Professional Staff Organization

Past PSO Scholarship recipient testimonials

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Scholarship Recipient Testimonials:


Laura Phillips (Spring 2023) (The Burke Museum)

On March 30 – April 2, 2023, I attended the Society for American Archaeology Conference in Portland, OR. This conference is designed for practitioners of Archaeology, primarily in North America. Participants include archaeologists from universities as well as in the private sector (Cultural Resource Management), along with representatives from Tribal Nations and Federal, State and local agencies. … Throughout the four days, I was able to attend many panels focused on how to perform Archaeology in more responsible and inclusive ways, particularly with Indigenous communities. The most important aspect of the conference were two discussion/panels: one questioned what Archaeology might look like if it were designed directly and exclusively by the questions and concerns of Tribal Nations; the other was about how to teach and talk about Archaeology with an inclusive and indigenous framework. Both two-hour panels allowed for lots of questions from people with a myriad of opinions from around the US.

My paper, “Seeing Archaeology When You Can’t See: a pilot project for blind/low-vision museum visitors” was unique to the conference, and was very well received. Surprisingly, I was asked to publish the paper in an International, open-source journal, that will ultimately be an important part of my professional development. Since my return from the conference, I have had several colleagues from the Pacific Northwest reach out to me to comment positively on my paper.

In sum, I cannot thank the PSO Scholarship Committee enough for awarding me this scholarship. It will have an impact for years into the future, not just because of the paper I was able to give, but also because of the valuable personal contacts I made. Thank you so much!


Emma Biscocho (Pelletier) (Winter 2023) Community Engagement and Leadership Education Center

The Western Region Continuums of Service Consortium is a biannual event in which higher educational institutions engaging in community engagement work come together to share best practices, research outcomes, and opportunities for growth & improvement in this area of service learning. The conference this year was held March 14-17, 2023 in Honolulu, Hawaii – the theme was “Turning the Tides, Renewing our Energy”. My colleague Griselda Ramirez & I presented on “Near Peer Mentoring in Community Engaged Work.” Near peer mentoring is a framework of mentoring that connects people closer in age and/or season of life for a more robust, and oftentimes more authentic, relationship and support network. Participants in near peer mentoring can benefit from: having shared experiences and understanding of current events (i.e. how the COVID-19 pandemic affected youth learning), reciprocal support and learning, shared language and slang, and a reduced power dynamic associated with large gaps in age or advanced experience.

We highlighted key impacts to community engaged work, such as adding capacity to programming, developing student leadership skills, and expanding networks. While developing the presentation, we made sure to include for people who were interested in implementing this type of mentorship asked themselves questions about training & preparation and if this type of mentoring aligns with their own program goals for skill building.

Working collaboratively on a project that I initiated was challenging since I had to learn how to integrate other ideas and thoughts that were valuable and beneficial to the presentation. I learned a lot about my own work style and adapting that to work with someone else.  …. The site visit I joined was at Ulupō Heiau and Kawainui Fishpond – a place that is being restored to bear food as well as restoring relationships between the people and place. To be in the palace, doing the hard labor of pulling up overgrowth, shows how intentional this work must be. The organization that hosted us, Kaluakalana, shared about how they are restoring this land with the people and community through aloha ‘aina (love of land) practices. They don’t sell the kalo/taro or ulu/breadfruit that are produced on the land, but give it away freely to the community and share how it is cooked & used.

The most impactful keynote for me was Dr. Sandra Bass (UC Berkeley) who spoke on “Radical Interdependence” and community care. I connected this back to the site visit with Kaluakalana, where this interdependence between community and land is so necessary for fruition. When thinking about my own community engaged work, I was able to ask myself questions around “How can I be more connected to these communities I serve?” I want to be able to make more time in my year to do site visits to the schools that my interns serve at, to help identify areas of support as well as just get a better idea of the work in which my students engage.


Sarah Fish (Winter 2022) (PNASH Center)

The mission of the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health (PNASH) Center at the UW is to conduct research and promote best safety and health practices for Northwest producers, workers, and communities in farming, fishing, and forestry. The training and education resources that PNASH Center creates are important to support occupational safety and health education for farms and farmworkers in our Pacific Northwest region. Our team is always looking for new ways to help share these resources. As part of our efforts towards outreach and communication, our staff already utilizes many different digital media outlet channels. Podcasting is an outreach tool that will bolster these efforts.

Podcasting is a unique format in that it lets individual stories shine. Every human being has a story, and telling individual stories can be powerful, personal, and direct. Over the course of the past 8 weeks, the Podcast Storytelling Workshop, offered by Story Center, has sharpened my ability to craft a story. Though it sounds simple, it is a skill that can be used in audio or the written word. Powerful stories often play a major part in reaching our audience – agricultural producers and farmworkers. In the course of eight weeks, I was able to produce a short 8-minute podcast exploring a personal theme. I hope to continue developing existing audio content that the PNASH Center has in its archive .

Your financial support for this project helps to enhance the skill-set of our PNASH Center communications team, to tell the stories of (and to) our stakeholders, many of whom are from under-represented communities .


Joseph de Veyra (Autumn 2022) (Professional Development and Nursing Excellence)

Under my leadership in HMC, the Level 1 trauma center achieved Magnet Designation in May of 2022. The Magnet program recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. As of April 2022, only 9.3% of hospitals in the US are Magnet designated. Of those, approximately <0.08% of all hospitals in the US are safety net hospitals such as HMC. This would not have been possible without my knowledge of statistics and strategy from the MPH program. With the help of the MPH program, I built key initiatives to elevate the nursing practice at HMC. He piloted a Leadership Development Program to optimize succession planning in the organization. The curriculum included key competencies such as epidemiology and communication. Twenty-five percent of the graduates were promoted to a higher position. I also fostered DE&I by piloting a train-the-trainer HEALs program, an evidence-based framework for addressing microaggressions in the workplace. Both initiatives were highlighted by Magnet appraisers during the site visit. Hence, the MPH program is my catalyst for success!


Norma Perez (Autumn 2022) (School of Nursing & Health Studies)

NACADA is the Global Community for Academic advising. NACADA is a professional organization that is open to anyone who engages in academic advising; helping students in higher education realize their dreams and reach their full potential. At NACADA I had the opportunity to attend “Navigating the Social Bases of Power to Influence Change.” As a woman of color (and a natural introvert), at times I find it difficult to speak up and advocate for what I believe is best for our students. During the session, we discussed different bases of power (reward, coercive, legitimate, expert, referent, and information). And in turn, we were asked to identify the dominant types of power and influence we each possess in our professional environments. Working one on one with both prospective and current students, I am the one on the ground listening to their concerns, and with this knowledge and information which are of value to our faculty, I can utilize to create change. … This session left me feeling empowered, and confident in my ability to advocate for the students we serve.


Kathleen Dougherty (Autumn 2022) (Burke Museum)

I attended the Western Museum Association Annual Meeting in Portland, OR. The WMA’s mission is “Transforming the museum field through collaboration.” The WMA creates opportunities for its members to build networks, build their skill sets, and collaborate across the many museums in the Western Region of the US. Attending this conference gave me the opportunity to attend sessions that were relevant to my work at the UW and the Burke Museum and network with other museum professionals closer to home and in the west. This year sessions included “Weaving a Net(work) of Care for Oceanic Collections” and “Museums and the Fight Against Hate.” These two sessions were presented by museum professionals who identify as Pacific-Islander, Asian, or Asian-American. These are communities that I work very closely with here at the UW and Burke Museum. Learning about their programs helped me strategize ways I can improve upon my work with the communities we serve at the UW. I hope to implement a few of the practices I learned about in the sessions. Several of my colleagues from the Burke Museum presented at sessions centering around decolonization initiatives at the museum. I attended their sessions to support them and to continue to cultivate strong internal relationships here at the Burke.


Kaitlin Wright (Summer 2022) (School of Nursing & Health Studies/UW-Bothell)

In October 2022, I attended the in-person NACADA Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon with funding from PSO. … This year, the conference sessions focused on the complex task of creating and sustaining inclusive advising practices for diverse student populations, with the theme of “building bridges.” Throughout the conference, I attended sessions on the best practices in advising, was inspired by the keynote speaker, and participated in networking events which all greatly benefited my professional development. … Attending the NACADA Annual Conference has had an immense impact on my professional development. In my work as an advisor, I interact with hundreds of students throughout their lifecycle and have a hands-on role in the administrative aspects of their experience. Many of my students are a part of the BIPOC community and are the first in their family to attend a four-year institution. The session presentations and critical discussions that I had with peers provided me with an opportunity to better identify equity gaps that underrepresented students experience. I intend to take what I learned at the conference and put it into immediate use by making changes to my daily advising practice. … Thank you to the PSO for their generous scholarship!


