Spring 2021 Newsletter

Welcome from the Directors

Spring 2021 Nonprofit Leadership Newsletter

Maureen Emerson Feit and Elizabeth DaleDear Friends of Nonprofit Leadership,

We are pleased to share news from this past year of Nonprofit Leadership at Seattle University. As you will see, there is much to celebrate. Our faculty, students and alumni are leading and learning in ways that hold up communities, push boundaries, and advocate for a more just and humane world. 

Even as we celebrate successes and achievements, we wish to acknowledge and honor the work that you all have done this past year to care for yourselves, your families and your communities. Throughout the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic, we have seen faculty work creatively to offer engaging online learning and advising, students seize opportunities to learn as they support their cohort colleagues in these new virtual spaces, and alumni step up to adapt and to lead creatively, persistently and effectively every day. 

And we are looking forward to the year ahead. Dr. Feit will be on sabbatical this summer and fall, focusing on her research. Dr. Dale will be serving as Interim Director until January 2022 and she looks forward to welcoming the new cohort of students this fall.

Maureen Emerson Feit, PhD 
Director & Assistant Professor

Elizabeth Dale, PhD 
Interim Director & Associate Professor 

Dr. Elizabeth Dale awarded the 2021 AFP Emerging Scholar Award

Elizabeth Dale, 2021 AFP Emerging ScholarDr. Elizabeth J. Dale, Associate Professor of Nonprofit Leadership was awarded the 2021 Emerging Scholar Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The award, established by the AFP Research Council in 2013, honors an early-career scholar or scholar-practitioner whose research has and will continue to shape the discourse on philanthropy and fundraising.

Dr. Dale focuses her research on two central questions: “How do people try to improve the world through philanthropic giving?” and “How do gender and sexual orientation influence the philanthropic experience?” Through these questions she examines the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies to, in her words, “expand our notion of who is considered a donor,” focusing on gender and philanthropy; the LGBTQ community and giving; and diversity, equity and inclusion in fundraising.

“As a former fundraiser and now researcher, I want to show how giving emerges from the complexity of personal experiences, how donor diversity can enhance giving, and identify how donors and fundraisers can contribute to a more equitable and inclusive society,” said Dr. Dale.

“I am honored to receive this award and appreciate the critical role AFP can play in promoting high-quality research to its members,” mentioned Dr. Dale. “I’m grateful for this recognition and opportunity to contribute to bettering the fundraising profession.”

“Dr. Dale has provided new and impactful insight into a variety of areas including women in fundraising, LGBTQ donors and planned giving,” said Russell N. James III, J.D., Ph.D., CFP, chair of the Emerging Scholar Prize Jury. “Her contributions to our sector help to advance equity and justice while making us better fundraisers.” 

Leilani Lewis Joins the NPL Faculty

Leilani Lewis, MNPL 2014Nonprofit Leadership is pleased to welcome Leilani Lewis, MNPL 2014, to the faculty as an instructor for Nonprofit Marketing & Communications. Leilani is currently Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Advancement at University of Washington. She was a founding staff member of the Northwest African American Museum, where she also served as Director of Marketing & Communications. She was awarded the City of Seattle Mayor’s 2017 Arts Award for her and for her engagement in the arts community. She is driven by her strongly held values of compassionate, servant leadership, creating connections across difference, and lifting as we climb. She received her Master of Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University in 2014. 

Leilani brings an important equity lens to nonprofit marketing and communications. Throughout the course, students will ask critical questions about the ways nonprofits have traditionally practiced marketing and explore strategies for incorporating a community-engaged approach that fosters more authentic relationships with the constituents they represent. Students will also have an opportunity to visit and learn with guest speakers who are testing and putting these practices into action in their branding, storytelling, images, and social media. 

Practicum Feature: Old Goats Home & Rescue

Garden-Raised Bounty and The Old Goats Home LogosCamille Rosetty (MNPL/GCFL 2021) was matched with Old Goats Home & Rescue on Vashon Island for her practicum. Camille created a sustainable fundraising plan for the organization. As a new nonprofit, operating since January 2020, the goal of the project was to identify and incorporate diverse fundraising strategies feasible for a small grassroots organization to maintain. Camille worked closely with the organization’s Executive Director, Rebecca Gibbons to analyze current practices; complete a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats); and offer recommendations for carrying out fundraising best practices. This practicum was not only a positive learning experience for Camille, but a great benefit to the Old Goats Home & Rescue. Rebecca Gibbons, Executive Director, shared the following about Camille: “I think her biggest strength throughout this whole process has been her ability to REALLY listen in a way that takes into consideration my strengths and weaknesses as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the rescue.”  

