Meet This Year's Alumni Award Winners

Leaders in various industries, champions of change and superb former student athletes among the roster of Alumni Award and Hall of Fame recipients.

Seattle University is proud to announce this year’s Alumni Award and Athletics Hall of Fame winners, seven individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership, service to the university and community, a commitment to care, excellence, diversity, justice and an alignment with SU’s Jesuit values:

  • Alumna of the Year: Dorothy Cordova, ‘53
  • Outstanding Recent Alumna: Renee Rassilyer-Bomers, ‘03, ‘06, ‘16
  • University Service Award: Craig Sims, ‘97 JD
  • Professional Achievement Award: Tresha Lacaux, ‘07
  • Community Service Award: Bret Daugherty, ‘80, ‘89
  • Athletics Hall of Fame: Tarik Skubal, ‘18
  • Athletics Hall of Fame: Kacie Sowell Timmons, ‘14

These exceptional alumni will be celebrated at the Alumni Awards ceremony, Friday, February 9, at Pigott Atrium and Auditorium. Join us in recognizing the positive impact they’ve made in their professions, communities and the Redhawk community as a whole.  

Alumna of the Year
Dorothy Cordova, ‘53
College of Arts and Sciences

Dorothy Cordova, ’53, and her late husband, Fred Cordova, ‘52, were nominated for their instrumental support and advocacy for the Filipino American community in Seattle and nationwide. For her tireless work and dedication to elevating the Filipino American community, Dorothy is this year’s Alumna of the Year.  

The Cordovas were lifelong partners in this work for the Filipino American community, including writing grants for immigrant and refugee communities, founding the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) and the National Pinoy Archives (NPY). Affectionately called “Auntie Dorothy” and “Uncle Fred,” the pair also cofounded Filipino Youth Activities in 1957 for community youth—including their own eight children—that resulted in an award-winning drill team still in action today.

With their sociology education from Seattle University, the Cordovas completed several projects that captured the stories of immigrant populations in Seattle. This was an especially important issue for Dorothy, who grew up in the Central District after her parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1928. At a national level, the Cordovas were influential in the establishment of Filipino American History Month, which was passed in a resolution by Congress in 2009, and publicly acknowledged by President Barack Obama in 2015.

Dorothy’s nominator said, “At 91 years young, Dorothy Cordova epitomizes all the values of care, not just for the whole person and service to others, but she and her late husband, Fred, have sustained, lifted and advocated for an entire Filipino American community and its history. With more than 40 chapter locations throughout the country, FANHS has been integral in academic and civic engagement, the arts and more.” 

Outstanding Recent Alumna
Renee Rassilyer-Bomers, ‘03, ‘06, ‘16
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Nursing

Renee Rassilyer-Bomers, ’03, ’06, ’16, has built an exemplary career in health care, highlighted by her critical leadership during a local COVID-19 vaccination response effort that served as a national model.

For her unwavering dedication to helping the community and her continued leadership in the health care sector, Rassilyer-Bomers is this year’s Outstanding Recent Alumna.

For the past 21 years Rassilyer-Bomers has worked at Swedish, now serving as the Chief Nursing Officer. During the height of the pandemic, she spearheaded vaccination clinics at Seattle University, neighborhoods around Swedish and at Lumen Field. The incredible efficiency of these clinics made the national news when Starbucks’ corporate team brought a systems-efficiency team to study the Seattle University Community Vaccination Clinic. 

A nominator said that witnessing Rassilyer-Bomers’ leadership “was equivalent to witnessing an ‘elite athlete’ in action” as she “displayed incredible organizational and systems leadership, outstanding use of patient care technology to address population health and breathtaking collaborations with colleagues, the local university, government and industry as she ensured vaccines were equitably distributed to all people.”

With a small team, Rassilyer-Bomers created the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Playbook that became a template for scalable response to immunization demands. Her efforts at the vaccination clinic at Lumen Field became the largest civilian-led vaccination site in the nation and exemplified the potential of public and private sector collaborations in public health and emergency events.

University Service Award
Craig Sims, ’97 JD
School of Law

Craig Sims, ’97 JD, is praised for his leadership and powerful mentoring within the Seattle University School of Law, including working as a faculty member and serving as co-chair of the Washington Leadership Institute. 

For his mentorship and vision, Sims is the recipient of the University Service Award.

For his success as a trial advocate, Sims was inducted into the American College of Trials Lawyers (ACTL), one of the most distinguished organizations of trial lawyers in North America—less than 1% of attorneys, per state, are invited to join. Along with an impressive career, Sims is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of lawyers, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. He has been honored as “Mentor of the Year” by the King County Bar Association (Young Lawyer’s Division) and often speaks at Seattle University law classes.

A nominator said, “The first time I heard Craig Sims speak in my 1L criminal law class, it was clear that he was a leader who cared about our well-being because he was completely real, open and honest about how difficult the path we chose was going to be. He understands the importance of the ‘whole person’ and that if people are to be successful lawyers who advocate for a just and humane world, we need to take lessons from our personal journey into the profession.”

Another nominator said, “Throughout his career, he advocates for the voices of the often ignored. Because of his selflessness, Craig improves the community around him. Furthermore, each of his mentees are agents for change nationally.”

Professional Achievement Award
Tresha Lacaux, ‘07
College of Science and Engineering

Tresha Lacaux, ’07, has built an outstanding career in the aerospace industry at Boeing Commercial Airplanes and is dedicated to diversity and social advocacy in the STEM field.

