SU Voice Alumni Blog

A Recap of the Eclipse on Campus

Posted by Chris Varney on September 7, 2017 at 12:09 PM PDT

On August 21st, people all across the country stood outside with pinhole projectors and the coveted eclipse glasses to catch a glimpse of the historic solar eclipse. Seattle University’s campus drew quite a crowd, but while faculty, staff and students gathered on the green, members of Seattle University’s College of Science and Engineering packed the roof of the engineering building for their own event to celebrate the momentous occasion. We asked Chris Varney, lab manager for the physics department and event co-host, to share his experience of the eclipse.

People wearing eclipse glasses and looking at the sky.
Dr. Joanne Hughes, a professor of physics, and I hosted an event for all Science and Engineering faculty, staff and students to watch the eclipse on the roof of the engineering building. The event was born out of a learning opportunity for Joanne's summer session astronomy class, which meets on mornings and happened to coincide with the eclipse. At least 50 people spent their morning with us, bringing their significant others and children to make a family event out of it.

People brought their own viewing devices, such as pinhole cameras and eclipse glasses.

For our part, we put an appropriate filter on the end of the telescope, aimed it at the sun and projected the image out of the eyepiece onto a screen. Projecting the image was necessary due to the intensity of the light. Even with the filter in place, it was much too bright to look through the telescope with your own eye. We demonstrated this by placing one lens of a pair of eclipse glasses at the eyepiece of the viewfinder and the light instantly melted through. It was akin to burning ants with a magnifying glass only faster. Hence, the projection. The projected image was a couple feet across so that everyone could see it clearly from anywhere in the observatory dome. We even got to see a few sunspots (before the moon covered them).

A projection of the eclipse on a screen.

It was great having such an educated and inquisitive crowd to spend the event with. Joanne and I fielded questions that ranged from the optimistic, “Will we be able to see the corona?” to the inquisitive, “What exactly are sunspots?” to the we-can-make-up-numbers-right-here-on-the-spot-and-you-would-probably-never-know, “How fast is the moon moving?” The real answer, provided by Dr. Hughes, was over 2000 mph in orbit around the earth, and what was causing the moon's shadow to move quickly across the earth was our rotation on our axis of 1000 mph. There was a lot of passion for science on that rooftop, which made it all that much more enjoyable.

Child looking up at the sky with eclipse glasses

It was an exciting experience watching the sun slowly turn into a crescent and back again. Usually that's something only the moon gets to do. It seems appropriate, then, that the moon was there to help the sun achieve these goals. The temperature dipped slightly and the area dimmed to a weird not-quite-dusk sort of light that I'm not sure my brain ever fully figured out how to process. I am pleased to have experienced this very rare occurrence in this way.

 

Nathan Watkins, ’17: Painting the Town, Literally

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 7, 2017 at 12:09 PM PDT

Most recent graduates’ portfolios contain samples of class projects and freelance work. For Nathan Watkins, a 2017 Digital Design grad, the pillars of the I-5 James street corridor stand as an example of his creativity and skill.

 

 

Nathan has had a passion for art and design for as long as he can remember. “When teachers would ask me, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ I would answer with, ‘be an artist!’” Nathan chose Digital Design as his major because it took art and applied a clear goal and logical process to achieve an outcome.


But how did Nathan go from a student studying design to the creative lead on a high profile project like the I-5 pillars? Nathan worked with the First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA) to redesign First Hill’s signal boxes. It was important to Nathan that those designs depicted life on First Hill today, incorporating the community’s history and landmarks. The organization loved his work and how it communicated the essence of the neighborhood, so the director made sure to let him know they were holding an open call for artists to design the I-5 pillars. After submitting his design, Nathan was selected as a finalist along with a few other local artists. Nathan soon found himself with just under two weeks to complete a final concept and submit it to FHIA and the organization that would actually execute the design.


“I was working day and night sketching out concepts.” Nathan finalized his concept with only six days to go. “I was in overdrive trying to get everything together and still meet the impending deadline. I got very little sleep that week, but thankfully it was 100% worth it.”

