Category Archives: Military

ECU joins national honor society for veterans

East Carolina University has started a chapter of SALUTE, the first national honor society for veterans.

SALUTE, an acronym for service, academics, leadership, unity, tribute and excellence, recognizes veterans, active duty service members, National Guard members and reservists who have been honorably discharged, or who are currently serving. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for membership.

File photo - ROTC

ECU ROTC students recognized at a ceremony earlier this year are some of the students eligible for the new SALUTE honor society being organized on campus this fall. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

“The students who are inducted into membership in SALUTE represent every slice of American military and veterans in higher education,” according to SALUTE’s website.

Set up as a four-step system, SALUTE encourages student veterans to improve their GPAs in order to advance to the next tier level throughout their academic career. Tiers include Delta (3.00-3.24), Charlie (3.25-3.49), Bravo (3.50-3.74) and Alpha (3.75-4.0).

“Student veteran services decided to apply for membership to SALUTE because transitioning from military service can be a challenging time for our student veterans. We want to support our students by taking time to officially honor those who have succeeded academically at ECU,” said Nicole Jablonski, assistant director of ECU Student Veteran Services.

Although ECU’s chapter is purely an academic recognition group, Jablonski hopes to add a service component in the future.

Each new member will be presented with a certificate and a challenge coin at an awards ceremony. Approximately 50 veterans are expected to be inducted into the inaugural group in spring 2017.

SALUTE was founded at Colorado State University in 2009. The honors society includes both two-year and four-year higher education institutes.

Flags

For more information, contact Nicole Jablonski at 252-737-6542 or visit SALUTE’s website at www.salute.colostate.edu.

–Sophronia Knott

ECU named top school for military spouses

East Carolina University has been named one of the top 100 schools in the nation for military spouses.

ECU is the only university in North Carolina to receive Victory Media’s Military Spouse Friendly School designation.

MF16_SpouseSchool

As such, ECU demonstrates “best practices in the education of military spouses and military families,” according to Victory Media, which measured universities on 10 criteria from academic and military family support to offering programs leading to portable career opportunities.

Earning the designation brings great pride, said Rondall Rice, chair of ECU’s Academic Military Affairs Committee, which completed the surveys and compiled information for the designations.

“Having served 29 years in the Air Force, I know the importance of military spouses and families, and the hardships they endure to allow their loved one to serve the nation. Being Military Spouse Friendly recognizes that ECU values their sacrifice and has programs and policies in place to help them achieve their academic goals,” Rice said.

This is the fifth military friendly-related designation this academic year, Rice said, which is a testament to ECU’s campus-wide efforts to make it a welcoming and beneficial place for military students, veterans and their families.

“This specific student population is focused and hard-working, but often face difficulties and unique situations due to their service,” Rice said. “We are proud to work with them all to help them earn their degrees.”

In the fall, the Military Times ranked ECU 28th in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 – the highest ranked in North Carolina. ECU also was named a Military Friendly School, which recognizes the top 20 percent of trade schools, colleges and universities that are doing the most to embrace service members, veterans and their families. The other two designations given to ECU are the Military Times’ Best for Vets: Business Schools and Victory Media’s Top 50 Military Friendly Schools for jobs in the pharmaceutical and health care industry.

ECU offers participation in the Veterans Administration Yellow Ribbon Program, which extends GI Bill benefits to cover out-of-state tuition. ECU also has one of only 79 VA-funded Veterans Support on Campus representatives across the nation and the only one in North Carolina.

Other support groups on campus include the student-led Pirate Veterans and the ECU Student Veteran Services office which offers Green Zone training for faculty and staff to increase understanding of military and veteran students and issues they may face in college. ECU also has programs to award academic credit for military training using American Council on Education recommendations. And ECU’s Military Advisory Committee helps raise scholarship money for ROTC and military students and coordinates veterans recognition and military appreciation events.

Victory Media’s Military Friendly Guide is the premier resource used by military personnel and their families when choosing an institution of higher learning. The publication is distributed to all base education centers worldwide and offered to every military member at retirement or transition from service to civilian life. More information about the new designation can be found at https://militaryfriendly.com/militaryspouseschools/.

–Crystal Baity

Dowdy Student Stores presents checks from T-shirt sales

Thursday, Dec. 10th, Dowdy Student Stores and their vendor, Perfect Promotions & More of Apex, NC presented three checks from the sales of t-shirts benefitting specific causes this fall.

