Eastern Oregon University https://www.eou.edu Oregon's Rural University Thu, 20 Aug 2020 21:46:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Careful planning and planting https://www.eou.edu/news-press/careful-planning-and-planting/ Thu, 20 Aug 2020 21:45:32 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=32045 Careful planning, planting keeps EOU campus growing green
David Yoder talks to people on Arbor Day

August 19, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Through careful planning and planting, Arborist David Yoder helped Eastern Oregon University become a Tree Campus USA for the first time in 2016. Then in 2019, EOU was chosen as home for one of the 45 Hiroshima Peace trees that Oregon received. 

“The Arbor Day Foundation developed Tree-City USA and then Tree-Campus USA in an effort to standardize tree care and appreciation of arbors in small cities and on campuses,” Yoder said. 

EOU has many native trees on campus, including Douglas Fir, Western Larch, Lewis and Clark Elm and various pines, but Yoder has stepped up to provide and maintain a welcoming, homey environment that goes beyond the basics. 

Yoder has worked to help EOU meet the standards set by the Arbor Day Foundation to become a Tree Campus. This program has five criteria that each campus has to meet: 1. Establishment of a campus tree advisory committee, 2. Creation of a campus tree care plan, 3. Evidence of annual expenditures, 4. Organization of an Arbor Day Observance, and 5. Service learning project. With Yoder’s guidance, EOU has met those goals for four years running. 

In 2020, the foundation changed its name to, “Tree Campus Higher Education,” though they still uphold the same core values. The program revolves around student participation, as well as careful planning, resulting in a published plan for how trees will be handled on campus. 

Annually, about 100 students help plant trees and participate in Arbor Day activities that celebrate the various species of trees flourishing at EOU. 

“This is a student-led program. Each year we’ve had student-led plantings where we bring out classes,” Yoder said. “One year we planted around the dormitories, and another year we used the range management lab course and we planted a range landstrip.”  

Peace Tree sign on campus

In addition to native trees that grow on campus, Yoder said the ginkgo biloba Hiroshima Peace Tree is also thriving. Initially he had not heard of Peace Trees. 

“It is a tree that was grown from the seed of a tree that existed in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing, and we were fortunate enough to be selected as a location for the planting,” Yoder said.

As the seasons change, Yoder continues to make plans for the trees on campus. Whether that be more plantings or upkeep, he works to ensure the health of the trees on campus. 

“We do these sorts of things [Tree Campus USA] to engage administration, faculty, staff and students—to give them a broader look,” Yoder said. “A lot of times we walk through life with our heads down. We’re trying to open up the world to them and say, ‘Hey, there’s stuff out here that matters. It’s creating oxygen for us, it’s making cool places to sit in the summertime in the shade.’” 

For more information about Tree Campus USA at EOU visit eou.edu/facplan/tree-campus

By PR Intern Emily Andrews

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Board elects new chair https://www.eou.edu/news-press/board-elects-new-chair/ Thu, 13 Aug 2020 20:49:11 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=32017 Richard Chaves elected to helm EOU governing board
Richard Chaves speaks at the 2019 Commencement Ceremony.

August 13, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. –  The Eastern Oregon University Board of Trustees unanimously elected Richard Chaves to serve as Chair of the Board through November 2021. Chaves, a member of the EOU governing board since its inception in 2015, is a business owner in Baker County and an alumnus of the university.

“EOU instilled in me that I had what it took to do whatever I chose to do. It taught me that rural communities have a lot of advantages,” Chaves said. “The chance to make a difference in altering the paths of young peoples’ lives, that’s what it’s all about and that’s what nourishes my soul.”

Chaves served on the EOU Foundation Board of Directors prior to joining the school’s governing board. He highlighted several priorities for his term, including an increased presence in Salem, a focus on creative problem solving, and willingness to make tough decisions and stand behind them.  

Board members met in a hybrid format, with some on-campus wearing masks and physically distant, and others participating via Zoom.

Trustees recognized retiring Board Chair David Nelson, and welcomed incoming members Karyn Gomez and Danny Bailey. Gomez, a professor in the College of Education, was appointed to serve as the faculty trustee, and Bailey, who works in the Financial Aid Office as the Scholarship Coordinator, was appointed to serve as staff trustee. New shared governance leaders for the coming academic year were also in attendance. 

Board members responded to legislative and financial updates regarding COVID-19 and its impact throughout the state. Vice President for Finance and Administration Lara Moore reported that state funding for higher education would not be affected in 2021, but the coming bienniums could bring significant challenges.

“I’m grateful we have 2021 to further prepare,” she said. “Our efforts to reduce spending since spring have been fruitful. With many employees working reduced hours, implementing a not quite hiring freeze but a hiring frost, and virtually no travel, EOU will end FY 20 with $11 million in reserve—the strongest position EOU has ever been in—which will be necessary to weather the coming storm.”

The governing board will review the university’s final budget at its regular meeting this fall. 

In addition to the pandemic, lawmakers and educators across the state have also been engaged with the worldwide movement for racial justice. EOU President Tom Insko also highlighted the university’s growing diversity of students. 

“Part of our access mission is around achieving equity,” Insko said. “The ethnically diverse student population at EOU has doubled in five years, and we’ve implemented programs that have helped shrink the academic achievement gap from 5% to less than 1% for on-campus students.”

As the start of fall term approaches, the Board was also tasked with approving the university’s proposed plans for resuming on-campus activities and classes.  

“We’re doing everything possible to have as much in-person instruction as possible this fall,” Insko said. 

Fall sports schedules have been moved to spring, a change Insko advocated for to mitigate the risk of transmitting disease. He said shifting employees to remote work where possible and halting large group activities have reduced the risk of disease. 

Students in the university’s Master of Art in Teaching program met for their two weeks of on-campus instruction with general success. Some lectures were held outdoors, and all participants and instructors wore face coverings. 

“63% of our students come from underserved communities, which are more significantly impacted by COVID-19,” Insko said. “If we don’t offer the personalized education EOU is known for, I’m concerned those students won’t continue on and complete a degree. That’s why we’re choosing this more complicated pathway: it’s about altruism. Returning to campus offers the greatest possibility to serve those who need it most.” 

Provost Sarah Witte has taken on the role of Resumption Planning Coordinator for EOU, and she led the presentation as staff members shared details and answered questions about how academic affairs, human resources, student affairs, facilities, and athletics have prepared for students and employees to return to campus. Trustees asked about specific protocols and safety measures, as well as benchmarks for each phase of resumption. 

“It’s great to see us getting beyond simple binary decisions to start exploring the complexity of this new challenge that we face,” Trustee Bill Johnson said. “This work we’ve done to date is commendable and it’s good to see the progress we’ve made.”

