Category Archives: In the news

ECU faculty member to dance with New York Theatre Ballet in upcoming Tarboro performance

Dirk Lumbard, teaching instructor in the School of Theatre and Dance at East Carolina University, will perform with the New York Theatre Ballet when the company visits Tarboro for the Edgecombe Community College Performing Arts Series.

The New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB), which has performed in the series for the past five years, will bring a program of mixed repertoire at 7:30 p.m. on March 22 in Keihin Auditorium on the Tarboro campus of Edgecombe Community College.

Sponsored by the Furman-Mathewson Trust of Edgecombe County Memorial Library, the performance is free, but reservations are required. To reserve free tickets, call Eric Greene, cultural arts director, at 252-823-5166, ext. 187.

Dirk Lumbard

Dirk Lumbard (contributed photo)

Lumbard, a Tarboro resident and veteran of seven Broadway shows, is a master tap dancer and has performed leading roles at Barton College, Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences and the Edna Boykin Cultural Center. He will perform in David Parker’s “Two Timing,” a piece set to Steve Riech’s “Clapping Music,” with NYTB dancer Elena Zahlmann. Lombard will perform elaborate clapping music with Zahlmann tapping on pointe.

In a review of “Two Timing” in Dance Beat, Deborah Jowitt wrote, “In the score, a single twelve-count phrase of claps and pauses is methodically altered (the first note keeps becoming the last one). The two performers move close together, always in counterpoint, and eventually the sound-making includes smacks on the floor and other forms of body percussion. It’s a virtuosic number, executed at a good clip.”

Other works will include Jerome Robbins’ “Septet,” Petroushskates” by William Whitener, “The Flames of Paris” by Pas de Deux, Frederick Ashton’s “La Chatte,” and Antony Tudor’s “Dark Elegies.”

The mission of the Furman-Mathewson Trust is to provide programs of cultural, literary, educational or scientific presentations for Edgecombe County Memorial Library patrons. The trust has previously helped bring Maya Angelou, Nicholas Sparks and B.B. King to Edgecombe County, and has sponsored free performances of Jasmine Guy, the Avery Sharpe Trio and the Regina Carter Quintet.

About the New York Theatre Ballet

With its ever-expanding repertory, New York Theatre Ballet’s cutting-edge programming brings fresh insight to classic revivals paired with the modern sensibilities of both established and up-and-coming choreographers. Going strong after 38 years, the theatre ballet’s diversity in repertory explores the past while boldly taking risks on the future. Diana Byer is the founder and artistic director of New York Theatre Ballet and Ballet School NY.


-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

ECU’s Golden named to EPA board

The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced the appointment of Dr. Jay Golden, ECU vice chancellor of research, economic development and engagement and a professor of engineering, to the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors on Thursday, Nov. 30.

The board, established in 1996, provides advice, information and recommendations to the EPA’s Office of Research and Development on technical and management issues of its research programs. Golden joins six other research leaders from across the country in this role, including researchers from Northwestern University, University of Georgia, Rutgers University and the University of Rhode Island.

“It is a great honor to be appointed with some very distinguished academic peers to serve our nation and scientific community,” Golden said. “I am especially proud of the fact that I am able to represent ECU and bring the perspectives of communities and businesses throughout rural and coastal eastern North Carolina.”

Dr. Jay Golden, ECU vice chancellor of research, economic development and engagement. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Dr. Jay Golden, ECU vice chancellor of research, economic development and engagement. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

The EPA Board of Scientific Counselors has five key goals, including: evaluate science and engineering research, programs and plans, laboratories, and research-management practices of ORD to improve its quality and relevance to the EPA’s mission; evaluate and provide advice concerning the use of peer review in the ORD to sustain and enhance the quality of science at the EPA; review the ORD’s program development progress, research planning process, and research program balance; peer review the ORD’s peer review policies; and provide advice on human resource planning.

The board has helped advise the ORD in the past by developing “Social Science Bootcamps” which showcased how the agency could integrate social sciences in environmental policy and management. It also annually reviews the ORD’s new research programs, offering insight and feedback on national research programs including air, climate and energy, chemical safety and sustainability, and homeland security.

Prior to being appointed to his vice chancellor position at ECU in June, Golden had a distinguished research and teaching career. He was a tenure track professor and directed a National Center of Excellence on SMART Innovations at Arizona State University before becoming a faculty member at Duke University, where he also was the faculty chair of the Business and Environment Program as well as directed the Center for Sustainability and Commerce.

Golden was named a Faculty Pioneer by the Aspen Institute for his work on sustainability and business.


