Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Congrats to Kate Trinh '10, Matelich Scholar

The accolades keep coming in for Kate Trinh (and PG, of course). Last week it was the news that Kate had been granted a Trimble award so that she could continue research in Vietnam; this week we heard she was one of five students to be given the Matelich Scholarship for $12,000.

University guidelines state that "Matelich candidates...demonstrate exceptional drive, discipline, and determination to achieve a high measure of success after college and emerge as a leader in their chosen field. Candidates...exhibit strong moral character, leadership abilities, and be involved in campus activities and/ or are making a difference through community service."

Way to go, Kate!

5/4 Brown Bag Talk: The Torture Memos

Defining Torture: The Justice Department Memos and Coercive Interrogation
Monday, May 4, 2009
Wyatt Hall 109

When President Obama decided to release four memos written by the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice he created a political tempest that will not go away any time soon. These memos outline in graphic detail the procedures used to interrogate suspected members of al Qaeda and the legal justifications for those procedures.

Professor Seth Weinberger will lead a discussion of many of the issues raised by these memos: Are the techniques used by the CIA to interrogate suspected terrorists torture? Were they illegal under U.S. law? Under international law? Should members of the Bush administration involved in these practices be prosecuted, and if so, who should be? Does it matter if the techniques produced “actionable intelligence”?

Hosted by the Department of Politics & Government

torture discussion

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Change education?

You may have seen this editorial in the NYT yesterday; a few excerpts below. Thoughts? One response can be found here.

April 27, 2009
Op-Ed Contributor
End the University as We Know It

...If American higher education is to thrive in the 21st century, colleges and universities, like Wall Street and Detroit, must be rigorously regulated and completely restructured. The long process to make higher learning more agile, adaptive and imaginative can begin with six major steps:

1. Restructure the curriculum, beginning with graduate programs and proceeding as quickly as possible to undergraduate programs. The division-of-labor model of separate departments is obsolete and must be replaced with a curriculum structured like a web or complex adaptive network. Responsible teaching and scholarship must become cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural.

Just a few weeks ago, I attended a meeting of political scientists who had gathered to discuss why international relations theory had never considered the role of religion in society. Given the state of the world today, this is a significant oversight. There can be no adequate understanding of the most important issues we face when disciplines are cloistered from one another and operate on their own premises.

It would be far more effective to bring together people working on questions of religion, politics, history, economics, anthropology, sociology, literature, art, religion and philosophy to engage in comparative analysis of common problems. As the curriculum is restructured, fields of inquiry and methods of investigation will be transformed.

2. Abolish permanent departments, even for undergraduate education, and create problem-focused programs. These constantly evolving programs would have sunset clauses, and every seven years each one should be evaluated and either abolished, continued or significantly changed. It is possible to imagine a broad range of topics around which such zones of inquiry could be organized: Mind, Body, Law, Information, Networks, Language, Space, Time, Media, Money, Life and Water.

3. Increase collaboration among institutions. All institutions do not need to do all things and technology makes it possible for schools to form partnerships to share students and faculty. Institutions will be able to expand while contracting. Let one college have a strong department in French, for example, and the other a strong department in German; through teleconferencing and the Internet both subjects can be taught at both places with half the staff. With these tools, I have already team-taught semester-long seminars in real time at the Universities of Helsinki and Melbourne.

4. Transform the traditional dissertation. ...For many years, I have taught undergraduate courses in which students do not write traditional papers but develop analytic treatments in formats from hypertext and Web sites to films and video games. Graduate students should likewise be encouraged to produce “theses” in alternative formats....

6. Impose mandatory retirement and abolish tenure.

Reminder: 4/28 Brown Bag: US-Cuba Relations

P&G Brown Bag Series: the Department of Politics & Government invites all interested students to join a casual conversation about current events led by department faculty and driven by student questions.

The next P&G Brown Bag will be held on April 28, 2009, from 12-1 in WYATT 226.

TOPIC OF DISCUSSION: U.S.-Cuba relations in the Obama Administration

The recent Summit of the Americas presented President Obama with an opportunity to meet with leaders from 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations and to articulate his approach to diplomacy. The administration has also begun to liberalize relations with Cuba, and just announced some important changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba, including easing travel restrictions for Americans with family members in Cuba and expanding telecommunications services in Cuba. Professor Share will lead a discussion about these changes, the Summit of the Americas, and their implications for U.S.-Cuba relations in the Obama administration.

