SU Voice Alumni Blog

Alumni Spotlight: Colina Barlow ’07, ‘15

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 30, 2015 at 3:09 PM PDT

As a high school senior and Gates Scholarship recipient applying to college, Seattle University was Colina Barlow’s reach school. “I liked Seattle University because it was close enough that I could still go home on the weekend and coming from a small high school I liked that it had small class sizes.” When Colina’s reach school not only accepted her, but awarded her a large scholarship so that she could attend, she was ecstatic.

As an undergraduate student at Seattle University, Colina developed close relationships with professors and had the opportunity to gain work experience at local nonprofits and give back to the students of Bailey Gatzert Elementary School as a service learning volunteer. 

“You’ll hear over and over again about Seattle University’s focus on building the whole person. If I had been at a different institution I would not be the person I am today,” Colina shared.

After her graduation from Seattle University in 2007, Colina began her career in the nonprofit sector, first working at the Union Gospel Mission, then going on to work at the College Success Foundation as a college prep advisor. 

After a few years, Colina decided she wanted to be more intentional about her impact in the community and decided to return to Seattle University for graduate school. 

“I attribute much of my success to my time at Seattle University and the emphasis on care for the community really stuck with me. I often told the students I advised that not every institution is for every student and every student is not for every institution. Seattle University was the right institution for me which is why I decided to come back for my graduate education.” 

Colina graduated this past summer with a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and joined Seattle University as the Family Engagement Manager for the Center for Community Engagement.

“When looking for my next position, it was important for me to stay on track with college access work for underrepresented students. As a first generation student with my Masters degree, I take the responsibility of ensuring students know what resources are available to them seriously.” 

In her new role, Colina works with schools in the Seattle University Youth Initiative focusing on the cradle to college pipeline ensuring all students have a chance for success. Her office provides family development programming, including Communication Tactics, helping to facilitate conversations between pre-teens and parents. 

The impact of her Seattle University education has stayed with Colina and she hopes fellow alumni can say the same. “Don’t forget about the value Seattle University had on your life. Is there a way you can give that impact back? Find a way.” 

The Center for Community Engagement offers alumni the opportunities to volunteer and get involved on their website


Are We At Home in the Cosmos? Challenges and New Directions

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 30, 2015 at 2:09 PM PDT

Catholic Heritage Lectures:
"Are We At Home in the Cosmos? Challenges and New Directions"
Keynote Speaker: Ilia Delio, O.S.F

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis calls us to conversion, to a new level of consciousness that sees the whole earth as a cosmic family, following the example of Saint Francis of Assisi. But Francis of Assisi lived in a prescientific age, where cosmos and anthropos were held together in a geocentric order centered in Christ. Is our postmodern, scientific age able to embrace a new level of consciousness, one that sees the earth as our home? We will explore some of the challenges of Laudato Si’ and highlight the relationship between integral ecology and evolution, using the insights of Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

Ilia Delio, O.S.F., is a Franciscan sister of Washington DC and the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova University. With doctorates in pharmacology and historical theology, Sister Delio offers a unique perspective on the interconnections between science and religion, particularly in light of current conversations on climate change and environmental justice.

Jason Wirth, PhD, professor of philosophy at Seattle University, will respond to Sr. Delio’s keynote address, bringing his insights as a priest in the Soto tradition of Zen Buddhism.

This is the first of three lectures in the 2015-2016 series, "Care for the Earth, Care for the Poor," which will engage Pope Francis‘ call to renew our commitment in caring for our common home. Visit to view our winter and spring speakers.


Don’t Miss:

Laudato Si Catholic Heritage Lectures Reading Group
October 2 & 9 | 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Seattle University | Casey Building | Floor 5
Hosted by the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture

Have you heard about the letter climate change deniers tried to prevent the Vatican from releasing due to its acceptance of prevailing scientific consensus on human-caused climate change? Maybe you’ve heard that the pope’s letter on the environment is expected to provoke difficult conversations in the U.S. Congress, 30.7% of which identifies as Catholic.

If you’re curious about all the buzz, have read the letter and/or welcome the opportunity to discuss it with colleagues and students, consider joining this fall’s Catholic Heritage Lectures reading group to discuss Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home). 

In the spirit of the document, you are encouraged to access it through the following link: 

Please RSVP to as soon as possible.


Celebrating Seattle University Legacy Families

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 30, 2015 at 2:09 PM PDT

Jon Cantalini, ’18, is a Political Science and Matteo Ricci Humanities for Leadership double major, Student Alumni Ambassador and a third generation Seattle University student.

“I’ve always known I was a Seattle University legacy because my grandfather, great uncle, dad, uncle, and his cousin all attended Seattle U, but my dad never pressured me to go to school here. He wanted me to feel free to make my own decision. I fell in love with Seattle University all on my own.”

When Jon visited Seattle University as a new freshman with his dad, Dan Cantalini,’91, he realized this was the beginning of something special. 

“We walked around campus and my dad pointed out what had stayed the same, like the administration building, and everything that had changed across campus since he was a student, like the new library,” Jon said. “It struck me that I get to be in the same place that educated my family members, following in their footsteps, but forging a new path.”

The fall of his freshman year, Jon’s parents registered the family for the Seattle University Alumni Association’s 2nd annual Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony and Reception.“I really didn’t know what to expect. When we arrived and found Campion Ballroom filled with so many people, it was surreal. The coolest thing was realizing how many families had been touched by Seattle University. If so many generations want to come back and get the same education their parents got, then Seattle University is doing something right,” Jon said. 

At last year’s pinning ceremony, Jon received a legacy pin from his father. This year he returns as our legacy student speaker to help us celebrate the next generation of Seattle University legacy families.  When asked what he is most excited to experience at this year’s legacy reception he said, “I’m excited to see everyone celebrating family. You have so many people from such different backgrounds celebrating one moment and that’s what makes it such a special event.”

If you’re a member of a multigenerational family with a student currently enrolled at Seattle University, we invite you to celebrate your legacy family with us this October.

Seattle University Family Legacy Pinning Ceremony and Reception
October 23, 2015
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Seattle University Campion Ballroom

Register your family now.


Ignatian Leadership Conference Highlights Leading with Love

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 2, 2015 at 4:09 PM PDT

Conversations about leadership (or the lack there of) are happening from the office water cooler to social media. The recent New York Times article about Amazon is just one example of how workers are responding to a set of leadership standards and cultural norms within the corporate environment, and deeply desiring leadership with compassion and care at the core. As Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter, Ph.D. says: “I am completely convinced that most organizations today lack the leadership they need… I’m not talking about a deficit of 10% but of 200%, 400%, or more in positions up and down the hierarchy.”  Clearly, we are in dire need of leaders with not just vision, but heart.

Ignatian Leadership is a developing concept and an integrative process grounded in the principles, tools and practices of Ignatian Spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. It is about of a way of life rather than a set of leadership skills. Ignatian Leadership is an approach to living and leading in way that embodies a sense of self-awareness and one’s call, as well as communal awareness, and the ability to enact love in the world through compassionate action. 

Christopher Lowney, former Jesuit seminarian, managing director for JP Morgan, and author of Heroic Leadership, captures the essence of what Ignatian Leadership posits. He claims:

“We’re all leaders and we’re leading all the time, well or poorly.”

“Leadership springs from within. It’s about who I am as much as what I do.” 

“Leadership is not an act. It is my life, a way of living.” 

“I never complete the task of becoming a leader. It is an on-going process.”

Similar to other emerging models of leadership, such as Servant Leadership and Authentic Leadership, Ignatian Leadership incorporates aspects of service, authenticity, and humility. However, it also inspires leaders to respond to various circumstances and challenges from a place of love first: love of self, love of God, and love of others.

Ultimately, Ignatian Leadership is about becoming the person God intends you to be.

This past July 31st marked the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the inspiration behind Ignatian Leadership. It was also the day Magis hosted the first ever Ignatian Leadership Conference, welcoming over 100 Jesuit alumni at Seattle University’s campus for a day of learning, conversation, and sharing about Ignatian Leadership. 

Participants explored the developing concept of Ignatian Leadership and reflected upon their own lives and leadership in light of the Ignatian Leadership principles and framework. They also began to imagine how to integrate the concept into their work, communities and families by conversing and connecting with other Ignatian-inspired leaders.

Participants hailed from various professional organizations, including: Seattle Police Department, Boeing, Providence Health Services, Sala Credit Union, T-Mobile, Nordstrom, City of Redmond, South Seattle College, and more. The day featured workshops from Personal Discernment as the Foundation of Leadership to Leadership Lessons from the First Jesuit Pope. In addition, Fr. Scott Santarosa, S.J., Provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, served as keynote speaker. His talk, titled “Enacted Love: What’s love got to do with leadership?” covered examples from his time as the pastor of Dolores Mission in East Los Angeles working with the Latino communities there. In all, the conference was a meaningful day. As one conference attendee shared “The entirety of the conference reminded me to be mindful of my commitment to lead with service and humility.”