-by Matt Smith, University Communications

Commencement Information for those who missed the Grad Expo

Missed the Grad Expo? No worries! Fall graduates can pick up their cap and gown at Dowdy Student Stores in Wright Building during any regular business hours. Medical and Dental students will receive information separately and will coordinate regalia through the Health Sciences Bookstore in Brody 1S-04. Distance Education students can email their regalia form and have their cap and gown shipped for a small fee.

Custom Stoles can be ordered through Friday, Oct. 13, to receive their embroidered stole in time for the fall commencement. Non-embroidered stoles are available for purchase at Dowdy Student Stores.

Diploma frames are still on sale at 20% off reg. prices, in-store and online through Oct. 8.  Online orders should use coupon code ECUGF20.

Class Rings can be ordered at Dowdy during a Jostens ring event, or online through Oct. 21 to be included in the fall ring presentation ceremony on Dec. 3.  Rings ordered after this date will ship to the customer. A presentation event will also be held in the spring.

Last Chance to Use Student Discount on Technology! Before graduation, visit the Tech Deck inside Dowdy Student Stores and take advantage of your student discount on Apple technology! Ready for an Upgrade? Trade-in your eligible Apple device and receive in-store credit toward the latest models from Apple!

Faculty wishing to order rental regalia for December must complete and submit a rental form by Nov. 10, 2017, to avoid a late fee. In order to assure delivery for the graduation ceremonies please submit your form prior to the due date. OAK HALL custom academic regalia can be made to your specifications, including appropriate colors and styles. Online ordering is available through their website.

Other information about commencement, including the online RSVP, can be found at

Links & Downloadable Forms:

Always feel free to contact Dowdy Student Stores with questions about your graduation needs.


Wright Building • Brody Building • Athletic Venues

Toll-Free  1-877-499-TEXT •  252-328-6731 


Harriot College honors scholarship recipients, donors

East Carolina University continues to thank its generous donors for providing financial gifts to students. This academic year, 175 Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences students will receive nearly $215,000 in scholarship support from 331 donors.

The donors were formally thanked at the college’s second annual scholarship luncheon held Sept. 22 in the Murphy Center’s Harvey Hall. Nearly 225 scholarship recipients, donors and department faculty attended the event.

Keynote speaker Retired Colonel Thomas Shubert. (Photos by Rob Taylor)

Keynote speaker Retired Colonel Thomas Shubert. (Photos by Rob Taylor)

“I am very proud of everybody in this room here today,” said Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the THCAS. “You are indispensable to this great national university.”

Downs said that for many students, scholarship support “makes the basic core difference” between attending college or not attending college, and that scholarship support increases the likelihood of success and the timely completion of a degree.

Opening remarks were continued by ECU provost Ron Mitchelson, Alumni Association president Heath Bowman and THCAS director of alumni relations and outreach Jessica Nottingham.

“I am absolutely inspired by the choices donors make to support the success of ECU students,” said Mitchelson. “It really is a remarkable thing. You are at the heart of those dreams; students’ dreams…We are the place where student’s lives are transformed.”

Retired United States Air Force Colonel Thomas Shubert, ECU ROTC and Harriot College political science alumnus, presented this year’s keynote address.

He told the students that it is necessary in one’s life to take risks and chances, not to be afraid to fail, to continue on and make an impact by serving as a mentor for others.

“The world does not end if you don’t get straight As,” said Shubert. “You have to take risks. Learn from failure and you are still going to succeed.”

Seth Sutton, senior geological sciences major, hugging his scholarship donor C.Q. Brown. Brown

Seth Sutton, senior geological sciences major, hugging his scholarship donor C.Q. Brown. Brown

Following Shubert’s remarks, three Harriot College scholarship recipients formally thanked their donors and expressed their sincere gratitude for the opportunities provided them.

Seth Sutton, senior geological sciences major and recipient of the C.Q. Brown Scholarship, plans to continue his education through graduate school. He wants to become a professor of paleontology, studying dinosaur fossils.

“Professors in our department connect with their students,” said Sutton. He gave credit to a number of geological sciences faculty, including department chair Dr. Steve Culver.

“He gave me the confidence to continue on my path,” said Sutton. “The fact that the chair of our department took the time and effort to meet with me is pretty cool and astonishing.”

Sutton reiterated that it was an honor to receive the C.Q. Brown Scholarship. He said it eased his financial burden so that he did not have to work, giving him more time to focus on his academics.

Stephen Hart, junior political science major and criminal justice minor, is the recipient of the Col. Louis & Mrs. Trudy Gomes Award and the John F. Minges III Scholarship. He mentioned his scholarship awards also alleviate the financial burden of attending college, allowing him to focus on his studies with the intention of attending law school in the future.

He said he was “determined to go to college, no matter what.”

“I am grateful for this opportunity the Minges and the Gomes families have given me,” said Hart. “I will represent the donors and the Political Science Department to the best of my ability – with hard work and dedication – to further my academic success.”

