University of Washington Magazine - December 2022

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Rousing Housing Building solutions to loneliness, affordability, community

Where Are All the Black Doctors? UW Medicine Works to Find a Cure
Shining Star Astronaut Michael Anderson touched the stars

River Research

Every year, a group of graduate students and faculty dive into Washington’s rivers to learn about freshwater ecosystems and deepen their understanding of envi ronmental justice. In August, 14 students and faculty explored the upper water shed of the Skagit River and the tri-dam complex that supplies the city of Seattle with 20% of its electricity.

The group met with stakeholders in cluding power-service professionals, tribal members, landowners and farmers. “We were looking at it from the angle of Seattle City Light as well as from interests in the Native American communities around fishing rights as well as cultural attribu tions,” says Athena Bertolino, ’05, manager of the Future Rivers program.

The Future Rivers research traineeship runs on a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The goal is to prepare students for 21st cen tury data-science approaches and to understand how food, water, energy and culture interact.

Photo by Mark Stone
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You’re determined to make a difference. We’re here to help you chart your course. At the University of Washington, we believe that education is the key to unlocking change — within yourself, and around the world.

Yasmine Farhat, environmental engineering Ph.D. candidate
24 Medical Emergency Despite a rich history of talented Black students and faculty, UW Medicine struggles in its role in a national shortage of Black physicians
28 Shining
Spokane’s Michael Anderson loved physics, astronomy and adventure— no wonder he became
Housing It’s
the biggest issues of our time: housing. Two projects based on innovative thinking provide some solutions
one of
VOLUME 33 NUMBER 4 WINTER 2022 FORWARD 6 Valuing Higher Education 8 Driving Innovation 10 Roar of the Crowd THE HUB 12 Bridges Center Turns 30 13 State of the Art 19 Genius Grant Recipients 20 Professor and Regent 22 Athletics COLUMNS 36 Distinguished Veteran 37 Sketches 41 Media 53 Tribute 54 In Memory IMPACT 44 Scene of Change 48 Faces Behind Big Data 49 Letter From the Chair UDUB 56 Our First Astronaut 36 Very Distinguished Helping individuals who have served their country is a lifelong passion for Michael Kilmer, recipient of the UW’s 2022 Distin
Alumni Veteran Award. The retired Coast Guard yeoman continues to help veter ans and their families.
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GoldAND Purple

Higher Ed Can Be a Powerful Force for Good

We Need Collective Action to Unleash It

In an era of declining trust in traditional institutions, higher education is no excep tion. As alumni, we know the value of our institutions and yet, sometimes the true value of what they contribute to our world gets lost in the noise of our polarized so ciety. We can change that by working collectively to unleash the incredible pow er of higher education to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

With the help of alumni, the UW has proven that colleges and universities can tackle big challenges. We must seize the opportunity to translate that success on a national and global scale for the good of higher education as a whole.

Washington state has a long history of combining voices to make a difference.

The UW’s “Yes, It’s Possible” campaign, in partnership with Washington State University, was a tremendous success thanks to alumni advocacy through UW Impact. You proved that across the polit ical spectrum, people can agree that red and blue make purple! Advocates in 48 of Washington’s 49 state legislative districts sent 2,500 constituent emails to their leg islators. They were joined by the state’s other colleges and universities, including the outstanding community colleges, as well as the business community. This tid al wave of cross-sector support helped ensure the passage of the Workforce Education Investment Act and the Washington College Grant, which passed by a single vote in the state Legislature.

Because of engaged alumni who saw that they could make a difference, Washington state now provides arguably the most generous state financial aid re sources in the nation. Just 47% of Washington’s college graduates left with student loans, with an average amount among the lowest in the nation.

This effort shows the power of a collec tive voice supporting higher education’s value and benefit to society, and it empow ers universities to do even more to design and implement solutions to the complex and urgent challenges we face. The poten tial impact of millions of alumni across the nation and the world championing higher education would be profound.

The UW is partnering with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) to spearhead a movement to in crease public support for the incredible impact created by higher education. Building on the successes in Washington, the “Discover the Next” campaign will en able colleges and universities to share and reinforce the benefits of higher education for individuals, communities and the world.

Discover the Next is a joint project of CASE, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The UW is a leader in this program; in the year ahead, we will be working together to am plify the voices of leaders, stakeholders and supporters like you to increase public awareness and support for the value of higher education.

As alumni, you are uniquely posi tioned to champion your alma mater. Your personal experience and continued engagement makes you powerful and authentic voices in the conversation.

We invite you to join us Feb. 9 as we gather in Bellevue, Washington with es teemed corporate and civic leaders to launch Discover the Next. Learn how you can take part in this effort to advo cate for the value of higher education by visiting https://www.discoverthenext. org/rsvp/ and registering for the lives tream of the Feb. 9 event.

Our world faces pressing and complex challenges. We need the support of our champions and the public to unleash our full potential to address them. We invite you to be part of the movement.



Celebrating a bold new future for cancer care and research

We’re excited to be celebrating the new Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, an independent organization that serves as UW Medicine’s cancer program. Fred Hutch is bringing cancer care and research closer together to benefit patients in the Puget Sound region and beyond.

Driving Innovation

EcoCAR competition highlights UW’s ingenuity and compassion

Most of us who walk past the Engineering Annex on the east side of campus don’t know that it was built as a foundry for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition. It later housed the horses that pulled wagons of coal to the University’s power plant. And then it became the site of the University’s paint and electrical shops. Today, that old brick building is home to one of the UW’s best examples of the student experience—one that combines innovation and collaboration.

That would be the EcoCAR Advanced Vehicle Works team, a group of UW stu dents who built a car that made it to the finals of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge last spring. Sponsored by the Department of Energy, the four-year challenge asked students from around the country to use advanced propulsion systems and auto mated vehicle technology to modify a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. They were tasked with improving the car’s energy efficiency, safety and consumer appeal.

For the students, it was one of the most engaging experiences they could have, as

they applied their ingenuity and work ethic to push the boundaries of innovation. But one of the best parts of their story is that even in a national competition, they showed compassion. When the team from Georgia Tech faced a crisis just days before it was due to ship its car to Arizona for the final round of the competition, the UW team helped out. The Georgia Tech team’s elec tric motor was cranking out too much torque and broke its half shaft, a drive axle that sits between the motor and the wheel.

The Huskies had a spare half shaft, not to mention a close relationship with the team from Georgia. The UW team shipped its extra half shaft to Georgia Tech, which went on to place first in the overall competition. For its efforts, the UW team earned the EcoCAR Collaboration Award.

There will be many opportunities for our students to enter national competi tions like this and showcase their considerable talents in science and in novation. But to demonstrate empathy and compassion in the face of competi tion? That’s a winning combination.


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

PUBLISHER Paul Rucker, ’95, ’02


EDITOR Jon Marmor, ’94

MANAGING EDITOR Hannelore Sudermann, ’96



CONTRIBUTING STAFF Ben Erickson, Karen Rippel Chilcote, Jane Higgins, Kerry MacDonald, ’04



Chair, Sabrina Taylor, ’13 Vice Chair, Roman Trujillo, ’95


Rachel Gallaher, Sally James, Nancy Joseph, Sarah McQuate


Anil Kapahi, Mark Stone, Dennis Wise


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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. Re turn undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5 CANADA.


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Together Forever

I very much enjoyed the article about the popular use of Union Bay for Husky football games (“The Greatest Setting in College Football,” Fall 2022), and I would like to share with you my family story as it relates to that body of water east of Husky Stadium and the crew shell house. My father, William L. Shannon (pictured, front left), attended the UW, majored in civil engi neering, joined Beta Theta Pi fraternity, earned his “W” as a coxswain on the fresh man crew and graduated in 1936. He went on to form a civil engineering firm in Seattle called Shannon and Wilson, Inc. Before he died, he created several scholarships for engineering students that today bear his name. When he died, while my two brothers and I (pictured, back row) knew that he wanted to be cremated, we did not know what he wanted done with his ashes. We asked our mom (pictured, front right), but she said that she did not know either, so it was our task to decide where and how to put his ashes. Dad was a longtime fan of the Huskies, and he and Mom had season tickets close to the 50-yard line. So, when he died in 2006, we decided to scatter his ashes in Union Bay between

facts but also his ability to instantly retrieve them. His response to a question about a movie would be “Which version—the original? The (name of the year) remake, or the remake of (name of the year)?” Once that was stated, the answer immediately followed. Quite incredible.

A Must Read

One of my high school classmates ended up writing about film for the New York Daily News, and we often ran into each other at Seattle’s theaters when growing up. When I was in Seattle, I was more often writing about visual art. Hartl’s reviews were a favorite for both of us, and we learned a lot about writing about the arts from him. When the internet first got going and the nation was full of newspapers with their own film critics, you could literally read 100 reviews of a lot of movies. His were always on our “must read” list.

Erik Reel, ’75, Portland

An Introverted Guy

I went to high school with John. He was a soft-spoken, somewhat introverted guy. He sat behind me in a mechanical drawing class, and we frequently critiqued the teach er. I graduated a few times from the UW and followed John’s activities during those years. We crossed paths a couple of times at KUOW and classic KING-FM. I was saddened to hear of his passing.

Fred C. Schmidt, ’70, ’71, ’75, Kingston

Fallen Huskies


the shell house and the eastern end of Husky Stadium. We rented a boat and motored across Lake Washington to scatter his ashes, content that he now could watch the Huskies play forever. When our mom died in 2018, she also had never said where she wanted her ashes scattered, so we decided to scatter hers with Dad’s, content that they both could watch the Huskies play forever. I am at peace knowing that my parents are still together forever.

William N. Shannon, ’62, Peabody, Mass.

Movie Master

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed [Sheila Farr’s] remembrance of John Hartl (“My Friend, John Hartl,” Fall 2022). I remember always being amazed not only at John’s vast retention of movie

In response to our piece on 9/11 and 9/12 (“Huskies in Our Hearts,” Fall 2022 Online), Julie Thomas wrote, “I was on the sister Husky cruise ship and remember the shock, disbelief and horror we felt when we heard of the terrible plane crash taking the lives of our fellow Husky fans. We were still trying to process the events of Sept. 11 while we were in Cozumel, and this news was just as devastating to us at the time. I’ll never forget all the lives that were lost on those two horrible days.” Catherine Stevens wrote, “What a sad time ... we were getting ready to leave on the Husky alumni airline trip to the Miami game ... not only the horror of 9/11, but then the loss of friend Geoff Vernon and his wife, Judy, who were killed on the Husky cruise flight sightseeing trip. Such a sad week.”

Alula’s Legacy

In response to our story on Dream Project founder Alula Asfaw (“It Begins With a Dreamer,” Fall 2022), Monica Barnett wrote: “You are inspiring me to share and start my program for UW students, too!”


We’ve rounded up small screen appearances from Huskies like Kyle MacLachlan, Julia Sweeney, Rainn Wilson and more.


10 UW MAGAZINE JOIN THE CONVERSATION EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS TO: (Letters may be edited for length or clarity.) For more great UW content Go Online QUINN RUSSELL BROWN ANDY KONIECZNY/ADOBE STOCK
Anna Faris plays a scheming niece attempting to earn her wealthy aunt’s inheritance in “The Estate.” John E. Kurnick spent some of his favorite moments thousands of feet above sea level. DAVID SHANKBONE
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Solidarity Forever

Longshoremen collect back pay in 1946. �he International Long shore and Warehouse Union was a pioneer ing advocate for civil rights in the American labor movement and built a reputation for supporting socialjustice causes. Its support was crucial to the formation of the Bridges Center.

It was July 1992, and lawyer Robert Duggan had spent two years raising money and support from fellow International Longshore and Warehouse Union mem bers, retirees and widows to create an endowed chair at the University of Washington in the name of labor leader Harry Bridges. Chairs like this one are usually created by affluent donors, not radical union organizers. But Duggan had the ILWU and UW President William Gerberding on his side.

“As we neared the deadline set by the University, I saw we were going to be short,” says Duggan, ’54. They needed $1 million to endow a chair. But Duggan, who had once been president of the UW Alumni Association, had a trick up his sleeve—a law school friend whose father

was a longshoreman. “He agreed during one phone conversation to be a matching donor on the condition I tell no one, and he did remain anonymous,” says Duggan.

That was the power of Harry Bridges’ legacy: After his death, at a university he didn’t attend, thousands of working people came together to raise $1 million in the name of the ILWU founder and longtime president. Thus, the Harry Bridges Endowed Chair in Labor Studies was born.

“The center works to be a space for students from working-class backgrounds, and it’s named for a person who was a working-class leader for a very revolution ary union,” says Rachel Erstad, research coordinator at the Bridges Center. That union, the ILWU, represents dock workers

at all of the West Coast’s 29 seaports, from Bellingham to San Diego, and is known as a pioneer for racial equity in the American labor movement. Today, the ILWU stands behind social justice causes like the Black Lives Matter movement and the recent rise in labor activism in other industries. “There’s something really ex citing about that. … When you look around the University, there’s not a lot of formal reminders of working-class people.”

The Bridges Center continues to grow, as does union membership nationwide. The National Labor Relations Board re ported a historic 58% increase in union election petitions for fiscal year 2022.

“Especially over the pandemic, I’ve seen so much more interest in the labor move ment from [UW] students,” says Yasmin Ahmed, ’18, assistant director of student and community engagement. “In the past four years, the Labor Studies minor ex panded. When I joined, it was two students. Now, it’s 40 students and counting.”

Nationwide, workers at Seattle-based companies like REI, Starbucks and Amazon are organizing at workplaces previously considered too tough to unionize. Some point to worker dissatisfaction during the pandemic, but experts believe there’s more to the modern labor movement.

“A lot of younger people have been through a lot,” says Erstad. While the pandemic exposed labor disparities, it didn’t create them. “Many are coming of age at a time of extreme inequities. The reality of it was we were never really ad dressing those things.”

The center now awards $100,000 in annual scholarships and research grants to students from all three UW campuses. Ahmed runs the Building a Movement Labor Internship, which pairs students with community labor organizations to help working people and learn about social justice advocacy.

“Now that I’m meeting all of these people and learning so much from students, faculty and community members, I can see the connection between all of them and how labor is really, truly tied to everything,” Ahmed says. “Whether it’s institutional organizing, forming unions or grassroots labor organizing, it’s very important for us to be in solidarity with each other.”

Solidarity, after all, is what brought the Bridges Center to the University of Washington in the first place, and it’s what keeps the labor movement alive.

FROM THE UW The UW’s Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies celebrates 30 years

A new art installation on the central stair case of Odegaard Undergraduate Library celebrates actor and martial arts legend Bruce Lee. He studied drama and phi losophy at the UW in the early 1960s, and left a legacy of spirit, discipline and breaking barriers and stereotypes. In 2020, student Han Eckelberg, ’22, de signed the piece as a project for his class in advanced photomedia. The piece, ren dered in vinyl, was created with support from the OCA-Asian Pacific Advocates of Greater Seattle and in collaboration with the Bruce Lee Foundation. It was dedicated in September with a ceremo ny that included a performance by the Mak Fai Kung Fu Dragon & Lion Dance Association.

Photo by Ramond Smith Bruce Lee Ascending

She’s Fly

With flexibility and a dead-eye aim, sophomore Maxine McCormick shows her winning form at the 2022 Fly Casting World Championships in August. She won her first world title at the tender age of 12.

Maxine McCormick isn’t your ordinary San Francisco-born, Portland-transplanted, snowboarding, hiking, fishing sophomore who wants to be a pediatrician. The UW biology major is a legend in the world of fly casting. McCormick, 18, won a record four gold medals at the 2022 Fly Casting World Championships in Norway, includ ing casting the first-ever perfect score (by a man or woman) of 80 in Trout Accuracy.

In addition, her Sea Trout Distance cast of 165 feet was the longest ever by a woman. No wonder the youngest fly-casting world champion in history—at age 12—feels no pressure when she faces the world’s best.

“Fly casting is really relaxing, and I have been doing this so long,” says McCormick, who took up the sport from her dad at the age of 9. She will be an odds-on favorite at the 2024 World Championships in Sweden. Nothing fishy about that.

Sophomore Maxine McCormick dominates the world of fly casting

Tu mor Trap

delivered through a catheter to remove a benign tumor from a person’s heart, thereby avoiding the need for open-heart surgery.

It’s not often tumors appear in a person’s heart. And when they do, there’s only one way to remove them: open-heart surgery. While that invasive procedure does the trick, it requires a patient to spend nearly a week in the hospital fol lowed by a long recovery. But that could become a thing of the past.

Two interventional cardiologists at the UW Heart Institute were the first to use a basket-shaped, catheter-delivered tool to remove a benign tumor from a heart. After first using electrocautery to cut the 1.3-by-1.7cm tumor away from Tim Holland’s right atrium wall, they used the new tool—known as the “endovascular

retrieval system”—to grab, compress and remove it in one piece.

Before this tool came along (the device was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May), surgeons had to crack open a patient’s sternum and place the patient on a heart-lung machine to extract the benign tumor. Dr. James McCabe, one of the two UW clinical

professors who performed the procedure, says, “He went home the same day. We didn’t need to put him on a heart-lung machine, and he didn’t spend five days in the hospital. I think we just saved Mr. Holland a lot of money and anxiety.” And isn’t this is what innovation is all about?

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A new tool enables cardiac surgeons to put down their scalpels to remove tumors of the heart
the UW Heart Institute were the first to use a
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Hip-Hop and Hype

The Graduate School brings Chuck D to Seattle

When Daudi Abe, ’04, got a call asking if he would host an “Evening With Chuck D” for the Graduate School’s public lec ture series, he said, “Are you frickin’ kidding me?” Abe, the Seattle scholar and historian who wrote “Emerald Street: A History of Hip Hop in Seattle,” jumped at the chance.

He remembers first hearing the music by Public Enemy, the group Chuck D co-founded, as a teen growing up in South Seattle. “It was groundbreaking,” he says. Besides being angry and engaging, the music and lyrics focused on social and political issues, race, power and class. It brought elements of Black experience to the fore with songs like “Fight the Power” and “Don’t Believe the Hype.” In fact, the latter title was adopted by Seattle’s Ingraham High School football team as

its theme in 1988, the year it won the state championship.

In the early 1980s, young Black urban males didn’t really have a voice. “Hip-hop came along and expanded the discussion,” says Abe. “The entire world got to hear the perspective of this group that had really been silenced in a number of ways. And then it was put over some funky beats and a sampling of songs people had heard before. It was irresistible.” Hip-hop, rich with substance and talent, could have been fleeting, like disco, which all but vanished after the 1970s. Instead it found a worldwide audience.

Abe hopes to discuss Chuck D’s and Public Enemy’s impact on the Seattle hiphop scene and the history of the early rap record labels. He also wants to explore how Chuck D blended his music and

Find connection and joy IN

This special event, which is sponsored by the Graduate School and public radio station KEXP, is at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 9 in KEXP’s studios at the Seattle Center.


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activism, drawing from history and culture, and creating content about racism and oppression. Does Chuck D think artists today are doing similar things?


People who can’t afford or access prenatal care are more likely to suffer pregnancy-related complications.

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



A study co-authored by Biology Professor Sam Wasser used carbon isotope science to show that marked tusks may have been taken from a stockpile of ivory kept, it was thought, strictly under lock and key by the government of Burundi. Those tusks, which were determined to be more than 30 years old, somehow found their way into the hands of illegal ivory traders, which raises questions about how the ivory is being mon itored. Wasser, executive director of the UW Center for Environmental Forensic Science, is a world leader in using science to help di rect wildlife conservation and management policies around the world.


The loss of a group of endangered animals that eat fruit and help disperse the seeds of trees and other plants could severely disrupt seed-dispersal networks in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, a shrinking stretch of tropical forest and critical biodiversity hotspot. A study by UW researchers shows that the loss of en dangered frugivores—the scientific term for animals that primarily eat fruit—could re duce diversity in the forest and cripple crit ical portions of the ecosystem. “Alarming,” says Berry Brosi, UW associate professor of biology and an author on the study.


Heat-related deaths are becoming more common in the Evergreen State, even occur ring in areas that typically have milder cli mates. A UW study published in the journal Atmosphere is the most extensive look yet related to mortality in Washington state and the first to look beyond the major population centers to include rural areas. “Heat-relat ed mortality, even in a temperate area like Washington state, is a current environmen tal public health problem,” says lead author Logan Arnold, who did the work as a UW master’s student in quantitative ecology and resource management.

�ejin Choi, a computer scientist with expertise in natural language pro cessing, helps artificial intelligence-based sys tems perform common sense reasoning.

Genius at Work

MacArthur Foundation honors professor who teaches human language to computers

In recognition for her work with artificial intelligence and language, Yejin Choi, a UW computer science professor, was named a MacArthur Fellow in October. The honor, commonly known as the “ge nius grant,” comes with an $800,000 stipend for her to use as she chooses.

Choi’s expertise is in natural language processing. She works on AI systems that understand implied meanings in human language. Rules-based models, like logic or probability, are too rigid to make sense of nuances that most of us understand when we talk to each other.

Choi has already pushed the field of nat ural language processing. One example is combining both visual and text inputs for these systems. Traditionally, models are trained solely with text inputs, but Choi has designed models with both text and image inputs that reinforce each other, which better mimics how people acquire knowledge about the world.

In another line of work, Choi uses com putational linguistics to help AI identify deceptive intent or sentiment in writing. For this project, the research team de signed a method to automate accurate detection of fake online consumer reviews. Choi extended this work to include assess ing news articles based on intent to deceive as well as categorizing the articles as “hoax,” “satire” or “trustworthy.”

Recently, Choi’s team developed Ask

Delphi, a research prototype designed to make AI more ethically informed. When presented with a moral dilemma—such as ignoring a supervisor’s phone call during working hours—Delphi weighs in on whether the situation is OK. Choi led the Delphi project through a joint appoint ment at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Choi says she hopes to use the stipend to pursue important, though potentially risky, research ideas. “Taking the road less traveled may seem exciting at first, but sustaining this path can be lonely, riddled with numerous roadblocks and disheart ening at times,” Choi says. “This fellowship will power me up to go ahead and take that adventurous route.”

In the award announcement, the MacArthur Foundation said, “Choi’s re search brings us closer to computers and artificial intelligence systems that can grasp more fully the complexities of language and communicate accurately with humans.”

Joining Choi in the roster of 25 genius grant awardees this year is Martha Gonzalez, ’13, an associate professor of Chicanx/Latinx Studies at Scripps College. As a musician, scholar and artist/activist, Gonzalez develops collaborative methods of artistic expression that build commu nity and advance the principles of social justice. Her UW doctorate is in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies.


Finally, a Seat at the Table

Undergraduate-turned-professor becomes the first UW regent from the faculty

Alexes Harris brings the perfect mindset to her new role as a UW Regent. She is known for seeking “different opportunities to learn more about how a university works, how decisions are made and how to be informed.”

For the first time, the UW Board of Re gents has a voting faculty member in its ranks. In October, Gov. Jay Inslee, ’73, selected Professor Alexes Harris, ’97, to serve a three-year term on the Universi ty’s highest governing body.

UW faculty and others have long advo cated to add a faculty member position to the boards at UW and Washington State University. Rep. Gerry Pollet, ’83, D-Se attle, the primary sponsor for the bill to create a faculty regent, pointed out that the state’s research universities are built upon a model of shared governance, but that “we have not fully shared gover nance.” What’s lacking is a voice for the teaching and research missions of the universities, he said in 2021, when he in troduced the legislation.

The time is right, said Jake Vigdor, an economics professor who testified in support. The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to a time when universities will face existential threats to their financial viability. Those that survive and thrive will have to be nimble and responsive, he said. When a Board of Regents decision conflicts with the faculty’s stewardship, “we play a game of telephone,” he said, from chair to dean to provost to president to the regents. A faculty regent can pro vide “a direct line.”

Harris, a first-generation college stu dent, grew up in Seattle just a few miles south of campus. She discovered her love of sociology as an undergraduate and pur sued a doctorate in the field at UCLA. As a scholar, Harris researches issues of in equality, poverty and race in the U.S. sys tems of justice.

She joined the UW faculty in 2004 and became a full professor in 2016. In 2019, she became the faculty athletics repre sentative, a position that helps ensure the athletics programs align with the educa tional mission of the University. In 2021, Harris became director of the faculty de velopment program, which reports to the provost. “I seek different opportunities to learn more about how a university works, how decisions are made and how to be in formed,” she says.

All of those things make her an ideal person to join the nine citizen regents and one student regent, says Gautham Reddy, chair of the Faculty Senate and vice chair for academic affairs and faculty devel opment in the School of Medicine. “She brings the perspective of someone who has been here in many different roles—as a student, as a mentor, as a teacher and as a scholar.” But it’s important to remember that she is on the board to represent the people of Washington, he says.



In late October, the National Academy of Medicine announced that UW President Ana Mari Cauce had been elected a mem ber, one of the highest honors for a U.S. sci entist in health and medicine.

The announcement praised Cauce’s lead ership in public higher education adminis tration as well as innovations in health re search, education and service systems that enhance pathways for women and under represented groups. It also cited her efforts to address health equity, population health, climate change and her own pioneering re search on behavioral health interventions, particularly with people of color.

In her decades as a professor of psychol ogy and American ethnic studies, Cauce fo cused her research on adolescent develop ment, particularly at-risk youth.

One of her major accomplishments as UW’s president has been to launch the Pop ulation Health Initiative. The effort engages students, staff and faculty to work across disciplines to improve the health of individ uals, communities and the environment, and to promote social and economic equity.


In September, the University announced a new Campus Community Safety division bringing together the UW Police Depart ment, SafeCampus (a unit that helps stu dents, faculty and staff prevent violence) and UW Emergency Management. This ho listic approach is part of a longer-term ef fort to reimagine campus safety—including personal safety, crime prevention, crisis re sponse and unarmed interventions.

As the UW administration works with faculty, staff and students to explore long-term changes in public safety work, division staff are concurrently working on immediate steps to ensure safety. In re sponse to violence in the U District early this fall, for example, the division worked with the U District Partnership to provide security patrols in the neighborhood.

WINTER 2022 21 Some discounts, coverages, payment plans, and features are not available in all states, in all GEICO companies, or in all situations. GEICO contracts with various membership entities and other organizations, but these entities do not underwrite the offered insurance products. Discount amount varies in some states. One group discount applicable per policy. Coverage is individual. In New York a premium reduction may be available. GEICO may not be involved in a formal relationship with each organization; however, you still may qualify for a special discount based on your membership, employment or affiliation with those organizations. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, DC 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2022 GEICO. THE PERFECT FIT. The partnership with University of Washington and GEICO.

Winning Culture

Canadian-born Rahim Esmail loved ice hockey as a kid but never played it. �ennis was his sport. He played at the University of Kentucky, turned pro, went into coaching and returned to the PNW last year as Matt Anger’s assistant coach. With Anger’s retirement, he takes over as the Huskies’ new men’s tennis coach. Interview by Jon Marmor

Before being hired by the UW in 2021, Rahim Esmail coached at Samford University for 10 seasons and was that school's all-time winningest coach. As assistant coach at the UW last year, he helped the Huskies enjoy one of their most successful seasons ever.

You went from British Columbia to Kentucky. Why?

The UW wanted me, and I played a lot of tennis in the Northwest when I was in high school. But going far away from home ap pealed to me. I loved my college experience, partly because Kentucky was a real culture shock.

What was it like playing on the ATP Tour?

I really enjoyed it for the couple of years I played. I love compe tition and pushing myself to my limit. Traveling to different coun tries was great, and I learned a lot about myself. But I had to stop playing professionally because of two wrist surgeries.

You lost three top players from last year, when the Huskies made the NCAA championships for the first time since 2017. We have a lot of rebuilding right now. I am really focusing on the guys we have. We are recruiting rigorously, and we think the 2023-2024 class looks very bright. I am mostly focused on build ing a culture of success on the court and in the classrooms.

How does the future look?

I want to build a program, not just a tennis team—something that’s built to last and has the best players and best young men. It’s not easy but there is no limit to where we can go. We aim to close the gap with the premier teams in the Pac-12 and I’m su per confident in our product. We can put out a product as good as any in the country.

Your roster is half Americans, half international players. I have always had a mix of players on the teams I have coached [he previously coached at Samford University in Alabama, where he experienced great success]. It’s great for American kids to be exposed to players from other cultures, and won derful for our players from Belarus, France, Taiwan and Japan to see how our American players are.

Talk about the support from the Husky tennis community. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I played a lot here in high school and as an adult. Seattle is a great tennis city. The support ing base of alumni is very strong, and that is important. I quick ly learned when I came here that the support and love for tennis in the Husky community is vast.

Heather �arr’s 742 vic tories entering the 2023 season make her the UW’s winningest coach in any sport. Over her 19 years at the helm, she has led the Huskies to berths in seven College World Series.

Extra Innings

The Huskies extend the contract of softball coach Heather

The winningest coach in UW athletics history isn’t Don James or Marv Harshman or Chris Gobrecht. That honor belongs to Heather Tarr, ’96, who has compiled a career record of 742-277-1 entering her 19th year as the Huskies’ softball coach in 2023. And the UW wants to make sure she isn’t going anywhere, signing her to a contract extension through 2029.

“The University of Washington has been my home for a long time now, and I am so proud to know that it will continue to be for a while longer,” Tarr says. “I appreciate the continued support from [Director of Athletics] Jen Cohen and our athletic de partment, donors, student-athletes and the alumni who have built this program.”

Tarr, a former Husky infielder who be came the head coach for Team USA in 2021, has contributed so much to building the incredibly successful Husky softball program. She has guided the Huskies to two Pac-12 championships, 17 NCAA Regionals, 14 NCAA Super Regionals and seven College World Series appearances. She also led the Huskies to their first NCAA title in 2009.

Tarr, who has been a part of 24 of the program’s 30 years as either a player or a coach, has developed 33 National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Americans, 104 All-Conference players and 10 Pac-12 Players of the Year. Five times the Huskies won 50 or more games, and Washington has been ranked in the NFCA National Coaches Poll for 216 consecutive weeks.

“I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” says Tarr. A lot more victories, no doubt.


A WhoHuskyDid it All

Rick Redman was a star on both sides of the ball, playing guard and linebacker, and he shined on special teams as a punter. A consensus All-American in 1963 and 1964, he helped lead the Huskies to the 1964 Rose Bowl.

He stood only 5-foot-11 and weighed 215 pounds, yet it seemed like everything came easy to Rick Redman. One of the Huskies’ most versatile players ever, he rotated among three positions—offensive guard, linebacker and punter—during the three years he played for Washington (1962 to 1964) and was a big reason the UW won the conference title and a berth in the 1964 Rose Bowl. “Rick Redman did it all,” says Archie Manning, chairman of the National Football Foundation.

The three-time all-conference guard, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995, died Sept. 30 at the age of 79.

A two-time All-American who was one of the most decorated players in Washington football history, Redman, ’66, was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1943 and attended Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle. He was an AllAmerican as a senior.

After a 10-year career in pro football playing for the AFL’s San Diego Chargers and the Portland Storm of the World Football League, Redman returned to Seattle and entered commercial construc tion. He joined Sellen Construction, and during his 35-year career as CEO, was involved in several major University proj ects, including the renovation of Alaska Airlines Arena, Conibear Shellhouse, the Foster School of Business’ PACCAR Hall and the UW Medicine research campus in South Lake Union.

While his playing days were behind him, Redman continued to play a major role in the UW athletic department as a volunteer and supporter. He belonged to the Tyee Club’s “Champions Circle,” a group of donors who have given more than $1 million to UW Athletics. In 1982, he was a member of the fourth class of

the Husky Hall of Fame, one of the first 10 UW football players so honored.

“We were heartbroken to hear the news of Rick’s passing,” says UW athletic director Jen Cohen. “Rick was a true icon both on and off the field who cared deeply about his Husky family. He gave back to the UW in several thoughtful ways after his Hall of Fame playing ca reer. Rick was a dear friend to me and will be missed by so many.”

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REDMAN 1943-2022
1960s football star played three positions and gave back to his alma mater after his playing days

A Medical Emergency

Rayburn Lewis and John Vassall met one late sum mer day in Red Square. It was 1974, and there were hardly any students, let alone Black students, on campus. When the two men spotted each other, they made straight for one another to introduce themselves.

They quickly discovered a few things in common: Both had gone to college in the Midwest, and both were just about to start training at the UW School of Medicine. “We shook hands, and that sealed the deal,” says Vassall. “We’ve been best friends ever since.” Soon they were sharing an apartment and, as two of just six African Americans in their medical school class, they helped one another through the rigorous training.

patients,” says Vassall. He added that in their roles as chief med ical officers, researchers and regional and national health care leaders, Seattle’s Black doctors have benefited everyone.

Still, more than four decades later, they see the same low num bers of Black medical students and continued disparities in health care for the Seattle area’s Black residents. Racial and ethnic di versity among doctors and other health care professionals, studies show, improves access and quality of care for underserved pop ulations and saves lives. And today’s lack of doctors with the cultural competency to understand the experiences, challenges and medical needs of Black patients is a national concern.

Top right: Lloyd C. Elam was the first Black physician to train at the UW. He became a national leader in psychiatry and served as president of Meharry Medical College.

After completing their residencies, Vassall, ’74, ’78, and Lewis, ’78, ’80, ’83, opened a primary care practice in South Seattle. They set it up in a storefront in a neighborhood that was nearly 75% African American and had been historically underserved by Seattle’s medical community. “We walked up and down Rainier Avenue and found an old record shop,” says Vassall. The site fea tured a towing yard across the street and a hair salon next door. A carpenter friend installed sinks and built their exam rooms, and the two doctors opened for business.

Later, they would join a larger practice, move closer to down town and ultimately become leaders in Washington’s medical community. Today, Vassall is an associate dean of clinical edu cation at Washington State University’s college of medicine. And Lewis has retired after holding several executive roles at Swedish Medical Center and serving as chief medical officer for International Community Health Services.

Their careers as doctors, teachers, administrators and leaders over the past 45 years have afforded them a broad view of Seattle's health care community. They’ve seen how the contributions of Black physicians helped make Seattle one of the most advanced medical communities in the country, and they’ve seen how, over decades, Black physicians served people from all cultures, back grounds and levels of economic need. “Our advocacy at the local, regional and national levels, and the changes we’ve advocated for in patient safety have measurably improved outcomes for all

While medical school enrollment of Black women has im proved slightly, fewer Black men are going to medical school today than 45 years ago. According to a 2021 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the percentage of Black male medical students has declined from 3.1% in 1978 to 2.9% in 2019. When Vassall and Lewis completed their medical de grees, they were among six Black students in their class of 125. Today, there are six in a class of 270.

Diversity in the physician workforce is crucial, says Paula Houston, ’94, chief equity officer and vice president for medical affairs at UW Medicine. For Black patients and other patients of color, hav ing access to doctors who share their backgrounds can improve understanding and create a stronger sense of trust, resulting in bet ter health outcomes. And training doctors alongside peers of different racial and ethnic backgrounds helps minimize health disparities.

Many pieces to this story center on health care equity, Vassall says, but one of the key points is the experience and history of Seattle’s Black doctors: Although they encountered barriers, they have been pillars of the community, they studied and taught at the UW, and “they helped us join together as a group,” he says.

In spite of this, there’s a shrinking percentage of Black doc tors nationally and locally, he says. “There are fewer now, and many have gone to work for large health care companies where it’s hard [for people who want Black doctors] to find them,” Vassall adds. UW Medicine and its medical school—like many schools around the country—face both long-standing and fresh

Despite a rich history of talented Black physicians, the UW struggles to address its role in a national shortage of Black doctors

challenges around creating and supporting more Black doctors and, in the long term, expanding the number and diversity of doctors who can care for all of us.

In 1950, the UW School of Medicine graduated its first class of physicians. Two years later, Lloyd C. Elam enrolled, becom ing the school’s first Black medical student. Elam, who grew up in Arkansas and attended college in Chicago, was drawn to the UW by the idea that a new medical school would be well-fund ed and feature the latest equipment.

His degree put Elam, ’57, on a career path to Meharry Medical College, a historically Black medical school in Tennessee. His successes included establishing Meharry’s department of psy chiatry and serving as the college president from 1968 to 1981.

After Elam, the UW saw very few Black medical students until 1968, the year Meredith Mathews enrolled. As a UW undergrad uate, Mathews prepared for medical school by focusing on hard science. “It was not a friendly place,” he says. Lost in the large classrooms, he struggled to connect with his teachers and class mates. He describes a time when he sat down at a table in Suzzallo Library and all the white students got up and left. By the time he was in 400-level courses, though, Mathews was more at home.

He and many of his fellow zoology majors had set their sights on medical school. But unlike the white students, Mathews didn’t even consider the UW. If you were Black, “the adviser had a his tory of deterring you from applying,” he says.

He was deliberating over acceptances from several schools when August Swanson, a UW Medicine professor, called and asked why he didn’t apply. “I let him know I didn’t think it was worth trying,” Mathews says. Swanson persuaded him to recon sider and later sought his help finding other potential students who might have been similarly discouraged.

Mathews’ medical school class had just two other African Americans at a time when many elite schools were going out of their way to draw students of color. “There was a lot of work to do” to recruit future Black doctors to the UW, Mathews says. “There were stellar students here in Seattle, and they went some where else,” he says, pointing to what he saw as a long-term problem with the admissions process. Where other schools seemed to say, “We’re lucky to have you,” he says, at the UW it was more like, “You’re lucky to be here.”

Mathews went on to specialize in nephrology and worked as an internist for 18 years at Pacific Medical Center. He was also a clinical associate professor at the UW. His professional jour ney later took him to California, where he capped his medical career as senior vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Shield of California, a $10 billion health plan with 3 million mem bers. Today, though retired, he’s still a voice in Seattle medicine as a member of the Harborview Medical Center Board of Trustees.

Over the decades, the work of the city’s medical Black community entwined with the UW’s efforts toward teaching, research and providing care. The list of Black doctors in the re gion is small, but it is filled with talented and dedicated practitioners. You can find their names on lectures, scholar ships and local landmarks.

One of the first, Walter Scott Brown, came to Seattle in 1931 for a surgical residency at Providence Hospital and stayed to establish a practice on Beacon Hill. He later invited William Lacey to move from Chicago and join his practice. Both served as clinical associate professors at the UW. When Robert Joyner moved to Seattle and started his practice in 1949, he brought the number of Black physicians in the city at the time to four.

Those doctors led the way for physicians like Anita Connell, who completed medical school at the UW in 1975, and opened her OB-GYN practice in 1982. In addition to serving thousands of patients, she has long been an advocate for women’s health

and education. Her advocacy started early: As a UW undergrad uate, she helped found the Black Student Union.

And while a small city park bears her name and her portrait hangs in the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, Blanche Sellers Lavizzo, ’75, deserves greater recognition. She made history as the first African American woman pediatrician in Washington. Her husband, Philip Lavizzo, was one of the first African American doctors to practice surgery in the Northwest.

Dr. Blanche and Dr. Phillip, as the community knew them, set up their joint practice in Seattle in 1956. “They were part of the Great Migration,” says their daughter, Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. Black doctors from the South moved to the North and West be cause they “wanted to be able to practice in a less restricted way and at the same time serve their community and others,” she says. “And they wanted to raise their kids in an environment that didn’t have the cruelty and limitations of Jim Crow.”

That’s not to say they didn’t encounter racism. Most of the city’s hospitals—except for Providence—wouldn’t grant admit ting privileges to Black physicians. Group Health didn’t recognize Blanche Lavizzo, though many of her patients had health cov erage from the organization.

As a teen, Lavizzo-Mourey helped her parents prepare their billing statements. Before she could stuff one into an envelope, they would carefully review it and decide whether or not to send the bill or reduce the fee. This happened a lot in the 1960s during the Seattle recession. “My father said if you send a big bill to someone out of work who can’t pay, they aren’t going to come back to see you,” she says. “And he wanted them to come back, because they needed medical care.”

In 1970, Blanche Lavizzo became the founding medical di rector for the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in the Central

Top: UW Medical School classmates Rayburn Lewis, John Vassall and Stephen Robinson the week they graduated in 1978. Below: Blanche Lavizzo was the first Black woman pediatrician in Washington state. She was also the founding director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic.

WINTER 2022 25

District. A satellite of Seattle Children’s, the clinic was built to provide medical and dental treatment to children from fami lies with low income, many of them people of color. Lavizzo wove respect into the clinic’s motto: Quality care with dignity. In 1975, she completed her master’s in public health at the UW, deepening her skills for tending her patients’ overall well-be ing. Thousands of children saw Dr. Blanche, who led the clinic until her death in 1984.

While caring for their patients was their core endeavor, Seattle’s Black doctors often took on more, says Dr. Bessie Young, ’87, ’01, vice dean for equity, diversity and inclusion for UW Medicine’s Office of Health Care Equity. An expert in kid ney disease whose research includes health disparities, Young is another UW alum (medical school, residency, fellowship, Master of Public Health) with a long view on the city’s medi cal community. Though Black doctors were not welcomed in the predominant medical societies, many of them found ways to have influence by leading service organizations, owning busi nesses, teaching and being advocates and activists, she says.

But few could keep up with Alvin J. Thompson, who moved to Seattle in 1953 and quicky became one of the most active and influential members of the city’s medical community. He established the gastrointestinal lab at Providence Hospital and volunteered at organizations including the Pacific Northwest Kidney Center, Goodwill, The Seattle Foundation, Blacks in Science and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. He was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a consultant to the National Institutes of Health and a master in the American College of Physicians. And he found time to be a clinical teaching professor at the UW, where he threw his energies into students and young faculty.

With Millie Russell, ’80, ’88, who directed a UW program for underrepresented students in the health sciences, Thompson formed the Washington State Association of Black Professionals in Health Care. They brought together nurses, doctors, dentists, social workers and other health care work ers to advocate for medical priorities for the Black community and improve care, research and training. “Dr. Thompson’s goal, really, was to increase admission to the medical school for Black students,” says Young. To help them with expens es, he set up an Alvin Thompson Medical Student Support Fund. He sold the family boat to add money to it.

George Counts—one of the beneficiaries of Thompson’s attention—came to the UW in 1965 on a fellowship in in fectious disease. “I was ecstatic because it was one of the best programs in the country,” he says. Ten years later, he was invited back to lead the infectious diseases unit at Harborview. “I had some misgivings,” says Counts. “I had seen what aca demic life was like in Seattle.”

Not long after joining the faculty, Counts received a call from Thompson. “I didn’t know him before I came here,” he says. “But he took me under his wing to make sure that I did what ever was necessary to succeed in this cutthroat world of academic medicine.” Thompson pushed him to steer clear of outside proj ects and only focus on his research and publishing. “He was important to me, and stayed close throughout that 10-year pe riod,” says Counts, who became the first Black full professor in the School of Medicine. “It took another 30 years [for the UW to promote the next Black full professor],” says Counts. “That was Dr. Bessie Young in 2015.”

In the late 1980s, as AIDS was spreading across the country, Counts joined the National Institutes of Health to lead the of fice overseeing the National AIDS Clinical Trials Program. There, he saw how women and people who weren’t white were under-recruited into research studies. He established an office within the NIH to address these and other disparities.

But not all members of the medical community in Seattle trained in health care. In 1968, the Black Panther Party started a clinic. The Seattle BPP chapter was cofounded by Aaron Dixon, a UW student, and his younger brother, Elmer. In addition to protesting racism and police brutality, they addressed basic needs and conditions of African Americans.

One fact that stood out to them was the high rate of infant mortality in the Central District. The Black Panthers found an ally in UW neurology doctor John Green. “I would call him a doc tor-hippy,” says Elmer Dixon, who first met Green at a civil rights demonstration. One night, the brothers went to Green’s house to talk about opening a well-baby clinic. “He told us to get a van and go to the UW Hospital loading bay,” says Dixon. “When we rang the bell, the door opened and there he was with all the equip ment we needed.” Over time, the clinic expanded to become today’s Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center.

Black doctors and leaders have shaped the city’s health care over the decades, say Vassall and Lewis. But despite all their ef forts and outreach, a shortage of Black doctors persists. They point to medical school admissions, which historically focused on candidates’ personal achievements and test scores—to the benefit of those from privileged backgrounds—rather than on who in the community needed care. Many applicants can suc ceed in medical school, says Vassall. The issue is deciding who

Over six decades, Dr. Alvin Thompson was a force in Seattle’s medical community. He mentored students and faculty, brought together health-care professionals for com mon causes and served in local and national health organizations.

Alvin J. Thompson moved to Seattle in

leaders of the city’s medical community

gets in. “We need to be thinking about who is best going to serve the state of Washington. Medical schools should be prioritizing students from rural and tribal communities and from underserved communities in Tacoma and Seattle where there is the greatest need and where they’re likely to go back and work,” he says.

While it’s not the source of the problem, Washington’s Initiative 200—which was passed by voters in 1998—bars the UW from considering race or gender in the admissions process. “It doesn’t allow us to very intentionally focus on having incentives to bring Black medical students here,” says Houston.

Funding is another challenge, Houston adds. The UW finds it hard to compete with schools that offer full rides to medical stu dents from underrepresented backgrounds.

“It’s an ongoing battle,” Young says. “We do recruit students from the area as well as all over the country, but we need to do more to recruit and retain our students as well as trainees (resi dents and fellows) and faculty who are role models and help to build a welcoming medical community for our students.”

UW Medicine has more than 120 residency and fellowship programs and more than 1,550 residents and fellows, which makes

In his 30 years as a Seattle pediatrician, Dr. Ben Danielson has tended to thousands of patients. As a clinical professor at the UW School of Medicine, he is one of the city’s leading voices for health equity.

1953 and quickly became one of the most active and influential

it the sixth largest graduate medical education program in the country. GME is a crucial pathway for bringing more Black doc tors and underrepresented minorities into the region, says Dr. Byron Joyner, vice dean for GME, a role he has held since 2014.

Joyner also has a national role representing the UW at the Accreditation Council for Graduate and Medical Education. He is one of three Black men heading GME in a group of more than 1,200 institutions. In the last seven years, he has been involved in developing policies and regulations that require residency pro grams around the country to recruit underrepresented minorities, and to have strategies to do so.

Fourteen years ago, Joyner was responsible for creating the UW Network of Underrepresented Residents and Fellows. In addition to supporting one another and promoting cultural diver sity, NURF members provide community outreach, mentorship, recruitment and retention. They have a huge impact when they visit Seattle area high schools to build interest in medicine as a career option for underrepresented youth. NURF members also attend national conferences for Black medical students and doc tors and recruit for the UW. “Our fellows and residents are among

our most valuable recruiting tools,” Joyner says.

In his 23 years at the UW, Joyner has watched the institution change from having few diverse trainees to understanding that diversity, equity and inclusion should be in every aspect of teach ing and care. In addition to requiring training for faculty and staff around discrimination and sexual harassment, UW Medicine’s leaders are thinking about how to mitigate discrimination, im prove recruiting and better fulfill the mission “to improve the health of the public.” “It’s going to take some time,” Joyner says. “But we’re making strides in the right direction.”

Ben Danielson, ’92, a clinical pediatrics professor at UW Medicine, is a leading voice for health care equity. He directed the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic from 1999 to 2020. In 2017, he won the Simms/Mann Institute Whole Child Award for making a signifi cant impact on the lives of young children and their families.

As a UW medical student in the late 1980s, Danielson was wary of imposing on other people. “But I found a welcoming, kind of a subtle support system” in the medical Black communi ty, he says. In particular, he remembers Russell and Thompson. “They were so warm,” he says. They made it feel like it was go ing to be OK despite the demands and intensity of medical school, and that he didn’t have to outperform his classmates and be ex ceptional to succeed. That kind of encouragement is “what we need to do to advance diversity in our midst,” he says. “We’re not going to make inroads into anti-racism if we can’t shed our tropes that in the past we had to embody to endure.”

Danielson also sees a need for creating a more anti-racist en vironment in the school. “It’s a mistake to invite people to this place and not make that a priority,” he says. Higher education and medicine are deeply steeped in micro- and macro-aggres sions that affect underrepresented students and patients. The portraits of the white doctors that line UW Medicine’s hallways are like a sign that tells students of color to keep out, he says. Medical students are expected to acculturate themselves to the ways the teachers and doctors around them are acting and speak ing. In some cases, they witness doctors describing and treating patients from different backgrounds with different levels of re spect, says Danielson. “And there is constant pressure to fit the mold. Those things erode the sense of who you are.”

As director at Odessa Brown, Danielson loved serving pa tients at the clinic Blanche Lavizzo helped build. “She is an enduring spiritual hero to me,” he says. Looking at her early challenges establishing herself in Seattle’s medical community and her courage to take on the work of developing and running the clinic, she is an example of someone who wouldn’t allow barriers to hold her back, he says.

But there are differences between her time and today, he notes. The field of medicine is more and more corporate—with profit margins and market forces driving decision-making. That busi ness culture comes at the expense of urgencies like social justice and health equity, says Danielson, “It’s working against diversi ty.” Public medical schools are in the crossroads of the business of medicine and their public-serving mission.

Nonetheless, Danielson can imagine a brighter future. The de sire for a more equitable health care system is shared deeply by many people in many different positions inside and outside of the University, he says. “But they may feel like they are alone. People may actually talk themselves out of their own power. I’ve heard it. ‘I’m just a student. I’m just a member of the faculty. I can’t make things change.’”

