Category Archives: Staff

Joyner conference connects fellow institutions with community empowerment

Joyner Library’s SHRA Assembly held its 13th annual Paraprofessional Conference on Friday, May 12.

Joyner Library hosts a Paraprofessional Conference. (Photos by Brooke Tolar)

Joyner Library hosts a Paraprofessional Confrence. (Photos by Brooke Tolar)

This year’s theme, Libraries and Community Empowerment, addressed the role played by libraries and librarians to help individuals and communities acquire knowledge about themselves and the world around them.

Joe Barricella, digital services production coordinator for Joyner Library, said, “Our Library and librarians interact with the community daily. We offer a variety of resources, including computers and books, which allow us to serve patrons. Although Joyner Library is often thought of as being a library for only the university, one of our key goals is also to serve the public.”

“The Beyond Bricks & Mortar: Revisiting the Sycamore Hill Community project is a perfect example of Joyner library partnering with the local community,” Barricella explained. “We were able to offer resources they might not have had readily available. These collaborative partnerships are the types of projects we hope to continue completing in the future.”

The one-day event was attended by more than 110 school, public and academic library paraprofessionals from at least 13 counties in North Carolina. In addition to a keynote presentation, attendees were offered four concurrent sessions for a total of 16 presentations about bringing positive change and growth to their home institutions.

This year’s keynote speaker, assistant professor and graduate advisor in the Library Science Program for the Department of  Interdisciplinary Professions at East Carolina University, Dr. Lou Sua, presented a message on “Library as Place: Community, Leadership and Empowerment.”

Sua believes libraries are equalizers in their communities and more important today than ever.

Assistant professor and graduate advisor for the Department of Library Science at East Carolina University, Dr. Lou Sua, gives keynote presentation. (contributed photo)

Assistant professor and graduate advisor for the Department of Library Science at East Carolina University, Dr. Lou Sua, gives keynote presentation. (contributed photo)

“It’s our job to empower communities,” said Sua. “We are the people who can make a difference in the lives of so many people.”

With a percentage of the population unable to afford access to technology, libraries offer these resources and services for free. Libraries have also been a place where people develop citizenship skills.

“I think that we help shape our communities by providing an atmosphere for them to develop their own learning,” said Sua. “And with everything that’s going on now with fake news and alternative facts, it’s the libraries that can help people understand exactly what is real and what is not.”

She also thinks this conference gives attendees the tools they need to go back and do their jobs even better. “During this conference, people share their experiences and talk about what works well for them,” she explained. “Conferences like this help someone from a library that’s maybe struggling from budget cuts hear another approach to cost savings and inspire them to bring that back to their community.”

Facilitated by experts in the profession, attendees were offered a variety of session topics such as the role of free educational resources for community members, outreach to community groups and special populations, and citizen science community engagement.

Tammiika Krowner works in the Curriculum Learning Resources Lab at Fayetteville State University and attended a session on open educational resources (OERs).

These are free materials that can be used as an outreach tool for the public to gain access to work that might only normally be available through a paid educational institution or school. OERs can be used as supplements or core learning for homeschool families that are on limited budgets, for those seeking additional materials, as well as self-learning and discovery.

“I work with pre-service teachers and we are moving away from textbooks towards online information,” she said. “Building up those resources and the teachers’ knowledge about them and where to locate them is paramount for the future.”

Barricella says his biggest hope was for the attendees to enjoy themselves and learn something. “I believe this year’s conference was a big success,” he said. “Everyone I’ve spoken to has been enthusiastic about what they’ve learned today.”

Joyner Library offers special thanks to The Scullery, Great Harvest Bread Company, Dowdy Student Stores and Bagelman for their donations in support of this year’s conference:

For more information on this event or about Joyner Library, contact Kelly Rogers Dilda at or 252-744-2232.



