Category Archives: Health and Human Performance

HHP faculty member receives national award

Dr. Sheresa Blanchard

Dr. Sheresa Blanchard (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University’s Dr. Sheresa Blanchard, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science in the College of Health and Human Performance, has received a national award.

Blanchard received the Merle B. Karnes Award for Service from the Division for Early Childhood, a part of the Council for Exceptional Children, the largest professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.

The award is presented to a Division for Early Childhood member who has made a significant contribution in areas of leadership, service, research, advocacy or publications. The award is in honor of Dr. Merle Karnes, who served on the division’s executive board and was the founder and first editor of the Journal for Early Intervention.

Blanchard accepted the award Oct. 26 at the 34th annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families in Orlando, Florida. For more information, go to http://www.decconference.org/.

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

ECU to offer part-time hybrid master of social work degree program

Beginning in May, East Carolina University’s School of Social Work will offer a part-time hybrid program for people interested in earning a master of social work degree.

The three-year program will include online, hybrid, and some face-to-face classes that will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays on the ECU campus. The program starts May 13, 2019.

ECU students in the School of Social Work discuss their program with members of the HHP Advancement Council in the Rivers Building.

ECU students in the School of Social Work discuss their program with members of the HHP Advancement Council in the Rivers Building. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Prospective ECU students must apply for admission by Jan. 8 to be considered for the program. More information is at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/gradschool/Admissions-Information.cfm.

Requirements for admission into the MSW program include: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution; a satisfactory GPA; a satisfactory score on either the MAT or the GRE unless a test waiver is granted; and a broad-based liberal arts foundation with a minimum of six courses in basic social and behavioral science. An advanced standing pathway for BSW graduates and a regular pathway for other undergraduate majors will be offered.

A part-time Rocky Mount class will begin in May 2020, while a part-time New Bern class will begin in May 2021. Each will be hybrid, take three years to complete, and will include some Saturday classes.

For more information on the MSW program and admission procedures, contact the ECU School of Social Work at 252-328-5650, visit the website at https://hhp.ecu.edu/socw/msw/ or email msw@ecu.edu.

 

-Contact: Paige Averett, director of graduate programs, ECU School of Social Work, averettp@ecu.edu, 252-328-4193

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

ECU systematic review explains higher incidence of respiratory diseases in LGB community

A systematic research review conducted recently at East Carolina University sheds light on why sexual minorities have a greater chance of developing respiratory diseases.

Dr. Joseph Lee, assistant professor in ECU’s Department of Health Education and Promotion in the College of Health and Human Performance, set out to learn more about why sexual minorities experience respiratory diseases at a higher rate, and he had a hunch their environments played a big part. However, data about where lesbian, gay and bisexual people are most likely to live wasn’t readily available.

Kerry Sewell, research librarian for Laupus Library’s Systematic Review Service

Kerry Sewell, research librarian for Laupus Library’s Systematic Review Service (Photo by Kelly Rogers Dilda)

So he partnered with Kerry Sewell, research librarian for ECU’s Laupus Library, University of New Mexico graduate student Kasim Ortiz and international collaborator and human geographer Dr. Thomas Wimark from Stockholm University in Sweden to conduct a systematic review – a formal research study that follows a clear-cut model to find, assess and examine research that tried to answer a similar question.

“The limited data available on lesbian and gay lives meant that it was critically important to identify high-quality information from multiple disciplines,” Lee said.

“When there are such gaps in the literature, it’s important to use systematic research methodologies to bring together all of the existing evidence in one place,” said Sewell. “Outcomes of a systematic review can present a reliable depiction of what is known and what remains uncertain.”

The team found 51 quantitative papers addressing the topic from multiple fields and found clear evidence of a pattern that LGB people are more likely to live in urban areas, as well as in areas with more air pollution and more tobacco retailers. The data also suggests that even when LGB people live in more prosperous regions, they’re living in poorer neighborhoods than their heterosexual counterparts.

“This review helps us explain the role of geography in why LGB people are more likely to have respiratory diseases and smoke than their straight counterparts,” Lee said.