Stanley Choi (Summer 2022) (Speech & Hearing Sciences)

I’m so honored and thankful to have received a PSO Scholarship to help reduce the costs of attending [the NACADA annual conference]. Through this professional development opportunity, I was able to connect with ideas and individuals via the keynote address, concurrent sessions and affinity groups throughout the conference. … The academic advising conference also had opportunities to connect during different affinity gatherings. I was able to attend the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) and Graduate Academic Advising networking gatherings. I found it really encouraging to connect with other APIDA and Graduate Academic advisors who share similar identities as myself. There was a sense of belonging in the academic advising community among these groups as I have often felt out of place in the academic advising profession. … [This conference] really impacted my professional development. I was able to come away with new ideas in terms of how to interact with marginalized students as well as connect with colleagues with whom I share similar affinities and identities. Thank you so much to the PSO for their support in my professional development!


Kat Eli (Autumn 2022) (Law, Societies, and Justice)

The National NACADA Conference theme this year was to encourage all of us to reflect where we started and honor those who built the foundation for our academic advising careers in higher education. Furthermore, it gives us the opportunity to recognize the perseverance and dedication that advisors have given to this profession while also looking ahead to where our paths lead in furthering academic excellent. Just WOW! I had not gone to an in-person conference in several years and I have never had the opportunity to attend the national conference for NACADA. This experience was exactly what I needed in order to reinvigorate my love for academic advising and the field of higher education. These 1:1 advising meetings with students are opportunities for us to break down systemic walls and barriers and help students navigate these institutional structures together, side-by-side. This conference brought to life new ideas to my work and also helped me unlearn habits that I no longer wish to adopt and relearn habits that I had long forgotten from my graduate school days. We can all do better and because of the PSO Scholarship program, I was able to improve and reshape the ways that I show up for students. Thank you!


Tess Wrobleski (Spring 2022) (Climate Impacts Group, College of the Environment) 

I took a course in interviewing as a social science research method through the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs with support from the Professional Scholarship Organization. This course was beneficial on a personal and professional level. I learned some of the thinking on interview methods from prestigious journalists and researchers, as well as techniques for conducting a strong interview. I also had a chance to conduct a couple interviews, which helped to hone my skills and was a great opportunity for me to learn from folks in my field. Finally, I was able to develop a research project on the topic of my choosing, which was trauma-informed interviewing. I shared the project I did on trauma-informed interview methods with my colleagues.

As a result of this course, I was able to support one of my colleagues in conducting interviews for a shared project. We conducted interviews to help evaluate progress on the Northwest Climate Resilience Collaborative, a major program of the Climate Impacts Group. These interviews will be critical for informing direction of the program over the next year. … I am grateful for the support of the Professional Development Organization in pursuing the course. Knowing that the University of Washington and the PDO values my continued education and growth as a professional makes me feel encouraged and enthusiastic about my work for the University of Washington and excited about my future career.


Karen Adams (Spring 2022) (Dean of Medicine/Clinical Trials Office)

I was able to use $500 toward the purchase of Medical Device coursework through the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS). RAPS offers a Regulatory Affairs Certificate in Medical Devices which is achieved through the completion of 9 courses. After I found out I was awarded a PSO grant, I followed up with my department and requested they pay for the completion of 3 courses that I identified as essential for my work on projects this year. The PSO grant not only paid for one course, but it also motivated me to ask for my department to cover coursework. With this additional coverage, my out of pocket for the 9 courses in the certificate program will only be $700 instead of the original ~$1,800. Essentially, receiving the PSO grant was a catalyst for me to also request my department to cover some expenses so the professional development opportunity that would benefit my day-to-day work did not fall financially on my shoulders only. Professionally, working through this coursework has helped me ensure my knowledge in device research is backed by professional training to which I can refer. … The outcome of taking this coursework goes beyond learning and documenting my knowledge in US regulations of medical devices. It has been an opportunity for me to show the need of professional development in my day-to-day work and be a better advocate for myself at work and with my teams.


Gai-Hoai Nguyen (Spring 2022) (Center for Human Rights)

I want to start by thanking the Professional Staff Organization for contributing to the costs of my attendance of the annual Association for Asian Studies (AAS) conference, which took place from March 24 to March 27, 2022. With a “personal” educational interest in Asia from my MA program and from the lack of CHR work in this region, I attended the conference to learn about human rights in Asia and connect with colleagues to explore potential collaborations. … The conference sessions that I attended were extremely helpful and interesting, those about human rights, environmental justice and indigenous knowledge and rights. … I learned a ton and obtained contact information that I can take back to my job to explore ways of sharing this knowledge. It was useful to hear from the experts who study this area, but even more impactful to hear from the indigenous communities and their allies about the struggle and fight to preserve their culture, land and rights. I met many staff colleagues who are interested in collaborating with the Center on future human rights events and workshops, which is one of the key goals of the trip.


