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Answer Me This

Q: What are the benefits of the recently installed lights in the Murphy Garage?

March 8, 2017

Last summer Seattle University replaced all the lights in Murphy Garage with energy-efficient LED lights. About 200 fixtures were replaced on all levels of Murphy Garage. SU’s own Electrical Shop did the work. 

“We completed the retrofit because it was a good way to save energy, improve lighting and save on our energy bills,” explains Bryan Accra, manager of Facilities Operations/resource conservation manager. 

“The Murphy Garage,” he continues “had old-style high pressure sodium lights that were really inefficient compared to LEDs. Each fixture required 175 watts, and by replacing them all with 48-watt and 58-watt LEDs, we were able to reduce the power demand by 70 percent. Since these fixtures need to run 24/7, we were able to reduce the annual energy consumption from over 300,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) to less than 100,000 kWh.” 

The total project cost was $90,000, but SU received a rebate of $52,000 from Seattle City Light, putting the net cost at $38,000. 

“We (initially) estimated annual cost savings of $15,000 with a payback period of 2 ½ years,” says Accra. “With electric rates increasing faster than anticipated and our electricians having installed some fixtures with daylight and occupancy sensors, our bills are reflecting even greater savings and we are actually seeing a better payback now.”

Accra puts the revised annual cost savings at $20,000 and anticipates the project will fully pay for itself in less than two years.

A smaller carbon footprint and cost savings aren’t the only advantages made possible by the retrofit. The improved lighting brings benefits in terms of visibility and safety, too. 

The energy savings brought about by the LED retrofit are reflected in this chart, which includes electricity consumption in the Murphy apartments and garage.

As Accra adds, "The Murphy Apartments have electric heating so despite the colder winter this year, we are still using less energy than previous years. Savings in FY15 and FY16 were due to warm winters. Seattle City Light is a Carbon Neutral Utility so while the carbon footprint would be smaller for most utilities, Seattle is an exception. With that said, it reduces the demand on the grid which over the long haul reduces the need to expand infrastructure."

If you’d like to see other sustainability projects SU has done or get involved in making the campus more sustainable, please visit the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability.

Q: How can I get a copy of the International Dinner 40th Annual Cookbook?

February 13, 2017

Anyone who’s ever attended SU’s International Dinner can attest to the quintessential quality of its cuisine. Each featured dish is made with recipes submitted by international students, providing a tantalizing tour for the taste buds. 

This year’s International Dinner, held Jan. 28, marked its 40th anniversary, and to celebrate the milestone, the university’s international students decided to do something special—create a cookbook featuring recipes of more than 80 dishes that have been served at the dinner through the years. 

GET YOURS! Copies are still available: $20 each, cash or check, at the front desk International Student Center (PAVL 160). 

The idea for the cookbook began marinating when Marie Johnston (Student Development Administration, ’16), assistant director in the International Student Center (ISC), was working in the center as a graduate assistant. One day, she and other students on staff got to talking about “how amazing it would be to compile all of these fantastic recipes that come from the legacy of international student experiences and narratives.”

That vision became real when three student leaders—Melia Lawrence, Lynn Doan and Angel Yi-Ting Wang—teamed up during the fall quarter to recruit designers, photographers and cooks to make the publication happen. 

The result is an impressive compendium of 86 culinary treats from around the world. “This (shows) how much talent, pride, and drive is within our international student community,” says Johnston. “We hope that you all enjoy the food as well as the 100 percent student-produced statements, narratives, testimonials and photography.” 

A few highlights from the book… 

Nikujaga- A Japanese Beef and Potato Stew 

This dish is considered a really popular comfort food which means the recipes for this dish varies from home to home, so you can add your own personal touches to this recipe. Within the ISC, this dish has been a staple for our Sophia University Japanese exchange students who prepare this dish for either our annual UN Luncheon or our International Dinner. Featured alongside this recipe, is a photo and reflection from Gyongsu Ha, who was an exchange student during the 2014-2015 academic year. During his time at Seattle University, he cooked this dish three times, and at the International Dinner, he marveled at the vast amount of potatoes he had to peel and insisted on a photo with them. Gyongsu’s reflection within our book talks about how his experience studying abroad helped him embrace his marginalized identity of being a Korean Citizen within Japan and has given him strength to celebrate his nationality and the legacy his ancestors have left. 

