SU Voice Alumni Blog

A Christmas Message from the President

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM PST

 As November turns to December, the weather grows colder and the night longer, it is undeniable that winter is here and holidays are fast approaching, making it the perfect time to wish you all a happy and blessed Christmas season.

I hope you have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, celebrate your favorite traditions and enjoy some delicious food. But I also hope you find time for some peace, quiet and reflection.

I often find the Christmas season to be the perfect time for reflection on the blessings of the previous year. I am filled with a sense of gratitude and as President of Seattle University, I have so many things to be thankful for.

I am grateful for the Seattle University community. For our students who are always striving for a just and humane world. For you, our alumni, who are leaders in the community throughout Seattle, across the country and in 62 countries. And for our great faculty and staff who guide and prepare our students for life outside these walls.

I was especially blessed this year to have the opportunity to accompany a small group of friends of Seattle University to meet Pope Francis in November.

A visit that was expected to be 15 minutes lasted 45. The Pope gave us his full attention. We found it hard to believe there was nowhere else the leader of the Catholic Church would rather be. For me, this was the experience of a lifetime.

When asked what message he would like us to bring back to Seattle University, the Holy Father shared a thought that is particularly relevant to the holiday season.

It was, “witness.” He said words don’t count. Words only touch a person’s mind. The only thing that counts for those at your university is your witness. The witness of your life, the witness of your faith, the witness of your commitment and the witness of who you are. Witness is what counts.

I’d like to ask you to reflect on the Pope’s message as Jesuit-educated alumni. What does it mean to you to witness during this holiday season? Does it call you to bear witness to those less fortunate than you?  How are you a witness to your family and friends in order to connect more authentically? How do your actions reflect your faith and commitment?

I hope you will take some time this Christmas season to reflect on all that you are grateful for and how you serve as a witness in this world. Just as we are thankful for you, we hope that when you think of Seattle U, you are filled with a sense of pride and gratitude. Never forget that even after graduation, we remain your university.

I look forward with anticipation to the year ahead and wish you all many blessings in this Christmas season and the new year.   

With gratitude,

Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.


Scott Kaiser Directs Shakespeare-Inspired Love’s Labor’s Won

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 5, 2014 at 9:11 PM PST


Scott Kaiser, longtime artistic staff member at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is now making his mark at Seattle University, with his new play, Love's Labor's Won.

Kaiser has joined the faculty as a guest instructor in the Theatre Department for the fall quarter and oversees production of the play as the Artist-In-Residence for the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts. 

Love's Labor's Won begins where Shakespeare's comedy Love's Labor's Lost ends. Kaiser’s thoughtful and funny play imagines the reunion of the parted lovers against the opulent backdrop of 1918 Versailles. Even if Shakespeare's Love’s Labor’s Lost is unfamiliar, Kaiser’s play captivates the audience through its intriguing story and thematic exploration of loss and love.

“It was unusual for Shakespeare to write a comedy that ended without a tidy resolution,” Kaiser said, so I believe that Love’s Labor’s Lost was a cliffhanger to get you back into the theater to watch part two.” 

Although there is scant evidence that such a play existed, some scholars strongly believe, as Kaiser does, that Shakespeare may have created a second part to his original piece. 

While Shakespeare’s second part may be forever lost – or entirely nonexistent – Kaiser writes Love’s Labor’s Won in a way that pays homage to Shakespeare. “I’ve tried to honor Shakespeare’s artistry rather than satirize it,” Kaiser shares. While indeed honoring Shakespeare’s work, Kaiser strongly believes that his play stands alone. “You don’t need to know Love’s Labor’s Lost to enjoy Love’s Labor’s Won,” he said.

Kaiser is the Director of Company Development at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Participating in 24 seasons at OSF, Kaiser has contributed to almost 100 productions, including all 38 Shakespeare plays. 

Love's Labor's Won opens on November 13 and runs through November 23. Alumni of Seattle University are invited to watch the production. Tickets may be purchased in-person at the Lee Center Box Office or at for $10. 

Kaiser’s theatre production at Seattle University is made possible by the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts.

Love's Labor Won
Lee Center for the Arts 
Showing from November 12-23,2014

Wed-Sat: 7:30 p.m.
Sun: 2:00 p.m.


Alumni Survey Results

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 5, 2014 at 9:11 PM PST

We asked and you answered. In June an electronic survey was sent to all alumni asking for input on how to improve your university and alumni experience. Thank you to all who took the survey! We are giving you a sneak peak into the key findings from the survey.  Look for more details about the results and how we are taking action in the winter edition of the Seattle University Magazine.

Key Findings

Alumni are highly satisfied with their educational experience. 

Alumni value their relationship with Seattle U, but don’t feel strongly connected. 

Recent alumni strongly value their relationship with Seattle U and see opportunities for improvement in career services and professional development programs.

Graduate alumni are more loyal to and involved with the university than their undergraduate counterparts.

Alumni most value career and professional development programs and services.

Alumni engage most often by reading the Seattle University Magazine and alumni emails and want more invitations to events.

