Category Archives: News Releases

ECU to host Live/Virtual Technology Showcase

East Carolina University will present a Live/Virtual Technology Showcase at the East Carolina Heart Institute on Friday, Feb. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

ECU students and faculty can learn about ongoing federal research and existing intellectual property and interact with principal investigators representing more than 90 federal laboratories and more than 300 federal facilities from the Southeast and Midwest regions of the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC).

These federal labs include the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Agriculture and more, representing billions of dollars in funded research and opportunities for students in the areas of scholarships, internships, funded research, access to federal research and intellectual property, and mentorships with world-class researchers.

“Students and faculty will have the opportunity to interact live or virtually with these principal investigators,” said Joe Gaines, director of industry and economic development for ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development. “Also, we hope students and regional entrepreneurs can use this technology infusion to form teams for our i6 Regional Innovation Strategies grant starting next semester.”

Those teams will have the chance to pursue funded commercialization activity and be part of a U.S. Department of Commerce grant.

Held in collaboration with the FLC and sponsored by ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development, N.C. IDEA and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, the showcase will include a panel discussion on small business technology transfer and innovation research funding opportunities. There will also be seminars on how to work with federal labs and grant opportunities, and student/faculty research, scholarship and internship opportunities at federal labs.

For event details and agenda, visit Lunch will be provided. Admission is free; for tickets visit


Grammy-nominated musician visits ECU

Renowned Grammy-nominated musician and ethnomusicologist Dr. Tim Eriksen will speak and perform in classes and other venues at East Carolina University during the week of Feb. 19-23. During the week, Eriksen will lead a film-screening and discussion, present an academic talk and perform a musical concert that are free and open to the public.

“Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia,” his online biography reads. “He combines hair-raising vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, guitar and bajo sexton – a twelve string Mexican acoustic bass – creating a distinctive hardcore Americana sound.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 7-8 p.m. in the Science and Technology building, room C-307, Eriksen will screen and discuss two films about the venerable sacred music tradition of shape-note singing, a unique and haunting genre of sacred music that reflects the complexities of identity in the multi-cultural history of the United States.

First, he will show Landon McCrary’s1979 independent film “Dewey Williams, 81st Birthday Singing,” about black shape-note singers in Alabama, followed by an excerpt from Matt and Erica Hinton’s film, “Awake My Soul,” about their white counterparts.

Tim Eriksen, Grammy-nominated musician, will visit ECU the week of Feb. 19-23.

Tim Eriksen, Grammy-nominated musician, will visit ECU the week of Feb. 19-23. (contributed photo)

After the screenings, Eriksen will discuss the history and contemporary practice of shape-note singing and what it has to say about religion, civil rights and racial identity in American history and the present day. Also, he may perform a little singing of his own for the audience.

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, Eriksen will lead a lunchtime academic talk on “Old Folks Singing in Utopia: How Antebellum Musical Antiquarianism and Calvinist Eschatology Gave Birth to Science Fiction on the Banks of the Connecticut River.” The discussion will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bate building, room 1006.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, the public has the opportunity to hear Eriksen perform live. A concert of “Hardcore Americana: Secular and Sacred Songs,” will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Science and Technology building, room C-307.

Eriksen received his doctoral degree in enthomusicology from Wesleyan University. He specializes in shape-note music – specifically the sacred harp – “Old Time” music, American folk, Bosnian vocal and Indian classical music. He has performed and consulted on the soundtrack for the film, “Cold Mountain,” and he has released numerous recordings in genres from folk to jazz to punk.

The events are co-sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities and Harriot College’s Religious Studies Program. All are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

For more information about Eriksen, visit For questions about Eriksen’s visit to ECU, contact Dr. Joseph Hellweg, Whichard Distinguished Professor, at


-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

UnitedHealthcare donates to ECU College of Nursing

UnitedHealthcare Community & State of North Carolina presented East Carolina University’s College of Nursing with $25,000 on Friday, Feb. 12 to fund scholarships for students enrolled in the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program.

A new grant from UnitedHealthcare will help students, especially those in rural parts of the state, earn both an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

A new grant from UnitedHealthcare will help students, especially those in rural parts of the state, earn both an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

The RIBN program helps students, especially those in rural parts of the state, earn both an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The program operates through an innovative partnership with seven local community colleges and ECU. The scholarships funded by UnitedHealthcare will support access to education for aspiring nurses and allow them to better serve the health care needs of North Carolinians.

