SU Voice Alumni Blog

The Power of Sharing: Alumna Makes an Impact During Seattle U Gives

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 4:15 PM PST

Image of Megan Cycyota standing outside in a garden

When Megan (O’Connor) Cycyota, ’07, first chose Seattle University, she was eager to embrace the spiritual and academic facets of the Jesuit Catholic experience. As a student, it was a joy for Cycyota to be able to attend mass at the Chapel of St. Ignatius, and she remained active in Campus Ministry and the Seattle U choir program throughout all four years. While studying accounting in the Albers School of Business and Economics, she learned how to express her own point of view while maintaining a sense of openness to differing perspectives.

“Seattle U taught me how to think critically,” says Cycyota, “how to really assess the information you’re being given while understanding that other people may have different interpretations than you. And how to be open to that dialogue.”

Now a Principal Product Manager at Amazon, Cycyota remains dedicated to empowering the next generation of Seattle U students, giving back to her alma mater with her time, talent and treasure. In addition to volunteering as a member of the Alumni Board of Governors, she supports the Annual Scholarship Fund, the SU Fund and various other programs and initiatives on campus. “The scholarship fund in particular has always been near and dear to my heart because I couldn’t have attended Seattle U without scholarships. Education needs to continue to be accessible,” says Cycyota. “Both merit and need-based scholarships are necessary to make sure that everyone has opportunities to access a transformative education.”

While Seattle U relies each and every day on the generosity of donors like Cycyota, there is one occasion that stands out from the rest as a prime time to give: Seattle U Gives, the university’s official online giving day.

“The thing I like about Seattle U Gives in particular is that it’s a focal point,” says Cycyota. “It helps to have a focused, contained time that’s a celebration of the university. Seattle U Gives is both a single day of participatory giving and a gentle reminder to engage with the community.” 

In recent years, Cycyota has taken an additional step beyond making a gift, volunteering as a Seattle U Gives Social Ambassador. Through this role, Cycyota has encouraged her friends and family to participate in Seattle U Gives and support the scholarships, schools and programs they care about most. While Social Ambassadorship is predominantly geared for online sharing, Cycyota has also found success through in-person connection.

Back when she was in the office in early 2020, she casually told two of her coworkers – both Seattle U grads – that Seattle U Gives was happening, and when. “Neither was aware of it at the time,” says Cycyota. “Just by telling them about it, both of them donated that day.” 

“The experience reminded me that reaching out to others doesn’t necessarily mean they will take advantage of the opportunity. They might not see the value in something that you do or the urgency. But you also never know who will, and so, why not? Why not use the power of more people getting out the message, because you never know what kind of good could come from that?”

This February 25, 2021, join Cycyota in celebrating Seattle U Gives by signing up to be a Social Ambassador. We are more powerful together! As a Social Ambassador, you can help to rally our alumni community for 24 hours of generosity. When you encourage more people to participate, you are ensuring that every gift made during Seattle U Gives – whether $5, $50 or $500 – adds up to make a tremendous impact.