Meet our 2014-2015 Early Identification Program  Presidential Scholars!


Krittika D'Silva
Faculty Mentor: Gaetano Borriello

Krittika is a senior at UW where she is pursuing a double degree in Computer Engineering and Bioengineering. Her current research is a collaborative project with both departments. Her work is focused on using technology as a tool in low-income regions to improve remote health monitoring and disease detection.

The motivation for the work is that diagnostic tests routinely administered in well-equipped clinical laboratories are often not appropriate for low-resource settings. However, paper-based diagnostic tests present an inexpensive and reliable diagnostic tool. Her research project consists of the development and analysis of an Android application that enables the diagnosis of paper-based tests on a mobile device. The software interprets test results using computer vision algorithms run on a mobile device and provides health workers with an objective and automated diagnosis at the point of care.

Last summer, Krittika worked as a research intern at Microsoft Research on a project similarly targeted at low-income regions. She designed and developed an Android application as part of a campaign to help end the Maoist conflict in India by giving a voice to tribal populations and facilitating communication with different agencies. The application is actively being used throughout the Chhattisgarh area in northern India.

In the future, Krittika hopes to pursue a PhD in Computer Science. Her interests lie at the intersection of Bioengineering and Computer Science where software is used as a tool to develop solutions in healthcare. See her website here:

Benjamin C. Lee
Faculty Mentor: Yong-Chool Ha

Ben was born in Bloomington, Indiana, but came to Seattle in 2008 and subsequently enrolled at the University of Washington in 2011. Based on his cultural background in East Asia, Ben decided to major in International Studies with a concentration on East Asia. He is interested in international relations in East Asia. The Jackson School faculty and the East Asia Library have provided him tremendous support and resources for Ben’s academic pursuits.

As a Boren Scholar, Ben studied abroad in National Taiwan University during the 2013 – 2014 academic year. He studied Mandarin, Taiwanese politics, and cross-strait relations. As a Presidential scholar for the 2014 – 2015 academic year, Ben plans to write a thesis that compares Taiwan’s policy on China and South Korea’s policy on North Korea. Ben would like to study the similarities and differences between inter-Korean relations and cross-strait relations.

Cierra Leon Guerrero
Faculty Mentor: Benjamin Kerr

Cierra Leon Guerrero was born on the beautiful island of Guam. At the age of ten, she moved to Vancouver, Washington with her parents and younger brother. She is currently a junior at the University of Washington, pursuing her bachelor's degree in microbiology while also minoring in philosophy.

The study of microbiology allures Cierra because she is fascinated with studying simple organisms that can do extremely complex processes, such as infecting a host or producing half the oxygen we breathe. She is particularly interested in microbes that can survive extreme environments, also known as extremophiles, as well as viruses. She currently has an undergraduate position in the Kerr Lab, working with Sonia Singhal to study the evolution of φ 6 in terms of robustness. Robustness is a measure of the ability to maintain ones phenotype despite having mutations. Cierra and Sonia are determining robustness through thermostability, or the ability to withstand a high range of temperatures. Cierra is very passionate about volunteering within her community. Through Key Club in high school she spent roughly 300 hours volunteering at hundreds of events. She is also a member of UW REACH, a pre-med club focused on giving back to the local community. She plans on pursuing a PhD in microbiology.



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

Presidential Scholarship Information


Past Scholars

2013-2014 Presidential Scholars

2012-2013 Presidential Scholars

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




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