Spring 2022 Newsletter

Director Transition

Spring 2022 Nonprofit Leadership Newsletter

Maureen Emerson Feit and Noreen ElbertTen years! After a decade of directing the graduate programs of Nonprofit Leadership, Dr. Maureen Emerson Feit will be transitioning out of the role this month. Dr. Noreen Elbert will serve as Acting Director for one year and Dr. Elizabeth Dale will begin as Director in July of 2023. 

What’s next? As Assistant Professor, Dr. Feit will have more time to teach, advise students, and continue her research. She will also serve next year as a Provost Fellow focused on racial injustice and economic inequity and will work with colleagues across the university to reimagine our curricula. She is looking forward to this next phase of her work at SU, writing: 

I am proud of the work that we have done over the past decade and grateful for you and the community of social justice learners and leaders we have built together. Thank you for all of your support over the past decade. This summer, I am going to take a break and catch my breath. This fall, I look forward to seeing and supporting where the new Directors take us next.” 

Maureen Emerson Feit, PhD
Outgoing Director, Nonprofit Leadership

From Dr. Elbert

On a personal note, I want to extend a BIG thank you to Maureen. As Director, Maureen worked tirelessly to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff...all while juggling the myriad responsibilities that come with being Director. One of Maureen’s many contributions is her leadership in centering racial and social justice in our curriculum. A curricular change that Maureen initiated was adding Social Justice in the Third Sector as a required course. In addition, the faculty started the process of auditing each NPL course through a DEI lens. Maureen’s commitment to helping our students reflect, think critically and expand their perspectives is a hallmark of her leadership. I’m delighted that Maureen will have more time to focus on her research in the coming years. 

As I look to the year ahead, I’m thrilled to step in as Acting Director. My goals are centered around connection and community. I hope to reach out to many of you—especially if you haven’t been in touch with the program lately. The Alumni Council continues to seek ways to connect our incredible alumni community.  Do you have ideas or energy to share? I invite you to join the Alumni Council.  Further, if you’d like to host a Practicum student or serve as a mentor, we’d love to connect with you.  My other priority is telling the story of our graduates and the amazing work you are doing across issue areas and sectors. Our new Program Coordinator, Christopher, may be reaching out to ask if we can highlight the great work you are doing. Please stay in touch. Reach out to me directly at 206-296-6288 or on LinkedIn.  

Noreen Elbert, EdD
Acting Director, Nonprofit Leadership

Welcome Christopher German

Christopher German, Graduate Program Coordinator

Christopher German, MSc (them/him) serves Seattle University as the Graduate Programs Coordinator for the MNPL and GCFL programs. They come to us with a strong background in student support, most recently working with graduate students at Islandwood, an environmental education organization on Bainbridge Island. They also have deep experience with cultural organizing, providing support to several different local arts-based nonprofits. Currently Christopher works closely with the Union Cultural Center, Movimiento Afro-Latino Seattle, and the ArtsGlobo organizations to promote awareness of different traditional art forms from the African Diaspora. Christopher is particularly proud of the Conectandonos MAS youth arts program they helped co-design with the chair of Movimiento Afro-Latino; which connects Afro-Latinx students with traditional artists from their respective regions.  

Christopher's work is motivated by their own experience gaining more self-awareness around their identity and seeing the transformational change in students when they are introduced to non-traditional pedagogy and epistemology. Usually when they are not working, they can be found avidly participating in Capoeira, dancing, or playing music. Christopher has deep roots in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma, WA and holds a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in post-colonial literature from The Evergreen State College, and a Master of Science in global health from the National University of Natural Medicine. 

Capstone Presentations 2022

Image of student presenting capstone to room of attendees

The MNPL graduating cohort delivered their final Capstone project presentations on June 4th to faculty, staff, peers, family, friends, and community members.  It was a hybrid event – so fitting for this point in time – some of us were able to be together in-person while others joined us virtually.  It was a joyous and enlightening day!  

