Sullivan Leadership Award

Wynn Barnard

About Wynn Barnard

Wynn Barnard served as Associated Student Body President at Friday Harbor High School, in Friday Harbor, Washington. In 2006 Wynn founded Village to Village, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving village schools, and empowering village students through a sustainable connection to the Friday Harbor community. She received the Regional Soroptimists' Violet Richardson Award for her work with Village to Village, and presented her organization at the National Youth Leadership Council Convention in 2008. Throughout high school she acted and directed in her school's drama program. In January 2007 she had a month-long internship at Hate Free Zone, an immigrants' rights non-profit organization in Seattle. In the summers Wynn serves as Family Art Day coordinator for the Westcott Bay Institute.


College Activities

  • Co-President of Society of Feminists
  • Student delegate to Population Connection’s annual conference and lobbying training regarding overpopulation and reproductive rights in Washington, DC
  • Campaigned to pass Initiative 100 in King County
  • University Honors
  • Spring Break service trip with Teams for Humanitarian Relief, rebuilding houses in New Orleans, LA

On Academics…

As a senior in high school, I would never have imagined myself choosing to write about academics, rather than service or community.  However, while I have always considered myself someone who is better at taking action than intellectualizing, I have to say that my participation in the University Honors program has probably been my most defining experience at Seattle University.

At first, I was shocked by the massive workload and high expectations for seminar participation, reading, research and essay writing.  During high school, I had seen school as a game: knowing teachers’ expectations, doing enough to get good grades, gauging myself against my peers but rarely setting my own standards.  To some extent, I had always felt that I was faking my way through things.  In Honors, I felt so intimidated by my peers and professors initially that I felt I was working my hardest just to keep up.  That was a good feeling. 

Looking back, I see how much Honors has shaped my experience at Seattle U.  My passions lie in the present.  However, despite being grounded in the past, my classes have changed my understanding of the world I live in in a profound way.  My professors have showed me that history does not always have to be a linear march through time, but it can be an examination of the slow birth, growth and unfolding of culture. In Honors, I allowed myself for the first time to embrace my passion for sociology, particularly women studies and feminism.  Last year, one of my favorite projects was a paper comparing The Art of Courtly Love from the chivalrous period of the Middle Ages with the modern film The Notebook, identifying gender roles, courtship expectations and ideals of love that have endured over time.  This year, as co-president of Society of Feminists, I can already see the ways in which I will put this research into action. I have spent a lot of energy on academics at SU, and I stick with it because I see my awareness building, my worldview changing, and my passions solidifying.

While I am at times frustrated with the Eurocentric nature of my education, I am grateful for the skills I have gained through this program.  Right now, I am building a foundation for the life ahead of me.  I am learning how to read, how to think, and how to write, and opening my eyes to the thousands of years of history I stand on every day.  At the end of this year, I think I’ll be ready to leave Honors and launch myself into the present, as a much more effective and educated agent of change. 

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Friday Harbor, WA

High School:
Friday Harbor High School

Cultural Anthropology