The Husky 100 is the University of Washington’s new student recognition award that honors students who make the most of their time at UW and best represent the Husky experience.
The award includes both undergraduate and graduate students from all three UW campuses in all area of studies. Students who received the award were recognized at a Husky 100 event on May 16 and have individual profiles on the Husky 100 website.
What’s unique about the award is that it recognizes students who made an impact on people’ lives outside of class — it’s not just academic success that counts. The Husky 100 award is all about honoring students who excel in connecting to people and contributing to communities.
Out of 50,000 students at UW, three Comm Leaders from cohorts 14 and 15 were among the 100 students who received the award.
Now, let’s get to know the three individuals who did Comm Lead proud!
Isatou Jallow, Cohort 15
Isatou Jallow was nominated by Comm Lead professor Anita Verna Crofts for her COM 536: Leadership Through Story and Communities class project. She created an after-school program for kids in rural Gambia called the Janga Center project.
“I met one of the guest speakers in Anita’s class who gave me advice on different funding models that could work,” Jallow said. “Without Comm Lead, I could not have made that connection.”
On her Husky 100 application, Jallow also discussed her experience working with Mentor A Gambian, a Seattle-based organization that provides career mentorship, tutoring and other resources for young people in the Seattle-Gambian community.
When asked how her Comm Lead experience contributed to her academic and career success, Jallow said she took the lessons she learned in COM 536 to heart.
“I feel that I grew so much in that one class,” she said. “I continue to apply some of the leadership lessons I learned in my life.”
Jallow has some advice about leadership to the incoming Comm Lead cohort and all UW students.
“There are so many ways to be a leader,” she said. “It is not about the title but the impact that your leadership and guidance makes that counts.”
Jillian Reddish, Cohort 14
Jillian Reddish was working as graduate student assistant at the Office of the Provost during the development of the Husky 100 award, so she was aware of the award and helped with its promotion and launch. Even though she thought the Husky 100 was a great way to recognize students’ achievements, she didn’t plan to apply until a fellow Comm Leader, Elizabeth Lowry, pushed her to go for it. Shortly after, she found that Crofts had also nominated her for the award.
“I’m proud of what I’ve done here and it is in line with the criteria of the award. I’ll give it a shot!” said Reddish on her application decision.
For her application, Reddish thought about her strength as a writer, so she wrote an essay about her various experiences at UW, beginning with Crofts’ and Hanson Hosein’s core classes. It was in those classes where she realized her leadership journey and saw that she could be a leader through her own personal strength.
“What’s most meaningful to me about the award to me is that I feel like I’m being recognized for finding and doing what I’m truly passionate about. I didn’t really know what that was before I came to this program,” she said. “Through my journey with this program, I’ve been able to get a much clearer sense of what is important to me and that’s what I wrote in my essay.”
As for her advice to Comm Leaders and UW students, Reddish said students should pay attention to leadership studies. Studying leadership taught her to seize and take advantage of opportunities that come her way. Going for the Husky 100 award is the representation of that.
Scott Morris, Cohort 15
Scott Morris was nominated for the award by a fellow cohort 15 student Cassandra Schwartz. At first he didn’t plan to apply for the award, but after talking to Schwartz and receiving encouraging words from her, he decided to take applying more seriously. Then with support from Crofts, he came up with his application strategy.
“Anita convinced me that I have a story — a Husky experience worth telling — and that’s when I decided to apply,” Morris said.
Morris, who has become known in the program for his video production work, submitted a video essay detailing his journey through Comm Lead. He explained how he felt reluctant in the beginning to see himself as a leader, but then realized that everyone, including himself, has the capacity to take a leadership position.
In the video, he also talked about Comm Lead cohort 15 and the camaraderie and support he received from his peers.
“I started as a non-matriculated student and I went into the first class not knowing anybody,” he said. “And to go from that kind of moment, in a year, to be named as one of one hundred students who represent the university, it’s pretty crazy.”
Morris said he sees Comm Lead as a playground that allows him to pursue passion projects. He found out firsthand that going after what you want and doing what you love can reap real world rewards and bring opportunities.
After Reddish and Morris found out that they won the award, they created a Facebook group for the Husky 100. Currently, there are 86 people in the group. They have started organizing meet-ups and creating and online/offline community through social media platforms and social events.
“We really saw a little opportunity there to create a closer network because this is going to be a broad community,” said Reddish.
Since 100 students will receive the award each year, the group will soon grow into a vast network of people. Reddish and Morris said they want to create a community with the first group of the Husky 100 so they can get to know each other and reach out to ask questions. They hope this will build a foundation to connect with future Husky 100 winners.