New issue of EOU’s literary publication hits bookshelves

Contact: David Axelrod | “basalt” Editor
541-962-3633 |
"basalt" 2011 cover

The new issue of "basalt" features the first English translation of a memoir by former Swedish Nobel Laureate, Harry Martinson.

September 23, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The new issue of Eastern Oregon University’s international literary publication, “basalt,” volume 6, number 1, was recently published and is available for purchase.

The new issue features the 2011 Bunchgrass Poetry Prize winner, Stacy Heiney, whose poem “The Breaking Around Us Is Huge,” is the first recipient of the $500 annual award from “basalt.”

Also featured is photography by the well-known Oregon photographer Terry Toedtemeier, who was the long-time photography curator at the Portland Art Museum, and co-edited the popular volume, “Wild Beauty,” which collected a century of historical photography of the Columbia Gorge. The Toedtemeier portfolio includes a memoir about the photographer by renowned eastern Oregon artist, James Lavadour.

Other works featured in this issue are by many writers well-known to readers around the country, as well as translations from Portuguese and Italian.

The “basalt” editors are particularly pleased to make available for the first time the English translation from Swedish of a memoir by former Nobel Laureate, Harry Martinson.

“The Martinson piece is fascinating,” said Jodi Varon, “basalt” editor. “As a young man, he signed on as a sailor and travelled all over the world in the period just following the First World War.”

“Particularly compelling is Martinson’s memories of working in Belgium, literally shoveling spent shell casing out of farmers’ ditches in Flanders,” added David Axelrod, Varon’s fellow editor. “It’s one of those rare, odd glimpses of the enormity and costs of war.”

Varon and Axelrod are both professors of English and writing at EOU. Ben Mitchell, senior curator of art at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane, and James Crews, recent writer-in-residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and Caldera Arts in Sisters, are also editors of the publication.

In addition to the print edition of “basalt,” readers can find news, reviews and articles at Copies of the print version are available for $10 through the website and at local bookstores. The publication is sponsored in part by the EOU Foundation.

For more information call 541-962-3633 or e-mail

Alumni art show opens exhibit season at Nightingale Gallery

Contact: Cory Peeke | Nightingale Gallery Director
541-962-3584 |
Alumni Exhibition 2011

The work of 11 EOU art program graduates will be showcased for the "Alumni Exhibition" opening Sept. 30.

September 20, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The Nightingale Gallery of Eastern Oregon University will begin the 2011-12 season with the triennial “Alumni Exhibition.” There will be an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 in the gallery in Loso Hall. The show runs through Oct. 28.

The exhibit features work by 11 EOU alumni, representing a span of 40 years of art program graduates. Their work covers a wide range of media, from drawing to painting to mixed media to sculpture.

Those showing include nationally recognized 1970 graduate Don Gray, as well as up and coming 2009 grads Mariah Boyle and Devin Farrand. Other exhibiting artists include: Shannon Berg (2006); Elizabeth Garton (2011); Jaime Gustavson (2000); Dawn Lepper (2006); Austin McDonald (2005); Jessica Parries (2011); Jessie Street and Marguerite Torres (both 2009).

In addition to presenting a diverse selection of creative work, the gallery will welcome back to campus several of the above mentioned alumni artists.

“We are pleased to have such talented artists out in the world representing the strengths of our program and this university,” said Cory Peeke, Nightingale Gallery director. “We are even more pleased they have chosen to share their creative endeavors and insights with our current students and the regional arts community.”

Devin Farrand, a sculptor and recent master of fine arts graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art, will give a presentation on his current body of work at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 in Zabel Hall, Room 142.

Farrand is currently living and working in Los Angeles. He will also take part in a panel discussion on graduate school experiences for art majors at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 in Loso Hall, Room 116. 

Other panelists include Mariah Boyle, a current master of fine arts candidate at Washington State University; Shannon Berg, a recent graduate of Montana State University’s graduate program in art; Jaime Gustavson, a 2007 graduate of Vermont College Union Institute’s low-residency master of fine arts program; and Jessie Street, art educator and 2009 graduate of EOU’s master of arts in teaching program.

Each of the five presenters bring to the conversation a unique perspective representative of a variety of approaches to post-graduate education in the visual arts. The panel will be informative for both current EOU art majors and others who are considering pursuing a graduate degree. Both presentations are free and open to the public.

Nightingale Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information visit or connect with the gallery on Facebook at

Opening session activities usher in new academic year at EOU

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 |
President Bob Davies gives State of the University Address

President Bob Davies will give the "State of the University Address" at 9 a.m. Monday.

September 16, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU)- Opening session begins Monday, Sept. 19 for the 2011-12 academic year at Eastern Oregon University.

Opening remarks and the “State of the University Address” from EOU President Bob Davies begin at 9 a.m. in McKenzie Theatre in Loso Hall. The address is open to the public.

Following the President’s address and for the remainder of the week, faculty and staff will be involved in preparing for the arrival of students and the academic year. A schedule for college meetings is available at

EOU will welcome new undergraduates beginning Sept. 18 with orientation activities for international students. All new students are invited to participate in Mountie Week of Welcome Sept. 21-28. Special sessions for transfer, non-traditional and veteran students will also be held.

