The Office of Global Affairs is proud to offer UW Tacoma students the opportunity to serve in student leadership positions in our office. Office of Global Affairs Fellows are UW Tacoma students whose mission is to promote global learning opportunities on campus. OGA Fellows help plan, promote, and implement events and assist with international student services, supporting study abroad programs, student fellowship, and award promotion. To successfully carry out these tasks, it is essential to have in-depth and experiential knowledge of study abroad, student fellowship processes, and international student transitions. If you have questions, they have answers!
Hi everyone! My name is Angel Reddy and I will be entering my final year at UWT. I am a Biomedical Sciences major. It took me quite a while to settle on a major. Originally, I wanted to pursue creative writing. I’ve always believed in the power of storytelling. However, as I began to take chemistry courses at UWT, I realized the sciences was where I was meant to be. I loved being a lab setting and solving problems in a methodical, deliberate manner. I still love to write and plan to strengthen that skill as I move through university.
My belief in the power of stories is what lead to me to complete a study abroad in Bangalore, India. My own family in Indo-Fijian. Their stories of Fiji filled me with awe at an early age. However, they always left me feeling empty. I never felt like I belonged to Fiji or India (or even the United States at times). When I discovered a program at UW Seattle that took students to India for a month, I jumped at the opportunity. I thought I would find all the answers to my questions. Instead, I just found more questions. Which is good! The stories that I heard from locals helped to understand my identity and question it further to grow my understanding of who I am in the world.
Studying abroad opened me to the challenges of traveling abroad. Wherever we go in the world, we carry our unique identities with us. I am happy to share more information about my experience with you if you have any questions or concerns about traveling. I look forward to working with you to plan your study abroad!
Hello! My name is Milla Tirona, and I am currently a junior at UWT. I am a psychology major and am also planning to minor in social science research methods. My interest in psychology began with my desire to understand an old high school friend whom I had had a falling out with. I also began to want to understand myself. Choosing psychology came out of compassion for others as well as compassion for myself; I wanted to help others understand themselves and practice compassion towards themselves as I had learned to do.
I love to do many things in my free time. One of my main hobbies is art. From my art often came stories that I would draw out and have in my head. Story weaving as a hobby stemmed from the stories I put with the characters I drew; I wish I could say writing is a hobby of mine, but I haven’t done much in terms of writing down all the stories I’ve created these past years.
Many people who meet me will also learn shortly thereafter that I am in love and obsessed with typewriters. The story of how I got into typewriters explains why I love them so much. The anime Violet Evergarden, a top-tier anime by the way (my favorite too!), follows a former child soldier as she seeks to learn the meaning of her commanding officer’s last words to her, “I love you”. She works as a ghostwriter, learning how to put a client’s thoughts and feelings into a letter on their behalf. Using a typewriter, she connects people and their emotions through letters. Letter writing isn’t common anymore, but I love writing pen pal letters with my typewriter because of the connections I can form.
I am on the never-ending quest to understand myself and others. Obviously, this journey will never end, but I want to learn and experience as much as I can. Part of this quest is to learn about cultures and people different from me. I can’t expect to widen my understanding of others if I don’t reach out and explore what’s unknown and unfamiliar to me.
At this time, I’ve yet to actually go abroad for my program “Prague – The Psychology of Culture, Food, and Human Development”. I have many worries and uncertainties, and such was the case during my application process as well. While I am still slightly anxious, I am really looking forward to my trip and am excited about all the different things I may learn and experience. I want others to be able to have such experiences, so I am excited to share my own time of studying abroad in hopes of encouraging others to try and study abroad themselves! I am looking forward to meeting and connecting with you all! :D
Greetings everyone! My name is Niaz. I am an international student from the tropical island of Jamaica! I came to the US in 2019 and studied at Pierce College for an Associate’s Degree of Science. I began my journey at UW in Winter 2022, where I transferred into the computer science program. My major aligns closely with what I have always been passionate about – computers and software. I hope to be able to design software and tech that can solve issues in our community.
I have had the privilege to live in several interesting places throughout my life: Botswana, Ukraine, and India. Although I was born in Jamaica, my culture and influences are a mosaic of those countries. As you would imagine, finding home in vastly different environments can be quite a thrilling yet arduous journey. It is why I take great pride in being an OGA Fellow, where I plan to use my past experiences to help students (especially those who are completely unfamiliar to this land) find and build community here at UW Tacoma.
