SU Voice Alumni Blog

"Why I Can't Wait for Grand Reunion Weekend" Alumni Spotlight: DJ Weidner, '07

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on January 5, 2017 at 4:01 PM PST

As a member of the Alumni Board of Governors and now a Reunion Committee Chair for the class of 2007, DJ Weidner, ’07, is what we would call an engaged alum, though SU pride is nothing new to DJ.

DJ did a little bit of everything as a student. He was a Sullivan Scholar, an active member of Campus Ministry and the Search community, and attended a service immersion trip to Belize. DJ was a lead on the new student retreats, and an Orientation Advisor (OA) and Orientation Coordinator.

Outside of Campus Ministry and New Student Programs, DJ worked at the Spectator and was active with Associated Students of Seattle University. “For a short stint, I was the Chair of Battle of Bands for SEAC before I had to resign due to an internship I took with the Washington State Senate. I dabbled in rec sports, tried to start a spirit group called the DIRRTY BIRDS that eventually gave way to the Red Zone and generally tried to be as involved as possible.”

DJ found his passion for Seattle University embodied by a much loved member of the SU community, the late Fr. Roger Gillis. “It was during orientation that I met Fr. Gillis. He was the ‘Dancing Jesuit.’ He was gregarious, full of joy and unabashedly himself. For me, that represented Seattle U, the Jesuits and everything the university stood for. Be yourself, love as hard as you can, recognize that we’re all part of this community and find joy in every moment.”

DJ graduated from Seattle University with a degree in political science, but now works in the marketing and advertising field. As a recent graduate of Seattle University, DJ worked for SU’s marketing and communications department where he managed university social media accounts. In his current role, DJ is a Director of Integrated Marketing for Rational Interaction. It was the critical thinking skills and liberal arts education that helped DJ adapt his political science major into a career in marketing.

DJ has stayed involved with Seattle U long after graduation. He has been on the Alumni Board of Governors (ABOG) for over 4 years - an experience that he calls “really rewarding.” DJ also volunteers his time to attend mentorship fairs, networking nights and makes sure to come out for social events. That leads us to DJ’s newest volunteer role with the university, a Class of 2007 Reunion Committee Chair.

Grand Reunion Weekend will be celebrated May 5-7, 2017 with all alumni invited back to campus for a weekend of milestone reunions, club and organization reunions, family events, receptions and the Seattle U Birthday Bash complete with entertainment. We will celebrate six milestone reunions, including the class of 2007. We asked DJ, as a member of the planning committee, what we can expect from the weekend.

“I don’t want to give too much away, but what I can say is that this is the weekend you want to come back to campus. When was the last time you were back on campus? If you haven’t been back in 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 years, it’s probably time to check it out! This weekend is going to be great! Everyone is invited and everyone is encouraged to attend – regardless of the year you graduated. Really, this weekend is about gathering as a full community to celebrate. Seattle U, unlike a lot of other institutions, is much more connected by the communities you were part of rather than your specific class year. We acknowledge that and want to create places around the campus where everyone can gather, reconnect and celebrate.”

Join DJ and your classmates at Grand Reunion Weekend! Our Grand Reunion Weekend website has a complete weekend schedule, registration information and a place to share your pictures and memories.

“I encourage people to reach out, see who is going and pencil that weekend in for a good time!” DJ concluded.

Alumni Professionals Wanted!

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 5, 2017 at 2:01 PM PST

The value of attending a university is not just the education you receive, but the network of alumni available to you as both a student and after graduation. The SU Bridge Young Alumni Chapter wants to give Seattle University students the opportunity to build valuable connections with alumni before graduation. How are they doing this? One way is the Insider’s Guide to Getting Ahead networking event. In partnership with the Student Alumni Ambassadors, the SU Bridge hosts a night where students and young alumni get a brief overview on networking best practices, then meet with alumni professionals to get answers to their career related questions and to practice their new networking skills in a low-stress environment.  

The SU Bridge has successfully hosted this event for the past three years, but they hope this year to elevate the event and increase the number of alumni professionals. They need your help to be successful.  

We are looking for alumni volunteers to represent a wide variety of industries and fields,” Riley Gaffney, president of the SU Bridge, said. “We get students interested in everything from nursing and business, to marketing and the arts, just to name a few. We are hoping that all students find this a valuable experience, no matter their career goals.”  

