Category Archives: Students

Fulbright Scholar fulfills dream of studying abroad

Fulbright Scholar Farisal Bagsit had dreamed of studying abroad for years but turned down opportunities in the past due to personal obligations. When she was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in 2016, Bagsit knew she had to take the opportunity to leave her native Philippines to travel to the United States.

“It’s a bit far, but I was told if you really want rigid training you go to the U.S.,” said Bagsit.

Bagsit came to East Carolina University’s coastal resource management program to pursue her Ph.D. in social science and coastal policy through the Fulbright Scholar Program awarded through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. According to the Fulbright website, it is the U.S.’s flagship international educational exchange program that sponsors student exchanges in approximately 160 countries worldwide. Students are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential.

Before coming to the U.S., Bagsit worked for seven years as a researcher at the University of the Philippines Visayas, where she received her undergraduate degree in marine fisheries and master’s degree in marine affairs. After completing her studies at ECU, she she hopes to return to the to the same university as a faculty member.

Fulbright Scholar Farisal Bagsit (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Fulbright Scholar Farisal Bagsit (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Bagsit’s research centers around small-scale fisheries. She is also interested in studying the ripple effect of fishery closures in her home country.

Dr. David Griffith, interim director for the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy, is Bagsit’s adviser. He said she is very motivated and has already fleshed out her doctoral dissertation. The topic of choice involves the social and economic impacts of closures in the Filipino sardine fishery.

“By the end of her first year she had a full proposal drafted with the flexibility to respond to political developments in the Philippines,” said Griffith.

Bagsit said the fishery closures began in 2011 but the effects are just now being realized in parts of her country.

“I want to see how the closures effect people’s livelihoods and economics in the community,” said Bagsit.

Her first year in the program has been demanding and Bagsit admits she didn’t have much time to explore Greenville. After completing the first summer session of classes, she took a trip to the beach and returned home for a few weeks to visit her husband and three children before returning to complete her second year. She hopes to attend her first ECU football game this fall.

“This is a good opportunity to experience American culture,” said Bagsit.

For more information about study abroad opportunities at ECU visit www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/intlaffairs. Details regarding the Fulbright Scholar Program can be found at www.cies.org/

 

-by Jamie Smith

Volunteers Needed for Fall Move-In


Campus Living is seeking groups and organizations to assist with Fall 2017 freshmen move-in, which begins at noon on Tuesday, August 15 and runs through Sunday, August 20. They will focus on volunteer efforts Wednesday, August 16 through the end of the day on Friday, August 18.

As in past years, Campus Living will rely on volunteers to assist residents with carrying boxes and furniture, answering questions, providing directions, and, for the first time, assisting with their indoor check-in process.

If you are involved with an organization or group interested in participating, please arrange for a representative to contact Dave Hilbert at hilbertd17@ecu.edu. They will schedule meetings with representatives of each organization in early July, at which time they will collect each group’s availability. Campus Living will distribute a volunteer schedule and provide additional updates as they approach the week of the move-in.

ECU English graduate student participates in prestigious Washington, D.C. workshop

East Carolina University English student Sarah McKeever was one of only 12 students nationwide selected to participate in a highly-competitive workshop held recently at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

The library is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and one of the nation’s premier research libraries for Renaissance history, literature and culture.

“I felt incredibly lucky to receive this opportunity, which is a dream come true,” said McKeever, who received her bachelor degree in English from ECU in May and will begin her studies in ECU’s master’s program this fall.

Marianne Montgomery, chair of the Department of English, was thrilled that McKeever was selected to participate in the workshop held June 26-30.

In "the Vault" looking at 400 + year old manuscripts.  This was a surreal, spiritual and elating experience! Left - Sarah McKeever looking at the book. (Photos by Syd Bauerman)

In “the Vault” looking at 400 + year old manuscripts.  This was a surreal, spiritual and elating experience! Left – Sarah McKeever looking at the book. (Photos by Syd Bauerman)

“Sarah was among peers who share her passion for Renaissance literature and had the opportunity to study with top visiting faculty from around the nation,” said Montgomery. “We are proud of Sarah and know that she represented ECU well.”

While at the library, McKeever and other scholars worked in small teams to digitally encode and format early modern dramas not yet included in the digital archives. The authors of the dramas are contemporaries of Shakespeare and their digital presence will supplement the current collection at the library.

