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News from the Research Commons

Scholars’ Studio


May 16, 2017

UW Three Minute Thesis

This year the we held our first 3MT competition! It focused on professional development and celebrated exciting capstone and research experiences of Master’s and Doctoral students at the University of Washington from all three campuses. Congratulations to first-prize winner Molly Grear (Civil & Environmental Engineering), second-prize winner Gabby Barsh (Molecular & Cellular Biology) and People’s Choice…


March 10, 2017

Spotlight on: Rachel Blakeslee & Drinking Water

“You’re coming here and you are this young white girl from this whatever college in the United States, coming here to learn about our water problems, and then what are you going to do about it? You’re going to take all the information that you’ve learned and you’re going to go back to the United…


March 1, 2017

Spotlight: Matthew Howard on Race and Mobility

Growing up in Houston, Matthew Howard saw cars everywhere. What do cars give people? Mobility. As he gains a PhD in English, Matthew wonders: “can we consider mobility a human right?” and moreover, if mobility is tied to American identity, “what does that mean for people of color?” Matthew is using the Negro Motorist Green…


February 22, 2017

Spotlight on: Annie Spencer Ross and Smartphone Accessibility

“Button unlabeled.” When developers don’t make apps accessible, screen reader users hear this phrase. Did you open email? Instagram? NPR News? Unlabeled equals unclear. Annie Spencer Ross is working towards her PhD. in Computer Science & Engineering, focusing on “different technologies and different ways that people think of to start using these technologies.” Specifically, her…


February 8, 2017

Spotlight on: Roger Chao and the Pool of Knowledge

Reflection – how do we make it meaningful? As students and people, we are often reflecting and responding in our daily lives. Roger Chao looks at how to make reflection mean something. Roger has spent the last five years gaining a PhD in English and teaching. Roger is an instructor for English composition classes, but…


January 30, 2017

Spotlight on: Lise Lalonde and the Color of French Identity

How can you talk about racism without the words to describe it? Lise Lalonde, PhD student in French and Italian Studies, explains that her native French lacks the vocabulary we use in the United States to discuss racism; thus, the issue is pushed aside, forgotten. Growing up, Lise heard a distorted version of history; years…


August 23, 2016

Spotlight on: Gary Liu and the Transformation of Drug Carriers

“Fail often, but fail quickly” is Gary Liu’s motto in the lab. Gary’s research is complex, focused on developing carriers to transport drugs to a diseased part of the body while leaving the rest of the body unaffected. Targeted drug carriers will result in better treatment without side effects. Gary’s motivation stems from personal experience;…


August 10, 2016

Spotlight: Caleb Knapp on Race and Non-Normative Sexuality

During an undergraduate course on race, realism and the city, Caleb Knapp considered literature’s “social, cultural, and political value.” Earning his Ph.D. in English at the University of Washington, Caleb is using the value found in literature to research the question: “how are race and non-normative forms of sexuality related, and what is the long…


July 26, 2016

Spotlight on: Madison Smith and The Air, Sea, Ice Interface

  Next spring Madison Smith will spend two months on the open sea…in the Antarctic. On an icebreaker. Madison is looking forward to her chilly trip during which she will collect data for her research looking at the increase in waves due to thinning sea ice. Growing up in Bellingham, Madison always appreciated the water. She…


July 19, 2016

Spotlight on: Ben Wirth and the Masculine Model

What does a “real man” look like? Ben Wirth is asking the question. Ben grew up in Pittsburgh and attended American University intending to study political science. He quickly discovered that he liked talking politics, not studying political science. Now Ben aims to “figure out what I’m passionate about as I experience it.” Ben’s passion led him…