Category Archives: Faculty

Taiwan trip to explore study abroad connections

Whitney Morris, East Carolina University’s coordinator of faculty-led study abroad, has been awarded a Fulbright International Education Administrator’s Seminar grant to travel to Taiwan in March.

The purpose of the program is to build relationships in countries that may be underrepresented by American study abroad students, said Dr. Regis Gilman, executive director of the Office of Continuing Studies.

Whitney Morris will travel to Taiwan in March to build relationships for a possible future study abroad program. (Photo by Cliff Hollis) Whitney Morris will travel to Taiwan in March to build relationships for a possible future study abroad program. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“By participating in the seminar, Ms. Morris will learn more about higher education in Taiwan and how ECU will be able to build relationships there to encourage faculty and student interest in non-traditional study abroad countries,” he said.

The grant provides a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about Taiwan’s higher education system while also gaining experience with its people and culture, Morris said.

Morris, who said she has never been to Asia, plans to look for areas of common interest and create a framework to begin faculty-led study abroad programs in Taiwan over the coming years. ECU currently offers faculty-led study abroad programs in a variety of countries in Europe, Asia, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

“Taiwan is a country that has many of the same developmental priorities as eastern North Carolina, such as being emerging market economies in coastal communities, with many students in higher education coming from rural locations,” Gilman said. “I am extremely excited about both Whitney’s initiative in applying for the grant and the outcomes from her experience in Taiwan.”

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Funding for grants is made possible through appropriations by the U.S. Congress and contributions from partner countries and the private sector.



-by Jules Norwood

Peter Makuck to read at ECU

Longtime eastern North Carolina resident Peter Makuck will present a public reading from his poetry and fiction on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in East Carolina University’s Bate building, room 1026.

(contributed photo)

(contributed photo)

Makuck, distinguished professor emeritus, taught English and creative writing at ECU from 1978 until his retirement in 2006. Founder of the internationally acclaimed literary journal Tar River Poetry, he is also the author of eight books of poetry and four collections of short stories, including one of each published in 2016.

Makuck grew up in New London, Connecticut and has a doctorate in American literature from Kent State University. He has been a Fulbright Exchange Professor at Cambery, France and a visiting writer at Brigham Young University and N.C. State University. He and his wife, Phyllis, live on Bogue Banks.

Five Makuck short stories have received honorable mentions in the Best American Short Stories collections, and a personal essay on guns was named a Best Essay of 2000. For poetry, he has received the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Award for best book of poems by a North Carolinian.

The reading is sponsored by ECU’s Department of English. Admission is free and open to the public.


-by Alex Albright, ECU English Department

ECU assistant professor honored by NCCEC

An East Carolina University College of Education faculty member has been honored by a state organization for her dedicated service to students majoring in special education.

(Contributed photo)

(Contributed photo)

Dr. Stacy Weiss, assistant professor in the ECU Department of Special Education, Foundations & Research, was recognized for three years of service as state student coordinator by the N.C. Council for Exceptional Children.

“Dr. Weiss’ efforts made a significant contribution to our organization that has helped us to better serve educators and students with exceptionalities in our state, and we are truly thankful for her service,” said council president Glennda McKeithan in an email announcing the commendation.

As state student coordinator, Weiss collaborated with faculty advisors of 10 student CEC chapters at colleges and universities across North Carolina. Weiss also is co-faculty advisor for the ECU chapter.

During Weiss’ tenure, she assisted several faculty advisors in starting new chapters at their respective colleges and universities. She also coordinated student volunteers for the council’s annual conferences and facilitated the call for proposals, selection process and poster presentations for undergraduate and graduate student research. She oversaw the fundraising, nomination and selection process for the annual Outstanding Undergraduate Student Scholarship. She also solicited and wrote news items on student activities and involvement for the NCCEC newsletter, and fielded questions from faculty advisors and students about participation in NCCEC events.

The local chapters give student teachers in special education and other related professional areas the opportunity to learn more about issues surrounding the education of individuals with disabilities. The chapters also help future educators develop leadership skills.

