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Alumni: Spring 2014
Author: Jyoti Roy and Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: April 21, 2014

Getting together around the world

THE BUILDING OF regional Alumni Networks is going strong with events and gatherings happening in cities across the United States and overseas. The next major event will be a Mariners game in Seattle in May. For more information about existing networks or how to build one, please visit and click on "Networks."

Japanese Alumni Network: In January, 17 Portland State alumni living in Japan got together for a traditional "shinnenkai" new year's party at an izakaya pub in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.


New York City Alumni Network: Jazz Studies professor Darrell Grant (center) met up with former students, now NYC transplants, actress Leah Yorkston and her husband, Ross Seligman, a musician and musical director (see story on page 9). Grant premiered his jazz piece, "The Territory," at the Jazz Standard in New York City.

Salem Alumni Network: Jackie Fitzner (center), Alumni Networks coordinator, poses with PSU Advocates Chair Al Fitzpatrick (left) and Tom Bull, executive director of the PSU Alumni Association, at a reception for alumni in Salem.


              Talk jobs and have a beer

EACH MONTH the PSU Alumni Association brings together alumni with career and professional development experts to talk, learn and network at BridgePort Brewpub in northwest Portland. "How to Craft an Effective Job Search Strategy" is scheduled for May 14, and "How to Interview like a Champ" is planned for  June 5. The microbrews, good food, and laid-back atmosphere were a backdrop to business professor Scott Marshall's recent talk pictured here. Not in Portland? Take advantage of free, monthly webinars on similar topics available online. For more information about the webinars and speaker series, visit and click on "Career Resources."

Join the Alumni Board

THE PSU Alumni Association is accepting nominations for its volunteer Board of Directors. The current 19-member board includes alumni from various class years, majors, backgrounds and professions. Board members serve a two-year term and meet throughout the year to discuss issues of interest to alumni and to advance the standing of Portland State. To find out more about the board and how to nominate yourself or someone else for consideration, go to and click on "About Us."


Kay Toran MSW '70, president and chief executive officer of Volunteers of America-Oregon, received Concordia University's third annual Governor Victor Atiyeh Leadership in Education Award for her "lifetime commitment to serving the health and education needs of all Oregonians."

Linda Samek MS '84, EdD '03 is provost, the top academic position at George Fox University in Newberg. Samek was dean of the university's college of education and served as provost at Corban University in Salem.

Kate Wells MBA '95 has been promoted from chief operating officer to president of Labrix Clinical Services, Inc, a hormone testing clinic based in Clackamas.

Michael Ralls MA '01, assistant principal at Milwaukie High School, was named 2014 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators.

Molly Mayo MS '03 (left) is founder and executive director of On-the-Move Community Integration, a Portland nonprofit that helps adults with special needs access outdoor recreation. The organization won a 2013 Innovation in Sustainability Award from Sustainable Business Oregon.

Adam S. Johnson '04 is the founder and chief executive officer of a new global consulting firm, International Relations Group, based in Washington, D.C.

Johanna Ogden '04 has received international recognition for her groundbreaking historical research on the role of Sikh and Indian immigrants in Astoria, who formed the revolutionary nationalist Ghadar Party in 1913. The government of India invited her to Punjab to speak on the subject at a seminar in March, and the University of Washington Press wants her to write a book. In October, the city of Astoria held a centennial celebration of the Ghadar Party because of Ogden's research, and she was a guest speaker.

Kayla Walker Edin MA '05 went on to earn a doctorate degree in English from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and has since joined the faculty at Milligan College in Johnson City, Tennessee. Edin specializes in 19th- and 20th-century British literature.

Christopher J. Miller '08 (left) is witnessing history as an editor at the Kyiv Post, an English-language weekly in Kyiv, Ukraine. He's covered the country's bloody revolution and provided updates for journalists in Europe and the U.S. He has held this post since January 2013 and was a Peace Corps volunteer in the country from 2010 to 2012.

Emily Yoder '10 completed a master's degree in social sciences at University of Chicago, and is now studying at the University of Warwick in England on a postgraduate Fulbright fellowship. She is pursing a second master's degree and researching the participation of women in early modern medicine.

Justin Monahan '13 was signed to the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League. Monahan started 30 games as wide receiver for the Portland State Vikings, compiling 1,579 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.