SU Voice Alumni Blog

Recent Alumni Spotlight: Tony Capeloto, '11

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on June 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM PDT


 Tony Capeloto is a 2011 Albers Graduate, a financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors, and on a mission to get the Seattle University Young Alumni Chapter off the ground. “I hope to establish real benefits and services for alumni, and increase the effectiveness of the alumni association, to create something with a wide reach and a real impact.”
When looking for colleges, Tony Capeloto knew that he wanted to attend a school in the Seattle area where he could grow professionally and develop a network of contacts that would lead to a job in the fast-paced city he loved. It was Seattle University’s location that put it on his radar.

A Seattle native, Tony attended Blanchet high School where a teacher first introduced him to Fr. Romero, S.J. and the Jesuit philosophy. It was that Jesuit identity that made Seattle U appeal to Tony above the other area schools.

“The most important thing I learned at SU was to give as much as you can. This is why I’ve become so interested in the Young Alumni Chapter. I’m local. I have established connections in the area. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be someone from out of the area who only has 4-years to develop those relationships and then walk across the stage at graduation hoping to find a job. We spend all this time and energy on people who are so valuable to our community, and then we lose them to their home state because they can’t find a job.”

Tony got his first job out of college through the Career Services Redhawk Network.  He began working for a small firm where he was licensed to sell securities. He soon decided he wanted to provide his clients with more resources, and reached out to family friend who became his business partner, mentor and brought him to Wells Fargo Advisors.  “It’s these types of relationships that SU alumni need. Everyone I’ve met from SU has been willing to give their time and advice. We have this great energy, but we have no way to channel it.”
Tony is leading efforts to build Seattle University’s Young Alumni Chapter so more recent alumni feel connected to the Seattle University Alumni Association. He envisions a group that is fun, effective and beneficial, and centered on bringing alumni together to create a strong community. “The benefits are exponential when you work together, and that’s a lesson that can be applied to all aspects of life.”
If you are interested in taking a more active role in the Seattle University Alumni Association or the Young Alumni Chapter, email

A Graduating Senior's Reflection: Rebecca Leonard

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on June 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM PDT

Rebecca Leonard, '13
College of Arts and Sciences

My life at Seattle University began in the spring, when I accepted my admittance. At that moment, I began to envision my life in Seattle and what being a student at Seattle University would be like. Fast forward four years, and my time at Seattle University is coming to a close in the summer. The time I spent at Seattle University went by faster than I ever imagined it could have, and as I begin to prepare myself for the next stage in my life, I keep wondering what will happen between me and the University that has informed and helped change so much of who I am today.
    To compare who I was before coming to Seattle University and who I am now wouldn’t be fair. Before coming to Seattle, I didn’t have many opportunities in high school to be engaged or to be a leader. Coming to Seattle University my first year, I was somewhat overwhelmed walking into the Street Fair fall quarter and seeing how many clubs existed. Excited, I signed up for as many as I possibly could (a freshman mistake, I now realize). Over the years, my commitment to some of these groups declined as others flourished, presenting me with my first opportunity to really discern what was important to me and why.
    Now I am confronted with a new type of excitement and fear as I look into my future away from academia. In the end, I am ready to walk across the stage and accept my diploma, as well as my different role in the world. A part of what helps me to be so excited and ready for this transition is that I know I can always come back to Seattle University and still have a place within the community. While I may not be as involved post-graduation as I was during my undergrad years, I intend to be as involved as I can be with the University that has given me so many opportunities.
    If I had to synthesize in one word what Seattle University embodies, it wouldn’t be easy, but I’d have to say: care. All around the campus, the care that faculty, staff, professors, students, and alumni have is evident. It’s not just care for those around them, but also the care they have for their job and the tasks in front of them. This care transforms into dedication and persistence, contributing to the aware and active campus that Seattle University can boast. I know that this care will enable me to go out into the world and do what I am passionate about most, while remembering where I have come from.

