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About Rhiannon Cates

Rhiannon M. Cates works in Special Collections and University Archives at Portland State University Library, providing stewardship to an array of dynamic, community-based archival collections. She is a volunteer and co-facilitator of educational and leadership programming conducted inside Oregon state correctional facilities. Rhiannon's research and writing involves feminist pedagogies and praxes in librarianship and higher education, poetic inquiry, and the potentiality of writing and collaborative learning to embody justice, enact change, and heal individual and community harms inflicted by the justice system. She is a founding co-editor of Amplify: A Journal of Writing-as-Activism, and her work can be found through the International Journal for Students as PartnersHumanitiesCollaborative LibrarianshipHigher Education Accessibility Behind and Beyond Prison WallsTeaching Reading and Writing in Prisons (forthcoming), Radical Teacher, and other avenues. Rhiannon received her BA in Women's Studies and Sexuality, Gender and Queer Studies from Portland State in 2015 and her MA in Educational Leadership and Policy: Post-Secondary, Adult, and Continuing Education from Portland State in 2020. 


2015 - Present Special Collections & University Archives Technician, Portland State University University Library
2016 - 2018 On-Call Access Services Assistant, Multnomah County Library
2013 - 2015 Access Services Assistant, Multnomah County Library ‐ Northwest Branch
2011 - 2015 Library Assistant (concurrent positions in: Administration; Circulation; Serials; Special Collections & University Archives), Portland State University University Library
2011 Alumna Outreach Assistant, Portland State University Center for Women, Politics & Policy
2009 - 2011 Production & Administrative Assistant, Angelina Organic Skincare
2008 - 2011 Queer Youth Community Liaison, Human Dignity Coalition


2018 - 2018 “From Prison to PSU: Toward Building an Educational Pipeline”
Portland State University President’s Office
Portland State University President’s Diversity Mini-Grant
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2020 - Present Manuscript reviewer, Humanities, MDPI
2020 - Present Undergraduate Scholarship Reviewer, Portland State University
2019 - Present Member, Association for the Study of Higher Education
2019 - Present Manuscript reviewer, Collaborative Librarianship, University of Denver
2019 - Present Chair, PSU Library Community Engagement Committee
2019 - Present Member, PSU Queer and Trans Employee Resource Group
2018 - Present Member, Girl Scouts of Oregon & Southwest Washington; Girl Scouts USA
2018 - Present Member, PSU Library Communications Team
2018 - Present Member, Portland Emerging Archivists
2015 - Present Member, Northwest Archivists
2015 - Present Member, Portland Area Archivists
2019 - 2019 Member, PSU Library 2019-2021 Strategic Planning Committee
2018 - 2019 Council Member, Portland State University President’s Staff Advisory Council
2013 - 2018 Member, PRISM: Multnomah County LGBTQ Employee Resource Group
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Honors and Awards

  • 2016 Travel award, Multnomah County Library
  • 2014 Portland State University Women’s Studies Linda C. Hummer Scholarship
  • 2011-2015 Portland State University Presidential Scholarship
  • 2011-2015 Levin-Fowler Renaissance Foundation scholar
  • 2011-2012 Pride Foundation scholar
  • 2011 National Education for Women’s Leadership of Oregon Scholarship
  • 2011 Quota International of Central Oregon Women’s Scholarship
  • 2011 Bend Oregon Garbage & Recycling Scholarship
  • 2011 Scholastic Arts & Writing National American Visions Award


September 2011 - June 2015 BA, Women's Studies; Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies, Portland State University

Contact Information

Portland State University Library
PO Box 1151
Portland, OR 97207-1151


Book Chapters (1)

Recent Works (1)

Articles (5)

Book Reviews (1)

Presentations (3)

Poster Presentations (1)

Archival Exhibits (1)