Winter 2019 Newsletter

Message from the Director

Dr. Paulette Kidder, Director

Welcome to the Matteo Ricci Institute Newsletter for Winter Quarter 2019!  As you can see, our students, faculty, and staff have had a busy and rewarding quarter, despite the typical winter illnesses and the very atypical weather here in Seattle that closed the university for several days in February.  I continue to be grateful for the dedicated educational community we are all creating together in Matteo Ricci.  I hope you will enjoy reading about the implementation of our new core courses and the contributions and accomplishments of our community members.

Fulbright Scholarship Semi-Finalists

Two current Matteo Ricci Institute students and one Matteo Ricci College alumna are among the fourteen Seattle University students and alumni named Semi-Finalists for Fulbright U.S. Student Grants for 2018-19.  The nationally competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fully funded research, study, and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students.  The Fulbright Study/Research Grant is the traditional award where a candidate crafts an in-depth research proposal for a specific country, sometimes partnered with a graduate program.  The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship places successful candidates in schools overseas to teach English alongside a local instructor and to provide a native English speaker presence in the classroom. 

As Semi-Finalists, these students and alumni have been recommended by the National Screening Committee of the Institute of International Education for final consideration for a Fulbright award.  The finalists, those awarded the grant, will be notified this spring beginning in late March.

Congratulations to the Semi-Finalists from the Matteo Ricci Institute:

Spanish Applicant for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant to Mexico 

  • Julia Cordero, Humanities for Teaching Class of 2018

Applicant for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Indonesia

  • Madison Mele, Humanities for Teaching and Philosophy, Class of 2019

Applicant for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant to India

  • Jasmine Waland, Humanities for Teaching and Psychology, Class of 2019

Meet Our Peer Mentors!

The Matteo Ricci Institute implemented a new peer mentor program this year. Two students, currently enrolled in a Humanities degree program, serve as peer mentors to the first- and second-year students in the department. Each peer mentor is assigned to a group of students within an academic year and acts as a support for the students they are assigned. Here is what our peer mentors have to say:

Maddy Mele, Humanities for Teaching Major Class of 2019
Headshot of student Maddy Mele

"As a peer mentor for Matteo Ricci Institute, I served as a student resource for academic and personal questions or concerns. I love working with MRI, and the community that they have created. I will be graduating in the Spring but cannot wait to see what MRI's future holds!"

Clare Lyons, Humanities Major Class of 2019

Headshot of student Clare Lyons

"To be a peer mentor means to be a helping hand! When I first received this position, I was so excited because it is new and different for Matteo Ricci Institute. There is a lot of freedom with what we can do to make our work unique and beneficial for the community. I have the greatest time reaching out to students to guide them toward their greatest potential, planning a whole lot of festive parties, and continuously thinking about and planning out our new ideas! I will certainly miss MRI following my graduation this spring, but I know that this new chapter for the Institute is only the beginning of an incredible future! Go, Redhawks!"

 Check out these photos from the most recent event our peer mentors hosted, the MRI Student Appreciation Celebration. And congratulations to both Maddy and Clare on their upcoming graduation!


Student Spotlight

Siena Miller, Humanities for Leadership Class of 2020

This month, for our student spotlight, we are featuring Siena Miller (pictured on the left) who has served on SEAC for two years and is now Executive Director, hear what she has to say about her journey:
Photo of student Sienna Miller

"My name is Siena Miller. I am a third year Humanities for Leadership and Public Affairs double degree student. I am also the Executive Director of the Student Events and Activities Council (SEAC).  My job is to oversee a team of 14 students who plan events both on and off campus. SEAC has given me the opportunity to get involved on-campus and use the leadership skills and theories that I am learning in class.  Through my involvement I have found friends, community, and professional development within the Center for Student Involvement office.  SEAC and the involvement office have been the most difficult and rewarding parts of my college experience. The community and experience I have gained is unmatched. I am beyond grateful for my on-campus involvement and how it has positively impacted my growth as a professional, student, and person." 

MRI Core Courses

Dr. Becky McNamara

Headshot of Dr. Becky MnamaraThis year, the Matteo Ricci Institute is excited to offer six new peace and justice-focused core courses. During winter quarter, first-year students enrolled in two of the new offerings: Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies and Teaching in the City. In Teaching in the City, students learned about the history of Seattle’s Central District, the neighborhood bordering Seattle University. We focused on examining community assets and how these assets supported youth and families in the neighborhood. Student groups were paired with a local community organization and learned about the impact this asset has on the community. Students will continue to work with the same organization next quarter in another new course, Introduction to Discernment and Community Engagement.

Particularly exciting this quarter was my collaboration with Dr. Jimmy McCarty (who taught Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies). We were able to hold a joint four-hour class session to introduce students to peacemaking circles – a form of restorative justice. In Teaching in the City, we examined the School-to-Prison pipeline and alternative forms of discipline to keep young people in school and out of the youth detention system. This joint class gave Matteo Ricci students a firsthand experience of how peacemaking circles could lead to deeper relationships and repair the harm caused by crime. I look forward to more collaborative opportunities with my Matteo Ricci colleagues.

Involvement in Mexico Teach-In

On February 21, 2019, Matteo Ricci College graduate Aldo Ulisses Reséndiz and Dr. Audrey Hudgins and her students in US-Mexico Border: Contemporary Perspectives, participated in the Mexico Teach-In, an event sponsored by the Theiline Pigott McCone Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Seattle University. The event was intended to educate the community about issues pertinent to the daily lives of Chicanx/Latinx/Students of Color, and their backgrounds, immigrant and migrant students and individuals on our campus and in our society.

Matteo Ricci College graduate Aldo Ulisses Reséndiz spoke on bilingualism, underlining the importance of language. He also discussed his experience as a student at Seattle University, as a Mexican migrant, immigrant student, and his life after leaving SU.

Dr. Hudgins’ talk was entitled “US-Mexico Border: Shifting Migration Trends,” and discussed the major changes in modern migration across Mexico’s northern border. Two groups of her students also gave presentations. The first group, Nathan Clark, Sara Gregoire, Jaelin McCoy, Akiho Shiga, and Hillary Sturgeon discussed “US-Mexico Transborder Cooperation.” The second group, Maya Jungmann, Mary Dillion, and Sam Golden presented on “Personal security on the US-Mexico border.”