Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

2022 Celebration Scholarship Recipients

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Congratulations to the 2022 EOP Scholars! View the full list of our 2022 Celebration Merit Scholars.

Tory Bearbow

Victoria BearBow (Southern Cheyenne)
Robert T. & Nancy J. Knight Scholar
Major: Informatics

After I graduate with my bachelor’s in informatics, I plan on working with my Indigenous community in Oklahoma in some way that helps with digital storytelling. It’s important to our people that we have the tradition of storytelling be present, and technology allows us to always have these stories. In addition to hopefully creating databases for digital storytelling I want to work with an organization called Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) to make a national database for those victims, as there isn’t a database like it yet. There is a significant lack of data on the disproportionate violence experienced by Indigenous women, and in order to effectively address this issue, there needs to be consistent data for researchers, community members, activists, etc. to have access to, and I want to help make this happen.


Allen Bickham

Allen D’shawn Bickham
Murray, Pitre, Baker and Rosebaugh Scholar
Major: Public Health-Global Health

I intend to pursue a career in dentistry after graduating from the University of Washington, and I plan to apply to dental school in May 2022. My dream is to work in this fascinating field that has sparked my interests. During the summer after my freshman year, I participated in the University of Washington’s Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP). This program aimed at enhancing access to information and resources for minority and economically disadvantaged students interested in health professions and allowed me to observe several dentists in their practices. It was then that I knew this was the right path for me. Furthermore, I realized that I must be open to change and be willing to explore and learn new things that are outside of my comfort zone.


Vanessa Gloria Gomez

Vanessa Gomez
Cesar Cauce Memorial Scholar
Major: Social Welfare
Minor: Education, Learning, & Society

After I graduate with my degree in Social Welfare, and minor in Education Learning and Societies, I hope to enter the social work field and work with youth, families, and immigrant communities. After a couple years getting some field experience, I am determined to go back to school and receive my master’s in Social welfare so that I may become a licensed clinical social worker in schools. My ultimate career goal is to become a school social worker. I am excited to continue my path forward as a social worker and I deeply look forward to the work that I will be doing, the people I will be supporting, and the lived experiences I will be learning from!


Raymond Haug

Raymond Haug
Bank of America Scholar
Major: Mechanical Engineering

I intend on pursuing a graduate degree in engineering when I graduate in 2023. I am considering a research topic in bioengineering, to help people like my injured friend. I also have the potential to keep working for SpaceX upon graduation, but as the father of two, and husband of another UW student, I have to decide what is best for my family. I know that as an older student my chances of returning to college after entering the workforce are slimmer than if I just push through now. Also, I fell in love with learning. Every quarter I realize how much more there is to discover and how much bigger the world is than it thought it was. The challenge of solving problems that no one has the answer to is…exciting.


Kai Hoopii
Educational Opportunity Program Scholar
Major: Economics

Ever since I was a little boy, I have always wanted to do something that would benefit or help others. In my mind, the deciding factor for what career I would choose is, how can I help the most people in an impactful way. When looking at the present-day political atmosphere and the state of the union, I lean towards wanting to major in economics and then go on to pursue a law degree. At the moment, this is my plan, and from there I would make my way up to become a lawmaker. Being a legislator would enable me to address many more concerns other than just healthcare, such as racial inequality, the gender wage gap, LGBTQ+ rights, raising the minimum wage, and so much more.


Sheharbano Jafry

Sheharbano Jafry
Dr. Gabriel Gallardo Scholar
Major: Biochemistry and English
Minor: Global Health

After college, I would like to combine my two passions for medicine and education by becoming a doctor specializing in preventative medicine. As a medical school student, I will use my advocacy and education research experience to help reform medical school education to incorporate preventative medicine more thoroughly within the curriculum. Additionally, having seen the number of uninsured people in my own community and the language barriers that exist, I want to work with elected officials in creating legislation that provides increased access to healthcare and culturally sensitive tools in public hospitals.


Veronica Johanson-Faison

Veronica Johanson-Faison
Willie C. Freeney Scholarship for Excellence Scholar
Major: Social Welfare
Minor: Diversity (American Ethnic Studies)

I know that my purpose in life is to support others, I knew this even as a child. While at UW, I hope to achieve my master’s in social welfare, continue learning Japanese, and study abroad in order to learn how other communities are impacted by oppression. My post-baccalaureate plans involve continuing to organize, staying engaged with my community, create art, work with youth and work to abolish the police and prisons. I firmly believe I can be a part of the many alternatives to policing and incarceration. I don’t know what my career path will be just yet, but I hope to create an existence for myself in which I can intersect art, youth engagement, social justice, community engagement and environmental justice. There are SO many things I am passionate about.


Lia Kaluna

Lia Kaluna
President’s Achievement Award Scholar
Major: Nursing

I intend to complete a new grad nurse residency during my first year as a registered nurse. I am interested in critical care and hope to eventually, if not immediately, work in a surgical intensive care unit. Eventually, I hope to pursue further education to attain a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia. As kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiian), I also intend to continue community-based work to advance the health and wellness of Pasifika (Pacific Islander) communities. I may contribute to community-based participatory research efforts for and driven by fellow Pasifika people, such as I have done with Ola Pasifika at the University of Washington, or seek opportunities at community organizations such as UTOPIA.


Titus Kariuki

Carerra Titus Kariuki
Dr. Millie Russell Scholar
Major: Mathematics

My post-baccalaureate plans entail being a consulting analyst at Accenture, stinting into entrepreneurship, and likely enrolling in grad school. I want to venture into entrepreneurship by establishing my brand, Carerra’s Chronicles – my blog where I post motivational, inspirational, and thoughtful content about the world. Some future ideas I’m considering include a podcast, personal coaching, thought leadership. Grad school is also a probability depending on how my career and entrepreneurship plans go. If I do stay at Accenture longer I can apply for a STEM master’s degree, or if my business starts to rise, I might attend business school to learn about business management and connect with other entrepreneurs and investors.


