Alumni Highlights

podcast conversation

SPU Voices Podcast launched

SPU launched the SPU Voices Podcast, a monthly show featuring the compelling stories and earned wisdom of SPU alumni, faculty, and staff. It is hosted by Amanda Stubbert ’95, director of Alumni, Parent, and Family Relations, and produced by Kyle Brown ’15, assistant director of engagement and events. Peruse episodes at

Alumna of the Year: Jenette Ramos

Jenette Ramos MBA ’94, senior vice president of Boeing Co.’s Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Operations and a member of the aerospace giant’s Executive Council, was named SPU’s 2019 Alumna of the Year. Ramos oversees the production and sourcing of supplies from every state in the U.S. and 57 countries. Just one 787 Dreamliner contains about 2.3 million parts. As the 30-year veteran moved up the corporate ladder, she never forgot her roots, both as the daughter of parents committed to service and as an MBA graduate trained in “another way of doing business.” She was named the 2017 Asian American Executive of the Year by the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, and she serves various nonprofits and mentors young multiethnic professionals.

Gold Alumnae of the Year: Joseph

The sister trio from Oregon — Natalie Closner Schepman ’09, Meegan Closner ’11, and Allison Closner ’11 — who compose the band Joseph love to sing about the big questions of life. “We’ve found that when you say what you really mean — even if it’s so vulnerable — the response every time is, ‘Me too. I didn’t know anyone else felt like that,’” said Meegan Closner. The group was named SPU’s 2019 GOLD Alumnae of the Year. Hard work and harmonies have propelled the band’s success. Within a few short years of forming their group, they began touring nationally and internationally — 280 days in 2016 and 240 in 2017 — playing intimate venues and huge music festivals. They’ve made numerous television appearances and released two albums and an EP, with another album due soon.

Medallion Award winner: Allie Griffith Roth

2019 Medallion Award honoree Allie Griffith Roth ’03 founded With Love, a nonprofit that supports Portland-area foster families, even before she started fostering babies herself. The 5-year-old organization — which serves 130 children under the age of 6 each month — delivers brand-new or like-new items such as clothing and cribs to foster families for free. The volunteers collectively contribute 500 volunteer hours each month in Tigard, Oregon. As a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher, Roth’s classes included children in foster care. “I wanted to rewrite the story for children in foster care, and say, ‘You are going to get the best of the best,’” Roth said. “‘You are not a castoff, and you are not worn down.’”

singer performs at dinner

Medallion Award winner: Philip Jacobs

For Philip Jacobs ’08, one of SPU’s 2019 Medallion Award honorees, success comes down to relationships. Such ties led to his many roles as a leadership speaker, hip-hop artist, consultant, father, and founder of the REBEL (Redeemed Entirely by Elohim’s Love) firm. “Everything in life is a direct result of those that you are influenced by and those that you are connected to,” he said. “You only get as far as your connections.” Jacobs’ music has been featured on Bones, The Mindy Project, Friday Night Lights, America’s Next Top Model, and Castle. Today, he is a consultant and project manager at Greatheart Consulting, a leadership development company active across the U.S. and internationally. There, he develops business solutions to increase workplace diversity and inclusion.