Monthly Archives: July 2018

2017 – 2018 Academic Year in Review

2017 – 2018 was an exciting academic year for Social and Historical Studies. Here are some highlights:


  • In May, SHS hosted the History Major Spring Social to recognize inductees to Phi Alpha Theta and celebrate the 2018 History Paper Award winners. Recent grad Josiah Pollock was this year’s first place winner and Robbie Wood received second place. Michael Chavez Jr. and Maggie Crelling both received honorable mentions.
  • Assistant Professor Michelle Montgomery brought four guest speakers to campus for the Indigenous Knowledge and Community Conversation series. Topics included “Engineering & Indigenuity: How NASA Views Tribal Resourcefulness,” “The Story of a Tribal Liaison – Teaching STEM Indigenous Knowledge,” “Rising Together: Collaborative Support for Tribal Climate Decision-Making,” and “Indigenous Feminisms and Environmentalism: Re/Claiming Relationships and Responsibilities.”
  • Assistant Professor Stephanie Hinnershitz traveled from Cleveland State University in May to visit UW Tacoma campus, as well as give a lecture at the Washington State History Museum titled “Asian Student Labor Activism in the Early 20th Century Pacific Northwest.”
  • On May 2nd, SHS co-sponsored a presentation by University of Florida Professor Paul Ortiz, which focused on the African American and Latinx history of the U.S.
  • Fall and winter quarter, the SHS division co-sponsored 6th, 7th, and 8th grade AVID students from Jason Lee Middle School who participated in co-curricular activities with UWT students enrolled in Urban Studies and Sociology courses. Coordinated by Lecturer Tanya Velasquez, students practiced seminar skills while discussing common reading assignments about racism and the school-to-prison pipeline.

Faculty Highlights

  • Associate Professor Michael Kucher took over the role of Social and Historical Studies Division Chair. Many thanks to Associate Professor Johann Reusch for his service!
  • Tanya Velasquez and Cynthia Howson both received promotions to Senior Lecturer.
  • Assistant Professor Danica Miller was awarded the 2017 – 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award.
  • Professor Michael Honey published his book “To the Promised Land: 
    Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice.” Professor Honey also travelled a national lecture and media circuit from Atlanta and Memphis to Seattle and Tacoma before ending in Japan, 50 years after King’s assassination in Memphis.
  • The book “Identity Politics of Difference: The Mixed-Race American Indian Experience” was published by Assistant Professor Michelle Montgomery. Professor Montgomery was also invited to interview for Voice of America News and The Native STEM Research Study by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Alumni Profile: Carly Gliva

After being unable to find the right fit with the degree programs offered, UWT alumni Carly Gliva decided to build a customized degree in Nonprofit Development and Management. Now, just a few weeks after graduation, Carly has already found employment in the nonprofit sector as the Development Program Coordinator at Habitat for Humanity Seattle King County. “I designed my degree in Nonprofit Development and Management specifically because I wanted to find a job in the nonprofit sector, and it worked,” says Carly.

She says that she will always remember the students and professors she worked with. By participating in internships and mentorship her final year, Carly felt “well oriented to the strategy and practices commonly used in the fundraising profession; something that wouldn’t have happened without [her] unique course plan…”

Referring to the internships and mentoring she received as a senior, Carly says, “I’ve had the privilege to learn from some amazing and inspirational women with those opportunities, and I am so excited to continue learning from the accomplished women in leadership here at Habitat SKC.”

Congratulations on your new job Carly!


Alumni Profile: Josh Scullin

Social and Historical Studies grad Josh Scullin is moving on to big things after receiving his degree in June. He recently accepted a position as the new Museum Manager for the Tacoma Historical Society, something he feels well prepared for thanks to his History major.  “I don’t doubt that my writing and analytical skills gained at UWT were instrumental to being offered the position,” says Josh. “Those same skills also earned me a place in the University of Washington’s Masters of Library and Information Science Program.”

Reflecting on his time at UW Tacoma, Josh will fondly remember his instructors’ willingness to be challenged by different ideas, as well as his favorite classes, the History Methods Research and Writing Seminar and History Capstone. “Having two full quarters to really dig into a personally significant research project while refining your writing and research skills in preparation of an academic presentation is an exceptionally rewarding way to culminate your time as an undergrad,” he says of the two part class.

Josh has this advice for other students: “…explore classes outside your concentration—you may be surprised at what you find interesting—and get to know your professors as building such relationships can be beneficial far beyond your four years as an undergrad.”

Congratulations to Josh on his new position! We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.