Confronting the Criminal “Punishment” System: Alumna Runs for Tacoma Municipal Court Judge

Dee Ann “Dee” Sonntag is the dignified embodiment of grit and advocacy; two attributes that go very well with robe and gavel. A graduate of both the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) and the University of Washington Seattle (UW Law School), Sonntag is currently pursuing a position as a Municipal Court Judge for the city of Tacoma. Born in Puyallup, Sonntag grew up around three older sisters. In fourth grade, her whole family moved to a small town called Roundup in the state of Montana but returned to Tacoma for her higher educational career; transferring from Tacoma Community College to the UWT.

Sonntag majored in Politics, Philosophy & Economics and minored in Human Rights. She was involved in multiple Student Organizations including Pre-Law Society, A.S.U.W.T., Politics, Philosophy & Economics Club, Public Relations Committee, and the Legislative Action Committee.  When asked if she had any advice for freshmen who are new to the U.W.T. campus, Sonntag suggested:

“I’ll pass on the good advice that I received, which was to remain open-minded and invest yourself as much as you can in your institution.” Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Christopher Martinez, ’15

Christopher Martinez, ’15

Christopher Martinez can confidently say that UW Tacoma was the right choice for him. “I made some lifelong friendships and met mentors that I still keep in touch with today,” he says. “My time at UW Tacoma had a huge impact on my career and education.” And his career and education are going far — currently, Christopher is in his third year at the University of Washington School of Law, and works in California with the Department of Justice’s Civil Division doing employment and labor litigation.

As a Politics, Philosophy, and Economics major with a minor in Human Rights, Christopher secured an internship through the Washington State Legislative Internship program at UW Tacoma, and he credits that experience with his subsequent job at the Attorney General’s Office. Continue reading

Class of 2018 Heads to Law School!

Now that the dust has settled from commencement, grad parties, and those first gorgeous days of summer… isn’t it time to think about going back to school??
Meet three of PPPA’s Class of 2018 who are heading to law school this fall.

Gabi Gutierrez, ’18

Gabi Gutierrez, a Law & Policy major with a minor in Human Rights, will be attending the University of Washington Law School, with a major focus in Public Service Law. “Although I am extremely grateful for the time I had at the University of Washington Tacoma, I feel like I have even more vigor to practice law. If you are interested in following a career in the legal field, I would highly recommend taking the time to explore the law through internships or volunteering. I’m extremely grateful to have interned for the Department of Assigned Counsel and to have developed supportive relationships with faculty members, because without my experience I would have never discover my true desire to practice criminal law.” 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

Pam Nogueira Maneman (’12) Running for Pacific County Prosecutor

Pam Nogueira Maneman, UWT ’12

Pam Nogueira Maneman, a graduate of UW Tacoma (’12) and the UW School of Law (’15), is running for prosecutor in Pacific County, WA. In the midst of her busy schedule working in a private law firm and serving on Grays Harbor County Drug Court, Pacific County Drug Court, and as a City Council member for the City of Raymond – in addition to running her campaign! – Pam was generous enough to answer some questions for us about her passion for law, her career ambitions, and her UW roots.  Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Mohamed Rashed, PPPA ’11

Mohamed Rashed, PPPA ’11

In 2006, already at work on his degree in business administration, Mohamed Rashed made the daunting decision to leave his home in Egypt and move to the United States. He arrived with little English skills, but enrolled in UW Tacoma just the next year. By 2011, he had graduated with dual Bachelors degrees in Politics and International Business, and then went on to Eastern Washington University for 2 Masters degrees in Business and Public Administration. Today, Mohamed is a Ph.D. candidate in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, alongside working as a newly-hired Vice President and Branch Manager at Banner Bank in Spokane, WA and teaching financial literacy to refugees through World Relief.

Continue reading