Spring 2018

New transfer students admitted for summer will attend orientation and registration on June 11 and new fall quarter admits will begin orientation and registration sessions on June 18.  As usual, summer will be a very busy time on campus as we advise and register thousands of new freshmen and transfer students!

Once again in this newsletter, we are pleased to feature stories of students who have transferred to the UW, most of them from our respected Washington community colleges. Along with the student profiles, be sure to note the updates from departments, including new degrees and changes in admission requirements and application dates.

Another transition is in progress with this issue of the newsletter. The format has evolved over the years and editing duties have been passed along among UAA Advisers. I’ve had the pleasure of steering this newsletter since the fall 2014 issue when I assumed the duties from Megan McConnell. Now, as I wrap up a long and fulfilling career in higher education, I am passing the magic pen to Tim McCoy. Like me, Tim has experience as both a student and a teacher in a Washington community college and he has a similar passion and regard for transfer students. The readers of this newsletter will be well-served by the efforts of Tim. Thank you to all contributors and readers for a great four years!

College of the Environment 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, August 17, 2018
Where: University of Washington’s Seattle Campus
Learn more & Register: environment.uw.edu/visit-day

For questions and more details contact coenvadv@uw.edu

Landscape Architecture: More Than Just Gardens

Have you ever looked at the outdoor spaces you interact with every day – from residential yards and gardens to city parks, streetscapes, and whole neighborhoods – and wondered how they were conceived? Are you curious about the ways human built and natural environments shape one other? Are you interested in utilizing your creativity to design and re-imagine these types of community spaces? If any of these questions are of interest to you, landscape architecture could be your future career. 

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers students the opportunity to consider these questions and become designers of diverse landscapes and environments. Our program offers students a strong design education, a space for fostering creativity, and both graphic and verbal communication skills, while learning to incorporate questions of human and environmental health, urban ecology, and social and environmental justice thinking into their design work.  


Every summer, the department offers LARCH 300 Introductory Landscape Architecture Design Studio. This course is designed to introduce students to landscape architecture and the possibilities of a career in the field. The course focuses on social space, place identities, sustainability, public art, and urban ecology. Students begin to develop skills in site and behavioral observations, design conceptualization, and visual and verbal communications. (This course is also available during the Autumn Quarter). 


The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture is a professionally accredited degree program, which students apply to enter while completing two years of General Education coursework and three pre-requisite classes: 

  • LARCH 300 Introductory Landscape Architecture Design Studio, offered Summer and Autumn Quarters (6 credits, VLPA);
  • LARCH 352 History of Landscape Architecture, offered Autumn Quarter (5 credits, VLPA/I&S); and
  • LARCH 353 History of Modern Landscape Architecture, offered Winter Quarter (5 credits, VLPA/I&S).

These three classes can be taken before admission to the University of Washington through Non-Degree Enrollment.  For more information, see:  http://www.nondegree.washington.edu.

To learn more about the Bachelor in Landscape Architecture, visit our Department website (larch.be.uw.edu) or contact the BLA Academic Advisor, Nick Dreher (ndreher@uw.edu)

Photo courtesy of Sierra Druley and Jean Ni

Marine Biology Major Launching Autumn 2018

The College of the Environment proposal for a major in Marine Biology (Bachelor of Science) has been approved to start in autumn 2018. The new major will be offered alongside our existing marine science majors in Aquatic & Fishery Sciences and Oceanography, and was developed in collaboration with faculty from those schools, our marine field station Friday Harbor Labs, and the Department of Biology. Our staff and faculty are working this spring to prepare for the start of this new program, and we wanted to share some initial information about the new program.


  • Marine Biology involves the study of life processes of organisms inhabiting saltwater environments – from genetics and evolution to physiological traits and ecosystem functioning. The major examines the marine aspects of biodiversity, ecology and ecosystems and organismal processes, along with impacts from ocean change.
  • All students complete an integrative field experience (research or field course) by studying in residence at our marine field station Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island.
  • Marine Biology is an open major, leading to a Bachelor of Science. This means students can declare upon admission to the UW and start their studies in their first year.


