Monthly Archives: February 2011

Appointments and Elections

December 2010/January 2011

Will Banks (English) was invited to join the advisory board for, which works to provide high-quality education materials that align to national standards. Banks also joined the board for the North Carolina English Teacher Association.

Kirk St. Amant (English) was elected member at large on the executive committee of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication.

Lorraine Hale Robinson (English) was appointed to the advisory board for Martin Community College, to the board of directors of the Friends of Hope Plantation, and to the board of directors for the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

November 2010

James Kleckley (Business) was appointed to the board of directors for the Association for University Business and Economic Research for 2010-11.

Jennifer Hodgson (Child Development and Family Relations) was named president of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, a national organization that promotes collaboration between psychosocial, biomedical, nursing and other healthcare providers.

Tejas Desai (Internal Medicine) was named to the national board of directors of the American Association of Kidney Patients.

Steven Schmidt (Education) was elected secretary and member of the executive board of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education at the organization’s annual conference in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

October 2010

Bobby Lowery, Pam Reis and Susan Williams (Nursing) were appointed by the N.C. Board of Nursing to the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Advisory Committee, which will study licensure, accreditation, certification and education models.

Stephen W. Thomas (Allied Health Sciences) was named to a state committee examining the impact of federal health reform legislation on North Carolina, an effort led by Lanier Cansler, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and Wayne Goodwin, commissioner of the N.C. Department of Insurance and state fire marshal.

Gregg D. Givens (Communication Sciences and Disorders) was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the National Council of State Boards of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

September 2010

Mark Scholl (Education) was appointed to a three-year term as member of the editorial board of the Journal of College Counseling.

Ron Mitchelson (Geography) was appointed senior research fellow in residence for ECU’s Research and Graduate Studies.

July/August 2010

Doug Smith (East Carolina Alumni Association) was elected to the Council of Alumni Membership and Marketing Professionals Board of Directors at the organization’s annual conference on July 15. He will serve a two-year term as treasurer.

Paul R. G. Cunningham (Medicine) accepted an honorary chairmanship of the Inner Banks’ Project of the outer Banks Relief Foundation/The Surf Club.

Gary Vanderpool (Health Sciences Administration and Finance) has been named president of the board of directors for Carolina Donor Services, a regional organ-procurement organization.

George G. Fenich (Hospitality Management) was appointed associate editor of the Journal of Convention and Event Tourism. He has served on the editorial board since the inception of the journal in the early 1990s.

Nursing faculty Bobby Lowery, Pam Reis and Susan Williams were appointed to the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse advisory committee.

May/June 2010

Steven R. Sligar (Rehabilitation Studies) was named co-editor of the Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals Journal. Min Kim, PhD student in rehabilitation counseling and administration, was selected as managing editor.

Kathleen T. Cox (Communication Sciences and Disorders) is president-elect of the North Carolina Speech, Hearing & Language Association. Her term as president will begin in July 2011.

Lorraine Hale Robinson (English) was elected to the Friends of Hope Plantation (Windsor, N.C.). The Friends assist in the continued maintenance and preservation of the Historic Hope restoration.

April 2010

William Meggs (Medicine) was re-elected as a toxicology representative to the American College of Emergency Physicians Council and will continue to serve on the ACEP Council steering committee.

Tami Tomasello (Communication) was invited to serve as associate editor for the International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies. The inaugural issue was scheduled to print in January.

February 2010

Stephen W. Thomas (Allied Health Sciences) was elected as chair for a two-year term of the Council for Allied Health in North Carolina. The CAHNC represents allied health educators, employers of allied health providers, and allied health professionals. The Council keeps pace with trends and needs in allied health and manages statewide workforce studies used in projecting future educational needs.

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina appointed as regional council members, Philip Rogers, executive assistant to the chancellor, and Ann Harrison, retired gifted and special education professor. Steve Jones, ECU Board of Trustees, joined the council as chairman in September.

January 2010

Kim Dixon (Psychiatric Medicine) was elected to a two-year term as treasurer of the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers.

Peggy Goodman (Emergency Medicine) was re-appointed to the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission by Gov. Beverly E. Perdue. This is Goodman’s 6th two-year appointment to the commission. Goodman was invited by the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence to serve on the North Carolina State Steering Committee for the CDC’s DELTA (Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances) Project, which studies and develops programs for the primary prevention of intimate partner violence and other forms of family violence. In addition, Goodman was named chair of the American Public Health Association Family Violence Prevention Forum, a group of over 600 APHA members and 200 affiliate members from 44 states and nine countries. She is also its newsletter editor.

