Four sworn in as ECU police officers

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The East Carolina University Police Department gained four new officers as Adrian Baker, Jonathan Bryant, Meagan Johnson and Megan Johnson were sworn in during a ceremony held on Wednesday, June 21 at the Greenville Centre.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Joined by friends, family and fellow officers, the newest members took an oath before everyone and received their badge.

Lt. Chris Sutton gave advice to the recruitsin saying, “Service is the rent that we pay for the privilege to live on this Earth,” a quote made famous by Shirley Anita Chisholm.

“That’s a quote that I use when teaching students as they go through their basic law enforcement training (BLET),” Sutton said.

Bearing the same name with different spellings (and no relation), Meagan and Megan Johnson graduated from ECU with bachelors’ degrees in criminal justice. Meagan Johnson completed BLET training at Beaufort County Community College, and worked two years with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office before joining ECU.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

“It’s good to be back. I feel like it’ll be a really good fit for me and I love everybody on the staff already,” Meagan Johnson said. “I’ve wanted to be in law enforcement ever since I was little.”

Megan Johnson completed law enforcement training at Pitt Community College. She holds an associate degree from Louisburg College.

Meagan Johnson with her father Darren Johnson.

Meagan Johnson watches her mother Gail Johnson pin her badge.

After the ceremony, Bryant explained that it was a great feeling to be sworn in. He completed law enforcement training at Craven Community College, where he also earned an associate degree in business. Bryant worked during the past year with the Winterville Police Department. He is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business at ECU.

Baker worked with the Kinston Department of Public Safety two years before joining ECU and completed basic law enforcement training at Lenoir Community College.

“They’re going to be great assets for the police department and when we have great assets for the police department, then we have great assets that we can offer to East Carolina University,” Sutton said.

“The service aspect for the job that we do sometimes gets overlooked,” he added. “We need to be mindful of the service role that we play within our communities and never feel like we’re above or beyond being able to offer someone help.”

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.

 

-by Bre Lewis for ECU News Services

NEA grant to fund study on social, economic impact of glassblowing on Farmville

East Carolina University’s College of Fine Arts and Communication has received a $20,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to research the cultural and economic impact of a glassblowing studio in Farmville.

GlasStation

The GlasStation on West Wilson Street in Farmville (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The NEA announced the awards June 14. ECU was one of 19 organizations in North Carolina to receive the competitive national funding.

The studio, called the GlasStation, is a former service station in Farmville’s historic downtown repurposed as a glassblowing studio and education center. ECU began teaching academic classes and conducting community outreach programs in the facility in January.

The two-year award will primarily fund research by ECU graduate students in anthropology and economics on the social and economic revitalization impact of the GlasStation on Farmville’s business district. Residents will be asked about the GlasStation, how it affects their sense of identity and community cohesion and quality of life. Researchers will also look at how property is used, sold or rented in the historic business district. Surveys, interviews and observation will help provide data for the research.

First-year graduate student Ronson Schultz rotates a fiery glass object.

First-year graduate student Ronson Schultz rotates a fiery glass object.

The GlasStation is a cooperative community venture between the Farmville Group, a volunteer economic development association interested in growing the local economy through the arts, the Tabitha M. DeVisconti Trust and ECU.

Kate Bukoski, director of ECU’s School of Art and Design, is the lead principal investigator of the study. Christine Avenarius and David Griffiths of the Department of Anthropology and Chun Kuang of the Department of Economics are co-principal investigators. Michael Crane of the College of Fine Arts and Communication also is an investigator.

For more information, visit https://www.arts.gov/news/2017/nea-announces-grants-support-arts-every-us-state-and-jurisdiction or see an earlier news story about the GlasStation.

 

–by Harley Dartt, University Communication

ECU receives Tree Campus USA designation

Students participating in the Tree Campus USA designation ceremony. (Photos by Chad Carwein)

Students participating in the Tree Campus USA designation ceremony. (Photos by Chad Carwein)

East Carolina University has officially earned the Tree Campus USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the first time in university history. Only 12 total North Carolina institutions of higher education can claim this certification, which was celebrated during a recent tree-planting ceremony on campus.

East Carolina University's Grounds Team planting a tree on campus for Arbor Day.

East Carolina University’s Grounds Team planting a tree on campus for Arbor Day.

To qualify, ECU staff worked over the past year to meet Tree Campus USA standards. Standards include a Campus Tree Advisory Committee including students, faculty, facility management and at least one community member. A tree care plan was developed containing the policies for planting, landscaping, maintenance and removal of the trees on campus. (To see ECU’s Tree Care Plan click here.)

For the third and fourth standards ECU needed to have dedicated annual expenditures and extend community education efforts through an Arbor Day event.

Lastly, the university needed to complete a variety of Service Learning Projects. ECU met this standard through the following tree planting events on campus: Earth Day (April 20, 2016) and ReLeaf Community Tree Day (March 18, 2017).

