Honors Advisory Board

About the Board

Our volunteer advisory board supports initiatives that expand the impact of Honors. Many board members are Honors graduates or faculty emeritus, and some members come from different backgrounds to forge valuable connections between the Honors community and the broader public. Board members partner with the Honors Program Director to drive special projects and make gifts at a level that is personally meaningful to them. These deeply engaged volunteers sometimes teach Honors courses, lead student field trips, mentor staff and students and advocate for the importance of interdisciplinary learning and innovations at the University of Washington and in the public sphere.

How to join our Advisory Board

Participation on the advisory board is subject to invitation from the Honors Program director and advisory board chair. It’s a partnership that works best for volunteers with proven affinity for Honors’ mission and values, whose passions match the board’s goals and initiatives. If you are curious about the work of our board or want to participate in the supporting the future of Honors at the UW, contact uwhonors@uw.edu to connect with our team. 

Board-supported initiatives

Board Members

Bobbe Bridge

Bobbe Bridge is a former Justice of the Washington Supreme Court. In 2007, Justice Bridge retired from the Supreme Court to assume the role of founding president and CEO of the Center for Children & Youth Justice. This non-profit organization aims to reform Washington State’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems to better support our youngest citizens. After eleven years at the head of CCYJ, Bridge announced her retirement in 2018. Bridge continues to chair the Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care. Justice Bridge is also an affiliate professor of law at the University of Washington where her B.A. and J.D. were obtained. She also has an M.A. and Ph.C in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Jeanne Contardo

Jeanne Contardo is a professional in higher education specializing in strategic planning and partnership development. Dr. Contardo has served in a number of leadership roles, ranging from advisor to director-level, to her most recent appointment as Vice President of Regional Operations at Excelsior College. The changing workforce in the U.S. and access to higher education are also two areas of interest reflected in her previous work at the National Defense University and the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Dr. Contardo earned her Ph.D in higher education policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, a Master’s in higher and postsecondary education from Columbia University, and her B.A. with Honors in English from the University of Washington.

photo of Katharine Fitzgerald

Katharine Fitzgerald is a passionate advocate for education, women and children’s services, health care accessibility, and civic engagement. After completing her bachelor’s degree in political science at UW in 1980, Katharine worked in Washington D.C. for five years before returning to the Seattle-based Washington State Medical Association as Director of Public Affairs. She then spent 11 years at the DeLaunay/Phillips agency working on health care and social marketing campaigns, leaving in 2001 for Seattle Children’s Hospital, where her team oversaw all marketing and communications for the hospital, research institute and Foundation. 

Katharine retired from Seattle Children’s as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer in July, 2018.  Still an active member of the board of YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish counties, Katharine is also a founding member of CityClub and secretary of the board of the Sandy Point Owners Association.

Rick Freeman

Dr. Richard (Rick) Freeman recently retired as Dean of Physics from Ohio State University and now splits his time between the Bay area and Hood Canal with his wife, Lynne. Rick and Lynne participated in the Honors program in its earliest years at UW, were Dr. Freeman obtained his B.S. with Honors in Physics from before going on to attain an A.M. and Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University. In his years as a researcher prior to Ohio State, Dr. Freeman became the Department Head in the research division of Bell Laboratories and went on to hold the position of the Deputy Associate Director of Laser Programs at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Freeman is a fellow of the American Physical Society and Optical Society of America.

Scott Keeney

Scott Keeney is the founder of nLIGHT which manufactures high-power solid-state lasers. Before founding nLIGHT, he had been CEO of Aculight. In 2007 Keeney was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and in 2006 Keeney was a winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific Northwest Award. He also is founder and Chair for nConnect, an education non-profit focused on enhancing rigorous high school science and math programs.  

Scott graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in economics, before pursuing an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Lynn Lindsay

Lynn Lindsay is a Double Dawg with Honors History BA, and Masters from Evans School of Public Affairs for local government. Now retired, Ms. Lindsay is also on the advisory board for the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the UW, serving as a mentor and role model for students in the program. Outside of her work and university-related endeavors, Ms. Lindsay is also a member of the gender equity and pay task force in the Seattle area.

