Chancellor Cecil Staton Initiated into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil P. Staton was initiated into the ECU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the national honor society, during a ceremony April 9 in Wright Auditorium.

Membership into Phi Kappa Phi is extended by invitation only to undergraduate and graduate students who are at the top of their respective classes. Faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university are nominated for induction into Phi Kappa Phi.

PKP President Marianna Walker introduces the processional. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

PKP President Marianna Walker introduces the processional. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

“One my favorite activities as chancellor is interacting with our students, learning about their own academic journeys and hearing how the university is making a positive difference in their lives,” Staton said. “I am honored to help recognize the academic achievements of these impressive scholars on our campus and to be inducted into Phi Kappa Phi at ECU along with them.”

Dr. Marianna Walker, president of the ECU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, welcomed the students and their guests and inducted Staton into the society.

“We are honored to induct Chancellor Staton into Phi Kappa Phi at our ECU Chapter,” she said. “We look forward to our collaboration with the chancellor to promote and recognize our distinguished community of scholars, in all academic fields, at East Carolina University.”

Fellow members of the ECU Phi Kappa Phi chapter watch as Chancellor Cecil Staton is inducted.

Fellow members of the ECU Phi Kappa Phi chapter watch as Chancellor Cecil Staton is initiated.

ECU’s Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was formally installed on April 17, 1970. The university chapter provides student achievement awards, sponsors awards as part of ECU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium and sponsors public lectures, forums and debates.

A first-generation college student, Staton grew up in Greenville, South Carolina and attended Furman University. He received masters’ of theology and divinity degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate in Old Testament, Hebrew and ancient Near Eastern studies from the University of Oxford in England.

Before beginning his role as ECU’s chancellor on July 1, 2016, Staton served as vice chancellor for extended education for the University System of Georgia, which included time as the interim president of Valdosta State University. Additionally, he was associate provost at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and served five terms as a Georgia state senator.

Chancellor Cecil Staton

Chancellor Cecil Staton speaks at his initiation ceremony.

Earlier this spring, Staton was formally installed March 24 as the university’s 11th chancellor, following a week-long celebration of campus events. As chancellor, Staton is the leader of 12 colleges and schools, almost 29,000 students, 5,800 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. It hosts chapters on more than 300 campuses across the United States, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Each year, approximately 30,000 members are initiated into the society.

 

-by Lacey Gray, University Communication

TechnoQuest at ECU Brings Girl Scouts to STEM-Related Event

East Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology, along with Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, recently hosted TechnoQuest on ECU’s campus.

The event brought in more than 140 middle and high school Girl Scouts from eastern North Carolina (ENC) to participate in four of 15 hands-on, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) -related workshops. From DNA testing to 3D modeling and 3-D printing to simulated geographic occurrences, local businesses, ECU faculty and students shared their expertise and passion with the TechnoQuest attendees.

Girl Scout Laressia Steadman of Goldsboro, North Carolina, extracted DNA from a strawberry during the recent TechnoQuest held at ECU. (contributed photos)

Girl Scout Laressia Steadman of Goldsboro, North Carolina, extracted DNA from a strawberry during the recent TechnoQuest held at ECU. (contributed photos)

One attendee was Laressia Steadman of Goldsboro, North Carolina. She’s an 11-year old with the Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. TechnoQuest was Steadman’s first STEM-related event, but it was not an introduction to the components of STEM. According to Steadman, she loves “learning about the makeup of things in genetics. It’s one of my favorite things to learn in science.”

It was this love of science that led Steadman to a very particular workshop that showed the Girl Scouts how to extract DNA from strawberries. Working with the East Carolina University Graduate Women in Science, Steadman used simple laboratory techniques to help with the extraction. What did she learn?

“DNA, even though it’s very small, it is very important,” said Steadman. “It really makes up what an object or a person is.”

Dr. Laura Novotny, STEM program director with Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines.

Dr. Laura Novotny, STEM program director with Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines.

It’s this type of experience the event organizers were hoping the attendees would receive. According to Dr. Laura Novotny, STEM program director with Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, the experiences would not have been possible without the workshops themselves.

