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School of Art and Design to host 2016 undergraduate exhibition

The annual East Carolina University School of Art and Design Undergraduate Exhibition will be on display in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery from March 3 to April 1.

ECU has the largest studio art program in North Carolina, which is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Faculty in the school selected artwork for the exhibit submitted by more than 500 undergraduate students. Curriculum areas to be represented are animation, art foundations, ceramics, cinema, drawing, graphic design, illustration, interactive media, metals, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textile design and video.

A piece by John Hancock, ECU alumnus and judge for the undergraduate exhibit

“Like Descartes” by John Hancock – ECU alumnus and judge for the undergraduate exhibit

An awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 3 in Speight Auditorium, which will be followed by an opening reception in Gray Gallery. ECU alumnus and judge for the show John Hancock will present a judge’s talk at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 2 in Speight Auditorium.

Hancock is a studio artist and retired art educator who earned his MFA in painting from ECU in 1989. He received a bachelor of fine arts from Valdosta State University.

Hancock previously served as art department chair at Barton College and taught at NC Wesleyan College’s Raleigh campus, Wake Technical Community College, Piedmont Virginia Community College and at the N.C. Governor’s School East. He completed a residency at the Vermont Studio Center funded by a North Carolina Arts Council grant. He remains involved in community arts organizations and occasionally teaches.

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“Voxis Vulpis,” another piece by John Hancock – ECU alumnus and judge for the undergraduate exhibit

The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located on 5th Street in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The gallery is closed for all university holidays. The Jenkins Fine Arts Center is handicapped accessible.

For more information, contact Tom Braswell, interim gallery director, at 252-328-1312 or visit www.ecu.edu/graygallery.

Brody students encourage healthy relationships

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

Events organized by two students from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University this Valentine’s Day encouraged the community to look beyond flowers and candy. The students wanted their university family to learn more about domestic violence prevention.

Sophie Austin and Kelly Boyd, both second-year medical students, are recipients of funding from the Tiana Nicole Williams Memorial Endowment, named for a young woman killed by her fiancé in 2002, one month prior to beginning medical school at ECU.

“Her story disputes stereotypes that only low-income or poorly-educated women are victims of domestic violence,” Austin said. “Domestic violence is unfortunately present in every setting among people who may show no apparent signs. Hopefully, if domestic violence is talked about and resources made available more frequently, people will be more willing to seek help or speak up if they see a friend in trouble.”

Austin and Boyd hosted two events – one on each ECU campus – where they provided information on university and community resources. They also asked students and employees to answer the question, “What is love?”

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Nelly Bellamy, a first-year student at the Brody School of Medicine

“It made people really think about and reflect on what a healthy relationship means to them,” Boyd said. “Everyone’s idea of a healthy relationship is different, but there are some fundamental aspects of health that all relationships should have, including respect, trust, safety, et cetera.

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Taj Nasser, a second-year student at BSOM

“The more people who are educated about domestic violence prevention,” Boyd added, “the closer we are to stopping this violence before it happens.”

Austin and Boyd collaborated with the ECU Wellness Center, ECU Healthy Pirates and the Office of the Dean of Students.

 

 

 

 

 

More information about the Tiana Nicole Williams Memorial Endowment is available online at http://www.ecu.edu/tnwe/Endowment/Home.html.

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Leslie Miller (left) and Consola Esambe Lobwede (right), both first-year students at BSOM.

 

Excels event celebrates student success

East Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Performance recognized its high achieving freshmen and transfer students at an Excels Award Ceremony Feb. 5 at the Murphy Center.

The event honored freshmen and transfer students who achieved a GPA of 3.0 and above. A total of 450 freshmen were identified, 32 on the chancellor’s list, 189 on the dean’s list, and 229 on the Honor Roll.

Excels Event

High achieving HHP students were lauded at the ECU Excels Ceremony on Feb. 5.

Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance, welcomed the students and guests. “HHP has a long history with interesting and challenging career options,” he said.

His remarks were followed by the keynote speaker, ECU alumna Tricia Tufts.

Tufts graduated from ECU in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in health fitness specialist. She also earned a master’s degree in teaching and is employed at Charles Jordan High School in Durham.

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HHP students received a t-shirt at the Excels Ceremony on Feb. 5.

Students received a HHP t-shirt following an activity that allowed them meet peers and faculty in the college.

-Kathy Muse

Pop-Up Mug Sale planned for Jan. 28

The ECU Ceramics Guild will host a Pop-Up Mug Sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28 at the entrance of Jenkins Fine Arts Center.

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The event is a fundraiser for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, a nonprofit organization that fosters global education and appreciation for the ceramic arts.

The guild’s annual mug sale will be held Feb. 24.

J.H. Rose High, Tar River Writing Project awarded $20,000 grant

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J.H. Rose High School teachers Robert Puckett, left, and Scott Wagoner, right, work with Rose students to plan the 3D printing/ prototyping fabrication lab maker space. Contributed photo.

