EOU photo by Andrew Murray / Participants in FBLA's regional conference converge in Zabel Hall. Photo by Andrew Murray / Participants in FBLA’s Regional Skills Conference will converge at EOU Feb. 6.

More than 400 regional high-schoolers vie for spot at state FBLA conference

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu

January 30, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) - EOU is hosting the 2014 Future Business Leaders of America Regional Skills Conference Thursday, Feb. 6.

The event is expected to draw 460 students from 15 eastern Oregon high schools, all competing for a spot among the top 10 finishers who will advance to the state conference in Portland this spring.

Agribusiness, insurance and risk management are new areas of focus in the competition this year. Other events in public and impromptu speaking, job interviewing – 40 different tests in all – are designed to assess students’ knowledge and aptitude.

Students competing are from Baker, Condon, Elgin, John Day, Helix, Heppner, Imbler, Joseph, La Grande, Nyssa, Ontario, Pendleton, Stanfield, Union and Vale.

Results will be announced at a public awards assembly at 12:30 p.m. in McKenzie Theatre in Loso Hall.

CEAD Logo digital 2014_FIXED_web

Conference offers professional setting for students to develop as leaders

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu
Source contact: Raven Rodriguez | Multicultural Center Marketing & Promotions Assistant
541-962-3094 | mccenter@eou.edu
CEAD Pix 2014

C.E.A.D. participants

January 29, 2014
– EOU’s third annual Celebrate, Educate and Appreciate Diversity (C.E.A.D.) conference is taking place Saturday, Feb. 8.

Registrations are being accepted through Monday, Feb. 3. Attendance is free for university students and staff, and $25 for community members. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Participants may also receive a certificate reflecting five hours of diversity training.

Sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. and wrap up at 2:30 p.m. with all workshops and presentations held in Badgley Hall on campus.

Structured much like a professional conference, CEAD is intended to help students gain skills that will enable them to develop as leaders and make connections with their peers. Networking opportunities between organizational leaders is also a focus, and all activities aim to increase competence in working with diverse individuals and groups.

“C.E.A.D. allows students to broaden their horizons and learn something new about diversity and others,” said EOU sophomore Julie Gulliford.

Gulliford will be presenting a workshop titled “Inclusion at its Greatest” focusing on how to include others regardless of personality, appearance or other characteristics individuals may have.

As a previous conference attendee, Gulliford added that completing diversity training helps students who are building their resumes.

“You learn a lot and you can have fun while doing so,” she said.

Donald Easton-Brooks, Ph.D.

Donald Easton-Brooks, Ph.D.

Donald Easton-Brooks, EOU’s new dean of business and education, is the featured speaker. With over 10 years of experience in higher education administration, Easton-Brooks has also taught courses in cultural relevancy in education, educational polices and early childhood special education. His research and publications explore the impact of economics, academic achievement and educational policy on African American students.

Register online at http://eou.orgsync.com/org/multiculturalcenter/cead. For more information contact Bennie Moses, director of EOU’s Multicultural Student Center, at 541-962-3741.

Poet Robert Wrigley & novelist Kim Barnes read at EOU

Contact: David Axelrod | Ars Poetica Lecture Series at EOU
541-962-3633 | daxelrod@eou.edu

January 29, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The Ars Poetica Literary Lecture Series welcomes husband and wife duo Robert Wrigley and Kim Barnes, of Moscow, Idaho, Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Their combined reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Pierce Library at EOU and is free and open to the public. Local band Whisky Barrel Rocker will also perform.

Robert Wrigley

Robert Wrigley

Wrigley will share selections from his new award-winning poetry collection “The Anatomy of Melancholy,” while Barnes will read from her recent and widely praised novel “In the Kingdom of Men.”

Wrigley’s latest collection won the Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Association prize for best book of poetry by a Northwest poet.

Six-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize, Wrigley’s other honors include the Kingsley Tufts Award, The San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Eight published books include “Lives of the Animals” and his work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Atlantic, Barrow Street, The New Yorker and Best American Poetry.

Barnes’ novel “In the Kingdom of Men” was named a best book of 2012. Set in the 1960s, it is the story of a young woman who follows her husband to Saudi Arabia.