 

 

Painted Pillars on I5If you’ve driven on James Street recently, you’ve seen Nathan’s art slowly come to life on the pillars under I-5. While not officially completed, the response to his work has already been positive.


“People are absolutely glowing about them,” Nathan said. “It's so gratifying to see. One building on First Hill even wants to put the design on one of their support columns and is asking for licensing to use the design on donor gifts. Every time I drive under the I-5, I see people staring at the pillars from inside their cars, craning their necks to get a better view, sometimes even pointing and talking to other passengers about them. I'm so happy my work has been received so well and it's such an honor to be the mind behind it all.”


As for how this project has impacted Nathan’s career path, he says, “I never really expected to be doing public art, but having had the opportunity to do so really opened my eyes to new directions and possibilities for my career. With the way things are going, continuing to grow Nathan Watkins Design doesn't seem like such a bad idea, and with the influx of attention I may even need to start expanding, which is an exciting prospect. The work I've done around the city has been extremely rewarding, and I'm hopeful that these projects will lead to even more of that kind of work.”


Nathan’s designs are colorful and eye catching, making morning commutes that much more interesting. Don’t just take our word for it—the next time you find yourself stopped at a light under I-5, take a look out your window and experience Nathan’s work for yourself.

Special thanks to Gabby Lopez and Afina Walton for their help with this article. 

Redhawk Trivia Facts

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on September 7, 2017 at 12:09 PM PDT

As we kick off the school year we can’t help but be excited about what Seattle U Athletics has in store for us. With new leadership and new coaches at the helm, we know you won’t want to miss a minute of the heart-pounding action from the soccer field to the basketball court. To help get you pumped up for the season ahead, we are providing you with the insider trivia all Redhawk fans need to know!

REDHAWK RUNDOWN

  • Women’s soccer has won four straight regular-season WAC title and three WAC Tournament titles since 2013.
  • Women’s swimmer Blaise Wittenauer-Lee won three WAC titles and became the first Redhawk swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships
  • Men’s soccer teams boasted the nation’s longest home winning streak (19) entering 2017
  • Men’s golf was the 2017 WAC champions and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, a first since 1965
  • Baseball had two players selected in the 2017 MLB draft – Jansen Junk to the New York Yankees and Tarik Skubal to the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Softball’s Alyssa Reuble threw the first perfect game in Division I in 2017
  • The Redhawks had four WAC Freshman of the Year in 2016-17 (Katarina Marinkovic, volleyball; Kamira Sanders, women’s basketball; Matej Kavas, men’s basketball; Zack Overstreet, men’s golf)

MODERN DIVISION I ERA
Since returning to Division 1 in 2008-09, Seattle University student-athletes and teams have experienced much success.

NCAA POSTSEASON

  • In 2015, Seattle U men’s soccer reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
  • Seattle U teams had six NCAA Tournament berths from 2013-17
  • The Redhawks had three NCAA Tournament wins from 2013-16

Western Athletic Conference (WAC)

  • Seattle U won 22 individual champions in the WAC from 2012-17
  • The Redhawks had 10 regular season WAC champions from 2013-17
  • Seattle U had five WAC Tournament champions from 2013-16

ADDITIONAL POSTSEASON SUCCESS

  • In addition to the six NCAA appearances from 2013-17, men’s basketball had two College Basketball Invitational appearances, collecting three wins, and women’s basketball has twice competed in the WNIT.

ACADEMICS BY THE NUMBERS

Not only do our student-athletes excel on the field, they excel in the classroom.

  • 32 cumulative GPA for all student-athletes 2016-17
  • 47% of students earned Deans List honors per quarter
  • Top 10% Four sports including men’s basketball earned a top 10% Academic Progress Rate (APR) national ranking
  • 95% student-athletes’ graduation rate.

Visit GoSeattleU for athletic information and schedules for the upcoming year. We hope to see you this season to cheer on our student-athletes.  Don’t forget to wear red and cheer on the Redhawks!