  • Aquatic & Fishery Sciences studies aquatic organisms, the rivers, lakes and oceans in which they live, and how we conserve them. The degree draws on the disciplines of natural history, physiology, ecology, evolution and quantitative sciences, and applies these principles to conservation and management of natural resources. All students complete a year-long faculty mentored capstone project.
  • Oceanography studies the dynamics of how the ocean regulates climate, how ocean acidification affects all marine organisms, how hydrothermal vents sustain unique lifeforms of earth and geological processes at our coasts affect lives and how 50% of our oxygen comes from plankton. It brings ecology, chemistry, physics and geology together to help predict how life on earth is sustained. Students work with individual faculty on a research project with a major interdisciplinary cruise as a senior thesis.
  • All three majors have similar, shared foundations in general science and math. This allows students to make progress on major requirements while allowing flexibility to change later if needed.


  • All prospective transfer students are invited to visit campus for individual advising with the marine biology adviser. Contact marbiol@uw.edu to schedule an appointment.
  • Our website has been updated with resources for transfer students, including an academic planning worksheet to map your current courses. Find out more at: marinebiology.uw.edu/students/prepare.

Joe Kobayashi
Marine Biology Adviser

New from the UW Seattle Biology Department

BIOL 240: Introductory Biology, Human Health Emphasis
Finish BIOL 180, 200, and 220 in one integrated 15-credit course Summer Quarter 2018: June 11 - August 17
Talk to a Biology Adviser and Faculty to learn more
FOR MORE INFORMATION  https://tinyurl.com/UWBIOL240
Registration Information at Biology Department Web Page: www.biology.washington.edu 

Nutritional Sciences Program Update

by Kristin Elko, Undergraduate Student Services Coordinator 

We are happy to announce that effective AUT 2018, the name of our minor will change from Nutritional Sciences Minor to Nutrition Minor. The Nutrition Minor is a great fit for students in any major, not just science majors, who want to know more about nutrition, food systems, and public health. 

The minor will still require 25 total credits. Transfer students should consider taking the introductory nutrition course at their current school that is equivalent to UW’s NUTR 200, a prerequisite for many of our other courses.

At the UW, students can study nutrition-related topics through:

  • The Nutrition Minor, in which students are presented with a multidisciplinary perspective on the broad field of nutritional sciences, including the interplay of food and nutrition, human behavior, business, culture, and the environment.
  • The recently approved Public Health Major: Nutritional Sciences, in which students have an organized pathway of courses that will prepare them, in part, for graduate studies in nutrition, dietetics, and other health professions.  

Additionally, we are busy working on a proposal for a Food Systems, Nutrition and Health Major. If this major is approved, students will be prepared to contribute meaningful solutions to critical food-related issues such as hunger, food access, food insecurity, the rise of obesity, food waste, and worker exploitation. We will keep the community up-to-date on progress related to this proposal.

Updates from First Year Programs

New Transfer Portal Website – transfer.uw.edu is designed to be a one-stop shop for students, staff and faculty regarding the transfer experience starting from before applying- preparing to apply- upon admissions –being a husky. Find all you need to know about transferring to the UW here! 

Transfer Road Map Worksheet – modeled off of the transfer.uw.edu website, this worksheet is a summary and starting point for students interested in transferring to the UW. It calls out key parts of the process to consider and starting from before applying- preparing to apply- upon admissions –being a husky. This printable worksheet is available to you to work on your own or with an adviser! 

FYP Transfer Engagement – learn how First Year Programs supports and engages transfer students through programs like Transfer A&O, Transfer Ambassadors, Commuter and Transfer Commons and more!

Transfer Initiative 2017-2018 Updates – the Transfer Initiative continues to focus on providing new programs and services that assist our transfer students in their transition. 

UW Seattle College of Engineering Changes

Hello Transfer Community! We have some big changes in the College of Engineering UW Seattle campus next year that will help transfer students know much earlier if they are admitted and give them more time to transition and choose classes.  Feel free to email engradv@uw.edu if you have any questions.

Autumn 2019 admission changes 

A reminder that applying to UW and to a major are two separate processes with two separate deadlines. First submit an application to the UW.  Then, submit the engineering departmental application. For more information, see Transfer Student Admission.

  • February 15: Deadline for UW transfer application to the UW Office of Admissions
  • April 5: (new date!) Deadline for College of Engineering’s departmental application (there will no longer be a July 1st deadline)

Spring 2019 admission changes

UW spring admission is open only to applicants to specific departments in engineering and computer science. Refer to the UW Admissions website for details.

  • January 15: (new date!) Deadline for engineering department applications
  • Note that Electrical Engineering no longer offers spring admission. Students will be admitted for autumn quarter only. 

