ECU nursing dean named Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education

ECU College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown was recently inducted as a Fellow in nursing education’s most prestigious organization, placing her among the country’s most respected nurse educators.

Brown was one of 14 distinguished nurse educators inducted in the National League for Nursing’s 12th class of fellows of the Academy of Nursing Education in September.

In a competitive application process, the Academy of Nursing Education review panel considers a multitude of factors before recommending fellowship candidates to the NLN Board of Governors. Evaluations take into account applicants’ contributions to innovative teaching and learning strategies; nursing education research; faculty development activities; academic leadership; promotion of public policy that advances nursing education and collaborative educational, practice or community partnerships.

Dr. Sylvia Brown, center, was recently inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education.

Dr. Sylvia Brown, center, was recently inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education. (Contributed photo)

“I’m so honored and humbled to be named among this prestigious group of nurse educators, who have dedicated their careers to improving not only patient care but the nursing student experience,” Brown said. “The National League for Nursing’s dedication to improving nursing education has been such a critical driver of the quality of care in this country. My goal is to provide a learning environment to ensure student success resulting in competent and caring nurses.”

Brown has served as a faculty member in the ECU College of Nursing for four decades and the past 20 years in multiple administrative roles.

“Dr. Brown’s visionary leadership has drastically improved the quality and accessibility of health care education options available to students,” said interim vice chancellor for health sciences, Dr. Mark Stacy. “As a result, the patients whom ECU nurses serve worldwide can access a higher level of specialized care than ever before, particularly in rural, underserved areas.”

Among her many contributions to nursing education is the implementation of one of the first online nursing programs in the state of North Carolina, the online nursing education concentration in ECU’s Master of Science in Nursing program.

Since being named dean of the college in 2009, Brown spearheaded the college’s adoption of the RIBN (Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses) program, partnering with area community colleges in 2012 as an effort to enhance the educational preparation and diversity of the nursing workforce. The same year, seeing an urgent need for advanced practice nurses, Brown worked with five other deans in the state to obtain approval from the UNC System to offer Doctor of Nursing Practice programs in their institutions.

In 2017, she implemented a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program to help address workforce shortages in this much-needed specialty.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I congratulate individuals who represent the enterprise, creativity and drive that is the foundation of excellence in nursing education,” said G. Rumay Alexander, the president of the NLN and professor and associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We applaud their critical role in preparing nursing school graduates to deliver sustainable, accessible, culturally-sensitive care to a diverse patient population, which advances the health of the nation and global community.”

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communications

Cupola Conversation on crisis response scheduled for Oct. 29

The Division of Student Affairs will continue Cupola Conversations this academic year.  Cupola Conversations is a program developed in Fall 2016 intended to create informal opportunities for the university community to engage in constructive dialogue about various topics.

Each Cupola Conversation features a panel of students, faculty, staff and community members who share opinions and thoughts about what they believe is needed to engage in better, more constructive, conversations about the topic.

The first installment of Cupola Conversations for Fall 2018 is entitled “Crisis Response” and will be held 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29 in Mendenhall Student Center, Room 244.

With the effects of Hurricane Florence still being felt in eastern North Carolina, this Cupola Conversation will focus on the university’s process of responding to crisis situations and inclement weather, as well as ongoing recovery efforts for students and community members throughout the region. Administrators, staff and students will address questions and provide insight on ECU’s crisis response protocol, focusing on crisis management, emergency response procedures and the factors considered during the decision-making process.

This program will be a town hall style format moderated by Dr. Erik Kneubuehl and features the following panelists:

  • John Hurley, MS4, Brody School of Medicine
  • Dr. Chris Locklear, Vice Provost for Academic Success, Division of Academic Affairs
  • Lauren Mink, Continuity and Emergency Planner, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Dr. Sharon Paynter, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement and Research
  • Chris Stansbury, Associate Vice Chancellor/Senior Operating Officer, Division of Student Affairs

Cupola Conversations are free and open to the entire ECU community. Those unable to attend can join the conversation live on Facebook.

 

-Contact: The Division of Student Affairs at innerpirate@ecu.edu or visit https://studentaffairs.ecu.edu

ECU engineering’s first class celebrates anniversary

East Carolina University’s Department of Engineering recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its first graduating class at the Greenville Convention Center.

Engineering alumni from as far away as Washington, D.C., joined current administration, faculty, staff and students and celebrated the donors and department friends who helped raise almost $25,000 in scholarship funds by attending the reunion.

Aaron Spencer (Contributed photo)

Aaron Spencer (Contributed photos)

Aaron Spencer is an alumnus of the first engineering graduating class and said he always saw himself as a Pirate when growing up. He considers himself a pioneer who paved the way for everybody else.

