About the Husky Seed Fund
The Husky Seed Fund is an award that brings to life innovative ideas by students that are inclusive, impactful, and inventive to the UW. The fund launched as a pilot program for students on the Seattle campus in 2016 and since expanded to include the Bothell and Tacoma campuses. The fund is managed by students on the Husky Experience Student Advisory Council with funds from the Office of the Provost. Created by students for students, the goal is to bring to life innovative ideas by awarding funds for projects that will enhance students’ extracurricular experience.
The winners of the Husky Seed Fund are students who are embracing their Husky Experience. They are making their passions come to life, and gaining the skills they need to prepare for rewarding careers in industry, community and life. As you learn more about their projects, we encourage you to do the same – make the most of your Husky Experience.
Applying for the Husky Seed Fund
Look for the application in February, 2024.
Your idea could become reality with a seed funding award of up to $5000. This is your chance to develop leadership and team building while creating something truly unique for your fellow Huskies.
Projects must be Inclusive, Impactful, and Inventive. Overall, HESAC looks for projects that help students feel at home with the UW and engage with the Husky community.
To be eligible to apply for this program, you (or the group) must be enrolled at either the UW Bothell, Seattle or Tacoma campus. Awards are granted in May, and you have one year to complete your project, therefore lead team members must be enrolled through spring quarter of the next academic year. The applicant(s) must be in good academic standing: minimum GPA of 2.5 for each undergraduate group member, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 for every graduate or professional group member, and can be of any discipline, major and class standing (including graduate and professional students).
Award Distribution and Accountability
Projects can request up to $5000 (with an average award amount of $2500). Awardees will be held accountable for their progress. Funds are distributed quarterly and awardees will submit a progress report prior to receiving the funds, giving a summary of their achievements, lessons learned, etc.
To best prepare your application, watch this recording of our March 7, 2023 information session.
About the Husky Experience Student Advisory Council
HESAC was formed in 2015 as an initiative of the Provost’s Office to advance the Husky Experience by gathering student input and furthering student-led projects. The Husky Seed Fund is one such endeavor to catalyze projects that embody Husky Experience goals while offering students opportunities to learn complex skills and take on responsibility with a broad campus impact.
In 2016, the council launched the new seed funding program with funds and support provided by the Provost’s Office. As council members work to lead and advance the program, they are also coached on how to include these leadership skills on their resumes, add them to their “elevator speech,” and apply these lessons and skills in their day-to-day lives as Huskies.
Each year around ten students are selected to serve as HESAC members throughout the academic year. Currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate and professional students at the UW Bothell, Seattle or Tacoma campuses are eligible to apply.
Interested in joining? Look for the application in autumn 2024.
2022-2023 HESAC Members
Roger Clemens, Undergraduate: Political Economy and Global Studies (bottom center)
Shereen Faraj, Graduate: Master of Education (top right)
Sydney Lennemann, Undergraduate: Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (middle left)
Susana Lozano Esparza, Graduate: Epidemiology (top left)
Clayton Shuster Sasaki, Graduate: Atmospheric Sciences (middle right)
Nilasha Sen, Graduate: Laboratory Medicine and Pathology(middle center)
Sophia Strickland, Undergraduate: Geography; Data Science, Informatics Minor (top middle)
The 2023 Husky Seed Fund winners are:
- Rachel Hu, junior in Computer Science and Eric Xiao, sophomore in Computer Science: Eat Together will be a mobile application that aims to improve the social interacting experience for UW students by connecting them for meals; a universal bonding activity. It will allow students to match with each other holistically, based on weekly schedules and interests, and effortlessly arrange food-related meetups.
- Cody Birkland, MS in Electrical Engineering, Arjun Simha, junior in Electrical Engineering, and Amy Jean Swanson, Master of Business Administration: Huskies’ Precious Plastics will create a plastic recycling center that will encourage and empower students to recycle their plastic waste by providing them with the tools and resources to transform it into new objects; sunglasses, planters, 3D printing filament and more. It will reduce plastic waste and promote sustainability while engaging and educating students on the importance of recycling and upcycling. Join the Huskies’ Precious Plastics newsletter for updates.
