June 10, 2003 11:00 pm
Left: Mindi McAllaster  Right: April Curtis ().
Left: Mindi McAllaster Right: April Curtis ().

Theater professor April Curtis and Director of Development Mindi McAllaster were honored Saturday at Eastern Oregon University's annual Faculty Recognition Banquet.

Curtis earned the Distinguished Teaching Faculty Award, and McAllaster was selected Distinguished Administrative Faculty member.

"Saturday night was a kind of surreal experience for me. I feel so honored that my peers would think me worthy of this award," Curtis said. "Generally, I am ‘distinguished'' attempting to be someone else. To be rewarded for being myself — for doing what I love and am called to do — feels wonderful and odd all at once. Thank you to my colleagues and friends for the vote of confidence."

Curtis has taught in the theater program at EOU since 1992. She will be on sabbatical during the 2003-04 school year and will teach in Greece next fall through the AHA International studies program. Earlier this year, Curtis shaved her head when she acted as a person who was dying of ovarian cancer in the school theater production of "Wit."

She will study theater in Greece.

McAllaster, meanwhile, has played a pivotal role in EOU's private fundraising efforts over the past several years. Much of her work has been focused on developing funding for the EOU Science Center.

"I was completely taken by surprise," McAllaster said. "It is one of the few times in my life I was completely speechless."

McAllaster has been at EOU for nearly two decades. She played basketball and volleyball as a student, graduating in 1989.

She was an admissions counselor in 1989 and then moved up to assistant director of admissions in 1990. In 1995, she was interim career center director and in 1996 became the coordinator of alumni events and annual drives. In 1997, she was promoted to her current position as director of development.