Category Archives: Research

ECU Colleges of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences open joint research hub

The process of finding new ways to help patients live healthier lives may have just become a little easier for faculty in East Carolina University’s College of Allied Health Sciences and College of Nursing.

The two colleges have been working together on research for years, but a new collaborative research hub promises to make the grant application and administration process more efficient, leaving faculty members more time to focus on improving patient outcomes and overall health and wellness.

The CON-CAHS Research Administration Hub, located on the university’s West Campus in the Health Sciences Building, aims to maximize support for faculty members by providing the administrative components involved in pursuing grants and conducting the research funded by them? It is the first collaborative research hub on the university’s health sciences campus.

Associate Deans for Research and Scholarship Dr. Patricia Crane, from nursing, and Dr. Heather Harris Wright, from allied health, will oversee the hub along with an administrative board that includes the colleges’ associate deans for research and Interim Health Sciences Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Dr. Kathy Verbanac.

From left, Susan Howard, Jessica Miller and Latoya Sahadeo will staff the new CON-CAHS Research Administration Hub. (Photo by Alyssa De Santis Figiel)

From left, Susan Howard, Jessica Miller and Latoya Sahadeo will staff the new CON-CAHS Research Administration Hub.
(Photo by Alyssa De Santis Figiel)

“The point of it is to capitalize on resources,” Crane said at the hub’s open house on May 18. “Traditionally, in each college we’ve had one person that did pre- and post-award (grant management),” Crane said. “If that person was out sick or we had more than one grant, or we had multiple grants or someone was on vacation, we were just lost. We’d have to go find someone else. It was a struggle.”

Creating a central hub to help faculty with administrative grant work was a perfect solution given that the two colleges have been collaborating on research efforts for years. Nursing’s three-year, $2.5 million Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program grant involves the CAHS’s Physician Assistant Studies program, and the three-year, $2.1 million grant from the Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing involves the CAHS Department of Health Sciences & Information Management.

The hub will have one pre-award grant manager and two post-award grant managers. Jessica Miller, the pre-award grant manager, will provide budget support and preparation, seek out funding opportunities and help faculty with grant application development. Post-award managers Latoya Sahadeo and Susan Howard specialize in different types of grant management and will aid faculty members once a grant has been awarded.

“All the funding agencies, while there are some commonalities, they’re so vastly different in expectations and how they’re administered, and the rules and regulations associated with them,” Crane said. “This allows us to designate people that that’s their area of expertise. Instead of being a generalist in everything, now we have two experts in that for post-award.”

Wright agreed that the additional resource provided to faculty by the hub would be helpful as they pursue new research.

“As the funding portfolio for College of Allied Health Sciences continues to diversify and more faculty are seeking external funding to support their programmatic lines of research, increased support for pre- and post-award grant activities is needed,” she said. “The Hub will greatly benefit faculty across both colleges. We will be able to provide more support for the faculty and allow them to focus their time and energy on their science by providing them support in identifying funding opportunities, helping with proposal development, and administrative support.”

 

 

-by Natalie Sayewich 

 

ECU faculty receive national funding to work with veterans and their families

Three East Carolina University faculty members have been awarded almost $98,000 in grant funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities to work with veterans and their families.

Dr. Jennifer McKinnon, associate professor of history in the Maritime Studies Program and project director, Dr. Anna Foula, associate professor of film studies in the Department of English, and Dr. Anne Ticknor, associate professor of literacy studies in the College of Education, comprise the interdisciplinary research team.

The faculty members will work with Saipanese veterans of contemporary wars, surviving civilian participants of World War II and families of military service personnel to learn more about war’s universal impact on humanity.

McKinnon has collaborated with the Saipan community for nearly 10 years on heritage sites on land and under water. Froula has published widely on the representations of war and service personnel in popular culture as well as advises student veterans at ECU. Ticknor, a literacy educator for 20 years, researches identities.

Two ECU proposals were among 15 projects to receive funding through the NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War grant program. Part of NEH’s Standing Together initiative, the grants provide opportunities for veterans, through the study and discussion of important humanities sources, to think more deeply about issues raised by war and military service.

The funding will allow ECU faculty to travel to Saipan for two weeks in July to prepare community members with interest in humanities, history, and veteran affairs to become discussion leaders.