Thursday morning, physicians and staff from the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center were presented a check for $2,124 to benefit the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Fund, and a check for $2,124 was presented to Ms. Katrina Combs, manager of the McConnell-Rabb Hope Lodge of Greenville.  These funds were from sales of Pirate Cancer Awareness T-shirts sold during October at ECU Dowdy Student Stores and the Medical Bookstore at Brody School of Medicine.

Over $4,000 was raised in support of cancer organizations during the sale of Pirate Cancer Awareness shirts sold by Dowdy Student Stores during October.

Over $4,000 was raised in support of cancer organizations during the sale of Pirate Cancer Awareness shirts sold by Dowdy Student Stores during October.

The McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge of Greenville is part of the American Cancer Society’s program providing no-cost temporary housing to patients and their caregivers while undergoing cancer treatments at the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center and Vidant Hospital.

The Pink Ribbon Fund assists local breast cancer patients at the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center, a joint venture of the ECU Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Hospital.

Later that morning, a check for $4,788 was presented to the ECU Distinguished Military Society to benefit ROTC Scholarships at East Carolina University. The presentation was made at the Freedom Wall to Dr. Steve Duncan, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Military Programs and Dr. Glen Gilbert, Dean of the College of Health and Human Performance.  These funds were generated from sales of ECU Military Appreciation t-shirts during the month of November at the Dowdy Stores as well as at the football stadium.

Dowdy Student Stores also presented $4,788 to the ECU Distinguished Military Society to benefit ROTC Scholarships at ECU.

Dowdy Student Stores also presented $4,788 to the ECU Distinguished Military Society to benefit ROTC Scholarships at ECU.

Stephen McFadden, Vice President of Perfect Promotions and More, of Apex, NC was the vendor of the t-shirts and was instrumental in the venture. McFadden is an ECU Alumnus who enjoys giving back to the University through projects such as this.

More than 1000 of each of the shirt styles were sold, and according to Dowdy Student Stores Director Bryan Tuten, they plan on running both of these programs again next year.

Dowdy Student Stores is owned and operated by the University.

ECU student receives Commander’s Award for Public Service

Deputy Command Psychologist Bruce Moyer, right, presents the Commander’s Award for Public Service to ECU student Justin Raines, left. (Contributed photo)

Deputy Command Psychologist Bruce Moyer, right, presents the Commander’s Award for Public Service to ECU student Justin Raines, left. (Contributed photo)

 

East Carolina University doctoral student Justin Raines received the Commander’s Award for Public Service, one of the top public service awards bestowed upon a civilian by the U.S. Department of the Army.

The award is presented to Raines for significant impact on operations of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) through his research expertise in the Psychology Support Section from May 2013 through Dec. 2014. His work supported data management, statistical analysis and predictive model techniques to determine psychological factors that contribute to student success in the special forces qualification course for detachment commanders and the special forces combat diver qualification course.

According to the award narrative, his work “required extraordinary knowledge, adaptability and innovation in order to meet mission demands.” Raines was described as “dedicated to the mission and fully investing in supporting the development and training” of participating soldiers.

Raines is pursuing a Ph.D. in occupational health psychology at ECU.

ECU College of Business Named Top Online MBA Program for Veterans

By Jennifer Brezina
For ECU News Services

U.S. News & World Report has named the College of Business at East Carolina University as one of the best online MBA programs for veterans, ranking #61 out of hundreds of schools. The rankings, now in their third year, identify 737 programs that provide veterans with high-quality, flexible online education options across eight categories.

“When veterans return to higher education they can experience unique challenges during their transition out of the military and into civilian life,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News. “The Best Online Programs for Veterans are designed to help veterans balance applying, paying for and completing a degree, on top of their work and family commitments.”

The online program in the ECU College of Business has grown from a single course offering in 1998 to providing undergraduate and graduate degrees in several concentrations. Of the nearly 700 students enrolled in the MBA program for the fall 2014 semester, 75 percent attended part-time and selected online classes.

Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of the ECU College of Business, said, “We’re proud that our online business program continues to rank among the nation’s top schools for the best educational quality and value, especially when it comes to veterans. Our college values the unique contributions veterans and those serving in the military bring to our program, and we thank them for their service to our country.”

To qualify for the Best Online Programs for Veterans rankings, an online degree program had to report participation in two key programs that offer educational benefits to people with military service. The rankings methodology requires programs to belong to institutions that are certified for the GI Bill; they must also belong to schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program or to public institutions that charge in-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans. This year, the U.S. Department of Defense discontinued two programs that U.S. News previously factored into its analysis: the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) catalog. As a result, many more programs were included in the 2015 rankings.

