Author Archives: Jessica Nottingham

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DAY OF DISTINCTION: COE Awards Day recipients

East Carolina University’s faculty and staff were presented with awards recognizing their service, leadership, ambition and spirit during the seventh annual Founders Day and University Awards Celebration on April 27 in Hendrix Theatre.

Provost Ron Mitchelson welcomed the audience to the event and commended the award nominees and recipients for their service to the university.

“We offer promises of student success, public service and regional transformation,” Mitchelson said. “The recipients of awards today are helping to ensure that we are making very good on those promises.” FULL ECU STORY: Founders Day Awards

Congratulations are in order for the following College of Education award recipients and nominees for the University Awards.

Award Recipients
Max Ray Joyner Award for Outstanding Teaching in DE –
Steve W. Schmidt (IDP)
Diversity and Inclusion Award – Dr. Lori Flint ( SEFR)
Scholar-Teacher Award – Guili Zhang (SEFR)

Servire Society Members
Dan Dickerson (MSITE)
Al Jones (IDP)
Rhea Miles (MSITE)
Lou Anna Hardee (Dean’s Office)
Vivian W. Mott (Dean’s Office)

Nominees
Five-Year Achievement Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity
Nominee
– Katie Schwartz (MSITE)

UNC Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching
Nominees
– Patricia Slagter Van Tryon (MSITE) and Christina Tschida (ELMID)

UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching
Nominees
– Lori Flint (SEFR) and Katie Schwartz (MSITE)

ECU Alumni Assc Award for Outstanding Teaching Award
Nominees
– Steve W. Schmidt (IDP), Katie Schwartz (MSITE), and Christina Tschida (ELMID)

Scholarship of Engagement Award
Nominee
– Christina Tschida (ELMID)

Winners with Dr. Hayes

Max Ray Joyner Award for Outstanding Teaching in DE
Nominee
– Lori Flint (SEFR)

The James R. Talton Jr. Leadership Award
Nominee
– Abbie Brown (MSITE)

Centennial Award for Excellence – Ambition Category
Nominee –
Matt Militello (LEED)

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ECU education student receives Fulbright Award

An ECU Honors College student and triple major Daniel Franch has been named a recipient of an English teaching assistant award from the highly-competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Franch, who is graduating in May with a degree in history, history education and German, is one of 140 students in the United States to receive a $30,000 grant that will support his international experience in East Germany teaching English for a year.

Full story: http://blog.ecu.edu/sites/ecunow/blog/2016/04/14/ecu-honors-student-receives-fulbright-award/

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Information technologies program ranks #2 as best value

ECU’s bachelor of science in information technologies is ranked #2 by College Values Online’s top-10 online technical degree programs for its focus on multiple forms of technology and affordability.

Online Information Technologies, BSBE

What’s different about the Information Technologies degree at East Carolina University? In short, there’s a reason that ECU uses the plural form – “technologies.” Unlike some IT programs, which focus exclusively on computer science and networking, this degree covers an incredibly wide array of technical topics. Electronic Information Processing, Financial Information Systems, Introduction to Virtual Environments, Website Design, and Microcomputer Business Graphics Applications are just a few of the diverse classes you’ll have access to at East Carolina. Along with an affordable net price and course credit for your relevant work experience, the BSBE from ECU is one of the best on this online technical degree ranking.
Net Price: $12,908/yr
Score: 78.80

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Education honors student receives Fulbright award

College of Education student Daniel Franch, who is an Honors College student triple majoring in history, history education and German, received a 2016 Fulbright award from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Franch plans to spend next year in Germany completing an English teaching assistantship.

“It seemed like an excellent opportunity to spend a year in Germany spreading goodwill between the United States and Germany,” said Franch, who is the ninth student from ECU to be award a Fulbright.

Franch will be assigned to a German K–12 English classroom to assist with teaching English. In addition to teaching, he will also engage the local community. He has proposed to join the local environmental organization and learn ways to increase sustainability practices.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English teaching assistant programs. A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S., according to the program’s website.

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ECU hosts design thinking sessions for education professionals

The College of Education hosted two design thinking workshops. Local K–12 educators, high school students and ECU faculty attended a workshop to confront important challenges in higher education and design innovative solutions on Monday, March 21.

Design ThinkingThe next day, local K–12 educators were taken through the full cycle of design thinking in a short timeframe. The activity focused on the fundamental values of human-centered design: a bias toward action, a culture of iteration and the importance of rapid prototyping. The latter portion of the session will uncover the results of the activity and tie them back to the day-to-day challenges.

As a new way to problem solve, companies like IDEO and Google are embracing design thinking, according to Militello.

“This workshop may affect our professional students in profound ways because it provides them with a tool set for managing change in schools which is not generally provided in preparation programs,” said Militello. “In making the case for design thinking, we’re asking school leaders to admit that the answers to modern challenges they face don’t yet exist; that off-the-shelf solutions or strategies that neighboring schools employ are not going to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve.”

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Dr. Nash presenting during the COE’s design thinking workshops.