“What is remarkable, though, and unique to this event, is the cross-department collaboration of ECU faculty and students that led to the rich diversity of STEM-workshop topics that were offered,” said Novotny.

More than nine university-wide departments and programs were represented in the workshops. The College of Engineering and Technology, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Allied Health, and the Brody School of Medicine’s pharmacology department all had faculty and students volunteering at the event.

This was the first time ECU hosted TechnoQuest, which is a specific event held by the Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. TechnoQuest is traditionally held at Meredith College, but according to Novotny, an expansion of a Duke Energy grant to establish a second

Learning more about physical therapy was one of 15 STEM-related workshops recently held at TechnoQuest on ECU’s campus.

Learning more about physical therapy was one of 15 STEM-related workshops recently held at TechnoQuest on ECU’s campus.

TechnoQuest made it possible for ECU to host the event.

TechnoQuest marked the first STEM-event held at ECU in 2017. On April 7, High School STEM Day will bring nearly 300 high school juniors to campus from across eastern North Carolina to experience and learn more about the STEM opportunities offered at the University. On this day, students will rotate through three of 15 hands-on, engaging sessions taught by current ECU faculty. Sessions will include engineering, physics, technology, mathematics, chemistry, biology, construction management, computer science, geology, geography, atmospheric science, math and science education.

The College of Engineering and Technology hosts multiple STEM events on campus annually. For more information about STEM events and camps, contact Margaret Turner at turnerm@ecu.edu.

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication

Raising awareness about infant mortality

On April 8, approximately 75 East Carolina University students participated in Preconception Peer Educator (PPE) program training to raise awareness among college students about infant mortality and its causes.

The Preconception Educating Pirates (PEP) squad took part in the PPE training which uses a national peer education curriculum to equip college students with targeted health messages to share on campuses and in their communities. PPE works with the Office of Minority Health to eliminate health disparities by generating infant mortality awareness and prevention using preconception and inter-conception health messages.

The training coincided with National Public Health Week (April 3-9) and the 100th anniversary of the Pitt County Health Department. Data shows that Pitt County ranks 10th out of the state’s 100 counties for infant mortality.

ECU’s Department of Health Education and Promotion in the College of Health and Human Performance sponsored the event. For more information, visit https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/content.aspx?ID=10239&lvl=3&lvlID=9

Students gathered for a group photo after the training program. (contributed photo)

Students gathered for a group photo after the training program.
(contributed photo)

 

-by Crystal Baity 

Graduate student receives national kinesiology award

Daniel Kuhman is the 2017 American Kinesiology Association National Master’s Scholar Award Winner. (contributed photo)

Daniel Kuhman is the 2017 American Kinesiology Association National Master’s Scholar Award Winner. (contributed photo)

East Carolina University graduate student Daniel Kuhman has received the 2017 American Kinesiology Association National Master’s Scholar Award.

Kuhman is a graduate assistant in ECU’s Biomechanics Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance. He will graduate on May 6 from ECU. He received his bachelor’s degree in health and human performance from the University of Memphis in 2015.

“This student was selected from all of the local American Kinesiology Association master’s scholars nationwide as the master’s student with the most distinguished academic and leadership record,” said Dr. Christopher M. Hearon, chair of the AKA awards committee, in an email announcing the award. “This is the fourth year that AKA has recognized the top master’s kinesiology student in the nation with this award.”

For more information, go to http://www.americankinesiology.org/scholar-awards

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

School of Art and Design to host 2017 MFA thesis exhibition

The East Carolina University School of Art and Design will present the 2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition beginning April 21 through May 12 in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery in Jenkins Fine Arts Center. The artists will be honored with a reception in the gallery on Friday, May 5 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Graduate student artwork by Greg Banks.

Graduate student artwork by Greg Banks

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The work of seven artists graduating from the ECU master of fine arts program will be exhibited. They are Greg Banks, Brett Beasley, Addison Brown, Alex Ingle, Barbara McFadyen, Abir Mohsen and Hosanna Rubio.

The exhibition includes ceramics, metal design and photography.

