Alumni Ambassadors are alumni representatives who embody the values and aims of the M.A. in Cultural Studies program. As alumni working across diverse roles and sectors, they support prospective students, current students, and fellow alumni by sharing how they've translated their degrees and navigated their careers.
Learn about our Alumni Ambassadors and email firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected.
Nafasi Ferrell, '15
Nafasi Ferrell is a bridge builder, facilitator and consultant with over 8+ years’ experience working to transform and advance racial equity and social justice. Hailing from Altadena, California, a place rooted deep in diversity of race, place and experiences, she is deeply committed to creating spaces of dialogue across cultures and generations.
For her Cultural Studies capstone project, Nafasi developed and facilitated a three-hour workshop with community members of varying ages in partnership with the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA). Let’s Talk!! Race and Class Through Hip-Hop and Poetry challenged participants to redefine their understandings of race and class using the mediums of hip-hop and poetry. Nafasi’s capstone intended to demonstrate the value of cross-generational, interracial community spaces and advocate for them as a site in which to imagine new ways of engaging with and understanding current circumstances and issues.
Since graduating, Nafasi has served as the DNDA Cultural Events Project Coordinator running a nine event series, and as a Project Specialist where she developed the Let’s Talk Race Series for the Delridge community to connect organizations and individuals through film, dialogue, storytelling and restorative justice. She is currently the Community Programs Manager for DNDA where she manages a Restorative Justice Program across three interagency school sites aimed to expand understandings and methods of restorative practices and support youth growth and leadership.
Nafasi has also begun to expand her work to encompass Financial Literacy and Economic Equity. In January 2019 she formed Narratives Unbound LLC, an education and company dedicated to transforming racial and economic equity one conversation at a time. Services include financial coaching, media and interactive workshops rooted in restorative practices.
Heath Hayden, '12
Heath Ray Hayden is Interim Dean of Library & eLearning at Bellevue College. They were born and raised in southern Maryland and attended Bennington College for their undergraduate degree. In 2006 Heath completed a Masters of Science Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute in New York City and moved to Seattle, WA to accept a project archivist position at UW Seattle. Heath joined Lake Washington Institute of Technology in 2008 as a faculty librarian, which allowed them to pursue a Masters of Cultural Studies (MACS) degree at UW Bothell between 2010 and 2012.
Heath is proud of getting their start in community college and their work in the MACS program has informed the ways they navigate the higher education system. While in the MACS program, Heath explored zine-making as an alternative form of knowledge production, and found it to be a cathartic process for examining critical intersections in cultural studies, as well as a helpful medium for interrupting LGBTQIA+ representations in mainstream media. Heath continues this work at Bellevue College with undergraduate students in Cultural and Ethnic Studies courses, helping them navigate the zine as one alternative (or supplement to) the research paper. In the future, Heath hopes to continue their work centering and advocating for all students.
Savita Krishnamoorthy, '20
Savita Krishnamoorthy is a newly minted graduate of the M.A. Cultural Studies program, who also holds a Master’s in Fine Art (History of Art) from the University of Bangalore, India.
An intrepid traveler, she took a year off in 2002 to backpack across Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and South-East Asia, a journey that will always remain in her heart be a “magical year”, a year of personal growth for the privilege of discovering new places, new peoples, and new experiences.
Savita’s MACS capstone research investigates how orality and storytelling are vital methodological tools of disruption for social justice, resistance, community building, and social advocacy within the socio-cultural/political context of the South Asian community in Seattle. Yoni ki Baat narratives are autobiographical testimonies performed by cisgender female, trans, and gender non-conforming South Asian women presented annually by Seattle nonprofit Tasveer. Her study explores how Yoni ki Baat as a woman-centered political project addresses and challenges discourses on female sexuality, gender/sexual identities/fluidity, gendered violence, choice, and grief.
Parsing her mediations with theoretical concepts helped her understand the multiplicity of meaning embedded within our stories, and how we tell our stories, and how we use our voices from the archived memories of our own lived experiences.
A longtime volunteer with Tasveer, Savita also sits on the on the board of the Redmond Arts and Culture Commission and is program facilitator for Black Cinema Collective that screens and examines works of African + African diasporic filmmakers. She is the recipient of the competitively awarded Alpha Kappa Alpha Merit Scholarship 2019-2020.
Marcus Johnson, 16
Marcus Johnson is a Ph.D. candidate at the UW Department of Communication, where he researches and teaches Black Cultural Studies. He recently co-authored the article “Black Cultural Studies is Intersectionality” with Dr. Ralina Joseph, published in the International Journal of Cultural Studies. Johnson earned a B.A. in Global Studies and minor in Human Rights at UW Bothell (’13). His Cultural Studies capstone project, “The Multi Dimensions of Blackness: Cultural Hegemony in the United States and Abroad,” investigated different formations of Blackness in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the United States.
Learn about other Cultural Studies alumni.