What Makes Summer in Seattle Great?

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on August 3, 2017 at 3:08 PM PDT

Though Seattleites try to keep it quiet, it’s no secret that summer in Seattle is spectacular. The days are long, the rain takes a holiday, the air is cool and the sun is warm. Unlike other cities, Seattle tends to avoid humid overtly hot summers, making it the perfect time to get out and explore. While not all alumni stay in the Pacific Northwest after graduation, 61% of our alumni are in the Puget Sound area, so we put together the Redhawk Summer Fun List with recommendations from alumni and some of our own. We hope it will give you some new ideas for summer fun.

 

Mary Ann Dancing in the Street
Photo credit: Alabastro Photography

“July is my absolute favorite month in Seattle! There is nowhere else. I'd rather be.  Every July I look forward to the annual Bon Odori festivals. This is a Japanese Buddhist festival that honors loved ones who have passed on. This is done through dance, taiko drumming, and great food. Women and men are in colorful yukata (a summer kimono) and hapi coats. I do the whole obon circuit: Seattle, White River, Tacoma, Olympia! One summer I will try to work in Vancouver and Portland, and even maybe even San Jose!” – Mary Ann Goto, '79

 

 Arman and Wife

“My favorite thing about summer in Seattle is... spending more time outdoors!! I love to escape the city and get out in nature, for something like a "mental reset." I also like to come home from work and take a quick nap in my hammock in my backyard! It's a great way to relax before starting on dinner and evening chores!” – Arman Birang, ‘11

 

Dog at the beach 

 

 

“My favorite thing to do in the summer is going to the beach (preferably the Oregon Coast) with my family and what I really mean is with our dogs.” – Susan Vosper, AVP of the Seattle University Alumni Association.

 

Afina and Friend

 

 

“My favorite thing to do in the summer is being outside - whether I'm going to the beach or visiting small towns like Snohomish or Port Townsend. Ideally with friends!” Afina Walton, ‘17

 

John and family hiking

 

 

 

“City hikes at Discovery Park.” - John Boyle, ‘02

 

 Kaily Hiking with Dog

 

 

“Seattle has the best hiking trails! My favorite thing about summer is taking my dog on hikes and seeing the great outdoors.” – Kaily Serralta, ‘12

 Sunset over water

 

 

 

“I go to the Beach Drive in West Seattle to watch the sun set behind the Olympic Mountains.  It’s breathtaking.” – Peter Graziani, ‘12

 

 

 

 

"During the summer in Seattle, I enjoy walking around Seward Park, hitting the town with my DSLR camera while taking in the ever changing city, spending time with friends, and visiting the local Capitol Hill Farmers Market on Sundays." – Duron Jones, ’14, President of the African American Alumni Chapter

 

Redhawk Summer Fun List

August 3-6

Wooden O presents Shakespeare in the Park

Seafair Weekend

Umoja Fest African Heritage Festival

August 7-13

Out to Lunch concert series
Alumna Hollis Wong-Wear, ’08, and her band the Flavr Blue performed as part of this series.

Concerts at the Mural Amphitheatre

Nights at the Neptune

Outdoor Movie Nights with Peddler Brewing Company
The brewery is alumni owned and operated.  

A Taste of Edmonds

August 14-20

Sunset Supper at the Market

ZooTunes concert series

Tumwater Artesian Brewfest

August 21-27

Evergreen State Fair

Seattle U Day at the Sounders

Choochokam Makers + Music Festival

August 28-September 3
Bumbershoot
 

Alumni Awards Nominations 2018

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on August 3, 2017 at 1:08 PM PDT

 

Service. Professional Excellence. Dedication. These are just a few words that describe our past Seattle University Alumni Award Winners. Each year, the Alumni Awards give the Seattle University Alumni Association the opportunity to celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements of our alumni and faculty. What makes the Alumni Awards all the more meaningful is that our winners are selected from a pool of nominations put forth by you, our alumni community. You know those friends, professors and fellow alumni who are making a difference, excelling as leaders, living our Jesuit values and making us proud.

