ECU celebrates International Women’s Day

Voices were raised and myths began to shatter during International Women’s Day March 3 at East Carolina University.

About 100 people including faculty, staff and students attended ECU’s third annual observation of the day recognizing the achievements and challenges of women around the world, celebrated in various forms since the early 1900s.

“It was really well attended,” said ECU staff member and event organizer Rai D’Honore, a member of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, which sponsored the event.

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“The purpose was to examine some critical issues of gender relations and to inspire people both at ECU and in the community to work together to resolve such issues,” D’Honore said.

The theme of the day was “Sex, Violence, and Gender Roles.” National and local leaders including several officials from ECU and Pitt County led panel discussions on topics like the narrow portrayal of genders in the media, the perils of prosecuting sexual assault cases, transgender issues, and remedying intimate partner violence and the stigma surrounding it.

“There is a need to shatter the silence,” said keynote speaker Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, an associate professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and a nationally recognized expert on sexual trauma and healing.

“What does recovery look like? I looked around and I didn’t see any examples,” said Bryant-Davis, who is a survivor of sexual trauma herself. “If we speak, we tend to speak from a broken place. When we recover we often stop speaking out.”

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and national expert on recovery after sexual trauma, addressed approximately 100 people during her keynote address in Mendenhall Student Center as part of International Women’s Day at East Carolina University on March 3.

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and national expert on recovery after sexual trauma, addressed approximately 100 people during her keynote address in Mendenhall Student Center as part of International Women’s Day at East Carolina University on March 3.

Bryant-Davis led listeners in a chant of “silence no more, I was born to roar” and encouraged men in the audience to participate as well. She acknowledged that men can be both survivors and allies in efforts against gender violence.

“It is so important to have male allies and create space for everyone at the table,” Bryant-Davis said. “People think feminists hate men but that is not so. We must build up our entire community while addressing issues of gender.”

Essential to recovery after sexual assault is for victims to reclaim their sexuality, according to Bryant-Davis.

“Often people don’t talk about sex except for the ugliness of it,” she said. “Sexuality is a gift. It is part of who we are and should be celebrated.”

Sex is everywhere, but society says we can’t talk openly about it, ECU Victim Advocate Kat Bursky told listeners during her panel, “The Myth of the Slut.”

Women can often be the biggest perpetuators of this myth by shaming other women, Bursky said, which is makes it all the more important to criticize cultural norms and speak out in support of victims of sexual assault or shaming.

“I do not buy into the idea that women are competitive and do not get along,” Bryant-Davis said. “That is a myth we are taught. When we build each other up, there is no stopping us.”

International Women’s Day is sponsored by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women with support from the Office of the Provost, the Division of Student Affairs and ECU Women’s Studies. For more information on the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, visit

–Jackie Drake

Excels event celebrates student success

East Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Performance recognized its high achieving freshmen and transfer students at an Excels Award Ceremony Feb. 5 at the Murphy Center.

The event honored freshmen and transfer students who achieved a GPA of 3.0 and above. A total of 450 freshmen were identified, 32 on the chancellor’s list, 189 on the dean’s list, and 229 on the Honor Roll.

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High achieving HHP students were lauded at the ECU Excels Ceremony on Feb. 5.

Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance, welcomed the students and guests. “HHP has a long history with interesting and challenging career options,” he said.

His remarks were followed by the keynote speaker, ECU alumna Tricia Tufts.

Tufts graduated from ECU in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in health fitness specialist. She also earned a master’s degree in teaching and is employed at Charles Jordan High School in Durham.

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HHP students received a t-shirt at the Excels Ceremony on Feb. 5.

Students received a HHP t-shirt following an activity that allowed them meet peers and faculty in the college.

-Kathy Muse

ECU to celebrate World Anthropology Day

The ECU Department of Anthropology and Anthropology Student Organization will be celebrating World Anthropology Day with an event called “Anthropology After Dark: Parasites, Petra, and Peru” on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. in the Flanagan Building (2nd floor) on ECU’s main campus.

The event is free and open to the public and features short lectures (7 p.m.), the reconstruction of an Egyptian tomb, lab tours, artifact displays and students/faculty available to answer questions.


Donations of canned goods will be accepted for the Greenville Food Bank.

