SU Voice Alumni Blog

Recent Alumni Spotlight: Derek Rogalsky, '10

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 1, 2015 at 3:04 PM PDT

When you think of an outstanding recent alum, someone like Derek Rogalsky, ’10, comes to mind. Derek is a dedicated alumnus of Seattle University, devoted husband and new father, with a commitment to service and professional excellence, making him the perfect choice for the 2015 Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award.

Derek was recruited to Seattle University by Redhawk soccer coach, Peter Fewing in 2006. Derek would play for the team throughout his four years at Seattle University, helping the soccer team achieve a 43-3-26 record while it transitioned from Division II to Division I. Derek was not only a star on the field but in the classroom, he maintained a 3.9 GPA throughout his four years on the soccer team.

After his graduation, Derek remained committed to Seattle University’s values of service, volunteering with his wife Rebekah Rogalsky, ’09, in Haiti. There the couple spent a year teaching, mentoring and coaching at the Louverture Cleary School (LCS), a co-educational Catholic boarding school for academically gifted students from impoverished backgrounds. 

“Spending time with such people allowed me to recognize the true abundance of the blessings in my own life…I had been called to serve because I have been blessed,” Derek said of his time in Haiti.

As a volunteer at LCS, Derek taught biology and religion, led the garden club, coached soccer and helped coordinate The Haitian Project’s Institution response to the cholera epidemic, keeping the campus free of infection. 

Derek went on to Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he is currently in his fourth year studying to be a surgeon. 

“I’ve chosen surgery because it is a profession uniquely equipped to help people in their most desperate hour of need.” Derek said. 

This past year, Derek was one of 21 fourth year medical students nationwide to receive the American Medical Association Physicians of Tomorrow Award. 

Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., MBA, dean of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, considers Derek to be “A leader among peers and faculty in his outreach into the inner city, his discussion and inquiry into kidney transplantation, medical education, medical student debt and major life choice.  He will remain a leader long after graduation.”

We are proud to honor Derek with our Outstanding Recent Alumnus award at our upcoming 30th Annual Alumni Awards.  We hope you’ll join us to celebrate him and five other outstanding alumni at the awards ceremony. 

30th Annual Alumni Awards
Saturday, April 18, 2015 | 6:00 p.m.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Tickets available now.

 

Alumni Awards – 30 Years

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 4, 2015 at 9:03 PM PST

This year, the Seattle University Alumni Awards celebrates its 30th anniversary. But how did this tradition get its start? We spoke to Mark Burnett, Director of Alumni Relations at the time, to get the scoop.

The Alumni Awards were formed shortly after Seattle University moved to Division II.  Many alumni events were focused on athletics so the alumni office looked for other ways to engage alumni-the first Alumni Awards Celebration was born.

Hosted at the Olympic Four Seasons Hotel (now the Fairmont Olympic Hotel), the first ceremony offered eight awards to honor the Seattle University community and its commitment to Jesuit values. 

“Our first Alumnus of the Year was Rhoady Lee, someone who was very committed to Seattle University and it was very special to be able to honor him. The great thing about the awards is that they allow us to honor those people well known to the community and shine a light on those who are not as widely recognized,” Burnett said.

“The Alumni Awards celebration has been successful in creating a sense of pride in the university. Over the last 30 years more than 200 alumni from across our various schools and colleges, each one representing who we are as a university. All of our winners have shown their dedication to community service, something we at Seattle University excel at.” 

Just a few of our past winners include philanthropist Bill Eisiminger ’67, Medal of Honor recipient, Will Swenson, ’01, community advocate, Lorena Gonzalez,’05, successful businessman, John Meisenbach ’60,  Restaurateur, Mick McHugh, ’65, and non-profit leader, Gordon McHenry,’79.

This April, the Alumni Awards Celebration returns to where it all began, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, where we will not only honor our 2015 winners, but all those who have won over the past 30 years. 

We hope you’ll join us to celebrate 30 years of outstanding leadership and service this April.

