Fulbright grant enables research, teaching in Costa Rica

ECU alumnus Stuart Kent, left, visits with children while in Costa Rica on a Fulbright grant. (Contributed photo)

ECU alumnus Stuart Kent, left, visits with children while in Costa Rica on a Fulbright grant. (Contributed photo)

Greenville furniture maker and ECU alumnus Stuart Kent ’08 returned last month from a year-long teaching and research project in Costa Rica underwritten by a Fulbright Core Grant.

He worked as a visiting assistant professor of sculpture at the National University of Costa Rica in Heredia. He taught workshops on wood joinery and finishing, and helped develop a curriculum for furniture design.

The project raised awareness of two species of sustainable, tropical hardwoods. Kent organized exhibitions to demonstrate possible uses for these two trees.

Since returning to the United States he has worked to connect timber growers in Costa Rica with American lumber dealers, opening a viable path to market for a cost effective and sustainable new raw material. Kent also organized the nation’s first major international public art event, after which the works by artists from seven nations were donated to the city of Heredia.

Kent was assisted in his work by his wife, Susan Kent ’04.


ECU professor emeritus receives lifetime achievement award

Dr. William Still

Dr. William Still

ECU professor emeritus Dr. William N. Still, founder and former director of the ECU Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology program, was honored with a Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award for lifetime achievements in the field of naval history.

Still was one of three recipients recognized at the McMullen Naval History Symposium, held last month at the U.S. Naval Academy. THe presentation included a video highlighting each recipients’ career, and each recipient received a medal commemorating their achievement.

The award recognizes contributions to naval history through scholarship, mentorship and leadership.  For additional information, visit http://www.navyhistory.org/2013/09/three-recipients-knox-naval-history-lifetime-achievement-award/.

Business faculty publish article

An article by ECU College of Business faculty, “An Empirical Investigation of the Perceptions and Achievements of Students in Online and Face-To-Face Courses,” appeared in the American Journal of Educational Studies.

The primary author was Paul Schwager with supporting authors Henry Newkirk and Laurie Eakins.

Research shown at annual medical meeting

Twenty-one East Carolina University medical students, residents and fellows presented research at the 159th annual meeting of the North Carolina Medical Society.

The meeting, held Oct. 25-26 in Raleigh, was the first in which students and physicians-in-training were invited to present research posters. Approximately 50 from ECU, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, Duke University and Carolinas Medical Center did so.

ECU student Olga Pylaeva received an honorable mention award for her poster.
The research posters were an extension of the ECU summer research program for medical students, led by Dr. Kori Brewer, a scientist and associate professor of emergency medicine.

ECU professor honored by Texas A&M University

ECU professor Dr. Melanie Sartore-Baldwin accepts an outstanding alumni award at Texas A&M University. (Contributed photo)

ECU professor Dr. Melanie Sartore-Baldwin accepts an outstanding alumni award at Texas A&M University. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University professor Dr. Melanie Sartore-Baldwin was named the 2013 Outstanding Alumni (Early Career) by Texas A&M University Oct. 25 at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.

This award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon alumni who earned his or her degree within the past five years and recognizes significant contributions to their fields in the areas of teaching, research, or service.

“Dr. Sartore-Baldwin joined ECU immediately after her work at Texas A&M,” said Dr. Stacey Altman, chair of the ECU Department of Kinesiology, housed in the College of Health and Human Performance.  “Since then she has represented her alma mater and the fine program she was part of at that institution.”

A 2007 graduate of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M, Sartore-Baldwin was among five alumni recognized.  One award is presented to an early career graduate.

“From her day-to-day meaningful interactions with students in the classroom and office to her research that has resulted in her selection as a NASSM fellow, her achievements are many,” continued Altman.

“Perhaps most impressive is an unwavering commitment to integrity and authenticity while pursuing social justice through her professional and personal life.  She is indeed deserving of this award.”

Sartore-Baldwin began teaching at ECU in 2007.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education/exercise science from Western Illinois University in 2000.  She received a dual master’s degree from Indiana University in 2003.


