Students participating in the Tree Campus USA designation ceremony. (Photos by Chad Carwein)
East Carolina University has officially earned the Tree Campus USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the first time in university history. Only 12 total North Carolina institutions of higher education can claim this certification, which was celebrated during a recent tree-planting ceremony on campus.
East Carolina University’s Grounds Team planting a tree on campus for Arbor Day.
To qualify, ECU staff worked over the past year to meet Tree Campus USA standards. Standards include a Campus Tree Advisory Committee including students, faculty, facility management and at least one community member. A tree care plan was developed containing the policies for planting, landscaping, maintenance and removal of the trees on campus. (To see ECU’s Tree Care Plan click here.)
For the third and fourth standards ECU needed to have dedicated annual expenditures and extend community education efforts through an Arbor Day event.
Lastly, the university needed to complete a variety of Service Learning Projects. ECU met this standard through the following tree planting events on campus: Earth Day (April 20, 2016) and ReLeaf Community Tree Day (March 18, 2017).
For more information about Tree Campus USA, please visit www.arborday.org or contact John Gill, Director of ECU Grounds Department at (252) 737-1179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Carolina University graduate students Molly Albecker, Spencer Miller and Kenyann Stanford traveled with their mentors and ECU Graduate School faculty to Raleigh as representatives for North Carolina Graduate Education Day held May 16 at the Legislative Building.
Albecker, a biology graduate student, Miller, who is earning a kinesiology graduate degree, and Stanford, a graduate student in educational leadership, visited with legislators and discussed their research interests to emphasize the importance and value of graduate education.
Between 2012 and 2022, the United States is projected to see a 16 percent increase in the number of jobs requiring a doctoral or professional degree and an 18.4 percent increase in jobs requiring a master’s degree. North Carolina is tied at 25th with the District of Columbia in the estimated percentage of residents age 25 and older with a graduate or professional degree. These individuals contribute to North Carolina’s technically skilled and entrepreneurial workforce that benefit the state’s economy.
Also attending from ECU were: Jeffrey Brault (kinesiology), Kathy Cox (graduate school), Paul Gemperline, dean of the graduate school, Tom McConnell (graduate school), Michael McCoy (biology), Heidi Puckett, graduate school, and Art Rouse (educational leadership).
ECU graduate students, mentors, and graduate school staff at North Carolina Graduate Education Day, NC Legislative Building, May 16, 2017; le to right: Michael McCoy (Biology), Tom McConnell (Graduate School), Jeffrey Brault (Kinesiology), Spencer Miller (Kinesiology), Molly Albecker (Biology), Paul Gemperline (Dean, Graduate School), Kenyann Stanford (Educational Leadership), Art Rouse (Educational Leadership), Kathy Cox (Graduate School), Heidi Puckett (Graduate School). (contributed photo)
Thirty high school math teachers in eastern North Carolina recently earned their master’s degrees in education thanks to a unique blend of off campus, face to face and online classes led by East Carolina University faculty.
It was the largest graduating class in the history of the program, which usually only has a few students complete the master’s program for high school mathematics each year, said Dr. Rose Sinicrope, associate professor of mathematics education and a 2017 Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award recipient.
ECU faculty member Rose Sinicrope, left, and master’s graduate Anita Koen celebrate at the departmental graduation on May 6. (Contributed photos)
“Graduate level mathematics courses, which compose almost half the program, are taught face to face and it is very difficult for teachers to get to campus on time to attend classes. In the past, this was the major deterrent for many teachers,” said Sinicrope. “The second deterrent was North Carolina’s elimination of the teacher pay scale increase for graduate degrees in 2013.”
To combat those challenges, ECU faculty in the College of Education and Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences customized an off campus course of study to fit the teachers’ schedules as part of a revision to the undergraduate mathematics education degree program in 2013.
“We continue to work very hard to provide an education of the highest quality that is both affordable and accessible,” said Dr. Grant Hayes, dean of the College of Education. “There’s a critical need for teachers of secondary mathematics in our region and across the state. This is a testament to the hard work and dedicated efforts of our faculty and school partners and I applaud them for this achievement.”
The 30 teachers are from Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Edgecombe, Greene, Nash, Onslow, Pitt and Wayne counties. Twenty-nine teach in public schools while one teaches in private school. Teachers taught their full class loads during the two years of the program.
Graduation student speaker Anita Koen, math teacher at South Central High School and one of 30 high school math teachers from eastern North Carolina who received their master’s degree in education in May.
