University of Washington Magazine - Summer 2024

Page 1

When

The Rocket Took Off

How a ragtag team of journalists launched the magazine that defined the Grunge era

Running With an Idea

In 1976, Olympic marathoner Don Kardong, ’74, told a reporter that he would love for Spokane to have a road race that would bring runners through downtown. The mayor endorsed the idea, “and we got a group of volunteers together and planned a route,” Kardong says. On May 1, 1977, they expected maybe 300 runners for the first-ever Bloomsday Race. “But we ended up with almost 1,200. It was quite a surprise,” Kardong says. The second year brought 5,000. The third, 10,000. “Running was just getting started,” Kardong says. “We had no idea we were headed into a running boom. But even after

the first year, we knew we had something pretty special.” The Lilac Bloomsday Run, as it is known today, not only lures fans from across the region but draws elite runners from around the world. Kardong, who retired as race director in 2019, continues to hit the city’s roads with 40,000 to 60,000 participants each May. “I have run or walked every year,” he says. “So have a bunch of others. We call them our perennials, about 75 people who have done every Bloomsday since the start.” – Hannelore Sudermann

Photo by The Spokesman-Review

Read more at uwmag.online/bloomsday

OF WASHINGTON SPOKANE

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At the University of Washington, our students and our community have a rich legacy of striving toward a common goal, and we don’t stop at the finish line. When we all combine our individual passions with a shared purpose, we go further, faster — together.

uw.edu/boundless

For pushing yourself. For pulling together. BE BOUNDLESS.

uwmag.online

Art Wolfe, ’75, shares a moment with a southern elephant seal on South Georgia Island while filming “Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge,” a series that aired on public television. The photographer is this year’s Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus, the highest honor bestowed upon a University of Washington graduate.

COFFEE & COMMUNITY

Efrem Fesaha showcases African coffee history through Boon Boona—a sustainable café and roastery whose name translates to “coffee coffee.” uwmag.online/boona

Two Seattleites with UW ties dreamed up a festival to celebrate the beauty of art books featuring some of the best of indie publishing. uwmag.online/artbooks DYNAMIC DUO

Alumni Tina Dang and Miguel Laureano Damian combine their skills to create striking imagery and videos. uwmag.online/infocus

Charles Peterson, ’87, worked as a photographer for The Rocket and chronicled the Pacific Northwest grunge scene.

Photo courtesy Charles Peterson.

ONLINE ON THE COVER
4 UW MAGAZINE MXT VISUALS JERIEL CALAMAYAN COURTESY GRAHAM ZIMMERMAN COURTESY ERRANT PRESS 20 Art’s Artistic Eye
Wolfe planned to be a teacher but instead became a world-renowned photographer and conservationist. By Shin Yu Pai 26 AIDS Poster Boy
the disease swept through America’s gay community in the 1980s, UW alum Bobbi Campbell became a leading voice for people with AIDS. By Liam Blakey 28 The Journal of Grunge The Rocket was the journalistic record of the 1990s Seattle music scene. UW Libraries digitized the newspaper’s files for all to enjoy. By Hannelore Sudermann 32 Masterful Mentors Our Teachers of the Year inspire, nurture and mold students into citizens and leaders to benefit their communities and the world. By Caitlin Klask FORWARD 6 Finding New Horizons 8 Student Housing 10 Roar From the Crowd THE HUB 12 Melatonin 13 State of the Art 16 Husky Athletics 18 Research COLUMNS 34 Dishing With Harry Chan 41 Sketches 41 Media 53 Tribute 54 In Memory IMPACT 44 Coming Home 47 Letter From the Chair 48 Big Picture UDUB 56 Gobbling Greens
Art
As
ART
COVER
UNDER
VOLUME 30 NUMBER 1 SUMMER 2024

Finding New Horizons

Traveling gives us a framework for connecting with others

“Are they church people?” the lady asks me, gesturing toward my students. I’m in a village outside of Bengaluru in South India with a group from the UW.

“Church people? Oh no, not at all,” I reply. “These young people are students from America who want to understand how different people live. The fancy malls and new construction tell one story, but you and your village community tell another. That’s why we’ve come here, to learn.”

“They’ve traveled so far simply to learn!” she says, applauding an educational system that encourages such

far-flung sojourns. “My children’s teachers have not come to school in three months. Tell me, if the government gives no money for teachers to teach, what future is there for our children?”

I nod my head. I can’t even begin to compare the educational system she describes with that of mine and my students’. How is it possible that this lady, her children, my students and I all live in the same world with such different experiences and such different consequences?

Travel in an unequal world raises all kinds of big feelings that we rarely acknowledge,

let alone openly discuss. Whether it’s with a rail pass and backpack, a semester abroad or on a university-led tour, college is a time when many of us meander all over the planet to learn, heal, teach, build things, ally with and help others. Travel can broaden our horizons and provide perspective. There’s really no other experience like hauling ourselves to another part of the planet to smell, taste, touch, hear and see what we can. When we notice that some people don’t have the same access and rights that others—including ourselves— might take for granted, we can experience a range of feelings.

For 20 years I’ve shepherded UW students to different parts of our planet and facilitated rich conversations on issues: the politics of our journeys, how our identities play out at home and abroad, what differences and similarities we notice, if good intentions are good for everyone and what “helping” means for others and ourselves. It seems we’re always traveling in different ways. Let’s pay attention to what we notice and how it makes us feel. We travel through different neighborhoods of our city and witness ways in which life is either easier or more difficult for some. We travel through different political discourses and seek to clarify our own values. And sometimes, even, we board planes to experience life and culture in another part of the world. When you or I travel in any of these ways, the experience can either reinforce what we already know or nudge us to rethink our assumptions. Sometimes it feels great to expand and stretch. And sometimes we may resist, pause and consider anew.

Hopefully, too, traveling gives us a framework to practice connecting with one another amid our differences. And when you think about it, who among us wouldn't benefit from a few more authentic connections? The lady in India shared much with me about her life. Since I could not resolve anything she was going through, I simply rested my mind and listened openly. In the process of attending more carefully to one another, we come closer to true curiosity and compassion. And through our journeys, we might even heal a bit of ourselves, too.

Professor Anu Taranath’s “Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World” is one of Oprah Magazine’s “Best Travel Books of All Times.” A winner of the UW Distinguished Teaching Award, Taranath is on the faculty in the departments of English and Comparative History of Ideas.

6 UW MAGAZINE OPINION AND THOUGHT FROM THE UW FAMILY ILLUSTRATION BY ANTHONY RUSSO

Neurological Care

Whether you’re concerned about new neurological symptoms or want a better way to manage an existing condition, the expert Neurosciences Institute team can help. Our neurologists and neurosurgeons diagnose and treat all types of brain and nervous system disorders, no matter how rare or challenging. uwmedicine.org/neuro

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MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR

Homing in on Smart Solutions

Housing students was a tremendous challenge for the University of Washington when it left its original location in downtown Seattle in 1895 for a home in the woods 5 miles away. Fast forward to today, and student housing is still a big issue, thanks to a Seattle real estate market consumed by skyrocketing rents and a lack of housing options.

The UW was a leader in student housing back then. So it’s no surprise today that the University is partnering with a national developer and investor in student housing to provide a supply of below-market rents, maintain stable rents for single students and increase child-care spaces for UW students, faculty and staff.

This innovative collaboration also allows certain on-campus residence halls to be renovated or replaced, deferred maintenance of University buildings to be addressed and reduction of debt for UW Housing & Food Services.

One example of what’s happening now: Radford Court, which currently provides housing for 399 student families, staff and non-university affiliated residents, will have 127 apartments with rent for UW student

families set at 50% of the area median income. Moreover, the existing 77 childcare spaces at the UW Children’s Center at Radford Court will remain. In the near future, two other facilities, Blakeley Village and Laurel Village, will be redeveloped to expand the number of housing opportunities—some at below-market rates.

In 1899, then-UW President Frank P. Graves faced a growing student housing problem while the topic of universities providing student dormitories was being debated at schools across the country. While most gave a thumbs down, Graves pushed ahead and decided to have two buildings (Lewis Hall and Clark Hall) built on the new campus, one for women and one for men. (Those dorm rooms would cost $8 to $10 a month, as opposed to the $25 students spent on room, board and carfare from downtown.) Graves made student housing his top priority and went to the Legislature to seek funding. Without it, “real growth is impossible,” he told state government leaders.

Today, the UW’s growth continues as well as its role as the state’s leader in serving students. It couldn’t be any other way.

STAFF

A publication of the UW Alumni Association and the University of Washington since 1908

PUBLISHER Paul Rucker, ’95, ’02

ASST. VICE PRESIDENT, UWAA MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Terri Hiroshima

EDITOR Jon Marmor, ’94

MANAGING EDITOR Hannelore Sudermann, ’96

ART DIRECTION Pentagram

DIGITAL EDITOR Caitlin Klask

STAFF WRITER Shin Yu Pai, ’09

CONTRIBUTING STAFF Karen Rippel Chilcote, Kerry MacDonald, ’04

UWAA BOARD OF TRUSTEES PUBLICATIONS

COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS

Chair, Mark Ostersmith, ’90

Vice Chair, Roman Trujillo, ’95

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Eric Butterman, Liam Blakey, Rachel Gallaher, Mike Seely

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Matt Hagen, April Hong, Anil Kapahi, Sung Park, Mark Stone, Dennis Wise, Ron Wurzer

CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS

Marcos Chin, Eleanor Davis, Karlotta Freier, Olivier Kugler, David Plunkert, Anthony Russo

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University of Washington Magazine is published quarterly by the UW Alumni Association and UW for graduates and friends of the UW (ISSN 1047-8604; Canadian Publication Agreement #40845662). Opinions expressed are those of the signed contributors or the editors and do not necessarily represent the UW’s official position. �his magazine does not endorse, directly or by implication, any products or services advertised except those sponsored directly by the UWAA. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5 CANADA.

8 UW MAGAZINE
ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID PLUNKERT

A few miles can add years to your life. Your neighborhood affects the air you breathe, the water you drink, your access to healthy food — and how long you live.

Healthier communities make healthier people. The University of Washington is at the forefront of addressing the interconnected factors that influence how long and how well we live, from climate change and poverty to systemic inequities and health care. In partnership with community organizations, the UW transforms research into concrete actions that improve and save lives across the country — and around the world.

uw.edu/populationhealth

LEARN MORE

A Fan of Tim Hunter

I didn’t know Tim [KRKO-AM radio host Tim Hunter] had retired (“The Last DJ,” an online story). I worked with him at KLSY-FM in the ’90s. He’s a genius at writing and delivering comedy. Besides that, he’s the nicest guy on the planet. Happy retirement, Tim. I’m retired, too, and loving every minute of it. When I get tired, I just go take a nap. There’s nothing better than that!

Kelly Marshall, ’83, Bothell

Women's Rowing

A friend of mine passed along the December 2023 issue of the University of Washington Magazine, which I enjoyed looking through.

I am intrigued about the photo in the ad for the University Bookstore, “Celebrating 116 Years of Women’s Rowing” on page 5. This is the photo of the rowers sitting and standing on what appears to be a railroad bridge. Where was this taken?

Greg Palmer, Seattle

A New Reader

I just want to tell the editor I love the new format for the UW magazine with the pictures and great articles. I graduated from U of W in 1958, and this is the first year I have read your magazine. Congratulations to everybody on your staff. Go Huskies. Margery Thorgrimson, ’58, ’79 Lake Forest Park

Is It Book Banning?

The deception is not the confusing of free speech with liberty but, in calling censorship book banning (“Beware the Hollow Horse,” Spring 2024). These books are not banned. They are available from any

number of sources for those who wish to have them. The parents and taxpayers have every right and responsibility to monitor the appropriateness of reading material. And yes, it is a moral imperative. Librarians have been entrusted with this responsibility. Parents have not relinquished their moral authority to librarians. As a citizen, you can engage in any behavior you wish, but do it on your own time, not at work. Do not conflate your desire to groom our children in objectionable moral behavior with a loss of your liberty.

Robert Bodensteiner, ’70 Springfield, Oregon

A Banned Author

I appreciated Tracie Hall’s article about banned books (“Beware the Hollow Horse,” Spring 2024). I wonder if other authors have had my experience as a banned author. I write nature books for young readers and work with them on many environmental/ art projects across the country. That is, with exceptions in communities like Dillon, Montana, where I was banned due to my environmental leanings. In Port Angeles, Washington, the same, and in a small town in Montana, I was told I could visit the

Radio and comedy star Tim Hunter joins some of his biggest fans. From top, Dubs, singer Lionel Richie and the late radio talk-show host Dori Monson, '84.
NO X - R A Y VISION REQUIRED ONE MUSEUM. MILLIONS OF STORIES. VISIT YOUR PLAN 10 UW MAGAZINE ROAR FROM THE CROWD JOIN THE CONVERSATION EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS TO: magazine@uw.edu (Letters may be edited for length or clarity.) COURTESY TIM HUNTER (3)

school if I did not discuss forests. I guess the powers-that-be didn’t approve of my book, “Save Our Forests”?

I am happy to say my work has been widely accepted in many corners of our country, but school officials do ban authors just as they ban our books. It is with projects I have been able to be a part that young people work to protect and preserve local environments. I’m proud to say some important habitats have been protected by kids I had the honor to work with.

Save our books. Save our authors!

Ron Hirschi, ’74, Poulsbo

Burgermaster Goodbye

I believe Burgermaster ( “ Requiem for Burgermaster,” an online story) is going to make a big comeback in a new environment: the old Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in in Issaquah. Hopefully, the new Burgermaster will bring back the car-day crowds that I remember with the old weekend car shows.

I am sad to see the Husky fans lose a good burger spot where they could celebrate a football win. Build us a beautiful new burger mecca and show NW Gilman

Boulevard and our region that rock and roll, fast cars and burgers will never go out of style. The burgern lovers in University Village will always be welcome to come and share a good old American burger, the greatest invention to bring neighbors and families together.

BUILD IT, AND WE WILL COME!!

See ya there in a few months! Stephen Farrell, ’86, Bellevue

SUMMER 2024 11 KRIS LADERA
UW alumni and staff enjoy lunch at the University Village Burgermaster. After 72 years in the neighborhood, the landmark will soon be leaving.

Dose of Advice for Weary Parents

Steer clear of melatonin, it is untested and unregulated

Pediatrician Cora Breuner sees a revolving door of sleep-deprived parents looking for help getting their kids to fall and stay asleep. They try everything from blue light filters and blackout curtains to herbal remedies and, more recently, melatonin gummies, she says. Because melatonin is sold over the counter and packaged as a natural solution available in varying dosages, many adults assume it’s safe for children. Breuner emphasizes that it’s not.

“I don’t know how this can happen when we’re so careful about what we put

in our bodies,” says Breuner, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and professor at the UW School of Medicine. “We teach our families to provide healthy foods for our kids and ensure that they are in car seats and wearing seat belts. To pivot to use of melatonin without clear regulation on safe production, consistent potency and lack of contamination, and without data on efficacy or its long-term effects, doesn’t make sense.”

Last month, a teacher at a Seattle childcare center admitted using melatonin gummies to sedate at least four young

children in her care, according to the state Department of Children, Youth and Families. The teacher lost her job, and the school was investigated by Child Protective Services. A day care director Indiana was recently sentenced to six months in jail for doling out the sleep aid at nap time without parental consent. Some of the parents reported side effects in their children, including fatigue, skin rash and mood changes.

