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Global Visionaries: Ray Li

Ray Li profile photo with light purple in background

The Office of Global Affairs is excited to celebrate Ray Li for our April 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.

Ray Li, Assistant Vice President for International Advancement and 2023 recipient of University Advancement’s Marilyn Batt Dunn award, describes his experience with community building, fostering relationships with alumni, and international fundraising.

Ray Li obtained a Master of Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University and a Bachelor of Biopsychology from The University of British Columbia. He held the role of Senior Director of International Advancement at the University of Washington for 11 years. Ray’s prior experience includes serving as the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Advancement for Neighborhood House, working as the Assistant Director of Development for the American Red Cross -Greater Hartford Chapter, and supporting the Canadian Red Cross and the American Red Cross -Seattle King County Chapter.

Tell us about your background and experience.

I grew up in Vancouver, Canada. I was on a pre-med track in high school and was involved in student government. During that time, I was selected to be part of a leadership development program run by the Canadian Red Cross. It was a very pivotal experience for me and I learned a lot about leadership and civic engagement. Supporting the Canadian Red Cross became a passion of mine so I continued to volunteer with them through high school and university. Upon graduating from The University of British Columbia, I realized that I wanted to spend my time making a meaningful impact on my community.

Every job I have had in my career has been focused on community building, leadership development, and organizational change.

I went from working with the Canadian Red Cross to the American Red Cross, where I led a youth leadership development program. I then had a chance to go to graduate school, where I earned a Master of Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University. At the same time, I started working as the Director of Development for Neighborhood House. Neighborhood House is a social service organization with a long history of supporting immigrants and refugees when they first arrive in the United States of America. I was charged with building the organization up. It was quite an experimental role where I was able to apply my graduate school learning on an evening and weekend basis to my weekday job. During my 12 years at Neighborhood House, our team went through three capital campaigns, raising close to $20 million – something that the organization had never done before. When I left, the organization had grown from 90 staff to 300 staff, our annual operating funds had increased more than four-fold and the organization had buildings they could call their own.

The real core of my work at Neighborhood House was community building. I did a lot of thinking about how to be forthright and authentic with the communities we were serving. I strove to include community members in our fundraising efforts and to invite community members to serve on our board to ensure their voices were heard. I learned some of my greatest fundraising lessons from that role. I learned to treat everyone with equity and to create space for all kinds of donors so they could make their own choices. I learned so much from that job about being aware of my own preconceived notions and about how to create inclusive environments where everyone feels a sense of belonging in some way.

I became aware of the opportunity to create the International Advancement program at the University of Washington due to my fundraising work in Seattle. I was drawn to the job because it was about building a program from the ground up, which felt familiar after my work at Neighborhood House. It felt like a pivotal moment in my career and I was eager to start a new professional adventure.

How did you go about building International Advancement at the UW?

I started building the International Advancement program from the ground up at the University of Washington 11 years ago. My early days with International Advancement were focused on creating opportunities with foreign ministries and setting up visits with quasi-governmental international entities. I did not have a strong background in international fundraising but I knew that community building was a core element of this kind of work. Looking back, there was a lot of unknown at the time but there was also a lot of goodwill. What was most challenging during those first few years was that I had to balance where the University of Washington wanted to go and what the community was ready for.

During my first international trips on behalf of International Advancement, I heard three major consistent themes from international alumni -they loved Seattle and the University of Washington, they had no idea what the University of Washington was doing, and they were eager to create more sustainable relationships. There was also a disconnected feeling amongst international Huskies. I saw there was an opportunity to build more trust. I also realized that I needed to spend time creating a culture of philanthropy -similar to what we have in the United States of America -but also in the various countries where international Huskies reside. It involved creating a multicultural culture of philanthropy – learning about cultural dynamics, the histories of countries, and the legal realities of what’s possible.

It was clear that we needed to build a robust and sustainable International Advancement program that would make the University of Washington successful as a global presence for years to come. We started with building up communities where there were already concentrations of international Huskies. I prioritized cultivating environments where the university could infuse philanthropy, engagement, and life-long learning. Those three elements are actually thematically present in all of our work in International Advancement –in our fundraising, alumni relations, and marketing and communications.

What inspired you to launch UW Converge?

UW Converge is the University of Washington’s signature event for international alumni and friends. Each year it is hosted in a global city by one of our international alumni communities. It offers a direct connection to the UW, its faculty and leadership, and its global alumni network.

UW Converge was born out of good fortune. Michael Young, former President of the University of Washington, was eager to elevate the university’s global presence. He was also very involved in the Pac-12. In 2015, the Pac-12 launched a globalization initiative and one of their first events was to host an exhibition basketball game between the University of Texas and the University of Washington in Shanghai, China. I worked closely with President Young and Jeff Riedinger, Vice Provost for Global Affairs, to collaborate with partners from across campus to make the most of the moment. We ended up using the opportunity to publicly launch the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) in China. We hosted an international innovation summit that featured faculty and students from across the University of Washington who were working on innovative projects. We were lucky to have about 300 people attend from all over Shanghai and China. We also held our first global alumni board meeting with all of our chapter leaders. They came together to share best practices and to connect with President Cauce, who was on her first international trip, as the newly installed UW president, on behalf of the University of Washington. UW Converge in 2015 in Shanghai really laid the groundwork for strong stewardship with a number of international Huskies.