Dr. John Nash, associate professor of educational leadership studies at the University of Kentucky and the founding director of the Laboratory on Design Thinking in Education, or dLab, will facilitate the sessions on both dates. He’s also a director at the Center for Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education, or CASTLE, at the University of Kentucky.

Nash is a specialist in the design and prototyping of innovations in education. He teaches a range of courses on design thinking, school technology leadership, and school reform. His current research agenda focuses on the methods to design and prototype of innovations in education.

The events are sponsored by the Wells Fargo Distinguished Professor in Educational Leadership, Dr. Matt Militello.

Design thinking is a creative strategy for dealing with old and emerging problems. This approach differs from the traditional scientific method by considering known and unknown parameters to seek alternative solutions in an iterative manner.

“The intent of the Wells Fargo Endowment in Educational Leadership is to build capacity for local school educators,” said Militello. “Design thinking is a way to build capacity for these educators and for those who train them. ECU’s College of Education is well positioned to be at the forefront of technologies and innovations that can best assist our school educators. This series is another example of this type of forward thinking work.”

 

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ECU graduate Erin Kessel named Teacher of the Year

THE DAILY REFLECTOR
For Creekside Elementary School teacher Erin Kessel, the time she spends with her students outside of the classroom is just as important as the time she spends in it.

Her dedication to supporting students in their after-school activities, along with her passion for teaching and being a school leader, earned her the title of Pitt County Schools Teacher of the Year for 2016-17. She was presented the award Wednesday at the district’s annual Teacher of the Year Luncheon at Rock Springs Center.

Kessel, a fourth-grade teacher with five years of experience, described in her Teacher of the Year portfolio how cheering on a student at his baseball game changed his attitude toward her and his schoolwork.

“I saw this student every day in class, saw his struggles, then saw him on the ball field and how excited he was that I was there,” she wrote. ”Seeing how successful he was on the baseball field allowed me to build a connection that carried back to the classroom.”

She said in her acceptance speech Wednesday that investing time in students’ lives is the only way to teach them how to overcome their challenges and build on their strengths.

“Our kids are unbelievable in Pitt County,” she said. “They, some of them, go home to hardly anything, and they come in with a smile on their face. We are the reason for that smile. Our schools are the reason for that smile; every person in our school is the reason for that smile. And if they don’t come in smiling, we make sure they smile at some point in that day.”

031016teacheroftheyear2A two-time graduate of East Carolina University, Kessel has held many leadership roles at Creekside, including as a Key Beginning Teachers Program member, lead mentor, representative for technology company Istation and Relay for Life captain. She also is a clinical teacher for ECU’s College of Education and a participant in Pitt County Schools’ Teacher Executive Institute for this school year. She has obtained two grants for integrating technology into her classroom and was named the Sylvan Learning Center Teacher of the Year in 2012.

As Pitt County’s Teacher of the Year, she will get to drive a 2017 Hyundai Elantra from Joe Pecheles Hyundai in Greenville free of charge for one year. She also received an HP laptop, a printer, school supplies and a plethora of checks and gift cards from local businesses, including the luncheon’s sponsor, Pitt County Farm Bureau.

The runner-up was veteran educator Jada Rogers, a fourth-grade teacher at Wahl-Coates Elementary.

Kessel3In her 24 years as a teacher, she has helped develop new curricula and teaching strategies both at Wahl-Coates and in partnership with the ECU College of Education. She has been involved with various groups on the local level, including the Curriculum Reform Focus Group and Teacher Executive Institute, and on the state level, including the North Carolina Teacher Academy and the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Educational Panel. She is a clinical instructor for ECU’s College of Education and was chosen as a researcher and unit writer for the 2011 Teacher Quality Partnership Grant between the college and the school district.

Rogers said in her acceptance speech that she sees teaching as an act of optimism.

“I truly believe that we have to be full of optimism to continue to come in every day and try to bring courage and hope and to be able to pack that into every child’s future,” she said. “We do that starting with loving them.”

Other finalists for Teacher of the Year were: Carol Briley, a kindergarten dual immersion teacher at Belvoir Elementary; Lauren McDermott, a first grade teacher at Wintergreen Primary; Kathryn Shafer, a fifth grade teacher at Wintergreen Intermediate; and Kara Snyder, a second grade teacher at Elmhurst Elementary.

Also at the luncheon, Pitt County Schools recognized its classified employees of the year. The winners, which were announced in January, were: Custodian of the Year Gary Outlaw, Wellcome Middle; Office Employee of the Year Lori Coleman, W.H. Robinson Elementary; Teacher Assistant of the Year Rose Roebuck, Bethel; Child Nutrition Manager of the Year Diane Sumlin, Northwest Elementary; Child Nutrition Employee of the Year Vivian Ordonez, H.B. Sugg Elementary;  Bus Driver of the Year Vanessa Mooring, Northwest Elementary; K-8 Bus Driver of the Year Bettie Jones, Grifton; 9-12 Bus Driver of the Year Anthony Johnson, Ayden-Grifton High.

Superintendent Ethan Lenker congratulated all the winners and thanked the sponsors for their dedication to helping local students get a good education.