Melatonin found popularity as an adult sleep aid in the early 1980s when a research study showed it helped travelers recover from jet lag. “People started to scratch their heads and realized they could try to reset their circadian clock,” says Breuner. “It’s related to chronobiotic properties of melatonin. Our pineal gland secretes it, and it touches our receptors and allows us to fall asleep. The secretions [our bodies make] depend on light.” Melatonin is a hormone that works through the endocrine system. The longand short-term effects are unknown.

The pharmaceutical industry first mass-produced melatonin from bovine pineal glands and later turned to deriving synthetic melatonin from compounds. It is made quickly and cheaply in all kinds of doses, without strict FDA regulation or oversight. The label may or may not accurately describe what’s in the product, says Breuner, adding, “I wish they’d take the word ‘natural’ out. It means it doesn’t have significant oversight by FDA.”

It’s easy for parents to blame themselves or think something is wrong with their children when their children can’t fall asleep.

“I spend a lot of time trying to teach parents compassion and self-forgiveness,” Breuner says. “I ask my parents and caregivers to be honest about the dosages they are giving to their kids, without shame. The first thing I say is let’s not punish ourselves: We really need to get your kid off this and come up with some other strategy.”

Her initial advice to parents and caregivers with challenges around bedtime is to evaluate sleep hygiene methods. Set up routines and model good behaviors like having a fixed bedtime and using technology less. If a child insists on having a mobile device to listen to music, switch out the smartphone for an iPod. If they insist on having a device to wake them up in the morning with an alarm, use an old-fashioned alarm clock.

“It’s important to talk about the fact that learning to fall and stay asleep can be hard,” Breuner says. “Our society needs to focus on how to naturally obtain more restful and refreshing sleep, without medication.”

ILLUSTRATION BY ELEANOR DAVIS NEWS AND RESEARCH FROM THE UW 12 UW MAGAZINE

LOVERULES

Filling the Henry Art Gallery’s upper gallery, “LOVERULES” features 90 works from Hank Willis Thomas exploring commodity, identity, media and popular culture. Pictured here, the chromogenic print “Kama Mama, Kama Binti (Like Mother, Like Daughter) 1971. 2008.” comes from Thomas’ series “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America.” The exhibit was curated by Shamim M. Momin, the Henry’s senior curator, and drawn entirely from the collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. “LOVERULES“ will be open to the public through Aug. 4.

STATE OF THE ART MEDIA AND IDENTITY
Photo by Aaron Wessling Photography, Courtesy of Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

Farewell to the Founders

Eddie Walker, Eddie Demmings, E.J. Brisker and Lee Leavy—all of whom died in the past 10 months—were among the 20 founding members of the UW’s Black Student Union. Though they were just in their late teens and early 20s back in 1967, they were intellectuals who were intrigued by the world of ideas. Aided and inspired by civil-rights activists, they organized a community of students to address racism on campus—in athletics, in housing and in the Greek system—and to encourage the University to be a national leader in creating programs to improve conditions in the Black community.

They were ready for change, but they thought the University was moving too slowly. Frustrated at the lack of action through spring quarter of 1968, the students demanded the UW take steps to diversify the student body and faculty. In the wake of a sit-in in President Odegaard's office, the University’s leaders agreed to

speed up efforts to increase minority enrollment, develop a Black studies program, hire new faculty and provide funding to recruit and tutor non-white students whose high schools did not prepare them for college. They created the unit that would become the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity. Helping to fulfill the vision, some of the BSU members took jobs with the University and traveled throughout the state to reach potential students.

The four young men brought different— and crucial—skills to the student organization, says Emile Pitre, ’69, a fellow founding BSU member, campus historian and longtime director of the OMA&D’s Instructional Center.

Walker, the artist, envisioned a multicultural center where students from underrepresented communities could meet, study, relax and work together. Brisker, ’70, the more seasoned activist, often stepped up to represent the BSU

when dealing with the administration. Demmings, ’75, was the consummate debater. “When Eddie engaged in an argument with a professor or an administrator in their field, I knew he was going to win,” Pitre says. And Leavy, ’86, was skilled in empathy and used performance to drive home his messages.

“All we were doing was ensuring the opportunity existed,” Demmings said in a UW video interview a few years ago. “We had a rough beginning. We didn’t know what we were doing. I don’t think the University knew what it was doing.”

In the decades after they left the UW, they stayed in touch, celebrating the successes as the University continued to improve access and provide support to a multicultural student body. “There’s nothing that gives me in my life greater pride than what has flowered from those seeds in the late ’60s,” Demmings once said. “It’s a model for what could and should exist everywhere.”

Owens, Billy Jackson, Eddie Walker and Larry Gossett.

14 UW MAGAZINE COURTESY EMILE PITRE MOHAI, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION CARY TOLMAN, SEATTLE P-I
Their
the
activism forever changed
UW
Above left: Eddie Demmings, left, and a panel of Black Student Union members present their demands to the University in May 1968. Above right: E.J. Brisker signs an agreement with the University. Below right: Black Student Union founders, from left, Eddie Demmings, Emile Pitre, Garry

Going the Distance

Linda Edgar is the first UW dental school graduate to head

the American Dental Association

She has been a top-flight distance runner who completed more than 45 marathons and competed in the first women’s Olympic marathons trials. That’s on top of completing two Ironman triathlon races. Linda Edgar, ’92, a retired Federal Way dentist and alumna of the UW School of Dentistry, has a wellearned reputation for making things happen. In the early 2000s, she joined her husband, retired dentist Bryan, to help raise $22 million for the UW dental school.

And now, she is the first graduate of the UW dental school to serve as president of the American Dental Association. She’s also only the fifth woman in the role out of 160 over the organization’s history.

One of the UW’s most prominent dental alumni, Edgar has given her all to her alma mater. Besides generous philanthrop-

ic support, she has served on the dean’s advisory board and was board president for two years. No wonder she received the dean’s Lifetime Service Award. She knows the value of education firsthand, having been a schoolteacher in Auburn for 15 years before turning to dentistry.

As the head of dentistry’s national organization, she is eager to bring more people from many backgrounds into the profession. “I would like to see ADA be more proactive helping young people and diverse groups choose careers in dentistry,” she says. When she decided to run for the ADA leadership role in 2021, she said, “I believe collaboration is very important, and I know it can move dentistry forward into more new and innovative programs and ideas.”

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COURTESY ADA SUMMER 2024 15

Moll on a Roll

Olympia’s Hana Moll wins the NCAA Indoor pole vault title as a first-year student-athlete

Aiming high is nothing new for Hana Moll. A National Honor Society student at Capital High School in Olympia, she graduated with a 4.0 GPA before entering the UW. Then this year, as a first-year student-athlete on the Husky Track & Field squad, she became the first freshman ever to win the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships March 8 in Boston. The American junior record-holder made Team USA in 2023 at the World Outdoor Championships, where she reached the final and finished ninth in the world. It didn’t take long for Moll to become the top-ranked vaulter in the NCAA this past indoor season when she cleared 15 feet, 2¾ inches at the UW Invitational in January. When she won the NCAA title, she went two bars higher than any other jumper to secure the victory, clearing 15-1.

According to UW’s athletics communications, her victory was the first individual NCAA track and field title on

the women’s side of the Dawgs since 2012, when Katie Flood won the title in the outdoor 1,500 meters. And it was just the second win all time for the women in the pole vault, as Kate Soma won the outdoor pole vault title in 2005.

“It feels amazing. I came in really wanting to win and have a good time, and I accomplished both of those things, so I'm really happy with how I did,” Moll said. “I was a little bit nervous for the collegiate transition, but I think what I’ve jumped this season has given me confidence in my training and my coaches.”

After clearing 15-1, Moll then pushed the bar up to the Olympic standard of 4.73 meters, or 15-6¼, which would have been a lifetime best. She had three very close attempts, especially the first one: the crowd gasped when the bar barely fell off. After a third miss, she waved to the crowd and went to the guardrail for hugs with coaches and family.

Hooray for Houser

We also give a tip of the Husky cap to Luke Houser, who won his fourth consecutive national championship in the men’s indoor mile with a time of 4:01:72. He won the first NCAA Indoor Mile title in UW school history in 2023.

16 UW MAGAZINE
ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS (2)
Hana Moll (above) was head over heels with delight after she became the first freshman ever to win the pole vault title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. At right, Luke Houser captures his fourth consecutive title in the NCAA men's indoor mile.

Husky Basketball’s New Home

UW’s $60 million training facility scheduled to open in August 2025

June brings the sun, the end of the academic year and, for Husky basketball, a new home. Ground will be broken in June on a $60 million, fully donor-funded basketball center. August 2025 is the anticipated completion date of the new facility, which will have two 9,800-square-foot practice courts available 24 hours a day for both the men’s and women’s programs.

It also will feature a skywalk viewing area above the courts for recruits, fans and families to watch practices. That’s in addition to a foyer that will highlight legendary moments and players from Husky hoops history.

The building will also provide new internal connections between the floor level of Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson

Pavilion and Strength and Conditioning Center in Graves Annex, which will better serve all student-athletes.

Investment in Husky basketball has long been seen as critical to support the UW’s future competitive success as it enters play in the Big Ten this fall. Husky donors stepped forward in a remarkable way to make this facility a reality. Among the donors were Husky basketball alumni and legends, who contributed more than $1 million.

Brooks Scores a Big One

Keion Brooks Jr. wins scoring title in the last Pac-12 basketball season ever

The Pac-12 is no more, but the Huskies men’s basketball team bid farewell in style. Keion Brooks Jr. finished with the conference’s best points-per-game average (21.3) and total points (661). Brooks, a 6-foot-7-inch forward transfer from basketball powerhouse Kentucky, wrapped up his collegiate career with two seasons at Washington after spending his first three seasons with the Wildcats. In addition to playing in all 31 games, he scored fewer than 12 points just once and topped 30 points three times, including a career-high of 35.

Brooks is the fourth Husky to lead the Pac-12 in scoring since 1978. Terrell Brown Jr. led the conference in scoring in 2021-22 with 21.7 points per game, Markelle Fultz did so in 2016-17 with 23.2 points per game, and Andrew Andrews was the 2015-16 top scorer with 20.9 points per game.

“The scoring title is not something I take lightly but I would trade it for some more wins,” he said.

Keion Brooks Jr. raised his game to become the fourth Husky to lead the Pac-12 in scoring.

ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS (2) Stories from the field of environmental science SEASON 2 EPISODES
SUMMER 2024 17
The new training facility for men's and women's Husky basketball will welcome recruits, fans and families to watch practices.

Voices of Experience

Two worldly UW alums return to campus to join graduation celebrations

BIG, BAD GLACIER BREAKUPS

There’s another concern about warmer oceans: they might cause glaciers to break apart more quickly. University of Washington researchers have demonstrated the fastest-known, largescale breakage along an Antarctic ice shelf. A study shows that a 6.5-mile crack formed in 2012 on Pine Island Glacier—a retreat ing ice shelf that holds back the larger West Antarctic ice sheet—in about 5½ minutes. That means the rift opened at about 115 feet per second, or about 80 mph. “This is to our knowledge the fastest rift-opening event that’s ever been observed,” said lead author Stephanie Olinger, who did the work as part of her doctoral research at the UW.

IMMUNOCOMPROMISING CONCERNS

Wang Graylin, above, is a tech entrepreneur with expertise in AI. After graduate school, Biraj Karmacharya, below, returned to Nepal, where he is a leader in public health.

Author and tech pioneer Alvin Wang Graylin, ’93, and public health leader Biraj Karmacharya, ’15, ’17, are back on campus this June to join in the graduation celebrations for their respective colleges.

Both are internationally recognized for their work in their respective fields: Karmacharya, an alumnus of the School of Public Health, has expertise in community-based rural health care and in training the next generation of health workers.

Graylin, who majored in electrical engineering, is a technology entrepreneur and business executive with expertise in artificial intelligence and extended reality.

Graylin has more than 30 years of experience creating, developing and delivering technology products. The global vice president for development for Taiwanese consumer electronics company HTC co-leads the global program for investing in startups at the intersection

of virtual reality, augmented reality, AI and 5G technologies. His book, “Our Next Reality: How the AI-powered Metaverse will Reshape the World,” is due out this month.

Karmacharya came to the UW from Nepal on a Fulbright and pursued a master’s in public health and a Ph.D. in epidemiology. Today he is director of public health, community programs and global engagement at Dhulikhel Hospital-Kathmandu University Hospital. He is also an affiliate associate professor in the UW’s Department of Global Health and was the founding co-director of the Nepal Studies Initiative of the Jackson School of International Studies.

“It is hard to imagine a more inspirational individual who can speak to the opportunities that our UW public health graduates have to leverage their skills and passions and create positive change in the workforce,” says Hillary Godwin, dean of the School of Public Health. Biraj Karmacharya will be honored with school’s 2024 Alumni of Impact Award.

Wayne Gillam and Kate Stringer contributed to this story.

New UW research suggests that the preva lence of immunosuppression of the U.S. pop ulation to be about 6.6% of American adults, more than twice as high as previously under stood, according to a study published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the Ameri can Medical Association. That rise could have broad implications for how we navigate the late stages of COVID-19 and prepare for fu ture pandemics, according to Melissa Martin son, UW associate professor of social work.

SATURN’S SIGNS OF LIFE, MAYBE

A study led by the University of Washington and Freie Universität Berlin shows that individ ual ice grains ejected from the ice-encrusted oceans of some of the moons orbiting Saturn may yield signs of life, if such life exists. Instru ments for detection are headed there in the fall. “For the first time, we have shown that even a tiny fraction of cellular material could be identified by a mass spectrometer onboard a spacecraft,” said lead author Fabian Klenner, a UW postdoctoral researcher in Earth and space sciences.

COURTESY ALVIN WAYNE GRAYLIN AND COURTESY BIRAJ
(2)
KARMACHARYA
18 UW MAGAZINE RESEARCH
Alvin
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The famous photographe r ’ s awe-inspiring images touch our souls

WILD WILD WORLD OF ART THE WOLFE

photos by art wolfe

The Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award (ASLD) is the highest honor bestowed upon a University of Washington graduate. Bestowed by the University of Washington and UW Alumni Association, it recognizes a legacy of achievement and service built over a lifetime.

To capture one of the most striking series of images from his new photography book, “Wild Lives: The World’s Most Extraordinary Wildlife,” Art Wolfe, ’75, waded into the shallow coastal waters off Mexico to get an intimate view of 12-foot-long crocodiles. Because the crocodiles in this region get handouts from fishermen whose main catch is spiny lobsters, they’ve become accustomed to humans. Working on his knees in 4 feet of murky water, the artist waited with his underwater camera as the massive reptiles swam within a foot of him. Wolfe photographed the animals with their expectant mouths agape, all teeth. “The photos look like you’re about to die,” says Wolfe. When he shows them, “they elicit a gasp from the audience.”

For nearly five decades, Wolfe has stunned and thrilled readers with his images. He documents wild species, world cultures, ceremonial practices and distant places to bring them into public view. For his work, Wolfe has been recognized with numerous book and television awards: Nature’s Best Photographer of the Year, the North American Nature Photography Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Photographic Society of America’s Progress Medal for his contribution to the advancement of the art and science of photography. He also has a coveted Alfred Eisenstaedt Magazine Photography Award. This year, the UW will present Wolfe with the Alumna Summa Laude Dignatus Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a graduate for exceptional lifetime achievement. Past artist recipients include composer William Bolcom, ’58, Chuck Close, ’62, Dale Chihuly, ’65, George Tsutakawa, ’37, and Imogen Cunningham, class of 1907.

Though Wolfe, 72, has often been described as a wildlife photographer, he tackles themes that take him beyond the subject of nature. His book “The Human Canvas” placed human figures against elaborate painted backdrops to transform bodies into an abstract landscape. A New Guinean youth with his skin coated in dried, cracked clay stares directly into the camera as he disappears into a parched landscape. Wolfe drew his inspiration from the body-painting traditions of Indigenous peoples, photographing subjects around the world while finding particular

resonance with the tribes that he encountered in Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea. Currently, Wolfe is working on a book project called “Active Faith.” This collection of images examines some of the world’s largest religions alongside ritual practices like voodoo and shamanism. And in his newest project, “Photography as Art,” Wolfe draws from decades of taking groups of amateur photographers into unique environments. He often shoots in decaying environments and ruins like World War II concrete bunkers that have been graffitied. Time and place combine to create textured colorful walls that evoke the abstract expressionist paintings of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. Wolfe’s training in painting as an undergrad at the UW shaped his career and sensibilities. As a fine arts major, he worked closely with Hazel Koenig, ’50, and learned about bookmaking, art education and other topics in addition to his painting studies. Under Professor Michael Dailey, Wolfe gained proficiency with watercolor—the medium in which he felt most comfortable. And from Professor Jacob Lawrence, Wolfe learned to experiment and do more things that made him uncomfortable. “It’s why I have such a broad range of genres,” says the artist. “I learned from my instructors at the UW to be broad-based, to not fall into a rut and paint the same things. In my photographic career, I have taken that to heart. I like to say I photograph without prejudice, meaning anything can be a subject for my camera.”

In addition to seven years of painting study, Wolfe spent two years on art education. His experiences in front of the classroom enabled him to work through his anxiety with presenting in front of audiences. After graduating, Wolfe taught for a local school district, where he pushed beyond his fear of public speaking. It equipped him with the confidence to pitch editors with photo-essay ideas and approach larger media outlets with his portfolio. He soon realized that teaching children wasn’t for him and turned his energies to nature photography, a hobby he had started as a teen with a Kodak Brownie Fiesta and had dabbled in while studying art in college. Marrying his artist’s sense of color and perspective with his love of the natural environment, he found his calling. In short order, he had

Previous page: A brown bear dives after a salmon to feed her cubs in the Katmai National Park & Preserve.

Right: A venomous Peringuey’s adder camouflages itself in the sand in Namib-Naukluft National Park.

Far right: Elephants in Zakouma National Park in Chad form a megaherd to protect themselves from poachers.

22 UW MAGAZINE

a book project with The Mountaineers and a government contract to photograph wildlife around the country.

Wolfe grew up in a family of artists who encouraged his creativity and a connection to nature. Though his father was a photographer on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific during World War II, much of Wolfe’s creative inclination was actually nurtured by his mother, a commercial artist. “I was the youngest of three kids. When my mom enrolled in a correspondence course in commercial art,” says Wolfe, “I’d do the lessons alongside her. So from an early age, I was into painting and drawing.

“When I wasn’t shadowing her, I was out there in the woods [of West Seattle] learning,” he says. “I had a little book on birds, trees and mammals and taught myself how to identify the world surrounding me.”

Wolfe has always been compelled to preserve and protect nature. When he was 12, he fought against a housing development near his home. “I was always playing in a greenbelt we called Forest Court [now Fauntleroy Park] just down the hill from my house. And suddenly, this whole area was being assaulted by road graders and bulldozers,” he says. “A gang of us kids stopped it. We covered the culverts and flooded the roads. I pried gas caps off the machines and poured in dirt by the handfuls. We kept it up until they went away.” In 1972, the wooded ravine was sold to the city and became part of a 28-acre park.

For the past decade, the artist has led annual tours to Alaska, guiding workshops on photographing bears. The brown bears feed on salmon and have been habituated to the fishermen who have worked the waters around Katmai National Park for 60 years. They leave humans alone. “The mothers, with their spring cubs, will bring them nearby and leave them,” says Wolfe. The mother bear will go out fishing up the river just out of view. But she trusts leaving her cubs near humans to prevent them from being killed by male bears, he says. “It’s a great honor to be trusted babysitters for such awe-inspiring animals.”

Professor Samuel Wasser, Wolfe’s former collaborator and endowed chair in conservation biology at the UW, has said, “Art has an extraordinary eye, enormous drive, patience and an incredible ability to see the art in nature.” The pair worked together on the book “Wild Elephants.” “Elephants are enormously social, strongly bonded to kin, extremely intelligent and show great interest in the death of close kin,” Wasser notes. “Those combined features are what make elephants so special but also so vulnerable to the emotional impacts of poaching. Art’s photos beautifully portrayed the wonder of elephants, setting the stage for me to convey the tragedy in what we’re losing when these amazing creatures are poached in large numbers.”

In addition to engaging with conservation efforts, Wolfe dedicates much of his time to teaching through photographic tours, workshops and seminars. He is driven to make better photographers out of the people who come to him.

“If people really want to make a living with their photography, they have to go in with eyes wide open and know that they have to be driven. It was my choice, but I gave up a lot of things, like family and pets.” At the same time, many of the students in Wolfe’s workshops are content simply exploring their creativity. “People who find their passion—what they are happy doing—live longer lives. They have a reason to get out of bed. People who get deeply involved in cooking, writing, dance, have strong relationships— whatever the fulfillment—those are the people that have discovered the secret of life.”

Wolfe is now in his 70s. Next year, he plans on leading a trip to Egypt to see the pyramids. He’s also organizing a walking tour of Paris that will include museum visits as well as an outing to Giverny, where Claude Monet painted his legendary water lilies. “As an adult, I have the same awe of nature as I did as a 7-year-old,” says Wolfe.

“I love being out in the wild. When I get too old to travel, I’ll fall back on painting. When I picked up the camera decades ago, it didn’t mean I threw away my easel, inks or brushes forever.”

Art Wolfe worked with a Hindu pilgrim in Varanasi, India to capture this image titled “Spiritual Journey.” The shoot took place at dawn along the Ganges River during the Kumbh Mela celebration in 2007.

SUMMER 2024 25

In the early hours of Aug. 8, 1983, Newsweek magazine was delivered as usual to newsstands, grocery stores and mailboxes. But the story that graced the cover was different from what readers were used to seeing. Under the headline “Gay America,” Bobbi Campbell, ’74, stood with his arm around his partner, Bobby Hillard, giving the nation one of its first views of a person with AIDS.

That cover was a critical point in a decade of activism that started for Campbell in the neighborhoods of Seattle and the hallways of the University of Washington. A few years after graduating and leaving the Pacific Northwest, Campbell took what he learned as a nurse and gay-rights activist and brought AIDS into public view as the first person in the nation to go public with his diagnosis.

So often, Campbell’s story is told in a few brief sentences. He was a UW School of Nursing alum who moved to San Francisco in the mid-1970s. He worked as a nurse in the Castro District before becoming the 16th man in the city to be diagnosed with a rare skin cancer called Kaposi sarcoma. He gave voice to the experience of being a person with AIDS and awakened the nation to the reality of the disease. But there’s more to his story.

“My first memories of Bobbi were of someone who was handsome, quick-witted, funny. A dear man who was liked by a lot of people,” says Robert Perry, a Gay Liberation Front member who knew Campbell in Seattle in the ’70s. “He really wanted to be worldly and feel everything that you could in life. Him being on that Newsweek cover and being interviewed really put a face to the disease and humanized AIDS to the masses of people.”

Born in 1952 and raised in Tacoma, Campbell attended Lakes High School. He moved to Seattle in the early 1970s to study at the UW and volunteered at the Seattle Counseling Service, the first gay-run resource in the country to provide mental-health services to the queer community. It was founded by UW pediatrician Dr. Robert Deisher. And at a time when Seattle’s gay community was coming out of the shadows, Campbell joined the movement. In 1969, a six-day conflict between the gay community and the police at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York City, had signaled a national change in LGBTQ+ activism. Now known as the Stonewall Uprising, it was the dawn of the gay community mobilizing against discrimination, the criminalization of homosexuality and police brutality.

to walk down the street and let everyone see that you’re in this parade, you’re letting everyone see that you’re gay. … You were risking lots to do that.”

The activists in Seattle were not only interested in building community and awareness, but in passing laws and undoing legislation that attacked their very existence. Perry describes a protest at a roller rink in Lynnwood when, during a couples-only skate, a group of gay people went into the rink together. “We were arrested, wheeled off and kept in jail until 5 a.m.,” he says. “When the case went to trial, everyone in the community came out, and this would have been my first contact with Bobbi. I decided to dress up in my finest for court and was told that I made a mockery of justice.”

Soon, San Francisco and its larger, more open queer population drew Campbell away from Seattle. He moved in 1975 and went to work at Ralph K. Davies Medical Center in the Castro District.

A few years later, when he was not yet 30 and studying to become a nurse practitioner, Campbell was subject to a series of illnesses. It started with the shingles and eventually lead to the diagnosis of a rare cancer known as Kaposi sarcoma. It was 1981 and an unknown disease was causing pneumonia and rare cancer in young men in Northern

Hero Crisis In

“After Stonewall, there’s just this flourishing of gay groups all over the country,” says UW history professor Laurie Marhoefer, whose expertise includes queer and trans politics. “People got together and organized—there’s a lot more of an appetite to come out in this moment. Pride parades start and the Pride parade itself is so radical because

California and New York. This was the year before the human immunodeficiency virus was isolated and the term “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome” (AIDS) was introduced.

Drawing on the skills he learned as an activist and as a public health nurse, Campbell immersed himself in understanding his ailment and demystifying the AIDS story for others. AIDS was being written off as a “gay virus,” but Campbell made it his mission to speak, write and be the public face of a disease that was widely obscured by fear, shame and discrimination.

He wrote a column for the San Francisco Sentinel about his experiences having AIDS that was syndicated to newspapers serving gay communities around the country. In 1981, he hung a sign in a Castro District pharmacy describing the symptoms

of the then-mysterious disease and included pictures of his own Kaposi sarcoma lesions, urging others who might have them to seek medical attention. The following year, he cowrote “Play Fair!,” perhaps the first-ever brochure urging safer sex practices for gay men—and it did so with humor and sex-positive language. It was published by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an group of queer and trans “nuns” who playfully devote themselves to community service, outreach and promoting human rights. Campbell was a member.

Celebrating Bobbi Campbell, the first AIDS activist

But it was his appearance on the cover of Newsweek that brought the burgeoning crisis into view for the American public. In the 3½ years from his diagnosis to his death, Campbell made every effort to educate the gay community and the greater public about the disease. Refusing to be called a victim, he and Dan Turner, another person with AIDS, founded what would become the People With AIDS Self-Empowerment Movement to demand to be treated with dignity, take an active role in their own care and receive fair treatment from employers, landlords and people in general. Campbell spoke at health conferences and community meetings around the country. In 1983, he visited Seattle to appear at the Broadway Performance Hall. “This is a disease that affects Americans. It is in America’s best interest to solve it,” he is quoted in an Associated Press story about the event. “I’m simply asking people to put aside their prejudices toward homosexuals and see that we are humans fighting for our lives.”

At the time, fewer than 2,000 Americans were reporting that they had AIDS. Today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have HIV.

On Aug. 15, 1984, Campbell died in San Francisco General Hospital. He was 32. Two days later, Castro Street was closed and nearly 1,000 people, including his parents and his partner, gathered to remember him. The following year, the San Francisco Pride Parade was dedicated in his memory.

In a story in Boston’s Gay Community News, Patrick Haggerty, an activist from Seattle, described his dear friend Campbell as “a geographer and a geologer and a hiker and a mountain climber; he spoke three languages; he was a poet, and a keeper of journals for 15 years.

“Whatever Bobbi Campbell did, he did it all the way,” Haggerty said. “That was his response to AIDS, telling us, 'Get off your butts and do something.’”

SUMMER 2024 27
by L iam b L akey art by m arcos c hin

HER E A R E NOW

were vexed by

A music scene, The lack of

The Rocket lAnded in SeaTtle on OcTobeR 1, 1979. launched by local iT heRalded the

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the murky, mucky water just offshore from the Washington Park Arboretum off the south end of campus and ends in the library. Charles Peterson, a photographer for Seattle’s music and entertainment tabloid, The Rocket, was hoping to persuade the members of Soundgarden to wade into the brackish lake so he could shoot them for the October 1988 cover.

He worried the concept would be a hard sell. “Two-thirds of the band were, ‘F***, yeah. Let’s do it,’” says Peterson, ’87. “But Kim Thayil [the lead guitarist] was like ‘I don’t know what’s in there.’” The rest of the band—singer Chris Cornell, bassist Hiro Yamamoto and drummer Matt Cameron—called out that it was gross, but they were into the idea. Thayil, ’85, even asked Peterson if he could shoot it with him sitting on the shore. “About 30 seconds before I started taking pictures, he got in,” Peterson says. “It’s one of my favorite shoots. There they were all in the freaking lily pads.”

28 UW MAGAZINE
gRunge.
aRrivAl and chrOnicled the phenomenon Of
by hAnneloRe Sudermann
jOuRnAliSTS who

1980s and ’90s, there really was only The Rocket.

“The listings in The Rocket became the template for how all of Seattle ran,” says Charles Cross, ’81, who wrote his first story for the publication while still a student. “If your band was in a club and you didn’t get your event in The Rocket, no one came.” Without a physical copy of the newspaper, you couldn’t plan your weekend. “You couldn’t figure out what movies were at the art house or where to go to buy musical instruments,” he says. “The whole town ran on The Rocket’s deadline.”

Cross’ road to The Rocket—and to later becoming a widely published music journalist and author of biographies of Kurt Cobain, Ann and Nancy Wilson and Jimi Hendrix—started the first day of his freshman year at the UW, he says. A confident kid from Pullman, he already had taken a few college-level

classes at Washington State University. He arrived at Kane Hall and walked up to the registration table ready to launch his architecture career, “and they tell me I have to take two years of science classes first,” he says. “That afternoon, I walked into The Daily, and my life was changed.” He had been an editor at his high school paper, “and caused a bunch of hell there. But the day I walked into The Daily, I got a new worldview.”

In the desk-packed room of The Daily’s editorial office, Cross was swept into the momentum of the more senior students.

Among them Evelyn Iritani, David Horsey, Timothy Egan and Suki Dardarian, all of whom now have Pulitzer Prizes. “They helped shape me,” Cross says. “There was this real sense that the journalism we were doing was going to change the world.”

Photographer Charles Peterson captured this image of Kurt Cobain during a 1991 Nirvana performance in the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Canada.
SUMMER 2024 29

The Rocket covered Seattle music from 1979 to 2000. It was the first publication to feature Sir Mix-a-Lot, top, Soundgarden, and Annie Rose & The Throllers. Right, UW alum John Keister, front left, and some of the early staff.

Cross became The Daily’s editor in spring 1979. Influenced by his fellow staffers, he was a devotee of the New Journalism, a movement in which writers broke free from the construct of “who, what, when, where and why” and took more inventive, literary approaches to their storytelling. “The writer, at times, was part of the story,” he says. This approach would soon rule the journalism at The Rocket.

Another Daily editor, John Keister—who would later become known for his local TV Show “Almost Live,” with its wry takes on the Puget Sound region—landed at The Rocket after graduation. He wrote for the city’s alternative newsweekly, the Seattle Sun, which produced The Rocket as a supplement in the fall of 1979.

The Sun’s editorial leaders had no interest in covering the rock, metal or new wave scenes in Seattle. “It was more macrame and folk songs,” says Keister, ’80. The first issue of The Rocket came out and “they were horrified we were writing about punk rock.” There was a schism on the staff, and five months later, a batch of talented writers, editors and designers up and moved out. Pulling together some money, they took The Rocket with them.

