Success Stories

We asked a few graduating seniors to share words of advice and wisdom as they prepare to graduate from UW Bothell. Here are a few of their stories:


Catti Alvarez-Villanueva, Alumna 2013, UW Bothell Admissions Advisor

Major: Interdisciplinary Arts and Science - Society, Ethics and Human Behavior

CattiMy Greatest Accomplishment at UW Bothell: Honestly it has been just getting involved with the campus community. I do not think I would have grown so much as a person or leader if it would have not been for getting involved and being exposed to new ideas.

My Favorite Classroom Moment: Class room discussion with Peter Freeman in the MATCH program, they always got off topic but were always so relevant at the same time. I’m sure our class drove Peter crazy hahahah.

The Best Place to Study on Campus: I do not like studying on campus, because I NEVER get anything done. I enjoy studying late at night in my sala (living-room).

A Must-do Before You Graduate from UW Bothell: Take a class with Dr. Silva. She is AMAZING. Her classes are never boring and the readings she assigns are never dull. Do NOT get me wrong her classes are not a walk in the park but well worth it. Also get involved with the Making Access to College Happen (MATCH) that works with low-income first generation high school students with the college application process. This class honestly changed my life and sparked my passion for working in the education field.

My Advice to students coming behind me: Get involved! It will make the college experience a lot more fun and fulfilling.

The best kept secret at UW Bothell: I would say the people. I have been able to learn from my peers and have met long life friends.


Aaron Middleton

Major: Double major curriculum focused in Media Communications and Business Marketing

OmairMy Greatest Accomplishment at UW Bothell: Out of multiple small wins and major accomplishments, my greatest one has to be my successful completion of a very challenging double major curriculum focused in Media Communications and Business Marketing within four years.

My Favorite Classroom Moment: I created and performed a written piece about water privatization in front my class while also rocking a t-shirt I created in support of my protest piece. Everyone gave me a huge round of applause and a few even requested an encore and a print of the shirt for themselves.

The Best Place to Study on Campus: I find that the quiet room on the third floor past the rain forest hallway is the best place to study in a comfy cushy chair with views of the trees and muted highway traffic in the distance.

A Must-do Before You Graduate from UW Bothell: Perform at an open mic! What you have to say is important and utilizing a creative outlet to display your emotions is exhilarating.

My Advice to students coming behind me: Get involved on campus by doing what you love or what supports your post-graduation goals. If your interests aren’t available through an on campus course or a club, create it yourself.

The best kept secret at UW Bothell: When I first came to UW Bothell, I had no idea I could take multiple courses on the Seattle campus and while doing so have access to all the media equipment and facilities available to UW Seattle students.


Omair Khan

Major: Society, Ethics and Human Behavior

OmairMy Greatest Accomplishment at UW Bothell: Becoming a student leader has by far been my greatest accomplishment. I never considered myself a leader in high school, all of that changed at UW Bothell. I've grown as a leader and in turn as a better person these past 4 years and I owe it all to my fantastic supervisors and co-workers!

My Favorite Classroom Moment: My first quarter at UW Bothell, I was enrolled in a class called Cross Cultural Media. Lessons in globalization, media studies, and a class field trip to a local coffee shop inspired me. Our final was to write a research paper, but I wanted to do more than just write a paper after learning all that I had. To my surprise, I helped introduce a fair trade coffee blend at our campus coffee shop! I owe that success to my professor for being so enthusiastic and supportive for my decision to take action; my inspiration turned to action the moment my professor showed such strong support for me to follow through with the project. I'll always remember that.

The Best Place to Study on Campus: Group study rooms in the library are fantastic for collaboration! When its nice out, the sports field is a great place to catch up on reading!

A Must-do Before You Graduate from UW Bothell: Do something to step out of your shell! Whether that is performing at an open Mic, or joining a student club!

My Advice to students coming behind me: Do not burden yourself with too much responsibility; give yourself some free time and learn to say no. One person can't do everything, use your support networks when you need them!

The best kept secret at UW Bothell: When I first came to UW Bothell, I had no idea that I would become such close friends with my co-workers; working in the Office of Student Life is an amazing and often unforgettable experience. I highly recommend being connected to the Office of Student Life in some way, whether through employment, volunteering or through participation in its campus events.


Mojan Ahmadi

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies (Law, Economics, and Public Policy)
Graduation: June 2013

Mojan AhmadiMy Greatest Accomplishment at UW Bothell: Gaining the communication skills needed to converse with professional staff and colleagues

My Favorite Classroom Moment: Receiving a standing ovation from my classmates when concluding a debate strongly for my Policy Analysis class.

The Best Place to Study on Campus: My favorite place is to study on the 2nd or 3rd floor of the library in the cubicles. Nothing distracts you and you get lost in your homework so time flies!

A Must-do Before You Graduate from UW Bothell: You must join an extracurricular activity like intramural sports. It is such an incredible opportunity to make friends.

My Advice to students coming behind me: Get to know your professors. They are incredible resourceful and any future endeavor you have will ask for a letter of recommendation. They are there to help you!

The best kept secret at UW Bothell: When I began my time as a UW student, I had no clue that you can download free software like Microsoft Office! It saves you so much money!