-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communication

ECU’s Harriot College Holds Inaugural Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony

The Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Staff Council recently hosted its inaugural Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony. The event, held May 9 on the East Carolina University campus, honors all dedicated THCAS staff members and recognizes the hard work they engage in on a day-to-day basis.

“Our staff are the unsung heroes of Harriot College,” said Dean William M. Downs. “Their professionalism and commitment to our students and faculty deserve our full recognition. I’m so proud of who they are. I’m privileged to work with them, and I’m grateful each day for all they do to advance ECU’s mission.”

Dean William M. Downs (left) poses with Junior Staff Excellence Award winner, Beverly Estorge (center), and Cindy Mills (right), from the Department of Economics, at the inaugural THCAS Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony. (Photos by Rob Taylor Photography & Design.)

Dean William M. Downs (left) poses with Junior Staff Excellence Award winner, Beverly Estorge (center), and Cindy Mills (right), from the Department of Economics, at the inaugural THCAS Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony. (Photos by Rob Taylor Photography & Design.)

During the ceremony, two members of the college staff received the newly created THCAS Staff Excellence Awards. Suzanne Powell, lead administrative associate in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, received the Senior Staff Excellence Award. Beverly Estorge, administrative support associate in the Department of Economics, received the Junior Staff Excellence Award.

“When I read the email informing me that I was selected for the Senior Staff Excellence Award, my first reaction was to re-read the email because surely I had read it wrong. I am not used to recognition on such a large scale, and I felt a bit overwhelmed,” said Powell. “I am thankful to the college and Dean Downs for noticing the need to include and embrace the college’s staff and creating the vehicle to let them be heard and to be recognized.”

Prior to the ceremony, many colleagues provided words of praise in their nominations of Powell.

“Ms. Powell embodies some of the best features of a representative member of the Pirate Nation. She’s a dedicated professional, a dependable colleague, a generous individual, and a strong and graceful woman,” wrote one supporter.

Another of Powell’s colleagues commented, “She truly embodies the description of selflessness. Even through all the personal hardship, Suzanne has never faltered. Her strength of character is unparalleled.”

Suzanne Powell accepts her Senior Staff Excellence Award at the inaugural THCAS Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

Suzanne Powell accepts her Senior Staff Excellence Award at the inaugural THCAS Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

As an example of her selflessness, Powell gives credit back to her colleagues.

“I work with a large number of people who always, knowingly or not, make me feel appreciated. I am honored that so many took the time to nominate me for this award. I would not be the employee or person that I am if it were not for those that were placed in my path to help guide me and give me confidence. I owe most of this award’s recognition to them,” said Powell.

Powell has served as the lead administrative associate in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures for the past four-and-a-half years and has worked at ECU for six-and-a-half years.

Estorge also was surprised to hear she was receiving the Junior Staff Excellence Award.

“Really? Me? Wow! I can’t believe it, but I am so honored. I nominated someone else for the Staff Excellence Award but never thought about myself receiving it,” said Estorge. “I wake up every morning so thankful for my job at ECU and winning this award is ‘icing on the cake’ for me. The THCAS Staff Council has done a great job at making me feel like all of the ‘behind-the-scene’ work is noticed and valued.”

Fellow colleagues of Estorge also provided words of admiration and approval in their letters of nomination.

“Beverly is a very charismatic and warm person and sets the tone for an inclusive and impassioned working environment in the Department of Economics,” stated one nominator.

Another colleague wrote, “Beverly has excellent relations with all of our faculty, students and visitors. She gets along with everyone in the department and is such an asset to work with.”

Estorge serves as an administrative support associate in the Department of Economics and has worked at the university for one-and-a-half years. She said there are two things she likes best about working in Harriot College; the atmosphere in the department and the joy of working with students.

“I genuinely like the people I work with. We have a sense of teamwork,” said Estorge. “Secondly, my joy comes from working with the students one-on-one. I want to make a difference in their college experience, and it is tremendously rewarding for me to hear back from them when that has happened.”

