Author Archives: Kristin Zachary

Growth leads to parking challenges on campus

Watching the construction on and around East Carolina University’s campuses and seeing Greenville’s downtown area vibrant with new businesses is a sign of positive growth.

That growth has made parking and traveling around ECU more challenging. But a little planning will help make the experience smooth and safe.

ECU Transit provides more than 3 million rides each year to locations on and off campus. There are two apps students are requested to download, Nextbus and TransLoc. Nextbus provides real-time arrival predictions and rider alerts for students utilizing ECU buses, and TransLoc is used to schedule a SafeRide through ECU Transit. Students can always call 252-328-7433 to schedule a SafeRide.

Passengers board an ECU bus during new student orientation in June.

Passengers board an ECU bus during new student orientation in June. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

On main campus, students will notice that the Mendenhall/West End bus terminal is closed until summer of 2019 due to the extensive renovations taking place at nearby Greene Residence Hall. Those routes have moved to the new Main Campus Student Center bus terminal.

This summer, ECU Parking & Transportation adjusted parking on the Health Sciences campus to provide better access to the new Health Sciences Campus Student Center. Pay station parking provides students with greater flexibility if they are primarily in off-campus clinics and only visit campus a few times a semester. This is a less costly option than purchasing a full-year permit.

Additionally, the B4 student lots have been consolidated to make finding locations on campus easier.

“We did reduce the number of B4 permits to accommodate these changes, but that decision was based on lot usage data we collect throughout the year,” said Bill Koch, associate vice chancellor for Environmental Health and Campus Safety. “Significant changes in parking accommodations go through the university’s Parking & Transportation Committee that includes faculty, staff and student representatives.”

Students board an ECU bus during Pirates Aboard-Admitted Student Day.

Students board an ECU bus during Admitted Student Day.

Other parking zone designations were changed this summer on main campus. Officials stress the importance of checking the parking zone signs and which permits are valid at a given time. Some parking zones will allow additional permits in the evenings, most beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Commuter students who need parking in the evenings or on weekends may want to consider the new C2A permit. This gives them access to areas on main campus and the ability to park closer to some Health Sciences Campus facilities after 5:30 p.m.

Additional information to note:

  • Pay attention to signs. Parking lot zones have changed since last semester.
  • Purchase your parking permit as soon as possible to avoid tickets.
  • Register all vehicles that will use a parking permit.
  • Turning on your hazard lights does not allow you to park closer.
  • Pirate Express routes will serve the downtown area on Friday and Saturday nights. The Thursday night service was discontinued due to low ridership.

2018 Parking Zone Changes


-by Jamie Smith, ECU News Services

Biology professor receives Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences’ top honor

Dr. Baohong Zhang, professor of biology, is the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences 20th Distinguished Professor.

Dr. Baohong Zhang, professor of biology, is the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences 20th Distinguished Professor.
(Photo by Doug Boyd)

Dr. Baohong Zhang, East Carolina University professor of biology, was named Distinguished Professor at the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences 55th annual convocation on Aug. 17. Zhang is the 20th member of the faculty to be honored with the title.

“This is a wonderful surprise to me,” said Zhang. “There are so many great colleagues and professors in THCAS, and I feel lucky, grateful and humbled to be the recipient of this prestigious award. This award will encourage me to achieve more in the future – towards excellence in research, student success and contribution to ECU’s mission and internationalization.”

The THCAS Distinguished Professorship is the highest honor within the college and is conferred upon a professor whose career exemplifies a commitment to and a love for knowledge and academic life, as demonstrated by outstanding teaching and advising, research and creative productivity, and professional service.

“Baohong Zhang is a remarkable scholar and academician who has established a record that by itself would constitute an exemplary career. He has risen to these heights of achievement from modest rural beginnings, in a second language and as an immigrant – a truly inspiring Pirate story,” said Dr. Jeffrey McKinnon, former chair of the Department of Biology.

Zhang (right) gives a tour of the ECU biology greenhouse and discusses his research with a representative from a funding agent.

Zhang (right) gives a tour of the ECU biology greenhouse and discusses his research with a representative from a funding agent. (Contributed photo)

While at ECU, Zhang has displayed the qualities and characteristics required of a Distinguished Professor.

In his role as professor, Zhang has taught courses in plant biology, biotechnology and molecular biology. He has secured grants to support undergraduate and graduate students in study abroad courses in China. In addition to his courses taught, Zhang has served as a mentor to 14 post doctoral scholars and 17 doctoral and master’s degree students, as a member on 44 graduate student committees, and as a mentor to more than 32 undergraduate researchers and 241 undergraduate advisees.

