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Alumna makes a global impact with Starbucks

As a Manager of Global Responsibility for Starbucks, Ann Burkhart ’90 ensures that the company’s international impact is positive. Her team develops strategies for the ethical sourcing of commodities from around the world. An international studies major at the University of Washington, Burkhart particularly values the writing and research skills she gained here. Read more from A&S Perspectives…

Expanding to China, Seattle firm enlists UW alum

When leaders at Seattle design firm DLR Group needed new talent to reach their goal of winning new projects in Asia, they turned to a UW alumnus with strong connections to Seattle and China. Kevin Zhang, a graduate of UW’s M.S. in Architecture program and a native of Tianjin, China, has put his graduate training as well as cultural and linguistic fluency to work for the firm. With Zhang’s help, DLR Group recently won a bid to redesign a power plant in Shanghai, gaining a new foothold in China for the Seattle firm. Read more from The Graduate School…

UW again a leader in producing Peace Corps volunteers

Peace Corps has named University of Washington a leader in producing volunteers for its international volunteer programs. With 85 undergraduate and 20 graduate alumni currently serving with Peace Corps, UW is tied for second place with University of Florida in volunteer recruitment among large universities. The two tied for first place in the 2013 rankings. Since the organization’s founding in 1961, 2840 UW alumni have served as volunteers.

President Young reflected on the recent announcement in UW Today“We are immensely proud of our graduates who make the decision to serve in the Peace Corps. It reflects the importance they and the university place on serving others, particularly in distant parts of the world. We aim to instill a global perspective in all of our students, and this is one indicator that we’re having a significant impact.”

Read more at UW Today…


UW leaders connect with alumni and parents in China

UW’s President Young and Vice Provost for Global Affairs Riedinger visited China and Japan from October 26 to November 7, making stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. The leaders met with UW alumni and friends, parents of current UW students, as well as key institutional partners.

The trip marked the beginning of an exciting new chapter for UW’s connection with international alumni, students, and parents. In Beijing and Shanghai, President Young and Vice Provost Riedinger connected with UW alumni and parents. Leadership groups of UW alumni living in China provided ideas for how UW can support the development of alumni organizations and deepen international alumni involvement.

In the first-ever meetings between university leadership and parents of international students in their home country, Vice Provost Riedinger was “impressed with the strength of [the parents’] affection for UW… and their keen interest in the success of their daughters and sons, both inside and outside of the classroom.” Feedback from the parent meetings highlighted the need for improved communication with international students and parents about the resources available at UW – from academic advising to faculty office hours.

Meetings with institutional partners focused on strengthening research partnerships, increasing collaboration among faculty, and creating additional opportunities for UW students to engage in research, internships, and experiential learning in China.

UW named top produced of Fulbright scholars

The Institute for International Education recently named UW a top producer of Fulbright scholars. The efforts of UW staff and faculty members are key to the scholars’ success, both on-campus and abroad.

In late September, 51 UW faculty and staff members volunteered to serve as Fulbright campus interviewers, providing feedback to 58 UW seniors and graduate students who applied to the Fulbright US student program for next year. The Institute for International Education recently named UW a top producer of Fulbright Scholars.

“The campus selection process demonstrates the wide-ranging resources and research interests available at UW,” say Robin Chang, Marilyn Gray, and Natalia Dyba, UW’s Fulbright advisers. It is just one of many ways that UW contributes to the success of Fulbrighters, abroad and on campus.

Dr. Yan Cimon
Dr. Yan Cimon

“I don’t think there’s another university that would so readily accept a business faculty member in the College of Engineering,” reflects Dr. Yan Cimon, the 2012 – 2013 Fulbright Visiting Chair in Innovation at the UW College of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “I benefited greatly from my amazing colleagues and research group at UW… they were instrumental in making my Fulbright year a success.” Dr. Cimon is Associate Professor of Strategy at Université Laval in Quebec, Canada and Deputy Director of CIRRELT, the Interuniversity Research Center on Logistics, Transportation and Enterprise Networks.

While at UW, Dr. Cimon investigated the integration of international value chains through a multi-disciplinary research project. He also collaborated extensively with UW Scholars, including Dr. Anne Goodchild of the College of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “The cross-fertilization of ideas between visiting Fulbright and UW scholars enriches the level of academic scholarship and discourse at the university and makes UW very globally relevant,” he says.

Sam Lim
Sam Lim Photo: May Lim

Sam Lim, a UW alumnus and Fulbright US Student Program Fellow to Germany, emphasizes the importance of his UW education in preparing him for his Fulbright fellowship. “My research experiences, particularly the ethnographic research I did with Dr. Taso Lagos during a study abroad program in Greece, allowed me to go on my Fulbright to Germany feeling quite comfortable with my research goals. Another critical aspect of my Fulbright prep work was simply the access I had to UW faculty mentors who helped me shape my research approach.”