“It reoriented popular music in a way that was so exciting,” Keister says. “I was completely obsessed with it.” But since the fledgling paper could barely pay the staff it had, Keister had to find his way in through a typesetting machine—like the one with “cold type and wax” he had used at The Daily. “I had just gotten a graduation present from my parents, and I used all of it to buy the machine,” Keister says. The investment—which his parents grudgingly accepted—allowed The Rocket to be fully independent of the Sun, and Keister to have a full-time job. “This machine [through The Rocket] launched the careers of so many people,” he says—and not just musicians and artists like Nirvana, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Sleater-Kinney, The Screaming Trees (from Ellensburg), The Melvins, The Gits and The Posies (from Bellingham). But also the staff, like writer Ann Powers (now a music critic for NPR), illustrator Ed Fotheringham, ’86, editor Grant Alden, ’82, editor Karrie Jacobs (who founded Dwell magazine), and art director Art Chantry (widely known for his posters and album covers).

Keister took on several jobs: He wrote album reviews, crafted culture pieces and once penned a story on Elvis impersonators. He even distributed the paper downtown, he says. “Once a month, I’d have to deliver to all the clubs, and my friends would come along. In one night, we could see every performance in town.”

The staff were experts in many genres: blues, folk, Caribbean, hip-hop and jazz. A 1982 feature highlighted the studio album “Kenny G.” In the story, a young Kenneth Gorelick credits his UW music professor Roy Cummings with finding him gigs and putting him on the path to be a professional musician. Otherwise, he might have followed his accounting degree to a very different career.

But when The Rocket started, Seattle didn’t have much of its own music to celebrate. In the June 1984 issue, Keister penned “Who’s Killing Seattle Rock and Roll?” He bemoaned the lackluster scene and questioned why the area’s few talented musicians never found fans outside of the city. He wondered if people would rather sit in well-lit coffee shops sipping strong coffee than on “ripped vinyl benches” while a “poorly mixed sound system blasts out feedback at levels above the threshold of pain.” Also, the city of the early ’80s was rife with cover bands—a genre The Rocket’s staff had no interest in critiquing or celebrating.

buT it wAS about tO geT inTeResting.

There were two eras of The Rocket, says Cross. From 1979 until 1986, the freshest music to hit the city flew into Sea-Tac, did an interview with The Rocket, played a gig or two and moved on down the coast. Because of the polar route from London to Seattle, the city was often the first stop on a West Coast tour and The Rocket was one of the first U.S. periodicals to cover bands like The Clash and Def Leppard. But after 1986, right when Cross mortgaged his house to buy the newspaper and become publisher, “the music scene starts taking off,” he says. Inspired by punk and

30 UW MAGAZINE

rock but smarter, slower, darker and deeper, the emerging Seattle music was gritty, sludgy, distorted. More philosophical. More socially conscious.

The community of journalists, musicians and producers was small enough that everyone knew one another. Photographer Peterson, for example, had been college roommates with Mark Arm, ’85, of Green River and Mudhoney. Jonathan Poneman, one of the founders of Sub Pop Records, initially wrote a column for The Rocket and worked as a DJ at the UW’s student-run radio station, KCMU. Musicians from the early bands went on to form new bands.

The Rocket staff had a moment of truth in 1989, when the paper hosted a concert at the Paramount to celebrate the first 10 years of the publication. Titled “Nine for the ’90s,” the December 29th event featured bands including Alice in Chains, The Posies, Love Battery and The Young Fresh Fellows. So many different local groups, so much talent, “it was very clear as the decade churned that something was happening in Seattle,” Cross says.

The publication can also claim discovering Sir Mix-a-Lot. “He was living in Rainier Beach and grew up reading The Rocket,” Cross says. The rapper-songwriter often dropped by the offices with his demo cassettes. One day in 1985, a music writer gave one a listen and was blown away. In 1989, The Rocket rewarded Mix for his persistence and success with a full-color cover—again, shot by Charles Peterson. “There are a number of artists like that, where we were the first place they were written about,” Cross says.

In the early years, The Rocket’s writers and editors had acted as if the vibrant music scene they dreamed of already existed, say both Cross and Keister. In a 2019 podcast interview, Michael Dougan, an illustrator for The Rocket, said, “Nothing was going on ... it was just hair bands. There was no scene to write about.” What unfolded was like a Looney Toons gag, he said, “where the locomotive is going on a train track that doesn’t exist yet and the character is putting the train track down ahead of the locomotive in real time.”

Under Cross’ ownership, The Rocket grew its circulation to nearly 150,000, showing up and inspiring new musical talent in cities like Aberdeen, Olympia, Bellingham and Ellensburg. It was like a local newsletter for emerging musicians and it nurtured what was just about to exist. “We wrote about it so much as if there was this magical Disneyland,” Cross says. “In a way, by selling that dream as if it were real, we gave these people something to believe in, and they made it happen.”

Local bands depended on The Rocket, says John Vallier, a UW ethnomusicologist and affiliate assistant professor. The musicians of the grunge movement—including Kurt Cobain—started reading it as teenagers, dreaming to someday be featured in its pages—or on its cover, he says. “I lived here in the ‘90s and played music,” Vallier says, listing off a few of his bands including Vishnu Secrets and Swell. They performed at venues like the Showbox, Speakeasy, The Crocodile, RCKNDY and the OK Hotel, and hoped The Rocket would provide good reviews. “We knew how important it was.”

Grunge—by then it had a name—became mainstream around 1991, when Nirvana dropped “Nevermind” and the album went platinum. The grunge influence spread through fashion, politics and film. Director Cameron Crowe set the 1992 romantic comedy “Singles” in Seattle when grunge was at its peak. One of the characters, a musician played by Matt Dillon, gets slammed in a Rocket review. The byline you see in the clip is Sharon Knolle’s, ’88, who is now an entertainment reporter in Los Angeles.

One day a few years ago, Vallier asked Cross, who sold The Rocket in 1995, just before the national grunge scene started to decline and five years before the publication’s demise, to speak to his class. As they were discussing the evolution of the local music scene, the idea of digitizing all the issues of The Rocket came up.

It was something Cross had been considering and Vallier knew it had to be done. To pair the newsmagazine’s content with the UW’s sound recordings of performances would be a boon to researchers and a gift to posterity, he says. “And as a teaching tool, it’s great to give students a sense of what life was like pre-internet.”

In addition to working with colleagues at UW Libraries, the project found a partner with the Washington State Library and funding from a Library of Congress grant and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The archivists and librarians worried they might not be able to build a comprehensive collection. But Cross came through. He crowdsourced a complete run of the newspaper from friends, former coworkers and fans. People had held on to issues for 40 years and were driving by Cross’ house to drop them off.

The work of digitizing was challenging, says UW librarian Jessica Albano, “because of all the color they used and all the different fonts.”

"IT WAS VERY CLEAR AS
T HE D EC A D E C H UR N ED

THAT SOMETHING

WAS HAPPENING IN SEATTLE."

The project to create a database of The Rocket took several years. Ultimately, and maybe fittingly, it was done on old technology—microfilm. All 336 of the issues were recorded and made available to the public through the Washington State Library early this spring. But the project isn’t complete. “We really value the covers,” Albano says—and there are more than 300 of them. So now the UW’s preservation unit is scanning them one by one. “It is a time sink,” Albano admits. But with the great photography, “grungy” design and early-work cartoons from artists including Matt Groening and Lynda Barry, “it’s kind of fun.”

Grunge is having a new moment. Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner released his memoir, “Mud Ride: A Messy Trip Through the Grunge Explosion,” last summer. The photo-rich book “Charles Peterson’s Nirvana,” was published by Easy Street Press in March. And now a there’s new KUOW-produced podcast titled “The Cobain 50.”

Peterson, who will be showing some of his Nirvana photographs at the Tacoma Art Museum this fall, says lately he has been selling masses of art prints from his ’80s and ’90s photos. “It is the 30th anniversary of Kurt’s death [Cobain died April 5, 1994]. That might have something to do with it,” Peterson says. “But young people all along have kind of been looking back at that time. It really was one of the last great movements in rock ’n’ roll.”

Meanwhile, Vallier just finished teaching a spring-quarter course in the UW’s Comparative History of Ideas program titled “Grunge Is for Lo$ers: Seattle’s Alternative Music Scenes, 19642024.” “I offered a deep dive into the history and current state of Seattle’s so-called alternative music scenes. We started with the distorted R&B organ stylings of the Dave Lewis Trio and merged into the proto-punk garage rock of Tacoma’s The Sonics,” he says. The course built up to the grunge movement and explored Seattle’s role in the music industry.

“This sounds like a great class,” says Cross. Something profound, something magical happened here in the Pacific Northwest: It is something worth studying, he says.

“We were one of the last authentic cities to create a culture in a pre-internet era,” he adds. “The internet ruined everything. The Seattle music scene only developed because no one outside was paying any attention to it.”

SUMMER 2024 31
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2024 Teachers of the Year

They are voracious learners who instruct and inspire their students and have an impact that lasts a lifetime. Meet this year’s recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Award and Excellence in Teaching Awards By Caitlin Klask · Illustrations by Karlotta Freier

A cornucopia of opportunities for growth and fun awaits the tens of thousands of students matriculating at the University of Washington. But nothing enriches students’ lives more than their interaction with teachers. For it is these professors, lecturers and teaching assistants who are at the very heart of a world-class UW education. Not just by sharing knowledge in the classroom or the lab but by serving as mentors and role models who inspire and push and guide students to be the best they can be—and prepare them for successful careers. As you will see here, the faculty at this renowned, sprawling public university come from a wide variety of backgrounds, fortified with educations and life experiences of their own to connect with their students. What makes these six professors and two teaching assistants stand out is much more than their scholarly studies and achievements in research. They are successful because of the ways they demonstrate their passion for learning and open up to their students.

Emma Rose

Associate professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Tacoma

Emma Rose brings industry experience and expertise as a technical scholar in human-centered design and engineering to the classroom. Her research and teaching are motivated by a commitment to social justice and designing for inclusion. Her students say Rose puts so much effort into her project-based classes, they feel compelled to work just as hard.

Best advice: “Communicating your rationale to students improves everyone’s experience. Explaining to students why I want them to do something or why I teach the way I do has worked wonders.” Fun fact: Her menagerie at home includes Otis the dog, Nibbler the hamster and two roosters she calls “the boys.”

Outside of work: She’s a school board director. That’s in addition to hanging out with her children, spending time in nature and dreaming about getting more pets.

Raissa DeSmet

Assistant teaching professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell

In the winter of 2023, Raissa DeSmet taught an interdisciplinary arts class that considered literary, visual and performing art forms and traditions within social contexts. For one assignment, students visited a museum of their choice, taking selfies and noticing their surroundings. What did the space feel like? Did students feel welcomed? What groups might feel unwelcome? “I encourage students to think of the classroom in much the same way that they would a studio: as a space of experimentation and collaboration,” she explains. “Raissa’s energy represents why students choose to come to UW Bothell,” writes student Isabeau Rosen, ’24. “Her compassionate approach to teaching is fundamental to the unique educational experience of Bothell students.” Recent kitchen creations: “Two failed gluten-free chocolate cakes, but I am feeling optimistic about take three."

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Louisa Mackenzie

Louisa Mackenzie is a first-generation college grad, a Scottish immigrant and a queer professor with a keen eye for underrepresented perspectives. One student, Rinav Raveendran Kathuri, writes that Mackenzie was on the “opposite side of the political spectrum” from his own views. But Mackenzie’s interpretations of culture and “intellectual flexibility” refreshed his outlook on ideology in higher education. “I never once felt that certain political values were being imposed on me,” Kathuri writes.

What Mackenzie would be if not a teacher: “[As a kid,] I really wanted to be a spy until I realized it wasn’t like in the cartoons. I still think a career in diplomacy would be cool.”

Alison Crowe Teaching professor, Biology

Biology professor Alison Crowe has been teaching for 24 years but learns something new every semester. Her courses span the basics of biology to graduate-level material. “My goal is to give students the tools they need to be independent learners with the confidence to approach novel problems,” she says. “I strive to foster a supportive environment that normalizes mistake-making as part of the learning process.” Writes student Dylan Simon: “I always felt like a peer, and I cherished each meeting.”

Recent reading: “Parable of the Sower,” by Octavia Butler, which she calls “eerily relevant for today.”

Favorite travel: “I saw the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony on New Zealand’s South Island. It’s a biologist’s dream.”

If she weren’t a teacher: “I’d work in a bookstore with a resident cat and read all day.”

Eric Villiers

Eric Villiers knows many of his students come to the first day of class worried but works quickly to put them at ease. “Eric has been a prominent figure in my college experience because of his patience, active listening and ability to foster a sense that my learning experience is ever-expanding,” writes student Lilian Nguyen. A former preschool teacher who was called “Mr. Eric” by the children, Villiers is highly admired for his knowledge of theater, dance and performance.

Fun fact: He worked as a bookseller to pay for his MFA degree.

A recent read: “Future Home of the Living God,” by Louise Erdrich, which he calls “hauntingly poetic and heartbreaking.”

Colleen Craig Teaching professor, Chemistry

Since she began teaching at the UW in 2010, Colleen Craig’s innovative approach has transformed the Chemistry Department. “Her faculty colleagues—teaching and tenure-track alike— regularly seek her advice,” writes Department Chair Munira Khalil. “She has … implemented a flipped-classroom approach.” That is, Craig’s classroom time is for collaboration and questions, not lectures, something that can lead to new insights. “Colleen has shown me that acknowledging you’re still learning can be a superpower if used correctly,” writes one student. Her pandemic addition: “You really can ‘fake’ being an authority figure until you feel like one. I was a very nervous new instructor convinced that my students had extrasensory perception and could tell I was a complete fraud.”

Dream job outside of teaching: “When I was young, I wanted to be a novelist or an astrophysicist, but I didn’t really know what that was.”

Carly Gray is one of those people who tells you that if she wasn’t leading a college classroom, she’d be teaching grade school. Not baking cakes or flying planes, just … teaching. This passion for sharing knowledge is what her students and colleagues love about her. “Even as I brought forth an endless tsunami of questions, she patiently provided succinct and coherent answers,” writes student Rachel Kim. “I am forever grateful [to Gray for] showing me what I am truly capable of in the field of psychology.” Her pandemic addition: A 4-year-old mutt named Toby.

One of Gray’s hobbies: “I love spending a Saturday playing multiple rounds of a complex board game like Spirit Island, Scythe or Ark Nova.”

M. Aziz

Assistant professor, American Ethnic Studies

Serving up history alongside Black martial arts, M. Aziz finds fresh ways to bring life into their classroom. And for students returning from COVID-19 lockdowns and online learning, it’s a welcome change. Their courses, which focus on Black culture, social-movement history and the practice of martial artistry, reject the rigidity of a typical course curriculum and instead bend to fit the interests and passions of their students. Take it from a former student: “When I entered Dr. A’s classroom, I was immediately met with the tunes of Biggie Smalls and an unusual sense of familiarity, as if the people in the room were friends, not students, not peers, not transplants,” writes student Kye Fitzpatrick, ’24.

Writing utensil of choice: “I write with my treasured pen that has the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture logo on it. I worked there for many years.”

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Comfort Food

Dishing with Harry Chan, ’76, owner of Tai Tung, Seattle’s oldest Chinese-American restaurant

Bruce Lee, Anthony Bourdain, Olympic athlete Apollo Ohno and Bill Gates have all dined at Tai Tung, Seattle’s oldest ChineseAmerican restaurant. And so have many of the rest of us. Owned and run by Harry Chan, ’76, since 1979, and by his family since 1935, this eatery is a beloved fixture of the Chinatown-International District.