30th Annual Alumni Awards Celebration
Saturday, April 18, 2015
6:00-10:00 p.m.
Fairmont Olympic hotel
2015 Winners

Alumna of the Year – Doreen Marchione, ‘62

University Service – Joe Zavaglia, ‘71

Community Service  - Clayton Pitre, ‘68

Professional Achievement – Margaret Heitkemper, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, ’73

Distinguished Faculty – Phillip Thompson, Ph.D., P.E.

Outstanding Recent Alumnus –  Derek Rogalsky, ‘10

Tickets are available online now.

 

Recent Alumni Spotlight: Marissa Turner, '05

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 4, 2015 at 9:03 PM PST

“Seattle University made me value the importance of working for a just world, and that's something that I strive to do both in my work and personal life. I feel like my experience at SU taught me to question everything and to lean into discomfort,” said Marissa Turner, ’05, graduate of the College of Science and Engineering.

It was Seattle University’s mission that drew Marissa to Seattle U and its beautiful campus and vibrant city that sealed the deal. “Seattle seemed like a great city and would be a fun change from my native north Idaho.”

As a student, Marissa quickly began living out Seattle U’s Jesuit mission. She was member of the Multifaith Works AIDS Care Team, the Calcutta Club, participated in the Mexico Mission Trek and the SEARCH Retreat and volunteered for L’Arche. 

“One of my favorite memories was Fr. Roger and Fr. Mike's lip syncing and dance performance at the Calcutta Club's date auction,” Marissa shared. 

After her graduation in 2005, Marissa remained committed to the Seattle University mission. While still in Seattle she was an active participant with Magis: Alumni Living the Mission and in her current role works as an Administrative Assistant at a non-profit that helps low-income and disabled individuals find work.

Now, ten years after her graduation, Marissa returns to her alma matter to help her classmates celebrate their 10th reunion as part of the 2005 Reunion Planning Committee. 

Marissa heard about the opportunity to plan her class reunion and jumped on it. “It sounded like fun. I enjoy planning events and I thought it'd be a great way to connect with fellow classmates.

I made life-long friends while at SU, and I've been fortunate enough to be a part of their journeys as they have gotten new jobs, been married and welcomed children. What I’m most excited about at our reunion is seeing those classmates that I haven't been in touch with for 10 years and hearing where life has taken them,” she said. 

“We have a great weekend of food, fun and fellowship planned. It will be a wonderful way to connect with old friend as well as the University!” 

Marissa and her fellow committee members , Analisa Castaneda, Juanita Hinojosa Jasso, Abby Laxa-Anderson, Valerie Tokumoto, Jesse Zaragoza, hope you’ll plan to join them on May 2nd at the 2005 Reunion.

2005 10th Reunion
Saturday, May 2, 2015
7:00-10:00 p.m.
Seattle University 

RSVP now.

 

March Professional Development Opportunity

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 4, 2015 at 9:03 PM PST

 In our recent Alumni Attitude Survey, you told us that professional development opportunities are important to you, so each month we’ll share a different professional development program or event with you.  This month we are featuring The Seattle University Extraordinary Entrepreneurial Leaders (ExEL) Forum.

The ExEL groups offer an invigorating forum for owners and leaders of family and privately-held businesses to grow and expand their businesses and their leadership skills.   These monthly peer advisory groups, facilitated by a professional executive coach and consultant, meet monthly and operate as a cohesive, supportive cohort.   The ExEL Forum includes four groups:

Emerging Business Leaders, Seattle University Alums, Business Women Influencers, and a Family Business Only group. They are a great fit for executives or owners of local family- or privately-held businesses who are committed to becoming extraordinary leaders and using entrepreneurial skills and innovation principles to tackle their biggest challenges.

The groups meet one Friday a month on the Seattle University campus from 10-2 p.m., which include an open lunch for friends and guests and an optional morning “deep dive” boot camp from 8-10 a.m.

