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

ECU Police announce leadership change

On Monday, July 18 the East Carolina University Police Department said farewell to Chief Gerald Lewis during a reception in his honor.

Lewis

Chief Gerald Lewis (photos by Cliff Hollis)

Lewis announced his resignation in early July after accepting the position of associate vice president/chief of police at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His last day at ECU is July 20.

“I have worked with wonderful people…the administration and other officers,” said Lewis. “Leaving ECU was a difficult decision but was the best decision for my family.”

ECU Police officers and members of the community recognized Lewis with gifts and words of appreciation for his leadership and community involvement while in Greenville. “We were privileged to have his experience, work ethic and commitment,” said ECU Police Lt. Amy Davis.

While ECU conducts a nationwide search for a new leader, Deputy Chief Jason Sugg has been appointed interim chief.

Sugg has 17 years of law enforcement experience with the ECU Police Department and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He has undergraduate degrees from the University of Oklahoma and East Carolina University and is completing a master’s degree in public administration at Penn State University.

Bill Koch, associate vice chancellor for the office of environmental health and campus safety, said the search for a new police chief will take several months to complete.

–Jamie Smith

North Carolina Literary Review celebrates 25th anniversary

This year’s North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR), now on its way to readers throughout the state, celebrates the 25th issue of the publication.

Opening the issue is an interview with the editor, Margaret Bauer, who reflects on how NCLR has grown over the past quarter century and the importance of writing in North Carolina. “North Carolina has countless great writers, and many of the best writers in the country have North Carolina connections,” she said. 

Other highlights include poetry by James Applewhite, Debra Kaufman and Florence Nash; a short story by Jim Grimsley; an essay by Ed Southern entitled “Why We Are ‘The Writingest State’”; and an interview with Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle.

Southern, the executive director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, said the publication serves as a flagship for the state’s literary community.

“Each issue shows off the state at its best, especially because Margaret and her staff don’t just keep going back to the same well of favorites (no matter how deep and refreshing that well may be),” he said. “They’ve made the re-discovery of forgotten or neglected North Carolina writers an integral part of their mission, and made sure to show off many of our new and emerging writers as well.” 

ECU undergraduate and graduate students are closely involved in the production of NCLR – editing, checking facts and designing pages. NCLR has begun working with the ECU Foundation on a campaign to raise a $2 million endowment that would ensure the next 25 years of publication. 

There will be a reception to celebrate the 25th issue from 2-4 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Joyner Library’s Faulkner Gallery. There will also be a ticketed fundraising event with novelist Charles Frazier, author of “Cold Mountain,” from 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 1 at the Battery Park Book Exchange in Asheville. 

NCLR is published at ECU with additional support from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. NCLR Online 2016, a winter supplement to the annual print issue, is in its fifth year. NCLR Online maintains the same design as the print edition, which was created by the journal’s art director, Dana Ezzell, a faculty member of Meredith College in Raleigh. To read the online edition and subscribe to the print issue, visit www.nclr.ecu.edu.

–Jules Norwood


UPDATE: ECU’s Margaret Bauer was named the Tar Heel of the week July 24 by the News & Observer, describing her as “a mentor to young writers and scholars, a cheerleader for the state’s literary tradition, a champion of unknown or forgotten authors.”

 Read the full profile of her and more about the NC Literary Review: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article91477907.html

Meet fellow alumni in Charlotte, Wake County or Washington, D.C.

Ahoy there, Pirates! Do you want to meet fellow East Carolina University alumni in your area this summer? The East Carolina Alumni Association has several events this month around the Pirate Nation!

The Charlotte Chapter is holding an interest meeting this Thursday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Old Mecklenburg Brewery located at 4150 Yancey Rd. No registration is required. If you’ve been looking for ways to get more involved and stay connected to ECU, this is a great way to start! If you can’t make it and still want to be involved, e-mail charlotte.nc@alumni.ecu.edu or follow the Charlotte Chapter on Facebook.

The Wake County Chapter is holding a casual meetup next Thursday, July 21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Blackfinn Ameripub in Morrisville. These meetups are held twice a month alternating between Morrisville and Raleigh. There’s no need to sign up ahead of time but e-mail raleigh.nc@alumni.ecu.edu  or follow the Wake County Chapter on Facebook for more information.

Finally, join us for a professional happy hour in Washington, D.C. on July 28 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Flight Wine Bar located at 777 6th St NW. Be sure to follow the DC Metro Chapter on Facebook!

All of the alumni association’s upcoming events can be found here.

–Jackie Drake

Ironsmith awarded Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant

Professor emeritus Marsha Ironsmith from ECU’s Department of Psychology was awarded a 2016 Literacy Grant from the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi — the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Ironsmith is one of 16 recipients nationwide to receive the award.