Kim Barnes

Kim Barnes

Barnes’ first memoir “In the Wilderness: Coming to Age In An Unknown Country” was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and received the PEN/Jerand Fund Award. Her novel “A Country Called Home” was named a best book of 2008 by numerous publications.

Barnes is also a recipient of the Pushcart Prize, among other honors. She has authored one other novel and memoir, written multiple essays and is co-editor of two anthologies of women-writers’ work. Topics of exploration include the American West, religious fundamentalism, women’s issues, logging and the environment.

Wrigley and Barns are English faculty at the University Idaho where they teach creative writing and work in the master of fine arts program.

A question and answer session with the authors will follow the reading and copies of their books will be available to purchase.

Campus open today, Jan. 29

The EOU La Grande campus is open today, Wednesday, January 29.

Crews are working to keep pathways clear, but all faculty, staff and students are encouraged to take their time and use extra caution.

Check the EOU website or call the information hotline at 541-962-3844 for updates.


wallowastraverse_webEOU’s campus and the Wallowa Mountains serve as backdrop for second annual event.

Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival returns to Union & Wallowa counties 

Contact: Jerry Isaak | EOU Outdoor Program Coordinator
541-962-3621 (office); 541-910-2021 (cell)
E-mail: gisaak@eou.edu | Website: www.eou.edu/outdoor

January 28, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) - The annual Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival is taking place at locations in La Grande and Joseph, Feb. 14-16.

Activities will kick-off with an avalanche awareness presentation at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb.14.

Festival organizer Jerry Isaak will lead the one-hour session in the Gilbert Center at Eastern Oregon University.

Isaak is the coordinator of EOU’s Outdoor Program, a student and community resource for rental equipment, classes and guided trips. He is also a member of the Wallowa Avalanche Center’s board of directors. Now in its second year, the festival raises money to support the center.

“All the events are free to attend and participate in,” Isaak explained. “We will be raising funds for the avalanche center through raffles, and we want people to know that even small donations can make a big difference to a local non-profit that serves the communities of northeastern Oregon.”

Following the avalanche awareness session is the highly regarded Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival starting at 7 p.m., also in the Gilbert Center.

The film festival attracts submissions from renowned producers searching backcountry corners across the globe, to grassroots filmmakers equipped with video cameras on weekend excursions.

On Saturday, events will move to the Ferguson Ridge Ski Area in Joseph with an Uphill/Downhill Race starting at 9 a.m. The race has a cowboy theme with prizes for the best dressed racing cowboy or cowgirl.

Backcountry related clinics follow at 10 a.m.

Later in the afternoon, events shift locations again to the Salt Creek Summit Sno-Park where participants will have the opportunity to practice rescue skills and learn from experienced avalanche educators at the Beacon Training Park.

On Sunday, skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to self-organize trips to the backcountry of the Eagle Cap Wilderness to explore the Wallowa Mountains in winter.

“We are looking forward to this year’s festival and hoping to raise money for the avalanche center, as well as provide a fun event for local and regional backcountry skiers and snowboarders,” Isaak said.

For more information contact Isaak at 541-910-2012 or gisaak@eou.edu. To learn about the Wallowa Avalanche Center visit www.wallowaavalanchecenter.org.

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Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival schedule:

Friday, Feb. 14 – Gilbert Center, EOU Campus, La Grande

5:30-6:30 p.m. – Avalanche Awareness Presentation
7 p.m. – Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival

Saturday, Feb 15 – Ferguson Ridge Ski Area, Joseph

9 a.m. – Uphill/Downhill Race (prizes for best cowboy/cowgirl costume)
10 a.m. – Backcountry Clinics at Ferguson Ridge
1 p.m. – Companion Rescue and Backcountry Clinics at Salt Creek Summit Sno-Park

Sunday, Feb. 16 – Wallowa Mountains

Self-organized free touring day in the Eagle Cap Wilderness

Legare.Welcome_large“Welcome,” by Guillaume Légaré, digital c-print, 4” x 6” (2012).

Gallery exhibition reunites artists of Winter Wren residency

Contact: Cory Peeke | Nightingale Gallery Director, EOU
541-962-3584 | cpeeke@eou.edu

January 24, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Participants of a unique artist residency program are reuniting for “The Return of the Winter Wrens” exhibition opening Friday, Feb. 7 in Nightingale Gallery at EOU.

