Category Archives: awards

ECU recognized for diversity

East Carolina University has been recognized once again for its commitment to diversity by two publications that focus on diversity in higher education.

For the sixth year in a row, ECU has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award sponsored by Insight into Diversity magazine. The award recognizes colleges and universities in the U.S. that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The award process involves a comprehensive and rigorous application and includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees and best practices, said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of the magazine.

From left, students Sarah Marisa Mee, Daquevon Rogers and Kia Miller work together in Garrett Residence Hall. (contributed photos)

From left, students Sarah Marisa Mee, Daquevon Rogers and Kia Miller work together in Garrett Residence Hall. (Contributed photos)

“Our standards are high and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus,” said Pearlstein.

There are several programs that made ECU stand out from the competition. These programs, ranging from providing easily accessible data about the campus’ diversity to faculty programs and student groups, encourage the success of women and minority students.

ECU’s Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity LaKesha Forbes points out it isn’t the work of one group or program on campus, but a collaborative effort that makes ECU an inclusive working, learning and living community.

Those programs include Barbershop Talk, a leadership series that explores the personal journeys and unwritten rules for minority males in professional settings to assist men of color in their pursuit to become professionals and leaders at ECU. The Visiting Faculty and Scholars program brings diverse visiting faculty and emerging scholars to conduct research or present on topics related to inclusion, equity, diversity and cultural competence.

“We remain fully committed to diversity and inclusion at ECU and strive for our campus to be reflective of the population of the society we live in today,” said Forbes.

ECU will be featured with 79 other colleges and universities in the magazine’s November 2017 issue.

From left, Korey Kuhlman, Austin Stewart and Taron Fenner.

From left, Korey Kuhlman, Austin Stewart and Taron Fenner.

Top 100 Degrees Conferred 

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine released the Top 100 Degrees Conferred rankings on Aug. 24. ECU was one of the the top 100 colleges or universities in 47 categories ranging from total undergraduate and graduate degrees to individualized programs.

The rankings look at the number of degrees awarded to minority students by colleges and universities across the country in dozens of categories.

ECU ranked No. 47 for the number of African-Americans who receive bachelor’s degrees and was in the top 100 for the number of Native American students who earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees, ranked 51 and 43 respectively.

“The diversity of our student body continues to grow. And as we become even more diverse, we remain steadfast in our intentionality to provide all students with the environment and support to be successful and a classroom experience that prepares them for the multicultural workplace and our global economy,” said Forbes.

Additionally, ECU was 47th on the list of traditionally white institutions who awarded degrees to African-Americans. The magazine selected the top 100 institutions out of 2,718 that were eligible.

To see ECU’s rankings, visit


-by Jamie Smith

Inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge is Live

The College of Business and its Miller School of Entrepreneurship (MSOE) wants to enhance ECU’s entrepreneurial culture.

The inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge is a three-round competition open to any student enrolled in the 2017/2018 academic year, as well as alumni who have enrolled students on their team.

Total prize money to accelerate winning business ventures is $20,000 with $12,500 going to the grand prize winner. $5,000 and $2,500 will be awarded to second and third place winners, respectively. Payment will be delivered to the winners as they achieve pre-approved milestones. Other in-kind prizes will be awarded.

The Miller School of Entrepreneurship team includes Vickie Glover, front; and in back, from left to right, Dennis Barber, Corey Pulido and David Mayo. (Contributed photo)

The Miller School of Entrepreneurship team includes Vickie Glover, front; and in back, from left to right, Dennis Barber, Corey Pulido and David Mayo. (Contributed photo)

“We are excited to bring an opportunity to all of ECU that will highlight promising student entrepreneurs across campus,” said Dr. Mike Harris, interim director of MSOE. “The students will engage with the MSOE for coaching and resources to accelerate the growth of their award-winning ideas.”

Round one is an open-air forum for participants to showcase their ideas and ventures. This poster session is Oct. 17 from 12 – 2 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden outside of Mendenhall Student Center. Student passersby will get three tickets to allocate to their idea (or ideas) of choice. Twelve teams will move on to the second round based on student popular vote and input from ECU college representatives.