The Thomas Harriot College Staff Excellence Awards acknowledge administrative or technical staff within the college who have shown exemplary professionalism and have gone above and beyond the requirement of their position. Recipients of the award must demonstrate a positive attitude, be a team player and exhibit characteristics of a model member of Pirate Nation. Senior Staff Excellence Awards are given to an employee of the college who has more than 5 years of consecutive employment with the university. Junior Staff Excellence Awards are given to a college employee with a minimum of one year and no more than five years of consecutive employment with the university.

-by Lacey Gray, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Mathematical sculpture workshop spotlights the math behind art

Applied mathematician and sculptor Dr. George Hart led an April 7 workshop in Jenkins Fine Arts Center at East Carolina University which spotlighted the math behind art.

Hart, an interdepartmental research professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, demonstrated how mathematics is creative in unexpected ways.

Dr. George Hart is an applied mathematician and sculptor. (photos by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. George Hart is an applied mathematician and sculptor. (photos by Cliff Hollis)

Twenty-seven students, faculty and staff from across campus as well as teachers from the greater Greenville community assembled two of Hart’s sculptures and designed two of their own.

The event was organized by Dr. Sviatoslav Archava, teaching associate professor of mathematics at ECU.

Workshop participants started by connecting plastic struts and connector balls from a Zometool kit, forming shapes that would prove to be foundational for the sculptures that they would create.

The sculpture “Autumn.” (photos by Cliff Hollis)

The sculpture “Autumn.”
(photos by Cliff Hollis)

The first sculpture, named “Autumn”, was assembled from 60 identical laser-cut wood pieces that were connected using cable ties. Working together, the participants explored the possible ways to connect the pieces, a task that developed spatial perception and visual reasoning. The solution for the sculpture involved two phases. The first phase was a finding a solution to connect three pieces. After that, it was possible to build the sculpture by combining the trio of connected pieces to other trios. Only one way to connect the pieces led to a beautiful structure they were trying to assemble. The following facts about the sculpture were noted by the participants with Hart’s help:

  • “Autumn” may be viewed as an artistic version of a regular dodecahedron, a solid that is formed by 12 regular pentagons.
  • Sixty pieces from which the sculpture is built lie in 30 planes (two in each plane). The 30 planes are the facial planes of the five cubes inscribed in the dodecahedron or, equivalently, of the rhombic tricontahedron.


The "Ambagesque" sculpture.

The “Ambagesque” sculpture.

The second sculpture, named “Ambagesque” (from the Latin word for “tangle”), also had 60 pieces, which were laser-cut from colored acrylic sheets. The pieces lie in 20 different planes (three in each plane). Despite the smaller number of planes involved, it was much more difficult to assemble due to the non- edge-to-edge connections and more complicated geometry. On a few occasions, participants needed Hart’s help to find the correct way to proceed.

Assembling the sculptures gave the participants a sense of the mental processes that mathematicians use in their research and the excitement and pleasure of “figuring things out.”

At the end of the workshop, participants designed their own paper sculpture. This involved changing the faces of the rhombic tricontahedron so the altered faces could be glued back together to create a visually appealing form.

Participants went away with an idea of the underlying shapes, the curiosity to look for patterns in complex-looking sculptures they may see elsewhere or design themselves, and having experienced the thrill of exploring the world around them mathematically.

For more information on Hart and his work, visit



-by Dr. Slava Archava, Teaching Associate Professor of Mathematics


Ed Monroe, longtime health care advocate, dies

Dr. Edwin W. “Ed” Monroe, a physician who went from private practice to helping build the School of Allied Health Sciences and School of Medicine at East Carolina University, died Sunday. He was 90.

Monroe came to Greenville in 1956 to be a “nose-to-the-grindstone internal medicine specialist,” he said in a 2000 interview. His goal was short-lived, as he quickly got involved in East Carolina’s efforts to establish a medical school and other health sciences programs.