Previous alumni professionals have found the opportunity to mentor students fulfilling.  “It feels good giving back to my university and helping a student figure out their professional goals. You know you are making a lasting impact and that’s what being an SU alum is all about.”  

The SU Bridge extends an invitation for all alumni to participate. “Alumni navigating the beginning of their careers and those who are experienced all have something valuable to share.”  

The event is Monday, February 13, from 6-8 p.m. in Seattle University’s Student Center.  

If you are interested in volunteering as a professional at Insider’s Guide fill out this online form. It’s a small time commitment that can provide a big impact on our students and recent alumni.

SU Baseball Set its Sights on the NCAA Tournament

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 5, 2017 at 2:01 PM PST

If you’re a supporter of Seattle U athletics, than Seattle U’s baseball team should already be on your radar.  

Seattle U baseball had quite a season in 2016, winning its first regular season WAC conference and head coach, Donny Harrel, was named the WAC Coach of the Year. We sat down with Harrel to reflect on his last eight years with the Redhawks and to get a look at the season ahead.  

Harrel has been with the Redhawks since they transitioned back to Division 1 in 2010. The team has experienced a lot of growth, success and increasing national attention.  

We have gone from 11 wins in our first season back in 2010 to 37 wins last year and the first conference championship in school history. Also, for the first time in our young history, we received votes on the national level as a top 40 program. Even though we did not break into the top 40 - we did receive votes and that is a good feeling that other programs see us being as good as we expect ourselves to be.”  

In the past two years, five Seattle U players have been picked in the Major League Baseball amateur draft, including, Brock Carpenter for the Dodgers, Mike McCann for the Royals, Landon Cray for the Rays, Will Dennis for the Orioles and Brian Olson for the Twins.  

Players who are signed during their junior year, often stick around to complete their education and practice with the Redhawks. Seattle U’s quarter systems makes it possible for the players to attend class before the season starts. Harrel says a benefits of this is that newcomers have the opportunity to practice and build relationships with professional athletes around them who are living their dreams and getting an education. 

For Harrel, the relationships play a big role in the success of the team. “The key for our team is trust and buying into the program. I truly feel our approach is as personal as any program in the country. We develop a strong relationship with the student athletes and their families prior to them coming to Seattle U. This allows both sides to truly know the needs and expectations from all parties. For these reasons - we are very careful of the recruits and people we bring in because they have to fit our culture.” 

What can you expect from the Redhawks this season? “We once again have the immediate goal of winning our conference, but also expect to play in an NCAA regional for the first time in school history. Our goals moving forward are to stay on top and be a national name that people recognize in the baseball world. We also want to be known for a place where students can play high caliber baseball and along the way, get a tremendous education and be well prepared for the real world. Our legacy needs to come from what our players are able to do after Seattle U, not just what we are accomplishing while they are here.” 

Our players are already having a lasting impact on the community outside of their sports careers. Many volunteer with Seattle food banks, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Boys and Girls Club. “These young men are future leaders of our community. I want our alumni to be proud of what we are doing and will continue to do in the future. All the credit goes to our student athletes who truly believe in making this world a better place. That is SU baseball! 

You can show your support for our Redhawks by coming out to games and cheering for them this season. A season schedule is online, but make sure to mark your calendars for the two matchups between the Redhawks and the Huskies on April 25 and May 9.  

Can’t wait for the season to start? On Friday, January 27, the Seattle U baseball team is hosting Meet the Redhawks, a fundraiser that gives attendees a chance to meet the players, share a meal with them and help raise funds for future projects and facilities. Seattle Mariners Manager Scott Servais will be this year’s guest speaker. You can learn more and get tickets for Meet the Redhawks here. 

We hope to see you supporting Seattle U baseball this season. Go Redhawks!

Pilgrimage: The Search for Pope Francis

Posted by School of Theology & Ministry and the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture on December 1, 2016 at 4:12 PM PST

Mark K. Shriver is the author of the best-selling memoir, A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver and president of Save the Children Action Network. For his newest literary work, Shriver went in search for the heart and soul of the real Pope Francis in the slums of Argentina and the halls of the Vatican. Seattle U will host Shriver on December 7 for a discussion of his surprising, informative and moving journey and his new book, Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis.

A down-to-earth and deeply intimate portrait of Pope Francis and his faith, Pilgrimage is based on interviews with the men and women who knew him simply as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. By setting an example of humility and accessibility, Francis breathed new life into the Catholic Church, attracting the admiration of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. In Pilgrimage, Shriver retraces Francis' personal journey, revealing the origins of his open, unpretentious style and explaining how it revitalized Shriver's own faith and renewed his commitment to the Church.

