Pirates jump into new year with Polar Bear Plunge, Highlight the Night dance

plunge1

East Carolina University’s Division of Student Affairs is hosting two events to help students kick off the spring semester.

The 18th annual Polar Bear Plunge is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Student Recreation Center outdoor pool.  Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. with an ECU One Card required. All ECU students, faculty and staff are invited to jump into the icy waters of the outdoor pool. ECU Women’s Basketball Coach Heather Macy will kick-start the event as the ceremonial first jumper.

The first 1,100 jumpers will receive a free event T-shirt. Jumpers should bring a towel and fill out a waiver prior to jumping. The waiver can be completed on-site or downloaded at www.ecu.edu/polarbear.

The Polar Bear Plunge started at ECU in 1997 as part of the grand opening of the Student Recreation Center and 35 participants took the plunge. The event has grown annually, breaking records each year since 2010. Last year, 1,094 jumpers participated.

During the event, participants may enjoy refreshments and attend the Get-A-Clue Involvement Fair, which provides information on programs and activities with organizations on campus. Get-A-Clue begins at 6:30 p.m. and is also held at the Student Recreation Center. Campus Recreation & Wellness, Campus Living & Dining, Coca-Cola, and Student Involvement and Leadership sponsor the Polar Bear Plunge and Get-A-Clue.

On Jan. 24 from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. is the second annual Highlight the Night dance at ECU’s Student Recreation Center.  The dance will feature DJ K-Ro and DJ Thomas, both ECU students.  The Student Activities Board welcomed more than 1,200 students to the inaugural event last year.

Tickets to the dance are free to ECU students with their One Card. Guests accompanied by an ECU student can attend for $15.

 

ECU students speak to UNC Board of Governors

ECU junior Kaitlyn  Dutton, left and SGA President Tim Schwan, right, pose with UNC Board of Governors member Fred Eschelman. (Contributed photo)

ECU junior Kaitlyn Dutton, left, and SGA President Tim Schwan, right, pose with UNC Board of Governors member Fred Eschelman, center. (Contributed photo)

By Chris Stansbury
For ECU News Services

East Carolina University is another step closer to approval of the new student centers and parking deck project.  The UNC Board of Governors Budget and Finance committee met Jan. 9 in the Spangler Building in Chapel Hill to discuss the financial plan for the project.

The project calls for two new student centers – one to be built on the main campus and another on the health sciences campus. In addition, a parking deck is planned to connect with the main campus student center.

SGA President Tim Schwan and ECU junior Kaitlyn Dutton were joined by Brig. Gen. James Gorham to show their support for the project as well as answer questions from board members.

Gorham, an ECU alumnus who also has a daughter attending ECU, told board members that this project is a lot like being a parent.

“When you first get married you oftentimes build a starter home to start your family,” said Gorham, vice president of the ECU Parents Council.  “But as your family grows, you have to provide a quality dwelling for your expanding family to grow and have a better quality of life. ECU’s campus has grown considerably in the last 40 years and the students need a quality place for them to grow.”

Schwan and Dutton told the board members about the difficulty students face on ECU’s campus with Mendenhall Student Center, the current student union built in the 1970s.

“To say there is a lack of space for students in Mendenhall is an understatement,” Schwan said. “We need a place that serves as a living room, a place to meet and collaborate. We don’t have that now.”

Dutton added that a lack of a new student center is actually costing students more money.

“Some students face a yearlong wait to secure space in Mendenhall and for other major student events that are annual traditions, we have to host them off campus,” said Dutton. “That requires extra funds for reservations, transportation and off-site logistics and the cost is falling on the students to pay for it.”

Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, who attended the board session along with members of the ECU Board of Trustees, said this was a great experience for the students.

“Kaitlyn and Tim did a wonderful job of representing the East Carolina student body of today and tomorrow,” said Hardy. “They spoke from their heart trying to convince the Board of Governors to invest in ECU’s future and the success of our future students.”

The next step in the process for ECU’s student centers and parking deck project is the vote by the UNC Board of Governors on Feb. 20 in Chapel Hill.

For more information, contact Dr. Virginia Hardy at 252-328-6541.

ECU professor’s book on state politics draws interest

Dr. Tom Eamon

Dr. Tom Eamon

A new book on North Carolina politics by East Carolina University political science professor Dr. Thomas Eamon has triggered significant media interest.