“Progress has to have a starting point,” Spencer said.

Spencer said he is proud of his alma mater and wants it to succeed. He said he supports ECU because he wants people to say ‘Wow’ when he tells them he graduated from the university.

“I’ve got to have the success of the program to build and build for that to be said,” Spencer said.

Spencer added that he wants to set an example for future classes to give back.

“We all have to invest in this (the engineering program),” he said. “If we’re going to continue to see growth and progress, we have to continue to invest back in to this program to get to the point where people are saying ‘Wow’ when they learn where we graduated.”

Harry Ploehn, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, is among those who are impressed by the program’s development during the last decade.

“I’m very proud of everyone’s contribution to building the engineering program at ECU,” he said. “I’m not only proud of the faculty and staff who created an excellent engineering curriculum from scratch, but also every graduate who has gone out into the workforce and proven the program’s quality through their impact on their companies and communities. Well done!”

The department’s inaugural graduating class had 22 graduates. Since then, the department’s alumni base has grown to more than 600. Currently, the Department of Engineering has 550 students and 30 faculty.

ECU’s Department of Engineering recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its first graduating class. On hand to celebrate were faculty and students representing that class, including, left to right: Tarek Abdel-Salam, faculty emeritus, Paul Kauffman, faculty emeritus, Scott Dargan, Dustin Jones, Aaron Spencer, Stephen Dubrey, Josh Brown, Patrick Rhodes, Kyle Barnes, and Harry Ploehn, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.

On hand to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the first graduating class were faculty and students representing that class, including, left to right: Tarek Abdel-Salam, faculty emeritus, Paul Kauffman, faculty emeritus, Scott Dargan, Dustin Jones, Aaron Spencer, Stephen Dubrey, Josh Brown, Patrick Rhodes, Kyle Barnes, and Harry Ploehn, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.

Barbara Muller-Borer, chairwoman of the department of engineering, said she is appreciative and enthusiastic of the continued support from industry partners, faculty and alumni for their investment in student scholarships.

“Scholarship funds are important for recruiting and retaining talented students and positively impact student success,” she said.

In addition to returning alumni, many companies and individuals sponsored the event. Called investors, these sponsors included:

■ Diamond: Purdue, Hyster-Yale and NC Electric Cooperatives

■ Gold: ECU’s Department of Engineering, Spencer C2, LLC

■ Silver: ThermoFisher Scientific, SPX Transformer Solutions and Century 21, The Realty Group, Gene & Sally Dixon

■ Purple: Truebeck Construction

■ Bronze: NCEast Alliance, Timothy A. Spencer, Kyle Barnes, and Josh Brown.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

ECU Alumni Association to recognize 2018 award winners

Five alumni and one honorary Pirate will be honored by the East Carolina University Alumni Association at its annual alumni awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 19.

The awards recognize alumni and friends of the university who have demonstrated outstanding merit and achievement, distinguished themselves as leaders for the university, and adopted ECU as their own.

“Spanning the classes of 1967 to 2013, this year’s awardees include those who have served in the medical, military and corporate arenas. Through their service and achievement, they have shown the world what we already know – that Pirate alumni are second to none!” said Heath Bowman, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. “From start to finish, our awards event is a showcase of our stars, and we are so grateful to get to spend time celebrating them each fall during ECU Homecoming Weekend.”

The recipients will be honored at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Greenville Convention Center. The media is invited to attend.

2018 Alumni Award Recipients

 

Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award

Danny Scott

Danny Scott of Swansea, Illinois, graduated from the College of Business in 1984. Scott is the co-founder of the specialty food company All-N-Food, LLC. Scott served on the ECU Board of Trustees for eight years, was the recipient of the Laura Marie Leary Elliott Courageous Leader Award in 2015, and established a COB scholarship in 2008. Whenever he visits campus, Scott speaks with COB classes and on student discussion panels. He also serves as mentor and coach to students.

 

Honorary Alumni Award

Austin Bunch (posthumous)

While he did not graduate from ECU, Bunch served four chancellors at the university from 1999 until his death in 2017. He impacted almost every major campus celebration including installations, commencements, convocations and awards. His talents and love of the university were felt by hundreds of people across multiple administrations.

 

Outstanding Alumni Award

Kodi Azari

Kodi Azari of Pacific Palisades, California, graduated from the Brody School of Medicine in 1997. He is now the world-renowned surgical director of the hand transplant program at UCLA Health. Azari was one of the lead surgeons in the first double-hand transplant and the first arm transplant. He is also the medical co-director of Operation Mend, a UCLA Health program that provides free complex reconstructive surgery and psychological support to wounded service members. He credits ECU for shaping his career.

