Laupus Library offers guidance on difficult conversations with patients, families

Health care providers are called upon every day to have difficult conversations with patients and family members. When patients become angry or upset, it’s important to know the most effective ways to respond.

A new research guide has been developed by Laupus Library to help providers and staff at East Carolina University quickly access current research on this topic.

“Our goal is to provide the most up-to-date information about a myriad of relevant health care topics,” said Jeff Coghill, director of Eastern AHEC library services. “We make sure these research guides are free, authoritative, widely available and easy to use at both the patient and health care professional level.”

Eastern AHEC Building

Eastern AHEC Building

The guide can be viewed at along with many others posted at

Further education and in-person training on this topic is available at an upcoming program this spring offered by Eastern Area Health Education Center (EAHEC), the Office of Continuing Medical Education of the Brody School of Medicine, and the Clinical Skills and Assessment Lab.

Close Encounters of the Medical Kind: Simulation in Difficult Conversations will be held May 18 in the Clinical Skills and Assessment Lab, located on the second floor of the Eastern AHEC building.

Health care providers will have the opportunity to learn and practice effective interpersonal communication skills during emotionally charged encounters with standardized patients. Challenging topics such as opioid prescribing and other scenarios will provide the backdrop for practicing essential communication skills.

Questions about the angry patient research guide may be directed to Jeff Coghill, director of Eastern AHEC library services, at

Questions about the program may be directed to Laura Bliley, assistant director for nursing and allied health education at Eastern AHEC, at

More information about Eastern AHEC may be found at


-by Kelly R. Dilda, University Communications 


ECU alumna named NC School Nurse Administrator of the Year

From her 30-year career as a school nurse and nurse administrator, Terri Joyner knows that healthy children learn better— and that school nurses are key to making that happen.

The ECU alumna was recently named the School Nurse Administrator of the Year by the School Nurse Association of North Carolina.

Joyner said she was “overwhelmed” by the recognition, and that the award is an acknowledgment of the hard work school nurses and nurse administrators do on a daily basis.

Liz Newlin, former president of the School Nurse Association of North Carolina (left), presents Terri Joyner (right) with the 2017 School Nurse Administrator of the Year Award.

Liz Newlin, former president of the School Nurse Association of North Carolina (left), presents Terri Joyner (right) with the 2017 School Nurse Administrator of the Year Award. (contributed photo)

“Most people think it’s all Band-Aids and boo-boos, but it’s not that at all,” Joyner said. “Kids face much bigger health needs than most people realize. School nurses can make a really big impact on overcoming those barriers.”

Joyner received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from ECU in 2005 and Master of Science in Nursing in 2013. After working as a school nurse for 10 years, she became the manager of the School Health Program at Vidant Medical Center, where she oversaw the 20 school nurses serving Pitt County’s 37 schools. She retired in January.

“Terri (was) responsible for 24,000 students—24,000 sets of parents—and 3,000 staff,” Catherine Dews Nelson, senior administrator for Community Health Programs at VMC said in a press release. “The scope alone is mind-boggling, especially when you consider anything can happen at any time, any day that might require a nurse’s attention. The entire community benefits greatly from the dedication and expertise Terri brings to the work.”

Because there is not a nurse at every school each day, nurses in Pitt County must ensure schools can handle health needs when they aren’t there. They also help families navigate health care systems and find health resources.

About 20 percent of children in Pitt County have chronic health conditions, Joyner said. Nurses work with those children to guarantee access to education regardless of health needs. Joyner managed the county’s school nurses, helped them locate resources and coordinated care between the school system, the hospital and the health department.

Her favorite part of the job was the staff, she said. “I worked with the best group of women nurses out there. They are so passionate about the kids in Pitt County and helping the kids be successful academically and with their health.”

Joyner also works part-time with ECU’s College of Nursing. She said she enjoyed ECU’s program as a student and chose it for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees knowing “it was the place where I would get what I needed to improve my own practice as a nurse.”


