Category Archives: Events

Laupus Library to exhibit relief woodcarving creations

Laupus Library will open the art exhibit “Visions in Wood: Carved Creations,” on Oct. 3 in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery on the fourth floor of the library. On display through Dec. 9, the exhibit showcases a collection of relief carvings by Dr. Leonard “Leo” Trujillo, professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University.

The 2017 fall semester exhibit is part of the library’s ongoing “Art as Avocation” series that showcases and celebrates the artistic talents and self-expression of faculty, staff and students from the Division of Health Sciences.

“Laupus has a long history of showcasing the hidden talents of our health sciences faculty in this series,” said Beth Ketterman, director of Laupus Library. “Dr. Trujillo’s work is masterful and our hope is that those who view these pieces will gain an appreciation for his craft and expertise, and reflect on how the process of creation gives us insights into our own humanity.”

Log cabin by Dr. Leonard Trujillo. (contributed photo)

Log cabin by Dr. Leonard Trujillo. (contributed photo)

Trujillo’s work is reflective of a lifetime of learning the art of carving and love for nature. He recounts his desire at an early age to carve figures out of wood to create three-dimensional illusions in his works.

He will sometimes carve a piece only to study a certain aspect of the carving process. Beginning with a solid plank of wood, Trujillo uses mallets and a multitude of gouges, chisels, riffles and sandpaper leaves, to transform the wood into lifelike images of trees, old barns, nature scenes and once in a while, people.

“The hardest part of the carving process is having to stop and prepare the wood for the work that you are about to do,” he said. “That can take days out of actual carving time.”

In 2013, he built his first studio, doing all but the electrical work. Filled with sharpening machines, vacuum systems, special track lighting and carving gouges lined throughout the multi-stage workspace, it’s easy to see this is far from a getaway spot. He also refuses for it to be referred to as a “man cave.”

“I carve because of the pleasure it brings me, and truly take delight in the way people react to my work,” he said.

Presently, Trujillo isn’t competing in carving club shows and competition. “When you work towards winning a ribbon, you lose the pleasure of carving and it becomes work rather than pleasure,” he said.

An opening reception will be held on Oct. 3 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and will include a presentation by the artist. The event is open to the public.

To learn more about this exhibition series or if you are interested in showcasing your work, visit

For more information contact Kelly Rogers Dilda at or 252-744-2232.


-by Kelly Dilda, University Communications 

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

ECU’s School of Art and Design to host first art exhibit of academic year Aug. 21-Sept. 23

The School of Art and Design at East Carolina University will host an art exhibit of faculty and graduate student work titled “Is This the World We Created?” beginning Aug. 21.
A reception to honor the artists will be held Friday, Sept. 1, from 5 until 8 p.m. in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery, where the artwork will be on display through Sept. 23.

The exhibit will feature ceramics, graphic design, illustration, drawing, metal design, painting, photography, film, printmaking, sculpture and textile design.

ECU features the largest and most diverse studio art program in North Carolina and is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design with faculty enjoying an international reputation in both the studio arts and scholarly endeavors.

The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center on the ECU campus.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is closed for all university holidays. The center is handicapped accessible.

For more information, contact Tom Braswell, interim gallery director, at 252-328-1312 or visit


Photos of artwork available by contacting: Tom Braswell, 252-328-1312,

Joyner Library exhibits photographic workings of environmental movements

Joyner Library is hosting the exhibit “Cry Ecology: Gibson Lemon and the Beeline Highway” in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery on the second floor of the library. On display from Aug. 8 through Oct. 24, the exhibit showcases a collection of photography based on two bodies of work by Linda Adele Goodine, Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor for the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University.

“Personally, I am drawn to her work because of its visual appeal as well as the deeper concepts that she explores in regards to how we manipulate land for our own ambitions and ideals,” said Charlotte Fitz-Daniels, programs and events coordinator for Joyner Library.

Goodine’s work has appeared in more than 40 solo exhibitions with a substantial national and international exhibition presence. She is also the recipient of 27 grants and fellowships.

“Cry Ecology is a conversation to be heard about the importance of our environment in which we live and why we should take better care of it,” Goodine explained. “The color and the inclusion of animals and plants were very calculated and constructed to talk about hierarchies and how we treat various aspects of living things, whether they are produced as a commodity or whether they are wild.”