For nearly 90 years, Harry Chan’s family has owned and operated Tai Tung in the Chinatown-International District. Chan continues the legacy, helming the city’s oldest Chinese restaurant.

Chan’s grandfather, who had immigrated from Southern China, opened a restaurant in Seattle in the 1930s. It quickly became a popular neighborhood spot. When 20-year-old Chan arrived from Hong Kong in 1968, his family brought him to Tai Tung for his first American meal and to familiarize him with the local Asian American flavors.

“It’s a little bit different than Chinese food,” says Chan. “It was the first time I had a fortune cookie.” Created for an American palate, the dishes included chow mein, chop suey, sweet and sour flavors and recipes adapted away from Chinese ingredients and seasonings and toward what was locally available.

Apart from the food, Chan noticed other differences from eateries back home. Hong Kong restaurants crammed tables together family style, with shared seating. At Tai Tung, the restaurant is laid out with booths and smaller stand-alone tables to provide the customers more privacy. He was intrigued by the small buttons on the woodpaneled walls of Tai Tung’s dining room, which could be used by customers to summon a server. Later, Chan disconnected them because they were irresistible to young children. But he kept them in place as a reminder of the past.

Chan started working at Tai Tung in the 1960s and has held every possible job from washing dishes and mopping floors to prepping food in the kitchen and tackling the front-of-house tasks like waiting tables and bartending, all while supporting his family. After starting out at community college, Chan enrolled at the UW. He juggled school, work and parenting, adjusting his class schedule to

be done by noon. He then worked at the restaurant from lunchtime to 8 p.m., when he’d head home for a night of studying. Chan earned a degree in building construction. His son Evan Chan, ’94, and his grandson Conner Chan, ’22, also graduated from the same program.

Over its many decades, Tai Tung’s menu stayed constant. Customer favorites include chicken wings, egg foo young, fried rice, oyster sauce beef, chow mein, almond chicken, sweet and sour prawns and chop suey. Behind the counter, a wall of daily specials written in Mandarin and English offer items to tempt Asian restaurantgoers—dishes with bitter melon, pig’s feet, ox tail and steamed fish—foods that are more representative of the flavors immigrants might miss from home.

As the restaurant approaches its 90th anniversary, Chan reminisces on some of his more famous visitors. A television producer and crew from the CNN show “Parts Unknown” came to visit in 2017, toward the end of a late-night shift. Chan wasn’t fully paying attention and pocketed the producer’s phone number without thinking much about it. “Five days later, she came in with Anthony Bourdain,” says Chan. “I didn’t really know about him that much. I was surprised. We were honored to have him come here.” Bourdain (who died in 2018) feasted on roast duck, ma po tofu, kung pao chicken, sweet and sour pineapple chicken, pea pods, string beans and almond chicken. While visitors will often find Chan behind the counter greeting customers or cooking in the kitchen, he has enjoyed traveling lately. A few years ago, he attended the 150th anniversary celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit in Utah. Chan and his dear friend Al Young, ’77, drove to the ceremony to watch Young’s older sister, historian Connie Young Yu, deliver the opening address. Young’s great grandfather was one of the thousands of Chinese railroad workers who laid the track and united the country by rail. “On that day, the Chinese were finally recognized for their contribution,” says Chan. Now 76, Chan plans to continue working at Tai Tung for as long as he can. “I’d love to be able to celebrate our 100-year anniversary,” says Chan. “I hope to see the C-ID continue to grow into a neighborhood for people to visit and live here while maintaining its history. We are fortunate to be part of this great place that supports the Asian American community.”

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UWAA Distinguished Service Award

Louise Little

From textbooks to T-shirts and coffee mugs to caps and gowns, Louise Little, ’81, has been at the center of all things UW for more than 40 years. Starting as a temporary cashier in 1980 and recently retiring as CEO at the University Book Store, she has shepherded the 124-year-old landmark through major changes, the advent of the internet and online retail, the expansion of products and apparel, the ups and downs on the Ave and a closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even though we’re an independent for-profit company, our mission has always been to serve and benefit the students, faculty and staff of the University—with students in the foreground,” Little says. Once the store moved off campus and onto the Ave, the managers quickly discovered that serving the greater community in addition to students was good for business.

UW Distinguished Teaching Legacy Award

Shauna Elbers Carlisle

Bringing real-world examples to her courses, Shauna Elbers Carlisle, an associate professor at UW Bothell, engages her students in larger questions of social justice and encourages their community-based learning.

Elbers Carlisle, ’02, ’10, learned about community service from her parents, immigrants who helped establish an organization for the Caribbean community in Manitoba. Her parents’ civic engagement included her mother’s membership in a nurses’ union during the historic Manitoba nurses strike in response to massive government cutbacks to the health-care system. “I developed a very strong appreciation for what it means to advocate for wellness and the rights of people and the workers,” Elbers Carlisle told a UW Bothell writer. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology in Canada, Elbers Carlisle

“We were the No. 1 bookseller in the city for many years,” Little says. The store is also a national leader in terms of sales volume among college bookstores.

After college, Little was hoping to work in human resources. A position opened up at the student-founded bookstore, and “I got the job,” she says. “One thing led to another, and I had a career. I loved that the store had a mission I believed in.

“It was like a second family,” Little says. “The bookstore always attracted the most creative, interesting people who were truly a joy to work with.” In 1989, Little became the director of human resources and took over as CEO in 2013. It wasn’t a role she sought, but at that point, she knew more about the store than anyone else.

“When you think about Louise Little and her 42-plus year career at the bookstore, you have to recognize her excellent leadership and guidance through changing times and through having to modernize to meet the evolving needs of students and the University community,” says Paul Rucker, ’95, ’02, the UW’s vice president for alumni and stakeholder engagement. “She leaves a remarkable legacy of service and impact.”

—Hannelore Sudermann

followed her interest in social work to the UW for graduate school, where she completed a master’s in social work and a Ph.D. in social welfare. The courses of study led to her current research focus on the intersection of race, ethnicity and circumstances of birth and its implication on population health and well-being. As a co-developer of a community-based learning scale, Elbers Carlisle worked with colleagues to gauge the long-term effect of community-based learning on students’ civic engagement. The Bothell campus uses the scale to measure civic engagement, self-awareness and critical thinking.

In 2023, UW Bothell gave Elbers Carlisle the Outstanding Public Service Award for her efforts both inside and outside of the classroom. “At the beginning of my career, I made the decision that my education would be used to contribute to the community’s common good,” Elbers Carlisle said at the time of the award. “UW Bothell has afforded me the opportunity to align my service with my values and desire to improve the well-being of the communities I am a part of and in service to.”

—Shin Yu Pai

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2024 ASSOCIATION AWARDS
RON WURZER
RON WURZER

UWAA Golden Graduate Award UW-UWRA

Sharon Thayer

In 2002, after a long and fulfilling career as a social worker at Harborview Medical Center, Sharon Thayer, ’62, decided to retire. But it wasn’t because she was burnt out or ready to slow down—she loved working at the hospital and enjoyed socializing with her coworkers and patients. Thayer, who grew up in Spokane and had raised two sons (also UW alums) in Edmonds, was ready to get serious about her hobbies.

One hobby she finally had more time for was quilting. In 2016, she started volunteering with the UW Medical Center and Harborview’s Comfort Care Quilt Program, which provides handmade quilts for patients in palliative care. In her eight years with the program, Thayer has made more than 500 quilts, recruited more than 20 volunteers and been instrumental in keeping her fellow volunteers engaged with frequent sewing work parties.

Patti Warashina

In 1958, Patti Warashina came to the UW to become a dental hygienist. But the moment she picked up a stick of charcoal for an elective class in drawing, she was destined for a life in arts.

One day, the student from Spokane wandered into the ceramics studio, and “I thought, ‘Oh God, that looks like fun,’” she said during a recent talk at the Horizon House retirement community. She loved the tactile experience of throwing clay on a wheel and was hooked on creating, pushing the limits of clay and taking inspiration from her classmates. On weekends, Warashina said, she would break back into the studio through an unlocked basement window. She drew influence from the artists in the Bay Area Funk movement who were breaking the rules of ceramics, embracing absurdism and inspired by pop culture.

Warashina taught at the UW from 1970 to 1995, helping mold hundreds of students

Introduced to the Comfort Care Quilt Program by its founder, Carol Kummet,Thayer was drawn to its values of empathy and humanity—seeing the patient as a human being with hopes, dreams and interests, not just a diagnosis. Often, the quilts that patients choose reflect their personalities.

“Carol believes that the quilt finds the person and not the other way around,” Thayer says, “and that is 100% true. The staff will ask the patient about their favorite color, hobbies, and things they love, and then they will go through the quilts and try to find the right one. One time, there was a young father in the hospital dying, and their child was sitting in the room holding a sock monkey. The staff member went to find him a quilt, and there happened to be one with a sock monkey on it.” Another time, a cherry farmer from Eastern Washington said he loved red, and the nurse came back with a cherry-themed quilt.

Thayer is quick to give credit to her fellow volunteers and everyone involved in the program. “It’s such a fabulous volunteer program,” she says. “We get as much or more out of it than the patients. I feel such a satisfaction that my humble hobby can make such a difference in someone’s life.”

into fine artists and art enthusiasts. Warashina, ’62, ’64, was a woman in a male-dominated ceramic arts field. But she was and is widely respected for her mastery of the material, her intriguing takes on the human figure, and weird, witty and irreverent approaches to themes including feminism, social conditions and her own experiences. She became a leading figure in the Seattle art scene of the 1980s. And she gained national notice. A New York Times art critic recognized her for her “imagination and sheer technical virtuosity.”

Over her career, Warashina received three grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Lifetime Achievement/ Woman of the Year Award by the Artist Trust in Seattle. Her work is in the collections of major museums and galleries around the world. In 2020, the Smithsonian honored her with the Visionary Award for more than 50 years of groundbreaking work in ceramics and for her interest in challenging gender barriers. The institution also recognized her for “building one of the strongest ceramic and sculpture departments on the West Coast.”

—Hannelore Sudermann

2024 ASSOCIATION AWARDS RON WURZER RON WURZER
Distinguished
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Retiree Award

Wolves, Wonder and Wander

Adventures of a lifetime await in popular and lesser-known destinations including Yellowstone, Southern Africa, Switzerland and Austria in 2025. Sign up now.

Wolves & Wildlife of Yellowstone

January 11-17, 2025

Tour operator: Orbridge

Venture into the heart of Yellowstone National Park to see its legendary wildlife aboard custom-outfitted safari vans. These specially equipped, heated vehicles provide not only great comfort but proximity to wolves, bison, elk and other animals that call the park home. Visiting Yellowstone in winter is a transcendent experience, as the air is crisp with the scent of pine trees and the promise of adventure. The snow-covered landscapes provide the perfect backdrop to nature’s unfolding drama. Besides exploring the “Serengeti of North America,” with the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states, you’ll experience awe-inspiring geothermal features at Mammoth Hot Springs, including Old Faithful.

Journey to Southern Africa

March 4-19, 2025

Tour operator: AHI Travel

Here’s your opportunity to embark on luxury safaris and thrill to Victoria Falls on this voyage to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe for a 12-night journey. You’ll begin your journey in Cape Town, a jewel of the Western Cape, and tour Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned before the end of apartheid, alongside a knowledgeable guide. You’ll get to spot penguins at the Cape of Good Hope, at the southwestern tip of the continent. And you will venture out to renowned safari destinations: Kapama Private Game Reserve, Hwange National Park and Chobe National Park. And you’ll experience the utmost in luxury aboard Rovos Rail on a threenight train journey.

Alpine Splendor

August 21-September 3, 2025

Tour operator: Odysseys Unlimited

Check out these highlighted trips and plenty more at Washington.edu/alumni/travel.

This captivating 14-day Swiss and Austrian small-group exploration discovers mountain villages, cruises on glassy lakes and ascends snowcapped summits. You’ll board two world-renowned trains—the Glacier Express and the Gornergrat Bahn, which features stunning views of the Matterhorn— and take a cruise on Lake Lugano. The trip also includes a visit to Bellinzona’s Castelgrande, a UNESCO site, and a wine tasting at a royal Swiss wine cellar. You’ll spend three nights in the beautiful, baroque town of Salzburg, with an intimate classical performance and visits to the Medieval Hohensalzburg, one of Europe’s finest castles. Stops at historic World War II sites conclude the journey.

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REAL DAWGS WEAR PURPLE

Communitas—the spirit of community—motivates architect Grace Kim.

As a Korean immigrant, Kim has fond memories of growing up in a small, closeknit community. So the concept of cohousing—an intentional neighborhood of private homes surrounding a shared space—resonated with her. After 13 years as a working architect, Kim chose the University of Washington graduate architecture program as the perfect place to transform her interest in cohousing from theory to practice. This dedicated Dawg went on to found Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing, an intergenerational community where she lives with her family. Kim designs spaces shaped by lived experience, fostering social connection in an increasingly isolated world. More than three million people have viewed her 2017 TED Talk on how social connectedness (and cohousing) contribute to longevity. The proud Husky designed the Station House Transit-Oriented Development at Capitol Hill, comprising 110 affordable, sustainable homes. She’s currently planning the Kent Multicultural Village—inclusive affordable housing for families and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

At Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing, Grace Kim and her neighbors share community meals three times a week.

realdawgswearpurple wearpurple UWearPurple

Her Legacy Lives On

Marleigh Lang, ’68, ’06, remembers her late daughter Natalie, whose namesake scholarship offers tuition assistance to international students

Nearly 60 years after graduating from the University of Washington for the first time, Marleigh Lang, ’68, ’06, still vividly remembers that day. “It was the happiest day of my life up until that point,” she says. “To walk across that stage and hear my name, Marleigh Stewart, Bachelor of Science… I was so proud. I never really thought I would make it because the program was very rigorous. It was an intense journey.”

Thirty-seven years, nine children, and one nursing career later, Lang once again found herself walking across a stage to pick up a diploma—this time at the University of Washington’s Bothell campus in 2006. Lang’s husband, Harley, and a handful of her children were there to congratulate her as she received a master’s degree in nursing. In the crowd, beaming the brightest and cheering the loudest, was her oldest daughter Natalie, ’97, who graduated from UW Bothell with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and, at the time of her

mom’s graduation, was enrolled in the school’s Public Policy master’s program, hoping to become a lawyer.

“Thanks to Natalie getting her master’s degree, she inspired me to get mine,” Lang says. “She was just like that, always encouraging people to try new things and pursue their dreams. Her health was failing when I finished, and only six months later, she passed, but she got to see me graduate. She was like, ‘Mom, you need to do this. Do this for me.’”

Such was Natalie Lang’s way—always putting others before herself and, bolstered by a voracious appetite to experience everything in life, never slowing down, even as she suffered from kidney disease that resulted in dialysis and an organ transplant. An avid reader, gifted violinist, horse lover and community volunteer, Natalie worked as an international student adviser and, before that, an admissions adviser at UW Bothell for about 12 years. She was also the

adviser for UW Bothell’s intercultural club and planned the popular intercultural night for many years.

“Natalie was very well-liked and very important at UW Bothell,” says her mother, who notes that members of the Lang family (from her to her grandchildren) have earned 14 degrees through the University of Washington. “She had a passion for working with international students and would take calls from them even when she was in the hospital. She used to have students telling her that she was more helpful than their immigration lawyers.’”

Maybe it was growing up with eight younger siblings or being diagnosed with diabetes at age 11, but Natalie was a natural-born caretaker with a soft spot for outsiders. Academically gifted, Natalie started reading at a young age, and according to her mother, at just 14, she won an award from the Washington State Poetry Association—the first teenager formally recognized by the organization.

