Mar 282013



Startup Madness is a collegiate entrepreneurship competition with 22 teams from 14 ACC schools where students pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges takes place at the Hunt Library on the NCSU Centennial Campus in Raleigh, NC on March 27, 2013. Here Duke student Tatiana Birgisson (cq) makes her pitch for Mati, her beverage that she is trying to develop. Chris Seward —

Published: March 27, 2013

By Kelly Poe —

RALEIGH — Despite early exits in the NCAA Tournament for the Wolfpack and Tar Heels, March Madness was alive and well on the N.C. State University campus Wednesday.

The third annual “Startup Madness” competition hosted teams from all 12 Atlantic Coast Conference schools, vying for a trip to Silicon Valley to meet with venture capital firms and successful startup companies such as Facebook.

Marketing everything from the world’s thinnest Bluetooth speaker to shoes that charge your devices, teams traveled to N.C. State’s Centennial Campus to pitch their ideas to business professors, experienced entrepreneurs and potential investors.

Competing students stand to gain even if they lose, said Scott Kelly, a Triangle entrepreneur and the competition’s founder. Students can network and gain necessary experience pitching their product.

“It takes thousands of times pitching to really understand what you’d like to develop,” Kelly said. “Students can develop their ideas and focus on what they’re trying to solve.”

The competition was held at the American Tobacco campus in Durham the first two years before moving to N.C. State’s James B. Hunt Jr. Library this year.

Undergraduates and graduate students competed, and many said their startup plans would be their full-time jobs upon graduation. Some of the competing teams already had patents and investors for their startups.

The competition was modeled after basketball’s March Madness, starting with 22 teams in the first round, followed by an Elite Eight round.

Each round consisted of the startup companies pitching their products and answering questions from a panel of judges.

Tatiana Birgisson, who graduated from Duke University in December, came to pitch Mati Tea, a company she started slightly more than a year ago. Birgisson sells healthy carbonated teas to local offices, but she’s looking to expand to local restaurants. She didn’t make it past the first round.

“(Startup Madness) is getting my name out there, especially locally,” Birgisson said.

Judges evaluated competitors based on three criteria that make a good startup, said judge David Townsend, an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at N.C. State. A good startup has quality management, an effective product or technology and a good market, Townsend said.

Judges also evaluate factors like whether the product already has buyers, he added.

“Students generally have good ideas,” Townsend said. “What these competitions do is allow students to meet people out in the real world.”

A University of Miami startup won first place in the competition for Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream, a company that aims to create a better ice cream flavor by eliminating the refreezing process using nitrogen

Michelle Crawford, who is pursuing a master’s of business administration at Florida State University, pitched Erista, an online clothing company with shapewear built into the clothing.

“I wanted to win the competition to have access to seed capital and the professional resources that they offer,” Crawford said. “It’s just a great way to make contacts.”

Poe: 919-829-4918

via RALEIGH: In ‘Startup Madness,’ ACC entrepreneurs pitch their products | Education |

Mar 282013



Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

From left, Drs. Samia Sayegh, Nirav Shelat, Luke Gerges and David Zelman last month at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.


Published: March 27, 2013


For years, medical students who chose a residency in radiology were said to be on the ROAD to happiness. The acronym highlighted the specialties — radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology and dermatology — said to promise the best lifestyle for doctors, including the most money for the least grueling work.

Not anymore. Radiologists still make twice as much as family doctors, but are high on the list of specialists whose incomes are in steepest decline. Recent radiology graduates with huge medical school debts are having trouble finding work, let alone the $400,000-and-up dream jobs that beckoned as they signed on for five to seven years of relatively low-paid labor as trainees. On Internet forums, younger radiology residents agonize about whether it is too late to switch tracks.

At St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, a dozen radiologists in training, including Dr. Luke Gerges, 28, are suddenly stranded on an expensive road to nowhere. All received termination notices recently because their hospital is ending their residency program next year as part of a plan to replace its radiologists with a teleradiology company that reads diagnostic images remotely.

“Those days of raking in the dough with radiology are gone,” said Dr. Gerges, who is four years beyond medical school and $300,000 in debt. He said he chose a specialty he loves without caring that big salaries were waning, but never imagined it would be this hard to finish his postgraduate training and get a job.

“No one is going to hire me to be a radiologist without my training,” he said.

Few specialties have been immune to the same factors depressing radiology: deep Medicare cuts, cut-rate competition driven by technology, doubts about the health value of many tests and procedures and new measures to tilt public money to primary care.

The case of St. Barnabas may be extreme, said Dr. Paul H. Ellenbogen, chairman of the American College of Radiology, the principal organization of the nation’s 30,000 radiologists, who called the hospital’s treatment of the residents “unconscionable.” But it is part of a larger pattern that has made radiology the target of a dozen cuts in Medicare reimbursement since 2006, he said, totaling $6 billion.

“We were somewhat victims of our success,” said Dr. Ellenbogen, in Dallas, whose career spans what radiologists call the golden years, when the cost of diagnostic imaging grew faster than other items in health care.

Starting in the 1980s, the advent of technology like M.R.I.’s and CT scans, combined with a fee-for-service system, created ballooning demand for imaging and drove the compensation of radiologists to unsustainable heights, he said. “That led to a sense of entitlement in some people’s minds,” he said. “And that led to this development of offshore remote reading of cases.”

By 2001, with the supply of radiologists limited by a 1997 Congressional cap on all Medicare-supported residencies, nighttime demand was unmanageable for smaller emergency rooms. So-called nighthawk radiology services began pooling the diagnostic imaging loads of several hospitals and transmitting them electronically to American radiologists stationed overseas or working from home.

Though outsourcing to India grabbed headlines, the big growth in teleradiology was domestic. Now the nighthawk companies, staffed by recent radiology graduates, are competing for the daytime work, too.

St. Barnabas pays radiology residents $48,000 to $60,000 a year and collects about $150,000 for each in “direct graduate medical education” Medicare payments, which, besides their pay, is supposed to cover malpractice insurance and education in the program, accredited by the American Osteopathic Association. But the hospital will not release the money to other programs where the radiology residents could complete their training, Steven Clark, a hospital spokesman, said, because it plans to use the money to expand primary-care residencies.

That decision could be seen as a small victory for national policies intended to bolster primary care. But to many St. Barnabas residents, it mainly shows that the system of graduate medical education is broken.

“If the model becomes that everything is remote reading, it comes at the expense of training,” said Dr. Nirav Shelat, another third-year radiology resident. “Are we going to allow our trainees to essentially be kicked out by corporations?”

St. Barnabas, a 461-bed community hospital that lost $10 million last year and pays its chief executive nearly $1 million annually, now contracts with a traditional group practice of 18 radiologists to be its radiology department. Mr. Clark would not name the companies competing to replace the group practice, but said, “From a cost-cutting perspective and from a quality perspective, you can have a lot more people reading X-rays remotely than you can inside the hospital.”

In desperation to find a new traineeship. Dr. David Zelman, a fourth-year resident, offered to work without pay. He said hospitals told him that it would be unethical to accept free labor, or that training him would still be too costly without additional money for malpractice insurance and benefits.

One hospital, McLaren Macomb, in suburban Detroit, instead offered several residents slots in its “unfunded program,” in which most radiology residents essentially pay for their own positions through donations, typically from a spouse or parents: $65,000 a year to cover a $42,000 salary and $2,000 for expenses.

“Obviously it would be your last choice, but if there are no open funded positions and you can scrounge up the funds, keep it in mind,” the program director, Dr. Eli Shapiro, wrote in an e-mail to Dr. Gerges.

Dr. Shapiro, 57, added in an interview that every specialty was clamoring for more residents. “They’re nice to have,” he said, “especially when there’s a call at 3 o’clock in the morning. They’re around and I’m not.”