Dr. Edwin W. “Ed” Monroe. (contributed photo)

Dr. Edwin W. “Ed” Monroe. (contributed photo)

In 1968, he became founding dean of the School of Allied Health and Social Professions. From that post, he lobbied for a four-year medical school at ECU and helped prepare the academic foundation for it.

In 1974, he became president of the Eastern Area Health Education Center; its conference center is named for him. During that time, he also served as director and then vice chancellor for health affairs at ECU, as associate dean of the School of Medicine from 1979-1986 and executive dean from 1986-1990, when he retired.

“Known for his candor, Dr. Monroe was a fierce advocate for our medical school in its creation and its infancy,” said Dr. Paul Cunningham, who retired as dean of ECU’s medical school last year and served on the faculty in the 1980s. “As a man of principle, he did not shy away from the call for service as a leader. He was motivated by the great potential value of the work. He fervently worked for the improvement of the health of the citizens of the region. Personally, I will miss him as a mentor and a friend.”

As leader of EAHEC, Monroe helped develop outreach programs such as an off-campus bachelor of science in nursing degree as well as community medical residencies, allowing young doctors to experience the demands of a rural practice.

“Conceptually, it was a great vision,” Monroe said in 2000. “Trying to translate that into reality took a degree of stubbornness. It’s always refreshing when others come around to the realization of what we’re trying to do.”

After retiring from ECU, he went to Winston-Salem to reorganize the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. But he wasn’t done in eastern North Carolina. From 2000-2001, he chaired the boards of what are now Vidant Health and Vidant Medical Center during a time of rapid expansion of the system.

A native of Laurinburg, Monroe received his bachelor’s degree at Davidson College in 1947, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s two-year School of Medicine from 1947 to 1949 and earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1951. He interned at the Medical College of Virginia and was a resident in internal medicine at the then-new N.C. Memorial Hospital at UNC from 1952-1956.

After that, he swore to himself he’d never have anything to do with a new hospital or medical program again. But the call to service was too strong.

“Deep down inside, a doctor has an innate desire to serve and to take care of people,” Monroe said in 2000. “They know they exist only to take care of people. That’s just as true today as 40 or 50 years ago.”

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Nancy, a granddaughter and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, 525 Moye Blvd., Greenville, N.C. 27834.



-by Doug Boyd

Ron Clark to speak at 3rd annual Corporate and Leadership Awards

East Carolina University alumnus Ron Clark, ’94, will be the featured speaker for the third annual Corporate and Leadership Awards banquet hosted by the ECU Division of Student Affairs at 6 p.m. April 22 at the Greenville Hilton.

Clark, a New York Times bestselling author, the subject of the movie, “The Ron Clark Story,” and Disney’s American Teacher of the Year, started working with students in Aurora before teaching in New York City and then founding the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to educating fifth- to eighth-grade students, the internationally acclaimed school serves as a professional development site for teachers. To date, more than 40,000 educators have visited the Ron Clark Academy to be trained by Clark and his award-winning staff.

ECU alumnus Ron Clark, ’94. (contributed photo)

ECU alumnus Ron Clark, ’94. (contributed photo)

The recipients of the 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards will be recognized at the banquet. These alumni under the age of 40 have excelled after graduating from ECU and are now using their experience to make an impact in their respective professions, local communities and the world.

This year’s honorees represent 11 different states and one award winner will travel from Ontario, Canada to attend. Many are North Carolina residents with the remaining living across the country – from California to New York and Florida.

Awards also will be presented to corporate partners who have made positive impacts for ECU and its students, as well as individuals who serve as advocates for student affairs.

