Apr 152014


By Josh Hall

April 14, 2014

When John Moseley visited the Lincoln University campus for the first time last week, he couldn’t help but feel excited.

Now, he’s ready to take on the challenge of re-energizing a men’s basketball program that has struggled in recent years and making it a contender again.

“I got the feeling the people here are willing to do their part to help us turn this basketball program, or return this basketball program to a championship level in the (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association),” Moseley said. “As I researched this job, I was intrigued by the chance to compete in one of the most competitive Division II conferences in the country.”

Moseley was named the Blue Tigers’ new head coach at a press conference Monday. Lincoln president Kevin Rome and athletic director Betty Kemna said they are confident they have the right man for the job.

“We’re committed to investing in our athletic programs, investing into our student-athletes and building a winning program like we used to have,” Rome said. “But the past doesn’t matter if you’re not winning now. With that being said, we’re excited to bring someone here who we think can do that for basketball. We believe John is the coach who can take us to the next level.”

In its last five seasons under John Redmond, Lincoln was 18-116 overall and 11-75 in the MIAA. The Blue Tigers are coming off a 3-24 season in which they were just 1-18 in the MIAA.

“After comprehensive review of our men’s basketball program, we determined it was time to make a move, to move the program in a different direction,” Kemna said.

Lincoln has made the NCAA Division II Tournament 12 times as a member of the MIAA. The last time was in 1981 and the Blue Tigers haven’t had a winning season since 2001, when they went 14-12.

Moseley is anxious to get Lincoln back on track.

“It’s my desire to get this thing turned around as quickly as possible, so I’m not willing to sacrifice a season to make moves,” he said. “It may seem far-fetched right now, from where the program has been in the last few years, but I’m confident that we’ll bring the young men here necessary, along with the young men that are already here, and we’ll put a product out there that the university can be proud of.”

Moseley joins Lincoln after spending the past four years at North Carolina Central University, including the last three seasons as the team’s associate head coach. Working with head coach LeVelle Moton, Moseley helped lead the Eagles to a 28-6 record.

NCCU earned a No. 14 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, where the Eagles fell to No. 3 Iowa State in the second round.

“There are a lot of people that have played a role with helping me get to this point in my career,” Moseley said. “As a young coach, I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of really good coaches and really good people. The lessons that I learned while serving under these guys will be evident in the program that we establish here at Lincoln.”

Moseley brings 10 years of Division I experience with him to Lincoln. A 1998 graduate of East Carolina University, Moseley returned to his alma matter in 2008 to serve as the program’s director of basketball operations. In 2009, Moseley was promoted to assistant coach, serving as the recruiting organizer.

Prior to coaching at East Carolina, Moseley was an assistant coach at Winston-Salem State University in 2007-08. Before that, he made a one-year stop at Wright State University, working as an administrative assistant.

Moseley’s teams have enjoyed success at each of his stops, including the high-school ranks. Moseley was the head coach at Warren County High in Warrenton, N.C., from 2004-06, leading the program to its first state championship in 23 years.

“I think the success of all the places that I’ve been, it goes back to a couple of things,” Moseley said. “You’ve got to have discipline and you’ve got to have accountability on your team. The best teams I’ve been around police one another and there’s no coach that has to step in and say, ‘You didn’t do what you’re supposed to.’ The young men on the team take ownership of the team and they police one another.”

While on his visit to Lincoln last week, Moseley had the opportunity to visit with several current players. He wanted them to understand the importance of academics and how to properly conduct themselves on and off the court. The coach also sensed his players were eager to to make strides.

“When I talked to those guys, I know they’re hungry for success,” Moseley said. “But success doesn’t come by accident. You’ve got to get up every day, have a plan and work that plan. I expect our team to be competitive, tough and relentless.”

Moseley said he plans to bring the same game philosophy that was used at North Carolina Central. In the last three years, the Eagles have been near or at the top in the league’s defensive categories. That’s something Moseley hopes doesn’t change while guiding Lincoln.

Offensively, there are still some questions.

“I would love to stand here today and tell you we can run up and down and we’re going to score 127 points a game, but I don’t know right now,” Moseley said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m confident and excited to get on the floor and get after it with these guys.”

This will be the first head coaching job at the collegiate level for Moseley, who has bachelor’s degrees in both science and exercise and sports science, as well as master’s degrees in education and athletic administration.

