Student Ambassadors

Welcome and thank you for your interest in Policy Studies at the University of Washington Bothell. The Student Ambassadors are current graduate students in the Policy Studies program who have volunteered to connect with prospective and newly admitted students and answer any questions you may have about the student experience. Read more about our Student Ambassadors below and feel free to reach out directly to them by emailing

Meet the Policy Studies Student Ambassadors

image of Jessica ColeJessica Cole, 2016 Cohort

I was born and raised in Northern California and moved to the Seattle area in 2000.  I currently own a home in Bothell with my husband and have three children. I graduated from UW Bothell’s Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program in 2016 with my bachelor’s degree in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior. During my time at UW Bothell I co-founded the Parent Union, a student run club that supports parenting students on campus.  Through this experience I learned about my love for advocacy, social justice work, and feminist policy frameworks. My original goal was to become an Occupational Therapist and after graduating with all my pre-med prerequisites, I decided to switch my major to Policy Studies. This allowed me to continue working in the field that I am most passionate about: women’s policy. 

For my final year in the MAPS program I am working with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) out of Washington D.C. performing research for their Student Parent Success Initiative. I am also spending over three weeks studying abroad in Tanzania.  After graduation, I hope to use my experience in the MAPS program to become a researcher for a policy research firm that works on women’s issues at the federal level. The MAPS program gave me the confidence to reach for my professional goals. I truly believe that this program has made me more competitive in my field through my new knowledge working with statistics, policy analysis, and program evaluation. I look forward to my final year in the program, and expect to experience the same level of growth that I did in the first year. 

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image of Shibuki HanaiShibuki Hanai, 2016 Cohort

I was born and grew up in Japan before starting my studies in the U.S. as an international student. Living in Japan exposed me to experience various kinds of natural disasters from earthquakes to volcano eruption. My goal is to work with an organization that contributes to the mitigation of damages from natural disaster or developing a post-disaster management model for the Pacific Northwest region that reinforces self-sustainability of community. My undergraduate degree is also from UW Bothell (Global Studies major with Human Rights minor).

My research focuses on post-disaster emergency management, specifically designed for Pacific Northwest region. I am very much interested in how the combination of geographical spatial analysis and public policy can help shape the roles of community during and after natural disaster. I plan to incorporate ArcGIS or other geovisualization application such as GeoDa in my research. MAPS provided me with plenty of opportunities where I can explore and practice various research methods and applications/technologies that are most appropriate for my research. Statistics and data management are something I would never be able to say my strength before, but now these are one of my favorite subjects. Going into my second year, I feel better prepared and equipped to complete my research.

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