Each year, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies awards thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants to University of Washington students. In 2018-2019, the Bridges Center will provide eighteen separate awards to undergraduates, graduates, and faculty totaling over $84,000 in grants and tuition. Together, they are a remarkable group of activists and scholars, passionate about the study and practice of labor.



Martin and Anne Jugum Scholarship in Labor Studies

This undergraduate scholarship honors former ILWU Local 19 leader Martin “Jug” Jugum and his wife Anne. It is given annually to students with a strong commitment to labor organizing and labor studies.


Jenesis Garcia, American Ethnic Studies 

As a queer, Chicana, Mexican, indigenous first generation college student, Jenesis draws on her identities to give her strength to act as an advocate and activist to change minds and defend human dignity. Her commitment to the labor movement centers on recognizing the complex mechanisms involved in perpetuating oppressive systems, and resisting them through community healing and living as her authentic self. She embodies this commitment further through her work as the Q Center’s Queer and Trans Students of Color Cultural Worker and Advocate. Through this position, Jenesis has created healing spaces for queer and trans people of color, with an emphasis on indigenous healing modalities. She has also coordinated events such as the 2nd Annual Viva la Joteria, the UW queer and trans student of color conference.


Marcos Vieyra, Law, Societies and Justice

Hailing from a family of laborers, Marcos has a deep understanding of the generational trauma that has impacted working communities, and the need for reform to promote equity. Through organization such as Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Alto Pacifico (MeChA), he has become more informed about the importance of the labor movement, participating in demonstrations and events in his community.  As a student, Marcos aspires to use his higher education to pursue a career in law, to develop an in-depth understanding of the U.S. legal system, to subvert laws that serve the interests of only those in power, and act as an advocate for laborers by providing platforms through which their voices may be heard.





Gundlach Scholarship in Labor Studies

The Gundlach Scholarship honors ILWU secretary and labor activist Jean Gundlach, her brother and former UW Professor Ralph Gundlach – a victim of communist witch-hunts in the 1950s – and their siblings, Wilford and Betty.



​Brian Serafini, Sociology 

Currently pursuing his doctoral degree, Brian’s dissertation focuses on the question, “Why do fast food workers willingly exert their labor despite the low pay and little prestige afforded to the job?” His research, drawn from participant observation that spans 750 hours, challenges the assumptions often made about the requirements of hard work and notions of employee replaceability. Brian’s research explores unexpected pathways for agency that present themselves in the fast food labor process, filling a less-explored gap in labor research that addresses the conditions and processes related to worker consent, rather than resistance, under low-wage circumstances.




Martha H. Duggan Fellowship in Caring Labor

This award is given in memory of Martha H. Duggan, whose caring labor made possible the life work of her husband and key Bridges Center founding supporter, Robert Duggan. It is given to graduate students studying or providing caring labor.



​Maria Blancas, Environmental and Forest Sciences 

As the proud daughter of two immigrant and farmworker parents, Maria has herself experienced the impact created by inadequate access to services. These experiences were the foundation for Maria’s academic pursuits, which she is now furthering through the Ph.D. program in the School of Environment and Forestry Sciences. Maria highlights community resilience within farmworker communities through her research, including community-academic partnerships with organizations such as Community to Community Development and Familias Unidas Por La Justicia. Her research on housing and the health impacts it has on agricultural communities will allow community leaders to receive training to minimize these impacts and other health risks.




LERA and Samuel B. Bassett Scholarships in Labor Relations

The Northwest chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association sponsors an annual scholarship for students seeking to pursue a career in labor. It is coupled with the Samuel B. Bassett Scholarship, which memorializes one of the first practitioners of labor law in Seattle.



​Trevor Peckham, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences 

Through his intersectional work and research on health disparities and vulnerable working populations, Trevor explores the critical yet understudied impact that employer-employee relationships have on health. Conducting groundbreaking and comparative analyses of U.S. workers, Trevor documents who is disproportionately represented and the health implications of these inequities. In addition to his research, he has also been a strong advocate for these issues in the research community, calling for wider definitions of occupational health that include health disparities. He has also lead a series of Policy Roundtables on Work and Health with community partners and will be leading a Center for the Study of Demography and Ecology working group on Employment and Population Health in the coming year.