“But there are more of us than we realize, and we have more power than we realize,” he says. He sees promise in the younger generation of health professionals who are now making “unapol ogetic demands for change.” That is different than his own experience of surviving the environment or being a lone voice, he says. “Those of us with gray hair have a lot to learn about de manding change, not just hoping for it.”

WINTER 2022 27

Michael Anderson was 9 years old when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon in 1969. After witnessing that historic moment, Anderson, ’81, was determined to follow in the space pio neer’s footsteps. In a bedroom adorned with model airplanes and rocket ships, he began to memorize NASA astronauts’ names and imagined his name on that list.

Although none of Anderson’s astronaut role models were African

Star POWER ✦
On the 20th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, we remember astronaut Michael Anderson

A mission specialist for a 1998 launch of the Space Shuttle Endeav our, Michael Anderson completes the donning of his launch/entry suit in NASA’s Operations and Checkout Building. That was Anderson’s first flight into space.


American, he was undeterred. “I don’t think I ever thought I couldn’t do it,” he recalled years later. “I never had any serious doubt about it. It was just a matter of when.”

In December 1994, Anderson was selected by NASA to be an astronaut, and in 1998, he realized his dream of going into space, traveling to the Russian space station Mir aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Five years later, he was part of another mission on Space Shuttle Columbia. But he never made it home. The space craft disintegrated upon re-entry to Earth on Feb. 1, 2003.

I’d interviewed Anderson after his first shuttle mission for a story about astronauts who hailed from the UW College of Arts & Sciences. His eagerness to return to space had been palpa ble during the interview. His descriptions of space flight—particularly his own experience of it—were compelling and vivid.

“Right before the engines cut off, you are being pushed back in the seat by 3 Gs of pressure,” he told me, recalling the mo ment when Endeavour hit orbit about eight minutes into the flight. “Then you suddenly go to zero Gs [zero gravity]. I remem ber being thrown forward in my seat and then watching everything around me start to float, including ice crystals that had formed outside the vehicle. As the sun caught those ice crystals—thou sands of them—they looked like brilliant shining diamonds floating in the darkness of space. But that’s just one of hundreds of moments that stick out in my mind.”

✦ Destined to soar

By age 3, Anderson knew he would venture into space. “It was just the adventure of it,” he later recalled. In an interview with the Spokesman-Review before his first space flight, one of his sisters shared how the future astronaut sent her on imaginary trips to the moon every Saturday morning, beaming her up to the top bunk bed in his room. Not surprisingly, he was hooked on TV shows like “Star Trek” and “Lost in Space.”

The Anderson family moved several times during his child hood, due to his father’s Air Force career. When Anderson, who was born in Plattsburgh, N.Y., was 11, they settled in Cheney, near Spokane. He attended Cheney High School, and years lat er still thought of Spokane as his hometown.

His next move was to the University of Washington, where he planned to major in aeronautical engineering. However, an elective physics course changed his mind. He was drawn to the elegance of physics, finding it more suited to his interests. He added a second major in astronomy and joined the UW’s Air Force ROTC.

“He was warm, even-keeled, easygoing,” UW friend and

I remember watching everything around me start to float, including ice crystals that had formed outside the vehicle. They looked like brilliant shining diamonds floating in the darkness of space.

classmate William Tyler, ’83, told Columns Magazine in 2003. “There was no stress about him. He was so focused.”

After graduating, Anderson joined the Air Force, first as a com munication electronics officer and then as a pilot, aircraft commander, flight instructor and tactics officer. He went on to pursue a master’s degree in physics at Creighton University be fore joining NASA’s astronaut training program in 1995. By then, there were several African American astronauts, but it remained a small group. (Yvonne Cagle, ’85, was selected as an astronaut in 1996 but never went into space.)

✦ A UW connection, a Russian rendezvous

As an astronaut candidate, Anderson began a grueling training program that included survival training, space shuttle simulator exercises, classes in navigation and orbital dynamics, and more. Once he was assigned as mission specialist for Space Shuttle Endeavour, Anderson began one year of mission-specific train ing with the rest of the crew.

On that crew was another Husky, Bonnie Dunbar, ’71, ’76, who was about to embark on her fifth and final shuttle mission. The pair brought a Husky banner on board to celebrate their UW connection, holding it aloft for cameras as they floated in zero gravity.

“I was always very impressed with him,” Dunbar said of Anderson. “He had a very calm demeanor. He did such a great job on the flight that I recommended him for selection to a fu ture flight.”

The Endeavour crew had multiple goals: to conduct experi ments, transfer supplies to space station Mir and deliver an astronaut to Mir while bringing another one home. The work re quired Russian-American cooperation, which appealed to Anderson. He took Russian language classes in preparation.

“Working with the Russians was one of the highlights of the whole deal,” he said after his return. “It was just fascinating, two countries that had animosity for so long now working together. We can learn a lot from each other. It’s ironic that we have to leave the planet to get along and work together.”

After Endeavour, Anderson was eager to return to space. His opportunity came with a 16-day mission on Space Shuttle Columbia in early 2003. The mission was dedicated to running experi ments, ranging from studies of prostate cancer to observing the effects of gravity on harvester ants. Working 24 hours a day in alternating shifts, the crew successfully conducted about 80 ex periments in orbit. As the mission’s payload commander, Anderson was responsible for managing the experiments to ensure that everything was done properly.

“This is one of few research flights we’ve had in a long time,” he commented in a video interview for before the flight. “For someone interested in space science like myself, it’s really the dream flight.”

✦ Celebrating an extraordinary life

The Columbia mission ended tragically on Feb. 1, 2003, just 16 minutes before the shuttle’s scheduled landing at Cape Canaveral. NASA later confirmed that damage to the spacecraft’s left wing during the launch—damage NASA had mistakenly deemed non-threatening during the mission—allowed hot atmospheric gases to enter the wing upon reentry.

After the disaster, I reread scribbled notes from my interview with Anderson. I had asked him how he handled fear, given the unforgiving nature of space travel. He’d replied that it was nev er an issue for him.

“I don’t know why that is,” he told me. “Maybe because the

training simply prepares you for it. By the time you make it to the actual space flight, you’re so excited. You just want to do your job. Fear has been dealt with. It’s one of those things you simply don’t dwell upon at all.”

And yet Anderson, a husband and father, was not in denial about the risks of his work. At Sunday services two days after the shuttle disaster, Spokane Rev. Freeman Simmons told his con gregation about a conversation with Anderson before the flight. As reported in The New York Times, Anderson told the rever end, “If this thing don’t come out right, don’t worry about me. I’m just going on higher.”

Years later, on the 15th anniversary of Anderson’s death, his mother reflected on her son’s legacy. “Even though he had just turned 43, he had a full life,” she told the Spokesman-Review. “He did wonders in that length of time. Sometimes it isn’t the length that you live, it’s the quality.”

To celebrate Anderson’s accomplishments, elementary schools, parks and highways have been renamed in his hon or. An asteroid and a lunar crater also bear his name. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. A statue of Anderson was unveiled in Spokane’s Riverfront Park in 2005, with a duplicate installed at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, where an aerospace program was created in his honor.

At the UW, the Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson Memorial Diversity Scholarship was established in 2004. The scholarship encourag es underrepresented minority students to pursue the sciences and engineering. To date, 16 students have benefited from the scholarship support.

Anderson would likely be pleased that a scholarship bearing his name supports future scientists and engineers. But that sort of recognition was never his goal.

“The space shuttle program would select people who were more about the program than about themselves, and Mike was very much that kind of person,” said Dunbar. “He wasn’t out there to aggrandize himself, but to really help move human space flight forward. And he did that.”

Bonnie Dunbar and

Anderson show their Husky spirit aboard the Endeavour in 1998.


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Michael FAR LEFT Michael Anderson, left, and the rest of the Space Shuttle Endeavour crew take a moment during a Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test.

The Hows of Housing

Two alumni lead separate projects to solve some of the biggest social issues of our time by Caitlin Klask


Cohousing, good neighbors. A built environment can be a cure for loneliness.

Jennie Lindberg, ’78 Creator of Sunnyside Village Cohousing, Marysville

Addressing the scourge of lone liness was one of Jennie Lindberg’s motives for starting the Sunnyside Village Cohousing neighborhood in the pretty Marys ville countryside.

—An antidote to isolation—

Imagine waking up on a Saturday morning and coffee is already brewing. You enjoy a breakfast of organic food you helped grow. Your neighbor is driving to town, so you give them a list of groceries to pick up for you. Yard work takes no time at all with help from the couple two doors down. And when evening comes, you bring a bottle of wine to the common house and enjoy a live poetry reading.

It’s not a utopian vision—that’s just a regular weekend in a cohousing community. Cohousing provides private homes clus tered around a shared space. Neighbors know each other like family and share meals, tools and skills. As Grace Kim, ’06, de scribes it, cohousing is “an antidote to isolation.”

“It’s kind of like the grown-up version of living in the dorms,” says Kim, who serves on the Professional Advisory Board for the Cohousing Association of the U.S. and started her own cohousing community on Seattle’s Capitol Hill in 2010. “It’s all the benefit of having friends outside your doorstep but having the privacy of your own home.”

Kim is the architect for Sunnyside Village Cohousing, a neighborhood of connected homes in Marysville spearheaded by a number of UW alumnae. Jennie Lindberg, ’78, planted the seeds for Sunnyside in 2016 along with her husband, Dean Smith, when they searched for an already existing community and found none in the Everett area. Why not start their own? They developed a plan for 32 stand-alone cottages and a large common house, featuring a dining room with seating for 64, a coffee bar and a remote working space with high-speed in ternet connection.

“In cohousing, the intention is to be cooperative and neighborly and share things, to get to know people so that we can trust each other and make good decisions together,” says Lindberg, a retired therapist. “Which is counter to what we are taught in our culture today. We’re taught that it’s safer to stay by yourself.”

Although construction won’t begin until 2024, 63% of Sunnyside Village homes have committed buyers. Among those who believe in Lindberg’s vision are Kirstin Andrews, ’11, Karen Lindsay, ’71, and Vicki Rhoades, ’91; all three have purchased a cottage and are now cultivating the Sunnyside community through Zoom meetings and camping trips to the site.

“I intend to get to know my neighbors,” says Lindsay. “I intend to offer support to them, and to request support. I intend to work for the benefit of the community and support group decisions even if I didn’t vote for them.”

The group didn’t know each other before joining the com munity, but they thank the UW for setting them on the path to cohousing. “I learned [at the UW] that part of what gives us more meaning in life is having something meaningful to do for other people,” says Lindberg, who studied at the UW School of Social Work. The foundational tenets at Sunnyside are tolerance and respect, she explains.

“I love the idea of living in a community that is completely committed to democratic principles and ensuring that every member has a voice,” says Andrews, a proofreader, who looks forward to raising her newborn child at Sunnyside. “I’m also very attracted to the idea of sharing resources in order to live more sustainably.”

Sunnyside Village’s builder is Green Canopy NODE, a local carbon-cutting construction company. And while it’s typical for cohousing communities to grow food from scratch, Sunnyside makes it a priority. The village layout features an orchard, a greenhouse and a large vegetable garden, along with space for 17 egg-laying chickens.

Pre-pandemic, Lindberg was hard-pressed to garner a large

audience at Sunnyside’s Zoom meetings. The value of interper sonal relationships in cohousing was difficult to demonstrate. Now, she says, folks are eager to make connections. “The pandemic showed me—and I think many people—that it’s important to have a support group,” says Lindberg. “Because part of the meaning and purpose in life is helping other people.”

There’s another pandemic sweeping the nation. Loneliness kills, according to research. One study from Brigham Young University found that it’s a bigger killer in the U.S. than obesity.

More than one-third of adults over the age of 45 feel lonely, and a quarter of those over the age of 60 suffer from social isolation. Loneliness can cause a 50% increased risk of dementia and a 29% increased risk of heart disease, according to the CDC. Among heart-failure patients, social isolation increases the risk of death fourfold. Social isolation can also cause anxiety, de pression and thoughts of suicide. All these factors are compounded for immigrants, LGBTQIA+ people, minorities and victims of elder abuse.

Kim’s prescription is to form interdependence. “Loneliness can be the result of our built environments,” she said in a 2017 TEDTalk. And finding an alternative to the American dream of a private home with a picket fence—an interconnected village north of Seattle with a large common house comes to mind—could help. “If I was a doctor, I would tell you to take two aspirin and call me in the morning,” says Kim. “But as an architect, I’m going to suggest that you take a walk with your neighbor, share a meal together and call me in 20 years.”

Why join a cohousing community?

Members of Sunnyside Village offer practical reasons why joining together means a better way of life.

A less car-centric community. “I would like my kid to be able to go out and play and not be worried about cars,” says Andrews’ husband, Troy. More open spaces and fewer busy roads makes Sunnyside a safer place for kids to play. “It’s nice to think about a community designed in such a thoughtful way, and we get to design it, because it’s ours.”

A built-in support system. Friends and neighbors give them someone to turn to in uncertain times. “I’m a very introverted person, and I really like the idea of a built-in community and a built-in way of forming connec tions as a way of avoiding isolation,” says Andrews.

A personal chef (kind of). In a cohousing community, some meals are shared, which means you don’t have to cook for yourself as often. And the produce couldn’t be more local; it’s grown just feet from the kitchen.

Free entertainment. Lindberg plans to host open mics and other parties in the common area. “Instead of paying huge amounts of money to go to a ballgame in Seattle,” says Lindberg, “we’ll just walk over to the common house and have a little local concert or talent show, then walk back home.”

Car sharing. No reason to drive a single-occupancy vehicle with gas prices this high; neighbors often provide a ride to nearby Everett or Seattle.

A second career. From the retired professor to the former library bookmobile driver, multigenerational families in cohousing make good use of their retired neighbors’ skills.

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COURTESY BRIDGE HOUSING CORP. Ken Lombard, ’76 President and CEO of Californiabased BRIDGE Housing Corp. Affordable housing at Seattle’s major transit hubs.

Building affordable housing at Seattle's major transit hubs is the priority for Ken Lombard and his com pany, BRIDGE.

—No matter their position in life—

Imagine looking for a home in Seattle in 2022. Say you have two children but only one income. You can’t afford a mortgage, but apartment prices are so high that you could be paying 50% of your income to rent, leaving you in a precarious situation should you need to shell out extra cash for an emergency. Speaking of emergencies, your car broke down and you’ll need to take public transit while it’s in the shop.

A situation like this could break a typical family. Ken Lombard, ’76, president and CEO of California-based BRIDGE Housing Corp., is embracing a solution championed by Sound Transit: affordable housing at Seattle’s major transit hubs.

“There’s a misperception in terms of how [affordable hous ing] communities come together, and who the residents are—just normal people who have come up against some challenges in their life that have put them in this position,” says Lombard. “We need to do everything that we can to try to provide them with options that help them get back on their feet.” BRIDGE has invested $3 billion in building nearly 20,000 homes and apartments in California, Oregon and Washington. Another $3.8 billion worth of construction is in development now, in cluding 232 homes at the Northgate Transit Center and more than 550 units at the forthcoming Spring District/120th Street light rail station in Bellevue.

In Northgate, all 232 apartments are reserved for people who make 60% or less of the area median income, or $77,650 for a family of four. In Bellevue, 235 homes will serve a range of incomes between 30% and 80% of the area median income, while the remaining 318 units are market rate.

“I am really proud of what I’ve seen happen on the housing side in Seattle,” says Lombard, who now lives in Los Angeles. “I love every time I get a chance to go back home and have a project that I’m part of."

Lombard grew up in Seattle’s Madison Valley/Central District neighborhood, where his family ran a dry-cleaning business. “We had a very wide variety of customers that made me un derstand how to treat everyone the same way, no matter their position in life,” he says. “I’ve tried to keep that commitment and approach going forward as I built my career.”

He attended the UW in the mid-1970s and was a forward (and sixth man) on the Huskies’ basketball team, where he learned to be a team player—something he considers one of the most valuable lessons of his career. Basketball connected him later on to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who became his busi ness partner at Johnson Development Corp., now known as Magic Johnson Enterprises. The two would go on to bring movie theaters, Starbucks coffee shops, restaurants and retail centers to minority communities in 65 cities nationwide.

“It was a huge win for those communities. He was the per fect partner from a celebrity perspective,” says Lombard, who recalls the way Johnson would light up an entire room of pros pects. “He was the guy who opened up those doors. My responsibility was to execute on the opportunities.”

