Taiwan trip to explore study abroad connections

Whitney Morris, East Carolina University’s coordinator of faculty-led study abroad, has been awarded a Fulbright International Education Administrator’s Seminar grant to travel to Taiwan in March.

The purpose of the program is to build relationships in countries that may be underrepresented by American study abroad students, said Dr. Regis Gilman, executive director of the Office of Continuing Studies.

Whitney Morris will travel to Taiwan in March to build relationships for a possible future study abroad program. (Photo by Cliff Hollis) Whitney Morris will travel to Taiwan in March to build relationships for a possible future study abroad program. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“By participating in the seminar, Ms. Morris will learn more about higher education in Taiwan and how ECU will be able to build relationships there to encourage faculty and student interest in non-traditional study abroad countries,” he said.

The grant provides a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about Taiwan’s higher education system while also gaining experience with its people and culture, Morris said.

Morris, who said she has never been to Asia, plans to look for areas of common interest and create a framework to begin faculty-led study abroad programs in Taiwan over the coming years. ECU currently offers faculty-led study abroad programs in a variety of countries in Europe, Asia, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

“Taiwan is a country that has many of the same developmental priorities as eastern North Carolina, such as being emerging market economies in coastal communities, with many students in higher education coming from rural locations,” Gilman said. “I am extremely excited about both Whitney’s initiative in applying for the grant and the outcomes from her experience in Taiwan.”

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Funding for grants is made possible through appropriations by the U.S. Congress and contributions from partner countries and the private sector.

 

 

-by Jules Norwood

Peter Makuck to read at ECU

Longtime eastern North Carolina resident Peter Makuck will present a public reading from his poetry and fiction on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in East Carolina University’s Bate building, room 1026.

(contributed photo)

(contributed photo)

Makuck, distinguished professor emeritus, taught English and creative writing at ECU from 1978 until his retirement in 2006. Founder of the internationally acclaimed literary journal Tar River Poetry, he is also the author of eight books of poetry and four collections of short stories, including one of each published in 2016.

Makuck grew up in New London, Connecticut and has a doctorate in American literature from Kent State University. He has been a Fulbright Exchange Professor at Cambery, France and a visiting writer at Brigham Young University and N.C. State University. He and his wife, Phyllis, live on Bogue Banks.

Five Makuck short stories have received honorable mentions in the Best American Short Stories collections, and a personal essay on guns was named a Best Essay of 2000. For poetry, he has received the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Award for best book of poems by a North Carolinian.

The reading is sponsored by ECU’s Department of English. Admission is free and open to the public.

 

-by Alex Albright, ECU English Department

ECU Music Library responds to patrons’ needs

East Carolina University’s Music Library, a department of Joyner Library located on the first floor of the A.J. Fletcher Music Center, offers newly renovated spaces and resources based on the changing needs of its patrons.

First established in 1974, the library contains the largest music collection east of Raleigh. It now serves the needs of music lovers, performers and educators from all parts of eastern North Carolina while continuing its primary focus on the needs of ECU students, faculty and staff, particularly the School of Music and the School of Theatre and Dance.

(starting with the closest) Freshmen, TayAndra Allen, Paige Yanik, and Jacob Abolos work together in close proximity to new electrical outlets for easy charging. (Photo by Kelly Rogers Dilda)

Freshmen TayAndra Allen, Paige Yanik and Jacob Abolos work together near the new electrical outlets for easy charging. (Photos by Kelly Rogers Dilda)

Music Library collections include music scores, books, journals, microforms and computer software dealing with every musical style and genre from classical to rock to reggae. The library provides both Mac and PC computers, a quiet study room, a group listening/viewing/study room, audio and video dubbing service, and music reference assistance. It also houses Joyner Library’s entire recording collection as well as the music-related portion of its video recording collection.

More than 100,000 items, many of which have come from in-kind donations, are offered to an average of 70,000 patrons who visit the library each year.

The need for renovating the space and its resources was first discovered after ECU anthropology professor Dr. Christine Avenarius and David Hursh, head music librarian, conducted an ethnographic study to determine how patrons were using the space. “Ethnographic studies are time-intensive, but the accuracy of the results is worth the extra effort,” said Hursh. “People often say they do one thing, but do another. Observing people’s actions is the best way to determine what is really happening,”

Study results determined that the design of the library space was exactly the opposite of what worked best for its users. Outcomes revealed ECU music students overwhelmingly preferred to study individually rather than collaboratively. Before the remodel, students spent long periods of study time in six cramped study carrels located near the busiest and loudest part of the library, the circulation desk. Students also spent shorter periods of time in the Technology Lab, the quietest part of the library.

