Wieland awarded 2016 Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor

ECU’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences inducted Dr. Liza Wieland as Distinguished Professor at the college’s annual convocation on August 19.

Wieland, professor of English and THCAS Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development, is the 18th member of the faculty to be honored with the title of THCAS Distinguished Professor.

Dr. Liza Wieland (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Liza Wieland (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“I’m thrilled to have been chosen to join the ranks of this excellent group of teachers, scholars, mentors and servants to the College,” said Wieland. “From the very beginning of my time here, the University has been unwaveringly supportive of my work with grants and release time, and now this award, all of which serve to acknowledge that the arts matter at ECU.”

The THCAS Distinguished Professorship is the highest honor within the college and is conferred upon a professor whose career exemplifies a commitment to and a love for knowledge and academic life, as demonstrated by outstanding teaching and advising, research and creative productivity, and professional service.

“Dr. Wieland’s amazing record of creative activity, inspiring teaching and dedication to ECU and its mission are indeed distinguished. She exemplifies the best of ECU,” said Dr. Marianne Montgomery, chair of Harriot College’s Department of English.

Throughout Wieland’s years of academic service to ECU, she has displayed the qualities and characteristics required of a Distinguished Professor.

In her academic role, Wieland has exhibited great range, teaching courses in Beginning and Advanced Fiction Writing; Beginning Poetry Writing; Introduction to Creative Writing; Special Topics in Creative Writing: Theories of the Novel; Appreciating Literature; Interpreting Literature; and Literature from the Writer’s Perspective: Contemporary Irish Fiction. She has served on both the English undergraduate and graduate committees, as an English undergraduate advisor, on an ad hoc committee to study undergraduate English curriculum and on the ECU Honors College Advisory Board.

Wieland has taken on addition roles and initiatives in her areas of research and creative activity. In 2008, she was appointed fiction editor for the North Carolina Literary Review and in 2010 she co-founded and co-directed the ECU Contemporary Writers Series.

Over the course of her career, Wieland has authored eight novels, collections of short fiction and books of poetry. Her fiction, poems and essays have appeared in 13 anthologies and more than 40 published magazines and journals. She has participated in more than 80 lectures, conferences, workshops and public readings on topics related to her writing.

In recognition of her many professional talents, Wieland has received a Research and Creative Activity Reassignment Award, Harriot College Research Award, twice received the Department of English Research and Creative Activity Award, and in 2013, received full funding from the ECU Office of the Provost for the BRIDGES Professional Development Program for Women in Higher Education.

Letters of nomination from colleagues within and outside the ECU community laud Wieland for contributions to her field, adding to the impressive case for inducting her into the prestigious group of Thomas Harriot Distinguished Professors.

“With enthusiasm and without reservation, I urge you to select Professor Wieland for a Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professorship,” writes a colleague in a letter of support. “Administrators, faculty members and students all testify that Liza Wieland is a riveting and inspirational teacher. Her literary achievement is internationally admired. Her fiction is a national treasure that brings a great deal of positive attention to East Carolina University. Her career has been one of sustained excellence.”

Wieland received her Ph.D., M. Phil. and M.A. degrees in English and Comparative Literatures from Columbia University in 1988, ‘85 and ‘84 respectively. She received her BA degree in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard College in 1981.

–Lacey Gray

Fenich Receives International Hospitality Award

The International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) recently honored Dr. George G. Fenich with the Stevenson W. Fletcher Achievement Award, recognizing his many contributions to the field. Fenich serves as a professor in ECU’s School of Hospitality Leadership, which is now housed in the College of Business.

Dr. George Fenich (center) receives the Stevenson W. Fletcher Achievement Award with Dr. SoJung Lee (left) and Dr. Robert Bosselman (right) from Iowa State University.

Dr. George Fenich (center) receives the Stevenson W. Fletcher Achievement Award with Dr. SoJung Lee (left) and Dr. Robert Bosselman (right) from Iowa State University. (Photo courtesy ICHRIE staff)

The award, which was bestowed during ICHRIE’s annual summer conference in Dallas, Tex., recognizes an individual educator or trainer for outstanding achievement in contributing innovative ideas, methods or programs that have advanced teaching, learning or practice in the field of hospitality and tourism education. The award recipient must demonstrate exceptional professional ability and/or commitment through service to ICHRIE and/or to the hospitality industry and education.