Lombard’s transition to working in housing came naturally. Before BRIDGE, he’d invested in multifamily housing on the market-rate side, including the Viktoria Apartments in down town Seattle. Affordable housing offered him the opportunity to continue helping underserved communities.

“I feel a tremendous interest in and commitment to affordable housing solutions for people in need,” he says.

Housing prices in Seattle have risen 84% over the past decade, according to Zillow. And while the market is beginning to cool, Seattle’s median rent of $1,702 keeps the city firmly in the top10 most expensive in the U.S., according to Rocket Mortgage.

“It’ll take quite some time,” says Adrienne Quinn, distinguished practitioner at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance and former director of community and human services for King County. Quinn serves on the board of directors for BRIDGE. “Housing prices will probably never drop low enough so that somebody who is on social security or disability would be able to afford market-rate housing.”

Quinn cites a new book by colleague Gregg Colburn, an as sistant professor of real estate within the UW’s College of Built Environments. “He and his research partner examined all of the jurisdictions that have a fair amount of homelessness to see what factors correlated between high homelessness and other issues: behavioral health, housing costs, poverty, etc.,” says Quinn. There was only one correlation. “The counties that have the highest housing prices have the highest rates of homelessness.

“There’s a myth that most of the people who are experienc ing homelessness are addicted to drugs and alcohol or have significant mental health issues. We also have a significant num ber of people who are working who can’t afford housing. There are families who are living in cars who are not part of the visi ble homelessness population. The population of people experiencing homelessness is much broader and is not just peo ple with addiction and mental health issues.”

Lombard’s solution persists: Build more affordable housing. According to a 2021 report by the city of Seattle, nearly 46,000 households are spending more than half their incomes on housing. “We need to address it,” says Lombard. “And we need to address it now and in a substantive way so we can contrib ute to a better quality of life for people across the country.”

In addition to the new properties in Bellevue and Northgate, BRIDGE teamed with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Ballard to build 84 apartment units for families making 60% or below the area median income. Construction begins in 2023. “Partnerships are essential to our success,” says Lombard. “We often align with community-based organizations as well as private companies to deliver a full spectrum of housing opportunities.”

Two other buildings—Tressa in Bitter Lake and Coronado Springs in White Center—already provide a collective 806 units of affordable housing to Seattle residents. “Housing is a basic need, just like food and water are,” says Quinn. “I’d say, under Ken Lombard’s leadership, BRIDGE is undertaking some very innovative partnerships that are going to be able to produce significantly more affordable housing for our community.”

Debunking affordable housing myths

Myth: All unhoused people prefer to live outside.

“Media outlets can find the one or two people who are say ing they’re living in a tent by personal choice,” says Adrienne Quinn, “but the vast majority of people—and we know this because King County has interviewed them—if offered hous ing resources, would move in immediately.”

Myth: Homelessness is a byproduct of addiction.

Gregg Colburn, professor of real estate at the College of Built Environments, studied the relationship between homeless ness and mental illness, drug addiction, poverty, weather, public assistance programs and more. What did he find? It all comes down to the cost and availability of housing.

Myth: Affordable housing hurts property values. After multiple studies across the country, researchers found that—thanks in part to great design—property values have increased in neighborhoods with new affordable housing.

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Born to Serve

Michael Kilmer helped lead the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ military policy

Michael Kilmer credits the UW’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion for giving him the courage to come out and advocate for the values he treasures in everything he does.

Twenty years ago, it would have been easy—and understandable—for Michael Kilmer to turn his back on the armed forces. At 32 and with a lauded 14-year career in a Seattle-based unit of the Coast Guard, the young yeoman was on the verge of being promoted to officer when he dis closed that he was gay. Kilmer was forced out of the Coast Guard in 2002 as part of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” military policy that resulted in the discharge of an estimated 14,000 non-het erosexual service members during the years it was in place. Instead of wallowing in self-pity or turning bitter toward the institution, Kilmer decided to take action, becoming highly involved in the movement to repeal and replace the policy—which finally happened in 2011. In the two de cades since his discharge, Kilmer dedicated his life to helping those who have served, holding several leadership positions at the

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he currently serves more than 100,000 veterans as director and CEO of VA for the Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

“I bear no resentment toward the Coast Guard,” Kilmer says. “I loved my time there, and I still live by the Coast Guard values: honor, respect, devotion to duty. Those values lead nicely to working for the VA, where I believe we have an hon orable mission. Regardless of how someone feels about how we use our military, the people who serve are our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors, and they deserve a community when they come back home.”

Kilmer, ’01, ’04, is the 2022 recipient of the University of Washington’s Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award, which recognizes a living UW alumnus veteran who has made a positive impact on the local, national, or international com munity. Aside from his Coast Guard service and work at the VA, Kilmer founded the American Veterans for Equal Rights in Seattle in the early 2000s and has dedicated countless hours to volunteerism, especially for causes supporting children and teens.

“I think we should all strive to better understand the people around us,” he says. “For our society to thrive, everyone should engage in service in some way—it doesn’t

have to be the military. There are many ways give back.”

After his honorable discharge, Kilmer enrolled in the UW School of Social Work (he had completed his bachelor’s degree through UW Tacoma’s Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences program) with plans to eventually open a private practice. For one of his internships, Kilmer landed at the VA Puget Sound—the VA is the nation’s largest trainer of health-care professionals—and realized he had a passion for serving those who had served the country.

“If someone has given the oath to serve,” he says, “we owe them support and services when they return.”

Kilmer has helped others wherever he goes. From veterans and their families to the staff members he mentors, Kilmer rec ognizes the beauty and resilience of the human spirit in each person he meets. He developed a nationally recognized care-management program for returning post-9/11 combat veterans with the VA San Diego Healthcare System and implemented the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program nationally. In 2014, Kilmer re ceived the UW School of Social Work’s inaugural Early Career Achievement Award.

“I don’t think I would have come out in the Coast Guard if it wasn’t for UW,” Kilmer reflects. “My experience in the UW community, with its focus on diver sity, equity, and inclusion—that really gave me the courage to not only come out but to also advocate for those values in everything I do.”

Call for Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for two awards and for positions on the UW Alumni Association Board of Trustees. You are invited to nominate individuals for:

Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus (ASLD), the highest honor bestowed upon a UW graduate. It recognizes a legacy of service and achievement.

Distinguished Teaching Legacy Award (DTLA), which recognizes UW teachers who inspired and influenced their students both in and outside the classroom.

Nominations are due by Jan. 31.

The UWAA is also seeking nominations to serve on its Board of Trustees, the alumni association’s governing body. For more information, visit


Learners, Leaders

With a foundation rooted in leadership, service and education, the Women’s University Club has served the community since 1914. This year, its headquarters turns 100.

Above, Women’s Uni versity Club members in the Malone Room show the club as it is today: a diverse group of accomplished women committed to lifelong learning.

At right, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt addresses a wellattended 1939 dinner given in her honor by the club.

If you’ve lived in Seattle for any amount of time, chances you’ve noticed the three-story red brick building on the corner of Sixth and Spring streets down town. Built in 1922 and home to the Women’s University Club (a private wom en’s club that has been active in the region for more than a century), that building is celebrating its 100th birthday. Designed by two prominent turn-of-the-century architects and built in a Georgian Revival style, the clubhouse reflects the spirit and values of the women who meet with in its walls.

“The club is full of accomplished wom en interested in lifelong learning in an elegant atmosphere,” says current presi dent Loveday Conquest, emeritus professor and former associate director at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management. She has been a member of the Women’s University Club since 1988. “For many women, it’s a respite in the city. We offer traditional women’s club activities such as bridge, mahjong and art classes, but all of our events, lectures, and activities are member-driven—people are free to pursue their interests and share

them with others. Community is import ant to us.”

Founded in 1914 under the leadership of its first president, Edith Backus, the Women’s University Club attracted ser vice-minded, college-educated women with a passion for learning and launched with 276 charter members. “Given how few women were college-educated in the

needed a university degree to join, but that requirement no longer exists, and those with non-traditional, continuing education are welcome to apply).

United States at the time, that number is staggering,” says club member Karen Lane. Lane researched and put together an in formational booklet for the centennial celebration of the clubhouse along with fellow member Trish Early, Grant Hildebrand (professor emeritus in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments), and his wife, Miriam Sutermeister. (For many years, members

The Women’s University Club started in a small, one-story building at 1250 Fifth Ave. next to the all-male College Club. In 1920, both clubs faced eviction when the Metropolitan Building Co. an nounced plans to raze all the structures on the block to develop a hotel (which became the Olympic Hotel). Members decided to erect a new clubhouse from the ground up and engaged two local ar chitects, Abraham Horace Albertson and Édouard Frère Champney. Both men had connections to the club—Champney’s mother was a member, as was Albertson’s wife, Clare. Albertson had already de signed the original Fifth Avenue building.

“It was the only collaboration the two ever did,” Early says. “It was an unusual partnership, because their styles were very different.”

The new Women’s University Club headquarters officially opened on Dec. 9, 1922. The building’s exterior, which re mains untouched since its completion, is classic Georgian Revival. From the front,

The club attracted service-minded, college-educated women

the facade is proportionally balanced, with a centered entry and five bays of windows—all hallmarks of the architec tural style. Its simple, elegant appearance is striking but not extravagant—a good match for the milieu of a club full of in trepid, visionary women looking to serve their community. The main floor is the heart of the space, with areas meant for socializing: a drawing room, the kitchen and dining room, the library and meet ing rooms. The upper floors, originally short- and long-term rentals for women, are now flexible meeting and activity rooms and offices. The basement holds a ballroom and auditorium for large gath erings and special events.

The club’s charter members were re sourceful; individuals, and groups within the club, each took up rooms to decorate (club members from the University of Washington furnished the drawing room). “These women braided all of the rugs for the boarding house and embroidered the napkins and linens for the dining room,” Lane notes. “Anything that could be craft ed, they did the work.”

Over the next century, club members continued in the footsteps of their pre decessors. The club has a nonprofit foundation that awards scholarships and is involved with numerous charities. Aside from the installation of an elevator—and an architectural addition made in the

A Poignant Night on the Pitch

Huskies honor their late teammate by beating Stanford on DP Night

Above, Dubs joins the Husky men’s soccer team on DP Night, when it honored late teammate Daniel Phelps (right) and spread the word about sudden cardiac arrest, which tragi cally took Phelps’ life at the age of 27.

When No. 1 Washington hosted No. 5 Stanford on Oct. 6, it was much more than a critical Pac-12 soccer match be tween two of the nation’s best teams. It was the second annual DP Night to raise awareness for sudden cardiac arrest and honor the memory of the late Daniel Phelps, a Husky soccer alumnus who died from sudden cardiac arrest in December 2015 at just 27 years old.

With more than 2,000 fans in atten dance, including Seattle Sounders teammates Cristian Roldan (a UW alum) and Jordan Morris (Stanford alum), the Huskies defeated the Cardinal 3-0 on a night where hearts and minds were focused on paying tribute to the fallen player whose work ethic, charisma and outlook on life made him the kind of person everyone wanted to be around.

1960s to accommodate a new kitchen and dining room—the structure hasn’t changed much since its opening.

“This building is vital to the club,” Early says. “On occasions, members have discussed whether to move or to stay … and we’re still here. It’s part of the leg acy of the Women’s University Club and a strong representation of who we are.”

“DP Night is special because all the players wear tops with No. 19 to honor Daniel, and it brings the alumni back to gether to share stories and reflect on the love and laughter Daniel added to our lives,” says Adam Lang, ’10, Daniel’s Husky teammate and best friend.

Fans at Husky Soccer Stadium were able to get autographs and pictures with Roldan and Morris, the Seattle Sounders stars and

U.S. World Cup squad members. And throughout the match, stats on sudden cardiac arrest were displayed on the big screen and fans could learn CPR and see just how simple it is to use an automated external defibrilator (AED).

The DP Foundation, which runs DP Night and an annual charity golf tourna ment called the DP Open, was created by Lang to honor Daniel and save and support young lives. They save lives by placing AEDs in the community and donating money to the Nick of Time Foundation to help fuel their youth heart screening pro gram in Western Washington.

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Newsroom Star

In her four decades as a journalist and editor, Suki Dardarian has led newsrooms across the country in producing cut ting-edge, community-driven content that has won numerous awards. Among those accolades are two Pulitzer Prizes in the Breaking News category; Dardarian managed award-winning teams at The Seattle Times and at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, where she is currently the editor and senior vice president. And while Dardarian recognizes those honors, she admits that when she looks at her career, she’s particularly proud of the Star Tribune’s recognition by the Online News Association, a nonprofit membership

organization for digital journalists that holds the annual Online Journalism Awards. The paper has won twice in the Explanatory Reporting, Large Newsroom category, and once in the Breaking News, Large Newsroom category.

“We nail the print stuff,” says Dardarian, ’80, who was inducted into the UW Communication Hall of Fame in October.

“The Online Journalism Awards value the show-and-tell aspect of storytelling on a digital platform, which has always been the hardest thing to do. It’s impressive to see what kind of work can be done digitally.”

Like many journalists who entered the field in the ’80s and ’90s, Dardarian

navigated the industry’s seismic changes with curiosity and optimism. Processes and procedures rapidly evolved around the turn of the millennium, from the impact of the internet age on news cycles to the production of newspapers. She remembers working at The Daily: “You’d type your story up on a typewriter, roll it up, secure it with tape, then put it in these plastic tubes that would take it down to the printer.”

Technology has advanced, but Dardarian’s unwavering commitment to fair, ethical reporting hasn’t budged. After graduating from the UW, she worked at a series of regional papers, including The Daily Herald in Everett, The News Tribune in Tacoma, and The Seattle Times. In 2014, she joined the Star Tribune as managing editor and vice president. She was promoted to her current role earlier this year.

Under her leadership, the paper, which is available in print and online, has be come one of the largest digital-only subscription news platforms in the coun try (and one of only six U.S. newspapers to exceed six figures). In 2021, the Star Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of George Floyd’s murder and the aftermath. According to Dardarian, success comes from collaboration. She wants journalists who are willing to share ideas, push each other’s abilities and work together. “The advent of digital media fostered new ways to collaborate,” she says. “All of these changes have been for the better when it comes to storytelling. I think it’s kept me in the business. While some people have fled because of [the turn to digital], it engaged me more. I love trying to convey information using new tools such as video or linking to original doc uments to strengthen credibility.”

She didn’t initially set out to be a jour nalist. Before transferring to UW, Dardarian enrolled at Western Washington University to study psychology. To make some extra money, she took a job proofreading the student newspaper and soon found herself reporting, and loving it. Dardarian pos sesses the traits and skills—fairness, accountability and a dedication to pursuing the facts—that make for a strong leader in the newsroom. She also prioritizes lis tening to reporters, readers and the community to make her publication stron ger and more relatable.

“The essential elements of being a good journalist haven’t changed,” Dardarian says. “That includes having ethics, a commitment to accuracy, diversity and credibility, and being able to weigh the cost and benefits of what you do. What I’ve typed on may have changed over the years, but my com mitment to these things has not.”

Former Daily reporter turned Pulitzer Prize-winning editor Suki Dardarian honored for George Floyd coverage JEFF WHEELER/STAR TRIBUNE Suki Dardarian is most proud of the honors her Star �ribune team won in the Online Journalism Award competition.

The Path From the Bathroom

Reframing what we flush into what we might treasure

When he was 10, Bryn Nelson wanted to grow up to be a veterinarian. The Minnesota boy loved his cat, Smokey, and his dog, Heather, and catching and releasing frogs. He did not dream his penchant for pets would lead him to study microscopic life forms and author a 432-page book about human feces. He followed his love for an imals and science to become both a microbiologist and a writer.

Nelson, ’98, became a scientist first. After his junior year at Concordia College, he spent the summer inside a fly genetics laboratory at the Baylor College of Medicine. That experience and an older brother al ready in grad school primed Nelson as he headed for graduate studies at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Partway through his doctorate at the School of Medicine, he heard about a sci ence writing master’s degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He met some one who attended, and grilled them to make sure this was the right path. He started writing about science for The Daily to build up clips.

Now “there’s certainly much more awareness of alternative careers, but at the time there wasn’t,” he says. At the time, students could either do postdoctor al research and hope to someday have their own labs at research universities, or they could work for industry. Neither was for him.

His expertise in science writing turned out to be a golden ticket. Nelson complet ed two internships with Newsday and eventually was offered a full-time job. In the heyday of science coverage, the news paper would fly him to space shuttle launches and news events about cloning. He worked with a photographer and graph ic designer for big print projects. Then, with the downturn of the newspaper in dustry, he shifted to freelance work and moved to Seattle from Brooklyn with his husband-to-be.

