U.S. Diplomat Maureen Murray speaks July 2
News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu

June 27, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Maureen Murray will be at EOU Wednesday, July 2 sharing her international experiences as a diplomat for the U.S. Department of State.

The informal presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Room in Ackerman Hall, Room 208. It is free and open to the public. Students interested in careers with the Department of State are encouraged to attend.

Murray’s five years in the Foreign Service have taken her to Nicaragua, Brazil and soon West Africa, but she has ties to Union County as well.

Tessie Tarter Murray, a 1970 graduate of EOU, is Murray’s mother. She and her husband Dennis Murray live in Union. Lucia and Bill Tarter, who also lived in Union and La Grande, are Murray’s late grandparents.

Murray grew up in Arizona where her father Dennis was stationed in the Army at Fort Huachuca. Her family returned to Oregon when Murray was nine years old. Though they lived in Beaverton, she and her brother frequently visited their grandparents in Union.

After Murray graduated from Beaverton High School she attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She became a high school teacher and worked in Boston Public Schools for three years while she completed her master’s in education from Simmons College.

Soon after she started teaching in international schools in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and Damascus, Syria. While in Syria, Murray became acquainted with diplomats working at the U.S. Embassy and the interaction sparked an interest in pursuing the career herself.

Murray’s first assignment was as a trade officer. She has also served as a visa officer and American citizens services chief. Her next assignment begins in July as consular chief in Banjul, The Gambia in West Africa.

Murray is married to Carlos Jarquin and they have a son, Lucas, who is 15-months old.

Open house for transfer students is June 25
News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu

June 19, 2014

Admissions counselors and academic advisors will be in the Inlow Hall Welcome Center from 6-8 p.m.

Students can drop by the Welcome Center in Inlow Hall from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday to learn about options for transferring to EOU.

LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The first in a series of open houses for students looking to transfer to Eastern Oregon University is set for Wednesday, June 25.

Students are invited to drop by between 6-8 p.m. in the Welcome Center on the first floor of Inlow Hall. Free parking is available in the campus lot accessible from the 12th St. entrance.

Admissions counselors and academic advisors will be on hand to talk with students about transferring prior credits to EOU’s programs, how to apply, and accessing resources like scholarships, financial aid and other enrollment services. Options for online education will be covered, too.

EOU is hosting similar events around the region through September.

Interested students can also connect with a regional advisor on Google Hangouts between 12-1 p.m. the following dates: July 10 and 22; Aug. 14 and 26; and Sept. 11 and 23.

For more information call Admissions at 541-962-3393 or visit www.eou.edu/transfer.


Low-residency MFA program launches June 16
Contact: David Axelrod | MFA Program Co-Director
541-962-3633 | daxelrod@eou.edu

June 16, 2014
– Eastern Oregon University’s new master of fine arts in creative writing program kicks off its inaugural low-residency summer session today with two weeks of lectures and readings free and open to the public.

Lectures or “craft talks” begin at 11 a.m. each week in Loso Hall, Room 117 and last roughly one hour.

On June 16, poet Christopher Howell talks “Fad, Taste and the Criminal Life,” followed by young adult writer and memoirist Kerry Cohen speaking on “Subversive Narratives in Fiction and Non-Fiction” June 18.

On June 20, novelist and memoirist Lidia Yuknavitch discusses “The Voices Within Your Voice.”

Yuknavitch is teaching at EOU in 2014-15 and has just signed a two-book deal with Harper Books to publish “The Small Backs of Children” and “The Book of Joan.” Previous works include her memoir “The Chronology of Water” and novel “Dora: A Headcase.”

Poet Jennifer Boyden rounds out week one with her lecture “Logically: The Non Sequitur’s Place in Poetry” June 21.

During week two, non-fiction writer and EOU faculty member Jodi Varon discusses “Meta-Memoir and Incomplete Truth” June 23.

On June 25, novelist Scott Elliot speaks on the topic “Anything Could Happen: Openness to the Unexpected in Structure, Word and Deed.” Novelist Carter Sickels’ June 27 talk on “Place in Fiction” is the final lecture of the residency.

