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Paw'd Defiance provides a broad lens to at our community. With this knowledge we hope people living in the area and others around the globe will find new insights and understandings that will help them better understand their world

Paw'd Defiance provides a broad lens to at our community. With this knowledge we hope people living in the area and others around the globe will find new insights and understandings that will help them better understand their world
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Paw'd Defiance provides a broad lens to at our community. With this knowledge we hope people living in the area and others around the globe will find new insights and understandings that will help them better understand their world








Learning Lushootseed

The Lushootseed Language Institute (LLI) is a collaboration between the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and UW Tacoma's Professional Development Center. The LLI is one part of the Puyallup Tribe's larger effort to revitalize Lushootseed. Up until the early 1800s, Lushootseed was the only language spoken by indigenous peoples living in an area from present day Olympia in the south to Skagit Valley in the north. The Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains provided the eastern and western borders. In...


Water is Life

On this special episode of Paw'd Defiance we hand over the microphone as students and staff in UW Tacoma's Math Science Leadership program explore Mt. Rainier. MSL serves youth in grades 7-12 that are historically underrepresented in STEM. The program works to connect students to different STEM fields through activities and field work. MSL is traditionally held over a three week period in the summer. This year is a bit different. Students spent a week on campus and at different locations...


It's All Happening at the Zoo!

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium's Alan Varsik and Karen Povey stop by the show to talk about conservation and sustainability. Varsik and Povey also discuss misconceptions people have about zoos. Varsik weighs in on recent changes to the Endangered Species Act and Povey provides background information the Grit City Carnivore Project. The project is a collaboration with UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Chris Schell.


A Green Cookie Monster?

Think back to your childhood or a time in your life you really enjoyed. What do you see? Chances are your memories of that particular time are attached to a song, movie, product, etc. Nostalgia can be a powerful feeling which is why companies use it in their advertising. UW Tacoma Professor Altaf Merchant studies nostalgia. He'll discuss how it works and how study participants responded to the idea of a green Cookie Monster.


The Language of Genocide

Language that surrounded the concept of genocide began in the 1940s—how did it become such a well-known term that can be found today in news media, the Avengers movies, and history books? In this podcast extra, UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Ben Meiches talks about his new book, The Politics of Annihilation. Meiches seeks to analyze the language and concept of genocide as a whole, and explains how the definition we have today has been narrowed over time.


Room for Debate

A conversation about debate with UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Ben Meiches. Meiches is a former national debate champion. Meiches along with UW Tacoma junior Zaira Rojas and UW Tacoma alumnus Eric Ballentine talk about the importance of debate in terms of skill development and how they're working to break down barriers in a space that has historically excluded people of color. Rojas and Ballentine will also the settle the age old argument about which is better: dogs or cats.


Grit City Music History

UW Tacoma Lecturer Kim Davenport takes us on a magical history tour of music in the City of Destiny. Davenport is a professional musician who has written articles and books about different aspects of Tacoma's history, including music. We'll hear some original recordings of Tacoma booster songs which were designed to bring people to the city. Davenport will also discuss different artists who lived in Tacoma as well as famous artists who played here.


Hair That Won't Be Quiet

The history of Black hair in the United States with Temple University Associate Professor Lori Tharps. Tharps co-wrote the book Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America with Ayana Byrd. Tharps' work has been featured in the New York Times,, The Columbia Journalism Review and Time Magazine.She also hosts the podcast My American Meltingpot. Tharps and guest host Katherine Felts discuss the importance of hair in African communities prior to contact with Europeans....


The Fifth Season

Winter, spring, summer, fire and fall. Wildfire season is here. During each of the past two summers a thick blanket of smoke from wildfires covered large parts of Western Washington. Thousands of wildfires in the American West and Canada burned millions of acres. UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Maureen Kennedy talks about how climate change has contributed to a prolonged fire season. She'll also talk about the role of fire in forests and how fire suppression practices that were created to...


