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UW Alumni in the News: July 2013

UW alumni were all over the news in July. So to help you keep up with what fellow Dawgs did last month, we’re rounding up a list of notable UW alum accomplishments. This list is by no means exhaustive; if we’re missing accomplishments or other cool alumni happenings, leave a comment!

Software developer stars in Nordstrom commercial

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Yaw Anokwa, M.S. ’07, Ph. D ’12, has spent the better part of five years developing software and technological tools for developing regions. The technology, called Open Data Kit, initially helped doctors and nurses collect patient data through tablets and smartphones. Open Data Kit is now also employed to help users around the world combat wildfires, monitor elections, and track climate change.

Anokwa, in late 2011, cofounded Nafundi with Carl Hartung, ’03, Ph D. ’12, to better support Open Data Kit users. In this commercial for Nordstrom’s Citizens of Humanity jeans, Anokwa explains Open Data Kit, Nafundi, and how he sees his unique role.

Tim Lincecum throws no-hitter

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Former UW pitcher Tim Lincecum, ’06, who became the first Husky ever selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft, threw his first career no-hitter on July 13, 2013 against the San Diego Padres.

The four-time N.L. All-Star racked up 13 strikeouts en route to the no-hitter, which was the 15th in San Francisco Giants franchise history. Read more about Lincecum’s accomplishment.

Long-time community leader dies

The UW community was saddened this month to learn that long-time Seattle community leader Kip Tokuda, ’69, M.S.W. ’73, had passed away. Tokuda had recently retired as the director of the Seattle Human Service Department’s Family and Youth Services Division. Read more about Tokuda’s community service and legacy.

Ph. D. student selected as new student regent

Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently selected Kiana Scott, M.P.A. ’12, to serve as the student regent on the University of Washington Board of Regents in 2013-14. In this new role, Scott hopes to improve communication between UW’s three campuses and university administration. Learn more about Scott and her appointment.

UW grads behind fund-it-yourself science

Founded by two UW grads, Microryza is changing how science gets funded, from teaching about bees to a campaign to bring a Triceratops skeleton to Seattle. About 80 projects have raised a combined $200,000 through the crowd-funding site, but researchers are getting more ambitious. Check it out at the Seattle Times.

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Tomorrow’s filmmakers, today

NFFTY

When the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) rolls out the red carpet later this week, the next Spielberg or Ephron might be among the 200+ filmmakers whose works will be screened during the four-day festival.

They just might not be able to drive themselves to the screening, and many won’t be able to network over post-festival beers.

NFFTY, entering its seventh year, spotlights 215 films from around the world – all made by directors 22 and younger. Filmmakers come from as far as Denmark and South Africa, but at least two UW students will showcase their work this week: Andrew Mitrack will screen his film “One Way Single,” and Alexis Lee will show “The Face of Facebook.”

The main attraction is the sheer volume of screenings: Films, grouped by genre, will be shown throughout the weekend at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, with many of the NFFTY filmmakers taking part in question-and-answer sessions and panel discussions on a variety of film-related topics. “These youth are definitely on the fast track,” said NFFTY Managing Director Lindsey LeDuc, ’04.

“Kid” isn’t always a misnomer, either. Children as young as 8 have created films for the festival, where the average film is about eight minutes long.

But teens and college students also take part. Many college filmmakers submit their thesis or class projects for consideration, LeDuc said.

One of those students was filmmaker Champ Ensminger, ’12. In 2011, he submitted “Tonal,” a six-minute film he’d shot for a filmmaking class. The film followed a young man’s addiction and relationship with sounds. Ensminger, who now lives in Brooklyn, won the Audience Award for Experimental Cinema for the film.

But, for Ensminger and so many filmmakers, the real fun begins after the credits roll. “NFFTY was a good showcase of the work you’ve been doing, but that’s where it starts,” he said. “It has to be a springboard for doing more work.”

And that connection is what’s fueled NFFTY’s growth over the years. The screenings themselves are just part of what NFFTY does; student filmmakers talk shop, draw up plans to collaborate, and see what their peers are doing, creating a unique atmosphere of creativity and inspiration that lives on long after the festival finishes each year. “By attending, you get to see the voice of this generation,” LeDuc said. “It’s really powerful to have these young artists from all over the world come together to show what inspires them.”

If You Go

What: National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY), showcasing more than 200 films by directors 22 and younger from around the world

Where: Opening Night Gala: Seattle Cinerama, 2110 4th Ave., Seattle, Wash.; All other events: SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle, Wash.

When: April 25-28; visit nffty.org for a complete schedule of events.

Cost: Opening Night Gala: $35, $25 for youth, $20 per person in groups of 10 or more; All other events: $11, $10 for youth, $9 per person in groups of 10 or more.

More info: Call 206-905-8400 or visit nffty.org.

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Go Purple, Win Gold: Huskies at the 2012 Olympics—Around the World

Athletes come from all over the world to train with and compete for the UW. This year, four countries are represented among the 19 Olympians currently striving for the gold in London. Let’s meet some of our further-flung Dawgs!

Ingvill Måkestad Bovim, ’04, Norway

Ingvill Makstadt Bovim

Ingvill Måkestad Bovim

When Norwegian track star Ingvill Måkestad Bovim lines up in the 1500m semifinals on Monday, it will be the culmination of 15 years of hard work and rigorous training. Måkestad Bovim, a native of Odda, Norway, raced onto the scene at the 1997 Under-20 European Championships, where she took fourth place; she would repeat that feat again in 1999. Måkestad Bovim arrived in 2003 at the UW, where she was one of five new Huskies to compete at the NCAA Championships. Since graduating, Måkestad Bovim has raced for Norway at the 2010 and 2012 European Championships, as well as the 2011 World Championships. She is making her Olympics debut in London, where she is competing in the women’s 1500m race on Aug. 6.

