Category Archives: Arts and Sciences

ECU psychology students support academic enhancements at Farmville Middle School

Pictured left to right are Farmville Middle School Instructional Coach Etosha Kiah; ECU SASP members Christine Rivera, Caroline Mulhare, Lauren Gaither, Katie Gitto, Erin Jackson, Hannah Wilson and Vicki Steinmetz. Kneeling in front is Farmville Middle School Principal Paul Briney. (Photo provided by Christine Rivera.)

Pictured left to right are Farmville Middle School Instructional Coach Etosha Kiah; ECU SASP members Christine Rivera, Caroline Mulhare, Lauren Gaither, Katie Gitto, Erin Jackson, Hannah Wilson and Vicki Steinmetz. Kneeling in front is Farmville Middle School Principal Paul Briney. (Photo provided by Christine Rivera.)

East Carolina University students are assisting Farmville Middle School students through tutoring and team building projects.

Approximately 10 school psychology and pediatric school psychology students in the ECU Chapter of the Student Affiliates in School Psychology (SASP) have been working with the middle school children to help them perform well academically and continue on to college.

ECU health psychology doctoral student Maribeth Wicoff said tutors provide assistance with subject matter as well as study skills, such as effective note-taking. Team building includes group discussions where students learn techniques for getting “their point across in a professional tone and expressing disagreement non-judgmentally,” she added.

While the partnership benefits students at Farmville Middle School, the ECU students are learning from the experience as well. Dr. Christy Walcott, director of ECU’s school psychology and pediatric school psychology programs, said graduate students who engage in community service enhance their areas of study and receive the added benefits of training before graduation.

Walcott noted three reasons for encouraging community service. “First, psychology is a helping profession that is strongly rooted in principals of social justice,” she said. “Second, we specifically train our students to be leaders in addressing needs and advocating for underserved populations.”

Finally, Walcott added, “We believe that graduate training is a privilege…thus participating in the community is a small way of symbolically and fundamentally giving back.”

The ECU chapter of SASP is formed under the auspices of the American Psychological Association’s Division 16. SASP is designed to keep graduate students apprised of issues pertaining to school psychology while offering activities that support their professional development and advocate for the field. For additional information about SASP, visit http://www.apadivisions.org/division-16/students/.

ECU Voyages lecturer to discuss life after life, near-death experiences

Raymond Moody Email.jpg

Emeritus professor of consciousness studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and former ECU assistant professor of philosophy, Dr. Raymond Moody, will deliver the ECU Religious Studies Program Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Culture in the 2015-16 Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series. Moody will discuss “Life After Life: The Meaning of Near-Death Experiences,” at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 27, in ECU’s Wright Auditorium.

During his lecture, Moody will describe the common elements of near-death experiences as medical doctors in many countries have studied them. Also, he will describe shared death experiences, an identical phenomenon reported by bystanders at the death of some other person.

Moody traces debates on these topics back to Plato and Democritus, who argued about whether near-death experiences indicate an afterlife or just a dying brain. Moody will discuss new ways of studying such experiences and their relationship to humanity’s biggest question: What happens when we die?

Prior to completing his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia, Moody was an assistant professor of philosophy at East Carolina University from 1969-72. From 1980-83, after completing his M.D., Moody served a psychiatry residency at the University of Virginia Medical Center. He was a visiting associate professor of philosophy at the University of Virginia from 1977-78, an associate professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia from 1987-92 and the Bigelow Chair of Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, from 1992-2002. He received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy from the University of Virginia.

In addition to his teaching, Moody has served as a forensic psychiatrist in a maximum-security unit for the criminally insane, and he has practiced grief counseling for more than two decades. He is the author of 14 books, including “Life After Life” (1975), “Coming Back” (1995), “Glimpses of Eternity” (2010) and “Paranormal” (2012). His main professional interests are logic, philosophy of language and ancient Greek philosophy. He is best known for his work on near-death experiences, and through his research, Moody has interviewed thousands of people all over the world who have had these experiences.

Co-sponsors of the lecture include the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Religious Studies Program, ECU’s Division of Academic Affairs, Division of Health Sciences, Honors College, Division of Research and Graduate Studies and Division of Student Affairs. A question and answer session will immediately follow the presentation, and Moody will sign copies of his books, which will be available for purchase in the lobby of Wright Auditorium.