-by Erin Shaw, University Communications

Revisiting a legacy: Dr. C.Q. Brown’s influence continues today

The Department of Geological Sciences in East Carolina University’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. However, one could say that the department’s foundation was cemented not in 1967, but 1965. In that year, Dr. Charles Q. Brown, a Clemson University professor at the time, kept hearing how ECC – East Carolina College – was the fastest growing college in the state. He was curious, paid a visit to the college and met some of the deans.

“I actually wrote them a response to my visit about the things they probably ought to do; some plans for the geology department,” Brown said. “We started a dialogue at that point.

“That brought me to East Carolina.”

In 1966, Brown joined ECU as a professor. In 1967, he formed the Department of Geological Sciences and became its first chairman.

Dr. C.Q. Brown

Dr. C.Q. Brown joined ECU as a professor in 1966. A year later, he founded the Department of Geological Sciences. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The father of the department

A 2017 department newsletter states the following from geology department chairman Dr. Stephen Culver: “I cannot end without mention of our founding father, Dr. Charles Q. Brown, who planned, initiated and ran the department for the first four years (1967-1971). C.Q. returned from higher administration in 1979 and ran the department for another decade. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to C.Q. for his vision, his energy and his leadership.”

During a recent visit to ECU, Brown toured the department that he started. Day after day, students walk by the department’s glass cases that house fossils and minerals. Some are aware of Brown’s legacy with the department. Some are also aware of his other legacies that benefit those that walk the department’s hallways.

“It is absolutely unbelievable that it has grown so far (sic),” Brown said. “Fifty years seems like a long time, but that’s rapid growth. That is fantastic growth, and it’s to the credit of this faculty and administration.”

A legacy that endures

The late Elizabeth Brown Sledge

Dr. Brown endowed a scholarship for the College of Engineering and Technology to honor his late daughter, Elizabeth Brown Sledge.

In 2000, students, colleagues and alumni recognized Brown’s legacy by establishing the C.Q. Brown Scholarship. It recognizes and awards rising seniors who are studying in the department of geological sciences. Additionally, ECU’s Epsilon Phi Chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon raises money that goes toward this scholarship.

In December 2015, Brown established the Elizabeth Brown Sledge (EBS) Scholarship Endowment. This College of Engineering and Technology scholarship is in memory of his daughter, who received her degrees from ECU in 1984 and 1991. It will aid those technology systems students who are underrepresented and demonstrate a financial need, which represents Sledge’s championing of the underdog.

Brian Stanford is a recipient of the EBS Scholarship Endowment. His major is in information computer technology with a networking concentration. He graduates this spring, and said he appreciates the value these scholarships bring to students’ lives.

The late Barbara Brown

Dr. C.Q. Brown’s influence in the Department of Geological Sciences continues today thanks to a scholarship in his name and an endowment he made in memory of his late wife, Barbara. (submitted photo)

“I feel much respect for and am very grateful to Dr. C.Q. Brown and any contributors of the Elizabeth Brown Sledge Scholarship,” Stanford said. “They not only have provided me with financial help for my degree, but they also showed me that we have kind people in this world who do selfless things that can have a great impact on people’s lives.”

Dr. Harry Ploehn, College of Engineering and Technology dean, had the opportunity to meet Brown while he was on campus. During the meeting, Ploehn learned more about Sledge and Brown’s wishes for the scholarship.

“With the EBS Scholarship Endowment, we want to capitalize on Elizabeth’s passion for helping at-risk students, her passion for helping the underdog,” Ploehn said. “This scholarship helps students who are at risk of not being able to continue with their studies.”

While on campus, Brown talked about how important guest lecturers were during his education. In memory of his wife, who died in 1999, Brown established the C.Q. and Barbara Hedgepeth Brown Endowment.

“I already have a scholarship that the students are supporting in my name,” Brown said. “I wanted to memorialize her life also with something different. I thought having outstanding lecturers coming to the campus and to the department would be great.

“That’s the beauty of the endowment. It goes on and on.”


-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

One-year, online master’s programs offered in College of Education

East Carolina University’s College of Education is offering teachers a way to earn their master’s degree in just over a year.

