OMA&D Academic Counseling Services

Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, Academic Counseling Services, Student Hightlights

Serena Correia

Serena Correia,

My name is Serena Correia. I am a junior at University of Washington, majoring in Communications with two minors in Education and Diversity.  When I first came to UW, I immediately got connected with my advisor, through the EOP Counseling Center, who definitely played an important role in my academic success. Meeting with my adviser was the place to go when I did not know which class to take or if I needed support in getting through my adversities. I remember struggling in a public speaking class because of my severe stage fright. I was debating if I should drop the class, but my advisor persuaded me to fight my own fear. Consequently, I grew so much from this class that I was even lucky enough to get an excellent grade. I’m glad I didn’t withdraw from the class.

I also did career counseling in the EOP program. This experience was absolutely fantastic. Not only did it help me to learn more about myself, it also helped me to figure out my preferred working environment, leadership style, and how I learn best. It made me realize how much I really enjoy learning and inspired me to pursue graduate school.  Right now, I am in the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Program, which provides resources for undergraduate students to apply for graduate school.

My research focuses research on the effect of social networking on academic success for international students. Summer of 2013, I interned as an English teacher at the SDC International School in Korea. It was the kind of experience that solidified my dream of working in the field of education social justice. I urge every student to take advantage of the great opportunities and support offered through the EOP program at UW.


Jessica Heinmiller

Jessica Heinmiller

Jessica Heinmiller, a recent Communication graduate from the University of Washington began her dream career in New York City summer 2013. With numerous internships and positions under her belt, her impressive resume and enthusiastic personality landed her a marketing and special events internship at Teen Vogue. Jessica’s previous experiences included internships at Walt Disney World and Seattle Met magazine, as well as working for Radio Disney and the UW Arts Ticket Office during her four years at the UW.

When asked about what enriched her UW Husky experience, Jessica said,

“It is so important to be involved in your passion, because that is where you are going to shine. Through internships, I explored different interests and discovered what I wanted to do.

My time at the University of Washington would not have been the same if I hadn’t established such a powerful support system. It is essential to develop relationships with people who are going to support you no matter what and encourage you to follow your dreams. For me this was my EOP advisor, and the women in my sorority.”

I spent six months in Orlando interning at Walt Disney World. From this experience, I gained valuable transferrable skills, which led to a position at Radio Disney. While in New York summer of 2013, I applied all that I learned to an incredible internship at Teen Vogue.

I now live in New York City and I’m working fulltime as a freelance Public Relations Assistant for Teen Vogue.

Follow the link for more information about Jessica


Jiwon Kang

Jiwon Kang

My name is Jiwon Kang, and I was a TRiO SSS student at the University of Washington.  I graduated in June 2013 with a double degree: Bachelor of Science in General Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Medical Anthropology and Global Health.  Because I majored in two very different areas, my professional experiences were diverse as well.  I’ve had an outstanding UW undergraduate experience. For example, I worked as a Jumpstart tutor, OMAD student ambassador, researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and resident advisor for UW HFS. I was also an EOP mentor for a freshman and volunteered for Catholic Chore Services for Elderly. Through these wonderful experiences, my passion to serve underrepresented communities informed my decision to pursue a Master’s degree in either non-profit management or public health. I valued the opportunity to engage in diverse dialogues both in and outside of classrooms.

Math, chemistry, and anthropology were challenging to me, but when I learned about issues impacting diverse cultures I gained an enriched perspective. I was truly challenged to question and reflect on my own values. These dialogues helped shaped my identity and beliefs.

I also want to say thank you to everyone in the OMA&D who enabled me to successfully complete college. Without the academic scholarships, drop-in tutoring at the IC, and support from awesome advisors, I would not have been able to have such amazing college experiences.




Agbeko Petty

Coming in as a freshman to the University of Washington, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in law. The UW aided in my ability to explore such an interest by presenting me with opportunities to familiarize myself with the legal field. I was able to utilize the knowledge I had gained in the classroom for multiple internships; in particular, a research assistant at Johns Hopkins University. At this position, I analyzed statistical data and drafted legal reports pertaining to human rights. This further solidified my desire to pursue a legal career aimed at helping those underrepresented groups who are unable to utilize the law in a way to shield them from injustices.

I am now enrolled as a J.D. student at Cornell Law School. My undergraduate education has been invaluable because it refined my writing and analytical skills in a way that has supplemented my legal education. I owe a great amount of my achievements to OMA&D. Although not a comprehensive list, the program offered workshops, academic guidance, tutoring and professional development programs that aided tremendously in my professional and personal growth as a student. I was fortunate to have my academic advisor who would go above and beyond to ensure that any opportunity that could advance my goals would be made available to me. Such support services offered by OMA&D not only helped to inform my student development, it cleared a pathway for me to walk on to achieve my dreams


Victoria Plumage

Victoria Plumage

I am an American Indian Studies major, graduating June 2014. On my father’s side, my family comes from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, and my mother comes from Hawai’i. I value education, diverse perspectives and I strive to live in a way that shows my respect for other peoples and their experiences. I love to listen to how others do things; I see it as an opportunity to learn. I don’t particularly view my ideas as new or “innovative”, but they are influenced by foundations that have already been laid by my elders and community.

I am a risk taker, earlier this year I co-planned the Yehawali Native Youth Conference: Nurturing Our Future with one of my peers. It was the first time we had a conference like this on the UW campus. We began to make plans, and faced skepticism because others underestimated our vision. We had confidence and creativity as a foundation, and we persevered with success! The purpose of the conference was to motivate students to participate in discussions around life after high school and pursuing higher education; with the goal being for students to feel more empowered and proud of their Indigenous identity after participating in discussions and hearing motivational speakers at the conference.

During my National Student Exchange experience at the University of Hawaii, I grew so much as a person and the experience solidified what I care about: family, learning about Indigenous foods and plants, working with youth, and living a more sustainable lifestyle. Future plans include graduate study with a focus on Environmental Education.

Maria Vela

Maria Vela

Growing up in the small town of Warden, WA, I could only dream of ever living in a city like Seattle and pursuing my dreams.   After graduation, I attended community college and found my true passion—Writing. I decided to move to Seattle, attend the University of Washington and began my journey, majoring in Communication and Italian Studies.

Both of these majors provided many insights and opportunities. As a Communication major, I developed leadership skills serving as Vice President for the Public Relations Student Society of America; and prior as Vice President of Digital Communications. Travels to national conferences connected me with both students and professionals who shared my vocational passions. In the Department of French & Italian Studies, I’ve made some unforgettable relationships with the faculty and students. Attending Early Fall Exploration Seminar in Rome, Italy was amazing. Being able to speak the language and immerse into the culture was an incredible experience; one that I will never forget.

I interned with Page Ahead, a children’s literacy program, where I developed a targeted PR strategy and campaign plan to raise overall awareness. I’ve also had the opportunity to write articles for several media companies:, a television news web site, and for and currently After serving as an intern, I was hired as a PR and Marketing Coordinator at Revel Creator Agency. I’ve had the best time developing my professional skillset. The University of Washington has been everything I ever dreamed it would be and more; not only has my education opened so many doors, but it has prepared me for the world, and introduced me to people that I can proudly call friends.