UW Student & Faculty News

Launching the Coast Salish s.dəxʷìł canoe – Stories from the Burke Museum

The traditional Native canoe that resides in the ASUW Shell House has a vivid past! Read more about the story and the many people that had a hand its revival on the Burke Museum’s website here. (Photo: Rachel Ormiston/Burke Museum)



July 2020 – Congratulations Graduates!

Congratulations to our student graduates and the passion and talent they have lent to this important project!

Alex Chen

BA Interdisciplinary Visual Arts & Video Arts – you know him as our incredible videographer whose talent and creativity made our latest campaign video and is ready to share his gift with the world! Thank you, Alex!

Alex’s LinkedIn –




Brooke McCulloch

MA Museology – was drawn to this project in many ways – a rower at Seattle U an undergraduate, now at LWRC (both, have roots at the ASUW Shell House) and as a volunteer at the Center for Wooden Boats.  Her thesis entitled, “Connecting Community to History: A Framework for Permanent Exhibits at the ASUW Shell House” which created a deliverable to share some of the many areas of the building and its future storytelling with donors, and our future design and contractor team.  Please enjoy reading her compelling exhibit framework narrative.

Brooke’s LinkedIn –


Emma Jane ‘EJ’ Opsal

MA Museology – completed her graduate thesis by interviewing a handful of our board members and a robust literature review to create a “Decision Making Toolkit for the ASUW Shell House at stəx̌ʷugʷił”. EJ understood the complex nature of the project and its many stakeholders.  Her toolkit gives the framework for how our board and linked leadership could help tackle the big questions that lie ahead.



Kelty Pierce

BA Communication, Minors in Drama & Diversity – as our ASUW President – Kelty brought deep passion and commitment to the project under her leadership. She also joined us in Olympia on our 7AM presentation to the Heritage Caucus which helped us to secure a $100,000 capital gift in March!  She is now the Campaign Manager at Denny Heck for Lt Governor.

Kelty’s LinkedIn –



Krista Doersch

MA Landscape Architecture – completed her thesis entitled “Pier Pressure – Addressing Ecological Opportunities of Nearshore Infrastructure in Lake Washington’s Union Bay”.  In her research she examined the waterfront and shoreline bordering the shell house and adjacent marina to redesign and improve for not just safety and beauty, but also for ecological improvement.  She also served on the UBRC Rowing team as captain, and helped me in any many of our events over the last two years.

Krista’s LinkedIn –


Owen Oliver

Owen will be graduating next year, 2021 in American Indian Studies and Political Science but wanted to share the transformative and important work that he is a part of.  We first met because he is a member of the Oliver Canoe family (the Willapa Spirit resting in the ASUW Shell House) among many other leadership roles for campus and community he is the Secretary of Youth Advisory Board for the Center for Native American Youth.  Owen writes to share that, “The Indigenous Futures Project (IFP) is a joint project between the Center for Native American YouthIllumiNative, and the Native Organizers Alliance to gather and disseminate critical information and strategies about the priorities and needs of Native communities in preparation for the 2020 election. The keystone of this project is the Indigenous Futures Survey (IFS)- the first survey in Indian Country that provides an opportunity for all Native peoples to be a part of shaping our future, offering a platform for understanding critical issues impacting Indian Country that can be used to motivate change.”

Owen’s LinkedIn –