People

Current Students

Note on Graduate Student Representatives (GSR): GSRs facilitate mechanisms and spaces by which students in the program can contribute to discussions about the program and degree. In this capacity they serve as a resource to other students and the program director.

2015 Cohort: Huda Sarhan
2016 Cohort: Yvonne Anthony-Lopez

Read about some of our dynamic Cultural Studies students, their educational backgrounds, and research interests.

2016 Cohort

Yvonne Anthony-Lopez

Yvonne is a UW Bothell graduate, earning her degree in Global Studies in 2014. Currently she lives in a Bothell Cooperative where she serves as a board member. She acts as the liaison between community members and landlord with any concerns or requests. Her other duties include writing the community monthly newsletter, planning community events, and work parties.

Some of her passions include cooking and sharing her creations with friends and family, social justice issues, hiking, volunteering and being a host mother to international students. She may appear a bit shy and reserved at first but soon you will find she is quick witted and a comedian at heart. She is leader in her community and loves to help others.

Research Interests: Adult learners in higher education; history between Mexico and the Philippines. Portfolio Advisor: Yolanda Padilla.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies; Cascadia College, Associate's degree in Integrated Studies

Portia Boyle

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Portia loves to travel and listen to other people’s experiences, and to ask questions. Most recently, she has been to Spain to study the politics of soccer, and lived with a host family in León. As a first generation student, Portia is learning about the challenges and struggles navigating higher education, as well as the privilege and opportunities it has to provide. In her spare time she likes to read, listen to music, spend time with her family doing many activities - which includes marine sports, and roller skating. Portia is excited to add to her family, by welcoming her first child into the world in December 2016.

Research Interests: Reimagining the roles of the nonprofit sector, and philanthropy using feminist theory; U.S. and Global Social Movements, including the role and power of The Arts in Social Movements; Media Studies, Public Culture and Scholarship. Portfolio Advisor: Dan Berger.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior and in Global Studies; Edmonds Community College, Associate of Arts

Kristin Brown

Kristin gained her enthusiasm for the field of education during her years supporting young families and early childhood professionals in her career in early learning. Now ready to build on her experience as a teacher and peer educator, Kristin is thrilled to be working towards a career in academia. Kristin seeks to better understand the pivotal role political and cultural movements play in shaping a community’s collective conscience, and to explore the connection between culture, religion, and policy-making. During her free time, Kristin can often be found playing with her niece and three nephews, attending local theatre productions, and cooking seasonal northwest cuisine with her husband in their Seattle home.

Research Interests: International Human Rights Law, Religion and Culture, and Theatre Criticism. Portfolio Advisor: Kristin Gustafson.

Academic Background: University of Washington Seattle, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies: Comparative Religion, minor in Human Rights; North Seattle College, Applied Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education

Rebecca Diamond

Rebecca Diamond began her technical dance training through Lansing, MI public schools. She became involved locally as a choreographer and performer for shows at Lansing Community College as well as local festivals. She continued her education at Western Michigan University while working as an independent contractor, dancing for clubs across the country. At the age of 21 she joined the military. After leaving active duty she moved to WA to finish her education. With a passion for arts and people she decided to major in the Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior at UW Bothell. She is currently working as a yoga instructor and performing with Seattle-based company 3rd Shift Dance. The knowledge gained from her undergraduate degree filled many gaps but left her with more questions about bodies, space, and identities. Inspiring her to continue her pursuit of understanding through the Cultural Studies program.

Research Interests: Dance within culture and its ability to create cohesion and to heal individuals and communities; art as a medium for global consciousness and challenging its exclusivity; women, space, and sexuality. Portfolio Advisor: Bruce Burgett.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior, minor in Dance

Enrico Doan

Enrico was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He came to Seattle several years ago and shortly thereafter started at the University of Washington. He is an avid writer, reader, cook, musician, martial artist, and ice hockey player. He also rescues and raises dogs. He is somewhat well traveled but is always trying to go abroad. He hopes to enter a career in national security, US foreign policy, intelligence analysis, and international relations. He would like to, eventually, settle down as a teacher once his wanderlust has calmed.

