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Seattle University


Most Outstanding

Written by Mike Thee
June 13, 2011

You could say that 2011 is the “Year of the Kelly,” as two colleagues with that last name have been recognized for their excellence by SU’s graduating students. 

At the 2011 President’s Commencement Brunch on Saturday, June 11, Jodi Kelly, interim dean of Matteo Ricci College, was honored as the Most Outstanding Faculty member, while Kate Kelly, assistant director of Conference and Event Services, received the Most Outstanding Staff award. 

Cassandra Rodriguez, the graduating senior who nominated Jodi, right, said her professor "taught me how to create meaningful relationships…(and) to set my sights high, lean into my failures and learn from my mistakes.” 

Jodi gratefully accepted the award on behalf of SU’s many distinguished faculty members, noting that when a student goes to a Jesuit university “you can expect excellence in every classroom.” Invoking the words of Pedro Arrupe, S.J., former Superior General of the Jesuits, Jodi encouraged the class of 2011 to “fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.” Speaking of her husband Tom and her work at Matteo Ricci College, Jodi said, “I have been lucky in my life to marry my two great loves.” 

Kate Kelly, recipient of the Most Outstanding Staff Award, is pictured here with her nominator, Matthew Taylor, '11.
Kate Kelly’s nominator, Matthew Taylor, called her “a champion of student development…unmatched on this campus.”  

“Had it not been for Kate taking a chance on (me), I would not be the person I am today,” he continued. “Kate doesn’t just talk about the mission of this university—she lives it.” 

Kate called her work with SU students “a life changer,” and commended them for “the laughter, passion and dedication they bring to their work.”