    As anxious as I am to be gone from Seattle University, I am fortunate to have avoided moments of panic when looking for jobs or dread when thinking about walking across that stage. Seattle University upholds its mission of educating the whole person, evident in the way that SU grads have the foundation of knowledge for their area of study, as well as the assurance and ability to present that knowledge to the world. I am graduating with this confidence, a fact that not many new college graduates can claim. As sad as I am to be leaving my home for the past four years, I look forward to staying connected and to visiting Seattle University in the years to come, not to see friends, but to be with family.

It's On: The Role of Athletics at Seattle U

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on May 2, 2013 at 3:05 PM PDT

“People had fears of Division 1 that never came to reality. Our athletes are still great students and we continue to develop great university programs. - Erin Engelhardt, academic advisor to student athletes

“We make decisions as a university that can change who we are and what we stand for. We need to make sure the changes we make are still true to who we are as an institution.” – Chris Paul, communications professor

On the evening of May 1st, spectators packed Connolly’s North Court.  Alumni, staff and students, perched on the edge of their seats preparing to see the battle take place on the court.  This wasn’t the type of action the hardwood was used to seeing.  No hoops, guards, or overtime. Just words - a debate entitled “The Role of Athletics at Seattle U.”

Women’s basketball coach, Joan Bonvincini, Erin Englehardt, and debate student, Al Sadi represented the pro athletics argument.

Their challengers were Chris Paul and Mara Adleman, both professors in the communications department, and Robby Noble, a graduating senior on the debate team.

As the debate got under way, three primary arguments emerged. The first was whether Division 1 athletics aligns with Seattle U’s mission . According to Coach Joan, Seattle University’s mission to create leaders for a just and humane world mirrors her own values.

 “I’m an educator, not just a coach. My lessons are those in life: how to set goals, work as a team, and invest in the community. You’ll find my team doing more community outreach than most of the other students at the university.”

Coach Joan and Erin Englehardt both agreed that athletics helped those attend college who may not have had the opportunity to do so otherwise, and that is indeed in line with our mission. “Look at our Recent Outstanding Alumnus Award winner, Santa Maria Rivera.” said Englehardt. “Without soccer, he would never have ended up at SU or be where he is today.”

That argument didn’t fly with professor Adelman, who shot back saying, “We talk of our university as a premier Jesuit institution, but nowhere in the mission statement does it say that we have to be D-1. When people think of Gonzaga, they don’t think academics or Jesuit values. They think sports. Do we want the same reputation for our own school?”

Professor Paul added his concerns over the NCAA’s treatment of student athletes,  Paul argued that universities who focus on athletics view it as a revenue source, yet the players don’t see that money, pointing out that the term “student athlete” is there to prevent those injured on the job from collecting workman’s comp. He asked the crowd if such an organization supported the just and humane values our institution was founded on.

The second key argument questioned whether athletics affected a student’s success. “They’re under immense pressure to succeed, but to participate in their sport they are required to miss classes. It started off as 2 classes a quarter, and then jumped to 5 and now it’s at 6. We are setting them up to fail. To me that seems unjust and inhumane.” Adelman said.

Englehardt countered with the facts that SU’s student athletes are on average 10 grade points ahead of other students and 70% of our student athletes have a 3.5 GPA .  “We have a senior going on to Harvard for grad school. She missed more classes in the fall for her graduate admissions interviews than because of her sport and I don’t hear anyone complaining about those absences.”
The final argument and the one that perhaps drew the most reaction from the crowd, was that of the cost of D-1 sports. The opposition claimed that you can’t be half D-1 and you can’t do it on the cheap. It takes a lot of investment. “Gonzaga built a $30 million arena on its campus. Is that an investment we are prepared to make, or should we make?” questioned Paul.  Are there students who could benefit from that money being spent elsewhere?