P&G will provide beverages and dessert; just bring your lunch and your interest!

For questions about this event, or to recommend a discussion topic for the future, email Professor Kessel,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Congrats to our research award winners!

PG has a bumper crop of research award winners this year:

Katrina Bloemsma has been awarded a Bangs-Collier Research Award for her summer project, "Understanding History and Sovereignty in Native American Environmental Conservation".

Geoff LeGrand has been awarded a Summer Research Award for his summer project "The Sandinistas since the Sandinismo Experiment: Perseverance and Change".

Kyla Roberts in Foreign Languages and International Affairs will be working under PG professor Don Share on her Summer Research Award project, "Socialism or Death: The Trajectory of Socialism in Venezuela".

Kate Trinh has been awarded a Charles Garnet Trimble Award for research in Vietnam during the summer of 2009 in preparation for her senior thesis project in the Politics and Government department.

Congrats, all!

PG alum needs interns in Tacoma

From T'wina Franklin '06 who is campaign manager for Victoria Woodards:

Victoria Woodards for Tacoma City Council!

Public Service That Puts People First

Tacoma is at a critical juncture in its history, a city rich in tradition, history and culture. Proud to call the “City of Destiny” home for nearly her entire life, Victoria has seen this city grow and become the amazing community we all know it as today, but Victoria also knows….we’re not done yet.

We haven’t yet achieved all that we know this city is capable of achieving.
Through hard work, collaboration, and strong leadership we can make Tacoma the city we know it can be, but to get us there we need a committed public servant who knows Tacoma and its people.

Victoria Woodards is that leader.

Please join us as we build our community block by block on this campaign, we would be honored to have your support.
Please contact T’wina Franklin to volunteer!

Friday, April 24, 2009

4/30 talk: Armstrong Williams

On April 30 ASUPS Lectures presents an evening with Armstrong Williams, called “one of the most recognizable conservative voices in America” by The Washington Post. Mr. Williams, a third generation Republican, is a political commentator, syndicated columnist, and TV and radio host. His column appears weekly in the Washington Times and his radio program, “The Armstrong Williams Show,” can be heard across the nation throughout the week.

Armstrong will present a lecture titled, “Has America Lost Its Moral Economic and Military Might in the World?” at Kilworth Chapel (N. 18th and Warner) at the University of Puget Sound at 8:00PM. Williams is a pugnacious, provocative and principled voice for conservatives and Christian values in America’s public debates. Admission is free for UPS students and $5 public. Tickets are available at the UPS Info Center.

From 2002 to 2005 Williams hosted “On Point” with Armstrong Williams, a monthly primetime television special whose guests included Vice President Richard Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Williams has served as confidential assistant to the Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as well as legislative aide and advisor to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond. In addition, Williams served as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and legislative assistant to the U.S. Representative Carrol Campbell, former governor of South Carolina.

Williams is a board member of The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc and the Youth Leadership Foundation and a member of Independence Federal Bank Board of Directors. He is also the CEO of the Graham Williams Group, an international public relations consulting firm.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jonathan Roberts '10 updates from Ecuador

The email with everything in it--travel, alums, internships, and paramilitaries...

Hi Professor O´Neil,

This e-mail has been long in coming. First, let me say that UPS Politics people do indeed flock together! We had a lecture from two U.S. State Department representatives from the US Embassy here in Quito and the Political Officer was Mark Pannell, UPS Politics and Government Class of `89! Small world.

Times down here have been pretty fascinating with elections coming up on April 26 and doing work on the politics of alternative development with a group called Defense of the Community of Intag (DECOIN) which is a region in Imbabura, the province directly above Pinchincha (where Quito is located). This group has been resisting copper mining by Canadian companies since the late 90s. My advisor is Carlos Zorilla, the president of DECOIN and, interestingly enough, was targeted for assasination by paramilitaries hired by two companies and had to live in hiding and change his appearance on two separate occasions. He has recently brought charges against a number of Canadian companies for violations of the Ecuadorian constatution, so while he´s a busy guy, he´s an amazing resource. I´m excited to have the opportunity to work with him.

