Congressman Derek Kilmer Visits With Students

kilmer 1On Tuesday May 31st, US Rep. Derek Kilmer visited UWT to spend 90 minutes with students in Prof. Katie Baird’s Economics of Public Policy class. Conversation between students and the CoKilmer 3ngressman covered a range of policy issues, including the cost of higher education, the need for campaign finance reform, the shortage of beds for those with mental health problems, and
whether the nation’s degrading stock of nuclear weapons should be rekilmer 2placed.  Rep. Kilmer also commented on the divided and divisive nature of politics today, but urged students to remain engaged.  Ending on a hopeful note, he remarked that “This isn’t the first time in our country’s history that our nation has been so divided.  And in all times but one–the Civil War–we have always managed to work together to find a solution.”

Students’ Projects on Display in UWT Undergraduate Showcase

Oscar 2On Friday May 27th, students from two PPPA classes displayed class projects at the quarterly UWT Undergraduate Showcase event held in William Philip Hall.  Nearly a dozen students from Prof. Katie Baird’s TPHIL 251 Data and Discourse class presented Posterboards of their project examining alternative ways to measure trends in inequality in the US.

AnotheKate 1r four students from Prof. Baird’s TECON 410 Economics of Public Policy class presented posterboard versions of class essays.  Katherine Daniels (right) analyzed land usage Melissa 3policies in Gig Harbor.  Melissa Amaya (left) examined the impact of Community Truancy Boards.  Annika Nelson argued for labeling all foods containing GMOs, and Doug Nelson wrote about recent controversies over Louisiana’s prison system.  Congratulations to all the participants and kudos on their good work.

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2016 PPPA Paper Prize Goes to Brianna Trafton

Brianna Trafton won this year’s Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs’ (PPPA) annual award for the best Capstone paper, a paper written for Prof. Charles Williams’ Capstone on The Great Depression.  The paper (“The New Deal  Watershed—for Watersheds:
Franklin D. Roosevelt, New Conservation, and the Legacy of an Environmental President”) argues that FDR’s growing awareness of environmental challenges shaped both his New Deal policies and our nation’s subsequent environmental policies. “Brianna did a great job connecting the personal and ideational roots of FDR’s New Deal policies, and uncovering his lesser-known legacy on environmental issues,” said Prof. Etga Ugur, one of three PPPA faculty members who judged papers nominated for this award.  In total, faculty nominated six students for PPPA’s annual award.

All three faculty judges remarked on the outstanding quality of the students’ work.  “These were among the best student papers I’ve seen in my 16 years at UWT,” commented Prof Katie Baird. “We thought a number of them should be published almost as is.”

The other five nominated papers included three from Prof. Ugur’s Capstone class on Democratization and Political Development in the Middle East:  Brian Juneman wrote “Iran’s Green Thumb:  Why the Growing Reform Movement isPPPA internship event Slow to Bear Fruit”;  Brittany Hale (the winner of the PPPA paper prize two years ago) wrote “International Creations: The Case of Iraq, Syria, and Jordan”; and Joshua Va
was the author of “The Syrian Identity Crisis: Explaining the Resilience of Assad’s Ruling Bargain”.  Prof. Eric Bugyis nominated two papers from his Capstone on Christianity and Radical Politics.  Ian Clogston wrote a paper entitled “Virtue, Terror, and Republicanism during the French Revolution,” and Austin Reddy wrote “Sacramental Theology as Immanent Science: The Subversive Heart of Catholicism.” “All of these papers were excellent,” remarked Prof. Ben Meiches, “Picking a top paper was particularly difficult because a strong case could be made for each of them.”

PPPA paper prize 2A brief award ceremony, followed by Brianna’s presentation of her paper, will take place Monday May 23rd from 12:30 to 1:30 in the Dawn Lucien Boardroom (GWP 320).  All are welcome, and pizza will be served.  All past PPPA paper prize-winning papers can be found in UWT’s Digital Commons.

Spring Quarter Medical Ethics Conversation Coming Up!

Tuesday, May 17th – 6pm-8pm – Dougan 160

This quarter’s topic:  “Do No Harm: Navigating Cultural Differences”

Free and open to the public but please register at:


Join an interactive panel discussion with members of the West Pierce/Mary Bridge Ethics in a fascinating exploration how ethics and law enter into discussions regarding the proper medical treatment for a patient while navigating cultural divides.

Primum non nocere – first do no harm. Medical professionals are obligated to do no harm to patient, but as medical technologies advance and different cultures interact, the understanding of harm can change. What may be seen as a standard of Western medicine may be an unacceptable harm to the patient because of his/her culture and values. Join us as we discuss how we decide and define: What is harm? This forum will engage the audience in exploring challenging medical ethics situations with members of the MultiCare West Pierce/Mary Bridge Medical Ethics Committee and a UW Tacoma faculty ethicist.

Campus map and parking info:

For more information please contact Jane Compson: