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The face of diversity at the University of Washington SPRING 2012

WE Mean Business Alumni of color like Kingfish CafĂŠ owners Lauren and Leslie Coaston are making their mark in the business world, thanks to their UW education


4333 Brooklyn Avenue N.E. Box 359508 Seattle, WA 98195-9508 PHONE: 206-543-0540 FAX: 206-685-0611 E-MAIL: VWPOINTS@U.WASHINGTON.EDU

VIEWPOINTS ON THE WEB: VIEWPOINTS STAFF Publisher Paul Rucker Editor Jon Marmor Editorial intern Mary Jean Spadafora Graphic Designer Jenica Wilkie Liaison to Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity Stephanie Y. Miller VIEWPOINTS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Paul Rucker, ’95, ’02 Executive Director UW Alumni Association Chair Malik Davis, ’94 Director of Constituent Relations UW Alumni Association David Iyall Assistant Vice President for Advancement Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity

The Moriguchi family poses outside the first Uwajimaya store in Tacoma, circa 1940. Photo courtesy Moriguchi family.

Sheila Edwards Lange, ’00, ’06 Vice President for Minority Affairs Vice Provost for Diversity Tamara Leonard Associate Director Center for Global Studies Jackson School of International Studies Carmela Lim, ’05 Board Member Multicultural Alumni Partnership

Departments 4 Points of View 10 360° View 12-13 FACES: Alan Pick Carla Mercado

Stephanie Y. Miller Assistant Vice President Community and Public Relations Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity

4 Spotlight: 1 Steven Kim to teach Korean government a new system of law

Erin Rowley Assistant Director Community and Public Relations Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity

15 A  View from the UWAA 16  EOP Celebration 2012

ON THE COVER: Lauren and Leslie Coaston, both from the Class of 1984, were photographed Jan. 2, 2012 at Kingfish Café in Capitol Hill by Anil Kapahi.

Anthony Salazar Graduate Diversity Program Specialist Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program The Graduate School Steve Sumida, ’82 Professor, American Ethnic Studies President, Multicultural Alumni Partnership



snapshot A Warm Welcome President Michael K. Young is welcomed with a tribal ceremonial blanket at the 2011 Tribal Leadership Summit on Sept.10 at Mary Gates Hall. Honoring the new UW president are two members of the Tribal Summit Host Committee: State Rep. John McCoy, a Tulalip Tribes member who serves on the UW President’s Minority Community Advisory Committee; and Patricia L. Whitefoot, a Yakama Nation member who is president of the UW Native American Advisory Board and Chair of Education with the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. The Tribal Leadership Summit is an annual gathering of leaders from the UW and regional tribal governments who meet to promote partnerships, advance mutual goals and address issues facing tribal communities.

Ph o t o b y I an Go nz ale s

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was a member of the Multicultural Alumni Partnership before it ever started, at a time when a community of UW students, staff, faculty and alumni worked informally to realize the idea of a multicultural America.

In 1975, when I was a UW graduate student in English, I was invited to coordinate the Pacific Northwest Asian American Writers Conference. I pestered potential donors for money to match a modest grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. At one business, the manager said, “Asian American? We’re an American business. Maybe you should ask an Asian business for money.” At a local bank, someone said, “Asian American conference? We’re a Japanese business. You should ask an American bank.”

his edition of Viewpoints acknowledges University of Washington alumni of color who, as entrepreneurs, have created and sustained small businesses in our communities. For some alumni, starting their own business is a lifelong dream. However, often times it is the result of a leap of faith by someone who has encountered an unexpected career transition or is looking to expand beyond the traditional job market. This is usually the case for entrepreneurs of color, women, mid-career workers, and people with disabilities. Those who dare to dream or take a leap by successfully starting a small business make a positive impact on our communities because they play a large role in creating jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, small businesses have “accounted for 65 percent of the 15 million new jobs created between 1993 and 2009.” Due to the recent economic downturn, it is more important now than ever to support the businesses who do so much to provide opportunities for others.

points of view

One businessperson understood— Tomio Moriguchi, ’61. Although he noted that Asian American writing was not widely known, he and his company, Uwajimaya, was one of four businesses that donated funds. He shared the vision few others could glimpse, that one day the stories of Asian American peoples would be part of a new American literature. It is a real pleasure that I am sharing these pages with him (see page 9). The UW alumni who established MAP in 1994 saw the need for emphasizing diversity in the UWAA through a partnership with MAP. Over the past 18 years, dozens of students have received MAP scholarships and dozens of the most active members of communities of the State of Washington have received Distinguished Alumni Awards from MAP.

We look forward to renewing MAP thanks to the participation of these alumni this year as the work for a diverse America goes forward.

