SU Voice Alumni Blog

Veteran Alumni Spotlight: Ryan Mielcarek,’13

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 5, 2014 at 5:11 PM PST

Ryan Mielcarek,’13, is a Navy veteran and a double alumnus of a Jesuit education. Ryan attended Marquette as an undergraduate student and came to Seattle University to get his Masters in Public Administration . Ryan especially appreciated the Jesuit value of care for the whole person, a value he demonstrates daily through his work supporting homeless veterans and sharing their stories through StoryCorps.

According to their website, StoryCorps aims to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. Once recorded the stories are archived in the Library of Congress and broadcast weekly on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

Ryan came across StoryCorps while at the Chicago Cultural Center where he learned about their Military Voices initiative, which focuses on capturing the stories of homeless and at risk military veterans through the annual event, The Seattle Stand Down. The Seattle Stand Down aims to move beyond numbers and put a face to veterans by providing them support resources and services such as employment, housing, legal, medical, dental and more, while creating a sense of community.

Ryan was quick to get involved, becoming the volunteer coordinator team lead for the Seattle Stand Down and he began looking for a community partner who could help support their efforts to collect veteran stories.

“As luck would have it, former MPA colleague Janet Pope had recently assumed the Executive Director Role at Compass Housing Alliance.  I reached out to her immediately.  Her willingness to partner and share resources allowed this project to happen,” Ryan said.

Compass Housing Alliance supported the program, by hosting two days of interviews with veterans whose stories are rarely told, including women, Native Americans and veterans who’ve overcome multiple adversities in their lives.  They provided interview space, recruited veterans from their programs, supplied food and utilized their social media channels for the effort.

With Compass Housing Alliance’s assistance, the Seattle Stand Down was able to record the stories of Native American and Native Alaskan veterans at the Chief Seattle Club. This included the Suquamish Warriors and Elders who shared stories of Suquamish veterans who served in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars. Each veteran who shared their story was given a recording of the interview, allowing these important tribal histories to be captured for generations to come. 

Ryan says that the Seattle Stand Down remains committed to helping veterans and their families going through housing instability do so with dignity and the knowledge that they are not alone.  The Seattle University veteran community is at the forefront of this effort, including Rebecca Murch,’15, Jaime Yslas, ’12,’14,  Derrek Mapes, Bradley Brown, ’13, and Sam Barrett, who kicked off the first Seattle Stand Down in 2011.  The Seattle University Veterans Committee and Catherine Hinrichsen provided vital support to the program.  “The altruistic and holistic values of service before self that are instilled in Jesuit education at Seattle University are carrying on through its veteran community,” he shared.   

Ryan has a message for all readers. “Always assume good intent.  This goes for veterans and those without military experience. By removing assumptions and offering a smile we can start breaking down barriers between us by sharing our stories with each other.  You may be surprised at what you find out about a veteran, about yourself.   Had Janet not graciously hosted the MVI recordings I would not have been able to hear these words of wisdom from a homeless veteran.  ‘A soldier’s final path should be the path of peace.’  Let’s all go on that path together as one community.”

Upcoming Engagement Opportunities for Veterans

As part of our Veteran’s Week programming, we extend a special invitation to veterans to these events and networking opportunity.

Albers Speaker Series & Alumni Reception
Thursday, November 13
Speaker Series: 5:30 p.m. | Pigott Auditorium
Reception: 6:30-8:00 p.m. | Rolfe Community Room | Admissions and Alumni Building

Speaker Series Panel featuring:

Major General Stephen Lanza, base commander of Joint Base Lewis-McCord 

Harvey Kanter, President of Blue Nile 

Melanie Dressel, President of Columbia Bank

RSVP for Reception

Men’s Basketball Home Opener and Alumni Pre-Game Rally
Friday, November 14, 2014

Veterans will be honored at this game and will receive free tickets. Simply go to Will Call to get your ticket.

Pre-Game Rally
6 p.m.
Club Live | KeyArena 

Admission to the rally is free with a game ticket. 

Seattle U Men vs. Texas State
7 p.m.
KeyArena

Seattle Stand Down
December 11 & 12
Seattle Central Community College

Those interested in participating, donating or volunteering are invited to attend the next installment of the Seattle Stand Down.  Visit their website or follow them on Facebook to stay up to date. 

 

A Celebration of Our History - A Mixer of the Decades

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on October 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM PDT


The Seattle University Filipino Alumni Chapter (FAC) is celebrating Filipino American History Month on October 10 with “A Celebration of Our History - A Mixer of the Decades.”

