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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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Huskies in the NBA

Brandon Roy

The NBA tipped off earlier this week, and more than a half a dozen former Huskies are suiting up this season. How are your favorite UW players doing early on?

Quincy Pondexter (’10)

The guard is beginning his third season in the NBA and his second with the Memphis Grizzlies. Pondexter had two steals, three assists and one turnover on Wednesday, but the Grizzlies lost to the L.A. Clippers, 101-92.

Nate Robinson

The energetic point guard, now in his eighth season in the NBA, signed with the Chicago Bulls this off-season. He scored seven points in his Chicago debut, to go along with five rebounds, one assist and three turnovers. The Bulls defeated the Sacramento Kings 93-87 on Wednesday.

Isaiah Thomas (’12)

The 5’9” point guard, drafted in 2011 by the Sacramento Kings, surprised pundits and fans alike when he earned a starting role last season. He had a strong rookie campaign but struggled in his season-opener against Chicago on Wednesday, notching 10 points, one assist and three turnovers in a 93-87 loss.

Spencer Hawes

The sixth-year center, fresh from re-signing with the Philadelphia 76ers this off-season, keyed an opening-night 84-75 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. The smooth-shooting Hawes finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, three steals, five blocks and three turnovers in the win.

Terrence Ross

The rookie shooting guard, taken eighth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors, finished with no points and one rebound in his debut on Wednesday. Ross played 6:24 of a 90-88 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Tony Wroten

Wroten, along with Terrence Ross, led the UW to the best record in the Pac-12 last season. He declared for the NBA draft and was taken 25th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, who lost to the Clippers, 101-92, on Wednesday. Wroten didn’t play.

Will Conroy (’05) and Brandon Roy

The former UW teammates are reunited this season on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota has yet to play so far but will kick off its season Friday against the Sacramento Kings.

Roy will return to the NBA after a season away. The former Portland Trail Blazer retired after the 2011 season because of a degenerative condition in his knees, but he signed with Minnesota this off-season. Conroy, meanwhile, played sparingly with the Clippers and Grizzlies in 2006-2007, and the Houston Rockets in 2009-2010.

Which Huskies are you keeping an eye on as the season gets underway? Let us know in the comments!

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UWAA President talks budget on KCTS 9 Connects

This past Friday, UW Alumni Association President Colleen Fukui-Sketchley met with KCTS 9 Connects to discuss the University of Washington and the difficulties facing our state’s higher education budget.

To see Colleen’s interview, skip ahead to the 17-minute mark.

Please note the interview is longer than what we have access to above, so once the clip stops click the bright green button to go to the KCTS 9 site and finish the interview. It’s about seven minutes long.

Colleen was also quoted in this story from The Daily about UW Impact, a civic advocacy resource that helps Huskies speak out for the UW and higher education. UW Impact is mobilizing alumni and i’s building serious momentum right now. It is part of the independent, nonprofit UWAA and does not represent the views of the University of Washington.

To learn more, visit UWimpact.org. Colleen, you are the best!

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Budget woes all the talk in UW community right now

Cherry blossoms on the UW campus
The state legislative session is in full swing and there has been lots of coverage recently about the University of Washington’s budget woes.

On April 3, the Seattle Times reported budget cuts have forced UW officials to admit more out-of-state students this year, thus decreasing the number of in-state applicants who were accepted. The story, titled “Straight-A’s may not get you into the UW this year,” has generated an astonishing 700-plus comments on the Times website.

UW gives us what we asked for is today’s headline from columnist Danny Westneat, who argues the budget situation at UW is exactly what the state asked for when it demanded the UW do “more with less.” Westneat says declining state support strong-arms the UW into operating more like a business.

It’s clearly a critical time for all of us who love the UW. More information can be found on the new UW In Your Community map, and alumni can read UW Alumni Association President Colleen Fukui-Sketchley’s letter to members in the March issue of Columns.