“She loved literature,” Lang says of her daughter. “She tested off the charts in reading in the second grade, and by the time she was 11, she had figured out how to order books in the mail. I remember finding ‘A Stranger is Watching’ in her room and thinking it might not be appropriate for a child. Well, then, I started reading it and couldn’t put it down!”

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Marleigh Lang and her husband Harley with their eight children at their son Matt’s wedding this past spring.

Natalie attended Cascade High School in Everett, graduating in 1987 with the top English Honors award and a long list of scholarships. Admitted early to the University of Washington, she was forced to find an alternative when a mix-up in application deadline dates caused the school to rescind its offer for her to start in the fall after graduation. She enrolled at Shoreline Community College with plans to transfer to UW as soon as possible, but when she heard about UW Bothell, which was less than eight miles from the Langs’ house, where she was living at the time, she looked into it.

“As soon as she heard about the Bothell campus, she came to me and said, ‘Mom, that’s where I’m going to go,” Lang recalls. “We weren’t familiar with the idea of different campuses, and at the time, it seemed a little unusual, but there was parking in front of her classroom that made it easier for her to attend.” Natalie flourished on the smaller campus and eventually found her niche helping international students navigate the often-tangled bureaucracy of admissions and immigration. Even with insurance, her medical costs were high (medication alone was around $1,000 a month), but Natalie still found a way to

help out students in monetary need by setting up the International Student Scholarship, meant, according to the school’s website, “to provide tuition assistance to UWB students on an F-1 visa or those who have become permanent residents of the U.S. within the past 5 years, who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the local and/or global community, and have significant financial need.” According to Lang, her daughter noticed that last-minute costs, application fees, and health-care bills, sometimes as little as $35, often tripped up some international students— many of whom were on tight budgets.

Before she died in 2007, Natalie made her mother promise that the fund would continue. Just days before her death, she looked at Lang and said, “‘Mom, when I do die, the only thing I’m worried about is the scholarship,’” her mother recalls. “I said, ‘OK, I will make sure it keeps going.’ That made my life a little easier at the time because I knew what was important, that her main concern was that the scholarship could continue.”

After Natalie’s death, the Langs established an endowment in her name to support the work she did for international students, and the scholarship she started was renamed

the Natalie K. Lang International Student Scholarship. According to Lang, giving back to UW Bothell has always been, and will continue to be, a priority for her and her husband. “We still give to Natalie’s scholarship fund,” she says. “UW and UW Bothell are important to our family. The school helped us get us past the most critical stages of grief [after Natalie died] by continuing to be involved in our lives and helping to keep the things that she started alive.”

The Replacement

Braden Bishop starred in the outfield at UW, but it’s a Mariner moment for which he’ll never be forgotten

On March 21, 2019, Ichiro Suzuki played his final game as a Seattle Mariner. The game, which the Mariners would go on to win in 12 innings against the Oakland Athletics, was not played at T-Mobile Park, but at the Tokyo Dome in Ichiro’s native Japan.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Ichiro took his customary spot in right field. But before a pitch was thrown, he was removed for a defensive replacement. That defensive replacement was former University of Washington outfielder Braden Bishop—in his major-league debut, no less.

After 47 games spread across three seasons for the Mariners and a prodigious career in the minors, Bishop has moved on from baseball. He now devotes his time to running a charitable foundation, 4MOM, that provides financial and emotional support to families

The Lang family established an endowment in the name of their daughter Natalie (above).

impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Sadly, Bishop can relate. His mother, Suzy, died in 2019 after a bout with Alzheimer’s. Bishop recently took some time to discuss his philanthropic work with University of Washington Magazine, as well as that moment in 2019 when he became an indelible part of Seattle sports lore.

UW Magazine: I want to take you back to the moment that cemented you as the answer to a Seattle sports trivia question: the day you made your Major League Baseball debut replacing Ichiro Suzuki in the outfield in his final game. Did anyone give you a headsup before the game that such a scenario could unfold, or did it all happen on the spot? Also, who slid over to right so you could enter the game in center field?

Braden Bishop: I came up through the minor leagues as a centerfielder, but I also knew that once you get to the big leagues, you’re playing whatever position they need you to play. We had played two exhibition games against the Tokyo Giants and one game against Oakland. I’d gone in to be a defensive replacement for Ichiro in the two exhibition games, so I kind of had an idea of how it would play out. I knew I would get thrown into the fire.

Read more at uwmag.online/bishop

SUMMER 2024 41 MARC STUDER
Former Husky Braden Bishop had a short MLB career but was in the spotlight when he replaced Mariner icon Ichiro in his last game.
BEN VANHOUTEN/SEATTLE MARINERS

‘Feels a Little Like Electricity’

Whiting Tennis sparks his creative process

In his latest exhibition at Russo Lee Gallery in Portland, Seattle artist Whiting Tennis, ’84, showed his new works in a room near an exhibit of paintings from the estate of his friend and mentor, Michael Dailey, a UW professor from 1963 to 1998.

The show, “At Variance,” featured a broad range of Tennis’ drawing, collage and

to influence what happens, whether it’s abstraction vs. figuration or mechanical versus organic, or dynamic versus static, etc.,” Tennis says. “That tension feels a little like electricity, and sometimes I think that this subtle energy is helping to drive the drawing.”

Tennis, whose family moved to Seattle when he was 12, started creating art in high school. As an art student at the UW, he studied with Dailey and Mike Spafford, both celebrated among Northwest artists.

Under their tutelage, he developed his work ethic. “I was in love with the idea that making art was work, kind of like a job, which added some much-needed weight to the art school experience. I kept that part,” he says.

He also independently studied with Professor Jacob Lawrence, who was internationally celebrated for his print series documenting the African American experience. “I was fooling around with these little Clyfford Still-influenced abstracts,” says Tennis. “So I’d come in and put them on the floor and the master of narrative painting would say, ‘OK, Tennis. See you next week.’

“If I was paying attention, I may have learned that art is made by people who live lives ... and that I had very far to go in that regard,” Tennis says. “But the feeling in the room that I remember was one of respect on my part and more than a little patience on his.”

After graduation, Tennis had some solo exhibitions in Seattle and Barcelona, Spain. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he lived in New York. A brief New York Times review of a gallery show there in 2001 noted, “Mr. Tennis neatly pieces together Cubist collage pictures of melancholy rural American scenes. The muted convergence of Modernist abstraction and pastoral nostalgia is unusual.” Back in the Northwest, his fan base was growing. In 2007, Tennis won the Neddy Award, followed by the Arlene Schnitzer Prize from the Portland Art Museum in 2008. His sculptural work has been commissioned by Vulcan, and he recently completed a painting commission for Gates Ventures’ office in Southern California.

Tennis’ recent exhibition in Portland included a dozen or so smaller drawings, plus a handful of larger paintings.

painting. Building from a years-long practice of automatic drawing—tapping into the subconscious by drawing randomly across paper—the artist’s warm-up studies set the stage for his more complex paintings and collages. “I’ve noticed for years that while starting a drawing on a blank sheet of paper, I can feel opposing forces wanting

“Hudson” combined his signature approach of blending painting, collage and printmaking—a practice he picked up at the UW while studying woodblock printing with Spafford. Based on a sentimental painting of a countryside that Tennis found in a thrift store, arboreal forms and flora compose a Romantic landscape

SUNG PARK 42 UW MAGAZINE
Widely known for his visual art, the versatile Whiting Tennis also fills his time with music. His home studio includes recording space.

reminiscent of the Hudson River School painters. But closer inspection reveals a complex trompe l’oeil. Seams in the piece indicate where hand-printed sections of the landscape have been collaged together. The acrylic-painted water elements flow across the canvas.

Another work, “White House,” expresses political undertones and clues the reader in to the artist’s ideology. “The piece started out as an all-over painting that was intended to be an abstract clash of painted and printed building surfaces,” Tennis says. But it moved toward “a picture, a place and finally a metaphor.” Embedded with numbers and

clues, “1619,” the year that marks the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in North America, stands out.

Tennis shows regularly on both coasts. Back home in his Seattle studio, he’s laying the groundwork for his next solo exhibition for Greg Kucera Gallery in May 2025 while also working on a fourth album with his rock band. Also a popular singer and songwriter, Tennis performs around the Pacific Northwest. One side of his industrial studio is filled with painting supplies, drawings and sculptural models, while the other half is filled with recording equipment and electric guitars.

MEDIA

BOOKS

Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution

The former UW student turned actor, producer and writer explores how spirituality can help us create solutions for an increasingly challenging world. Wilson, best known for playing Dwight Schrute in “The Office,” is the co-founder of the media company SoulPancake.

The Women

The latest novel from The New York Times best-selling writer is both an portrait of a young nurse coming of age in a challenging time and an epic tale of a nation divided by the Vietnam war and broken by politics, of a generation both fueled by dreams and lost on the battlefield.

TV SHOWS

Red Right Hand

Starring Garret Dillahunt, ’87

Prime Video, Apple TV and video on demand

This action thriller stars Dillahunt, a Yakima native who earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the UW and has appeared in numerous small-screen comedies (“The Mindy Project”) and dramas (such as “Deadwood” and “ER”). Here, he plays a former drug addict and ex-gang member who has become a preacher.

The Good Doctor Starring Christina Chang, ’96

ABC TV

Since 2017, Chang has played Dr. Audrey Lim on the series, which is now in its final season. Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, she moved with her family to the U.S. at 17 and attended the University of Kansas before switching to the UW. She starred in Seattle Children’s Theatre plays before moving to New York City and getting roles in TV.

SUMMER 2024 43
COURTESY THE RUSSO LEE GALLERY

GENEROSITY AND OPPORTUNITY AT THE UW

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DENNIS WISE 44 UW MAGAZINE

Coming Home

Nocona Abrams returned to the Yakima Valley to improve mental health care for her community

Many of her childhood memories are dear to Nocona Abrams: The gleaming snowcap of Pahto (Mt. Adams), the sacred mountain of the Yakama Nation, dominating the skyline to the west of her family’s country home. The familiar aspects of life in her rural tribal community of White Swan, like knowing everybody’s name (“and everybody’s business,” she says with a touch of deadpan humor) or sitting in class and

Every time she returned, she was reminded of what she missed: “my community and my people.”

watching a horse amble by in the field across the street. The way the community showed up loud and proud for her basketball games, packing the high school gym to cheer on the White Swan Cougars. But it wasn’t perfect. Abrams remembers her parents’ constant safety concerns for her and her two brothers—crime was high in the area. Many in the Yakama Nation community lived with intergenerational trauma, says Abrams, ’19, ’23. “We still have elders who were forced into boarding schools as children. Often they’re raising their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and unwittingly passing that trauma on.” And then there were her own mental health struggles: depression, anxiety, trauma and sometimes suicidal thoughts.

Abrams sought therapy at a nearby behavioral health clinic. But, she remembers, it seemed like each time she was finally ready to open up, her counselor would quit, and she’d have to start from scratch with a new one. She was experiencing firsthand the high turnover of community mental health care. After a few tries, she gave up on therapy for a while—but she didn’t give up on herself.

She set her sights on a future somewhere else. She excelled in school, took on leadership roles and played sports. And when she was accepted to the University of Washington, she had no intention of ever moving back.

Nearly a decade later, much has changed. Abrams is back—with two UW degrees in hand, thanks to the support of generous donors and the faculty and staff who trained and encouraged her. She’s a mental health therapist helping people in her community, many of them facing struggles that are familiar to her from her own life.

It took moving away from home to help Abrams remember what she loved about it—and how she wanted to help make it better.

“It was a culture shock,” says Abrams of her arrival at the UW. “People in Seattle dress differently than back home. They speak differently. They joke differently.” Even so, Abrams soon came to love it, settling in as a psychology major and philosophy minor, both areas of study that taught her about herself. She flourished, making friends, earning scholarships that provided financial support and validation, and building a life in Seattle.

Slowly but surely, though, she began to feel the pull of home. Every time she returned for a visit, she was reminded of what she missed: “my community and my people.”

At the end of her senior year, her adviser at the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity recommended a monthlong volunteer trip

Nocona (third from left) and her husband (left) enjoy spending time with her parents—and their assortment of animals—at their home in White Swan on the Yakama Indian Reservation.

SUMMER 2024 45

to Bali, where Abrams would work as a mental health adviser. On that trip, she visited a center for people with schizophrenia, an inpatient psychiatric ward, a school for children with autism and an orphanage for Deaf children. “I learned so much about the different ways people experience the world—and I affirmed how much I loved helping others,” she says. “My psychology degree was opening outward.”

She stayed with a Balinese host family in a rural village, and she got to take part in community celebrations and cultural practices around life events like births, weddings and deaths. “It felt similar to my own experience of how Native peoples gather for these same events, with their own practices that are different from Western ones,” she says.

When Abrams returned home to her community and a new job, at Yakama Nation Behavioral Health Services in

through additional work, internships and volunteering: leading grief recovery groups, providing therapy for unhoused youth, serving as a crisis counselor, launching a health clinic at a tribal school and much more.

On top of her graduate work, she was a research assistant at the UW Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, where she

“The support I received didn’t help only me. It helped, and continues to help, my entire community.”

helped study the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous peoples—work that was used to develop policy recommendations for Congress. “Indigenous peoples are not well represented in evidence-based research, and it means a lot to me that the UW has an institute like this,” says Abrams. She went on to collaborate with Angelique Day, an associate professor in the School of Social Work, to culturally adapt an evidence-based life-skills curriculum for Yakama Nation youth. It would result in Abrams’ first published paper. But more important to her, it was a tangible example of how her research could help youth in her community.

Toppenish, she immediately began drawing from her experience and studies. In her first year on the job, she worked on grants to help prevent suicide and substance use, and to promote mental health for American Indian and Alaska Native youth.

A year later, she began the UW master’s program in social work. But this time she didn’t want to leave home—and she didn’t have to. The School of Social Work’s threeyear extended degree program allowed her to work and study at the same time. Ordinarily, she would have traveled to the UW a few times a quarter for weekend classes, but during the start of the pandemic, her studies were fully remote. She quickly put her new learnings to work: “I was getting skills and insights I could immediately use in my job serving Indigenous peoples.”

In her day job, Abrams managed grants and policies that impacted Native youth. She deepened her community involvement

As Abrams thrived academically and expanded her impact through her work, she received public funding and philanthropic support for her graduate studies. But with one year left, that funding ran out. “I thought I might have to leave school,” she remembers.

Then her field adviser told her about the Washington State Behavioral Health Workforce Development Initiative, or WDI. Supported by the Ballmer Group at 12 universities and 20 graduate programs statewide, the WDI offers scholarships for graduate students in social work or mental health counseling. Recipients commit to serving in community-based behavioral or tribal health centers after they graduate.

Abrams was already doing this work and she wanted to continue, so she applied for and received a WDI grant for her final year—and graduated on time, in June 2023.

46 UW MAGAZINE

Help build strong communities. When you support graduate students studying social work, you can help them focus on their passion: Helping communities thrive. giving.uw.edu/june -2024

An unexpected benefit to the WDI grant: resources like a guest speaker series and workshops on preventing burnout. As an alumna, Abrams still has access to them.

“Resources like these are hard to come by when you’re in the community behavioral health field or with a small agency that doesn’t have a lot of funding to train staff,” she says. “Having free resources is really nice.”

Abrams recently embarked on a new role as a mental health therapist at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic in Yakima, counseling individuals and leading therapy groups. It’s a new challenge with new opportunities to grow, she says, “and it aligns with my values of helping people who are historically underserved.”

