Alene Moris Women’s Center

Dr. Sutapa Basu, executive director of the UW Alene Moris Women’s CenterSutapa Basu, PhD (she/her)

Executive Director and Affil. Assistant Professor

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Phone: (206) 685-1090

Devoni Whitehead, MPA (they/she)

Administrator, Program Operations 

Devoni had received their Master’s in Public Administration at the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, where they specialized in Social policy, and conducted a capstone evaluation and policy analysis on the Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot in King County. She utilized her time at UW to hold student leadership positions, creating dedicated spaces to enrich the learning experience for students. Before coming to the UW Women’s Center as the Administrator, Devoni worked in Indigenous data sovereignty, facilitating the access to vital community information to tribes through the use of statistical analysis and community-centered data collection. 


As the child of an immigrant family, Devoni’s passions for social justice and advocacy stemmed from witnessing how rising sea levels, typhoons, and floods devastated her mother’s home country. As a Neurodivergent Black Filipina, Devoni is not only committed to highlighting the voices of all intersecting communities, but curating spaces that empower, uplift, and foster community-centered connections. 


In her free time, Devoni is a visual artist that creates pieces of art that explores topics of environmental racism, social justice, and community care. You can find her running around Seattle at various markets and craft fairs. You can also find them roller skating, cooking with loved ones, and taking care of their guinea pigs, Pumpkin, Chelan, and Oatchi.


Sarah Nguyen (she/they)

Assistant Director of Leadership Program and Advancement 

Sarah Nguyễn (she/they) is a second-generation Vietnamese American, daughter of refugees, and one of four sisters. Prior to joining UW, Sarah has worked in project management, organizing, and instruction roles for private, public, educational, for-profit, and non-profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Việt Nam. Their professional experience spans across a diversity of sectors, including but not limited to technology start-ups, publishing houses, galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM), higher education, food and agriculture, dance and performance, city planning, and economic development. Sarah applies theory into practice using the intersections of information infrastructures, information disorder, and embodied memories in relation to immigrant community development. Motivated by community-centered and feminist practices of care, she seeks to build and create upon historical cultural legacies to uplift those who have been traditionally marginalized in racialized and gendered projects.In Sarah’s own ancestral practices of talk story, food traditions, and sensorial presence, she “brings forward familial and intergenerational sharing as a means for deconstructing and reimagining power dynamics, which is inspired by the legacies that the Women’s Center has developed as the foundations of the knowledge and wisdom for former, present, and future generations.” Currently, Sarah is working on her PhD at the University of Washington’s Information School investigating the intersection of memory, information disorder, and movement. She received her Master in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington, and has a dual Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Relations from the University of California, Davis. In their free time, Sarah practices movement and dance as means for internal to communal healing and creative placemaking.

Maria Abando (she/her)

Assistant Director of Making Connections Program 

Born and raised in Tacoma, WA, Maria joins Making Connections with a deep passion for youth advocacy and educational justice. She  applies over five years of experience as a community and electoral organizer in various local and national campaigns, political action committees, and nonprofit programs. A common thread throughout her work has been accessibility in education. As Maria states, “Through education, we strengthen our communities’ abilities to explore, collaborate and find solutions to the shared problems of our world. And once we are rooted in knowledge, and we come together across differences with our voices, stories, talents, and resources, we have the collective power needed to build movements that work towards the liberation of oppressed and marginalized peoples everywhere”. Maria knows firsthand that addressing educational disparities with youth and girls of color is a necessary step towards antiracist workplaces and communities. She graduated from the UW in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology, and felt that having support in school was especially essential in environments and classes where very few people came from backgrounds like hers – low-income, first-generation students, and immigrant families. Maria’s involvement in a similar pipeline program as a high schooler helped make her success possible. She found community support while working with the Black Student Union and Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and learned how to utilize her perspective as a Black and Filipina woman in her work after graduating. She has stayed connected to the UW through serving on President Cauce’s Minority Community Advisory Committee. In her free time, Maria is also a visual artist who enjoys balancing her volunteer and community activism with creativity, holistic joy, and lifelong learning.


Safiya Karmy-Jones, PhC (she/her)

Assistant Director of Returning and Non-Traditional Student Program and Special Projects

As assistant director of the Re-Entry/Non-Traditional Student program and special projects, Safiya utilizes her experience in teaching, advising, tutoring, and mentoring non-traditional students of all backgrounds. This experience includes working as an instructor in the University’s Interdisciplinary and Expository Writing Programs, a teaching assistant for the American Ethnic Studies Department, a tutor for the City of Seattle’s Upward Bound program, and a volunteer educator for the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound.