What about Ignatian Leadership stands out or resonates with you? How might you lead from a place of love in your workplace, home, or community? 

Stay tuned for more opportunities to learn about Ignatian Leadership by visiting Magis online.



Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 2, 2015 at 4:09 PM PDT

Seattle University alumni enjoy access to all kinds of continuing education benefits, including the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Seminar Series.

The Alumni Seminars Series takes place each quarter and is open to Seattle University alumni who seek a high-quality learning experience, stimulating discussions of life’s deeper questions and the companionship of other active minds.

This fall, the seminar series will explore Pope Francis’s letter, Laudato Sí, which was issued in June 2015 causing a stir around the world.

The Pope’s encyclical raised questions about the ecology and the economy in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. What does this have to do with faith? With Catholic social teaching? With our responsibility to creation and to human ecology?

Join SU faculty presenters and fellow alumni to read and discuss this long and eloquent document and the future of our planet. You will engage the proposals of Pope Francis and participate in the worldwide debate they have caused.

One seminar will be led by Wesley Lauer, who teaches Environmental Engineering; another seminar will be led by David Boness, who teaches Physics, with a sub specialty in physics of the earth; a third seminar will be taught by Stacey Jones, who teaches Economics in the Albers School of Business and Economics; another seminar will be taught by Jessica Imanaka and myself—Prof. Imanaka teaches Business Ethics and we together teach a faculty seminar in Catholic Social Thought; the other two seminars will be taught by Catherine Punsalan, who teaches Theology, with a sub-specialty in Theology and Science and in Catholic Social Thought, and by Fr. Pat Howell, SJ, who also teaches theology, with a specialty in recent Catholic thought, with a special interest in Pope Francis I.   These professors are well qualified to teach and discuss the issues of the Environment, Economics, and Creation raised by Pope Francis’ letter." Seminar series director, Fr. David Leigh, shared. 

Tuesday evenings | 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
October 6, 20, November 3, 17, December 1, 15

The cost of the six-session seminar, including all materials, parking, and refreshments, is $200.

Participants may sign up by email at Please include your mailing address and phone number and specify whether or not you will require on-campus parking.

The Alumni Seminars Series is organized by the College of Arts and Sciences of Seattle University under the guidance of Professor David Leigh, S.J. To learn more, visit the College of Arts and Sciences website


Alumni Awards Nominations Open

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 2, 2015 at 4:09 PM PDT

Each year the Alumni Board of Governors honors six outstanding members of our Seattle University community at the annual Alumni Awards Celebration.  Nominations are now open and we need you to nominate accomplished alumni and faculty.  The awards celebrate Seattle U community members who demonstrate significant impact, service to others, exceptional leadership and a commitment to our Jesuit values.

Winners are awarded in the following six categories:

Alumna/us of the Year - For outstanding leadership and service to the community and Seattle University.

University Service - For outstanding service to the University (alumni and non-alumni are eligible).

Community Service - For exceptional service to the community through volunteer or professional activities.

Professional Achievement - For outstanding achievement in the professional arena.

Distinguished Faculty - Presented to a Seattle University faculty member who has made a special contribution to students and the university.

Outstanding Recent Alumna/us - Presented to an alumna or alumnus who graduated in last ten years for outstanding leadership and service to the community and to Seattle University.

We need your help! 
As alumni of Seattle University, you are in the perfect position to know alumni and faculty deserving of recognition.  Help us celebrate the outstanding contributions of our Seattle U community by nominating someone for an alumni award today.

Who Do I Nominate?
We’ve included some examples of past winners below to give you an idea of what we look for in our nominees. 

Alumnus of the Year 2013 Winner – Gordon McHenry, Jr.,’79
As former executive director for the Rainer Scholars and current president and chief executive of Solid Ground, Gordon McHenry has a unique blend of private and public sector leadership experience. McHenry has stayed connected to Seattle U by serving on the Alumni Board of Governors, the Board of Regents and as a Trustee for eleven years.

Outstanding Recent Alumnus 2015 Winner – Derek Rogalsky, ‘10
Derek Rogalsky is an accomplished, nationally recognized Georgetown Medical School student and a former Haiti relief volunteer who taught biology and religion and coached soccer for a Catholic co-educational boarding school.

Professional Development 2015 Winner– Dr. Margaret Heitkemper, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, '73
An exceptional leader and innovator integrating basic scientific research into the practice of nursing, Dr. Margaret Heitkemper inspires colleagues with her cutting edge approach to health care. Internationally recognized, Heitkemper was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Distinguished Teaching Award Winner 2014 – Greg Magnan, Ph.D.
Dr. Greg Magnan is an award winning business professor, nationally recognized for his research and a favorite among graduate and undergrad students.  He is an innovator, pioneering online education at Seattle U.