Additional courses required before starting the major in fall

Autumn 2019 admission

Several departments have added courses that must be complete before starting in the major fall. These courses do not need to be complete by the April 5th deadline.

Electrical Engineering:

    • Differential Equations (UW MATH 307)
    • The final course in the engineering physics sequence (UW PHYS 123)

Industrial & Systems Engineering:

    • Engineering Statics (UW AA 210) 
    • Either Mechanics of Materials (UW CEE 220) or Dynamics (UW ME 230)

Human Centered Design & Engineering:

    • 5 additional credits of math 
    • 5 additional credits of natural science

Questions?  Please email engradv@uw.edu or call 206-543-1770

UW Tacoma - Milgard School of Business

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. We will continue to accept applications for Autumn 2018 through July 1. At this point, students must have already taken the Writing Skills Assessment (WSA) in order to apply. 

We will start accepting Winter 2019 applications in July. Students must first apply to transfer to UW Tacoma and then second apply to the Milgard School of Business. The application deadline is October 15. Upcoming WSA test dates on the UW Tacoma campus are July 13, August 24 and October 12. 

Student Profile: Leshawn Dandridge, UW School of Social Work

When I applied to University of Washington, I had no idea if I would be accepted. I heard through friends that UW had a great Social Work program, so I applied and kept my fingers crossed for the next five months. When I received my acceptance letter through email, I finally felt myself exhale. I knew that it was not going to be easy to manage my school and kids’ schedules, not having much of a support network to lean on, and I had no idea how funding even worked.  

When I arrived on campus for orientation it was like I was living somebody else’s life. I knew that community college was an option for me, but university, at almost 40 years old, was a dream come true. Life has been tough, but despite the obstacles, I felt this was a great opportunity, not just for me but for my children also. I have the chance to make friends, get an education and become a healthy role model for my children.  

At the start of fall quarter, I ran into a few bumps, getting after school care and transportation for the kids, but once that fell into place, I was able to relax and really delve into my courses. I received financial aid and loans, as well as work study funds. However, I could not make time available for work study job, so I lost those funds in January. My State Need Grant for winter and spring quarters were cancelled without warning because I was maxed out from my previous time enrolled in Culinary Arts School. I was distressed to realize would be short on funds for winter and spring quarter.  

I sat down with Nicole Guenther, Assistant Director of the BASW Program, and we talked about alternate funding options. Nicole found scholarships that she thought would interest me and I applied. I was awarded two scholarships, the Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship for $5000 and the Morgan Heart of the Future Scholarship for $9000, which drastically reduced the weight of my financial burden of paying for tuition on top of supporting myself and two children. The Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship has allowed me to merge my culinary passion and social service skills to create a culinary presentation program at an aging adult facility in collaboration with the White Center Food Bank.  

We asked April Wilkinson with the Mary Gates Endowment for feedback on my Mary Gates project and she responded: “Leshawn Dandridge earned a Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship for her efforts to help residents of a local retirement home develop new skills and techniques to plan and prepare healthier meals, including using more fresh fruits and vegetables and less salt. We were impressed by her thoughtful consideration of this population’s dietary needs and also their access to facilities and ingredients.  She has successfully combined her deep care for people with her culinary expertise to start a new program which has tremendous potential to improve people’s lives.  Leshawn’s remarkable commitment to community and innovative approach to finding accessible solutions exemplify the characteristics of a Mary Gates Scholar, and make her a true leader! Because Leshawn applied for a scholarship during her first year at UW, she now has the opportunity to apply for a second scholarship next year.”

My vision of the future is to graduate with a Masters in Social Work, and every day I am one step closer to reach my dream. 

Student Profile: Saddiqullah Faizi, International Studies

Studies: B.A. International Studies major (Foreign Policy, Diplomacy Track) and a minor in Middle East Studies.
Previous institution: Shoreline Community College
Year/Qtr transferred: Winter 2016
Hometown: Kabul, Afghanistan & Seattle, Washington
Favorite quote:  ​”Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth” —Muhammad Ali

How did you choose UW?

Aside from being one of the top universities globally, it also has one of the best schools in my field — international studies! I heard great things about the Jackson School’s international studies program while I was attending Shoreline Community College and knew exactly where I wanted to transfer to. All the prerequisite classes community college courses prepared me for the Jackson School, and even though I came in as a Junior, I didn’t feel behind academically and was able to be engaged in class discussions.

