Category Archives: In the news

Pirates rally for day of giving back

Alumni and friends of East Carolina University proved that the Servire spirit is alive both on and off campus. Pirate Nation Gives Back, the first-ever stand-alone day of service and philanthropy at ECU, was an overwhelming success on March 22 with more than $273,000 raised and hundreds of hours of service reported.

Chancellor Cecil Staton and his wife, Catherine, charted the course with their $100,000 commitment to endow a fund supporting international travel and educational opportunities for ECU students.

“Thank you to Pirate Nation for your generosity in giving of your time, talent and treasure,” said Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for university advancement. “To start the day off with a leadership gift, in all senses of the phrase, was phenomenal. Donor support of ECU’s students, faculty and facilities is key as we strive to be recognized as America’s next great national university.”

Members from across ECU’s community came together not only to raise money but also to support many charitable service activities. Local organizations including the Food Bank of North Carolina, American Red Cross, ECU’s Campus Kitchen and Pirate P.A.L.S. (Peers Advocating for Learning and Success) opened their doors to volunteers and donors. The East Carolina Alumni Association’s Pitt County Chapter collaborated with the City of Greenville Public Works Department for Community Tree Day, planting nearly 100 trees on the new section of the Greenville Greenway. Additionally, the North Carolina Chapter of the ALS Association partnered with ECU Athletics to collect funds at the UNC vs. ECU baseball game that day.

Stand-alone days of giving have become a popular way for universities to gain donors’ attention and financial support. Combining service and philanthropy helps to set ECU apart in a crowded landscape.

“Since East Carolina’s founding, service has been at the heart of our mission, our teaching and how we continue our day-to-day relationship with the institution,” said Dr. Ron Mitchelson, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Pirate Nation Gives Back is the pinnacle of this philosophy as we seek to serve others, giving of our time, sharing our special gifts and supporting ECU through charitable contributions.”

To learn more about Pirate Nation Gives Back or to donate to East Carolina University, visit



-by Nicole Wood, ECU Advancement


ECU’s Joyner Library offers books of the human genre

Joyner Library at East Carolina University will host its fourth annual Human Library event on Tuesday, March 28, to allow students and community visitors a chance to check out human beings for a 10-15 minute conversation. The event serves to open more dialogue on campus and for participants to learn more about people of all beliefs, walks of life, abilities and backgrounds.

(contributed photos)

(contributed photos)

The preselected human books will be volunteers from diverse backgrounds with interesting life stories to share. From 1-4 p.m. in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery, located on the library’s second floor, attendees can check out one of more than 30 human books based on their book titles and descriptions. They will have a conversation with that person including a chance to ask questions to clarify misconceptions and learn more about that topic.

At least two of this year’s human books will share their personal stories of living the life of a refugee.

“I feel like it is important for ECU students and people in the community to see the faces and speak directly to a few refugees,” said Katy Webb, Head of Research and Instructional Services for Joyner Library. “I believe they will hear the strength, resilience and hope from people who are often labeled and minimized.”

Webb brought the event to ECU in 2014 as part of her role on the university’s diversity committee with co-sponsorship from the Friends of Joyner Library.

Webb said the library’s diversity committee members contacted several organizations on campus, including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Office, many student organizations and a local synagogue for volunteers willing to share their stories.

All areas of diversity, defined by The Office for Equity and Diversity, will be represented at this year’s event. Human book titles offered this year include “A Tale of Two Moms,” “No Animal Products Included,” “Living Life as a Traveler” and more.

For more information about the event please contact Katy Webb at or (252) 328-0734.



-by Kelly Dilda, Joyner Library

ECU School of Art and Design to host annual Undergraduate Exhibition

The School of Art and Design’s annual Undergraduate Exhibition will be on display March 23-April 7 in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center.

More than 145 undergraduate students will exhibit work in animation, art foundations, ceramics, cinema, drawing, graphic design, illustration, interactive media, metals, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textile design and video.

Artwork designed by ECU student Vincent Li is will be on display at 2017 Undergraduate Exhibition. (contributed photo)

Artwork designed by ECU student Vincent Li is will be on display at 2017 Undergraduate Exhibition. (contributed photo)

Winners will be announced during an awards ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 23 in Speight Auditorium. A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony. This year’s judge is Harriet Hoover, coordinator of teen and college programming at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh.

