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The Language of Liberals & Conservatives

Over the last decade, the American news media landscape has changed in concurrence with the growing variety and number of news sources. Traditional news outlets, with higher expectations of journalistic standards, are challenged for viewership by news sources with significantly more ideological spin and less accountability. The implications of this transformation are debated, but some researchers argue that it has resulted in an increasingly polarized public. One prominent example of political polarization is the case of the environmental movement, in which environmental issues—from renewable energy to climate change action and conservation—have come to be viewed by many as reflecting a liberal agenda. To better understand how issues become polarized through news media, this research draws on the latest literature and a case study analysis to examine how ideological values, issue frameworks, and rhetoric are constructed in television news reports of the same environmental events. The case study analysis compares news coverage of the Paris Climate Agreement and Dakota Access Pipeline from two ideologically-opposed networks: Fox News and MSNBC. The results of this study demonstrate the significance of language and communication in constructing ideological opinions and underscore the influence that news has on the polarization of society. The insights provided by this study encourage critical forethought among news viewers when consuming media information.

Activist Poetics


“Activism” is often associated with aggression, extremism, romanticism, and destruction rendering it ineffective and polarizing. Given the unstable state of Earth’s ecosystems today, environmental activism needs to be as powerful as possible in creating change. My senior project investigated where art and ecopsychology fit into activism and how poetry can inspire action. To explore this, I immersed myself in the world of activist poetry. I read through dozens of published modern and historical artistic initiatives in addition to research on poetics, writing, and storytelling. I self-selected three books for their environmental and emotional relevance. Together, Rupi Kaur, Innosanto Nagara, and Christopher Poindexter demonstrated a power in language that articulates personal and emotional human-nature experiences. These poets respectively use techniques that conjure images of place, call on real-world figures, and metaphorically converse with the non-human. Analysis such as this afforded me tools to write what I could eventually call my own environmental activist poetry book. Thus, I have produced Each Step In– a book of my own poems, illustrations, and spoken word pieces– in an effort to connect with an audience of potential change-makers. My hopes are that readers can experience alongside with me the many emotions– those turbulent and those empowering– that come with acknowledging and confronting global environmental injustice. Bigger picture, those looking to maximize the efficacy and longevity of environmental activism can engage with rhetoric found in this book and beyond in search of what it looks like to successfully inspire action.

Somalia: Exploring Major Causes of Migration


Somalia’s challenges as a whole are extensive, seeming impossible to generate results. Social and political volatility and the coinciding of clan system with a teething democracy make Somalia’s circumstance a convoluted one. This complexity is further magnified by rapid urban growth, making it strenuous to centralize the potential advantages of a well-structured urban context to mobilize the improvement and development process. This project will examine urban migration in Somalia and help create guiding principles through resiliency thinking. Examining migration, its causes, its effects and how to better prepare for when crisis-induces mobility hits again. Developing Somalia’s institutions and helping them attain self-sustainability is the goal but for this project I will magnify one issue, migration, and help shed light on why urbanization in Somalia is being handled in a wrong manner. The final product will contain a series of guidelines that can be implemented into the long-range planning for Somalia. Highlighting the problems, causes, patterns, and ways to prevent and help the country gain stability and security. This is phase one of this project which likely will not have any guidelines.

Ending Homelessness: Effective Outreach to the Homeless Population


In metropolitan areas, homelessness is part of the community and also a problem to local government which need to address or end. To end the homelessness, the profit, nonprofit organizations and local government are providing shelter, mental health service and food to homeless people. But there are still a lot of homelessness loitering and sleep in the street. Except the help from profit, nonprofit organizations, how can we as a resident to help ending homelessness. The best is we learn how to outreach homelessness and understand their situation and experience. But what is the best way to successfully outreach homelessness? This project seeks to determine what is the best way to outreach homelessness and the barrier which will experience when outreaching homelessness, through a comprehensive literature review, interviews with profit and nonprofit organizations.

Touch the Waterfront

Seattle’s downtown waterfront is undergoing a huge transformation. The new vision, dubbed “A Waterfront for All”, removes the elevated highway separating downtown Seattle from its waterfront and replaces it with a 26-block long park that will feature green public spaces, connective pathways, a bike path, and enhanced streetscapes. To help the people of Seattle better understand this vision, I developed an interactive exhibit about the park’s materiality and ecology that will be featured in the park’s information center: The Waterfront Space. With the creation of this exhibit, I seek to introduce the public to the materials, plants, and processes featured in the park in a manner that is accessible and engaging. To create this exhibit, I first conducted an extensive literature review on exhibit design and display. I then reviewed the plans for the park to identify the most relevant elements. Working with the hosts of the information center, I then selected and formulated a series of engaging and interactive activities for the exhibit. Finally, I then constructed the exhibit and installed it in the center for public use. This exhibit creates an opportunity for people to build a connection to the future park by allowing them to physically engage with it before it opens, furthering the park’s role as a place for everyone in Seattle even before its construction is complete.