How did you select your major?

After working for about four years overseas in government as well as volunteer sectors, I had first-hand experience in the field with the some of the unfortunate issues facing people all over the world. It was a life changing lesson for me and knew I wanted to work in a field where I was able to make on the ground impact on critical issues such as providing access to basic education to children as well as adults, and at the same time be able to make lifelong friends with amazing people from different walks of life.

What is your favorite thing about being at UW? 

The diverse community of students, professors, staff and the vast knowledge and experience they bring with them really makes University of Washington one of the best places to study. 

What has made you feel like a Husky?

The immense support from my wonderful academic advisers such as Linda Iltis, Joni Marts and Wolf Latsch, who strive to make a welcoming experience for new students and give assistance to them throughout the academic years, including information about amazing and useful events on and off campus. One of them has also been a dedicated advocate for UW students  facing difficulties; this made me feel honored to be amongst such amazing people, and therefore I have chosen to continue my studies in the University of Washington’s MAAIS program (https://jsis.washington.edu/maais/), and will continue to be a proud Husky in the the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 

What is something that surprised you about the transfer experience?

It was a remarkably easy and thorough process. I had all my questions prepared and the UW Transfer Staff were amazing and very helpful in answering them. It was also helpful that there was Transfer Thursday every week, making it easier to coordinate with my work schedule. Joining the UW community felt very welcoming from day one, when I came to my first day to Arabic class in Denny Hall, aka #1 family photo spot, (you’ll know why when you see it) I was able to see the diversity of students who were majoring in multiple regions ranging from Scandinavian to Middle Eastern studies. This truly showed how students were open and inspired to learn about diverse cultures and areas of interest. 

Advice to prospective transfer students?

You will be fine! Trust me. And thousands of other students who felt the same way you do now. It is an exciting experience so remember to enjoy every bit of it. The knowledge and skills you gain here will be valuable in every aspect of your academic as well as professional career. Remember, it's not a race (except when your late to class) — explore the many options University of Washington has to offer in variety of fields, and by taking advantage of the amazing and helpful resources on campus, you will truly be a Husky who can assist incoming Huskies to be the best they can be!


Student Profile: Natalie Garces, Milgard School of Business

Milgard School of Business senior Natalie Garces – previously a Running Start student at Highline College – was selected for the Husky 100! 

 “My UW experience was key to developing my capacity for leadership: I am active student leader working as ASUWT Business Senator, an advertising manager for The Ledger and a student coordinator at the Center for Student Involvement who seeks change and capitalizes on opportunities. I aspire to become one of the few female marketing directors connecting individuals to high-impact organizations, driven by a commitment to corporate social responsibility.”

Visit our website to learn more about our programs or contact Milgard School of Business Undergraduate Recruiter & Advisor Heidi Norbjerg at norbjerg@uw.edu.  

Student Profile: Diana Gil-Vargas, Community, Environment, and Planning (CEP)

Previous Institution: Yakima Valley College
Year and Quarter Transferred: Autumn 2016

I am a Mexican immigrant and a transfer student from Yakima, Washington. Community has always been an important part of my life and has influenced my interest in community development, engagement, and planning. Learning about the intersectionality of people, place, and the environment are topics that interest me. I am a nerd who loves to learn in any capacity possible and is fascinated to learn about people’s experiences. 

The Transfer Experience

Why did you decide to transfer, and how did you choose UW?

I began to grow an interest for the UW because of my younger sister who is also pursuing a degree at the UW. I was fascinated and intrigued by the work and activities she was a part of at UW that I wanted to be a part of the UW experience as well. My interest for the UW grew once I found a major (CEP) that encompassed my academic and personal interests. As I began to learn about the services and programs offered for transfer and first generation students, I knew the UW was the institution I wanted to attend.

What was the hardest part of transferring?

One of the hardest parts of transferring was figuring out how to transfer my course work and credits to the UW. I had heard stories from friends how not all courses transfer to the UW and can add an additional year of fulfilling pre-requisite courses. I wanted to prevent that chaos and with the help of mentors at Yakima Valley College and UW all my credits were successfully transferred over. The second hardest part about transferring was adjusting to a new academic and living environment. Not only did my academics become more rigorous but balancing school, work, and personal life was also a challenge. I learned that with time, patience, and some sacrifice, adjusting to a new routine is possible.

What resources were most helpful to you when you were preparing to transfer?

