Since arriving here two years ago, Professors Jane Compson and Will McGuire have had a keen eye out for ways to apply their scholarly interests to local issues. Both have just submitted proposals to the University of Washington’s Royalty Research Fund, a fund designed to help junior faculty get their research projects off the ground. Prof. Compson is currently part of a team developing a training program to protect nurses in the MultiCare health system from burnout while increasing their well-being. “Nurses have intensely stressful jobs and are at high-risk for burnout,” Prof. Compson explains. “It is great to have the opportunity to serve those who serve us. If I get this grant my team will use it to create mobile phone apps to deliver exercises for stress.”Meanwhile, Prof. McGuire is working on a project to measure Tacoma city residents’ willingness to pay for improvements to Lake Wapato, part of the Tacoma Metro Parks system. Remarks Prof. McGuire: “I am interested in finding the right level of funding to protect our natural environment, as well as identifying the easiest and ‘fairest’ way for us to share that fiscal burden.”
PPPA’s seminar series focusing on the Middle East and Africa continues this Spring with a keynote address by Professor Nader Hashemi (right) of the University of Denver (UD). Prof. Hashemi is an Associate Professor of Middle East and Islamic Studies at UD’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. He is also Director of UD’s Center for Middle East Studies, and the author of several books on politics and the Middle East. As a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and with opinion pieces in places such as the New York Times, Prof. Hashemi has quickly become one of the most sought after experts on the Middle East. His address is titled “Is Hassan an Iranian Gorbachev? An Assessment of the Islamic Republic after the Geneva Nuclear Deal.” This talk will take place May 7th at 4 pm in the Tacoma Room.
Also on tap spring quarter: The distinguished Mr. Faisal Roble of the Institute for the Horn of Africa Studies will be visiting the UW Tacoma campus. Mr. Roble (left) is a well-respected intellectual, political analyst, and essayist with extensive experience in Africa’s Horn region. He will be delivering a lecture entitled “Post Civil War Somalia: Challenges and Opportunities,” on April 10th at 4 pm in the Carwein Auditorium. UW Seattle’s James Long (below), Assistant Professor of Political Science and an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, will follow this up with a talk on “Electoral Fraud and Political Violence in Africa.” Prof. Long’s research focuses on elections in fragile and developing countries, the dynamics of electoral fraud, the causes of electoral violence, and the effects of civil war and insurgency on state-building and development. Long studies these issues in both sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan, and will be speaking on campus April 23rd, 12:30 pm in CP 103. Rounding out the spring schedule will be our own Michael Wotherspoon, a senior in Law and Policy, who will discuss “The Press, Ethnicity and Free Speech in Kyrgyzstan”. His talk will be based on his experiences in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan where he’s been working for Spektator Magazine. May 29th, 12:30 pm in the Tacoma Room. Thanks to both IAS and UW Tacoma’s Arts and Lecturer Committee for making these events possible. Continue reading
This fall the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) invited Professor Turan Kayaoğlu to advise its officials during the United Nations Security Council meeting, held in New York City. In addition to playing the role of advisor, Turan met with high-ranking diplomats and UN bureaucrats. Prof. Kayaoğlu is currently writing a book about the OIC; after the session, he also wrote an opinion piece for the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman.
This winter was a busy time for student internships. Eleven of our students won spots in the prestigious Washington State Legislative Internship program in Olympia – which meant once again UW Tacoma sent more students to participate in this program than did any other school in the state. Students interned with senators and representatives during the past legislative session. In addition to their office work, interns participated in weekly academic seminars and workshops, met with state officials, took part in a budget exercises, and participated in mock hearings and mock floor debates. Many also had opportunities to shadow an elected official or administrator of a state agency, and take a trip to Victoria, B.C. to compare law making in Canada with law making in the US. Seven other PPPA students interned for members of the US Congress here in Tacoma (Rep. Derek Kilmer) and Seattle (Sen. Patty Murray), while three went to Washington, DC to work for Rep. Kilmer, Rep. Adam Smith, and Sen. Maria Cantwell. One other intern worked at Joint Base Ft. Lewis-McChord, and a final was the ASUWT representative in Olympia.
