Winter 2011

Alumni Newsletter - Winter 2011

Dean’s Message 

Happy New Year to All!

Starting the year off with a record number of students was a challenge, but an exciting one. We are now in the next round of classes and events, and the winter quarter is shaping up to be one of the best yet.

We celebrate academic excellence within the College of Arts and Sciences with three special events: the installation of History Professor H. Hazel Hahn as the Theiline Pigott McCone Chair in Humanities on January 11, the installation of Anthropology Professor Ted Fortier as the Reverend Louis Gaffney Chair on February 10, and the distinguished lecture of LeRoux Scholar Mark Bosco, S.J., on February 24. In addition, Professor Quinton Morris performs at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 15.  I hope you can join us for any or all of these very special events that honor and celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty.

For our basketball enthusiasts, the College is sponsoring the SU Redhawks home game against the UW Huskies on Tuesday night, February 22, at Key Arena. Click here for special reserved seats for alumni and friends of the College, promo code: A&S.  Let’s “get the red out” for this crosstown rivalry.

I encourage you to take advantage of the wide range of programs, lectures, and activities taking place at Seattle U. Check our website or join our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on the excitement that is the College of Arts and Sciences.

I look forward to seeing you soon,

David V. Powers
College of Arts & Sciences

Special Events

January 11:  Installation of History Professor Hazel Hahn as the Theiline Pigott McCone Endowed Chair, 4 p.m. Campion Ballroom, reception immediately following.

January 15: Quinton Morris Debuts at Carnegie Hall, 2 p.m.
January 27: Opening Reception: Imagining the World: Study Abroad and International Student Photography Competition, 5 – 8 p.m., Kinsey Gallery.

February 10:  Installation of Anthropology Professor Ted Fortier as the
Reverend Louis Gaffney Chair, 4 p.m. Campion Ballroom, reception immediately following.

February 10:
Catholic Heritage Lecture Series,
7 – 9 p.m., Pigott Auditorium

February 22: A&S Night at Key Arena, SU Men’s Basketball vs. University of Washington (PROMO CODE: A&S)

February  24:  Visiting LeRoux Chair Mark Bosco, S.J., 4 p.m., Wyckoff Auditorium

Mauseth Develops Haiti Mental Health Support Team

A year after Haiti’s devastating earthquake and the massive outpouring of support from around the world, the people of Haiti have receded from the headlines. For Kira Mauseth, adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology, and Arts and Sciences senior Kyla King, the tragedy lives on in the Haitians traumatized by homelessness, loss of loved ones, and depleted resources. 

“From our comfortable homes, it’s easy to focus on the brick and mortar supplies needed to rebuild Haiti,” Mauseth said after her fourth trip to the island nation. “The long-term mental health needs are too often overlooked.”

A specialist in disaster mental health and abnormal psychology, Mauseth is addressing that oversight by developing long-term mental health support for communities around Port-au-Prince. The Haiti 1:1 Health Support Team teaches local volunteers the basics of psychological first aid, disaster mental health, and techniques and tools they can use to assist and support their neighbors. More than 60 Haitians, including some working with orphans, have already been trained and are now providing mental health services in their communities.

King decided to go to Haiti after taking Mauseth’s psychology class. She is no stranger to reaching out to others. She participated in a middle school suicide prevention program implemented as a high school student and currently works in Seattle at the Downtown Emergency Service Center’s Morrison Hotel whose residents had been homeless and have mental illness, physical disability, and/or drug and alcohol problems. Working two jobs over the summer, this scholarship student paid her way to accompany Mauseth to Haiti in August.
Upon arriving in Haiti after a long series of flights, King found herself exhausted. Once recovered from the heat and dehydration, she could focus on the tasks at hand and soon found herself sitting in a “train the trainer” program with 50 Haitian volunteers.

“We were putting in 12-hour days,” she recalled. “Those volunteers were shoulder-to-shoulder in a small room. It was hot, and yet they came to learn how to help.”

King learned much about herself, psychology, and cultural differences during her short time in Haiti, but most of all, she learned a lesson rarely found in a textbook.

“Professor Mauseth was clear with the volunteers and with me that it is absolutely essential that we take care of ourselves,” she emphasized. “I watched her looking out for volunteers who were becoming dehydrated because they were too busy to drink.  I learned that only by taking care of myself can I do my job.  It’s a lesson I’ll never forget.”

