Alumni Updates

Gilberto Arroyo: Ph.D., 1985
Gilberto Arroyo has retired from teaching. He is currently the chair on the Board of Directors at a Federal Credit Union in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Charles R. Blumenfeld: BA, 1966 
Chuck Blumenfeld, senior counsel at Perkins Coie LLP in Environment, Energy & Resources practice, represents clients in permitting and enforcement matters. He served as Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations at the UW Alumni Association. He has served on several boards with the American Bar Association, the Alliance for Education, the ACT Theatre, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and the UW’s Alumni Association and Law School. He is currently on the Henry M. Jackson Foundation’s Board of Governors.

Jim Bordenet: MA,1969
Jim returned to the UW from Army service as an Infantry Officer in Vietnam to complete a Masters degree.  Jim was one of Professor Emeritus Peter H. Rohn's Research Assistants working under a National Science Foundation Grant to analyze and code thousands of League of Nations and United Nations Treaty Series documents.  Jim then completed an Army Reserve career which included Instructor stints at the Army's Intelligence Center and School.  Jim combined this military service with a career as a U.S. Postal Inspector.  Following a second retirement, Jim was Viacom Cablevision's technical advisor for two movies which starred Academy Award winner Louis Gossett, Jr.  One movie was based on the Postal Inspection Service's successful four year investigation of five persons who conspired to mail a bomb which killed a resident of Chugiak, AK.  

Randy Bush: MA, 1980; Ph.D., 1986
Randy Bush is International Academic Advisor and International Relations instructor at Butler Community College in Andover, Kansas.  Randy was approved for a faculty sabbatical for Fall 2013 to work on a "Strategic Plan for International Education at Butler Community College."  He was also accepted for a Fulbright Seminar for International Education Administrators in Berlin, Germany from October 6-19, 2013 which focusses on the German system of higher education and prospects for international education exchange with German colleges and universities.

Bobbe J. Bridge: BA, 1966
The Honorable Bobbe J. Bridge, the Department's 2002 Distinguished Alumnus, was named by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the 2011 Women of Influence. Justice Bridge founded the Center for Children and Youth Justice in 2006 and is currently President and CEO. She served on the Washington State Supreme Court from 1999 to 2007 before retiring to lead the Center full-time in January 2008. Justice Bridge also serves the community as a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist. She has been a member of the Boards of many nonprofit organizations, including YouthCare and the YWCA. In 1999, she helped establish and fund the Pacific Northwest's first court-based child care center at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.

John E. Carlson: BA, 1981 
John Carlson hosts “The Commute with Carlson” on radio station 570 KVI.  His newspaper columns and op-eds have appeared in The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and every daily newspaper in Washington State. Carlson has led three successful initiative campaigns, including America's first "Three Strikes, You’re Out" ballot measure. He co-founded, led and served as Board Chairman of Washington Policy Center. Carlson chairs Bellevue’s Planning Commission. In June 2008 he was named one of the UW’s “100 extraordinary graduates” in the centennial edition of the University’s Alumni Magazine. In December 1999, he was listed as one of the UW’s 100 most influential alumni of the 20th century. 

Morgan Cassell: BA, 2011
Morgan Cassell, a Seattle native and University of Washington alumna, was awarded a 2013 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship. The Rangel Fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. The Director of the Rangel Program, Patricia Scroggs, stated, “We are thrilled to have Morgan as part of the program…  I have no doubt that she will excel in graduate school and make important contributions to promoting global peace and prosperity as a U.S. diplomat.” Morgan will continue to pursue her passion for international class, race, and gender issues by studying conflict resolution, specifically within the Islamic civilizations, in graduate school this fall.

Christine Charbonneau: BA, 1982  
As CEO of Planned Parenthood affiliates for 23 years, Christine Charbonneau has played a leading role in merging several smaller affiliates to create the largest geographic affiliate in the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Starting in 1982 as a sexuality educator and public policy volunteer, Charbonneau is currently CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, with 27 health centers in Alaska, Idaho, and western Washington that provide medical services and sexuality education.

