SU Voice Alumni Blog

An Invitation from Fr. Steve

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 8, 2014 at 8:01 PM PST

It is always wonderful to welcome you to campus, but there is one upcoming event, in particular, that I wanted you to know about, even before we start promoting it more widely. Our Search for Meaning Book Festival will take place Saturday, Feb. 15, and features more than 40 prominent authors. Both keynote speakers are Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and accomplished authors—Katherine Boo wrote the highly acclaimed 2013 book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity and Isabel Wilkerson, authored the award-winning The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration.

Originally launched by our School of Theology and Ministry in 2009, Search for Meaning has quickly become one of the most highly regarded events of its kind with the festival attracting an ever-growing and enthusiastic following. In addition to the general sessions and keynote presentations, the festival offers book signings, interactive experiences and more. Attendees regularly express how much they appreciate the opportunity to hear from some of the leading writers and scholars of our day and to contemplate with others their place and purpose in the world. 


We are pleased that the festival has struck a chord with so many in our region.
Because of its increasing stature as a signature event for SU, the festival is now being presented on a university-wide basis.
I encourage you to read more about the festival and the authors we will be welcoming at Search for Meaning.  Registration will open on January 15th.  If you are interested in playing a volunteer role, we would welcome your service.  Sign up today at
Thank you for your continued dedication to and support of Seattle University.

Go Redhawks,

Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.
P.S.-Get the latest information about Seattle U’s SFM Festival

Magis: Thoughts on the New Year

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2014 at 10:01 PM PST

It’s a New Year and obviously, resolutions abound. Whether it is exercising more and eating better, or making a habit of calling your friends or family each week, this yearly transition ushers newness and with it, an opportunity to embrace life more abundantly, healthily, and creatively.

However, have you ever thought to invite God in your exploration of New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps finding a new practice to be still and reflect, journal, or meditate. Or, perhaps it is choosing to carve out space for a retreat where you can ponder prayerfully the ways your life is calling you to new endeavors, habits, or attitudes. As we begin to have longer days with more light and draw more energy from the greening of our environment, take notice of how God might be yearning for you to also be light-filled and changed.

Magis and the Ignatian Spirituality Center invite young alumni (20’s and 30’s) on Saturday, January 11th for Everyday Ignatian. The retreat will be focused on engaging spiritual practices, and will be hosted at the lovely Peace & Spirituality Center in Bellevue. Check out our online flyer for details and consider it an opportunity to kick off your New Year with God in mind. The Magis staff wishes you the best this New Year and hopes you will consider Magis programs in your resolutions for personal, faith, and leadership development.


Job Search Strategies—Ads, Agencies, Recruiters, Networking

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2014 at 10:01 PM PST

Headhunter, recruiter, talent scout, executive recruiter, temporary agency,  placement firm, executive search firm, employment agency, body shop—what is the difference between these titles and why does it matter?  Should I use one?  If so, how do I find them?

In the business of changing jobs there are 3 primary strategies used to identify and pursue opportunities including 

1.Networking (depending on the survey this comprises 60-80% of how people get jobs)

2.Agencies & Search Firms (this is often the next highest percentage in surveys since the folks in these companies are professional networkers)

3.Ads and Applications (even with all the new places we can go to find Job Postings—Indeed, SimplyHired, Idealist, Craigslist, Company Websites, and too many others to name—this is usually 8-15% of how people find jobs)

Another catch-all bucket that includes techniques specific to certain populations of workers exists for those other circumstances like internships, union hiring, and civil service.  This is the lowest percentage bucket of how people find new roles.

Strategy number 2 often creates some confusion and misunderstanding.  There are a lot of different forms of external recruiting and the different names effectively have similar meanings.  Agencies and Search Firms perform the recruiting function externally for companies.  Working with an external recruiter can also be a powerful addition to your search plan.  

You’ll learn about different job search strategies, different agencies and recruiters available to you and how to make the most of these resources by attending the next installment of the SU Advantage Networking Series.

Job Search Strategies—Ads, Agencies, Recruiters, Networking

Webinar | Friday, January 10th | 12:00 p.m.

Bellevue | Wednesday, January 22nd | 5:30-7:00 p.m. 


Alumni Spotlight: Justin Hanseth, '08

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2014 at 10:01 PM PST

Justin Hanseth, ’08, is a global citizen, excelling professionally and living out the pillars of a Jesuit education.

