Undergraduate Academic Affairs

May 11, 2012

UAA Alumnotes: Spring 2012

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

As a UW undergraduate, you may have participated in service learning, presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, received a Mary Gates Leadership award or served on the Honors Student Advisory Panel. All of these experiences (and more, in fact) make you an alum of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Check out what some of our alumni have been up to since graduation:

Mark DeLoura (’92), Departmental Honors Alumnus

Mark DeLoura PhotoI just got back from speaking at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where I was honored to be part of the launch of “The Art of Video Games,” a first-of-its-kind exhibit celebrating the evolution of the art form of video games over the past 40 years. When I attended the University of Washington, a lot of what propelled me through the computer science program was applying what I was learning to games and real-time computer graphics. I was lucky enough as an undergrad to work with the Human Interface Technology Lab from its inception until I left for grad school in 1992, and I’ve been a passionate proponent of using real-time immersive 3D worlds for entertainment and education since then. It was so much fun celebrating video games with some of the pioneers of the industry, the guys who brought us the Atari and the Intellivision among them. I’m excited to see where today’s graduates from the UW take video games in the future!

Ed. note: The Smithsonian’s exhibit “The Art of Video Games” will come to Seattle’s EMP February 16, 2013–May 13, 2013.

Tina Marie Mares (’03), Carlson Center Service Learning Alumna

Tina Marie Mares PhotoIn September, 2011, I was named as one of Puget Sound Business Journal‘s 2011 “40 Under 40” honorees. Selection criteria included a nominee’s business philosophy and acumen, as well as civic contributions. The judging panel took into account not just how successful a nominee is today, but also the nominee’s underlying ability to lead the community in the future. I also serve as a board member on the NW Next Leaders Council, which is comprised of a small group of “40 Under 40” alumni in association with the Puget Sound Business Journal. Currently, I am a deputy prosecuting attorney for King County.

Jeff Smith (’10), Mary Gates Scholar and Honors Alumnus

Jeff Smith PhotoI graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in neurobiology and a minor in chemistry. I have been working as a research technician in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Chavkin, professor of pharmacology at the UW, investigating the interaction of stress on nicotine reward. Using mice as models, we found stressed mice displayed ~100% greater nicotine-seeking behavior than unstressed controls. This increase in nicotine seeking can be prevented by antagonism of the kappa opioid receptor, a major component of the stress response. This research highlights the possibility of using kappa opioid receptor antagonists as novel pharmacotherapies to help those addicted to nicotine from relapsing under stress. This research is important because of both the social and financial burden (upwards of $200 billion/year spent in the healthcare system because of complications from tobacco use). A paper detailing this work entitled “Stress-Induced Activation of the Dynorphin/Kappa-Opioid Receptor System in the Amygdala Potentiates Nicotine Conditioned Place Preference” in which I am the first author, “can be found here”:http://www.jneurosci.org/content/32/4/1488.full.pdf. I will be entering medical school on full scholarship in an MD/PhD program beginning in June 2012, with offers from the University of Washington, the University of Pittsburgh and Duke University.