Category Archives: Events

Increased campus activity, traffic

During the weekend of March 23-24, ECU will have more than a dozen events, programs and activities going on across our main campus, athletics complexes and parking lots. ECU will once again be the hub of major activity, and our campus will be on full display for thousands of current and prospective Pirates and their families as well as devoted Pirate fans cheering during the Purple and Gold activities.

Here are some of the major events taking place:

Friday, March 23

  • Purple/Gold Pigskin Pigout at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
  • Spring Family Weekend events in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
  • Multiple Athletics events including volleyball and softball

Saturday, March 24

  • ECU Pirates Aboard – Admitted Students Day starting at 8 a.m.
  • ECU Spring Football Game at 2:30 p.m.
  • Spring Family Weekend festivities
  • Multiple Athletics events including lacrosse and softball

The largest impacts to the campus community are expected to be on Saturday, March 24.  With so many events going on at the same time and the current construction projects around the athletics complex and main campus, many of the roads around campus will see increased volumes of traffic. Additionally, many of our parking lots are expected to be full.

Motorists are encouraged to avoid the areas of campus that border Greenville Boulevard, Charles Boulevard, 14th Street, 10th Street, Fifth Street and Cotanche Street. Traffic will be more congested than normal and numerous buses will be utilized to shuttle campus visitors. Please drive defensively and allow extra time for your travels.

For additional information, please visit the following websites:

Kickoff event set for regional program to provide better health data at lower cost

Representatives for dozens of not-for-profit hospitals and county health departments will be on hand March 6 for the kickoff of a regional program aiming to provide its participants with better health data at a lower cost.

The Office of Health Access in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, working with the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation in Cary, secured a $320,000 award from The Duke Endowment last year to help establish a standardized regional community health needs assessment process in eastern North Carolina.

To date, 23 hospitals and health departments representing 32 different counties have agreed to take part in the Eastern N.C. Regional CHNA program, which will help to streamline both the data collection and reporting aspects of the health needs assessments they must conduct.

Hospitals are currently required by the Internal Revenue Service to conduct these assessments every three years, while the state Division of Public Health requires local health departments to conduct essentially the same assessments every four years.

The new program, which standardizes the methodology and synchronizes the assessment process, will enable the participating entities to conduct the surveys on the same three-year cycles.

“It’s going to deliver better data and more consistent data, data that can be compared and contrasted across county lines. Never before have we really been able to do that,” said Al Delia, director of Brody’s Office of Health Access. “And in terms of the cost, the economy of scale and the centralizing of the process will save money overall and most of the counties and hospitals will see quite a significant cost savings.”

Tuesday’s kickoff event will also serve as the announcement of the private company that was awarded the contract to assist with the data collection, analysis and writing of the county-level reports.

The event starts at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 6 in the conference room of the Eastern AHEC building, located at 2600 W. Arlington Blvd. in Greenville.

Kickoff Agenda


-Contact: Rob Spahr, ECU Health Sciences Communications,, 252-744-2482

College of Education hosts summit with regional, national partners

Creating opportunities and maximizing achievement for all students was the focus of a school equity summit hosted recently by East Carolina University.

The ECU College of Education Department of Educational Leadership partnered with regional and national education leaders to hold the summit Feb. 19-20 at the Eastern Area Health Education Center in Greenville.

Keynote speaker Thomas Murray speaks at an equity summit hosted by the ECU College of Education Department of Educational Leadership Feb. 19-20.

Keynote speaker Thomas Murray speaks at an equity summit hosted by the ECU College of Education Department of Educational Leadership Feb. 19-20. (Photos by Cole Dittmer)

The summit was part of FORCE (Focusing On Rural Challenges in Education) initiative, a national collaborative involving the school districts in Duplin, Jones, Pender and Sampson counties, ECU’s Department of Educational Leadership and the nonprofit Panasonic Foundation.

The purpose of FORCE is to improve equity in the classroom, maximize student achievement and close achievement gaps for all students. Leaders participated in activities to help improve their vision for instructional leadership, shared beliefs around equity and discussed resources across the districts.

The summit provided opportunities to analyze three topics that impact equity in schools:

  • “Racial Diversity,” presented by Matt Militello, ECU College of Education Wells Fargo Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership;
  • “Linguistic Diversity,” presented by Marjorie Ringler, interim chair of the educational leadership department;
  • “Transforming Learning with Technology,” presented by Thomas Murray, co-author of “Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today.”
Participants discussed ways to integrate findings from the equity summit into their school districts.

