ECU Police organize parade for young cancer patient

ECU Police organized a parade with neighboring departments to celebrate Colt's last treatment. (contributed photos)

ECU Police organized a parade with neighboring departments to celebrate Colt’s last treatment. (contributed photos)

In August 2016, just before his fourth birthday, Colt Cowell was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. One year later, family and friends celebrated his last chemotherapy treatment with a parade of first responders in his honor arranged by the East Carolina University Police Department.

Colt was greeted by police officers and K-9s from ECU, the City of Greenville, Town of Winterville, Town of Ayden, Vidant Health Services and Pitt Community College. Pitt County Basic Law Enforcement Training students, Greenville Fire and Rescue, and the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office also participated.

Greenville Fire and Rescue brought Engine 2 to carry the guest of honor during the parade.

Greenville Fire and Rescue brought Engine 2 to carry the guest of honor during the parade.

Lt. Chris Sutton, ECU Police, worked with Vidant staff members to plan the parade around the hospital. He knew Colt loved law enforcement, fire and EMS.

ECU dance team members helped celebrate with Colt.

ECU dance team members helped celebrate with Colt.

“I met Colt and his family last year about this same time, when they began their journey through chemo. They were special guests of the ECU PD at a November football game in 2016,” Sutton said. “When he neared the end of treatment it seemed like giving Colt a parade around the health sciences campus and Vidant was just the right way to honor him.”

The escort included over 18 police cars, and the guest of honor got to ride in a fire engine from Greenville Fire and Rescue. The fire truck led the way from the transportation entrance of the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital and pulled over down the road so Colt could see the police cars drive by with the lights flashing.

Many in Colt’s inner circle wore matching T-shirts that read “Colt Strong” with a Bible verse: “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:9.

Members of ECU football, women’s basketball and dance teams, as well as Vidant employees, were among those helping celebrate Colt’s big day.

Personally knowing Colt or just hearing his story made no difference to those participating in the parade. Dry eyes were hard to come by.


Family and friends celebrated Colt's last chemotherapy treatment on Oct. 17, 2017.

Family and friends celebrated Colt’s last chemotherapy treatment on Oct. 17, 2017.


-by Morgan Tilton, ECU News Services

Laupus Library exhibits “Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection”

Laupus Library is hosting the traveling exhibit “Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection” in the Evelyn Fike Laupus gallery on the fourth floor of the library.

On display from Oct. 23 through Dec. 2, the six-banner exhibit explores a unique archive of 2,588 postcards and over 100 years of images of nurses and the nursing profession from around the world, investigating the hold these images exert on the public imagination — then and now.

The postcard is a fleeting and widespread art form influenced by popular ideas about social and cultural life in addition to fashions in visual style. Nurses and nursing have been the frequent subjects of postcards for over 100 years. In fact, no other art form has illustrated the nursing profession so profusely using such a variety of artistic styles and images.

These images of nurses and nursing are informed by cultural values; ideas about women, men and work; and attitudes toward class, race and national differences. By documenting the relationship of nursing to significant forces in 20th-century life, such as war and disease, these postcards reveal how nursing was seen during those times.

The exhibition highlights only a small selection from the 2,588 postcards of the Zwerdling Postcard Collection, but over 500 more are available to view in the exhibition’s online digital gallery at

A “Pictures of Nursing” exhibit reception will be held on Nov. 16 from 4-6 p.m. on the fourth floor of the library and is open to the public. During the program a special collection of nursing artifacts from the Country Doctor Museum will be on display and museum curator Anne Anderson will speak about the history of nursing and healthcare during the early and mid-twentieth century.

“We were really delighted to have been selected as a host site for this exhibit, not only because we like connecting our nursing students and faculty with their profession’s past, but it also allows us a really great opportunity to showcase some of our excellent nursing artifacts from the Country Doctor Museum,” said Beth Ketterman, director for Laupus Library. “It’s a real pleasure whenever we can connect our students with the past in such a tangible way.”

The exhibit is available during operating hours posted at, or call 252-744-2219.

The exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and curated by Julia Hallam, PhD.

For more information about the exhibit visit or contact Kelly Dilda at 252-744-2232 or


-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Comunications

Joyner Library celebrates ECU faculty scholarship

Twenty-four ECU faculty were celebrated during the 2017 Joyner Library/Academic Affairs Faculty Author Book Awards during an Oct. 13 reception in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery.

