Is Voting for a Third Party a Wasted Vote?

Are you considering voting for a third party candidate in the 2016 Presidential election, but aren’t sure if its the right choice to make? Come listen to seasoned debaters take on the topic.  Members of the Pacific Lutheran University Speech and Debate team will partner with local policy experts, including our own Prof. Ben Meiches (left) to publicly debate the question “Is a vote for a third party a wasted vote?” on. Oct. 4.

Democratic Communication Specialist Aaron Sherman and student debater Mariah Collier will speak for the yes side of that proposition, while Prof. Meiches and student debater Tate Adams, will argue for the no side.

“I think that the viability of a third-party vote is one of the most important problems that we face, as Americans, in the context of this upcoming election,” Adams said. Prof. Meiches commented that he is “looking forward to this opportunity since the debate format encourages members of the audience to participate.  We rarely get the opportunity to openly discuss different strategies of voting and party support in this kind of competitive, but inclusive forum.”

Event Details:  7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 at Eastvold, Karen Hille Phillips, Pacific Lutheran University.  Admission is free, and the program also will be streamed live online via

Postscript:  Read about the debate in the News Tribune!

Introducing New Assistant Professor Justin Beaudoin

New faculty member Justijustinn Beaudoin is coming to PPPA from Colgate University, where he spent the 2015-16 academic year as a visiting faculty member after completing his PhD at the University of California, Davis in 2015. Justin obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of British Columbia. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies at UC Davis, he worked for two years as an economic consultant in Toronto, Canada, with an emphasis on projects relating to transportation issues for the Canadian Federal and Provincial governments.

Justin’s research primarily focuses on regional economic issues related to transportation and the environment. His dissertation focused on evaluating the effect of public transit investments on traffic congestion and air quality. One theme of this line of research is how public infrastructure investment decisions are affected by other related government policies and regulations that are in place. In the future, Justin plans to continue researching transportation and the associated environmental aspects, while also integrating other urban economic issues such as housing markets and land-use effects. Justin is particularly excited about UWT’s role as an urban-serving university and the potential for integrating his research with questions of interest to local residents and policymakers.

Founding Faculty Member Rob Crawford Retires

By David Morris (Emeritus Professor)

IMG_20160603_202601I’m sure that legions of students hold Rob Crawford in the highest regard as a teacher whose dedication to their learning was truly remarkable. Rob put an enormous amount of time and energy into making his classes work. He did not shy away from assigning difficult reading and holding students accountable for making a good faith effort to confront tough political, philosophical and moral questions. As a scholar, Rob produced innovative and influential work on the politics and philosophy of health care delivery. He helped show that the definition of “health” is a contested one, often grounded not in simple biological measures but in the arena of conflicting and changing cultural values.

In addition to being one of 13 faculty members who started UWT in 1990, here are some
less well-known facts about Rob. As a track star in IMG_20160603_190156high school he was a member of mile-relay team which for a time held the national record. When he graduated from college he rode a motorcycle from California to Illinois to attend graduate school at the University of Chicago. He taught for a while at Chicago State University, a school located in the heart of the South Side with a predominantly African-American student body. As an avid backpacker Rob has made several IMG_20160603_191534excursions into the Grand Canyon and has multiple times camped solo in off-trail sites on Mt. Rainier. For the last fifteen years, Rob has pursued his love of jazz by taking piano lessons from a well-known musician in Seattle. (I can attest to the fact that Rob’s pretty darn good.)
It is privilege for me to have been a friend and colleague of Rob’s over the last 26 years. He is a deeply reflective, generous-spirited, conscientious man–who is also a lot of fun to be around.
More about Rob can be found in this feature article from two years ago.  We’ll miss him, and wish him the best in his next adventure.

Learning the Middle East from Japanese Scholars


Turan Kayaoglu, Associate Professor of International Relations, PPPA

On March 18, 2016, I chaired a side-event panel in New York during CSW60—the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The panel’s title was “Women’s Social Lives and Changing Values in the Middle East: Beyond the Framework of Religion, Culture, and Tradition.” Organized by the Tokyo-based Turkey-Japan Cultural Dialog Society and the New York-based Peace Islands Institute, the panel featured three ethnically Japanese scholars affiliated with Japanese universities. These scholars had much insight to offer about the Middle East; they also had many astute observations about the process of studying the Middle East.

