LEAD and CEL Awardees

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2018 LEADership Challenge Recipients



Cassandra Green:   Cassandra recognized what leadership and compassion really meant from an early age as she took care of her two autistic brothers. But “(her) compassion didn’t become more community based [until] her University years.” During this time Cassandra’s journey has explored what it means to be “human” in modern culture.         


Her compassion lead her to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, but after 4 years and personal health experiences she found how crucial creativity, the arts can be for health. During her time at UWT Cassandra participated in the Women’s March, where she described being immersed in the empowerment of others. She expressed her “nerdy” and artistic side in an event called Maid Café, where she volunteered with other cosplayers at Evergreen University. She has volunteered for ‘Brides for a Cause’ and her art was selected for the “spaceworks gallery” ‘Immigration: Hopes realized, dreams derailed’. Cassandra now pursues career paths in creative industries. Learn more about Cassandra’s journey at www.casseygreen.wixsite.com/lead




Natalia Masterman:   Resilient and self-determined is the best way to describe Natalia’s leadership challenge. “Despite any self-doubt I will try, and I always go for things. When I first started at the UW I felt like I could not live up to the other students in my department...it was hard to stand out but then I realized I had to work hard, contribute to meaningful discussions, meet with my professors, and got into volunteer work.”         


Natalia embodies the LEAD Challenge, identifying her values and placing herself in unfamiliar positions to learn and live them out. She conducted volunteer work in a juvenile detention center and a sexual assault center, witnessing first hand the power of social stigmas and worked recognize her own bias. These experiences, and her psychology major allowed her to conduct research presented at the Wester Regional Psychological Association focused on implicit assumptions and mechanisms toward eating habits. Learn more about Natalia’s journey at Www.sites.google.com/a/uw.edu/natalia-masterman-lead/




Meliing Sproger:   Meiling Sproger values creating relationships and empowering people. She enjoys learning about leadership practices and being civically engaged. As a self described servant leader, she educates herself on issues that are important to members of her community. She states, “A person demonstrates leadership by following their passion, while humbly inspiring and empowering others to be their best.”         


Meiling lived this definition of leadership by training with the Police Explorers of SeaTac Police Department, learning about her community, seeking out workshops on how to engage diverse community populations and finally receiving “Explorer of the Year” in 2016. Meiling works not only to learn about issues facing her community, but also by building her own through creative dance and sharing of culture through the ECCO dance group. To learn more about Meiling and her leadership philosophy, projects, and more visits leadingtodayandtomorrow.weebly.com



Sophiya Boguk:   A determined researcher in psychology, Sophiya values hard work, honesty and compassion. She intentionally defined her leadership philosophy with these values in mind. As the first in her family to graduate with a college degree, she carries with her these values and sense of the hard work and fulfillment of her parents deepest wishes. But Sophiya went beyond just the “academic” in all that she pursued. She notes, “Education just challenges how much you can learn. The LEAD program challenged how much I can connect with humanity.”         


Her participation in and reflections on research in Dr. Rachel Hershbergs Community Participatory Research Group exhibited this as she studied our awareness and action toward social injustice. Furthermore, she explored her personal identity and relationship to teammates and the larger Tacoma community when she immersed herself in a week long service project with the Tacoma Rescue Mission (a nonprofit supporting and facilitating life transitions for those experiencing homelessness). To learn more about Sophiya’s journey please visit https://boguks.weebly.com/




Steffany Durran:   A self proclaimed and proud immigrant for whom a work ethic is as natural as the air she breathes. Leadership for Stteffany values passion, empathy, endurance and fearlessness. Stteffanie’s empathy took her to St. Joseph's Mental Health Unit where she volunteered. Empathy and endurance moved her above and beyond her regular academic requirements to serve as a research assistant focusing on community based research of immigrants currently detained in Tacoma in the hopes of casting light on the humanity of those detained.         


