Happy Hellos and Hard Goodbyes On Project Team

We’ve just said some sad good-byes to most of our team members on the Project on Family Homelessness, but we welcome several great additions to our team. Here’s who will be impressing you in the months to come, and a reflection on some of the outstanding work of our former team members.

New Project Assistants:  Krista Kent and Emma Lytle

Krista Kent is a senior in the Digital Design program, minoring in Spanish. She’ll be our new design assistant, taking over for McKenna Haley (see below).

Krista Kent photo digital design assistant Project on Family Homelessness
Krista Kent joins our team as digital designer.

Krista comes to us with a strong background in design and active involvement in the community. Since winter of 2012, Krista has worked with Seattle University’s Center for Service and Community Engagement. She created flyers and informational design for the Center, and has worked at Bailey-Gatzert Elementary assisting teachers in classrooms and helping first graders in an afterschool-tutoring program.  Recently Krista had the opportunity to re-brand First Cup Coffee House into Mama’s Café, as part of the 23rd and Union Small Business Consultation and Community Enhancement Project.

Emma Lytle is our new project assistant, replacing Tiana Quitugua, who just graduated (see below).

Emma Lytle photo project assistant Project on Family Homelessness
Emma (left) at the American Refugees photo booth hosted by Firesteel; she’s posing with Jediah McCourt.

Emma is entering her senior year as a strategic communications major at Seattle University. She joins us with a passion for working with non-profits and with children. She recently finished a seven-month internship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, where she handled sensitive communication with families and healthcare professionals. Emma also worked for several years as a daycare teacher and loves working with children and families. Some of our partners might remember Emma from her enthusiastic volunteer work and professionalism at the Hack to End Homelessness and the SIFF American Refugees premiere. She’s busy working on outreach for the StoryCorps project.

New Grad Assistant/Project Coordinator: Perry Firth 

We’re happy to welcome back Perry Firth, in an expanded role as half-time Project Coordinator, taking over for Graham Pruss (see below).

Perry Firth photo Project coordinator Project on Family Homelessness
Perry Firth returns in an expanded role.

Perry is continuing her graduate work at Seattle U in school psychology and spent the past school year as a research assistant to a visiting scholar and counseling psychologist. Their work together focused on prevention and wellness,  ecological counseling, and toward the end of their time together, school shootings.   That position ended just as we needed to fill our position — lucky us!  Perry is committed to approaching mental health issues through a social justice lens, and has a special interest in anxiety disorders, adolescence, and issues that disproportionately impact women.  She is a gifted writer who is especially adept at analyzing the intersection between academic research and its applications to family homelessness, just as she did in these Firesteel posts on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the all-time most-viewed Firesteel post, on dehumanization, “Why We Keep Walking.” We’ll be looking for her to help us understand more about the important links between housing and academic achievement for children in our state.


Good-Bye to Graham and Tiana; See You Soon for McKenna and Haley

Our project assistant Tiana Quitugua has graduated from Seattle U as a communication studies major and is now a prime candidate for a position in the communications profession (we recommend her highly!). Tiana did stellar work for us as a project assistant since last December. What we’ll most remember her for: the first-ever Seattle U event for Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day — a photo booth to support Firesteel’s efforts in Olympia — and a terrific video about the different ways Seattle U students, faculty and staff participated in the Hack to End Homelessness.

Tiana HHAD photo booth
Tiana Quitugua had a friendly greeting for everyone at her HHAD photo booth in January.

McKenna Haley, our digital design assistant, graduated in March and has been freelancing for us since then. We hope to keep working with her, and highly recommend her if anyone is looking for a designer. Among her accomplishments, McKenna was responsible for creating our project logo, and worked with Stephanie Velasco at Housing Development Consortium to create their influential affordable housing infographics. She also got behind the “camera” for a Firesteel podcast about one of our favorite tools, Storify. McKenna also continues her work promote local bands and served on the committee to secure a low-power license from the Federal Communications Commission that will enable campus radio station KSUB to serve all of Capitol Hill.

McKenna Storify Podcast
McKenna Haley helps Firesteel explain why we should all use Storify.

Project assistant Haley Lewis is home for the summer, but we hope she re-joins us this fall. A terrific writer,  Haley created a first-timer’s view of Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day and reviewed several films for Firesteel. Haley also surprised us the day she showed us what she could draw on her iPad, and from that point on she became our resident cartoonist as well. Haley’s work writing a review of the new documentary @home, and helping on its discussion guide, inspired her to create some illustrations of the film’s central “character,” the memorable Mark Horvath of InvisiblePeople.tv. Mark and the producers loved the illustrations so much that the producers will print one of them on t-shirts to help raise funds for film screening outreach. Haley is helping us remotely this summer.

mark horvath haley lewis twitter
In this tweet from Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal), Haley (@peopleneedhomes) meets Mark and shows him the illustration inspired by the film about him, @home.

Finally, it’s especially hard to say goodbye to our project coordinator Graham Pruss, though we know our paths will cross many times.

Graham thumbs up Lowry
There can never be a more excellent photo of Graham Pruss than this pose in the Governor’s Office in front of former Gov. Mike Lowry’s portrait., on HHAD

Graham joined us in November 2012 after serving as a Research Fellow for Seattle U and leading a class on vehicle residency. Graham has become a national expert on vehicle residency and has been working on his graduate degree at the University of Washington. He’s also doing outreach for the Road to Housing Program for Compass Housing Alliance.  Because of that intense workload, it was time for him to focus on the topic for which he’s building a national reputation. Graham was responsible for our Web site, convinced us we should be on Facebook, built this blog and did so much more; he also conducted a social media analysis for Washington Low Income Housing Alliance that helped shape their 2014 communication. Graham will do many great things in his career, and we’re proud to have worked with him.

With so many changes and transitions, we’re feeling like it’s time for a little musical reflection.

We all look forward to working with you!

4 thoughts on “Happy Hellos and Hard Goodbyes On Project Team

  1. Pingback: Happy Hellos and Hard Goodbyes, 2017 Edition — Part One

  2. Pingback: Happy Hellos and Hard Goodbyes, 2017 Edition — Part Two, the Hellos

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