Dow Constantine: BA, 1985
Dow Constantine’s early curiosity about politics led to a distinguished career in public service. A former Washington state legislative intern and aide, Constantine has served two terms in the state House, one in the Senate, and four on the King County Council. In his current position as King County Executive, he has championed government reform, environmental protection, and public transportation, among other causes.

Robert Dahl: BA, 1936
Robert Dahl is the Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Yale University, where he taught for four decades, helping to build the University’s hugely popular political science department. He is past president of the American Political Science Association and author of several books on political theory, two of which—Who Governs (1962) and Democracy and Its Critics (1990)—won best book of the year from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Norm Dicks: BA, 1963
Norm Dicks, who played guard for the Husky football team in the early 1960s, went on to become the longest-serving member of Congress from Washington state, serving 18 terms representing Washington’s Sixth Congressional District. Earlier this year, Dicks announced he would not seek re-election. Dicks has been a powerful House member and the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee. At the UW, he serves on the Jackson School Advisory Board.

Michael Jon Egan: BA, 1990
Michael Jon Egan has been appointed Director of External Affairs at Microsoft. After graduating from the UW, Egan served as Congressman Norm Dicks’ Legislative Assistant, focusing in the areas of education, transportation, housing and agriculture.  He worked in the United States Congress from 1991 through 1995. After serving as the Legislative Assistant to Senator Patty Murray, Egan was asked by Microsoft to return home to the Pacific Northwest to manage the company's external affairs. He has served on the Board of Directors for Good Samaritan Hospital, the University of Washington-Tacoma, the Puyallup Fair Foundation, Youth and Government, the Washington Council for International Trade, and the University of Washington Alumni Association.

Dave Franke: BA, 1987
Dave Franke has spent the past 22 years working for Franke & Company, as one of its principals.  F&C is a private investment company making private equity investments in companies across a variety of industries, as well as real estate investments. Franke is also involved in community work having spent 20 years volunteering for Sojourner Center, a nationally leading domestic violence shelter, as well as the local United Way and other charities.

Carver Gayton: Ph.D., 1976  
Throughout his career in education reform and workforce training, Carver Gayton has maintained ties to the UW as chair of the President’s Club, Alumni Association president, and Arts and Sciences Development Advisory Board member. Gayton served as The Boeing Company Corporate Director, College and University Relations. He is former executive director of the Northwest African American Museum and is a member of its national advisory board.

Gary Gayton: BA, 1955
Gary Gayton parlayed his political science training and athletic achievement at the UW into a distinguished career. Gayton, senior vice president at the investment bank Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., has a long record of fighting for civil rights. After earning a law degree at Gonzaga University, Gayton was appointed by Robert Kennedy as an assistant attorney for the Western District of Washington – the first African American to hold this position. He went on to form a law firm whose clients included anti-war activists and Black Panthers, and has since worked in key federal government posts, investment banking, and law. Gayton has served on more than 60 cultural, civic, charitable, political, and professional boards and committees.

Byron Gray:  BA, 2012
Byron Gray is a triple threat, with three social sciences majors (plus a minor in Hindi) that inform his study of India, a country that first sparked his interest during a freshman year course.  He has studied in India twice and crafted an honors project examining the politics of family law reform in India.  Thanks to a Rhodes Scholarship, he is continuing his studies at Oxford.

Steven B. Goldfarb: BA, 1985
Steven B. Goldfarb graduated from the University of Washington in 1985 with a BA in Political Science. He currently owns and operates Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, the premier jewelry store in the northwest. He serves on a variety of business and charitable boards, including The Couture Collection and Conference, a gathering of the top independent jewelry stores in America. Mr. Goldfarb is also a member of Rotary International.  

Bruce A. Harrell: BA, 1981
Bruce A. Harrell is a member of the Seattle City Council. He is chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee, serves as vice chair of the Transportation Committee and serves as a member of the Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee. He also sits on the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Executive Board, chairs Performance First, and is the Northwest Regional Director for the National Technology Adoption Advisory Council. He served as chief legal advisor to the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund, chief legal advisor to the First A.M.E. Church and First A.M.E. Housing Corporation, and Chief Counsel to U S WEST.