Research Interests:

a) How do people around the world tell stories, and how does that help them heal? In particular, how do countrymen of nations with a history of genocide, massacre, and other trauma tell stories, or how has their inability to tell their stories harmed them?

b) Examining the still-contentious spaces of the borders in the Middle East, particularly the Israel-Palestine and Saudi Arabia-Iran conflicts; studying the culture of Turkey and Syria which seem to have been in constant turmoil

c) Self-identification in America; whether with nationality, culture, race, color, sexual identity, religion, or other core values. Portfolio Advisor: micha cárdenas.

Academic Background: University of Washington Seattle, Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Bachelor of Arts in English

Magdalena Donea

Magdalena is a former political refugee, a writer, artist and one-time technology pioneer who settled gratefully in the Pacific Northwest after a lengthy search for a place that feels like home. She is a 22-year veteran of the technology sector, where she has been an entrepreneur, a technology consultant, developer, and program manager, focused on everything from early online storytelling, to web operations, to – most recently – online policy and privacy. Having raised a loving, multi-cultural family, Magdalena has recently switched directions back to her first love – writing and scholarship, particularly in the Humanities – hoping to forge a new personal and professional path that allows her to contribute more directly to the multiple communities and cultures in which she belongs. She loves music, live theater and film, videogames, participating in online media fandoms and taking endless road trips. She looks forward to becoming immersed in academia, and finding ways to contribute to the body of public scholarship on the ways in which culture is formed and re-formed all around us.

Research Interests: Refugee and border studies, including refugee communities, narratives, and literature in translation; Transnational feminism and queer studies; Gentrification and urban cultural studies; Internet culture, particularly online fandoms, online activism, and privacy culture; Digital humanities. Portfolio Advisor: Lauren Berliner.

Academic Background: Excelsior College, Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, concentration in Cultural Studies

Emily Fuller

Emily recently moved to Washington from a tiny town in Connecticut, and is ready to learn to love the West Coast (while harboring some unavoidable homesickness.) She is a Cancer sun/Libra rising and rarely meets a dog or a child that she doesn’t love. She fiercely loves her mom and dad, her queer family, her dog Grrl, and all the other humans in her life that don’t fit into one of those categories. She enjoys working and hanging out with youth, particularly queer youth and young girls, and spends a lot of time thinking about media representation, identity construction, queer sexualities and bodies, intersections of race and sexuality, emotionality and vulnerability, creative expression, the Internet as a performative space, and the confluence of all these topics and many more. She is excited to be part of an academic setting where she can work with others to generate new ideas and work on creative projects.

Research Interests: Queer community and culture, young adult media, pornography and representations of sexualities. Portfolio Advisor: Kari Lerum.

Academic Background: Smith College, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, minor in Logic

Daniel Kissinger

Born in Seattle, and raised in Snohomish County, Daniel has spent most of their life in the Pacific Northwest. They attended school in Maine, where they studied anthropology and cinema studies with a focus in queer theory. Since graduation Daniel has been working for a local youth-serving non-profit.

Research Interests: Horror genres as post-humanism, psychospatial terrain of queer politics, resistance and power in public cultures. Portfolio Advisor: Bruce Burgett.

Academic Background: Colby College, Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, minor in Cinema Studies

Frances Lee

Frances is an artist, writer, and technologist. They are a native Texan, and moved to Seattle from Austin in the fall of 2014. They are a second generation Asian American (Taiwanese and Cantonese), and proudly identifies as queer and gender non-binary. Frances has most recently been employed in the tech industry, and they have observed from both ends the rising antagonism between transplant tech workers and the queer and communities of color they continue to displace. They are interested in building empathy between these actors, fighting against white male supremacy, and finding sustainable ways to redistribute capital through skills and cultural education. They also hope to gain through this program a broader, more nuanced understanding of the origins of our current sociopolitical landscape, and how to compassionately engage with anyone on the complex topics of power and oppression.

In their free time, Frances enjoys lounging on the shores of Lake Washington, reading women of color writers, learning how to cook Chinese food, drawing comics, and venturing into new art mediums.

Research Interests: Technology Culture, Queer Theory, Post-Capitalism. Portfolio Advisor: Jed Murr.

