Monthly Archives: March 2012

Kolasa appointed to global forum

East Carolina University professor and dietitian Dr. Kathryn Kolasa has been appointed to the Institute of Medicine’s Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education. Kolasa will represent the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


The forum has 45 members from around the world. A planning meeting was held this month, and the first forum session will be in August. The goal of the forum is to generate discussion of the education of health professionals and evaluate innovative approaches to education.

Kolasa’s appointment began March 1 and continues through February 2015. An internationally known dietitian, Kolasa is a professor of family medicine at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. The IOM is part of the National Academy of Sciences.

In other news, Kolasa recently published, with co-authors, “Obesity in Adolescents,” in the Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine and Health.

Hamstring Hustle 5K race set for March 31

Runners and walkers can lace up their shoes March 31 for the 18th annual Hamstring Hustle 5K Run/Walk.

The race, presented by the Medical Student Council at Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, starts at 9 a.m. beside Moe’s Southwestern Grill on Red Banks Road. The race will wind through the Lynndale neighborhood and is a USA Track and Field-certified course/sanctioned event.

A portion of the proceeds from the race will benefit the ECU Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children achieve a healthy weight and improve their nutrition.

Registration before March 24 is $20 for all participants and includes a T-shirt. Registration after March 24 is $25. Registration is available online at; search for “hamstring hustle.” Late registration begins at 8 a.m. the day of the event at the race site.

Participants should be at the race site no later than 8:15 a.m. the day of the race.

Awards will be presented to the overall male and female winners and to the top three males and females in each age group: 12 and under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over.

E-mail race organizers at for more information.


Old Dominion funds software lab improvements

ECU students studying industrial distribution and logistics are trained in this lab on SAP software – a workflow management tool used at major corporations across the U.S. An endowment from Old Dominion Freight Lines will go toward purchasing more computers and other materials for this lab. (Contributed photo)

A gift from a national shipping corporation will ensure that more East Carolina University students studying industrial distribution and logistics enter the workforce with experience using a common software package.

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., based in Thomasville, provided the one-time endowment to enhance an existing lab in the College of Technology and Computer Science. Administrators and faculty will use the funding to purchase computers and other equipment needed to train more students in SAP.

Leslie Pagliari, associate dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Technology and Computer Science, described SAP as the software most often used at Fortune 500 companies to manage everything from human resource allocation to purchasing to the supply chain and transportation.

Dr. David White

“Old Dominion’s thoughtful donation will give students a hands-on opportunity to learn software that is vital to the transportation and logistics industries,” said David White, dean of the College of Technology and Computer Science. “Ultimately, this experience will better prepare our students to become leaders in the software business.”

“Old Dominion and East Carolina University have a longstanding partnership,” said Ken Erdner, Old Dominion’s vice president of information system and technology. “The talented students studying technology and computer science at East Carolina University today are the next generation of stars in our industry, and we welcome the opportunity to help them excel in their studies.”

ECU’s Industrial Distribution and Logistics program is the only one of its kind that offers SAP training to graduates. Within a year, program administrators plan to offer a SAP Certificate of Completion.

Sociology professor selected for book award


A book by ECU sociology professor Lee Maril, “The Fence: National Security, Public Safety, and Illegal Immigration along the US – Mexico Border,” was selected for the 2012 Ray and Pat Browne Award for the Best Single Work published in 2011 by the Popular Culture and American Culture Association.

Maril will receive the award at the organization’s national conference in Boston, April 14.

For more information or to contact Dr. Maril, visit

Technology Systems collaborates with Beaufort County Community College

Beaufort County Community College students toured ECU's laboratory facilities in the Science and Technology Building as part of a visit to the ECU campus in February. (Contributed photo)

The Department of Technology Systems hosted faculty members and ten students from Beaufort County Community College Feb. 22. BCCC’s faculty member, Ben Cole, is a 2003 alumnus from the bachelor of science in industrial technology  program hosted in the Department of Technology Systems. The BSIT program is a degree completion program for graduates of an industrial or technical related associate in applied science degree.

The students are enrolled in one of the following AAS degrees: mechanical engineering technology, electrical engineering technology, and electronics engineering technology programs. Students received a Science and Technology building laboratory tour and information about ECU’s engineering and BSIT programs, which they may pursue when they complete their work at BCCC.

ECU faculty guest edit issue of occupational therapy journal

Dr. Jane Painter, professor, and Dr. Sharon Elliott, adjunct faculty, were guest editors and coordinators of the Special Issue on Occupational Therapy Opportunities in Fall Prevention in the March-April American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Other College of Allied Health Sciences faculty and graduate students who assisted include:  Dr. Leonard Trujillo, associate professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy; Dr. Leslie Allison, assistant professor, Department of Physical Therapy; and Dr. Andrada Ivanescu, assistant professor, Department of Biostatistics.

