Husky 100

August 26, 2019

Student Stories: Wesley K. Tatum

Wesley K. Tatum2019 Husky 100 Wes Tatum

Vancouver, WA
Ph.D., Materials Science & Engineering (Materials Engineering), Data Science Concentration

Year awarded 2019

To me, the Husky 100 acknowledges that the UW has changed, if only a little, by my work and that the community I’ve poured my time, effort, and passion into appreciates it.

The Husky 100 is a celebration of the hard work that we have all put into these efforts. I have been fortunate enough to have so much support from my family, friends, department, and community; this award reflects more than my own work. The Husky 100 showcases all of the great ways that students have worked for the larger community of students around them. In many cases, it also shows how much support there is at the UW for students that want to make a difference, in terms of both resources and guidance.

To me, the most important of these criteria is ‘A commitment to an inclusive community’. By dedicating myself to including those around me and those far away, in the wonderful opportunities that I have gotten, I have had to be a leader, I have had to connect concepts and communities, I have had to work together with others toward creative solutions and opportunities, and I have had to prepare for the future. Through my continued leadership in Diversity In Clean Energy (DICE), I am able to organize and host events, conversations, and opportunities for my fellow students and myself to learn about life beyond school and how to make that transition. Through my work in Puerto Rico and Guatemala, I am able to share sustainable and resilient electricity with communities that need it most. To me, the embodiment of the Husky 100 is somebody who sees a need around them, steps up to address it, and (crucially) works to make sure everybody has access to the solution.

In my UW journey, I’m lucky to have an advisor, Professor Christine Luscombe, that has been constantly supportive of my work both in and out of the lab. She is a constant example of dedicated and thorough work, commitment to inclusion, and passion for research. Throughout this journey, I’ve also gotten to work closely with Professor Lilo Pozzo, who leads the work in Puerto Rico and who now advises the new student group I’ve started, Sustainable Energy Empowering Development (SEED), which is now working in Guatemala. Professor Pozzo’s passion for engaging the community around her and devotion to sustainable and equitable energy implementation has shown me just how much impact an individual can have both within their community and for those around the globe.