When I am not nerding out on tech, I enjoy practicing martial arts; most recently, I’ve been learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It’s exhausting but entirely worth it! I also watch anime (my favorite is Steins;Gate) so your recommendations are welcome. My other hobbies include salsa dancing and playing pool. I first learnt to play pool in Ukraine but rarely found opportunities to play after I had left. One fun thing about UWT is that I have discovered at least four pool tables on campus. It’s almost too convenient!
If you would like to get to know me better, feel free to come by our office at GWP and I’ll be happy to share my experiences and tell you about the newest anime I’m watching. I know we are going to have some great, engaging events this year and I am excited to meet you all!
Hi everyone! My name is Jessica Sellers! I grew up living the lifestyle of a military child, which meant that every few years, I had to move to a different country. The first military base I lived in was in Japan, where I was born. From there, I moved to Germany, and now I am here in Washington. Although there were many challenges along the way, such as leaving behind friends, adjusting to new environments, and finding my place of belonging. I found this journey to be a blessing as it gave me the opportunity to travel around the world, taught me to appreciate/respect other's cultures and encouraged me to enjoy the moment.
A little bit more about myself, I am a junior pursuing a major in psychology and minoring in teaching, learning, and justice. I am deeply interested in understanding more about the human mind and how people think. I am also leaning towards a path into education. Since I believe that knowledge is our most powerful tool so, I want to be able to take part in passing it down to our future generations. During my free time, I enjoy doing photography and painting as I find them to be fantastic activities for stress relief.
To come to a close because the entirety of my life has been so culturally diverse, I find great comfort in interacting with an international community. Through the Office of Global Affairs, I was able to find my sense of belonging at the UWT campus. So now, my goal is to continue creating a community for international students so that they feel comfortable and enjoy their time here at UWT. I can't wait to get to know everyone and hopefully make lots of new friends! If you see me around campus, don't hesitate to say hello, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!:)
Kumusta (Hello)! My name is Elaiza Ginez. I am a Filipino American going into my junior year at UWT. As my culture has been a great influence towards building my personality. I feel honored to have learned about various cultures around the world and how they connect with people. This is why I am so excited to connect with you! Everyone comes from unique and different cultural backgrounds, so I hope you’re willing to share with us!
To share a little bit about myself, I am pursuing a major psychology and minoring in criminal justice. My passion for wanting to understand and help people bought me into psychology. And my interest in criminal justice followed as I desired to find different ways to support others. In my downtime, I enjoy relaxing with my dog, watching movies/ shows, and painting landscapes. Other than that, I love traveling or discovering new places near me. As of right now, I have traveled domestically and to Asia (such as the Philippines, Japan, and Korea) so I hope to explore Europe someday. If you have any suggestions on places to visit, I would love to hear them!
Furthermore, my goal as an OGA Fellow is for everyone to have an opportunity to experience various cultures. Whether that could be through our amazing study abroad or through our fantastic Global Ambassadors program. As well for domestic and international students to connect with each other on campus. Perhaps, the person you’ll meet will have amazing stories! So I look forward to all of you joining us and creating fun memories together. Please come and say hi or if you have anything you want to know, feel free to reach out!
Hello! My name is Melanie Jacob-Castillo and I am going into my junior year at UWT as an accounting major! I chose this major because I consider myself a very detailed person, I enjoy problem-solving, and figuring out the missing puzzles in accounting.
My goal as an OGA fellow is to reach students on personal levels by recapping the study abroad experiences of mine and other students through stories, pictures, lessons, social media, newsletters, and more. With this goal in mind, I hope to guide students into thinking about study abroad and being able to do so.
Outside of work and school, I enjoy spending quality time with friends, family, and a dog named Snicker who I love so much. I enjoy being outside with him as much as I can, such as going on walks, hikes, or campings. I also love traveling internationally and playing volleyball.
Hey guys! I’m Rocky, a senior-transfer student from American Samoa Community College. I am majoring in Criminal Justice, and this is my second year here at UWT. I have lived on American Samoa my whole life, and although we had a very small community, we had various cultures of the Pacific celebrated back home and I have always loved the multi-cultural practices and events that I witnessed and participated in. Growing up I was always curious about these intersections of cultures, religion, and even governments and societies.
Now you might or might not wonder why I chose Criminal Justice as a major if my interests lie in foreign affairs and cultural practices of the world; it is because the Criminal Justice major taught here at UWT addresses and acknowledges many social injustices using different approaches that include social work. I absolutely love helping people more than anything, and that is honestly what won me over.
Global Ambassadors is a program that I wanted to be a part of because it is like a combination of both things and what makes it unique is that it caters to the student's personal voices, and you get to hear firsthand what it is like in other countries and cultures and practices. So, if you are interested or just want to find a safe space to talk, go to events, or just have a good time please join us. Feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions!