Spring 2023

Welcome to Spring! I hope everyone is well as we welcome the season for celebrating our graduates and reflecting on the past academic year. 

This newsletter features several outstanding transfer student profiles, articles and updates and changes within various UW campuses, Colleges, Schools and Departments. I appreciate that campus units continue to reach out about submissions to the newsletter.

Thanks to all who supported our efforts and participated in the 35th annual UW/CC Advising Conference on April 14th. We had about 180 participants and were back in person for the first time since 2019. It was great to see everyone and we hope the conference was a good experience for those of you who joined us. If you were unable to join us and want to check out information from this or past years, follow the link to the website, above.   

As we do this time of year, we are also looking forward to Transfer Advising and Orientation. With both transfer and freshman A&O, we will continue to offer the programming virtually. Meanwhile, current transfer students are settling into life at UW and their majors, while others are preparing to graduate. 

I hope all of you are enjoying a warmer and sunnier finish to Spring quarter!

—Tim McCoy

Student Profile: Larissa Garza, BASW Major, UW-Seattle School of Social Work


Larissa Garza (she/her)

Transferred from: Columbia Basin College 

Senior: B.A. in Social Welfare 

What drew you to the University of Washington and to the Bachelor of Social Work?

I’ve dreamt of coming to school at the UW ever since I was a little girl, which is why I chose this school. I knew that I wanted to be involved in the School of Social Work because I always wanted to work with communities in need of social change. Growing up, my family didn’t get the appropriate help needed and I wanted to be able to be an advocate for people who didn’t have one.

What support did you access at your community college, at UW or outside of academia, that helped to make your transfer journey a little easier?

The support that I accessed at the community college I attended was the academic advisors. They can help with whatever you need regarding your higher education needs and were a big help for me. The UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity was also a great community to lean on as they make you feel very welcome.

What excites you most about pursuing an education in social work?

I’m most excited to pursue an education in social work because having a degree in social work doesn’t mean you get to work in just one area, there are so much different kind of jobs you can get with a career in social work! In my case, I will be pursuing an MSW with the School of Social Work starting this summer and working with my practicum agency post grad school as a therapist!

What advice would you give to students looking to transfer?

The advice that I would give to students looking to transfer is to apply for every scholarship you qualify for and to not be afraid to ask questions. Scholarships can be very hefty in the requirements, but the money does add up and can be a great asset to funding for school. Is there anything else you’d like to share? Once you’re at the university, use all the resources you can!! You are the one paying for the opportunity

Martin Family Foundation Scholarships: Apply now for the Martin Honors Scholarship!

Martin Family Foundation Scholarships: Apply now for the Martin Honors Scholarship

The Martin Family Foundation (http://expd.uw.edu/scholarships/martin/) offers scholarships for students currently attending Washington State community colleges who desire to complete their baccalaureate degree at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The Martin Honors Scholarship program is currently accepting applications. This 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 in Seattle. This scholarship provides $12,000 per year for up to three years at UW in Seattle.

Apply this spring 2023 if you are planning to transfer to UW in Seattle in spring 2023 (with fewer than 18 credits earned at UW by the July deadline), summer 2023, fall 2023 or winter 2024. Please note: In many cases, you will need to apply for the scholarship before your admission decision is confirmed.

Application for this scholarship opens May 1, 2023 and the deadline to apply is July 3, 2023. Learn more, check your eligibility, and get started planning your application: https://new.expo.uw.edu/expo/scholarships/martinfamily.

Read about current and past scholars on our website. The Martin Family Foundation Scholarships are supported by the UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards (https://expd.uw.edu/scholarships/). Please feel welcome to contact us for additional information or with questions: scholarq@uw.edu or 206-543-2603.

Updates/Information: Direct-to-Major Transfer Option. Applied Mathematics Department, UW-Seattle

The Applied Mathematics (AMATH)AMATH Data Science (AMATH-DS)Computational Finance & Risk Management (CFRM), and CFRM Data Science (CFRM-DS) majors have a direct-to-major option for transfer students applying for Autumn entry to UW Seattle. Transfer students applying to UW Seattle by the February 2024 deadline for Autumn 2024 entry would need to submit a separate departmental application for the major by April 5, 2024.

