School of Theology and Ministry Student Awards 2017

May 17, 2017

Each year, Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry (STM) recognizes students who have exceptional service to the community and whose academic scholarship merits recognition. 

The following awards were presented:

Dr. Loretta Jancoski Leadership Award

  • recognizes the ground-breaking leadership of the first dean of the School of Theology and Ministry, Dr. Loretta Jancoski. Under her visionary direction, she guided the establishment of an innovative theological venture in the Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Leo Stanford Leadership Award

  • honors founding director of the Institute of Theological Studies. Dr. Stanford pioneered a vision for lay ministry within the church that became a model for other lay ministry programs in the United States. 

Dr. Clinton McNair Award

  • honors founding director of the School of Theology and Ministry’s Pastoral Counseling program. Dr. McNair pioneered a vision to bring healing, hope, and wholeness to individuals, families, and underserved communities by training therapists who competently, effectively, and ethically infuse spirituality into their clinical services. This award is presented yearly to an outstanding Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy student who integrates clinical education and practice with theological insights and spiritual formation, demonstrates a commitment to holistic health and healing practices, and a commitment to social justice and the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

  • Dr. Loretta Jancoski Leadership Award: Talya Gilman
  • Dr. Loretta Jancoski Leadership Award: Sarah Turner
  • Dr. Leo Stanford Leadership Award: Fadi Abouelsaad
  • Dr. Leo Stanford Leadership Award: Laura Baumgartner
  • Dr. Leo Stanford Leadership Award: Julianna de Magalhães Castro
  • Dr. Clinton McNair Award: Laura Unsworth


A note from the award winners:

Talya Gillman, MATL
Dr. Loretta Jancoski Leadership Award Winner

"I was humbled and grateful to learn about receiving the Dr. Loretta Jancoski Leadership Award. STM and the MATL program have afforded me opportunities to explore big questions, grapple with interesting complexities, and grow in unexpected yet essential ways. I had the recent pleasure of meeting Dr. Jancoski and learned about her visionary, authentic, and strategic leadership of STM in its formative years. I am especially honored for my name to appear alongside hers, as these are qualities that I hope to embody as I move forward, with my mind and heart expanded through the MATL curriculum and community. I deeply appreciate this recognition and look forward to investing myself in the work of co-creating a better world, in necessary and accountable ways."

Sarah Turner, MATL
Dr. Loretta Jancoski Leadership Award Winner

"The School of Theology and Ministry has been the center of my life the past two years. I’ve had the privilege to be part of great conversations and events during my time here, and also the ability to help create these for STM and the broader Seattle University community. I am honored to have touched and to have been touched by the web of relationships that make up this school."

Fadi Abouelsaad, MATL
Dr. Leo Stanford Leadership Award Winner

"Winning this award confirms that I was during my studies at STM surrounded by wonderful professors and classmates who allowed me to be myself and to experience a transformative time of studies. I see myself like a mirror that reflects all the beauty and support of the community of STM. This award means also to me a big responsibility to pursue my learning journey, and to go back home and try through my leadership to stand with my people in their seeking journey for freedom, justice and dignity."

Laura Baumgartner, MDIV
Dr. Leo Stanford Leadership Award Winner

"I am deeply honored that the faculty selected me for this award. As I move into pastoral ministry, I know that many of the lessons I learned and friendships I made will go with me and continue to shape me for leadership in the church. The award is to me a symbol of the time, support, and gifts that STM continues to make available to students ready to risk for the sake of following where the Spirit leads."

Julianna de Magalhaes Castro, MAPS
Dr. Leo Stanford Leadership Award Winner

"After I received the letter from Dean Markuly, I went on the STM website to try to learn more about Dr. Leo Stanford and the award given in his honor. I discovered that last year this award was given to Cathy, Corey, and Mars, all former classmates of mine. The three of them are all amazing, awe-inspiring ministers, so to be in their company is truly humbling."

Laura Unsworth, MACFT
Dr. Clinton McNair Award Winner

"I am deeply honored to receive the 2017 Reverend Dr. Clinton McNair award. As a couples and family therapist, I resonate with Dr. McNair’s vision of ethically integrating spirituality into competent clinical practice. I am indebted to Seattle University’s Jesuit ethos, which seeks to holistically heal people—in mind, body, and spirit. This award reflects my professional vision as a therapist who strives to treat the whole person systemically by empowering all to embody and witness to their truest identities."


These awards will be conferred at Seattle University's Commencement ceremony and named in the Commencement program.