Author Archives: Kristin Zachary

T-shirt sales benefit Aces for Autism

ECU Dowdy Student Stores and their vendor, Perfect Promotions & More of Apex, presented a check on May 21 for $2,250 to Aces for Autism, a not-for-profit treatment and educational center in Greenville. The center provides doctor-prescribed therapies to help individuals with autism reach their full potential.

The money was raised through sales of Aces for Autism basketball T-shirts at Dowdy Student Store, the Health Sciences Bookstore and Minges Coliseum during basketball season. The ECU Pirate basketball team has been very involved in raising awareness of Aces for Autism programs.

ECU Dowdy Student Stores and vendor Perfect Promotions & More of Apex present a check to Aces for Autism. (Contributed photo)

ECU Dowdy Student Stores and vendor Perfect Promotions & More of Apex present a check to Aces for Autism. (Contributed photo)

“We are so grateful for this contribution,” said Kyle Robinson, board president of Aces for Autism. “We provide financial assistance to help with treatment for about 30 families right now, and this money will help support that effort.”

Clients of the program range from 16 months to 14 years of age, Robinson said.

Presenting the check were Dowdy Student Stores Director Bryan Tuten, Associate Store Director Bob Walker, Merchandise Manager John Palmer, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Services Kevin Carraway and Perfect Promotions Vice President of Sales Stephen McFadden, who is an ECU alumnus. On hand to receive the check were Kyle Robinson, ECU basketball operations and Aces for Autism board president; Margaret Turner, Aces for Autism board treasurer; and Brian Overton, ECU director of player development.

Dowdy Student Stores are university-owned and operated bookstores and sell shirts benefitting a variety of causes throughout the school year. Past recipients have included organizations supporting childhood cancer, breast cancer, ALS and campus military programs.

“I’m extremely grateful that our customers and Pirate Nation continue to step up and support these causes by buying these T-shirts that support such worthy local causes,” Tuten said.

 

-Contact: Karen Simmons, 252-737-1311 or simmonska@ecu.edu

“The Robert Morgan Papers” on exhibit in Joyner Library

Sen. Robert Burren Morgan

Sen. Robert Burren Morgan (Photos contributed by Joyner Library)

Joyner Library is currently exhibiting “The Robert Morgan Papers,” a selection of materials from the Senator Robert Burren Morgan Collection, on the fourth floor of Joyner Library. Morgan, a United States Senator for North Carolina from 1975-1981, has also served as North Carolina’s attorney general, and later as director of the State Bureau of Investigation.

On display through Nov. 30, items from the collection include political campaign posters for a United State Senate race, letters from John Wayne, Gov. Jimmy Carter and an array of photographs and papers.

Papers, letters, and photographs chronicle Morgan’s successes and challenges throughout his political career.

Papers, letters, and photographs chronicle Morgan’s successes and challenges throughout his political career.

An April 8 opening reception was held for donors, friends and family and other supporters of Morgan and the collection.

Guests attended an April 8 opening reception and exhibit viewing.

Guests attended an April 8 opening reception and exhibit viewing.

A special announcement about the creation of the Senator Robert Morgan Research Award was also presented during the event. The one-time $1,000 research award will be granted to any ECU graduate or undergraduate student who uses the Robert Morgan Collection as the main primary source for either a traditional paper or digital scholarship piece. Entries will be accepted through May 2019 with the winning entry selected by an appointed committee.

View the complete Senator Robert Burren Morgan digital collection at https://digital.lib.ecu.edu/collection/robertmorgan.aspx.

 

-Contact: Heather White at whiteh@ecu.edu for more information. 

Remains of a possible 1619 Dutch privateer identified in Bermuda

East Carolina University archaeologists working in partnership with the National Museum of Bermuda (NMB) have announced that they may be one step closer to linking an unidentified shipwreck site to the nearly 400–year-old story of a stranded Dutch privateer or pirate ship.

The wooden sailing ship, described by the fifth Bermuda Governor Nathaniel Butler as a Dutch pinnace traveling from the Caribbean, reportedly grounded on the rocks of Bermuda’s western reef in 1619. Islanders rescued the Dutch and English crew of down-on-their-luck buccaneers, and they were repatriated within a year; the ship itself was reportedly left to wind and weather, disappearing with the next Atlantic-borne storm.

