Campus LifeSpotlight

A Few Farewells

Elizabeth Pierini: ASUWT President

At Convocation in fall freshman were given stoles which were embossed “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.  The end of this year marks the end of a journey for all of us at UWT. As I reflect on the last year it is remarkable the dedication of the student, staff, and faculty which form the university community. For many of you I am sure you vividly remember your first step receiving an acceptance letter or remember your first day of classes and look at how far we have all come!  I have watched over the course of four years as the community has embraced thousands of students supporting them in their all different pursuits. Our campus is remarkable in the diversity of students who attend from Everett to Olympia along with the international student which make up our community.

I encourage everyone to thank professors, students, and family who support us on a daily basis to encourage through our academic careers.  For many of us the journey is ending with commencement fast approaching.  But for those who will be here next year I hope you will reflect on how you will leave a mark when your last year’s approach.  Everyone is on a different journey and I hope you will all take the first step to leaving a mark on this campus and creating a thriving Tacoma community.

It has been a pleasure serving as your Associated Student of University of Washington Tacoma President.  This year I have learned so much from the students I get to serve on a daily basis. I am extremely proud of what the entire ASUWT staff has accomplished throughout the year. I cannot wait to see what ASUWT team along with administration and RSOs have in store for students next year.

Congratulations Class of 2013! Go HUSKIES.

-Elizabeth Pierini


Rachel Ervin: Editor-in-Chief of Tahoma West

It’s hard to reflect on how I feel about my experience as Tahoma West’s Editor in Chief without using a cliché like “it was fun while it lasted,” or “the experience I gained was invaluable.” So I won’t try not to. In a word, ending my time at Tahoma West, and even more so UWT, feels bittersweet.

Nearly two years ago, I entered UWT without a clue of what I wanted to do with myself when it was all over. I was approached one day, in Michael Kula’s fiction writing class, and asked if I wanted to help read poetry for the literary arts magazine. Poetry? Really? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d always written what I hoped would be considered in some strange circles as “poetry,” and I had a slight obsession with language, but I had never thought of myself as someone that could capably critique someone else’s. But, of course, I did it anyways.

After reading the first 50 or so poems for last year’s magazine, I realized that this was the beginning of something beautiful. And then I was asked to become the Poetry Editor and thought, do they really pay people to do this? And it turned out that yes, yes they do. Fast-forward another year and here we are: closing my second and final year, with a gorgeous magazine under my belt as the Editor in Chief and a string of friendships and coworkers that I hope will be sustained long into the future. And that’s a nod to you: Jake Darneille, Heather Brown, Lisa Chipp, Lexie Beaman, Stefanie McAlister, Donna Kopmar and Michael Kula, who convinced me that this was all a swell idea in the first place. And not least of all, to the indomitable Niki Reading, without whom the entire Student Publications boat would be lost at sea.

So, here’s to crossing all my fingers and toes that I can experience that same UWT magic out in the real world, and still afford to eat, too. So long, undergrad years.


Rachel Ervin

Editor in Chief

 Tahoma West, 2013

Johnny Dorrello: Editor-in-Chief of the Ledger

Saying goodbye has always been tough and I often times like to slip away, leaving a note that simply reads, “Thanks -Johnny.” As I have gotten older, I have implemented donuts under the note. A haphazard attempt at adding something sweet under the bitter. That being said, the notion is not one of ingratitude, or debilitating shyness. There is simply just too much to say. Originally, I started working at the Ledger as a reporter with stars in my eyes, having just done a bit of self-declared freelance journalism in Havana, Cuba. Journalism was alive there: limitless untold stories and danger to be had. I took this doe-eyed zest for reporting with me to UW Tacoma and found my romanticism appreciated. So appreciated that I landed the Editor in chief position, which was originally a shot in the dark. I just wanted to show them my ideas: my sketches of a remodel of the newsroom, my scrap book of innovative layout ideas, my seemingly endless notes on truly engaging stories to be had, and my brutally idealistic manifestos of what constitutes journalistic greatness.

So when my benevolent dictatorship was official, I interviewed over 100 bright eyed hopefuls and hired 25 of the best. They shared a fire in their hearts and despite multiple warnings by my superiors; we attempted to reinvent the wheel in our first year going weekly. Most of the success this year was due to self motivated people who did not need their hands to be held. Just ask any of the editors to tell you about Johnny and his management style that found its genesis off of Henry Ford’s assembly line.

This year, we won multiple 1st place awards and accolades for both qualities in writing as well as excellence in graphics, design and illustration. We have gotten praise from the toughest of UW Tacoma’s critics and useful feedback from the cohort, who like us, only want whats best for UW Tacoma. We also helped repair a tie to the surrounding Downtown community who UW Tacoma is a part of, whether it likes it or not. Lastly, the Ledger elected a hopeless idealist for a job that traditionally requires a realist. And so when that happens, that means one thing: That a people, organization or society in general has returned to form in valuing raw ambition, however impractical, over cold hard truths. This is what aiming too high is about, and I believe that in doing that, we have mirrored UW Tacoma’s effort to become more than a sister campus, but a destination of its own. Sitting pretty in privilege and esteem, amidst an antiquated Downtown, who will most certainly attain the greatness once held.




In order of appearance from top to bottom:

Photo of Elizabeth Pierini courtesy of Elizabeth Pierini,

photo of Rachel Ervin by Andy Cox,

photo of Johnny Dorrello courtesy of Johnny Dorrello.