Make a Difference Service Day is Oct. 28

The East Carolina University Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE) is hosting Make A Difference Day with dozens of community partners on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at various locations in Greenville and Pitt County.

Make a Difference Day is a national day of service, sponsored by USA WEEKEND magazine and Points of Light, and is the largest single-day of volunteering in the country.  Millions of volunteers across the nation will unite with the common mission to improve the lives of their neighbors.

CLCE will also collaborate with Operation InAsMuch (OIAM), which is a network of 10 churches in the Greenville area, working to make a difference in the community. The goal is to place 100-150 student volunteers with a number of community partners including Building Hope, Little Willie Center, the Pitt County Animal Shelter, RHA Howell Center and many other service sites in our community.

“ECU hosted Make a Difference Day last year with great success,” said Alex Dennis, assistant director of the ECU Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. “This national movement is a great opportunity for students who are interested in getting connected with the community through service, learning, and leadership.”

Volunteers will start the day at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms before heading to their service locations. All participants will return to Mendenhall for a reflection ceremony at 1:30 p.m.

ECU students, faculty and staff can learn more about community partner organizations and specific service activities as well as register for a service project through ECU’s OrgSync website (https://orgsync.com/97213/chapter).  Once registered for a project, a student-leader will contact all participants with additional information needed on Make A Difference Day.

For additional information, contact Alex Dennis, assistant director of the ECU Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at dennisa15@ecu.edu.  To learn more about the national Make A Difference Day, visit http://makeadifferenceday.com/.

 

Contact: Alex Dennis, assistant director, Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement dennisa15@ecu.edu

ECU participates in hurricane preparedness simulation

The East Carolina University community is no stranger to natural disasters, and making sure the university is prepared for such an event is a never ending cycle of training and planning.

Some of that training took place at ECU Oct. 16-18 during a hurricane preparedness exercise involving nine UNC campuses, FEMA, the National Weather Service and UNC General Administration. Local groups like Vidant Medical Center and Pitt County Emergency Management also took part. The exercise took two years to plan and involved Hurricane Zephyr, a fictitious Category 5 storm heading for eastern North Carolina.

ECU emergency planner Lauren Mink facilitates the Hurricane Zephyr exercise on Oct. 16. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

ECU emergency planner Lauren Mink facilitates the Hurricane Zephyr exercise on Oct. 16. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Lauren Mink, ECU’s continuity and emergency planner, helped coordinate the three-day tabletop exercise and call center drill.

“Tabletops are particularly useful in assessing plans and policies, understanding concepts, identifying strengths and shortfalls, and achieving a change in philosophy if necessary. With a system-wide drill, it is our hope that we can theoretically test the entire system and its capabilities at one time,” said Mink.

The first day of ECU’s exercise took participants from five days before landfall – when the forecast was still uncertain – to 24 hours before imminent landfall on North Carolina’s east coast. Staff discussed when they would decide cancel classes, how to prepare students for potential evacuation, and ready buildings and sensitive research areas for a Category 5 hurricane.

“The drill gave us an opportunity to address very real situations that could impact ECU and eastern North Carolina. We were able to have serious conversations about the best ways to keep our students, faculty and staff safe should these worst case scenarios ever become a reality,” said Chris Stansbury, associate vice chancellor and senior operating officer for student affairs.

The second and third days of the simulated hurricane presented participants with the potential aftermath of such a severe storm: severe flooding; communication and power outages; all major roads blocked; severe structural damage; employees unable to get to campus; parents checking in on students who did not evacuate; and off-campus student and faculty deaths.

“You can never be too prepared. You can never practice too much. This drill was very real, and sadly, could actually happen. I feel like ECU has a strong commitment to the safety of our campus community and this hurricane exercise has shown us that we have some great things in place and also created opportunities for us to improve in other areas,” said Stansbury.

Faculty, staff and community partners talked about how the university would respond to immediate needs and prepare for the long-term effects that could occur after a devastating natural disaster.

Other participating universities took part in tabletop exercises tailored to their locations, and UNC Wilmington staged an evacuation drill that took approximately 40 students from their campus to UNC Greensboro.

Hurricane season begins each year on June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

 

-by Jamie Smith, ECU News Services

Invasive species exhibit opens at N.C. Estuarium

East Carolina University biologist April Blakeslee and students in her lab have created a new exhibit on invasive species at the North Carolina Estuarium in Washington. The exhibit will be unveiled Thursday, Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m.

