Graduate business student takes helm as ASPSU president

Kierra Wing arrived at Portland State in 2018 — the first in her immediate family to go to college. Four years later, she has two degrees under her belt and is working on her third as she begins her new role as president of PSU’s student government.

Wing graduated with a bachelor’s in human resource management in 2021, but not fully satisfied, she went on to pursue her passion for real estate and graduated with a master’s in real estate development (MRED) in one year. This year, she’s completing a graduate certificate in real estate investment and finance, with her sights set on working in affordable housing development and property management.

“I have gained the skills to look at things in a holistic way that is mindful of all stakeholders,” she says.

It’s that approach that has served her well in her student government career. Wing started out at Associated Students for Portland State University (ASPSU) as an intern for the Sustainability and Legislative Affairs committees before running for the Student Fee Committee. For the past two years, she chaired the committee, which allocates fees to 32 different areas on campus supported by the incidental fee. 

“My business background allowed me to think analytically and critically and be mindful of budgetary limitations and stakeholder needs,” she said.

Her term as ASPSU president began June 1. Wing answered a few questions for us.

Why did you want to become ASPSU president?

I wanted to become ASPSU President because my roles on this campus have allowed me to see so many sides of the university and I believe I have a lot to offer the student body in insight and action. I have a lot of positivity, motivation, and energy to bring real tangible change to our campus!

How does your experience as both an undergrad and grad student help you better understand the full student body and its needs?

To have served in student government in my undergrad and in Graduate school was an awesome experience that really allowed me to see the needs of both demographics and where the gaps are in the services on campus as well as our communication and transparency of resources. Both groups really need financial stability, and academic flexibility and often crave a sense of community. 

What issues do you think are most important to address in the coming year?

This year, my focus is on promoting and providing the many resources on our campus to the folks that need them. I would also like to provide some financial stability to our students with more emergency grants and funding. I also hope to increase the visibility of student life on our campus.

THERE ARE STILL SOME POSITIONS OPEN FOR FALL and one for Summer on the Student Fee Committee! My email is askaspsu@pdx.edu and I would love for folks to reach out if they are interested in being part of this awesome community or if they have any initiatives for ASPSU!

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the amazing people who do such great work on this campus and in the city. There are so many groups of people uplifting the community in their jobs and through volunteering!

How do you spend your free time?

I spend a lot of my free time maintaining my 40 plants, flying with my pilot fiancé, eating my way through Portland, hiking, and being involved in my community through rallies, organizing, and activism. 

What advice do you have for prospective graduate business students who are interested in your field?

I would definitely recommend working an entry-level job in real estate before entering the MRED program. Also taking time off from work to focus on your studies is something I wish I did.

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