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Undergraduate student scholarships for 2019-2020

Scholarship recipients for the 2019-20 academic year are recognized for academic achievement, dedication to community service and extracurricular activities, professional promise, and their ability to overcome challenges. These awards prioritize support of students from diverse backgrounds and those who have overcome economic and educational disadvantages and/or personal adversity to pursue higher education.

The scholarships are supported by the Food Systems, Nutrition & Health Major Incubator Fund, a gift fund established by dedicated alumni and friends to ensure the major thrives in its early years.

Nikki Hogan

Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Majors: Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health; Environmental Science and Resource Management

I studied abroad in Copenhagen during fall quarter 2019 (Copenhagen University). I focused mainly on my Environmental Science and Resource Management major, but I also took a class in which I learned a little about the cultural implications of food through ethnobotany. I’m eager to explore the different avenues within my two majors and find an intersection that speaks to me. I am excited to learn about food systems in the greater context of the world and how it changes regionally. I feel incredibly lucky to have received this scholarship. It has gifted me with opportunities to gather a more diverse foundation for my studies while I was abroad as well as connected me into my UW community even more. 

Fotima Ibrokhim

Hometown: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Major: Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health

Identifying as an immigrant living in the United States has shaped me to become an open-minded and accepting person from the start. From going vegan and striving to be low-waste to incorporating minimalism, my interest in environmental consciousness grew. I made the decision to focus on food and dedicate my time to learn about one of the most neglected subjects in the environmental movement: sustainable food systems. Through my major, I have learned about not only environmental sustainability, but also social sustainability when it comes to U.S. food systems. My academic career and my position working at the Campus Sustainability Fund looks at sustainability from a multidimensional lens and strives for intersectional sustainability. In the future, I hope to work toward improving farm worker rights, reducing food insecurity in underprivileged communities, and contributing to the improvement of agribusinesses.

Hannah Jordan

Hometown: Federal Way, Washington
Major: Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health / Spanish minor

I have always been fascinated by food and nutrition and how the two come together to create a healthy lifestyle. This major has opened my eyes to the many ways that our interactions with food can influence the health of our environment and community as well as ourselves. So far, my favorite part of the University of Washington has been the academically supportive environment I have experienced with my professors as well as my fellow classmates. The amount of people at this University who are dedicated to and focused on achieving their goals is beautiful to me and encourages me to remain driven when times get hard. My intentions after graduating are to travel for a year before finishing my prerequisites for graduate school to study public health and dietetics. With this degree I would like to become a registered dietitian and explore work in dietetics while directing my career and knowledge toward either medical or food policy work. My hope is to bring peace of mind to the communities that I work with through increased nutritional education and access to health-promoting resources. Through actively applying my studies to my work post-graduation, I aim to help make our right to health accessible to everyone and sustainable in the long-term.

Wesley McLain

Hometown: Tacoma, Washington
Majors: Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health; Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

I am a Peruvian-American transfer student from Tacoma. I am a returning student in life, as I had a career in hotel hospitality and restaurants for many years and now am applying myself in school to get my first degree. I am interested in pursuing research in nutrition, which is why I am excited about the Food Systems major here at UW. I have been volunteering with the UW Food Pantry since October and am trying to expand my experience with the UW community, as well as with my peers in my core classes, through this. 

Esther Nguyen

Hometown: Forks, Washington
Majors: Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health / Entrepreneurship minor

My passions include global nutrition, people, and philanthropy. At UW, I am involved with a college Christian ministry called The INN Seattle and am a student intern there this year. I am also the Philanthropy Chair in Alpha Kappa Psi for this academic year. Outside of UW, I just started as an intern at the non-profit Children of the Nations (COTN). The past three spring breaks I have traveled to the Dominican Republic to work with COTN. This past summer, I lived in India for eight weeks and worked with women and children in connection with the non-profit Rescue Pink. Through this experience, I was able to have hands-on action with the food system and nutrition India. One of my goals in the near future is to work toward my master’s degree in nutritional sciences. Being able to work in India with Rescue Pink has been one of my favorite experiences as a college student so far. I hope I can work with more non-profits in the future and start my own in nutritional education. This experience also showed me how much I love people and building relationships. UW has given me the opportunity to build these relationships, grow individually, and grow with others. Read Esther’s profile interview

Alondra Vaca

Hometown: Yakima, Washington
Major: Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health  

In the future, I want to be a well-rounded doctor who understands the social disparities that form the way our food system currently is and use this to help treat patients in different and better ways, rather than just treating symptoms with a bottle of pills. Outside of school, I like to cook, wrestle, garden, and go thrift shopping. I volunteer with programs that give children access to meals when school is out, and I work at a daycare. I am a part of the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, and I am a hard-working student. My favorite part of UW is meeting other students that look like me or come from similar backgrounds—and seeing that we are all working toward the same goal. 

Adela Wang

Hometown: Bellevue, Washington
Majors: Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health; Economics

I want to combine my economics background and knowledge and become a food policy economist while laying a solid foundation in the study of the food system, nutrition, and health. I think a global sustainable food system that provides people with better quality food will not only ensure our healthy diet and lifestyle, but also protect the environment while creating a global win-win situation. I hope that I can learn how to use and reasonably maintain natural food system resources in my future study so I can have the opportunity to practice technological transformation and institutional reform in my future career, so as to ensure the demand for agricultural products and a sustainable food system for our contemporary human beings and future generations.

Brendan Welzien

Hometown: Puyallup, Washington
Major: Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health / Environmental Studies minor

My academics in the public health field made me realize that I find it most urgent to provide for those who need help in the world, ranging from those who are experiencing poverty and food insecurity to those especially prone to emerging infectious diseases. As a result of taking classes about community health, I found I wanted to pursue a career in the public health field. My favorite part about UW is that I found people who have similar goals to mine where, in turn, we can push each other to be successful. My future goal is to be able to travel from country to country to improve the quality of life in communities through providing sustainable health education systems. 

January 14, 2020