Anna A. Lawrence, a May 2016 ECU graduate with dual degrees in anthropology and Hispanic studies, has been selected by the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society as a graduate fellow. Lawrence was the ECU chapter winner in the spring of 2016 and worked with Dr. Holly Mathews, Chair of the Phi Kappa Phi Student Awards Committee at ECU, to prepare her application for the national competition. She will receive $5,000 to be used toward her graduate education. Lawrence will pursue a PhD in Spanish linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall of 2016. Lawrence was also a member of the honors college and she completed an undergraduate internship with Dr. Christine Avenarius and her honors thesis in Spanish linguistics with Dr. Stephen Fafulas (pictured here).
“Recently I was awarded a scholarship from the International Foreign Language Honor Society, Phi Sigma Iota. I am very grateful for the society’s contribution to my studies and I will be using the scholarship funds to pay for my upcoming study abroad through East Carolina University in Strasbourg, France. This scholarship would not have been possible without the support and help of my professors in the French section of the Foreign Language Department at ECU. I love French language and culture and am aspiring to be a French teacher. This upcoming Fall semester I will be interning as a student teacher in Rocky Mount before graduating with my BS in French Education in December. Frank Smith said, “A different language is a different vision of life.”
ECU Honors College student and triple major Daniel Franch has been named a recipient of an English teaching assistant award from the highly-competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
Franch, who is graduating in May with a degree in history, history education and German, is one of 140 students in the United States to receive a $30,000 grant that will support his international experience in East Germany teaching English for a year.
“For most countries, the competition is very stiff,” said Birgit Jensen, the Fulbright advisor at ECU. “In 2015, only eight applicants out of 98 for the Australia study grants were chosen. That same year, there were 381 applicants for English Teaching Assistantships in Germany and 127 were selected. Germany awards more grants than other countries because it funds additional stipends from its end.”
Franch, who worked in ECU’s University Writing Center for the past three years, will assist a lead teacher with English instruction in a German K–12 English classroom. In addition to teaching, he is also required to engage the local community as part of the Fulbright grant. He has proposed to join the local environmental organization and learn ways to increase sustainability practices.
“It seemed like an excellent opportunity to spend a year in Germany spreading goodwill between the United States and Germany,” said Franch, who is the ninth student from ECU selected as a Fulbright. “I had the choice to pick three federal states and I chose all former East German states, because the former East is still economically behind the rest of Germany.”
With ECU’s German Club, Franch spent nine days over spring break volunteering in Munich in conjunction with local organizations to assimilate displaced refugees.
“We taught basic German such as the alphabet, important survival phrases and traffic rules in addition to playing Frisbee and basketball with the refugees,” said Franch.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English teaching assistant programs. A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S., according to the program’s website.
“We know that to be successful ECU graduates must be more globally aware, more globally competent, and more globally competitive,” said Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. “We’re delighted that Danny Franch has earned a prestigious Fulbright award for study in Germany, as it will provide him with precisely the kind of extended immersion experience that can enrich his personal growth and enhance his professional prospects. Speaking from personal experience (Fulbright to Belgium, ’92-’93), I can safely say that this opportunity will give Danny a lifetime’s worth of important connections and lasting inspirations.”
Two ECU undergrads spent their Spring Break on a service trip to Vladimir, Russia, a small town near Moscow on Russia’s historical “Golden Ring.” Jason Port, a freshman Russian and Security Studies double major, and Mac Carneiro, a junior studying Russian and Criminal Justice, decided to experience first-hand the language and culture they learned about in classes this year. They took advantage of an “Alternative Spring Break” service trip run by the Vladimir-based American Home, and spent 10 days in the Russian heartland, helping Russian children in an orphanage and pre-school, and elderly military veterans in a retirement home. During their stay in Vladimir – a town of 350,000 – Mac and Jason each lived with Russian host families. Despite initial language challenges, by the third or fourth day both students felt they were already communicating well. They credited the language instruction they receive at ECU for preparing them: “We were much more communicative in Russian than most of the other Americans, some of whom had studied it much longer than us.”
Prof. Laura Levi Altstaedter was named a 2015-16 Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching, and is the winner of the Robert L. Jones Award for Outstanding Teaching.
· ECU News Story about the Founders Day Awards Ceremony
The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures recognized two faculty for their Outstanding Commitment to Teaching for 2015-16: Lisa Ellison (Classical Studies) from the fixed term faculty; and Birgit Jensen (German) from the tenured faculty.
Prof. Jensen was also selected to attend the Leipzig Summer Academy for American Faculty in German and German Studies, through a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service and US Fulbright Commission (co-sponsored).
Prof. Ellison was also nominated and selected by the Women’s Basketball team as an honorary coach.
The Department said farewell to Prof. Carrie Carman-Jewers, pictured at left, who is leaving at the end of this academic year, but generously coordinated this recognition of other faculty. She will be missed greatly by Hispanic Studies and all of us who appreciated her wonderful spirit. This year she was recognized with two college star acknowledgements and two nominations as most influential faculty member.
Prof. Stephen Fafulas, pictured at right, was recognized with an Award for exceptional contributions to the College and University through Creativity and Initiative in implementing the teacher-scholar model through community-engaged research with undergraduate students.
This year also marks the retirement of Sylvie Debevec Henning, Chair 1997-2004, and Director of International Programs and the MAIS 2004-2013. Prof. Henning was instrumental in bringing to ECU federal Department of Education grants in support of the establishment of Russian Studies and Asian Studies as disciplines on this campus, and built bridges with Foreign Languages throughout the university and community with efforts like the Great Decisions Program and her membership on the World Affairs Council of Eastern North Carolina.
Prof. Ben Fraser completed the Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy (shown here with Michael Van Scott, left, Kate Baker (MAIS), Joanna Paul (EC Scholar) and Lillie Malpass (EC Scholar) and Provost Ron Mitchelson)
Prof. Rosa Lopez-Cañete was recognized for her excellence in teaching by the Golden Key Honor Society.
Prof. Javier Lorenzo was recognized with an Excellence in Teaching Award by The National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi). He was also recipient of a Faculty Senate Research and Creative Activities Awards in support of his research this summer.
Prof. John Stevens was also recipient of the Faculty Senate Research and Creative Activities Award for his research on “Xenophon’s Republic“.
Prof. David Smith was recipient of a BB&T Active Learning Grant in support of Teaching innovation. The grant supports curriculum redesign to involve students in the learning process, whether through partner/small group work and presentations, serving as discussion leaders etc.
Prof. Jennifer Valko received a grant in support of the development of Alternative Textbooks.
Prof. Tricia Wilson-Okamura was honored for her contributions to teaching by the Office of Retention Programs and Undergraduate Studies
“Helping Refugees in Europe: A student-led discussion”
Come hear ECU students share their experiences helping refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan in Munich, Germany, over spring break.
Tuesday, 29 March
6:15 – 7:30 p.m.
Mendenhall Student Center #244
This trip was made possible by the generous support of ECU’s Student Government Association, Office of the Provost, Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences, and Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy.
Contact: Dr. David Smith
Mia Willis will be attending The American Excavations at Kenchreai four-week archaeological field school this summer. Sponsored by the Harvard University Center for Hellenic Studies and directed by Vanderbilt University professor Joseph Rife, the program will include data analysis, artifact processing and conservation, on-site exploration, architectural survey and stratigraphic documentation. During the field school, her academic focus will be the integration of non-native paganism into a Greco-Roman cultural area, with the site’s cult of Isis as the case study for her research.
- Mia is also recipient of the 2016 Anthony J. Papalas Scholarship in Classical Studies and the Grover and Jessie Rogers Scholarship in Archeology.
- Hannah Forde-Smith, BS University Studies (Mentor John Stevens), is giving an oral presentation at Research and Creative Achievement Week on “Understanding Justice Through the Myth of Perses: Reflections on Hesiod’s Works and Days”
- Mia Willis, BA MULT: Classical Civilization, is giving an oral presentation at INTERSECTIONS: ARTS AND SCIENCES on “Greco-Roman Paganism in the Architectural Culture of the Southern Levant During the Roman Empire”
- Jacob Parks gave an oral presentation at the Fifth Annual Undergraduate Classics Conference at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville on “Augustus and the Army: Success, Failure and Reform” for which he received travel support from the ECU Office of Undergraduate Research.