Student Spotlight: Maggie Dunham Jordahl, 2019-20 GPSS Vice President of External Affairs

Maggie Dunham

Maggie Dunham

What is your position with GPSS and what are some of your current responsibilities?
I am the Vice President of External Affairs for GPSS, and I represent the 15,000 graduate students at UW at the local, state, and federal level. I have been working in Olympia this legislative session to advocate for our student population at the state level, and I will be leading a group of UW students to DC to talk with our federal congress members. I also organized the first graduate and professional student advocacy day, and brought students from UW, WSU, and WWU to meet with 60+ state legislators to lobby for increased funding, access to student health insurance, prevention of sexual misconduct, and graduate student representation. 

What are your goals for GPSS?
My main goal for GPSS this year has been the creation of a graduate and professional student coalition across campus and the state to increase graduate student visibility. Graduate students are 1/3 of the UW student population – but most conversations about higher education have an undergraduate focus, something GPSS will continue to push against when we talk about improving the student experience and access to education for all students. 

In what way has the HUB contributed to your Husky Experience?
I am an MPA student in the Evans School. The Evans School’s building on campus, Parrington Hall, unfortunately was closed for renovation after my first quarter at UW and will not open before I graduate. I, and my classmates, have been taking classes in Condon Hall – which is not on campus and not a good space for building community or connection to UW. GPSS’s office has been my most direct connection to the overall UW community. 

What is your dream job?
I will be graduating in four months – I want to work in energy policy as a means to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. I hope to blend my work in the legislature through GPSS and the research and analysis skills from classes to advance policy solutions aimed at reducing the effects of climate change.

What are your favorite Husky traditions?
Drinking coffee at every coffee shop on the Ave and wearing purple!

Fun Fact!
Prior to coming back to graduate school at UW, I worked in Yellowstone National Park as a wrangler to lead horseback rides through the backcountry of the park! I fell in love with the park and the wilderness, and thoroughly enjoyed working from the back of a horse to educate guests about the park and herd the occasional bison or bear away from my guests.