SU Voice Alumni Blog

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. 


A Lasting Legacy: Remembering the Man Who Saved Seattle U

Posted by Isaac Gardon on August 3, 2015 at 12:08 PM PDT


When William J. Sullivan, S.J., became president of Seattle University in 1976, the school was in debt and half a million dollars short of the money it needed to operate as fall quarter classes started. Fr. Sullivan’s leadership would rescue the university and bring it into the 21st century.

Fr. Sullivan died on June 16, 2015, at a Jesuit care center in Milwaukee, WI. The Seattle University community continues to mourn his passing.

Fr. Sullivan led Seattle University for over three decades –– 20 years as president and 12 years as chancellor. He purchased the law school from the University of Puget Sound. He built the Chapel of St. Ignatius, the Casey Building and Bannon. He secured Seattle University’s strong financial position.

While his accomplishments are grand, Fr. Sullivan leaves a legacy that goes beyond buildings and dollar figures.

“Father Sullivan made an unparalleled impact on Seattle University,” says Seattle University President Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. “He transformed our physical campus, strengthened our Jesuit Catholic character and ecumenical commitment and brought unprecedented recognition to our academic programs. I consider him ‘The Maker of the Modern Seattle University.’”

In 1996, Fr. Sullivan told a Seattle Times reporter, "People sometimes say about me that I'm only interested in money and buildings. I'm not interested in either one, but you can't run a university if you can't balance your budget."

Fr. Sullivan built the Seattle University we recognize today –– from its buildings, faculty and strong financial position –– but his impact stretches far outside the 50 acres between Jefferson and Madison avenues.

During his time in Seattle, Fr. Sullivan became embedded into the fabric of the city. He was named First Citizen in 1990. He was the chairman of the Seattle Organizing Committee for the Goodwill Games and served as a board member for United Way, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Foundation. He didn’t just serve Seattle U –– he served the entire region.

It didn’t end there. He climbed to Mt. Everest’s base camp with alumnus Jim Whittaker, ‘52. He received a blessed scarf from the Dalai Lama (which he then personally delivered to Pope John Paul II). He presided over the wedding of Bill and Melinda Gates and  sailed with Ted Turner on the billionaire’s yacht. He became close with religious, business, civic and political leaders. Yet, despite countless handshakes and meetings with society’s elite, he never lost sight of who he was –– a humble servant to God.

Memories left on Fr. Sullivan’s memorial page demonstrate a man of tremendous faith, humility and love. “He was a deeply faith-filled man of God who modeled the joy and abundance of the divine,” writes one commenter, Pat Whitney. Countless others use the words “humble servant,” “loving,” and “a man of warmth” to describe him.

Fr. Sullivan’s faith, humility and warmth led him on a mission with an unwavering commitment, bringing God’s love into the lives of Seattle University and the Pacific Northwest. You are missed, Fr. Sullivan, but you are never forgotten. 

Alumni Bucket List

Posted by Isaac Gardon on June 3, 2015 at 2:06 PM PDT

Your Seattle University Alumni Association has dozens of opportunities for you to engage with the university and your fellow alumni.  How many of these bucket list items can you complete in the next year?


  • Attend an alumni happy hour 
  • Meet a group of college friends for dinner and post a picture with #SeattleUAlumni 
  • Like “Seattle U Alumni” on Facebook and share your alumni pictures 
  • Follow @SeattleU_Alumni on Twitter 
  • Attend a pre-game alumni rally before a men’s basketball game 
  • Attend your class reunion 
  • Join a regional or interest-based alumni chapter 
  • Attend a gallery opening or theater or musical performance at SU 
  • Attend the annual Seattle U Christmas tree lighting 
  • Attend the Young Alumni Summer Party on August 20th 
  • Check out the Kinsey Art Gallery in the Admissions and Alumni Building 
  • Use your alumni access to the Eisiminger Fitness Center  
  • Read the SU Voice alumni enewsletter 
  • Check out upcoming Seattle area and regional events on the alumni website  


  • Meet with the Alumni Chaplain, Fr. Dave Anderson 
  • Attend mass at the Chapel of St. Ignatius  
  • Attend the Ignatian Leadership Conference  
  • Attend the alumni Advent Mass and Reception  
  • Get connected to Magis: Alumni Living the Mission 
  • Attend a “Spirituality on Tap”  
  • Attend an Institute of Catholic Thought lecture 
  • Go on a Magis retreat 


  • Attend an SU Advantage Networking Night 
  • Register for the Redhawk Network as a mentor or employer 
  • Post a professional article on LinkedIn 
  • Watch a career development webinar, available for free on the alumni website 
  • Attend an Albers Speakers Series event 
  • Join the Seattle U Alumni LinkedIn group 
  • Use your free Career Services advising session 
  • Attend a Career Fair at Seattle University 
  • Get your Behavior Pattern Toolkit 
  • Join your organization’s Seattle University Alumni Chapter (Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon) 
  • Participate in the Contemplative Leaders in Action program 


  • Audit a class 
  • Participate in the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Seminar Series 
  • Use your Alumni library access privileges 
  • Submit a piece of creative writing to Fragments 


  • Attend Alumni Day of Service 
  • Mentor a student 
  • Speak to a class 
  • Volunteer to work at an alumni event 
  • Serve as an Alumni Ambassador at Commencement Brunch 
  • Volunteer for the Alumni Board of Governors or other volunteer board


  • Get a Seattle U license plate 
  • Take a selfie with Fr. Steve 
  • Use your 15% alumni discount at the campus store 
  • Don’t miss Homecoming 
  • Participate with your legacy family in the Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony 
  • Participate in Red Fridays – wear red every Friday 
Click the image below to download the Alumni Bucket List! 



