March/April 2020

Message from the Dean

Shared Governance

Executive Committee:  Recent Minutes

Faculty Staff Senate: Recent Minutes

David V. Powers, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Seattle University


Student Awards

With the start of spring quarter comes the start of the awarding season. Please scroll through the message for the awards info that is pertinent to your student populations. 

Given our current Covid-19 social distancing requirements, an in-person event is unlikely. However, we would like to continue with our tradition of recognizing graduating students and are exploring ways to celebrate these students and highlight their accomplishments virtually. With that in mind, it is time to start collecting nominations and the information necessary to recognize our class of 2020 graduates.

Undergraduate Awards

Graduate Awards

Tau Sigma

Congratulations to the 21 Arts and Sciences students inducted into the Tau Sigma Transfer Student Honor Society, on February 20. Please congratulate them for their academic excellence and achievements.

John Nettles, Academic Advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences, also received recognized as an honorary member, for his dedication and service to transfer students.

Honored at Seattle University’s 10th Tau Sigma Induction Ceremony were:

  • Yaksi Andrade, Design
  • Rachel Arneberg, Environmental Studies
  • Navkirat Bhoga,l Criminal Justice
  • Augustyna Brestar, Communication and Media
  • Ernesto Chacon, Political Science
  • Robin Corboy, Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies
  • Haley Cummins, Communication and Media
  • Mitchell Dodge, History
  • Keith Fleming, Psychology
  • Courtney Gelmini, Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies
  • Alexa Hansen, Visual Art
  • Lauryn Hepp, Psychology
  • Rebekah Johnson, History
  • Jennifer Johnson, Criminal Justice
  • Sierra Noble, Communication and Media
  • Issac Pearson, Criminal Justice
  • Natalie Rahn, Women and Gender Studies
  • Rachel Russell, Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies
  • Jennifer Swain, Psychology
  • Ciara Torres, Premajor
  • Elizabeth Vargas, Social Work

Tau Sigma is a National Honor Society just for Transfer Students. The Seattle University Tau Sigma Gamma Mu Chapter began in 2010.  The purpose of the organization is to recognize the academic achievement of students transferring to Seattle University from another academic institution and to encourage and promote the students’ involvement at Seattle University.

2020-21 Faculty Fellowships

The Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture announced the recipients of the 2020-2021 Faculty Fellowships in research and in course development. These grants encourage and support faculty who wish to incorporate the Catholic Jesuit intellectual and cultural tradition into their academic repertoire.

Congratulations to the ten members of the College of Arts and Sciences faculty and their colleagues from other Colleges and Schools receiving these prestigious fellowships.

“As the interim director of the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, I would like to thank the members of our Fellowship Grants review committee and especially all those who submitted a proposal,” said Dr. Jeannette Rodriguez, Interim Director, Stamper Endowed Chair in Catholic Intellectual and Cultural Traditions and Professor, Theology and Religious Studies.  “We received a strong pool of applications and are glad to have been able to fund the great majority of these. We look forward to increasing our capacity to support more research and courses to advance the Jesuit Catholic vision within the university’s academic programs, so that students may gain a deep appreciation of the vitality and future of Catholic higher education.”

The 2020-2021 recipients of the ICTC Faculty Research Fellowships are:

  • Jaisy Joseph, PhD, Assistant Professor in Theology and Religious Studies, “On the Edges of Catholic Consciousness: Eastern Catholics in the United States”
  • Rick Malleus, PhD, Associate Professor in Communication, “Communicating Catholicism in Crisis: The Zimbabwean Context”
  • Charisse Cowan Pitre, PhD, Professor in the College of Education, “Black Catholic Educators on Teaching for Justice: Reflections on Identity, Wholeness, and Reconciliation”
  • Mary-Antoinette Smith, PhD, Associate Professor in English, “Introducing Ellen Tarry: African-American Catholic Convert and Interracial Justice Advocate”
  • RESEARCH TEAM: Jessica Imanaka, PhD, Associate Professor in Philosophy and Management, Naomi Kasumi, MFA, Professor in Art, Art History and Design, Douglas Peduti, SJ, PhD, Instructor in Philosophy, Sharon Suh, PhD, Professor in Theology and Religious Studies, Michael Trice, PhD, Professor in the School of Theology and Ministryand Jason Wirth, PhD, Professor in Philosophy, “Buddhist/Christian Dialogue: Departing from St. Francisco Xavier’s letters on Japan”

The 2020-2021 recipients of the ICTC Faculty Course Development Fellowships are:

  • Anne Farina, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Professor in Social Work, “Global Perspectives of Mental Health”
  • Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, PhD, Professor in Modern Languages and Cultures, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, “Gloria Anzaldúa: Her Writings, Life, and Legacy”
  • Kirsten Moana Thompson, PhD, Professor in Film Studies and English, “Visual Culture and Catholicism”

Fellowship Review Committee:

  • Chair: Mary Kay Brennan, DSW, College of Arts and Sciences - Social Work
  • Marinilka Kimbro, PhD, Albers School of Business - Accounting
  • Kristi Lee, PhD, College of Education – Counseling
  • Jessica Palmer, MA, Assistant Director - Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture
  • Jeff Philpott, PhD, University Core Curriculum and College of Arts and Sciences - Communication
  • Matthew Whitlock, PhD, College of Arts and Sciences - Theology and Religious Studies


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The Kinesiology Department matched SPEX students with faculty and staff clients’ for one of their electives. Volunteers get:

  • free exercise program, tailored to your personal fitness/health goals
  • free 8-week, one-on-one strength/physical training sessions with our upperclassmen students
  • an evidence-based practice that is known to reduce stress and anxiety, while helping our spex students get much needed (and desired) hands-on experience. all training sessions will be available from the privacy of your home, with no specialized equipment, and adhering to social distancing requirements.

The Kinesiology Department is also trying out an initiative this coming quarter, which will hopefully improve student anxiety levels by implementing breathing exercises into the beginning of each synchronous lecture delivered by  faculty.

They are treating the initiative like a simple research project and will have a quick survey (less than 5 minutes) for students to take at the beginning and end of the quarter.  The project has gone through IRB and received IRB exemption status.

They are hoping that this initiative will produce positive outcomes for the mental health of our students and could lead to larger scale application at Seattle University.

Elizabeth Dale, PhD, Nonprofit Leadership, co-authored "'The prettiest member of the team': how sexism pervades UK charities" with Dr. Beth Breeze, University of Kent. Read the article here. Read the full research report here.

The Kinesiology Department supported two faculty members and seven students (all members of our Kinesiology club) to attend the annual regional meeting of the Northwest American College of Sports Medicine, held at Boise State University, February 28 and 29. Dr. Erica Rauff promoted the upcoming MS Kinesiology program at various events, and Jacob Kysar was an invited speaker on Saturday’s schedule.  Students actively engaged with other (undergraduate and graduate) students and premiere researchers across the Northwest region.

The Kinesiology Department hosted a visiting researcher from Universität Bielefeld, Germany. Dr. Michael Gromeier collaborated with faculty, staff, and undergraduate students in the Human Performance Laboratory to collect throwing data in teenagers.  The five-month project aimed to understand risk factors for decreased motor competency in adolescents (a risk factor for decreased physical activity levels), and the project will be continued by undergraduate students after Dr. Gromeier’s sabbatical ended.

Peter Collins, PhD, Criminal Justice will participate in Seattle University’s partnership with the national nonprofit organization AI4ALL to offer a summer residential program for high school students in grades 9-11 who want to learn about artificial intelligence through the lens of criminal justice and ethics. Read the article here.

Jodi O'Brien, PhD, (Sociology, Women and Gender Studies) and Lucas Sharma, SJ, (Sociology, Anthropology, and Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture) participated in a 7-person team invited to prepare and present an "Overview of the Social, Economic, Political, and Ecclesial Context of the USA Jesuit West Province" for Fr. General Arturo Sosa, S.J. who visited the U.S. in February to learn more about Jesuits West. The presentation was hosted at Loyola Marymount University on February 1, 2020. Other faculty team members included Matthew Carnes, S.J., Georgetown University; Jorge Cortes, Allen Deck S.J., and Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University; and Ryan Herzog, Gonzaga University.

Heidi Liere, PhD, Environmental Studies, received a SU Global Engagement Grant for a pilot project in collaboration with Prof. Mark Jordan (Biology Department). They are partnering with a Guatemalan Jesuit University and will examine bird and insect biodiversity  in home gardens in a small rural village in Guatemala.   Four SU students (two from Arts and Sciences and two from Science and Engineering) will join them for a trip to Guatemala this summer.

Audrey Hudgins, EdD, Matteo Ricci Institute, and Mr. Joe Cotton, Director of Pastoral Care & Outreach in the Office of Pastoral Ministries of the Archdiocese of Seattle, partnered on a community-based participatory action research project to map and assess the Archdiocese response to immigrant communities in western Washington. The preliminary findings of the first phase of the project were presented at the one-day symposium, “Mind and Body: Gloria Anzaldúa, Xicanísima, and Beyond,” organized by Dr. Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs, the Theiline Pigott McCone Chair of Humanities.

