Swil Kanim, a classically trained violinist, native storyteller and actor, is a member of the Lummi Tribe. He was born on November 11, 1961 in Seattle, Washington and grew up in the Bellingham, Washington area. As a young boy, he was separated from his parents and spent the remainder of his childhood in foster homes. One of his teachers encouraged him to enroll in a music program, and the violin became his music instrument of choice. Through music, he found his path to healing childhood wounds and reconnect to his native roots.
Dannie Soloff was raised in the Pacific Northwest and grew up fascinated by the history of humans and the sciences of the earth and cosmos. In the effort to positively serve society, Dannie is exploring the true capacity of Social Development Programs in opening individuals and groups to greater integrity. After exploring general studies at Western Washington University, Dannie transferred to Fairhaven College to design an interdisciplinary concentration involving leadership, eco-mimicry, and social health. His self-designed major is titled Social Stewardship. Daniel also enjoys gardening, ecological projects, yoga, dance, and cooking; his meditative activities. May everyone everywhere be well.
Catharine Vader is a lifelong learner. Her work at Western Washington University for over 20 years has provided a variety of learning opportunities, from triage nursing at the Student Health Center to teaching health education classes with Prevention and Wellness Services. She is passionate about teaching and mentoring students. She also enjoys dancing with her husband, Peter, cooking, gardening, hiking, and connecting with family and friends. A highlight in her life is her daughter Amelia and son-in-love Kyle. She is a registered nurse, board certified in College Health Nursing and is the coordinator of the University’s Wellness Outreach Center.
Danielle Smith believes in changing the world one person at a time, starting with self. She earned her B.A. in Women’s Studies from UCLA in 2005, with an emphasis in social inequality and literature. After working in the fields of publishing and student affairs for a number of years, Danielle pursued her first passion—writing, an endeavor that culminated with an M.A. in English - Creative Writing from Western Washington University in 2012. A native of Southern California, Danielle currently writes and seeks community in Bellingham, WA. She uses poetry as her preferred form of self-discovery, activism, and resistance.
Cambria Prentice-Wattson is currently a 19-year-old student of history at Western Washington University with an interest in museum curatorship. In June, 2012 she graduated simultaneously from Skyview High School and Clark Community College through the Running Start program earning her High School Diploma and Associate’s Degree with honors. In high school, Ms. Prentice-Wattson was active in her community participated in the National Honors Society, the French National Honors Society, and the American Red Cross. At Western, she has helped established a U.S. History Club where she sits as Vice President. In her free time she enjoys participating in soccer, and tennis. She is scheduled to graduate with her degree in history in 2014.
Tay & Val
Award-winning film-makers and inspirational story-tellers from Singapore, Tay and Val, are living examples of dreamers who have cycled and traveled across the globe on project, “I Believe That Dreams Can Come True”. Having set off in March 2010, they aimed to cycle to as many countries as they can, walk into the lives of local people, and then document their personal stories about their dreams on videos. With the intention of “One Dream Shared, One Dream Inspired”, their stories have inspired many to seek out their dreams and achieve them. For the last 3 years, they have created a chain of dreams inspiring dreams across 12 countries. They have conducted numerous sharing events in schools and to the public empowering people to do the things they truly want to do and be the person they want to be. They have collected at least 2600 dreams and inspired countless lives.
Benjie Howard was raised in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains, where he lived in a remodeled barn, and went to a one room country school. He is the co-founder and director of New Wilderness Project, a collective of artists and educators working with school districts, universities, and organizations across the country offering performance, community engagement, and social justice leadership programs. He is a river guide and wilderness educator on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. He’s the founder of Cascadia Exploration Company. He finished his second full length album, “Secrets Like Bones” in 2012. He is currently in the middle of a nation wide album release tour. Benjie lives in Bellingham with his wife and his two children.
Corey Warren is an artist, a dreamer, and an entrepreneur. After attending four different universities across the north west, he settled in Bellingham and graduated from Western Washington University's Class of 2008. The abundance of creativity, good people, and quality of life was too good to leave after college, so immediately upon graduating, Corey and his best friend Dylan Warnberg began a lofty project that would become INNATE; a symbol for their commitment to encouraging true, human expression and its infinite possibility.
Gina Bacon graduated from Western Washington University in 2008 and received her Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of Utah in 2011. Gina is a Korean adoptee and has shared her story of racial identity at several events, including two international adoption conferences. Gina has a publication in press about familial and racial identity, and was featured in the newsletter of the Autonomous University of Barcelona’s (UAB) AFIN Research Group. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and works in the Dean’s Office of the University of Utah School of Medicine.
I like thunder and I like stories; I like laughter and adventure and listening, too. I’m finishing my Junior year as a double major in Studio Art and Recreation. I want to take people outside, show them how nature can ground you and inspire you. I want to create safe spaces to be vulnerable, to learn, to grow: to create art. I’ve been an RA for two years and the communities I’ve been privileged to be a part of through that job have defined my Western experience is the most extraordinary and positive light.
Danica will graduate this spring 2013 from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University. She created a self-designed, interdisciplinary degree called “Social Entrepreneurship”. Her studies focus on how identities and communities are built, and how inspired learning and leadership are facilitated. After graduation, Danica and the LivLife team will launch an educational non-profit called LivLife Today, offering the empowerment program “I AM: Inspiring A Movement”. After years of pushing boundaries and exploring around the globe, Danica has one firm belief, best stated by her 7 year-old friend Olivia, “Love is the most and it’s all we need.”
Daniel Espinoza-Gonzalez is a double major in English Literature with an interdisciplinary concentration titled "Writing to Explore; Performance to Empower." Currently the Program Support Coordinator of the Associated Students' Ethnic Student Center at Western Washington University, he has co-presented with Dr. Carmen Werder and other students about the role of student voices in enhancing education at multiple forums including the 2009 International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) conference and the 2012 AAC&U Annual Meeting. His reflective piece titled "Finding Value in My Voice" was published in the Winter 2013 issue of Diversity & Democracy (AAC&U). On the side, he performs spoken word poetry.