Meet Our Students and Alumni

Learn more about Seattle University’s Master of Fine Arts Leadership students and alumni.

Since 2007, the Arts Leadership MFA has graduated hundreds of notable leaders. Our alumni and students are known for their dedication to social justice and passion for creating a better future, whether working with arts organizations, in their communities, or through personal projects. We look forward to connecting with you!

MFA student  with We App uniform sitting in the ground, posing for the photo

Toyia T. Taylor (MFA, ’11) is founder and executive director of Speak with Purpose (formerly We.APP: We Act. Present. Perform)

Meet Our Students

Woman smiling holding student ID card

Fatema Boxwala, MFA '25

Fatema Boxwala is a semi-professional seamstress and a very amateur painter. She has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Google. Her big dream is to one day own a sewing supply store that doubles as a community makerspace where she can share the joy of textile arts with the world. 

Woman smiling for camera

Annie Liu, MFA '25

Annie Liu is a Seattle-based lighting designer, producer, and a maker and lover of all things theatre and dance. Originally from Houston, TX, Annie holds a BFA from Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where they majored in Theatre Design &. Technology. Annie spent nearly a decade in Santa Fe, producing and designing theatre across Northern New Mexico before heading to the PNW to take on a new challenge as Associate Producer at On the Boards, and now as a graduate student at Seattle University. Some highlights of Annie's lighting design career include the world premiere of miku, and the gods at Arts West (Seattle). the world premiere of BKBX Kids! Asks Why at Seattle Children's Theatre, as well as Fun Home, Cabaret, and The Rocky Horror Show at the Santa Fe Playhouse. Annie is grateful to live, work. and create on the unceded lands of the Duwamish, Muckleshoot, and Coast Salish peoples. 

Woman leaning against U-shaped tree in forest

Ashley Lanyon, MFA '25

Originally from Minnesota. Ashley grew up steeped in dance, theater. and music. A graduate of The Boston Conservatory's Musical Theater program; her formative years were spent in MA and NYC. After meeting her husband a decade ago, their relationship inspired a move to Chicago and the addition of their sweet pup, Charley. While she has performed regionally around the Midwest, her most treasured experiences remain in Door County, WI at Peninsula Players Theater. In addition to acting. Ashley has found her niche teaching early childhood creative play and music. Her transferable skills led to admin work at non-profits and most recently a big jump into the digital space as an Operations Manager for a SF based design agency. In 2021 Ashley received the wake up call that she needed, stepping away from acting long enough to see that her leadership capabilities and goals were going untapped and unrealized. Ashley and her family are thrilled to make Seattle and the Pacific Northwest home. 

Man on bike on gravel road holding camera to his face

Dale Dolejsi, MFA '25

  • BFA University of Washington - ­Painting and Printmaking
  • MA Claremont Graduate University­ - Painting and Printmaking
  • 8 years as curator and printer at Gemini G.E.L. Los Angeles California
  • 2 years with Peace Corps/us AID doing development work in West Africa
  • 15 years high school visual arts instruction in Hawaii and Seattle 
Photo of Adetola Abatan with a collage of a woman underwater with sheet music wrapping around her

Adetola Abatan, MFA '22

Adetola is a chemical engineer who recently rediscovered her artistic side as a collage artist. She primarily works with paper and fabric to explore ideas of being, becoming and belonging.

Sharon Nyree Williams at Kraken Hockey match

Sharon Nyree Williams, MFA '09

Learn how alum Sharon Nyree Williams' work with the Kraken's Unity Fund Heroes of the Deep is positively impacting the community.

Claudia Bach, Katy Hannigan and CERF logo

Katy Hannigan, MFA '17

Alum Katy Hannigan and Claudia Bach, Arts Leadership faculty, conducted research for the CERF+ Artist Readiness Project.

Samantha Anderson with painted wall in background

Samantha Anderson, MFA '22

Having grown up as a singer, performer, and lover of theatre, after four years at Oklahoma State University, Samantha decided to completely change her career path to reflect her passion and desire to advocate for the arts.

Photo of Andrés Arteaga painting

Andrés Arteaga, MFA ’19

Born and raised in the barrios of Los Angeles, Andrés Arteaga informally practiced art, dance and writing as a means to dream, hope and survive.

Shannon Welles headshot

Shannon Welles, MFA '19

Shannon found herself at the table with political representatives, fellow employees, community leaders, and musicians to organize preservation of the Showbox, one of Seattle's historic music venues.

Leah St Lawrence wearing virtual reality headset

Leah St Lawrence, MFA '22

Leah is an art critic, new media curator, NewHive advocate, and chair enthusiast. St. Lawrence writes about and curates contemporary new media, digital interaction, and online engagement—specifically related to political/social/LGBTQI issues.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about the program or application, we’re here to help!

Ashley Miller

Senior Admissions Counselor

Ashley Miller Headshot