The Inaugural James H. Bearden Induction Ceremony Welcomes 66 Students to Beta Gamma Sigma

The inaugural James H. Bearden Induction Ceremony was recently held for new members of the ECU College of Business Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma.

Dr. James H. Bearden. (contributed photos)

Dr. James H. Bearden. (contributed photos)

Dr. James H. Bearden, College of Business Dean Stan Eakins, college faculty and family members celebrated the induction of 66 students and one faculty member into the chapter, which is the honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Donors gave more than $100,000 to the newly created James. H Bearden Endowment Fund, which provided support for this induction ceremony and will help fund future induction ceremonies that will also bear Bearden’s name.

“In honor of Jim’s passion and interest in promoting academic excellence, the new fund will support the efforts of Beta Gamma Sigma,” said Eakins.

The endowment was set up to recognize Bearden’s 56-year career at ECU. He served as the College of Business’ second dean from 1968 to 1983, established the college’s MBA degree and was instrumental in the accreditation of the college’s graduate program.

Bearden also established the Beta Gamma Sigma chapter at ECU and later became that society’s national president.

The spring 2017 Beta Gamma Sigma induction recognized the following:

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, sophomores Agarwal, Ashworth, Bishop, Butz, Drahus, Ervin, Forbes, Georgi, Krause, Kruesi, Ozzimo, Saffer, Potter, Powell, Saffer, Sebastian and Dean Eakins.

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, sophomores Agarwal, Ashworth, Bishop, Butz, Drahus, Ervin, Forbes, Georgi, Krause, Kruesi, Ozzimo, Saffer, Potter, Powell, Saffer, Sebastian and Dean Eakins.

Sophomores
Sumeet Agarwal
Catherine Anne Ashworth
Victoria Bishop
Meredith Butz
Anela Cizmic
Madelyn Craig
Nicholas John Drahus
Malia Elle Ervin
Adam Stephen Forbes
Ronny Georgi
Oakleigh Hogg
Zachary Aaron Kelly
Allison King
Logan Sikes Krause
Dylan Thomas Kruesi
Xin Yin Lin
Shannon Ozzimo
Stavan Patel
Anderson Lee Potter
Hoskins Henry Powell
Kayla Elizabeth Saffer
Ana Sebastian
Gerrit R. Van Staalduinen

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, juniors Cherry, Kube, Micham, Nobles, Roberts, Sherrod, Skorupa, Small, Spain, Strickland, Wood and Dean Eakins.

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, juniors Cherry, Kube, Micham, Nobles, Roberts, Sherrod, Skorupa, Small, Spain, Strickland, Wood and Dean Eakins.

Juniors
Davis Wiley Baker
Emily Rebecca Bowman
Brigid Margaret Burke
Sarah Pearl Cherry
Justin Thomas Delise
Garrett William Hinton
Angus Edward Johnson
Molly Anne Kube
Kate Law
Shelby Nicole Micham
Amber Halle Nobles
Clayton Olson
Faith Roberts
Mary P Sherrod
Lesia Elisabeth Skorupa
Tyler Brian Small
Hudson Spain
Lydia Gayle Strickland
Anthony Vallone
Madisyn Van Ham
Connor Michael Wilson
Sarah Katharine Wood

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, seniors Thirakounh, Paylor, Maye, Correa and Dean Eakins

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, seniors Thirakounh, Paylor, Maye, Correa and Dean Eakins

Seniors
Jessica R Bell
Amber G. Brown
David Michael DeLaney
Diana Maria Garcia Correa
Terry Matias
Stephen Michael Maye
Crystal Irene Merrill
David Hendrick Paylor
Lazaro J. Perez
Hassell Gray Proctor
Tara Elizabeth Royster
Victor Somphet Thirakounh
Emily Anne Tini
Thomas Tyler
Charles Thomas Yorgen

 

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, Nancy Ray, graduate London Paulson and Dean Eakins

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, Nancy Ray, graduate London Paulson and Dean Eakins

Graduates
Jody C Bennett
Paula Suzanne Fisher
London Steele Paulson
Rajeshwar Rajeshwar
Demetrius L. Walker
Shannon Marie Wrigley

Faculty
Nancy Ray

Beta Gamma Sigma membership is the highest recognition a business student can achieve. Two times a year, the College of Business inducts eligible students and faculty into Beta Gamma Sigma. Membership is by invitation only and is based upon eligibility criteria, including those who rank in the top 10 percent of the second-semester sophomore, junior and senior classes, as well as the top 20 percent of graduating graduate students. Before nomination, the entire faculty of the College of Business reviews each candidate to ensure he or she meets the standards of character and integrity that membership represents.

Tina Williams, college faculty, currently serves as the advisor and president of ECU’s Beta Gamma Sigma chapter.

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication

The legacy of philanthropy takes center stage at the Chancellor’s Amethyst

Chancellor Cecil Staton awarded three of his Chancellor’s Amethysts at Thursday night’s East Carolina University Board of Trustees dinner. The Chancellor’s Amethyst is the premiere recognition of philanthropic commitment at East Carolina University. He honored BB&T, Carl and Connie Rogers, and Drs. Mary Raab and William McConnell for their ongoing generosity and service to the university.

Evans – BB&T’s Northeastern North Carolina Regional President, Scott Evans (right), accepts the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Cecil Staton on behalf of BB&T. (Photos by Will Preslar.)

BB&T’s Northeastern North Carolina Regional President, Scott Evans (right), accepts the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Cecil Staton on behalf of BB&T. (Photos by Will Preslar)

Staton recognized BB&T as one of ECU’s most loyal corporate supporters. Over the lifetime of BB&T’s support of the university, it has donated more than $3.6 million, which includes its support for the BB&T Center for Leadership Development at ECU. In addition, BB&T has pledged $1 million to the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Southside Renovation Campaign.

“Much like East Carolina, BB&T is a mission-driven organization with a clearly defined set of values,” Staton said. “If you look at BB&T’s philanthropic support of ECU, you will see where this culture aligns quite nicely with the work being done across campus to ensure student success, instill a passion for public service, and transform our region.”

Connie and Carl (right) Rogers receive the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Staton for their continued support and service to ECU.

Connie and Carl (right) Rogers receive the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Staton for their continued support and service to ECU.

Carl Rogers is a 1970 ECU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He is in his sixth year as a member of the Pirate Club Executive Committee after serving as the ECU Educational Foundation president in 2015-16. The Rogers’ lifetime giving to the university of nearly $350,000 will be increasing through their pledge of $875,000 to name the Pirate Club Level located within the renovated southside tower in addition to their premium seating commitment. Their past commitments have helped several capital projects, including those funding Clark-LeClair Stadium, the Smith-Williams Basketball Practice Facility and the Step Up to The Highest Level Campaign.

“The Pirate pride runs deep within Carl and Connie Rogers,” Staton said.

Drs. Bill McConnell (left) and Mary Raab accept the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Staton.

Drs. Bill McConnell (left) and Mary Raab accept the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Staton.

Raab and McConnell have long worked to support medical services in eastern North Carolina. Raab joined the ECU oncology department in 1977, eventually becoming the first female chief of medical staff at what is now Vidant Medical Center. She and her late husband, Dr. Spencer Raab, played a pivotal role in establishing the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center.

McConnell helped create Eastern Radiologists in Greenville. He also served as the hospital’s chief of medical staff. Through the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, they have established the Drs. Mary and Spencer Raab Distinguished Professorship in Medical Oncology and the R. William McConnell, MD, Medical Student Scholarship Endowment, in addition to supporting numerous other initiatives around campus.

Outgoing ECU Board of Trustees member Terry Yeargan (right) and Chancellor Staton show off their Pirate Pride at Thursday night’s dinner.

Outgoing ECU Board of Trustees member Terry Yeargan (right) and Chancellor Staton show off their Pirate Pride at Thursday night’s dinner.

“Servant leadership is in Mary and Bill’s DNA,” Staton said. “They have touched so many lives at East Carolina University and in the eastern North Carolina community. They are truly the type of people we would love our students, faculty and staff to model themselves after.”

The honorees join the Golden LEAF Foundation and Walter and Marie Williams as the only recipients of the Chancellor’s Amethyst.

Staton also recognized several ECU alumni whose terms are expiring on the ECU Board of Trustees and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

Robert Rippy and Henry Hinton have completed one term on the Board of Governors and have been members of the Public Affairs Committee and the University Governance Committee.

