Paw'd Defiance: The UW Tacoma Podcast

Main page content

Paw'd Defiance with Maria Crisostomo

The title of our show — Paw'd Defiance — is more than just a clever play on words. The name reflects a philosophy, one that is committed to telling interesting stories about the people, research, initiatives, community partnerships and other issues related to UW Tacoma and higher education. That's the Paw'd part of our name. The second part — Defiance — speaks to our interest in the greater Tacoma community. Point Defiance is inexorably linked to the Grit City. Also, “defiance” is a fun word and, either intentionally or not, speaks to Tacoma's history as the “other” city in the Puget Sound region.

Thus, Paw'd Defiance provides a broad lens to at our community. With this knowledge we hope people living in the area and others around the globe will find new insights and understandings that will help them better understand their world.

This podcast is made possible by funding from the UW Tacoma Strategic Initiative Fund and the generous help of Doug Mackey at Moon Yard Recording Studio.

You can find Paw'd Defiance on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts and Spotify. Or use the links below to listen.

About our host

Maria Crisostomo is a senior majoring in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. A first-generation college student, Crisostomo helped start the First-Gen Fellows program on campus. Crisostomo is also involved with the Associated Students of the University of Washington Tacoma as a senator for the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.


Puyallup Tribe image


Generous and Welcoming

UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Danica Miller and her father, Puyallup Tribal Chairman Bill Sterud come to the studio to talk about the Indigenous history of the Tacoma area. Miller and Sterud provide context to our historical understanding of the area by discussing, among other things, the Medicine Creek Treaty and the Boldt decision. UW Tacoma sits on ancestral Puyallup land. Miller and Sterud talk about the campus' founding and how that revitalized the Downtown area.  (Running time: 54:11)

Bonus material: You can learn Lushootseed this summer and help keep the language alive

First Gen Fellows graphic


Be the First

Amanda Figueroa, Director of Student Transition Programs, and Yanira Pacheco Ortiz, First Generation Student Initiatives Coordinator, talk about what it means to be a first-generation college student. Figueroa and Pacheco Ortiz relay their experiences as first-generation students and discuss ways in which universities can support students who are the first in their families to attend college.  (Running time: 35:54)

Bonus material: Meet some of our first-generation students, faculty and staff

T Rex is staring at you


A Podcast Episode 65 Million Years in the Making

UW Tacoma Assistant Professors Uba Backonja and Christopher Schell discuss their mutual love of the 1993 film Jurassic Park. Schell and Backonja credit the movie for cultivating their love of science. The pair also talk about their career paths and how students in college now can find inspiration in unlikely places. Oh, and there's at least one dinosaur impression.  (Running time: 30:19)

Bonus material: See Christopher's Jurassic Park sweater

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the University of Washington or UW Tacoma.