Utilizing the resources and services provided by the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMAD), and the Undergraduate Academic Affairs program were extremely helpful. I learned about the undergraduate resources and opportunities that were available to me that helped me make the most out of my UW experience. Additionally, contacting and meeting the Program Manager for CEP before transferring was helpful because I learned what was required of me and how to best prepare for the major. 

What advice do you have for prospective transfer students?

My advice would be to follow your interests and actively work to accomplish your goals especially during times of uncertainty. There will be different moments during your academic and personal pursuits in which road blocks will appear, but by following your passions and interests, you will know how to seek help and how to overcome those challenges. I would also encourage prospective transfer students to not be afraid to share their experience and journey that has brought them to their most current point at UW. People are interested to learn about who you are, where you are from, and how you are contributing to your community. Share, reflect, and continue contributing anywhere you go.

The Husky Experience

How did you decide to pursue a degree in Community, Environment, and Planning?

I knew I wanted to pursue CEP because it provided me the opportunity to pursue my interests within the CEP curriculum and take other UW courses related to my academic and personal goals. I liked the flexibility the major offered to craft my own individual study plan and most importantly, to be intentional about my education. I also found CEP unique because the major is intentional about helping students develop skills that can be applied to experiences outside of the classroom.

What has been your favorite class or project so far, and why?

My favorite classes that I have taken at UW have been two Communication courses, COM 495 and COM 499, titled Community Engaged Scholarship: Conducting Research for Equity from the Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity (CCDE) during the 2017 summer quarter. What I enjoyed most about this opportunity was learning about community based-research because both courses addressed practical aspects of qualitative and community engaged research methods in addition to critiquing academic research methods when engaging with marginalized communities. Taking these courses is how I became interested in community based-research and how I met my mentor, Gina Aaftaab. The skills that I developed from both courses and the support from my mentor have helped me with my CEP senior project.


Student Profile: Jane Harrell, Atmospheric Sciences

Previous institution: Tacoma Community College
Year/Quarter transferred: Autumn, 2017

Why did you decide to transfer and how did you choose UW?

As a nontraditional student, I’m pursuing my bachelor’s degree a decade later than the traditional student and with a family. For me, one of the benefits of transferring was being able to transition into the high demands of college at my own pace. At community college I took my time, working my way from below college-level courses up to multivariable calculus and differential equations.

After realizing my love of math and physics, coupled with some wild weather experiences commercial salmon fishing, I decided to focus my studies on atmospheric sciences. I chose the University of Washington because it is the only local university that offers my program. It also happens to have one of the leading atmospheric science programs in the nation. The professors here are well-connected and extremely active in their areas of interest. I quickly discovered that if you want to do research at the UW, just ask around! Professors are happy to work with motivated students or offer resources if they don’t have open projects. 

What was the hardest part about transferring?

Transferring to the university was both exciting and stressful. Coming from a relatively small college to one with over forty-six thousand students was overwhelming. Just navigating the massive campus was a challenge, and my four-hour daily commute didn’t help matters. Fortunately, I developed relationships with peers quickly. Spending time in my department’s library and computer lab I met students from all levels, learning about their experiences as undergrads and grads, which helped ease the transition. 

 What resources were most helpful to you when you were preparing to transfer?

I started reaching out to the atmospheric sciences department a year before I transferred. I met with the academic and faculty advisors twice before I transferred to make sure I was on track to be admitted as a junior.  

Also, as a Martin Scholar I’ve received a tremendous amount of support from the Martin Foundation and Robin Chang with UW’s Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards. Having guidance from within the university before transferring boosted my confidence during the application process and provided a foundational network to build upon once I arrived. 

How did you first learn about the Martin Family Foundation Scholarships and the McNair Scholars programs?

I learned about the Martin Scholar program via a general circulation e-mail sent from my community college. I applied to the program during my freshman year at TCC and was notified of my acceptance that spring. 

I learned about the McNair program from my UW department advisor Erica Coleman who encouraged I apply. I applied and was notified of my acceptance winter quarter of my first year at UW.

What made you decide to apply? 

The Martin Scholar program is specific to UW-Seattle and designed to support transfer students. I had never applied for any kind of scholarship but knew I wanted to attend UW and needed all the support I could get. Returning to school with a family can be draining both emotionally and financially. I decided to give the application a shot and spent over a month preparing my essays. The first application is the most time consuming! 