Ful Mudammas- Egyptian Breakfast Fava Beans with Tahini

Good for special occasions or even everyday breakfast, ful is a humble dish as old as time! Its high fiber content will also keep you full for a while- so consider this dish for an energy-packed meal. Paired with this dish is a reflection from Fadi Abouelsaad, a Jesuit from Egypt studying Transformational Leadership at the School of Theology and Ministry. He reflected on his experience as an international student Jesuit at Seattle University. 

Shrimp Ceviche- Ecuadorian Seafood and Citrus Appetizer 

An easy and healthy appetizer from the coasts of Ecuador. This dish has been featured at our International Dinner, UN Luncheon, and also recently featured for a BBQ fundraiser for the 2016 earthquakes in Kumamoto, Japan and Ecuador. One of our current international students, Wendy Tafur, and our 2015-2016 Sophia University exchange students teamed up to host this earthquake relief event. Featured alongside this recipe, is Wendy herself who talks about the friendships she has made while studying here at Seattle University as well as her Fall 2016 quarter abroad in London.

Q: Where is my W2?

January 31, 2017

You can access your 2016 W2 by going to the SU Online “Employee” menu and selecting the “W2 Statements through December 31, 2016” link under Employee Profile. Please note that you will have to provide an electronic consent if you wish to print this detail. (Source: RevSU "Frequently Asked Questions")

Q: How can I ensure that the materials I produce are aligned with SU's brand?

December 7, 2016

A good place to start would be this page where you’ll find guidelines on the university’s brand, editorial style, as well as logos and marks, templates and tools and more. If you still have questions, contact Eli Voigt, senior digital marketing manager.

Q: How will I find out if the university is closed for snow or other inclement weather?

November 23, 2016

Snow closure or delayed opening decisions are typically made by 5:30 a.m. so that an announcement can be disseminated by 6 a.m. To ensure information is readily available, announcements will be shared as follows:

  • Snow delays or closures will be posted on the university home page ( and a message will be recorded on SU’s hotline (206-296-2200).
  • An e-mail will be sent to all students, faculty and staff with closure specifics.
  • Postings will also be made on the university Facebook page and Twitter account.

Weather conditions can change so please look for updates throughout the morning.

In all cases, faculty and staff should use their best judgment about how safe it is to travel based on the conditions near their homes. Please inform your supervisor (by e-mail or phone) if you are not able to come in to the office.

Radio and TV outlets typically report on our closures, though we cannot guarantee the timeliness of those reports. AM radio stations KIRO 710 and KOMO 1000 and FM stations KNKX 88.5 and KUOW 94.9 air snow closure announcements. Local television stations KOMO, KING, KIRO, KONG, KCPQ and Northwest Cable News also announce school closures.

Please note that in some cases, a suspension of classes and administrative operations on the campus at Broadway and Madison may not affect classes at the Eastside Campus in Bellevue. Announcements concerning the suspension or cancellation of Seattle University classes, administrative operations and events will include reference to the Bellevue location.

Q: What did Father Steve discuss at his fall quarter President’s Forum?

October 28, 2016

At his first open forum of the 2016-2017 academic year, held on Oct. 27, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., spoke about enrollment and the FY17 budget; a recent incident involving swastikas being written on a white board in a residence hall; the university’s decision to seek court review of the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board in regards to a request to bargain that was made by a union representing some of SU’s faculty; and a revision to the Code of Student Conduct related to campus disruptions.

You can read more and watch a video of the forum in its entirety here.

Q: What are the benefits of timely faculty textbook orders (a.k.a. textbook adoptions)?

October 24, 2016

Timely textbook orders

Q: What are the benefits of timely faculty textbook orders (a.k.a. textbook adoptions)?