Eamon will speak this week on WUNC’s “The State of Things.” He will also join George Olson for segments to run during Public Radio East’s “Morning Edition,” focused on his book about the state’s politics from 1940 to present.

“The Making of a Southern Democracy: North Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory,” which outlines state political activities from 1940 to the present, was highlighted in articles that appeared in the News and Observer article, the Charlotte Observer and the Durham Herald Sun.  Read the N&O article here. Read a second N&O article here. Read the Durham Herald Sun article here.

eamonbookEamon was a guest on WPTF in Raleigh, Jan. 6, on the Tom Kearney Show. He will appear on Charlotte’s NPR station WFAE on Jan. 17.

Eamon will be at the Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh Jan. 16 for the official kickoff and book-signing, and at Park Road Books in Charlotte on Jan. 18.

For additional information about the book, visit UNC press.

ECU researcher’s wedding held in SeaWorld’s penguin habitat

ECU's Susanne Grieve and new husband Jeff Rawson celebrated their wedding in SeaWorld's penguin habitat this month. The couple met while completing research in Antartica. Photo by Jason Collier/SeaWorld Orlando

ECU’s Susanne Grieve and new husband Jeff Rawson celebrated their wedding in SeaWorld’s penguin habitat this month. The couple met while completing research in Antarctica. Photo by Jason Collier/SeaWorld Orlando

A SeaWorld wedding between East Carolina University’s director of conservation Susanne Grieve and Jeff Rawson, who met during a 2012 trip to Antarctica, is featured on the Orlando Sentinel and the local station, WFTV9.

The two were wed in the 32-degree penguin habitat at SeaWorld in Orlando, attended by 250 penguins inside SeaWorld’s Antarctica exhibit.

Read complete article at wftv.com.

Read coverage in the Orlando Sentinel.

 

 

ECU conducts drill at Pediatric Specialty Clinic

ECU Police Sgt. Ike Hill monitors activities during a lockdown drill at the ECU Physicians Pediatric Specialty Clinic. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU Police Sgt. Ike Hill monitors activities during a lockdown drill at the ECU Physicians Pediatric Specialty Clinic. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

 

A lockdown and evacuation drill was held Jan. 10 at ECU’s Pediatric Specialty Care Clinic on Herbert Court. Staff locked down the building and evacuated next door to the ECU Women’s Physicians building. No patients were involved.

ECU Police participated in the drill to monitor and evaluate the staff’s lockdown and evacuation procedures.

Staff from the Pediatric Specialty Clinic made their way across the parking lot during a Jan. 10 drill that simulated evacuation of the clinic.

Staff from the Pediatric Specialty Clinic made their way across the parking lot during a Jan. 10 drill that simulated evacuation of the clinic.

Harper to keynote MLK Jr. celebration at ECU

Award-winning actor, author and philanthropist Hill Harper will speak at East Carolina University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in Wright Auditorium.

Hill Harper

Hill Harper

Harper starred in the role of Dr. Sheldon Hawkes in the hit television drama “CSI: NY” from 2004 through 2013 and is now appearing in the USA Network’s program “Covert Affairs.” He is the author of five bestselling books – most recently “Letters to an Incarcerated Brother” – and founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, an organization dedicated to empowering underserved youth through mentorship and motivational programs.

Harper graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and cum laude with a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School. He also holds a master’s in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets must be requested from the ECU Central Ticket Office by calling 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

For additional information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/oed/visualizing-the-dream.cfm.

 

ECU to host global robotics event on Jan. 4

ECU-designed robots like the one pictured above demonstrated their abilities to react to heat, avoid obstacles or dance the hokey pokey during a 2012 Stem Girls activity for middle schoolers interested in science, technology, engineering and math. High school engineers will visit ECU this month to join in an international robotics competition, the first time the event has been hosted in eastern North Carolina. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

ECU-designed robots like the one pictured above demonstrated their abilities to react to heat, avoid obstacles or dance the hokey pokey during a 2012 Stem Girls activity for middle schoolers interested in science, technology, engineering and math. High school engineers will visit ECU this month to join in an international robotics competition, the first time the event has been hosted in eastern North Carolina. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

 

As many as 400 young engineers participating in an international robotics competition will visit East Carolina University on Saturday, Jan. 4 to receive their parts kit and assignment for this year’s robot.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that challenges high school students – working alongside professional mentors – to design and build a robot. Pitt County high school students have performed well in this competition in years past working as the Pitt Pirates. The 2012 team placed first in the Raleigh regional event and went on to compete in St. Louis against international opponents.