The NCCEC provides state and local support through its annual conference, regional training and electronic newsletter. The council offers awards to recognize outstanding K-12 students with disabilities, leaders in the field of special education and K-12 teachers. It also provides scholarships for students and mini-grants for current NCCEC members.



-by Crystal Baity

Women of Distinction nominations due Feb. 1

Nominations are due Wednesday, Feb. 1 for the 2017 Women of Distinction Awards given by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women.

The ECU Women of Distinction Awards are given every two years to recognize the outstanding contributions by women of East Carolina University. Nominees for the awards may include ECU faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. Ten women will be selected for this prestigious award, one of whom will be chosen to receive the Linda Allred Profiles in Leadership Award.

The 2017 event will be held April 4.

The awards recognize women who have:

  • distinguished themselves in academic work, career, leadership, public service, or any combination thereof through commitment, determination, empowerment and generosity of spirit and time;
  • contributed to the personal growth and success of others, especially women, through education, research, or public or volunteer service, beyond their expected job responsibilities; and
  • created positive social change, increased equality and fairness for all, and built community.

Areas in which nominees demonstrate outstanding contributions may include, but are not limited to, academics/education; professions; research; health care/services; management/administration; politics; social services; volunteer, charity, community outreach organizations; and athletics.

Nomination packets consist of a nomination form and a recommendation letter. Nominators also have the option to include the nominee’s resume or CV along with additional letters of support.

Nomination materials, scanned into one PDF document, should be emailed to Karen Traynor at

For more information, visit


-by Jackie Drake, Eastern AHEC 

ECU geological sciences professor co-chairs panel overseeing sea drilling

An East Carolina University professor has volunteered his time and expertise with an international marine research collaborative dedicated to exploring the world’s oceans.

Dr. David Mallinson. (Contributed photo)

Dr. David Mallinson. (Contributed photo)

Dr. David Mallinson, professor of geological sciences in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, has been a longtime member of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and recently completed a three-year term as co-chair of the program’s Science Evaluation Panel.

The 54-member science panel or SEP reviews drilling proposals from around the world. Mallinson co-chaired along with Dick Kroon from the University of Edinburgh and Ken Miller from Rutgers University.

“These proposals require a tremendous amount of work and review,” Mallinson said. “Large amounts of geophysical data need to be acquired and reviewed to demonstrate that the objectives of the proposal can be met.”

The SEP consists of top scientists from 25 participating nations who are assigned different proposals by the co-chairs. Approximately 20 proposals are considered at bi-annual meetings. Co-chairs review all documents, coordinate meetings and presentations, and make final decisions on the proposals.

“Proposal decisions are extremely important, in that each drilling expedition costs upwards of $12 to $14 million,” said Mallinson. “So there is a lot of pressure to get everything right.”

As co-chair, Mallinson also attended almost 20 meetings of other important panels and boards held in the United States, Europe and Japan.

DV JOIDES Resolution (US platform). (Contributed photo)

DV JOIDES Resolution (US platform). (Contributed photo)

“It was a huge time commitment. But it was great to represent ECU on an international stage,” said Mallinson.

Mallinson said he has enjoyed working with people from all over the world and visiting 13 different countries as a part of the SEP and IODP.

“It’s a great feeling to be involved with something that is so global in scale and represents the cutting-edge of Earth science,” said Mallinson, adding the opportunity to serve “provided a great platform for representing ECU to top scientists around the world, and helped to elevate the stature of the university.”

Prior to his term as co-chair of the SEP, Mallinson served a three-year term as vice-chair for the Site Characterization Panel. Mallinson also served as a member on the Proposal Evaluation Panel.

For more information on the IODP, visit and the SEP at


-by Lacey Gray

Professor to appear on UNC-TV’s Exploring North Carolina

East Carolina University professor Dr. Stan Riggs will appear in two episodes of the UNC-TV series, “Exploring North Carolina,” in January. Hosted by Tom Earnhardt, the show focuses on the natural features of the state.