According to Paul, “on average schools in the WAC spend $12,000 per student and $56,000 per student athlete. “I’ve had athletes in my class. They have been great. However, I also have a lot of students who aren’t in a sport, and every student deserves the same resources and support.”
Robby Noble went on to add “Perhaps there are other students, who are not doing as well that could benefit from the same resources, but are not offered them because they aren’t athletes. I’m graduating this year, with the highest GPA in my college, but I was unable to get into a grad school. Perhaps if I had the same support systems, I too could be celebrating my admission to a PhD program.”

In defense of Seattle U’s athletics, Englehardt said that D-1 benefits students and alumni because of name recognition that it brings, “when applying for jobs, you want people to recognize the name of your university. On the east coast, Gonzaga currently has more pull than Seattle U because of its sports teams.”

After all arguments had been made, the two sides retreated to their respective tables and the audience was asked to vote on the winner. A loud roar rang out in support of our communications faculty, followed by an even louder wave of cheers, posters, and stomping from those in favor of athletics. In the end, both sides agree that everyone wants what is best for our students, our alumni, and our University. We may have different viewpoints, but it’s that diversity of opinion and commitment to every form of excellence that makes this university truly great.

Fr. Dave Anderson: Alumni Chaplain

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on May 1, 2013 at 5:05 PM PDT

Upon graduation from Seattle University you take with you your degree, your Jesuit values, life-long friends, and your very own alumni chaplain. Fr. David Anderson, S.J., is a graduate of Gonzaga University and has acted as the Seattle University alumni chaplain for the past seven years.          

As the alumni chaplain, Fr. Dave celebrates weddings, baptisms, first communions, as well as attending to other spiritual needs that arise in the daily lives of our alumni. On any given day, you might find him visiting the sick, providing prayers and comfort, and presiding over the funerals of those community members who pass away.  

“What I value most about my job is being there in a time of crisis, and providing support and prayers to those in need. Simply being in the room with someone can bring tremendous comfort.”

Father Dave’s presence at Seattle University extends across campus and beyond. He presides over the annual alumni Advent mass, performs invocations at alumni events, and participates in the Lenten Reconciliation services on campus. Fr. Dave has the opportunity to connect with current students, in his role as resident minister in Campion Hall.

Those who regularly attend Men’s basketball games will know that he also serves as the chaplain to the men’s basketball team. In this role, he provides support and reflection for these young men who are under immense pressure. “I also go on the road with the team. This really adds something when people can see our Jesuit Catholic influence because there is a Jesuit sitting on the bench.”

What you may not know about Father Dave is that he is also the Crystal Mountain chaplain, where he celebrates mass for Catholics on the mountain. What’s his favorite part about being the Chaplain there? Presiding over the 6 a.m. sunrise Easter mass and seeing the sunrise over the snowcapped mountains.
 If you have spiritual needs and would like to get in contact with Fr. Dave, email him or contact Margaret Moore.

Recent Alumni Spotlight: Danielle Berry, '07

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on May 1, 2013 at 5:05 PM PDT

When asked about her college experience, Danielle Berry, ‘07  said, “I was raised Lutheran, I didn’t know what to expect from a Catholic University.” But after graduating with a BS in Nursing, she found it was the Jesuit classes that she enjoyed the most. Before attending Seattle U, Danielle received her BA in Comparative History of Ideas from University of Washington. Because she has attended both UW and SU, she can really appreciate the differences between both learning environments.

“I’m a strong supporter of Seattle U and the required service learning. It’s focused on building the character of its students. It makes students well-rounded and allows them to see people in a different light.” As part of Danielle’s classes, she and her classmates worked as tutors and in partnership with the local Boys and Girls club of King County. “By working with this community, I can better connect with my patients that live there now.”