The largest number, 14, are from Pitt County, and half of those teach at D. H. Conley High School in Greenville. Renea Baker, the mathematics department chair at Conley, encouraged her fellow teachers to participate, Sinicrope said.
Anita Koen, math teacher at South Central High School who was part of the newest MAED graduating class, was instrumental to the program’s success since most classes were held in Koen’s high school classroom, Sinicrope said.
Koen delivered the graduate student address at the departmental graduation on May 6, thanking the ECU professors for support and creating a cohort just for them. “They came to us at South Central to hold class at times that were not convenient to them but were convenient to us,” Koen said.
Sinicrope called the group the “Miracle 30.”
“Few believed that high school mathematics teachers would be willing to invest in their careers without financial support and gain,” Sinicrope said. “Few believed that ECU faculty would be willing to meet teachers at their schools and on their schedules. It was a miracle that not just a few but 30 high school mathematics teachers, who sacrifice personal gain by remaining in the classroom, were willing to sacrifice more because they believe in their students, in themselves, and in ECU.”
Sinicrope said her ECU colleague Dr. Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi coined the term ‘Mathematics Teaching Communities’ as part of the revision to the undergraduate mathematics education program.
“The undergraduate program and the graduate program are connected with a shared vision of transforming high school mathematics for eastern North Carolina students,” Sinicrope said.
The Hotel Louise in downtown Washington, North Carolina. (Contributed photos)
Dr. Bob O’Halloran, chair of the College of Business’ School of Hospitality Leadership, presented composite results of a preliminary feasibility study, which included a summary of possible concepts that could bring the Hotel Louise back to life in downtown Washington, North Carolina. The presentation was made during a recent public event held at the Arts of the Pamlico’s (AOP) historic Turnage Theatre.
As part of course requirements, School students created concepts that would turn the historic building into a 60-room, boutique hotel. According to an article in the Washington Daily News, O’Halloran said that a hotel of this nature would generate revenue and growth for the downtown area and would give customers the opportunity to both visit Washington and stay in the heart of the city.
Aided by the AOP, 64 students and 11 community groups worked on the project, which culminated with the students, as part of a final exam, making a presentation to members of the Washington (North Carolina) Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Tourism Development Authority, and Beaufort County Economic Development.
“This type of engaged learning shows our students are playing an integral part in the sustainability of Eastern North Carolina,” said O’Halloran. “I’m excited for the potential, positive impact these recommendations could have in downtown Washington.”
Dr. Bob O’Halloran presents feasibility study findings on Hotel Louise in Washington, North Carolina.
East Carolina University’s College of Business handed out two new graduate certificates during its recent commencement exercise. Ten students received a certificate in project management (PM) and six received a certificate in business analytics. Both programs started in the fall of 2016, and each consist of four, online courses.
Business analytics certificate recipient Jacquitta Boone. (contributed photos)
The business analytics certificate works with real business data sets and provides students with advanced business analytics knowledge and data mining processes. The certificate was developed with input from numerous leading recruiters of data analysts and is offered in conjunction with SAS’ Joint Certificate Program.
“This program seeks to train data analysts,” says Dr. Elaine Seeman, chair of the College’s Department of Management Information Systems. “As organizations amass more and more data from their interactions with individuals and organizations, the need for people who can pull data, translate it and tell stories is rising.”
The PM certificate prepares graduates for employment as project leaders and managers who have hands-on management experience. Students will gain the knowledge needed to sit for the Certified Associate in Project Management Certification or the Project Management Institute professional certificate exams.
“Project management is a fast-growing field, and project management skills are in demand in a broad range of industries,” added Seeman.
Jacquitta Boone is from Murfreesboro, North Carolina and graduated with an MBA degree and was one of the first to receive a PM certificate. A process person at heart, she initially wanted to get her supply chain certificate, but after inquiring about the new PM certificate, she found that she still “loves to know about the processes in business but also how the processes affect the people and teams within an organization.”
Boone expects the certificate will help her to understand the behaviors of certain people in a group and how these behaviors will affect the process and project as a whole.
Business analytics certificate recipient Brad McAllister..
Brad McAllister. was one of the first recipients of a business analytics certificate. He works for the College and has been advising business students since 2004. He participated in the program to learn more about the tools and techniques available to mine data. As he puts it, “I want to apply what I’ve learned to better serve the students, faculty and staff of the College.”
East Carolina University’s Joyner Library announced the recipients of the James and Marie Thompson Student Award for outstanding student employees on May 15.
