Skip to Content
Skip to Navigation


We are pleased to introduce the six Martin Family Foundation Scholars for 2013. The Martin Family Foundation Scholarship Programs enable community college students of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement to complete their baccalaureate degrees at the University of Washington. Martin Scholars are selected from applicants who attend one of the thirty-six community colleges in Washington State.There are two scholarship programs supported by the Martin Family Foundation -- the Martin Achievement Scholarship (April deadline) and the Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarship (July deadline).

Justin AndersenJustin Andersen

Justin Andersen

Highline Community College
2013 Martin Honors Scholar

Justin is a Washington native who grew up in Federal Way where he attended Thomas Jefferson High School. After graduation, Justin decided to forego a college education and headed straight into the workforce under the encouragement of his math teacher, and mortgage broker, who had offered him a lucrative position at his lending firm. Two years later and unsatisfied, Justin embarked on the pursuit of a career outside of the finance industry that led to his employment in a variety of different positions over the next few years. However, after getting married in 2009, and the subsequent birth of his son in 20 I 0, Justin experienced hardship after being laid-off and resolved that he needed to get an education that would allow him the opportunity to provide a better foundation for his family.

Despite the challenges encompassing the pursuit of a college education for a non-traditional student with a wife and three children, Justin was not only able to strike a balance between his family and his education, but also he was able to discover his passion for neuroscience and excel in his studies. In 2013, Justin graduated HCC as both a Highline Honors Scholar and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and had earned honors distinction in both an Associate of Arts degree and an Associate of Science degree in Biology with a 3.83 cumulative GPA.

Justin transfered as junior into the University of Washington Autumn quarter 2013, where he will pursue interdisciplinary honors as a double major in Neurobiology and Biochemistry. He looks forward to the opportunity to get involved in his campus community through participation in neuroscience research and believes that opportunities offered at the University of Washington will best prepare him for medical school and propel him toward reaching his goal of becoming a research psychiatrist.

Mason ChristensenMason Christensen

Mason Christensen

Highline Community College
2013 Martin Achievement Scholar


Mason plans to transfer to the UW in fall of 2014 and double major in Physics and Mathematics. He is currently a Lead Tutor for the Math Resource Center at Highline where he tutors through Calculus. He is also a Philosophy tutor. These positions gives him a deeper understanding of material and allows him to play a leading role on campus for his peers. Mason plans to complete graduate work in Particle Physics, obtaining a PhD in the field. He hopes to use his abilities and critical ways of thinking to assist in making new discoveries about the universe in which we live.

Mason is a participant of the Honors Scholar Program, a MESA Student and,through Gateway to College student, was awarded his high school diploma in June 2013. He is also the founder of the Nordic Heritage Club at Highline, a club created to spread cultural awareness of Nordic People.

Jessie JohnsonJessie Johnson

Jessica Johnson

Green River Community College

2013 Martin Honors Scholar

Jessica entered the University of Washington as a junior majoring in chemistry and minoring in physics and mathematics. She is determined to continue her studies in order to work in the field of nuclear energy research.  Jessica hopes to change the way people sees and uses nuclear energy.

Nervous about starting college after a 12-year hiatus from school, Jessica's background as a non-traditional student quickly became an asset, which allowed her to take on leadership roles at Green River Community College. Through her jobs as a supplemental instructor and teaching assistant at Green River, she discovered the joy in sharing her passion for chemistry with other students. This led to her nomination for the GRCC's President's Award, as well as her receipt of GRCC's Science Division award. At the UW, she hopes to continue working with other students in chemistry outreach programs.

Erik KingErik King

Eric King

Seattle Central Community College

2013 Martin Achievement Scholar

In the fall of 2014 Eric will enter the UW as a junior, where he will complete his bachelor's degree in biology/physiology.  His journey to the UW began with receiving his GED and enrolling in classes at Seattle Central Community College, where he participated in student leadership, tutored biology and became a member of the academic honor society Phi Theta Kappa. In attention to studying biology, Eric will also complete pre-medical course requirements.

Eric's dream is to become a physician, a desire that came early in life due to the deaths of both parents by potentially curable illnesses.  He became a national certified pharmacy technician when he was 18 years old to better understand how both of his parents' medications worked. Eric intends to keep his pharmacy license current and maintain regular employment on his journey to medical school.

Pooja SethiPooja Sethi

Pooja Sethi

Everett Community College
2013 Martin Honors Scholar

Pooja Sethi began her studies at Everett Community College through Washington State's Running Start program, allowing her to dual-enroll in college classes while still a high school student. In June 2013, not only did she graduate as valedictorian of her high school, but she also completed an Associate of Science in Physics. Pooja's innate interest in understanding how things work has led her to the University of Washington, where she transfered as a junior to study Computer Engineering and Math. Pooja is looking forward to participating in undergraduate research while at UW, and hopes to pursue a Master's or Ph.D. in the future.

Though Pooja enjoys learning in the classroom, even more so, she delights in applying her learning in ways to improve everyday life. As a member of her high school's "ShopGirls" team, Pooja designed and built a prototype car for the Shell Eco-marathon, an international race for fuel-efficient vehicles. In 2010, her team's car went 470 miles on a single gallon of dieseL The ShopGirls were also the first all-women team in the history of the race. Pooja hopes to encourage more students, especially young women, to consider engineering majors - she was a member of the Society of Women Engineers at EvCC, and now at UW.

In addition to building cars, Pooja has also competed in Future Business Leaders of America, winning both state and national-level awards in Management Information Systems, Network Design, Cyber Security, and Accounting. She is a Washington Aerospace Scholar, a NASA Space Grant Scholar, and a National Merit Commended Student. Pooja also maintains active involvement in her community. For the past five years, she has volunteered at Granite Falls Historical Museum. Currently, she is working on developing a new website for the museum. Her hobbies include long-distance running, reading, and hiking.

Lydia SmithLydia Smith

Lydia Smith

Highline Community College

2013 Martin Achievement Scholar

Lydia is studying to receive as Associate's Degree in Pre-Nursing. As a wife and mother of three, Lydia has achieved academic success through time management, discipline and organization. Her academic goals are to transfer to the UW, where she will pursue a PhD in Nursing. Her professional goals are to enter into a combination of clinical practice and Research and Development. Lydia also has a long-term goal to start a non-profit organization that provides medical care for uninsured veterans. As a veteran who served in Iraq, the realization of this goal holds special meaning to her.

Lydia is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, the MESA program, where she runs Academic Excellent Workshops for General Biology and is a Bio tutor in the Academic Success Center at Highline.  She interned the summer of 2013 at the Pacific Northwest national labs to gain more insight and experience in research.