 

Lt. Commander Kathleen Ferguson

Lt. Commander Kathleen Ferguson of Atlanta graduated from the College of Health and Human Performance in 2007. As a quality assurance specialist for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Ferguson approves and rejects critical pharmaceutical products, medical devices and vaccines for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and Department of Defense. She volunteered to be on the front lines in Sierra Leonne during the 2015 Ebola virus outbreak while also ensuring that the United States’ stockpile of medicines and medical devices stood ready and available if needed.

 

Charles Jenkins

Charles Jenkins of Laurinburg is a ’66 and ’67 alumnus from the College of Health and Human Performance. He is professor emeritus of educational leadership at UNC-Pembroke, where he’s worked in numerous roles for more than 47 years, including interim chancellor, provost, vice chancellor of academic affairs and director of admissions. He is also the former president and current member of the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of the Laurinburg-Scotland Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

Young Alumni Award

Tywana Lawson

Tywana Lawson of La Grange is an ‘03, ’13, College of Nursing alumna. She is now the director of nursing programs at Nash Community College, where she oversaw an

increase in nursing student completion rates by 30 percentage points. Lawson also worked with Nash UNC Health Care to establish scholarships for first and second-year nursing students. She is a member of the American and North Carolina Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International, and is an ECU Centennial Pirate.

 

Visit www.piratealumni.com for more information about the ECU Alumni Awards.

 

-Contact: Erin Shaw, University Communications, 252-737-1505, shawe17@ecu.edu

Brody School of Medicine names director of alumni affairs

Laura McFall Bond, new director of alumni affairs for the Brody School of Medicine.

Laura McFall Bond, new director of alumni affairs for the Brody School of Medicine. (Photo by ECU Athletics)

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has named its first director of alumni affairs.

Laura McFall Bond will oversee Brody’s efforts to increase the medical school’s engagement with alumni through communications and strategic events. She comes to Brody from the ECU Pirate Club where, as the director of special events and hospitality, she oversaw donor-related events, managed football and men’s basketball gameday hospitality, and led the alumni Letterwinner Experience aimed at bringing former student-athletes together for reunion activities.

Bond brings six years of experience in working with alumni and students through her employment with ECU and two fraternity headquarters, Pi Kappa Alpha and Pi Kappa Phi. She has served on the University of Tennessee’s Martin Young Alumni Council as well as their Martin-Memphis Alumni Board. She currently supports the ECU Chapter of Chi Omega as their advisor.

Bond completed her master’s degree in leadership and policy studies at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2015. She earned her undergraduate degree in communications from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2012.

“Brody is a huge asset to the state of North Carolina, and I am overjoyed to be in a position to work with alumni, faculty, students and staff who are making the world a better place,” said Bond.

“ECU’s medical alumni are an incredible force for good across our state and beyond,” said Brody dean Dr. Mark Stacy. “I’m excited that Laura has joined our team, not only to help us keep our graduates informed about issues important to Brody and the health of our state, but also to help us be more intentional about supporting their efforts and recognizing their successes as they live out the Brody mission.”

 

-by Amy Adams Ellis, University Communications

ECU to host Fall Career Fairs for students and alumni

East Carolina University Career Services will host two career fairs on Oct. 17 at the Greenville Convention Center. The College of Engineering and Technology (CET) Career Fair will be held from 9-11 a.m., followed by the Fall Career Fair for all majors from 1-4 p.m.

The CET Career Fair is open to all Engineering and Technology majors or students interested in pursuing a career within these fields. During the two-hour session, students will have the opportunity to connect with more than 100 employers, including both local and national companies. That afternoon, the Fall Career Fair will welcome students of all majors at ECU and feature over 200 employers.

ECU students and alumni have the opportunity to meet potential employers from across the country recruiting for internship, part-time and full-time positions. Both career fairs give attendees the opportunity to create professional contacts and secure interviews with employers from several different industries including science, technology, business, government and healthcare.

“According to recent ECU student survey responses, 93 percent of students that attended a previous career fair discovered at least one employer related to their major or career interests,” said Patrick Roberts, associate director for ECU Career Services. “This shows that we provide a diverse collection of employment opportunities that matches the over 120 majors available at ECU. Our goal is to create opportunities for students to establish relationships with employers that directly relate to their career goals.”

