Spring 2016

It is already June and the quarter is winding down so it must be time for the spring edition of the Transfer Newsletter!  As always, spring is a time of great transition at the UW and for many students, faculty and staff, it is a bittersweet time.  Graduates are getting ready for commencement and to head off to graduate school, Teach for America, the Peace Corps, City Year, travel, or career-launching employment. We are saying goodbye to people we have had the joy of working with for the past two, four or more years.  As advisers, it is both an honor and a privilege to witness the growth and development of students over their time at the university.  We are excited and proud as they head off to the next great adventure, happy that we have been able to be a part of their journey and a bit sad that this is where our part ends for most of them.  But this is also a time of renewal when new freshmen and transfer students are signing up for summer orientation sessions and getting prepared to continue their academic journeys as Huskies.  Our picturesque campus is in bloom and is being prepared for the impending graduation ceremonies, as well as the crowds of incoming new students and their parents, a last fond image and reminder to the graduates of their time here and a warm welcome to the newcomers with a promise of exciting things to come. 

In this issue of the newsletter, you will find some feature stories about students who have successfully transferred to the UW as well as updates from departments about changes in degrees or admission requirements, new offerings and scholarship opportunities.  As always for prospective transfer students, we recommend a visit to Transfer Thursday well before you plan to apply for admission to the university.  Many of the questions that prospective students have center around the admissions process and Transfer Thursday admissions information sessions can answer those questions for both domestic and international transfer students.  The Transfer Thursday website explains how Transfer Thursday works and lists the information sessions and drop-in advising hours that are scheduled for each week.  If you can’t make it to Transfer Thursday during the regular quarter, don’t worry!  We hold the event every week, even during the quarter breaks.  As always, department websites are excellent resources for prospective students as admission prerequisites and degree requirements are spelled out.  Many departments have scheduled in-person or online information sessions so be sure to check on the website for those opportunities.  As advisers at the UW, we rely on the search box on the main UW home page, to find information and you can do the same!  Take advantage of the UAA Advising home page and the wealth of information for students available there.  This is the age of online information, so take advantage of the vast resource at your fingertips!

—Donna Sharpe

Public Health student profile: Wafa Tafesh Taco

Environmental Health
Degree Obtained: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health
Previous school/s before UW: Green River Community College
Job Title: Public Health Advisor 2 for the Washington State Department of Health Office of Drinking Water

Can you tell us a bit about your current position? I love that I get the opportunity to work with many parts of the DOH's drinking water division. I get to support the disinfection and coliform programs as well as get out in the field to see a water system in action.

How did your undergraduate education prepare you for this work/experience? The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) prepared me greatly for this position. I am constantly referring back to slides from the Water, Wastewater, and Health course and to the water labs in Sampling and Analysis….Read the full profile.

Public Health student profile: Veronica Brechtold

Public Health Major
Degree obtained at the UW: Bachelor of Arts Public Health, Minor in Anthropology
Previous school/s before UW: Seattle Central Community College
Job Title: Shelter Counselor for the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC)

Can you tell us a bit about your current position? Working directly with our clients at DESC has given me perspective and has allowed me to understand the direct impact that homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, and trauma have on an individual and our community.

How did your undergraduate education prepare you for this work/experience? There were so many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom at UW. The best part was being able to bring those experiences back into the classroom to share with the group and learn from each other. I was especially fortunate to be in a program that allowed for small classrooms and a ton of interaction with professors and advisers, which really helped me succeed…

Please tell us about your career path so far. I thought that I had valuable internship/work experiences under my belt, but I struggled finding post-grad employment as first. I ended up getting my job at DESC mostly from my previous work experience at ROOTS Young Adult Shelter. The funny thing is I never planned to be there in the first place, but it resulted in a pretty great job in the end.

What one piece of advice would you give to prospective students considering public health as an educational or career path? Do it! Do your research on what it is and what your options are (there are a lot) after you graduate, and throw yourself into it with the intention of taking what you learn out into your community.

Student profile: Colin Gill

Major:  Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies
Previous institution: Seattle Central College
Year/qtr transferred: Autumn 2015
Hometown: Bellevue, WA 

Did you work before going back to school? Yes 

Are you a veteran or military personnel? No

Favorite quote: "I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you." —Frida Kahlo

What would you like to share about yourself: My academic career has been anything but conventional.  When I graduated from high school I was adamant that I would not go to college—much to my mother’s dismay. Why? Because I wanted to party and make up for “lost time” of the partying I did not do in high school. I spent the next two years after high school living out on my own, moshing at punk rock shows with my friends, staying up until sunrise, and working several jobs to support myself. It was during those two years that I did a lot of soul searching and came out of the closet to my friends and family. Coming out as queer and as trans, gender non-conforming lifted a weight off my shoulders and I felt as though I could exist authentically. Yet, at the same time, I felt confused as to what this meant for my identity. I often would ask myself, “Am I still the same person?” 

