Colin McCann learns the transformative power of education

Main page content

Colin McCann sees his future in foreign policy and politics, and has been stirred by his studies in UW Tacoma’s Global Honors Program to join the Peace Corps.

Colin McCannColin McCann has been bitten hard by the transformative potential of an undergraduate education. So hard that he added Human Rights as a minor to his course of study even though it means he will be at UW Tacoma for one more year.

Colin grew up in Gig Harbor, Wash., made a running-start entrance to Tacoma Community College, and two years later transferred to UW Tacoma as a junior. As a senior he got involved with the Global Honors Program. Two things became apparent to him: he was awfully young, and he was having an incredible Global Honors experience. Adding on the minor allows him to gain another year of “toughening” and Global Honors participation.

What will he do with the larger perspective? Although he is majoring in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, he is not interested in becoming a politician himself. Rather, he is fascinated with the policy-making end of governance. He definitely intends to go on to a graduate program, either a PhD or a law degree. Currently, his passion is Middle Eastern politics and policy. The Peace Corps is also casting its spell on him (as it does for so many UW alumni: the UW is the top-producing university for Peace Corps volunteers).

Now, in the winter and spring of 2013, on top of his class schedule, Colin is working full-time in Olympia. He is in the throes of the legislative session, holding a “session position” in Sen. Steve Hobbs’s office. Last year, he held an internship in the office of Rep. Larry Seaquist, who ranks high on Colin’s list of influential mentors.

When not in Olympia, Colin lives just up the hill from campus on S. Fawcett Ave. Close proximity to UW Tacoma has been important to him: a way to avoid the “commuter campus” feeling. He has high praise for his experience of the student community, although he recognizes even more can be done to build networks and relationships among students. His deepest impressions are of the faculty: Prof. Michael Forman, IAS, and Prof. Divya McMillin in the Global Honors Program in particular. Another mentor has been Dr. Charles Rowling, formerly an instructor at UW Tacoma, now on the faculty at University of Nebraska Kearney.

And as for UW Tacoma’s transformative potential, just try to ignore the enthusiasm in Colin’s voice as he puts into words the excitement of his past and future academic journey.

Written by: 
John Burkhardt / April 17, 2013
Media contact: 

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