For more information about Tree Campus USA, please visit www.arborday.org or contact John Gill, Director of ECU Grounds Department at (252) 737-1179 or gillj@ecu.edu.

 

–by Chad Carwein, ECU Sustainability

ECU professor to chair national NIH study section

Dr. Joseph Houmard, the LeRoy T. Walker Distinguished Professor in kinesiology at East Carolina University, will serve as chairperson of the Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity study section for the Center for Scientific Review.

The Center for Scientific Review is the central point for all research and training grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s medical research agency. The center helps to ensure that NIH grant applications receive fair, independent, expert and timely reviews that are free from inappropriate influences to provide funding for the most promising research, according to the website.

The Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity study section primarily reviews clinical or patient-oriented research applications related to the prevention, development and treatment of diabetes and/or obesity. Interventions could include diet, exercise, lifestyle, surgery or medications.

Dr. Joseph Houmard. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Joseph Houmard. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Houmard’s two-year term begins July 1 and will end on June 30, 2019.

Members are selected based on demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline including research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals and other activities and honors. Service requires the ability to work effectively in a group as well as mature judgment and objectivity, according to the center.

Houmard is the director of the ECU Human Performance Lab in the College of Health and Human Performance and his areas of expertise include exercise and obesity. He is helping lead a groundbreaking national, six-year study to better understand the body’s response to exercise in conjunction with scientists at Duke University and Wake Forest University.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity

Students, faculty and staff attend N.C. Graduate Education Day in Raleigh

East Carolina University graduate students Molly Albecker, Spencer Miller and Kenyann Stanford traveled with their mentors and ECU Graduate School faculty to Raleigh as representatives for North Carolina Graduate Education Day held May 16 at the Legislative Building.

Albecker, a biology graduate student, Miller, who is earning a kinesiology graduate degree, and Stanford, a graduate student in educational leadership, visited with legislators and discussed their research interests to emphasize the importance and value of graduate education.

Between 2012 and 2022, the United States is projected to see a 16 percent increase in the number of jobs requiring a doctoral or professional degree and an 18.4 percent increase in jobs requiring a master’s degree. North Carolina is tied at 25th with the District of Columbia in the estimated percentage of residents age 25 and older with a graduate or professional degree. These individuals contribute to North Carolina’s technically skilled and entrepreneurial workforce that benefit the state’s economy.

Also attending from ECU were: Jeffrey Brault (kinesiology), Kathy Cox (graduate school), Paul Gemperline, dean of the graduate school, Tom McConnell (graduate school), Michael McCoy (biology), Heidi Puckett, graduate school, and Art Rouse (educational leadership).

ECU graduate students, mentors, and graduate school staff at North Carolina Graduate Education Day, NC Legislative Building, May 16, 2017; le to right: Michael McCoy (Biology), Tom McConnell (Graduate School), Jeffrey Brault (Kinesiology), Spencer Miller (Kinesiology), Molly Albecker (Biology), Paul Gemperline (Dean, Graduate School), Kenyann Stanford (Educational Leadership), Art Rouse (Educational Leadership), Kathy Cox (Graduate School), Heidi Puckett (Graduate School). (contributed photo)

ECU graduate students, mentors, and graduate school staff at North Carolina Graduate Education Day, NC Legislative Building, May 16, 2017; le to right: Michael McCoy (Biology), Tom McConnell (Graduate School), Jeffrey Brault (Kinesiology), Spencer Miller (Kinesiology), Molly Albecker (Biology), Paul Gemperline (Dean, Graduate School), Kenyann Stanford (Educational Leadership), Art Rouse (Educational Leadership), Kathy Cox (Graduate School), Heidi Puckett (Graduate School). (contributed photo)

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

ECU’s Flanagan joins National Athletic Trainers’ Association board

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) will formally welcome East Carolina University’s Katie Walsh Flanagan as one of two new board members during its 68th Clinical Symposia and AT Expo in Houston June 26-29.

Flanagan will replace District Three director Patricia Aronson.

“This continues to be an exciting time to lead the organization, and we will all benefit from the vision, commitment, enthusiasm and experience of our new board members,” said President Scott Sailor. “I welcome them to their new roles and look forward to all they will contribute in the years ahead.”

Katie Walsh Flanagan will be welcomed as a new board member at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association during its Clinical Symposia in Houston, Texas. (contributed photo)

Katie Walsh Flanagan will be welcomed as a new board member at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association during its Clinical Symposia in Houston, Texas. (contributed photo)

Flanagan is the director of athletic training education at ECU. Her work also includes research in policy and safety. She has authored and co-authored several NATA position statements as well as textbooks in athletic training. She previously served as the athletic trainer for NCAA Division I athletic teams in Illinois and California, the men’s professional soccer team in Chicago, and also served as an athletic trainer on several international trips with United States Soccer.

