Apr 072013



Photo by Cliff Hollis/ECU News ServicesECU student Dallas Puett, center, works on a cyber defense project in the computer lab in the College of Technology and Computer Science. The college has received approval for a new master's degree in network technology, which will begin accepting students this fall.

Photo by Cliff Hollis/ECU News Services. ECU student Dallas Puett, center, works on a cyber defense project in the computer lab in the College of Technology and Computer Science. The college has received approval for a new master’s degree in network technology, which will begin accepting students this fall.

By ECU News Service

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A new East Carolina University graduate program capitalizing on continued growth in the information technology sector will begin accepting students this fall.

A master of science in network technology was approved in February by the UNC Board of Governors. It will be offered through the College of Technology and Computer Science’s Department of Technology Systems and will be available online to students worldwide through remotely accessible labs.

The network technology degree will meet two specific needs, according to Dr. T.J. Mohammed, chair of the department. First, it will be a degree graduates can easily market to potential employers because of the recognizable name. This differs from the existing master’s in technology systems degree, Mohammed said, which will continue to accept students.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also identifies information technology jobs, network analyst and network administrator positions as “key growth” areas over the next decade.

“This field is going to be in demand,” Mohammed said. “It’s a really hot area…an area of high need.”

The new program encompasses several existing concentrations within Technology Systems – digital communication, computer and network management, information security – and adds a newly created concentration in web technology.

Earning a master’s degree in this field will enable ECU students to more easily pursue management positions at major IT corporations, Mohammed said, as well as give them the ability to teach courses in the discipline either at a community college or university.

The program will be created and taught with existing resources, but also with the support of technology, open source and cloud computing industries including Red Hat, Cisco, EMC, HP and VMware.

“We’ll be able to prepare people to help North Carolina’s economy,” Mohammed said. “By collaborating closely with these industries, we get to be in step (with the latest technology).


Immunotoxicology study leads to national award

Dr. Jamie DeWitt, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, has received the 2013 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Immunotoxicology Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology.

The award is given to investigators who are 10 or fewer years out from obtaining their doctorates who have contributed substantially, through scholarly research, to the field. To date, DeWitt has 24 scholarly publications that focus on immunotoxicity.

“It’s a huge honor as the scientists who’ve been selected for this award in the past have made monumental contributions to the field of immunotoxicology,” DeWitt said.

Her research focuses on systemic and developmental immunotoxicity following exposure to environmental pollutants. One of her main interests is the impact of exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid, a compound used to manufacture many industrial and commercial products such as Teflon, on immune function.

Her goals are understanding the long-term effects of developmental toxicant exposure on behavior and immune function, evaluating common signaling pathways for nervous and immune system development and identifying critical windows of developmental exposure.

“I think this award also indicates that the immunotoxicology community values developmental immunotoxicity research and research that explores the connections between the immune and nervous systems,” DeWitt said. “These are both areas that are relatively new in the discipline and areas that are somewhat understudied in relation to other areas of immunotoxicology.”

Ultimately, DeWitt wants to extend her studies in developmental immunotoxicology to investigate the potential role of immune modulation in the development of disorders such as autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

DeWitt came to ECU in 2008. In addition to being on the pharmacology and toxicology faculty, she is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at the medical school. She also chairs the Brody Women Faculty Committee and is the incoming president of the North Carolina regional chapter of the Society of Toxicology.

Washington exhibit features ECU work

An exhibit on display at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is showcasing the achievements of Dr. Thomas Herron, an associate professor of English at ECU, students in ECU’s School of Art and Design and the University Multimedia Center.

The exhibit, which runs through May 19, is “Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland” and focuses on the Irish upper class during the 16th to mid-17th century and its cultural exchanges with England. It investigates the political struggles of the period while acknowledging the ways in which English and Irish cultures influenced each other through achievements in literature, architecture and the arts.

“It goes beyond the black and white view of the interactions between the English and the Irish,” Herron said of the exhibit.

Students in ECU assistant professor Robin Haller’s textile and design course recreated a replica of an Irish mantle, which Herron said is a type of outer covering or cloak worn by the Irish. The University Multimedia Center also contributed to the exhibit by creating a 3-D computerized recreation of a tower house castle from the Middle Ages that allows viewers to get a virtual tour.

Herron said that a 16th century portrait of Queen Elizabeth I “discovered” in Manteo while hanging in plain sight during a conference is on display as well.

“ECU has been so generous and has played a major role in the exhibit,” Herron said. “Different departments within the university have gone out of their way.”

While the exhibit focuses on Europe, Herron said modern Americans can still appreciate it.

“Shakespeare is a powerful influence on the U.S. and our culture,” he said. “And many Americans have Irish roots.”

“Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland,” features portraits, manuscripts, artifacts, family records, and rare books drawn from collections in Ireland and the United States. The exhibition includes nearly 100 items from the Folger collection, as well as materials from the National Gallery of Ireland, the University of Wisconsin, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Ireland, and private collections.

For more information on the exhibit, visit www.folger.edu/Ireland or contact Tom Herron at herront@ecu.edu.

Upcoming Events

Monday: Women of Distinction awards ceremony, 4:30 p.m. in the Murphy Center. ECU alumnae and Meredith College President Dr. Jo Allen is the keynote speaker. Contact Beth Velde at veldeb@ecu.edu or Marsha Hall at hallm@ecu.edu.

Tuesday: S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series presents singer Bobby McFerrin in concert, 8 p.m., Wright Auditorium. Tickets $55 adults, $10 for students/youth. Visit http://www.ecuarts.com or contact 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

Wednesday: Contemporary Writers Series presents poet Dave Smith, 4 p.m., second floor gallery of Joyner Library. Smith is the Elliott Coleman Professor of Poetry at Johns Hopkins University and his poetry chronicles the changing landscape of the country and the South. Contact Tom Douglass at 328-6723 or douglasst@ecu.edu.

Saturday: S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series presents “Big Nightmare Music: Igudesman and Joo,” 7 p.m. in Wright Auditorium. The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra performs the work of two musicians combining comedy with classical music and popular culture. Tickets $30 adults and $10 for students/youth. Visit http://www.edu.edu/srapas or call 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

via The Daily Reflector.


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