Category Archives: Faculty

Make-a-thon inspires innovation

East Carolina University students brought new ideas and innovations to the university’s BrainSTORM make-a-thon event on Oct. 4, offering fresh perspectives to problems that plague communities after natural disasters.

Nearly 60 students attended the seven-hour event at the university’s Innovation Design Lab, exploring problems encountered by families, businesses and first responders, and prototyping solutions to those challenges.

East Carolina University alumnus Magus Pereria tests a laser sensor that detects the depth of water at the university’s make-a-thon event. The event brought students and mentors together to develop ideas to combat challenges that arise from natural and man-made disasters.

East Carolina University alumnus Magus Pereria tests a laser sensor that detects the depth of water at the university’s make-a-thon event. The event brought students and mentors together to develop ideas to combat challenges that arise from natural and man-made disasters. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU innovators developed plans to provide power through interchangeable batteries to those affected by power outages during disasters; investigated how they could collect and distribute data during disasters using existing infrastructure that could help inform emergency management decision making; and worked on sensors that could detect food spoilage during disaster events.

Senior Austin Rabah, a business management major, said he learned about BrainSTORM through one of his classes.

“This was my first time attending such an event,” Rabah said. “Because of it, I was able to come out of my comfort zone to try to help hurricane victims. I learned a lot about technology development, more specifically the actual amount of work that goes into creating items that could make a difference (in a time of need).”

The make-a-thon, hosted by ECU’s Miller School of Entrepreneurship, Innovation Design Lab, and Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement, was broken into three sessions. During the morning session, students learned about disaster response and recovery basics during both natural and man-made disasters. The afternoon session saw students split into teams and identify potential disaster issues before building a prototype or business plan in the afternoon session.

Pereira and David Mayo, right, work on the laser sensor during the make-a-thon event.

Pereira and David Mayo, right, work on the laser sensor during the make-a-thon event.

While hurricane relief weighed heavy on the minds of many students, the prototypes developed by the participants weren’t only storm related. A major component of the event was producing solutions that could be used in many types disasters, whether they be hurricanes, floods, earthquakes or even terrorist attacks.

“I believe they learned a lot about the innovation process and how entrepreneurship can help others,” said David Mayo, a teaching instructor with the Miller School of Entrepreneurship and BrainSTORM coordinator. “One day these students may create ventures that can make an impact on their community and the world. It’s not just about making money, it’s about doing good.”

Mayo said the students worked diligently on solutions that could scale beyond just the Greenville community.

“They saw that they can make a big impact in their community by working toward solutions to tough problems, but we really wanted them to think about the big picture,” he said. “Our students can create solutions that really scale. They don’t have to just help in one or two disasters, they can be used across the globe to help a lot of people.”

Rabah agreed and hopes that in the future, even more ECU students will participate in events like the make-a-thon and share their potential ideas.

“I think the make-a-thon was extremely beneficial for all students,” Rahab said. “I really think we should market the event to everyone on campus, not just for business majors, but for everyone who might have even the slightest inclination to help.”

Learn more about how you can help victims of Hurricane Florence at East Carolina Undaunted.

The laser sensor detects the depth of water.

The laser sensor detects the depth of water.

 

-by Matt Smith, University Communications

ECU sociologist examining accessibility issues through fellowship in Washington, D.C.

East Carolina University professor of sociology Dr. Mamadi Corra is spending a year in Washington, D.C. Corra was named to a Science and Technology Policy Fellowship from the American Association of the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society.

Corra is among 300 new AAAS fellows recognized by his peers. Through the fellowship, which runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2019, Corra is working with the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government, specifically at the Federal Judicial Center – the research and education wing of the Federal Judiciary – located in the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Building.

ECU professor of sociology Dr. Mamadi Corra, seen here speaking to a sociology class in 2015, is spending a year in Washington, D.C. through a prestigious Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the American Association of the Advancement of Science.

ECU professor of sociology Dr. Mamadi Corra, seen here speaking to a sociology class in 2015, is spending a year in Washington, D.C. through a prestigious Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the American Association of the Advancement of Science. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“The fellowship program is a highly competitive and prestigious one, and receiving the fellowship is a great honor,” Corra said. “So I feel very honored and humbled to receive this award.”