Nelson’s new book, “Flush: The Remarkable Science of an Unlikely

Treasure,” began with him researching a magazine article on fecal transplants. Fecal transplants are the donation of one person’s waste into another per son’s gastrointestinal tract to restore a balance of gut microbes. This is an ef fective treatment for some patients with a runaway infection from Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, one kind of gut bac teria that causes severe diarrhea and can be fatal. Treatment with antibiot ics is often not effective.

In 2014, when Nelson wrote a magazine story about a woman who almost died from a C. diff infection, he became fascinated with how our cultural disgust with feces might have delayed the medical commu nity from fully accepting the value of fecal transplants in certain cases. Such trans plants are much more widely practiced now. In September, the Food and Drug Administration gave committee approval for a fecal transplant product prepared by Ferring Pharmaceutical.

“It was this rapid evolution of some thing from this kind of laughed-at folk remedy essentially into something saving lives and vastly outperforming antibiot ics,” Nelson says. “That got me thinking about other potential uses.”

In his book, different chapters identi fy ways that human waste can serve as a resource that returns clean water to a community, or fertil izes agricultural land, or helps an environmentally responsible building stay green. The circular econ omy for human waste offers approaches for some of the challenges of climate change. To give just one example, recy cling water from urine and feces is a way to re store drinking water to California areas that are dependent on the Colorado River.

“Eventually, I was able to find an agent,” Nelson says, for what he calls his quirky topic. His book was published in September and has been reviewed by news outlets including The New York Times. That re view, by Elizabeth Royte, calls Nelson “irrepressibly curious, prone to punning and incapable of embarrassment.” He “ex amined his stool daily for a year, using three apps that tracked frequency, speed of tran sit, quantity, consistency and color.”

Nelson does bring a scientist’s zeal for detail to all that he examines in the book. That includes his own waste as well as studies of the waste of thousands of other humans.

Seattleness, a Cultural Atlas

By Tera Hatfield, ’12, Jenny Kempson, ’11, and Natalie Ross Sasquatch Books, November 2022

Hatfield and Kempson, who hold UW master’s degrees in landscape architecture and design, and their co-author Ross bring their expertise in different areas of design to create an engaging cultural atlas of Seattle. The book covers a breadth of subjects with maps, charts, illustrations and photography, and offers insights into coffee, UFO sightings, grunge hot spots and other things that make the city special.

Bad Mothers, Bad Daughters

By Maya Sonenberg

Notre Dame Press, August 2022

Sonenberg, a UW creative writ ing professor, crafted a collection of 23 modern tales that take their shapes from fairytales, letters, even newspaper announcements. With some stories of just a few hundred words, she explores family relationships in a range of settings and styles. The book won the Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction, which is sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s creative writing program.

Earthworks Rising: Mound Building in Native Literature and Arts

University of Minnesota Press, March 2022

A network of earthworks, structures created by Native peoples centuries ago, dots the landscape of the North east. Allen, an English profes sor and adjunct professor of American Indian Studies, digs into the art, tradition and purposes of these feats of design and engineering. His work shows how Indigenous writers and artists connect with ancient knowledge conveyed in the mounds.

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Dalmatia and Norway Welcome You with Open Arms

It’s time to travel again, and UW Alumni Tours has exciting adventures for you

With life beginning to resemble what it was like before the pandemic turned everything upside down, it is time to think about getting out of town. UW Alumni Tours has some fantastic adventures for next spring that deserve your attention. So go find your passports and suitcases. And remember: You don’t have to be a UW graduate to travel with UW Alumni Tours!

Check out these highlighted trips. And there is plenty more to see at

Pearls of Dalmatia | May

Tour Operator: Odysseys Unlimited

1-15, 2023

Independent, democratic Croatia welcomes visitors eager to absorb its re markable history and culture—along with its beautiful and unspoiled Dalmatian coastline. As you travel from historic Zagreb and beautiful Lake Bled to the Habsburg resort of Opatija, the island of Hvar and beloved Dubrovnik, see why this cherished region lays such a claim on the hearts of all who visit.

Norwegian Splendor | June 5-20, 2023

Tour Operator: Odysseys Unlimited

As the Midnight Sun turns night to day, Scandinavia shines. June is the perfect time to visit, with the majestic countryside at its loveliest, and the cities at their liveliest. From the cosmopolitan capitals of Copenhagen and Oslo, to Norway’s mag nificent fjord country, our small group encounters Scandinavia at its best, both on and off the beaten path.

COVID-19 UPDATE In this rapidly evolving situation, the most current travel advice can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State. For more detailed tours information, please review

42 UW MAGAZINE Become an advocate today Higher Education Needs Your Voice
program of the UW Alumni Association

Alumni Supporting Students

For many UWAA members, supporting the next generation of Huskies is a primary reason for joining the organization. Whether they were directly involved with UWAA programming during their campus days or simply want to lend a hand to cur rent students, UWAA members show their support in a wide variety of ways.

Member dues and ticket revenue from select events such as our popular UW Night at the Mariners help to underwrite our student scholarship programs. Annually, six Homecoming Scholars representing all three campuses are selected, and their stories exemplify Husky adaptability, te nacity and resolve. This year, thanks to an innovative partnership with AT&T and the active social media participation of runners at the October Alaska Airlines Dawg Dash, the 2022 Homecoming Scholarship awards doubled from $2,000 to $4,000.

Beyond making an impact with schol arships, UWAA produces an annual calendar of programs and events designed to introduce and connect students to the broader alumni community, be it through career exploration opportunities like Huskies@Work, fun learning activities like last year’s sold-out Houseplants 101 classes, or invitations to Husky Social opportunities at local businesses and cultural organiza tions. For the past three years, graduating classes have been offered a free, annual digital membership to deepen their rela tionship with the alumni community.

Together, we can create a welcoming place for all Huskies—past, present and future.

Read more about this year’s Homecoming Scholars and other student programming at

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Scholarship recipients: Sophie Li, Nicole Grabiel, Christian Gombio, Rahoul Banerjee Ghosh. Not pictured: Ana Radzi, Aaron Davis.
The UW Alumni Association supports students from day one, to graduation and beyond.

Briana Abrahms and her team are awakened by their alarms at 3:30 a.m. Leaving the relative warmth of their tents, they quickly load up their rugged Land Rover with the gear they’ll need for the day: clothes for the freezing morning and warm afternoon, food and water, GPS devices, VHF (very high frequency) radio antennas and scientific notebooks. The three scientists—UW Assistant Professor of Biology Abrahms, postdoctoral researcher Kasim Rafiq and

doctoral student Leigh West—pile into their vehicle. It chugs to life and they’re off, driving in the dark through the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. They encounter no pavement, towns or people as they bump along for hours, branches of mopane trees slapping their 1990s-era vehicle. If it breaks down— a frequent occurrence—they’ll have to attempt repairs on their own or radio back to camp for help. They must reach their destination by sunrise, when the fourlegged residents they’re tracking get up and start their day.

This has been the researchers’ daily routine for much of this past July (mid winter in Botswana) while studying the behavior of endangered African wild dogs. In the mornings, they observe the dogs in their dens from a safe distance. When the pack ventures into the bush to hunt, the team follows—or tries to.

“African wild dogs are far more capable at weaving through trees and crossing the Delta’s floodwaters than we are,” says Abrahms with a smile. “So keeping up with them when they’re on the move can be quite the challenge.”

As climate change heightens conflict between humans and wildlife, UW professor Briana Abrahms is using data to help people and animals cope—and coexist

Despite the animals’ sly subterfuge, the researchers’ pursuits have been fruitful.

Since 2011, in collaboration with NGO partner Botswana Predator Conservation, Abrahms has been collecting data on African wild dogs and their natural com petitors, like lions and cheetahs. They’ve outfitted dozens of adult dogs with collars that record position and acceleration every few minutes: “Kind of like Fitbits for animals,” says Abrahms.

As the Boersma Endowed Chair of Natural History and Conservation, Abrahms is one of many UW faculty

members whose positions were made possible by philanthropy—and who routinely involve in their research UW students who are laying the foundations for their own careers. The long-term research Abrahms and team are conduct ing in Botswana is yielding important data to answer a key question: How are predators changing their behavior in response to climate change?

Field observations from this trip will help them connect information on posi tion and acceleration to specific behaviors like hunting and eating, creating a sort of

“Rosetta stone” that translates collar data into actions.


Combing through data, both quantitative and qualitative, is a regular feature of Abrahms’ work at the UW. She focuses on reducing conflict between people and wildlife, particularly wide-ranging animals—like African wild dogs, lions and even whales—which traverse vast expanses of the planet. Her research has not only revealed how these species are shifting their lives as the climate changes—it has helped find solutions for humans and wildlife to share the globe, rather than compete for it.

But this journey begins with data. In Botswana this summer, for example, her team interviewed residents to learn about their conflicts with African wild dogs and other predators, especially as the region’s climate has changed.

“We hear a lot of accounts of how, during periods of drought, large pred ators will come into villages to attack livestock,” says Abrahms. “This is a major concern for local livelihoods and public safety, not to mention a threat to carni vore conservation. We’re seeing an uptick of illegal snares in retaliation.”

Now she and her team are combining their field observations of African wild dog behaviors—hunting, resting, repro ducing and more—with a robust backlog of movement and location data. Abrahms hopes the “Rosetta stone” they’re devel oping will unlock rich insights, such as how extreme weather events—like recent droughts and heat waves—alter predators’ hunting patterns and instead send them into villages to prey on livestock. These

Briana Abrahms focuses on reducing conflict between people and wildlife— but out in the field, if their vehicle breaks down, she and her team double as im promptu mechanics.

WINTER 2022 45
Help humans and wildlife coexist. Your support enables the UW to expand our understanding of how climate change and human activity impact wildlife—and find ways to live together.

connections reveal the links between environmental change and humanwildlife conflicts.

Abrahms’ team is collecting similar data and developing “Rosetta stones” for lions as well. “With these data,” Abrahms says, “we can start to anticipate when conflicts will occur and find ways to minimize them.” Her findings inform her work to help governments develop proactive policies that take changing climate conditions into account.


Abrahms says she was first drawn to study African wild dogs in Botswana because of their intricate social behaviors and the vast distances they cover, which expose them to multiple human threats— making the species one of the most endangered mammals on the planet. But she has also studied whooping cranes, elephant seals, Magellanic penguins and blue whales. Her findings have illumi nated how these migratory animals use information from their environments— climate conditions, the availability of food and the presence of other animals— to make major decisions about their lives, such as when to migrate or where to breed.

Her research shows the complicated impacts of human-caused climate change. For example, she and her collaborators in Botswana documented the first evi dence of climate change influencing how

an online tool that helps cargo ships avoid colliding with blue whales in the Santa Barbara Channel and San Francisco Bay Area, two of the West Coast’s busiest shipping hubs. It’s a crucial aid: Recent years have seen a record number of fatal collisions with whales along our coast, and only about 10% of blue whales’ pre-industrial populations remain. But developing the tool required studying how blue whale behavior changes with climate. Abrahms hopes to eventually see it used off the Washington coast.

“Environmental conditions change and habitats shift,” says Abrahms. “But when we know the patterns, we can predict how a species will alter its behavior, and in turn predict how its contact with people will change.”


What does this work mean for the future of our relationship with the planet’s land, waters and wildlife? Abrahms says it calls for more dynamic strategies that respond to shifting environmental conditions, like temporarily closing roads or diverting shipping and fishing activities when environmental conditions trigger substan tial changes in animal migration, feeding or breeding.

“But that depends on knowing how these animals are making decisions, and how they respond to the changes we’re making in their environment,” Abrahms says. And that’s precisely what she aims to find out.

Top: Livestock owner Bamba Sekgwa, center right, discusses conflict between predators and livestock and the effects of a recent drought with Leigh West, far left, Botswana

Predator Conservation research assistant John Neelo, center left, and Briana Abrahms, far right.

Bottom: Only 3,000 adult African wild dogs remain in the wild. They are one of the most endangered mammals on the planet.

a large carnivore species breeds: They showed that African wild dog pups today are born an average of 22 days later than they were 30 years ago, with fewer surviv ing past three months old, as a result of warmer winters.

But the data can also help make coex istence possible—not just far in the future but right now. In another project, Abrahms collaborated across govern ment, industry and NGO sectors in California to co-develop WhaleWatch, software that uses machine learning to predict the daily presence of endangered blue whales off the West Coast. WhaleWatch is part of,

Back in Botswana, many large predators struggle to survive due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and climate change, among other threats. But with more and better data on their changing habits, Abrahms is working to help mini mize conflict between people and wildlife, and give both a chance to thrive.

After another day observing the pack, Abrahms and her team spend hours driving back over the bush to their camp site as the light fails. Much later, in Seattle, they’ll use machine learning to map their daily notes on African wild dog behaviors to a decade of GPS and accelerometer data, revealing more about how much—and how quickly—they have changed.

But there’s little time for reviewing notes now. At around 9 o’clock, they turn in—and set the alarm for 3:30.

Abrahms’ research helps find solutions for humans and wildlife to share the globe, rather than compete for it.

Today, Briana Abrahms holds the inaugural Boersma Endowed Chair in Natural History and Conservation within the UW’s Center for Ecosystem Sentinels (CES). The funding that created her position enabled her to lead research teams on wildlife responses to global change. (Abrahms is also a 2022 Sloan Research Fellow.)

But this is not the career Abrahms envisioned when she went off to college. In her last year as a physics major at Brandeis University, she took an ecology class. “It blew my mind,” she recalls. “I scrambled to take as many courses in ecology and animal behavior as I could before graduation. I had a wonderful ecology professor who encouraged me.”

Realizing that her future lay in biology and not physics, after college Abrahms sought field experience with animals. She worked as a UW research assistant in Punta Tombo, Argentina, with Professor Dee Boersma, an expert on Magellanic and Galápagos penguins—and founder of the CES.

“It was my first time conducting research in ecology,” says Abrahms. “I was as green as could be. But Dee was such a strong mentor and advocate. I learned so much from her.”

After earning a doctoral degree in ecology at the University of California, Berkeley, studying carnivores’ behavioral responses to human development in Botswana, it was as a postdoctoral researcher at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that Abrahms began to study how climate change impacts animal behavior. In both roles, she worked with governments to apply this new understanding toward conservation.

Two years ago, Abrahms joined the UW faculty, thanks to the endowment created by Dee Boersma. And that generosity has ripple effects: Abrahms mentors UW students who are beginning their own career journeys.

“Neither of my parents has a college degree, so being a professor at one of the world’s best universities once felt like a distant dream,” says Abrahms. “To have a chair in Dee Boersma’s name, and to be able to pay forward all the mentorship I received, is a huge honor.”


The Faces Behind the Data

In March 2021, Horacio Chacón Torrico arrived in Seattle to begin his second year of graduate studies at the UW School of Public Health, after two quarters completed remotely from his home in Lima, Peru. Within a week, he received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But as he scrolled through his Facebook feed, he saw posts from friends in Peru who grieved loved ones lost to the pandemic.

Chacón Torrico felt guilt at having so easily received his vaccine, when so many from his home country were suffering. But he also felt a resolve to understand why. Why did Peru have the highest mortality rate per capita from the pandemic? And how could public-health data be applied to improve outcomes and health equity around the world?

Questions like these fueled his research for his master’s in global health, which he completed in June. He is interested in the intersection of technology, data and public health— and how to better use data to reach communities in middle- and low-income countries, which are often ignored when broad assumptions are made about the health of a population.

“A lot of people are being forgotten because of averages,” he says, “so I want to find solutions for global health to measure, at the finest resolution, the health of people who are forgotten.”

communities when he worked in the Amazon jungle on a program called Mamás del Río (Mothers of the River), during his master’s studies at Cayetano Heredia University in Peru.

In these remote areas, where traveling to the nearest health center required a 5- to 10-hour boat ride, Chacón Torrico was tasked with creating a data framework to help support maternal and newborn health. The result was the use of tablets to track everyone who was pregnant, identify their risk levels, and share tailored messages for each stage of pregnancy and postpartum.

While global health aims to share life-improving information with communities, the field must also learn from those commu nities. On a 110-degree day, Chacón Torrico was working in a village when he heard someone shout, “Fire!” A building was burning. The 100 residents quickly formed a bucket brigade to pass water from the river to extinguish the fire.

But that’s not what happened during COVID-19, Chacón Torrico says. The global community did not work together to extinguish fires burning around the world from the pandemic. Many people and places were left to fend for themselves.


