Category Archives: Women

ECU celebrates International Women’s Day

While policies and programs protecting women from violence have improved in the last 20 years, this progress is in danger of not being renewed or funded in the near future, according to a national expert who spoke to students and faculty at East Carolina University on March 2.

Jacquelyn Campbell, an authority on intimate partner violence from Johns Hopkins University, was the keynote speaker for the university’s celebration of International Women’s Day, hosted by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, the Office for Equity and Diversity, and the women’s studies program. Nearly 70 people attended the event, which was held a few days early since the actual observation on March 8 fell during spring break.

Jacquelyn Campbell, an authority on intimate partner violence from Johns Hopkins University, was the keynote speaker for the ECU’s celebration on March 2 of International Women’s Day. (Photos by Jackie Drake)

Jacquelyn Campbell, an authority on intimate partner violence from Johns Hopkins University, was the keynote speaker for the ECU’s celebration on March 2 of International Women’s Day. (Photos by Jackie Drake)

“All around the world, in spite of different cultural norms, what I find is that there are more similarities than differences,” said Campbell, who has studied gender-based violence for 20 years in several countries. “Women’s physical security is significantly associated with global peace and economic development.”

Women are killed by a partner or an ex at nine times the rate they are killed by a stranger, according to Campbell. There are more homicides of women in the U.S. than many other countries around the world, she added.

In the U.S., the Violence Against Women Act is up for renewal every five years, and is next due in 2018, she said. “This year is when we lay the groundwork, but it is in serious peril.”

The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which receives federal grants, is also in danger of losing funding, a participant told the audience.

Campbell presented several more statistics about violence against women in the U.S. and around the world, and also shared several organizations that are working to combat the problem, from Pigs for Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to One Love Foundation, founded in memory of Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia student who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend in 2010.

Almost 70 people attended International Women’s Day at ECU.

Almost 70 people attended International Women’s Day at ECU.

“Our solutions have to be effective at many different levels: cultural, economic and individual,” Campbell said. “I’m thrilled to be part of this celebration of International Women’s Day at ECU. And I’m pleased as punch to see a few men in the room. This can’t just be a women’s issue.”

International Women’s Day, which started in the U.S. in the 1910s, celebrates the achievements of women everywhere and acknowledges the challenges they face. The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women began leading ECU’s celebrations in 2014.

Following the keynote luncheon, organizers held a call to action session that showcased campus and community organizations, like the Center for Family Violence Prevention in Greenville, so participants could get involved and stay active. The day ended with a screening and panel discussion of the movie “Embrace,” which depicts the story of Taryn Brumfitt, founder of the Body Image Movement.

 

 

-by Jackie Drake, Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women

ECU to celebrate women’s achievements and challenges

The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, the Women’s Studies program, and the Office for Equity and Diversity invites you to attend the ECU celebration of International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 2. The event will feature a keynote luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Mendenhall Great Rooms, followed by a movie screening and panel discussion from 5-7:30 p.m in Hendrix Theater.

Keynote speaker Jacquelyn Campbell. (photo contributed)

Keynote speaker Jacquelyn Campbell. (contributed photo)

Keynote speaker Jacquelyn Campbell, nationally renowned scholar in the field of intimate partner violence, will give a speech entitled “Strong Women Surviving: A Tribute to Survivors of Gender-Based Violence.” The evening movie is the documentary “Embrace,” which depicts the story of Taryn Brumfitt, founder of the Body Image Movement.

Participants are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and/or personal hygiene products to support the Center for Family Violence Prevention.

Events are free but advance registration is requested. Click here to see the full schedule and register for activities.

 

 

-by Jackie Drake, Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women

Girl Scouts learn about careers in construction during ECU visit

Girl Scout troops from Farmville and Greenville came to East Carolina University on Saturday, Nov. 5 for a tour and informational event called, “Construction is Not Just for Boys.”