Despite declining prospects, competition for many traineeships is fiercer because the number of medical school graduates has grown by a third since 2002. “The way this whole medical education is, you’re essentially just in an indentured servitude position,” said Dr. Tom Chen, a first-year radiology resident at St. Barnabas from Queens.

The demand for imaging began to slow after 2006, even as technology increased productivity, studies show. Besides reimbursement cuts and rising deductibles, factors that curbed the scans included new concerns about radiation and useless tests. Compensation began to drop.

Last year, an annual salary survey of 24,000 physicians by Medscape, an online resource for doctors, found radiologists and orthopedic surgeons still topped the list of specialties, but their mean incomes had dropped by 10 percent between 2010 and 2011, to $315,000 from $350,000.

Anesthesiologists, facing competition from nurse anesthetists and Medicare cutbacks, were down by 5 percent, to $309,000. Ophthalmologists were up by 9 percent, to $270,000, but have not recovered from earlier cuts for procedures like cataract surgery, sped up by technology.

Only dermatology, despite a 2 percent dip to $283,000, seems to have kept its luster; lucrative cosmetic work is unaffected by Medicare and managed care. On the radiologists’ Web site, amid complaints that radiology reading rooms have become sweat shops and jobs are scarce, one response to a wavering resident was succinct: “Derm! Now!!”

But longings for other once “hot” specialties, from cardiology to emergency medicine, brought warnings of slashed reimbursements and few jobs.

“The times of graduating from medical school and driving a Porsche are done,” said Dr. Dana Lowenthal, a first-year radiology resident and fourth-generation doctor. “It was never easy, but there was light at the end of the tunnel. This is new territory.”

via Trainees in Radiology and Other Specialties See Dream Jobs Disappearing –

Mar 282013



(By Mel Evans/AP)

(By Mel Evans/AP)

Posted by Valerie Strauss on March 26, 2013 at 10:46 am

It’s the other March Madness: College acceptance season is underway, with schools now sending out e-mails and letters to students across the country about whether they have been admitted or rejected. A new study says that the madness may ease over the next decade as the number of high school graduates drops.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education released its annual “Knocking At The College Door,” which says that the peak year for high school graduates was 2010-11, when the total number from public and nonpublic reached 3.4 million.

For the 2013-14 school year, the number of graduates from high school is expected to fall to between 3.2 million and 3.3 million. It won’t be until 2020-21 that there will be a sustained jump in the number of graduates, which will continue through 2026-27, according to the report.

The change in the number of graduates will vary according to state and region, the report says. Through this decade, these are some projections:

*Dwindling production (losses of 15 percent or more): The District of Columbia, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont (six states).

*Slowing production (losses of between 5 and 15 percent): Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (17 states).

*Manageable decline (losses of less than 5 percent): Arizona, Delaware, Indiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, and West Virginia (seven states).

Manageable growth (increases of less than 5 percent): Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington (12 states).

Accelerated expansion (increases of between 5 and 15 percent): Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Wyoming (six states).

*Swift expansion (increases greater than 15 percent): Colorado, Texas, and Utah (three states)

The demographics of the high school graduating cohort is changing too. The report says that 2019-20, 45 percent will be non-white; in 2009, it was 38 percent. It says there will be:

*228,000 fewer white non-Hispanic graduates (a decline of 12 percent).

*About 197,000 more Hispanic graduates (anincrease of 41 percent).

*49,000 more Asian/Pacific Islander graduates (an increase of 30 percent).

*41,000 fewer Black non-Hispanic graduates (a decline of 9 percent).

*More than 500 additional American Indian/Alaska Native graduates (an increase of just under 2 percent

Of course, how much competitive difference students will notice at the most selective colleges is open to question. As a reminder of the odds at some of these schools, note that Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., just sent out a release saying that it had accepted 4,554 students from 32,772 applications, the highest number it had ever received. That’s a 13.9 percent acceptance rate, down from 27 percent in 2007.

via College admissions madness may ease: study.