Author to speak at ECU’s Focus on Veteran Education Summit

Craig Mullaney

Craig Mullaney

New York Times best selling author Craig Mullaney will keynote the Focus on Veterans Summit: Successfully Transitioning from Military to Campus Education, Nov. 6 at the Hilton Greenville.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by the program start at 9 a.m. The cost for the luncheon is $35 per person.

Mullaney, author of “The Unforgiving Minute,” will speak at the luncheon session from 11:30 to 1 p.m. The event is open to the public, but individuals are asked to register at www.ecu.edu/military (click on Student Veteran Services).  book1

The event is design to raise awareness of the needs and concerns of active service members, student veterans and dependents. Session topics will include changes in the GI Bill, joint services transcript, job search strategies, family support, UNC-General Administration and federal updates, and creating successful student veteran organizations. A resource fair will be available as well.

Mullaney will address how the organization and discipline taught in the military has served him well. He will also share ideas on how individuals can support the military at home and abroad.

“It’s a pleasure to have someone with Craig Mullaney’s life experience and military knowledge speak to our ECU students, faculty and staff as well as educators from across the state,” said Dr. Steve Duncan, associate vice chancellor for administration and finance and military programs.

“His work centers on the challenges of growing up, accepting responsibilities for education, leadership, and taking care of our fellow man along with living with consequences of actions and activities, some of which we can control and some we cannot,” Duncan added.

The conference is hosted by ECU’s Student Veteran Services, which is a part of the ECU Office of Student Transitions.

For additional information, contact Dr. Mary Beth Corbin, executive director of the Office of Student Transitions at (252) 328-5369 (corbinm@ecu.edu).


Whited receives Young Alumni Award



East Carolina University professor Matthew C. Whited received the 2013 Young Alumni Award from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Whited is assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at ECU. He leads the depression specialty service in the ECU psychology department’s PASS clinic.

His research interests are in the association between major depressive disorder and cardiovascular disease, particularly the reasons for the association and behavioral interventions that might prevent or postpone the disease.

Whited received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and an M.S. in psychology from West Virginia University. He earned a B.A. in psychology and biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He completed an American Psychology Association-accredited internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. Whited received a post-doctoral fellowship for training at the Behavioral Medicine Research Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Amherst, Mass.

ECU librarian honored with NCLA award

Eleanor Cook

Eleanor Cook

ECU librarian Eleanor I. Cook was honored with the Marilyn Miller Award for Professional Commitment by the North Carolina Library Association. Cook is assistant director for Discovery and Technology Services for Academic Library Services at Joyner Library.

The award was presented at the October NCLA conference to recognize outstanding leadership and service that furthers the status of women in librarianship, contributions to library development or service and contributions as a role model in the mentoring process.

Cook is the second recipient from ECU. Bryna Coonin of Joyner Library received the award in 2009.

Read more about the award.

ECU student named GM of the Year

Jose Morales, a student in the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University, was recognized as General Manager of the Year by the Strand Development Company. Morales serves as GM at the Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham in Greenville.

Jose Morales is pictured with executives from Strand. (Contributed photo)

Jose Morales is pictured with executives from Strand. (Contributed photo)

Under Morales’ leadership, the Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham was chosen as one of Microtel’s Top-20 properties out of 350 worldwide during Wyndham Hotel Group’s annual conference in Las Vegas in 2013.

“The Microtel Inn & Suites Greenville’s commitment to excellence in revenue, rewards enrollment and guest satisfaction has earned it this well-deserved recognition as one of the best hotels in the Microtel Brand,” said Raju Uppalapati, owner of the Microtel Inn & Suites Greenville. “I am very proud of our dedicated and customer oriented team. Their commitment to service and quality shows through this award.”

Dr. Robert O’Halloran, director of the School of Hospitality Leadership, said, “Our students and alumni who represent us in the workforce continue to bring national attention to our program. We are very proud to have such an outstanding hospitality leadership program here at East Carolina.”

Strand Development Company is a 50-hotel management company with locations in the Southeastern United States. The company specializes in the two to four-star hotel segments and is approved to operate hotels under all the leading hotel brand families including; Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham, Choice and IHG.

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