Each year the Harry Bridges Center awards thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants to support inspiring scholars and activists pursuing the study and practice of labor. This year we will award $70,000 in scholarships and fellowships to University of Washington graduate and undergraduate students.



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.


Shoaib Laghari

Shoaib Laghari, Economics

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Laghari was introduced to the labor movement through working as a student assistant for the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. Through the Bridges Center, Laghari deepened his understanding of and commitment to the labor movement, the fight for social and economic justice, and a people-first approach to economics, his main focus of study at UW. In the future, Laghari seeks to work for an economic institute, non-profit, or governmental organization to advocate for all working people, seeking to answer controversial questions in the field of economics regarding minimum wage, re-training programs, and improving working conditions in the US and beyond.


Brendon McCarrollPolitical Science

McCarroll is interested in promoting economic justice, increasing the acceptance and integration of neurodiversity and disability in the workplace, and understanding the causes and consequences of unemployment and underemployment. McCarroll works as a paralegal which sharpened his understanding of the legal system. In his volunteer role at the Eastside Legal Assistant Program, he observed how the legal system intersects with institutions to disproportionately harm vulnerable populations. Building on his background in legal studies, McCarroll will fight for the rights of disabled workers through diverse avenues. McCarroll plans to pursue a career in labor law or labor union advocacy centering disability justice.





Ian Kennedy and Michele Drayton, both former officials and rank and file members of Seattle’s International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 52, created the Kennedy Drayton Scholarship in Labor Studies in 2018 to advance their deeply held commitment to education and organized labor.



Angelica Perez

Angelica Perez, Law, Societies, and Justice

Perez is an incoming undergraduate in the Law, Societies, and Justice program who aspires to become an immigration lawyer representing immigrant workers and their families. As a high school student, Perez played an important role in passing legislation that protects farmworker rights in Washington state as part of the Latino/a Educational Achievement Project (LEAP) program. Through a fellowship sponsored by the Washington State Government, Perez collaborated with peers to draft and present a bill that demands higher pay for farmworkers. At UW, Perez plans to engage with the labor movement by joining clubs on campus and continuing activism on local, state, and federal levels.



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.



​Elizabeth Lu Gao, Sociology & Law, Societies, and Justice

Lu Gao is an undergraduate double majoring in Sociology and Law, Societies, and Justice striving to pursue a legal or political career to dismantle systems of oppression and fight for transformative liberation of all communities with a focus on labor justice. Lu Gao has been an active youth organizer with the Chinese Progression Association (CPA) since high school. In Summer 2020, Lu Gao returned to CPA as a Seeding Change Fellow and organized full-time to advance housing and economic justice. In her role, Lu Gao co-planned teach-ins to sustain Chinese American solidarity with the Black community, assisted Cantonese speaking low-wage immigrant workers apply for COVID-19 funds, and fundraised to support future generations of Asian American organizers. During high school, Lu Gao served as a youth leader of Movement of Justice & Organizing (MOJO), a social justice leadership development program at CPA, organizing around the “Our Healing in Our Hands” campaign. Her efforts culminated in San Francisco’s Board of Education allocating $1.6 million to tackle the institutionalized stigma of mental health among youth of color. Through her studies at UW, Lu Gao is dedicated to deepening an intersectional understanding of labor justice, informed by her activism.




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.



​Paul Ryan Villanueva, Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

As an incoming graduate student at the Evans School, Villanueva will pursue the Environmental Policy and Management program to address the devastating consequences of climate change on communities of color. Villanueva plans to investigate existing environmental regulations, solutions to mitigate ocean pollution, and strategies to raise public awareness around ocean acidification. Prior to graduate school, Villanueva worked as a legislative coordinator of Racial Equity Team, a non-profit organization that collaborates with lobbyists and legislators to pass legislation that benefits communities of color in Washington state. As an aspiring policy-maker, Villanueva hopes to carry on the legacy of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes by always foregrounding the knowledge, experiences, and needs of communities on the ground.



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.