The Seattle University Filipino community has played an important role in preserving and sharing the Filipino American history on a national level. Seattle U alumni, Fred, ’52 and Dorothy, ’53 Cardova formed the National Filipino American Historical Society in 1982, which would go on to named October Filipino American History Month in 1991.  

According to the NFAHS website, “Fred and Dorothy Cordova have been involved in Filipino American activism since the 1950s. They began promoting Filipino American identity at a young age with student publications and organizations at Seattle University, where they attended college. In 1957, they formed and directed the Filipino Youth Activities (FYA), with activities ranging from soccer to folk dancing and parade marching. The FYA became an important force for organizing demonstrations in the 1960s and 1970s.”

The Cardovas became pillars of the Filipino community and maintained their relationship with Seattle University, returning to serve on advisory boards, as Regents and as guest lecturers. Seattle University awarded the couple honorary degrees in 1998.

The FAC invites students and alumni to join them on October 10 to explore Filipino American history and honor the contributions from some of our own Seattle University Filipino community members.  

Guests will spend the evening connecting with alumni and students, while exploring Filipino American history through pictures and Seattle University artifacts.

Students from the United Filipino Club will attend and perform for guests, as well as share a presentation on this year’s Barrio festival.

The full FAC chapter leadership will be in attendance to celebrate and hopes you and your family will join them.

Register now for “A Celebration of Our History - A Mixer of the Decades.”

Alumni Seminar Series: Pope Francis and the Future of the Church

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on October 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM PDT

One of the many benefits of being Seattle University alumni is the opportunity to continue your education through such programs as the Alumni Seminar Series.  The Alumni Seminar Series unites faculty and alumni around topics they are passionate about. This fall the Alumni Seminar Series focuses on the topic, “Pope Francis and the Future of the Church.”

The seminar will meet for six sessions beginning October 7 to read and discuss the Pope’s biography, writings, interviews and recent letters to the world and the Church.  The group will also focus on the first Synod of Bishops that will meet with Pope Francis this fall.  

Faculty presenters include Patrick Howell, S.J., Catherine Punsalan, Fr. Michael Raschko, David Leigh, S.J., and others.

The Seminar Series is scheduled to meet on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-8:30p.m. 

October 7, 21; November 4, 18; December 2, 9

Learn more and register online today.

 

Alumni Athletic Events

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on October 2, 2014 at 9:10 AM PDT

The men and women’s basketball season is packed full of Redhawk action, from Midnight Madness to Homecoming to alumni rallies, there’s a lot going on you won’t want to miss. Mark your calendars now for these alumni events that are fun for the whole family. 

Join the SU community to meet the players and get pumped up for the basketball season. 

Midnight Madness
October 30, 2014 | 10 p.m.
Seattle University | Connolly Center 

Rallies
Grab your friends and family and join us for four alumni pre-game rallies this season. All rallies are 6:00-7:00 p.m. in Club Live at KeyArena.

November 14, 2014
Men’s Home Opener v. Texas State

November 21, 2014
SU v. UW 

February 7, 2015 – Homecoming
SU vs Utah Valley 

February 28, 2015
Senior Night v. Bakersfield 

Women in Leadership Basketball Game and Pre-Game Networking Event 

Join the women’s basketball team as they honor women leaders at their game against the University of Washington at KeyArena on December 4 Alumni are invited to a pre-game networking event with the honorees.  Honorees include:

• Kathleen O‘Toole, Seattle Police Chief

• Karen Bryant, former President and CEO of the Seattle Storm

• Anne Farrell, President Emeritus, The Seattle Foundation

• Fé Lopez, JD, ’06, Executive Director of the Seattle Community Police  Commission 

• Dr. Michele Murray, Seattle U Vice President for Student Development

December 4, 2014
6:00-7:00 p.m.
KeyArena at Seattle Center

Registration now open.


Regional Pre-Game Rallies

We’re taking rallies on the road for two men’s basketball games this year.

SU vs. San Jose State
Saturday, December 13, 2014
The Event Center | San Jose, California 

SU vs. Grand Canyon
Saturday, March 7, 2015
GCU Arena | Phoenix, Arizona 

To purchase tickets or view the full seasons schedule visit GoSeattleU

 

Sitting in a sacred moment of silence

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on October 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM PDT

The seasons are changing. Summer is waning and autumn is beginning to make its appearance, and with that comes changes in how we navigate the world. Perhaps you are experiencing the shifting seasons, attuned with the movement from outward to inward. Are you curious what it would be like to be away for a while, without distractions and white-noise to overwhelm you, for a moment of renewal?