The university doubled the number of class sections offered for lab courses in order to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Supervisors completed risk assessments for every job on campus, and laid out expectations for employees to stay home if they or a family member is unwell. Student Affairs will serve as the hub for student concerns, responding to possible exposures and coordinating care for those in quarantine. Facilities staff are evaluating every HVAC system and installing new filters, as well as ordering masks, signage and sanitizer stations. 

“Students are coming here to achieve a goal, and it’s our responsibility to help them reach that goal with whatever tools and modalities we have available,” Witte said. 

Trustees approved the plan unanimously and concluded their Monday session. When the group reconvened Tuesday morning, they were joined via Zoom by Dr. Emily Drew who led a discussion about institutionalized racism.

Trustee Roberta Conner explained that the construct of race is a creation of Western science that now has become ingrained in society. 

“I believe we have a great deal of distance to cover,” Conner said. “Much of the institutional racism that we endure comes from attempts by those in power to convince themselves that African Americans, American Indians or indigenous peoples the world over have different sizes of craniums, different capacities for intellect, different capacities for achievement—and those constructs have resulted in the world we live in today.”

The Board plans to develop a statement on equity, rights and inclusion. Trustees created an ad hoc committee to engage with EOU’s Diversity Committee and other advocacy groups on campus in shaping this statement and how it will meaningfully advance work on this challenge.

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Taking orientation to the Elkhorns https://www.eou.edu/news-press/taking-orientation-to-the-elkhorns/ Thu, 13 Aug 2020 19:06:34 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=32013 Taking orientation to the Elkhorns
people paddleboarding on a mountain lake

August 13, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Excitement travels fast through the Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) as new 2020 East Trackers begin to register for a trip that will create lasting memories. Incoming freshmen at Eastern Oregon University can experience an outdoor orientation away from the Eastern Oregon University campus.   

This year East Tracks is scheduled for Sept. 14 to 18. Twelve students will get to experience this five-day adventure, which includes activities like rock climbing, paddleboarding, biking and hiking around Anthony Lakes. The trip costs $125 per person, which includes food and gear supplied through the OAP. 

Michael Hatch, OAP Director, explained that some of the changes students can expect this year due to the pandemic include: precautions while preparing food, social distancing and mask wearing during activities like rock climbing. Hatch is excited that many activities will be unchanged due to their already distanced nature, like mountain biking, hiking and paddle boarding. 

East Tracks offers more than an opportunity to get outside, it also provides a place to build friendships and shape new interests. The trip is open to all levels of experience, so students can reach outside of their comfort zones in a welcoming environment.

“I think the social support network is a really huge benefit,” Hatch said. “I also see a lot of improvements in self-efficacy and self-confidence, as that some of these folks have never paddle-boarded before, they’ve never rock-climbed or mountain-biked, or they’ve never really gone camping and they start doing these activities and they start realizing, ‘I can do it.’”

An East Tracker-turned-OAP-employee, Aime Coffman, said  East Tracks 2018 gave her the opportunity to build relationships with students and faculty prior to the start classes. This helped during the first week of school when a friendly face is the only thing students want to see.  

people climbing a rock

“I met some lifelong friends and it really helped out with the first week of school just because you have those familiar faces on campus,” Coffman said. “It’s definitely something people should take the opportunity to go and do. I think you build a lot of great relationships.”

Since her East Tracks trip, Coffman became a student leader for the 2019 venture, which got her foot in the door for EOU employment and was a gateway for building relationships with potential peers and professors. 

“It’s just a place for you to dabble and stick your feet in the water, so to speak, and get a feel for the different things that are available, especially in our neck of the woods in Eastern Oregon,” Hatch said. “Student safety and health are a top priority for the OAP. We are being very diligent in how we conduct ourselves and operate this trip to prevent the spread or transmission of the virus.” 

Registration is open now and space is limited. For more information, visit eou.edu/outdoor or contact the OAP Office at 541-962-3621.   

By PR Intern Emily Andrews

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Cultivating community during a pandemic https://www.eou.edu/news-press/cultivating-community-during-a-pandemic/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 23:14:28 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=32002 Cultivating community during a pandemic
students in masks jumping

August 10, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Week of Welcome provides an opportunity for incoming Eastern Oregon University students to become familiar with their peers in a fun environment that doubles as their orientation to a new school. The freshmen who attend this event get a head-start on building meaningful new relationships before they enter the classroom. 

EOU plans to hold Week of Welcome (WOW) Sept. 19 to 22. This year’s orientation is packed with fun events that prioritize the safety of students and everyone participating.  

Many of the activities are planned to take place outdoors on EOU’s main campus in La Grande. New precautions have been put in place, such as wearing face-coverings and hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the campus. 

WOW has a signature feel at EOU and that energy will not be lost during this event. Director of Student Success and Transition Kathryn Shorts, who coordinates the annual orientation week, said students can expect an engaging line-up of outdoor activities. 

“We will basically have the same large-scale events, we‘re just going to spread them out,” she said. “We’re going to take over the campus and will be outside a lot.” 

Shorts also said students will spend more time in their teams, allowing each of the 10 groups to build lasting connections with their peers, one of the event’s primary goals. Students become familiar with the campus culture and connect with staff so they can better navigate resources during the school year. 

WOW Leader Emily Gluch will mentor a group of freshmen and guide them throughout the week. Now a senior, she said WOW has been an important part of her college career.

“WOW week has impacted my college experience by networking with faculty and the president of the university,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to navigate the campus and meet new faces.”

Several new events will be introduced to accommodate the special circumstances the pandemic has brought to this year’s WOW. Shorts has added an outdoor movie night and other activities that make the most of wide-open spaces. Careful planning has taken place to make sure all students participating will be in a safe environment that puts their health first. 

“Students will still get an opportunity to make new friends on their teams and meet people at different activities,” Shorts said. “I’m just really encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone and wanting them to understand that in order to participate they’re going to have to wear a mask.” 

Registration is open now. For more information and to sign up visit eou.edu/wow

By PR Intern Emily Andrews

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Board Chair David Nelson announces retirement https://www.eou.edu/news-press/board-chair-david-nelson-announces-retirement/ Tue, 04 Aug 2020 18:26:54 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31998 Founding EOU Trustee, Board Chair announces retirement
David Nelson at Tea and Trumpets

August 4, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – After five years as Chair of the Eastern Oregon University Board of Directors, and following decades of public service, David Nelson will retire next week.

“Whether he is participating in a one-on -one friendly discussion or chairing a meeting of the EOU Trustee Board, David is respectful, caring and attentive,” Trustee Richard Chaves said of Nelson. “He has the ability to work through sensitive discussions and situations, bringing them gracefully to resolution. I am honored to know David and call him friend.”