As president of Save the Children Action Network, Shriver leads an effort to mobilize Americans to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths globally and to ensure that every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early childhood education. His career fighting for social justice in advocacy and service organizations, as well as elected office, has focused on advancing the right of every child to a safe and vibrant childhood.

Shriver joined Save the Children in 2003, serving as Senior Vice President for U.S. Programs until 2013. In that capacity, he created and oversaw the agency’s early childhood education, literacy, health and emergency preparedness and response programs in the United States.

In 2015, Shriver was the Seattle University undergraduate commencement speaker.

We hope you will join us for this free event.

Pilgrimage: The Search for Pope Francis
With Mark Shriver
Moderated by Enrique Cerna, KCTS9-Directory of Community Partnerships
December 7, 2016 | 7 p.m.
Pigott Auditorium | Seattle University

This Seattle U 125th Anniversary Event is in partnership with Elliott Bay Bookstore Company, KCTS 9, the School of Theology and Ministry and the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture.

Alumni Awards Nominations Open

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 2, 2015 at 4:09 PM PDT


Each year the Alumni Board of Governors honors six outstanding members of our Seattle University community at the annual Alumni Awards Celebration.  Nominations are now open and we need you to nominate accomplished alumni and faculty.  The awards celebrate Seattle U community members who demonstrate significant impact, service to others, exceptional leadership and a commitment to our Jesuit values.

Winners are awarded in the following six categories:

  • Alumna/us of the Year - For outstanding leadership and service to the community and Seattle University.
  • University Service - For outstanding service to the University (alumni and non-alumni are eligible).
  • Community Service - For exceptional service to the community through volunteer or professional activities.
  • Professional Achievement - For outstanding achievement in the professional arena.
  • Distinguished Faculty - Presented to a Seattle University faculty member who has made a special contribution to students and the university.
  • Outstanding Recent Alumna/us - Presented to an alumna or alumnus who graduated in last ten years for outstanding leadership and service to the community and to Seattle University.

We need your help! 

As alumni of Seattle University, you are in the perfect position to know alumni and faculty deserving of recognition.  Help us celebrate the outstanding contributions of our Seattle U community by nominating someone for an alumni award today.

Who Do I Nominate?

We’ve included some examples of past winners below to give you an idea of what we look for in our nominees. 

Alumnus of the Year 2013 Winner – Gordon McHenry, Jr.,’79

As former executive director for the Rainer Scholars and current president and chief executive of Solid Ground, Gordon McHenry has a unique blend of private and public sector leadership experience. McHenry has stayed connected to Seattle U by serving on the Alumni Board of Governors, the Board of Regents and as a Trustee for eleven years.

Outstanding Recent Alumnus 2015 Winner – Derek Rogalsky, ‘10

Derek Rogalsky is an accomplished, nationally recognized Georgetown Medical School student and a former Haiti relief volunteer who taught biology and religion and coached soccer for a Catholic co-educational boarding school.

Professional Development 2015 Winner– Dr. Margaret Heitkemper, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, '73

An exceptional leader and innovator integrating basic scientific research into the practice of nursing, Dr. Margaret Heitkemper inspires colleagues with her cutting edge approach to health care. Internationally recognized, Heitkemper was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Distinguished Teaching Award Winner 2014 – Greg Magnan, Ph.D.

Dr. Greg Magnan is an award winning business professor, nationally recognized for his research and a favorite among graduate and undergrad students.  He is an innovator, pioneering online education at Seattle U.

University Service Award Winner 2015 – Joe Zavaglia,’71

A university supporter, ambassador and soccer alumnus, Joe is the founder of the SU men’s soccer team.  Joe co-chaired the Championship Field redevelopment project, was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame, helped launch the annual Red Tie event and serves on the Board of Regents.

Community Service Award Winner 2014 – M. Lorena Gonzalez,’05

Lorena Gonzalez is  a nationally recognized civil rights attorney, former senior advisor and legal counsel to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and a current candidate for Seattle City Council. She established a community-private partnership that runs a free monthly bilingual legal clinic which has provided legal services to more than 2,000 low-income Seattle residents since 2007.

Know someone deserving of recognition?

Visit the Alumni Awards page to nominate them before October 23, 2015.

Thank you for your help celebrating Seattle University excellence. 

