Portland State Magazine Fall 2022

ALUMNI IN THE NEWS (CONTINUED) not used to the terms. But I find most people understand the concepts pretty easily, so the goal is to make sure you don’t lose them along the way. I also work hard to improve our charts and graphs so that they are easier to read and understand. How do you deliver bad news about the economy without creating panic? It’s hard. We’re trying to do that right now in terms of talking about high inflation and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. Historically it’s not a good combination, but it’s also not yet time to panic. I guess the best news here is that the economy spends many more years in expansion than it does in recession. Good news is more common than bad for that reason alone. How do you frame your messages so readers feel educated and empowered rather than just discouraged? This is something I don’t actively try to do. I’m just really excited about data, the economy, and research in general. I think some of that excitement and enthusiasm comes across in my writing. Or at least I hope so. Which economic trends pique your interest the most? In economics, we tend to focus on big-picture changes in employment, income, migration, housing, and the like. Obviously those are all very important. But to me, what is most interesting is being able to really dig into the census data and explore these topics further. In particular, looking at how those issues differ across regions of the state, different racial and ethnic groups, and different age cohorts is fascinating. —CRISTINA ROJAS Bess Pallares MS ’16 has joined Portland-based comics publisher Oni Press as an editor. William Pittman MA ‘01 was chosen by the U.S. Department of State for the English Language Fellow Program, in which he will spend 10 months teaching at the State University of Malang in Indonesia. Kerry Politzer ’14 MA ’17 is scheduled to release a quintet jazz album, In a Heartbeat, on October 21. The album features her own compositions and arrangements. Amy Hwang Powers ’02 was named co-executive director of programs for the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) in February. Powers also volunteers as a board member of the Korean American Coalition of Oregon. Kevin Rahardjo ’16 MM ’18 earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami. Lydia Sheehey ’16 MEd ’17, a former high school teacher in Portland and Ecuador, is the new equity, diversity, and inclusion coordinator for PSU’s College of Education. This new position is student-focused, building on current support systems to create new communication channels to help students. Sara Siestreem ’05 has joined Elizabeth Leach Gallery. Siestreem, a multidisciplinary artist, also earned the 2022 Forge Project Fellowship. The fellowship is available to six Indigenous individuals. Scott Sutton ’08 MIM ‘13 started as chief business officer at Zoominfo in August. Based in Vancouver, Washington, the company provides business-tobusiness transactions. Jan Underwood MA ’98 wrote her third novel, Fault Lines, which was published in December 2021. The book features three travelers who are on an existential road trip when they are thrown together in the political turmoil of Santa María, a South American nation. Jeongmi Yoon MM ’13 earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas. LOSSES Bruce Browne, music faculty emeritus; Gavin Bjork, mathematical sciences professor emeritus; Rita Rose Vistica, French professor emeritus. Read tributes at pdx. edu/magazine/remembrances. Email alum@pdx.edu with your alumni news. “The best news here is that the economy spends many more years in expansion than it does in recession.” 5.4% The growth in Oregon’s median household income in 2021 13,000 New construction workers needed to address Oregon’s housing shortage 19% The increase in Oregon’s average wage since the start of the pandemic 1.7 Job openings available for every unemployed Oregonian as of July 2022 Recent tidbits from the Office of Economic Analysis on the state’s financial health. OREGON’S ECONOMY BY THE NUMBERS FALL 2022 // 37 ----- -=-l