Current Fellows


Michael Damien Aguirre (History)
Portfolio Advisor: Michelle Habell-Pallan (Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies)
Entrance Year: 2013

Michael Aguirre's research interests explore and complicate Chicana/o subject formation from the late 1960s through the 1990s. He is particularly interested in how participants of the Chicano Movement articulated a distinct ethnopolitical identity and how issues of gender and changing immigration patterns impacted both Chicana/o identity and cultural production. His research takes a multiregional and interdisciplinary approach that engages different texts and Chicana/o intellectuals from rural, urban, Southwestern, and Pacific Northwestern historical actors. Michael is part of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project and the Smithsonian’s Latino Museum Studies Program.

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David Barillas-Chon (Education)

Portfolio Advisor: Janelle Silva (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)
Entrance Year: 2012
 
My name is David Barillas-Chon. My academic interests, approaches, and commitments are informed by a humanizing liberation politics that comprehends human beings as “experts” of their lived experiences, with the capacity to teach and learn from one another’s “truths.” As a self-identified Maya and immigrant, among other marginalized identities that I embody, my personal experiences have shaped my academic inquiries and life’s work. To this end, I have sought to understand the experiences of immigrant families, children, and indigenous peoples from the Americas in U.S. schools and in the larger social, cultural, political contexts, drawing on epistemologies and methodologies rooted in critical theories of liberation that situate human beings as both “naïve” and “expert” interpreters of their lived realities, always in the “process of becoming.”
 
Meredith Bauer (English)
Portfolio Advisor: Danny Hoffman (Anthropology)
Entrance year: 2012
 
Meri Bauer's research in the English department focuses on the interaction between postcolonial literary and visual arts and sociopolitical change. In the summer of 2012, she will conduct preliminary research on the ways cultural artifacts such as street poetry, public readings, and mural paintings represent under-explored forms of public performance, as well as a forum for the negotiation of identities, in the banlieues of Paris. With a Master's degree in international studies and public affairs, Meri has been involved in African and migration studies at the University of Washington for the past four years. She is co-founder and -director of a non-profit organization that brokers art from a Kenyan village in Seattle, called PAUSE: A Space for New Visions, and is Vice President of the Board of the digital storytelling and development initiative ChangeStream Media.
 

Canan Bolel (Near and Middle Eastern Studies)
Portfolio Advisor: Jin-Kyu Jung (Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell)
Entrance year: 2015

Canan began her doctoral studies in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies in Fall 2014. Her research interests lies at the intersection of spatialization of the Jewish identity and class dynamics in the late Ottoman Empire. Currently she works on a project in which she tracks the migration of Ottoman Jews to Seattle during the 1900s, with the help of digital mapping tools. Prior to joining UW, Canan earned a BA in economics and, in 2013, an MA in political science. In 2013 she moved to the United Kingdom and started a Msc degree in sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Canan is a Stroum Center for Jewish Studies Graduate Fellow. Email: cananbo@uw.edu

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Elizabeth Brown (English)
Portfolio Advisor: Wayne Au (Education, UW Bothell)
Entrance Year: 2013

Elizabeth Brown studies late nineteenth and early twentieth century U.S. literature, focusing on the relationship between imperialism, racial formation, and industrial capitalism in the postbellum era. Her dissertation project reads literature in conjunction with policies and practices developed at industrial training institutes, settlement houses, and imperial schools to intervene in discourses of liberal education in the U.S. Before coming to UW, Elizabeth volunteered with St. James ESL and Volunteers in Asia as an English language teacher. She also served as a liaison for the UW in the High School English program. Contact: lizcb@uw.edu

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Ryan Burns (Geography)
Portfolio Advisor: Tad Hirsch (School of Art/Interactive Design)
Entrance Year: 2010
 
Ryan Burns’s interests lie at the intersection of geographic technologies and social relations, with a particular focus on the role software and digital mapping applications (such as Google Earth or Bing Maps) can play in producing urban spaces. The public is an integral element to this process because these technologies can augment and mediate urban experiences and influence long-term societal trends.  By adopting a participatory action research framework in his research, Burns seeks to investigate the ways in which the public becomes implicated – if not empowered – in these processes.  The goal of his research is to influence the discourse surrounding the public dimensions of geographic technologies.

