Undergraduate Academic Affairs

February 18, 2022

More than money: Scholarships, jobs, internships map to students’ interests

Jenelle Birnbaum

Illustration of figures and representations of dollar bills floating in a sunrise sky. People are catching the dollars, floating with them.

Original illustration by Burke Smithers

Editor’s note: Thank you to the many students and UAA staff members who contributed to this article.

Here in Undergraduate Academic Affairs, we are excited to offer a broad range of funded opportunities — scholarships, internships and jobs — that map to students’ interests.

Quick links to additional campus-wide resources
The Office for Student Financial Aid is a good first stop to learn about campus-wide opportunities including scholarships beyond what’s covered here.
– The Husky Promise guarantees Washington state residents that financial challenges will not stand in the way.
– The Career and Internship Center helps students find paid positions.

Most UAA programs offer front desk positions that are critical to the program’s daily operations. In addition, our programs have developed unique pathways to help students gain paid experience in their area of interest. For many students, this presents an opportunity they couldn’t otherwise pursue and might include being in a research lab, K-12 schools, community organizations, international experiences, a professional setting and even grad school. Though the experiences are varied, our staff’s dedication to supporting students as they develop their career goals, build a sense of community, make a difference, and apply their academics beyond the classroom are common threads.

Through these roles, students find and learn about: professional mentorship, civic responsibility, leadership development, independence, problem-solving skills, flexibility, communication and equity training. Students also get a head start on building their professional networks and develop a rich set of experiences that set them up to find meaning in their careers and as members of a community.

Read on to learn about what’s available through UAA, including community-based work, leadership development, scholarships and research. They are ordered by program below, or use the accordion organization to jump around.

Academic Support Programs

Opportunities

  • Academic success coaches: Coach other students in one-on-one sessions to provide academic support for topics like time management, study strategies, resources at the UW and more.
  • CLUE tutors: Tutor students individually in a specific subject area, lead exam review sessions and workshops.
  • CLUE front desk managers: First point of contact for all students visiting CLUE, supporting the on-the-ground operations of CLUE by answering questions, supporting tutors and more.

What you’ll gain

CLUE tutors and academic support coaches

  • Empowerment from sharing your own story and relating to other Huskies’ experiences because you’ve been there.
  • An aptitude to identify and address the needs of the person you are meeting with, one-on-one, in real-time.
  • Public speaking practice by giving presentations, leading sessions and workshops.
  • Familiarity with using language to provide equitable support while encouraging growth mindset and resilience development.
  • A background leading exam review sessions and workshops in different fields, which can make you a competitive applicant for teaching assistantships in grad school.

Front desk managers

  • An ability to manage multiple, complex systems at once, while making sure the needs of different stakeholders are met.

From each of the three roles

  • Communication skills to work with colleagues to ensure programming runs smoothly and that students’ needs are met.
  • Interpersonal skills gained through working with diverse groups of people.
  • Training in educational equity and strategies for inclusion. Learn about histories of exclusion, and how that might impact how people approach and navigate the UW.

What people are saying

Photo of Gracie Pakosz sitting outside on a small wall near tulips

Gracie Pakosz, lead academic success coach

The position of academic success coach means being part of supporting equitable higher education by providing guidance and support for other students, especially fellow first-gen students. Supporting other first-gen students has given me a sense of belonging at the UW. It is very fulfilling to be able to give back the knowledge I worked to gain navigating university by myself. Working independently with students also gave me the direct-service experience that I need to work as a legal intern. By working with ASP, I have a team of coaches who care about my academic and personal success. This position has given me a sense of community and support on campus which has helped me succeed academically.

— Gracie Pakosz, ‘21, integrated social sciences
Current first year student, School of Law, and lead academic success coach

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Community Engagement and Leadership Education Center (CELE Center)

Dream Project

Opportunities

  • College and career readiness assistants mentor middle and high school students in under-resourced schools to support their planning for life after high school, including the college application process.
  • Mentorship coordinator interns have previously taken the CELE Center’s Dream Project Introduction to Mentoring Strategies course. Mentorship coordinator interns lead the quiz section for this class, accompany current mentorship course students in high school classrooms and coach peers through their on-site work.

What you’ll gain

  • Insight into educational equity in relation to educational access and post-secondary planning as well as the challenges under-resourced schools face.
  • Better understanding of communication techniques that take into account the identities of who you are working with (middle and high school students from diverse backgrounds).
  • An understanding of post-secondary planning basics including the financial aid process, editing personal statements and writing resumes.
  • An opportunity to work independently with a high level of responsibility while being supported by a professional at the school.
  • Experience developing programs that best meet the needs of the school you are working in.
  • Sense of professionalism by learning boundary-setting.
  • Budding professional network, possibly leading to a job. Dream Project alumni are sometimes hired into professional positions at their Dream Project site.