Bella Hawk (contributed photo)

Bella Hawk (contributed photo)

“One unlucky rabbit became the impetus for my first still life,” she said of her Gibson Lemon series. “A click of the shutter, and an image emerged of a contemporary culture in transition, attempting to reconcile the cultivation of nature with the politics of production and eradication.”

In the New Zealand images, also part of the Gibson Lemon series, Goodine says she fashions a constructed still life in one frame, layering foreground, middle ground and background to create a relevant historical, social and cultural document.

“In New Zealand, as in the United States, nature is continuously manipulated for display and consumption,” she said. “My project explores the remaking of the contemporary material world through the metaphor of sustainable farming.”

In her Beeline Highway series, Goodine says she wants to investigate, present and create a dialogue about the loss of balance between technology, agriculture, commerce and conservation in the Everglades.

“The themes explored in Beeline Highway continue my earlier interest in America’s relationship to land and nature,” she explains. “As nature continues to be manipulated for display and consumption in many parts of the United States, the Florida Everglades represents a landscape at odds with the politics and challenges of production. It is my hope that these images of nature’s survival under the assault of modernity may inspire those who hope and work for its preservation.”

“We are excited to feature the work of Linda Adele Goodine, Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor at Joyner Library,” said Heather White, assistant director for assessment and engagement. “Her exhibition of large, lush photographs is an impressive and exquisite display of work.”

Joyner Library will also hold a reception with artist remarks on Thursday, Sept. 7 from 5-7 p.m. in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery.

Contact: Charlotte Fitz Daniels, Joyner Library programs and events coordinator, 252-328-0287,


-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Communications 

Camps give children a chance to explore art, science, drama

Drawing, painting, acting, writing and science took center stage recently as school-age children attended one of two day camps held on East Carolina University’s campus.

The 2017 STEAM and Drama summer camps were held July 17-22.

Children in kindergarten through 12th grade got to learn about scientific illustration, Stixsplosions!, pendulum painting, 3-D printing, ceramics, bookmaking, digital photography, nature printing and filmmaking at the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Art or STEAM camp.

Kindergartners make boxes from a sheet of paper. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Kindergartners make boxes from a sheet of paper. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Emily Benson, an ECU senior majoring in art education from Kinston, was one of the teachers for the STEAM camp.

“I just realized how much fun the kids have with any project,” Benson said. “I realized how much they love learning.”

Director of the STEAM camp Robert Quinn said he was excited about his art education students getting hands-on experience with the younger learners and delivering fun learning experiences.

Noah Blumenstein, a second-grade student at St. Peter’s Catholic School, said his favorite part of the STEAM camp was getting to make a guitar and learning how to etch.

At drama camp, children learned about performance, movement, playwriting, self-expression, self-confidence, group work and celebrating each other’s accomplishments.

Drama Camp instructor Rachel Hutzenbiler works on an improvisation exercise at the Messick Theater Arts Center on Monday, July 17, 2017. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Drama Camp instructor Rachel Hutzenbiler works on an improvisation exercise at the Messick Theater Arts Center on Monday, July 17, 2017. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

“We celebrate the imagination through the process of theatre,” said Patch Clark, director of the camp.

Cameron Bowen, a rising eighth-grader at Hope Middle School, said her favorite activity was practicing for the “Final Share,” a play put on by the campers and performed on Saturday morning for parents, family members and the community to show what the campers learned throughout the week.

Morgan Boyce, a rising seventh-grader at Arendell Parrott Academy, said her favorite part of the week was making puppets and learning more about movement.

Greenville native Alex Munn, an ECU junior theatre arts major with a dual concentration in both design and production focusing on properties and youth theatre, has enjoyed his time working with the kids.

Children in a K-2 Drama Camp class participate in a story during camp. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Children in a K-2 Drama Camp class participate in a story during camp. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

“To actually work as a teacher was a very eye-opening job,” Munn said.

Munn attended the camp before he enrolled in the School of Theatre and Dance and wanted to be apart of the camp this year to keep the tradition going, he said.


-by Bre Lewis

Joyner Library now exhibiting “Carolina Colas and Carbonated Treasures”

“Carolina Colas and Carbonated Treasures” is on display in the Verona Joyner Langford North Carolina Collection on the third floor of Joyner Library.

Exhibited treasures include vintage advertisements and antique glass soda bottles, most of which were bottled in Greenville, North Carolina. Other items on display are letters, photographs and local memorabilia.

Bottle Exhibit PosterVisitors will learn how the famous soda brands and their local imitators got their start, along with the history of local bottling companies in Greenville and other successful regional enterprises.

