Category Archives: News Releases

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

Tarboro native and entrepreneur Janice Bryant Howroyd to keynote annual Business Leadership Conference

East Carolina University’s College of Business (COB) will hold its fourth annual Business Leadership Conference April 10-11 at the Mendenhall Student Center.

The two-day conference, open to COB juniors, seniors and graduate students, complements the intensive leadership preparation students receive while enrolled. Speakers and breakout sessions will prepare students for the realities of the business world and provide opportunities to interact with conference speakers, ECU’s Business Advisory Council, alumni, employers and community members.

Janice Bryant Howroyd (Contributed photo)

Janice Bryant Howroyd (Contributed photo)

Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder and CEO of ActOne Group, will be this year’s keynote speaker. She will speak Tuesday, April 10, from 1-1:45 p.m. in Mendenhall’s Hendrix Theatre.

More than 40 additional leaders and entrepreneurs representing hospitality, banking, finance, accounting, sporting and health care industries will participate in more than 25 breakout sessions during the event.

Discussions include:

  • CEO lessons learned with Chad Dickerson, former CEO with ETSY and John Chaffee, CEO with NCEast Alliance.
  • Paths to sports marketing jobs presented by Kelly Jones of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Erdman of the Carolina Hurricanes.
  • From student to professional with COB alumna Angelina Brack, VP with JPMorgan Chase, who will talk about how students should focus on their foundation.
  • Words of wisdom from Business leaders Tom Arthur, retired CEO of Havatampa, Bob Arthur, retired president of Philadelphia Investment Management Company, and CEO Eddie Smith of Grady-White Boats.

Approximately 1,000 business students are expected to attend this year’s conference.

“This is my favorite time of year at the College of Business,” said COB Dean Stan Eakins. “During the conference, students will be able to hear from major national and international leaders that represent a variety of backgrounds and successes. I, for one, can’t wait to hear what these leaders have to say.”

Born in Tarboro, Howroyd founded ActOne Group in 1978. Today, the company is a multibillion-dollar global enterprise with multiple divisions including AppleOne (staffing), ACheck Global (background checks and screening), and AgileOne (workforce, total talent management and procurement solutions). Each of these divisions service unique areas of workforce needs and provide total talent communities and management solutions across the globe. Staffing offices are located in more than 300 cities across the United States and Canada. ActOne Group does business in 21 countries and addresses the needs of workforce, technology and competitiveness.

Howroyd also is the author of “The Art of Work: How to Make Work, Work For You” and serves on academic and industry boards that promote the education and support of women and minorities in business.

“We are looking forward to hosting Ms. Howroyd,” said Eakins. “She spoke at last year’s conference and the feedback was so tremendous, we asked her to be the keynote for this year. We are so honored and proud that she accepted.”

For more information about the Business Leadership Conference and a detailed program, visit


-Contact: Michael C. Rudd, College of Business,, 252-737-4574

Joe Dooley named head men’s basketball coach

After leading Florida Gulf Coast to five conference titles and five consecutive 20-win seasons, former ECU head men’s basketball coach Joe Dooley will return for a second stint at the helm of the Pirates’ program, athletics department officials announced Wednesday.

Dooley, who was ECU’s head coach from 1995 to 1999, has agreed to terms on a five-year contract. He was publicly introduced at a press conference Thursday at 11 a.m. inside Harvey Hall, which was streamed live on

Newly hired ECU men’s basketball coach Joe Dooley, left, accepts congratulations and a Pirate jersey with his name on it from Chancellor Cecil Staton and Dave Hart, special advisor for athletics, during a press conference on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Greenville, N.C. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Newly hired ECU men’s basketball coach Joe Dooley, left, accepts congratulations and a Pirate jersey with his name on it from Chancellor Cecil Staton and Dave Hart, special advisor for athletics, during a press conference on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Greenville, N.C. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

“Joe’s history with the ECU community and the success he’s had as a coach on and off the court will be a great asset for our men’s basketball program,” Chancellor Cecil P. Staton said. “Not only is he a great recruiter and a great basketball coach, but he also understands the importance of connecting with our alumni, fan base, student body, faculty, and community at large. He also gives proper priority to the academic success of student-athletes. I am delighted to welcome him back to Pirate Nation.”