Application requirements and deadlines, as well as a recorded info session, are provided on the AMath Dept Admissions page. The major application prerequisites include the Calculus series (MATH 124, 125, and 126 at UW) and AMATH 301, and a final grade is required for each course. Students may need to refer to the UW Equivalency Guide for AMATH 301 equivalent courses. 

If a transfer student was not admitted to one of these majors via the direct-to-major pathway, but was admitted to UW Seattle, they would be able to reapply to the major in our Autumn admissions cycle, for Winter 2024 entry. Additionally, if a student did not have a final grade in one of the prerequisites by the April 5 deadline, they could take the prereq in Spring or Summer and apply during the Autumn admissions cycle, as a current UW student.

Drop-in advising via Zoom for prospective students is available, and links/times can be found on our Advising page. Information session links/times can be found on our Departmental Calendar, and planning guides can be found on our Undergrad Resources page

Student Profile: Michel Bernardo, Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, UW-Seattle

Major: Materials Science & Engineering, Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering Option

Year: Junior

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Transferred from: Shoreline Community College

Michel joined the MSE program after completing an associate degree in mechanical, civil, aeronautical, industrial, and material science engineering. She was drawn to the Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering (NME) option that MSE offers. She is also a recipient of the NSF S-STEM scholarship, a program for local community college transfer students to attract and retain underrepresented groups to pursue degrees in engineered materials.

Tell us a little about your background. What sparked your interest in engineering, and why did you choose UW MSE?

I kept switching my major. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do. I tried health. I even tried real estate, and nothing was really vibing. And I realized that I was just like taking classes and spending money and I didn't even know if it was going to count towards anything. So I left school for a couple of years. And then when I decided to go back, I took a career personality test. It said, “You'd be great as an engineer.” Okay, what kind? So I took an engineering personality test and the three that came up were nano engineering, chemical engineering, and environmental engineering.

Nano engineering was at the top of the list, and I had never even heard of it. When I started to research about it, it brought me to the UW website, and then I saw MSE. I was reading up on the website and thought it looked like a really fascinating field. It's not just engineering and it's not just science – it’s like a nice pairing between the two, which I just thought was great. And then they also had the [NME] option attached to the MSE degree. I was just like, okay, that's what I'm doing!

What is it like being a transfer college student? Why did you choose this path?

It's definitely a zigzag path. I took a couple of years off from graduating high school before going to college. I tried to go to school first in San Diego, but I didn't get approved for financial aid there, so I just couldn't afford school. But my mom is up here, and I just realized the school system was a lot better than it is in California. Up here it's like [transferring] from Shoreline to the UW, you guys have just been so great, contact me left and right, making sure I have everything that I need. And that's really helpful.

Coming into the UW at first, I didn't know anybody as a transfer student. And now I have this little niche of five to six friends that are all transfer students. We all weren't here last year, and [then] first day of lab, we're in the same group and then we just haven't parted since! It's nice because there's that comradery there with another transfer student, because they're struggling with the same things that you are. The campus is so big you don't know where certain resources are, or you’ve just never even heard of them. It's been really helpful to have people in the same boat as you to help [or] tell you their experiences and you could share theirs.

What challenges have you had to overcome to get here?

I have a disability, attention deficit disorder. I'm not [someone] who goes into something and just follows it from A to Z. When I get into something, I want to see it from all sides so that I really fully know it. Sometimes things just take longer for me to grasp. So I've dealt with a lot of struggles with that, but working with the disability office, both at Shoreline and the UW has been really helpful.

I'm also a first-generation college student, so I didn't really have any direction. I made a lot of mistakes trying to figure out what processes and what applications and what I'm supposed to do and what courses I'm supposed to take.

What is the NSF S-STEM program and what is your connection to it?

It's a STEM scholarship awarded to transfer students who are in financial need. They have biweekly meetings and there's newsletters and emails that get sent out. They have people from different companies come and talk about their paths from school [to] where they are in their career and what brought them there. We had the career center come and do a talk. We had different professors come and talk about research. They've had so many different meetings on so many helpful topics.