In addition to the craft lectures, there will be a panel from 9-10 a.m. June 18 in Loso Hall, Room 117, on the topic of “Building Community Through Arts Programming.” Susan Denning from Literary Arts will serve as moderator and panelists are Mike Midlo, program director of Fishtrap, Lyn Craig, executive director of LEO Libraries, David Memmott, publisher of WordCraft of Oregon, and Will Bowman, student director of the Ars Poetica Lecture Series at EOU.

Delivering a special guest lecture “On the History of the Book” is Nicole Howard, associate professor of history at EOU, from 9-10 a.m. June 27, also in Loso 117.

At 7:30 most evenings, participating faculty and visiting writers will read from their published works in Ackerman Hall, Room 208. Yuknavitch reads June 17; Cohen reads June 18; Sickels reads June 20; Boyden reads June 21; David Axelrod reads June 23; Elliot reads June 25; and Howell reads June 27.

Other faculty include Jon Raymond, teaching fall and winter 2014-15. He is known for his award-winning work as a screenwriter with Todd Haynes and Kelly Reichardt, with his most recent screenwriting collaboration with Reichardt on her film, “Night Moves,” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning.

Axelrod is the MFA program co-director and is teaching summer, winter and spring 2014-15. “Folly” is his latest of six collections of published poems. In addition to teaching at EOU, Axelrod directs the Ars Poetica Lecture Series and edits, along with Varon, the award-winning journal of fine and literary arts, “basalt.”

In addition to the summer and fall residencies, MFA students enrolled in a Wilderness Writing Concentration will participate in wilderness retreats and continue their creative work while exploring inner and outer landscapes intended to expand their definitions and appreciation for what is commonly called “wilderness.”

Justin Hocking is the director of the Wilderness Writing institute in 2014-15. His new memoir “The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld” has received much acclaim. A native westerner, Hocking worked in the New York publishing industry before moving to Portland where he is the executive director of the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC), a do-it-yourself publishing community in Portland.

For any interested individual with a bachelor of arts who is not admitted to the MFA program, there are still limited spots in the poetry and fiction graduate workshops taught by Howell and Sickels.

The second session of the program begins in October. Visit eou.edu/mfa for more information and a complete schedule.

Non-traditional path leads to great reward for 2014 President’s Scholar
News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu

June 12, 2014

Sheryln Roberts

Sheryln Roberts

LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Before Sheryln Roberts became a college student she raised a family, enjoyed a successful career and fulfilled her curiosity en route to exotic destinations.

Her 21-years as a corporate travel agent had definite perks, but when the company she worked for closed its La Grande office Roberts sought change.

So she began a different kind of journey – one that brought her to Eastern Oregon University – and it is opening doors for her and the community.

As the 2014 EOU President’s Scholar, Roberts is celebrating the completion of her degree in anthropology/sociology, and she is equally excited about beginning a new career helping others.

Roberts was recently hired by a fledgling program in Union County called C.A.R.E., which stands for Community Access for Resources and Effectiveness, and is modeled after a successful initiative in Umatilla County.

The position is tailor-made for Roberts’ newfound passion for social welfare, the focus of her studies at EOU. She credits the employment opportunity to the education she received from the university’s professors and staff.

“Bill Grigsby and Anna Maria Dill are my champions,” Roberts said.

Grigsby, associate professor of sociology, and Dill, retiring director of Student Success and Engagement, encouraged Roberts to become EOU’s Student Resource Advocate – a role she filled for her practicum – but also because she sincerely cares.

The Student Resource Advocate connects fellow students with campus and community services, ranging from tutoring to childcare to transportation and everything in between.

“There is a mix of students with unique needs, and it varies between traditional and non-traditional age groups,” Roberts explained. “The whole idea is to keep them in school and break down barriers.”

Anything that could be seen as a potential obstacle to completing their education, Roberts was there to help find a solution and put students at ease. She collaborated with the Sociology Department, Student Success and Engagement and Multicultural Center to establish the practicum and it will continue next year.

“Sheryln’s work as the Student Resource Advocate was groundbreaking,” Grigsby said. “She created something of lasting value out of nothing. Sometimes it takes a social science major to taunt the laws of physics.”

