MAIS students present, win at international graduate liberal studies conference

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William Towey with AGLSP President Debbie Finkel, Award Committee Chair Chris Pastore and two other winners.

MAIS student William Towey making his presentation at AGLSP.

Russell Hanson, Wiliam Towey and Erica Tucker, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) students, made presentations representing the University of Washington Tacoma at the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP) annual conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in October, where William Towey won for best student presentation of 2016.

William Towey is a second-year MAIS student focusing on Nonprofit Studies. He earned a bachelor in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Washington Tacoma in 2015 and works for the Tacoma Urban League.

His AGLSP presentation, Natural Economy in an Unnatural World, won Best Student Presentation for 2016. His presentation considered the impacts of neoliberal globalization and distorted economic systems in communities and examines transformative reconfigurations of local economy.

Russell Hansen is a second-year student in the MAIS program. He earned his bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the University of Washington in 2015. His presentation, Digital Digitally Mediated Communication: From Deliberation to Democracy in the Networked Public Sphere, focused on how contentious politics can be used to understand how we ought to assess the "health" of the "networked public sphere". 

Erica Tucker is a second-year MAIS student and lead academic advisor in UW Tacoma's Academic Advising Center. She completed her undergraduate studies at UW Tacoma majoring in Arts, Media and Culture. Her AGLSP presentation, titled Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Space in Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda", argued that particular constructions of sexual subjectivity and agency are produced through a placed-based persona that is enacted for and through the music video. It also considers the implications for the study of cultural politics of femininity as played out in popular culture.

The AGLSP is an international organization of more than 88 institutions with graduate-level liberal education programs primarily serving adult, part-time students.

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at

See William Towey's presentation here: 

Written by: 
Meridith Hatch, Larry Knopp / November 8, 2016