FIRST will hold two kickoff events in North Carolina this year, during which organizers will unveil the requirements for the 2014 robot. This is the first time eastern North Carolina has hosted the event, according to FIRST officials. The other in-state host is UNC-Charlotte.

“Part of our university’s mission is to provide service and opportunities to citizens in the eastern region of the state and this event does that,” said Evelyn Brown, professor of engineering and FIRST event organizer.

“We also believe many of these students who participate in robotics competitions are suited well for our College of Technology and Computer Science majors: computer science, construction management, engineering and technology systems. So exposing them to our campus may help them chose ECU or simply choose to seek additional education after high school.”

The unveiling of this year’s requirements will take place by videoconference at 10:30 a.m. in Hendrix Theatre. From 1-5 p.m., students will have the choice of beginning work on their designs with the help of ECU engineering faculty in the Mendenhall Student Center, or they may join a human-player game on a mock robotics competition field in the Student Recreation Center.

Teams have six weeks to design and build robots programmed to meet the engineering challenge.

This year’s competition is expected to draw 2,850 teams composed of more than 71,000 high school students to participate in nearly 100 regional and district events spread across the country.

Inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. More information about the organization is available at www.usfirst.org.

 

Alumni Association accepting scholarship applications

Dominique Shane Rowe

Dominique Shane Rowe

ECU junior Dominique Shane Rowe, a rehabilitation studies major, is one of approximately 20 recipients of the 2013 Alumni Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded annually through the East Carolina Alumni Association.

Applications for the 2014-15 awards are being accepted through Jan. 31.

Approximately 20 scholarships of $1,000 and $2,500 are available to qualifying full-time undergraduates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students must also demonstrate leadership and volunteer experience. Applications should be accompanied by one letter of recommendation.

Recipients must attend the acholarship luncheon on April 26 to receive their scholarship. The application form is available at PirateAlumni.com/Scholarships. For more information, contact Assistant Director for Alumni Programs Michael Kowalczyk  at 252-328-5557.

Albright book chronicles B-1 Band history

ECU English professor Alex Albright was interviewed this month on the WUNC N.C. Public Radio program, “The State of Things,” about his recent book titled “The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy.” (Hear the interview at http://wunc.org/post/integrating-navy-through-music.)

Alex Albright

Alex Albright

The book details the history of a band of integration pioneers from N.C. A&T University, who were the first African Americans to serve in the modern U.S. Navy at a rank higher than messman’s.

Albright chronicles the history of The B-1 Band, founded in 1942 as the first of more than 100 black WWII Navy bands. Formed from NC A&T students and graduates, the group trained at Norfolk and served at the Navy’s pre-flight school in Chapel Hill and at Pearl Harbor, where they were stationed at the largest posting of African American servicemen in the world.

Previous histories have credited B-1’s historic accomplishment to a different group of sailors who trained at the Great Lakes bases in Chicago. Albright used documents found at the Navy’s national archives at College Park, Md. to support the claim he had heard from the surviving members of B-1 for years.

“Until I found those documents, all we ever had was an oral history,” said Albright. “And the documents I found had never been cataloged.”

“The Forgotten First,” released Oct. 24, has received praise from poet and novelist Fred Chappell, Navy Senior Chief Musician Michael Bayes and retired Navy Masterchief Musician Marshall B. Hawkins. The 196-page book includes 70 photos and illustrations, extensive notes and a bibliography. B-1’s archives, housed in Special Collections at ECU, was the source for many of the book’s images.

Copies are available at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro; UBE in Greenville; Woodside Antiques in Farmville; and at Fountain General Store in Fountain. Copies are also available on Amazon and from R.A. Fountain’s e.store, www.rafountain.com/store. Kindle, Nook, and Lulu editions are forthcoming.

Design for the book was done by former ECU art professor Eva Roberts, award-winning art director of the North Carolina Literary Review from 1991-96. It was printed in Greenville by Morgan Printing.

A review of the book by O Henry magazine, along with an excerpt, is available at http://www.ohenrymag.com/?page_id=25

Albright will participate in a book signing at UBE in Greenville Dec. 21 with B-1 veteran Huey Lawrence.

For additional information, contact Albright at 252-749-7974. For a calendar of events related to the book, visit www.rafountain.com/navy.

 

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