Participating companies at these career fairs include American Tower Corporation, Aramark, Barnhill Contracting Company, BB&T Corporation, Cisco, Credit Suisse, e-Emphasys Technologies, Enterprise Holdings, GEICO, Greenville Utilities Commission, Honda North America South HUB, Horace Mann, Hyster-Yale Group, Lincoln Financial Group, Motion Industries, NAVAIR, NetApp, Novo Nordisk, Patheon, Peace Corps, Peter Millar, T.A. Loving Company, UTC Aerospace Systems, Vidant Health and Youth Villages.

For more information and suggestions on how to prepare for the Career Fairs, visit the Career Services website at www.ecu.edu/career.

 

-Contact: Tom Halasz, director for ECU Career Services, Halaszt18@ecu.edu, 252-328-6050

Make-a-thon inspires innovation

East Carolina University students brought new ideas and innovations to the university’s BrainSTORM make-a-thon event on Oct. 4, offering fresh perspectives to problems that plague communities after natural disasters.

Nearly 60 students attended the seven-hour event at the university’s Innovation Design Lab, exploring problems encountered by families, businesses and first responders, and prototyping solutions to those challenges.

East Carolina University alumnus Magus Pereria tests a laser sensor that detects the depth of water at the university’s make-a-thon event. The event brought students and mentors together to develop ideas to combat challenges that arise from natural and man-made disasters.

East Carolina University alumnus Magus Pereria tests a laser sensor that detects the depth of water at the university’s make-a-thon event. The event brought students and mentors together to develop ideas to combat challenges that arise from natural and man-made disasters. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU innovators developed plans to provide power through interchangeable batteries to those affected by power outages during disasters; investigated how they could collect and distribute data during disasters using existing infrastructure that could help inform emergency management decision making; and worked on sensors that could detect food spoilage during disaster events.

Senior Austin Rabah, a business management major, said he learned about BrainSTORM through one of his classes.

“This was my first time attending such an event,” Rabah said. “Because of it, I was able to come out of my comfort zone to try to help hurricane victims. I learned a lot about technology development, more specifically the actual amount of work that goes into creating items that could make a difference (in a time of need).”

The make-a-thon, hosted by ECU’s Miller School of Entrepreneurship, Innovation Design Lab, and Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement, was broken into three sessions. During the morning session, students learned about disaster response and recovery basics during both natural and man-made disasters. The afternoon session saw students split into teams and identify potential disaster issues before building a prototype or business plan in the afternoon session.

Pereira and David Mayo, right, work on the laser sensor during the make-a-thon event.

Pereira and David Mayo, right, work on the laser sensor during the make-a-thon event.

While hurricane relief weighed heavy on the minds of many students, the prototypes developed by the participants weren’t only storm related. A major component of the event was producing solutions that could be used in many types disasters, whether they be hurricanes, floods, earthquakes or even terrorist attacks.

“I believe they learned a lot about the innovation process and how entrepreneurship can help others,” said David Mayo, a teaching instructor with the Miller School of Entrepreneurship and BrainSTORM coordinator. “One day these students may create ventures that can make an impact on their community and the world. It’s not just about making money, it’s about doing good.”

Mayo said the students worked diligently on solutions that could scale beyond just the Greenville community.

“They saw that they can make a big impact in their community by working toward solutions to tough problems, but we really wanted them to think about the big picture,” he said. “Our students can create solutions that really scale. They don’t have to just help in one or two disasters, they can be used across the globe to help a lot of people.”

Rabah agreed and hopes that in the future, even more ECU students will participate in events like the make-a-thon and share their potential ideas.

“I think the make-a-thon was extremely beneficial for all students,” Rahab said. “I really think we should market the event to everyone on campus, not just for business majors, but for everyone who might have even the slightest inclination to help.”

Learn more about how you can help victims of Hurricane Florence at East Carolina Undaunted.

The laser sensor detects the depth of water.

The laser sensor detects the depth of water.

 

-by Matt Smith, University Communications

ECU sociologist examining accessibility issues through fellowship in Washington, D.C.

East Carolina University professor of sociology Dr. Mamadi Corra is spending a year in Washington, D.C. Corra was named to a Science and Technology Policy Fellowship from the American Association of the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society.

Corra is among 300 new AAAS fellows recognized by his peers. Through the fellowship, which runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2019, Corra is working with the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government, specifically at the Federal Judicial Center – the research and education wing of the Federal Judiciary – located in the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Building.

ECU professor of sociology Dr. Mamadi Corra, seen here speaking to a sociology class in 2015, is spending a year in Washington, D.C. through a prestigious Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the American Association of the Advancement of Science.

