Celebrating Graduation with the Alfie Scholars 2017 Cohort

First row: Faiza Abaroone (Nursing), Tiffany Carpenter (International Studies), Mariajesus Elgueta (Nursing), Abdulqadir “Abdul” Diriye (Diagnostic Ultrasound – Cardiovascular), Second row: Angela Flores-Marcus (Electrical Engineering), Danielle Davis (Nursing), Angel Vuong (Diagnostic Ultrasound), Azrael Howell (Psychology), Soren Tran (Nursing) Top row: Jorge Lara Alvarado (Civil Engineering)

First row: Faiza Abaroone (Nursing), Tiffany Carpenter (International Studies), Mariajesus Elgueta (Nursing), Abdulqadir “Abdul” Diriye (Diagnostic Ultrasound – Cardiovascular), Second row: Angela Flores-Marcus (Electrical Engineering), Danielle Davis (Nursing), Angel Vuong (Diagnostic Ultrasound), Azrael Howell (Psychology), Soren Tran (Nursing) Top row: Jorge Lara Alvarado (Civil Engineering)

On Thursday, June 13, 2019, a group of 40 Alfie Scholars from all four cohorts, Alfie Team Members, families, and guests gathered to celebrate the graduating 2017 Cohort. Four members of this cohort are receiving their Bachelor’s degrees in Nursing, two in Diagnostic Ultrasound, one in Civil Engineering, one in Electrical Engineering, one in International Studies, and one in Psychology. All are leading for civility in their communities and professions.

In attendance to celebrate were members from the first Alfies 2016 cohort: Nizama Djudrija (Criminal Justice), Pa Ousman Jobe (Finance), Julie Mariga (Nursing), Gabriel Narvaez (Sociology); members for the rising Alfie Senior 2018 Cohort: Chhavi Mehra (Journalism), Jasmina “Mina” Omerovic (Mechanical Engineering), Cesar Rios III (Nursing), Stephanie Sanchez (Nursing), Chloe Zabrek (Accounting),Yue Zhang (Accounting), members from the entering Alfie Junior 2019 Cohort: Haley Cummins (Communications), and Richard Pallangyo (Computer Science), and Alfie Team members Natalie Cisneros, Carol Cochran, Nathan Colaner, Genevieve Gieger, Paula Lustbader, Scott Petit, Jeff Philpott, and Brendan Taga.

Picture5.jpg

Alfie Program Director Carol Cochran opened the program by addressing the cohort: “We are here to talk about the legacy that you have helped to create at Seattle University as an Alfie Scholar. You have helped to elevate the name Alfie. You have not only been Civility Leaders in and outside of the classroom, but also you have been leaders in your families and in your communities. Your hard work and dedication are not only changing your life but the course of many lives. You may have inspired someone you do not know to go after their dreams. It has been our privilege to accompany you on your path.”  She then had the cohort stand and said, “I want all of us to look at our honorees this evening. Study their faces, get to know their names. This evening will not be the last time you hear about them. These Scholars are the hope and the future of their communities, our city, our state, and at this very moment, the hope of our nation. These ladies and gentlemen are our Leaders of Civility. Our Agents of Change.”

Alfie Team Member Jeff Philpott thanked the cohort and said it has been a joy and privilege to work with the Scholars; their motivation, academic excellence, and their commitment to civility inspires everyone.

 “Tonight we celebrate the realization of mutual dreams,” said Alfie Founder and Executive Director Paula Lustbader. “Your dreams were to make a difference in your worlds by obtaining your bachelor's degree, to enter a profession, to change your family circumstances, to change your lives in some ways, and to change the communities in which you live and in which you work. Our dream was to cultivate leaders who are going to change the world by being civil, by creating opportunities to engage with other people in our collective and shared humanity to come up with solutions to these seemingly intractable challenges and problems that face our world and that face our country. And when we asked you to become leaders for civility, we had no idea what genies we let out of the bottle. Each of you have exceeded our dreams.”

