Monthly Archives: June 2012

Grant supports 9th annual Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming

Joyner Library at East Carolina University has received a $15,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to support the Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming, a program that celebrates and promotes the culture and literature of North Carolina.

The library is one of 788 non-for-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The grants support creation of art that meets the highest standard of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and strengthening communities through the arts.

With activities in five counties the literary homecoming provides a rich opportunity for eastern North Carolinians to learn about and meet North Carolina writers. The year’s event, scheduled for Sept. 21-22, marks the ninth literary homecoming. Themed “Litflix: Adapting North Carolina Literature into Film,” the event will explore how film can both enhance and distract from the written word. The program will engage participants in panel discussions and writing workshops. Events are planned in Wilson, Rocky Mount, New Bern, Morehead, City, Beaufort and Greenville and include a showcase of short films and programs presented by authors on the adaptions of their books into film.

The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications under the art works category for this round of funding, requesting more than $78 million in funding. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at

For more information about the Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming or Joyner Library, contact Dawn Wainwright (252.328.4090). Visit for details on the upcoming literary homecoming.

# # #

ECU students share research on graduate education day

ECU graduate students Bradley Eidschun, Daniel Zapf and Mahealani Kaneshiro-Pineiro represented East Carolina University in North Carolina’s Graduate Education Day May 23 in Raleigh. (Contributed photo)


 Three East Carolina University graduate students displayed their research at the North Carolina Capitol Building in Raleigh May 23 as part of North Carolina’s Graduate Education Week, May 20-26.

Mahealani Kaneshiro-Pineiro, Bradley Eidschun and Daniel Zapf from ECU joined students from Duke, Wake Forest and other UNC system universities at the event, which was designed to recognize the contributions that graduate education makes to the scientific, cultural, and economic needs of the state and global communities.

The three ECU students set up posters highlighting their research projects. They met with ECU Chief of Staff Phillip Rogers, the university’s liaison with the state legislature, and discussed their research with a number of elected officials, including Rep. Marian McLawhorn, Rep. Bill Cook, Rep. G.L. Pridgen, Rep. Tim Spear and Sen. Stan White.

Additional information about the students follows:


A native of Oahu, Hawaii, Kaneshiro-Pineiro is a PhD candidate in coastal resources management. She has a master’s degree in zoology and a bachelor’s in marine science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Hilo, respectively. She has conducted research throughout the Pacific, including Midway Atoll and Okinawa, Japan. Her research interests include jellyfish ecology and jellyfish-human interactions. Kaneshiro-Pineiro presented research on the biology and tourism effects of Sea Nettle jellyfish. Her faculty mentor is David Kimmel, assistant professor of biology in the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy.


Arizona native Eidschun has just completed a master’s degree in mathematics at ECU and holds a bachelor’s in mathematics and computer science from UNC-Pembroke. His research examined a method for modeling tsunami and rogue waves, as well as the impact these waves could have on the North Carolina coast. ECU mathematics professors David Pravica and Mike Spurr served as Eidschun’s mentors.


Master’s degree student Zapf, of Rochester, N.Y., has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  He has worked for the Illinois Natural History Survey studying fisheries ecology in Lake Michigan. Zapf’s research examined critical river herring nursery habitats in the Albemarle Sound using otolith microchemistry. His faculty mentor is Roger Rulifson, professor of biology in the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy

Accompanying the students were their faculty mentors, ECU Graduate School Dean Paul Gemperline, along with Graduate School Associate Deans Thomas J. McConnell and Belinda Patterson. Gemperline is the president of the North Carolina Conference of Graduate Schools for 2011-2012.

Governor Bev Perdue signed a proclamation in January declaring May 23 as Graduate Education Day and May 20-26 as Graduate Education Week in North Carolina.

Faculty, administrators and students were among the ECU attendees at Graduate Education Day.

Grant helps grow Greenville garden network

Beth Wall-Bassett, assistant professor of nutrition science, delivers lettuce grown in a Greenville community garden to the JOY Soup Kitchen. (Contributed photo)


A $15,000 grant from the Vidant Medical Center Foundation will support the Greenville Community Garden Network, a project directed by East Carolina University nutrition science professor Beth Wall-Bassett.

The garden network funds one hub garden and two satellite gardens in west Greenville. Produce from the gardens is pipelined into Greenville’s community shelter, soup kitchen, church programs and neighborhood school/afterschool programs. Area residents may receive produce as well.

“The ultimate hope is to strengthen the community one fruit or vegetable at a time– a feel good, win/win situation for everyone all the while growing more community gardens in Greenville,” Wall-Bassett said.

Wall-Bassett said food insecurity is an urgent public health concern facing nearly 14.6 percent of Americans. In Pitt County, 67 percent of the population is considered overweight or obese with 70 percent of those residing in the predominantly low-income west Greenville area.

The garden project connects residents with agricultural and health professionals, city officials, and economic and community development programs to promote good nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

“I see how community gardens are a wonderful vehicle to integrate public and private resources, improve the environment, create sustainable food distribution and educational systems, and improve health and well being especially among ‘at-risk’ groups, especially low-income, homeless, minority, children/ youth, American veterans, and people with disabilities,” she said.

The grant will assist in the purchase of seeds and materials as well as maintenance required to ensure abundant harvests in three existing gardens, while also supporting at least one new community garden. Existing gardens are located on Chestnut Street at the site of Greenville’s Dream Park, at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center on Ward Street, and on flood buyout land on Douglas Avenue.

