Autumn 2019

Autumn quarter, as usual, came quickly on the heels of Summer. With cooler temperatures and shorter days, we all seem to have settled in to the new academic year. As we did last year, UAA Advising and OMAD ACS sponsored a successful Dawg Daze welcome lunch for new transfer students. It provided incoming transfer students an opportunity to get to know their advisers. Also, in collaboration with the Office of Admissions, UAA Advising will host the Second Annual Transfer Student Preview Day event on December 19, 2019. This is for prospective transfer students and their family members and friends to visit campus and learn more about degree programs and opportunities at UW. The event coincides with the December 15th opening of the application period for Autumn and Summer 2020. 

As a reminder, Transfer Thursday is held every week, unless it falls on a holiday, even during the winter break. There is an Admissions Information session at 1:30 p.m., followed by departmental and general advising. Check out the TT schedule on the UW Transfer Portal.    

The Transfer Portal has a wealth of information about important considerations for prospective transfer students so spend some time browsing through it! You will likely find answers to many of your questions. Transfer Thursday is a great opportunity to get more questions answered if you can’t find what you need on the portal or on the Undergraduate Academic Affairs Advising website

For students who may be placebound or outside the Seattle area, Admissions offers a Transfer Webinar once a month, on Tuesday afternoon, and more frequently during application periods. This is similar to the Admissions presentation on Transfer Thursday. Check out the Transfer Webinar schedule on the UW Transfer Portal

In this issue of the newsletter, we are again featuring profiles of transfer students from several departments, as well as updates from departments and news about other offices of interest to students, including the Career & Internship Center and Academic Support Programs. We hope you enjoy reading about the student experiences and learn about some of the many opportunities available at the UW!

Happy Holidays!

-Tim McCoy

Transfer and Alumni Spotlight: UW School of Social Work


Alumni Spotlight

Alejandra Villa, Class of 2019, completed her Master of Social Work degree this past spring. Last winter, she traveled to the South Texas Family Residential Center, a Detention Center in Dilley, Texas. 


"The UW School of Social Work and the UW School of Law were collaborating with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs to practice asylum law and provide social-work assistance to families being detained by the federal government. Personally, the trip meant a lot more than 'opportunity.' This was a responsibility."

"My first preparatory meeting with a detainee took over three hours. I paired up with Jane Lee, assistant professor at the School of Social Work. Our detainee had tears in her eyes from the start. She and her 4-year-old son were fleeing a domestic violence situation, from a man who was gang affiliated—an ongoing social issue in Honduras. She had experienced death threats, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Jane and I realized we were working with someone who suffered a tremendous amount of trauma. We tried to offer empathy, kindness and a safe space for her to share as much of her story as she felt compelled to." Read more about Alejandra's experience in Dilley here.

In March, Alejandra was hired by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s office, where she now serves as a Constituent Services Representative working with asylum-seekers and undocumented immigrants, their families and the communities around them.

Alejandra was in the Advanced Standing MSW Program, an accelerated Master's degree (11 months full-time, or 17 months part-time) for students with an eligible Bachelor's degree in Social Work/Social Welfare (BASW). 

BASW Transfer Spotlight


"Transferring to UW has given me the opportunity to grow as a person, as a student, and as a professional...being a Husky has opened so many doors in my career and I couldn't be more proud of how much I achieved." 

- Nadia Herrarte
UW BASW Senior
Bellevue College Transfer Student

Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW)

The departmental application for Autumn 2020 admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW) major at UW Seattle opens in February, with an April 15 deadline to apply. Explore the Apply to BASW page for prerequisite information and details, including important information for prospective UW transfer applicants; two applications are required from transfer applicants, including UW's Autumn 2020 transfer application (deadline is February 15th).

Already have a Bachelors degree, or are you a senior? Apply to our Master of Social Work program!  2020 MSW applications are now open for our for our 11-month full time and new 17-month part-time MSW Advanced Standing programs (BASW required), as well as our 2 year full-time MSW Day and 3 year part-time MSW Extended Degree programs (all majors are eligible and welcome; an undergraduate degree in social work/social welfare is not required for the MSW Day or MSW Extended Degree programs). The GRE is not required.


Upcoming Events

BASW Application Deadline: April 15, 2020
Autumn 2020 BASW Application opens: early February, 2020 

BA in Social Welfare Fall Open House: November 13, 2020
BA in Social Welfare Winter Open House: January 15, 2020


MSW Application Deadline: January 2, 2020
Autumn 2020 MSW application is available now!