The Cola Wars started long before Lionel Ritchie or Michael Jackson ever cut a record. Beginning in the late 1880s the success of Coca-Cola sparked a legion of imitators. Here in the Carolinas, Brad’s Drink proved the most successful on both a local and national scale.

Brad’s Drink, the original name for Pepsi-Cola, came from New Bern pharmacist and drugstore owner Caleb Bradham, who invented the concoction in the 1890s. In August 1898, Bradham named his creation Pepsi-Cola.

The national brands were originally delivered as syrups for distribution at an established soda fountain. Drugstores and other locations with soda fountains served as social hang-outs for all ages and classes.  As the idea of individual servings caught on, a franchise bottling system developed to distribute the national brands. The process encouraged the growth of local bottling companies all across the country. In the southeast, such companies were particularly numerous.

During the mid-1930s, the town of New Bern was home to four different bottling companies. At times, Greenville and Washington hosted as many as five separate bottling plants. It was not long before a host of local bottlers were trying their hands at crafting soft drink formulas.

The exhibit will be on display through October.

For additional information, contact the North Carolina Collection at 252-328-6601 or email or


-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Communications

ECU to host international media and gender conference

East Carolina University will host the 2017 Console-ing Passions: International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism July 27-29. Registration will be held in the Bate Building at 8 a.m. each day.

Console-ing Passions was founded in 1989 by a group of feminist media scholars and artists looking to create a space to present work and foster scholarship on issues of television, culture and identity with an emphasis on gender and sexuality. Console-ing Passions is comprised of a board of scholars whose interests converge around the study of media. The first CP conference was held at the University of Iowa in 1992.

The conference promotes the discussion and awareness of issues of gender identity and expressions, among other topics. More than 200 people — undergraduate students, graduate students, professors, independent scholars and artists — will be presenting scholarly and creative work at the conference.

In support of its mission to rally the community towards a more productive dialogue about gender identity and representation, civil rights and public policy, the conference will feature two lunchtime roundtables devoted to discussing LGBT-related legislation in North Carolina. The conference will also host a fundraiser for ECU’s LGBT Resource Office on Friday, July 28 at Crave Restaurant, with music by Greenville’s Nuclear Twins. Funds raised will support student scholarships.

The conference’s opening session will take place at 6 p.m. July 27 in the Faulkner Gallery in Joyner Library.

Console-ing Passions is celebrating 25 years of international feminist media studies scholarship, and the CP@ECU plenary will be a celebration of the conference’s origins and founders. Two of the conference’s original founders — Mary Beth Haralovich of the University of Arizona and Lauren Rabinovitz or the University of Iowa — will reflect on Console-ing Passions’ origins, history and future. Board member Brenda Weber of Indiana University will also speak about how the organization has grown and changed over time and about the future of feminist media studies.

The conference keynote will begin at 6 p.m. in Fletcher Hall on July 29. Keynote speaker Michelle Lanier is the director of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission and senior program director of Traditions & Heritage at the N.C. Arts Council. After a welcome by ECU Provost Ron Michelson, Lanier will deliver her talk, “Pine Straw, Tobacco Fund & the Secret/Sacred ‘Beading Bees’: Making Place and Meaning on these Afro-Carolina Landscapes.”

For more information, please visit

Contact: Dr. Amanda Klein, ECU Department of English,

Wounded Warriors recharge relationships at ECU

Tuesday was Meranda and Rusty Baggett’s 19th wedding anniversary. They spent it working on their relationship while helping other military members, veterans and their spouses work on theirs.

East Carolina University’s Campus Recreation and Wellness partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project to host a Project Odyssey Retreat at the Belk Building rope course. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

East Carolina University’s Campus Recreation and Wellness partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project to host a Project Odyssey Retreat at the Belk Building rope course. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The Baggetts were one of 14 couples in which one or both spouses were active duty or retired servicemembers and one was dealing with a traumatic brain injury, combat stress or a post-traumatic stress disorder. They were at East Carolina University as part of a Wounded Warriors Project Odyssey Retreat to help military couples learn to rebuild trust in their relationships affected by combat stresses and experiences.

ECU provided a low ropes course at the Blount Complex on Tuesday and planned a canoe trip along the Tar River for Wednesday.

Jenna Potter, combat stress recovery specialist for Project Odyssey and a 2015 recreation therapy graduate of ECU, contacted university staff members last fall about hosting a Wounded Warrior event. After talking, they decided it was a natural fit.

