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2020 Celebration Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the 2020 EOP Scholars. For a full list of our 2020 Celebration Merit Scholars click here.

Tyler Agafonov
Robert T. and Nancy J. Knight Scholar
Major: Journalism and Political Science

After graduating with my degrees in journalism and political science, one of my main goals is to go into journalism or a career in communications to cover the vibrant Native American communities around the United States. Working with my Alutiiq community in Southwest Alaska is important to me and I hope to give back in the future.


Adam Ahmed
Sara Little Turnbull Foundation Endowed Scholarship
Major: Interactive Design
Minor: Informatics

My post baccalaureate plans are to become a UX designer someday and use those skills to help change the world. A career in UX, will ultimately allow me to apply the skills I learn in school and use my unique perspective to create products that are more accessible to historically underrepresented communities that are often overlooked.

Alejandro Diaz
Murray, Pitre, Baker, Rosebaugh Scholar    
Major: Bioengineering

After graduation, I hope to research in a bioengineering lab for my gap year while I apply to medical school. I want to perform interesting experiments that utilize the knowledge and skills I have gained throughout undergrad to hopefully earn a publication or produce meaningful results. As a medical student, I hope to determine my future career as a doctor. I am confident in my focus to become a surgeon, but unsure whether general, orthopedics, or neurological surgery would be the best fit for me. There are very few people of color who are surgeons in the US. Given the Latinx population in the US, it is important for more Latinx people to aspire in becoming surgeons. I dream of returning to the Yakima Valley and to provide quality medical treatment for underserved populations.

Marlisa Hall
Del Rio Global Citizens Scholar
Major: Public Health

I plan on applying for MD/MPH Programs because I am passionate about quality patient care, research, teaching others how to take care of themselves and I am a big activist for preventive care. As a potential future public health researcher and educator, I want to work in community outreach and focus on preventive care while planning on being a MD as well. As a future MD I plan on not only focusing on treatment for those who already have been diagnosed with certain diseases, I believe preventive care is just as important as medical treatment and preventive care is less costly than treatment for certain conditions that could be prevented. This is something I would like to incorporate in my practice as I plan to practice in low-income communities.

Erin B. Lee
Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program Scholar
Master of Education: Public Health

I wish to continue placing Black women’s and Black babies’ health at the forefront. After graduation, I hope to continue conducting research and improving public health programming focused on understanding and eliminating racial disparities in maternal and neonatal outcomes by working at the intersection of health practice, policy, and research using the reproductive justice framework.

Neona Lowe
President’s Achievement Award
Major: Bioengineering

I plan on dedicating my career to developing therapeutics that can contribute to health equity. I have been accepted into the 5-year BS/MS program in the Department of Bioengineering. After earning my degree through the BS/MS program, I plan to gain experience working in industry for a few years before returning to school to earn my PhD. By working in industry, I hope to identify the key challenges limiting our ability to effectively develop critical medications needed in low resource settings. I plan to focus my PhD studies on addressing these needs.

Annette Mercedes
Lydia A. Gonzales Scholar
Major: Anthropology
Minor: Microbiology

I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am for my experience thus far at UW. When I made the incredibly difficult and challenging decision to change my life and return to school at the age of 36, I really wasn’t sure if I was nuts or incredibly brave. I was so sure of what I thought I wanted to do, but through my experience here, I found a new and unexpected passion and journey. My plan, once I compete my bachelors, is to continue into graduate school. After taking Immune 441, I’m leaning heavily toward a program focusing on Immunology and infectious disease. There is still a part of me that is drawn to physical/biological anthropology. I really love the idea of field work in one health and the human primate interface of disease. I plan to really explore both options over my final year.

Lauren Morales
Educational Opportunity Program Scholar
Major: Public Health

As the daughter of immigrant parents, the lack of advocacy and failed support for informing migrant farm workers of health risks from working in harsh conditions is why I choose Public Health-Global Health. I plan to pursue a master’s degree in Health Policy to continue researching how intersecting disparities affect the physical and mental health of migrant farm working families but specifically focusing on the health and vulnerability of migrant children, as well as promoting health inequities in underserved communities. I plan to work alongside vulnerable groups to provide them with opportunities and ethical health services that they may be ostracized from. I know the impacts that political decision making has on humanity and hope to one day reform policies and continue advocating for the health and the best interest of those who are constantly being failed and discriminated by institutionalized systems.

Anush Mughnetsyan
QFC Scholar
Major: Geography
Minor: Informatics

I am planning to graduate the UW with two baccalaureate degrees: Major in Geography and Informatics. I plan to combine and utilize all the knowledge from Geographic Information Systems and Informatics to improve the efficiency of usage of oil and gas and water industries. It is evident that eventually, humanity is going to turn its attention to the water industry. And I plan to further my education by attending a graduate school.

