PSU staff innovating to serve students

Branden HarveyCare and concern for students has always powered the Portland State staff. The Coronavirus emergency has galvanized many of our talented staff members, who are devising creative solutions to new problems. I couldn’t be more pleased with or grateful for their contributions.

Here are just a few examples of our staff members putting ideas into action to keep the campus community engaged and healthy this term.

The Transfer & Returning Student Resource Center has organized a virtual financial coaching session to connect current and returning students to the community and answer common questions about finance and budget. 

The Portland State Programming Board has developed a virtual midterm stress relief session.

Campus Rec is offering everything from Abs to Zumba in a virtual setting. Check their online schedule for class times. Their Zoom Pictionary League kicks off May 6 and is open to students, faculty, staff and all Campus Rec members. Register as part of a team or as a free agent.

Unwilling to let a closed campus stand in the way of giving prospective students a taste of PSU, admissions has developed a virtual campus tour. KATU 2 took notice of the innovation and featured it in a recent story.

University Career Center staff are offering remote career counseling by appointment or drop-in. Check with the career center staff to sign up for a Zoom webinar about effective job interview techniques.

The innovative spirit of the PSU culture once again is fueling creativity in the face of adversity and opportunity.

 

We, too, will rise

Oregon’s poet laureate Kim Stafford writes alone every morning in a small shed in his yard, fueled by coffee and inspired by a desire to be “a servant of the world.” 

The Oregonian recently took us – from a safe distance, of course – inside Stafford’s world. An educator, Stafford tells his students that the news only tells part of the story. It’s up to the rest of us to tell the other parts. That’s what I hope this blog will do – tell the full story of Portland State University during a spring like no other, in a world seemingly stilled but still simmering with activity and ideas.

As I said in a message to campus earlier this month, none of us anticipated that the spring term would look quite like this. In many ways, this crisis has brought out the best in our university, and I intend to celebrate our successes while also being candid about what we can do better. I’ll give you my take on what we are doing as a university to keep our students on track while we help flatten the coronavirus pandemic’s curve and protect our university community. 

I’ll tell you honestly: I miss seeing people, and I miss the energy of students and the hum of campus. The days in self-isolation seem to both drag and fly. I hope this blog provides us all a chance to connect, to engage, and to feel a sense of hope. Remember: you’re not alone. We’re all in this together. 

In the words of Stafford:

Tiny virus wears the crown?

Pandemic thinks it’s got us down?

We, too, will rise.