These findings not only expand understanding of why certain health disparities exist, Lee said, but can also lead to improved health programs, health education and promotion campaigns for the LGB community.

Dr. Joseph Lee, assistant professor in ECU’s Department of Health Educations and Promotion in the College of Health and Human Performance

Dr. Joseph Lee, assistant professor in ECU’s Department of Health Educations and Promotion in the College of Health and Human Performance (Photo contributed by ECU News Services)

Lee added the findings would not have been possible without collaboration from a medical librarian.

Librarians in Laupus Library’s Systematic Review Service have unique skills that ensure the search for published studies is thorough, guarding against biased findings or recommendations that inform patient care, health care decision-making, research and policy.

“I’m pleased that the Laupus Systematic Review Service was able to bring state-of-the-art systematic review methods to pull together evidence from multiple fields, journals and even languages to inform health programs and future research,” Sewell said.

The review was published on June 27 by PLOS One, a peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Public Library of Science, where it became immediately accessible to the public at no cost.

“This article is a terrific example of how including a librarian on the research team enhances the outcomes of the scholarly product,” said Laupus Library Director Beth Ketterman. “We are very proud of the Systemic Review Service at Laupus Library, and encourage our ECU researchers to utilize this unique librarian skill set so that we can continue to partner in quality contributions to the health literature.”

No data was available on studies of transgender and transsexual populations, pointing to the need for continued research.

Read the full review at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0198751.

Learn more about Laupus Library’s Systematic Review Service at http://libguides.ecu.edu/systematicreviewservice.

 

-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communications

ECU researchers participate in Camp Lejeune symposium

Faculty members from East Carolina University participated in the eighth Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune Research Symposium on May 25.

ECU investigators were among the only civilian university participants to receive awards, according to James R. Menke, director of military research partnerships at ECU.

The following faculty members were recognized:

  • Stacey Meardon, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences, took first place in the Clinical Investigation Poster Competition.
  • Caitlin O’Connell, post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance, took second place with her podium presentation titled “Detecting Sandbagging on Baseline Balance Tests.”
  • John Willson, associate professor of physical therapy, took third place for his podium presentation titled “Training Modifications to Reduce Knee Joint Load Following ACL Reconstruction.”

The symposium, hosted by the Family Medicine Residency Program at Camp Lejeune, showcases scholarly activity happening behind the scenes at the medical center. Staff and medical residents are involved in more than two dozen research projects, clinical studies and collaborative efforts.

From left, Drs. Stacey Meardon, Caitlin O'Connell and John Wilson are recognized during the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune Research Symposium. (Contributed photos)

From left, Drs. Stacey Meardon, Caitlin O’Connell and John Wilson are recognized during the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune Research Symposium. (Contributed photos)

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

Health and Human Performance inducts six to the Wall of Fame

Six people were inducted on April 20 to the East Carolina University College of Health and Human Performance Marvin and Joyce Johnson Wall of Fame.

The inductees were Linner Griffin and Robin McManus, who were both inducted posthumously, along with Jannis Shea, Thom Skalko, Jerry Tolley and Odell Welborn. Welborn died May 10.

Griffin, professor emeritus at ECU, served on the ECU faculty from 1990 until her retirement in 2013. She served in a variety of roles including associate professor of social work and associate dean for graduate studies, interim dean of the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice, and associate provost for academic program planning and development.

McManus was an instructor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and lead teacher in the infant classroom of the child development laboratory, now known as the Nancy Darden Child Development Center. She helped secure the center’s accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and a five-star child care license.

Shea’s teaching career spanned 37 years including two stints as acting chair for the Department of Child Development and Family Relations and as assistant to the dean for Helen Grove. She taught the first introduction to marriage and family course offered in home economics and every child development and family science course before the family therapy program was established. She served on the committee that developed the ECU code of operations and designed and helped implement the first interdisciplinary minor in gerontology at ECU.

