3/29/2014 Dear Portfolio Committee, It is a great honor to write this letter of promise for Theresa Brostowitz.

I have known Theresa for just under two years but have been enveloped in her presence professionally, academically, socially and developmentally. I have taken not one, but nine classes with Theresa ranging from SDAD 578 – Student Development Theory to MBA 510 – Leadership Skills and Team Development. We also work together in the same graduate assistantship in Commuter and Transfer Student Life at Seattle University, have become very good friends and grown together because of each other and this program. Being able to see her process throughout the Student Development Administration Program has been quite special and I think makes me very able to speak on behalf of her professional promise. When I think of Theresa as a professional, the first thing that comes to mind is her commitment to the students she serves. Theresa’s graduate assistantship has her working as the Lynn Collegium Coordinator in Commuter and Transfer Student Life, which focuses on freshmen/sophomore commuter students. She has gone far above and beyond what is expected of her in terms of supervision and development of her student staff to ensure that they are getting the most out of their position and learning transferable skills while also having fun. I don’t think it’s possible for Theresa to do anything by halves. Her commitment to the cura personalis of her student staff and members of her collegium go far and beyond what I would expect a graduate student to be able to commit to others. Theresa constantly pulls resources from other campus departments, internship experiences, and academic coursework to really translate theory to practice for the betterment of herself as a supervisor and the holistic development of her students. When I think of Theresa as a classmate, the lasting impression that she has made on me is how seriously she’s taking this time to dedicate to the growth of herself. In every one of the nine classes that we’ve taken together, Theresa takes the time to reflect in layers regarding what the course content means for her as an individual, what can she put into practice with her students right now, and what areas she needs to continue to progress in as a lifelong learner. What I have witnessed through this process is a genuine understanding and acceptance of what she knows and what she can improve on. The road to understanding and grasping all of the course content at times may be challenging, but Theresa realizes that while the road to being a well educated individual isn’t always smooth, the road is always worth taking. I don’t doubt that she’ll take this method of learning with her throughout her professional life in whatever capacity she finds herself. Lastly, I’ve had the immense pleasure of knowing Theresa as a friend and observing her transformation through the Student Development Administration program. Theresa has a way of balancing empathy while keeping a critical lens on what improvements can be made individually and systemically. She challenges herself and others in ways that provide opportunities for growth within the SUSDA community and causes the people around her to reflect, question, and adapt.

To find these qualities in a friend and colleague are invaluable to me, and I know have made me and the community better. Because of all of these qualities and much more, I have the utmost faith that Theresa will be a great addition to the profession and will be of value to any institution, functional area, and team that she’s a part of. The love, care, compassion, dedication, and commitment she has are rare to find all in balance with one another, let alone in someone so early in their student development career. Not only do I see promise in Theresa, I see that promise coming to fruition of a great professional very soon. I very much look forward to seeing what Theresa has to offer the profession of student affairs in the future and am so happy to have known her in so many capacities.

Tracy Phutikanit
Tracy Phutikanit