Aspasea McKenna

Major: Business Administration
Graduation: June 2013

Aspasea McKennaMy Greatest Accomplishment at UW Bothell: The year that I spent studying abroad in Tokyo and traveling through Asia. Living in an environment so different from home opened my eyes to new ways of looking at the world. Travel teaches you things that you simply cannot learn in the classroom. Reduced to a simple statement: it changed my life.

The Best Place to Study on Campus: During the end-of-the-quarter crunch-time, I always find myself drawn to the Quiet Reading Room. Maybe it’s the sheer lack of sound, the natural lighting that enters the room, or the expansive scenic view of the wetlands. Or maybe it’s the culmination of all three, creating an atmosphere so conducive to studying that I find myself there final after final.

A Must-do Before You Graduate from UW Bothell: You must take one of Kate Noble’s “Consciousness” classes. That’s all I’m going to say.

My Advice to students coming behind me: Get involved. Whether it be running for student body Senator, joining film club or an intramurals team, getting a job in student life or even starting a club of your own. I can’t stress it enough: get involved! I didn’t do so until my sophomore year, but when I did, I found that it really enriched my experience at UWB. I started meeting new friends, making connections and amazing opportunities began opening up for me. It may be uncomfortable at first, but I assure you that it’ll all be worth it.

The best kept secret at UW Bothell: When I first came to UW Bothell, I had no idea that the campus was undergoing such major growth changes. Now, of course that is no secret what with all the construction zones, but what comes with expansion of structure is expansion of opportunity. My current position as intern in the International Admissions office was created because I asked. If you have an idea, dream or goal, don’t be afraid to ask faculty and staff to help. There are so many people rooting for your success and will be happy to support you along your journey.


Marcus Johnson

Major: Global Studies, Minor: Human Rights
Graduation: June 2013

Marcus JohnsonMy Greatest Accomplishment at UW Bothell:
My academic career at UW Bothell has provided me with numerous experiences. For instance, receiving the Mary Gates Scholarship has been a great accomplishment. This scholarship has allowed me to develop my abilities as a researcher and address significant issues dear to my heart. Additionally, with support of my mentor Ben Gardner, I have learned how to utilize my capabilities as a means to teach undergraduate student about the building blocks of research exploration. Furthermore, the Mary Gates Scholarship has allowed me to share my experiences as a research ambassador while elaborating on important issues such as, race and class.

My Favorite Classroom Moment:
A key course that contributed to my learning experience was BISGST 303 History & Globalization. Through this course, I grasped the concept of globalization, collaboration and shared leadership; moreover, this course is where I met my mentor Professor Ben Gardner and began work as his research assistant. This project gave me a solid foundation in regards to how to approach topics on globalization and the different ways that globalization can be discussed. For example, during a commodity chain analysis of the global beer industry, I discovered that the seemingly out of date “three tier system” is still in place largely because it serves certain companies interests.

The Best Place to Study on Campus:
My favorite place to study on campus is the Commons during the rainy season (which is all the time) but when the sun is shining, I love to study anywhere outside.

A Must-do Before You Graduate from UW Bothell:
Before I graduate, my plan is to inspire at least one student to pursue research in a topic that they are passionate about. .

My Advice to Students Coming Behind Me:
My advice to incoming students is to follow your dreams. At times, the workload can entice students to worry about the grade but my advice is to follow your passion and the excellent grades will soon follow. Also, I would advise students to utilize the staff and faculty office hours throughout their academic career. These resources are important in any student’s success as an undergraduate scholar. Overall, faculty and staff can guide students towards resources that would otherwise go undetected.

The Best Kept Secret at UW Bothell:
When I first came to UW Bothell, I had no idea I could develop so many wonderful relationships with peers, faculty, and staff; while being an active participant in the Bothell community.


Rachel Phillips

Master of Arts in Policy Studies
Graduation: June 2013

Rachel PhillipsMy Greatest Accomplishment at UW Bothell:
My greatest accomplishment at UW Bothell is engaging in my research for my Masters Capstone and completing my Masters of Arts in Policy Studies degree. My research topic was extremely challenging, and I spent over a year of my academic career researching and writing my final paper. My presentation at the MAPS Capstone conference was a success, and it felt great to finish my academic career strong with a product I could be proud of.

My Favorite Classroom Moment:
My favorite classroom moment was in Conservation Planning my first year in the master’s program. I spent the quarter researching the biological requirements of the Oregon Vesper Sparrow and then used those requirements to design a Habitat Suitability Index to help protect the species. That was an “ah ha” moment for me, I thought “this is what all my education has been about.”

The Best Place to Study on Campus:
The best place to study on campus is the second floor vista in UW1. It’s quiet enough to focus but you aren’t tucked away from the world and can still engage with people.

A Must-do Before You Graduate from UW Bothell:
You must take a class that will allow you to engage in the amazing wetlands on campus. They are a great asset to the UW Bothell campus and a testament to hard work and environmental stewardship. And they are so beautiful.

My Advice to Students Coming Behind Me:
My advice to students coming in after me is to remember to cut loose once in a while. School should be fun, and UW Bothell offers a huge variety of clubs and events to help let off steam. If you get too stressed out, you’ll forget to enjoy your education, and it will be over before you know it, so take advantage!

The Best Kept Secret at UW Bothell:
I could study such a broad range of issues within my field of interest. I am someone who likes to know about everything, and it was so great to be able to ask a huge range of questions and be encouraged to find the answers to all of them.

Did You Know?

UW Bothell will celebrate its 25th anniversary during the 2014-15 school year.