4:00 PM, April 27 | LINC 268

Alumni from OSU’s MFA program discuss their current positions in writing-related fields, their paths to employment, and how their degrees have benefited them professionally and otherwise. This panel discussion is free and open to the public.  If you’re pursuing a liberal arts degree and wondering about life after graduation, come and get some tips!


Rebecca Olson

(MFA, poetry, 2011) is a Midwestern poet living in Portland. Her work has been published by cream city review, PANK, Dogwood, Cimarron Review, Bitch Media, Public Pool, and others. When she’s not out in the woods or riding her bike around town, she works as an Assistant Director on the Communications and Engagement team for the Portland State University Foundation.




Chris McDonald

(MFA, fiction, 2012) is a Development Officer at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, a nonprofit in Portland, OR. He's previously worked at Our House of Portland, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the Oregon Zoo. With nearly a decade of nonprofit experience, he has expertise in fundraising, communications, grant writing, project management, event planning, and volunteer management. Writing under the name Chris Yamashita, he has published stories in Weave, Your Impossible Voice, and Compose.






Heather Brown

(MFA, poetry, 2013) builds publicity campaigns and produces events for authors, presses, and nonprofit literary organizations. Before moving to Oregon, she taught high school English in Colorado. She lives in Portland.






Scott Latta

(MFA, nonfiction, 2015) is the winner of the 2016 Frank McCourt Memoir Prize and earned a Pushcart Prize special mention this year. Upcoming work will be in The Believer and 1859 Magazine. He works as a writer for Mercy Corps, an international NGO.




Mackenzie Smith

(MFA, fiction, 2017) has published stories and nonfiction in ZYZZYVA, Crab Orchard Review, and TriQuarterly Online, among other journals. She is a recipient of a 2018 Elizabeth George Grant for her novel-in-progress, The Clearest Way into the Universe. She’s taught creative writing workshops on US State Department and OSU-funded grants in Belize, Timor-Leste, and in correctional facilities in Oregon and California. A former Fulbright Fellow in Montenegro and Luce Scholar in India, she is currently a science writer for University of California Berkeley's College of Natural Resources.