A quarterly newsletter for ISS students, alumni, faculty, and staff
Vol.1, Issue 2 Summer Quarter 2018
ISS Co-Director Deborah Porter
On June 10, 2018, at the University of Washington’s Intellectual House, ISS celebrated commencement for 22 graduates able to attend the Seattle campus ceremony.
ISS co-director Mel Wensel and I initiated the festivities with heartfelt expressions of admiration and appreciation for the program, the invaluable team that brings it to life, and, of course, the extraordinary students that the program serves.
Our special guest speaker, Dr. George Lovell, dean of UW Social Sciences, shared with an attentive audience the story of his own learning curve with regard to the potential for high quality online teaching. His eloquent acknowledgment that ISS played a role in shifting his opinion enhanced the exultant sentiments of the event.
These sentiments were brought center stage with the students’ comments, which were unified by their grace all the while unique in their reflection of the particular details that explained why each student chose to travel the degree completion path. Student remarks bore moving testimony about the obstacles encountered while on this trajectory, as well as support provided by family members, friends and ISS advisers and faculty that reinforced their commitment to completing the degree.
Moreover, consistently, students acknowledged the role in their intellectual growth played by their classmates throughout their tenure in the program, which reflects positively the capacity of online education to generate a deep sense of community.
The festivities concluded with refreshments and wonderful selfies complete with ISS UW props. Congratulations to all 2018 graduates!
Please check out the photo gallery at the top of this email--many thanks to photographer Otto Greule!
Joe Hannah, ISS Adviser
Did you know that ISS graduates are global, but the data also reveals a dominant trend? Here is a graph that reflects the geographical locations of recent graduation classes. After our first year, our number of graduates is very similar, hovering around 100 per year. WA state students dominate – as they dominate our total enrollment numbers. The percentage of this year’s graduates coming from WA is slightly higher than last year, but not significantly so.
*Note that the current academic year has an asterisk by it. We do not yet have final data for Spring and Summer, so these numbers are a (very close) estimate.
Dolores Cox, ISS Alumnus ‘18
The ISS Portfolio courses are meant to move students from solely consuming social science information and checking off boxes on degree requirements, to gathering and creating their own social science hypotheses and findings with meta-reflective essays. This column will feature students’ own words about their intellectual journey.
Here is a reflection by ISS (most recent) alumnus, a 2018 graduate, Dolores Cox, who travelled from Spain to attend commencement, on how the concept of “keywords” informed the process of composing a portfolio:
“The ISS portfolio showcases key learning concepts I studied during the program through the structure of a Keyword set, which creates connections between various topics and themes covered within the ISS curriculum, including quantitative and qualitative research methods, analysis, and evaluation. Identifying five concepts to organize my course work strengthened self-awareness about how integrated these themes are, and the portfolio demonstrates competence that supports my role as a critical-thinking subject living in societies today.
One theme of my portfolio highlights how human interaction is vital to our survival and growth. My work demonstrates how culture is comprised of rules about human interconnections that reflect collective historical, social and linguistic influence, and the portfolio as a whole highlights how culture is a means for understanding how we see ourselves. My keyword “culture” thus provided an optic for investigating how culture shapes and influences the way societies understand what it means to be a human being. The keyword apparatus not only helped organize the portfolio, but it deepened my appreciation of the possibility that culture becomes a resource for promoting a more peaceful world.”
Three students, Mirijean Radford-Wippel, Rachel Corella and Lauren Tamoyo were recognized for exemplary portfolios submitted during the 2017-2018 academic year in ISS 401. The winning portfolios, which represent the culmination of ISS core course objectives, were chosen by a faculty committee on the basis of how they demonstrate a refined capacity to compellingly synthesize and evaluate their broad and rich learning experiences. Congratulations to the winners!
- Keep an eye on the academic calendar for important Summer Quarter dates!
- Spring ’18 graduate Wendy Henry was nominated as a College of Arts and Sciences Gonfalonier.
- Charles Pritchard was one of 5 finalists in the Junior/Senior division for the WaCLA essay contest.
- JP Leritsirisin and his brother Akavin have opened a congee food stall at Uwajimaya, featured in the July 2018 issue of Seattle Magazine.