Survey Raffle Winners

All respondents who entered, had the chance to win one of five $100 gift certificates to the Seattle U Bookstore.  Congratulations to our lucky winners, Laura Hurst, Carol Everson, Nellie Calacat, Mark Kitna and Adam Neal!  

In addition, everyone who entered will receive two free tickets to the Homecoming men’s basketball game on Saturday, February 7, 2015.  We’ll be sending more information about how to get your tickets soon.  Mark your calendars now for a fun weekend!  


Out of Office: Daily Reflection Tools for Busy, Working People

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 5, 2014 at 9:11 PM PST

Many alumni, who are working in careers from education to law, to corporate and non-profit, are seeking how to make faith and spiritually a part of their everyday lives. The practice of being a Contemplative in Action takes work, but is doable… and often necessary.

What would it look like if you put an “Out of Office” message on your work email at lunch, found another space to be in, and took some time to reflect on the day thus far? Might that be a different idea than what you had in mind when you think of “prayer” or “meditation”? 

Chris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership  and Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads, writes about the need to find meaning in the midst of the business and busyness of life: “Precisely when my corporate life was busiest did I really, really need to allow time for reflection… But you have to commit to it. If it is not a habit, it doesn’t happen because other more pressing (if ultimately less important) tasks will always crowd recollection from the schedule. Ten minutes of personal space can always wait; finishing the memo always seems like it can’t.”

There are so many variations of daily reflection tools, particularly the Ignatian Examen, that are made to suit different styles and schedules, even for the busiest of professionals. For example, Randy Hain, Senior Editor for The Integrated Catholic Life™, and author of The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work, has developed an Examen for Busy Business People which is broken down throughout the day. It includes five brief times (three to five minutes each) where you pause to either give thanks, pray for insight, find God in all things, ask for what is needed, and plan for tomorrow.

Or, there is the Lunchtime Examen.

by Jim Manney, author of A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer: Discovering the Power of St. Ignatius Loyola’s Examen. Jim leads you through an audio Examen with slides which you can view and listen to at your desk, as well as with an accompanying journal page (so no need to even leave the office!) It’s great if you are a habitual eat-at-your-desk type, or can’t leave your work space.

Another great reflection is by Paul Brian Campbell, S.J., who adapted the Ignatian Examen for Managers managers to reflect at the end of the day: “Imagine you’re at home at the end of another busy day at work. You plop down in front of the TV and, instead of some dumb quiz show, you’re looking at yourself going through the day at work.” Now, that would be different, wouldn’t it? His Examen asks questions like:

From your perspective as a manager, what was the high point of the day?

When did you struggle to stay focused and engaged?

How hectic was the day?

What are you going to do to help your direct reports work more effectively and with greater satisfaction?

If the Examen is not your style, or if you prefer something else less formulaic, poetry can be another way of pausing. Reading something by Mary Oliver or Rumi can help to break the monotony of the work day, and allow you to listen with another aspect of yourself: your heart. One great poem to use is Lynn Ungar’s Camas Lilies, which speaks of the fact that even as important as our work is, we must take time to rest.

So, how will you incorporate reflection at work? Here’s your challenge for November: schedule a time in your calendar during the work day (between 5 and 10 minutes) and put an “Out of Office” message, then go take a spiritual break. Whether it is the Examen, or some other form of reflective self-care, make the commitment to give a try for the next four weeks.


Celebrate the Holiday Season with Seattle U

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM PST

Celebrate the Season with Seattle University!

The holiday season is fast approaching so why not make plans to spend it with us?  From Christmas tree lightings and Advent Mass to basketball games there’s lots to celebrate with family and friends. 

Wednesday, December 3
Tree Lighting

7:00 p.m. | Lemeiux Library Plaza 

The festivities begin with the university’s annual tree lighting celebration. Join us for Christmas carols, reindeer and the tree lighting. Bring your family and friends and get the season started right.

Saturday, December 6
Advent Mass and Alumni Reception

Join us for a favorite campus tradition this December, the Advent Mass and Reception. Fr. Steve and Fr. Dave will preside over Mass, followed by a reception with holiday treats, a photo booth and family fun. 

This event is free but we suggest registering. RSVP now.

4:00 p.m. | Chapel of St. Ignatius

5:00 p.m. | Pigott Atrium 

Redhawks Basketball

Make a day of it and join alumni, students and families to cheer on the Redhawks.

Women v. LMU
1:00 p.m. | Connolly Center North Court

*Holiday Hoopla
Men v. Eastern Washington
7:00 p.m. | KeyArena

All those who RSVP to the Advent Mass and Reception will receive free tickets to both the men’s and women’s games. Busses will be available for those needing a ride to and from KeyArena.


Women in Leadership Celebration

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

On December 4th Seattle U Athletics and the Alumni Association are partnering together to celebrate women in leadership.

Seattle University women’s basketball will be holding their first annual “Women in Leadership” game on Thursday, December 4 at KeyArena at Seattle Center as they host the University of Washington. Five women from the Seattle community will be honored as part of the evening’s festivities, with a profile of each to appear on leading up to the event.

