Fall 2020

Message from the Dean

Dear Arts and Sciences Alumni and Friends,

Dean David Powers works from his basement during the 2020 pandemicWe hope you and those close to you are safe and well in this singular time. The faculty, staff and students of the college are managing the challenges of the present and looking ahead to the future.

In the summer newsletter, I talked about the work the faculty and staff were doing to prepare for a mostly virtual and partially in-person fall quarter. The virtual training provided by the Center for Digital Learning and Innovation was a great support for our faculty in providing quality educational experiences.

At the same time, the health and social distancing precautions Seattle University put into place (and that the community did a great job overall of following) helped keep the COVID rate very low across the Seattle University community so far.

Looking ahead, in terms of managing the pandemic, we expect the winter to look much like the fall in terms of being predominantly virtual instruction with some on-campus presence. We hope circumstances improve for more in-person activity in the spring but we will follow the guidance of science, medical experts and the State of Washington as we plan.

President-Elect Eduardo PenalverHowever, I am proud to share we are moving forward on many fronts, even in our current conditions. First, we are very happy that President-Elect Eduardo Peñalver will be joining Seattle University this summer. I had a chance to meet him in person (socially distanced, with masks, of course!), as part of the Presidential Search Process, and I could not be happier about his selection. I believe he is the right person to lead the university right now and you can learn more about him here.

Our faculty continue to do amazing things, as well. Dr. Quinton Morris is the first-ever Artist in Residence at KING-FM, with a new series of radio concerts that will be broadcast across the country, highlighting Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) classical artists and composers. The Theatre Program will be producing online plays in the next couple of days and the Seattle University Choirs are producing holiday shows you will be able to see and hear online this December. You can also read how Psychology faculty member Dr. Kira Mauseth has been a leader for the Behavioral Health Strike Team for the Washington State Department of Health as they support the state through the stress of the COVID crisis.

All this and so much more; the College of Arts & Sciences is moving forward in amazing ways. Thanks for taking the time to see what we are doing; your support is greatly appreciated and as important as ever.

In This Issue

Dr. Quinton Morris: First Artist in Residence for KING FM

Dr, Quinton Morris holding a violinDr. Quinton Morris, Associate Professor at Seattle University and founder of the music education organization Key to Change, was chosen for a two-year term as the first Artist-Scholar in Residence for Classical KING FM 98.1, which began September 15. Dr. Morris enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert violinist, chamber musician, educator, entrepreneur, and filmmaker. In this new role for KING FM, he will create 10-12 radio programs and video podcasts featuring the music of BIPOC composers and performers that will be distributed nationally to classical radio stations across the country.

He has also started a composer residency program, selecting two living BIPOC composers to write or arrange new pieces for Dr. Morris’s Key to Change Studio. The first Composer in Residence is classical cellist and composer Caleb Vaughn. Performances of these new pieces featuring Key to Change violin and viola students will air on KING FM. KING FM is also thrilled to continue its previous partnership with Key to Change by featuring winners of its annual Solo String Festival on its weekly live program Northwest Focus.

Screen shot of Key to Change website with photo of cellist Caleb Vaughn-Jones“I have literally grown up listening to KING FM. As a kid, I remember listening to the radio as I would get ready for school and it’s been wonderful to continue my partnership with them in this new capacity,” said Dr. Morris. “I’m very happy to have an active role where I’ll perform and program music by Black composers and composers of color, who have been largely ignored and marginalized within the classical music community. Additionally, I’m really excited about the launch of our composer residency program, where our Key to Change students will have an active role in this partnership. It’s a great way to show our youth that not only do they matter, but they too can be engaged participants in creating impactful change that can transform the lives of others.”

“Dr. Morris and Key to Change have been valued partners of Classical KING for several years, and it was Quinton who suggested that KING FM consider a composer in residence program,” explained Dr. Brenda Barnes, CEO of Classical KING FM. “I thought about it, realized Quinton was actually the perfect person to pioneer this new role for KING FM, and asked if he would consider serving as our first Artist-Scholar in Residence. I was absolutely thrilled when he said yes! We look forward to supporting Quinton in creating radio programs and podcasts that will be offered to stations and listeners across the country. It is such an honor to have this opportunity to work more closely with Dr. Morris and to raise the profile of important BIPOC composers and performers.”

Classical KING FM will appoint a team of staff members to support Dr. Morris and his work with the station, beginning planning and producing programs this fall.

Dr. Morris is the first music professor in over thirty years (and the second living African-American violinist in United States history) to receive tenure and promotion at Seattle University. He is the founder and director of Key to Change, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching middle and high school underserved violin and viola students in South King County. For more information, visit the Key to Change website.

Dr. Morris’ career spans across six continents presenting in dozens of countries. His BREAKTHROUGH: The Quinton Morris World Tour included an innovative lecture recital and self-produced short film based on the life and music of Chevalier de Saint-Georges. BREAKTHOUGH premiered at prestigious venues including, the Seattle Art Museum, the Louvre Museum (Paris), New York Film Week among dozens of other concert halls and film theaters. Governor Jay Inslee awarded Dr. Morris the Washington State Governor’s Arts Award for his success with BREAKTHROUGH and the film received the first prize ‘Diamond Award” at the European Independent Film Award Festival in Paris and the bronze award at the Global Music Awards.