The group makes it way through a spider web in a cave while maintaining group contact.

The group makes it way through a spider web in a cave while maintaining group contact.

“It just kind of clicked in my head,” said Potter, whose parents were in the Air Force. “I knew Pirate Nation is a strong community and has so much love no matter what. Within weeks, we had a great relationship going.”

“It was really a no-brainer to offer the collaboration,” said Adrienne Fike, assistant director for adventure leadership with Campus Recreation and Wellness, whose husband was wounded while on duty with the Marine Corps. “Wounded Warrior is a project that was looking for something really specific. The fact we got to be that is really great.”

Rusty Baggett was a master sergeant and medical operations specialist in the 18th Airborne Corps. After serving for 16 years from Hawaii to Iraq to Afghanistan, it was a routine training flight out of Fort Bragg in November 2010 – a month before he was to ship out for another mission to Iraq –that ended his military career.

People balance on a wooden surface.

People balance on a wooden surface.

He remembered being in the plane. The next thing he remembered was being in a hospital a month later. In between, he jumped from the plane, and experts pieced together that apparently a gust of wind caused his parachute to collapse about 100 feet from the ground. He crashed, broke his pelvis and had two brain bleeds. Sixteen of the 30 jumpers were injured during the exercise.

Meranda Baggett recalled rushing to the hospital after getting the call that he was critically injured.

“When I got there, what broke my heart the most was he didn’t know who I was,” she said. “That broke my heart.”

Months later, something else would bother her husband.

“I was still bitter that I wasn’t going to Iraq for the second time,” he said. “That was my job. That’s what I did.”

Meranda Baggett lifts a rope high to keep tension on it.

Meranda Baggett lifts a rope high to keep tension on it.

Seven years later, he still has short-term memory loss. Thus, they plan each day with an online calendar, right down to what they’re having for each meal. And he says the civilian world lacks the camaraderie and organization of the military.

“I had to find out where I fit in,” he said.

The couple, who met when they were 14 and have an 18-year-old daughter, found that together with the Wounded Warrior Project. After participating in a few odysseys, they are now peer mentors – helping other active and retired servicemembers. The camaraderie is back.

“We have the same pains and things we can work through, and we can do it together and learn from each other,” said Rusty Baggett, who graduated in May from Methodist College with a degree in health services administration.

This week’s event was the first Project Odyssey at ECU. Another one is scheduled for July, and more are tentatively planned for next year.



-by Doug Boyd, University Communication

Four sworn in as ECU police officers

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The East Carolina University Police Department gained four new officers as Adrian Baker, Jonathan Bryant, Meagan Johnson and Megan Johnson were sworn in during a ceremony held on Wednesday, June 21 at the Greenville Centre.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Joined by friends, family and fellow officers, the newest members took an oath before everyone and received their badge.

Lt. Chris Sutton gave advice to the recruitsin saying, “Service is the rent that we pay for the privilege to live on this Earth,” a quote made famous by Shirley Anita Chisholm.

“That’s a quote that I use when teaching students as they go through their basic law enforcement training (BLET),” Sutton said.

Bearing the same name with different spellings (and no relation), Meagan and Megan Johnson graduated from ECU with bachelors’ degrees in criminal justice. Meagan Johnson completed BLET training at Beaufort County Community College, and worked two years with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office before joining ECU.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

“It’s good to be back. I feel like it’ll be a really good fit for me and I love everybody on the staff already,” Meagan Johnson said. “I’ve wanted to be in law enforcement ever since I was little.”

Megan Johnson completed law enforcement training at Pitt Community College. She holds an associate degree from Louisburg College.

Meagan Johnson with her father Darren Johnson.

Meagan Johnson watches her mother Gail Johnson pin her badge.

After the ceremony, Bryant explained that it was a great feeling to be sworn in. He completed law enforcement training at Craven Community College, where he also earned an associate degree in business. Bryant worked during the past year with the Winterville Police Department. He is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business at ECU.

Baker worked with the Kinston Department of Public Safety two years before joining ECU and completed basic law enforcement training at Lenoir Community College.

“They’re going to be great assets for the police department and when we have great assets for the police department, then we have great assets that we can offer to East Carolina University,” Sutton said.

“The service aspect for the job that we do sometimes gets overlooked,” he added. “We need to be mindful of the service role that we play within our communities and never feel like we’re above or beyond being able to offer someone help.”

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.


-by Bre Lewis for ECU News Services

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