ECU biologist April Blakeslee and art and design student Kayla Clark have created a display about invasive species at the N.C. Estuarium in Washington. The exhibit opens Thursday, Oct. 26. (contributed photos)

ECU biologist April Blakeslee and art and design student Kayla Clark have created a display about invasive species at the N.C. Estuarium in Washington. The exhibit opens Thursday, Oct. 26. (contributed photos)

Funded by N.C. Sea Grant with additional contributions from the N.C. Estuarium and ECU’s Department of Biology, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, and Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement, the exhibit highlights Blakeslee’s research on zombie crabs — mud crabs infected with a parasite that takes over their reproductive systems — as well as notable invaders such as lionfish and hydrilla.

“We hope that visitors will come away with a better understanding about invasive species and will be fascinated by this host-parasite system and also the important role that parasites can have in ecosystems” said Blakeslee. “They will also learn more about how each person can make a difference in preventing the spread of invaders by not releasing unwanted pets; cleaning boats of attached algae, plants and animals; cleaning boots — essentially, the message that every person can make a difference in conservation-related efforts.”

ECU art and design graduate student Kayla Clark was instrumental in the design of the exhibit, Blakeslee said. “The exhibit is truly interdisciplinary, bringing art and science together for educating about an important conservation issue.”

The zombie crab parasite is a kind of barnacle, called Loxothylacus panopaei or Loxo for short, that is native to the Gulf of Mexico but is now being found along the east coast as far north as Long Island Sound. Blakeslee and her students dubbed the infected crabs zombie crabs because they continue living but are reproductively dead. The parasite also affects the crab’s behavior, causing it to protect the egg sac as if it were the crab’s own young. The protective behavior is found not only in female crabs, but also in males, which would not normally exhibit such tendencies.

By hijacking the mud crabs’ reproductive system, Blakeslee said the parasite could have a dramatic impact on the population. She and a team of researchers are monitoring mud crab populations in eastern North Carolina to assess and track the spread of the parasite.

The N.C. Estuarium is located at 223 E. Water St. in Washington. For more information visit www.partnershipforthesounds.net/nc-estuarium.

 

-by Jules Norwood, ECU News Services

ECU students pitch ideas in Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge

First-round voting was recently held for the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, a campus-wide event put on by the College of Business’ Miller School of Entrepreneurship. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

First-round voting was recently held for the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, a campus-wide event put on by the College of Business’ Miller School of Entrepreneurship. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Nearly 700 East Carolina University students and faculty cast approximately 2,000 votes in the first round of the inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, which recently took place in the sculpture garden between Mendenhall Student Center and the Joyner Library. Fifty-seven student teams pitched their ideas, products or dreams and put them on display during this open-air, tradeshow-style event.

Junior Ze’Ondre Slade, along with partner Klinterica Mitchell, formed one of 57 student teams to participate in the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Junior Ze’Ondre Slade, along with partner Klinterica Mitchell, formed one of 57 student teams to participate in the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge.

The challenge is the signature business pitch competition sponsored by the College of Business’ Miller School of Entrepreneurship. The entire ECU community was invited to participate, as long as one member of the team was an ECU student. Teams from the College of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering and Technology, College of Fine Arts and Communication, and Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences participated in the event.

Junior Zeondre Slade, a criminal justice major, and junior Klinterica Mitchell, an education major, are co-partners in a venture called SPLASH Learning Center. Both want to combine their passions that started as internships in their hometown of Jacksonville, North Carolina. Their goal is to open a learning-based destination for children that is a safe and secure environment.

“With me working in law, I can use those skills that I have learned throughout my college experience to work in the business,” said Slade.

Sophomore Taylor Hicks entered her existing business, Simple & Sentimental, in this year’s Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge. If she wins, that money will go to “serve her clients better.”

Sophomore Taylor Hicks entered her existing business, Simple & Sentimental, in this year’s Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge. If she wins, that money will go to “serve her clients better.”

Twelve teams, six chosen by ECU judges and six chosen from first-round voting, will move on to the second round. From there, five teams will advance to the third and final round and will be paired with individual mentors to help further develop the business concept. The competition concludes in February of 2018 with a total of $20,000 to be split between the first, second and third-round winners.