Seattle University Launches New School with Programs Aimed at Working Adults

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on August 3, 2015 at 12:08 PM PDT

Seattle University is accepting applications for two new bachelor’s degree programs for working adults that will be part of a new school. The School of New and Continuing Studies (NCS), the university’s ninth distinct college or school, will offer classes in the degree programs Digital Cultures and Organizational Leadership beginning next spring.

The new school was established to provide a high-quality Jesuit education designed for working adults by offering baccalaureate and certificate programs that support part-time study and feature hybrid courses, combining online and in-class instruction. An existing certificate program, Web Development, which is designed along these lines, will also be part of the new school. Plans call for NCS to offer additional degree programs in the future.  

The NCS degree programs are designed to meet the needs of working adults who have some college credit, mid-career professionals and veterans looking to enhance their careers by increasing their skill sets, and working adults who want to complete their college degree and may also be considering a new career.

“Seattle University is adding something new to the mix for adult learners who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education,” says Rick Fehrenbacher, dean of the new school. “Those who want the benefit of an outstanding Seattle University education, but for whom a traditional college experience is not accessible, can now turn to the School of New and Continuing Studies. The hybrid delivery of our courses will make an SU education available to students with even the busiest schedules.”

Prospective students applying for admission to Digital Cultures or Organizational Leadership must have the equivalent of 60 hours of college credit and a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Once underway in spring quarter, with classes beginning March 29, 2016, NCS programs will have a rolling admissions schedule, which allows students to begin their degrees year round. Students also can apply to NCS’s Web Development certificate program, which is beginning a new cohort this fall.

For more information about the new school and programs, visit http://www.seattleu.edu/ncs/.

A look at the degree programs

Digital Cultures: This program, designed for part-time students, offers an interdisciplinary liberal arts degree for the 21st century developed for returning students who are interested in using critical exploration and technological knowledge to understand how digital technologies reflect and transform culture and identity. Topics of study include game theory, global digital ethics and citizenship, the influence of social media and the history of digital technologies. Students will also learn applied technology skills such as basic coding and composing for the web. The Digital Cultures program strengthens transferable skills such as oral and written communication, problem solving, ethical decision-making and critical thinking, while also teaching students key practical technology skills such as basic coding and composing for the web. Graduates are prepared to transition into several different jobs such as social media specialist, technical writer, writing for the web, digital content production and digital editor.

Information:  www.seattleu.edu/ncs/degree-completion/digital-cultures/

Organizational Leadership: This interdisciplinary degree program is designed for part-time students who want to gain the leadership skills necessary to become effective, ethical and socially responsible leaders in a wide range of organizations from business, government and health care administration to nonprofit agencies and the service industry. Students will study topics including leadership theory and practice, organizational structure and behavior, organizational finance, ethics, managing diversity and change and organizational communication. The course of study integrates skills in leadership and organizational operations and links leadership theory to everyday practice. Students develop not only the practical skills and knowledge that leaders need to solve problems, think critically, communicate effectively and manage resources, but also learn to provide creative vision, facilitate collaboration, value diversity and balance multiple perspectives. 

 

Recent Alumni Spotlight: Derek Rogalsky, '10

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 1, 2015 at 3:04 PM PDT

When you think of an outstanding recent alum, someone like Derek Rogalsky, ’10, comes to mind. Derek is a dedicated alumnus of Seattle University, devoted husband and new father, with a commitment to service and professional excellence, making him the perfect choice for the 2015 Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award.

Derek was recruited to Seattle University by Redhawk soccer coach, Peter Fewing in 2006. Derek would play for the team throughout his four years at Seattle University, helping the soccer team achieve a 43-3-26 record while it transitioned from Division II to Division I. Derek was not only a star on the field but in the classroom, he maintained a 3.9 GPA throughout his four years on the soccer team.

After his graduation, Derek remained committed to Seattle University’s values of service, volunteering with his wife Rebekah Rogalsky, ’09, in Haiti. There the couple spent a year teaching, mentoring and coaching at the Louverture Cleary School (LCS), a co-educational Catholic boarding school for academically gifted students from impoverished backgrounds. 

“Spending time with such people allowed me to recognize the true abundance of the blessings in my own life…I had been called to serve because I have been blessed,” Derek said of his time in Haiti.

As a volunteer at LCS, Derek taught biology and religion, led the garden club, coached soccer and helped coordinate The Haitian Project’s Institution response to the cholera epidemic, keeping the campus free of infection. 

