Dean's Monthly Memo, March 2016


Alumni Awards Celebration Recognizes A&S Alumni, Faculty

President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., the Seattle University Alumni Association and the Alumni Board of Governors are pleased to announce the university’s 2016 Alumni Awards recipients.  We will celebrate the achievements of these outstanding Seattle University alumni and faculty at the 31st Annual Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, April 29, at 6 p.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. We hope you will join us. Register or host a table here.

Hollis Wong-Wear, ’09, Outstanding Recent Alumna
A Sullivan Scholar and 2009 graduate, Hollis Wong-Wear is a poet, songwriter, creative producer and lead vocalist in the electronic R&B band, The Flavr Blue. In addition to her artistic accomplishments, Wong-Wear is a manager, community leader and businesswoman. Her dedication to education, the arts, youth, social justice and empowerment issues have led her into public service, serving on the boards of the Seattle Center Advisory Commission, the Seattle Music Commission and 4Culture, King County’s public art agency. Read more here.

Cheryl Sesnon, MNPL ’03, Community Service
As the acting director of FareStart, Cheryl Sesnon, was given 18 months to put the fledgling organization’s books in order. She transformed the agency into a culinary job training program for the homeless. Within six years, Sesnon was overseeing an annual budget of over $2 million. She volunteers for Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, traveling twice a year to Central America to provide leadership coaching, while also serving on a number of boards. Read more here.

Sean McDowell, PhD, Distinguished Faculty
Associate Professor of English, Director of the Honors Program and director of the Irish Writer’s Workshop, Sean McDowell received the 2006 Most Inspirational Faculty Award in recognition of his ability to engage and motivate students. For McDowell, teaching is his gift and his passion. He derives great satisfaction from not only sharing his own love of literature, but infusing his students with hunger for a lifetime of learning. For the past 12 summers, McDowell has taken student groups to Ireland for three weeks, an often life-changing experience. He was recently honored by being elected to membership in the International Association of University Professors of English, leads several literary societies and is editor of the John Donne Journal. A writer of fiction, poetry and screen plays, McDowell is preparing his first collection of poems for publication. Read more here.

LeRoux Lecture on March 2

The Politics of Imaging Public Personalities: Dr. Richard Rego, SJ, Joseph University (Bangalore, India), analyzes the superfluity and falsity of public images of Narendra Modi and the ways in which they contributed to the promotion of Modi as the future Prime Minister. He explores the transformation of Modi in the public sphere and deconstructs the mediation of the images of this process, which in India was popularly, even light-heartedly, called Modi-fication. 6 p.m., faculty lounge, Lemieux Library. Free and open to the public.


Criminal Justice faculty and undergraduate and graduate students had a strong presence at the 2016 Western Society of Criminology (WSC) Conference held in Vancouver, BC, in February. Students Emily Maltreud, Chase Yap, and Chelsea Johnson presented papers; Carol Burciaga-Kirchner attended as a research assistant on Professor Will Parkin's research presentation, and Jessica Chandler, Kalie Nelson, Chelsea Toby, Alex Thomas, Michelle Larson, and Cassandra Ingram attended and supported classmates and faculty presenters. Also presenting were Professors Matt Hickman, Stephen Rice, Elaine Gunnison, Will Parkin, Jacqueline Helfgott, John Vinson. Professor Hickman is the new President-elect of WSC. Professor Stephen Rice and John Vinson who were elected Counselor-At-Large. More here.

Future Student in the News: Meet incoming student Mariana Renteria Hernandez from Yakima, 1 of 8 Distinguished Finalists from Washington for The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, the largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service.  She plans to major in psychology and nonprofit leadership. On KNDO TV here.


In the News: Criminal Justice Chair Jacqueline Helfgott and Professor Peter Collins on the Washington State Department of Corrections computer glitch that allowed the early release of prisoners, in the Seattle Times here.

In the News: An interview with Professor Brian McCullough, director of the graduate Certificate in Sport Sustainability Leadership, on the environmental and financial benefits of sustainability efforts in the sport industry, on Sports Law Biz. Listen here. McCullough also published “A Forecast for the Mainstreaming of Environmental Sustainability,” in Sport and Entertainment Review.

Professor Maylon Hanold spoke at Lancaster University, UK, about her pedagogical innovations in her Developing Sport Leadership course. Her talk,"Developing Sport Leadership through Embodiment," focused on the ways in which she utilizes concepts of embodiment to raise students' awareness of the body/mind connection and its importance in developing leadership skills such as empathy, listening, mindfulness, and reflection as a practice for self-awareness at the cognitive and physical levels. She discussed ways in which students not only learned about leadership, but also developed their own leadership through these practices. Further, she discussed the differences in how women and men drew on these practices for personal development. Her lecture was in association with the Academy for Women, Diversity and Leadership within Lancaster University Management School.

