Brandon Pahnish


Portland State University, Class of 2020

Graphic Design

Why did you choose your major?

Every hobby that I’ve ever had has centered on the notion of creativity. I’ve realized that I can use creative thinking as a strong tool in order to create an image or voice for businesses and individuals.

How do you think being a first generation student has affected your college experience?

I felt quite intimidated by the thought of college. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I felt a bit lost. Being a first generation student has made me feel like I’ve made the right choice. My parents always told me to follow my heart and I feel as if I’m doing just that.

What do you love about PSU?

It’s nice that Portland State is in the heart of the city. The resources that many students need are directly on campus or right next to it.

How was the experience of starting somewhere new?

It felt odd at first as I was used to being in the same two classrooms with the same group of students for two years, but I’m excited to be a student at Portland State. I’ve met lots of new people and have heard many different perspectives.

What is your favorite subject or class you’ve taken?

Besides the core design classes that I’m taking, I’ve found that Understanding Environmental Sustainability is interesting, heart breaking, yet eye opening.

What has been the most impactful experience during your time in college?

The most impactful experiences have been the breakthroughs: Diminishing the fear of meeting new people, speaking in front of an audience, and turning those weaknesses into strengths.

What does it mean to you to have been chosen as a Renaissance Scholar?

It means that a massive weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and I couldn’t be more thankful.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Find your inner poet and convey your story in a way that touches people. Your story is one for the books, don’t be afraid to tell it that way.