The Best Stories of 2018

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From world-changing wheelchairs to a compassionate coyote whisperer and lots in between, the best stories of 2018 shine a light on UW Tacoma's urban-serving mission.

The story-teller staff in the news office at UW Tacoma has put together this list below of a few of our favorite stories that marked the course of the 2018.

If you enjoy these, take a look at our archive for the complete list of more than 120 stories from 2018.

UW Tacoma alumna Heidi Vladyka, '13

Social Mobility

January 3, 2018

A study abroad program changed Heidi Vladyka's life and the lives of people in Mexico who need access to sustainable mobility.

Map showing extent of Puyallup tribal lands, including present location of UW Tacoma.

Learning Lushootseed at UW təqʷuʔbəʔ

January 19, 2018

At the Lushootseed Language Institute, students learn a language by learning to speak of things important in their daily lives, like where they live, or common items in their home or the store.

Covers of Journalist, a collaborative publication produced by students from Moscow, Russia and UW Tacoma.

Journalism Without Borders

February 2, 2018

For more than a decade, students from Moscow and Tacoma have been working together to develop an international understanding of journalism.

The fingers of UW Tacoma student Long Tran frame the campus's steel W.

Critical Lens

February 7, 2018

UW Tacoma students are using film to talk about social justice issues.

Roseann Martinez consults with students in the Office of Student Advocacy and Support.

Making a Safety Net — Together

March 7, 2018

Roseann Martinez and the newly created Office of Student Advocacy and Support are helping students at UW Tacoma find the resources they need to overcome obstacles and continue their education.

2018 Golden Shovel Award, presented to UW Tacoma by the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County.

Take That Golden Shovel And... Do Even More

March 16, 2018

Ten ways UW Tacoma is living up to the spirit of the 2018 Golden Shovel Award, presented to the campus by the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County.

Image of civil rights protesters featured in "To the Promised Land," by Dr. Michael Honey.

“To The Promised Land”

March 29, 2018

Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of economic justice is the subject of a new book by UW Tacoma historian Michael Honey.

UW Tacoma junior Armen Papyan, ASUWT Director of Legislative Affairs.

Armen Papyan: The Dance of Politics

April 12, 2018

UW Tacoma junior Armen Papyan is the ASUWT Director of Legislative Affairs, helping give students a voice in Olympia.

UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Michelle Montgomery.

Michelle Montgomery: Multiple Versions of the Same Person

May 9, 2018

UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Michelle Montgomery explores identity in her new book about mixed-race American Indians.

UW Tacoma Associate Professor Jim Gawel.

Jim Gawel: Learning From a Lake

May 25, 2018

When Jim Gawel looks at a lake, he sees an opportunity to learn—not just for the students he instructs, but for entire populations who rely on and reside by those water bodies.

Celebrating student at 2018 UW Tacoma Commencement.

1,850 Change Makers

June 7, 2018

Read about some of more than 1,850 UW Tacoma change-makers launching into the world in June 2018 with their newly-minted University of Washington degrees.

Dr. Ali Modarres, Director of UW Tacoma's Urban Studies Program.

Ali Modarres Is a Man About Towns

June 27, 2018

Urban Studies Director Dr. Ali Modarres sees South Sound economic opportunities and challenges.

UW Tacoma Associate Director of Student Engagement Surtida Shelton.

Recipe for Success

July 11, 2018

Associate Director of Student Engagement Surtida Shelton is also Chef Shelton.

UW Tacoma student LeShawn Gamble.

Portrait of an Artist

July 18, 2018

UW Tacoma student LeShawn Gamble has overcome traumatic injury and incarceration to become a leading voice and artist in the community.

Hozoji Matheson-Margullis, UW Tacoma Environmental Science student and rock-band drummer.

The Music Inside

September 25, 2018

Environmental science student Hozoji Matheson-Margullis brings her chops as a rock-band drummer to her quest to preserve and restore Puget Sound.

Dr. James C. McShay, Assistant Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion at UW Tacoma.

Meet Dr. James C. McShay

October 3, 2018

UW Tacoma’s newly-hired Assistant Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion speaks about his background, his first three months on the job and the opportunities ahead.

Dr. Sarah Hampson, co-director of UW Tacoma's new Legal Pathways Initiative.

Motion to Admit

October 11, 2018

The recently launched Legal Pathways Initiative aims to build a pre-law pipeline at UW Tacoma.

UW Tacoma alumna Patti Taylor, '93 BSN, recipient of 2018 UW Distinguished Veteran Award.

Serving With Honor

November 1, 2018

UW Tacoma alumna Patti Taylor, ’93 BSN, has been honored with the UW Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award.

UW Tacoma Senior Lecturer Julie Masura examines plastic found in Puget Sound.

Mud, Bugs and...Plastic

November 13, 2018

Senior Lecturer Julie Masura connects her love of teaching and her passions for geology and the health of Puget Sound.

UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Christopher Schell.

Urban Ecologist/Superhero

December 5, 2018

Experienced tarantula handler, compassionate coyote whisperer — Assistant Professor Christopher Schell brings a passion to his work studying how carnivores adapt to cities.

Written by: 
John Burkhardt / December 21, 2018
Photos by: 
Ryan Moriarty
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or