Dooley finished his tenure at FGCU with a five-year record of 114-58 (.663), leading the Eagles to three Atlantic Sun (ASUN) Conference regular season championships, including their first-ever title in 2014, and two second-place finishes. He also helped them capture two conference tournament trophies and earn NCAA Tournament appearances in 2016 and 2017. The Eagles defeated Fairleigh Dickinson in the 2016 First Four to advance into the main bracket.

He is one of only 35 NCAA Division I coaches over the last five years with a winning percentage of over 66 percent and more than 110 victories.

Dooley was twice named ASUN Coach-of-the-Year (2017, 2018) as well as the 2017 NABC District III Coach-of-the-Year. He coached 10 all-conference selections, including 2018 ASUN Player-of-the-Year and Associated Press honorable mention All-America selection Brandon Goodwin as well as 2017 ASUN Defensive Player-of-the-Year Demetris Morant.

The Eagles participated in postseason play each of Dooley’s five seasons in Fort Myers, winning 21 or more games every year with two NIT and one CIT appearance in addition to a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament.

FGCU finished among the top-25 nationally in field goal percentage three times, rebounds per game twice and was among the top-42 in scoring twice during Dooley’s tenure.

A renowned recruiter, three of Dooley’s recruiting classes at FGCU were ranked No. 1 in the ASUN with each of those classes ranked among the top-25 outside the Major 7 conferences (ACC, American, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, PAC-12 and SEC).

Dooley, who was ECU’s head coach from 1995 to 1999, has agreed to terms on a five-year contract. (Photo by Savanna Elkins)

Dooley, who was ECU’s head coach from 1995 to 1999, has agreed to terms on a five-year contract. (Photo by Savanna Elkins)

Dooley also tutored 21 ASUN All-Academic performers during his first four seasons (the 2017-18 team will be announced later this spring).

He has a nine-year overall head coaching ledger of 171-110 (.608), including four years at ECU.

Dooley, who is the Pirates’ all-time Division I leader in winning percentage (.523), led ECU to an overall record of 57-52 during his four-year tenure that included back-to-back 17-win campaigns during his first two years. He won more games (44) in his first three years at the helm of the program than any of his predecessors.

In 1996-97, he led the Pirates to their only top-3 finish during their 15-year membership in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), tying for third with a 9-7 record led by Raphael Edwards, who was a two-time all-conference selection under Dooley’s tutelage.

Dooley was the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball at the age of 29 when he was promoted to ECU’s top basketball position in April of 1995.

Prior to being named head coach, Dooley served four seasons as coach Eddie Payne’s top assistant and was part of the Pirates’ staff that went to the 1993 NCAA Tournament by securing the CAA’s automatic bid.

Before coming to Greenville, Dooley and Payne served on the same staff as assistant coaches at South Carolina for three seasons.

Dooley began his coaching career as an assistant on the Gamecocks’ staff in 1988 under George Felton, working alongside Payne and three-time National Coach-of-the-Year Tubby Smith before accompanying Payne to Greenville.

He later served as an assistant coach at New Mexico (1999-02) and Wyoming (2002-03) before joining Bill Self, a four-time Big XII Coach-of-the-Year during their 10 campaigns together, for his inaugural season at Kansas in 2003-04. During his decade in Lawrence, the Jayhawks compiled a 300-58 record, including a 137-27 mark in the Big XII with nine regular-season crowns and six conference tournament titles.

He won a national championship as an assistant coach at Kansas in 2008 and helped the Jayhawks earn another Final Four berth in 2012.

The ECU ticket office will be accepting season ticket deposits for the 2018-19 men’s basketball campaign beginning Thursday. (Photo by Savanna Elkins)

The ECU ticket office will be accepting season ticket deposits for the 2018-19 men’s basketball campaign beginning Thursday. (Photo by Savanna Elkins)

In 2010, Dooley ranked first among all “High-Major Assistants” by, which was up from his No. 6 ranking by the media outlet in 2008. In 2007, he was rated the fourth-best recruiter in the nation by Dooley recruited or coached 14 NBA draft picks in his 10 years at KU, including nine first-round selections.

