Monthly Archives: February 2012

Documentary, discussion to focus on Fishbone

A presentation and panel discussion of the documentary “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in Mendenhall 244.

The documentary tells the story of the band Fishbone, a black rock band that rose to prominence in the 1980s. Following the film, the film’s director Chris Metzler will join ECU faculty members Marc Faris (Music), Ken Wyatt (Art) and Karen Zipf (History) in a discussion of the film.

Sponsored by the film studies minor and the student activities board, the event is free and open to the public.


New book guides family life professionals working with diverse populations

ECU professors Alan Taylor, left, and Sharon Ballard have published a book to help family life professionals and students work within a global society. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University certified family life educators Sharon M. Ballard and Alan C. Taylor have compiled strategies for working with 11 diverse family groups in their new book, “Family Life Education with Diverse Populations.”

The book is aimed at students and professionals who need cultural competence for best results in working with families in today’s global society.  Ballard and Taylor present best practices for family life education, followed by examination of the unique characteristics and strengths of the 11 family groups.

“Our book pulls together the best of what is known about working with these 11 populations in order to provide a foundation and a starting place for family life educators,” Ballard said.

“Each chapter is written by authors who have experience with the particular population.

Among the groups examined are rural, military and court-mandated families, prison inmates and their families, grandparents raising grandchildren and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families. Additional chapters examine the unique characteristics and strengths of American Indian, Latino, Asian, black, and Arab families.

Additional ECU faculty and students in Child Development and Family Relations contributed to the text.

Faculty members Elizabeth Carroll and Catherine Smith, who work with the Essential Life Skills for Military Families curriculum, contributed the chapter on military families. Family studies faculty member Eboni Baugh contributed work on black families and grandparents raising grandchildren. Graduate student DeAnna Coughlin co-authored the chapter on black families.

Ballard and Taylor stressed the need for those who work with families to be culturally competent. Taylor said the book “presents a good balance of research-based information and practical experience” to help both students and professionals work effectiveness with families in the community.

For additional information about the book, visit


Seven women represent ECU in BRIDGES program

Seven East Carolina University women graduated this fall from the BRIDGES XIX academic leadership program. Pictured at the 2011 BRIDGES graduation are, left to right, Kathryn Verbanac, Lisa Clough, Susan Beck-Frazier, Cheryl McFadden, Tracy Gurnsey and Carol A. Brown. Participant Holly Hapke was not present for the photograph. (Contributed photo)


Seven East Carolina University women were selected to participate in BRIDGES XIX, an intensive academic leadership and professional development program for women held Sept. 9 through Nov. 12.

Selected from ECU were Susan Beck-Frazier, associate dean in the College of Fine Arts and Communication; Lisa Clough, professor of biology; Holly Hapke, professor of geography; education professors Cheryl McFadden and Carol A. Brown; Tracy Gurnsey, autopsy facility manager and medical laboratory supervisor in Pathology at the Brody School of Medicine; and Kathryn Verbanac, professor of surgery at the Brody School of Medicine.

Verbanac was elected to serve a 3-year term on the BRIDGES Advisory Board.

Over the course of four weekends in Chapel Hill, N.C., participants hone their leadership and communication skills while developing a stronger understanding of the academy. The program helps female university faculty and administrators identify, understand and move into leadership roles within higher education.

For additional information about the BRIDGES program, visit

ECU Alumni Association to host breakfast

East Carolina alumni and friends are invited to network with fellow Pirates at the East Carolina Alumni Association’s Greenville Networking Breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Feb. 29 at Winslow’s Tavern in Greenville.

Mayor Allen Thomas ’92 and senior economic developer for the North Carolina Department of Commerce Donnal Phillips ’91, ’94 are featured guests at the event.

Registration is $5 per person for Alumni Association members and $10 for non-members, which includes breakfast and beverages. Register by Feb. 24 by calling the Alumni Association at 800-ECU-GRAD, locally at 252-ECU-GRAD or at (select “Events”).

For additional information, contact Jennifer Watson at 252-328-4902 or

Emily Post Institute director to speak at ECU

Peter Post, director of The Emily Post Institute and author of five etiquette books, will speak at East Carolina University March 21 as part of the Cunanan Leadership Speaker Series hosted by the College of Business.

One of author Emily Post’s four great-grandchildren, Post writes the “Etiquette at Work” column for the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe. He is author of the bestselling books “Essential Manners For Men” and “Essential Manners For Couples,” and he co-authored “The Etiquette Advantage In Business,” which is used in the College of Business’ junior-level leadership course.

As the creator and primary presenter of Emily Post Business Etiquette programs, Post leads business seminars for companies both in the U.S. and abroad. He has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, communications, design and education.

The public is invited to attend this free event, which will begin at 3:30 pm in Wright Auditorium at ECU.

For more information about the Emily Post Institute,  visit For more information about the event, contact Jennifer Brezina with the ECU College of Business at

The Cunanan Leadership Speaker Series is made possible by a gift from alumni Steve and Ellen Cunanan of Richboro, Pa.  Matching funds are also provided by the Johnson & Johnson Foundation.  The series brings distinguished leaders to Greenville, representing for-profit and non-profit firms, entrepreneurial activities, government and public affairs. Topics highlight leadership, professional development, ethics and the role of business in modern society.


Improving climate for LGBT students is focus of ECU webinar

East Carolina University will host a webinar focused on ways to better meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students at 2 p.m. Feb. 15 in Science and Technology Building Room 144.

Featured panelists include Shane L. Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, and Dr. Sue Rankin, founding member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals.

Windmeyer is an author and national leader on gay campus issues. His book, “The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students,” is the first college guide that profiles the best LGBT-friendly campuses. He is co-founder of Campus Pride, the only national organization for student leaders and campus organization working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students.

Rankin has presented and published widely on the impact of sexism, racism and heterosexism in the academy and in intercollegiate athletics. Rankin’s current research focuses on the assessment of institutional climate and providing policy makers with strategies to improve the campus climate for under-served communities.

ECU faculty, staff and students will join in the conversation, aimed at preparing attendees with the awareness and knowledge needed to improve the campus climate for LGBT students. Concerns include the academic success and persistence of students identifying as sexual and/or gender minorities; LGBT students’ emotional and mental health; and LGBT students’ intersecting identities in areas such as students of color, student athletes and spirituality.

ECU sociology professor Dr. Linda Mooney in 2008 researched the ECU climate for LGBT students, finding many of the same issues that exist on campuses nationwide. Her results showed that 55 percent of LGBT-identified students at ECU had feared for their safety at least once during the previous year. Approximately 67 percent reported that they sometimes or often concealed their LGBT status to avoid intimidation.

The webinar is sponsored by the ECU Office of Equity, Diversity, and Community Relations in association with the Division of Student Affairs, the LGBT Resource Office, and the Safe Zone Leadership Team.

Attendees should register using One Stop, under University Training. Those unable to attend may request a CD of the presentation from the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Relations.

For additional information, contact the LGBT Resource Office at 252-737-4451.

Harvard professor Stephen Burt speaks, studies at ECU

Harvard professor Stephen Burt speaks to a crowd gathered at ECU's Joyner Library during a visit to campus Feb. 7.


Harvard professor and poet-critic Stephen Burt read from his poetry and spoke about the relationship between writing poetry and criticism during a visit to East Carolina University Feb. 7.

Burt spoke at Joyner Library, where he also investigated the library’s collection of books and papers related to poet-critic Randall Jarrell.

Burt’s second book, “Randall Jarrell and His Age,” focused on the poet-critic who settled in North Carolina. Some of Jarrell’s books and papers are part of the Stuart Wright Collection in the Joyner Library.

Burt said the Jarrell collection would be valuable in his research and he might return for additional time studying the material.

A recent interview with Burt by ECU English professor John Hoppenthaler, along with several of Burt’s poems, is available at

While at ECU, Stephen Burt enjoyed studying Joyner Library's collection of papers from poet-critic Randall Jarrell, the subject of Burt's research.

ECU grad student debuts new online journal

East Carolina University creative writing graduate student Michael Kent Brantley has published the first issue of an online  journal entitled “What the Fiction.”  The journal is available at

Cover art for the new journal was completed by Jim Fuess.

ECU English instructor Dean Tuck serves as associate editor for the journal.

Brantley said the work was inspired through a creative writing class taught by ECU professor Luke Whisnant, who serves as an advisory editor for the new journal. Professors Liza Wieland and Alex Albright also supported Brantley’s work.

The journal publishes fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. The first issue includes poetry from ECU graduate students Jessica Cory and Meghan Palko.

Brantley serves as a graduate assistant for Tar River Poetry ( and a graduate teaching assistant in the ECU Department of English.

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