ECU professor, Dr. Stan Riggs, will appear in UNC-TV’s “Exploring North Carolina” this month. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

ECU professor, Dr. Stan Riggs, will appear in UNC-TV’s “Exploring North Carolina” this month. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Riggs, a distinguished research professor of geology, said he worked with Earnhardt to determine what topics were exciting and important to the show’s viewers. Each program required three to five days on location collecting video footage and interviews.

“The purpose of the programs is educating the public – how the cultural history is dependent on the coastal system,” said Riggs.

The first episode, “Canals of Northeastern North Carolina,” features the role of slaves who were brought to the state to dig the original canals that changed the landscape in the region. Riggs discusses the geology of the lakes and swamps and their significance.

The second program, “Long Parks,” tells the story of how two very different national parks –Cape Lookout National Seashore and the Blue Ridge Parkway – display the natural wonders of eastern and western North Carolina. Riggs speaks about the unique geological aspects of each park.

“Canals of Northeastern North Carolina” will air Thursday, Jan. 12 and “Long Parks” will be shown on Thursday Jan. 19 at 8:30 p.m.

Riggs said the episodes, along with others in the Exploring North Carolina series, will be made available to area schools after airing on UNC-TV.

In addition to his role at ECU, Riggs is chair of the board of directors of North Carolina Land of Water (NC-LOW), a non-profit group that partners with ECU and co-sponsored the Exploring North Carolina programs. NC-LOW’s website says the mission of the group is to contribute to long-term, sustainable economic development based on the natural resources and cultural history of the region and enhance the quality of life for residents. ECU geology faculty Dr. Dorothea Ames and Dr. Steve Culver and ECU Chief of Staff Jim Hopf also serve on the organization’s board of directors.

“NC-LOW looks at how we can build sustainable jobs for the future in a region that’s changing due to environmental factors like storms and flooding,” said Riggs.

More information about NC-LOW can be found at and Exploring North Carolina,


-by Jamie Smith

University grieves loss of Business professor

East Carolina University accounting assistant professor Dr. Rebecca Fay died unexpectedly Monday, Jan. 2 after being involved in a car accident in Roanoke, Virginia.

Fay’s husband, Patrick Fay, and their two young children sustained minor injuries in the accident according to a post on his Facebook page. Patrick Fay is the marketing and communications manager for ECU’s enrollment services.

Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of East Carolina University’s College of Business, described Fay as “one of the stars of the college.”

“She had a tremendous academic future ahead of her,” said Eakins. “She was extremely liked by faculty and students, and a future leader of this college.”



Fay’s brief but prolific career at ECU does include the hallmarks of a rising star. She came to ECU in 2011, the same year she received her doctorate in business from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She was a licensed certified public accountant (CPA), and before joining ECU, she worked as an audit manager for Cherry Bekaert, an accounting firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Liberty University.

Fay’s primary research interests focused on enhancing the quality of audits and accounting education. She received the College of Business’ Scholar-Teacher Award in 2015 for the outstanding integration of research in the classroom. Her work has been featured on the cover of the Journal of Accountancy and has been published in Issues in Accounting Education, the CPA Journal, Managerial Auditing Journal, Current Issues in Auditing, and Research in Accounting Regulation.

In 2016, Fay received the Innovation in Auditing and Assurance Education Award from the American Accounting Association.

Fay was also engaged with the students. She recently served as the president of Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society for business students, from 2013-2015 and was also the faculty advisor for Beta Alpha Psi in 2015.

“Dr. Fay was very talented and dedicated to her work,” said Dr. John Reisch, professor and chair for the College of Business’ Department of Accounting. “She was willing to work with students outside of the classroom to help promote their intellectual curiosity. Her presence will be sorely missed.”

In addition to her research on auditing, Fay was the lead author of “Incorporating International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) into Intermediate Accounting,” a textbook supplement developed by a team of authors from Virginia Tech that has been implemented in classrooms across the country. She has provided IFRS training seminars to accountants and professors, and has contributed IFRS questions to the CPA exam.

