Knitting club raises $1,700 for charity
Stop by Metro Coffee on Wednesdays around noon and you're sure to meet up with a lively group of friends engaged in conversation and creative pursuits. They're the knitting club of UWT, and woven among their skeins of yarn, and the clicking of needles is a simple quest for hope: the cure for breast cancer.
Joan Norton, retired UWT librarian, along with other members of the UWT knitting club, sold their wares at a sale Feb. 7 and 8, to raise money for breast cancer research. Photo credit: Sandra Sarr
Throughout the year, these UWT faculty, staff, students and community residents create wearable art - scarves, shawls, hats and more - much of which is sold at a yearly sale that raises money for breast cancer research and patient support. Partnering with Multicare Health Foundation, the group chooses projects where the need is greatest, such as helping women who can't afford screenings to get them. Over the three years of their sale, they have raised nearly $4,000, including $1,700 from this month's annual sale.
Alice Few, database analyst, Computer Services, is the group's current leader, a title she shares with the group's co-founder Joan Norton, retired UWT librarian. Few said the charity sale has special significance to the group.
"Many of our members come to our group and announce that their friend, or someone they know, has just been diagnosed with breast cancer," she said. "In fact, we all know someone who is battling it or didn't survive, and that gives us a real focus."
Each knitter contributes whatever she can to the sale. "Some people, Joan, for instance," Few said, "can really knit up a storm, so she donates a lot." While each knitter provides her own yarn now, Few is hopeful she can find some donations of yarn for their next sale.
In addition to the yearly fundraiser, the group also takes on some special projects, such as teaching knitting to a local Girl Scouts troupe. But the main purpose, Few said, is just to get together and share a favorite hobby while getting to know their co-workers at UWT.
"We're not a stitch-and-bitch group," she said. "We do a lot of networking and really find out what projects people are doing and what's going on around campus."
While the group has members who have been regulars for a long while, Few said, the group has a lot of flux to it. "Sometimes a student will drop in, or a UWT staff person. The group is open to anyone," she said. "And if we outgrow the Metro space, we'll find another place."
A love for knitting, or a desire to learn, is key to the group, but it is the annual sale that gives this group a deeper connection with others on campus.
"Breast cancer probably affects everyone on this campus in some way or another," she said. "The charity sale is a good common thread that, whether you knit or not, you can relate to."
The knitters meet every Wednesday from Noon to 1 p.m. at Metro Coffee.
Professors find creative outlet in the blues
When the Absent Minded Band made its debut at last fall's orientation, their tune "Back to School Blues" left the crowd of UWT students, faculty and staff pining for more. Fortunately, this band, comprised of UWT faculty, is no one-hit wonder. They've been practicing regularly since that first day, and they're nearly ready to take their show on the road.
"We're hoping to hit the big time," said a laughing Bob Jackson, coordinator, Charting the Future Initiative and associate professor, Social Work. "Nah, I'm just kidding. We've been flirting with the idea of doing a gig at a local coffeehouse, but mostly, we see this as a fun community-building experience. Our next official gig is at the next student orientation."
Jackson, who plays the trumpet in the group, is joined by Steve DeTray, IAS lecturer, on guitar and harmonica, and Yonn Dierwechter, assistant professor, Urban Studies, on keyboards. Professional bass-player Dave Brown also plays with the band. The group came together to do music for the orientation and had so much fun, they decided to keep on playing.
They meet at Dierwechter's home in the north end. "We're not a garage band," he said. "We're a living room and merlot band."
For now, his neighbors may be the group's biggest fans. "Houses there are so compressed, the neighbors can't miss hearing us. But they seem to like us," he said.
Dierwechter, who admits he is not as seasoned a musician as his fellow band members, said the band has been a lot of fun for him.
"It has been a privilege to play with these guys," Dierwechter said. "There is a lot of talent here on campus and it's good to see a different dimension to your colleagues."
Tapping into that talent is something Jackson hopes to cultivate. "I've talked with other faculty who are musical, and whether or not I can drag them out to play is another story, but we'd like to have more join us," he said. "The format for blues is really simple, so it's easy for people from other musical traditions to join in." For starters, he said, they'd like to find a drummer.
Dierwechter feels that a band with faculty musicians is a good addition to the flavor of the university. "I think the students, faculty and staff really enjoyed seeing us in another role last fall," he said. "It's good for us to be part of the cultural life as well as the intellectual life of the campus."
So while you may not find the Absent Minded Band in area nightclubs like The Swiss (not yet, anyway), nor will you find a CD of their tunes in any store, you can bet that at least a few evenings a month these professors push aside their books and briefcases and boogie-on-down in an all-out study of the blues.
Leave a lasting legacy through the Faculty-Staff-Retiree Campaign for Students
If you are beginning to think of a way to leave a legacy to UWT, you may be interested in a new campaign that provides matching funds to support students. With a minimum contribution of $5,000, which can be made over five years, you can create a named endowment and the University will match your gift 1:1. This endowment can be used to establish an endowed fellowship for graduate students or an endowed scholarship for undergraduate students.
