Monthly Archives: August 2011

Published in Nutrition Today

An article by Family Medicine faculty Dr. Qing Cao and Dr. Kathy Kolasa,  “Gut Check, Finding the Effective Dietary Approach,” appeared in Nutrition Today. Cao is Assistant Clinical Professor in Family Medicine with the Brody School of Medicine. Kolasa is professor emeritus with the departments of  Family Medicine and Pediatrics and University Health Systems nutrition consultant.

Dr. Qing Cao

Dr. Kathy Kolasa

Three Down, One to Go with Help from Prestigious Scholarship

Trey and Kristi Sloan

By Kathy Muse

Once, twice, three times a Pirate and he’s not done yet.

Ruben “Trey” Sloan III is proud to say that he is a three-time graduate of the College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University and excited to continue his ambitious studies.

The Deep Run native dreams of becoming a medical doctor to serve the citizens of his home state.

Thanks to the University of North Carolina Board of Governor’s Medical Scholarship-Loan Program, he is one step closer to reaching this goal.

Sloan has been selected to receive the competitive four-year scholarship to attend the Brody School of Medicine.  The scholarship provides an annual stipend of $5,000 plus tuition, mandatory fees, medical insurance and a laptop computer.  Renewal each year is contingent upon meeting all eligibility requirements and continued funding by the North Carolina General Assembly.

“I was overwhelmed with a sense of relief and gratitude when I learned about receiving this scholarship,” Sloan said.  “Knowing that many of my expenses will be paid is a great feeling,” he added.

Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, financial need, along with a commitment to practice medicine in North Carolina following graduation.

Sloan will enter medical school this fall as a distinguished graduate boasting a 3.96 grade point average.  He served as president of the Department of Kinesiology Graduate Student Organization and was appointed to the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee for the 2008-2009 academic year.

Dr. Ron Cortright, professor in the Department of Kinesiology (formerly Exercise and Sport Science), taught Sloan during his first year as a doctoral student, said “I immediately saw his intellect, creativity, and passion for learning through classroom participation and on critical thinking exams.”

Sloan’s affection for ECU is double fold.  It is here that he met his wife, Kristi Sloan, and got engaged under the cupola on campus.

He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and a doctoral degree in Bioenergetics and Exercise Science.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and in Nursing.


ECU alumnus steps forward in paralysis research

Reggie Edgerton

By Kathy Muse

When Reggie Edgerton ’61 took health, exercise physiology, and biology classes at East Carolina University while working at the campus infirmary, he had no idea that the foundation for a remarkable research career was being established.  He did not know this research would become a life-changing discovery for a man paralyzed from a spinal cord injury and could provide hope to millions of others.

Edgerton recently lead the clinical trial that used epidural stimulation of the spinal cord to help Rob Summers, who was completely paralyzed from the chest down, regain voluntary, conscious control of movement and other autonomic functions such as improved bladder and temperature control.

For more than three years following a motor vehicle accident, Summers was unable to stand, step, or exert any voluntary control of muscles within his legs.

Doctors told him he would never walk again.

Then he became the first human to participate in specific research involving epidural stimulation.

Epidural stimulation works through a 16-electrode array along with a small stimulating device and battery, which was surgically implanted in Summers’ dura, the thick membrane surrounding the lumbar spinal cord.

The device permits long-term electrical stimulation and activates the spinal nerves just enough to make them responsive to sensory signals coming from the lower extremities of Summers.

Edgerton said, “The stimulation is at a threshold intensity which does not actually induce a movement but enables the spinal cord to receive and interpret the sensory information which tells the spinal cord to stand once pressure is placed on the bottom of the feet.”

After weeks of stimulation and locomotor training, Summers was able to stand independently for up to four minutes at a time and he could perform this repeatedly after brief periods of rest.  He could also take steps with assistance.  Finally, after six to seven months, he was able to voluntarily move his legs on command but only during epidural stimulation.

“The results from the first subject that we have implanted using the stimulation strategies developed have significantly exceeded our expectations,” said Edgerton.  “These results have revealed a new and important conceptual discovery that could have a large impact on a wide range of neuromotor disorders.”

Future research plans include repeating the procedure in four more subjects using the present technology and to develop a more advanced device that will take full advantage of the capability of the spinal circuitry to control movement in the presents of stimulation.

Edgerton received his bachelor of science in health and physical education from ECU in 1961; in 1963 his master’s degree from the University of Iowa; and in 1968 his Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Michigan State University.  He is a native of Pamlico County near Oriental, N.C. and serves as professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.


In memory of ECU professor emeritus Marge Inman

Marge Inman

Marjorie (Marge) Ann Inman, professor emeritus at East Carolina University, passed away on July 30. Her unexpected death occurred while traveling with her husband, Jeff, on a return trip to their home in Manistique, Mich., from vacationing in the Canadian Rockies.

Marge joined ECU in January 1991 as professor and chair of what is now the Department of Interior Design and Merchandising in the College of Human Ecology. Under her administrative leadership, the interior design program flourished, achieving accreditation from what is now the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and program endorsement from the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

As a certified kitchen and bath designer, Inman brought to the design program a specialty area of expertise.  Under her instruction, ECU students launched successful careers in the kitchen and bath design profession. She made significant contributions to the development of the body of knowledge in the field of interior design, disseminating over 100 publications and presentations and serving as senior editor of the Journal of Housing and Society.

Inman was known for her study of supportive healthcare facilities for Alzheimer’s patients.

Katherine Swank, chair of the Department of Interior Design and Merchandising, said Inman would be missed. “Marge was an incredible blend of gentle kindness and razor-sharp intelligence.  Adding to these ingredients a fun-loving, zest for life made up a marvelous concoction that was uniquely ‘Marge.’ Those of us who had the privilege of working with her will be forever touched by her generosity of spirit,” Swank said.

Funeral services will be held on Aug. 4 at the Church of the Redeemer-Presbyterian in Manistique, Michigan.  Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Jeff Inman, 1577N Country Club Drive, Manistique, Mich.


Health Services, Information Management faculty published in current journal

Robert Campbell

Bonita Sasnett

Patricia Royal

Faculty in the Department of Health Services and Information Management in the College of Allied Health Sciences have reported recent publications in the Journal of Health Administration Education 28(2).

An article by Patricia Royal, “Does practice make perfect? An approach to incorporating simulations and role plays in healthcare administration students’ curriculum,” describes how using standardized clients helps students gain interpersonal skills in preparation toward health careers.

An article by Robert Campbell and Bonita Sasnett, “Using Service Learning to Teach Teamwork and Peer Learning Skills to Health Services and Information Management Students,“ discusses the importance of introducing service learning into the curriculum with sophomores and seniors working in teams to develop community projects for local health care facilities in the Greenville communities.


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