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Pamela Lerner Portin ’77 Pays it Forward

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Pam Portin

Pamela Lerner Portin ’77 has a special appreciation for the challenges of getting an education.

A scholarship student at Montclair State, she worked hard outside the classroom to avoid taking out student loans. She was an R.A. in Bohn Hall, taught swimming at the YMCA, and worked at Lord and Taylor in New York City on weekends. She also served as secretary of the Student Government Association.

“When I look back on my days at Montclair State, it always brings a smile to my face — the education, the professors, dorm life, and so many great on- and off-campus experiences,” says Pamela, a veteran technology executive and Principal of Pamela Portin Consulting LLC, a firm that creates and executes strategic integrated marketing, policy, and public relations initiatives for the consumer technology marketplace. Pamela loved her political science major and made the most of her time at Montclair State. She had internships with Congressman Peter Rodino, with New York City Mayor John Lindsay, and with Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick.

“When I started my own business, I decided that with the first money I made, I would establish a scholarship at Montclair State University to give opportunities to other political science majors helping them continue with their studies and careers,” she says. “Scholarships can impact students in so many ways in their lives and the lives of their families and their future too,” she shares. “If one person in a family makes the decision to attend college because she was awarded a scholarship, then her attendance at college can positively impact their lives, her family and her own family to come.”

Pamela established the first political science scholarship for an outstanding political science major. “I’m excited about getting to help the next generation of our country’s public policy leaders,” she says. She also is a founding member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Kathryn Goldner ’15, a political science and history major, is the current beneficiary of the Portin Scholarship. “It was an honor to receive the Pamela Portin Scholarship, and I cannot thank Ms. Portin enough for her generosity,” Kathryn shares. “The money from the scholarship will help me save up for graduate school and may even make it possible for me to do a semester in Washington, D.C., before graduation.” Kathryn also is a member of Montclair State’s prestigious Honors Program and the Alpha Lambda Delta honors society.

“This past semester I have been working on a research project with Professor Clatterbuck in the Philosophy and Religion Department on Christianity and Traditionalism on the Crow Reservations in Montana,” Kathryn adds. She plans to attend graduate school in political science or history. “I would love to be a professor in either subject,” she adds, “especially after some of the amazing faculty I have met at Montclair State.”

“Montclair State makes it easy for a scholarship donor to see the direct impact of a contribution,” Pamela adds. “I’ve had the opportunity to attend the Political Science Scholarship reception and meet the professors on the Selection Committee and the recipient of the scholarship.  It was very moving for me to meet the student and to hear firsthand how the scholarship helped him and his dreams and plans for the future.”

Previously in her career, Pamela served as Director of Children’s Safety for Microsoft; and she is currently Chair of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation Communications Committee. She lives in Washington State with her husband and son.

To make an immediate impact in students’ lives, make your scholarship gift today by visiting For more information about named scholarships at Montclair State, contact Ely Santoni at 973-655-7298 or santonituere@mail.montclair.