ECU maritime studies professor Bradley Rodgers and a team of students have mounted the first scientific exploration of an unidentified shipwreck site in Bermuda. (Photo credit National Museum of Bermuda)

ECU maritime studies professor Bradley Rodgers and a team of students have mounted the first scientific exploration of an unidentified shipwreck site in Bermuda. (Photos contributed by the National Museum of Bermuda)

New archaeological evidence, however, suggests that Bermudians may have secretly lightered the cargo ashore and floated the ship off the reef, hiding it in a shallow bay to salvage arms, lumber and hardware — essential commodities for an isolated but burgeoning colony.

The wreck site may represent one of the earliest colonial-built, Dutch vessels discovered in the Americas, and the earliest and perhaps only fully archaeologically documented privateer/pirate vessel, according to Dr. Bradley Rodgers, ECU professor of maritime studies. Combined historical and archaeological studies will continue and could reveal new details about life in the 17th century, wrecking practices and the early settlement period in Bermuda.

In 2008, Rodgers examined a wreck located in a quiet harbor at the west end of the island, a short distance from the Dutch pinnace’s last known position on the reef. He recognized the wreck to be an early and significant vessel type. In May 2017, Rodgers returned with a team from ECU, and along with NMB, mounted the first scientific exploration of the site, archaeologically examining, mapping and recording the exposed sections of the wreck.

The remains are well known to locals, but their origins are not.

“The ship remains appear to be early and significant, and archaeological evidence demonstrates unmistakable traits of northern Dutch design, techniques that have not been used in four centuries,” Rodgers said.

It was not uncommon during the 17th century to salvage ships in the west end of Bermuda, he said, out of sight of customs officials in the east end, to avoid taxes or levies on the goods and materials retrieved. “Salvage marks are plentiful on the disarticulated wreck, and though many of the fasteners and planks have been removed, many of the timber remains are in great condition,” he said.

Students record timbers on the site of an unidentified shipwreck site in Bermuda. (Photo contributed by the National Museum of Bermuda)

Students record timbers on the site of an unidentified shipwreck site in Bermuda.

There is much work to do to complete the analysis of the shipwreck, according to Rodgers, as it takes “extensive archival research, archaeological analysis and funding to fully verify the find, and it is one of the more confusing wreck sites we have ever studied — it has been completely taken apart down to the fastenings.”

However, the team has documented enough of the site to identify ship construction techniques matching those described in Dutch treatises of the 17th century. In addition, the wood has been identified as greenheart (Ocotea reodiei), a New World timber historically harvested in Dutch trading territory in South America, and the few artifacts seen reflect Dutch northern European heritage from the early 17th century.

Further investigation should shed more light on life in 17th century Bermuda and its early settlement, especially pertaining to the salvage of ships in distress.

“The economics and impact of salvage in the early settlement of Bermuda has not yet fully been explored by academics and can provide a fascinating window into how the first Bermudians survived on an isolated island,” said Elena Strong, NMB executive director.

“Bermuda’s rich underwater cultural heritage, which is protected by law, is not only a valuable cultural tourism asset, but also comprises a tangible archive of the interaction of African, American and European cultures over five centuries,” she said. “Over the past 40 years, research on these wrecks has yielded considerable data informing historical narratives about the lives of the people who depended on these vessels to ferry goods and people to various ports along the Atlantic littoral.”

 

-Contact: Bradley Rodgers, professor of maritime studies, ECU, rodgersb@ecu.edu, and Elena Strong, executive director, National Museum of Bermuda, director@nmb.bm

ECU takes third in NASA rover challenge

Five College of Engineering and Technology students recently competed and won third place in the 2018 Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The April event, which was held in Huntsville, Alabama, was sponsored by Marshall Space Flight Center and U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

According to a NASA news release, the competition challenged high school and college teams to design, build and test human-powered roving vehicles inspired by the Apollo lunar missions and future exploration missions to the moon, Mars and beyond. This year’s competition challenged teams to complete 14 obstacles and five tasks throughout a half-mile course, with a six-minute supply of “virtual” oxygen.

