New writer for UW Bothell


By Douglas Esser
I love telling your stories – stories about students, faculty and the University of Washington Bothell.

My job description is communications specialist in the office of Advancement and External Relations. That means I’m a writer, putting information on the website or in news releases to promote the University. Being a University of Washington alum who lives in Bothell, I’m combining two things close to my heart.

Sometimes when I go to work in the morning I think my commute is the reverse of the infamous crows that roost in the UW Bothell wetlands. They leave at dawn to go foraging. Raucous cries announce a few hopping through my yard, turning over leaves and relieving themselves wherever they perch. After I return home, they fly back to the wetlands in huge flocks at dusk. We come and go in alternate directions.

I previously worked at the Seattle bureau of The Associated Press as a breaking news staffer. AP is a great, independent news organization, but let me say this about breaking news: It’s seldom good news. On the other hand, almost everything about UW Bothell is good news.

Its students earn more on average a year after graduating than graduates of any other public college in the state. Money magazine ranks UW Bothell third in the nation on its list of accessible colleges with successful graduates in science, technology, engineering and math.

For example, it’s not unusual for a hiring manager to call computing and software systems Professor Kelvin Sung about his programming graduates and ask, Do you have any more like those?

As University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce said during her spring town hall, "There are still very few universities that are doing access and excellence well. It's when you put those two things together you get real transformation. It's when you change the direction of somebody's life."

Someone once wrote, University of Washington Bothell is where the future goes to college. To be part of this, to tell these stories, makes me feel better. I’ve had all the bad news I can take. This writing opportunity for me is a gift, like the jewel Bothell was given when the state located the campus in the suburb.

What would any other city in the state give to have a development pumping millions of dollars into the local economy, raising up individuals and lifting the whole community? The University of Washington Bothell: You get something whether you go there or not.

My experience as a campus writer is changing my opinion of those messy, pesky crows. Like the students, they’re bold, undaunted and they thrive in the community. Maybe they flock to the University of Washington Bothell because they’re smart.

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