SU Voice Alumni Blog

Project on Family Homelessness Recognized Nationally

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 23, 2011 at 10:03 AM PDT

The work of SU's Center for Strategic Communications Project on Family Homelessness is singled out as an example of "smart collaborations" in a new report, State of the News Media 2011, from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. The report looks at the results from one of the journalism fellowships that we awarded last year, to the Seattle Times:

Bob Payne, the newspaper’s director of communities, wrote in an e-mail, “Collaborations and grant-funded journalism efforts are really taking off. With newspapers working with less in terms of money and bodies, looking for other ways to get important stories covered is becoming vital. More and more papers are dedicating time to research aimed at smart collaborations and grant applications.”

The Times utilized a different form of partnership to produce a special report called, “Invisible Families, the Homeless You Don’t See.” The project was produced as part of a fellowship through Seattle University, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Times received one of the fellowship grants to use as it saw fit. Other fellows included journalists from three other media organizations and two freelance journalists.

Payne wrote, “In our case, the Invisible Families project from last August employed both of these angles to arrive at a compelling package for both print and online: grant money from Seattle University helped fund work on the project, and our partnerships with local news blogs helped bring diverse coverage to the project.”

 Learn more about the project.

For the Next 7 Generations

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 16, 2011 at 10:03 AM PDT

  Dear Friends, 

On Friday, April 1, Seattle University’s Center for the Study of Justice in Society (CSJS) and the Chief Seattle Club will host a campus screening of the documentary, “For the Next 7 Generations,” followed by a discussion with Grandmothers Mona Polacca (Havasupai) and Rita Pitka Blumenstein (Yupik), both members of the International Council of Indigenous Grandmothers.  The event will take place in the Pigott Auditorium on Seattle University’s campus from 6:30-9 PM. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Chief Seattle Club whose mission is to provide a sacred space to nurture, affirm and renew the spirit of urban Native Peoples. 

If you are able to attend the film screening, please RSVP to me at    



Gail A. Lasprogata
Director, Center for the Study of Justice in Society Professor of Business Law
Seattle University


Global African Studies Program: A Student Perspective

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 15, 2011 at 1:03 PM PDT

 My name is Rezina Habtemariam and I am a Senior International Studies major and Global African Studies minor at Seattle University. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Senegal last August and just recently returned in January. Prior to embarking on this journey, the SU’s Global African Studies Program provided me with the solid foundation that I needed to truly grasp and maximize my experience. I have taken classes with both Professor Adejumobi and Professor Taiwo and the content of those courses still resonate with me. I was introduced to influential leaders like Patrice Lumumba, DuBois, Douglass, Ida B. Wells etc… This only created a greater desire in me to learn all that I can about Africa as well as the African Diaspora.  

Professor Taiwo’s Perspective on Aid and Africa course was truly a life changing class. It completely shattered my naïve and undeveloped perception about aid and its manifestation in the African continent. Learning about prominent figures and reading imperative African literature inspired me to continue to learn and to travel abroad.  

The Global African Studies Program is what attracted me to SU and is why I have stayed at SU. In addition to the incredible courses offered, the program hosts amazing on-campus events. For example, just last night, GAST along with the Central District Forum hosted Iyasah Shabazz – Malcolm X’s daughter and screened Princes Among Slaves – a documentary about a West African prince who was enslaved and brought to America.  I truly believe that GAST has provided the opportunity and space to discuss imperative issues as well as to learn what may not be included in our text books. The Global African Studies Program has allowed me to grow intellectually and continues to shape the person I am becoming.  

Rezina Habtemariam, ‘11 


2011 Alumni Award Winners Announced!

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 3, 2011 at 2:03 PM PST


Seattle University’s Alumni Board of Governors is delighted to announce this year’s Alumni Award recipients, all of whom represent what is best about our university and its alumni. Please consider joining us on April 5 to celebrate their achievements!   

We will recognize and honor their outstanding contributions to our community at the 2011 Annual Alumni Awards Celebration, President’s Club and Legacy Society Dinner on April 5, 2011 beginning at 5:30 pm in the Campion Ballroom on campus. Tickets are $25 per person.  

Alumna of the Year:  Betty Petri Hedreen, ‘57 

Professional Achievement Award:  William Marler, ‘87 

University Service Award:  Anita Crawford-Willis, ‘82, ‘86 

Community Service Award:  Ezra Teshome, ‘76 

Distinguished Teaching Award:  Toni Vezeau, RN, PhD 

Outstanding Recent Alumnus: Ryan Schmid, ‘07 

Read about each winner’s accomplishments.    

