2017 Chancellor's Distinguished Undergraduate Research and Creative Practice Mentor Awards
Dr. Victoria Breckwich Vásquez
School of Nursing and Health Studies
Dr. Vicoria Breckwich Vásquez was a recipient of the 2017 Chancellor’s Mentor Award. She is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Health Studies and received nominations by peers and students as an outstanding professor and student mentor. With twenty-five years of experience in the health-promotion field, Dr. Breckwich Vásquez has been mentoring students long before coming to UW Bothell in 2015, starting first in Berkely, California, and then working with students and communities in her role as Director of Community Engagement for the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health (PNASH) Center at UW Seattle. Her research focuses on efforts that build community resilience in Latinx communities, and sexual violence prevention and other occupational and environmental health issues in agricultural communities. She is interested in community-engaged partnership evaluation, and community engagement methods that utilize qualitative research methods including case studies.
Faculty-peers wrote that Dr. Breckwich Vásquez emulates the values promoted at UW Bothell by holding the student-faculty relationship paramount, often using Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and other engagement frameworks. She has a talent and understanding to move students from directed to individual research, encouraging leadership resulting in increased self-confidence. She provides opportunities to share the results of their work in collaborative settings and with community partners. Her tireless efforts to provide her students, especially first generation college students, with opportunities to grow and to develop as scholars and practitioners truly stand out.
One student at the end of a Research in Progress presentation stated, “had it not been for this internship project, I would have graduated angry and unsatisfied. I now feel empowered to positively impact my community and it is largely because of Vicky’s mentorship that I feel prepared to do so.” Other student nominations echo that Dr. Breckwich Vásquez is an inspiration and because of her passion and efforts, “UW Bothell is a better place because of [her] efforts.”
Dr. Lauren Lichty
School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Dr. Lauren Lichty is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and is one of two faculty that received the 2017 Chancellor’s Mentor Award. Trained in community psychology, she joined UW Bothell in 2013 and found the undergraduate mentoring process to be a particularly rewarding part of her career. Dr. Lichty’s research focuses on adolescent health, culture and youth as agents of social change, and sexual health. She is a faculty adviser to two student clubs: SAVE (Sexual Assault and Violence Education) and Social Justice and Community Psychology Club.
Nominated by peers and students, Dr. Lichty’s mentoring philosophy centers on meeting students where they are and allowing the work to flow from that starting point. She aspires to support students in critical thinking and scholarly ways while preserving their voice and individuality in the process. Students describe their interactions with Dr. Lichty as co-investigators or research partners. One student states, “Dr. Lichty has pushed me to strive for greatness like no other, and has genuinely believed in me much more than I ever can or will in myself. She helped me balance and prioritize my commitments and I could not be more thankful for her. … She helps me feel like I have made a means of positive systemic change with my research.”
Another student wrote, “She embodies everything that a student could hope for in a mentor and I feel incredibly fortunate to have her guidance and support. I now not only recognize my own abilities because of her… She has transformed my future goals.”
These student testimonies are just a few, of many, that specify how Dr. Lichty is dedicated to supporting students in their quest to find their scholarly path and voice, fostering creativity, curiosity, and attention to social justice along the way. Through her mentorship, student club advising, and applied and community-based learning courses it is clear that she is creating a safe, brave space for survivors and influencing the larger campus community at UW Bothell.