Hahn and Fortier Awarded Distinguished Chairs  

Professor Hazel Hahn has received the Theiline Pigott McCone Chair in Humanities and Anthropology Professor Ted Fortier has been named the Reverend Louis Gaffney Chai r  in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Pigott McCone endowment is dedicated to promoting scholarly life among faculty and is awarded to a member of the College of Arts and Sciences faculty who is an outstanding teacher and scholar in one of the basic humanities disciplines. The Gaffney endowment promotes issues related to the Jesuit mission and identity and emphasizes the Jesuit ideal of teaching.

These endowments support the scholarly activities of the professors as well as provide funding to increase scholarship in their fields. Previous chairs have brought distinguished scholars to campus, held national conference, and conducted research leading to books and articles.

Hahn joined the faculty in 2000 and is the Director of the Asian Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on European urban history, European imperialism, and Southeast Asian urban and cultural history. She recently published Scenes of Parisian Modernity: Culture and Consumption in the Nineteenth Century and is currently working on a book, Cultures of Travel in the Nineteenth Century, as well as a history of urban planning in Indochina. She is also a co-editor of “Architectural-ized Asia,” about cases of architecture that are geographically and politically at the margins of Asia. An article on representations of empires in the French and English illustrated press will be published next year.

Hahn, who is fluent in French and  Korean and has some knowledge of Vietnamese, received her Ph.D. and M.A. in History at the University of California – Berkeley and a B.A. in History from Wellesley College.

Hahn will be installed as the Pigott McCone Chair on Tuesday, January 11, at 4 p.m. in Campion Hall.  As part of her installation, she will give a distinguished lecture on “Indo-China, Chin-India or Farther India? Geographical Imagination and the Place of Indochina in the French Empire.” A reception immediately follows the ceremony.

For more than 30 years, Ted Fortier has explored the cultural identities of indigenous peoples throughout the world. Focusing on spiritual elements, cultural adaptation, and historic events, he has conducted field research that addressed cultural memory, resistance, environmental justice, faith, and identity. His anthropological studies have involved work with tribes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska; Mayans in Chiapas, Mexico; and peoples of the First Nations in Canada.

In addition to receiving numerous awards and grants for his research and scholarship, students selected him for the Outstanding Faculty Member award in 1999. He currently teaches courses in cultural anthropology, Indians of the Pacific Northwest, psychological anthropology, shamanism, anthropological theory, linguistics, religions of the oppressed, and experiences of the sacred across cultures. He recently published “Cultural Memory: Religion, Resistance and Identity,” (co-authored with Professor Jeanette Rodriguez).

Fortier received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Washington State University, Th.M. and M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology, M.A. from Gonzaga University, and B.A. from Simon Fraser University.  He joined the College of Arts and Sciences faculty in 1997. In addition to teaching in the Department of Anthropology, Social Work and Sociology, he has served as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Theology and Ministry.

The installation of Ted Fortier as the Gaffney Endowed Chair, takes place at 4 p.m. on February 10, in Campion Hall. As part of his installation, he will present “Converting the Black Robes: Native American Contributions to the Jesuits.” A reception immediately follows the ceremony.

Morris to Perform at Carnegie Hall  

 Dr. Quinton Morris, violinist, Director of Chamber and Instrumental Music, and Assistant Professor of Music, performs in Weill Recital Hall at  Carnegie Hall on January 15 . His recital debut features works by Korngold, Tosti, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, Chausson, Still, Rachmaninoff, Smith, and Bonds. Joining him are international opera soprano Indra Thomas and Dr. Maimy Fong, piano.

Morris has performed in concert halls throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He is the recipient of numerous competition awards including The Boston Conservatory Chamber Music Honors Competition, the Louisiana Junior Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist’s Concerto Competition, Seattle Philharmonic Concerto Competition, the NAACP ACT-SO Competition, the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs String Competition, and the Ebony Showcase Music Award.  Most recently, Morris was a “Distinguished” prizewinner in the international Ibla Grand Prize held in Sicily, Italy, and completed a world tour where he performed concerts in Italy, France, Australia, Korea, and Japan. 

Morris has been on the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2007. He is also the artistic/executive director and founder of The Young Eight, the only American string octet comprised of distinguished African- American string players from the nation’s prestigious music schools and conservatories.

