Skip to content

Husky Giving Day 2023

Husky Giving Day is April 6, 2023!

The Office of Global Affairs is excited to be participating in Husky Giving Day, a 24-hour period during which alumni and friends come together to support the people, programs, projects and causes they care about most at the University of Washington. Husky Giving Day is the largest single-day of philanthropic giving of the year, lasting from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on April 6, 2023.

The Office of Global Affairs will be raising funds to support:

Learn More

Global Visionaries: Dustin Mara

Portrait of Dustin Mattaio Mara
Portrait of Dustin Mattaio Mara

The Office of Global Affairs is delighted to feature Dustin Mara for our March 2023 edition of the Global Visionaries series. The Global Visionaries series highlights the University of Washington’s global impact by featuring innovative, globally-engaged faculty, staff, and students.

Dustin Mara, Class of 2022, graduated cum laude from the University of Washington (Seattle campus) with a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication Design and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Dustin was recognized as a 2022 Husky 100 and he is passionate about rowing, bringing awareness to gender based violence, and creating diversity in predominantly white sports.

Dustin shares about his global upbringing, his vision for intersecting culture, language, and type design, and what he is looking forward to about his future career.

Learn More


Tell us about your upbringing. What was it like living across the Pacific Ocean?

To me, being Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) means that family, including close family friends, comes first. Much of my mother’s side lives in the Philippines and on the west coast, and my father’s on the islands of Guam and Hawaii. I definitely didn’t grow up with a majority of my family nearby, but nonetheless we all felt very close despite the spread. It’s interesting to compare and contrast the ways of living in each of these places and piece together how that represents who I am today.

Dustin with his family in the Philippines
Dustin with his family in the Philippines

So much of that spread across the pacific, and then being very privileged at a young age to travel the world, inspired my interest in geography and culture. This eventually led to me studying International Studies alongside Visual Communication Design. I think that this awareness of who I am, in addition to my interest in the world around me, influences how I approach design. In design, we discuss our audience and users and how to be most empathetic to them and how to fill their needs and wants. I think that coming from many places and seeing and living many realities helps me with design, curating a global worldview.

I’m very proud of my cultural background and way of life. It’s exciting to say I have family from everywhere and get to visit those places frequently.

How did you become involved with the Rowers of Color Community? Why are you passionate about creating diversity in predominantly white sports?

I was actually one of the first people to put Rowers of Color Community (ROCC) together. I had a friend from the rowing team reach out and say hey I have an old teammate from highschool who has toyed with the idea of ROCC. She brought the three of us together alongside a few other friends/teammates and we hashed out how to create a safe space for BIPOC rowers in the sport — our primary goal was to create a safe space for BIPOC rowers to talk about the difficulties of being the only person of color on a team.

For me, our mission was very personal. As a youth athlete my team was very white, and I was for most of the time the only BIPOC athlete — fortunately, it was never a big deal, or perhaps I was just too naïve then. It wasn’t until joining the team at UW that I started to see how different I was compared to my non-BIPOC teammates. It’s an unfortunate truth, but that was one of the things that factored in when I had to choose between the Design program and being on the rowing team.

I couldn’t imagine that I was not the only person who felt this way, whether a youth athlete, collegiate, or even an adult. I wanted to share with others that those feelings aren’t isolated, as I’ve learned from being close friends with other BIPOC athletes. As ROCC slowly grew we were meeting people who had these feelings all across the country. Through ROCC I was able to work with nonprofits, small organizations, and podcasts that were all dealing with the same issues. It was reassuring to know that people felt the same way, and it’s even greater to know that people are actively making space for BIPOC athletes in the sport.

Tell us about DesCare. What was it like being the first President of the RSO?
DesCare team meetings
DesCare team meetings

DesCare is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) that encourages design students to build a stronger community by discussing the issues of the creative field or even distracting from it.

