Category Archives: News Releases

North Carolina Literary Review explores North Carolina ‘On the Map and in the News’

The 2018 issue of the award-winning North Carolina Literary Review opens with an essay by the acclaimed author of the 20-book Judge Deborah Knott mystery series. Margaret Maron describes traveling to many of the places that put North Carolina “on the map” as she researched the settings of the next court case she would send her character to adjudicatein “From Manteo to Murphy: A Writer’s Personal Journey.”

Cover of the 2018 North Carolina Literary Review, “On the Map and in the News” (Designed by NCLR Art Director Dana Ezzell Lovelace)

Cover of the 2018 North Carolina Literary Review, “On the Map and in the News” (Designed by NCLR Art Director Dana Ezzell Lovelace)

The collage on NCLR’s cover, designed by Dana Ezzell Lovelace, the review’s art director, reflects what draws people to North Carolina, including beach and mountain vacation spots.

Readers will meet Vivian Howard, chef, television personality and writer, who is putting tiny Deep Run, N.C., on the map with her PBS television show, “A Chef’s Life;” restaurant, Chef & the Farmer, in Kinston; and memoir, “Deep Run Roots.”

North Carolina sometimes draws attention for less savory reasons, but as NCLR editor Margaret Bauer notes in her introduction to the special feature section of the issue, “North Carolina writers do not shy away from difficult subjects.”

One example Bauer gives is Priscilla Melchior’s poem inspired by a Ku Klux Klan parade, which received second place in the 2017 James Applewhite Poetry Prize competition.

In an interview conducted by Appalachian State University English professor Zackary Vernon, Allan Gurganus, a writer whose books put Rocky Mount on people’s radar, advocates writers directing their talents toward political activism.

“We can communicate our alarm and our concern,” Gurganus said.

Bland Simpson does just that in his essay focusing on his concern about one of North Carolina’s most vital resources — water: keeping it safe to drink and worrying about it eroding the state’s shores, especially as the population continues to rise.

Other sections of the 2018 issueinclude former North Carolina Poet Laureate Fred Chappell’s analysis of Angela Davis-Gardner’s novels; Robert Wallace’s 2017 Doris Betts Fiction Prize story; John Thomas York’s Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize-winning essay, selected by Our State editor Elizabeth Hudson; Susan O’Dell Underwood, finalist in the Albright competition; and finalists from the 2017 James Applewhite Poetry Prize competition, including the winning poem and an honorable mention poem, both by Christina Clark.

“It was another successful year of creative submissions,” said Bauer.

NCLR is sold in independent bookstores across the state and by subscription. To subscribe, visit A two-year subscription will include the 2019 issue, which will feature African American literature of North Carolina.


-Contact: North Carolina Literary Review,, 252-328-1537

T-shirt sales benefit Aces for Autism

ECU Dowdy Student Stores and their vendor, Perfect Promotions & More of Apex, presented a check on May 21 for $2,250 to Aces for Autism, a not-for-profit treatment and educational center in Greenville. The center provides doctor-prescribed therapies to help individuals with autism reach their full potential.

The money was raised through sales of Aces for Autism basketball T-shirts at Dowdy Student Store, the Health Sciences Bookstore and Minges Coliseum during basketball season. The ECU Pirate basketball team has been very involved in raising awareness of Aces for Autism programs.

ECU Dowdy Student Stores and vendor Perfect Promotions & More of Apex present a check to Aces for Autism. (Contributed photo)

ECU Dowdy Student Stores and vendor Perfect Promotions & More of Apex present a check to Aces for Autism. (Contributed photo)

“We are so grateful for this contribution,” said Kyle Robinson, board president of Aces for Autism. “We provide financial assistance to help with treatment for about 30 families right now, and this money will help support that effort.”

Clients of the program range from 16 months to 14 years of age, Robinson said.

