PSU student receives HigherOne scholarship: HigherOne, a program that facilitates student loans, recently handed out 20 $2,500 scholarships across the country to help students pay for tuition.

PSU student receives HigherOne scholarship

HigherOne, a program that facilitates student loans, recently handed out 20 $2,500 scholarships across the country to help students pay for tuition. Portland State student Caren Sutton was one of the lucky recipients.

HigherOne received around 3,000 scholarship submissions from across the country. Unlike the normal written proposals, students were asked to submit video responses to two questions.

The first question asked students to respond to HigherOne’s philosophy, whereas the second question asked students to tell more about themselves, their future goals and how they plan to achieve those goals through education.

This is the second year HigherOne has done this scholarship program. The first year, 10 awards were given to students. The program was so well received that they drew 10,000 written submissions. That success led to the decision to increase the number to 20.

HigherOne Vice President of Consumer Marketing Noreen Pfadenhauer believes that the video submissions are a better way to see the students and what they represent.

“We got some amazing submissions—seeing them on video helped bring those responses to life,” she said. “[It] was a compelling way for students to tell us their stories.”

In addition, HigherOne often uses the videos for marketing campaigns, according to Pfadenhauer.

“What is more effective than having your customers speak about something in their own words?” she asked.

Pfadenhauer stressed the importance of education, and feels privileged to work for a company that helps students achieve their dreams.

“I believe we will continue to do things like this in support of higher education,” she said. “It’s inspiring to hear the stories of what students want to do with their lives as well as the different obstacles and challenges they have to overcome to get there”

There is currently no set plan on whether or not the scholarship program will return next year, according to Pfadenhauer.

Sutton was not available for comment.

Peter Browning

PSU looking for 2011 student commencement speakers

With spring term fast approaching, many seniors at Portland State are growing more and more excited about graduating. But if walking in the graduation ceremony is not enough, soon-to-be alums also have the opportunity to apply as the commencement speaker at the June 12 ceremony. 

According to Student Affairs Outreach Coordinator JR Tarabocchia, 30 students applied last year to be the commencement speaker. Once all of the submissions are in, the applicants are narrowed down to one or two students. 

At the ceremony, the selected students will address their graduating class and thousands of their family members and friends in the audience.

“We are looking for stories of PSU pride [and] students who can articulate through their experience, some or all of the President’s themes and the university’s learning outcomes,” Tarabocchia said.

President Wim Wiewel has five guiding themes by which the university operates. These themes include achieving global excellence and improving student success.

Christian Aniciete, social media specialist at PSU and last year’s commencement speaker, said that his teachers and mentors guided him when he applied.

“[It] was a great way to say ‘thank you,'” he said.

Aniciete attended PSU for five years and was involved with many extracurricular activities that included serving in student government.

According to Aniciete, the commencement application requests a résumé and an essay detailing one’s experiences at PSU.

After Aniciete was narrowed down as a finalist last year, he was asked to draft a two-minute speech about “PSU pride.” He said that he was given a lot of freedom while composing the speech.

Later, he auditioned in front of the Graduation Program Board, and before he knew it, Aniciete was informed that he would be one of the two students giving a speech during the graduation ceremony. He described the experience as being “surreal.”

“I was very excited and honored,” he said. “[It was] a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Aniciete encourages anyone to apply to be a commencement speaker.

Students have until 5 p.m. on April 11 to apply. For more information, visit

Brenda Yahm

SVA to host federal hiring seminar

The Student Veteran Association at Portland State will host a federal hiring seminar today to inform students on how to gain employment with the United States government.

Tim Chandler, chief petty officer of the U.S. Navy, and Jo Jeter, the human resources specialist for Bonneville Power Administration, will lead the presentations.

The two-part seminar will include information on important “buzz words” to include on federal applications, as well as how to properly follow up with agencies after applying, according to a press release.

The event begins today at 9 a.m. in the Multicultural Center.  

Corie Charnley