Past graduate occupational therapy students who assisted in data collection for the Fear of Falling article include Puneet Dhingra, MS, OTR/L, Justin Daughtery, MS, OTR/L, and Kira Cogdill, MS, OTR/L.

Published in the issue were:

Peterson, E. W., Finlayson, M., Elliott, S. J., Painter, J. A., & Clemson L. (2012).  Unprecedented Opportunities in Fall Prevention for Occupational Therapy Practitioners.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 127-130.

Schepens, S., Sen, A., Painter, J. A., & Murphy, S. L. (2012). Relationship between fall-related efficacy and activity engagement in community-dwelling older adults: A meta-analytic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 137–148.

Leland, N. E., Elliott, S. J., O’Malley, L., & Murphy, S. L. (2012). Occupational therapy in fall prevention: Current evidence and future directions. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 149–160.

Elliott, S. J., Ivanescu, A., Leland, N. E., Fogo, J., Painter, J. A., & Trujillo, L. G. (2012). Feasibility of interdisciplinary community-based fall risk screening. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 161–168.

Painter, J. A., Allison, L., Dhingra, P., Daughtery, J., Cogdill, K., & Trujillo, L. G. (2012). Fear of falling and its relationship with anxiety, depression, and activity engagement among community-dwelling older adults. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 169–176.

ECU professor, student connect across country

At right, Dr. Robert R. Kulesher, associate professor of health services and information management in the College of Allied Health Sciences, visited with ECU health services management student Indya T. Wilson in Monterey, Calif., on March 9 during spring break. Wilson, a pharmacy technician with the U.S. Army stationed at the Presidio of Monterey, is scheduled to graduate in May. Originally from Greensboro, Wilson is a distance education student who has never actually been to the ECU campus. She is doing her health services management internship at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and is profiling Carmel Hills Care Center for Kulesher’s course in long-term care. Kulesher and his wife were in California to visit their son. He was the first professor Wilson has met in person. (Contributed photo)

ECU research reveals impact from 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Research by ECU faculty members Drs. David Kimmel, left, and Siddhartha Mitra noted the effects of oil on the ocean food chain. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)


Research by East Carolina University faculty and students has confirmed that oil from the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made it into the ocean’s food chain.

The ECU researchers worked with colleagues at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Oregon State University and the United States Geological Survey. In their study published by Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers found that crude oil from the spill entered the food chain through the tiniest of organisms, zooplankton, which forms the base of the food chain in marine ecosystems.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, ECU biology graduate student Ben McGlaughon, geological sciences graduate student Kim Scalise, and undergraduate biology student Jessica Snyder, worked alongside Dr. Siddhartha Mitra from the Department of Geological Sciences and Dr. David Kimmel from the Department of Biology and Institute for Coastal Sciences and Policy to analyze samples of zooplankton extracted from the Gulf of Mexico during August and September of 2010.

The researchers were able to determine the extent to which oil and oil pollutants had affected the ecosystem by extracting polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which can be used to identify oil and determine its origin.

“Our research helped to determine a ‘fingerprint’ of the Deepwater Horizon spill; something that other researchers interested the spill may be able to use,” Mitra said.

“Furthermore, our work demonstrated that zooplankton in the Northern Gulf of Mexico accumulated toxic compounds derived from the well.”

The researchers found the fingerprint of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in low levels among zooplankton in the area as much as a month after the leaking wellhead was capped. In addition, the extent of the contamination seemed to be patchy. Some zooplankton at certain locations far removed from the spill showed evidence of contamination, whereas zooplankton in other locations, sometimes near the spill, showed lower indications of exposure to the oil-derived pollutants.

The ECU researchers will follow up on their study to confirm if Deepwater Horizon oil compounds made it to the North Carolina coastline at any point after the 2010 spill.

For additional information on the current findings, or for information about the follow-up study, contact Mitra at 252-328-6611 or



Gilmore to present construction management leadership lecture


Roxane Gatling Gilmore, former First Lady of Virginia, will present “Restoring the Virginia Governor’s House: Preserving a Historic Home for a New Century” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Science & Technology Building Room C207, as part of the Construction Management Leadership Lecture Series.

Gilmore will speak on project management issues, including project definition and controls, while adhering to preservation standards. She wrote a book about the process of the restoration.

This free lecture is presented by ECU Departments of Construction Management, History and Geography along with the North Carolina Eastern State Historic Preservation Office.

For more information, contact Rebecca McDonald at 252-328-1388.

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