Our Students in Olympia

This quarter, four UW Tacoma students have been hard at work in our state’s Capitol. Andy Brown, Monica Cysensky, and Barbie Weaver are participating in the Washington State Legislative Internship program, and Adán Espino, Jr. is UW Tacoma’s student lobbyist in Olympia. As the quarter draws to a close, we’re checking in with these students to learn about their experiences so far.

Andy Brown, a Law and Policy major, is working for Senator Steve O’Ban, Legislative District #28.

Andy Brown, pictured at the Supreme Court Bench.

Andy says, “This experience has given me an entirely new outlook on what it takes to enact new legislation and be a part of the Washington State Legislature. It is a very fast paced Continue reading

Our Alums Staff Legislators’ Offices

UWT grads are increasingly walking the halls of the state capitol!  This year, three former students are employed as Legislative Assistants for members of the legislature.  All three got their feet wet in state politics through their participation in our internship courses. Anna Nepomuceno (far left) is the LA for Rep. Jake Fey (D-27th District).  Anna graduated last year with a major in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Derek Zable (second from left), is the LA for Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45th District).  He graduated five years ago, and also majored in PP&E.  Nick Russell (far right) works in Sen. Hans Zeiger (R-25th District). He too was a PP&E major, and graduated three years ago. Last month the three alums met with our current interns in the state legislature.  Shown here are Barbie Weaver (center) and Andy Brown (second from right).  Not shown are interns Adan Espino and Monica Cysensky.

Farewell to Our Graduating Seniors: Shonda Singleton

“I’ve come a long way,” reflects graduating senior Shonda Singleton (left). Indeed she has.

Shonda is one of eight Law and Policy students graduating this quarter. Like many of our graduates, Shonda aspires to law school, and next year she plans to take the LSAT.

But graduating from college has not been easy.  Shonda was born and raised in Monroe, Louisiana, and at the age of 13 was pregnant.  Before finishing sixth grade, she had dropped out of school and never returned.  As an adult, Shonda eventually left Louisiana and followed family members settling in the South Puget Sound area.  “Monroe had turned into a ghost town,” she explains. “There was nothing there to do. No jobs, no opportunity.”  Eventually Shonda wound up at Tacoma Community College, and after three years achieved her dream of obtaining her GED. With encouragement from TCC faculty, Shonda soon enrolled in college, and in 2014 completed her AA degree at TCC.  Two years ago she arrived on our campus. Continue reading

Our Interns in the Community, Here and Abroad

This quarter, four of our students have interned in various locations, most in Tacoma, but one in far-flung Azerbaijan!  Aaron Guzman (left), is graduating this quarter in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. This quarter he was an investigative intern with Pierce County’s Department of Assigned Counsel, working with alleged criminals during pre-trial procedures. “I’ve been learning a lot about investigations,” Aaron says. “My supervisor provides us with real world experience, and I enjoy going to court houses and jails. Now more than ever, I’m interested in a career in federal law enforcement.”   Aaron’s supervisor Glenn Glover calls Aaron a “great asset,” and was glad to have him join their team.

Meanwhile, across the globe, Emma Watkins (senior, Politics, Philosophy and Economics) spent last summer in Azerbaijan, a country nestled between Armenia, Russia, Georgia, and Iran. Continue reading

Truman Scholarship Supports Careers in Public Service

The Truman Scholarship is a prestigious national scholarship for students passionately committed to careers in public service, social justice, or education. It provides funding for graduate school, leadership training, and professional opportunities.

If interested, visit the Truman website and contact Cindy Schaarschmidt, UWT Director of Student Fellowships & Study Abroad to learn about UWT’s nomination process.  Applications are due November 27, 2017.


  • $30,000 toward graduate school
  • Career and graduate school mentoring
  • The Truman network! (Some of the most highly placed figures in public life were Truman Scholars.)


  • Juniors only (i.e. graduating between December 2018 and August 2019).
  • Strong track record and commitment to public service.
  • Desire to be a ‘change agent’.

Campus Deadline

  • November 27, 2017 (scholarship requires University nomination)

Questions? Email Cindy Schaarschmidt (cs65@uw.edu) Director, Student Fellowships & Study Abroad to set up a one-on-one meeting.

Chinese Scholar of Failed States Visits UWT This Year

This year, the Division of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs is pleased to be hosting Dr. Yan Jian (left) as a visiting scholar. Dr. Yan earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Beijing’s prestigious Renmin University in 2012. Since 2005 Dr. Yan has been a research fellow in the Center for Global Governance Studies in China’s Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, where he has translated numerous political science books and journal articles into Chinese.

Dr. Yan’s current scholarly focus is on failed states in Africa and he has published more than 20 articles in this area. This interest was sparked by a particular conversation with his dissertation advisor, Yu Keping, author of the famous essay, Democracy is a Good Thing,” that led Yan to consider why it was that a number of contemporary African states seemed to be worse off than during their colonial period.  While at UWT Dr. Yan will continue his research on this topic. He has already delivered one informal “brown bag” talk on his research; stay tuned for other seminars by him over the coming year.

Dr. Yan is accompanied here by his family. Wife Jia Yajuan is the English editor of The Journal of Modern Chinese History. Five-year-old daughter Beixi (“Bessie,” whose favorite color is pink and whose favorite animals are dogs) is bravely integrating into kindergarten at a local elementary school. The family has already made a habit of exploring Tacoma’s local parks and playgrounds and looks forward to continuing to learn about the local area and beyond. “Someone” has promised that the Tacoma winter will be milder than in Boston, a city where several years ago Dr. Yan and his wife spent a winter.  Let’s hope so!

Dr. Yan’s office is on the second floor of Keystone.  You can reach him at yanjian@uw.edu.

New Law School Application Success Series

Ernesto Chavez (left) joined our faculty this fall as a Lecturer in Law and Policy; he is also the campus’ new Pre-Law Coordinator.  Prof. Chavez comes to us from Saint Martin’s University where he taught courses in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies. Prior to Saint Martin’s, he spent fourteen years as a criminal defense attorney after receiving his law degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, As our Pre-Law Coordinator, Prof. Chavez will be supporting UWT students aiming for a law-related career. This year, in conjunction with the Teaching and Learning Center, Prof. Chavez has initiated the Law School Application Success Series, a series designed to help students navigate through and succeed with their law school applications. The series will include UWT’s first ever slate of LSAT preparation classes. Please join Prof. Chavez and the TLC for its kick off event on October 11th.

WhatKick Off Event for Law School Application Success Series

When:  Wednesday October 11th, 3-4:30

Where:  Lucien Boardroom, 320 GWP

For more information, contact Prof. Chavez at elchavez@uw.edu

Interested in Career in the Foreign Service? Check out this Fellowship

Here is a great fellowship opportunity for students interested in a Foreign Service Career. 

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship:

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship is a program that aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service.  The Rangel Program selects 30 Fellows annually and helps support them through:

  • Two years of graduate study;
  • Internships and professional development activities; and
  • Entry into the Foreign Service.

The program provides up to $47,500 annually towards tuition, room, board, books and mandatory fees for completion of two-year master’s degrees. Members of groups historically underrepresented in the RangelForeign Service and those with financial need are especially encouraged to apply.  Fellows who successfully complete the program and Foreign Service entry requirements will receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers (and have to serve for five years).


Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens;
  • Be seeking admission to enter graduate school in the fall of 2017 for a two-year program at a U.S. university in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher.


Application deadline for 2017 is September 21, 2016.

Additional Information

For more information please visit the Rangel website and schedule an appointment with Cindy Schaarschmidt at the Office of Student Fellowships & Awards.