Giving to Student Affairs at UW Tacoma creates a lifetime of impact for our students and generations of change in our community.
With a lifelong, life-wide approach to supporting the socioeconomic mobility, academic, and personal success of students, Student Affairs complements faculty excellence through programs and services outside of the classroom.
Student Affairs expands access to a university education, cultivates students’ sense of belonging, provides programs that enrich the student experience and facilitate student success, and fosters career readiness for all students.
Whether you give to our Student Affairs Success Fund or one of our many other focused funds, such as the First Generation Student Initiative Fund, the fund to support our Veteran and Military Resource Center (VMRC), or our Career Development & Education Project Fund, your support goes to work immediately in making a difference in the lives and future of our students.
Supports activities and initiatives of the UW Tacoma Veteran and Military Resource Center, including travel costs, conference registration, food and drink for conferences, workshops, hosting and entertaining.
"I started this journey expecting to sacrifice everything but never even stopped to think about all the things that I could gain. Without the support of Student Affairs, I'm not sure that I would have ever found out what I wanted to with my degree, let alone the things I needed to do to get there. And most importantly, I have met so many other students through Student Affairs that I no longer have to find my way alone."
Expand the section below to read Julie's full story.
Read Julie's Story
After going back to school in my 20's, I finally completed my associate degree in 2014 and earned a scholarship to continue my education at a public four-year institution. My celebration was short-lived, as even with a scholarship, I could no longer afford to work part-time in order to support myself. I had to temporarily give up on my dream, opting to work in a warehouse instead. 7 years later, I was still working for the same company, but had since relocated to Washington and was now in my 30s. However, I never gave up on my dream of completing my degree and decided to fill out an application to the University of Washington Tacoma.
I was so worried about starting all over again and whether any of my out of state, several year-old college credits would transfer. When I met with my Premajor Academic Advisor, Kira King, I found out that the university accepted every single one of my credits and she made me feel so excited to come back to school after all this time. I no longer had the scholarship to fund my tuition, but I had been saving for my education all these years.
Once I completed my junior year, I began to allow myself to dream a little more beyond just completing my degree. I allowed myself the luxury of dreaming about what I could do after graduation. I knew I loved working with people, and I knew psychology was right for me, but I had no idea what I could do with my degree outside of clinical psychology. In an appointment with my Psychology Academic Advisor, Karin Dalesky, I learned two very important things. The first being that since I stepped down from my full-time warehouse job to working part-time over the summers and holidays, I could qualify for more financial aid. The second being that there was somewhere I could go to help me figure out what I could do after graduation: the Career Development and Education Center.
After that appointment, I immediately called Student Financial Aid and explained my work situation. They told me I could resubmit my financial aid application to reflect my new expected income, which was significantly different from when I was working full-time. Not only did I get grants for my senior year to cover the cost of my tuition, but I was also reimbursed for some of the tuition I had already paid during my junior year. I was willing to sacrifice everything for my college education, including my savings. Not only did the University of Washington Tacoma accept all my transfer credits, but they helped fund my education too. They wanted me to succeed just as much as I did.
Then, over the summer I made it a point to contact the Career Development and Education Center. I first met with Career Development Specialist, Ivana Trottman, to discuss what I could do with my degree. She gave me so many suggestions about what I could do and from then on, I was hooked. I decided to use every service the Career Development and Education Center had to offer, from resume and cover letter writing, to taking the CliftonStrengths Assessment to determine what kind of work would be the best fit. I made appointments with Dawn Williams, the Assistant Director of Career Development and Education, to go over my CliftonStrengths Assessment and to help me with my resume. Dawn, who holds a Master's in Counseling Psychology, understood my career dilemma. She told me that for herself, she didn't want a career in counseling where she told people what was wrong with them. She wanted a career where she told people what was right with them, and that was how she found herself working in career services. I knew I wanted that for myself too, and finally Dawn asked me, "Well have you thought about applying here?"
I did apply and now I have a student job as a Career Prep Consultant. I get to share everything that I have learned with other students. But that is not all. I have found so much support at the Career Development and Education Center. I have Michael Maratas, Military-Connected Career Coach, Eric Hilldorfer, Employer Relations Manager, Jesse Cooley, Program Support Supervisor, Stephon Harris, Associate Director of New Student and Family Programs, Amanda Figueroa, Senior Director of Student Transitions and Success, and DJ Crisostomo, Assistant Director of First-Generation Student Initiatives, just to name a few. All of whom have spent so much time talking with me, cheering me on, helping me learn how to navigate higher education and make my dreams a reality.
I started this journey expecting to sacrifice everything but never even stopped to think about all the things that I could gain. Without the support of Student Affairs, I'm not sure that I would have ever found out what I wanted to with my degree, let alone the things I needed to do to get there. And most importantly, I have met so many other students through Student Affairs that I no longer have to find my way alone.