Academic Background: University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, minor in Psychology; Bloc, Inc; Certificate in UX/UI Design

Maisha Manson

Maisha is a San Diego born writer and artist. They use their relationship with the border and migrational communities to guide their studies of power and oppression on intersectional identities. Maisha has presented at universities and conferences on decolonizing gender, sex, and race for the last two years. These ideals and perspectives are what Maisha hopes to bring and expand upon at UW Bothell.

Research Interests: Relationship between power and oppression on intersectional identities, social construction of disabilities and audism, construction and history of racial divide. Portfolio Advisor: S. Charusheela.

Academic Background: California State University Northridge, Bachelor of Arts in Deaf Studies - Deaf Education

Jacob Morefield

Jacob Morefield was born December 10, 1982 in Seattle Washington, the youngest of three brothers. He grew up along the Seattle I-5 Corridor attending public school and graduating from Decatur High School in Federal Way in 2002. He attended South Seattle Community College for Culinary Arts and Hotel and Restaurant management but didn't complete his AAS before starting work in the culinary industry. After five years working as a cook he left the culinary world behind and moved on to become a CNC machinist. He returned to school in 2013 at Bellevue College where he revived his AAS before transferring to the University of Washington Bothell campus where he finished work on a Bachelors in Global Studies in spring 2016. An avid camper and outdoor enthusiast he works with the Boy Scouts of America troop 455 as a merit badge counselor and adult volunteer teaching outdoor skills to youth.

Research Interests: Post-colonial cultural development, Impacts of Globalization on international cultures, the impact of globalization on cultural groups within the Global North VS the Global South. Portfolio Advisor: Ben Gardner.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies; Bellevue College, Associate of Arts and Sciences

Miranda Riley

Miranda resides in the Bothell area with her wife and their four children. She recently wrapped up her undergraduate work at the University of Washington Bothell after transferring from North Seattle College. Miranda attributes her research and educational interests to her insights from parenting and family building. She hopes to continue her pursuit of advanced degrees in order to become a university professor. 

Research Interests: Queer family formation and how it connects to nation and citizenship, heteronormative family structure, queer parenting, education and pedagogical strategies; considering ways that primary education can be changed to utilize critical theories of race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. Portfolio Advisor: Jade Power-Sotomayor.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in American and Ethnic Studies and in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior, minor in Education and Society

Khairat Salum

Khairat Salum is an aspiring video artist. As an undergraduate she majored in Interdisciplinary Arts with a minor in Visual Media and the Arts. Aside from her interest in art, Khairat is an active film watcher, a reader, and a cook. Her artwork responds to her own cultural upbringing as an African American Muslim woman but also current and past social events around the world.

Research Interests: Artwork responding to social events; Global Cinema and Videography; Human Rights focusing on women. Portfolio Advisor: Susan Harewood.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts, minor in Visual Media and the Arts

Haliehana Stepetin

Haliehana is Unangax, Alaska Native from the Aleutian Islands, and was born and raised on the island of Akutan. She served four years in the U.S. Navy as a Fire Controlman onboard the USS Chosin CG 65 stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI. She was raised in a traditional manner in the remote Aleutians, learning to hunt, fish, and gather for subsistence all her life. Her rich roots in the Aleutian Islands have affected every aspect of her life, personally, professionally and especially academically. Haliehana is an Unangax dancer, teacher, choreographer, and composer. She has danced her whole life and recently started mixing traditional styles of dance with contemporary performance arts. Haliehana is very passionate about learning and teaching the endangered Unangax language as well as other Unangax art forms and cultural practices. When Haliehana is not immersed in her culture, you can find her fishing, hiking, exercising, or cooking.

Research Interests: Unangax culture, Unangax materials in Russian repositories, revitalizing Alaska Native cultures from foreign sources, the impact of culturally relevant services for Alaska Native/American Indian youth, and the Russian language and Indigenous Far-Eastern Russian cultures. Portfolio Advisor: Ben Gardner.

