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

Smoking cessation

TobaccoFree_248Q: What resources are available for members of the SU community who are interested in discontinuing their use of tobacco products?

A: For faculty and staff interested in cessation, there are options through the university's sponsored health plans with Premera and Group Health. Further details for faculty and staff as well as cessation resources-including "quit kits"-for all members of the SU community can be found here

The Student Health Center (SHC) is now offering tobacco cessation counseling for students for a $5 copay. Students interested in quitting are encouraged to make an appointment with the SHC at which a number of cessation aids will be discussed. If students opt for nicotine replacement, the patches will be provided at no cost above the copay. Interested students are encouraged to visit the SHC on the first floor of Bellarmine Hall or call 296-6300 to set up an appointment.

Costco Scholarship Breakfast

Q: How much was raised at this year's Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast?

A: The 16th Annual Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast, held Sept. 30, 2015 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, attracted a record number of attendees-more than 1,200-and raised the largest amount to date, $3.83 million. Funds raised at the breakfast benefit scholarships for underrepresented students at the University of Washington and Seattle University.

SU sophomore Ryan Lim, served as co-emcee, and shared how the Costco Scholarship allowed him to pursue his dream of attending the university. The breakfast also featured a video of SU alumnus Abraham Romo and his work with Waves for Water a non-profit geared at providing clean drinking water around the world. Freshman Nayeli Cervantes and her path to college was also featured in a video. Alumna Ashley Burns closed out the event by reflecting on the impact of the Costco Scholarship.


Pictured left to right: Abraham Romo (SU alumnus); Jim Sinegal (Costco co-founder and retired CEO), Ryan Lim (SU student), Nayeli Cervantes (SU student), Genezaret Quintana (UW student), Else Washines (UW alumna), Ashley Burns (SU alumna) and Craig Jelinek (Costco CEO).

Open Enrollment


Q:  What's new with SU's benefits plans this year? 

A:  The biggest change this year is that your medical plan election will not simply rollover to the next plan year. If you decide not to make an election, then you will automatically be enrolled in the HSA Plan.

Open enrollment runs now through Friday, Nov. 20. Visit Human Resources to find the 2016 Benefits Guide and link to Your Benefits Center in order to make your elections for the upcoming calendar year. 

Open enrollment benefits workshops, at which you can learn more, will be held as follows: 

Oct. 27, 12:30-1:30 p.m., BANNAN 501
Oct. 28, 12:30-1:30 p.m., ADMN 221
Nov. 3, 12:30-1:30 p.m., BANNAN 501
Nov. 4, 12:30-1:30 p.m., ADMN 22 

The annual benefits fair takes place Oct. 29, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., in STCN 160.

Miles and miles

Q:  How many miles did the SU community log through Move Around the Sound? 

MoveAroundtheSound_RecapA:  "Thanks to you and your competitive spirit, we walked, ran, jogged and moved 43,468 miles!" says Matt Philip, director of compensation and benefits. That's 6,605 miles more than the SU community logged in the 2014 competition. "All of us should feel great about the additional miles logged this year. Puget Sound is 100 miles from bottom to top, so together we easily canvassed our local treasure including detours to each of its special nooks and crannies," says Philip. 

The Executive Vice President's division (including Athletics and Public Safety), which racked up the most miles on average in 2014, the inaugural year of Move Around the Sound, repeated as champions in 2015. 

Move Around the Sound took place June 29 and Sept. 27. All participants receive 150 LiVE points and members of the winning division earn an additional 150 points.

Get your Fair Trade coffee!

Q:  Where can I purchase some Fair Trade coffee beans on campus?

SueJackelsQuanLewithCoffee_250Sue Jackels and Quan Le sit atop bags of the Fair Trade coffee they had a hand in developing with colleagues and students.

A:  You may remember that Seattle University became the first Fair Trade university in the Northwest last November. As part of the effort, faculty and students worked with students and colleagues at the Universidad Centroamericana Managua (UCA Managua), SU's Jesuit sister school and farmers in the Nicaraguan coffee farmer cooperative, CECOSEMAC ("Aroma of Coffee" Union of Multiple-service Cooperatives), to develop a new Fair Trade coffee. That coffee is now available on campus. Check out this update from Sue Jackels, professor emerita of chemistry, who has been active on the initiative: 

"I am so happy and proud that the SU students of the Global Business Club, with the leadership of (student) Braden Wild and Associate Professor of Economics Quan Le, have succeeded in importing, roasting and packaging the Fair Trade and Organic coffee of the farmers of CECOSEMAC, Matagalpa, Nicaragua! 

"This coffee is now offered to the campus community for sale in the Campus Store. It is called Café Ambiental and you will find it with the coffee mugs (of course) near the book stacks. The price is $12.95 for 12 oz. (Bonus: faculty and staff get a 20 percent discount at the Campus Store.) 

"Right now there is only whole bean coffee on the shelf, but the students are working on having some ground for sale. This is the first of several rounds of roasting and selling. The proceeds are to go into a fund that will eventually provide children of the coffee farmers with scholarships to continue their education past the sixth grade. 

"Since we are just now figuring out the details of how to offer the coffee, I would appreciate it very much if you could send me any comments about it that you think will help. I will relay the comments to the group. Thanks again to Braden and Quan and all the students from both SU and UCA who were involved in arranging for this great coffee to be made available to us! So get it quick, before it runs out, and we will let you know when future offerings are available. Looking forward to hearing from you."

New academic programs

Q:  What new academic programs is Seattle University launching this year?

A:  Courtesy of the Office of the Provost, following is a full list of programs that will begin in the 2015-2016 academic year. Click here for descriptions of each new program. 

Master of Science in Structural Engineering  - College of Science and Engineering

Specialization and Minor in Arts Leadership for the BA in Interdisciplinary Arts  - College of Arts and Sciences

Master's Degree in Educating Non-Native English Speakers - College of Education

Certificate/Specialization in Sport Sustainability Leadership -  College of Science and Engineering

Bachelor of Arts, major in Digital Cultures - School for New and Continuing Studies

Bachelor of Arts, major in Organizational Leadership - School for New and Continuing Studies

Master of Social Work - College of Arts and Sciences

Fundraising Leadership - College of Arts and Sciences  

Leadership Formation (certificate) - Albers School of Business and Economics  

Healthcare Management (certificate) - Albers School of Business and Economics    

Business Administration (certificate) -  Albers School of Business and Economics  

Software Architecture and Design (certificate)-  College of Science and Engineering    

Software Project Management (certificate) - College of Science and Engineering  

Humanities Minor - Matteo Ricci College  

International Studies Departmental Honors Track - College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Science in Business Analytics - Albers School of Business and Economics and College of Science and Engineering

Adult-Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Post-Masters - College of Nursing

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.