Ironsmith

Ironsmith (contributed photo)

The grant of more than $1,200 will be used to support a project that pairs East Carolina University psychology students with elementary-aged children attending an after-school program at Building Hope Community Life Center in Greenville. The center’s goals include strengthening academic achievement and character development.

As part of the project, ECU students facilitate the reading and discussion of books with characters from diverse backgrounds facing challenges familiar to the children. Discussions focus on encouraging empathy for others and are enhanced with creative writing, art, music and film projects to foster deeper comprehension.

The Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant program was established in 2003 to provide funding to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and active members for ongoing projects or new initiatives that reinforce part of the society’s mission “to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” Drawing from a multi-disciplinary society of students and scholars from large and small institutions, applicants are encouraged to consider literacy projects that have creative relevance to their disciplines and the needs of their communities.

Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi inducts approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni each year. The society has chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of second-term juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The society’s mission is “to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.

–Jules Norwood

ECU’s behind-the-scenes work part of “The Treehouse Guys” episode to air July 5

Behind-the-scenes work by East Carolina University students and a faculty member will come to life in an upcoming episode of “The Treehouse Guys.” 

The popular DIY Network show was filmed between February and April while hosts James “B’fer” Roth and Chris “Ka-V” Haake and their crew built two, 200-square-foot treehouses in a cypress swamp in Windsor. The show airs at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5. 

Dr. Paige Viren, associate professor of recreation and leisure studies at ECU, and undergraduate students in recreation and park management, as well as graduate students in sustainable tourism, have worked on the project for the past three years.

ECU first began working with the town in 2013 when Viren and her students were asked to examine the feasibility of building treehouse accommodations or “treezebos” in cypress trees on the Cashie River as part of a sustainable, community-based tourism and economic development plan for the area. The treehouses are located near the N.C. Wildlife boat access at the end of Elm Street in Windsor. 

(contributed photo by Morgan Schneider)

The assessment was made possible through Viren’s participation in ECU’s Engaged Outreach and Scholarship Academy, which provided seed money to hire a consultant to determine the treehouse project feasibility. 

The consultant connected Viren and the town with the DIY Network show, which decided to take on the project as an episode for the program.

ECU recreation and park management majors in Viren’s tourism and planning and development class have continued to collaborate on the town’s efforts to enhance recreation and tourism in Windsor.

(contributed photo by Morgan Schneider)

Students have played a role in obtaining grants for funding to make improvements in Windsor including the Elm Street Campground, universally-accessible kayak launches and boat access at Hoggard’s Mill Bridge and now the first universally-accessible treehouses in North Carolina, Viren said.

ECU students also have participated in river clean-ups and several students have completed internships in Windsor.       

The TV episode represents a culmination of efforts by ECU, the Town of Windsor and grassroots leaders and residents to spur economic development while protecting the environment and showcasing the culture of eastern North Carolina, Viren said.  

“By drawing attention to the area’s unique natural resources, this project represents a major shift in how communities think about sustainable economic development,” said Dr. Clifton E. Watts, incoming interim chair of the ECU Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

ECU alumni have been involved in the effort too. Coastal Fog, a Greenville interior design firm, was contracted to “stage” the treehouse for filming. Jordan Vainright Proctor, her sister Jennifer Vainright Lutz and their mother Marty East Vainright – all alumnae of ECU – co-own and operate the business.

One ECU graduate has been hired by “The Treehouse Guys” and another now works for the Town of Windsor, Viren said. 

The treehouses are expected to be available for overnight rentals later this year.

–Crystal Baity

Joyner Library surpasses 1 million visitors during academic year

The Joyner Library at East Carolina University set a new record for attendance with more than one million visits in the past academic year. It is the first time the annual gate count has ever hit the million-visitor mark.

Joyner Library's one millionth visitor

Joyner Library’s one millionth visitor during the 2015-2016 academic year, Josiah Thornton. (Photos by Jay Clark)

“It is particularly remarkable that this threshold was exceeded this year,” said Dr. Jan Lewis, director of Joyner Library. “Despite the construction, the road closings, the changes in bus routes, and the lack of parking.”

Throughout the year Lewis had concerns that construction of the new student center would disrupt normal operations and discourage students from using the library. She credits the hard work of library staff for the increase in attendance.

“It is because of their excellent customer service, student and faculty-centered approach, resources, and work spaces that people are here,” said Lewis. “Thanks to everyone and to our colleagues in housekeeping and facilities for all they do to make Joyner a valued and inviting location.”

Jan Lewis and Josiah Thornton

Jan Lewis, director of Joyner Library, welcomes the library’s one millionth visitor, business student Josiah Thornton.

