2017 Study Abroad Fellowship Awardees 

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Office of Global Affairs Study Abroad Scholarships:

Alicia Cassell (Communication, BA 2018)

Click here to read Alicia's Testimonial! 

Alicia is studying communications and is expected to graduate in the spring of 2018. She looks forward to participating in the Intersections and Movements program in São Paulo, Campo Grande and Rio de Janiero, Brazil. She currently lives in Enumclaw and has a love of photography and hiking.

Alvin Ong (History, BA 2018)

Click here to view Alvin's Testimonial! 

Alvin took a two-year break after graduating from Highline Community College in 2014. He mustered up the courage to continue his education at UW in the Winter of 2017. Since then, he has gained a renewed sense of purpose studying Chinese History, which has also piqued his interest in learning more about Buddhism.

This summer Alvin is heading to Kaifeng, China for his study abroad. It is the 2nd time this year Alvin ‘s been to China! Alvin is pretty eager to get back to China because once there he hopes to become more aware and learned in the ways Chinese society has changed and where it’s heading. Alvin also would love to visit the more ancient sites and religious institutions in the area, in order to have a sense of the spiritual health of China today.


Diamond O’Neill (Biomedical Sciences, BS 2019) 

Click here to read Diamond's Testimonial! 

Diamond will be participating in the Global Impact Volunteer Morocco program. During this program, she will get to provide volunteer services in health clinics while gaining a better understanding of community health. Diamond is excited to be immersed in the challenges of studying abroad while gaining new skills along the way.

Diamond hopes that her study abroad experience will give her a higher awareness of who she is by influencing her view on the world and how she contributes to it. She is also a recipient of the 2017 HI USA Explore the World Travel Scholarship. Hostelling International USA is a nonprofit organization that has generously helped to finance Diamond's international experience. This year, they have awarded 98 of these scholarships around the country. Diamond is extremely lucky that their values of making a difference in the world align with her own and that they have selected her to be one of three travelers from the Seattle area awarded. One of the major requirements of this scholarship is to actively document her experience on social media. As a financially disadvantaged and first-generation college student, Diamond is grateful to be chosen for these scholarships that ultimately have made it possible for her to study in Morocco.


Karina Oscoy (Social Welfare, BA 2018)

Karina’s parents immigrated to the U.S to seek out the "American Dream" when she was just one year old, in order to give her and her siblings better opportunities in life.

She has a strong passion for helping her community and being a positive influence in the Latino community, to show that “minorities" CAN accomplish their dreams. She will be going to Cape Town, South Africa to examine township community development, education, and racial disparities.


Marcos Vieyra (Law and Policy, Human Rights minor, BA 2020) 

Click here to read Marcos' Testimonial! 

As a first-generation student, Marcos dreamed of studying abroad but it never seemed to be attainable. He applied to study abroad in South Africa after some encouragement from faculty and was ultimately offered a spot in the program.

Marcos has been very interested in the topic at the center of the program as it is one that he has been researching in relation to immigrants and the United States, specifically around how racism is able to root itself within governmental bodies and create systems of inequality. Before looking into this program, he was unfamiliar with what apartheid was. While he understood it was built on racism and the divestment of black communities, he had no foundational knowledge of its history or impacts on today’s South Africa. However, after familiarizing himself with the importance of the apartheid system, there is no other study abroad he would rather be a part of. The lessons Marcos will take with him from this experience in South Africa will provide valued information as well as experience in having dialogues with historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. He sees this study abroad program as more than just a way to visit a new country. He sees it as actively taking a role in achieving global equity by understanding history and using this structure to guide discourse around a perverse topic to establish sustainable solutions. Marcos hopes his study abroad in South Africa will inspire other first-generation students to make their dreams a reality.


Preety Taya (Criminal Justice and Social Welfare, BA 2018)

Click here to read Preety's Testimonial! 

Preety will be attending Brazil: Movements and Intersections study abroad. She is a double major in social welfare and criminal justice. Preety currently works for a non-profit organization that helps children from low-income neighborhoods.

Preety looks forward to studying in Brazil to learn about its rich culture and gain an understanding of the contemporary social movements that have shaped the country.



Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship:

April Lai (Business Administration, Economics minor, BA 2019)

April is a sophomore studying Business Administration at UW Tacoma. She will be learning and exploring in China with the UWT Past and Present program for Summer 2017. Coming from Chinese descent she is ecstatic to learn more about her background and study Chinese economics.

In addition, April is involved on campus as a Student Leader. She works as the Student Activities Board Entertainment Coordinator and advocates for First-Generation student success through a task force. April is running for Student Body Director of Finance and is motivated to help promote Study Abroad through these roles when she returns.


Arwa Dubad (Philosophy, Politics & Economics, Human Rights minor, BA 2018)

Arwa is honored to be studying in Brazil this summer with UW Tacoma Brazil: Movements and Intersections trip. She fell in love with South America during the summer 2016 when she had her first study abroad experience in Argentina.

Going back to explore another region that is famous for the intersectionality of its people is exciting opportunity for Arwa. After the program, Arwa plans to visit the her high school to inspire students to attend college and study abroad.


Natalie Lawrence (Psychology, BA 2018)

Click here to read Natalie's Testimonial! 

Natalie is a transfer student from the South Puget Sound Community College and came to UWT largely in part due to the generosity of the Next Step Scholarship donors. She is a member of the Global Honors Program and a research assistant in the Behavioral Health Psychology lab on campus.

This summer she will participate in the Brazil: Movements and Intersections program and has been drawn to Brazil because of their pioneering policy surrounding women's rights. Brazil has innovated women's police stations and Women's Rights Councils to help prevent and prosecute violent crimes against women; as well as realize women's rights as human rights. Creating a safer, more equitable world for women is something very important to Natalie. Natalie has also been awarded the Bamford Fellowship in Global Engagement; an undergraduate research opportunity in which she will be researching the intersections of rape, culture and policy within the United States and Brazil. She plans to pursue a career studying mental health disorders in order to innovate effective treatments, raise awareness, and relieve social stigma of those suffering with mental health disorders. With the privilege of education, she believes comes the duty to uphold marginalized voices. **Natalie also has been awarded the OGA Study Abroad Scholarship for 2017!


GO! Scholarship: 

Savontai Freeman (Ethnic, Gender, Labor Studies, BA 2018)

Savontai is a student and community leader: he works at UW Tacoma both in the Office of Student Transitions and as an MSL instructor, and works with the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program through Tacoma Public Schools. He has also worked on issues such as homelessness, poverty, and access to quality education and is looking forward to participating in the Sustainable Development in East Africa program during the winter 2018 quarter.

Fritz Scholarship:

Ashley Richards (Sustainable Urban Development, BA 2018)

Ashley Richardson (Sustainable Urban Development, BA 2018) Ashley is a member of the Global Honors program and a 2017-2018 recipient of the Bamford Fellowship in Global Engagement. Ashley looks forward to studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2017, where she will be studying the education system in post-apartheid Cape Town.

As a Bamford Fellow, Ashley will also be conducting research regarding global systems and cultural flows in relation to poverty, hunger, and conflict over vital resources within the education system in Cape Town, as well as the role of NGO’s in promoting equality amongst all students. **Ashley also has been awarded the HI USA Explore the World Travel Scholarship for 2017!


Autumn Diaz (Psychology, BA 2018) 

Click here to read Autumn's Testimonial! 

Autumn will be studying abroad in South Africa through UW Tacoma’s Education and Urban Studies early fall exploration seminar, where she will be examining township community development, education, and racial disparities. She is looking forward to partnering with nongovernmental organizations while in South Africa to provide assistance to those in the township of Philippi.

Autumn's interests in South Africa began after an initial visit to Cape Town four years ago where she was awakened to the many disparities the people of South Africa face. In addition to being a student, Autumn is also working towards the Community Engagement Leadership (CEL) and Learn, Engage, and Develop (LEAD) leadership certificates offered by UW Tacoma's Center for Service and Leadership. She hopes to use her newly-developed leadership skills while in South Africa. **Autumn also has been awarded the OGA Study Abroad Scholarship for 2017!