College of Arts and Sciences
Alumni

Alumni E-Newsletter

  • Message from the Dean

    Dear Alumni and Friends,Dean Powers New Image

    This past spring, I had the opportunity to accompany President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., to Managua, Nicaragua, to witness the signing of a formal partnership between Seattle University and Universidad Centroamericana (UCA). It was an invigorating experience as we explored ways our two Jesuit schools can offer student and faculty exchanges, conduct common research, and engage in community-based learning across cultures. As soon as this summer in fact, UCA is offering programs for our students, including a Spanish-language minor and a core class on sustainability and poverty.

    The SU-UCA agreement represents what I hope will be the first of many joint ventures with Jesuit schools across the globe.  I sincerely look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with my colleagues in Nicaragua and to sharing with you the impacts of this partnership.

    Our academic year came to a close with commencement on June 15, always an exciting but somewhat bittersweet time as I say goodbye to our seniors and reflect on their overwhelming achievements. We chronicle these accomplishments throughout the year in the news section of our website, on our college Facebook page, and in our communications to you. You can see from this issue that our students combine passion with excellence, and thanks to the tremendous support of our faculty and our alumni, they are well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.

    You will also read about Tim Talevich, class of 1978, who has the daunting task of overseeing the editorial content of a print magazine with more than 13 million subscribers, and Gretchen Herzog Sullivan, class of 2001, who addresses critical issues facing children and their families. Their stories point to our deep commitment to help our students become alumni who are passionate about their work and successful in their lives.

    We have already started preparing exciting opportunities for you to engage in the arts, humanities, and social sciences right here on campus this fall. We will keep you informed via our Facebook page and upcoming event calendars.

    All my best wishes for a pleasant summer,

    David V. Powers
    Dean


    Dean's Research Grant: Arnold & Notestine

    Harmony ArnoldCostume design brings together art, craft, anthropology, and psychology. By working closely with the director, the costume designer makes choices that capture the essence of the character and designs specifically for the actor playing the part.

    Seattle Repertory Theatre was co-producing the play Venus in Fur with the Arizona Theatre Company. When Theatre Professor Harmony Arnold was asked to design the costumes, she applied for a Dean’s Research Grant, and Michael Notestine ’15 was given the opportunity to work directly with one of the nation’s leading regional theatre companies.

    A professor of costume history, costume design, and production practicum, Arnold is also the university’s resident costume designer and costume shop manager. At large regional theatres like the Seattle Repertory Theatre, costume shop personnel are divided into specific roles ranging from design assistant to head of wardrobe. One person or a team of people tackle a specific area within the costume shop. At Seattle University, these roles are often combined, giving students a variety of experiences within the costume shop. The contrast was eye-opening for Notestine as he noticed that this model applied to the whole operation of the theatre.

    “In rehearsal in the university setting, we fulfill the role we signed up to do, but we are also learning how to design the lights or block a scene or see what it looks like for a director,” he said. “At Seattle Rep, individuals fill a particular role, and I could observe a collaborative relationship among a group of artists coming together, each bringing what they’d spent their entire lives training to do.”

    Venus in Fur premiered in New York City in 2010 and received two Tony award nominations. Based on an 1870 novel, the play features a male playwright and a female actor auditioning for a part.

    “The role of Vanda is very physical,” Arnold said. “Not only do the costumes have to stand up to the wear and tear of numerous costume changes, but in our case, Venus in Fur was headed to subsequent full runs in Tucson and Phoenix. The costumes had to withstand performances in three cities and travel well.”

    Arnold and Notestine traveled to Portland to visit fabric houses. Fabrics were chosen, patterns created, actors fitted, cotton samples made, actors refitted, and final costumes sewn.

    “Michael followed me through the entire process until opening night--through fittings and through tech rehearsals where we sat together for hours and weeks,” Arnold said.

    Arnold, who has worked as a costume designer in theatre, film, and commercial venues, enjoys collaborating with students and giving them experiences that open doors to their future careers. Notestine certainly agrees.