Sally Ngo (Spring 2022) (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)

Taking the Google UX Design Professional Certificate course will help me become a coordinator and more active design participant. I currently coordinate our co-design projects, which incorporate a lot of these user-centered and human-centered design principles. This course allows me to understand more about how users may interact with the product, which helps me become a better facilitator. In addition to this, the course will provide me with creative skills and tools to elicit feedback from participants, which I can use as a facilitator as well as a team member. …

I am also coordinating a user design project, which is perfect that I am taking this course concurrently with this project. The knowledge and skills that I learn in this course, I can immediately use with this project. Already, some of the activities that I learned within the course, I have suggested as potential avenues within this user design project. … I have yet to finish the Google UX design course, but I already can see the many benefits of taking this course, including but not limited to understanding the design process and design principles more, learning more innovative activities to collect feedback and think collaboratively with all members at the table. I am excited to continue to learn and move forward in both the co-design and public policy space as well as my own personal career growth.


Lea Yang (Spring 2022) (HMC Clinical Float Pool) 

The Ambulatory Care Nursing Conference 2022 was held online from April 21st to 22nd. I attended this event virtually and watched all the pre-recorded presentations. My objective for attending this virtual conference was to enrich my knowledge and apply practical skills to my everyday job as a registered nurse. … I am continuously developing my knowledge and skills to become an effective leader and nurse in today’s complex and rapidly changing healthcare environment. The variety of conference presenters and their respective presentations help to build the framework for all healthcare professionals to strengthen their skills and make progress toward improving health of the population. I have achieved my goals and objectives after completing the 2022 virtual Ambulatory Nursing Conference.


Jessica Farmer (Spring 2022) (UW Botanic Gardens)

My role at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens is supervisor of adult education and communications. From June 20 -24, 2022, I attended the American Public Gardens Association annual conference in Portland, Oregon. This year’s conference was titled “CommUNITY of Gardens,” and the focus was on how the work of public gardens can have a greater impact on our communities, both environmentally and socially. My experience of attending the conference served both to highlight the work of UW Botanic Gardens in the public garden community, and to inspire me with ideas for programs, partnerships, events and initiatives we could pursue here at home. … I greatly appreciate the support of the PSO toward my attendance at the conference this year. I feel it was a valuable experience that will continue to enrich my work experience. Thank you!


Susan McBride (Winter 2022) (Nutrition Services – Harborview)

Executive Summary of ASPEN Clinical Nutrition Practice Conference, March 26-29, 2022

Opportunity: The American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition is the leading professional organization within the field of clinical nutrition research. Each year, their conference hosts speakers from within and outside the field to discuss new research, review guidelines and promote collaboration on topics of interest. I have attended this conference twice before, both times returning to my practice with better understanding of how to deliver care and ideas for quality improvement and research studies.
Challenges: As the manager of our clinical nutrition team at Harborview, it is my responsibility to keep up with the latest research and help my team update and implement changes when needed. … Solutions and Takeaways: All 3 of these challenges were addressed by multiple talks given at the ASPEN22 conference and I was able to take home new information and ideas to my team that addressed our questions.


Sarah Trignano (Winter 2022) (Dept Lab Medicine and Pathology/BBI)

Janice Thomas led an engaging two-day training. There was a Zoom tool she used that I have yet to experience, the annotation feature. … The annotation tool was a smart solution. I learned true definition of “project” – it has an end! And defining “End” is part of scoping the project. Most important of all, “End” is defined by funders first, stakeholders second, and never by those planning the scope of the project. The detail of how to scope a project was outstanding: Goals and outcomes must be understood, created, and agreed upon by all funders, stakeholders, and those executing the work. The priority triangle of “time/cost/scope” is a model I had heard of before the training, but Janice’s deep dive a was exceptional. I appreciated the hindsight approach for understanding potential project success, Janice facilitated discussion of the reasons projects fail. We addressed risk mitigation; it is essential to enumerate and define risks for any hope of risk mitigation. Avoiding failure at all costs translates to personal endeavors (travel, family events) as well as professional. The project charter canvas is an amazing tool that truly maps assumptions, risks, milestones, metrics – all in a visually coherent box.