After partying for a couple years I knew I needed something to ground me and gain a direction in my life. So, I decided to attend Pima Medical Institute and become a Medical Assistant. I come from a family that works in the medical field and thought this could provide me with some stability and higher income. Upon completing the program and internship, I got hired at UW Medicine, where I worked for three years in family medicine. During my time as a medical assistant I grew a lot as a person and gained a sense of purpose in my life. Additionally, I gained experience in the medical field and for a while dabbled with the idea of going to medical school. However, after my experience of working in a clinic I realized that my passion was no longer in this field.  I decided to return to school and began taking classes at Seattle Central College and discovered my passion was within the social sciences. After completing my AA at Seattle Central I applied for several colleges in state and due to my past negative experiences with school I didn’t think I would get into UW. Then one day, it came…I was studying abroad in Argentina and received a skype call from my mother that a letter came in the mail granting my admission to UW. I was in shock. How did I, the person who almost failed out of high school get into this prestigious school? I had waves of emotions and fear that it was a lie or a dream. 

My first quarter at UW was exciting because I was at this well-known university. But it was also shocking and stressful because I left the security net of my smaller community college where I knew a lot of people and where everything was located. Also, I felt self-conscious being a little older than a majority of other undergrads. Nonetheless, I hit the ground running with classes, I signed up for sociology and GWSS (Gender, Women, & Sexuality) courses. I discovered my academic and personal passions are within GWSS because of the ways gender, class, race, and ability effects so many facets of our lives—both on the personal level and institutional level. I am going to pursue graduate studies in the field of sociology and gender, so the GWSS program and Sociology course at UW have provided me a foundation for future study in this field.

A few words of advice to anyone transferring to UW from a smaller school or community college are: 1) be gentle on yourself.  Adjusting to a large university is a lot to take in. 2) You will be lost on campus, a lot. It’s huge! I suggest downloading an app called “Campus Maps." Also, don’t be afraid to ask directions. I still do. 3) Look at as many courses as possible when searching on “My Plan.” I understand that as a transfer student you may be limited on time, but find at least one that looks interesting and sparks your curiosity. Also, sometimes courses will cross over to multiple departments. For example, I took a Black Cultural Studies course that was a Communication course but crossed over as a GWSS course that counts towards my major requirements. Also, if you have the chance take Black Cultural Studies it is a great class! 4) Explore the campus and the activities going on. There’s a lot! Look at fliers on bulletin boards. 5) Café Allegro is a really good café near campus, it is Seattle’s “Original Espresso” bar. It’s a really great place to read and study. They also have really good coffee and burritos for lunch. 6) Have fun! It’s a new chapter and it can be scary, but it can also be an opportunity to grow and learn. 

I wish you the best of luck on your transfer! 

Student profile: Veronica Inveen

International Studies (Asia) major, minor in Southeast Asian Studies
Previous institution:  Tacoma Community College
Year/Qtr transferred:  Autumn 2014
Hometown: Gig Harbor, WA
Favorite quote: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”   


What was the hardest part of transferring?  For me, the hardest part of transferring was not feeling equal to students who had been at UW since freshmen year. Since I didn’t have the traditional experience of going through a three day orientation or living in the dorms, it took me much longer to feel like I was part of campus.

What was something that surprised you in your transfer experience?  To feel connected to campus, I had to put myself out there more than I expected. Getting involved in clubs and working on campus this year has enhanced my experience here so much more.

What do you miss about your previous school?  At Tacoma Community College, the diversity and dedication of the students I was surrounded by made for an inspiring environment to learn in. 

What resources were most helpful to you when you were preparing to transfer? Everyone on campus wants you to be successful so take advantage of the amount of staff there to help you along the way. I constantly met with advisors and emailed my perspective professors to make sure I was on the right track.


How did you select your major? In high school I studied abroad in Thailand for a year so coming into college I knew I wanted to stay involved in the region and eventually move back!

How big are your classes at UW?  My biggest class was 300 but with quiz sections of 20 students. But other than that, all my classes are usually 20-40 people!