    “Here they nurture us to have a safe space to learn and grown and succeed in our university setting, but they also want us to get out and experience the greater community,” he said. “There’s no better way to learn than to be in a room and watch and work with professionals from around the country. Being able to say I worked at a regional theatre that took on a play like ‘Venus in Fur’ is great for someone my age. I loved every bit of it.”

    Watch the video:
     


    Student Profile: Katy Granath, Liberal Studies

    Whether focusing on Somali women's health or pornography, Katy Granath took on challenging research assignments. Her efforts were rewarded when she flew to Kentucky to present her findings at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

    Katy GranathKaty Granath came to Seattle University for its small classes and social justice mission. After spending time in Niger at a rural hospital, she decided to get a BA in Liberal Studies in addition to a BA in Biology.

    “Working in Niger, I realized that health facilities were just one piece of a larger puzzle to improve health,” she said recently. “People do need better buildings, but they also need a way to get to the hospital.”

    Granath sought the interdisciplinary focus of Liberal Studies to gain a better understanding of the “big picture.” Last year, Granath looked at the meaning of cultural competency as it relates to health care and access to care for women in Seattle’ Somali community.

    “Seattle is in the forefront of improving Somali health,” she said. “Harboview’s Ethnomed program and Seattle Children’s health models directly address health care of immigrants, especially those from areas of intense conflict. The doctors and staff there provided me with invaluable information and resources.”

    In her conference presentation “Beyond Culturally Competent,” Granath examined the conflicts that arise from traditional Western medical practices and those of non-Western cultures. She envisions a more holistic approach to the needs of Somali women, who experience high rates of diabetes and high risk of maternal mortality.

    “I imagine a healthcare model rooted in conversation between communities and their healthcare providers--a system reliant on community health workers that amplifies the voices of Somali immigrant women and facilitates communication between communities and their health care providers to care for the whole person.”

    Not one to shy away from controversy, Granath presented a second paper, “Porn and Prejudice,” at the conference.

    “Pornography is frequently believed to be a medium that is immoral, negative, or wrong,” she said. “Findings from the fields of positive psychology and sex-positive feminism offer insights into ways ethical pornography can lead to positive outcomes.”

    The National Conference for Undergraduate Research drew more than 2000 students from across the United States. Her sessions, which included question-and-answer periods, were well attended with “people excited and engaged.”

    Granath, who graduated this year, plans to continue research into gender and health issues in a global context before going to graduate school.


    Alumni Profile: Gretchen Herzog Sullivan, Seattle Children's

    Gretchen Herzog “No one wants their child to need our services,” said Gretchen Herzog Sullivan ’01, Supervisor in the Bellevue Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health of Seattle Children’s Hospital. Since graduation, she has been helping children and families meet the critical needs associated with an inpatient hospitalization in the psychiatric unit at Children’s Hospital in Seattle and its outpatient clinic in Bellevue.

    Sullivan came to Seattle University to experience all that college has to offer. Literature, history, and theology were in her sights, but registering for the wrong course put a new focus on her studies.

    “As a sophomore, I signed up for a class taught by [Associate Dean and Psychology Professor] Dr. La Voy, and after the first day, after listening to her talking and describing what she was going to teach, I was hooked,” she said, “but it was a senior class, and I knew I wasn’t ready.”

    “I was drawn to psychology because I love people, and I love understanding what drives us and what brings us together as a community,” she said. “Psychology took everything I was learning everywhere else and put it together in a nice package. It was a perfect fit.”

    During an informational interview at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Sullivan was offered a job as a pediatric mental health specialist in the inpatient psychiatric unit. She jumped at the chance to join a team of psychiatrists, mental health therapists, educators, social workers, and nurses working in the 20-bed inpatient unit. The children, as young as 3 and as old as 19, come to the hospital with the full range of mental illness, including autism, psychosis, eating disorders, attention deficit disorders, and behavioral disorders. The team focuses on acute crisis intervention and then puts into place services to assist the children and their families in an outpatient setting. 

    “The goal is to get treatment started and move through the crisis so they can go back home,” she said. “We discuss goals with the family, what stabilization looks like, and how we going to achieve that together.”