The group was put together after one of our alumni presented their senior capstone about mental health in the design program, and the unfortunate truths it held. As someone who related to the project, one of my personal goals was to create a culture shift within our program. The UW Design program provides a truly world class professional education and network, but in doing so there was an air of competition amongst peers which is mostly put forth by the students themselves. There was also a large sense of siloing between each class and the three majors in the program. I wanted the design student body to feel a bit more cohesive and approachable, knowing that we are all going through the same thing together and will have to face the creative industry together.

As the first President of DesCare, I spent my time learning about what the student body needed and what our role was as part of the program. Our very first steps were to support students with very clear mental health resources, for example bringing in speakers who had experience talking about imposter syndrome, group lead meditation, or just sharing the UW mental health resources. Eventually we shifted to a more ‘fun’ based program structure, as we learned that we just needed a space to socialize and talk about our struggles in design with one another. So eventually that looked like having socials, or turning the studio into a game lounge, or sending candy grams.

After I graduated, I heard that the sense of competition and siloing has gone down significantly. It’s hopeful to think that maybe that culture shift was achieved or at least kick-started. It’s exciting to continue to see what the current DesCare group has done with the RSO and their plans for the future, especially with how young it still is — so much potential for within the program and beyond!

How does your work sit at the intersection of culture, language, and type design?

This is always a hard question to answer and keep concise… I can talk for ages about how my two degrees, Visual Communication Design and International Studies, have always complimented each other, even if it’s not an expected pairing. So much of design has to be empathetic and aware, and it has to come across in understanding where people are coming from — both literally and figuratively. To understand one’s culture and the way they speak plays a major role in the way I research and craft design solutions.

Meskla Sans type specimen book, one element of Dustin's capstone
Meskla Sans type specimen book, one element of Dustin’s capstone

This intersection comes from my longtime fascination with language from a young age. It is interesting to think that the syntax and colloquialisms of language frame the way we think and lead our lives. This ties in directly with designing type. Typefaces are the visualization of our spoken language. At a basic level a font can say the meaning of a word/phrase as it is, but it can also add additional meaning to that word or phrase in the way the font looks and feels. It’s almost like we are shifting the framing of language via the way the letterforms are crafted, and in a lot of ways we are! In addition, I’ve always seen typefaces as the building blocks of visual communication design (and the building blocks of written language) and so distilling the vastness of design into a single thing, which can take hours to craft with all the minute details, is why type design drives my practice.

If you look at one of my capstone projects for example, Meskla Sans, I designed a typeface that represented my condition as someone whose family is spread across the pacific and receiving a design education on the mainland. I looked into the smallest features of each letter and tried to build in features that represented the cultures of the various places I call home. It comes through more in some letters and less in others, but as a whole the typeface represents me.

I try to keep this global lens with every project I take on. I think understanding that the United States has its own design sensibilities helps determine what solutions are more viable that others.

What was it like to intern at a global creative consultancy in New York?
Dustin and other interns in a meeting room
Dustin and other interns in a meeting room

I interned at Lippincott the summer/fall right after graduation! I was fortunate to meet an alum in the program, who guided me through the interview process and eventually hired me as a Lippincott-er. It was my first ‘real’ job in the design world, and I have to say the UW Design program prepared me so well for it; it just felt like a continuation of school. It was also amazing to work alongside a super diverse group of designers, both in their personal and professional backgrounds. The office was full of creatives in different fields so it was great to see how people are expressing their creative problem solving in many ways. New York itself is a massive cultural melting pot so getting to step out of the office and have so much inspiration at hand was incredible.

During my internship, I was fortunate to see client work from all over the world, from all of the different offices. It was interesting to see how the design process was nudged around to fit cultural differences, again something that is so key to my own personal practice. I learned so much from my internship and that learning has only pushed my work deeper into the intersection of my interests.

