Eagle 1 News for November

November 21, 2023

Dear Eagle Family and Friends,

It doesn’t seem possible, but we’ve already entered the busy holiday season! At Eastern, we’ve been celebrating and recognizing the contributions of our campus community all month long, and we’ll continue lifting up diverse voices and experiences going forward. A core trait of being an Eagle is gratitude, and I am so thankful for the numerous student organizations, faculty, staff, alumni and the community of supporters that invest in our mission and make every day a great day to be an Eagle.

This past week, we held our annual Fall Recognition Luncheon. Over a holiday feast prepared by our talented catering staff, we gathered together to celebrate our Distinguished Service Award winners and recognize our service pin recipients. This years’ winners were Emilie Crawford for her work supporting the College of Health Science and Public Health, and Rhianna Meyer for her dedication within Mail Services. We also recognized numerous individuals for their years of service at EWU, including Penny Rose, who’s celebrated 45 years! Our staff keep the university running efficiently and effectively, and I appreciate the work they do every day.

And our students — what a month! We are blessed to have some of the most hardworking, compassionate and talented students here at Eastern. And speaking of talented students: last week I had the pleasure of attending EWU Theatre’s fall production of Julius Caesar. This reimagined version of the familiar Shakespeare tale was superb, and all of the actors gave amazing performances — I can’t wait for the winter production! Our women’s basketball team, meanwhile, is off to a great start, with guard Aaliyah Alexander earning the season’s first Big Sky Player of the Week award. Go Eags! And finally, we are so proud to announce that our Aspire program received a $100,000 grant to help improve postsecondary enrollment rates by connecting EWU student mentors with Spokane area high schoolers. Across programs and services our students are excelling at high levels!

As we know, the landscape of higher education is always evolving. That’s why we work so hard to stay connected with our state legislators, advocating for resources to ensure our institution is able to carry out our commitment to meeting the needs of our regional workforce. Toward that end, we were especially excited to host the House Postsecondary Education & Workforce Committee earlier this month. The 16-member delegation were welcomed to campus by faculty, staff and EWU’s outstanding Mariachi band. Committee members were treated to campus tours in Cheney and at the SIEER building in Spokane, where we were able to highlight our Communication Disorders, Nursing and RIDE programs with outstanding presentations by our students.

Finally, in early December, our strategic resource allocation report will be published. The report will provide recommendations to university leadership on areas in which investment or transformation might lead to improvements in our ability to meet student and regional workforce needs. I’m grateful to the faculty and staff who have thoroughly evaluated every academic program and university service to make these recommendations. The mission of EWU is to expand opportunities for personal transformation through excellence in learning. Fulfilling that mission requires us to adapt and stay focused on doing what is necessary for Eastern. I’m excited for the future — we’re moving forward with the intention of graduating students who are ready to make a positive impact in our communities. Go Eags!

Shari McMahan, PhD
Eastern Washington University