The family will receive friends 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 in the Pate Chapel of Thomas Road Baptist Church, 1 Mountain View Road, Lynchburg, VA 24502. A funeral service will be held immediately following in the Pate Chapel. Interment will follow in Virginia Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may take the form of contributions to Ronald McDonald House, 529 Moye Blvd., Greenville, NC 27834.

Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory, (434) 239-2405, is assisting the family.


–by Michael Rudd

Former ECU dean named to Order of Long Leaf Pine

A former dean of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has been named by the governor to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his outstanding contribution to health care in North Carolina.

Dr. Paul Cunningham, who stepped down from his post as dean of the medical school in September, was presented the award during Vidant Health’s medical staff meeting Nov. 15 by Greenville urologist and N.C. Rep. Dr. Greg Murphy.

Dr. Paul Cunningham, left, dean emeritus of ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, is presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award by Rep. Dr. Greg Murphy. (Photo by Sandra Harvey)

Dr. Paul Cunningham, left, dean emeritus of ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, is presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award by Rep. Dr. Greg Murphy. (Photo by Sandra Harvey)

“I have known Dr. Cunningham a long time – not only as a talented and gifted surgeon, but as a compassionate human being,” Murphy said. “He always puts patients’ needs above everything else. He leads by example, with camaraderie and with vision.”

Considered among the highest honors the governor can confer, the award recognizes citizens for their exemplary service to the state. Other recipients include Andy Griffith, Bill Friday, the Rev. Billy Graham and Michael Jordan.

Previously an ECU trauma surgeon and educator, Cunningham was named Brody’s dean in 2008. He led the school in its devotion to producing primary care physicians for the state, increasing opportunities for underrepresented minorities in medical education and improving the health status of the citizens of eastern North Carolina.

Cunningham is taking time away to prepare for teaching and research responsibilities before returning to work as a faculty member in the medical school’s Department of Surgery, with interests in trauma and bariatric surgery.

He currently leads the state’s physicians as president of the North Carolina Medical Society.

–Amy Ellis

Fulbright program builds partnership for ECU Allied Health in Bulgaria

College of Allied Health Sciences Dean Dr. Robert Orlikoff traveled to South-West University “Neofit Rilski” in Bulgaria this September to assist in developing a professional program in speech-language pathology and to promote research and clinical practice in voice and speech disorders.

Orlikoff lectures with a Bulgarian translator. (Contributed photos)

Orlikoff, right, lectures with a Bulgarian translator. (Contributed photos)

The highly-competitive Fulbright Specialist Program connects U.S. scholars like Orlikoff with their counterparts at host institutions overseas. Fulbright Specialists serve as expert consultants on curriculum, faculty development, institutional planning and related subjects in over 150 countries worldwide.

Orlikoff was hosted by Professor Dobrinka Georgieva, Head of the International Relations Office at South-West University "Neofit Rilski."

Orlikoff was hosted by Professor Dobrinka Georgieva, Head of the International Relations at South-West University “Neofit Rilski.” Here, they’re pictured together in front of the Rila Monastery, regarded as Bulgaria’s most important cultural site.

Orlikoff completed several Fulbright projects in Bulgaria during his two-week residency in September. In addition to providing lectures to undergraduate and graduate students, he led faculty workshops, consulted with clinical practitioners and evaluated several courses in South-West’s program in logopedics – the European equivalent of speech-language pathology as practiced in the U.S.

“This Fulbright grant was an exciting opportunity to interact with students and to work alongside the faculty at South-West University…helping them explore ways to enhance education, research and practice at their institution and throughout Bulgaria,” said Orlikoff.

“While we remain dedicated to caring for our underserved communities in eastern North Carolina, this type of project clearly demonstrates our commitment to the advancement in healthcare nationally and globally.”

An internationally recognized laryngeal physiologist and voice scientist, Orlikoff delivered a keynote presentation at an international voice symposium in Turkey last year. He has presented his scientific and clinical work throughout much of Europe, Asia and North America.

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