Round two will feature five mentors who will choose five teams based on a five-minute pitch and responses to a three-minute Q&A session. The MSOE will mentor a team based on the popular student vote from round one. This round will take place Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 5 – 7 p.m. Location TBD. Six teams will move on to the final round.

Round three (and final round) will be held during National Entrepreneurship Week Feb. 22 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Murphy Center. The six finalists will present a five-minute pitch followed by five minutes of Q & As. A keynote speaker will address the finalists. A panel of university and community entrepreneurship leaders will choose the winner.

Established in 2015, the MSOE serves as a regional hub for preparing students to take an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset into their communities. To date, MSOE faculty has worked with approximately 349 students and 28 business clients. Students have recorded more than 6,000 hours of fieldwork.

Student teams who want to participate in the Challenge can register here.

Additional information about the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge can be found at the Miller School of Entrepreneurship website.


-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

Joyner Library celebrates excellence in student research and writing

Joyner Library announced the winners of its annual W. Keats Sparrow Writing Award for student research during an Aug. 23 ceremony held in the Janice L. Faulkner Gallery, located on the second floor of the library.

Sponsored by the Friends of Joyner Library, the W. Keats Sparrow Writing Award was named in honor of Dr. W. Keats Sparrow, professor emeritus of English and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The award recognizes excellence in research and writing by students enrolled in English 1100 and 2201 composition classes during the summer and fall of 2016 and spring of 2017 semesters.

“Every August as the fall semester begins, we have the pleasure of recognizing three students whose English composition papers were selected for the W. Keats Sparrow Award,” said Jan Lewis, director for Joyner Library. “It is a wonderful way to start the new academic year and reaffirm the close connections between Joyner Library and the Department of English.”

Eligibility criteria required students’ papers to include a research component using Joyner Library’s resources.

Entries were judged on the quality of the research as well as the quality of the writing by a panel comprised of faculty from the Department of English and Joyner Library. Members of this year’s panel included: Dr. Tracy Ann Morse, director of composition/writing foundations; Grace Horne, teaching instructor, Department of English; and Meghan Wanucha, coordinator of instructional assessment, Joyner Library.

Winning the award for first place — and a $500 prize — was Jasmine M. Perry, in the department of Psychology in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences, for “Homophobic Attitudes in Men.”

“This award means a lot to me,” said Perry. “In my life I have never been first place at anything, so winning this award shows how I have grown as a person, and it shows how dedicated I am to my area of study.”

(Left to right) Grace Horne, Tracy Morse, Jenna Murdock, Jasmine Perry, Meghan Wanucha, and David Hisle. (Photo contributed by Joyner Library.)

(Left to right) Grace Horne, Tracy Morse, Jenna Murdock, Jasmine Perry, Meghan Wanucha, and David Hisle. (Photo contributed by Joyner Library.)

Perry said the inspiration behind her winning paper came from personal experiences with friends and family members that are homosexual.

“I know that ‘coming out’ is a hard thing to do, and it requires a lot of confidence and a strong support system,” she said. “If people around you are homophobic it can lead to emotional turmoil and possibly suicide. I am so empathetic when I hear or read stories about people being bullied or abused due to their sexuality.”

Two additional award winners were:

  • Jenna M. Murdock, majoring in elementary education in the College of Education, in second place — a $300 prize — for “Motivating Students to Read.”
  • Carly E. Shomsky, in the department of Recreation and Leisure Studies in the College of Health and Human Performance, in third place — a $150 prize — for “Sensory Processing Disorder.”

Second-place winner Jenna Murdock said the competition was the perfect opportunity for her to do more research on how to motivate students to read required texts. “I really enjoyed putting this paper together and it was more than just an assignment I completed for a grade,” she said. “I was able to learn so much new and valuable information that will help me become a better teacher in the future.”

“I think it’s wonderful that Joyner Library offers awards and competitions for students,” she said. “It helps further our writing skills and allows us to explore the many resources offered by the library.”

Carly Shomsky, the third-place winner, believes students really benefit from the opportunity to participate in Joyner Libraries awards and competitions. “It not only encourages students to receive good grades, but it also offers them the feeling of accomplishment,” she said.