The event celebrated the accomplishments of Division of Academic Affairs faculty who have contributed to the scholarship of higher education by authoring, co-authoring or editing scholarly monographs published between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

Dr. Kimberly Anderson and Dr. Ron Michelson. (contributed photos)

Dr. Kimberly Anderson and Dr. Ron Michelson. (contributed photos)

Eleanor Cook, assistant director for discovery and technology services and academic library services, along with Dr. Ron Mitchelson, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, presented awards to this year’s recipients.

“The quality of scholarship at ECU is on the rise and is clearly reflected in the breadth and depth of these authors’ contributions,” said Mitchelson. “I can only applaud them for their collective creativity and commitment to the scholarly life. It makes me proud to be a Pirate!”

Published works represented a wide range of topics such as poetry, law and justice, and race issues.

“This recognition is a tangible indication of Joyner Library’s support for East Carolina University authors,” said Cook. “We are pleased to be able to continue this tradition.”


This year’s authors include:

Michael Albers – English

John Bishop – Economics

Nicole Caswell – English

Alethia Cook – Political Science

Tom Douglas – English

Gabrielle Freeman – English

Jeffrey Johnson – English

Armin Krishnan – Political Science

Joyce Middleton – English

Marie Olson Lounsbery – Political Science

Olga Smirnova – Political Science

John Tucker – History

Arthur Carlson – Joyner Library

Venkat Gudivada – Computer Science

Aneil Mishra – Business Management

Crystal Chambers – Educational Leadership

Martin Readon – Educational Leadership

Kimberly Anderson – Literacy Studies

Allison Crowe – Interdisciplinary Professions

Brian Housand – Elementary Education and Middle School Education

Matthew Militello – Educational Leadership

Steven Schmidt – Interdisciplinary Professions

Guli Zhang – Special Education, Foundations and Research

Jessica Christie – Art History


Joyner Library book author medallion.

Joyner Library book author medallion.

For more information contact Charlotte Fitz Daniels, programs and events coordinator for Joyner Library, at 252 328-0287 or


-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Communications

Webinar series helps nurses grow

Nurses in eastern North Carolina will have an innovative way to develop as leaders, thanks in part to a new webinar program starting this month.

The Emerging Leaders Institute Webinar Series, developed by the East Carolina Consortium for Nursing Leadership (ECCNL) and Eastern Area Health Education Center, offers six monthly webinars for nurses currently serving or aspiring to serve in leadership roles. These live one-hour webinars will cover various topics such as leadership competencies, communication and collaboration, mentoring and coaching, multigenerational workforce, patient safety and quality improvements, and emotional intelligence. The first webinar is Oct. 18; the deadline to register is Oct. 11.

Dr. Gina Woody, College of Nursing faculty member. (contributed photo)

Dr. Gina Woody, College of Nursing faculty member. (contributed photo)

“Participants will develop leadership skills that will enable them to grow personally and professionally and serve as leaders and change agents in promoting and shaping the future of health care,” said ECCNL Director Dr. Gina Woody, clinical professor in the College of Nursing at East Carolina University.

This program is open to nurses across the region in any practice setting. Nurses can register individually for any combination of webinars up to a week before each event. A discount is available on all six webinars through Oct. 11.

An agency subscription rate, which was available for employers who wished to make the webinars available to all their staff, allows teams to gather together and hear from content experts, according to Donna Moses, director of nursing and allied health education at Eastern AHEC. “It is our hope that the conversation continues after the webinar, where participants share their leadership insights and mentor new leaders and access further resources within their own organization,” Moses said.

“This innovative project is but one example of the consortium’s ongoing commitment to mobilize nurses to be influential leaders in promoting healthier communities,” Woody said. “The consortium promotes the personal and professional development of nurse executives, managers, clinicians, educators and other related health care professionals employed in all types of settings. At the end of this series the participant will be able to synthesize concepts of leadership, management, change, teamwork and communication as they relate to the role of the nurse leader.”

The Consortium for Nursing Leadership was established by the ECU College of Nursing in 2006 to promote leadership development for both students and practicing nurses through education, research and scholarship.

“We look forward to working with Eastern AHEC to help the people of eastern North Carolina by increasing educational opportunities for all nurses,” Woody said.