Shainah Andrews, junior English major and recipient of the Jim & Pam Mullen THCAS Study Abroad Scholarship, thanked all the individuals involved in the day’s event.

THCAS donors Sadie Oates and Charles Saunders.

THCAS donors Sadie Oates and Charles Saunders.

Ever since the age of six, Andrews dreamed of being a pediatrician, until she studied abroad in London this July.

She said that being able to travel down some of the same streets as the authors she read as a child, allowed her “to become one with my favorite fictional characters.”

This three-week-long experience changed her mind about her future.

“Life has a funny way of taking us down many paths. Some which we plan, or envision, and others that we don’t,” said Andrews. “Never did it really cross my mind that I would be changing my minor from science to linguistics the summer before my junior year, completely abandoning the idea of becoming a doctor.”

“Truth be told, I’m a terrified person,” said Andrews “I’m terrified, but here’s the catch. I don’t let that fear debilitate me. I use it as fuel to do the things I yearn to.”

She thanked the Mullens, saying that because of them the “desires of her heart are in fact tangible.”

Concluding the event, Downs again congratulated all the students and thanked the donors for their support.

“It’s all about the students, and those are three great testimonials,” he said.


-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

ECU students donate $4,723.50 to Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts

ECU students stepped up to make a difference with hurricane relief efforts for communities directly impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 530 ECU students donated from their dining plan on Sept. 19-20 and raised $4,723.50 that will go directly to hurricane relief efforts.

Partners include the ECU Residence Hall Association (RHA), Elite Pirates, the Campus Living Community Service Team, Campus Living and Dining Services.

Hurricane relief effort tables were set up at Todd Dining Hall, West End Dining Hall and in front of Dowdy Student Stores at Wright Plaza. Students could make a donation of up to $10 using their Purple or Gold Bucks.

All students with ECU meal plans receive Purple or Gold Bucks loaded on their ECU OneCard depending on whether they live on or off campus. Purple and Gold Bucks are pre-paid debit type accounts that are associated with corresponding meal plans. They are spent dollar for dollar.

Now that the collection totals are complete, ECU Dining Services will provide that amount to Aramark, the food service provider for ECU. The total ECU donations will be split and distributed to one college or university in Texas and one in Florida.

These respective universities will purchase items through Aramark on their campuses to help aid in the recovery process of their community. After the items are purchased, ECU Campus and Aramark will then evenly transfer the funds generated from this fundraising event to the universities involved.

For additional information, email Troy Nance, Residence Hall Association president, at or Morgan Randolph, Elite Pirates vice president, at


Contacts: Troy Nance, Residence Hall Association president,; Morgan Randolph, Elite Pirates vice president,

Brody students help transform medical education

Faculty at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine have made national news in recent months because of their contributions toward transforming medical education around high quality, team-based, patient-centered care. Brody’s innovative curriculum is what led the American Medical Association in 2013 to award the school $1 million to help lead their national Accelerating Change in Medical Education (ACME) initiative.

Now Brody students are getting noticed for doing their part too. Several recently traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend the AMA’s student-led ACME consortium, which brought together medical students from across the country to address key challenges in medical education.

Brody students presented several posters on topics ranging from second-year curriculum optimization to student-led implementation of tablet use in the clinical education setting.

Students attend the AMA conference. (Contributed photo)

Students attend the AMA conference. (Contributed photo)

“As one of the smaller schools represented at the conference, the imprint our students had on the conference was quite impressive,” said Dr. Jill Sutton, a clinical Ob/Gyn professor at ECU and the group’s faculty representative at the event.

Third-year student Zach Frabitore gave an oral presentation about developing and implementing interdisciplinary mock disaster exercises like the ones Brody students held the past two years. Frabitore said his presentation resonated with other students, and many approached him throughout the day to discuss it further.

“I think we left the conference having made a very clear and loud statement about our student body at Brody,” said Frabitore. “We were able to articulate the commitment to student leadership and intimate faculty-student relationships that encourage innovation at our home institution.

“Many students were [surprised] when we spoke about how we could pick up the phone and make personal calls to our faculty to discuss project ideas and receive advice from mentors who knew us on a personal level.”

“The school’s commitment to student participation in curricular governance and feedback that informs future decisions is a high value for Brody,” said Dr. Elizabeth Baxley, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. “The enhanced opportunities we have had in recent years to invest more substantially in student leadership development and to more formalize their contributions to educational and clinical scholarship are already paying off – for the students and the institution. Additionally, it has increased Brody’s national reputation and brought attention to the great work that has been happening here for many years. Everyone wins in that scenario!”