Nelson was appointed to be a founding member of EOU’s independent governing board when it was established in 2015. He said he’s proud of what the fledgling board has achieved in such a short time.

“We were in a very difficult situation when the board came on—no reserve funds, essentially on probation from the state commission, looking for a president,” he said. “Now in five years, we’ve got new full-time deans, pay and benefits have improved across campus, there are new programs coming on.”

After 16 years in the state legislature, Nelson came to the role equipped with experience in building consensus and presiding in public meetings. His familiarity with the capitol and far-reaching connections with Eastern Oregon communities added to Nelson’s natural affinity for leadership.

“It’s all about developing relationships, listening, being transparent and looking for common ground,” he said. “You have to be able to respond to human emotions and strong feelings.”

Nelson has a law degree from the University of Montana, and spent years as a rural lawyer. He said each trustee brought an impressive set of life and career experiences, as well as formal education. 

“We’re a very well-rounded board, and we didn’t always agree, but I think we came together to make good decisions,” he said. “When you’ve got a 15-person board and different perspectives, the chair’s job is to bring everybody together.”

When the university passed its accreditation evaluation in 2018, Nelson felt like EOU was going in the right direction. 

Originally from Pendleton, Nelson sees the benefits in more local representation in the university’s governing board. He said programs like the Rural Engagement and Vitality (REV) Center are key to unlocking EOU’s potential to serve the entire region.

“In an economic downturn, the people who keep their jobs are those with a higher education,” Nelson said. “It’s a competitive world now, even for higher education—our funding is based on outcomes. We should be recognizing higher education as the key component to a person’s successful, happy life.” 

As EOU anticipates resuming on-campus activities this fall, Nelson reflected on the university’s long history of delivering courses remotely and its nimbleness as a smaller institution to adapt to changing requirements.

Board meeting with David Nelson

“We’re well-positioned to anticipate some really major changes,” he said. “We’ve got an excellent faculty in place, who have adjusted to this COVID environment and online instruction.”

Trustees will elect a new board chair to lead them through an unprecedented fall term at the board’s sixth annual retreat on August 10. Other business on the agenda includes approval of EOU’s Resumption Plan, a discussion of the board’s role in countering institutionalized racism, and a welcome of new staff and faculty trustees. The full agenda is posted at eou.edu/governance/board-meeting-schedule.

After his esteemed tenure in public service, Nelson, now 79, will spend this fall working on a novel based on his experiences as a Montana County Prosecutor in the 1970s. 

“In the legislature, you’re never quite sure if you’re successful, but in the university you see things grow and change every year,” he said. “Serving on the board was a worthwhile endeavor, on par with serving in the legislature. Thank you to the community for allowing me to serve and giving me this great opportunity.”

The board retreat will be held in a hybrid format with some trustees attending on campus and others participating via Zoom. Members of the public can watch the meeting via livestream at livestream.com/eou/governance

Written comments to the board will be accepted through Thursday, August 6. Visit eou.edu/governance/board-meeting-schedule or contact Ella Maloy at emaloy@eou.edu or 541-962-4101 to submit a public comment.

Additional statements from Trustees:

“I have learned much by listening to and observing David’s style of leadership. He’s also become a very good friend who I will greatly miss when he steps down from the Board. He makes sure that all opinions are voiced, but is also perceptive when a speaker tends to monopolize, ‘get into the weeds,’ or speak on a personal agenda, rather than on what’s best for the University. He was the best choice for our first Board Chair, and I hope he leaves with a great sense of pride and accomplishment.” — Dixie Lund

“David and I have known each other and worked together on many things regarding education since I was a superintendent and he was in the legislature. I have such great admiration for him and how he preserves the dignity of people while moving to a sometimes tough solution. David Nelson is like the North Star to sailors: he is always there, always a guidepost to the right direction, always can be counted on, and is a very bright spot in an often vast and dark world.” — Jer Pratton

“I have come to love and admire David, not only as a leader of our board, but also his character, his values, his manner, his self-control, and his warmth. I haven’t ever seen him lose his cool, even in real times of adversity. He always has a welcoming smile and an encompassing personality. I felt complete peace in knowing that he would carry this board and the university in the right direction. We will miss him dreadfully, and I wish him a very happy and blessed future.”  — Cheryl Martin

“David provided outstanding leadership skills that are best summarized by the Chinese strategist Lao Tsu (circa 500 BCE), ‘The master does not talk, he acts. When his work is done, the people say, Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves.’” — Gary Keller

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Thousands awarded to students amid pandemic https://www.eou.edu/news-press/thousands-awarded-to-students-amid-pandemic/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 16:28:26 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31992 Foundation, university cooperate to support students amid pandemic
Financial Aid Director Sandy Henry counsels a student in her office in 2018. Since the pandemic began, counselling appointments have taken place remotely.

July 28, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – By the end of June, Eastern Oregon University had awarded $307,745 from the federal CARES Act to support on-campus students as they adapted to remote learning for spring term. 

The university received $579,164 from the federal government to be disbursed directly to on-campus students to cover housing, food, healthcare, child care or unpaid unemployment benefits.  

As of June 30, 282 EOU students have received funding through the CARES Act in order to stay enrolled and on track to complete their degrees. The university’s Financial Aid Office planned ahead to ensure it would be able to continue distributing funds throughout the upcoming academic year as needed. 

In order to be eligible, students must be registered for EOU classes and have submitted a Federal Application for Financial Student Aid form (FAFSA). The legislation also requires that students be attending on-campus classes and that funds are not directly used for tuition costs.

Students who didn’t meet the criteria for federal CARES Act funding received support through the EOU Foundation’s Student Crisis Fund. When the pandemic hit this spring, EOU alumni and donors raised over $16,000 in a matter of weeks to help students stay in school. 

Australian student Samantha Blake lives in Baker City, and didn’t qualify for CARES Act support because she attends classes online. When her husband lost his job with the pandemic and unemployment payments were stalled, she turned to EOU to cover phone and internet costs. Private funds through the EOU Foundation kept her on track to graduate in June 2021.

“The Financial Aid Office told me about the help available,” she said. “We were so far behind on bills it was scary. For someone who didn’t qualify for assistance through other channels, I was so lucky [EOU Foundation donors] were willing to be generous. I’m so grateful for EOU and the donors that give us all support.”

More than $6,000 was distributed in spring term, and the EOU Foundation continues to assist students in need. In addition to the Student Crisis Fund, the Foundation provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships every year. Eligibility requirements vary, but students can apply for over 100 scholarships by submitting one application, which opens Oct. 1. 

Browse the list of EOU Foundation scholarships, or learn how to donate to the Student Crisis Fund at eou.edu/foundation

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EOU plans to resume on-campus activities this fall https://www.eou.edu/news-press/eou-plans-to-resume-on-campus-activities-this-fall/ Wed, 08 Jul 2020 21:30:06 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31956 EOU planning to resume on-campus activities this fall

July 8, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University plans to resume on-campus, in-person activities and instruction this fall. The university has established a gradual resumption process that complies with public health guidelines. 

“Looking toward fall term and a new academic year, EOU continues its commitment to the health and well-being of students and the continuation of their academic progress,” said Provost Sarah Witte, who is leading the university’s resumption planning process. “EOU is committed to resuming flexible, in-person, hybrid and remote-access teaching formats in keeping with Oregon Health Authority and local health authorities’ guidelines.”

During fall term, students and employees will be able to access buildings and grounds for university business, but EOU’s La Grande campus will remain closed to the public.

A mixed modality approach will allow smaller numbers of students to meet in classrooms on-campus, incorporating virtual elements with in-person instruction. For example, some class sessions each week will be held remotely to control classroom density. EOU’s colleges are prioritizing courses most adversely affected by remote delivery, to teach science labs or practical art instruction safely. The university will accommodate students and employees with underlying conditions or health risks. 

Fall term will begin Sept. 23 as planned, and after Thanksgiving Break, courses and finals will be held remotely. Residence halls will be open throughout the term, and students can choose if they would prefer to stay home between Thanksgiving and Winter Break to complete final projects and exams. 

“Many students and employees usually travel during Thanksgiving Break, and then again two weeks later for Winter Break. This kind of back-to-back travel can increase the risk of exposure and transmission of disease,” Witte said. “By transitioning the final weeks of term to remote access, students and faculty can plan ahead to complete their courses remotely from wherever they are. Students who have no plans to leave campus during Thanksgiving Break are welcome to stay, as residence halls, dining facilities and computer labs will remain open.”

EOU’s fall orientation for incoming students, Week of Welcome, will adapt to comply with CDC guidelines. Organizers are remaining flexible, and plan to provide engaging, fun opportunities for new students to interact with one another as they move into residence halls and get to know their campus. 

Physical distancing will be established in classrooms, dining areas and other shared spaces. All students and employees will be required to wear face masks while indoors, as well as outdoors where appropriate physical distancing isn’t possible. High-traffic areas will receive enhanced cleaning.

Student Services from the Learning Center and Testing Center will resume in-person with physical distancing, plexiglass barriers between stations and face masks. Exams and proctored tests will only be available for EOU students, and remote services will continue for those who need them.

On-campus community events, including athletics, are being reviewed and will be modified as needed or with physical distancing and other measures to minimize spread. 

“We will continue to share additional details as they take shape,” Witte said. “Our teams are responding to each shift in phases from our local public health authorities, and developing our plans accordingly.”

For additional information and to view EOU’s resumption plan, visit eou.edu/coronavirus/pandemic-resumption-plan.

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Transfer students thrive at EOU, online and on campus https://www.eou.edu/news-press/transfer-students-thrive-at-eou-online-and-on-campus/ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 21:06:23 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31937 Transfer students thrive at EOU, online and on campus

June 26, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – After two years at Central Oregon Community College (COCC), Dennise Jolley enrolled in Eastern Oregon University’s (EOU) English/Writing program to earn her bachelor’s degree. 

Jolley joins a robust cohort of incoming transfer students who will become Mountaineers this fall. She works full-time in Central Oregon and plans to attend classes online, but about a third of new students at EOU’s main campus in La Grande last fall were transfers.

“I chose to transfer to EOU because I want to pursue my bachelor’s degree in English and EOU had the best program locally that I could find,” Jolley said. “My hopes for my first term at EOU are to get involved with the school outside of just taking classes as that was something I was not able to do at COCC.”

EOU is one of the best transfer universities in the Pacific Northwest, and the most affordable four-year institution in Oregon. Transfer students hold a range of leadership positions within the student body and contribute to the success of clubs, teams and projects. 

Phi Theta Kappa, a community college honor society, recognized EOU as one of the nation’s top transfer universities with a spot on its Honor Roll. EOU also offers special scholarships for PTK members who transfer to EOU. As a sign of university-wide appreciation of transfer students, EOU President Tom Insko became an honorary member of Phi Theta Kappa this spring. 

From the President’s Office, through advising and career counseling, services at EOU are designed to support and empower transfer students for success. Jolley said her experience has exemplified that commitment. She plans to use her EOU degree to become a published author.

“It has been very helpful to have multiple people that I can call, from the Financial Aid Office to Admissions that are available to answer questions,” Jolley said. “I am very excited for this next chapter in my life and I am very proud to call EOU my new school.”

Learn more about EOU’s seamless transfer pathways and partnerships with regional community colleges at eou.edu/transfer. EOU also offers a free transfer credit review so interested students can get cost and completion time estimates before they apply. Contact the Office of Admissions for more information at admissions@eou.edu

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On-campus internships connect curriculum to job experience https://www.eou.edu/news-press/on-campus-internships-connect-curriculum-to-job-experience/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 21:37:37 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31932 On-campus internships connect curriculum to job experience

June 23, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Paid, on-campus job experience is expanding at Eastern Oregon University, which is hiring 15 student interns for roles across the institution. Each internship promises relevant career development, mentoring, independent projects, and hands-on experience in a range of fields. 

The Career Services Center at EOU has been building its repertoire of internships over the last several years, and 2020-21 offers the most opportunities yet. 

“In the past four years of our internship program, 93% of interns have completed their degree programs and another 80% have entered graduate programs or employment tied to their academic majors,” Career Services Director Justin Chin said. “These internships have encouraged students to connect their classroom experiences with the mentorship of EOU staff, faculty and leaders from across the nation.”

Internship positions place students in professional environments and responsibilities in the following areas: Anthropology COVID-19 Ethnography, Athletics Sport Information, Regional Engagement and Vitality Center Outreach, Native American Program Special Projects, Student Diversity and Inclusion Outreach and Program Coordinator, Marketing, Public Relation and Copywriting, Center for Teaching, Learning and Assessment Design, Human Performance Lab, Community Health, TRiO Grant Writing and Research, Outdoor Adventure Program, Admissions Social Media, and Student Wellness. 

All interns are supervised by EOU staff or faculty, and most work for about 12 hours per week. Many interns complete significant projects or presentations that translate to future career applications. 