Ever thought of sitting in a sacred moment of silence? 

If you’ve ever wondered what a silent retreat might be like, or enjoyed one from your time at Seattle U, we invite you to join us for the annual Ignatian Silent Retreat for Alumni, Faculty, & Staff happening Friday, November 14 to Sunday, November 16, 2014.

The Ignatian Silent Retreat is a personal experience in the context of community which provides participants with an opportunity for prayer, silence and renewal. It draws upon the inspiration of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the pattern of prayer and meditations developed by the founder of the Jesuits. 

 “A whole weekend of SILENCE? That sounds like a stretch!” you say?

Don’t be frightened! The quietude is lush and uplifting; knowing that you are not the only one journeying in the meditations and reflective time is a great help. This sort of silence is a rare opportunity to pause from the everyday hustle and bustle, and really focus on your needs, desires, and longings. It’s a special time to be with God, and for God to be with you. Plus, each retreatant has an opportunity to meet individually with a Spiritual Director, a guide to help you see where God is alive in your own story. You can talk with them and explore together questions for reflection, as well as receive encouragement and pointers for prayer and meditation. 

(So, it’s not all entirely in silence!)

The retreat takes place at the Palisades Retreat Center  in Federal Way, a beautiful location on the waterfront of the Puget Sound, which overlooks Vashon Island. Cost is $125 and includes room and and all meals from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. To register for this retreat, please email Magis and we will get you set-up for the weekend.

P.S.: If you just can’t wait to go on retreat, we invite you to join us this month on Saturday, October 11th for the Jesuit Alumni Day of Reflection. Don’t wait, register today!

 

Accountability in Life and Business

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on October 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM PDT

“You need to hold yourself accountable for what you do, your relationships, your reputation, communications and performance. You’re accountable for your whole life from your health and relationships to your work and home life.” – Deborah Limb, ‘88



On October 16, Deborah Limb, '88, will present on “Accountability in Life and Business” at the first SU Advantage | Networking Night of the year. 

Limb, Seattle U’s 2013 Professional Achievement Alumni Award winner, speaks frequently on leadership and accountability.  Her philosophy was honed over 26 years at Boeing where she rose quickly through the ranks, most recently serving as Director of Structures Engineering leading a team of more than 500.  Limb is currently in transition to her new position as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for CRISTA Ministries where she has served on the Board of Trustees for six years, including three years as chairman.

In her presentation “Leadership and Me,” developed during her time at Boeing, Limb says that a leader is someone who sets direction, motivates and supports their team. A leader creates more leaders, not just followers, and a real leader should always be clear on what they stand for and their values. 

As part of Limb’s personal leadership philosophy, focusing on accountability personally and professionally, she poses the question, “Are you where you want to be?” It was because of this philosophy that Limb accepted her new position at CRISTA Ministries.

““I’ve been given so much, I feel God compelling me to step up to the ministry full-time. I want to serve while I still have the strength.””

On October 16, Limb will speak to her leadership philosophy with a brief presentation that uses examples from her life.

After her presentation, attendees will break out into three structured networking sessions focusing on questions stemming from Limb’s presentation. 

You’ll have the opportunity to connect with professionals from a variety of fields and industries, while gaining insight on the important role accountability plays in leadership, business and all aspects of your life.  

SU Advantage | Networking Night
Thursday, October 16, 2014
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Sorrento Hotel | Top of the Town Room
900 Madison St. 

Registration is now open.

 

75 Years: Celebrating the Hiyu Coulees

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on October 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM PDT

“Taking it one step at a time since 1939”

 

It all began on a February day in 1939 when Fr. Frank Logan took a group of Seattle University students to West Seattle for a hike down Beach Drive.  Little did Fr. Logan know that he was starting a tradition that would last for decades. 

The members of that original hike would go on to form the Hiyu Coulee Hiking Club. Their name, derived from Chinook jargon, meant “much walking.” The club prided itself on promoting opportunities for hiking in the Pacific Northwest, from weekend treks during the school year to 14-day trips during the summer months. This October, the club celebrates its 75th Anniversary Reunion.

Over the years, the club’s popularity grew, attracting more than students. Alumni and Seattle community members joined the group, becoming some of its most dedicated members. 

Dave Albright, a 1959 graduate of Seattle University, didn’t become involved with the club until the summer of 1960.  That year when he was home from grad school for the summer, he was invited by a girl he was dating at the time to go on a hike to Eunice Lake.” After that hike, Dave went on more hikes and eventually became an active participant in club day hikes and overnights. 