Moses added, “Leadership is the most desired and difficult skill set to develop. It has been said that it is lonely at the top. It doesn’t have to be when teams realize that leadership is a shared responsibility.”

Nurses who wish to register should first check with their chief nursing officer or chief administrator to see if a series subscription was purchased by their agency.

For more information on this program, contact the Eastern AHEC Department of Nursing and Allied Health Education at 252-744-5220 or visit

All webinars will be held 12-1 p.m.

Webinar schedule

October 18: Identify and Develop Your Leadership Competencies

November 15: Communication and Collaboration: The Importance of Nurses and Physician Relationship in Leading Patient Care

December 13: Modeling the Way: Mentoring and Coaching

January 17: Cultivating Leaders Across Generations

February 21: Improving Patient Safety and Quality Improvements within Health Systems

March 21: Building Emotional Intelligence


-by Jackie Drake, Eastern AHEC

Students create money management and budgeting course for transitional homeless residents

A group of graduate students in the East Carolina University School of Social Work recently created a money management and budgeting course for the transitional homeless population living in Jacksonville.

Elizabeth Lehnes, Michelle Pompos, Teri-Jo Davis, Portia Adams and Casa Woodbridge decided on the project based on needs in the area. The group was mentored by ECU professor Dr. Tracey Carpenter-Aeby.


ECU students and money management course participants are pictured at Phillips Park in Jacksonville. (Contributed photo)

ECU students and money management course participants are pictured at Phillips Park in Jacksonville. (Contributed photo)

The students partnered with the State Employees Credit Union and Jacksonville’s Trinity Baptist Church Bible Study group to offer a “Reality of Money” simulation to about 20 course participants on Sept. 16 at Phillips Park in Jacksonville.


-by Crystal Baity

Talking to children about recent tragedies

For weeks, social media feeds and televisions have been filled with harrowing stories of survival from hurricanes, floods and gun violence in the United States. Exposure to these stories may impact your children more than you think.

Children can experience secondary trauma – emotional duress that results when a person hears about a firsthand trauma experienced by another person. This can cause children to experience nightmares, difficulty concentrating in school, behavior and mood changes, fears about separation, and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

East Carolina University experts provide tips for discussing these events with your children to make sure they are processing the information and associated emotions in a healthy way.

Be reassuring

Melissa Nolan, director of the Nancy Darden Child Development Center at ECU, encourages parents to reassure their children that they are safe and will be taken care of no matter the outcome.

“Children do not have the cognitive ability to rationalize exaggerated comments. If they overhear an adult say, ‘the world will end,’ children believe the world will end,” said Dr. Sheresa Blanchard, assistant professor of human development and family science in ECU’s College of Health and Human Performance.

These kinds of statements can lead to fear and uncertainty.

 What do they know

Though parents may limit what children view or hear at home about recent tragedies, it’s harder to completely shield them from conversations at school or social media posts. Dr. Erin Roberts, clinic director of the ECU Family Therapy Clinic, suggests parents ask their children what they know about recent events to get an idea of their understanding.

“Give children the space and the opportunity to share their emotions too and ask questions. Ask them how they feel about what they’ve seen and heard,” she said. 

Be honest

Nolan says that it’s okay to be honest with your children and share what you are feeling in a way that is appropriate for their age.

“Don’t give children more information than what they want,” said Nolan. She suggests encouraging children to ask questions and for adults to stick with short, honest answers.

“Adults tend to give too much information,” she added.

“Kids are really good at noticing when we are upset,” said Roberts. “If they ask what’s bothering you, it’s okay to to be honest with them that recent events have made you sad. Ask them how they feel too.”

Choose your words and actions carefully

Children and teens pick up on change in a parent’s demeanor and may overhear conversations at home.

“Be aware of your moods and behavior and if it’s changed due to recent events,” said Roberts.

It can be confusing for children if the actions and words of their parents show they are upset but they tell their children everything is fine said Roberts.

“We don’t want to put too much on our children but it is okay to model how to identify your emotions and state them out loud,” she said.

Take care of yourself 

It’s important for adults to know what they’re watching and how it is affecting them.

Roberts said we know ourselves best and if adults aren’t taking care of themselves and are taking in a lot of information from the media, they could become anxious and project their anxiety, fear or anger onto their children unintentionally.

