Meet Our Graduate Assistants!

Written by SA-Worker1 student
October 28, 2014

Alissa Cowan ?| ?MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy, a couples & family therapy program
Graduate Assistant,?Operations

As Graduate Assistant for Operations, Alissa helps make sure the office runs as smoothly as possible. ?Some of her daily tasks include the organization of school documents and putting together events for faculty, staff and students. She also plays an integral role in preparing for the upcoming, university-wide Search for Meaning Book Festival in February of 2015.?
In her own words:??Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry looks at people holistically and lovingly. ?It doesn?t matter where you came from or what your religion may be. ?The school welcomes you with open arms and an open heart and truly helps you forward on your own personal journey.?

 
? Ann Mayer ?| ?

Master of Divinity


Graduate Assistant,?Ecumenical & Interreligious Dialogue

Anne works closely with the school?s inclusively Christian and Unitarian partners, coordinating efforts to keep chaplains and outreach teams prepared and informed. She is also involved in the preparation of special school events such as ?Our Story,? and State of the Church. Anne is looking forward to getting to converse with people from all different faith backgrounds and participating in the events they are planning. Anne shares that she appreciates the school?s intentional ecumenism and dedication to the experience of learning that goes beyond books.
 
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Corey Passons ?| ? Master of Divinity
Graduate Assistant,?Ecumenical & Interreligious Dialogue?

Corey is involved in the ongoing school efforts to foster interfaith and ecumenical encounters. This includes hosting a wide variety of events from an international symposium of Abrahamic faiths to a quarterly student advisory council.
Corey shared with us:? ?Over the next two years my intention is to work hard on the remaining requirements of my degree and to begin to develop a network and imagination for life after the school?s coursework. ?I am constantly inspired by the stories and journeys of the students around me and am thrilled to be in the community in my new role as a Graduate Assistant.?
 
Eliacin Rosario-Cruz ?| ? Master of Divinity , Class of 2014
Graduate Assistant,?Ecumenical & Interreligious Dialogue / Seattle U Mission & Ministry

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? Graduate Assistant,?Economics & Pastoral Leadership Project?

The Economics & Pastoral Leadership Project is a relatively new project for the school (Learn more online,? here ). Jessica will be assisting in the project?s initial efforts to assess the economic challenges facing current students, alums, pastoral leaders, and denominational leaders. She will also assist in the research and development of financial literacy curriculums and assessments in order to better equip our students for economic success in pastoral leadership.? Jessica commented:? ?I feel very honored to be a part of the first stages of the school?s Economics & Pastoral Leadership Project. As I have learned more about the goals of the project and jumped into work, I believe that the Project will make a positive difference in the lives of students. In the discernment process before attending Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry, as well as during my first year of classes, I received the strong sense that faculty and staff were very interested in providing a holistic education. The importance of the Project to them affirms that idea for me. I love learning in an intentionally ecumenical and interreligious setting where I can discuss meaningful and lasting change with all of my brothers and sisters.?? ?

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Johanna Leuchter ?| ?

Master of Divinity

Graduate Assistant,?Academic Research ?
Johanna supports the school?s faculty by assisting in their research needs. In addition to conducting research for articles and books that faculty are publishing, she gathers materials to be used in their classes. Johanna transferred from St. John?s University in Minnesota and is hoping to become a hospital chaplain through the Master of Divinity coursework here at the school. She is excited about this Graduate Assistant position because she loves learning about new things, doing library research and appreciates the pastoral nature of the school.?
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Irene Demaris ?|? ?

Master of Divinity

Graduate Assistant,?Academics & Student Life?
? Missy Trull ?| ?? Master of Divinity, Chaplaincy specialization ?
? Graduate Assistant,?Contextual Education

Missy supports Dr. Mark Chung Hearn, the Director of Contextual Education, and the school?s Contextual Education programs. She helps to develop relationships with the school?s partner internship sites and supervisors, and works to provide resources and support for students who are beginning their internships.? Missy shared with us: ??It is a gift to work in an office filled with such brilliance and kindness?I am learning so much.?