What are you involved in outside of academics? I have several on campus jobs, including one at the Study Abroad Office, the International Student Services Office and at the Gould Hall coffee shop! In addition to work, I also am involved with FIUTS and Unite UW, two organizations that help connect UW’s international and domestic students.

Had you intended to study abroad before you came to UW? Absolutely! One of my motivations for choosing UW was the opportunity to go abroad.

How did you go about planning your study abroad experience? I wanted to make sure I could get the most out of the study abroad opportunities at UW so before my first term even started I began scoping out the programs offered so I could make sure I wouldn't miss any deadlines. The study abroad website is a great resource that allows anyone to explore the various program options and learn about related scholarship opportunities.

Where did you go? Last year I spent a semester on CIEE’s Development and Globalization program in Khon Kaen, Thailand, followed by a CHID summer program in Vietnam—Building for Peace in the Wake of War. This March I participated in the Kakehashi Project short-term program in Japan.

What advice do you have for future transfer students considering study abroad? I know it may seem daunting to try to squeeze study abroad into your already tight academic schedule, but with the amount of variety in program type, duration and the amount of funding opportunities there are—I promise if there is a will there is a way!

After you came to UW, what made you feel like a Husky? What class have you taken that you think everyone should take? YES! JSIS 265 The Vietnam Wars taught by Christoph Giebel was the most eye-opening and intriguing class (let alone history class!) that I’ve ever taken. Professor Giebel is extremely passionate and teaches it as if he is telling a story. I recommend everyone take it, regardless of your major!

How do you make a big school feel smaller? As I said previously, getting involved! Whether through clubs or an on-campus job, by connecting with more people you suddenly feel as if the study body is a lot smaller than it actually is. Also, talk with people in your core classes! You will likely see them again so it is nice to be able to know them and a great way to find a study group.

What are your future plans? I received a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) award for the summer to study intensive Thai in Bangkok. After I complete the course, I hope to get a job in the city and utilize my knowledge of the language and region!

Two new courses in the College of Education

Teaching and learning can be found in every profession, as well as in our daily lives as parents, coaches, mentors and citizens.  If you have an interest in education or in teaching and learning in a variety of contexts, both inside and outside the classroom, the College of Education invites you to consider two new courses for Fall 2016. 

EDUC 280 Introduction to Education, Organizations and Communities (2) is a fantastic introductory course for students considering education.  It explores questions such as: What is learning, and where do we learn?  How are adolescents developmentally different from children?  How does the community, policy and cultural context influence educational outcomes?  What are the challenges for establishing equity in education?    What are effective and equitable ways of engaging with the community?

Day/Time: Tuesday 3:30–4:50 p.m.
SLN: 22952
Instructor: Cassady Glass Hastings

EDUC 370 Learning Within and Across Settings (5) focuses on the learning and teaching of both disciplinary and "informal" knowledge, with attention to the kinds of learning that happen within and across settings (outside of schools).  What IS learning and WHERE do we learn? Does changing the context of learning, change the way we "teach"?  This course explores how learning and teaching happen in community centers, performance venues, workplaces, hobbyist groups, museums, and more. Coursework will challenge students to investigate a wider variety of learning goals and participants.

Day/Time: MW 2:30–3:50 p.m.
SLN: 14009
Instructor: Katie Headrick Taylor

Online Integrated Social Sciences B.A. Program congratulates its first graduates

Two years ago, the University of Washington announced the launch of its fully online bachelor’s degree program in Integrated Social Sciences.  This year, ISS celebrates 45 seniors who will march into history as members of its first graduating class.  The group includes a returning UW student who began his academic career as a freshman in 1970 and helped found the Black Student Union; a military spouse living in Florida who has homeschooled her 4 children while finishing her B.A.; and a Hungarian immigrant who has used her ISS degree as a jumping-off point for graduate work in Applied International Studies.  The program is now nearly 300 strong, with many of its students living across Washington, and others living from California to Virginia, and from Cuba to South Korea.  Over half of the 45 graduating seniors have earned credits at Washington community colleges, and 17 have associate’s degrees, most notably from Bellevue College, Highline College, and North Seattle College. 

