Category Archives: Alumni News

gavin and girls

One in a million: COE alum has rare identical triplets

Congratulations to ECU College of Education alum Gavin Fradel and his family on their kim and gavin-Speightnewest addition–a rare identical set of triplet girls. The May 2016 graduate earned a master of arts in teaching in science education online and lives in Wake Forest, NC. In 2004, he graduated with a bachelor of science in middle grades education. Fradel is currently a teacher at Franklin Academy Middle School in Wake Forest.

 

By WSOC-TV/WFTV-9-ABC

WAKE FOREST, N.C. — A Wake Forest family recently welcomed natural identical triplet girls, a 1-in-a-million phenomenon.

Grace, Stella, and Emily were born to Kimberly and Gavin Fradel about a month ago, Channel 9’s partners WTVD reported.

The parents said they wanted to give their 2-year-old son, Gavin Jr, a sibling and were initially overwhelmed when they found out he would gain three.

“[The doctor] had a look on her face and I said ‘Well, what’s wrong?’ I could tell something was wrong, and she said, ‘I think you’re having multiples. I think you’re having triplets,’ and my first response was ‘Oh God no, please God no,’ and then she said ‘And I think they’re identical,’” Kimberly told WTVD.

The couple realized they could handle the extra blessings when their friends and family reassured them that they’d be there to help. They also said having understanding employers made a difference.

Gavin Sr. was taking online classes at East Carolina University when Kimberly found out she was pregnant.fradels2

His graduation was set for the day after the triplets were born, and Kimberly encouraged him to walk across the stage.

Gavin Sr. said that life with triplets can sometimes be like an “assembly line,” but it’s rewarding to see how the babies have already bonded with each other.

To tell each one apart, the couple paint the girls’ toenails a different color. Each also has a birthmark, but in a different place.

Gavin Jr. was a little taken aback by three girls entering his home.

“When we got home from the hospital … as soon as he saw them he said ‘Daddy, take them back,’ and he said it twice,” Gavin Sr. said. “I have no idea where he even got those words from or where he started saying that, but that was his first reaction, and it was hilarious. It was funny.”

The couple said Gavin Jr. quickly changed his attitude toward his sisters.

“He always kisses his sisters. He helps with bottles. He’s very patient. He’s just a really good, protective big brother and I believe all four of them are going to have unique gifts and a love for each other that will take care for each other for the rest of their lives,” Kimberly said.

Original story: Rare identical triplets born to North Carolina family

Daniel Dickerson

Dr. Daniel Dickerson Represents ECU on Fulbright Commission Panel Addressing STEM Study Abroad Partnerships with the Czech Republic

Dr. Daniel Dickerson, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education and ECU STEM CoRE (Collaborative for Research in Education) Co-Director, is among a small group of scholars from across the United States selected to sit on a Fulbright Commission sponsored STEM Expert Panel to address university faculty from across the Czech Republic regarding STEM study abroad possibilities. He will join faculty from MIT, Purdue, Michigan, Georgia Tech, and other STEM intensive institutions.

The STEM Expert Panel is part of a capacity building workshop, “Bringing More U.S. Students in STEM to Czech Universities,” sponsored by the Department of State, Office of Global Educational Program, the Fulbright Commission in the Czech Republic in cooperation with Czech universities that offer education in STEM. The workshop will take place in Prague, Czech Republic on April 19-20, 2016 and will be followed by campus visits on April 21-22.

While there, Dickerson will speak to participants during meeting sessions regarding STEM education program development and explore ways to build collaborative efforts with the Czech Republic. Additionally, the US delegation will tour eight Czech universities, attend a reception at the residence of the US Ambassador, and explore innovative ways to enhance global partnerships.

Dr. Dickerson has more than 70 publications, 130 conference presentations, and has been involved in grants as PI, Co-PI, Senior Personnel, or Evaluator totaling over $10 million.

Daniel Franch

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.

BS Mathematics Education students (clockwise from far left) Megan Taylor, Carson Gombatz, Sarah Marsh, and Kaylin Carlton look for an assessment app on their phone during one conference breakout session.

ECU Hosts North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics Eastern Region Conference

Mathematics teachers from K-12 and university settings gathered Saturday, 19 March 2016, on the campus of East Carolina University for the Eastern Region Conference of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM). As the host institution, ECU was very well represented by university faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and alumni.

The conference keynote address was delivered by Fran Arbaugh of Penn State University. The concluding keynote, given by Kitty Rutherford, was an update from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. In between, there were 34 breakout sessions, given over breakout periods. Program chair for the conference was Katie Schwartz. Other ECU mathematics education faculty presided, presented, provided breakfast or lunch, or supervised Gamma Chapter members (mathematics education student organization).

ECU student involvement included undergraduates who co-presented and 19 presentations by graduate students from the leadership classes – these sessions involved 35 presenters, most of whom are in the graduate HS Cohort. Two more sessions were done by graduate students who are part of the Lenoir Mathematics-Science Partnership (MSP) grant.

The conference, which included breakfast, lunch, and some very nice give-aways (particularly mathematics education books), was provided to the 135 participants at no charge by NCCTM, the Lenoir MSP, and faculty donations. Each participant received 0.5 continuing education unit.

Pictured above: BS Mathematics Education students (clockwise from far left) Megan Taylor, Carson Gombatz, Sarah Marsh, and Kaylin Carlton look for an assessment app on their phone during one conference breakout session.

Jennifer Mabe

ECU alumna named WITN Teacher of the Week

Jennifer Mabe, a teacher at Pitt County Schools Early College, was recently named WITN Teacher of the Week. Mabe graduated from East Carolina University in 2004 with a B.A. in Communication/ Public Relations. She received her B.S. in Secondary Math Education from ECU in 2010.

Please follow the link to learn more about Jennifer.

http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/WITNs-Teacher-of-the-Week-371509371.html?device=tablet&c=y

031016teacheroftheyear1

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.

Rob Lucas

People Need to Know: Confronting History in the Heartland — New book by Dr. Robert M. Lucas

The book,  People Need to Know: Confronting History in the Heartland by Dr. Robert M. Lucas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary & Middle Grades Education, has just been published by Lang Publishing Company. This book chronicles Dr. Lucas’ engaged research with students and their teacher “as they study the defining event in their community’s history.”  Dr. Lucas presents an approach to teaching and learning in social studies that fully engages students to not only learn about the history of their community, but to contribute something of value to their communities and beyond.

Through his start-up research grant, a Library of Congress grant, and his teaching in the Elementary Education program, Dr. Lucas continues to provide teachers and teacher candidates with a meaningful and dynamic evidence-based approach to teaching history and social studies that enables students to “better understand the complex ethical ramifications of historical work and appreciate why learning matters.” (Note: quotations in both paragraphs are from Vendor’s website, below). To learn more about or secure a copy of the book, go to: http://www.amazon.com/People-Need-Know-Confronting-Counterpoints/dp/1433129787.

Go to the College of Education Research Website to engage in a Blog discussion about Engaged Scholarship and Research

Vasti

Vasti Rodriguez nominated for Diane Kent-Parker First Year Teacher Award

Vasti Rodriquez, a 2015 MAT graduate in Special Education, is one of five new teachers across Wake County Schools who have been nominated for the First Year Teacher Award.

The Wake County Public School System Diane Kent-Parker First Year Teacher Award recognizes outstanding first year beginning teachers in elementary, middle, high school and special education. Principals and schools nominate  teachers for demonstrating excellent professional teaching success throughout their initial year. The award is named in honor of Diane Kent-Parker who served in WCPSS Human Resources as Senior Director for Recruitment and Retention.

 

child_and_books

MLS Students at ECU Collect over 5,800 Books for the Needy

The end of each year is a time for many traditions, from caroling to trimming the tree to making a gingerbread house to pausing to give thanks, and the East Carolina University Master of Library Science program has developed and added its own tradition to the mix by annually completing a Holiday Book Drive. For ten years, the ECU American Library Association (ALA) Student Chapter has completed a book drive to help put over 25,000 books in the hands of willing but needy readers throughout North Carolina. The ECU MLS students take advantage of the fact they study in a Distance Education program and spread the good cheer of charitable literacy throughout several communities in the region.

Over 5,800 books were collected and donated to non-profit organizations, church programs for struggling families, schools, shelters, daycares, and food pantries.

This December, the ECU MLS program saw its faculty, current students, and alumni to work jointly in efforts to complete these collections. Many of the MLS students and alumni used the Annual Book Drive as an opportunity to include students in collection and donation, helping incorporate character education into school programs.