According to Danielle, the values that Seattle U instilled in her shaped what she looked for in a place of employment. Danielle currently works at Harborview Medical Center in the Neurology Intensive Care Unit. “Harborview has a service mentality,” Danielle says. “We give away nearly $200 million in services to our lower income patients, including those who are homeless.”
The values of her employer are important to her, but Danielle’s favorite part of her job, are the direct connections she has with her patients.  “We see people who come in with trauma and spinal cord injuries. We work with them a lot, develop relationships and prepare them for rehabilitation. These are people who end up in wheelchairs, and need to look to someone else for all their basic needs. It can be pretty intense. However, there’s nothing more rewarding then when patients come back to visit you, and you see how they’ve continued to engage in life, and you know that you helped empower them to live their life and be a member of society.”

Since being at Harborview, Danielle has continued her relationship with Seattle University by returning to speak with graduating classes and recent alumni. “I share with them the lessons of my experience, and give them advice about getting over the transitionary hump of entering the working world, in order to help them be successful. I’ve realized that by being a mentor, giving back has just become a part of my life.”

Danielle says that when it comes to big career decisions, she still finds herself thinking about the values that Seattle University taught her. When people ask me what University I recommend, I always say Seattle University, because it’s those values and those service learning opportunities that really prepared me for my career.”

If you are interested in being a mentor to Seattle University students, visit the Redhawk Network.

If you would like to submit suggestions for our next Recent Alumni Spotlight, email Caitlin Joyce.  

SU Launches the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 PM PDT

The celebration of Earth Day, April 22, is the day we set aside each year to draw special attention to the fact that all of us live somewhere – on this beautiful Earth – and that all of us depend on a healthy Earth-home, for our well-being: realities so basic we often take them for granted.


There are many among us, however, who cannot take those realities for granted, because they live, work, or play in communities that are negatively impacted by ecological degradation. This is especially true for minority and low-income populations. And, lest we forget, this is true for other species facing extinction or significant loss of habitat.

It’s become evident, that it’s time to forge a sustainable relationship between humankind and planet Earth, and that sustainability will not be achieved without fostering justice within and between societies. It is this dual, intimately connected challenge which inspired the creation of Seattle University's Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (CEJS).

 As the first Center for Excellence developed through the SU Academic Strategic Action Plan, the CEJS will promote scholarly activity and community engagement with the specific goals of: 

  • Making SU a recognized local, regional, national, and international leader in the scholarship and teaching of environmental justice and sustainability (EJS);
  • Supporting faculty and student scholarship regarding EJS;
  • Co-sponsoring lectures, symposia, and workshops with SU’s diverse environmental programs that reflect the unique ethical perspective of our Jesuit-Catholic tradition, inspire the engagement of EJS scholars with the broader community, and lead to the advancement of public policy;
  • Fostering partnerships for scholarships that connect with EJS programs, including the global network of Jesuit universities; and
  • Serving as a clearinghouse of information for all of SU’s EJS initiatives.

Establishing the CEJS is a significant step in the university’s commitment to not only becoming more sustainable as an institution, but to advancing scholarship and educating the next generation of leaders -- trained and motivated to create a more sustainable, just world.
Visit us at And, check out SU’s campus sustainability efforts at:

Mentors Needed!

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 10, 2013 at 4:04 PM PDT


Are you looking to connect with the SU community in a meaningful and fulfilling way?  Our students and graduates need mentors with professional experience who can help them get started on their career paths.  You were once in their shoes. This is your chance to share the knowledge and insight they need to shape the world of tomorrow.  Join the Redhawk Network Mentor Program to connect with a mentee in ways that fit your schedule, whether you live near or far.

As a Redhawk Network Mentor you can:
•    Serve as a panelist on career-related forums
•    Review résumés or volunteer for mock interviews
•    Offer an informational interview or job shadow in your line of work
•    Give advice about the role of graduate education in various fields of interest
•    Be matched with a student in a structured, academic mentor program
•    Become a content contributor to one of our career-related publications
•    And more!

Participate in the Redhawk Network Mentor Program and help students and graduates unlock their potential and translate their knowledge and skills into meaningful careers.

