UW Impact

District Dawgs

What is UW Impact?

UW Impact is the University of Washington Alumni Association’s legislative advocacy program. Our mission is to engage UW alumni and stakeholders in legislative advocacy that advances the university and public higher education in the state of Washington.

What is a District Dawg?

District Dawgs (DD) are proud UW Alumni who believe in the value of higher education in the state of Washington. District Dawgs support the UW and higher education through legislative district-based engagement with lawmakers and their community. Using UW Impact resources, District Dawgs help coordinate opportunities for alums, neighbors, family and friends to learn about the value of higher education, build relationships with local lawmakers, and generate support for higher education.

District Dawgs Spotlight

Bettina Carey, 33rd Legislative District Area of Study: Nursing, Graduation Year: 1984

How did you begin to advocate with UW Impact?

In 2020, when Covid reared its ugly head, I was invited to become a trustee of the UW Alumni Association. It was during my time as a new board member that I first learned about UW Impact. I was immediately impressed with the thoughtful way in which I was empowered to make an impact of my own by writing to my legislators and representatives. Communicating with my them had been on my mind, but up until that time I had not done so in quite some time. The simple instructions made it easy for me to express my deep appreciation for the UW and the impact that higher education had on my own life, and to ask for support of higher education in current legislative sessions.

Which higher education issue is most important to you and why?

When I think about what my life would have been like without a higher education, I shutter at the thought. As a Latina, I had a strong desire to be a nurse from a young age, but no one, not even my parents nor my teachers (even though I was on the Principal's Honor Roll), had envisioned that I'd actually get into college. As luck would have it, three years after graduating high school I found a way to pursue a higher degree in the field of nursing after deciding to go after my dreams in spite of my circumstances.

It is for these reasons that my interests lands squarely in support of both UW medical and nursing degrees. Specifically, I am aware that UW played an instrumental role in systematically addressing the impact of the pandemic on our communities throughout the State, and in the development of immunizations, incurring tremendous associated costs.

As well, I am aware that the pandemic has prevented both medical and nursing candidates from fulfilling their dreams, further increasing existing shortages of both doctors and nurses. The impact of these shortages in the health field can result in dire consequences down the line and it is why I’m vowing to have my voice heard on the subject.

What has been rewarding about advocating for higher education and what have you learned?

What has been most rewarding participating in UW Impact is being reminded that holding elected officials accountable is good for both sides of the equation. Contacting my legislators about issues that are important to me as it relates to higher education specifically has also resulted in my feeling that my voice has been heard and that my opinion matters. When I’m empowered they in turn are empowered.

What would you share with other alumni that want to get involved?

Legislators know that if one person writes in it represents the voice of many of their constituents. UW Impact makes it possible for me to reach out to my legislators on specific legislation in a brief, organized manner on issues that affect me personally. Getting involved and staying involved is made easy by UW Impact. Join us!

District Dawgs Spotlight Archive