CSE outreach ambassadors


The mission of the Allen School ambassador team is to empower individuals and communities with computer science skills, tools, and frameworks as a means of innovating, mobilizing, and enacting change. We focus on high school and community college students in Washington who are underrepresented in computing, considering the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, income and ability/disability. We strive to show students that computer science is a field that is not only attainable, but also one where they can thrive. We also work to build sustainable relationships with students, other constituents from schools, and community organizations.

What We Do

Allen School ambassadors conduct outreach and recruiting activities for high school and community college students including:

  • A Day in the Life of a College Student Presentation

    This presentation covers information about what it’s like to be a college student studying computing! We discuss classroom experiences, extracurriculars, and more! There is an opportunity for Q&A at the end.

  • Student Panels

    We can conduct presentations with Q&A on a wide variety of subjects, and can cater the panel to your classroom or group!

  • Allen School Admissions Information Session

    This presentation is intended for high school students who are interested in applying to the Allen School. We provide an overview of the application process, and incorporate information about Allen School student life and experiences.

  • Classroom Assistance

    We offer classroom assistance to high school computing courses including curricular support for teachers, debugging help, and presentations.

  • Tech Talks

    We offer Tech Talks to help students understand how computing is applied to everyday life.

Meet with Us

As the main point of contact for prospective undergraduate students interested in applying to the Allen School, any prospective undergraduate student can set-up an appointment or email us with any questions at outreach@cs.washington.edu.  

Schedule Appointment

Interested in being an ambassador?

The Allen School ambassador position is a paid student position. Applicants must be an Allen School undergraduate student. Applications are open once per year in May for the following academic year. Students who are offered the position need to be able to commit to a minimum of 5 hours per week for the entire academic year.

Ambassador Bios

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Abby Hecko (she/her)

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Major: Computer Science

Hey everyone! I am Abby and I am a junior in the Allen School! I started computer science my senior year of high school and was unsure if I wanted to pursue it in college. After visiting UW and having conversations with people in the Allen School I decided to pursue computing. I am passionate about computer science education and making computer science accessible to everyone no matter their background. Outside of school, I play on the UW ultimate frisbee team and love to run. I also enjoy making jewelry and water colors. If you have any questions about CS or anything else let me know!

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Abselom Sultanu (he/his)

Hometown: Des Moines, WA
Major: Computer Science

What’s up y’all! I’m Abselom and currently a Junior in Computer Science. Ever since I was a kid, my parents would always tell me that I should pursue a career in engineering, and I never gave it much thought until they decided to purchase our first computer back in 2012. I started doing little things like messing around with my classmates with Inspect Element but never did more than that. Even though I had interest in CS, I never attempted to really code until I came to university. Coming into UW, I spent my first year exploring many concepts in Computer Science and started a couple of projects to see what I enjoy. The reason I became an ambassador was because of one of my high school mentors. She provided me with so much information, I feel selfish keeping it to myself. I know there’s a lot of people who share similar backgrounds as I do that don’t have access to the support I had, so I want to give them everything that I’ve learned. Outside of CSE, I play basketball, spend time with my family & friends, and watch a lot of shows and movies on Netflix. If y’all have any questions, feel free to ask!

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Minh Allan Dao (he/him)

Preferred Name: Allan Dao
Hometown: Kenmore, WA
Major: Computer Science

Hey everyone, hope it's going well! My name is Allan and I'm currently a sophomore studying computer science. I decided to apply and come to UW because of the opportunities and the community I had heard about, and also since I love Washington. I got my start with programming years back when a friend told me about Codecademy, but my exploration of computing from then on was mainly self-guided. More often than not, I wasn't sure if I was on the right track or was overwhelmed by what I was trying to learn. In turn, the reason I wanted to become an ambassador is because I hope that computing and computing education can become more accessible, as that would mean more students having the opportunity and the proper support to learn about what technology has to offer and potential future pathways. Outside of CSE, I'm always picking up new hobbies and interests. Recently, I started playing more volleyball, and have been longboarding and playing pool for awhile. Would always love to chat or answer any questions you might have!