Fees are regularly $3,600, but thanks to a generous grant, $3,000 scholarships are available for this program, so your fee is only $600 for 2015. To take advantage of the scholarship, apply before fall 2015. Membership is accepted on a rolling basis with the next cohort beginning this April.

Seattle University’s ExEL program has been game changing for me. As a second generation leader of my family business, I have gained invaluable levels of newfound strength and confidence. Randy encourages each of us to carve our own unique paths as leaders, and that personalized approach has been extremely empowering. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to gain insight into the art of leading with greatness.

- Kristen Johnston, ExEL Forum Participant 

Learn more and apply online.  

ExEL Forum Features:

  • Monthly peer support and networking among like-spirited, highly-motivated business owners andand executives
  • Monthly business analysis and group accountability sessions (“deep dive” boot camps)
  • Monthly guest speakers who are successful, proven business leaders or subject matter experts
  • Access to local mentors, experts, and resources in a variety of disciplines
  • Optional coaching/consulting services with a professional executive coach/consultant
  • Access to Seattle University’s Family Business Exchange research program, community and events (family business owners only)
  • Networking events, happy hours, activities, professional development and field trips among peers andand local businesses
  • Holiday celebration and invitations to Seattle University andand Albers School of Business and Economice events andand activities
  • Complimentary meals and parking

 

Benefits to Members

  • Lead more confidently – Run your ideas and issues by a personal, peer "sounding board" and professional coach/consultant.
  • Master implementation – Learn to execute flawlessly and be held accountable by your ExEL Forum team.
  • Build your business – Learn and apply new tools and skills in key business and leadership areas.
  • Make connections/build your tribe – Make friends, networking and resource connections; join the Family Business Exchange community.
  • Gain more perspective – Spend focused time working on your business rather than in it.  Get different views from other business owners.
  • Access more tesources-Tap into Seattle U's deep resources, including students for interns and projects.

 

 

Seattle U is Becoming Tobacco-Free

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 4, 2015 at 9:03 PM PST

On July 1, 2015, Seattle University will join over 1,500 colleges and universities in the United States on a prominent issue-Seattle University will become a tobacco-free campus. This means alumni, students, faculty, and staff will not be able to smoke or use tobacco on campus. It’s a controversial decision.

This decision, while made recently by President Sundborg and his cabinet, is the culmination of over three and a half years of work. Spearheaded by Tobacco-Free Exploration Committee-a committee founded by the Student Government of Seattle University (“SGSU”)-the initiative was led by a group of students, faculty and staff. 

The movement began in 2011 when Austin Richmond, ’13, an SGSU representative, took the matter to SGSU as a public health concern. The following year, then Student Body President Nicole Gaddie, ’14, created a partnership with the Graduate Student Council (the representative body for graduate students) and the Student Bar Association (the representative body for law students). These three groups decided to work together on this issue

Eventually, the Tobacco-Free Campus Exploration Committee was formed. Over two years, the committee led a number of tobacco-free campus events, forums and awareness campaigns. 

The committee conducted a survey on tobacco use and attitude.  According to the Spectator, “59 percent of undergraduate students who responded were in favor of a tobacco-free policy and, according to the State of the Undergraduate Student Survey, only three percent of undergraduate students surveyed used tobacco on campus twice or more a week on campus. For graduate students, the committee found that 32 percent of graduate students surveyed support a tobacco-free campus, while 64 percent favored a stricter policy on tobacco, not a prohibitive one.” The committee also surveyed the law school but did not get a statistically significant response. Faculty, staff and administers were also surveyed, with 70 percent of respondents supporting a transition to becoming a tobacco-free campus. 

In fall 2014, the Tobacco-Free Campus Exploration Committee made presentations to the Dean’s Council and Academic Assembly, sharing their findings and offering an overview of their process and history of the movement. Following the approval from these bodies, the President’s Cabinet (composed of Fr. Steve and twelve top administrators) agreed with the committee’s recommendation-Seattle University was to become tobacco-free institution. 