Elise Hebb: BA, 2000
Elise Hebb joined the Madrona Venture Group in 2007 and serves as the Firm’s Director of Investor Relations and Business Development.  Prior to joining Madrona, Hebb managed a $220 million private equity portfolio for the University of Washington’s $1.5 billion endowment from 2002 to 2006.  She also served as CFO of Emerald Hill Capital Partners, a private equity fund of funds from 2006 to 2007.  Hebb earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from the University of Washington.

Timothy Jeske: MA, 1984; Ph.D., 1993
Timothy Jeske is completing his 20th year at Yakima Valley Community College. In June 2013, he was the recipient of the Robert M. Leadon Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is given by the YVCC Foundation based on nominations from faculty, students, and administrators. 

Lawrence M. Knopp, Jr.: BA, 1983 
Larry Knopp is Director of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the UW Tacoma. After earning a PhD in geography at the University of Iowa, he traveled to places as far-flung as the United Kingdom and Australia doing his scholarly work. He has since boomeranged back to his roots at the UW, where he also serves as an adjunct professor of geography.

Kate Knutson: MA, 2001; Ph.D., 2005
Kate Knutson is an Associate Professor in Political Science and Faculty in Residence for the First Year Experience and First Term Seminar Director in Residential Life at Gustavus Adolphus College. She published a book in 2013 called, Interfaith Advocacy: The Role of Religious Coalitions in the Political Process (Routledge Press).

Robert Kocher: BA, 1994
A fourth generation Husky, Bob Kocher’s diverse academic background helped him contribute a unique perspective as a member of the National Economic Council and as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy. In the latter position, Kocher served as an advisor to President Obama regarding the healthcare reform legislation enacted in March 2010. He currently is with a venture capital firm that works with companies focused on the healthcare sector.

Richard J. Latham: Ph.D., 1984 
Former president of United Technologies International China 
Richard Latham was president of United Technologies International China for thirty year and is now retired. After graduating from the UW in 1984 with a degree in Political Science, he joined the military. While in China, Latham was extremely active in UW Alumni affairs.

Andrew Lewis: BA, 2012
As director of the Associated Students at UW (ASUW)’s Office of Government Relations, Andrew Lewis spends much of his time lobbying legislators about higher education issues. It’s been a high-profile position, but not Lewis’s first experience with leadership or politics. Lewis, a 2011 Truman Scholar, has served as a Seattle Human Rights Commissioner, managed a campaign for Seattle City Council member Nick Licata, and interned for Seattle City Council member Sally Clark.

Barbara Madsen: BA, 1974
Barbara Madsen is chief justice of the Washington State Supreme Court. Madsen’s interest in access to the judicial system is steeped in her commitment to equality and humane treatment. Since 1998, she has chaired the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission, a group that notably passed legislation banning the shackling of women prisoners while they are in labor. 

Kelsie Davis McDaniel: BA, 2005
Kelsie Davis McDaniel, was appointed District Attorney of Union County, Oregon, by Governor Kitzhaber in February 2014. Kelsie began her legal career in the Morrow County District Attorney’s Office. She then served as deputy district attorney in the Union County District Attorney’s Office, where she has handled a wide range of cases from minor thefts to homicides. She has served on the board of the Mt. Emily Safe Center, volunteered with the Classroom Law Project and the Oregon State Bar New Lawyer Mentoring Program Committee, and presented to various community groups, including the La Grande Police Youth Public Safety Academy and the Center for Human Development.

John L. McKay, Jr.: BA, 1978
John McKay joined the faculty of Seattle University School of Law as visiting Professor of Law in January, 2007. President George W. Bush nominated Prof. McKay to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington in September 2001 and he served until 2007. Prof. McKay began his career working as an aide to Congressman Joel Pritchard (R-WA) in 1978-79, before going on to earn his law degree at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska in 1982. He was admitted to the Washington State Bar and to practice before the United States District Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. During his legal career, Prof. McKay has taken on leadership responsibilities with the American Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association.