Justin graduated in 2008 with a BA from Seattle University. Hailing from the Puget Sound area, Justin began working for a local real estate developer while he was a student at Seattle U. Justin always wanted to participate in community service. A mentor in the community gave Justin valuable advice, “If you want to get involved in a cause there is no time like the present. You want to do it when you have the flexibility – in the future, career and family commitments could make it more difficult.”

With that, Justin began researching the cause that was right for him. A friend put him in contact with Deo Niyizonkiza, a survivor of the brutality in Burundi and the mind behind Village Health Works. His background in agriculture and business led to the development of a food security program for Village Health Works.  The program consists of a farm, demonstration garden, seed bank, and curriculum in sustainable agriculture for malnourished families.

Justin did the fundraising, applied for a grant and spent a year in Burundi getting his program off the ground. When Justin arrived in Burundi, he was struck by how such a beautiful landscape had played witness to so much bloodshed. “A lot of people know about Rwanda and the genocide there, but what most don’t know is that it began in Burundi, spilling briefly into Rwanda, and continuing into 2008.”

Justin’s role in Burundi required a lot of research into the local diet and agriculture. After he identified the local needs, Justin needed to develop a local team to manage the project.  “There’s one professor I had at Seattle University, who really prepared me for this role. I took a Leadership and Team Building course taught by Professor Greg Prussia. Professor Prussia emphasized the concept of buy-in and the need for a team to work together collaboratively.  To make an international development project sustainable, you need buy-in from beneficiaries, local government, team members, and partners.  I learned about buy-in and collaboration from Professor Prussia at Seattle U and  have applied them to every project I’ve taken on since graduating undergrad.”

When Justin’s program, began to scale and was more self-sufficient, he handed the reins to the local team, and has watched it grow ever since.  “The program has now grown into something much bigger.”


If you are interested in connecting with alumni who have an interest in the non-profit sector, join us on February 25th for our next SU Advantage networking event which focuses on non-profits and features a brief talk by Dr. Maureen Emerson Feit, Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Program, Institute of Public Service, followed by structured networking.

SU Advantage | Networking Event
February 25, 2014| 6:00 p.m.
Sorrento Hotel




Alumni Chapters and Regional Programming

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2014 at 10:01 PM PST

This year, your Alumni Association is focusing on engagement opportunities for alumni through regional events and chapter programming. As part of this focus, we are proud to announce the addition of Harmony Frederick to our team. Harmony,  the new Assistant Director of Regional and Chapter Development,  has been with our office for a little over three months and has hit the ground running, working with alumni across the United States to bring Seattle U to your backyard and connecting you back to your university through programming relevant to you.


We’d  like to let you know about some of the programming headed your way. 

Upcoming Chapter Events:

NYC Happy Hour
January 16, 2014 | New York, New York

Phoenix, Arizona Pre-Game Rally
January 25, 2014| Phoenix, Arizona

Washington, D.C. Reception
January 31, 2014 | Washington, D.C. 

Women of SU's Connection Café
Thursday, January 30, 2014 | Seattle University 

One of the Seattle U chapters that is gaining traction is the Women of SU. This group has been in the works for quite a while and they are very excited to host their chapter kick-off event on January 30th.

The kick-off event, entitled Connection Café, will feature a discussion in which alumnae fitness experts, Jessica Notman and Jennifer Hamann, will share their stories of how a healthy lifestyle and self-care have shaped their lives for the better. 

This group invites the women of the Seattle U together for professional development, inspiration and community building. 

To learn more about any of the chapters or events listed above, please contact Harmony Frederick. And checkout our events page for future programming - We've got a lot planned for you in the months ahead.

Be a Mentor!

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2014 at 9:01 PM PST

Career Services provides opportunities to alumni who want to make a difference in the professional development of our students and graduates. Serving as a career mentor gives you a chance to influence the next generation of leaders as they consider their calling and find ways to shape our world. Mentorships are a critical step in evaluating a professional path and you have valuable professional insights to offer.

As a mentor you will be part of the larger SU mentor community, enabling you to expand your professional networks and leave a lasting legacy while making a difference in the life of an SU student or graduate.

