Traditional academic institutions assume that professors are a repository of information that is “given” to students. In the traditional academic model, power relations operate to view knowledge production as sourced “at the top” from faculty and handed to learners who are assumed to know less. UW Bothell (UWB) could not be more different from this traditional model. The mission of UWB and the School of Nursing and Health Studies is centrally focused on social justice principles and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Predicated on these values, our student’s (many of whom are first generation) voice, agency, and empowerment are bolstered through an emphasis on active critical thinking and community engagement skills. In this environment, students are viewed as inherently creative and as having life experiences that catapult knowledge and practice to the next level. As such, it should be no surprise that our students initiate projects that push professors, leaders, community partners, the health field and the region to innovate. To celebrate this, at heart of this month’s newsletter are a series of projects which showcase the power of this kind of learning environment and some of its creative and cutting edge products. These include Health Studies undergraduates partnering with Snohomish Health District to develop social media campaigns for encouraging vaccine-related behaviors, a video produced by our MN students expressing a personal connection to getting vaccinated, and an SNHS student implementing a tribal elders health and mental wellness project while studying remotely in New Mexico.
We hope you enjoy reading about these examples of academic excellence! Have a healthy, safe, and hopeful 2021. We always enjoy hearing from you - whether you have news to share about your career or want to share thoughts about our school, we welcome and value your communication with us!
Shari L. Dworkin, Ph.D., M.S.
Dean and Professor
School of Nursing and Health Studies