The following people were recently inducted to the College of Health and Human Performance Marvin and Joyce Johnson Wall of Fame: from left, Jerry McManus representing the late Robin McManus, Bobby Griffin representing the late Linner Griffin, Thom Skalko, Jannis Shea and Jerry Tolley. Inductee Odell Welborn is not pictured.

The following people were recently inducted to the College of Health and Human Performance Marvin and Joyce Johnson Wall of Fame: from left, Jerry McManus representing the late Robin McManus, Bobby Griffin representing the late Linner Griffin, Thom Skalko, Jannis Shea and Jerry Tolley. Inductee Odell Welborn is not pictured. (contributed photo)

Skalko served as a professor at ECU from 1996-2017 including as chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies from 1996-2004. He directed the ECU Horizons Day Treatment program, providing intervention for youth with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. Skalko collaborated with educators in South Africa to establish the country’s first degree in recreational therapy.

Tolley has been an active member of the college’s Dean’s Advancement Council for decades and a longtime supporter of ECU athletics. A track and football athlete at ECU, Tolley coached football at Elon College, where he led the team to national titles in 1980 and 1981. He held academic and administrative positions at Elon University and served as associate vice president of Laboratory Corporation of America. He is a nationally known sports author and serves as the mayor of Elon.

Welborn, faculty emeritus at ECU, coached the Pirate wrestling, track and football teams between 1960 and 1992. He led the football team after Coach Clarence Stasavich had a heart attack in 1963. Welborn posted an undefeated record as interim head coach and continued as an assistant after Stasavich’s return, helping the Pirates win two consecutive bowl games. He was inducted in the ECU College of Education’s Educators Hall of Fame in 2010. He taught health, physical education, driver education and traffic safety for decades.

The inductees joined 30 outstanding men and women already recognized on the College of Health and Human Performance Wall of Fame, which is on the first floor of Rivers Building.

The wall was established with a $50,000 donation in 2015 in honor of Joyce Johnson in support of the Department of Human Development and Family Science.

Marvin and Joyce Johnson met in the early 1950s at ECU where Marvin majored in physical education and Joyce in home economics. Marvin Johnson was drafted into the Korean War and Joyce Johnson completed her degree. Following the war, they were married and raised their family in Atlanta.

Funds from the inductions help students in a variety of ways from membership fees for professional organizations and development to academic programming and events for outstanding seniors.

Angela Lamson, associate dean for research in the college and professor of human development and family science, served as master of ceremonies for the event.

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

Honor a service member with a Memorial Walk commemorative brick

Anthony Britt, Associate Director for Administration & Summer School at ECU, honored three members of his family by placing bricks engraved with their names at the Memorial Walk at Christenbury Gym during a Veteran's Day ceremony in November. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Anthony Britt, Associate Director for Administration & Summer School at ECU, honored three members of his family by placing bricks engraved with their names at the Memorial Walk at Christenbury Gym during a Veteran’s Day ceremony in November. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

Each November, the Office of Military Programs conducts a ceremony to honor those whose engraved brick pavers will become part of the Memorial Walk located west of Christenbury Memorial Gymnasium.

The project, by the College of Health and Human Performance and the Office of Military Programs, also raises funds for ROTC Army and Air Force Scholarships.

The decorative brick pavers, engraved with a selected name or phrase, can be purchased in honor of any living or deceased veteran or active duty service member, as well as anyone who has done something in support of our national defense, including helping with programs with the VA, Support The Troops, Wounded Warrior Project and similar activities.

East Carolina University’s faculty, staff, students and friends are able to purchase the commemorative bricks for family members or those who have served in the military. The cost is $125 – $25 buys the paver and pays for the engraving, and $100 goes for ROTC scholarships. The $100 of the cost is tax-deductible.

The November ceremony includes a segment where the family, friend and/or service member can lay the paver as part of the program. During this time, each name is read and the Victory Bell is struck to represent the service and sacrifice of the one honored.

The dedication for this year will be 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. Paver orders will be accepted for this year’s ceremony until Sept. 7.

