Faculty spotlight: Rob Crawford

“I hitchhiked to Timbuktu over Christmas vacation…”

Rob Crawford photoThat’s the sort of life Professor Rob Crawford has led—so interviewing him for this newsletter was definitely a thought-provoking, rapid-fire experience. We discussed issues ranging from his personal history and academic background, to his position as one of the founding members of UW Tacoma’s faculty, and his thoughts on a thirty-seven year teaching career. There isn’t room here to cover every topic that came up in our hour-long conversation, but the highlights are fascinating. Continue reading

China study abroad- summer 2014

image-5Beef noodles, Buddhist temples, busy streets, and boats on the Yellow River.  Sixteen students experienced all of these things on the UWT summer study abroad in China last summer, led by UWT’s Dr. Mary Hanneman and Tacoma Community College’s Dr. Yi Li.   For the past eight years, UWT students have had the opportunity to gain (or hone) Mandarin skills while studying Chinese history and culture in China.  The 2014 program took students to the city of Lanzhou, in China’s northwestern region, for three weeks of language study at Lanzhou University and one week of travel to Dunhuang, a site on the ancient Silk Road, finishing up with three days in China’s vibrant capital of Beijing. Continue reading

New faculty quotes:

Several new faculty joined PPPA this fall, and a few had comments on how much they enjoyed their first quarter at UW Tacoma.

Ishita NandiIshita Nandi: “I have had a very enjoyable and fulfilling fall quarter here at UW Tacoma. The students are engaging, intelligent and have the right attitude towards learning. We have developed an easy camaraderie in class and I feel like the conversational tone to my lectures makes it easier for them to open up and ask questions. I am always pleasantly surprised to hear my students voice their opinions on the many public policy issues we analyze in TECON 410, and I love seeing that spark of understanding when my TECON 101 students apply a basic economic model for the first time that relates to their own lives and the decisions they make. Continue reading

2013 Alumna – A Husky once again

Tacoma native Dee Sonntag, a former PPPA student and UW Tacoma alumni (winter, 2013) is about to begin her last year at the University of Washington School of Law.

Dee SonntagBut that’s not where she started her legal education. She spent the 2013-14 academic year at the University of Idaho College of Law. “I traveled to Moscow, Idaho by myself, while my husband, Joey, and daughter, Jade (8) remained in Tacoma.” Although it wasn’t easy to be separated from her family, Sonntag noted, “I really enjoyed my studies at the COL. My professors and friends made the time away meaningful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. As the regional mediation champion, I got to travel to Miami to complete in the ABA National Mediation Competition. I was also the Student Bar Association Representative for my section.” Continue reading

More alumni news:

Passing an Initiative – As a communications staff member of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Tallman Trask worked to pass Initiative 594, one of the few progressive success stories of the 2014 election cycle. Primarily responsible for being the eyes and ears of the communications department, as well as various media and press work, Trask played an important role in taking steps to reduce gun violence in Washington through the passage of common-sense background checks for all gun sales. Trask was a member of the class of 2013, graduating with a degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics.

Applying for a Fulbright ScholarshipLizeth Garcia recently submitted her application forLizeth Garcia photo the 2015-2016 Fulbright ETA program. As an advocate for education, Garcia decided to apply to the Fulbright ETA program to empower students in Mexico with the ability to speak English. As a tutor with a local Hispanic organization, she has gained valuable skills that will prepare her for a Fulbright ETA assignment.  She is currently working as a legislative aide for King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer.  Garcia believes the skills she is developing through her employment with KCC and community involvement stand to be useful tools as she pursues a graduate program upon her return from a Fulbright assignment.

Garcia states, “I encourage students who are considering applying for Fulbright to start early. The application process can be quite rigorous and demands a lot of time. It’s a daunting task, but is very rewarding. It’s important to develop strong relationships with professors and gain experience in extracurricular activities. These will be vital parts of your application. Additionally, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have an ideal GPA. Fulbright is interested in students who are passionate about making a change. Lastly, have fun. It was neat to see how much I learned about myself through this process.”

We wish her all the best as she awaits the results of her application.                              (The above photo was taken in Trinidad, Cuba at the Manaca Izuaga Watch Tower.)