Gina Shoemaker, ECU’s assistant director for engineering and architectural services, and leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, coordinated the event at the construction site for the university’s new student center on 10th Street.

The Girl Scouts receive instructions before going out to the construction site. (Contributed photo)

The Girl Scouts receive instructions before going out to the construction site. (Contributed photos)

“I know so many great women in the construction field, and I wanted the Scouts to know that girls really can do anything they set their minds to. I wanted to correct the mindset that construction is something boys grow up to do,” said Shoemaker.

Fifty girls got a behind-the-scenes look at the equipment and process from women and men leading the construction of the student center, a $122 million project set to open in 2018. The site has two large cranes and other heavy equipment, which Shoemaker said makes it impressive from a “Tonka toy” perspective. The participants also met women who work in bridge design, civil engineering, architecture, finance and interior design.

In addition to the tour, the scout troops received Build and Grow kits from Lowe’s, hard hats from Rodgers Builders and T-shirts from TA Loving.

“The girls seemed to have a great time and the parent feedback has been amazing,” said Shoemaker. “If just one girl remembers us telling them to not listen when people tell her, ‘girls can’t do that,’ and she proves them wrong – this event was worth every minute of planning.”

The scouts and their leaders pose for a photo after their day of fun.

The scouts and their leaders pose for a photo after their day of fun.

–Jamie Smith

Alumnae Spotlights: An entrepreneur and a mobile crisis director

At the age of five, Dana McQueen knew that she wanted to become an interior designer and her passion has helped her continue a family legacy.

McQueen earned a degree in interior design in 1992 and decided to return to her family’s business at McQueen’s Interiors in Morehead City.  She admits a family business can sometimes be complex but said the knowledge gained from earning her degree helped with a successful ownership transition.

Dana McQueen

Dana McQueen

“My passion for my clients and interior design coupled with my staff have kept this long-standing business alive,” McQueen said.  Since taking the helm, McQueen has improved business practices including adding a barcode system for inventory and hiring additional designers. She has also expanded the showroom, adding 4,000 sq. ft. of space.

Named Business Women of the Year in 2014 by Crystal Magazine, McQueen said her favorite class at ECU was space planning.  “I still use this knowledge every day,” she said.  “I know the world of computers has opened up so many opportunities with computer-aided design, but it is always best to know the basics with a pencil, paper, and a scale.”

As a successful business owner, McQueen knows firsthand the time involved in building a clientele and communicating with them regarding their wants and needs.  The best part of her job is seeing a project completed and a happy client she said.

Another successful College of Health and Human Performance alumna is leading the largest mobile crisis management service in the state.

Mona Townes, who earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in social work, oversees mobile crisis services to 23 eastern North Carolina counties provided by Integrated Family Services, PLLC.

“My passion is intervening when people are at their worst and to help them see that things can get better,” Townes said. Her team delivers integrated crisis response, crisis intervention and prevention 24/7 to any location in the community, according to the website. Townes said crisis intervention is challenging.

Mona Townes

Mona Townes

“The reward is when you work with a person who admits that without our support, without our ability to provide them with hope, they had planned on taking their life,” she said.

It was Townes’ time at ECU that helped shape her leadership skills.  “I learned that no matter what my background is or where I came from, I could be successful,” said Townes.  “I saw several highly educated and experienced women that looked like me.”

Her favorite course was Human Behavior and Social Environment taught by Dr. Lessie Bass.

Among her many accolades, Townes received the ECU School of Social Work 2015 Rising Star Award.  She serves as a member of the National Association of Social Workers and assists as a training instructor for the local Crisis Intervention Team.  She is a licensed clinical additions specialist associate and is certified by the National Council on Behavioral Health as a facilitator for Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid.

–Kathy Muse

Women’s Roundtable event set for Oct. 13 at ECU

The fifth event in the Incredible Women Series will focus on leadership, service and philanthropy while also recognizing the careers and community service of several East Carolina University alumnae. 