Safiya credits who she is today as well as her academic and professional passions to the communities and people that raised her, most centrally the stories and convictions of her sitty (paternal grandmother), whose teachings were deeply informed by her status as a Palestinian refugee. Safiya is also proud to be the sibling of an autistic self-advocate, her brother, to whose example she owes her identity as a disability studies scholar. Both of these role models impressed upon Safiya the importance of stories, history, and education from a young age.

As Safiya states, “The people I love taught me to be someone who strives for access and equity in my scholarship, professional work, and personal life. In my experience, the Women’s Center is an organization dedicated to and built on these ideals. I am proud to join the Center’s team and to be of service to students, staff, faculty, and community members.”


Jennifer Stoneking (she/her)

Assistant to the Director

Jennifer is currently pursuing her MSW at the University of Washington. She graduated from the University of Montana, earning a B.A. in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Jennifer is both the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree and the first to pursue a master’s degree. Jennifer understands what it is like to face institutional barriers, and works each day knowing that the personal is political.

Before relocating to Seattle, Jennifer worked as part of the clinical team for Florence Crittenton Montana: a non-profit that provides residential chemical dependency treatment for pregnant and parenting women. As a clinical provider, she implemented trauma informed care for women and children in vulnerable times, with most clients being Indigenous, survivors of human trafficking, and survivors of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Jennifer understands that by having a marginalized identity, one is more likely to experience violence, poverty, medical neglect, socioeconomical disadvantages, and chemical dependency. This is what shaped her desire to pursue work in gender equity using a trauma informed approach.

Jennifer has a demonstrated history of applying a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens to her everyday work. She is known to look at each intersection of a client’s identity in order to form a therapeutic, accessible, and inclusive practice. From directing the University of Montana Women’s Resource Center as a full-time undergraduate student, to coordinating the University of Montana’s Food Pantry, her life’s purpose it to serve those with marginalized identities and work towards making the world a more equitable place.


Picture of Dora. She is in front of a window. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail. She is wearing a hoodie.Dora Reyes Saavedra (she/her/ella)

Making Connections Coordinator

She is a first generation student and eldest daughter in her family. With time flying by faster than neuron activity, she is now a Senior at the University of Washington majoring in Psychology and Sociology (B.A.). She has been at the UW Women’s Center for almost 2 years as an Administrative Assistant and a Making Connections Coordinator. She joined the Making Connections program her Sophomore year of high school where she gained a lot of support through tutors, mentors, and career exploration events to name a few. She is also a post-secondary participant for the Summer Search program. Through Summer Search, she will also be a Peer Wellness Ambassador for the fall quarter of 2023 for other post-secondary participants. After College, she aspires to be a support and guide for other middle school and/or high school students as a College and Career pathway counselor. The ultimate goal is to support those that have a dream or two, but don’t know where to start.

Outside of school and work study, she likes to attend the UW Salsa club socials. If the week isn’t too busy, she likes to play soccer for Sunday leagues at Valley Ridge Community Center & Ball Fields. During the week after classes or work study, you can catch her at the UW IMA. In her down time, she enjoys reading most genres, watching K-dramas on Netflix, and hanging with friends and family. She lives on campus with her 2-year-old daughter and husband, whom she loves watching Disney movies, eating takeout, or going to the park with.


Sara Gebremedhin (she/her)

Making Connections Coordinator

Sara Negash Gebremedhin is a first-generation Ethiopian American who is a junior at the University of Washington pursuing a BS in Political Science and pre-law. Sara is a daughter to Ethiopian refugees from Tigray, a wife, mother, and sister. With credit to her parents for leaving Ethiopia, Sara grew up with an open mindset in multiple cities across the United States. After being born in Ohio, her family moved West to Seattle. As a product of her surroundings and experiences, Sara is an adventurous and giving person with a passion for uplifting young women and girls, advocating for their potential, and supporting their journey towards success.

Prior to UW, Sara graduated High School in 2007 from one of the most diverse high schools in Seattle. This cultural and social diversity made her one amongst a group of friends reflecting all different races and sexual orientations at a young age all while exposing her to the hardships and community of all cultures. After graduation, Sara explored her higher education at U of O but then discovered her love for acting and moved to New York City to attend Terry Schreiber Theatre and Studio. Sara has spent years as an actress, model and writer in Los Angeles and shares a rich background and love for the arts.