At the same time I´m working as a consultant for Earth Economics (I think I mentioned this) on a project doing a cost-benefit analysis of ecosystem services provided by the Intag It is actual, factual, on the ground development work and I´m happy as a clam building alliances, conducting interviews, and talking with stake-holders. Today I had took two kids from the street out to lunch after I spoke with them for a bit about their work. It´s crazy to see how prevelant the informal economy is here and how sistemic it actually is. David(10) and Efran(11) came in and offered to shine my shoes (which I didn´t need). But in the process I asked them what they made, if they made enough, and (because they looked like hell, but dirtier and more thin) when the last time they had eaten. I suppose it was for my own selfish reasons, but I asked them if I could buy them lunch, proceeding to glean some insight into the effect of poverty on these kids. After asking if they went to school, Efran said he did, likes math and wants to be a doctor, but David responded that he couldn´t becasue he didn´t have good shoes. He proceeded to show me the gaping hole in his shoes that went from the middle toe around to nearly his arch. That was the only thing that (he said) was keeping him from going to school. Shoes are cheap (to we comparatively rich americans) so I sprung for a $15 pair, and he said I was a gift from God. I can´t believe that something as seemingly trivial as a pair of shoes can stand between a ten year old kid and his we have reasons to complain.

Any way, I´m learning a great deal and am looking forward to hearing back from the enrichment comittee about a research grant proposal I submitted. If it goes through I´ll be continuing looking at Intag´s development model through the political lens of the Correa administration´s populist rhetoric concerning mining revenue. He has pointed to mineral wealth as a source of funding for social programs, but he´s quoting a ridiculous figure ($220 bn revenue), when less than 7% of the reserves are ¨proven,¨ the rest are possible reserves (which are least certain). Furthermore, only 5-7% of the actual $220bn quoted would stay in the country. If we´re critical (which numerous economists here are), we find only a meager amount that would be gained, only for 10-15 years and at the cost of some of the richest areas of environmental importance to both the carbon and water cycles. All that said, I really hope to have the opportunity to continue on this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Intern for Tacoma City Council race

My name is Zach Shelton and I am the campaign manager for Keven Rojecki who is running for Tacoma City Council, at-large. I was wondering if you and your department at UPS would [let your students know of] opportunity to intern with our campaign. We would be able to provide a firsthand experience of municipal elections and on the ground campaigning at the local level. Feel free to call me at 360.259.0202 or via e-mail.

Thank you,
Zach Shelton
Keven Rojecki for Tacoma City Council

Recap: Pacific Northwest National Security Forum

From Kammi Sheeler '10

On April 17, Elly, Zak and I attended the 2009 Pacific Northwest National Security Forum. This year the topic was the complex relationship between the United States and China. Presentations included short speeches by Washington State Representatives Adam Smith and Dave Reichert, and a great keynote speech and question/answer period with Ambassador Darryl Johnson, whom the three of us got to meet and speak with afterward (and we got a picture!). He was an incredibly interesting and friendly person, and all three of us were amazed by his career which included government placements at crucial moments in the recent histories of various countries, including China.

Later in the day there were two panel sessions, with experts speaking on issues of how the U.S. both partners and competes with China. Overall the event was very interesting and informative, and most of the people there were excited to see students participating in the event. The three of us are definitely planning on attending next year's forum, and we would strongly recommend that other students take advantage of this opportunity as well. For those who need an added incentive, the refreshments included the biggest cookies any of us have ever seen...just putting that out there. As one last note, we'd like to thank the PG department for funding our attendance of the event. It was a great experience.

--Kammi Sheeler

Dexter Van Zile '87 on CAMERA

Dexter Van Zile '87 has been working for the organiation CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America). He's given a couple of presentations of late; below, a talk at Boston College:

You can also hear excerpts from a recent radio interview here. Thanks for the update!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Congrats to Giorgio Cafiero '08--on to grad school

Congrats to Giorgio Cafiero who has been accepted to the University of San Diego's International Relations Master's program and will be studying Middle Eastern politics there. Way to go!