Getting the chance to compete against other teams in the MIAA was a big draw for Moseley when the job became available. He noted the league had four teams in the Division II Tournament, including eventual national champion Central Missouri.

“It’s one of the reasons I certainly think it’s a good job,” Moseley said. “You want to compete against the best and I think we’ve got some of the best in this league. It’s a great measuring stick for our program. When you recruit young men, you talk about winning championships. Well, this league has proven if you’re able to compete in this league, you have a product that is good enough to compete nationally.”

Still, Moseley knows he and his team will have their work cut out for them. But he’s also ready to tackle the challenge.

“I’m no magician. I’m a good basketball coach, but it helps to have good basketball players,” Moseley said. “I think we have some of those guys here now. It’s me and my staff’s obligation to go out and find other ones that fit into what we’re trying to accomplish. I think the guys will accept the challenge, I think they’re tired of being at the bottom of the league and I think they’re just excited about having a change.”

Apr 152014


April 13, 2014

By Dalton Hilton

Krayton King knows one thing – how to play the trombone. This skill has earned the 2013 graduate of Grove High School a unique opportunity.The East Central University freshman has earned the honor of being the youngest winner of the third annual Concerto Competition at ECU.


Krayton King

Seventeen-year-old King chose the path of music in fifth grade because “it is something that all of my family has done.”

He decided to play the trombone because the instrument was what his older brother played before he graduated “and I wanted to be like him.”

King takes private lessons with Eric Hall at ECU.

“[Hall] has greatly improved my skills and performance on the trombone,” King said. “He just pushes me to do my best…and sometimes better than that.”

King, who is majoring in instrumental music education plans to become a music instructor, for middle and high school students.

“I hope to be a musician on the side and would love to play classical music,” King said.

While a student in Grove, King and his his six siblings participated in the music program. He is the son of Robert and Victoria King, of Grove.

Along with lessons from Grove High School band director, Joseph Wilhelm II, King’s playing ability earned him a spot in All-District Honor Band for six straight years, as well as two years in Oklahoma Allstate Band and Orchestra.

During his high school career, he was also the winner of his band’s Director’s Award, the John Philip Sousa Award and the Woody Herman Jazz Award.

King said his favorite band memory involves making first chair in the OMEA Allstate Orchestra.

As the winner of ECU’s Third Annual Concerto Competition, King will receive a $500 scholarship provided by the Masonic Endowment for Cultural Enrichment, administered by the ECU Foundation. He will also take part in a solo performance with the ECU Wind Ensemble during its spring concert, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17, in the Ataloa Theatre of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. King plans to perform Ferdinand David’s Concertino for trombone.

“I’m very blessed to have had this opportunity and to have won,” King said. “I was just glad to have had the opportunity to learn more things.”

Since becoming a student at ECU, King has won first chair in the wind ensemble, and he has received the Outstanding Musician award, as well as the Bron Warren Centennial Scholarship Award.

In announcing King’s honor, Concerto Competition coordinator Juliana Overmier, who teaches flute and conducts the University Flute Ensemble said she is encouraged to know the competition has evolved from an idea three years ago, to an established tradition at ECU.

“Thanks to the combined efforts of ECU music administration and faculty, we now have a venue to single out and reward our finest student musicians with this unique and valuable performing experience,” Overmier said. “I want especially to acknowledge ECU Foundation Director Phyllis Danley, for all the work she did to establish funding for the addition of the $500 scholarship through the Masonic Endowment for Cultural Enrichment.

“This scholarship will certainly have a positive impact, both to honor the winners and to motivate future applicants.”

Apr 152014


Seeking a solution to address the lack of psychiatrists in North Carolina’s rural communities, officials have embarked on a new statewide telepsychiatry program to change the way care is delivered to mental health patients across the state and make telepsychiatry a treatment option in its hospitals.

See the full article at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mhw.20420/pdf.

Apr 152014


By Andrew Foster and Jeff Ward

April 12, 2014

It’s time to admit that our system of college athletics is as busted as our brackets were during the NCAA tournament.

We’re professors deeply committed to our students and higher education. We’re also huge fans of college sports. But we must acknowledge that only a myth allows these two parts of ourselves to coexist.

This myth is simple: that big-time college athletics can thrive without undermining academic integrity. The myth is also dangerous, and until we dispel it, college athletes will continue to be exploited and the drive to prop up an unsustainable system will continue to lead to behaviors that undermine our academic mission.

