Valerie F. Strickland Hunt, PhD


Dr. Hunt has been an educator for over 25 years, Dr. Valerie Hunt has devoted her professional career providing equity and access to education for marginalized and minoritized communities. She is a first-generation graduate who grew up in the Jim Crow South. Dr. Hunt’s personal philosophy is that the purpose of education holds a moral imperative to act—individually, with community and systemically. ‘We educators have a moral obligation to equip ourselves, our students and our society in order, as Dr. King states, “to achieve the legitimate goals of [our] lives.”’  Dr. Hunt engages evidence and art as liberatory praxis by connecting scholarship and community activism.

Her research interests include state-society-sovereignty dynamics, and relationships between newcomers (immigrants), old-timers (citizens) and indigenous peoples.  Dr. Hunt is interested in exploring how communities keep their members and the state accountable to each other.

Dr. Hunt holds a PhD from the University of Washington (2002) in U.S. immigration policy and a bachelor’s degree in Middle East Affairs from Rhodes College. Prior to assuming the role of Associate Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Seattle Central College, she served as Interim Dean for the Business and Behavioral Sciences Division at Seattle Central College and tenured faculty in the bachelor’s program of Applied Behavioral Science.

Dr. Hunt also co-chaired Central’s DREAMERs Taskforce and co-founded of the Women of Color and Female Identified Affinity Group. She received the 2015 Faculty of Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Service Award at Seattle Central College. In 2016, she received the Union Activist Award from the American Federation of Teachers Local 1789. She has served on the Human and Civil Rights Committee of her local union AFT 1789, as faculty senator for AFT-Seattle Central and on the AFT Executive Board as Professional Issues Chair. She is a Senior Ford Foundation Fellow of the National Academies of Science and serves primarily to increase the percentage of educators and administrators of color in the academy. She mentors many students at all levels of the educative journey throughout the nation. Dr. Hunt has taken on leadership and fundraising roles in organizations including the Women’s Funding Alliance, College Success Foundation and the Alliance for Lupus Research. 

Richard W. Sharp III, PhD

Vice President, Treasurer

Dr Sharp (Princeton University, 2005) is an applied mathematician and data scientist currently at work in industry applying machine learning techniques to personalization, in particular those leveraging reinforcement learning systems and techniques to apply the lessons learned from behavioral economics. He has hands on involvement with the design, implementation, and operation of enterprise software systems for tackling big data problems with machine learning while working in the data science field at Microsoft, the startup Amplero, and currently at Starbucks Corporation. He has maintained a connection to academia through teaching (for example, course design and delivery for the data science certificate program through University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education) and mentoring (for example, providing a capstone project for PhD students at an IMA math to industry boot camp). For the past two years he has focused on civic engagement and education as a co-founder and frequent contributor to PrincipallyUncertain.com.

Patrick W. Zimmerman, PhD

Vice President, Secretary

Dr. Zimmerman (Carnegie Mellon, 2011) is a historian and anthropologist dedicated to understanding the real-world effect of political discourse and ideology and to disseminating that research among a wide audience outside as well as inside of academia.  His research interests include climate and environmental politics and ideology, nationalism and regionalism, politics in online media, and the organization and ideological articulation of radical movements in Europe and in the US. 

He applies both traditional historical and anthropological methodologies (archival research, ethnography, oral history, survey design) and tools from computer science and linguistics (building web scrapers and natural language processing scripts). 

He is the co-founder and editor of the data journalism site Principally Uncertain and continues to publish his work on language and politics in Spain in peer-reviewed journals (most recent).