“Take a few deep breaths, reflect on how this may be affecting you and do something that helps you take care of yourself,” said Roberts.

She suggests a relaxing bath, talking to a friend, going to therapy or getting involved in efforts to support victims of the tragedy.

“Taking care of yourself will give you more space to be able to be there for your children,” she said.


Meet our experts:

 Dr. Sheresa Blanchard is an assistant professor of human development and family science at ECU in Greenville, North Carolina. Her research interests include early childhood education, parenting and family-centered practices.

Melissa Nolan is the director of ECU’s Nancy Darden Child Development Center, part of the Department of Human Development and Family Science. Her expertise includes best practices in early childhood education and child care administration.

Dr. Erin Roberts is the clinic director of ECU’s Family Therapy Clinic in the Department of Human Development and Family Science in the College of Health and Human Performance. Her research interests include the impact of trauma on individuals and families, family therapy and intimate partner violence.


-by Jamie Smith

Laupus Library’s exhibited woodcarvings showcase a lifetime of love

Laupus Library opened the art exhibit “Visions in Wood: Carved Creations,” during an Oct. 3 reception in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery on the fourth floor of the library. On display through Dec. 9, the exhibit showcases a collection of relief carvings by Dr. Leonard “Leo” Trujillo, professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University.

The 2017 fall semester exhibit is part of the library’s ongoing “Art as Avocation” series that showcases and celebrates the artistic talents and self-expression of faculty, staff and students from the Division of Health Sciences.

Dr. Leonard Trujillo (Photos by Michelle Messer)

Dr. Leonard Trujillo (Photos by Michelle Messer)

“Our work as professionals in the health sciences is so demanding and often overwhelming in terms of meeting the demands and expectations for teaching, research and community,” said Trujillo. “But we do all this because we want to meet the needs of our students, almost to the point of not taking time to respect our own. Avocations like mine are truly healing and allows us to give another part of ourselves to others.”

“Laupus is really proud to champion cultural enrichment and the arts on our health sciences campus and so we’re delighted to host Leo’s newest works in our gallery space,” said Laupus Library director Beth Ketterman. “It is clear that between his work as a professor in occupational therapy and as a teacher of carving in his free time, Leo has a commitment to education and sharing his talents with others. We hope that all who come to view his pieces will be inspired by his work.”

Trujillo’s 57-piece exhibition reflects a lifetime of learning the art of carving and love for nature. Each piece represents a personal story of places he’s lived and seen.

Beginning with a solid plank of wood, Trujillo uses mallets and a multitude of gouges, chisels, riffles and sandpaper leaves to transform the wood into lifelike images of trees, old barns, nature scenes and people.

His desire to carve began at an early age. “My dad found this old keepsake oak box that was broken and tossed out,” he said. “On the outside was an applique of two scrolls, one of which had broken off. With a pocket knife I watched him recreate the broken scroll. My mom always talked about how special that box was because he had saved it. From then I felt I should learn how to do that.”

Years later while serving as second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, he continued carving and started to desire more carving tools, although he lacked the funds to pay for them. Old army boots and wooden pipe carvings were in demand among his fellow airmen so he sold them for about $25 each until he made enough money to buy his first set of chisels. Only then would he realize he had to buy something to help sharpen them.

Hunter's lodge art piece. (Photos by Michelle Messer)

Hunter’s lodge art piece. (Photos by Michelle Messer)

Now he has all the tools he could ever need, including a dental tool with actual dental bits used for small detailed carving work. “I had a friend who was a dental hygienist, and they offered me some tools saying these might get into those hard to reach places,” he joked. “If it cuts, I have it or want it.”

When asked how long a piece takes him to carve, he answers with two words. A lifetime. “It takes me a lifetime to finish each one in the sense that every piece is carved with an accumulation of what I’ve learned throughout my life, and I apply all of that to each piece.”

Time is relative, he says, since he begins each morning with a familiar routine which includes almost an hour of carving time just before going to work. When he returns home at the end of the day, every spare moment is filled with more carving. “Carving time is just a part of my day,” he said. “If I ever felt like it was work I’d probably stop doing it.”

Trujillo’s plans for the future as an artist includes auctioning some of his work to raise money for ACES for Autism and developing a web page to share options for commissioned work that will surely broaden his list of admirers.

“This series means so much to me because it recognizes my carvings as “Works of Art” and me as an artisan, not a hobbyist,” he said. “I am honored beyond words.”