“I have been in awe of the Folger Library’s rare collection for as long as I can remember and was excited to step foot within its hallowed walls,” said McKeever. “It was exciting to work directly with the rare manuscripts in the vault’s reading rooms.”

The workshop complemented McKeever’s interests and immersions at ECU. For three years, McKeever has served as an editorial assistant to English professor Dr. Jeffrey Johnson on the John Donne Variorum project, a multi-volume digital anthology of John Donne’s poetry.

In Folger's theatre students acted out a scene from Thomas Middleton's play, "The Roaring Girl.”

In Folger’s theatre students acted out a scene from Thomas Middleton’s play, “The Roaring Girl.”

“Sarah is an imaginative and insightful thinker, one whose intellectual curiosity and intellectual humility are the hallmarks for why she is such an accomplished student, as well as a promising scholar,” said Johnson.

McKeever intends to focus on Renaissance literature in her master’s program.

“ECU has an incredibly stellar Renaissance literature program and faculty, and ECU has been the most fortuitous place that I could have begun my path in early modern literary studies,” said McKeever.

“Familiarity with the treasure-trove of Folger resources will enhance my research in graduate school and greatly inform my interpretations,” said McKeever.

After completing her master’s degree, McKeever wants to pursue a doctoral program. She plans to dedicate her scholastic life to early modern studies and hopes to never cease learning – and perhaps teaching – about its literary works. In addition, she finds digital technology an exciting supplement to literary texts.

“I am very enthusiastic about the development of digital anthologies; their creation being at the forefront of literary innovation today,” said McKeever. “Access to these materials will benefit future scholars in the same ways that they have been beneficial for me.”

For additional information about the Folger workshop, visit http://folgerpedia.folger.edu/Opening_the_Digital_Anthology_of_Early_Modern_English_Drama:_Skills,_Tools,_and_Texts_(workshop).

 

 

-by Lacey Gray, University Communications

ECU music education major selected for national achievement award

East Carolina University senior music education major Lauren Lewis has been selected as one of this year’s recipients of the Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. These recognitions are given to college members who have served their NAfME collegiate chapter in an exemplary manner with dedication to NAfME and music education.

Each year two graduating music education students are selected from a national pool for the Kane Scholarship. Lewis is ECU NAfME chapter president.

ECU music education student Lauren Lewis (center) accepts the 2017 Kane Scholarship and Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. Pictured with NC Music Educators Association officers. (contributed photo)

ECU music education student Lauren Lewis (center) accepts the 2017 Kane Scholarship and Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. Pictured with NC Music Educators Association officers. (contributed photo)

In addition, Lewis and fellow ECU music education major Jordan Harris were among 97 college students and more than 200 professional music educators who participated in the NAfME Hill Day Collegiate Advocacy Summit event beginning June 29 in Washington, DC, where Lewis accepted the Kane Scholarship and the professional achievement award. Annually the single largest gathering of music education advocates on Capitol Hill, NAfME Hill Day is imperative to ensuring the continued preservation of school-based music programs across America.

“It was such an honor to be awarded the Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship at this year’s Hill Day Advocacy Summit—Mrs. Kane was such a wonderful inspiration to music educators and to be given an award in her memory was very touching,” Lewis said. “I am so thankful for all of the support given at East Carolina University that allowed me to participate in such an amazing organization such as NAfME and attend Hill Day 2017.”

The Collegiate Advocacy Summit informs prospective young music educators about the most pressing music education policy issues of our time and helps them to engage with music education advocacy.  Hill Day music advocates conduct more than 200 meetings with members of Congress and their staffs each year during the three-day event.

“Hill Day was such a wonderful opportunity for professional development, meeting new people and advocating for music education,” Lewis said. “The sense of community and support gave me the confidence and inspiration to continue working in my own local chapter and advocating in my own state.

“The opportunity to meet future colleagues from across the country, learn from wonderful educators and make a difference in legislature concerning music education was an amazing experience that has made me more excited than ever to become a music educator.”

 

 

-by Harley Dartt, University Communications

Brody School of Medicine names associate dean for research and graduate studies

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has named one of its first PhD graduates as its new associate dean for research and graduate studies at the Brody School of Medicine.

The appointment of Dr. Russ Price was made following a rigorous national search. Price, who also will serve as professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, will begin his role on Aug. 16.

Dr. Russ Price. (contributed photo)

Dr. Russ Price. (contributed photo)

As associate dean for research and graduate studies, Price will provide leadership for Brody’s extensive research enterprise. He joins ECU at a time when the university is looking to strengthen its research efforts. Chancellor Cecil Staton has stated that increasing extramural research funding is one of his priority goals for the institution.

