Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

2015 Celebration Scholarship Recipients


Romero-SavannahSavannah Romero

President’s Achievement Award
Major: Social Work
Minors: American Indian Studies, Diversity

As a former foster care youth, low-income student and Native American woman, Savannah has been inspired to serve and advocate for people from similar backgrounds. As a trainer with Treehouse, she mentored youth in the foster care system. As an ambassador for the OMA&D Recruitment and Outreach team, she delivered college access programs to underrepresented minority middle and high school students. Savannah also gives back by interning with Service Board, an at-risk youth mentoring program that helped her navigate tough times when she was in high school. An active voice in student leadership, her many campus activities include serving as president/chairwoman of UW First Nations and ASUW director of the American Indian Student Commission. She was a member of the student coalition that led efforts to pass a diversity course requirement for UW undergraduates and currently interns in the office of U.S. Congressman Adam Smith. Being a voice for underrepresented populations and influencing policy change is her passion.  A seven-time Dean’s List honoree, Savannah will graduate this spring. She plans to attend law school and specialize in tribal, human rights or environmental law.


McDonald-MaxMax McDonald
Wells Fargo Vice President’s Achievement Award
Majors: Business Administration (Finance), Mathematics, Spanish

Max was raised in foster homes until the age of 12 when he and his brother were adopted by their grandparents. This instability caused him to fall back academically and Max received a GED rather than graduating from high school. Over the next 10 years, he worked for a local auto group. But in 2008 when the recession hit he was forced to think about pursuing a more secure career in business. At age 28, Max enrolled at Seattle Central Community College. He then transferred to the UW, while at the same time struggling to provide for his two children and manage his academic responsibilities. However, Max found encouragement from several OMA&D programs, including the Instructional Center where he now serves as a student tutor. Because of his experiences, he is committed to being a mentor and serving the less fortunate so they too can access higher education. Max plans to pursue a Ph.D. in development economics, conduct research and teach. Ultimately, he wants to demonstrate to his son and daughter, David and Jocelyn, that through education they too can realize their own full potential.


Ashley Adlay

Ashley Alday
Educational Opportunity Program Celebration Scholar
Major: Social Welfare

After graduation, Ashley intends to gain experience that will assist in her pursuit of a master’s degree. Her goal is to become a social worker in the public education system and work with at-risk high school students.


Diana Betancort

Diana Betancourt
Lydia A. Gonzales Scholar
Major: Political Science

After graduation, Diana plans to attend law school and then serve in public office so she can make a difference in her community through policies and action.


Jocelyn Castillo

Jocelyn Castillo
Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program Legacy Scholar
Major: Public Health

Jocelyn intends to attain a master’s degree in public health before returning to her community in the Yakima Valley so she can work with the Latino and Native American populations there.


Guterson-Natalie

Natalie Guterson
Del Rio Global Citizens Scholar
Major: Spanish

After graduation, Natalie plans to enter the Peace Corps before returning to the Pacific Northwest to become a high school Spanish teacher.


Nguyen-Jimmy

Jimmy Nguyen
Murray, Pitre, Baker, Rosebaugh Scholar
Major: Psychology

Jimmy has dreamed of going into medicine since he was a child. After graduation, he intends to work as an emergency medical technician to gain experience and funds for medical school.


Pak-Alecia

Alecia Pak
Educational Opportunity Program Celebration Scholar
Majors: Pre-Nursing & Public Health

After graduation, Alecia plans to become a registered nurse and eventually go on to work as a pediatric nurse practitioner.


Personius-DeeAnna

DeeAnna Personius
Robert T. and Nancy J. Knight Scholar
Major: Social Welfare

DeeAnna intends to pursue a master’s degree and become a clinical social worker who serves Native Americans with mental health issues.


Keyaria-Rhodes

Keyaria Rhodes
Bank of America Scholar
Major: Political Science
Minor: Law, Societies and Justice

After graduation, Keyaria aspires to participate in the political science Ph.D. program at the UW and focus on race relations.


Salgado-Randy

Randy Salgado
Educational Opportunity Program Celebration Scholar
Major: Communication (Journalism)

Randy plans to obtain a master’s degree in digital media before going on to pursue a Ph.D. and conduct research on gender roles in Latin culture.


Shepard-Chad

Chad Shapard
Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program Legacy Scholar
Major: Business Administration (Accounting/Information Systems)
Minor: Political Science

Chad plans to either attend law school to become an attorney in disability law or start his own technology company to help employers find suitable candidates.


Shelton-Danny

Danny Shelton
University of Washington Athletic Scholar
Major: Anthropology

Danny plans to pursue a career in the National Football League and enter graduate school. He also hopes to establish a youth club in his community focused on elite standards in education and sports.


Smith-Ashley
Ashley Smith
School of Medicine Scholar
MD Program
First – Year Medical Student

Ashley’s goal is to become a family physician who helps underserved populations in Eastern, Washington.  She also wants to affect lives beyond the medical clinic by providing lifestyle and health education.


Sarra-Tekola

Sarra Tekola
William P. and Ruth Gerberding/Early Identification Program Scholar
Major: Environmental Science & Resource Management

Sarra plans to pursue a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary environmental science and policy. Her ultimate goal is to become a science policy advisor to government agencies and politicians.


Washington-Shanece

Shanece Washington
Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program Scholar
Audiology Doctoral Student

Shanece plans to work towards improving the quality of life for military personnel with hearing loss or balance disturbance by providing competent audiologic care in a medical setting.


Yamane-Nicole

Nicole Yamane
QFC Scholar
Major: Political Science

After graduation, Nicole plans to attend law school and go on to serve underrepresented minority populations by ensuring they have equal legal, civil and political rights.