Joyner conference connects fellow institutions with community empowerment

Joyner Library’s SHRA Assembly held its 13th annual Paraprofessional Conference on Friday, May 12.

Joyner Library hosts a Paraprofessional Conference. (Photos by Brooke Tolar)

Joyner Library hosts a Paraprofessional Confrence. (Photos by Brooke Tolar)

This year’s theme, Libraries and Community Empowerment, addressed the role played by libraries and librarians to help individuals and communities acquire knowledge about themselves and the world around them.

Joe Barricella, digital services production coordinator for Joyner Library, said, “Our Library and librarians interact with the community daily. We offer a variety of resources, including computers and books, which allow us to serve patrons. Although Joyner Library is often thought of as being a library for only the university, one of our key goals is also to serve the public.”

“The Beyond Bricks & Mortar: Revisiting the Sycamore Hill Community project is a perfect example of Joyner library partnering with the local community,” Barricella explained. “We were able to offer resources they might not have had readily available. These collaborative partnerships are the types of projects we hope to continue completing in the future.”

The one-day event was attended by more than 110 school, public and academic library paraprofessionals from at least 13 counties in North Carolina. In addition to a keynote presentation, attendees were offered four concurrent sessions for a total of 16 presentations about bringing positive change and growth to their home institutions.

This year’s keynote speaker, assistant professor and graduate advisor in the Library Science Program for the Department of  Interdisciplinary Professions at East Carolina University, Dr. Lou Sua, presented a message on “Library as Place: Community, Leadership and Empowerment.”

Sua believes libraries are equalizers in their communities and more important today than ever.

Assistant professor and graduate advisor for the Department of Library Science at East Carolina University, Dr. Lou Sua, gives keynote presentation. (contributed photo)

Assistant professor and graduate advisor for the Department of Library Science at East Carolina University, Dr. Lou Sua, gives keynote presentation. (contributed photo)

“It’s our job to empower communities,” said Sua. “We are the people who can make a difference in the lives of so many people.”

With a percentage of the population unable to afford access to technology, libraries offer these resources and services for free. Libraries have also been a place where people develop citizenship skills.

“I think that we help shape our communities by providing an atmosphere for them to develop their own learning,” said Sua. “And with everything that’s going on now with fake news and alternative facts, it’s the libraries that can help people understand exactly what is real and what is not.”

She also thinks this conference gives attendees the tools they need to go back and do their jobs even better. “During this conference, people share their experiences and talk about what works well for them,” she explained. “Conferences like this help someone from a library that’s maybe struggling from budget cuts hear another approach to cost savings and inspire them to bring that back to their community.”

Facilitated by experts in the profession, attendees were offered a variety of session topics such as the role of free educational resources for community members, outreach to community groups and special populations, and citizen science community engagement.

Tammiika Krowner works in the Curriculum Learning Resources Lab at Fayetteville State University and attended a session on open educational resources (OERs).

These are free materials that can be used as an outreach tool for the public to gain access to work that might only normally be available through a paid educational institution or school. OERs can be used as supplements or core learning for homeschool families that are on limited budgets, for those seeking additional materials, as well as self-learning and discovery.

“I work with pre-service teachers and we are moving away from textbooks towards online information,” she said. “Building up those resources and the teachers’ knowledge about them and where to locate them is paramount for the future.”

Barricella says his biggest hope was for the attendees to enjoy themselves and learn something. “I believe this year’s conference was a big success,” he said. “Everyone I’ve spoken to has been enthusiastic about what they’ve learned today.”

Joyner Library offers special thanks to The Scullery, Great Harvest Bread Company, Dowdy Student Stores and Bagelman for their donations in support of this year’s conference:

For more information on this event or about Joyner Library, contact Kelly Rogers Dilda at rogerske@ecu.edu or 252-744-2232.

 

 

-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communication

College of Engineering and Technology Graduates First Environmental Engineering Students

Last week’s College of Engineering and Technology graduation ceremonies saw a couple of momentous occasions. First, the College’s Department of Engineering graduated its 500th student! Secondly, three students were the first to graduate with a concentration in environmental engineering.

Matthew Edwards, Brian Garrett and Troy Puryear came to the program two years ago and then this past Friday, they became a part of college history.

However, the impetus for this program started when the College wanted to add another engineering concentration almost five years ago. The goal was to create opportunities that would complement the needs of eastern North Carolina.

