Monthly Archives: September 2012

Ballard appears on NC Spin

East Carolina University Chancellor Steve Ballard appeared Sept. 23 on an NC Spin program discussing higher education in the state.

Appearing along with Ballard and moderator Tom Campbell were Peter Hans, chair of the UNC Board of Governors; Scott Ralls, president of the NC Community Colleges; and Mary Rittling, president of Davidson County Community College.

To view the program, visit For more details about NC Spin, visit


ECU to host discussion of sex trafficking


East Carolina University will host a free discussion of sex trafficking at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 in Room RW105A of the Rivers Building on campus.

The event is focused on “Sex Trafficking: A Global and Local Social Problem” and features presentations by ECU graduate Megan Keels, who is volunteering in India to fight against sex trafficking and Anna Smith, co-founder and executive director of Restore One Life. Video clips from the movie “Half the Sky” will be shown as well.

The event is hosted by students in the Baccalaureate Social Work Student Association, Alpha
 Kappa Delta Honor Society and the Anthropology Student Organization.

For more information, contact Dr. Powers at

*Individuals requesting accommodation under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact the Department for Disability Support Services at least 48 hours prior to the event at (252) 737-1016 (Voice/TTY))

Expert on evolutionary genomics to speak at ECU

Dr. Rasmus Nielsen, one of the world’s leading experts on evolutionary genomics and professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, will lead a free, public seminar at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in Room 209 of the Science and Technology Building at East Carolina University.


The lecture, “The Search for Footprints of Adaptation in Genomic Data,” is sponsored by The Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Biology, as part of the THCAS Advancement Council Distinguished Professorship in Natural Sciences and Mathematics held by Dr. Kyle Summers.

“Professor Nielsen has been a pioneer in developing methods to detect the signature of natural selection,” said Summers. “His research has provided fascinating glimpses into ancient worlds. For example, samples from underneath the ice cap covering Greenland reveal ecosystems that existed there over a million years ago.”

Nielsen’s research focuses on statistical and computational aspects of evolutionary theory and genetics. His research addresses the question of what happens at the molecular level as one species is transformed into another over evolutionary time. Nielsen has pioneered methods for detecting the effect of natural selection at the molecular level, and he has worked on diverse organisms, from fruit flies to mammoths, and from Neanderthals to modern humans. Nielsen also has worked on statistical methods in other aspects of population genetics, medical genetics, phylogenetics, molecular ecology and molecular evolution.

For additional information about Nielsen’s visit, contact Summers at 252-328-6304 or Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the events.


Leakey visits ECU for Voyages of Discovery lecture

Renowned paleoanthropologist Dr. Louise Leakey will present “Secrets in the Sands: Revelations into How We Became Human,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 in Wright Auditorium at East Carolina University.

Leakey, a conservationist and explorer-in-residence at national Geographic, is the youngest member of the famed Leakey family of fossil hunters in east Africa. She has spent much of her life leading expeditions into the remote badlands of northern Kenya. Her team, The Koobi Fora Research Project, has made discoveries that have shaped modern thinking on the journey of humanity over the past 4 million years.

Like her parents, Richard and Meave Leakey, and her grandparents, Louis and Mary Leakey, Louise Leakey focuses her study on the evolution of early human ancestors. Particularly interesting to her is the period between 2 million years ago and 1.5 million years ago. In August 2007, Louise and Meave dug up new bones that have contributed to a rewriting of humanity’s evolutionary timeline. The Leakeys’ find suggests that different species of pre-humans actually lived side-by-side for almost half a million years.

Leakey completed her Ph.D. at London University. She is a research assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stony Brook University and serves as the director of Public Education and Outreach at the Turkana Basin Institute.

Her presentation is the premier lecture of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series.

Complimentary tickets are available to ECU students, faculty and staff members with a valid ECU ID. Tickets are $10 for the general public. For tickets, call the ECU Central Ticket Office at 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS. 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.

For additional information about the lecture series, contact Dr. John A. Tucker at 252-328-1028 or or visit

ECU hospitality student awarded national scholarship

East Carolina University student Ellisa Thompson was one of three students nationwide selected for the Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship, granted by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation. She was awarded third place with a $2,000 scholarship.


Thompson is a senior in ECU’s School of Hospitality Leadership and the daughter of Joe and Tami Thompson of Hatteras Island.

“My education at East Carolina University has been an amazing experience so far, and I feel so blessed to have the faculty’s continuous support.  It’s almost time for me to take this knowledge out into the hospitality world, and hopefully continue to achieve great things,” Thompson said.

Dr. Bob O’Halloran, director of the School of Hospitality Leadership, said Thompson’s accomplishments set the standards for the ECU hospitality program. “The Packard is the top award given from the American Hotel and Lodging Education,” he said. “Her selection highlights her skills and work and sends a message about the high quality education at ECU and in the School of Hospitality Leadership.”

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