Lustbader explained that leaders for civility lead in existing formal leadership roles by creating new ones. Others lead informally wherever the opportunity arises to connect and engage in meaningful dialogue with others. She went on to give examples of the formal leadership roles members of this cohort assumed on campus including Student Body President, leaders in honor and professional societies, leaders in class. She then gave examples where they founded new organizations to serve unmet needs such as the Scarlet Group to advocate for undocumented students on campus, the Vegan Society, and the SU Social, Legal, and Moral Justice Group. And she gave examples where members of this cohort have led for civility in their daily lives by standing up to injustice with confidence and respect, by staying connected to their humanness and vulnerability, and by supporting each other, others in their communities, and strangers.

Picture7.jpg

Lustbader called the cohort and team members to gather in a circle one last time to embrace and solidify the profound bond they now share. As they returned to their seats, they all hugged each other in emotional and cheerful and tearful embraces.

Picture9.png

Once they returned to their seats, Lustbader thanked her father, Al Lustbader, for his vision and generosity in funding this program, Carol, the team members, the families, and all the Alfies. “And as you go forward, I hope that you remain committed to your quest, to remain civil, to be leaders formally and informally, to look for those opportunities to find those areas where we connect with our shared humanity to influence others towards a greater good. And I encourage you to stay protected when necessary but when possible to continue to lean into your own vulnerability. That's where you can find your greatest truth. And that's where lie the seeds of connection to others. And as you lean in, never forget that you are not alone. You’ve got this whole Alfie family. We’ve got your back; we’ve got you. Thank you for making my dreams come true.”

Cochran then called each member of the 2017 Cohort up, and Lustbader and Alumnus Pa Ousman Jobe placed their Alfie’s Stole around their shoulder.

Picture16.jpg

After he thanked the children for sharing their Alfie Scholar parents with us while they worked toward their degree, Alfie Alumnus Gabriel Narvaez spoke directly to the graduating Scholars. Mix your academic expertise and credentials with “the life experiences you have, you are a powerful force to be reckoned with. You possess the resources and power that others seek, so be intentional with how you share your gifts…Think big, think long-term, and then go for it. And when you do go for it, know that the Alfie family is always here for you, that we are always here for each other.”

It was an evening full of emotion and a sense of accomplishment. The families and guests were full of joy and pride. The Alfie Team was beaming. And the Alfie Scholars glistened with tears on their cheeks, giggled with each other, and glowed.

Below is a slideshow of other images from the celebration. Simply click an image to move to the next one.

Alfie Scholars honored at SU Red Night Out awards ceremony

Mariajesus Elgueta and Jorge Lara Alvarado with their medallions/awards

Mariajesus Elgueta and Jorge Lara Alvarado with their medallions/awards

On May 30th, 2019, Seattle University celebrated the accomplishments of diverse students during the 2019 Red Night Out awards ceremony. Congratulations to two Alfie Scholars, Jorge Lara Alvarado (Civil Engineering ‘20) who received the Saint Peter Faber Integrity Award, an award presented to students who inspire and lead others and are deeply committed to social justice and ethical behavior, and Mariajesus Elgueta (Nursing ‘19) who received the Distinguished Graduating Student Award, an award presented to students who have demonstrated excellence in service, leadership, and academics. Both expressed a similar sentiment, “We feel happy, and we finally feel recognized.” Honorable mentions to the Red Night Out nominees: Tiffany Carpenter (International Studies ’19), Azrael Howell (Psychology ’20), Chhavi Mehra (Communication and Media ’20), Stephanie Sanchez (Nursing ’20), Farhia Hassan (Nursing ’20), Cesar Rios III (Nursing ’20), and Chloe Zabrek (Business Administration and Accounting ’20).

Three Alfie Scholars inducted into national engineering honor society

Congratulations to three Alfie Scholars, Jorge Lara Alvarado (Civil Engineering ‘20), Michel Mugisha (Computer Engineering ‘20), and Jasmina “Mina” Omerovic (Mechanical Engineering ‘20), for their recent induction into the Seattle University chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the second-oldest engineering honor society and the only one that recognizes and promotes professional and academic excellence, offers a chance to build community, and provides leadership development opportunities to engineering students. Mugisha has also been elected the chapter president, and Omerovic has been elected the chapter secretary. Only juniors in the top 1/8th and seniors in the top 1/5th of their class are eligible for collegiate chapters. Learn more here: https://tbp.org/about.cfm