Though there appears to be fairly widespread recognition of this uncomfortable truth, there has been little hope for meaningful change. The two most commonly discussed alternatives – either professionalizing major college sports or forcing colleges and universities to de-emphasize sports – are equally unpalatable to the many of us who love our schools and our teams.

But perhaps we evade meaningful change and struggle against all the evidence to hold on to the NCAA’s nostalgic ideal of the “student-athlete” because we feel the need to treat college athletes as if they are just like college students who do not play sports. The reality is that college athletes are not like their peers, and any real change has to start by accepting that.

The recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board to allow players on the Northwestern University football team to unionize makes clear that college athletes face extraordinary demands. College athletes (on all teams, not just the revenue sports) are required to make a time commitment to their team that is equivalent to a job. As a practical matter, this leaves little time for the intense academic immersion that higher education requires. For athletes admitted to college because of their athletic accomplishments, the challenge is even more profound.

Meaningful change requires that we develop a system that gives all college athletes, even those who might play professionally, the chance to succeed as students while still allowing for the full-time commitment that their teams demand. What would such a system look like? As always, the devil is in the details, but in broad strokes here is our proposal:

1Give athletes time to be students. While college athletes are playing their sport, a full course load should be equivalent to a half-time load for other students. After their eligibility expires, they can become full-time students. For the typical college athlete, the vast majority of whom will not go pro, this would provide six years to graduate instead of four.

2Make a commitment to athletes as students. Instead of being one-year renewable awards, athletic scholarships should be guaranteed for the full period of time college athletes are in school (up to six years under this proposal). This would help schools want to ensure the academic success of college athletes even after their playing careers end.

3 Insure college athletes against injury. Another way that college athletes are different from other students is that they face real short- and long-term health risks as a direct result of competing for their schools. To address this, college athletes should receive high-quality, no-cost health insurance as part of their scholarships, as well as access to long-term disability insurance.

4Make colleges and universities accountable. Schools that do not ensure that college athletes get real educations must face immediate, non-negotiable and severe penalties. Assuming these modest changes are made, college athletes in all sports should graduate at rates that equal or exceed those of the general student body. Failure to meet this minimal standard or findings of institutional academic fraud should result in the immediate suspension of athletic programs and an unrestricted right of transfer for all affected students.

As fans, we believe such changes would enhance and sustain the major college sports we love. As teachers, we believe that changes to protect our students’ health and to expand real educational opportunities are a moral imperative. We can only hope that these ideas encourage some bold school to take the lead in creating a big-time athletic program that has real academic integrity. Even without such leadership, the NLRB’s decision in the Northwestern case shows that the end of the current system is coming.

Apr 152014


By Lindsay Ruebens

April 15, 2014

It’s that nail-biting time of year: Colleges have commenced sending acceptance letters to high school seniors.

“There’s still a lot of anxiousness out there,” said Thomas Griffin, N.C. State University’s director of undergraduate admissions.

And unfortunately, colleges can’t admit every applicant. “It’s certainly understandable to be unhappy for a couple of days,” said Christoph Guttentag, Duke University’s dean of undergraduate admissions. But don’t be upset for too long, he said. “All is not lost, and in fact, there are so many great things awaiting that it’s a shame to focus on what isn’t – it’s much better to focus on what is.”

So, didn’t get your first choice? Dry your tears, take heart and read on for the many options students can consider in making tweaks to college plans.

Don’t take it personally

Don’t take rejection letters personally, said Claire Kirby, admissions director at UNC Charlotte. The sheer volume of applications schools receive means there will be a lot of people who don’t get in, she said.

The numbers prove it: UNCC received 17,000 applications for 3,200 spots. UNC Chapel Hill got more than 31,300 applications and admitted 8,790. At N.C. State, close to 20,200 students applied, and about 10,000 were accepted. Duke University admitted 3,499 high school seniors from a pool of more than 32,500 applicants.

“That’s a lot of applications and you can’t take it personally with that many applicants in the pool. It’s really competitive,” Kirby said.

What if you’re wait-listed?

Some universities will put students they neither accept nor deny on wait-lists. Acceptance from those lists comes in May, after students must have enrolled elsewhere, said Guttentag said.

If a student is admitted from a wait-list and wants to attend, they will forfeit the other school’s enrollment fee, he said. Universities expect the number of enrolled students to decrease because of this, and Guttentag said there’s even a term admissions officers use for it: “summer melt.”

