Category Archives: Education

Greenville science teacher receives inaugural John C. Park Scholarship

A new scholarship at East Carolina University helped send an eastern North Carolina science teacher to a national conference this month.

Allie Smith, an eighth grade science teacher at C.M. Eppes Middle School in Greenville, attended the annual National Science Teachers Association National Conference on Science Education in Atlanta.

Her trip was made possible by the John C. Park Scholarship, established this year by Dr. Leonard Annetta, the College of Education’s Taft Distinguished Professor of Science Education, and the ECU Center for STEM Education.

Dr. Leonard Annetta, right, and Shawn Moore, left, present eighth-grade C.M. Eppes Middle School teacher Allie Smith with the inaugural John C. Park Scholarship on  March 8 in her classroom. (Photos by Cole Dittmer)

Dr. Leonard Annetta, right, and Shawn Moore, left, present eighth-grade C.M. Eppes Middle School teacher Allie Smith with the inaugural John C. Park Scholarship on March 8 in her classroom. (Photos by Cole Dittmer)

The scholarship, valued at up to $1,500, provides funding for science teachers from eastern North Carolina in their first five years of teaching to attend the annual national conference. Going forward, the endowment will provide an award for two science teachers (one in grades K-5 and another in grades 6-12) each year.

“I am so grateful to ECU and the scholarship donors for this chance to attend this conference,” she said. “ECU has steadily provided me with unmatched opportunities while I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and they continue to do so now in my second year of teaching.”

John C. Park Scholarship recipient Allie Smith at the 2018 NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Atlanta.

John C. Park Scholarship recipient Allie Smith at the 2018 NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Atlanta.

Smith received her bachelor of science in middle grades education and her master of arts in education for middle grades from ECU with concentrations in math and science education.

The scholarship is named for John C. Park, who spent 25 years as a professor of science education at North Carolina State University where he had an influence on several members of ECU’s science education faculty.

“A leader by example, John dedicated his life to his family, his church, and to education,” Annetta said. “He created innovative ways of instilling others with the curiosity and desire to learn and positively impact the world around them.”

Annetta presented Smith with the inaugural scholarship on March 8 in her classroom. He shared a letter from Park’s wife, Lory Park, about what attending professional development conferences meant to her husband’s career.

The annual John C. Park Scholarship will provide funding for two science teachers from eastern North Carolina in their first five years of teaching to attend the annual NSTA National Conference on Science Education.

The annual John C. Park Scholarship will provide funding for two science teachers from eastern North Carolina in their first five years of teaching to attend the annual NSTA National Conference on Science Education.

“He was troubled by the cost and the low attendance of new teachers,” Lory Park said. “Although he had little control over the cost of a conference, he himself made an effort to get the attendance of teachers just starting their careers higher by providing funding through whatever means possible for these teachers.”

Smith said she hopes to bring her students more exposure to science education.

“My goal for going to the NSTA conference in Atlanta is to find affordable ways to bring authentic science experiences to my students,” Smith said. “As a teacher in a Title I school, I work with a majority of students who, for a plethora of reasons, are unable to engage with science in a meaningful way outside of my classroom.”

To qualify for the scholarship, teachers must have taught less than five years at the time of the application within the Latham Clinical Schools Network and be a National Science Teacher Association member in good standing.

For more information or to apply for the scholarship, contact Annetta at annettal16@ecu.edu or 252-328-6179.

 

-by Cole Dittmer, University Communications

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

One-year, online master’s programs offered in College of Education

East Carolina University’s College of Education is offering teachers a way to earn their master’s degree in just over a year.

Expected May education graduates or current teachers who are interested in getting a master’s degree in elementary education or middle grades education are encouraged to apply by Feb. 1. The online programs are being offered by the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education.

Students raise their hands during an assembly

Students raise their hands during a spring 2017 assembly at Eastern Elementary School in Greenville. ECU offers one-year, online master’s degree program options in elementary education and middle grades education. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Spots are guaranteed for applicants who meet the Feb. 1 priority deadline and academic qualifications. Applications will be accepted until March 15 or until all spots are filled. Scholarships and financial aid are available. All classes are online.

The GRE test requirement will be waived for applicants with a 3.3 or higher GPA or for teachers with 10 or more years of experience.

Two cohorts seeking a master’s in elementary education will begin in Summer Session 1 and another group will begin this fall. Both will complete coursework in Summer Session 2 in 2019. The summer cohort will take two courses each semester. The fall cohort will take four courses in the fall and spring semesters, and two courses in each summer session in 2019.

Concentrations in the summer cohorts will include Teaching English as a Second Language, Teacher Leadership and Academically and Intellectually Gifted. Teacher Leadership will be the focus of the group starting this fall.

The department also is offering a one-year online master’s degree program in middle grades education beginning this fall. Concentrations will include English, social studies, math and science. Students will take three courses in the fall and spring semesters, and two courses in each summer session in 2019. Courses will end fall 2019.

For more information, contact Dr. Carol Greene at greeneh@ecu.edu or 252-328-5316.

 

-by Crystal Baity, News Services

College of Education inducts 18 into its Hall of Fame

Eighteen people were inducted into the ECU Educators Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Oct. 28.

The new members are Joseph B. Atkins of Oxford, Mississippi, Alan R. Bailey of Ayden, Cindi Branch Brown of Winterville, Michael Landreth Donnell of West End, the late Regina Figueiredo-Brown of Greenville, Sharon Harris Floyd of Greenville, Lawrence Jay Hodgkins of Washington, Gwenlyn Goodson Jeffreys of Greensboro, Megon Ann Clayton Mancini of Concord, Dionna Leigh Draper Manning of Winterville, the late Ernest Roy McNair, Jr., of Washington, Rodney Lynn McNeill of Winterville, Karen Catoe Meetze of Greenville, the late Miriam Grace Sexton Mitchell of Charlotte, Sarah DeRitter Mitchelson of Greenville, Tara Wooten Parker of Greenville, Sandra Kay Eldridge Seay of Winterville, and Edison Earl Watson of Raleigh.

Members of the 2017 class of inductees to the ECU College of Education Educator’s Hall of Fame include, back row, from left to right, Megon Ann Clayton, a representative of the late Regina Figueiredo-Brown, Joseph B. Atkins, Lawrence Jay Hodgkins, a representative of the late Miriam Grace Sexton Mitchell, Rodney Lynn McNeill, a representative of the late Ernest Roy McNair, Jr., Edison Earl Watson, Sharon Harris Floyd, Michael Landreth Donnell and Alan R. Bailey. Front row, from left to right, Karen Catoe Meetze, Sarah DeRitter Mitchelson, Sandra Kay Eldridge, Tara Wooten Parker, Cindi Branch Brown and Dionna Leigh Draper Manning. (contributed photo)

Members of the 2017 class of inductees to the ECU College of Education Educator’s Hall of Fame include, back row, from left to right, Megon Ann Clayton, a representative of the late Regina Figueiredo-Brown, Joseph B. Atkins, Lawrence Jay Hodgkins, a representative of the late Miriam Grace Sexton Mitchell, Rodney Lynn McNeill, a representative of the late Ernest Roy McNair, Jr., Edison Earl Watson, Sharon Harris Floyd, Michael Landreth Donnell and Alan R. Bailey. Front row, from left to right, Karen Catoe Meetze, Sarah DeRitter Mitchelson, Sandra Kay Eldridge, Tara Wooten Parker, Cindi Branch Brown and Dionna Leigh Draper Manning. (contributed photo)

The event raised more than $27,000 for student scholarships in the College of Education.

Each inductee was sponsored with a monetary gift of $1,000 or more in support of the college’s Educators Hall of Fame Scholarship endowment. Annual interest from the endowment is used to fund merit-based scholarships for education students.

Since 1999, the Educators Hall of Fame has recognized the service and contributions of more than 469 individuals who have impacted the lives of others, the field of education and the College of Education at ECU. The annual event has raised more than $574,000 toward the endowment goal of $1 million for scholarships.

For more information, contact Terah Archie in the College of Education’s Office of Community Relations and Outreach at Archiet15@ecu.edu or 252-737-1257.

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

ECU director named a top trailblazer in education  

An East Carolina University (ECU) director has been recognized by the Center for Digital Education as one of the country’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers of 2017 for his efforts to transform learning through the innovative use of technology.

Tim Hardison, an ECU alumnus and former Martin County Schools teacher, is developer and director of ECU’s MATCH Wellness program, an interdisciplinary, community-university partnership created to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity.

Tim Hardison, director of ECU’s MATCH Wellness program, has been honored by the Center for Digital Education as an innovator in education technology. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Tim Hardison, director of ECU’s MATCH Wellness program, has been honored by the Center for Digital Education as an innovator in education technology. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

MATCH stands for Motivating Adolescents with Technology to Choose HealthTM and targets seventh-grade students. It is currently supported by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program.