The exhibition, awards ceremony and reception are free and open to the public.

The Gray Gallery and Speight Auditorium are located in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center at 5th and Jarvis streets. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The gallery is closed during university holidays.

The center is handicapped accessible. Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the Department of Disability Support Services at least two weeks prior to the event at 252-737-1016. For more information, go to

Go to or contact Tom Braswell, interim gallery director, at 252-328-1312 for more information.



-by Crystal Baity


ECU assistant dean awarded AAMC fellowship

The assistant dean for undergraduate medical education assessment and outcomes at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has been selected to participate in a national leadership certificate program.

Dr. Stephen Charles was recently named a 2017 Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Fellow by a panel of his peers in the Southern Group on Educational Affairs, a regional division of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Dr. Stephen Charles. (Contributed photo)

Dr. Stephen Charles. (Contributed photo)

The LEAD Program is an intensive, one-year, cohort-based leadership development certificate program that provides a firm foundation in the best practices and recognized theoretical models of effective educational leadership that are key to advancing medical education at all levels. LEAD is offered in four concurrent cohorts, one based in each of the four regions of the AAMC Group on Educational Affairs. Across the nation 107 fellows have completed the program since 2009.

Charles joined the Brody School of Medicine in 2016. In his role as assistant dean, he leads efforts to develop, implement and maintain an active outcomes assessment program and to grow a portfolio of scholarship related to current and future medical education innovations and changes.

He also serves as the liaison between Brody’s Office of Medical Education, the ECU Office of Simulation and Safety Education, and the ECU Office of Clinical Skills Assessment and Education; and he collaborates with other education leaders across the ECU Division of Health Sciences to assess and enhance interprofessional education.

Charles is certified as a health care simulation educator and as a medical education researcher. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Association of Standardized Patient Educators and as chair of the Interprofessional Education Affinity Group for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

“I’m honored to be chosen for this prestigious fellowship, and I’m excited to represent ECU and the Brody School of Medicine,” said Charles. “I look forward to gaining more knowledge, skills and experience that I can share with my colleagues to help us all become more effective educational leaders.”

The AAMC is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise a range of academic and medical institutions, including all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools and nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems.



-by Amy Ellis, University Communication

ECU conducts the first Makeathon with a focus on Natural Disasters.

(Contributed photo)

(Contributed photo)

On March 19, East Carolina University’s Innovation Design Lab in the Office of Innovation and Economic Development supports the first InnovateECU Makeathon designed and conducted by Honors College Interns.

Students welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively and think critically to create and propose solutions to a real-world issue. This year’s innovation theme revolved around disaster relief and prevention. With the recent damage eastern North Carolina suffered as a result of Hurricane Matthew, students found this theme to be of critical importance and value.

The student teams were challenged to think critically about how to create disaster relief efforts that prepare, respond to and recover our community. Over 30 participants from multiple disciplines formed into six teams to create, prototype, and pitch their solutions in this two-day event. The students competed for development funding and Innovation Design Lab support to continue to strengthen the design and implementation of their concepts.



-by Wayne Godwin, ECU Advance Manufacturing & Innovation Academy  

Race, Medicine, Authorship, and the “Discovery” of Sickle Cell Disease, 1910-1911

The Medical History Interest Group sponsored by Laupus Library History Collections and the Department of Bioethics & Interdisciplinary Studies invites you to attend: “Race, Medicine, Authorship, and the “Discovery” of Sickle Cell Disease, 1910-1911,” Presented by Todd Savitt, Ph.D. Professor, Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies, BSOM.

Savitt tells the very divergent stories of the first two sickle-cell disease (SCD) patients in the medical literature (1910-1911) and their physicians against the backdrop of a racially divided America and of a highly competitive scientific community. He shows how race and class affected the discovery of SCD and how credit for the discovery was apportioned. Prof. Savitt will also tell about his own “adventures” in tracking down the identities and backgrounds of these first two SCD patients.

Please join us on Monday, February 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery on the 4th Floor of Laupus Library.

Refreshments will be provided. The presentation may be video recorded. For more information please check out our Facebook event page.