Expected May education graduates or current teachers who are interested in getting a master’s degree in elementary education or middle grades education are encouraged to apply by Feb. 1. The online programs are being offered by the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education.

Students raise their hands during an assembly

Students raise their hands during a spring 2017 assembly at Eastern Elementary School in Greenville. ECU offers one-year, online master’s degree program options in elementary education and middle grades education. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Spots are guaranteed for applicants who meet the Feb. 1 priority deadline and academic qualifications. Applications will be accepted until March 15 or until all spots are filled. Scholarships and financial aid are available. All classes are online.

The GRE test requirement will be waived for applicants with a 3.3 or higher GPA or for teachers with 10 or more years of experience.

Two cohorts seeking a master’s in elementary education will begin in Summer Session 1 and another group will begin this fall. Both will complete coursework in Summer Session 2 in 2019. The summer cohort will take two courses each semester. The fall cohort will take four courses in the fall and spring semesters, and two courses in each summer session in 2019.

Concentrations in the summer cohorts will include Teaching English as a Second Language, Teacher Leadership and Academically and Intellectually Gifted. Teacher Leadership will be the focus of the group starting this fall.

The department also is offering a one-year online master’s degree program in middle grades education beginning this fall. Concentrations will include English, social studies, math and science. Students will take three courses in the fall and spring semesters, and two courses in each summer session in 2019. Courses will end fall 2019.

For more information, contact Dr. Carol Greene at or 252-328-5316.


-by Crystal Baity, News Services

Pirates prepare for 22nd annual Polar Bear Plunge

The 22nd annual Polar Bear Plunge is set for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the East Carolina University Student Recreation Center.

All ECU students, faculty and staff are invited to jump into the icy waters of the center’s outdoor pool. Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 18The first 1,000 jumpers will receive a free event T-shirt and a certificate. Jumpers can also sign the large Polar Bear Plunge banner and be entered into drawings for prizes, including a 3-foot-tall stuffed polar bear donated by Coca-Cola.

As part of the grand opening of the Student Recreation Center in 1997, 35 participants took the inaugural plunge. The event has grown each year, with more than 700 plungers in 2010, 958 in 2011 and a record-breaking 1,094 in 2013. The goal is to set a new record of more than 1,100 in 2018.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. and all jumpers must present their ECU One Card, bring a swimsuit and fill out a waiver before jumping in the pool. The waiver is accessible and can be downloaded at the Campus Recreation and Wellness event website Participants should also bring their own towels.

After the event, participants can enjoy refreshments and entertainment and attend the ECU Student Involvement Fair, which showcases ECU’s 400-plus student organizations. Polar Bear Plunge sponsors include Campus Recreation and Wellness, Student Involvement and Leadership, Campus Living, Dining Services, Residence Hall Association, 33 East Apartments, the Bellamy, the Landing, University Commons and Dickinson Lofts.

What: Polar Bear Plunge

When: 5:30 p.m., Jan. 18; registration at 5 p.m.

Where: ECU Student Recreation Center

Who: ECU students, faculty and staff are invited to participate


–For more information, contact Jon Wall, Polar Bear Plunge event coordinator, at 252-328-1565 or

Spring 2018 ECU After School Art Classes

Students create interdisciplinary artworks with a variety of two- and three-dimensional media under the instruction of undergraduate art education students, who are supervised by a university art education faculty member.

Pre-Registration:  Jan. 3 – Feb. 10, 2018
Cost: $10.00 per class

Visit for registration information.

If you have any questions please contact the instructor listed below. 

3rd-5th Grade Class:
Tuesday Class begins Feb. 6, Meeting Time: 4:00-5:00 pm.
Contact Person: Dr. Cynthia Bickley-Green at
Class meets in Jenkins Fine Arts Center Room 1327
Class doesn’t meet on Mar. 6 and concludes on Apr. 17.

3rd-5th Grade Class:
Wednesday Class begins Jan. 31, Meeting Time: 2:30-3:30 pm.
Contact Person: Dr. Robert Quinn at
Class meets at Wahl-Coates Elementary School
Class doesn’t meet on Mar. 7 or Apr. 4 and concludes on Apr. 18.

