Who are our Allen School students?

Undergraduates in the Allen School represent a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and goals for the future. We are proud of the contributions our students make to our school, to UW campus life, and to the broader community. Meet some of the students who have made their mark while earning an Allen School education:

Husky 100 20212021 Husky 100 Honorees

Our latest undergraduate student spotlight features Raida Karim, Melissa Birchfield, and Nayha Auradkar who have been recognized as part of the Husky 100. Husky 100 recognizes 100 UW undergraduate and graduate students who are making the most of their time at the UW.

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Alina ChandraNew Allen School major Alina Chandra intends to use computer science to reshape systems and improve peoples’ lives

Our latest undergraduate student spotlight features Olympia, Washington native Alina Chandra, who joined the Allen School community this spring quarter. Chandra was a biochemistry major with a minor in global health, but decided her talents would be more impactful in computer science. She recently was named the 2019-2020 Freshman Presidential Medalist at the University of Washington in recognition of her high GPA, rigor of classes and number of honors courses. Chandra is also a student in the university’s Honors Program on the Interdisciplinary Honors track.

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Isabella NguyenAllen School student Isabella Nguyen uses her FLAS Fellowship to learn more about her family’s homeland

Our latest undergraduate student spotlight features Bellevue, Washington native Isabella Nguyen, a second year computer science major who is also pursuing a minor in Vietnamese language and culture. Nguyen was recently awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship through the University of Washington’s Southeast Asia Center, part of the Jackson School of International Studies.

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Logo for First Gen StudentsCelebrating first-generation students: Members of the Allen School community share experiences and advice with others finding their own path

In honor of the National First-Generation College Celebration on November 8, our latest Allen School spotlight highlights some of our own first-gen community members. Approximately 20 percent of the school’s undergraduate student body is the first in their family to pursue a four-year degree.

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Joe SpaniacQ++ co-chair Joe Spaniac focuses on building community as a vital part of the college experience

Our latest undergraduate student spotlight features Sammamish, Washington native Joe Spaniac, a second year computer science major admitted under the Allen School’s expanded Direct to Major admission pathway who is also majoring in drama. During his first quarter at the Allen School, he knew he wanted to be a part of Q++, a student organization for LGBTQIA+ members studying in the Allen School.

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Nayha AuradkarInspired by personal experience, Allen School student and ACM-W leader Nayha Auradkar is working to advance accessibility and inclusion both in and out of the lab

Our first undergraduate student spotlight of the new academic year features Nayha Auradkar, a junior from Sammamish, Washington who is majoring in computer science with a minor in neural computation and engineering. Auradkar currently serves as chair of the University of Washington chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery for Women (ACM-W), working to cultivate a strong, supportive community of women in the Allen School.

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Jenny LiangAllen School’s Jenny Liang combines compassion with technology for social good

Our latest Allen School student spotlight features Jenny Liang, a Kenmore, Washington native and recent UW graduate who majored in computer science and informatics. Liang was named among the Husky 100 and earned the Allen School’s Undergraduate Service Award for her leadership, compassion, and focus on developing technology for social good in her work with the Information and Communication Technology for Development Lab (ICTD).

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Robert MinnekerAllen School’s Robert Minneker imagines a new way to detect and treat Parkinson’s disease with computer vision

Our latest student spotlight features Vancouver, Washington native Robert Minneker, who graduated in June with degrees in biomedical engineering and computer science and is continuing his studies in the Allen School’s fifth-year Master’s program. Using the skills they gained as undergraduates, Minneker and two friends created Tremor Vision, a web-based tool to help diagnose and treat Parkinson’s disease.

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Aerin MalanaAllen School’s Aerin Malana champions inclusivity and the visibility of First Gen students!

Our latest Allen School undergraduate student spotlight features Aerin Malana, a sophomore from Kent, Washington, majoring in computer science with a diversity minor. Malana has a passion for advocacy and equity, specifically in tech, and has become a leader in inclusivity at the Allen School.

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Nathan WackerNathan Wacker’s experience in the Husky Satellite Lab is out of this world

Third-year Allen School student Nathan Wacker was a contributor to HuskySat-1, a 3U CubeSat that was launched into space in November 2019. Since joining the team in the Husky Satellite Lab, Nathan has worked on the flight software for the power distribution system, plasma thruster and other systems on the spacecraft, in addition to doing extensive work on the ground station command and control software.

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Noelle MerclichNoelle Merclich works to make the Allen School experience a great one for incoming undergrads

From computer science to linguistics and kickboxing to baking, this month’s undergraduate student spotlight, Noelle Merclich, is driven to creating a welcoming environment in the Allen School, serving others and always being kind and compassionate.