For more information and to access the order form, visit https://hhp.ecu.edu/2018/05/09/honor-a-service-member/.

The engraved bricks become part of the Memorial Walk outside of Christenbury Gym.

The engraved bricks become part of the Memorial Walk outside of Christenbury Gym.

Students attend first Social Work Career and Resource Fair

Alexis Brooks and Destiny Sanders, Bachelor of Social Work Student Association members, welcomed participants to the fair.  (Photo by Crystal Baity)

Alexis Brooks and Destiny Sanders, Bachelor of Social Work Student Association members, welcomed participants to the fair. (Photos by Crystal Baity)

East Carolina University’s School of Social Work held its first Social Work Career and Resource Fair on April 13 at the Holiday Inn in Greenville.

About 60 ECU students attended the fair, which featured 30 agencies and organizations. Following the fair, the school hosted an appreciation luncheon to thank field supervisors in the agencies and organizations for hosting student interns during the academic year.

The event was organized by LaTonya Gaskins, director of field education in the School of Social Work, and Janine Jason-Gay, assistant director.

Social work students Apriann Sutton, Brianna Best and Sydney Ferrer attended the 2018 Social Work Career and Resource Fair on April 13.

Social work students Apriann Sutton, Brianna Best and Sydney Ferrer attended the 2018 Social Work Career and Resource Fair on April 13.

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

Simulation brings awareness about living in poverty

About 50 East Carolina University students recently assumed the role of a family member living in poverty while juggling monthly bills, buying food or going to the doctor.

The students took part in a community action poverty simulation on March 16 at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU. The simulation was led by Tamra Church, a teaching instructor in the College of Health and Human Performance’s Department of Health Education and Promotion, Kim Werth, a counselor in the School of Dental Medicine, and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. Courtney Williams, a master’s student and graduate teaching assistant, was instrumental in planning, organizing and volunteering in the simulation as well as overseeing registration, lunch, snacks and community resource tables.

Students – most from a health behavior theory class in the Department of Health Education and Promotion - portray family members living on a budget in a recent poverty simulation held in the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU. (Photos by Josh Vaughan)

Students – most from a health behavior theory class in the Department of Health Education and Promotion – portray family members living on a budget in a recent poverty simulation held in the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU. (Photos by Josh Vaughan)

Church’s students are pre-health professionals and many are preparing for graduate school in physician assistant studies, occupational therapy, physical therapy, medicine, nursing or dentistry. Other graduates will go into the workforce where they will interact with people and patients from all walks of life.

“It was an opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of someone experiencing poverty,” Church said. “My goals for the simulation were to change beliefs about people experiencing poverty, increase students’ empathy towards people living in poverty and encourage them to get involved in more civic engagement.”

A student receives information for her simulation.

A student receives information for her simulation.

In the simulation, students were assigned to a family unit ranging from a single parent without a car to an elderly person having to pay for heat and medication for a month. The students sometimes faced unexpected challenges such as a death in the family or a break-in at their home. They interacted with service providers including employers, bankers, grocers, public schools or police officers portrayed by 14 volunteers from the School of Social Work, Pitt County Health Department and community.

“The poverty simulation accurately demonstrated the roller coaster of life that people in poverty have to live to get by day to day,” said Harlee Rowe, a public health studies major. “It was a shock of reality to see how much needs to be changed to help these people in need.”

Emmanuel McLeod, who is also in the public health studies program, said the activity was an eye-opening experience. “It has helped me to understand the daily lives they may face, and how the majority of the things they go through are out of their control,” McLeod said. “Despite this, we can reach out as a community and support those who need it.”

Students review materials for a community action poverty simulation held March 16.

Students review materials for a community action poverty simulation held March 16.

The simulation also taught students about available resources in the community.

After the event, some students said they planned to start having conversations about poverty while others planned to volunteer or start writing local government about issues.

“It changed my perception of how families in poverty deal with daily life struggles (that) the people who are not in poverty never have to think twice about,” said public health studies student Angela Bracco.

Church plans to offer the simulation each semester.

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

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