Multicultural Alumni Partnership

Meet the 2020 MAP Scholars

Founded in 1994, the Multicultural Alumni Partnership (MAP) is dedicated to promoting diversity at the UW and in the UW alumni community, and are leaders in addressing issues of equality and equity through scholarships, mentoring, lectures and University community engagement. MAP is open to everyone; the only qualification is a passion for diversity and social justice.

MAP administers a number of awards and scholarships, and are proud to introduce the 2020 recipients here.


Gillian Duenas

Portrait: Gillian Duenas“Håfa adai!” Gillian Duenas was born and raised in Bremerton and graduated from Olympic High School in 2017. She graduated from the UW spring, 2020, with a degree in speech and hearing sciences and a minor in diversity. Being a first-generation college student and a Pacific Islander woman at the UW was challenging, but she found passion and strength in the communities she was able to build. Despite studying speech and hearing, Gillian’s involvement with Pacific Islander and Indigenous communities at the UW — as well as her volunteer work with the Pipeline Project and the UWMC Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Clinic — inspired her to pursue social work. This year she is returning to the UW as a graduate student in the master of social work program. Her goal is to become a mental health professional, working with Pacific Islander communities towards healing from colonial and generational traumas. She is particularly interested in incorporating Indigenous art media such as weaving, carving and music as a means of art therapy for Pasifika populations. After completing her education, she plans to practice social work in her home island of Guåhan.

Julia Jannon-Shields

Portrait: Julia Shannon-ShieldsJulia Jannon-Shields is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the UW. Born and raised in the Silicon Valley, Julia has become highly aware of the range of detrimental impacts that rapid development poses on underrepresented communities and the surrounding environment. As a womxn of color, Julia’s intersections inform her perspective as she navigates space and advocates for justice. These experiences have led Julia to pursue degrees in community, environment and planning and communication at the UW to address issues of environmental injustice and work towards a sustainable and equitable future. Since arriving at the UW, she has immersed herself in the community through the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW), the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMAD) and various other organizations while maintaining strong academic standing. Through her academic ambitions and involvements, Julia has been recognized as part of the 2020 Husky 100, a cohort of one hundred undergraduate and graduate students across the three UW campuses making the most of their time at the UW. She plans to continue making the most of what life has to offer by seeking opportunities that contribute to community, challenge her and further her growth. Julia hopes that her passion for advocacy, sustainability and international unity leads her to a fulfilling career in the public sector, non-profits or international organizations. She is grateful to the UW for allowing her to develop the tools necessary to get there, both inside and outside of the classroom, and the Multicultural Alumni Partnership for their support.

Claire McCreery

Portrait: Claire McCreeryClaire McCreery is a sophomore from Hawaii who is planning to major in political science as an undergraduate and then pursue a law degree so she can have the knowledge and credentials to help others who are in need. As a student of Asian American, Native American and European origins, Claire has been striving to contribute to diversity on the UW campus by becoming involved in organizations like Hawaii Club and First Nations. As the events of the past few months have demonstrated, our country still has room to improve in its appreciation and understanding of its diverse composition. Claire has also been challenging herself with rigorous classes including political science, law and social problems. She wants to build a solid background in social justice issues. In addition to academic work, Claire spent this past summer learning more about Hawaii’s local politics by volunteering for a Honolulu mayoral candidate. She spent time staffing his campaign headquarters and took and edited photographs for campaign materials. Photography is a passion of hers, both as an art form and as an effective tool for communication. As she continues her education at the UW, she looking forward to advancing her knowledge in many areas, continuing to pursue photography, and reconnecting with classmates.

Christine Sohn

Portrait: Christine SohnChristine Sohn (she/her) is a second-year graduate student at the School of Social Work at the UW. Originally from Illinois, she graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2018 with a B.S. in clinical psychology and a minor in social work. After graduation, she worked at a residential treatment center as a residential youth counselor, working with at-risk youth who struggled emotionally, mentally and behaviorally due to a history of childhood trauma. This experience, coupled with a desire to break down barriers to mental health access, led Christine to pursue a master’s degree in social work with the intention of becoming a mental health practitioner. Starting in fall, 2020, she will be interning at Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) as a children’s youth mental health counselor. She will be working with children, youth and families to promote social justice and the well-being and empowerment of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other underserved communities. She will also be working as a volunteer coordinator with Jumpstart at the UW to partner with local service organizations and build community connections through engagement and service.

Jonathan Trejo

Portrait: Johnathan TrejoJonathan Trejo is a first-generation college student who is currently in his third year at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is originally from Apple Valley, California, and studied biology at UC Berkeley while joining a supportive community of other underrepresented students in the Biology Scholars Program. Jon also practiced circus training and competed in the Cal Club Gymnastics team, which inspired him to become a personal trainer and motivate others to pursue their health and fitness goals. During his time in the San Francisco Bay Area, he served his LGBTQ and Latinx communities by providing free HIV testing and counseling services to people experiencing barriers in healthcare due to home displacement, immigration or finances. Upon attending UWSOM, he quickly integrated himself as a contributive member of the Puget Sound community by continuing his HIV testing with the LGBTQ community at Peer Seattle with UTEST, a medical student-run group. He also continued teaching group fitness classes at the IMA in between study sessions. Jonathan enjoys hiking with his family and pet golden retriever, who help keep him grounded during his immersive education as a medical student. His goal is to serve the communities he comes from to help achieve more equity in the medical field.