Moody’s lecture is a Wellness Passport Event and is free to all attendees. No tickets are required. 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 Voyages series and its speakers, visit www.ecu.edu/voyages. More information about Harriot College is available at www.ecu.edu/cas.

CNN analyst to speak at ECU Sept. 29

Peter Bergen email.jpg

Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst and Director of the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., will present “Making Sense in a World of Trouble,” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29, in Wright Auditorium at East Carolina University.

The presentation is the premier lecture in the 2015-16 Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series. It is a Wellness Passport event and is free to all attendees. No tickets are required.

A question and answer session will immediately follow the presentation, and Bergen will sign copies of two of his books, “The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda,” and “Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad,” which will be available for purchase in the lobby of Wright Auditorium.

Cosponsors of the lecture include ECU’s Division of Academic Affairs, Division of Health Sciences, Honors College, Division of Research and Graduate Studies, and Division of Student Affairs.

For additional information on the Voyages lectures, visit http://www.ecu.edu/voyages. More information about THCAS is located at https://www.ecu.edu/cas.

— Lacey Gray

ECU student quoted in The Wildlife Society

Albecker (Photo from Coastal Resources Management PhD program)

Molly Albecker Photo from Coastal Resources Management PhD program)

ECU doctoral student Molly Albecker was quoted in an Aug. 28 article posted by The Wildlife Society about her research presented at the Ecological Society of America’s annual conference in Baltimore. Albecker is a student in ECU coastal resources management program.

Her research focused on adaptations in frogs to salt and brackish water.
View the article here.

Curtis attends international meeting on climate change, coastal and marine tourism

Dr. Scott Curtis represented East Carolina University at the first Innovators Think Tank on Climate Change and Coastal & Marine Tourism held July 22-24 in the Dominican Republic.

Scott Curtis

Scott Curtis

Curtis is an affiliate faculty member in the Center for Sustainability and a professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at ECU.

Experts in tourism, sustainability, business and coastal and marine environments gathered to take stock of the tourism industry in addressing climate change impacts, with a special focus on island states and coastal and marine areas in the Caribbean.

Curtis was the center’s 2014 Outstanding Affiliate Faculty member and has consistently contributed to research and outreach activities and to the learning experiences of students in the master’s degree program in sustainable tourism.

He has published on weather and climate impacts to coastal tourism in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, in particular the differences in perceptions of climate change between local residents and second-homeowners and the value and use of forecasts by tourism businesses. He also has researched Caribbean climates and was recently funded by the National Science Foundation to study small farmer vulnerability and resilience to climate change, market stress and the role of water management.

Curtis and Dr. E. Jeffrey Popke, ECU professor of human geography, received a 2015 Sustainability Seed Grant this summer from the center for their proposal titled “Enhancing Sustainability in the Caribbean: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus in an Era of Climate Change.”

South Central High School Teachers Visit ECU Pharmaceutical Skills Lab

Teachers and the principal from South Central High School in Winterville toured ECU's Pharmaceutical Skills Lab June 9. (Contributed photo)

Teachers and the principal from South Central High School in Winterville toured ECU’s Pharmaceutical Skills Lab June 9. (Contributed photo)

 

A tour of the pharmaceutical skills lab at East Carolina University on June 9 helped 10 South Central High School teachers and their principal, Julie Cary, understand how ECU prepares students for careers in the pharmaceutical industry. The lab is housed in ECU’s Department of Chemistry in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

The educators plan to share this information in their own classrooms to explain how subjects taught in high school can be relevant to the students’ communities and future careers.

“Teachers need to be aware of what is happening in industry, post-secondary education, business and the arts in their communities in order to relate course content to relevant examples for their students. This is one of our major goals in bringing teachers to the lab,” said Elizabeth Martin, instructional coach at South Central High School.

“We hope our teachers will connect with the community in a deeper way. We also hope South Central can forge relationships with post-secondary education and industry that lead to substantive relationships between these key stakeholders,” she said.

The South Central teachers spent the 2014-15 academic year exploring the topic of innovation in education. Through the assistance of ECU Vice Chancellor Ted Morris and Wayne Godwin, director of ECU’s Innovation Lab, the educators have explored the human design process, visited the ECU Innovation Lab, learned about the Annual Middle School Innovators Academy and planned and created their own in-house Innovation Lab.

Johnson appointed director, Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series

East Carolina University professor and former English department chair Jeffrey S. Johnson was appointed director of the ECU Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series.

Jeffrey Johnson

Jeffrey Johnson

He will assume the duties held by Dr. John Tucker, who guided the series since its inception in 2007.
“I am honored to have been selected by Dean William Downs as the new director for Voyages, not least of which because of my knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, Thomas Harriot,” said Johnson.

“The College of Arts and Sciences and the lecture series are, of course, named after Harriot, whose spirit of inquiry, exploration and discovery are the hallmarks of advanced learning in the natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences and humanities.”
As incoming director, Johnson sees the series as an established success, but he has goals for strengthening and sustaining its future.

“Building on the successes during the first eight years of Voyages, I want to concentrate on broadening the base of interest and support for the series, both on campus and in the surrounding community. To that end, I will reach out to individuals, offices and departments across campus to locate areas of common intellectual interest and to identify ways in which we can work together,” said Johnson.

Johnson began working at ECU as chair of the college’s Department of English in 2010, a position he held through 2014. As a scholar of British Renaissance literature, Johnson’s research focuses primarily on the writings of John Donne (1572-1631).

Beginning in October 2014, he became the general editor of “The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne,” a collaborative project involving approximately 40 international scholars.

For additional information, contact Johnson at 252-328-6378 or johnsonj@ecu.edu. More information on the Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series and Harriot College may be found online at http://www.ecu.edu/voyages or http://www.ecu.edu/cas.

ECU professor selected for Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award

East Carolina University professor Yizhen Zhao was one of 35 recipients selected from 134 application for a Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

Yizhen Zhao

Yizhen Zhao

The award includes provides seed money for junior faculty research in the amount of $5,000 with matching funding from ECU. The awards support young faculty member’s research in engineering and applied science, life sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, physical sciences or policy, management and education.

Zhao’s research interests include time series econometrics, financial economics, financial risk management and financial market microstructure. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s in economics from The Central University for Nationalities.

She is assistant professor of economics in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

ECU professors honored with Early Career Award

Two East Carolina University professors are the first to receive the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Early Career Award recognizing exceptional performance by tenure track professors.

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, left, and Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Matthew Whited, assistant professor of psychology, were recognized May 15 as this year’s award recipients.

“I am truly honored by this award. I am lucky to work with great colleagues and students both within and outside ECU,” said Ardon-Sayao. “I thank my colleagues and the THCAS Advancement Council for this recognition of my work.”

Ardon-Sayao is an ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding how aquatic ecosystems process water and nutrients; how that capacity is being altered by local land use and global climate change; and whether, and to what extent, current and emerging management can reverse or restore lost functions.

He received a $635,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant this spring for his research involving coastal wetlands. Ardon-Sayao was honored in April with the Mercer Award from the Ecological Society of America, recognizing a 2013 paper published in the journal, Global Change Biology.

Ardon-Sayao received a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia in 2006 and a bachelor of science in biology and environmental studies from Gettysburg College in 2000.

Whited leads the Depression Specialty Service in the ECU Department of Psychology’s PASS Clinic. He specializes in behavioral activation and has trained other clinicians in this treatment approach. He earned a Ph.D. and master of science in clinical psychology from West Virginia University in 2009 and 2007, and completed a bachelor of science in psychology and biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2003.

Whited

Dr. Matthew Whited, left, and Dr. William M. Downs

“I feel honored to be one of the recipients of the inaugural Early Career Award,” Whited said. “I appreciate being recognized as someone who is off to a good start in my career, and I look forward to taking advantage of all the advantages and opportunities that ECU has to offer.”

“ECU is a wonderful place to grow and mature as a researcher and educator, as faculty and administrators here understand the synergy that takes place between research productivity and student (especially graduate) training,” he added.

Ardon-Sayao and Whited will be recognized at Harriot College’s fall convocation in August.

In succeeding years, Harriot College will designate up to three recipients for the award, which focuses on faculty productivity in research and creative discovery, said Harriot College Dean Dr. William M. Downs. That productivity “must be judged to be of such high quality and impact that it exceeds expectations. Outstanding performance in professional development must be complemented by demonstrated excellence in instructional effectiveness and service,” he said.

“I am extremely pleased to say this year’s recipients exceeded these qualifications,” Downs said.

For additional information, contact Ardon-Sayao at 328-6307 or ardonsayaom@ecu.edu, and Whited at 328-6308 or whitedm@ecu.edu.

— Lacey Gray

1 2 3 4 18