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Division of Student Development


International Student Center

April 1, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing this letter of promise on behalf of Catherine Holker, a former Graduate Assistant of mine who
served the Seattle University International Student Center during the 2012-2013 academic year during her
first year of graduate study in the Masters degree program in Student Development Administration. Prior to
her time at Seattle University, Catherine was a Summa Cum Laude Graduate of St. Cloud State University
in Minnesota where she was the 2012 Student Employee of the Year at the University. I have known
Catherine for almost two years now and I have really enjoyed having her as a part of my staff team as a
Graduate Assistant working both during our regular academic year and during the summer as a Program
Coordinator for our two-week intensive Fukuoka University Japanese Exchange Program at Seattle
University. In addition she technically still works in the ISC as an event monitor so she is still actively
engaged in the Center.

When I think of Caties professional promise in the field the first thing that comes to mind for me is her
passion for crossing boarders and working with international populations - this passion started long before
she stepped foot on the Seattle University campus. She speaks both Spanish and French and she studied
abroad in Chile while she was at St. Cloud State University, and she also worked as an Office Assistant
and Tutor in the Department of Foreign Languages at St. Cloud where she worked one on one with
Spanish students who were trying to learn English. Having direct experience teaching a foreign language is
a direct skill that is truly transferable in the world of student affairs in higher education. I would imagine her
direct contact with Japanese students on our two week exchange program has also made her a much more
seasoned practitioner when it comes to understanding the unique qualities and characteristics of Japanese
students.

When she worked for me she excelled at producing high quality work and she was a strong supporter of
social justice issues at the University and she was always very patient in working with international
students. She was someone who has a variety of great relationships with international students because of
her strong listening skills and her ability to make strong connections with both groups and individual
students within the broader international student community. Catherine is someone who is very passionate
about her work with students and she invests the time and dedication needed to effectively make cross-
cultural connections.

During our intensive two-week Summer Japanese Exchange Program in the Summer Catie was
responsible for leading many educational workshops and group trips all over the City of Seattle. She
worked closely one on one with each of the students on their English Language proficiency and she guided
them on a number of visits to legal and business sites. She was highly regarded by the Japanese students
in the program as someone who was patient, caring, and accessible.

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During her work in the International Student Center she also carried herself with a great deal of poise and
presence for a graduate student and over the year our working relationship developed and I grew quite
fond of her as a colleague. She had a strong work ethic and during her time in the Center she helped
implement orientation programs, she ran our International Student Buddy Program (I-Buddy), she planned
and implemented several social, educational, and cultural programs for students, and she oversaw student
staff in the office as well. I think the most important aspect she brings to her work is an undeniable sense of
being positive and hopeful.

I was very impressed with Catherines work ethic, intellect, and her development of new programs here at
the Center. In addition to her work at the ISC I think one of the things that is important to point out about
Caties promise is the breadth of experience she has gained in multiple functional areas. She has worked in
International student life at SU and at a local community college and has great event planning and
orientation experience, she has led student trainings and retreats, she has organize community service
activities, she has worked in enrollment and registrar services at Bellevue College, and shes gained
experience working within the Office of Public Safety at Seattle University, and in the end she found her
passion in her work as a Fellow for Summer Search where she works with under-served youth that are
planning on applying to college. She serves as an advisor to these students and in true Jesuit tradition has
devoted herself to working with students at the margins of the US educational system. I am thrilled Catie
has found her passion and I think the skills she has gained along the way can only improve her approach
as a counselor and advisor to the high school students she is working with today that are striving to gain
entry into college. I think if Catie continues to follow her passion she will quickly move up the organizational
ladder at Summer Search.

Warm Regards,

Ryan M. Greene, M.A., Ed.M., ABD
Director
International Student Center
Seattle University
Division of Student Development