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Basia Radka (she/her)

Hometown: Redmond, WA
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Mathematics

Hello, I’m Basia! I am a senior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. I always strive to help others, and I feel that majoring in computer science gives me great potential to do good. One of my biggest aspirations is to have a career that allows me the opportunity to visit other countries and learn from different cultures. I believe that this field has immense potential to bring people together. As a woman and someone living with chronic illness I feel like I can contribute to new perspectives and developments in technology. Through computer science I hope to integrate diverse experiences into innovative solutions. I believe that with the best qualified professors and in depth classes the University of Washington is the best place to learn, grow, and pursue my dreams. Some fun facts about me are that I love to bake and hope to open a bakery of my own someday. I also love skiing, hiking, singing and playing the piano! I find peace in nature and love to explore the beautiful parks and mountains in Washington State. In my spare time I also love teaching piano and tutoring. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, I am always happy to help!

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Camila Christensen (she/her)

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil
Major: Computer Science

Hi everyone, I am Camila! My first language is Portuguese and I moved to the United States 7 years ago. I am currently a senior in Computer Science. Before I started college I was planning to become a nurse. I had absolutely no programming experience and I didn’t think I belonged in the computing field. I transfered to the University of Washington in 2020 from Seattle Central College. At Central, I acquired an associate degree in programming , and for my capstone project I developed an android game. I was a volunteer at GirlsWhoCode, where I guided design, implementation and debugging of coding projects. In the summer of 2020 and 2021 I interned at the Experiences + Devices org at Microsoft. It was a great opportunity to apply all of the problem solving, product design and coding skills that I learned in the classroom in a real world application. I am passionate about the intersection between computer science and healthcare. Besides being an ambassador at the Allen school, I have been a TA for the transfer student seminar (CSE 390T). I decided to become an ambassador because I want to inspire, motivate and support younger generations interested in computing. Outside of CS, I love to bake, hike and to listen to Brazilian music.

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Eman Mustefa (she/her)

Hometown: Federal Way, WA
Major: Computer Science

Hello! I’m Eman and am currently a junior. Before entering college, I had absolutely no programming experience other than doing a couple of “Hour of Code” days in classes. I knew that technology and computers interested me and I also enjoyed the “Hour of Code” that I had done, so I took a shot in the dark and put computer science down as my intended major while applying to colleges and got in. As a first generation college student, I had no idea what to expect from college or computer science either and was able to learn through experience. I hope to be able to share my experience and assist those from similar backgrounds, through being a teacher's assistant, the ambassadors program, and an officer of GEN1, a club for first generation Allen School students. I love watching Netflix, my recent favorites have been The Office and The Crown. Let me know if you have any good shows to watch, I’m always up for a recommendation!

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Esther Chien (she/her)

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Major: Computer Science
Minor: History

Hellooo!! I’m Esther. I’m in my final year of undergrad studying computer science along with French and history. I became an Ambassador because I love introducing students to computer science and meeting prospective students. Growing up, I was much more interested in the arts and never thought that I’d pursue CS one day. But, as I discovered in college, the beauty of this field is that it’s highly interdisciplinary, which, combined with its problem-solving nature, ultimately convinced me to major in it. During my time here, I’ve been a teaching assistant for the introductory CSE 14x series, a research assistant in human-computer interaction, a software engineer intern (2x) and a program manager intern (1x), and the director of a 100+ person hackathon for the Society of Women Engineers. Apart from juggling school work and extracurriculars, I enjoy running, making music, crocheting trinkets for my cats, and traveling. Feel free to reach out with any questions! :)

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Isabelle Velasco (she/her)

Hometown: Oakland, CA
Major: Computer Science

Hello! I go by Izzy. I’m currently a junior and I transferred to the University of Washington from Cascadia Community College in the Spring of 2021. I’m a people-loving introvert that enjoys spending time outside, dancing offbeat to reggaetón, and painting abstract art. I moved to Washington mid 2019 to expand my thinking and grow as a person. It was here, in the greater Seattle area, where I discovered the complex joys of problem solving and my passion to succeed in school. My prior relationships with institutions of education have been anything but easy. The self discipline and mental stamina that’s come hand in hand with pursuing a computer science degree has been the most rewarding experience I’ve ever known. When I was younger, I used to hate school and I used to think that I was incapable of succeeding in any sort of academic environment. I know what it’s like to have so much self doubt that it stumps self growth. I understand the impact it can make when another person believes in you. I’m excited to be an outreach ambassador for the Paul Allen School of CSE because I hope to be a motivating push for students who want to pursue STEM, against any odds they may face.

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Isha Jodh (she/her)

Hometown: Sammamish, WA
Major: Computer Science

Hi everyone, my name is Isha and I’m currently a junior at UW studying computer science! I’m a CSE Ambassador as well as a Peer Adviser in our department and I’m excited to be back on campus and work with all of you this year. At UW, I’ve been involved as a TA, and with clubs such as Impact++ and Engineers Without Borders. I’m also part of the Neah Bay Riverways program and work with the UW Alumni Association as a student ambassador. I also really enjoy traveling, painting, baking, road trips and sunsets. Feel free to reach out and I’d be happy to talk about anything!

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Lynn Nguyen (she/they)

Hometown: Burien, WA
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Informatics

Hello! I’m Lynn and I am a junior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Informatics. Even though my middle school and high school did not offer any computing courses, I discovered my interest in programming in high school through experimenting on Scratch and exploring the field on my own. I became an ambassador because I want to help more students like me receive earlier exposure to computing and to also help close the gender and race gap within the field. As a first-generation college student, I am also passionate about increasing college access and am involved with college mentorship in Hey Mentor outside of CSE. In my free time, I like to draw, play the piano, build mechanical keyboards, and go on food adventures in Seattle with my friends. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me, especially if you're new to computing!

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Neha Jagathesan (she/her)

Hometown: San Jose, California
Majors: Computer Science; Data Science
Minor: Education, Learning, & Society

Hi everyone! Neha here! I first heard about Computer Science through an introductory programming course at my high school, and have been coding ever since. I come from a really tech heavy area of California, and didn’t really feel like I belonged in technology until I found my interests in college. I’m interested in the applications of machine learning to social issues such as educational equity, racial health disparities and climate awareness. Other than CSE, I play club volleyball here and in the past I’ve worked with the Dream Project and Pipeline project. I am passionate about my South Asian heritage and what it means for me as an engineer. I love fashion, discovering new authors and books, and being outside! Feel free to reach out to me with any and all questions.

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Savvy Gupta (she/her)

Hometown: Fremont, California
Major: Computer Science

Hey everyone! My name is Savvy! I really had no interest in computer science until I had the opportunity to learn more about programming through Girls Who Code in high school. I realized that there was room for computer science in almost every field - from education to biology to political science. I joined the Ambassador team because I want to share what I've learned with more people, and ensure that technology becomes a more inclusive field. We need people of all backgrounds in order to make technology that works for users of all backgrounds :) Outside of CS, I enjoy reading, drawing, and playing music! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you'd just like to chat!

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Tara Sirosh (she/her or any gender neutral pronouns)

Hometown: Bellevue, WA
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Education, Learning, & Society

Hey everyone, I’m Tara! I’m currently a junior in the Allen School. I began exploring computer science when I joined my high school’s robotics team. However, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to pursue CS until my senior year of high school, when I began to learn about how intersectional it can be. I’m still learning about the many different pathways computer science offers, and I want to share that knowledge with as many people as I can! I joined the ambassadors because I want to make computer science easily accessible to underrepresented populations and make the tech community more inclusive as a whole. Outside of CSE, I play the occasional piano, and love to read and bake! I’m always looking to expand my book collection so reach out to me if you have any recommendations or questions!