Chuck Mertel: BA, 1957
The Honorable Charles W. Mertel was appointed to the King County Superior Court by Governor Booth Gardner in 1992 and elected to office in November, 1992. Judge Mertel served two years as the Chief Civil Judge in King County Superior Court. He chaired the court’s transition to an all pre-assigned civil calendar (1995-1996). He also served 4 years as a trustee of the Washington State Judges Association (1993-1997), and worked on the King County Superior Court Committees for Jury and Interpreters. He retired from the bench in 2009.  Judge Mertel was a past chair of Washington State Superior Court Judges Association Task Force on Judicial Ethics and Conduct. Judge Mertel is a 1957 graduate of the University of Washington and a 1964 graduate of Duke Law School.

Randy J. Pepple: BA, 1984
Randy J. Pepple has returned to running his own firm, Pepple Communications, after having managed the gubernatorial campaign of Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna in 2012. Pepple’s career experiences include serving as Chief of Staff for Attorney General McKenna and as CEO of the Northwest offices of the multinational communications consultancy Hill & Knowlton. Active in civic affairs, Pepple is a former Chairman of the Alki Foundation and sat on that Chamber's Board of Trustees. He was a founding board member of the Eastside Business Alliance, served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Washington Business, and was a member of the Eastside Business Roundtable. He currently volunteers as a member of the Evergreen Hospital Foundation board.

Heather Pool: Ph.D., 2011
Just months after defending her dissertation, Heather Pool had two chapters accepted for publication by prestigious peer-reviewed journals. The dissertation explores the role of political mourning in developing collective political identity. Pool has served as lead teaching assistant in her department as well as graduate student president and director of the department’s writing center. Off campus, she has served as a self-defense instructor at Home Alive and an intern at Seattle’s Office for Civil Rights. She currently is an assistant professor of philosophy, politics, economics and political science at Denison University.

Dixie Jo Porter: BA, 1959
Dixie Jo Porter is a retired community activist for education, women, and the environment.  A pioneer in personal finance for women, she co-authored a financial planning book and conducted seminars on money management.  Her philanthropic efforts include co-chairing a drive to replace dying cherry trees in the UW’s quad, providing a scholarship in Landscape Architecture, serving as board president of the YWCA, and co-creating a native plant pocket park lauded by the Cascade Land Conservancy.

Rogelio S. Riojas: BA, 1973 
Rogelio S. Riojas has been appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the UW Board of Regents. In 1978, he started Sea Mar which began as a single medical clinic in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood. Today, it is a comprehensive health and human services organization that serves 12 counties and over 140,000 individuals per year in Washington State. He has been the Executive Director for the past 28 years. Under Riojas’ leadership, Sea Mar broadened its services to also focus on education. He established a program that has awarded more than 1,000 scholarships to children of migrant farm workers. He was a recipient of the UW's 2013 Charles E. Odegaard Award, it is regarded as the highest achievement in diversity at the UW.

Jeffrey Roe: BA, 1988
Roe’s responsibilities include sales for all individual markets and employers with fewer than 5,000 employees. This includes those markets served by Premera Blue Cross as well as Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, and LifeWise Health Plan of Washington. His leadership in insurance includes positions as the Chief Marketing Officer for Torrent Technologies and as President of Distribution for Safeco Insurance.  Roe started his career in the Washington, D.C. office of U.S. Senator Slade Gorton and later consulted as a member of The Gallatin Group, a public affairs firm. Roe serves on the board of the Seattle Police Foundation and the Visiting Committee of the University of Washington Economics Department. 

