ECU partners with LCC for satellite passport office

East Carolina University and Lenoir Community College have partnered to operate a satellite passport office in Greenville, providing a more convenient location for ECU students and employees to apply for a passport.

“LCC contacted me to discuss this partnership,” said Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs. “They were interested in providing this service because they have been seeing some of our students and others from Greenville (in their Kinston passport office).”

Between 600 and 650 students and accompanying faculty travel abroad each year, said Dr. Ravi Paul, interim executive director of global affairs. Some faculty and staff members also travel abroad for conferences and seminars.

U.S. citizens applying for a passport for the first time must do so in person.

“This should help our students and employees to be able to get their passports with shorter wait times and be more convenient than going to Kinston or the post office,” Hardy said.

The satellite passport office in Greenville will be located in ECU’s International House at 306 E. Ninth St. LCC will staff and operate the office one day each month this fall and twice a month in the spring. The hours will likely be expanded to meet increased demand in preparation for spring break, which is when LCC has seen the most demand from ECU students, Hardy said.

The dates for Fall 2016 are Sept. 14, Oct. 19 and Nov. 9, and the office will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The process and documentation for applying for a passport remain the same and can be found at the U.S. Department of State website at Required documents include a certified birth certificate; a printed passport photo, minimum 2 inches square; and photo identification (driver’s license, military or state ID). Passport photos can be taken at the satellite passport office.

Routine processing takes four to six weeks and costs $110, while expedited processing takes three weeks and costs $170; there is a processing fee of $25.

For more information contact Dr. Ravi Paul at or 252-328-1936.

–Jules Norwood

Theatre and Dance professor receives international award

Professors Patricia “Patch” Clark, School of Theatre and Dance, and Eleanor Kane from the University of Shimane, Japan were presented with an award at the International Global Partners in Education 9th Conference held in Ekaterinburg, Russia for their collaborative work, “Global Storybook Theater,” May 11th, 2016. They also made a presentation at the conference, “Telecollaboration versus Face-to- Face Interaction – A CLIL 4Cs Perspective on Collaboration in Drama EFL.


Professor Patch Clark

ECU Students have been working with the University of Shimane, Japan for the past three years through video linking and eventually were able to travel for face-to-face performances. Both ECU students and USJ students were able to perform a joint-performance and reflect on which interaction they preferred. USJ also invited traditional performing artists to put on a grand show for the ECU students.

Starting in November 2012, ECU and USJ have been sharing various stories and performances across the world. By October 2015 both ECU and USJ put on a joint-performance in a 3-day face-to-face workshop in Japan.

ECU is overjoyed for our own Patch Clark for her award and recognition in the collaborative work, “Global Storybook Theater”. ECU Storybook Theatre combines talents of students from across all theatre art disciplines and teaches younger audience members the enjoyment of the performing arts along with the excitement of books and reading. Some productions include Charlotte’s Web, The Snow Queen, and Reaching for the Stars.

For more information about Storybook Theater or to say a warm Congratulations to Patch Clark, you can contact her at

–Michael Crane

ECU Police welcomes new officers

As students begin the fall semester, four new police officers will begin their careers at East Carolina University.

Officers in line for swearing in

B.A. Ferguson, Joanie Ferguson, D.A. Richardson, Pastor Donald Foster, A.C. Johnson, Andra Blue, N.C. Reynolds, J.L. Sugg, and Vickie Joyner, ECU Police recruitment coordinator. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


Daryl Richardson, Neill Reynolds, Andrew Ferguson ‘16 and Anastahia Johnson were sworn in as officers during a ceremony Friday, Sept. 2 at the Greenville Centre. The new group will join approximately 55 officers on ECU’s police department which makes it the largest sworn police force in the UNC system.

“The ceremony is important because it marks the transition from trainee to officer. We want to introduce them to our community so people know who they are and understand they are not just officers but people who can help them solve problems,” said Jason Sugg, ECU’s interim police chief.

Officers took an oath and had badges pinned on their uniforms by friends, family members or fellow officers. Afterwards, the officers posed for photos to commemorate the end of training and the start of their career.


Richards receives a hug from Vickie Joyner, ECU Police recruitment coordinator

When Reynolds and Richardson reflected on why they chose ECU, a big reason was their desire to work on campus and serve the community. Reynolds added that he “appreciated the comradery and morale of the officers he worked with.”

Ferguson is originally from Roanoke Rapids and graduated from ECU last May. He decided to work with ECU Police because he wanted to stay in Greenville. His mother pinned his badge and other family members were there to show their support.

The officers will begin their duties Labor Day weekend which also happens to be ECU’s first home football game of the season.

–Jamie Smith

ECU pianist to perform at Smithsonian dedication

East Carolina University faculty pianist John O’Brien will be performing with University of North Carolina soprano Louise Toppin at President Obama’s Freedom Sounds dedication of the Smithsonian’s new African American History Museum on September 24 in Washington.



Conceived and presented in festival fashion, Freedom Sounds programming will include musical performances, spoken word, oral history activities and evening concerts. The three-day music festival presents artists who represent the numerous cultural threads encompassing African diasporic histories and traditions.

O’Brien and Toppin were invited to present a program entitled “Songs of protest: then and now” to celebrate the musical contributions of African American composers.

Visit for more information.

–Harley Dartt

Annual announcement of Phased Retirement Program

Chancellor Staton announces the annual availability of the Phased Retirement Program for eligible tenured faculty members at East Carolina University. Individual letters to eligible faculty members are sent to home academic units. If your faculty appointment does not meet the program’s eligibility criteria for age and years of service, you will not receive a letter of invitation to participate in the program. If you do not receive a letter but believe that you should be eligible based on program criteria, please contact your respective vice chancellor’s office for assistance.  