As a recent UW graduate, what are you looking forward to about your career?
Some of the Class of 2022 Design students before graduation
Some of the Class of 2022 Design students before graduation

I can’t say enough how both my education in Visual Communication Design at the School of Art + Art History + Design and in International Studies at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies have prepared me for what I hope to be a very successful, and very global career in design. I can’t wait to explore different areas of design and to continue to push my freelance design practice — I help many nonprofits and small businesses with design!

The University of Washington has provided me with the skillset, experience, and network that allows me to feel comfortable to pursue jobs and further education worldwide and not just limit myself to the Pacific Northwest or the United States. I am excited to go out and explore the opportunities that exist internationally to bring my unique background and design sensibilities. I also hope one day I will have the opportunity to come back home (to UW!) and share my stories to come with future students.

Apply Now! Global Engagement Fellows

The deadline to apply is Friday, May 5th at 5:00pm PT.

The Office of Global Affairs (OGA) is pleased to announce the opening of the AY 2023-2024 application for Global Engagement Fellows (fellows), a Global Innovation Fund (GIF) award that is focused on creating inclusive global communities at UW. In recognition of fostering new connections among the UW community, OGA will grant $3,000.

Fellows will convene new groups that share a common interest in:

• A region or country
• A research theme
• Good practice and innovation in inclusive globally engaged teaching, including study abroad
• Other topics relating to global engagement

Strong projects should demonstrate:

• Clear outcomes and outlined goals
• Consideration of long-term sustainability
• Cross-disciplinary and/or cross-college focus

Funds may be used for:

• A salary supplement for the fellow/s
• Hiring a student assistant
• Community activities (ex: refreshements for meetings, speaker honoraria)


• Faculty members
• Staff members (with a co-lead faculty applicant)
• Post-docs (with a co-lead faculty applicant)
• Current PHD students (with a co-lead faculty applicant)

Learn More & Apply

2022-2023 Fellows

For any questions regarding the Global Innovation Fund, please contact

Population Health Initiative: Two Summer 2023 Fellowships

Are you a UW student looking for a summer fellowship opportunity? The Office of Global Affairs is pleased to share two opportunities through the Population Health Initiative.

Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship

This program supports graduate fellows from across disciplines to work on a variety of projects. This year’s topics include addressing racial disparities, culturally responsive technology, exercise, technology for the malaria vaccine, and clean energy technologies.

Learn More

Applied Research Fellowship

This program supports multidisciplinary teams of students to address real-world population health challenges. This year’s project is focused on addressing migration and displacement in King County. This program is open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Learn More

Interested UW students may reach out to Arti Shah at for any questions.

Global Visionaries: Orie Kimura

Orie Kimura standing outside by a tree

The Office of Global Affairs is excited to celebrate Orie Kimura for our February 2023 edition of the Global Visionaries series. The Global Visionaries series highlights the University of Washington’s global impact by featuring innovative, globally-engaged faculty, staff, and students.

Orie Kimura, Class of 2022, graduated from UW Tacoma with a Bachelor of Social Work. Orie is currently studying for her Master of Social Work at the University of Washington with a focus on children and families. Orie was recognized as a 2022 Husky 100 and was previously President of the Student Social Work Organization and Vice President of the Husky-kai (Japanese Union) at UW Tacoma. Orie shares her thoughts on cultural humility, social justice, and the power of cross-cultural exchange.

Learn More

What inspired you to become an advocate for cultural humility?

I was born and raised in a suburb where there are many people from different countries in Japan. Growing up in the environment, I had opportunities to learn about various cultures and grew my love for learning about them. As I interacted with people with varied cultural backgrounds in the environment, I also learned to see people’s behaviors through cultural perspectives.

After moving to the United States from Japan, I had more opportunities to interact with people from various cultures as I have become a part of the migrant community. As a person assimilating into the mainstream cultures and facing cultural differences in the U.S., I further understood how much influence culture has on our lives. Through these experiences, I learned that it is crucial for people to commit themselves to the lifelong learning of others and their own cultures and to welcome various cultures in order to effectively communicate with each other, to deeply understand peoples behaviors, and to come together to collaboratively create a comfortable environment for all.

