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Maureen Emerson Feit, PhD
Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Program
JEFF 401

Hoang Ngo, PhD
Graduate Program Coordinator
JEFF 401

Sarah Curtis-Tilton
Senior Administrative Assistant

Graduate Admissions

The MNPL Program is physically located in
Jefferson Building 401
4th Floor
E Jefferson St & 14th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
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Events and Information Sessions

December 7, 2017
Dear Friends and Colleagues of NPL,
We are pleased to share stories from outstanding leaders and learners in our nonprofit leadership community. Together, we are asking hard questions, putting our values into action, and working for a more just and humane world.
We are also sharing ways to connect in 2018. Mark your calendars for our annual Connect event on March 5. Please consider joining us for a focus group on February 5 to share your insights as we plan of the future of Nonprofit Leadership. Sign up for a focus group here.
And keep us up to date with your news. Send your updates to our new Program Coordinator, Hoang Ngo, at
Very best,
Maureen Emerson Feit
Director, Nonprofit Leadership

Nonprofit Leadership Student Spotlight
Samantha Drennon, MNPL 2019

This fall, Samantha Drennon entered the Master of Nonprofit Leadership program with many questions: How do we best serve diverse populations in Seattle? How can we better allocate resources so that people get what they need? And for her personally, What change can she make that leads to a better future for all of us?

Samantha traces the beginning of her journey into the nonprofit sector to her passion for education. Born and raised in Yukoksa, Japan, she “spent many years in grade school learning to speak English.” Her time spent as an English Language Learner gave her an appreciation and gratitude for education. “Without those classes and the efforts of my teachers, I never would have been able to get where I am today,” she said.

Samantha became interested in volunteer work when she attended college in Florida. During a stint at Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, she got the chance to work with new fathers as they developed essential parenting skills and built a community of support for their families. Today, Samantha is the HR Recruiter/Project Manager with Seneca Family of Agencies, which provides school-based services designed to close the educational achievement gap experienced by students from low income communities, students of color, and students enrolled in special education programs.

Samantha is excited to be pursuing her master's degree. “Being in graduate school is literally the highlight of my life right now. Being able to go to class, work on projects and learn is what fuels my soul,” she said. Besides trying to answer her big questions, Samantha hopes to build lasting relationships with members of her cohort. And to successfully balance school with other parts of life, she has a tip to share: “Take things one step at a time, don't just jump in and cut off all your social time with friends. Enjoy the time you do get in class, because it will be over before you know it.”

 Learn More about our current students here.


Alumni & Student News

The Chronicle of Philanthropy featured David Chow's (MNPL 2016) capstone project on protecting fundraisers from sexual harassment by donors. Read Article



Tristen Pamphlet-Gardner, MNPL 2018, is now Development Officer at the GSBA - Greater Seattle Business Association.

Nick Anderson, MNPL 2018, was recently named as one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under 40." Read Article

Ann Barrington, MNPL 2017, is the new Development Officer in Annual Giving at Hopelink. The mission of Ann’s new workplace is to end poverty in the community. Her work will help raise money for programs that provide 64,000 people with stability, skills and knowledge needed to exit poverty.

Nathan Box, MNPL 2013, moved to Los Angeles for his new role as Director of Philanthropy for Skid Row Housing Trust. Nathan will help provide permanent supportive housing, so that people who have experienced homelessness, prolonged poverty, poor health, disabilities, mental illness and/or addiction can lead safe, stable lives in wellness.

Bridget Brako Kusi, MNPL 2017, was awarded a 2017 fellowship from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Bridget will be working in Corporate and Foundation Relations in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington.

Taylor Farley, MNPL and Certificate of Fundraising Leadership 2017, is now Development Manager with the White Center Community Development Association.

Emily Feicht, MNPL 2016, is now Associate Director for Special Events at UW Medicine.

Terry Fernsler, MNPL 2014, successfully defended his dissertation titled "Developmental Evaluation: Complexity Leadership Theory in Practice? A Mixed Methods Study." His work reveals a method to measure Complexity Leadership Theory in an applied setting, and offers instruments that can be used to identify leadership characteristics in Developmental Evaluation and other complex adaptive systems. 

Katherine Fleming, MNPL 2010, is now the Executive Director at Attain Housing (formerly KITH). The mission of Attain Housing is to bring the community together to partner with homeless families by providing affordable housing and empowering them with practical case management and hope.

Liz Flores-Marcus, MNPL 2016, is now the Major Gifts Officer at the Museum of Pop Culture. She's excited to get to know MoPOP supporters and to help them make a difference in the collections, exhibitions, and educational programs that are important to them.

Austin Fowler, MNPL 2014, is Referral and Medical Outreach Manager at Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington.

Kristina Gizinki, MNPL 2015, joined the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) as Resource Manager. “I have never been more happy than in my current role at DDA. My supervisor uses an authentic and servant leadership style and encourages our team to have a voice and to be strong advocates for the people we serve.”