Your gift can be made outright or you may choose to fulfill your gift over the next five years. Once you have created and named your endowment, you can continue to add to the fund over time, increasing the value of the endowment and the size of the fellowship or scholarship that is awarded.
Establishing an endowed fund can be a wonderful way to honor or remember a colleague, friend or mentor. Through your generosity, your endowment will provide a lasting legacy to future generations of UWT students.
To learn more, go to http://uwfoundation.org/home/staff_stu_camp.asp .
Professional Development Center serves up a winner in chili cook-off
No beans about it, chili makes a hearty meal on cold, winter days, and on Jan. 25, more than 60 hungry eaters scooped up bowls of chili in the first-ever UWT Chili Cook-Off. Hosted by UWT's KeyBank Professional Development Center in honor of the center's third anniversary, the cook-off featured 14 tasty varieties cooked up by UWT students, faculty and staff.
Diners could choose from 14 different varieties of chili at the first campus-wide Chili Cook-Off hosted by the Professional Development Center.
Photos credit: Betty Perry
Judging was serious business, taking place behind closed doors. A panel of departmental representatives judged each sample on taste, smell, appearance and overall impression, said head judge, Steve Costanti, summer coordinator for the center, and an experienced chili cook-off judge, having done this once before for a previous employer.
Mary Hanneman, assistant professor, IAS, won the grand champion prize for her chili, a recipe she said is an original creation of Chad Japhet, IAS class of 2005, and winner of the Chancellor's Medal. "My family and I went down to Olympia to Chad's house to cook up the winning chili, so it was really a team effort," Hanneman said. You can access Chad's Hard-Chargin' Chili here.
Other winners included Julie Buffington, program administrator, IAS, for best meat chili, Gabriela Crosby, program assistant, Social Work, for the people's choice award, and Bob Hardie, student life coordinator, for the best veggie chili. Winners received gift baskets filled with spices, cornbread mixes, ladles and other items related to chili.
The event was a big hit, as well as a good way to tell people about the work of the KeyBank Professional Development Center, said Alice Dionne, center director. "We wanted to bring more visibility to the Professional Development Center, located here on the second floor of the West Coast Grocery Building," she said.
The center, which is a program of UWT, offers continuing education opportunities to public and private sector professionals and organizations. The center was started by a gift from KeyBank.
Mary Hanneman, assistant professor, IAS, won the Grand Champion Award. Photos credit: Betty Perry
On display now at UWT gallery: Devon Demonte's work
The University of Washington, Tacoma art gallery is hosting a solo exhibit by Olympian Devon Demonte now through March 3.
His installation, "the tide that finds," is a collection of narrative works on paper and experimental direct animation film, which explores our connection to nature and objects of the material world. Questions of origin, purpose and the contrast of organic forms in relation to repeated letters of the English alphabet engage the individual in a myriad of thought-provoking critique.
Demonte has worked with experimental film for nearly two decades and has screened his works at the Holland Animation Film Festival, in Utrecht, Holland, the Film Forum at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles, and the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, to name a few. He is the 2005 recipient of the Artist Trust for Washington State Arts Commission, Fellowship in Media award, and as an educator, has taught workshops at Harvard University, Portland University and the Rhode Island School of Design.
The gallery is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1 to 4 p.m, and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Lawmakers consider more freshmen and UWT property
The March 9 end of the Legislative Session is rapidly approaching. The Governor's budget, released before the legislative session began, did not include funding for UW Tacoma as did the Senate budget, released last week, which included $4 million for property acquisition and 25 additional FTE for freshman slots for autumn 2006.
This week the House released a budget that did not include either the FTE or the capital funding for UW Tacoma. The final House budget is slated for a vote on Friday. The next major step in the process is for the House and Senate to reach a compromise budget, which then goes to the Governor for a final signature. The local community continues to advocate on behalf of UW Tacoma and UW lobbyists are in contact with legislators about UWT's needs on a daily basis. Chancellor Spakes and her staff are also in regular contact with key legislators.
The supplemental budget is intended to only address urgent or new needs that arise since the last biennial budget was set. The idea is that everything else can wait until the next legislative session and the 2007-09 biennial budget. However, UW Tacoma's site acquisition funding was high enough on the state priority list to stay in the biennial budget until the very end of the last legislative session but was not funded. The need is even more urgent now to accommodate certain property owners who are ready to sell. If UW Tacoma cannot act, the property could become condominiums, which would make the property expensive and difficult to acquire in the future.
The Higher Education Coordinating Board requested the new freshmen FTE for UW Tacoma to help expand access to education in the state. If funded, these additional FTE bring UWT's totals to 150 FTE slots for lower-division students this coming autumn.
and Staff Notes
Steven Costanti, summer coordinator, Professional Development Center, has been hired as a fiscal specialist in the Advancement Office.
Melody Ferguson has been hired as admissions adviser in the Office of Student Affairs.
Ainslie Kopperud has been hired as student involvement coordinator in the Office of Student Life.
Jan Leonard has been hired as executive assistant in Advancement.
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