CGS FLAS Fellows 2021 – 2022

CGS welcomes 13 FLAS fellows for academic year 2021 – 2022

This academic year 2021 – 2022, the Center for Global Studies (CGS) is proud to welcome 13 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellows – its largest cohort in seven years.

The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. The University of Washington (UW), via the National Resource Centers (NRCs) in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (Jackson School), is one of approximately 50 institutions in the country to receive FLAS grants, and ranks third in the country for the number of grants awarded.

In 2018, the six NRCs in the Jackson School – the Canadian Studies CenterCenter for Global StudiesEast Asia CenterMiddle East CenterSouth Asia Center, and Southeast Asia Center – were awarded $7,404,000 in Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grants for a four-year period (2018-2022). This funding has provided 266 fellowships to date to students who represent 24 departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of the Environment, College of Built Environments, College of Education, College of Engineering, Evans School of Public Policy, Foster School of Business, School of Law, School of Medicine, School of Public Health and School of Social Work.

Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Since 2018, the Center for Global Studies has supported 57 FLAS fellows, who have engaged in the study of 26 unique world languages including Arabic, Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian, Chinese, Filipino/Tagalog, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian/Malaysian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

CGS’ 13 FLAS fellows for academic year 2021 – 2022 are studying five languages: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Vietnamese. Their language study is motivated by a diverse range of long-term goals, from fighting discrimination against gender minorities in Japan, to advancing human rights for mother-child refugees from the Middle East, to improving medical access for non-native English speakers, and more.

Get to know our 2021 – 2022 FLAS fellows by exploring the list below and visiting their profiles.

To learn more about the 2021 – 2022 FLAS competition, consult the FLAS Information Session calendar and join one of the upcoming FLAS information sessions.

FLAS fellows: Arabic

Rachel Buchmeier, D.N.P. program – Nursing Practice, Midwifery

Research interests: Advancing healthcare outcomes for mother-child dyads in times of crisis and upheaval.





Janick Gold, B.A. program – International Studies, political science

Research interests: Mass movements in the Arab world, 20th century radical movements in the Middle East.



Hedieh Mehrtash, Ph.D. program – global health metrics and implementation science

Research interests: Testing healthcare interventions to improve user experience within global health systems, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.



FLAS fellows: Chinese

 Mason Bayman, B.A. program – International Studies and Chinese

Research interests: International commerce, East-West relations.




Chloe Chiu, B.A. program – Chemistry, minor in Chinese.

Research interests: Cultural dialogue between Western and Eastern healthcare, improving medical care for native Chinese speakers.




Alicia Ing, B.A. program – Business Administration with a Certificate in International Studies in Business (CISB), minor in Diversity.

Research interests: Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) advocacy; representation of women of color in business leadership; corporate social responsibility (CSR); nonprofit management.

Elizabeth Li, B.A. program – Psychology.

Research interests: Ameliorating linguistic barriers.




FLAS fellows: Japanese

Caralee Casto, M.A. program – International Studies: Japan Studies

Research interests: Gender and sexuality policies in Japan.




Lacy Meek, M.A. program – International Studies: Japan Studies

Research interests: Socio-economic equality, U.S. – Japan relations.



Eliyah Omar, Ph.D. program – Sociocultural Anthropology

Research interests: Shifts in patterns of production and consumption, new means of communication and dissemination, and international factors in Japan’s pop-cultural landscape.

FLAS fellows: Russian

Noah Gruenert, B.A. program – International Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Research interests: The intersection of Persian and Russian languages in Central Asia, diplomacy.


Melinda Whalen, B.A. program – History: War and Society; and Russian language, literature, and culture.

Research interests: Development of Communism and culture in Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe during the pre-war, WWII, and postwar periods.

FLAS fellows: Vietnamese

Cindy Anh Thư Nguyễn, M.Ed. program –  Curriculum and Instruction.

Research interests: Food gardens as intergenerational learning spaces for Vietnamese American youth and families; Educational resources, programs, and curricula for the Vietnamese American community.