Professor receives History Award Medal from National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

East Carolina University professor of anthropology Dr. Charles R. Ewen has received the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution History Award Medal. Linda Gill, Edward Buncombe Chapter representative of the NSDAR, presented Ewen with the medal at a reception in his honor on March 20 in ECU’s Joyner Library.

“This is extraordinary. I am honored to be recognized by the DAR for my work in historical archaeology,” Ewen said. “I consider all my work to be public and am grateful to find that the public appreciates what I do.”

Dr. Randy Daniel, chair of the Department of Anthropology; Dr. Charles Ewen, professor and recipient of the DAR History Award Medal; and Linda Gill, chapter representative of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

From left, Dr. Randy Daniel, chair of the Department of Anthropology; Dr. Charles Ewen, professor and recipient of the DAR History Award Medal; and Linda Gill, chapter representative of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. (Contributed photos)

According to the society’s website, the medal is given to an individual or group whose study and promotion of some aspect of American history – on the regional or national level – has significantly advanced the understanding of America’s past.

“This National Office takes great pleasure in granting permission to award the DAR History Award Medal to Charles R. Ewen,” wrote Virginia Hudson Trader, historian general of the NSDAR, in a letter approving the award.

Ewen thanked the DAR and those in attendance for recognizing his work in historical archaeology.

Ewen thanked the DAR and those in attendance for recognizing his work in historical archaeology.

“Dr. Ewen is certainly a worthy recipient of the DAR History Award Medal,” said Dr. Randy Daniel, chair of the Department of Anthropology. “Apropos of this award, Charlie’s work in historical archaeology in North Carolina has undoubtedly advanced the understanding of America’s past both at a regional and national level.”

Ewen’s research interests focus mostly on historical archaeology, specifically the contact and colonial periods. However, he has worked on many archaeology sites from prehistoric villages to Civil War fortifications and 20th-century homesteads.

“Perhaps best known is his scholarship of the archaeology of piracy and the fate of the fabled Lost Colony of Roanoke,” Daniel said. “Charlie’s advocacy of the importance of American history, as can be seen and touched in the archaeological record, is always inspiring.”

Ewen serves as director of the Phelps Archaeology Laboratory at ECU. In addition, he teaches courses to undergraduate and graduate students and directs many hands-on field sessions.

The DAR was founded in 1890 and boasts nearly 200,000 members and 3,000 chapters across the United States and abroad. Their members dedicate themselves to historic preservation, promotion of education and encouragement of patriotic endevour. The national headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the DAR, visit https://www.dar.org.

 

-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

Conference brings leaders, influences future leaders

More than 1,100 students attended the fifth annual Business Leadership Conference, a one-day event where East Carolina University College of Business (COB) juniors, seniors and graduates heard from 35 local, national and international business leaders and entrepreneurs. Conference speakers represented hospitality, banking, finance, accounting, insurance and health care industries and participated in more than 30 breakout sessions.

“You can’t lead people unless you like people.” Advice given from Brian Hamilton, keynote speaker at the fifth annual Business Leadership Conference, which recently was held in the Main Campus Student Center on March 18.

“You can’t lead people unless you like people.” Advice given from Brian Hamilton, keynote speaker at the fifth annual Business Leadership Conference, held in the Main Campus Student Center on March 18. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

This year’s keynote came from Brian Hamilton. Hamilton is the co-founder of Sageworks, one of the country’s first financial technology companies, which was the largest provider of software to U.S. banks. He sold the company to a private equity firm in 2018. Hamilton also is the founder of Inmates to Entrepreneurs, a national program that helps people with criminal records start their small businesses.

Hamilton provided insights into how to lead. He told the audience it’s “how you act as a human being; people will watch that.”

“I hope the students took away that entrepreneurship is a real, achievable option for them as they look toward their future,” said Hamilton. “If I had to leave them with one piece of advice on how to become an entrepreneur, I would urge the students to find something they are passionate about and pursue it.”

“It gave me hope to see how eager and motivated they were,” said Hamilton.

“I want all the presenters to know that their participation, which was on their dime, is part of the strong foundation we’re building for our students, as well as eastern North Carolina,” said Paul Schwager, COB dean. “The insights and experiences these students heard complement the intensive leadership training they receive at the COB.”

Returning Leaders

David Leonard is the chairman and CEO of the RSUI group, an underwriter of wholesale specialty insurance. He’s also a COB graduate. He participated in this year’s Business Leadership Conference because he wanted to give back “a portion” of what his ECU degree meant to him and provide insights he hopes the students can utilize in their careers. A big portion of his presentation focused on ethics.