To be ranked, programs also had to be among the top 75 percent of schools in the overall 2015 Best Online Programs rankings, which were released earlier this year. Those programs were assessed for various factors, including affordability, faculty credentials, student services and reputation.

Read more at http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/us-news-ranks-best-online-programs-for-veterans.

Workshops to focus on veterans, military

CWS Brian Turner

 

East Carolina University’s Contemporary Writer Series will host a three-day series of workshops for veterans, military service members and military families March 25 – 27.

All events are free and open to the public. The series will focus on expressing experiences through fiction, non-fiction or visual art. Participants may also wish to contribute to a new publication, The ECU Veterans Anthology.

Veteran poet and essayist Brian Turner will open the series at 7:30 p.m. March 25 in the East Carolina Heart Institute auditorium. Turner will read from his work and discuss his experiences as infantry team leader for the 3 rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Iraq from 2003-2004. He is the author of “Here Bullet” (2005), “Phantom Noise” (2010) and “My Life as a Foreign Country” (2014).

A book signing and question and answer session will immediately follow.

A poetry reading at 7 p.m. March 26 in the Greenville Museum of art will feature award-winning poet Ilyse Kusnetz and former North Carolina poet laureate Joseph Bathanti. A book signing and question and answer session will follow readings from both poets’ work.

Kusnetz teaches at Valencia College and lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband, poet and memoirist Brian Turner. She holds a Ph.D. in feminist and postcolonial British literature from the University of Edinburgh and an M.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University. Bathanti is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University and the 2012 state poet laureate. His writings focus on veterans and their families. His honors include the Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award, the Carolina Novel Award and the Linda Flowers Literary Award from the N.C. Humanities Council.

A full listing of events and registration is available at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/veteran-writers-workshop-tickets-15846084064.

For additional information about the workshops, contact Jason Faulkner, teaching instructor in the Department of English, at 252-328-5177 or faulknerj@ecu.edu. For additional information about the events featuring Turner, Kusnetz or Bathanti, contact John Hoppenthaler, associate professor of English, at 252-328-5562; hoppenthalerj@ecu.edu, or Thomas Douglass, associate professor of English, at 252-328-6723; douglasst@ecu.edu.

The workshops are cosponsored by Operation Re-Entry North Carolina, Office of Student Transitions, Pirate Veterans and the Office of the Provost.

ECU Bookstore Donates to Scholarship Program to Honor Fallen Soldier

Pictured left to right are Bryan Tuten, director, Dowdy Student Stores; Scott Buck, associate vice chancellor, Administration and Finance; Stephen McFadden, vice president, Perfect Promotions & More; John Palmer, merchandise and apparel manager, Dowdy Student Stores; Lt. Col. Sean Farrar, professor of military science; Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance; Steve Duncan, assistant vice chancellor for Planning, Development and Military Programs; Clint MacMiller, assistant professor of military science; Jason Schreuder, assistant professor of military science; and Joshua Moffitt, assistant professor of military science. Tuten is showing the back design of the T-shirts that were sold; McFadden is showing the front design. (Contributed photo)

Pictured left to right are Bryan Tuten, director, Dowdy Student Stores; Scott Buck, associate vice chancellor, Administration and Finance; Stephen McFadden, vice president, Perfect Promotions & More; John Palmer, merchandise and apparel manager, Dowdy Student Stores; Lt. Col. Sean Farrar, professor of military science;
Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance; Steve Duncan, assistant vice chancellor for Planning, Development and Military Programs; Clint MacMiller, assistant professor of military science; Jason Schreuder, assistant professor of military science; and Joshua Moffitt, assistant professor of military science. Tuten is showing the back design of the T-shirts that were sold; McFadden is showing the front design. (Contributed photo)

A T-shirt sale and promotion at East Carolina University raised more than $5,000 in November for a scholarship fund that honors JP Thompson, an ECU graduate who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

On Dec. 15, representatives from ECU Dowdy Student Stores and its vendor, Perfect Promotions & More of Apex, presented a check for $5,224 to Lt. Col. Sean Farrar, professor of military science, in Christenbury Gym on campus.

“Today’s donation will go a long way in enabling us to endow this scholarship, which we hope to be able to do in the spring,” Farrar said.

Accepting the donation along with Farrar were Steve Duncan, assistant vice chancellor for planning, development and military programs, and Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance, which houses the ROTC programs at ECU.

