Hello again from Masterly Musings! In this edition we congratulate our Winter Quarter graduates, they are certain to make a profound impact with their newly minted degrees! We also hear from our Graduate Merit Top Scholar recipient and Husky 100 member for 2019, Mira Farrow. Also, MAIS alum Russell Hansen (Class of 2018) discusses life as a Ph.D. student on the Seattle campus. Finally, Ruth Bernstein describes how an article in the New York Times inspired her to change careers after many years of success in an entirely different area of study. Please continue onward to learn more about what’s happening in the world of the MAIS!
MAIS Winter Graduates – Ready for Anything!
Congratulations are in order for our first MAIS graduates of 2019! Best wishes for Karin, Lucas, Tye and Gabriel, we know you’ll put your degree to good work!
Karin Crelling with her Faculty Advisor Dr. Mike Allen
Thesis: The Confederate Battle Flag: Why is it Perceived so Differently in the U.S. and Europe/Germany?
Thesis Committee: Mike Allen (Chair), Libi (Elizabeth) Sundermann
Degree Project: Father Bix: Nonviolence in Action (Film/Documentary)
Project Committee: Mike Honey (Chair), Joanne Clark Dillman
Tye Jones (right) with MAIS alum Jordan Woolston (MAIS, Class of 2018)
Nonprofit Practicum: The Union Innovation Hub
Practicum Supervisor: Ruth Bernstein
Degree Project: Deja La: Foucault and LSD (Film)
Project Committee: Asao Inoue (Chair), Ingrid Walker
Once more, congratulations to all Winter Quarter graduates, we couldn’t be more proud of your hard work and contributions to the MAIS program.
Win/Win – MAIS Graduate Merit Scholarship and Husky 100 Winner Mira Farrow
MAIS student Mira Farrow was the lucky recipient of both the MAIS Graduate Merit Scholarship, and was named one of the very prestigious Husky 100. Each year, the Husky 100 recognizes 100 UW undergraduate and graduate students from Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma in all areas of study who are making the most of their time at the UW, and we are very proud that Mira was selected for this honor. She relays more about how she arrived here.
I am honored and humbled to be chosen to receive the MAIS Top Scholar Award. I am grateful to my fellow MAIS students and alumni, and particularly Karin Dalesky and Rebecca Disrud in the TLC for the advice, advising, and patience, as well as my professors here at UWT who have made the last five quarters such an intellectually rich and rewarding experience. As a native Washingtonian, first-generation returning student, I’m proud to be at my home states best tier 1 research university, to win this award is beyond words.
I’ve had so many amazing experiences as a result of my time here it would hard to list them all. It has stimulated me to go deeper, be more assiduous in my studies, and to work well outside my comfort zone. In Winter Quarter 2018, I was given the opportunity to co-lead with Dr. Knopp several sections of TGEOG 420. This past summer I presented my research at Stanford University for the West Coast Graduate Liberal Studies Symposium (WCGLSS). This led me to having my first ever peer reviewed academic article, “Gender outlaws in non-binary space” published just before Christmas in Western Tributaries. This past Fall I had the opportunity to return to Queer I Am, a statewide undergraduate queer conference that had a tremendous impact upon my development as an undergrad, this time as a presenter. These experiences have given me a deeper appreciation and understanding of community activism, compassion, and leadership; these lessons have stayed with me and continue to have impact in my daily life and inform my work.
Outside of the classroom, within the fifteen months I’ve been in the program here at UWT I have had the honor of leading campus and community discussions around pressing social issues like #MeToo, gun control, environmental sustainability, and possible futures for the queer community. Through my work in the Center for Equity and Inclusion I took part in co-organizing UWT’s first ever LGBTQIA pride event, leading UWT’s presence at Tacoma Pride, as well as bringing the local Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony here to campus. Personally, when I started here I had a different legal name and gender. My research has not only enriched my academic and intellectual life, it has had a tremendously positive effect upon my personal life, again beyond words.
I am currently researching the day-to-day lives of transgender people and how that can shine a light on the myriad ways we are excluded, marginalized and all too often fall victim to violence. I hope this work can help create a more complete understanding of how often simple taken for granted life experiences, like getting an ID, using public transit or accommodations are often problematic for gender variant people and frequently become vectors for violence. I can’t thank the UWT community enough for this opportunity to grow and learn with you!
If I could sum up my experience here it would be two pictures. One is just three hands, all with various shades of purple nail polish taken while at Stanford for WCGLSS, the other is one taken outside the Swiss of my partner in crime with the biggest smile as we skip class to review each other’s work and yea, drink beer. Sometimes you have to go with the flow… Cheers!
MAIS Alum Russell Hansen
Russell Hansen (MAIS, Class of 2018) was so inspired by his work in the MAIS program that he decided to continue onward, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Communications at the University of Washington. His MAIS thesis, The Structure of Deliberation in the Networked Public Sphere, was a catalyst for his current research interests. Russell reflect on the time he spent in the MAIS, and his transition into his new role as a Ph.D student:
I am currently a first year PhD student in the Communication department at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. I study political communication and communication technology, researching the character of online discussions about politics and the role those conversations have on the development of political opinions. More specifically, I look at the discourses surrounding civility, seeking to understand how it functions to both support and suppress open dialogue.
My interdisciplinary training in the MAIS program has endowed me with diverse methodological fluency that crosses multiple disciplines, including Sociology, Psychology, and Political Science, permitting me to investigate social phenomena from multiple perspectives. In addition, a strong focus on epistemological and axiological commitments has guided me in applying social scientific methods while maintaining a critical orientation, which is deeply important to me. The Interdisciplinary Studies program fosters curiosity, engagement, and freedom of scholarship, providing an environment that has contributed significantly to my development as a scholar.
Congratulations, Russell, we look forward to hearing more about your research!
Faculty Spotlight – Ruth Bernstein
Dr. Ruth Bernstein
Dr. Ruth Bernstein (Assistant Professor, MAIS Nonprofit Studies) was featured on the UW Tacoma website, discussing her past research as a geologist, and her current work as Nonprofit Management instructor for both our undergraduates and our MAIS/Nonprofit Studies students. Dr. Bernstein also oversees the minor and post-baccalaureate certificate in Nonprofit Studies. Tacoma is the only UW campus that offers a minor in Nonprofit Management. The program sets students up with a 120-hour internship, which puts them behind the scenes at local museums, food banks, co-ops, and established organizations, such as the United Way and the YMCA.
Along with her work with graduate and undergraduate students, Dr. Bernstein, in conjunction with her Nonprofit course Philanthropy and Social Change and the Kitsap Community Foundation, was able to award three nonprofit groups in the Tacoma region with funding. More details can be found here, and we’re excited to see such terrific work transpiring beyond the UWT campus as a result of our Nonprofit curriculum.
Finally, Dr. Bernstein was also the recipient of the Best Paper Award through the professional association the Academy of Management. The organization focuses on inspiring scholars and researchers that work within the realm of teaching and scholarship in relation to organizations and management. The paper, entitled The Impact of Leadership Diversity Among Nonprofit Organizations, was co-authored by Chris Fredette. Well done, Ruth!