Campus Community / People of SU

SU Conversation with Mayor Harrell Available on Seattle Channel

Written by Lincoln Vander Veen

April 15, 2022

Photo of panelists on stage with Mayor Bruce Harrell during speaking event.

Image credit: Jaidev Vella

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell discussed his priorities and most pressing issues facing the city during a unique opportunity for student leaders.    

As part of the Institute of Public Service (IPS) speaking series, “Conversations,” Mayor Bruce Harrell marked his first 100 days as Mayor of Seattle by sitting down for a discussion with faculty and student leaders of SU’s Institute for Public Service (IPS) on April 11. The full event can be viewed on the Seattle Channel 

Those student leaders, Mandela Gardner, '22, and Camille Rochester, '23, soaked up the experience of sitting with Mayor Harrell. Also included in the panel were Larry Hubbell, IPS professor and the former director of SU’s Master of Public Administration program and Joni Balter, IPS Professional in Residence and longtime newspaper writer and columnist. 

“I was honored to be asked to participate in the event!” exclaims Gardner. “Mayor Harrell has a demeanor and sense of humor that makes him easy to talk to and the conversation flowed at a nice clip.” 

Rochester echoed those sentiments. “His [Mayor Harrell’s] use of humor and storytelling effectively dispelled tension in the room,” says Rochester. “Getting back in person and the problems Seattle faces can make events like this feel daunting, but his humor lightened the mood.” 

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program—the home of IPS—makes a priority of getting students and elected policy makers together. Gardner and Rochester both appreciate what this unique experience means as MPA students.

“Seattle University sets a great precedent by inviting students to participate [in events like this],” says Gardner. “For grad students to see their classmates participating in conversations with elected officials sends the message that SU wants its students to play an active role in community conversations; not all graduate schools provide that opportunity.” 

“The connections you can make and deepen through opportunities like this help build the framework for your career,” explains Rochester. “Getting to stretch my wings and try new things is part of why I enrolled!”  

To view the filmed event featuring Mayor Bruce Harrell, visit