Young, In Love and Working For The Senate: Eric Chalmers, ’14, Shares What It’s Like To Be A Recent Alumnus

Posted by Isaac Gardon on June 3, 2015 at 2:06 PM PDT

The United States federal budget is approximately $3.1 trillion. As a staff assistant to the Senate Budget Committee, Seattle University alumnus Eric Chalmers, ’14, helps make that budget a reality. As if that weren’t enough, Eric also helps create a stronger Seattle U community in the nation’s capitol.

Eric, a political science and history graduate, applies his degree and expertise to the interworking of the Senate. Eric helps run the committee’s day-to-day operations, setting up hearings and executing the logistics of the committee, working with Republican and Democratic staff to make sure every Senator has the tools and resources to do their job effectively. The job –– which he secured shortly after graduation –– quite literally helps to keep our country running. 

If you turn on C-SPAN on a given day, you might see Eric sitting directly behind committee members during hearings. He sits right behind well-known figures like Bernie Sanders, Lindsey Graham, Rob Portman, Patty Murray, among others. Eric has an impressive job and deals with impressive people. 

Eric is impressive himself, though. The Sullivan Scholar from Tempe, Arizona was the former president of the Student Government at SU (SGSU) where he improved student government’s image. His accomplishments include launching the #FixItSGSU campaign, helping to secure an extra staff person in the Office of Disability Services, and receiving widespread media attention for a letter to Pope Francis asking for greater “inclusion and affirmation” for the LGBT community in the Catholic Church. 

He shares, “I miss SGSU. I use skills from that role every single day.” But Eric’s skills aren’t the only ones having an impact on the Capitol. “It is amazing to see the generations of alumni we have in D.C. –– we have a good presence here,” Eric says. Always thinking forward and always thinking about potential, Eric asks, “ . . . so how do we harness that for Seattle U?” 

Eric and his fellow D.C. based alumni frequently talk with Beth Kreitl, the Executive Director of Career Services at Seattle U, to establish “a pipeline for Seattle U students and graduates.” “We want to be the boots on the ground here,” Eric says. He furthers, “Getting a job in D.C. requires recommendations and people putting in a good word for you.” Eric and others who are part of the Washington D.C. Seattle U Alumni Chapter are putting in hard work to make life easier for future Seattle U alumni who want to work in D.C. 

With the Class of 2015 being just a little over a week away from commencement, Eric hopes to see a greater Seattle U presence at the Capitol, but he hopes graduates realize how difficult getting there –– or anywhere –– can be. Eric shares, “I wish I would have known how difficult this transition can be,” referring to the journey from student to alumnus. He shares with upcoming graduates, “When we all head toward graduation we have our plans, we have our ideas. But, at the same time, when we walk across the stage, reality hits quickly.” Eric is well grounded and doesn’t shy away from giving realistic advice. 

Eric is still a dreamer though. Eric recently proposed to alumnae Rylee Noble, ’13, during on Christmas Eve in  Seattle. She said yes. He proposed at a bench at Cal Anderson Park  –– the same bench they’d met at three summers prior as Orientation Advisors. Her family was there to surprise her, along with a pop up tent decorated with fabric, lace, lights and rose petals. It turns out that Eric is quite the romantic Redhawk. 

Many good things are on the horizon for the Class of 2015. That horizon might not include moving to D.C., a job with the Senate or an engagement, but Eric’s experiences give a glimpse into what’s next for the 1,800 newest members of the Seattle University Alumni Association. What an exciting journey it will be! 

(Image by of J. Scott Applewhite - The Associated Press / Eric Chalmers delivers President Barack Obama's $4 trillion budget to the Senate Budget Committee)

Ignatian Leadership Conference is coming this July

Posted by Isaac Gardon on June 3, 2015 at 1:06 PM PDT

St. Ignatius of Loyola was a highly effective and inspiring leader. His methods and practices allowed him to establish and lead one of the world's most impactful organizations, the Society of Jesus, and his leadership approach has been used in many different contexts over the past 500+ years.

This July, Magis will host the first ever Ignatian Leadership Conference at Seattle University. Explore the concept of Ignatian Leadership and how to apply and integrate Jesuit values and Ignatian practices into your personal and professional life. Perhaps as an alumnus/na of Jesuit education, you have wondered or struggled with making this a reality. If so, we encourage you to attend!

