Psychology professor selected for Hendrix Award

Associate Professor Dr. Lisa Campbell has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Dr. William H. Hendrix Psychology Faculty Excellence Award.

Established by Dr. William H. Hendrix, who graduated as a psychology major from ECU in 1962, the award recognizes one psychology faculty member who demonstrated the highest level of excellence in scholarly achievements during the past academic year, excellence in teaching and mentoring activity, as well as service to the department, university and profession.

Dr. Lisa Campbell (Contributed photo)

Dr. Campbell’s scholarship focuses on ethnic disparities in pain conditions and cancer outcomes, as well as developing culturally sensitive psychosocial and behavioral interventions to enhance post-treatment quality of life in African-American prostate cancer survivors.

The award was announced at the Department of Psychology Graduate Recognition Ceremony on May 6. Dr. Susan McCammon, chair of the Psychology Department, described Dr. Campbell’s scholarship as valuable because it not only advances the field of health disparity research, but also offers interventions for disease and pain management to medically underserved populations.

Dr. Campbell was selected by a committee of three faculty in the psychology department as well as Dr. Cindy Putnam-Evans, Associate Dean for Research in the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

Hendrix, for whom the award is named, earned his masters and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Purdue University. After teaching and serving as head of the Department of Management at Clemson University, he was a distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Air Force Academy. He is now retired from academia, but his business, Hendrix and Associates, offers organizational consulting.

ECU faculty publish book after finding success in improving writing program

Members of East Carolina University’s English Department collaborated to publish a book they hope will help other higher education institutions harness the full potential of their writing programs.

After successfully utilizing the reaccreditation process to improve ECU’s writing program, faculty members Will Banks, Wendy Sharer, Tracy Morse and Michelle Eble co-edited, “Reclaiming Accountability: Improving Writing Programs through Accreditation and Large-Scale Assessments.” The book provides examples of how departments and writing programs have used accreditation to gain the kinds of benefits seen at ECU through similar initiatives around the country.

ECU English faculty members

ECU English faculty members (left to right) Tracy Ann Morse, William P. Banks, Wendy Sharer and Michelle F. Eble co-edited, “Reclaiming Accountability: Improving Writing Programs through Accreditation and Large-Scale Assessments.” (Contributed photo)

As part of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), required for accreditation, the authors focused their efforts on specific initiatives that would help broaden the reach of ECU’s writing program. “We saw reaccreditation as an opportunity to rethink our first-year writing program and our writing-intensive program so they worked together more effectively at helping students move from beginning college-level writing and thinking across their years at ECU,” said Banks, associate professor.

According to Sharer, director of the QEP, some of the changes seen in the program at ECU include:

  • Additional peer consultants to work with students and faculty in all disciplines in a larger, welcoming University Writing Center.
  • A revised Writing Foundations curriculum that includes a new, sophomore-level composition course designed to help students transition into writing in their major areas.
  • Writing mentors embedded in writing-intensive courses across the curriculum.
  • A website that brings together writing-related resources.

Additionally, the university provided resources to help faculty learn new information about writing and how to teach it in major courses.

As part of the updated curriculum, the class “Writing About the Disciplines” was added for second-year students to make it easier to transfer their skills to writing for their disciplines. “We are making the writing that students are doing explicitly relevant to the writing they will do in their majors or even careers,” said Eble, associate professor.

Their book brings together a series of critical cases that show how accreditation has been used in similar ways at other institutions to effect change on campus and across various academic programs. It illustrates how faculty can use accreditation to cultivate campus-wide discussions of writing to better meet local student learning needs.

–Jamie Smith

Medical Education Day showcases innovation

East Carolina University’s Second Annual Medical Education Day was held April 20 at the Brody School of Medicine. The event showcased 27 projects related to undergraduate and graduate medical, nursing and allied health education from students and faculty across the health sciences campus.

College of Engineering student Samantha Hamann discusses her poster with Brody dean Dr. Paul Cunningham during the university’s second annual Medical Education Day.

College of Engineering student Samantha Hamann discusses her poster with Brody dean Dr. Paul Cunningham during the university’s second annual Medical Education Day.

The event provided faculty, residents and students the opportunity to present innovations in curriculum and teaching, educational research and leadership to a growing community of educators, leaders, scholars and learners to promote educational excellence.

The best oral presentation award was presented to Dr. John Norbury, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, for his work entitled, “A Focus on Nerves and Joints: Impact of a Revised Curriculum for the 4th Year Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clerkship at Brody School of Medicine.” Second place was awarded to Dr. Luan Lawson, assistant dean for curriculum, assessment and clinical academic affairs at Brody, for her presentation, “Implementation of an Interprofessional Simulation Curriculum for Medical and Nursing Students using TeamSTEPPS.” Third-year medical student David Baker took home the third-place award for his presentation, “Latino Lay Health Advisors Building a Healthier Community.”