Monday, April 20, 2009

See Tacoma through the eyes of a Lincoln (pic)

Hat tip: Derek Young '96 at Exit133:

I had heard that the recent campaign for the 2009 Lincoln included some promo stuff shot in Tacoma. What I didn't know is that if you go to the main webpage, not only is the car on top of the Glass Museum, but that you can do a 360 view that shows the Tacoma skyline. Pretty cool.

Death and the Maiden and CHE

Film and theater:

CHE begins at run at the Grand Cinema



I'm directing a play for the Senior Theatre Festival that might be of interest to your students and I was wondering if you would forward this on to your Latin American Studies Listserve. It's called Death and the Maiden and was written by Ariel Dorfman, a Chilean who lived in exile during the Pinochet dictatorship. Dorfman's notes at the beginning of the play state that it is set in "a country that is probably Chile but could be any country that has given itself a democratic government just after a long period of dictatorship." One does not need to know anything about Chilean or Latin American history to get a lot from this play, but
as a Spanish minor who has studied abroad in Chile, I know how much more meaningful this play is when one has studied or cares about the issues that shaped it.

Death and the Maiden is Friday, April 24 at 7:30 and Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 and 7:30, Norton Clapp Theatre in Jones Hall, $6 for UPS community, with a free preview on Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 as well.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at


Megan Knottingham

Asia Wright '04 on Cruise Ships and Antarctica

Interesting piece from Asia Wright '04 in the California Journal of International Law, "Southern Exposure: Managing Sustainable Cruise Ship Tourism in Antarctica". Check it out--

Friday, April 17, 2009

4/23: Afghan Dean of Law to talk on Sharia

islamic law 11x17

see you there--

Afghan Law School Dean to Speak on New Islamic Law and Women’s Rights

TACOMA, Wash. – Dean Gran, dean of the Kabul Shari'a Faculty (Kabul School of Islamic Law), will give a talk addressing a new law passed in Afghanistan that expands Shi'ite men’s rights over women. The controversial new law has been condemned by many in Afghanistan and internationally for severely restricting the rights of Shi'ite women and for turning the country toward a renewed totalitarianism of religious extremists. The talk, “Islamic Law and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan,” will start at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, April 23, in Wyatt Hall, Room 109. The public is welcome to attend. Admission is complimentary.

Gran, who heads the oldest and most prestigious Faculty of Islamic Law in Afghanistan, will follow his talk with an extensive discussion and question-and-answer session. Details of the new law came to light this month and set off an extraordinary public debate on the once-taboo topic of religion and sex in the conservative Muslim nation. Critics say the law enables men to imprison and rape their wives. It requires women to seek their husband’s permission to leave home, except for purposes such as work or weddings, and to submit to their sexual demands unless they are ill.

The law was initially intended as a conciliatory gesture to the Shi'ites, who make up just 20 percent of the country’s population, and who have complained about being subjected to Sunni laws. But it has stirred up a political storm, including a formal protest by more than 200 Afghan leaders. It is also straining relations with Western nations which have been a major source of economic and military aid.

The talk is sponsored by the Department of Religion; Office of Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice; Department of Politics and Government; and the Gender Studies program.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Four Day Workweek and Social Capital

Hat tip: Carly Kneppers '05:

Last August, Utah instituted a four-day workweek for 17,000 government employees. They started working four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days. They all get every Friday off and their pay is unaffected. The hope was that, with many agencies closed on Friday, the state could save money on utilities...

And what are people doing with their time off? They invest in their children and build social capital. Robert Putnam would be proud:

“Every Friday morning now, [Sonia] Smith volunteers at her son’s school. She helps students with their spelling tests and relishes the extra time with her son. Smith’s family and baby sitter adjusted their schedules to enable her to work the adjusted hours.”

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Must-take course: Writing Beyond the Academy

From our friends in the English Department. Invaluable:

Business and Social Science Majors:
Wondering what you’ll do after graduation? Enroll in Fall 2009’s
Writing Beyond the Academy
(English 300A)
to help you figure it out.

In this one-night-a-week course you will . . .

