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UW Notebook


UW Notebook features stories of interest to the UW community — including projects and books by, and recognition of, UW faculty, students and staff. If you’d like to submit a story idea, email mistysr@uw.edu.


June 22, 2022

Q&A: New book from UW professor examines history, consequences of fifth columns

Hand controlling a man as puppet

A new book co-edited by Scott Radnitz, associate professor in the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, features original papers on the roots and implications of the politics surrounding real and imagined fifth columns.


June 17, 2022

Q&A: New children’s book shows how natural world inspired inventor to create medieval robots

Book cover showing a medieval robot

“Robots and Other Amazing Gadgets Invented 800 Years Ago,” a children’s book by the UW’s Faisal Hossain and Qishi Zhou, shares the inventions of Ismail Al-Jazari, a 12th-century polymath considered by many to be the “father of robotics.”


June 16, 2022

Q&A: Healthier soil leads to more-nutritious food, argues new book by UW geomorphologist David Montgomery

book cover showing crops

David Montgomery, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences, discusses soil health, food nutrients and human health. He is co-author of “What Your Food Ate,” being published this month.


June 15, 2022

Video: Improvised Music Project Festival’s new format focuses on recording process

Man wearing mask sits behind professional looking microphone

This year, the School of Music’s Improvised Music Project focused on audio recording, inviting acclaimed recording engineer David Boucher for a weeklong workshop. The new format allowed students and faculty to gain experience with UW’s new mobile recording system while teaching fundamental recording and audio skills. 


June 10, 2022

Q&A: Amy Snover, outgoing director of the UW Climate Impacts Group

Amy Snover

Amy Snover, the retiring director of the UW Climate Impacts Group, reflects on her past decade of leadership and on how the groundbreaking climate preparedness group has evolved over more than a quarter century of existence.


June 8, 2022

UW doctoral student leads effort to change diploma name policy, demonstrating power of trans community

Person wearing Western shirt smiling with grass and trees in the background

In 2021, UW registrar Helen Garrett announced that, for the first time, the UW would allow graduates to use a chosen first name for their diplomas. The policy change was the result of efforts led by Vern Harner, a UW doctoral student in social work, and a change.org petition that earned over 30,000 signatures, demonstrating the power of the trans community.


June 7, 2022

Burke Museum receives national award

museum gallery

The Burke Museum at the University of Washington in Seattle today announced it is one of six recipients of the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The award is given by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Burke Museum is the only institution in Washington to be selected.


May 26, 2022

With EcoCAR, UW students experience post-COVID camaraderie under the hood of a hybrid vehicle

students standing with a car with logos on it

With the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, UW students modified a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer to use electrification, advanced propulsion systems and automated vehicle technology. It’s an opportunity for students — across four years — to take a car from design to a consumer-ready product.


Video: Alexes Harris draws attention to low representation of people of color in bone marrow registry

Bald woman in hospital bed looking at nurse examining medications beside her

In 2016, Alexes Harris was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. But a search for a bone marrow donor turned up only five matches, and none ended up being a donor. People of color are underrepresented in the bone marrow registry; according to Be The Match, the nation’s largest bone marrow registry, white people have a 79% chance of finding a match. But a Black person’s potential match is only 29%, and Asian and Latinx people both have about a 47% chance. People of Native American ancestry have a 60% chance of finding a match.


May 11, 2022

Faculty/staff honors in STEM mentoring, applied mathematics and Inuit languages

Recent recognition of the  includes the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring for Joyce Yen, the election of J. Nathan Kutz as a Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics fellow and the recognition of Alexina Kublu with the 2022 Inuit Language Recognition Award.


May 9, 2022

Q&A: Exposing the anti-radical origins of anti-Asian racism

A row of books with their spines facing up

In his new book, University of Washington history professor Moon-Ho Jung traces how Asian radicals organized and confronted the U.S. empire and were labeled criminally seditious as a result.


April 14, 2022

Historian Bailkin, astronomer Levesque receive Guggenheim Fellowships

Aerial view of UW Campus

Two University of Washington faculty members are among 180 experts in the arts, humanities, law and the sciences chosen as 2022 Guggenheim Fellows, according to an April 7 announcement from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Jordanna Bailkin, a professor in the Department of History, and Emily Levesque, an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy, are among the new class of fellows, which were selected from a pool of nearly 2,500 applicants.


April 13, 2022

Two UW faculty named fellows of Ecological Society of America

campus sign

Two University of Washington professors have been honored by the Ecological Society of America for their knowledge and contributions to the field of ecology.


UW artist in residence adds to Grammy Award total

Sheet music resting on a piano keyboard

An artist in residence at the University of Washington School of Music, Steve Rodby produced “Mirror, Mirror,” which won the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. He now has 14 Grammy Awards.


April 8, 2022

UW professors show that Japanese democracy is ‘flourishing’ as co-editors of first Oxford Handbook of Japanese Politics

Book cover against a background

Robert and Saadia Pekkanen, both professors in the UW Jackson School of International Studies, are co-editors of the first Oxford Handbook of Japanese Politics, published online in September 2020 and in print in January 2022. They worked with dozens of collaborators around the world to add the topic to the respected collection of Oxford Handbooks that presents surveys of original research.


April 4, 2022

Q&A: From the Philippines to the US, analyzing a global political shift to the right

A flag of the Philippines waving in front of a blue sky

In his book “The Sovereign Trickster,” University of Washington history professor Vicente L. Rafael examines the authoritarian rule of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and tries to make sense of a global shift to the political right.


March 30, 2022

Faculty/staff honors: Student union association’s highest honor, supplier diversity award and more

Recent recognition of the  includes the Butts-Whiting Award for L. Lincoln Johnson, INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s Jesse L. Moore 2022 Supplier Diversity Award, Ben Brunjes’ fellowship with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Policy Planning and Liaison, and the recognition of Yong Wei as a NOAA Ambassador of Tsunami Risk Assessment.


March 17, 2022

New volume on gender-neutral language sheds light on political controversy in France

In France, a political controversy arose when a gender-neutral pronoun was added to a respected dictionary. This controversy made a new volume co-edited by the UW’s Louisa Mackenzie especially relevant. It describes how nonbinary French speakers are changing their language to reflect their identity.


March 15, 2022

UW professor’s new book presents opportunity to ‘rethink housing’

Seattle buildings at sunset

A new book by Gregg Colburn, assistant professor of real estate at the UW, explores the factors that drive homelessness, and the cultural and economic shift that can ultimately benefit all — housed and unhoused.


March 4, 2022

Ukrainian American professor shares insights on ‘gut-wrenching’ events in Ukraine

Laada Bilaniuk is a professor of anthropology at the whose expertise is Ukrainian culture and society. The daughter of Ukrainian Americans, she shares insights on the Ukrainian people who are resisting, how the conflict relates to the use of language and the perspective of the local Ukrainian community.


February 22, 2022

Q&A: Student Kaden Lee on competing in the ‘Jeopardy! College National Championship’

Person in Husky sweatshirt on Jeopardy

The “Jeopardy! College National Championship” brought together undergraduate students from 36 U.S. colleges and universities. Kaden Lee, a UW junior from Medical Lake, Washington, majoring in aeronautics and astronautics, appeared in the tournament on Feb. 11.


February 17, 2022

UW biologist and computer scientist named Sloan Fellows

head shots

Two faculty members at the University of Washington have been awarded early-career fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The new Sloan Fellows, announced Feb. 15, are Brianna Abrahms, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, and Yulia Tsvetkov, an assistant professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.


February 11, 2022

Samson Jenekhe, Anna Karlin elected to National Academy of Engineering

Samson Jenehke, a University of Washington professor in both the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Anna Karlin, a UW professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, announced Feb. 9 by the academy.


February 3, 2022

Custodians share COVID experiences, show pride in their work in art exhibit

The UW Custodian Project is advocating for custodians, lifting their voices and raising awareness about their important roles on campus. As part of the project, an art exhibit called “(in)Visibility” is hanging in UW Tower through March. It features photos taken by 16 custodians, paired with their testimonials.


January 31, 2022

UW wins 2021 EPA Regional Food Recovery Challenge, preventing waste and feeding the hungry

UW farms

The University of Washington’s Seattle campus saved more than 5 tons of food from being thrown away in 2020, preventing unnecessary waste and helping feed people in the community who struggle with food security.


January 26, 2022

Four UW faculty members, incoming Burke Museum leader named 2021 AAAS Fellows

Four current faculty members and the incoming executive director of the UW’s Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture have been named AAAS Fellows, according to a Jan. 26 announcement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are among 564 new fellows from around the world elected in 2021, who are recognized for “their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements” in science and engineering.


January 13, 2022

UW Pharmacy’s Drug Interaction Database, built to promote medication safety, wins national innovation award

Pills on a table

The UW School of Pharmacy’s Drug Interaction Database — the core research tool from the school’s nonprofit Drug Interaction Solutions team — is celebrating both a national award for innovation and two decades of independent funding through licensing agreements with companies, research institutes and regulatory agencies around the globe.


January 12, 2022

Q&A: Cuong Vu looks back at playing trumpet on new record by the late David Bowie

Cuong Vu plays trumpet against a dark background

In 2000, the late David Bowie recorded his album “Toy,” which went unreleased due to the financial struggles of his record label. On Jan. 7, it was finally released, and it features Cuong Vu, UW professor of music and chair of the jazz studies department. Vu look back at working with Bowie, the music industry and music education.


