Category Archives: Publication

Six ECU faculty members collaborate on new book

Faculty members from ECU who collaborated on a new environmental health book recently presented copies to Elizabeth “Beth” Ketterman, director of Laupus Library, (far left bottom row) and Janice Lewis, director of Joyner Library (next to Ketterman). The faculty are top row left to right, Dr. Tim Kelley, Dr. Greg Kearney, Dr. Paul Knechtges and Dr. Charlie Humphrey, and bottom row left to right, Ketterman and Lewis with Dr. Jo Anne Balanay and Dr. Stephanie Richards.

Faculty members from ECU who collaborated on a new environmental health book recently presented copies to Elizabeth “Beth” Ketterman, director of Laupus Library, (far left bottom row) and Janice Lewis, director of Joyner Library (next to Ketterman). The faculty are top row left to right, Dr. Tim Kelley, Dr. Greg Kearney, Dr. Paul Knechtges and Dr. Charlie Humphrey, and bottom row left to right, Ketterman and Lewis with Dr. Jo Anne Balanay and Dr. Stephanie Richards. (Contributed photo)

Six faculty members from East Carolina University have collaborated on a new book focusing on the theory and science behind environmental health as well as real world issues faced by practitioners.

ECU’s Dr. Greg Kearney and Dr. Paul Knechtges, along with Dr. Beth Resnick from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, are co-editors of “Environmental Public Health: The Practitioner’s Guide.”

ECU faculty members Dr. Jo Anne Balanay, Dr. Charles Humphrey, Dr. Stephanie Richards and Dr. Tim Kelley are chapter contributors. They recently donated copies of the 922-page book to Joyner and Laupus libraries.

Environmental health is a branch of public health that is concerned with all aspects of how the natural and built environment affects human health.

According to the American Public Health Association Press, the book covers the structure, tools, programs and services of environmental public health. Its systems approach will help equip the next generation of environmental health leaders with the tools to tackle challenges that lie ahead, said a news release on the book.

“This is an all-in-one handbook for people getting started in the field and a reference for practitioners throughout their careers,” the release said. “At the same time, the material is designed to be accessible to those who are not environmental public health experts, such as community stakeholders, agencies, educators, policymakers and other groups.”

The guide is expected to be available and distributed to county and state health departments nationwide, said Kelley, director of the ECU environmental health master’s program.

The book has been a collaboration between the ECU Brody School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health and the College of Health and Human Performance’s Department of Health Education and Promotion, where the bachelor and master’s programs in environmental health are located.

In addition, a new doctoral program with a concentration in environmental and occupational health will be part of the developing ECU School of Rural Public Health. The departments of health education and promotion and public health are expected to join the new school in 2020. 

To order the book, call 888-320-APHA, email or visit


-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

ECU recognized for diversity and inclusion

For the seventh consecutive year, East Carolina University has been recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness by receiving the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award.

The HEED award is sponsored by Insight into Diversity magazine and recognizes colleges and universities in the U.S. that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. The 2018 award winners were selected for initiatives that focus on all aspects of diversity including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community.

“Receiving this award for the seventh consecutive year recognizes the continuing efforts and successes of our collective work around diversity and inclusion,” said LaKesha Forbes, associate provost for Equity and Diversity. “We strive to maintain an increasingly diverse and welcoming environment for our faculty, staff and students. Diversity is strength and inclusion leads to excellence, and we are strong in our endeavor toward excellence.”

ECU is one of six institutions in the UNC system to receive the 2018 HEED award.

“At ECU we are dedicated to being a community that is reflective of a globally diverse workplace for students and employees. I am proud that we are once again being recognized for our commitment to build an inclusive community where we value our differences,” said ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton.

Several groups and programs specifically address diversity and inclusion at ECU, and three of these programs were included in ECU’s 2018 application for the HEED award. The following programs highlight opportunities available for students and employees to promote inclusiveness through research, education and outreach:

Diversity and Inclusion Research and Scholarship (DIRS) Program

The DIRS Program is a faculty development and seed grant program that provides funds to departments with faculty who engage in research projects related to diversity, equity, inclusion and/or cultural competence. Faculty members may apply for financial assistance for either diversity-related research expenses and/or reassignment from teaching assignments for up to one academic year.