"Working in the VMRC has provided me amazing opportunities to network with our military community as a military dependent, to improve my communication and interpersonal skills as a team leader, and has been my source of funding for food, supplies, gas, and all things living expenses."
"As I continue to pursue my education here at UW Tacoma, you can feel how strong the sense of COMMUNITY is around here and it really allows you expand your horizons and be influenced by wonderful people as well as meet new people, all from different backgrounds. I definitely do not regret applying to the University of Washington Tacoma because I know I belong here and I know that when I graduate I will be able to keep in touch with fellow classmates, faculty, and staff."
Expand the section below to read Marleina's full story.
Read Marleina's Story
Within the last two years I have been here at University of Washington Tacoma, there has never been a moment where I felt helpless or I felt alone. Through the First Generation Office and their amazing staff, I have been released and offered the countless opportunities and resources UWT has for me. Also, the Housing and Residence Life has helped me in many ways because I am not from Washington, and before I came here I was lost and worried I would not have a place to live, while attending school. That is until I had applied for student housing and got accepted to be able to live on campus and be so close to attend events and be more a part of the community. Living on campus has definitely been an experience I am glad to have because not only am I close to campus, it grants me the chance to make new friends and meet new people. I am always so grateful to be here because there are so many different people you could meet and just be able to talk to when things aren’t going too well; from the staff, the faculty, the many organizations, as well as the many different offices who are willing to put in the time to listen and hear you out and just be there for you. As I continue to pursue my education here at UWT, you can feel how strong the sense of COMMUNITY is around here and it really allows you expand your horizons and be influenced by wonderful people as well as meet new people, all from different backgrounds. I definitely do not regret applying to the University of Washington Tacoma because I know I belong here and I know that when I graduate I will be able to keep in touch with fellow classmates, faculty, and staff.
"Amanda Figueroa, DJ Crisostomo, and Marie Perez of Student Affairs are all former bosses-turned mentors that have helped and continue to help me succeed at UWT... They all helped me maximize my resources and leverage my networking skills to succeed in diverse settings outside of the classroom... I am grateful to have another space on campus that feels like home and fosters success!"
Read Christian's Story
Amanda Figueroa, DJ Crisostomo, and Marie Perez of Student Affairs are all former bosses-turned mentors that have helped and continue to help me succeed at UWT. I was employed last summer as one of their Math-Science-Leadership Program co-instructors. Together, we navigated three weeks of teaching underrepresented youth interested in STEM and providing a safe and fun environment for everyone involved. Inspired by their commitment to community and student success, I continued to lean on them after the MSL Program for advice as an undergraduate student. They all helped me maximize my resources and leverage my networking skills to succeed in diverse settings outside of the classroom. Currently part of the First-Generation Cohort and Financial Wellness Cohort, I see DJ regularly for his insight while pursuing new opportunities. Additionally, I participate in workshops and lunch events that help elevate my preparation for post-graduate life, financial literacy, and mental health. Similarly, I lean on Amanda and Marie for advice with endeavors like pursuing scholarships and opportunities to share my story and represent UWT. Because of Amanda, DJ, and Marie, I am grateful to have another space on campus that feels like home and fosters success!
"...I was struggling financially, mentally, and academically. I was acquainted with the Student Advocacy Office where I was met with kindness and support both financially and emotionally. The Student Affairs at UWT has provided impactful opportunities I have made use of. I participated in First-Generation Fellows and Financial Wellness in Fall 22 and currently WIN 23. The cohorts not only provide me with resources and tools, but a sense of community."
Read Alexis' Story
During the last fall quarter, my first quarter at University of Washington Tacoma (UWT), I found myself facing financial hardship. Without getting into too much detail, I was struggling financially, mentally, and academically. I was acquainted with the Student Advocacy Office where I was met with kindness and support both financially and emotionally. The Student Affairs at UWT has provided impactful opportunities I have made use of. I participated in First-Generation Fellows and Financial Wellness in Fall 22 and currently WIN 23. The cohorts not only provide me with resources and tools, but a sense of community. We can earn a stipend ($600 in total), which is given upon involvement in the cohorts. Aside from being monetarily beneficial, the stipend demonstrated the programs acknowledgement of our time being important. Another resource I regularly utilize is the food pantry on campus which is such a blessing. I would not have both made rent and eaten during this financial hardship had it not been for all the aid and resources available on the UWT campus. Because of my participation in the First-Generation Fellows and Financial Wellness cohorts, I became acquainted with DJ Crisostomo, First-Generation Student Assistant Director who has been a phenomenal mentor, confidant, and friend. I felt comfortable opening up to him and sharing my situation with him. He showed me such kindness and support, understanding how challenging things can be for people like us. Recently, DJ has helped me prepare for an interview, and I landed the job! I will never forget the tenderness and compassion that was given to me during this trying time. The faculty who had listened to me, guiding me, have truly made me feel seen and a part of the UWT community. I felt empowered to advocate for myself and seek help because of the warm and supportive environment I've experienced on UWT campus.