Participants discussed ways to integrate findings from the equity summit into their school districts.

Educators incorporated the presentations in work sessions that analyzed their school district data through the lens of equity. Each school district team worked to develop an equity goal to implement in their districts.

Militello said the FORCE partnership is very unique.

“This consortium marks a unique collaboration among school districts, a philanthropic foundation and a university. Secondly, all of our work is focused in the classroom,” Militello said. “While we are working with school leaders, our professional development lives in the very classrooms we hope to improve and together we are engaged in living the Panasonic mission of breaking the links between race, poverty and educational outcomes.”

The Panasonic Foundation’s mission is to break the links between race, poverty and educational outcomes by improving the academic and social success of all students. The foundation was created in 1984 by a $10 million endowment from Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, which has since been renamed Panasonic Corporation of North America.

The FORCE consortium has four site-based sessions in the school districts each year and two annual national meetings to which it sends teams in order to learn from other Panasonic projects across the country. This was the first of the new annual, local summits.

The equity summit was held at the Eastern Area Health Education Center in Greenville.

The equity summit was held at the Eastern Area Health Education Center in Greenville.


-by Cole Dittmer, University Communications

Joyner Library Spring Banquet to feature ECU alumna and author Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy Woodson Harvey will present as this year’s Spring Banquet.

Kristy Woodson Harvey will present as this year’s Spring Banquet. (Photo contributed by Joyner Library)

The Friends of Joyner Library will host “A Charming Southern Evening” with Kristy Woodson Harvey as part of its 2018 Spring Banquet on March 22.

Harvey is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and holds a master’s degree in English from East Carolina University, with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature. She is the author of “Dear Carolina,” “Lies and Other Acts of Love,” “Slightly South of Simple,” and “The Secret to Southern Charm.”

“The Secret to Southern Charm,” to be released in April, is her second novel in the Peachtree Bluff Series featuring Ansley Murphy and her three daughters. According to New York Times bestselling author Elin Hinderbrand, “Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is the next major voice in Southern fiction.”

Her writing has also appeared in numerous publications and websites including Southern Living, Traditional Home, Parade, USA Today, Houzz and Our State. She has been seen in Women’s Health, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Marie Claire’s The Fix, Woman’s World, Readers’ Digest and North Carolina Bookwatch.

Guests of this year’s event will enjoy dinner, a silent auction, a copy of “The Secret to Southern Charm” and a chance to learn more about Harvey’s inspiration and creative process. Also during the program, the Friends of Joyner Lifetime Membership Award will be presented to long-time member Frances Mallison.

The event is open to the public and will begin at 5:30 p.m., with programming scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at the Greenville Hilton. All proceeds will be used to support student awards, community events and opportunities for staff development at ECU.

Tickets may be purchased at for $75 per person until March 15. Checks will also be accepted and should be made out to Joyner Library with 2018 Spring Banquet in the memo line.

Responses should be sent no later than March 15 to Rachel Mason, Joyner Library development officer, at 252-328-4090 or

For more information about the Friends of Joyner Library, visit


-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communications

Dr. Jennifer Arnold of ‘The Little Couple’ encourages ECU students to think big

The star of TLC Network’s, “The Little Couple,” Dr. Jennifer Arnold, was the keynote speaker for East Carolina University’s 2018 North Carolina Civility summit on Saturday, Feb. 17. She encouraged students to adopt her personal motto, “think big,” to achieve life’s goals.

Dr. Jennifer Arnold was the keynote speaker for ECU’s 2018 NC Civility Summit.

Dr. Jennifer Arnold was the keynote speaker for ECU’s 2018 NC Civility Summit. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The purpose of the Civility Summit is to create constructive dialogue to find solutions to address real-world challenges and face significant societal issues. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in sessions to discuss topics that included Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and climate change.

Born with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, which results in short stature and skeletal abnormalities, Arnold endured 30 surgeries as a child. Those experiences in the hospital and the influence of her childhood surgeon led her to dream of one day becoming a physician.

“I wanted to give back to other kids so they could have a healthy, happy life,” said Arnold.

She is now a physician and was named director of the Simulation Center at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in 2017. She was previously the director of the Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital. During her conversation with students in Mendenhall Student Center, Arnold discussed the difficulty she faced when applying to medical school because people couldn’t see beyond her disability to notice her abilities.

According to Arnold, she attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University because it was the only program she encountered where the instructors did not doubt what she could do based on her size.

Arnold is neonatologist and stars in the TLC Network’s docu-drama, “The Little Couple.”