Impact on Professional Development: I’m responsible for facilitating sharing of oncology clinical mutation data to an online portal for research use. I am not a genomics scientist, nor am I a bioinformatician. My job for the next couple years is to whittle down this endeavor to milestones, which are technically a series of projects. I plan to use the techniques for defining risk prediction, metrics, and milestones that were described in the training. I will create a visual project charger canvas to keep all team members and stakeholders on the same page. I currently use Planner in the Microsoft 365 suite and SharePoint. I see the incorporation of a visual Project Charter dovetailing successfully with the software I currently use to keep things on track.


Erin Schwartz (Autumn 2021) (Engineering)

”I participated in the UW POD on inclusive language as an exercise with my team to expand our personal and professional knowledge. We all joined the same DEI training so that we could share information and also apply it to our work in fundraising within Corporate and Foundation Relations. We all work with companies and we wanted to be more aware of the language we are using to fundraise in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion specifically. This is especially important when we are trying to increase educational access for our students as well as diversity programming in the College of Engineering. Taking the class was a helpful step in learning about inclusive language. One of the key takeaways that I gleaned from the experience is that it is not easy to come up with a list of what to say or what not to say in a given situation. Rather, we always have to consider context, history, and audience in making choices around language. Instead of getting attached to specific terminology, we need to keep in mind that language is constantly evolving and changing. … Overall, the POD training was a positive experience, and I am glad that I participated with my team. We are continuing to take other trainings and will keep comparing notes on our learnings. I will carry the lessons learned forward with me as I engage in my work as a fundraiser in writing grants, speaking with donors, and connecting within the broader University Advancement team. I look forward to continuing on the journey to improve my skills and increase my knowledge within the DEI space. Thank you for your support!”


Kathleen Dougherty (Summer 2021) (The Burke Museum)

I am happy to submit my Executive Summary and offer my sincere gratitude to the PSO Scholarship Committee for providing me with the necessary funding to receive important training through the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) on how to properly clean paper-based materials, such as archival documents and prints. At the Burke Museum, as Collections Manager, Oceanic and Asian Culture, I am responsible for the care and preservation of not only art and artifacts but also for associated documentation, photographs, prints, and other archival documents. At times, we receive materials that are dirty, having been stored in a donor’s garage, basement, or attic, for example. In order to keep our collections work and storage spaces clean of particulates, it is necessary to clean these documents as best we can before storing them with other collections. Cleaning these materials also helps preserve them. … I was able to learn about the different types of museum and archival paper-based materials, different types of damage to those materials, and when it is appropriate to clean them myself, and when hiring a more specialized conservator is more appropriate. I learned the dangers of improper cleaning techniques, as well as professional cleaning techniques for each type of material, using a variety of tools. The NEDCC also provided me with those tools for the hands-on portion of the webinar. These tools will become a permanent part of my work tool kit at the Burke Museum, where I will employ the techniques learned. This training will help me make good decisions about when and how to clean these types of materials to preserve them for use by UW students, staff, and faculty, other scholars, as well as the communities of origin, and the public. Thank you!”


Sandra K. Johnston (Summer 2021) (Radiology)

This was a virtual class conducted by Zoom with 4 or so brief breakout sessions for discussing topics with other attendees. On the first day we focused on what is leadership. Through presentation and online annotations we explored this together concluding that a majority of leadership skills were ‘soft skills’. Leadership has erroneously been considered by many as an ‘innate’ ability. Leadership can be learned through extensive self-reflection, introspection, going outside their comfort zone and trying new things. Followers, ultimately, determine who are the leaders based on characteristics important to them. Feedback from followers can greatly enhance a leaders ability to lead. I identified five characteristics of admired leaders: honest, caring, broad-minded, competent, and forward-looking. These characteristics are important to me personally, I live my life by these principles. … Of particular interest to me in this course was the Leadership Practices Inventory. While all of my scores were close, within 14 points. My highest areas were in model the way, encourage the heart, and enable others to act. On the lower end were inspire a shared vision and challenge the process. The latter was a bit of a surprise to me, I feel I take risks and look for innovation and ways to improve as part of my leadership style. This inventory is a powerful tool, it aided me to learn more of myself and where I might wish to change and act differently. Day 2 we focused on interpersonal skills, including emotional intelligence. I liked the advice of the trainer for us to expand the number of words we have to express emotion. It was most informative to learn that leaders that are most successful have the highest emotional self-awareness scores. Where do I go from here, lots of reflection for now to discover more about my values, my talents, and effectiveness. The toughest challenge given by the trainer, figure out a way to find out how team members want to receive empathy.


