By Hunter Kulik
The Law, Societies & Justice (LSJ) Department is thrilled to welcome Sasha Lee, a recent LSJ graduate, to the advising team.
Following high school graduation in Irvine, California, Sasha initially attended a college in Ohio, planning to study Computational Neuroscience; however, it lacked a human interaction element that she sought. She decided to move to Washington, where she began attending Bellevue College. It was here she participated in the Pilgrimage, a joint project between Bellevue College and University of Washington, where for one quarter students from both colleges study the readings and events of the civil rights movement together; this program included a 9-day trip through the American South visiting the sites and meeting the people part of this history. Sasha notes it was a combination of reading Just Mercy and meeting the author as he stood in his organization—Equal Justice Initiative—that she knew she wanted her personal and professional path to involve continuing a legacy of political and social equity. Discovering that a few of the UW students on the trip were LSJ majors she decided this would be her major if accepted as a transfer.
When accepted to UW, Sasha used her LSJ studies as a framework to juxtapose domestic and international human rights. Inspired by a comparative legal institutions course with Rachel Cichowski, she spent a time in Germany studying the pre- and post-war contexts of identity and rights. After graduating from the University of Washington in 2018, Sasha spent a year in Germany as fellow of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, further studying German culture and international relations. However, in that, she learned about her own identity, prompting her to think deeply about different career paths.
Following her return from Germany, Sasha worked with exchange students as an International Program Coordinator for the Northwest Youth Exchange. She began developing her interest in sharing knowledge and helping others, especially students. When Sasha saw that LSJ was looking for a new LSJ advisor, she knew she had to apply. “I thought about how exciting it would be to not just help students, but to help students that are in the position I was in just a year and a half ago,” Sasha says.
Sasha was intrigued by the idea of reconnecting with the LSJ Department and forming new connections with students. “Working alongside the professors that had such an impact on my academic experience, and meeting students that are just as passionate and ambitious as myself sounded like a great opportunity.”
As an advisor, Sasha hopes to draw on her recent experience as an undergraduate and understanding of the diverse array of pressures students experience. Her advising philosophy encourages students to stay open minded and curious, despite any obstacles that they may face. She understands that life after college can be daunting and says, “My ultimate goal is to have students leave here less afraid of going out into the world.”
Sasha says, “What I am most excited about is being a part of students’ journeys here at UW, big or small.” Knowing that those journeys can take many forms, Sasha is dedicated to helping students navigate whatever challenges they may encounter.