 

We are excited to announce that nominations for the 2018 Alumni Awards are now open. A description of each award is available below. Now is your opportunity to shine a light on those who deserve recognition.

 

Alumna/Alumnus of the Year

The highest honor bestowed by the Seattle University Alumni Association.  Recognizes Seattle University alumni who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to the community and to Seattle University. Recipients of this award are well recognized, high impact alumni who have demonstrated a commitment to care, academic excellence, diversity, faith, justice and leadership.

Who should you nominate?
Do you know an alum who is a leader, not only in the workplace but in the community? Are they known for the impact they make? Do they demonstrate our Jesuit vales in their daily life?Nominate them for the Alumna/Alumnus of the Year Award.

Nominate someone here.

 

University Service Award

Recognizes Seattle University alumni or friends of the university who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and service to Seattle University. Whether the recipient served on the leadership boards or with academic, athletic or other university departments, the recipient of this award has left a long standing legacy of service with the university community.

Who should you nominate?
Do you know an alum who embodies Seattle U pride? Are they always volunteering their time and talents to support Seattle University? Do they live out our Jesuit values and give back to the Seattle U community? If so, nominate that person for the University Service Award.

Nominate someone here.

 

Professional Achievement Award

Recognizes Seattle University alumni whose career and work exemplify a Seattle University education –– demonstrating leadership, professional achievement and active inquiry.  Recipients of this award often have gained national or international recognition in their careers.

Who should you nominate?
Do you know someone who is recognized as a leader in their field? Are they an innovator challenging the way things have always been done? Are they known for their ethical approach to business? Are they a role model helping others become leaders themselves? Celebrate their leadership by nominating them for this award.

Nominate someone here.

 

Distinguished Faculty Award

Recognizes a Seattle University faculty member who has made a lasting contribution to the academic formation of students and has raised the standing of the university through excellence in scholarship, teaching and service. Recipients of this award have demonstrated an unparalleled ability to educate the whole person, to promote professional formation and to empower leaders for a just and humane world.

Who should you nominate?
Is there a professor that has had a lasting impact on you, not only inside the classroom but out? Have they changed your approach to a subject and prepared you to excel after graduation? Do you know of a professor that is the embodiment of academic excellence? Thank them for their impact by nominating them for the Distinguished Faculty Award.

Nominate someone here.

 

Community Service Award

Recognizes Seattle University alumni who have made a lasting impact in their communities through work or volunteerism. Through service in spiritual, artistic, recreational, educational, social justice or other areas, recipients of this award better the quality of life around them through service. 

Who should you nominate?
Think of a person who gives of their time and talent to make the world a better place. Are they known for their impact on their community? Are they dedicated to volunteerism or have they made a career out of making a difference? Show how much they are valued by nominating them for the Community Service Award.

Nominate someone here.

 

Outstanding Recent Alumna/Alumnus Award

Recognizes alumni who have graduated from Seattle University within the past 10 years whose actions reflect the values and mission of the university. Recipients of this award have demonstrated a commitment to care, academic excellence, diversity, faith, justice and leadership in many fields and disciplines.

Who should you nominate?
Is there a graduate of the last 10 years who embodies our Jesuit values? Are they well on their way to becoming a leader that inspires others? Have they already made a lasting impact? Celebrate their achievements by nominating them for the Outstanding Recent Alumna/nus award.

Nominate someone here.

 

Benchmark Your Career with the help of PayScale!

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on August 2, 2017 at 5:08 PM PDT

By now you may have received an email from President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. telling you that Seattle U is partnering with PayScale and asking you to complete the Seattle University PayScale Alumni Careers Survey.  Why should you participate? Great question!

In the 2016 Alumni Attitude Survey you told us that it was important that the national rankings of Seattle U accurately reflect the quality of the education you received. You also shared that access to professional development is very important to you.  The Seattle University PayScale Alumni Careers Survey is one source that will accomplish both of those things.