Stephen H. Sumida, Ph.D., ’82 President, Multicultural Alumni Partnership, 2012-13 You can support the Multicultural Alumni Partnership Endowed Scholarship by going to



When we, as consumers, patronize local small businesses, we also give back to the local community. When these businesses thrive, they generate revenue, which in turn leads to tax dollars that benefit local educational and essential services such as schools, police, and fire departments. So the next time you have a choice, buy local and support our UW alumni who are small businesses owners. By doing so, we help them make a difference in our communities.

Sheila Edwards Lange, Ph.D., ’00, ‘06 Vice President for Minority Affairs Vice Provost for Diversity You can support the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity by going to:


UW SACNAS chapter is nation’s best UW students (from left) Jonathan Winn, Kristine Maramot, Shangé E. Purnell and Tracy Hansen-Lamont are among those pushing for the UW to adopt a diversity requirement. Photo by Erin Rowley.

Students push for diversity requirement The UW Student Diversity Coalition has been working for two years on a proposal for a University-wide undergraduate diversity requirement. In fall of 2011, the ASUW approved the resolution. The next step will be a vote by the Faculty Senate. And this is where the challenge arises, according to Jonathan Winn, ASUW Director of Diversity Efforts. “The last time the faculty took a vote was in 2003 and eight percent voted no, so we’ve been working hard to narrow that percentage,” says Winn. The latest proposal addresses the objections to the previous attempts by broadening the definition of diversity and adding an experiential learning course as a means to fulfill the requirement. A diversity course (or alternative learning experience) focuses on one or more socially constructed identities such as race, religion, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age, and ethnicity. The requirement would be fulfilled by taking one 2- to 5-credit course or the equivalent in alternative diversity learning experiences.

Back in 2007, when the UW chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) got started, the group had just five members. Today, the chapter’s regular meetings attract 10 times that many people—all interested in bringing greater diversity to the study of science at the UW. The group—the only one in the Pacific Northwest and one of 66 chapters nationwide—is one of the best. It was named Chapter of the Year in the graduate-student category at the national association’s 2011 annual meeting in San Jose, Calif., in October. This comes after the UW group was named Chapter of the Year in 2009 for the 10-19 member category, and won the society’s Role Model Chapter Award for Outreach Excellence in 2010. Today, the UW chapter is hard at work planning the national association’s next annual conference, which will be held Oct. 11-14, 2012, in Seattle. To learn more about the UW SACNAS chapter, email or visit

Burke Museum, Quileute take on Twilight Aiming to debunk Twilight myths about tribal legends, the Quileute Tribe has launched the website “Truth versus Twilight” in conjunction with the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Made famous by the recent pop-culture phenomenon Twilight—a series of books and movies centered around a love story involving the Quileute people—the Quileute have found themselves thrust into the global spotlight. Their reservation, a once quiet and somewhat isolated place along the Washington coast, is now a popular tourist destination. In the wake of the popularity of the book and film saga, the Quileute Tribe has been forced to negotiate the rights to their own oral histories, ancient regalia and mask designs, and even the sanctity of their cemetery. The website—developed by Deana Dartt-Newton, curator of Native American Ethnology at the Burke Museum, and Tasia Endo, graduate student in museology in collaboration with the Quileute Tribe—seeks to inform Twilight fans, parents, teachers, and others about the real Quileute culture, which indeed has a wolf origin story, and a historic relationship with the wolf as demonstrated in songs, stories, and various art forms. It also offers a counter-narrative to The Twilight Saga’s stereotypical representations of race, class, and gender, and offer resources for a more meaningful understanding of Native American life and cultures. For more information: 5


We Business: The UW payoff of a UW education LifeMean Lessons from the

Ronnie Beltran, ’90, is CEO of Useadeal, a Renton-based business that provides a digital coupon platform so businesses can offer deals, digital coupons, ecommerce and social media to drive up sales. Last October, he gave back to the UW by donating water and giveaway items to the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity’s The Weekend event. He was photographed by Anil Kapahi on Jan. 25, 2012 at the Kent Chamber of Commerce—one of his clients.

A new dawn in business Minority-owned businesses are becoming the order of the day, thanks in part to UW By JULIE GARNER | photos by anil kapahi Minority-owned businesses are making great inroads these days—and it’s no surprise that the University of Washington is playing a vital role in their evolution in the Puget Sound region. Between 1997 and 2002, minority-owned firms in the U.S. grew in number by 30 percent and in gross receipts by 12 percent, compared with an increase of 6 percent in the number of firms and 4 percent in gross receipts for non-minority-owned firms, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In Washington State, the Small Business Administration says there were 71,589 minorityowned firms in 2007, a whopping 45.3 percent increase over 2002. While the business start-up rate is higher for minorities and women, the failure rate is also higher compared with non-minority start-ups, according to Bill Bradford, professor and former dean of the UW’s Foster School of Business. “There are impediments to success. These include the inability to get financing, lack of business background, experience and education,” he explains. Bradford is the Faculty 6


