Outstanding Diversity Commitment awardee

Brian Tracey Brian Tracey

Graduate Student, Marine & Environmental Affairs

Using his knowledge of the marine sciences and professional fisheries experience, Brian serves as a youth mentor with organizations in and outside of UW. He is the mainstay of the volunteer core at Seattle MESA. He is already a leader and innovator and we have no doubt that he will continue to inspire countless more kids and adults in his future.

—Lekelia Jenkins, David Fluharty, Tiffany Comtois-Dion, Terrie Klinger, Thomas Pool

Honorable mentions

Juan-Carlos Chavez Juan-Carlos Chavez1

Program Coordinator & Advisor, Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Carlos has long been an advocate for underrepresented and non-traditional students in STEM fields. Carlos has established research and scholarship relationships with GO-MAP, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, LSAMP Program, MESA, McNair Scholars Program and Sea Grant.

—Robert Winglee

Emily DavisEmily Davis

Graduate Student, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

Emily developed the Peer Mentoring Program, which connects young graduate students with older student mentors at the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences. The program has been an incredible success and has enhanced the SAFS community. The program has been an incredible success and I think it has enhanced the SAFS community. When she graduates, the program will continue; her legacy will be one of lasting social change.

—Megsie Siple

Greg Hakim
Greg Hakim

Professor and Chair, Atmospheric Sciences

Greg has been a quiet revolutionary. He works to create an environment, an atmosphere of inclusion, where everyone in the department is more empowered. As a result, the department works as a collective; it is a positive place; people want to move forward and make a difference.

—Ángel Adames, Maximo Menchaca, Julia Parrish

Billie Swalla
Billie Swalla

Professor, Biology; Director, Friday Harbor Labs

Billie has been a tireless, vocal advocate—not just for women and minorities in science, but for adopting best practices at career stages where the pipeline is leaky. She has been an active contributor to UW’s ADVANCE program and was one of the first bioscience faculty advisors for the UW SACNAS Chapter. Billie serves as the conscience of our colleges, schools and departments and fosters a culture of inclusion in the communities where she works.

—Barbara Wakimoto, Kristin Rowell

Additional Nominees

Ángel AdamesAngel Adames

Graduate Student, Atmospheric Sciences

Ángel has been a part of the leadership of SACNAS and the Atmospheric Sciences Outreach Club. He is an active member of the College Diversity Committee. Ángel is also highly active in graduate student recruitment. It is clear that Ángel is committed to helping students of all ages learn more about Atmospheric Science.

—Maria Zatko

Ernesto AlvaradoErnesto Alvarado

Research Associate Professor, Environmental & Forest Sciences

Ernesto’s tireless work with underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students over the years has paid off in the diverse population of students we have in SEFS. Ernesto has thoroughly integrated a consideration and meaningful involvement of underrepresented students in his advising, mentoring, teaching and research. He walks the walk!

—Tom DeLuca, Tom Hinckley

Nabin BaralNabin Baral

Research Associate, Environmental & Forest Sciences

Dr. Baral encouraged and guided the Nepalese students to institute a Nepali student club here at the University of Washington. As a result, the Nepalese Student Association was formed during last fall. Furthermore, he is one of the invaluable advisors for the Association.

—Shyam L. Kandel

Neiri CarrascoNeiri Carrasco

Director, Seattle MESA

Neiri motivates those around her to continue doing the work to create and hold space with and for those who have traditionally been left out. Throughout her career, she has been a paragon of diversity advocacy at the administrative level and has typified the definition of facilitating equitable access to opportunities for success. She is a woman of action and devotion.

—Brian Tracey, Leah Quinn

Tiffany Comtois-DionTiffany Comtois-Dion

Graduate Program Advisor, Marine & Environmental Affairs

Tiffany is aware of and sensitive to the individual struggles that students may be experiencing and is skillful in addressing their problems. Students of non-­traditional backgrounds and those with potential impediments to success benefit enormously from the individualized care that Tiffany provides.