"I received the promotion I had been working so hard to get. This was largely achieved due to all the great advice and opportunities my mentor, Scott, provided to me. This mentor/mentee program has significantly been of high value to me." - Erin Brown, MPA. (Financial Counseling Supervisor and Compliance Officer at Jefferson Healthcare)

Register today to be a career mentor and connect in ways that fit your schedule, whether you live near or far.

If you have questions please contact Lakesha Knatt, Assistant Director of Mentoring Programs in Career Services at or 206 296-8473.


Holiday Networking Dos, Don'ts and How Tos

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 4, 2013 at 3:12 PM PST

For the 20+ years I have been coaching people in transition, the statistics haven’t changed much.  The 80/20 rule still applies just as it did before the internet and social media.  The best way to create a new work opportunity for yourself continues to be through the people you know—in both blue collar and white collar roles.  How you spend your time looking for new roles should align with these statistics.  This means that you should be connecting with people 80% of the time.  If you are spending a majority of your time passively cruising the digital space and applying for jobs, you have it upside down. 

Our topic for this month’s SU Advantage | Networking Group is on Holiday Networking.  Because this time of year is often more social, it is your perfect opportunity to practice your networking skills and to activate the principle of “ask and you shall receive.”  Join us to practice networking in a warm and invitational space with your SU colleagues, and to learn some practical tips for networking and messaging in a way that moves your career forward. 

A Focus on Holiday Networking—Dos, Don’ts and How-Tos
December 5 | 8:00- 9:30 a.m.

Seattle University | Pigott Building | Puget Power Room 416

A Focus on Holiday Networking—Dos, Don’ts and How-Tos
December 6 | 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Register for webinar today.

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Magis: Alumni Living the Mission(1)

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 4, 2013 at 3:12 PM PST

St. Nicholas Blessing Prayer
St. Nicholas, holy patron of children,
Bishop of the East,
we invite you to come among us
and to grant us your holy blessing.

Help us in this busy, busy season
not to miss the miracle of the coming of Emmanuel
in the days of preparation
as well as on the feast itself.
Help us not to be blind
to the gifts of getting ready.

Protect us from insincerity.
May every greeting we send
be signed with love, friendship, and prayer.
May our greetings, so written,
be fun to open and treasures to keep.

Kind St. Nicholas,
protect us from shopper’s fatigue.
Show us how to take delight in the marketplace,
now transformed in beauty, lights and music.
Save us from all anxiety over what to give
so that we may concentrate on how to give.

Stand by the stepladder
as we decorate our homes and trees and lives.
May not our decorations be mute
but rather singing symbols,
sacred signs of the evergreen coming of the Lord
of Life.

Help us to remember that mistletoe, holly
and all other ornaments of the season,
were sacred signs to ancient believers.

But, most of all, jolly saint of toys and sweets,
help us to stay youthful, humorous, playful and
as we prepare together for the coming of Christ
with Advent longing.

St. Nicholas, pray for us.

Author Edward Hayes so beautifully captures the joy, tension, and excitement of the holiday season in his prayer to St. Nicholas, a saint who happened to commit his life to service towards those in need and suffering, and whose  feast day is celebrated December 6th.

In our modern living, we may become overwhelmed by the amount of numerous holiday festivities to attend, or the pressures of commercialization and finding the “perfect” gift (“Save us from all anxiety over what to give so that we may concentrate on how to give”). However, we are called to “not to be blind to the gifts of getting ready.” As we enter into the liturgical season of Advent, a time of joy and anticipation, Magis invites you to consider ways to stay mindful in the process of giving and celebrating. Where are the moments to make the most mundane of things – like gift wrapping  or setting the dinner table for family and friends – sacred? Where might you look to give a little more in time, talent, or treasure? Just as Hayes gently nudges us, we are being graced with an opportunity to be mindful in the midst of it all, especially in the everyday moments. This serves also as a reminder that this season we start with gratitude, and from there choose to be generative, abundant, and of service with our love – not only during this time of year, but all year round.

As a special invitation for this month, we encourage you to join us on December 7th at Seattle U for our annual Justice Education Forum – just another way to honor the spirit of St. Nicholas! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or Festivus, we at Magis send you our greetings of joy and peace this holiday season.

Alumni Spotlight: John Paul Fukumae

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM PST

“If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.” - Marc Anthony

John Paul Fukumae is a 2011 Seattle University grad who loves what he does for a living-and we really can’t blame him. John works for NBC Universal doing publicity for the Home Entertainment Department. His projects include promotional campaigns for such releases as “Despicable Me 2” and “Fast & Furious 6.” 