Flanagan has volunteered in many capacities for NATA and has served in roles in District Three as well as the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association. Previously, she served on the Commission of Accreditation on Athletic Training Education executive board, including her role as vice president.

In 2012, Flanagan was inducted into the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame, and was twice named North Carolina College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year. She received many awards including NATA’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2010, and Athletic Trainer Service Award in 2006. A native of Carmel, California, Flanagan resides in Greenville. She earned her undergraduate degree at Oregon State University, her master’s degree from Illinois State University and her doctorate of education from the University of Southern California.

The other new board member, Tony Fitzpatrick, has dedicated the last 29 years to the Boise (Idaho) School District, the last 19 of which have been at Timberline High School. He is currently the school’s head athletic trainer and sports medicine instructor and previously served as a biology instructor.

NATA trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. NATA represents and supports 44,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit www.nata.org for more information.

 

–by Jules Norwood

Joyner Library to exhibit intergalactic masterpieces

Joyner Library is hosting the exhibit “Ancient Photons” in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery on the second floor of the library. On display from June 9 through July 31, the exhibit showcases a collection of astrophotography captured by Tim Christensen, molecular geneticist and associate professor for the Department of Biology at East Carolina University.

“Tim is a prolific photographer, and I knew when I started working with him on the dataSTEAM exhibit that it would be an amazing opportunity to have Joyner Library host a solo show of his artwork,” said Charlotte Fitz Daniels, programs and events coordinator for Joyner Library.

Christensen says he’s mesmerized by the universe on radically different scales, from a fruit fly cell to the grand arms of a galaxy. And as an artist, Christensen believes he’s been heavily influenced by his scientific training.

“To a scientist, images are data,” he said. “Standing in both art and science worlds, I attempt to convey the art of the data. In capturing light from our galaxy and beyond, I stay true to the data while emphasizing the aspects of the image that inspire observers to think about the scale and beauty of our universe.”

Elephant Trunk Nebula,” by Tim Christensen, currently on display at Joyner Library’s Faulkner Gallery. (Contributed photo)

Elephant Trunk Nebula,” by Tim Christensen, currently on display at Joyner Library’s Faulkner Gallery. (Contributed photo)

He also says finding the path to his final images is a complex choreography of math, his sensibilities as an artist and scientist, and the subtleties of the subject.

“I love how he bridges the gap between art and science,” said Fitz Daniels. “His work is stunning.”

Growing up as the son of a school teacher, Christensen’s family vacations included camping trips and spending time outdoors. “That got me out in nature and under the skies and hanging out with bugs and plants,” said Christensen.

He once visited the high desert plateau with his family as a child, when his fascination with astronomy was born. Staring up at the dark night sky, he remembers seeing meteors and wondering what was up there.

Christensen also stated that telescopes are often perceived as time machines.

“The other aspect of astronomy I find interesting is this concept of time and that you look back in time when you look through a telescope,” he said. “Some of the photons I collect are 60 million light years away. That’s 60 million years old.”

Christensen’s referenced photon, on display and entitled “M109” is equivalent to 352 trillion miles away.

Christensen’s biggest challenge today is light pollution, and it’s getting worse. “I live just outside of Greenville in Simpson, and I can’t image anything in the sky to my west because of the lights in Greenville. I can only image things as they are in the eastern sky and as they rotate I have to stop and move to a different target,” he said. “The switch over to LEDs is actually a bad thing for light pollution. We now have generations of kids living in Greenville who will never get to see that night sky.”

The next goal for the artist is creating 48- and 96-panel mosaics of his works for large installations in science museums and centers. He hopes this will give more dimensionality to engage the audience in understanding the space and distance between objects within the image and believes it will take considerable time to complete. “My nine-panel mosaics take me 70-plus hours of night sky time to collect,” he said. “So you do the math.”

“We are excited to feature Tim’s work at Joyner Library,” said Heather White, assistant director for assessment and engagement. “His exhibition illustrates the power and necessity to integrate creativity and the arts in STEM initiatives.”

Joyner Library will also hold a reception on Thursday, July 20 from 4- 5 p.m. in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery.

For more information contact Charlotte Fitz Daniels at fitzdanielsc16@ecu.edu or 252-328-0287.

 

-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Communication

Thirty teachers from eastern North Carolina complete education graduate degrees

Thirty high school math teachers in eastern North Carolina recently earned their master’s degrees in education thanks to a unique blend of off campus, face to face and online classes led by East Carolina University faculty.

It was the largest graduating class in the history of the program, which usually only has a few students complete the master’s program for high school mathematics each year, said Dr. Rose Sinicrope, associate professor of mathematics education and a 2017 Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award recipient.

