Alum Lester Burkes Moderates City Club Event

On Nov 1st, Lester Burkes (PPE, ’14) moderated a forum on Community Policing sponsored by City Club of Tacoma.  Community Policing brings police and citizens together to prevent crime and solves neighborhood problems. Panelists included Sue Rahr (former King County Sheriff), Rev. Gregory Christopher (Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church and current President of the Tacoma branch of the NAACP), and Marcus Rogers (Project Peace Executive Board and Tacoma Police Representative).








On Left:  Sue Rahr.  On Right:  Lester Burkes.







From left: Lester Burkes, Marcus Rogers, and Rev. Christopher.

For the last few years, Lester has been a full-time instructor at Bates Technical College.  When he was on campus pursuing his undergraduate degree in Politics Phil and Econ, Lester spent a quarter interning in Olympia with the State Legislature’s internship program (Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Intern Program).  We’re happy to report that Lester is currently back with us at UWT, as he is now pursuing a masters degree in Education.

Understanding Ethnic Conflict at Home and Abroad

“Understanding Ethnic Conflict at Home and Abroad,” is the topic of our Fall Quarter Global Classroom. Jointly hosted by UW Tacoma’s Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), the SIAS Division of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs (PPPA) and the World Affairs Council Tacoma, Global Classroom is an interactive speaker series on global issues that matter. The flyer is attached, please join us!

The event is free and open to the public. We strongly encourage registration as Global Classroom typically fills quickly:

Considering Graduating With Honors

HonorsAre you a PP&E or Law and Policy student, and expect to graduate with a GPA of 3.5 or higher?  If so, consider the option of graduating with honors.  To qualify, you must:

  • Maintain a 3.5 cumulative UW Tacoma GPA at the time of application and at the time of graduation.
  • Submit an application to the SIAS office.
  • Meet all program and major graduation requirements.
    • Take TWRT 211 Argument and Research in Writing and                                     earn at least a 3.0 in the class.
    • Take an additional (second) capstone class (TPOLS 480 or TPOLS 496), and earn at least a 3.5 in the class.

For more information, go here.

Applications now being accepted for The Hertog Foundation Fellowships and Seminars

The Hertog Foundation is pleased to announce its 2018 fellowships and seminars for undergraduates and recent grads.

Visit to learn more and apply.

As you can see on our website, the Foundation offers various fellowships on public policy and political thought in Washington, DC. Each carries funding for travel as well as housing accommodations. Fellows study with master teachers and hear from distinguished speakers drawn from academia, politics, journalism, and business. Current lecturers include Yuval Levin (National Affairs), General John Allen (Brookings), Robert Bartlett (Boston College), Vickie Sullivan (Tufts), Frederick Kagan (AEI), and many more.

We have four offerings next year:

Weekend Seminars

  • Eligibility: Undergraduates and very recent grads (2017 or 2018)
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Duration: Friday-Sunday seminars, Winter/Spring 2018
  • Stipend: Covers housing, meals, and travel

Intensive weekend programs that allow students to dive into pressing policy issues with leading experts and thinkers. Topics include understanding populism and constitutional law.

Political Studies Program

  • Eligibility: Undergraduates and very recent grads (2017 or 2018)
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Duration: 7-week program, June 17 – August 4, 2018
  • Stipend: Provides housing and some meals, plus stipend

Hertog Fellows study classic texts in political thought and some of the seminal documents of American politics with an outstanding faculty. In addition, students study selected public policy issues with some of those who helped formulate and implement those policies.

War Studies Program

  • Eligibility: College juniors, seniors and very recent grads (2017)
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Duration: 2-week program, July 20 – August 4, 2018
  • Stipend: Provides housing and some meals, plus stipend

The War Studies Program, run by the Institute for the Study of War, aims to educate undergraduate students about the theory, practice, organization, and control of war and military forces. Students will learn from and interact with distinguished senior leaders in the national security and military communities, including retired generals and leading intellectuals.

Summer Courses

  • Eligibility: Undergraduates and very recent grads (2017 or 2018)
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Duration: One- to two-week seminars throughout the period of June 24 – August 4, 2018
  • Stipend: Provides housing and some meals, plus stipend

This series of one- to two-week seminars allows students to create their own individualized course of study. Younger students are encouraged to apply for these seminars, as are upperclassmen who have other obligations during the summer. Offerings include topics such as American democratic capitalism, US-Russia policy, modern conservative thought, and grand strategy.

The application deadline for Winter 2018 and Summer early decision is Monday, January 15, 2018.
The application deadline for Summer 2018 is Monday, February 12, 2018.

Law School Fair November 9th on Seattle Campus

Thinking about Law School?  Then don’t miss the annual Law School Fair on Thursday, November 9th from 10am – 2pm in HUB North Ballroom, sponsored by the Career & Internship Center and the Pre-Law Student Society.