Lastly Stteffanie was recognized for her endurance by the Chancellor receiving UWT Tacoma’s Chancellors’ Medal for being a consistent source of inspiration for faculty, staff and students while overcoming significant obstacles to obtain her degree. She is motivated https://stteffanyduran.weebly.com/



2017 LEAD & CEL Recipients



Olivia Andringa:   invested her time in thought and action. A member of her Community Psychology Research Team and as a volunteer with Crestwood Elementary, Olivia focused on the importance identity plays in our own lives and the lives of those around us.         


Through the technique of photovoice she was able to encourage stories to come alive through the visual arts. Learn more about Olivia’s work at www.oliviandringa.weebly.com

LEAD made an impact on not only my academic performance, but it also made a huge impact on my personal life. Through LEAD I found out what my values are and what leadership truly means for me. Through attending workshops, volunteering, and working with my mentor I have realized that I am a leader and everyone has the opportunity to become one too.— Olivia Andringa




Haley Anderson:   calls upon herself and others to be responsible citizens with an obligation to help others around her. Driven by this civic responsibility Haley volunteered and mentored at Lutheran Community Services Northwest , a refugee resettlement agency in Tacoma Washington.        


Here she mentored and made a true friend with a woman fleeing Iran. Haley embodies those leadership values she espouses: listening and acceptance. Read more about Haley, her journey and the impact she is making by adhering to her values at www.haleyjeananderson.weebly.com

The CEL program directly shaped my experiences at UWT... What I did not know at the time …..[is how it] would further my undergraduate research towards my capstone. My time volunteering was an invaluable experience that ultimately cultivated personal growth, research, and future goals with career perspectives. -Haley




Allyson Rennie has a passion for deep questioning. As part of an applied psychology team Allyson asked whether there is an implicit bias toward sugary beverages by those who have a higher BMI.        


The results shed some light on how we incorrectly perpetuate certain social stigmas. Allyson seeks to continue her work in the field of applied psychology by pursuing her Phd. She aspires to one day be a professor and bring her love of questioning to others. Learn more about Allyson at www.amrennie.weebly.com

The lead certificate was a great experience for myself because I was able to find my true potential as a leader in my community...... It was great to see myself develop into a confident leader and I can't wait to see how I continue to strengthen my leadership in the future. - Allyson Rennie




Anthony J. Webb:   Another aspiring professor of clinical psychology, Anthony with both thought and action seeks to inspire innovation, identity and creativity wherever he goes. His jovial character is easily recognizable wherever and he is always seeking to bring out the best in others.         


His jovial character is easily recognizable wherever and he is always seeking to bring out the best in others. Anthony pursued his studies in psychology to create a photovoice workshop with Oliva Andringa and inspires social change through community and identity development. You can learn more about his project, leadership philosophy and character at www.anthonyjdwebb.weebly.com

LEAD put me into contact with a lot of like-minded people, and helped to make our campus feel a bit more like a community. —Anthony J. Webb




Gabriela Raisl   bases her leadership approach squarely on her relationships and values. As a student worker for the CSL Gaby focused her leadership on empowering others whether putting on a very successful community empowerment event or through the mentorship of our own LEAD and CEL students. Gaby has made an impact at UWT.


LEAD & CEL helped me to create a strong circle of mentors and friendships that I would not have been able to create otherwise. Attending workshops and conferences helped to expand my views of what it means to do community work with others and about the power of storytelling. I am a more confident leader today than I was when I first started here at UW Tacoma because of this program. My confidence stems from understanding that leadership isn’t stagnant and that as I grow as individual my leadership will take on different forms.— Gabriela Raisl




Lauren Helmer    has engaged her community, her campus and intellectual thought. Whether as a worship director with her faith community, engaged in faculty hiring committees or through her research into judicial plea deal recommendations, Lauren has jumped into leadership roles she didn’t initially expect or ask to be in. Learn more about her leadership in action here: www.sites.google.com/uw.edu/laurenleads.


