Eastern Oregon University > President's Message > From the President – March 13, 2024

From the President – March 13, 2024

Dear EOU Community:

I recently chatted with a student who will likely attend EOU. What she shared with me shows the myriad factors that go into such a decision: “This is a big decision. To me, EOU is the only college or university that has all that I am looking for, those attributes being: affordable, in a small town, low student to teacher ratio, an advanced science program, high acceptance rates to medical school, a high quality gym, inviting staff, apartment style dorms, not more than a few hours away from my family, hopefully the ability to accommodate my food restrictions (or options close by), and a disc golf course on or near campus.”

Sounds like we dreamed up this campus just to serve this prospective student! I’m hopeful she’ll be successful here and she finds the support she needs. You can see how difficult it is to make this decision and the types of students we attract. 

In addition to attracting new students, our faculty and staff have been doing some incredible work. Here’s a glimpse:

  • The Observer helped us celebrate that EOU’s online computer science was program ranked among top 10 in the nation
  • Hunter Sparks earned the NAIA National Championship in wrestling and was named NAIA Outstanding Wrestler of the Year, Sparks is Eastern’s first national champion in 55 years and is just the third in EOU history. 
  • Calvin Langdon, a student of Assistant professor Olvia Kuljian, has recently had his work accepted for a poster presentation at the Western Psychological Association’s Annual Meeting to be held April 24th-28th in San Francisco. Calvin’s work is titled, “I Would Die 4 U: Self-uncertainty and Prototypicality Threat on Extreme Intergroup Behavior”
  • February had two highly successful Mountie Connects events that served 200 students at the Prairie City event and the Baker City Mountie Connect was combined with Baker High School careers day to have over 715 students from five schools. In addition, ECI delivered Imbler High School Futures day for all the students. Amazing work from ECI and our admissions team!!
  • Huge shout out to our faculty who are participating alongside admissions in local schools and Mounty Connects events. The chemistry club traveled to Island City Elementary and we had our first Faculty Spotlight at La Grande High School with Chemistry and Biology. EOU faculty have participated in Faculty Spotlight events every Thursday for the past two months highlighting different departments across campus with more than 143 contacts walking through the EOU HUB.
  • Assistant Professor Olivia Kulijan recently helped organize and lead a Group Processes and Intergroup Relations preconference session at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Association Annual Meeting. She also had work recently accepted to be presented at the Western Psychological Association’s Annual Meeting for a symposium titled, “Processes of Identity Construction Through Collective Goals and Leadership”. 
  • Senior chemistry-biochemistry students Savannah Potter and Gabe Streblow were recently accepted in the chemistry Ph.D. program at Purdue University. In fall 2024 they will join Brady Layman who graduated in 2022 and Lance Hatch who graduated in 2023. That makes for four EOU chemistry graduates to join Purdue’s graduate program in 3 years! 
  • We’re embarking on our first AI course in Spring 2024 and it’s interdisciplinary! The course is called “CS 210: An Ethical Course in AI” being taught by professors Adamou Fode Made and Dr. John Lundy. The course will examine recent developments in computing technology (AI in particular) and platforms through the lenses of philosophy, public policy, social science, and engineering. 
  • A huge shout out to the organizers of the Stress Less event – wow! Over 675 people attended, including community members, and 125 volunteers. Thank you Darby McDevitt, Lead on the project and Community Health Intern, as well as Daniel Soupir (MOVE Lab Intern), Anya Schooler (LEAP Lab Intern), Natanya Reed (OAP Intern) and everyone else who made this possible! It blew me away!! 

As usual, I’ve been in a variety of meetings with folks across the state and right here on campus. I went to Salem to meet with legislators and the public university presidents. While in the west, I met some donors and held a foundation meeting in Portland. Right here in town, I met with Sarah Marcotte, LGMSD Director and Caitlin Harrold, UC Chamber of Commerce to advance our partnerships in the community. On campus, I had a fun time at the screen printing event hosted by Susan Murrell and her art students and also got a chance to welcome high school students from the region at the third annual Foreign Language Activity Day hosted by the Spanish Department, Early College Initiatives, and the Admissions office. We also had great events demarcating International Women’s Day, and I attended the International Women’s Day Brunch. I enjoyed listening to Professor Nicole Howard’s history students’ presentations about Hot Lake Springs Resort. I’ve been meeting with our strategy team co-chairs and am really excited about the work. I got a tour of our student health center and met with our amazing staff there. And perhaps most personally newsworthy, I’m out of my boot and now in an ankle brace. HOORAY!!

Keep up the incredible work EOU – I am so proud!! 


Kelly Ryan, Ph.D.