Questions? Please email Donna Chen at . We look forward to seeing you in the HUB on Nov. 9th!

Career & Internship Center

Campus Map

Representatives of more than 50 law schools from across the country gather at the UW looking for potential new students – like you! At the Law School Fair, you have the opportunity to interact with admissions staff, pick up brochures and applications, ask questions, get information on how to apply for financial aid, and learn more about the schools which interest you. This is the time to make a lasting impression on a representative from the school of your dreams or discover that the perfect school for you is one that you hadn’t considered

Law School Fair Tips

One of the most important aspects of applying to law school is selecting the programs that are best suited to your interests and career goals. The provides you with an opportunity to gain in-depth information from school representatives that will help you evaluate programs.

  • Make use of the pre-law services at Center for Undergraduate Advising, Diversity and Student Success.
  • Come prepared. Before the fair, check out which schools will be attending. Then, begin reviewing their websites to get a sense of the law schools and their programs. This will help you identify some of the programs of interest to you and which schools to target at the fair.
  • Rank the schools according to your preference. Visit the schools you are most interested in first so that you have plenty of time to gather as much information as you need.
  • Prepare a list of questions to help you determine if there is a match between the law school program and your interests and goals. Questions may address costs, financial aid, program requirements, course offerings, facilities, location, student life, faculty, and program reputation.
  • Give yourself plenty of time, arrive early, and take a few minutes to review the map of the fair.
  • Be prepared to answer questions from the admissions representatives, such as, “Why do you want to attend law school?” and “When?”.
  • Ask the representative for his/her card; this will provide you with a direct contact that can be used later on for asking follow up questions. Use this opportunity to not only network with the representatives, but also to collect materials for later review.

Consider an Internship this Winter!

If you are a senior looking to meet your PP&E or Law and Policy capstone requirement, consider an internship this Winter.  You can find out more by attending an info session this Thursday:

Info Session on Internships 

When:  Thursday Nov 2, 2017, 4pm

Where:  WCG 322

We have a number of terrific internship opportunities available, from working for members of the US Congress, to interning with the Pierce County public defender’s office, to working for the city of Tacoma. If interested in learning more, attend the session above.  If interested but you’re not able to make this session, contact Professor Katie Baird  (, as space in the internship is limited! 

Truman Scholarship Supports Careers in Public Service

The Truman Scholarship is a prestigious national scholarship for students passionately committed to careers in public service, social justice, or education. It provides funding for graduate school, leadership training, and professional opportunities.

If interested, visit the Truman website and contact Cindy Schaarschmidt, UWT Director of Student Fellowships & Study Abroad to learn about UWT’s nomination process.  Applications are due November 27, 2017.


  • $30,000 toward graduate school
  • Career and graduate school mentoring
  • The Truman network! (Some of the most highly placed figures in public life were Truman Scholars.)


  • Juniors only (i.e. graduating between December 2018 and August 2019).
  • Strong track record and commitment to public service.
  • Desire to be a ‘change agent’.

Campus Deadline

  • November 27, 2017 (scholarship requires University nomination)

Questions? Email Cindy Schaarschmidt ( Director, Student Fellowships & Study Abroad to set up a one-on-one meeting.

Chinese Scholar of Failed States Visits UWT This Year

This year, the Division of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs is pleased to be hosting Dr. Yan Jian (left) as a visiting scholar. Dr. Yan earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Beijing’s prestigious Renmin University in 2012. Since 2005 Dr. Yan has been a research fellow in the Center for Global Governance Studies in China’s Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, where he has translated numerous political science books and journal articles into Chinese.

Dr. Yan’s current scholarly focus is on failed states in Africa and he has published more than 20 articles in this area. This interest was sparked by a particular conversation with his dissertation advisor, Yu Keping, author of the famous essay, Democracy is a Good Thing,” that led Yan to consider why it was that a number of contemporary African states seemed to be worse off than during their colonial period.  While at UWT Dr. Yan will continue his research on this topic. He has already delivered one informal “brown bag” talk on his research; stay tuned for other seminars by him over the coming year.

Dr. Yan is accompanied here by his family. Wife Jia Yajuan is the English editor of The Journal of Modern Chinese History. Five-year-old daughter Beixi (“Bessie,” whose favorite color is pink and whose favorite animals are dogs) is bravely integrating into kindergarten at a local elementary school. The family has already made a habit of exploring Tacoma’s local parks and playgrounds and looks forward to continuing to learn about the local area and beyond. “Someone” has promised that the Tacoma winter will be milder than in Boston, a city where several years ago Dr. Yan and his wife spent a winter.  Let’s hope so!

Dr. Yan’s office is on the second floor of Keystone.  You can reach him at