The two spaces were switched, with the lab now serving as a quiet study room. This space now offers 12 study carrels custom-designed to meet the needs of music students who often use oversized materials or multiple print materials simultaneously. Computers at standing stations just inside the library’s doors allow patrons to quickly check email and print assignments between classes without bothering those who are doing long-term study.

Results also showed that patrons like to multi-task with electronic equipment. Because previous arrangements offered little access to electrical outlets all new furniture purchases included units with power.

Sophomore, Sophia Odiorne, studies in the new quiet study room. (Photo by Kelly Rogers Dilda)

Sophomore Sophia Odiorne studies in the new quiet study room.

The remodel also brought the addition of a new group listening/viewing/study room, a staple in most other music libraries that was previously missing from this one. The addition of this room has been a goal of Hursh’s ever since he came to ECU nearly 20 years ago. This room allows students to study for music history listening tests and other exam and class preparation together, sharing style characteristics that distinguish one piece from another while they listen. It also offers the complete range of audiovisual (AV) playback equipment, a large monitor for group viewing, two whiteboards (one with music staves), seating and portable work surfaces for eight.

Faculty needs were also considered since they sometimes need space for small seminar classes and tutoring activities. Available to anyone by reservation, this room may encourage more collaboration in the library.

“I am pleased to see these contrasting study spaces are already being heavily used by the students,” Hursh said. “A recent renovation follow-up survey we conducted in late January indicated the quiet study and AV rooms are the most-liked features of the remodeled facility.”

The remodeled facility was also fitted with a technology alcove complete with printing and scanning services, as well as the tools necessary for preparing musical score copies for performance purposes. The open wall spaces provided by the renovation and a new display case will be used to showcase student art, a form of outreach to student body members who might otherwise not know there is a music library on their campus.

A Jan. 20 open house celebration was held to reveal the revitalized space and recognize those who contributed to the project.

Janice S. Lewis, director of academic library services, noted that “the maxim ‘Listen, Observe, Think & Then Take Action’ successfully served as a guide to the Music Library renovation.” The renovation is the second major project undertaken by the Joyner Library Advancement Council.

Current council chair Shelby Strother recounted her experiences as a student in the School of Music, preparing for listening exams in a hallway with classmates. She marveled, “how far we have come in supporting School of Music students.”

The Music Library is located on the first floor of the Fletcher Music Center. For more information please visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/music.cfm or call 252-328-6250.

 

-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, Joyner Library

School of Communication career panel, fair to be held Feb. 16

The East Carolina University School of Communication will host a Career Panel and Career Fair on Thursday, Feb. 16 in Mendenhall Student Center.

Professional communicators will lead a panel discussion from 1 until 2 p.m. in Mendenhall Room 244. The panel will include Amanda Anderson, physician recruiter for Vidant; Michael Aho, U.S. Department of State; Kelly Paynter Deal, dean of marketing for Nash Community College; Josh Graham, sports director of Inner Banks Media; and Kelly Sapp, senior vice president of corporate communications with Bank of America. The panel is free and open to everyone.

From 2 until 4 p.m., students with a major or minor in communication are invited to a career fair in the Mendenhall Great Rooms. Students will be able to network with employers, job hunt and seek internships with local and regional companies and organizations including The United Way, WITN, The Daily Reflector, Greenville Fire & Rescue, Hope Lodge, ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now, The Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, WZMB, The East Carolinian, TekSystems, ECU Campus Recreation & Wellness, WNCT, U.S. Navy Recruitment, American Red Cross, School of Communication Study Abroad and Graduate programs, WCTI, Washington Daily News, Wilson Tobs Baseball, Eastern Radiology and Vector Marketing.

Students should wear professional business attire and bring extra resumes. Registration is required for the free event. To register, go to: https://epay-banner.ecu.edu/C20694_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=86&SINGLESTORE=true

 

-by Crystal Baity

Importance of scholarships highlights 2017’s first roadshow

With his installation nearing, Chancellor Cecil Staton continued his effort Feb. 7 to meet with East Carolina University alumni and supporters across the state.