What people are saying

Photo of Anthony Berry

Anthony Berry, ’19, high school career specialist

It’s difficult to bring to words the true impact that Dream Project made in my professional development, academic trajectory and personal growth. Importantly, my involvement has allowed me to view the education system through a more social justice and equitable lens. Rather than just good intentions, you begin to recognize the true importance of empowerment, advocacy, service learning and collaboration. Through this, I’ve formed some of the most meaningful relationships that’ll last a lifetime. Receiving a stipend for my leadership roles in UW Dream Project has definitely made a difference. My first three years at this university, I was having to deal with early commutes to campus and late commutes back home. But, with my roles having stipends I was able to get housing near campus for my senior year which has made a tremendous difference in my campus experiences. 

— Anthony Berry, ’19, public health-global health
Former lecture lead and college and career readiness assistant
Current high school career specialist

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Jumpstart

Opportunities

  • Jumpstart Americorps members work with preschoolers in historically under-resourced communities on literacy, language and socio-emotional development skills to prepare them for kindergarten.
  • Program assistants focus on curriculum development, day-today operations of the program, social media and Jumpstart member recruitment.
  • Equity officers run safe, student-only forums to discuss social justice topics selected by the Corps members.

What you’ll gain

  • Strategies for effectively working with 3-5-year-olds through more than 50 hours of live and self-led training in early childhood education.
  • A broader understanding of social justice issues, particularly those affecting educational inequities in Seattle and beyond.
  • An ability to meld various work, communication and teaching styles by team teaching.
    Support developing and refining your leadership style.
  • A $1,342 Segal Education Award, upon completing 300 hours of service, for Americorps members to use on tuition and education expenses.
  • Two credits by enrolling in the winter quarter General Studies 346 class. Jumpstart service often qualifies as a service-learning placement.
  • Support for career development that includes guidance from BIPOC professionals to help you build your network and find jobs.
  • Job skills that apply across fields based on your broad teaching, leadership and collaboration experiences as a Corps member.

What people are saying

Photo of Erick Pelayo

Erick Pelayo, ‘24, Jumpstart team leader

The overall time I have spent in Jumpstart has shown me that working with young children requires patience and a lot of energy, but it is also very rewarding. I have been able to see how children can come out of their comfort zone and how they are willing to learn when given the proper support. As someone who grew up in a low-income household and did not have much exposure to high quality early education, I can say confidently that having more exposure to quality education practices can really make a difference in a child’s future. In my time in Jumpstart, I have realized that I would like to become a child psychologist or a teacher depending on where my career may lead me.

— Erick Pelayo, ‘24, sociology
Jumpstart team leader

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Riverways Education Partnerships

Opportunity

Native Pathway guides are Indigenous UW students who share their personal stories with K-12 students to teach them about different pathways to college, including starting at community college before transferring to a 4-year institution.

What you’ll gain

  • A sense of empowerment by sharing your story — which is also inspiring for the students you are working with.
  • A paycheck to mentor younger students and support your community.
  • Experience administering a complex program that involves connecting with partners, setting up workshops and creating tools for future students to use.
Photo of Tanya Eison

Tanya Eison, Riverways Education Partnership rural and tribal facilitator

What people are saying

Riverways has allowed me to learn more about the Makah Tribe. My undergraduate team members and the teachers and students in Neah Bay are all amazing, and I’m thankful for having the opportunity to meet them all through this program. The 5th graders are always so excited to see us and leave us in great spirits as we continue our days at UW. Riverways has personally benefited my community on my own reservation. The Taholah Education Center has become one of our community partners and is partaking in the alternative spring break week for the first time this year! One of the key highlights that I will take away from this position when I graduate is that a great partnership requires respect, communication and dedication to succeed. I hope to continue to utilize these teachings in my future professions.

Tanya Eison, citizen of the Quinault Indian Nation
Former Native Pathway guide
Current Riverways Education Partnership rural and tribal facilitator and graduate student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

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Undergraduate Community-Based Internship Program

Opportunities

Paid internships at nonprofits and public sector organizations.

What you’ll gain

  • A $4,500 stipend to explore public service careers while working in and for local communities.
  • A customized learning plan you develop with your site manager to ensure you gain the experience you’re looking for and your host organization receives support for meaningful projects.
  • Support and frameworks for making meaning of your internship through weekly cohort meetings led by experienced graduate student mentors.
  • Insight into social justice, the complexity of our identities, leadership development and self-care.
  • Career development that covers storytelling for interviews, job searching, writing resumes and cover letters and building your network.
  • Increased clarity on your professional interests.