Michaela Nelson
University of Washington Athletic Scholar
Major: Public Health
Minor: Diversity

After graduation, I plan on working in public health during my gap year while applying to MPH programs. My goal is to improve the health outcomes of racial and ethnic minorities through community based initiatives and effective policy change. My passion is to promote equity and justice through public health work and I’m excited for the new opportunities ahead of me.

Dalton Owens
Dr. Millie Russell Scholar
Major: Community, Environment and Planning/Political Science
Minor: Architecture & Law Societies and Justice

I have aspirations of working in government in some capacity down the road, playing a role in city development, and voicing the concerns and opinions of people that may not typically be heard. Post undergrad I plan on entering a graduate school program for public policy, a degree that I believe pairs well with the multidisciplinary experience I hope to culminate during the rest of my time in college. My major in CEP encompasses what I believe are the necessary experiences for me to take full advantage of my time as an undergraduate student. Having a course plan that aligns specifically with what I hope to learn gives me a bank of knowledge unlike other majors. I hope to become proficient in topics surrounding the built environment while also complementing this knowledge with an understanding of the people and social structures that interact with it.

Bryan Phan
Wells Fargo Vice President’s Achievement Award  
Major: Informatics
Minor:  Economics

After I graduate from the University of Washington with a major in Informatics and a minor in Economics, I hope to work at a tech company like Microsoft or Amazon as a Product Manager or Software Developer. I hope to go back to South Seattle and give back to the community that raised me by giving the younger generations access to opportunities I could only dream of as a kid growing up. I want to initiate programs such as teaching coding to youth, so that kids can see that there are other actual ways of making it out the hood besides becoming an NBA player or rapper. I hope to change the lives of these kids that might be going down a path towards violence. I want to show them there are other ways to make money besides selling drugs or robbing people. Where I come from, kids growing up are surrounded by a lot of bad influences, so I hope to outweigh the bad influences with good positive influences in my community so kids see another way of life.

Sierra Red Bow (Lakota)
Robert T. and Nancy J. Knight Scholar  
Major: American Indian Studies & Environmental Science Resource Management

As an ESRM and AIS major, I feel torn apart at an institution like UW where many fields of study are siloed apart. This makes it very difficult to pursue tribal resource management with an Indigenous framework; however, I persist because I know I can make a difference in my community. I love caring for my plant and animal relatives; however, I continue to recognize the lack of respect for Indigenous knowledge in the environmental field. I plan to manage resources with tribal communities, but I also feel responsible to address the issues within this education system. Whether I work with tribes, urban Native communities, or in a classroom, I know I will be educating the broader community in some facet on topics like treaty rights, relationally, environmental racism, and decolonizing the way we manage our resources. Moving forward, I plan to continue to graduate school to build my depth and breadth of critical Indigenous studies and the environment as not siloed but interrelated fields.

Lindsey Santos
Gary D. Kimura Family Scholar
Major: Education, Communities, and Organizations

In the future, I hope to have the opportunity to support students in enacting strong plans for higher education. Education isn’t always equally accessible for everyone so I would like to support others, specifically those who might be in marginalized communities, in doing so. It is also a dream of mine to travel the world, so hopefully this goal of mine will allow me to do so.

Ammara Touch
William P. and Ruth Gerberding/Early Identification Program Scholar
Major: American Ethnic Studies & Biology (Ecology, Evolution, Conservation)
Minor: Diversity & Oceania & Pacific Islander Studies

My dream to be an educator-activist and the first in my family to earn a PhD to become a professor is reinforced by a desire to facilitate community healing. I seek to transform western environmentalism through a de-colonial lens–recognizing the traumatizing impact of colonial ideologies that has severed our relationships to land, culture, communities, and ourselves–while also rendering visible acts of resistance by BIPOC frontline communities fighting environmental injustices. In addressing how to restore relationships to land that have been dehumanized through community-based research and activism, I hope to revitalize environmental education in a way that is inclusive, radical and intentional in honoring all worldviews. I see my position in academia to shift power dynamics within institutions for communities to take back power, facilitate accountability in addressing environmental injustice, and empower through representation as a Khmer American womxn in science pushing for collective liberation.

Grace-Damona Tuato’o

Bank of America Scholar
Major: American Ethnic Studies & Public Health
Minor: Diversity

When I graduate, I want to attend a medical institution in Fiji. The University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, has a scholarship program through the Londan Baines Johnson (LBJ) hospital in American Samoa where I hope to return to as a doctor. I am hoping to be accepted into the scholarship program and attend medical school to begin my journey of achieving a medical degree. I chose this path because I intend to become a doctor where I was born and raised. To work as a doctor back home, has been a lifetime goal of mine.

Isa Whalen
Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program Legacy Scholar              
Major: Anthropology
Minor: Oceania & Pacific Islander Studies, Aquatic & Fisheries Sciences

I plan to attend graduate school after completing my bachelors at UW, aspiring for an accelerated doctoral program in Sociocultural Anthropology. With my studies, I want to change how research procedures are done with indigenous peoples by advocating and using indigenous methodologies, and expand anthropology/ethno archaeology in Guam.