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A Lifetime of Public Service

Ron & Jane Cease

Public involvement has been a life force for Ron and Jane Cease since they were children. The couple moved to Oregon in 1966, when Ron was invited to teach government at Portland State. The University had a special place in his heart. He attended PSU’s precursor, the Vanport Extension Center, after being granted an $81 scholarship. The amount is laughably small by today’s standards, but in 1949, it covered Ron’s tuition for an entire year.

And the rest is history for anyone who knows Oregon politics and the evolution of PSU. Jane was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1978 and was re-elected in 1980 and 1982. Ron won a seat in the Oregon House in 1984, the same year Jane was elected to the Oregon Senate. Meanwhile, Ron founded PSU’s Public Administration program in 1976. Today it is one of the foundational elements of the Hatfield School of Government.

When Ron retired from his full-time professorship in 2000, he wanted to make sure the spirit of the couple’s involvement at PSU lived on. “I had a good career at Portland State,” he said. That’s why they started the Ron Cease Founders Award. These scholarships provide financial assistance to master’s degree students who are planning careers in public service. For the 2013-2014 academic year, five students have received scholarships through this fund. Meet them below.



Meet Cally Kamiya

Cally Kamiya graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Oregon in June 2012 with a Bachelors of Art in Family and Human Services, and minors in Japanese and Business Administration. As a student, Cally participated in several internships and civic engagement opportunities in the human service field. Her most memorable and impressionable of these experiences was coordinating a fundraiser for the Trauma Healing Project in Eugene, OR and serving meals to seniors at Ikoi no Kai in Portland, OR. Over the last year, Cally has been serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with Multnomah County Health Department in Portland, OR. Her service project was focused on moving forward Public Health Accreditation readiness activities across the department.
Beginning Fall 2013, Cally will be pursuing her Master of Public Health: Health Management & Policy degree.

  Meet Jane Marie

Meet Marcie

Marcie Holmes graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor's Degree in Health Education from Chico State University. Her degree awards include an Undergraduate of the Year from the Health and Community Services Department. Marcie graduated Summa Cum Laude.
While living in Chico, Marcie became very involved in designing and participating in community service projects particularly around environmental health and nutrition. Following graduation, she began working for the local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association as well as a local environmental education nonprofit, Kids and Creeks. Each of these nonprofits fueled her interest in learning more about the public sector.
Marcie is pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree and specializing in Nonprofit Management. She is particularly interested in studying foundations within the nonprofit sector especially dimensions such as the environment they operates within and unique characteristics that make these both a challenging and fulfilling career choice. Marcie moved to Portland to pursue the MPA program at PSU as well as to take advantage of the added benefits of incredible scenery, a vibrant bike community and the unique culture of the Pacific Northwest.


Meet Shaun Engstrom

Shaun Engstrom graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University where she majored in International Relations. She started her career in public service in 2009 as a Workforce Consultant at the Idaho Department of Labor. During her summer and winter breaks from college, Shaun worked at the Boise Local Office, where she says she “fell in love with working with the public” and gained experience in unemployment insurance and employment services. In 2010, while still at Tufts University, Shaun started working part-time for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. She was able to assist student populations facing discrimination and learned much about Section 504, Title VI, and Title IX. After returning to Idaho, Shaun interned with the U.S. Small Business Administration before starting her current career with the Oregon Employment Department. Shaun reports that she enjoys being part of the public workforce system and plans on using her degree to make it better.
Beginning Fall 2013, Shaun will be pursuing her Master of Public Administration degree with a specialization in Local Government and has expressed interest in both program administration and budget management.


Meet Amy Harris

Amy Harris graduated magna cum laude from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. During the past 10 years Amy has held leadership positions in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors. She began her career at the American Cancer Society organizing fundraising events enabling her to build relationships with community stakeholders. Most recently Amy served as Director of Marketing for a private physical therapy practice overseeing the strategic marketing for 23 clinic locations in the Seattle area. In these positions she has had the opportunity to see firsthand the way policy impacts the delivery of healthcare. This experience has inspired Amy to shift her career focus to healthcare reform in Oregon.  Also, she recently completed a Research Assistant internship at the OHSU Center for Evidence-Based Policy.
Amy is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health: Health Management & Policy degree.

Ron Cease, PSU Professor Emeritus and founder of the Division of Public Administration, and his wife Jane Cease led active careers as state administrators and as Oregon legislators. These scholarships honor graduate students by providing financial assistance to those who are planning careers in public service and are pursuing on a full-time basis an MPA, MPA:HA or MPH:HMP degree. A GRA position may also be given to Founder's Award recipients depending on the availability of funds.

For additional information on scholarship eligibility and application create an account here.