As a Fulbright Fellow in Germany, Sam served as an enthusiastic ambassador. “I have great pride in being an American and a UW alumnus. I always seemed to find an opportunity to inform [fellow Fulbrighters and friends in Berlin] that the UW would be a great place for them to further their career. One ended up coming to UW for a summer research opportunity.” Currently completing his Master of Arts in Education Policy at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Sam continued his ambassadorial work when he was selected in 2012 as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador to assist with Fulbright’s national outreach efforts.

For visiting Fulbrighters and those abroad, UW is an ideal place to prepare for international scholarship and make strong connections with fellow innovators.

Rome Center offers unique research opportunity

Theresa at the Ara Pacis Museum

During her sophomore year study abroad, Theresa Maloney fell in love – with Rome, art history, and the UW Rome Center itself.  When she returned to Seattle, she immediately began preparing to apply for the Rome Center Intern position.  The internship allows one exceptional undergraduate to live at the Rome Center for a year, conduct in-depth research, and gain professional experience in student affairs, facilities management, and administrative work.

Theresa prepared for the competitive internship position by taking additional Italian language courses, delving deeper into her art history studies, and seeking out faculty mentors who could help her design research proposals. “It’s important to find [faculty] who will support you in your research,” she advises, “you need to be serious and work with advisers and professors to develop a feasible project.” Her hard work paid off, and she was selected as the Rome Center Intern.

Theresa visits Piazza Navona with fellow UW students
Theresa visits Piazza Navona with fellow UW students

While in Rome, Theresa engaged in two research projects.  The first examined the appearance of women in Renaissance portraiture.  In particular, she focused on a painting by Lorenzo Lotto and wrote a paper outlining increasingly dynamic roles of women during the course of the Renaissance.  Her second research project focused on Rome’s Baroque Fountain of the Moor, in which she explored the choices made by Bernini to connect the fountain with aesthetic traditions and political histories of the city while establishing unity within the newly redeveloped public space of Piazza Navona.

Theresa at the Rome Center's Thanksgiving dinner
Theresa at the Rome Center’s Thanksgiving dinner – she baked the pies!

When not engaged in academic work, Theresa was busy with a variety of duties at the Rome Center.  The intern serves as the administrative point person for students and faculty at the Rome Center.  “I didn’t realize that it took so much paperwork to get students to Rome!” she says.  The intern position also “can be lonely”, Theresa explains, “because you’re in between – not a student and not a faculty member.”  However, professors at the Rome Center made her feel right at home, supporting her research activities and including her in class excursions.  She also worked to connect with the local community, taking yoga classes in Italian and joining a gym.

Now back in Seattle, Theresa plans to explore a career path in the field of international education.  “Before my time as the Rome Center intern, I saw [study abroad] from the student side,” she says.  “Now, I can also see things from the faculty and administrative perspective.  I gained so much from the internship – independence, language skills…  I approach things in a new way.”

Study abroad gave alumna new perspective

When L’Oreal Kennedy came to UW, she did not imagine that study abroad would be a part of her education. Today, she is completing an accelerated second bachelor’s program in nursing at Johns Hopkins University, having engaged in clinical internships in St. Croix and the United Arab Emirates. This autumn, she will begin doctoral studies at UW School of Nursing.

Working with children in Namibia Photo: L'Oreal Kennedy

“I knew that [study abroad] was out there, but I didn’t know it was an option for me,” L’Oreal explains.  However, with the help of supportive professors and advisers at the UW School of Social Work, she discovered an exciting study abroad program in Namibia.

While in Namibia, “we saw how social work works in a different environment,” L’Oreal says, “we rode our bikes to an after-school tutoring center in a small township every day and worked as teaching assistants. It was a chance for hands-on application of the skills she was learning in her social work major, and it also convinced L’Oreal that she wanted to study abroad during her graduate studies. “I saw how important it is to get out there while you’re in a learning environment, to meet and develop relationships with local people.”

Taking in the view
Taking in the view Photo: L'Oreal Kennedy

During her nursing program at Johns Hopkins, she engaged in two international clinical rotations. Working directly with medical providers, women, and families in St. Croix and the United Arab Emirates, L’Oreal had the chance to see nursing practice at work in very different cultural contexts.

Now entering the Doctor of Nursing program at UW, L’Oreal sees clear connections between study abroad and her future career. “I’m interested in focusing on under-served populations. [Study abroad] has helped me understand that there’s always another view, something else that I need to consider. I can’t just look at it from my perspective.”