“Every row in a data set represents a human life, or a disease, or some problem,” says Horacio Chacón Torrico. “I think we forget that, and I try not to.”


Before Chacón Torrico came to the UW, he was a physician in Peru and studied biomedical informatics. He first fell in love with data as a medical data analyst, learning how to answer big public-health questions with information from health records.

He also saw how important data could be for underserved

While data analysis was becoming the centerpiece of Chacón Torrico’s mission to improve health care for underserved popu lations, he wanted to advance his technical skills and increase his understanding of global health.

He chose the UW for graduate school because of the repu tation of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) as a champion in describing, mapping and measuring health

Horacio Chacón Torrico, ’22, wants to help the people who may be forgotten in global health data

burden worldwide—and because of the UW School of Public Health programs that ranked among the top in the world.

These rankings are no accident: Thanks in part to philan thropy, the School of Public Health is home to leading faculty and research projects; interdisciplinary work within the University; partnerships with local, national and international public health organizations that tackle real-world problems; and an excellent job-placement rate for graduates.

The program’s diverse cohort of students—many of them able to attend thanks to critical philanthropic support—was another selling point for Chacón Torrico. Collaborating with people internationally has been one of the highlights of his experience in the program, he says, noting that his cohort included students from Africa, the Middle East, North America and South America. “Everybody’s experiences and perspectives make the program and learning experience more insightful and interesting,” Chacón Torrico says.

In addition to his research on Peru and COVID-19, Chacón Torrico used his data training to improve health reporting systems in Zimbabwe. As a research assistant for the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), he partnered with a team in Zimbabwe to analyze information on how an HIV care and treatment project operated across 400 health facilities in the country.

“Horacio has shown great commitment and leadership in public health, in the academic community, in his homeland and in communities served by the project in which he has worked at I-TECH,” says IHME Professor Bernardo Hernández Prado.


In recognition of his academic excellence and commitment to public health, Chacón Torrico was awarded the 2022 Gilbert S. Omenn Award for Academic Excellence, the School of Public Health’s most prestigious recognition for graduate students.

“Horacio is a rarity in the data world: He combines a nutsand-bolts understanding of data systems with a deep understanding of the human element of these systems,” says Stefan Wiktor, clinical professor in the Department of Global Health. “He never loses sight of the fact that in public health, data is about people: the people providing the information and those using it.”

Chacón Torrico continues to research what happened in Peru during the pandemic. So far, he’s analyzed deaths by geog raphy and demographics and studied the country’s migration patterns. His preliminary findings show connections between wealth and demographics as drivers of mortality, and these connections may reflect how strict or lenient public-health mandates were during different waves of the pandemic.

Using better data analysis to address public-health chal lenges continues to inspire Chacón Torrico’s work. This fall, he began his doctoral studies in global health, with a focus on health metrics and evaluation—and with funding for four years as a research assistant at IHME.

Most importantly, he won’t forget what drives his passion for public-health data.

“Every row in a data set represents a human life, or a disease, or some problem,” Chacón Torrico says. “I think we forget that, and I try not to.”

Improving Lives Everywhere

The more time I spend learning about the UW’s people and projects, the more I’m reminded of an important fact: No matter where home is for you, work that’s happening on the other side of the planet can make a difference in your life.

Thanks to your philanthropic support of the people and programs that make the UW one of the nation’s best public universities, we’re in a unique position to help address complex global problems—and to train the next generation of leaders who will do the same. This issue’s Impact section provides some perfect examples.

On p. 44 we highlight the work of UW Assistant Professor of Biology Briana Abrahms, who studies how animal migrations are shifting as climate change accelerates—and who equips industry leaders and policymakers with detailed, up-to-date information and tools to better manage our lands and waters. The solutions she seeks protect not only wildlife but also human lives and livelihoods, from Botswana to the West Coast of the U.S. and beyond. And on a rapidly changing planet with a global economy, that affects us all.

At left, you’ll meet UW doctoral student Horacio Chacón Torrico. As a physician in Peru, working to help improve the health of mothers and infants in the Amazon jungle, he saw how finely focused data could be key to public-health solutions everywhere—so he found his way to the UW to study global health. Chacón Torrico is also a research assistant at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global-health research center at the UW. Its mission is a perfect fit: to provide the world with timely, relevant, scientifically sound evidence to improve health policy and practice for everyone.

It isn’t just that solutions to global problems can be found here at the UW—for instance, at the Center for Ecosystem Sentinels, at IHME, or through the collaborative, multidisci plinary Population Health Initiative—it’s that when we work to solve the problems of an interconnected world, what we learn can make a direct impact in communities everywhere.

To me, that couldn’t hit closer to home.

WINTER 2022 49
graduate education. When you support UW graduate students like Horacio Chacón Torrico, you can help prepare tomorrow’s leaders and make an impact today.

Piece of Cake

Jean Smart scores another Emmy Award hours before her birthday

Whew! Turns out there is no jinx to being on the cover of University of Washington Magazine. We learned that when Jean Smart, ’74, our cover subject for the Spring 2022 issue, won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her killer role in the HBO Max show “Hacks.” Oh, and what timing. Only a few hours after she was handed the Emmy on the evening of Monday, Sept. 12 at the Los Angeles Microsoft Theater, when the clock struck midnight, she celebrated her 71st birthday.

In her acceptance speech at the Emmys, Smart, who graduated from the UW with a bachelor’s degree in drama, said, “Thank you for a second time honoring this show.

A Toast to the Toastmaster

Shy as can be, Yvette Gunther came out of her shell 60 years ago, thanks to her UW experience

Founding �oast masters clubs and attending dance fitness classes every week has kept 100-year-old �vette Gunther fast on her feet since she graduated from the UW in 1945.

She founded two Toastmasters clubs and two AARP chapters, was director of the U.S. Splendor National Pageant, routinely won dance contests and taught kindergar ten. Pretty eye-opening stuff for Yvette Gunther, who once described herself as a “shy little girl.” Gunther, ’45, who is any thing but shy these days, credits one thing for the turnaround: “The UW brought me out of my shyness,” she explains. “I was a very shy girl, but I got involved with ASUW, put up posters all over campus, and I got involved around campus. I will always remember what the UW did for me.”

Gunther celebrated her 100th birthday on July 30. Her UW memories go back 60 years, as she attended the University during World War II, when most of the male stu dents were sent off to fight. But she needs only two seconds to declare that her UW years were “the best years of my life!”

As a shy girl, “you could say boo to me,” Gunther recalls. But she learned the art of public speaking and that turned her life around. “I entered beauty pageants and dance competitions because of that. That’s why I founded Toastmasters clubs

in the Denver area,” where she has lived for many years after living in Seattle.”

A native of Vancouver, B.C., Gunther attended private girls schools but declined a full scholarship to Mills College because she couldn’t stomach going to yet another girls school. A year at Hofstra College in New York wasn’t to her liking, so she came back to the West Coast to attend the UW for the final three years. She already had a family connection. “My dad graduated from the UW and taught mining metallurgy there,” she says.

She loved the UW so much that she didn’t want to leave. But the summer after earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology and languages in 1945, she met her husband on a blind date, and they moved to his home state of Colorado. Her feelings for her alma mater have not dimmed since moving away nearly 80 years ago. Ditto for her enthusiasm for learning or connecting with people.

“I once was president of three AARP clubs at the same time,” she says. “I took as many classes as I could at the UW be cause I loved learning. And I really loved being a teacher of bilingual Spanish.”

Widowed twice, Gunther (who was married for 78½ years) keeps busy these days with community activities, clubs and seeing her children who live not too far away. And she still has the UW on her mind. “I’d love to go back one more time,” she says. “I will never forget the UW. It is such a great school.”

our writers who not only matched season 1 but surpassed it, and as we all know, season 2 of a show is kind of a litmus test. This has just been a thrill.” After taking a moment to express her appreciation to the show’s cast and crew, she ended with a story about young fandom. “I didn’t realize the breadth of the appeal our show,” she said, telling the audience about the time they were shooting at a shopping mall. Three young boys, who couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11, approached her and said, ‘Hey, that’s Deborah Vance,” to which the five-time Emmy recipient replied, “Hi! You should not be watching this show!”


This is our

hometown, where we’re from and where we live. And we believe everyone deserves a place to call home. That’s why we’re committed to supporting local efforts to shelter families. Our ongoing collaboration with Mary’s Place — a Seattle-based emergency shelter provider— helps bring women, children and families inside. We care about our community. Because this is our hometown.

To learn more, visit:



At Musang, Melissa Miranda wants diners to feel like they’re stepping into her home. A proud Husky who studied sociology at the UW, Miranda was recently named one of the country’s best new chefs by Food & Wine Magazine. Family is at the heart of her acclaimed restaurant in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, from the seasonally inspired Filipino food to the name of the restaurant —Musang is her father’s nickname. But family also means community for Miranda: “When we opened, we always said this isn’t a restaurant, but a place for community to gather.” During the COVID pandemic, she transformed Musang into a community kitchen that served up to 200 free meals a day, and today the restaurant still partners with local organizations to address food insecurity.

Musang owner Melissa Miranda with her parents, Reynaldo Musang and Marlene Bermudez Miranda

A Social Maverick

Fearless Dorothy Hollingsworth served marginalized populations as a leader in education and civil rights

The first Black woman in Washington state to serve on a school board, Dorothy Hollingsworth learned the importance of education at a young age. Born in 1920, she spent most of her childhood in North Carolina. Her family struggled financial ly and as a teenager, Hollingsworth asked to join her mother on the factory floor at the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Her moth er refused, insisting she attend school instead; she became the first in her fam ily to go to college, graduating from Paine College in 1941.

Hollingsworth and her husband moved to Seattle in 1946 to escape the South’s insidious racism, but discovered discrim ination and prejudice in the Northwest as well. Hollingsworth fought back through activism, joining the Christian Friends for Racial Equality to take on housing dis crimination. She later earned a Master of

Social Work degree from the UW in 1959, became Seattle’s first director of Head Start, was elected to the Seattle School Board in 1975 and the state Board of Education in 1984. She also served on the national advisory board for the children’s TV show “Sesame Street.”

Hollingsworth “represents the many fearless Black women leaders who were actively engaged in pursuing freedom for Black people, challenging racial and gen der barriers, and influencing politics both on the local and state level here in Washington state,” says Quin’Nita CobbinsModica, ’18, an assistant professor of history at Seattle Pacific University. “She was a maverick, and she placed the most vulnerable and marginalized populations— primarily women and children—at the center of her work.” Hollingsworth died July 26 at the age of 101.


John Michael Donnell, ’95, served as a medic in Vietnam and suffered serious injuries two weeks before he was to be discharged. After moving to Seattle and earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the UW, he served as a registered nurse in orthopedics and worked with paraplegic veterans. At UW Medical Center Montlake, he be came a mentor to fellow African American men seeking nursing careers. He died Dec. 4, 2021 at the age of 76.

Lawney Lawrence Reyes, ’59, was an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes at the Colville Reservation and the Sinixt Band and was of Filipino descent. He earned a B.A. in interior design from the UW and designed interiors of many Washington banks. His carving, “Blue Jay,” is housed at Seattle’s Daybreak Star Cultural Center.

He also wrote the book “White Grizzly Bear’s Legacy: Learning to be Indian.” He died Aug. 10 at the age of 91.


