Feb 042013


Sunday, February 3, 2013

East Carolina University freshmen and transfer students who earned a 3.0 GPA or higher during the fall semester were recognized for their academic achievements on Feb. 1 as part of the annual ECU Excels program.

Nine colleges and the major advisement program for students who have yet to declare a major are holding ceremonies to honor the students within their departments. Two colleges — the College of Technology and Computer Science and the Harriot College of Arts & Sciences — will host events on Friday.

According to Stephanie Bailey, an academic advisor and coordinator of the Excels program, 2,209, or 41 percent, of first-time freshmen and transfer students made the honor roll, dean’s list or chancellor’s list during the fall. Among these students, the average GPA was a 3.5 out of a possible 4.0.

This is the fourth year the program has acknowledged the academic achievement of first-time students. However, this year the parents and families of students were invited to attend the ceremonies.

“It will allow both students and their families to make connections early on with the students’ department, instructors and student organizations,” Bailey said.

Families attended from throughout the state and east coast, with at least one family traveling from as far away as Massachusetts.

The program is designed, in part, to help retain high-achieving students who may otherwise transfer institutions after a semester.

“We know we have some students who come to ECU to improve their GPA before transferring to their number one school choice,” Bailey said. “We want them to know they are in a great program, a competitive program.”

Bailey said during the past four years retention rates have been “going up and holding strong.”

Prostate cancer research boosted

Researchers at ECU are studying better ways to detect and treat prostate cancer with help from two grants provided by Triad Golfers Against Cancer.

Dr. Fred Bertrand, a scientist and assistant professor in the Department of Oncology at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, received $40,000 for use in better identifying molecular pathways that are present in all cell types and active in many cancers.

This research is designed to improve the detection of prostate cancers and treat them for therapeutic benefit.

Dr. Qun Lu, a professor of anatomy and cell biology at the Brody School of Medicine, is collaborating with Drs. Michael Woods, Hong Jin Kim and Carol Otey at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a study aimed at improving ways of detecting prostate cancer. The project, funded by a $50,000 grant, is designed to develop a urine-based test with likely application toward detecting other cancer types.

The new test would be an alternative to “the punch,” or the insertion of a probe into the prostate that is the current standard of care but can lead to a high number of cases of infection and other complications.

Triad Golfers Against Cancer announced the grants on Jan. 23 as part of $250,000 in cancer research grants to four medical facilities in North Carolina. The grants will be used for further research into causes and searches toward cures for cancers related primarily to breast, ovarian and prostate issues, but can also be beneficial in early detection of other forms of cancer.

Seven individual grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 each were awarded to the cancer research centers at ECU, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University and Duke University. Grant recipients were chosen by a GAC research committee following interviews with medical school representatives and were based on viability and scope of institutional research, as well as the ability to procure matching grants to add to the GAC awards.

GAC was founded in 2005 as a local unit of a national charitable organization started in Houston eight years earlier by golfers who were committed to raising money for cancer research across the nation. Since its formation, GAC has raised and donated almost $2 million for cancer research at North Carolina cancer centers.


Pories recognized for contributions


Dr. Walter Pories, a pioneering surgeon and researcher at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, is the recipient of the 2013 John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award.


Pories is a pioneer in bariatric, or weight-loss, surgery, and his team at ECU discovered patients who had diabetes before the surgery showed no signs of it afterward. The surgical procedure Pories developed, called the Greenville gastric-bypass, excludes part of the large intestine from the digestive process. Researchers worldwide are now working to discover how the intestine causes the disease and how to stop the responsible molecules.


Pories came to ECU in 1977 to start the surgery department at the new medical school. He also is a military veteran, having served in the Air Force and Army.


Among other accomplishments, the award recognized Pories for his work in pediatric, thoracic and oncologic surgery, his research into zinc an essential nutrient for life in animals and humans, and conclusive results that the Greenville Gastric Bypass results in a long-term remission of type 2 diabetes.


The John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award, established in 1993, is presented annually by the Houston Academy of Medicine in collaboration with the Harris County Medical Society, to recognize a physician whose career has been founded on ideals championed by Sir William Osler, the “father of modern medicine,” humane and ethical care, commitment to medical humanities and writing, research and harmony between the academician and medical practitioner.


Upcoming events


  • Tonight-Tuesday: Dance 2013, featuring choreography by ECU faculty, guest artist John Magnus and the North River Dance Company; 2 p.m. today and 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday in McGinnis Theatre. Tickets are $12.50 for adults, $10 for students/youth, available online at www.ecuarts.com.
  • Thursday: Second annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, benefiting the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Mendenhall Student Center great rooms. Tickets are $15 for a meal of soup and bread and a handmade bowl. Additional information at www.emptybowls.net or through ECU Campus Living at 252-328-2834.
  • Thursday: The Making of 1633, ‘Poems, by J.D. with Elegies on the Author’s Death,’ An Illustrated Detective Story – a lecture by Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities Dr. Gary A. Stringer; 7 p.m. Bate Building, Room 1031. A reception will follow the lecture in the Bate Building foyer. Free and open to the public. For more information, call 252-328-6249.
  • Saturday: Great Decisions Program: Lecture on ‘Future of the Euro’ by Dr. Randall Parker, Department of Economics at ECU; 10 a.m., Rivers Building West Auditorium. Lecture is free to students, faculty and staff, $6 per session for the public. For more information, contact Dr. Sylvie Debevec Henning at 252-328-5520 or hennings@ecu.edu. To register for the series, visit the Great Decisions website at www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/greatdecisions/home.cfm.

via The Daily Reflector.


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