Answer Me This

Answer Me This is a forum for addressing questions about working at Seattle University and campus life. The Commons invites faculty and staff to suggest possible topics for questions or specific questions for consideration by e-mailing

Giving Campaign

Q: What are the final results of the 2015 Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign? 

FacultyStaffGivingCampaign2015Results_3A: Forty percent of Seattle University's faculty and staff gave a combined $311,250 to this year's campaign, which ended June 30. Giving was up 8 percent over the $288,000 raised last year. More than 450 donors contributed through a combination of one-time gifts and payroll deductions. Many faculty and staff gave during the Seattle Foundation's 24-hour GiveBIG event in May, says Assistant Director of Annual Giving Sara Young. 

The table to the left shows participation rates across divisions and department. 

"(Co-chairs) Mary (Sepulveda), Bernie (Liang) and the Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign Committee did an excellent job raising awareness of the campaign, generating gifts and keeping the momentum going throughout the last quarter of FY15," says Young. "Asking colleagues and friends for gifts can be intimidating, so I'm very grateful for those who were up to the challenge of serving on the committee. It was fun to see how creative department representatives got, offering incentives like gift card drawings and cupcake challenges!" 

This year's campaign, Young says, saw "an uptick in the number of faculty and staff giving via payroll deduction, where you can opt into a recurring or fixed monthly contribution. It's an easy way to participate, allowing employees to spread their gift out over time." 

To learn more, visit Faculty and Staff Giving.

Putting the student in student-athlete

Q: How did SU's athletic teams fare in terms of the most recent Academic Progress Rates?

NCAASeattleU_300A: Quite well! Six Redhawk athletic teams received Public Recognition Awards from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for posting multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR) in the top 10 percent of their respective sport. Seattle U was the only Western Athletic Conference school to receive more than one award. The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter and provides a picture of the academic performance for each sports team over four years.

  • Women's outdoor track and field-fourth year to receive the award
  • Men's indoor track and field and outdoor track and field-second year
  • Women's cross country, indoor track and field and rowing-first year

- Annie Beckmann and Jason Behenna  

Move Around The Sound

MoveAroundtheSound_300Q: What is Move Around The Sound all about and how can I participate?

A: Starting June 29, the LiVE wellness program for faculty/staff challenges you and your division to Move Around The Sound. The goal is to get everyone in your division to walk 300 miles each-the distance from Olympia to Deception Pass, and back down around Puget Sound. Here's how it works: 

1. Join the LiVE Challenge
2. Log 300 miles between June 29 and Sept. 27
3. Earn 150 LiVE points (BONUS: Members of the division with the highest average steps earn an additional 150 points!) 

You'll need about 6,500 steps a day. Watch your inbox for more details, and get ready to move! Join Move Around the Sound at LiVESEATTLEU.

Projects Day


Q:  What can I expect to find at this year's Projects Day? 

A:  Sponsored by the Project Center, Projects Day is the culminating event for student teams from the College of Science and Engineering and the Albers School of Business and Economics. Throughout the year the teams work on projects in a variety of fields and in so doing gain valuable real-world experience.

This year's Projects Day-which takes place 12:30-6 p.m., Friday, June 5, in Sullivan Hall-features 35 projects. Some examples include making information collected by flight data recorders ("black boxes") more intuitive and easier to interpret, assisting with the process of recycling plastic water bottles so they can be re-purposed into roof tiles and helping to improve housing and living conditions for migrant workers.

You can check out all the projects as well as a schedule for Projects Day here.

Cellphone discounts 

SUCampusStore_300Q: What discounts are available to faculty and staff for Verizon? 

A: At the Campus Store, faculty and staff receive $50 off all upgrades and new lines, as well as 25 percent off all accessories purchased at the time of upgrade. As an employee of the university, faculty and staff also receive an 18 percent­ plan discount (15 percent with paper billing, 18 percent with paperless billing) which can be applied to new or existing accounts. For more information please contact Sione Pauu at 296-5819.