Corra’s main area of teaching and research is in social stratification and inequality, broadly defined. More specifically, his research focuses on social psychology – power and status; race, ethnic, gender and class inequalities; and immigration. He has taught courses in introduction to sociology, principles of sociology, sociology of the family, social structures, social inequality, and racial and cultural minorities.

While participating in his fellowship, Corra poses for a photo in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

While participating in his fellowship, Corra poses for a photo in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. (Contributed photo)

According to the AAAS website, the Science and Technology Policy Fellowship provides opportunities for scientists and engineers to contribute to federal policymaking while learning firsthand about the intersection of science and policy by addressing today’s most pressing societal challenges.

“High-profile faculty awards like this, and the social and cultural capital they build, make important contributions to our efforts to rise to national prominence as a great university,” former department chair and professor of sociology Dr. Bob Edwards said. “Dr. Corra’s full-time residence as a policy-relevant research scholar in the Capitol will extend and strengthen Harriot College’s professional networks and working relationships in support of its emerging Washington-based academic initiatives and potentially do the same with ECU’s emerging collaborative endeavors with Howard University.”

“Receiving the fellowship gives me the unique opportunity to fulfill a long-standing aspiration – to apply my scientific (sociological) knowledge to public policy,” said Corra.

Through his fellowship, Corra is working directly at the Federal Judicial Center, the research and education wing of the Federal Judiciary. (Contributed photo)

Corra is working directly at the Federal Judicial Center, the research and education wing of the Federal Judiciary. (Contributed photo)

As an example, Corra mentioned that in his first two-and-a-half weeks in Washington he learned something new about a policy-relevant issue that is of personal interest to him as a visually impaired individual; that the accessibility of federal courts may only be framed in the context of the federal judiciary.

“A goal of mine is looking at accessibility issues in the Federal Judiciary with the hope of developing a policy document on improving the accessibility of federal courts,” he said.

“I believe one of the key aspects of being an informed and actively involved citizen is to be aware of how your government works and to contribute in its improvement,” said Corra. “The Science and Technology Policy Fellowship gives me the unique opportunity to do this, while also doing something that I love – research that is public and applied in nature … timely research that is policy-relevant and in a key aspect of our government.”

Corra came to ECU in 2003. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of South Carolina, and his master’s in business administration and bachelor of science degrees in sociology and business administration from Gardner-Webb University.

Since 1874, the AAAS Fellows program has recognized researchers for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Previous Fellows include astronomer Maria Mitchell, who discovered a comet that now carries her name; inventor Thomas Edison, whose creations included the incandescent light bulb; and anthropologist Margaret Mead, whose field research on culture and personality attracted much acclaim. For more information about the AAAS, including all fellowship programs offered, visit https://www.aaas.org/.

Corra on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where ECU is pursuing collaborative endeavors.

Corra on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where ECU is pursuing collaborative endeavors. (Contributed photo)

 

-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

HHP recognizes Cornerstone Society’s philanthropy

Charlotte resident and vice-chair of the HHP Advancement Council Wanda Montano, center, receives her Cornerstone Society plaque from Dean Anisa Zvonkovic and Development Specialist Don Leggett on Sept. 28 in the Smith-Williams Center.

Charlotte resident and vice-chair of the HHP Advancement Council Wanda Montano, center, receives her Cornerstone Society plaque from Dean Anisa Zvonkovic and Development Specialist Don Leggett on Sept. 28 in the Smith-Williams Center. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

A Sept. 28 celebration in the Smith-Williams Center brought together new and returning members of East Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Performance Cornerstone Society.

The society recognizes donors providing gifts of $1,000 or more during the fiscal year.

Dean Anisa Zvonkovic welcomed the crowd and acknowledged the importance of the 87 Cornerstone Society members, whose philanthropic gifts total more than $475,000 in 2017-18.

“Today we celebrate your generosity and express gratitude for your help building and sustaining the work and legacy of HHP,” Zvonkovic said.

The gifts fund a wide range of programs and projects in the college, including training in the Center for Applied Psychophysiology to help wounded warriors recover from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, student travel to attend professional conferences and the National Retail Federation trade shows in New York and Los Angeles, and professional student memberships to the National Association of Social Workers.

At right, Kate Taylor Harcourt, assistant professor of human development and family science, was inducted in the Cornerstone Society, which recognizes donors who provide gifts of $1,000 or more.