• apply your communication skills to the sorts of tasks you’ll encounter in the working world

• learn about careers in fields you’re interested in and make professional contacts in those fields

English 300 will give you practice in business writing and will introduce you to new publishing technologies that professionals in more and more fields are expected to be familiar with. You’ll write and polish targeted resumes and cover letters, critique websites of potential employers, and publish articles on a commercial blog space internet (that is, worldwide) exposure. You’ll come way from the course with confidence in your communications skills--and a portfolio of written work to share with prospective employers.

English 300A Fall 2008 Wednesday eves., 7-9:30 p.m. Enroll now!

Wednesday! Brown bag talk on nuclear proliferation

brownbag series_nuclear weapons and proliferation
I'll be there--join us!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sand mandala recap (pics and video)

Last week Tibetan monks were on campus to create a sand mandala as part of broader range of events about Tibet that was spearheaded by PG major Tashi Chogyal '09. Saturday I took a few pictures just as they were finishing up, after which they dismantled it and distributed the sand (and put some in the Sound). Here is some information on the sand mandala:

If you look over on the left you'll see Professor Fields, who was there with a Boy Scout troop

my kids didn't understand why they couldn't play with these bowls of sand.




UPDATE: Pacific Northwest National Security Forum

PG majors--I have inquired about a student discount, and just heard back that they will reduce the price the $25. Let me know if you're going, get a receipt, and PG will cover it. It's this friday---

Pacific Northwest
National Security Forum
Chair: Lt. Gen. William H. Harrison, USA (Ret)

Please accept our invitation for you and your students to attend the 2009 Pacific
Northwest National Security Forum: "Competitors and Partners: China and the U.S."
Military and regional experts will delve into the complexities of the United States’
relationship with China during a day-long forum. The event is expected to draw an
audience of active duty and reserve military, retired military, and civilians including local
and regional civic leaders. We would like to specifically invite you and your students, as
they will be our future leaders in our relations with China later this century.
The forum will be held on April 17 at the Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood,
Washington. The forum is from 11:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., and includes a luncheon and
keynote speaker U.S. Ambassador Darryl Johnson, followed by expert panel discussions
and a reception. Registration cost is $45 prior to April 1 ($50 after April 1), and parking is free. Participants can find additional information and register online at or

Please contact Mr. Dan Wasserstrom at or 253-584-9300 with any
questions. Thank you for joining us in a stimulating day with the opportunity to learn more about our relationship with China: Competitors or Partners.


William H. Harrison
LTG USA (Ret.)
Pacific Northwest National Security Forum

Monday, April 13, 2009

Politics and Government: A steady major in rough times?

From the New York Times:

...It’s early, but based on graduate school applications this spring, enrollment in undergraduate courses, preliminary job-placement results at schools, and the anecdotal accounts of students and professors, a new pattern of occupational choice seems to be emerging. Public service, government, the sciences and even teaching look to be winners, while fewer shiny, young minds are embarking on careers in finance and business consulting.

...Graduate schools of government and public policy are seeing a surge of applications. In a survey of its members released last week, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration found that 82 percent reported an increase in applications this year, and many saw the largest percentage jumps in several years, or ever. The most-cited reason was the expectation by students that government will be hiring.

Still, the appeal of public sector careers extends beyond job openings, say school officials. The laissez-faire presumption that government is not the solution but the problem, dating back to the Reagan era, has been cast aside, they say.

The government’s need to step in with financial bailouts and recovery programs to steady the economy is seen as the immediate proof, they say, but not the only one. The environment, energy and health care also pose huge, complex challenges. “Young people today understand that government has a powerful role to play in solving these problems,” said Sandra Archibald, dean of the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, where applications this year are up 26 percent.

Read the whole piece here.

Tweet the Revolution

Hat tips: Professor Weinberger and Sousa:

Cellphones and text messaging are widely believed to have played a crucial role in fostering the Orange Revolution in Ukraine (or at least, making the protests as widespread and successful as they were); the Berkman Center at Harvard published probably the most comprehensive study of the role that social media played in the Orange Revolution (even though I criticized some of its cyber-utopian assumptions in a recent essay for Boston Review).

Could it be that five years after the famous protests in Kiev's Maidan Square another technology - Twitter - will usher in another revolution in neighbouring Moldova? Will we remember the events that are now unfolding in Chisinau not by the color of the flags but by the social-networking technology used?

Read the whole thing, from Foreign Policy, here.