In 30 years as an assistant and head coach, Dooley has helped lead six different programs into the postseason, accumulated 657 victories with 14 NCAA Tournament appearances and seven NIT bids.

Dooley is a 1988 graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communications. A four-year basketball letterwinner at GW, he started his last two seasons and was elected a team captain as a senior.

A native of West Orange, N.J., Dooley and his wife, Tanya, have a son, Max.

The ECU ticket office will be accepting season ticket deposits for the 2018-19 men’s basketball campaign beginning Thursday. Season ticket deposits cost only $50 to guarantee your seat inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. Those who place their deposits by April 10 will receive an invitation to attend a practice prior to the season. Only season ticket holders who place their deposit will be invited for the behind the scenes view of the Pirates and new head coach Joe Dooley. Season ticket prices and full season ticket packages will be available in August.


-Contact: Jody Jones, associate director of Athletics Communications,

New USDA report provides trend data analysis about U.S. biobased economy

The United States Department of Agriculture today released its first-of-its-kind report that documents indicators of the United States’ biobased economy.

The biobased economy refers to all economic activity derived from scientific and research action focused on understanding how things work at a genetic and molecular level. These activities are then applied to processes to improve products and technologies in sectors including health, energy and agriculture.

The new report – “Indicators of the U.S. Biobased Economy” – includes an analysis of trends in the biobased economy from 2011-16, including trends in agriculture, renewable chemicals, biobased products, energy and government policy.

A report released today by the United States Department of Agriculture, written by researchers at East Carolina University and NC State University, details indicators of the nation’s biobased economy. IECU Photo by Cliff Hollis)

A report released today by the United States Department of Agriculture, written by researchers at East Carolina University and NC State University, details indicators of the nation’s biobased economy. (ECU Photo by Cliff Hollis)

According to the report, the renewable chemicals and biobased product sectors contributed 4.2 million jobs to the American economy in 2014, with a value-added contribution totaling $393 billion. Under the USDA BioPreferred Program, which facilitates the development and expansion of markets for biobased products, the number of renewable chemicals and biobased products that are USDA-certified has rapidly increased from 1,800 in 2014 to 2,900 in 2016.

The report also found that the biobased economy is playing an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy. For example, it found that ethanol production in the United States surpassed 14.7 billion in 2015, accounting for 270,000 jobs. Additionally, the production of biodiesel has risen 367 percent from 2010, now accounting for 1.26 billion gallons. Soybeans, which are used in the production of biodiesel, have also seen a rise in production, more than quadrupling from 670 million pounds grown to 4.1 billion pounds from 2005-12.

Golden (ECU Photo by Rhett Butler)

Golden (ECU Photo by Rhett Butler)

Commissioned by the USDA under contract from the Office of the Chief Economist, the report is a joint publication of the Energy and Natural Resource Research Cluster at East Carolina University and the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) at the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management. It was co-authored by Jay Golden, professor in the Department of Engineering and vice chancellor of research, economic development and engagement at ECU, and Robert Handfield, Bank of America University Distinguished Professor and SCRC director at NC State University. A second volume of this report is already in development.

“I applaud the Department of Agriculture for commissioning this important work,” Golden said. “Globally, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization and many countries are developing metrics to track the rapid growth being witnessed in biobased chemicals, energy and products. More than any other nation, the United States has an incredible opportunity to revitalize manufacturing via biobased products and chemicals, especially in rural regions of our country. This report will serve as a platform for policy makers and entrepreneurs to identify where we need to make investments and opportunities for new businesses.”

As part of the project, a new web-based tool that pulls together big data and analytics of the biobased economy will be hosted by ECU and will be available this spring. The tool will host visualized data for agriculture, energy and bioproduct indicators, with individual data analysis for categories in each grouping.

Hanfield (Contributed photo)

Handfield (Contributed photo)

“This is the first initiative to combine multiple indicators of the biobased economy from multiple sources into a single unified dashboard,” Handfield said. “More than ever, the United States needs to invest in biobased innovation and create metrics that span interdependent and complex value chains across a wide range of products and sectors. For the first time, public and private actors can monitor the progress towards these goals in an integrated fashion.”

Golden and Handfield previously co-authored the inaugural “Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry” report, published in 2015. That report is currently being updated for release later this year.