Fenich has helped to shape the hospitality industry for nearly three decades, and he has dedicated his academic career to the advancement of research, scholarship and teaching. Before moving into academe, he worked in the industry.

Today, Fenich serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Convention and Event Tourism, a top ranked academic journal.  He also sits of the Editorial Boards of six other journals. He has published three industry textbooks, more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and has made more than 150 presentations in the U.S. and abroad to benefit the industry. He has also delivered education programs around the world, from China and Japan to Turkey, France, Mauritius and South Africa.

In 2015, Fenich was inducted into the first Hall of Fame class for the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).  He also received the Educator Honoree Award at the 2015 Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Education Foundation Dinner Celebrating Professional Achievement.

–Jennifer Brezina

Professor’s forecast model predicts election results

East Carolina University political science professor Dr. Brad Lockerbie has developed an election forecast model that has correctly predicted the outcome of each presidential election since 1996.



Lockerbie said he got interested in election outcome forecasting after attending a panel on the 1994 midterm election and seeing the forecasts fail to predict the massive swing in congressional seats picked up by the Republican party.

There are many factors that can be considered when developing a forecast model, including poll results, popularity ratings and economic conditions.

“Mine is a very simple model that says there are two major factors,” Lockerbie said. “The first is that the longer a party has been in the White House, the harder it is to retain it. The second is people’s economic expectations; if you think your outlook stinks, you’re not likely to vote for the same party.”

The forecast model has been accurate in predicting the national popular vote in each presidential election, he said. It does not take into account the Electoral College.

“The closest to being inaccurate was 2000,” Lockerbie said. “Even then the prediction was right on the popular vote,” but the Electoral College result was different.

This year, Lockerbie’s model predicts a very narrow (50.4 percent of the two-party vote) presidential win for the Democratic candidate and zero seat change in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would result in a continuation of divided government at the national level.

Lockerbie’s forecast model will be published in “PS: Political Science and Politics,” a publication of the American Political Science Association. It will also be included in Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a compilation of election forecasts published online by the University of Virginia at centerforpolitics.org/crystalball.

–Jules Norwood

ECU joins national honor society for veterans

East Carolina University has started a chapter of SALUTE, the first national honor society for veterans.

SALUTE, an acronym for service, academics, leadership, unity, tribute and excellence, recognizes veterans, active duty service members, National Guard members and reservists who have been honorably discharged, or who are currently serving. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for membership.

File photo - ROTC

ECU ROTC students recognized at a ceremony earlier this year are some of the students eligible for the new SALUTE honor society being organized on campus this fall. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

“The students who are inducted into membership in SALUTE represent every slice of American military and veterans in higher education,” according to SALUTE’s website.

Set up as a four-step system, SALUTE encourages student veterans to improve their GPAs in order to advance to the next tier level throughout their academic career. Tiers include Delta (3.00-3.24), Charlie (3.25-3.49), Bravo (3.50-3.74) and Alpha (3.75-4.0).

“Student veteran services decided to apply for membership to SALUTE because transitioning from military service can be a challenging time for our student veterans. We want to support our students by taking time to officially honor those who have succeeded academically at ECU,” said Nicole Jablonski, assistant director of ECU Student Veteran Services.

Although ECU’s chapter is purely an academic recognition group, Jablonski hopes to add a service component in the future.

Each new member will be presented with a certificate and a challenge coin at an awards ceremony. Approximately 50 veterans are expected to be inducted into the inaugural group in spring 2017.

SALUTE was founded at Colorado State University in 2009. The honors society includes both two-year and four-year higher education institutes.


For more information, contact Nicole Jablonski at 252-737-6542 or visit SALUTE’s website at www.salute.colostate.edu.

–Sophronia Knott

College of Education recruiting STEM tutors

East Carolina University’s College of Education is recruiting 54 paid tutoring positions in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

As part of a new AmeriCorps grant project titled STEM-Corps East, tutors have the potential to work with 1,000 elementary and middle school students in eastern North Carolina on improving and developing math and science skills.

