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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 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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