“This award showed me how far I have come within my writing and as a person. Hard work and determination really do pay off.”

Also deserving recognition are the instructors of the English 2201 sections that produced the winners.  Dr. Tracy Ann Morse was Jasmine Perry’s and Jenna Murdock’s instructor, and Marc Petersen was Carly Shomsky’s instructor.

“This year’s award recipients clearly selected topics relevant to their lives and majors and used the assignment to improve their discipline-based research and writing skills,” said Lewis. “Congratulations to each of them for their outstanding work.”

For more information on how to participate in next year’s awards, contact David Hisle at 328-4978 or by email at


-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communications

ECU Panhellenic leadership receives national excellence award

The Panhellenic Council at East Carolina University has been recognized this summer by its national organization as a recipient of the College Panhellenic Excellence Award.

ECU is one of only 20 college campuses, and the only recipient in North Carolina, to receive the award July 28 from the National Panhellenic Conference, one of the largest advocacy organizations for women.

The Panhellenic Council is the largest women’s organization on ECU’s campus. It is the governing body of the National Panhellenic Conference sororities at ECU and one woman from each organization is elected to serve on the Panhellenic Executive Council. The group provides events and programming to help promote unity amongst its members and promote excellence in academics, community and campus involvement.

The 20 campuses receiving the Excellence Award met all seven criteria for excellence and achievement in their work to advance the sorority experience. Those areas are recruitment, Panhellenic structure, communication with NPC area advisor, judicial procedures, Panhellenic programming, academics, and Panhellenic community impact and relations.

“We are so tremendously proud of our Greek women and appreciative to the National Panhellenic Conference for this recognition,” said John Mountz, ECU director for Greek Life. “We strive for excellence in everything we do and believe the Greek community can positively impact a campus and community. This recognition is proof that this is happening at East Carolina.”

ECU has the second largest Greek Life community in the state of North Carolina, public or private, with more than 3,200 students affiliated. Ten of ECU’s 43 Greek chapters make up the Panhellenic Council.

In 2014, ECU received the Achievement Award from NPC. National Panhellenic Conference sororities are located on 670 campuses with more than 380,000 members worldwide. For more information about NPC, visit

For more information, contact John Mountz, ECU Greek Life director, at (252) 328-4235.


Contact: John Mountz, Greek Life director at ECU,, Telephone: (252) 328-4235

Geyer recognized by Society for the Study of Reproduction

Dr. Christopher Geyer received this year’s New Investigator Award at the 50th annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Christopher Geyer received this year’s New Investigator Award at the 50th annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

East Carolina University’s Dr. Christopher Geyer was named the recipient of the 2017 New Investigator Award by the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) for his contributions to the field of reproductive sciences.

The award recognizes outstanding research contributions by an SSR member within 12 years of the completion of their Ph.D.

Geyer, an associate professor in the Brody School of Medicine Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, is working to explain the earliest stages of reproduction by investigating the mechanisms through which spermatogenic stem cells become differentiated and begin the process of becoming sperm cells.

His lab was recently awarded a five-year, $1.45 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the response of stem cells to retinoic acid.

“This is a highly competitive award, and the list of past winners is virtually a who’s who of top scientists in the field,” said Dr. Rebecca Krisher, chair of the SSR Awards Committee. “Dr. Geyer was chosen for this honor based upon the originality of his research, his scientific productivity and the significance of his contributions to the field of spermatogonial and testicular biology.”

Geyer said he has been a member of SSR since joining as a new graduate student in 2002. “Receiving the award was overwhelming,” he said. “I’ve never had to get up and speak in front of so many people.”

Geyer’s lab is working to pinpoint the mechanisms that control the earliest stages of reproduction.

Geyer’s lab is working to pinpoint the mechanisms that control the earliest stages of reproduction.

The award was presented during the opening ceremony of SSR’s 50th anniversary meeting in Washington, D.C. As the New Investigator Award recipient, Geyer gave a 30-minute presentation before more than 900 attendees of the conference.

“This was one of the goals I set for myself when I first started here in 2010, because I have several friends who’ve won this award and I’ve always admired their work and wanted to follow in their footsteps, so to speak,” Geyer said. “I have tried to emulate what they’ve done in their careers, but I never actually expected it to happen.”