The researchers will lead discussion groups with local, primarily Chamorro and Carolinian, veterans to develop an understanding of war as a shared human experience and the associated cultural heritage of war on Saipan. Discussion will center on the Spanish-Chamorro Wars of the 17th century and the World War II Battle of Saipan as bookends to the history of resistance and aggressions in the islands. These wars were chosen because they represent the complexities of all of the participants of war, combatant and non-combatant, in a colonial and post-colonial context.

Participants will gain an understanding of the meaning of war from different perspectives through the exploration of terrestrial and underwater cultural heritage, film, history, memoirs, children’s historical fiction, poetry, paintings and graphic novels.

“Underwater cultural heritage, just one of many humanities sources used in this project, is not typically thought of as an entry or gateway into discussing large societal issues like identity, conflict or even the potential for healing,” McKinnon said. “This is why I’m so excited to explore this possibility with my colleagues and the community.”

McKinnon, Froula and Ticknor anticipate that the personal interactions with the physical remains of heritage sites as well as humanities texts and films will provide a new or renewed sense of cultural value for both the veterans’ experiences and the local conflict heritage.

NEH panel reviewers commented that the project was distinct from other proposals with significant potential for intergenerational impact. Since launching the initiative in 2014, the NEH has awarded more than $7.7 million for humanities projects that serve veterans or chronicle their experiences.

For more information about maritime studies at ECU, visit http://www.ecu.edu/history/.

For more information about the English department, visit http://www.ecu.edu/english/.

For more information about literacy studies, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/LEHE/read/literacy_home.cfm.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

College of Allied Health Sciences hosts first college-wide Research Day

The College of Allied Health Sciences recently held its first college-wide Research Day. The event, meant to foster inter-departmental collaboration, featured oral presentations and poster sessions from undergraduates, master’s students, Doctor of Physical Therapy students and Ph.D. candidates from the nine programs within the college.

Awards for posters and presentations were voted on by the CAHS research committee. Three People’s Choice award winners were chosen as well.

“Our first Research Day was an overwhelming success,” said Dr. Robert Orlikoff, dean of the college. “It showcased the fact that students in the College of Allied Health Sciences are not only developing the knowledge and skills to become effective evidence-based practitioners and health care workers, but are also acquiring strong skills in both basic and clinical research. I congratulate the students as well as our accomplished faculty research mentors.”

The ECU College of Allied Health Sciences recently held its first college-wide Research Day. Students from the college’s nine departments gave poster and oral presentations during morning and afternoon sessions. (Photos by Alyssa De Santis Figiel)

The ECU College of Allied Health Sciences recently held its first college-wide Research Day. Students from the college’s nine departments gave poster and oral presentations during morning and afternoon sessions. (Photos by Alyssa De Santis Figiel)

The event, held on the university’s Reading Day on April 26, was organized by Dr. Richard Willy, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, and Dr. Heather Harris Wright, professor and associate dean for research, who organized the presentations based on their subjects and theme, rather than by department.

“Every department in our college has typically done their own research day,” Willy said. “They’ve always kind of occurred in somewhat of a vacuum. So now that we’re pushing interprofessional communication, it made sense to hold them all on the same day.

“We might have someone from physical therapy standing next to someone from occupational therapy standing next to someone from clinical lab science,” Willy continued. “By seeing what our students are working on, essentially, by proxy we’re seeing what our faculty are working on. So we’re hopeful that maybe in the next couple years this Research Day might encourage more collaboration across the college.”

Students from the Department of Physical Therapy discuss their work during Research Day on April 26.

Students from the Department of Physical Therapy discuss their work during Research Day on April 26.

Peter Eischens, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Addictions & Rehabilitation Studies, won the best oral presentation award with his presentation “Developing queer competency in rehabilitation addictions, and clinical counseling graduate programs.”

Other winners chosen by the committee include Patrick Briley and Kori Engler from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as Morgan Haskins, the team of Jeffrey Harrington and Kate Foy, and Eric Kosco from the Department of Physical Therapy.

People’s Choice award winners were Eshan Pua of CSDI and Cynthia Edsall and Alyssa Kerls from the Department of Clinical Laboratory Science. Winners each received a $100 Amazon gift card.