Pictured, from left to right: Instructor Jeff Foeller, Troy Puryear, Matthew Edwards and Asst. Professor Randall Etheridge, Ph.D. Puryear and Edwards are two of the first three graduates to receive an engineering degree with a concentration in environmental engineering. (contributed photo)

Pictured, from left to right: Instructor Jeff Foeller, Troy Puryear, Matthew Edwards and Asst. Professor Randall Etheridge, Ph.D. Puryear and Edwards are two of the first three graduates to receive an engineering degree with a concentration in environmental engineering. (contributed photo)

“We sat down internally and asked what’s going to make a good environmental engineer for this area,” said Jeff Foeller, an Instructor with College and one of the architects of the original curriculum. “We have a lot of water and lot of coastline. Therefore, we knew the program should have a water concentration.”

So, the department mapped out the classes, got the curriculum approved and classes were then made available.

Puryear, who is from Greenville, says this concentration appealed to him because he, “wanted the opportunity to work hands-on, in the field; rather than always indoors or in an office.” Puryear is currently an intern at a local firm and has hopes to continue with that firm as a full-time employee.

Along with the intimacy of the program, Edwards chose the environmental concentration because, “my uncle is an environmental engineer, and I’m able to work both outside and inside.” Edwards has accepted a position with an engineering firm in Raleigh.

Though only three graduated in this first group, Foeller expects to double that number over the next year. The goal is to sustain a program that can handle one or two dozen students a year.

“As we’re growing in the East and developing more land, the need for environmental engineers will increase,” said Foeller.

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication

Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber adds “distinguished professor” to his many titles

Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber ’14 stays busy.

He is a physician at East Carolina University’s Family Medicine Center, an associate professor of family medicine at the Brody School of Medicine, director of the family medicine residency program and vice chair of academic affairs – plus he is working on his MBA.

(Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber (left) shares a laugh with Max Ray Joyner, Sr. Firnhaber is now the Max R. & Catherine S. Joyner Distinguished Professor in Primary Care Medicine.) (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber (left) shares a laugh with Max Ray Joyner, Sr. Firnhaber is now the Max R. & Catherine S. Joyner Distinguished Professor in Primary Care Medicine. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Now he is the recipient of the Max R. & Catherine S. Joyner Distinguished Professorship in Primary Care Medicine.

“It’s personally an enormous honor. I think it’s a huge plus for our department as well,” Firnhaber said.

Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber.

Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber.

As the Joyner Distinguished Professor, Firnhaber serves as a role model for ECU faculty members and students. He will assist with activities to enrich teaching, develop opportunities in research and creative activity, provide patient care and boost the reputation of the school and university as a center for primary care medicine.

“Top of the list, we’re working to establish a fellowship in academic medicine, associated with our residency program,” he said. “(We) have all sorts of ideas in mind to improve the research standing of both our department and our residency program, which trickles down to improving the research focus of our students. If our students are seeing their mentors and their teachers participating in research and are working to improve their educational base, that translates to excitement on their part as well.”

Dr. Chelley Alexander, Robert T. Monk Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine, said the professorship “is an enormous honor for Dr. Firnhaber, it reflects well on the department and also supplies funding and opportunities for our department to work with all the primary care disciplines at Brody School of Medicine in joint initiatives centered around research and academic medicine.”

After getting his undergraduate and medical degree from the University of Colorado, Firnhaber spent seven years in the Air Force as a resident and staff physician. Then he spent the next several years in private practice in Shelby, Washington and Chocowinity before coming to ECU in 2006.

ECU and medicine are a family affair. Dr. Firnhaber poses with his daughter, Jessica, who is a student in ECU’s School of Dental Medicine.

ECU and medicine are a family affair. Dr. Firnhaber poses with his daughter, Jessica, who is a student in ECU’s School of Dental Medicine.

Max Ray Joyner, Sr. ’54 described Firnhaber as a “very outstanding fellow” and said he was pleased the school selected him for the professorship.

The Max R. & Catherine S. Joyner Distinguished Professorship in Primary Care Medicine is made possible in part by the Joyner family. Their leadership gift has helped fund this professorship since 1992. Joyner has donated many gifts to the university since he graduated, helping with various scholarships and programs. He said the reason he got involved with this professorship is simple.

“I was asked… and I thought it was a good idea,” said Joyner.

“Folks like Mr. Joyner are the absolute unsung heroes of eastern North Carolina,” Firnhaber said. “To me, this professorship is not just an opportunity for me and for our department, but I think it really illustrates what individuals like him have done for health care in our state.”

Firnhaber and the Joyners were honored at a reception at the Family Medicine Center on May 11.

The Max R. & Catherine S. Joyner Distinguished Professorship in Primary Care Medicine is a five-year term and is renewable for a second five-year term. It includes an annual stipend that can be used for various needs such as salary supplement, travel and research expenses, stipends for teaching, research assistants, and special equipment.

Max Joyner poses with his family.

Max Joyner poses with his family.

If you would like make a charitable gift to or would like more information for the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, email Mark Notestine, President, ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, notestinem14@ecu.edu.

 

-by Rich Klindworth

Five ECU Students Receive Scholarships from TiMOTION

Thanks to a company that “believes strongly in moving toward a better future,” five engineering students from the College of Engineering and Technology are each the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship.

Pictured, from left to right: Patricia Malcolm, Basel Abdelfattah and Laith Damreh. All three are biomedical engineering students who each received a scholarship from TiMOTION. (contributed photos)

Pictured, from left to right: Patricia Malcolm, Basel Abdelfattah and Laith Damreh. All three are biomedical engineering students who each received a scholarship from TiMOTION. (contributed photos)

In a recent news release, Taiwan’s TiMOTION and its North American Subsidiary awarded these scholarships, which will benefit full-time students of high academic standing who are enrolled in engineering programs. The company considers these awards an investment in the engineers of tomorrow.

Scholarship recipients include:

  • Basel Abdelfattah
  • Laith Damreh
  • Travis Harrison
  • Jamie LoScalzo
  • Patricia Malcolm

All five students are from North Carolina

Junior Jamie LoScalzo is a recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from TiMOTION.

Junior Jamie LoScalzo is a recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from TiMOTION.

Junior Jamie LoScalzo is from New Bern, and she’s currently president of the Dean’s Student Leadership Advisory Council for the College of Engineering and Technology. About the scholarship, she said, “this award helps to alleviate my financial concerns for next semester, and will allow me to focus on my coursework, as well as my extracurricular activities within the college.”

Laith Damreh, a junior from Raleigh, echoed LoScalzo. “This opportunity is very helpful because, with the scholarship, I can work less so I can focus more on my academics.”

Goldsboro’s Malcolm knew from an early age that paying for her education would fall squarely on her shoulders. “My parents told me from a very early age that they would not pay for my college education and that I would be responsible for it myself,” she said. “Getting this scholarship will allow me to continue pursuing my education goals.”

Abdelfattah is from Greenville. Like the other ECU scholarship recipients, this scholarship will have an impact. “It’s motivation for me to work diligently for academic success,” said Abdelfattah. “The scholarship will help lessen the impact of my tuition costs.”

As part of this funding, TiMOTION said it will provide “products for classroom learning and projects.”

TiMOTION is an industry-leading provider of electric linear actuators worldwide.

College of Education’s Williams receives statewide award

Dr. Thomas “Tom” Williams has received the North Carolina Principal and Assistant Principals’ Association’s (NCPAPA) highest honor – the Ralph Kimel Award.

Dr. Thomas “Tom” Williams. (contributed photo)

Dr. Thomas “Tom” Williams. (contributed photo)

Williams is director for leadership development outreach in East Carolina University’s Department of Educational Leadership. He has served as a developer and facilitator for NCPAPA’s Distinguished Leaders in Practice program. Williams also worked in various administrative roles in the North Carolina public schools for 32 years, including serving as superintendent of Granville County Schools.

Williams, who lives in Raleigh, received his master’s in school administration, education specialist and doctorate of education degrees from ECU.

“Williams has impacted many of our lives,” said Shirley Prince, executive director of the NCPAPA, in an N.C. Association of School Administrators online newsletter. “Many of us had the privilege to work with him, but all of us have benefited from the contributions he has made to education.”

The Ralph Kimel award was established in 1995 to honor the founding member of NCPAPA. The award is given annually to a retired educator who has made a lasting contribution to the profession and association. Williams is the first person from the ECU College of Education to receive the award, which he accepted during the 2017 NCPAPA annual meeting on March 30.

 

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

 

Alum Marshall awarded Yale graduate Presser award

Florrie Marshall, East Carolina University alum (BM, Performance, ’15; Certificate of Advanced Performance Study, viola performance, ’16) and Yale University first-year graduate student in viola performance, has been awarded the Yale Presser Foundation Graduate Award.

Left to right: Yale professor Melvin Chen, Marshall, Yale School of Music Dean Robert Blocker. (contributed photo)

Left to right: Yale professor Melvin Chen, Marshall, Yale School of Music Dean Robert Blocker. (contributed photo)

The $10,000 Presser Foundation Award is awarded to an outstanding returning Yale student to advance his or her music education. The Graduate Award at the Presser Foundation is only given to one student at each of 12 exclusively invited schools of music.