Multicultural Appreciation Day Experience (MADE)

In collaboration with Undergraduate Admissions, MADE at ECU gives current high school students an opportunity to see how they can benefit from an exceptional education and wonderful social experience at ECU. It offers high school students the chance to meet with current ECU students and faculty, learn how to apply and pay for their education, explore scholarship opportunities and learn about the many different majors offered at ECU.

Valuing Inclusion Program (VIP)

VIP provides educational opportunities for open dialogue of beliefs and values and to develop skills to create an inclusive community at ECU. This program promotes an inclusive and respectful working, living and learning environment. It brings awareness to the experiences of people with intersecting marginalized identities and aids in developing skills to effect positive change and promote inclusivity.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

ECU will be featured along with the 95 other recipients in the November issue of Insight into Diversity magazine.

ECU’s Brody School of Medicine welcomed the most diverse class of medical students in history this year.

ECU’s Brody School of Medicine welcomed the most diverse class of medical students in history this year. (Photo by Rhett Butler)


-by Jamie Smith, ECU News Services

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

Gantt named Journal of Emergency Nursing Reviewer of the Year

Dr. Laura Gantt, associate dean for nursing support services in the East Carolina University College of Nursing, has been awarded the Journal of Emergency Nursing Reviewer of the Year Award. The first-ever award recognizes Gantt for more than ten years of service that has included work both as a manuscript reviewer and a member of the journal’s editorial board.

Journal of Emergency Nursing is the peer-reviewed publication of the Emergency Nurses Association, which has more than 40,000 members representing over 35 countries. Gantt’s selection was the result of a multi-stage process, the journal’s editorial board said, and was based on the quality and quantity of her manuscript reviews.



“The editorial board appreciates Laura’s willingness to participate in the review process, her timeliness in completing reviews, and the expertise consistently demonstrated in her thorough, insightful and helpful feedback to authors and editors,” the group stated when presenting the award at an Emergency Nurses Association awards gala on Sept. 17 in Los Angeles.

Gantt’s own referred articles include three papers in Journal of Emergency Nursing on emergency department administrative issues and in publications such as Clinical Simulation in Nursing Education and Journal of Nursing Education.

Also an associate professor of nursing at ECU, Gantt joined the College of Nursing in 2006 to run its simulation and skills labs. She has helped shape the College of Nursing’s simulation labs — in which students practice real-world scenarios using manikins and other lifelike technology — into a cornerstone of the ECU nursing education. In 2015, she published the book “Healthcare Simulation: A Guide for Operations Specialists.” As associate dean, she oversees the simulation labs, instructional technology, student services, and student development and counseling.

Gantt has been a member of the Emergency Nurses Association since 1995. Her extensive experience with emergency nursing has included work as flight nurse and an administrator overseeing emergency and transport services. She continues to practice nursing in the Vidant Health Minor Emergency Department.

–Elizabeth Willy 

ECU physics professor receives prestigious award

East Carolina University professor of physics Dr. Gregory Lapicki was honored as the 2015 Helms Faculty Award recipient from the ECU chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

Dr. Gregory Lapicki

Dr. Gregory Lapicki

Presented April 17, the award recognized a paper Lapicki co-authored, “Experimental Cross Sections for L-shell X-ray Production and Ionization by Protons.” The paper explains reactions that occur in individuals undergoing proton therapy, a treatment for some cancers.

“The award validates the worth of our research,” said Lapicki. “In this case, through my fruitful collaboration with Javier Miranda from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.”

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, is one of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world. The ECU chapter was chartered in 1974.

The Helms Faculty Research Award was established in 1987 by R. Marshall Helms, a longtime ECU physics professor, to honor three members of his family who were involved in research and teaching at ECU. The award focuses on the impact a single publication has on the research discipline, and cycles between faculty in biological sciences, medical/social sciences and mathematics and physical sciences.

Lapicki joined the ECU physics faculty in 1981.

For additional information, contact Lapicki at 252-328-6894 or

ECU professor publishes review of Nobel Prize winner, mentor

 Shouquan Huo

Shouquan Huo

An article written by chemistry professor Shouquan Huo with graduate students Rob Mroz and Jeff Carroll, “Negishi coupling in the synthesis of advanced electronic, optical, electrochemical, and magnetic materials,” is available at!divAbstract.

The Royal Society of Chemistry invited Huo to submit the review article of work done by his mentor, Nobel Prize winner Ei-ichi Negishi of Purdue University. The work was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Organic Chemistry Frontiers.

Research makes cover of premier accounting journal

An article authored by East Carolina University accounting professor Rebecca Fay made the front page of the Journal of Accountancy, the leading journal published by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The magazine reaches 500,000 accounting and finance professionals each month, more than all other accounting publications combined.

Rebecca Fay

Rebecca Fay

The article, “I’m not biased, am I?” was published as the Journal of Accountancy’s cover story on Feb. 1, 2015. Norma R. Montague, assistant professor of accounting at Wake Forest University, served as co-author.

In the report, the authors explored five common judgment biases that can affect accounting and auditing decisions, concluding that learning how to spot and short-circuit these biases can help CPAs maintain their objectivity. The authors also included a decision-making quiz so that readers can learn about their decision-making process and how it relates to their accounting work.

Fay explained, “The first step toward enhancing our decisions is recognizing the specific problems that may occur. In 60 seconds the quiz provides readers with an opportunity to determine whether common types of bias are affecting their decisions. It shifts the topic of bias from merely a textbook concept to something that is relevant to the reader personally. Hopefully the article will pique interest and point readers to the wealth of literature available.”

Click here for the full article:

Fay joined the ECU College of Business as an assistant professor of accounting in Fall 2011. Originally from Virginia, she earned her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech and holds both a B.S. and an M.B.A. from Liberty University. She is s a licensed CPA and has seven years of experience in public accounting. She worked as an audit manager with Cherry, Bekaert & Holland before returning to academia.

Hoppenthaler publishes third volume of poetry



John Hoppenthaler, an associate professor in the English Department, has just published his third volume of poems, “Domestic Garden,” with Carnegie Mellon University Press, a foremost publisher of poetry in the United States.

Hoppenthaler’s previous publications include “Lives of Water” and “Anticipate the Coming Reservoir.” He co-edited “Jean Valentine: This-World Company,” a collection of essays on the poetry of Jean Valentine. Hoppenthaler also edits “A Poetry Congeries” for the journal Connotation Press: An Online Artifact.

Visit for more details

Mercer to co-edit series on human enhancement technologies

East Carolina University professor Calvin Mercer has been named co-editor of a new series, “Palgrave Studies in the Future of Humanity and Its Successors.”

Calvin Mercer

Calvin Mercer

The series addresses human enhancement therapies and technologies, applying multiple disciplines to examine an intellectual and cultural movement that advocates the use of emerging technologies including genetic engineering, regenerative medicine, robotics and nanotechnology.

These emerging technologies may enhance desirable human mental and physical abilities while ameliorating human conditions deemed undesirable. Advocates suggest the developments could permit humans to take control of their own evolution and alter the human condition in fundamental ways. Economic, ethical, political, religious, social and other implications of such enhancements are increasingly being discussed.

Sharp disagreements over the social value, morality and feasibility of human enhancement have emerged in early conversations. Mercer said the series will not take an advocacy position. Rather, it will provide a forum for thoughtful debate.

Mercer is an ECU professor of religious studies and director of ECU’s religious studies program. He was the founding chair of the American Academy of Religion Transhumanism and Religion Group, now in its seventh year of successful programs at the annual national meetings. Mercer has co-edited three books and authored several articles on this topic.

His co-editor is Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick.

“The questions and issues addressed in the series play critical roles in our welfare and our future,” Mercer said. “I anticipate that increasingly public policy experts, politicians and political think tanks will take up human enhancement technology. An established and reputable series will be well positioned to contribute to this expanded conversation.”

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