SU Voice Alumni Blog

Welcome SU's New Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations!

Posted by Amanda Kelly on April 5, 2011 at 11:04 AM PDT


  The Office of Alumni Relations is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Woerdehoff to the position of Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations. A double alumna of Seattle University, Susan received her undergraduate degree from the College of Arts and Sciences and her Executive MBA from the Albers School of Business and Economics.  Susan will be responsible for leading the university efforts to enhance alumni engagement and connection. Her first day of work in this leadership role is May 25.  

Susan joins the university following a 20 year career with Microsoft where she was recently responsible for the strategy and operations of the cloud services support business following roles in sales, product strategy and development, marketing and finance. She brings enthusiasm and energy as well as the marketing, relationship management, and program development skills necessary for this important leadership role.  

 Please join us in welcoming Susan to Seattle University and offering your support in her new position!  


Anti-Landmine Activist Honored

Posted by Amanda Kelly on April 1, 2011 at 2:04 PM PDT

 Anti-landmine activist Tun Channareth, pictured here (right of the banner) with Albers School of Business and Economics students and faculty members during a short-term study abroad trip to Cambodia last fall, will receive an honorary doctoral degree from SU at the graduate commencement ceremony June 12 at KeyArena. 

A soldier in 1982 resisting the Khmer Rouge regime, Channareth stepped on a landmine near the Thai-Cambodian border and lost both legs. Since then, he has traveled the world as an ambassador of the ICBL urging governments to make landmines history. In 2006, the United Nations declared April 4 as International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. That year alone, between 15,000 and 20,000 people were killed or maimed by landmines, according to a United Nations report. An estimated 20 percent of victims are children.  

“Mr. Channareth has reached out with compassion in service to other landmine victims while working tirelessly to rid the world of these insidious weapons,” said Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. “He is an inspiring example to our students of our mission as a university that empowers leaders for a just and humane world.”    Read more about Channareth.   


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