Following the story: Professor Sarah Hampson

sarah chris and anna hampson


Sarah Hampson, an Assistant Professor in PPPA starting her second year at UW Tacoma, has a few secrets.

Enthusiastic about her classes and her research into work/life policies surrounding motherhood, as well as her self-identity as an idealist occasionally called “Pollyanna”— Hampson is also a huge sci-fi fan!

“I love sci-fi!” she said, laughing. “Star Trek. Time travel. But also historical fiction, and any kind of meta story.”

“I just want to be in a really good story and never have it end.”

A bit surprising for a Law and Policy professor? Maybe.

But maybe not so much when that professor was an undergraduate English major who spent a year studying at Oxford and still loves reading novels—at least when she has time.

But with a love for sci-fi and British literature, how did Hampson end up teaching Law and Society at UW Tacoma?

Well, that’s quite a story… Continue reading

Interdisciplinary faculty and student collaboration bears fruit

by Jane Compson, Assistant Professor

compson_jane_photo_2013One of the things I most enjoy about working at UW Tacoma is the sense of community – not just the academic community that students and faculty share, but the emphasis on working with the local Tacoma community.  I love the interdisciplinarity of UW Tacoma, and the support for projects that engage with the city of Tacoma and beyond.

Recently I was involved in project that exemplified many of these aspects.  One of the classes I teach is Environmental Ethics (PHI 3640), where students are encouraged to explore the ways that humans value and interact with the natural world.  One concept that we learn about in this course is environmental justice, defined as fair treatment for all people, regardless of race, gender, nationality or economic status with regard to environmental laws and policies.  However, some environmentalists argue that this concept is too narrowly based on human interests and claim that the environment itself should be treated with fairness and consideration in its own right, not just because humans benefit from it.   This ‘ecocentric’ view challenges the more traditional ‘anthropocentric’ (human-centered) view that the environment is valuable—as long as it is useful for humans. Continue reading

The UW Tacoma Pre-law Society – revving up for a new year

Marae SlyterThe UW Tacoma Pre-Law Society is starting up again this fall! With new president, Marae Slyter, they are looking forward to a great new year, full of activities and speakers meant to ready Law & Policy majors (and other interested students) to apply to and attend Law School.

Slyter, a double major in Law & Policy and EGL—and a minor in Human Rights—is also President of the Student Theater Acting Guild. “I’ll be really busy this year,” she said. “I’m also interning (since March) for Jeffrey Kradel, a criminal defense attorney in Seattle. I’m a volunteer, but it’s good experience.”

In spite of her busy schedule, Slyter is anxious to see the club draw in more students. Her goal for this year is to offer interested students a greater perspective on the law school experience, particularly those who are would-be lawyers. She’d like to help them to navigate the application process—but mostly wants to make them aware of the resources here at UW Tacoma for pre-law students.

“I had so much support from last year’s Pre-Law Society president,” she said, recalling all she learned about the application process—things that she might have never figured out without help. “I want to help and motivate students through all those little things. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration.”

Slyter went on to say that “our club will give that help to students—helping them make up their minds about becoming a lawyer. To ask themselves, ‘is this for me?’”

And they’ll offer that help within a community of students who hold a common goal of studying the law.

Upcoming events for the Pre-Law Society include a booth at the Student Involvement Fair on September 30th during the noon hour. Slyter hopes anyone interested in Law will stop by to learn more about the club and sign up to receive more information about our activities.

This year, the club is also looking to engage in a number of activities, including:

    • A field trip to a local law school
    • Bringing in outside speakers, including law students, internship coordinators and more!
    • Providing a law school application workshop
    • Providing LSAT prep, test-taking and other support
    • And much more

Faculty Adviser for the Pre-Law Society is Sarah Hampson. Contact her, or Marae Slyter for more information.

WA state legislative internships are coming…

internships-300x206Although the academic year doesn’t begin for another month, it’s time to think ahead if you are considering an internship. One internship promoted by PPPA is the annual WA state legislative intern program.

The priority application deadline is October 6th, but recruitment for the 2016 Legislative Internship program in Olympia has been underway since last spring. An information session was held in May, and the online application opened in June.

“Early in fall quarter, we’ll set up another info session for UW Tacoma students,” noted lecturer Ann Frost, PPPA internship coordinator. A date for the session hasn’t been set yet, but Frost recommended that interested students don’t wait for it, instead accessing the information online as they will have an advantage if they meet the priority deadline.

UW Tacoma normally sends between six and twelve interns to Olympia every winter session—representing a large proportion of the 50-75 interns from all across the state.

Though the day-to-day operations of the internship program are handled by Olympia, Frost keeps tabs on the UW Tacoma interns all quarter. Continue reading