Left, Brittany Coleman of SAS. Right, David Leonard, chairman and CEO, RSUI group.

Left, Brittany Coleman of SAS. Right, David Leonard, chairman and CEO, RSUI group. (Photos by Michael Rudd)

“My goal was to help the students see ethics not as an academic discussion, but as a concept that can make or break their careers,” said Leonard. “I wanted them to see that for each ethical question, there is a universally correct decision. Maybe most importantly, I wanted to let them see how important it is to ask others more experienced in such matters for help.”

Brittany Coleman ‘16 is an associate technical training consultant at SAS. She presented at this year’s conference because she wanted to provide students with the same type of support she received when she attended the conference as a student.

“My main reason for coming was to give them a perspective from someone who was literally in their shoes just three years ago,” said Coleman.

Future Leaders

One COB student hoping to walk away with new perspectives was Rachel Pleasants. She’s a double major focusing on risk management and insurance (RMI) and management information systems. She appreciated having access to the presenters.

The fifth annual Business Leadership Conference hosted 1,100 students, 35 business leaders and entrepreneurs and 30 breakout sessions. Organizers have already started planning for next year’s conference.

The fifth annual Business Leadership Conference hosted 1,100 students, 35 business leaders and entrepreneurs and 30 breakout sessions. Organizers have already started planning for next year’s conference. (Photo by Michael Rudd)

“I learned valuable career advice from the keynote speaker, Brian Hamilton, and other presenters during the breakout sessions. I was able to network with some presenters and ask follow-up questions about their presentation topics.”

Sophomore and RMI student Jeron Foxx said he was interested in hearing from people who have been in the industry and successful at what they do.

“It gave me perspective on what to expect in the future,” said Foxx. “Seeing other minorities be successful gives me hope that if I put my mind to it, I can be as well.”

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

NCLR calls for poetry submissions for Applewhite Prize

The North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) is now accepting submissions for the 2019 Applewhite Poetry Prize competition. The first-place winner will receive $250, and the poem will be published in NCLR 2020. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the 2020 print and online issues. The submission period is March 15 through April 30.

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke (Contributed photo)

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke (Contributed photo)

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke will be the 2019 competition final judge. She is the winner of numerous awards, including the American Book Award, the 2015 Wordcrafter of the Year Award, and was chosen by Juan Filipe Herrera for the 2016 Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellow. She spent part of her childhood in North Carolina, where she came of age working tobacco fields in Willow Springs. After attending North Carolina State University, Hedge Coke obtained her associate’s degree in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and earned a master’s degree in poetry from Vermont College. Her works include “Burn,” “Streaming,” “Blood Run,” “Off-Season City Pipe,” “Dog Road Woman,” and “The Year of the Rat.” For samples of Hedge Coke’s poetry visit www.hedgecoke.com.

The theme of NCLR’s 2020 special feature section will be North Carolina expatriate writers like Hedge Coke, who will be interviewed for the issue by ECU poet Amber Flora Thomas. Hedge Coke’s poetry has appeared in NCLR 2004 and 2011, and the latter issue includes an essay on North Carolina environmental writing featuring Hedge Coke, among others.

Submissions for the Applewhite Poetry Prize are welcome on any theme, from any writer with a connection to the Tar Heel State. There is no submission fee, but poets must be NCLR subscribers to submit. For more information and submission guidelines, visit http://www.nclr.ecu.edu/submissions/applewhite-guidelines.html.

For over a quarter century, the North Carolina Literary Review has been dedicated to promoting “the rich literary history and culture of the Old North State.” Winners of the Applewhite Prize have ranged from poets with multiple published collections, like the 2018 winner, Catherine Carter, to poets in the first years of their career, like 2017’s Christina Clark. Typically, poems by about two dozen finalists are also published.

To subscribe to NCLR, visit www.nclr.ecu.edu/submissions.

 

Contact: Margaret Bauer, NCLR editor, nclruser@ecu.edu, 252-328-1537

Cavanagh to take Biochemistry helm

Dr. John Cavanagh

Dr. John Cavanagh

Dr. John Cavanagh has been named chair of the Brody School of Medicine’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, effective April 1, 2019.

Cavanagh currently serves as founder and chief scientific officer for Agile Sciences, a Raleigh-based company focused on providing solutions to antibiotic resistance. He also is an adjunct professor in North Carolina State University’s Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry. He has served since 2009 as director of the Jimmy V-NCSU Cancer Therapeutic Training Program.