Derek went on to Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he is currently in his fourth year studying to be a surgeon. 

“I’ve chosen surgery because it is a profession uniquely equipped to help people in their most desperate hour of need.” Derek said. 

This past year, Derek was one of 21 fourth year medical students nationwide to receive the American Medical Association Physicians of Tomorrow Award. 

Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., MBA, dean of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, considers Derek to be “A leader among peers and faculty in his outreach into the inner city, his discussion and inquiry into kidney transplantation, medical education, medical student debt and major life choice.  He will remain a leader long after graduation.”

We are proud to honor Derek with our Outstanding Recent Alumnus award at our upcoming 30th Annual Alumni Awards.  We hope you’ll join us to celebrate him and five other outstanding alumni at the awards ceremony. 

30th Annual Alumni Awards
Saturday, April 18, 2015 | 6:00 p.m.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Tickets available now.

 

Search for Meaning Book Festival

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 2, 2015 at 11:02 PM PST

You are invited to the seventh annual Search for Meaning Book Festival.

Launched in 2009, the festival has evolved into a signature SU event. Featuring a veritable who’s who of the literary and scholarly worlds, this year’s festival includes more than 55 best-selling authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and more. The annual one-day festival offers general sessions, keynote presentations, book signings and interactive experiences. Individuals from all walks of life spend a day with some of the world’s most influential authors and scholars while reflecting on their own ability to contribute to a more just and humane world.

Since it began six years ago, the Search for Meaning Book Festival has been a great success thanks to the support of our neighbors, community members and generous donors and volunteers who have given their time and financial resources to make this a one-of-a-kind event. Yet with increasing costs associated with the festival, a $10 fee must be charged for entrance this year for each attendee ($5 for students). Visit Search for Meaning to purchase your tickets and learn more.

A special thanks to this year’s title sponsors, Robert and Laura Ellen Muglia, whose tremendous generosity allows the university to continue offering the event with only a modest admittance fee. The university also continues to devote significant financial and personnel resources to the festival to further minimize the cost for attendees.

Volunteer for the Search for Meaning Book Festival! This is a great opportunity to engage with students, alumni, community partners and distinguished authors from the surrounding areas. By volunteering, you will receive a voucher for lunch and fun swag and you will also be able to attend one of the keynote speakers for free! 

 

Employer Information Sessions

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 8, 2015 at 2:01 PM PST

Alumni, did you know that Employer Information Sessions are a valuable tool to help you on your job hunt? Join recruiters from companies such as Amazon, Puget Sound Energy, The Peace Corps and more each week on campus during the lunch hour.

This is your opportunity to learn what it’s like to work at some of the top companies in the Puget Sound area and about their values and mission. You’ll gain insights directly from recruiters as to what they look for in candidates and position yourself for interview success. 

Learn about all upcoming information sessions on the Career Services homepage

A Celebration of Our History - A Mixer of the Decades

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on October 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM PDT


The Seattle University Filipino Alumni Chapter (FAC) is celebrating Filipino American History Month on October 10 with “A Celebration of Our History - A Mixer of the Decades.”

The Seattle University Filipino community has played an important role in preserving and sharing the Filipino American history on a national level. Seattle U alumni, Fred, ’52 and Dorothy, ’53 Cardova formed the National Filipino American Historical Society in 1982, which would go on to named October Filipino American History Month in 1991.  

According to the NFAHS website, “Fred and Dorothy Cordova have been involved in Filipino American activism since the 1950s. They began promoting Filipino American identity at a young age with student publications and organizations at Seattle University, where they attended college. In 1957, they formed and directed the Filipino Youth Activities (FYA), with activities ranging from soccer to folk dancing and parade marching. The FYA became an important force for organizing demonstrations in the 1960s and 1970s.”

The Cardovas became pillars of the Filipino community and maintained their relationship with Seattle University, returning to serve on advisory boards, as Regents and as guest lecturers. Seattle University awarded the couple honorary degrees in 1998.

The FAC invites students and alumni to join them on October 10 to explore Filipino American history and honor the contributions from some of our own Seattle University Filipino community members.  

Guests will spend the evening connecting with alumni and students, while exploring Filipino American history through pictures and Seattle University artifacts.

Students from the United Filipino Club will attend and perform for guests, as well as share a presentation on this year’s Barrio festival.

The full FAC chapter leadership will be in attendance to celebrate and hopes you and your family will join them.

Register now for “A Celebration of Our History - A Mixer of the Decades.”