize resources from the U.S. to address the community’s articulated needs. Ultimately interested in a global health career, she also volunteers as a nurse’s assistant at the Bryant Elementary health room. Through her service and leadership activities, she is finding ways to address global and local health concerns.

A service-learning class during her first year at the UW introduced Jessica Lo, a senior in biochemistry and neurobiology, to a community member with traumatic brain injury (TBI). That interpersonal connection ignited her academic curiosity about the condition, and inspired her to find ways to help individuals with TBI. Over the last two years, Jessica founded the UW chapter of Synapse — a national organization connecting those with TBI to university students and community resources. In addition to her work with Synapse, and her research studying how to regrow brain cells, Jessica supports folks with TBI and other chronic illnesses through a Undergraduate Community Based Internship with Full Life Care.

Public health and neurobiology double major Ruweida Ahmed’s project focuses on youth tutoring in Rainier Vista. Her focus is to increase parents’ engagement with their child’s education. Through her work, she helps her students increase their reading level, strengthen their math skills and grow their confidence. Over the course of the year, she’s proudly watched her students continually push themselves to better understand their classwork.

Ellis Fellow and Ruby Linsao Scholar Eya Lazaro is passionate about education for all. As an immigrant to the U.S., education didn’t feel like a realistic option for her. Yet, she persevered and is now a junior at the UW majoring in early childhood and family studies. Grateful for the opportunities given to her, she is dedicated to giving back to her community and inspiring the next generation of Pacific Islanders to attend college. Through her involvement with the Pacific Islander Student Commission and Jumpstart, Lazaro is reaching out to marginalized communities to help them find paths to higher education. Along with the Sisterhood of Pi Nu Lota, she is organizing an event to highlight the Pasifika culture and its values through early literacy.

The Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership is planned and coordinated by programs in Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Student Life, and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity.

Schedule overview

All events take place on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 and are in the HUB Ballroom, unless otherwise noted.

Digital Storytelling and Global Citizenship
1:30-3:20 p.m. in HUB 250

Ellis Civic Fellowship Capstone
2:00-3:00 p.m. in HUB 214

Exploring Internships in the Social Sciences: Story Share and Panel Discussion
2:00-5:00 p.m. in HUB 145

School of Medicine Service-Learning and Advocacy Groups
6:00-7:30 p.m. in HUB 250

3:30-5:00 p.m.

5:00-5:30 p.m.

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Celebration! Food, photo booth with Dubs, networking

View the list of presenters.