Upon completion, the Seattle University PayScale Alumni Careers Survey generates a personalized salary report. This report can help you:

  • Evaluate your current and possibly future value as an employee.
  • Negotiate salary increases or build a case for additional skills training.
  • Understand what to ask for as you prep for career advancement.

The survey data also provides valuable career outcome information that is influential to evaluators when they develop national rankings—a powerful influence with employers.

Watch out for an email from SeattleUSurveys@seattleu.edu with a link to participate in the Seattle University PayScale Alumni Careers Survey.   

 

We Are

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on June 1, 2017 at 2:06 PM PDT

Carolyn Ronis, '00, '03 JD, was awarded the 2017 Seattle University Community Service Award at the Alumni Awards on May 5th. During her acceptance speech, she presented Fr. Steve and the Seattle University community with a piece of artwork entitled “We Are.” Read on to see what Carolyn had to say about the piece.

“WE ARE”

This piece of art titled “We Are” was created by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) currently residing at Sengere settlement in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria. Most of the IDPs escaped to Sangere after the deadly “Gwoza Massacre” of June 2, 2014 in Gwoza, Borno State. Boko Haram, the world’s deadliest terrorist organization, tortured, assassinated and burned residents of all ages. Children witnessed their parents being executed and many were left as orphans. Reliable sources estimate the death toll from that attack at between 400-500 civilians.

Most of these survivors escaped with only the clothes on their backs. After hiding in the bush for many weeks, these IDPs finally arrived at Sangere. Tattered, dirty, starving, and sick, they now face discrimination and starvation, but they are thankful to be alive.

 Children Tracing Hands

“We Are” is an original piece made up of the real handprints, dirt and all, of individuals who survived that deadly night and the many deadly nights after, in search of peace. Sharing their handprints, they send a message to the world that they exist, they do not want to be forgotten, and they are working to come to terms with what has happened so they can create their own peace. The leaf prints communicate their occupation as farmers in Gwoza and their quest to find their own land where they can safely resume their livelihood activities. Until then, they are starving.

Children from Yola

“We Are” was created during a Healing Through Art (HTA) program administered by ICEHA (International Coalition for the Eradication of Hunger and Abuse). ICEHA’s Executive Director, Carolyn Ronis, graduated from Seattle University in 2000 and SU Law in 2003. She developed Healing Through Art to help children heal the psycho-social wounds of war and stop the perpetuation of violence from one generation to the next. Boko Haram is officially designated as the world’s deadliest terrorist organization. In Nigeria alone, it is estimated that there are over 2 million people displaced by Boko Haram. Without psycho-social healing, many, especially children, remain vulnerable to recruitment into Boko Haram.

Welcome Class of 2017!

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on June 1, 2017 at 2:06 PM PDT

Did you know that you are already a member of the Seattle University Alumni Association? That’s right, no dues or fees required! All 78,000 alumni of Seattle University are automatically members of the Seattle University Alumni Association at graduation and being a member has its perks.

Alumni Events
Alumni events are a great way to have fun while building your network, making new friends and staying connected to Seattle U!

Mark your calendar now for these upcoming events:

SU International Alumni Chapter Spring Social and Networking Event
June 2 | 6:30 p.m.
Seattle U Stuart Rolfe Community Room, Admissions and Alumni Building

Young Alumni Happy Hour
June 15 | 6 p.m.
Optimism Brewing Company

Volunteer for the Walk for Rice with the Women of SU
June 24 |9:30 a.m.
Seward Park

Young Alumni Summer Party
August 16 | 5:30 p.m.
Flatstick Pub (Pioneer Square)

SU Night at the Seattle Sounders
August 27 |6:30 p.m.
Century Link Field

 

Professional Development Opportunities

From our alumni LinkedIn group with over 8,000 professionals looking to connect with you to networking nights, career workshops and job postings, we have the tools to help you develop your career. Learn more here.

Lifetime Email Address

Yes, you get to keep your Seattle U email for life!  No need to change your email address just because you graduated.