For more information, call 252-328-9455 or visit

ECU College of Education hosts Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute

East Carolina University’s College of Education hosted the spring 2016 Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute on Jan. 30 for students and educators in the Latham Clinical Schools Network, a privately funded partnership that supports the enhancement of 39 school systems in eastern North Carolina.

Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Leaders board members, who represent districts in the network, and undergraduate students in the ECU College of Education attended separate workshops and sessions throughout the day.

Board members examined literacy instruction in public schools and the issues and challenges that literacy leaders and teachers face. The workshop allowed board members to share strategies for addressing challenges.

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ECU College of Education students reviewed the development and progression of literacy skills and instruction needed to pass the standard reading exam required for a teaching license in North Carolina.

The session for students included a review of the development and progression of literacy skills and instruction needed to be successful on the standard reading exam required for licensure in North Carolina.

“The institute truly helped our future teachers become more prepared to teach and reinforce literacy skills, particularly those early literacy skills and strategies focusing on word recognition and identification,” said Dr. Katherine Misulis, chair of the Department of Literacy Studies, English Education and History Education at ECU.

The Margaret Blount Harvey Institutes are planned by reading education faculty members in the ECU College of Education and sponsored by Margaret and the late Felix Harvey, and daughters Leigh McNairy and Sunny Burrows.

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ECU literacy studies students gather following a working session at the 2016 Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute held at the East Carolina Heart Institute in Greenville on Jan. 30.

Offered in the spring and fall, the institutes are named for Margaret Blount Harvey of Kinston, a former member of the State Board of Education, N.C. Education Research Council, N.C. School Improvement Panel and the Learning Disabilities Association of North Carolina.

Pop-Up Mug Sale planned for Jan. 28

The ECU Ceramics Guild will host a Pop-Up Mug Sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28 at the entrance of Jenkins Fine Arts Center.


The event is a fundraiser for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, a nonprofit organization that fosters global education and appreciation for the ceramic arts.

The guild’s annual mug sale will be held Feb. 24.

Open house to showcase marriage and family therapy clinic, research academy

An open house for the ECU Family Therapy Clinic and Redditt House: Medical Family Therapy Research Academy will be held from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Jan. 22. Visitors may meet faculty, graduate student interns and tour the facilities at 612 E. 10th St. in Greenville. The event is free and open to the public.

The Marriage and Family Therapy Excellence in Collaboration Award will be presented to Dr. Cal Paries. As the director of Vidant Health Employee Assistance Program, Paries pioneered the integration of medical family therapy services into the Vidant Employee Assistance Program. Despite Paries’ departure from Vidant Health, the collaboration between Vidant Health and Marriage and Family Therapy and Medical Family Therapy Programs continues as one of his legacies.

The Family Therapy Clinic offers a range of services, including individual therapy, couple therapy, family therapy and premarital services. The clinic specializes in medical family therapy services, which provides coping strategies for families with a critically or chronically ill member.

Throughout the treatment process, collaboration with other providers is encouraged, including physicians, social workers and school systems. The clinic is also available as an employee assistance program for small businesses wanting to safeguard the well-being of employees and to reduce employee turnover.

The Medical Family Therapy Research Academy, under the co-direction of Dr. Lisa Tyndall and Dr. Damon Rappleyea, promotes educational and research opportunities for students and professionals with a focus on collaborative health care including local initiatives with Greene County Health Care, Vidant Health, ECU Brody School of Medicine as well as with military and veteran couples and families.

The Family Therapy Clinic and the Medical Family Therapy Research Academy are housed in the Department of Human Development and Family Science.

For additional information contact Dr. Lisa Tyndall at, 252-328-4206.

— Kathy Muse

Candlelight vigil to honor terror victims


East Carolina University French faculty members in the department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, along with the ECU French Club, are holding a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at the cupola on campus.

The vigil will honor the victims of Friday night’s terrorist attacks in Paris, the victims of the recent bombings in Beirut, those of the Russian airliner crash, and all people touched by terror, war and conflict across the globe.

For additional information, contact Marylaura Papalas at 252-328-5786 or

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter speaks at ECU event

CNN reporter Sara Ganim speaks to a large group gathered at ECU. (Photo by Patrick Fay)

CNN reporter Sara Ganim speaks to a large group gathered at ECU for the Eastern North Carolina High School Media Workshop . (Photo by Patrick Fay)

CNN Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sara Ganim told close to 125 aspiring high school journalists to embrace their youth as they pursue their profession during a recent visit to East Carolina University.

