SU Voice Alumni Blog

Honoring a True Person for Others: Anne Van Ness Farrell

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 4, 2015 at 10:11 PM PST

Longtime SU supporter, advocate Anne Farrell is this year's Ignatius Medal recipient

Anne Van Ness Farrell is perhaps best known as the former president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation, who grew the once small, regional body into one of the nation's top community foundations. A civic leader of grace and humility, Farrell has achieved much in her storied life and career.

The meaning behind the medal resonates strongly with Farrell. Choosing her words with care, she says "I'm awed by the importance of it and what it represents-a 'just and humane world.' That's what I want for this world as well." 

Farrell's relationship with Seattle University began in the mid-1980s when the university came to the Seattle Foundation to request a grant for street signage. The request posed a conundrum for the foundation, which had a strict policy against funding religious institutions. Ultimately, the foundation was swayed by the value Seattle University brought to its surrounding neighborhood. Signage created a welcoming invitation to a campus that was, in Farrell's recollection, a "mysterious presence" to those outside its borders. 

In 1987, Farrell accepted an invitation from President William Sullivan, S.J. to join the Board of Regents and within a few years she became a trustee. Now a lifetime trustee emerita, she co-chaired Seattle University's capital campaign from 2003 to 2009 and oversaw the successful $37 million drive for the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons. 

A shared mission and values drove Farrell's involvement with the university. She was drawn to the university's commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, its scholarships for first-generation college students, its belief in the whole student, its integrity and its transformative work in the community. 

You can learn more about Anne Van Ness Farrell online here.


Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 4, 2015 at 10:11 PM PST

“Being an entrepreneur means you’re innovative, you think outside the box, you always see the shortest path to success.” – May McCarthy, ’84

 On November 19, the Seattle University Alumni Association hosts the fall installment of the acclaimed SU Advantage | Networking Night series entitled, "Cultivating Entrepreneurial Spirit: The New Career Path."

The night promises to change your idea of what it takes to get ahead in a competitive business landscape. Speakers, May McCarthy and Randy Massengale, will take turns breaking down the formula for success for entrepreneurs as well as those working in a company or nonprofit.

May McCarthy, a best-selling author, angel investor and Albers School of Business and Economics board member, is well known for her success with startups and her passion for sharing her knowledge with others. “I’ve started six successful businesses, the first when I was a sophomore in college. That company grew to have 450 employees in four different states,” May said of her beginnings in the business world.

May shared her five qualities of successful entrepreneurs. They:

Are risk takers.

Have vision to see beyond the status quo.

Are tenacious.

Are creative.

Are passionate.

“You need to be passionate about what you’re doing. After working a 20-hour day, it will be that passion that keeps you up at night thinking about how you can do it better and create the best possible product. People succeed because there’s a problem to be solved and they create the solution.” 

This event isn’t just for those interested in creating a successful startup. Seattle University Extraordinary Leadership professor, Randy Massengale, will delve into the importance of these lessons for “intrepeneurs”- those individuals inside a company or organization who want to be innovators, execute ideas and get ahead. 

“People want to think that things haven’t changed and it is just a matter of time until they get promoted, but if you don’t take the initiative, the chances of that happening are small. You need to hustle to get ahead,” Randy shared.

With over 30 years in the technology sector, Randy says the first step to becoming a successful “intepeneur” is to disengage from your prior knowledge. “People need to unlearn old mindsets and habits.”

Both May and Randy are avid supporters of Seattle University and are excited for this opportunity to connect with alumni and help prepare them to get ahead in their careers. 

“It is my sincere hope that people will come away from this event knowing that what they learned at SU is real and it is like currency to be spent in the business and nonprofit community,” Randy said. 

Reserve your spot for the November 19th SU Advantage Networking event and learn what it takes to prosper in today’s competitive landscape. After the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in rounds of structured networking. 


SU Advantage | Networking Night
"Cultivating Entrepreneurial Spirit: The New Career Path"
Thursday, November 19 | 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Sorrento Hotel  | Top of the Town Room
Register now.


ReactMobile Security Solution: How one SU Alumnus is Improving Campus Safety

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

As anyone who has ever received a timely notification alert knows, Seattle University experiences the same safety concerns as any school in the heart of a city. Alumnus Robb Monkman, MBA,’08, is working with the campus community to provide a new safety solution for students, faculty and staff.

When Robb was an undergrad at Loyola Marymount University, he lived off campus and was the victim of armed robbery. He explored what schools were doing to protect students. They were doing a lot on campus, but there weren’t many options off campus. This planted the seed that would become the React Mobile Security Solution.  

According to company, “React Mobile is a free personal safety app that turns your smartphone into a powerful lifeline.” The app has a “follow-me” feature that lets you share your location with friends and family and allows them to track your location in real time. You can set up the app to remind your contacts to check in with you and send messages.  There’s also the React Sidekick, a Bluetooth-enabled device that hooks to your key fob and syncs with your phone to alert Public Safety and a wide network of your contacts when you’re in trouble.

“College students have widely adopted smart phones,” Robb said. “The React Mobile app and Sidekick give you the powers of a blue light safety system in the palm of your hand, no matter how far off campus you go. The Sidekick also allows you to call for help without needing to unlock your phone which you might not be able to do in an emergency,” Robb explained. The Sidekick works up to 100 feet away from your smartphone and sends your network a ‘help me’ message with a link to your GPS location that gets updated every 20 seconds.

Seattle University Public Safety and React Mobile partnered to test the app and Sidekick this past summer by giving the devices to students and faculty. React Mobile and Seattle U gained attention for their partnership and were featured on KOMO News. You can watch the story online here.

Tim Marron, Executive Director of Public Safety, told us that he has seen a lot of devices come and go and React Mobile’s willingness to evolve makes them stand apart. Tim hopes the device can help change attitudes around campus. “This app might raise awareness. Hopefully people will think, ‘If I need to enable this app, maybe I should be aware of my surroundings and take out my headphones or take an Uber,’ ” Tim said.

Public Safety will be working with Seattle Police Department as the app and Sidekick are rolled out across campus. 

The app is free and available for both iPhone and Androids.  If you choose to purchase the Sidekick, the Seattle University community, including alumni, receives a 50% discount, bringing the price down to $40. To get this price, you must use this discount code when purchasing through the React Mobile website: su_sidekick2015.

If you’re interested in learning more about React Mobile or purchasing the Sidekick, visit their website


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!