A: Marc Parrish, manager of the Seattle University Campus Store, says that timely faculty textbook orders are the single most important factor in helping students save money on course materials.

If the campus store receives an order before the adoption deadline, the following is possible, according to Parrish: 

"Most importantly, we keep the university Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) compliant. In short, it's our duty and legal responsibility as an educational institution to ensure students know the full cost of education, including textbooks. 

"We're able to buy back books from the previous term(s) at 50 percent of their retail price, putting cash in students' pockets. If we need copies on the shelf, we'll pay up. 

"Through buyback and early ordering from the used book companies, were able to get more used copies on the shelf. We compete with schools nationwide for the same finite supply of used books; with early adoptions, we're able to beat them to the punch. 

"With used books, students save 25 percent when purchasing and 65-80 percent when they rent." 

Parrish says, "The financial burden of textbooks can be so great that students delay their purchase by a week or two, or even entirely. We're fighting to keep textbook prices down and academic success up, and we're counting on you for a timely adoption. Winter quarter/spring semester adoptions are due Oct. 28. More on that here."

Q: Where can I find all-gender restrooms on campus?

October 12, 2016

All-gender restrooms 

Q: Where can I find all-gender restrooms on campus? 

A: As announced by the Committee to Improve Trans Inclusion (CITI) on Oct. 16, 2016, a number of all-gender restrooms are now available throughout campus, as is a map showing the buildings in which the restrooms are located. Visit and click the link to a "Printable Campus Map" in the lower right corner. (The green star symbol and signage are markers used to easily identify these spaces.) For more information on this and other resources for members of SU's trans and gender non-conforming community, click here.

Q: How much financial support for students was raised at this year's Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast?

September 26, 2016

Costco Scholarship Breakfast

Q: How much financial support for students was raised at this year's Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast?

A:  Held Sept. 14 in Bellevue, the 17th-annual Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast raised $4.1 million in support, which will be shared equally by students at Seattle University and the University of Washington. In 2000, Costco joined forces with SU and UW to create scholarships for highly qualified underrepresented students who wish to attend these universities. Since then, more than 600 Seattle University students have proudly carried the distinction of being named Costco Scholars.

Rianne Spath, a senior majoring in electrical and computer engineering (left) served as emcee for the event. (That name might sound familiar as Spath was recently featured on KOMO News along with Associate Professor Henry Louie for their work to bring electricity to rural areas of Zambia.)

In his remarks, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., said, "As much as any new building, new program or new initiative to come online in the past several years at Seattle U, the Costco Scholarship has changed us. It's brought to our campus hundreds of men women and women men and counting who contribute a richness to the tapestry community of our university. It's made us a stronger, and more vibrant academically community. All of us at Seattle University-all of us-have benefited greatly from the Costco." 

You can learn more at Costco Scholarship Fund and Costco Scholars.

Q: What are the top employers of SU alumni?

September 15, 2016

SU at work

Q: What are the top employers of Seattle University alumni?

A: Among other interesting demographic facts and statistics, the Office of Alumni Engagement shares the following list of the top 10 employers of SU graduates.

Special thanks to Katie Powers in Alumni Engagement for this information.

Q: What new academic programs did the trustees recently approve to be launched in fall 2016 and 2017?

August 23, 2016

New academic programs

Q: What new programs are being launched in fall 2016 and 2017?

A: As announced in May by the Office of the Provost, the following new degree, specialization and certificate are coming online either this fall or fall 2017. [Note: these programs join the new Master of Science in Business Analytics in Albers that, as previously announced, will also be launched this fall, as well as the new Elementary Education (K-8) Specialization within the B.A. in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies.]

