Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center

GALA | Nominee Descriptions

Here are your nominees for the 18th Annual GALA Awards! You can vote here:

Vote Now
You will need to log in with your UW ID to access the Google Form. Voting closes on Tuesday, May 18th at 11:59PM.


Commitment to Community and Service

A Vision for Electronic Literacy and Access (AVELA)

AVELA strives to represent the populations that we aim to support when teaching about science/engineering and the college admissions process. We accomplish this goal by leading classes, workshops, and other forms of community outreach. Our members work to create lesson plans for those students and cover academic concepts through Washington State’s Common Core Standards. AVELA members network with local teachers, administrative staff, and industries to build more partnerships and establish strategic planning with those in the Seattle area.

Nomination Testimonials
  • Students consistently do community outreach for underrepresented minorities in college and high school and are dedicated to uplifting minorities in stem
  • Their commitment to making an impact on the current academics model at UW. Their support towards underrepresented minority students is noticeable.
  • Throughout the year we have been to teach virtual STEM workshops and host panels at schools around the area such as Kentridge HS, Cleveland HS, Highline CC, Mercer MS, among other schools. We have also partnered with MESA and the Seattle Urban League to create a curriculum and teach classes. We have been able to provide opportunities for our members to reach back out to the communities they are from, especially students in URM communities
  • AVELA has done outreach to over 20 schools with a primary focus on helping underrepresented backgrounds
    Having only begun this year, AVELA has already been able to accomplish so much both within the UW community in terms of getting students involved, as well as the local community. They’ve been able to provide workshops and lessons meant to address the significant gap in K-12 experiences before attending the UW.
  • They do creative projects that inspired the youth inspiring STEM. Showcasing the importance of knowledge and creativity in STEM. In addition, they are setting the example as role models that pave for future STEM students.
  • They help other students that were like me at some point who didn’t have the experience to learn something related to their interests. They provide the resources to learn and explore what they want to do in the future.

Black Graduate Student Association

Black Graduate Student Association aims to enhance the scholarly and professional development of graduate students at UW through networking, seminars, forums, workshops, and social gatherings. The Black Graduate Student Association will work to facilitate the transition to graduate school, provide academic support, and provide opportunities for fellowship, service, and activism.

Kappa Delta Chi

Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Incorporated is the strongest network of Latinx leaders in the country. We are Latinx based, but we are not Latinx exclusive. We are a non-traditional Sorority that consists of a diverse set of independent women, who are eager to make a difference in our community. Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. aims to promote the traditional values of Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership amongst women. We are dedicated to the service of the University and local community, with a special emphasis on the Hispanic/Latinx population. We pride ourselves on the dedication and passion to the service and advocacy of our local community.

Nomination Testimonials
  • Despite the virtual nature of this school year, KDChi has managed to maintain a strong connection to the community and commitment to service through their philanthropic efforts with Seattle Children’s and the American Cancer Association. The chapter has hosted and participated in virtual service events to better the community and has committed to uphold their community and academic values through the continuation of their annual scholarship for BIPOC womxn. Throughout this year, KDChi’s commitment to community service has remained a priority.

Sikh Student Association

Sikh Student Association is a student-based organization whose mission is to educate both Sikh and non-Sikhs on campus all while promoting the main tenets of Sikhism, including community service, equality, and interfaith dialogue. Sikh Student Association also works to create a safe space on campus for students who identify as Sikh and/or want to learn about the Sikh faith. SSA also encourages education regarding Sikh history, The Sikh Scripture, and supportive resources such as mental health, physical health, family and friend support, academic advising support, and more.

Nomination Testimonials
  • This organization has also helped spark momentous protests across Washington state in support of the farmers in India who are fighting for their lives. We have also created many events, such as our most recent one, where we packed care packages for Seattle’s homeless which included bare necessities and items such as masks and female sanitary products.

Synbio for Everyone

Synbio for Everyone consists of a group of interdisciplinary students from a variety of majors who work on improving synthetic biology education accessibility and reducing educational equity gaps in STEM by writing curriculum and conducting educational outreach events. We also promote awareness about synthetic biology research and ethical issues. Synbio for Everyone strives for growth and collaboration across disciplines and economic barriers, forging new paths in the future of synthetic biology education and its implications for the world.

Nomination Testimonials
  • Synbio for Everyone’s goal is to promote inclusive education for students with and without disabilities as well as underserved backgrounds. To do this, Synbio for Everyone has written a 400-paged curriculum, while working with community members globally as well as conducted outreach events.
  • Their goal is to create a more accessible science curriculum for disadvantaged students on a global scale. It is a nonprofit that utilizes the work of many volunteers writing, editing, and translating curriculum to design, social media, and web development processes. This organization helps provide entertaining ways to learn about science in a way that’s inclusive to underrepresented groups (disabilities, low income, and international students).
  • They are helping out frequently in underserved communities. Their entire mission revolves around providing access to biology education on a variety of platforms. They have audio, visual, and online versions of fun, exciting, and inexpensive activities that educators can use to teach a plethora of concepts.
  • The aim of Synbio for Everyone is to serve underserved communities and reduce equity gaps in STEM education. The work being done to spread STEM to communities both near and far has a large impact on students of all grade levels.
  • We, as an organization, have put so much effort into creating free textbooks for impoverished schools around the world. We have also translated our 400-page biology textbook into multiple different languages including Nepali for other students in different countries to have a use for them. We have also visited many local and international schools helping children learn more about science and making learning more accessible for children with disabilities.