Anupa Gewali, Public Health and Social Work

As a social worker with a public health research background, Gewali aims to design and practice social work in a way that broadens the decision-making power and strengthens the agency of those most impacted by social inequalities. The Duggan Award will support Gewali in joining the very small cohort of social workers in the US who are part of the Nepali speaking community, to better engage the rapidly growing population of Nepali speaking immigrants, and fight for worker protections that benefit all community members. Before coming to UW, Gewali was a community organizer at Adhikaar, a worker center in Queens, New York that serves, organizes, and builds power among working-class Nepali speaking immigrants and refugees, many of whom perform caring labor in their workplace and in their homes. Prior to that, Gewali served as a Program Director for GlobeMed, through which she recruited and supported minority and low-income students in global health programs. By continuing to engage with policymakers and organizers and empower affected individuals to engage with social systems, Gewali hopes to contribute to long term solutions that will serve all who provide caring labor.



Samantha Thompson, Geography

Thompson’s dissertation research explores the role of care labor in response to housing affordability crises. With a focus on rent control movements, Thompson’s work will illustrate transnational interconnections between housing and labor movements in the U.S. and Canada. Upon completing her degree, Thompson intends to continue research that focuses on tenants’ rights, housing justice, and the significance of labor organizing. Thompson’s doctoral project builds on her master’s thesis which demonstrates how care work is enacted in non-profit housing for women through multidirectional relationships. In addition to her academic interest, Thompson’s commitment to housing and labor justice movements are exemplified through her activism. Currently, she serves as Head Steward and is an active member of the International Solidarity Workgroup and Housing Justice Workgroup at UAW Local 4121, the UW’s graduate academic employee union. Thompson also volunteers with Vancouver, B.C.’s Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative, supporting community-led research projects and writing grant applications.



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.



​Selena Caldera, Law & Policy, UW Tacoma

Caldera’s academic trajectory is a culmination of her extensive and diverse organizing experience. During her time serving in the Iraq War, Caldera played a crucial role in anti-war organizing and organizing against racial violence in the military. Subsequently, Caldera successfully unionized from the ground up a canvassing organization in which workers were treated poorly and being paid poverty wages. During her studies at UW, Caldera will engage with local labor movements as much as possible. As a seasoned organizer, Caldera continues to fight for all working people by offering organizing workshops to workers who seek to build collective power. After completing her undergraduate degree, Caldera plans to go to law school to become a labor lawyer and provide legal counsel for burgeoning labor campaigns.




This new award honors the legacy of Frank Jenkins Jr, a lifelong civil rights and union rights activist and one of the first African Americans to hold a leadership role within Seattle’s International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 19. 



Diana Vergara

An incoming undergraduate, Vergara aspires to become a political leader and a fearless advocate of Black, Latinx, and immigrant populations in Washington state. Vergara started participating in labor, immigrant justice, and feminist movements at a young age. Currently, she is a part of the Latino/a Educational Achievement Project (LEAP), a statewide effort to improve the academic achievement of Latinx students in Washington. Most recently, as a core member of Centro Latino, Vergara has been advocating for more ethnic art in the state capitol and the ratification of House Bill 1372 which requires the removal of statues upholding white supremacy. At UW, Vergara will continue her activism in local politics, get involved on campus to make UW more equitable, and ultimately pursue an education that allows her to grow as a champion of social justice.




Graduate Recruitment Fellowships

The Bridges Center's Recruitment Fellowships provide much needed funding to support top-ranked incoming Labor Studies students in graduate programs at the University of Washington.




Yasmin Ahmed, Geography

This fall, in addition to their ongoing work as the Bridges Center’s Assistant Director of Student and Community Engagement, Ahmed will enter the UW Masters program in Geography. In their graduate work, they will explore the exploitation and enslavement of migrant workers on the coast of Thailand and the international corporate network of seafood industry giants that work together to seemingly promote fair and sustainable trade through the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS). Ahmed will investigate how the rapid expansion of industrial aquaculture impacts the exploitation of communities, labor, and the environment on land and at sea. Ahmed’s work builds on the research they undertook since 2019 with Uprooted and Rising (UNR) Seattle, a chapter of a national BIPOC network dedicated to food sovereignty and justice work. In this study, they examined the issues revolving around genetically engineered salmon and industrial aquaculture in the United States.




