Category Archives: Students

ECU social work students collect luggage for Washington community center

Last semester, students in the ECU master of social work program selected Open Door Community Center in Washington as the recipient of their class project.

The students were asked to reach out to local communities in surrounding areas and set up a project that would help a specific agency or the community in some way.

ECU School of Social Work graduate students De’Mone Jordan, Kelly Gettle, Haley Narins, Alyssa Hajjar, Ashley Roberts and Stephanie Martin present luggage to Marcia Norwood, the Open Door Community Center’s executive director.

Left to right, ECU School of Social Work graduate students De’Mone Jordan, Kelly Gettle, Haley Narins, Alyssa Hajjar, Ashley Roberts and Stephanie Martin present luggage to Marcia Norwood, the Open Door Community Center’s executive director. (Contributed photo)

The students wanted to do something that would help the women and children in the shelter and decided to request donations of new or gently used luggage. The luggage was presented before ECU’s holiday break.

“Once the women are ready to leave ODCC, they will have luggage for their belongings, which will help them as they transition into their new homes,” said executive director Marcia Norwood. “ODCC appreciates the work of these students and the help they will be providing to the women and their children.”

For information about Open Door Community Center or to make a donation, email edodcc@yahoo.com or call 252-833-8514.

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

ECU opens largest LGBTQ center in the UNC System

East Carolina University opened the new Main Campus Student Center this week. This 220,000-square-foot facility will be the living room for students and will be a central hub for ECU’s nearly 500 student organizations, clubs and groups.

ECU will officially open the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. on the second floor of the new student center. The Peel LGBTQ Center will be the largest center of its kind in the UNC System.

Dr. Jesse R. Peel

Dr. Jesse R. Peel

Peel, a native of Everetts, shares ECU’s vision of a safe and welcoming environment that promotes understanding, acceptance and visibility of the LGBTQ community. The center features expanded study and lounge areas, staff offices, a conference room and a lending library of more than 500 titles.

ECU first founded the LGBT Resource Office in 2011, and in the last seven years the office has grown to serve more than 7,000 student visits during the academic year. Its educational programming includes a speaker series, the Queer Film Series and annual events such as National Coming Out Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance and World AIDS Day.

On Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m., the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center will host a grand opening celebration. Tickets for this event are available at the central ticket office or by calling 252-328-4788.

 

-Contact: Mark Rasdorf, associate director of the Dr. Peel LGBTQ Center, rasdorfm@ecu.edu, 252-737-4451

Student research posters unveiled across campus

East Carolina University student researchers are more visible than ever thanks to new research posters placed around campus.

The posters highlight researchers in a variety of fields, including biology, biomedical physics, journalism, political science, visual arts and communications.

The posters, developed by ECU’s Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement, include current undergraduate and graduate students, as well as alumni. The division plans to add more posters around campus throughout the year, giving students an opportunity to see the faces behind the university’s groundbreaking student-led research activities.

ECU is promoting the growth and success of student research activities around its campuses. Pictured above celebrating biology student researcher and cross country runner Julia Brown (center right) are Vice Chancellor for Research, Economic Development and Engagement Jay Golden (from left), Brown’s research partner Matthew Chilton, and Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Director Curt Kraft.

ECU is promoting the growth and success of student research activities around its campuses. Pictured above celebrating biology student researcher and cross country runner Julia Brown (center right) are Vice Chancellor for Research, Economic Development and Engagement Jay Golden (from left), Brown’s research partner Matthew Chilton, and Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Director Curt Kraft. (Photos by Matt Smith)

“We’re always looking for ways to highlight our student researchers,” said Mary Farwell, director of undergraduate research. “We thought these posters would be a good way to introduce students who are considering participating in research activities a chance to see others like themselves. Additionally, we wanted to highlight researchers outside of the traditional bench science fields to show that research opportunities are available across many disciplines.”

Posters will be on display on both main campus and the health sciences campus, ranging from Joyner Library to the Health Sciences Building.

ECU cross country runner Julia Brown is one of 10 student researchers highlighted in posters around campus.

ECU cross country runner Julia Brown is one of 10 student researchers highlighted in posters around campus.

Additionally, student researchers will be featured on bus advertisements on ECU’s 35 on-campus buses. REDE leadership believes that by increasing the visibility of researchers and their mentors, student interest in research activities will grow as well.

“The university has outlined clear goals to increase student research participation,” said Jay Golden, vice chancellor for research, economic development and engagement. “We want to double the number of undergraduate students participating in research and lead the UNC System in the number of faculty-mentored student research projects.

“Over the past year, the Office of Undergraduate Research has participated in a number of on-campus events, including Get A Clue and meet-and-greets with students,” he said. “We hope our posters continue to keep research at the forefront of our students’ minds as they prepare for life after ECU.”