Explore our event calendar for a list of upcoming on-campus and online MSW information

MSW: Apply Now

Have questions? Contact SSW Admissions

Prospective student drop-in advising hours (no appointment needed) occur most Thursdays from 10:00-12:00 and 1:00-3:00 in Room 23 (Admissions) on the ground floor of the UW School of Social Work building in Seattle.  To schedule an appointment for a different day/time, please call us and we'll be happy to set up a phone or in-person appointment with an advisor.

UW School of Social Work, Admissions
4101 15th Avenue NE, Suite 23
Seattle, WA 98105-6250

Marine Biology Information and Student Profiles

Marine Biology

Study the life of organisms inhabiting saltwater environments – from genetics and evolution to physiological traits and ecosystem functioning. The Marine Biology Major examines the marine aspects of biodiversity, ecology and ecosystems and organismal processes, along with impacts from ocean change. Take courses from the UW School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, the School of Oceanography, the Department of Biology, and spend up to a full term in residence at our marine field station Friday Harbor Labs.

Explore our programs at and contact the UW academic adviser to arrange a visit at

Hear from two of our recent transfer students!

Jacki O’Maley

Hometown: Longview, WA

Prior institution: Edmonds Community College

What has been your favorite part of UW Marine Biology so far?

I’m taking classes with ‘Ocean’ and ‘Fish’ in the name; how great is that? I love that I’m focusing on my area of interest now that my general courses are finished!

How do you feel about being in a small program in a large university?

I think it’s the best way to do it. You have all the resources available that a large university offers, and all the credentials behind it, but you get a more personal experience being in a small program. People know you by name and you find you share multiple classes with a lot of students, so it feels more familiar and friendly.

What are your future plans? Do you have any research interests?

I am hoping to get into coral research as soon as possible! Coral reefs are such important ecosystems that effect everyone on the planet, and they’re undergoing progressively more intense stressors every year as the climate changes. There are many areas of coral research and I’m not sure which area I want to focus on yet, but I’m excited to take Tropical Marine Biology next quarter and learn more about that field.

Christine Mantegna

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Prior institution: Green River Community College

Why did you choose to transfer into the UW Marine Biology program?

Friday Harbor Labs! I want to understand the world underwater and Marine Biology is the vehicle to get me there- it's the particular balance of studying the marine environment and marine life that sets it apart from the other majors in the College of the Environment. 

What is something that surprised you about the transfer experience?

There is tons of support. Advisers, professors, and TAs are all willing to help you transition from your old institution and UW.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

The future includes graduate school and research centered on the life that thrives around hydrothermal vents

Do you have any advice for students thinking about transferring?

Ask questions. There is so much information available (in and out of class) that it is really helpful to utilize your adviser and professors to help you navigate through the program.

Student Profile: Ajla Selimic- Civil Engineering

Degree program: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Area of interest: Construction

Year: Senior

Hometown: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Transferred from: Bellevue College

Why did you choose engineering? Like many others, I found a home in America as a refugee. I was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a small country that was once a victim of war. During the war, my hometown was leveled as buildings and roads were reduced to rubble. Being a post-war child, I can’t reminisce on the horrors of the war, but one picture that I will always have is of a city in utter ruins. To this day Sarajevo is recovering with the help of engineers. Seeing how the work of civil engineers brought life back to the streets of Sarajevo inspired me to pursue my degree in engineering.

How would you describe the transition from community college to UW? The transitional period was initially difficult due to the vast difference in student body and the challenging workload. As time passed, however, I found my community within the CEE program which offered me support and mentorship during my transition.

What do you enjoy most about the CEE program? Among many things, the one thing that I am most grateful for in the CEE program is the support and mentorship offered by the professors.

Have you participated in any research, internships or other activities? In the summer of 2017, I interned for a construction company in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. During this internship I had the opportunity to see what the challenges of civil engineering are in the post-conflict and resource-limited context. I recently completed my second internship with Blueline, a consulting company based in Kirkland. Throughout this internship I had the opportunity to grow as a professional and an individual.

What is your dream job? In the future, I hope to expand in my career in construction and gain knowledge and experience so that I can move toward the business side of the construction industry. 

Any advice for prospective transfer students? Approach your education as a composite of learning experiences in which you build academic, personal, and professional skills in parallel. The University of Washington not only offers a prestigious education, but also allows for numerous pathways for networking and opportunities to pursue a variety of career paths.