Email registration or call 206-296-5664.  


SUYI: Committed to Enriching Children’s Lives

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 3, 2011 at 9:03 AM PST


On February 14, Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. announced the launch of the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI). The initiative will bring the university’s entire campus community together to improve the academic achievement of low-income youth living in the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood, provide support for vulnerable families and strengthen the university’s educational programs.    

The Youth Initiative will be a long-term campus-wide commitment by faculty, staff and students to join parents, the Seattle School District, the City of Seattle, faith communities and more than 30 community organizations to help children succeed in grades K-12, attend college and succeed in life.   

Children and families living in the area served by Bailey Gatzert, just south of SU, face significant challenges. For example, youth violence and juvenile incarceration are among the highest in Seattle. Many area youth face significant academic challenges throughout their educational experience, creating barriers to graduating from high school - and a lack of access to higher education.   

“Our dedication to helping and working side by side with underserved populations and those in need is proven and unwavering,” said President Sundborg. “The crisis is acute in our own backyard, and with community-building collaboration, we can make a difference.”   


Spirituality on Tap - Already There: Letting God Find You

Posted by Amanda Kelly on February 15, 2011 at 9:02 AM PST


As a SU alumna and Catholic Filipina American, I found it difficult to stay rooted in my Catholic identity and to stay involved with service work and spiritual discussions once I graduated from Seattle U. I think I am not alone in this feeling. Being a young adult seeking spiritual connection in a highly secular world can be defeating at times. This is the driving force behind the Ignatian Spirituality Center’s program Spirituality on Tap. Spirituality on Tap addresses the thirst for spiritual nourishment that young adults seek after college and working and living in the world. It is a way for young adults, aged 21-35, to come together and discuss, pray and reflect on a spiritual topic that is relevant to today’s time and culture.  
As the Spiritual Enrichment for Young Adults Coordinator at ISC, I am thrilled to co-sponsor our fourth annual Spirituality on Tap with Magis and to welcome Fr. Mark Mossa, S.J., as our facilitator. It will be on Wednesday, Feb. 23rd from 7-9pm at Casey Commons. Fr. Mossa will share with us his own vocational journey and how God leads us on our own vocational journey through the “mistakes” and successes in life. For us who are scared of committing or “being tied down,” Fr. Mossa will discuss how narrowing our options can actually free us. Come and join us! 

Hilda Guiao, ‘09


Coach Donny Harrel: Preseason Baseball Blog

Posted by Amanda Kelly on February 15, 2011 at 9:02 AM PST

 Baseball head coach Donny Harrel is preparing for this second season at the helm of the reinstated Seattle U baseball program. The squad will open the 2011 season on February 18 with a three-game series at Cal State Northridge before returning to Seattle to open the home slate with a three-game series against Notre Dame. The Friday, February 25th game will be played at Everett Memorial Stadium with the balance of the series at Seattle’s home venue, Bannerwood Park. For the complete schedule, visit 

 As the team makes its final preparations, Coach Harrel provided his thoughts on the year:  

We are extremely excited about our second year of baseball at the Division I level at Seattle University. We were kicked, bruised and beaten down in year one. We also got callused and experienced at the same time. This season our players know what to expect. Our program and alumni have been hard at work to enhance all of our facilities and get us up to speed with Division I expectations. We have added two large cages to our indoor facilities, so we can better prepare for the season and we are currently remolding the dugouts and bullpens at Bannerwood Park.

The Seattle Mariners are coming in to build a professional mound at the field for us and we will continue to work to improve all of our facilities as our program grows. With not having baseball at the university for 26 years, it has been a lot of work by a lot of people. I feel very good about saying we are moving in the right direction and will continue to make our mark in the baseball world and in our community. Seattle U Baseball is up and coming and we have the right pieces of the puzzle in place to create success. The 2011 season will be another step toward our goal of being a successful baseball program on and off the field. We are also very excited about our home games against the likes of Notre Dame, Oregon, Portland, Washington, Nevada, San Jose State, Sac State, New Mexico State, Pacific and others. The 2011 season should be a great step forward for all of us.


New Alumni Email Benefit!

Posted by Amanda Kelly on February 3, 2011 at 9:02 AM PST


As a member of Seattle University’s alumni family, you are part of a network of more than 60,000 SU alumni across the country and the world.  

As part of staying connected, you are invited to join Seattle University’s AlumniWeb– a great resource for professional networking and connecting with your classmates.  Once you’ve joined, you will be able to register for our new alumni email benefit, the SU Alumni Connection. This free program is an email service in partnership with Microsoft, and is only available to SU Alumni who have earned a degree or certification from Seattle University.