Ryan Pierce

Ryan Pierce

Winter Wren was a temporary residency program run by Ryan Pierce, visiting professor of art at EOU in 2012. The premise was simple: artists could stay from one to four weeks in the upstairs of the house Pierce rented from EOU art faculty member Jessica Plattner, exploring the area and utilizing Plattner’s studio space in return for giving a short lecture at the university.

The project operated under the auspices of Signal Fire, an organization Pierce co-founded with Amy Harwood in 2008 to provide wilderness retreats and residencies for artists of all disciplines using public land.

The program specifically sought to introduce artists to the natural wonders of the Blue Mountains and Grande Ronde Valley. In turn, EOU students had the opportunity to meet these new artists who came from San Francisco, Montana, Portland – even abroad.

“The Winter Wren Residency allowed me to share my enthusiasm for this area with a crop of artists from as far away as Australia and Quebec,” Pierce explained. “The artists explored the open spaces around La Grande, created work and shared their knowledge, warmth and energy with the university community. Now the Winter Wrens return to us to share the product of their labors.”

Seven of the eight participating artists are exhibiting works. They are Nicole Breedon, Wayne Bund, Kiera Brew Kurec, Guillaume Légaré, Rebecca Najdowski, Julie Perini and Kerri Rosenstein.

Pieces were made either during the residency or influenced by their experiences in La Grande.

An opening reception for the artists is from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 7 at Nightingale Gallery in Loso Hall.

Pierce will also give a free, public talk about his studio practice and Signal Fire residency at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 in Zabel Hall, Room 101.

See “Return of the Winter Wrens” through Feb. 28. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information visit www.eou.edu/art or “Like” the gallery on Facebook.

Hit Shuffle on iPod to mix then, now

By Jeff Petersen | Go! staff

View original article at www.gonortheastoregon.com
Reprinted with permission

Click image for larger view.

Posted January 22, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Beatles led off the series with a home run. Then coming to bat were shows featuring the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

Now the Eastern Oregon University Music Department and Chamber Choir is taking on its biggest challenge yet —  the Then & Now Hit Shuffle.

Shows will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 and 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Feb. 1 at McKenzie Theatre. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, and $6 each for group tickets of 10 or more. Tickets are available at Red Cross Drug, Looking Glass Books, the EOU Bookstore and the Mountaineer Market on Adams Avenue.

Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.

“The show covers a time period from black and white to color, from reel to reel to the iPod,” said EOU Music Professor Peter Wordelman. “If someone hits shuffle on their iPod, they get a little of everything. This concert has that.”

Probably the oldest song to be performed is “Sing Sing Sing” recorded in 1937 by the Benny Goodman Orchestra. The youngest song is “Some Nights” from 2012 by the indie pop band Fun.

Such diversity has proved challenging for Catherine Herrmann-Kossi, a visiting artist here for three weeks, the event’s choreographer and dance instructor. Herrmann-Kossi, from New York City, works at the Broadway Dance Center and dances for Cecilia and Martha.

Herrmann-Kossi is no stranger to La Grande. She grew up here, attended EOU and is now in her third year working with the annual show. She was also part of the ’70s and ’80s shows.

“It’s challenging this year,” she said. “It’s every era and every style, and all have different techniques. Students are having to swallow a whole lot in a hurry.”

Herrmann-Kossi gets high praise from Wordelman.

“She does a great job of capturing different elements of dance from the different eras,” he said.

The show moves fast. In one section, the presentation quickly moves through ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s dance tunes.

“We go from ‘Rock Around the Clock,’ a ’50s tune, to ‘Locomotion,’ a ’60s tune,” Wordelman said, “to ‘I Can’t Dance’ by Genesis from the early ’90s, then to a ’70s tune called ‘Play that Funky Music’ by Wild Cherry.”

The band for the show is led by Luke McKern, a guitarist and electronic musician. Roger Barnes plays bass, Teun Fetz drums and Danny Bailey keyboards.”

“Luke McKern is so creative,” Wordelman said. “He’s a huge part of the success of the show.”

Wordelman said he enjoys the challenge of the hit shuffle.