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering - College of Science and Engineering: A 45-credit graduate program, launching in fall 2017, the MSME is designed to provide engineers with technical and professional skills to advance their careers in the mechanical engineering profession, through eight courses that span the breadth of mechanical engineering disciplines and four courses in project management, microeconomics, leadership and ethical, legal and regulatory environments. The MSME program was developed by the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory Board, and will leverage the existing expertise within the department. The program, which blends technical and management components, will be attractive to many practicing engineers in the Puget Sound region and beyond who are looking to move into technical management positions and need advanced training to achieve their career goals. The program will also be an attractive option for current Seattle U mechanical engineering undergraduate students interested in extending their undergraduate studies at by one year to obtain two degrees, BSME and MSME.

Bachelor of Arts in Humanities for Teaching with Specialization in Elementary Education (K-8) - Matteo Ricci College and College of Education: Launching in fall 2016, this specialization will allow undergraduate students to apply for certification to teach kindergarten through eighth grade in the state of Washington and earn an endorsement in English language learning (ELL) within a four year program. The specialization combines curricula from two existing programs: the current Matteo Ricci College BA in Humanities for Teaching (BAHT), and College of Education courses developed earlier this year as part of a new program for a similar undergraduate teaching degree within the College of Arts and Sciences. This specialization builds on the distinguished experiential components of the existing BAHT program and adds the highly marketable elements of the ELL endorsement and proficiencies in math and science.

Certificate in Public Administration - College of Arts and Sciences: Also launching in fall 2016, this four course, 12-credit program is open to students with a bachelor's degree. Courses are already taught in the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program, and include: Foundations of Public Administration, the Policy Process, Budget and Financial Management and Human Resource Management. The certificate provides a new credential for working professionals primarily employed in the public and non-profit sectors. It also provides for ease of access as all the courses will be offered through the hybrid format: about half of class time will occur in the classroom, and the remainder online. Applicants the certificate program will go through an admissions process similar to the process in place for the MPA, and will have the option of continuing on with the MPA degree after completion of the certificate.

Q: What percentage of SU employees participated in the 2015-2016 giving campaign?

July 13, 2016


Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign


Q: What percentage of SU's employees participated in the 2015-2016 giving campaign?

A: Participation is always the primary focus of the Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign, and as the final numbers reveal, SU's employees came through in a big way during the recently concluded fiscal year 2016. More than one out of every three faculty and staff-36 percent to be precise-made a contribution to the campaign during FY16. 

The three leading units of the university by participation rate were the Albers School of Business and Economics with 81 percent participating; the Arrupe House with 75 percent making a gift; and Human Resources and University Services at 74 percent. 

"Thank you for giving and showing your commitment to the university's mission," Ande Peterson, assistant director of development in the Office of Annual Giving, wrote to supporters. "Through your gifts SU continues to be a powerful force in the Seattle community and an agent of change in our students' lives." 

"This year's Faculty and Staff campaign was made possible by a number of colleagues across campus who volunteered their time and enthusiasm to rally support for scholarships and programs," Peterson continues. 

Lê Xuân Hy (Psychology) and Katie O'Brien (Admissions) served as co-chairs of the campaign. Committee members were as follows:

Angel Asuncion-Reed (Office of Multicultural Affairs)
Colina Barlow (Center for Community Engagement)
Jane Billbe (Human Resources)
Kelsey Brown (Athletics)
Denise Burns (Facilities Services)
Rob Bourke (Albers)
Aaron Boruff (Information Technology Services)
Serena Cosgrove (Matteo Ricci College)
Erin Engelhardt (Athletics)
Margaret Garrett (Arrupe House)
Liz Hammond Moenig (Albers)
Laura Hauck-Vixie (Arts and Sciences)
Katherine Hicks (Education)
Hannah Hunthausen (School of Theology and Ministry)
Stacey Jones (Albers)
Caitlin Joyce (Alumni Engagement)
Lily King (Science and Engineering)
Tamara Liddell (Campus Ministry)
Susan Matt (Nursing)
Kathy Paul (University Advancement)
Meech Pelletier (Conference and Event Services)
Laurie Prince (Parent and Family Engagement)
Nel Sea (Lemieux Library)
Laura Vasilopoulos (University Advancement)
Ryan Walker (University Advancement)

For more information on the Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign please contact Peterson or visit Giving.