Meet Pablo Saldana: Musician, PSU Commencement Speaker and Graduate

At the age of 10, I didn’t know a single word of English. My family and I had just immigrated from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and we did not own anything other than the clothes on our backs. We were living in a tiny garage. I had a dream that one day I would go to college.

Even though in high school I graduated at the top of my class, I couldn’t afford to pay for college, and I wasn’t eligible for federally funded loans or grants. I felt lost until some of my high school mentors stepped in and connected me with advisors at PSU who showed me how to apply for specific scholarship funding in higher education.

When looking at universities, cost is a priority but I also wanted to go to PSU because of the urban location. I wanted to study a performing art and it was important to me that I had access to seeing live music, to be surrounded by different cultures to gather inspiration, and PSU is one of only three schools in the west coast to offer a jazz vocal major. PSU also offers a Diversity Scholarship program for which I was selected to be a part of. I worked as an academic mentor for Housing & Residence Life for three years. In addition, I received financial and academic support from the Honors College which made it possible for me to make a college education a reality. I was also in the McNair Scholars program which gave me tools to succeed in college and beyond.

I am proud to be a Viking. Thanks to PSU, I have been given the opportunity to beat the odds and stand up at commencement and speak as a first generation, Mexican college graduate. I had great experiences as a student, such as singing at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with the PSU Man Choir, kayaking the Willamette with fellow Honors students, and relaxing at the top of the Recreation Center in between classes with a view of the Portland skyline. At PSU I felt like I could embrace my roots. Through the different cultural events that occur I felt celebrated and these moments will be missed.

The advice I would give to students applying to colleges right now is to ensure the college offers what you want to study. Find scholarships that can help you pay for school. If college is done right, I believe college and college graduation should not be seen as a destination. But rather, we should graduate feeling eager to begin making the change we want to see in the world. And for me, I cannot wait to get started.

Meet your Orientation Leaders!

We are working hard to ensure that your orientation is everything you imagined. The Orientation Leaders are divided into teams to plan various components of the Orientation session we’re hosting for you this summer. We want you to meet the folks who are organizing the events this summer!

You must confirm your intent to enroll before signing up for Orientation.

[button link=”http://www.pdx.edu/admissions/tuition-deposit” size=”large” color=”light green” window=”yes”]Confirm Your Intent to Enroll[/button]

Already confirmed your Intent to Enroll?

[button link=”https://crm.pdx.edu/oman/” size=”large” color=”green” window=”yes”]Sign Up for Orientation[/button]

Orientation Team: Ryah’s Papayas


Ryah1Ryah2Ryah

Team Leader

Biology Major, Chemistry Minor

I am a major geek for all things science, but helping people through major changes in their lives like going to college is another thing I love to do. This is what brought me to the orientation team so I am really excited to meet all of you at your orientation this Summer. Some of my favorite pastimes are talking to (and about) my black and white cat, Charlie Chaps, as if he were my child.

Nikkiniikki2 Nikki1

Returning Orientation Leader

Environmental Studies major, Geographic Information Systems minor

When I’m not drowning in homework or leading orientations… I enjoy pwning n00bz on World of Warcraft, cooking delicious vegetarian food, riding my bike across Portlandia, browsing Pinterest, and cuddling with my Corgi. I can’t wait to meet you all and welcome you to your first day at PSU! Go Viks!

McCade2McCade1McCade

Orientation Leader

Geography and English

I am a third year student at Portland State University, studying Geography and English. When I’m not on campus or working on a project for PSU, I enjoy creating and recording music, traveling the world, watching movies and t.v. shows, hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest, playing with my dog Kumi, spending time with my girlfriend and family, and the occasional (or not so occasional) video game session.

Sonia2

Sonia1

Sonia

Orientation Leader

Social Work Major and Spanish Minor

When I’m not being a full time student, I am probably putting myself in awkward, embarrassing situations. Just kidding, but I tend to do that a lot! You can find me at the PSU Club Soccer Team, MEChA Student Organization, or petting some strangers’ dogs in park blocks.  

Helen1

helen2

Helen

Orientation Leader

Public Health

I’m Helen and I’m going into my second year at PSU. I’m a Public Health major. I enjoy going on adventures with my friends around Portland and getting lost in bookstores. When I’m not doing homework or working I’m involved with African Student Association (ASA).

Meet Your Orientation Leaders!

We are working hard to ensure that your orientation is everything you imagined. The Orientation Leaders are divided into teams to plan various components of the Orientation session we’re hosting for you this summer. We want you to meet the folks who are organizing the events this summer!