ECU professor of sociology Dr. Mamadi Corra, seen here speaking to a sociology class in 2015, is spending a year in Washington, D.C. through a prestigious Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the American Association of the Advancement of Science. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“The fellowship program is a highly competitive and prestigious one, and receiving the fellowship is a great honor,” Corra said. “So I feel very honored and humbled to receive this award.”

Corra’s main area of teaching and research is in social stratification and inequality, broadly defined. More specifically, his research focuses on social psychology – power and status; race, ethnic, gender and class inequalities; and immigration. He has taught courses in introduction to sociology, principles of sociology, sociology of the family, social structures, social inequality, and racial and cultural minorities.

While participating in his fellowship, Corra poses for a photo in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

While participating in his fellowship, Corra poses for a photo in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. (Contributed photo)

According to the AAAS website, the Science and Technology Policy Fellowship provides opportunities for scientists and engineers to contribute to federal policymaking while learning firsthand about the intersection of science and policy by addressing today’s most pressing societal challenges.

“High-profile faculty awards like this, and the social and cultural capital they build, make important contributions to our efforts to rise to national prominence as a great university,” former department chair and professor of sociology Dr. Bob Edwards said. “Dr. Corra’s full-time residence as a policy-relevant research scholar in the Capitol will extend and strengthen Harriot College’s professional networks and working relationships in support of its emerging Washington-based academic initiatives and potentially do the same with ECU’s emerging collaborative endeavors with Howard University.”

“Receiving the fellowship gives me the unique opportunity to fulfill a long-standing aspiration – to apply my scientific (sociological) knowledge to public policy,” said Corra.

Through his fellowship, Corra is working directly at the Federal Judicial Center, the research and education wing of the Federal Judiciary. (Contributed photo)

Corra is working directly at the Federal Judicial Center, the research and education wing of the Federal Judiciary. (Contributed photo)

As an example, Corra mentioned that in his first two-and-a-half weeks in Washington he learned something new about a policy-relevant issue that is of personal interest to him as a visually impaired individual; that the accessibility of federal courts may only be framed in the context of the federal judiciary.

“A goal of mine is looking at accessibility issues in the Federal Judiciary with the hope of developing a policy document on improving the accessibility of federal courts,” he said.

“I believe one of the key aspects of being an informed and actively involved citizen is to be aware of how your government works and to contribute in its improvement,” said Corra. “The Science and Technology Policy Fellowship gives me the unique opportunity to do this, while also doing something that I love – research that is public and applied in nature … timely research that is policy-relevant and in a key aspect of our government.”

Corra came to ECU in 2003. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of South Carolina, and his master’s in business administration and bachelor of science degrees in sociology and business administration from Gardner-Webb University.

Since 1874, the AAAS Fellows program has recognized researchers for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Previous Fellows include astronomer Maria Mitchell, who discovered a comet that now carries her name; inventor Thomas Edison, whose creations included the incandescent light bulb; and anthropologist Margaret Mead, whose field research on culture and personality attracted much acclaim. For more information about the AAAS, including all fellowship programs offered, visit https://www.aaas.org/.

Corra on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where ECU is pursuing collaborative endeavors.

Corra on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where ECU is pursuing collaborative endeavors. (Contributed photo)

 

-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

ECU to offer part-time hybrid master of social work degree program

Beginning in May, East Carolina University’s School of Social Work will offer a part-time hybrid program for people interested in earning a master of social work degree.

The three-year program will include online, hybrid, and some face-to-face classes that will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays on the ECU campus. The program starts May 13, 2019.

ECU students in the School of Social Work discuss their program with members of the HHP Advancement Council in the Rivers Building.

ECU students in the School of Social Work discuss their program with members of the HHP Advancement Council in the Rivers Building. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Prospective ECU students must apply for admission by Jan. 8 to be considered for the program. More information is at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/gradschool/Admissions-Information.cfm.

Requirements for admission into the MSW program include: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution; a satisfactory GPA; a satisfactory score on either the MAT or the GRE unless a test waiver is granted; and a broad-based liberal arts foundation with a minimum of six courses in basic social and behavioral science. An advanced standing pathway for BSW graduates and a regular pathway for other undergraduate majors will be offered.

A part-time Rocky Mount class will begin in May 2020, while a part-time New Bern class will begin in May 2021. Each will be hybrid, take three years to complete, and will include some Saturday classes.

For more information on the MSW program and admission procedures, contact the ECU School of Social Work at 252-328-5650, visit the website at https://hhp.ecu.edu/socw/msw/ or email msw@ecu.edu.

 

-Contact: Paige Averett, director of graduate programs, ECU School of Social Work, averettp@ecu.edu, 252-328-4193

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