The gallery is located off 5th Street near the intersection with Jarvis Street in Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The gallery is closed for university holidays. Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the Department of Disability Support Services at least two weeks prior to the event at 252-737-1016. For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/soad/graygallery/index.cfm.

 

-by Harley Dartt, University Communication

ECU professor to participate in Lost Colony panel

East Carolina University’s Dr. Charlie Ewen, professor of anthropology, will participate in a panel discussion titled “Digging for Answers: The Continued Search for the Missing Colonists of Roanoke Island” at Roanoke Island Festival Park on Saturday, April 8, at 1 p.m.

Dr. Charlie Ewen. (contributed photo)

Dr. Charlie Ewen (contributed photo)

The event will be moderated by author Andrew Lawler, who has written about archaeology for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Science, Discover and other publications. Lawler will discuss his recent reporting on excavations related to the Roanoke voyages.

He will moderate a panel of experts that includes Ewen as well as Dr. Mark Horton of the University of Bristol, who heads the Cape Creek dig on Hatteras Island, and Dr. Guy Prentice of the National Park Service Southeast Archeological Center, who oversees excavations at Fort Raleigh. Ewen is co-editor of “Searching for the Roanoke Colonists.”

Artifacts from some of the digs will be on display. The event is sponsored by the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in partnership with ECU. Tickets for the event are $5. Call 252-475-1500 or visit www.roanokeisland.com for more information.

 

-by Jules Norwood

Brody Scholars hold health fair to benefit community

East Carolina University medical students will hold a community health fair Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center at 1100 Ward St. in Greenville.

The event will include multiple booths geared toward various aspects of health for both children and adults. It is a collaboration among the Brody School of Medicine’s Brody Scholars and ECU dental, nursing and physician assistant students. The health fair is free and open to the public.

“The Brody Scholars had a new vision this year for our service project. We decided to do a health fair, because we want to serve our local community of Greenville,” said fourth-year medical student and Brody Scholar Mia Marshall.

Amanda Saad (left) and Mia Marshall are two of the Brody Scholars who helped organize the health fair. (contributed photo)

Amanda Saad (left) and Mia Marshall are two of the Brody Scholars who helped organize the health fair. (contributed photo)

Topics will range from childhood obesity to exercise and nutrition. Screenings will be provided for blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index and oral health. Bike helmet safety will also be demonstrated, with 15 bike helmets to be raffled.

“We want to bring awareness to both adults and children and educate the general public in a way that is beneficial and sustainable,” Marshall said.

The health fair will be held in conjunction with the center’s 10th annual IGCC Day, a community block party celebrating a decade of service in the west Greenville and surrounding Pitt County areas with food, music, entertainment, giveaways, vendors, workshops and more.

The Brody Scholars program honors J. S. “Sammy” Brody, who, along with his brother Leo, were among the earliest supporters of medical education in eastern North Carolina The Brody Scholar award, valued at approximately $112,000, is the most prestigious scholarship available at the Brody School of Medicine. It includes four years of medical school tuition, living expenses and the opportunity for recipients to design their own summer enrichment programs that can include travel abroad. The award also supports community service projects recipients may undertake while in medical school. About 70 percent of Brody Scholars remain in North Carolina to practice, and the majority of those stay in eastern North Carolina.

 

 

-by Rich Klindworth

ECU obstetrics/gynecology professor completes national educators program

A clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has graduated from a prestigious national program designed to create expert educators in her field.

Dr. Jill Sutton has completed the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics Academic Scholars and Leaders Program, a 15-month course in curriculum design, educational theory, adult learning methodologies and teaching strategies. Sutton was one of only 24 professors nationwide admitted to the program last year. It was first offered in 1997.

 

Dr. Jill Sutton. (Photo by Gretchen Baugh)

Dr. Jill Sutton. (Photo by Gretchen Baugh)

“Dr. Sutton brought Pirate Pride to our university and department from a national stage,” said Dr. Libby Baxley, senior associate dean for academic affairs. “We are fortunate indeed to have her as a resource and educator.”