Students and teachers from J.H. Rose High School in Greenville were on ECU’s campus June 15-19 working with staff from the Tar River Writing Project developing plans to implement an idea that earned them a national grant.

The Tar River Writing Project, housed at ECU in the University Writing Program, and Rose High School were one of one of 14 groups in the nation awarded a $20,000 LRNG Innovation Challenge Grant.

During the week, 11 teachers worked with 15 Rose students designing six maker spaces that will operate during Rose’s 80-minute SMART Block period. Maker spaces, sometimes called hackspaces and fablabs, are communities for people to create, invent, learn and share projects.

The maker spaces at Rose will focus on fashion design, robotics/programming, upcycling/repurposing objects, beat making, digital storytelling/media making, and a 3-D/prototype fabrication lab.

Students will be able to visit and explore in these maker spaces during the school’s SMART Block, which allows students to attend academic sessions with teachers or participate in extracurricular activities. Once students find something that they are interested in, they can pick up and follow interest-driven educational pathways, said Stephanie West-Puckett, Tar River Writing Project associate director and a member of the ECU Department of English faculty.

“This grant gives us an opportunity to design innovative educational spaces together that bridge curricular and extracurricular learning,” she said.

During the weeklong event, the educators from ECU and Rose High designed a curriculum with low barriers for easy access and high ceilings for developing mastery. Each maker space will also have a service project so that students and faculty can use the concepts and tools to benefit others in need, West-Puckett said.

“Pop-up maker stations are at the core of what SMART Block should offer students,” said Monica Jacobson, principal at J.H. Rose. “With the stations, Rose students will be afforded time and access to resources that connect and extend their knowledge. Students will be provided with opportunities to build relationships with their peers, teachers, and community partners that share similar interests while they explore beyond the classroom.”

Educators presented the ideas on the last day of the event to school administrators, community members and parents for their feedback.

Will Banks, director of the University Writing Program and of the Tar River Writing Project, noted, “It’s rare that teachers, students, and community members get to work together to find shared interests and passions—and to remember that passion, not test scores, motivates learning.”

The LRNG Innovation Challenge is a new initiative that invests in forward-looking schools and teachers to design innovative projects that take advantage of new technology to support students’ creativity. It is sponsored in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation and John Legend’s Show Me Campaign.

West-Puckett said musician John Legend wants high school students – with projects like the ones funded by the grants – to be able to pursue their interests, especially in the arts, which may not fit into a traditional curriculum approach.

Rob Puckett, a Rose printing and graphics instructor, is working to develop a 3-D printing & prototyping maker space. “While 3-D printing trinkets and toys is neat, we want to demonstrate how these tools can make a real difference in people’s lives,” he said. “Each semester, we’ll work together on printing a custom-made prosthetic hand with free, open-source plans.”

Fellow Rose teacher Lynn Cox, who is collaborating on a maker space for robotics and computer programming, said, “It was great to have the students here with us and see how eager they are for these kinds of opportunities in school.”

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J.H. Rose High School students and teachers work in groups during a weeklong event in ECU’s Joyner Library to make a pop-up “fabric hacking” maker space. Rose High and the Tar River Writing Project earned a national grant to develop maker spaces and a corresponding curriculum. Contributed photo.

 

Nursing Student Group Receives National Chapter Award

 ECANS members, from left: Luis Flores, Ava Maritato, Morgan Pullium, Jamie Williams, Leah Shannon, Corrie Hansen, Sydney Howard and Charles Moseley. (Contributed photo)


ECANS members, from left: Luis Flores, Ava Maritato, Morgan Pullium, Jamie
Williams, Leah Shannon, Corrie Hansen, Sydney Howard and Charles Moseley. (Contributed photo)

The East Carolina Association of Nursing Students has been named a Stellar School Chapter by the National Student Nurses Association.

The award, given to just five schools nationwide in 2015, recognizes chapters that demonstrate strong commitment to shared governance, professional development and ongoing involvement in NSNA.

Eight ECU nursing students traveled to Phoenix to receive the award at the 63nd Annual National Student Nurses Association Convention April 8-12.

“This student organization exemplifies the excellence and commitment that is worthy of national recognition,” said Gina Woody, professor of nursing and the group’s faculty advisor.

With more than 230 members, ECANS is the largest constituent member of NCNA in North Carolina. The group, which also earned accolades in 2014, promotes leadership and career development through ongoing membership meetings and a host of community service activities. Organizations served this year include the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, Habitat for Humanity, Operation Sunshine and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

One of ECANS’ keys to success is reaching out to students even before they officially join the College of Nursing. ECANS board members participate in pre-nursing “RX for Success” workshops, which share academic tips for intended nursing majors. The group holds two on-campus meetings each semester for pre-nursing students to learn about the organization. Its members also help intended nursing majors move into the Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village each fall.