Ganim was the keynote speaker for the annual Eastern North Carolina High School Media Workshop held Oct. 20 in Mendenhall Student Center.

Ganim was just 22 and working at a small Pennsylvania newspaper – The Patriot News in Harrisburg – when she broke the story about a Grand Jury investigation into allegations of child abuse by Pennsylvania State University defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. She won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for her reporting.

When covering the Sandusky story, Ganim said she was often doubted because of her age. “I want people to know that youth can be beneficial and not to let anyone take that away from them,” said Ganim. “It’s a great thing to want to be a journalist. We need people who want to do this.”

Ganim encouraged students to continue on their career paths, no matter how daunting it may seem.

“I want the people who realize early what they want to do to realize it’s OK to want to do that, to grow up, to be an adult in the real world right away,” said Ganim. “I also want young journalists to know that it’s OK to want to be journalists…that we get kind of knocked down a lot. [We hear] that our industry is dying or that it’s not what it used to be.”

The workshop brought in students from across North Carolina, including White Oak High School senior Haylee Blitch from Jacksonville. “I didn’t realize who was going to be the keynote speaker,” said Blitch, who started her high school’s newspaper. “I’ve heard of her through the Sandusky trial, but I never realized how nice of a person she is and how talented and young she is. She’s gotten so successful from being young.”

This was Blitch’s third year attending the workshop. “I’ve learned how to cover stories on my own, how to interview people, how to take pictures… the whole package,” said Blitch. “It’s a really great learning experience.”

Senior Shay Edwards from Halifax Academy in Roanoke Rapids hoped to learn new skills and design ideas for her school’s yearbook. “Being here is pretty exciting,” said Edwards, who attended with her journalism class.

The workshop was co-sponsored by the ECU School of Communication and the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association

Ganim won a Pennsylvania Bar Association award, the Sidney Award for socially conscious journalism and the Keystone Press Award. A Penn State graduate, Ganim was hired by CNN in 2012 and covers a wide range of stories and investigations.

— Summer Tillman

Alumni association announces upcoming events

Alumni and friends of East Carolina will have opportunities to connect with each other and the university at several upcoming events in Greenville and beyond hosted by the East Carolina Alumni Association.

A networking lunch will be held in Raleigh on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 18 Seaboard. The featured alumni will be Keith Frazier ’94, an executive at the American Kennel Club, and Shannon Frazier ’94, an executive at Lenovo. Advance registration is required by the deadline of Nov. 3.

Alumni are invited to bring their friends to a tour, tasting, and lunch at Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston on Saturday, Nov. 14. Participants can enjoy a tour of the brewery and sample Mother Earth’s classic brews like Weeping Willow Wit, Endless River Kolsch, Dark Cloud Lager, and Old Neighborhood Oatmeal Porter, as well as seasonal offerings like the Fig and Raisin Ale and a special cider. An included lunch will be provided by Queen Street Deli & Bakery. Advance registration is required by the deadline of Nov. 4. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Another networking lunch will be held in Greenville on Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Greenville Boulevard. The featured alumni will be Henry Hinton ’76, owner of Inner Banks Media, and Amanda Tilley ’03, owner of Coastal Banking Company and the Greenville Krispy Kreme. Advance registration is required by the deadline of Nov. 23.

Alumni are invited to bring their families and join PeeDee the Pirate for a country dinner and holiday hayride at Mike’s Farm in Beulaville on Saturday, Dec. 13. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m., with down-home fare like fried chicken and ham biscuits, followed by the hayride through a festival of lights at 7:30 p.m. Families will also have a chance to take pictures with PeeDee. Because space is limited to the first 50 people, registration will only be taken over the phone. Advance registration is required by the deadline of Dec. 3. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Fall 2015 graduates and their families are invited to a Senior Celebration dinner on Thursday, Dec. 17. The alumni association will honor the accomplishments of the class of 2015 and officially welcome them as alumni of ECU. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in Harvey Hall in the Murphy Center. Space is limited. The deadline to register is Monday, December 7, but Senior Celebration is a popular event and may fill up before the deadline, so advance registration is strongly encouraged.

More information on all these events can be obtained by calling 800-ECU-GRAD (252-328-4723) or by visiting