From left, Morgan Watkins, Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam (advisor), Andrew Grena, Jameson Morris and Evan Diener (sitting). Not pictured: Tanner Guin. (Contributed photos)

From left, Morgan Watkins, Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam (advisor), Andrew Grena, Jameson Morris and Evan Diener (sitting). Not pictured: Tanner Guin. (Contributed photos)

ECU competed against 64 colleges and universities in the Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

ECU competed against 63 colleges and universities in the Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

The obstacles simulated the terrain found throughout the solar system, and the tasks challenged teams to collect and return samples, take photographs and plant a flag. Teams had to decide which tasks and obstacles to attempt or bypass before their clock expired.

ECU’s team competed against 63 other universities and colleges. They were the only team to complete the entire obstacle course. The team included juniors Evan Diener, Andrew Grena, Tanner Guin, Jameson Morris and Morgan Watkins. Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam served as the faculty advisor.

“The goal was for these students to take what they learned and apply it to future competitions,” said Abdel-Salam.

Students in the team are members of the college’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The team’s participation in the competition was made possible by the North Carolina Space Grant.

This year marked the second time an ECU team participated in the event.

ECU juniors from the College of Engineering and Technology built a human-powered roving vehicle that had to handle simulated terrain found throughout the solar system.

ECU juniors from the College of Engineering and Technology built a human-powered roving vehicle that had to handle simulated terrain found throughout the solar system.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

Conference promotes diversity, inclusion

Keynote speaker Derrick Jefferson, an academic librarian at American University in Washington, D.C. presented to a crowd of 125 attendees. (Photos contributed by Joyner Library)

Keynote speaker Derrick Jefferson, an academic librarian at American University in Washington, D.C., presented to a crowd of 125 attendees. (Photos contributed by Joyner Library)

A recent conference at ECU aimed to promote a better understanding of diversity and inclusion among paraprofessional library staff across the state.

Joyner Library’s 14th annual Paraprofessional Conference, “Navigating the Path to Diversity,” was held May 11 for school, public and academic library staff, who aren’t professionally licensed librarians.

The conference provided 125 attendees an array of sessions and presentations focused on the concept that libraries should be inclusive environments that make their many resources available to all individuals in the communities they serve.

It also offered guidance on how library staff might better navigate their roles and responsibilities in creating safe environments by embracing concepts that promote an understanding of diversity.

“I think for really inclusive organizations to come into fruition, people are going to have to back down a little bit and listen,” said keynote speaker Derrick Jefferson, an academic librarian at American University in Washington, D.C. “Really listen. Then listen to more people. And it’s going to take a lot of talking, and a lot sharing, and a lot of conversations. I think that’s when we begin breaking down walls.”

David Hisle presented an iPad photography application and challenged participants to a self-guided tour of the library.

David Hisle presented an iPad photography application and challenged participants to a self-guided tour of the library.

For many individuals and communities, a library may be the only free source of computer and Internet access, classes and events, and special support for the disabled. Libraries also offer facilities where academic and civic groups can congregate around various local and national topics.

Attendees participated in a raffle for the chance to win amazing door prizes, announced at the end of the conference.

Attendees participated in a raffle for the chance to win amazing door prizes, announced at the end of the conference.

“Libraries aren’t just books, but a pulse for the neighborhood,” said Jefferson, who earned a master’s in library information sciences from Louisiana State University. As a graduate student he also worked as a Project Recovery scholar in New Orleans, using grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to help rebuild libraries and educate library science students after the devastating storms of 2005.

Jefferson recommended social media as a good resource for library paraprofessionals to stay up-to-date on the diversities within their communities. He said Twitter in particular can be an excellent resource for libraries to connect with people in the real world in real time.

“You have to remember when you took your very first breath in this world we live in, the mold was broken. You are exactly who you are meant to be. Don’t forget that,” he said. “How you represent your organization matters. How we keep that growing more powerful than any fear is by working together. From the strength we possess as a group, to each of us on a microscopic level – we can make change.”

Joyner Library’s SHRA Assembly sponsored the event, with additional funding provided by the ECU’s Office for Equity and Diversity and the Master of Library Science Program.

 

-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communications

New focus for lab courses introduced

Instead of repeating tried-and-true experiments in their science laboratory courses, university and community college students in eastern North Carolina will soon be learning and conducting science in a more interactive, engaging way.

That’s thanks to new way of leading student laboratory courses called X-Labs. Science educators from East Carolina University and area community colleges learned about the concept May 9 at the X-Labs Summer Symposium at ECU.

Traditionally, instructors teach lab courses in a “cookbook style,” said Joi Walker, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. Students follow steps, collect data and move on to their next assignment.