“Dr. Cavanagh’s expertise will play an integral role in helping Brody grow its research enterprise,” said Dr. Mark Stacy, Brody dean and vice chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences. “He brings a dynamic blend of experience and leadership that align closely with our mission of excellence.”

From 2012 to 2014, Cavanagh served as N.C. State’s assistant vice chancellor for research development. He was interim president of the David H. Murdock Research Institute at the North Carolina Research Campus from 2014-2017, and he held the post of William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in N.C. State’s Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry between 2008-2016.

Cavanagh also has taught in Purdue University’s Department of Chemistry and served as director of the Structural Biology Facility at the Wadsworth Center, part of the New York State Department of Health. He was a senior research associate in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Scripps Research Institute.

Cavanagh earned his PhD in chemistry from Cambridge University in 1988, after which he completed an NIH post-doctoral fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute.

Cavanagh’s honors and awards include a 2017 RTI International Career Author Award, 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year at N.C. State, and an N.C. State Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award, among many others. He is the author of numerous international publications.

 

-by Spaine Stephens, University Communications

Pirate Nation Gives returns to generate donations for ECU student success

East Carolina University will celebrate its third annual Pirate Nation Gives on Wednesday, March 20. This standalone day of giving encourages alumni, friends, faculty, staff, parents and students to make a donation to one of ECU’s 12 colleges and schools or the university program of their choice.

Last year’s event raised more than $500,000 for the university, a successful showcase of the generosity of Pirate Nation. This year’s midnight-to-midnight campaign aims to build on that engagement and support. To help energize Pirate Nation around this year’s day of giving, a couple of faithful Pirates have teed up pledges to be announced throughout the day. Goals of 500 donors and promotion of five focus areas (study abroad, research, scholarships, campus facilities and endowment growth) have also been set.

“Pirate Nation Gives is a time for all of us to come together as Pirates and support ECU. Any gift, large or small, helps our students achieve their dreams,” said Christopher Dyba, vice chancellor for university advancement.

New this year is a partnership with Dowdy Student Stores. For Pirate Nation Gives, 5 percent of total sales at Dowdy Student Stores in the new Main Campus Student Center and Health Sciences bookstore on March 20 will support student scholarship funds.

On campus, there will be activities for students at Sonic Plaza outside of Joyner Library and at the Health Sciences Student Center mall. Students can sign thank-you letters to donors and reinforce the power of philanthropy on student success.

ECU also will have social media geofilters, or location-based graphic overlays, that Pirates can use to show off when and where they gave. And on the Pirate Nation Gives website, individual colleges can track their support and encourage giving with a competitive spirit across the university.

Alumni, parents, students and friends can share their love of ECU by making gifts, posting, tweeting and doing everything possible to make this year’s event bigger than ever. Pirate Nation Gives is about everything ECU –  students, research, arts, athletics and more – and gifts can be made to whatever program donors feel most passionate about.

Event Details:

What: Pirate Nation Gives

When: Midnight to midnight, Wednesday, March 20

Where: Donations can be made at ecu.edu/piratenationgives or by calling 252-ECU-GIVE (252-328-4483).

Why: This one-day effort is about philanthropy and supporting ECU through charitable contributions.

 

Contact: Erin Shaw, University Communications, 252-737-1505

Symposium exposes diverse pool of doctoral students to life at ECU

Visiting scholar Dr. Soloman Gisemba presents his research to faculty in ECU’s chemistry department.

Visiting scholar Dr. Soloman Gisemba presents his research to faculty in ECU’s chemistry department. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

East Carolina University’s Office for Equity and Diversity held the first Emerging Scholars Symposium March 12-14. The symposium introduced advanced doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars to opportunities available for faculty at ECU and took them on tours of campus and Greenville.

The objective of the initiative is to diversify ECU’s faculty pipeline with an emphasis on groups underrepresented in their field, according to Amy Waters, ECU’s affirmative action program manager. The symposium gave participants and ECU faculty and administrators the opportunity to engage with one another, learn about faculty life at ECU and showcase their research.

“The symposium has the potential to diversify our faculty even more than it is now,” said Dr. Grant Hayes, dean of the ECU College of Education. “To be really successful at recruiting underrepresented faculty members, we have to go to where they are and expose them to what we have to offer at ECU. This program does this.”

Scholar Dr. Alex Kingston participates in the presentation portion of the symposium.

Scholar Dr. Alex Kingston participates in the presentation portion of the symposium.