Ping Mamiya (Spring 2021) (Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences) 

“My professional activity was to publish a review article in Brain Sciences in January 2021. This activity has brought me an invitation to speak in the International Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry webinar on March 19-20, 2021. In addition, I included this publication in my recently submitted R21 grant application. Because of this activity, I was able to demonstrate my expertise in the field of ADHD, which has greatly impacted my career development.”


Lauren Frisbie (Winter 2020) (DEOHS) 

From February 20-22, 2020, I attended the ASA annual Conference on Statistical Practice (CSP) in Sacramento, California. This conference was recommended to me by a young professional who attended the conference the previous year. I was very interested in attending this conference because I know how expansive the field of biostatistics is and know that the conference would facilitate my continued growth in biostatistics, allow me to network with other professionals to discuss directions within the biostatistics and data science fields, and learn skills I can apply to current and future research projects. … Without some funding support from the PSO, I would not have been able to attend the ASA’s Conference in Statistical practice in Sacramento, California. I very much appreciate the support and opportunity to attend.


Virgel Paule (Autumn 2020) (Communication) 

I attended the “How to Give and Receive Feedback” workshop this morning. There were many lessons that were received and the outcomes that I have come away with, but not limited to are a) being self-aware of the type of feedback I am giving and receiving from a particular person(s), b) deciphering different communication styles, c) having a plan and how to deliver feedback, d) consider and improve overall feedback skills, and e) Recognize difficult situations. The direct impact of the knowledge and skills I have recently gained is to apply this to my work team. …  I think the most important take away and direct impact of this professional development is to understand the feedback from the other person’s point of view and communication style, rather than solely trying to get my point across. Having this in mind, will lead to greater understanding and trust between the stakeholders, which will lead to quality productivity and a healthy workplace.


Katie Wallace (Spring 2020) (Carlson Center (CELE/UAA) 

I recently attended a three-part diversity, equity and inclusion training on “Strategies for Facilitating Conversations on Race.” In my work with UW, I often engage in conversations related to racism and antiracism with both students and colleagues. Additionally, I work with students and staff with the Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL). Engaging in and facilitating difficult conversations around identity (especially as it relates to race/racism) have both energized and challenged me. … Impact: I was grateful for the tips and tricks shared by the facilitators, which included virtual facilitation techniques like using “stack” and “+++” to more effectively facilitate conversation in Zoom chat. The facilitators also modeled courage and vulnerability in their stories. Their stories and insight were both reassuring and humbling as I reflected on my own missteps and lessons learned while facilitating tough conversations in the past. I learned a great deal in breakout rooms as we practiced strategies and role-played various scenarios. … I am thankful for the opportunity to have attended this training and to have learned from two Seattle-based facilitators. I appreciated the insight and wisdom from fellow participants as well.


Lalitha Subramanian (Spring 2020) (UW Continuum College)

The Race & Equity Initiative for the University of Washington (UW) led by President Ana Mari Cauce has challenged all of us – students, faculty and staff in all schools, colleges and departments to get involved. Many UW schools and departments undertook the challenge and created committees, work plans with goals and measurements, and served/participated on the UW Diversity Council. A UW Continuum College (UWC2) Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Taskforce was formed in Autumn 2015 to participate in the UW initiative and was charged with identifying which aspects of the UW Diversity Blueprint (2010-2014 version) would be UWC²’s focus and developing the pilot charter for the UWC² Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Committee. …  By the end of this course, I was be able to:

  • Explain digital accessibility in terms of equal access as well as compliance and apply it to institutional programs, activities, and opportunities
  • Identify and reference the essential functions of an agile higher education digital accessibility programin order toapply them to a current challenge
  • Demonstrate key components of effective and accessible online learning experiences and digital communication strategies
  • Develop a near-term plan of action for an institution to improve digital accessibility as part of crisis response and communication strategy


Shelby Knowles (Winter 2019) (Medicine/Cardiology) 

“Prior to enrolling in the UW Project Management Certificate Program, I had applied on a whim to a job in the Department of Pathology related to a clinical trial featuring companion dogs looking at what aspects of the dog’s genes/environment play a role in how healthy a dog is and how that affects their lifespan. The job was for a Project Manager helping to plan and then implement this study and I just thought, “Hey, I love dogs and this sounds super interesting!”. Fast forward a few months and I had landed the job as the project manager and have absolutely no clue what proper project management was about. I felt that enrolling in the Project Management course through UW would allow me to actually figure out what I should be doing in my new role instead of floundering and not living up to my true potential. … This is just a start for me. Now that I have completed my Project Management Certificate program, I want to take the official PMP Exam to get my PMP certification. From there, I plan to utilize project management in any future roles that I may land as well.”


