Alumni Stories

We’re proud that our graduates are passionate about their beliefs and about moving the world forward. Collaborative and flexible, PSU alumni know what it takes to make an impact, consider problems from unexpected angles and hit the ground running to create change.

We have more than 190,000 alumni living all over the world, making waves in their fields and putting their passion, skills, and dedication to work in their communities.

Here, we share our incredible alumni’s stories.

Afghan brothers

The Afghan Family Legacy: Education Is the Gift of a Lifetime

Houran Afghan always told her four sons that education is a gift no one can take away from you. Believing that education is a prerequisite for success – along with a…
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Sara Jean Accuardi

Alumni Spotlight: Sara Jean Accuardi '06

Recipient of the 2021 Oregon Literary Arts Leslie Bradshaw Fellowship in Drama, playwright Sara Jean Accuardi ’06 has exciting options for how she’ll spend the…
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Chris and Ali Joseph

Alumni Spotlight: Ali Joseph '12 & Chris Joseph '12

The founders of Cascade Spirits got their first taste of infusing alcohol while still in school, making gifts for friends and family. With guidance from PSU faculty and…
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Abeer Etefa header image

Alumni Spotlight: Abeer Etefa PhD ’05

When the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize went to the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP), Abeer Etefa PhD '05 and her colleagues felt honored and humbled by the…
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Ed Dominion headshot

Alumni Spotlight: Risk and Reward

Edward Dominion '05 is reshaping how plastic products are made, literally. His company, D6 Inc, has emerged as the largest privately held 3D printing/manufacturing house…
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Michelle Lewis header image

Alumni Spotlight: True Representation

It only takes one glance to recognize that Third Eye Books Accessories & Gifts possesses a unique niche. "Our first priority is to make sure our store focuses on…
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Ripple effect

Alumnae Wanda McNealy '20 and Sharona Shnayder '20 start the Tuesdays for Trash movement to raise awareness on climate crisis.

Nichole Watson headshot

Purposeful Vision

Alumna Nichole Watson '13, MEd '15 perceives a reconstructed community as COVID-19’s silver lining.

Tarah Wheeler headshot

Cybersecurity Expert

Alumna Tarah Wheeler '04 becomes prestigious Fulbright Scholar.

Gabriela and Franco holding up a COVID-19 testing swab kit

Critical Response

MIM grads Gabriela Franco '06 and Francisco Cuerva '06 work to facilitate sample collection kits for COVID-19 testing.

two MBA alums

Supporting small businesses

MBA alumni create a volunteer network to help businesses pivot, not panic during COVID-19.

Trudy Toliver holding greens from the farmers market

Vital Alliance

Portland Farmers Market led by Trudy Toliver '84 serves the community and vendors through COVID-19 crisis.

Charles Wilson with a man dressed as a cricket to his right

Unconventional Fare

Alumnus Charles B. Wilson '11 creates a sustainable alternative food source.

Ian Karmel headshot

Good Humor

Emmy-award winning alumnus Ian Karmel '10 pitches comedy both day and night.

Rose Jubb headshot

Style and Substance

Alumna Rose Jubb '11 ignites confidence in women through image consulting.

alumna Lee Hedgmon holding her barrel-aged honey bottle

Sweet Magic

Alumna Lee Hedgmon '03 turns her affinity for honey and talent for distilling into a specialty business.

Pam Campos-Palma headshot

Peace, Security & Justice for All

Alumna and veteran Pam Campos-Palma's '14 work improves society on a global scale.

Mario Milosevic headshot

Identity design all-star

Graphic Design alumnus Mario Milosevic '06 leads art direction for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Nellie Scott headshot

Art accessibility

Alumna Nellie Scott '08 promotes art as a means of inspiration, education and social justice.

John Waller headshot

State of wonder

Alumnus John Waller's '03 sense of adventure elevates his video production company.

Zanele Mutepfa-Rhone headshot

realizing potential

Alumna Zanele Mutepfa-Rhone '15 creates platforms that celebrate diversity and unite communities.

Brian Salvador headshot

Growth Mindset

Alumnus Brian Salvador '10 pursues and shares knowledge to empower himself and others.

Jaime Soltero Jr. Tamale Boy owner

Flavorful Discovery

Alumnus Jaime Soltero Jr. '99 finds his passion by offering cuisine true to its origins.

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Dedicated to exceptional customer experience

Alumna Jessica Ferrell '16 delivers highly personalized marketing strategies through honest storytelling.

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Crafted with Care

Alumna Jill Kuehler '06 launches a rare women-owned-and operated distillery.