Using a Robot to Measure Stress in Teens

UW Tacoma Assistant Professor and UW Tacoma student Christina Nelson discuss Project EMAR, a social robot designed to help address teen stress. Project EMAR (Ecological Momentary Assessment Robot) is a cross campus partnership between UW Tacoma and UW Seattle. Rose and Nelson will talk about why they decided to use a robot to help with teen stress and how they are involving teens in the design process.


Puzzles, Puzzles Everywhere!

UW Tacoma Senior Lecturer Julie Masura discusses her love of puzzles. Masura has a garage full of puzzles that she's completed and attached to the walls.


Searching for Microplastics

UW Tacoma Senior Lecturer Julie Masura along with student researchers Tracie Barry and Abby Deaton talk about their work with microplastics in the waters of the Pacific Northwest. Masura's work in this area began a few years ago. She helped pioneer a method for collecting and analyzing microplastics that is used around the world. Masura also discusses the role students play in advancing research at UW Tacoma.


Building a Prison to College Pipeline

UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Chris Beasley and UW Tacoma alumnus Omari Amili talk about their experience with incarceration. Beasley and Amili turned their lives around and are now working to build a prison to college pipeline. They discuss the challenges formerly incarcerated people face. Beasley and Amili also talk about the challenge of making college more accessible to those who served time in jail or prison.


Credible Fear

UW Tacoma Professor Marian Harris and graduate student Zea Mendoza spent a week helping women and children held at an immigrant detention center in Dilley, Texas prepare for their credible fear hearings. Harris and Mendoza talk about their experience at the facility including what they saw and heard. They also talk about how the work impacted them on a personal level.


Constructores de la Comunidad

Durante el año pasado, un grupo de estudiantes de UW Tacoma trabajó para organizar una conferencia de inmigración. El resultado es "Nuestra historia de Tacoma: Educación, defensa y construcción de comunidades”. Entre otras cosas, el evento de dos días comienza con un taller legal en donde los participantes pueden hablar con un abogado de inmigración sobre sus asuntos inmigratorios. También habrá un panel que presentará al Juez del Tribunal Supremo del Estado de Washington Steven González y...


Community Builders

During the past year a group of UW Tacoma students have worked to organize an immigration conference on campus. The result is "Our Tacoma Story: Education, Advocacy and Building Communities". Among other things, the two day event will feature a legal clinic where participants can speak with an immigration attorney. There will also be a panel featuring Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez and Senator Claire Wilson. During this episode UW Tacoma student Karla Michelle Vargas...


The Ultra-Marathon Educator

UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Ellen Bayer has a passion for the outdoors. Bayer's love of nature guides her work both in and out of the classroom. She teaches literature courses at UW Tacoma and leads her students on excursions into the natural world. Bayer recounts the story of a student who'd looked at Mt. Rainier her entire life but had never actually seen the mountain up close. This experience lead Bayer to include field trips in her curriculum. Finally, Bayer discusses why she took up...


Blame Edgar Allan Poe

Is your yard overrun by English Ivy? If so, you should direct at least some of your ire at Edgar Allan Poe. Late in his life, the famed writer penned a series of landscape tales about what trees and plant species make a yard or a property beautiful.


A Podcast Episode 65 Million Years in the Making

UW Tacoma Assistant Professors Uba Backonja and Christopher Schell discuss their mutual love of the 1993 film Jurassic Park. Schell and Backonja credit the movie for cultivating their love of science. The pair also talk about their career paths and how students in college now can find inspiration in unlikely places. Oh, and there's at least one dinosaur impression.


Be the First

Amanda Figueroa, Director of Student Transition Programs, and Yanira Pacheco Ortiz, First Generation Student Initiatives Coordinator, talk about what it means to be a first-generation college student. Figueroa and Pacheco Ortiz relay their experiences as first-generation students and discuss ways in which universities can support students who are the first in their families to attend college.