Read more…

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Go Purple, Win Gold: Huskies at the 2012 Olympics—Rowing for Canada

Just this morning, the Canadian men’s eight took the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Three Huskies were in the boat. Let’s meet them now!

Rob Gibson, Canada, ’09, Rowing

Rob Gibson

Rob Giblson, ’09, Canada, Rowing

Rob Gibson got his first taste of Olympic success in 2008, when, while still a UW undergrad,  he was a spare on the Canadian rowing team that won gold in Beijing. But the 2009 graduate is no one’s alternate this summer: Gibson, along with fellow Huskies Conlin McCabe and Will Crothers, took the silver medal as part of the Canadian men’s eight rowing team in London. While at UW, Gibson, along with Crothers, helped power the Huskies to national championships in 2007 and 2009. The Kingston, Ontario, native rowed as a junior with the undefeated varsity team that won gold medals at the Pac-10 Championships and the 2007 Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta. Citing the legacy of crew victories, the strong academics at Washington, the generally mild temperatures allowing for year-round rowing on multiple bodies of water, Gibson told the UW Daily, “Rowing at Washington really is the ideal location for a Canadian rower looking to take the next step.

Read more…

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Huskies to Watch for in Today’s Games

What’s going on with the Games? Well, on TV today…

  • All sorts of rowing—qualifying heats and repecherges will be covered periodically all day. Look for Husky rowers on Team USA (Kalmoe, Martelli, Whipple) and Team Canada (Gibson, McCabe, Crothers, Jacob, Calder)
  • The U.S. Women’s Volleyball team will be taking on Team Brazil to continue their quest for gold. Watch for UW superstars Tamari Miyashiro and Courtney Thompson.

Also, UW alumna Janine Sandell will be taking on Algeria with Team Great Britain. Team GB is fighting to stay in medal contention after a 0-3 loss to Russia on Saturday.

Tomorrow, Hope Solo and Team USA Soccer will be looking to follow up on Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Columbia with a match against North Korea.

Check your local listings, and good luck to all our Husky Olympians!

What events are you going to be watching?

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Quick Post: Things You Learn on Twitter, Olympics Edition

Aretha Thurmond

Team Captain Aretha Thurmond, ’98

From Twitter (check out #DawgsInLondon), we learn that Husky Olympic discus thrower Aretha Thurmond, ’98, has been elected Team USA’s women’s team captain. The Team USA athletes choose their captains, whose jobs include selecting the flag bearer for the opening ceremonies. Says Thurmond:

“It is an honor to represent such a great and strong team, this is my third team with Angelo [Taylor, men's team captain], so we know each other well since we were just out of college. I’m happy to be serving the team with him.”

Congratulations, Aretha, and best of luck at the games!

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Go Purple, Win Gold—Huskies at the 2012 Olympics: Men’s Rowing (Team USA)

Some of the 19 UW alumni heading to London for the 2012 Olympics knew each other while they were students. A few even competed together. Volleyball teammates Courtney Thompson, ’08 and Tamari Miyashiro, ’09 were only on the UW team together for a only single year (Miyashiro’s redshirt freshman year coincided with Thompson’s senior-year run for the 2005 NCAA championship—Thompson took some time off to compete professionally before returning for her degree. However, these three Olympians rowed together for most of their college careers, and are now teaming up to race for the gold.

Men’s Rowing

giuseppe lanzone

Giuseppe Lanzone, ’05, Rowing (Photo courtesy of US Rowing)

Giuseppe Lanzone, ’05, Rowing

Despite Giuseppe Lanzone’s hometown of La Punta, Peru, being a hotspot for rowing, Giuseppe Lanzone did not start rowing seriously until after he moved to Virginia at 14—he was more interested in surfing and sailing. Still, Lanzone was a quick study, in 2002 he helped the UW freshman eight take the gold medal at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta, and in 2003 he helped row the varsity eight to its first Pac-10 championship since 1997. In 2006, Lanzone became a U.S. citizen just weeks before rowing with Team USA’s men’s eight in the World Championships. Off the water, he’s been seen in the pages of GQ and has done modeling work for Polo, and currently appears showing off the Ralph-Lauren-designed Team USA uniforms.

Read more…

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Go Purple, Win Gold—Huskies at the 2012 Olympics: Volleyball and Track

19 Olympians with ties to the UW will be heading to London this summer. In our continuing series, we introduce you to them. Here are your Husky Olympians!

Spikers

Courtney Thompson

Courtney Thompson, ’08, Volleyball (photo courtesy of Team USA)

Courtney Thompson, ’08, Volleyball

Kent native Courtney Thompson knows something about winning. In 2005, she helped captain the UW volleyball team to its first NCAA championship. As starting setter in the European professional leagues, she took her team to victory in the national championships. But most impressive was her performance last April, when she led a floundering Puerto Rican civic team, the Cataño Lancheras, to victory against the heavily favored Caguas Creoles. The Creoles had been to the finals 20 times; they had not lost consecutive games in three years. In front of a crowd of 7,000 cheering fans, Thompson’s Lancheras swept the series, winning the small island city’s first professional sports championship of any description. After a four-day party in the streets of Cataño, Thompson headed back home to shoot for Olympic glory.

Thompson is also active in sports philanthropy, visiting hospitals with Team USA and holding free volleyball clinics to help the next generation of women athletes.

Read more…

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