“You saw the quality of all these individuals out here today, from our teacher assistants to our school secretaries to our bus drivers,” he said. “We’re stacked with quality people here in Pitt County.”

By Holly West, The Daily Reflector
http://www.reflector.com/News/2016/03/10/Teacher-of-the-year-invests-in-students-lives.html
Thursday, March 10, 2016

Contact Holly West at hwest@reflector.com or 252-329-9585.

Dr. Freddie Williamson

ECU graduate named a National Superintendent of the Year Finalist

Dr. Freddie Williamson, Superintendent of Hoke County Schools and graduate of East Carolina University, has been named a finalist for the 2016 National Superintendent of the Year by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Other finalists include Dr. Thomas Tucker from Ohio, Dr. Pam Moran from Virginia, and Dr. Steven Webb from Washington. This marks the 29th anniversary of the program, which honors school system leaders throughout the country.

Dr. Williamson has more than 30 years of service in public education, with the past nine years as superintendent of Hoke County Schools. He is known for his transformational leadership style, no-excuses philosophy and innovative approach to addressing challenges. Williamson began his journey in public education as a classroom teacher. His experiences have included school administration for more than 25 years in various capacities, including vocational education, curriculum and human resources. In the summer of 2006, he was named superintendent of Hoke County Schools. Williamson has also served in several leadership roles for organizations such as the North Carolina School Superintendents Executive Board, North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Board of Directors, Sandhills Regional Education Superintendents Council, FirstHealth of the Carolinas Advisory Board and Fayetteville State University Educational Leadership Advisory Board. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Williamson graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Education from North Carolina A&T University in 1978, master’s degree in Educational Leadership from North Carolina A&T University in 1986, education specialist degree in Educational Leadership from East Carolina University in 1995, and doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fayetteville State University in 2004.

“The four finalists for the 2016 AASA National Superintendent of the Year have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to excellence in the work they do,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “As a former superintendent, I know that the demands of a superintendent are incredibly high, which is why we look forward to honoring these outstanding superintendents as well as all of the 2016 State Superintendents of the Year at our National Conference on Education in February.”

The finalists for AASA’s 2016 National Superintendent of the Year will have an opportunity to meet the national education community during a press conference in January 2016 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The applicants were measured against the following criteria:

  • Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system.
  • Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication.
  • Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team.
  • Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.

ECU Awards Day: Several COE Faculty Recognized

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Several College of Education faculty were honored and recognized ECU’s Founders Day Awards presentation held on April 30 in Hendrix Theatre. UNC Board of Governors member and ECU alumnus Bob Rippy presented the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest teaching award given by the board, to Dr. Abbie Brown.

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An online-only instructor, Brown teaches graduate-level courses to current or aspiring educators aiming to improve their ability to teach and create instructional materials. “This means I have to model the best teaching practices for a sophisticated and critical group,” he said. Results from Brown’s Google Glass video recording is available: Google Glass View of ECU University Awards Day.

The Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award recognizes and supports excellent teaching at each of the 16 constituent universities in the UNC system.  Two COE recipients were selected:

  • Dr. Kylie Dotson-Blake, Department of Higher, Adult and Counselor Education. Dr. Dotson-Blake was also a finalist for the ECU Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Teaching.
  • Dr. Allen O. Guidry, Department of Literacy Studies, English Education and History Education. Dr. Guidry was nominated for three awards.

The 2013-14 College of Education recipient of the Scholar-Teacher Award:

  • Dr. Steven W. Schmidt, Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education

Other College of Education award nominees and recipients for 2013-14 are as follows:

  • Dr. Brian Housand, Department of Elementary and Middle Grade Education, was awarded the Max Ray Joyner Award for Faculty Service Through Distance Education.
  • Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Department of Literacy, English, and History Education, was a finalist for the ECU Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Teaching.
  • Dr. Al Jones, Department of Information Library Science, was inducted into the Servire Society.

The full story by ECU News Services is  available in addition to a photo gallery of the event.

Swaggerty Posts on NC Reading Association Blog

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Terry Atkinson, member of Tar River Reading Council and professor of reading education, reads to two students at the Earth Day Expo at East Carolina University on April 8, 2014.

Dr. Elizabeth Swaggerty wrote a post about the Tar River Reading Council’s participation in the ECU Earth Day Expo that was just published on the North Carolina Reading Association blog. “It was a great outreach activity that connected ECU faculty, area teachers, the Tar River Reading Council (local affiliate of the International Reading Association), and ECU’s Center for Biodiversity and Biology Department with local children,” said Swaggerty of the event.

 

ECU Pirate Profile: Jessica Chirico

Jessica Chirico promotes literacy through her EC Scholars internship.

Jessica Chirico, a senior studying English at East Carolina University, chose to incorporate her passion for literature into her final collegiate internship. Chirico worked with the instructional coach at G.R. Whitfield Elementary School in Grimesland, to identify the classroom that needed her assistance the most – a third grade class where most of the students are below the average reading level. chirico1The full profile is the available at ECU’s news website.