Abi Dvorak '10: Images from Namibia and South Africa

Abi Dvorak '10 sends along some pictures from Namibia where she is on study abroad:

The first photo is of our group climbing Dune 7 in Swakopmund, Namibia. The second is of the main method of transportation in the rural areas of Namibia- donkey cart. We had the pleasure of riding them during the rural homestay when we stayed on Damara farms outside of Khorixas. The third is part of the informal settlements of Windhoek. The population in the informal settlements is incredibly high and most cannot afford enough water, food, or school fees for their children. The fourth is of the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, South Africa. This monument is a source of pride for Afrikaner history- it commemorates when the Dutch traveled from Cape Town to Pretoria and conquered the Zulu people.

Hope you enjoy!






Friday, April 10, 2009

Monday talk: Working in presidential campaigns

From Professor Fairman:

It’s about as last-minute as can be, but if you have any students who are interested in what it’s like to work in a campaign they are welcome to come visit PG101B Monday, April 13. That day we’ll have a speaker, Nathan Williams, who will be discussing his experience working in the 2008 election, most recently as the regional field director in NC. Mr. Williams has worked in the past three presidential elections, and will be able to compare/contrast 2008 with previous elections, particularly in terms of mobilization strategies and participation.

So, if you have any students who might be vaguely interested in this discussion, we meet from 2-3:20pm in Howarth 005.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tibet on campus

Spearheaded by PG major Tashi Chogyal '09 (see earlier posts), if you're in the area do attend or at least come by to see the sand mandala--

Tibetan Monks to Perform Sacred Healing Dance
April 3, 2009

The famed Tibetan monks who sold out Carnegie Hall with a show including multiphonic singing, 10-foot horns, and masked dancing, will appear at Kilworth Memorial Chapel for a single performance on Saturday, April 11, at 8 p.m. The monks from Tibet's Drepung Loseling Monastery will also spend three days creating a mandala (circular and cosmic) painting of colored sand, which will then be destroyed in a ceremony symbolizing the impermanence of life. The events coincide with the 50th anniversary of the takeover of Tibet by China's former chairman Mao Tse-Tung. Tickets are $11 for the public, $6 for campus members.

The Dance for World Healing features multiphonic singing, wherein the 10 monks simultaneously intone three notes of a chord, and traditional instruments such as the long dung-chen horns, drums, bells, cymbals, and gyaling trumpets. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances create an exotic atmosphere. The performance is part of an international tour endorsed by the Dalai Lama. The aim is to raise awareness of threats to Tibetan civilization and to raise support for the Tibetan refugee community in India.

The Drepung Loseling monks have won world renown. They are featured on the Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack of the film Seven Years in Tibet, starring Brad Pitt, and have shared the stage with Philip Glass, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Patti Smith, the Beastie Boys, and other artists.

During their Tacoma stay, the monks will construct a 10-foot wide mandala sand painting in the Reading Room of Collins Memorial Library. This will begin with a ceremony including chanting and mantras starting at noon on Thursday, April 9, and finish with a ceremony starting at noon on Saturday, April 11. The painting requires that millions of grains of sand are painstakingly poured into place on a flat platform over many hours. Each monk holds a traditional metal funnel called a chakkpur while running a metal rod on its grated surface. The vibration causes the colored sand to flow like liquid onto the platform. At the end the sand is swept up and placed in an urn. To fulfill the function of traditional healing, half of the sand will be distributed to the audience in small sacks or vials, while the remainder will be ceremonially poured out on the Ruston waterfront to disperse the healing energies of the mandala throughout the region.

Sponsors of the event are University of Puget Sound's Cultural Events and the Associated Students of the University of Puget Sound, with support from the Chism Endowment, Department of Asian Studies, and Students for a Free Tibet. Tickets for the performance are available at the information desk in Wheelock Student Center.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Great job opportunity

Mr. Perry is a PG alum; contact him if you have any questions--

Job Description: Office Assistant (full-time), Tacoma District Office of U.S. Congressman Adam Smith

Letters of interest & resumes with references must be received by April 20th Attn: Linda Danforth

* faxed to 253.593.6776
* mailed to: U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, 2209 Pacific Avenue, Suite B, Tacoma, WA 98402
* emailed to:


Answer calls and greet visitors; open, code, and route incoming mail and email correspondence; clip newspapers; answer constituent requests for general information; draft letters to constituents; assist with intern supervision; monitor deliveries to/from the office; and assist with other various duties and office projects including coordinating the Bringing Congress to Your Door program.