If you’re on a wait-list for a school you really want to attend, it’s worth contacting the school to express interest, Guttentag said.

Ask if more information is needed, and if the school would like you to send an additional letter of recommendation. But don’t contact the admissions office every week, he warned, and don’t be tacky.

“But it’s not inappropriate, every two to three weeks, to send an email to the admissions office or admissions officer saying, ‘I just want you to know I’m still interested; please keep me in mind.’ There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Focus on moving forward

Admissions officers said they’re happy to set up times to talk by phone or in person about options for students their school denied.

“We feel horrible because the truth is we do disappoint many students who would be successful here,” said Ashley Memory, senior assistant director of admissions at UNC Chapel Hill. “And we know how much they’re hurting, and we hurt for them. We are here to talk to them, and we are here for them.”

Admissions officers said it’s important to keep an open mind: Chances are, students got into at least one or more other schools, and chances are better that students could also be happy at those schools. A college experience, Memory said, depends not so much on the actual school but what students make of their time there.

If a school denies a student, officers said, it’s a good bet the student is a better fit at another school. Another option for getting experience at a dream school, Memory said, is graduate school.

Tools to use

Aside from speaking with high school guidance counselors and admissions officers, students who didn’t get into their top choice school and aren’t sure where to turn can go to the College Foundation of North Carolina website, at cfnc.org.

The site offers a free service called the College Redirection module. It’s connected with the state’s 58 community colleges, 36 independent colleges and the 17 schools in the UNC system, said Mark Wiles, director of the CFNC Pathways program.

Here’s how it works: Students enter information about themselves, including high school GPA, SAT/ACT scores and intended college major. Schools still accepting applications or with openings will search entries and contact students they’re interested in to get more information.

Wiles said the program began in 2003, and about 650 students who enter are placed with schools each year.

The transfer option

That’s where transferring comes in.

Most schools consider transfer students after a successful year at college somewhere else.

Some schools have 2+2 programs, which means students can attend one public state school for two years and finish their degree for the next two years at another, all while staying on track for a particular major. At N.C. State, for example, Griffin said, an engineering student can enter the program and study for two years at UNC Wilmington and transfer as a junior into State’s engineering program.

There’s also the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, which says that if students complete a two-year associate’s degree at a community college, they can transfer to a four-year college and can consider their general education requirements fulfilled for schools in the UNC system, Griffin said.

Sometimes students miss out on a great experience where they are, Memory said, because they’re too focused on leaving. Universities like to see that students did well academically and made the most of their first year or years of college when they consider them as transfer students, she said.

Memory said often students surprise themselves. “Students end up enrolling at other universities that serve them well, and then end up being perfectly happy there.”

Apr 142014


“He was a transformational leader. Leo Jenkins was a giant whose legacy lives on in dozens of ways. The only negative that I can think of about Dr. Jenkins is that all chancellors who have succeeded him live in his shadow.”

Steve Ballard
ECU chancellor

Leo Jenkins 1964

Leo Jenkins 1964

By Spaine Stephens

Friday, April 11, 2014

CHAPEL HILL — Leo W. Jenkins would not look upon his latest triumph as a personal gain — instead, it would be a victory for East Carolina University and its region.

Jenkins was honored posthumously Thursday with the University Award, the highest accolade given by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for distinguished service to higher education. Jenkins’ son, state Special Superior Court Judge Jack W. Jenkins, accepted the medallion on behalf of his siblings who took the stage with him to a standing ovation.

Jenkins expressed pride in his father’s achievements and the impact he had on statewide higher education and quality of life.

“As his son, as a proud graduate of East Carolina University, as a career public servant striving to live up to my father’s legacy, and as a lifelong Down East resident, I do in fact walk taller, as do all eastern Carolinians because of Leo Warren Jenkins,” he said. “I’m certain my father would be deeply moved” by this honor.

The atmosphere in the George Watts Hill Alumni Center in Chapel Hill was reverent as the highlights of Jenkins’ legacy were summarized in a UNC-TV video, which played to the more than 275 guests.

UNC President Tom Ross said that Jenkins “dared and prodded eastern North Carolina to dream big.” He added, “He helped instill in the region a sense of pride and can-do spirit that never waned.”

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard detailed how Jenkins’ work has affected not only the growth in academic programs at the school but the leaders who have steered the university since Jenkins retired in 1978.

