Multicultural Alumni Partnership

Meet the 2022 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 2022 recipients here.


2022 MAP SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Ethan Blanco

Hey! My name is Ethan Blanco, and I am a Chicano student studying public health-global health with a focus on health promotion and education. I am currently in my senior year and am excited to explore the public health workforce, especially when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Working towards creating a more inclusive and accepting world is an effort I will continually work towards and hope to emphasize within my professional career. As someone who has faced many barriers because of different intersecting marginalized personal identities, I’ve witnessed a lack of inclusion in many spaces, but especially within many health-related fields.

We live in a society that covets a person’s individuality, but in the same stride fails to create meaningful spaces to uplift all types of identities. In response to my own experiences of feeling voiceless, I aim to commit myself to advocacy for marginalized identities within the healthcare field. Whether it be by implementing more holistic linguistic services for those who do not speak English, fostering environments with proactive accessibility measures for those with a disability or implementing queer-centric policies across the healthcare field. With the support of UW communities and programs such as the Brotherhood Initiative, Student Disability Commission and the Office of Inclusive Design, I aim to continually contribute towards a more inclusive, accessible and respectful world.

Ivan Nolasco Hernandez

Alfredo Arreguin Scholar

I am Ivan Nolasco Hernandez,  and I am a second-year of Master’s student in music education with a teaching certificate. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California to a loving family of Zapoteco immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico. While my parents always had high aspirations for me to achieve higher education, that goal felt unreachable to me as a first-generation student who struggled in the American public school system.

I started to find myself and a place in this world when I joined a local Oaxacan band and fell in love with music. This started a ripple effect in my life, where I decided to pursue music in college and had opportunities to not only explore its value in my own life, but also the lives of my community — especially in the students. As I committed to being a music major, I started volunteering in the community, offering free music lessons and coaching at the local high school for the underserved community. This inspired me to complete a bachelor’s in music education, and further develop my craft with an emphasis on social justice and a world perspective lens by pursuing a master’s in music education at the UW. I look forward to guiding, inspiring and molding our future youth as a public school music teacher.

Jen Ka-Ram Son

Thaddeus and Lois Spratlen Scholar

My name is Jen Ka-Ram Son, and I am a fourth-year student at the UW School of Pharmacy. I was born in South Korea and immigrated to America when I was eleven. Coming into a new country, I faced many challenges including language barriers and cultural differences. Despite this, I was able to succeed thanks to my family who supported me and various role models who encouraged me to keep pushing beyond my doubts.

These experiences lead me to work as the president of various organizations including an international club where I could share and hear about similar experiences with others, and Bridges to Health, which focused on health education in underserved populations. In my spare time, I also work with my mom in creating instructional videos focused on helping Korean immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship.

Ultimately, my experiences have led me to believe that no individual can succeed without a strong community around them to support them. I wanted to work in the healthcare system where I could be directly involved with people in need of aid, and chose to enter the field of pharmacy because pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare workers that anyone is able to walk in and talk to at any time. My goal is to be a healthcare provider who can share my knowledge and experience with my community, and do my part in creating an environment that supports the people around me.

Esther Wanjiku Mwaniki

My name is Esther Wanjiku Mwaniki (she/her), a senior BSN student at the UW School of Nursing. I’m a first-generation college student.

I am the first of seven siblings. I grew up in a small remote village in central Kenya but had bigger dreams of becoming a nurse. My parents could not afford to pay for my nursing school, which was expensive. I migrated to the US in 2017. Still, my dream to become a nurse never wavered despite being a single mother with all the challenges of attending school full-time and supporting my daughter independently. I enrolled at Renton Technical College and Pierce College, where I did my prerequisite and transferred to the UW School of Nursing. I would always share my desire to become a nurse with my mom who always told me it was impossible because success was not for poor people like us. She encouraged me to accept the status quo, but I pursued my dreams relentlessly.

Stereotypically speaking, I would never imagine being successful. Considering I’m an immigrant African black woman and all the hardships I’ve faced growing up, graduating from a two-year accredited university with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing will mean the world to me. This achievement will prove every stereotype incorrect. After graduating as a nurse, my dreams and aspirations include one day being able to open a free health clinic for the uninsured population. I want to be a part of the change in this world, and I believe that I can bring a positive influence on today’s healthcare crisis.

Riley Olsen

Owen G. Lee Scholar

Hello! My name is Riley Olsen (she/her). I am a current UW undergraduate student, majoring in psychology, with double minors in disability studies and education, learning, and societies. I chose this area of study with the influence of my family members. I have family members with autism and neurodevelopmental disorders. Due to this, I have been given the opportunity to witness firsthand how applied behavior analysis therapy and occupational therapy have positively impacted their lives. This has compelled me to pursue a similar career path that will lead to me having a positive impact on others’ lives.

I am a proudly enrolled member of the Native American Makah Tribe located in Neah Bay, Washington. My great grandma was the granddaughter of Beatrice Black, an elder and teacher of basket weaving. My family is very important to me. They have taught me to be hard working, to understand the value of respect and tradition amongst many other qualities that have greatly impacted my life and have helped me get to where I am today.


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