2021-22 Husky Highlights

Husky Highlights is a seminar series meeting several times a quarter to feature UW Bothell faculty and staff who are making advances in research, scholarship and creative practice.

Past events

Reimagining Community Engagement Sustainability: Insights for the Postpandemic World

May 31, 2022, Dr. Deanna M. Kennedy and Kara Adams, MA

Authors: Deanna M. Kennedy, Kara Adams, Dan Bustillos, Shauna Carlisle, Mabel C. Ezeonwu, Deborah A. Hathaway, Grace Lasker, and Avery Shinneman.

Congratulations to the team for the recently published paper in the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship. Lead author, Deanna Kennedy, will be presenting their findings.

Scholars in the community engagement field have long discussed measures to sustain community engagement on campus. When COVID-19 emerged, however, university operations, including community-engaged teaching and research, had to pivot. The conversation was no longer about sustaining community engagement but about enduring the pandemic for the sake of students, faculty, and community. In order to inform a more durable community engagement strategy for the postpandemic world, we apply a sensemaking approach for the purpose of organizational learning. We collected quantitative data about 40 planned courses and surveyed 22 community-engaged faculty from April to August 2020 (spring–summer academic quarters). In the same period, we gathered qualitative data from 41 respondents comprising 28 faculty and 13 community partners. The quantitative analysis suggested that, overall, faculty maintained a positive outlook regarding the strategies they used to address the needs of students and community partners and regarding their own expectations and innovations. The qualitative data revealed seven themes—loss and challenge, future uncertainty, action strategies, communication strategies, technology, collaborative resilience, and student considerations—that can help us consider community engagement through the lenses of experience, adaptation, and sustainability. The insights provided here offer ways to improve durability within sustainable community engagement practices. Read paper.

Urban Birds: ciencia y creatividad en piezas informativas

May 31, 2022

 –Dr. Ursula Valdez, Environmental Sciences
 –Andrea del Carmen De La Cruz Vergara, Mag., Facultad de Arte y Diseño, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Urban Birds: science and creativity in informative pieces, is an interdisciplinary pedagogical experience, to revalue through design, little known or stigmatized species of urban birds. The experience was conducted as a COIL module (Collaborative Online International Learning) between the courses of “Editorial Graphic Design” of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and “All About Crows and other Urban Birds” of the University of Washington Bothell led by faculty Andrea De la Cruz, Mag. and Dr. Ursula Valdez respectively. This collaborative module also received the advice of professionals from the Peruvian NGO CORBIDI (Center for Ornithology and Biodiversity). Students worked in international teams to create infographics on urban birds that will be available for educating different target audiences in their respective cities.

Urban Birds: ciencia y creatividad en piezas informativas, es una experiencia pedagógica interdisciplinar, para revalorizar a través del diseño, a especies de aves urbanas poco conocidas o estigmatizadas. La experiencia se realizó como un módulo COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) entre los cursos de “Diseño Gráfico Editorial” de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú y “All About Crows and other Urban Birds” de la University of Washington Bothell liderados por las docentes Andrea De la Cruz y Dr. Ursula Valdez respectivamente. Este módulo también contó con la colaboración de profesionales de CORBIDI (Centro de Ornitología y Biodiversidad) en el Perú. Los estudiantes trabajaron en equipos internacionales y crearon colaborativamente infografías sobre 15 especies de aves urbanas que podrán ser usadas en la educación del público en sus respectivas ciudades.

This presentation will be a co-lingual discussion (not entirely bilingual) in Spanish and English. Esta presentación será una discusión co-lingüe (no completamente bilingüe) en español e inglés.

A Defense Protein in Burkholderia pseudomallei

May 17, 2022, Dr. Hyung Kim

Burkholderia pseudomallei is a recognized bioterrorism agent by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This pathogen persists upon infection despite rapid host immune responses, including exposure to increased nitric oxide (NO) levels in the lungs, which is a defense molecule generated by the host. Antibiotic treatment is only partially effective, and a vaccine is unavailable. This persistence leads to Melioidosis, a disease with a mortality rate of up to 40%. Currently, the mechanism employed by the organism to evade host immune responses is unknow. Through the SRCP funding, we have tested the postulate that a newly identified protein (designated as HP2) in B. pseudomallei is responsible, at least in part, for evading host immunity. We have generated biochemical data that supports this hypothesis, and that HP2 indeed binds NO. As a result, we postulate that HP2 is a key protein in the defense mechanism employed by B. pseudomallei leading to persistent infection.

