UW Today

October 30, 2012

News Digest: Governor appoints O’Donnell, self-defense classes start, campus commuter survey, bicyclists to Ride in the Rain, observations of Istanbul, institute to reduce health disparities

Governor appoints Matthew O’Donnell to aerospace innovation board
Gov. Chris Gregoire last week appointed Matthew O’Donnell, dean of the UW’s College of Engineering, as one of nine inaugural board members of the Joint Center for Aerospace Innovation Technology. The state Legislature established the center to coordinate aerospace technology efforts between the UW, WSU and private industry. It will identify education, research and commercialization opportunities in areas concerned with such things as commercial airplanes, unmanned aerial vehicles, aviation biofuels and space exploration.

David Notkin, professor of computer science and engineering and the College of Engineering’s associate dean of research and graduate studies, is the UW liaison. The center will be managed by the two universities and will collaborate with the Governor’s new Office of Aerospace. The board of directors is expected to meet for the first time next month.

Sergent Gloria Galloway stand ready to defend herself

Sergent Gloria Galloway

Women’s self-defense classes start Thursday
The University of Washington Police Department is offering classes starting Nov. 1 for women interested in learning self-defense through the Rape Aggression Defense program.

The program teaches realistic self-defense movements that do not require special skills, years of practice or any particular level of fitness and was designed for women on university and college campuses.

Classes will be conducted Nov. 1, 8 and 15 with the morning section from 8 a.m. to noon and the afternoon section from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. A limited number of spots remain for these free classes so register immediately if interested by contacting Lynda Pease at peasel@uw.edu or 206-685-0873.

The UW has been offering the program since 2008, started by then officer Gloria Galloway, now a sergeant. She had been a Rape Aggression Defense instructor at her previous agency and wished to get re-certified and implement the program at the UW. The UW police department approved her request and purchased the necessary equipment, including an aggressor suit for simulation training, also known as a red man suit because of its bright red color.

Because of the program’s popularity, the UWPD has added two additional instructors, officer Tom Warwick and administrative specialist Angela Roberts.

The program continues to be offered for free to community members, including faculty, students and staff as well as neighbors in the University District.

Transportation Services launches biennial survey of campus commuter
The UW is conducting a study to learn more about how students, faculty and staff commute to campus. The survey is required under state law and provides an important basis for long-range development plans, according to information from UW Transportation Services.         The results of the survey may also help improve transportation in and around the University District and provide important feedback about the UW’s U-PASS program.

During the next few weeks, a random selection of students, faculty and staff will be contacted by private research firm ORC International via email or telephone to complete a short, anonymous survey on their travel behavior. UW Transportation Services encourages those who are contacted to participate.

For each completed survey, ORC International will donate $1 to a UW undergraduate scholarship fund; if survey response rates are greater than 50 percent, a total donation of $1,600 will be made to the fund.

Summarized data will be available to the public sometime next year. Previous results can be found online at uwcommute.com/upass/reports.

Logo for Ride in the Rain includes a fish riding a bicycleBicyclists invited to Ride in the Rain
UW students and employees won’t let the rain get them down this November. Each November, approximately 1,000 students, staff and faculty compete in the UW’s annual Ride in the Rain competition by logging their bicycle trips to and from campus. Participants compete as individuals or on teams, with prizes awarded for most bicycle trips, most prolific recruiter and most commute miles, among other categories. After the final scorecards have been tallied, the team with the most bicycle commute trips is awarded the coveted Soaked to the Gills trophy at the annual awards luncheon.

Each year, almost ten percent of participants indicate they’re new to bicycling. To get those new bicyclists up to speed and help more experienced bike commuters shake off the rust, UW Transportation Services offers a series of free classes throughout November, including Gear and Lights for Winter, Rules of the Road, Winter Bike Maintenance, and – on the lighter side – Holiday Gifts for Bicyclists.

Learn more and register for Ride in the Rain at www.uwcommute.com/riderain.

Runstad fellows present observations of Istanbul in ‘The Conflicted City’
A team of fellows from the UW Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies visited Istanbul and found a prosperous, expanding city in the process of rejoining the world stage. The center invites the public to a presentation of their observations titled “The Conflicted City: The Impacts of 21st Century Urban Renewal, Hyper-Growth and Mass Urbanization” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in Room 147 of Architecture Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Logo for Indigenous Wellness Research InstituteIndigenous Wellness Research Institute awarded $6.29 million to reduce health disparities
The Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, part of the UW School of Social Work, has received $6.29 million from the National Institutes of Health.

The UW School of Social Work is the first to receive this type of grant (called P-60), which is historically given to schools of public health. The NIH also named UW’s Indigenous Wellness Research Institute a Center of Excellence – one of 16 centers in America devoted to ending health disparities among minorities.

American Indians and Alaska Natives suffer from disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and mental illness. Karina Walters, director of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, says that instead of following the Western scientific approach of addressing such health problems “from the outside in,” the institute advocates ways of healing and wellness deeply rooted in indigenous culture.

The grant will help the institute create new permanent space for scholarship, bring more students into health science research careers and expand its research and training activities with indigenous communities.