Unfinished Work: Strengthen a Late Professor’s Legacy

November 24, 2020 By Leilah Langley
Anna Dvorak portrait rock climbing

Anna Dvorak was an assistant professor of geography and geographic information systems at EWU when she tragically died in a climbing accident in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains in 2015. The 28-year-old was an avid outdoorsperson who loved to hike, climb, mountain bike and snowboard. She also loved geography. In her short time teaching at Eastern (2013-2015), Anna was eager to spread her geographic knowledge and experiences through teaching.

To help finish what Anna started, the Department of Geography, Anthropology and Planning organized a memorial fund in her honor. The founding donors want to award scholarships to students who feel passionately, as Anna did, about exploring the world for social and environmental justice.

“This scholarship will encourage undergraduates who are curious about the world, passionate for the environment, and committed to social and environmental justice by helping them further their education,” says Stacy Warren, a professor of geography at Eastern and one of the founders of the Anna K. Dvorak Memorial Fund.

The impact Anna made on the geography curriculum at Eastern and her students continues today. The interdisciplinary GIS Graduate Certificate, for example, is now a reality.

“We are so pleased to see the department grow in directions that reflect her spirit,” adds Warren. “But, of course, we wish she could be here too to witness it.”

To ensure more students have the opportunity to come to Eastern and study geography for the purpose of social and environmental justice, two professors in the department have a challenge for donors and alumni. They’ve pledged to match all gifts up to $4,000. That means your gift will go twice as far! And with your help, the fund will reach endowment and begin awarding deserving students scholarship support in the spring.


Our Goal on GivingTuesday:
Help students by finishing up scholarship endowments

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations, like EWU, to transform their communities and the world. Many EWU students are facing new financial challenges due to the pandemic. Scholarship support is critical at a time like this.

We identified several scholarship funds that are very close to being endowed. Once our donors help them reach endowment, more students will benefit from scholarship support—and more students will stay Eagle Strong!