Eleven women will be honored during the Oct. 13 event that will begin at 11 a.m. at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville. Their backgrounds are varied – from the the two college friends who started a worldwide public relations firm to a museum director whose goal is to inspire students through art. 

“It’s very humbling for me to look at this group of women. They’re giants in their fields,” said Gail Herring, chair of the Women’s Roundtable.

Gail Herring

Gail Herring

During the event, the following women will be inducted into the “Incredible ECU Women” group, joining the 117 previous inductees:

  • Angela Allen ’81, Raleigh, retired IBM Executive;
  • Alta Andrews ’74, Ayden, director of Community Partnership and Practice in the ECU College of Nursing;
  • Charlene Bregier ’82, Charlotte, director of the Hinson Art Museum and Visual Arts coordinator at Wingate University;
  • Mary Chatman ’90, ’96, ’12, Savannah, Georgia, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at Memorial University Medical Center;
  • Karen Evans ’80, Washington, D.C., lawyer partner with The Cochran Firm;
  • Sarah Evans ’01, Darien, Connecticut, partner at J Public Relations and 7th and Wit;
  • Paulina Hill ’04, Charlestown, Massachusetts, principal at Polaris Partners;
  • Annette Peery ’96, Greenville, associate dean of the undergraduate program in the ECU College of Nursing;
  • Jamie Sigler, ’01, San Diego, California, partner at J Public Relations and 7th and Wit;
  • Cathy Thomas ’79, ’86, Raleigh, branch manager with Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Linda Thomas ’81, Charlotte, retired director of Human Resources Business Partners at Duke Energy.

The proceeds of the event will benefit ECU students through the Women’s Roundtable Access Scholarship Endowment Fund and the Women’s Roundtable Honors College Endowment Fund.

“We promise that you will be inspired, you will be motivated; you’ll hear from students who have benefitted from these scholarships and what it has meant in their lives and how it has changed their lives, because many of these students are first generation college students in their families,” Herring said.

Updates on university initiatives and an opportunity to connect with community and university leaders and volunteers will also be available during the event.

The Women’s Roundtable at ECU was founded in 2003. Its mission is to support ECU and create a culture of giving by raising money for its scholarships and to build a sense of community through leadership, service, networking, mentoring and philanthropy.

Tickets are on sale now for the event. Individual tickets cost $100 and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Visit www.ecu.edu/womensroundtable/incrediblewomen for ticket and other information. 

“Ultimately we’re raising money for scholarships and providing an opportunity for someone to earn a college education who otherwise would not have that chance,” Herring added.

To make a charitable gift to The Women’s Roundtable, Access Scholars or Honors College, or East Carolina University visit www.ecu.edu/give.

–Rich Klindworth

Amin attends national student entrepreneur program

East Carolina University’s Mona Amin is one of 19 students from across the country selected for a prestigious student entrepreneur program.

Amin, an Honors College student from Charlotte, is participating in the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Student Entrepreneurship Program held June 19-24 in Orlando.

Mona Amin (contributed photo)

Mona Amin (contributed photo)

“I am most excited about meeting other young female entrepreneurs as well as meeting my mentors from Kroger and Ragozzino Foods,” said Amin before leaving for the conference.

Amin is part of a team developing an app called FreshSpire, a mobile application and text system that notifies consumers, including low-income shoppers, about discounts on near-expiring foods at local grocery stores, allowing them to take advantage of healthy foods at lower prices.

Amin, a biology major set to graduate in 2017, plans to continue work on FreshSpire before attending the Brody School of Medicine as an Early Assurance Scholar.

ECU and North Carolina A&T State University are the only colleges in North Carolina with a student at the conference. Sixteen colleges or universities are represented.

The program aims to foster growth for the next generation of women-owned businesses through a tailored entrepreneur curriculum, a live pitch competition awarding $10,000 in seed capital and mentoring from successful Women’s Business Enterprises and Fortune 500 companies.

