Letter of Introduction

Hello. You are here reading this because, hopefully, you are interested in learning a little more about me. There’s a lot to tell and not a lot of time to tell it so I’ll be brief! I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii to a single mother and an open imagination. I didn’t have very many opportunities growing up, but I did have one thing: craft supplies! I spent most of my childhood innovating ways for my stuffed animals to live in a metropolis of blanket forts and laundry basket cars. Fast forward, past the acne and braces, and you’ll find me settling for an uninspired dream. I loved comics and painting but I had settled into life as an employee. Nothing I did was for free and subsequently none of it was very enriching. After some time, I decided to go back to school to see what else was out there. I moved to Washington with the intent of applying to UW but I didn’t really know where I would end up. This was the start of a long journey of finding out who I was and what I believed in, despite my small-town upbringing.

 I came back to school with the intent of getting a “job training” that would set me up to a nice paycheck but now that I’m here I’m slowly realizing it’s about so much more. A college education can offer many things to those who know what to seek. For some, it brings knowledge of a subject matter. For others, it provides an environment nurturing growth and self-discovery. For me, however, it is becoming the guideline by which I am blossoming into an independent and curious participant to society. It gives me the opportunity to meet interesting people who do interesting things and grow into my own unique individuality. College is slowly transforming from career training into an experience where I can meet so many diverse, driven people that have passions for things I’d love to learn about. I have struggled with who I am and why I do the things I do and it’s come down to this fact — even if I don’t know what the future holds, I should keep exploring until I find something I can’t help but love.

 Right now, this love lies in the field of sustainable design as it applies to the built environment. Coming from an art background and a newfound love for S.T.E.M., sustainable design is the perfect blend of beauty and function. I’m hoping to use the skills I will learn in design studios and in practical classes to understand and form my own creative style of innovation. From craft sticks to girders and yarn to fiber optic cables, I’d like to invent building techniques that give back to society and the environment!

This course worksheet details the classes that I’ve taken through my time in CEP. Please scroll further down to see a detailed description of each course and its relevancy to my academic journey.

Autumn 2017: The Beginning!   

         CEP 301 (5 cr.)- The Idea of Community: This class has taught me about how limited our early educational systems may be. Through learning about different types of philosophy, I’ve become aware of the many viewpoints that were not introduced to American education. The current world may be capitalist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t adopt small parts of other philosophies to improve my own life!

            CEP 300/400 (2 cr.) Governance/Retreat: The first quarter of governance was a great learning experience for how I’d like to approach the next 5 quarters. It’s great to take part in your own education! The retreat was also a wonderful experience to meet my peers.

            ESRM 250B (5 cr.)-Introduction to Geographic Information Systems: This class on GIS mapping will teach me about using GIS software as well as how to create and effectively use different types of maps. Knowing how to use this software will greatly help me demonstrate ideas that relate to planning as well as create effective diagrams and maps for academic and professional projects.

  Winter 2018:

I will be focusing on branching out into the community with efforts to volunteer and focus more on my committee work in CEC

              CEP 302 (5 cr.) Environmental Response: This class will teach me about the environment; I will use the things I learn in this class to begin thinking about future projects that I’d like to get involved with to promote sustainable cities (and living buildings!).

            CEP 400 (1 cr.) Governance: Plans to continue in Community Engagement Committee

            ENVIR 439 (3 cr.)- Attaining a Sustainable Society: This course will cover issues the environment faces when dealing with a built environment and the people that inhabit it. I hope that this class will point me in the direction of issues I’d like to address when thinking about improving any current construction requirements or techniques.

            BSE 210 (3 cr.)-  Introduction to Pulp, Paper, and Bioproducts: Learning about the processes involving paper production as well as other bioproducts sounds fascinating! I hope to use some of the methods I learn in this class towards designing biomimicry processes within the construction process.

Spring 2018:  

I will continue my learning about my community within CEP. I will also be involved in sustainable projects around campus to dip my feet into the waters of internships. It will be my intention to begin research on internships and/or build relationships with prospective employers.

              CEP 303 (5 cr.)- Social Structures & Processes: This is part of the CEP curriculum, I am very excited to learn about how community is affected by different societies and cities surrounding them as well as how diversity and social class can affect sociological dynamics.

            CEP 400 (1 cr.) Governance: Plans to continue with CEC, possible interest of becoming a point or co-point for the quarter!

            CEP 498 (5 cr.) Planning Practicum: This course was a planning practicum that allowed students to work on real-world projects. The project I chose to illustrate in this course ended up being the starting point for my Senior Project, as well as the introduction for me into Sketch Up, Adobe Illustrator, and design as a whole.