What people are saying

Photo of Kimmy Nguyen sitting outside at sunset

Kimmy Nguyen, former UCBI intern

As a UCBI intern, “I was part of a cohort with other passionate students. We built a community and I got to learn and hear from students of diverse backgrounds and experiences. We were able to connect through our weekly cohort meetings and small groups led by mentors and staff. I learned more about my intersection of identities, the privileges I hold, and how to engage with our communities authentically and compassionately. Being partnered with a nonprofit focused on housing and community development in the International District, I connected with high school students who shared similar identities as me and learned from nonprofit professionals.”

Kimmy Nguyen, ’20, medical anthropology and global health
Former UCBI intern 

Check out these additional opportunities from the Community Engagement and Leadership Education Center

  • New for 2021-22! The NextGen Civic Leaders Corps is a partnership with the Evans School that brings together like-minded undergraduate students for networking and exploration of topics around community engagement, leadership development and public service. The program offers a modest stipend, connects you with experiential learning and mentorship opportunities, and supports you in exploring coursework in leadership and public policy.
  • Ellis Civic Fellows are selected during their first year at the UW and make an ongoing commitment to community service, personal growth and leadership development. In this four-year program, you explore interests in service and leadership and bring together your academic and community-engaged work.

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First Year Programs

Opportunities

  • Orientation leaders welcome incoming first-year students to campus, guide them through registration, build community within their group of new students and help connect them with campus resources.
  • First-year network leaders run interest- and/or identity-based social groups for first-year students to find their community.

What you’ll gain

Orientation leaders

  • An understanding of your leadership style through a 3-credit class that empowers you to teach orientation in your own style.
  • Feedback to support your work through regular meetings with professional staff to discuss how the orientation leader role is going.

First-year network leaders

  • Education and practical experience building communities through three trainings throughout the year, that focus on being a strong peer leader, learning ways to engage with new students and how to build communities within their network.
  • An opportunity to reflect and host twice-monthly group meetings and one-on-ones to talk about wins and challenges and apply what you’ve learned to future jobs and internships.

Both orientation leaders and first-year network leaders

  • Become experienced public speakers.
  • Learn to facilitate events and build community among groups of students.
  • Gain experience as resource concierges, helping shape first-year students’ experiences.
  • Create a personalized professional development plan.

What people are saying

Photo of Sabrina Flores standing in front of sailboats at a marina

Sabrina Flores, first-year network leader and first-gen network leader

My work as a first-year network leader has given me confidence in my identity as a first-generation student, and it has motivated me to continue to seek out opportunities that will challenge me and help me grow. I hope to use this confidence to empower others in their identities.

— Sabrina Flores, ’24, biology
Current first-year network leader and first-gen network leader

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Honors Program

The Bonderman Fellowship provides $23,000 for eight months of travel, spread over six countries and two continents. This is open to undergraduate and graduate students at all three UW campuses.

What you’ll gain

  • Experience learning through travel: Meet new people, places and cultures outside of your comfort zone.
  • New situations help you to discover and develop your resilience and adaptability.
  • A global perspective informed by your travels. This may also help shape your future plans.

What people are saying

Before this trip, I had a goal-driven existence that, however unconsciously, made my self-worth conditional upon achievement. The unstructured nature of the fellowship gave me the opportunity to redefine worthiness. I had to be comfortable determining if I was taking advantage of this incredible gift on my own without any external validation. I started the — lifelong, probably — process of giving up harsh judgments and strict expectations for a more accepting, embracing attitude.

— Dashni Amin, ’15, law, societies and justice with College Honors
Bonderman Fellow, 2015-16

Photo of Dashni Amin in Turkey

Dashni Amin in Konya, Turkey, where she visited the tomb of 13th-century mystic and poet Rumi.

The quote and photo here originally appeared as part of “Wandering and Wondering,” a story about Bonderman Fellows’ experiences.

Additional scholarships for current Honors students cover a range of experiences, including tuition, international programs and access to experiential learning opportunities. Visit the UW Honors website to learn more about the specific scholarships.

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Mary Gates Endowment for Students

Opportunities

  • Academic year scholarships: $5,000 scholarships for undergraduates to pursue research and leadership projects.
  • The summer CoMotion Mary Gates Innovation Scholars program funds full-time summer internships in faculty-led start-up initiatives. Students will contribute to the development of these companies and gain exposure to the aspects involved in building a new product or business.

What you’ll gain

  • Confidence in your abilities as a researcher, leader and innovator.
  • Funds to create your own leadership project and develop your skills as a leader.
  • An opportunity to refine your future goals.
  • A community of Mary Gates Scholars, who you can learn from and share ideas for navigating your projects and overcoming challenges.
  • Experience working alongside faculty and graduate students doing research that contributes to exciting new ideas.
  • Preparation for graduate school-style research through the more independent nature of Mary Gates research projects
  • Relationships with mentors who help guide your projects and support your development as a scholar and leader.
  • An understanding of how research ideas and results are transformed into innovative applications for commercial and community benefit.

What people are saying

Research has its shares of ups and downs. While frustrating, I have learned just as much, if not more, from troubleshooting my failures as my successes. My mentors have been there every step, offering guidance and pushing me to develop as a researcher, engineer and thinker. Being able to do research at this level as an undergraduate has shaped my interests and career path already, and I am excited to see how I build on this experience in my future.

— Jonah Kern, ‘22, bioengineering
2-time Mary Gates Research awardee

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Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards

Opportunities

Merit-based scholarships to support a broad range of opportunities and students’ goals, including undergraduate and graduate studies, international experiences and summer programs.

What you’ll gain

  • Help, through the scholarship application process, clarifying and articulating near and long-term goals. This is directly applicable to other types of applications including scholarships, fellowships, research programs and grad school.
  • Preparation for scholarship interviews that teaches you how to clearly and concisely tell your story and share your goals — skills that also come in handy when interviewing for jobs or grad school.
  • A strong network of mentors to support your scholarship application as well as other applications or even serve as references for future employers.
  • Potential opportunities you otherwise couldn’t afford, without the stress of taking out loans, and strong statements about your future potential in your field.

What people are saying

Photo of Milli Wijenaike-Bogle

Milli Wijenaike-Bogle, ’22, public health major and data science minor

Although it was disappointing at the time to not receive the scholarship I applied to, the scholarship application process was a reward in itself. The confidence I gained from the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards Director Robin Chang’s support and knowing that I had seven or eight people who would take time out of their incredibly busy schedules to write a letter for me was instrumental in taking a risk by applying to competitive graduate schools in public health. Having all my application materials for graduate school ready in September before school started was invaluable. The scholarship application process in itself can inform your path and/or understanding of yourself in ways you might not expect.

— Milli Wijenaike-Bogle, ’22, public health

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Undergraduate Academic Affairs Advising

Opportunity

Peer advisers hold 5-15 minute drop-in advising sessions and answer general advising emails.

What you’ll gain

  • An understanding of policies and procedures, motivational interviewing, broad advising skills and racial equity through extensive, multi-day training in June and September.
  • Skills to apply to your future career, regardless of the field. Alumni share how listening to a coworker, and then showing the ways policies can help them, benefits their careers.
  • Support for entering the workforce — it’s built into the program structure through career panels with alumni, resume and cover letter workshops and a strong network of support for letters of reference.
  • An entry point for those interested in an advising career. Five out of 16 current UAA advising staff members worked as peer advisers during their time in undergrad. Also, several advisers across campus were UAA peer advisers.

What people are saying

Photo of Lily Peterson

Lily Peterson, ’20, UW academic adviser, Path to UW transfer adviser

The peer advising role connected me with mentors and colleagues across campus who were able to connect me with opportunities and informational interviews to support my own personal and professional development. I believe networking and conversations are key to personal growth and professional opportunities, and this role brought me into spaces where I was able to learn more about what roles are in higher education beyond just teaching. Ultimately this role solidified my desire to pursue advising professionally and benefitted me by equipping me with knowledge and connections in advance so I had a support system in the transition out of UW into the professional world.

— Lily Peterson, ’20, education, communities and organizations
Former peer adviser
Current UW academic adviser, Path to UW transfer adviser

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Undergraduate Research Program

Opportunities

What you’ll gain

  • Funding to pursue research: The Washington Research Fellowship provides $7,500 in funding; Levinson awards may be up to $8,000.
  • Sponsorship to present your original research at a conference in your field.
  • A familiarity with presenting your research to a range of audiences, including the general public, CEOs and donors.
  • Mentors to guide your research, help you create a project plan, troubleshoot challenges, analyze data and identify next steps.
  • Experience creating and managing a research budget.

What people are saying

Photo of Molly Gasperini

Molly Gasperini, ’12, ’19, senior scientist at Cajal Neuroscience

“The Levinson Emerging Scholar Award first spurred me to think of myself as a scientific scholar. This was the first investment in me as an individual researcher. Not only did it allow me to pursue crucial early research experience free of financial burden, but it also gave me the confidence to see myself as someone whose time could be spent in the pursuit of learning and scientific advancement. This confidence is often lacking in young female scientists, and the Levinson was crucial for me to overcome my self-doubt.”
— Molly Gasperini, ’12, ’19, B.S. biology; Ph.D. genome sciences
Senior scientist at Cajal Neuro

Mark your calendar!

Graphic promoting the 25th anniversary of the Undergraduate Research SymposiumThe 25th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium is Friday, May 20, 2022. Hear undergrads present their original research in fields ranging from art to zoology.

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