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Kristy Copeland (Geography)
Portfolio Advisor: Theresa Ronquillo (Center for Teaching and Learning)
Entrance Year: 2012

Kristy Copeland’s interest in public scholarship centers on how the classroom can be a vehicle for students to see themselves as knowledge producers and empowered voices.  In particular, her interest is in exploring pedagogical models that facilitate student interactions in their communities, as well as those that challenge students to encounter difference and inequality.  Such experiences help students to understand the operation of privilege and power in the world, foster a commitment to social justice, and lead to radical transformation.  In addition, Copeland seeks anti-racist strategies and caring teaching practices that encourage participation of all students in the classroom.

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Monica De La Torre (Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies)
Portfolio Advisor: Susan Harewood (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)
Entrance Year: 2012
 
Monica De La Torre’s scholarship bridges New Media and Sound Studies by analyzing the development of Chicana feminist epistemologies in radio and digital media production. A member of Soul Rebel Radio, a community radio collective based in Los Angeles, Monica is specifically interested in the ways in which radio and digital media production function as tools for community engagement. She is an active member of the UW Women of Color Collective and the Women Who Rock Collective. Monica earned a B.A. in Psychology and Chicana/o Studies from University of California, Davis and an M.A.in Chicana/o Studies from California State University, Northridge; her master’s thesis was entitled “Emerging Feminisms: El Teatro de las Chicanas and Chicana Feminist Identity Development.” Monica received a 2012 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, which recognizes superior academic achievement, sustained engagement with communities that are underrepresented in the academy, and the potential to enhance the educational opportunities for diverse students. 
 

Lauren Drakopolous (Geography)
Portfolio Advisor: S.Charusheela (Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell)
Entrance Year: 2015

Lauren’s interests lie at the intersection of critical race theory, development studies, and political ecology. Her research explores the political economy of Greece, post-economic crisis, with an emphasis on the social and ecological impacts of austerity measures. Particularly, she is interested in exploring processes of racialization and subject formation, and how these processes are expressed through political activism and shape national identity. She hopes to engage that as a fellow in the Public Scholarship Program she will be able to engage with the Greek diasporic community in and around Seattle. Prior to joining the Department of Geography at the University of Washington, she completed an MS in environmental science and policy at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She has worked as a fisheries researcher and community organizer and has volunteered with on numerous projects through her engagement with food justice and environmental activism. Lauren is a recipient of the Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship in Modern Greek. 

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Angela Duran Real (Hispanic Studies)
Portfolio Advisor: Kathleen Woodward (Simpson Center for the Humanities and English)
Entrance Year: 2015

Angela Duran Real’s research focuses on narrative of crisis in post-dictatorial Spain and Argentina. She looks at crisis as a space of possibilities where it emerges as what she has called the “affective structure of solidarity”. She is interested in exploring processes of community building and the alternative narratives developed in such practices.  It is in this sense that her research engages with the notion of publics and what publics can do differently. She is also committed to fostering new spaces for teaching that provide students with skills to become social agents in the community. Email: adr5@uw.edu

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Elyse Gordon (Geography)
Portfolio Advisor: Candice Rai (English)
Entrance Year: 2011

Elyse Gordon's work focuses on issues of urban inequalities, community organizations, and youth identities. She is specifically interested in how young people construct their identities in and through their involvement with non-profit and empowerment programs. Her master’s thesis focused on one youth empowerment non-profit in Seattle, examining how young people and organizations are situated amidst a restructuring, neoliberalizing non-profit sector. Previously an active community gardener in the Twin Cities, Elyse served as an Americorps volunteer for two years, helping low-income high school students get into college. She is deeply committed to partnering with community organizations through her scholarship. Currently, Elyse is building community in Seattle through food, music, and active exploring. She is always reconsidering her identity as a scholar-activist, and is excited to keep exploring the potentials of public scholarship and digital humanities. Contact egordon4@uw.edu.  