For tickets or information, call Zack Hawkins in student affairs at 252-737-4970 or email


2017 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards Honorees

Arts & Humanities

Trevor James Avery – Jacksonville

Tyler A. Griffin – Miami, Florida

Jennifer Parks Rezeli – Greenville

Augustus D. Willis IV – Raleigh

Jeremy Woodard – New York, New York



Rasheca Barrow – Houston, Texas

Dr. Charlie Brown – Washington

Cristen A. Jones – Charleston, South Carolina

Justin Lucas – Chicago, Illinois

Victor R. Moore Jr. – Greenville

Bradley Pearce – Davidson

Scott Poag – Augusta, Georgia

Jamie Lynn Sigler – San Diego, California

Heather Waters – Greenville


Health & Wellness

Steven Carmichael – Charlotte

Dr. Abiola Fajobi – Ontario, Canada

Lex Gillette – Chula Vista, California

Dr. Glenn Harvin – Greenville

Natasha C. Holley – Ahoskie

Dr. Shondell Jones – Winterville

Dr. Shannon Baker Powell – Grimesland

Dr. Jessica Tomalusa – Wake Forest


Public Service

Melissa Adamson – Greenville

Honorable April M. Smith – Fayetteville

Captain Christine Guthrie – Melbourne, Florida

Major Derri G. Stormer – Winston-Salem

Brock Letchworth – Greenville

Mindy Ann Walker – Raleigh

Aleshia Hunt – Greenville

Mona Lesane Townes – Knightdale

Captain Sheontee Frank – Summerville, South Carolina


Research & Education

April Paul Baer – Frostburg, Maryland

Dr. Carenado Davis – Winterville

Dr. Jasmine Graham – Indianapolis, Indiana

Gregory Hedgepeth – Boca Raton, Florida

Angela McCall Hill – Coats

Leshaun T. Jenkins – Tarboro

Dr. Steve M. Lassiter, Jr. – Greenville

Dr. Keeley J. Pratt – Columbus, Ohio

Recardo Tucker – Atlanta, Georgia



-by Jules Norwood

Living the motto: Faculty, staff and students recognized for service

East Carolina University honored faculty, staff and students for living the university’s motto – Servire, to serve – during an event March 22 as part of Chancellor Cecil Staton’s installation week.

More than 100 members of the university community were honored at Harvey Hall; afterwards many of the group walked over to Clark-LeClair Baseball Stadium to see the Pirates take on the UNC-Chapel Hill Tar Heels.

“The honorees tonight represent the very best of our university. They are talented and engaged and committed to transforming our community, North Carolina and the world,” said Staton in his welcome to honorees and guests. “Service is among the hallmark characteristics of this university, and one that sets us apart.”

Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance, receives the James R. Talton Leadership Award from Chancellor Cecil Staton. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance, receives the James R. Talton Leadership Award from Chancellor Cecil Staton.
(Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Staton presented the first award of the event, the James R. Talton Leadership Award, to Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance.

The award for servant leadership is in honor of the outstanding life and work of James R. Talton Jr., a former chair of the ECU Board of Trustees and a lifelong Pirate.

A nomination letter said of Gilbert: “His philosophy of leadership helps every person feel as though his or her voice is important and his or her contributions are essential to the success of the team. Dean Gilbert is committed to many great initiatives throughout eastern North Carolina, but perhaps most impressive is his unwavering support for our country’s servicemen and women.”

Also recognized were recipients of diversity and inclusion awards, presented by the Office of Equity and Diversity. Recipients, who can be faculty, staff, students or teams, are engaged in meaningful diversity and inclusion activities in addition to or extending beyond their primary responsibility at the university.

Honored were faculty member Dr. Nicole Caswell, the director of the University Writing Center and assistant professor in the Department of English; staff member Mark Rasdorf, associate director for the LGBT Resource Office in Intercultural Affairs; senior art major Janae Brown; and the Department of Sociology in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

Students who have completed the State Employees Credit Union Public Service Fellows Internship program were recognized by Jama Dagenhart, executive director of the State Employees Credit Union Foundation.

The internships are a component of the larger Public Service Fellows program, led by Dr. Sharon Paynter, assistant vice chancellor for public service and community relations.