Symposium participant Dr. Soloman Gisemba is completing his post-doctoral work at the University of Florida and presented his research to faculty in ECU’s chemistry department. He said this was the first time he had participated in an opportunity like the Emerging Scholars Symposium and that he had learned a lot about the mission of the university.

In addition to campus tours and showcasing their research to their host departments, the scholars participated in workshops and panel discussions about faculty careers at ECU and networking activities with administrators and faculty.

To learn more about the Emerging Scholars Symposium and other initiatives at ECU that encourage advancing a diverse and inclusive environment, visit The Office for Equity and Inclusion’s website.

 

-by Jamie Smith, ECU News Services

ECU alum reunited with class ring 13 years after it went missing

This ECU class ring, missing 13 years, is back where it belongs.

This ECU class ring, missing 13 years, is back where it belongs. (Contributed photos)

Thirteen years ago, Dama Dupree ’01 took the ECU class ring off her finger and handed it to some of her high school students when they asked to see it.

Dupree, then a teacher in Florida, loved talking about her ring and said its unique design – a rectangular purple stone encased by a wide silver band – made for a conversation piece, not just with students thinking about purchasing their own rings, but even when she was out and about in Florida.

“It was almost like a story. It was very original looking. It always grabbed someone’s attention,” she said. “They would ask about it, and I could say, ‘I graduated from ECU.’”

But that day in her classroom back in 2006, one of her students took it home by accident.

“I asked my students the next day, ‘Hey, does anyone remember where my ring went?’” she said, “but it was never found.”

A message last month to the official ECU Facebook page, sent by Janna Wood Bartoli from Clermont, Florida, included a photo of a ring – a wide silver band, a rectangular purple stone, the year 2001 clearly engraved.

“Hello! This is a very strange message to send, but I’d like some help in finding the owner of this class ring,” Bartoli said. “I found it in a used piece of furniture and I’m sure the owner would love to have it back. Could you help me with the search?”

The conversation that followed led Bartoli to locate an inscription: “Dana E. Dupree,” she reported.

ECU’s social media team, which manages the Facebook account, emailed the Office of the Registrar, intent on finding Dupree.

“Could it possibly be Dama E. Dupree? … we have a Dama E. Dupree that graduated in 2001 with a BS in English,” responded Amanda C. Fleming, associate registrar.

Yes, that had to be her.

Fleming began tracking down Dupree, first locating what she hoped was her phone number and leaving a voicemail.

“As an ECU alumna myself, and also having lost my own ECU class ring, I really felt led to try my best to connect this ring to the alum who lost it,” Fleming said.

Four hours after the social media team’s first email to the registrar’s office and well after business hours, Fleming emailed again: “I found her!! I kept digging after I left her a message and I found her on Facebook.”

Dupree, now Dama McElderry, at first thought, “‘Oh, they’re trying to get alumni money,’ so I was only half reading the message while I was in conversation with someone. Then I realized what it said. I thought, ‘Oh my god!’ I immediately responded. It was just crazy.”

Fleming worked with ECU social media to connect her with Bartoli.

“I love ECU and I love to support our students, both current and former,” Fleming said. “It was so neat to help make the connection and experience Dama’s reaction when she realized her ring had been found after 13 years missing!”

So how did Bartoli find the ring?

“Somebody gave us some bedroom furniture,” Bartoli said. Her daughter was cleaning it when Bartoli heard, “Mom, look what I just found!”

She looked at the ring – a wide silver band with a rectangular purple stone encased – and she texted the people who gave her the dresser.

“Do you know anyone who went to ECU?” she asked, but the answer was no, so “it sat in my bathroom for a while.”

But on Feb. 20, she thought, “Why not try the university?”

Dama Dupree McElderry holds her class ring, which is back in her hands for the first time in 13 years.

Dama Dupree McElderry holds her class ring, which is back in her hands for the first time in 13 years.

Later that week, Bartoli mailed the ring to McElderry in Atlanta, where she now lives.

“I told her she is an angel,” McElderry said. “She had no affiliation with ECU. There was no reason for her to do that. She’s just an honest person.”

But for Bartoli, it was second nature and a valuable lesson for her daughter.

“It’s a really good example to my daughter that if we find something that’s really cool that isn’t ours, it’s not ours to keep,” Bartoli said.

When Bartoli and McElderry talked, they realized the dresser was given to Bartoli by the family of one of McElderry’s former students, one of those who held her ring back in 2006.

The student had placed the ring on the dresser to take it back to school the next day, but it fell and became wedged between the mirror and the wood.

“I love that ring so much,” McElderry said. With her ring back in hand, she’s sporting her purple in the classroom again.