Professional manner; excellent communication and organization skills; ability to use computer, photocopier, facsimile and other office equipment; ability to work cooperatively and courteously with others; knowledge of the political process; and compassion and commitment to public service and customer service.

Salary range

$26,000+ depending on qualifications and experience, with Federal employee benefits.

U.S. Rep Smith's Office is an equal opportunity employer.

Matt Perry
Field Representative
Office of Congressman Adam Smith
2209 Pacific Ave, Suite B, Tacoma, WA 98402
Main: 253.593.6600

Tashi Chogyal '09: Principia Student Conference Recap


Last week I attended the 60th annual Public Affairs Conference at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. The them of this year's gathering was "China Rising." The three-day conference was packed full of an all-star team of china scholars including David Lampton, Daniel Wright, Minxin Pei, Melvyn Golstein and Jonathan Spence. The issues at the conference ranged from the chinese economy, political future, human rights and security perspectives.



Lectures were given in all of the issues while on the last day we broke up into policy groups to further discuss our areas of interest. The hosts of the conference was Principia College, a small 500-student christian science college. The conference was entirely student run and the organizers run an extremely professional, well-run conference. The Principia campus was amazing as well, located right on the Mississippi River in the forests of Illinois.

During my short time on campus, I also ran into the local goats on campus, that are used on campus as lawn-mowers. The Principia campus takes sustainability much more seriously than we do, purchasing enough carbon offsets to make the conference a carbon-neutral event. A big thank you to the PG and Asian Studies Department for sponsoring my trip. Next year's topic is "The End of Oil."

I encourage everyone to take advantage of this amazing conference and if your interested in the future in attending PG conferences, just ask Professor O'Neil.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Conference on World Affairs--Streaming

Hat tip: Drew Levin

The Sixty-First Conference on World Affairs is getting underway, and they are streaming a number of presentations. Check it out here: A lot of interesting presentations on just about everything international.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Congrats to Professor Sousa, new department chair

My three-year stint at department chair is drawing to a close. By unanimous acclimation and over his strenuous objections, Professor Sousa will take the reins starting in the fall. I will continue to blog out to our community as the instrument of Our New Leader's will, and we can expect to see more from from Professor Sousa on these pixels as well. Stay tuned--

Professor Weinberger in Kurdistan

No, not Seth Weinberger, his father, Professor Jerry Weinberger, who is currently teaching at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS). An excerpt from his first dispatch:

AUIS was closed the day before, too, which by contrast was filled with raucous festivities commemorating the 18th anniversary of the Kurdish uprising against Saddam—the Kurdish Fourth of July: beautiful girls decked out in colorful Kurdish garb, loudspeakers blaring, big crowds in social halls. As I walked in the swirl, I couldn’t go far without young men coming up to ask where I was from and shake my hand. “U.S./Washington D.C.” elicited replies such as: “America and Kurdistan good friends,” or “White House.” One young man even said: “Jack Bauer.” But invariably, they would ask: “How you like Suli?” while simply bursting with pride in their freedom and their city.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, April 03, 2009

How to deal with cheating, China-style

Hat tip: Professor Weinberger--

BEIJING (Reuters) – Eight Chinese who used high-tech communications equipment, including mobile phones and wireless earpieces, to help their children cheat at university entrance exams have been jailed on state secret charges, local media said.

The eight, from the wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang, got together in 2007 to plot how to help their children as "they knew their achievements were not ideal," the official Legal Daily said.

One of the parents hired university students to provide answers which were sent to the children via wireless earphones while they were in the exam room, the report said.

But their ruse was discovered after police detected "abnormal radio signals" near the school, the newspaper said.

The parents were given jail terms ranging from six months to three years after being found guilty of illegally obtaining state secrets, it added, without saying what happened to their children.

China's college entrance exams, or "gaokao," are fiercely competitive tests.

