Meet our 2012-2013 Early Identification Program  Presidential Scholars!


Merzamie Sison Cagaitan

Faculty Mentor: Michelle Liu

Mimi is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and an EIP Presidential Scholar. She was born and raised in the Philippines before immigrating to and becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. Her immigrant background largely informs her research as an Honors student in the departments of English and Comparative History of Ideas. Her profound interest in the study of forced and unforced migrations of vulnerable bodies is reflected in her past research exploring the metaphoric “wounding” of the corporeal geography of racialized, sexualized, and commodified female bodies as they cross borderlands, and collide with the forces of migration and diaspora. Her current research, which conceptualizes the “mail-order” bride’s body as another body displaced on the massive global shifts taking place today, expands upon her previous work and focuses on the commercialization of sex, the political economy of intimacy, and the global marriage market. In addition to her double majors, Mimi is also pursuing a double minor in Diversity, and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. These highly interdisciplinary concentrations, coupled with her innovative approach as a critical thinker, allow her to see what most of her peer scholars do not, and enable her to delicately weave a wide range of seemingly disparate sources and discrete material into very cohesive, deeply complex, yet still accessible scholarly work. She wishes to understand the position certain bodies occupy within particular sociocultural and geopolitical networks not only through her scholarship but also in her community engagements.

Since last year, Mimi has worked as a Resident Advisor on campus, helping enhance student life by facilitating academic, social, and cultural activities for 50 residents. She has served as a mentor/tutor for UW’s Student Academic Programs, assisting international students as they transition to the UW, and has also mentored through the UW’s Dream Project, helping first-generation and low-income high school students gain access to higher education. Mimi has also tutored English and Math at Casa de Los Amigos, a part of YouthCare which houses and educates youths detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and recently worked as a language-based community outreach intern with Seattle Against Slavery, a grassroots coalition working to end human trafficking. In these capacities, she was able to communicate with culturally diverse groups through her language skills in Spanish, Cebuano, and Tagalog. This year will mark Mimi’s third year working for First Year Programs as an Undergraduate Peer Instructor, facilitating a 10-week course during Autumn Quarter with 25 incoming UW freshmen, and helping them take active steps toward maximizing their educational experiences.

Always, Mimi strives to ignite her scholarship and community engagements with an approach that is alive, innovative, and impactful. Following graduation, Mimi will pursue a Ph.D. in English, and a position as an English professor at a university. There she hopes to research and teach, honing her ability to recognize power inequalities on a local and global scale, and sharing her work on the intersections between race, gender, sexuality, and national identity in the lives of immigrants.

Bryan Dosono

Faculty Mentor: Ricardo Gomez  

Born and raised on the Yakama Indian Reservation, Bryan Dosono moved to Seattle in 2008 to pursue his undergraduate studies at the University of Washington. Striving towards an Honors Bachelor of Science Degree in Informatics: Human-Computer Interaction, Dosono enjoys exploring, addressing, and solving the difficult challenges relevant to information and communication technologies for development. As a McNair and Presidential Scholar, his current research project examines modern digital inclusion efforts of migrant youth on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Dosono plans to pursue a PhD in Information Science where he can make meaningful research contributions by further exploring issues of technology policy and information access within underserved communities around the world.

Aside from his studies, Dosono is committed to serving his local community and university. He has refurbished secondhand computers at InterConnection, a nonprofit organization that makes technology accessible to underserved communities around the world. He also served as Chair of the Associated Students of the University of Washington Senate, where he defended the official standing opinion of over 40,000 students to faculty, staff, and administrators. As Chapter President of Lambda Phi Epsilon, Dosono developed qualities of leadership and excellence within the members of his fraternity. At present, he works to strengthen the university's adoption of Google Apps for Education as a Google Ambassador. The first person in his family to graduate from college, Dosono mentors his younger siblings and cousins to pursue opportunities in higher education. His close friends know him as a haiku aficionado and sushi connoisseur.

Jose Mario Bello Pineda

Faculty Mentor: Wenying Shou  

Jose was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States 4 years ago, at age 16. He is currently a junior working towards the completion of his degrees in Neurobiology and Mathematics, as well as completing the requirements for the UW Honors Program. His current research explores how cooperative interactions in nature may have evolved. Specifically, he uses a synthetic yeast cooperative system to study mechanisms that stabilize cooperation. Jose’s degrees as well as his work have exposed him to a highly interdisciplinary training. After graduation, he plans to enroll into a PhD program, in neuroscience or molecular and cellular biology, where he can apply his training in quantitative biology and evolutionary science.

Jose is also active in programs that increase diversity of underrepresented groups in STEM research. He has participated in outreach activities aimed towards minority high school students and incoming freshman to increase interest in STEM research, hosted by the Summer STEM Institute, The Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR), and the CURE Program. He has served as a research mentor for summer interns of the 2011 and 2012 UW Genomics Outreach for Minorities (UW GenOM) program, a 10-week program that provides research training and experience to incoming minority freshmen and academic preparation before they enter the university. All the interns Jose has trained have had abstracts accepted to national research conferences. For the GenOM Project, Jose also has been part of the admissions committee, the Chemistry Teaching Assistant, and Mathematics (Calculus and Pre-Calculus) and Chemistry Tutor for the participants. Recently, he has been accepted to the Undergraduate Research Leaders Program sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Program at UW.

Jose is very thankful for the support received at UW. He has received the Mary Gates Research Endowment twice (2010-2011 and 2011-2012); an Undergraduate Research Conference Travel Award, which allowed him to present his work at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM in Washington D.C.; the Undergraduate Diversity at Evolution Award, which allowed him to present at Evolution, an international research conference on evolutionary science; a UW-HHMI Integrative Research Internship; two Biology Departmental Scholarships (Casey Award and the Frye-Hotson-Rigg Award); the Bank of America Endowed Scholarship during EOP’s Celebration; and the EIP Presidential Scholarship.

Faculty Mentor: Sonnet Retman

Janelle White is a Senior in the History and American Ethnic Studies departments. Her research interests include contemporary Black literature, the implications of hip hop on race within the 21st Century, and the connection between blackness and authenticity. Currently, she is writing a thesis entitled “Black Folks Passing for Black Folks”: The Black Middle Class, Hip Hop, and “Black Authenticity” in the 21st Century, that she will conclude Spring 2013. Janelle is a McNair Scholar, Presidential Scholar, and Mary Gates Research Fellow. Additionally, she is a student in the University of Washington Honors Program--a place which she has considered to be her on-campus home over the last four years. She hopes to one day complete a Ph.D. in African American studies, but in the meantime will be working for Google in Human Resources starting in the fall of 2013. When she isn't sticking her nose in books, or drinking far too much tea, she enjoys pie baking, timeless fashion, cats, and bad reality television. She would like to thank the McNair Program, EIP, and the Mary Gates endowment for affording her so many wonderful opportunities, her faculty mentor Sonnet Retman for the constant academic (and emotional) support that is so desperately needed to get through a thesis, and her friends and family for constantly inspiring and rejuvenating her. 



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


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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