“The goal of the RIBN program is to help provide a pipeline of baccalaureate nurses to underserved and rural parts of the state by making it easier and more affordable for students from those communities to obtain their BSN,” Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of ECU’s College of Nursing. “Through our partnership with UnitedHealthcare, we will be able to support the educational attainment of these aspiring nurses by helping them overcome economic barriers they may face.”

UnitedHealthcare Vice President of Business Development Brian Cresta spoke before presenting a check to the ECU College of Nursing for student scholarships in the RIBN program. (contributed photos)

UnitedHealthcare Vice President of Business Development Brian Cresta spoke before presenting a check to the ECU College of Nursing for student scholarships in the RIBN program. (contributed photos)

The community colleges participating in the RIBN program are Beaufort County Community College, Carteret Community College, College of the Albemarle, Craven Community College, Lenoir Community College, Pitt Community College and Roanoke-Chowan Community College.

Students in the RIBN program spend the first two years of their coursework at a community college campus while completing at least one online course per semester through ECU. They receive an associate degree in nursing at the end of their third year, and after passing the state licensure exam, they progress to the program’s fourth year with online coursework at ECU in preparation for their bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“By collaborating with partners like ECU’s College of Nursing, we hope to help increase access to quality healthcare throughout North Carolina, particularly in rural communities where there is a dire need,” said UnitedHealthcare Community & State of North Carolina CEO Anita Bachmann. “This program provides quality training to prepare a much-needed nursing workforce to meet the needs of the residents of North Carolina.”

UnitedHealthcare donated $25,000 for student scholarships in the ECU College of Nursing’s Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program.

UnitedHealthcare donated $25,000 for student scholarships in the ECU College of Nursing’s Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program.

Students may apply for the scholarships online at, and recipients will be announced in mid-April. The UnitedHealthcare RIBN Scholarships will cover the 2018-2019 school year. This scholarship program financially assists seniors in the RIBN program as the last year is the most expensive for these students. Preference will be given to students who excel academically, demonstrate financial need, and wish to begin or continue to work in rural underserved areas.


For more information on the RIBN program, visit


ECU hosts Veterans Writing Workshop

East Carolina University will help veterans develop the confidence to tell their stories during the Veterans Writing Workshop Feb. 16-17.

Dr. Robert Siegel, associate professor of English and organizer of the Veterans Writing Workshop, said the purpose of the two-day event is to help veterans and their families preserve their stories for future generations, record history, bridge the gap between veterans and civilians and place veteran concerns in the public consciousness.

The workshop begins with a reading and open discussion at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in Joyner Library’s Faulkner Gallery.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the workshop continues at 10 a.m. in Joyner Library, room 2409, with a special presentation by poet Hugh Martin. Martin, who spent six years in the Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq in 2004, will read from his highly praised collection, “Stick Soldiers.”

Following Martin’s presentation, the event will continue with workshops on fiction, nonfiction and scriptwriting. All events are free and open to the public.

The Veterans Writing Workshop is co-sponsored by the ECU Division of Academic Affairs, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, Joyner Library and Operation Re-entry. For more information visit

Martin is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, winner of the 11th annual A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions, Ltd. and winner of the Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award from the Iowa Review. His work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Grantland, The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker and The New Republic. He was the 2014-15 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College, and he now teaches at Ohio University where he is completing his Ph.D.


Contact: Robert Siegel, associate professor of English, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences,, 252-328-6581


ECU celebrates World Anthropology Day

East Carolina University’s Department of Anthropology will celebrate World Anthropology Day for the fourth year with Anthropology After Dark.

The Anthropology After Dark open house events include a lecture on the role of anthropology in the military by cultural anthropologist Robert Greene Sands. Sands, director of the Institute for the Study of Culture and Language at Norwich University, will discuss “From Advancing Cultural Sensitivity in Special Operations Forces to Building Sustainable Communities Through Outreach to Veterans,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Flanagan Building, room 265.

The evening also will feature laboratory and artifact exhibits, Andean music and the display of an Egyptian tomb beginning at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Flanagan Building.

“This event is one of our more significant public outreach events,” said Dr. Randy Daniel, chairman of the department. “We invite the public into our classrooms and labs to help them understand the relevance of anthropology in the 21st century.”

All events are free and open to the public. Free parking will be available at the lot near the corner of 10th Street and College Hill Drive. A shuttle from the parking lot to the Flanagan Building will run every 15 minutes beginning at 6:15 p.m.

World Anthropology Day is a day for anthropologists to share their excitement about their discipline with the public and to build enthusiasm and awareness for current and future anthropologists. This year, 236 schools representing 13 different countries will hold events in celebration of World Anthropology Day.