Tutors will commit to 12 months of AmeriCorps service beginning in September. Positions are available in both public schools and afterschool programs, such as Cub Scouts, in Beaufort, Lenoir and Pitt counties.

Ideal candidates include ECU students, community college students, retired teachers and recent college graduates who have a background in or are pursuing a STEM- or education-related career.

Tutors will earn a yearly living stipend of $5,000 providing at least 900 service hours, and will receive an education award valued up to $2,887.50 to repay student loans, continue education or transfer to a family member (available for tutors age 55 and up).

Officials say many public school students in eastern North Carolina are scoring below levels 4 or 5 on statewide standardized tests that are indicators of having mastered prerequisite knowledge and skills to be successful in postsecondary education or a career. Only 25 percent of students in eighth-grade math classes scored at level 4 or 5, and 53 percent scored at level 4 or 5 in eighth-grade science classes.

For more information, visit www.ecu.edu/stem-corps or contact Betty Beacham at beachamb@ecu.edu or 252-328-4357. 

ECU STEM-Corps East is an initiative of N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service and the ECU College of Education in partnership with school districts, community colleges and community groups in Beaufort, Lenoir and Pitt counties.

–Crystal Baity

Tenth anniversary of Voyages lecture series to kick off at ECU

The 10th anniversary of East Carolina University’s Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series kicks off in September with speakers of internationally renowned and wide public interest.

“Whether encountering a person or topic for the first time, or delving into a familiar subject more deeply, the Voyages lectures are events that engage our curiosity and touch our sense of wonder,” said Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. “All of the speakers in this year’s series will challenge us to explore ideas that enlarge our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.”

The season opens at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 with the Premier Lecture featuring Bob Woodward, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and investigative reporter who broke the news about the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration. In this well-timed presidential election year, Woodward will discuss “The Age of the American Presidency.”


Woodward (contributed photo)

On Nov. 7 at 7 p.m., ECU will welcome Eboo Patel, a member of President Barack Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships, for the Religion and Culture Lecture. Patel will talk about how “Interfaith Leadership Can Save the World.”

Two events will follow in the spring. The Brewster History Lecture, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 31, will feature Keith Wailoo on the topic of “Pain: A Political History.” Wailoo, a history professor at Princeton University, is an award-winning author who has written on the topics of drugs and drug policy; race, science and health; and health policy and medical affairs in the U.S.

The Thomas Harriot Lecture rounds out the 2016-17 series. In conjunction with the ECU School of Music, The Nile Project will present “Citizen Diplomacy & Transboundary Water Conflict” at 7 p.m. on April 6. One of the tightest, cross-cultural collaborations in history, the Nile Project Collective brings together artists from the 11 Nile basin countries, representing more than 400 million people, to make music that combines the rich diversity of the oldest places on Earth. Using music to spark cultural curiosity, the Nile Project engages musicians and audiences, challenging them to connect to the world’s longest river and explore new approaches to its social, cultural and environmental problems.

“This special anniversary season of the Voyages lecture series features speakers who are changing the world and who will inspire us to work together for a better future,” said Dr. Jeffrey S. Johnson, professor of English and director of the lecture series.

The Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series is made possible through contributions from Harriot College’s Dean’s Advancement Council, various university organizations and many friends and supporters. For more information, contact Johnson at 252-328-6378 or via email at johnsonj@ecu.edu. Additional information is available online at www.ecu.edu/voyages.

Lectures for the 2016-17 season will be held in Wright Auditorium and are open to the public. Individual and season tickets are available by visiting www.ecu.edu/voyages/tickets.cfm or by calling the ECU Central Ticket Office at 1-800-ECU-ARTS. All lectures are free for ECU students. To receive a free ticket, ECU students must go to the ECU Central Ticket Office, located in Mendenhall Student Center, and present his or her ECU One Card. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.

–Lacey Gray

Medical Library Association recognizes Forbes for outstanding service

Laupus Library Interlibrary Loan Supervisor Carrie Forbes is the recipient of the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Chapter (MAC) Award for Outstanding Health Sciences Library Paraprofessional from the Medical Library Association (MLA). The award honors Forbes for her outstanding customer service efforts related to her work in interlibrary loan and document delivery for Laupus Library.