Making Plans

Taylor Hicks is a sophomore from Winston-Salem. As a freshman in 2016, Hicks started a company called Simple & Sentimental, which provides unique, hand-lettered products. She was an interior design major, but as it began to grow, she switched her major to business administration. The company currently has an Etsy account that has made more than 2,000 sales since opening. Hicks and her company participated in the challenge’s first round, and if she wins the competition, she already has plans for her winnings.

“We would develop a new product line to serve our customers better,” said Hicks. “We figured out what our customers like, and we need to keep going in that direction.”

Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of the College of Business, attended the challenge’s first round and was very encouraged with what he saw.

College of Business Dean Stan Eakins meets with one of the 57 student teams who participated in the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge.

College of Business Dean Stan Eakins meets with one of the 57 student teams who participated in the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge.

“The variety of ideas, products and stories that were on hand was incredible,” said Eakins. “I’m glad these ECU students saw firsthand the entrepreneurial spirit that’s alive and well at the university.”

“We had a number of goals we wanted to accomplish with this challenge,” said Dr. Mike Harris, director of the Miller School. “First and foremost, we wanted to give these future entrepreneurs an outlet to get their ideas out there and an opportunity to make those ideas come alive.”

Harris also said that the challenge was a chance to educate ECU about the Miller School of Entrepreneurship and how its resources are available to anyone at the university.

Round two of the challenge will feature five mentors who will choose five teams based on a five-minute pitch and responses to a three-minute Q&A session. The Miller School will mentor a team based on the popular student vote from round one. This round will take place Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 5-7 p.m.

According to Harris, there will be another challenge next year.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

ECU director named a top trailblazer in education  

An East Carolina University (ECU) director has been recognized by the Center for Digital Education as one of the country’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers of 2017 for his efforts to transform learning through the innovative use of technology.

Tim Hardison, an ECU alumnus and former Martin County Schools teacher, is developer and director of ECU’s MATCH Wellness program, an interdisciplinary, community-university partnership created to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity.

Tim Hardison, director of ECU’s MATCH Wellness program, has been honored by the Center for Digital Education as an innovator in education technology. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Tim Hardison, director of ECU’s MATCH Wellness program, has been honored by the Center for Digital Education as an innovator in education technology. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

MATCH stands for Motivating Adolescents with Technology to Choose HealthTM and targets seventh-grade students. It is currently supported by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program.

Students are motivated through digital tools such as gamification, leader boards and trophy cases. Their schools use a Web-based management system to submit baseline data of height and weight, and fitness testing results. The program also uses an online behavioral survey to track sleeping and eating habits and technology uses. At the time MATCH was created, Hardison’s rural county had the lowest life expectancy in the state.

“When you’re trying to head off an epidemic like obesity, schools are the place we need to intervene,” said Hardison. “We’ve developed a program that meets teachers’ needs first, that just happens to produce unprecedented wellness outcomes, reducing these students’ risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and Type 2 diabetes.”

As part of ECU’s Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center, in the past decade MATCH has reached over 17,000 students in 49 public schools throughout the Carolinas and Mississippi—the state with the third-highest adult obesity rate in the nation. The program has prevented an estimated 1,500 cases of obesity.

Hardison said one key to MATCH’s success is that it teaches students about nutrition and physical activity at a time in their development when they’re beginning to make decisions independent of their families.

Fifteen percent of participants improve to a healthier weight. At 17 years of age, graduates of the program demonstrate decreased obesity when compared to their peers, and are twice as likely to have achieved a healthy weight.

The program has earned a “research tested” designation by the Center for Training, Research and Translation—an independent group that evaluates programs for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – and has gained national attention for its unparalleled long-term success.

The Center for Digital Education (CDE) is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. The 2017 Top 30 designees were selected based on their efforts to improve education through effective implementation of technology-rich solutions, their impact on student outcomes, and their overall initiative, creativity and leadership skills. They recently received their awards at the Digital Education Leadership Conversation event in Austin, Texas.

“Our winners have shown an immense amount of passion and courage as they take on education in an era that encompasses rapid changes. They have demonstrated a unique ability to use technology as a catalyst to transform education at all levels and to have a positive impact on student success,” said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director, CDE. “I am thrilled to recognize this outstanding group for their work, and wish them the best as they continue to push the field forward with education technology.”

