Staff Council

Staff Recognition

SPU staff members of the month are nominated by their peers and selected by Staff Council. If you would like to nominate a person for this recognition, proceed to the nomination page.

Meet the SPU Staff Member of the Month for January 2018

Mark Sullivan

Associate Director, Academic Counseling
Student Academic Services

Hometown: Kirkland, Washington

How long have you been at SPU?

11 years.

Tell us about a memorable day at work.

I love the busy days: Registration week, first week of the quarter, New Student Advising, Commencement, and that random Tuesday when you get an extra helping of student emails. Those days all have their crazy moments for sure, but they’re made fun when working with a great, supportive team.

It’s also fulfilling to help students take something initially complex or overwhelming, and either make things more simple, or help them feel empowered to research and decide for themselves.

How does your faith impact your work?

What a gift to work at a place where faith not only matters, but can also be lived out in our every day with students and colleagues.

My own educational background included eight years of Jesuit education, and so practical Jesuit spirituality easily (and often unknowingly) finds its way into my work. A simplistic list would include concepts like cura personalis (care for the entire person), discernment, and finding God in all things. These are all very helpful in academic counseling.

Tell us the piece of your life journey that brought you to Seattle Pacific?

As an undergrad (at Gonzaga), it took me a long time to figure out that working in higher education was an actual thing. That was pretty silly, because I was lucky to be involved throughout college and had been working with lots of folks who were doing just that.

The turning point was in the last week before graduation. I had just packed up an office and was holding a box of stuff in the doorway of our dean of students when she mentioned this (obvious to her) opportunity for me. Thanks, Dr. Hellwig!

That set me off on lots of conversations, including informational and real interviews with so many helpful people. I eventually connected with Ruth Adams (who like she always does) connected me with others, including Jordan Grant, who hired me in my first job at SPU to help with the great work in Student Financial Services.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I love to read more than anything, but I never make enough time for this!

What’s something that few people know about you?

I thought I didn’t like ice cream for the first 15 years of my life because my family only ever had mint chocolate chip — and I have a “strong dislike” for mint. I now love cookie dough ice cream, btw.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

The people. I get to work with incredible people every day, on my own team and in my department — but also all over this campus.

Students are amazing and hilarious and frustrating and teaching me new things every day. When my millennial-peer friends ask why I’ve been at the same one place when they’ve been at four, I always say it’s the people.

What’s the most important thing that you’d want people to know about you?

I’m only bored when I’m not learning!

Please join Staff Council in congratulating mark Sullian as the January 2018 Staff of the Month!