The best poster award went to Dr. Shuhua Ma, a third-year pathology resident, for her project, “Implementation of Resident Sign Out with Functions to Compare Resident and Attending Reports.” Second place was scooped up by Samantha Hamann, a student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, for her project, “A Shoulder Reduction Trask Trainer.” Third place was awarded to Melissa Barnes, a graduate student in the Department of Public Health, for her poster, “Inclusion of LGBT Health Topics in Curriculum at Brody School of Medicine.”

The event is an offshoot of Brody’s $1 million, five-year grant from the American Medical Association to help reshape how future doctors are trained.

To view the podium and poster presentations or to learn more about Brody’s AMA grant – the REACH Initiative – visit ecu.edu/reach.

–Amy Ellis

ECU chapter of Gold Humanism Honor Society inducts new members

An organization at East Carolina University honoring medical students and resident physicians who exemplify humanism and professionalism inducted 18 new members at an April event.

The Brody School of Medicine Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society began in 2011, recognizing third-year medical students for demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service. Last year the chapter expanded to include resident physicians – each nominated by third-year medical students based on their commitment to teaching and compassionate treatment of patients and families, students and colleagues.

Resident physicians selected this year are Dr. Kenji Leonard (surgery); Dr. Aakash Modi (family medicine); Dr. Sean Marco (internal medicine); and Dr. Glenn Nanney (physical medicine and rehabilitation).

BSOM resident physicians

Front row: Drs. Kenji Leonard and Aakash Modi. Back row: Drs. Sean Marco and Glenn Nanney (Photos by Gretchen Baugh)

Additionally, 14 third-year students from the Brody School of Medicine were inducted into the society this year. They are Mark Ash, David Baker, Lauren Brown, Tiffany Byerly, Alexandria Dixon, Nicholena Etxegoien, Meagan Evangelista, Kevin Harris, Mehrin Islam, Mia Marshall, Eli Robins, Steven Roseno, Amanda Small and Zachary Wood.

BSOM students

Front row: Amanda Small, Mehrin Islam, Mia Marshall. Back row: Nicholena Etxegoien, Steven Roseno, Lauren Brown, Alexandria Dixon, David Baker, Zachary Wood, Mark Ash, Meagan Evangelista, Tiffany Byerly, and Kevin Harris (Eli Robins not pictured)

The students join thousands of honor society members in training and practice, inspiring and nurturing humanism in others. Membership in GHHS goes beyond selection and induction into an honor society; its members have a responsibility to model, support and advocate for compassionate, patient-centered care throughout their careers.

During their fourth year of medical school, student inductees select and execute a project that exemplifies humanism; participate in Solidarity Day, a nationwide initiative to highlight humanism in medicine; and sponsor a fundraising event.

Inspiration for the society began in the late 1990s when medical educators and residency program directors expressed the need for a way to identify applicants to residency training programs who had outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills.

The faculty adviser for the Brody chapter is Dr. Hellen Ransom of the Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Symposium features health care quality improvement projects

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

Interprofessional collaboration and how innovative programs can improve the quality of health care and education were recurring themes at the second Quality Improvement Symposium, held March 2 at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.

The annual event is part of the ECU Redesigning Education to Accelerate Change in Healthcare (REACH) program – an American Medical Association grant-funded initiative to transform medical school curriculum so it better prepares future physicians in patient safety and quality improvement in an environment of team-based, patient-centered care. The Brody School of Medicine was one of 11 schools nationwide chosen to participate in the initiative.

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Second-year Brody School of Medicine student Ismail Kassim gives a presentation during the second-annual Quality Improvement Symposium on March 2 at the East Carolina Heart Institute. (Photos by Gretchen Baugh)

This year’s symposium featured a keynote presentation by Dr. Jennifer Hepps, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and clinician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Hepps walked the more than 100 symposium attendees through how her institution implemented a program to improve patient “handoffs” between shifts at the hospital.

But the day also showcased the quality improvement efforts of faculty, health care providers and students from across ECU’s Division of Health Sciences.

“Someone at my table (today) said ‘quality improvement is a team sport.’ And I really think that’s true,” Hepps said.

Dr. Heather Oxendine of the Brody’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine speaks with another symposium attendee about her poster presentation.

Dr. Heather Oxendine of the Brody’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine speaks with another symposium attendee about her poster presentation.

“The posters and presentations you see today are a good representation of what we do at REACH, which is interprofessional collaboration,” said Dr. Jason Higginson, director of neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics and leader of ECU’s Teachers of Quality Academy – another REACH initiative.

