Category Archives: Student News

Student focused news in the College of Education

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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

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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

SCEC

SCEC Holds Holiday Gathering

The Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) pre-professional club recently celebrated their Fall Holiday Gathering at Dr. Melissa Hudson’s home. The officers and members took time to reflect on the accomplishments of the club for the Fall semester, make plans for the upcoming Spring semester, and spend time bonding over good food and fun activities with their peers and faculty. Happy Holidays to the College of Education from SCEC!

Tierini Hodges

LEED Student to Intern with The U.S. Department of Education and The Hunt Institute

Ms. Tierini Hodges was recently offered an internship position with the Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Higher Education Programs (HEP) under the direction of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Education Dr. James T. Minor.

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Sara Graves, Special Education Alumna, Highlighted on WITN for Project SEARCH

ECU Special Education alumna and graduate student, Sara Graves, was recently highlighted on WITN for her work with a new national program at Vidant Medical Center, Project SEARCH. The focus of Project SEARCH is transition and job skills training for individuals with developmental disabilities. The students participating in the program also work in three internship settings at the hospital where they apply the skills they are learning. Congratulations, Sara, for your outstanding work — and for representing ECU College of Education, Special Education so well!

Sara Graves and Project SEARCH on WITN

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English and History Education Students Attend Retreat

Students and faculty from the English Education (ENED) and History Education (HIED) programs in the Department of Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education participated in a senior I methods retreat November 20-21 at the Pocosin Arts Riverside Lodge in Columbia, NC. More than two dozen undergraduate, licensure only, and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) students across the two program areas engaged in the two-day retreat that included team building, reflective teaching, and professional development activities. In his opening remarks at the retreat Dr. Todd Finley, associate professor and senior I methods instructor for ENED commented, “This is our attempt to create a small college feel within a larger university campus. We want you to engage in an intimate experience that will help you feel connected and supported as you move into senior II.”

With the perfect setting alongside the picturesque Scuppernong River, students began the retreat on Friday evening with a “boundary breaking” activity that was aimed at helping students connect and become comfortable sharing thoughts and ideas with classmates and colleagues from another program area. After S’mores by the campfire, students socialized with one another and then prepared lessons, videos, and assessments to be shared the next day. On Saturday, students formed into interdisciplinary Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and, through a structured protocol, shared, analyzed, evaluated and discussed each other’s teaching of lessons they had delivered in their senior I internship. Reflective and supportive conversations resulted where students discussed teaching strengths and areas for improvement. One HIED student commented about the PLCs, “When watching my videos alone, I felt like my videos were horrible. It was good to get reassurance from my peers. It was also helpful to see the teaching styles of others, and I saw some things that I could add to my own teaching style.”

This PLC experience was followed in the afternoon by an “Unconference” – an interactive, self-guided professional development activity that arose from perceived areas for growth, development, and expertise based on the PLC discussion. Potential Unconference topics were identified and voted on and students then chose a session to attend based on the feedback they had received during their PLCs. One ENED student commented that a benefit of the Unconference was, “Being able to talk through education problems to solve them versus being told the solution really helped build my confidence as a future educator.” Before closing the retreat, students were required to develop an action plan for addressing perceived areas for growth prior to the senior II internship.

Short social-emotional learning games occurred throughout the day to help the interdisciplinary teams learn ways to energize and increase the academic achievement of their future students.

Overall, students and methods faculty found the retreat to be a positive educational experience. One student wrote, “Thank you for hosting the Pocosin Retreat! It was so much fun and educational and I made memories that will last a lifetime.”

In an anonymous post-retreat survey, 100% of the 25 students who attended indicated that the retreat was helpful in building a professional support network for the senior II internship.

Dr. Allen Guidry, associate professor and methods instructor for HIED commented, “The retreat tapped into students’ inherent creativity and reflection and engaged them in becoming leaders and problem solvers in their own professional development. They entered the retreat with uncertainty and areas for growth. They left the retreat with confidence and a plan of action.”

Mary Beth Meeks, Shannon Jesequel and Carole Anne Briley.

COE Literacy Studies Teachers Of The Year

Congratulations to Carole Anne Briley (ECU BS in Elementary Education 2010; ECU MAEd READ 2015), Shannon Jesequel (Current ECU MAEd READ Candidate), and Mary Beth Meeks (ECU BS in Elementary Education 1992; Current ECU MAEd READ Candidate) on being named Teacher of the Year at their respective schools. Carol Anne is a kindergarten teacher in the Dos Mundos Dual Immersion Program at Belvoir Elementary School in Pitt County, Shannon Jesequel is a third grade teacher at Timber Drive Elementary School in Wake County, and Mary Beth Meeks is a fourth grade teacher at Sam Bundy Elementary School in Pitt County. The Reading Education faculty members are proud of these literacy leaders!

Pictured above: Mary Beth Meeks, Shannon Jesequel and Carole Anne Briley.