—Terrie Klinger

Drew Gorman-LewisDrew Gorman Lewis

Associate Professor, Earth & Space Sciences

Drew advocates for and incorporates diversity into our departmental cultures by working actively to highlight the research of women in the sciences. He has participated in providing summer research internships for minority high school students since 2011 in partnership with the Pacific Science Center, MESA and the Seattle Youth Employment Program.

—Robert Winglee, Noéll Bernard-Kingsley, Dana Hansen

Pete GrangerPete Granger

Program Leader for Marine Advisory Services, Washington Sea Grant Program

Pete has been a champion for building and leading collaborative programs with diverse partners. He has dedicated his professional life to working with tribal and commercial fishermen, seafood processors and retail workers to increase their business knowledge and improve the safety of the seafood they produce.

—Penelope Dalton, James Slape, Jr.

Martha GroomMartha Groom

Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, Biology

Martha is amazingly skilled in creating an inviting and safe place for students to voice themselves, create agency around their studies and career ambitions. She is purposeful and strategic in her use of job announcements, recruitment and hiring practices to support broader diversity in the applicant pools and ultimate hires.

—Kirsten Rowell

Daniel GrünbaumDaniel Grunbaum

Associate Professor, Oceanography

Professor Grünbaum has a long-term commitment to outreach, especially as it relates to fostering critical thinking skills. He has served as a mentor for the Blinks Scholar/REU program and is providing hands-on ocean technology experiences through a collaboration with the Chief Kitsap Academy.

—Mark Warner

Erika HarnettErika Harnett

Research Associate Professor, Earth & Space Sciences

She has a very active role in the community and as such she is an excellent role model for women within the College of the Environment. She’s the Associate Director of NASA Space Grant and is working to foster STEM education at Yakama and Colville tribal schools.

—Robert Winglee

Daniel HernandezDaniel Hernandez

Graduate Student, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

Daniel is active in organizations such as SACNAS and AISES, and his commitment to diversity is based on his deep sense of fairness and inclusivity and his inherent inclination toward teaching, mentoring and leadership. His approach to the cause of diversity in environmental science is truly outstanding and leaves no doubt that he will be both a role model and a leader for diversity causes in the future.

—Gael Kurath, Jim Winton, Carolyn Friedman, Tom Quinn

Robert HouzeRobert Houze

Professor, Atmospheric Sciences

When we started a Diversity Committee in Atmospheric Sciences two years ago, Bob asked to be part of it and has served as its inaugural chair. His attitude toward inclusion is broad and thoughtful. He has changed the demographic of his field, and elevated the importance of inclusion to a top-level consideration.

—Greg Hakim

Nancy HuizarNancy Hulzar

Senior, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

We have watched Nancy’s dedication to the people impacted by environmental issues crystallize during her time at the UW. Her work on environmental curriculum modules is driven by a commitment to accessible science education for all and will be piloted at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary in South Seattle. The materials will solidify students’ understanding of the impact climate change has on salmon life cycles in the Pacific Northwest.

—Kathryn Pursch Cornforth, Cierra Holland

Kate HuntingtonHuntington india 1

Associate Professor, Earth & Space Sciences

The thing that has always stood out to me about Kate is that she is someone who not only understands the importance of engaging in diversity work, but she makes the time to do this important work, and she does it well. Diversifying the talent pool in science was important to Kate, and she followed-through by developing a successful program that brought university-level earth science for college credit to five community schools.

—Sapna Cheryan

Kiki JenkinsIMG_1552

Assistant Professor, Marine & Environmental Affairs

Kiki has been committed to diversity since she came to the College of the Environment six years ago. She is passionate and thoughtful in her diversity work, while holding strongly to the best standards of inclusiveness for herself, her research team and UW.

—Megan Bang

Isadora Jimenez-Hidalgo

Research Scientist, Aquatic & Fishery SciencesIsadora Jimenez

Throughout her career in SAFS, Isadora has sought ways to make science accessible to a diverse audience. She has been being particularly interested in engaging underrepresented groups as part of her extensive outreach activities, effectively “breaking down barriers” to learning and understanding, and she has served as a warm, creative and accessible mentor to students in MESA and SACNAS..