Nick Serra and Ellen Velte, doctoral students in Geyer’s lab, also attended the conference and presented their work in poster format.

Geyer was nominated by his mentors, Dr. John McCarrey and Dr. Mitch Eddy, and more than a dozen professors from the United States and abroad wrote letters of support. He has been invited to speak at the annual meetings of SSR’s sister societies — the Society for Reproduction and Fertility, which will meet in Liverpool, United Kingdom in January; and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which will meet in San Antonio, Texas in November.


-by Jules Norwood

ECU named national finalist for community engagement award

In recognition of its engagement and scholarship initiatives, East Carolina University is one of four universities selected to compete for a national award this fall.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced Monday the selection of ECU as a regional winner of the 2017 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award. The award recognizes programs that demonstrate how colleges and universities have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement missions to become even more involved with their communities.

As a regional winner, ECU will compete for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which will be announced during the APLU’s annual meeting Nov. 12-14 in Washington, D.C. Other regional winners are the University of New Hampshire, Oklahoma State University and Purdue University.

ECU has been recognized for its MATCH Wellness program, an interdisciplinary, community-university partnership created a decade ago to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity.

Since 2007, the MATCH Wellness partnership has grown from one middle school teacher and one ECU faculty member to include faculty and students from the ECU Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center and public school staff from 15 communities at 35 public schools across three states. Since inception, nearly 13,000 students have participated in the MATCH curriculum, preventing an estimated 1,300 cases of adult obesity.

Physical education teacher Allen Harrell works with Krysta Styons in the MATCH Wellness program at Chowan Middle School in Tyner. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Physical education teacher Allen Harrell works with Krysta Styons in the MATCH Wellness program at Chowan Middle School in Tyner. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Sharon Paynter, assistant vice chancellor for public service and community relations, said she was pleased to learn of the national recognition for MATCH Wellness partnership.

“The MATCH-ECU partnership is exemplary for many reasons, most importantly for the impact it has on helping adolescents establish healthy habits that last a lifetime. It is a great honor for East Carolina University to be selected as the 2017 W.K. Kellogg winner for the Southern Region,” she said.

MATCH landed the university in the national finals for the Magrath Award last year, as well. ECU won the Magrath Award in 2012 for its work with the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center in west Greenville.

The 2017 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award includes a sculpture and $20,000 prize. Regional winners will each receive a cash prize of $5,000.

Since 2007, APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have honored the engagement, scholarship and partnerships of four-year public universities. The national award is named for C. Peter Magrath, APLU president from 1992 to 2005.

The community engagement awards also include a class of exemplary designees. In addition to the regional winners, the five exemplary designees are recognized for their outstanding efforts. Those institutions — Michigan State University, Texas Tech University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Louisville, and the University of South Carolina — will be showcased at the 2017 Engagement Scholarship Consortium’s annual conference in September.

“This year’s Magrath Awards have demonstrated exceptional cultural, civic and economic contributions to their communities, states and regions,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “They’re tackling some of the most urgent challenges facing our country by elevating the importance of student and faculty service, deepening connections to their communities, and reorienting their engagement work to ensure it employs a comprehensive approach that address every angle of these challenges.”

A team of community engagement professionals judged this round of the award. A second team will pick the national winner following presentations at the 2017 National Engagement Scholarship Conference in September.

To learn more about the MATCH Wellness program, visit


-by ECU News Services

Dr. Hardy Receives Distinguished Service Award

Article originally published on Pitt County Community College’s Website

Pitt Community College administrators took time during Thursday’s graduation ceremony to show their appreciation to three Board of Trustees members for outstanding service to the college and community.

Before nearly 700 graduates turned their tassels in East Carolina University’s Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, Distinguished Service Awards were presented to former trustees Virginia Hardy and Jimmy Nelson and current trustee Walter Williams.

Hardy, a Greenville native, is ECU’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. She served as a PCC Trustee from 2008 to 2016, after being appointed to the board by Pitt County Commissioners. As a trustee, she chaired the college’s Personnel Committee for two years and served on numerous other committees.

In presenting Hardy with her award, PCC Trustee Patti Sanders-Smith noted that Hardy utilized the student affairs and employee leadership experience she gained at ECU to provide trustees and college administrative staff with welcomed insight throughout her eight years of service.

Dr. Virginia Hardy. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Virginia Hardy. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

When she first joined PCC’s governing board, Hardy called it a chance to serve the community. She praised the college for its versatility in meeting the training needs of local business and industry and for giving people “choices to better their lives.”

The youngest of eight children, Hardy earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She later received a master’s in counseling from ECU and a Ph.D. in counseling from N.C. State University.

“Education has always been important to both my family and me,” she said. “My parents expected that each of us would attain postsecondary education so that we would be afforded opportunities that weren’t available to them.”

A Bethel native, Nelson was appointed to the board by former Gov. Mike Easley in 2004. In 12 years as a trustee, he served on several committees and chaired the Building and Grounds Committee during the planning stages of the Science and Technology Center now under construction and scheduled to open later this year.

Nelson’s first encounter with PCC came as a high school student, when he enrolled in several college courses before graduating from North Pitt. He went on to enroll at UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1977.

As a UNC student, Nelson participated in student government and varsity athletics. As a member of the Tar Heels track team, he was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Nelson continued his studies at Campbell University School of Law and received a law degree in 1980. He joined the firm of Mark W. Owens Jr., where he was named a partner in 1983 and continues to practice to this day.

The son of Frances Nelson and the late Jimmy Nelson Sr., Jimmy Nelson Jr. and his wife, Beth, have three adult children – Jay, Suzanne and McKenna.

Williams, who has been a PCC Trustee since 2005, is an ECU alumnus and the founder of Trade Oil Company. A Pitt County Commissioners appointee, he has referred to PCC as “an investment in the area’s future” and has served on numerous college committees, including Building and Grounds, Finance and Audit, and Personnel.

“Mr. Williams has frequently served as the legislative liaison with elected officials of the North Carolina General Assembly for the Board of Trustees,” PCC Trustee Don Mills said in presenting Williams with his award. “His counsel has been invaluable in advocating for community college budget priorities.”

Mills noted that it was rather appropriate for Williams to receive his Distinguished Service Award during a PCC graduation ceremony taking place in a facility that bears his name.

Raised on a tobacco farm just south of Greenville, Williams has long given back to his community, both financially and through volunteer service.

In 2007, the Council for the Support and Advancement of Education named him its southeast regional winner of the Bill Franklin Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of his dedicated service to his alma mater. A year later, he served as co-chair of the PCC Foundation’s Futures First Campaign Committee, helping raise $8 million to fund new technology, student scholarships and construction of a 34,000-square-foot addition to the college’s health sciences facilities.

“You can go through life coasting or floating along, or you can be aggressive,” Williams said of the campaign. “If the leadership and citizens of Pitt County want Pitt Community College to be on the cutting edge, then we need to move forward, and the capital campaign is just part of moving forward.”

PCC has presented Distinguished Service Awards each spring during graduation since the honor was created by trustees in 1989 to recognize individuals for their efforts to enhance the college’s mission and services.

ECU English graduate student participates in prestigious Washington, D.C. workshop

East Carolina University English student Sarah McKeever was one of only 12 students nationwide selected to participate in a highly-competitive workshop held recently at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

The library is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and one of the nation’s premier research libraries for Renaissance history, literature and culture.

“I felt incredibly lucky to receive this opportunity, which is a dream come true,” said McKeever, who received her bachelor degree in English from ECU in May and will begin her studies in ECU’s master’s program this fall.

Marianne Montgomery, chair of the Department of English, was thrilled that McKeever was selected to participate in the workshop held June 26-30.

In "the Vault" looking at 400 + year old manuscripts.  This was a surreal, spiritual and elating experience! Left - Sarah McKeever looking at the book. (Photos by Syd Bauerman)

In “the Vault” looking at 400 + year old manuscripts.  This was a surreal, spiritual and elating experience! Left – Sarah McKeever looking at the book. (Photos by Syd Bauerman)

“Sarah was among peers who share her passion for Renaissance literature and had the opportunity to study with top visiting faculty from around the nation,” said Montgomery. “We are proud of Sarah and know that she represented ECU well.”

