April Edition: Faculty, Staff, Student & Alumni Updates

Written by Hannah Crivello
April 23, 2014


Dr. Sharon Henderson Callahan
Dr. Callahan just returned from Orlando, Florida where she shared the plenary address at the Student Personnel Administrators? Conference for the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Her talk was titled ?Bit by Bit: Putting it together!?



Colette Casavant, MAPS
Colette, one of the school's staff but also an alum in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program, serves as Vice-Chair of the Association of Theological Schools' Student Personnel Administrator?s Network steering committee. She is transitioning to the position of Chair in 2014-2015. Colette joined Dr. Callahan at the conference in Orlando and facilitated two "State of the Profession" discussion groups, and presented a workshop for attendees entitled ?Illuminating Student Community Values, Engagement and Lasting Benefits." Colette also introduced Dr. Callahan prior to her plenary address.

Thanh-Thuong (?Thuong?) Thi ChuChe, MAPC (now MARPT)
Thuong is a 2013 alumna in the school's therapy program, now joining the school staff as Program Manager for the Economics in Pastoral Leadership Project, recently funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. as a new school initiative. Thuong will be working with Dean Mark S. Markuly, PhD who serves as Project Director to support an initiative to address economic challenges facing future ministers with a multi-layered research effort, on-campus and distance education program and curriculum development, and several partnership initiatives or enhancements.

Thuong comments: "Through this role, I am blessed with the opportunity to work with a community of dedicated, caring and talented individuals at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry.? I am excited to work for the empowerment of future faith-based leaders and supporting theological and ministerial education."?

Lisa Gustaveson, MNPL
Lisa will be participating in the upcoming "Connecting the Dots for Compassionate Cities: Fostering Climate, Social and Economic Justice" conference held at Seattle University. She will co-present a workshop for participants entitled "Housing & Homelessness: Compassionate Responses." In this fast paced workshop, Mark Putnam, Director of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County, Lisa Gustaveson, who serves as Program Manager for the Faith & Family Homelessness Project at Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry, and Michael Ramos from the Church Council of Greater Seattle, will lead participants through a series exercises designed to increase understanding of homelessness and the related shortage of affordable housing in King County. A portion of the time will be spent discussing the role of advocacy and public will. Participants will have an opportunity to dialogue in small groups, share ideas and come up with concrete next steps they can take to be part of the solution to the crisis of homelessness. ?



Alissabeth Newton - Master of Divinity
Alissa has accepted a position as Vicar of St. Columba's Episcopal Church in Kent, WA. Her official appointment as Vicar begins August 1st after her (God willing and the people consenting!) ordination to priesthood in late July. Alissa will continue to serve St. Paul's Episcopal Church as Deacon through the end of June and will begin to work administratively with St. Columba's in July. Alissa will continue her diocesan position as Program Director for Congregational Development in addition to her new role. Many congratulations to Alissa!?

Ryan Fallgren - Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership
Ryan has accepted and begun a new position at KIND, now serving as Field Marketing Team Lead. Ryan shared with us that his experience as a Graduate Assistant at the School of Theology and Ministry and his coursework in Transformational Leadership very much prepared him for this new role. Congratulations, Ryan!

Julie Johnson - Master of Divinity
Jessica Taylor - Master of Arts in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy
Eliacin Rosario-Cruz
- Master of Divinity
Congratulations to these three current students who are recent inductees to the Seattle University Chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society. President Sundborg, SJ announced the honor this past month. Inductees represent a group of people who show excellence in scholarship, loyalty to Jesuit values, and service. Out of the top 15% of each class who were invited to apply, no more than 4% of juniors, seniors, and graduate students were selected for membership. We celebrate the success and this great honor of our students. Congratulations!



Bjorn Peterson, MATL - Class of 2012
Bjorn recently accepted an invitation to be on the faculty of President Obama's "Young African Leaders Institute," offering a seminar on Inclusive Community Develpment--a topic area of study and practice for Bjorn. Read more about the Institute here. Bjorn is also currently in Arizona State University's PhD program studying "Community Resources and Development" and is Senior Research Associate for the Partnership for Community Development at Arizona State University. Bjorns studies include areas of global poverty, development, culture, ethics, community theory and philosophy, and social transformation. Bjorn is also preparing to present papers this summer on inclusivity and social justice at the Community Development Society here in the United States and at the International Association for Community Development Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.?

Helen Oesterle, MDiv - Class of 1996
Helen will be leading a special retreat with Massimo Faggioli, PhD on the topic of "The Church of Today: A Retreat on the Church since Vatican II" at the Archbishop Brunett Retreat Center at the Palisades in Federal Way. Massimo Faggioli and Helen will lead a thoughtful reflection on the state of our Catholic faith throughout the world since Vatican II. The retreat will start with a presentation of the idea of the Church at Vatican II, and will focus on the liturgical reform and its theological consequences. This historical-theological framework will provide a basis for discussion and reflection on the key issues of today's Church.

Helen is currently the Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in West Seattle. She has worked in several parishes in the Archdiocese of Seattle for over 30 years, and in addition to her Master of Divinity from Seattle University she has certification in Mastery of the Catechism and is commissioned Lay Ecclesial Minister for the Archdiocese.
Helen shared with us: "In terms of the benefits of my M.Div.?I can?t imagine being able to be a lay ecclesial minister in the Church without it! My years at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry were invaluable to me both professionally and personally.? I was able to broaden my theological and pastoral knowledge of our Catholic faith, develop and strengthen my pastoral and leadership skills, grow spiritually, and make life-long relationships with other ministers who also serve in the Archdiocese and are often a great resource for me at times."