The McNair program was a different story. I was so busy during winter quarter with research and a full credit load I had no desire to start an application process. When my advisor urged me to apply, then a grad student, then a professor I felt guilty for not trying! I had essays written for UW admissions, the Martin Scholar program and others I was able to piece together which made the application process easier. I’m thankful I applied as the program has been extremely supportive in my graduate school planning. 

What advice do you have for future transfer students considering applying?

Apply! There is no harm in trying and don’t let failed attempts discourage you. As transfer students we all have a unique story to tell. We are determined and eager to work hard and programs like McNair and Martin Scholars are here to support us. If you don’t succeed the first time, don’t let that stop you from applying to others. I’ve lost a few, but my essays get better each time. Tell your story, inspire yourself, and inspire others to do the same! 

What has been your favorite class or project so far? 

My favorite course so far is Professor Abigail Swann’s Ecological Climatology. I took it my first quarter as a transfer student and it was a fun way to dive into the atmospheric sciences. The class focuses on current research problems on land-atmosphere interactions and how vegetation impacts climate. Some of the homework problems were open research questions which motivated me to become involved in departmental research.

What are your future plans? 

After obtaining my undergraduate degree in atmospheric sciences I want to continue to graduate school for hydrology. I hope to integrate my atmospheric science background with hydrology to model how changes in climate impact our local rivers and watersheds. 

What advice do you have for prospective transfer students?

Transferring to a new school is an overwhelming process. You can ease the transition by networking with faculty and staff before you get here and being knowledgeable of course prerequisites. Find resources and ask questions early to make sure you are on the right track. Once you get to the UW you’ve already invested a lot of time, make it count!

Student Profile: Rich Reynolds, Construction Management

Major/Year: Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, class of June 2018
Previous Institution: University of Southern New Hampshire
Year and Quarter Transferred: September 2016

Why did you decide to transfer, and how did you choose UW?

In June 2015, I received an Associate in Science Business Degree from the University of Southern New Hampshire. I wanted to pursue my bachelor’s degree, when I came across the CM program at the University of Washington. Having been in the Pacific Northwest for two years in 2015, I was aware of the collegiate bond between fellow Huskies in the work place. Since I was considering opening my own business, as a construction Owner’s Representative company, I knew this collegiate bond would create opportunities in the future, one Husky to another.

What advice do you have for prospective transfer students?

Transferring to UW was one of the best decisions of my life. From the first day on campus, I knew I was part of the University. Prospective transfer students should reach out to a current student, professor, alumni, among others, to learn about how UW could help you meet your future goals.

Why Construction Management?

Prior to relocating to the Pacific Northwest, I worked as a Construction Executive in NYC for over 25 years. I left most of my construction contacts back on the East coast. Having researched the CM program at UW, I learned that several courses were taught by local industry professionals.  The CM program was a wonderful opportunity to grow my local contact list as well as work with the industries future construction managers.

What are your plans for after graduations and career goals?

When I graduate from the program in June, I plan on working on the Owner’s side of the business industry. The construction industry in the Pacific Northwest is experiencing one of the highest economic growths ever. I am looking forward to being a part of shaping Seattle and the surrounding area’s skyline.

What has been your favorite class or project so far, and why?

My favorite class has been Residential Development with James Shaiman. It was an industry that I had never really considered, looking a parcel of land and redeveloping it for residential use. The class demands a substantial investment of time, but in the end, I realized a potential future career opportunity. 

Student Profile: Khatsini Simani, Accounting and Finance

Previous institutions:  Seattle Central College, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Mills College
Year/Qtr transferred:  Fall, 2016

About me: I grew up in Rainier Valley, Seattle. I love to bike, cook, take photos and dance. I’m a former board member and supporter of FEEST (Food Education Empowerment Sustainability Team), a youth-led non-profit that empowers students in Southwest Seattle to transform their communities through food justice. 


Why did you decide to transfer, and how did you choose UW?

Prior to transferring to the University of Washington I promoted active transportation, supported healthy community initiatives, and facilitated youth programs in a variety of work environments. After obtaining an Associates in Business from Seattle Central College, I was determined to complete a bachelor’s degree. As a transfer student, the University of Washington was a place I could envision myself exploring and expanding career options, including post-baccalaureate programs. While I was uncertain of my exact trajectory when I transferred, I knew I wanted to pursue an accounting degree, be of service through teaching, and learn Swahili. With the generous support of the Martin Honors and Bava Scholarships, all of these goals and more seemed possible and financially feasible at UW Seattle.