Students are motivated through digital tools such as gamification, leader boards and trophy cases. Their schools use a Web-based management system to submit baseline data of height and weight, and fitness testing results. The program also uses an online behavioral survey to track sleeping and eating habits and technology uses. At the time MATCH was created, Hardison’s rural county had the lowest life expectancy in the state.

“When you’re trying to head off an epidemic like obesity, schools are the place we need to intervene,” said Hardison. “We’ve developed a program that meets teachers’ needs first, that just happens to produce unprecedented wellness outcomes, reducing these students’ risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and Type 2 diabetes.”

As part of ECU’s Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center, in the past decade MATCH has reached over 17,000 students in 49 public schools throughout the Carolinas and Mississippi—the state with the third-highest adult obesity rate in the nation. The program has prevented an estimated 1,500 cases of obesity.

Hardison said one key to MATCH’s success is that it teaches students about nutrition and physical activity at a time in their development when they’re beginning to make decisions independent of their families.

Fifteen percent of participants improve to a healthier weight. At 17 years of age, graduates of the program demonstrate decreased obesity when compared to their peers, and are twice as likely to have achieved a healthy weight.

The program has earned a “research tested” designation by the Center for Training, Research and Translation—an independent group that evaluates programs for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – and has gained national attention for its unparalleled long-term success.

The Center for Digital Education (CDE) is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. The 2017 Top 30 designees were selected based on their efforts to improve education through effective implementation of technology-rich solutions, their impact on student outcomes, and their overall initiative, creativity and leadership skills. They recently received their awards at the Digital Education Leadership Conversation event in Austin, Texas.

“Our winners have shown an immense amount of passion and courage as they take on education in an era that encompasses rapid changes. They have demonstrated a unique ability to use technology as a catalyst to transform education at all levels and to have a positive impact on student success,” said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director, CDE. “I am thrilled to recognize this outstanding group for their work, and wish them the best as they continue to push the field forward with education technology.”

For more about this year’s Top 30 visit http://www.centerdigitaled.com/top30/.

For more about the MATCH Wellness program, visit https://www.matchwellness.org/

 

by Angela Todd, University Communications

College of Education dean to serve on state Principal Fellows Commission

Dr. Grant B. Hayes, dean of the East Carolina University College of Education, has been appointed to the North Carolina Principal Fellows Commission, the governing body of the Principal Fellows Program.

Dr. Grant B. Hayes (contributed photo)

Dr. Grant B. Hayes (contributed photo)

Created in 1993 by the General Assembly, the Principal Fellows Program is a competitive, merit-based scholarship that provides loans to individuals with relevant experience and exceptional academic ability who want to enter education administration in North Carolina public schools. The commission administers the program in collaboration with the State Education Assistance Authority.

Hayes is one of two deans from schools of education in the UNC system appointed by President Margaret Spellings. The commission requires that two deans serve on the 12-member board with the remaining members appointed by state organizations or elected officials.

“I am honored to be appointed to the commission and I look forward to working with the other members to do this important work,” Hayes said.

More than 1,200 fellows have completed the program since its inception. Individuals selected for the Principal Fellows Programs have the opportunity to attend school on a full-time basis and earn a master’s in school administration in two years. The program is offered at 11 UNC system campuses including ECU, and provides one year of full-time academic study and a one-year, full-time internship in a North Carolina public school.

 

-by Cole Dittmer, University Communications

Grant funds energy needs, education at community center

Dr. Ranjeet Agarwala (top left) and students at the Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Center test solar panels and a portable power station. (Photos by Erik Panarusky)

Dr. Ranjeet Agarwala (top left) and students at the Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Center test solar panels and a portable power station. (Photos by Erik Panarusky)

The Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Community Center will soon have some help with its electrical needs thanks to the sun, students and faculty in the East Carolina University College of Engineering and Technology, and a Constellation E2 Energy to Educate grant.

CET students partnered with the center to study its needs, equipment, appliances and layout, then conducted an energy audit to calculate the total energy consumption and the rate of energy consumption on a daily and monthly basis, said Dr. Ranjeet Agarwala, assistant professor in the Department of Technology Systems.

“We had originally talked about putting solar panels on the roof,” Agarwala said, but based on the center’s needs, a more portable and adaptable system was chosen.