Nicole Gaddie, ‘14, commends the accomplishments of the committee. Gaddie shares, “Everyone who worked on this project through the years has worked so hard to see it through [and has] committed so much of their time, thought and work.”

The project isn’t over. In terms of the implementation of the initiative, policy must still be developed. This process is being led by Ryan Hamachek, ’09, the Director of the Office of Wellness and Health Promotion. 

“There is some physical infrastructure that will be important,” Hamachek shared. This infrastructure includes signage so that campus visitors and returning alumni know that Seattle U is a tobacco-free campus. And then there is the policy side of things. We have to define ‘campus,’ because we’re in an urban environment,” Hamachek furthered. 

While the details still need to be determined, starting mid-summer, Seattle U will be an entirely tobacco-free campus. Some alumni might remember smoking in class. That changed in the 1970s. Now, students smoke on campus. That changes soon.  

Written by: Izzy Gardon

 

 

Successful Restauranteur, Proud Irishman and Seattle University Alumnus

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 4, 2015 at 9:03 PM PST

Mick McHugh,’65, is an active Seattle U alumnus, proud member of Seattle’s Irish community and a successful restaurant owner. Mick got his start in the restaurant scene in 1963 as a sophomore at Seattle U when he opened up the coffee house, 92 Yesler, which catered to his fellow Seattle University students serving coffee and pizza. While Mick only operated the coffee house for three-years it was the beginning of a successful career. Mick would go on to open a total of 16 restaurants over the years, which includes FX McRory’s built in 1977 and where he now spends much of his time and  the Irish Pub, T.S. McHugh’s, which he built in honor of his father 80th birthday.

As a proud member of the Seattle’s Irish community, Mick was instrumental in establishing the tradition of Irish Week in Seattle to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. “I wanted to get away from the idea of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with green beer. The Irish have so much to offer,” Mick said.

Seattle’s Irish Week is still going strong forty years later with a range of activities to peak everyone’s interests including an always popular 5k run, a parade, an Irish Heritage Festival and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass for Peace in Ireland at St. Patrick’s Church. A full list of St. Patrick’s Day events can be found online here.

Mick’s Irish legacy extends to more than just St. Patrick’s Day festivities; he served on the search committee for Seattle’s sister city. “We needed a university town and a port city. We visited four different cities in Ireland until we chose Galway on the west coast of Ireland,” Mick said.

To commemorate the relationship of sister cities, each city has a stone monument that points directly at the other indicating a line through the center of the earth connecting the two cities and each displaying the latitude and longitude of its sister city. The stone in Galway says “Seattle” and is at the end of Shop Street, while Seattle’s stone says “Galway” and is located on the waterfront near Pier 66.

Each year a contingency from Seattle visits Galway and a group from Galway, including the mayor, Donal Lyons, visit Seattle for Irish Week. 

“My daughter, Caitlin,’06, and I had the opportunity to accompany Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to Galway this past fall for the annual Oyster festival,” Mick shared.

Mick’s passion for the Irish community is obvious and so too is his passion for Seattle University. 

Mick was the first of six siblings to attend Seattle University. “My three sisters all studied education at Seattle U and my brothers and I all studied business.”

As a student, Mick was on the tennis team, served as student body president and helped persuade Archbishop Connolly to sell the plot of land that would become the Connolly Center. 

“The depth of the education at Seattle University broadened me as a person and for that I’m very grateful.”

Inspired by the values of his Jesuit education, Mick co-founded the Matt Tablot Center, which helps Seattle’s homeless population overcome their drug addictions and is now in its 28th year.

Five years after Mick’s graduation from Seattle University he was approached by the current President and head of the Alumni Association and asked if he would like to serve as the interim director of Alumni Relations, holding that position until 1975.

“I’ve been able to stay close to Seattle University for 50 years and I’ve been blessed by that,” he said.

Stay close to the university Mick has. He served on the Seattle University Board of Regents for over twenty years, served as an Albers mentor, was one of the one-hundred alumni featured during the university’s centennial and was awarded the Alumnus of the Year award in 1987 and now he serves on the class of 1965 Reunion Committee. 