I didn't realize how much was going on in our community until I began going to events for the program. I learned how much people love our city of Tacoma and how much potential it has- from creating transit lines, [or] fostering relationships through community events...LEAD helped me see my potential as a leader and taught me how important it is to be engaged and an active member of the community. - Lauren Helmer


Amanda Mower    has a passion for people and is an aspiring school psychologist with a passion for creating environments where we can be our best selves. Inspired by her study abroad trips Amanda was inspired to volunteer with Amara, a sanctuary home for kids removed from destructive home lives. Her work there has increased her drive to become a school psychologist. www.sites.google.com/uw.edu/asmowerlead

Madisen Liddle:    A supercharged human with energy only matched by her creativity and care. An active member of her local Rotaract Community and a huge voice for against human trafficking. Madison has mixed her love for painting, media production, and costume construction to produce a solo fundraising campaign for Dressember and 233 Rescue, providing resources to those escaping human trafficking.

She also volunteers her time giving local high school students prom opportunities she never received, supplying low income students with free professional makeup services for their big dances. For more about Madisen visit: www.http://madileadcertification.weebly.com

2016 LEAD and CEL Recipients

Elizabeth Guyette:   Motivated by a clear sense of human rights and social justice, Elizabeth invested in herself and her community.  She not only volunteered regularly with Rebuild Hope Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County, but spent extra time reflecting, researching and seeking mentorship so that she may grow. 

Her work outside the classroom included putting on the event “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” The event brought awareness to serious issues facing women and families. It put men in heels in a march down Pacific Avenue to call attention to the cause. Additionally it fundraised for programs which assist survivors of sexual assault in rebuilding their lives and sense of empowerment. Her passion for human rights also inspired her to participate in the Alternative Breakaway volunteer program with the Refugee Woman’s Alliance and even took it upon herself to lobby Congresswoman Cantwell for the support of our refugees in Washington State. It is for Elizabeth’s ongoing commitment to human rights and social justice taken outside the classroom and for successfully completing all program requirements that we recognize her completion of the LEAD and CEL certificates. Website: www.sites.google.com/site/eguyette253/


Shawnie Krauter: A self-proclaimed business leader, Shawnie believes in leading by example. She dedicated herself to various workshops and events that continued to build her leadership outside the classroom. Whether competing in business case competitions, participating in diversity workshops, or networking at seminars she dedicated herself to growing outside the classroom.

Her pledge to “leading by example” helped bind her local Church together by forming ‘Project Outreach’ to connect her church member to volunteerism that matters. Shawnie now coordinates this program through a website where her community members act both locally and regionally in fulfillment of their faith based mission. For Shawnie’s commitment to personal growth and development that has bound her community together in service, and for successfully completing all program requirements we recognize her with the LEAD certificate. For more about Shawnie and her work please visit: http://projectoutreachlead.weebly.com/ & http://www.crccoutreach.org/.


Marae Slyter: An undaunted student leader who has an interest for making justice issues known. Out of the classroom Marae pursued her interest through events and workshops focused on identity, leadership, creative expression and public presentation

Seeking out these skills and insights she focused her LEAD project on the full expression of these qualities by directing “This Side of Heaven”, a Student Acting Guild (STAG) production focused on honoring people with disabilities. She worked closely with people from the disabilities community to stage the production and engaged the audience in “talkback” sessions after the play. Through the ups and downs of the project Marae stayed with it, learning from her experience and even drawing tears of appreciation from supporters of the disabilities community at the moving performance. For Marae’s dedication to her professional development, contributions to her community and for successfully completing all program requirements we recognize her with the LEAD certificate. For more about Marae please visit: www.sites.google.com/a/uw.edu/stag/


Aimee Peyton-Green: Aimee has a spirit of empathy and care that changes the world one person and one step at a time. She has knowingly and willingly put herself in diverse environments with the purpose to learn about and bind communities often separated. Aimee recalls a story of how she was inspired to this leadership mindset.