Josiah Thornton, an undergraduate student in ECU’s College of Business, was the library’s one-millionth visitor.

“The library is a lost treasure at many universities and campuses,” said Thornton. “The library can enrich a student’s total learning experience while offering everything students need in a one-stop shop.

“If we are to compete in a global capacity, we must meet the needs of every student. The library is one part of the university that truly tries to do that.”

Jan Lewis speaks

Jan Lewis, director of Joyner Library, speaks during a celebration of the library’s one millionth visitor.

Mark Sanders, assistant director for public services says that Joyner Library attendance numbers have doubled in the last 17 years.

“Today, the Library welcomes more than twice as many people as attend all of ECU’s home sporting events, combined,” said Sanders. “This doesn’t diminish the importance of athletics, but demonstrates the university community’s commitment to student success and academic production.”

For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/lib/.

–Jay Clark

Women’s Roundtable event set for Oct. 13 at ECU

The fifth event in the Incredible Women Series will focus on leadership, service and philanthropy while also recognizing the careers and community service of several East Carolina University alumnae. 

Eleven women will be honored during the Oct. 13 event that will begin at 11 a.m. at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville. Their backgrounds are varied – from the the two college friends who started a worldwide public relations firm to a museum director whose goal is to inspire students through art. 

“It’s very humbling for me to look at this group of women. They’re giants in their fields,” said Gail Herring, chair of the Women’s Roundtable.

Gail Herring

Gail Herring

During the event, the following women will be inducted into the “Incredible ECU Women” group, joining the 117 previous inductees:

  • Angela Allen ’81, Raleigh, retired IBM Executive;
  • Alta Andrews ’74, Ayden, director of Community Partnership and Practice in the ECU College of Nursing;
  • Charlene Bregier ’82, Charlotte, director of the Hinson Art Museum and Visual Arts coordinator at Wingate University;
  • Mary Chatman ’90, ’96, ’12, Savannah, Georgia, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at Memorial University Medical Center;
  • Karen Evans ’80, Washington, D.C., lawyer partner with The Cochran Firm;
  • Sarah Evans ’01, Darien, Connecticut, partner at J Public Relations and 7th and Wit;
  • Paulina Hill ’04, Charlestown, Massachusetts, principal at Polaris Partners;
  • Annette Peery ’96, Greenville, associate dean of the undergraduate program in the ECU College of Nursing;
  • Jamie Sigler, ’01, San Diego, California, partner at J Public Relations and 7th and Wit;
  • Cathy Thomas ’79, ’86, Raleigh, branch manager with Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Linda Thomas ’81, Charlotte, retired director of Human Resources Business Partners at Duke Energy.

The proceeds of the event will benefit ECU students through the Women’s Roundtable Access Scholarship Endowment Fund and the Women’s Roundtable Honors College Endowment Fund.

“We promise that you will be inspired, you will be motivated; you’ll hear from students who have benefitted from these scholarships and what it has meant in their lives and how it has changed their lives, because many of these students are first generation college students in their families,” Herring said.

Updates on university initiatives and an opportunity to connect with community and university leaders and volunteers will also be available during the event.

The Women’s Roundtable at ECU was founded in 2003. Its mission is to support ECU and create a culture of giving by raising money for its scholarships and to build a sense of community through leadership, service, networking, mentoring and philanthropy.

Tickets are on sale now for the event. Individual tickets cost $100 and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Visit www.ecu.edu/womensroundtable/incrediblewomen for ticket and other information. 

“Ultimately we’re raising money for scholarships and providing an opportunity for someone to earn a college education who otherwise would not have that chance,” Herring added.

To make a charitable gift to The Women’s Roundtable, Access Scholars or Honors College, or East Carolina University visit www.ecu.edu/give.

–Rich Klindworth

ECU students selected as State of N.C. interns

Two East Carolina University students have been chosen to serve as State of North Carolina interns this summer.

Kathryn Stanley, a political science major, is working in the General Assembly’s House of Representatives, and Ann Marie Ballance, a history major, is working with Natural and Cultural Resources at a historic site. More than 475 students applied for 103 internships this year.

Ann Marie Ballance and Dean William Downs

Ann Marie Ballance and Dean William Downs (contributed photo)

The 2016 intern applicants represented 77 counties, 74 public and private colleges and universities, law schools and community colleges, and more than 110 different majors. The N.C. Internship Council selected 95 students to work on projects in 20 state departments.

Established in 1969 as the first such program in the nation, the State of North Carolina Internship Program offers paid internships to N.C. residents attending a two- or four-year college or university, community college, graduate school or law school in N.C. or an equivalent institution in another state. The internships provide a professional work experience that integrates education, career development and public service. Opportunities exist in numerous recognized fields of study, from accounting to zoology.

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