Silme Domingo & Gene Viernes Scholarship in Labor Studies

This scholarship honors Domingo and Viernes, two Seattle leaders who fought for union democracy alongside Filipino cannery workers and organized in solidarity with resistance in the Philippines to the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.



​Alejandra Pérez, Educational Studies, UW Bothell

As an undocumented person who experienced a move from Guatemala to the U.S. in her youth, Alejandra has seen the exploitation of undocumented workers reflected in U.S. labor systems. Starting from when she was an undergraduate, Alejandra worked with the Washington Dream Coalition to advocate for undocumented students and young professionals. Her experiences as an advocate and an undocumented professional herself lead her to develop Undocu Advocacy Trainings to make educational workplaces more accessible to undocumented students and professionals. Her trainings eventually expanded beyond the university setting, to high school educators in South King County, and have helped over 700 educators across the state of Washington foster spaces of empowerment for undocumented students in their schools.



​Polly Woodbury, Social Work and Global Health 

Polly is currently a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health graduate student pursuing the International Development Certificate Program. She is both a first-generation college graduate and first generation-American in her family, and has used the knowledge she has gained to serve and advocate for marginalized communities and pursue systemic change. In particular, Polly has contributed to and learned from the labor movement through a Union Summer Internship with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Driven by her family history as Cambodians who lived through and escaped the Khmer Rouge Regime and Cambodian genocide, Polly dedicates her work and research to community healing for Cambodians and Khmer Americans, as well as examining the intersections between employment and health in Cambodia.




Best Paper Prizes

Every year, the Bridges Center gives awards to the finest labor studies essays written by UW students.


Juan Ortiz 

The Longshoremen during the Seattle General Strike

In his research paper, Juan details the intricacies of the contexts and events preceding, during and after the Seattle General Strike, and the decision of Seattle’s Longshoremen Union to join the strike. His paper illustrates not only the complex economic and social changes following WWI, but the building of solidarity amongst workers to support labor and human rights.



Kate Wooley 

Women’s Card and Label League: Declaring Dignity During the General Strike Era

Kate’s paper on the Seattle General Strike focuses on the less-told story of women and the impact they had during this historical event. Her paper centers the Women’s Card and Label League, an organization comprised of women and often the wives of leading men in the labor movement, who showed their support and solidarity for the men in the labor force by advocating for union labeled goods. Kate’s research shows how much of a pivotal role women played in the movement, particularly as their purchasing power allowed them to manipulate businesses into negotiations with their workers.





Graduate Recruitment Fellowships

Each year, the Bridges Center provides funding for incoming graduate students in History or Political Science who have demonstrated a commitment to the study of labor.




Alika Bourgette, History

During Alika’s graduate studies at California Polytechnic State University, he was highly involved as a teaching assistant and as an AmeriCorps VIP Fellow, organizing events for underrepresented students that revolved around the intersectional issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, and ability. As a graduate student in History, Alika plans to continue this work at the University of Washington, and has a particular interest in the history of the fish canning industry.




Ami Nanavaty, History

Ami pursued several research projects during her time at the University of Kansas, many revolving around marginalized populations in the U.S. Her work and service in her communities was conducted through a radical and critical lens, including involvement with the Willow Domestic Violence Center as an advocate for human trafficking survivors. Academically, one of Ami’s particular areas of interests is the interconnectedness of South Asian and Black American histories, which she will continue to develop in her graduate studies.




Graduate Research Grants

These awards are given to graduate students from diverse disciplines studying work and labor.