Now, the happy return of Dawg Treats:

  • UW Lecturer Ali Tarhouni was named finance minister of the shadow government in Libya. In a March 16 interview with Voice of America, the former Foster School of Business senior lecturer said, “There’s no fear of Gadhafi and his forces. We know he’s gone. … The question is how many innocent lives he’s going to take with him.” Read more about Tarhouni from the Seattle Times.
  • Sadly, a 20-year-old UW sophomore was killed during an avalanche while snowboarding near Stevens Pass. A candlelight vigil was held for Riley McCarthy on the UW campus March 31.
  • Former Husky quarterback Jake Locker impressed NFL scouts at Washington’s Pro Day at Dempsey Indoor.
  • UWTV recently debuted two new shows that feature independent film making and contemporary performances from the UW’s Chamber Dance Company. UWTV also won three prestigious Telly Awards!
  • UW alum Joe Sutter, the famed chief engineer of the original Boeing 747, had his initials carved into the 747-8 that made its maiden flight March 20.

    Read more…

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One in 3 million: UW alum Diana Inch is the only entrant to correctly pick the Final Four

UW alum Diana Rich correctly picks Final FourBe honest, how many of your teams actually made it to the Final Four this year? Not many, if you’re like most of America. In fact, 80 percent of brackets filled out on the Yahoo! Tourney Pick ‘Em game failed to pick a single Final Four team. Not a single one!

Diana Inch had them all. The UW alum and high school librarian is the only participant out of rougly 3 million in the Yahoo! universe to correctly pick the Final Four: Connecticut, Kentucky, Butler and Virginia Commonwealth. She has UConn vs. Butler in the NCAA title game, and believes the “other” Huskies will win the national championship.

Read a full-length interview with Diana from Yahoo! Sports. She says her favorite numbers are 7 and 11 and picked teams closest to that throughout the tournament. Butler is a No. 8 seed, while VCU was a No. 11 seed. She also picked winners based on mascots that were either dogs, cats or had four legs. UConn Huskies. Kentucky Wildcats. Butler Bulldogs. VCU Rams. “Any mascots we didn’t know, I looked up online,” Diana told Yahoo! Sports. “That’s what librarians do, we look things up!”

A 1996 graduate of the UW iSchool, Diana is a librarian and coaches girls soccer at Jefferson High School near Salem, Ore. Way to go, Diana!

Photo courtesy of AP.

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Isaiah Thomas leaving UW early for the NBA Draft

Isaiah Thomas leaving UW for NBA Draft

I’m sure you’ve heard the news by now, but Washington’s talented point guard Isaiah Thomas is putting his name into the 2011 NBA Draft. The junior from Tacoma is not hiring an agent right away, but he assured reporters at a 1 p.m. press conference that he is, indeed, gone for good.

From all of us at the UW Alumni Association—thank you, Isaiah, and good luck!

A local star from Curtis High School, Thomas stayed close to home and led the Huskies to their first outright Pac-10 title in 56 years as a freshman (pictured above). Last year, he helped Washington reach the Sweet 16, and this season he guided the Dawgs to their second-straight Pac-10 tournament title and a win over Georgia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

This kid bleeds Washington, and we wish him the very best in the NBA.

For more on Isaiah Thomas:

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Beloved UW Lecturer Karma Hadjimichalakis passes away

UW Lecturer Karma Hadjimichalakis passes away.The University of Washington lost a dear friend recently. Dr. Karma Hadjimichalakis of the Foster School of Business passed away Feb. 21 after a long illness.

Karma was Principal Lecturer in Business Economics and Finance, and served as co-host for the popular “State of the Economy” forum along with her colleague Dr. Ed Rice. A native of Utica, New York, she joined the UW faculty  in 1970 and won more than 45 major teaching awards, including the first PACCAR Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Foster School’s highest recognition of teaching excellence.

Karma was a favorite of many UW students and alumni, and the UWAA wishes her family all the best. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either Northwest Harvest or the Karma Impact Fund (click on “Search” and type in “Karma Impact Fund”).

Read more on Karma’s life and accomplishments in this story from the Foster School of Business and this beautiful piece from the Seattle Times.

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