Becky Olson, communication alum, is a three-time breast cancer survivor and co-founder of Breast Friends, a support group for women with cancer.
Mark Granlund, named executive director of Bosco-Milligan's Architectural Heritage Center in 2008, earned his bachelor's degree in business and management from Marylhurst University, and four years later pursued a certificate in public relations.
"The public relations courses were the most valuable classes I took in college," he said.
Tools I Use Everyday
The public relations program gave Mark "the tools I have in my toolbox and use everyday."
These communication tools are critical in getting ahead, he said. In Mark's 12+ years as a fundraiser and manager, he had gained the respect of boards of directors and CEOs.
"And now I'm the CEO; I'm the executive director. Six times a year, I'm presenting 46 board members with vision and initiatives, asking for their support and giving them jobs to do. My human relations skills — how I communicate verbally and in writing — are key to my success," he said.
Peers in Class and at Work
The instructors at Marylhurst "are great; they are out there practicing in their field everyday. I'm a firm believer in practical learning, real-life learning." Mark called himself a "serious student" and felt right at home with his classmates. In seminar-style classes, he learned from his peers as well as his instructors, he said.
In this supportive environment, Mark honed his writing skills. A clear and concise writing style was emphasized throughout the program. "I learned not to be married to my writing, not to be afraid of other people reviewing my work," he said. He immediately implemented these skills on the job.
As a young father going to school full-time with one full-time job and at least one part-time job, Mark had his hands full, but he said it was well worth the effort. "I would do my homework in the laundry room while washing the diapers," he said with a smile. "Those were good times."