Husky 100

July 17, 2019

Student Stories: Ariana Anjaz

Ariana AnjazAriana Anjaz

Kent, WA
B.A., Public Health – Global Health Nutritional Sciences

Year awarded 2019

Why did you apply for the Husky 100?

I applied for the Husky 100 to share my story and show other students who may be able to relate to my unique circumstances. I wanted to show that you can still be a mom, study as a full time-student, work to pay your bills and support your family and pursue your Husky Experience to the fullest by doing study abroad, pursuing multiple internships and conducting research. Nothing is impossible.

What does being a Husky 100 mean to you throughout your journey at UW?

The Husky 100 is such an honor and really is the cherry on my sundae to finish off my time here as an undergraduate at the UW. It’s sort of like a stamp of approval to seal the fact that I really did use my time at UW wisely and I lived my life to the fullest. 

What does being a Husky 100 mean to you and your communities? 

The Husky 100 is a testament to my perseverance through trials and tribulations in life which should have hindered my ability to be successful at the University of Washington. But because I persevered and I traveled out of my comfort zone in the last four years, I can not only say “I made it,” but I can say that I made it and I did it well. To my community, it means that as a Muslim woman of color, I didn’t let marriage and motherhood and adversity stop me from achieving my dreams.

Through your experience, how did you embody one of the Husky 100 criteria?

One of the most significant Husky 100 criteria that I embodied in my experience is “Ready for What is Next.” The Husky 100 are “undeterred by the risk of failure, they pursue their own goals with savvy and fortitude.” All of the information that I learned in the classrooms at UW were taken and applied to the opportunities I pursued during my undergrad years. I took the knowledge I had just learned and looked for opportunities where I could apply this knowledge to real life experiences such as study abroad, three different internships, and a research assistant position. Each application I submitted had the risk of rejection and that was a risk I was willing to take. One of the biggest lessons I learned in the classroom is that you cannot achieve anything if you don’t try. By “shooting my shot,” I only net gain in the long run. Because of these experiences I took a risk on, I ended up learning and practicing the key experiences and skills I needed to get my dream job. After I graduate, I will be taking the position of Assistant Director of Health and Wellness at the Kent YMCA. I am Ready for What is Next.

How does the Husky 100 inspire other students?

Husky 100 gives other students something to achieve and strive for. It also gives students a little bit more motivation to take risks and pursue experiences to really use their time here at UW to the fullest. 

Were there mentors or communities that were a part of your journey at UW?

First and foremost, my husband Navid and fellow undergrad student in the Public Health-Global Health major has been my number one supporter, challenger and friend. Without him, I wouldn’t have had the strength to continue on this student/working mom journey alone.

My undergraduate academic advisor Donna Sharpe has been such a kind and caring mentor to me especially before I decided what I wanted to major in. She has mentored me through my many changes of majors and written loads of letters of recommendations for me. But most importantly, she believed in me when I wasn’t doing so well.

Professor Clarence Spigner, who I have taken many classes with and a study abroad to the United Kingdom, was also instrumental to my journey at UW. He is one of the few professors on this campus who talks about the hard subjects like race, racism and all of the -isms that affect people of color and people who are different from the norm. He gave me a safe space to express myself and gave me a place where I could feel like I actually belonged on this campus and for that, I am grateful.

Michelle Garrison, Director of Center for Health Innovation and Policy Science took a chance on me as a research assistant and gave me the amazing opportunity to participate in and experience policy research at the University of Washington. Lars Almquist, PhD student and graduate research assistant at the Center mentored me and really went out of his way to teach me valuable new things in the research world.

Marita White, a TA in the very first class I took at the UW (who later became my classmate and friend in another quarter), helped me in more ways than I can count.

Finally, the friends I made at the IMA and the friends I made in the Public Health-Global Health major Aisha (my first friend at UW!), Julia, Abdi, Natalie, Nick, Anwar and Sammie. Through thick and thin, 1:00 AM study sessions, group work, and post-exam celebrations, my journey here at the UW was so much better and more enjoyable because of them.