John Dunning of Greenville, a graduate student in the Department of Library Science in the College of Education, and Jacob Parks of Farmville, a graduate student in the Department of Public History in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences were chosen by the Joyner Library selection committee as this year’s winners.
East Carolina University graduate student John Dunning. (contributed photos)
Established by James and Marie Thompson, both members of the Joyner Library Advancement Council, the $500 awards recognize two students employed by Joyner Library. Both winners will be given a chance to meet the Thompsons later this year during the fall 2017 Advancement Council meeting.
“We are extremely grateful for Marie and James Thompson, and their continued support of library student workers,” said Heather White, assistant director for assessment and engagement. “Joyner Library is so pleased to recognize student excellence and service because dedicated student employees provide a significant role in our mission’s success.”
Eligibility criteria required applicants to have worked in the library at least one semester while attending ECU as a full-time student, and be committed to working in the library for the 2017 fall semester.
In addition to completing the spring semester with a 3.0 or higher grade point average, students were required to submit a personal statement about the value of their work experience, along with a letter of support from their supervisor.
“I enjoy working at Joyner,” said Dunning. “We are very fortunate that Joyner takes care of their student workers and offers opportunities like scholarships which help with the cost of our education.”
Some of Dunning’s work focuses on the special collections research room, where he helps patrons access Joyner’s manuscript collections, rare books and materials from the North Carolina collection and university archives. He believes that by serving others and facilitating their access to information, he helps lessen the anxiety the search process can bring. He also hopes his assistance helps researchers to be better prepared and produce high-quality work.
Dunning plans to work as an academic librarian after graduating with his master’s degree from the library science program. “I value all the experience I am gaining as I work here,” he said. “I know that it will prepare me to work in the field and better serve the community where I continue my career.”
East Carolina University graduate student Jacob Parks.
“The library is more than a hallowed hall of books,” he continued. “Joyner Library provides vital services to students, faculty and the local community, and their staff is committed to serving those patrons and supporting the mission of the university.”
Parks, who works in the library’s preservation and conservations department, says the wealth of archival documentation in the special collections helped him shape his master’s thesis and future career ideas.
“My experience working with preservation and conservation within the library has shown me the complexities of archival management that go along with a state-funded archival repository,” he said. “After the conclusion of my master’s, I hope to become part of this community by finding a career in an archive or museum within the state.”
“Jacob is keenly interested in North Carolina history and in learning all things preservation,” said Tracie Hampton, lab manager and student supervisor for the department of monographic acquisitions and preservation & conservation. “He also has a knack for working with the materials, so he can personally address more difficult or tricky items, which is a tremendous help to our stewardship of Joyner Library’s collections.”
Hampton also says Parks’ enthusiasm is contagious to the other students, which raises the quality of their output and interest in Joyner’s collections.
“Jacob’s positive impact on Joyner Library far exceeds that of one single student.”
“I would like to send a special thank you to Marie and James Thompson for providing the funds necessary to make this scholarship possible,” said Parks. “Its very existence shows that the students of Joyner Library are appreciated for their role in maintaining a quality library and university. It also shows that the ECU community will always be interested in facilitating a quality education for its students.”
For the fourth year in a row, the ECU Club Baseball Team will play for the chance to bring home a national title at the National Club Baseball Association World Series. There is one major difference this year, the Pirates enter the World Series as the top ranked program in the nation.
“We’ve been preparing all year for this, and I think every man is ready for it, and we’re ready to achieve our ultimate goal of winning this year,” said senior second baseman Miles Haymond.
While they have made the eight-team series the past three years, they have fallen short of the crown, losing in the championship game last year. So for players like Haymond, this is their last shot to get that ring.
“You know, we’ve been to that final game last year, and we were right there. But this year I think we’re a little more ready to take what’s ours,” said Haymond.
The ECU Club Baseball Team has become a juggernaut over the last several years. The Pirates won their first, and only, national championship in 2011. First year head coach Ben Fox, a 2012 graduate, played for the ECU club team in 2009 and started coaching as an assistant in 2010. He feels his team is part of the national picture for the long haul.
The ECU Club Baseball Team piles on top of one another after coming from behind in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Ohio State. This victory put them into the regional championship game. (Photo by Richard L Miller Photography)
“We had just made our first regional when I had first started coaching,” Fox said. “We weren’t considered a perennial world series team, but now we have cemented ourselves as an every year world series baseball team, and we take a lot of pride in that.”