Forbes (contributed photo)

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award and had no idea I was even nominated,” said Forbes. “I truly love working at Laupus Library and serving the ECU Health Sciences Campus and Vidant Medical Center by being able to provide Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery services for our patrons.”

The purpose of the MLA-MAC Outstanding Health Sciences Library Paraprofessional of the Year Award is to honor an outstanding library paraprofessional in a health sciences library and to recognize the critical role and important contributions library paraprofessionals make to the development and evolution of modern health sciences libraries and librarianship.

“Laupus Library is very fortunate to have many dedicated and talented staff,” says Roger Russell, Assistant Director for User Services. “I am elated that the MLA-MAC funds this award and that Carrie was chosen to receive it this year.”

–Kelly Dilda

Payne elected to national board of directors

The vice chancellor for legal affairs for East Carolina University has been elected to the board of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. 

Donna Gooden Payne, university counsel and vice chancellor for legal affairs at ECU, was elected June 28 to a three-year term as a member-at-large on the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) during its annual conference in San Francisco.


Payne (contributed photo)

The board is composed of attorneys representing universities across the country, currently including Princeton University, University of Kentucky, the University of Michigan and Yale University.

Payne, a member of NACUA since 2002, has served for eight years on NACUA’s Editorial Board for The Journal of College and University Law. In addition, she has also served on the NACUNOTES Editorial Board, the Committee on Legal Education and the Committee on Program for the Annual Conference.

Prior to joining ECU in 2008, Payne served as university attorney and chief of staff at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and as a partner and associate at Hester, Grady, Hester & Payne. While in private practice, she served as general counsel for Bladen Community College and for the Bladen County Board of Education. Payne’s nonprofit board experience includes among others serving at the national level on the Board of Directors of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. She is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and a certified mediator, including past service to the NC Office of State Personnel in its employee mediation and grievance process.  

A native of Bladen County, Payne is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar. She earned her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NACUA is the primary source of higher education law programming for its members and for the higher education community. Founded in 1960, the association serves nearly 850 public and private higher education institutions and more than 4,500 attorneys throughout the United States and internationally. NACUA produces publications (including The Journal of College and University Law), sponsors continuing education workshops (including webinars), operates a website with a multitude of higher education legal resources and establishes cooperative relationships with other associations and groups.

ECU laboratory named in honor of alumnus

East Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Performance dedicated the Psychophysiology and Biofeedback Laboratory in the Carol G. Belk Building in honor of alumnus Max Ray Joyner Sr. on July 20.

The laboratory was named in honor of Joyner’s generous support of HHP’s Center for Applied Psychophysiology (CAP).

“Few people realize what ECU is doing with wounded warriors,” Joyner said. “If (my contribution) can help one man get back to normal, it will be the best investment I’ve ever made.”

Joyner addresses attendees (Photos by Chuck Baldwin)

The center uses an innovative combination of gaming technology and biofeedback techniques to help U.S. military personnel recover from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Glen Gilbert, dean of HHP, welcomed faculty, Joyner’s family and acquaintances, including members of his “coffee club,” who wore yellow jackets. Chancellor Cecil Staton began the recognition with remarks.

“I am proud of this college and the important role that it plays at East Carolina University,” Staton said.  “I thank Max and his family for all the many ways they interact with ECU. Max your generosity and contributions over a long period of time are very significant.”

Before graduating in 1955 with a degree in business administration, Joyner served in the U.S. Army for two years during the Korean conflict. He is known for his longtime leadership and legendary service to ECU and the community. He served on numerous boards and foundations including the Board of Trustees and the East Carolina Alumni Association.

HHP dean Glen Gilbert, Max R. Joyner, Sr. and Chancellor Cecil Staton

HHP dean Glen Gilbert, Max R. Joyner, Sr. and Chancellor Cecil Staton

Carmen Russoniello, director of CAP, and Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for University Advancement, also took to the podium thanking Joyner for his support.

–Kathy Muse

1 2 3 4 5 6 157