Multi-Age Inclusive Class:
Wednesday Class begins Feb. 7, Meeting Time: 4:30-5:30 pm.
Contact Person: Dr. Cynthia Bickley-Green at
Class meets in Jenkins Fine Arts Center Room 1327
Class doesn’t meet on Mar. 7 and concludes on Apr. 18.

Coastal Studies Institute to host open house

The Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) will host an open house from 1-4 p.m. on Jan. 20 at its campus in Wanchese. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend this free event.

Attendees will be able to tour the campus and facilities, learn about current research and education programs, take part in family-friendly activities, and interact with CSI faculty and staff. The LEED gold certified CSI Campus is located at 850 N.C. 345 Highway, approximately one mile from the U.S. 64 and N.C. 345 intersection.

A northeast view of the research and education building located on the CSI campus.

A northeast view of the research and education building located on the CSI campus. (contributed photo)

CSI is an interdisciplinary research and education institute focusing on place-based research in five main program areas. Research programs include coastal engineering and renewable ocean energy, coastal processes, estuarine ecology and human health, maritime heritage, and public policy and coastal sustainability.

CSI is a multi-institutional campus administered by East Carolina University in partnership with UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, UNC Wilmington and Elizabeth City State University. The institute’s mission is to undertake research, offer educational opportunities, provide community outreach programs and enhance communication among those concerned with the unique history, culture and environment of the maritime counties of North Carolina.


-by Jules Norwood, ECU News Services

Five exhibits spotlight ECU Material Topics Symposium

From Jan. 5 through Jan. 25, the Wellington B. Gray Gallery at East Carolina University will present the Materials Topics Exhibitions, five shows to be held in collaboration with the ninth annual ECU Material Topics Symposium.

exhibition artwork

The exhibitions will feature artwork by Charity Hall, Sharon Massey, and Joanne Lang and Hailee Manipole. Lang is an ECU graduate student and the others are ECU alumni. (contributed photos)

The symposium will be held Jan. 12-14. ECU hosts the symposium each January for people interested in metal, material or adornment with experience ranging from beginners or hobbyists to professional jewelers and metal artists. This year’s theme is “Deconstruct/Reconstruct.”

A reception honoring the exhibitors will be held 5-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5. A special symposium reception will be held 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12. The exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.

“Vitreous Voices” will be one of three exhibits inside the main gallery. Organized by ECU alumna Barbara McFadyen and retired ECU professor emeritus Bob Ebendorf, it is a juried exhibition of enameled works honoring the tradition that professor Linda Darty started at ECU.

“Spoon” is organized by ECU metal design professor Tim Lazure and is an invitational show of spoons of all shapes and sizes.exhibition artwork

“Ripple Effect 168” is organized by ECU graduate student Adam Atkinson and Everett Hoffman, a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. This collaborative show between the metalsmithing programs at ECU and VCU is meant to foster connections and explore new work directions.

“Smitten Forum” will be located in the African Art Room/Special Collections Gallery at the rear of the main gallery. The work is by a group of invited artists organized by ECU alumna Marissa Saneholtz and Winthrop University faculty member Sara Brown.

On display Jan. 12-14 in the gallery foyer, the “Snail Mail Project Snail Mail Project” is a pop-up enameled decal show based on postcards from Ebendorf. It is organized by ECU alumna Kat Cole and Andrew Kuebeck, assistant professor and area head of the jewelry, metals and enameling program at Kent State University.

The Material Topics Symposium is a student-run event founded in 2009 by ECU alumna Laura Wood. Students and faculty from seven universities participated in the first show, which has grown to attendees from more than 45 institutions from California to Florida.

ECU’s Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located off Fifth and Jarvis streets in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery
is closed for all university holidays.

The center is handicapped accessible. Individuals requesting accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours before the event. For more information, call 252-328-1312, visit or go to


Contact: Tom Braswell, interim Wellington B. Gray Gallery director, 252-328-1312 or 

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