Alumni Newsletter

Message from the Director

Dr. Paulette Kidder, Director

The end of Spring Quarter always brings a dizzying combination of intense last-minute pressures punctuated by quiet moments of reflection.  This year is no exception, as students finish finals and papers at the same time that they are moving out of the residence halls and making summer plans; faculty scramble to get their grading done, and every committee on campus tries to squeeze in one more meeting.  In the midst of all this activity, we sometimes stop to savor the moment.  We put on our academic regalia and reflect on the journey our students have made during their years here at Seattle University.  

In the Matteo Ricci Institute, we are proud of our thirty-two new graduates in the Humanities, Humanities for Teaching, and Humanities for Leadership programs.  It has been a privilege to be part of the academic and personal transformations that they have each experienced in their years here. Congratulations to the graduating class of 2019! 

I would also like to congratulate some of our graduating and continuing students on special milestones and accomplishments:  

Maddy Mele, Julia Cordero, and Jasmine Waland have all received prestigious Fulbright Awards for the coming year. 

Siena Miller and Phillip Stamolis received the Sue M. Naef Scholarship at SU for 2019-20. 

Ally Choate and Shianne Smith made stellar contributions to this year's record-smashing season of the Seattle University Softball team.  

My special thanks to Clare Lyons and Maddy Mele, who inaugurated our new peer mentor program, providing guidance to first- and second-year Matteo Ricci students, and organizing popular social events; and to Jonathan Choe and Nyall Padre, who made outstanding contributions to our advising and office operations.

Our congratulations and warm wishes to our graduating students and their friends and families!


2019-2020 Award Recipients

Each year the Matteo Ricci Institute selects two students for our departmental awards. At the College of Arts and Sciences Award Ceremony, and at our Matteo Ricci annual reception for graduating students and their families and friends, we presented the following awards to our graduating seniors. 

Harrison Feain: Award for Excellence in Humanities

The Matteo Ricci Institute's Award for Excellence in Humanities is awarded to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Emi Wheeless: Service and Leadership Award

The Matteo Ricci Institute's Service and Leadership Award recognizes a graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities in service to the Institute.

Congratulations for your outstanding accomplishments and contributions!


Ethics Bowl Ranked 6th in the nation

After a busy season, the SU Ethics Bowl Team competed in the national competition in Baltimore and is now ranked 6th in the nation. Ethics Bowl Coach and Matteo Ricci Instructor Ben Howe believes that the biggest accomplishment was not the ranking the team achieved, but rather, the work they did and the camaraderie they sustained to get there. Students share about their time in Ethics Bowl and how it has helped them in their lives both in and out of school. Read the full article in the Newsroom.


Faculty Spotlight

This quarter, we celebrate the achievements of two of our very own faculty members, Dr. Paulette Kidder and Prof. Claudio Castro Luna:

Dr. Paulette Kidder

This past winter, it was announced that the McGoldrick Award, the highest award bestowed to a faculty member and named after a Jesuit who devoted nearly 50 years to the University, was awarded to none other than our Director, Dr. Paulette Kidder! Dr. Kidder joined the faculty in 1989 as a member of the Philosophy Department (where she is now an Associate Professor), joined Matteo Ricci College in 2016 as its Interim Dean, and in 2018 became the inaugural Director of the Matteo Ricci Institute as we joined the College of Arts and Sciences.  She teaches and researches the ethics of food and health care, 19th century feminist moral theory, and the philosophy of Martha Nussbaum. Read the full announcement here.

Prof. Claudia Castro Luna

headshot of instuctor Claudia Castro Luna Earlier this year, the Academy of American Poets announced Claudia Castro Luna, a member of our very own Matteo Ricci faculty, as one of the first 13 poets laureate awarded fellowships to create an impactful and innovative poetry project. The fellowship recognizes the laureates’ literary merit and supports civic programs. Prof. Castro Luna will use her $100,000 grant to bring poetry along the Columbia River through a series of readings.

Read more about Prof. Castro Luna's Project in The Colombian

Congratulations and thank you for your continued contributions to our community!


Alumni Spotlight

Our featured alumni this quarter share about their accomplishments after graduating from Matteo Ricci as they reflect on how their studies have impacted their lives.

Jenny Farrell

Jenny Farrell graduated from Kennedy Catholic High School in 1992 where she took "Great Ideas" with the esteemed Perry Lorenzo.  She earned BAs in Humanities and Psychology at Seattle University. As a student in the Matteo Ricci College (now Institute), Jenny recalls many opportunities for leadership, service and critical analysis of institutional injustice.  The Humanities degree created the foundation for writing, reflection, and communication that she continues to use today as a Consortium teacher at Kennedy Catholic where she team teaches Poverty in America with John Wright. Currently, she is mother to three future Redhawks and is pursuing a Doctorate in Ministry at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry.  

Noel Chapman

"Greetings to my Matteo Ricci Community!

From the moment I walked through the doors at Matteo Ricci eight years ago as a student in the brand new Humanities for Leadership headshot of alumni Noel Chapmanprogram, the only thing I really knew about my future was that I was going to get to law school one way or another. What I did not know was how many moments for learning and development I would have during my four years. I especially was not aware of how it would prepare me for my law school experience. Having just graduated from Boston University School of Law, I know now that Matteo Ricci prepared me for all that close reading, built up my comfort speaking in the classroom, and gave me a method for helping my clients discern their own path. I’m very thankful to my professors, mentors, and cohort that taught me so much during my time at Matteo Ricci!"


We love hearing from our Alumni!

We invite you to share any updates or accomplishments through our Stay Connected form.