Along with informational resources from the Office of Undergraduate Research and ECU’s Graduate School, the university offers awards and competitions focusing on student research. ECU’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity awards help with the cost of faculty-mentored research projects and range from $1,500-2,500, and students can also apply for smaller undergraduate research mini awards and conference travel awards.

“We encourage all of our students to talk to their professors about research and creative activity projects,” said Ron Mitchelson, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. “While research certainly includes white coats, test tubes and beakers, it doesn’t have to be limited to the lab. These posters share the unique paths each student took to begin their research journey. Maybe they’ll help jump start another student’s adventure as well.”

Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research to learn more about student research opportunities on campus.

Poster locations on campus

Poster locations on campus (Courtesy of Google Maps)

View a real-time map of poster locations on campus

 

-by Matt Smith, University Communications

ECU graduate students collect sunshine baskets for Pender County students

Ten East Carolina University graduate students have helped Pender County elementary and middle school students start the new year with much needed school supplies.

Lauren Patterson, a special education teacher in Wake County and graduate student in the ECU College of Education, coordinated a supply drive this fall for children in schools devastated by Hurricane Florence.

Lauren Patterson and nine graduate students in the College of Education – all from the Raleigh area – collected school supplies for children impacted by Hurricane Florence.

Lauren Patterson (front, center) and nine graduate students in the College of Education – all from the Raleigh area – collected school supplies for children impacted by Hurricane Florence. (Contributed photos)

Patterson and nine others from the Wake County Public School System enrolled in ECU’s Master of School Administration program collected items from across the Raleigh area for “sunshine baskets.” Donors included school service clubs, fitness groups and PEAK Civitan Club, which sponsored 25 baskets. The group also received monetary donations from across the United States and abroad for the project.

Patterson (front right) and other graduate students made the deliveries on Jan. 2.

Patterson (front, right) made the deliveries on Jan. 2.

On Jan. 2, Patterson and another teacher and friend Sarah Bankert delivered 175 baskets filled with school supplies to Cape Fear elementary and middle schools and Rocky Point Elementary in Pender County.

Patterson said the experience of delivering the baskets is something she will never forget.

“There are students and teachers still across the county that are in need of support,” Patterson said. “To quote my idol Ellen DeGeneres, ‘be kind to one another.’ It’s literally one of the easiest things to do. Continue to reach out to the local school system or other organizations across Pender County to see how you can help.”

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

Celebrating ECU’s new Main Campus Student Center

Modern meets traditional at the intersection of East 10th and Charles streets in Greenville.

The new Main Campus Student Center is a you-can’t-miss-it 220,000-square-foot sprawling building that rises three stories and has enough glass on its exterior and interior to cover an entire football field.

The new Main Campus Student Center features a 24-by-42 Pirate Vision digital display.

The new Main Campus Student Center features a 24-by-42-foot Pirate Vision digital display. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Years in the making, the building pairs cutting-edge technology – electrochromatic glass windows, or smart windows, that tint based on weather, for example, as well as hot-water coils under the floor for invisible heating – with time-honored Pirate roots such as the ECU creed on the main staircase and the outline of eastern North Carolina on the floor of the main ballroom, a nod to our home state with an X marking the spot for Greenville, of course.

Out front, lofty ‘ECU’ letters make a bold statement, welcoming Pirates and visitors to the new front porch and living room of the university.

ECU will welcome this beacon to its landscape with a week of celebratory events, including a grand opening at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, complete with a ribbon-cutting, building tours, free food and gifts.

Other events include:

  • Dowdy Student Stores opening, 7:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4 in its two-level location at 501 E. 10th St.
  • Winter Welcome Back, 4-7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7 at Main Student Center Commons on the first floor, with winter-themed novelties, attractions and free food. ECU 1Card required.
  • Student Activities Board DJ, noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, MSC Commons.
  • Women & Gender Office open house, 1-6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8 on the second floor.
  • Power Hour: Daniel D, presented by Coca-Cola, noon Wednesday, Jan. 9, MSC Commons.
  • Ledonia Wright Cultural Center open house, 1-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9 on the first floor.
  • Student Activities Board DJ, noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, MSC Commons.
  • Student Activites and Organizations open house, 2-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10 on the first floor.
  • Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center open house, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 on the second floor.
  • LGBTQ Grand Opening Celebration, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, MSC ballrooms.

Dining Details

While the new Main Campus Student Center will open Monday, Jan. 7, more time is needed for construction, inspections and brand-specific training in the dining service areas. They are expected to open by the end of January.