Stories of cheating surface every year, despite stiff penalties. Students reportedly pay for leaked exam papers, smuggle in mobile phones and electronic dictionaries, or pay others to take the exam for them.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

Upcoming talk: NAFTA turns 15

NAFTA Turns 15
Free Trade, Food Security and Migration in Mexico

Monday, April 6th, 4 pm, Trimble Forum

Baldemar Mendoza Jiménez, agro-ecologist with the Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez, Oaxaca, has participated in the informational campaign regarding the contamination of native corn by genetically modified corn. He is a promoter of sustainable agriculture using the farmer to farmer method to attain food sovereignty in the working groups that UNOSJO assists, as well as in communities where their organization has a presence.

Take a deeper look at the effects of NAFTA, including resistance to genetically modified (GMO) corn, the impact of migration on sending communities, and the struggle for food security in Oaxaca's indigenous communities. This event is open to the public. Professional interpretation
(Spanish-English) provided.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

PG Alum Bill Bockman '06 wins Miki Award

From Bill Bockman '06. Congrats!

I am grateful and excited to have been selected to be the University of Puget Sound's Miki Scholar for 2009-2010. Former Prime Minister Takeo Miki (PM from 1974-1976) spent time in Seattle in his early years and I believe his daughter and grandchild attended UPS. As part of my fellowship I intend to study government efforts to promote light emitting diode (LED) manufacturing on the Island of Shikoku. I expect this to be an extremely interesting project because of (1) depopulation and migration out of Shikoku causing workforce challenges, (2) intense competition from firms in Taiwan, Korea and China, and (3) the LED industry's status as an emerging field in energy saving technology. A recent collaborative effort between the Tokushima prefectural government, leading LED firms and academia has been called "LED Valley."

Since graduating UPS in 2006 I have been at the University of Washington's Jackson School in the Japan Studies Program. When I first started taking Japanese class in middle school I wanted to go the UW, study electrical engineering and take the university's Technical Japanese program. Although I ended up changing course on the engineering front, since being at UW I have had succeeded in taking Technical Japanese courses. I highly recommend TJP to anyone considering taking advanced Japanese language courses. The curriculum is very well developed and focuses heavily on cultural and business practices as opposed to being solely focused on technology related topics.

The high brightness blue LED was invented in Shikoku by Shuji Nakamura of Nichia corporation in 1993. Despite having only modest research and personell budgets, Nakamura succeeded where leading firms such as 3M, Hewlett Packard, Matsushita and the like had been trying for decades. Nakamura and his invention would become infamous in Japan because of lawsuits between him and his employer during subsequent years. Nichia paid Nakamura a mere $300 bonus for creating an invention that would open up a new multi-billion dollar industry! Instead of being promoted and given expanded resources to pursue further research, he was forced into the dreaded madogiwa zoku to stamp papers all day. Currently Shuji Nakamura is a professor of Materials Science at the University of California Santa Barbra. A Tokyo court awarded him approximately $800 million dollars in a counter suit against Nichia, after an appeal the award was reduced to $8 million, still an improvement over $300 dollars. Nakamura and other developments in the LED world are profiled in a recent book by technology journalist Bob Johnston.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

PG alum speaking at Puget Sound Business Breakfast--go!

This just came through the transom from Alum Relations. PG majors, want to go? It's $25, but PG can cover a few of you. If you are interested in going, contact me.

Puget Sound Business Breakfast

Life as a Venture Capitalist: A Career Decoded
Lucinda Stewart '92
Managing Director, OVP Venture Partners

Lucinda Stewart, named one of Seattle’s "40 Under 40" by Puget Sound Business Journal in 2007, Lucinda has more than 15 years of operations and investment experience in emerging-growth companies. At OVP, her investments are focused primarily in infrastructure software, and wireless and digital media. Lucinda serves on the board of directors for numerous companies, including Seattle-based Lucid Commerce, AdmitOneSecurity, and Vantos.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
7 - 9 a.m.
Bell Harbor’s Maritime Event Center, 1st Floor
2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66

$25 Puget Sound affiliates, $30 General

For more information:


Hat tip: Shirley Skeel in Media Relations

The University of California San Diego accidentally sent a welcoming e-mail to about 29,000 applicants who had been rejected by the university.