Seeing a man coughing and wincing in pain on the Link Rail to campus, Aimee offered the cough drops she had in her purse and wished him well. That small act turned the man to tears and when able to respond, replied, “thank you, everyone just pretends I’m invisible.” Aimee notes that this experience hit her hard. She was forced to look at how she and the world interact with those different than themselves. This experience sparked her to organize her Psychology club and other clubs on campus to run a sock drive for the homeless in fall of 2015 and a toiletries drive in the winter for those experiencing homelessness. It also drives her to mentor Mt. Tahoma high school students applying to college. Recently Aimee’s dedication to her values and this leadership mindset has landed her a job at Bates Technical College where she works as a Family Support Specialist. For Aimee’s dedication to her own leadership development, her community and for successfully completing all program requirements we recognize her with the LEAD certificate. For more about Aimee visit: www. apgreene.wix.com/imeantolead


Katie Kenny:  Katie has a mind for business with open ears and an open heart.   She has sought out mentorship from those at the Millard School of Business and worked tirelessly volunteering and organizing volunteer events through the Center for Service and Leadership.

Her tenacity for learning, listening and business inspired her to investigate several workshops and conferences for Corporate Social Responsibility, Student Leadership and a national civic engagement conference for higher education. Her thoughtful reflections inspired her to create a self-efficacy workshop that she presented at the Resilient Intellectuals Seeing Equity Conference in April of 2016. Her passion for business and civic responsibility drove her to compete in UW Tacoma’s annual Case Competition on Corporate Social Responsibility. For this work and her volunteer efforts with numerous student groups and nonprofits in the Tacoma community and for successfully completing all program requirements we recognize her with the LEAD certificate. For more about Katie visit: www.katieelizabeth-k.weebly.com/


Johari Du Pont: Has dedicated herself to expanding her knowledge outside the classroom and is laser focused on research that impacts of our local community schools.  She focused much of her extracurricular workshops and learning around reflection and mindfulness for substance abuse treatment.

Johari volunteers her time on research dedicated to the treatment and education of adolescent substance use in a program called Project READY. The project utilizes Motivational Interviewing, Personalized Feedback, and Relapse Prevention to address substance abuse in Tacoma high schools. Johari’s dedication to this topic has earned her the right to co-present professional research findings with Dr. Harris at the Wester Psychological Association conference. Johari will continue her dedication to the principles of professional growth and community impact as she attends graduate school next year at Claremont University. For dedication to her professional development outside the classroom and for successfully completing all program requirements we recognize her with the LEAD certificate. For more about Johari visit: www.johariscareer.weebly.com



Nadia Caldwell:   A big personality, you will know when Nadia is in the classroom or in the community making an impact.   Nadia has a passion for getting voices and perspectives heard. Nadia has a passion for getting voices and perspectives heard. A communications major, Nadia focused her personal growth and community engagement on how she could use her voice to encourage others.

Attending workshops outside the classroom on topics such as “Mindfulness”, and “Tips for Getting College Done”, she wove these reflective times into herself and her community work. As a cheer coach at Jason Lee Middle School she invested time in helping young girls find their voices. She notes, “As I go into my community work I move forward with an open mind and an eye for how these things (biases) present themselves. Working with teen girls these oppressive ideologies seep into their consciousness through all of the popular media.” She found her own voice while working for the Ledger (school newspaper) which kindled her passion for communications. But this big voice also finds time for reflective humility, attending the Center for Service and Leadership’s Alternative Break volunteer program she reflected, “I’m trying to be mindful of my character and my big voice, and learning when to let others have the floor.” It is for her mindfulness, her volunteer efforts and the successfully completing all program requirements of both LEAD and CEL that we recognize Nadia. We wish her luck on her master’s degree in strategic communications at University of Southern California. For more about Nadia visit: www.nadialeadcel.weebly.com