Transfer Shock Dawg Daze Panel: Student Responses

Thirty Transfer students were recently asked a series of questions, in preparation for a Dawg Daze event on Transfer Shock. This phenomenon is characterized by a dip in grade point average experienced by students when they transfer from one institution to another. It is often temporary, and lasts one to two quarters or semesters.

Here are some of the responses we received--

1. How would you describe your satisfaction with your transfer experience to the University of Washington? What contributed to or detracted from your transition?

The first time I entered UW as a transfer student, I thought I would have a hard time making new friends or at least talking to people, but I was wrong because I actually made many new friends and met so many different people of different backgrounds so I was pretty satisfied with my transfer experience.

My experience as a transfer to the UW was both great and difficult at the same time. Being a first generation college student I had to figure out a lot on my own, but through this I also learned so much about myself which eventually helped me have a successful junior year

Being a student veteran, it was a little awkward for me going back to school because of my age. But thanks to the Office of Student Veteran Life, it made my transfer experience more personable and welcoming.

The transfer process was straight forward, I appreciated that a lot since I am a working student. Once I was in my program the the academics was more challenging but I was able to get good grades my first year at UW by working hard and asking for help from my teachers and collaborating with my peers.

Overall it was a great transition. My department members really helped me with understanding how navigate myuw, financial aid, campus resources, etc. Once I got into a few cultural clubs and found my circle within my major, it was smooth sailing. It just took a few weeks, but I found my groove.

I tried to focus on building a small community for study groups and support which helped a lot with the transition. It was tough at first, but I think of it like your first time driving on the freeway and everything seems to be going so fast, but you eventually become accustomed to the new speed.


2. How has your UW experience differed from your previous collegiate experience?

Much more "extra" going on. Going from a community college with roughly 1600 undergrad enrollment to UW that has 30,000, you feel the energy difference. More people, more events, more food (yes there is free food just gotta hunt for it!) The overall time demand to school does change. Much easier to balance work and school with community college, but attending UW is usually the main part of your schedule. As a person who commutes, getting to campus can get draining in itself. But the experience is what each person decided to make out of it.

The most significant difference has been the class sizes and the overwhelming amount of options available on campus. My previous school was much smaller and the clubs and groups were small. On campus at UW there is so much to chose from it becomes overwhelming on what to chose. It all sounds amazing! I have had to learn to walk away from things that were not a good fit for me and that has been difficult when I am using to trying everything on campus.

The biggest difference I noticed, especially in most of my STEM classes, was the deafening silence that plagues bigger classrooms when a teacher poses a question to the class. At my community college, I felt like students were much less afraid to speak up/be wrong when answering a question. I struggled to break this silence (though I really wanted to) during my first month at UW, but with a little time, I was back to my "respond-to-everything" self. It definitely took a lot of determination and confidence building.

Besides the campus overall being much larger and having more resources, the biggest thing that differed was the class sizes were much larger. Many of my majors classes only met 3 days per week + quiz section. At my last college, majors courses were 5 days a week and there were no quiz sections. Also, attending office hours are far more important for effective learning at UW.

I’ve been able to establish a really broad network of likeminded individuals — not only professionally, but also personally.


3. What did you learn about yourself when you transferred?

I learned that I can't be in control of everything and no matter how much I study and know the materials for my classes there would be a time where I didn't get the grade that I hope for, but that just taught me that I shouldn't give up and just keep moving forward because a simple bad grade does not define who I am. So, being a transfer student gave me the opportunity to realize that I will never be a perfect student and get the perfect grades that I want, but that is okay because as long as I don't give up on my hopes and dreams then I don't have to be a perfect student at all.

I learned that I am a very resilient person that will do everything in my power to reach my goals

I always thought that I would have a hard time transitioning from living semi-rural area to a busy city but it turns out it was a lot easier than I anticipated. It turns out I am a lot better at adapting to the changing environment than I expected.

I learned that I was deserving of being accepted at UW. I am what you would call a non-traditional student. I am a 51yr old single mom who is now helping to raise two of her grandchildren. I was a high school dropout and a teen mom. College wasn't even on my radar when I was a teen. No one ever mentioned to me that I could go to college.

I learned that I am capable of anything and I am not alone. It's also okay to ask for help.

I am more resilient than I give myself credit for.

I learned that even though I may not have had the same amount of time or experiences as people who started at UW straight out of high school, that didn't mean I couldn't accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish while I'm here at UW. I can still get involved in student leadership, have a job on campus, be competitive for an internship, make connections, etc. I learned to not underestimate or limit myself.