 

Exciting opportunities in the PPPA internship program

internships-300x206The PPPA internship program provides wide ranging opportunities for majors to get hands on experience in a setting outside the classroom.  PPPA interns work in settings that are related to government, political campaigns, and public policy.  This quarter interns are working on congressional campaigns and in law firms.  Taylor Rome is working on congressman Denny Heck’s reelection campaign, Alina Gnatyuk is working on Congressman Derek Kilmer’s reelection campaign, and Sandra Kruh is working at the Barokas Martin and Tomlinson law firm. Another exciting internship opportunity is the Washington State Legislative Internship program, which is open to all UW Tacoma students.  We currently have intern hopefuls interviewing for the legislative internship program, and the successful candidates will intern full time in Olympia during Winter quarter.  There will be more internship opportunities for PPPA students during Winter and Spring quarters.  PPPA interns get practical experience, an extension of their academic studies, and complete their Capstone requirement with the internship.  All PPPA students interested in doing an internship during Winter or Spring quarters should contact Professor Ann Frost at acfrost@u.washington.edu.

PPPA intern Taylor Rome – Front and center during election season

UW Tacoma Junior and PPE major Taylor Rome is spending  Fall quarter completing an internship in the PPPA internship program.  Rome is an intern for Denny Heck, congressman for the 10th congressional district.  Initially elected in 2012, Heck mounted his first re-election campaign this fall.  During this fall’s election season, Rome’s work as an intern has put her at the center of the action.

Each day of Rome’s internship sees her actively involved in the re-election effort.  In its effort to “Get out the Vote,” the team gathered data on people they called and on whose doors they knocked.  After entering the information they assessed who they still had to remind to send in their ballots.  Rome was then part of determining which voters they would target for contact, including people with a good voting record, those who have been identified as supporters, and likely supporters of the candidate.  Rome then hit the streets or the phones to put the plan into action.  “Canvassing, or door-belling as we call it in Washington, is one of the more exciting and important things on a campaign because it is face-to-face voter contact,” says Rome.

According to Rome, one of the best parts of this internship has been contact with various people, including her co-workers and voters.  The internship has provided Rome with an opportunity for learning that is unparalleled.  Says Rome, “Every day I learn something new about how the average voter thinks and what shapes their opinions.  I have had eye-opening conversations with people at the door, and ones that have left me shaking my head.  When you work on a campaign you adopt all of the staff as your family.  You are with them all day every day for months and create a bond that you can’t compare to anything else.”

This internship has rounded out Rome’s education at UW Tacoma, giving her hands on experience that has enhanced her classroom learning.  The internship has been particularly helpful in opening doors for Rome and creating career opportunities.  Although she doesn’t know precisely what career path she will choose, Rome has learned that she belongs in this field.  She recommends this type of work to others, saying that the contacts she has made and the experience she has gained will be of great use to her in the future.

Planning ahead – Summer 2015 study abroad to China

image-2Planning is already underway for the 2015 China Study Abroad, which will include a special focus on the Chinese economy in a course taught by PPPA economics professor Will McGuire.  The one-month program will be housed at Renmin University in Beijing, where students will study Mandarin for three weeks in addition to studying Chinese history and economics.  The economics study will include field excursions to Chinese businesses and state-run industries.  The study abroad will also include a week-long excursion to Tianjin and cultural field trips in the Beijing environs.

The 15 credit academic program for the study abroad includes: TCHIN (Mandarin Chinese) 101-203, depending on entrance and exit exams (the exact course number is determined by where a student tests in and out) TINTL 480, Chinese History and Culture; TECON 461, Current Issues in Chinese Economy.

Course descriptions:

TECON 461- This course will provide a brief introduction to the creation and reform of China’s socialist economic system, and then focus on the biggest economic challenges facing the country today. The topics covered will include, among others, economic inequality, macroeconomic stability, and environmental sustainability. We will combine academic study with firsthand knowledge by combining lectures with site visits and interactions with local business leaders and/or policymakers.

TIAS 480 –  This course will examine the history, culture, language, and politics of China.  Classes will be held at a cooperating university in People’s Republic of China.

Dates for the study abroad are June 21- July 18, 2015. The cost for the program is $4900, (which includes the 15 credits, three weeks’ lodging in Beijing, coursework, one week travel to QIngdao and Jinan, and all food, lodging and travel during the one week travel portion).  For more information about the 2015 trip, please consult the International Programs website http://www.tacoma.uw.edu/international-programs/china-west-east or http://www.tacoma.uw.edu/international-programs/china-past-present. You can also contact Dr. Mary Hanneman (hanneman@uw.edu), Dr. Will McGuire (mcguire@uw.edu) or Dr. Yi Li (yli@tacomacc.edu).