SU Voice Alumni Blog

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.


New Seattle U Alumni Benefit: Behavioral Pattern Toolkit

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

35 years ago, alumnus Tom Champoux,’68, and Dr. Bill Maynard, developed behavior assessment tools to help facilitate communication and collaboration that resulted in the founding of Effectiveness Institute.

“We were tired of good ideas not working because of people and their difficulties communicating,” Tom said. “This inspired us to discover different behavior patterns and how conflicting behaviors can work together.”

Developed over 30 years of working with Fortune 500 clients and universities, Tom’s understanding of behavior styles evolved into the “Behavior Pattern Toolkit.”

The Seattle University Alumni Association has partnered with the Effectiveness Institute to make the Behavior Pattern Toolkit available to alumni, friends and family at the discounted price of $29.95. 23% of each purchase will be donated to the Seattle University Scholarship Fund.

When asked how his Jesuit education impacted his product Tom said, “A Jesuit education teaches you how to think; the model that we use helps people to do exactly that. It gives users the tool to understand who they are communicating with and how to approach their interaction–very Jesuit."

The toolkit has three components: 

Behavior Pattern Assessment - an online tool that reveals your personal behavior pattern

Behavior Pattern video - introduces the behavior pattern model, 

My Plan Guide - identifies the behavior pattern of someone you know and the most effective way to interact with them.

The Behavior Pattern Toolkit examines the two dimensions of how people use energy when they interact with others, then demonstrates ways to apply this information for better communication at work, home and play.

After using these tools, individuals will know how to increase positive influence, quickly identify and meet the communications needs of others by adapting their behavior resulting in greater trust and respect and more fulfilling interpersonal relationships. “When people don’t know how to connect with others it’s difficult. People want to connect,” Tom said. “There’s a reason behind every behavior. Once you understand the reason behind it, there’s an “ah ha moment” and people start collaborating more effectively.”

To learn more and discover your own behavior patterns visit our website! Alumni and friends, take advantage of your Seattle U discount with coupon code: BPT-SU


Leading With Love: Contemplative Leaders in Action

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 1, 2015 at 4:04 PM PDT

Lead with Love. What does that mean? Well, for starters, that’s a fully loaded phrase!

Would leading with love mean that you would have to care about that annoying co-worker who doesn’t seem to ever reply to your emails? That you shouldn’t get annoyed by the gal who always speaks up at a staff meeting with yet another “great idea”? Or, that you would still have to like your supervisor even though he seems to micro-manage you more these days now that your organization is in midst of an overhaul?

Chris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World describes leading with love this way: 

“Long before love is a corporate virtue that improves team performance, it is a personal leadership stance. The love-driven leader possesses the vision to see and engage others as they are, not through the cultural filters, prejudices, or narrow-mindedness that diminishes them.” 

Love in the context of leadership in the workplace is less about expecting warm-fuzzy feelings towards your co-worker to emerge, but rather it is more about looking at your co-worker as a whole person – someone with hopes, aspirations, shortcomings and limitations, yet with unending potential. 

Perhaps leading with love is noticing that your too busy co-worker is trying to keep her head above water since she had to take time off to care for her ailing parent… or maybe it is becoming self-aware of your own prejudices towards your co-worker’s idea, and then boldly offering your own idea out loud to the group. It might even look like extending compassion to your supervisor by letting him know that you recognize that the transition is hard and that he can trust you will do your best to get your work done.

The Contemplative Leaders in Action (CLA) Ignatian Leadership program is a great example of a professional and spiritual development opportunity where alumni can learn and practice out the skills and qualities needed to become a loving leader. Through monthly gatherings, retreats, mentorship, and an engaging learning community of diverse emerging leaders, CLA participants create an environment where it is safe to explore and question the relevance of love in the context of professional life.

If you are an alum between the ages of 25-39 and live in the Puget Sound Region and you are looking to grow in your leadership, Magis at Seattle University invites you to apply for this dynamic program. Or, if you know a Jesuit alumnus/na that could benefit from a program like this, feel free to nominate him or her by emailing us. Applications are due May 29, 2015. To learn more about CLA, visit our page online.

Through practicing self-awareness, ingenuity, and bold humility, you may just be transformed into a leader who learns to lead with love.


Fr. Dave Anderson: An Easter Blessing

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

Dear friends in Christ, Happy Easter!

