Volume 9 (2020)

I (Maren Bradley Anderson) took over this journal in January of this year with an idea of what I’d like to accomplish and a plan for how to put PURE Insights together. And we all know what happened to plans in 2020. I may have had to perform a couple of pivots.

Nevertheless, here we are with a new issue of undergraduate research and creative work from Western Oregon University students. Much of the research in this issue was completed pre-pandemic, but this does not mean that we must look at it within the context of a pre-pandemic world. Good research can transcend its contextual beginnings, and I think that the pieces here do just that.

One of the goals I had in the before time was to encourage more creative work, including more visual and performing art submissions, to PURE Insights. As a result, we are proud to present our first performance piece from the Theater department. “Card Again” is a videoconference play written by a group of students. We are also proud to publish the three winning poems from the Peter Sears poetry competition.

We also have the pleasure of publishing three commencement speeches from our virtual 2020 graduation, including one by Monica Cerda Ortiz, which is also published in Spanish. It is my goal for 2021 to publish even more pieces in Spanish and other languages.

Once the new year begins, we will have a (virtual) celebration for the authors and performers from this new issue. It has always been important to celebrate undergraduate research and researchers, but it is even more important to do it now. If nothing else, 2020 has taught us that there is much to learn about medicine, biology, social justice, politics, and economics--everything, really. We need our future filled with skilled scientists, thinkers, and creatives to help guide us through this pandemic, as well as mend all the cracks in our society that have been revealed. Then, perhaps, we can even see a way forward.

It has been a pleasure to work with the authors, performers, reviewers, and support staff of this journal. I have made plans for PURE Insights for 2021...tentative plans...but I’m on my toes, ready to pivot.

-Maren Bradley Anderson, Managing Editor

Cover Volume 9

Managing Editor

Maren Bradley Anderson


Communication Studies
Paula Baldwin
Alex Curry
Marie LeJeune
Henry Hughes
Samantha Morgan
Lars Soderlund
Maureen Dolan
Brenda Watts