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Create the Change You Seek


Our students learn to imagine the city in new and different ways. They develop the vision, knowledge, leadership, and skill that cities like Seattle need to solve their most pressing urban problems.

Last summer, Rachel McCaffrey (CEP ’12) and Kyle Rowe (CEP ’13) tied the knot and began working together on a project at the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

Years before, they came to this department to make a positive difference in the world. Through applied coursework and a collaborative learning community, they were able to foster skills to create the change they sought for Seattle.

“When I came to Seattle, I learned how to navigate a city with just a bus pass and a bike, and I felt more freedom to move than I had ever felt in my life,” says Rowe. Due to this sense of empowerment and mobility, Rowe sought to improve Seattle’s bike infrastructure to make biking more accessible for everyone.

Rachel and Kyle fell in love with Seattle and each other during their undergraduate studies at UW. They envisioned a Seattle where cars are less dominant and bikes have a greater role in our transportation network. Now, they both work for SDOT and are improving major transit corridors in UW’s backyard. The couple teamed up with others from SDOT and the community to make Roosevelt Way NE a more functional, safe, and complete street. As their journey continues at SDOT, Rachel has found, “it’s fun to see your spouse’s work and successes in real time instead of only hearing about them at the dinner table.”