The state Senate confirmed two new members Friday to serve on the Oregon Board of Higher Education, one of them a Hermiston woman studying at Eastern Oregon University, La Grande.

Brianna R. Coulombe, named the student board member, is an EOU?sophomore majoring in history, and also active in ROTC. She graduated in 2010 from Hermiston High School.

She is also takes part in EOU clubs and events and is a junior counselor with Oregon Girls State. She is captain of the EOU?cheer team and a member of the school dance team, according to a news release from the Oregon University System.

Coulombe replaces Hannah Fisher, a student board member from Portland State University, who was appointed in 2007.

Also confirmed by the Senate was Emily J. Plec, a faculty member at Western Oregon University, Monmouth. She is chair of the communication studies department there. Plec, a faculty member since 2002, is a professor in the speech communication and communication studies departments, as well as the film studies and environmental studies departments, according to the news release. She holds a doctorate in communication from the University of Utah.

The two new board members take their seats Dec. 1. Their terms run through June 2013. Current board member Paul J. Kelly Jr. was confirmed for another term ending in June 2015.

The 12-member board of higher education includes two Oregon University System students, two system faculty members and eight members of the public. The three recently confirmed board members were appointed Oct. 31 by Gov. John Kitzhaber. 

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