The following participants were recognized Wednesday for outstanding presentations:

  • Ismail Kassim, a second-year medical student, took first place for his podium presentation about reducing sepsis-related mortalities through implementing a multidisciplinary approach.
  • Danielle Walsh, an ECU pediatric surgeon, and Vidant Medical Center nurse Elaine Henry earned second place for their collaboration to improve patient outcomes via a robust surgical quality program.
  • Third place was awarded to Danielle McMullen, also a nurse at the medical center – which serves as the Brody School of Medicine’s affiliated teaching hospital – for her interest in improving the integrity of specimens coming from lab draws in the Emergency Department.

Awards were also given for outstanding posters – all of which were displayed in the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU lobby throughout the event. Recognized for their efforts were LaShawn McDuffie, a Vidant Medical Center nurse, Tim Barnes of the ECU Department of Radiation Oncology and Dr. Heather Oxendine of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.

Lorie Sigmon of ECU’s College of Nursing speaks with a symposium attendee at this year’s QI Symposium – part of an American Medical Association-funded program to shape the future of medical education.

Lorie Sigmon of ECU’s College of Nursing speaks with a symposium attendee at this year’s QI Symposium – part of an American Medical Association-funded program to shape the future of medical education.

More information about the ECU REACH program is available online at http://www.ecu.edu/reach.

 

ECU cellist and pianist release CD

East Carolina University faculty members Emanuel Gruber, cello, and Keiko Sekino, piano, have released a CD of Robert Schumann’s music titled “Fantasy and Romance” on the Delos label.

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Schumann wrote little original music for the cello–only his cello concerto and the Five Pieces in Folk-style, Op. 102, which is on this CD. Cellists, eager to play his chamber compositions originally written for other instruments, have made successful transcriptions of those compositions, and six of those are offered on this CD.

This is Gruber’s second CD on the Delos label, and his first recording collaboration with Sekino. His first CD with Delos, “Mendelssohn: Complete Music for Cello and Piano,” with pianist Arnon Erez, was called “…in a word, beautiful…” by Allmusic.

The new CD is available on Amazon.com.

Allied Health professor inducted into National Academy of Inventors

By Kelly Dilda
For ECU News Services

Stuttering treatment pioneer Dr. Joseph S. Kalinowski of East Carolina University’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is among 168 individuals to be named this year as fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Election to the academy’s fellow status recognizes academic inventors who, according to their peers, have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that impact quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Kalinowski mug.jpgKalinowski holds seven U.S. and 18 international patents, three of which have been licensed to start-up companies. His most notable patents relate to treatments for stuttering and other fluency disorders. Janus Development Group, a North Carolina coproration that specializes in assistive living devices, has licensed these patents for developing products and services.

In addition, one patent is the subject of new computer applications to assist a subset of stutterers who struggle with silent block – caused when vocal muscle contractions are so severe a person is unable to make any sound when trying to speak. Another has been licensed to start-up company Reading Comprehension Solutions for development of products and services that improve reading comprehension of students and adults.

Kalinowski’s passion for helping people with communication disorders grew out of his own childhood experiences.

“I was a severe stutterer as a child but noticed that I was totally and immediately fluent when reciting the ‘Pledge of Allegiance,’ or during unison prayer in church,” said Kalinowski. “It seemed strange to me that something that was so debilitating and despairing could be eliminated when others said the same material at the same time. Choral or unison speech are rare events in our daily lives but those respites from severe stuttering were cherished.”

During the five years Kalinowski attended the University of Connecticut as an undergraduate student, he never spoke in class. He was also excused from group presentations, and job interviews were “immensely painful.”

He was drawn to graduate school to learn more about stuttering and earned a Ph.D. in Speech Pathology. After landing his first job with Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, he learned of a colleague’s interest in Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF).

Developed in the 1950s, DAF technology extended the time between the user’s speech and their auditory perception that speech. The user spoke into a device with a microphone and then heard his voice in headphones a fraction of a second later. The delay resulted in slower speech, which was thought to reduce stuttering.

Kalinowski worked on refining that technology to make speech sounds easier to manipulate. “I tried it on myself and our group had a ‘eureka’ moment,” he said. “I could speak as fast as I wanted and still be fluent.”

Then Kalinowski came to ECU in 1995 and began collaborating with colleagues Drs. Andrew Stuart and Michael Rastatter, which resulted in the development of SpeechEasy, a popular DAF device that fits inconspicuously inside the ear.

“We weren’t even thinking about building a device when we started collaborating,” said Stuart, noting that it was a natural progression from the powerful effects of altered feedback and participant demand to have something they could take away from the lab.

“With the work of Dr. Kalinowski, a new method of treating fluency disorders – such as stuttering – brings the best and brightest students to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders so they can be at the cutting edge of new technology and transform the care for future patients,” said Marti Van Scott, director of ECU’s Office of Technology Transfer.