Renew Rethink Refill


Temporary use of space in urbanism can be roughly described as the reallocation of unused or underutilized space, which can act as a catalyst to enliven and rehabilitate cities and neighborhoods. Once a bottom-up, do-it-yourself strategy for the creative reappropriation of urban space, temporary use projects are increasingly integrated into many modern top-down urban planning and design initiatives.

This capstone project has developed into its final form from initial research conducted on my study abroad program in Berlin, a city ripe with a vast history of temporary space, creative-use projects. Berlin has the policy backing, real estate availability, and, perhaps most importantly, the culture that supports and encourages interim use projects –But would replication of such a project in my home city of Seattle yield the same results?

Using research on temporary use spaces, event production, and global case-study comparisons, I created my own temporary use project: a one-day ArtWalk event in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood that temporarily activates a place and provides a stage for some of the community’s cultural assets.  The results of my work are summarized in a written report that describes my research findings, production methodology, and the results of a comparative analysis of the policy, real estate, and cultural differences between Berlin and Seattle that made for a more obstructed event process in our local context.

Elevating Seattle’s Understanding of Safety Perception & Cycle Tracks

It has been proven that cycle tracks are the safest form of bike infrastructure in terms of car-bike collisions, however this study explores how different buffers in cycle tracks rank in terms of safety perception. Safety perception is measured by an online survey that asks respondents to rank how comfortable they would be using various cycle tracks on a scale from “Very Uncomfortable” to “Very Comfortable”. The eventual goal of the survey is to produce a ranking of buffers in order to create a recommendation for the City of Seattle to implement more of these types of cycle tracks, as there is a correlation between higher safety perception and increased comfort with ridership.

You Are Not Alone


Mental health is a tough subject to tackle. It’s messy, it’s unclear, and it’s difficult to pin down. It has stigma attached to it and people do not want to touch it. This is especially true for Asian Americans. According to the NLAAS (National Latino and Asian American Study) on mental health and many subsequent studies that were based off of its findings, Asian Americans exhibit help seeking behavior at a lower rate than the general population. Even though they have the same or greater amount of need.

This is due to a number of things. Namely: lack of time, money, knowledge, and the influence of Confucian and Buddhist values in many Asian cultures. The lack of time and money is a common complaint that is familiar to many. The knowledge There is an emphasis on philosophies that encourage people to save face, value social harmony, and to “roll with the punches”. While these values are not inherently bad (in fact they can be the exact opposite), they can negatively impact an individual’s likeliness of help seeking.

My project is a short podcast that hopes to help combat this. By interviewing other Asian Americans and shining light on their relationships with mental health, I hope to validate the experiences of my audience and then to give them resources on the subject. The podcast will be published online for free on social media to increase its chances of circulation and to keep the resources free, relatively easy to access, and discrete.

Mega Effects of Mega Events


Mega events, such as the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup, are catalysts for change and transformation in cities and countries across the globe that attract a large number of visitors, have a large reach, incur large costs, and have large impacts on the built environment and population. This project has analyzed data on select cities and countries that have hosted mega events in the past as case studies in order to examine both the proposed benefits of hosting these events, as well as the shortcomings that surface once the events finish. The product of this report will eventually be a key findings report that highlights and synthesizes my broader research on the topic – I will be submitting this report to the United States Soccer Federation Professional Council on August 1st and for that reason, I have opted to work on the report over summer while finalizing the broader capstone report for graduation purposes. Potential hosts see mega events as opportunities to catalyze development and improvement across the board, yet the vast majority of cities and countries fall short in establishing a positive post-event legacy for themselves. The project identifies issues within the governing guidelines of these mega events and the discrepancies between the goals of the organizing and bidding committees and the goals of the general public, which leads to the failure of establishing a sustainable event legacy once the event has ended. To complete the report, a comprehensive literature review was compiled that examined the history of mega events, as well as specific literature on the selected case studies, which were combined with onsite research and the data gathering which generated the overall findings.

Divesting from Disposables


The University of Washington prides itself on being a leader in sustainability, but it is currently not doing all that it can to reduce carbon emissions and the waste that ends up in landfills. In particular, the UW continues to allow the sale of disposable water bottles, which contribute to the University’s carbon footprint and the amount of plastic it sends to landfills. While many universities across the United States have banned the sale of disposable water bottles on their campuses, including five Washington State schools, the University of Washington has not made
an effort to do the same. To address this problem, my project identifies the critical steps that the University of Washington needs to take in order to stop selling bottled water at their Seattle campus. To do this I wrote a report analyzing the human, environmental, and economic impacts of divesting from disposable water bottles on the University of Washington Seattle campus and then created a set of suggestions for the administration, detailing what needs to be done for the University to successfully stop selling bottled water. Getting the University of Washington to divest from selling disposable plastic water bottles on its Seattle campus will benefit student and environmental health.