Bianca Altamirano is one of six UW students named a Magnuson Scholar for 2018–2019, selected for her outstanding scholastic performance and potential contributions to social work research. Each of the Health Sciences schools nominates one of its students. Bianca entered the School’s PhD track in 2013. She has served as a teaching assistant and has also taught MSW 505/506 classes.

Her primary research interests focus on racial and ethnic minorities exposed to trauma throughout their adolescence and on ways to support them through culturally grounded interventions. She advocates for isolating and identifying access points to mental healthcare that are meaningful to Latino culture and beliefs about well-being.

In Bianca’s award nomination, associate professor Cynthia Pearson, research director for the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, wrote: “As a doctoral student, Bianca does exceedingly well academically and strives to understand community mental health from multiple perspectives and theoretical lenses, showing great promise in her ability to conceptualize issues from both academic and real-world knowledge as a former practitioner.”

Bianca completed her BA and MSW at Arizona State University. She worked as a research assistant on a project dealing with adolescent romantic relationships, specifically, Mexican American teen-dating violence. She has researched the resiliency of youth living in poverty and explored Latino family well-being. She was a research assistant for the Behavioral Health Disparities Curriculum Infusion Project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work.

We hope you’ll take the time to congratulate Bianca on this outstanding honor and her role in representing our School with such distinction.