The $37,500 grant funded the purchase of 18 100-watt solar panels and nine portable power stations. Each power station can be charged from the solar panels and can provide power for anything from charging a cell phone to running a refrigerator.

Deborah Moody, director of LGCC, said the center’s campus includes six buildings, so the flexibility of the portable systems made perfect sense.

“We wanted it to be simple and never have an excuse not to use it,” she said.

The panels and power packs can be used during outdoor events, instead of running extension cords everywhere. They will also allow the center to function during power outages.

“Last year when we had the hurricane, we still had to come in because the community still has needs,” Moody said. “But we didn’t have any power in the building. So this would allow us to charge our laptops and go to work like we usually do.”

Agarwala shows students at the Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Center how the unit can power a computer.

Agarwala shows students at the Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Center how the unit can power a computer.

 

In addition to offsetting daily energy consumption needs, powering events and emergency use, there’s an educational component. The center has STEM-based after-school and summer programs, and the students will be able to learn about topics ranging from energy conservation to converting units of power.

Each power station has multiple AC and DC outlets, as well as a digital display showing energy input and usage. The panels and the power stations can be connected in different combinations depending on specific energy needs.

During a demonstration of the equipment, the students were able to see how much energy was being generated by the solar panels and the impact of shadows, as well as the amount of energy drawn by a charging cell phone.

“It’s exciting to watch the kids light up,” Moody said. “We want to get them excited and interested in these fields to prime them and train them, and then have them grow up and contribute to the community.

“We also want the youth to help us think of other ways to use these to help save energy. And then they’ll become advocates at home with their parents, and tell them, ‘These are things we can do to save energy in the house.’”

The LGCC opened in 2007 and is operated through a partnership between ECU, the City of Greenville and Pitt Community College. Constellation’s E2 Energy to Educate grants fund student projects focusing on energy science, technology and education.

The solar panels and power stations, funded by an E2 Energy to Educate grant from Constellation, will be used for events, emergency power and daily energy needs at the center.

The solar panels and power stations, funded by an E2 Energy to Educate grant from Constellation, will be used for events, emergency power and daily energy needs at the center.

 

By Jules Norwood

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

Students, faculty and staff attend N.C. Graduate Education Day in Raleigh

East Carolina University graduate students Molly Albecker, Spencer Miller and Kenyann Stanford traveled with their mentors and ECU Graduate School faculty to Raleigh as representatives for North Carolina Graduate Education Day held May 16 at the Legislative Building.

Albecker, a biology graduate student, Miller, who is earning a kinesiology graduate degree, and Stanford, a graduate student in educational leadership, visited with legislators and discussed their research interests to emphasize the importance and value of graduate education.

Between 2012 and 2022, the United States is projected to see a 16 percent increase in the number of jobs requiring a doctoral or professional degree and an 18.4 percent increase in jobs requiring a master’s degree. North Carolina is tied at 25th with the District of Columbia in the estimated percentage of residents age 25 and older with a graduate or professional degree. These individuals contribute to North Carolina’s technically skilled and entrepreneurial workforce that benefit the state’s economy.

Also attending from ECU were: Jeffrey Brault (kinesiology), Kathy Cox (graduate school), Paul Gemperline, dean of the graduate school, Tom McConnell (graduate school), Michael McCoy (biology), Heidi Puckett, graduate school, and Art Rouse (educational leadership).

ECU graduate students, mentors, and graduate school staff at North Carolina Graduate Education Day, NC Legislative Building, May 16, 2017; le to right: Michael McCoy (Biology), Tom McConnell (Graduate School), Jeffrey Brault (Kinesiology), Spencer Miller (Kinesiology), Molly Albecker (Biology), Paul Gemperline (Dean, Graduate School), Kenyann Stanford (Educational Leadership), Art Rouse (Educational Leadership), Kathy Cox (Graduate School), Heidi Puckett (Graduate School). (contributed photo)

ECU graduate students, mentors, and graduate school staff at North Carolina Graduate Education Day, NC Legislative Building, May 16, 2017; le to right: Michael McCoy (Biology), Tom McConnell (Graduate School), Jeffrey Brault (Kinesiology), Spencer Miller (Kinesiology), Molly Albecker (Biology), Paul Gemperline (Dean, Graduate School), Kenyann Stanford (Educational Leadership), Art Rouse (Educational Leadership), Kathy Cox (Graduate School), Heidi Puckett (Graduate School). (contributed photo)

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

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