Fasting Through Finals: Students Observe Ramadan

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Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims in commemoration of the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, practiced worldwide as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. During Ramadan, Muslims may eat before dawn and after sunset, but do not eat or drink during the day. This year, Ramadan begins on May 15, and many UW Tacoma students are therefore fasting during finals. We spoke to Rania Elbasiony, a junior in Law and Policy, about observing Ramadan while managing the stresses of the end of school year.

What is it like to fast during finals?

“Headaches every single day! The further you get into Ramadan, the easier it gets. Your appetite gets smaller, so you aren’t as hungry. You get used to it. But when it comes to studying or doing homework, using too much brain power really drains your energy. Continue reading

Intern Insights: Spring 2018

PPPA students have been hard at work in the community through their internship placements this quarter. Here are six interns to share their experiences in administrative law, criminal justice, and politics:


Phillip Ramirez (center).

Phillip Ramirez: “I’m interning with the Pierce County Prosecutors office and specifically assigned to the juvenile division at Remann Hall. This internship has been an amazing opportunity to see how juvenile court operates, opening my eyes to a system that is often overlooked when studying the law. Its been great to get hands on experience doing legal assistant work, witnessing court dockets, going out into Pierce County with probation officers, and discussing Washington State juvenile law with the prosecutors that work here.” Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Jackie Wheeler, ’13

Jackie Wheeler, ’13

Congratulations to UWT alum Jackie Wheeler on her acceptance to the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University! 

Since graduating from the Politics, Philosophy & Economics program in 2013, Jackie has worked as a Program Specialist with the Office of the Secretary of State, Elections Division, in Olympia, WA. She also interned for the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. while still an undergraduate. Now returning to the D.C. for her Master’s, Jackie reflects on how UW Tacoma helped her along her path to a career she feels passionate about.

When she moved to Washington from North Carolina, Jackie originally intended to attend UW Seattle, but unexpectedly fell in love with UW Tacoma instead. “I love the small class sizes, the prestigious faculty, and the feeling of community that you get when being on campus,” she says. “I have many fond memories at UWT. I know that the friends I made while at UW Tacoma will be my friends for life.”  Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Catherine Tonsberg, ’16

Catherine Tonsberg, PPE ’16

Congratulations to Catherine Tonsberg on her recent acceptance to Brown University’s Master of Public Affairs program! Currently living and working in Rhode Island, Catherine answered a few questions for us about how her time at UW Tacoma prepared her for her career and, now, her graduate education.

Catherine majored in Politics, Philosophy, & Economics (PPE), with a Law and Policy minor. Describing her program, she says, “I was first drawn to UW Tacoma by the faculty who were active in their field and doing interesting and important work, but the PPE major is what cemented my decision to attend…. The PPE major provided me with analytical tools far beyond what any of these fields would have on their own, and has made me well prepared to think about the human and moral implications of political and economic issues.”  Continue reading

Seeking Instructors for 2018-2019 Public Law Courses

Interested in teaching for PPPA in 2018-19? We have four law-related courses that need to be covered for next year, and are seeking one or more qualified individuals (including graduate students) to teach them.

We are looking in particular for someone in Autumn 2018 to teach our Intro to American Legal System course, MWF 9:30am-10:50am. 

We also have three other public law courses on offer with more flexible times for Winter 2018 and Spring 2019 quarters.

We can offer $5,500 per course, though we are not able to offer a tuition waver for current graduate students.

Interested individuals should send a copy of their CV, as well as a brief cover letter indicating why they are qualified to teach a public law course and why they would like to teach at UWT, to Dr. Sarah Hampson at We will be begin reviewing candidates immediately, so please share this with anyone you think may be interested, and send in your materials as soon as possible.

Thank you!