Outgoing UNC Board of Governors member Craig Souza (right) is recognized by Chancellor Staton for his service.

Outgoing UNC Board of Governors member Craig Souza (right) is recognized by Chancellor Staton for his service.

Each received a pewter plate in recognition of their service. Staton said ECU hasn’t always had the kind of involvement and advocacy on the UNC system board that it has had over the past few years, and that’s due in part to the three outgoing members.

Craig Souza served two terms on the Board of Governors and previously served as an ECU trustee.

Staton also recognized four outgoing ECU trustees: Terry Yeargan, Danny Scott, Steve Jones and Student Government Association President Ryan Beeson. Jones spent the last two years as chair of the board. Each received a desk box and a Board of Trustees chair.

 

 

-by Rich Klindworth

 

Mathematical sculpture workshop spotlights the math behind art

Applied mathematician and sculptor Dr. George Hart led an April 7 workshop in Jenkins Fine Arts Center at East Carolina University which spotlighted the math behind art.

Hart, an interdepartmental research professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, demonstrated how mathematics is creative in unexpected ways.

Dr. George Hart is an applied mathematician and sculptor. (photos by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. George Hart is an applied mathematician and sculptor. (photos by Cliff Hollis)

Twenty-seven students, faculty and staff from across campus as well as teachers from the greater Greenville community assembled two of Hart’s sculptures and designed two of their own.

The event was organized by Dr. Sviatoslav Archava, teaching associate professor of mathematics at ECU.

Workshop participants started by connecting plastic struts and connector balls from a Zometool kit, forming shapes that would prove to be foundational for the sculptures that they would create.

The sculpture “Autumn.” (photos by Cliff Hollis)

The sculpture “Autumn.”
(photos by Cliff Hollis)

The first sculpture, named “Autumn”, was assembled from 60 identical laser-cut wood pieces that were connected using cable ties. Working together, the participants explored the possible ways to connect the pieces, a task that developed spatial perception and visual reasoning. The solution for the sculpture involved two phases. The first phase was a finding a solution to connect three pieces. After that, it was possible to build the sculpture by combining the trio of connected pieces to other trios. Only one way to connect the pieces led to a beautiful structure they were trying to assemble. The following facts about the sculpture were noted by the participants with Hart’s help:

  • “Autumn” may be viewed as an artistic version of a regular dodecahedron, a solid that is formed by 12 regular pentagons.
  • Sixty pieces from which the sculpture is built lie in 30 planes (two in each plane). The 30 planes are the facial planes of the five cubes inscribed in the dodecahedron or, equivalently, of the rhombic tricontahedron.

 

The "Ambagesque" sculpture.

The “Ambagesque” sculpture.

The second sculpture, named “Ambagesque” (from the Latin word for “tangle”), also had 60 pieces, which were laser-cut from colored acrylic sheets. The pieces lie in 20 different planes (three in each plane). Despite the smaller number of planes involved, it was much more difficult to assemble due to the non- edge-to-edge connections and more complicated geometry. On a few occasions, participants needed Hart’s help to find the correct way to proceed.

Assembling the sculptures gave the participants a sense of the mental processes that mathematicians use in their research and the excitement and pleasure of “figuring things out.”

At the end of the workshop, participants designed their own paper sculpture. This involved changing the faces of the rhombic tricontahedron so the altered faces could be glued back together to create a visually appealing form.

Participants went away with an idea of the underlying shapes, the curiosity to look for patterns in complex-looking sculptures they may see elsewhere or design themselves, and having experienced the thrill of exploring the world around them mathematically.

For more information on Hart and his work, visit http://georgehart.com/.

 

 

-by Dr. Slava Archava, Teaching Associate Professor of Mathematics

 

The Pirate Alumni Road Race pounds the pavement for students

A blue sky and mild temperatures provided the perfect backdrop for the 10th annual Pirate Alumni Road Race, which was held in Greenville Saturday, April 22. The 5K and 1-mile fun run provided some competition as a way to raise funds for scholarships.

“This is one of our major scholarship fundraisers for the year. It’s a great opportunity for people to not only to have fun and be active, but also to help us with scholarships,” said Heath Bowman, president of the East Carolina Alumni Association.

