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Seattle University


Globally engaged

Written by Mike Thee
July 14, 2010

Sen. Maria Cantwell visited Seattle University this month to publicly endorse a paper on U.S. foreign assistance that SU was significantly involved in producing.

It all began when Senators Cantwell and Patty Murray requested the paper from Global Washington, a nonprofit that promotes global development in the region. The organization, of which SU has been a member since its inception, contacted Robin Craggs, director of education abroad, to invite SU’s participation. Craggs then sought input from a number of people on campus, including Yvonne Harrison, then-assistant professor in the Center for Nonprofit and Social Enterprise Management. It was Harrison who prepared the submission which was designed to showcase the diversity and quality of SU's global engagement initiatives and programs in foreign aid, trade, partnerships and global education.

The effort was not a solo act. Harrison sought and incorporated descriptions of programs and projects prepared by numerous globally engaged SU faculty and administrators who responded to her e-mail request. She also requested guidance and assistance from Chuck Lawrence, associate provost; Janet Quillian, director of the International Development Internship Program; Kan Liang, associate professor of history; and Craggs. Even the findings of the Task Force on Global Education were incorporated into the submission, along with estimates of resource development needs to support the university’s global engagement strategy and goals.

The resulting 25-page paper, Harrison says, “represents years of global engagement work by SU administrators, faculty, staff, students and partners.” She hopes the submission “advances strategic goals for global engagement on a number of levels.”

SU’s submission comes at a time when the university is stepping up its commitment to global education. Victoria Jones began this month as SU’s first associate provost for global engagement. Announcing her appointment this spring, Provost Isiaah Crawford, wrote that Jones will “champion, coordinate and guide the university’s aggressive development of global education, research and scholarship and service across campus, and take Seattle University to the next level of global engagement.”

The university’s enlarged presence in global initiatives was on display when Cantwell spoke at SU on July 6. Craggs says the event came together rather hurriedly after she received an e-mail from the executive director of Global Washington asking if SU would be interested in hosting.

Craggs quickly conferred with her boss, Lawrence, and they agreed it was opportunity not to be missed. What ensued was an eight day frenzy of preparation.

“I was super impressed with everyone’s can-do attitude,” says Craggs, who credits a long list of colleagues for putting on a very successful event before a packed auditorium. She mentions Casey Corr, director of Strategic Communications, Facilities Services (“The building was sparkling”), Mike Sletten and his colleagues in Campus Public Safety, as well as OIT and Bon Appétit.

Reflecting on the event, Craggs says, “I think we showed that SU is serious about being recognized as a premier, globally engaged university.

To read more about the July 6 event, the report and Global Washington, visit