Sara emphasizes the importance of education through volunteer work and mentoring. Over the years, she has collaborated with different non-profits and traveled to Africa to provide aid and mentorship to young orphans. Sara is an entrepreneur and runs an e-commerce coffee business. In her free time, Sara enjoys spending time with her family. You will find her working out, attending a sporting event or a music concert.


Armaghan Fakhremoghaddam (she/her)

Making Connections Coordinator

Armaghan Fakhremoghaddam is a sophomore at the University of Washington pursuing a double degree in Psychology (B.A) and Neuroscience (B.S). She was born in Tehran, Iran and because of her religion and the discrimination she and her family faced in their country they moved to Turkey for their visa process. She and her sister started going to school in Turkey and learned Turkish during their school years. After five years of waiting, they moved to U.S and have been living in Bellevue area for three years. Due to her experience in her first years in the U.S and Iran she is determined to create a community where everyone’s voice is heard and respected. She is also passionate in uplifting students especially women and girls withing the community by providing valuable support and resources.

During her time as a refugee in Turkey, she displayed remarkable compassion by actively supporting fellow refugees by offering language assistance or providing emotional support. She also had youth gathering with goals based on building a better community. Despite her relatively short time in the U.S she wants to create a positive impact in the society and on individual’s lives.


Danielle M. Hickman, MPA (she/her)

Grant Writer

Danielle is a second-year MA student at the University of Washington’s School of Urban Studies, Community Planning program and has been a grant writer from the Women’s Center for the past year. She was born in Tacoma, Washington, and is the first in her immediate family to attend college, dedicating her life to learning. As a non-traditional student, Danielle strives to set an excellent example for her daughter. She received her BA and MPA from Evergreen State College with an emphasis on social equity and a background in sociology. Danielle hopes to obtain her PH.D. in Community Leadership from the University of Washington. Her academic interests included community-based research, qualitative discourse, urban education, water equity, and urban planning. Her research has explored trust as a variable in the community engagement process and how a lack of trust has led to a lack of community participation within local governance. Her research interests have focused on the topics and issues around housing, healthcare equity, poverty, outdated policy, and policy revision, aiming to promote community justice within urban development by exploring how neoliberal economic policy fosters inequities. Danielle wants to be an influential advocate for social justice through a social equity lens to work with the community in solidarity and help communities create policy through their narratives. She hopes to become an expert in community planning and community policy, “She believes that with all the uncertainties and ongoing issues, innovative and equitable policies are needed more than ever.” That policy should be developed from the ground up using an evidence-based approach. All the community work she has completed during her education was designed to give back to the community. She believes in the mission and community work the Women’s Center embraces and is grateful for the experience and opportunity she has had as a member of the Women’s Center Staff.


Sherese A. Card (they/she)

Legacy & Archives Project Coordinator

Sherese is a Master of Library & Information Science (MLIS) student at the University of Washington’s Information School with her interest being in digital and physical archiving practices to maximize access and community engagement. Prior to attending the UW, Sherese received their BA from Evergreen State College with an emphasis on social justice, political science, and history. Sherese’s interest in archives stems from an undergraduate project on how political economies affect her personal life and familial history, which led them to see themselves as the archivist of their own story and ignited their interest in merging social justice with archival practice to create community. They hope their work at the Women’s Center will foster inclusion, local knowledge of the Women’s Center, gender equity, and advocating for solutions for structural inequities impacting marginalized communities in archival education, employment, and representation in archival collections.

Sherese worked as a library archives assistant at Evergreen State College and worked closely with the special collections supervisor with cataloging and updating the archives database with newsletters, student newspapers, and administrative documents from the 1970s. They have also volunteered at the Seattle Municipal Archives accessioning collections regarding human services and creating finding aids. In her free time, Sherese enjoys reading books, articles, and essays from their vast To-Read list or watching video essays on YouTube.