Presenting the check were Dowdy Student Stores Director Bryan Tuten, Associate Store Director Bob Walker, Merchandise Manager John Palmer, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Services Kevin Carraway and Perfect Promotions Vice President of Sales Stephen McFadden, who is an ECU alumnus. On hand to receive the check were Kyle Robinson, ECU basketball operations and Aces for Autism board president; Margaret Turner, Aces for Autism board treasurer; and Brian Overton, ECU director of player development.

Dowdy Student Stores are university-owned and operated bookstores and sell shirts benefitting a variety of causes throughout the school year. Past recipients have included organizations supporting childhood cancer, breast cancer, ALS and campus military programs.

“I’m extremely grateful that our customers and Pirate Nation continue to step up and support these causes by buying these T-shirts that support such worthy local causes,” Tuten said.


-Contact: Karen Simmons, 252-737-1311 or

Remains of a possible 1619 Dutch privateer identified in Bermuda

East Carolina University archaeologists working in partnership with the National Museum of Bermuda (NMB) have announced that they may be one step closer to linking an unidentified shipwreck site to the nearly 400–year-old story of a stranded Dutch privateer or pirate ship.

The wooden sailing ship, described by the fifth Bermuda Governor Nathaniel Butler as a Dutch pinnace traveling from the Caribbean, reportedly grounded on the rocks of Bermuda’s western reef in 1619. Islanders rescued the Dutch and English crew of down-on-their-luck buccaneers, and they were repatriated within a year; the ship itself was reportedly left to wind and weather, disappearing with the next Atlantic-borne storm.

ECU maritime studies professor Bradley Rodgers and a team of students have mounted the first scientific exploration of an unidentified shipwreck site in Bermuda. (Photo credit National Museum of Bermuda)

ECU maritime studies professor Bradley Rodgers and a team of students have mounted the first scientific exploration of an unidentified shipwreck site in Bermuda. (Photos contributed by the National Museum of Bermuda)

New archaeological evidence, however, suggests that Bermudians may have secretly lightered the cargo ashore and floated the ship off the reef, hiding it in a shallow bay to salvage arms, lumber and hardware — essential commodities for an isolated but burgeoning colony.

The wreck site may represent one of the earliest colonial-built, Dutch vessels discovered in the Americas, and the earliest and perhaps only fully archaeologically documented privateer/pirate vessel, according to Dr. Bradley Rodgers, ECU professor of maritime studies. Combined historical and archaeological studies will continue and could reveal new details about life in the 17th century, wrecking practices and the early settlement period in Bermuda.

In 2008, Rodgers examined a wreck located in a quiet harbor at the west end of the island, a short distance from the Dutch pinnace’s last known position on the reef. He recognized the wreck to be an early and significant vessel type. In May 2017, Rodgers returned with a team from ECU, and along with NMB, mounted the first scientific exploration of the site, archaeologically examining, mapping and recording the exposed sections of the wreck.

The remains are well known to locals, but their origins are not.

“The ship remains appear to be early and significant, and archaeological evidence demonstrates unmistakable traits of northern Dutch design, techniques that have not been used in four centuries,” Rodgers said.

It was not uncommon during the 17th century to salvage ships in the west end of Bermuda, he said, out of sight of customs officials in the east end, to avoid taxes or levies on the goods and materials retrieved. “Salvage marks are plentiful on the disarticulated wreck, and though many of the fasteners and planks have been removed, many of the timber remains are in great condition,” he said.

Students record timbers on the site of an unidentified shipwreck site in Bermuda. (Photo contributed by the National Museum of Bermuda)

Students record timbers on the site of an unidentified shipwreck site in Bermuda.

There is much work to do to complete the analysis of the shipwreck, according to Rodgers, as it takes “extensive archival research, archaeological analysis and funding to fully verify the find, and it is one of the more confusing wreck sites we have ever studied — it has been completely taken apart down to the fastenings.”

However, the team has documented enough of the site to identify ship construction techniques matching those described in Dutch treatises of the 17th century. In addition, the wood has been identified as greenheart (Ocotea reodiei), a New World timber historically harvested in Dutch trading territory in South America, and the few artifacts seen reflect Dutch northern European heritage from the early 17th century.