During the past 40 days of Lent (a word which means springtime), we have been on a spiritual journey or pilgrimage with our Christian family throughout our world engaged in three spiritual practices: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We are invited to remember that these experiences are what we are called to do all year, but especially during Lent so that we may grow closer to God. What have been the graces you've received? 

Jesus promised his disciples, "I will be with you always!” He gives them the gift of His Holy Spirit, the gift of peace, hope, love, and joy and asks them to love one another. God's Spirit is something the world cannot give. We are often overwhelmed by messages through our media that power, honor, glory, and riches will satisfy us, but they always fail to deliver what they promise. These messages are empty promises ... Our true satisfaction comes when we surrender our lives to God's will, and ask God to help us understand, see and hear God around us each day. To be open to God's voice so that we can choose the path God desires for us. Every moment we turn to God in prayer, God is present to us like a mother and father are present to their child. God never fails us.

A few days ago I was visiting a close friend who 6 months ago became a grandfather. His son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Heidi, were visiting from Denver and while we were having dinner, I was aware of the love that was present around the dinner table. Mom, dad and grandpa were filled with an indescribable joy because of the gift of Heidi. Every time she smiled or laughed, all of us laughed. We were mesmerized by her beauty, innocence and vulnerability.

I was reminded the next day of God's affection and love for us. God loves us like  parents and grandparents love their child. God is overwhelmed with joy when we turn and offer God our attention and ask for the help we need.

Along with our prayer, fasting helps us grow spiritually. We reflect on our personal lives and ask, "Is there something that is getting in the way of God's love in my life?" Maybe I gossip about others; or I'm attached to my cell phone rather than engaging in conversation with those around me; or I need more exercise and less TV. All of us have attachments or areas of growth ... God is inviting us to let go of them so that God can come close to us and love us. 

Fasting is not so much about what we are giving up as it is about what we are gaining: the peace and joy the Lord promises to those who make time for him.

Almsgiving and charity is another spiritual exercise we are called to do all year. We experience God most of the time in our relationships, especially with those close to us. Recall for a moment when you experienced God through your relationship with another person. You were able to see God in your friend or family member, you felt joy and peace for simply being in this person's company, and you gave God thanks for your relationship. Charity is doing something good for those we love. Simply being present to another person and listening to their story is one of the greatest gifts we can offer.  

Almsgiving is also about helping those less fortunate than our self. Who are the people God wants us to reach out to? Charity is about slowing down and seeing those around us who seem to be isolated or alone. Who is being left out, who is on the margins? We do not have to look very far to see the poor, the sick and wounded around us each day. 

Jesus' whole life was about serving the poor so that God's presence would be felt by everyone. As followers of Jesus, how is God inviting us to share love with those around us?

We are an Easter people! We are people of the resurrection! We are called to celebrate God's victory over sin and death. 

Let us continue to be open to the many graces God wants to give to us, especially God's love. And let us love one another as God loves us.



Live the Mission on April 25: National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service

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

National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service brings together Jesuit-educated alumni from across the nation, along with their family and friends, to participate in volunteer service projects. This year marks Seattle University’s fourth year participating in Alumni Day of Service and it is the biggest yet with alumni participating in four states and more service sites than ever before. 

Alumni chapters from Seattle University and fellow Jesuit schools are taking an active role in this year’s Day of Service by selecting and hosting service sites in the greater Seattle area. 

This year’s opportunities include:  beautification projects at Washington Middle School, Immaculate Conception church and Recovery Café, supporting and empowering young girls through the Powerful Voices Girlvolution workshop, and assisting the elderly at Volunteer Chore Services.  No matter what your interests, there’s a service site that’s right for you. 

To learn more about the organizations and chapters participating in Day of Service visit the registration page

 See what past participants had to say about Day of Service: 

“I participated in day of service because serving in the community is important and I enjoyed meeting other Jesuit alums.” 

“I wanted to join fellow alumni and continue the Jesuit tradition of service to our community.”

“I really enjoyed meeting other caring people, especially recent graduates who don't have a lot of spare cash but who want to give to the less fortunate.”

“I chose to participate in Day of Service to stay connected with my university, to help my husband learn more about what SU has meant to me, to live out service, to do it with friends, and to introduce my goddaughter to the meaning and benefits of service!”

“I enjoyed being able to give back to the local community around Seattle University and getting to meet like-minded individuals who value their Jesuit education as much as I did.”

What are you reasons for serving? Tell us in the comments below and register to join us on April 25th! 


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.