To read more about Florrie Marshall’s time as a student at ECU click here.

 

 

-by Harley Dartt, University Communication

ECU’s Harriot College Holds Inaugural Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony

The Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Staff Council recently hosted its inaugural Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony. The event, held May 9 on the East Carolina University campus, honors all dedicated THCAS staff members and recognizes the hard work they engage in on a day-to-day basis.

“Our staff are the unsung heroes of Harriot College,” said Dean William M. Downs. “Their professionalism and commitment to our students and faculty deserve our full recognition. I’m so proud of who they are. I’m privileged to work with them, and I’m grateful each day for all they do to advance ECU’s mission.”

Dean William M. Downs (left) poses with Junior Staff Excellence Award winner, Beverly Estorge (center), and Cindy Mills (right), from the Department of Economics, at the inaugural THCAS Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony. (Photos by Rob Taylor Photography & Design.)

Dean William M. Downs (left) poses with Junior Staff Excellence Award winner, Beverly Estorge (center), and Cindy Mills (right), from the Department of Economics, at the inaugural THCAS Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony. (Photos by Rob Taylor Photography & Design.)

During the ceremony, two members of the college staff received the newly created THCAS Staff Excellence Awards. Suzanne Powell, lead administrative associate in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, received the Senior Staff Excellence Award. Beverly Estorge, administrative support associate in the Department of Economics, received the Junior Staff Excellence Award.

“When I read the email informing me that I was selected for the Senior Staff Excellence Award, my first reaction was to re-read the email because surely I had read it wrong. I am not used to recognition on such a large scale, and I felt a bit overwhelmed,” said Powell. “I am thankful to the college and Dean Downs for noticing the need to include and embrace the college’s staff and creating the vehicle to let them be heard and to be recognized.”

Prior to the ceremony, many colleagues provided words of praise in their nominations of Powell.

“Ms. Powell embodies some of the best features of a representative member of the Pirate Nation. She’s a dedicated professional, a dependable colleague, a generous individual, and a strong and graceful woman,” wrote one supporter.

Another of Powell’s colleagues commented, “She truly embodies the description of selflessness. Even through all the personal hardship, Suzanne has never faltered. Her strength of character is unparalleled.”

Suzanne Powell accepts her Senior Staff Excellence Award at the inaugural THCAS Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

Suzanne Powell accepts her Senior Staff Excellence Award at the inaugural THCAS Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

As an example of her selflessness, Powell gives credit back to her colleagues.

“I work with a large number of people who always, knowingly or not, make me feel appreciated. I am honored that so many took the time to nominate me for this award. I would not be the employee or person that I am if it were not for those that were placed in my path to help guide me and give me confidence. I owe most of this award’s recognition to them,” said Powell.

Powell has served as the lead administrative associate in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures for the past four-and-a-half years and has worked at ECU for six-and-a-half years.

Estorge also was surprised to hear she was receiving the Junior Staff Excellence Award.

“Really? Me? Wow! I can’t believe it, but I am so honored. I nominated someone else for the Staff Excellence Award but never thought about myself receiving it,” said Estorge. “I wake up every morning so thankful for my job at ECU and winning this award is ‘icing on the cake’ for me. The THCAS Staff Council has done a great job at making me feel like all of the ‘behind-the-scene’ work is noticed and valued.”

Fellow colleagues of Estorge also provided words of admiration and approval in their letters of nomination.

“Beverly is a very charismatic and warm person and sets the tone for an inclusive and impassioned working environment in the Department of Economics,” stated one nominator.

Another colleague wrote, “Beverly has excellent relations with all of our faculty, students and visitors. She gets along with everyone in the department and is such an asset to work with.”

Estorge serves as an administrative support associate in the Department of Economics and has worked at the university for one-and-a-half years. She said there are two things she likes best about working in Harriot College; the atmosphere in the department and the joy of working with students.

“I genuinely like the people I work with. We have a sense of teamwork,” said Estorge. “Secondly, my joy comes from working with the students one-on-one. I want to make a difference in their college experience, and it is tremendously rewarding for me to hear back from them when that has happened.”