Director for the Foster School’s renowned Business and Economic Development Center (BEDC) as well as the Endowed Professor of Business and Economic Development. “Access to capital and access to markets determines success,” says Michael Verchot, Director of the BEDC. “Our research shows that if you have management skills, you have access to these. This is the genesis of BEDC.” While education, skills and knowledge may be the dominant determinant of whether a business succeeds or fails, having enough resources is pivotal. The loan-denial rate for minority businesses with receipts under $500,000 is three times higher, at 42 percent, than the denial rate of 16 percent for non-minority businesses, according to the Minority Business Development Agency. Rachel Valdez, ’00, ’03, experienced the financing problem firsthand in 2008, when she started her branding agency, 16 Copenhagen, in Fremont, and approached a bank for a loan. “They said, ‘come back in three years’,” she recalls. But that refusal didn’t make Valdez give

up. She got a small personal line of credit from a local credit union. Verchot said there are reasons why banks don’t give loans to a start-up. “Being asked to come back in three years is pretty standard due to the high failure rates among start-ups,” he says. “There is often a lack of assets or collateral for personal service firms.” Valdez says, “Having good personal credit is key to success. You have to be willing to use that and be willing to put yourself on the line.” In her case, taking the risk turned out to be the right decision. Her company now has seven employees and a client list that includes Adobe and Microsoft. She says her UW education in communication and digital media helped her fill a market niche in the world of marketing. “We’re different because of

how we blend both the technical and creative solutions for our customers. That’s unusual,” she says. Valdez participated in the BEDC’s weeklong Minority Business Executive Program that involved business leaders in academia and the community. “It was great,” she says. “I could pick their brains for best practices. I learned from Professor Bill Bradford how important it is to understand your financial statements. I was moving so fast in the beginning that I hadn’t allocated enough time to study the numbers.” For alumni of color thinking about starting a small business, Norm Proctor, ’74, ’77, has some words of encouragement. Proctor, who is director of the Boise District Office of the Small Business Administration,

says, “The SBA has a lot of money available in loan guarantees; our challenge is to get the word out about our programs.” Proctor, who served as UW Alumni Association President in 2008, says SBA red tape is a thing of the past. The SBA can help with business plans, show applicants how to land government contracts, meet Angel investors and even provide training in a new industry. Even though times are tough, Proctor says there are opportunities for those with enough drive and persistence. “No time like the present” may be the right catch phrase for starting a business, even in a downturn. Julie Garner is a Viewpoints staff writer

More minority-owned businesses with UW connections The companies listed below are just a small sample of the minority-owned businesses that are either owned by UW alumni or that have ties to the Foster School's BEDC:

Allen-Bradbury Construction General contractor Avidian Contact management software company Freeman Fong Architecture Commercial, civic and residential architecture George Stewart, CPA Certified Public Accountant Greater China Industries Leading supplier of import products JTS Woman-owned project construction company PRR Public affairs consulting firm

Redapt Systems and Peripheral IT solutions for businesses Retail LockBox, Inc. Payment processing and document management services 16 Copenhagen Branding agency Shen Consulting Project management services for large infrastructure projects Consumer group buying platform, white label deal platform and online coupon aggregator

Source: Michael Verchot, Director, UW BEDC Program

Foster School professors (from left) Bill Bradford, Thaddeus Spratlen and Michael Verchot created the Business & Economic Development Center.

BEDC At-a-Glance The UW Foster School’s Business & Economic Development Center (BEDC) is the hub connecting business students, serviceclub members and professionals in the field with minority- and women-owned businesses. Here’s a snapshot: • Since its founding in 1995, the BEDC has created and retained more than 5,000 jobs and generated more than $85 million in new revenues. • The center has helped grow the combined revenues of Washington’s top minority businesses from $1 to $3 billion. • The BEDC has provided management-education classes for 250 business owners in Tacoma, Everett, Yakima, the Tri-Cities and Seattle—in both English and Spanish. • 1,350 students have participated in BEDC programs with small businesses and nonprofit organizations across Washington state. • 1,100 small businesses and nonprofits have benefited from BEDC programs. • The BEDC sponsors the only statewide Minority Business of the Year Awards banquet, which draws 550 business leaders from across Washington. • BEDC has awarded more than $350,000 in scholarships to students of color at the Foster School and has established the nation’s first endowed scholarship for Latino M.B.A. students and the Foster School’s first endowed scholarship for African American M.B.A. students and Asian/Pacific Islander undergraduate students. 7


We Mean Business: The payoff of a UW education

Kingfish Café owners Lauren and Leslie Coaston (top row) got plenty of help from their parents, Louis, ’59, and Geri, ’58.

