Author Archives: Morgan Tilton

ECU students donate $4,723.50 to Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts

ECU students stepped up to make a difference with hurricane relief efforts for communities directly impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 530 ECU students donated from their dining plan on Sept. 19-20 and raised $4,723.50 that will go directly to hurricane relief efforts.

Partners include the ECU Residence Hall Association (RHA), Elite Pirates, the Campus Living Community Service Team, Campus Living and Dining Services.

Hurricane relief effort tables were set up at Todd Dining Hall, West End Dining Hall and in front of Dowdy Student Stores at Wright Plaza. Students could make a donation of up to $10 using their Purple or Gold Bucks.

All students with ECU meal plans receive Purple or Gold Bucks loaded on their ECU OneCard depending on whether they live on or off campus. Purple and Gold Bucks are pre-paid debit type accounts that are associated with corresponding meal plans. They are spent dollar for dollar.

Now that the collection totals are complete, ECU Dining Services will provide that amount to Aramark, the food service provider for ECU. The total ECU donations will be split and distributed to one college or university in Texas and one in Florida.

These respective universities will purchase items through Aramark on their campuses to help aid in the recovery process of their community. After the items are purchased, ECU Campus and Aramark will then evenly transfer the funds generated from this fundraising event to the universities involved.

For additional information, email Troy Nance, Residence Hall Association president, at rhapresident@ecu.edu or Morgan Randolph, Elite Pirates vice president, at randolphm14@students.ecu.edu.

 

Contacts: Troy Nance, Residence Hall Association president, rhapresident@ecu.edu; Morgan Randolph, Elite Pirates vice president, randolphm14@students.ecu.edu

Brody students help transform medical education

Faculty at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine have made national news in recent months because of their contributions toward transforming medical education around high quality, team-based, patient-centered care. Brody’s innovative curriculum is what led the American Medical Association in 2013 to award the school $1 million to help lead their national Accelerating Change in Medical Education (ACME) initiative.

Now Brody students are getting noticed for doing their part too. Several recently traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend the AMA’s student-led ACME consortium, which brought together medical students from across the country to address key challenges in medical education.

Brody students presented several posters on topics ranging from second-year curriculum optimization to student-led implementation of tablet use in the clinical education setting.

Students attend the AMA conference. (Contributed photo)

Students attend the AMA conference. (Contributed photo)

“As one of the smaller schools represented at the conference, the imprint our students had on the conference was quite impressive,” said Dr. Jill Sutton, a clinical Ob/Gyn professor at ECU and the group’s faculty representative at the event.

Third-year student Zach Frabitore gave an oral presentation about developing and implementing interdisciplinary mock disaster exercises like the ones Brody students held the past two years. Frabitore said his presentation resonated with other students, and many approached him throughout the day to discuss it further.

“I think we left the conference having made a very clear and loud statement about our student body at Brody,” said Frabitore. “We were able to articulate the commitment to student leadership and intimate faculty-student relationships that encourage innovation at our home institution.

“Many students were [surprised] when we spoke about how we could pick up the phone and make personal calls to our faculty to discuss project ideas and receive advice from mentors who knew us on a personal level.”

“The school’s commitment to student participation in curricular governance and feedback that informs future decisions is a high value for Brody,” said Dr. Elizabeth Baxley, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. “The enhanced opportunities we have had in recent years to invest more substantially in student leadership development and to more formalize their contributions to educational and clinical scholarship are already paying off – for the students and the institution. Additionally, it has increased Brody’s national reputation and brought attention to the great work that has been happening here for many years. Everyone wins in that scenario!”

For more information about Brody’s involvement in the AMA initiative to transform medical education visit ecu.edu/cs-dhs/medicaleducation/reach/.

 

-by Angela Todd, University Communication

ECU’s College of Nursing offers new Master of Nursing Science concentration

A new online program launched this semester by ECU’s College of Nursing is poised to help the region address its shortage of mental health care professionals. Graduates of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program will earn a Master of Nursing Science (MSN) degree or a post-master’s certificate as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, of the nearly 234,000 nurse practitioners in the United States, only 1.8 percent are certified in psychiatric and mental health care. In 2012, the North Carolina Medical Journal reported that 95 percent of all North Carolina counties had an unmet need for medical providers who can prescribe psychiatric medications — a deficit that psychiatric nurse practitioners are able to fill.

