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Black Panther movie “Night Catches Us” produced by UW alum Ron Simons

Night Catches Us, a new film about the Black Panthers produced by UW alumni Ron Simons, will be released by Magnolia Pictures on Dec. 3. Written and directed by Tanya Hamilton, it premiered at Sundance 2010 and was an Official Selection.

This is the first feature film produced by SimonSays Entertainment, Inc., which Simons founded in 2009 to tell the stories, fables and narratives of under-represented communities. Simons left Microsoft Mail’s marketing division to earn his Master of Fine Arts in Drama from the UW in 2001. He now lives in New York City.

It’s 1976 and Marcus (Anthony Mackie) returns to the Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age in the midst of the Black Power movement. He quickly finds himself at odds with the organization he once embraced and must protect a deep secret that could shatter everyone’s beliefs. For more, see the official movie site.

Night Catches Us will be screened Wednesday, Nov. 17, at Cinebarre in Mountlake Terrace. The screening will raise money for the UW School of Drama Career Entry Endowment Fund and is co-sponsored by the UW School of Drama and the Graduate School. More info in this University Week story written by Elizabeth Lowry.

Now, on to this week’s Dawg Treats:

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UW credit cards: Student data is not shared with banks

Alumni and friends,

A recent news report confused the national story about credit card companies and student data with the UW’s program that is focused entirely on alumni.

The UW’s affinity credit card program has never been promoted directly to students and at no time has student information been shared, sold or distributed by the UW or UW Alumni Association.

The UW and Bank of America are partners in promoting the UW’s official credit card to alumni. Select alumni information is used for this specific purpose and the UW retains ownership of all alumni information. At no point does Bank of America retain use of this information for purposes other than promoting the UW’s official credit, checking and debit programs through mailings and promotional efforts that are individually approved by the UW Alumni Association.

I welcome your thoughts. I will answer your questions as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

Paul Rucker, ’95, ’02
Executive Director, UW Alumni Association

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UWAA Past-President Eddie Pasatiempo a hall of famer


The Department of Communication inducted six alumni into its Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 21. Among them was our very own E.M. “Eddie” Pasatiempo, the current Past-President of the UW Alumni Association.

Eddie is a business leader and executive who has enjoyed much success in the technology and professional services. He is an optimist in every sense of the word and one of the most inspirational people I and many others have met at the University of Washington. During his induction speech, Eddie told the crowd, “Thank you to all of you who have touched me, because I am a mosaic of all of you.” Now that’s classy.

Congratulations to Eddie. Read the full story and enjoy this week’s Dawg Treats:

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UW’s new PACCAR Hall is open for business, literally

At the UW’s Foster School of Business, bigger isn’t always better. Unless you’re talking about PACCAR Hall, the incredible new home for one of the country’s premier business schools.

On Friday, Oct. 15, Foster School faculty, staff, alumni and supporters gathered for a private reception to dedicate the five-story, 135,000-square-foot building. Dean Jim Jiambalvo, PACCAR chairman and CEO Mark Pigott, and UW Interim President Phyllis Wise all spoke at the event.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the gorgeous new building.

PACCAR Hall includes 124 offices, 19 classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium and 28 breakout rooms that can be used for small group discussions. There’s also an outdoor terrace and a large cafe that serves Starbucks coffee. It’s called Orin’s Place in honor of UW alum and Regent Orin Smith, the former president and CEO of Starbucks.

Read the University Week story and check out this week’s Dawg Treats:

  • Scientists at the UW have discovered that women who are depressed during pregnancy have a higher chance of premature births.
  • A report by the National Research Council examines how universities have managed the intellectual property of their federally-funded research.
  • When in Rome: Students studying abroad drink more alcohol, according to a UW study. This report has been all over the web—here’s a story from TIME.com.

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Phyllis Wise looks ahead in her first address as UW President

University of Washington Interim President Phyllis Wise delivered the President’s Annual Address on Tuesday, October 12 at Kane Hall.