Kingfish Café: Obstacles are no match for sisters’ determination to run a family-style eatery Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing isn’t just a Marvin Gaye-Tammy Terrell tune carried on the breeze of the Kingfish Cafe’s overhead fans. The Capitol Hill restaurant was founded in 1997 by twin sisters Leslie and Laurie Coaston, two former UW track stars who serve up the real thing when it comes to soul food. While the twins grew up eating the cuisine they now serve, the idea of owning a restaurant didn’t take off until long after they graduated from the UW in 1984. For eight years, Laurie worked for the Seattle School District as an educational aide, helping children with physical disabilities. Leslie spent 14 years working as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines. During that time, they began dreaming about opening a café that reflected their heritage. Just about the only pictures in the café are postersize photos of their family: “Great-great grandmother Mary Laura Josephine, born a slave in 1850, died a free woman in Kansas in 1898,” reads one caption. But making their dream a reality was not easy. The two quarter-mile hurdlers lacked 8


money, collateral and experience in the restaurant business. Thus, the Coaston sisters had little chance of getting a bank loan. Undaunted, the

“We have done every job except cooking including bussing, serving, hosting, cleaning the bathrooms, prep and paperwork.” twins raised $85,000, even garnering financial backing from Sonics’ star Gary Payton, who loaned them $10,000. Since opening 15 years ago, Kingfish continues to draw crowds from the neighborhood and beyond. That first year, the twins were able to pay back all of their loans and the restaurant turned a profit. It had been profitable every year until 2008, when the great recession hit the café hard. “We had been operating with a very small

line of credit but the bank closed it. They were doing that to all small businesses in 2008,” says Leslie. She says the problem for the Kingfish is its size. Despite having 24 employees (including two UW students), banks see the restaurant as too small to qualify for a loan. The Coastons’ advice to potential minority business owners is to be prepared to work hard. “It’s a lot of nonstop running and long hours. We have done every job except cooking, including bussing, serving, hosting, cleaning the bathrooms, prep and paperwork,” says Leslie. When they’re not working, they enjoy Coaston family celebrations at the Kingfish. Their father, Louis Coaston, ’59, played UW basketball alongside Dick Crews, ’58, who broke the color barrier in Husky basketball in 1955. Their mother, Geraldine, ’58, is an alum, as is their older sister, Natalie, ’84, who works for Nordstrom. Whether it's a family birthday or a full house on a Friday night, the Coaston twins’ hospitality is as down home and authentic as the Sho’ Nuff Fried Green Tomatoes or the Buttermilk Fried Chicken.—J.G.

Tomio Moriguchi, ’61, and his sister Tomoko Moriguchi Matsuno, ’69, run the Asian icon Uwajimaya.


Uwajimaya: The aisles are tantalizing, packed with pickled ginger (sushi style) and pickled plums, chestnuts that look like little apples preserved in sauce, fresh kim chee, the spicy Korean delight made of fermented seasoned cabbage. At the fish counter that offers hard-to-find varieties, smelt are crying out to be fried in breadcrumbs and seasoned olive oil. This feast for the eyes and the palate is Uwajimaya, the best-known Asian market in the Pacific Northwest, with stores in Seattle, Bellevue, Renton and Beaverton, Ore. Uwajimaya has come a long way since 1928. That’s the year Fujimatsu Moriguchi, a native of Japan, began selling homemade fish cakes from the back of his truck in Tacoma to Japanese laborers working in logging and fish camps throughout Puget Sound. His wife, Sadako, ran the first Uwajimaya store in Tacoma. Today’s four Uwajimaya stores—owned and operated by the second and third generations of the Moriguchi family—boast $100 million in annual sales. But it wasn’t always this way. The Moriguchis lost their business in

For generations, the Moriguchi family has run the area’s signature Asian market

1942 when the U.S. entered World War II. The family was sent to the Tule Lake, Calif., internment camp after President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, incarcerating thousands of Japanese Americans.

“I'm in remarkable health.That's because I eat Japanese food.” “I was 6 years old when I went into the camp in the fall of ’42 and when I came out, I was 8 1/2,” says Tomio Moriguchi, ’61. (Tomio was CEO from 1964 to 2008. Today, his sister, Tomoko Moriguchi Matsuno, ’69, heads the company.) “Fortunately, I was too young to understand the constitutional issues.” When Fujimatsu and Sadako emerged from the camp, they decided to buy a business in Seattle. The first Uwajimaya store did well but what set it on the path to success was the

1962 Seattle World’s Fair. That’s when the Moriguchis noticed that people who came to the Fair also dropped by Uwajimaya’s to shop—and they weren’t all Japanese. “We succeeded because we didn’t appeal just to Asians,” Tomio explains. While Uwajimaya was making the transition from a mom-and-pop store to a brand with multiple locations, Tomio was working at Boeing, using his UW degree in engineering. When his father died in 1962, he stepped in to give his mother a hand, never dreaming that he was overseeing a major retail operation on the rise. Today, Tomio, 76, serves on the boards of Asian American social service organizations, and he is talking to developers about several blocks in Seattle's International District that Uwajimaya owns. He exercises regularly and is careful about his diet. “I’m in remarkable health. That’s because I eat Japanese food,” he says, with a grin, patting his admirably trim stomach and giving a wave toward the 40 brands of rice with 21 varieties on the shelves.—J.G. 9