Honorees include:

Kathleen O‘Toole, Seattle Police Chief

Karen Bryant, former President and CEO, Seattle Storm

Anne Farrell, Seattle U Trustee Emeritus

Fé Lopez, JD, ‘06, Executive Director, Seattle Community Police Commission

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

Part one of the five part honoree profile series featured Michele Murray. Read it online.

Alumni are invited to a free networking reception before the game, hosted by the Women of SU Alumni Chapter and the SU Alumni Association.  Guests will have an opportunity to network with the honorees and fellow alumni. All registrants will also receive a free ticket to the game.

Networking Reception
6:00 p.m.
Bluemoon Café | KeyArena Concourse

SU Women vs UW
7:00 p.m.
KeyArena | Seattle Center 

Register now for the free networking reception and game tickets. 



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

Carmen Cueto,'12
Degree: Bachelor of Science (BS), General Science with concentrations in Biology and Chemistry

“Knowing how to communicate, being able to listen, developing solid leadership skills, and working as part of a team are the main skills that have helped me navigate the post-grad world.”

A recipient of Seattle U’s Distinguished Graduating Student award, as well as the Spirit of Seattle U, Carmen was an Anatomy and Physiology Instructor Assistant and a Biology Study Group Facilitator. 

As an undergraduate, Carmen also served as:

President of Campion Hall Council

Resident Assistant

Redzone President, 

Ignatian Leader

Member of Alpha Sigma Nu. She received the Distinguished Graduating Student award, as well as the Spirit of Seattle U award upon graduating. 

After receiving her degree from Seattle U she began her studies at the University of California, San Francisco. This past August Carmen completed her graduate studies with a Masters of Science in Global Health. 

“Being in graduate school requires discipline, organization, study skills and knowledge that I gained from the SU classroom and professors. It was my extracurricular involvement at Seattle U that prepared me the most for the future. The confidence, empowerment and spirit instilled in me at Seattle U are what have kept me going through this past year…I’m also pretty sure they’re what got me my job. “

She was recently hired as a full-time research analyst at UCSF and will be working as part of the Global Health Group Malaria Elimination Initiative. Carmen plans to head to medical school in the future.

“SU provided me with multiple avenues to explore different interests and always challenged me to reflect and discern what I wanted to do with my life. It’s hard to put into words what the four years at Seattle U meant to me, I learned more than I expected and made memories that will stay with me forever.”


From KSUB to KXSU - Big Changes for Seattle University Student Radio

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

For the past 20 years, Seattle University students have been finding their voices behind the microphone of KSUB, Seattle University’s student run radio station.

Are you thinking, “Seattle University has a radio station?” You’re not alone. While an integral part to the student experience for some, KSUB’s small circulation let it fly under the radar of many on campus – but that’s all changing. 

KSUB got its start in 1994 when Fr. John Foster, recognized the need for student radio.  Joseph K. Abel, then head of KIRO’s News Division and a Seattle University Regent, donated monophonic broadcast equipment from a defunct AM station, giving the students of Seattle University a voice. 

In its beginnings, KSUB was broadcast through the electrical systems of the student residence halls. With the support of President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., KSUB underwent major upgrades and began streaming online in 2003 through the station’s website, 

Cameron Collins, ‘06, has had a show on KSUB since he began law school at Seattle University in 2003 and remains dedicated to the station as an alumnus. 

“I’ve always taken pride in what KSUB is and what we’ve accomplished. I believe in independent college radio and Seattle doesn’t have a lot of that. KSUB offers students the opportunity to get a show on the schedule if they are willing to put in the time and effort. That’s not how it works at most stations.” Collins said. 

This past summer, KSUB’s dream of landing a spot on Seattle’s FM dial finally began to take shape when they were granted an FCC permit to build a broadcast tower, with an FM license expected to follow. In preparation for the launch of their FM signal, 102.1, the station changed its name to KXSU with an unveiling party in early October.

KXSU faculty advisor, Professor John Carter, has hopes that the new FM signal will better help KXSU connect to the community. “I think what sets us apart is that we are a radio station with a Jesuit point of view. The new station is a way to serve our community and that’s important to me,” Carter shared. 

Seattle University senior and KXSU general manager, Shannon Phelps, is excited for what the future holds for the station. “We want to have a stronger presence on campus. It’s our goal that every student knows about the station and that we broaden our listener base. My involvement with the station has helped me develop as a public speaker and the hope is that KXSU will become an educational resource for the rest of campus.” 

With the addition of 102.1 FM to their current online broadcasts, the door is opened to a whole new listener base. “The signal will cover about six miles. We looked at a map of the range and it’s cool that we’ll be heard from Queen Anne to the Bay,” Phelps said. 

Despite all the changes at KXSU it remains open to all members of the Seattle U community with a passion for music and broadcast communications. Alumni who are interested in KXSU should know that KXSU is interested in you, too.  “We want alumni involved and this is a great opportunity,” Carter said. “If you want a show, get in touch with me.” 

KXSU plans to host a grand opening of the FM station in October 2015. You can stay up to date with all the latest KXSU news by following them on Facebook.

Were you involved in radio as a student? Will you be tuning in to support our student DJs this spring? Let us know in the comments below. 


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.

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.”