In the News: Professor Mary-Antoinette Smith, who teaches in the English Department and the Women and Gender Studies Department, is featured in latest issue of U.S. Catholic here.

Communication Professor Gary Atkins’s book, Gay Seattle, was featured in The Stranger as one of 12 books about Seattle everyone should read. More here

In the News: Music Professor Quinton Morris on his film and world tour, in the Seattle Times here.

Theology and Religious Studies Professor Jeanette Rodriguez presents the closing keynote, “Cuentos We Live: Cuentos que Vivimos,” on April 29 at the University of Kansas as part of a monthlong series of events on Latino American history and culture.

In the News: Institute of Public Service Director Larry Hubbell and Institute of Public Service Visiting Scholar in Residence Joni Balter on their conversation with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, on KING 5 News here.

In the News: "The Last Salmon," an original play written and directed by Theatre Professor KI GOTTBERG, artistic director of The Merc Playhouse, opens February 26. More here.

In the News:  Criminal Justice Chair Jacqueline Helfgott found that 70 percent of the police views the use of crisis intervention teams favorably, on KPLU.

The study, “A descriptive evaluation of the Seattle Police Department's crisis response team officer/mental health professional partnership pilot program,” authored by Criminal Justice Professors Helfgott, Hickman, and Labossiere, was published in the International Journal of Law and Psychology  [44 (2016) 109–122].

Theology and Religious Studies Professor Wes Howard-Brook presented “Come Out, My People! God’s Call Out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond” at the Vancouver School of Theology in February.

Philosophy Professor Dan Dombrowski explores the history of the concept of God from the perspective of neoclassical, or process, theism in his latest book A History of the Concept of God: A Process Approach (SUNY Press 2016). More here.


MNPL alum Kirk Adams named President and CEO of American Foundation for the Blind.

In the News: MPA alum Nimco Bulale '13 on “Why It’s Important to Honor Home Languages in Schools,” in the Seattle Globalist here.

In the News: Environmental Studies Alum Loren Elliott, class of 2012, on working as a staff photographer at the Tampa Bay Times here.


Jonathan Hodges, a freshman from Austin, Texas and currently a String Performance (violin) major studying with Professor Quinton Morris, has made it to the finals for the Don Bushell Concerto Competition through the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra. This extremely competitive event draws students from across the region who compete for an opportunity to debut with the orchestra. The finals will be held on March 13 from 9 am to 5 pm in PONCHO Concert Hall, Kerry Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle.

Student in the News Strategic Communications junior Khadija Diallo's op ed: Diversity at the Oscars: Will my skills be overlooked too? in the Seattle Times here.


On sabbatical Spring Quarter: Kan Liang


Details are on the Campus Calendar.

March 4: Professor Onur Bakiner presents “Memory, Culture and Politics in Turkey” at 3:30 p.m., Wyckoff Auditorium

March 8: “Buddhism in Black America: A Global Perspective” featuring Dr. Charles Johnson and Lama Choyin Rangdrol for a public dialogue on the relevance of Buddhist philosophy and practice for Black America. 7 p.m., Bannan Auditorium

March 8: The New Generation of Salvadoran Rights Defenders, 10 a.m., Pigott 208

March 25 & 28: Offices Closed for Easter Holiday Break

March 31: “Ireland Since 1916: A Century of Rebellion?” is this year’s Al Mann Lecture, presented by Professor Andrew Sanders, Queen’s University, Belfast.  7 p.m., Wyckoff Auditorium

April 5: Bill McKibben, bestselling author and environmental activist, will be interviewed by IPS Director Larry Hubbell and multimedia journalist Joni Balter. 6 – 8 p.m., Campion Ballroom

Fine Arts Events
Details here (

March 4: Scratch, Lee Center for the Arts, 6:30 p.m.
March 5:  Choir Lenten Prayer Concert, Chapel of St Ignatius, 8 p.m.
March 6, Studio Violin Recital, 2 p.m.
March 10, Student Chamber Music Concert, 7:30 p.m.
March 11- April 8: Advanced Studio Exhibition, Vachon Gallery;Opening Reception: March 10, 2016, 4:30 -7:30 p.m.
March 31: Violas and Vixens, A recital with Dr. Amber Archibald, 7:30 p.m.

Save the Date

April 3: Accepted Student Open House
April 9: Accepted Student Open House
Apr. 21: Dean’s Coffee Hours, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., Casey Atrium 
May 5: Imagining the World Awards Reception, 5 – 7 p.m., Kinsey Gallery
May 9: Graff Lecture with Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby. 7pm
June 3: All College Day

The next Dean’s Monthly Memo will publish in April. Send items for the next issue to Laura Paskin by March 21.