Tell us about your international experience in Malaysia.

When I was a high school student, I had the privilege to be chosen as a representative of my home prefecture in Japan and stayed in Malaysia for a week. Malaysia was a beautiful country with amazingly kind and friendly people, delicious food, and diverse cultures. I stayed with a local Malay family who is Muslim and learned about their ethnic and religious cultural traditions. During the stay, I also had the opportunity to visit a Hindu temple, a mosque, a local high school, and many other places. When I visited Malaysia, it was during a week-long Hari Raya Puasa, in which Muslim people in Malaysia celebrate the end of Ramadan by gathering with their families and friends and enjoying feasts together.

While visiting several families with my host family, I was surprised by how curious they were about learning about my culture. As a visitor, I thought I was the one who needed to learn about their culture and assimilate. However, they were also willing to learn about my culture to accommodate each other to minimize our cultural differences instead of isolating me or forcing me to assimilate into their culture. Back then, I remember wondering if this curiosity about different cultures is how Malaysia has maintained cultural diversity without major conflicts between ethnic/religious groups. People in Malaysia made my stay comfortable and special while further teaching me the importance of cultural humility.

How did you promote social justice issues as President of the Student Social Work Organization?

As a President of the Student Social Work Organization at UW Tacoma, I spread awareness of social justice issues by bringing group discussions and events related to social justice issues on campus. We held monthly discussion meetings covering numerous social issues, such as microaggression, missing and murdered native women, and sexual assaults. We facilitated conversations around challenging topics while opening a space for people to share their lived experiences and learn from each others’ stories.

It was nerve-racking to facilitate conversations around microaggression, as the conversation brings up the topic of racism. However, we decided to cover microaggression in our meeting using a discussion format because it is through hearing peoples’ lived experiences that we can better understand why the issue is problematic, become empathetic toward people experiencing the issue, and decide to become an advocate for the issue. We also held one event related to social justice issues every quarter. We held a donation drive for people experiencing homelessness, filmed video clips for Afghan refugees for the Afghan American Cultural Association, and collaborated with the Formerly Incarcerated Student Association to hold an on-campus lobby day advocating for state bills that impact incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals.

What did you learn from your experience as a Global Ambassadors Program Coordinator?

The Global Ambassadors Program fosters friendship and cultural understanding between international and domestic students at UW Tacoma. While working as a Global Ambassadors Program Coordinator, I facilitated weekly group meetings, organized local trips related to social justice issues, and took students to fun off-campus events to flourish their friendship. In the program, international and domestic students engaged in discussions about social justice issues, such as ableism, the treatment of indigenous people, racism, poverty, health disparities, religious oppression, the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, and immigrant, migrant, and refugee rights (through global and local perspectives). The program provided a place for students to share how these issues are similar in their home countries or countries they have visited.

By coordinating the program, I learned that many of the issues we believe are local are often experienced in other countries. For example, our conversation around the inequality in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine around the world revealed that there are some social justice issues that the world as a whole needs to work together. The experience made me realize that there is always something I can learn from each country in the world to better the situation in my home country. This role taught me how to develop a program and facilitate a group of people with various viewpoints and it made me realize how much I enjoy interacting with people from diverse backgrounds and learning about different cultures.

Why did you decide to volunteer as an online tutor for economically disadvantaged students in Japan?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more people got pushed into poverty, and there was an increase in education inequality in Japan. In Japan, people need to pass entrance exams to enter universities. Therefore, many high school students go to cram school after regular school to study for entrance exams. The pandemic made it challenging for more families to pay for their high school-aged children to attend cram schools. Furthermore, many of the students who were no longer able to go to cram school also lost the opportunity to spend extra time learning from their teachers after school when classrooms moved online.

I believe the opportunity for education should be distributed equally to people regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds and I wanted to do something to address the worsening education inequality in my home country. This is why I joined a group of university students during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to tutor and provide study tips to economically disadvantaged high school students in Japan.