Kevin Vickers, an ECU alumnus and the librarian of Sun Valley Elementary in Monroe, NC, coordinated with a fourth grade teacher in his school to collect over 300 books and donate them to Turning Point of Union County, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Ever aware of the importance of technology and social media, Mr. Vickers posted information about the drive on his school’s Facebook site and watched the donations pour in. Parents and students asked if they could turn in books for all ages, and Vickers enthusiastically agreed. He excitedly reported that plenty of children and adult women were finding their reading needs met through the collection, and, asking “how cool is that?,” he was ecstatic to find several of the donations were in Spanish.

Kimberly Marone, the media coordinator of Holly Tree Elementary in Wilmington, NC, gathered over 125 titles as she and her students donated books to a local church program that provides services to families facing hardships. These books provide welcome relief and diversions in troubling times, as the gift of literacy and the opportunity for continued reading is an ever-welcome present.

Vanessa Taylor, a librarian currently completing her MLS through ECU, oversaw a donation project run by a Boy Scout throughout Onslow County. While her school (Dixon Elementary) donated over 200 books, the entire drive throughout the county brought in 4,700 total volumes. The young man clearly earned his merit badge by creating and maintaining fourteen collection sites around Jacksonville and Sneads Ferry and donating them to the Onslow County Partnership for Children. As Ms. Taylor said, his work was “quite amazing.”

Knowing that one of the strongest ways to support and increase literacy is within the community, with students helping students, Mary Tobin and her colleagues and students at Topsail Middle School collected 300 “gently used books” to donate to their local elementary schools. This middle school project proved and supported the idea that it takes a village, as older students gave the gift of reading to younger ones.

Hugh Davis, an MLS student in ECU’s program and an English teacher at CS Brown High School in Winton, NC, turned to his school’s Literary and Beta Clubs to complete the drive. Though CS Brown is a small school, with only 52 students this year, it collected 400 books and donated them to the Baptist Children’s Home. This shelter was selected by the students, who felt empowered through the process. Davis, the ECU ALA Chapter President, said that working alongside the students made the process even more meaningful, and he was thrilled to see the students take the initiative to research an appropriate donation site and to organize and coordinate their community’s efforts.

Not to be outdone or left out, the ECU MLS faculty continued their tradition of contributing to the Annual Book Drive by collecting and donating 19 books the Little Willie Center in Greenville, NC.

While many traditions abound at this time of year, one of the most rewarding is definitely the ECU MLS program’s Annual Book Drive. The ALA Chapter counts this year as a success and hopes to have as much participation next year.

Hugh Davis, President
ECU American Library Association Student Chapter

Afolayan5w[1]

LEED alumna, LaTonya Afolayan, named Associate Vice President for Advancement at Lamar University

ECU alumna LaTanya Afolayan has joined the advancement division at Lamar University as associate vice president for university advancement after a national search.

“We are very pleased to have LaTanya at Lamar University,” said Juan Zabala, vice president for university advancement. “Her fund raising and donor relations experience complements our staff well. She will be a tremendous asset to our role of making LU an ever stronger university through philanthropy.”

The 15-year career development professional comes to LU from Appalachian State University in North Carolina where she served as major gifts officer and director of development since 2011.

Previously, Afolayan served as vice chancellor of institutional advancement at North Carolina Central University from 2009 to 2010. There she managed the day-to-day operations of the alumni relations, annual fund, major gifts, and foundation and stewardship staff.

Her career also includes service as the first director of major and planned gifts at Elizabeth City State University, 2002-2005, as associate vice chancellor, 2005-2008, then vice chancellor, 2008-2009.

She began her advancement career at Emory University in Atlanta where she served as program associate, assistant director of corporate relations, 1994-1998.

Afolayan served as news director and senior producer for WPRL-FM, Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss., 1988-1992.  She was a reporter, producer and instructor for KOMU-TB, Columbia, Mo., 1986-1987.

She holds a Ed.D., from East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., a M.A., from the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., and a bachelor’s from Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Ind.

She holds certification in fundraising management and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.


(January 2016). Afolayan joins LU advancement staff
, Beaumont Business Journal. Retrieved from http://beaumontbusinessjournal.com/article/higher-education/afolayan-joins-lu-advancement-staff