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Kevin RyooKevin Ryoo’s got game — and a pathway to a career in computer science

Transfer student and professional esports enthusiast Kevin Ryoo built a career as a world champion gamer before deciding to study computer science. He has since transferred his passion for playing games all day, every day into learning how to design and build software. And as Kevin’s education has advanced, his interest in computer vision, machine learning and artificial intelligence has grown — as has his career prospects.

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Eunia LeeEunia Lee aims to be a role model for future women in tech

Computer Science major Eunia Lee from Sammamish, Washington arrived at the Allen School as a freshman direct-admit. During her time at UW, Eunia has joined the Allen School Ambassador program and became chair of the UW chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Through her service, she aims to show young women in high school and those just starting out in computer science that they can be leaders in the tech world.

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Manoj SarathyManoj Swarathy uses machine learning to help wildlife conservation efforts

Bellevue, Washington native Manoj Sarathy joined the Allen School as a freshman in fall 2019 as part of the school’s newly expanded Direct to Major admissions program. Even before his arrival, Manoj was using machine learning to help environmental conservationists track and organize wildlife data, earning features in the Seattle Times and on King 5 News for his work supporting wolverine recovery in the state.

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shariya aliFirst-generation students Shariya Ali, Simplicio DeLeon, and Dilraj Devgun blaze new trails

Shariya Ali, Simplicio DeLeon, and Dilraj Devgun are first-generation college students who are well on their way to academic success. Shariya, a CS major, serves as a member of the CSE Student Advisory Council representing the voices of undergraduate and master’s students on issues ranging from diversity and social responsibility to student wellness. She arrived at UW by way of the San Francisco Bay area, where she was born after her family immigrated to the United States from the Fiji Islands. Simplicio is a junior from Harrah, Washington who is majoring in CE. He is an alumnus of the Washington State Academic RedShirt (STARS) program, which helps first-generation students and those from low-income and underserved backgrounds to navigate the transition to college-level coursework. Dilraj, who is majoring in CS with a minor in Mathematics, served as a teaching assistant for our introductory courses and pursued
systems research alongside Allen School professor Tom Anderson. Originally from Bracknell, England in the United Kingdom, Devgun
has also lived in Canada, Florida and Georgia.

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Harrison KwikHarrison Kwik transfers his knowledge and experience to newcomers

After Harrison Kwik enrolled at UW to study CS, he took on the role of teaching assistant for the Allen School’s transfer student seminar to help new arrivals from community and technical colleges around the state to settle into the major and make the most of their Husky Experience. Harrison knew firsthand what these students are going through, having arrived as a transfer student himself from Bellevue College with plans to eventually pursue his Ph.D. after graduation.

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Christine BettsChristine Betts enjoys geeking out while giving back

CS major Christine Betts exemplifies the creativity and academic excellence that are the hallmarks of Allen School students. She also embodies our commitment to service, embracing the role of peer adviser to help her fellow CSE students succeed and volunteering with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. Betts’ achievements have earned her the Allen AI Outstanding Engineer Scholarship from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and a feature in GeekWire’s Geek of the Week.

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Hannah WerbelPresidential Medalist Hannah Werbel marches into the spotlight

CS major Hannah Werbel from Sammamish, Washington was named a Freshman Medalist as part of the UW President’s Medalist awards for her academic performance and extracurricular involvement. In addition to her role as a teaching assistant for the Allen School’s introductory programming courses, Hannah has dedicated her time to serving as a student assistant at the UW’s DO-IT Center, a member of the Husky Marching Band, and president of the Washington Association of Blind Students.

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Mitali PalekarMitali Palekar pursues her passion for programming and diversity

Mitali Paleka arrived at the Allen School from Cupertino, California after having spent a portion of her childhood in Mumbai, India. Mitali had the opportunity to apply what she learned as a CS major by contributing to research projects in the Allen School’s Security & Privacy Research Lab. She also wholeheartedly embraced and amplified the Allen School’s commitment to diversity in her role as vice president of community outreach for the UW Society of Women Engineers and her work with UW Girls Who Code.

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Johan MicheloveJohan Michelove’s philosophy is to inspire a lifelong love of learning

Johan Michalove from Bellevue, Washington combined CS with a major in Philosophy. A former chair of the UW campus chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery, Michelove expanded his horizons through a software engineering internship at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. From his experience tutoring high school students in his spare time, Johan has developed his own philosophy when it comes to teaching: help students to not just succeed on a test, but to develop a lifelong love of learning.

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