“Our interns experience authentic assessment with much of their final product and projects reflecting real-world issues, whether that be building a ticketing and communications database for our grounds and facilities department, planning and leading student retention programming, producing the Mountaineer Magazine or serving as the conduit between EOU Veterans and regional employers,” Chin said. “Interns have an opportunity to grow, connect and most importantly reflect upon their successes and areas for improvement.”

Dedicated readers of EOU news releases will have seen an intern’s byline on a range of university event stories. EOU’s 2019-20 Public Relations Intern Briana Rosenkranz hopes to apply her honed writing skills in a marketing agency.

“Not only did I write over 50 press releases for the university, but I also conducted over 50 interviews and participated in multiple presentations on my work. My writing for my classes improved, my understanding of the industry developed further and my experience for my resume grew,” Rosenkranz said. “I learned to hone in on my listening skills, track and analyze media engagement and write in a professional manner. This was a tremendous opportunity and the value I received from this internship is more than I could have ever imagined.”

Internship positions are in the midst of the hiring process, holding interviews and reviewing applications. Most interns are expected to start on July 1. Contact Justin Chin in Career Services for additional information or visit eou.edu/career.

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Over 700 viewers for EOU’s virtual ceremony https://www.eou.edu/news-press/over-700-viewers-for-eous-virtual-ceremony/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 18:49:55 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31925 Over 700 viewers for EOU’s virtual ceremony

June 23, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University celebrated 840 graduates at its virtual conferral ceremony on June 13. 

“This was our first time attempting something like this and our staff went above and beyond to put it together over the last couple of months,” said EOU President Tom Insko.

More than 700 viewers tuned in to watch the conferral ceremony when it was streamed live over the internet, and the video has now been viewed over 7,000 times. 

“Graduation is our favorite time of year,” Insko said. “It’s always an honor to recognize our students who work so hard to achieve their goals. It was especially meaningful this year to still be able to do that even from a distance.”

So far in 2019-20, the university has officially awarded 343 degrees, and that total is expected to rise to 729 as staff process remaining graduation applications. Anticipating that all applicants have completed their degree requirements, EOU would award 641 undergraduate degrees and 87 master’s degrees in this academic year. 

“We are really proud of this spring’s graduates,” Insko said. “They overcame great challenges, and that resilience will continue to serve them as they take the next steps in their journey.”

The ceremony concluded with a multitude of videos of faculty and staff members applauding graduates, in a show of respect that echoes an honored commencement tradition. 

EOU plans to resume on-campus activities in the fall with classes in person and in flexible formats. An in-person commencement ceremony is also in development for those graduates who wish to participate. 

The virtual conferral ceremony is available to watch at livestream.com/eou. 

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GO STEM Hub announces new executive director https://www.eou.edu/news-press/go-stem-hub-announces-new-executive-director/ Wed, 17 Jun 2020 22:37:42 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31922 GO STEM Hub announces new executive director

June 17, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. –  The Greater Oregon STEM (GO STEM) Hub is pleased to announce David Melville as the new Executive Director, replacing Michael Jaeger who served as Interim Director during the nationwide search.

“David brings the ideal combination of experience, education, and interest to this position,” Jaeger said. “His strengths in program development and delivery, and his ability to work with the spectrum of partners in the region will be a tremendous asset in advancing the goals of science, technology, mathematics and engineering in eastern Oregon.” 

Eastern Oregon University hosts the GO STEM Hub, as part of its role as an educational engine for rural Oregon. 

“STEM education plays a vital role in developing 21st Century skills in our students as they grow and prepare for high-paying careers in the growing healthcare, natural resources and tech industries throughout our region,” Melville said. “In this ever-connected and increasingly online world, GO STEM is poised to support educators and industry leaders in developing the next generation of thinkers, innovators and explorers.”

GO STEM Advisory Board Chair Karen Patton pointed to Melville’s background in education and longstanding connections to eastern Oregon. Prior to joining GO STEM, Melville coordinated the 4-H SNACZ project, a partnership between Union County Extension Service and Oregon Health and Science University at EOU. He has served as an educator for over 15 years throughout the western U.S. and is excited to be back in eastern Oregon to serve in this new position.

“David has worked and established solid relationships in eastern Oregon and is a good fit to meet the diverse needs and large geographical area of the GO STEM region,” Patton said.

To contact David Melville, call 541-962-3566 or email dmelville@eou.edu. For more information about GO STEM visit go-stem.org.

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Student Awards announced https://www.eou.edu/news-press/student-awards-announced/ Tue, 09 Jun 2020 11:42:00 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31833 EOU honors class of 2020 Student Award winners

June 9, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University typically holds a Student Awards Assembly on Friday afternoon before commencement. However, this year in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, awardees will be recognized during the university’s virtual conferral ceremony on June 13. 

Nominating faculty members submitted brief statements describing the achievements and admirable traits of award-winning students. As graduates celebrate remotely this spring, the Student Awards Committee sought creative ways to inspire further engagement. 

Award plaques were mailed to recipients, along with a personal letter from their college deans. Additionally, personalized images with each awardee’s name and accolade are available below. Students can save the images to print at home or post to social media. Graduates are encouraged to share the images and tag their peers as a means of long-distance congratulation. 

Click the links below to download a customized congratulatory image. 

Cheyenne Baird, 2020 Outstanding Student of Education: MAT Secondary

Haley Bradley, 2020 Outstanding Student of Language Arts and Rhetoric

Haley Breen, 2020 ASTEO Scholar

Brandon Cederholm, 2020 Outstanding Student of Politics and Economics

Connie Cooper, 2020 Outstanding Student of Business Administration: Online

Carissa Cummings, 2020 Outstanding Student of Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing

Heather Cupples, 2020 Outstanding Student of Education: Undergrad Elementary Gresham

Mariana Banuelos-Delgado, 2020 Outstanding Student of Education: Undergrad Elementary Ontario

David Deniston, 2020 Outstanding Student of Education: Undergraduate Elementary On Campus

Quentin Durfee, 2020 ASTEO Scholar

Daniel Durrell, 2020 Outstanding Student of Music

Joshua Ebel, Male Scholar Athlete

John Essner, 2020 Outstanding Student of Communications

Jolie Fernandes, 2020 Outstanding Student of Emergency Medical Services Administration and 2020 Outstanding Student of Fire Services Administration

Jennifer Forrester, 2020 Outstanding Student of Education: MAT Elementary

Cassidy Freeman, 2020 Outstanding Student of Chemistry-Biochemistry and Runner-Up 2020 Della & Robert Burgess Research Paper Award

Timothy Handforth, 2020 Outstanding Student of Business Administration: Accounting

Laura Harwell, 2020 Outstanding Student of Anthropology :On Campus

Emily Hastings, 2020 Outstanding Student of Sociology

Darin Hauner, 2020 Outstanding Student of Computer Sciences and 2020 ASTEO Scholar