This new service will allow you to keep Seattle University in your email address in addition to having all the features of Microsoft’s Live@edu program, including: 

  • A Seattle University alumni email account including 10GB of space. 
  • Access to Windows Live SkyDrive with 25GB of storage space. 
  • Ability to synchronize email, contacts and calendars with the iPhone, Windows Mobile and other supported mobile devices. 
  • Recognition of the email address. (For example, your new email address will be ). 
  • Anti-spam and virus protection 

Seattle University: An Institution of Distinction

Posted by Amanda Kelly on January 27, 2011 at 11:01 AM PST


I wanted to let you, our alumni partners, know about our continuing efforts to achieve new levels of institutional excellence.  Please allow me to brief you on some of our recent achievements. 

The total student headcount for fall 2010 was just shy of 8,000- an all-time high for Seattle University. All eight of our colleges and schools are doing well and I am very happy to share with you that the Albers School of Business & Economics, the undergraduate program in the College of Science & Engineering and the School of Law have all attained national distinction and are ranked among the best in their respective disciplines. Seattle University students were honored last year with the university’s 22nd Fulbright Scholar, 14th Truman Scholar and 14th Rotary Scholar—accomplishments that rival Ivy League institutions.   The faculty, students and staff of the university secured $3.1M in ongoing externally funded research at the university.  Not only are we the most accomplished independent university in the Pacific Northwest, we are also its largest and most diverse. We have made solid progress in advancing our Academic Strategic Action Plan.  We completed a revision of the undergraduate learning objectives and launched a faculty-driven process to revise the undergraduate core-curriculum.

Each college/school with graduate programs began a dialogue to determine in what ways the learning objectives of their program were consistent with the broad educational goals outlined by the Board of Trustees. We successfully engaged in a  university- and city-wide collaborative process to inform and help guide the next stage of the Seattle University Youth Initiative through which we are strengthening our commitment to the youth of our immediate neighborhood.

We opened the new Law School Annex, and planning is underway for the development of a new science education/research facility. We appointed Victoria Jones, Ph.D. as our first Associate Provost for Global Engagement. To better support our faculty in their research and scholarship, we established the Office of Research Services & Sponsored Projects and staffed it with a director and several key full-time staff as well as increased faculty development and recruiting funding.

In partnership with Mission & Ministry, the Division of Academic Affairs is taking a lead role in developing the Catholic Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture, which will encourage and support the study, discussion and research on topics connected to our Catholic intellectual heritage. 

We are clearly and strongly focused on achieving new levels of academic, artistic and scholarly distinction, and, to me, nothing symbolizes that commitment more than our renovated Lemieux Library and new McGoldrick Learning Commons. Opened in September, the library and learning commons are a shining example of our primary reason for being—to educate our students and prepare them to become engaged and active participants and leaders in our world while supporting our faculty and staff in their search for truth and further mastery of their fields of study.

I look forward to our continued work together on behalf of this most worthwhile educational enterprise.

Best regards,

Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D.


Sister Helen Bendik, O.P., Memorial

Posted by Amanda Kelly on January 27, 2011 at 10:01 AM PST


Our university has lost a dear friend who through the '80s and into the '90s performed a vital role on this campus.  From her office desk in the old campus ministry McGoldrick Center, Sister Helen Bendik, O.P. kept a watchful eye on students, faculty and staff alike.   Looking out onto the main entrance to campus, Helen’s smiling face was one of the first things people noticed when entering the campus and her ministry of hospitality would envelop both friends and strangers.    

Campus Ministry was only a part of Helen’s work and those who were lucky enough to know her remember her dream interpretation workshops, Myers Briggs and Enneagram sessions as well as her longstanding work as moderator of the 4th floor of Bellarmine.  A little know fact about her was the pivotal role she played in getting a wrongly convicted inmate in the state penitentiary in Monroe released.  This story became a feature article in the Alaska Airlines magazine.    

Helen was famous for working back channels in order to retain students who were struggling with the many facets of university life.  A call from Helen could secure additional financial aid, find much needed counseling or work out issues in the residence halls.   

Helen’s greatest gift was her ability to help anyone and everyone understand how much they were loved by God.  Through her patience and understanding she could sense what people needed and help them remove the obstacles which get in the way of a true relationship with God.  Her mantra was “All Is Gift” and her life reflected that.   Her legacy at SU lives on in the lives of the many students and university members whom she touched.  She will be missed. 

Mike "The Mayor" Mullen
Seattle University '89
Facilities Operations