For patients enrolled in government sponsored health insurance programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, it can be even harder to access mental health care. The National Council for Behavioral Health reported in March that 40 percent of psychiatrists do not accept third-party reimbursements.

“I was in private practice for 20 years, so I can appreciate that,” said Wanda Lancaster, the director of the new program. “But we know this special population struggles with issues such as substance abuse or schizophrenia and tend to not have insurance. And nurse practitioners are more likely to be in clinics that accept Medicaid and Medicare.”

Lancaster said the program will have a special emphasis in treating patients that suffer from substance abuse, severe and persistent mental illness, and PTSD. Several of the students will be placed in Veterans Affairs hospitals to complete their clinical hours as well as area state psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, and detox centers.

“This is going to help the people of eastern North Carolina and across the state,” said Lancaster. “Because right now psychiatric beds are limited due to a great staffing shortage. This is causing issues for local emergency rooms with mental health patients spending days waiting on bed availability.”

Lancaster said completing ECU’s new program gives students an opportunity to gain an in-depth education and clinical experience in psychiatric care that “elevates the scope and standard of practice.” This will enable students to take the national certification exam, which ensures quality and competence and is now required for reimbursement in this specialty.

The program is only open to residents of North Carolina and admission preference is given to those currently practicing in mental health settings or who plan to deliver direct mental health care upon graduation. Currently, there are 13 post master’s certificate students and nine MSN students enrolled in the program.

For more information about the program visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/nursing/masters_pmh.cfm

ECU unveils official class ring designs

ECU Alumnus, Neil Dorsey, shows off his 1965 ECU class ring (right) compared to the new official signet ring. Dorsey was part of the ring committee that came up with the new designs. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU Alumnus, Neil Dorsey, shows off his 1965 ECU class ring (right) compared to the new official signet ring. Dorsey was part of the ring committee that came up with the new designs. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

When alumnus Ryan Beeson looked into getting his East Carolina University class ring, he wanted something special like his dad, an N.C. State graduate, had.

“All of his friends have the same ring,” said Beeson, who served as 2016-17 Student Government Association president. “It was neat to see them when we’d go to games growing up or when they’d get together for other things, and I’d see every one of them proudly wearing that ring.”

Beeson, who received his undergraduate degree in 2015 and his master’s degree in 2017, wanted a ring that had tradition tied to it. But he learned there wasn’t one official ring at ECU; there were dozens to choose from.

Thanks to the work of a group of ECU alumni, students, faculty and staff, that’s about to change. ECU has unveiled an official collection of class rings.

The group worked with Dowdy Student Stores and a representative and artist from Jostens, the company known for its class rings.

Beeson, who was an accounting graduate student at ECU at the time, was part of the group.

“I think this is an important process that we’re going through and identifying those things that stand out the most across our campus and in the minds of Pirates, looking for things that connect different generations,” Beeson said.

“The official ring program at ECU is one of our most exciting projects, I think really in the last year that I’ve undertaken,” said Heath Bowman, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations.

Two of the three ECU Official Ring Collection designs.

Two of the three ECU Official Ring Collection designs.

The ECU Alumni Association is introducing a new event to accompany the launch of the official ring. Bowman said there was a desire to create a new tradition and lore that would surround the ring.

“What we’re excited about most of all is that this is going to bring not only a ring, but it’s going to bring a storytelling element and a tradition element to our campus,” he said.

Out of months of discussions and mock-ups, three rings have emerged. There will be traditional, signet and dinner rings. Each has a crest on the top with the university shield, a sword and ECU’s motto “Servire.” The traditional and dinner rings can have either a black or purple stone. The signet ring has the option of the emblem being blackened.

The sides of the traditional and signet rings can be personalized with campus landmarks, the skull and cross bones, or the phrases “Loyal and Bold” and “Go Pirates.”

“There’s a mix of academic and athletic options,” Bowman said. “We wanted students to have the ability to make this their ring, but we also wanted to make sure that the things that are featured on the side panels are things that most alumni and students would instantly recognize.”

An artist with Jostens worked with the ring committee to come up the new design.

An artist with Jostens worked with the ring committee to come up the new design.

To celebrate, a December 1 ceremony is planned where all of the rings purchased this fall will be placed in a treasure chest under the cupola to be guarded by ECU ROTC cadets overnight. Then on Dec. 3, those rings will be given out to their owners at an official ring ceremony.

“I think this is something that all Pirates can come together and be proud of as something that unites us together as an ECU family,” Bowman said.

To be a part of the ceremony, rings must be purchased by Homecoming weekend, Oct. 21 and 22.

Even though he already has an ECU class ring, Beeson said he’ll be getting an official one soon.

“I’ll probably trade this one in. I want the standard one so when I’m out there with my buddies in the future … we all have the same thing, that we all are part of this same shared experience at ECU,” Beeson said.

For more information or to buy an official ECU ring, visit a Dowdy Student Store or go to www.Jostens.com/ECU.

 

 

-by Rich Klindworth

Joyner Library team develops resource to improve student literacy skills

Two faculty members from Joyner Library have produced a new digital resource targeted to help students successfully complete research assignments.

Information Literacy Concepts, an open educational resource created by David Hisle, learning technologies librarian, and Katy Kavanagh Webb, head of research and instructional services, introduces high school, community college and college students to information literacy topics and gives them an overview of how to conduct their own research.

Open educational resources (OERs) are free to access and are openly licensed text, media and other digital assets used for teaching, learning, assessing and research. They also are commonly used in distance education and open and distance learning.

“By choosing to publish their textbook as an OER, Hisle and Webb have not only created a clearly-written, well-organized and thorough text that that can be used in multiple educational settings to teach information literacy concepts, but also one that can be freely customized or modified by other instructors to suit their teaching styles and their students’ learning needs,” said Jan Lewis, director of Joyner Library.

This openly accessible primer also provides learners with an overview of major information literacy concepts identified in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy.

According to its introductory framework, “Students have a greater role and responsibility in creating new knowledge, in understanding the contours and the changing dynamics of the world of information, and in using information, data and scholarship ethically.”

“We want to prepare our students for today’s rapidly changing information landscape,” said Hisle. “Information literacy skills are essential not just in the work they do as student researchers, but also as college graduates who will need to know how to find and evaluate information to meet their real-world information needs.”

Intended learners for this resource include students in their final year of high school as well as those in the first year or two of college. Specifically, these are learners encountering college-level research assignments for the first time.

Because these students are likely unfamiliar with many basic research concepts, this OER will guide them to fulfill the university’s expectations for conducting research and locating high-quality sources for their research-based assignments.

Content includes chapters stemming from navigating search engines, library databases and discovery tools, to evaluating source credibility and recognizing fake news.

“This freely available e-textbook will be a critical supplement for librarians at ECU (and beyond) to give a big-picture view of the skills that students will need to engage in to produce their own high-quality research,” said Webb. “We have tried to write the book in a way that it would be applicable to students in a variety of contexts, whether they are completing assignments for a writing composition course, in their majors or in a semester-long research skills course.”

Information Literacy Concepts is available at http://media.lib.ecu.edu/DE/tutorial/OER/Information_Literacy_Concepts.pdf.

For more information please contact David Hisle at hisled@ecu.edu or Katy Kavanagh Webb at kavanaghk@ecu.edu.

 

-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communications

ECU students donate to Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts

ECU students are stepping up to make a difference with hurricane relief efforts for communities directly impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Students can donate from their dining plan on Sept. 19-20 and it will go directly to hurricane relief efforts.

Partners include the ECU Residence Hall Association (RHA), Elite Pirates, the Campus Living Community Service Team, Campus Living and Campus Dining.

Hurricane relief effort tables will be set up between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Todd Dining Hall, West End Dining Hall and in front of Dowdy Student Stores at Wright Plaza. Students can make a donation of up to $10 using their Purple or Gold Bucks.

All students with ECU meal plans receive Purple or Gold Bucks loaded on their ECU OneCard depending on whether they live on or off campus. Purple and Gold Bucks are pre-paid debit type accounts that are associated with corresponding meal plans. They are spent dollar for dollar.

After the two-day collection concludes, Campus Dining will total the student donations and provide that amount to Aramark, the food service provider for ECU. The total ECU donations will be split and distributed to one college or university in Texas and one in Florida.

These respective universities will purchase items through Aramark on their campuses to help aid in the recovery process of their community. After the items are purchased, ECU Campus and Aramark will then evenly “transfer” the funds generated from this fundraising event to the universities involved.

For additional information, email Troy Nance, Residence Hall Association president, at rhapresident@ecu.eduor Morgan Randolph, Elite Pirates vice president, at randolphm14@students.ecu.edu.

 

Contacts: Troy Nance, Residence Hall Association president, rhapresident@ecu.edu; Morgan Randolph, Elite Pirates, randolphm14@students.ecu.edu

ECU physicians share expertise at international lung cancer conference

Physicians in East Carolina University’s thoracic oncology program will represent the university on a global stage Sept. 14-16, making four oral presentations at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in Chicago.

“One of the strengths of our thoracic program is our innovative thinking, our innovative treatment. It resonates with people nationally,” said Dr. Paul Walker, chief of hematology/oncology at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, who will be giving one of those presentations.

ECU doctors will highlight the benefit of combining radiation therapy and immune therapy in the treatment of lung cancer. They also will discuss how genetic markers can determine the likelihood a patient will benefit from immune therapy – an innovation Walker said leads to an individual approach to cancer treatment.

“We just have to find the right therapy for each individual. Then if you can figure out who is going to do well with that specific therapy, treat those patients the same,” Walker said. “But those who have been filtered out, then you’re going to have to find a different treatment for them.”

Lung cancer patient Pam Black undergoes treatment at the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Lung cancer patient Pam Black undergoes treatment at the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

They will also discuss harmful effects immune therapy can have in patients with lung cancer, including lung tissue inflammation that can cause breathing difficulties, often requiring oxygen therapy and even hospitalization. Walker’s team found that administering a monoclonal antibody typically used to treat arthritis resolved the issue within 36 hours for 79 percent of their patients.

The final ECU study – funded by the American Cancer Society and conducted in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of South Carolina – looked at disparities in lung cancer treatment for African Americans, who elect to have surgery at a 12 to 13 percent lower rate than Caucasians. But Walker and his fellow researchers found that providing an educator to explain individual diagnosis and treatment options to African-American patients removed the racial disparity.

“This study designed something simple, using a separate educator, and proved this approach can remove the racial disparity in early stage lung cancer in both the decision for surgery and/or Cyberknife radiosurgery,” Walker said.

All four presentations will be published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

In October, members of the thoracic oncology team will present two abstracts at the IASLC 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Japan.

“The fact that we’re being invited to present our work nationally and internationally validates the program and it recognizes what you are doing, how you are doing it,” Walker said. “We want other people to hear it and hopefully take it to heart.”

 

-by Rich Klindworth 

Student startup helps veterans with transition to college

Matt McCall has been there. He knows what it’s like.

Now, with help from GreenvilleSEED@ECU, he’s working to help other veterans make the transition from the military to college.

McCall, who joined the Marines in 2007, deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and was honorably discharged in 2013, said he spent a lot of time in the tutoring lab after enrolling in Coastal Carolina Community College’s pre-engineering program.

“I had a lot of knowledge gaps, especially in math, chemistry and physics,” he said. “A tutor told me I could get some of the tutoring cost reimbursed through the G.I. Bill.”

With the tutoring help, his grades improved, and he began tutoring other vets who needed help.

“I also helped them file their reimbursement paperwork,” McCall said. “Word spread, and within a couple months I had five students, so I started looking for other veterans and veteran spouses at the school who wanted to be tutors.”

With help from GreenvilleSEED@ECU, Matt McCall (right) has started a company that helps veterans like Michael Kohn transition to college. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

With help from GreenvilleSEED@ECU, Matt McCall (right) has started a company that helps veterans like Michael Kohn transition to college. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Now enrolled in East Carolina University’s biomedical engineering program, McCall has started Beyond Tutoring, a company centered on veterans tutoring other vets. He enlisted the help of Katie Thomas, a fellow Marine and tutor.

“Since the tutors are veterans and spouses, they’re able to relate to the students’ struggles well, especially relocating, anxiety and feeling out of place,” he said. “Our common ground helps break down barriers to learning.”

Student Michael Kohn, an undergraduate business management student at ECU, said the difference in lifestyle coming from the military to college can present a challenge, and it can be intimidating working with other students who haven’t had the same experiences.