Fall term classes start Monday, Sept. 26. For information about Mountie WOW visit

New book benefits crisis scholarship for education students

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 |
Golden Motes book cover

Copies of "Golden Motes" will be available to purchase at the Sept. 22 unveiling.

September 13, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – A new anthology featuring the writing and photography of EOU faculty will be unveiled at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Integrated Services Building at 1607 Gekeler Lane.

Live music, refreshments and readings by the book’s contributors are part of the event. All are invited to attend.

Supporting the Education Student Crisis Scholarship is the motivation behind the “Golden Motes” collection just out from Mt. Emily Press.

The fund is established with the EOU Foundation and provides emergency awards of up to $500 to students enrolled in the university’s education program.

“There are so many students who make it nearly to completion and then run out of funds or face other hardships,” said Carol Lauritzen, EOU professor of education. “The scholarship is intended to help students through difficult times. It’s a place for them to turn when they need help.”

Lauritzen compiled and edited the anthology. She hopes the book will raise awareness of an opportunity to donate to the crisis scholarship, while also honoring the creativity of her colleagues in the College of Education.

The 64-page paperback includes poetry, essays, short stories, photographs and remembrances of 12 different education faculty members. Jan Dinsmore, professor of education at EOU’s regional center in Ontario, designed the cover.

Copies of “Golden Motes” will be available for $10 at the event or by contacting Lauritzen directly at 541-962-3557. Checks should be made payable to the EOU Foundation with Education Student Crisis Scholarship noted in the memo line.

Girls in Science gears up for annual event on Oct. 22

Contact: Heather Chandler | Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center
541-962-3423 |
2010 Girls in Science

Photo by Andrew Murray / Karen Antell, EOU professor of biology, assists a student during last year's Girls in Science event.

September 8, 2011
La Grande, Ore. - Girls in Science registration is open to students in grades six through eight from Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Hood River, northern Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler counties.

Participants will spend a day investigating and solving the mystery of “Death by too much of a good thing?”

The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 22 on the EOU campus.

EOU, Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center, Soroptimist of La Grande and the American Chemical Society (Richland Chapter) are partnering to present the annual program.

Faculty, staff and student volunteers play an integral role in organizing activities that include elements of chemistry, biology, anthropology, mathematics and computer science.

To participate in Girls in Science, registration must be received by Friday, Sept. 30. The event is limited to 100 registrants and participant slots are typically filled prior to the deadline.

The cost to attend is $5 and the fee must be included with the complete registration.

To read more about this educational opportunity, visit NEOAHEC online at and download the application. Forms are available in English and Spanish.

For questions contact Brenna Dunlap, NEOAHEC education coordinator, at 541-962-3801 or e-mail

Mathematical Association of America presents award to math modeling team from EOU

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | 

September 1, 2011

Rachel Burton & Jadon Herron attend MAA MathFest

Submitted photo/Students Rachel Burton, of La Grande, and Jadon Herron, of Union, presented at the Mathematical Association of America’s annual MathFest conference Aug. 4-6 in Lexington, Ky.

LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Early on a southern summer morning, two students from eastern Oregon recounted for an audience of their peers how an answer to a mathematical model brought them international acclaim.

Rachel Burton, of La Grande, and Jadon Herron, of Union, were in Lexington, Ky., to speak at the Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) MathFest conference Aug. 4-6 and receive an award on behalf of a team from Eastern Oregon University.

The team’s calculations won the day for the annual Mathematical Contest in Modeling sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Application (COMAP). The competition, held in February, spanned 96-hours and teams from colleges and universities around the world participated.

Burton, Herron and fellow EOU student Alexander Macavoy, of La Grande, took home the Outstanding Award – the highest honor of the competition. They were one of just four teams and the only from the U.S. to garner such recognition.

Their conclusion to the complex “continuous” math problem is what they shared with the group at MathFest. Professors and other students wanted to know how they determined the shape of a half-pipe snowboard course that would maximize the production of vertical air achieved by a skilled snowboarder.

“A lot of faculty were curious to know what we did,” Burton said. “We felt like ‘first-timers’ around the Ivy League schools, but it was a lot of fun being with other people who are familiar with math modeling competitions.”

The MAA presented one other school – Virginia Tech – with an award at the conference.

“I’m really glad we participated,” Herron said. “It gave us the opportunity to apply what we learned in class for the contest and our presentation.”

Burton, Herron and Macavoy each received a certificate from the MAA and EOU will display the plaque for the team award in the Science Center. Anthony Tovar, associate professor of physics, is their adviser.

“The team tackled a topic that was of interest to them, so they actually had fun working on math for four straight days…it was amazing!” Tovar said.

Their victorious participation in COMAP is also attracting attention from beyond the MAA. Princeton University and a school from China have contacted the team with requests to study their technical manuscript submission.

“EOU is immensely proud of Rachel, Jadon and Alexander,” said Sarah Witte, acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Their achievement is a testament to applied learning in EOU’s small college environment with top-notch, engaged faculty teachers and researchers.”

Burton is a senior mathematics major at EOU. Herron, a senior pre-engineering student, will be transferring to complete his degree at Oregon State. Macavoy is a junior at EOU and is currently participating in the Oregon Study Abroad program in Germany.


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