Roberts’ practicum experience also ties directly to her job as a C.A.R.E. resource coordinator, which she began May 21. Working directly with families on a referral basis, her primary aim is to help keep at-risk students in grades K-12 enrolled in school. Her service area encompasses Cove, Elgin, Imbler, North Powder and Union.

“It is gratifying to see talented and hard working students like Sheryln find employment in the region,” Grigsby added. “I look forward to working with her as a professional colleague.”

Roberts’ interest in social services stems from her interaction with Grigsby and also a position she held with the Commission on Children and Families after her job with the travel agency ended.

Encouraged by her boss to start taking classes, Roberts enrolled at EOU in 2009. It had been 23 years since she graduated from La Grande High School, but her husband Jess and daughters Jessica and Jordyn were behind her all the way. Jess even decided to pursue his bachelor’s in mathematics. As a couple, their commitment is strengthened as they complete their degrees together this term.

From lighthearted times with her niece and nephew volunteering to be models for a stage makeup class, to finding her rhythm with African drumming, to struggling with a research paper that ultimately garnered high praise from her professor, Roberts hopes her experiences will inspire others to face their fears.

“It’s intense walking into a classroom with students who are friends with your daughters,” she said. “I thought I didn’t belong in this world, but it was nothing like what I expected. I was included and have really taken that to heart.”

Roberts’ goal now is to provide her C.A.R.E. clients with that same sense of security.

EOU administration honors student leaders
Source contact: Le Alexander | Interim Director, Student Involvement
541-962-3714 | lalexand@eou.edu

June 9, 2014
 — Student leaders and organizations at Eastern Oregon University were recognized during the 2014 Student Leadership Awards June 5.

University students, faculty and staff nominated individuals and student-led organizations demonstrating a commitment to leadership and excellence during their time at EOU.

A selection committee consisting of staff and students chose the winners in 11 categories. EOU’s Center for Student Involvement sponsored the awards reception.

Among awards presented, seniors Brooke Stout and Kodi Riebling received the Student Leader of the Year Award for their work with clubs and organizations in efforts to increase the importance of co-curricular involvement at EOU.

Other awards and recipients are:

• New Student Club of the Year – EOU Garden Club
• Lending a Helping Hand – Pre-Professional Health Club
• Excellence in Promoting Diversity – Latino Impact
• Outstanding Club or Organization of the Year – Chemistry Club
• Outstanding Student Academic Support – Tracy Koenig and Sheryln Roberts
• Outstanding Student Administrative Support – Stephanie Maestretti and Cody Singer
• Rising Star of the Year – Cole Johnson
• Greatest Leap – Mary Asker
• Unsung Hero – Jacob Johansen
• Good Neighbor – Austin Saunders

The EOU chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success also inducted the following 10 students into the organization: Jamie Brakora of Anchorage, Alaska; Colton Dunham of Roseburg; Micaela Epifanio of Milton-Freewater; Josephine Finch of Pendleton; Allegra Gust of Zillah, Wash.; Ron Hartley of Portland; Victoria Ingram of Wrangell, Alaska; Erica Snyder of Sandy; Kaydee Wheeling of Elgin; and Shannon White of North Powder.

In order to be considered for full induction, students must attend orientation, leadership training day, three success networking team meetings and three speaker broadcasts.

The National Society of Leadership and Success serves more than 325,000 students on over 400 university and college campuses nationwide. For more information call 201-222-6544 or visit www.societyleadership.org.

eou_commencement_filepicEOU photo by Tessa Ortmann / About 458 students are expected to participate in commencement June 14.
EOU gearing up for commencement activities
News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu

June 5, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Eastern Oregon University marks the conclusion of the academic year with its formal Commencement Ceremony Saturday, June 14.

The outdoor event begins at 10 a.m. at the stadium at 6th St. and “G” Ave. on campus and will also be available to view at www.livestream.com/eousports.

Student check-in is at 8 a.m. in Quinn Coliseum. Lineup for faculty is at 9 a.m. in Quinn.

No tickets are necessary to attend and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free parking is available for the day in all campus lots, excluding reserved spaces. Guests should arrive early and bring sunscreen, water and a hat or umbrella.