PeeDee was the first one out when the cannon went off, but he couldn’t hold onto the lead for the 10th annual Pirate Alumni Road Race. PeeDee got a “did not finish” while No. 49, Patrick Creech, came in first in his age group. (Photos curtesy of the Alumni Association)

PeeDee was the first one out when the cannon went off, but he couldn’t hold onto the lead for the 10th annual Pirate Alumni Road Race. PeeDee got a “did not finish” while No. 49, Patrick Creech, came in first in his age group. (Photos curtesy of the Alumni Association)

Bowman said they have 21 East Carolina Alumni Scholars this year and give away nearly $50,000 in scholarships every year. Many of the scholarship recipients were either volunteering or running in the event.

“A lot of students rely on financial aid and scholarship support, and so we feel like this is part of our mission to assist students and to help alumni and future alumni have a great experience here at ECU and to be able to obtain a higher education,” said Bowman.

PeeDee welcomes a couple of finishers, sporting their Pirate Alumni Road Race T-shirts, as they cross the finish line.

PeeDee welcomes a couple of finishers, sporting their Pirate Alumni Road Race T-shirts, as they cross the finish line.

ECU sophomore and alumni association scholar Jacob Walker is a public health studies and chemistry major who hopes to go to medical school. He said his alumni scholarship is vital to him attaining that goal.

“It’s been so important to me. I don’t really have a good financial background with my parents,” said Walker. “My mom has been a single mom of three for most of her life, and it’s been really hard. A lot of the financial burden is on me. This scholarship has really helped me in terms of paying for my own education.”

All of the 250 race participants received a T-shirt, and the top three finishers in each age group won medals. Approximately $6,000 was raised for scholarships. The students benefiting from the fundraiser said they are appreciative of those who took part.

“Thank you (donors) so much. It means the world to us that you would give back to the university and help students like us,” said ECU junior and alumni association scholar Stephanie Morales, who was volunteering at the event.

The next alumni association scholarship fundraiser will be the Purple Gold Golf Open, set for Sept. 15 at Ironwood Country Club in Greenville. More information about the alumni association is at http://www.piratealumni.com.

 

-by Rich Klindworth 

 

 

Pirate Nation represents at iconic Boston Marathon

The 121st Boston Marathon was a memorable one for at least three East Carolina University alumni.

Tim Meigs ’89 won his age group. Dionne Evans ’95 ran her second Boston after finishing her first one in 2013 just three minutes before the first bomb went off near the finish line. And Louis Kinlaw ’04 ran his first Boston and was wearing his Pirates hat all 26.2 miles.

“I was pretty excited,” Meigs said about his time. “I didn’t know until I got my cell phone out of my gear bag and checked text messages. My wife had texted me and said that it looked like I had won.”

Tim Meigs ’84 running through the streets of Boston during the 121st Boston Marathon. Meigs would finish first in his age group. (photo courtesy of Tim Meigs)

Tim Meigs ’84 running through the streets of Boston during the 121st Boston Marathon. Meigs would finish first in his age group. (photo courtesy of Tim Meigs)

Meigs graduated with a biology degree and is part of the biology department’s advancement council. He is a patent lawyer for Becton Dickinson and lives in Raleigh. He’s a relatively new runner, having started running about 10 years ago, just before he turned 40.

“I ran a little bit in high school but not particularly well. It was kind of like a midlife crisis sort of thing getting into it later,” he said with a chuckle.

Now 50 years old and having finished nearly two dozen marathons, Meigs ran this year’s Boston Marathon in 2:41:48. That time was the fastest in his 50-to-54 age group, which comprised 2,205 male runners. He finished 221st overall, out of 30,074 runners. He had previously finished third in 2012 and fourth in 2013 in the 45-49 age group at Boston. For his victory, he received a vase trophy during the awards ceremony and the opportunity to run his ninth Boston Marathon next year.

“Given the stature of the race and the amount of competition, I’d say this one is probably the biggest one (win). I’d probably put this one at the top of the list,” Meigs said. “It’s kind of fun to be able to do this. Hoping I can run another one and go back next year and run well there, too, but you can’t take these things for granted.”

