People

Alumni Stories

MA in Policy Studies alumni work in a variety of roles and sectors. Learn what our graduates are up to!


Sustainability guru Sean Schmidt champions good biz

Sean Schmidt

In his Nordstrom days, co-workers called Sean Schmidt (’09) the "Green Machine" and an "environmental entrepreneur." Ahead of the curve, Sean was the driving force behind several grassroots employee groups which sought to heighten sustainability awareness at the company and better serve customers who were seeking sustainable products. In 2000, Sean led the effort to launch a Sustainable Business & Development program at Nordstrom with the goal of improving and expanding the company in ways that had economic, as well as social and environmental value, by ...

Read more


Jung Lee (’13) started a new position as Academic Services Manager for the School of IAS at UW Bothell.  In this role, Jung is responsible for the planning, implementation, maintenance, analysis, and assessment process of IAS courses and programs. She guides admission and enrollment management, as well as the equitable process for academic programs and scholarship opportunities.


Brooke Magnusson connects her talents with passion for global health

Brooke Magnusson

Brooke Magnusson (’09) had spent several years in cancer research when she decided to pursue a master’s in Policy Studies.  While she felt positive about her work, she desired greater impact and saw policy as that vehicle.  Through her graduate studies, Magnusson received advanced training in research, policy analysis, and project management.  She also conducted three internships, which complimented her learning, clarified her career direction...

Read more


Houston (’10) credits an internship with Workforce Snohomish, later her employer, as integral to her learning and professional path.

“I really believe so deeply in the work at UW Bothell,” says Houston. She also serves as the alumni representative to the UW Bothell Engagement Council, which looks for more and better ways to connect with students and continue serving the community.

Read more  


Melinda Bocci builds inclusive communities through education and employment

Melinda Bocci

Melinda Bocci (’06) had worked several years in the developmental disabilities sector when she decided to pursue a master’s in Policy Studies. Much of her work was driven by policy, and she wanted to impact change at a systemic level. While earning her degree, critical disability legislation was being implemented in Washington state. Melinda chose to ...

Read more  


Heidi Larwick receives “20 under 40 Rising Business Stars” award

Heidi Larwick

On December 5, alum Heidi Larwick ('05) received a "20 under 40 Rising Business Stars" award, recognizing her as one of 20 emerging business leaders making a difference in the Eugene-Springfield, Oregon community. Larwick is the Director of Connected Lane County, a coalition aiming to increase the number of high school graduates who are successful in higher education and life by creating a streamlined transition between early childhood, K–12, and higher education. Larwick is also ...

Read more

Jefferson Ketchel named Snohomish Health District Administrator

Jefferson Ketchel

On November 7, the Board of Health confirmed Jefferson Ketchel (’08) as Administrator of the Snohomish Health District.  Board Chair Adrienne Fraley-Monillas stated, “It was clear through our search that Jeff is the best person for the job, and we couldn’t be more pleased. He has a passion not just for public health, but this agency and the people of Snohomish County. Jeff has the board’s full support and confidence as we continue moving the health district forward as the community’s chief health strategist.”

Read more  

David Doyle reflects on his transition from Microsoft to public service

David Doyle

In September 2016, David Doyle (’15) began a new venture as City of Seattle’s Open Data Program Manager.  The Open Data Program makes the data generated by the City of Seattle openly available to the public, enabling those outside of government to find solutions to our most pressing civic challenges.

The Master of Arts in Policy Studies program was pivotal in David’s transition from 18 years at Microsoft to the public sector.  “Once ...

Read more  

Caitlin Moore’s research on heat islands contributes to Snohomish County’s healthy housing assessment

Caitlin Moore

For her MA in Policy Studies capstone project, Cailtin Moore (’17) researched heat islands in Snohomish County, mapping temperatures and impervious surfaces. Caitlin’s finding show that developed areas of Everett and other cities are warmer than rural areas. She gave her report, “Turning up the Heat: Urban Heat Islands in Snohomish County” to the Snohomish Health District. Interim Administrator Jeff Ketchel says it will be part of the county’s healthy housing assessment in October. Read the full article about Caitlin’s research.

Read more  

Jennifer Clarke Caruso (’08) has joined ELEVATE Global as Director of their Supplier Ownership program.  Jennifer began her career as a social responsibility specialist at Nordstrom, and then spent nine years at the Fair Labor Association (FLA) supporting licensees and other leading companies in building ethical sourcing programs that promote and protect workers’ rights and improve working conditions.


Vy Nguyen (’12) was appointed appointment as legislative aide to Seattle Councilmember Lorena González, where she will serve as policy lead on immigrant and refugee affairs, housing, homelessness, and education.

     


Chris Covey speaks on victory for Bothell's North Creek Forest

Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume and Gov. Jay Inslee cut the ribbon to celebrate the city’s procurement of all of North Creek Forest

Alum Chris Covey ('03) and other supporters recently celebrated the acquisition of the final parcel of North Creek Forest. UW Bothell has a long history with saving the forest, a 63.4 acre reserve in the heart of Bothell.  A primary champion has been Friends of North Creek Forest, of which IAS faculty members Warren Gold and Amy Lambert are board members and alum Alice Tsoodle (’13, Environmental Studies) serves as Education Manager. Countless UW Bothell students and alumni have toured, studied, and restored the forest, many though UW’s Restoration Ecology Network program.

As co-president of Friends of North Creek Forest ...

Read more  

Policy Studies alumni discuss their career paths with students

Nate Brown, Natasha Hundley, and Brandon Mayfield

Alums Nate Brown (’13), Natasha Hundley (’07), and Brandon Mayfield (’10) recently visited campus to discuss their career trajectories, how they’ve applied policy studies to their professional roles, and resources they maximized as students. 

Nate Brown is a Research Coordinator at the Center for Education Data and Research (CEDR). Nate entered education research following ...

Read more  

Heidi Schauble finds her passion in supporting people with disabilities

Photo of Heidi Schauble with client

Heidi Schauble graduated from UW Bothell with a Bachelor of Arts in Society, Ethics & Human Behavior (’13), and an MA in Policy Studies (‘15).  During this time, she worked as a teacher for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a private, nonprofit school, and she partnered with the Woodinville Rotary to launch the Rotaract Club at UW Bothell, a student club dedicated to civic service.
 
After completing her masters and a capstone research project on education policy issues in Washington State, Heidi was hired as an Employment Consultant for AtWork!...

Read more  

Paula Matano (‘12) is now the program manager for Oregon State University’s Professional and Continuing Education division.  In this role, she develops and manages non-degree certificate programs and roughly 50 online and onsite courses.

Josh Thompson (’11) has announced his candidacy for Edmonds City Council, Position #1.  He currently serves as a Legislative Aide to the Snohomish County Councilmember Stephanie Wright and sits on the Mayor's Climate Protection Committee for City of Edmonds.


Mojan Ahmadi presents on game industry resumes at Game Developers Conference

Photo of Mojan Ahmadi

As Coordinator of Career Services at DigiPen Institute of Technology, Policy Studies alum Mojan Ahmadi ('15) advises students and facilitates professional development opportunities in the video game, entertainment, and technology industry.  DigiPen is a private university that offers bachelor and master degree programs, as well K-12 programs.  Recently, Mojan and colleagues gave a panel presentation on creating effective game industry resumes at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco ...

Read more  

Julianna (Mandler) Martin (’12) has been promoted to Management Analyst at County of Santa Clara’s Clean Water Program.

Melissa Watkinson (’15) is now serving on City of Seattle's Environmental Justice Steering Committee, helping leverage the concerns and voices of Seattle's Native American community.


Abigail Echo-Hawk discusses indigenous research as storytelling on Red Talks

Abigail Echo-Hawk

Alum Abigail Echo-Hawk (’09, Policy Studies; ’07, American Studies) shared her approach to research with indigenous populations on “Red Talks"...

Read more  

David Doyle becomes City of Seattle’s new Open Data Program Manager

photo of David Doyle

Last week Master of Arts in Policy Studies alum David Doyle (’15) began a new venture as City of Seattle’s Open Data Program Manager.  His primary focus is continuing the implementation of Seattle’s open data policy, which involves coordinating efforts across all City departments to accelerate the publishing of high value datasets into http://data.seattle.gov. In February 2016, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed an Executive Order directing all City data to be "open by preference," meaning City departments should make their data accessible to the public after screening for privacy, security, and quality considerations.

A Microsoft employee for 18 years, David credits the Policy Studies program as key in his transition to public service.  Describing his trajectory, David writes:

Read more

Alums Partner with UW Bothell Faculty on Grad and Undergrad Community-Engaged Learning

photo of Irons and Karena

IAS alums Mike Irons ('13, Policy Studies) and Nora Karena ('14, Cultural Studies) have been recognized for their facilitation of community-based and applied learning opportunities for UW Bothell graduate and undergraduate students respectively.  Irons, who is Snohomish Superior Court Juvenile Court Program Manager, has engaged Policy Studies students as interns in various programs...

Read more  

Policy Studies Alumni Share their Career Paths with Students

Photo of Alumni Panel

Four Policy Studies alumni recently met with current Policy Studies students to share their career trajectories and lessons learned along the way. Collectively, they highlighted the value and relevance of  their education, which built skills in research and analysis, program administration, critical thinking, advocacy, and collaboration.  Alumni included: Mariah Crystal (’10),  Jefferson Ketchel (’08), Vy Nguyen (’12), and Josh Thompson (’11).

Read more  

Mariah Crystal and Marcus Johnson Go On to Doctoral Programs

Mariah Crystal and Marcus Johnson photo

Master of Arts in Policy Studies alum (’10) has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in Political Science at the University of Kansas. Mariah’s capstone project for the Policy Studies program in IAS was “Collaborative Social Change: A Transformational Approach,” which focused on the global dynamics of social change and development projects. Global Studies alum Marcus Johnson (’13) is currently ...

Read more  

Vy Nguyen Co-presents Report on “Brain Waste” among WA State Immigrants and Refugees

Vy Nguyen

Vy Nguyen (’12, Policy Studies) has focused the past year on workforce and education issues related to immigrant integration, particularly the issue of "brain waste" among foreign-educated immigrants. Many immigrants and refugees bring a wealth of knowledge and experience yet find it difficult to continue their professional careers in the U.S. This enormous underutilization of human resources has been dubbed “brain waste,” and OneAmerica’s report details ...

Read more  

Melissa Watkinson Selected as Hershman Marine Policy Fellow

Melissa Watkinson ('15, Policy Studies; '11, Global Studies and Society, Ethics, and Behavior) has been selected as the first Hershman Marine Policy Fellow from UW Bothell.  She will start working with The Nature Conservancy this fall on coastal climate resiliency and policies, where she hopes to learn how established non-profits engage with local communities and policies on pressing environmental issues.

Read more 

All Stories