Dr. Morris has received numerous awards including the Puget Sound Business Journals “40 Under 40 Award,” Seattle Mayor’s Arts Awards, the Seattle University Provost Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Creative Work, and named a “Mover and Shaper” by Musical America. He is currently the co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission.

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Performing and Connecting in our Virtual World

Performing Arts and Arts Leadership

While all of our programs have had to find new ways to connect during the pandemic, the performing arts have had to go further to pivot than many other disciplines. Performing Arts and Arts Leadership faculty, students, and staff demonstrated their abilities to pivot in Fall Quarter. They presented Seattle University Choirs first virtual performance under the direction of Dr. Leann Conley-Holcom, Director of Choral and Vocal Activities, and an online production of Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters, adapted and directed by Ki Gottberg, Professor, Theatre.

“Candlelight Carol” and “Remembering Decembers”

Red and gold candles on black backgroundFor more information and to join the virtual audience, like or follow Seattle U Choirs on Facebook and Instagram (@seattleuchoirs.)

For the holiday season, Seattle University Choirs will present two virtual performances under the direction of Director Leann Conley-Holcom, Assistant Director Lee Peterson and Guest Producer Stephen O’Bent.

The performance of John Rutter's lovely, evocative "Candlelight Carol" is generously sponsored by the Office of the Provost. The performance will be premiered in the Provost’s Fall 2020 Holiday Card, which will be distributed on December 3, and released to the public on December 7. This piece, sung by candlelight, has become a beloved closing song at December concerts in recent years. 

Scheduled to be released on December 14 is a collaboration between the Seattle University Choirs and the DigiPen Vocal Ensemble from DigiPen Institute of Technology (led by Assistant Professor and Conductor of Choirs Stephen O'Bent). This virtual performance features "Remembering Decembers," a heartwarming and poignant piece by the popular enigmatic composer known as Pink Zebra.

The Zoom Where it Happens

Directing class on Zoom screen with stage curtains on edges

Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 p.m. Zoom Link

Thursday, November 19 7:30 p.m.  Zoom Link

Thirteen adventurous theatre students learned to direct and produce plays on Zoom this fall. They will present two evenings of 10-minute plays with student actors (and alumni.) Each night features a different set of plays. 

Arts Leadership Book Club, December 9 and 10

Register for the free Zoom events here.

The Arts Leadership Program's 2020-2021 Book Club and the Office of Alumni Engagement at Seattle University are partnering for a two-part session of Reading Redhawks, featuring “Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Government” with author Dr. Serin Houston and Dr. Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud, Assistant Professor, Performing Arts & Arts Leadership.

Image of poster for the Fall Book ClubDecember 9, Dr. Houston will give a talk about her book followed by Q&A led by Dr. Mahmoud.

December 10, Dr. Mahmoud will facilitate a mapping exercise with attendees inspired by the text. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blank piece of paper and crayons and markers in the following colors: black, brown, purple, blue, green, yellow, and red. Materials can be flexible, but this will help to drop into the exercise fully.

Support Black-owned bookstores and purchase your book from Estelita's Library.

Jasmine Mahmoud is an urban ethnographer and performance historian who engages contemporary artistic practices, race, policy, and geography. Her fields and interests include: theater and performance studies, political economy, arts and cultural policy, black aesthetics, theories of the avant-garde, feminist/queer of color critique, and anti-racist, decolonial neighborhood processes beyond gentrification/displacement.

Serin Houston is an Assistant Professor of Geography and International Relations at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Serin D. Houston’s research draws on qualitative methods and a geographic perspective to examine questions of equity and justice from the individual to the global scale. Her book, Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance (2019), uses Seattle as a lens to analyze the translation of sustainability, creativity, and social justice from theory into praxis. Studying not only what policies and programs say, but also how they work in practice, Houston finds that racism and classism, matched with market-driven mandates, constrain the realization of these social values within the urban governance of Seattle, Washington.

Uncharted Waters, March 4-13, 2021

Tickets on sale beginning February 4, 2021, the link will be available on the Arts at Seattle U Calendar.

Three paper sailboats near the ocean shoreSeattle University Theatre faculty, students, and staff are embarking on a new adventure for Winter Quarter with Uncharted Waters, a collaboration with the University of Washington School of Drama and Cornish College of the Arts’ Theatre program. With a cross-town theatrical collaboration the likes of which Seattle has never seen, the partners invite the community to join us as we meet the challenges of isolation with radical togetherness. The tri-production will run March 4 through 13, 2021.

Seattle U Performing Arts and Arts Leadership Chair Rosa Joshi (Bring Down the House, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, upstart crow collective) directs William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Cornish College of the Arts’ Sheila Daniels (Indecent, Seattle Rep; The Wolves, ACT Theatre) and UW Drama acting alum Porscha Shaw (Nina Simone: Four Women, Seattle Rep; Saint Joan, ArtsWest) co-direct a devised piece in response to themes in Shakespeare’s play. Both productions will feature student casts from all three schools, and the artistic and production work of students, faculty, and staff from all three schools, and both will be rehearsed and performed entirely online.