Sutton has already put to use the skills gained in the Scholars and Leaders Program. In March, she presented a research poster at the annual joint meeting of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics and the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Sutton, who also serves as clerkship director for third-year medical students at Brody, investigated forms of feedback in educational simulation sessions. She found that medical students prefer to receive feedback directly rather than electronically.

“I am grateful to have participated in this program,” she said. “I learned much about educational research and have been able to support several students in their own research projects with these new tools.”

Sutton completed her medical degree and residency training at the Brody School of Medicine and joined the faculty in 2010. She is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. In 2016, she received the Katherine Bray-Strickland Young Alumni Award for her dedication to medical student education and to the mission of the Brody School of Medicine.

 

 

-by Elizabeth Willy, University Communication 

Ron Clark to speak at 3rd annual Corporate and Leadership Awards

East Carolina University alumnus Ron Clark, ’94, will be the featured speaker for the third annual Corporate and Leadership Awards banquet hosted by the ECU Division of Student Affairs at 6 p.m. April 22 at the Greenville Hilton.

Clark, a New York Times bestselling author, the subject of the movie, “The Ron Clark Story,” and Disney’s American Teacher of the Year, started working with students in Aurora before teaching in New York City and then founding the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to educating fifth- to eighth-grade students, the internationally acclaimed school serves as a professional development site for teachers. To date, more than 40,000 educators have visited the Ron Clark Academy to be trained by Clark and his award-winning staff.

ECU alumnus Ron Clark, ’94. (contributed photo)

ECU alumnus Ron Clark, ’94. (contributed photo)

The recipients of the 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards will be recognized at the banquet. These alumni under the age of 40 have excelled after graduating from ECU and are now using their experience to make an impact in their respective professions, local communities and the world.

This year’s honorees represent 11 different states and one award winner will travel from Ontario, Canada to attend. Many are North Carolina residents with the remaining living across the country – from California to New York and Florida.

Awards also will be presented to corporate partners who have made positive impacts for ECU and its students, as well as individuals who serve as advocates for student affairs.

For tickets or information, call Zack Hawkins in student affairs at 252-737-4970 or email hawkinsz@ecu.edu.

 

2017 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards Honorees

Arts & Humanities

Trevor James Avery – Jacksonville

Tyler A. Griffin – Miami, Florida

Jennifer Parks Rezeli – Greenville

Augustus D. Willis IV – Raleigh

Jeremy Woodard – New York, New York

 

Business

Rasheca Barrow – Houston, Texas

Dr. Charlie Brown – Washington

Cristen A. Jones – Charleston, South Carolina

Justin Lucas – Chicago, Illinois

Victor R. Moore Jr. – Greenville

Bradley Pearce – Davidson

Scott Poag – Augusta, Georgia

Jamie Lynn Sigler – San Diego, California

Heather Waters – Greenville

 

Health & Wellness

Steven Carmichael – Charlotte

Dr. Abiola Fajobi – Ontario, Canada

Lex Gillette – Chula Vista, California

Dr. Glenn Harvin – Greenville

Natasha C. Holley – Ahoskie

Dr. Shondell Jones – Winterville

Dr. Shannon Baker Powell – Grimesland

Dr. Jessica Tomalusa – Wake Forest

 

Public Service

Melissa Adamson – Greenville

Honorable April M. Smith – Fayetteville

Captain Christine Guthrie – Melbourne, Florida

Major Derri G. Stormer – Winston-Salem

Brock Letchworth – Greenville

Mindy Ann Walker – Raleigh

Aleshia Hunt – Greenville

Mona Lesane Townes – Knightdale

Captain Sheontee Frank – Summerville, South Carolina

 

Research & Education

April Paul Baer – Frostburg, Maryland

Dr. Carenado Davis – Winterville

Dr. Jasmine Graham – Indianapolis, Indiana

Gregory Hedgepeth – Boca Raton, Florida

Angela McCall Hill – Coats

Leshaun T. Jenkins – Tarboro

Dr. Steve M. Lassiter, Jr. – Greenville

Dr. Keeley J. Pratt – Columbus, Ohio

Recardo Tucker – Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

-by Jules Norwood

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