What is open Monday, Jan. 7, the first day of classes? With the exception of the restaurants in the Main Campus Student Center, all dining service locations will resume normal operations. That includes both Todd and West End dining halls, Reade Street Market, the Croatan, The Galley, Wright Place, Starbucks, C3 Express and the food trucks.

 

-by ECU News Services

Anthropology students recognized through national competition

This semester, East Carolina University anthropology students participated in a nationwide competition known as the Community Action Project. Administered by the Center for a Public Anthropology, the competition involved more than 3,500 students from 25 schools across the United States.

As their entry into the competition, students wrote editorial pieces on the topic of climate change. The articles were evaluated by peers from other universities throughout the country.

Nine ECU anthropology students received award-winning recognition of their editorial pieces on the topic of climate change. Pictured left to right are Chris Capone, assistant professor of anthropology Dr. Cynthia Grace-McCaskey, Kaitlyn Lee, Elizabeth Lyttle and Gayle Yoder.

Nine ECU anthropology students received award-winning recognition of their editorial pieces on the topic of climate change. Pictured left to right are Chris Capone, assistant professor of anthropology Dr. Cynthia Grace-McCaskey, Kaitlyn Lee, Elizabeth Lyttle and Gayle Yoder. (Contributed photo)

“No matter what part of the world you are from, it affects you in some way,” said ECU anthropology student Gayle Yoder.

Another entrant, Kaitlyn Lee, said, “It was important for me because I’m from the beach and it is just something that I’ve grown up learning about.”

Nine ECU students were selected as award winners and received special certificates for their writing. Winners include Chris Capone, Christina Dougherty, Kaitlyn Lee, Elizabeth Lyttle, Autumn Saski, Logan Stevens, Allyse Williams, Ashley Yeager and Gayle Yoder.

“I thought it was really cool being able to connect with people around the world, especially about a dispute that’s as important as this,” said Capone.

ECU students also reviewed other students’ submissions.

“It was interesting to see that this person clearly believes the opposite of what I think, but they make a convincing argument for it,” Lyttle said.

Yoder said, “It is a common issue that people deal with in their daily lives, so it was interesting how people from different backgrounds dealt with that issue.”

Dr. Robert Borofsky, director of the Center for a Public Anthropology, praised Dr. Cynthia Grace-McCaskey, ECU assistant professor of anthropology and assistant scientist with the Coastal Studies Institute, who taught the students.

“Professor Grace-McCaskey has played an integral part in public anthropology’s online student community, showcasing the ability of East Carolina students to learn effective writing skills while being active global citizens,” Borofsky said. “She demonstrates how combining technology with cultural concerns in academic courses positively engages students to participate in the broader world beyond their academic setting while gaining the skills needed for a productive, active life after graduation.”

Read the winning ECU student editorials

Find out more about the Community Action Project

 

-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

Course partnership promotes student success and future employment

Dr. Amanda Haberstroh, librarian liaison in Laupus Library.

Dr. Amanda Haberstroh, librarian liaison in Laupus Library. (Contributed photos)

A course being offered in Spring 2019 will provide students a strong foundation in research skills and public health content that will benefit them across a wealth of disciplines as well as in their employment after graduation.

HLTH 4050: Research Skills in Health Information will be taught by Dr. Joseph Lee, assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Performance’s Department of Health Education and Promotion; and Dr. Amanda Haberstroh, librarian liaison in Laupus Library. The course covers skills that are vital to student success and is beneficial to students in disciplines across the Health Sciences Campus.

“This course covers important pieces of health literacy and evidence evaluation and will give students strong skills in the PubMed/MEDLINE database,” Lee said. “It’s a one-credit class and would be a great course for any student interested in attending graduate school or for future health profession skills. It would also be a great course for students early in their career at ECU who are interested in research.”

The class will meet from 1­–1:50 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The value in the course is based not only in its content but in its unique teaching arrangement.

Dr. Joseph Lee, assistant professor in the department of health education and promotion for the College of Health and Human Performance.

Dr. Joseph Lee, assistant professor in the department of health education and promotion for the College of Health and Human Performance.

“This partnership between a librarian and faculty members in Health Education and Promotion as equals really highlights the importance of the interdisciplinary skills that our students need,” Lee said. “Employers want our students to have expertise in health literacy, information literacy and concrete searching skills combined with public health content expertise. We’re excited to continue the course with Laupus’s support and Dr. Haberstroh’s expertise.”

Leah Cordova, MLIS, in Joyner served as the embedded liaison librarian for past sections of HLTH 4050 and was instrumental in creating this course. The teamwork has resulted in instructional topics that improve students’ competencies in finding and evaluating information and evidence-based practice.

Students have echoed that sentiment; some who have completed the course said that it expanded their knowledge on research and “made a difference in my current classes.” Others said the course encourages discussion, during which they ‘learned to apply course material in practical ways.”