I learned that I'm better at networking than I thought I was. The large environment of UW inherently rewards students that reach out to fellow students, professors, etc; it is these connections that open students to the best opportunities UW has to offer. I was able to secure my research position within the first month of autumn quarter by reaching out to a myriad of professors, and also made friends that eventually helped me get into my second major (informatics) during my first/second quarters here.


4. What do you wish you had known before transferring?

Better time management and prioritization practices.

How to juggle school work and commuting lol

That the art department has a strong community and lovely people--that it wouldn't be too difficult to meet new people, having a job while at UW is not nearly as difficult as orientation made it seem

I wish someone had told me to just relax and enjoy the ride. No one expects you to know exactly what you're doing right off the bat.

I wish I would have been more aware of clubs and other social opportunities on campus. It can be difficult to seek out and find friends when others your age are already incorporated into the university or are living off-campus.

What I wish I had known before I transferred was that it was going to be alright. I stressed over the transition since I was the first in my family.


5. What general or transfer-specific resource(s) would be good for new students to be aware of? Why?

The Counseling Center and Hall Health Mental Health Services. The transition can be really difficult, but you should know these resources are here (many of which free of charge) if you need them.

Do not be shy about reaching out to academic advisors! They have been my BIGGEST resource when I have questions or need help. It is also important to connect with an advisor right after you're admitted -- a couple of my transfer courses were eligible to fulfill graduation requirements, but they did not appear that way at first. Ask questions, and advocate for the hard work you've already put in elsewhere to maximize what you've already completed. Also, I use the MyPlan degree audit multiple times in a quarter. It's really handy when you're first admitted because you can see how all your credits transfer in, and how they fulfill the different requirements for any given degree program you're considering. It's also a really fun and encouraging way to track your progress as you move through a program -- it is so motivating to watch the RED turn to GREEN!


Martin Family Foundation Scholarships

Martin Family Foundation Scholarships

The Martin Family Foundation was formed with the vision of its founder, Benn Martin. His goal was to fund scholarships for students currently attending Washington State community colleges who desired to complete their baccalaureate degree at the University of Washington Seattle. Benn Martin was particularly interested in assisting students who have had a positive impact in their community. Complete program and eligibility information is available at

The Foundation offers two scholarship programs:

  • The Martin Achievement Scholarship funds students who have demonstrated signs of exceptional ability in art, humanities, music, science, and/or leadership at one of the fifteen community colleges located around the Puget Sound region. The program will select Martin Achievement Scholars early in their community college career and provides $5,000 in support for their second year in community college and up to $12,000 per year for up to three years at UW-Seattle. Apply at least year in advanced of anticipated transfer to UW. Annual deadline is in April.
  • The Martin Honors Scholarship enables Washington State Community College students (from any WA community college) of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement to complete their baccalaureate degrees at UW-Seattle. Martin Honors Scholars are encouraged to participate in departmental honors opportunities at UW. The scholarship provides $12,000 per year for up to three years at UW-Seattle. Annual deadline is in July for students planning to transfer in summer, fall or winter of the application year (including those who already transferred but have not yet earned more than 18 credits at UW).

The Martin Family Foundation Scholarships are supported by the UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards. Please feel welcome to contact us for additional information or with questions.


UW Tacoma Milgard School of Business

Milgard School of Business – UW Tacoma

The Milgard School of Business at UW Tacoma offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree with options in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, and General Business as well as a unique minor in Corporate Responsibility. We have a new minor on the horizon, pending approval for Winter 2020, – Business Data Analytics.


We were thrilled that Milgard senior, Justin Cabanos, was selected as student commencement speaker at the 2019 UW Tacoma Commencement ceremony this past June. Justin is a Finance student who previously participated in Running Start at Pierce College. Read more about Justin’s story here.



The Tacoma Rainiers Minor League Baseball team has gifted $1 million dollars to the Milgard School of Business to support sports enterprise management programming. This autumn we offered a 400 level course called “Essentials of Sports Enterprise Management”, with the classes taking place on-site at Cheney Stadium! Learn more about this partnership here.



Autumn 2020 applications will open January 15. Students must first apply to transfer to UW Tacoma and then second apply to the Milgard School of Business. The priority application date is March 15.

Milgard has many scholarship opportunities for incoming students, including transfer students. Students with 3.0 or higher transfer GPA are encouraged to submit our scholarship application which opens annually on April 1 and closes May 1.

