After a taxing year of debate and controversy, last year’s Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) executive staff have gone their separate ways, interning for politicians, working for social change or finishing school.
Moving on: Life after ASPSU
After a taxing year of debate and controversy, last year’s Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) executive staff have gone their separate ways, interning for politicians, working for social change or finishing school. Here’s a rundown of where they are now.
Courtney Morse – President
During her tenure as student body president, Morse was known for her tenacious activism, a trait that has not changed after her departure from ASPSU.
Over the summer Morse interned for Basic Rights Oregon, a sexual orientation and gender identity advocacy group, gathering signatures and informing Oregonians about equality issues.
Morse has also been working as a field organizer at Lewis and Clark College on a campaign for Measure 49, a land-use bill that protects farmlands, forestlands and waterways and limits large-scale land development in Oregon.
In the near future, Morse has a job interview with U.S. PIRG, a public interest advocacy group.
Jesse Bufton – Vice President
This year, Bufton is slated to return for his final year at PSU before earning a degree in political science. Bufton is also preparing to work on Oregonian politician Steve Novick’s upcoming campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Bufton plans to meet with Novick’s campaign manager soon to present his ideas to gather volunteers, administer phone banks and encourage residents to donate money. The majority of his work for Novick’s campaign will center on garnering support within the Portland State community.
Hannah Fisher – University Affairs Director
Following her first year at Portland State, Fisher, a 19-year-old political science major, has been working for the State Board of Higher Education and volunteering to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief in Mississippi.
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski appointed Fisher to the State Board of Higher Education in June. Fisher will serve a two-year term as a board member. Each month the board meets with public university administrators across Oregon to discuss options for the allocation of higher education funding.
Fisher spent several weeks this summer stationed in Biloxi, Miss., working with Hands on Gulf Coast, a Hurricane Katrina relief organization, to rebuild neighborhoods ravaged by the storm.
Fisher plans to learn Spanish and Hebrew, and eventually attend law school in New York City.
Patrick Beisell – State Affairs Director
Since leaving ASPSU, Beisell has been working three jobs–at Starbucks, Hagerman Construction and a Portland law office. He plans to return to Portland State this fall to complete a degree in English.
Beisell’s immediate goals include graduating from Portland State and attending a graduate school, though he is uncertain which discipline he would like to study. Although Beisell ran for student body president and served on ASPSU, he remains adamant that politics are not a part of his future plans, and has not decided on an ideal occupation.
Johnny Ozimkowski – Federal Affairs Director
Following the PSU student government elections in the spring, Ozimkowski relocated to Ashland, Ore., transferring to Southern Oregon University. Over the summer he interned for Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, worked as a dishwasher at an Ashland restaurant, worked as a property manager, contemplated joining the National Guard and, when he could, spent time with friends.
Ozimkowski said in the next year he hopes to spearhead a campaign to hold a mock political convention for high school students at Portland State. Ozimkowski participated in a similar event in high school, which ignited his interested in politics and activism.
Ozimkowski’s eventual plans are to become a chief of staff or take a position in low-level politics.
Mo Blue – Equal Rights Advocate
After a “stressful” year on the ASPSU executive staff, Blue has decided to leave school to pursue personal ventures. However, Blue plans on eventually completing a sociology degree at Portland State and attending graduate or law school thereafter.
Blue has also devoted many hours helping children in Portland as a mentor at the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center, providing support, assisting with goal planning and spending time with youth.
Kamar Haji-Mohamed – Multicultural Affairs Director
Having already received a degree in community health and social science at PSU, Haji-Mohamed plans to attend graduate school in the coming years.
Over the summer, Haji-Mohamed took an internship for the State of Oregon’s Division of Medical Assistance, learning professional skills needed for state employment. She is currently looking to work with community outreach programs around the city and working at Hacienda, a Mexican restaurant in Northeast Portland.