 “I met my wife at a Hiyu Coulee party,” Dave shared. “She was a roommate of one of the hosts and showed up at the party after ending her shift at nearby Cabrini hospital. She was a nurse.” The two were inducted into the club at their wedding reception, finally becoming official members of the club.  

Rose Morris is another who met her future spouse through the club. Though not a Seattle University student, a friend from high school, Kathy Sifferman, ’63, ’76, invited Rose to join the group and introduced her to Tom. The two would later get married.   

“The first trip I remember was an overnight President’s weekend at Rocky Run at Snoqualmie Pass. It rained all weekend – all weekend! We pitched tents on the snow and built a fire which proceeded to sink in the snow and disappear. Instead of being a disaster, the weekend was hilarious. I was hooked,” Rose said. 

Noel Gilbrough, ’74, got an early start in the club, when Bill Rowe,’65, invited him on a summer overnight as a junior at Blanchet High School. By the time he was a freshman at Seattle University, Noel knew everyone. 

“My favorite memory of the club is the summer overnights. We would sit down around the fire and sing until about midnight. We would sing everything from folk to religious music to show tunes.” 

Former club president, Bill Rowe,’65, first joined the club for a hike to Rocky Run for an overnight one winter. After that one hike, Bill could not get enough and chose to become an official member of the club. 

A club trip to Salmon-La-Sac in four feet of snow stands out in his mind as a memorable trip. “We had to hike a half a mile in snow-shoes to a picnic kitchen (a small partially walled structure with a fireplace). Bill and his friends had to enclose the shelter in plastic sheeting and thaw out the frozen fireplace, the only source of heat. 

“I knew that if I could make it through the Rocky Run and Salmon-La-Sac hikes, I could survive anything.” Bill said. 

As the club celebrates its 75th Anniversary, Noel, Rose, Dave and Bill have helped plan the reunion celebration.

They encourage all former members to return to Seattle University on October 25th and celebrate. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, telling stories and talking about our old friends who are still around and those who aren’t,” Noel said.  

Rose shared that “the reunions have been times to celebrate our friendships, friendships that are lifelong. It is a true treasure.”

Dave is looking forward to getting everyone back together. “There are people coming from as far away as Alaska and San Diego, and I’ll be coming from St. Louis. Everyone is starting to get older and this is a great opportunity to see everyone together while we still can.”

 

If you are a former Hiyu Coulee member, you can register to attend your reunion online.

For questions contact Harmony Frederick at frederih@seattleu.edu or (206) 296-5664.

 

My Seattle U Family Legacy - Anita Crawford-Willis, '82,'86

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on October 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM PDT

Born at Swedish Hospital on Capitol Hill, Judge Anita Crawford-Willis, ’82, ’86, was no stranger to Seattle University. During her childhood she felt pulled toward the university every time she passed by. “I knew the Jesuits focused on academic excellence and service and that’s what really drew me in. I think it was God’s plan for me to be here. Seattle University is an excellent and loving environment and because of SU I was able to live out my dreams,” Anita shared. 

After completing her undergraduate and law degrees at Seattle University, Anita has gone on to have a successful career in law, currently serving as assistant chief judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings in Seattle. In 2011, she received the University Service Alumni Award and in 2014 was named Seattle University Law School’s Woman of the Year. Anita now celebrates the honor of daughter, Reitrea, ‘18, following in her footsteps and attending Seattle University as a freshman. 

Anita shared her excitement for the opportunity to celebrate her family legacy by bestowing a legacy pin on her daughter during the Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony that celebrates multi-generational Seattle University families.

Anita’s parents did not attend college themselves, but emphasized the importance of education. “I’m overjoyed to that my daughter is attending Seattle University, having the next generation get an education is what my parents worked for. My daughter will be getting a Jesuit education and I know that she’ll be ready. They’ll prepare her for academics and social justice and she’ll be ready.”

When asked what factor played the biggest role in her decision to attend Seattle University, Reitrea was quick to mention her mother.  

 “My mom played the biggest role at getting me to Seattle University. She kept me focused and let me know that I could succeed. When she tells me that Seattle University is a nurturing environment, it feels like she’s putting me in a good place.” 

As an active member in the university community, frequently attending events, volunteering her time, serving on boards, participating in chapters and mentoring students, Anita is excited to finally be able to share the Seattle University experience with her daughter.