You must confirm your intent to enroll before signing up for Orientation.

[button link=”http://www.pdx.edu/admissions/tuition-deposit” size=”large” color=”light green” window=”yes”]Confirm Your Intent to Enroll[/button]

Already confirmed your Intent to Enroll?

[button link=”https://crm.pdx.edu/oman/” size=”large” color=”green” window=”yes”]Sign Up for Orientation[/button]

Orientation Team: J-LAVAS

jimmy1Jimmyjimmy2

Team Lead
Business Major

I am from Tigard, OR. I am studying business at PSU and am interested in management and working with people. I hope to go into higher education and work with retention programs or even orientation. Currently, I’m an Orientation Leader, Student Ambassador, RA in Ondine, and a peer adviser for the School of Business. I love listening to music, going to shows, watching films, and even making them especially Fergulioso Films (look us up on YouTube, it’ll be the best decision you’ve made since deciding to go to PSU).

Lupita1LupitaLupita2

Returning Orientation Leader
Social Science major, Writing minor

My name is Lupita. I like to write, read, and dance. Among my many specialties, I like to crack open apples, cook Mexican food, and make Native American earrings. Some of my guilty pleasures consist of listening to young Justin Bieber, One Direction, and watching Netflix.

andreaAndreaandrea2

Returning Orientation Leader
Communication Studies major

I grew up in the tropical state of Hawaii for ten years before moving to Oregon. I changed my degree more than six times before settling down as a communications major, and I couldn’t be happier. I like dogs, snacks, traveling, drawing, and video games.

valeria1Valeriavaleria2

Orientation Leader
Biology, Pre-medical track

I love being outside, exploring, hiking, walking, or just relaxing. I enjoy running, especially on rainy days. I love learning new things and because of that, science is a huge part of my life. I also love eating good food, listening to music, and being with friends.

Ashley1AshleyAshley2

Orientation Leader
Biology major

Science is life, therefore, I am majoring in biology at PSU. I am a very cheerful and positive person. I love to spend time with my friends and family, and eat chocolate. I am new to the orientation team this year and can’t wait to start welcoming new students to Portland State University.

Shan1ShanShan2

Orientation Leader
Marketing major

My name is Shan. I’m studying Marketing at PSU. I came to Portland four years ago and I have fallen in love with this city ever since. I look forward to introducing you to the beautiful and friendly PSU campus, where you can explore, have fun and be yourself.

Prepare for Summer: Job-Finding Tips for Students

There are two seasons in Portland; rain and summer. With the latter approaching, Portlanders are preparing to make the most out of these three glorious sun-filled months with everything from music festivals, barbecues, street fairs, and clothing-optional bike rides. Even if you are not taking classes this summer and are exploring the many hiking trails of the Gorge instead, summer is a great opportunity to land a job or internship that can build new skills, expand your career network, and gain work experience. Here are a few tips to soak it all in and make the most of your summer experience.

Think About Your Goals

Do you need to earn extra money? Want to develop a specific skill? Hope to explore a career you have interest in? Figuring out what you want to get out of your summer work experience will help focus your job search. Informational interviews can be helpful to see if the industry you are interested in is the right fit for you.

On Campus Resources

To start your search, visit Career Services! Whether you’re looking for a job to make some extra money or to get experience for your professional career, there are resources for you. Career Services manages a database of job postings and internships and hosts career fairs based on majors and specific employers throughout the year.

Spread the Word

You should also connect with friends, family, and professors and explain what you’re looking for. Ask for their advice because they be able to put you in touch with people who can help you find the right job. Other students are also a great resource as many have worked in many different industries or held different types of jobs on and off campus.

Do the Research and Be Prepared

Research the employers you are interested in and the people that work there. This can easily be done with a quick Google or LinkedIn search, who knows what you may have in common! Should you be granted an interview, be prepared to answer questions about your skill set and why you are interested in that particular position. Mock interviews are a great way to prepare. Arrive early, turn off your cell phone, and show enthusiasm for the position.  A follow-up “thank you” is always a nice way to make a memorable impression.

Pro Tip – Bring a “thank you” card with you to the interview and fill it out before you leave the office!

Think Beyond Summer

In a competitive job market, a career-related summer job or internship can make the difference in obtaining a full-time position. More employers are using work experience as screening devices to assess the skills and abilities of prospective employees. It is also a great way to make contacts and show employers you are interested in the their field after graduation.

Take Summer Classes

PSU Summer Session, might be the best term to start or enhance your career after PSU. Take advantage of over 1,300 of our summer courses ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks both online and on campus. Get on the fast track to graduate, explore a new subject, or take classes to prepare you for college, Whatever your preference, get out there and enjoy the Portland sunshine!