Group holding large check donation to UW
UW Converge, Thailand, 2016

During UW Converge in 2015, the Thailand chapter president raised his hand and asked to host the event the next year. UW Converge in 2016 was therefore hosted in Bangkok and also the island of Koh Samui. The Beijing chapter volunteered to host UW Converge in 2017, which focused on leadership. Then the Japan chapter hosted UW Converge in 2018. That UW Converge focused on innovations in leadership and was modeled after TED Talks.


Group photo of International Huskies and President Cauce in Taipei
UW Converge, Taipei, 2019

For 2019, the Taiwan chapter raised their hand to host UW Converge and focused on artificial intelligence -the business of artificial intelligence, the laws, ethics, and policies of artificial intelligence, and research and innovations in engineering. During that Converge, we were also able to feature the University of Washington’s Taiwan Studies Program and meet with various government ministries. President Cauce also had the opportunity to personally present the coveted Laureate vase to one of the foundations that had been giving to the university for many years.

Group photo with Seattle skyline in the background
UW Converge, Seattle, 2022

After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to host UW Converge in 2022 in Seattle. It was really great to bring folks together on campus after two years of virtual pivot. As far as this year’s UW Converge, I’m looking forward to the Indonesia chapter hosting the event in Jakarta on August 12, 2023.

In retrospect, UW Converge began due to interest from our various chapters of international Huskies. They had a strong desire to build relationships within specific disciplines but also to create opportunities for alumni within a country to connect across disciplines too. They were also interested in creating spaces for alumni from different countries to come together and establish relationships across international borders. Because of UW Converge, the University of Washington is now more strategically aware of all the relationships and units across campus that are focused on specific countries.

How do you approach international fundraising?

My approach involves a mix of community building, cultivating trust, and brand promotion. The basic principles of traditional fundraising still apply but there is also a lot of nuance to international fundraising. It’s important to be mindful of jargon and to use culturally sensitive language. To be aware of the realities of the geopolitical landscape. To emphasize shared values. At every international interaction I have, I share that if it was just for tuition, the UW would be a good university, but it is because of philanthropy that the UW is a great university. It’s the difference between being able to retain faculty, create international exchanges, launch innovative initiatives, and construct new buildings.

I also try to have a strong understanding of the unique tax laws of international countries. Is philanthropy incentivized or disincentived? Is it incentivized within a country or outside of a country? I make sure to tailor my approach to philanthropic conversations with international donors by meeting them where they are at before taking a deep dive into how they want to give to the University of Washington. In my opinion, it all boils down to having a strong foundation of trust. My job is to clearly convey the impact of what a personally significant gift would mean to the University of Washington.

I should also mention that International fundraising happens over a different medium than traditional fundraising. I often find myself navigating gifts via platforms like WeChat and WhatsApp. Since the pace of those conversations can happen very quickly, I always try to make sure to set the expectations of our prospects from the start so that they keep in mind that the University of Washington is a large university and it can take time to launch new initiatives or process donations.

What guides your leadership style?

My leadership style is guided by the values of community and community building. I am a huge advocate of cultivating relationships of trust. I understand that things can take time when working at a large university. I take pride that I am resilient and perseverant. I like to operate with a glass half full mentality. I recognize when the time is right and when the time is not right. I also have a strong value of failing forward and exploring and implementing innovative ideas after reflecting upon community feedback.

I like to plant seeds for the future and navigate with a forward vision of what might be possible down the road.

What are you most proud of about your work with International Huskies?
Big group photo of UW Converge Taipei in 2019
UW Converge, Taipei, 2019

I am most proud of the feeling of camaraderie around the world amongst our UW community that now exists because of the International Advancement program. It is rewarding to know that when members of our UW community (faculty, staff, alumni, family) go to a country where there is a large number of international Huskies, they will feel welcomed and know that alumni understand what is happening at the university. I am also very pleased that there is now a strong sense of purpose, a passion for philanthropy and a deep community of connection that didn’t exist before.

May 15 Worlds of Difference Event

Monday, May 15 // 12-1 PM PT

Worlds of Difference: Partnerships in an Unequal World: A Workshop to Explore Reciprocity, Institutionality and How We Want to Engage Globally

Books in a circle with a purple backgroundMany of us are grappling with how to do good work and lead meaningful lives in an unjust and unequal world. While our intellectual and political projects link us with people in other parts of the world, the institutions through which we work can sometimes help and sometimes seriously hinder our collaborations. Whether you are new to international collaboration or have experience with international partnerships, we invite you to join our three UW faculty panelists – co-founders of The Global Reciprocity Network – as they share practical guidance from their ongoing work with international partners. We’ll engage in hands-on-activities and participate in lively discussions about how we navigate issues of reciprocity and structural inequality, and connect meaningfully across difference.

This free event is hosted by the Office of Global Affairs. UW faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.

Register Now

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:

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Global Visionaries: Dustin 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 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.

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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 15th 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.

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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.

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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.

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