Practicum Feature: GRuB

Taylor Coats (MNPL 2021) was interested in a practicum that would challenge her and build skills that she would use in the future. She found a great match in Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB), an organization whose mission is to grow healthy food, people and community. Taylor was tasked with researching best practices for DEI informed recruiting and creating a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion toolkit. Taylor saw her work put into practice as GRuB implemented her suggestions into their hiring process immediately. 

Deb Crockett, GRuB Executive Director shared, “The toolkit Taylor made was spot on with what we needed, and helped enhance our hiring processes. We especially appreciated the resources about bias, designing and assessing interview questions/answers, and thoughtfulness about job descriptions.” 

Interested in hosting a Practicum student?
Applications for 2021-22 will open July 15.  

2021 Capstones Feature Student Research

Presentation GraphicThe Capstone projects are a core component of the Master of Nonprofit Leadership program. In the last quarter of the program, students design original, applied research on an issue or opportunity within the nonprofit sector.  Students work independently, with support from faculty and peers, to research and analyze an issue, identify the decision-makers or audience affected by that issue, communicate findings, and make final recommendations for improvement.  

Three students focused their research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nonprofits. Max Burnham conducted a study with program managers of international exchange programs across the U.S. to understand how they adapted to the pandemic, when many were forced to cancel their in-person programs. Tess Honan also talked with program managers among the community partners in the Seattle University Youth Initiative to learn how they pivoted to continue providing services under stay-at-home orders, increased needs and uncertain finances. And Dan Nadeau conducted a case study of one hospital’s response to the ruptures and stresses on the health care system, particularly during the beginning of the pandemic. Each study documented the strains faced by organizations, uncovered the adaptiveness, dedication and persistence of staff, and highlighted the need for organizations to take these lessons forward in their work. 

Students also addressed vital questions of racial equity and social justice in nonprofit theory and practice. Stephanie Velasco was curious about how nonprofit organizations in the region are, or are not, engaging anti-racist practices in their branding efforts. Camille Rosetty studied how leading companion animal welfare organizations are working to implement strategies that support people and companion animals living in under-resourced communities throughout the U.S. And Taylor Coats, determined to see more BIPOC voices and stories reflected in the histories of the voluntary sector, examined the contributions of the Black Panther Party and their impact on service provision in the Oakland community and the sector at large. 

You can follow the links above to learn more about these and the other projects that students completed this spring. 

Nonprofit Leadership Alumni Council Update

Alumni CouncilThe Seattle University Nonprofit Leadership Alumni Council started in 2019 and then COVID struck. The past 15 months have not been an easy time to launch a new initiative. But thanks to the amazing alumni council leadership team of co-president’s Bridget Dolan and Taylor Farley, and secretary Tena Gizinski, the alumni council is off to a strong start. This leadership team worked with the council to create goals, policies, bylaws, and build connections between the alumni council and broader NPL community. As their leadership term ends, we are grateful to Bridget, Taylor, and Tena for their hard work and dedication. A new leadership team has been elected and we are thrilled to welcome Nathan Box and Nicole Plastino as co-presidents and Ann Barrington as secretary. The new leaders are looking forward to building on the strong foundation that has been started.  

NPL Summer Connects Social

The NPL Alumni Council is pleased to invite all Master of Nonprofit Leadership (MNPL) and Graduate Certificate of Fundraising Leadership (GCFL) alumni to a virtual social gathering on Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 6:00-7:00 pm PT. Bring your own beverage, a snack, and join us in building community with your fellow alumni! Register in advance to receive the Zoom link. We hope to see you there!

Considering getting involved?
Applications to join the alumni council are available each spring. 


Dr. Ben Danielson Speaks on Racial Equity

Dr. Benjamin DanielsonIn recognition and celebration of Black History Month, the Nonprofit Leadership program co-sponsored with the Social Work Department, a keynote address by Dr. Benjamin Danielson on February 18, 2021. "A Racial Equity Reckoning" aimed to sustain people’s commitment to racial equity during these exhausting days and to go deeper into the nature of systemic racism and strategies to help address the difficult work of promoting equity. You may watch Dr. Danielson's full talk below. 