Be Honest Showcase

On April 30, Portland State’s graphic design students displayed their work at the seventh annual Be Honest Showcase, a portfolio show, open house, alumni reunion, award ceremony, and variety show. Unlike most portfolio shows, this is not just for graduating seniors, students of all levels have the opportunity to share and discuss their work. More than 133 student students participated. Franky Martin, graphic design student worker for the Admissions Office, offered to share about his experience at Be Honest and in the graphic design program at PSU.

I’m originally from Oregon and close to finishing my last year as a graphic design student at PSU. After completing my Associate’s Degree at Chemekata Community College in Salem, OR and working in my field, I decided I wanted to gain more experience and earn a Bachelor’s Degree in graphic design at Portland State. I transferred to PSU because they were able to work with me on transferring my existing credits to make them count towards my degree so I didn’t have to pay or redo work that I had already done.

PSU has given me valuable experience and countless opportunities to work on projects for real clients, showcase my work, and connect with people in the graphic design industry. Every spring, the PSU art department partners with the advertising firm Weiden + Kennedy to host an open portfolio show for graphic design students. This year was my first year in the show and it was a great experience for me to put myself and my work out in public and talk about the different projects I have completed throughout the year. For me, selling my work and my passion for is hard.

Additionally, in one of my classes at PSU we partnered with nonprofits or school programs in the Portland area to create brand identities. This was a great experience because we had to present not only to faculty but to the actual client. These are just two of the many opportunities at PSU that have taken my learning beyond the classroom and allowed me to elevate my skill set both in working with software technicalities and professional development. I have made so many connections with really talented peers as well as people in the graphic design industry.

Franky is close to finishing his bachelor’s degree in graphic design at PSU. He is a talented artist and loves the creativity and practicality he gets to use in his chosen field. When he is not using his artistic abilities, he can be found at one of the many skate parks in Portland. His favorite food truck on campus is La Casita.

Photos from Be Honest Showcase, 2016

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Meet your Orientation Leaders!

We are working hard to ensure that your orientation is everything you imagined. The Orientation Leaders are divided into teams to plan various components of the Orientation session we’re hosting for you this summer. We want you to meet the folks who are organizing the events this summer!

You must confirm your intent to enroll before signing up for Orientation.

[button link=”http://www.pdx.edu/admissions/tuition-deposit” size=”large” color=”light green” window=”yes”]Confirm Your Intent to Enroll[/button]

Already confirmed your Intent to Enroll?

[button link=”https://crm.pdx.edu/oman/” size=”large” color=”green” window=”yes”]Sign Up for Orientation[/button]

Orientation Team: Six Pack

CreeCreeCree Funny
Student Coordinator of Orientation Programs (SCOOP)
Social Science Major, Indigenous Nation Studies Minor, Black Studies Minor

In my free time you can find me eating at food carts or napping at the Native Center. This is my fifth and final year at PSU and I hope to stay working in Higher Education helping students find their niche and grow through their college experience like I did. Don’t be afraid to explore!

ShelbieShelbieShelbie Funny

Team Lead
Human Resources and Management and Leadership Major, Communications Minor

I love Portland State University and long walks on the beach. I am thrilled to welcome new students and I thrive to make their first day on campus a day to remember! You’ve made a great decision to come to PSU, mostly because of the plethora of food carts on campus and their rockin’ orientation team.

QuintonQuintonQuinton

Returning Orientation Leader
Health Science and Pre-physical Therapy

I’m from Houston, TX and moved to Costa Rica, Hawaii, California and then to Oregon. I’m studying health sciences and pre physical therapy and with to ultimately become a physical therapist. I’ve won the diversity enrichment scholarship and an award for cultural competency. I LOVE dogs, can’t wait to own one.

marwaMarwamarwa
Orientation Leader
Arabic Major, Biology Minor, Pre-Medicine track

Welcome to PSU, the place where you’ll be meeting the most amazing people (me) & having the time of your life. I can’t wait to share my survival tips with you, some include overdosing on coffee, sleeping in the library, & binging on fries, while still being the sassiest person on campus. Go Viks!

amyAmyamy
Returning Orientation Leader
Business Marketing Major, Communications Minor

I grew up in Salem, OR, after graduating from high school, I took a year off to volunteer in several non profit organizations in my community. At PSU, I’ve found a love for business and decided to study Marketing and Communications while working as a barista at Starbucks. I am in love with the work I do on the orientation team. The people I’ve met here are my friends and family and also my support system. Joining this family was a wonderful decision.

