Spotlight Newsletter

Issue 1

UWB Spotlight

The March to UW Bothell

A Veteran, Writer, and Mom

By Nate Stout

The March to UW Bothell

Chelsea Carter is no stranger to challenge. As an alumnus of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Science, Carter majored in media & communications and is now in her first year in UW Bothell’s new Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. Carter reflects on the hard won path that brought her to UW Bothell.

Before pursuing academic and creative development, Carter began her career in the U.S. Marine Corp, an experience which she credits for her work ethic, perseverance, and grit.

But it also took its toll on her physically. "During boot camp I marched on broken feet for weeks and didn’t know it. The pain was unreal, but I was determined to finish, and I did."

Beyond the Marine Corps, Carter found herself raising two kids on her own while facing economic instability. The experience brought her into contact with Hopelink, a local non-profit that provides services to families in need. Hopelink made it possible for Carter to finish her associate degree and move on to UW Bothell.

"I was in community college and felt pretty set on going into journalism. I researched different BA programs in the area, came across the media & communications program, and was intrigued by the range of possible directions I could go. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the depth and complexity of the challenges I’ve faced here at UW Bothell."

Taking advantage of the program’s flexible path toward her BA, Carter’s journalistic interests shifted toward more generative and expressive forms of writing. Experimenting with memoir, poetry, research-based historical fiction, and getting exposure to unorthodox styles in the Masters in Fine Arts program Carter’s voice has begun to emerge.

"In my mind, writing is at the center of everything," Carter says. "I can find a parallel in the writing process with any form of creativity, and as I gain exposure to different forms of writing I acquire new methods of recognizing and expressing life experience."

Carter recently joined Hopelink’s board of directors, an opportunity she views as a way of giving back to the people that made it possible for her to find her voice. Carter brings experience and creativity to this year’s first Masters of Fine Arts cohort at UW Bothell. She is sure to bring recognition to the program on the road ahead.

Carter is dedicated to the continued development of her voice and helping others find their own. "I’d like to travel and teach, and continue to study writing across cultures. There will always be new forms and new approaches to learn. I hope to continue to grow and be able to help others grow through my writing."


Teaching with Passion

Volunteering for Childhood Development

By Marlene Manzo

Trained and registered “Rover” team member takes a break. Photo used with permission by Reading with Rover.

Literacy skills are essential for childhood development, and Katie Divito makes it easier for struggling students to improve their reading skills. Divito is a second grade teacher at Odyssey Elementary School in Everett and a student in the Masters of Education Program at UW Bothell.

Divito understands the importance of literacy in the life of a child and participates in a non-traditional method of teaching literacy. The Reading with Rover program is a community- based literacy program volunteering in schools, bookstores and libraries in the Puget Sound area.

In the “Rover” program service dogs like Ava, Divito’s boxer, serve as an unbiased mentor for students. The students read to the dogs without fear of judgment or stress from their peers. Divito says, “The students don’t feel the pressure that they do when they read to their teacher; they’re not worried that they will make a mistake. They know the dog won’t judge them.”

She has noticed the students find comfort in holding or petting Ava. Katie says “it was surreal” to see Ava and the student interact and understand one another.

Divito created a video on her work with Reading with Rover for her Stories as Teachers class. “I thought I would share it with my immediate class,” she says, never imaging it would receive much attention.

In a matter of 12 hours, Divito was offered a scholarship for her work. Her scholarship was awarded through the Reading with Rover program. This scholarship will allow both Katie and Ava to do an extensive training session where Ava will officially become a certified Reading with Rover dog.

Divito is thrilled to embark on this new journey and continue to change the lives of her students. She will graduate in fall 2013. To view her video and read more about the program, visit:

Images provided by Reading with Rover website.


Fear and Isolation in UW Bothell

Using Performance Theater to Convey a Message

By Andrew Nguyen

After retiring from a career in law enforcement, Omer Terrason stepped back in to the academic realm in spring 2011 to pursue his passion for performing arts and social justice at The School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Science.

A year later Terrason produced and directed The Zoo Story, a theater play written in 1958 by American playwright Edward Albee. The play focuses on isolation and social stratification, an image of how society has become disconnected.

The Zoo Story tells the story of Jerry, an isolated and disheartened man who is desperate to have a meaningful conversation with another human being. Jerry meets Peter, a middle-class publishing executive and family man. The entire play is set at a park bench in New York Central Park where the two meet.