Kalinowski said the team continues its work on applications to help stutterers and others with communication disorders. “There is much more to be done,” he said. “Some will be done by us but most will be done by our students until stuttering no longer exists.

“People in stuttering are passionate about their work,” he added. “We may differ in our scientific opinions but we are working so children and adults can live full lives.”

“Many things are coming together that have ECU on the verge of an innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem explosion that will not only benefit the institution and its students, but also the region,” said Van Scott.  “Dr. Kalinowski and his co-inventors are excellent examples of faculty who push the limits of innovation and discovery to benefit the people of eastern North Carolina and beyond.”

Founded in 2010, the National Academy of Inventors is a non-profit member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and fellows spanning more than 200 institutions.

Goal Exceeded: Day of giving more than triples goal

By Jackie Drake
ECU News Services

On a single day of giving, East Carolina University received more than triple its goal of $75,000.

Supporters gave $259,295 under the banner of #PirateNationGives, ECU’s campaign for Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1. Three hundred forty gifts ranging from $10 to $25,000 came in from 24 states and Washington, D.C.

“The response was overwhelming; we are so thankful for the generosity of the East Carolina community,” Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for university advancement, said. “Every day is a great day to give to ECU, but we are so grateful to everyone who came together to participate in this day no matter where they are located. Our supporters truly showed that Pirate Nation gives.”

ECU was one of many educational and non-profit entities participating in Giving Tuesday, a national day to focus on charitable giving after holiday spending begins on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is the second year that ECU participated in Giving Tuesday. Last year, the university received 132 gifts totaling $67,248.

This year’s total includes gifts given in person through major gift officers, over the phone and online at ecu.edu/piratenationgives. Donors could make a gift of any size to any area of the university they chose.

Charitable gifts impact every facet of the university: student scholarships, research, life-saving medicine, the arts, athletics, libraries and more.

This year some donors had the chance to double their impact thanks to 1966 alumnus Dr. Jerry McGee, who gave $25,000 as part of a challenge to first-time donors and those who increased their last gift by $100 or more.

“East Carolina draws so much support from people who give a couple hundred or few thousand dollars; we only have a few multimillion dollar donors,” he said. “These days we’ve gotten to where we think giving $50 or $100 doesn’t matter, but it does matter. I wanted to make sure people understood the importance of their individual gift.”

As a longtime higher education professional, McGee knows the value of giving back to your alma mater in whatever amount you can. McGee worked as a development officer and administrator and various institutions, including others who have participated in Giving Tuesday.

“A lot of my professional success goes back to what I learned at East Carolina,” he said. “When I got a call asking me to help East Carolina, the answer was yes. At least once a year, we need to sit down and take time for the causes we care about. I’m very proud of East Carolina, and I’m pleased so many people chose this day to support the university.”

PA Studies professor advances urgent care research

By Alyssa Gutierrez
For ECU News Services

An East Carolina University faculty member in Physician Assistant Studies is prompting emergency department clinicians to thoroughly analyze urinalysis results for the possible diagnosis of serious illnesses.

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith, a clinical assistant professor and practicing physician assistant in emergency medicine, was published in the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine after she determined that routine urinalysis results can show an underlying presence of potentially life-threatening diseases. In her article, “Hyperbilirubinemia – An Urgent Care Approach,” Smith describes how she was able to link the presence of bilirubin in urine to a serious diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Bilirubin is a waste product of the normal breakdown of red blood cells and is responsible for the typical brown appearance of feces and yellow appearance of urine. It is most known for causing medical issues when it gets into the blood stream, usually resulting in jaundice, or yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes.

It was while working in the emergency department that Smith came across a case that demonstrated the importance of thoroughly reviewing urinalysis results. The patient, a 65-year-old woman, reported symptoms of dark urine as well as discomfort and a burning sensation while urinating. The patient, along with her family, viewed those symptoms as the result of a urinary tract infection and requested antibiotics that would address what she considered to be a UTI.

Smith ordered a urinalysis and all of the results were consistent with a UTI, with the exception of the presence of bilirubin. Bilirubin led Smith to believe there was a hepatobiliary system issue, which can affect the liver, pancreas, bile ducts, and gall bladder. Additional tests and procedures determined the patient did indeed have a serious health concern and she was eventually diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Smith, who is the first professor in the PA Studies department to be published, believes this case and discovery serves as a reminder to her students that they should consider the worst possible outcome, even when the patient’s presentation of symptoms seems to be routine.

“As the instructor, it is my responsibility to enable our students to think critically to understand the clinical significance of the diagnostic tests they will be ordering and interpreting,” said Smith. “On the surface, [this case] seems routine and uncomplicated, but upon more meticulous investigation actually revealed a diagnostic wolf (pancreatic cancer) disguised in seemingly benign UTI clothing.”