“When I talk to the current students I mentor, they have that shared experience and now so will my daughter. When I talk about why I love Seattle University, she’ll get it. And I’ll be able to live vicariously through you,” she said, giving her daughter a playful smile. 

As for Reitrea, like most college freshman she’s excited for campus life. “I want to be an RA (Resident Advisor) next year. I’d like to be that sophomore that freshman come to and look to for directions or advice,” she shared. 

Currently a pre-major, Reitrea isn’t sure which career path she wants to pursue, but newscasting, communications and social work all hold some interest for her.

Anita shared her hopes for a continued Seattle University family legacy saying, “I am excited that we are starting this tradition of Seattle University being the school of choice for my family. Hopefully we are one of those families with many generations to come.”

If you’re a Seattle University legacy family with a current student enrolled at Seattle University, you’re invited to attend the Seattle University Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony on October 24th. Join us and celebrate your family legacy.

Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony
Friday, October 24, 2014
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Seattle University – Campion Ballroom
Register now.

 

Seattle University's Professionals Without Borders

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 4, 2014 at 1:09 PM PDT

“For me, it was great to see how 13 people, few of (whom) had known each other before, came together to give ourselves to another community and, ultimately, form our own. This group is truly a gift.” - Nick Elam, ’14, Seattle University Strategic Communications Student on his experience with Professionals Without Borders’ service trip to Nicaragua.

Founded in 2007 when a group of Seattle U employees re-graded a Nicaraguan elementary school courtyard damaged by flooding, Professionals Without Borders (PWOB) has taken dozens of students and staff members on service projects all over the globe, from Belize to Zambia, with the mission of empowering students to serve and lead sustainable service projects that help people in need.

The concept born from this experience was simple: connect students with skilled trades’ people to complete small, but substantial, projects for people in need. 

For the first time, alumni now have the exciting opportunity to join PWOB, faculty, staff and students when they return to Nicaragua December 12-23.   You will be helping with infrastructure projects at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage

Here’s what past participants have had to say about their experience serving the orphanage in Nicaragua.

 “For me (the service trip) was seeing a totally different way of life - how people with little but each other can be so happy. They helped remind me of all the things I take for granted. I am so grateful for the time I spent there and am glad I am going back. I think they enjoyed having us there as much as I enjoyed being there.

We built a cement sidewalk and…painted school buildings. (The pequenos) worked side by side with us. We played soccer, volleyball, enjoyed dinners and played games. I knew very little Spanish but, with the help of our group, we communicated and laughed.” 

- Wayne Holscher, SU Facilities Services

This morning I woke up with such comfort; I felt as if I was home, that I belonged here.  The long days of hard work and intense heat has broken down any barriers that keep me from feeling like an outsider. Every meal we share is the most delicious food we’ve ever tasted on a simple plastic orange plate. This trip has been so much more than a service trip. It feels like global engagement has taken such a powerful role in the education of our students and it has been meaningful to contribute while also gaining a better perspective of what is going on in the lives of current Seattle University students. Today at lunch we sat with the littlest penqueñas.  Before every meal the little girls take turns leading us in prayer. You can imagine what it would be like to hear a 7 year old decide what she’d like to pray for.…”

If you’re interested in learning more about PWOB’s Nicaragua trip, please attend the information session on Thursday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Rolfe Community Room in the Admissions and Alumni Building on 12th and Marion.  You can also visit their website for more information. 

- From the PWOB journal of Brianne Vanderlinden, ‘07, University Advancement

 

Magis: A Summer Reflection

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM PDT

What is it about summer that feels so spacious? Is it the longer days? The vacations? Barbeques? Some might say the break from school. Or do you scoff at the suggestion of summer as downtime? For us, it feels more often than not as if we are trying to pack 20 lbs. of flour in a 10 lb. sack when it comes to our time. And more free time means often means more commitments added to our calendars.  How do we make sure what we are adding is bringing us closer to fullness?  As Jesuit alumni, we take pride in what we have come to value – our faith, families, friends, freedoms – however integrating these values amidst the scurry of career and community building is a different story. The pace which has become the status quo challenges intentionality, throwing us off balance and into a diluted version of our best selves.

Pope Francis said, "We will never be disillusioned or lose our way if we are guided by God." If you want to explore intentionality and its connection to authenticity, Magis invites you to Jesuit Alumni Day of Reflection: Living an Integrated and Authentic Life on Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be guided talks, prayer and reflection, lunch, and community building among Jesuit alumni of all ages. A few partial scholarships are available. Email Magis for more information or to register!