Earlier this year, Wall-Bassett, Greenville Harvest, and the City of Greenville Recreation and Parks Department received a grant from Nourishing North Carolina, a program funded by the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation and the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association.  Wall-Bassett and others started the Dream Park garden as part of the Nourishing North Carolina initiative to support community gardens in all 100 counties in the state.

“We’re grateful that the Vidant Foundation and Nourishing North Carolina acknowledge and value the importance of linking health, agriculture, and the community, and we appreciate the backing they have provided,” Wall-Bassett said.

She noted other individuals are helping to launch the Greenville Community Garden Network, including Gary Fenton, director of Greenville’s Recreation and Parks Department; Lynne James, director of the Greenville Community Shelter; Merrill Flood, director of Greenville Community Development; Barbara Taft of Greenville’s JOY Soup Kitchen; Kerry Littlewood and Deborah Moody of the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center; and Joe Bassett, Greenville Harvest executive director and Dream Park garden manager.

“One by one, I see gardens spreading, with individuals and neighborhoods taking ownership,” said Fenton. “Hopefully, community gardens will become a permanent fixture in neighborhoods and involvement will be passed down from generation to generation.”


For additional information, contact Wall-Bassett at

ECU alumnus wins contest for technology business owners

East Carolina University graduate Spencer Barrick was selected as the winner of a Wilmington contest for EyeBar, a company he developed. Barrett was a 2011 graduate in hospitality management. (Contributed photo)


East Carolina University hospitality management graduate Spencer Barrick ’11 was selected as the winner of BootStrap, a Wilmington Downtown contest for start-up technology companies.

Barrick’s company, EyeBar, is a web site and iPhone app that streams live video of bars, clubs, restaurants and events to a user’s cell phone.

“Bars and other venues pay a monthly subscription to use the service,” Barrick said.

“In the near future, EyeBar will be live streaming events, concerts and festivals. I work with a team of web developers, graphic designers, marketing firms, attorneys, and three interns who are hospitality management majors at ECU.”

Barrick said he chose Wilmington, N.C., for EyeBar because he wants to see the city thrive.  He believes his new app will invigorate local businesses and give Wilmington more exposure in the region and beyond.

“Wilmington is a perfect location to incubate and headquarter EyeBar. It has a diverse bar scene that works perfectly with my concept. I am already looking into how I can incorporate the app into Wilmington events such as the Azalea Festival, Downtown Sundown Concert Series and Wing Fling. Live streaming will give these events a global reach.”

Barrick said that a lucky string of events led him to enter the Bootstrap contest. Some months ago, he met with College of Human Ecology Dean Judy Siguaw to ask her for business advice. The dean introduced him to a former colleague at UNC-W, who told him about BootStrap.

“I applied and was one of the five finalists selected to be interviewed,” said Barrick. “I pitched my business to local business professionals. They liked my concept and selected EyeBar to win.”

Barrick has worked in hotels and restaurants since high school. At ECU, he was an All-American track athlete and a record holding javelin thrower. He was also selected as an Elite Pirate, founding president of Eta Sigma Delta (hospitality management honor society), and member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

For Barrick, one of the perks of starting his own business is that he inspires others to chase their dreams. “People tell me that what I am doing is inspirational,” he said. “I believe that anything is possible with a little bit of creativity and drive.

“I also have the mentality of a Pirate; I like to steer my own ship.”

BootStrap winners receive a furnished office and 90 days of free rent in downtown Wilmington’s Central Business District, web site and business card design, publicity and networking opportunities, and consultation with Wilmington business entrepreneurs.

For more information, visit  For details on EyeBar, visit or download the app from the Apple Store.

ECU College of Business well-represented at NEER event

Supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs at the North Eastern Entrepreneurial Roundtable banquet were, left to right, Jim Westmoreland, ECU College of Business associate dean for external affairs; Tommy Spaulding, ECU alumnus and bestselling author; Sherry Johnson, Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce; Mayo Boddie, NEER chairman and ECU supporter; Stan Eakins, dean of the ECU College of Business; and Bill McDowell, professor in the ECU College of Business. (Photography by Garry E. Hodges)


Faculty, administrators and alumni from the East Carolina University College of Business were among the speakers at the 18th annual Entrepreneur of the Year Banquet sponsored by NEER (North Eastern Entrepreneurial Roundtable) at the Rose Hill Conference Center in Nashville, N.C.

Attending were College of Business Dean Dr. Stan Eakins and Associate Dean for External Affairs Dr. Jim Westmoreland, along with professor Dr. Bill McDowell. Keynoting the event was ECU alumnus Tommy Spaulding, the university’s first executive in residence for leadership and author of the New York Times bestseller, “It’s Not Just Who You Know.”

NEER supports business efforts in eastern North Carolina by providing a network of expertise in financial, legal, marketing and human resources information to help new companies succeed. The annual banquet recognizes eastern North Carolina entrepreneurs with businesses in Edgecombe, Nash, Halifax and Wilson counties.

This year’s recipient of the NEER Entrepreneur of the Year Award was Robert Zampardi, onwer of dC Automotive Company in Rocky Mount. Zampardi developed the company after he discovered a need for parts that would keep his first used Porsche operating. He purchased a second and then a third Porsche to obtain the parts he needed, then sold the parts left over from his rebuild. He grew the business into the largest dismantler of Porsche cars in the United States, meeting a high demand for used parts, sold through an online catalog, and providing the largest indoor recyclying facility for Porsches in the nation at his 140,000 square foot Rocky Mount plant.

ECU supporter Mayo Boddie Sr., NEER chairman, and Sherry Johnson, Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce, were among the NEER members present at the banquet.


1 2