Meet the 2023-2024 UW COIL Fellows

The Office of Global Affairs is excited to announce that ten faculty members have been selected as 2023-2024 UW COIL Fellows!

COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) is a virtual exchange pedagogy that fosters global competence through development of a multicultural learning environment, linking university classes in different countries. Using both synchronous and asynchronous technologies, students from different countries complete shared assignments and projects, with instructors from each country co-teaching and managing coursework.

Building on several years of collaboration between the UW Bothell and UW Tacoma campuses, the 2023-2024 UW COIL Fellows will be, for the first time, a tri-campus program. The program will span two years:

  • Winter 2023-Spring 2023 will focus on course development
  • Summer 2023-Summer 2024 and beyond will focus on implementation

The 2023-2024 UW COIL Fellows are:

Nicole Blair

TLIT 240 Studies In English Literature

UW Tacoma

Heidi Gough

BSE 420 Bioresource Engineering, BSE 210 Concepts in Bioproducts Sustainability or ESRM 426 Wildland Hydrology

UW Seattle

Sunita Iyer

BCORE 107/Discovery Core I: Mental Health & Student Life- Integrating Well Being & Academics

UW Bothell

Alka Kurian

BISGWS 301: Critical Gender and Sexuality Studies or BISCLA 380: World Literatures

UW Bothell

Tyson Marsh

B EDUC 502 – Identity and Reflective Practice and B EDUC 504 – Enacting Agency for Social Justice

UW Bothell

Jed Murr

BIS 379: American Ethnic Literatures

UW Bothell

Yixuan Pan

Interdisciplinary art, social practice art (course TBD)

UW Tacoma

Jeff Walters

TCE 484: Sustainable Environmental Systems

UW Tacoma

Yen-Chu Weng

ENVIR 430 Environmental Issues: Regional Perspectives (cross-listed with JSIS 484 Special Topics in East Asian Studies)

UW Seattle

Maureen West

BCORE 107/Discovery Core I: Mental Health & Student Life- Integrating Well Being & Academics

UW Bothell

March 2 Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Panel

Thursday, March 2 // 4:30-5:30 PM PT

Photo of a Peace Corps Volunteer on a swing and information about the upcoming eventAre you curious about what it’s like to serve in the Peace Corps?

Learn more about the Peace Corps and hear stories about the challenging, rewarding, and inspirational moments from four Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. The panel will share their lived experiences and discuss how they navigated their intersecting identities during their service abroad.

Join us in-person at Mary Gates Hall or on Zoom!

Already applied for the Peace Corps, not sure if the Peace Corps is right for you, or somewhere in between? All are welcome!

This free event is co-hosted by UW Peace Corps Recruiter and UW Office of Global Affairs.

Register Now

The UW is a Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students and Scholars for 2022-2023

The University of Washington made the Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of the top Fulbright producing institutions. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar and Fulbright U.S. Student Programs are sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to support academic exchanges between the United States and over 150 countries around the world.

Ten students and eight scholars at the UW received Fulbright awards for the 2022-2023 academic year to study, teach, lecture, or conduct research in Bahrain, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Germany, Iceland, India, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. The Fulbright experience gives students and scholars the opportunity to live and work abroad, learning about their host country and developing a new community of colleagues and friends. These programs are designed to help participants gain a greater understanding of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, ultimately promoting an atmosphere of openness and mutual understanding.

About the Fulbright Program

Founded in 1946, the Fulbright Program is an international academic exchange program that aims to increase mutual understanding and support friendly and peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The UW is proud to have had Fulbright recipients as far back as 1949.

About the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards

The Fulbright application process is supported by the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards (OMSFA). OMSFA works with campus partners across the UW to identify and support promising candidates in developing the skills and personal insights necessary to become strong candidates for this and other prestigious awards.

