University of Washington alumnus Steven Holl, a native of Bremerton and leader of Steven Holl Architects in New York City, received a 2014 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award. The Japan Art Association gives the honor each year to recognize lifetime achievements in painting, sculpture, architecture, music and theater or film.
At last month’s TEDxUofW event, UW alumna Julia Robinson spoke candidly about the importance of human resources in solving global health challenges like AIDS. New technologies are getting a lot of buzz, she told the crowd, but supporting health workers is the best way to solve health challenges globally.
“I think technology is amazing, but I also believe… that technology needs people to implement it. We need to put that same level of effort into supporting health workers.”
Julia is Deputy Director of Côte d’Ivoire Programs and Director of Advocacy Programs at Health Alliance International, a center of the UW Department of Global Health. She earned Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Washington.
English literature major Shangé Purnell was chosen for the honor of carrying the Arts & Sciences college banner at this weekend’s graduation. Study abroad played an important part her Husky Experience and helped develop her exciting future goals.
Shangé plans to earn a doctorate in English literature and teach at the college level. Through this work, she wants to help increase diversity in published literary works. She says, “the highbrow elite have set what is highbrow literature – Shakespeare and other mostly white European authors. We’re starting to get more diversity, but it’s still very narrow, it’s still a Eurocentric perspective. I realize that being a U.S. citizen I have been conditioned to have a Eurocentric view, but I’d like to give view to the people of color in this world.”
Beyond serving as an officer in the Black Student Union and as a member of the Students for Diversity Coalition, Shangé also sought new perspectives and leadership experience through international learning. Her experiences studying abroad in the United Kingdom and Ghana with UW faculty-led programs were important in developing her goals and provided new insight into diversity issues. Particularly while in Ghana, where she tutored school-aged children, Shangé tried to see world through fresh eyes. “We tried to look at it from not just a Western perspective,” she says.
Scholarships from UW Global Opportunities supported Shangé’s study abroad experiences. She received the GO! Scholarship for her trip to the United Kingdom, and the Fritz Scholarship for the next summer’s program in Ghana.
Japanese General Consul Masahiro Omura spoke today near Drumheiller Fountain today to celebrate a recent gift of cherry trees to the UW American Ethnic Studies department from the people of Japan.
Also speaking at the ceremony were former congressman and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and UW President Michael K. Young.
The new cherry trees, installed on central campus overlooking Drumheiller Fountain, were presented in honor of longstanding relations between the U.S. and Japan. They also honor the many Japanese and Japanese American students who have attended UW since 1894.
UW mechanical engineering alumnus Thomas Larson (’13) invented a microscope lens for smartphones while still an undergraduate. Since graduation, he has sold 5,000 of his product, the Micro Phone Lens. The smartphone microscopes are being used in classrooms and in the field around the world. His next step? Working with global health experts to test the Micro Phone Lens at a clinic in Kenya.
Alumni Allen Chen, Mohamed El-Zohairy and Bobby Mathews met as Computer Science & Engineering majors. A decade after graduation, they reunited in Cairo to found CloudPress, an online platform that allows users to create and share content like cookbooks, catalogs and instruction manuals. Their venture may have been risky – they started up during the Egyptian Revolution with the help of a tech accelerator – but it has paid off immensely. CloudPress was recently acquired by NewsCorp. Read more at GeekWire…
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…
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…
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.”
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.