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Gonzalo Guzmán (Education)
Portfolio Advisor: Moon Ho Jung (History)
Entrance Year: 2011

Gonzalo Guzmán’s research interests lie at the intersection between labor, history of education, and migration of Latinos.  Gonzalo focuses on the educational experiences of Mexican American and Mexican students in the Yakima Valley of Eastern Washington State from 1937-1970, asking how Mexican American educational experiences in the Mountain States and Southwest informed Mexican American educational experiences and expectations in Eastern Washington, and also how labor informed educational practices on Mexican American migrants and settlers. He intends to build curriculum based on rural oral histories of Mexican American laborers in the Yakima Valley, and to elaborate best practices for utilizing them in classrooms and the community. Contact gonzog@uw.edu

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alma khasawnih (Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies)
Portfolio Advisor: Chandan Reddy (English)
Entrance Year:2013

alma khasawnih's interests include understanding and documenting the role of art and artists in inciting conversation and action of social change and political movements, transnational feminist theory, Arab feminism. alma has a Master's degree from Rhode Island School of Design and her thesis title is Informal Arts Education as a Tool for Social Change: Arab American Artist Collectives as Case Studies. Her Bachelor's is in Environmental Policy and Behavior from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. alma is a member of the UW Women of Color Collective and a columnist for the Seattle Globalist, enjoys being invited to dinner and then writing about it. She is an immigrant from Far West Asia. Her current focus is Arab women artists' process and work within the context of the Arab Spring. Contact: almak@uw.edu.

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Christopher Lizotte (Geography)
Portfolio Advisor: Candice Rai (English)
Entrance Year: 2010

Christopher Lizotte’s scholarly interests center on trends in K-12 educational choice, as policy and as practice, and their role in reshaping narratives about national identity and citizenship in the United States, Canada, and France.  He is interested in critical geography pedagogy and social theory.  His work seeks to open new channels for dialogue between academia and the broader public in order to enhance discourse in both spheres.  He is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a UW Center for Canadian Studies Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship.

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Eleanor Mahoney (History)
Portfolio Advisor: Katharyne Mitchell (Geography)
Entrance year: 2012
 
Eleanor Mahoney studies the intersections of labor, the environment, memory and place in late nineteenth and twentieth-century America. She is particularly interested in the storytelling possibilities of large landscapes and in better understanding the various mechanisms that communities can employ to protect, perpetuate, and, if appropriate, share their cultural traditions. Eleanor has previously worked for the National Park Service as Assistant National Coordinator for Heritage Areas and for a variety of heritage conservation, public history and labor organizations in Appalachia, the Chesapeake Bay region and New Mexico.  Her current research focuses on documenting the changing political, racial and cultural landscapes of 1930’s Washington State. 

Jennifer McClearen (Communication)
Portfolio Advisor: Lauren Berliner (Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell)
Entrance Year: 2013

Jennifer is a critical media scholar, community educator, and Ph.D. student in Communication. Her current research focuses on mediated representations of feminine physical power, such as action heroines, fighters, and athletes. She examines audience reception of physically powerful women as well as textual constructions of bodies and bodily agency. Ultimately, she seeks to understand how dominant discourses (de)construct an Othered body’s power as well as how these discourses are disrupted. As a martial artist and women’s self-defense instructor in the Seattle area, Jennifer advocates for embodied practices and critical media literacies that challenge hegemonic understandings of Othered bodies. Prior to joining the UW, Jennifer served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, taught English in the Czech Republic and Mexico, managed a U.S. Department of Education grant to improve college access for at-risk adults, and earned a M.A. in Intercultural Leadership from SIT Graduate Institute. Contact: jmcclear@uw.edu.