Unite UW Student Association

Unite UW Student Association promotes diversifying culture across the UW campus and connects domestic and international students in a cohesive community.

Nomination Testimonials
  • Unite UW aims to connect international students that face many barriers. This RSO is the backbone behind planning these events and fostering an inclusive community for international students. While they don’t have an emphasis on volunteering, involvement with the RSO and Unite program often comes from volunteer students.

 

Outstanding Collaboration and Participation

Chinese Student Association at the University of Washington

The Chinese Student Association (CSA) is an entirely student-led group dedicated to improving cultural awareness on campus as well as providing support for those who come from a common background. Our purpose is to promote better understanding and identification with the Chinese (Chinese-American) culture and heritage. It is our passion to act as a uniting force for all students and serve as a catalyst for positive action across all cultural groups.

Nomination Testimonials
  • We nominate CSA for their active work in collaborating and creating events with the Asian and Asian American community at UW!

Filipinx Association for Health Careers

​FAHC UW was founded as a sister organization of UC Davis FAHC in October 2015 at the University of Washington, Seattle. Our mission is to provide academic and social support to all students interested in pursuing a health-related career. We believe in promoting Filipinx and Filipinx-American health issues and cultural awareness. FAHC UW strives to provide opportunities and resources for members to learn, grow, and gain skills to achieve their full potential.

Nomination Testimonials
  • I would like to nominate the Filipinx Association for Health Careers. Even though the past year of hardships this organization continues to collaborate with other organizations on and off-campus. This past year they have collaborated with organizations such as the FASA, NWFASA, NAFCON, and more to provide educational meetings about health disparities in our communities. These meetings were in the form of panels, collaborative presentations, and fundraising projects. They continue to provide a safe space where their members and anybody interested to grow and educate themselves.

Korean Student Association

KSA aims to help our members and the community while spreading the many different components of the Korean culture. You don’t have to be Korean to become a member of our organization. Joining KSA comes with many benefits. First and foremost is the opportunity to meet people through our events! We’ve been able to give out a free T-shirt and a membership sticker that’ll get you discounts at our events and on the Ave from our sponsors.

Nomination Testimonials
  • We nominate KSA for our countless collaborations and work with THE KOMPANY in events like KSA Culture Night along with actively sharing promoting our work!

 

Breakout Organization

Black Graduate Student Association

Black Graduate Student Association aims to enhance the scholarly and professional development of graduate students at UW through networking, seminars, forums, workshops, and social gatherings. The Black Graduate Student Association will work to facilitate the transition to graduate school, provide academic support, and provide opportunities for fellowship, service, and activism.

Nomination Testimonials
  • With over 70 members in the organization now, the BGSA has grown a lot in its first year as an RSO at UW!

Cham Student Association

Cham Student Association (ChamSA) at the University of Washington celebrates Cham identity and lived experiences by providing space and a support system for our members. We strive to promote higher education in the Cham community.

Nomination Testimonials
  • Standing as the only Cham centered student organization in all the US, ChamSA has truly blossomed over the quiet years to stand as the bulwark for Cham resilience and cultural revival. The team’s propensity to adapt in an online setting, reveals a banquet of achievements to splendor. For instance, ChamSA expanded their executive board. They recruited a first-year Cham student and organized their first week-long officer retreat. The team learned Cham scripture, as they sought community advice for how to write “ChamSA.” They worked collaboratively every week on various projects, such as rebranding the ChamSA logo, general meetings, and socials.

Korean Student Association

KSA aims to help our members and the community while spreading the many different components of the Korean culture. You don’t have to be Korean to become a member of our organization. Joining KSA comes with many benefits. First and foremost is the opportunity to meet people through our events! We’ve been able to give out a free T-shirt and a membership sticker that’ll get you discounts at our events and on the Ave from our sponsors.

Nomination Testimonials
  • We nominated this RSO because we feel like the organization has done a great job promoting its events and collaborating with several different organizations to put on events that intrigue their members.

Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)

The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) – the University of Washington Chapter is a student organization that promotes fellowship among UW Asian heritage science and engineering students and professionals. We are committed to helping members achieve their career goals in every possible way, from deciding major fields of study, to becoming competitive individuals for employment. Members also practice leadership skills through organizing community service projects and serving as mentors and role models for other students. SASE-UW, promotes diversity and tolerance on campus and at the workplace, as all SASE chapters throughout the United States, and welcomes individuals of all ethnic backgrounds.

Nomination Testimonials
  • SASE has made great progress this year. They hosting a larger variety of events than in the past and collaborated with more RSOs and companies than before despite being amid the pandemic and online courses. SASE has reached out to RSOs such as KSA, ASC, and TYAPN, to hold collaborative events or attend or promote each others’ events, strengthening the bond between SASE and other Asian RSOs in the UW community. SASE has also created connections with many companies including AGN (Asian Google Network), with who SASE held a Q&A Panel this quarter.
  • We nominated this RSO because we feel like they have done a great job collaborating with other organizations for events and partnering with different companies and industry members as well. This organization has also grown by increasing member attendance at events as the year has gone by.
  • This year, SASE has been a breakout organization. We formed new relationships with other RSOs such as TYAPN and KSA, partnering with them to host free events like Industry Networking Night and drawing crowds of over 60+ people. Additionally, we began collaborating with companies such as Pepsi, Blue Origin, and Google to hold free industry-led mock interviews and other events with upwards of 80 participants. Finally, SASE has begun working with UW programs like STARS to foster closer relationships with UW initiatives.

Synbio for Everyone

Synbio for Everyone consists of a group of interdisciplinary students from a variety of majors who work on improving synthetic biology education accessibility and reducing educational equity gaps in STEM by writing curriculum and conducting educational outreach events. We also promote awareness about synthetic biology research and ethical issues. Synbio for Everyone strives for growth and collaboration across disciplines and economic barriers, forging new paths in the future of synthetic biology education and its implications for the world.

Nomination Testimonials
  • Synbio for Everyone’s goal is to promote inclusive education for students with and without disabilities as well as underserved backgrounds. To do this, in its first year as an independent organization, Synbio for Everyone has written a 400-paged curriculum, worked with community members globally, conducted outreach events, created a web-based portal for the curriculum, taught over 20 practicing teachers regarding best practices in inclusive education, and achieved 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

 

Most Impactful Programming

Vietnamese Student Association

The Vietnamese Student Association at the University of Washington (VSAUW) is a cultural, social, and civically engaged Registered Student Organization. Since the 1980s, we’ve continued to cultivate relationships between students at the University of Washington and the greater Seattle Vietnamese community. We aim to do this by developing the next generation of leaders to strive to help the Vietnamese community in Seattle move in a forward direction. VSAUW hosts events that we believe showcases the Vietnamese heritage and culture and support our sister VSAs at other college campuses. We strive to make an impact on our campus and city community by learning, educating, and taking action.

Nomination Testimonials
  • This year, VSAUW hosted two meaningful programs: Hoa Khôi Liên Trường: “In Bloom” and Calling In & Calling Out. Hoa Khôi Liên Trường is VSAUW’s biennial cultural pageant for young Vietnamese women. Our pageant’s theme, “In Bloom”, is centered around personal growth, healing, and self-love. Though meetings were remote, we ensured this program empowered contestants to engage in dynamic dialogue surrounding personal reflections, history, intersectional identities and more. Calling In & Calling Out was a collaborative effort with KhSA, FASA and ASC to investigate the roles of Asian folks in creating and protecting spaces for Black liberation, international solidarity, and abolitionism. Our event raised $1,600 for local Black grassroot and student organizations.

 

Organization of the Year

Synbio for Everyone

Synbio for Everyone consists of a group of interdisciplinary students from a variety of majors who work on improving synthetic biology education accessibility and reducing educational equity gaps in STEM by writing curriculum and conducting educational outreach events. We also promote awareness about synthetic biology research and ethical issues. Synbio for Everyone strives for growth and collaboration across disciplines and across economic barriers, forging new paths in the future of synthetic biology education and its implications for the world.

Nomination Testimonials
  • Synbio for Everyone’s goal is to promote inclusive education for students with and without disabilities as well as underserved backgrounds. Biology and science overall has an extremely polarized history of minority groups, and it is important to recognize this and promote inclusivity. To do this, in its first year as an independent organization, Synbio for Everyone has written a 400-paged curriculum, worked with community members globally, conducted outreach events, created a web-based portal for the curriculum, taught over 20 practicing teachers regarding best practices in inclusive education, and achieved 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

Vietnamese Student Association

The Vietnamese Student Association at the University of Washington (VSAUW) is a cultural, social, and civically engaged Registered Student Organization. Since the 1980s, we’ve continued to cultivate relationships between students at the University of Washington and the greater Seattle Vietnamese community. We aim to do this by developing the next generation of leaders to strive to help the Vietnamese community in Seattle move in a forward direction. VSAUW hosts events that we believe showcases the Vietnamese heritage and culture and support our sister VSAs at other college campuses. We strive to make an impact on our campus and city community by learning, educating, and taking action.

Nomination Testimonials
  • VSAUW had remained resilient through the pandemic despite all the operational obstacles we faced. We strengthened our officer team by readapting positions to be more intentional and successful in the online setting and created a stronger community within our membership through holding additional peer support opportunities. Our bi-weekly general meetings were able to maintain consistent attendance of 50-80 members. We also introduced new, innovative engagement projects to educate about Vietnamese culture, such as cultural fun fact posts/videos, and held quarterly collaborations with partnered organizations and RSOs. We recently held our yearly big production, Hoa Khôi Liên Trường 2021: “In Bloom,” which raised $1,200 and reached an audience of 1,300 viewers on YouTube. Undoubtedly, VSAUW has persevered through this pandemic and is on the path of continuing to evolve.