Morris recently recorded two CDs, a solo recording of the complete sonatas of Chevalier de Saint Georges with MSR/Albany Records and a collaborative project for soprano, violin, and piano with soprano Indra Thomas for Naxos International Records. 

Morris was selected (along with Indra Thomas) through an application and audition process to perform a recital through a chamber music series at Carnegie Hall.  This marks the first recital in over a decade that has been performed by an artist from the Pacific Northwest.

Alumni Profile: Nancy McKenney, MNPL ’96, Chair, Dean’s Leadership Council  

 When Seattle University offered its first classes for the Masters in Nonprofit Leadership (MNPL) in the summer of 1995, Nancy McKenney was used to breaking new ground. At the age of 26, she became the youngest executive director of the Humane Society for Seattle-King County. As she grew the agency from a staff of 15 to 42 and a budget of $300,000 to $3 million, she undertook the challenge of working towards an advanced degree.

“The society was heading into a capital campaign and a strategic planning process,” she recalled. “I wanted to take us to the next step, diversify our programs, and plan carefully for growth. Getting a graduate degree was always on my agenda, and the MNPL came along at just the right time. ”

Nancy credits the program with strengthening her leadership skills and giving her the confidence to address the needs of a growing organization as well as positioning her to manage other types of nonprofit organizations.

“The work assignments were so applicable to what I was doing, and the students were all colleagues with similar issues,” she said. “We all became more competent and more effective. I still refer to the books and handouts from those classes.”

Four years ago, Maureen Brotherton, also an MNPL graduate of the class of 1996, invited Nancy to join her on the Dean’s Leadership Council in the College of Arts and Sciences. Now the chair, Nancy works with alumni and friends of the College to introduce the dean to the broader community. The Council also provides advice on initiatives.

“The College has undergone a lot of transition and is now embarking on a strategic plan as part of the University’s planning process,” she said recently. “We’re providing a sounding board as that process goes forward.”

For information on how you can be involved in the Dean’s Leadership Council, contact David Chow at

Recent Alumni Profile: Cassandra Little  

Driven by her passion for social justice, Cassandra Little, class of 2010, came to SU knowing she wanted to work towards the betterment of society. She merged her academic studies in strategic communications and public affairs with five paid internships that honed her skills in advocacy and critical thinking. One of eight students to receive a coveted assignment with the Family Homelessness Journalism Fellowship Project, she found herself immersed in researching, interviewing, and fine-tuning messages about children and their families who are homeless.

“This was hands-on work on an issue I was deeply interested in,” she said. “It was the first time I got to work closely with a professional journalist, and it was an amazing experience.”

The Journalism Fellowships on Family Homelessness, made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the Center for Strategic Communications, links professional journalists with Arts and Sciences students to study and report on family homelessness.

“Hearing the numbers is one thing,” Little said, “but meeting the people behind the numbers is very different. Giving a prominent voice to these issues is essential if we are ever to move policy to find solutions.”

Little worked with Carol Smith, a senior writer at InvestigateWest and a seasoned reporter with more than 20 years of experience. Together, they chronicled the lives of young adults living on the streets of Seattle. Their stories aired on national and local radio stations and appeared on news sites with global reach.

A scholarship recipient and the first in her family to go to college, Little graduated Summa Cum Laude, served on the Arts and Sciences Student Executive Council, and was a founding member of the SU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Today, she is an AmeriCorps volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County, located in Port Townsend, WA.

Part of her assignment is to develop a neighborhood revitalization effort in the town of Quilcene.  This community was hit hard by the recession, with 23% of children ages 5 to17 living below the poverty line. About 50% of children are eligible for free or reduced price lunches at school.

“Housing is in poor condition,” she said. “Jobs in construction have dried up, and people are living in unsafe and unhealthy conditions—lack of plumbing, overcrowding, wood as the main source of heat. It will take a community effort to revitalize this town, improve housing, and develop new jobs.”

Little is putting her public affairs and communications skills to good use as she meets with businesses, government officials, nonprofit agencies, school district administrators, and community members to develop a plan and attract needed resources.

“SU taught me to look at the world through a lens of solidarity,” she noted. “SU pushes you to have individual interactions, to address social justice on the ground, to do things that make a difference. I know that by building a coalition on the basis that every person has the right to safe, decent housing, we can make a difference in this community.”