Further investigation should shed more light on life in 17th century Bermuda and its early settlement, especially pertaining to the salvage of ships in distress.

“The economics and impact of salvage in the early settlement of Bermuda has not yet fully been explored by academics and can provide a fascinating window into how the first Bermudians survived on an isolated island,” said Elena Strong, NMB executive director.

“Bermuda’s rich underwater cultural heritage, which is protected by law, is not only a valuable cultural tourism asset, but also comprises a tangible archive of the interaction of African, American and European cultures over five centuries,” she said. “Over the past 40 years, research on these wrecks has yielded considerable data informing historical narratives about the lives of the people who depended on these vessels to ferry goods and people to various ports along the Atlantic littoral.”


-Contact: Bradley Rodgers, professor of maritime studies, ECU,, and Elena Strong, executive director, National Museum of Bermuda,

ECU Police to conduct active shooter training

Law enforcement officers train in Tyler Hall as part of an active shooter training drill. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

In this file photo, law enforcement officers train in Tyler Hall as part of an active shooter training drill. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

The East Carolina University Police Department will conduct active shooter training May 14-18 from 5 p.m. to midnight in the Carol G. Belk Building on Charles Boulevard.

This training, a normal part of ECU’s emergency planning procedures, is designed to prepare law enforcement personnelto respond to an active shooter on campus. Belk will be the only building involved in the training scenarios.

According to the ECU Police, the exercise may involve the simulated use of weapons including blank rounds, and role players will be constantly entering the building from multiple entrances.


-Contact: Lt. Chris Sutton, ECU Police, 252-737-7433

Commencement week to feature Grad Bash, fireworks

East Carolina University’s Spring Commencement Ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 4 in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and will be capped off with a celebratory display of fireworks.

The keynote speaker will be Linda McMahon, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration and ECU alumna.

The spring ceremony will commemorate the accomplishments of 5,479 graduates who have completed their degrees or will do so this summer, including 3,989 undergraduate, 1,236 graduate and 254 doctoral degrees.

New this year is Grad Bash 2K18: ARRRGH You Ready! — a festival-style celebration for graduates and their families from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, May 3 at Five Points Plaza in downtown Greenville.

“This will be a commencement week unlike any other in ECU’s 110-year history,” said Chancellor Cecil Staton. “We look forward to recognizing and applauding the hard work and accomplishments of our graduates, and we can’t wait to see where they will go from here. As they embark on the next leg of their journey, they are prepared both to fulfill their own dreams and to have a positive impact on the world and in their communities.”

Many of ECU’s colleges, schools and departments will hold unit recognition ceremonies during commencement weekend. A complete listing can be found at

Commencement is an outdoor ceremony and will be held rain or shine. In the unexpected event of severe weather, the university ceremony will be postponed until Saturday, May 5 at 9 a.m. Any changes to the ceremony will be communicated via ECU Alert and the ECU website (

Country Doctor Museum celebrates 50 years on April 21

A daylong celebration at the oldest museum in the nation dedicated to the history of rural health care will be held Saturday, April 21.

From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., the Country Doctor Museum will host “History Alive! A 50thAnniversary Celebration” – a family-friendly event that aims to offer visitors a glimpse into the past. Free activities will include museum tours, a petting zoo and horse-drawn carriage rides from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Acoustic and old-time music will be provided by DryBread Road, and a variety of food vendors will be present.

The Joel Lane House, Imagination Station Science and History Museum, Aycock Birthplace and the Tobacco Farm Life Museum will offer free activities and demonstrations.

The Country Doctor Museum will also showcase a new exhibit, “The Sick Room: Home Comfort and Bedside Necessities,” which illustrates how an extended illness of a family member or loved one was a common part of life at the turn of the 20th century.

The museum, located at 7089 Peele Road in Bailey, is managed as part of the History Collections of Laupus Library at East Carolina University through an agreement with the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation.