Zhang’s research interests include microRNA, gene regulation, molecular genetics and toxicology, genome editing and biotechnology. He has been recognized locally and nationally for his research and creative activity in the areas of computational and molecular biology, particularly in the role of miRNA – a small non-coding RNA molecule that regulates the activity of genes by silencing RNA after it is transcribed from DNA – during cotton fiber development and in plant responses to environmental stress. In addition, he has conducted studies on the role of miRNA in cancer, and he has conducted research in the area of head trauma.

Dr. Baohong Zhang and Dr. Xiaoping Pan (right) are pictured here with ECU students at Anyang Institute of Technology during their 2018 study abroad research trip to China.

Zhang and Dr. Xiaoping Pan (right) are pictured here with ECU students at Anyang Institute of Technology during their 2018 study abroad research trip to China. (Contributed photo)

Over the course of his career, Zhang has authored more than 200 journal articles, nine books and 14 book chapters in his areas of research. He has presented at more than 50 conferences, and he has secured more than $2.4 million in research funding as the principal investigator or co-PI on 35 projects.

Since joining ECU in 2007, Zhang has chaired three biology departmental committees – greenhouse, seminar series and personnel committee – and served as a committee member on several faculty searches. In his other professional activities, he has served as an editor, associate editor, editorial board member or guest editor for nearly two dozen journals, and he has served as an ad-hoc reviewer for more than 90 journals and 35 funding agencies.

He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Sigma Xi, scientific research society; Association of Southeastern Biologists; the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry; American Chemical Society; and the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Zhang at work in his research lab.

Zhang at work in his research lab. (Contributed photo)

In addition to the THCAS Distinguished Professorship, Zhang has received many awards, including, in 2013, ECU’s Five Year Research Achievement Award, and in 2017, the inaugural ECU Achievement in International Research and Creative Activity Award. In 2018, he received the Cotton Researcher of the Year award given by the International Cotton Advisory Committee. The annual award is presented to only one person worldwide who has raised the international importance of research in the cotton industry.

“I can think of no one better qualified for the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professorship,” wrote one of Zhang’s colleagues in a letter of nomination.

Another colleague concluded, “I have known virtually all previous THCAS Distinguished Professors. We should be proud to consider professor Baohong Zhang as one of their peers.”


-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

National Maritime History Society to honor ECU professor emeritus

Dr. Timothy J. Runyan, East Carolina University professor emeritus of maritime studies and Honors College faculty fellow, will be honored this fall by the National Maritime Historical Society. Runyan will receive the David A. O’Neil Sheet Anchor Award at the New York Yacht Club on Oct. 25.

Dr. Timothy J. Runyan, pictured on the deck of the 1607 replica vessel Godspeed in Jamestown, Va, where he spoke at the launch of the vessel.

Dr. Timothy J. Runyan, pictured on the deck of the 1607 replica vessel Godspeed in Jamestown, Va, where he spoke at the launch of the vessel. (Contributed photos)

“I am very flattered; so very surprised to learn that I was selected for this prestigious award,” said Runyan.

The award honors Runyan’s years of dedicated service as a trustee for the National Maritime Historical Society and for his advocacy of maritime heritage preservation in the United States.

“Dr. Runyan is being recognized for his extraordinary leadership in building the strength and outreach of the society,” wrote Wendy Paggiotta, vice president of the NMHS.

As a trustee for the NMHS, Runyan serves as a member of the executive committee, chair of the advocacy committee and chairman of the editorial advisory board of Sea History magazine.

Since 2015, his advocacy with the U.S. Congress has resulted in nearly $10 million in federal funding for a grant program in maritime heritage. More than 100 organizations have received awards through the program, including a $200,000 grant to the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, a $46,000 grant to the Core Sound and Waterfowl Museum on Harker’s Island and a $144,500 grant, awarded in 2016, to ECU’s Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Laboratory.

Runyan aboard a sailboat in Annapolis, Md.

Runyan aboard a sailboat in Annapolis, Md.

“Every organization that has received a National Maritime Heritage Grant has Dr. Runyan to thank, as he spearheaded the effort to restore funding for the grants program in his role as chair of the National Maritime Alliance,” wrote Paggiotta.

During his 23-year career at ECU, Runyan served as director of the master’s program in Maritime History and Underwater Archaeology, later renamed the Program in Maritime Studies. He served as acting director, and later, director of the program, was a senior research associate to the vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, and a faculty member of the ECU Institute for Coastal Science and Policy.