Ragya Kaul, History

Kaul hails from the University of Texas at Dallas where they studied International Political Economy with a Minor in History. At the UW, they plan to study class solidarity as a way to reach across racial lines to counter state-authored violence specifically in the American West during the early 20th century. Kaul is particularly interested in the mutually reinforcing implications of immigration law, racial makeup of the workforce, and social dynamics around race in leftist organizing through examining leftist newspapers. Currently, they are working on a research project titled, “Smash the Color Line: Class Solidarity and Campaigns against Anti-Miscegenation Law,” which inquires race-based regulations by exploring the relationship between immigration, labor, and citizenship through the lens of multiracial activism.




Best Projects in Labor Studies Prizes

PNLHA Best Projects and Papers in Labor History Prizes

Made possible by the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, these awards honor the finest essays and projects on a labor history topic produced by UW students.


Best Undergraduate Project: Liam Collins

Point: Defiance Podcast

Collins' podcast, the final project for his major in Community, Environment, and Planning, speaks with four scholars about major civil disturbances that have shaped the labor history of the Pacific Northwest: the anti-South Asian riots of 1907; the 1916 IWW Everett Massacre; the Yakima KKK's anti-Filipino campaign of 1927; and Native American fish-ins and occupations of the 1960s and 70s.



Best Undergraduate Paper: Selma El-Badawi

The Sweet Fruit of Labor: An Examination of Black Labor Unions in South Africa

Focusing on the interconnections between struggles for labor rights by Black workers and the anti-apartheid movement, El-Badawi’s essay traces the history of Black union federations in South Africa across the latter half of the 20th century.


Best Undergraduate Paper: Kelly Maldonado

A Comparative Essay on Slavery and Penal Labor

Pairing historical accounts of slavery alongside analysis of contemporary regimes of work in prisons, Maldonado draws critical connections between the two forms of labor, and outlines the case for abolition of both slave labor and prisons, past and present.


Best Undergraduate Paper: Amrine White

Unstable Foundations: Poor Whites and the Economic Fight for Emancipation

During the Civil War era, poor white workers held a range of views on the end of slavery. White’s historical essay, written for an Honors seminar in Political Science, details the economic motivations of white workers during the period, their relationships with Northern and Southern elites, and the key roles they played in political coalitions both for and against emancipation.


Best Papers in Labor Studies Prizes

These prizes recognize the finest essays in Labor Studies written by UW students. Two undergraduate students received the awards this year.


Best Graduate Paper: Star Berry

University Staff: Indigenous Sovereignty and Justice Online

Written for her doctorate in Education at UW Tacoma, Berry's thesis evaluates how the websites of research universities represent their Indigenous, Transgender, and Disabled staff in severely limited ways, treating people as a "commodity" to appear institutionally diverse and inclusive while disregarding staff-led community grassroots efforts in practice and research.


Best Graduate Paper: Julia Lund

The Intergenerational Impact of Precarious Work

Lund’s Masters thesis in Public Health addresses the impacts of working conditions on workers’ families, using long-term household survey data to show an association between the quality of parents’ employment - including job stability, pay and benefits, and unionization - and the behavioral health of their children.


Best Undergraduate Paper: Hazel Brown

Right-to-Work Laws: Implementation and Effects

Written as part of a fellowship with the Center for American Progress and Public Policy, Brown's sophisticated study examines connections between state "right-to-work" laws and rates of state unionization and economic growth.


Best Undergraduate Paper: Yogasai Gazula

Always On-Demand: How the Gig Economy is Changing Traditional Work Practices

Richly drawing upon theories of capitalism, Gazula's International Studies seminar paper describes the rise of new technologies and the "gig economy" and evaluates their implications for workers.