Snowy treetops on campus.

21 Stories from 2021

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Though 2021 began with classes held online, it concluded with students, faculty, and staff reconnecting on campus for fall quarter. Despite the year's many challenges, faculty offered exciting new courses, research collaborations thrived, and students took on ambitious projects. 

Here are 21 stories from 2021 that highlight the dedication of Arts & Sciences faculty, students, and donors. (You can find more of the year's stories here.)

Illustration of runner with cellphone and exercise-tracking watch.
Exercise, music, meals, mood — all can be captured with self-tracking apps. 


Tracking Your Life

A new sociology course explores self-tracking technology that captures our daily routines.

Digging into the Roots of Rap

A new course explores rap music and its musical influences, with guest musicians and creative assignments.

Launching a Humanities Journey

Humanities First, a new program for first year students, celebrates the humanities and their role in society.

Out in the Elements, for Art

Students in "Introduction to 3D4M" had the option to take the fall quarter 2020 course in person when most courses were online. One catch: it was held entirely outside.

Exterior of the Northwest Detention Center
UW researchers uncovered numerous human rights violations at the Northwest Detention Center. 


A Detention Center Exposed

Research from the UW Center for Human Rights has confirmed disturbing human rights violations at the Northwest Detention Center. 

Rethinking the Ventilator

Industrial design professor Jason O. Germany was part of a team that designed a low-cost ventilator on short notice during the pandemic. 

Treating Cancer Through Math

What if math could detect, treat, and ultimately prevent cancer? Ivana Bozic, assistant professor of applied mathematics, wants to find out. 

Art that Heals — with Joy

Doctoral student Iris Viveros Avendano explores the role of fandango in resistance and healing from collective trauma.

Homes Reveal Past Discrimination

Student researchers are searching home deeds in Washington state for racially restrictive covenants. Their findings are sobering. 

Professor Michelle Liu portrait
Michelle Liu has encouraged discussion of literary works at Microsoft and other companies. 

In the Community

Short Stories, Big Questions

Professor Michelle Liu shares literary works with employees at Microsoft and other companies to explore complex workplace issues. 

The Intersection of Science & Equity

Biology PhD student Ashely Paynter has created a podcast and organization that reflect her interests in science and activism. 

Creating Community on TikTok

Hunter Brown (BA, 2021) has 275,000 TikTok followers. A UW Communication course helped him build his online community. 

UW senior Owen Oliver outside the Burke Museum.
Owen Oliver created an Indigenous Walking Tour of the UW's Seattle campus. 

Student Profiles

The UW Through an Indigenous Lens

Owen Oliver (BA, 2021) grew up on the UW campus. Now he wants others in his community to feel at home at the University.

Advocating for Access

As a child of Deaf adults, Christine Lew (BA, 2021) feels blessed to part of — and advocate for — the Deaf community and others.

A Passion for Volleyball – and Classics

Maria Bogomolova (BA, 2021) came to the UW from Russia to play volleyball. Along the way she discovered a love of Classics. 

Seeking Justice, One Case at a Time

As an undergrad interested in criminal justice, Anthony Stokes (BA, 2021) visited prisons, met with incarcerated men, and worked on court cases.

Inclusive Biology Lessons with a Global Reach

Ishira Parikh (BS, 2021) helped create an award-winning curriculum using what she'd learned through UW courses and volunteer activities. 

Marina Dunaravich portrait
Marina Dunaravich (BA, 2009) created a scholarship that reflects her Russian heritage. 


A Russian Reconnection

Marina Dunaravich reconnected with Russian language and culture years after leaving Russia as a child. A new scholarship celebrates her Russian heritage and family.

Honoring Sam Dubal’s Vision

A new graduate fellowship in memory of anthropology professor Sam Dubal reflects his commitment to building an anti-racist society. 

Lifelong Fascination Inspires Gift

Paul Fritts, whose company built the UW's Littlefield Organ three decades ago, has now made a major gift to the School of Music.

A pile of chouquettes, a French treat.
A dozen faculty shared recipes for favorite treats, including the chouquettes above. 

Just for Fun

Treats from Faculty Bakers

In celebration of World Baking Day, faculty from across the College of Arts & Sciences shared favorite recipes. Time to get baking!

We look forward to sharing more stories about the College of Arts & Sciences in 2022. Happy new year!