What was the hardest part of transferring?  

Adjusting to the pace of student life at UW was the most difficult aspect of transferring for me, personally. As a commuter student in community college, I was accustomed to having considerable control over the pace of my coursework, while balancing work and school. In my first year at UW I struggled to adjust to varying course expectations and increased demands on time. However, through the adjustment process, I learned the importance of on-campus engagement, not only for social and academic support but for opportunities to engage in service and build community. Overall, the value of mentorship and community building far outweighed the challenges of trying to adjust in isolation. As a result, I’ve met incredible people and friends who challenge me to grow.  

What was something that surprised you in your transfer experience?  

It’s cliché, but I continue to be surprised by how quickly time flies. This was the case before I transferred to UW as well. I quickly learned to plan ahead and often, for almost everything. Preparing ahead of time, when I can, allows me to be more present and engaged on campus, maximizing my ability to attend office hours and on-campus events, connect with peers, and be attentive in class. The small efforts add up! In addition, after transferring from Seattle Central College, I developed a greater appreciation for the diversity of people and experiences I came in contact with while in community college. This is one aspect of community college that I do miss and try to emulate by intentionally connecting with people from variety of backgrounds and experiences at UW. 

What has been your favorite class or project so far, and why?

So far, my favorite class has been Swahili, taught by Ms. Jacque Waita. Through learning about the language, and about the cultures of East Africa, I’ve developed a greater appreciation and love for my heritage and a deeper sense of self. 

What advice do you have for prospective transfer students?

I would emphasize that preparation is key—knowing which courses are and aren’t required for your major and important application deadlines can save you lots of time and resources. I think gathering as much relevant information about your intended major prior to applying and planning carefully with a UW department advisor is key to ensuring you are on course to transferring in a timely manner. Also, you don’t have to navigate the university system alone. At UW, it’s possible to go it alone, but it’s much more difficult. There are many people at UW whose job it is to support and advocate for you; don’t hesitate to ask for guidance, support, or information!

Second, if you’d like to apply for scholarships, you can begin looking one or two years in advance for opportunities such as the Martin Family Scholarship and other funding sources available to transfer students. The Office of Merit, Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards (OMSFA) is a great resource for scholarship preparation and information. You can also search for scholarships using the UW website, local databases like theWashBoard.org, or at your local community college.

During the first quarter of your first year at UW, I’d advise a slow transition to give yourself time to adjust. For example, you can take a lighter course load or visit several student clubs prior to joining if you’d like. Lastly, I’d recommend seeking out mentors, talking to new people, and trying new activities. As an example, I took a seminar on undergraduate research for transfer students during my first quarter and learned that I enjoyed it a lot. Afterwards, I applied and was accepted to the Ronald E. McNair program and met an incredible professor who mentored me on my first research project. I will be presenting the project at the Undergraduate Research Symposium this May. Whether you take a new class, meet a new person, or read a new book, stepping out of your comfort zone may prove to be a rewarding experience if you embrace the opportunity to do so!

There are so many resources for reducing common costs at UW. For example, the library generally has textbooks on reserve for your course, and brand-new scanners that work wonders. There are also several UW Facebook groups that provide information on housing, job opportunities and items for sale. 

Lastly, don’t count yourself out of any opportunity before giving it your best effort. And even then, try again! The first time I applied to UW, I wasn’t accepted. Seven years later, with renewed focus and intention, I am on my way to graduating!


I applied to the Martin Honors Scholarship for the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree without significant financial hardship. In addition, the process of applying for the scholarship helped me to refine my personal and academic goals with respect to obtaining a bachelor’s degree, and to articulate my commitment to community service. I applied to the McNair Scholars program because I wanted to learn about undergraduate research, post-baccalaureate options, and the process of applying to grad school.

The Martin Scholar community is a network of students, faculty, board members and alumni who are advocates in every sense of the word. As a member of the Martin Scholar network, I’ve benefitted from advising, continued scholarship application support, and a community of people I could uniquely relate to during my transition from community college to UW. 

Similarly, the McNair Scholar community is comprised of students who are all driven to pursue post-baccalaureate education. We provide encouragement to each other and are supported by dedicated staff who assist with GRE preparation and an introduction to research and the graduate school application process. 

What are your future plans? 

I’m currently preparing to apply for graduate schools. I have interests in pursuing information science, library science and teaching.