Additional details about the Phased Retirement Program are available at:

Questions about the Phased Retirement Program should be directed to Linda Ingalls at 252-943-8584 or (Office of the Provost) or Lisa Hudson at 744-1910 or (Division of Health Sciences). 

Whisnant chosen as 2016 Whichard Distinguished Professor in Humanities

East Carolina University soon will welcome Anne Whisnant to the faculty as the 2016 David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities.

Anne Whisnant

Anne Whisnant (Photo by Evan Whisnant)

“I am honored to have been chosen to join the faculty at East Carolina as the Whichard Distinguished Professor,” said Whisnant, who most recently served as director of research, communications, and programs in the Office of Faculty Governance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “I look forward to getting to know ECU and Greenville and look forward to engaging with ECU students, faculty and staff in their efforts to better understand and interpret East Carolina’s history.”

Housed within the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the professorship is made possible through a generous donation by the Whichard family in honor of David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard of Greenville. This year, the Whichard Professorship is hosted by the Department of History.

“The History Department is excited and honored to host Anne Whisnant as the Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities for the 2016-2017 academic year. Her scholarship and experience as a public historian will strengthen the department, college and university,” said Chair of the Department of History Dr. Christopher Oakley.

As Whichard Distinguished Professor, one of Whisnant’s roles is to teach a course each semester. While at ECU, she will teach North Carolina history and a course in digital public history.

“ECU has been a leader in taking proactive steps to address the complicated legacy of its past as it looks forward to its future,” said Whisnant. “In my teaching of North Carolina history and digital public history at ECU, I hope to be able to make a contribution to this important conversation and find ways to connect it to state and national efforts to employ public history approaches in fruitful ways.”

“We look forward to professor Whisnant helping us continue our ongoing discussions of race, historical memory and public commemoration,” said Oakley.

Whisnant received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Birmingham-Southern College in 1989, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1991 and ’97 respectively. She completed post-doctoral coursework at North Carolina State University in 2002.

Over the course of her career, Whisnant has melded her academic administration and teaching with an active public history practice. Her research interests focus on public history, digital history and the history of the U.S. National Parks.

–Lacey Gray

ECU to host information session on MSW degree program

East Carolina University’s School of Social Work will host an information session for people interested in earning a master of social work (MSW) degree through an extended time cohort program.

The session will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Gateway Technology Center at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount.

The 60-credit hour, degree-focused MSW program will offer classes on Saturdays through a hybrid of delivery methods, including face-to-face and online instruction. The Rocky Mount MSW program is scheduled to begin in summer 2017.

Requirements for admission into the MSW program include: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution; a minimum 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale in all undergraduate work and a 3.0 in the senior year; a satisfactory score on either the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); and a broad-based liberal arts foundation with a minimum of six courses in basic social and behavioral science. Applications will be due Jan. 8, 2017.

For information on the MSW program and admission procedures, contact the ECU School of Social Work at 252-328-5650, email or visit

ECU College of Education dean named to state board

Dr. Grant Hayes, dean of East Carolina University’s College of Education, has been elected to the board of directors of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. His two-year term began July 1. 

The organization’s mission is to “shape a world-class public school education that supports all children in reaching their full potential and drives a vibrant North Carolina economy,” according to the Forum’s website at

Dr. Grant Hayes (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Grant Hayes (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Established 30 years ago, the Forum has launched several programs including the Beginning Teacher Network, Education Policy Fellowship Program, Teaching Fellows Program and the NC Center for Afterschool Programs.

“The Forum is composed of an impressive and well-rounded group of individuals who are working hard to advance and improve North Carolina’s public schools through research, policy and advocacy,” said Hayes. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this work.” 

Each year, the organization chooses 10 education issues to address; the 2016 list is below:

  • Direct adequate resources to public schools, teachers and leaders
  • Transform the profession to make North Carolina a teaching destination again
  • Emphasize quality, not quantity, in charter school growth
  • Elevate race as a focal point of public education
  • Fix the broken A-F grading system
  • Support the state’s struggling schools
  • Maintain high standards for North Carolina
  • Make evidence-based decisions on expansion of private school vouchers
  • Expand access to high quality early childhood education
  • Build bridges for students through expanded learning. 

To follow or join conversations, the Forum can be found on Twitter at #EdTalksNC, on Facebook and at

–Jessica Nottingham

Dickins appointed to American Accounting Association Committee

Associate Professor Denise Dickins has been appointed to the Auditing Standards Committee of the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA). The AAA is the largest community of accountants in academia, with the mission to promote worldwide excellence in accounting education, research and practice.

Dr. Denise Dickins (Photo by ECU Marketing & Publications)

Dr. Denise Dickins (Photo by ECU Marketing & Publications)

Dickins has taught at ECU’s College of Business since 2006, where she primarily leads courses in auditing and corporate governance. A seasoned executive, she served in various roles with Arthur Andersen from 1983 to 2002, concluding as partner-in-charge of the South Florida Audit Division. She earned her Ph.D. from Florida Atlantic University in 2006.

Her research interests include the impacts of mandatory auditor rotation and auditor offshoring, and she has published more than 75 articles in academic, pedagogical and practitioner journals. Dickins also serves on the Editorial Advisory and Review Board for Issues in Accounting Education, one of the three primary publications of the American Accounting Association.

She continues to generously fund an annual scholarship for business students in honor of her family’s legacy at East Carolina, which began with her husband’s grandmother in 1925.

–Jennifer Brezina

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