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Of Gifts and Gratitude

April Update

More than $550,000 has been contributed by alumni and friends of SU to the Seattle University Student Emergency Needs Fund, specifically to assist students at this time.

March Update

Seattle U’s Campaign for the Uncommon Good continues to make progress toward the overall $275 million dollar goal. All gifts to the university count and here is a breakdown of where we are at in each of the three categories as of the end of February 2020:

Campaign raised to date: $259,036,510 (94.3% of goal)

  • Center for Science & Innovation - $95,908,791 booked to date
  • Mission & Programs - $93,856,814 booked to date
  • Scholarships - $69,270,915 booked to date

The College of Arts and Sciences has raised approximately $1.5 million this fiscal year and over $8.87 million to date in the Campaign. We know every dollar makes a difference and our fundraising efforts continue with a special focus on Kinesiology’s Mobile lab, the Indigenous Peoples Institute, and additional support for scholarships, faculty and programs across the college.

Seattle U released the endowment report in February and March, and endowment donors received an update on the performance of their named funds. A copy of the endowment report may be downloaded here.

Do you have questions about donations and/or alumni data?

If you, or your program/department has a question regarding the purpose of a restricted gift fund(s) and/or desires information about specific donors to your area, please know that in addition to contacting Katie Chapman, you may reach out to Kathleen Jones by email or (206) 296-5327 to research the answers for you. Thank you for being gracious stewards of our alumni and community partners’ donations.

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Sonora Jha, Professor, Communication, and Associate Dean for Academic Community, had the opportunity to spend a few days at Hedgebrook and work on her upcoming book. Learn more about Hedgebrook.

Elaine Gunnison, PhD, and Jacqueline Helfgott, PhD. Criminal Justice, are co-editors of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society, the official journal of the Western Society of Criminology. Read the April issue.

Beatrice Lawrence, PhD, Theology and Religious Studies, was featured in the GeekWire story, “Can you find God in a Zoom call? Communities of faith get religion on tech in COVID-19 crisis.” Read it here.

Kira Mauseth, PhD, Psychology, in The Seattle Times: “People are understandably focused on too much of the big picture. What we are really trying to emphasize is concentric circles of care. Focus on yourself and family, then neighbors, then community. Reach out only in those circles, because that’s what you have the energy and bandwidth for. It allows you to focus on what you can control. Anxiety is the lack of control.” Read the article

Aakanksha Sinha, PhD, Social Work, is also the co-owner of Spice Waala, on Capitol Hill. Beginning March 30, they began providing 50 free hot meals on Monday and Tuesday, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Quinton Morris, DMA, Performing Arts and Arts Leadership, is the new co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission, serving with Chair Priya Frank. Morris joined the Seattle Arts Commission in 2017. The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Commission members include artists, arts professionals and other citizens with diverse backgrounds and strong links to Seattle’s arts community. The Seattle Arts Commission supports the City by advocating for arts policy, creating access for equitable participation in the arts, and fostering enriching arts engagement for all residents.

Charles M. Tung, PhD, English, led a discussion in the Mellon Graduate Research Seminar, “Quanta, Psyche, Cell: Epistemologies of Temporality and Presence,” at the Humanities Research Center, Rice University, Houston TX, Feb 28, 2020.  His presentation, “Zero Hour:  Clocks and the Ongoing Ends of Modernity,” focused on big clocks, clockpunk anachronism, and critiques of settler imaginaries of the end of civilization.

Alex Johnston, PhD, and Kirsten Thompson, PhD, Film Studies, attended the Sundance Film Festival  and Windrider Forum, a Christian Social Justice Forum that is an official partner of Sundance. Dr. Thompson is Chair and Panel Proposer, Cleaning out Walt’s Vault: A Closer Look at Disney’s Corporate Practices, Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Conference, Denver, Colorado, April 1-4, 2020 (forthcoming) and will present the paper "There’s Money In That Scholarship: Disney's Appropriation and Monetization of (its) Historiography.”

Paul Kidder, PhD, Philosophy, published What Would Plato Have Thought of Donald Trump? on Post Alley. Read it here.

Mary Robertson, PhD, Sociology, gave the keynote address at the 2020 World Information Architecture Day event in downtown Seattle on February 22.

Susan Meyers, PhD, English, completed a month as an international artist-in-residence at Green Olive Arts in Morocco as part of her sabbatical activities.

Aakanksha Sinha, PhD, Social Work, presented “Human Rights-Based Approaches to Achieving Food Justice” in for the Office of Sponsored Projects’ inaugural Lightening Talk. You can view the presentation here.