The money was raised through sales of “ECU Supports our Military” shirts at ECU Dowdy Student Stores between Veterans Day and Military Appreciation Weekend in November. A portion of the sale of each shirt was donated by Dowdy Student Stores and its vendor Perfect Promotions and More, which allotted $3 per shirt for each ordered to go toward the contribution.

Thompson was a 2002 ECU graduate and member of the U.S. Army Special Forces who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. The deployment was his third in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While at ECU, Thompson was captain of ECU’s Army Ranger Challenge Team, which he led to a second place victory from among 40 other teams.

According to his sister, Alisa Mueller, one of Thompson’s life goals was to provide a scholarship to cadets. “Endowing this scholarship will achieve this goal and honor his memory for many years to come,” she said.

Dowdy Student Stores Director Bryan Tuten said he was pleased with the customer response and amount raised. “The Pirate fans have really come out and supported this effort. This is a very worthy cause, and it is something we would like to continue each year,” he said.

Each year, the university owned and operated bookstores sell shirts for the military appreciation football game, but this was the first year for the joint project with Perfect Promotions and the scholarship program. Stephen McFadden, vice president of Perfect Promotions and More and an ECU alumnus, said he was proud to play a role in the effort.

The check was presented by Dowdy Student Stores Merchandise Manager John Palmer, Tuten, Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Scott Buck, and McFadden.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund may contact: ECU Advancement Office, Rachel Nichols at 328-9558, or make a check to the ECU Foundation, Greenville Center, Charles Blvd, 27858, with JP Thompson Scholarship Fund on the memo line. T-shirts are still available at Dowdy, in the Wright Building store on campus, or by calling (252) 328-6731.

Rimpf gets keys to new home

Dr. Glen Gilbert, interim vice chancellor for university advancement, presents ECU graduate and wounded warrior Nathan Rimpf with a Pirates helmet. (Photo by Emily Packard)

Dr. Glen Gilbert, interim vice chancellor for university advancement, presents ECU graduate and wounded warrior Nathan Rimpf with a Pirates helmet. (Photo by Emily Packard)

 

Wounded warrior Nathan Rimpf has moved into his new home in the Renaissance Park neighborhood in south Raleigh.

The traditional-style home, with a double porch and blue shutters, is the sixth home constructed by a partnership between the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County and the Triangle Veterans Association.

Four paratroopers who parachuted in as fireworks exploded delivered the keys to Rimpf’s new home.

Speaking to a large crowd of family and ECU friends at the key ceremony on Nov. 7, Rimpf said he does not regret his sacrifice. “This isn’t exactly what I dreamed – it’s way beyond that,” he said. “Look at this out here. Who wouldn’t give a pair of ugly feet to defend these people? It’s been a very awesome 487 days, to be honest.”

After graduating from ECU’s ROTC program, Rimpf became an Army Ranger. He stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Anbar Province and lost his lower legs.

Cadets from ECU’s ROTC program, including seniors who were freshmen when Rimpf was a senior, attended the ceremony. Glenn Gilbert, acting vice chancellor of university advancement, also spoke.

Rimpf walks easily on prosthetic legs but he said standing for long periods tires him. The stairs of his new home have a wheelchair lift.

Steve Tuttle

 

ECU campaign offers chance to honor military service, support

Newly purchased pavers are shown during the 2011 dedication of the Memorial Walk and Freedom Wall at East Carolina University. The pavers were installed in the brick walkway after the service. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

A campaign under way at East Carolina University presents an opportunity to commemorate military service with a permanent memorial on campus.

The 2012 Service to Nation Campaign is offering engraved brick pavers priced at $125 each to honor individuals who have provided service in support of national defense. That includes military service as well as participation with organizations designed to support military efforts, such as the Veterans Administration, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Support the Troops, Wounded Warriors and similar programs.

Each 6 x 9 inch commemorative paver will be engraved with the honoree’s name and service details, and installed on the Memorial Walk west of Christenbury Memorial Gymnasium. Pavers purchased before Oct. 19 will be installed prior to a Nov. 9 dedication ceremony in honor of Veterans Day.

Proceeds will be used for Army and Air Force ROTC scholarships at ECU.

The campaign is sponsored by the ECU College of Health and Human Performance and the Office of Military Programs. For additional information, contact Steve Duncan at duncans@ecu.edu or Kim Walters at waltersk@ecu.edu or call (252) 328-9572.