This quarter also saw one of our students, Michael Wotherspoon (a senior, majoring in Law and Policy) intern in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He is still there studying Russian and writing for Spektator Magazine, a publication that reports on Central Asian affairs. Our man in Bishkek is writing articles about democratic reform and freedom of religion in the Kyrgyz Republic — a topic he’ll share with us during a May 29th seminar.
IAS recently hired two new faculty members who will join PPPA faculty next year. Sarah Hampson will be joining us to teach courses in public law. She is currently finishing up her PhD. in Political Science at the University of Connecticut, and her specialty is in Law and Society, with a special interest in policies around a work/life balance. She is interested in connecting big questions in law and society with practical public policies. She is also interested in politics, women in the military, and race and ethnicity in American Politics. “I am very excited to be joining UW Tacoma this fall, and I look forward to teaching courses in public law, including Law in Society, Constitutional Law, and Law and Public Policy.”
Elizabeth Bruch is our new expert in human rights. She earned a law degree from the University of Wisconsin, has a PhD in sociology from the University of British Columbia, and will be teaching courses primarily in the area of human rights. Her research focuses on international law and policy, human rights, and humanitarian intervention. Having worked as a human rights lawyer before she began teaching, Elizabeth brings this perspective to her classes and scholarship. “I am looking forward to joining the PPPA Division of IAS this coming fall. My family and I will be moving to the Tacoma area from Vancouver, BC, Canada, and we are excited to explore another part of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.” Next year she will be teaching International Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, International Law and International Organizations.
Our loss is someone else’s gain. Three of our faculty members will be leaving at the end of the year to pursue other opportunities. Prof. Michael Zbaraschuck (left), a lecturer in Religious Studies, has been teaching for us for three years. He has just been awarded a tenure track position down the road at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). “Although I’m excited to pursue new professional opportunities at PLU, I’ll miss my students and colleagues here at UW Tacoma.” Prof. Daniel Bennett (right) also gained a tenure track position in Political Science at Eastern Kentucky University. Dan is teaching public law classes for us this year, and commented: “I have relished the opportunity to teach at UW Tacoma, mainly because of the students — the diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives I have encountered in the classroom is incredible.” Finally, Brad McHose (left) recently accepted a Visiting Scholar position at the Center for Ethics in Society at Stanford University, and will be heading south this summer. Brad has taught courses in ethics and philosophy for us over the last two years. We will miss all three of them, but wish them well with their new positions.
This month Professor Turan Kayaoğlu published an oped in The News Tribune where he analyzes an array of current political developments in Turkey. In “The Rise and Fall of Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan, in Three Acts,” Prof. Kayaoğlu criticizes the Turkish government for its abuse of power and turn toward authoritarianism.
Scheduled for April 30 during the lunch hour, our annual internship event offers a chance for faculty and students to hear about our students’ internship experiences over the year. This event is also coupled with the announcement of our annual paper prize competition winner. This award goes to the student chosen by faculty for having written the best capstone paper. Last year, the award went to Arianna Shorey (right) who last month presented her paper to faculty and students during a lunch hour seminar. Previous winners and their papers can be found in UW Tacoma’s Digital Commons collection.
Last year, UW Tacoma alum Anna Freudenberg, a graduate of the Washington State Legislative Internship program and currently a Willamette Law School student, worked with other law students to write and then lobby a bill through the Oregon Legislature. The bill enacts measures to reduce wildfires, and last year it became law in Oregon. Anna remarked that “Without having gained all the experience I gained while interning with the Washington State Senate, I am not sure if this would have still been possible.” To her surprise, this year her and her colleagues’ bill was introduced into the Washington Legislature, and on January 17th it advanced to the House floor for discussion.
This winter, the Politics Philosophy & Economics club voted in a new set of officers (left). The club’s mission is to provide a venue for students to explore their interests in anything related to politics, philosophy or economics, and to provide students with experiences and resources that aren’t available in the classroom setting. For more information, contact the new club president, Nicholas Eutsler (firstname.lastname@example.org)