Recognized were Eva Gallardo, Lauren Barkand, Toni Abernathy, Ashley Cromie, Lucas Merriam, James Kidd, Damiere Powell, Alexis Everette, Lee Hodges, Andrew Strong, Taylor Nelson, Stephanie Minor, Hope Stuart, Connor Hoffman, Matthew Barrier, Andrew DiMeglio and Nelson Martinez-Borja.

 The Centennial Award in the category of leadership recipients are Dr. Wendy Sharer, John Gill and Ernest Marshburn, from left.

The Centennial Award in the category of leadership recipients are Dr. Wendy Sharer, John Gill and Ernest Marshburn, from left.

The annual Centennial Awards for Excellence recognize contributors in each of the following four areas: Ambition, Leadership, Service and Spirit.
The recipients represent one staff member, one faculty member, and one other contributor —a member of the administration or an administrative team, a second staff member or a staff team, or a second faculty member or faculty team. Winners are selected from peer nominations and selection by the Centennial Awards for Excellence Selection Committee.
The team honored for ambition was the North Carolina Literary Review Staff: Margaret Bauer, Diane Rodman, Liza Wieland, Christy Hallberg and Randall Martoccia for innovation and commitment to “showcase the best … authors and scholars.”

Dr. Wendy Sharer was the faculty honoree in leadership for her transformative work leading ECU’s Quality Enhancement Plan, establishing the University Writing Center, founding a sophomore-level writing course and coordinating writing liaisons from disciplines across the university.

The staff honoree in leadership was John Gill, campus landscape architect, for his leadership in education and research, and leadership to the university and regional community in improving environmental quality.

The honoree in leadership for the “other” category was Ernest Marshburn for many years of institutional and public service with the Office of Research Development and as a volunteer in recreational boating safety.

Dr. Mary Jackson was the faculty honoree in the service category for her service in helping those who suffer from substance use disorders by enhancing the training program at ECU and working with military personnel who are trying to overcome their own addictions.

The Tedi Bear Child Advocacy Team was the team honoree for their service in providing a nationally recognized child advocacy center. The team members are Julie Gill, Ann Parsons, Cassandra Hawkins, Latoya Mobley, Katie Wood, Lauren Miller, Rebecca Yoder, Wendy Shouse, Mary Curry, Andora Hankerson, Melanie Meeks, Kelly Baxter, Kia Glosson, Lacy Hobgood, Coral Steffey and Matthew Ledoux.

This year’s staff recipient was Lori Lee for her undaunted commitment to ECU, her steadfast support for Faculty Senate, its officers and committees, and unparalleled dedication to ECU’s system of shared governance.

Employee Steven Asby was the final spirit award honoree in the “other” category for his unwavering support of the Pirate Nation, his volunteer work with student-athletes, and his commitment to first-generation students.
The Servire Society recognized 22 first-time inductees, 12 members were recognized for two to four years and 20 were honored for five to eight years of membership.

Each Servire Society member has contributed 100 or more hours of volunteer service – without compensation and outside his or her normal realm of duties – to the community at large within the previous year.

 The students who have completed the State Employees Credit Union Public Fellows Internship were also recognized.

The students who have completed the State Employees Credit Union Public Fellows Internship were also recognized.

The following members of the ECU community were recognized Austin Allen, Crissa Allen, Mona Amin, Terah Archie, David Batie, Sheresa Blanchard, Craig Brown, Nicole Caswell, Lisa Compton, Sahil Dayal, Daniel Dickerson, Denise Donica, Lori Earls, Sylvia Escott Stump, Tina Mickey, Nicole Fox, Amy Frank, Sylvia Fuller, Lou Anna Hardee, Dawn Harrison, Archana Hegde, Jason Higginson, Jennifer Hodgson, Pamela Hopkins, Jakob Jensen, Plummer Jones, Andrea Kitta, Angela Lamson, Kim Larson, Janice Lewis, Huigang Liang, Aaron Lucier, Susan McCammon, Vivian Mott, Sandra Nobles, Patty Peebles, Annette Peery, Nancy Ray, April Reed, Leah Riddell, Jonelle Romero, Melanie Sartore, Lorie Sigmon, Robert Stagg, Jamie Williams, Marsha Tripp, Tracy Tuten, Deborah Tyndall, Garrett VanHoy, Sandra Warren, Bryan Wheeler, Courtney Williams, Yajiong Xue and Breyah Atkinson.