University Service Award Winner 2015 – Joe Zavaglia,’71
A university supporter, ambassador and soccer alumnus, Joe is the founder of the SU men’s soccer team.  Joe co-chaired the Championship Field redevelopment project, was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame, helped launch the annual Red Tie event and serves on the Board of Regents.

Community Service Award Winner 2014 – M. Lorena Gonzalez,’05
Lorena Gonzalez is  a nationally recognized civil rights attorney, former senior advisor and legal counsel to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and a current candidate for Seattle City Council. She established a community-private partnership that runs a free monthly bilingual legal clinic which has provided legal services to more than 2,000 low-income Seattle residents since 2007.

To see a complete list of winners from the past two years, visit our website

Nominate someone today!

Know someone deserving of recognition? Visit the Alumni Awards page to nominate them before October 23, 2015.

Thank you for your help celebrating Seattle University excellence.




Career Launch Boot Camp: Land Your First Job

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on August 5, 2015 at 3:08 PM PDT

We know that life after college can be a shock and we want to help ease the transition, which is why we redesigned our popular career workshop series. Now our newest alumni will learn how to land their first job in one convenient afternoon session.

Expert career coach, Elizabeth Atcheson, will provide you the tools to identify the career path that is right for you and coaching to help you land the job!

Career Launch Boot Camp
Wednesday, September 16
1:00-5:30 p.m.
Seattle University
Cost: $25.00

The Boot Camp will cover:

How to develop a personal narrative and positioning – key branding tools to sell YOU

Coaching on networking and informational meetings – 95% of jobs are found this way

The most successful resume formats, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and how to craft emails to get results

Tactics to enlist help and “be a vulture where you want to work”

Job interview coaching, including prep for behavioral and fad questions


See what past attendees from Elizabeth’s workshops have had to say: 


“It transformed my ideas about career development and landing a job. Before this workshop, I had all the wrong ideas about job-hunting.”

“I was able to immediately implement the skills and tools you outlined each week!"

 “Elizabeth's classes helped me identify the direction I want to go with regard to my career. I don't think I would have identified this without attending this workshop.”

Sign-up today and launch your career!


How The Seafair Clowns Got Their Start at Seattle University

Posted by Isaac Gardon on August 5, 2015 at 3:08 PM PDT

With Seafair weekend just past and the roar of the Blue Angels still fresh in our ears, we celebrate those icons of the weekend, the Seafair Clowns. We know the Seafair Clowns as those colorful characters on the firetruck in the Torchlight Parade and around town, but did you know they got their start at Seattle University? 

Long time Seafair Clown, Jim Webb,’69, revealed that the clowns were formed as a civic project for the Graduates’ Club of Seattle University. “The Graduates’ Club was created to give Seattle University alumni networking opportunities and to promote Seattle University in the community. In 1954, the Seafair organizers approached us about getting involved and they had a need for clowns.” And just like that, the Seafair Clowns were born.

According to their website, “The mission of the Seafair Clowns is to serve the community by spreading joy and laughter through charitable visits and participation in local events.” 


“People want permission to laugh and I facilitate laughter,” Jim said. This year marked Jim’s 51st year as a Seafair Clown. Not a traditional four-year student, Jim did not feel connected to the Seattle University community and those feelings continued as a graduate - until he found the Graduates’ Club of Seattle University and the Seafair Clowns.

“The Graduates’ Club was a good connection point for me and the Seafair Clowns brought me out of my shell. As a student I had a stutter, but I no longer do and I attribute much of that to clowning,” Jim shared. He went on, “Being a clown is more than a uniform. You need to interact and build connections with people. Those connections give me endorphins and energize me.”

Fellow Seattle U alumnus and Seafair Clown, Steve Boudreau,’75,’81, says, “The clowns take you so far beyond your normal comfort zone. You’ll go places and meet people you probably wouldn’t meet otherwise. I’ve met a whole range of people in the clowns from lawyers and accountants to doctors and social workers. That’s one of the benefits. It’s a great networking opportunity.”

According to Steve, the clowns do more than just make people laugh. Each year they adopt a school and provide its students with backpacks and school supplies. “We also volunteer with children in foster care, the Ronald McDonald House, help St. Vincent de Paul get donations and visit retirement homes,” Steve added. The clowns have also established a 501(c)3 charitable fundraising organization.