Mar 272013


East Carolina will join the soon-to-be-renamed Big East as an all-sports member, instead of just for football as originally planned.

East Carolina had already been set to join Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida and the rest of the Big East football schools in 2014. But with the recent split of the football and basketball schools, the football side is giving up the name Big East and needed to add more members for all sports.

Commissioner Mike Aresco called East Carolina “a valuable addition” in a statement announcing the move Wednesday.

“They have forward-looking leadership under Chancellor Steve Ballard and an outstanding and well-rounded athletic program,” Aresco said. “Their men’s and women’s basketball teams have enjoyed excellent seasons and their Olympic sports are strong. East Carolina being made an all-sports member is another important step in strengthening our conference.”

East Carolina, which has 19 sports, has been in Conference USA since joining that league as an all-sports member for the 2001-02 season, though its football program joined that league in 1997. It will stay there through the 2013-14 season and join its new league on July 1, 2014.

“East Carolina University is delighted to play all sports in this conference,” Ballard said in a statement. “We appreciate the leadership of Mike Aresco and (South Florida) president Judy Genshaft and we look forward to working with each university.”

Tulsa will join the soon-to-be-renamed Big East in 2014, sources told ESPN. The league’s presidents are expected to vote on adding the Golden Hurricane by next week, sources said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

via East Carolina Pirates will join new league in all sports – ESPN.

Mar 272013


Published: March 27, 2013 Updated 5 hours ago

News Services

ESPN’s Andy Katz reported Tuesday that sources have told him that East Carolina soon would be added as a full member of the soon-to-be-renamed Big East.

“I’m not in position to confirm nor deny at this point,” East Carolina spokeswoman Mary Schulken said Tuesday.

Last November, it was announced that East Carolina would join the Big East as a football-only member.

During East Carolina’s news conference to introduce new athletics director Jeff Compher on March 6, chancellor Steve Ballard said that ultimately all of the university’s sports would join the Big East.

ESPN also reported on Tuesday that Tulsa will also leave Conference USA for the conference and that the Big East presidents are excepted to vote on adding the school by next week.

ECU, Tulane and, presumedly Tulsa, will leave Conference USA on July 1, 2014, to join Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis, South Florida, Southern Methodist, Temple and Central Florida. Navy will become the conference’s 12th member in 2015. The (Greenville) Daily Reflector

via ECU likely to fully join soon-to-be-renamed Big East | East Carolina |

Mar 272013
The Daily Reflector

The Daily Reflector

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) spoke on Monday to physician faculty and students at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University about health care reform and the Affordable Care Act. Burr opposed the administration’s plan but has not received Republican support for his plan.

By Michael Abramowitz

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said he has a better idea for health care reform, but he can’t get support from his party or the White House.

The Republican senator from North Carolina stopped at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University on his way home to Winston-Salem from Washington, D.C., to share his thoughts on health care reform and the Affordable Care Act with physicians and medical students.

Burr said he most often is asked what it is like to be part of the debates in Washington these days, and more important, what he felt going through the debate on the Affordable Care Act.

“I’ve been involved in health care legislation for 19 years,” Burr said. “It would have been easier for me to go to medical school than to learn about (federal) health care policy.”

Burr said he has the right to be critical of the administration’s reform legislation because he has worked on and introduced three comprehensive health care plans in the U.S. Senate, including on the topic of Medicaid reform.

“Everybody says if you’re going to be critical, introduce your plan,” Burr said. “Well, (with Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn) we’ve introduced our plan over and over again. But I’m not going to look in the rear-view mirror because the ACA is now law.”

Burr focused on the two premises of the ACA; first, that everyone should have access to health insurance coverage, which he said most Americans would agree with.

“America is the most compassionate country; there’s no country that has an open-door policy the way we do,” Burr said. “But about three weeks, ago we cut off people with pre-existing conditions and no affordable insurance because we hit the wall on the funding mechanism and didn’t have any more money. So we’ve already fallen short for one of the most targeted groups.”