Terrason says, “We live in isolation, and in proverbial cages, where our lives and our actions are being watched but not understood. In the play, the characters acknowledge each other's existence, but they are unable to communicate because of the social constructs regarding socio-economic dichotomies. In my opinion, these parables are more relevant today than they were sixty years ago, when Albee wrote the play.”

Terrason is guided by his experience witnessing a homeless man in clear need of medical attention being ignored by bystanders in downtown Seattle. While in the culture, literature, and the arts degree program at the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Terrason wanted to understand the origins of such social behavior, intolerance, and violence.

In addition to other coursework, he took every performing arts course including acting, script-writing, directing, and film analysis. Terrason had a message to communicate.

It took the culmination of everything he had learned to produce and hone his vision for the play. “A director must communicate effectively bring a vision to life for the actors, creative team, investors, theater operators, and the most important group of all - the audience,” he says.

The play was showcased in spring 2012 at UW Bothelland was well received by faculty members and students.

Terrason is now a first year student in the Masters of Arts in Policy Studies (MAPS) program at UW Bothell. Theater still holds relevance to Terrason’s work, saying, “Theater and the performing arts are part of our culture, they stipulate our identity. When our identities are compromised, the fabric that holds our society together weakens.

Terrason will use his time in the MAPS program to, “learn the ways to develop policies that enhance general human condition, and thereby, preserve our culture and our society.”

Last image, Joseph Lavy (left) and Arjuna Gupta (right) rehearse The Zoo Story at UW Bothell, March 2012.


Spotlight on Student Leaders

Meeting Student Organization Officers at the UW Bothell Involvement Fair 2012

By Andrew Nguyen

On September 26 student leaders gathered the codex d promenade to represent their organizations at the Involvement Fair. Whether it is a particular social issue or the desire to form new connections, the Involvement Fair makes it easy to find like-minded peers.

UW Bothell boasts not only a diverse student body but a diverse range of student organizations focusing on topics from Latin American peer mentorship to community-based radio broadcasting. There are more than over 93 registered clubs and organizations and hundreds more club officers.

Below, we spotlight just a few of the many club officers making a difference in the local community.


Stirring the Fire

Global Women’s and Girls Empowerment

Alyssa Nevala and Kimmy Blume represent the UW Bothell Chapter of Stirring the Fire.

The mission of Stirring the Fire is spreading awareness of gender-based issues around the world, and acting as a connecting point for UW Bothell students to become involved in meaningful ways. Stirring the Fire is a Seattle based nonprofit focusing on global gender equality.

“Many of us became involved after founder Phil Borges gave a presentation in Professor Ashbaugh's Women Across Cultures course. More personally, I am involved because my academic work highlighted the continuing significance of gender-based issues and STF provides a way to take action," says Nevala.

This autumn the UW Bothell chapter will focus on women’s participation in politics around the world.

Sustainability Organization

Spearheading UW Bothell’s Development of Sustainable Practices

Aaron Huston and Liliana Olivella are leaders of the Sustainability Organization of UW Bothell and Cascadia Community College.

On October 24 UW Bothell celebrates Campus Sustainability Day. Members of the Sustainability Organization will promote recycling and composting, as well as the use of reusable water bottles and water fountains provided on campus.

Huston, “We promote practices such as decreasing the use of plastic bottles that are sold because of the toxins in the bottles and the negative environmental impact.”

Stay tuned for information on Earth Day 2013, an annual sustainability event that happens each April.

Future Healthcare Professionals Society (FHPS)

Tomorrow’s Doctors and Dentists

Christopher Chin, Co-President, says, “Through volunteering in the community we can become better healthcare providers. We also want members to be competitive when they apply to medical school and we support this by volunteering, gaining opportunities to observe professional practices, and undergraduate research.”

The Future Healthcare Professionals Society (FHPS) at the University of Washington Bothell was created to advocate for dedicated pre-medical, dental and pharmacy students who exhibit passion to be competitive applicants to the professional school in which they apply. The FHPS hosts volunteer and learning opportunities in partnership with pre-med honor societies, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians.

“We are inspired to redefine what it means to be a pre-medical, dental or pharmacy student. Traditionally the notion of competitive tactics has fueled students towards success. We encourage a new school of thought that re-roots to the ideas of inspiring change and making a difference in the lives of the underserved and those in need,” Chin says.