The Spark

Igniting Innovation in Student Development

Volume 2: March 23, 2015

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Campus Communication

In the month since you received the February edition of The Spark, the Division of Student Development’s renewal and innovation process has continued. We have worked to sharpen our focus on student success, empowerment, and persistence. Our analysis illuminated places where divisional offices were working in silos that limited opportunities for synergy, as well as our capacity to respond equitably to students’ changing needs. The April edition of The Spark will share details about new work teams that have emerged in our realignment, and Vice President for Student Development Michele Murray will host a series of town halls and meetings with students and colleagues throughout the month of April to help us consider the opportunities ahead as we move to implementation.

Data Warehouse

Managed by the Division of Student Development and hosted on the Canvas learning management system, the Data Warehouse is a one-stop shop for almost all student survey data. Here you’ll be able to find results from the major surveys sponsored by Student Development, as well as data generated by our partners in Academic Affairs, Retention Initiatives, and Mission and Ministry. You’ll also be able to find divisional assessment briefs and summaries of student demographic data.

Because we want to create a culture of data transparency, all of the Division’s full- and part-time staff and graduate assistants have access to the warehouse. We have also granted access to our partners in areas such as Institutional Research, Campus Ministry, Academic Advising, and Retention Initiatives. In order to make the warehouse as user-friendly as possible, we will be developing tools such as major survey summary documents and a data map to help users more easily locate information on topics such as retention, involvement, faculty/staff interactions, and diversity engagement.

We are excited about this new initiative and are looking forward to the possibilities it holds. If you have any questions about the warehouse or would like to be part of this initiative, contact Tim Wilson at

FYE/SYE/TYE Task Force

Convened by Vice President for Student Development Michele Murray and Provost Isiaah Crawford during Winter Quarter, this task force will focus on first-year and transfer students' entry year experiences and the sophomore-year experience. The group, co-chaired by Michelle Etchart and Josh Krawczyk, will build on the recommendations developed last year by the Enhancing the Student Experience Task Force and will propose concrete, actionable recommendations. Through spring quarter and beyond, the group will focus on new student experiences; work to consider sophomore-year experiences will begin in fall quarter.

We’ll be coming to you for feedback and assistance! Be on the lookout for invitations to contribute.

Lessons on Creativity

Check out the Ted Talk, How to Manage for Collective Creativity by Linda Hill. She talks about her experiences with the creative process at Pixar, which suggest some interesting ideas for us. (We’ll post this video on the Division's internal Canvas site as well.)

Dance Marathon

Seattle University hosted its eighth annual Dance Marathon on February 21 and raised an impressive total of $68,417.71 to benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital Uncompensated Care Fund. A huge congratulations to the 168 students who participated in the event, and a big thank you to those who contributed time and energy to make this event a success!

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Miracle child Brooke Naab and her family say hello and thank our dancers.