While the Graduates’ Club only allows Seattle U alumni to be full members of the group, non-SU Graduates’ with clowning talents can join as associate members. Today the Seafair Clowns boast 58 members.  

Now the clowns want to reconnect with their roots and the Seattle University community. “We want to connect with alumni and the Seattle University community,” Jim said.  

Alumnus Mike Mullen,’89, is one new recruit to the clowns. Seafair 2015 marks his first season with the club, sharing that, “I first met the clowns at a Seattle U men’s basketball game and it seemed just weird enough to be fun. I’m excited for the opportunity to be a clown.”  

You can learn more about the Seafair Clowns and where you can see them by visiting their website or Facebook page.

Young Alumni Summer Party 2015

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on August 5, 2015 at 3:08 PM PDT

Young Alumni Summer Party
Thursday, August 20
6:00-10:00 P.M.
Sole Repair

Put on your Cap Hill best – the Summer Party is back!

Hosted by the SU Bridge Young Alumni Chapter, the Young Alumni Summer Party is the Class of 2015’s first chance to get to know the local young alumni community. Drawing alumni from 2005 to our most recent grads, it’s a social event you won’t want to miss. 

Enjoy bites from the talented chef’s at Quinn’s and Seattle U inspired drink specials at Capitol Hill’s premiere event space, Sole Repair. Sole Repair is an open air loft located just blocks from Seattle University.

Meet the SU Bridge chapter leadership who will auction off four stellar prize packages and share their plans for the year ahead. From the Insider’s Guide networking event to alumni happy hours and service opportunities, there’s something for everyone.

Did we mention your first drink is on us?  

Don’t wait! Tickets are going fast – reserve yours today.


Seattle University Launches New School with Programs Aimed at Working Adults

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on August 3, 2015 at 12:08 PM PDT

Seattle University is accepting applications for two new bachelor’s degree programs for working adults that will be part of a new school. The School of New and Continuing Studies (NCS), the university’s ninth distinct college or school, will offer classes in the degree programs Digital Cultures and Organizational Leadership beginning next spring.

The new school was established to provide a high-quality Jesuit education designed for working adults by offering baccalaureate and certificate programs that support part-time study and feature hybrid courses, combining online and in-class instruction. An existing certificate program, Web Development, which is designed along these lines, will also be part of the new school. Plans call for NCS to offer additional degree programs in the future.  

The NCS degree programs are designed to meet the needs of working adults who have some college credit, mid-career professionals and veterans looking to enhance their careers by increasing their skill sets, and working adults who want to complete their college degree and may also be considering a new career.

“Seattle University is adding something new to the mix for adult learners who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education,” says Rick Fehrenbacher, dean of the new school. “Those who want the benefit of an outstanding Seattle University education, but for whom a traditional college experience is not accessible, can now turn to the School of New and Continuing Studies. The hybrid delivery of our courses will make an SU education available to students with even the busiest schedules.”

Prospective students applying for admission to Digital Cultures or Organizational Leadership must have the equivalent of 60 hours of college credit and a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Once underway in spring quarter, with classes beginning March 29, 2016, NCS programs will have a rolling admissions schedule, which allows students to begin their degrees year round.Students also can apply to NCS’s Web Development certificate program, which is beginning a new cohort this fall.

For more information about the new school and programs, visit

A look at the degree programs

Digital Cultures: This program, designed for part-time students, offers an interdisciplinary liberal arts degree for the 21st century developed for returning students who are interested in using critical exploration and technological knowledge to understand how digital technologies reflect and transform culture and identity. Topics of study include game theory, global digital ethics and citizenship, the influence of social media and the history of digital technologies. Students will also learn applied technology skills such as basic coding and composing for the web. The Digital Cultures program strengthens transferable skills such as oral and written communication, problem solving, ethical decision-making and critical thinking, while also teaching students key practical technology skills such as basic coding and composing for the web. Graduates are prepared to transition into several different jobs such as social media specialist, technical writer, writing for the web, digital content production and digital editor.


Organizational Leadership: This interdisciplinary degree program is designed for part-time students who want to gain the leadership skills necessary to become effective, ethical and socially responsible leaders in a wide range of organizations from business, government and health care administration to nonprofit agencies and the service industry. Students will study topics including leadership theory and practice, organizational structure and behavior, organizational finance, ethics, managing diversity and change and organizational communication. The course of study integrates skills in leadership and organizational operations and links leadership theory to everyday practice. Students develop not only the practical skills and knowledge that leaders need to solve problems, think critically, communicate effectively and manage resources, but also learn to provide creative vision, facilitate collaboration, value diversity and balance multiple perspectives.