“You’re not used to the mentality, the way of thinking and working though problems, the homework,” he said. “So having someone who’s been through what I’m going through, telling me how to work through the system, was a big help.”

Kohn said McCall showed him how to organize papers and manage his time.

“Working in the Army, every day is the same thing,” he said. “Matt helped show me how I could take the discipline I learned in the Army and be disciplined in a new way, apply it to the new area.”

McCall joined GreenvilleSEED@ECU to get help refining his business plan and his pitch, and to learn how to scale up the business. GreenvilleSEED@ECU is a partnership between the City of Greenville, the Greenville-Pitt Chamber of Commerce and ECU providing flexible operating space, business expertise and other resources to entrepreneurs.

“As a student entrepreneur, he is juggling the demands of classwork and building a business,” said John Ciannamea of ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development. “Our staff has assisted Matthew with business introductions, vetting ideas and evaluating corporate development issues. His base platform is now well positioned for expansion in the market.”

Beyond Tutoring now has eight tutors and has assisted more than 60 students, 23 of whom are disabled veterans. McCall has also received assistance and advice from ECU’s Miller School of Entrepreneurship, the Office of Technology Transfer and the Pitt County Small Business and Technology Development Center.

McCall said his next goal is to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to streamline the reimbursement process. It can take months for a student to get reimbursement for the cost of tutoring. One possibility is to create an online form to speed up the process.

“If we can figure out how to get them their money back in a few days instead of five months,” he said, “they’d be more free to get the help they need. … We’ve already gone through the tough parts of transitioning into college, and we can help our students navigate the education system and get the most out of the benefits they earned.

For more information visit www.greenvilleseedatecu.org.

 

-by Jules Norwood

Laupus Library to exhibit relief woodcarving creations

Laupus Library will open the art exhibit “Visions in Wood: Carved Creations,” on Oct. 3 in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery on the fourth floor of the library. On display through Dec. 9, the exhibit showcases a collection of relief carvings by Dr. Leonard “Leo” Trujillo, professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University.

The 2017 fall semester exhibit is part of the library’s ongoing “Art as Avocation” series that showcases and celebrates the artistic talents and self-expression of faculty, staff and students from the Division of Health Sciences.

“Laupus has a long history of showcasing the hidden talents of our health sciences faculty in this series,” said Beth Ketterman, director of Laupus Library. “Dr. Trujillo’s work is masterful and our hope is that those who view these pieces will gain an appreciation for his craft and expertise, and reflect on how the process of creation gives us insights into our own humanity.”

Log cabin by Dr. Leonard Trujillo. (contributed photo)

Log cabin by Dr. Leonard Trujillo. (contributed photo)

Trujillo’s work is reflective of a lifetime of learning the art of carving and love for nature. He recounts his desire at an early age to carve figures out of wood to create three-dimensional illusions in his works.

He will sometimes carve a piece only to study a certain aspect of the carving process. Beginning with a solid plank of wood, Trujillo uses mallets and a multitude of gouges, chisels, riffles and sandpaper leaves, to transform the wood into lifelike images of trees, old barns, nature scenes and once in a while, people.

“The hardest part of the carving process is having to stop and prepare the wood for the work that you are about to do,” he said. “That can take days out of actual carving time.”

In 2013, he built his first studio, doing all but the electrical work. Filled with sharpening machines, vacuum systems, special track lighting and carving gouges lined throughout the multi-stage workspace, it’s easy to see this is far from a getaway spot. He also refuses for it to be referred to as a “man cave.”

“I carve because of the pleasure it brings me, and truly take delight in the way people react to my work,” he said.

Presently, Trujillo isn’t competing in carving club shows and competition. “When you work towards winning a ribbon, you lose the pleasure of carving and it becomes work rather than pleasure,” he said.

An opening reception will be held on Oct. 3 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and will include a presentation by the artist. The event is open to the public.

To learn more about this exhibition series or if you are interested in showcasing your work, visit

www.ecu.edu/laupuslibrary/events/artasavocation.

For more information contact Kelly Rogers Dilda at rogerske@ecu.edu or 252-744-2232.

 

-by Kelly Dilda, University Communications 

1 2 3 18