IIGE Faculty Council

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The UW Tacoma IIGE Faculty Council is a body responsible for providing academic and specialist guidance on matters including curriculum, admissions and graduation. Drawing considerable experience and expertise from academic and other programs across campus, the Council helps keep Global Honors at the cutting edge of educational enrichment.

Current Council members include:

Divya McMillin, PhD

Chair, IIGE Faculty Council

Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation & Global Engagement​

Professor, Global Media Studies, SIAS

Divya McMillin (Ph.D. 1998, Indiana University Bloomington) is Professor of Global Media Studies in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, and founding Associate Vice Chancellor of the Institute for Innovation and Global Engagement at UW Tacoma. McMillin’s pivotal work on the impact of satellite television on audiences and the television format industry across the world, have led to three critically acclaimed books, International Media Studies (Blackwell 2007), Mediated Identities: Youth, Agency, and Globalization (Peter Lang, 2009), and the anthology Place, Power, Media (Peter Lang, 2018).

Her participatory and grassroots, human centered methodologies in development communication and her analyses of global cities, soft power, and the social impact of convergence technologies, are widely published in top tiered journals and anthologies, meriting her Top Paper Awards from the International Communication Association, and marking her as a postcolonial scholar who has shaped the field of International Cultural Studies.

McMillin is recipient of the UW Distinguished Research Award (2012) and the Distinguished Teaching Award (2017). She serves on various international journal editorial and book publishing review boards, as well as the Tacoma Pierce County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Charles Wright Academy Board of Trustees.

Janelle Hawes, PhD

Assistant Professor, Social Work & Criminal Justice

Dr. Janelle Hawes is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and Criminal Justice. She obtained her doctorate in Sociology from Bowling Green State University. Her research focuses on the effects of success and failure in school and its connection to criminality in adulthood. She pays special attention to how pathways to crime are shaped by race and gender. Her other research areas include the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system and alternatives to incarceration in Washington state.

Shalini Jain, PhD

Assistant Professor and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Milgard School of Business

Dr. Shalini Jain is an Assistant Professor and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer for the UW Tacoma Milgard School of Business. She obtained her doctorate in Public Policy and Management from the University of Washington. Her research examines core social, ethical, and stakeholder equity challenges facing contemporary business and draws from, bridges, and finds application in the disciplines of management, accounting, economics, marketing, social psychology, and public policy. She pays special attention to how pathways to crime are shaped by race and gender.

Huatong Sun, PhD

Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Dr. Huatong Sun is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media Studies. She teaches Web design, print design, social media, and other digital media courses. Her research explores the relationship and interaction between technology, culture, and design in this increasingly globalized world, with a focus on web technologies and mobile communication. Her book “Cross-Cultural Technology Design: Creating Culture-Sensitive Technology for Local Users” (Oxford University Press, 2012) was named the 2013 Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication by the National Council of Teachers of English. Her current research project seeks to develop design resources and toolkits to create culture-sensitive designs for under-represented user groups through community engagement activities. A primary goal of this project is to cultivate students’ critical design sensibility and transform them into socially responsible leaders.

Anne Taufen, PhD

Associate Professor, Urban Studies

Dr. Anne Taufen joined the Urban Studies faculty at University of Washington Tacoma in 2008, and was tenured in 2015. Her research focuses on equitable governance, port city infrastructures, and the social-ecological networks of urban regions. Dr. Taufen was hired to implement the BA degree in Sustainable Urban Development, the first of its kind in the US. As part of the successful launch of this degree, she created the Urban Studies Forum in 2010. Building on this commitment to engaged pedagogy and equitable development, Dr. Taufen led creation of the MA in Community Planning, in 2015. This graduate program trains students to be change agents and leaders in creating just, livable, and inclusive communities, in the South Sound and beyond.

Matt Tolentino, PhD

Assistant Professor, Engineering & Technology

Research Associate, Center for Data Science

Dr. Matt Tolentino is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering & Technology and a Research Associate at the Center for Data Science. He received his doctorate in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, his M.S. in Computing & Software Systems for the University of Washington, and his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. His research interests include developing, modeling, and evaluating the performance of online, real-time analytical systems for cyber-physical systems (including the Internet of Things and Robotics), and the building and evaluation of novel cyber-physical systems that enable natural interactions (including speech and gestures).

Akane Yamaguchi, MEd

Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Akane Yamaguchi has been at UW Tacoma since October 2014. Despite the fact she grew up in a small coastal town in Japan, thanks to her parents who were involved with Sister Cities Programs, she was exposed to the value of cross-cultural exchange from a young age. After completing high school in her hometown, she moved to Bellinghan, WA as an International Student. She attended Whatcom Community College and attained her A.A degree in Business Administration. She then transferred to Western Washington University and earned a BA in Business Administration and M.Ed. in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education. After completing her master’s degree, she worked at various universities and colleges in Washington state, most recently including in the ISS office at Pacific Lutheran University.  Akane is passionate about working with International Students and connecting them with opportunities and resources to make the most of their time at UWT and beyond.

Weichao Yuwen, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor, Nursing & Healthcare Leadership

Dr. Weichao Yuwen received her PhD (2016) from the University of Washington Seattle and BSN (2010) from Arizona State University. Dr. Yuwen teaches undergraduate students in the Nursing and Healthcare Leadership programs, including classes on Research in Nursing & Healthcare and Diversity, Health, & Inequities. Her research focus is on family-centered care, health disparities, sleep health, and pediatric chronic conditions. She has joint published articles on sleep patterns, sleep quality, sleep hygiene, and sleep fragmentation and biomarkers.