As she reflects on the public and philanthropic support that helped her get where she is today, Abrams thinks of her community first: “When students who want to serve their communities have to delay or call off their studies, they’re not the only ones hurt. Patients are hurt. Their families are hurt. The whole community hurts. The support I received didn’t help only me. It helped, and continues to help, my entire community. To that I say, ‘Kwathlanushamaash—thank you.’”

Abrams is now a therapist at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.

Strengthening Skill Sets

In a previous column, I wrote about the importance of lifelong learning. My UW MBA remains a significant part of my professional journey—it laid the foundation for the work I do today as a venture capitalist. I’m thrilled to see how ongoing education helps shape the trajectory of people across all disciplines at the UW. In this Impact section are two great examples.

After earning her UW undergrad degree in psychology, Nocona Abrams (Yakama Nation) volunteered in Bali as a mental health adviser, then returned home to work in behavioral health and serve Native youth. Wanting to add to her strengths in the name of helping her community, she enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at the UW, where a combination of classroom learning and conducting research helped inform the work she was doing every day. Learn more about her journey—and the importance of supporting culturally aware mental health care—on p. 44.

Nearly 5,000 miles away, in the South Pacific, UW College of the Environment researchers are studying the ecosystem of the French Polynesian atoll Tetiaroa. Master’s student Eve Hallock is one of them. After working around the world as a field biologist, Hallock is diving into graduate studies in data science at the UW, broadening her skill set toward a future in wildlife research. And with the help of donor support, she’s still able to do what she loves most—study seabirds and their habitats on remote atolls, contributing to our knowledge about them. Read about Hallock and the UW research she’s part of on p. 49.

If you have benefited from continued education, if you recognize its value or if you want to support people’s educational journeys, I encourage you to find a UW department you care about, and make a difference with your philanthropic support. Whatever discipline speaks to you and your passions, chances are the UW has students and faculty who would benefit from your generosity.

Thank you.

CYRUS MCCRIMMON SUMMER 2024 47
48 UW MAGAZINE

Remote Learning

Eve Hallock has studied acorn woodpeckers in California, masked bobwhites in Arizona, marbled murrelets in Oregon and Galápagos finches in Ecuador. But this field biologist’s favorites are seabirds.

Now a master’s student in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, Hallock has previously spent months working independently on Tetiaroa, a French Polynesian atoll in the South Pacific, studying seabirds and their habitat. But on this trip, in October 2023, she’s here at the Tetiaroa Society’s Ecostation with a group of UW researchers including her advisers, Associate Professors Beth Gardner and Sarah Converse, and doctoral student Amelia DuVall.

Together they spend time GPS-tagging Sula leucogaster—the seabirds commonly known as brown boobies—to learn more about where the birds travel. They’re also studying the relationship between these birds, which nest on the ground, and rats, which are invasive and currently being eradicated from the atoll.

Since 2013, generous donors have funded many UW research projects on Tetiaroa— studying shark behavior, ocean acidification, the effects of microplastics on corals, and more. The researchers collaborate with the Tetiaroa Society, which invests in preserving the culture and biodiversity of this ring of 12 motus, or coral islets. It’s an ideal research location for many reasons.

“Tetiaroa is a remote atoll with a relatively closed system. Studying ecological systems there can help us better understand other low-lying islands,” says Gardner. She directs the UW’s Quantitative Ecology Lab, which develops innovative methods to study wildlife, plant and fishery populations. Much of their work focuses on our ability to manage and conserve wildlife populations.

That especially matters to Hallock, who’s adding to her deep background of field research with graduate training in data science at the UW. The seabirds she’s studying on Tetiaroa are part of an intricate ecosystem whose future in a changing world is far from certain—and Hallock’s work could help prepare us for that future.

“Seabirds are all vulnerable to climate change, fisheries management and invasive species,” she says. “It’s so important that people want to support research like this.”

Photo by Mark Stone

Learn more about UW research on Tetiaroa: environment.uw.edu/tetiaroa

Expand our knowledge. When you support research at the College of the Environment, you can help us learn more about life on our planet—and what we can do to protect it. giving.uw.edu/june -2024 THE BIG PICTURE TETIAROA

Educational Opportunities for All

Emily Yim leads the Washington Alliance for Better Schools to help students succeed

Emily Yim's work gives students the opportunity to be exposed to career opportunities and what goes on in the workplace.

She was previously vice president of the community and external affairs division for Chase Bank, where one of her focuses was K-12 education. “The mission of the organization is to help lead partnership work that rallies support for students who are further from opportunity to align to their passions and their dreams.”

One shining example is the After School STEM Academy. “The strategy for working with students is around a continuum of learning in K-12,” she says. “Engaging in STEM, we encourage schools to have it be interactive, messy, fun and loud. We bring in community partners to facilitate lessons. It’s important because you want to focus on building durable skills, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.”

The Career Tours program serves students who have not been exposed to career opportunities, including BIPOC, low income and first generation. Students visit a workplace and see what a company does, hear from employees about their educational and professional pathways and participate in work-based learning activities. These experiences, as part of career-connected learning, give students insight into what careers are possible and an understanding of some of the skills sought by employers.

For Yim, a highlight of 13 years in her role has been seeing an evolution of the consortium grow from a small group of districts to multiple counties statewide. “But what I value the most is all of the people I’ve been able to meet when you talk about students and families and volunteers,” she says. “When families have an interest in engaging in their schools and we can help them come up with their own vision and action plan to be a cultural bridge to their own community, it’s great to see the effect on many things, including learning.”

“A major area of work we prioritize … is to amplify the voices of the student and parent in the community, working with family partners, school partners and the student community to build programs that are relevant,” says Yim, ’00.

Emily Yim may have left the University of Washington with a political science degree 24 years ago, but she didn’t leave education behind. As president and CEO of the Washington Alliance for Better Schools, a nonprofit dedicated to improving opportunity for students in the state, she leads an organization whose footprint includes more than 315,000 students and serves more than 27,000 individuals annually.

Yim’s son, Carter, is set to follow in his mother’s footsteps this fall by attending the UW—the only school he applied to. “U-Dub is where I wanted to go,” she recalls. “I’m excited for him to gain great experiences just like I did… There is so much to learn.”

50 UW MAGAZINE
ANIL KAPAHI

Campus to ConnectionsCommunity

The University of Washington Alumni Association presents programs and events that support students, build connections with alumni and strengthen higher education in Washington state. For more information on UWAA’s student and alumni programs. Visit UWalum.com.

JOIN & CONNECT

Build community through programs that connect students and alumni.

Support student scholarships and campus student groups.

Celebrate the newest graduates by providing programming and support as they transition to the alumni community.

MENTOR & INSPIRE

UW Husky Landing is UWAA’s professional networking platform where students can connect with alumni to help advance their career goals. Huskies@Work matches current UW students with alumni to discuss career journeys and job experiences.

ADVOCATE & LEARN

Receive legislative updates about access, affordability, high-demand degree programs and other issues affecting students. Access resources and training materials to help grow your own advocacy skills. Attend civic engagement and advocacy events that connect students and alumni.

• • • • • NEWS FROM THE THE UWAA

ALL IN FOR THE DAWG PACK

A Music Mover and Shaker

Susie Tennant was beloved for discovering and promoting bands such as Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Beck

When Seattle emerged from the rain and clouds to become the hottest music scene in the world, bands like Nirvana had Susie Tennant, ’85, to thank for helping it happen.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, as an Army brat she moved seven times between 1962 and 1980. The West Seattle resident earned a communication degree from the University of Washington and became a Geffen Records executive who played a large role in Nirvana’s climb to the top.

As her husband, Christopher Swenson, recalls, “The most common words used next to Susie’s name—after “mother” and “friend”—are “champion,” “advocate” and “cheerleader.” Many remembrances of her point out that people wouldn’t be who or where they are, and institutions wouldn’t exist, were it not for her support and generosity. She used her remarkable social skills not for self-gain, but to empower others and build community.”

Tennant’s music career was astonishing: She worked for Tower Records, Geffen/DGC Records (The David Geffen Company), Sub Pop, Experience Music

Project (now MoPOP), KEXP, BMG, Town Hall Seattle and The Vera Project.

Swenson adds, “With a steadfast belief that great art deserves exposure, Susie insisted that commercial success didn’t have to clash with integrity, something which had seismic implications in Seattle as well as globally.”

Says Kim Warnick of the punk band the Fastbacks: “There was no one in Seattle music that was as well-loved or as respected.”

When Tennant was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, Krist Novoselic and others played a benefit concert at EMP to help pay her medical expenses. Pearl Jam, Dave Grohl and bands from around the world contributed as well.

Tennant’s community work and activism included Music for Marriage Equality, which played a pivotal role in legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state, and co-founding the Ladies Who Lunch affinity group for women in the music and entertainment industry. She died Jan. 18 at the age of 61.

Read more at uwmag.online/tennant

RECOGNITION

Mike Lude was the longest-serving athletic director in UW history, arriving here in 1976 from Kent State University until leaving in 1991. He was particularly known for hiring coach Don James, who became a college football legend and led the Huskies to their last national championship in 1991. Lude, a former Marine during World War II, also oversaw the 1987 expansion of Husky Stadium. He died March 14 at the age of 101.

Jerry Philip Palmer was a renowned UW professor and diabetes researcher who was nominated for a Nobel Prize for his discovery of insulin antibodies. His work inspired the creation of the UW Medicine Diabetes Institute, which blends clinical and research work. He was a major contributor to the largest study ever conducted which found that controlling blood sugar helped prevent complications from diabetes. He died Feb. 28 at the age of 79.

TRIBUTE SUSIE TENNANT, 1962-2024 COURTESY CHRISTOPHER SWENSON
T:65p3 B:66p9

In Memory

ALUMNI

1940

ROSEMARY LONGWOOD HUNT Bellevue, age 102, March 2

ALVIN KATSMAN ’44, ’52, Bellevue, age 100, Jan. 20

FRANCES VITULLI LINDQUIST ’48, Bellevue, age 97, March 7

PHYLLIS ELENE TURAY ’48, Redmond, age 97, Oct. 24

C. FREDERICK MAURER ’49, Seattle, age 98, March 5

FLORITA MATHILDE SKOV ’49, Seattle, age 96, Jan. 2

1950

PAUL WHITMAN BOOTHE ’50, Bellevue, age 94, March 10

HAZEL ANNE BURNETT ’51, Seattle, age 94, Jan. 1

GAYLE OPPERMAN JOHNSON ’51, New York City, age 93, Nov. 23

ARTHUR EDWARD NORDHOFF ’51, Seattle, age 94, Feb. 17

DANIEL W. ALEXANDER ’52, ’55, Bainbridge Island, age 92, March 28

HENRY WILLIAM CRAMER JR. ’52, age 96, Jan. 11

LAWRENCE ALLAN DECAN ’52, Bonney Lake, age 93, Feb. 8

ERNEST LAUBER JR. ’52, Lake Forest Park, age 99, Dec. 8

BARBARA JEAN VELDEE ’52, ’71, Mercer Island, age 93, Feb. 6

DARRELL JOHN GRYTHING ’53, Port Ludlow, age 92, March 25

ELIZABETH MIDORI KOBAYASHI ’53, Kenmore, age 94, Dec. 9

CHARLES LONERGAN JR. ’53, Seattle, age 95, Jan. 11

MARGARET JEAN BARTON ’54, Saratoga, California, age 91, Jan. 8

BURR DEFOE CLINE JR. ’54, Duvall, age 94, Feb. 16

ANN ESTELLE DONA ’54, Minneapolis, age 91, Jan. 30

HUGH R. MCGOUGH ’54, Seattle, age 91, Dec. 15

DIANE PARKER ’55, Seattle, age 90, Jan. 19

JANICE POSKA-ROCHESTER ’55, Seattle, age 90, Jan. 21

JANET ANN SLAUSON ’55, Lake Forest Park, age 90, Jan. 1

LYNN PIERSON COCKBURN ’56, ’58, Seattle, age 90, Feb. 25

JAMES MCGREER COSHOW ’56, Edmonds, age 89, Jan. 29

PATRICK DOYLE ’56, Redmond, age 93, March 12

WARREN THOMAS PETERSEN ’56, Seattle, age 89, March 8

KUMIKO HASEGAWA ’57, Mercer Island, age 88, Feb. 7

JUDITH JACOBSEN ’57, Seattle, age 88, Jan. 15

ROY A. PERATROVICH JR. ’57, Gig Harbor, age 89, Nov. 26

IMOGENE PETERSON ’57, Seattle, age 88, Jan. 18

JOHN “JACK” GERARD ROARK ’57, Bellevue, age 92, Feb. 18

ELIZABETH S. YANICKS ’57, Mercer Island, age 87, Dec. 14

DARRELL J. DEDO ’58, Edmonds, age 89, March 16

SAMUEL F. ECCLES ’58, Pleasanton, California, age 91, Aug. 8

JAMES SAM LINTON ’58, Graham, age 87, Jan. 12

DONALD HELLAND ’59, Tacoma, age 89, March 1

1960

DAVID DOLLARHIDE ’60, Olympia, age 88, March 12

KENT WARREN JOHNSON ’60, Vashon, age 86, Jan. 28

CAMILLE PATHA ’60, ’65, Normandy Park, age 85, Dec. 19

GAY LAMEY STEERE ’60, Seattle, age 85, Feb. 27

STEPHEN MCKAY STORRAR ’60, ’68, Sammamish, age 85, Jan. 20

SALLY ANN ARTHUR WILLIAMS ’60, ’66, Vashon, age 85, Jan. 19

NANCY AXELL ’61, Mercer Island, age 93, Dec. 31

DAVID FULTON ’61, Normandy Park, age 85, March 7

WILLIAM KARR ’61, Bainbridge Island, age 85, March 18

THOMAS EMERY ’62, Seattle, age 87, March 8

TERRY JARVIS ’62, Woodinville, age 83, March 6

LOYAL T.R. SNYDER ’62, ’70, Seattle, age 86, Dec. 23

J. DANIEL TIMMONS ’62, Vancouver, Washington, age 94, Aug. 26

CLAYTON OLSON ’63, Fresno, California, age 81, Feb. 6, 2023

JACK STROTHER ’63, ’65, Shoreline, age 84, Dec. 21

KATHLEEN VANDER HOEK ’63, Anthem, Arizona, age 82, Feb. 22

JEROME KARNOSFKI ’64, Edmonds, age 98, Nov. 13

JAMES DEWEY POWER ’64, Seattle, age 81, Jan. 18

DARYL STUART ’64, Bothell, age 85, Dec. 15

MEREDITH A. LIESMANN ’65, Port Orchard, age 82, Feb. 6

ROI CHARLES NEVARIL JR. ’65, Monroe, age 83, Feb. 20

DAVID LEE ROBNETT ’65, Redmond, age 86, Jan. 9

ERNEST SCHOTT ’65, Seattle, Sept. 15

JAMES A. SUESS ’65, San Rafael, California, age 80, Dec. 22

SHEILA FITZGERALD UMLAUF ’65, ’68, Seattle, age 98, Feb. 10

JAMES TAYLOR WEBB ’65, ’75, ’79, Bandera, Texas, age 81, April 22, 2023

WILLIAM JOHN WHETHAM ’65, Seattle, age 84, Feb. 8

DAVID ALVIN YORK ’65, ’74, Freeland, age 81, Feb. 26

ROBERTA MARIE LARSEN ’66, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, age 87, Aug. 13