At right, Kate Taylor Harcourt, assistant professor of human development and family science, was inducted in the Cornerstone Society, which recognizes donors who provide gifts of $1,000 or more. (Photo by Susannah Berry)

Department of Human Development and Family Science professors Kate Taylor Harcourt and Erin Roberts spearheaded a fundraising campaign in memory of two loved ones. The Hannah Bailey and Jackie Mastromauro fund was established in honor of two women who lost their lives due to mental health and substance abuse. The fund supports students in crisis and allows them to receive therapy at no cost at the Marriage and Family Therapy Center, as well as supporting therapy for community members.

“Mental health is so important, and we are excited to reduce at least one barrier to it in this community,” said Harcourt, who was inducted as a new Cornerstone Society member.

Durham resident and ECU alumnus John Archibald, senior account executive with Merck, attended the event. Archibald, a health and physical education graduate, supports a student scholarship.

“Going to college was a privilege to me,” Archibald said. “My education and experiences at ECU have shaped my life and granted me the opportunity to share my resources to ensure other students are able to experience what I experienced.”

Sharon Knight, Mike McCammon, Debra Tavasso, Richard Williams and Lena Williams-Carawan were honored as emeritus faculty. Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for university advancement and president of the ECU Foundation, was the featured speaker.

Fundraising campaigns in the College of Health and Human Performance totaled more than $1.16 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

At right, Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for university advancement and president of the ECU Foundation, thanked donors for their generosity. Angela Lamson, HHP associate dean for research and professor of human development and family science, is in the background.

At right, Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for university advancement and president of the ECU Foundation, thanked donors for their generosity. Angela Lamson, HHP associate dean for research and professor of human development and family science, is in the background. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

 

-by Kathy Muse, College of Health and Human Performance

NSF-funded study examines impact of intimate partner violence on sexual minority college students

Researchers at East Carolina University and the University of New Hampshire will undertake the largest study ever conducted on intimate partner violence among lesbian, gay, bisexual and other sexual minority college students thanks to a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Heather Littleton (Contributed photo)

Heather Littleton (Contributed photo)

Dr. Heather Littleton, ECU professor of psychology, and Dr. Katie Edwards, associate professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of New Hampshire, will lead the study. The analysis will include more than 20,000 students and 10,000 faculty and staff at 15 colleges and universities across the country.

“The application process for these grants is highly competitive, which speaks to the expertise and reputation of Dr. Littleton and Dr. Ewards,” said Dr. Erik Everhart, chair of ECU’s Department of Psychology. “The project falls within an important and understudied area that pertains to partner violence among lesbian, gay, bisexual and other sexual minority college students.”

Through their investigation, Littleton and Edwards will evaluate a new theoretical model that examines the ways in which institutional and individual stigma increases risk for intimate partner violence experiences among sexual minority students.

According to Littleton, schools are recognizing intimate partner violence among sexual minorities as an issue, but campus climate surveys cost money and require time and expertise that not all institutions of higher education are able to provide.

“This study is important for several reasons,” Littleton said. “First, it will allow us to evaluate a model of intimate partner violence among sexual minorities that incorporates experiences of stigma as a sexual minority as an important driver of intimate partner violence risk in this population.

“Further, it may serve to increase understanding of the factors that contribute to other poor outcomes in this population, including problem drinking, sexual violence and suicidal tendencies.”

Once the study is completed, each participating school will receive comprehensive school-specific findings, including what they are doing well, and recommendations on ways to improve or better support sexual minority students on campus.

 

-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

ECU appoints assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at Brody School of Medicine

Dr. Irma Corral was recently named assistant dean for diversity and inclusion for the Brody School of Medicine.

Dr. Irma Corral was named assistant dean for diversity and inclusion for the Brody School of Medicine. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University has named an assistant dean for diversity and inclusion for the Brody School of Medicine.

Dr. Irma Corral, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, stepped into the assistant dean position July 23. Corral will continue her faculty appointment work in addition to her new duties.

In her new role, Corral will oversee an office that aims to help create diverse, inclusive environments for learners and employees at the medical school through research, programming and support.

Corral is the behavioral science course director for first-year medical students. She delivers didactic, clinical and service-learning education and serves as a mentor to medical students and physician residents. She also serves as the director of the Division of Behavioral Medicine for the department.

She joined ECU in 2010 as a clinical assistant professor and recently was promoted to associate professor and awarded tenure.