Michelle Um

Portait: Michelle UmMichelle Um is a third-year student pursuing a double major in psychology and education due to her passion for inspiring personal and academic growth in students through educational mentorship. She plans on studying school counseling in graduate school to become a high school counselor who advocates for students well-being and academic pursuits.

Michelle has been involved in many campus organizations, such as serving on the leadership team for Psychology Connected and volunteering as a mentor for the Dream Project. In addition, as a First-year Interest Group (FIG) leader, she helped students navigate the transition from high school to college by teaching a curriculum that fostered personal and academic development. Dedicated to the cause of educational inclusion and equity, she has also served as an intern for YouthCare’s GED program for homeless youth and as a tutor for the Seattle Central College Basic and Transitional Studies Division to support immigrant students and adult learners.

Currently, Michelle is working as a peer writing tutor for the Odegaard Writing & Research Center and as an instructional assistant for UW Continuum College’s youth programs. Guided by her passion for improving accessibility of educational resources, she aims to facilitate learning by providing growth-oriented feedback and encouraging collaborative engagement.

Michelle is honored to be a recipient of the 2020 Owen G. Lee Scholarship. With this support from the Multicultural Alumni Partnership, she looks forward to pursuing more opportunities that contribute to her personal growth as a dedicated student, community leader and future school counselor. By acknowledging how people’s cultural identities lead to unique and distinct experiences with education, she hopes to empower students and lift up their dreams.


Erica Matthews

Portrait: Erica MatthewsAs a native of Atlanta, Georgia, Erica began her acting journey on independent film projects throughout the Southeast. Throughout her academic and artistic journey, she has worked tirelessly to achieve and maintain the level of excellence that she believes is inherent to greatness. Even now, at the precipice of her acting career, she stands on the shoulders of those who have sown seeds of time, belief, wisdom and encouragement that have helped her seize the very opportunity she now has at the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program (PATP). She has most recently appeared in the UW’s production of “The Women of Lockerbie” and Wooden O’s production of “Romeo and Juliet.” Living out her purpose is her passion. She would like to personally and formally thank MAP for such generosity and gracious support. She is honored by your investment in her.


Carolina Rodriguez

Portrait: Carolina RodriguezCarolina Rodriguez is a first-generation college student, entering the UW as a junior as an anthropology major, studying medical anthropology and global health. The daughter of two hardworking agricultural workers, Carolina grew up in a low-income community in Wapato, Washington, which meant that her high school didn’t have many resources for their students, but that never stopped her from working hard and going after her goals. When she was accepted into the UW, she and her family didn’t quite know how they would be able to afford it, but they knew that this was just an obstacle they would have to overcome, just like Carolina has faced every other obstacle that has come her way. Although it hasn’t always been easy, these life experiences have shaped her into the person she is today and have only strengthened her resolve to go to medical school and become a neurosurgeon. Her goals of one day changing the healthcare world and making it a safer place, as well as breaking the stereotypes that are set against the Latinx community are some of the many reasons she never gives up. While these struggles are only part of who Carolina is, she credits them with shaping her into the person she is today, and she is very proud of that. Carolina especially wants to thank her parents and sister, for never giving up on her, for supporting her throughout her academic career and for their steadfast love. She also wants to thank the MAP scholarship committee for their support: “I want you all to know that this scholarship means the world, not just to me, but to my family as well, because it means that I am closer to making my dreams and goals a reality, and I thank you for that.”


Alice Liu

Portrait: Alice LiuBorn and raised in Canada, Alice Liu is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Washington with professor Craig Sheppard, with a focus on piano performance. Before moving to Seattle, she completed a music residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity following the completion of her masters in Montréal at McGill University.

In the School of Music, she has also served as a teaching assistant for the secondary piano department. As a pianist she was recently one of the winners of the UW concerto competition, scheduled to perform Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto at the Meany Center with Seattle’s Philharmonia Northwest. Within academia, her interests cross the boundaries between the arts and sciences, as her interdisciplinary research focuses on musical neuroeducation. She is aiming to bridge the gap between researcher, educator and performer, in which neuroeducation research can be translated into practical applications for music learning, performance, pedagogy and therapy. The need for this type of translational research will bring new brain-based learning strategies to highlight the mutual benefits between educational neuroscience and psychology in music. Alice’s inspiration and interests also come from travelling, experiencing new foods, the beautiful outdoors of the PNW and the dedicated group of international peers and mentors she has met throughout her post-secondary studies. Within her own capacity as a musician and community member she has created individual fundraising campaigns for different humanitarian causes, including SOS Venezuela and, more recently, We Stand With You Seattle. She hopes to pass on the value of music to others — that even amidst the devastation and uncertainty that has been presented this year, music serves a higher purpose that all benefit from. It builds connections across borders, fosters community building and cultural understanding.

For more information about diversity issues and programs at the University of Washington, please visit the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity website.

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Since 2008, BECU and the UW Alumni Association have joined together to support our members through commitment to diversity and advocacy of higher education.