Joi Walker, assistant professor of chemistry, discusses the X-Labs concept to a group of educators during a summer symposium in the Science and Technology Building on May 9. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

Joi Walker, assistant professor of chemistry, discusses the X-Labs concept to a group of educators during a summer symposium in the Science and Technology Building on May 9. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

The X-Labs model is a cross-disciplinary, practice-focused model that changes the structure of standard lab courses. Instead of following a set design, students will be a part of the design process while also working with larger teams to create written lab reports and poster presentations.

The program’s goal is to increase student’s ability to engage in science practices between and across disciplines, bringing together a common lab structure and language for undergraduate students.

“Today, we’re introducing the new path we’re headed toward with our lab courses,” Walker said. “We want the leaders in our scientific disciplines to know about the changes coming their way. X-Labs is a different way of doing things; we want to ensure that the campus community is aware of the program and the changes they may see in lab courses moving forward.”

The X-Labs program is a three-year project funded by a $598,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant tasks X-Labs program leaders with transforming lab courses at an institutional level to better prepare undergraduate students for careers in STEM fields. X-Labs will also seek to change lab course structure at community colleges in eastern North Carolina.

East Carolina University student Meghan Lower discusses a poster on X-Labs during a summer symposium on X-Labs at the Science and Technology Building.

ECU student Meghan Lower discusses a poster on X-Labs during a summer symposium on X-Labs at the Science and Technology Building.

The ECU chemistry department is leading the change and will begin conducting courses this summer using argument-driven inquiry. Argument-driven inquiry is an instructional model featuring eight stages of scientific discovery: identifying a task and guiding question, designing a method and collecting data, developing an initial argument, hosting an argument session, conducting a reflective discussion, writing an investigative report, participating in a double-blind peer review, and revising and submitting a final report.

The biology department will follow with X-Labs implementation in the fall, with physics to follow. Walker expects all three deparmtents to have X-Labs courses running by next spring.

“X-Labs changes the culture of lab work,” Walker said. “It’s authentic science. Students are going to be taking a more active role in the lab and that’s going to be better for our students and faculty. ECU has a large undergraduate student population. Our faculty members depend on these undergraduates to help conduct research. X-Labs will better prepare these students to take on that challenge, benefiting both mentor and mentee.”

Mary Farwell, director of undergraduate research, said the program has wide-ranging implications for student research.

“The X-Labs project guides students to make connections between different lab courses,” Farwell said. “They truly learn how science is carried out by scientists. After completing X-Labs, students will be more prepared for and, I believe, more interested in, faculty-mentored undergraduate research.”

For more information on X-Labs, contact Walker at walkerjoi15@ecu.edu.

 

-by Matt Smith, University Communications

Eastern AHEC, ECU and Camp Lejeune partner on new military-civilian cardiac conference

More than 250 military and civilian health professionals came together for a new educational conference entitled Premature Cardiac Death in Eastern North Carolina on May 8 at Camp Lejeune.

Held at Camp Lejeune, the first Premature Cardiac Death in Eastern North Carolina conference brought together more than 250 military and civilian health professionals. (Photos by Jackie Drake)

Held at Camp Lejeune, the first Premature Cardiac Death in Eastern North Carolina conference brought together more than 250 military and civilian health professionals. (Photos by Jackie Drake)

This collaboration allowed physicians, nurses, first responders and others to share and discuss best practices for prevention, intervention and emergency response for cardiac events and cardiovascular disease. The conference was jointly provided by Eastern Area Health Education Center Department of Nursing and Allied Health Education, the Office of Continuing Medical Education and the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, in partnership with Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune.

Dr. D. Lynn Morris, chief of interventional cardiology at the East Carolina Heart Institute and professor of cardiovascular sciences at the Brody School of Medicine, spoke at the conference at Camp Lejeune.

Dr. D. Lynn Morris, chief of interventional cardiology at the East Carolina Heart Institute and professor of cardiovascular sciences at the Brody School of Medicine, spoke at the conference at Camp Lejeune.

The program was a success, according to Dr. Mary Wilson, assistant director for nursing education at Eastern AHEC. “Participants were able to gain a deeper understanding of the various types of cardiovascular disease that impact many in our region, current treatment guidelines and research findings,” Wilson said. “Overall, the conference provided an opportunity to learn about the unique health care needs of eastern North Carolina and facilitate joint efforts to coordinate patient care for both military and civilian populations.”