Faculty Awards and Achievements

  • Dr. Elizabeth Dale was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor. She was also appointed to the ARNOVA Diversity Committee and serves as professional development chair of the ARNOVA Teaching Section
  • Dr. Maureen Emerson Feit was elected to the Leadership Committee for the Critical Perspectives Interest Group with ARNOVA
  • Dr. Feit was awarded a 2021-2022 Faculty Research Fellowship with The Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture at Seattle University
  • Dr. Noreen Elbert led the NPL Career Transitions Peer Group for students and alumni in the winter
  • Colina Bruce (MNPL 2015) served as advisor to the Black Student Union, which created the first student-led, Black-serving scholarship initiative at Seattle University
  • Jon Gould is now Chief Community Impact and Government Relations Officer at Childhaven

Student Awards and Achievements

  • Anne Becker (MNPL/GCFL 2021) is now Grantwriting Assistant with Brittany Kirk Nonprofit Consulting 
  • Brandon Frost, Camille Rosetty, Stephanie Velasco, Tess Honan and Taylor Coats were inducted into the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) Nu Lambda Mu Honor Society  
  • Camile Rosetty (MNPL/GCFL 2021) was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society
  • Casey Davis (MNPL 2022) and the volunteers at the Edmonds Food Bank were named the Kiwanis Club's 2020 Citizen of the Year
  • Heidi Wong (MNPL 2022) is now Foundation Executive Director at International Community Health Services (ICHS) 
  • Stephanie J. Velasco (MNPL 2021) is now Project Manager with Pyramid Communications 
  • Taylor Coats (MNPL 2021) received the Wallace Loh Award from the College of Arts & Sciences. She is also now Programs & Membership Associate at Philanthropy Northwest 
  • Tess Honan (MNPL/GCFL 2021) was promoted to Community Partnership Manager with the Center for Community Engagement at Seattle University 

Alumni Celebrations

  • Ali Bessee (MNPL 2020) is now Director of Individual Giving at Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound 
  • Amy Zimerman (MNPL 2008) is now Managing Director with Intiman Theatre 
  • Annie Hout (MNPL 2016) is now Deputy Director at Communities Rise 
  • Ashley Moïse (GCFL 2020) is now Annual Giving Officer with YWCA Seattle King Snohomish 
  • Becca Judy (MNPL 2017) is now Chief Transformation Officer at Evergreen Treatment Services 
  • Beverly Verduin (MNPL 2020) is now Community and Donor Relations Associate at Seattle Goodwill Industries
  • Brandi Manuel (MNPL 2013) is now Director of Community Engagement at CHOOSE 180 
  • Charese Jones (MNPL/GCFL 2020) is now Director of Early Learning Services with Child Care Resources
  • Cilia Jurdy (MNPL/GCFL 2020) is now Development Director with FEEST 
  • David Chow (MNPL 2016) is now Director of Leadership Giving with Maine Public 
  • Dewi Ali (MNPL 2020) is now Outreach & Policy Associate at Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition 
  • Dominica Myers (MNPL 2016) is now Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the King County Library System 
  • Khanh Nguyen (MNPL 2013) earned his EdD from the College of Education at the University of San Francisco 
  • Sally Guzman Reyes (MNPL 2015) earned her EdD from the College of Education at the University of Washington
  • Elysa Hovard (MNPL 2015) is now Director of Investments and Partnerships with TeamChild 
  • Hannah Handschin (MNPL 2018) is now Professional Mentor at Friends of the Children 
  • Katy Herko (MNPL 2019) is now Associate Consultant at Campbell & Company 
  • Kevin Koppes (MNPL 2013) is now Executive Director of Community Engagement and Partnership at Epilepsy Foundation 
  • Krista Williams (MNPL 2016) is now Vice President of Saltchuk Logistics 
  • Liz Flores-Marcus (MNPL 2016) is now Chief Investment and Partnership Officer at Wonderland Child & Family Services 
  • Maile Lono-Batura (MNPL 2004) is now Director of Sustainable Biosolids Programs with the Water Environment Federation 
  • Melissa Stuart (MNPL 2015) is now Director of Individual Giving with Boys and Girls Clubs of King County 
  • Nathan Box (MNPL 2013) is now Development and Communications Manager with the Senior Center of West Seattle 
  • Nicole Plastino (MNPL/GCFL 2020) is now Director of Development at Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB) 
  • Sage Drennon (MNPL 2019) is now IDEAS Strategist & Consultant at Inclusion NextWork 
  • Samantha Kielty (MNPL/GCFL 2020) is now Catalyst Kitchen's Senior Manager for Membership and Resource Development 
  • Tiffany Bigham (MNPL 2017) is now Executive Director at MLKFAME Community Center 

Connect with the NPL Network
Three reasons to join the Nonprofit Leadership Student & Alumni LinkedIn Group:

  1. Connect with other Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Fundraising Certificate students and alums,
  2. Post job openings directly to the incredible nonprofit student/alumni group,
  3. Network with members of your cohort or connect across cohorts.

Have a job or volunteer opportunity you would like to share?