Wise outlined her goals for her tenure and for the future of the University. Andrew Doughman of The Daily wrote, “She described a university reeling from consecutive years of budget cuts with no promise for relief for the next two years. But even in this climate, Wise rolled out a policy agenda that she said could position the university to emerge from the recession stronger than when it hit.”

Read the entire story from The Daily, and enjoy this week’s Dawg Treats:

  • A vigil was held for Carly Henley, the UW student who committed suicide last week, from KING 5-TV.
  • Slavic Languages and Literature Professor Jose Alaniz donated his treasured comic book collection to UW Libraries, from KOMO 4-TV.
  • Are Americans taking too many drugs? UW Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology Bruce Psaty weighs in on this story from U.S. News & World Report.
  • Get ready for the flu season with tips from UW Medicine’s Dr. Yunyu Cao.
  • UW sociologist and sex expert Pepper Schwartz spoke to the Orange County Register for this story on a recent study suggesting men over 50 are not using condoms. And here’s another Schwartz sighting on the subject from the New York Times.
  • Steve Sarkisian released a new iPhone app. All proceeds will be donated to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.
  • Local basketball star Tony Wroten Jr. chose the UW. His father played football for the Huskies in the 1980s.

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UW alum Samantha Rund hosts new UW 360 show

Samantha Rund has always had an active imagination. Growing up in New York City, that’s only natural. But when her family moved to Montana she found herself reading, writing and painting with a creative zest that changed her outlook on the future.

“I started out wanting to be a movie actress, opera singer, lawyer or Supreme Court justice,” says Rund, a 2006 graduate of the UW School of Drama and host of the new UW 360 show. “The first moment I recall being on stage and thinking, ‘This is what I want to do,’ was when I was playing Juliet in high school. Getting to do that was really a fork in the road for me.”

UW 360 debuted on Wednesday, Oct. 6 as part of UWTV’s new fall lineup. A magazine-style TV show that focuses on the wonderful things happening in our community, the first UW 360 show explored the renowned Lamborghini Lab, dental care for young children, neighborhood farmers markets and more.

Rund, who has her Master’s degree from the UW’s prestigious Professional Actor Training Program, says meeting new people and learning new things attracted her to the UW 360 job. When her agent called with the opportunity to audition, she jumped on it.

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Charter schools are just one of the options, dean says

Tom Stritikus, dean of the UW College of Education, addressed in a recent Seattle Times op-ed the growing interest in charter schools. He references the new documentary “Waiting for Superman,” in which director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvient Truth”) tells the tale of an American education system that caters to adults and not children. Stritikus sees the movie’s buzz as an opportunity to talk teacher training and quality.

A former Teach for America corps member, Stritikus says, “I know firsthand that many of today’s youth aren’t getting a quality education. But can charter schools alone fix this problem?” Washington voters rejected a charter school initiative in 2004, but Stritikus believes it is time to re-approach that decision. He says teachers must represent and respect the diverse landscape in which they’ll work. Charter schools are just one of the options needed to face the challenge, he concludes.

Read the op-ed by Stritikus, and make room for this week’s Dawg Treats:

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Media Space debuts on UWTV with Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh

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There is a lot happening at UWTV right now. Sept. 29 marked the debut of Media Space, a monthly series bringing the hottest issues of the digital age into focus. The show airs monthly on UWTV (channel 27) and you can watch the entire 30-minute debut above or visit the Media Space site on UWTV.org for more information.

Hosted by Hanson Hosein, an award-winning former TV news journalist and director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM), the program’s first guest was Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezburger Network and the mind behind the hilarious LOL Cats and FAIL Blog. They discussed the physchology behind user-generated content and humor, as well as the social impact of such websites.

Said Huh, “In order for things to go viral you need a surprise and a shock factor. It is very difficult for you to be new, to be fresh and unexpected over and over again. So, instead, what we focus on is quality content on a daily basis. If you come to the site and you enjoy it, you will come back again.”

Upcoming guests on Media Space include Elan Lee of Fourth Wall Studios, Kate James of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and web entrepreneur Monica Harrington.

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