Learn More


Spring 2023 Course: Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The Office of Global Affairs and Population Health Initiative are partnering to offer a one credit General Studies course that will introduce students to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, research at the University of Washington aligned with those goals, and the role the goals play in improving population health, societies, and the environment, both locally and globally.

Registration opens February 10, 2023! 

Visit our website to see the course overview, details, learning goals, and facilitators.

Learn More

Global Visionaries: Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario

The Office of Global Affairs is excited to celebrate Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario for our December 2022 edition of the Global Visionaries series. The Global Visionaries series highlights the University of Washington’s global impact by featuring innovative, globally-engaged faculty, staff, and students.

Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario standing outside in a red dress
Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario in Peru

Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario, Director, UW Timothy A. DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health, Associate Professor, Pediatric Dentistry, Adjunct Associate Professor, Global Health describes her vision for advancing global oral health in Thailand, Kenya, Peru, and Washington State through collaborative, sustainable, and cross-disciplinary research partnerships.

Dr. Seminario obtained her DDS and Pediatric Dentistry certificate from Cayetano Heredia University (Peru) before earning her PhD in Stomatology from Charles University (Czech Republic) and MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and is also Director of UW International Visiting (Pediatric) Dentist Program and on staff at Seattle Children’s Hospital Dental Medicine.

Learn More

Tell us about your background and experience.

I am originally from Chiclayo, a city in the northwest of Peru. After finishing high school, I moved to Lima, where I earned my DDS degree and Pediatric Dentistry certificate from the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. I then pursued a fantastic opportunity to participate in a four-month fellowship in public health at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, where I learned about the importance of understanding how policies impact public health at community and country levels. I decided to stay in Prague for an additional four years to complete my PhD in Stomatology. From there I had the chance to participate in two fellowships; the first one at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and the second one at the World Health Organization Oral Health Program in Geneva, Switzerland.

After finishing my doctorate program, I moved to Seattle, Washington and began my life in the United States. I was accepted to the Summer Institute in Clinical Dental Research Methods, a six-week training program hosted by the University of Washington School of Dentistry. I fell in love with the summer weather in Seattle. I remember it was the middle of July and I was so impressed by the beauty of Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound. After the Summer Institute, I was recruited by Timothy DeRouen and enrolled in the T32 program that is part of the National Institutes of Health training for postdocs. I was also recruited by the University of Washington Department of Pediatric Dentistry to be an affiliate faculty, later becoming part-time faculty, and eventually full-time faculty. In 2008, I decided to pursue an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. It was an incredible opportunity for my professional growth as the program is very strong in research methodology and evidence-based research and gave me the chance to mentor residents on their research projects.

What is your vision for the DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health?
“It takes a lot of time to build trust among partners and we want to make sure that we have a sustainable impact at all of our research sites.”

In 2017, I was asked to lead and rebrand the UW Timothy A. DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health, which was named in honor of Timothy DeRouen, the first researcher to receive a NIH D43 grant for oral health from the National Institutes of Health. This type of grant aims at increasing research capacities in low- and middle-income countries by creating training opportunities like master or doctorate degrees. One of the first things I did as Director of the DeRouen Center was to examine our existing global relationships. I decided to expand our activities beyond Thailand and Southeast Asia to include Kenya, Peru, and Washington State.

My vision is for the DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health and the University of Washington to become a reference site for global oral health. I am striving for us to become a World Health Organization collaborative center for oral health in the future. It takes a lot of time to build trust among partners and we want to make sure that we have a sustainable impact at all of our research sites. Our long-term goal is for our international partner sites to become the headquarters for oral health research activities in their respective regions around the world.

In my opinion, it is imperative that our research is determined by the priorities of each of our research locations. We take the lead from the communities we are working in, which aligns with the University of Washington’s approach for engaging with low- and middle-income countries. We intentionally work to ensure that our research projects will be sustainable over time. We are excited that our partners, especially the senior collaborators, are working hard to mentor junior oral health researchers and offer training and educational opportunities so that they can become future leaders, such as National Institutes of Health Principal Investigators and grant holders.