This presentation was not recorded.

Examining the Efficacy of Fear Appeals in Cybersecurity

May 17, 2022, Dr. Marc Dupuis

Fear appeals have been used for thousands of years to scare people into engaging in a specific behavior or omitting an existing one. From religion, public health campaigns, political ads, and most recently, cybersecurity, fear appeals are believed to be effective tools. However, this assumption is often grounded in intuition rather than evidence. We know little about the specific contexts within which fear appeals may or may not work. In this study, we begin to examine various components of a fear appeal within the context of password hygiene. A large-scale randomized controlled experiment was conducted with one control and three treatment groups: (1) fear only; (2) measures needed and the efficacy of such measures, and (3) fear combined with measures needed and the efficacy of such measures. The results suggest that the most effective way to employ a fear appeal within the cybersecurity domain is by ensuring that fear is not used on its own. Instead, it is important that information on the measures needed to address the threat and the efficacy of such measures is used in combination with information about the nature of the threat. Additionally, fear did indeed elicit the anticipated response: people had higher levels of behavioral intention to engage in better password hygiene. Unfortunately, we also detected a largely negative affective response to the appeals. Fear, as a short-lived emotion, can indeed be effective in the short term. Snapshot-like studies, like the one reported here, might lead us to conclude that fear is indeed indicated and efficacious. Yet, it may backfire in the long term due to the negative long term affects it can trigger.

This presentation was not recorded.

Scratch as a Mathematical Modeling Tool

April 19, 2022


  • Rejoice Akapame, Ph.D., Schools of Educational Studies & School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) – Division of Engineering & Mathematics (E&M) – University of Washington Bothell
  • Arkady Retik, Ph. D., School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) – Division of Computing & Software Systems (CSS) – University of Washington Bothell

Mathematical modeling involves big, messy real-world problems with multiple solutions that are connected to students’ everyday lives such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. The current world pandemic underscores the need for mathematical modeling as epidemiologists have used complex mathematical models to help policymakers make decisions. Not only do these models showcase the power of mathematics and computational thinking in helping understand and predict a real-world phenomenon, but they also call into consideration the way we teach mathematics. In this presentation we will describe our project in which undergraduate computer science students engaged middle school students in using Scratch to solve mathematical modeling problems. Examples of activities and feedback from both middle school and computer science students will also be presented.

Actionable Science: Creating local climate change information to support adaptation planning

April 19, 2022, Dr. Eric Salathé

Little Brown Language: A Conversation

February 15, 2022, Naomi Macalalad Bragin and Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra

Little Brown Language is a performance collaboration between Naomi Macalalad Bragin and Milvia Pacheco Salvatierra. We are interested in reimagining the event of colonization and language loss as portals for accessing our mother tongues, which we remember by performing ancestral rhythms-wisdoms passed on to us in the form of somatic memory. We use singing, dancing, poetry, chants and rituals, to open these portals and to map our family stories of assimilation, immigration, migration and displacement, in the Philippines and Venezuela. For us, performance and collaboration are processes that help us keep the complexity of the ways we connect to, belong to, and are entangled together within these psychic-spiritual systems, beyond our direct or lived experience.

“Little Brown Language” is the title of a 1918 essay by a white American superintendent who describes Filipino school teachers’ native accents as a threat to standard English. The attempted erasure of Indigenous languages is one of the most enduring aspects of colonial encounter. People’s everyday practices show a unique resilience to ethnolinguistic erasure through playful cultural borrowings, adaptations, syncretisms and slangs.

We play at the limits of our given languages to forge space for hearing and feeling new ways of being. We tap into the multiple, sometimes conflicting voices that make home in us, as a way to feel kinship beyond language.

Touching an Invisible Archive: Mixed Reality, Art, and Public Documents

February 15, 2022, Dr. Amaranth Borsuk and Professor Carrie Bodle

Site/Archive/Cite is a mixed reality art intervention based on the National Archives at Seattle that interrogates the relationship of archive to place and public. At a time when many institutions hold out hope for digital accessibility to broaden the audience for their holdings, the realities of what gets digitized and who has access do not always live up to those heightened expectations. What is cited on a website may only be a fraction of the materials available onsite, providing a partial—and highly subjective—window into a collection that fundamentally gains meaning through public access and interaction. What ghosts haunt the archive? Who has put them there? And how might we both bear witness to and intervene into the construction of a public archive? Site/Archive/Cite materializes the spectral presence of digital documents, inviting viewers to re-envision the archive and find themselves within it. Inspired by a clash over the National Archives at Seattle in 2020-2021, this project, a participatory experience broadly available through a cross-platform mobile interface, intervene into the hidden history of the NARA building, establishing an augmented ghost archive that will remain in place long after the original structure has been demolished.

Digital Scholarship and Pedagogy on Black Art in the Pacific Northwest

January 25, 2022, Dr. Jed Murr

Over the past two decades, groundbreaking interdisciplinary scholarship and major national and international exhibitions have significantly revised and reframed our understanding of Black American and diasporic history by focusing on the specificity of Black life, culture, and politics on the West Coast. Yet the Pacific Northwest remains largely absent from this important work. In this talk I will briefly discuss Black Arts Northwest Phase One, a starting point for potential research, teaching, and Digital Scholarship projects that aim to contribute to a growing body of academic and public work on this region and its history. Revised and reframed by the pandemic, the project has thus far focused on engaging students in Digital Scholarship projects that interrogate what it means for differently positioned scholars and creators to document, archive, and “make public” histories of Black art and social life in relation to ongoing forms of displacement, racialized containment, and violence.

Concept models reveal changes in students’ cognitive structures for biology and statistics

January 25, 2022, Dr. Caleb Trujillo

Classroom STEM learning is typically assessed using multiple-choice or written responses that are scored on a linear scale from 0% to 100%. Despite calls for using scientific practices as indicators of learning, most exams in STEM classrooms focus on fact-based instruction with little attention given to alternative assessments which reveal cognitive restructuring in a non-linear way. Using a network approach to analyze student-constructed models of biological systems and statistical concepts, our research explores the changes in models as evidence of learning. We borrow ideas from graph theory about network growth and learning theories of knowledge structure to analyze concept models. In this presentation, we report new methods for measuring learning at both the individual and class scales over time.

STEM Public Outreach Team (SPOT): Impact on the Persistence of Diverse STEM Students

December 7, 2021, Dr. Joey Shapiro Key and Dr. Linda Simonsen

The University of Washington Bothell (UWB) STEM Public Outreach Team (SPOT) trains undergraduate students to bring presentations about current STEM research topics to regional community colleges, K-12 schools, and community groups. The UW Center for Evaluation and Research for STEM Equity (CERSE) evaluates the experiences of the UWB SPOT Student Ambassadors in order to identify and research factors that contribute to persistence in STEM for underrepresented groups. The SPOT program contributes to connections across campus and in the community, using community outreach to support belonging and motivation for STEM students.

Networks in Action: How Students Create and Mobilize Social Capital During College Transitions

December 7, 2021, Dr. Joe Ferrare

The importance of social networks in modern society is widely taken for granted. This is especially true in education and the labor market, where access to competitive colleges and jobs requires particular types of network ties and structures. Previous research has confirmed that college students’ social networks serve as the primary mechanism through which they seek academic and career-oriented support. However, far less is known about how students’ networks actually form within the organizational spaces of institutions of higher education, and the ways that racial, class, and other social dynamics shape these processes. Transitions into and out of college represent key moments to observe these processes and intersecting constraints of network formation, as this is when students must create and mobilize their networks to flourish in unfamiliar organizational contexts (e.g., a new campus or job).

This presentation reports preliminary findings from two studies that have sought to advance knowledge of these processes. The first study involved longitudinal interviews with first-generation college students as they transitioned from high school to college at a large research institution in the Southeast. The second utilizes cross-sectional survey and interview data collected from a smaller pilot study involving graduating seniors at a small public university in the Pacific Northwest. The findings underscore the central role that campus organizations and space play in creating a “snowball effect” of social capital accumulation. However, these process are often disrupted by financial constraints and experiences of racism in the spaces where students form the initial social ties that lead to this momentum. Implications for university programs, student’s career trajectories, and future research will be discussed.

Resilience through Mindfulness

November 17, 2021, Dr. Ko Niitsu and Dr. Hoa Appel

Exams, work, relationships… The university life can be fun yet stressful at the same time. University students’ mental health was increasingly gaining attention due to its tremendous public health concern, and now the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the pre-existing issues. Due to the nature of the pandemic, the students have been withdrawn and isolated by keeping social distancing and stay-in-place guidelines. Mindfulness is an evidence-based approach shown to increase the level of resilience to stress. However, because the most mindfulness-based interventions have been delivered in-person, little is known about the effectiveness and the efficacy of the intervention delivered virtually. During the Academic Year 2020 – 2021, we delivered the mindfulness-based intervention virtually through (1) Zoom and (2) a Phone App for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at UW Bothell. A total of 136 students participated in this study and provided their data. We will present the results of the preliminary data analyses about the impact of the intervention on their mental health and discuss how we may be able to support the wellbeing of our students.

Comparing the function of genes in different crop plants to study how plants develop under environmental stress

October 19, 2021, Thelma F. Madzima, Ph.D. Assistant Professor; Division of Biological Sciences, School of STEM

In biology, genetic techniques allow biologists to determine the function of a gene by measuring the outcome (phenotype) when the function of the gene is removed, e.g., though a mutation. Significant technical advances in the field of biotechnology, including genome sequencing and sophisticated gene-editing technologies, allow us to create mutations targeting specific genes of interest in variety of organisms.

To date, my research program has been using the crop plant Zea mays (maize, corn) as a model organism of study. However, there are certain challenges in studying maize that are not conducive to the types of research questions I plan to pursue, and conducting research at UW Bothell, a PUI on the quarter system. Through this UW Bothell SRCP Seed Grant, I am transitioning and advancing my research program to using the emerging model plant Setaria viridis (green foxtail millet) and to develop a genetic toolbox of mutant stocks in Setaria based on genes of interest previously identified in maize. The long-term goal of my research program is to understand how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms facilitate plant development under normal and environmentally stressful conditions, with the ultimate goal of manipulating these processes as needed for crop improvement. The specific mechanisms of these responses are currently poorly understood, especially in crop plants that play a major role in stabilizing global food security.

No recording available.

The Lake Forest Park Community Bird Project: Assessing the Long-Term Impacts of Urbanization on Bird Species Diversity and Behavior

October 19, 2021, Douglas Wacker, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Division of Biological Sciences, School of STEM

The Community Bird Project examines the intersecting effects of urbanization and changing habitat on wildlife through long-term monitoring of bird species diversity and behavior in parks and green spaces. Survey sites are located within Lake Forest Park, WA, a suburb of Seattle with a rich history of environmental stewardship. Despite maintaining a relatively steady population over the last 20 years, Lake Forest Park is currently experiencing increased development pressure. In 2020, an SRCP seed grant funded the establishment of seasonal surveys in the 11 parks and green spaces in this community, as well as in urban, suburban, and rural companion sites. Additional support is needed to create a long-term dataset that will help inform future park establishment and management decisions. In this talk, I’ll discuss the justification for our research, the first year of data collection, the role of UW Bothell undergraduate researchers, and a growing community engagement component of this project.

Former Seminars

  • Campus Research Connections 2017-2020
  • Research in Progress Speaker Schedule 2010-2017 (pdf)
  • Research in Progress Full Abstracts 2013-2017 (pdf)