JakeLucero_2

Orientation Leader
Mathematics Major

I am finishing up my first year at PSU studying Mathematics. Four facts about me: my favorite Vice President is Walter Mondale, I love tortilla chips, I memorized every Oscar winner, and my greatest achievement is a painting of a salami sandwich. I can’t wait to welcome new students to our vibrant campus and help them prepare for their first term at PSU!

David1

David2

David

Orientation Leader
Communication Major

Your local swordsman, at your service. I am a Communications Major and a current Freshman at PSU. I can show you the best spots to eat on campus as well as  where to go and take a nap or study! As a new orientation leader, I am excited and willing  to help you out in any way I can during your journey into our community!

Mother’s Day-Resources for Students with Children

Happy Mother’s Day! We know that parenthood can be both rewarding and challenging experience, especially when juggling multiple responsibilities and roles. At PSU, we strive to support our students with children through various programs and resources so that they can be effective parents and achieve academic success. In dedication to all of the hardworking parents who are also students, we asked Lisa Wittorff, Director of Services for Students with Children, to share the support services offered here on campus.

PSU Admissions (PA): Tell us a little bit about how the program was started.

Lisa Wittorff (LW): Student parent services initially started in 1989 through various grants given to the school. A major improvement occurred between 2010 and 2011 when the president of PSU conducted a study to see how families on campus were doing. The results showed that more services were needed, so services were expanded to build up the program allowing the university to serve the needs of more students and their families. Today, we have more resources for students than children than most campuses in the Pacific Northwest and serve a wide variety of family needs.

PA: What are some of the resources offered here on campus for students with children?

LW: We offer a wide variety of programs and resources, let’s start with here in our office. Our office is place that students can come for help if they have questions about financial aid, admissions, or outside social resources. We offer a physical space here that serves as a study lounge and play area with computers so that students can study while keeping an eye on their children. Additionally, we have a children’s clothing closet and a library of parenting books that work on a donation basis.

PA: What childcare programs do you offer?

LW: Our main program called Little Vikings. It’s a flexible childcare service that can be reserved online although we also take walk-ins when there is room. It can be used 5 hours per day for 20 hours per week. Its main purpose is to cover gaps in childcare. For example, a student could have class when other child care programs or school are not in session. There are special camps on days that PSU is in session but Portland Public Schools are not. We also offer the Jim Sells Childcare subsidy program that can pay for up to 50% of childcare costs based on financial need. We have many other resources as well, including a list of recommended child care facilities around PSU, other financing child care programs on and off campus, and a database of babysitters.

PA: Are there events for students with children?

LW: We want children and their student parents to feel that they are an important part of the PSU community so we offer multiple events throughout the year. Our main events are Winter Wonder, an annual giving event before Winter Break and a Family Friendly Commencement featuring a bounce house and a cap and gown for the little ones to match their parents. Other activities include parent social hours, happy hours, game nights, and a Dad’s breakfast.

Lisa Wittorff, LCSW is the Director of Services for Students with Children. Lisa has her Master of Social Work from California State University Sacramento. Her favorite childhood memory is of using a piece of rope and her dad’s old Army blanket to make a “tent” between 2 trees in the backyard and “camping” in it with her sister. Her mother brought out some warm gingerbread for them to share. It was a perfect summer day. Lisa loves helping students with children find the resources they need to stay in school and complete their degrees. She also loves to see the students’ children grow and change. She has a fantastic staff who make her work possible


Want to know more? Visit them onlinestop by Smith Memorial Student Union, Suite 462 or call (503)725-9878.

Meet Your Orientation Leaders!

We are working hard to ensure that your orientation is everything you imagined. The Orientation Leaders are divided into teams to plan various components of the Orientation session we’re hosting for you this summer. We want you to meet the folks who are organizing the events this summer!

You must confirm your intent to enroll before signing up for Orientation.

[button link=”http://www.pdx.edu/admissions/tuition-deposit” size=”large” color=”light green” window=”yes”]Confirm Your Intent to Enroll[/button]

Already confirmed your Intent to Enroll?

[button link=”https://crm.pdx.edu/oman/” size=”large” color=”green” window=”yes”]Sign Up for Orientation[/button]

Orientation Team: The Spice Girls

Lucero_1LuceroLucero_2

Team Lead

I’m from Woodburn, OR and I’m a Film Production major and Communications minor. My passions lie in petting dogs, making movies, and eating really good food. I love being a part of the PSU community and am thankful for all it has given me!

