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Consummate Colleagues

Written by Mike Thee
May 23, 2012

Two of our colleagues will be honored in a special way at the June 1 Faculty and Staff Appreciation Event.

Diana Singleton, left, of the law school will receive the Excellence in Leadership Award; Stasha McBride of the University Core will be honored with the Lee Thurber Outstanding Staff Award. Both received news of their awards when they were visited in person earlier this week by President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., and Executive Vice President Tim Leary. Singleton and McBride will be recognized at the June 1 event along with Paul Milan, associate professor of modern languages and cultures, who Provost Isiaah Crawford announced as the 2012-2013 McGoldrick Fellow in January.

Singleton is director of the Access to Justice Institute and is admired for offering students transformative social justice and public interest opportunities that build upon classroom teaching and help form them as leaders for a just and humane world.

Jack Kirkwood, associate dean for strategic planning and mission and professor of law, called Singleton "indefatigable," adding that "talking to Diana is like opening an encyclopedia about access to justice. Her passion and commitment to her team and social justice is unwavering."

Numerous colleagues and students echo this sentiment and point to Singleton's ability to work collaboratively with many other departments on campus. In particular, she is acknowledged by Kent Koth, director of the Center for Service and Community Engagement and the Seattle University Youth Initiative, for connecting the institute's work with the initiative. "Diana has contributed significantly to the effort to launch the Seattle University Youth Initiative," Koth said. "She served on the original planning committee and has subsequently developed an inclusive and empowering model of mobilizing the Law School to further connect with our local neighborhood. I've been particularly impressed with how she mentors staff and students to enable them to pursue ideas."

McBride is assistant to the University Core Director Jeff Philpott. "I don't know how I could do my work without Stasha's support, quite frankly," said Philpott. "Managing the Core is a big job by itself; managing the Core while also leading the implementation of a brand new Core is a whole new level of challenge. Luckily, in Stasha I have a great partner for this daunting work. The university is a better place for her work, our students receive a better education because of her efforts, and I am incredibly grateful to have such a talented, caring and dedicated colleague in my office."

Many colleagues cited McBride's grace and equanimity in nominating her for the award. Her responsibilities are vast. She supports the Core director, the faculty directors for the Faith and the Great Ideas program, the Diversity Citizenship and Social Justice track, Core Honors, the Living-Learning Communities, and several Core committees. She manages all budgets for the department (including an external grant), the considerable flow of paperwork from students and departments. The Core encompasses, more than 4,000 students, 700-plus course selections and more than 225 faculty from 24 departments in five colleges and schools.

The Thurber Award is named for the longtime assistant of former President William Sullivan, S.J.