“He was a transformational leader. Leo Jenkins was a giant whose legacy lives on in dozens of ways…. The only negative that I can think of about Dr. Jenkins is that all chancellors who have succeeded him live in his shadow,” Ballard said.

“It is rare during our board meetings that I’m not asked, how would Leo have handled this,” Ballard said. “I often wish I could have asked him.”

Also honored was Thomas S. Kenan III, a tireless advocate for education, the arts and history in North Carolina. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Kenan has been a devoted volunteer and benefactor to many institutions of higher education in the state, including several UNC campuses.

The change-maker

Jenkins stood at the helm during some of East Carolina’s most bustling, productive years in the 1960s and 70s. Jenkins rallied campus and community to focus on expanding the reach and impact of what was then East Carolina College.

Jenkins was credited with changing the face of ECU and spurring a chain reaction across the state as other colleges began realizing their potential.

Among countless accomplishments, Jenkins guided the college into official university status, fought for a medical school in Greenville and oversaw expansion of academic, medical and athletic facilities. He also was instrumental in integrating campus without a court order, boosted support for creative and performing arts and pursued changes on campus that reverberated from the student body to citizens across the East.

“With his sense of selfless devotion, Leo Jenkins established a gold standard that we continue to honor and stand in awe of,” John Tucker, ECU professor of history and university historian, said. “And we continue to emulate that to the best of our ability.”

Named dean of East Carolina College in 1947 by then-chancellor John Messick, Jenkins first turned heads because of his New Jersey roots and accent. It didn’t take long for his character to win over the campus and community, and he was named vice president in 1955. With a background as a Marine Corps officer as well as an education that included a master’s degree from Columbia University and a doctorate of education from New York University, Jenkins was worldly and brought a fresh perspective to ECC leadership.

By the time he was named president of ECC in 1960, Jenkins had a solid support system in place in the East. His belief in the potential of ECC was infectious, and he rallied students, faculty and community members to expect more from the growing college. Then he took that campaign statewide.

His push for a medical school was met with skepticism by state politicians as well as leaders of other universities, who saw a medical school in Greenville as a threat to their funding and resources.

“He was a thorn in the side of the rest of the state,” David Whichard, former editor of The Daily Reflector and family friend of Jenkins, said. “He had the character of both a ne’er do well and a hero, and he did both well.”

His campaign for university status for ECC also threatened to rock the state’s higher-education system that centered around one university and smaller colleges across the state. When ECC became East Carolina University in 1967, the campus and region could more easily picture how the institution could bring economic productivity, better health care and cultural growth.

“He saw the potential in eastern North Carolina and this institution,” Whichard said. “Not what we could build today, but what comes tomorrow.”

Causing a stir

Worn, yellowed newspaper pages from years long gone are testaments to the tumult caused by Jenkins during those formative years. Editorials decried his efforts to take East Carolina to new heights, and political cartoons depicted him as a menace looking to shake the foundation of higher education in the state.

Leaders in state government and higher education urged Jenkins to back down, saying it was not the right time for East Carolina to expand its mission.

“It’s not an easy life to be challenged repeatedly by other people,” said Jim Bearden, who holds the longest continuous tenure as a professor at ECU and witnessed the campus growth during Jenkins’ tenure, “and his was a lonely role in that regard, but he carried it well.”

Jenkins took the cartoons and criticism in stride, using them as a catalyst for his vision. “He really could let whatever criticism came his way fall right off his shoulders,” Bearden said.

Jenkins also had an instinct for handling issues that had the potential to shake the university’s foundation. He implemented integration gradually, so that it naturally occurred over time before government mandate.

“He accomplished desegregation without a court order,” Ballard said, “and he did it because he thought it was the right thing to do.”

‘A hero to all’

Many stories passed down over the years on campus and in the community ensure that Jenkins’ vision thrives today.

“People still tell Leo Jenkins stories,” Ballard said. “Leo is still very much alive for all of the Pirate Nation.”

Jenkins’ background in the military and academia opened his mind to a world of perspectives and experiences.

Even the students became enamored with Jenkins. During years of unrest in the 1960s, students protested issues from the failed state bond referendum that would have allowed East Carolina to update residence halls, to overnight co-ed visitation and the Vietnam War.

According to Mary Jo Jackson Bratton’s book “East Carolina University: The Formative Years, 1907–1982,” Jenkins on one occasion stood atop a police car during a protest over the failed bond referendum and implored a mob of students to return peacefully to campus. He led the way on foot, and again addressed the group’s concerns in front of the Austin Building.

Jenkins’ spirit sparked a renewed energy not only in Greenville but also in communities in the East that stood to benefit from a stronger East Carolina institution. “He was one of the greatest things to happen to eastern North Carolina,” Whichard said. “He was a great hero to all of us.”

Proof positive

Following East Carolina’s victory of university status, the Raleigh News and Observer’s next-day editorial was headlined “Now Prove It,” and still dripped skepticism over ECU’s future, according to Bratton’s history.

“The foundation he created has allowed numerous people and faces to really move this university forward,” Ballard said.

Jack Jenkins said his father would consider the University Award the result of countless supporters’ efforts to see ECU serve the region and state to its highest potential.

“My dad would not take any personal credit, but rather would accept this on behalf of the Pirate nation,” he said. “It’s nice to be recognized, but he knew that East Carolina’s success was a team effort, and that team includes generations of true Pirates everywhere.”

“He was not the kind of man who was looking to leave a monument or have his name on buildings,” Tucker said. “He didn’t expect to be recognized; he didn’t do it for the glory.”

Despite his expectations, Jenkins’ name adorns campus and community buildings, including the Jenkins Fine Arts Center and the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center.

Although Jenkins passed away in 1989, the reverberations of his achievements are still being measured today.

“It’s only at this point that people are beginning to fully realize in ways that can’t be denied the truly incredible legacy that Leo Jenkins left ECU, the campus, region, state and nation,” Tucker said. “Now it’s clear. Whatever happens next, our record is officially solid.”

UNC-TV will air the Leo W. Jenkins tribute video during “N.C. Now” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.

Jeannine Manning Hutson, ECU News Services, contributed to this article.

Apr 142014


Published: April 12, 2014

Drescher: More NC residents seeing psychiatrists through real-time video



You can’t find a psychiatrist in much of North Carolina. There isn’t one in 28 of our 100 counties. In 18, there’s one for the entire county.

At the same time, our adult-care centers, jails and prisons are jammed with mentally ill people. The state has cut the number of beds in its three psychiatric hospitals by half (from 1,750) in the past decade. That has left thousands of people without psychiatric treatment.

Mentally ill people also are crowding emergency rooms. It’s there that North Carolina’s best innovation in mental-health care in years is emerging. Telepsychiatry offers a way for mentally ill people in ERs to get treatment. Psychiatrists and psychologists use real-time video and audio meetings with patients and health care providers to treat people with mental health and drug and alcohol problems.

Of the counties without a psychiatrist, 10 are in northeastern North Carolina. In 2010, the Albemarle Hospital Foundation in Elizabeth City borrowed an idea from South Carolina, which had used a grant from the Duke Endowment to establish telepsychiatric care.

Albemarle Hospital forged a partnership with psychiatrists in Jacksonville to develop a hospital-based system of telepsychiatry for northeastern North Carolina. The effort succeeded, according to the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research, a Raleigh-based nonpartisan research center, and was expanded to serve 14 hospitals in 29 counties. Four more hospitals were added in 2013.The center, in a report released this month, found:

• The length of stay in emergency rooms for patients awaiting inpatient treatment declined from 48 hours to 22.5 hours.

• Eight percent of patients had to return to Albermarle Hospital within 30 days, compared with 20 percent before.

• The number of involuntary commitments decreased by 33 percent.

State Rep. Susan Martin, a Wilson Republican, thought the program should be expanded. Of North Carolina’s 108 hospitals, 49 provide telepsychiatry. Wilson got $2 million included in the current state budget and $2 million in next year’s budget (which starts July 1) so that all hospitals in North Carolina could participate. The program will be similar to the Albemarle Hospital program and will be run by East Carolina University.

Of the $2 million this year, more than $1 million will be spent on equipment and Web portal development. At the end of March, 23 hospitals had been added; two more contracts had been signed; and 40 more hospitals were in contract negotiations.

“I love this because it’s real health care reform, and it changes the way health care is delivered,” Martin told me. “This is an innovative way to provide care.” Martin says everyone wins – patients, health care providers, law enforcement (which often deals with mentally ill people) and all of us who pay for emergency room visits of uninsured people with mental illness. The program has been embraced by Gov. Pat McCrory and his health and human services secretary, Aldona Wos, a physician.