More than 18,000 people in North Carolina died from heart disease in 2016, according to the State Center for Health Statistics. A number of counties in the east, such as Lenoir and Jones, have cardiovascular disease death rates above that of the state. This issue also affects military personnel.

“Events like this allow us to learn from one another,” said Capt. James Hancock, commanding officer of Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune, during opening remarks. “We each bring something unique, different capabilities to the table, and today we have an opportunity to share those talents and education. The future of health care in eastern North Carolina depends on us working side-by-side.”

Mildred Carraway, director of continuing medical, pharmacy and dental education at Eastern AHEC, shakes hands with Capt. James Hancock, commanding officer of Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune.

Mildred Carraway, director of continuing medical, pharmacy and dental education at Eastern AHEC, shakes hands with Capt. James Hancock, commanding officer of Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune.

“I was really excited about collaborating with the military health care system,” said Dr. J. Paul Mounsey, chief of electrophysiology at the East Carolina Heart Institute. “I enjoyed interacting with the military physicians. We got a lot of positive feedback and the participants asked great questions. There was a good exchange of ideas. There is huge potential for the future in our goal of improving health care in eastern North Carolina.”

Upcoming continuing education and professional development events from Eastern AHEC include a Military Women’s Health Symposium on Sept. 19 and a Cardiovascular Symposium on Dec. 6. For more information, visit www.easternahec.net.

 

-by Jackie Drake, Eastern AHEC

ECU anthropology professor named director of international initiatives for Harriot College

East Carolina University anthropology professor Dr. Megan Perry has been appointed director of international initiatives for the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, effective July 1.

“I’m thrilled to have her expertise and her energy for this important component of our college mission,” said Dr. William M. Downs, dean of Harriot College.

Dr. Megan Perry, associate professor of anthropology and director of international initiatives, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Dr. Megan Perry, professor of anthropology and director of international initiatives, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

In her new role, Perry, who also serves as director of graduate studies for anthropology, will act as college liaison to ECU’s Office of Global Affairs. She will lead efforts to expand study abroad opportunities for Harriot College students, coordinate scholarships, review proposals for faculty-led programs, promote integration of international experiences into curricula and increase the college’s presence of international scholars for short- and long-term residency.

“It’s a new challenge for me. So that always excites me,” said Perry. “I think international education is really important. It opens up a lot of opportunities for our students and professors.”

Perry said her tasks and goals will include making study abroad programs in Harriot College more cohesive; creating a central place where students can find funding for study abroad – making that process easier; seeking out and identifying countries where ECU can establish a more formal partnership; and consolidating sources for faculty who want to go overseas for research, perhaps through an exchange program.

“When I start, I want to meet with faculty who already have international connections. It will be a lot of exploratory work in the beginning,” said Perry.

She also hopes to help facilitate the ability of international students to come to ECU and take a few classes or connect them with professors who they may want to perform research with for a semester.

“I want to increase participation in international programs by both students and faculty, and increase the international perspective of our curriculum,” said Perry.

Perry came to ECU in 2003 after earning her doctoral degree from the University of New Mexico in 2002. She teaches courses on human osteology, death and disease in classical antiquity, and forensic anthropology.

Her research focuses on 1st century B.C. – 7thcentury A.D. Jordan. She has worked on archaeological projects in Jordan for nearly 25 years and is co-director of the Petra North Ridge Project with Dr. S. Thomas Parker of North Carolina State University.

For additional information, contact Perry at perrym@ecu.eduor 252-328-9434.

 

-by Lacey Gray, University Communications

ECU Police to conduct active shooter training

Law enforcement officers train in Tyler Hall as part of an active shooter training drill. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

In this file photo, law enforcement officers train in Tyler Hall as part of an active shooter training drill. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

The East Carolina University Police Department will conduct active shooter training May 14-18 from 5 p.m. to midnight in the Carol G. Belk Building on Charles Boulevard.

This training, a normal part of ECU’s emergency planning procedures, is designed to prepare law enforcement personnelto respond to an active shooter on campus. Belk will be the only building involved in the training scenarios.

According to the ECU Police, the exercise may involve the simulated use of weapons including blank rounds, and role players will be constantly entering the building from multiple entrances.

 

-Contact: Lt. Chris Sutton, ECU Police, 252-737-7433

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