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!

Funding Public Defenders: An Unfunded Mandate? Event Recap

L to R: Senator Steve O’Ban, Kanani Palafox, Mary Kay High, Chancellor Mark Pagano, Dawn Farina, Councilman Derek Young, Judge Elizabeth Martin.

On Thursday, April 26, 2018, PPPA hosted a panel discussion to address the funding of public defense in Washington State.

How is public defense an unfunded mandate?
This year was the 55th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright, which extended the constitutional right of indigent defense (attorneys for criminal defendants unable to afford their own representation) to criminal trials at the state level. By extending this provision to state court trials, the decision required that states themselves fund public defenders. This is called an unfunded mandate, meaning the federal government has required state or local governments to provide a service, but has not also provided the money for them to do so.

In Washington State, the legislature funds just 4% of this mandatory public defense, leaving counties to incorporate the remaining 96% of the cost of public defense into their own budgets, regardless of their ability to do so. This puts public defense in jeopardy, and it also affects other vital county-level services, since there is less money left to go around. Continue reading

Dr. Mary Hanneman Receives Fulbright Research Grant

Dr. Mary Hanneman

Congratulations to PPPA Associate Professor and Acting Director of UWT’s Asia Center, Dr. Mary Hanneman, on receiving a Fulbright Research Grant!

Dr. Hanneman previously received a teaching Fulbright in 2010, spending five months at a small college in north Bengal. This time she will be conducting research at a larger university, North Bengal University, in a neighboring city.  Continue reading

Dr. Sarah Hampson Edits New Book “Mothers, Military, and Society”

Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Public Law Dr. Sarah Cote Hampson, editor of the newly published Mothers, Military, and Society, out this year from Demeter Press. Dr. Hampson’s “Military Moms in the Spotlight: What Media Attention on Mothers in the U.S. Military Means for Public Policy” is included in the volume.

Mothers, Military, and Society takes an interdisciplinary and international approach to analyzing the relationship between motherhood (traditionally understood as feminine) and the military (traditionally understood as masculine), exploring the ways these interact and intersect. It includes case studies, theoretical perspectives, and personal narratives. Continue reading

Announcing “253 Economics,” a Collaborative Blog from PPPA

UW Tacoma’s Division of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs (PPPA) has started a new blog, 253 Economics, that features students’ voices on contemporary issues and debates within economics, including those occurring here in the 253 area code. The purpose of 253 Economics is to show how economic reasoning applies to real world issues, and to do so in non-technical language that a general audience can understand. Sample topics include economics of education, health, immigration, labor, trade, and urban policies. The blog is a collaborative effort among economics faculty and students, and gives students an opportunity to share insights gained through their coursework and experience.

253 Economics is managed by UWT’s economics faculty and edited by Seyed Karimi ( Bookmark for easy access to new posts!


Congratulations! Dr. Jane Compson and Dr. Will McGuire Receive Tenure

Congratulations to Dr. Compson and Dr. McGuire! Celebrate these newly tenured faculty by getting to know them a little better, including a preview of their current and upcoming projects.

Dr. Jane Compson, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Dr. Compson has taught at UW Tacoma since 2012. Her specialties are applied philosophy, environmental ethics, philosophy of religion and the environment, comparative religion, and Buddhist thought (phew!).

Developing new work with the community is a big priority Continue reading

PP&E Student Espino Cited in Seattle Times Article

About 40 percent of UWT students receive need-based grants from the State. That fact comes to us from PP&E major Adán Espino Jr.   Last week, Seattle Times reporter Katherine Long interviewed Espino, then cited him in her article on proposals under consideration by state legislators to increase funding for the state’s need-based grant program. If passed, one proposal would turn this grant program for college students — which is currently underfunded — into an entitlement program, so that all students eligible for aid would receive it. Currently, only 70,000 out of the 90,000 students in the state eligible for a grant, receive one.

Espino is the UWT’s legislative liaison this year; he’s been spending the quarter in Olympia representing UWT students during this year’s legislative session.  The student lobbyists have all been pushing hard for fully funding the state’s need based grant program. That effort seems to be paying off!

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.