The college plans to make its Research Day an annual event.

 

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communication

ECU Libraries awarded funding to partner with research faculty on open science

East Carolina University’s 2017-2018 Interdisciplinary Research Awards (IRA) recipients include a collaboration between Joyner and Laupus libraries and the College of Allied Health Sciences.

Interdisciplinary Research Awards (IRA) are seed grants to support interdisciplinary research projects leading to competitive applications for extramural funding.

The project, “Transitioning to Open Science in Research Labs: a partnership between librarians and research faculty,” will explore open science tools for faculty and students to use in the lab, with the ultimate goal of developing an institutional infrastructure to facilitate open science now and in the future at ECU.

Open science is a movement towards making research more accessible to researchers and the public. (contributed photo)

Open science is a movement towards making research more accessible to researchers and the public. (contributed photo)

Open science is a movement towards making research more accessible to researchers and the public. Open science can encompass all aspects of the research process, including open data, open access articles, and even open lab notebooks. Additionally, open science tools can make it easier for researchers to adhere to public access policies required by federal funders.

Scholarly Communication Librarian for Joyner Library Jeanne Hoover and Dr. John Willson from the Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences will serve as primary investigators. The one-year pilot project will be based in the Human Movement Analysis Laboratory at ECU.

“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Willson and colleagues from Laupus Library on exploring ways to use Open Science Framework to help make research more accessible and reproducible,” Hoover said.

Research labs are a key component of teaching and scholarship at academic institutions. Proponents of the open science movement believe that establishing a culture of open science within research labs will drastically improve the exchange of information with the scientific community and general public and as a result, address questions of transparency and research reproducibility.

Co-investigators on the grant include Ting Fu, Laupus liaison to the College of Allied Health Sciences; Roger Russell, assistant director of user services for Laupus Library; and Joseph Thomas, assistant director for collections and scholarly communication for Joyner Library.

“I am very excited about this award, which brings opportunity for exploring Open Science at ECU,” said Fu. “There hasn’t been a project like this before on campus. We hope ours serves as an ice-breaker that will bring change and inspiration to all researchers in the future.”

 

 

-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communication

Joyner Library recognizes prize winners for outstanding student research

Joyner Library announced the winners of its eighth annual Rhem/Schwarzmann Prize for student research during an April 5 ceremony held in the Special Collections Reading Room located on the fourth floor of Joyner Library.

Established by Mrs. Ann Schwarzmann to honor William and Emily Rhem and Theodore and Ann Schwarzmann, the Rhem/Schwarzmann Prize recognizes outstanding research papers written by sophomores, juniors and seniors at East Carolina University.

Eligibility criteria required students to use Joyner Library’s Special Collections, which houses manuscripts, rare books, university archives and the North Carolina collection, as a primary source for their research.

“The papers written by this year’s Rhem/Schwarzmann Prize winners enrich our knowledge of university, community and regional history,” said Joyner Library director Jan Lewis. “Their papers illustrate how primary sources in Joyner Library’s Special Collections can be used to research recent events as well as those occurring more than 150 years ago.”

Caption: Joyner Library director Jan Lewis, second place winner, Zachary Dale, first place winner, Jeanann Woodard, and Arthur Carlson, Joyner’s university archivist pose during an April 5 awards ceremony. (contributed photo)

Caption: Joyner Library director Jan Lewis, second place winner, Zachary Dale, first place winner, Jeanann Woodard, and Arthur Carlson, Joyner’s university archivist pose during an April 5 awards ceremony. (Photos by Brooke Tolar)

Papers could be in any field of study but had to be at least 10 pages or 2,500 words in length, and submitted by Feb. 17.  Entries were judged on originality, quality of research, style, documentation and overall excellence by a panel comprised of faculty members from the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and Joyner Library.

“Through close reading and analysis of primary resource materials, these students improved their critical thinking skills and demonstrated the importance of identifying biases and questioning assumptions,” Lewis noted.

Winning the award for first place — and a $750 prize — was Jeanann Woodard, senior in the Department of History Education in the ECU College of Education, for “Planning and Patronizing: Urban Renewal and Race Relations in Greenville, N.C. in the 1960s.”

