Dear Alumni and Friends,
I recently received a letter from a former student, Michael Souders.
Singling out English Professor John Bean and Political Science Professors Erik Olsen and Bradley Scharf, he wrote, “My admission to Seattle University changed my life…Although my academic performance did not reflect it, the vigorous intellectual environment and excellent faculty were formative for me. I may not have ‘achieved’ academically, but I did learn.” He went on, “Seattle University instilled in me a love of learning that sustains me to this day.”
Michael Souders received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in December and now teaches at the University of Denver.
We have an academically solid curriculum taught by outstanding faculty and reflected in our alumni. Our faculty, staff and undergraduate and graduate students personify our mission and values. It is in the spirit of maintaining a “vigorous intellectual environment” that the University approved a major revision of the Core Curriculum, which will take effect in September 2013.
To align with the new Core curriculum, we will also review our College-specific requirements. The Arts and Sciences core review is an important and necessary part of the process to prepare the next generation of leaders.
Our vibrant academic life is enhanced by events and activities that you can take advantage of. I encourage you to join us at an upcoming choir concert, production of the pop-eretta “Mirabelle,” or lecture. Stay in touch with all things Arts and Sciences by joining our Facebook page.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
David V. Powers
In its very first year, the MFA in Arts Leadership surpassed its enrollment goals and has been on an upward climb ever since. Today, the program is expanding to respond to the ever-increasing demand for arts leadership at home and abroad, thanks to program director Kevin Maifeld.
In 2006, Professor Mike Bisesi needed someone to teach finance and business fundamentals in the Masters in Nonprofit Leadership Program, and he called on Kevin Maifeld, then managing director of Seattle Children’s Theatre.
Maifeld had vast experience in managing major arts institutions, including the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, a $8.4 million professional regional theatre with more than 200 artists, craftspeople, and administrative staff. The festival produces eight-performances a week during a 40-week season. As managing director, Maifeld developed a successful community acting training program for children and adults, managed a $15 endowment campaign, and initiated the Southern Writers Project new play development program.
Maifeld joined the Seattle Children’s Theatre in 2001. As managing director, he launched “Plays for Young Audiences,” a play licensing company, and completed a $10 million capital campaign that resulted in the Allen Family Technical Pavilion, a state-of-the-art production facility adjacent to the theater on the grounds of Seattle Center.
When Bisesi wanted to develop student internships in arts organizations, he introduced Maifeld to Theatre Professor Carol Wolfe Clay. They soon recognized the need for a new generation of leaders who could focus on the complex issues facing nonprofit arts organizations.
Few advanced degree programs address the management components of both visual and performing arts organizations in their curricula. In addition to the creative talent needed to be successful, arts organizations must attract a steady stream of audiences and patrons, recruit volunteers, and meet the day-to-day demands of any business.
Maifeld and Clay received approval from the Board of Trustees to institute an MFA in Arts Leadership. Maifeld became the program director. In September 2007, the first group of MFA students arrived on campus.
The MFA in Arts Leadership curriculum requires courses in financial management, marketing, public policy, resource development, law and the arts, and board and volunteer development. Students must also complete the Graduate Management Practicum, an opportunity to earn academic credit while working in local arts organizations.
“Our students intern in the opera, symphony, ballet, museums, art galleries, dance companies, and theater companies that Seattle is famous for,” Maifeld said. “They take what they learn in class and immediately apply it. That practical experience is invaluable and sets our alumni apart.”
The MFA draws musicians, poets, actors and directors, painters, arts educators and advocates, and curators from the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia. They share one desire: to become leaders in arts organizations.
The global economic downtown has put increased pressure on the arts. In the United States, arts organizations have required more efficient and effective practices to develop sufficient resources. In Europe and Asia, many arts groups, accustomed to robust state support, are now faced with weaning themselves off of long-term government support.
Maifeld is accustomed to having more students apply than the program can accommodate. That’s about to change. Beginning in August 2012, the MFA in Arts Leadership will expand from 20 to 40 students.