Runyan received his doctorate from the University of Maryland and studied at the University of London. Additional faculty appointments included Cleveland State University and Oberlin College. From 2007 to 2011, he was invited to serve as acting manager of the Maritime Heritage Program at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries — the largest maritime heritage program in the federal government – before returning to ECU as a faculty member in the newly established Honors College.


-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

Summer athletic camps showcase ECU

Hundreds of area school-age children took part in various summer athletic camps at East Carolina University this year. The camps ranged from volleyball to football and all points in-between.

The camps gave the young athletes, from grade school to high school, a chance to interact with ECU coaches and players and learn the Pirate way. They also learned different training techniques and proper form. Some of the kids who took part may one day end up playing for the purple and gold, so getting them on the field, court or diamond is a great way to showcase what ECU has to offer.


-by Rich Klindworth, ECU News Services

Driving in style: Alumni association promotes Pirate plates

The East Carolina Alumni Association is part of a renewed push to get more drivers showing their Pirate pride with ECU-branded license plates.

The program, an existing partnership with the university and the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, returns a portion of license plate fees back to ECU and supports student scholarships.

PeeDee shows off a Pirate plate on campus.

PeeDee shows off a Pirate plate on campus. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

“This partnership makes total sense for us,” said Heath Bowman, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. “A vast majority of our ECU alumni and friends live in North Carolina, so we were excited when this opportunity came about. We want to challenge all Pirates around the state to upgrade their vehicles with a Pirate plate. It is a great way to not only support our deserving students, but to help showcase the strength and generosity of Pirate Nation around our state.”

The specialized ECU license plate with the Pirate logo costs an additional $25 on top of the regular DMV registration fee. Of that amount, $15 goes to the ECU Alumni Scholarship Fund. For an additional $30, the Pirate plate can be personalized with a custom message such as a class year.

Options available for Pirates at the DMV.

Options available for Pirates at the DMV. (Photos by the ECU Alumni Association)

To order a Pirate license plate, go to the nearest DMV office or visit the DMV online. For more information, visit

Only Pirate plates purchased in North Carolina support ECU scholarships. Various states offer collegiate license plates, and those interested in an out-of-state Pirate license plate should check with their local DMV.


-by Erin Shaw, University Communications

Brody offers glimpse of life in medical school

Since her childhood, Melenis Lopez has dreamed of becoming a physician who heals patients in underserved communities and makes an impact on every life she encounters along the way.

Thanks to her experience in the Summer Program for Future Doctors (SPFD), the edges of Lopez’s dream are now more defined.

Lopez and the rest of the 2018 SPFD cohort, made up of students who show interest, potential and promise for careers in medicine, went through an intensive, nearly two-month program at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, highlighted by course work, team building and hands-on medical school experiences.

Students in the Summer Program for Future Doctors experience course work and class discussions that mirror the first year of medical school.

Students in the Summer Program for Future Doctors experience course work and class discussions that mirror the first year of medical school. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

“The SPFD program is designed for minorities or disadvantaged students, which is what essentially caught my eye,” said Lopez, a senior majoring in public health studies at ECU. “Through this program, I wanted to learn more about medical school and further my understanding of Brody’s mission.”

Brody’s purpose is to increase the supply of primary-care physicians for the state, improve the health status of eastern North Carolinians and enhance the access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education. The SPFD acts as that mission in action.

“SPFD serves as a pipeline program, bringing together promising prospective students from across the state of North Carolina,” said Dr. Richard Ray, director of the SPFD. “While all aspiring medical students are encouraged to apply, the program is particularly interested in students from groups underrepresented in medicine, students from disadvantaged backgrounds and non-traditional students.”

Participants in the Summer Program for Future Doctors enjoy each other’s company at the program’s culminating banquet.

Participants in the Summer Program for Future Doctors enjoy each other’s company at the program’s culminating banquet.

The program focuses on these populations to introduce opportunity and access, but also to be mindful of the patient cross-section that stands to benefit from Brody’s graduates.

“The goal, as it is for the Brody School of Medicine,” Ray said, “is to have a very diverse class that is representative of the patient population that Brody graduates will serve.”

During SPFD, students are immersed in what compares to the life of a first-year medical student based on academic rigor and pace. The students are given the chance to clearly demonstrate their academic readiness for the rigorous curriculum of the preclinical years of medical school and to hone their interpersonal skills and overall professionalism vital to successful medical students and doctors.