Visit our website to learn more or contact Milgard School of Business Undergraduate Recruiter & Advisor Heidi Norbjerg at

Heidi Norbjerg

Undergraduate Recruiter & Advisor

Milgard School of Business

University of Washington Tacoma 


College of the Environment: Tour de College

Tour de College

WHEN: January 17, 2020

WHERE: Starting at Anderson Hall Forest Club Room - AND 207 at 9.30a.m., followed by visits to different schools and laboratories.

If you want to discover how our world works, you belong at the College of the Environment. Students set the pace at the College of the Environment, playing a meaningful role in hands-on research, applied science, and discovery. Through collaboration and an open mind to the challenges ahead, UW Environment’s students drive significant changes to the way the world understands environmental issues and the ways they’re addressed.

Through the Tour de College, students interested in transferring to UW an obtain a 4-year degree will have the opportunity to visit different laboratories and teaching spaces in the College of the Environment to learn more about research opportunities and career pathways as well as to connect with students and faculty.

RSVP before January 10, 2020 at

For more information contact Isabel Carrera Zamanillo at

To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or


New Building for UW School of Public Health

This fall, the new Hans J. Rosling Center for Population Health will bring much of the School of Public Health together for the first time since it was founded nearly 50 years ago.

Made possible by a gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the UW’s Population Health Initiative (PHI), as well as earmarked funding from the Washington Legislature and funding from the University, the new building is designed to be a central hub to bring researchers, external partners, and students from across the University together to work on population health projects.

The Gates family proposed naming the new facility in honor of Rosling, who died in 2017. Rosling was a visionary Swedish doctor, statistician, and public health expert who had a profound impact on the way world leaders and the public think about health and global development. His dedication to understanding and clearly explaining the drivers of global health issues exemplifies the comprehensive and data and evidence-based purpose that underpins the PHI.

The work of the PHI is to address the challenges that arise when the three major pillars of population health—human health, environmental resilience, and social and economic equity—intersect.

You can be a part of this exciting work and contribute to the mission of the Population Health Initiative by studying in one of these great School of Public Health undergraduate programs:


Student Profile: August Mikkelsen- Atmospheric Science

August Mikkelsen

Major: Atmospheric Science (Climate and Meteorology options)

Year: Junior, joined ATM S in Autumn 2017

Prior Insitution Everett Community College

Why are you studying Atmospheric Science?

I’ve always enjoyed looking at the sky and – especially – the clouds. When I graduated high school, GPA low and direction nonexistent, I found myself interested in cloudwatching and identification during the summer and moreso the following autumn at Everett Community College. During this time, I stumbled across the discipline of Atmospheric Science while trying to find a career path; I had never considered I could look at clouds for a living. I applied for transfer to UW Seattle – which has a fantastic undergraduate Atmospheric Science department –, got in, and I’ve been enjoying my time here ever since.

So, what are you going to do with a B.S. in Atmospheric Science?

The current plan is to go to graduate school immediately after finishing my studies here with the intention of getting a doctorate. After that, (and a few post-docs, probably) I’d like to do climate/weather research in academia or at a federal agency (NOAA, NASA, etc.). It’s hard to say what exactly I’d like to study, since I find so much of the field interesting, but I’ll probably end up specializing in something to do with clouds.

What extracurricular experiences have been most impactful during your time at UW?

Doing research has been absolute joy and a real enhancement of my undergraduate experience here at UW. To me, there’s no purpose more noble than adding to the sum total of human knowledge, and being involved in that process has not only been educational, but also incredibly rewarding. (And, of course, it’ll look great on graduate school applications.)

I was also an Orientation Leader for UW during the summer of 2018. Frankly, it was exhausting. But it also greatly improved my public speaking skills, gave me an opportunity to interact with and help many of the incoming students, and introduced me to a ton of new friends. It’s definitely not something I would recommend to everyone – you spend a summer doing a lot of walking and talking – but I found it to be an ultimately valuable and worthwhile experience that I’ll utilize often as I move through the rest of my academic career.

What do you like about your department?

It’s very homey! We’re not a very large department, and all of the faculty and graduate students are  pretty friendly. Once you get into the core classes, you have roughly the same class schedule as your cohort for the next two years, so between that and the social events organized by the department, it’s hard not to make friends in and around the Atmospheric Sciences – Geophysics building. Also, the classes are small, which is a real breath of fresh air after doing introductory calculus and physics for two years.