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Jenny Palisoc (Nursing)
Portfolio Advisor: Theresa Ronquillo (Center for Teaching and Learning and Social Work)
Entrance Year: 2015

Jenny Palisoc is a PhD student in nursing science, researching suicide prevention in higher education. Her overall interests lie in uncovering ways to transform the paternalistic culture of mental health to promote bi-directionality in patient-provider relationships, emphasizing providers as “learners” and patients as “knowers” of their own bodies and minds. She is interested in examining discourses and identifying meaning in the spaces that high-suicide-risk youth inhabit and aims to empower peers within these communities to engage in promoting mental health and preventing suicide. Through public scholarship, her goal is to expand the influences on her work to include cross-disciplinary perspectives in order to challenge personal assumptions and biases about health care and mental health that may reinforce disempowerment of the very communities that she plans to serve. The fundamental tenet guiding her community involvement, research, and work endeavors is her passion to eliminate health inequity. Email: jenpal@uw.edu 

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Rose Paquet Kinsley (Information Studies)
Portfolio Advisor: Tad Hirsch (Interaction Design, School of Art)
Entrance Year: 2015

As a museum professional, Rose Paquet Kinsley was curious to learn more about the history and theoretical underpinnings of museums. She pursued a masters in Museology and has been studying inclusion discourses, policies, and practices in museums since. In 2012, she co-founded The Incluseum, an ongoing project and blog to promote critical discourse and reflexivity on inclusion in museums. She is currently interested in how groups are using digital tools to unsettle and enact radical new forms of museums and museum-like organizations. She is intrigued in how design methods can be employed to support and extend these activities. As a PhD student in Information School, Rose tries to weave together her scholarship, practice-based work, and social justice activism. Email: rosepk@uw.edu

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Amy Piedalue (Geography)
Portfolio Advisor: Amanda Lock Swarr (Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies)
Entrance Year: 2010

Amy Piedalue comes to her work in Geography with a background in Women Studies and South Asian Studies.  Her current research explores gender violence and development in India, focusing on the importance of contextualizing women’s experiences in the socio-cultural and political-economic processes that structure their lives.  She seeks to locate this research as a form of critical transnational feminist praxis – a means of prioritizing and valuing collaborative research, thinking critically about authorship and representation, and re-imagining the relationship between the ‘global’ and the ‘local.’  Engagement with community, and the freedom to shape what that looks like, has been one of the most vital aspects of her own education.

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Irene Sanchez (Education)
Portfolio Advisor: Rick Bonus (American Ethnic Studies)
Entrance Year: 2010

Irene Monica Sanchez is a Ph.D. student in Education Leadership and Policy Studies-Higher Education and is completing graduate certificates in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and Public Scholarship. Irene began her higher education journey at Riverside Community College and transferred to the University of California, Santa Cruz to earn her BA in Sociology and Latin American/Latino Studies. Living in Santa Cruz/Watsonville Irene became a member of the Autonomous Watsonville Brown Berets, served as an ally for the young women’s empowerment program called “Girlzpace” and was a danzante with White Hawk Indian Council for the Children. An activist for many years, she continues to work on issues regarding immigrant/human rights, education, youth empowerment and social justice. 
Irene served as the Community Caucus Chair for the National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies (NACCS) for two years and is now the Graduate Student Caucus Chair for NACCS.  She has worked as a Research Assistant in Education and a TA for the American Ethnic Studies Department and off campus with El Centro de la Raza’s Hope for Youth Program. Currently Irene is a member of the Seattle Fandango Project where she plays jarana and dances. She is also a member of Ameyaltonal-Seattle, an Aztec Dance group that promotes and teaches indigenous dance and culture. In 2011-2012 she was named a PAGE fellow with Imagining America. 