Daniel Holloway, 2020 ASTEO Scholar

Matthew Hoppe, 2020 Outstanding Student of Chemistry-Biochemistry

Jamie Jacobs, 2020 Outstanding Student of Health and Human Performance

Zachary Johnson, 2020 ASTEO Scholar

Jazmine Juarez, 2020 Outstanding Student of Mathematics

Mara Kalat, 2020 Outstanding Student of Interdisciplinary Studies

Meredith Matthews, 2020 Outstanding Student of Art

Maxwell McCullough, Male Ragsdale Scholar

Kiley McMurtrey, Female Scholar Athlete

Mariah Meyerholz, 2020 President’s Scholar

Alexis Milton, 2020 Outstanding Student of English/Writing Online

Madisen Morgan, 2020 Outstanding Student of History

Shelby Parks, 2020 Outstanding Student of Early Childhood Education

Sydney Peal, 2020 ASTEO Scholar

Tanner Pearson, 2020 Outstanding Student of Biology and 2020 ASTEO Scholar

Madison Pilon, Female Ragsdale Scholar

Aaron Reed, 2020 Outstanding Student of Anthropology:  Online

Jakob Sandhagen, 2020 Outstanding Student of Economics

Genevieve Smith, 2020 Della & Robert Burgess Research Paper Award  

Hannah Smith, 2020 President’s Art Award for “Sacred Grove”

Michael Smith, 2020 Outstanding Student of Master of Business Administration

Samantha Wegermann, 2020 Outstanding Student of Business Administration:  On campus

Pepper Wenzel, 2020 Outstanding Student of Psychology

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EOU Board approves budget, tuition for 2020-21 https://www.eou.edu/news-press/eou-board-approves-budget-tuition-for-2020-21/ Mon, 08 Jun 2020 16:48:22 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31888 EOU Board approves budget, tuition for 2020-21

June 8, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University’s Board of Trustees held its final meeting of the academic year via Zoom on June 4 and approved a preliminary budget for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Trustee Dixie Lund opened the meeting with a motion of gratitude for EOU students and employees and their collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“A heartfelt expression of gratitude to the employees and students of EOU for their heart, service, leadership, creativity, resilience and grit as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lund said. “This board has a deeply felt appreciation for all of the work that has been done.” 

On a larger scale, statewide and national government response to the coronavirus will have lasting impacts for public universities, Vice President for University Advancement Tim Seydel said. He reported university, state and federal updates alongside Vice President for Finance and Administration Lara Moore. 

“Public universities are often hit hardest in recessions, but we are advocating that this is actually the time to invest in graduates who are workforce ready,” Moore said. 

Capital construction projects also present an economic recovery opportunity and can provide local employment while completing needed improvements and maintenance. EOU collaborates with other Oregon public universities and the Higher Education Coordinating Committee to make recommendations for construction funding. 

EOU received $579,000 for the institution and the same amount to be awarded directly to students through the federal CARES Act. So far, about $300,000 has been distributed to EOU students. As the university looks toward resuming on-campus activities in the fall, these funds will continue to be available. 

Moore also presented two tuition and fee proposals for 2020-21. After extended discussion, trustees approved the proposal with lower tuition increases. Under this plan, on-campus resident tuition will increase by 4.2% per student credit hour, a difference of $7 per credit. Mandatory enrollment fees for on-campus resident students go up by 5.5%, and overall cost of attendance, which is based on a student taking 45 credits and living on campus with a medium meal plan, increases by 3.8%.

“Note that whenever we have to raise tuition, we also increase our fee remissions budget, which will be at $3.03 million for 2020-21 so we can be responsive to student needs,” Moore said. “We’re using every lever in our toolbox to soften the impact of COVID-19.”

By holding tuition increases at a minimum, EOU will have to use about $2.6 million from its fund balance and also cut approximately $1.5 million from its Education and General Budget to offset anticipated State funding reductions. 

The preliminary general budget was approved, as well as the operating budget, which includes auxiliary functions such as housing, dining and athletics. As variables such as enrollment and state funding come into focus over the next several months, these preliminary budgets will be finalized. Trustees will approve final budgets for FY21 in the fall. 

Four trustees will likely have left the board by that time. Staff representative Helen Moore, faculty representative Gary Keller, student representative Quentin Durfee and at-large trustee Jer Pratton all will conclude their terms of service and rotate off the Board over the summer. Brad Stephens was nominated to continue serving for another term. 

Although Governor Kate Brown has not yet approved a student or at-large nominee, faculty member Karyn Gomez and staff member Danny Bailey have been nominated by the Governor to join the board for two-year terms beginning in August. 

“Thank you for the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong goal by serving on a board like this,” Keller said. “To the incoming trustees, you’re looking at a great group of people who make a difference at the university.”

In other business, the board also voted to begin investigating an in-depth presidential evaluation process that must be conducted every five years. This will be the first time EOU’s independent board has embarked on such a process, and it’s anticipated to take at least a year to complete. The board also completed its mandated self-evaluation, and shared governance leaders gave their final reports.

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Virtual ceremony to recognize EOU 2020 graduates https://www.eou.edu/news-press/virtual-ceremony-to-recognize-eou-2020-graduates/ Fri, 05 Jun 2020 20:20:53 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31826 Virtual ceremony to recognize EOU 2020 graduates

June 5, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – More than 800 Eastern Oregon University graduates will be recognized in a virtual conferral ceremony on June 13. 

The university will post a celebration video at 10 a.m. on EOU’s Livestream on June 13, the same day EOU’s original commencement ceremony would have taken place. 

Graduates, along with their families and friends, can tune in from around the world shortly before 10 a.m., Pacific Standard Time, for a series of video messages from university leaders, faculty and the 2020 President’s Scholar Mariah Meyerholz. Graduates’ names, along with their degree, awards and honors, will scroll along the screen while deans and professors share messages of congratulation. 

Viewers can interact with one another and recognize peers via the video’s live chat and reaction tools. The Registrar’s Office encourages graduates to post photos and videos of their remote “watch parties” with #EOUGraduation. 

Vice President for Student Affairs Lacy Karpilo will provide a welcome message and instructions for viewers. Trustee George Mendoza and EOU President Tom Insko will also speak, as well as Provost Sarah Witte. Leaders from EOU’s on-campus partners, Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University will also address the graduates assembled virtually. The ceremony will conclude with an official conferring of degrees from President Insko.