Jasmina Omerovic

Jasmina Omerovic

Michel Mugisha

Michel Mugisha

Jorge Lara Alvarado

Jorge Lara Alvarado

Two Alfie Scholars selected to participate in Women's Leadership Institute

Congratulations to two Alfie Scholars, Farhia Hassan (Nursing ’20) and Mariajesus Elgueta (Nursing ’19), who have been selected to participate in the Alene Moris National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Institute at the University of Washington, a six-day program designed to foster women’s participation in political and leadership roles. The Institute offers diversity training as well as professional development and networking opportunities. Participants will also have a chance to hear and learn from local activists and women leaders who are social-change-makers.

Farhia Hassan

Farhia Hassan

Mariajesus Elgueta

Mariajesus Elgueta

Three Alfie Scholars selected as Ignatian Leaders

Congratulations to the 2019 cohort of Ignatian Leaders, ten seniors who have demonstrated their commitment to Jesuit ideals of academic excellence, intellectual development, and community service. The program will offer these students opportunities to grow personally, to create and participate in campus events that enrich the student experience, and to provide mentorship to other students and help build community. Out of the ten scholars who were selected, three are Alfie Scholars: Azrael Howell (Psychology ’20), Chhavi Mehra (Communication and Media ’20), and Stephanie Sanchez (Nursing ’20).

Azrael Howell, Chhavi Mehra, & Stephanie Sanchez

Azrael Howell, Chhavi Mehra, & Stephanie Sanchez

The 2019 cohort of Ignatian Leaders with Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J.

The 2019 cohort of Ignatian Leaders with Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J.

Congratulations to the inductees into the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society

Congratulations to the inductees into the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society

Congratulations to the recent inductees into the Seattle University chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu (AΣN), the Jesuit honor society that recognizes students who are committed to intellectual development and deepening of Jesuit ideals and scholarship, loyalty to faith and social justice, and service to others.

Read More

Advocating for Education: My Internship in Washington, D.C.

Advocating for Education: My Internship in Washington, D.C.

It’s 8 a.m. and two hundred students—ranging from the 9th grade to their first year in college and coming from diverse backgrounds—are rehearsing enthusiastically. Some speak original poetry with shining eyes; others break into creative dance or offer calming hugs. In minutes, these talented and underserved youths from across the nation will present powerful narratives in front of almost 1,700 teachers, administrators, and representatives—including the Department of Education. Demonstrating the daily realities of growing up amidst financial hardship, bullying, and gun violence, these students will also share the excitement of participating with GEAR UP, a federal initiative that provides mentoring, college planning, and scholarships. As a Communications and Advocacy Intern, I had the opportunity to learn about educational access, public policy, and government relations while assisting the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) with organizing the 2018 annual conference. My summer working in Washington, D.C., was incredible, and the best moments were meeting the inspiring students that we serve and watching them advocate for their futures on stage.

Read More

Angela Flores-Marcus: Planting the STEMs for Future Women in Tech

Angela Flores-Marcus: Planting the STEMs for Future Women in Tech

When you read about Angela Flores-Marcus’s accomplishments, you are immediately awestruck. Her dedication to her community is apparent through the numerous organizations she has engaged in, including serving as the Vice President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the President of Women in STEM club, and Co-Chair of the Queer-Straight Alliance. Her academic excellence is demonstrated by the eleven scholarships she has been awarded and the honor societies she is a part of.

Read More

Prostitution, Radical Liberalism, China...Here’s a recap from the Alfie Scholars Senior Conference

To facilitate Alfie Scholars’ development as leaders for civility in their chosen fields and communities, each summer they participate in two Alfie Scholar Conferences. These conferences help form a bridge for students to effectively navigate in academic and professional arenas and communities.

Read More

Alfie Scholar Angela Flores-Marcus honored by Google's Women Techmakers Scholars Program

Alfie Scholar Angela Flores-Marcus honored by Google's Women Techmakers Scholars Program

Alfie Scholar and Seattle University Electrical Engineering student Angela Flores-Marcus is one of 20 honorees in the 2018 Women Techmakers Scholars Program offered by Google. Flores is the first Seattle University Student and Alfie Scholar to receive this award, and we could not be more proud.

Read More