“I work at Westlake High School, home of (Carolina Panthers’ QB) Cam Newton,” she said with a laugh, excited to toss a nod to her North Carolina roots. The Tarboro native continues to support eastern North Carolina, specifically Pirate Nation, from afar, talking up ECU to her students every chance she gets.

McElderry said she loves when her students become Pirates.

“I’ve had one so far,” McElderry said, laughing, “and I’m working on another one.”

Want your own class ring?

Today, March 15, is the deadline to order to receive it in time for spring commencement. Students can order rings online through the Jostens website.

Rings can be ordered any time throughout the year. Rings ordered in the fall are held to be presented during the Ring Presentation Ceremony, which is held each year in December. Those who make their purchase during other times of the year will have their ring shipped.

 

-by Kristin Zachary, ECU News Services

ECU physician named governor-elect of the American College of Physicians

Dr. Lacy Hobgood

Dr. Lacy Hobgood (Contributed photo)

Dr. Lacy Hobgood, medical director of the ECU Physicians Adult and Pediatric Health Center, has been named governor-elect of the American College of Physicians (ACP). He will serve in that capacity from April 13 until he assumes the role of governor effective Oct. 1, 2019.

The ACP is an international organization composed of 154,000 internists, subspecialists, residents, fellows and medical students and is considered the professional home for internal medicine.

Hobgood, also the division head and clinical associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, will serve as the official representative of the ACP’s North Carolina Chapter to the national organization.

“It is an honor and an extraordinary opportunity to represent North Carolina in the American College of Physicians,” Hobgood said. “The experience will give me new perspectives in medicine and allow me to exchange ideas on best practices in internal medicine with my peers on an international level.”

Hobgood is currently a member of the NC Chapter of the ACP Governors Council as well as the ACP’s National Council of Early Career Physicians and Medical Practice and Quality Committee. He serves on the Vidant Medical Center Ethics Committee and the Vidant Health/ECU Physicians Ambulatory Advisory Council.

Hobgood’s awards include a 2017 ECU Centennial Award for Excellence and the Dale Newton and Andy Brinn Award in 2016 and 2017 for exceptional teaching and compassionate mentorship of ECU medicine-pediatrics residents.

Hobgood practiced in Anson County for Wadesboro Family Medicine before joining the ECU faculty in 2010.

He earned his medical degree from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and completed his residency training in medicine and pediatrics at Christiana Care Health Systems in Newark, Delaware.

 

-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Communications

ECU psychology professor receives $200,000 grant to study people affected by Hurricane Florence

Dr. Heather Littleton, ECU professor of psychology, is the primary investigator on a $200,000 National Science Foundation RAPID grant awarded to study residents in four rural North Carolina counties affected by Hurricane Florence.

Dr. Heather Littleton, ECU professor of psychology, is the primary investigator on a $200,000 National Science Foundation RAPID grant awarded to study residents in four rural North Carolina counties affected by Hurricane Florence. (Contributed photos)

An East Carolina University researcher will undertake a study of residents of four rural North Carolina counties affected by Hurricane Florence, thanks to a nearly $200,000 RAPID grant from the National Science Foundation.

The study is being led by Dr. Heather Littleton, ECU professor of psychology and principal investigator on the grant. Littleton’s research colleagues are Dr. Ashley Allen at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Dr. Charles Benight from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

“This study is important for several reasons. First, it will allow us to evaluate a new model of adjustment following highly stressful and traumatic events that accounts for the fact that individuals’ adjustment after such events can shift dramatically over short periods of time,” Littleton said. “Second, it focuses on the importance of both individual and social factors in affecting adjustment. Understanding the role of these two types of factors will assist in the development of effective individual and community-based interventions for those residing in disaster-affected areas.”

Over the course of six months, Littleton and her team will survey 300 hurricane-affected individuals residing in rural areas who are generally underrepresented in research. These areas include Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties and will focus on individuals’ adjustment, coping and social support following Hurricane Florence. Participants will complete online surveys and brief, daily questions about how they are managing hurricane-related stress.

Researchers will examine the ways in which individuals’ adjustment following highly stressful and traumatic events can change over time, as well as the extent to which individual factors (like people’s belief in their ability to successfully manage stress) and social factors (like the extent to which others are helping them manage their stress) affect these changes.

Littleton and her colleagues will give presentations in the affected communities and assist those residents experiencing long-term stress after Hurricane Florence. Additional information about Littleton’s study is available at http://go.ecu.edu/reach.

 

-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

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