Monthly Archives: March 2012

ECU diagnostic lab accredited

The electrodiagnostic lab at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University  has been accredited by the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

The accreditation is for five years. The lab is part of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the medical school.

Electrodiagnostic tests can help diagnose conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and other disorders caused by compressed nerves; nerve damage related to diabetes; nerve injury from accidents and trauma; Lou Gehrig’s Disease or ALS; neuropathies from diabetes and other medical conditions; Bell’s Palsy and other cranial nerve disorders.

These tests are also useful for finding the underlying causes of back pain, such as a herniated disc or pinched nerves.

Accreditation helps ensure patients receive quality medical care in a safe environment. The accreditation standards evaluate the diagnostic services and clinical operations including clinical staff qualifications and continuing education, facilities, equipment, protocols for performing studies, patient reports, and policies for ensuring the health and safety of patients.

Annual Hamstring Hustle set for March 31

ECU medical student Sarah Bennett runs in the 2011 Hamstring Hustle April 16. She finished first in the women's 20 - 29 category with a time of 22 minutes, 1 second. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

The 18th Annual Hamstring Hustle 5K Run/Walk to benefit the ECU Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center will begin at 9 a.m. March 31 on Red Banks Road in Greenville.

Participants should report to Moe’s Southwest Grill at 610 Red Banks Rd. by 8:15 a.m. for race day registration and tee-shirt pickup.

Online registration is available at (search for “Hamstring Hustle”) or users may download a form here. Pre-registration by March 24 is $20; late and race day registration is $25.

The event is presented by the Brody School of Medicine’s Medical Student Council.

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NEH chairman to present discussion on humanities

Dr. James A. Leach, chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will present “Humanities, Citizenship and the American Spirit,” at 4 p.m. April 12 in the Willis Building.

Leach served the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years, was a professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and served Harvard University as lecturer and interim director of the Institute of Politics.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For reservations, visit

Leach’s presentation is sponsored by the David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities, the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, and the ECU Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development.

The NEH senior program officer, Stefanie Walker, will hold a grant-writing workshop from 8:30 a.m. until noon, April 13 in the Willis Building.

For more information, visit or contact Denise Miller, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences executive assistant, at (252) 328-6249 or at

Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.


ECU researcher finds heavy debt burdens among college graduates

East Carolina University social work professor Dr. Intae Yoon found high levels of debt among college graduates in research published in the Journal of Social Work Education.

Dr. Intae Yoon

In a study titled “Debt Burdens among MSW Graduates: A National Cross-Sectional Study,” Yoon examined the debt load of master of social work graduate students. One quarter of respondents said they owe at least $40,000 in educational loans, he said, and 30 percent had borrowed at least $30,000 of their total college expenses.

One quarter of respondents also reporting at least a $500 monthly payment obligation to credit card companies at the time of graduation.

Yoon surveyed 260 MSW graduates from 25 states who graduated in 2009. He found that 31 percent of respondents said they were very or extremely burdened by loans from non-educational funding sources, without considering educational loan repayment obligations.

The study also examined the relationship between how students acquired credit cards and the extent of their debt. Those who received their plastic money from family members had about $2,500 less in debt than those who opened credit card accounts from on-campus vendors. Those who opened the accounts from on-campus vendors had about $2,000 less debt than those who received the cards through off-campus mailings.

Yoon said, “Since this study is based on a relatively small sample among social work graduates, it is problematic to generalize findings for all students. Yet, as these finding reflect national trends, I see danger in the current borrowing habits of many students.”

Unlike federal educational loans that can be readjusted based on the income level of the borrower, consumer debt will not be forgiven even if it is used to fund education. “The borrowing habits revealed in the study present a potential risk to our future workforce,” said Yoon.

“This exorbitant non-educational debt will siphon off a substantial portion of social workers’ discretionary income and threaten their quality of life.”

The full text of “Debt Burdens Among MSW Graduates: A National Cross-Sectional Study” may be obtained at


Young Writers Summer Camps Offered at ECU

This summer the Tar River Writing Project at East Carolina University will sponsor several camps for young writers in Pitt County and the surrounding area.

Young writers at all ability levels are invited to experience a fun and creative writing community this summer. Each camp offers the chance to develop writing and digital literacy skills and to build a writing community with other writers from across the county. Students from public, private, and home school environments may find an engaging and instructive experience with writing.

Camps currently offered include:

  • “Subscribe to Writing” (rising 4th– 6th graders): June 25 – 30, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • “Subscribe to Writing” (rising 6th – 9th graders): July 9 – 14, 8:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
  • “Where We’re From” (rising 6th – 9th graders): June 25 – 29, Mon-Thu 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Fri 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • “Geo-Tagging: Digital Expression Is Not a Crime” (rising 9th– 12th graders): Mon-Fri,  June 18 – 29, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
  • “Write Here! Write Now!” (rising 9th – 12th graders): June 13 – 22, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • “Wilderness Writing” (rising 9th – 12th graders): July 23- Aug. 3, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. with one overnight trip each week

Space is limited for all camps. For detailed descriptions and to apply for a camp, visit the Tar River Writing Project website at

Each applicant will be required to submit the following information:  student name, grade level, address, parent information, T-shirt size, proof of health insurance, recommendation from a teacher or family friend, and a writing sample.

Applications are preferred by April 1, but participants will be considered until each camp is full. At the time of application, a $25 non-refundable application fee is due.

Parents who apply by April 1 will be notified by April 15 if the child was accepted. Full payment is due by June 1. Registration fees include instruction and supplies for the duration of the camp and a commemorative T-shirt.

For additional information, contact Dr. Will Banks at (252) 328-6674 or at


ECU student selected for NASA internship

East Carolina University geology major John Gemperline was selected in a national competition for a summer internship with a NASA academy in Greenbelt, Md.


Gemperline will participate in the 2012 Goddard Space Flight Center Lunar and Planetary Science Academy, conducting research on “Comparative Geomorphic Analysis of Lunar Landslides and Martian Gullies.”

He is a 2011-12 undergraduate scholar in the North Carolina Space Grant program, a 13-member university-based consortia that funds research and education in science. Gemperline has conducted research with geography professor Dr. Tom Allen, director of RENCI at ECU and co-director of ECU’s Center for Geographic Information Science.

Gemperline is a 2011 cum laude graduate of UNC-Greensboro, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in geography, a bachelor’s in classical studies and a minor in cello.

A Greenville native and 2007 graduate of J.H. Rose High School, Gemperline is the son of Margaret and Paul J. Gemperline, ECU dean of Graduate Studies.


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