The video will also be streamed on EOU’s Facebook page. For more information about the virtual conferral ceremony, contact the Registrar’s Office at commencement@eou.edu or visit eou.edu/commencement

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EOU alumnus explores relationship between humans and monkeys in rural Japan https://www.eou.edu/news-press/eou-alumnus-explores-relationship-between-humans-and-monkeys-in-rural-japan/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 06:27:19 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31819 EOU alumnus explores relationship between humans and monkeys in rural Japan

June 04, 2020, LA GRANDE, Ore. –  Recent EOU alumnus, Calvin Edward, ‘15, earned the nickname “The Monkey Guy” from peers and professors in Tokyo. Edward prepared a case study for his graduate school research in regards to human-monkey (macaque) conflicts in urban and forested areas of Nikko City, Japan. 

“The species has a very rich and interesting history within Japanese culture,” Edward said. “I immediately fell in love with the topic.”

Edward presented his research, “Primate Pandemonium: Wild Macaque Management in Rural Japan” through a virtual EOU Colloquium on Thursday, May 28. 

During his time at EOU, Edward studied anthropology and sociology. Now a master’s student at the London School of Economics, he has mingled elements of zoology with his work, making his official field of study anthrozoology. Anthrozoology is the study of human and nonhuman animal relations across culture and location.

Due to the confines of geography, humans and wildlife have conflicted in various parts of the world. In rural Japan, monkeys often steal from humans and cause significant damage to agriculture and property. 

The residents and local government of Nikko City feel these damages are not incidental, but malicious. They view the acts as a violation of the boundary that separates humans and wildlife.

Edward focused his master’s dissertation work on this phenomenon. 

“I hope to challenge the ways in which people understand themselves in relation to nature, animals, and so on by highlighting that we as a species not only think about other beings but are also thought about by other beings,” Edward said. “Humans are objects of others’ thinking.”

Edward’s Colloquium explored avenues to put monkeys back into their designated spaces as a means to protect human property, infrastructure and ideological placement in relation to wild animals. 

“Rethinking the placement of humans in relation to nonhumans (animals, environments, etc.) will be a necessary step in creating and facilitating a more just and sustainable world,” he said.

“Looking past the monkeys and people of Nikko,” Edward said, “I think there’s a little bit of something here for everybody, since we all have some kind of relationship to nonhuman animals that we often fail to think about critically.”

As a next step in Edward’s research, he plans to observe the relationship between feral dogs and humans in landfill settings.

Written by PR Intern Briana Rosenkranz.

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President’s Scholar commits to giving back https://www.eou.edu/news-press/presidents-scholar-commits-to-giving-back/ Wed, 03 Jun 2020 21:40:47 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31813 President’s Scholar commits to giving back

June 3, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. –  Eastern Oregon University’s 2020 President’s Scholar completed her degree in December and is already taking her next step toward a career in helping others. 

EOU President Tom Insko selected graduating senior Mariah Meyerholz as this year’s President’s Scholar after reviewing essay submissions from a range of students.

Meyerholz plans to pursue a Master of Social Work degree in integrated health, mental health and substance abuse at the University of Michigan, starting this fall. 

“Over my time at EOU, it became more clear that social work was where I should go,” Meyerholz said. “I always wanted to be in the medical field, but not deal with bodily fluid. Social work is an essential part of healthcare now and it’s growing. I want to be the person who helps guide people through the healthcare system and connect them with resources or support.”

A graduate of Grant Union High School in John Day, Meyerholz enrolled at EOU with an undecided major. After meeting with an advisor and taking her first sociology class, she knew it would take her to where she belonged. 

Almost five years later, Meyerholz has earned a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology/Sociology and a minor in Health Studies from EOU. Along the way, she learned to step outside of her comfort zone. 

“I grew up in an area that’s even more rural than La Grande,” Meyerholz said. “When I came and visited, it felt like I wasn’t just another person in the crowd. I felt like I could make an impact here. … As soon as professors knew I was willing to be involved and put my best forward, they were ready to connect me with opportunities.”

During her time on campus, she facilitated health promotion programs for EOU students, at-risk youth and La Grande School District employees. She also helped establish a new location for EOU’s Get Outside-After School Activity Program (GO-ASAP) within the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). 

“GO-ASAP got special funding to expand to the CTUIR, so it became more STEM-focused and about career development, as well as outdoor activities with the La Grande group. I was helping create the program to suit the community’s needs,” Meyerholz said. “I learned how important it is to make sure the people you’re working with have a voice. You can’t just assume that the same program will benefit different sets of people in different environments.” 

Meyerholz presents her capstone research in McKenzie Theatre as a keynote speaker at the 2019 Spring Symposium.

One of her most notable achievements is volunteering for the Union County Friday Backpack Program, which aims to address food insecurity among elementary school children. Other accomplishments include being a consecutive dean’s list recipient, a co-recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Student of Sociology award, and a keynote speaker at EOU’s 2019 Spring Symposium.

“It’s a really strange time to be a college graduate, and it’s difficult to go through years of school and not have that moment to celebrate together,” Meyerholz said. “Enduring all of these challenges and using that fear to better yourself—that’s essentially what everybody’s done.”

Meyerholz was born in Bend and raised in Canyon City, Oregon where she lived for 18 years with her parents and two sisters. She has worked for the Oregon Department of Forestry for five years on a Helitack crew out of John Day. She enjoys spending time with family, outdoor recreation, and volunteering for community projects that aim to improve quality of life and achieve health equity for all.

As the President’s Scholar, Meyerholz will speak during EOU’s virtual conferral ceremony. The ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 13.

She said she’s looking forward to the opportunity to address her class. 

“This is a unique graduating class,” Meyerholz said. “It makes students really relentless and committed to their education. Our society is going to be different after this, and we’ll have to continue adapting in our careers.

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Virtual student events create fun from afar https://www.eou.edu/news-press/virtual-student-events-create-fun-from-afar/ Sun, 31 May 2020 18:40:59 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31796 Virtual student events create fun from afar

May 27, 2020, LA GRANDE, Ore. –  In compliance with social distancing measures, campus leaders are getting creative to involve students from a distance. 

Large scale events planned by resident assistant (RA) trainees have been reimagined. This year, potential RAs are inviting students to join them virtually, including those who left campus due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Each year, a select handful of students interview to become RAs. Those who pass the interview are accepted into the training class. The most suited for the position are chosen at the end of the class to fill RA positions the following year. 

One requirement of the class is for students to break into groups and plan large scale events. This year’s trainees were challenged by unprecedented circumstances as many students chose to study remotely during spring term.

A student in the class and hopeful RA, Joseph O’Brien said connecting with students and building meaningful friendships is more important than ever.

“These programs are made to give students a break from these stressful and unpredictable times,” he said.

