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.

Ray Haug portrait outside Everett station

Achieving Liftoff

Breaking a cycle of addiction, homelessness and prison, Raymond Haug transformed his life and found a calling in mechanical engineering.

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A photo illustration of the Rubin Observatory on a ridge with stars above

Secrets of the stars

How UW astronomers, the world’s largest survey telescope and a revolutionary new view of space will upend what we thought we knew about the universe.

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Members of the 1936 row team group photo

Pulling together

The “Boys in the Boat” UW rowing team beat the odds to win Olympic gold in 1936 — setting a legacy in motion.

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UW Symphony string section practices

String theory

Take a look inside the UW Symphony Orchestra, from auditions to rehearsals to first performance — and hear about the fascinating connection between studying STEM and pursuing music.

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Wild dog with sunset in background

Scene of change

As climate change heightens conflict between humans and wildlife, UW professor Briana Abrahms is using data to help people and animals cope — and coexist.

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Sea change

Seattle is reimagining and creating a living urban waterfront that ensures a healthy future for the city’s people, wildlife, culture and economy. The UW has been part of the project from the start.

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Collage of stories from 2022

A boundless year

As 2022 draws to a close, we revisit UW stories highlighting the power of the University’s positive impact across Washington state and around the world.

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Student poses for a portrait on a staircase

What leadership looks like

As the UW’s Brotherhood Initiative grows — and now welcomes a counterpart Sisterhood Initiative — students of color like senior Noah Stanigar continue to soar.

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Looking up at the outside the Shell House

Ever forward

Pulling together to preserve the historic ASUW Shell House, once home to the famed ‘Boys in the Boat.’

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MaKayla Woods holds an open book on their lap while sitting on an outdoor bench on campus.

Believe the hype

MaKayla Woods came to the University of Washington to be accepted for who she was. What she found was a place where she could become her best self.

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Person stands next to orange airplane

Breaking barriers

Professor Cecilia Aragon vanquished fear to become the first Latina pilot on the U.S. Aerobatic Team — and the first Latina full professor in the UW College of Engineering.

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Collage of five UW alum portraits

Planet protectors

How five UW alums’ diverse career paths are helping improve our environment.

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Person wearing sun hat superimposed on map

Dinosaur dreams

Zeke Augustine, ’23, has sifted through soil for microscopic fossils and helped dig up a Triceratops. The Burke Museum has been at the heart of it all.

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Kelsie Abrams portrait at Hell Creek

Chasing the Cretaceous

Kelsie Abrams and the UW’s Burke Museum hunt for dinosaur fossils and solve mysteries in the Hell Creek Formation.

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Collage of digging tools, fossil and paper instructions

Discoveries in dino country

On a pivotal excavation in Montana, UW paleontologists, students and volunteers uncovered clues that shine light on the age of the dinosaurs.

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Collage of Move-in Days

The pack is back

UW campuses burst back to life after 18 months of remote work and study.

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Close up of human eye

You deserve the world

Find fresh inspiration in this new poem by MFA grad Ally Ang, ’21, brought to life in this video performance.

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Wendy Barrington talks with visitors at a Doorway Project event.

A call to action

Associate Professor Wendy Barrington is bringing a passion for health equity to her new role as the inaugural director of the UW’s Center for Anti-Racism and Community Health.

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Nursing students in lab

Building better health care

By learning together, students across the UW’s health sciences schools are preparing to work together for better patient care.

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Nicole Bryant portrait

Learning the business

Nicole Bryant, ’21, is getting a real-world business education and helping a women-owned startup — thanks to the Foster School’s Consulting and Business Development Center.

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Johanna Trueblood in cycling race

Speeding up the science

Johanna Trueblood, a semiprofessional cyclist, lost her life to an uncommon form of cancer. Now, through her parents’ philanthropy, there’s new hope for patients and their families.

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Students walk across the Quad on campus

Presidential scholars look ahead

As the first Presidential Scholarship recipients finish their time at the UW, they share favorite moments and future plans.

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Unleashing the superpower of dogs

The UW’s Conservation Canines sniff out answers to pressing environmental questions.

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Bridging the distance

When the UW returns to in-person learning this fall, faculty will bring with them the creative methods developed while teaching remotely — even in courses that are typically hands-on.

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Standing tall

His journey took him from the UW to professional basketball and back. But it’s in the special education classroom that Anthony Washington, ’16, ’19, is making a lasting difference.

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4culture portraits

State of the arts

Behind the scenes at 4Culture, three UW alumni are helping artists and cultural organizations across King County to thrive — with racial equity as their North Star.

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ISchool assistant professor Miranda Belarde-Lewis

Native knowledge

ISchool assistant professor Miranda Belarde-Lewis, ’07, ’11, ’13, combines research, teaching and curating to help reclaim how Native art is presented — and bring Native voices to the forefront.

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2021 collage photos

A year in focus: 20 from 2020

Twenty moments from a year like no other — captured through the lenses of UW photographers.

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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

Healthy 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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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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