The projects were deeply inspired by this moment in time. They provided research and recommendations on issues such as the impact of the pandemic on how domestic violence organizations supported workers through COVID-19 and how higher education professionals supported the persistence of students receiving assistance through the pandemic.  We learned about how philanthropists believe they are supporting pay equity for nonprofits, how nonprofits could do better by workers reporting (or not reporting) incidences of racism in the workplace and how higher education programs could better serve students working in diversity, equity, and inclusion roles.  We were moved by research and reflections on leadership, informal mentorship and volunteering that don’t easily fit definitions established and maintained by traditional, white-supremacist organizational culture. This proves yet again that communities of color and other marginalized communities thrive despite these oppressive systems, and we have work to do in honoring communities who have been succeeding in this space all along.  

And the list goes on!  In an effort to honor the hard work of our students and to share this work more widely with our community, stay tuned for opportunities to join us to hear more about this important body of work in the coming months! 

Practicum Spotlight

Zana Crites, MNPL Alum

MNPL students just completed their Practicum experience, a 6-month project focusing on strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, DEI, or advocacy. One student, Zana Crites, was matched with Companis-- whose mission is “to make our community healthier, safer, and more just by fostering skilled volunteer service and building relationships that bridge the gap so that nonprofits can succeed in delivering vital services with the help of a Companis Worker. 

Zana’s project had one of the biggest transitions from start to finish. She started out with a plan to create a webpage audit and strategy for how to share the stories and good works of Companis through their blog page. Companis wanted to create a story pipeline that would be used as a resource for their staff members in the recruitment of agencies, volunteers, and donors. But, as Zana explored and analyzed, she realized that simply changing the webpage blog page would not necessarily increase their audience reach or engagement. She turned her attention to seeking out information and techniques that would. Her project morphed into creating a social and owned media report to help Companis increase user engagement.  

Zana completed in-depth research. She explored and reported on social media shifts and trends. She analyzed metrics on Companis’ various social media platforms and provided tips for improvement. Zana made thorough recommendations in the areas of audience, stories, distribution, and style to help Companis expand its reach and impact. 

Would your organization like to host a Practicum student for 2022-23?

Apply and have the opportunity to be matched with one of our exceptional MNPL students. 

Faculty Awards and Achievements

Dr. Maureen Emerson Feit co-authored The Dissonance of 'Doing Good:' Fostering Critical Pedagogy to Challenge the Selective Tradition of Nonprofit Management Education

Nonprofit management classrooms are filled with students who yearn to 'do good' in the world and yet, in practice, they confront a dissonance between their vision of doing good and the realities of nonprofit work. This dissonance is in part created by contemporary nonprofit management education (NME) through the development and perpetuation of a selective historical tradition of the nonprofit sector which mythologizes the sector and its work. These traditions and myths of the nonprofit sector are based squarely in white American and Eurocentric values and downplay the histories of people of color and thus perpetuate whiteness as central to nonprofit norms and practice. We present a critical reading of these histories in an effort to help educators and students reclaim and reimagine the histories of the nonprofit sector and offer tenets of a critical pedagogy that emphasizes historical consciousness and a praxis of emancipation so that nonprofit educators and students can re-envision nonprofit theory and practice in the future.   

Feit, M. E. & Sandberg, B. (2022). The dissonance of ‘doing good:’ Fostering critical pedagogy to challenge the selective tradition of nonprofit management education. Public Integrity. https://doi.org/10.1080/10999922.2022.2034341 

Achieving Excellence in Fundraising 

Elizabeth Dale, PhD, Associate Professor, published a chapter on “LGBTQ Philanthropy” in “Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 5th Ed.” It is the leading publication of its kind for teaching the theory and practice of fundraising and the second time she authored this chapter for the textbook.  

Access the book

Faculty & Alum Publish Article in The Foundation Review

Elizabeth Dale, PhD, Associate Professor, and Nicole Plastino, MNPL 2020, co-authored the article Giving With Pride: Considering Participatory Grantmaking in an Anti-Racist, LGBTQ+ Community Foundation:

"Through an embedded case study, the authors followed Pride Foundation in the first year of transforming its grantmaking to address two questions: the factors foundations should consider when exploring participatory grantmaking, and how a foundation can best navigate a transition. This article documents the foundation’s self-study year and details five issues that emerged as pivotal aspects of the grantmaking transition: staffing, communication, community participation, funding restrictions, and organizational readiness."

Access the article 

Alumni Updates

  • David Chow, MNPL 2016, is returning to Seattle to join UW Medicine as Director for Philanthropy.
  • David Jordan, MNPL 2018, is now Senior Donor Relations Officer at Friends of the Children, Portland.
  • Two MNPL alums presented at the Spring Washington State Nonprofit Conference. Mikala Lain, MNPL 2022, facilitated the session Crafting a Strategic Plan to Integrate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Melissa Minato, MNPL 2020, presented DEI Advocacy Skills: How Emerging Leaders Advocate for Change. In addition, Mikala, Melissa and Noreen Elbert led a Career Development Station. This was a peer-to-peer conversation space where participants connected about leadership, career development, and shared professional development resources.

Do you have a professional update to share? We'd love to include it in our next newsletter. Please share your good news and updates with Christopher German, cgerman@seattleu.edu.

Congratulations Heidi Wong

Heidi Wong, MNPL 2022We are extremely proud to congratulate 2022 graduate Heidi Wong for receiving the College of Arts & Sciences Leadership & Professional Engagement award! Heidi has dedicated her career to the health and well-being of the Asian American community in Seattle. Prior to joining the Nonprofit Leadership program, she worked for AiPACE and Kin On, agencies that provide Asian American elders culturally-appropriate care. Heidi is highly skilled at engaging community and generating resources for essential services. As her colleagues at Kin On stated, she has the ability to instill great trust with donors and partners, lead key initiatives, and build teams of young and committed talent.

Alumni Council Update

Group of MNPL Alumni at EventThe Nonprofit Leadership Alumni Council continues to thrive in its third year. The Council sponsored the “Laziness Doesn’t Exist” event with author, Dr. Devon Price, and subsequent book club discussions. The Council also coordinated the department's SU Gives event which raised $7,920 for scholarships. Special thank you to Co-Presidents, Nathan Box and Nicole Plastino, and Secretary Ann Barrington for their leadership and ongoing support of the Nonprofit Leadership program. Tracy Brown will be Co-President with Nathan this year, joined by Wendy Ozane as Council Secretary. 

Would you like to get involved as an alumnus? 

The Nonprofit Leadership Alumni Council is now accepting applications for new members. Two-year terms start in September 2022. The purpose of the Alumni Council is to foster strong connections among NPL alumni, encourage engagement between alumni and the faculty, staff, and current students of Nonprofit Leadership, and to enhance and inspire alumni involvement that furthers the mission of the program. We would love for you to get involved! Apply by July 15, 2022. 


Join us for a Nonprofit Leadership Summer Connect Event, August 22 at 5:00pm. For those who can meet in person, we will gather on campus in an indoor/outdoor space. Look for more information coming about this event as well as a virtual gathering option.

Upcoming Information Session: July 6

Nonprofit Leadership Information Session

Do you know someone who would benefit from joining the MNPL program? The Nonprofit Leadership Alumni network is our most valuable resource for getting the word out about our program. Please take a moment and think about which of your colleagues and friends you could invite to apply for the program. This is a great time to apply--Additional scholarship funds are available for applicants who are accepted for Fall 2022 and there is no application fee. This live information session will be Wednesday, July 6th at 12:00pm Pacific Standard Time. Please share our upcoming info sessions with your professional network.  Reserve a spot today. 

Get Involved

Are you interested in further supporting MNPL?  There are several ways to get involved: 

  • Connect with us on Facebook. 
  • Alumni and current students may join and post job opportunities to our MNPL LinkedIn group. 
  • Join our Alumni Council! We are accepting applications until July 15, 2022. Apply here.   
  • Host a Practicum - Apply Now
  • Spread the word: We are currently offering up to $10,000 scholarships to WA residents who apply for our ‘22-’23 MNPL Cohort. Do you know any emerging leaderships looking to develop their skills? Please encourage them to Apply by July 29th to be considered for this opportunity.