Dionne Evans (right) poses with Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans. In 2013, then Superintendent Evans played an integral part in the investigation and eventual arrest of the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He was portrayed in the movie “Patriots Day” by actor James Colby. Incidentally, for both of them, this was their first Boston Marathon since the bombing; they both ran it in 2013. Dionne ran in her second Boston while the commissioner ran in his 19th. (photo courtesy of Dionne Evans)

Dionne Evans (right) poses with Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans. In 2013, then Superintendent Evans played an integral part in the investigation and eventual arrest of the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He was portrayed in the movie “Patriots Day” by actor James Colby. Incidentally, for both of them, this was their first Boston Marathon since the bombing; they both ran it in 2013. 
(photo courtesy of Dionne Evans)

Like Meigs, Evans ran Boston in 2013 and had completed the course when the first bomb exploded. She was about a block away from the blast.

“I was close enough to feel it, hear it, see the big plume, hear the people screaming at the finish line,” Evans said.

This year she said it felt like she had come full circle when she crossed the finish line.

“I was crying uncontrollably and I couldn’t stop myself. There were people coming up to me, hugging me because they knew the story because I had run part of the race with them,” said Evans.

Evans graduated with an exercise sports science degree and is a personal trainer at Champions Health & Fitness in Greenville. She has always been physically active but decided to take up long distance running only about 10 years ago with some friends. That first half-marathon has now turned into 13 full marathons.

“I just love it. The way I feel mentally, just the sense of accomplishment. I just don’t get that anywhere else,” she said.

Temperatures this year were in the mid-60s when the race began – warmer than what most long distance runners prefer. Evans said she struggled to get to the finish line because of the warmer temperatures and is not happy with her time of 4:29:44. However, as she closed in on the final meters of her run, it was all worth it.

“When you hit Boylston and you hit that finish line, I’m getting chills just thinking about it because it’s so overwhelming,” Evans said. “My goal now is to qualify for 2019.”

(Left) Louis Kinlaw ’04 sporting his ECU hat and his wife Shannon ‘14 a Brody graduate took a photo together before the race. (Right) Kinlaw poses with his finishers medal. (photo courtesy of Louis Kinlaw)

(Left) Louis Kinlaw ’04 sporting his ECU hat and his wife Shannon ‘14 a Brody graduate took a photo together before the race. (Right) Kinlaw poses with his finishers medal.
(photo courtesy of Louis Kinlaw)

All along the Boston streets, Pirate pride was welling inside of Kinlaw. He graduated from ECU in industrial technology and is an engineering group leader with Bosch Home Appliances in New Bern. Every race he runs, he wears one of his East Carolina hats. Even though Boston is a long way away from Greenville, he didn’t feel far from home.

“You just have 26 miles of people just cheering you on. At least every couple of miles I’d hear a ‘Go Pirates’ or a ‘Go ECU’ or something like that,” Kinlaw said.

This was Kinlaw’s second marathon. He qualified for Boston during his first marathon. He said he’s always been a runner but got into long-distance running four years ago with a half-marathon, like Evans. While Kinlaw’s Boston time of 3:22:50 would be many runners’ personal best, he is looking to do better the next time.

“It was painful at the end, but it was probably one of the best experiences of my life,” Kinlaw said. “When you turn onto Boylston Street for the finish, there are thousands of people there. It was a pretty surreal moment for me – pretty emotional to see that and to experience that.”

 

 

-by Rich Klindworth 

Annual High School STEM Day Brings 300 Students to ECU

Nearly 300 high school juniors from across eastern North Carolina recently visited East Carolina University (ECU) to experience and learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities offered at the University. ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology, the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Education, including the STEM Center for Education, sponsored the event and provided more than 60 volunteers.

Students rotated through three of 15 hands-on, engaging sessions that were taught by current ECU faculty and students. Departments represented included engineering, physics, technology, mathematics, chemistry, biology, construction management, computer science, geology, geography, atmospheric science, math and science education.