            CEP 470 (4 cr.) Tools for Sustainable Cities: I’d like to learn about different pre-existing ways that sustainability is present in society today. This will help me pick a path to specialize in.

Summer 2018: Study abroad!  

During the summer quarter, I participated in a study abroad with the Landscape Architecture department doing a design/build in Sweden. I’ve only ever heard bad things about design/builds, however, this summer was the best summer I’ve ever had. I learned about communities, design, and was able to grow personally through the reflective time I spent away from my regular life.

Throughout my time at the University of Washington, I’ve found that there is more out there if you’re willing to look for it. Had I not taken a chance and left my hometown I would have never experienced the new outlooks and met the diverse people I know today. It is in this spirit that I have boldly fulfilled my promise to go abroad at least once before I graduate. Being accepted and choosing to go to the design build in Sweden has opened my eyes to so much more than culture! I have grown as an individual, experienced things I will always hold dear to my heart, and have created a beautiful piece of architecture. Building the sauna from paper to fruition has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have given myself and I am very glad I had this opportunity.

            It is along this nature that I will also be trying to involve myself in more extracurriculars as an effort to experience as much as possible while in college. I will be following the mindset that it’s “what you do” not “what’s on paper”. I want to build a list of accomplishments that give me experience in the real world!

To see a few photos of my time abroad, click here!

              L ARCH 598 (6 cr.) Community Design Studio: This course is rooted around community action and sustainability. We were working with rural neighborhoods to design and build a sauna. It will taught us about new perspectives and equity, as we worked to create an inclusive space for the surrounding communities.

            LARCH 411 (3 cr.) Field Sketching: Learning how to sketch as it applies to design will be very helpful as well as informative towards any future designing I’ll work on.

            LARCH 332 (3 cr.) Construction Materials: This course seems like the part I am most interested in; it covered topics like “innovative use of materials which offer more sustainable options”. Sounds a lot like what I love! We also went over layout processes and budgeting, which are interesting to me but I do not know how to do efficiently. 

Autumn 2018: Year Two!  

              LARCH 300 (6 cr.)- Introduction to Landscape Architecture Studio:  This course is a studio focused on the core concepts of design as it relates to Landscape Architecture. I spent time learning how to incorporate design and the built environment.

            CEP 300/400 (2 cr.)- Governance/Retreat: I have joined the Outreach and Admissions committee in order to improve the interview process. Retreat will be fun as a senior! Hopefully we can plan something for the new juniors that will be just as fun as our first retreat.

            CEP 490 (1 cr.)-Senior Project: I spent time working on my senior project. This is the time that I spent trying to gather the framework and do the research to understand the mechanics of my project.

            CEP 499 (5 cr.) Independent Study:  For this quarter, I was a Teaching Assistant for: CEP 200 Introduction to CEP with Marty Curry. I spent time revisiting the core ideas and the philosophy of CEP while exploring the role of teaching/facilitating coursework.

Winter 2019:

              CEP 461 (5 cr.)- Ethics and Identity: This course dove into difficult aspects of humanity that will need to be addressed while considering different demographics of people throughout my career. The course was enlightening and provides a foundation for my understanding of interactions within communities.

            CEP 400 (2 cr.) Governance: I have joined COMM to see what types of skills I could learn graphically before I graduate. The committee was fun to join, however, I decided to continue with O&A due to the project work I preferred to continue with the application and interview materials.

            CEP 491 (3 cr.) Senior Project II: In this class I was well on my way towards finishing parts of my senior project! Most of my time was devoted to the project; I have achieved a lot of work through this course and it has carried me to the end of my CEP coursework.

Spring 2019: The Final Countdown

              CEP 462 (5 cr. W) Community and Environment: The final CEP class! Hopefully this course will merge all of the core themes and concepts we’ve been learning for the past two years and it will provide the final glaze of varnish to set everything into place. This course will count toward my final writing credits.

            CEP 300/400 (2 cr.) Governance/Retreat: Plans to continue with COMM. The final retreat is also this quarter! I’ll miss everyone!

            CEP 446  (5 cr.)-Internship: I have been interning at the City of Renton while concurrently taking this course. Click here to learn more about my internship experience!

            L ARCH 424 (5 cr.) Advanced Planting Design: I’m interested in taking this planting design course to gain an understanding of how plants play a role in site design in regards to composition, ecology, aesthetics, history, biodiversity and more.

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