The second part of Burr’s focus on the ACA was health insurance exchanges, scheduled for implementation through the ACA beginning in January. Under the new law, states can choose to self-manage the three-year, 100-percent federal funding on their own or opt out of participation. North Carolina chose not to participate in insurance exchanges, leaving the management to the federal government.

Burr said he does not support the ACA format for health exchanges.

“State exchanges are run by the state but governed by the federal government through the ACA, which said exactly how the state exchanges must operate and what the benefit packages must look like,” Burr said.

He said he and Coburn supported a form of state Medicaid exchanges as an important health care reform method if the state is left in charge of its exchange.

“I think a state-run exchange would have been a tremendous success in a state like North Carolina … because it brought together medical professionals in a community to manage care and make medical decisions for an individual patient,” Burr said.

He supports the idea of medical homes, which also gather medical providers and resources around patients rather than having the patient go from one provider or specialist to another. He said he sees a particular benefit of that format for Medicare patients.

“They are the ones who can have a better health outcome and a cheaper health-care experience with a medical home navigating the options and driving the decisions for them,” Burr said. “A hospital is not always the best portal to access, either for outcomes or for cost.

“The Affordable Care Act does not produce a more involved patient in its matrix,” Burr said. “It requires transparency by providers that pits the quality of one provider over another at lower costs that is needed to make decisions. We have to find a way to do that without creating a roadmap to liability.”

Burr said he is satisfied with his continued efforts to put out health care policies that he believes have a chance to work, but has not gotten support from his own party or from the White House, which he said had plenty of opportunity to examine them before crafting the ACA, but did not.

“They didn’t do health care reform; they did health care replacement,” he said. “They defined a federal guideline for how health care will be conducted, but it hasn’t reformed anything. A robust health care system that is financially sustainable must put the emphasis on competition and innovation. That’s what the Affordable Care Act lacks.”

Contact Michael Abramowitz at or 252-329-9571.

via The Daily Reflector.

Mar 272013


Published: March 26, 2013 Updated 6 hours ago

By Jane Stancill —

CHAPEL HILL — UNC-Chapel Hill’s student-run honor court has delayed a trial for Landen Gambill, the student who was charged with intimidating another student after publicly saying she had been raped.

Chancellor Holden Thorp announced Tuesday that he had asked the honor system to suspend its proceeding after a retaliation charge by Gambill against the university. “We decided it was best that the honor court case be put on hold,” he said.

The retaliation claim will be reviewed in light of guidelines related to the federal Title IX gender equity law, Thorp said. “I think it’s something that we’re going to need to get some objective analysis on,” he said.

On Monday, Gambill accused the university of retaliation in a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Gambill is one of five women who lodged another federal complaint in January, charging that the university has mishandled sexual assault cases.

Gambill could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but she has said the honor court charge amounts to retaliation because she has been outspoken about her alleged sexual assault. The honor code charge stemmed from a complaint by the fellow student she says raped her.

John Gresham, the attorney for the male student, said there is no factual basis that the university had any part in the filing of the complaint, or that the process was influenced by the university.

“I believe the facts will show there is no basis for this allegation that the university was retaliating against Ms. Gambill,” he said.

The decision to file the intimidation complaint was made by his client because of derogatory comments by Gambill, Gresham said.

In public events, including several rallies on campus, Gambill talked about the university improperly handling her allegations of sexual assault. She did not publicly identify the accused student, who last year was cleared of sexual assault in a campus judicial hearing before a panel of students, faculty and staff. Gambill had chosen to use the university’s process rather than report the alleged sexual assault to police.

Gambill’s attorney, Clay Turner, wrote to Thorp on Monday saying Gambill’s First Amendment free speech rights entitle her to talk about her case.

He said the honor court prosecution of Gambill was reckless. The charges, Turner wrote, were retaliatory, “inappropriate, unconstitutional, and utterly without merit.”

Gambill’s charge of retaliation complicates the picture of a pending honor court trial, Thorp wrote in a letter to students, faculty and staff.

