Maureen O'Connor

director, Advertising Program

Maureen joined Portland State in 1999 after 20 years in the advertising business, where she worked for a variety of different accounts and clients. She spent many of those years with the now-gone Marx, Knoll Denight & Dodge ad agency before going out on her own in 1996, where she did freelance writing, account management and research for The Oregon Symphony, Northwest Natural, Wieden&Kennedy and others.

Her introduction to the PSU business school began as a last-minute adjunct for the introductory marketing class, which fell in her lap just as she was trying to make a move to London. She moved to London, but as anyone who’s spent time in London knows, the funds go fast, and she returned six months later to fill in for a temporary open spot in the marketing department. Since then, Maureen has worn a number of different SBA hats, including Director of Student Services, Major Gifts Officer, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and currently, Director of the Advertising Program. She has been on the Board of Directors for Third Angle, Friends of Chamber Music, The Oregon State Bar Board of Governors and currently sits on the board for the Portland Advertising Federation.

As a native of Chicago’s South Side, she roots for the White Sox, loves deep dish pizza and ice skating outside (not a mall). As a graduate of Northwestern University, she is confused, and can’t figure out why the Big Ten now has something like 16 teams. Despite her love for Chicago, after one too many frigid Midwestern winters, she packed up her beat-up Maverick and drove out to the University of Oregon in 1980 to begin her graduate program in Journalism/Advertising. Unfamiliar with the area, she drove right past Eugene, thinking she was in the suburbs. It was a culture shock, and as soon as her program ended, she moved to Portland where she has been ever since. She worked in educational publishing and as a newspaper reporter before she found her professional home in advertising.

As anyone who’s had her in the class knows, she is the proud mother of a 24-year-old daughter, who packed up her down coat and returned to her roots in the Midwest, and now works in Madison, Wisconsin.

When she’s not visiting her daughter or extended family in Chicago/Madison, Maureen loves to travel, hike, read and see a lot of plays and movies. She is a secret member of the “I Correct Your Bad Grammar in My Head” Facebook group and Bill Murray is her second cousin.