Those tests of fortitude and resilience were welcome challenges for Lopez, a first-generation college student, ECU Access Scholar and ECU Ambassador who wants to practice family medicine in areas with shortages of health care professionals and for patients with limited access and ability to afford care.

“It was eye-opening witnessing the tremendous amount of rigorous material that medical students have to conquer in such a short time span,” she said. “Overall, I learned that medical school is for the brave and the tough; however, it is not impossible.”

It takes a team of Brody faculty, staff and students to introduce the SPFD participants to an accurate view of medical school.

“A collaborative group of Brody faculty donate their time for lectures and lab demonstrations,” said Courtney Horns, director of Brody’s Office of Medical Education. “Current medical students work as TAs to assist the SPFD student with their courses, studying, test reviews and any support the student might need.”

The Office of Admissions also provides sessions to help students complete medical school applications as well as practice interview sessions. Eastern Area Health Education Center provides a clinical-skills session where students meet trained standardized patients and give the patients a diagnosis based on their discovery, among other services the participants gain exposure through.

The SPFD program isn’t all course work and clinical experiences; the students participate in team-building exercises and other activities to motivate and challenge them.

Students in the Summer Program for Future Doctors participate in team-building exercises at the Student Recreation Center.

Students in the Summer Program for Future Doctors participate in team-building exercises at the Student Recreation Center.

“I also try to add as much fun and excitement into the program as possible, seeing as the students are spending their summer break taking 8 a.m. classes every day for seven weeks,” Horns said. “I want these students to leave this program and either be excited they will be attending Brody in the fall, or they want Brody as their No. 1 pick for medical school when they start the medical application process.”

Since the program began in 1987, SPFD has tallied some notable statistics and success stories, including from recent cohorts.

Brody’s incoming first-year class has 12 students who attended SPFD as non-matriculating students. Thirteen of the 23 non-matriculating students in the 2017 SPFD are now in medical school; several of the others will be applying for the first time this cycle. Seventeen of the 27 non-matriculating students who attended the 2016 SPFD are now in medical school.

“Considering the fact that Brody had nearly 1,100 applications for 86 places this year,” Ray said, “SPFD greatly increases a student’s odds of gaining admission to medical school.”

Lopez’s sights are set on that path as well, now that her SPFD experience cemented her belief that medical school is the right fit for her.

“If there’s one thing this program did, it reassured me that dedicating my life to medicine would make me the happiest person on earth,” she said. “The SPFD program is definitely one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Through my experience, I learned how to get through tough times, ways to maximally utilize resources and most importantly, that I have to tools to be successful.”


-by Spaine Stephens, University Communications

Serving women who serve: Symposium to address military women’s health

What does a veteran look like?

The only way to know for sure if someone is a veteran is to ask – but people don’t often ask women. This can have significant implications when it comes to health care.

“Once upon a time it was a given that all men served. But having women in the military is not new. Somehow it’s still always a shock when people find out I was in the Army,” Teri Reid said.

Reid spent eight years on active duty and 20 years in the reserves as a nurse in the Army, part of a tradition that dates back to the foundation of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901.

While Reid considers herself fortunate to have not had any major health issues, as a veteran and a health care professional, she knows how important it is for providers to understand their patients’ experiences.

Master Chief Petty Officer Patrice (Pat) Frede, U.S. Navy. Frede works in ECU Human Resources.

Master Chief Petty Officer Patrice (Pat) Frede, U.S. Navy. Frede works in ECU Human Resources. (Contributed photo)

Area health care providers will have a chance to learn more about women service members like Reid at the second annual Military Women’s Health Symposium on Sept. 19. Organized by East Carolina University, Durham VA Medical Center, Eastern Area Health Education Center and other partners, this symposium was started to bring both civilian and military providers together to share emerging knowledge and best practices in treating this population.

There are more than 82,500 women veterans in North Carolina, according to 2017 statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In active duty, women comprise about 15 percent of the armed forces and serve in ever-expanding roles.

Reid attended the first conference in Greenville in 2017 after her friend and former supervisee Chrissy Sanford invited her to come along. Sanford was also in the Army Nurse Corps with 20 years of service. Both Reid and Sanford are pediatric nurse practitioners. Reid served on various bases in the U.S. treating soldiers’ children. Sanford served in various capacities, including deployment to Iraq in 2006-07 where she helped treat Iraqi children among other duties.

