Angeline Jimenez: Campus Leader, Healthcare Advocate

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Being a military "brat" got Angeline Jimenez in touch with her Korean heritage and gave her the inspiration for her major and her degree.

As a child, Angeline Jimenez, '19, Healthcare Leadership, had her eyes set on a career in news broadcasting. “Knowing myself now, if I were to be on TV I would probably laugh through the whole thing and not know what to say,” she said. “As I grew up I had various dream jobs, but I’m glad my future is going to be as a leader in healthcare.”

Growing up, Jimenez’s father was in the military and her family moved frequently which provided valuable insight about life around the United States and abroad. Of all the moves, she noted that living on a U.S. military base in Daegu, South Korea, had the most impact on her. “Being half Korean, I was deeply immersed in the culture, especially because my mom taught me the dialect,” she said. “I learned so much about my identity while creating strong bonds with my family members that reside in Daegu.” After living there for a few years, Jimenez goes back once a year to visit. “All of my family lives either in California or South Korea, so I make it a point to visit at least once a year,” she said. “It’s so meaningful being able to stay connected. This summer, I’ll be going to Korea for a month to see everyone.”

Daegu, where Angeline Jimenez has family, is South Korea's fourth largest city with a population of 2.5 million.

Jimenez is graduating with a degree in healthcare leadership, minoring in business administration. UW Tacoma came highly recommended by her older sister, a 2017 psychology graduate, who encouraged her to look into the program originally. Her drive comes from her desire to help others access equitable healthcare — without having to be a physician. “It’s a really bad time for healthcare in America right now. So many are unable to access or pay for crucial services,” she said. “I think I can help with that, because I know that I can be a good leader in assuring a safe and positive environment for patients and staff in a medical organization.”

Inspired by her father, Jimenez is invested in helping improve healthcare and services for veterans. “There’s a really large homeless veteran population in Tacoma, and many don’t realize that they can get help. There are resources available, but they can be difficult to access,” she said. “Seeing individuals and families hurting because of this shows the need for change in our system, and inspires me to work hard in my field as an advocate.”

Student organizing has been one of the most important aspects of Jimenez’s time at UW Tacoma, and helped her to develop a more involved campus life that’s sparked lifelong friendships. In her time working with the Student Activities Board (SAB), she collaborated with other members to implement an event called “Late Night Study Lounge” that enabled students to utilize spaces on campus. In preparation, she reserved spaces in Philip Hall for studying. “The endless hours of planning were worth it, and made me more excited to plan for future events during spring quarter,” she said. “It makes me feel good knowing that I can contribute to the success of students at UW Tacoma.” While the Late Night Study Sessions were discontinued as of April, it helped give the library the push needed to open for extended hours on Monday through Thursday.

While on the UW Tacoma Student Activities Board, Angeline Jimenez helped launch a pilot "Late Night Study Spaces" program that gave students access to two campus buildings after operating hours. The program ended when the Library extended its hours of operation. Photo of MacDonald Smith courtesy Bassetti Architects.

An elected member of the Associated Students of UW Tacoma (ASUWT), Jimenez is the Nursing and Healthcare Leadership senator. “I got involved with ASUWT because I wanted to be a voice for my cohort, peers, and programs,” she said. “I never imagined I would be involved in student government, but I’m glad I took the chance because I am beyond grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to work alongside devoted students and be a voice for those that don’t have one.” Her main role as a senator is to meet with other senators to discuss projects, activities, and any potential issues that need to be addressed. Most recently, they’ve been working on putting together senator manuals to guide next years leaders. “We’ve been putting together starter kits for the incoming senators for fall quarter, which is new this year,” she said. “It can be difficult to know exactly what to do when you’re just starting out as a senator, and these manuals will help them to learn procedures, who to reach out to for help, and act as guidance for decision making.”

Acting on her dedication to stewardship, leadership, and community in healthcare, Jimenez has been a part of Partners in Action to Transform Healthcare, as the vice president since 2018. Working alongside other officers, Jimenez has helped orchestrate PATH Health Care Talks and campus blood drives through Cascade Regional Blood Services and Bloodworks Northwest. “One of the projects I was the most proud of in my time with PATH was the collaboration we established with student affairs to bring nurses on campus to administer free flu shots to students who wanted them,” she said. “It felt good to be able to help the students stay healthy, especially because flu shots can have an undesirable cost that some students wouldn’t be able to afford.”

Along with her work in healthcare leadership and school activities, Jimenez makes time for creative endeavors. Her favorites are photography, videography, and painting. “Painting has become extremely therapeutic for me,” she said. “All day, I’m working, at my internship, in meetings, or doing homework, but this gives me a chance to relax and just take care of myself and my mental health.”

In the short term, Jimenez hopes to find a job that can kick start her career in healthcare leadership and give her the opportunity to experience what she’s learned in class. In the long term, her goal is to start a non-profit organization aimed at helping homeless veterans in the Seattle-Tacoma area. “I witnessed a lot of veterans that transitioned out of the military but weren’t aware of the benefits and resources they could have,” she said. “There are various factors that can impact veterans wellness such as homelessness, substance abuse, or medical conditions that can worsen without proper care. My dream is to reach out and guide veterans so that they can utilize their benefits, and be able to provide any additional care to help them adjust to civilian life.”

Return to 2019 Commencement: The Husky Family

Section: 
Written by: 
Catarina Terrill / June 13, 2019
Photos by: 
Ryan Moriarty
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or johnbjr@uw.edu