Alumni Blog

Welcome Ellen Whitlock Baker!

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on September 8, 2021 at 6:09 PM PDT

Photo of Ellen Whitlock Baker

The Seattle University Alumni Association (SUAA) has a new leader. Ellen Whitlock Baker will join Seattle University as Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement on October 4.

Ellen joins Seattle U from the University of Washington (UW), where she has served for 16 years, including more than seven years with the UW Alumni Association (UWAA). As a member of UWAA’s executive team, Ellen was responsible for the strategic development of UW’s alumni engagement practices. Most recently, Ellen has focused her work on how to create authentic engagement with alumni who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). She created an annual engagement conference for UW Advancement employees focusing on developing engagement programs with a racial equity lens, including securing sought-after Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) speakers and community leaders.

“I’m thrilled to join Seattle U at this particular point in time, with the new leadership of President Peñalver and the Strategic Directions and LIFT SU setting a thoughtful and ambitious course for the university,” says Whitlock Baker. “Seattle U’s alumni community will play an active role in the implementation of these new directions and I’m looking forward to stewarding the transformative partnership between alumni, students, faculty, staff and leadership. It’s clear that Seattle U is a very special place, and I can’t wait to join the team and serve this incredible alumni community.”

As Ellen prepares to join Seattle U, she is most excited to meet the alumni community to get as much feedback as possible. “That’s something I’m really passionate about—listening to and building relationships with communities,” shared Ellen. “I need to hear from alumni and stakeholders to know what to prioritize at SUAA.”

Ellen is impressed with the volunteer leadership and success of Seattle U’s alumni communities: its regional chapters, affinity groups and alliances. “Seattle U’s dedicated volunteer groups are ready, willing and able to support what is needed, both here and in the regions.”

The transition from a large state university to a mid-size Jesuit university brings with it many opportunities. One advantage Ellen appreciates is the access she will have to President Peñalver, Provost Shane Martin and other leaders across campus.Ellen notes, “It’s clear from our conversations that SU leaders trulyvalue alumni engagement. That is a great sign.”

Ellen has numerous accomplishments from her time at UWAA. She led and developed campus partnerships through the Constituent Relations program, creating a community of practice for all engagement-focused staff from schools and colleges across UW’s three campuses. As one of 20 leaders selected to serve on UW Advancement’s Equity Council, she recently led a process to develop a white ally group for the 600-person Advancement team. This year, Ellen was recognized for her university-wide leadership by receiving the peer-nominated Marilyn Batt Dunn Endowed Award for Excellence

Outside of work, Ellen loves to read, particularly young adult fiction. She is a passionate novice gardener, building three raised beds with her husband at the beginning of the pandemic that have resulted in a copious vegetable crop with relatively few plant casualties this summer. Ellen was born and raised in Honolulu, HI and came to the Northwest to attend Whitman University. She earned her Master of Public Administration at UW. She lives in Edmonds with her husband Jordan, daughter Linnea and pandemic puppy Kaiju.

Redhawk Recipes

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on June 24, 2021 at 3:06 PM PDT

Just in time for summer, we have two refreshing red Redhawk recipes. The Watermelon Mojito combines the sweetness of fresh watermelon, the zing from lime juice and kick of white ruma perfect cocktail to sip sitting pool side on hot summer afternoon or for an evening backyard party. Gazpacho is a classic cold, spicy Spanish soup, ideal for sweltering summer days—and a great way to use your home-grown tomatoes! 

Watermelon Mojitos
Watermelon mojito

4 fresh mint leaves
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
2 ounces light rum (optional)
3 ounces watermelon puree, strained*
Club soda, to taste
Mint sprigs and watermelon wedges for garnish
*For watermelon puree, cut the watermelon into 1 inch cubes and blend for 15 seconds 


  1. In the bottom of a Collins or other tall glass, use a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon to muddle mint leaves, lime juice and simple syrup. 
  2. Fill the glass two-thirds with ice. Add rum and watermelon puree. 
  3. Top with club soda to fill the glass; stir well. 
  4. Garnish with a sprig of mint or small wedge of watermelon, if desired. 

Gazpacho (Serves 4)
Gazpacho photo














1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped 
Tomato juice 
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped 
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 
1/2 cup chopped red onion 
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced 
1 medium garlic clove, minced 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1 lime, juiced 
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade 

  1. Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. 
  2. Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute.
  3. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup. 
  4. Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  6. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.
  7. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with chiffonade of basil.