Sign up here:

Spring Job Shadow Hosts Needed in Health Professions
37 SU freshmen and sophomores have expressed interest in shadowing a professional in a health-related career. Would you or someone you know be willing to share some time to help an aspiring student get a glimpse of a day in the life of a nurse, doctor, therapist, technician, administrator, or other health professional?  If so, please contact Monica Duke in Career Services via email or at 206-296-6177 for more information and to register.

What’s the Value of Your Liberal Arts Education?

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 10, 2013 at 4:04 PM PDT

Theology, philosophy, literature, science, service learning, and mathematics probably sum up your freshman year at Seattle University pretty thoroughly. Congratulations! You are the product of a liberal arts education – even if you earned a degree in science, education or business. You have an arsenal of social and professional tools that will last you the rest of your life.

Maybe your philosophy class enabled you to see the humanity in every client you deal with.  Perhaps that sophomore English class allows you to send memos that are short and concise. Did you know that 89% of employers want more emphasis on written and oral communication in their candidates?

We’d like to hear how your liberal arts education prepared you for your future. When Dean David Powers asked College of Arts and Science alumni how their liberal arts education has proven valuable to them, alumni were quick to respond.

“I believe that the future will belong to those who are flexible thinkers, who have a broad understanding of science, culture, and history.”  
“I literally had no idea how much my liberal arts education would change my life.  The broad range of ideas I encountered (some for the first time, others in new ways) incalculably expanded my beliefs about what is possible.  As well, the tools I developed for encountering (and processing) ideas and the world help me every day, in both my creative and my more pragmatic work.”
 “The term 'well-rounded individual' is often used lightly, but in a very real sense, my liberal arts education has prepared me for a career in many different fields.”

Hear more and share how your liberal arts education prepared you for your life after Seattle U.
Attend a free panel discussion and networking event titled  “Personal, Professional, Lifelong: The Return on Investment of Your Liberal Arts Degree.”  
April 12th at 6:30 p.m.
Pigott Auditorium

The event will feature a panel from the Deans Advisory Council followed by networking with prospective students and parents, students and alumni.  Questions about this event should be directed to David Chow.

How did your liberal arts education prepare you?

Recent Alumni Spotlight: Victoria Hanohano-Hong,’11

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 10, 2013 at 3:04 PM PDT

Victoria and Sister2
My path to Seattle University began with personal and vocational exploration. How very Jesuit!

As a freshman, I was attending culinary school, perfecting the best way to cook a chicken and create a pastry. While there, I realized that for my classmates this was a passion, and what they felt called to do. For me it was fun, a hobby, not what I felt would lead me to a fulfilled life, and not what I was called to do. That’s when I came to Seattle University.

I knew of Seattle University because my sister was a student. When I transferred there as a sophomore, it felt right. As if I were coming home. It’s where I became aware of God’s presence. From that moment I longed to build that relationship. Choosing theology as a major was a way that I could selfishly pursue my own spiritual questions while earning a bachelor’s degree.  One of the memories that stands out most from my time at Seattle U was the Easter Vigil mass in my senior year where I was baptized Catholic.

Most who study theology are expected to go on and minister somewhere, maybe join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  But I took a different path; currently I reside in Korea, where I teach English.  The faith and trust in God that I developed at SU gave me the strength and courage to follow God’s call across the world.  And the only thing I could think when I got off the plane at Incheon International Airport was, “Here I am. Now what?”  
I remembered a professor once telling me that if I wanted to see the face of God, I should work with the poor.  If I was looking for direction that seemed like a good place to start. While my elementary school students are definitely in a very low tax bracket, I’m not sure those are the type of poor she intended.  But the usage of poor in that statement was vague and I thought, “Maybe this is why I’m here!”  
Despite wanting to see a confirmation of my calling in these kids, they made it difficult.   During cold season they sneezed and coughed all over without covering their mouths, and as a germophobe, that was a struggle.  During the hot summer, they would come into class after recess smelling strongly of sweat because deodorant is relatively unheard of in this country. As a super smeller, that was another obstacle to seeing them as something greater than myself.  I tried and tried  for a while, but couldn’t understand why God had called me here.
Then one day in self-reflection, a very Jesuit thought struck me. In my theology classes we had focused on Jesus the teacher. He had tried to convey difficult concepts to a community that included children. Here I was in Korea, teaching children, and looking out on a sea of faces who often had no clue what I was saying. I imagined that we must have had similar experiences, looking out at those faces, hoping and praying to see that unmistakable look of dawning comprehension. When I saw that look of a light coming from their eyes and realized that they actually understood what I said, I was filled with joy and realized that I had my answer. This is why I attended SU, why I studied theology, and why I was called to Korea.   

