May 7, 2012

News Digest: Honor: Clay Schwenn, Tower Green Fair May 15, check out Campus Tours Central, Honor: Seth Cooper

News and Information

Clay Schwenn, adviser in Undergraduate Academic Affairs, wins national award
Clay Schwenn, lead academic counselor for undergraduates, has won an Outstanding Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association.

According to the nominating letter from Undergraduate Academic Affairs Advising, Schwenn is best known for innovative use of technology in academic advising. In 2007, he won an award from the association for his advising podcasts.

Schwenn also spends significant time supervising peer advisors, 10 undergraduates who help fellow students with quick questions on matters such as registration and course scheduling.

The National Academic Advising Association has approximately 10,000 members in the U.S.

Tower Green Fair May 15 with campus, off-campus groups
The second annual Tower Green Fair, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 15, will bring UW people and units involved in green initiatives – such as Professional and Continuing Education, Commuter Services and Recycling & Solid Waste – together with local nonprofit groups and businesses that also think green.

The fair, conducted at the UW Tower, is open to the entire campus. Visitors should be sure to bring their UW Husky cards for entrance to the tower.

UW Housing and Food Services and four private vendors will be providing treats to sample. Nonprofit groups that will be represented at the fair are Washington Trails Association, EarthCorps, Seattle Tilth and the Washington Toxics Coalition.

Visitors to the fair can have a Sustainability Passport stamped as they move from table to table to enter a drawing for  green gift baskets and other prizes to be given away.

Visitors? Relatives here for commencement? Check Campus Tours Central
The UW Information and Visitors Center recently launched a new online resource called Campus Tours Central that offers downloadable self-guided tour publications, online tours and tour-guide tips.

“Campus Tours Central provides tools and information so that everyone will have a better campus experience whether they are visiting us online or in-person.  Since groups sometimes need a tour leader, and you may know your area of campus best, were providing tips so that you can be better trained to lead a group. We encourage everyone to be a tour leader,” said Linda Hanlon, Information and Visitors Center manager.

The UW Office of Admissions Visit Program offers guided campus tours twice a day on weekdays and once on most Saturdays, but throughout the year many campus departments and units may need to lead their own tours, and groups coming to campus are sometimes not able to be matched with a guide through the Admissions Visit Program, Hanlon said.

“With these tools, anyone can be a well-prepared guide. You – yes you – might make an excellent campus tour guide,” says Linda Hanlon.

Seth Cooper, chief architect of Foldit, wins national doctoral dissertation award
The Association for Computing Machinery has given recent UW doctoral graduate Seth Cooper its Doctoral Dissertation Award, recognizing the best thesis published in 2011 in the field of computer science.

Cooper’s thesis, “A Framework for Scientific Discovery through Video Games,” explored how computer games could be used to solve difficult scientific problems. He was advised by Zoran Popović, professor of computer science and engineering. Cooper was chief architect of Foldit, a computer game in which players help to solve the structure of proteins that play a role in HIV and other diseases. He is now creative director at the UW’s Center for Game Science.

The association will honor Cooper on June 16 in San Francisco.