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Steve Childress ?| ?

Master of Divinity?

Graduate Assistant,?Stewardship & Events
As the Graduate Assistant for Stewardship & Events, Steve assists Sarah Perry, the Senior Director of Development, with scheduling weekly donor meetings and planning events. Steve appreciates learning more about all the work that goes on behind the scenes at the School of Theology and Ministry that helps us do all the unique things that we do here at our school.? In Steve?s words:? ?I appreciate the unique combination and integration of academic theology, pastoral care skill development, and spiritual formation that we work on through our degree programs. I believe that it helps us develop sound theology that will translate into a format for loving, empowering and liberating ministry to those whom we have been called to serve.?
 

Tina Alvarado ?| ? ?

MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy

, a couples & family therapy program
Graduate Assistant,?Marketing & Communications

Tina supports Hannah Crivello, Director of Marketing & Communications, and Kurt Lorenz, Creative Media Specialist, in producing effective marketing tools for the School of Theology and Ministry. This includes advertising the school and its degree programs through online and print media as well as communicating with outside agencies, prospective and current students. Her goal is to help others discover the unique programs the school has to offer.
Tina says,? ?After a long discernment process, it is exciting to feel like the Relationship & Pastoral Therapy degree program is exactly where I am supposed to be. Integrating spirituality with counseling is something I truly believe in and it is invigorating to be a part of the school?s innovative vision of ministry. ?I am surrounded by a very diverse group of students who have challenged me to think differently, but are united by a commitment to the vision of the school.?

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Nindyo Sasongko ?| ? MA in Transforming Spirituality , Studies in Spirituality specialization
Graduate Assistant,?Worship & Liturgy
Nindyo supports the work of Dr. Mark Lloyd Taylor, Director of Worship & Liturgy at the School of Theology and Ministry. ?His role includes supervising the morning, noon and evening prayer services, and keeping the Worship & Liturgy blog (see? here ) up to date. Nindyo has always had a passion for worship and liturgy.? In his own words: ?Liturgy is not just a ritual, but it is (to borrow from Raimon Panikkar) ?rhythm of being.? ?Liturgy reorients human life. ?I look forward to learning and contributing to the spiritual life of our school community.?
 

Cynthia Pickreign ?| ?MA in Transformational Leadership?
Graduate Assistant,?Doctor of Ministry program ?

As well as working as a full time IT (Information Technology) analyst, Cynthia supports the School of Theology & Ministry?s new Doctor of Ministry degree program. Cynthia shares that she knew she wanted to be a part of the school during an emotional interview for the MA in Transformational Leadership program. She says, ?Instead of being met with that awkward silence that usually rejoins a public display of emotion, I was thanked for sharing my vulnerability. In that moment I knew I wanted to be a part of the Seattle University community.?

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? Nina De La Garza ?| ?

MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy

, a couples & family therapy program
Graduate Assistant,?Stewardship

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? Kerry Billingham, MS, LMHC ?| ? MA in Transformational Leadership
Graduate Assistant,?MA in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy, a couples & family therapy program

Kerry supports the school?s Relationship & Pastoral Therapy program by helping to find placement sites for students starting their internship in the program. She will be assisting Clinical Coordinator, Dr. Rebecca (Becky) Cobb, in researching and conducting site visits in order to find internship sites that will support and enhance the students? in-classroom learning. Kerry is enjoying getting to know everyone in the department and in her degree program.


Sheila Houston ?| ?

Doctor of Ministry

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Graduate Assistant,?Faith & Family Homelessness Project


Sheila Houston works to support the school?s Faith & Family Homelessness Project. Her role involves building relationships, planning events, and creating resources to help local churches understand a faith-based response to family homelessness. Sheila has already completed a Masters in Non-Profit Leadership at Seattle University and a Certificate of Pastoral Leadership through the School of Theology and Ministry and is now taking preliminary courses in preparation for the Doctor of Ministry degree program. She works as a respected Pastor in the community, and uses her own life experience to inform her work with the Faith & Family Homelessness Project.


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