HLTH 4050 helps bridge gaps between what students are learning and processing and how to think critically in terms of seeking out knowledge through research.

“We know these information literacy skills are incredibly important for our public health students and to their future employers,” said Dr. Don Chaney, chair of the Department of Health Education and Promotion, “and our partnerships with Joyner and Laupus combine our faculty’s public health expertise with librarians’ expertise in health literacy, evidence-based searching and information skills.”

Graduate student awarded yearlong national fellowship

Chris Thaxton

Chris Thaxton (Contributed photo)

An East Carolina University graduate student is one of 66 from across the United States awarded a 2019 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

William “Chris” Thaxton, who will graduate with a master’s degree in biology in May, earned bachelor degrees in biology and chemistry from ECU in 2016 as an EC Scholar.

The Knauss award, presented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Sea Grant, recognizes students who are completing masters, juris doctor or doctor of philosophy programs with a focus or interest in marine science, policy or management.

The 40th class of Knauss Fellows will begin work in February.

Thaxton, who grew up in La Grange, will be moving to Washington, D.C., for his fellowship year where he will work on ocean and natural resource policy for Sen. Brian Schatz from Hawaii.

“I love science, but my real passion is using science to find the balance between the needs of people and nature,” Thaxton said. “All of my experiences so far have been mostly ‘doing’ science. The Knauss Fellowship is an intense, yearlong introduction into how science is actually used in federal policy.”

Thaxton said he is especially passionate about the topic of climate change and how sea level rise will impact coastal development.

“There is a lot of confusion, fear and uncertainty surrounding the topic,” Thaxton said. “Science can either relieve or exacerbate these issues depending on how it’s communicated. North Carolina’s peculiar history with sea level rise policy piqued my interest in the subject as an undergraduate, and I’m excited at the opportunity to see firsthand how climate-related issues are being discussed at the federal level.”

Thaxton first learned about the Knauss Fellowship while completing a 10-week Hollings Scholar internship with NOAA four years ago.

He credited ECU’s Dr. Tim Runyon and Dr. Rebecca Asch in helping mentor his interests and research.

In the future, he would like to work as a legislative staffer on Capitol Hill, expanding the skills he expects to develop as a Knauss Fellow.

For more information, visit https://www.seagrant.noaa.gov/News/Article/ArtMID/1660/ArticleID/2691/Sea-Grant-Announces-2019-Finalists-for-Knauss-Fellowship-Program.

 

-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services

Cole Dittmer contributed to this story.

 

Roaming through a unique outdoor concert

If you missed it the first time through, “Ponder: Outdoor Concert” will allow you to experience music in a different way on Friday, Nov. 30. The brass ensemble will play around Lake Laupus on East Carolina University’s Health Sciences Campus beginning at 3 p.m. The nearly 40-minute concert is the product of ECU assistant music professor Dr. Travis Alford.

ECU music professor Dr. Travis Alford plays the trumpet during the outdoor performance of his composition “Ponder.”

ECU music professor Dr. Travis Alford plays the trumpet during the outdoor performance of his composition “Ponder.” (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Alford is a 2005 graduate of ECU’s School of Music and wrote this piece in 2012 when he was a graduate and doctoral student at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. He said it was written based on composer George Frideric Handel’s “Water Music” and was first performed around a fountain at Brandeis. While Alford said the name “Ponder” is an open-ended title, his wife came up with the name as a play on words since the music was composed to be played around a body of water.

ECU senior Joshua Poyner plays the tuba during “Ponder.” About 32 brass musicians were spread out around the Cupola for the performance.

ECU senior Joshua Poyner plays the tuba during “Ponder.” About 32 brass musicians were spread out around the Cupola for the performance.

The first performance at ECU did not take place around the fountain, but instead on the mall around the Cupola. Nearly three dozen brass performers – including trumpets, French horns, euphoniums and tubas – spread out along the mall for the piece. Each performer was also given a hand percussion instrument, like a temple gong, to play as well. As the music was performed, those walking through campus could stop and listen, or walk right through the performance.

“This was nice. I felt like the audience could be right in the middle of the music,” Alford said.

A bonus to walking through the performers was the chance to listen to different aspects of the music.

“All of the different melodies will kind of merge together in one area. So, I think that it’s a really cool idea,” said tuba performer and ECU music student Joshua Poyner. The performers were a mixture of ECU students and faculty.

“Wherever it’s performed, I want to allow people to just sort of stop and listen to the sounds around them to sort of experience the piece,” Alford said. “More than just listen to it – to experience the sights and smells and sounds of just being in the space.”

 

-by Rich Klindworth, ECU News Services

1 2 3 39