“Last year’s conference sounded so applicable to what we experienced and what we thought needed to be discussed,” Sanford said. “I think the conference was very good – so many different topics of discussion and great audience participation. I think it was very beneficial for all the participants. It brought up many issues specific to female veterans.”

This year’s topics include cardiovascular risk, musculoskeletal injuries, sexual trauma, suicide risk and prevention, transgender care and more. Other activities include a panel discussion with military women and trauma-sensitive yoga.

“Women comprise the fastest-growing veteran subpopulation,” said Dr. Keita Franklin, executive director for suicide prevention at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. Franklin is scheduled to present at the conference.

“Our most recent data tells us that in 2015, the suicide rate for all women veterans was about two times higher compared with non-veteran women, after adjusting for age,” Franklin said. “We know that no one organization alone can prevent suicide. For us to truly prevent veteran suicide, our efforts must reach beyond outside our walls and traditional health care settings to involve peers, family members, organizations, and the community.”

The second annual Military Women’s Health Symposium — organized by East Carolina University, Durham VA Medical Center, Eastern Area Health Education Center and other partners — will be held on Sept. 19.

The second annual Military Women’s Health Symposium — organized by East Carolina University, Durham VA Medical Center, Eastern Area Health Education Center and other partners — will be held on Sept. 19. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

In addition to veterans, the conference will also focus on active duty service members.

“The key is understanding our lifestyle and what we go through, and realizing that everyone has a different experience,” said Lt. Col. Melissa Coleman of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at ECU. “For women, not only do we serve when we deploy, we’re also mothers and partners and caregivers – it affects all the other things we do and our loved ones.”

One of the most important things providers can do is ask women about past military service, Reid said, adding, “and don’t be shocked if she says yes.”

Military women’s health care needs can be unique and beyond the familiarity of a civilian provider, so they need to know which services are available to them, Sanford said. “People don’t know what to say other than thank you for your service. We’re honored and proud to serve, but we need more.”

This program is jointly provided by the Office of Continuing Medical Education of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Vidant Health, Duke Area Health Education Center, and the Durham VA Medical Center in association with Eastern Area Health Education Center.

To find out more or register for the conference, visit

Call for Health Stories from Military Women

Are you a woman who serves or has served in the military? Are you willing to share how your service has impacted your health? We want to hear from you! Eastern Area Health Education Center is collecting health stories and images from active duty and veteran women of eastern North Carolina. These stories and images will be compiled into posters to be displayed at the upcoming Military Women’s Health Symposium for health care providers on Sept. 19. These posters will also become a public traveling exhibit for area hospitals and campuses. The goal of this symposium is to advance care for women who serve and increase both civilian and military provider awareness of the issues military women face. Your stories will help local providers and the public better understand the unique health needs of military women.

Submissions will be collected through Aug. 17. Stories should be limited to 250 words and must be health-related. Not all submissions may be used and some may be edited for clarity. Images are optional but encouraged. Submissions may be anonymous. Email submissions to Jackie Drake at or call 252-744-5217.


-by Jackie Drake, University Communications

New STEM-related degrees announced

ECU and the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) announced three new degree programs: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (BSSE), Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) and Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS).

“These new degrees reflect the college’s commitment to maximizing student success and leading regional transformation,” said Dr. Harry Ploehn, CET dean. “Software engineering, mechanical engineering and data science are high-demand fields. When we can provide graduates in these fields who want to live and work in our region, companies will come, grow and thrive here.”

ECU’s Master of Science in Data Science will be an interdisciplinary program with a focus on health care big data.

ECU’s Master of Science in Data Science will be an interdisciplinary program with a focus on health care big data. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The new BSSE degree will replace the current Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, which the department has offered since 1972. It will apply engineering principles and proven industry practices to enable graduates to design, produce and validate large-scale, high-quality, secure software. Special features of the program include well-balanced coverage of theory and practice, and summerinternship and research experiences.

The BSSE program will recruit high school seniors and community college transfer students who plan to enroll as full-time students. “Society’s demand for fast, accurate and secure computing and software will continue to increase,” said Ploehn. “ECU will provide the computer scientists and software engineers who will meet this demand.”

The MSME degree is a research-oriented program that will focus on two areas — advanced energy systems and mechanics of biomaterials. Advanced energy systems include sustainable and efficient energy systems such as solar, wind and ocean-wave energy. Mechanics of biomaterials centers around the mechanical behavior of biological tissues, as well as materials for medical implants.

Graduates will gain advanced problem-solving and critical thinking skills to serve a wide range of industries and government organizations. This program will cater to those who have completed degrees in engineering, science and health care professions – and are looking for advanced knowledge and research skills needed to advance in their careers.

Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam

Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam

“This (MSME) new degree program aligns with key components of the ECU mission statement, which is to be a national model for student success and public service,” said Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam, an associate dean for CET. “ECU is the only university within the UNC System that offers academic programs in engineering, medicine, dentistry, nursing and allied health on one campus. The MSME program plans to take advantage of these strengths.” ​

The MS in Data Science is an interdisciplinary degree program involving ECU’s departments of computer science, health services and information management, mathematics and biostatistics. Features of the health-care-centric program include theory and practice of data science in the context of medicine and related health care professions, as well as strong industry involvement.

According to Dr. Venkat Gudivada, chair of CET’s Department of Computer Science, the MSDS program will aim to produce data scientists who will be innovators in reducing health care costs and improving quality of care through big data-driven decision making.

“Data science refers to a set of new algorithms and approaches for advancing scientific discoveries and business innovation through big data,” said Gudivada. “The knowledge and skills needed to analyze and interpret big data are quite different from those that are needed for small-scale data sets. Data scientists play a critical role in enabling organizations to improve their products, business processes and services using the data they collect.”

The MSDS program will recruit students with an academic background in computing or other quantitative disciplines such as mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, engineering andepidemiology. Applicants must have a strong undergraduate preparation in mathematical and computational problem-solving. Students from disciplines other than computer science are required to complete two specially designed bridge courses before they begin the program. The program will be delivered using both online and face-to-face instruction. Thirty semester hours are required to earn the degree.

Summer internships and research opportunities will be part of the new Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering program.

Summer internships and research opportunities will be part of the new Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering program.

“Our students should be able to progress as high and as far as their ability and motivation will take them,” said Ploehn. “That’s why we’re building more and better graduate and certificate programs, like the new MSME and MSDS degrees.”

All three programs currently are accepting applications.


-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

Brody administrator named fellow in newest class of emerging women leaders

A dean at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine has been awarded an international fellowship that recognizes her potential for executive leadership in academic medicine.

Dr. Leigh Patterson, associate dean for faculty development at Brody, has been named a 2018–19 Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine®(ELAM®) fellow.

Dr. Leigh Patterson

Dr. Leigh Patterson (Contributed photo)

The ELAM program is a year-long, part-time fellowship for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health and pharmacy. The program hones the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage in today’s health care environment, with emphasis on the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions.

“To have Brody’s first ELAM fellow in many years is a testament to Dr. Patterson’s excellent reputation and vital experiences that make her stand out as a leader,” said Brody’s dean, Dr. Mark Stacy, who nominated Patterson for the fellowship. “She is committed to her development as a leader and to helping the Brody School of Medicine support its faculty and reach its full potential in all mission areas.”

The highly competitive ELAM program was developed for senior women faculty at the associate or full professor level who demonstrate the greatest potential for assuming executive leadership positions at academic health centers within the next five years.

The program is organized around three curricular threads: organizational perspectives and knowledge (a mini-executive MBA); emerging issues in leadership and academic health administration; and personal and professional development. Patterson will complete assessments and assignments online and attend sessions at designated locations around the country, including ELAM’s home institution, the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

One requirement of the fellowship is to conduct an Institutional Action Project, developed in collaboration with the fellow’s dean or other senior official. These action projects are designed to address an institutional or departmental need or priority.

“We are extremely excited to see the impact these women will have on their institutions as they work through the ELAM curriculum and develop their action projects,” said Dr. Nancy D. Spector, executive director of ELAM. “The projects the fellows conduct not only help them understand the challenges facing academic health centers and the skills a leader must possess to address these challenges, but also often result in concrete changes at their institutions.”

Patterson has served in a variety of leadership roles, including associate dean, residency program director, chair of Brody’s Executive Curriculum Committee, leader for the school’s recent curriculum transformation work and administrator in faculty development. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Her interests include exploring ways to preserve and optimize medical education and better defining faculty roles and titles.

“I want to grow the Office of Faculty Development here, and I believe this opportunity will help me,” Patterson said. “Many faculty affairs deans around the country have participated in this fellowship and attribute their successes in leading programs and initiatives to the lessons they learned there.”

Patterson is part of the 24th class of ELAM fellows, composed of 60 women from 53 institutions around the world. She joins two women leaders from Duke University to round out North Carolina’s 2018 contingent. Nearly 1,000 ELAM alumnae hold leadership positions in academic health centers.


-by Spaine Stephens, University Communications

1 2 3 16