“I am very proud to be an alum and invite my classmates back to the Emerald City for our 50th reunion! We had so much fun during our time at Seattle U and I can hardly believe it’s been 50 years! My classmates won’t believe how much the university has grown since we left. It is now a nationally recognized university of high distinction.

The city of Seattle has also grown. There’s more in Seattle’s aviary than Seahawks and Redhawks. Seattle is flying high as one of America’s great cities. They’ll find Seattle’s beauty much enhanced and see how Capitol Hill has been built up as a hip urban hot spot. You won’t be sorry when you attend the reunion – we’ll have so much fun!!” Mick said.

If you are a member of the class of 1965, you can learn more and register for your reunion  here.

Class of 1965 Reunion
Saturday, May 2, 2015
11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Seattle University 

Register now.

 

Two Guys, a Girl & One Amazing Heart

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 4, 2015 at 2:02 PM PST

In honor of Valentine's Day, we're sharing the unbelievable love story of alumna, Erin Roberts,'08,’17,'and her husband, Connor Rabinowitz. The two met after Connor received a heart transplant. The donor? Erin's brother, Kellan.

Erin Roberts first graduated from Seattle University in 2008 with a BA in Liberal Arts. Seven years later she returned to Seattle U and is in the process of completing her Master’s in Counseling from the College of Education. 

What drew Erin to Seattle University twice? 

“It was the climate of Seattle University. The kind of professors and students here. Everyone wants to make the world a better place, so what better place to get an education?”

After Erin graduates with her Masters in 2017 she hopes to work with youth and families, with a special focus on youth in transition in and out of the foster care system. 

The unconventional story of how Erin and Connor met, fell in love and got married, recently received national attention as a feature in the February issue of Glamour magazine. 

While Erin’s incredible love story may have just recently been published in Glamour Magazine, her story first got attention two years ago when KOMO news covered it. 

“Two years ago it was overwhelming. My phone was ringing off the hook with offers for TV appearances.” It was too much attention for Erin at the time and so she shied away from all of the publicity. That is until Liz Brody from Glamour magazine approached her earlier this year about covering her story.

“The feedback has been really great this time. We just finished filming a documentary that will air on Valentine’s Day.” Erin said of the impact the magazine article has had on their lives.

You can read Erin and Connor’s love story online here

 

Search for Meaning Book Festival

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 2, 2015 at 11:02 PM PST

You are invited to the seventh annual Search for Meaning Book Festival.

Launched in 2009, the festival has evolved into a signature SU event. Featuring a veritable who’s who of the literary and scholarly worlds, this year’s festival includes more than 55 best-selling authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and more. The annual one-day festival offers general sessions, keynote presentations, book signings and interactive experiences. Individuals from all walks of life spend a day with some of the world’s most influential authors and scholars while reflecting on their own ability to contribute to a more just and humane world.

Since it began six years ago, the Search for Meaning Book Festival has been a great success thanks to the support of our neighbors, community members and generous donors and volunteers who have given their time and financial resources to make this a one-of-a-kind event. Yet with increasing costs associated with the festival, a $10 fee must be charged for entrance this year for each attendee ($5 for students). Visit Search for Meaning to purchase your tickets and learn more.

A special thanks to this year’s title sponsors, Robert and Laura Ellen Muglia, whose tremendous generosity allows the university to continue offering the event with only a modest admittance fee. The university also continues to devote significant financial and personnel resources to the festival to further minimize the cost for attendees.

Volunteer for the Search for Meaning Book Festival! This is a great opportunity to engage with students, alumni, community partners and distinguished authors from the surrounding areas. By volunteering, you will receive a voucher for lunch and fun swag and you will also be able to attend one of the keynote speakers for free! Sign up here. Contact Jane Billbe with any questions about volunteering at billbej@seattleu.edu or 296-6066

2015 Alumni Award Winners

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 2, 2015 at 10:02 PM PST

President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. and the Seattle University Alumni Association are pleased to announce the university’s 2015 Alumni Awards recipients.  For 30 years, Seattle University has celebrated the Alumni Awards which honor those alumni who exemplify our Jesuit values and excel in the areas of leadership, professional achievement and community service. We had an excellent slate of nominees in all categories and the outstanding winners introduced below rose to the top.  