People in the news Mari Horita, ’94, a former attorney and longtime civic leader, was named CEO and president of ArtsFund. She succeeded Jim Tune as the leader of the influential organization, which raises money to support the arts in King and Pierce counties. Horita, who received her law degree from the UW, was managing director in the Seattle office of Major, Lindsey & Africa. She also served on the boards of several organizations, including the Asian American Bar Association of Washington, Washington Appleseed and Youthcare. George Fleming, ’64, a former Husky football star, was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in December. Fleming played key roles in the

Huskies’ 1960 and 1961 Rose Bowl victories over Wisconsin and Minnesota, respectively. He was co-MVP of the 44-8 win over Wisconsin for scoring one touchdown and kicking a field goal and five extra points. In 1961, he kicked a 44-yard field goal and added two extra points in a 17-7 win over Minnesota. A member of the Husky Hall of Fame and former NFL veteran, he spent 22 years in the Washington State House of Representatives and Washington State Senate. George Fleming Ken Li, ’11, who graduated in June with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Education, Learning, and Societies, received a 2011 Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship. As a Fulbright recipient to South Korea, he hopes to

take advantage of his time inside school classrooms to serve as an English Teaching Assistant and to interact with the local Korean community so he can better understand the Korean education system. Luis Fraga, the UW’s associate vice provost for faculty advancement and Russell F. Stark University Professor, was named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the nation by the editors of Hispanic Business Magazine. Fraga, who joined the UW in 2007, is professor of political science and director of the UW Diversity Research Institute. Christy Thompson Ibrahim had her book, An Anthology of Disability Literature, published by Carolina Academic Press. She is a disability law attorney in Seattle and has taught disability law at the UW School of Law for the past 10 years. She had a brother with Down Syndrome.

Parker named National Indian Parent of Year Deborah Parker, ’99, received the National Indian Education Association’s 2011 Parent of the Year Award for her work representing the Tulalip community and for fighting racism in the Marysville School District. The award is one of many honors given each year to recognize leaders in the Native American community. Parker was recognized for her recent efforts to remove a school board member who sent emails stating some ethnic groups, biologically, are more likely to succeed academically than others. “I’m getting an award for what I think anyone…should do,” Parker says. “I was extremely humbled.” She is also concerned with the low expectations the school district holds for Native American students. Parker, who has a degree in sociology and American Ethnic Studies from the UW, wants to be a role model for her two children and other Native students, showing them they can attend school and learn. “My whole sense of being an adult is knowing that I understood what it was like to be a child struggling in school,” she says. The difference for her: “I had a supportive mother who believed in me.” Parker, who currently serves as a trustee on the UW Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program Board, is a Tulalip Tribe Legislative Policy Analyst. —Mary Jean Spadafora



Deborah Parker (with daughter Kiyah) has been a strong advocate for education. Photo by Karen Orders.

Milestones Cindy Ryu, ’80, ’83, became the first Korean American woman to be elected to the state Legislature when she won the seat representing the 32nd Legislative District, which includes Shoreline, Kenmore, Edmonds and other communities in north King and south Snohomish counties. It isn’t the first time she made political history. In 2006, Ryu became the first female Korean American mayor in the U.S. when she was elected mayor of Shoreline. The first Korean American elected to the state Legislature was Sen. Paull Shin, ’69, ’80.

In Memory Ark Geow Chin, ’50, ’52, a Chinese American whose life personified the American Dream, died Nov. 13. Chin, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the UW in Civil Engineering, served on the UW Board of Regents from 1998 to 2004. He was born in a small Chinese village and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 10. He was a decorated World War II veteran who went on to become a philanthropist, as well as President and CEO of a major Seattle engineering firm. Dekang Deng, aka Thomas Teng, ’86, who spent his career in software development, died July 17. A native of Taiwan, he graduated from the UW and worked for the City of Seattle, the UW, Microsoft and several other organizations. He was 52. Joseph Ushio Hamanaka, ’49, ’50, ’08, who served in the U.S. military from 1944-46, died Sept. 7. He held degrees in economics and journalism from the UW. He was 89. Gordon Hirabayashi, ’46, ’49, ’52, who was sent to prison for defying the federal government’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and was vindicated when his conviction was overturned 40 years later, died Jan. 2. Hirabayashi, a UW senior when the U.S. entered World War II, ignored a West Coast curfew for people of Japanese descent to be home by 8 p.m. He also refused to register at a processing center and was jailed. A federal court in 1987 overturned his conviction. He was 93. Terry Kameda, ’56, who worked at Boeing for 35 years after graduating from the UW with a degree in economics, died Aug. 3. He was sent to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho, later enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was 85.