DAVID “D.C.” MORSE JR. ’66, Bellingham, age 82, Jan. 25

RUSSELL N. WEIMER ’66, ’71, Blaine, age 79, Feb. 10

STEPHEN C. ELLIS ’67, Snohomish, age 78, Feb. 12

STEVEN HURST EDGELL ’68, Seattle, age 81, January 2024

ARTHUR THEODORE MURRAY ’68, Seattle, age 77, Feb. 21

JILLAYNE PODOLL REEDER ’68, San Diego, age 77, Feb. 25

EUGENE “CHUCK” ROUTH ’69, Seattle, age 83, Jan. 15

ICHIRO BEN SAKAMOTO ’69, age 89, Dec. 6

PAUL DAVID TAYLOR ’69, Seattle, age 82, Dec. 23

WILLIAM WOLFE ’69, Seattle, age 85, Oct. 6

1970

SHEILA MCLEAN BELCHER ’70, Shoreline, age 87, Feb. 9

SUSAN K. PIERCE ’70, Delray Beach, Florida, age 80, Jan. 28,

PAVEL FUCHS ’71, Mercer Island, age 86, Jan. 5

ROBERT JOSEPH HAGEMAN ’71, ’86, Seattle, age 76, Jan. 5

RICHARD DEE HOLMAN ’71, Pasco, age 86, March 4

PATRICIA SWEAZEY NELSON ’71, Seattle, age 96, Oct. 28

RUTH ANN HERTZ ’72, Roanoke, Virginia, age 79, Feb. 25

HOWARD DEE LEE ’72, Seattle, age 74, Feb. 29

MICHAEL JAMES LOWTHER ’72, Seattle, age 75, Feb. 13

JOANN MARSHALL ’72, Seattle, age 91, Feb. 18

ANGE SCOTT ’72, ’76, Seattle, age 92, Jan. 2

DOUGLAS EATON ALBRIGHT ’73, Seattle, age 75, Dec. 19

DONALD MURRAY BARCLAY ’73, Seattle, age 73, Feb. 17

HELEN LARRAMENDY ’73, Seattle, age 82, June 7, 2023

DWAYNE PEEPLES ’73, Juneau, Alaska, age 72, Sept. 27

LUCY YOSHIOKA SATO ’73, ’79, Seattle, age 96, Dec. 18

HAJIME SHINJO ’74, Hilo, Hawaii, age 74, Aug. 9

VIRGINIA LEE BRIX ’75, Woodinville, age 78, Feb. 2

SALLY LOU GAEBLER ’75, Marion, Iowa, age 58, June 4, 2012

MIYOKO KANETA ’75, ’77, Seattle, age 97, Dec. 26

PAULINE A. SMITH ’75, Marysville, age 77, Nov. 27

BARBARA WILLIAMS ’75, Bellevue, age 81, Dec. 1

ARLENE HARRINGTON ’76, Seattle, age 69, Feb. 20

PAULINE VICTORIA SMETKA ’76, ’80, Seattle, age 70, March 8

ALVIN “PAUL” STOLLER ’76, ’80, Bellevue, age 102, Jan. 25

TERRELL WILSON GAULT ’78, Wilmington, Delaware, age 73, Feb. 11

GERALD STEPHEN HAUGEN ’78, Issaquah, age 77, Feb. 6

BARBARA BRYNILDSEN ’79, Puyallup, age 66, Feb. 26

EDDIE D. HAYMAKER ’79, Lake Forest Park

TODD HARDING SOLI ’79, Langley, age 73, Jan. 21

1980

LAURA KRISTIN HANSEN ’80, Kirkland, age 64, June 26, 2023

DANIEL ERNST HIRSCHSTEIN ’81, Seattle, age 65, Jan. 5

BARBARA ANNE IVESTER ’83, ’85, Lake Forest Park, age 62, Feb. 16

JOHN “JD” WARTELLE ’83, Kirkland, age 67, Jan. 15

54 UW MAGAZINE

PAMELA GENE GRANSTROM ’84, Manson, age 73, Nov. 27

KARI LISBETH QVIGSTAD ’85, Olympia, age 62, March 4

KATHRYN “KATE” AHRENS ’86, ’88, ’91, Scottsdale, Arizona, age 59, Sept. 20

DENA S. LEVITIN ’87, Seattle, age 58, Dec. 8

KENNETH SAMUEL BEARD ’89, Bellevue, age 63, Jan. 31

CHERYL L. BECKER ’89, Vancouver, Washington, age 78, Aug. 29, 2021

1990

BONNIE GAIL STEELE ’91, Seattle, age 81, Jan. 27

MEGAN DURKAN ’92, Bellevue, age 56, Feb. 26

JONATHAN CHARLES LAYZER ’92, Seattle, age 59, Feb. 18

JERRY B. SCHUTZ ’94, Bozeman, Montana

KATHRYN C. STOETZER ’94, Lake Forest Park, age 73, Dec. 14

ALAN GREGORY GIBBS ’98, Anacortes, age 84, Jan. 10

CAROLE ANN ROANE ’98, Bellevue, age 47, Feb. 8

RYAN JAMES KOHLMANN ’99, Sammamish, age 48, March 16

WADE RACINE ’99, Woodbridge, Virginia, age 55, Feb. 7

2000

DIANE DELONG MANKEY ’04, Seattle, age 67, Jan. 16

MATTHEW ROBERT KUO ’06, Seattle, age 39, May 1, 2023

BARBARA L. BERG ’08, Pacifica, California

2010

ALEXANDER THOMAS LAKE ’19, Boise, Idaho, age 37, Jan. 17

FACULTY AND FRIENDS

KENNETH N. ANDERSON SR., ’51, ’58, ’61, enlisted in the Navy Medical Corps after graduating from the UW with his bachelor’s degree.

Following three years of research on biological warfare at Maryland’s Fort Detrick, he returned to the UW to earn his medical degree and complete an internal medicine residency. He later became the medical director at King County Hospital (now Harborview Medical Center), becoming one of the youngest medical directors of a major hospital in the U.S. at that time. When he retired at age 70, he was named professor emeritus. He was a steadfast supporter of the UW School of Medicine and a lifelong UW football season ticket holder. He died Feb. 20 at the age of 94.

DONALD GODFREY ATKINSON, ’78, worked at the UW as a member of the weather research team and later as the longtime manager of the Atmospheric Sciences Department. He retired in 2008. He died Feb. 26 at the age of 80.

DORENE CLAIRE BENDZAK worked for the UW School of Dentistry. She died Jan. 29 at the age of 90.

GAE ELAINE GIBSON BURR, ’51, worked as the ticket manager for the UW athletic department. She also helped develop Title IX ticketing to support non-revenue sports for women. She died Oct. 15 at the age of 94.

GIAN EMILIO CHATRIAN was recruited by the UW School of Medicine to become the founder and head of the UW Division of Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology. He served the University from 1959 to 1991. He died March 10 at the age of 97.

RANDALL G. “RICO” CHIARELLI, ’73, was the longtime lighting designer for Pacific Northwest Ballet. During his 46 years there, he was renowned for working with the nation’s most prominent choreographers. He also designed lighting for the American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and many others. He died Jan. 4 at the age of 75.

DAVID DICHEK was a UW cardiology professor who was internationally known for gene therapy for cardiovascular disease. The former head of the Cardiovascular Gene Therapy Unit at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, he joined the UW School of Medicine in 2001. He was the 2022 recipient of the UW

Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. He died March 2 at the age of 69.

WILLIAM CHARLES “BILL” DOORIS worked for 30 years at the UW, starting as the administrator for the Department of Biochemistry and later serving as the director of planning and construction for the UW School of Medicine. He retired in 1999. He died Feb. 25 at the age of 94.

DELOSS LIONAL FRY joined the UW in 1962 as a biomedical research engineer on the artificial kidney research team. His research focused on the early stages of chronic renal dialysis. He died March 25 at the age of 89.

EILEEN HELLER GILMAN was a major philanthropic supporter of cancer research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. She died Feb. 9 at the age of 93.

HELEN “DIONE” GODFREY attended the UW after graduating from Queen Anne High School, joined Delta Gamma sorority and later worked briefly as a flight attendant. She was a major supporter of the UW. She died March 8 at the age of 89.

J. THOMAS GRAYSTON was the first dean of the UW School of Public Health who later became the UW vice president of health sciences. An expert in community medicine and infectious diseases, he joined the UW faculty in 1960. He died Feb. 15 at the age of 99.

MARLENE ANN HANSELL served on the UW President’s Advisory Council and was one of the first Americans (along with her husband Pete) to visit Communist China as part of their business travels. She died Feb. 6 at the age of 88.

L. JANE HASTINGS, ’52, was a renowned architect and the first person awarded the Northwest and Pacific Region Medal of Honor. She was the only woman in her UW class to earn a degree in architecture and the eighth licensed woman architect in Washington. Her firm, The Hastings Group, did more than 500 projects in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. She died March 25 at the age of 96.

ROBERT GRANT JANES JR. was a beloved Seattle psychiatrist and psychoanalyst for more than 50 years. He served on the faculty at the UW School of Medicine and was an avid

hiker and mountain climber. He died Dec. 22 at the age of 83.

ANTOINETTE “TONI” KRUPSKI served as an associate professor in the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. She also served as associate director of a research unit at Harborview Medical Center that focused on healthcare improvement for persons with multiple disabilities. She died Feb. 1 at the age of 80.

ESTELLA LEOPOLD was a UW professor emeritus, conservationist and environmental advocate. The last remaining child of famed conservationist and author Aldo Leopold, she studied fossilized pollen, worked at the UW Quaternary Research Center and championed making Mount St. Helens a national volcanic monument. She died Feb. 25 at the age of 97.

PEGGY MAXIE, ’72, was the first Black woman elected to serve in the Washington state House of Representatives. She represented the 37th District, which encompassed an area from the Central District through South Seattle. A major supporter of social justice and civil rights, she is perhaps best known for being the primary sponsor of the 1973 Landlord-Tenant Act. After leaving the Legislature in 1982 after 12 years of service, she co-founded a nonprofit that was dedicated to helping the Black community, and particularly Black women, find employment and get involved in politics. She died Feb. 18 at the age of 87.

ROBERT BRUCE MCAULEY, ’53, earned his degree in dentistry from the UW School of Dentistry before serving as a lieutenant in the Navy as a dental officer. He served on the UW Alumni Association Board of Trustees and the Tyee Club board. He died Feb. 11 at the age of 95.

WILLIAM DUNCAN MCCOLL was a professor of clarinet at the UW School of Music from 1968 to 2006. He was a member of the Soni Ventorum Wind Quintet, which came to the UW in 1968 as a quintet-in-residence. The group enjoyed continued success in its recording career and international concert tours. He also became a specialist in early clarinets and basset horns and started building instruments in the 1980s with the early assistance of the UW Aerospace Research Laboratory. He died Jan. 7 at the age of 90.

SHARON LEE MORRIS had a long career in occupational safety and health, retiring from the UW as a senior lecturer in the School of Public Health. Her favorite vantage point was the hatch of a kayak. She died Feb. 7 at the age of 82.

BEN MOULTON, ’18, was described by many as a “Marine’s Marine.” The native of Alaska moved to Idaho when he was 7 and came to the UW for college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and was a member of the UW’s Naval ROTC program. He and four other Marines were killed when their Marine helicopter crashed Feb. 6 east of San Diego on a training flight. He was 27.

DAMARIS RICE, one of Seattle’s first female psychoanalysts, was a clinical assistant professor in the UW School of Medicine. She died Nov. 24 at the age of 96.

ANN SANDSTROM grew up in Alaska, moved to Seattle after a devastating fire in Nome in 1934, and earned a degree in physics from Stanford. She worked at the UW Applied Physics Lab and later taught high school physics. She died Aug. 5 at the age of 96.

CHARLES ALBERT SLEICHER JR. was a UW chemical engineering professor and a founder of Associated Vintners, one of Washington’s first wineries. A Navy veteran, he spent 33 years on the UW faculty and was an expert in fluid mechanics. He was one of 10 people who formed Associated Vintners, which became Columbia Winery. He died Jan. 23 at the age of 99.

GEORGE SHIPLEY JR. was a longtime UW professor of Spanish who taught 15th to 17th century Spanish literature. He died March 23 at the age of 87.

RONALD CHARLES TIPPER worked in the UW Ocean and Fishery Sciences Department, retiring in 2004 after 10 years. He died Aug. 2 at age 81.

ROBERT L. WILEY JR. was a docent and board member of the Burke Museum for more than 25 years. He also was very active in fundraising for the “new” Burke, which was built in 2019. A major supporter of the UW, he died Jan. 4 at the age of 94.

SUMMER 2024 55
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THINGS THAT DEFINE THE UW

Lettuce Impress You

Introducing the silliest, messiest student club that really knows how to go green

It all started when Ben Roscoe, ’23, saw a tweet about a lettuce-eating competition at the Maine School for Science and Mathematics in 2017. “You know you’re messed up when you’re looking forward to joining a lettuce club,” writes user bisexuwhalepride, who goes on to explain the club rules: Meet yearly and eat an entire head of lettuce. Whoever finishes fastest is the club’s new leader.

we share an interest in food and eating together, which is a great way to connect with others.”

But there’s a deeper reason for the club’s growth. “We’re all about climate justice,” says club president Noelle Calara. Earlier this year, the club held a donation drive for the UW Food Pantry.

Dina Thoresen, a senior, bit off exactly what she could chew, capturing her second Sultan of Salad crown in the past three years in the UW Lettuce Eating Contest. See more photos at uwmag.online/lettuce.

Roscoe kicked off a lettuce eating club at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup, but it never took root until he brought that green energy to the UW. The first UW competition took place virtually in 2020— Roscoe’s freshman year—due to the pandemic, but the seeds were planted. By the third annual lettuce-eating competition on April 20, 2022, “we had 150 people in the room and went through at least 90 heads of lettuce,” Roscoe recalls. “Last year’s was even bigger, outside in the rain, with about 200 people attending.” This year’s winner, Dina Thoresen, ’24, bested more than 150 hopefuls to become the 2024 Sultan of Salad. Thoresen also took the crown in 2022, making her the first two-time Sultan.

But why lettuce? “I always assumed it was a play on ‘devil’s lettuce,’” says Ollie Le, of the Lettuce Eating Club Tribunal, the group’s leadership board. It’s a 4/20 tradition, after all. (That’s a weed reference, for the cannabis-unaware.)

But April is also Earth Month, and the Lettuce Eaters are all about the Earth. “We need the Earth for lettuce, so there’s a natural connection,” says Le. “We’re all interested in either the Earth itself and being sustainable, or

The crowd of would-be Sultans of Salad buy their heads of iceberg from club representatives, take a seat at a table and prepare to tear, chew, squish and swallow their way to victory. In 2023, Esha Gollapalli, who joined the club in salad-arity with her lettuce-loving pet rabbit, was nearly disqualified for pressing the buzzer before she’d finished swallowing her final bite. Lettuce eaters are a rules abiding bunch.

Roscoe, who now works for the Federal Reserve Board, considers himself and his fellow lettuce club members “holy crusaders in the name of the righteous lettuce, iceberg lettuce.” But while lettuce was in their mouths, climate change was always on their minds. He “couldn’t be prouder” of the current leadership and its focus on climate change as well as chomping together. The club tribunal is quick to honor Roscoe. “They say that science is standing on the shoulders of everyone who came before you, right?” says Le. “It’s the same thing for lettuce eating competitions.”

“This is going to sound crazy coming from me,” says Roscoe, “but it was never about the lettuce. It’s always been for the people who eat the lettuce.” In the hectic world of tests and lectures, Lettuce Eating Club members can unite over shared passions for community and environmental justice. And a good crunchy head of iceberg.

RON WURZER
56 UW MAGAZINE
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