“To adapt to recent economic changes, the arts community, here and abroad, is turning to us for our expertise in audience development, arts financing, marketing, and strategic planning,” Maifeld said. “We are expanding to address that need while maintaining the integrity of our program: strong academics linked to practical experience in arts organizations.”
By all measures, the MFA in Arts Leadership is a success. In just five years, the program joined the elite group of graduate programs awarded full membership in the Association of Arts Administration Educators.
Growing up in Barquismeto, Venezuela’s fourth largest city, Sarah Brady developed a keen sense of the disparities between rich and poor.
“My parents were working with people in need, and every day I was confronted with the realities of social injustice,” she said.
Framed by her experiences, Brady came to the College of Arts and Sciences to major in International Studies and minor in Economics. For an internship in the Dominican Republic, she worked on ecotourism projects in low-income communities and lived in a mountain town with a 60% youth unemployment rate. She spent last summer at Maryknoll in Washington, D.C., where her focus was on Latin American human rights and policy. She returned to campus in the fall to restart “The Catalyst,” the student voice on social justice.
Brady had written for “The Catalyst” during her freshman year and believes an important voice was lost when it stopped publishing in 2009. Eager to pick up where it left off, she put together a team of student writers and designers. The first issue came out in October 2011.
Currently, 30 students work for the publication, which is produced twice each quarter. Recent issues included articles on unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds, detention centers, Arab Spring, and Occupy Seattle. The students decide on the theme of each issue, write and edit the articles, do the layout, take photographs, and then distribute the publication.
“We certainly have heated discussions, but our goal is to address issues not usually talked about,” she emphasized. “Our challenge is to present a balanced approach, and we strive to do that. Last fall, for example, we presented opposing positions in the policy debate around illegal immigrants.”
An honors student, Brady is interested in taking social justice beyond service to the community into advocacy. She will serve with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps International in the Cusco Province of Peru next year.
You can read the latest issue of “The Catalyst” here.
She rides a bike down back alleys and carries a gun. She frequents prisons and meets with gang members. For Seattle Police Officer Kim Bogucki, the biggest challenge is not in making an arrest, but in finding answers to the big “if” question to break cycles of violence and reduce incarceration.
When Sociology Professor Peter Scharf brought a woman police officer to class, Bogucki’s life changed forever. She knew she wanted to help people when she came to the College of Arts and Sciences but hadn’t foreseen becoming a cop on the beat. Now, 23 years later, she is not only a community outreach police officer, but the founder and driving force behind the “If Project,” a police department program focused on crime prevention and reducing recidivism.
The East Precinct is just a few blocks and a world away from the SU campus. Bogucki learned about policing by working nights during her first assignment as a police officer.
“We were dealing with gay bashing and gang activity then,” she recalled. “Our call load was heavy, and we just went from one call to the next. Seeing children dead and arresting youth made me wonder how they made the choices they made.”
The seed of the If Project was beginning to take root.
Fast forward to 2007.
Using an upcoming production of “West Side Story” as a starting point, Bogucki worked with fellow officer Adrian Diaz, Liza Comtois of the 5th Avenue Theatre, and Seattle high school students to organize summits aimed at reducing cultural conflict. More than 300 youth attended workshops about gangs, the juvenile justice system, diversity, and immigration. They participated in dramatic role reversals with officers. Because of the success of the West Side Story Project, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services created a toolkit for law enforcement agencies. The project has been replicated from coast to coast.
When asked to come to a Girl Scout Beyond Bars troop meeting in the Washington Correction Center for Women in Purdy, Bogucki met mothers who were inmates serving various sentences, including life sentences without the possibility of parole. That visit brought a new dimension to her police work.
“I knew about Purdy because I wrote about it as a student, but I was blown away when I met the women there,” she recalled. “My perception of women in jail after being a cop for so long was totally different from what I saw there.”
Seeking to find those nuggets of truth that could turn kids away from gangs and crime, she asked a small group, “If there was something someone could have said or done that would have changed the path that lead you here, what would it have been?”
The If Project was born.
Two months later, inmate Renata Abramson handed Bogucki a stack of papers. The question had hit a nerve. A series of writing workshops began exploring similar questions. Several women agreed to be videotaped, and their stories are posted on the If Project website. As of today, more than 750 inmates have written their stories.