Some of the hands-on learning sessions included:

  • Learning about and how to extract DNA
  • Determining the types of clays that might be addressed on a construction site
  • Exploring how high-resolution 3D models are captured using a simulation of unmanned aircraft systems, and how to analyze and visualize environmental change
  • Using cryptography to send secure messages and how it is used in the military for confidential communication and secure online banking, shopping and other applications
Area high school juniors recently visited ECU for the sixth annual High School Stem Day. Fifteen hands-on sessions were scheduled that represented a wide variety of education opportunities available at the University. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Area high school juniors recently visited ECU for the sixth annual High School Stem Day. Fifteen hands-on sessions were scheduled that represented a wide variety of education opportunities available at the University. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

This annual event was the second STEM-related event held at ECU in as many weeks. Earlier, more than 140 area Girl Scouts participated in TechnoQuest, which also was designed to introduce STEM to the participants.

Margaret Turner, director of marketing and outreach for ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology, helped organize both events and also helped organize the five former high school STEM Days. Over the years, she’s noticed a very obvious increase in students interested in STEM. Not only does STEM Day introduce these students to exciting and interesting careers, Turner enjoys introducing these students to a university that can help them capture their future, STEM-related degrees.

“I see the excitement in the students faces every time they step on campus and into the sessions,” said Turner. “I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to let them know that if they do pursue a STEM-related career, ECU is a great choice to get them started.

Students Managing Students

Helping Turner organize this year’s event were three college students pursuing their own STEM-related degrees in engineering. Juniors Jessica Campos, Meagan Smith, and Malik Simon provided Turner with project management support. As part of a class assignment in an engineering project management course, they helped Turner with everything from volunteer training, the session schedule, transportation and communication.

“STEM day was an effective way to show how much detail goes into planning an event,” said Smith. “There were months of meetings that involved brainstorming on how to improve the planning process and ways to improve how the day would flow.”

Part of that brainstorming saw the introduction of social media to help with communication between all volunteers. The application that was used is called GroupMe.

Juniors Meagan Smith (left), Jessica Campos (right) and Malik Simon (not pictured) provided project management support for High School STEM Day. This marked the first time students played a role in managing the event.

Juniors Meagan Smith (left), Jessica Campos (right) and Malik Simon (not pictured) provided project management support for High School STEM Day. This marked the first time students played a role in managing the event.

“We had volunteers outside Wright circle waiting for high schools to drop off their students, and with this app, our volunteers were able to tell us what schools were here, where to meet them, the final number of students they brought and more,” said Campos. “Throughout the day we were able to communicate any issues that arose using GroupMe, and with everyone’s input, we were able to resolve those issues.”

“Throughout the day we were able to communicate any issues that arose using GroupMe, and with everyone’s input, we were able to resolve those issues.”

“Jessica, Meagan and Malik did a wonderful job in helping make sure we had another successful STEM day,” added Turner. “I think they learned a great deal about the many logistics involved in organizing such a large event. They were also proud to see the event happen and go smoothly and realize they had a large part in planning it.”

This was the first time college students helped with managing the event.

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication 

Pilot program updates area geriatric providers via webinar

Primary care providers who treat the elderly across eastern North Carolina recently received vital continuing education without ever leaving their offices, thanks to a pilot program provided by East Carolina University and Eastern Area Health Education Center.

The new Geriatric Medicine Academy is a series of six weekly lunchtime webinars that took place March 7 through April 11, with more sessions planned for the future. Leaders from the College of Nursing, College of Allied Health Sciences, Brody School of Medicine and the community gave the one-hour presentations from The Education Center at Eastern AHEC, which webcasted the sessions to providers throughout the region. The program is funded by the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program through the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Open to physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and others, this pilot program was limited to the first 25 participants – and filled up on the first day of registration.

“I think that speaks to a great need in our area. We’re enhancing the ability of providers to meet the needs of an aging population,” said Karen Goble, assistant director for continuing medical, dental and pharmacy education at Eastern AHEC, a non-profit affiliated with ECU.

Dr. Connie Pender, managing pharmacist at Wayne Memorial Hospital Pharmacy, participated in the new Geriatric Medicine Academy webinars from her office in Goldsboro. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Connie Pender, managing pharmacist at Wayne Memorial Hospital Pharmacy, participated in the new Geriatric Medicine Academy webinars from her office in Goldsboro. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Between 2000 and 2010, the largest increases in North Carolina’s age 65 and older population were seen in Brunswick, New Hanover and other eastern counties, according to the University of North Carolina Population Center.

“We have a large retirement population,” Goble said. “We’re an area of high priority.”

There are very few board-certified geriatric medicine physicians in the country, according to Goble.

