Alumni Profiles

Shannon Welles, MFA '19, and the Movement to Save The Showbox

As a longtime employee of The Showbox, one of Seattle's downtown music venues, Shannon Welles, MFA '19, found herself at the table with political representatives, fellow employees, community leaders, and musicians to organize the preservation of the historic building.

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Lawrence Pitre (MFA ’17)

Executive Director, Central Area Chamber of Commerce | Visual Artist

“When I reflect on my two years in the Seattle University MFA program, I concluded that the experience not only made me a better visual artist, but also prepared me in unpredictable ways for my career. Through incredibly supportive classmates, and professors who were nothing short of champions, I was challenged to discover a voice I didn’t know I had. That voice has played a central role in my art and nonprofit work. This program was a wonderful time in my life, and the best educational experience I’ve had.”
Lawrence Pitre 

Roland Carette-Meyers (MFA ’16)

Patron Services Coordinator, Federal Way Performing Arts and Events Center

“More than anything, the MFA program taught me the value of sustainable partnerships. Our job, as arts administrators, is to facilitate astonishing arts experiences that catalyze civic engagement and community dialogue and this is only possible through the sort of cooperation and collaboration that is taught at S.U. I am infinitely better at my job now because of my time in the MFA program because I work in service of the mission, of my team, and always apply a social justice lens to audience development, ticketing, and marketing.”
Federal Way Performing Arts and Events Center | LinkedIn

Boyie Kim (MFA ’15)

Arts Administration Doctoral Student, Florida State University

“The MFA program in Arts Leadership at Seattle University gave me fundamental and holistic understanding about leading nonprofit arts organizations in the United States, which is a lot different from my home country. The practicum program offered me hands on experiences that I was able to apply many strategies that I learned from the classes. The summary project was especially helpful to build my academic career. I was able to attend one of the biggest arts administration conferences, and that led me to the doctoral program in arts administration that I am pursuing now.”
Florida State University

April Heding (MFA ’14)

Education Programs Coordinator, Milwaukee Film

“The Arts Leadership program at Seattle University not only gave me the knowledge and tools to advance my career in the field of nonprofit arts administration, but also a network of lifelong colleagues (and friends) that I can lean on when I have questions or the need to strategize. Similarly, I've lost count of how many times I've said that the Arts Leadership program at Seattle University put me years ahead of my non-Arts Leadership peers in terms of knowledge of best practices and the unique challenges nonprofit arts and cultural organizations face. This is particularly useful for me in my new position as the supervisor of a program that funds community arts programs.”
Milwaukee Film | LinkedIn

Samantha DeLuna (MFA '13)

Donor Relations Manager, MoPOP

“The classroom learning was certainly beneficial, and I had many opportunities to put our lessons into practice. However, what stands out to me the most about this program is the comradery of the cohort model. We share experiences, best practices, and connections that you simply can’t get in a classroom alone. In my few years as a Seattle resident, I already feel deeply connected to the arts and cultural community largely because of my cohort network.”
MoPOP | LinkedIn

Line Sandsmark (MFA '12)

Executive Director, Shunpike

“In addition to a strong curriculum and access to experts in the regional arts community, the MFA in Arts Leadership at Seattle University offers students the unique opportunity to establish a strong professional network, quickly. When I returned to Seattle after having lived and worked abroad for almost two decades, the cohort model and practicums helped me hit the ground running, and pick up where I left off – career-wise – even before graduation. The program helped me ‘translate’ my European experience to an American setting, which was extremely helpful in my work first as Development Director, and then Managing Director at Northwest Film Forum. Most importantly, the program has given me a supportive network, and an academic anchor, which will help me immeasurably in my role as Executive Director of Shunpike.”
Shunpike | LinkedIn

Laura Hammarlund (MFA ’12)

Development Director, Pratt Fine Arts Center

“Seattle U's MFA in Arts Leadership program sets a path for success because the classes are taught by top notch instructors coupled with hands on practicum experience. After graduation, I felt confident and prepared to launch a career in arts administration and I continue to feel supported by the camaraderie of my fellow alums.”
Pratt Fine Arts Center

Roxy Hornbeck (MFA ’11)

co-founder & Managing Director of quiet, English/Art/Humanities Instructor

Matt Hornbeck (MFA ’11)

co-founder & Executive Director of quiet, Sociology/Global Studies Instructor

“SU's MFA program in Arts Leadership created a strong foundation for both of us to launch our organization called quiet, an arts community that produces art for social change. Intentional classes, relevant practicums, and applicable projects - all of these parts of the program contributed to an education that not only talked about how to lead in the arts, but has proven to provide strong opportunities and connections to actually be a leader in the arts. For our final project, we wrote our 3-year strategic plan for quiet. After graduation, we put that plan into action - for real. Now, we are in the process of writing our next strategic plan and we have all the tools to do it well. We simply would not be where we are today without this degree.”
quiet | Roxy's LinkedIn | Matt's LinkedIn

Amanda Carrubba (MFA ’11)

Finance & Operations Director, Seattle Arts & Lectures

“The MFA in Arts Leadership program has been critical in advancing my leadership at Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL). I started as SAL’s Box Office Manager, progressed through a series of other titles, and—aided by the knowledge, experience, and degree I earned through the MFA program—I have recently been promoted to Finance & Operations Director. The MFA program helped me solidify my career goals and obtain an important credential to help realize them. The program was an invaluable investment in my career, and the connections and friends I made will continue to be a support network for years to come. I would highly recommend the program to anyone interested in pursuing a career supporting the arts!”
Seattle Arts & Lectures | LinkedIn

Thom Mayes (MFA ’10)

Chief Executive Officer, Northwest Sinfonietta

“I believe the MFA program perfectly prepared me to step into an executive role of an arts organization. The perspective offered by faculty and visiting arts leaders was invaluable, and the coursework provided a strong base of knowledge about best practices and emerging issues in the field. I would recommend the program to anyone seeking to deepen their network and further their career in nonprofit arts administration.”
Reno Chamber Orchestra | LinkedIn

Anne Shukla (MFA ’10)

Associate Consultant, MEMconsultants

“I would not have my current job if I had not participated in the MFA program! I started working with MEMconsultants for my first practicum project and have been there ever since. The MFA program provides a comprehensive overview of all of the topics needed to be an arts leader, while the practicum offers the opportunity for real world experience. I would recommend this program to anyone who is looking to work with arts organizations in a leadership role.”
MEMconsultants | LinkedIn

Alumni at Work

Nina Yarbrough, MFA alumna
Nina Yarbrough, MFA '16

Business Development Manager
Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas

Charly McCreary, MFA alumna
Charly McCreary, MFA '15

Founding Member
The Cabiri

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Kevin Maifeld, MFA
Arts Leadership Programs Director
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Program Coordinator

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