- Tiffany-Ashton Gatsby, PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology, Jennifer Perkins, PhD in Nursing and Carolann Streett, MEd in Early Childhood Special Education (all are in the Disability Studies Graduate Certificate Program): Pathways for All Huskies will be an art installation of visually aesthetic indicators and signs to identify accessible pathways in and around UW Seattle campus areas including; the Quad, Red Square, and surrounding high-traffic areas with limited ADA throughways. This artistic wayfinding project will enhance campus inclusivity and accessibility efforts to help all Huskies navigate campus with ease.
The 2022 Husky Seed Fund winners are:
- Olivia Butkowki, MPHc in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice and Amanda Shi, MPH, MPA: Huskies for Housing was a cross-discipline UW student organizing group that increased understanding of homelessness in Seattle through art and storytelling, fostered community among UW students and local unhoused neighbors and allies, and activated the UW community to address root causes of homelessness as current and future advocates of change. Collaborators included organizers and artists from Tent City 3, the WA State Lived Experience Coalition, King County Regional Homelessness Authority, Nickelsville, and the Doorway Project, as well as student groups, Tent City Collective and Health Advocacy Care & Kindness.
- Simardeep Kaur, freshman in Health Sciences (intended): Youth Lead Youth will be a large event where students, healthcare providers, and community members will engage in a dialogue about the ways race influences our experience in the healthcare system. This conversation is designed to raise awareness of how underserved patients can build a strong foundation of trust with their providers and have their voices heard.
- Leigh West, PhD in Biology: SISU Mentoring Program positions undergraduates to address the barriers that can be experienced by those from marginalized gender groups by providing students interested in STEM careers, regardless of gender, with resources, community, and inspiration. The approach is three-pronged: an online storytelling platform, a mentoring program, and an on-the-ground conservation capacity building for underserved communities.
The 2021 Husky Seed Fund winners are:
- Braeden Giaconi, sophomore in Philosophy and Jason Lim, senior in Neuroscience: The Garden of Ideas was an undergraduate philosophy journal to democratize philosophy and to create a platform for everyone to participate with philosophy in multiple forms. The Garden of Ideas featured both traditional academic and non-academic writing and hopes to foster interdisciplinary thinking and create a safe platform for open conversation at UW.
- Arghya Kannadaguli, senior in Geography Data Science: GeoDat: Interdisciplinary Hackathon was a collaborative event where students will use their unique disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives to collaborate on projects involving issues of inequity, including environmental justice, residential segregation, economic opportunity, and much more. GeoDat will empower its participants with geographic perspective and basic tech literacy, or knowledge of common processes or techniques used in tech-related projects.
- Tiara Schwarze-Taufiq, junior in Public Health and Neuroscience, Samantha Mak, senior in Biology, Daniel Chen, junior in Microbiology and Informatics, and Rachel Shi, junior in Bioengineering: Huskies for Neurodiversity was a website and panel discussion to educate the UW community about neurodiversity, compile resources for neurodivergent students, and amplify the lived experience of neurodivergent people. Huskies for Neurodiversity will promote a more nuanced understanding of the social model of disability to the UW community and, most importantly, greater feelings of empathy and connection between neurodiverse and non-neurodiverse students.
The 2020 Husky Seed Fund winners are:
- Yogasai Gazula, junior in International Studies: Digital Humanities Day was a daylong event bringing together student researchers and alumni for workshops and panel discussions on what humanities research looks like in and outside of the academy. The aim was to foster a dialogue on the innovative research taking place at the intersection of diverse fields; ultimately, this illuminates what it means to be studying the humanities in the 21st century. See articles by the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and The Daily.
- Owen Oliver, junior in American Indian Studies: Indigenous Walking Tour is a virtual tour and published booklet about the Indigenous presence on the University of Washington Seattle campus. The virtual tour and booklet share the historical significance of Indigenous people on this campus, how Indigenous people are affiliated and utilizing the University now, and what the future looks like for Indigenous people. See articles by UW News, the College of Arts and Science, the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, and American Indian Studies.
- Sarah Warren, senior in Nursing: How Huskies Heal gathered UW community members’ interpretations of healing to create an engaging mosaic in the form of a published anthology. Readers cultivate the openness and empathy that accompanies cultural humility. How Huskies Heal also functions as a novel resource for medical professionals as understanding how background influences healing leads to collaborative care and better outcomes.
