Profiles - Diversity at PSU

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Meet Ahmed El Mansouri
“Ahlan wa Sahlan Lilkol,” Hello and welcome everyone, my name is Ahmed El Mansouri and I use he/him/his pronouns. I am a Middle Eastern North African Man, storyteller, writer, mediator, and mentor. I was born and raised in Egypt, the land of golden deserts and historic pyramids, in the city of turquoise waters, Alexandria. I identify ethnically as Middle Eastern North African. Before I came to PSU, I completed a bachelor in Business administration in Egypt, majoring in Finance. When I moved to the United States in 2004, I completed a Human Resource Management degree, and most recently earned my Master in Science degree in International and intercultural Conflict Resolution, with a focus on studying Middle Eastern North African identities. During my time at PSU I have been a Graduate Peer Mentor with Portland State University Studies (UNST) Peer Mentor Program. In addition, for the past 4 years I have been extremely fortunate to be a Senior Program Assistant in an exciting state department funded program titled the Middle East Partnership Initiative, which is a student leadership program, and a tremendous leadership opportunity for its staff. My years as a mentor and as Senior Program Assistant provided me exposure to various aspects of PSU, yet perhaps what I am most grateful for are the relationships I built with students and staff. I am genuinely thrilled to be a part of the Cultural Resource Centers at PSU and I am looking forward to welcoming and working with everyone through the MENASA Student Center!
Staff Member
Meet Yolonda Salguiero Meet Yolonda Salguiero
Yolonda is the Native American Student & Community Center Program Coordinator. She is an advocate for students and supports student-centered cultural programming. Many of the students who access her resource center are first-generation college students of color. Yolonda also serves as a confidential advocate on campus and is trained in the dynamics of sexual and relationship violence and provides support within the PSU Sexual & Relationship Violence Response Program. She has Yakama, Warm Springs, and Mexican ancestry and although born in Portland, was raised on the Yakama Reservation with her parents and two sisters. She earned an undergraduate degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Master of Social Work degree from Portland State University. She has worked for the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Oregon Health & Science University, Federal Bureau of Prisons and the City of Portland, Bureau of Police. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, CrossFit, volunteering, and being in community.
Staff Member
The Human behind PSU’s Award Winning Social Media Platforms The Human behind PSU’s Award Winning Social Media Platforms
Portland State University knows talent when we see it, that's why we hired Christian Aniciete! Read about the Human behind PSU’s Award Winning Social Media Platforms here in his Alumni Profile, and check out his awesome #fearlessPSU Selfie!
Alumnus
Meet Pedro S. Torres Meet Pedro S. Torres
Senior Program Coordinator, La Casa Latina Student Center
Staff Member
Meet Stacie Taniguchi Meet Stacie Taniguchi
Assistant Director, Cultural Resource Centers
Staff Member
NASCC 10 Year Anniversary Recap
Organization
Rahel Yared Rahel Yared
Staff Member
Larrita Riggs Larrita Riggs
Undergraduate Student
Party in the Park Party in the Park
Party in the Park draws thousands of new PSU students to the Park Blocks for a day of free food, entertainment, networking, and information about campus activities.
Undergraduate Student
Renjeng Su Renjeng Su
As the dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science, Renjeng sees a direct connection between learning and diversity in the classroom. In his experience, a college campus is like any other ecosystem, and diversity is necessary to sustain that environment. “Students learn from the entire ecosystem of learning,” he said.
Faculty Member
Jen Armbruster Jen Armbruster
When Jen came to PSU just over a year ago, her family was just about to get a little bigger. Jen and her domestic partner were expecting their first son, and Jen was grateful that her family was recognized by PSU and for how welcome she felt. She also sees that spirit of community extended to students. “Portland State just offers you a niche to fit in.”
Staff Member
Monica Lee Noe Monica Lee Noe
Monica is just starting her journey at Portland State, but she says she clicked with the campus from day one. She transferred here as a junior and enjoys working in the Queer Resource Center, grabbing lunch at the food carts, drawing, and playing songs on anything with strings.
Undergraduate Student
Jackie Alvarado Jackie Alvarado
Jackie started dancing to Mexican folk music at age 3 hasn’t stopped since. She’s proud of her Mexican heritage and equally proud to be the first person in her family who will graduate from college. Jackie appreciates the diverse, friendly environment at PSU and goes out of her way to make new students feel just as welcome as she did.
Undergraduate Student
Rebecca Arcos Rebecca Arcos
It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind—something Rebecca has done three times in her choice of career. After studying business and engineering, she found her true calling and majored in social work at PSU. She’s also forged strong friendships with students of very different beliefs and backgrounds.
Alumnus
Smitty S. Buckler Smitty S. Buckler
Skateboarding, biking, surfing, rollerskating—if you can stand on it or it has wheels—Smitty’s all about it. He also loves whipping up something fresh from the community garden and working at the Queer Resource Center. After testing the waters at six different colleges, Smitty says he’s found his home at PSU.
Undergraduate Student
Jimmy Hsu Jimmy Hsu
“What’s up?” When Jimmy was asked that question his first year at PSU, he’d literally look up to see if something was there. His English skills have come a long way since then—and besides the three languages he already speaks, now he’s studying German and Spanish. He credits “Glee” for helping teach him American slang, and PSU for countless opportunities to get involved.
Undergraduate Student
Felicia Bautista Nelson Felicia Bautista Nelson
Felicia is a PSU student, proud Mexican American—and fledgling fisherwoman. Always up for a new experience, she recently took up fishing and though she was at first a little grossed out by baiting her own hook, she now reels 'em in like a pro. Felicia says PSU is the perfect environment for people like her who love trying out new things, discovering new cultures, and connecting with their heritage.
Graduate Student
Valesca Walesko Valesca Walesko
When Valesca arrived at PSU from Brazil, she had a serious passion for AC/DC, limited English skills, and a narrower view of the world. Since then, she’s become fluent in English and says the incredible diversity on campus has really opened her mind to new cultures, ideas and opinions. And while she enjoys discovering new music, she still loves rocking out to old-school metal.
Undergraduate Student
Avel Louise Gordly Avel Louise Gordly
Avel is modest about her accomplishments, perhaps because to describe them all would require a day. The first African American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate, she is a dedicated activist, community leader, PSU professor and author—to name just a few. To top it off, she’s a phenomenal storyteller, as we found out in our interview.
Alumnus
Ahmed Bohliqa Ahmed Bohliqa
How do you say “ambition?” How about arriving at Portland State University from Saudi Arabia speaking limited English, and going on to deliver the commencement speech at graduation four years later? Ahmed’s experience wasn’t always easy, but he says that few words can describe the impact the university had on his life.
Graduate Student
Our Community Partner: PCC Native Literacy Program Our Community Partner: PCC Native Literacy Program
Spanish-speaking adults who have had little opportunity to receive formal education come to the Adult Native Literacy Program for basic literacy classes. PSU students volunteer as tutors for the Native Literacy Project.
Community Partnership
Our Community Partner: Native American Youth Association (NAYA)
NAYA works to increase opportunities for healthy activities by promoting family stability, youth camps, support groups, cultural activities, tutoring classes, and special events. PSU students assist in helping the agency grow from a small recreation program staffed by volunteers to a fully sustainable youth community center.
Community Partnership
Our Community Partner: El Programa Hispano
El Programa Hispano provides a comprehensive array of social and mental health services to low-income Latinos who speak little or no English and live in the Portland-area. PSU students use Spanish skills to assist recent immigrants with a variety of social services.
Community Partnership
Our Community Partner: Immigrant and Refugee Community Org
The mission of IRCO is assist refugees, immigrants and multi-ethnic communities to develop self-sufficiency and cultural awareness while affirming and preserving each culture within an ever-changing global environment.
Community Partnership
Our Community Partner: Institute for Judaic Studies
The Institute for Judaic Studies collaborates with PSU to offer lectures and cultural events, including co-sponsorship of visiting scholars and writers and professors, to adults interesting in studying Judaic history and Judaism.
Community Partnership
Our Community Partner: Barnes Elementary School
PSU students serve as tutors/classroom aides in a bilingual Spanish/English dual immersion program. The partnership provides PSU students with a vehicle for using their language skills in a real-world setting while filling a critical need for Spanish-speaking volunteers.
Community Partnership
Our Community Partner: Leaders Roundtable
Students in Applied Linguistics teach English as a Second Language (ESL) evening classes for adult refugees and immigrants in local public schools. PSU students get teaching practice under supervision; adult ESL students get free classes in survival English.
Community Partnership
Our Community Partner: Winners on Wheels of Oregon Our Community Partner: Winners on Wheels of Oregon
Students work with Winners on Wheels of Oregon in order to learn about the needs of people in wheelchairs and what life is like for both the children and their families. Students interact directly with children and also perform fundraising.
Community Partnership
Our Community Partner: Portland State University Stroke Camp Our Community Partner: Portland State University Stroke Camp
Students write grant proposals to solicit funding for programmatic support as part of the Grantwriting for Non-profits course curriculum under the Institute for Non-profit Management.
Community Partnership