ECU and NC State are working together to develop a strong biobased products and renewable chemicals industrial base in eastern North Carolina. ECU, led by Chancellor Cecil Staton, has made a commitment to supporting biobased production and manufacturing through its Rural Prosperity Initiative. The initiative is an unprecedented effort by ECU to grow its research enterprise while targeting its research to have the greatest positive impact on health, education and economic outcomes in eastern North Carolina.

Janire Pascual-Gonzalez, a postdoctoral scholar in the Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement at ECU, has provided technical assistance with this report.

Additional research support was provided by Duke University graduate students Ben Agsten, Taylor Brennan, Lina Khan and Emily True, in Durham.


-by Matt Smith, ECU University Communications, and Anna Rzewnicki, NC State

ECU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Hosts inaugural lecture

ECU’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, established in 1970, is pleased to host its inaugural distinguished lecture. (Contributed photos.)

ECU’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, established in 1970, is pleased to host its inaugural distinguished lecture. (Contributed photos.)

The East Carolina University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines, will host its inaugural lecture this month.

Dr. M. Todd Bennett, associate professor of history in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, will discuss “Imagination Unlimited: How the CIA Raised a Sunken Soviet Submarine in the 1970s and Why it Matters Today” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in the Jenkins Fine Arts Auditorium, Room 1220. The event is free and open to the public.

The ECU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, established in 1970, is ECU’s most distinguished academic honor society.

“The collegiate honor society promotes academic excellence in all fields of higher education and supports a community of scholars and professionals,” said Dr. Marianna Walker, president of the chapter and associate professor in the College of Allied Health Sciences.

Dr. M. Todd Bennett, associate professor of history.

Dr. M. Todd Bennett, associate professor of history.

“Historically, the ECU chapter has co-sponsored lectures and events across campus. This will be the first distinguished Phi Kappa Phi lecture at East Carolina University,” said Walker.

Bennett is the author of “One World, Big Screen: Hollywood, the Allies and World War II” and the editor of several volumes in the Foreign Relations of the United States series, the official documentary record of American foreign policy published by the U.S. Department of State.

He has appeared on National Public Radio and contributed to The Washington Post and the journals of Diplomatic History, and Intelligence and National Security. Bennett’s current book project on the Glomar Explorer submarine won a 2017-2018 Public Scholar award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For additional information about ECU’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, visit For more information about the lecture, contact Walker at 252-744-6093 or


-by Lacey Gray, University Communications

Nancy W. Darden Child Development Center earns national reaccreditation

The Nancy W. Darden Child Development Center at East Carolina University has earned reaccreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from the NAEYC and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Melissa Nolan, director of the Nancy W. Darden Child Development Center.

The Nancy W. Darden Child Development Center at East Carolina University has earned reaccreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The Nancy W. Darden Child Development Center has earned reaccreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

The center is an early childhood model training facility for the Department of Human Development and Family Science in the College of Health and Human Performance at ECU.

The accreditation is good through April 1, 2023. The center was first accredited on May 1, 1993, and was the first program to achieve NAEYC accreditation in eastern North Carolina.

ECU’s child development center is open to the public and serves 52 children ages 12 weeks to 5 years. The center collaborates with Pitt County Schools to serve children qualified for the N.C. Pre-K program and works with the Department of Social Services to support the subsidized child care reimbursement program. The center also serves as a research and observation site for students and faculty at ECU. The staff supervises undergraduate students as they use child development theory in adult-child interactions, developmental guidance strategies and inclusive curriculum design.

In the 30 years since NAEYC accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are accredited by NAEYC — less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

“Earning NAEYC accreditation makes the Nancy W. Darden Child Development Center an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community,” said Kristen Johnson, senior director of early learning program accreditation at NAEYC.

The accreditation uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality improvement in early learning environments. The center conducted an extensive self-study followed by an on-site visit by assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the standards and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. Programs must be prepared to receive unannounced visits during their five-year accreditation term.

For more information, visit For more information about the Nancy W. Darden Child Development Center or to schedule a tour, call Nolan at 328-6926.


-Contact: Melissa Nolan, Nancy W. Darden Child Development Center, or 252-328-6926

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