For more about this year’s Top 30 visit http://www.centerdigitaled.com/top30/.

For more about the MATCH Wellness program, visit https://www.matchwellness.org/

 

by Angela Todd, University Communications

ECU to host third annual Graduate School Fair for students and alumni

East Carolina University’s Career Services will host the 2017 Graduate School Fair from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 25 in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms.

More than 25 graduate and professional degree programs from across the country are scheduled to attend. The Graduate School Fair gives students and alumni the opportunity to meet and interview with representatives from several programs including law, health care and science.

Admissions representatives from each program will provide information on their organization’s opportunities as well as strategies for successful application.

“Researching graduate programs and putting together the strongest applications are essential to successfully applying to competitive graduate schools,” said Sarah Lage, career liaison to the Graduate School with ECU Career Services. “We encourage students to attend the Graduate School Fair to learn what schools are looking for and how to be a competitive candidate.”

Some of the schools attending the fair include the ECU Gradate School, Campbell Law School, Duke University, Liberty University School of Law, UNCW Cameron School of Business, University of South Carolina, Old Dominion University, Virginia State University and Meredith College.

Attendees should dress in professional business attire and bring an ECU OneCard. Career Services also suggests that participants:

  • Research the organizations that will be attending the event at www.ecu.edu/career and prioritize visits.
  • Develop and practice an introduction or power greeting.
  • Create or update a resume that has been critiqued by a career counselor and take multiple copies to the fair.
  • Smile, initiate a handshake and look representatives in the eye when greeting them at the event.

For additional information about the fair, contact Leslie Rogers, interim director of Career Services, at 252-328-6050 or visit www.ecu.edu/career.

 

Contact: Leslie Rogers, interim director for ECU Career Services, rogersle15@ecu.edu

ECU Police organize parade for young cancer patient

ECU Police organized a parade with neighboring departments to celebrate Colt's last treatment. (contributed photos)

ECU Police organized a parade with neighboring departments to celebrate Colt’s last treatment. (contributed photos)

In August 2016, just before his fourth birthday, Colt Cowell was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. One year later, family and friends celebrated his last chemotherapy treatment with a parade of first responders in his honor arranged by the East Carolina University Police Department.

Colt was greeted by police officers and K-9s from ECU, the City of Greenville, Town of Winterville, Town of Ayden, Vidant Health Services and Pitt Community College. Pitt County Basic Law Enforcement Training students, Greenville Fire and Rescue, and the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office also participated.

Greenville Fire and Rescue brought Engine 2 to carry the guest of honor during the parade.

Greenville Fire and Rescue brought Engine 2 to carry the guest of honor during the parade.

Lt. Chris Sutton, ECU Police, worked with Vidant staff members to plan the parade around the hospital. He knew Colt loved law enforcement, fire and EMS.

ECU dance team members helped celebrate with Colt.

ECU dance team members helped celebrate with Colt.

“I met Colt and his family last year about this same time, when they began their journey through chemo. They were special guests of the ECU PD at a November football game in 2016,” Sutton said. “When he neared the end of treatment it seemed like giving Colt a parade around the health sciences campus and Vidant was just the right way to honor him.”

The escort included over 18 police cars, and the guest of honor got to ride in a fire engine from Greenville Fire and Rescue. The fire truck led the way from the transportation entrance of the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital and pulled over down the road so Colt could see the police cars drive by with the lights flashing.

Many in Colt’s inner circle wore matching T-shirts that read “Colt Strong” with a Bible verse: “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:9.

Members of ECU football, women’s basketball and dance teams, as well as Vidant employees, were among those helping celebrate Colt’s big day.

Personally knowing Colt or just hearing his story made no difference to those participating in the parade. Dry eyes were hard to come by.

 

Family and friends celebrated Colt's last chemotherapy treatment on Oct. 17, 2017.

Family and friends celebrated Colt’s last chemotherapy treatment on Oct. 17, 2017.

 

-by Morgan Tilton, ECU News Services

Laupus Library exhibits “Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection”

Laupus Library is hosting the traveling exhibit “Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection” in the Evelyn Fike Laupus gallery on the fourth floor of the library.