“This is a great time for anthropology,” said Dr. Alex Barker, president of the American Anthropological Association. “Today’s anthropologists are making remarkable contributions to human understanding and tackling the world’s most pressing problems.”

Anthropology Day is an initiative by the American Anthropological Association. Founded in 1902, the association has more than 10,000 members and is the world’s largest professional organization of anthropologists. For more information, visit


Contact: Dr. Randy Daniel, chairman, Department of Anthropology, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences,, 252-328-9455

ECU to host NC Civility Summit featuring Dr. Jennifer Arnold

East Carolina University will host the third annual North Carolina Civility Summit from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 17 in the Mendenhall Student Center.

The goal of the N.C. Civility Summit is to create constructive dialogue beyond ECU’s campus and the state of North Carolina, to find solutions and build coalitions to address real-world challenges and tackle significant societal issues. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Jennifer Arnold.

Arnold and her family star in the TLC Network hit docu-drama, “The Little Couple,” which follows her personal and professional life. In addition, she has spent the last eight years involved in health care simulation education. Arnold is currently the medical director of the Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

In 2013, upon the adoption of the couple’s second child, Arnold was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.  Through the support of family, friends and her fans, she underwent intense treatments and is currently cancer-free. Now as a cancer survivor, Arnold is an advocate for spreading cancer awareness, supporting those on the road to recovery and engaging all others with her inspiring story of survivorship.

Following the keynote address at 11 a.m., attendees from across the region will break out into multiple sessions discussing topics such as DACA/the Dream Act, the Politics of Sports, Climate Change and Language Ownership.

The N.C. Civility Summit is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required for entry. To register and for tickets for the event visit Lunch will be provided for all attendees.

Sponsors include Student Involvement and Leadership, Student Activities Board, Student Government Association, Black Student Union, Sexuality and Gender Alliance, Intercultural Affairs, Off-Campus Student Services, N.C. Civil and Pitt Community College.

For more information about the N.C. Civility Summit visit or contact Wanda Tyler, director of intercultural affairs, at 252-328-6495.


Contact: Wanda Tyler, director of intercultural affairs,, 252-328-6495

Award-winning SHOES Project builds on two years’ successes to combat mental illness and depression

East Carolina University students have partnered with campus departments to present the SHOES Project from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 8 near the cupola on the ECU Mall.

SHOES, which stands for Students Honoring Others’ Everyday Struggles/Stories, is a program intended to help ECU students who may be dealing with challenging times. College students may experience depression, anxiety, stress, addictions or thoughts of self-harm, but may feel isolated and unable to manage their response.

“Our hope is that this program and its profound effect on helping others with their struggles, providing them with education and resources, along with hope, encouragement and positivity, will help the masses in being more aware of mental health issues in adolescents and young adults,” said Waz Miller, director of residence life.

The SHOES project was first held in 2016. It won the state and regional Program of the Year award from the South Atlantic Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls, and went on to be chosen as the Program of the Year by the National Association of College and University Residence Halls. The program was shared with other campuses at the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International conference in Rhode Island in June.

Shoes with notes bring awareness to mental health issues

Shoes are scattered across the ECU Mall with anonymous notes during the 2017 SHOES event, a project which aims to bring awareness to mental health issues. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Thursday’s event will feature a display of 400 pairs of shoes, each attached to a story of someone struggling with a family situation, medical condition, mental health issue or other obstacles, which have been collected from ECU and Hope Middle School students.

In addition to the shoes on display, the So Worth Living student organization will have a Worthy Wall, a chalkboard wall where students can write down the reasons why they are worthy of being loved. Student radio station WZMB 91.3 FM will broadcast live during the event.

ECU students and staff will distribute thousands of positive messages on buses and in campus buildings during the SHOES Project. There will also be a resource table, and the Center for Counseling and Student Development will have a counselor on site for participants who would like someone to talk to in a confidential setting.

There will also be a giant purple bear named Soks and hot chocolate and cookies donated by Campus Dining. Participants can share their photos and thoughts using the hashtag #ECUSHOES.

“This is a time of year when students may get stressed, lonely and need a lift,” Miller said. “This is a collaborative effort to bring more awareness to mental health and other issues which college and younger students are facing.”

In the event of rain, the project will be moved to Thursday, Feb. 15. For more information, contact Waz Miller at


-Contact: Will Bullock, ECU Residence Hall Association advisor,, or Troy Nance, SHOES event coordinator/RHA President,

ECU to host Summer Jobs & Internship Fair for students and alumni

East Carolina University Career Services will host its first Summer Jobs and Internship Fair from 1-4 p.m. Feb. 8 at the ECU Student Recreation Center.