-by Kelly Dilda, Laupus Library 

Providers invited to Women’s Health Conference Feb. 24

Brody faculty member Dr. Sarah E. Smith. (contributed photo)

Dr. Sarah E. Smith. (contributed photo)

Women not only have unique health needs, but also live longer and make most health care decisions for their families, so keeping women healthy is imperative.

Health care providers who care for women across eastern North Carolina are invited to attend the Women’s Health Conference on Feb. 24 at Eastern Area Health Education Center in Greenville.

This full-day conference will provide information on a broad range of topics relevant to women’s health, such as screening for common psychiatric disorders during well woman exams, polycystic ovary syndrome, HIV, thyroid dysfunction, gynecologic care of transgender and same sex couples, wellness for senior women, and physical therapy for women’s health issues.

This conference is jointly provided by Eastern AHEC, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Emily Bray (contributed photo)

Dr. Emily Bray. (contributed photo)

Program directors are Dr. Sarah E. Smith,clinical associate professor in Brody’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Dr. Emily Bray, clinical associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine’s geriatrics division.

This conference has been designed to meet the continuing medical education needs of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, midwives, pharmacists and others.

Eastern AHEC is a non-profit organization that provides continuing education, professional development and other resources to health care providers and students, serving 23 counties of eastern North Carolina. Eastern AHEC is one of nine centers in the North Carolina AHEC program, which links the state’s universities, community colleges, hospitals and health agencies. The mission of NC AHEC is to meet the state’s health and health workforce needs.

For more information or to register, visit



-by Jackie Drake, Eastern AHEC

ECU ranked among best colleges in new listing

East Carolina University is listed in a new ranking of Best Colleges released this week by Money magazine.

ECU is ranked 339 out of 665 institutions. Educational quality, affordability and alumni earnings provided by were used to determine the rankings, according to the magazine’s methodology.

The magazine evaluated about 1,500 four-year colleges across the nation to find which offered the most for the amount of tuition paid. Colleges with below-average graduation rates were dropped, which left 665 institutions that were measured and ranked.

Information is available at


Folger Shakespeare Library exhibit features ECU connections

Irish mantle 1, resized

A replica of an Irish mantle, or cloak, created by East Carolina University School of Art and Design students in Robin Haller’s textile and design course is part of the exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Photo courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

By Alexa DeCarr, ECU News Services

An exhibit on display at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is showcasing the achievements of Dr. Thomas Herron, an associate professor of English at East Carolina University, students in ECU’s School of Art and Design and the University Multimedia Center.

The exhibit, which opened in January and runs through May 19, is named “Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland” and focuses on the Irish upper class during the 16th to mid-17th century and its cultural exchanges with England. It investigates the political struggles of the period while acknowledging the ways in which English and Irish cultures influenced each other through achievements in literature, architecture and the arts.

“It goes beyond the black and white view of the interactions between the English and the Irish,” Herron said of the exhibit.

Students in ECU assistant professor Robin Haller’s textile and design course recreated a replica of an Irish mantle, which Herron said is a type of outer covering or cloak worn by the Irish. The University Multimedia Center also contributed to the exhibit by creating a 3-D computerized recreation of a tower house castle from the Middle Ages that allows viewers to get a virtual tour.

Herron said that a 16th century portrait of Queen Elizabeth I “discovered” in Manteo while hanging in plain sight during a conference organized by the ECU English Department is on display at the exhibit as well.

“ECU has been so generous and has played a major role in the exhibit,” Herron said. “Different departments within the university have gone out of their way to help with the exhibit.”

While the exhibit focuses on Europe during the Renaissance, Herron said modern Americans can still appreciate it.

“Shakespeare is a powerful influence on the U.S. and our culture,” he said. “And many Americans have Irish roots.”

The exhibit, “Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland,” features portraits, manuscripts, artifacts, family records, and rare books drawn from collections in Ireland and the United States. The exhibition includes nearly 100 items from the Folger collection, as well as materials from the National Gallery of Ireland, the University of Wisconsin, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Ireland, and private collections.

Brendan Kane, a historian of modern Ireland and an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, was the co-curator of the exhibit.

For more information on the exhibit, visit or contact Tom Herron at

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