Ooligan Press welcomes new director

In fall 2018, Portland State’s Dr. Rachel Noorda will step into the role of director of publishing for Ooligan Press, taking over from interim Director Abbey Gaterud.

Noorda has been a senior Instructor in PSU’s book publishing master’s program since September 2017 and has taught courses including book editing, book marketing, book publishing for writers, introduction to book publishing and researching book publishing.


“After spending this last year teaching a variety of courses in this wonderful book publishing program, I am so excited to be the new director,” Noorda said.


Ooligan is a not-for-profit teaching press staffed entirely by PSU English Department graduate students. The press’ books emphasize the culture, history and inspirations of the Pacific Northwest. Ooligan books have won awards including Readers’ Choice at the Oregon Book Awards and a Gold Medal at the Independent Publisher Book Awards.


“Book publishing programs are a rarity, but even amongst the rare collection of programs, the program here at Portland State is an unparalleled gem,” Noorda said. “I feel privileged to be part of this program and to be a guiding force in its future direction.”


Noorda earned a bachelor’s degree in English language, linguistics and editing from Brigham Young University in 2011. She went on to earn a Master of Letters in publishing studies and a doctorate in publishing from the University of Stirling, Scotland. While at Stirling, Noorda studied the marketing of international books to the Scottish diaspora.


In 2014, Noorda co-founded ThunderStone Books, a publishing house with a focus on children’s books that approach educational topics including foreign language, science and mental health. While working as ThunderStone’s editorial director, Noorda taught English and writing courses at the University of Stirling, the College of Southern Nevada and Brigham Young University, Idaho before landing at PSU.


“To all the faculty, alumni and current students of the program,” said Noorda, “I can’t wait to work with all of you!”