Students also participate in experiential learning through off-site visits to WBE and corporate campuses and accelerators. Since 2008, more than 150 students from 40 colleges and universities across the country have graduated from the program.

Women-owned businesses are growing at one and a half times the U.S. national average and contribute more than $1.5 trillion dollars to the national economy and employ about 7.9 million people. An average of 887 new businesses opened every day in 2015, according to the WBENC.

For more information, visit http://www.wbenc.org/student-entrepreneur-program/#program-details.

–Crystal Baity

Brody women scientists, clinicians host workshop for middle-school girls

A couple dozen seventh and eight grade female students from three Pitt County schools recently participated in a Biomedical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Workshop at the Brody School of Medicine.

The May 12 event was sponsored by the Brody Women Faculty Committee in collaboration with East Carolina University’s chapter of Graduate Women in Science.

Dr. Lisandra de Castro Bras, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology, works with student Kimya Boyd.

Dr. Lisandra de Castro Bras, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology, works with student Kimya Boyd. (Photos by Gretchen Baugh)

The students participated in basic science experiments, lunched with basic sciences and clinical faculty, and joined in a medical simulation at Brody. Faculty, post-doctoral and graduate student volunteers ensured the daylong event was packed with fun-filled activities, advice and support for the future scientists and clinicians.

“The students left with smiles on their faces. It’s very rewarding to know that we had a positive impact on them,” said Dr. Lisa Domico, teaching assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and chair of Brody women faculty.

“This is where we need to start instilling a sense of support, confidence and a need to explore academic options,” she added. “The day was a success and we…were happy to be a part of it and lend to the growth and exploration of the biomedical sciences.”

Dr. Lisandra de Castro Bras, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology, demonstrates a tool for students.

Dr. Lisandra de Castro Bras demonstrates a medical tool for students.

“My favorite thing that happened was when we got to pretend like we were doctors and got to solve a medical scenario,” said Kimya Boyd, a participant from Wellcome Middle School. “We got to see a simulation doll act like a real patient. It sweated and even trembled like a real person. This is definitely a field trip I would recommend to others.”

–Amy Ellis

College of Nursing honors 2016 Hall of Fame inductees

The East Carolina University College of Nursing inducted 11 members to its Hall of Fame during a ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel Greenville on Friday, April 15. The event, which also recognized the college’s 2016 Distinguished Alumnus, honored outstanding contributors to nursing in the areas of education, administration, research and practice.

2016 Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Sandra Smith, Sue Edwards, Wendy Leutgens, Jane Pearson, Donna Lake, Janice Neil, Annette Peery, Mary Chatman and Gina Woody, with Dean Sylvia Brown.

2016 Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Sandra Smith, Sue Edwards, Wendy Leutgens, Jane Pearson, Donna Lake, Janice Neil, Annette Peery, Mary Chatman and Gina Woody, with Dean Sylvia Brown. (Contributed photos)

This year’s class includes inductees from a range of impressive backgrounds, including two nurses who serve as leaders of major health systems; two who led accomplished, decades-long careers in the U.S. Military before pursuing inspired careers in health care and education; and several esteemed College of Nursing faculty members.

Not only does the Hall of Fame honor prominent nursing professionals, it has raised approximately $95,000 for a merit-based student scholarship fund since its inception in 2011. The 2015-2016 Hall of Fame Scholarship recipient, Tyler Knowles of Conover, North Carolina and a master’s student in the nurse anesthetist program, was recognized at the event. The college will award its sixth Hall of Fame Scholarship this fall.

“We created the Hall of Fame when we realized there were so many respected leaders who were graduates or supporters of our college and who have been leaders in our profession,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “It’s an opportunity to honor their contributions and also a way to give back to future generations of nurses through the scholarship program.”

