PACE graduate Brian Fassett distributes bicycles in Uganda

Brian Fassett, his wife Kate, and daughters Ruby and Clara are excited about their new adventure.

A former Peace Corps member, Brian Fassett, ’12, had a great job as director of training and development at Advantis Credit Union in Portland. But Fassett was ready for a new adventure. He has taken a new position as operations director with a small start-up NGO, Bicycles Against Poverty. Their mission is to distribute bicycles to rural African communities to improve the standard of living. They distribute bikes on a lease-to-own basis that enables people in small villages, especially women, to expand their opportunities.

Fassett is a graduate of the PSU Postsecondary, Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) master’s degree program that develops adult educators to anticipate and respond to the changing developmental issues of diverse adult learners, organizations, and communities. He also holds a certificate in working with adult learners. Continue reading

GSE graduate receives national advising awards

AvilaOsvaldo F. Avila, BS ’07, MS ’14, a graduate of the Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) master’s program, has received a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Advising for 2013, as well as a Wesley R. Habely NACADA Summer Institute Scholarship, both from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Mr. Avila will be honored at a special awards ceremony and reception at the annual NACADA conference in Salt Lake City this fall. As a Summer Institute Scholarship winner, he will also be honored with a complimentary registration to the 2014 NACADA Summer Institute in Portland, OR. Continue reading

Alumnus of the Month – Tamara Ryan


Tamara Ryan is a first-generation college graduate who is turning her life experience into success for students. After earning her BA at PSU, Tamara worked at a local non-profit, Hacienda CDC and learned about the housing and educational needs of our immigrant communities. She then took a position as a Research Assistant (NPC Research) helping to evaluate recidivism rates of inmates in Washington County. After three years in government jobs, Tamara returned to Clackamas Community College in 2009 as a Workforce Advisor and transitioned to Portland Community College in 2011.

Currently Tamara is a Career Resource Specialist at the PCC Rock Creek Campus, where she works to empower students to make their careers satisfying and fulfilling. Her experience working with students, immigrants, inmates, and displaced workers has given her the tools she needs to make the most of any student’s situation, no matter the obstacles. Focusing on an individual’s circumstance and maximizing their potential has become her signature method. She believes this is the key to transforming a student’s educational journey. Tamara considers her work life-changing for herself as well as the students with whom she works, and emphasizes the value in teaching adults. Continue reading

PACE student Breckany Eckhardt honored

GSE student Breckany Eckhardt will be honored with a National Policy Consensus Center (NPCC) Collaborative Governance Service Award on October 28, 2010. According to NPCC Training Program Coordinator Mari Saint-Pierre, the award honors students who contribute “time, energy, enthusiasm, and valuable skills in a collaborative effort in service to the state of Oregon.”

Ms. Eckhardt is a Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) masters student at PSU. She has also completed the annual NPCC collaborative governance training.

“Though our typical student participants hail from conflict resolution or public administration where they’ve gained prior experience in mediation, Breckany held her own during the team and role-play exercises, and showed a great deal of enthusiasm for the work we do. It wasn’t long before Breckany was placed on multiple projects, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about her from all involved.”
–Mari Saint-Pierre
Training Program Coordinator, National Policy Consensus Center
PSU Hatfield School of Government

Award recipients were selected based on their work on NPCC projects during the 2009-2010 year. During her internship with NPCC, Ms. Eckhardt has been involved in numerous projects, including:

  • Oregon Solutions: Statewide Forest Health Collaborative Project
  • Policy Consensus Institute (PCI)/ NPCC: Performance Measures Project
  • Oregon Solutions: Metropolitan Transportation Collaborative Governance Study
  • PCI: Andrus Family Fund Project

Congratulations to Ms. Eckhardt and the other PSU recipients on receiving this honor for the time and energy they devoted to NPCC projects last year.

Dr. Christine Cress honored

Dr. Christine Cress, professor of the Postsecondary, Adult, and Continuing Education (PACE) specialization and department chair of Educational Leadership and Policy, was honored recently by the Community College National Center for Community Engagement for her Service-Learning Leadership on a four-year grant project funded by Learn and Serve America Higher Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The project, Accent on Student Success: Engaged Together in Service (ASSETS), supported a dozen community colleges’ service-learning projects focused on community emergency preparedness and relief and institutionalization of service-learning as an effective teaching strategy.  Dr. Cress worked with the community colleges on curricular integration and assessment of service-learning outcomes. In addition, her research demonstrated that community college students involved with the service-learning projects increased their academic engagement, commitment to earning a college degree, and commitment to future community leadership.

Dr. Janine Allen to lead Doctoral Program

Professor Janine Allen, coordinator of the Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education program, has been named Doctoral Program Coordinator. She follows Professor Samuel Henry who has served in that capacity since 2007. The EdD program, recently underwent a year-long review and revision process based on the work of the Carnegie Project. Dr. Allen will continue this work to further strengthen our doctoral program. She will begin September 1, 2010.