“A big part of publicity is building awareness for the consumers and getting national coverage for our Blu-rays. Publicity allows me to be a part of many different creative elements such as having unique press day experiences, building partnerships with top-level brands and working with talent from the movies in support of the DVD release,” John said.

One of John’s favorite memories, was when he got to meet Tom Cruise. “He threw a thank you luncheon for the people working on Oblivion and when I introduced myself and shook his hand he ‘personally’ thanked me for my work on the campaign. Not bad for one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood,” John shared.

But how did John end up in what one might describe as a dream job? A large part is in thanks to Seattle University.

“To put it simply, I wouldn't have made it out to LA doing what I love if it wasn't for Seattle University.” When John started college he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. But after attending career counseling, pre-major workshops and sessions, he was able to find his passion. And with the direction of one professor in particular, he was able to turn that passion into a career.

“Professor James Forsher paved the path for me in entertainment and set up so many opportunities for me to succeed. By shadowing him as he produced TV shows and helping out with documentaries, I was able to learn these skills on my own and figure out what it takes to be successful in this industry.”

John has channeled his passion into a side project entitled 'The Always Summer Project,' a YouTube Channel dedicated to educating and inspiring people to chase after their own goals with passion and creativity, as told by those who turned their dreams into reality and are doing what they love for a living.

As someone who has found a success doing what he loves, John has this advice for alumni just entering the job market.

“Love what you do and show your passion. You'll be working for basically the rest of your life so choose a career path that's gratifying, satisfying and brings purpose to your life. I've equally met a lot of unhappy and happy people so make sure you're the latter. Work hard, start early and build your network as soon as you can.”

Are you a Seattle U graduate with a great story to tell? Send us an email telling us a little more about yourself and you might just end up in the next SU Voice.


Student Alumni Ambassadors

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM PST


Nina Cataldo is a junior at Seattle University and vice president for the student club, Student Alumni Ambassadors, affectionately called SAAs. The club strives to connect Seattle University students to alumni.

“I got involved with the group as a freshman attending the club fair. I was thinking about my future even then and knew it was a great opportunity to network with alumni and develop professionally,” Nina said.

Caity Hoover, current grad student and club adviser shared that, “SAA’s devotion to Seattle University is especially significant because they are the driving force behind connecting the SU community with its past, present and future. They earnestly want to develop and expand the relationship between Seattle University’s alumni and current student body. Without their efforts and their voice, current students would not know about the amazingly supportive community they have waiting outside the walls of the university.”

As VP for the club and incoming president, Nina has come to love the community SAA has exposed her to. “I’ll attend events and talk to alumni who’ve graduated long ago, but here we are generations of Seattle U alumni coming together around our shared values and pride in our school.”

Nina has big plans for the future of SAA. She wants to improve the awareness of SAAs  so that when students want to connect with alumni, their first thought is automatically SAA, and the same can be said for alumni. If alumni are looking for an event or opportunity to connect with the student body, she hopes the club is at the top of their list as a resource. The first step in achieving this goal is a joint mixer between the young alumni group, Seattle U Bridge, and the Student Alumni Ambassadors.  “Even as a freshman I had hoped to develop some sort of mentor element to the club and I’m hoping the Seattle U Bridge can help make that a reality,” Nina shared.

Susan Vosper, alumna and Assistant Vice President of Seattle University Alumni Association sees the SAAs as an enriching part of the student experience. “It is one of the best ways to help our students build their leadership skills and experiences. As a member of SAA, students are given the opportunity to work closely with individuals from various departments at the University, plus have the chance to network with Seattle U alumni from various professional fields.  For our alumni association, we are building the next generation of alumni leaders.”

On behalf of SAA, Nina would like to invite the alumni to engage students. “If you see us at an event we’d love to have a conversation with you. We  want to hear your stories and share ours with you.” Nina also has a request for our established alumni. “It would be really valuable if alumni volunteered their time to come and speak with us and to share advice to help prepare us for life outside of college.”

So the next time you see a group of students at an alumni event, say hello and share your Seattle U story. You’ll be engaging them in their future as an alum and preparing them for the world beyond Seattle U’s walls.