As he congratulated all of those recognized, Provost Ron Mitchelson said their service to the community and others “is a great testimony to a great university.”

He added, “So much of this work is quiet. I think it’s good for the university to shine a bright light on these efforts.”



-by Jeannine Manning Hutson, ECU News Services


Campus Recreation & Wellness summer camps

ECU’s Campus Recreation and Wellness (CRW) will begin Summer Camp registration for students, faculty, and staff on Tuesday, March 14th at 8:00 a.m. The CRW offers camps for children ages 5-13, with Rec Junior being ages 5-8 and Recreation Nation being ages 8-13.

Registration details and program information can be accessed by going to our website:

For more information please contact Jon Wall at 252-328-1565 or

ECU employee named Pitt County Firefighter of the Year

East Carolina University employee Charles Suggs, a crew leader in moving services, was awarded Pitt County Firefighter of the Year during a special ceremony on Jan. 19.

Suggs has worked at ECU for 12 years and been a volunteer firefighter for 14 years. He is a deputy chief with the Grifton Fire Department. Suggs was selected as Grifton’s Firefighter of the Year, which put him in the running for the countywide honor.

ECU employee Charles Suggs was named Pitt County Firefighter of the Year on Jan. 19. (contributed photo)

ECU employee Charles Suggs was named Pitt County Firefighter of the Year on Jan. 19.
(Contributed photo)

The Firefighter of the Year award is presented annually to a firefighter who has demonstrated outstanding support and leadership to their department and the community. The selection committee was made up of fire service representatives outside of Pitt County.

Suggs spent nine days working with the department’s chief during the flooding after Hurricane Matthew, answering calls for service, coordinating staff and organizing search and rescue efforts with outside agencies traveling to assist Grifton. In addition to rescue efforts, he helped evacuate the Grifton Fire Department, which is prone to flooding and helped citizens move to higher ground as the floodwaters approached.

Suggs said his parents instilled in him the importance of helping the community.

“I got involved when I was young to have something to do and I fell in love with the true meaning of what serving is all about,” said Suggs.

He encourages people to get involved with their local volunteer fire departments.

“Become a volunteer firefighter or support your local department. We need more volunteers at our departments in Pitt County,” said Suggs.


-by Jamie Smith

Women of Distinction nominations due Feb. 1

Nominations are due Wednesday, Feb. 1 for the 2017 Women of Distinction Awards given by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women.

The ECU Women of Distinction Awards are given every two years to recognize the outstanding contributions by women of East Carolina University. Nominees for the awards may include ECU faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. Ten women will be selected for this prestigious award, one of whom will be chosen to receive the Linda Allred Profiles in Leadership Award.

The 2017 event will be held April 4.

The awards recognize women who have:

  • distinguished themselves in academic work, career, leadership, public service, or any combination thereof through commitment, determination, empowerment and generosity of spirit and time;
  • contributed to the personal growth and success of others, especially women, through education, research, or public or volunteer service, beyond their expected job responsibilities; and
  • created positive social change, increased equality and fairness for all, and built community.

Areas in which nominees demonstrate outstanding contributions may include, but are not limited to, academics/education; professions; research; health care/services; management/administration; politics; social services; volunteer, charity, community outreach organizations; and athletics.

Nomination packets consist of a nomination form and a recommendation letter. Nominators also have the option to include the nominee’s resume or CV along with additional letters of support.

Nomination materials, scanned into one PDF document, should be emailed to Karen Traynor at

For more information, visit


-by Jackie Drake, Eastern AHEC 

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