Alumni Blog

Alumni Share Perspectives with Redhawks in California

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on March 23, 2022 at 2:03 PM PDT

The Meet 22 in '22 President’s Tour launched with events in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, March 15-16. Beyond providing an opportunity for SU’s 22nd President Eduardo Peñalver to meet constituents in these markets including alumni, donors, employers and higher education leaders, the events are an occasion for prospective students and their families to hear about the Seattle University experience from people who lived it—our alumni, faculty, and students.

In the Bay Area, Brian Le, ’19, Raelene Judnich, ’16, and Justin Totura, ‘17, all Graduates of the Last Decade—or GOLD alumni—participated in a roundtable discussion sharing what made SU the right fit for them, memories of their student experience, tales of the college-to-career transition and their best advice for prospective students. Though each alum pursued a different academic track, all were drawn to SU by common underlying themes, such as the desire to attend college in a vibrant urban setting where “business was booming” and where there were good internship opportunities, an interest in SU’s Jesuit mission and the welcoming experience when first visiting campus. The alums illustrated their unique college-to-career transitions with stories of trying on different roles, mastering learning curves and practicing persistence, honest foreshadowing for students at the start of their college experience, laced with valuable lessons and positive payoffs.

In Los Angeles, Jack Neton, ’22, a senior majoring in business analytics and finance and captain of the men’s swim team, joined Deyadra Blye, ’09, now a program manager at Santa Monica College, and Erica Yamamura, College of Education’s Student Development Administration Program Director, in a roundtable discussion focused on their journeys to and through Seattle University, as well as the role that Ignatian-inspired leadership has played in their student and professional experiences. A grounding in issues of social justice and racial equity, the practices of reflection and discernment and caring faculty and coaches surfaced as key differentiating characteristics of a Seattle University Jesuit education that have guided each in their own personal leadership path.

The following quotes from the alumni table participants at both locations offer advice for prospective students to inspire enrollment in the Redhawks Class of 2026.

“Be curious. Sing in the choir. Take that psychology class. Get involved in the community. Take the time to figure out what you’re naturally good at and what excites you.”
– Raelene Judnich, ’16

“Take advantage of opportunities on and off campus. That’s what allowed me to find what I love and am truly passionate about, and what I’m doing today.”
– Brian Le, ’19

“Find your community and support system. The people who made the most difference for me were the ones I got to “drop in” and see every day.”
– Deyadra Blye, ’09

“Put yourself out there. College is not like high school: if you’re authentically yourself people will enjoy that. Make friends when working to achieve a common goal – whether that’s part of a club, a class, your residence hall floor, etc. Build your own community. Alumni go out of the way to get you at least connected. Build those relationships now. College is tough – you need the relationships, and that’s a distinguishing factor for SU.”
– Jack Neton, ’22

For more information on Meet 22 in '22, visit

Joelle Torre, '03, Teaches Student the Value of Connecting

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on January 13, 2022 at 3:01 PM PST

Joelle Torre and Alex Keene

When Alex Keene, ’22, visited an advisor in the Career Engagement Office, they wanted to find new, practical ways to explore their field—mechanical engineering. Their advisor recommended Redhawk Landing, Seattle University’s online mentoring platform, built to connect alumni professionals with inquisitive students. Keene’s interest was piqued, and they signed up. The first person they reached out to was Joelle Torre, ’03.

When they met, Torre, a senior civil engineer for Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), told Keene about her job with SPU and the King County Ship Canal Water Quality Project that will significantly reduce combined sewer overflows into the Ship Canal waterway. Torre also encouraged them to learn about the different kinds of work they could do as a mechanical engineer—building mechanical equipment, designing HVAC systems or materials development for Boeing to name a few—and suggested attending presentations, joining clubs, finding internships and talking to more alumni through Redhawk Landing to continue to explore their options. She even found two mechanical engineers for Keene to talk to.

Their connection continued beyond a single exchange, which Keene appreciated. “We didn't just talk that one time. She invited me to a presentation she did later in the year. She even followed up with an email a couple of weeks ago to reach out. It's cool to know someone else who is in a similar field to me and has it all figured out—or at least more figured out!”

Torre enjoys presenting to and mentoring students. The one thing she tries to impress on them is that their success is dependent how much they want it and working hard towards their goals. “The hope, as a mentor, is to provide a service and they get to learn more about their career aspirations. If you click with someone and you form this lifelong bond, that's great. And if you don't, hopefully they got at least one thing out of it. It's not about me; it's really about them.”


Redhawk Landing is a community platform that brings alumni and students together for networking and mentorship. Alumni share their career experience with students and fellow alumni, and network within the community to connect or learn from others about their city, industry or career field. All alumni are invited to register.