Early grad Deidre Woods traces her journey to UW Bothell


Last December IAS launched the Early Grads campaign to reconnect with our “founding alumni” (1991-2003). This group played an important role in shaping the campus and creating a legacy of excellence. Now thriving in their lives and careers, we want to celebrate their stories.

One alum who’s reconnected through the campaign is Deidre Woods. Woods was a student from 1993-96, pursuing a Liberal Studies degree when the campus was located at Canyon Park Business Center. “I was a part-time student, single mother of a 10-year-old girl, part-time program coordinator helping single parents and displaced homemakers gain access to education, and a beauty consultant. At UW Bothell, I developed lasting friendships and learned the importance of being involved in community, public service, and being a global citizen.”

Woods was particularly captured by the course “Native American Religious and Philosophical Thought,” taught by late faculty member C. Patrick Morris. “His classes were like sitting in a longhouse around the fire learning the ways of the native peoples and cultures from a beloved elder,” she recalls. “He was my mentor and a cherished guide. As a result of that experience, my life mirrors the values of Native American and Indigenous Peoples.”

Following UW Bothell, Woods focused her career on education and workforce development, supporting individuals and families transitioning out of the welfare system.  Teaching and public service are her passions now.  Woods facilitates community-based workshops in child development, cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution, and civic engagement. She also facilitates the “Awakening the Dreamer” symposium for the Pachamama Alliance, a global community working to create “a world that works for everyone: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet." 

In 2016, Woods earned a master’s degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, CA. Her graduate thesis, “Generativity as a Reflective Tool to Inspire Intergenerational Relationships in African American Men,” has prompted a larger vision to research this same subject with African American women, children and elders. She will document this research when she begins a doctorate program in Fall 2020.

For Woods, there is a profound connection between UW Bothell and the path she has taken. “My life and professional journey are mirror reflections of my journey at UW Bothell,” she says. “I speak of UW Bothell as one of the greatest experiences of my lifetime.”

Are you an early grad? We want to hear from you! Share your story at: iasalum@uw.edu.

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