Fitness Center Membership 

Seattle University alumni enjoy membership to the Eisiminger Fitness Center for just $25 a month. Join now!

Seattle U License Plates

License Plate

Drive with pride and support student scholarships with the SU license plate. A portion of every sale supports scholarships. It’s a great way to show your pride and give back.

Learn more and apply!

Seattle University Credit Card

Credit Card

The Seattle U Visa® Rewards credit card -- the only credit card that helps support the Seattle University Alumni Association with every purchase! Learn more.

Insurance Discounts

The Seattle University Alumni Association is pleased to offer a complete suite of insurance products to meet all of your insurance needs. Whether you are a new graduate in need of your first auto insurance policy or you are looking for a life insurance policy – we have something for you.  Learn more.

Continuing Education

Seattle University fosters life-long learning through our continuing education program. Alumni can audit undergraduate classes for just $55, participate in the College of Arts and Sciences quarterly Alumni Seminar Series, and enjoy continued access to the Seattle University library. Continue your education.

 

 

Spotlight: Doug Buser & Valerie Trask

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11 on June 1, 2017 at 10:06 AM PDT

Each June we welcome our newest batch of alumni to the Seattle University Alumni Association at commencement, where they walk across the stage and get their diplomas - an important tradition.  However, our favorite tradition takes place the day before graduation when we celebrate with graduates and their families at the President’s Commencement Brunch.

This year we have asked alumni, Doug Buser, ‘10, and Valerie Trask,’11 MBA,  to act as our young alumni emcees to help us welcome the class of 2017 with words of wisdom. We sat down with Doug and Valerie in preparation for the big day to learn a little bit more about the people behind the podium at Commencement Brunch.

Valerie Trask

 

Valerie Trask is a 2011 graduate of Seattle University’s MBA program. She chose Seattle U because of its reputation for building strong networks.  “I wanted to be intentional about meeting smart and thoughtful Seattleites,” Valerie said.

Her time at SU did more than grow her professional contacts. The core classes in her master’s program gave her the skills to be confident in any business conversation and helped prepare her for her path as an entrepreneur.

After getting her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington in 2005, Valerie worked in public relations, learning how to “make it happen” and be scrappy. In that role she met a number of entrepreneurs and grew curious about the larger business world.  “At the end of my MBA, when colleagues moved up the corporate ladder, I jumped feet first into the startup world founding a company called Punchkeeper, while doing consulting on the side.”

From there, Valerie went on to be a consultant at Microsoft, but it was not long before she was lured back to the world of start-ups.  Valerie became the co-founder and chief operating officer for Sansaire, a company that makes a device for a cooking food with the sous vide method.  That company broke funding records for their category in Kickstarter and went on to sell in 70+ countries at stores like Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table.

“After several years, I realized that what energized me most was the human aspects of business–partnerships, management, learning and development. So I started a coaching practice called Masters of Moxie, while doing learning and engagement work at Expedia.”

We asked Valerie what advice she had for the graduating class and she responded by saying, “This is the easiest and best time to take risks and make bold moves. Learn as much as you can. Expose yourself to a diverse group of people. Don’t be afraid to admit when it’s time for a change.”

Doug Buser

Doug Buser is a 2010 graduate of Seattle University’s Communication Studies program. He chose Seattle U for its location and the opportunity to play on the school’s first Division I baseball team in over 30 years.

“The best part of attending Seattle U was the additional benefits, things like my professors, teammates, coaches, classmates, and the athletic department staff -- which all helped me develop into the person I am today. The academic environment at Seattle U pushed me to be intellectually curious about the world around me. Combine that with being a student-athlete, trying to perform at a high-level on and off the field. When I took my first job out of college, I relied a lot on the lessons I learned both in the classroom and on the field.”

Doug’s first career after college was in crisis management PR.  The role was high stress, solving complex problems on a short timeline. Now, Doug works for a Seattle-based sports technology startup, Volt Athletics. While the challenges he faces are different, it’s equally exciting and rewarding. “In crisis management, the incident you are responding to has a certain, and usually short, timeline which requires all of your focus. In a startup, the timeline is different but you’re constantly trying to improve.”