Sam Kelly Lecture highlights HuskyFest Sociology Professor Alexes Harris, ’97, will give the Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture on April 19 as part of HuskyFest, which runs April 19-21 at the UW as part of the University’s 150th anniversary celebration . Harris will speak on “The U.S. Criminal Justice System: Race, Poverty and Permanent Punishments.” The lecture is set for 6:30 p.m. in Kane Hall 110. The lecture is free but registration is required. For more on this and other HuskyFest events, go to

Audrey Fong Kobuki, ’65, who taught for 43 years in the Seattle Public Schools, died June 22. A native of Boulder, Colo., she attended Linfield College in Oregon before transferring to the UW. She was 66. Albert Sampson, who spent more than 20 years as a faculty member teaching advertising and public relations in the UW School of Communication, died Aug. 26. He also taught at Argosy University, Seattle University and the School of Visual Concepts. He was 74. Benjamin Garcia Santos Sr., a native of the Philippines who had a long career in sales and marketing before working as a custodian at the UW until age 78, died Sept. 11. He was 87. Haruto Sekijima, ’53, who graduated from the UW School of Medicine and was one of the founding anesthesiologists at Overlake Hospital, died Sept. 12. A Seattle native, he attended Garfield High School until he was sent to the internment camp at Minidoka, Idaho. He also served in the Military Intelligence Service in the U.S. Army. He was 86. Benjamin Issei Sugawara, who earned a degree in botany from the UW and later worked at Boeing, died Dec. 9. A Seattle native, he graduated from Franklin High School, enlisted in the U.S. Army and spent time in the Minidoka Relocation Center. He was 91. Henry S. Tamada, ’49, who spent 42 years as an electrical engineer at Boeing, died June 26. He worked on such projects as the B-47, 747, Minuteman and B-1B. He was 84. Margery Y. Yamamoto, a former UW student who was imprisoned during World War II in the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho, died Dec. 10. She was born in Seattle, grew up in Madison Valley and graduated from Garfield High School before coming to the UW. She and her husband, Ray, farmed for more than 30 years in the Yakima Valley.

11 viewpoints

faces: ALAN PICK Alan Pick inspires kids from Los Angeles' roughest neighborhoods. Photo by Manuello Paganelli.

Tools for the future Alan Pick finds inspiration in helping minority students go to college By KATIE MELTON For more than a decade, Alan Pick, ’66, and his family have provided the UW Medical Center with research funding, along with scholarship support for students from minority communities who attend the University of Washington. Helping minority students is a passion Pick attributes to his father, Ludwig Pick, a former Jewish judge who escaped Nazi Germany in 1933 and later ended up in Seattle. “In a very large part, my dad’s actions shaped my actions with minority affairs,” says Pick, a Los Angeles-based business lawyer who received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the UW in 1966. “It was something he passed on to me.” Pick—who gave an estate gift to the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity that will support the Ludwig Pick Endowment to aid students of color—is also paying it forward in another area. In addition to his day job as an attorney, Pick has spent the past 15 years working with inner-city high-school students in Los Angeles to help them make it to college. It’s one way Pick is showing his appreciation for the scholarships that made it possible for him to attend college. 12


Several days a week, Pick teaches college-level economics to sophomores, and mentors students at Manual Arts High School in South Central L.A., as part of a four-year program called the Academy of Finance.

“I want to inspire people. It makes me feel like a true human being.” Many of his students come from very disadvantaged backgrounds, but 95 percent of them will go on to college. No one is turned down from the program, as long as they’re willing to put in the work. Life in that part of Los Angeles is not easy. Pick recalls a young male student who apologized for not turning in an assignment. Pick, who prides

himself on being a demanding teacher, asked him why. The young man responded that his father had been shot and killed over the weekend. “The fact that I can be down there and helping these kids have aspirations that they wouldn’t have otherwise is the most wonderful thing,” Pick says. “As much as I try to inspire these kids, they inspire me way more than I could ever inspire them.” In his 15 years at Manual Arts, Pick has seen his students go on to law school and attend prestigious universities and colleges such as Brown, Yale, Smith and Harvard. He still keeps in touch with many former pupils. “I am a blessed person,” he says. “I get up in the morning and read about all the horrible things going on in the world, but I know that I’m going to do something good each day. If I can do anything at all, I want to inspire people to do what I do. Because it’s easy. It makes me feel like a true human being.” Katie Melton is a former student intern for Viewpoints


UW doctoral student Carla Mercado worked closely with senior citizens in the Central District on diabetes and blood pressure issues. Photo by Anil Kapahi.

