Husky 100

January 8, 2024

Criteria Clarified: Application Tips

Applications for the 2024 Husky 100 are due by noon on Feb. 6. To help you as you work on your application, we’re sharing insights from the Husky 100 team on each of the Husky 100 criteria, along with words of wisdom from past Husky 100 recipients. Read the whole thing, or jump to a specific criterion by clicking below!

Connect the Dots
Discovery Mindset
Commitment to Inclusive Community
Capacity for Leadership
Ready for What is Next



Connect the Dots

Connecting the dots speaks to the ability to see the big picture; to understand how the knowledge and skills you acquire in the classroom can be applied in “real life” (in the community, at work, etc.) to make a real difference. And vice versa: your out-of-class life experiences might strongly influence your academics, including how you contribute to your class, how you approach assignments, or what you choose to study. We love to see examples of how you are thinking holistically about your education and how it fits into the issues, people, places, and conversations that comprise your world.

From the Husky 100:

“The criterion I connect the most with is Connect the Dots, because my educational journey is not just about the classroom, it is about my family and community as well. I have been able to connect the many places I learn from and thrive within through undergraduate research, registered student organizations, study abroad, and community events both on and off campus. I am thankful that my learning is not confined to one space but flows between places and people.” Kamaka’ike Bruecher


2019 Husky 100 Neha Chhabra“My Husky Experience allowed me to connect the dots between all of my trajectories and interests… Through my work as an Achieving Community Transformation Service Chair, I was able to combine my knowledge of population demographics, areas that needs more resources and the needs of communities in conjunction with my pre-dental path.” Neha Chhabra


2019 Husky 100 Erin Cote“I think I particularly embody the criteria of Connect the Dots. I have embodied this through my thesis work with the Seattle Aquarium. I applied much of my classwork on advocacy, data visualization and nonprofit work to designing a series of advocacy infographics for the Southern Resident Orcas. I was only able to sift through a huge amount of scientific data on these whales to find data I wanted to visualize because of the skills I learned as an undergrad in Biology at UW. Through my thesis, I applied skills from class I have taken over the six years I have spent at UW.” Erin Cote


2019 Husky 100 Catarina Ratajczak“I embody the ‘Connecting the Dots’ criterion, as I try to relate my studies and work both to my lived experience and my hope for the future. I come from an agricultural background, and now study Urban Design and Planning. Some may think those things are disparate, but I want to remind people how that is not the case—we are all interrelated, and my work in agriculture has actually made my understanding of even the most technical of topics in my field extremely understandable, relatable, and human! I have also tied my experiences into my work here on campus—through managing the ASUW Student Food Cooperative I work to collaborate with any group on campus, which shows that food permeates all facets of life.” Catarina Ratajczak


2019 Husky 100 Alex Ratcliff“Through the several solar array installations that I coordinated on campus I learned how to ‘connect the dots’ by bringing together faculty and staff from several different campus organizations. As a student, I would communicate with various building managers, campus engineers, facility managers, sustainability advocates, solar contractors, and donor organizations to meet their needs and expectations. As I learned more about engineering in the classroom, I was able to apply that knowledge to the projects I was working on.” Alexander Michael Ratcliff


“I connect the dots by using my personal struggles with ‘American’ identity to drive what I’ve done in school. In the classroom, I focused on learning about the Vietnam War from differing perspectives and used my personal lens to drive the writing of my honors essays, allowing me to integrate history accurately through research, while also taking a clear social justice-oriented stance that empowers Vietnamese-Americans. Also, outside the classroom, I started the Vietnamese Student Association at the IJ Tacoma. I try to actively engage in all directions of my academic and personal life to not only make a difference for the Vietnamese-American public discourse but to gain a more clear sense of self.” Long Tran


Discovery Mindset

A discovery mindset is marked by approaching challenges, studies, work, and the communities with which you intersect with curiosity and open-mindedness. It’s about being solutions-oriented, including when confronted with ambiguity, and occurs inside the classroom as well as beyond its walls. It’s about seeking and taking advantage of learning opportunities where they exist – including at times where they don’t seem obvious. It’s about demonstrating an ongoing hunger for understanding and improving the world around you.