Gary Winchester (Winter 2019) (Graduate School)

Thank you PSO scholarship team for helping me finance my eCornell HR Management Certificate. I had originally planned to pursue a new career path in HR with the skills and knowledge gained from the certificate once completed, but shortly after starting the certificate program a great HR opportunity became available in my unit and I was selected to fill this new role. I have since been able to apply the content from my coursework to my new position.

Through the eCornell HR Management Certificate I was able to explore a wide variety of HR topics including:

  • Aligning Employee Performance with Organizational Goals
  • Total Rewards Compensation
  • Navigating Labor Relations
  • Facilitating Staffing Decisions
  • Driving Engagement for HR
  • Employee Training and Development
  • Countering Bias in the Workplace for HR
  • Fostering a Coaching Culture
  • Consulting Skills for Internal HR


Lindsey McBride, UW Tacoma Professional Staff Scholarship for UW PCE Certificate in E Learning and Instructional Design (Fall 2019) (Nursing and Healthcare Leadership) 

Content, Audience, and Purpose Living in a “Preparation for Fieldwork” Canvas site (that I created) the final project I did for this Certificate is training exercise for BA in Healthcare Leadership Senior students at UW Tacoma. It is to train students on how to have a productive initial dialogue with their new site preceptor for their final Spring Quarter fieldwork course. The training exercise is not be tied to a specific class, but rather be a required step before given entry into the final fieldwork course. Roughly 50-60 UW seniors will review this training every academic year. The training will follow example student Kim Santos on her journey of preparing to meet, and meeting, with her site preceptor/healthcare educator Joe Tosh. Needs Analysis Faculty in the Healthcare Leadership Committee repeatedly heard from students stating they wanted more insight on preparation when going into their first meeting with the site preceptor. More tools up front. I went back and researched the last two years of post-course student surveys and site preceptors’ surveys. While the feedback was primarily positive, we did have a small percentage of negative survey responses from students or preceptors that were related to students either (A) not having a thoughtful project to work on, or (B) preceptors not having a great idea of what the student’s strengths or skills were in assigning them a project. This training exercise is a response to that need. Accessibility and Accommodation, Standards Compliance Articulate Rise is SCORM compliant that means that if it does not reach over 500MB I can export and import it into Canvas. Additionally, the simulations I created using Plotagon are using clear computer-generated voices and have subtitles. I plan to also have a pdf available of the transcript of the simulations on the canvas site. I learned all of these tools in this certificate.

Christy Sherwood, SHRM-SCP (Summer 2018) (Health Services, School of Public Health) 

I am tremendously grateful to the UW Professional Staff Organization for supporting my pursuit of the globally recognized senior level professional certification in human resources, the SHMR-SCP. With a pass rate in the 50th percentile, the certification examination is daunting and thorough preparation and mastery of HR competencies is essential. A scholarship from PSO allowed me to participate in a rigorous study program with HR Jetpack and fully prepare for the exam.

Robert Livingston – Summer 2018

I am very grateful for the support of our Professional Staff Organization for providing me the training and opportunity to qualify as a Diplomat of Laboratory Management by the American Society of Clinical Pathology. Throughout my training in operational, financial, and personnel management, I was guided by the UW Medical Center’s service culture and the alignment of our pillar goals with the ideals of the DLM, especially around aspects of quality management and excellence in patient care and customer service. I am already applying some of the quality management tools I learned in this program and am thankful that I work for an organization that provides these meaningful opportunities to develop and grow as a more effective manager.

Hollye Keister – Spring 2018

I attended/presented at the Washington Museum Association Annual Conference (June 19-23), a local opportunity for museum professionals to increase their knowledge, practice technical skills, and network with colleagues. I partnered with collections professionals from the Maryhill Museum and the Puget Sound Navy Museum to discuss challenges of resolving old loans and the legal claim process. Given that most museums face issues related to long-term and permanent loans, there is a surprising lack of guiding literature and best practice resources. At this session, I presented about the state’s abandoned property law and my experience with 1,000+ title claims for the Burke Museum. I covered process overview, templates and resources, and case study outcomes. Following the conference, my co-presenters and a few attendees have discussed working together to establish best practices and shared resources. …  My goals for the conference were to 1) develop best practices for managing old loans and abandoned property claims, and 2) develop new skills and expand my subject matter expertise (i.e. in collections care, registration, exhibits). Goal #1 is well on its way to completion; goal #2 was completed. I was able to collaborate with colleagues about drafting best practices and took advantage of hands-on training and networking opportunities. I attended the full conference schedule and learned about current issues affecting museums, local program partnerships, grant opportunities, collections care trends, and evaluation. Few conferences relate directly to my work, so I was thrilled the PSO supported this opportunity. Thank you again for your support!