Joel Rosch: MA, 1970: Ph.D., 1980
Joel Rosch is a senior research scholar at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. He will be retiring from research and teaching in 2015. Joel helped found and was the first co-chair of the North Carolina State Collaborative, a coalition of public and private agencies working to establish a system of care for children and families. He has taught courses on law and society and on crime and public policy at various colleges and universities in both the U.S. and Japan. Joel has published articles and delivered papers on policing, crime prevention, dispute resolution, general prevention policy, courts, corrections, crime trends, the politics of crime and punishment, and Japanese law.

Joshua Schaer: BA, 1998
Joshua Schaer has severed on the Issaquah City Council from 2008 to present. He is chair of the Transportation Committee, a delegate to Eastside Transportation Partnership, and a member of the Utilities, Technology, and Environment Committee. He drafted and successfully passed the first ordinance on the Eastside requiring food service packaging in Issaquah to be recyclable or compostable, and requiring on-site containers for proper disposal. Schaer is Associate Attorney at Routh Crabtree Olsen (2010-present) and has argued before the Washington and Idaho Supreme Courts. He was named to the UW’s Moot Court Honor Board and was Founder of the Technology Law Society at the UW.

T.M. Sell: Ph.D., 1997 
T.M Sell is teaching political science, economics and journalism at Highline Community College, and he occasionally teaches political science courses for Central Washington University. His latest book, An Introduction to Politics, was just published by Flatworld Knowledge.

McKinzie Strait: BA, 2009
McKinzie Strait participated in the state legislative internship with Professor Olson during her senior year. She says, "it was such a fantastic experience. It was certainly the starting point for my career." She worked in corporate communications at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, as an LA in the State House, and now she is working for the UW's lobbyists over in the University's DC office.

Travis Sullivan: BA, 1997
Travis Sullivan has returned to Boeing as vice-president of International Strategy and Business Development for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Sullivan was previously the director of policy and strategic planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce. As chief policy advisor to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Sullivan was responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing the department’s policies, strategic priorities and initiatives. Sullivan was a senior policy advisor to U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for foreign affairs, national security and trade (2001-04) and an international trade specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He also worked at the White House (1998) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (1997).

William Thompson: BA, 1968; MA, 1969; Ph.D., 1972 
Bill Thompson is a distinguished professor of political science at Indiana University. His work on international rivalries, including the Cold War, is regularly cited in the field of conflict studies. A prolific writer, Thompson has authored 27 books and more than 120 published articles on international hostilities and global US leadership. He sits on a dozen editorial boards and consults on the subject of world politics.

Colby A. Underwood: BA, 2000 
Colby Underwood has over a decade of experience in business, fundraising, and strategy planning. Underwood began his career as Finance Director for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. He is co-CEO/CBO at Blue Marble Energy Corp, a Seattle-based clean technology company. Over the past three years, he has moved the company towards commercialization via fundraising and business development. In 2002 Underwood founded a consulting firm that raises funds and develops business strategy for technology, clean technology, and start-up companies. His firm has created financial plans, business development and fundraising strategies, and grassroots marketing campaigns for political candidates/groups and non-profit organizations.

Patrick H. Vane: BA, 1971
Patrick Vane has used his UW Political Science degree to pursue a career as a tax lawyer, academician-and early Internet entrepreneur. After graduate studies at Georgetown and USF, Vane launched a successful practice as a tax lawyer and became resident Dean and Provost of Golden Gate University. Following his tax and academic career, Vane then successfully founded the first Internet company to deliver mandatory continuing professional education via the Internet. He is currently active with the UW Computer Sciences & Engineering industry affiliates program and The Center for Game Science. 

Daron Williams: BA, 2011
Daron Williams was recently accepted to the Masters in Environmental Studies Program at the Evergreen State College. He will be looking into the ways to help bridge the gap between science and politics with a focus on watershed management to deal with droughts and climate change. As a part of this program he will be traveling to Fiji this summer for a study abroad class focusing on climate change. Currently he is the Director of Sustainability at Spokane Community College where he has been working with students and the campus administration to promote sustainability related projects on campus. So far they have started a student garden, installed water bottle filling stations and are currently working to establish a six acre conservation area on campus and get at least one bike cage installed to improve bike security on campus.