From hosting virtual events to doing Instagram takeovers, EOU’s Residence Life aims to keep students engaged with peers, coursework and co-curricular activities. 

One group is encouraging past and current on-campus students to post their memories by using the hashtag #EOUreslifemems. 

The first event showcased student talents with live or pre-recorded videos or pictures. Winners were rewarded with a movie gift basket delivered via mail. 

On May 27, students entered their pets into a pet pageant. Over a Zoom meeting, participants showed off their pets’ tricks, costumes or cuteness for a chance to win a prize.  

The last event uses the trending social media platform, TikTok. Over the course of one week, students can participate in a virtual scavenger hunt in an attempt to find items within their household. By following @eoureslife on TikTok, students can access more information. Once they complete the scavenger hunt, they record a video with the items, upload it and tag #eouscavenger2020 and move on to round two. The first 10 students to complete round two will receive a prize in the mail. 

“Our goal is for students to get active and have fun while remaining in the comfort of their own home or wherever they may be residing,” O’Brien said.

For more information, contact reslife@eou.edu

Written by PR Intern Briana Rosenkranz.

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Incoming faculty member brings expertise to new program https://www.eou.edu/news-press/incoming-faculty-member-brings-expertise-to-new-program/ Wed, 27 May 2020 02:09:40 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31779 Incoming faculty member brings expertise to new program

May 27, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. –  Shannon Donovan, Ph.D., is one of the first Sustainable Rural Systems (SRS) professors at Eastern Oregon University. As a founding faculty member, Donovan will help shape the program as it grows. 

The SRS program implements a project-based learning model designed to give students hands-on experience and training in all aspects of a rural community. 

The innovative nature of the new program attracted Donovan. 

“I love the idea of bridging the gap between academia and community,” she said.

Donovan plans to give students project-based experience while working with community members, aligning university needs with community needs, and providing students with the knowledge and tools needed to complete projects. 

Donovan received a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management at the University of New Hampshire, a Master of Science in Recreation and Forestry at West Virginia University, and a doctorate in Environmental Science at the University of Idaho. Her experience extends to bioregional planning, working with animals, forestry, recreation and tourism, education and outdoor education, geography and environmental studies. 

She also worked in Costa Rica with coffee growers and analyzed ecosystem services.

Donovan is looking forward to coming to La Grande. After working at the University of Alaska, Anchorage for 11 years, she is ready for change. 

“Particularly during these challenging times, things are hard for a lot of people and it presents a lot of challenges and a lot of opportunities to do things differently, address needs, and figure out how to meet them,” Donovan said. 

The SRS program includes environmental biology, economics and project leadership courses. Students will apply environmental science, resource ecology management and environmental policy to implement sustainable practices in rural communities.

After being awarded a $500,000 federal grant for its Brownfield Program, Baker Technical Institute will continue its restoration efforts of a historic central school building in Baker City. The SRS program has already established a meaningful partnership with BTI, and both programs will work to restore former industrial and commercial sites affected by environmental contamination.

Students will take on real-life rural challenges alongside community and industry partners. Projects might include restoration, refurbishing a historical building, analyzing industry changes after a timber mill closes, or exploring new methods of delivering healthcare in rural areas.

For more information, visit eou.edu/sustainable-rural-systems.

Written by PR Intern Briana Rosenkranz.

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Reopening plans in development https://www.eou.edu/news-press/reopening-plans-in-development/ Tue, 26 May 2020 21:30:21 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31775 EOU to develop reopening plan alongside employees, students

May 26, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – As universities wrap up spring term, Eastern Oregon University announced that it is developing campus reopening plans. 

Oregon’s public universities are working with state leaders and have developed a framework with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for review by the Oregon Health Authority. 

“We are looking forward to the gradual reopening of our main campus in preparation for fall term and a new academic year,” Vice President for University Advancement Tim Seydel said. “Our planning will be in alignment with public health guidance and with students and our employees at the forefront.”

To develop the operational details within this framework, EOU has created teams to work on specific resumption plans for each area of the university. These teams include employees and students who will help build out resumption plans for in-person classes, labs, office spaces, building access, athletics and residence halls. More specifics on these plans will be available over the next few weeks.  

While Union County was approved by the state to begin Phase I of the reopening process on May 15, EOU will continue to operate through remote access for the remainder of spring term. Campus offices and buildings also remain closed to the public during this time. 

“We continue our commitment to the health and well-being of our students and the continuation of their academic progress,” Seydel said. “Everyone—including the local community—has made an incredible effort to serve our students, not only academically, but also by reaching out to make sure students have the support they need during this time.”

Additional information about EOU’s response to the pandemic, as well as resources and FAQs, is available at eou.edu/coronavirus.

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Keeping the #EOUfun alive, even from home https://www.eou.edu/news-press/keeping-the-eoufun-alive-even-from-home/ Fri, 15 May 2020 17:16:31 +0000 https://www.eou.edu/?p=31762 Keeping the #EOUfun alive, even from home
EOU President Tom Insko reminds viewers that “there are no mistakes, only happy little accidents,” during his “Joy of Painting” video.

May 15, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Each week since mid-April, Eastern Oregon University President Tom Insko has sat down with his wife and two daughters to brainstorm content for online videos. 

Over the weekend, their family goes into production mode. Collectively a 6- to 8-hour process, they produce bits that will resonate with students, alumni and employees of the university. 

From “The Joy of Painting with President Insko,” to “The Great Mountie Baking Show,” to “Getting Back in the Saddle,” Insko finds ways to engage viewers on social media. The initial video, in which Insko does yoga poses in a suit and tie, introduces the lighthearted series and challenges viewers to exercise their minds and bodies in new ways while learning remotely. 

“The idea is to help people stay connected, bring a smile to their faces and pass along the Mountaineer spirit,” he said.

While pretending to be artist Bob Ross in one video, he paints a masterpiece while voicing positive, encouraging adages that the well-loved PBS host became known for. By the end, he displays his finished product — actually his daughter’s painting. 

“I am involved, so it is obvious there would be bloopers,” Insko said. “I hope these videos humanize me as the president of the university.” 

Insko shows off his daughter’s painting at the end of his Bob-Ross-inspired video posted in April.

Insko said he started creating videos to keep the university community connected during these challenging times. 

“I want our community to recognize I am doing these videos to show I care for them and want them to have a positive experience being a part of EOU,” Insko said. “I don’t want students to miss out on being a Mountaineer.”

With seniors in high school and college, Insko understands the moments students missed out on this spring. 

“Pride and connection with this institution help students be successful in higher education,” he said.

Using a camera or smartphone, Insko encouraged Mountaineers to share their at-home activities with the hashtag #EOUfun. 

Written by PR Intern Briana Rosenkranz.

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