 

We will celebrate the achievements of these outstanding Seattle University alumni and faculty at the 30th Annual Alumni Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.  We hope you will join us.   To register or to host a table, please visit https://SU2015AlumniAwards.eventbrite.com

 

Doreen Marchione, ‘62

Alumna of the Year

A graduate of Seattle University’s College of Arts and Sciences, Doreen Marchione, ’62, is dedicated to improving the lives of people in her community. In 1984, she began the first of her two terms as mayor of Redmond. Currently, she is in her second term on the Kirkland City Council after serving as deputy mayor. During her 15 years as CEO of HopeLink—the largest provider of social services in north and east King County—she oversaw a 150% increase in the number of residents HopeLink assisted. In addition to being a Legacy Society member, she served on Seattle University’s College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Council for 15 years, the visiting committee for the Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and mentored students.

Read Doreen's complete story here.

 

Clayton Pitre, ‘68

Community Service

Clayton Pitre, a Montford Point Marine and longtime community activist, graduated from Seattle University in 1968 with a degree in accounting.  A fixture in the central Seattle community, Clayton organized and chaired the African American Dollars for Scholars program for 17 years, coordinated efforts to fund and build three low income housing projects and was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic church for 52 years, serving three terms as president of the parish board and leading the development of its child care center. Clayton has served 60 years as a member of the Knights of Columbus and Knights of Peter Claver (the African American arm of the Knights of Columbus) and has actively mentored and participated in Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. For his service as a Montford Point Marine, the first African American Marine troop in World War II, Clayton was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

Read Clayton's complete story here.

 

Joe Zavaglia, ‘71

University Service

Joe Zavaglia dreams of what could be and makes it happen. Joe wanted to play college soccer, but Seattle University didn’t have a team. Drafting a petition, he not only got 90 percent student approval but also recruited 100 potential players. When told the school didn’t have the $500 needed, he appealed to then President Fr. Lemieux. In a matter of hours, he received the call from Athletic Director, Eddie O’Brien that the funds had been appropriated. As an alumnus, Joe co-chaired the Championship Field redevelopment project with Vince Volpe. For several years Joe served on the Athletics Hall of Fame committee and in 2007, was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame. A tireless fundraiser, he helped launch the annual Red Tie event and chaired the Men’s Soccer Alumni Committee. He has also served on the Board of Regents for seven years.

Read Joe's complete story here.

 

Margaret Heitkemper, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, ’73 

Professional Development

Dr. Margaret Heitkemper, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, a 1973 graduate of the College of Nursing, demonstrates exceptional leadership. An innovator integrating basic scientific research into the practice of nursing, she inspires colleagues with her cutting edge approach to health care. Nationally and internationally recognized, Dr. Heitkemper was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, one of medicine’s highest honors. Dr. Heitkemper had the courage to introduce a clinical research program identifying possible symptoms related to IBS at a time little notice was being paid to GI distress. Because of her work, IBS patients have adopted ways of living quality lives. In a career full of successes, Dr. Heitkemper is most proud of her work highlighting the importance of women’s health and the role gender plays in health and treatment. 

Read Margaret's complete story here.

Phillip Thompson, Ph.D., P.E. 

Distinguished Faculty 

Dr. Phillip Thompson, a member of Seattle University’s faculty since 1997, is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability. He earned the 2009-11 Thomas J. Bannan Endowed Chair of Engineering. A consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates and Bullitt Foundations, Dr. Thompson is a recipient of grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, and his research on water treatment and pollution control has been published widely. Each year, he takes students to work on water projects in countries such as Thailand, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Zambia, giving him rich experience to draw upon. His engineering consulting work has kept his teaching fresh and relevant.  Dr. Jean Jacoby, Associate Dean declared, “Phil exemplifies SU’s care for students and commitment to environmental justice and sustainability.”  

