Occupational therapy grad students serve in Costa Rica

ECU graduate students Farrell Wiggins, Brittany Robertson, Katie Hopkins and Keli McColl, left to right, enjoy the landscapes of Costa Rica while on a medical mission trip this summer. (Contributed photos)

ECU graduate students Farrell Wiggins, Brittany Robertson, Katie Hopkins and Keli McColl, left to right, enjoy the landscapes of Costa Rica while on a medical mission trip this summer. (Contributed photos)

Four East Carolina University graduate students in the occupational therapy master’s program traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica in August for a medical mission trip.

Katie Hopkins, Keli McColl, Brittany Robertson and Farrell Wiggins worked for a week in ASCOPA, an adult day care program for adults with autism.

The ECU students assisted with daily activities at ASOCPA and created sensory-based activities such as gardening and creating greeting cards. Items made were sold to raise money and awareness about Autism.

Autism awareness and treatment options are minimal in Costa Rica. Most adults with an autism diagnosis in the area are institutionalized or kept at home with care provided by family members. The ASCOPA program allows adults to receive both education and life-skills training.

The students also traveled in Costa Rica, visiting the rain forest, the beaches and the active Arenal volcano.

Keli McColl, Farrell Wiggins and Brittany Robertson, left to right, work with participants at the day treatment facility for adults with autism in Costa Rica.

Keli McColl, Farrell Wiggins and Brittany Robertson, left to right, work with participants at the day treatment facility for adults with autism in Costa Rica.

 

 

Former Human Ecology dean named University of Louisiana System provost

Karla Hughes

Karla Hughes

Former dean of the ECU College of Human Ecology Karla Hughes was named executive vice president and provost of the University of Louisiana System, effective Jan. 6.

She will serve as deputy to system president Sandra K. Woodley and monitor and support the direction of academic programs at all nine universities in the system.

Hughes was most recently provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Morehead State University in Kentucky.

Hughes was the first dean of the ECU College of Human Ecology. While at ECU, she was an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow serving 17 institutions through the UNC system, participated in the statewide BRIDGES leadership development program for women and organized the Intergenerational Community Center in Greenville, which last year won the national C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award.

Bassman Honors Thesis Award presented

Jacob Subash, a first-year medical student at East Carolina University, is the recipient of the 2014 Michael F. Bassman Honors Thesis Award.

Jacob Subash (Photo by Doug Boyd)

Jacob Subash
(Photo by Doug Boyd)

Subash conducted his research, “Protein synthesis regulation in the germ line affects gamete differentiation,” under the direction of Dr. Brett Keiper, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.

Subash enrolled at ECU as an East Carolina Scholar, the university’s top undergraduate scholarship program, and was an early assurance entrant to medical school. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry in May, graduating magna cum laude. He was named the Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Senior at ECU for 2012-2013.

He is a 2009 graduate of J.H. Rose High School and the son of Dorothy Subash and Subash Raghavan.

Subash’s award includes a $500 prize. He plans to use it to study abroad next year.

Two students received honorable mentions for their research. Mukund Patel was recognized for work completed under the direction of Dr. Stefan Clemens, an associate professor of physiology at the Brody School of Medicine. Chelsea Hughes was recognized for her thesis completed under the direction of Dr. Derrick Wirtz, an associate professor of psychology at ECU.

The award is hosted by Joyner Library and was presented Dec. 4 at the library.

Joyner Library assistant director Mark Sanders stands with honorable mention Mukund Patel. (Contributed photo)

Joyner Library assistant director Mark Sanders stands with honorable mention Mukund Patel. (Contributed photo)

Upcoming ECU grad inspires on Asheville television report

Felicia Buckner is pictured during her student teaching. (Image from WLOS)

Felicia Buckner is pictured during her student teaching. (Image from WLOS)

East Carolina University student Felicia Buckner, who will graduate from ECU with a bachelor’s in education this week, was featured in Asheville television news station WLOS-13’s ‘Person of the Week” feature.

