Stories of impact

Read about the people, places and programs that drive the University of Washington’s faculty, staff and students to work for a world of good.

UW alum Helen Noyes poses for a picture at a CIA memorial wall

Inspiring intelligence

For Helen Noyes, ’69, a love of languages nurtured at the UW translated into a lifelong career with the CIA.

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Danyelle Thomas sits on the front porch of a house.

Bringing health care home

Danyelle Thomas, ’07, became a doctor to help improve the health outcomes of underserved communities — starting with her own.

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Medical worker wearing face mask and face shield

Portraits of the frontline

With courage, compassion and commitment, workers at UW Medicine care for our communities in the time of COVID-19.

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Hiker in sunshine

Health planet, healthy people

How can we recover from a health crisis during a climate crisis? Five UW experts weigh in. 

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Racing against a pandemic

Last winter, King County became the nation’s COVID-19 epicenter. The UW’s quick response was months, even years, in the making.

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Susan Prichard and Jasmine Minbashian

A new age of fires

As wildfires grow in severity, UW researchers are helping our region create a path forward — for the health of our forests and all who live here.

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engineering alumna Ayan Hassan

A twist of fate

The life of engineering alumna Ayan Hassan, ’12, ’16, was changed by the UW’s Making Connections program. But she didn’t expect it to be saved by one of the program’s founders.

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Using EarHealth for an ear infection test

Putting health care in your hands

UW faculty and students are developing smartphone apps to improve health and save lives.

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Louis Maliyam, ’21

A body in motion

When Louis Maliyam, ’21, came to the U.S. to study computer science, he never expected that he’d find a second passion — dance. He now brings its lessons of vulnerability and freedom into his work teaching others.

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Neurethics stylized researchers

Between humanity and technology

What makes us human? The UW Center for Neurotechnology examines the ethics of tomorrow’s technology.

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Tami Hohn wears a handcrafted blanket entwined with ribbons bearing the names of her ancestors, her family members and other first-language speakers of Southern Lushootseed.

The language of the land

UW Lecturer Tami Hohn is bringing Southern Lushootseed to a new generation across the University and the Puget Sound — where the language has always lived.

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Three people emerging from glowing frames

Who you are is enough

For years, the Q Center has been advocating for the queer community at the UW — and it has made all the difference in students’ lives.

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A portrait of UW assistant clinical professor Theresa Cheng

Filling the gaps

Low-income veterans are getting life-changing dental care and more, thanks to Everyone for Veterans — a nonprofit founded by UW assistant clinical professor Theresa Cheng.

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An EPA diver deploys instruments in Lake Killarney, where a team of UW researchers is exploring how arsenic travels from the lakebed to the food web. (Photo by Dennis Wise)

The year in focus:
19 for 2019

Every day, our photographers capture the University of Washington through their lenses. See the diversity and depth of experiences across the UW — the remarkable students transforming our campuses, the dedicated faculty making discoveries in the field and the joyful moments that brought us all together.

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Cristina Lopez standing outside with a group of Indian schoolgirls in uniform

Rising to the challenge

In the UW’s Grand Challenges Impact Lab, students like Cristina Lopez, ’19, worked in Bangalore, India, to address real-world problems — like the city’s urgent groundwater shortage — and increase their own cultural awareness.

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Cambodian fisherman gazing into the sun

Fueled by floods

Along the Mekong River, which is currently at its lowest level in 100 years, UW researchers are collaborating with Cambodian leaders across industries and disciplines to find new ways to manage the impacts of hydropower on the supplies of rice and fish in the region.

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Hallie Jensen and crew teammate

Setting the pace

Last year, standout high school athlete Hallie Jensen had never rowed — but now she’s competing on the UW’s Division I crew team, thanks to the Hometown Huskies program.

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Sunderland family portrait

Caring for every child

The Sunderlands were changed forever by the UW’s groundbreaking support for children with autism. Now they want to help other families access the same opportunities.

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woman with eyeglasses superimposed with images of the Earth and a photo of a riot

Policy in action

Through the Task Force program, students in the Jackson School of International Studies tackle critical policy challenges — with accomplished experts as their guides.

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Deana Crouser on a deck of a boat, smiling in the sunlight

Sea lessons

Oceanography major Deana Crouser is doing more than getting her feet wet on the R/V Rachel Carson. She’s helping peer into the future of our oceans.

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A man builds a fire in a rural area.

A road to recovery

Struck by the number of nonviolent offenders imprisoned on drug charges, the Tulalip Tribes partnered with UW School of Law alumni to offer second chances through treatment.