December 6, 2021

UW Law’s Angélica Cházaro named one of six ‘Freedom Scholars’ for work on immigration, abolition

Angélica Cházaro is one of six researchers around the country to be named a “Freedom Scholar” by the Marguerite Casey Foundation and Group Health Foundation.


December 3, 2021

Hans Rosling Center wins state, national architectural design and project awards

Has Rosling Center

The Hans Rosling Center for Population Health has won top awards in 2021 from state and national design and construction associations for both its architectural design and unique project delivery approach. The building was designed by The Miller Hull Partnership and the general contractor was Lease Crutcher Lewis. The Design Build Institute of America in…


November 5, 2021

From the land of the Reindeer People to Red Square: Teacher brings the Mongolian language to the UW

Azjargal Amarsanaa, a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant, is teaching the Mongolian language to UW students for the 2021-22 academic year. It’s the first chance UW students have had to learn Mongolian in 15 years.


October 20, 2021

The Jackson School’s Taso Lagos reflects on becoming American at his family’s restaurant, the Continental

sketch of a restaurant

In 2013, Seattle’s U District neighborhood lost one of its most cherished businesses. The Continental Greek Restaurant and Pastry Shop, owned by the family of the Jackson School’s Taso Lagos, sat on University Way for nearly 40 years before closing its doors that June. Lagos looks back on the restaurant and what it meant to his family in a memoir due to be released this fall.


October 4, 2021

UW’s Shyam Gollakota named 2021 Moore Inventor Fellow

portrait of man smiling

Shyam Gollakota, a UW professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, has taken inspiration from nature’s tiniest creatures, creating inventions that allow humans to use technology to go where they haven’t gone before. He is being celebrated for those inventions as a 2021 Moore Inventor Fellow.


September 14, 2021

Returning to the U District: Recovering from the pandemic with more changes ahead

Hardship, change and resilience — that’s been the experience of the U District community during the pandemic, just as it’s been the experience of us all. As students, faculty and staff return to campus in September, they are going to find that the UW’s front door looks different — and it is on the precipice of even bigger changes to come.


July 29, 2021

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy honors UW College of Built Environments faculty, Nehemiah Studio for curriculum on mitigating gentrification

The Nehemiah Studio, a UW class on mitigating gentrification in Seattle's Central District designed by Rachel Berney, Donald King and Al Levine with support from College of Built Environments Dean Renée Cheng, been honored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The course supports joint efforts by the college and the Nehemiah Initiative Seattle to train graduate students to help mitigate displacement in Seattle’s Central District.

The Nehemiah Studio, a UW class on mitigating gentrification in Seattle’s Central District, has been honored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.


July 9, 2021

Faculty/staff honors: Early career honor in communication, distinguished service award in theoretical computing

The International Communication Association has given Kristina Scharp, UW assistant professor in the Department of Communication, its 2021 ICA Early Career Scholar Award.

Recent honors and achievements by UW faculty include an early career award for study of family communication and a distinguished service award for decades in support of theoretical computing.


June 29, 2021

From the Jackson School: Endowed scholarship for India study, book on angels in ancient Jewish culture

In her new book, "On My Right Michael, On My Left Gabriel: Angels in Ancient Jewish Culture," Ahuvia explores the ancient Jewish practice "centered on humans' relationships with invisible beings who acted as intermediaries, role models and guardians." The book was published this month by University of California Press.

Recent news from the Jackson School of International Studies includes a new endowed scholarship for study of India made possible by two alumni, and a book on angels in ancient Jewish culture by Jewish Studies professor Mika Ahuvia.


June 23, 2021

Jana Mohr Lone advocates for children’s voices in new book, ‘Seen and Not Heard’

In her new book, Jana Mohr Lone asks, how would the world benefit if children were recognized as independent thinkers? How would their lives change "if what they said was not often ignored or patronized?"

In her new book, Jana Mohr Lone of the UW Center for Philosophy for Children asks, how would the world benefit if children were recognized as independent thinkers?


June 16, 2021

UW Ocean Voices program, seeking equity in ocean science, gets key approval from United Nations

Ocean Voices, a program of the University of Washington-based Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center to advance equity in ocean, science has been named among the first group of actions taken in a United Nations-sponsored, decade-long program of ocean science for sustainable development. "The human relationship with oceans under modern market systems is unsustainable, unstable and inequitable," writes Yoshitaka Ota, director of the center.

Ocean Voices, a program of the UW Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center to advance equity in ocean science, has been named among the first group of actions taken in a United Nations-sponsored, decade-long program of ocean science for sustainable development.


June 14, 2021

Faculty/staff honors: Humanitarian award, early career research support, literary journal guest editor

Richard Anderson, professor in the UW's Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, has received the 2020 ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions Within Computer Science and Informatics from the Association for Computer Machinery.

Recent honors and achievements for UW faculty include an award for humanitarian contributions to computer science, early career research recognition and support, and the guest-editing of a new anthology of Black American literature.



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