About 60 people came to the Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro to meet Dr. Staton and hear his vision for ECU’s future. But unlike previous roadshows, this one had a double focus.

ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton speaks to the crowd at his Roadshow in the Triad. (Photos by Perfecta Visuals)

ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton speaks to the crowd at his Roadshow in the Triad. (Photos by Perfecta Visuals)

“We had a theme around the Honors College,” said Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Chris Dyba. “We invited students, prospective students and families, as well as alumni and supporters to sort of integrate both of those events into one.”

Honors College Dean Dr. David White said there is a lot of excitement surrounding the scholarship program since the college will double student enrollment over the next four years.

Chancellor Staton greets the Love family.

Chancellor Staton greets the Love family.

“I think the Honors College is going to be central to the chancellor’s commitments and mission to making ECU America’s next great national university,” White said. “We’re poised to lead that charge and with the diversity of majors, and the students that we have, we touch every part of campus. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Among the guests was Northwest Guilford High School junior Britt Carruthers, who said she fell in love with ECU when her brother started there. Her goal is to get into the Honors College and she is excited that the number of students is expanding.

Chancellor Staton talks with Honors College hopeful Britt Carruthers.

Chancellor Staton talks with Honors College hopeful Britt Carruthers.

“I’m glad cause that will give me more of a chance to get in, but it’s also very nerve-wracking. Hopefully with all of the stuff that I’ve been doing, it will push me forward in the competition to get into the Honors College,” Carruthers said.

After talking with alumni and supporters one-on-one or in small groups, Staton spoke about his plans for increasing the university’s national profile, increasing research, expanding international studies and preparing for a $500 million fundraising campaign.

“The reality is we have to find out how we take that wonderful range of assets that we have and how we use them to literally, through our students, change the world,” Staton said. “We have that potential and we have that ability to do that because of what East Carolina University has become.”

“The passion that exudes when he’s talking, you can’t help but get excited about the vision that he has for East Carolina. I mean it’s contagious,” said retired General James Gorham ’81. “I know I have been bitten with his contagiousness tonight and I’m excited and ready to go spread the word.”

Chancellor Staton spoke with alumni and supporters either one-on-one or in small groups before and after addressing the crowd. Here he talks with _____

Chancellor Staton spoke with alumni and supporters either one-on-one or in small groups before and after addressing the crowd. 

Staton began his roadshow in August at the Murphy Center on ECU’s campus and has visited nearly a dozen communities in North Carolina and along the East Coast from New York to Florida.

Staton will be installed as ECU’s 11th chancellor in a ceremony on March 24.

For more information, contact ECU Advancement at 252-328-9550 or visit ecu.edu/give.

 

 

-by Rich Klindworth

ECU assistant professor honored by NCCEC

An East Carolina University College of Education faculty member has been honored by a state organization for her dedicated service to students majoring in special education.

(Contributed photo)

(Contributed photo)

Dr. Stacy Weiss, assistant professor in the ECU Department of Special Education, Foundations & Research, was recognized for three years of service as state student coordinator by the N.C. Council for Exceptional Children.

“Dr. Weiss’ efforts made a significant contribution to our organization that has helped us to better serve educators and students with exceptionalities in our state, and we are truly thankful for her service,” said council president Glennda McKeithan in an email announcing the commendation.

As state student coordinator, Weiss collaborated with faculty advisors of 10 student CEC chapters at colleges and universities across North Carolina. Weiss also is co-faculty advisor for the ECU chapter.

During Weiss’ tenure, she assisted several faculty advisors in starting new chapters at their respective colleges and universities. She also coordinated student volunteers for the council’s annual conferences and facilitated the call for proposals, selection process and poster presentations for undergraduate and graduate student research. She oversaw the fundraising, nomination and selection process for the annual Outstanding Undergraduate Student Scholarship. She also solicited and wrote news items on student activities and involvement for the NCCEC newsletter, and fielded questions from faculty advisors and students about participation in NCCEC events.

The local chapters give student teachers in special education and other related professional areas the opportunity to learn more about issues surrounding the education of individuals with disabilities. The chapters also help future educators develop leadership skills.