Current ECANS President Jamie Williams, a senior nursing student, said that networking with fellow students, faculty and nurse leaders from all across the country has been a memorable part of her education.

“It has been a pleasure to work with an enthusiastic, hardworking board of directors,” she said. “I am proud to have been a part of an amazing pre-professional organization, and to be a part of the Pirate Nurse family.”

Stellar schools are recognized on the NSNA website. Stellar School status is awarded for five years and is renewable with resubmission of an application and supporting documents that demonstrate the chapter continues to meet program criteria.

– Elizabeth Willy

ECU professors honored with Early Career Award

Two East Carolina University professors are the first to receive the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Early Career Award recognizing exceptional performance by tenure track professors.

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, left, and Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Matthew Whited, assistant professor of psychology, were recognized May 15 as this year’s award recipients.

“I am truly honored by this award. I am lucky to work with great colleagues and students both within and outside ECU,” said Ardon-Sayao. “I thank my colleagues and the THCAS Advancement Council for this recognition of my work.”

Ardon-Sayao is an ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding how aquatic ecosystems process water and nutrients; how that capacity is being altered by local land use and global climate change; and whether, and to what extent, current and emerging management can reverse or restore lost functions.

He received a $635,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant this spring for his research involving coastal wetlands. Ardon-Sayao was honored in April with the Mercer Award from the Ecological Society of America, recognizing a 2013 paper published in the journal, Global Change Biology.

Ardon-Sayao received a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia in 2006 and a bachelor of science in biology and environmental studies from Gettysburg College in 2000.

Whited leads the Depression Specialty Service in the ECU Department of Psychology’s PASS Clinic. He specializes in behavioral activation and has trained other clinicians in this treatment approach. He earned a Ph.D. and master of science in clinical psychology from West Virginia University in 2009 and 2007, and completed a bachelor of science in psychology and biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2003.

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Dr. Matthew Whited, left, and Dr. William M. Downs

“I feel honored to be one of the recipients of the inaugural Early Career Award,” Whited said. “I appreciate being recognized as someone who is off to a good start in my career, and I look forward to taking advantage of all the advantages and opportunities that ECU has to offer.”

“ECU is a wonderful place to grow and mature as a researcher and educator, as faculty and administrators here understand the synergy that takes place between research productivity and student (especially graduate) training,” he added.

Ardon-Sayao and Whited will be recognized at Harriot College’s fall convocation in August.

In succeeding years, Harriot College will designate up to three recipients for the award, which focuses on faculty productivity in research and creative discovery, said Harriot College Dean Dr. William M. Downs. That productivity “must be judged to be of such high quality and impact that it exceeds expectations. Outstanding performance in professional development must be complemented by demonstrated excellence in instructional effectiveness and service,” he said.

“I am extremely pleased to say this year’s recipients exceeded these qualifications,” Downs said.

For additional information, contact Ardon-Sayao at 328-6307 or ardonsayaom@ecu.edu, and Whited at 328-6308 or whitedm@ecu.edu.

— Lacey Gray

App is picture perfect in identifying plants

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith spotted a flowering plant he liked that was growing in the landscaping outside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and wondered what it was. He thought the plant would look good in the yard of his Greenville home. So he pulled out his phone and took a picture of it.

“I stared at the photo for a moment and thought, ‘now what am I going to do with this?’” He imagined the time he would waste at nurseries looking at hundreds of plants trying to find one that looked just like the picture.

Then it occurred to Smith, who completed an economic degree at East Carolina University in 2010, how handy it would be to have an app on his phone that could identify a plant from a photo. He searched online but didn’t find any apps that were useful.

Later, Smith mentioned this incident to his friend and fellow ECU alumnus Brooks Dixon. Dixon was working for Red Shark Digital, a Greenville company that does web design and develops apps. Red Shark is owned by another ECU alumnus, Chris Rupp, who Smith had classes with as an undergraduate.

Rupp liked Smith’s idea and agreed to create such an app.

“The app has been out for a month and so far we’ve had 350 downloads,” Smith said. “And that’s with absolutely no marketing at all, just word of mouth, and it’s only available so far for Android phones.”greenthumb.jpg

The app, called Greenthumb, is based on object recognition technology. Many flowering plants look alike, so the app also uses GPS location data to determine the one that is most likely growing in that location.

“We think the app will be beneficial to the weekend gardener and even landscapers,” Smith said. “Maybe they see a picture of a plant they like in a magazine, or see something they like growing in a neighbor’s yard. They can just snap a picture, open the app and go to their local nursery knowing exactly what they’re looking for and not waste a lot of time.”

The app can be downloaded for free at http://greenthumbapp.com/.

Smith said Red Shark is planning a marketing campaign for Greenthumb. He said an Apple version of the app also is in the works.

“I think there are all kinds of applications for this technology,” Smith said. “Like, if you go fishing and catch a fish and you aren’t sure what kind of fish it is, just take its picture and you’ll know.”

— Steve Tuttle

 

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