Mark Malamud

Mark Malamud is a former software designer. He is currently principal and manager of busymonster, LLC, a consultancy company focused on advanced user interface and design. He has created several award-winning educational adventure games for Scholastic Books, and he has worked on various multimedia projects, including Nam June Paik’s “Good Morning, Mr. Orwell” for WNET in New York. During his 10-year tenure at Microsoft, Mr. Malamud became the company’s first User Interface Architect, leading design teams in the Advanced Windows, Consumer, Systems, and Research groups.

Nisha Nariya

Nisha Nariya graduated from the University of Washington in 2011 with a BA in Finance and Economics. After graduation she worked as a Project Controller for Deloitte Consulting LLP before going to law school. Nisha graduated in 2016 from Georgetown University Law Center and is now practicing as a tax, trusts, and estates attorney at Perkins Coie LLP.  In addition to her professional career, Nisha enjoys being an active volunteer in the community and has worked on political campaigns and with organizations such as The Leadership Conference and the Junior League. 

Noah Purcell graduated from the University of Washington in 2002 and he received the Distinguished Honors Alumnus Award in 2017. As Washington state solicitor general, Purcell argued Washington’s challenge to the controversial Trump administration travel and immigration ban, winning both in District Court and the 9th Circuit, and earning a temporary restraining order of the ban. He did this with the backing of several major tech companies based in Washington state, collaborating effectively with the private sector in defense of constitutional rights, specifically the right to religious freedom.

Tina Ragen

Tina Ragen, Board Chair, graduated in 1982 with Honors in Sociology and has deep roots in Seattle. Currently in property development and management, Tina works to support equitable housing and engaged interdisciplinary learning. Previously, she was a systems analyst for a manufacturing company. She has also served on the UW Sociology advisory board and with the Northwest School’s board of trustees and is a staunch supporter of Honors’ Global Challenges series

Reem Sabha sits on the steps of Suzzallo library on UW campus. She is smiling and it's a bright, sunny day.

Reem Sabha, Board Coordinator, earned her master’s degree at the Jackson School of International Studies and now works in the UW’s Department of Psychology. She received her undergraduate bachelor’s degree from the UW in economics with Interdisciplinary Honors in 2017.  Reem is also a board member of UW Women in Economics and is active in political and gender equity issues. She was the first “Honors student in residence” while earning her B.A. and has helped to establish Honors Equity Scholarship fund, hosted alumni game nights and contributed to special programs and events as a student and now alumni volunteer.

Erica Tartaglione

Erica Tartaglione, Board Vice Chair (she/her), a Howard Hughes and Mary Gates Scholar, obtained a BS in Biology (Physiology) with Honors and a minor in Italian Studies at the University of Washington in 2009. The Honors Program formed the cornerstone of her Husky Experience. She pursued leadership roles by serving as the Chair of the Honors Student Advisory Panel, and as a student representative on the Honors Council. She was also a peer mentor and a Freshmen Seminar Leader. Through these endeavors, Erica fostered communication and connection between staff, faculty, and students. Erica has been working for the Department of Veterans Affairs since graduating. She is the Special Initiatives Manager in the Health Services & Development Center of Innovation at the Seattle VA, overseeing multiple research/operations projects and Center-lead initiatives. Her interests include reproductive healthcare, patient research engagement, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all phases of the research process. She currently serves as the Honors Program’s Advisory Board Vice Chair and has been on the Board since 2017.

Kari Tupper

Kari Tupper is a super alum, receiving her bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. all from the University of Washington. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in English and Psychology, a Master’s in English, and a Ph.D. in English. She has taught social science and humanities courses at both UW and Whitman, and spent time as a Legislative Assistant and freelance writer. Kari is passionate about protecting the rights and dignity of people who have experienced sexual assault, as she’s worked with both the Walla Walla Valley Violence Prevention Coalition and the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center.

David Watson is a VP with ThinqShift, providing leadership services and development to fabulous leaders to empower them to shift and reinvent their organizations.  Dave brings over thirty years of technology and consulting experience; designing creative solutions for companies with ambiguous and challenging business requirements. While he has Midwest roots and a B.S. in engineering from the University of Illinois, Dave has lived near the University of Washington in Seattle for the past 25+ years. He is currently co-teaching several classes in the Human Centered Design & Engineering program at UW.  He has served multiple roles across several boards with missions ranging from neighborhood service to global communities.