“We often pair an older song with a new song,” he said. “The most blatant example is we do a version of a medley of ‘I Want You Back/ABC,’ two songs by Jackson 5, the boy band of the ’70s, and pair that with a song called ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ by One Direction, basically the main boy band of today.”

The result? An odd mix of songs, just as you’d get on an iPod shuffle.

This year’s project will be four weeks in the making when it hits the stage Jan. 31. In previous years, the group has had just three weeks to prepare.

“The students have had to work hard on their dancing and singing,” Wordelman said.

It may be hard work, but Herrmann-Kossi makes it fun.

“My strategy is to keep them in a state of play,” Herrmann-Kossi said. “As long as they stay in a friendly environment, they will do a lot.”

Adkison named provost at Henderson State University

Source contact: Tim Seydel | University Advancement
541-910-1723 | tseydel@eou.edu
News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu

January 23, 2014

Steve Adkison

Steve Adkison

LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Steve Adkison, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at EOU, has accepted the provost position at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark. beginning July 1.

Adkison and his wife Jennifer, an associate professor of English and writing, will remain at EOU through the end of spring term.

In his nearly four years at EOU, Adkison has overseen academic programs and operations. EOU also hired two deans and launched innovative new initiatives during his tenure, including Eastern Promise.

“For Jennifer and I, working at Eastern and living in La Grande has been an incredible experience and one we won’t soon forget,” Adkison said. “Changes in our extended family have made it important that we move closer to home and there is a welcome opportunity at Henderson. We will miss our friends at EOU and in the larger Union County community, and will treasure the connections we’ve made here.”

Bob Davies, EOU president, is sorry to see Adkison go, but understands his reasons for leaving.

“Steve has exemplified the ‘strong provost’ model we sought,” Davies said. “It is clear he has a deep desire to remain at EOU and serve in his critical leadership role – we’ve had many discussions about it. However, it is equally clear that he and Jennifer’s family ties to the southeast are significant and it is important for them to be close to their elderly parents.”

“I’m looking forward to actively working with Steve throughout the spring,” he added.

Davies is planning to seek out and appoint an interim provost and will initiate a national search during the 2014-15 academic year.

Take a closer look at bird behavior with biology professor

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu

January 22, 2014
birds_clipartLA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU)
– Laura Mahrt, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, shares her research into bird behavior for the colloquium this Thursday at EOU.

“Mixed Foraging Flock Behavior of Birds in Southern India” begins at 4 p.m. in Ackerman Hall, Room 210. A reception with question and answer session will follow.

Mahrt’s study of mixed flocks of foraging birds documented throughout the world reveals the purpose of this behavior is to either improve feeding efficiency or provide better protection from predators.

Mahrt finds two kinds of flock participants are recognized: those that join other species (“followers”) and are therefore more likely to be the recipients of the benefits of flock participation, and those that are joined (“leaders”).

A list of related resources provided by Pierce Library is available for more in-depth information on this topic. Visit http://library.eou.edu/colloquium. To be added to the colloquium mailing list call 541-962-3555.

Family physician & field surgeon shares experiences Jan. 23

Contact: Kimberly Mueller | EOU Pre-Professional Health Liaison
541-962-3070 | kmueller@eou.edu

January 21, 2014

Mary Deighton, D.O.

Dr. Mary Deighton will speak at 6 p.m. Jan. 23 in Badgley Hall, Room 102.

LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Mary Deighton, D.O., will be the next presenter for EOU’s Health Speaker Series Thursday, Jan. 23. Students and community members are invited to attend the free presentation at 6 p.m. in Badgley Hall, Room 102.

Deighton is a field surgeon with the National Guard stationed in La Grande and practices family medicine at Grande Ronde Hospital’s Regional Medical Clinic.

A board certified physician, Deighton completed her medical training at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and her residency at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Deighton was the lead physician for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and introduced the benefits of a therapy dog to her unit while deployed in Iraq.

Before moving to Union County she served at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles and the Warrior Family Medicine Clinic in Fort Carson, Colo.

The speaker series is organized by EOU and the Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center to provide students interested in pursuing healthcare careers the opportunity to hear first-hand experiences from members of the area medical community. The series continues through spring term with one presentation each month.

For more information visit www.eou.edu/prepro or contact Kimberly Mueller, EOU’s pre-professional health liaison, at 541-962-3070.