Corral completed her doctorate in clinical psychology with a specialization in behavioral medicine at the University of California-San Diego. She also holds a master’s degree in public health with a specialization in health promotion from San Diego State University. Her research interests include the social and cultural determinants of physical and mental health.

“Dr. Corral brings a wealth of teaching, service, research and administrative experience to the role of assistant dean for diversity and inclusion,” said Dr. Kendall Campbell, Brody’s associate dean for diversity and inclusion and interim senior associate dean for academic affairs. “I have no doubt she will lead us to new discoveries, as well as help us meet some of our most complex and persistent challenges around diversity.”

 

-by Kelly Dilda, University Communications

Brody’s Dr. Robert Carroll selected for prestigious teaching award

A professor at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine has been awarded a distinguished international award for his outstanding contributions to medical education.

Dr. Robert G. Carroll, a physiology professor and Brody’s associate dean for medical education, was selected to receive the 2018 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Dr. Robert Carroll was selected to receive the 2018 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Dr. Robert Carroll was selected to receive the 2018 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

Carroll is one of four recipients from across the United States to receive the award. It will be presented on Nov. 4 at the AAMC’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, where Carroll has been invited to also help lead a discussion about the future of medical education.

Carroll will also receive a cash prize of $10,000 and two grants – $2,500 for teaching purposes and $1,000 for Brody’s AOA chapter.

Carroll said he’s “very honored and humbled” to be recognized for his achievements in teaching.

“I know some of the people who have won this award in the past, and they are truly national and international leaders in the field,” he said.

ECU Brody School of Medicine professor Dr. Robert Carroll leads a group discussion.

Carroll leads a group discussion.

According to the AAMC, Carroll has traveled to more than 20 countries – such as Sri Lanka, Grenada, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Rwanda – in his efforts to improve medical education standards worldwide.

“His journey from the classroom to the global community reflects his dedication to enhancing medical education,” said Dr. Mark Stacy, dean of the Brody School of Medicine.

Carroll has witnessed many changes during his 34-year tenure at ECU’s medical school, the biggest of which is a shift in teaching methods.

He said that today medical education “is no longer about the content. It’s about motivating students and coaching, encouraging, showing them how to approach the information.

“The students are very adept at mastering a huge volume of information, particularly for a huge examination; but then one month later when you ask them, they’ve purged it. They don’t remember,” Carroll said. “So mostly the changes have been more student-centered learning and helping students with how they can learn best, as opposed to teaching them the material.”

Reflecting on his career, Carroll said the most telling piece of advice he received from a mentor was about professionalism.

Dr. Robert Carroll speaks with students outside the Brody School of Medicine.

Carroll speaks with students outside the Brody School of Medicine.

“One of my mentors said, ‘Look at what you’re doing on nights and weekends and find a way to make that more of your 8-5 job, because that’s where your interests lie,’” he recalled. “When I was a young faculty member working late nights or on weekends, generally it was on education related things. So over the years, I’ve gotten a chance to make education more of my 8-5 job.”

For Carroll, this award demonstrates the quality and service that is embedded in the medical school.

“Brody – both the school and the students – has a strong commitment to service and to making the world a better place,” he said. “This is an opportunity to more broadly tell people what’s going on here.”

 

-by Ashley Beagley, University Communications

Social work celebration: Burwell receives Distinguished Faculty Legacy Award

Dr. N. Yolanda Burwell has received the East Carolina University School of Social Work 2018 Distinguished Faculty Legacy Award.

Burwell will be honored at the school’s annual Alumni and Friends Celebration on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Greenville Hilton. The Outstanding Alumni Award and A Rising Star Award also will be presented at the event. Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 20.

Dr. N. Yolanda Burwell

Dr. N. Yolanda Burwell

Burwell of Zebulon has been a faculty member of the leadership training program of the N.C. Rural Center for 24 years.

She joined the ECU School of Social Work in 1990 as an assistant professor. She taught courses in social work policy, human behavior and macro practice and served as the director of the undergraduate program for four years.

Colleagues said Burwell challenged and motivated students to become excellent social workers “because clients and communities deserved the best. She held them to high expectations, and her legacy is evident through the successful careers of former students.”

Her academic research focused on social welfare history in African-American communities, empowerment strategies and social work in rural communities. She also has conducted numerous training and consultations on teamwork, cultural competence, conflict resolution and communication.