Tell us about how you see opportunities to innovate, resolve, or help, where others may just see obstacles. Describe how you’ve questioned, how you’ve experimented, or how you’ve embraced uncertainty, all to advance your goals or ideals that are meaningful to you.

From the Husky 100:

2019 Husky 100 Mira Farrow“Thinking outside the box has definitely always been how I succeeded, and applying that here at UW, with its vast resources and community connections, allowed me to find innovative pathways for dealing with vexing issues around transgender subjectivities.” Mira Farrow


“I believe that ‘discovery mindset’ means being focused on possibility. Further, someone with a discovery mindset should have perseverance and be able to tackle tasks by questioning the ‘why’ while exploring the ‘how.’ A Husky 100 candidate is willing to explore opportunities with purpose and face barriers with hope and courage to make a difference.” Reggie Harper


2019 Husky 100 Bao Nguyen“As I worked on my application, I realized the importance of reflection. I was able to observe myself growing through the years as a person. Although not obvious at the time, I now see the importance of my ongoing effort over the years in my studies and extracurricular activities. I also recognized what activities are most meaningful for me that helped me reach my future goals. With this newfound knowledge, I am further empowered to continue striving for self-improvement and utilizing my capacities to benefit my community.” Bao Nguyen


Commitment to Inclusive Community

Commitment to inclusive community begins with an understanding of the power of community. Those who value community understand that every member has a unique, powerful contribution, regardless of differences in background, beliefs, ability, appearance, etc. In our diverse society, those with a commitment to inclusive communities take proactive steps to ensure that all members feel welcomed, safe, celebrated, and supported.

What community or communities are you an integral part of, and what role do you play? Your communities may be on campus, in the greater Puget Sound region, across state lines, a global network, or a combination thereof. What’s important is that you’re an active member who seeks the betterment of those with whom you engage.

Students with a commitment to inclusive community go out of their way to create welcoming environments for diverse populations with the mindset that inclusivity is requisite to excellence. To be at their best, all members of a community must be able to participate fully. Tell us about how you have worked to foster inclusivity during your time as a Husky, whether that has been in the classroom, the workplace, your community, or somewhere else.

From the Husky 100:

2019 Husky 100 Shaarika Kaul“Through my work at the UW and globally, I have been able to bridge gaps between fields like STEM and Arts, and Eastern and Western cultures through music and activism. I take my learnings from the UW beyond our campus and bring my perspective and experiences to make the UW better… I believe that during my time here I brought this huge campus closer together by bridging gaps between departments, cultures, and people. Beyond simply my classwork, this unity is the work that I am truly proud of and that carries the greatest meaning for my future.” Shaarika Kaul


2019 Husky 100 Wes Tatum“To me, the most important of these criteria is ‘A commitment to an inclusive community’… Through my continued leadership in Diversity In Clean Energy (DICE), I am able to organize and host events, conversations, and opportunities for my fellow students and myself to learn about life beyond school and how to make that transition. Through my work in Puerto Rico and Guatemala, I am able to share sustainable and resilient electricity with communities that need it most. To me, the embodiment of the Husky 100 is somebody who sees a need around them, steps up to address it, and (crucially) works to make sure everybody has access to the solution.” Wesley K. Tatum


Capacity for Leadership

The capacity for leadership means more than you might think of when you consider leadership and who comes to mind as “leaders.” In the context of Husky 100, we are looking for people who can influence, motivate, organize, and bring people together. People who are effective at solving problems, challenging systems, working with others, and implementing solutions. This can happen in the context of research, activism, service – no matter the space you are working in there are opportunities for you to demonstrate leadership.

Students with the capacity for leadership might be early in their journey to become the leader they want to be or the leader their community needs. What’s important is that they show the ability and the potential to make a positive impact no matter the position they currently hold. The capacity for leadership is not about position or title. You don’t have to be the president of a club, at the front of a protest, or responsible for a group of employees – the capacity for leadership means that you are aware of your position among a group and able to leverage your strengths, talents, and use your influence and ability for the greater good.

Those applying for the Husky 100 can get tripped up because they think there is one version of leadership out there that is most highly desired, but that is just not the case. In your application we want to see who you think you are as a leader, who you want to become as a leader, and the way you are currently practicing your ability to lead. It is helpful if you can point to some successes, but it can be just as beneficial to point to a failure you had as a leader, what you learned from it, and how you have since improved your capacity to lead. Don’t let an antiquated version of “leadership” guide you. Tell us about the leader you want to be and how your time as a Husky has helped you realize that vision.

From the Husky 100:

2019 Husky 100 Shawnna Cabanday“Throughout my Husky Experience, I was heavily involved in research, leadership, and mentorship roles for study abroad and younger children. I traveled to Japan last summer to develop a lighting control system operated by a battery-less, wireless sensor network. Through the unplanned spontaneity of studying abroad and living in a state of unfamiliarity, I recognized my broader role as a multipolar citizen of the globe rather than as a lone female engineer. It was through the collection of past moments of unsureness and challenge that I was able to realize the true heart of my Husky Experience: to not exist in dread of who I am, but to live in celebration of who I can become.” Shawnna Marcelino Cabanday


2019 Husky 100 Prithvi Shetty“Along with academics, representing UW for E-sports (CS:GO) in 2018-19 helped me evolve my zeal for E-sports. While presiding over UW Umang, being in the student organization gave me a chance to promote diversity. I envision becoming a data scientist and advancing the scope of Data Science applications to not just technology but for medicine and social good.” Prithvi Shetty


Daisy Zavala-Flores“I hope that my Husky 100 experience demonstrates that first generation college students, like myself, can pursue degrees that spark from their curiosity and interests, without needing to hold back.” Daisy Zavala-Flores


Ready for What is Next

Being ready for what’s next does not mean you have a signed contract for your first job, your admission to graduate school, or your grant approval for your post-doctoral research. In the context of Husky 100, being ready for what is next means you know what you want to achieve, what problem you want to solve, what movement you want to be a part of, what personal exploration you need to undertake… Most importantly it means that you know yourself and how the talents, experiences, and relationships you’ve developed as a Husky prepare you for your next step in life.

The Husky 100 does not have a set path we expect you to follow. Your most compelling path forward in the context of this application is something that is personal to you, aligned with your values, and reflected in the things you have already done in life. This does not mean there needs to be a straight line between what you have done and what you intend to do. Life comes with twists and turns; help us understand those events, what you have learned from them, and how they prepare you for what you hope to undertake in the future.

From the Husky 100:

Ariana Anjaz“One of the most significant Husky 100 criteria that I embodied in my experience is ‘Ready for What is Next.’ The Husky 100 are ‘undeterred by the risk of failure, they pursue their own goals with savvy and fortitude.’ All of the information that I learned in the classrooms at UW were taken and applied to the opportunities I pursued during my undergrad years. I took the knowledge I had just learned and looked for opportunities where I could apply this knowledge to real life experiences such as study abroad, three different internships, and a research assistant position. Each application I submitted had the risk of rejection and that was a risk I was willing to take. One of the biggest lessons I learned in the classroom is that you cannot achieve anything if you don’t try… Because of these experiences I took a risk on, I ended up learning and practicing the key experiences and skills I needed to get my dream job.” Ariana Anjaz


2019 Husky 100 Anny Smith“I am taking all that I have learned in the Health Studies major, as well as my minors in Health Education and Promotion and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, and applying them directly to the work I do in my community. I recently presented a Sexual and Reproductive Health Education session at a youth shelter drop-in. It was tailored to the needs of youth experiencing homelessness. This was a huge accomplishment for me, and I am hoping to continue on this path after graduation.” Anny Smith


Ready to apply?

We hope this helps you as you work on your Husky 100 application. You can always reach out with questions to husky100@uw.edu. Or, if you’re all set, apply today!