For her exceptional leadership and impressive achievements in her industry, Lacaux is the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award. 

With her resilience and purposeful leadership, Lacaux became the first Black woman to hold the position of Vice President and 777X Chief Project Engineer and played a pivotal role in developing the 777X jetliner. Her technical expertise informs her successful work in aircraft safety and quality. She has led developments in advancing aerospace technology that focuses on environmental sustainability and a commitment to high ethical standards and risk management.

Previously, Lacaux was honored with the Women of Color Professional Achievement in Industry Award and the BEYA Modern-Day Technology Leader recognition, a testament to her incredible leadership. She is an active member on the Washington Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Advisory Board, helping to develop programs and opportunities for underrepresented youth to close the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education gap, increase degree completion and enhance workforce diversity.  

A nominator said, “Tresha Lacaux’s outstanding leadership is characterized by her dedication to ethical principles, commitment to diversity and inclusion, mentorship of others, active participation in community initiatives and integrity in both professional and personal spheres. Tresha’s leadership is a shining example of what can be achieved through determination, integrity and a strong commitment to service and justice.”

Community Service Award
Major General Bret D. Daugherty, ‘80, ‘89
College of Arts and Sciences

Major General Bret Daugherty’s impressive career and service in the Washington National Guard extends to his work as an educator—first as a teacher and later leading a program for at-risk youth to graduate high school.

For dedicating his career to serving and protecting the state, Maj. Gen. Daugherty, ’80, ’89, is the recipient of the Community Service Award.

Maj. Gen. Daughtery was called to active duty for the National Guard after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He now serves as the Adjutant General for the State of Washington and the commanding general of 6,000 soldiers and 2,000 airmen of the Washington National Guard. He is also the Homeland Security Advisor to Governor Jay Inslee, director of the Washington Military Department, a member of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet and the senior state official responsible for emergency management. 

Throughout his career, Maj. Gen. Daughtery has led the Washington Military Department’s response to many emergencies and natural disasters, including the COVID-19 pandemic. He oversaw the longest activation of the Emergency Operations Center and deployed guardsmen to food banks as well as testing and vaccination sites. He also worked to ensure the security of the 2020 elections and prevented a major cyberattack on the state’s network.

Maj. Gen. Daugherty led the Military Department’s in-residence program for at-risk youth, which has been recognized as the best program of its kind at the national level, leading to the opening of a second campus. 

Athletics Hall of Fame
Tarik Skubal, ’18—Baseball
Albers School of Business

Tarik Skubal, ’18, spent four seasons with the Redhawk baseball team and, along with his name cemented in the school’s record book, is the highest drafted player in program history.

Over the course of his SU playing career, the southpaw hurler was named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American and a Second Team All-Western Athletic Conference selection. He holds school records in wins (21), lowest ERA for a starting pitcher (2.11) and opponent batting average (.221) and ranks second in career strikeouts (224). 

Skubal’s star continued to rise following his time at SU. Selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft, Skubal quickly worked his way through the minor league ranks and just completed his fourth season in the Tigers’ rotation in 2023. He was named a Minor League Baseball (MiLB) All-Star in 2019 and picked up his first MLB honor in October 2023, being named AL Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA.

Mike Gibson ‘79, a baseball alum and Hall of Fame Committee Member, said of Skubal:  “Tarik arrived at SU from Kingman Academy High School in Arizona during the fall of 2015 with a big left arm and yet unfulfilled promise. With hard work, discipline and a 90 mile an hour fastball, he soon became the Redhawk’s Friday night starter, earning Freshman All-American honors. A nearly catastrophic arm injury in 2016 required Tommy John surgery, yet Skubal was still drafted professionally in the 29th round in 2017 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He turned down an opportunity to go pro to instead rejoin his teammates for a record-setting third season before being drafted in 2018 by the Detroit Tigers. We are thrilled to have Tarik inducted into the Seattle University Athletics Hall of Fame.” 

Athletics Hall of Fame
Kacie Sowell Timmons, ‘14—Basketball
College of Arts and Sciences

Kacie Sowell Timmons starred on the Seattle University women’s basketball team from 2011-14. One of only four players in program history to amass 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, Sowell Timmons led the Redhawks to back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2011-12 and 2012-13. The latter of those seasons culminated in the program’s first-ever Western Athletic Conference regular season title and the first NCAA Division I postseason appearance at the WNIT.

Sowell Timmons made her mark during her Redhawk career. She ranks in the program’s all-time Top 10 in points (1,518), rebounding (1,033), field goals and blocks. In 2012-13, she was named WAC Player of the Year, then followed that with multiple honors her senior season including First Team All-WAC, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-Region, DI-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar Athlete and WBCA Honorable Mention All-American.

Sowell Timmons graduated cum laude with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science. She went on to play basketball overseas in Germany for one year, before returning to the states to attend nursing school. She has worked as a nurse since 2017.

Sue Stimac Verduin ‘83, a women’s basketball alumna and Hall of Fame Committee Member, said of Sowell Timmons: “One of the most successful runs for SU Women’s Basketball were the 2011, 2012 and 2013 teams anchored by Kacie.  She led the team to back-to-back 20-win seasons, a conference title and a first ever trip to the National Invitational Tournament in 2013. Kacie’s stats and accolades on the court speak to her determination for constant improvement and growth as a player. Off the court she was a star in the classroom, illustrated by her selection to the 2014 Division 1-AAA Athletic Directors Association Scholar-Athlete team. She epitomizes what it means to be a Seattle University student athlete!”

Tuesday, October 24, 2023