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Faculty and Student Events Available in Video/Audio On Demand

As we have shifted events online, we have discovered a few positive benefits. Not only can alumni from across the world attend, but the ease of recording online events allows us to share them with those who could not attend. Here are a few of our recent events that you can listen or watch to at your convenience.

Behavioral Health Impacts of COVID-19

Image from presentation with illustration of COVID-19 virusCOVID-19 affects all of us in our daily lives in some ways that we may not recognize. In this audio presentation, Dr. Kira Mauseth, Senior Instructor, Psychology, addresses the specifics about where we are on a larger scale with our Behavioral Health responses in the context of this natural disaster across the state, and how our brains and bodies function accordingly in this phase of disaster response and recovery. Dr. Mauseth discusses common responses, symptoms, and challenges over the next few months that we will be facing, and what you can do to prevent burnout and increase resilience factors. Specific ideas are provided about how to communicate and interact more effectively with others at home and in the workplace, in the context of COVID-19, and increase our own sense of strength. Listen to the podcast here.

Making Research Matter

Image of hand and jigsaw puzzleSocial Work Department Assistant Professor, Dr. Aakanksha Sinha presented a special lecture for prospective students. Dr. Sinha is a mixed methods researcher and focuses on issues related to access to basic needs, food security, positive deviance, and community asset building. Watch the lecture here.

A Quiet World: The Wonders of Hearing & Hearing Loss with Dr. David Myers

Drawing on personal experience and psychological science, Dr. Myers explains and demonstrates the psychology of hearing and the realities and humor of hearing loss. Presented by the Seattle University Psychology Department Watch the presentation here.

Illustration of yeti holding a microphone and the text Redhawk Squawk Exercise for LifeRedhawk Squawk: Exercise for Life

The Kinesiology Department launched their new podcast series this fall with “Seattle Sports: Play, Identity, and Pursuit in the Emerald City” by Dr. Terry Anne Scott, and continued with episodes about stress and exercise, breast health, healthy sleep habits, and more. Listen to the episodes here.

“Reimagining possibilities for being, belonging, and togetherness”: Conversations & Closing Reception, Abstractions of Black Citizenship: African American Art From Saint Louis

graphic logo for Abstractions of Black Citizenship ExhibitionThis exhibition, originally scheduled to run at Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University during Spring Quarter 2020, moved online. Abstractions of Black Citizenship: African American Art From Saint Louis was a group exhibition and public program series featuring works by Dominic Chambers, Damon Davis, Jen Everett, De Nichols, and Katherine Simóne Reynolds, five Black Saint Louis, MO-based artists. In the closing event, Exhibition Curator, Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud, Ph.D., introduced a series of dialogues among exhibition artists and scholars writing for the forthcoming Abstractions of Black Citizenship: African American Art From Saint Louis exhibition reader. Watch the event here.

You can also meet our emerging student curators in a series of short videos:

Our Moment for Mission: The President's Challenge

Our Moment for Mission with a photo of two alumni standing in front of a treeIn the final year of The Campaign for the Uncommon Good and President Stephen Sundborg, SJ's tenure, we are embarking on a critical point in our collective history. Our Moment for Mission: The President’s Challenge invites 10,000 alumni to come back to and engage with Seattle U before the end of the school year. Engaged alumni are a vital element to the success of our students and impact the future of our communities. Learn more here.

By showing your support at events, volunteering and donating, alumni help students make real-world connections and provides them the opportunity to explore their passions—igniting their potential as leaders of purpose and impact. Your involvement in their educational experience shows them that you care and that they are part of a larger community that will last long after graduation. The simple act of sharing your personal journey with a student can have a lasting impact on their personal and professional formation as they forge their own path as a future leader. 

Seattle University impacted you. Now is your chance to impact Seattle University. Today, you have the power to ensure that current and future students have the same purpose-driven, passion-fueled education and experiences that you did. Become one of the 10,000 alumni empowering the next generation of leaders for a just and humane world.   

Now is our time to bring our shared mission to life! Come back to Seattle U by connecting with alumni and students at events, volunteering as a mentor or classroom speaker or making a donation of any size to expand access to scholarships and resources.   

Our moment is now. Let’s build a better future for all.

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Upcoming Events

  • The Zoom Where it Happens

    Nov. 18 & 19, Seattle U Theatre Directing Class presents one-act plays

  • Redhawk Squawk: Exercise for Life

    Nov. 28, Dec. 8, Kinesiology's podcast continues

  • Seattle U Choirs

    Dec. 3 & 14: launch dates for two virtual performances

  • Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Government

    Dec. 9 & 10, Arts Leadership Book Club and Reading Redhawks

  • Free-to-Play: Mobile Video Games, Bias, and Norms

    Jan. 21, Dr. Christopher Paul talks about his newest book

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