Hearing the stories of these women, many who will be in prison for a very long time, creates a connection with youth that police just can’t duplicate.
“I’ve heard from youth from around the country who told me that the stories turned their lives around,” Bogucki said. “If we can interrupt the cycle of violence, we’ve really done our job.”
Bogucki received the Red Cross Heroes Award for her work with homeless and street-involved youth, Seattle Police Foundation Community Ambassador Award for outreach to the East African Community, Chief’s Award for her work with foster children, and the President’s Award from the Center for Children and Youth Justice in addition to be named a Woman of Inspiration by the Seattle Storm.
Miyuki Tomura knows first-hand the issues and concerns of immigrants to the United States. She came to Seattle from Japan after completing her studies at Dokkyo University. Always interested in mental health, she enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology, and then earned her doctorate from Saybrook University. Today, she works at Seattle’s Asian Counseling and Referral Service providing mental health services to immigrants from Asia. Many are first and second generations from Japan and recent refugees from Bhutan and Burma
Seattle’s Bhutanese-Nepali community has experienced displacement and poverty. About 250,000 Bhutanese-Nepalis had lived in Bhutan for many years when, in the1990s, 85,000 were expelled by the government. They fled to Nepal and settled in a large refugee camp run by the United Nations.
In collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations resettled the refugees in Western nations, including Canada, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Australia in addition to the United States. Approximately 2,000 now live in King County.
“You can imagine how confused those families are,” Tomura said. “Many of them had no choice in where they would be sent. They lost their homes twice, first in Bhutan and then in the refugee camp. Their communities, friends, neighbors, and relatives have been dispersed throughout the world.”
Once farmers, Seattle’s Bhutanese-Nepalis are now city dwellers. They face high unemployment and extreme poverty as well as language and cultural barriers.
Not surprising, Tomura sees clients with severe anxiety, depression, PTSD, and adjustment disorder as well as those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Working with Nepali interpreters, Tomura visits families in their homes and encourages them to participate in English language programs.
Tomuro finds that many immigrants and refugees have negative views of mental health treatment. She draws on her own experiences to build trust with her clients and collaborates with healthcare providers to offer culturally competent services.
“Women tend to suffer more from depression than men,” she noted. “In addition to the resettlement issues, many face gender oppression from living in male-dominated cultures.”
Reaching out to Japanese immigrant women, Tomura created a website mainly for Japanese divorcing and divorced women in Washington.
“A lot of Japanese immigrant women are taken advantage of by their divorcing husband because of a lack of information and language and cultural barriers,” she said. “Even here in Seattle, the Japanese community has neglected this population. Many divorced Japanese women experience stigmatization in their community.”
In addition to counseling clients at Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Tomura writes about divorce and mental health for a local Japanese web magazine, Junglecity.com. She also gives quarterly lectures at a Japanese preschool where she collaborates with the developer of a support group for Japanese single parents.
From David Chow, Academic Development Officer
The Department of Fine Arts now brings internationally known artists to campus with funding from the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts. During the year, students had the opportunity to engage with Spanish visual artist Carolina Silva and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This month, Charlene Archibeque, who has presented choirs and conducted workshops throughout the United States, Australia, England, Canada, and most of Europe, holds a three-day workshop in preparation for an April concert. Casey James began his six-month residency in the winter quarter and will collaborate on the spring theatre production of the pop-eretta “Mirabelle: A Breeze.”
In addition, alumnus Richard Beers II, class of 2007, created a new endowment specifically for sociology students. The endowment enhances the Dean’s Research Fellowship program, which provides summer stipends for students to work with faculty on research projects. The Dean’s Research Fellowships began in 2011 with funding from the Dean’s Fund for Excellence. The Richard F. Beers II Undergraduate Sociology Research Endowment will provide summer stipends for students to conduct research with faculty in the Sociology Department.
These gifts permanently broaden our arts and humanities curriculum. I encourage you to join our efforts to support academic excellence, promote global engagement, and create leaders for a just and humane world.
For more event information, please visit the College of Arts and Sciences Campus Calendar.