UW Women's Center
Meet the Mentors
“Being a mentor for someone gives you the satisfaction of making a difference in someone’s life. I am currently a sophomore at UW, perusing Informatics: Option HCI. I am also interested in the study of gender, women, and sexuality. My hobbies are reading romantic novels, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.”
“I am a junior at UW, majoring in Neurobiology/ Computational Neuroscience, and mentoring in Quantitative Science. I enjoy sharing my passion with others and guiding them in ways that I did not have when I was entering the university. One of my favorite things to clear my head is riding my motorcycle. I can be a bit of a daredevil and enjoy new things. I also love just kicking back and reading, writing, or watching movies, which I love to collect.”
“I am a graduate student at UW in English literature. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, taking walks, spending time with family and friends and cooking and recently started running again. I’ve taught writing classes for several years, so I have experience with writing and research.”
“I am a senior at UW, majoring in sociology and minoring in diversity. I wanted to be a mentor for Making Connections because when I was in high school, Making Connections helped me out big time. I believe this program is one of the reasons why I got into the UW. Some of my hobbies are shopping, doing my nails, and crafting. I feel that I can give great advice and help with applications for high school students.”
“I am a senior at UW. I wanted to be a mentor because when I was in high school I had the same type of mentorship and thanks to that, I had the courage to apply to my dream school. I can help with providing resources and insight for applying to college or how to be more engaged in high school.”
“I have mentored undergraduate college students and previous employees. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing people I believe in go after their dreams! I am an avid reader and love watching documentaries.” Tiffany is currently studying for her Masters in Public Health and Social Work. She is a first-year mentor in the Making Connections program.
“I am a freshman at the UW-Seattle. I am currently pursuing majors in Computer Science and Psychology, and minors in Japanese and Mathematics. I am a part of the UW Academy, meaning I entered the UW 2 years early, so I can help with the application process and general questions regarding the UW experience.”
Sara Nixon is currently enrolled at the MBA program at Foster School of Business, and it is her first year mentoring with Making Connections. As a first-generation college student, Sara brings experiences that are relatable to students in Making Connections, who also are the first in their families to go to college.
“I am interested in Global Health and making meaningful differences in my community. I am in college currently, and know how intimidating it can be when thinking about a future career or applying for college.” Amanda is in her first year of mentoring with Making Connections, and looks forward to making in impact with the program going forward.
“I currently work as a project manager at Hewlett-Packard (HP). After stints in magazine journalism and teaching English in France, I came across the project manager position at HP and here I am! I graduated from the UW with a double major in English and French.” Jennifer is a first-year mentor with Making Connections.
Kristen Marquez Blacketer
“Hi, my name is Kristen Marquez Blacketer. I am an engineer at the Boeing company. I grew up in Los Angeles, CA and Flagtaff, AZ. I went to Northern Arizona University and got a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. I love to mentor young women in the STEM curriculum because I want to show that there are so many possibilities out there that they can achieve.” Kristen is a returning mentor in the Making Connections program and is one of our Mentor Spotlights.
“My name is Anh Huynh; I’m currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Journalism at the UW-Seattle. I became a mentor for the Making Connections program because I’ve been in these student’s shoes as a high school student, I understand the challenges of navigating high school and preparing for college.” Anh is a returning mentor in the Making Connections program.
Elizabeth Wood is a Strategy Analyst for the Boeing Company. To address her motivations to mentor: “I understand that it is a critical time to position young women for their futures. I hope to make a difference in the lives of the young women in the Making Connections program by both empowering them and showing them the realm of possibility which they can aspire to.” Elizabeth is a first-year mentor with Making Connections.
“I currently work for Boeing, in Sales and Marketing, where I am part of a team that does value analysis for airlines around the world. I want to be a part of the Making Connections program because I think it’s important that girls don’t preclude themselves from opportunities or goals, because they feel they might not have the right background, ideal resume, or that it’s too lofty of a goal. I’m a big believer of ‘things happen because you make them happen,’ and I’d like to empower others with that belief.” Allison is a first-year mentor with Making Connections.
Simone Willynck graduated the University of Washington—Seattle, with a degree in Communications. She now works in the office of Arts and Sciences at UW Bothell. “I became a mentor for Making Connections because I heard about the remarkable students and staff that are a part of the program. These students have determination that is inspiring and I would to be a part of their journey.” Simone is a first-year mentor in the Making Connections program.
“I am a UW Alumni, receiving my B.A. in History from the University of Washington in 2000 and then later returning to Seattle University for an MBA in 2003. I started working at the UW in 1997, and have worked in a variety of departments across campus, working in business operations, finance, and human resources. My work in Human Resources has given me a broad insight into types of careers, skill sets, educational and training requirements, and I’d like to share this knowledge with a mentee and help them strategize about their future plans.” Cynthia is a first-year mentor in the Making Connections program.
“My name is Catalina Traylor and I want to be a mentor because I know how difficult high school can be, especially the college application process. Making Connections seems like a great opportunity because I get to share my academic knowledge and social experiences while also helping an aspiring young student to reach their potential” Catalina is currently pursuing Nursing at the University of Washington, and is a returning mentor in the Making Connections program.
“Hello, I’m Maddie, a first-year graduate student at the University of Washington. I’m working towards my PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering—specializing in doing research on waves in the Artic Ocean. I am excited to be a mentor in Making Connections to connect with other women interested in improving their math and science skills.” Madison is in her first year with the Making Connections program.
Diana Arriaza Nava
“Hi, my name is Diana. I am a Junior at University of Washington, studying Physics and Chemistry. There are lots of things I wish I could have asked someone when I was in high school; I hope by being a mentor, I can help a student answers the questions that I had.” Diana is a first-year mentor in the Making Connections program.