Since 2012 Price has served as associate vice chair for research in the department of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. He has been professor of medicine and physiology at Emory since 1991.

“I am really delighted to welcome Russ Price back to the Brody community,” said Dr. Nicholas Benson, the school of medicine’s interim dean. “He has had a very successful career as a scientist with continuing extramural funding and as an administrator for research programs at Emory University. He will bring a new level of expertise in bench research to us that will greatly enrich the science our faculty do here at Brody and across ECU.”

Price said that he is thrilled to be selected for the position, which represents a homecoming for him.

“During the interview process, I was drawn back to ECU by the palpable renewed commitment to research and the desire of the faculty and leadership to build on the current strong foundation at BSOM,” he said. “I am excited about the partnership between BSOM and Vidant Health and the combined efforts to provide communities throughout eastern North Carolina with access to the most up-to-date clinical trials and health care.”

Having authored more than 100 publications and book chapters, Price is a recognized leader in his field. His research is directed towards explaining the mechanisms that cause muscle atrophy in chronic conditions such as end-stage kidney disease and diabetes. He serves on editorial boards for the Journal of Biological Chemistry and American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology. He has previously served on the editorial boards of Kidney International and the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. In addition, Price is on the Executive Council for the International Society of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism.

Price will lead Brody School of Medicine's extensive research enterprise. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Price will lead Brody School of Medicine’s extensive research enterprise. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Before earning his PhD in biochemistry at ECU, Price completed a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Laboratory of Cellular Metabolism at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Benson thanked Dr. Jeff Smith for his service as interim associate dean for research and graduate studies since March 2016. Smith is professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology at Brody.

Price’s appointment follows Tuesday’s announcement that the Brody School of Medicine has named Dr. Mark Stacy as its new dean. Stacy begins his role on Sept. 1.

 

 

-by Angela Todd, University Communication

 

 

 

Four sworn in as ECU police officers

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The East Carolina University Police Department gained four new officers as Adrian Baker, Jonathan Bryant, Meagan Johnson and Megan Johnson were sworn in during a ceremony held on Wednesday, June 21 at the Greenville Centre.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Joined by friends, family and fellow officers, the newest members took an oath before everyone and received their badge.

Lt. Chris Sutton gave advice to the recruitsin saying, “Service is the rent that we pay for the privilege to live on this Earth,” a quote made famous by Shirley Anita Chisholm.

“That’s a quote that I use when teaching students as they go through their basic law enforcement training (BLET),” Sutton said.

Bearing the same name with different spellings (and no relation), Meagan and Megan Johnson graduated from ECU with bachelors’ degrees in criminal justice. Meagan Johnson completed BLET training at Beaufort County Community College, and worked two years with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office before joining ECU.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

“It’s good to be back. I feel like it’ll be a really good fit for me and I love everybody on the staff already,” Meagan Johnson said. “I’ve wanted to be in law enforcement ever since I was little.”

Megan Johnson completed law enforcement training at Pitt Community College. She holds an associate degree from Louisburg College.

Meagan Johnson with her father Darren Johnson.

Meagan Johnson watches her mother Gail Johnson pin her badge.

After the ceremony, Bryant explained that it was a great feeling to be sworn in. He completed law enforcement training at Craven Community College, where he also earned an associate degree in business. Bryant worked during the past year with the Winterville Police Department. He is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business at ECU.

Baker worked with the Kinston Department of Public Safety two years before joining ECU and completed basic law enforcement training at Lenoir Community College.

“They’re going to be great assets for the police department and when we have great assets for the police department, then we have great assets that we can offer to East Carolina University,” Sutton said.

“The service aspect for the job that we do sometimes gets overlooked,” he added. “We need to be mindful of the service role that we play within our communities and never feel like we’re above or beyond being able to offer someone help.”

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.

 

-by Bre Lewis for ECU News Services

ECU receives Tree Campus USA designation

Students participating in the Tree Campus USA designation ceremony. (Photos by Chad Carwein)

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.

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 gillj@ecu.edu.

 

–by Chad Carwein, ECU Sustainability

Students, faculty and staff attend N.C. Graduate Education Day in Raleigh

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)

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)

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

Thirty teachers from eastern North Carolina complete education graduate degrees

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)

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.

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.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

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