Minorities and diabetes Carla Mercado suspects a gene may hold the key By JULIE GARNER Imagine working on a doctoral degree by studying at night after your four children have gone to sleep. That kind of dedication is what earned Carla Mercado her doctorate in epidemiology from the UW this spring. Now, with family in tow, she’s headed for the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta this July. She has been awarded a two-year competitive fellowship that will allow her to further her quest for knowledge about why minority populations have a higher incidence of type-2 diabetes than non-minorities. Having young children didn’t seem to faze Mercado when she tackled her Ph.D. program. “I started the program with three children. I tell people it wasn’t challenging enough so I had another one,” Mercado jokes. She adds: “Any parent knows how to multi-task and make the most of the time you have. Being a parent made me a better student; there was no time to procrastinate.” Mercado—who was awarded a prestigious dissertation fellowship from the UW Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program that allowed her to focus solely on her research—

didn’t procrastinate when it came to her research on this vexing public-health issue. All minorities, except Alaska Natives, have a prevalence of type-2 diabetes that is two to six times greater than that of the white population, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The quest holds personal meaning for Mercado, who has family members with the disease. In Atlanta, Mercado hopes to learn more about obesity programs that work and those that don’t. (Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes.) Her research at the UW has prepared her well for her work. “My dissertation focuses on the previously unasked question: Could it be that there is a genetic pre-susceptibility to type-2 diabetes among minority populations that the diet of the last few decades then amplifies?” she says. One explanation for the higher diabetes rate among minorities, Mercado points out, may be the “proglucagon gene.” This gene affects key proteins responsible for regulating insulin and glucagon, a hormone produced by the

pancreas. The gene is also associated with satiety, the feeling of fullness that signals the body to stop eating. There is a variation in this gene that is common among Native, Mexican and African Americans that is rare among European Americans. Mercado mined data from a very large, multi-center study on atherosclerosis that’s being coordinated by the UW to do her research. Changes in the American diet may be compounding the diabetes problem in minorities, Mercado believes. She says one problem is the way Americans live now, with busy schedules that make it difficult to find time to cook. “We are looking for quick, easy and inexpensive options. Unfortunately, unhealthy foods fall into that category,” she says. Although she knows a lot more about the relationship between nutrition and genetics than most of us, like many Americans, “I stand in front of my refrigerator at 6 o’clock wondering what to cook for dinner.” Julie Garner is a Viewpoints staff writer 13



Prosecutor Steven Kim, ’97, ’00, (left), at a sentencing hearing, is thrilled to combine his fluency in Korean with his experience in trial law to help the government of Korea. Photo by Ron Wurzer.

Korean roots, American law

UW alum Steven Kim is teaching South Korea about the American criminal justice system By MARY JEAN SPADAFORA Steven Kim, ’97, ’00, never expected his Korean upbringing to intersect with his extensive background in criminal law. Yet his fluency in Korean and knowledge of the culture made him the perfect candidate for a yearlong opportunity with the South Korean government. In January, Kim, a senior deputy attorney for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, traveled to Seoul, where he will spend the next year informing the Korean Ministry of Justice about the American criminal-justice system, based on a grand-jury system. He will teach them how to switch to what he says is not perfect but the “best [criminal system] in the world.” South Korea has already made attempts to become more democratic. In 2008, the country adopted an advisory-jury system. However, in this setting, a judge can overrule a jury’s verdict. “They wanted someone from America who is fluent in Korean and has extensive jury experience to tell them about my experiences,” Kim says. Kim—who has a B.A. in political science and a J.D. from the UW—has worked for the King 14


County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for the past 10 years. He originally studied international-business law, thinking his background in both law and Korean would be put to good use.

“They wanted someone from America who is fluent in Korean and has extensive jury experience…” But after a few courses, he realized he would rather get involved in trials. He interned with the prosecuting attorney’s offices in King and Pierce counties and landed a job after graduating from law school in 2000.

Kim, who has tried everything from murder and sexual-assault cases to DUIs and drug crimes, was thrilled to share his opportunity with his family and take his mother back to South Korea. (His 3-year-old son is also traveling with them, while Kim’s wife, 5-year-old daughter and father will remain in Seattle.) Kim’s parents immigrated to the United States to give them better opportunities. Now he can show his parents Korea in a more positive light. “It is a very meaningful experience,” Kim says. King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, ’82, ’85, is excited that Kim will have this opportunity to reconnect with his parents’ culture as well as grow as an attorney through teaching others. “A teacher usually gets more out of it than anyone else,” Satterberg says. “It will make him a better litigator than he is…when we get him back here.” Mary Jean Spadafora is a Viewpoints intern

Campus datebook

A view from the president

Lav ie phot o gr aphy

When I drive around the Puget Sound region, I feel great pride knowing that many of the businesses here—from momand-pop restaurants in the Rainier Valley to Uwajimaya— were created by or are run by UW alumni of color. Some of these alumni had parents who didn’t speak English or attend college. I know, because I worked with many of them when I was an educator and was involved with a program that gave students from underrepresented communities attending Rainier Beach, Cleveland and Franklin high schools the opportunity to get workplace experience in a variety of local businesses. Many of those students went on to study at the UW, where they earned a well-rounded education, gained valuable skills and developed the confidence to become entrepreneurs and business leaders. The UW continues to provide students of color with even more opportunities to become the business and community leaders for tomorrow. Whether they are students in the Foster School of Business or getting a degree in philosophy, they are learning how to think, how to apply themselves, and how to develop into the visionaries who can provide jobs in essential fields, and make our community thrive.

