Young Alumni Spotlight: Maria Walsh, '05

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 12:16 PM PDT

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we are featuring Maria Walsh, ‘05, a Latina alumna and part of the planning committee for the Seattle University Latina/o Alumni Chapter. Maria works at Boeing where she has helped to establish and lead the Seattle U Boeing Alumni Chapter.

Maria transferred to Seattle University from Bellevue College. While looking at schools, Seattle U was at the top of Maria’s list due to its small class sizes, location and strong reputation for educating the whole person and empowering leaders for a just and humane world. 

Maria is someone who likes to get involved, as evidenced by her activities as a student. As soon as she started at Seattle University, Maria ran for student government. In her time at Seattle U, she was president of the Risk Management Club, a member of Beta Alpha Psi and the Albers Investment Club, and worked for the student-run newspaper, The Spectator, as the Business and Marketing Manager. 

“I have many great memories from my time at Seattle U. I got really sick one day and I had to miss class two or three days straight.  I remember getting a call on my cell phone from one of my teachers.  He was wondering how I was doing because he had not seen me in class or around the school.  I was touched that he noticed I was missing and that he cared about his students.  Seattle University really provides a family atmosphere where you get to know your professors and your classmates.  You feel like you are part of something and not just a number,” Maria shared. 

The individualized attention and extracurricular activities made her student experience a meaningful one, but Seattle U’s impact didn’t end there. Seattle U helped to prepare Maria for her career. 

“Seattle University provided me with the skills and concepts needed to succeed in business and the foundation to think critically, to be curious, to question and think independently.    It also taught me the importance of ethics and to be a responsible citizen of the community, the country and the world.  I remember questioning the need for some of the classes required at Seattle U, but after taking them I realized the purpose.  It is not only about developing your brain, but also your spirit.”

From serving on the Career Center’s Mentorship Advisory Board and the Alumni Board of Governors to leading the Boeing Alumni Chapter and helping to develop the Latina/o Alumni Chapter, Maria has stayed involved with her alma mater. 

“My experience at Seattle U has made a big impact in my personal and professional development and it is important for me to stay connected and give back.  I see my diploma as a share of stock.  The better the university does, the more my degree is worth.  Giving back doesn’t necessarily mean only financial contributions.  There are so many other ways, such as planning and/or attending alumni networking events and volunteering for board positions.  You could also be a mentor or create an alumni group within your company.  Giving back and being involved with your alma mater helps make the students and alumni more successful in their careers.”

As the Latina/ Alumni Chapter comes together, Maria has a vision for what she hopes to see the group accomplish. 

“My hopes for the Seattle U Latina/o Alumni Chapter is to get our Latina/o alumni more engaged in campus and to serve as mentors and help guide our current Latina/o students, but also to help recruit new students.  I believe Seattle U is a good fit for Latina/o students, as it provides small classes and has more of a family feel.  Students get to work directly with the professors and not the TAs. “ 

Maria also sees opportunities for the chapter to work with current students to help them find internships and full time jobs after graduation.

If you are interested in helping Maria and other alumni organize Seattle University’s Latino/a Alumni Chapter, please contact Harmony Frederick, Assistant Director of Regional and Chapter Development, to learn more.