Madison Engelby (she/her)

Program Assistant, Anti-Human Trafficking

Madison Engelby is a recent graduate of the University of Wyoming with a degree in Political Science. She is now a first-year masters student at the University of Washington receiving a degree in Public Administration with concentrations in non-profit management and international development. Madison has worked in the non-profit, higher education, and corporate industries. Holding both her internship with the Equality State Policy Center and an elected position as the chair of the Programs and Institutional Development Committee for her alma mater in her senior year has shaped her interest in social advocacy and policy development. Madison has worked on projects and policy addressing food insecurity, LGTBTQ+ visibility, healthcare, government restructuring, financial planning, student rights in higher education, and election reform. Despite these experiences, the most moving experiences for her have been working with groups such as the Queer Community Coalition, Native American Center, Panhellenic, Interfraternity Council, United Multicultural Affairs, Sustainability Coalition, Green Dot, and Non-Traditional Student Council to combat ongoing discrimination and visibility issues in the broader state of Wyoming. She received the Sara L. Axelson Medal of Meritorious Service in the spring of 2023 to reward these efforts and is hopeful to make the same impact in the state of Washington.
Madison has witnessed an issue facing research and policy advocacy groups that is best explained as an abundance of people with passion and meaningful stories but no tools to take action or a fear of retaliation, especially in the social justice industry. This is why she is dedicated to being a middle ground to support and bring the tools to those people to enact powerful change.
In her free time, Madison enjoys going to the gym, trying new coffee shops, and cooking. She is excited to work with the Women’s Center because the state of Wyoming did not have the resources or funding for an organization like the Women’s Center and therefore women’s issues and advocacy fell through the cracks. She says “I would love to give the opportunity to women to explore advocacy in a safe environment so every individual can feel empowered within themselves”.

Monica Thomas (she/her)

Leadership Academy Coordinator

Monica Thomas is a graduate student currently working on a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences, with an interest in Disability Studies and accessibility. In March 2020, Monica earned her BA in Therapeutic Recreation from Western Washington University and has since worn many hats. Over the next few years, Monica would work as a recreational therapist, a job coach, and a college advisor, among other roles. In her professional and personal life, serving others, particularly individuals with disabilities, has been a cause close to her heart.
Growing up as a child with several disabilities, Monica was exposed to the inequities and prejudice that people within the Disabled community encounter within our society. Through her life experiences of seeing the marginalization of her community, she has used her passion to advocate and participate in causes that decrease barriers for her community, such as volunteering for camps that provide recreational resources and a community for youth with disabilities or running a blog that she created and developed, Crip the Pic, which sheds a spotlight on Disabled experiences and societal issues impacting people with disabilities.
In her free time, Monica likes taking her dogs for walks, hiking, reading disability studies books, writing content for her blog, or playing video games with friends. Monica is excited about all that comes with her new journey at UW Seattle and looks forward to serving the UW and the greater community!


Patty Panom (she/her)

Administrative Assistant

Patty Panom is a student currently pursuing a degree in Health Informatics and Information Management. As the first-generation college student and eldest daughter in her family, she embraces the role of being a trailblazer for her loved ones. With an unwavering passion for leveraging the potential of data and technology to transform healthcare practices, she is resolute in her commitment to making a significant and positive impact in this field.

In her role as the Treasurer of the Lao Student Association here at the UW, Patty takes an active part in amplifying the voices of the Lao community while forging stronger bonds within it. Their proactive involvement in events like the United Communities of Laos Summer Festival underlines Patty’s determination to foster awareness and meaningful connections.

Beyond her academic journey and community engagement, Patty is an avid reader who recently reignited her love for books by dusting off her trusty old gen 4 Kindle. Immersing herself in the digital stories and ideas has been a delightful journey she’s excited to continue.

Joining the Women’s Center team, Patty looks forward to contributing her skills, experiences, and enthusiasm to this vibrant community. Her aim is to empower, uplift, and foster connections that create a lasting and meaningful impact.


Mohamoud Hassan (he/him)

Administrative Assistant

A first-generation student and a proud Somali Muslim, Mohamoud is pursuing Marketing and Supply Chain Management (B.A.) at the University of Washington Bothell. Mohamoud finds great joy in being in front of the camera and has been acting and modeling since he was just five years old. Mohamoud has set his sights on a future filled with prosperity and success in all areas of his life. In addition to his studies at the UW Bothell campus, he has served as a program
coordinator for the NextGen Civic Engagement program, managing everything from overseeing curriculum development with faculty to student outreach and program marketing. He also played an active role as a student assistant in the orientation program, serving all types of students, regulating major social media accounts at UWB, and supporting campus events. Raised in Seattle for most of his life, Mohamoud plans to move to LA in the future to further his passion
for content creation and acting. In his free time, he can often be found working with agencies or developing content for his YouTube channel. Upon graduating from college, Mohamoud’s plans entail venturing into project management roles within the supply chain industry or any other sector where such skills are in high demand. In tandem with this, Mohamoud intends to continue creating content for his vlogs and pursue his passion for acting.