Buckner completed her degree following a motorcycle accident that left her with brain trauma, a broken back and a collapsed lung. Her husband died in the accident.

Read more and watch the video of Buckner’s story as told by WLOS.

ECU surgeon to lead national organization

Dr. Danielle Walsh, a pediatric surgeon at East Carolina University, has been elected president of the Association of Women Surgeons.

Danielle Wash

Danielle Wash

An associate professor at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, Walsh will serve one year as president. She previously served as president-elect and has been involved with the AWS leadership for several years.

Walsh joined ECU in 2011. She has a medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa. She completed an internship and general surgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She also completed a fellowship in fetal surgery and research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a fellowship in pediatric surgery at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

She is listed as one of the best doctors in the country by Best Doctors Inc., a Boston-based group.

Walsh is board-certified in general surgery and pediatric surgery.

With more than 1,400 women surgeons as members, AWS is one of the largest organizations dedicated to increasing the interaction and exchange of information among women surgeons in the United States and other countries.

ECU professor joins national press briefing on teacher performance assessment

ECU College of Education professor Dr. Diana Lys, second from right, spoke at the National Press Club about ECU's experience with a new teacher candidate assessment program. (Contributed photo)

ECU College of Education professor Dr. Diana Lys, second from right, spoke at the National Press Club about ECU’s experience with a new teacher candidate assessment program. (Contributed photo)

 

By Jessica Nottingham
College of Education

The College of Education at East Carolina University was the only institute of higher education represented at the American Association of College Teacher Education press briefing that marked the national launch of teacher performance assessment, referred to as edTPA, after two years of field testing.

edTPA was designed to set a national standard of assessing the capabilities of aspiring teachers, similar to the bar exam for law students. Teacher education candidates seeking their initial teaching license submit an edTPA portfolio of materials and a video that shows them at work in the classroom during their student teaching internship. The candidates are evaluated based on their ability to develop lesson plans, respond to student needs, set standards, differentiate instruction and analyze whether their students are learning, according to the AACTE launch announcement. Trained education professionals score the portfolios.

Dr. Diana Lys, director of assessment and accreditation for the College of Education, was invited to speak at the National Press Club about ECU’s extensive experience with the new teacher candidate assessment that is now ready for all teacher preparation institutes across the country to implement.

edTPA allows individuals across disciplines to speak a common language and to share innovative practices, said Lys at the AACTE briefing. She said edTPA was a “lever for change” at ECU and that it has helped build a bridge to practice between the university and its partner schools.

ECU has been engaged in edTPA since the nationwide pilot began three years ago. The university recorded 96 percent participation among spring student teaching interns in 2013 and is currently the only university in the state to have all education programs on campus participating. edTPA is not mandated by the state of North Carolina, which makes ECU’s breadth and depth of engagement with the  assessment most noteworthy.

“AACTE is proud of the innovative work being done by teacher education faculty and leaders at East Carolina University,” said Saroja Barnes, senior director for professional issues with the AACTE. “We applaud them for the reforms they have engaged in, particularly in relation to their use of performance-based assessments of teacher candidates and clinical practice models. Their reform efforts demonstrate the power of transformative action at the local level to engage in change for improvement. Ultimately it is this type of change that will move the needle on high quality educator preparation and PK-12 student achievement.”

Jaclyn Midgette, a 2013 ECU graduate and now 4th grade reading and social studies teacher at Bullock Elementary School in Lee County, was featured in “Education Week” recently for her experience as a beginning teacher who completed edTPA as an undergraduate student. Even though she described it as “stressful, drawn-out and exhausting,” she said that the assessment process taught her how to reflect on each lesson, which she now does every day.

The briefing was held on November 8 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and Lys served as a panelist alongside a new teacher who completed edTPA as a student, AACTE leaders, state policy leaders from Illinois and Washington states and National Education Association partners.

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