Susan Wilson Williams, ‘73 UWAA President, 2011-12

Calendar of Events March 30, 2012 GO-MAP Spring Quarter Reception 4-6 p.m., UW Club April 3, 2012 Stroum Jewish Studies Program Lecture, “What Will it Take to End Poverty in Seattle.” Speaker: Ken Weinberg, ’77, CEO, Jewish Family Service of Seattle. 7:30 p.m., 415 Westlake, Seattle April 11, 2012 Graduate School Public Lecture Series, Featuring Juan Enriquez 6:30-8:30 p.m., Kane Hall, Room 130 April 19, 2012 Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture "The U.S. Criminal Justice System: Race, Poverty and Permanent Punishments" by Alexes Harris, ’97, UW associate professor of sociology 5 p.m. Reception, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, Room 220; 6:30 p.m. Lecture, Kane Hall Room 110 May 1, 2012 GO-MAP Voices in Academia lunch, “Grant Writing in the Natural Sciences.” 12-1:30 p.m., Peterson room, 4th floor, Allen Library May 10, 2012 EOP Celebration 5:30 p.m. Reception, 6:30 p.m. Dinner, Sheraton Seattle Hotel

Students of Promise Five UW students were honored with scholarships at the 17th annual Multicultural Alumni Partnership Bridging the Gap Breakfast on Oct. 29 in Haggett Hall. From left, the recipients are: Shanoa Pinkman, an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation who is studying American Indian Studies and Communication; Adam Kong, a UW Tacoma student pursuing a degree in American Studies who is the first in his family to be enrolled at a university; Tracy Montes, who grew up in Mexico and has lived independently or with host families since the age of 14 and is the recipient of the Alfredo Arreguin Scholarship; and Osure Brown, a married graduate student with two young children who is pursuing a degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. He received the Owen G. Lee Scholarship. Not pictured and unable to attend was Crystral Kiewert, a second-year medical student who grew up in poverty in rural Washington. Photo by Anil Kapahi.

May 24, 2012 GO-MAP End of the Year Reception 4-6 p.m., Waterfront Activities Center, UW Seattle calendar.shtml August 17, 2012 OMA&D Alumni Soirée 7-11 p.m., The Landing (across the street from University Village) For other diversity events, visit 15


4333 Brooklyn Avenue NE Box 359508, Seattle, WA 98195-9508


EOP CELEBRATION 2012: Peoples to receive Odegaard Award

OMA&D and Friends of EOP Celebration 2012 Date: May 10, 2012 Where: Sheraton Seattle Hotel Time: 5:30 p.m. Reception, 6:30 p.m. Dinner Price: $120 Contact: Roxanne Christian at 206-221-0680 or Website:

By ERIN ROWLEY Gertrude Peoples, longtime special assistant for the UW football program, will receive the 2012 Charles E. Odegaard Award at EOP Celebration on May 10 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. The event will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The public is invited. The Odegaard Award, which was established in 1973, honors a member of the University community who continues to carry out the former UW President’s work on behalf of diversity at the UW and the citizens of the state of Washington. It is the only University- and community-selected award, and is regarded as the highest achievement in diversity at the UW. Peoples is being honored for her commitment to connecting students of color with the UW community, as well as her loyal service as a mentor and adviser. She is the former director of UW’s StudentAthlete Academic Services and has worked for the athletic department for more than 40 years.

“I was stunned when I learned of the award,” Peoples says. “I am so honored. It validates me in the sense that people understood my intentions and commitment for our student-athletes to be a success in the classroom and in life.” Peoples began her career in 1969, when she was hired by Dr. Samuel E. Kelly as an academic counselor in the Educational Opportunity Program. In 1970, she joined the athletic department as an academic adviser. One of her tasks was to alleviate racial tensions in the athletic department. She worked closely with African American football players to ensure their integration into the campus community. She also created the first academic support office for college student-athletes, setting up a model other universities followed. By 1973, she accompanied the football coaching staff as a recruiter, becoming the first female recruiter for athletics at a major university. Peoples also worked as a liaison between coaches and athletes, as well as families and upper campus.

Her successes as an academic adviser and a patron of diversity led the athletic department to create two awards in her honor. The first is the Gertrude Peoples Scholarship Award, given to seniorathletes who are going to go to graduate school. The second is the Gertrude Peoples Award, which is given to a UW coach who goes above and beyond to promote academics amongst their team. Peoples joins a long list of civic leaders who have received the celebrated award, including Northwest Asian Weekly publisher Assunta Ng, ’74, ’76, ’79; businessman and philanthropist Nelson Del Rio, ’84; and W. Ron Allen, ’83, chairman and executive director of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. EOP Celebration 2012 is presented by the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, and the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program. For more information, or to register, go to

Viewpoints - Spring 2012  
Viewpoints - Spring 2012  

Alumni of color like Kingfish Cafe owners Lauren and Leslie Coaston are making their mark in the business world, thanks to their UW educatio...