The Women in Informatics (WINFO) student group and iSchool student Shaarika Kaul are among the winners of the 2018 University of Washington HUB Awards.
The HUB Awards are granted annually in the spring in four categories: academics, activities, alumni and athletics. Award recipients’ names are engraved on the Hall of Fame wall on the first floor of the HUB.
WINFO won the Husky Empowerment Award, given to a student organization that has successfully engaged UW students. WINFO held more than 20 events during the 2017-18 academic year, including its annual Hackathon, company tours and networking events such as “bagel breakfasts.” Such events help the student group pursue its mission of empowering women to thrive as producers of technology by establishing a network of women who offer encouragement, support and professional knowledge.
Through its Hackathon alone, WINFO connected with more than 180 participants, 50 mentors and 17 industry sponsors, according to outgoing co-president Tiffany Chen. “Although this is our largest annual event, WINFO is working tirelessly throughout the year to bring opportunities like this to the entire University of Washington community, especially those who face societal barriers in pursuing their passions,” Chen said.
Kaul won the HUB Activities Award, which recognizes a student who has made a positive impact on campus life and the community, who exemplifies mature, ethical, and empowering behavior, who is well-respected, and who balances excellent academics with their campus/community involvement.
Kaul is pursuing a double-major in Informatics and Communication, with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Outside of class, she is a musician and director of public relations and marketing for a musical group she founded called Unplugged. She has also worked as a student assistant with CoMotion Labs and was a section leader with the Husky Leadership Initiative, where she taught leadership for two years. During her summers, she has has done philanthropic projects in India to promote environmental health, education access and gender equity.
In addition to her HUB Award, Kaul has earned the David Horsey Endowed Scholarship for Communication, is on the dean's list and will be interning at Visa this summer.
“I am honored to be inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame, and that the UW and my nominators believe I uphold the university's values so much as to commemorate me on its walls forever,” Kaul said. “I hope that over the years, my family can come to the UW and say, ‘That's my mom, my grandma, my great-grandma’ and look up at my name with pride.”