Staff spotlight


By Aida Lasher

Cham Kao, Director of Campus Safety

How long have you been affiliated with the University of Washington?
UW – 14 years as a Police Officer and Sergeant
UW Bothell – 2 years as Assistant Director and Director
UW Alum Class of 95’ Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology
Who is someone you admire from UW Bothell and why?
The person I truly admired most was the former Director of Campus Safety, Rich Lewis.  I have known him for about 14 years and most of it was during my career with the University of Washington Police Department.  While I was working as the Assistant Director with him in 2014 he was more of a “Coach” to me than a “Boss”. It reminded me of book I read by Thomas G. Crane titled, The Heart of Coaching:  
THE BOSS pushes people for results, THE COACH lifts people to higher level of performance;  THE BOSS tells people what to do, THE COACH asks questions to see what people feel should be done; THE BOSS unwittingly triggers insecurity, THE COACH consciously triggers creativity; THE BOSS knows the answers, THE COACH seeks the answers; THE BOSS wants to achieve compliance, THE COACH inspires commitment; THE BOSS is focused only on results, THE COACH balances focus on process and performance; THE BOSS tries to get the most from 
people, THE COACH works to get the best from people. 
What goal would you like to accomplish before leaving UW Bothell?
A favorite quote of mine is, "Success is not counted by how high you climb but by who you brought with you" – Dr. Wil Rose. I want to feel proud I’ve hired, mentored and uplifted a team of professionals that set the standard of what a flagship security department should be.
What is one change you would like to see with UW Bothell; within or outside of your department?  
I believe it is critical that we continuously strive to improve our internal relationships across the campus through open, respectful, and transparent communication.
What hobby do you enjoy outside of work?
Photography.  In 2003 while serving as a Detective, I took a Crime Scene Photography course as part of my training and discovered the love for photography.  Since then, I have enjoyed seeing the magic in light, in different angles and perspectives to capture and create an image through photography.
What subject would you like to discuss with a student club or group and why? 
2015 was a difficult year for police officers and the perception of their relationship with the minority community. By speaking with student leaders, I am confident the message will extend to the greater community and can start the healing process.

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