May 22 2015
Dawn Tuason

In just a few months, Dawn Tuason will embark on a globe-spanning odyssey to cap her journey as a University of Washington student.

Tuason, who earned her bachelor’s in early childhood and family studies in 2013 and will graduate with her master’s in early childhood special education this June, is one of 14 UW students awarded a 2015 Bonderman Fellowship. As a recipient of the prestigious fellowship Tuason will undertake a transformative journey through eight countries – a trek full of experiences she plans to bring back into the classroom.

During Tuason’s nine months abroad, her focus will be learning to use music as a method to connect with communities and her environment. Tuason will explore kindness through music to better understand how people can connect as global citizens.

“My theme is understanding the intersections of kindness through music,” she said. “One of the most significant pieces of my life is music; I think music has the ability to transcend so many different boundaries that people hold within themselves and others. This was a chance to connect my understanding of kindness and who I am as a person as well as my love for music in one transformative opportunity.”

Tuason said the fellowship presents an opportunity to broaden her perspective on diversity.

“Global perspective on anything is important because we live in a world in which so many people are connecting with each other on such a broad scale,” Tuason said. “It’s no longer acceptable to study in my own space and assume I know all of these things. I want to be a conscious educator who connects people and brings them together.”

Starting in September, she will visit Croatia, Hungary, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Samoa and the Maldives, with approximately a month to explore each country.

The Bonderman Travel Fellowship was established in 1995 and provides $20,000 to support each recipient’s travel. The fellowship is intended to show students different cultures, peoples and the benefits of travel.


Dustin Wunderlich, Director for Marketing and Communications