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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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Astronaut and UW alum Bonnie Dunbar featured in UW 360 video

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While the Museum of Flight didn’t get a space shuttle, it’s still an amazing piece of Northwest culture.

Former astronaut and UW alum Bonnie Dunbar served as president and CEO of the Museum of Flight until April 2010. Visit Seattle’s Museum of Flight and hear from former astronaut and UW alum Bonnie Dunbar as they prepare to house the full-fuselage shuttle trainer from NASA.

UW 360 takes you on a tour of the Museum of Flight in this exciting video. Read more on Dunbar, the 2004 Alumnus of the Year in this 2004 article from Columns magazine.

Also in May’s edition of UW 360:

UW 360, a magazine-style show that takes you inside the University of Washington, airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on UWTV (channel 27 in Seattle). New episodes air the first Wednesday of each month with UW drama alum Samantha Rund as host.

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UW alumna Elisha Logue started the Innovator’s Network

UW alumni Elisha Logue, left, started the Innovator's Network.

A new way to donate and help fight cancer has come, and with it comes the full support of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Innovator’s Network strengthens the ties between donors and scientists to fund the future of cancer research. It was started by Scott Hutchinson, great-nephew of the center’s namesake, and UW alumna Elisha Logue as a way to get a younger demographic to begin donating. 

According to a 2008 report, people in their 30s and younger were donating just 1 percent of the total amount received by the center each year. By connecting with potential donors 45 and under, the Innovator’s Network can create a bond that will grow as the people become more stabilized in their life. In order to make joining the Innovator’s Network easier, the group organizes events such as happy hours to fit into the lives of younger individuals. 

You can watch this video to see how the network is committed to getting new donors involved with the new group. 

“The (people) we are looking for, they really want to give—but they may not have felt they could make a big difference on their own,” Logue says. “And they may still be searching for that thing they feel connected with, and want to give to. This generation is about giving back and involvement—and it’s about networking with people of other backgrounds we wouldn’t have known otherwise. Social interaction is important to us.”

Read more…

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Five UW alumni raising money for cancer at The Madhouse Project

At the University of Washington, five great friends came together: Phil Friedman, John Fiala, Mitch Morando, Brad Newcomer, and Kurt Shintaffer. After graduation in 1996, they lived together near campus in a house dubbed “The Madhouse” before moving on, and out, to the rest of what life was bringing their way.

From playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers to attending graduate school, they left Seattle behind. But when eight years had passed, they had all returned and were looking to give back in a meaningful way. Thus was born The Madhouse Project, a Seattle charity that has been operating since 2005 in support of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Every year, this influential group of UW alumni, along with Randy Tennant, a friend of Friedman’s from the MBA program at UCLA, organize the Night Out for a Cure cocktail fundraiser to donate to the SCCA. Since its inception, the Night Out for a Cure has progressed from raising more than $16,000 in a single night to more than $150,000.

To learn more about the project and its five UW alumni directors, visit The Madhouse Project site.

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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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Get your science on at Paws-on Science April 8-10

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From racing a solar car to learning how comic books can make us healthier, the second iteration of Paws-on Science: Husky Weekend at Pacific Science Center will take place April 8-10.

There will be exhibits and hands-on (“paws-on” if you’re a true Husky!) activities for the whole family from more than 30 University of Washington research programs. Harry the Husky, the Husky Marching Band, the UW Cheer Squad and everybody’s favorite mascot, Dubs, will make special guest appearances.

All UW alumni, donors, students and staff receive discounted admission. Click here for more info.

Last year’s Paws-on Science was super successful. If you’re free this weekend and looking for something fun and family-oriented, look no further than Paws-on Science.

Stay tuned for a full report after the event!

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Life’s a dish for “Orangette” author Molly Wizenberg

UW alum and Orangette author Molly WizenbergAn intense love of food is nothing new to Molly Wizenberg, a former Ph.D. student at the University of Washington who now writes a popular food blog along with a full plate of other goodies.

Molly came to the UW after graduating from Stanford to study the cultural values surrounding the French social security system in the pursuit of becoming a medical anthropologist. Today, she is very far from that goal. Now she’s the author of Orangette, a tasty blog that mixes Molly’s life experiences with the foods she loves. She’s also the co-host of the humorous food podcast Spilled Milk as well as a columnist for various food magazines, author of the best-selling book A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, and co-owner of the Ballard pizzeria Delancey with husband Brandon Pettit.

Molly has become a true foodie of Seattle. “I’m just grateful to earn a living doing work that I love,” she said. “That’s the best part, hands down.”

Orangette is the blog Molly began in 2004 just after leaving the cultural anthropology program atCake by Molly Wizenberg UW. Since then, she has shared with readers stories about her past, her love of food and many innovations on new and old recipes. Molly recently announced she had sent out her new book proposal, and while she cannot divulge the secrets of her new book she did say it will be similar to her previous book, which intertwined memories with the food that made them memorable; much like the blog does on a day-to-day basis.

The stories Molly tells on Orangette are heartfelt and honest, and her inner self shows through completely. In the story of living in France and having leeks vinaigrette prepared by her host mother, readers can feel the love of learning about new food. Likewise, her enjoyment of summer is evident in the raspberry yogurt popsicles she shared with readers last July.

Read more…

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