Mack McCarthy (Athletics) was named honorary chairman for Live Healthy Greenville for the second year.

Jane Miles (Nursing) began her term this summer as president of the board of directors of the Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina.

November 2009

Larry Donley (Career Center) was elected president-elect of the Southern Association of Student Employment Administrators for 2010.

Alan R. White (Arts and Sciences) was elected to the board of directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences.

October 2009

Lisa Campbell (Health Disparities, Psychology) was appointed to a National Institutes of Health study section on behavioral medicine interventions and outcomes. Campbell was also named guest editor for the Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity, for a special issue on black male health.

Virtual Classes

School of Communication instructor Charles Twardy finds that Centra software helps him connect with his distance education students. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Centra Software Enables Virtual Classes in Comfort

Announcements of cancelled classes due to wintry weather might some day give way to a much more positive message, perhaps one that reads, “Pajamas Permitted: Faculty and students may attend classes today from home.”

The technology to support this scenario is already in place and popular with thousands of East Carolina University faculty and students.

Saba Centra, ECU’s Web conferencing software, allows ECU faculty to present a live virtual class from any location with an Internet connection and a web browser. From their homes, apartments or residence halls, students may log in and attend.

John Southworth, ECU Centra administrator, said approximately 8,000 people are actively using Centra on campus. In addition to online class meetings, the software is used at ECU for project presentations, office hours, guest lecturers, faculty meetings, streamed online recordings, software demonstrations, student meetings, international exchanges, conference sessions, research collaboration, dissertation defense and hybrid courses, he said.

ECU began using Centra on a limited basis in August 2003, and the program was released campus wide in January 2006, Southworth said. He estimated that as many as 20,000 users have used the program since its release.

The software integrates audio and chat, and allows users to load PowerPoint, mp3, images and video files. Faculty users may share with students any applications running on their own computer, such as Web browsers, Blackboard, Word or Excel.

The program provides features that imitate a face-to-face classroom. Students raise their hands to ask a question; the instructor transfers microphone access, allowing the student to speak. Laugh and applause buttons add a touch of reality as well.

Communications instructor Charles Twardy uses Centra to add a dose of energy and reality to his distance education classes.

“I try to engage students by being enthusiastic about what I am teaching, by using examples drawn from what I perceive to be their interests,” Twardy said. “In teaching online, I find it harder to be lively.” Centra’s features allow more interaction with distance education students, he said.

Twardy encourages students to nurture their curiosity and “take the time to stay informed about the world.” He said he provokes students to “think about why things are the way they are.”

Technology like Centra helps him implement this teaching philosophy with all students, not just those who attend classes face to face, he said.

Twardy shows his students images on his computer as part of an online class meeting using Centra software.

“We have to find ways to make the online environment more like the classroom – livelier and more interactive,” he said. His greatest satisfaction from teaching is when students “get it” and “in seeing that I have reached some of them and inspired them,” Twardy said. Centra helps him do that.

One of Twardy’s online students, Robin Daigle, said the software improved the course delivery. “This technology improves the rapport students have with the instructor,” she said.

Student Brittany Fish said that live teaching technology in online classes makes “a world of difference” to online students. “I think that every distance education course will one day be required to have live lectures,” she said.

More access to live lectures in all ECU classes might mean fewer missed classes due to weather conditions. And a bit more pajama time.

Contributions by Kimberly Hayes, undergraduate in the ECU School of Communication.

For additional information about Centra, visit Training and support is available.

Responses to a Centra Survey

•       After using it for one semester, I think that any online professor should use it or a tool similar to it. It is simply that good.

•       I very much enjoyed Centra, versus the old way of having the instructor email presentations for us to look at on our own. It was nice to actually hear a presentation the way the presenters wanted it to be heard.

•       I really enjoyed the opportunity for office hours using the Centra chat. I felt like an on campus student with the opportunity to talk with my professor. Great tool!!

•       This course was challenging for me, but using Centra helped me a great deal. The real-time discussions brought a deeper level of understanding which was very helpful for me.

Tough Times

Ballard: ECU will survive tough times

GREENVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 2, 2011) — College and division cuts of 9 to 12 percent along with tuition hikes may be necessary to make up state budget shortfalls, East Carolina University Chancellor Steve Ballard said Wednesday.

Those steps could mean fewer and larger classes for students as well as increased teaching loads for faculty, Ballard said.

In his second-annual State of the University address, Ballard praised ECU’s accomplishments while warning that the next budget year will be the most daunting faced in 60 years. The state budget is expected to have a $3.7 billion gap — a 20 percent shortfall — for the fiscal year that begins in July.

Ballard cautioned that state lawmakers are not expected to approve the 2011-2012 budget for several months. But if public universities are asked to cut 20 percent, he said, ECU will lose $60 million — on top of $106 million that’s vanished from its budget in recent years.

“One can certainly hear estimates ranging from 8 percent to 20 percent, depending on assumptions about sales taxes and economic performance in the state,” Ballard said. “While I ask everyone to pray for 8 percent, as a chancellor I must plan for 20 percent.”

For students, the cuts are likely to mean higher tuition and fees. Under the scenario Ballard outlined, students could fund at least 20 percent — or $12 million — of the $60 million gap. Such hikes would come on top of substantial increases approved in previous years by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

“We have always prided ourselves in being an access institution and our first university priority is student success, so making higher education less affordable is a painful option for me,” Ballard said. “I would not propose it if I did not consider it necessary to protect the quality of their academic experiences.”

Even with tuition increases, ECU will remain either second- or third-most affordable among peer universities, Ballard said.

Faculty and staff could be affected by 9 percent to 12 percent cuts to colleges and divisions throughout the university. Ballard said those reductions would generate $30 million in savings, or half ECU’s $60 million target.

“While I hope that we can keep the overall size of our faculty close to what it is today, many schools and colleges will have no choice other than to use faculty openings and academic resources to reach their goal,” Ballard said. “The availability of classes will be reduced, while class size and teaching loads, on average, will increase.”

Ballard said ECU could use as much as $15 million from its emergency fund to avoid further cuts as well as look for ways to consolidate services to further fill the gap. The university has used its emergency fund to pay for clean-up from disasters such as Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and other unforeseen expenses.

ECU has already done its best to cut costs, Ballard said, citing UNC system data that indicate the university is one of two state campuses in which the rate of administrative growth has been less than the rate of student population growth.

Ballard said he’s asked Marianna Walker, chair of the Faculty Senate, to work with its Educational Policy and Planning Committee to recommend ways to consolidate academic units and reduce administrative costs.

Such cuts would make the fiscal year that starts in July the fourth that state universities have lost money. Last year, the UNC system accounted for 20 percent of cuts, though it represented 13 percent of the state’s budget, Ballard said.

Much of the cuts have come from administrative positions and functions. Two years ago, 92 percent of ECU’s cut to its budget base came from those areas, Ballard said.

He pointed out that a majority of states have experienced worse cuts than North Carolina. California, for instance, has a $20 billion gap while Illinois faces a $25 billion shortfall. University of California system tuition has tripled since 2002.

ECU will focus on the long-term and be strategic as it deals with cuts, Ballard said.

“We will define where we want to be at the end of this recession and stay focused,” he said. “We won’t eat our seed corn. We will protect our fundamental commitments as a public university.”

ECU is a “vital part of the solution” to the state’s problems, Ballard said.

“ECU is about the promise of opportunity — giving students access to an excellent university and a chance to realize their dreams,” Ballard said.

Ballard highlighted several of the university’s accomplishments in job creation, including:

•The engineering program, which began in 2004 and was accredited in 2009, attracts more applicants with higher academic credentials each year. Half of its students are from eastern North Carolina and more than 90 percent of graduates have found jobs in the field or have enrolled in a graduate program.

•More than 90 percent of hospitality management majors are employed upon graduation, despite a severe recession in the industry.

•More new N.C. teachers come from ECU than any other institution.

•All nurse anesthesia, occupational therapy and physical therapy graduates are employed after graduation.

ECU also is improving the health of eastern N.C. residents, Ballard said. He cited, among other things, the Brody School of Medicine’s No. 2 national ranking in producing primary-care doctors and its rank of seventh nationally in meeting its overall social mission.

ECU knows how to survive tough times, he said.

“On the other side of this great recession, we will not only be here, we will be proud of the difference we make,” Ballard said. “And we will never lose sight of the opportunities we provide.”

The university has to preserve its academic core, said the vice president of the Student Government Association, who listened to Ballard’s message.

“If the choice is between cutting away things that make the academic core strong or raising tuition, then it probably would be necessary to raise tuition,” said Josh Martinkovic, a senior. “During hard times, you have to do the best you can with what you have.”

Dr. Paul Cunningham, dean of the Brody School of Medicine, said Ballard delivered his message with honesty and confidence.

“He expressed great resolve and optimism about our future as a university,” Cunningham said.


Lessons from the Past

Dr. Bill Jenkins speaks Feb. 4 during the seventh annual Jean Mills Health Symposium at ECU. More than 150 participants attended the event, which focuses on addressing health disparities in the region. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Past lessons important to the future of community health, expert says

A small group of people can make a difference in fostering better health in a community and often have the most success in creating change, said Dr. William “Bill” Jenkins, keynote speaker for the Jean Mills Health Symposium held Feb. 4.

Jenkins, adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at Morehouse School of Medicine and senior fellow with the Institute for African American Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spoke about the myths and realities of community participatory research.

It begins at the grassroots level, with the endorsement and support of those living in the community. That means practicing cultural humility and not assuming you know what’s best for a community, he said.

Jenkins served two decades as supervisory epidemiologist in the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and managed its Minority Health Activities Program. He managed the Participant Health Benefits Program, which assures medical services to the survivors of the Tuskegee syphilis study. Jenkins also served as an expert on minority issues in disease transmission as chief of the research and evaluation statistics section in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Prevention and as manager of the National Minority Organizations HIV Prevention Program.
His role in caring for the survivors of the Tuskegee syphilis study gave him a great appreciation for and understanding of best practices for community research.

The study, which ended in 1972, followed 600 men with syphilis for 40 years. Medical students, nurses and CDC physicians took samples in the field, collected and recorded data. Wherever the men they went, they were followed to make sure they did not receive treatment so results could be documented. “It was one of the best managed programs in public health history,” Jenkins said.

Many returned from World War I with the disease.

“Syphilis is the great imitator,” Jenkins said, since the disease can mimic heart disease and other ailments. “It’s a fascinating disease as much as most people think HIV is today.”

While the syphilis study eventually was condemned, it was landmark in its methodology. “How you do community research can be taught by this method,” Jenkins said.

As a result, researchers have changed practices that include institutional review boards, voluntary informed consent and federal policy for the protection of human subjects.

The basic tenets of bioethics are do no harm, be fair, allow autonomy and beneficence.

How a community benefits must be kept at the forefront. “Drug companies will pay a lot of money for community participatory research,” Jenkins said. “Just because you’re doing research in a community doesn’t mean you’re doing research for the community.”

In its seventh year, the Jean Mills Health Symposium drew 150 participants and had a waiting list, said Dr. Stephen Thomas, dean of the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences, which sponsors the event in collaboration with the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, Pitt Memorial Hospital Foundation and Eastern Area Health Education Center. The event coincides with Black History Month.

Jean Elaine Mills earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977 and a master’s in public administration with a concentration in community health from ECU in 1984. She died from breast cancer in 2000.
Amos T. Mills III, Jean’s brother, created the symposium in an effort to keep her spirit of discovery and community outreach alive.

“Health care is the most important thing in people’s lives,” Mills said in recognizing professor emeritus Donald Ensley, who spearheaded the creation of the event and taught Jean Mills while she was a student at ECU. “If you don’t have good health, you don’t have a good quality of life.”

Video from the event will be shown on ECU’s Ch. 99 and will be posted on the College of Allied Health Sciences website at

The symposium featured more than 20 recognized experts on the principles of community engagement: mutual benefits, collaborative relationships and empowerment. Presentations focused on the scholarship of engagement and on service to the community with an engagement model addressing health disparities and minority health.

New Concentration

ECU Kicks off New Risk Management and Insurance Program

The College of Business at East Carolina University kicked off its new risk management and insurance program this month. Directed by Brenda Wells, an insurance expert who holds a Ph.D. in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia, ECU’s risk management and insurance concentration is a direct result of partnerships with industry professionals. More than 40 students have already enrolled.

Protecting Artifacts

On Feb. 19, the 66th anniversary of the landing of the U.S. invasion on Iwo Jima, East Carolina University historians and conservators held a public viewing of a rare rubber topographical map depicting Iwo Jima during WWII. The map illustrated airstrips and roads on the island and was used for training naval intelligence officers. ECU Director of Conservation Susanne Grieve (Maritime Studies) said ECU conservators preserved the map by removing previous restorations that caused the rubber to deteriorate. Grieve, center, is pictured above with maritime studies graduate student Nicole Wittig, left, and Emily Powell, graduate student in history. Following the event, the map was returned to the Battleship North Carolina collection in Wilmington. Other presenters included history professors Michael Palmer on World War II and John Tucker on Japan in World War II; and Joyner Library Special Collections Curator Jonathan Dembo on the Joyner Library World War II special collections. Dembo displayed items from the library’s collections of original letters, action reports and maps showing the landing beaches on Iwo Jima and the Western Pacific theater. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

1 2 3 4 5