On display from Oct. 23 through Dec. 2, the six-banner exhibit explores a unique archive of 2,588 postcards and over 100 years of images of nurses and the nursing profession from around the world, investigating the hold these images exert on the public imagination — then and now.

The postcard is a fleeting and widespread art form influenced by popular ideas about social and cultural life in addition to fashions in visual style. Nurses and nursing have been the frequent subjects of postcards for over 100 years. In fact, no other art form has illustrated the nursing profession so profusely using such a variety of artistic styles and images.

These images of nurses and nursing are informed by cultural values; ideas about women, men and work; and attitudes toward class, race and national differences. By documenting the relationship of nursing to significant forces in 20th-century life, such as war and disease, these postcards reveal how nursing was seen during those times.

The exhibition highlights only a small selection from the 2,588 postcards of the Zwerdling Postcard Collection, but over 500 more are available to view in the exhibition’s online digital gallery at http://nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/picturesofnursing/digitalgallery.

A “Pictures of Nursing” exhibit reception will be held on Nov. 16 from 4-6 p.m. on the fourth floor of the library and is open to the public. During the program a special collection of nursing artifacts from the Country Doctor Museum will be on display and museum curator Anne Anderson will speak about the history of nursing and healthcare during the early and mid-twentieth century.

“We were really delighted to have been selected as a host site for this exhibit, not only because we like connecting our nursing students and faculty with their profession’s past, but it also allows us a really great opportunity to showcase some of our excellent nursing artifacts from the Country Doctor Museum,” said Beth Ketterman, director for Laupus Library. “It’s a real pleasure whenever we can connect our students with the past in such a tangible way.”

The exhibit is available during operating hours posted at www.ecu.edu/laupuslibrary/about/hours.cfm, or call 252-744-2219.

The exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and curated by Julia Hallam, PhD.

For more information about the exhibit visit www.nlm.nih.gov/picturesofnursing or contact Kelly Dilda at 252-744-2232 or rogerske@ecu.edu.

 

-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Comunications

Joyner Library celebrates ECU faculty scholarship

Twenty-four ECU faculty were celebrated during the 2017 Joyner Library/Academic Affairs Faculty Author Book Awards during an Oct. 13 reception in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery.

The event celebrated the accomplishments of Division of Academic Affairs faculty who have contributed to the scholarship of higher education by authoring, co-authoring or editing scholarly monographs published between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

Dr. Kimberly Anderson and Dr. Ron Michelson. (contributed photos)

Dr. Kimberly Anderson and Dr. Ron Michelson. (contributed photos)

Eleanor Cook, assistant director for discovery and technology services and academic library services, along with Dr. Ron Mitchelson, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, presented awards to this year’s recipients.

“The quality of scholarship at ECU is on the rise and is clearly reflected in the breadth and depth of these authors’ contributions,” said Mitchelson. “I can only applaud them for their collective creativity and commitment to the scholarly life. It makes me proud to be a Pirate!”

Published works represented a wide range of topics such as poetry, law and justice, and race issues.

“This recognition is a tangible indication of Joyner Library’s support for East Carolina University authors,” said Cook. “We are pleased to be able to continue this tradition.”

 

This year’s authors include:

Michael Albers – English

John Bishop – Economics

Nicole Caswell – English

Alethia Cook – Political Science

Tom Douglas – English

Gabrielle Freeman – English

Jeffrey Johnson – English

Armin Krishnan – Political Science

Joyce Middleton – English

Marie Olson Lounsbery – Political Science

Olga Smirnova – Political Science

John Tucker – History

Arthur Carlson – Joyner Library

Venkat Gudivada – Computer Science

Aneil Mishra – Business Management

Crystal Chambers – Educational Leadership

Martin Readon – Educational Leadership

Kimberly Anderson – Literacy Studies

Allison Crowe – Interdisciplinary Professions

Brian Housand – Elementary Education and Middle School Education

Matthew Militello – Educational Leadership

Steven Schmidt – Interdisciplinary Professions

Guli Zhang – Special Education, Foundations and Research

Jessica Christie – Art History

 

Joyner Library book author medallion.

Joyner Library book author medallion.

For more information contact Charlotte Fitz Daniels, programs and events coordinator for Joyner Library, at 252 328-0287 or fitzdanielsc16@ecu.edu.

 

-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Communications

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