Marie Angeles – Spring 2018

When I applied to the scholarship I had three intended outcomes and I’d like to discuss those in my reflection. My first outcome was focused on personal identity development and push myself outside of my comfort zone. An unexpected theme from these conference was the amount of time I spent talking about healing and trauma. So often in student affairs we discuss self-care as a necessary skill. However, for anyone with a marginalized identity self-care cannot simply be yoga or meditation. We need to understand how stress shows up in our body. My very first day was a session focused on how the body can be a tool for social justice work and how it is the place that carries all of our trauma in negative ways. I found myself wondering in these types of session how we heal and how we can help our students heal. This theme resonated with me because it wasn’t theoretical in nature. … A second outcome was to learn new skills and inclusive practices. I collected a lot of resources during this conference – a lot around more reflective practices and ways of approaching them. The facilitators of the sessions modeled that really well and I found it their techniques to be really useful. … This year 55 UW community members attended the conference. I was able to meet many of them for the first time at this conference, which gave me a sense of how big my community could be at the UW. Additionally, I met individuals who are also in new and ambiguous roles at their institution. Sessions, like the ones focused on the Chief Diversity Officer positions, helped me connect with others and also to understand what my job is and isn’t for my department. Because I was able to hear from so many different people, I could hear my challenges being reflected back to me by others and how they processed it. I also learned a lot about the value of a connection and the different kinds you can have with colleagues. I’m coming back from this conference renewed and energized. I’ve gained new tools to approach social justice work and a new found understanding of what it could look like. … I have never heard of a conference with such power that people would come for 30 years. I’m excited for the day that I get to wear a 30 year ribbon, because the first year honestly changed me.

Letty Limbach – Winter 2018

Thanks to PSO’s professional development scholarship, I have had the pleasure of taking an introductory class at Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts on Adobe After Effects. Over the past five weeks, I’ve learned to navigate Adobe After Effects effectively and cannot wait to apply this newfound skill set in my professional life. As a graphic designer and front-end web developer, it is important that I keep up with the ever-evolving technologies and standards of my field. Over the past few years, animation has increasingly become an essential part of the field’s toolkit, and Adobe After Effects is one of only a few software programs that effectively support this skill. While I’ve had a bit of experience with animation, this class and the subsequent familiarity I gained with After Effects, has greatly enhanced my ability to create and execute functional and beautiful animations.  …  Thank you so much to the PSO for providing the funding to support my professional development in this regard – how incredible to be able to attend this course and learn a skill set that is simultaneously practical, highly applicable, and so much fun to use!

2016 Scholarship Recipient Testimonials

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Erin Langner

I am very grateful for the PSO’s support of my participation in the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, an experience that benefited both my work at UW’s Simpson Center for the Humanities and my personal writing. As someone whose daily work at the UW is in the Humanities, this was a very inspiring and motivating discussion that brought me some renewed confidence in the importance of my work in this realm and in the community that is still devoted to supporting its value to society at large. Overall, I had a very fruitful experience attending this conference and cannot thank the PSO enough for your support.
-Erin Langner, Program and Events Manager, Simpson Center for the Humanities
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Dan Herb

The most impactful outcome of attending the NASPA Western Regional Conference was meeting and learning from higher education professionals at other institutions outside of UW. Thank you for the funding that allowed me to have such a meaningful experience at this conference! It is comforting to know that I work at an institution that invests in its staff to further their involvement in the field.

-Dan Herb, Adviser & Program Coordinator, Undergraduate Research Program
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Meghan Oxley

In summary, the NACADA National Conference gave me the chance to network with advisers from across the country, get more involved in the association, attend sessions which will inform my advising practice, and brainstorm with UW advisers on additional training needed at our campus. I am extremely grateful to the Professional Staff Organization (PSO) for providing the support which allowed me to pursue this professional development opportunity and to continue to grow as a professional adviser; attending the NACADA National Conference was a significant event in my career trajectory.

-Meghan Oxley, Academic Counselor, Earth & Space Sciences


2015 Scholarship Recipients and testimonials

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