Academic Background: University of Alaska Anchorage, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies – Russia Track with minors in Russian and Anthropology

Angie Winkle

Born in San Diego, California, Angie formed a love for diversity and social justice at a young age. After taking a Comparative Ethnic Studies course her freshman year, she immediately knew she wanted to be a part of academia that produced research on the social construction of race in America and its consequences on youth living in urban areas. Fueled by present day injustices, she found herself heavily involved in social justice and the multicultural community at her university. She needs poetry for her soul, yoga to de-stress, and coffee to function.

Research Interests: Urban education, resistance, Critical Race Theory. Portfolio Advisor: Miriam Bartha.

Academic Background: Washington State University, Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Ethnic Studies and in Criminal Justice

Leah Zajac

Leah arrived at the Cultural Studies program by way of their obsessive appreciation of the problems of inequity and violence in the human experience. Leah is committed to the political work of engaging with the darkness and brilliance of common life. They have a soft spot for teenagers, public libraries and cars in disrepair. In their personal time, Leah is usually rock climbing or fixing one of their cars so they can go rock climbing.

Research Interests: Feminist geography, subcultures of poverty, theories of political resistance. Portfolio Advisor: Dan Berger.

Academic Background: University of Washington Seattle, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, minor in Geography

 

2015 Cohort

Jeonghee Churches

Jeonghee is an artist (teacher), interpreter for Korean/English, and Art Committee member for the City of Maple Valley. She especially enjoys being challenged working with individuals from different cultures through her work. She has had opportunities teaching students in different cultures and levels while teaching art courses in Korea, the USA, and Singapore, and as an artist-in-residence at invited solo exhibitions. These experiences naturally led her to focus on art and culture. She is currently an interpreter (Korean/English) as well. The power of language is reflected by culture. She has discovered that her interpreting skills have given her opportunities to increase her language skills and opportunities to understand different cultures through language. The experience of interpreting provides her with greater insights into other cultures.

Since 2013, Jeonghee has served as a member of the Art Committee of Maple Valley City. This position brought her to focus more on the value of public arts (visual culture), what public arts can become, and how they function in the community. She believes that we become educated and enrich our lives by exposure to the arts. She also believes that public arts make our community richer. Studying in this program, she expects to become part of a critical, dynamic educational environment, and, she believes that this will provide opportunities to assist her community with renewed confidence.

Research Interests: Culture, communication and media studies, the Energy (Power) of public arts (visual culture), visual arts therapy with cultural studies, arts leadership, curriculum development and learning through the visual culture, public scholarship in the visual arts, arts administration. Portfolio Advisor: Ron Krabill. Capstone Advisor: TBD.

Academic Background: National University of Technology, Seoul, Korea, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramic Arts; Sookmyung Women’s University Graduate School of Design, Seoul, Korea, Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Design

Kelly George

Kelly resided in the Midwest (St. Louis & Chicago) for her first 29 years but feels she has found her true home in the Pacific Northwest.  She has a deep passion for all things related to environmental/social justice and the art of conscious living.  She enjoys live music, communing with nature, practicing yoga and guiding her 2 pre-teen children.    

Research Interests: Eco-localism, Alternative/Gift Economies, Deep Ecology, EcoVillages, Spirituality/Consciousness as a catalyst for change, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), Intentional Communities. Portfolio Advisor: Amoshaun Toft. Capstone Advisor: Amy Lambert.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, minor in Human Rights

Hung Yu "Mitch" Lai

Mitch was born and raised in Taiwan before coming to the United States as a high school student. He attended Edmonds Community College before transferring to UWB. Recently, he graduated from IAS, majoring in Community Psychology. Mitch considers cultural studies indispensable for his future career to form a cultural “bridge” between various cultures. The bridge is his personal vision of intercultural connection which allows him to be aware of the essential disparities and similarities between cultures.

Research Interests: Social Justice VS Social Inequalities, cultural conflict/war between Taiwan and China”, LGBT civil rights, globalization. Portfolio Advisor: Christian Anderson. Capstone Advisor: Amoshaun Toft.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in Community Psychology

Shana McDonald

Shana’s biggest pride and joy is her family. She and her husband have been married for over 20 years and their daughter recently turned 18. Having been a working mother from the age of 24 to 36, working mainly in the accounting field as a necessity for their 2-income family, she is thrilled to be at a stage in life where she can pursue and complete her academic goals which include commencing the MA in Cultural Studies at UW Bothell. It has taken Shana over twenty years to pick up where she left off at UCLA in 1993, and although she did not know it then, she would not have traded her life experiences over the past two decades for anything as these are what fuel her desire to learn, experiment, challenge, and engage on both personal and professional levels.