Shayna_1ShaynaShayna_2

Returning Orientation Leader

I’m majoring in Social Science with a focus in Women’s Studies and minoring in Business. I use she/her/hers pronouns and absolutely adore cats and love everything Disney! I work on campus as an Orientation Leader, Student Ambassador and RA. I love the city and how our campus is integrated with the city. Knowledge really does serve the city here at PSU!

Hafsa_1 Hafsa_2Hafsa

Orientation Leader

I’m majoring in Business: Supply Chain and Logistics Management. I wouldn’t have been able to succeed at PSU without the help of older students, mentors, and school resources. I want to be able to give back to my community and help direct incoming students so they feel prepared to succeed. I also enjoy the outdoors, and DIY projects such as sewing and designing.

Karla_1KarlaKarla_2

Orientation Leader

Karla’s the name, new OL is the game. I’m majoring in Marketing and getting an International Business Certificate. I like D&D, Audrey Hepburn, Harry Houdini and Croquet. I can’t swim, and I don’t know Karate. I’m excited and I Don’t Stop Believin’ in being a part of other people’s Journey; whether it’s here at PSU or elsewhere. Dad jokes aside, I look forward to meeting you!

DevynDevynDevyn_2

Orientation Leader

I’m a current freshman at PSU and I’m majoring in English. My hobbies include reading poetry, eating, watching Netflix and jogging with my dog. I love PSU because of the diversity and the food carts located near campus.

Student Spotlight: The Choice to Transfer to PSU Was Easy

I’m a senior studying international development studies. My home town is Mexico City, but I have lived in Aloha, OR for about 16 years. I have two brothers. I’m actually a twin! My brothers and I are first generation college students. My older brother graduated from PSU last year and my twin will be coming to PSU this fall, he’s transferring from PCC. I’m a Student Ambassador and I’m a mentor with the GANAS program. For fun, my friends and I like to cook and eat all types of food like Vietnamese, Korean, and BBQ. On the weekends we get together and cook big meals.

I have lived in many different places within the United States and internationally so I am not a stranger to making new friends and finding my place within a community.  Even still, I was nervous about transferring to a new school. There are many factors that can affect your decision to transfer colleges.

For me, I wanted to be confident in my decision to transfer and know that I was making the best choice to prepare me for my future plans. I always knew I wanted to go to school in a city where I would be surrounded by lots of activities and cultural events, so Portland was a great fit for me. During my decision making process, I met with student ambassadors on tours and orientation leaders. They had so much excitement about the programs and the school that I knew I wanted to be a part of it. The affordability factor was one of the main reasons that I transferred and PSU made the transfer process really easy.

To sweeten the deal, I was offered a scholarship through the GANAS program (Gaining Awareness and Networking for Academic Success). This program not only helped me financially, but it was also an important support system that helped me get to know people and feel like I was part of a community. In GANAS, students engage in cultural activities and connect with PSU programs that offer resources with a small cohort of other transfer students. It was a great way to meet new people, make connections on campus, and share the experience with other transfer students.

My advice to transfer students is to get involved in different programs and activities on campus if you want to make the most of your time and be successful. By getting involved, I have made friends, gotten scholarships, worked in various departments on campus, and even made connections for internships and jobs for when I graduate.

Transferring to a new environment, making new friends, and creating a whole new life can be overwhelming, but college can be some of the best years of your life and you have control over where you spend those years. If the only thing standing in your way on making the best out of your college experience is the transfer process, please speak to an admissions counselor today!

If you have questions about transferring, check out the Transfer Student website or reach out to your admissions counselor.

PSU Orientation Leaders Climb Trees to Prepare for New Student Orientation

You’ve been admitted. You’ve submitted your tuition deposit. You’ve signed up for Orientation. Next step? Attend Orientation! Every year we gear up to put together an orientation program that ensures your life at PSU will be smooth sailing. It doesn’t happen overnight either. Our orientation team spends months planning and training for your sessions and it starts by getting all of our orientation leaders and student ambassadors together to become supportive resources for you!

The first people you will meet are orientation leaders (OLs). OLs are your guides, your friends, and your human information booths. They know all the details about what it’s like to be a student at PSU, where the best food carts are located, how to navigate your PSU account, the best resources for registering for classes, and how you can get more involved on campus.

The Orientation Leaders join our Student Ambassadors for a retreat for team building and cohesiveness. This year’s retreat took place at Camp Collins. The team worked together to get through high rope courses, team challenges, and deep conversations to become stronger and to learn how to support each other and how to better serve new students for the upcoming orientation season.

If you haven’t signed up for Orientation, do so as soon as possible! You must submit your tuition deposit or exemption in order to sign up for Orientation.


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