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The Benefits of Support

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Submitted on October 4, 2021 - 4:30pm

Each October, the School awards over $200,000 in scholarships to new and returning students studying Art, Art History, and Design.

Three recent scholarship recipients share stories about their journey to the UW, what their scholarships mean to them, and what they’re looking forward to after so long away from campus.

Grace Sturlaugson

BDes, Industrial Design, 2022

Steve and Gail Kaneko Endowed Scholarship in Industrial Design

An interest in engineering drew Grace Sturlaugson from Snohomish, Washington, to UW, but it was an introductory Design class that really captured her attention. Grace took a wide range of courses in her first year at UW, including psychology, physics, and computer science, but she felt most connected to the material after completing the competitive DESIGN 166: Introduction to Design class.

Fast forward almost three years later, and Grace is interested in CMF Design, or Color, Material & Finish Design. This emerging discipline within design focuses on how a product looks and feels, not just how it functions. A CMF designer might be involved in choosing the specific color palettes and materials for a particular product, in addition to understanding its production process.

Grace describes design as “the study of the world as it could be.” She continues: “Design is constantly evolving as things change. Learning how to create experience or change through research and personal experience is thrilling and purposeful. Design is like engineering without the math! You can create something digital that then becomes physical. And no matter how functional a product is, if it’s not intuitive or appealing, the functionality goes away.”

Grace earns quarterly Dean’s List recognition for high academic achievement, but the Steve and Gail Kaneko Endowed Scholarship in Industrial Design is the first merit award she’s received at UW. She expresses her thanks: “I am extremely grateful to the Kanekos for making this scholarship in Industrial Design possible. It is an incredible idea that there are people who are willing to generously help students in their academic journey. I am blessed to be a recipient.”

Last year, Grace held a Vice President position with the UW Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) student chapter. Over the summer, she participated in an internship with Everett’s Built Design, which specializes in creating products, spaces, and environments. Outside of school, Grace is involved in Gracepoint and Klesis Seattle Fellowship. She loves jamming on her guitar and hanging out in libraries and coffee shops.

After graduation next spring, Grace plans to search out internships related to industrial design, design research, or user experience. She is eager to continue her understanding of design and how it can impact the world.

For students who are thinking about applying for scholarships, Grace’s advice is straightforward: “Be intentional with projects in your classes. That way, when the time comes to apply for scholarships, you are excited to show your work. This makes the whole application process more enjoyable and valuable.”

Back on campus this autumn, Grace is eager to soak in all the physical and tangible aspects of Industrial Design and once again collaborate and connect with people.

Steve and Gail Kaneko Endowed Scholarship in Industrial Design

The Kaneko Scholarship was founded through the generous donation to the Industrial Design program by Steve and Gail Kaneko. Steve Kaneko is an alumni of the University of Washington’s ID program. This scholarship's purpose is "to provide financial assistance to senior undergraduate students in the Industrial Design Program - for students who have a demonstrated mix of excellent design capability and the personal characteristics of studio leadership and intra-division collaboration."

Wilson Reavley

BDes, Industrial Design, 2022

David B. and Jody Evans Smith / George and Alice McCain Scholarship in Industrial Design

After graduating from high school in Bellingham, Washington, Wilson Reavley knew that he wanted to attend UW but he was unsure about what he would study. He thought he’d go into Computer Science or Engineering. But an interest in design coupled with his passion for the outdoors led him to the Industrial Design program.

“Industrial design is amazing — it’s an awesome feeling to be able to use creativity and technical skills to solve real problems through the design process,” says Wilson. “I’m primarily interested in designing for the outdoor and adventure industries but I think that there are a lot of important opportunities for industrial designers to solve unique and meaningful problems for people, so I’m trying to keep a broad area of interest.”

Wilson is a competitive kayaker and competes in local and international races. He also enjoys cycling and other sports. It’s obvious his outdoor background informs his design work. His current internship with Everett’s Built Design allows him to work closely with major outdoor brands and gain skills in the outdoor equipment industry.

While Wilson has earned Dean’s List recognition each quarter, the David B. and Jody Evans Smith / George and Alice McCain Scholarship in Industrial Design is the first monetary award he’s received at UW. He recognizes how the support will help him complete his degree: “I was unsure about my major initially here at UW, and as a result it’s taking a bit longer to finish. Financially that was a hard decision, so the support means a lot in that regard. But I think being acknowledged for the design work I’ve done during my time here, especially during the pandemic, means the most to me.”

Wilson is looking forward to collaborating again with his classmates this autumn: “I can’t wait for hands-on time in the Design studios. My cohort missed that in our junior year during the pandemic, so I’m excited to see everyone in person again and build some of the projects we developed over the past year.”

After graduation, Wilson plans to complete another internship to gain skills and work experience, and then he’ll take some time to travel and compete in a full season of international kayaking races.

Wilson’s advice to students thinking about applying for scholarships? “Do it! There are tons of scholarships out there and everyone brings something unique to the table. You might be having a hard time comparing yourself to other people in your major, but there are more opportunities than you realize — just put yourself out there.”

David B. and Jody Evans Smith / George and Alice McCain Undergraduate Endowed Scholarship in Industrial Design

The Smith/McCain Scholarship was founded in 2005 through the generous donation by David B. and Jody Evans Smith and George and Alice McCain.

As alumni of the University of Washington’s Industrial Design program, David Smith (BFA 1970, MFA 1972) and George McCain (BFA 1969) seek to support the continued excellence in undergraduate design studies.

Kira Sue

MA, Art History, 2022

Julaine Martin Endowed Scholarship in the School of Art + Art History + Design

Kira Sue grew up in Spokane, Washington. She started her first year of college in New York and eventually transferred to the University of Washington to pursue Psychology. Curiosity about the power of visual images — due in part to time spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art — prompted Kira to take an Art History class at UW. She was hooked.

Kira completed her undergraduate degree in Art History with a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (plus a lot of Psychology classes). She returned again to the UW for her Master of Arts in Art History degree because of the previous relationships she had built with the Art History faculty.

Kira studies art from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, not only for its aesthetic qualities but as a way to discover the connections between what was expressed visually and what was happening in the social, political, and cultural climate of 16th century Europe. She acknowledges how her undergraduate classes in Psychology and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies prompt her to investigate art historical issues from perspectives that have not been previously considered. Kira explains: “I’ve recently done some research on the 16th century Italian painter Lavina Fontana. Her use of the nude suggests that far from being a scandal, as we might expect, it may have been the key to her great success and eventual relocation to Rome.”

Last year, Kira jumped into volunteer work with the UW Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS). She also volunteered for the Academic Student Employees Union 4121 to raise awareness about contract re-negotiations. This year she’ll continue her position as a Graduate Curatorial Assistant at the Henry Art Gallery.

Kira is excited to start autumn quarter. “I’m looking forward to my Teaching Assistant position this quarter with ART H 204: The Two Michelangelos. I’m also excited about the opening of Queer Visibility in October at the Henry Art Gallery. I helped curate this exhibit, and I can’t wait to see it come to life.”

After graduation, Kira plans to focus on applying to PhD programs alongside work at local arts institutions such as the Seattle Art Museum.

Receiving the Julaine Martin Scholarship has given Kira important financial and academic support. “This award means freedom from worry, from the constant anxiety about food, rent, and healthcare that plagues graduate students. I’ll be able to focus more fully on my classes this quarter and on my performance as a teaching assistant. As recognition from faculty it means so much to me. Art History is a difficult field and can be very discouraging looking ahead at the long road to come. An award like this provides the energy needed to continue and the self-confidence needed to face long odds.”

The Julaine Martin Endowed Scholarship in the School of Art + Art History + Design

This endowment was created in 2006 by family and friends in memory of Julaine Martin (1929-2005). Julaine Ruth Miller Martin was born in Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, in 1929. Her family moved to the Woodinville, Washington, area in 1933 where Julaine attended a one-room public school and graduated from Bothell High School. She received her BS from the UW and trained as a medical technologist. Julaine’s passion in life had always been art history, and she completed art history classes at UW. She collected art from her many travels. Reflecting Julaine’s wide-ranging interests, this scholarship supports undergraduate or graduate students in the School.

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