Laupus Library also wishes to thank the Friends of Laupus Library for their continued support of the Art as Avocation series and opening reception.

Laupus Library is currently seeking artists for both 2018 exhibitions. To learn more about the series or to showcase your work, visit or contact Kelly Rogers Dilda at or 252-744-2232.


-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Communications 

Commencement Information for those who missed the Grad Expo

Missed the Grad Expo? No worries! Fall graduates can pick up their cap and gown at Dowdy Student Stores in Wright Building during any regular business hours. Medical and Dental students will receive information separately and will coordinate regalia through the Health Sciences Bookstore in Brody 1S-04. Distance Education students can email their regalia form and have their cap and gown shipped for a small fee.

Custom Stoles can be ordered through Friday, Oct. 13, to receive their embroidered stole in time for the fall commencement. Non-embroidered stoles are available for purchase at Dowdy Student Stores.

Diploma frames are still on sale at 20% off reg. prices, in-store and online through Oct. 8.  Online orders should use coupon code ECUGF20.

Class Rings can be ordered at Dowdy during a Jostens ring event, or online through Oct. 21 to be included in the fall ring presentation ceremony on Dec. 3.  Rings ordered after this date will ship to the customer. A presentation event will also be held in the spring.

Last Chance to Use Student Discount on Technology! Before graduation, visit the Tech Deck inside Dowdy Student Stores and take advantage of your student discount on Apple technology! Ready for an Upgrade? Trade-in your eligible Apple device and receive in-store credit toward the latest models from Apple!

Faculty wishing to order rental regalia for December must complete and submit a rental form by Nov. 10, 2017, to avoid a late fee. In order to assure delivery for the graduation ceremonies please submit your form prior to the due date. OAK HALL custom academic regalia can be made to your specifications, including appropriate colors and styles. Online ordering is available through their website.

Other information about commencement, including the online RSVP, can be found at

Links & Downloadable Forms:

Always feel free to contact Dowdy Student Stores with questions about your graduation needs.


Wright Building • Brody Building • Athletic Venues

Toll-Free  1-877-499-TEXT •  252-328-6731 


ECU performing arts series to help celebrate N.C. Arts Council’s 50th anniversary

East Carolina University’s S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series is one of 170 organizations across North Carolina to participate in a statewide arts celebration of the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Arts Council.

Arts and cultural organizations in all 100 North Carolina counties will celebrate the anniversary in October with music, dance, exhibitions and fall festivals.

ECU’s S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series has dedicated the upcoming performance of the Vienna Boys Choir to the statewide celebration.

The Vienna Boys Choir. (contributed photo)

The Vienna Boys Choir. (contributed photo)

The Vienna Boys Choir will perform on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. in ECU’s Wright Auditorium. The 500-year-old choir is world renowned for its quality performances. At ECU, they’ll perform a program titled “Bella Italia,” featuring works by Italian composers Vivaldi, Rossini, Verdi and Mascagni, along with popular favorites such as “Santa Lucia,” “O sole bio,” “Volare” and more.

“The Alexander series has enjoyed the longtime support of the North Carolina Arts Council, and we are pleased to join in their anniversary celebration,” said Michael Crane, producing artistic director of the series. “We are proud of the impact the N.C. Arts Council has had across the state and in our own community.”

Tickets to the Vienna Boys Choir are available at $45, $35, $25 and $10, online at or by calling 252-328-4788. Parking is $5 per car in advance.

About 200 arts and cultural events are slated now through late November across the state in recognition of the anniversary of the N.C. Arts Council.

“The ideal that founded the North Carolina Arts Council in 1967 was “arts for all citizens,” said Wayne Martin, executive director, North Carolina Arts Council. “Since that time, we’ve worked to create an expansive network of nonprofit arts organizations so that citizens can participate in the arts and artists can contribute to our state’s growth and development.”

The concentration of events will occur during October to coincide with Arts and Humanities Month, a celebration of arts and humanities across the U.S.

“The celebration in October is a tribute to our collective achievements the last 50 years,” Martin said.

Events are listed on a comprehensive calendar at Information on ECU’s Alexander series can also be found at

Follow the N.C. Arts Council’s 50th anniversary celebration at #NCArts50 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Contact: Michael Crane, 252-328-5386

1 2 3 180