Husky 100

January 17, 2019

In their own Words: Husky 100 Perspectives on Leadership

Not everyone sees themselves as a traditional “leader,” but leadership can take many different forms. UW students demonstrate leadership in countless ways, overt and subtle, on campus, at home, and in their communities. Student Life blogger and UW senior Hannah M. explores this with 2018 Husky 100 recipients in her guest blog post, below.

Every year we get the opportunity to celebrate some incredible students from UW’s three campuses (Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma) as the Husky 100. This recognition honors 100 students for their exceptional contributions on and off campus and for truly making the most of their Husky Experience. These students prove that leadership is far from a one-size-fits-all stereotype, and it’s possible to lead from all sides and angles.

2019 Husky 100 applications are open now (due January 23rd!) so log on and start sharing your story of leadership at UW! I chatted with some members of the Husky 100 from 2018 to learn more about their own journeys and ask what leadership means to them. Their answers were as diverse as they are—and might just inspire you to start your own application.

“How would you define leadership?”


“The most important part of leadership is being involved with the people in your community—good collaboration. A good leader is someone who collaborates with the people around them, goes the extra mile, and inspires and empowers others to succeed.”

Tina Hernandez, UW Tacoma, who has spent her time as a Husky serving the community through social work volunteering and researching the effects of trauma on the developing brain.



“My definition of leadership has changed a lot since I was a freshman. Now it’s a lot about listening—not telling people what to do, but listening and understanding their needs. So to me, being a good leader means being a good listener.”

Nadya Ekhteraee-Sanaee, UW Seattle, who leads as the president of the Economics Undergraduate Board, chair of the Arts & Sciences Advisory Council for Students, and an active member of Women in Economics.



“Leadership to me means leading by example—by doing, not by telling.”

Colton Twiddy, UW Seattle, who has connected his work in and out of the classroom as part of the Neighborhood Design Build Studio and by competing on the UW Commercial Construction Team.




Beck Adelante, UW Tacoma, who has tirelessly worked to promote accessibility and elevate marginalized student voices, such those from LGBTQ+, mixed race, disabled, and other underserved communities.


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“Leadership, to me, is tied closely with service and learning. You have to really put in the work, learn as much as you can, empower people, and ultimately teach them how to lead themselves.”

— Henry Milander, UW Seattle, who strives to create a more equitable and sustainable future through his work in the UW Rotaract, as a residential advisor, and as the President of the Certificate of International Studies in Business program.


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 “To me, leadership is not only being available to others and letting people come to you with their needs and problems, but also reaching out when you notice people need help.”

Leah Ruggerone, UW Seattle, who has dedicated herself to promoting the health and wellness of her community as an education assistant in the pharmacy department, the president of the pediatric pharmacy advocacy group, and a devoted volunteer working with children that have primary disabilities.



“A good leader works to make sure the voices of all our different communities are heard.”

Katrina Salazar Punzalan, UW Seattle, whose Husky Experience empowered her to embrace her identity as a queer Filipinx student and inspired her to pursue becoming an attorney to help marginalized communities such as migrant workers and Pacific Islanders.



“Leadership is working with other people toward a goal you’ve all set. At the end of the day, I think leadership is about working with others, serving others, and listening to your community.”

Aishwarya Mandyam, UW Seattle, who leads from the intersection of technology and humanity as she serves as the president of the UW Association for Computing, innovates in the biotechnology space, and builds inclusive communities on campus.



“Accountability and humility.”

— Brit Barnhouse, UW Tacoma, who founded a literary journal dedicated to communicating complex ideas simply and accessibly, inspired by her double major in environmental studies and writing.



“Leadership means being a role model. It means bringing out in the best in the people around you. It means doing your best and being humble at the same time.”

Kimberly Ruth, UW Seattle, whose time on campus researching, organizing, tutoring, and mentoring has made her quite the role model in her own right.


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“Leadership is passion and compassion. Passion because you need to love what you do; compassion so you can feel what others feel.”

Angel Chen, UW Seattle, who has created a more inclusive environment for transfer students as a transfer-student FIG leader and Commuter & Transfer Associate with First Year Programs.



“Leadership is giving back to others, which means you have to get to know their needs. A leader sees a problem and tries to solve it, bringing everyone to the table to find a solution.”

Youcef Yacoub Bennour, whose passions have led him to chair the committee for the Students and Activities Fee, become a voting member of the World Affairs Council, and mentor students at a local high school.


To learn more about the Husky 100 recognition and the application process, visit the Husky 100 application resources page. To apply, click here!