Untitled - School of Business Administration


Untitled - School of Business Administration

ustainability" isn t just


atPortlandState. For

sfudents and professors alike, it's

a deep-rooted concepthat defines

the urban university's robust - and

growing - hadition of civic engagement.

PSU officials emphasize that

sustainability isn't limited to address=

ing environmental concerns, but also

means tackling the regions social

and economic needs. Nearly every

department is collaborating with

government agencies, businesses,

schools, fumilies and individuals in

securing a sustainable future for the

metropolitan area.

"There's something fundamentally

uniquein the way Portland State

engages with the community," says

LawrenceWallaclg dean of PSU's

College of Urban and Public Affairs.

"People atPortland State affect what

goes on in the region, and then what

goes on in this region feeds back into

the classroom and the research. It's

quite remarkable."

Wallack's college is involved in

numerous projects in the region.

For example, ffansportation studies

professor Jennifer Dill and her

team are using GPS devices strapped

to bike commuters, coupled with

extensive rider surveys, to generate

a wealth of data about the putes

cyclists take, differences in riding

between men and women, and other

information that can help cities better

understand the kinds of inffastructure

cyclists really need to get from

point A to point B.

The university's reputation for

investigating innovative transporta.

tion options helped PSU land $16

million in federal funds to launch the

Oregon Transportation and Research

Education Consortium, The consortium,

run in collaboration with olher

Oregon universities. will be based at

Portland State.

The Institute on Aging recently

annodnced a new program, 'Agtng

Matters, Locally and Globally," that

will derelop models for affordable

horrsing th.at includes personal-care

services. It also will address policies

for older adults in deleloping countries.

'"The list of community.activities

thatwe're involvod in is extensive,"

Wallack says. "Ouf students make a

remarkable contribution of hundreds

of thousands of hours of volunteer

work eachyear, and those are highquality

hours because they're highquality


Randy Hitz, dean of PSU's Graduate

School ofEducation, also points

to the high rate of civic engagement

by his students and faculty, such as

Dilafruz Williams, an education

professor, who co-chairs the board of

Portland Pubhc Schools.

"Our school is bursting at the

seams," Hitz says. "We're awarding

twice as many degrees as we were 10

years ago. With thatkind of growth,

it becomes increasingly important

to engage with teachers to keep our

programs up{o-date and vibrant."

PSU produces more special-education

teachers, bilingual teachers

and school adminisffators than any

other school in the state. HiE says the

school partners with 17 local school

districts in the Bilingual Teacher

Pathways Program, a teacher-

Arick and his colle4gues, with 30

yean ofexperience and research to

backthem up, have developed two

curriculum programs for autistic children

that are being used throughout

the United States.

"It's tulfilling to help these children

and their families," Arick says.

"They leam from us, and then we

learn from them. lt's what makes you

keep working in this field."

The interaction ofPSU students

and researchers with community

groups, farnilies, schools, public

agencies dnd private organizations is

essential for students in the School of

Social Work. says Eileen Brennan,

the school's associate dean. "Our

goal is learning how to sustain the

social structure to help families and

individuals." she says.

.r!Fij,i'!;*r: The university has built a reputation for sludying innovative transportation options.

PSU will be the only place in Portland where light rail, buses and streetcars come together.

preparation program designed to fill i

shortages ofbilingual teachers. The ;


ing assistants who want to obtain a :

teaching credential. "We have about i

200 people enrolled. which shows

how popular and important ftis

program is," Hitz says.

Hitz is especially proud of his i

school's workwith autistic children. :

The work is led by Joel Arick. a

professor who directs PSU's Autism i

Tiaining and Research C€nter. In the


pastfewyears,thecenter-work- i

ingwiththeOregonDeparhnentof j

Education and local school districts


centers around the state, and hopes to I

erynndthatnumberinthenextfew I


The school has received nationwide

attention for many of its innovative

prcgrams. Forexample; the Robert

Wood Johnson Foundation recently

gave the PSU-based "Reclaiming Futures

Initiative" a $6.5-miltion grant

to expand the program, which gets

more services to teens in the justice

system who are struggling with drugs

and alcohol. The program, which

serves Multnomah County and nine

other U.S. communities, is expanding

to new sites.

This fall, the school is launching a

bachelor's degree in social work, with

40 students being trained in child

welfare, youth and family services,

health, mental health and addictions.

The business community is being

helped by the outreach of PSU's

School of Business Administration,

the Northwest's largest business

school with 3,000 undergraduates

and 650 graduate students.

"By engaging withthe cornmunity,

it helps our students," says Scott

Dawson, the school's dean. "They

get to work on real-world projects in

Portland and also in other countries.

The sweet spot is when the engagement

helps businesses and the community."

One of the best examples of that

engagement is PSU's Business

Oufieach Program, whicfi has aided

nearly 600 companies in Por,tland in

its l4-yearhistory. Teams of brrsiness

students help budding cornpanies

with a variety of services, such as

accounting help, marketing plans and

human resource manuals.

"We've primarily been serving

underserved clients, such as minority

and womenbusiness owners in North

and Northeast Portland." says PSU

business graduate Lara Damon, who

directs the program. "But the program

is expanding rapidly. We work

with the Portland Bureau of Housing

and Community Development.

TiiMet and other agencies in helping

new businesses. The students, who

havebeen in the classroom for two

or tliiee years, now can apply what

they've learned. Everyone wins.'1

Eric Robinson, co-owner of the

Backspace coffee shop-video gaming

center and the Someday music

lounge in Old Town, says the program

helped his businessesucceed.

"The students in the program came

in and helped fill in some needed

gaps forus," Robinson says. "They

formed a strong liaison with us in

getting the places to the next level."

Leslie Croghan, a management

counselor with the PSU program

who helped Robinson and his colleagues,

says that "people go into

business with a lot of passion. We

provide the sffucture and business

focus to help them succeed."

Dawson says the busines school

is looking to expand itsoutreach in

several directions. PSU is working

with Oregon Health & Science University,

forexample, to offer an MBA

program in health care management.

"Health care is such a huge portion

of the economy," Dawson says, "and

this would help both PSU and OHSU

in their outreach to the community.

"This is what the busines school

- and PSU -i- has always been

about. Being an active player in

meeting community needs is what

we do.""

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