Issue 7

UW Bothell Spotlight Newsletter

Stories in this Edition

Undergraduate Researcher Examines the Effects of Climate Change Undergraduate Researcher by Marlene Manzo
Examining the Effects of Climate Change


Intuition to Persevere Intuition to Persevere by Andrew Nguyen
Shining Bright on a Once Dimly Lit Path


Building Community While Juggling School Building Community While Juggling School by Nate Stout
Undergraduate Pursues a Double Major While Raising  Social Consciousness


Undergraduate Researcher

Examining the Effects of Climate Change

By Marlene Manzo

Cotopaxi Volcano

Paulette Costanza, a senior earning her environmental studies degree with the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, works to understand how change affects socio-ecological systems in the tropical Andes.

Costanza was recently awarded the prestigious Mary Gates Scholarship for her work with Professor Santiago Lopez on "Glacier Retreat and Land Cover Change in the Cotopaxi National Park."

Costanza and Dr. Lopez evaluate statistical weather data and remote sensing images to make climate change projections. Her research examines the effects of climate change on the Cotopaxi Glacier in the equatorial Andes, and how the melting of Cotopaxi will transform the lives of 200,000 people who rely on the glacier as their main source of water.

The equatorial Andes region is expecting high temperature increases within the decade, which will affect the availability of water for drinking, daily use, and agriculture.

Costanza highly encourages students to get involved in undergraduate research. She describes research as an investigation which involves "piecing together a puzzle to come up with a larger picture." Costanza says these skills go beyond research, "You acquire life skills that are very useful like critical thinking and problem solving."

She presented her research at the Undergraduate Research Fair on Wednesday, February 27. 

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Intuition to Persevere

Shining Bright on a Once Dimly Lit Path

By Andrew Nguyen

Nykole Mitchell

Nykole Mitchell has a tenacious voice. She grew up fast, fending for herself as a child.

"I grew up in an environment where food at the dinner table each night was not always certain, there were no curfews, and it was up to you to get what you needed. I thought this was normal until I spent time with my friend's families during high school," Mitchell says.

To attend a better high school, Mitchell got a ride from her teacher early each morning. She didn't arrive home till 10 p.m. each night, choosing to stay for sports and club activities.

Mitchell remembers having test-taking accommodations and taking remedial courses in the Individualized Education Program (IEP), but she never knew why.

"People assume that low-income minority children living in Section 8 housing can't perform well in school."

During her freshman year of high school, Mitchell told teachers she wanted to attend community college. This required getting out of IEP and taking upper-level courses.

Mitchell says, "Students easily get stuck in these programs and aren't given a chance to advance. I told advisors my goals and intentions of getting out of IEP. Otherwise they don't help students out of the program, they baby them through it."

Mitchell reached AP level courses and excelled. Of her siblings, she is the only one to graduate from high school. Until her teachers brought it up, going to a four-year university wasn't something Mitchell considered, believing, "poor people like me don't go to universities." She wonders about students who experience the same situations, never given a chance to realize their full potential.

She was accepted to UW Seattle in 2009 and chose UW Bothell because she excels in small communities. Mitchell remembers having the opposite learning experience as her peers. While some students in campus housing were learning to cook and clean, Mitchell was learning personal finance and using school-related technology.

"I never had a cell phone or bank account growing up, and I didn't have a laptop until my junior year in college." Smiling, she continues, "My peers thought I was joking when I told them I never cashed a check before."

Mitchell now helps other college students as a Resident Advisor. Her university experience so far includes two travel abroad trips. She graduates in June 2013, double majoring in society, ethics and human behavior, and business marketing. Mitchell hopes  to work in marketing for Amazon or Microsoft.

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Building Community While Juggling School

Undergraduate Pursues Double Majors While Raising Social Consciousness

By Nate Stout

UW Bothell Junior Marvin Eng has a lot on his plate. His daily commute includes two buses and a trip on the light rail. Majoring in society, ethics and human behavior while simultaneously working to complete a business degree, Eng is also heading up the UW Bothell chapter of Cru, a religious organization dedicated to providing spiritual resources for students.

Marvin Eng "I was visiting the Seattle campus during my freshman year and was impressed by what Cru was doing for the student community there," Eng explains. "Some of the members down there encouraged me to try to get something going up here and I've been working at it ever since. Cru has helped me think about turning my personal convictions and ethics into a resource for other people"

While Cru is a Christian organization (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ), Eng hopes his efforts will contribute to strengthening the student community and character of the university across ethnic, religious, and international barriers.

"It's open for everyone to come and talk, ask questions. We would like to be partnering with other student organizations in their humanitarian efforts, but we are still pretty small and even at this level it's hard work keeping things together."

In some ways, Eng sees his work with Cru as practice for what he hopes to do beyond college.

"I started with the business program because I was familiar with those concepts, and it was a place to start my education. My coursework has exposed me to ways of recognizing and rethinking some of the problematic issues that result in poverty and other inhumane situations. The work I do with Cru is a model for me to begin to learn how to navigate organizational and social structures that can be difficult to negotiate around the world."

To learn more about Cru go to

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