UW Access for Transfer Students

ISS offers unprecedented access to the UW for transfer students.  Those who have thrived in the online environment at their community colleges now have a UW option for continuing their successful learning.   Students who live as far away as Wenatchee, Spokane, and Walla Walla can now enroll at the UW without leaving their communities.  And students in geographically isolated areas underserved by higher education, such as the Olympic Peninsula, can have the UW in their living rooms.  Eligibility requirements for admission to ISS include:

  • 75 transferable college credits
  • 2.0 overall GPA (combined GPA for all colleges attended)
  • 2.5 in all social science courses applied to ISS major at time of admission
  • Completion of College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs), which are core requirements usually completed in high school or community college
  • Satisfactory progress on UW general education requirements

For many students, ISS represents a second chance, an opportunity to make a strong academic comeback after many years away from college.  It’s a flexible UW choice that enables them to balance adult responsibilities of work and family with a rigorous education in the social sciences.

A Respected UW Degree

Students who finish the online ISS major receive a B.A. from the UW that is identical to the degrees earned by on-site students.  Their courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus undergraduates and graduate students, and who are engaged in cutting-edge research.  The online courses, hosted on the Canvas platform, are designed by the teaching faculty who create rich, interactive virtual classrooms.  Meanwhile, a team of seasoned academic advisers help guide and support ISS majors as they plan courses of study that allow them to realize their individual learning goals.  ISS, with its broadly interdisciplinary curriculum in the social sciences and integrative core courses, has a wide appeal to students interested in the most important questions and problems that we have face today – questions about sustainability and the environment, globalization and economics, race and social justice, international health, technology and media, gender and sexuality, the politics of conflict and religion, and much more.  Students graduating from the ISS program develop not only a working knowledge of social scientific analysis and practice, but also practical skills in high demand in the job market, including skills in both qualitative and quantitative reasoning, communication (especially writing), information technology, evidence-based research, collaboration and cultural competence, and intellectual adaptability and agility.  Along with these skills they also get a University of Washington diploma that commands the attention and respect of employers and graduate programs. 

Transfer Processes and Costs

ISS admits new students every Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarter.  Students are admitted to the ISS major at the same time as they are admitted to UW Seattle, so enrollment is one seamless process.  Undergraduates in ISS pay only $299 per credit (WA residents), or $349 per credit (nonresidents), a rate far lower than those charged by other nationally recognized online B.A. programs.  Students eligible for financial aid may use most types of awards for their course fees, including Pell grants, federally guaranteed student loans, VA benefits, and employer education benefits.  Prospective transfer students with questions are encouraged to speak with an ISS academic adviser, who can meet with you in person, or have a conversation with you on the phone, Skype, or email.  Contact the ISS Student Services Office today at:  issadv@uw.edu, or 206-685-9415. 

—Mel Wensel, Director of Academic Services, Integrated Social Sciences

What is the Law, Societies, and Justice major?

Law, Societies and Justice (LSJ) is an interdisciplinary social science major at UW committed to challenging students to understand the forms and functions of law in an increasingly globalized world. The program engages students in critical and comparative examination of legal institutions, principles, practices, and power around the world, with a particular emphasis on the role of rights in shaping contemporary political and legal conflicts.

The LSJ major is an excellent fit for transfer students as it is only 11 courses (55 credits), all of which can easily be completed in two years with room to spare for electives, study abroad, or a double major or minor. LSJ provides opportunities for research, service learning, study abroad, learning experiences inside local prisons, alumni mentorship, and career development. 

LSJ students learning alongside inmates in the innovative mixed enrollment course at the Washington State Reformatory. Photo credit: UW Today

What’s unique about LSJ?

  • Interdisciplinary major: The LSJ curriculum draws from a wide variety of social science disciplines and our faculty have PhDs in a variety of fields from Sociology to Political Science to Geography. What unites all LSJ courses and faculty is their emphasis on socio-legal studies—the role of law in society and everyday life.
  • Small class sizes: LSJ is an intentionally small major, with a total number of 225 students. Upper division courses are capped at 25 students, so you are guaranteed to get to know your professors and fellow majors.
  • Individual and group research opportunities: Assist faculty with their research or conduct your own project with faculty support. Recent undergraduate research projects include analyzing sentencing data to determine how many people are serving life sentences in Washington State, interviewing juvenile offenders being housed in adult detention centers, and studying the impacts of deportation on families in Washington.
  • Required internship: All students complete a 100 hour internship at a local community organization or government agency focused on human rights or the legal system. Recent placements include the US Attorney’s Office, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, American Civil Liberties Union, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, New Beginnings Domestic Violence Shelter, and many more!
  • Innovative teaching approaches: LSJ’s partnership with University Beyond Bars enables LSJ majors to travel to the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe, WA and take an upper-division seminar course taught by an LSJ Professor. Half the students in the course are LSJ majors and the other half are inmates. Other opportunities include a prison-based book club and volunteering at the prison’s weekly study hall.  