The 2019 Husky Seed Fund winners are:
- Kiran Singh, sophomore in Political Science, and Will Taylor, sophomore in Computer Science: Sparking Joy as an A- Student envisioned a discussion-based panel featuring recent alumni who embody the balance between the values of the Husky Experience and their own personal happiness. The intent was to create a come-as-equals atmosphere where students and faculty could share their unique experiences and ideas with each other after hearing the successes and failures of these alumni. The aims were to help people feel valued for who they are and for what they can bring to their future experiences and to encourage students to value their happiness, not just their GPA or collegiate status.
- Ivory Loh, MPH in Nutritional Science: Husky Cookbook gathered recipes from students, staff and faculty to unite members of the UW community through food and their stories told through food. Husky Cookbook showcases the diversity of UW, fosters a sense of community by encouraging dialogue on how our identities are shaped by food traditions and culture, and promotes cooking and sharing of meals. The cookbook is available in print and online; the Husky Cookbook digital version feature an unique database for all recipes and food identity stories submitted by Huskies. See an article by The Daily.
The 2018 Husky Seed Fund winners are:
- Regan Gong, junior in International Studies and Psychology, and Taylor Halverson, pre-major: One of Many hosted a large event where students, faith leaders, and community members engaged in an interfaith dialogue by sharing stories about the ways religion influences our values, norms, and policies. Rather than tokenizing a single identity, this conversation created a space that recognizes the complex ways religion contributes to diverse identities in order to create a more inclusive campus community.
- Fleur Anteau, sophomore in Biology (intended), Madeline Bennett, sophomore in Psychology and International Studies (intended), Audrey Immel, sophomore in Public Health, Alice Ranjan, sophomore in Microbiology and Molecular/Cellular/Developmental Biology, Gal Snir, sophomore in Dance and Biology (intended): Capillaries Journal is the first UW journal focused on narrative medicine that curates student stories, artwork, and poetry to garner respect for diverse healing processes as well as the inherent humanity in all people. This publication promotes collaboration between students in the humanities and sciences to illustrate how both facts and subjective feelings contribute to our unique healthcare experiences.
The 2017 Husky Seed Fund winners are:
- Nick Bolten, PhD in Electrical Engineering: UW OpenSidewalks gathered rich data pertaining to the footpaths and indoor paths throughout the UW Seattle Campus to be imported to an internationally known open, mapping database (OpenStreetMap). This helped fulfill the UW’s commitment to equal access in our physical campus and simultaneously raise awareness in the community to the challenges experienced by UW students with disabilities. This was particularly timely since Seattle hosted the Special Olympics USA Games in 2018 and many events took place on the Seattle campus.
- Molly Mollica, PhD in Bioengineering: Husky ADAPT is teaching UW students to adapt toys for children with disabilities. Students adapting toys learn complex engineering concepts such as circuitry and reverse engineering while also learning technical skills such as soldering and using hand tools. “Toys are developmentally important, so they are fun, and that’s a good part of them, but they also teach things like cause-and- effect, motor skills, independence,” says Mollica. See press on previous events at http://www.king5.com/news/local/seattle/toy-hackers- help-kids- with-disabilities/367898045
- Joy Turner, Masters of Public Administration and Andrew Peppler, dual degrees in Masters of Public Administration and Masters of Business Administration: Speak Freely created a trans-partisan, student-veteran podcast to explore the difficult concepts and issues upon which our fellow Americans cannot seem to find common ground. Targeted to a non-veteran, national audience, the podcast broadcasts the widest range of voices throughout the Husky and broader Washington veteran community. Regardless of their politics, veterans have a shared history of working together to accomplish a mission, in the broader interests of the nation – an experience that all Americans can learn from.
The 2016 Husky Seed Fund winners are:
- Lauren Mittelman, senior in Public Health, and Aleenah Ansari, sophomore in Biochemistry: The Vulnerability Collective gathered and honored 100 stories of students’ personal experiences of vulnerability and growth which were presented at an open campus reading event as well as collected in printed copies of the stories.
- Cristian Ovadiuc, senior in Microbiology: The Undergraduate Research Journal was conceived as a way to bolster undergraduate research by providing a social and interactive peer-review publishing platform open to all schools from the UW.