Distinguished Alum Wendy Leutgens is pictured with Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown. Wendy is president of Loyola University Health System in Maywood, IL. (Contributed photo)

Distinguished Alum Wendy Leutgens is pictured with Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown. Wendy is president of Loyola University Health System in Maywood, IL. 

The 2016 inductees join a list of 79 Hall of Fame members representing nine states. Each new member receives a flame-shaped award that resembles the lamp illustrated on the college’s nursing pin. The lamp and its associated flame symbolize a commitment to service and a vibrant life. This year’s Hall of Fame class:

  • Mary Chatman, Savannah, Ga.
  • Sue Edwards, Ayden, N.C.
  • Ann King, Clayton, N.C.
  • Donna Lake, Goldsboro, N.C.
  • Wendy Leutgens, Oak Park, Ill.
  • Janice Neil, Winterville, N.C.
  • Jane Pearson, Forest, Va.
  • Annette Peery, Greenville, N.C.
  • Loretta Ritter, Milford, Pa.
  • Sandra Smith, Williamsburg, Va.
  • Gina Woody, Winterville, N.C.

On a night set aside for celebrating influential nurse leaders, the college also recognized the recipient of its 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award. This year’s awardee is Wendy Leutgens (MSN 87), who serves as the president of Loyola University Health System, an 801-bed academic medical center and health system in Maywood, Illinois.

Learn more about the College of Nursing’s Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumnus Award by visiting www.nursing.ecu.edu/hof.cfm.

–Elizabeth Willy

ECU named top school for military spouses

East Carolina University has been named one of the top 100 schools in the nation for military spouses.

ECU is the only university in North Carolina to receive Victory Media’s Military Spouse Friendly School designation.

MF16_SpouseSchool

As such, ECU demonstrates “best practices in the education of military spouses and military families,” according to Victory Media, which measured universities on 10 criteria from academic and military family support to offering programs leading to portable career opportunities.

Earning the designation brings great pride, said Rondall Rice, chair of ECU’s Academic Military Affairs Committee, which completed the surveys and compiled information for the designations.

“Having served 29 years in the Air Force, I know the importance of military spouses and families, and the hardships they endure to allow their loved one to serve the nation. Being Military Spouse Friendly recognizes that ECU values their sacrifice and has programs and policies in place to help them achieve their academic goals,” Rice said.

This is the fifth military friendly-related designation this academic year, Rice said, which is a testament to ECU’s campus-wide efforts to make it a welcoming and beneficial place for military students, veterans and their families.

“This specific student population is focused and hard-working, but often face difficulties and unique situations due to their service,” Rice said. “We are proud to work with them all to help them earn their degrees.”

In the fall, the Military Times ranked ECU 28th in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 – the highest ranked in North Carolina. ECU also was named a Military Friendly School, which recognizes the top 20 percent of trade schools, colleges and universities that are doing the most to embrace service members, veterans and their families. The other two designations given to ECU are the Military Times’ Best for Vets: Business Schools and Victory Media’s Top 50 Military Friendly Schools for jobs in the pharmaceutical and health care industry.

ECU offers participation in the Veterans Administration Yellow Ribbon Program, which extends GI Bill benefits to cover out-of-state tuition. ECU also has one of only 79 VA-funded Veterans Support on Campus representatives across the nation and the only one in North Carolina.

Other support groups on campus include the student-led Pirate Veterans and the ECU Student Veteran Services office which offers Green Zone training for faculty and staff to increase understanding of military and veteran students and issues they may face in college. ECU also has programs to award academic credit for military training using American Council on Education recommendations. And ECU’s Military Advisory Committee helps raise scholarship money for ROTC and military students and coordinates veterans recognition and military appreciation events.

Victory Media’s Military Friendly Guide is the premier resource used by military personnel and their families when choosing an institution of higher learning. The publication is distributed to all base education centers worldwide and offered to every military member at retirement or transition from service to civilian life. More information about the new designation can be found at https://militaryfriendly.com/militaryspouseschools/.

–Crystal Baity

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