The Thomas Harriot College Staff Excellence Awards acknowledge administrative or technical staff within the college who have shown exemplary professionalism and have gone above and beyond the requirement of their position. Recipients of the award must demonstrate a positive attitude, be a team player and exhibit characteristics of a model member of Pirate Nation. Senior Staff Excellence Awards are given to an employee of the college who has more than 5 years of consecutive employment with the university. Junior Staff Excellence Awards are given to a college employee with a minimum of one year and no more than five years of consecutive employment with the university.

 
-by Lacey Gray, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

ECU junior selected for prestigious leadership program

East Carolina University junior Erick Jenkins is one of five students from across the country selected to participate in a prestigious leadership program this fall.

Jenkins received a partial scholarship for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute’s Leadership and the American Presidency program dedicated to developing the next generation of citizen leaders.

The program is made possible in partnership with Campus Compact to provide scholarships to Newman Civic Fellows like Jenkins for their commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

Campus Compact, of which ECU is a member, is a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities that promotes community service and civic engagement in higher education.

ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton submitted the nomination for Jenkins to be a 2017 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow.

Erick Jenkins, junior at East Carolina University. (contributed photo)

Erick Jenkins, junior at East Carolina University. (contributed photo)

“He is a student leader interested in leadership, activism and democratic engagement,” said Staton. “Erick has committed himself to putting many of ECU’s most treasured values — public service, leadership and community engagement — into action. His participation as a Newman Civic Fellow will continue ECU’s strong tradition of Campus Compact involvement and reflect ECU’s commitment to educating students to be engaged, thoughtful and active citizens.”

From August through May 2018, Jenkins will examine the leadership journeys of presidents in relation to his own life as well as hear from leaders in business, government and the nonprofit sector while completing coursework and an internship in Washington, D.C. He will have access to a variety of virtual and in-person learning opportunities including a national Newman Civic Fellows conference.

“The Newman Civic Fellows program and Reagan institute are a perfect fit for Erick Jenkins,” said Dr. Dennis McCunney, director of ECU’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.  “He has amazing civic leadership skills, and he is passionate about citizenship, voting rights and advocating for people whose voices often go unheard. I’m excited about this opportunity for him; he puts ECU’s mission into action so well.”

Jenkins is majoring in communication. He is from Wilson, North Carolina.

The Leadership and the American Presidency program is co-sponsored by The Fund for American Studies.

For more information, contact McCunney at 252-328-2802.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

Brody student organization receives regional chapter award

East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine group that supports minority medical students and underserved communities has received a regional award.

The Brody Student National Medical Association chapter was recognized for the extensive community service its members performed this past year, outshining peer groups from North Carolina to Florida and the Caribbean.

“What I love about the Student National Medical Association is that the mission really aligns with the mission of the Brody School of Medicine,” explained chapter president Ebone Evans, a rising third-year medical student from Durham. “SNMA encourages physicians to go to these populations that are traditionally underserved and encourages support and mentorship for medical students who might not have had support in their lives around them.”

From left, Brody SNMA president Ebone Evans with members Jackie Watson and Consola Esambe Lobwede during Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. (contributed photo)

From left, Brody SNMA president Ebone Evans with members Jackie Watson and Consola Esambe Lobwede during Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. (contributed photo)

Many of the group’s community initiatives this past academic year involved members serving as role models for area youth.

For Project ALPHA, members provided weekly health education training to young men at Dobbs Community Juvenile Detention Center in Kinston. Weekly workshops at Building Hope Community Life Center in Greenville helped young ladies transition to womanhood. Programming included a seminar on making healthy snacks and another from ECU dental medicine students on proper dental hygiene.

Other community service efforts included a reading buddies program at the Little Willie Center in Greenville and a pre-medical conference to encourage undergraduate minority students interested in pursuing medicine. Members also took an active role in Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in the fall.

“Just as much as the people in these programs get from us, we get so much from them,” Evans said. “We get so much understanding of life — a better understanding of the community — and that’s how you really are able to affect the population that you’re serving, if you understand who they are.”

Any medical student can join the chapter, Evans said, but minority students typically comprise membership. The group’s leaders are working to continue increasing community service and encourage diversity among members.

“We want people to know this isn’t an organization just for minority students,” she said. “It’s an organization that would like to train the majority population to know how to support minority populations as they go through their medical training.”

Dr. Cassandra Bradby, the group’s adviser and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, applauded Brody’s SNMA members for their efforts to help promote and exemplify diversity in medicine.

“Given all of the rigors of medical school, it is very hard to be able to balance all of these service projects and programs, as well as excel in school and our students have managed to do both,” she said. “I am so proud and excited that they have earned this award. No chapter deserves it more.”

 

 

by Elizabeth Willy, University Communication

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