At this one-day conference, you will join other leaders from various professional walks of life to dialogue and learn tools to become a more effective, authentic Ignatian leader. There will be opportunities to learn about the role of self-awareness and personal discernment in leadership, healthy group decision-making and communal discernment, how to work for social justice and the Common Good as leaders, as well as a chance to discuss the role of love in leading. Click here to read more about the various workshops and presenters.

We are excited to welcome Fr. Scott Santarosa, S.J., Provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, as our keynote speaker. There will also be an optional Mass to celebrate the feast day of St. Ignatius co-presided by Fr. Tom Lucas, S.J. (Rector of Seattle University Jesuit Community) and Fr. Santarosa. 

Click here to learn more about the conference, or visit this page to register. We hope you will join us!

Seattle U is for a Lifetime

Posted by Isaac Gardon on June 3, 2015 at 11:06 AM PDT

Congrats fellow 2015 grads and hello to the other 73,000 Seattle U alumni!  All of us soon-to-be alumni are getting ready to start the next chapters of our lives. Whether you are an alum in the Seattle area or are living far, far away like me, we’ve all got journeys ahead of us that’ll take us to new heights and opportunities.

For the class of 2015, this is such an exciting time and I hope you are embracing every minute, and taking time to slow down and appreciate the chapter that you just completed. I know from my own experience that Seattle U is where I began to truly understand and find myself, and because of that, I could never just forget about my time here.

Even as an alum, your relationship with SU can be lifelong, full of vast experiences and interactions. As a leader for Student Alumni Ambassadors, I was able to attend many of our alumni events and find inspiration on how to shape my own future as an SU graduate.

It’s in the alumni community where I’ve found both professional and personal mentors, work experience, scholarship opportunities, and advice on how to get the most out of my time as a student at SU. As an alum yourself now, wouldn’t you want to stay connected and give future Redhawks the same chances we received? 

I also learned how much the SU Alumni Association has to offer our alumni.  Professional development and networking opportunities, spiritual growth and service engagement, social connections with like-minded SU graduates, continuing education and a host of other benefits.  There are so many reasons to stay involved.

After experiencing several alumni programs as a student, my fellow SAA graduate, Rachael Hartzell ‘15, said, “It’s so inspiring to see generations of SU alumni together and being recognized for their hard work at events such as the Alumni Awards. It gives me hope for a future of remaining connected to other Redhawks and Seattle University.”

Nelly Villalpando ‘15, added, “It has been great getting to meet people who are also a part of the wonderful community that makes Seattle University. I am proud to be a Redhawk and hope that one day I too can share my experiences with future Redhawks.”

I hope all alumni - new and old - will join us in the efforts to keep the SU spirit alive in the future. Go forth and set the world on fire! I’m excited to see where your journeys take you.


Nina Cataldo ‘15

Facilitating Potential: Lessons Learned from Engaging Girls in STEM

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on May 6, 2015 at 8:05 PM PDT

Are you a mentor or manager? Do you help others reach their potential? Are you challenged to reach underserved audiences? Join us on May 14 when, the Seattle University Alumni Association hosts its last SU Advantage | Networking Night of the school year entitled “Facilitating Potential: Lessons Learned from Engaging Women in STEM” featuring Seattle University’s Director of General Sciences, Dr. Jennifer Sorensen

Dr. Sorensen’s presentation will share her learnings from engaging girls and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), an underrepresented populations in the arena of science. Her presentation will share four relevant strategies for any professional trying to engage a target audience that is notoriously difficult to reach or anyone interested in supporting the success of colleagues, clients and community members.

Dr. Sorensen discovered her love of science at an early age. “I have strong memories of sticking toothpicks in a potato and placing it in water to make it grow and building a crystal radio for the science fair. I’d conduct my own experiments in the backyard, like using water and flour to create clay and watching mold grow on it.”

It was a teacher who encouraged her to study chemistry in college. In graduate school she planned to enter the pharmaceutical industry, but during her time as a teacher’s assistant she discovered her passion for teaching.

As a woman in STEM, Dr. Sorensen is passionate about engaging the next generation of women scientists. When asked why it’s important to give girls the opportunity to explore the sciences, she replied, “It’s important to get the best minds involved, whoever they may be. You need diverse perspectives in the room. Science is a collaborative endeavor that benefits from those who approach problems in new and different ways.”

In her efforts to engage girls and women in STEM, Dr. Sorensen has worked with the community, forming partnerships with the Girl Scouts and helping to organize the annual event Seattle Expanding Your Horizons (SEYH), a hands-on conference that encourages girls to explore the worlds of math, science and engineering.

To Dr. Sorensen, the most meaningful part of her community outreach is seeing the empowerment of women and girls as they start understanding and enjoying science. “At the end of the Expanding Your Horizons day, after the girls have met with women biologists, botanists, engineers, veterinarians and others, they are buzzing with excitement and I feed off of their energy… they get involved and they start having fun and realize ‘I can do this!’”

Through these and other experiences, Dr. Sorensen has identified four key strategies for facilitating potential in those around her. You can learn more about these strategies and Dr. Sorensen’s work engaging women in science at the Sorrento Hotel on May 14th. Register now and join us for an evening of networking and thought-provoking conversations.