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STARS participants Tammy Teal and Ivan Cordero

Changing the future of engineering

A redshirt year helps athletes gain confidence and skills. The STARS program is doing the same for engineering students like Tammy Teal, ’18, and senior Ivan Cordero.

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A worker installs a solar panel on a home in Puerto Rico.

Grid by grid

Months after Hurricane Maria, thousands in rural Puerto Rico still lack electricity. In partnership with local communities, UW researchers are working to restore their power.

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Electric Dream Factory founders

Redefining reality

At the UW’s CoMotion Labs, Lacey Leavitt, ’03, and Joe Jacobs of Electric Dream Factory are helping shape an inclusive future for the VR industry.

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Kristy Kwon

The heart of research

For help with her senior thesis on Korean dramas, Kristy Kwon reached out to the UW’s East Asia Library. What she found there opened up her world.

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UW professors Beth Gardner (in green), Aaron Wirsing (in blue, pointing) and John Marzluff (in gray, foreground) spent their spring break teaching students about the rigors and joys of fieldwork.

A week in the wild

Students and professors from the College of the Environment made a classroom out of one of the world’s most closely monitored ecosystems: Yellowstone National Park.

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Heather Lovejoy

A lifeline to mental health

Lisa Lovejoy suffered for years with mental illness — until she found the right treatment at Harborview Medical Center. Now she hopes to inspire others toward better health.

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A pocket-size research revolution

A breakthrough device called kidney-on-a-chip is giving new hope to patients suffering from kidney disease. Meet the team behind the project — and find out why the chip is heading to outer space.

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Baseball coach talks to player.

Creating communities that care

Across Seattle, UW School of Social Work students and community leaders are working together to encourage healthy behaviors in young people — and set them up for success.

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University of Washington manifesto portraits shot on May 28, 2014

Changing the game

When she came to the UW, Havana McElvaine, ’17, thought of herself as an athlete first. She graduated as a student-athlete-activist — and now she’s getting ready to explore the world.

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Garden cities

At the UW’s College of Built Environments, students like David de la Cruz, ’17, are partnering with some of the world’s most vulnerable communities in the fight for environmental justice.

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Where will meets way

For Yakima-born Yesenia Velasquez, the Young Executives of Color program at the Foster School of Business has opened the door to a promising future she never knew existed.

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Creating safer, smarter homes

Older adults are living more independently thanks to modern technology. See how the UW School of Nursing is turning houses into smart homes, allowing residents and caregivers to catch warning signs of illnesses earlier.

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Martez Mott works on Smart Touch with Provail participant Ken Frye

Slide to unlock

Today’s touch-screen world is leaving behind an entire segment of the population: those with motor impairments. iSchool Ph.D. candidate Martez Mott wants to change that.

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Tracking the $15 minimum wage

Seattle’s historic $15 minimum wage presents an unprecedented opportunity for researchers like Hilary Wething to track the effects of a new policy in real time.

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Bridging the know-do gap

We know science can improve health. But how do we go from knowing to doing? The School of Public Health has the world’s first Ph.D. program in implementation science, designed to raise the speed and quality of applying science toward improved health worldwide.

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Special care for healthy smiles

Finding a dentist can be challenging for people with disabilities. But Dr. Keturah Lowe and other practitioners at the UW School of Dentistry are working to increase the number of dentists who can treat patients with special needs.

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Tom Rochat 2.0

Five years ago, Tom Rochat, ’13, was foraging for mushrooms and struggling to pay rent. Today, he’s on the fast track to senior-level management at a global IT company — and he gives UW Tacoma credit for his transformation.

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Taking diversity to the next level

Students and staff in UW Bothell’s Digital Future Lab are not only creating professional-quality video games for commercial release, they’re also addressing the lack of diversity in the technology industry.

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What is possible?

Associate professors of art Mark Zirpel and Amie McNeil ask what is possible when we unite scientific curiosity and artistic mastery.

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Helping the body heal, feel and move again

From the Ability & Innovation Lab to the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, the College of Engineering is innovating novel devices to help people of all abilities live out their dreams.

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Dr. Pamela Becker’s work through the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine is taking aim at cancer.

Targeting cancer, precisely

At the vanguard of next-generation precision medicine, Dr. Pamela Becker’s work through the Institute for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine is taking aim at cancer.

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Rainier Vista

Unleashing the Husky Experience

What is the Husky Experience? Well, that depends on who you ask.

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Nurturing minds, opening doors

In South Seattle and south King County, the UW College of Education is partnering with the Road Map Project to close achievement gaps in schools — and open all doors for young learners.

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