Graduate Ambassador at Portland State University
Graduate Program: Master of Taxation
Program Delivery: Part Time
Anticipated Graduation Date: 2019
I studied marine biology and entomology at UC Berkeley and briefly worked as a journalist before launching a career as a criminal investigator for 21 years. I've always volunteered for community groups, nonprofit fundraisers, schools, and now at PSU. After a severe car accident (I was the victim), I had to quit work to fully recover and decided to study accounting and taxation, followed by passing the Oregon tax exam for a tax preparer license. Fortunately, PSU launched its Masters in Taxation program that accommodates working parents. For the 5th year, I'm mentoring teens with the United Negro College Fund's Portfolio Project, with students securing major scholarships to colleges in Oregon and nationwide. As a parent to a teen on team sports, I need flexibility to attend his games & tournaments and volunteer at a downtown high school. My son studied Arabic since 6th grade and will soon be applying to colleges. Although I've visited 45 states, my 3 trips to Alaska have been the most breathtaking.
After graduation, I resumed extensive volunteering as a mentor for at-risk teens and workshops for student financial aid & scholarships. I'm on my way to passing the IRS Enrolled Agent exams and will juggle the upcoming tax season while traveling overseas and hopefully back to Coachella for the 14th time. Perhaps after more experience, I'll resume assisting taxpayers facing audits and be part of a legal tax team to marry my investigation background and my taxation masters degree.
Accessible, inclusive, and engaging -- that's my trifecta description of PSU. The professors are sharp and insightful, and my cohorts are interesting with varied backgrounds. Most of the Masters in Taxation students are accountants or just graduated with an accounting degree. I wish I were on campus more often to try the various food carts and to attend campus events. The staff at the offices of scholarships, computer labs, library, and financial aid are quite friendly and helpful. A downtown campus is ideal, as I live by OHSU and can walk to PSU. This online graduate program is unique, and I'm happy to answer your queries about working, taking courses, applying for internships/jobs, along with juggling parenthood and a social life (less active during tax season).
Do come on campus to visit and participate with a campus tour. The Business School and ambassadors welcome you and hope to answer any questions. Talk with a professor, academic advisor or admissions officer. Most professors mentor students, so that is key to your engagement and success.