Awards and Accomplishments
We are incredibly proud of our students. Not only do they excel in their regular undergrad courses and are involved in numerous extracurriculars, they consistently win highly competitive and selective scholarships and fellowships. Additionally, many of our students go off and do great things after leaving Western like publish articles and novels.
Authors and Publications
Iris Báijīng Hubbard
Author of Switched
Iris Báijīng Hubbard is a Chinese-American adoptee from Guangzhou, China. She was adopted at about 16 months and grew up in Mount Vernon, WA. Iris became more interested in her adoptee identity while attending Western Washington University. There, she started a club for adoptees called the WWU Adoptees. Switched was inspired by her own experiences as an adoptee and competitive swimmer. Iris is currently a master's student at the University of Eastern Finland studying early language education for intercultural communication.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is a highly competitive, merit-based award for college juniors and seniors preparing for a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.
Award: Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, Duke University, 2017 and Goldwater Scholarship, 2019
Degree: BS, Marine Biology, 2020
While at Western, Darby's love for the Pacific Northwest's coastal ecosystems evolved into a persistent curiosity about the strange phenomena of the marine environment. Her special interest in fish and their movements ultimately lead to her selection for the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) at the Patek Laboratory of Duke University to study biomechanics. Darby then went on to earn the Goldwater Scholarship, the first recipient for WWU. Upon graduating from Western, Darby had her sights set on graduate school, where she would be able to continue her research.
The Hudson Fellowship offers outstanding undergraduates the opportunity to study political theory in a way that will broaden and deepen their understanding of public policy and American political principles.
Award: Hudson Institute Summer Fellowship
Degree: BA, History, 2024
Minor(s): English, Honors Interdisciplinary Studies
Petra is an Honors student in her first year at Western. She is hoping to major in History with possible minors in Honors and English.
Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship
The English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S.
Western Washington University produced five Fulbright winners in 2019 and was named a top national producer for Fulbright Scholarship winners in the 2018-2019 school year.
Iris Báijīng Hubbard
Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Taiwan, 2019
Degree: BAEd, Environmental Studies, 2019
Certificate: Elementary Education
Iris’s love of teaching began in high school. It started with teaching swim and piano lessons and evolved into teaching elementary school. Iris’s interests in environmental education led her to a degree in environmental studies with a teaching certificate in elementary education. Outside the classroom Iris was involved in creating awareness about adoptees at Western. She continued her work through her capstone project with fellow Honors student, Saige Wilde, and wrote a children’s book about her experiences as a Chinese American adoptee. Through the Fulbright ETA program Iris was able to follow her dream of teaching abroad. Upon the completion of her Fulbright, Iris planned to obtain a master’s degree in education.
Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Spain, 2017
Degree: BA, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Spanish, 2017
Colin is a native of Western Washington, a baby animal enthusiast, and an amateur musician. During his time at Western, Colin double majored in Spanish and Communication Sciences & Disorders and was proud to be part of the Honors Program. After a magical study abroad experience in Salamanca, Spain, Colin was thrilled to have the opportunity to return to Spain to teach English through the Fulbright Program. In the future, Colin hopes to pursue bilingual speech therapy as a speech-language pathologist; he will be attending Portland State Univeristy’s SLP Master’s program in the fall of 2018. Colin is passionate about music (all kinds), good food, and Western Washington University.
Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Taiwan, 2015-2016
Degree: BA, History, 2014
Minor(s): International Studies
Tobias, a student from the Western Honors Program, received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and is now teaching English to 3rd graders in Fengyuan, a suburb of Taipei and the capital of Taiwan. He has four classes each day, and co-teaches about twenty-five students per class. Adored by his students, Tobias reports the overall experience has been very rewarding: “I already feel that I’ve grown immensely as a person.” Tobias is able to get around (and be immersed in Taiwanese culture) from the seat of his new scooter, and says the opportunity afforded by the Fulbright Award is “changing [him] as a person every day.” After Fulbright, Tobias will attend graduate school at the University of Washington (Jackson School of International Studies).
Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Austria, 2015
Degree: BA, Philosophy, 2014
Minor(s): English, German
Nathan was selected for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Austria, where his studies of German language and literature were put to good use. Nathan hopes to pursue a career in education, and as a Fulbright scholar he was able to explore personal interests, including German literature and philosophy, while gaining valuable teaching skills he could translate from one classroom to another. Nathan’s backgrounds in “rowing, hiking, coffee, and brewing beer” certainly helped him bond with his community abroad. Nathan wrote his Honors Thesis about Herman Hesse’s Glass Bead Game.
Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Spain, 2015
Degree: BA, Spanish, Biology, 2013
Emily, a student of the Western Honors Program, received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and traveled to Spain. Childhood experiences initially piqued her interest in travel and taught her to see the value of a commitment to curiosity and education. During her academic career majoring in Biology and Spanish she also traveled to Panama, Nicaragua, and Argentina. In Spain, she plans to use her experience with and understanding of Spanish to help students achieve fluency through cultural curiosity. Emily herself hopes to become more adept at classroom management and enhance language education in schools. Following her experience in Spain, Emily plans to pursue Master’s level studies and become an educator.
Award: Fulbright Research Award, Spain, 2015-2016
Degree: BA, Economics, Environmental Studies, 2013
Minor(s): Spanish, Energy Policy
Sam, a student from the Western Washington Honors Program, was awarded a Fulbright to study the interactions between sustainable degrowth and economic inequity in Spain. He plans to partner with degrowth scholars in Western Europe to contribute to the body of research and learn what aspects of degrowth can be realistically transported back to the United States. His research is expected to extend the macroeconomic theory of wealth and income inequity, and through his own recent experience of economically downshifting, he has been living his research interest. Sam’s undergraduate success in economics and environmental studies has demonstrated his ability to integrate formal learning with independent study, and he hopes to use his newfound skills to present his findings in meaningful written products for both professional and public audiences.
Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship
The Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship was established in 2005 after Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings of South Carolina retired. Hollings was an advocate for ocean policy and conservation and the scholarship was created to bolster undergraduate training in NOAA mission sciences, as well as increase environmental literacy.
Award: Hollings, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New Jersey, 2016
Degree: BS, Chemistry, 2018
Minor(s): Materials Science
Thomas, a student in the Honors Program at Western Washington University, received a NOAA Hollings scholarship to help fund two years of college tuition and an internship at a NOAA facility. During the summer of 2016, he participated in sample-collection and computer modeling at a national laboratory in Highlands, NJ. Under the instruction of NOAA scientists, Thomas contributed to studies on the efficacy of alternative, low-toxicity methods for measuring ocean acidification. This research will help increase the safety and environmental compatibility of future studies which monitor changes in ocean chemistry due to climate change. Following graduation, Thomas hopes to begin a research career in chemistry or materials science.