Anna Maher

When her mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer, Anna Maher chose to respond with resilience and determination.

Maher, a high school freshman at the time, was shaken by the news, yet her mother encouraged her and her sisters to stay focused on making the most of their education.

“I think that her instilling motivation and drive made us into the strong people that we are today,” said Maher, now a University of Washington senior. Maher’s drive to excel academically led her to serve as a high school teaching assistant, helping younger students with their studies.

Stepping into the role of being an educator, Maher found her passion. And now, she’s preparing for a career in education through the UW College of Education’s Early Childhood and Family Studies program. Maher appreciates the broad cultural perspectives provided through her coursework and the opportunity to work with College faculty who are interested in helping students prepare for career success.

“I took a class with Cassady Glass Hastings on education around the world and different systems of education,” Maher said. “That has made me want to travel to those places, just to sit in on a preschool class and watch. I think that I am going to take a lot from it, just based on personal interests, out into whatever field that I go into.”

Maher has continued to help younger classmates as a First-Year Interest Group (FIG) leader. Since her sophomore year, she’s taught five FIG classes and is proud to give back to a program that provided her with valuable support as a college freshman while also honing her skills as an educator.

“If I do pursue teaching, I have a direct route into that by making class lesson plans and facilitating classroom discussion,” she said. “There is a lot to be learned from this program.”

Last spring, Maher was recognized for her leadership and promise as part of the Husky 100, comprised of outstanding students from all three UW campuses. While Maher hasn’t settled on a specific career path, she knows it will involve supporting others, whether as a teacher or an Oncology Social Worker in a hospital.

“The classes in the College of Education have shaped me into becoming really well-rounded and that’s something I appreciate about the ECFS major,” Maher said.


Dustin Wunderlich, Director for Marketing and Communications