What are the admission requirements for LSJ?

All students must complete a minimum of one quarter at the UW-Seattle campus prior to applying to the LSJ major. We do not accept direct transfer applicants. LSJ is a capacity-constrained major that accepts applications from current UW students every Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarter. To be eligible to apply to LSJ, students must have completed an English Composition course (which can be transferred in to UW) and one LSJ core course, which must be taken at UW. Applicants must also have a minimum cumulative UW GPA of 2.5 or higher.

When making admissions decisions, the LSJ Admissions Committee considers: class standing, cumulative UW GPA, LSJ GPA, grades in writing-intensive courses, overall grade trends, ability to complete LSJ major requirements and general education requirements on-time, writing ability, specific interests in the LSJ curriculum, understanding of the LSJ curriculum and major, and motivation for pursuing LSJ.

How is LSJ different from a criminal justice or pre-law major?

LSJ is an interdisciplinary liberal arts major housed in the social science division of the College of Arts & Sciences. Our program does not offer traditional technical/pre-professional criminal justice courses but instead focuses on the discipline of socio-legal studies—the role of law in everyday life. However, our alumni go on to a wide variety of careers including careers in the policy, legal, social services/non-profit, government, business, and traditional criminal justice fields. LSJ is also not a pre-law major because our curriculum aims to prepare students for a wide variety of careers. While LSJ graduates are still well prepared for law school, they are equally well prepared for a career outside of the legal field.

How can transfer students prepare for the LSJ major?

Transfer students interested in LSJ should focus on satisfying the UW’s general education requirements and Areas of Knowledge requirements prior to transferring, thus leaving their two years at UW to focus on the LSJ major. LSJ emphasizes writing and analytical thinking, so students with a strong foundation of social science and writing-intensive courses in Political Science, English, Sociology, Anthropology, History, and/or Philosophy are better prepared for LSJ. LSJ does not accept criminal justice or paralegal courses as transfer credit, so it is best to focus on the traditional liberal arts disciplines prior to transfer.

LSJ Advisers are here to help!

LSJ Advisers are always happy to meet with prospective transfer students, including during the summer. Simply schedule an advising appointment online or if you have a quick question, email us at lsjadv@uw.edu

UW College of the Environment's Future Student Visit Day

High school juniors, seniors, and prospective transfer students who are passionate about exploring how the world works are invited to join the UW College of the Environment for Future Student Visit Day. Explore College of the Environment majors, meet faculty, and hear from current students. 

When: Friday, July 22, 2016
Where: University of Washington’s Seattle Campus
Register: environment.uw.edu/visit-day

For questions and more details, connect with Christen Foehring, Student Services Specialist, at coenvadv@uw.edu or 206-543-3141.

The Martin Scholarships

The Martin Family Foundation offers financial awards to community college students interested in eventually obtaining bachelors’ degrees from the University of Washington - Seattle. If you are considering an application to UW, you may qualify for one of the following:

  • Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarship – For students transferring summer, fall or winter 2016-17. The scholarship is open to students who are currently attending or are recent graduates of all 36 Washington State Community & Technical Colleges pursuing their first baccalaureate degree. The scholarship is $12,000 per year for up to three years for completion of an undergraduate baccalaureate degree. Application Deadline: Thursday, July 7, 2016
  • Martin Achievement Scholarship – Funding for students early on in their community college studies, and continuing at the community college for another academic year at the time they apply, planning for eventual transfer to the UW summer or fall of the year after application. The scholarship is $5,000 for the final academic year at the community college and up to $12,000 per year for up to three years of undergraduate support at the UW-Seattle. The scholarship is open to students attending the following Washington State Community Colleges: Bellevue, Cascadia, Edmonds, Everett, Grays Harbor, Green River, Highline, North Seattle, Olympic, Peninsula, Pierce, Seattle Central, Shoreline, South Seattle or Tacoma Community College pursuing their first baccalaureate degree. Next Application Deadline: mid-April 2017 for those planning to transfer to UW in 2018-19.

The application process for both of these scholarships include written application materials and an interview. Multiple Martin Scholarships are awarded each year. Please visit the Martin Family Foundation Scholarships website for more information, and feel free to contact the UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards, scholarq@uw.edu, 206-543-2603.