Colin McCann came to UW Tacoma in the fall of 2011 as a transfer student from TCC. After taking advantage of the Running Start program in his high school, he was only 19 when he first arrived on campus. A self-professed “political junkie,” McCann chose to major in PPE (Law & Policy track), with a Human Rights minor. He was also a member of the Global Honors Program.
McCann attributes a great deal of his intellectual, personal, and academic growth to his experiences at UWT, noting that nearly everyone he encountered—from professors to fellow students—challenged him “intellectually, and encouraged me to broaden my perspectives.” He claims that he can’t speak highly enough of UWT’s culture of learning and encouragement of academic discourse. “It helped me develop into the person I am today.” Continue reading →
UW Tacoma Junior and PPE major Taylor Rome is spending Fall quarter completing an internship in the PPPA internship program. Rome is an intern for Denny Heck, congressman for the 10th congressional district. Initially elected in 2012, Heck mounted his first re-election campaign this fall. During this fall’s election season, Rome’s work as an intern has put her at the center of the action.
Each day of Rome’s internship sees her actively involved in the re-election effort. In its effort to “Get out the Vote,” the team gathered data on people they called and on whose doors they knocked. After entering the information they assessed who they still had to remind to send in their ballots. Rome was then part of determining which voters they would target for contact, including people with a good voting record, those who have been identified as supporters, and likely supporters of the candidate. Rome then hit the streets or the phones to put the plan into action. “Canvassing, or door-belling as we call it in Washington, is one of the more exciting and important things on a campaign because it is face-to-face voter contact,” says Rome.
According to Rome, one of the best parts of this internship has been contact with various people, including her co-workers and voters. The internship has provided Rome with an opportunity for learning that is unparalleled. Says Rome, “Every day I learn something new about how the average voter thinks and what shapes their opinions. I have had eye-opening conversations with people at the door, and ones that have left me shaking my head. When you work on a campaign you adopt all of the staff as your family. You are with them all day every day for months and create a bond that you can’t compare to anything else.”
This internship has rounded out Rome’s education at UW Tacoma, giving her hands on experience that has enhanced her classroom learning. The internship has been particularly helpful in opening doors for Rome and creating career opportunities. Although she doesn’t know precisely what career path she will choose, Rome has learned that she belongs in this field. She recommends this type of work to others, saying that the contacts she has made and the experience she has gained will be of great use to her in the future.
As Fall Quarter approaches it’s time for our Law and Policy and Politics, Philosophy and Economics students to decide whether or not to apply for an internship. PPPA internships, generally limited to our graduating seniors, offer exciting opportunities for students to round out their coursework with practical applications. Enrolling in one of our internship courses (TPOLS 496 or TPOLS 497) also is a way of meeting our majors’ capstone requirement. Right now we are accepting applications for a select number of students to engage in Fall internships via TPOLS 496. For more information please contact Professor Ann Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the winter and spring quarters, other select students will have the opportunity to engage in additional internships via TPOLS 496, and all PPPA students will have the option of interning for the Washington State Legislature and enrolling in TPOLS 497 and earning their capstone credit. You can learn more about this competitive internship by visiting our website or attending an upcoming information session in BHS 106 on Tuesday September 30th from noon until 12:50.
Brittany Hale is the 2014 PPPA Paper Prize winner, an award won for her PP&E capstone paper on medical marijuana. Brittany wrote this paper while interning during the winter quarter for the Washington State Legislature. The annual award, given to the student with the best capstone paper for the year, was announced April 30th at the PPPA Internship/Paper Prize Event in William Philip Hall, and Brittany presented her paper during a lunchtime seminar May 15th in the Tacoma Room. Hale states, “My time in Olympia as a legislative intern piqued my interested in public policy. All of the proposed legislation around medical marijuana in this last session provided an important focus for my research paper. I am honored and excited to receive recognition from UWT, and I’d like to thank Professor Baird for helping me focus my research and perfect my paper.”
Lester Burkes’ paper, “Venice Submerged,” on the topic of nuclear power, was named runner up for the prize. Lester also wrote his paper while interning for the Washington State Legislature. Congratulations to both! You can read Brittany’s paper–and those of past PPPA prize winners–in UW Tacoma’s Digital Commons.
We’re delighted that Seyed Karimi will be joining PPPA faculty this fall. Karimi, an economist, earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Tehran Polytechnic, his MS in Industrial Engineering from the Institute for Research in Planning and Development in Tehran, and his PhD. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “I am interested in issues in welfare, health, gender, and religion economics in the context of both developing and developed countries. My passion for understanding the economic implications of society’s norms and institutions and socioeconomic consequences of policy interventions inspires my current research agenda, drives my teaching, and will shape my future inquiries. The interdisciplinary aspect of my academic activities is in line with the mission of IAS at the University of Washington Tacoma. Therefore, I am very enthusiastic to be a member of the school.” We look forward to his arrival this summer.
