May 132013
 

reflector

ECU notes

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The youth in the Rev. Richard Joyner’s church in Conetoe already are health ambassadors — growing vegetables and teaching neighbors about healthy lifestyles.

Joyner recruited more ambassadors on April 26 as pastors from eastern North Carolina toured the Brody School of Medicine to learn about East Carolina University’s resources to share with their congregations and communities.

Developing relationships and creating partnerships in the communities that Brody serves is important in preventative health, Dr. Paul Cunningham, dean of the Brody School of Medicine, said.

“Coming today is one of the processes to help us to understand what the resources are and to help us do preventative health, and not go to the emergency room for health care,” Joyner, who also is director of pastoral care at Nash Health Care, said.

Clergy often are involved when a church or family member of a congregant enters the hospital.

“We want to reduce admissions by increasing education and the health of our community,” Joyner said.

Eastern North Carolina’s health challenges include asthma, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Joyner’s county, Edgecombe, is representative of the region’s health maladies, which are two to five times higher for minority groups.

Joyner said he was performing more burials than weddings when he started at Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church 10 years ago. So the church initiated weekly education and exercise classes to empower local residents to take charge of their health.

This summer, youth will to go door to door in a 20-mile radius around Conetoe, population 365, to survey 200 households about their lifestyle, medications and health history and create a health passport.

The church also started a 12-acre community garden and has 50 beehives, providing access to healthy foods.

“It’s youth-driven,” Joyner said. “The message is you don’t have to wait to be in a health care field. We’ve got to see ourselves as accountable and sustain our community partnerships.”

Joyner said Conetoe is a small community that wants to have a big impact. “We talk about ‘field to fork.’ We’re trying to put a real relationship with food and one’s physical life, spiritual life and educational life.”

“The model you’re creating is something I tell people about all over the country,” Cunningham, who would like to see it replicated across the region, said. “If it helps the community, it helps us.”

Pastors toured the robotics lab in the Warren Life Sciences Building, the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU and the pulmonology clinic and endoscopy center in Moye Medical Center.

The Rev. Roy Gray, pastor of Cedar Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Williamston, said the tour was an eye-opener.

“We really need to get the word out,” he said, after trying his hand on the DaVinci Surgical System in the ECU Robotic Research and Training Center. “A lot of people don’t have a clue this equipment exists in eastern North Carolina.”

 

Annual awards day highlights faculty, staff excellence

The fourth annual Founders Day and University Awards Celebration recognized “the best of East Carolina University” on May 1 in Hendrix Theatre.

“Today we recognize these important aspects of ECU and recognize the best of ECU,” Provost Marilyn Sheerer said. “You are the heart of this university.”

UNC Board of Governors Chairman Peter Hans recognized Dr. Sam Sears, who was announced on April 12 as the O. Max Gardner Award recipient. The award is the highest UNC-system honor and is given to a faculty member, who during the current scholastic year has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race.

Sears, who is director of ECU’s doctoral program in health psychology, is the world’s leading expert and most prolific author on the psychological implications for patients living with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD.

“Your research reaches more than 1,000 patients each year as they learn to cope with the life-saving technology that gives high voltage shocks when it detects arrthymias,” Hans said.

Sears holds faculty appointments in the Department of Psychology and Department of Cardiovascular Sciences.

“This is a place that can respond to modern challenges,” Sears said. “This is not a stodgy medical school or stodgy campus. This is a place that says what are the new challenges and how can we address them. How can we come up with novel solutions to address novel problems?

“That’s academia. Industry can’t do it the way academia can.”

Hans also recognized the recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, Dr. John W. Stiller in the Department of Biology.

Other awards presented during the ceremony were the following:

The UNC Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award recognizes excellent teaching at each of the 16 constituent universities in the UNC system. Six ECU recipients were selected: Dr. Sviatoslav Archava, Department of Mathematics, Dr. Keith Holmes, Department of Chemistry, Dr. Peng Li, Department of Technology Systems, Dr. Jeff Popke, Department of Geography, Dr. Deborah Thomson, School of Communication, Dr. Richard Williams, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

The 2012-13 recipients of the Scholar-Teacher Award, now in its 17th year, were recognized during Research and Creative Achievement Week. Recipients are as follows: Dr. Paige Averett, School of Social Work; Patricia “Patch” Clark, School of Theatre and Dance; Dr. Qin Ding, Department of Computer Science; Dr. Kylie P. Dotson-Blake, Department of Higher, Adult & Counselor Education; Dr. Carol Goodwillie, Department of Biology; Dr. Andrew O. Herdman, Department of Management; Dr. Charles P. Humphrey, Department of Health Education and Promotion; Dr. Kim Larson, Department of Undergraduate Nursing Science, Senior Division; Dr. Philip A. Rothman, Department of Economics, and Dr. Thad Wasklewicz, Department of Geography.

The East Carolina Alumni Association Awards for Outstanding Teaching went to Dr. Elizabeth A. Fogarty of the Department of Elementary Education and Middle Grades Education and Dr. Sharilyn C. Steadman, Department of Literacy Studies, English Education and History Education. Dr. Christy Ashley, Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, received the association’s Robert L. Jones Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Dr. Elizabeth Hodge, Department of Business Information Technology Education, received the Max Ray Joyner Award for Faculty Service through Distance Education.

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement for Research or Creative Activity was Dr. Roger A. Rulifson, Department of Biology. Dr. Thomas Herron, Department of English, and Dr. Baohong-Zhang, Department of Biology, received Five-Year Achievement Award awards.

Dr. Rebecca J. Dumlao, School of Communication, received the Scholarship of Engagement Award, which recognizes a faculty member for sustained commitment to partnered scholarly endeavors with communities.

Chancellor Steve Ballard presented the James R. Talton Jr. Leadership Award to Dr. Ron Perkin, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics.

The chancellor congratulated all the nominees and award recipients and noted it was good to take time to recognize campus achievements. “I see their accomplishments every day, but it’s good to be reminded of the great work that the faculty and staff do every day. You have my great appreciation,” Ballard said.

via The Daily Reflector.

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