Research Interests: Activist art with an emphasis on youth and experiential learning; researching cultural histories and historical societal constructs through multiple and expanding methodologies, particularly when analyzing historical artifacts and literature through many lenses in an effort to bridge the gap between what is "known" as fact and what is yet to be discovered as verifiable and accurate truths. Portfolio Advisor: Lauren Berliner. Capstone Advisor: Minda Martin.

Academic Background: University of Washington Seattle, Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts; Everett Community College; Associate of Arts in photography

Namita Paul

Namita is a mixed media visual artist, fashion designer, illustrator, and educator. Her most recent degree is in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts from the University of Washington, Seattle. Namita is hoping to craft new artistic pathways through the confluence of art, fashion, feminism and cultural production…outcomes yet unknown! Some of Namita’s other love interests are psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, yoga, and gardening.

Research Interests: Contemporary art: east and west; women in visual and literary arts; feminism across cultures; intersections of art and fashion; fashion and art education; future of fashion; fashion in film; arts, fashion and technology; sustainable textiles and fashion; fashion and geography; culture, age and aging; arts and mental health; intaglio and woodcut printmaking; surface design. Portfolio Advisor: S.Charusheela. Capstone Advisor: micha cárdenas.

Academic Background: University of Washington Seattle,Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts; National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, diploma in Fashion Design

Asaya Plumly

Asaya Plumly is an aging basketball wannabe. He is also known to be mixed race (Okinawa, white). He proclaims that he is an anarchist and does not deny living with many contradictions as he tries to navigate a world rooted in inequality while carrying heavy amounts of privilege. He enjoys spending time with his ebbing and flowing family and listening to his friends speak. A fan of music and art, he is certainly looking forward to re-immersing himself in an academic atmosphere that stretches into the community.

Research Interests: Anti-patriarchy thru sports, transformative coaching, early childhood development, anti-oppression curriculum, redefining masculinity, how race is awesome and how race is the worst, confronting and recovering from the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. Portfolio Advisor: Jed Murr. Capstone Advisor: Susan Harewood.

Academic Background: The Evergreen State College, Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy and Social Movements

Krystal Reed

Moving between towns, cities, small communities and reservations since childhood, Krystal has developed relationships with people from many different backgrounds. Her passion lies in acts of service and understanding the cultural history behind individuals so that she may better understand them. Her work includes teaching young children and families, conducting research with children, administering educational programs in rural communities to support positive and effective parenting, and working with American Indian tribes. At home Krystal loves spending time with her dog and other animals, being outside, reading, cooking (not baking) and building relationships. 

Research Interests: Understanding cultural disparities to bring about change, environmental racism that affects American Indian communities, and abuse as a form of power and coping.  Recently Krystal traveled to Eastern Europe where she continued to see a disparity in rights and resources based on skin color and culture and the role religion has played in this throughout the world interests her. Portfolio Advisor: Julie Shayne. Capstone Advisor: Ben Gardner.

Academic Background: Washington State University, Bachelor of Arts in Human Development Through the Life Span, concentration in Early Childhood Development and Care, minor in American Indian Studies

Claire Sandoval

Claire was born and raised in Peru. She is the mother of two amazing kids and returned school in 2012. She is an avid fan of traveling and learning about various cultures and languages. She teaches Spanish and math to students in her spare time and takes great pride in sharing in the joy of academia and teaching.

Research Interests: Indigenous studies in Latin America and South America with a focus on Peru, traditional and contemporary folklore, Cultural and Ethnic Studies of Latin American and Peruvian tribes, indigenous communities, gender and their intersections. Portfolio Advisor: Julie Shayne. Capstone Advisor: Ben Gardner.