Read Phillip's complete story here.
 

Derek Rogalsky, ‘10

Outstanding Recent Alumnus

Derek Rogalsky is a shining example of a Seattle University graduate who embodies the Jesuit values of service and social justice. As a student, Derek was inducted into Seattle U’s Ignatian Leadership Honor Society, served as president of the Bannan Scholars, volunteered in Haiti and played on the men’s soccer team –all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. After graduation, he deferred medical school for a year to volunteer with his wife, Rebekah, also an SU alum, for a year of service in Haiti, teaching, mentoring and coaching at Louverture Cleary School. While there, Derek helped coordinate The Haitian Project’s institutional response to the cholera epidemic, keeping the campus free of infection.  Currently in his fourth year at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Derek was one of 21 fourth year medical students nationwide to receive the American Medical Association Physicians of Tomorrow Award. His research on health care inequality has been published in a number of scientific journals. Derek decided to become a surgeon, “…to help people in their most desperate hour of need.”

Read Derek's complete story here.

 

 

African American Alumni Chapter Spotlight: Andre´ Taybron

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 2, 2015 at 10:02 PM PST

Andre´ Taybron is a 2000 MPA graduate and a member of Seattle University African American Alumni Chapter’s (AAAC) leadership team.

From seventh grade through high school, Andre’ lived with his single mother and three of his siblings in public housing in Wilson, North Carolina. Growing up in the “projects,” Andre´ constantly questioned why it was that his family and neighbors who worked so hard to provide for their families were not able to purchase a home in a middle-class neighborhood. 

Andre’s background living in public housing helped to shape his values and ideals around the need for better housing policy. “Today I’m a published author, scholar and entrepreneur. My firm, Broneist Consulting, provides urban design, planning, needs assessment, public policy development and administration implementation services,” Andre´ said.  

Andre´ has a B.S. in Communications, an MPA from Seattle University and a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington. 

“Academically, my knowledge and understanding of social justice and public policy flourished while completing my Master’s degree at Seattle University. I applied that knowledge to both my roles at the Seattle and Renton Housing authorities and as a Housing Planner at AIDS Housing of Washington.” Andre´ studied at Seattle University from 1998-2000. “While at Seattle University I learned to ask the tough questions. I knew when choosing Seattle University that I would establish a foundation for social justice ideals and philosophies to incorporate into my work. Understanding the Jesuit tradition taught me to think for myself and to test commonly accepted knowledge,” Andre´ shared. 

In 2014, Andre´ became a member of the Seattle University African American Alumni Chapter’s leadership team.  “After embarking on my professional journey and the real-world rat race, I noticed that something was missing – the SU culture and environment that I loved.” 

Andre´ began meeting quarterly with MPA alumni which helped keep him connected to Seattle University. Over the years he saw a lack of opportunities to engage and connect with African American professionals and community members and began to attend events hosted by the African American Alumni Chapter (AAAC).

 “I saw something in the participants of the AAAC that I wanted around me and more importantly, I wanted to be a part of the leadership to help influence the welcoming, professional and fun atmosphere.”

As a member of the AAAC leadership team, Andre´ hopes the group becomes a catalyst to bring people back to campus and to get alumni and students more engaged. 

“It is my passion and vision for the chapter to be a resource to uplift individuals who may have questions or struggles, for those who want fellowship and those who need more guidance, advice and mentorship. I want people to come out, bring their spouses, partners, children, family and friends to have fun and let the Seattle University community know that we are here as a chapter and part of what makes our Jesuit institution great!” Andre´ said. 

You can join the African American Alumni chapter this month for their Black History Month Celebration.

Seattle University Black History Month Celebration
February 20, 2015
6:30 p.m.
Seattle University | Casey Commons

RSVP now.