Despite being busy launching his career, Doug has managed to stay connected to Seattle University in a number of ways. “Some of my best friendships were made at Seattle U, and now I attend SU sporting events and alumni gatherings with that same group of friends.” When we asked Doug why he felt it was important to stay connected he responded with, “As SU alumni, this is our community. We can shape it into whatever we want it to be. Plus, it is fun to learn what my fellow alumni are doing to change the region and beyond. We've got a really creative and exciting community. Why wouldn't I want to stay connected with it?”

Doug also had some advice for the class of 2017. Telling our most recent graduates, “Bet on yourself. You're the only one that knows what you want to do, and if you take time to learn what that is -- go get it! It won't be easy, but if you believe in yourself, whatever you end up achieving will be worth it.”

We can’t wait to celebrate with these two young alumni emcees and the class of 2017 at Commencement Brunch and we hope you’ll be there too.

The President’s Commencement Brunch
Saturday, June 10, 2017 | 10:00 a.m.
Seattle Sheraton Hotel

If you are a graduating student, you can get tickets for Commencement Brunch here.

Not a graduate but still want to attend? We are looking for alumni table hosts to help us welcome our newest alumni. Email Katelyn Mendoza (mendozak@seattleu.edu) to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Commencement Brunch.

Alumni Spotlight: Alexandra “Ally” Kennedy

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on May 4, 2017 at 11:05 AM PDT

 

 

In honor of Mother’s Day, we are highlighting an alumna who is a mother of five, a business owner, lawyer and our 2017 Outstanding Recent Alumna award winner, Alexandra “Ally” Kennedy, ’08 JD. Ally is known professionally for her role as an immigration attorney, but to women around the country, she is known as the founder of AMIGA, a national network supporting immigration attorneys who balance the roles of both business owner and mother.

A 2008 graduate of Seattle University’s School of Law, Ally is the founding partner of Alexandra Kennedy Immigration Law, PLLC. The firm’s goal is to keep families together through the use of the U.S. immigration system. In her practice, she helps victims of violence and domestic violence seek immigration relief and defends clients in immigration court who are facing deportation. “Being a lawyer is more than a job,” she says. “It is a calling.”

For Ally, an interest in law started at age 16 following a mission trip to Belize and Guatemala where she was exposed to real poverty for the first time.

“I decided I would do everything I could to fight for equality and give a voice to the voiceless,” she says. “Fortunately, I have been able to find a way to do this by defending undocumented immigrants in the United States.”

Her passion for immigration justice is only matched by her passion for being a mother. In 2015, Ally founded the national organization AMIGA Lawyers—also known as the Association of Mother Immigration Attorneys—designed to help mothers who are attorneys who needed support while “doing it all.”

AMIGA is comprised of immigration attorneys and mothers throughout the country. These women are business owners, lawyers, partners and mothers. Of Amiga, Ally said, “The women play a lot of different roles. We provide support for each other in a meaningful way. For me, it was hard to navigate this path of being a lawyer, a mother and a business owner. I needed a community and couldn’t find one–so I created my own.”

Ally created a virtual community where AMIGA members can discuss all areas of their lives, from the best brand of diapers to the best legal strategies. They provide support, uplift and empower one another. Her Whole-istic Approach to the practice of law is a way for women to practice law that integrates their whole selves.

Each week, Ally blogs about how to build better businesses, create winning cases and live balanced lives. She hosts monthly webinars and travels throughout the country to speak on these topics. In June 2016 she hosted the first conference for women immigration attorneys, called Women, Power and Money, and in February 2017 she hosted a women-only legal conference called Amiga Business Bootcamp.

In 2016, Ally was awarded the national Sam Williamson Mentor Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association for her work with AMIGA—the youngest recipient ever.

Ally is being honored, along with our five other winners, at the 32nd Annual Alumni Awards on May 5.