Alumni: Spring 2018
Author: Suzanne Pardington, Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: May 26, 2018

Promoting the positive

ALUMNUS Branden Harvey is a really optimistic person, but at the end of 2016 even he was overwhelmed with despair.

The news was full of stories about the fallout from a divisive presidential election, the growing refugee crisis, and terrorism, conflict and injustice around the world. Bad news.

So, he decided to spread more good news.

Harvey, who majored in advertising and marketing at Portland State, launched a newspaper devoted to telling stories about the good in the world.

He was inspired by a quote from the late Mister Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

“It’s not that I wanted to pretend that there’s not injustice in the world, or that everything was fine,” Harvey says. “I just thought, ‘What can I do to encourage people to look for the helpers and give them the tools to become the helpers themselves?’”

Harvey, who is 25, started telling stories through photos as a teenager in Pullman, Washington. By the time he was a junior at Portland State in 2013, he had a successful photography business, thousands of social media followers and national brands eager to hire him.

He traveled the world taking photos on assignment, from Eastern Oregon to Southeast Asia and Uganda, directly applying what he was learning in his marketing and advertising classes to his business. Since then, he has been featured in national media outlets such as Fortune, Mashable, and Esquire.

His company, Good Good Good, published the first quarterly “Goodnewspaper” in 2017 with more than $55,000 in Kickstarter donations, along with a podcast, “Sounds Good with Branden Harvey.” Both can be found on his website

“Ultimately what we want to do is inspire action,” he says. “We really want people to put the newspaper down and find a way to get involved.”

–written by Suzanne Pardington, a Portland freelance writer.

Alumni in the news

Gina Michel ’73 had her musical instrument-themed fused glass on display in March and April at The Hub Gallery in Langley on Whidbey Island in Washington.

Navy Rear Adm. Nancy Norton ’86 is vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Rebecca Newman ’97, MURP ’00 is principal owner of Forensic Accounting Services in Portland. The company’s founder Gregson Parker ’78 is still active at the firm. They are both certified as public accountants and fraud examiners.

Cody Sheehy ’02, a documentary filmmaker and video coordinator at University of Arizona, won two Rocky Mountain Emmys in 2017 for the films Camp Bravo and Beyond the Mirage. Rocky Mountain is a regional division of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Nichole Maher MPH ’06 is president and CEO of Northwest Health Foundation in Portland and was recently appointed to the Oregon Arts Commission by Gov. Kate Brown.

T.J. Finlayson ’08 is a dentist in the office of Dr. Dennis Marshall in Hood River. He was a dentist with the Navy, where he reached the rank of lieutenant.

Alex Bigazzi, ’09, MS ’11, PhD ’14 is an assistant professor of civil engineering and community and regional planning at the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia.

Tyrell Mara ’09 is training to throw discus for Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He is fund- and friend-raising for the training ( in Vancouver, B.C., where he lives with his wife and two daughters and works as a digital marketing director.

Kip Barrett MBA ’10 is the Bend-area director for Economic Development for Central Oregon, a membership organization that promotes job creation.

Mayuko Yamaura ’12 was on campus in February to talk about entrepreneurship in Japan. She is co-founder of Tokyo-based, a startup that helps companies connect with consumers through AI.

Liliana Luna ’14 is the multicultural center coordinator at Portland Community College, Rock Creek. She received a 2017 Women of Achievement Award from the Oregon Commission for Women. The award recognized her work in helping open a recent PCC center for DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—students and their families.

Lily Brooks Dalton MFA ’16 had her debut novel, Good Morning, Midnight (Random House, 2016), chosen for the Lake Oswego Reads program in February. The book is being made into a movie by Netflix.

Velaida Harris ’16 is in her first year as assistant coach of the University of Rhode Island women’s basketball team.

FOR MORE ALUMNI NEWS follow us @PSU_Alums on Twitter and PortlandStateAlumni on Facebook. Have news you would like to share? Email or mail your information to Portland State University, Office of Alumni Relations, PO Box 751, Portland OR 97207-0751. To submit your own alumni news online, go to