Q: Who's playing in the faculty/staff vs. students basketball game?

A: SU's 10th Annual Swishes for Wishes, a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, tips off 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, at the Connolly Center's North Court. Here are the rosters...

Faculty and Staff  

Matt Byers (OIT)
Carlee Norquist (Athletics-Women's Soccer)
Chris Kalinko (Marketing Communications)
David Lance (University Counsel)
Shelby White (Athletics)
Kara Williams (University Core - Academic Affairs)
Brian Fisher (Mathematics)
Isaiah Gonzales (Athletics-Strength and Conditioning)
Kyle Rapp (Undergraduate Admissions)
Vivian Frieson  (Athletics-Women's Basketball)
Andy Patton (Athletics-MSAL)
Rebekah Ray (Athletics)
Alvin Sturdivant (Student Development)
Dion Wade (UREC)
Janessa Oppegard (Athletics)
Brandi Gordon (Athletics-Softball)
Cat Aurelio (Premajor Advising)
Alex Keough (Athletics-Strength and Conditioning)
Coach: Tim Leary (Executive Vice President)

Julian Morales (Sport and Exercise Science)
Joshua Walden (Sport and Exercise Science)
Alex Zwingle (Pre-Buisness)
Casey Martin (Mechanical Engineer)
Alaina Bever (Mechanical Engineering and Biology)
Jessica Domingo (Biology)
Mazen El-Majzoub (Sport and Exercise Science)
Caleb Herrera (Economics)
Qi Xuan Huang (Accounting)
Ryan Agnew (Marketing)
Chase Fields (Mechanical Engineering)
Tolani Ogunyoku (College of Education/Community Counseling)
Anthony Mack (Finance)
Coach: Eric Sype (Matteo Ricci College)

UPDATE (April 30): As reported in The Spectator, SU's faculty and staff narrowly defeated the students, 44-43.

Alumni Awards

Q: Who have the previous Alumni Awards recipients been?

A: The full list of individuals who have received Alumni Awards over the past three decades can be found here. And if you haven't done so already be sure to purchase your tickets to this year's Alumni Awards celebration on April 18.

Wellness Challenge

Q: How'd this year's Wellness Challenge shake out? 

A: According to Jazz Espiritu in the Office of Wellness and Health Promotion, 364 faculty, staff and students comprising 91 teams participated in the 2015 Anne Carragher Wellness Challenge. 

First, the winners...

Best Team Name: ADVANCE THIS!!!!
Top Combo Team (faculty/staff/student): Tell-A-Hawk
Top Faculty/Staff Team: #awesome
Top Student Team: Feel Good Inc.
Top Individual Staff/Faculty: Rosie Sabaric
Top Individual Student: Carolyn van der Meulen

And now, for some fun facts...

Collectively, Wellness Challenge participants accomplished the following:

  • Water drank: 3,702 gallons
  • Hours of physical exercise: 5,607
  • Gratitude expressed: 1,306 times
  • Hours reading for pleasure: 5,770 

You can learn more about the challenge here.

Greenhouse effects

Greenhouse_400Q:   What exactly goes on in that greenhouse behind the 1313 Building? 

A:  The greenhouse (on 13th between E. Columbia and E. Cherry) is jointly used and managed by the Department of Biology and the Grounds Department. Michael Zanis, assistant professor of biology, and his students ran experiments on hydroponics and some mysterious-looking algae experiments during the fall quarter. 

Grounds staff start all their veggies in the greenhouse during the spring for campus "Food For All" gardens and the Earth Day Plant Giveaway. This winter, the student group Food With Spirit  grew micro-greens in the greenhouse that were harvested and donated to the St Mark's Cathedral Kitchen. "They were a big hit!" says Janice Murphy, integrated pest management coordinator. "The greenhouse was also the site for our wreath- making event before the Christmas break. It's a great collaboration between the two departments, sharing space and resources."