Arnold is neonatologist and stars in the TLC Network’s docu-drama, “The Little Couple.”

She pointed out the importance of the profession being more inclusive for people with disabilities and that .02 percent of people who graduate from medical school have a disability. She hopes to raise awareness for more inclusion in the medical profession. She knew becoming a trauma surgeon was unlikely due to her size. She joked that she chose her field, neonatology, because the patients were always smaller than her.

“It is possible to become a doctor but we have to focus on areas that promotes our strengths,” said Arnold. “My small hands made it easier for me to do some of the procedures,” she said.

“The Little Couple” follows Arnold, her husband and two children as they navigate life as little people in a world designed for people of average size. The show has been on for 10 seasons and has captured the couple’s early years of marriage and now, their most recent adventure in becoming parents and Arnold’s successful battle with cancer.

“When a great opportunity comes your way – even though it may be scary or hard – sometimes you have to try for it,” said Arnold.

The Civility Summit was open to ECU community members and included a closing session with Arnold to wrap up the day’s discussions.

“It was great; I loved it; super inspirational. I want to go to med school too,” said ECU senior Cristina Derespinis of Arnold’s presentation. “Events like this are important for awareness of things that are going on in our community and around the world. With the diverse people in our world, it’s important to get information from different perspectives,” she said.

Jon Cockerham, a junior studying political science and communications, is a committee member for the 2018 event. He said the Civility Summit allows students to exercise having civil dialogue around controversial topics with people who have differing views.

“What we’re seeing more of now is toxic dialogue, with people yelling at each other instead of sitting and listening to what the other person is saying and actually hearing them,” said Cockerham. “So, today is all about having that civil dialogue where you may disagree with the person but you’re still talking about the issue.”


-by Jamie Smith, ECU News Services

Grammy-nominated musician visits ECU

Renowned Grammy-nominated musician and ethnomusicologist Dr. Tim Eriksen will speak and perform in classes and other venues at East Carolina University during the week of Feb. 19-23. During the week, Eriksen will lead a film-screening and discussion, present an academic talk and perform a musical concert that are free and open to the public.

“Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia,” his online biography reads. “He combines hair-raising vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, guitar and bajo sexton – a twelve string Mexican acoustic bass – creating a distinctive hardcore Americana sound.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 7-8 p.m. in the Science and Technology building, room C-307, Eriksen will screen and discuss two films about the venerable sacred music tradition of shape-note singing, a unique and haunting genre of sacred music that reflects the complexities of identity in the multi-cultural history of the United States.

First, he will show Landon McCrary’s1979 independent film “Dewey Williams, 81st Birthday Singing,” about black shape-note singers in Alabama, followed by an excerpt from Matt and Erica Hinton’s film, “Awake My Soul,” about their white counterparts.

Tim Eriksen, Grammy-nominated musician, will visit ECU the week of Feb. 19-23.

Tim Eriksen, Grammy-nominated musician, will visit ECU the week of Feb. 19-23. (contributed photo)

After the screenings, Eriksen will discuss the history and contemporary practice of shape-note singing and what it has to say about religion, civil rights and racial identity in American history and the present day. Also, he may perform a little singing of his own for the audience.

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, Eriksen will lead a lunchtime academic talk on “Old Folks Singing in Utopia: How Antebellum Musical Antiquarianism and Calvinist Eschatology Gave Birth to Science Fiction on the Banks of the Connecticut River.” The discussion will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bate building, room 1006.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, the public has the opportunity to hear Eriksen perform live. A concert of “Hardcore Americana: Secular and Sacred Songs,” will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Science and Technology building, room C-307.

Eriksen received his doctoral degree in enthomusicology from Wesleyan University. He specializes in shape-note music – specifically the sacred harp – “Old Time” music, American folk, Bosnian vocal and Indian classical music. He has performed and consulted on the soundtrack for the film, “Cold Mountain,” and he has released numerous recordings in genres from folk to jazz to punk.

The events are co-sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities and Harriot College’s Religious Studies Program. All are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

For more information about Eriksen, visit For questions about Eriksen’s visit to ECU, contact Dr. Joseph Hellweg, Whichard Distinguished Professor, at


-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

ECU hosts Veterans Writing Workshop

East Carolina University will help veterans develop the confidence to tell their stories during the Veterans Writing Workshop Feb. 16-17.

Dr. Robert Siegel, associate professor of English and organizer of the Veterans Writing Workshop, said the purpose of the two-day event is to help veterans and their families preserve their stories for future generations, record history, bridge the gap between veterans and civilians and place veteran concerns in the public consciousness.