Tell us about your current work in Kenya, Peru, and Thailand.
Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario with colleagues in Eldoret, Kenya
Eldoret, Kenya

In Kenya, we began working with Professor Arthur Kemoli, a pediatric dentist and orthodontist based at the United Nations. We started this work focusing on how we could integrate oral health within the HIV network. We are helping the families of children who are living with HIV, or who have been exposed to HIV, to better understand oral health and how that impacts the quality of life of their children. We initiated different projects and got several grants to work with the Kenyatta National Hospital. Currently we are also working in Kisumu in Western Kenya where I will be visiting for two weeks in February 2023 for the kickoff of our clinical trial. Additionally, we have an NIH D71 planning grant to set up a research site and will be conducting interviews and facilitating focus groups too.

In Peru, we are working with the Peruvian Ministry of Health. They would like to increase the capabilities of oral health leaders who work in the 24 regions of Peru to

Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario examining the mouth of a patient in Peru
Amazon, Peru

develop sustainable interventions. We conducted a six-month training session that finished a few months ago. We are now serving in an advisory role as they design a five-year campaign to improve the oral health of elderly people living with diabetes.

We also have a National Institutes of Health grant, in collaboration with Yale University, concerning the impact of alcohol use disorders on the oral health of men who have sex with men in Lima. This is a new research area for us. We have just collected the data and are starting to analyze it. We are excited to be working with the local research site, a long-time member of the International National Institutes of Health vaccine network, on their first project focused on oral health.

In Thailand, we originally focused on increasing the research capacity of oral health researchers. The emphasis was on research methodology and on supporting junior faculty who were pursuing MPH and PhD programs in combination with the University of Washington and who would eventually take on leadership roles as Associate Deans or professors to conduct and oversee future research projects. Current research in Thailand is based on our former trainees and now oral health researchers, for example oral clefts, given the high prevalence rates in the region, or on the impact of breastfeeding on dental caries in toddlers.

How have you been improving oral health for refugees in Washington State?
“Our ultimate goal is to use our data to advocate that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the integration of oral health at all seven clinics in Washington State when assessing the health of refugees.”

In Washington State, we want to integrate oral health within the comprehensive medical assessment that refugees receive soon after they resettle here. We have been working closely with the Department of Health, the Department of Community and Human Services, and the Washington State Health Care Authority since they are very interested in improving the health of refugees. Currently, seven clinics are allowed by Washington State to conduct the comprehensive medical assessment that each refugee must complete after their arrival.

We have been working with those seven clinics to better understand their systems and processes. We have identified their barriers and strengths so we can inform them how best to integrate oral health. Our ultimate goal is to use our data to advocate that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the integration of oral health at all seven clinics in Washington State when assessing the health of refugees. We also hope to educate and inform refugees in Washington State about their Medicaid benefits, given that refugee children have full access to any oral health treatment and refugee adults have access to basic dental care.

What professional achievements are you most proud of?
“I am incredibly grateful that the UW is an institution that promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration.”

A highlight of my career has been serving as Director of the DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health. I feel very lucky to work at the University of Washington. I have found the UW to be very welcoming to an immigrant like myself. I am incredibly grateful that the UW is an institution that promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration. I have found that the university encourages faculty to interact with colleagues from different schools, departments, and colleges to build sustainable relationships and research partnerships that result in rich, robust, and diverse perspectives.

Other highlights include watching my mentees become authors of manuscripts. It amazes me to see my mentees grow professionally. I am also proud of the relationships I have maintained with my colleagues and former professors in Peru. I have been fortunate in many ways and feel that it is my responsibility to give back, whether that be through helping to set up grants in communities across Peru or by working with my mentees to assist them in becoming Principal Investigators. I recently got the opportunity to travel to Peru and reconnect with my former professors. It was delightful to reflect on everything that we have accomplished in our respective academic networks over the years.