There are challenges to telepsychiatry. The technology must protect patients’ privacy. Psychiatrists, in not sitting across from a patient, might have difficulty in developing patients’ trust (although the center reported that some children find it easier to be open when communicating through video).

Those issues are worth working through. The last decade has not been a good one in North Carolina for mental-health treatment. Telepsychiatry promises a step forward.

Drescher: 919-829-4515 or jdrescher@newsobserver.com.




Apr 142014


Published: April 14, 2014


North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Victor Lee talks with attendees during a criminal justice career fair held at Mendenhall Student Center on Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Aileen Devlin/ The Daily Reflector)

Fair showcases law enforcement careers

“He would always tell me that he couldn’t tell me, and since then I have always wanted that kind of job,” Casale said.

Casale eventually learned his cousin’s job was with Homeland Security. Now the sophomore at East Carolina University is asking more questions as he tries to find a job close to the one that he was curious about while growing up.

He and other students on Friday attended the ECU criminal justice program’s career fair at the Mendenhall Student Center to talk with representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and North Carolina law schools.

The Criminal Justice Department offers master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees and undergraduate minors in criminal justice and forensic science. Before attending the fair hosted by ECU and Edgecombe Community College, Casale said he had never heard of some of the agencies represented.

“When my time in the military is up, I would like to do something on the federal level,” he said. “Three- letter agencies attract me. I learned a lot about the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and it really interested me because they travel a lot, and that’s something that I definitely want to do.”

ECU student Terrell Henderson, a criminal justice major, said a law enforcement career seems to fit what he is looking for after graduation.

“My whole life I have followed the rules,” Henderson said. “I have always felt sorry for people who are victimized and I know being in law enforcement helps to stop a lot of problems in the community.”

Henderson said that he is also impressed with some of the advantages that come with having a career at some of the agencies that were present.

“I am looking for a position where I can have good health benefits and job security and, of course, salary matters,” he said. “I also want to be at a job where it’s not the same routine every day and I am not just going through the motions.”

Nine-and-a-half years ago when Koylena Edwards joined the Greenville Police Department, the agency offered her many of the things that job candidates still are seeking.

“There is a lot of flexibility and you can do so many things within the department,” Edwards said.

Edwards said that the police department has started to see a lot of qualified applicants expressing interest.

“We are noticing people with master’s degrees and others who come in with some knowledge of the work,” she said.

Edwards said that recent graduates, who tend to be technically inclined and computer-savvy, have an advantage in the field where technology has grown in influence.

“When I first started, we were still using paper for a lot of things,” Edwards said. “Now everything is online for tickets and different programs. We are all assigned computers and have to use one every day to complete our jobs.”

As a woman, Edwards said the law enforcement position took some time to get adjusted to, but she encourages women to apply to a department that is working to diversify.

“It’s a male-dominated career, so in the beginning it was different” Edwards said. “Then when you get into training you realize you have a place in law enforcement.”

Edwards said that there are several qualities that the Greenville department looks for in job prospects, who start off with an annual salary of $35,000 and benefits if hired.

“We need people who have integrity, a certain level of physical fitness, a good attitude and some background that includes knowing something about criminal justice helps,” she said.

Cameron Turner, a representative for the N.C. Division of Probation and Parole in Wilson County, said candidates interested in a career in probation and parole need to be good communicators and enjoy working with people.

Employment opportunities offer health, dental and retirement benefits, Turner said. He added that the starting salary range is $30,000-$35,000.

“Duties include supervising people on probation and post parole, so you need to be flexible,” Turner said. “It’s a fast-paced position, and recent college graduates are good candidates because the job is computer-based and they are used to working with technology.”

Contact Sharieka Breeden at sbreeden@reflector.com and 252-329-9567.

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The East Carolina University Criminal Justice Career Fair featured:

  • Federal: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Federal Bureau of Prisons; Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS); U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Army; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Probation and Parole Office; U.S. Department of State — Bureau of Diplomatic Security
  • State: Department of Public Safety-Probation & Parole; Department of Public Safety-Adult Correction; Department of Public Safety-Juvenile Justice; Department of Public Safety-State Highway Patrol; License and Theft Bureau; State Bureau of Investigation; Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Municipal and county: ECU Police Department; Greensboro Police Department; Greenville Police Department; Pitt County Sheriff’s Office; Raleigh Police Department; Kinston Department of Public Safety.
  • Law schools: Campbell University School of Law; Elon University School of Law; UNC Chapel Hill School of Law.