The University of Washington Tacoma Dressel Scholars Program recognizes and rewards exceptional scholarly achievement, community engagement, and leadership potential for any student enrolled at UW Tacoma. The Dressel Scholars Program was created to honor the legacy of Melanie Jan LaPlant Dressel by creating a robust scholarship and mentorship program that affords our students the opportunities to develop their leadership skills and community connections while giving them the financial freedom to fully participate in their UW Tacoma experience.
Congratulations to our two recipients in the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice for this prestigious scholarship!
Elisia Sanchez is a senior majoring in Social Welfare. She is very passionate about human rights and has spent the last year serving with AmeriCorps at Community Youth Services working with vulnerable youth. She also served at an elementary school and transitioned to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southwest Washington. She currently works with Safe Streets at Prairie Ridge Community Coalition providing resources to youth. Additionally, she has created a successful donation drive for the houseless community in Olympia and has started many clubs. In the future, she hopes to start her own non-profit and continue to work with the underrepresented community, helping share the voice that many have lost.
Manuela Schneider comes from over three generations of agricultural workers in Germany and Thailand. She is a first-generation college student in her senior year at UW Tacoma, majoring in Social Welfare. In 2013, she moved to Washington State from Germany with her daughter and remained undocumented for over six years before meeting her husband and settling roots in Tacoma. After giving birth to her 2nd daughter in 2018, she went back to school through the Tacoma REACH Center to complete her GED in eight weeks. The following season she enrolled at Pierce College, where she developed new skills as a student-leader and graduated with her Associate Degree in Social Service & Mental Health in 2021. Through this journey, she developed a passion for community advocacy, especially supporting other immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers because she understands the struggles of navigating the U.S. system as an English language learner. In the next five years, Manuela plans to gain experience in the Public/Private Sector, complete her Master's in Business Administration, and hopes to start her own organization that serves her community by advancing social equity and economic development.
2022-23 First Generation SSWCJ Students
UW Tacoma takes pride in serving students who are the first in the family to attend college. Here are two SSWCJ students who were selected to represent UW Tacoma as First Generation students in 2022-23.
First Generation student, Criminal Justice Program
“There may be days where you feel like you can’t do it anymore but just think of why you are doing it in the first place. You might not hear it enough, but your family, friends and community are proud of you and how far you’ve come! Don’t lose hope and always remember ‘Sí Se Puede!’”
First Generation student, Social Welfare Program
“Completing my education to do something I’m passionate about will show future generations that through adversity comes strength and opportunity. Speak up for yourself and for what you believe in. You are worth it and you will accomplish big things if YOU believe it!”
Andre Henderson, Governor's Student Civic Leadership Award
Andre Henderson is the recipient of the 2022 Governor's Student Civic Leadership Award. In this video, he recaps his experience as a formerly-incarcerated student and his journey to becoming a student leader.
SSWCJ Students recognized in the Husky 100
Each year, the Husky 100 recognizes 100 undergraduate and graduate students from the UW Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses in all areas of study who are making the most of their time at the UW. The Husky 100 actively connect what happens inside and outside of the classroom and apply what they learn to make a difference on campus, in their communities and for the future. Through their passion, leadership and commitment, these students inspire all of us to shape our own Husky Experience.
B.A. Social Welfare
Year awarded 2022
My heart lies in committing myself to cultural humility and advocating for marginalized communities. At UWT, I spread awareness of social justice issues as a president of the Student Social Work Organization and Global Ambassadors Coordinator by providing a place for domestic and international students to discuss and learn about social justice issues worldwide. I envision myself utilizing my husky experience to make school social workers more prominent in my home country, Japan.
We are thrilled to announce that students from our school have been often recognized in the Husky 100. Here are our students recognized over the last few years.
2021 Husky 100 Awardee
Master of Social Work
2020 Husky 100 Awardee
Master of Social Work
2019 Husky 100 Awardee
Master of Social Work
Students in the news
Teetering on the brink, Navy veteran Andre Henderson recalled his mother’s words urging higher education, and took a path that turned his life around.