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Portland State University’s 6,255 graduates not only survived an entire year of remote classes and a global pandemic — they thrived. They navigated unknown challenges, countless Zoom meetings, isolation and learning in an unexpected environment. We know this was a challenging year, but our graduates are receiving their degrees in a season of hope and renewal and they will play important roles in our collective future.
We've learned so much from the 2021 graduating class who has proven that resiliency is at the core of every PSU student.
We're so proud of you.
Congratulations, PSU class of 2021!
By the age of 15, Noah Kurzenhauser was enrolled in college courses. By 18, he graduated with an associate's degree focused on political science. His pathway toward a career in politics was clear. He transferred to PSU to continue studying political science and move forward. But one class changed everything.
Growing up in Kigali, Rwanda, Joanna Isimbi spoke primarily French. A scholarship to a college in Iowa helped her learn English, before she chose PSU and its MBA program. Once in Portland, she became an advocate for students like her with the hope to inspire and celebrate cultural differences.
When Yves Wienecke visited the Pacific Northwest for the first time, he fell in love. Inspired somewhat by Portlandia — and PSU’s strong language and computer science programs — he landed here. Now looking forward to a career in language and machine learning, he's hoping to elevate equity and diversity.
When she was six years old, Monserrat Vázquez Fonseca could be found drawing houses, bedrooms, kitchens — anything with structure — from her childhood home in La Piedad, Michoacán. Now she's graduating with a master's in architecture and a future in designing schools for deaf students worldwide.
Throughout her time at PSU, Mayla Sumner has been a vital part of the Outdoor Program, which helps members of the PSU community spend time outdoors through guided trips, workshops and certificate programs, and affordable outdoor equipment rentals. Her personal goal? Make everyone feel welcome.