​Caitlin Alcorn, Geography

Shifting Everyday Geographies: How Day Work Arrangements Are Reshaping Paid Domestic Service in Urban Brazil

Caitlin's dissertation research explores the major changes in employment arrangements currently taking place within the sector of paid domestic work, in Brazil. She will be centering her research in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. In particular, her aim will be to uncover the shifts from live-in (employment in private homes) and full-time, live-out arrangements, of domestic employment. Domestic employment in Brazil has been dominated by women and associated with low pay, long and irregular hours, job insecurity and limited coverage under labor laws. To investigate, she will be conducting in-depth, qualitative interviews with domestic workers and employees including union and non-union members.



​Jonathan Beck, Political Science  

Higher education reform and the politics of welfare state retrenchment and privatization

Jonathan’s dissertation research focuses broadly on the politics of welfare state retrenchment and privatization, and specifically on reforms to higher education funding in England, Germany, and the United States, in which organized labor have often played large roles. His aim is to incorporate theoretical insights from comparative welfare state scholars and socio-legal scholars in an analysis of the types of strategies that members and groups of civil society employ within given institutional, legal, and political opportunity structures.



​Grace Reinke, Political Science 

Au Pairs and Their Growing Mobilization

Grace’s research project will center the experiences of au pairs working as child care providers in the United States in an attempt to understand their potential for identity as a collective working class capable of mobilization and enacting meaningful change. The project will build on her previous work that investigates the ways in which the federal au pair program, as administered through the US State Department, obfuscates the laboring conditions of child care providers by legally constructing them as “cultural exchange agents” rather than temporary employees or migrant workers.



Yingyi Wang, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies 

Precarious NGO work and Neoliberal Governance in China

Wang’s research project seeks to understand how the precarious resistance of NGO workers is simultaneously limited by and facilitated by the intersection between the authoritarian state, neoliberal market economy and transnational NGO industry in China. Investigating feminist and LGBT NGOs, her research bridges the gap between scholarship on NGO organization in civil society, labor studies focused on productive labor and labor resistance, and feminist studies of social reproduction and affect, to understand gendered labor as a form of precarious resistance.




Washington State Labor Research Grants

The Bridges Center receives funding from the Washington State Legislature to support research by UW faculty and graduate students on labor-related issues to inform policy-making.



​Kim England, Geography

Domestic Workers’ Labor Rights in Seattle

Domestic work has historically been undermined, hidden, and classified as too difficult to mobilize due to much of the work being concealed within private homes. Recently, however, domestic workers have gained increasing legal rights and visibility in a sustained organizing effort, both nationally and globally. Kim’s research seeks to track and analyze this growing effort for labor rights amongst Washington’s domestic workers, particularly the push for a Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights in Seattle, in order to offer more protections to workers operating in precarious situations.



​Kari Lerum, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell

Assessing the impact of anti-trafficking legislation on transgender sex workers

Contemporary policies on prostitution in the United States focus their anti-trafficking efforts on criminalizing and eliminating prostitution, as opposed to decriminalization and regulation. Research on the success of these policies, however, is little to non-existent, though the impacts of these policies disproportionately and negatively affect women sex workers, transgender women sex workers, and sex workers of color. Kari’s research project explores the impact of anti-trafficking laws on transgender sex workers in King County, in an effort to inform equitable policies that incorporate human, labor and GLBTQ rights into their legislation.



​Emma Rodman, Political Science

After West Coast Hotel: Minimum Wage Enforcement and Legal Mobilization around Economic Claims

After the passing and implementation of Proposition 1 in SeaTac, WA, the mandate to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, many challenges arose for workers in its subsequent enforcement. Even five years after the 2013 legislation, workers are still navigating enforcement, legal exceptions, and the collection of backpay. The struggle to enforce minimum wage predates Proposition 1, however, as the 1937 case West Coast Hotel v. Parrish illustrates. Elsie Parrish, an underpaid chambermaid, won the right to backpay for work done at illegally low wages, and further law suits for backpay by women soon followed. Emma’s research seeks to analyze the legal mobilization following the Parrish ruling to draw implications around current struggles with enforcement, and how workers may seek success in a renewed movement for minimum wage enforcement.