Brooke Gialopsos, PhD, Criminal Justice, became a certified trainer for CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events) through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training center. She also co-authored a paper that was recently accepted for publication in the journal Victims and Offenders. The paper is entitled “Are Students Scared or Prepared? Psychological Impacts of a Multi-Option Active Assailant Protocol Compared to Other Crisis/Emergency Preparedness Practices” and is the first assessment of both negative and positive psychological impacts following a multi-option based training for 4th-12 grade students.

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Benjamin Griffiths, BA Arts Leadership '19, talked about his upcoming retirement and the challenges presented by the cancellation of Pacific NW Ballet's season in an interview with Marcie Sillman on KUOW. Benjamin and his current dance partner, Leta Biasucci (BA '18) earned his degree through Second Stage, a partnership between Seattle University​ and Pacific Northwest Ballet​. Read/listen here.

Osbaldo Hernandez, BA, Public Affairs ‘12,, and his family own Frelard Tamales, and they are packing free sack lunches for children who are out of school. Read the Seattle Times article.

ChrisTiana ObeySumner, BA, Psychology with Honors, '13 and MNPL, '16, and a Seattle-based social equity and intersectional disability justice consultant, in The Seattle Times: “Where was this urgency and empathy before? [This experience has shown that] if something is important for [non-disabled people], for their survival, for their protection, they will put that in place.” ChrisTiana is also a Seattle U MPA candidate, set to graduate this year. Read the article.

Meaghen Leferink, MFA '18 is the Executive Director of Seattle Girls Choir​., which recently released this online performance.

Brandon Morrison, Theology and Religious Studies, 2014, is a fitness coach who has turned to baking as the coronavirus has created big professional changes. “I’ve been the bread winner, ironically, for the last two years while my wife has been in nursing school. We depended on that coaching income to make ends meet. It’s really hard to know what life will be like after this but I’d love to be the bread man in this town." Read the article.

Kelly Hunt, Communication and Media, '20, and soon-to-be PGA Class A golf professional was featured in New England PGA's April magazine for her new website,, which she created when she discovered just how large the gender gap is in golf. Read the article.

Heidi Neff, MNPL, is a youth tutoring program manager for Catholic Community Services of Western Washington and participated in this meal delivery effort.

Ben McCarthy, MFA ’14, is producing OUTStream, an online, on-demand, and livestream film festival featuring queer film, episodic, and short films from all over the world. June 1 through 7, audiences will have the opportunity to view programs from any device as well as participate in interactive online Q&A's and discussions about the state of queer art, film, and media.

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Congrats to Sheena Kapila, Junior, Digital Design, winner of the 2020 Earth Month Logo Competition! Read about her winning entry.

Missed the fun of your March Madness bracket? Seattle University Army ROTC had their own to share Here is their “Seattle U FY20 March Madness Video Submission

The latest student news from “French in France and Africa,” codirected by Malick Ndiaye, PhD, and Victor Reinking, PhD, the newest iteration of the French in France program can be downloaded here. This is the oldest faculty-led study abroad program at SU (founded in 1972 by professors Paul Milan and Max Marinoni). The vision of FIFM, in harmony with that of Seattle University, is to set the world as a classroom. In this unique program, we explore three very different Francophone cultures- France, Morocco, and Senegal.

Parker Davidson and Mackenzie Palmer participated in an online debate tournament March 28 and 29. Parker advanced to quarterfinals and was the top third speaker at the tournament. Sixteen schools from across the country competed. SU Debate coach Jim Hanson helped with the development of the online platform, created specifically for debate. 

The Seattle U Debate Team had a strong showing at University of Puget Sound’s 2020 Mark O. Hatfield/Puget Sound Invitational Debate Tournament, February 29 and March 1. Alyssa Gaston and Ryan Shook and Kelsey Oliver-Connelly and MacKenzie Palmer were finalists in the top four. Speaker awards included MacKenzie Palmer: 8th speaker, Ryan Shook: 5th speaker, Parker Davidson and Alyssa Gaston: tied for 2nd speaker, and Flora Lloyd: 1st speaker.

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If you have events that were scheduled prior to social distancing directions that are now online, rescheduled, or cancelled, please make sure you update the SU Master Calendar and your website.

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College and Academic Calendar

Please refer to the Office of the Registrar's website for the updated academic calendar.

Dean's Virtual Coffee Hour, April 22, 9:30 to 10:30.

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Graduate Program Information Sessions and Open Houses

The next deadline is May 4 for distribution the week of May 11.

The Dean’s Monthly Memo is published the second full week of the month, September through December and February through June. Send your updates to Karen Bystrom.