—Lorenz Hauser, Kerry Naish

Shyam KandelShyam

Graduate Student, Environmental & Forest Sciences

Shyam took the lead in establishing the Nepalese Student Association (NSA) at UW in Fall 2014, and he has been serving as a founding President of the Association since then. The NSA has already contributed in introducing diverse Nepalese cultures to the UW community by participating in FIUTS cultural fest held on February 26, 2015, and also with an interview article published in The Daily.

—Ranju Baral

Deborah KelleyDeb Kelley

Professor, Oceanography

Deb is dedicated to bringing cabled observatory science and engineering into K12 classrooms and community colleges. She has developed a close partnership with Clallam Bay High and Elementary School, which has a student population that is about 27% Native American and Hispanic. Deb is making science come alive for young people, and this deep connection to students and dedication to broadening access to science defines her.

—Ginger Armbrust

Sahir NooraniSahir Noorani

Junior, Arts & Sciences; Student Assistant, Seattle MESA

Sahir is a student assistant with Seattle MESA. He is a hard worker and is an instrumental part of Saturday Academy, Tutoring, the Parent Program and other MESA programs. He tirelessly contributes to the needs of the organization.

—Martha Flores Perez

Kristi Straus

Straus headshot leiLecturer, Program on the Environment

Kristi has been my teaching mentor. Her students consistently rate her teaching effectiveness very high; they thrive due to her creative teaching and dedication to them as individuals. She has been an instrumental member of the MESA team, helping to get the program off the ground and delighting in the students as they stream in the doors early Saturday mornings.

—Emily Howe

LuAnne ThompsonLuAnne 2

Professor, Oceanography

LuAnne has been a pioneer in Physical Oceanography, an advocate for women and other minorities in science and a mentor to students and junior faculty. She has been active in Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women for Retention (MPOWIR), a support group sponsored by ONR and NSF, since its inception with presentations and town hall meetings.

—Kathryn Kelly

Brenda VillasenorBrenda V

Senior, Mathematics; Student Assistant, Seattle MESA

Brenda works hard to ensure minorities have an equal opportunity to thrive in STEM fields by providing resources to her clubs, making connections with the students MESA works with, and reaching out to those in marginalized communities.

—Sahir Noorani

Kristiina Vogt

Professor, Environmental & Forest SciencesKristiina Vogt

Kristiina is a renowned and innovative scientist, member of the College Diversity Committee and a representative of tribal nations along the west coast. One of her primary goals is to make environmental educational programs accessible to ethnic minorities. In order to boost local tribal economies, Kris has been researching what landscape planning, bioenergy production and energy planning methods can be of most use.

—Samantha Zwicker

Robert WingleeRobert Winglee 2

Professor and Chair, Earth & Space Sciences; Director, Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Robert is extraordinarily involved in diversity outreach, both in ESS, and in his role as Director of the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium. Through these efforts he has personally touched the lives of many underrepresented and underprivileged students, and facilitated their retention in STEM disciplines.

—Noell Bernard-Kingsley, Juan Carlos Chaves, Dana Hansen, Erika Harnett, Irene Svete

The recipient of the Outstanding Diversity Commitment Award and the Honorable Mentions were chosen by the Diversity Awards Review Committee members:

  • Marisa Herrera, director, Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center
  • Claire Horner-Devine, director of diversity & leadership development, College of the Environment
  • Sheri Imsdahl, graduate student, Engineering; GO-MAP fellow
  • Jill Rand, graduate student services & diversity specialist, College of the Environment
  • Anthony Salazar, outreach and recruitment officer, GO-MAP

Bias Incident, Non-discrimination and Sexual Harassment Resources

The College of the Environment and the UW are committed to protecting the rights and dignity of each individual in the university community.

Find tools and resources