Siena Traverso

Even as a preschooler, University of Washington junior Siena Traverso recalls having a passion for education. After returning home, she would create a classroom with her stuffed animals and teach what she had learned that day.

Years later, Traverso’s enthusiasm for teaching is the driving force that led her to the UW College of Education. She knew her college had to have an education program, and among her top choices, the UW stood out.

“I got on the College of Education website and found faculty profiles and research. I was impressed, since I had never thought of education and research going together,” Traverso said.

She was attracted by the College’s reputation for cutting-edge research and innovative approach. By becoming an Early Childhood and Family Studies major, Traverso is acting on her desire to teach young children in the future.

While taking a course on education around the world, Traverso found a mentor in teaching associate Cassady Glass Hastings.

“I worked with her [Glass Hastings] on a program for Dawg Daze that was an Amazing Race for the College of Education. We have worked on a presentation for parent and family weekend that includes information from her course I took. Those are both opportunities from the College of Education that I would not have had without her.”

In addition to mentorship, Traverso has found valuable opportunities to volunteer through the College. For the past three years, she has been involved at Sand Point Elementary School through the UW's Pipeline Program.

“It’s cool because it allows me to be at Sand Point one day a week and connect what I was doing there with what I was learning in the classroom, whether through lectures or videos. I think that made the learning a lot deeper. I am still at Sand Point today and it has been an awesome experience.”

By observing teachers at Sand Point, Traverso is preparing herself with hands-on skills that she will need as a teacher. She also notes the approaches taken by faculty in the Honors program.

“For the classes in Honors, they pick stellar faculty. I am analyzing their teaching while they are teaching me and thinking about what tricks I can use from them in my future classroom,” Traverso said “The main thing that I am taking away from the College of Education is how to become a culturally competent educator.” 

In the future, Traverso hopes to instill values of empathy and community service in her students.

“What I hope to do is to inspire my kids to have a love of learning,” she said. “I want them to be passionate, curious and engaged. I hope that they are empathetic; that they will care about each other and the world around them by emphasizing service at a young age.”


Dustin Wunderlich, Director for Marketing and Communications