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Spirit of Community

Award recipients represent the best of Seattle U

April 27, 2016

The season of awards is upon us, and a few of our faculty and staff colleagues are among the honorees. 

This weekend at the 31st Annual Alumni Celebration, Seattle University will honor six individuals, including faculty and staff Sean McDowell, associate professor of English, and John Dougherty, athletic development officer.

The honoring continues next Tuesday, May 3, with the Center for Community Engagement's 12th Annual Spirit of Community Celebration (4-5:30 p.m., Campion Ballroom). A community partner, faculty member, staff person, two students and a project will be recognized. 

"Our awardees demonstrate the power of people working together with a common purpose," said Kent Koth, executive director of the center. "They represent the spirit of our community at its best." 

Courtesy of the Center for Community Engagement, here's a bit about each recipient: 

Community Partner | Saadia Hamid

Saadia Hamid has a passion for working with people of all ages. She was born and raised in Eritrea and has served as a mentor, student leader, teacher and principal. In 1995, she moved to the United States and has since been a leader in improving our community. Currently, Saadia works with the Seattle Housing Authority as education engagement specialist, helping students and families create and achieve academic goals while connecting them to any resources they may need.

Faculty  | Hillary Hawley

Hilary Hawley has been teaching her Academic Writing Seminar (UCOR 1100, formerly ENGL 110) as a service-learning course since the fall of 2009. Her regular partners include Northwest Harvest, Community Lunch, St. James Cathedral Kitchen, the Food Bank at St. Mary's, the Danny Woo Garden and the Chicken Soup Brigade at Lifelong AID Alliance. Students in her service learning have gone on to work as paid staff for Community Lunch on Capitol Hill, participated in the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms program abroad and in the United States, and have come back to consult with her on their own community projects.

Staff  | Tyrone Brown

Tyrone Brown is a SU staff member, alumni with a MFA in Arts Leadership ('10), and coordinator of MORAL MONDAYS at SU, the #BlackLivesMatter initiative at Seattle University. His passions and interests include directing and producer theater, dancing in the morning and acting as co-secretary of the newly established Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District.

Student | Yessenia Medrano

Yessenia Medrano is in her third year in the School of Law. She is committed to social justice and is dedicated to advocating for immigrant rights. Her interest in advocating for immigrant rights began at a young age after learning the story of her father's escape from El Salvador during its Civil War and her mother's work helping Central American refugees in the 1980s. She has worked with countless organizations that fight for social justice including the Border Litigation Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the Latinx Law Student Association and many others. 

Student | Katie Gallaher

Katie Gallaher is a senior psychology major with aspirations to become a teacher. She is a leader within the Seattle University Youth Initiative and works with Bailey Gatzert Elementary in the After School Program. She has served as a volunteer, station member and as the leader of the Brain Train Program. Through BrainTrain, she has learned to appreciate the immeasurable impact that teachers make in the lives of young people. She hopes that she can be a role model that cultivates creativity in young people, opens minds and nurtures knowledge.

Project | Youth Traffic Court

The Seattle Youth Traffic Court is a partnership of Seattle University Law School, Garfield High School, Seattle Police Department and the Seattle Municipal Court. This is also the first youth traffic court supported by a law school in the United States. Youth Court offers a restorative justice path to youth receiving traffic citations. SU law students volunteer their time and expertise to help run the program and mentor participants. The program has been proven to reduce recidivism and instill a sense of civic engagement in participating students.