The dominant view in the US public sphere is that, grounded in Islam, Middle Eastern values are fairly stable and uniformly hostile on the subject of women’s lives and rights. This view both neglects how the socio-economic and politics status of Middle Eastern women has experienced dramatic changes and ignores the voice and agency of women in these changes. Focusing on women’s voices and agency, the panelists discussed examples from three issue areas and countries across the Middle East: religious reinterpretation in Egypt, reconstruction of the notion of honor (namus) in Turkey, and political participation during and after the Arab Spring in Tunisia. Continue reading

New faculty joining PPPA this fall: Ben Meiches


Meiches Portrait StyleI recently completed my doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in Political Science and International Relations. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on armed conflict, humanitarian intervention, and mass atrocities. My current work investigates the historical development of the concept of genocide as part of international law and explores how the word ‘genocide’ gets used in contemporary humanitarian politics. Beyond international relations, I am also interested in political theory, philosophy and complexity theory. I believe strongly in the importance of learning about political problems from a variety of different sources, methods and resources. In my classes, I encourage my students to experiment with ideas and to think about issues from a number of angles. During the coming year, I will be teaching Introduction to International Politics, Theories of Violence, Human Rights and the Use of Force among other courses.  I am very excited to join the UW-T community.

Following the story: Professor Sarah Hampson

sarah chris and anna hampson


Sarah Hampson, an Assistant Professor in PPPA starting her second year at UW Tacoma, has a few secrets.

Enthusiastic about her classes and her research into work/life policies surrounding motherhood, as well as her self-identity as an idealist occasionally called “Pollyanna”— Hampson is also a huge sci-fi fan!

“I love sci-fi!” she said, laughing. “Star Trek. Time travel. But also historical fiction, and any kind of meta story.”

“I just want to be in a really good story and never have it end.”

A bit surprising for a Law and Policy professor? Maybe.

But maybe not so much when that professor was an undergraduate English major who spent a year studying at Oxford and still loves reading novels—at least when she has time.

But with a love for sci-fi and British literature, how did Hampson end up teaching Law and Society at UW Tacoma?

Well, that’s quite a story… Continue reading

From Perçem village to Tacoma – Professor Turan Kayaoglu

  • .Associate Professor of International Relations at UW Tacoma
  • Editor-in-Chief, Muslim World of Human Rights.
  • Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs in the School of IAS
  • Author of two books—one of which was just published last month

Turan Kayaoglu’s credentials are impressive, but there is so much more to his story.

A Long and Winding Road…

villageKayaoglu grew up in Istanbul, after moving from his birthplace—Perçem village, in the Erzincan Province of eastern Turkey—when he was just four years old. A massive migration from rural villages to industrial centers was taking place, turning farmers into shopkeepers or factory workers at a dizzying pace.  As a result, he was one of nearly 60 students crowded into an elementary classroom. Yet it was his family’s move to the city that made his presence in that classroom even possible.

Without the access to education that Kayaoglu enjoyed, his father has no formal schoolingparents, but “kind of reads.” His mother’s longing to read—in her 60s—inspired him, and her failure to learn after two years of trying made him more sensitive to the difficulties faced by some of his own students.

Kayaoglu is the fourth of five sons born to Sadullah and Hanim Kayaoglu, with 19 years between the oldest and youngest. He and his younger brother are the only two with a university education, although one of his older brothers did go to a technical college. “But, I was the first to attend a four-year university.” He may have taken it “too seriously,” he said, as a way to compensate for his older brothers’ lack of educational opportunities.

Continue reading

Annual PPPA Colloquium held in May

pppa colloquiumThe first weekend of May, PPPA faculty and their families assembled for the 2nd annual PPPA Colloquium. Held at the Red Lion in Port Angeles, the colloquium offered an opportunity for ten PPPA faculty to present their current research and discuss it with their colleagues. Turan Kayaoglu, organizer of last year’s event, stated  “We do not do collaborative work as much as we could. One reason for this is that we don’t know each other’s research. The Research Colloquium helps us identify common research areas.”

Saturday evening, at the conclusion of the event, a colloquium dinner was held, allowing all present to continue the discussion of the day. As you can see by the photo, a good time was had by all!

Faculty presenters and their topics included: Continue reading

UW Tacoma faculty involved in faculty exchange program

university of bergen photoPP&E Professor Katie Baird will be spending fall 2015 in Norway as a part of the University of Washington-University of Bergen Faculty Exchange Program Visiting Professor appointments at the University of Bergen, Norway. Since the program’s inception in 1979, more than 70 UW faculty and 80 University of Bergen faculty have participated in the exchange, including some from UW Tacoma. Visiting scholars represent such diverse fields as Anthropology, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, English, Fisheries, History, Law, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Quaternary Research, Scandinavian Studies, Surgery, Women Studies, Zoology—and like Professor Baird—Economics.  She will be working on a project concern with education and employment outcomes with others from The Centre for Economic Studies in Social Insurance and Labour Economics.

We hope to hear more on Baird’s activities while she’s in Norway. Stay tuned next fall for updates.