Academic Background: University of Washington Seattle, Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, minor in American Indian Studies; Universidad Nacional de Ucayali, Pucallpa, Peru, degree in Agricultural Engineering

Huda Sarhan

Huda has grown up living between two countries (Seattle, WA and Beirut, Lebanon). It has been an eye opening experience of witnessing what it feels like to be an outsider in both home countries which has inspired her to look into what she has placed as her research interest. She comes from a large family, though is the first to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. She is constantly concerned with news reports here at home and across the world. Huda wants to make a difference in her life; unfortunately she hasn’t decided exactly how. She just knows that there are stories that are not being told and needs to find a way to tell them.

Research Interests: Race and Racism in media and news: What does it mean to be racist? Why is it a huge issue in every society around the globe, yet many deny the truth? Furthermore and consequently why is the American media deciding what is racist and what is not? Ethnicity and Cultural Meaning: What does it mean to live in a society that is different from one’s ethnicity? What identifies a person's ethnicity? How does identity play a role in ethnicity within society? Middle Eastern Studies: Is orientalism taking a huge role for many American's today? How are Middle Easterners affected by race and racism? Portfolio Advisor: Susan Harewood. Capstone Advisor: Karam Dana.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in Community Psychology, minor in Philosophy

Ruth Sawyer

Ruth is thrilled to be a part of the MACS program! They grew up in Sacramento, CA - a small city in a large floodplain. Ruth graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Geography and moved to Seattle shortly after. Professionally, Ruth has mostly worked in experiential education - teaching topics as varied as boat-building, trail construction, and marine science.

Research Interests: Class Cultures, U.S. Social Movements, Queer Theory, Social Justice Philanthropy, Religion/Spirituality and Social Movements. Portfolio Advisor: Kari Lerum. Capstone Advisor: Christian Anderson.

Academic Background: Vassar College, Bachelor of Arts in Geography

Alison Schmidt

Alison has lived in Washington state her whole life. She grew up in Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula camping, hiking and being outside exploring nature as much as possible. Her connection to the environment has been shaped by those experiences. She has lived in Seattle for sixteen years and will always consider it home but her life goal is to travel the world and see as much of it as she can. She went back to school after a decade of working full time to finish her undergraduate degree and discovered new interests and ways of doing research that have led her to the MA in Cultural Studies program. Last year Alison was lucky to participate in a three week study abroad in Peru. This summer she spent two months driving across the country visiting family and friends while camping along the 12,000 miles through 30 states. She learned so much about her family history and made connections with people that she hadn’t seen in a long time or was meeting for the first time.

Research Interests: Ecological restoration and environmental policy with a focus on indigenous populations; socioeconomic status of populations most impacted by extractive and polluting industries; interdependence between environment and culture and how place can influence art and spirituality using ethnographic research methods; organic and local agriculture with a focus on recycling, composting and waste reduction through grade school education and community outreach. Portfolio Advisor: Amoshaun Toft. Capstone Advisor: Shannon Cram.

Academic Background: University of Washington Bothell, Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

A. Noir Soulkin

A. "Noir" Soulkin is an emerging Social Justice Activist/Scholar from Los Angeles by way of Oakland, California. Principally, his research interests lie in the realm of ethnoracial identity formation and the performance of (the Western notion of) normalcy. Noir is currently completing his first book, "The Illusion of Normal: Life Begins After Discovering You've Never Met Yourself," (Release Date: Late 2015). As an Activist/Scholar, Noir's primary goal is to launch an African American Cultural Center designed to "activate" and educate socially conscious, intellectually hungry African American Young Adults (18-25).

Research Interests: Black & LGBT Identity Formations; Black Transmale Masculinities; Womanist Thought; LGBT Humanity; Ultra-Progressive Black Christian Thought;  Anti-Fundamentalism; Consumerism/Materialism; Minority Media Representation; The "Race Card";  Popularity & Fame; Post-Capitalist Futures; and Art as Activism/Scholarship; website: www.noirsoulkin.com. Portfolio Advisor: Bruce Burgett. Capstone Advisor: Lauren Berliner.

Academic Background: California State University Los Angeles, Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies

Meshell Sturgis

Meshell was born and raised in the Puget Sound area and currently lives in Bothell, WA. She loves being present in the moment, learning and growing, and leaning into the discomfort that comes with change. She enjoys running, yoga, reading, playing Catan, anything related to creative expression, and watching childhood Disney movies on VHS. You can find her in nature, on a road trip, or spending time with the loves of her life. She is a sister of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc.

Research Interests: Mixed race identities, organization, and representation; the era of the cyborg/ cyberpunk theory, and cyberspace identities; feminist theory; spirituality and the body; Gaia and collective consciousness; Literary Theory surrounding but not limited to comics, children's literature, and the sci-fi genre; philosophical approaches to religion, culture, and being; Media Studies; Conspiracy Theory culture; American Studies. Portfolio Advisor: Susan Harewood. Capstone Advisor: Naomi Bragin.

Academic Background: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bachelor of Arts in English, minor in Creative Writing

Mary Jane Topash

Mary Jane is a member of the Tulalip Tribes where she works and resides. Her love for her culture and knowledge brought her to the University of Washington, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Minor in American Indian Studies in 2011. Upon graduating from UW, Mary Jane began working for Tulalip Tribes’ Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve. At the museum, she channels her passion for Native American history and educating the public. You will find Mary Jane with music on, doodling, traveling, reading, watching any and all nature documentaries, or all of the above.

Research Interests: Opening communication about diverse cultures; using traditional knowledge/histories and combining them with modern methods; exploring the concept of identity; misconstrued concepts about specific groups or races; critical race theory; racial stereotypes, where they stem from, the history, etc., specifically Native American issues. Portfolio Advisor: Yolanda Padilla. Capstone Advisor: Nicole Robert.

Academic Background: University of Washington Seattle, Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, minor American Indian Studies

Katie Waller

Katie is originally from the central coast of California but has lived all over the west coast and also spent the most recent school year teaching English in Spain. Katie is currently teaching preschool for a non-profit organization in the Central District. She is passionate about empowering youth with an education in cultural and media literacy. In her free time she enjoys eating her way through Seattle, traveling, netflixing, yoga and recording and producing her podcast.

Research Interests: Race, gender and feminism, media theory, representation, media literacy, global studies, early childhood education, effects of access to quality education and youth programs, body positivity, identity. Portfolio Advisor: Kristin Gustafson. Capstone Advisor: S. Charusheela.

Academic Background: Fort Lewis College, Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in Communications

Lakim Washington

Lakim originates from the South Bay of San Jose, California. Within his education, training and life experience, he has watched children, young and older adults fall into the trap that society perpetuates through subordination in the classrooms, stereotypes, and other social stigmas. As he is intimately involved with urban communities, it has allowed him to recognize that the very fabric and quality of our education depends on the representation and interplay of diverse experiences and perspectives. He wants to contribute to the research and practice in the field of education and social services for untapped urban communities with action oriented prospective. Lakim reaches to build our communities with support that is designed to help construct a consciousness that focuses on the future and provide a better assessment of today needs in marginalized communities.

Research Interests: Lakim’s research interests include critical race theory and social theory with a social interest in issues of race, class, and gender. Lakim has continued to grow fascinated with the ideology of the abolition of whiteness. Portfolio Advisor: Dan Berger. Capstone Advisor: TBD.

Academic Background: San Jose State University, Bachelor of Arts in Political and Social Consciousness and African American Studies; University of Washington Seattle, Master of Social Work

Victoria Wettmarshausen

Victoria was born in Hamburg in 1992 and lived in and around town until recently. She started to play the violin when she was five years old and developed an early inclination towards foreign languages, because her relatives from the States used to send Christmas packages with computer games in English, which she picked up on quickly. In high school she specialized in English and History. After studying two semesters of Environmental Science Victoria decided to focus once again on her initial interest in languages and began to study English and Turkish. During her time at university she got quite involved in queer politics. Also she lived and studied in Istanbul for a semester. She enjoys discovering new places and old records.

Research Interests: Immigration / integration, as major questions of social inequality (race, class, gender...) and globalization intersections, multilingualism, utopia, the significance and future of work as well as the role of the museum in public education and post colonial discourse. Portfolio Advisor: Bruce Burgett Capstone Advisor: micha cárdenas.

Academic Background: Hamburg University, Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies, minor Turkish Studies

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