While at the library, McKeever and other scholars worked in small teams to digitally encode and format early modern dramas not yet included in the digital archives. The authors of the dramas are contemporaries of Shakespeare and their digital presence will supplement the current collection at the library.

“I have been in awe of the Folger Library’s rare collection for as long as I can remember and was excited to step foot within its hallowed walls,” said McKeever. “It was exciting to work directly with the rare manuscripts in the vault’s reading rooms.”

The workshop complemented McKeever’s interests and immersions at ECU. For three years, McKeever has served as an editorial assistant to English professor Dr. Jeffrey Johnson on the John Donne Variorum project, a multi-volume digital anthology of John Donne’s poetry.

In Folger's theatre students acted out a scene from Thomas Middleton's play, "The Roaring Girl.”

In Folger’s theatre students acted out a scene from Thomas Middleton’s play, “The Roaring Girl.”

“Sarah is an imaginative and insightful thinker, one whose intellectual curiosity and intellectual humility are the hallmarks for why she is such an accomplished student, as well as a promising scholar,” said Johnson.

McKeever intends to focus on Renaissance literature in her master’s program.

“ECU has an incredibly stellar Renaissance literature program and faculty, and ECU has been the most fortuitous place that I could have begun my path in early modern literary studies,” said McKeever.

“Familiarity with the treasure-trove of Folger resources will enhance my research in graduate school and greatly inform my interpretations,” said McKeever.

After completing her master’s degree, McKeever wants to pursue a doctoral program. She plans to dedicate her scholastic life to early modern studies and hopes to never cease learning – and perhaps teaching – about its literary works. In addition, she finds digital technology an exciting supplement to literary texts.

“I am very enthusiastic about the development of digital anthologies; their creation being at the forefront of literary innovation today,” said McKeever. “Access to these materials will benefit future scholars in the same ways that they have been beneficial for me.”

For additional information about the Folger workshop, visit,_Tools,_and_Texts_(workshop).



-by Lacey Gray, University Communications

ECU music education major selected for national achievement award

East Carolina University senior music education major Lauren Lewis has been selected as one of this year’s recipients of the Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. These recognitions are given to college members who have served their NAfME collegiate chapter in an exemplary manner with dedication to NAfME and music education.

Each year two graduating music education students are selected from a national pool for the Kane Scholarship. Lewis is ECU NAfME chapter president.

ECU music education student Lauren Lewis (center) accepts the 2017 Kane Scholarship and Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. Pictured with NC Music Educators Association officers. (contributed photo)

ECU music education student Lauren Lewis (center) accepts the 2017 Kane Scholarship and Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. Pictured with NC Music Educators Association officers. (contributed photo)

In addition, Lewis and fellow ECU music education major Jordan Harris were among 97 college students and more than 200 professional music educators who participated in the NAfME Hill Day Collegiate Advocacy Summit event beginning June 29 in Washington, DC, where Lewis accepted the Kane Scholarship and the professional achievement award. Annually the single largest gathering of music education advocates on Capitol Hill, NAfME Hill Day is imperative to ensuring the continued preservation of school-based music programs across America.

“It was such an honor to be awarded the Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship at this year’s Hill Day Advocacy Summit—Mrs. Kane was such a wonderful inspiration to music educators and to be given an award in her memory was very touching,” Lewis said. “I am so thankful for all of the support given at East Carolina University that allowed me to participate in such an amazing organization such as NAfME and attend Hill Day 2017.”

The Collegiate Advocacy Summit informs prospective young music educators about the most pressing music education policy issues of our time and helps them to engage with music education advocacy.  Hill Day music advocates conduct more than 200 meetings with members of Congress and their staffs each year during the three-day event.

“Hill Day was such a wonderful opportunity for professional development, meeting new people and advocating for music education,” Lewis said. “The sense of community and support gave me the confidence and inspiration to continue working in my own local chapter and advocating in my own state.

“The opportunity to meet future colleagues from across the country, learn from wonderful educators and make a difference in legislature concerning music education was an amazing experience that has made me more excited than ever to become a music educator.”



-by Harley Dartt, University Communications

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