“There’s a big gap across the U.S.,” she said. “Brody has geriatric medicine. Our goal is to bring this knowledge to the clinics in our area; we need to take it to them.”

From Currituck to Carteret, participants tuned in from across eastern North Carolina, accessing ECU’s expertise to help their patients without having to travel.

“A webinar is a very convenient way to earn continuing education credit, especially during lunch,” said participant Dr. Connie Pender, managing pharmacist at Wayne Memorial Hospital Pharmacy in Goldsboro. “Having a set of webinars specifically on dealing with issues regarding the elderly is of interest to me. I have an increasing number of retirees in my practice setting as well as aging parents so I was excited to see this program offered.”

The program covered a variety of topics, such as caregiver burnout, HIV in older adults, opioids and pain, frailty, polypharmacy (managing multiple prescriptions) as well as health care for older veterans.

“The session on HIV in older adults was especially informative,” Pender said. “It was eye opening to me to learn that 50 percent of HIV patients are over the age of 50. The presenter gave a great refresher on the mechanisms of action of the HIV medications, which was very helpful.”

The opening session focused on recognizing and preventing caregiver burnout.

“We might be living longer, but we’re living sicker; the goal is to stay healthier,” said presenter Kim Stokes, director of clinical education for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in the College of Allied Health Sciences. “For the elderly, a caregiver could be a spouse or a whole team.”

More than 50 million Americans care for family members of all ages, according to Stokes.

“The definition of caregiver has expanded exponentially,” Stokes said. “The health and well-being of a patient and caregiver are closely linked.”

The purpose of the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement grant, which awarded $2.5 million in 2015 to the College of Nursing and its partners, is to develop a health care workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement and improves health outcomes for older adults by integrating geriatrics with primary care, according to Dr. Sonya Hardin, associate dean for graduate programs in the College of Nursing and the grant’s primary investigator.

“Our geriatrics funding helps prepare health care providers to meet the needs of the aging U.S. population and ensure improved health results for older adults,” said Hardin, who led the March 21 session on opioid use and abuse in older adults.

The response to the first round of webinars has been positive, according to Goble, and more sessions are planned for the future.

For more information on the Geriatric Medicine Academy, visit www.easternahec.net or contact Karen Goble at 252-744-6974 or goblek16@ecu.edu. For additional resources under the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Grant, visit www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/nursing/geriatric/.

 

 

-by Jackie Drake, AHEC

IEEE Installs New Honors Chapter at ECU

The College of Engineering and Technology recently witnessed history. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Mu Lambda Chapter was recently installed at the college. The new chapter, as part of its ceremonies, also inducted three area professionals and seven engineering students as its charter members.

The IEEE HKN Mu Lambda Chapter charter members include:

  1. Bryan Barrera, senior
  2. Davis Harrison, junior
  3. Dean Lamonica, senior
  4. Michael David Soule, senior
  5. Keith Hill, engineering & facilities manager, Fresenius Kabi USA
  6. Ethan Thomas, electrical engineer, Edgecombe Martin Corporation
  7. Ricky Castles, assistant professor, Department of Engineering, College of Engineering and Technology, ECU

Charter chapter officers include:

  1. William F. Clukey Jr, secretary and treasurer
  2. Karl Durancik, vice president
  3. David Leake, president

Jim Conrad, IEEE Region 3 director and a UNC-Charlotte professor, officiated the installation. Dr. Jason Yao, associate professor in the College of Engineering and Technology, will be the chapter’s adviser.

The Mu Lambda Chapter of IEEE’s Honor Society, Eta Kappa Nu, was recently installed at ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology. Participating in the ceremonies were (left to right), Dr. Jason Yao (chapter advisor), Dr. David White (college dean), Dr. Hayden Griffin (Dept. of Engineering chair), Jim Conrad (IEEE Region 3 director), Karl Durancik (chapter vice president), David Leake (chapter president) and William Clukey, Jr. (chapter secretary and treasurer). (contributed photo)

The Mu Lambda Chapter of IEEE’s Honor Society, Eta Kappa Nu, was recently installed at ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology. Participating in the ceremonies were (left to right), Dr. Jason Yao (chapter advisor), Dr. David White (college dean), Dr. Hayden Griffin (Dept. of Engineering chair), Jim Conrad (IEEE Region 3 director), Karl Durancik (chapter vice president), David Leake (chapter president) and William Clukey, Jr. (chapter secretary and treasurer). (contributed photo)

According to IEEE’s website, IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN), the honor society of IEEE, is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing individual excellence in education and meritorious work, in professional practice, and in any of the areas within the IEEE-designated fields of interest.

