Submissions to PURE Insights are the original work of at least one undergraduate student with at least one WOU faculty mentor.
  • Next Issue: Fall 2022
  • Submission Deadline July 1, 2022, 11:59pm PDT

Current Volume: Volume 10 (2021)

Garson O’Toole quotes Joseph Chamberlain from a speech in 1898: “I think that you will all agree that we are living in most interesting times… I never remember myself a time in which our history was so full, in which day by day brought us new objects of interest, and, let me say also, new objects for anxiety” (Wikipedia).

Most of us alive are not used to the kinds of upheavals that the COVID pandemic has brought. With that in mind, I am so impressed with the undergraduate students at Western Oregon University who are published in this issue of PURE Insights. Doing research and being creative in the midst of a pandemic is not only hard, it is heroic.

I might be engaging in a little hyperbole here, but I don’t think so. While none of the pieces in this journal are about COVID-19 (with the exception of Josh Salsbury’s piece about food pantries), all of them were written during the pandemic.

I think it is heroic for students to wake up in the morning, and despite the fact that their classes were on video call, despite the fact that they hadn’t been in a room with their advisors for a year, despite the fact that human connections were few and far between, despite all these things, these poets and researchers sat down and read and wrote and thought and produced.

Thank heaven for these student researchers and artists. These are the people who will help the rest of us understand not only the facts of this world, but also how to find the beauty.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the authors, reviewers, editors, and support staff of this journal. I admire each of your rigor and tenacity. And thank you, readers. Your search is heroic, too.


Coming Back
Erin Ross


Junk Drawer
Molly Gale


Riverbed Blues
Kit Evans

Two people approach a castle in a snowy forest