Do you want to tell your story and be featured in a recent alum spotlight?
Comment below or send an email to

Upcoming Events Calendar

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 6, 2013 at 8:03 PM PST

March 2013 Events

Search For Meaning Bookfest
Saturday, March 9th|Seattle University Campus
Alumni Relations Open House (During Bookfest)
10AM - 2PM
Admissions and Alumni Relations Building

Choirs - Lenten Prayer Concert: An Instrument of Peace
Saturday, March 9, 2013| 8-9:30PM

WAC Tournament
March 12-16 | Las Vegas
Men and Women's Basketball

Alumni Relations Happy Hour in Las Vegas
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013| 4-6PM
Stardust Suite| Orleans Hotel and Casino 
RSVP now!

"Cracking the Codes: Systems of Racial Inequity" Premiere Film Screening and Community Conversation
Wednesday, March 13, 2013| 6:30 - 9PM

Surprising Resignation of the Pope Throws 
the Door Open

Thursday, March 14, 2013|12:30-1:30PM
Wyckoff Auditorium with Fr. Pat Howell, S.J. 

Student Chamber Music Concert
Thursday, March 14, 2013 | 7:30 - 9:30 PM

Alumni Day of Prayer with Pat O'Leary, S.J., 
and Cissy McLane
Saturday, March 16, 2013 | 9AM - 3PM

Spirituality on Tap Featuring Brendan Busse, S.J.
March 19 & 20, 2013| 7-9 PM 

San Diego Alumni Reception 
Thursday, March 21, 2013| 6 - 8PM
RSVP for directions!

San Francisco Alumni Reception
Friday, March 22, 2013| 6 - 8 PM 
RSVP for directions!

Stay Tuned For These Events

Portland, OR Alumni Chapter Reception
Wednesday, April 3, 2013| 5:30 - 8:30PM 
Cha Taqueria & Bar
RSVP now!

School of Law 40th Anniversary Celebration
Thursday, April 11,2013| 5:30 - 7:30PM

Career Expo
Wednesday, April 10, 2013| 11AM - 2PM 

Awards Ceremony and Artists' Reception - Imagining the World: Study Abroad Photography Exhibit
Thursday, April 11, 2013 | 5 - 7PM 

Brahm's Music Series
April 11 & 13 | 7:30PM
April 12 & 14| 3:00PM

28th Annual Alumni Awards
Tuesday, April 16th|5:30pm
Register now!

Alumni Day of Service
Saturday, April 27, 2013| 8:30AM - 1:30PM

Albers Executive Speaker Series
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013|5:30 - 6:30PM 
With Spencer Rascoff, CEO of

Arts and Sciences Alumni Seminars 
Re-visioning Classics of our Literature
April 9 - June 4, 2013 

SU Athletics Red Tie Celebration
Saturday, May 18, 2013| 5:00PM

Career Services:
Tools for Career Transition:
A Workshop for SU Alumni Looking for a Job,
a Career Change, Or a Re-Start.
April 23, 30| May 7, 14 |6:30-8:30 PM

Vocational Discernment: Living Into Questions
Thursday, June 6, 13, 20 and 27 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Visit our athletics site to stay up to date on SU Sports.