Participation is actually part of the requirement of having the scholarship, but I think it's just an added benefit. [The program] also provides mentorship, and if there's any staff or faculty that we want to get to know, they will help connect you. We get to have access to different research labs to explore different options. So it really is one of the best resources I've had at the UW.

The purpose of this particular scholarship is to attract more underrepresented students to materials engineering. What does diversity in STEM mean to you?

When I think [about] diversity, I always think of ethnicity and culture. I'm multiracial – half Filipino, half Italian – so I know what it is to come from a different background and have a different insight on things that another person who wasn't from that background would even know about. It's beliefs, it's your social interactions, the way you were brought up, your manners, your respect. I think [diversity] encompasses all of that. And I think that's very important when it comes to a career, because then you really see things from different perspectives that you would not have had otherwise.

I do think of women too when I think about diversity, being in a STEM group. Women are such a small group in STEM. Diversity is bringing more females into the engineering and STEM field, [which] I think is really important because it is a male dominated field. There’s a lot of women that have a lot to offer, and that's something that should be highlighted a lot more.

Food Systems Students Partner with UW Farm on Winter Capstone Projects. Food Systems Nutrition and Health, UW-Seattle School of Public Health

UW Farm Manager Perry Acworth (left) and Assistant Teaching Professor Yona Sipos (right) showing appreciation to students involved in winter 2023 Food Systems capstone projects at the celebratory end-of-quarter pizza bake held at the UW Farm. Photo credit: Lori Tiede

By: Lori Tiede, April 20, 2023

In winter quarter 2023, Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health students from the NUTR 493 Food Systems Capstone course helped the UW Farm take the next step in implementing its strategic planning process that was initiated in 2021. 

“An overarching goal given to the students in winter was to gather thoughts, ideas, and recommendations from community stakeholders, increase awareness of the UW Farm’s goals, and to envision the contributing strategies for the organization’s growth,” said Yona Sipos, assistant teaching professor and associate director of undergraduate experiential learning in the Nutritional Sciences Program, and the course instructor.

How Student Teams Collaborated with UW Farm

UW Farm Strategic Plan: Phase I (PDF)

Students were placed into teams based on their project preferences. 

Some teams conducted interviews and focus groups with stakeholders to learn more about ideas, while other teams produced materials the UW Farm could utilize when implementing the four goals from its strategic plan, which are:

  1. Meet academic demand
  2. Deepen student understanding of urban food production systems
  3. Support inclusive community building and empowerment
  4. Contribute to UW food security, food sovereignty, and sustainability

“The winter capstone invited students to advance the UW Farm Strategic Plan: Phase I through key stakeholder engagement and action planning. Student teams fanned out across campus to think deeply about this shared resource along with partners and advocates,” said Sipos.

Students in NUTR 493 winter 2023 working on the UW Farm. Photo credit: Yona Sipos

Helping out at the Farm was another component of the course during winter quarter.

Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Experiential Learning Coordinator Maria Lee (right) working with students on the UW Farm. Photo credit: Yona Sipos

“Students contributed hands-on experiential learning at the Farm to help start seeds, amend soils, scrub tools, and perform other farm tasks to prepare for the upcoming growing season. Engaging students’ multiple learning domains supports their transition from classroom theory to professional practice,” said Sipos.

UW Farm Americorps Member for 2022-23 Chrina Munn (pictured in UW Farm hat) works with students to start seeds in mid-February.  Photo credit: Yona Sipos

In addition to teaching the Food Systems Capstone course, Sipos also serves as a co-chair of the UW Farm Advisory Committee with Eli Wheat, an assistant teaching professor in the Program on the Environment and core faculty in the Nutritional Sciences Program. Both are also members of the UW Farm Strategic Planning Committee, and Wheat served as a partner in this capstone offering.


The capstone, a culminating academic endeavor for Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health majors. The capstone emphasizes systems thinking, community-engaged scholarship, and opportunities for the class to grapple with real-world, complex issues across the food system.

View listings of all winter 2023 capstone projects.

Get More Information About the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Major