Burwell was active on the local mental health board and the Mediation Center of Eastern North Carolina. In 2005, she joined the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center as a senior fellow, where she worked for eight years. She studied barriers and incentives for economic opportunities, especially for low-resourced communities and groups.

Burwell received her bachelor’s degree in social work from N.C. A&T State University, a master’s of social work from Washington University and her doctorate from Cornell University.

The event will celebrate the school’s accomplishments, provide networking for alumni and friends, and raise money for the School of Social Work Scholarship Pool to support students in the program. Graduates from ECU’s bachelor of social work program leave with an average of almost $23,000 in debt, while graduate students incur on average about $55,000 in debt.

The event is open to the public. For more information, tickets or to nominate someone for an award, visit https://hhp.ecu.edu/socw/alumni/, email parkeran@ecu.edu or call Virginia Bunch at 252-737-2058.

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

Researcher focuses on military health

East Carolina University’s Angela Lamson recently spent a weekend at the U.S. Department of Defense’s premier scientific meeting, sharing her research with military leaders in the area of integrated health care and the holistic health of military couples.

Lamson, who serves as the associate dean for research in the College of Health and Human Performance, was selected as one of the first ever presenters on military family readiness at the 2018 Military Health System Research Symposium. Her research with military populations has spanned over a decade and included many doctoral and masters level students as collaborators.

Angela Lamson, associate dean for reseasch in East Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Performance, shares her presentation on military family readiness at the 2018 Military Health System Research Symposium.

Angela Lamson, associate dean for reseasch in East Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Performance, shares her presentation on military family readiness at the 2018 Military Health System Research Symposium. (Contributed photos)

Her work has the potential to not only influence how military service members are treated physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually, but provides an integrated health care model that’s applicable to civilian clinicians and patients, who want to put a greater emphasis on the overall health of individuals and families.

“The major point I tried to stress was that your emotional, social and spiritual health are just as important as your physical health,” Lamson said. “We’re showing that a whole-health approach provides benefits to service members and their partners or families.”

Lamson’s research approach takes a look at military service members’ complete health care needs. In the past, research has often focused on the biomedical needs of service members, including physical ailments like muscle and joint injuries. Lamson’s work uses a biopsychosocial-spiritual model that not only assesses a service member’s physical health, but their mental and emotional health as well.

Lamson said that she and her colleague, Meghan Lacks, saw an absence of research involving two populations in the military – dual military couples where both partners are serving in active duty simultaneously and active duty women – that could especially benefit from this model of care. Lamson also partnered with co-researchers Amelia Muse and Erin Cobb.

ECU’s Angela Lamson was one of 10 researchers asked to present on military families at the 2018 Military Health System Research Symposium.

ECU’s Angela Lamson was one of 10 researchers asked to present on military families at the 2018 Military Health System Research Symposium.

“We want to help create and sustain a health care model so that when military personnel and their families see their primary care providers, they feel as though their behavioral health care is just as important as their physical health care,” Lamson said.

This type of care may include protocols, assessments and behavioral health providers trained in integrated care models that address depression, anxiety, trauma, social and spiritual health.

Lamson’s background in medical family therapy led to an interest in military health with individuals, couples, families and military health care providers. She said that over her career, she’s seen a positive correlation between family support and successful health care outcomes.

“Sometimes military personnel may worry about the stigma that comes with seeking mental health care because their job is to be mission ready,” she said. “When we use an integrated health care model, mental health and physical health are seen as co-equals. Clinicians then provide more preventative health care measures throughout every health care visit so that we identify and hopefully prevent problems before they reach a level of concern.”

Lamson said she was moved by the response to her work by those attending the symposium.

“The symposium was eye opening,” she said. “I had participants tell me that ‘no one is talking about this type of care. You’re doing work that no one at this conference has focused on before.’”

Lamson’s work with the Department of Defense began in 2009. After working closely with colleagues across many bases in North Carolina, Lamson submitted a research proposal in partnership with Operation Reentry North Carolina. Over her career, Lamson has secured $117,000 in funding from the Department of Defense and over $3 million in grants related to integrated behavioral health care.

“I’ve been able to realize that this type of research is how I can give back to those who serve our country,” Lamson said. “Research into how we care for our military members can make a huge difference in their lives and in the lives of civilians. There is plenty of work to be done; I’m going to keep moving forward and am excited for future possibilities with researchers who are passionate about strengthening the health of military members and their families.”