Graduate student Logan Sutton is playing in his final season for the purple and gold. He just missed out on playing for that national championship team in 2011.
“My first thought of it is I’m sure everyone’s first thought, you know: ‘It’s just club baseball.’ But as I got involved and started coming to practices and talking to everyone, it really hit home that it’s really competitive,” Sutton said.
“This group of guys could compete at any level… . One game, I’ll take us against anybody,” Fox said.
There are some similarities between NCAA athletics and club sports. The competition level is very high. Players can tryout (similar to walk-on) to make the team. Fox said during the past couple of years 70 to 100 players have tried out. This year, 30 players are on the roster along with four redshirts.
Stephen Allard slides into home against William and Mary. (Photo by Richard L Miller Photography)
Those who make the team may play up to five years, but they have only six years to do so after graduating from high school. Unlike traditional Division 1 athletes, they can redshirt one year and then play on the field for the other five; traditional players can be on the field or court for only four years.
The club players are not on athletic scholarships and have to pay or raise $300 a semester to play.
“Which is why you never really have to question any of these guys’ effort because they know they’re paying to be out here, and that’s the best part about it. You know these guys want to be here, or they wouldn’t pay the money to be here,” Fox said.
Club baseball also gives athletes a chance to continue playing baseball beyond high school.
“I’ll be forever grateful for club baseball… . It’s been the best decision in my life because we’re still able to play competitive baseball,” said senior shortstop Walker Gaddis of Greenville.
Senior catcher Jake Merzigan had previously walked on the ECU baseball team. While he made the team, he was behind star catcher Travis Watkins on the depth chart. He played a little as the bullpen catcher but saw club baseball as a way to get the most out of his baseball career.
Catcher Jake Merzigian dive slides into third base against Elon. (Photo by Richard L Miller Photography)
“I just saw a better opportunity playing club ball. You’re actually playing in the games rather than catching in the bullpen,” Merzigan said.
Earlier this month, Haymond and Gaddis received their diplomas from ECU and have accepted jobs that begin next month. So for them, these last few games will most likely be their last.
“It’s a tough realization, but if I have to go out one way, it would be on this team in that national championship game on June first,” Haymond said.
The ECU Club Baseball Team has its first game Friday, May 26, at 7 p.m. at the North Main Athletic Complex in Holly Springs, NC against Michigan State. Since they are the only North Carolina team in the NCBA Division 1 World Series, they are hoping to fill the stands with members of the Pirate Nation.
“I’ve been a Pirate my whole life and there’s nothing better to have ECU across our chests,” Gaddis said.
The East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) recently inducted seven new members.
Third-year medical students Amanda Carringer, Drew Crenshaw, Jinal Desai, Drew Gardner, Talia Horwitz, Wooten Jones, and Jaleeka Rudd were chosen by their peers for membership and honored at a dinner and induction ceremony at Ironwood Golf and Country Club on May 1.
Recent inductees into the Brody School of Medicine chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society are, front row from left, Wooten Jones, Drew Crenshaw and Drew Gardner; back row from left, Jaleeka Rudd, Talia Horwitz, Jinal Desai and Amanda Carringer. (Photos by Gretchen Baugh)
“The Gold Humanism Honor Society recognizes students, residents and faculty who are exemplars of compassionate patient care and who serve as role models, mentors and leaders in medicine,” said Dr. Hellen Ransom, assistant professor of bioethics at Brody and GHHS faculty advisor. “GHHS members are the individuals whose peers would want them taking care of their own families.”
Drs. Manuel Izquierdo, left, and Hannah Fuhr, 2017 recipients of the Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award. Not pictured is Dr. Stephanie Simmons.
Also recognized at the event were the 2017 recipients of the Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Internal medicine resident Dr. Hannah Fuhr, internal medicine-pediatrics resident Dr. Manuel Izquierdo and obstetrics-gynecology resident Dr. Stephanie Simmons were selected by the third-year medical class for exemplifying humanism in their teaching and patient interactions.
Established in 2002 by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) is an international association of individuals and medical school chapters whose members are selected as exemplars of empathy, compassion, altruism, integrity, service, excellence and respect in their relationships with patients and others in the field of medicine.
The Brody chapter of the organization was founded in 2011. Membership is by peer selection in the third year of medical school. During their fourth year, members are responsible for executing a project that exemplifies humanism, sponsoring a fundraising event and participating in National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care.
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 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.
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.