Yao sees the Mu Lambda chapter as a way for its student members, who are juniors and seniors majoring in electrical engineering, to connect and network with professionals who can pass along their insights and experiences.

“These professional individuals will be great resources that students can approach for career-related advice,” said Yao. “It is also our hope that by inducting successful professionals in the electrical engineering-related fields, we create a body of role models for future students.”

Though Mu Lambda’s mission is still being defined, Leake does see the chapter focusing on and promoting industry awareness. He also is thinking about the legacy this chapter will hold for future members.

I hope to see the Mu Lambda chapter become an integral part of the East Carolina University engineering community,” said Leake. “The chapter should promote integrity in engineering, research in current engineering issues, and continuous pursuit of engineering excellence through community involvement and academic endeavors. The Mu Lambda chapter will represent the best up-and-coming engineers at ECU.”

The new chapter does not replace the student chapter of IEEE, which was started in 2013 and whose first president was charter Mu Lambda inductee Thomas. Mu Lambda will serve mainly as the recognition arm of the current student chapter and will assist it with regular activities, guest speakers and competitions.

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication

Ed Monroe, longtime health care advocate, dies

Dr. Edwin W. “Ed” Monroe, a physician who went from private practice to helping build the School of Allied Health Sciences and School of Medicine at East Carolina University, died Sunday. He was 90.

Monroe came to Greenville in 1956 to be a “nose-to-the-grindstone internal medicine specialist,” he said in a 2000 interview. His goal was short-lived, as he quickly got involved in East Carolina’s efforts to establish a medical school and other health sciences programs.

Dr. Edwin W. “Ed” Monroe. (contributed photo)

Dr. Edwin W. “Ed” Monroe. (contributed photo)

In 1968, he became founding dean of the School of Allied Health and Social Professions. From that post, he lobbied for a four-year medical school at ECU and helped prepare the academic foundation for it.

In 1974, he became president of the Eastern Area Health Education Center; its conference center is named for him. During that time, he also served as director and then vice chancellor for health affairs at ECU, as associate dean of the School of Medicine from 1979-1986 and executive dean from 1986-1990, when he retired.

“Known for his candor, Dr. Monroe was a fierce advocate for our medical school in its creation and its infancy,” said Dr. Paul Cunningham, who retired as dean of ECU’s medical school last year and served on the faculty in the 1980s. “As a man of principle, he did not shy away from the call for service as a leader. He was motivated by the great potential value of the work. He fervently worked for the improvement of the health of the citizens of the region. Personally, I will miss him as a mentor and a friend.”

As leader of EAHEC, Monroe helped develop outreach programs such as an off-campus bachelor of science in nursing degree as well as community medical residencies, allowing young doctors to experience the demands of a rural practice.

“Conceptually, it was a great vision,” Monroe said in 2000. “Trying to translate that into reality took a degree of stubbornness. It’s always refreshing when others come around to the realization of what we’re trying to do.”

After retiring from ECU, he went to Winston-Salem to reorganize the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. But he wasn’t done in eastern North Carolina. From 2000-2001, he chaired the boards of what are now Vidant Health and Vidant Medical Center during a time of rapid expansion of the system.

A native of Laurinburg, Monroe received his bachelor’s degree at Davidson College in 1947, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s two-year School of Medicine from 1947 to 1949 and earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1951. He interned at the Medical College of Virginia and was a resident in internal medicine at the then-new N.C. Memorial Hospital at UNC from 1952-1956.

After that, he swore to himself he’d never have anything to do with a new hospital or medical program again. But the call to service was too strong.

“Deep down inside, a doctor has an innate desire to serve and to take care of people,” Monroe said in 2000. “They know they exist only to take care of people. That’s just as true today as 40 or 50 years ago.”

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Nancy, a granddaughter and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, 525 Moye Blvd., Greenville, N.C. 27834.

 

 

-by Doug Boyd

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