This event covers all majors at ECU and is focused on delivering meaningful employment opportunities for students during their summer breaks that will directly apply to their academic programs and future career goals.

“Internships are extremely valuable learning experiences no matter the academic major. In many cases, nontraditional settings are equally as valuable as an internship that mirrors an academic discipline,” said Dr. Deb Jordan, professor and department chair for the recreation and leisure studies program at ECU.

According to the 2017 Job Outlook, the five top skills employers desire in potential hires are the ability to work on a team, problem solving, written communication skills, a strong work ethic and verbal communication skills.

“Finding an internship where these skills can be learned and honed will facilitate the success of all students as they begin their professional careers,” said Jordan.

More than 50 companies are participating in this career fair, including Enterprise, Northwestern Mutual, Peace Corps, Peter Millar, YMCA, Eastern 4-H Center, UNC Coastal Studies Institute, Bethelwoods Camp and Conference Center, Busch Gardens Williamsburg & Water Country USA, Beacon Hill Staffing Group, and the Autism Society of N.C.

ECU Career Services offers the following suggestions to attendees:

  • Dress in casual attire and bring your ECU 1Card.
  • Research the employers who will be attending the event by visiting and prioritize what organizations to target for employment.
  • Develop and practice an introduction or power greeting.
  • Create or update your resume that has been critiqued by a career counselor and bring multiple copies to the fair.
  • Remember to smile, initiate a handshake and look the employers in the eye when greeting them at the event.


-For more information, contact Leslie Rogers at 252-328-6050.

Miller School of Entrepreneurship names director

Dr. Mike Harris

Dr. Mike Harris has been named director of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University and the College of Business (COB) have named Dr. Mike Harris the director of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship (MSOE). Harris has served as MSOE’s interim director since January 2017.

“The removal of ‘interim’ recognizes the outstanding work he and the MSOE team have been doing,” said Dean Stan Eakins. “I look forward to working with Mike and making the school a national model for entrepreneurship education.”

Before being named MSOE director, Harris was the chair of the COB’s department of management, and for the past 18 years, he directed the college’s Small Business Institute. In 2017, he was also named a Small Business Institute Fellow.

As director of the MSOE, Harris will be responsible for curriculum and degree offerings, hiring faculty, and invigorating the entrepreneurial spirit across ECU and in eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Lee Grubb, currently the director of the COB’s Leadership Program, will serve as interim management chair.

“We’ve developed a strong team in the Miller School of Entrepreneurship,” said Harris. “I’m very excited to continue working with them, campus partners and the school’s statewide, regional advisory councils to build a destination school of entrepreneurship at ECU.

“It’s critical that we help students find their entrepreneurial passion and then connect them with the mentors and resources necessary to develop successful enterprises.”

J. Fielding Miller

J. Fielding Miller (Contributed photo)

Made possible by a generous commitment from Raleigh-area entrepreneur and COB alumnus J. Fielding Miller and his wife, Kim Grice Miller, the MSOE was established in 2015 and serves as a regional hub that prepares students to take an entrepreneurial mindset to their communities.

With the goal of being a conduit for transformation, the MSOE links the university and the region by developing and delivering entrepreneurship education and co-curricular student engagement.

“I am delighted with the decision to have Mike lead the Miller School of Entrepreneurship,” said Miller. “We did an exhaustive search and found that we had the perfect leader right in front of us. He has the creativity, work ethic and leadership qualities we need to build out a world-class program. The future is bright for future Pirate entrepreneurs with Mike at the helm.”

Transforming Indeed

MSOE’s impact in the region is evident with initiatives and programs that started since its beginning. The inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge kicked off in 2017, allowing teams of aspiring entrepreneurs from across campus to compete for $20,000 in prize money. MSOE and COB recently announced the new James W. Chesnutt and David A. Bond professorship that will support an associate or full professor who delivers entrepreneurial skills to students.

Entrepreneurship ChallengeAdditionally, the College received a $2 million commitment in 2017 from Van and Jennifer Isley of Raleigh that will provide a “hub” that houses the MSOE and where business, engineering, technology and art students can have “creative collisions” that produce innovation and entrepreneurship.

In total, the MSOE has mentored and tutored more than 100 students who are trying to turn their ideas into realities.

According to Harris, the MSOE is building a comprehensive program that will include a new undergraduate degree in entrepreneurship to complement COB’s entrepreneurship certificate.

“Along with innovative co-curricular activities such as the Pirate Challenge and I-Corps@ECU, the Miller School of Entrepreneurship will play a pivotal role in creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Harris. “I truly believe the Miller School is a game changer on ECU’s campus.”


-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

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