The workshop begins with a reading and open discussion at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in Joyner Library’s Faulkner Gallery.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the workshop continues at 10 a.m. in Joyner Library, room 2409, with a special presentation by poet Hugh Martin. Martin, who spent six years in the Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq in 2004, will read from his highly praised collection, “Stick Soldiers.”

Following Martin’s presentation, the event will continue with workshops on fiction, nonfiction and scriptwriting. All events are free and open to the public.

The Veterans Writing Workshop is co-sponsored by the ECU Division of Academic Affairs, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, Joyner Library and Operation Re-entry. For more information visit

Martin is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, winner of the 11th annual A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions, Ltd. and winner of the Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award from the Iowa Review. His work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Grantland, The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker and The New Republic. He was the 2014-15 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College, and he now teaches at Ohio University where he is completing his Ph.D.


Contact: Robert Siegel, associate professor of English, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences,, 252-328-6581


ECU celebrates World Anthropology Day

East Carolina University’s Department of Anthropology will celebrate World Anthropology Day for the fourth year with Anthropology After Dark.

The Anthropology After Dark open house events include a lecture on the role of anthropology in the military by cultural anthropologist Robert Greene Sands. Sands, director of the Institute for the Study of Culture and Language at Norwich University, will discuss “From Advancing Cultural Sensitivity in Special Operations Forces to Building Sustainable Communities Through Outreach to Veterans,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Flanagan Building, room 265.

The evening also will feature laboratory and artifact exhibits, Andean music and the display of an Egyptian tomb beginning at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Flanagan Building.

“This event is one of our more significant public outreach events,” said Dr. Randy Daniel, chairman of the department. “We invite the public into our classrooms and labs to help them understand the relevance of anthropology in the 21st century.”

All events are free and open to the public. Free parking will be available at the lot near the corner of 10th Street and College Hill Drive. A shuttle from the parking lot to the Flanagan Building will run every 15 minutes beginning at 6:15 p.m.

World Anthropology Day is a day for anthropologists to share their excitement about their discipline with the public and to build enthusiasm and awareness for current and future anthropologists. This year, 236 schools representing 13 different countries will hold events in celebration of World Anthropology Day.

“This is a great time for anthropology,” said Dr. Alex Barker, president of the American Anthropological Association. “Today’s anthropologists are making remarkable contributions to human understanding and tackling the world’s most pressing problems.”

Anthropology Day is an initiative by the American Anthropological Association. Founded in 1902, the association has more than 10,000 members and is the world’s largest professional organization of anthropologists. For more information, visit


Contact: Dr. Randy Daniel, chairman, Department of Anthropology, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences,, 252-328-9455

Students and staff to present ECU production of “The Vagina Monologues”

East Carolina University will present a production of “The Vagina Monologues” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13 in Wright Auditorium.

“The Vagina Monologues” is a play addressing multiple aspects of the feminine experience including the physical body, empowerment and the ultimate embodiment of individuality. The material was developed based on interviews with more than 200 women. It was first performed in New York in 1994.

“It’s an honor to bring life to Eve Ensler’s words and to be a part of this wonderful community of women who care so deeply,” said Mira Sampath, ECU senior and member of the ensemble. “I first auditioned to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone, but now I believe in the power these words hold to transform both the audience and the performers in a way unlike any other.”

Admission to the performance is free and open to the ECU community and general public. No ticket is required for entry. However, donations will be accepted at the door and will benefit the Center for Family Violence Prevention. This organization serves Pitt, Martin and Washington counties to break the cycle of domestic violence while enhancing individual self-sufficiency and promoting healthy family relationships.

The cast includes 23 women consisting of students, faculty, staff and community members.

“One of the most amazing things about being part of “The Vagina Monologues” is the reminder that runs through all the stories of how resilient women still have to be on a daily basis,” said Will Banks, co-director of the ECU production. “While these monologues may be 20 years old, the stories of sexual assault contained in many of these pieces are still far too real, too much a part of our daily lives. I hope by continuing to stage this show, we are helping more women know that they are not isolated in those experiences, and more men to recognize how we can be too complicit in these experiences by ignoring or downplaying their significance.”

Early performances of the play led to the 1998 launch of V-Day, a global movement aimed at ending violence against women and girls. The initial event led to more than 5,800 annual V-Day celebrations, many of those on college campuses.

The play contains strong language and adult content and is intended for mature audiences.


Contact: Mark Rasdorf, associate director for the ECU LGBT Resource Office/co-director of ECU production at 252-737-4451. 

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