For more information about Brody’s involvement in the AMA initiative to transform medical education visit


-by Angela Todd, University Communication

Phased retirement program available

Chancellor Cecil Staton has announced the annual availability of the phased retirement program for eligible tenured faculty members. Individual letters to eligible faculty members are being sent to home academic units. If a faculty member’s appointment does not meet the program’s eligibility criteria for age and years of service, he or she will not receive a letter of invitation to participate in the phased retirement program. Faculty members who do not receive a letter but believe that they should be eligible based on program criteria should contact their respective vice chancellor’s office for assistance.

Additional details about the phased retirement program are available at the following website:

Questions about the phased retirement program should be directed to Linda Ingalls at 252-943-8584 or (Office of the Provost) or Lisa Hudson at 744-1910 or (Division of Health Sciences).

ECU named national finalist for community engagement award

In recognition of its engagement and scholarship initiatives, East Carolina University is one of four universities selected to compete for a national award this fall.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced Monday the selection of ECU as a regional winner of the 2017 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award. The award recognizes programs that demonstrate how colleges and universities have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement missions to become even more involved with their communities.

As a regional winner, ECU will compete for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which will be announced during the APLU’s annual meeting Nov. 12-14 in Washington, D.C. Other regional winners are the University of New Hampshire, Oklahoma State University and Purdue University.

ECU has been recognized for its MATCH Wellness program, an interdisciplinary, community-university partnership created a decade ago to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity.

Since 2007, the MATCH Wellness partnership has grown from one middle school teacher and one ECU faculty member to include faculty and students from the ECU Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center and public school staff from 15 communities at 35 public schools across three states. Since inception, nearly 13,000 students have participated in the MATCH curriculum, preventing an estimated 1,300 cases of adult obesity.

Physical education teacher Allen Harrell works with Krysta Styons in the MATCH Wellness program at Chowan Middle School in Tyner. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Physical education teacher Allen Harrell works with Krysta Styons in the MATCH Wellness program at Chowan Middle School in Tyner. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Sharon Paynter, assistant vice chancellor for public service and community relations, said she was pleased to learn of the national recognition for MATCH Wellness partnership.

“The MATCH-ECU partnership is exemplary for many reasons, most importantly for the impact it has on helping adolescents establish healthy habits that last a lifetime. It is a great honor for East Carolina University to be selected as the 2017 W.K. Kellogg winner for the Southern Region,” she said.

MATCH landed the university in the national finals for the Magrath Award last year, as well. ECU won the Magrath Award in 2012 for its work with the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center in west Greenville.

The 2017 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award includes a sculpture and $20,000 prize. Regional winners will each receive a cash prize of $5,000.

Since 2007, APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have honored the engagement, scholarship and partnerships of four-year public universities. The national award is named for C. Peter Magrath, APLU president from 1992 to 2005.

The community engagement awards also include a class of exemplary designees. In addition to the regional winners, the five exemplary designees are recognized for their outstanding efforts. Those institutions — Michigan State University, Texas Tech University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Louisville, and the University of South Carolina — will be showcased at the 2017 Engagement Scholarship Consortium’s annual conference in September.

“This year’s Magrath Awards have demonstrated exceptional cultural, civic and economic contributions to their communities, states and regions,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “They’re tackling some of the most urgent challenges facing our country by elevating the importance of student and faculty service, deepening connections to their communities, and reorienting their engagement work to ensure it employs a comprehensive approach that address every angle of these challenges.”

A team of community engagement professionals judged this round of the award. A second team will pick the national winner following presentations at the 2017 National Engagement Scholarship Conference in September.

To learn more about the MATCH Wellness program, visit


-by ECU News Services

The Pirate Alumni Network has a new platform

Think of it as the ECU Alumni Association’s version of LinkedIn and Facebook combined.

ECU Connect is a new way for alumni, students and ECU supporters to expand their career networks and provide career mentorship.

“We talk a lot about alumni networks and how important it is for Pirates to help Pirates, and this is really an online manifestation of that, the power of that network,” said Heath Bowman, president of the alumni association.

ECU Connect was launched after surveys over the years showed one of the biggest things alumni wanted from their association was career help, Bowman said. This online platform will do just that. The association estimates more than 170,000 Pirates will be able to use ECU Connect.

These alumni, students, faculty, staff and supporters will be able to link with each other in various ways such as mentoring, similar career fields, job postings and geographical regions. Those being mentored will be able to get resume help as well as practice their job interviewing skills.

ECU Connect also goes beyond jobs with university and alumni event postings.

“I feel like the partnership that it will bring to our campus and that we can help facilitate through this platform is really, really important,” Bowman said.

ECU Connect is free and easy to use. LinkedIn users can sign in without having to create a new profile because ECU Connect will use their LinkedIn information.

“I really wish my alma mater had something like this when I was coming into my career field,” Bowman added.

More information and a sign up link are at



-by Rich Klindworth

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