For more information, call 252-235-4165, visit or visit the Country Doctor Museum Facebook page.


-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communications

ECU celebrates Earth Day 2018 with full week of events

Environmental activist Summer Rayne Oakes will speak at Mendenhall Student Center at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16.

Environmental activist Summer Rayne Oakes will speak at Mendenhall Student Center at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16.

East Carolina University will celebrate Earth Day with a full week of events beginning Monday, April 16, and continuing through Sunday, April 22.

Monday: Special lecture by environmental activist Summer Rayne Oakes, 7 p.m., Mendenhall Student Center, Room 244. Oakes is a correspondent on Discovery Network and, author of “Style, Naturally” and editor-at-large of ABOVE Magazine.

Tuesday: Buy Green Expo, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Willis Building Auditorium. This event will feature vendor exhibits and product demonstrations from companies and organizations committed to sustainability.


  • Greenway LimeBike Ride, 5 p.m., Wright Plaza.
  • Hammock Hangout Movie: Before the Flood, 8-10 p.m., outside Mendenhall Student Center.

Thursday: Screening of Growing Cities documentary, sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, 7-9 p.m., Mendenhall Student Center, Room 244.

Friday: Earth Day Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student Recreation Center. This festival will feature tree planting, a bike repair clinic, e-waste recycling and a variety of hands-on activities.


  • CLCE Earth Day of Service, Health Sciences Student Center, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • ECU Adventure Beach Camping Trip (overnight trip, register at

Sunday: Paddle and Clean the Trails, pre-register at

For more information call 252-744-4190.


-Contact: Jules Norwood,, 252-328-2836

Study finds people with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently

A study led by researchers at East Carolina University and New York University showed that adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, even though they are at increased risk for periodontal disease.

The study, published by The Journal of the American Dental Association, used data from 2004 to 2014 that showed an overall decline in dental visits among adults with and without diabetes. People with diabetes were consistently the least likely to obtain oral health care.

Dr. Huabin Luo worked with researchers at ECU and NYU on a study that revealed a concerning trend in dental care among people with diabetes. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Huabin Luo worked with researchers at ECU and NYU on a study that revealed a concerning trend in dental care among people with diabetes. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

“The pattern is concerning, given that dental care is essential for good oral health,” said Dr. Huabin Luo of ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. “Those who need dental care the most seem to be the least likely to have it.”

In addition to Luo, the study’s authors include Brody’s Dr. Ronny Bell, Dr. Wanda Wright of the ECU School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Qiang Wu of the ECU Department of Biostatistics, and Dr. Bei Wu of the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Research has shown a two-way relationship between diabetes and oral health. People with diabetes are at an increased risk for periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissue and bone, which has an adverse effect on blood glucose control.

Dr. Huabin Luo is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health in ECU’s Brody School of Medicine.

Dr. Huabin Luo is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health in ECU’s Brody School of Medicine.

“For people living with diabetes, regular dental checkups – supplemented with proactive dental and diabetes self-care – are important for maintaining good oral health,” Luo said. “Regular dental visits provide opportunities for prevention, early detection and treatment of periodontal disease, which can potentially help with blood glucose control and preventing complications of diabetes.”

ECU’s School of Dental Medicine and its eight Community Service Learning Centers are actively engaged in the screening, counseling and referral of patients with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, said Dr. David Paquette of the School of Dental Medicine. “With our clinical and educational model, we try to communicate that oral health is part of overall health and well-being of patients. Collectively, we aim to partner with other health professionals in tackling these important chronic diseases affecting our population.”


-Contact: Jules Norwood, ECU News Services,, 252-328-2836

ECU announces Economic Development Academy

East Carolina University officials today unveiled plans to create an academy that will offer customized economic development training and certifications to elected officials, business leaders and personnel of economic development offices.

The program, which coincides with ECU’s Rural Prosperity Initiative, will partner with other North Carolina universities, community colleges and nonprofit organizations in equipping communities with the knowledge and skills needed to create jobs, recruit and retain businesses, boost wages and attract economic investment.