“I particularly enjoyed using the special collections because it allowed me to travel back in time and connect with people I may never have a chance to meet,” said Woodard. “While reviewing documents and images, I got the closest thing to a firsthand look at Greenville in the 1960s. The primary sources in the special collection allowed me to better connect to the residents who lost their homes for urban renewal and Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church members, while also exploring the perspective of the city council and the redevelopment commission.”

Two additional award winners were:

  • Zachary Dale, senior in the Department of History Education in the College of Education, in second place — a $500 prize — for “Queer History: LGBT Activism at East Carolina University.”
  • Andrew Turner, junior in the Department of History in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, in third place — a $250 prize — for “The Battle of New Bern: Trial by Fire.”

“Ultimately, the special collections provided me with the evidence needed to construct an argument for the thesis of my research paper,” Woodard continued.

Arthur Carlson, Joyner’s university archivist, said this year’s cycle was the most successful to date as it featured a record number of qualified entries.

“We are especially proud of our winners, who used the unique resources available in special collections to produce research papers that made an original contribution to human knowledge,” he said.

This year’s awards are made possible by the Friends of Joyner Library and the generosity of the late Mrs. Ann Schwarzmann.

For more information about the awards and future participation, contact Arthur Carlson at 328-6838 or CarlsonAr@ecu.edu.

To learn more about manuscripts and rare books, university archives, digital collections, and the North Carolina Collection, please see www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/specialcollections.

 

-by Kelly Dilda, University Communication

ECU professors ‘rocket back to earth’ during NASA simulation

Three East Carolina University College of Education faculty members spent Jan. 18 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, learning about simulations for astronaut training and vehicle design.

Daniel Dickerson, Patricia Slagter Van Tryon and Abbie Brown from the Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education toured several NASA project areas: the rapid prototype lab developing and testing controls for the Orion spacecraft; the space vehicle mockup facility that includes full-scale simulations of the International Space Station and Orion; the Human Exploration Research Analog that allows teams to experience spending days and weeks on an isolated space station; and the neutral buoyancy lab containing a massive pool with a replica of a portion of the space station that allows astronauts to practice walking in a weightless environment.

From left to right, ECU faculty members Patricia Slagter Van Tryon, Abbie Brown and Daniel Dickerson stand in front of the Orion vehicle mockup at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. (contributed photo)

From left to right, ECU faculty members Patricia Slagter Van Tryon, Abbie Brown and Daniel Dickerson stand in front of the Orion vehicle mockup at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. (contributed photo)

As part of the visit, Brown and Slagter van Tryon were “rocketed back to earth” through a simulation. Re-entering the earth’s atmosphere – from 200 mph eventually to 20 mph – was made real through intense sound effects and video displays, Brown said.

“We are grateful to the six NASA team leaders who were very generous with their time, providing us with a view of how our country’s astronauts learn to work in space and how space vehicles are designed and developed,” said Brown, professor and interim chair of the department. “It’s something few people get to see at such a detailed level and we are excited to take this information back to our science education and instructional technology students.”

ECU faculty are exploring opportunities for possible collaboration with NASA in the future.

The opportunity to visit NASA came about after Brown attended an Adobe MAX conference last fall and met the creative team developing simulations for NASA astronaut training.

There are approximately 160 graduate students enrolled online in the instructional technology program, which supports K-12 educators, corporate trainers and government and military instructors. For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/msite/it/.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

Bassman Honors Thesis Award winner announced

Hannah G. Woolard is the winner of the 2015-2016 Michael F. Bassman Honors Thesis Award, which recognizes students in East Carolina University’s Honors College for excellence in research and writing.

“Finishing off my senior year at ECU by receiving the Michael F. Bassman Honors College Thesis Award was a very special and rewarding moment,” Woolard said. “I am most overjoyed to receive this award because it honors the most knowledgeable advisor, exceptional role model, and caring professor, Dr. Bassman.”

Woolard poses with Dr. Michael F. Bassman, for whom the award is named. (Contributed photo)

Woolard poses with Dr. Michael F. Bassman, for whom the award is named. (Contributed photo)

Woolard’s research involved studying the different steps, or mechanism, of a new type of rare and highly selective reaction. The reaction converts cycloplatinated complexes (platinum-based compounds) into products that can be utilized for things like biological imaging and cancer research.