Monea Kerr

Monea Kerr (Jamestown S’Klallam)
Graduate Student Equity and Excellence Scholar
Major: Master of Public Administration (Environmental Policy)

After graduating with my MPA, I am looking forward to taking a pause and basking in my achievements by taking a trip to Portugal. I will likely travel around the Mediterranean and enjoy time to myself to reflect on my graduate student experience and to envision what I would like my life to look like moving forward. I’m not in any rush to find a job and I think taking time to breathe after graduating will give me a much-needed wellness boost. I’m happy to have the opportunity to take this time and know that it will be something I cherish forever. After my travels, I plan to follow my passions as I launch my career in environmental policy, incorporating ocean conservation, restoration, marine policy and Indigenous rights.


Linh Pham

Linh Pham 
William P. & Ruth Gerberding | Early Identification Program Scholar
Major: Microbiology

After finishing my Bachelor of Science, I am planning to join a master’s program in Information Systems. Through my studies at UW, I learned about how healthcare and information technology are becoming more and more interdependent in shaping the health outcomes of patients and facilitating professionals in providing the best care. As a result, that inspired me to learn more about what technology has to offer. And, just like that, I fell in love while exploring the field of information and became conscious of the power of technology in advancing healthcare. I want to contribute to bridging the seemingly unrelated fields of information and healthcare. To pursue this goal, I am going to study a master’s program in Information Systems then pursue medical school.


Veronika Pon

Veronika Pon
Gary D. Kimura Family Scholar
Major: Mechanical Engineering

As I continue to explore my academics, my future ambitions are more vivid and starting to take shape. This summer I’m looking for an internship to gain engineering experience by applying what I’ve learned in the classroom. I want to specialize in mechatronics and am currently studying for the SolidWorks license exam to combine my interests in art design and engineering. My post-baccalaureate plan is to find a job in the Seattle-Tacoma area to stay close to my family, as well as give back to my community. My experience as a first-generation student is challenging because I had to explore college on my own. I want to be a resource for other students, especially to provide my perspective as a woman of color studying in a male-dominated industry. Support systems for other females is very much needed, and I recognize my unique opportunity to be able to provide it.


Cristian Sanchez
QFC Scholar
Major: Business
Minor: Diversity

I was recently admitted to business school and plan on pursuing the finance and accounting concentrations under the business administration major. I hope to stay in the financial planning and analysis area of finance for a while since I really enjoy working with numbers and it’s the reason why I’m pursuing the two business tracks that I’ve decided on. I also hope to eventually find myself in the banking industry or the broader world of financial services. The ideal situation for me would be to find myself somewhere in finance doing what I believe I do best and love to do.


Sharlene Shirali

Sharlene Shirali
Lydia A. Gonzales Scholar
Major: Neuroscience

After graduation I hope to continue my education within in the field of Neuroscience. I am passionate about continuing to study and understand the brain mechanisms behind chronic neurological disorders and addiction. In my future career, I hope to combine my love for research with my passion for helping others and ideally contribute to the development of novel treatments.


Noah Stanigar

Noah Stanigar
Del Rio Global Citizens Scholar
Major: Business: Marketing & Information Systems

Currently my goal is to work in artists and repertoire for a record label. Music has been one of my main passions since I first learned to play the piano. I still have the memories of me sitting on the piano bench with my feet dangling over the floor at three years old. Combining my other passion of mentoring, artists and repertoire is the perfect job for me. It is a combination of scouting, marketing, managing, and mentoring. I hope to use my degree to gain some influence and join a record label at the highest position I can enter. I also have a goal of creating my own record label one day. I believe that hard work will get you places, it might not be where you want to go at the time, but you have to trust the process.


Jaymz Walters

Jaymz Walters
Wells Fargo Vice President’s Achievement Award Scholar
Major: Finance & Information Systems

After graduating from the University of Washington in Finance and Information Systems I plan on becoming an adjunct teacher for a Washington state community college, preferably teaching personal finance. I hope that by doing this I can teach the many who might not understand the intricacies of the financial world how to overcome them. The first step I am taking to achieve this goal is interning with Deloitte this summer. I hope that through Deloitte I can take on a full-time role as a consultant and learn as much as I can so that my teaching efforts can give students a window into the real world.


Makayla Woods

Makayla Woods
UW Athletic Scholar
Major: Sociology
Minor: Education and Diversity

In the future, I plan on getting my Master of Social Work at the University of Southern California. After I finish school I plan on opening up my own private practice to help youth and families of color. I would like to provide mental health resources, affordable therapy, and the tools to navigate life as a marginalized person in society. My goal is to provide a safe space for children and their families to thrive and get the help they deserve.


Sang Wan Yu

Sang-Won Yu
Friends of the Educational Opportunity Fund Legacy Scholar
Major: Informatics

I am planning on finishing my B.S. in Informatics in 2023, with a degree option in data science. I am seeking internships related to my field immediately after graduation, and eventually to land a job as a data analyst. I have also been considering seeking advanced degrees in data science or related fields provided I can find ways to finance further education. Regardless of which path I will take after graduation, I would like to always maintain persistence, optimism, and friendships that I have cultivated throughout my life here at UW. Not only have I learned new knowledge and skills, but I have also met so many incredible human beings from across the country and around the world. They have opened my eyes to the world that is much bigger than I thought. I would like to keep exploring new things full of surprises.