“The Economic Development Academy will harness expertise from our campus and others, as well as know-how from nonprofit and other partners, to bring 21stcentury prosperity to communities eager to embrace it,” ECU Chancellor Cecil P. Staton said. “The leadership at East Carolina University includes some of the best minds in the economic development field and will prove pivotal in helping the economies of counties and towns throughout North Carolina and beyond.”

Last fall, Staton announced a first-ever effort to harness the collective resources of ECU’s colleges, schools, centers, institutes and partners for a Rural Prosperity Initiative that aims to identify solutions to the significant health, educational and economic disparities in less populous North Carolina communities. Last month, ECU and SAS announced they will join forces to help rural areas address these challenges. Using analytics and data visualization, ECU and SAS will work together to support the Rural Prosperity Initiative and develop a new generation of technologies, micro-businesses and strategies to boost the quality of life in rural North Carolina.

“The Economic Development Academy is the latest incarnation of ECU’s long and proud tradition of economic engagement for the benefit of underserved North Carolina towns and counties,” said Jay Golden, vice chancellor for research, economic development and engagement at ECU.

Golden, whose division is leading the Rural Prosperity Initiative, believes the Economic Development Academy’s programs not only could move the economic needle for North Carolina communities, but also serve as a replicable model for university-based economic transformation programs around the country.

“Though urban migration has been a reality since the Industrial Revolution, 46 million Americans continue to live in rural communities, and their poverty rates are three times those of metropolitan areas. It’s time higher education commits itself to reversing these disparities,” Golden said.

ECU officials will organize expertise from other UNC System campuses and the North Carolina Community College System in shaping and offering instructional programs around “place-based” economic development – strategies and solutions that are customized around the unique needs, assets and opportunities of a specific county, town or city. For example, an “honors seminar” will tailor one-day sessions for local government and elected officials around unique community realities. The idea was tested last year with leaders in Granville County.

“Nothing our academy attempts to do replicates any services or programs currently available,” said Ted Morris, ECU’s associate vice chancellor for innovation and economic development. Morris and his colleagues surveyed university-based outreach efforts around the country and researched various models for extending economic development resources into community settings. “In North Carolina and other states, there’s an untapped demand for assistance in crafting high-quality, realistic, place-based economic development solutions,” he said.

ECU’s academy also intends to create a certification program for economic development professionals in the state. Morris and others hope to offer credentialing to the staffs of local economic development organizations that enhances the prospects for success in their careers, organizations and communities. The academy plans to offer classes in legal, financial, ethical and other aspects of local economic development in a format that is practical and accessible.

“Most economic developers in North Carolina enter the profession with solid business and leadership credentials,” said Charles Hayes, senior fellow in residence at ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development. “What they often lack is timely, relevant training on the technical, practical specifications of their communities and the job creators who would be successful there.” A credentialing program that is accessible would go far in boosting the effectiveness of new arrivals into the economic development field.

ECU’s Economic Development Academy hopes to partner with other educational providers in North Carolina both for curriculum development, instructional design and facility space. The program will be administered by ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development. The university’s Office of Continuing Education will oversee enrollment management.

Officials also expect private nonprofit entities to partner with the academy. In December, the board of directors of the North Carolina Economic Development Association voted unanimously to approve a resolution of support for the program.

“By offering specialized training and instruction to volunteers and elected officials, the Economic Development Academy at ECU will support not just our profession but also the overall economic development process in North Carolina,” NCEDA President Steve Yost said. “I see this as a critical piece of leadership development that can strengthen the state’s competitiveness.”

Hayes, who was formerly president and CEO of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, expects other partners will similarly create synergies for the academy. “This is a pioneering endeavor for North Carolina and it’s designed to serve the entire state,” he said. “To rise to the challenge of giving all our communities a shot at meaningful progress will require a big team working in an orchestrated way. The university’s role will be assembling, tuning and conducting the orchestra.”


-Contact: Matt Smith, University Communications,, 252-737-5423

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