Also joining us is Eric Bugyis, who recently earned his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University. His research focuses on the intersection of modern religious thought and critical theory. He is particularly interested in contemporary constructions of “secular” and “religious” persons and publics, and the political and cultural mobilization of these categories in the service of both “conservative” and “progressive” ends. For the past five years, Eric has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Notre Dame where he has taught courses on the history of philosophy and Christian theology. At UW Tacoma, he’ll be teaching courses on Religion in the Modern World, Comparative Religion, and Philosophy of Religion, as well as developing new courses at the intersection of religion, culture, and society.
Ann Frost will be joining PPPA next year as a lecturer in American Politics. Ann has a JD from the University of Washington and is currently completing her PhD in Political Science at the University of Washington, Seattle. Having practiced law as a public defender for the past 14 years, her expertise is in the politics of the criminal justice system, the politics of race and ethnicity, and American politics. Her research focuses on state drug sentencing policies, the War on Drugs and their effect on racial minorities. Next year she will teach courses in American Politics, Media and US Politics, Race and Ethnicity, and State Government, and will also teach our two internship courses. Says Ann: “I am incredibly excited to be joining the community at UW Tacoma next year. As long time Seattle residents, my family and I truly appreciate and respect the opportunity to be part of this campus and community.”
2014 PP&E graduate Chelsea Hager recently landed a full time job working for Congressman Derek Kilmer in his Tacoma office. Hager welcomes the opportunity to expand her professional development, enhance her interpersonal skills, and have some fun before pursuing her post-graduate education.
Chelsea transferred to UWT from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. With her family and friends in Washington state—she is one of six daughters—she missed the Pacific Northwest, and was happy to come back home. Upon arriving she quickly choose to major in Politics, Philosophy & Economics as the major “encompasses all of my academic interests.”
In her senior year, Chelsea began to work in Rep. Kilmer’s Tacoma office as a way to gain experience and meet her capstone requirement. In March 2014, Hager was hired as the Staff Assistant and has taken on the coordination for the Tacoma District Office internship program. While the position is very challenging, it aligns with her interests in public service and her passion for politics. Earlier this year, Chelsea gained admission to seven law schools. However, but she has since decided to delay law school for one year. She will reapply next fall, and plans to practice public service law one day. For now, she enjoys running and has recently completed a 15k, with her sights set on finishing a half-marathon. Perhaps–someday–she’ll even run for office!
This winter was a busy time for student internships. Eleven of our students won spots in the prestigious Washington State Legislative Internship program in Olympia – which meant once again UW Tacoma sent more students to participate in this program than did any other school in the state. Students interned with senators and representatives during the past legislative session. In addition to their office work, interns participated in weekly academic seminars and workshops, met with state officials, took part in a budget exercises, and participated in mock hearings and mock floor debates. Many also had opportunities to shadow an elected official or administrator of a state agency, and take a trip to Victoria, B.C. to compare law making in Canada with law making in the US. Sevenother PPPA students interned for members of theUS Congress here in Tacoma (Rep. Derek Kilmer) and Seattle (Sen. Patty Murray), while three went to Washington, DC to work for Rep. Kilmer, Rep. Adam Smith, and Sen. Maria Cantwell. One other intern worked at Joint Base Ft. Lewis-McChord, and a final was the ASUWT representative in Olympia.
Brandon Bannister debating on the Senate fl
Michael in Bishkek
Global Studies major Kristie Weisert interned for Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles. While sitting at the Senator’s desk, she remarked that “my Senator makes me feel like I could actually be a Senator one day!”
My-Le Tang with Gov. Inslee
This quarter also saw one of our students, Michael Wotherspoon (a senior, majoring in Law and Policy) intern in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He is still there studying Russian and writing for Spektator Magazine, a publication that reports on Central Asian affairs. Our man in Bishkek is writing articles about democratic reform and freedom of religion in the Kyrgyz Republic — a topic he’ll share with us during a May 29th seminar.
Scheduled for April 30 during the lunch hour, our annual internship event offers a chance for faculty and students to hear about our students’ internship experiences over the year. This event is also coupled with the announcement of our annual paper prize competition winner. This award goes to the student chosen by faculty for having written the best capstone paper. Last year, the award went to Arianna Shorey (right) who last month presented her paper to faculty and students during a lunch hour seminar. Previous winners and their papers can be found in UW Tacoma’s Digital Commons collection.
Last year, UW Tacoma alum Anna Freudenberg, a graduate of the Washington State Legislative Internship program and currently a Willamette Law School student, worked with other law students to write and then lobby a bill through the Oregon Legislature. The bill enacts measures to reduce wildfires, and last year it became law in Oregon. Anna remarked that “Without having gained all the experience I gained while interning with the Washington State Senate, I am not sure if this would have still been possible.” To her surprise, this year her and her colleagues’ bill was introduced into the Washington Legislature, and on January 17th it advanced to the House floor for discussion.