“The research I completed for my senior honors project investigating cycloplatinated complexes is extremely valuable to many fields of science,” Woolard said. “The discovery of the mechanism behind this reaction provides synthetic chemists with an important tool.”

Until now, the details of the mechanism had never been reported in literature. Her award-winning work was completed under the direction of Dr. Shouquan Huo, a chemistry professor in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

Woolard graduated from ECU in May with a B.S. in Public Health and a B.A. in chemistry and is preparing to apply to medical school. She attended D.H. Conley High School and is the daughter of John and Gray Woolard of Greenville.

The award is sponsored by ECU’s Joyner Library and honors Dr. Michael F. Bassman, associate professor of Foreign Languages & Literatures, former associate vice chancellor of the Honors Program and its first Distinguished Honors Professor.

Judges sought for Research and Creative Achievement Week

The East Carolina University Division of Research and Graduate Studies is seeking judges for Research and Creative Achievement Week 2013.

RCAW showcases undergraduate and graduate student research and creative achievement. Graduate student day is scheduled for April 8 and undergraduate student day is April 10

Judges are needed in all categories.

The division is using a short Qualtrics survey to collect information from potential judges to help in scheduling.  Individuals who are willing to volunteer are asked to fill out the survey at http://blog.ecu.edu/sites/rcaw/list-of-judges/.  The site also has judging criteria and other information.

ECU students share research on graduate education day

ECU graduate students Bradley Eidschun, Daniel Zapf and Mahealani Kaneshiro-Pineiro represented East Carolina University in North Carolina’s Graduate Education Day May 23 in Raleigh. (Contributed photo)

 

 Three East Carolina University graduate students displayed their research at the North Carolina Capitol Building in Raleigh May 23 as part of North Carolina’s Graduate Education Week, May 20-26.

Mahealani Kaneshiro-Pineiro, Bradley Eidschun and Daniel Zapf from ECU joined students from Duke, Wake Forest and other UNC system universities at the event, which was designed to recognize the contributions that graduate education makes to the scientific, cultural, and economic needs of the state and global communities.

The three ECU students set up posters highlighting their research projects. They met with ECU Chief of Staff Phillip Rogers, the university’s liaison with the state legislature, and discussed their research with a number of elected officials, including Rep. Marian McLawhorn, Rep. Bill Cook, Rep. G.L. Pridgen, Rep. Tim Spear and Sen. Stan White.

Additional information about the students follows:

Kaneshiro-Pineiro

A native of Oahu, Hawaii, Kaneshiro-Pineiro is a PhD candidate in coastal resources management. She has a master’s degree in zoology and a bachelor’s in marine science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Hilo, respectively. She has conducted research throughout the Pacific, including Midway Atoll and Okinawa, Japan. Her research interests include jellyfish ecology and jellyfish-human interactions. Kaneshiro-Pineiro presented research on the biology and tourism effects of Sea Nettle jellyfish. Her faculty mentor is David Kimmel, assistant professor of biology in the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy.

Eidschun

Arizona native Eidschun has just completed a master’s degree in mathematics at ECU and holds a bachelor’s in mathematics and computer science from UNC-Pembroke. His research examined a method for modeling tsunami and rogue waves, as well as the impact these waves could have on the North Carolina coast. ECU mathematics professors David Pravica and Mike Spurr served as Eidschun’s mentors.

Zapf

Master’s degree student Zapf, of Rochester, N.Y., has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  He has worked for the Illinois Natural History Survey studying fisheries ecology in Lake Michigan. Zapf’s research examined critical river herring nursery habitats in the Albemarle Sound using otolith microchemistry. His faculty mentor is Roger Rulifson, professor of biology in the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy

Accompanying the students were their faculty mentors, ECU Graduate School Dean Paul Gemperline, along with Graduate School Associate Deans Thomas J. McConnell and Belinda Patterson. Gemperline is the president of the North Carolina Conference of Graduate Schools for 2011-2012.

Governor Bev Perdue signed a proclamation in January declaring May 23 as Graduate Education Day and May 20-26 as Graduate Education Week in North Carolina.

Faculty, administrators and students were among the ECU attendees at Graduate Education Day.

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