Approximately 458 students are participating, representing 59 percent of the total number of graduates anticipated this year.

EOU will confer an estimated 689 bachelor’s degrees, 80 master’s degrees, eight certificates and six associate’s degrees, pending completion of final grades for spring and summer terms.

Delivering the commencement keynote is EOU President’s Scholar Sheryln Roberts of La Grande. Roberts is receiving her bachelor’s of science in anthropology and sociology with a concentration in social welfare and a communications minor.

Other scheduled speakers include EOU President Bob Davies and State Board of Higher Education member David Yaden.

Performing the National Anthem is Jacie Sites. Ari Emmanuel and Ariana Bloodgood will sing the Alma Mater.

A reception on the northwest lawn of the stadium follows the conferring of degrees.

Family or guests requiring special seating accommodations for the ceremony should contact the Registrar’s Office at 541-962-3607 or registrar@eou.edu.


Other activities related to commencement begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 12 with Oregon Health & Science University’s Sigma Theta Tau Induction in the Hoke Union Building, Room 339. OHSU will induct 11 students to the International Honor Society of Nursing this year.

Friday morning begins with commencement rehearsal, followed by the 33rd annual OHSU Convocation and Awards Ceremony at 10 a.m. in McKenzie Theatre in Loso Hall.

At 11 a.m. in Hoke 339, the honor societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Tau Delta will induct 31 students and two faculty members.

EOU’s annual Student Awards Assembly begins at 1:30 p.m. Friday in McKenzie Theatre with a reception to follow in the Loso lobby. A total of 36 awards, including 31 academic honors, will be presented.

Friday at 5 p.m. is a function for off-campus graduates and their families in the Gilbert Center adjacent to Ackerman Hall.

Loveland’s Safe Ride Program will provide a designated driver offering free rides within La Grande and Island City from 10 p.m. Saturday, June 14 until 3 a.m. Sunday, June 15. Call 541-963-5022 for a ride or more information.

Additional details and schedules are available at www.eou.edu/commencement.

Phi Kappa Phi names honored members
Source contact: Le Alexander | Interim Director, Student Involvement
541-962-3714 | lalexand@eou.edu

June 4, 2014

James Benton named honored member of Phi Kappa Phi

Jim Benton

LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) — Eastern Oregon University’s chapter 277 of the Honorary Society of Phi Kappa Phi has selected Jim Benton and Chris Cronin as honored members of the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

Benton is an instructor of English and writing and Cronin is the regional director of EOU’s Grant County Center.

Chris Cronin named honored member of Phi Kappa Phi

Chris Cronin

They join approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction qualify for membership.

Benton and Cronin demonstrated excellence in the performance of duties serving the institutional mission of EOU.

Selections are based on the nominees’ qualities as illustrated in the nomination submission including excellence in research, teaching, community service and leadership.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi has chapters on more than 300 college and university campuses in North America and the Philippines. Its mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

Since its founding, more than 1.25 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley.

The society has awarded approximately $14 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.

For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, call 800-804-9880 or visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.

45th Parallel gives spring concert, June 6
News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu
Source contact: Matt Cooper | Professor of Music
541-962-3559 | mcooper@eou.edu
45th Parallel_web

EOU photo by Kaitlin Cassidy / Rachel Kecskes, foreground, rehearses with 45th Parallel. Catch the group’s free performance at 7:30 p.m. June 6.

June 2, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) ⎯ The innovative new improvisational ensemble, 45th Parallel, will give its spring concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 6 in Groth Recital Hall in Loso Hall at EOU.

Admission is free and seating is limited. The band features 13 students and three faculty members on guitars, vocals, brass, keyed instruments, bass, drum set and percussion.

Songs will include repertoire originally performed by Ray Charles, Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, Frank Zappa, John Scofield, Johnny Winter, Bob Marley and others.

University music faculty John McKinnon, Matt Cooper and Luke McKern founded 45th Parallel this winter. For questions about the concert contact Cooper at 541-962-3559.

EOU photo by Tessa Ortmann
EOU photo by Tessa Ortmann / The institute is an opportunity for high schoolers to experience college life and earn credits at a reduced rate. Jeremy Riggle, assistant professor of chemistry, works with 2013 attendees.
Summer Institute for high school students offers new focused tracks
News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu
Source contact: Dan Mielke | Executive Director, Eastern Promise
541-962-3941 | ep@eou.edu

June 2, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) ⎯ Eastern Oregon University is accepting registrations for its 2014 Summer Institute with two sessions available June 23-July 11 and July 14-August 1.

The immersive three-week programs enable high school students to complete coursework of interest and earn college credits at a reduced rate, all while living on campus. Cost per credit hour is $40 and room and board is $545.

Focused tracks in video game design, environmental science and musical theatre are new this year. Electives like drawing, history, Latin dance and more enable students to create individualized curriculum as an alternative.

In session one, students have the opportunity to delve into “Video Game Design” and get “Knee Deep in Science.” A total of 11 credits comprise each of these tracks.

Teaching participants to design their own 2D video game will be Aaron Boudreaux, assistant professor of computer science and multimedia, and Richard Croft, associate professor of computer science and multimedia.

Boudreaux will show students how to use GameMaker software to create original games to share at the end of the session.

Croft’s multimedia 110 class takes it a step further with an introduction to 3D modeling and animation.

“We’ll work up from household objects to rigging actual characters, and maybe some mapping and experimenting with different tools to build things,” Croft explained.

Using EOU’s electronic music lab with guidance from Luke McKern, audio/visual technician, students will create and record sounds, even dialogue and theme songs that will help bring their game together.


Students registered for the “Knee Deep in Science” track will create another type of project.

Donna Rainboth, assistant professor of education, and Jeremy Riggle, assistant professor of chemistry, are partnering with the Grande Ronde Model Watershed for this track.

From snorkeling with a fisheries biologist and studying macro-invertebrates, to unlocking the chemistry of ice cream and birding at Ladd Marsh – activities offer a different view of science and STEM careers.

“This is science that a variety of professionals are doing,” Rainboth said. “It’s real life and that’s the cool part. Those who are reluctant or think they’re not ‘good’ at science benefit when they experience it outside of the classroom.”

Fieldwork is planned on public land at Red Bridge State Park, Pocket Park in Elgin, Ladd and Catherine creeks and the Grande Ronde River.

“Students will participate in collection and analysis,” said Leigh Collins, EOU alumna and public involvement education coordinator for GRMW. “It’s good for them to experience these two different sides of research.”

Participants will design their own research assignment, gather data, conduct experiments and arrive at conclusions to share during a mini-symposium with their peers and family members.


A complete production from inception to performance is the outcome of the 12-credit “Musical Theatre” track offered in session two of the Summer Institute.

Kenn Wheeler, associate professor of theatre, Michael Frasier and Jamie Jacobson, instructors of music, will draw on strengths of their students when selecting a musical theatre review. Participants are asked to include a resume of theatre experience with their registration to assist in this process.

In addition to singing and acting, behind the scenes work that goes into a production will also be incorporated. Writing dialogue, building scenery, managing lighting, creating costumes and choreography are all technical components students will actively participate in.

“Theatre is very collaborative and we’ll overlap in a lot of areas to provide comprehensive exposure,” Frasier explained.

“That’s part of what we’re teaching, too – how the collaborative process works.” Wheeler added. “It will be a really well-rounded experience very similar to a college-level production. It’s also an opportunity for students to work with very strong professionals who have done hundreds of shows combined.”

The “Video Game Design” track is accepting 20 students; “Knee Deep in Science” is accepting 15-20; and “Musical Theatre” is accepting 25. Elective courses will be capped at approximately 20 students.

Registration forms are available at www.eou.edu/eastern-promise/summer-institute or in Zabel Hall, Room 119 at EOU. For more information call Laurie Powell at 541-962-3941 or e-mail ep@eou.edu.

The Summer Institute is a program made possible by Eastern Promise, a collaboration between EOU, Blue Mountain and Treasure Valley community colleges, InterMountain Education Service District and school districts in eastern Oregon.

Additional support comes from the Wildhorse Foundation.