Kathleen Wright (photo unavailable) is a retired financial advisor living with her husband, Martin Greene, in Seattle. As a community leader, she is focused on education and the arts. Currently, Kathleen is Vice President of Seattle Symphony Foundation, President of Meany Performing Arts Center at University of Washington and a member of the Board of Regents at Seattle University. She is immediate past president of the College Board of Arts and Sciences at University of Washington and has also served on the boards of Seattle Symphony, Bellevue College Foundation and Seattle Chamber Music Society. 

Kathleen, a lifelong resident of Seattle, is the mother of three children. She is married to Martin Greene, a retired physician, and a director on the UW Foundation Board. Kathleen has combined a life of career, family and volunteer activism. She enjoys music, hiking in Sun Valley and recreating with her husband at their home on the Olympic Peninsula.

Emeritus Honors Advisory Board

portrait of James Champoux

In May of 2019 the Honors community lost a wonderful teacher, leader and friend with the passing of Dr. James Champoux, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 76. A longtime professor and former chair of the UW School of Medicine Department of Microbiology, Dr. Champoux inspired students to love what they studied. He was the parent of an Honors student, a graduate of the Honors Program, and a beloved member of our faculty.

Champoux was among the first cohort of students in the University of Washington Honors Program at its inception in 1961, while he was earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. His affection for Honors continued long after graduation and he served as an important member of the Honors Advisory Board under two program directors, retiring in July of 2018. Dr. Champoux brought a valuable perspective of alumnus, faculty, and parent of an Honors student into Board conversations and was deeply committed to expansion of Honors’ ability to serve more undergraduates more deeply by expanding access to Honors courses and considering innovative recruiting practices.

Our colleague Paul Ramsey, Dean of the UW School of Medicine, wrote this touching account of Dr. Champoux’s many awards and appointments. We are deeply saddened by his loss.

Ronnie Cunningham

Ronnie Cunningham has worked for more than twenty years in education and psychology as a teacher, coach, psychologist and faculty member at all levels of school and educational settings from elementary school to university. He is a licensed psychologist and has worked at the University of Washington for the past eight years as a core faculty member and Director of Internships for EdS students in the School Psychology department of the College of Education. 

As a state certified school psychologist who has worked in Seattle and Edmonds’ public school districts at all levels of educational placements, Cunningham has contributed to Honors’ understanding of issues surrounding equity of access, commitment to diversity, and other programmatic evolution. He holds masters and doctorate degrees in school and educational psychology from the University of Washington and earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Occidental College.

Bud Saxberg

Bud Saxberg came to America on scholarship from Oregon State University where he received a B.S. before going on to the University of Illinois to attain two PhD degrees. He has held visiting professor positions at Syracuse University and INSEAD in France and has consulted on management theory and practices with a number of organizations over the years.  Dr. Saxberg is faculty emeritus at the Foster School of Business at UW, where he taught for 53 years. During that time, Saxberg taught several Honors courses and also served as chairman of the UW Faculty Senate and Department of Management and Organization. He served on the inaugural Honors Advisory Board and was a welcome face at Honors community events throughout his entire term. Both of his sons, Bud and Bror Saxberg, are proud alumni of UW Honors.

Headshot of Sue Sherbrooke

Sue Sherbrooke has B.As in both Communications and History (with Honors) and earned her Master’s of Public Administration degree from the University of Washington. Ms. Sherbrooke spent many decades as non-profit executive who served as the CEO for the YWCA of Seattle-King County and Snohomish County.  Before her retirement, she received an Executive Excellence Award for her unwavering commitment to women of color who face disproportionate barriers because of the criminal justice system. It is this commitment to equity that led her to advocate in the state capital for changes in legislation.

In her time on Honors’ Advisory Board, Sherbrooke led a committee to establish and raise support for Honors Equity Scholarships, hosted a post-Global Challenges salon where alumni and students could discuss Human Rights from a personal framework, visited classes as a mentor and guest speaker, and contributed to the Board’s evolution and structural development.