Eastern Oregon University > Academics > EOU’s Summer Bridge Scholars Shine at Community Writing Conference in Denver

EOU’s Summer Bridge Scholars Shine at Community Writing Conference in Denver

Oct. 18, 2023

EOU’s Summer Bridge Scholars Shine at Community Writing Conference in Denver

LA GRANDE, Ore. – Ten current and former EOU Summer Bridge students, mentors, faculty, and staff traveled together to Denver last week to present their collaborative talk “Making Place: Imagining a Culturally-Sustaining, Community-Engaged Summer Bridge Program in Rural Oregon” at the Conference on Community Writing. Students also had the opportunity to meet graduate students and faculty from across the country and participate in workshops on experiential learning, intergenerational mentoring, and equitable practices in community-engaged teaching, research, and publishing. 

Centered on the theme “Activating Radical Imagination,” the conference was sponsored by the Coalition for Community Writing, an “international organization of educators, scholars, writers, students, entrepreneurs, and community change-makers who believe in the potential of partnering people across higher education, non-profits, social innovation, and the public sector to use writing toward social change.” 

A central goal of the trip was to provide undergraduate student leaders an opportunity to present original scholarship at an internationally recognized conference while also carving out time for the larger group to reflect on their experiences in Summer Bridge, learn from similar efforts at other universities, and continue “radically imagining” EOU’s innovative, equity-centered program forward. 

In between conference sessions, the group explored downtown Denver, visited local landmarks, shared their eclipse glasses with other excited conference-goers, and traveled across town to see former EOU faculty member and co-panelist Brie Fleming present her dissertation research at a very different kind of academic conference, Rocky Mountain MLA.

What is Summer Bridge? Developed collaboratively by the EOU Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, English/Writing and Math faculty, and dozens of other campus and community partners, Summer Bridge is a fully-funded academic bridge program open to all first-year and international transfer students focused on scholarly inquiry and academic success. Students selected for this unique field-based program earn two free college credits during the program, with the option to earn a third free credit fall term and become leaders in the program in subsequent years. 

Four of the five students who traveled to the conference served as mentors in Summer Bridge 2022 and 2023: Losii Daniel (Psychology), Hailey Hochhalter (Math), Lyresha Tamtreng (Computer Science), and Jeyda Titiml (Community Health). The fifth, Oreng Kikuo (English/Writing), was a new EOU student in the program in September 2023. 

Also presenting were Bennie Moses-Mesubed, Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging; Dr. Cori Brewster, Summer Bridge Director, Professor of English/Writing, and member of the advisory board for the Coalition for Community Writing; Dr. Jennifer Slinkard, Assistant Professor of English/Writing; Sam McCumber, Director of Academic Advising; and Brie Fleming, former EOU Instructor of English/Writing and now Doctoral Candidate in Rhetoric and Composition at Ohio University.