    Sullivan worked closely with families to ensure a smooth transition from inpatient to outpatient. If a teen has anorexia, for example, Sullivan might put into place an outpatient team that includes a dietitian and therapist specializing in eating disorders. Is an outpatient psychiatrist needed? Can the family get to the clinic? Are there problems with insurance? These are some of the concerns that Sullivan resolved so that when the child went home, the family had resources in place to help the child experience the health and wellness to be successful.

    Sullivan recently moved into a supervisory position at Children’s outpatient behavioral clinic in Bellevue. In this outpatient setting, she is focusing on leadership and the operations of the clinic in order to meet the needs of the patients and families in need.  She is also in the executive master program in health administration at the University of Washington and serves on the board of Guided Pathways, a nonprofit agency run by families that provides peer support for families coping with children who have mental health issues developmental disabilities, or chemical dependency.

    Sullivan credits her time at Seattle University for enabling her to be in the position of helping people in crisis.

    “I was exposed to the concept of social justice, what my role in the community could be, where I could bring goodness to the world, not just what was in it for me but what I could do,” she said. “It prepared me for the work I do now. I love being able to see kids on their journey toward health and wellness.”

    Watch the video:

     


    Alumni Profile: Tim Talevich, The Costco Connection

    He oversees the editorial content of a print magazine for more than 13 million subscribers on four continents, an online version, an app, and an annual cookbook run of three million. For The Costco Connection editorial director Tim Talevich '78, each day brings a new challenge.

    Tim Talevich“When I come to work, I have a plan,” Talevich said from Costco headquarters in Issaquah, WA, “but part of the plan is unplanned.”

    With a staff of 30 in-house reporters, graphic designers, circulation managers, and production people, as well as a full complement of freelancers, Talevich is responsible for producing relevant and fresh content for The Costco Connection monthly print magazine, an online version, and an app for mobile devices.

    “We are looking at new products, new trends, and what’s going on in organics and sustainability that are on the minds of consumers,” he said. “We want to help them make the best decisions with their hard-earned money, whether it is for a product or service.”

    Talevich rose in the editorial hierarchy of Costco after starting there as a freelance writer. It was a natural progression for Talevich, who began his career in writing while still in high school and decided to major in English at Seattle University. His English degree led to a master’s in journalism from the University of Oregon, experience in regional newspapers in the Northwest, and freelancing for Costco.

    When Costco expanded in the mid-1990s, Talevich joined the staff as a reporter. He gradually became involved in international editions, added editorial responsibilities, and took on more management.

    “It’s been 20 years of stepping up, and it’s always been a new challenge and professionally fulfilling,” he said.

    The Costco Connection features articles on money management, travel, new books and films, products sold in Costco stores, and interesting stories that involve members. Although Talevich has interviewed movie stars and celebrities, including Bill Gates Jr. and Bill Gates Sr., his most interesting interview was with former President Jimmy Carter on the publication of his novel, The Hornet’s Nest, in 2001. The story is a historical fiction about the early stages of the Revolutionary War in the South, when often neighbors were pitted against neighbors in horrific battles.

    “Knowing the former President’s deep moral convictions about violence and war, I asked him ultimately if the rebels were justified in taking up arms against the British,” Talevich said. “Mr. Carter paused, giving the question a deep thought, and finally responded that indeed the violence was justified because the British had been so brutal to the settlers. After his answer, we both stayed silent for a few moments.”

    In addition to the magazine and its multiple versions, Talevich manages the editorial content of a yearly cookbook with a print run of three million. The most recent cookbook featured 244 recipes and went “like hotcakes” when it came out after Thanksgiving.

    Although the days are often long and hectic, Talevich takes great satisfaction in working as part of a team in a successful enterprise. He acknowledges that he has been lucky to turn his passion into a rewarding career. He has this advice for students: “You have to leverage the experience you’ve got in college and then go to the next step. If you love English, then decide if you want to write and then figure out ways to write. Know and appreciate your passion, take what you’ve learned and find new ways of adapting it.”

    Watch the video: