Alumni A World Community
Young Alumna of the Year: Championing a Healthy World
2015 Young Alumna of the Year Helps Build Seattle’s Global Health Community
By Clint Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Photo by Luke Rutan
2015 Young Alumna of the Year Kristen Eddings Tetteh ’06
Kristen Eddings Tetteh ’06 is passionate in rallying others to defeat the world’s most pressing health challenges. She has a gift for convincing Seattle’s professional 20- and 30-somethings to support the fight against disease and the spread of best health practices. Through the “Party for the Health of It” events she organized, thousands of people, and tens of thousands of dollars, were invested in lifesaving efforts that include clean water for Tanzania, the defeat of tuberculosis in Haiti, and mobile technology for pregnant women in Southeast Asia. All of those initiatives are based in the state of Washington.
The director of communications at Washington Global Health Alliance, Kristen is Seattle Pacific University’s 2015 Young Alumna of the Year. She and the WGHA team help convene and connect a broad regional and world collective of innovative health leaders such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Vision, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and UNICEF. More than 60 members strong, WGHA works for global health equity by creating partnerships among businesses, governments, and nonprofits.
At SPU’s 2014 Downtown Business Breakfast, Kristen was the opening speaker for former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Says Alumni and Parent Relations Director Bryan Jones, “Kristen’s life embodies everything we hope our students and alumni will aspire to, demonstrating a zeal and passion for serving others and striving to meet the world’s great needs using the gifts and talents with which God has blessed her.”
Kristen’s work is as current as today’s headlines. WGHA members, for example, are engaged in malaria and Ebola containment and prevention. WGHA helps publicize their efforts and recruit volunteers for health research.
Recently married to Michael Tetteh, a former Seattle Sounders FC midfielder and founder of the One Kingdom foundation, Kristen led Sounders players and managers on a 2013 trip to Tanzania to inspire in them the desire to improve world health.
“I love people and gain positive energy from positive people,” says Kristen, who majored in international affairs and traveled to Sierra Leone on a SPRINT trip as a student. “SPU was a turning point for me. Four years is a lot of life, and I got to spend it in that positive atmosphere mentored by strong women and surrounded by people who dream big.”
Kristen’s enthusiasm for solving global challenges has provided a number of influential platforms. The international studies major has lobbied the U.S. Congress in support of increased study abroad opportunities and spoke at SPU’s 2014 Downtown Business Breakfast.
In her address, she likened the solving of global health problems to the building of cathedrals, built over centuries by crews who knew they’d never see the project complete in their lifetime. She challenged audience members to ask themselves: “What is your cathedral?”