Meet our 2011-2012 Early Identification Program  Presidential Scholars!


Fawziah H. Al-Hlaly

Faculty Mentor: Professor Terri L. DeYoung

I am a senior in  Near Eastern Language and Civilization, andI will graduate in 2012. I  transferred from Seattle Central Community College after receiving an Associated  of Arts degree (AA). During the 2011-2012 academic year I will conduct research for my honor’s thesis, which is titled “Poetry of Rafidin Valley in the  Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”, with the subtitle, “Iraqi Poetry from  al-Rusafi (1875-1945) to al-Jawahiri (1899-1997)”.  I will present  my findings at the undergraduate symposium. I will then apply to a  Master’s program after that pursue my Ph.D. in the same field.

Alexander Catchings

Faculty Mentor: Professor Sonnet Retman  

Alex Catchings is an English major who wants to navigate the  antonymous literary space between the terms "slavery" and  "humor."  After years of reading history books on slavery, he  wants to see how fiction can confound traditional representations of slavery,  and whether such confounding can be productive.  His current research focuses on the intersections between pastiche, neo-slave narrative, and rote  history.  He is reading several novels addressing slavery penned in the  latter 20th century (neo-slave narratives).  Some of the novels will be straightforward re-renderings of the slave narrative form tinged with satiric  points, and others could be deemed gut-bustingly politically incorrect.   Upon completing his reading, he will extract passages from said novels,  sift through literary archives to glean how the authors incorporate history in  their historical fiction, and attempt to magnify how the authors use the  discomfort (and other surprisingly paralleling responses) of the  "politically incorrect" to manipulate readers' gazes from traditional  renderings of slavery.  Alex hopes to unearth valuable knowledge that can  be used in the field, but also that he can utilize as a creative writer.   He is grateful to support his research with the EIP Presidential scholarship.   Aside from writing, Alex enjoys composing, producing,  performing and partaking in music (folk, jazz, pop, and opera can be indiscriminately applied to any of the preceding verbs).  He is  particularly inspired by his supportive family as well as his phenomenal  research mentors, Professors Sonnet Retman and Habiba Ibrahim.  Alex would  like to earn his Ph.D. in English and become a professor and community  activist.  He attributes the good fortune of the EIP Presidential  scholarship as a direct effect of all the positive role models in his life, and  intends to pay their actions forward by encouraging young people in  underprivileged communities to identify their passions, tap into their  curiosity, and pursue higher education.

Alma Emadi

Faculty Mentor: Professor Magnus Feil  

Alma comes from a very diverse background. She has lived in many cities ranging from Tehran, Iran to Orange County, California, and of course Seattle. Alma is a senior double majoring in Industrial Engineering and Mathematics. Although she has senior standing, she will be starting her third year of college in Autumn 2011. She is planning to spend her third year exploring her interests in regard to her graduate studies through conducting research and independent studies. She is passionate about human-centered design and hopes to pursuit a PhD in Engineering Design, but is still deciding between small-scale design such as product design or large-scale design such as Systems Design. While taking a full coarse load, Alma spent her first three quarters at the University of Washington conducting research at the Boeing Company first in route optimization for delivery employees and then in decision analysis. The result of her later work, labeled “A Decision Analysis Matrix for Trade Studies”, was published and presented in the POMS 2011 annual Conference in Reno, NV. She conducted a research project this summer (2011) at University of Washington Medical Center in regard to utilization of industrial engineering techniques for increasing efficiency in the Health Care Systems. In addition to her plans for working in the Industry after attaining a PhD, she has aspirations for teaching part-time at a community college to inspire more students in realizing the value of a higher education.

Vicky Herrera

Faculty Mentor: Professor Horatio de la Iglesia

Vicky is a senior majoring in Biochemistry with a minor In Chemistry. For almost a year, she has been thrilled every day to be contributing to scientific discovery. She works in the Horacio de la Iglesia Laboratory, which focuses on the pathways, molecular and neural, by which the central nervous system uses to control the timing of behavior and physiology. She started in the laboratory through the Amgen Scholars Program, and continued working in the lab as a Mary Gates Research Scholar. And this year was named a McNair Scholar.  She is also currently a Jeffrey Brotman Diversity Scholar. She is working on establishing how desynchronization of SCN neurons and the associated disruption of sleep stages affect memory consolidation.  Her experiments will provide mechanistic insight into how disrupted sleep architecture interferes with memory consolidation. This research is significant for people with abnormal sleeping  behavior, such as, truck drivers, and people who work night shifts.   She loves sharing her work at local and national conferences  throughout the year. Last summer she has was selected to conduct  research in the University of Valencia in Spain as part of the Minority Health International Research Program (MHIRT) program.  Her research in Spain involved neural stem cell proliferation.   Vicky’s research is currently being supported by the  EIP Presidential Scholarship.  Apart from her studies, Vickyis a part of Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and Louis Strokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), as well as being a Undergraduate Research Leader (URL). She is also the founder of the University of Washington in Bothell’s Pre-Health Society. 

Vicky is a first generation college student who comes from a family of migrant workers. She hopes to continue conducting research in neuroscience and earn her PhD and teach a class full of students. Her interests include hiking, reading and being outdoors.  Vicky is very thankful to receive support from EIP and the McNair Scholars Program.  

Marvin Nayan

Faculty Mentor: Professor Jay Parrish

Marvin Nayan is a junior majoring in Biochemistry who seeks to unravel the mysteries of the nervous system. His current research  focuses on identifying and characterizing genetic factors that regulate nervous system development. Marvin is especially interested in dendrites, which are branched projections of a neuron that function to receive information from its surroundings.  This is important because optimal neuronal function depends on proper spatial arrangement of the neuron’s  dendritic arbor. Due to the importance of dendrite patterning to nervous system function, dendrite abnormalities have been linked to neurological diseases such as Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Currently, little is known on how neurons maintain proper dendrite morphology. Marvin hopes his research will lead to improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of many mental disorders.  Since freshman year, Marvin has been engaged in research at the Parrish Laboratory. He was hooked on the nervous system the moment he imaged his first image of a sensory neuron.  Marvin was particularly impressed by the sheer complexity of the neuron’s branching pattern. At that moment, Marvin became determined to investigate the genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible in regulating dendrite branching.  Marvin’s research has guided him to be recognized as a Mary Gates Research Scholar, EOP Scholar, and recently, a Levinson Emerging Scholar. Marvin also participated in the UW-HHMI Integrative Research Internship program, as well as the Biology Fellows program. Marvin is very thankful the EIP Presidential Scholarship is supporting his research. When not in the lab, Marvin enjoys playing basketball and loves to run. Marvin intends to continue his research in graduate school and plans to pursue a career in academia.





For further information related to Presidential and Boeing Scholarships please click theses links:

Presidential Scholarship Information


For further information related to Presidential and Boeing Scholarships please click theses links:

Presidential Scholarship Information



2011-2012 Presidential Scholars

2010-2011 Presidential Scholars

2009-2010 Presidential Scholars

2008-2009 Presidential Scholars

2007-2008 Presidential Scholars
2006-2007 Presidential Scholars

2005-2006 Presidential Scholars 
2004-2005 Presidential Scholars 
2003-2004 Presidential Scholars 
2002-2003 Presidential Scholars 
2001-2002 Presidential Scholars 
2000-2001 Presidential Scholars 
1999-2000 Presidential Scholars



2010-2011 Presidential Scholars

2009-2010 Presidential Scholars

2008-2009Boeing/OMA Scholars

2007-2008 Boeing/OMA Scholars
2006-2007 Boeing/OMA Scholars

2005-2006 Boeing/OMA Scholars 
2004-2005 Boeing/OMA Scholars


Contact us today!

EIP is sponsored by The Office of Minority Affairs.

Early Identification Program 
173G Mary Gates Hall - Box 352803 
University of Washington 
Seattle, Washington 98195-5845