In Memory


RICHARD EARLE Seahurst, age 77, March 30, 2021


MONTY DEAN GRAU Litchfield Park, Arizona, age 79, July 6

MITSUO “MITS” KAWACHI Kent, age 94, June 25

STANLEY LEO MCDONALD El Cajon, California, age 85, July 15

JUDITH OLSON RIKANSRUD Shoreline, age 81, June 24


A. ELLIOTT JOHNSON ’44, Mount Vernon, age 100, June 22

MADELEINE OLSON MENNELLA ’45, Seattle, age 98, June 27

ALBERTA TEFFT ’46, Bellevue, age 97, Aug. 9

WILLIAM JOHN HIGGINS ’48, Rancho Mirage, California, age 97, Aug. 19

BENITA JUNE LEGRO MARSULA ’48, Mount Vernon, age 91, June 16

CHARLES WILLIAM MCHUGH ’48, Seattle, age 98, June 28

JOHN “LES” RODDA JR. ’48, San Mateo, California, age 98, Nov. 27, 2020

ROBERT WORTH HAGER ’49, Issaquah, age 94, Aug. 22


ROBERT H. TURNELL ’50, Kirkland, age 98, July 11

CHARLES PERRY WRIGHT ’50, Seattle, age 95, Aug. 27

THOMAS WALKER BARWICK ’51, Seattle, age 93, July 28

FRED RAY BUTTERWORTH ’51, ’56, Seattle, age 93, Aug. 4

SATURO ICHIKAWA ’51, Seattle, age 92, June 29

DEAN ELMORE LARGENT ’52, Sandpoint, Idaho, age 92, July 30

GLORIA LOMAX ’52, ’53, Normandy Park, age 92, July 9

DONALD H. “RED” MAHAFFEY ’52, Bellevue, age 93, July 1

ROGER FREDERICK NIELSEN ’52, Palm Desert, California, age 91, July 15

RALPH ANTHONY BARREA ’53, ’54, Seattle, age 91, Aug. 14

HARRIET S. “TERRY” CRAIG ’53, East Wenatchee, age 95, July 28

CHARLES E. MORGAN II ’53, Everett, age 94, May 13

WILLIAM A. JONES ’54, Seattle, age 91, Aug. 14

JOHN MATSUMOTO ’54, Mercer Island, age 94, Jan. 16

DONN A. BODINE ’55, Kihei, Hawaii, age 89, Aug. 16

WILLIAM REID JOHNSON ’55, ’62, Arlington, Virginia, age 93, Aug. 5

MARY VIRGINIA MCKAY ’55, Freeland, age 88, March 27, 2021

LEONARD ANTON SIEBERT ’55, Seattle, age 94, Aug. 10

ARTHUR PAUL FLANIK ’56, Snohomish, age 89, July 26

ALBERT E. HAMMERMASTER ’56, ’58, Puyallup, age 88, Aug. 1

JERRY KENT ’56, Tukwila, age 88, July 29

TOSHIO HOKI ’57, Sandy, Utah, age 94, July 21

GEORGIANA MARIE CHENEY ’57, Walpole, New Hampshire, age 89, July 16

JEAN LOUISE MADSEN CASEY ’58, Ann Arbor, Michigan, age 86, Aug. 4

THOMAS ROBERT HUNT ’58, Camano Island, age 91, April 6

WILLIAM LUDWIG JACOBSEN JR. ’58, Easton, Maryland, age 85, Sept. 20

ROBERT MEHUS ’58, Walnut Creek, California, age 85, July 4

FRED M. NOMURA JR. ’58, ’62, Portland, Oregon, age 84, May 12

VALERIE HENNING OLSON ’58, Bellevue, age 86, Aug. 4

RODNEY RAY MARTIN ’59, Seattle, age 86, Aug. 1

ANN L. NELSON ’59, Woodinville, age 81, Jan. 30

JAMES ECTOR PAUL ’59, ’66, Edmonds, age 91, June 26

SHIRLEY JEAN PETERSEN ’59, Redmond, age 85, Aug. 28

JAMES LLOYD TRUMBULL ’59, Woodway, age 86, June 6


EDWIN FRANCIS BAKER ’60, Lynnwood, age 89, July 21

MAURICE PHILIP GOULD BAYNE ’60, Seattle, age 83, June 4, 2021

RICHARD BYRON BUXTON ’60, Tacoma, age 85, July 29

TIMOTHY CLIFFORD ’60, Seattle, age 88, June 27

MARY RICHARDSON DAHEIM ’60, Seattle, age 84, March 30

JAMES D. THOMAS ’60, Shelton, age 88, April 28

DAVID REED WEATHERFORD ’60, Seattle, age 87, Aug. 15

IVAN G. BAY ’61, Richmond, Virginia, age 86, Feb. 21

SALLY MAE ALGER ’62, Seattle, age 82, June 16

STEWART PATERSON ’62, Olympia, age 93, July 13

PETER PATRICK RILEY ’62, Redmond, age 85, July 15

DAVID C. BONTECOU ’63, ’65, Lynnwood, age 91, June 28

PHIMISTER “SANDY” CHURCH ’63, Hansville, age 85, June 13

GILBERT JULIAN BRAIDA ’64, Seattle, age 86, Aug. 13

MARY TEMPLE CARTER ’64, ’67, Seattle, age 80, Aug. 31

MAXIMUS LEONE ’64, Mercer Island, age 91, Aug. 5

TIA G. SCIGULINSKY ’64, Portsmouth, Rhode Island, age 79, May 22

SUSAN WOLFF DESMOND ’65, Portland, age 78, April 11

MILDRED ENGLISH ’65, Missoula, Montana, age 93, June 17

ROBERT JOHN KROPP ’65, ’68, Kirkland, age 85, July 6

FREDERICK J. LE PENSKE III ’65, La Quinta, California, age 81, June 3

WILLIAM ATTWATER ’66, Roseville, California, age 84, Aug. 5

ROBERT ELVIN BROWN ’66, Falls Church, Virginia, age 83, July 13

THOMAS BREWSTER KASS ’66, Salt Lake City, age 85, July 26

SUSAN LAURIE TUSA ’66, Lacey, age 77, Aug. 16

CHARLES LEE EPTON ’67, ’69, Bellingham, age 76, Aug. 1

JOHN EDMUND KURNICK ’67, Palos Verdes, California, age 80, Aug. 15

TERRANCE MURPHY ’67, ’73, ’84, Seattle, age 76, July 18

JOHN DOERR ROGERS JR. ’67, Seattle, age 78, Aug. 25

DONALD SHIMONO ’67, Redmond, age 79, July 19

CHARLES R. CONDON ’68, ’73, Tacoma, age 76, Dec. 2, 2021

GERALD D. RAMEY ’68, Edmonds, age 89, May 11

THOMAS MASARU IWATA ’69, ’71, Seattle, age 76, May 13

JAMES CLEO JOHNSON ’69, Tacoma, age 74, Feb. 12

CARYL KEASLER ’69, ’76, Seattle, age 75, Aug. 29

PETER ALVIN KLEIN ’69, Seattle, age 74, July 22

CYNTHIA ANNE NETHERTON ’69, Newport Beach, California, age 75, July 18

JAN ERIC PETERSON ’69, Seattle, age 78, Aug. 14

JOHN SIMPKINS ’69, ’70, Auburn, age 79, Sept. 10


GAIL AISTROPE ’70, Seattle, age 81, July 10

MARILYN AKITA ’70, ’72, Bellevue, age 73, July 21

JAMES EVAN ALLISON ’70, Seattle, age 78, June 20

JERRY BALDWIN ’70, Bothell, age 89, May 21

ROD D. ROBINSON ’70, Kirkland, age 74, March 11

DONN S. TERRY ’70, ’78, Woodinville, age 74, Sept. 14

DIANE LYNN BLACK ’71, Renton, age 73, July 7

JAMES MAX HADDOCK ’71, ’72, Bath, Maine, age 78, Aug. 1

RONALD D. STUART ’71, Yuma, Arizona, age 73, Sept. 17, 2021

DEBRA JEAN DAHLIN ’72, Seattle, age 72, July 1

E. DAVID ENGST ’72, ’77, Bellingham, age 75, Aug. 11

PATRICIA ANN OCHSNER ’72, Seattle, age 97, Sept. 6

ALLEN LEE CLARK ’73, Auburn, age 73, Aug. 2

DALE LEE HOLLINGSWORTH ’73, ’77, Shoreline, age 79, Aug. 10

MARK HOLZEMER ’73, Kihei, Hawaii, age 72, Feb. 23

JACK MAHLER ’74, ’75, Bellevue, age 81, Aug. 7

BARBARA PEGGY JUBERG ’75, Des Moines, age 89, July 26

KENNETH ALDEAN THOMAS ’75, Silverdale, age 84, June 30

JAMES MILLER ’76, Seattle, age 77, Sept. 2

DAVID ALAN SOLSNESS ’76, Seattle, age 69, Sept. 23, 2021


TODD SUMMERFELT ’76, Seattle, age 67, Sept. 6

WILLIAM BLAIR EIDSMOE ’77, Bothell, age 72, Sept. 11

TAKIKO FUNAMORI HART ’77, Bellevue, age 86, June 2

JOHN FREDERICK HARRIMAN ’78, Bellingham, age 97, Aug. 17

JOAN C. LANG-PIGOTT ’78, ’79, Lake Stevens, age 68, July 18

MARK NOVAK ’78, ’93, Seattle, age 65, July 27


FRANCIS TIMLIN ’80, Seattle, age 69, Sept. 19

PHYLLIS ANITA JOHNSON ’81, Silverthorne, Colorado, age 80, Oct. 26, 2021

THOMAS HENRY HIRANO ’81, Seattle, age 64, Sept. 12

BRIAN N. JACOBS ’81, Port Angeles, age 62, Feb. 12

NEIL JOHN WILLIAMS ’82, Fall City, age 67, July 5

SARA HOFFMAN MOCKETT ’83, Lafayette, California, age 84, June 19

MARK ROBERT KOVACEVICH ’84, Atlanta, age 59, April 13

PETERIS K. ELFERTS ’85, ’86, Shelton, age 60, May 28

SANFORD PETER SEVERTSON ’86, ’03, Dryden, age 63, Aug. 8

JAMES L. TONKYN ’86, Troy, Montana, age 57, July 27

ANGELA STEPHANIE WONG ’87, Issaquah, age 59, June 10

BARBARA HARROD MORRAY ’88, Seattle, age 72, June 29

MICHAEL REID ’88, Bothell, age 56, July 30


MATTHEW WILFORD GIFFORD ’94, Anacortes, age 56, Aug. 13

ROBERTA L. GRAY ’94, ’98, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, age 85, March 23

D.J. ADOLFO ROSETE ’95, Seattle, age 50, June 24

STEWART I. THOMPSON ’95, Manhattan Beach, California, age 49, June 28

ROSS A. MICKEL ’97, Medina, age 47, Sept. 5

MICHAEL DENNIS WESTOVER ’97, Bellevue, age 53, July 29

CANDICE CHIN ’98, Seattle, age 46, June 25

ELI MAYER ’99, Seattle, age 68, Aug. 11


SEAN LINEAWEAVER ’03, Gig Harbor, age 53, Aug. 31

JOHN A. HUGHES ’04, Seattle, age 50, Aug. 8

LAUREN BENTLEY HILTY ’06, Medina, age 39, Sept. 5

ROSS R. CHAPMAN ’08, Seattle, age 36, July 10

JODIE NEURKICH ELLIOTT ’08, Durham, North Carolina, age 39, Aug. 3


GABRIELLE “GABBY” J. HANNA ’18, Seattle, age 29, Sept. 4

WILLIAM CHARLES PATTERSON ’18, Mercer Island, age 26, July 22


TOM ALBERG was a major sup porter of the UW who helped create the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engi neering. He also co-founded the Madrona Venture Group, which has invested in Pacific Northwest technology startups for nearly 30 years. He died Aug. 5 at the age of 82.

PATTI ALLEN worked at the UW for more than 30 years, including nearly two decades as the administrator in the Department of Medicine. She died in summer 2022.

THÉRÉSE BARNETTE served on the UW School of Drama Advisory Board. She taught German, French and drama at Lakeside Middle School for 40 years. She died July 19 at the age of 83.

JAMES BRUDVIK served in the Army and joined the faculty of the UW School of Dentistry in 1979. He was the faculty

cornerstone of the school’s graduate prosthodontics program. He died June 22 at the age of 89.

ROBERT BUCHANAN was chair of landscape architecture in the UW College of Built Environments from 1969 to 1995. He died July 31 at the age of 90.

AGNES “PAT” DIXON joined the faculty of the UW School of Social Work and developed the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA) for King County. She died Aug. 10 at the age of 92.

CAROLYN HOCKER ENLOE, ’73, served in the Army and the Navy Nurse Corps. She was also on the faculty of the UW School of Nursing. She died July 29 at the age of 89.

MICHAEL W. EVANS was an Air Force veteran who spent 25 years with the UW Police Department. He died Aug. 15 at the age of 80.

SANDRA A. FARLEY worked for several UW departments–botany, oceanography and archaeology. She died July 16 at the age of 81.

DONALD F. FARRELL was an Air Force veteran who worked with medical students and patients at UW Medical Center Montlake as a UW pro fessor of neurology from 1971 to 2006. He died Aug. 2 at the age of 84.

MARGARET FILLMORE GAINES, ’90, completed a geriatrics fellowship at the UW School of Medicine and served on the medical school faculty during her 34-year career. She died Aug. 16 at the age of 66.

ALBERT GARCIA, ’70, taught in the UW Romance Language and Literature department. He died Sept. 11 at the age of 92.

JAMES GRANNER GARRICK founded the UW Division of Sports Medicine in 1970; it was the first department of its kind in a university setting. He died July 23 at the age of 85.

NYRA RENITA HARRIS GRAY, ’72, was a teacher, librarian, vice principal and principal for Seattle Public Schools. She also supervised student teachers at Heritage College in Toppenish. She died July 4 at the age of 83.

CHARLES HAMMER JR. was a Mercer Island dermatologist who also served on the faculty

of the UW School of Medicine. He died July 9 at the age of 93.

BLAINE G. HAMMOND served as the director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Washington. After holding that post, he worked at the UW in the Community Devel opment Department and the School of Medicine’s WWAMI program. He died Jan. 14 at the age of 98.

JOHN L. HART, ’64, earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the UW and spent most of his career work ing at the University’s Applied Physics Lab as its director of ocean engineering. He died July 15 at the age of 86.

MARJORIE HEMPHILL, ’61, ’62, spent six years as an assistant to poet and UW faculty member Theodore Roethke, handling his correspondences and organizing his last book of poetry. She later became a UW adjunct professor of storytelling, folk tales and children’s literature. She died Aug. 28 at the age of 91.

VINCENT M. JOLIVET was a UW professor of finance and statistics for 10 years starting in 1956. He also taught a UW business policy course from 1973 to 1983. He died Dec. 19, 2020 at the age of 90.

GEORGE HIROAKI KAKIUCHI was incarcerated with his family at Tule Lake and Mini doka internment camps during World War II. He served in the Army and went on to spend 32 years on the UW faculty. He died March 25 at age 97.

DENNISON CHARLES KERLEE taught in the UW MEDEX pro gram and worked for the Seattle Indian Health Board. He died July 18 at age 76.

DONALD MALINS, ’53, was NOAA’s director of environ mental conservation. His work at NOAA’s Montlake Lab changed the way scientists and the public viewed the health of Puget Sound. He died July 26 at the age of 91.

SARAH L. “SALLY” MANTZ worked for the UW’s MEDEX Northwest program. The Virginia native also was a part-owner of a wheat ranch in Eastern Washington. She died July 7 at the age of 71.

CAROLYN SNYDER MATEER came to UW Libraries in 1979 as Head of Reference and stayed until she retired in 1992. She died Aug. 3 in Co lumbia, Maryland, at age 97.

JOHN J. MCFATRIDGE served on the UW School of Dentist ry’s admission committee and did his best to bring diversity to the school. He died Aug. 20 at the age of 86.

JOYCE ANN MORGAN, 61, worked a variety of jobs at the UW including serving as the assistant for students in the School of Medicine’s dean’s office. She was a major sup porter of the UW as well. She died July 27 at the age of 77.

KENNETH REQUA taught American literature at the UW, specializing in the works of Mark Twain. He died July 7 at the age of 84.

ROBERT HANEY SCOTT was a professor in the Foster School of Business from 1961 to 1987. He died July 1 at the age of 94.

ALAN GEORGE SEAMSTER worked as a UW research scientist. He died Aug. 8 at the age of 70.

CYNTHIA F. SHURTLEFF, ’76, was considered the “founding mother” of WithinReach, a nonprofit agency that builds healthy communities in Wash ington. She died June 21 at the age of 91.

JULIDTA C. TARVER started as a typist at the UW Press and retired more than four decades later after serving as managing editor and acquisi tions editor. She died Aug. 18 at the age of 79.

ROBERT TREPP was an osteo pathic doctor who practiced in the Bay Area. At the UW, he volunteered his time with the Neuroscience Community Outreach Group. He died May 30 at the age of 80.

JAMES VICTOR WILEY, ’53, was a Husky football player who went on to become the UW’s assistant athletic director. He died July 31 at the age of 93.

DONALD HERBERT WILLIAMS was a Coast Guard veteran who taught pharmaceutical law at the UW School of Pharmacy. He was also the executive director of the Washington State Board of Pharmacy for 23 years. He died July 24 at the age of 85.

WINTER 2022 55


Our First Astronaut

When Richard Gordon graduated from the UW in 1951 with a chemistry degree, he had no clue he’d be one of only 24 people to travel to the moon. “Astronaut” wasn’t even in his vocabulary. When he was draft ed, he decided to join the Navy and learn to fly. It turned out that he was good at it.

Gordon became a naval aviator in 1953, serving as a test pilot through 1960. He logged 4,500 hours in the skies, mostly in jet aircraft. He won the Bendix Trophy for setting a speed record flying from Los Angeles to New York City in just two hours and 47 minutes. He was ready for the next frontier.

“When you think about it, it’s a normal professional evolution,” said Gordon. “You learn to fly, and we were all carrier pilots when we went to test pilot school, and space, obviously, is … next.”

For Gordon, the timing couldn’t have been better: President Kennedy announced in May 1961 amid Cold War tension with the Soviet Union that the United States would be the first country to go to the moon. At that time, U.S. astronauts had never even orbited the Earth.

“The space race was real,” Gordon said. “We wanted to be better than the Communist country. And we were under

a great deal of pressure because of the edict that President Kennedy sent down that we were going to go to the moon before the decade was over. So there was always that in the background.” He became the first UW alum to go into space.

Gordon’s role in the space race began on his 1966 Gemini 11 mission with Pete Conrad, who would later command their Apollo 12 mission to the moon. After Gordon’s tenuous spacewalk aboard Gemini 11, his second extravehicular ac tivity involved photographing the Earth from just outside the ship’s hatch. He and Conrad, consummate professionals who had just set the record for the highest Earth orbit, were at ease.

“We were going over the Atlantic and he said, ‘Hey Dick, guess what, I fell asleep.’ And I said, ‘Guess what, I did too.’ It was nice and warm and cuddly.”

In 1969, Gordon and crewmates Conrad and Alan Bean flew to the moon on Apollo 12. Bean, who had never been to space, wasn’t as qualified as Gordon to fly the lunar module, so he and Conrad landed on the surface of the moon while Gordon performed photography experiments in lunar orbit. When his crewmates returned after their lunar surface activities, Gordon was appalled at the amount of moon dirt they’d accrued on their spacesuits.

“They came back so damn filthy that I wouldn’t let them in the command module. I looked in there and said, ‘Holy smoke. You’re not getting in here and dirtying up my nice clean Command Module.’”

Though he was slated to finally walk on the moon on the Apollo 18 mission, budget cuts at NASA meant his space career was over. Gordon regretted nothing. He piloted a post-NASA career of wide-ranging work from aerospace engineering to profes sional football management and charity leadership.

“I had my turn and enjoyed every minute of it,” Gordon said in an interview before his induction into the Astronauts Hall of Fame. “End of chapter. Those days are gone forever.”

He died at age 88 in 2017. In Kingston, just a few miles from his high school alma mater, Richard Gordon Elementary School is dedicated to his memory.

“We’ve often been asked, ‘What did you discover when you went to the moon?’ We discovered the Earth,” said Gordon, re flecting on his NASA career. “Its beauty. Its apparent fragility. Its uniqueness in the solar system, maybe the universe. The sheer beauty of this planet is awesome.”

to the
Gordon soared into space and became one of just 24 people
By Caitlin Klask COURTESY NASA Richard Gordon and Pete Conrad set the record for the highest-apogee Earth orbit, 853 miles.

She turned blueberry pie into an estate planning tool.

When my father told me his plans for his estate, the blood drained from my face and I felt myself starting to panic. It wasn’t his intention but his plan would rip our family apart. I turned to our advisor, Nicole, for help. And she turned to blueberry pie. We all sat down to talk over dinner and she masterfully laid out an equitable estate plan that honored my father’s intentions and made sure every family member got a fair slice of the pie. While my father always sees the big picture, Nicole helped him to see the little things.

CONTACT PAUL CANTOR | 206.332.0836 | WHITTIERTRUST.COM $10 MILLION MARKETABLE SECURITIES AND/OR LIQUID ASSETS REQUIRED. Investment and Wealth Management Services are provided by Whittier Trust Company and The Whittier Trust Company of Nevada, Inc. (referred to herein individually and collectively as “Whittier Trust”), state-chartered trust companies wholly owned by Whittier Holdings, Inc. (“WHI”), a closely held holding company. This document is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended, and should not be construed, as investment, tax or legal advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and no investment or financial planning strategy can guarantee profit or protection against losses. All names, characters, and incidents, except for certain incidental references, are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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