“For several weeks, the University has grappled with how best to respond to a public claim of retaliation against the University while maintaining the autonomy and integrity of our Honor Court proceedings and the privacy of the individuals involved,” his letter said.

“Recognizing the potential conflicts that may exist by allowing both processes to continue, we have asked the Student Attorney General to suspend the Honor Court proceeding pending an external review of these allegations of retaliation. The University takes all allegations of retaliation seriously, whether against an individual or an institution, and this allegation is no exception.”

Gresham said he anticipates that the honor court hearing will go forward once the retaliation complaint is reviewed.

The original complaint about UNC-CH’s handling of sexual assaults is now under investigation by the federal Office for Civil Rights. A separate federal investigation is looking into the question of whether UNC-CH violated the Clery Act, which requires the reporting of campus crime statistics.

And now, the university is contending with the retaliation complaint, even while a national consultant is working with the campus to examine broader issues of sexual misconduct on campus.

“These are difficult and complex issues playing out all around the country,” Thorp said Tuesday. “Everybody working through this is learning about the right way to do all of this. I think it’s going to serve Carolina and higher education well that this whole thing is going on, as difficult as it is.”

Stancill: 919-829-4559

via CHAPEL HILL: UNC asks honor court to suspend trial against student | Education |

Mar 272013


InSite consultant Rob Cornwell talks about the weaknesses that the city of Greenville faces in drawing indurstries to town at the HIlton on Tuesday. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)
InSite consultant Rob Cornwell talks about the weaknesses that the city of Greenville faces in drawing indurstries to town at the HIlton on Tuesday. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)


By Ginger Livingston

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Greenville and Pitt County need the facilities that will make a quick move possible for new companies.

That was the message delivered to the Pitt County Committee of 100 on Tuesday by Insite Consulting, a firm studying how prepared the community is to recruit new business.

The firm’s final report should be complete in a few weeks, but Rob Cornwell, principal with the company, presented the initial findings during the Committee of 100’s annual meeting.

“Pitt County’s ability to recruit jobs is very good,” Cornwell said. “With some enhancements to the process, the potential is even greater because you have a lot of resources in the community.”

What the community needs is a shell building with sufficient height, he said.

“That’s a major issue because 85 percent of (economic development) projects are generated from buildings,” Cornwell said.

When companies want to relocate, they do not want to wait months for construction. A shell building will cost about $2 million, Cornwell said. A structure located in Indigreen Corporate Park likely would cost $3 million because of design covenants, according to Wanda Yuhas, the Pitt County Development Commission’s executive director.

“I’m not saying the county should fund it or the Committee of 100 (should fund it),” Cornwell said. “Maybe it should be a joint project.”

Cornwell noted that Pitt County has the ability to direct up to three cents of its ad valorem tax toward economic development. As of now, it is spending less than one cent on development, he said.

Cornwell said the community should discuss increasing funding.

Greenville and Pitt County have numerous strengths, Cornwell said. Greenville Utilities has enough excess water and sewer capacity to accommodate most industry, he said.

“You have really nice industrial parks,” he said. “The four we looked at present themselves well.”

East Carolina University, Vidant Health Systems and Pitt Community College, along with local industries, are important draws, Cornwell said, because they show the community has an available workforce with varied skills and facilities needed for additional training.

Cornwell said the community also has done a good job promoting entrepreneurial development with the Technology Enterprise Center and the City of Greenville’s SEED program, which offers space to startup companies.

Besides the lack of a shell building, some the community’s weaknesses include a lack of aggressive incentive programs, no industrial sites within the city and the fact that no new industry has moved to the community in the last three years.

Cornwell said potential clients can be steered from that last issue because the community has seen several successful expansions of industry.

The community also needs a vision for riverfront development, Cornwell said. Greenville has a suitable downtown that can support development on the waterfront, he said.

“We’ve got to get something going down there,” he said.

The community also needs a consistent economic development message, Cornwell said.

Contact Ginger Livingston at or 252-329-9570.

via The Daily Reflector.