Summer Edition: Staff, Student, Alumni Updates

August 25, 2016


Lisa Gustaveson  |  MNPL
Program Manager Lisa Gustaveson, a graduate of Seattle University’s Masters in Nonprofit Leadership program, began a doctorate program in Educational Leadership at Seattle University this summer. The Educational Leadership Doctoral Program (EDLR) is a practiced-based degree that prepares ethical, reflective, culturally competent professionals who lead with skill, demonstrate integrity, embrace diversity and advance social justice.


Karen Georgia Thompson  |  Doctor of Ministry
Karen Georgia, current Doctor of Ministry student is a writer and poet. Born in Kingston, Jamaica and living in the U.S. in Lakewood, OH, she writes from her experience as a global citizen. Her blog, By the Rivers, tells the history and current realities of people of African descent living in diaspora as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  The posts share personal stories of travel and encounter with Ancestral memories and tales long forgotten.  Each blog post captures a historical reality and the contemporary ramifications of Over 200 million are currently living outside of continental Africa. Check out her blog here:

Heather Thompson  |  Master of Divinity
This article ( was recently published featuring Heather’s story as a case study for acquired savantism and the exploration of the roots of creativity. Heather’s artwork will be featured in an upcoming art exhibit. Click here to learn more about Heather’s work:


Nindyo Sasongko  | Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality ‘15
Earlier this summer, Nindyo led a workshop at the Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity (YATRA) in Jakarta, Indonesia with his colleague and supervisor, Dr. Joas Adiprasetya. Together, they presented a paper entitled “The Trinity, Friendship and Space-Making.” Nindyo also led a workshop for Mennonite pastors in greater Jakarta on rethinking the fourth Gospel as the Gospel of Friendship, in which he used material and inspiration from Seattle University’s Dr. Guardiola-Sáenz. YATRA, a program of the World Council of Churches, was a two-week program during which participants, “undertake experiential, inter-cultural and rigorous interactive learning through a specially designed curriculum, which explores justice and peace issues from a distinctively inter-religious perspective.”

Megan Ross  |  Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality ‘08
Megan worked with the Global Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from January 2012 through June 2014. She served as an English teacher and mentor at 2 schools in the North Sumatra province, in Sumatra, Indonesia. She spent the majority of her time teaching English at the Deaconess Theological School, where young women are prepared for servant ministry. She  also taught as a guest lecturer at the HKBP Nommensen University. She now finds herself on the path to more global service, this time through the Peace Corps. She was invited to serve in China, where she will be teaching at a university and will be able to create her own syllabus and curriculum. Megan awaits her university placement while she is in the 10-week pre-service training at the Peace Corps office in Chengdu, Sichuan province. She has written about Indonesia, plus other stories of her travels on a blog, and will continue to update from China:

Mia Smith  |  Master of Divinity, ‘14

Mia Smith was ordained on July 31st by the Indiana Region of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ where she currently serves as Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry. Reflecting on her time at STM, Mia had this to share:

"Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry gave me a tremendous theological education encompassing history, sacrament, and Scripture. STM is remarkably ecumenical in its student body, faculty and curriculum, which provided me with an opportunity to discover many different denominations and their doctrines. This exploration led me to find a home with the Northwest region of the Disciples of Christ. I deeply value their foundation of traditional Christian sacrament juxtaposed with an identity that encourages and values thoughtful discernment of Scripture while welcoming varied perspectives. I remain deeply grateful to Seattle University and the NW Region of the DOC for preparing me to serve God through faith leadership."