Melissa Pritchard

Melissa Pritchard

It is my pleasure to recognize Melissa Pritchard as an Outstanding UW Woman for many reasons, but foremost for her commitment to social justice. Melissa has led initiatives partnering with the department and the college, to bring underrepresented students to campus in an effort to be as holistic and inclusive as possible. Melissa instigated, sought funding for, and coordinated an initiative to bring students who are a part of the SOARS program, a program which provides access to higher education for underprivileged students, to campus this past fall. Melissa is a passionate advocate and further, above and beyond what most individuals in her position across campus are taking on with regard to the support of underrepresented students and in creating a bridge towards graduate education. Melissa regularly pursues opportunities to engage with issues of Gender, Disability, and Feminism. These are often woven into the fabric of her life—she brings these issues to the table at staff meetings, in our casual personal conversation, planning for professional tasks, and in philosophical and academic conversations. Impressively, Melissa has made time to pursue her academic interests without enrollment in a graduate program, and in addition to her full-time job, and in particular, with the set of circumstances she has with regard to her health as a cancer-survivor. She engages with the local community to give back by being active with GeekGirlCon, the Pacific & Western Disabilities Studies Symposium for Emerging Disability Studies Scholars and Activists, CancerCon, OMG Cancer Summit—among others.

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