MAP Scholars 2023 MAP Scholars 2023 MAP Scholars 2023

The Multicultural Alumni Partnership celebrates the outstanding student recipients of their 2023 MAP awards.

By Viewpoint Staff | Viewpoint Magazine

Since 1994, alumni and friends in the Multicultural Alumni Partnership have worked together to promote diversity at the UW and address issues of equity and diversity on our campuses and in our community. They do this through mentoring, supporting lectures, networking in the community and providing scholarships.

Each year, the Multicultural Alumni Partnership reaches out to historically underrepresented UW students with financial support. This year’s promising scholars (who were granted awards in late 2023) range from early undergraduates who are still zeroing in on a major to those pursuing graduate and professional degrees.

John Williams

A first-year doctor of physical therapy student in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, John Williams Jr is the first of three children born to parents with African American, Native American and Caucasian ancestry. Growing up, he experienced housing instability and had parent facing a significant health issue. “I know firsthand how harsh the world can seem,” he says. “Witnessing something compassionate makes the world seem like a better place, and doing something compassionate actually makes the world a better place.” Drs Lois Price Spratlen and Thaddeus Spratlen Scholar

Kristina Montero-Duong

A first-generation student with Hispanic and Vietnamese immigrant Parents, Kristina Montero-Duong is studying social welfare and intends to minor in diversity and human rights. Her parents, who never reached high school for economic reasons, stressed the importance of attending college. “My family and I faced many economic and social barriers,” she says, but social workers supported them by “translating, offering job training and guiding us to better resources.” Now her passion is working with families and children. “Everyone deserves a fair chance to succeed regardless of their background or cirumstances,” she says. “I am committed to making a positive impact on the world around me.”

El Cruz Lara

El Cruz Lara is a junior studying medical anthropology and hoping to become a professor and researcher. They want to be a voice for people who may not have received this scholarship but are clearly in need. “We live in a system where students on financial aid have to spill their darkest secrets to be considered for an education,” they say. “Many bright individuals, including those my family, will never have access to education.” Lara believes every one deserves an education, but not everyone can pursue one because of systemic inequity. There is excitement when individuals from marginalized groups can get out of poverty because it seen as overcoming the odds. Scholarships help close this gap, but “I would like everyone to know we shouldn’t shield our eyes and think that this is enough to help bridge this gap,” they say. “I hope someone reading this will understand more about why we need to work on bridging the gap in education, if only a little,” Lara says. Alfredo Arreguín Scholar

Yasmin Garfias

A first-generation college graduate, YasminGarfias earned a B.A. in psychology in 2021. She worked with members of the RISE Mental Health lab under Dr. Shannon Dorsey to research equity in community mental health and evidence-based treatments for children and adolescents. The experience deepend her understanding of equitable care and the importance of cultural awareness. She is currently pursuing a master’s in special education with an emphasis on applied behavior analysis (ABA). which combines her interests in psychology and her desire help others. Growing up, she was aware of the historical and cultural burdens her family carried as Mexican and Indigenous Americans. “Their experiences fueled my desire to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable environment while supporting individuals through ABA,” she says. Owen G. Lee Scholar

Edith Dale

Now in her first-year in the UW School of Public Health’s global health program, Dale, ’23, was drawn to the field by her multicultural background, a blend of Kenyan, Korean and British heritage, and her experiences witnessing inequities in the US and abroad. A first-generation student and a single mother, she has had to be resilient and ready for challenges. As an undergraduate, she co-founded an association for nontraditional students to provide support for students facing challenges similar to her. She also mentors other students of color. “My passions within the realm of global health are centered on maternal and child health, as well as nutrition, with a deep-seated belief that these areas hold the potential to truly transform lives and communities,” she says.