The NCCEC provides state and local support through its annual conference, regional training and electronic newsletter. The council offers awards to recognize outstanding K-12 students with disabilities, leaders in the field of special education and K-12 teachers. It also provides scholarships for students and mini-grants for current NCCEC members.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity


Dowdy Student Store to host Grad Expo

Dowdy Student Store will host a Grad Expo for May 2017 graduates from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 and 8 and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the student store in the Wright Building on campus.

Graduating seniors can pick up caps and gowns; register for graduation; and order class rings, custom invitations, announcements and thank-you notes. Jostens, the official provider of class rings for ECU, will have samples of class rings, and representatives can help with finger sizing and original designs.

The Alumni Association, Pirate Club, Rec Center, Career Services, Registrar, The Buccaneer, College of  Education Office of Alternative Licensure, Custom Stoles and University Frames will be on hand with offers and information. Jostens has donated three $100 Dowdy Student Store gift cards that will be given away in a drawing. A diploma frame donated by University Frames will also be given away in the drawing. All May 2017 graduates are invited to enter; no purchase is necessary.

Representatives from Oak Hall custom regalia will be at Dowdy during the Expo for faculty members who wish to purchase their own gowns. They will have samples of regalia and can take measurements. A 10% discount will be given on all orders placed during this visit.

Graduating seniors unable to attend the Expo can visit Dowdy Student Stores after Feb. 9 to pick up their caps and gowns.

For more information about the Expo, call 252-328-6731 or visit www.studentstores.ecu.edu.

 

-by Karen Simmons

ECU employee named Pitt County Firefighter of the Year

East Carolina University employee Charles Suggs, a crew leader in moving services, was awarded Pitt County Firefighter of the Year during a special ceremony on Jan. 19.

Suggs has worked at ECU for 12 years and been a volunteer firefighter for 14 years. He is a deputy chief with the Grifton Fire Department. Suggs was selected as Grifton’s Firefighter of the Year, which put him in the running for the countywide honor.

ECU employee Charles Suggs was named Pitt County Firefighter of the Year on Jan. 19. (contributed photo)

ECU employee Charles Suggs was named Pitt County Firefighter of the Year on Jan. 19.
(Contributed photo)

The Firefighter of the Year award is presented annually to a firefighter who has demonstrated outstanding support and leadership to their department and the community. The selection committee was made up of fire service representatives outside of Pitt County.

Suggs spent nine days working with the department’s chief during the flooding after Hurricane Matthew, answering calls for service, coordinating staff and organizing search and rescue efforts with outside agencies traveling to assist Grifton. In addition to rescue efforts, he helped evacuate the Grifton Fire Department, which is prone to flooding and helped citizens move to higher ground as the floodwaters approached.

Suggs said his parents instilled in him the importance of helping the community.

“I got involved when I was young to have something to do and I fell in love with the true meaning of what serving is all about,” said Suggs.

He encourages people to get involved with their local volunteer fire departments.

“Become a volunteer firefighter or support your local department. We need more volunteers at our departments in Pitt County,” said Suggs.

 

-by Jamie Smith

Women of Distinction nominations due Feb. 1

Nominations are due Wednesday, Feb. 1 for the 2017 Women of Distinction Awards given by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women.

The ECU Women of Distinction Awards are given every two years to recognize the outstanding contributions by women of East Carolina University. Nominees for the awards may include ECU faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. Ten women will be selected for this prestigious award, one of whom will be chosen to receive the Linda Allred Profiles in Leadership Award.

The 2017 event will be held April 4.

The awards recognize women who have:

  • distinguished themselves in academic work, career, leadership, public service, or any combination thereof through commitment, determination, empowerment and generosity of spirit and time;
  • contributed to the personal growth and success of others, especially women, through education, research, or public or volunteer service, beyond their expected job responsibilities; and
  • created positive social change, increased equality and fairness for all, and built community.

Areas in which nominees demonstrate outstanding contributions may include, but are not limited to, academics/education; professions; research; health care/services; management/administration; politics; social services; volunteer, charity, community outreach organizations; and athletics.

Nomination packets consist of a nomination form and a recommendation letter. Nominators also have the option to include the nominee’s resume or CV along with additional letters of support.

Nomination materials, scanned into one PDF document, should be emailed to Karen Traynor at traynork@ecu.edu.

For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/ccsw/womenofdistinction.cfm.

 

-by Jackie Drake, Eastern AHEC 

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