Migee Han, MNPL 2006, is now Chief Philanthropy Officer at YWCA Seattle, King, Snohomish.

Lee Harper, MNPL 2003, and her team at the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) received the King County Executive’s Award for Community Resilience. With Lee at the helm, the PNA helped organize the massive community rebuilding effort after the natural gas explosion in March 2016.

Katie Hultquist, MNPL 2002, will be joining OutRight Action International as their new West Coast Director to expand the base of support for LBGTIQ human rights.

Tiny Trees Preschool led by Andrew Jay, MNPL 2009, was selected by Washington State Department of Early Learning to be one of the first outdoor preschools to become licensed for full day programs. Read Article

Brian Lawrence, MNPL 2008, is now the Senior Director of Development at The Seattle Public Library Foundation. His work will help the Foundation to fund important enhancements to The Seattle Public Library, such as added resources and programs for families, seniors, and those with special needs.

Cassie Mires, MNPL 2018, recently joined the Seattle Foundation as Associate Advisor.

Ruben Rivera-Jackman, MNPL 2003, is now the Director of Resident Services at SHAG's Community Life Foundation. He's leading a team of six Resident Services Coordinators, who serve 5,000 older-adults living throughout 41 communities in the Puget Sound area.

Sara Young, MNPL 2016, is now Associate Director for Philanthropy at UW Medicine.


Have an update? We would love to celebrate with you! Send your news to Hoang Ngo at

Faculty & Staff News

Our faculty Elizabeth Dale, PhD, received the 2017 Emerging Scholar award from the Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). And, the paper by Elizabeth and her colleagues from IUPUI, “Giving to Women and Girls: An Unexamined Field of Philanthropy,” was selected for the Best 2016 ARNOVA Conference Paper Award.



Welcome to Hoang Ngo, PhD, who joined NPL as Program Coordinator this fall. Hoang previously served as Data and Communications Administrator for Community For Youth where he drew on his expertise in nonprofit communications and storytelling. He received a PhD in history from UW. Hoang is passionate about student development and community engagement, and is looking forward to working with students, alumni, and community partners. And here’s a fun fact about Hoang: he commutes daily by bike from West Seattle, even in the rain.

Jason Miller, PhD, MPH, is teaching nonprofit marketing and communications for students in our Master of Nonprofit Leadership and our Certificate of Fundraising Leadership. Jason embodies the spirit of our curriculum in both theory and practice. An applied anthropologist, Jason researches visual media and digital storytelling of and with Latino immigrant families the U.S. Now, he’s applying that by starting the Delridge Grocery Cooperative, a food co-op in the Delridge neighborhood in West Seattle.

 Amy Michael, MBA, is teaching financial leadership and management to students in our Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Certificate of Fundraising Leadership. For more than 20 years, Amy Michael has worked in leadership positions in both the nonprofit and private sector, including Capitol Hill Housing, and FareStart. Amy earned her MBA from Seattle University, is a member of Washington Women's Foundation, and serves as chair of the Board of Women's Funding Alliance. As she brings her experience and perspectives to the classroom, she is interested in coaching students how to use the language of numbers to help nonprofit organizations tell compelling and engaging stories about the important work they do.

 Congratulations to Peter Drury, MBA, MSW, who teaches fundraising for the Master of Nonprofit Leadership. Peter is now Vice President for Mission Advancement at Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington.

 Welcome to Julie Bianchi, MNPL 2013, who joins the faculty to teach Grantwriting beginning this winter for the Graduate Certificate in Fundraising Leadership.

 Maureen Emerson Feit, PhD, presented at a plenary session at the ARNOVA conference this fall on Race, Power, and Privilege in Nonprofit Research & Education. Maureen, along with alumni Emiko Blalock and Khanh Nguyen, also published the article "Making Diversity Matter in a Nonprofit Accreditation Process" in the Journal of Nonprofit Leadership & Education.

 Jon Gould, MPA, who teaches Nonprofit Advocacy, is celebrating 20 years with the Children’s Alliance! You can share your memories of Jon, his work, and your relationship with him by visiting Jon’s 20th website here.

 Noreen Elbert's Nonprofit Leadership class hosted its annual Leadership Symposium, "Leading for a just an humane world" on Dec. 2, 2017. Student teams presented on topics such as Women in Leadership; Leadership Beyond the Binary; Class and Social Justice: Resilient Leadership for a Better World; and Exploring Inclusive Leadership. The students researched, planned, and presented; fully engaging with these timely and relevant leadership topics.

Learn more about our Faculty here.

Save the Dates

Interested in helping shape the Nonprofit Leadership program of the future? 
Register for Feb. 5 from 5:30-7pm. We will hold focus groups as part of our program review. We'd love to hear your input on the skills, and perspectives that nonprofit leaders need now and in the future. 
Want to connect with friends and colleagues, old and new? 
Please save the date for our annual event: Connect 2018. Come for drinks and appetizers and mingle with students, alumni, faculty and staff on Monday, March 5, 2018, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm