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Two UW alums elected to National Academy of Engineering

UW alum Frank Robinson elected to engineering academyTwo UW alums, Frank Robinson and Hank Levy, have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the most prestigious honors an engineer can receive.

Robinson, a 1957 UW alum and lifetime member of the UW Alumni Association, is retired president and chairman of Robinson Helicopter Co. He was elected for the “conception, design, and manufacture of low-noise, low life-cycle cost, and high-reliability helicopters.” A former engineer for Bell and Hughes and a few other multimillion-dollar helicopter makers, Robinson wanted to create a reliable “personal” helicopter that was affordable for flight schools, small business and thrill seekers. In 1973, he founded Robinson Helicopter in his living room and today outsells all North American manufacturers put together. Robinson was named one of the 26 most fascinating entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine in 2005.

Levy, a 1987 UW alum, teaches at UW and is the Wissner-Slivka Endowed Chair in Computer Science and Engineering.  He was elected for “contributions to design, implementation, and evaluation of operating systems, distributed systems, and processor architectures.” Levy is the author of two books and over 100 papers on computer systems design, and in 2006 co-founded of Skytap, a Seattle cloud-computing company. He also co-founded Performant, a Java performance company acquired by Mercury in 2003.

Here are this week’s Dawg Treats:

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New – Watch videos on the Columns website

Seattle Camera Club photo by Frank Asakichi Kunishige Betti, ca. 1924. Like Columns magazine? Like UWTV? How about the Seattle Camera Club story that ran in Columns in December and on UW 360 this month?

Then, we hope you’ll love this: Readers can now enjoy our Camera Club story, then watch UW 360′s fantastic episode on the club, all from the Columns website. Click here to watch the video and see the new feature!

This is just another look at how we storytellers are beginning to work together across the UW campus. I’m excited to see how this evolves.

Until then, check out the entire UW 360 February episode :

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UW’s workplace giving campaign raises $2 million

George Washington statue at the University of Washington
Every year, the state of Washington’s Combined Fund Drive raises millions of dollars for local charities, and the University of Washington plays a major role in that effort.

Our annual workplace giving campaign, the Combined Fund Drive ended Dec. 10 and UW faculty and staff raised a record-breaking $2,044,404. I was lucky enough to serve as a campaign coordinator for the UW Alumni Association and University Advancement. This was an honor indeed, and I am proud of what we accomplished.

Peter Kelley, assistant editor of UW Today, caught up with Campaign Manager Kerri Everly and penned a nice story on this year’s wrap-up. Everly said the UW’s fundraising represents 36 percent of the total raised throughout the state. Northwest Harvest was the top charity to support for UW employees, while the UW Foundation and University Food Bank were also popular gifts. All told, there were more than 2,800 charities to choose from, and many rely on the Combined Fund Drive to support their annual budgets.

“It was a tough year this year but people are really still supporting their beloved charities,” Everly told UW Today. “That makes it even more special, that the UW community stepped up in that way.”

Read the full story here, and make quick work of this week’s Dawg Treats:

  • Nathaniel Greenberg, a doctoral candidate at the UW who is studying in Egypt, offers his views of the uprising from his Cairo neighborhood. A great read from The Common Language Project as published in the Seattle Times.
  • The UW is partnering with Intel and the U.S. military to help scientists experiment with designs for faster, more energy-efficient optoelectronic chips that compute using both electrical impulses and photons of light. Sounds impressive.
  • A study by the UW, University of British Columbia and University of Wisconsin looked at more than 1,600 college students and discovered that many depressed students are being missed. According to researchers, one out of every four students who visits a university health center has the signs of depression.
  • The Dream Project, founded at the UW to help low-income and first-generation students get to college, was awarded a $972,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Read more…

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UW alums open showroom for digital printing shop

UW shirts from Maverick Apparel PrintingA pair of UW alums have opened a downtown Seattle showroom for their custom printing business, Maverick Apparel Printing. Co-founders Mark Pattison and Greg Smith are committed to a fun, hip and “100% customer-centric” experience, and Maverick’s clients speak for themselves—Seattle Art Museum, Cherry Street Coffee and The Triple Door, to name a few.

Pattison played football for the UW and spent several seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders. He launched a few start-ups and still operates The Pattison Group located here in Seattle, a branded merchandising company, before partnering with Smith on the Maverick venture, which utilizes direct-to-garment digital technology.

Smith is the founder and CEO of Urban Visions, a sustainable real estate development company. He has moderated lectures for the University of Washington and holds a certificate in commercial real estate from the UW’s extension program. His work in sustainable living helped put Seattle on the list of top green cities in America.

Read more about the showroom on the Seattle Met blog.

Enjoy this week’s Dawg Treats:

  • A story in the Washington Post explains how colleges can identify depressed students and includes survey results from UW students.
  • The Wall Street Journal interviews UW alum Andrew Okpeaha MacLean about his coming-of-age drama “On the Ice,” which is playing at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • Two UW alums are developing a video game that challenges players to design new ways to fold RNA molecules. Dr. Rhiju Das, a physicist at Stanford, and Adrien Treuille, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon, met as postgraduate researchers at the UW, where they were on the team that created Foldit.
  • Get the CliffsNotes for the Cliff Mass Weather Blog.
  • Artist and UW alum David C. Kane was featured in the Artdish blog and highlights his show at Eidelauer Picture Club in Seattle.
  • UW Public Health Professor Michelle Williams won a presidential award for excellence in science mentoring, The White House announced recently. Williams established a program to train students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds for research and leadership careers in public health.

    Read more…

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Robert Stacey’s History Lecture Series is a smash

2011 History Lecture Series - UW Alumni AssociationThe UW Alumni Association’s 36th annual History Lecture Series reached its midway point Jan. 18, and we are hearing glowing compliments both for the program and the professor, Dr. Robert Stacey, divisional dean of Arts and Humanities here at UW.

Recently, UW alum Don Harrison wrote a synopsis of the second lecture. It’s always great to hear from a UWAA member, and Don has graciously granted us permission to repost some thoughts from his blog, Confused Ideas From the Northwest Corner:

The child is father to the man, so the saying goes. In the same way, the medieval world gave birth to the modern world of today. To understand why we act the way we do, both as individuals and as nations, we often need to look back to our childhoods.

The UW Alumni Association’s annual History Lecture Series is entitled “Medieval Origins of the Modern Western World.” As a one-time medieval history major myself, I showed up for the sold-out series expecting a rather superficial summation of the more exciting events of the period, a number of anecdotes that might appeal to the average guy who’s been out of school for a while. I was pleasantly surprised.

The series contains just four lectures. I regret having missed the first one, entitled “The Oddity of the Modern West,” while I was in California. This week’s lecture discussed the origins of one such “oddity”: “The Separation of Religion from Politics.” Dr. Stacey’s lecture was one of the best I’ve heard in the years I’ve attended these lectures at the UW. It was well delivered, highly organized, and crammed with information. … As an undergraduate, I took a very good course in political theory, a course that covered these same topics; Dr. Stacey’s single lecture pretty much summed up all the understanding (and more) that I took away from that undergrad class after the finals were over.

So props to the alumni association and to Dr. Stacey. I look forward eagerly to the two remaining lectures, “Limited Government” and “Love and Marriage.”

You can read Don’s full post on his blog.

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A history of UW logos – Which is your favorite?

University of Washington logos

For Huskies, the University of Washington means many things. To the majority of people outside the UW community, the school is an image—a purple block W.  

When people look at the logo, no matter where they are, they don’t just see the logo. They see their personal experiences with the university, and their impressions are based on media and other sources. They see the UW’s reputation.  

With its logo, mascot and color scheme, the UW has always tried to represent the students, the school and the ideals held here. The brand’s evolution has taken some unusual twists and turns but has endlessly inspired students and alumni alike. Let’s open the history books and look back at nearly a century of UW logos.  

First, some interesting notes:  

  • Until 1919, the UW did not have a mascot and used only the block W. But as other schools adopted mascots across the nation, Columns reported, student leaders realized that Washington needed an icon.
  • The nickname “Sun Dodgers” was used until the UW switched to Huskies in 1922. Wanting to move away from Sun Dodgers, university officials decided to go with Vikings but students immediately protested and the school settled on Huskies a few months later.
  • It wasn’t until 1984 that the UW agreed it needed a clear identity and moved to adopt a consistent logo and color scheme. Before that, more than 550 licensees were authorized to use either the block W or Husky logos, and the result was a mishmash of UW imagery.

    University of Washington logo 1919

    Sunny Boy statue at Husky Hall of Fame.

Our story begins with a drawing in the Sept. 1919 issue of the on-campus magazine, Sun Dodger, in which a staff artist depicted a fictional UW student named “Sunny Boy,” a smiling freshman wearing a huge bow tie and carrying an umbrella (right). Despite the initial protests of magazine staff, the name “Sun Dodgers” stuck with the local press and Sunny Boy grew in popularity. Eventually, students commissioned a 3-foot-tall wooden statue in his likeness and carried it to the away football games. See the video from the Husky Hall of Fame.

An article in the Washington Alumnus, which later became Columns magazine, noted the Husky is “a symbol of willingness, courage, endurance, strength and fight.” After settling on the new name, university officials were most excited to use a live dog as an on-the-field mascot, and felt the name Huskies “suggests the idea that Washington is the most northern American university on the Pacific Coast.” A nod to our neighbors to the north, eh?

Read more…

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UW 360: Law students exonerate innocent people

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This is an amazing story of redemption and hope.

In 1997, University of Washington Professor Jackie McMurtrie started the Innocence Project Northwest at the UW School of Law. Since then, her team of students has helped exonerate 15 wrongfully convicted people. One of them was released on Christmas Eve 2008 and spent the holidays with his family rather than in a jail cell.

UW 360 explores the Innocence Project Northwest in this stirring video. For more on McMurtrie and the Innocence Project, read this Q&A from Columns magazine.

Also in January’s edition of UW 360:

By the way, this is Blog Down to Washington’s 100th post. Thanks for reading!

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UW’s Nancy Pearl is 2011 Librarian of the Year

UW's Nancy Pearl is the 2011 Librarian of the YearUniversity of Washington iSchool faculty Nancy Pearl is the 2011 Librarian of the Year, a prestigious honor given out by Library Journal, which has tracked library activities for 133 years.

Pearl, who teaches at UW despite retiring from the library system in 2004, was honored Jan. 7 in San Diego at the midwinter conference of The American Library Association. Read the full story from the Seattle Times.

Winner of a Washington Humanities Award and the author of four books, including her latest “Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds and Dreamers,” Pearl previously served as executive director of the Seattle Public Library’s Washington Center for the Book, and founded the “If All Seattle Reads the Same Book” program.

She was also the model for an action figure put out by legendary Seattle retailer Archie McPhee. It looks just like her. Pearl also starred in the now-famous Lady Gaga spoof produced by UW Libraries. She makes a cameo at the 1:32 mark.

Congratulations, Nancy, on a job well done!

Now, on to this week’s Dawg Treats:

  • What if the Internet had a delete button, so a future boss or mother-in-law was never able to see that photo of you wearing a garbage-can hat on New Year’s Eve or read a teenage status update about illicit drug use? UW researcher Tadayoshi Kohno is working on a program to do just that.
  • Husky play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau was named Washington state’s Sportscaster of the Year for the eighth time. Read a feature story on Rondeau from the Columns archives.
  • UW alum Assunta Ng, founder and publisher of the Seattle Chinese Post and Northwest Asian Weekly, is the 2011 recipient of the University of Washington’s Charles E. Odegaard Award. Ng has devoted her life to promoting and mentoring women and youth.

    Read more…

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