Captain Arrrgh Headshot

From the TRC: Reluctant Readers

It’s the third Thursday of the month and a new edition of From the TRC is published to highlight another service or resource Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center (TRC) has to support the College of Education’s faculty and students. Today we’ll cover one of our newest bibliographies, Reluctant Readers.

The TRC has created, and constantly updates, an extensive list of bibliographies and guides available to help students, faculty and staff easily navigate our collections. Print copies for select topics are available in the TRC while our entire catalog of bibliographies and guides are available on the TRC’s website. The reluctant readers bibliography is currently only available online, and is based on titles from the Young Adult Library Association’s (YALSA) Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers List.

But, we need to define who a reluctant reader. The umbrella term, reluctant reader, is used to describe a few different groups of students. Reluctant readers generally fall into one of three categories, those who can’t, don’t or won’t read. Students may not read because they lack the literacy and comprehension skills needed to do so which can lead to self-doubt and a fear of their secret being “found out.” The latter two categories encompass students able to read, but either dislike reading itself or their personal interests lead them to other activities they find more attractive.

So, what to do? A simple Internet search will overwhelm you. There is no shortage of parenting websites, non-profit and for-profit companies willing to share tips, tricks, and books. The Lexile Framework for Reading also offers tips and links to additional resources.

One theme you will find over and over again as you sift through all these resources is student choice. Allow your reluctant readers to choose reading material (e.g., comic book, graphic novel, popular magazine, etc.) about topics they are interested in. Of course, if a teacher knows their students’ interests, and happens to know a few books that may pique their interest, it’s a win-win. That’s why the TRC created our bibliography for reluctant readers.

Joyner Library’s subscription to Novelist Plus will also come in handy at times like this. Novelist Plus allows users to search for “Title Read-alikes” and “Author Read-alikes”. For example, if a student liked Kwame Alexander’s novel, The Crossover” A Basketball Novel, you can use that feature to find a list of similar reads:

Figure 1: The Crossover: A Basketball Novel’s entry in Novelist Plus. Read-alikes are found just above the “Find It!” button.

Figure 1: The Crossover: A Basketball Novel’s entry in Novelist Plus. Read-alikes are found just above the “Find It!” button.

Figure 2: Clicking on the “Title Read-alikes” will show a list of novels with similar themes.

Figure 2: Clicking on the “Title Read-alikes” will show a list of novels with similar themes.

Why is it important to become familiar with Novelist Plus? All K-12 educators in North Carolina have free access to either Novelist K-8 or Novelist Plus through NC WiseOwlJoyner Library’s subscription to Novelist Plus is the only way pre-service teachers can access this resource until you have your own classroom.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Until next time…Dan Z. in the TRC

IHAT group

IHAT Center Participates in Eastern AHEC IDD Conference

The Irene Howell Assistive Technology (IHAT) Center staff was invited to present on assistive technology at the Eastern Area Health Education Center’s (AHEC) 11th Annual Eastern Region Intellectual and Developmental (IDD) Services Conference held in Greenville, NC on October 15-16, 2015.

Participants enjoying the assistive technology presentation at the SHEC event.The presentation, titled “Great Scott: Back to the Basics and Future: A Round Robin of Four Assistive Technology Trainings” consisted of four professional development sessions currently offered through the IHAT Center’s on-campus trainings in an abbreviated format, including Assistive Technology for Behavior, Assistive Technology for Communication, Boardmaker software, and Alternate Access.

Participants of the conference were from diverse fields that serve a variety of populations of individuals with disabilities. The IHAT staff consists of students in their sophomore to senior year who benefited from the experience presenting to colleagues in their field at a professional conference. Feedback from participants was excellent with an invitation to future collaborations. The IHAT Center thanks the COE ITCS team, Al Barnhill, Chris Hurdle, and Collin Stancill, for their assistance in technology support in advance of the conference, allowing the presentation to give hands-on experience to the conference participants.

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MAEd High School Mathematics Cohort Students Present at NCCTM Conference

The North Carolina Council Teachers of Mathematics held their state conference November 5 – 6, 2015 in Greensboro, NC. A delegation of over twenty MAEd High School Mathematics Cohort students were among those representing ECU as presenters at this event. These students are all practicing teachers with a range of experience from first year to two decades in the classroom.  The MAEd High School Mathematics Cohort students represent local school districts in Beaufort, Craven, Carteret, Edgecombe, Greene, Nash-Rocky Mount, Onslow, Pitt, and Wayne counties. The theme for the conference was Principles to Action in Action, and their presentation focused on “Principles to Practice in High School Math Classes”.  Conference participants shared original, research-based mathematical tasks and lesson materials that captured the mathematics teaching practices outlined in Principles to Action: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM, 2014). The active engagement between presenters and attendees provided participants with a greater appreciation of the exciting happenings in eastern North Carolina high school mathematics classrooms and graduate education at ECU!