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Katja Schatte (History)
Portfolio Advisor: Dan Berger (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)
Entrance Year: 2013

Katja Schatte is a graduate student in modern European, Latin American, and Russian history. She focuses on the cultural and social history of socialist and communist societies during the Cold War. Katja is especially interested in oral history, private and collective memory, gender and sexuality, and experience of migration and diaspora. Before joining the UW as a graduate student, she was trained as a social worker at the Alice Salomon University Berlin, Germany and earned her MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago. In the course of her education and her work as a social worker and researcher in Germany, Guatemala, and the United States, Katja has become interested in interviews and oral history as a way of creating community history. She hopes to further pursue this interest as a fellow in the Certificate Program.

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Sue Shon (English)
Portfolio Advisor: Sasha Welland (Anthropology and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies)
Entrance Year: 2012
 
Sue Shon studies 19th and 20th century print and visual culture in the Department of English. Her dissertation explores how race becomes conceptualized in modernity through a formalist discourse of vision. Sue’s scholarly interests originate from ideas explored in her studio art and curatorial practice before coming to the University of Washington. Her studies and work in art history, exhibition planning, art programming, and teaching at the Art Institute of Chicago, City of Chicago Public Art Program, Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Salvation Army have allowed her to explore what it means to claim that certain spaces operate for a public and as a public space. Sue is currently developing a group drawing exhibition that responds to Octavia Butler’s science fiction novel Dawn.
 
Balbir K. Singh (English)
Portfolio Advisor: Amanda Lock Swarr (Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies)
Entrance Year: 2011
 
Balbir K. Singh comes to her work in the Department of English with a background in postcolonial theory and critical race studies. Her scholarship focuses on U.S. race-making and the construction of militancy in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  She explores the relationship between racialization and resistance as it manifests in literary, cultural, and socio-political domains in the wake of 9/11. She locates this research in the field of transnational cultural studies, with an acute interest in the particularities of the U.S. regime of exclusion. She has designed and taught writing courses on ideology critique, the literature of crisis, and racial and state violences. Balbir is also co-founder and co-organizer of the university’s Women of Color Collective, which continues to remain influential in carving space for emerging women of color scholars on campus. Contact balbir@uw.edu.

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Emma Slager (Geography)
Portfolio Advisor: micha cardenas (Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell)
Entrance Year: 2015

My research focuses on informal Internet infrastructure in low-income urban communities. I am interested in how communities build and maintain their own communication networks when corporations and the state fail to invest in infrastructure, and in the relationship between this technology development and broader urban political struggles over public space and resource access. As my dissertation research will likely involve partnership with community organizations, I am particularly interested in the public scholarship program as a way of exploring how to conduct community engaged research that is just and ethical, and I am further eager for the cross-disciplinary engagement and training in publishing for non-academic audiences that the program affords. Email: ejslager@uw.edu

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Arianna Thompson (Geography)
Portfolio Advisor: Amoshaun Toft (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)
Entrance Year: 2013

Arianna Thompson’s research focuses on the political ecology of the toxic food environment, and the health and equity impacts of the industrial food complex. Using feminist theories of science and technology, she examines current research processes and regulations regarding the use of biotechnology in food production and processing (for example, synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, genetically modified crops, or food preservatives), in order to better understand the cultural, health, and equity implications across the different scales of the region, the community, and the body. She is interested in exploring the ways that scientific information is generated, shared, or concealed, and the subsequent power and health implications of these formations and circulations of knowledge. Contact: annathom@uw.edu.

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Anne Tseng (Sociology)
Portfolio Advisor: Katharyne Mitchell (Geography)
Entrance Year: 2015

Anne’s research interests include the overlapping areas of race and ethnicity, stratification, inequality, and immigration. Her  research looks at the role of immigration selection policies in shaping the social and economic incorporation of new immigrants, and the implications of this on broader patterns of stratification. More specifically, Anne’s research looks at the salience of immigration admission categories and the factors that help explain why some immigrants get better or worse jobs than other immigrants. A student in the Department of Sociology, Anne is also currently a trainee at the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology. Email: anne128@uw.edu

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