 

-by Matt Smith, University Communications

ECU mourns the loss of professor, intervention cardiology pioneer

The East Carolina University and Brody School of Medicine community is mourning the loss of longtime faculty member and renowned interventional cardiologist Dr. Joseph Babb, who died in a car accident Thursday.

Dr. Joseph Babb

Dr. Joseph Babb

He was 79 years old.

Babb, a clinical professor in Brody’s Division of Cardiology, joined ECU’s faculty in 1995 and served in several capacities in addition to his professorship, including as director of the medical school’s cardiac catheterization laboratories and as program director for the cardiovascular diseases and interventional cardiology fellowships.

The day after learning of his death, students and colleagues remembered his kind manner and love of sharing his knowledge with students.

Brody nephrology professor Dr. MJ Barchman worked alongside and cared for many patients together with Babb for nearly 25 years.

“Dr. Babb was the epitome of a ‘gentleman and a scholar,’” Barchman said. “He was a highly competent cardiologist, patient teacher and a very kind man. To say he will be missed is a huge understatement.”

Dr. Susan Schmidt, Brody’s associate dean for student affairs, echoed Babb’s impact as an educator, calling him “a long-time student favorite” who represented “the best of ECU Physicians and our Brody faculty.”

Babb, a clinical professor in Brody’s Division of Cardiology, graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore in 1966. He went on to complete an internship, residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston.

According to the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), Babb served in Vietnam and at Walter Reed Hospital as a member of the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1968 to 1972.

In 1981, while an assistant professor of Medicine and Cardiologist at the Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center, Babb reportedly conducted the first coronary angioplasty at Hershey. He later also became the first to perform that procedure in the state of Connecticut while serving as chief of cardiology at Bridgeport Hospital.

Babb joined ECU’s faculty in 1995 and served in several capacities in addition to his professorship, including as director of the medical school’s cardiac catheterization laboratories and as program director for the cardiovascular diseases and interventional cardiology fellowships.

Throughout his five decades in medicine, Babb was bestowed countless awards and honors.

He received the Distinguished Service Award of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions in 2005, was a past governor of the American College of Cardiology from Connecticut and North Carolina, and was elected by his colleagues a Master of the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions in 2014. He was also a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the Council for Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association, as well as a past SCAI president.

“Joe Babb was literally the best of the best. The best doctor and the best patient advocate I’ve ever known,” Norm Linsky, SCAI’s executive director from 2001–2015, said in a release. “When he spoke, he commanded the respect of everyone in the room. He knew that he was not advocating for doctors, rather for patient care, patients’ access to care, and a physician’s ability to do what is right for their patients.”

On Sept. 5, the day before his death, the exclusive medical society, Patient Preferred Physicians and Practitioners, announced that Babb had been meritoriously named 2018’s “Patient Preferred Interventional Cardiologist” for the state of North Carolina for his “dedication and excellence in patient care.”

Brody nephrology professor Dr. MJ Barchman worked alongside and cared for many patients together with Babb for nearly 25 years.

“Dr. Babb was the epitome of a ‘gentleman and a scholar,’” Barchman said. “He was a highly competent cardiologist, patient teacher and a very kind man. To say he will be missed is a huge understatement.”

Dr. Susan Schmidt, Brody’s associate dean for student affairs, echoed Babb’s impact as an educator, calling him “a long-time student favorite” who represented “the best of ECU Physicians and our Brody faculty.”

Babb’s students went out of their way to share fond memories of him and thoughts for his family upon hearing of his passing.

“I had the privilege of learning from Dr. Babb during the EKG course this past spring. He shared with us his light sense of humor and passion for teaching during every class session,” said Frank Jefferson, a fourth-year medical student. “My heart aches for his family. Dr. Babb’s memory will live on through the knowledge that he bestowed upon myself and countless other students as we use it to care for our patients.”

Dr. Mark Iannettoni, chair of Brody’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, said Babb was “a pioneer and an icon in the field of intervention cardiology.”

“He was a master technician and clinician who regarded his most important responsibilities were his patients, advancing the academic mission of the institution and preparing the next generation of cardiologists to carry on these missions,” Iannettoni said. “His kind and gentle spirit, and concern for his colleagues is the most important lesson he taught us and the biggest loss for the department. We can only hope to be the person Joe Babb was.”

 

-by Rob Spahr, University Communications

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