ECU faculty member Rose Sinicrope, left, and master’s graduate Anita Koen celebrate at the departmental graduation on May 6. (Contributed photos)

ECU faculty member Rose Sinicrope, left, and master’s graduate Anita Koen celebrate at the departmental graduation on May 6. (Contributed photos)

“Graduate level mathematics courses, which compose almost half the program, are taught face to face and it is very difficult for teachers to get to campus on time to attend classes. In the past, this was the major deterrent for many teachers,” said Sinicrope. “The second deterrent was North Carolina’s elimination of the teacher pay scale increase for graduate degrees in 2013.”

To combat those challenges, ECU faculty in the College of Education and Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences customized an off campus course of study to fit the teachers’ schedules as part of a revision to the undergraduate mathematics education degree program in 2013.

“We continue to work very hard to provide an education of the highest quality that is both affordable and accessible,” said Dr. Grant Hayes, dean of the College of Education. “There’s a critical need for teachers of secondary mathematics in our region and across the state. This is a testament to the hard work and dedicated efforts of our faculty and school partners and I applaud them for this achievement.”

The 30 teachers are from Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Edgecombe, Greene, Nash, Onslow, Pitt and Wayne counties. Twenty-nine teach in public schools while one teaches in private school. Teachers taught their full class loads during the two years of the program.

Graduation student speaker Anita Koen, math teacher at South Central High School and one of 30 high school math teachers from eastern North Carolina who received their master’s degree in education in May.

Graduation student speaker Anita Koen, math teacher at South Central High School and one of 30 high school math teachers from eastern North Carolina who received their master’s degree in education in May.

The largest number, 14, are from Pitt County, and half of those teach at D. H. Conley High School in Greenville. Renea Baker, the mathematics department chair at Conley, encouraged her fellow teachers to participate, Sinicrope said.

Anita Koen, math teacher at South Central High School who was part of the newest MAED graduating class, was instrumental to the program’s success since most classes were held in Koen’s high school classroom, Sinicrope said.

Koen delivered the graduate student address at the departmental graduation on May 6, thanking the ECU professors for support and creating a cohort just for them. “They came to us at South Central to hold class at times that were not convenient to them but were convenient to us,” Koen said.

Sinicrope called the group the “Miracle 30.”

“Few believed that high school mathematics teachers would be willing to invest in their careers without financial support and gain,” Sinicrope said. “Few believed that ECU faculty would be willing to meet teachers at their schools and on their schedules. It was a miracle that not just a few but 30 high school mathematics teachers, who sacrifice personal gain by remaining in the classroom, were willing to sacrifice more because they believe in their students, in themselves, and in ECU.”

Sinicrope said her ECU colleague Dr. Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi coined the term ‘Mathematics Teaching Communities’ as part of the revision to the undergraduate mathematics education program.

“The undergraduate program and the graduate program are connected with a shared vision of transforming high school mathematics for eastern North Carolina students,” Sinicrope said.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

ECU physician appointed to state environmental commission

An East Carolina University physician was recently appointed to the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission.

Gov. Roy Cooper named Dr. Suzanne Lazorick, associate professor of pediatrics and public health at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, to the only seat designated for a licensed medical doctor on the 15-member commission.

The commission is responsible for overseeing and adopting rules for the protection, preservation and enhancement of the state’s air and water resources. The group’s regulations are administered by several divisions within the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that are aimed at protecting environmental quality and public health. The DEQ also offers technical assistance to businesses, farmers, local governments and the public and encourages responsible behavior with respect to the environment through education programs.

Dr. Suzanne Lazorick, associate professor of pediatrics and public health at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. (Contributed photo)

Dr. Suzanne Lazorick, associate professor of pediatrics and public health at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. (Contributed photo)

“My goal in serving in this role is to help assure that health needs and public health priorities are considered and prioritized as the commission addresses issues in our state,” Lazorick said. “My experience at ECU will be very important regarding applying principles of community engagement and also incorporating the needs of the rural areas of the state. Since most of North Carolina is rural, it is critical that the EMC recognizes the needs of the many communities that are in rural areas.”

Lazorick’s clinical work takes place at the ECU Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center, a tertiary care clinic for obese children. She works with several statewide efforts for obesity prevention and has served on multiple committees for the N.C. Division of Public Health.

She has partnered with a former teacher from rural eastern North Carolina to study a middle school-based obesity intervention and since 2008 has been funded by several foundations and the N.C. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) to study the effectiveness of the intervention, which will be implemented in 51 schools in the fall of 2017.

After earning an undergraduate degree from Duke University, Lazorick completed her medical degree and a master’s in public health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she remained for residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics. She practiced primary care for several years at a rural health center before returning to UNC for fellowship training in primary care research and preventive medicine.

Lazorick will serve a four-year term on the commission.

 

 

-by Amy Ellis, University Communication 

 

 

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