Only One Ahoskie

 School of Dental Medicine  Comments Off on Only One Ahoskie
Jul 172012

There are towns named Centerville in 45 states, Fairview in 43 and Franklin in 42 states. As it is common for most town names to be repeated all over the United States, such is not the case for Ahoskie, North Carolina. Its nickname is “The Only One” because no other town in the USA, much less the world, has the same name. Now “The Only One” will be the first one of several ECU School of Dental Medicine Clinics, providing much needed dental healthcare in rural areas of North Carolina.

Ahoskie, a part of the Inner Banks region, is also the national birthplace of the 4-H Club, originally called the “Corn Club.” The town, incorporated in 1893, is the largest municipality in Hertford County with approximately 5,000 residents in 2010.Many commercial properties run along the railroad corridor, but have been altered significantly as Ahoskie’s industrial base has changed through the twentieth century. The Ahoskie Historic District is comprised of about 80 city blocks that encompass the oldest portion of the town.

Additional communities in Hertford County include Murfreesboro, Harrellsville, Como, Cofield (CO-field), and the county seat of Winton. It partially borders the state of Virginia and was formed from Bertie, Chowan, and Northampton Counties in 1759.  Hertford County took its name from Francis Seymour Conway, earl and later marquis of Hertford.

Once inhabited by Chowanoac, Meherrin, and Tuscarora Indian tribes, the eastern area of Hertford County was explored by English settlers of the early Roanoke Island and Jamestown colonies. Settlers took full advantage of the area’s rich farmland, and folklore tells of two crops a year, as well as the opportunities for fishing offered by the Chowan (CHO-wan) River.

Tobacco, naval stores, corn, pork, lumber and turpentine were shipped down the Meherrin River to the Chowan River across Albemarle Sound to the ocean and destination ports around the world. Even though the county had integrated manufacturing into its economy by the 1950s, agriculture continued to dominate through the early 2000s, with staples such as tobacco, cotton, peanuts, corn, and soybeans among the leading crops.

Chowan College, a Baptist school, was founded in Murfreesboro in 1848 and it is the oldest Baptist woman’s school in North Carolina. Its doors remained open throughout the Civil War and the Reconstruction. The county also hosts the modern-day Meherrin Indian tribe, which has about 700 members.

The ECU School of Dental Medicine Clinic in Ahoskie began seeing patients on Monday, July 16, 2012.  For more information concerning appointments or dental care, please contact the clinic at (252) 332-1904


B. Alex White, DDS, DrPH
Unit Chief, Public Health Dentistry

Christy Angle
Administrative Assistant – General Dentistry


Statista: A researcher’s new best friend

 Laupus Library  Comments Off on Statista: A researcher’s new best friend
Jul 132012

Gone are the days of scaling the library shelves for that one last citation to complete your midterm paper. The Laupus Library is now home to Statista, a new information database that’s already done the legwork for you. Procrastinators and diligent students alike can breathe a sigh of relief: each footnote, data byte or statistic can be found by simply clicking ‘search.’

Statista compiles facts and data on over 60,000 topics from more than 10,000 sources in one platform. Categorized into more than 20 market sectors, the database provides direct access to relevant quantitative facts on many areas of interest – from lifestyle and consumer product research to government and health care statistics. Sources of information include market researchers, trade publications, scientific journals and government databases.

Quick access to facts isn’t the only benefit to this new service. Statista offers a variety of user-friendly data translation tools that provide easy ways to visually display your selected data trends through charts, graphs and trend reports.  All of which can be seamlessly exported your PowerPoint, Word or Excel presentation – with citation information included. We hope this will be a much-needed time saver for our faculty and students.

What’s more: because Statista can be conveniently accessed from both the Laupus Library and online, the library can now come to you, wherever you are. We are committed to investing in technologies that ensure the library evolves to meet 21st Century needs of students, faculty and staff. Our hope is that Statista will improve the way we study, learn and grow together.

–Dr. Dorothy A. Spencer
Director, Laupus Library

ECU program provides middle-schoolers with a healthy perspective

 Brody School of Medicine  Comments Off on ECU program provides middle-schoolers with a healthy perspective
Jul 102012

This fall, teachers at 13 eastern North Carolina middle schools will return to class ready to give their students some much-needed perspective. A healthy perspective, that is.

In math class, new 7th graders will learn to calculate their BMI and record physical activity in Microsoft Excel. In physical education class, they’ll test their endurance on the track. They’ll develop wellness journals and taste test sugar-free drinks.

This week is National Childhood Obesity Week, and I can’t think of a better time to give an update on an ECU-sponsored program designed to teach healthy lifestyles to middle-school students. Called Motivating Adolescents with Technology to Choose Health (MATCH), lesson plans are designed by the Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center at ECU to parallel the 7th grade North Carolina Standard Course of Study over a 16-week period.

MATCH sprang from humble beginnings in Martin County in 2006. Shocked by a news report of skyrocketing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the county, an inspired science teacher led an experiment to help build student awareness of healthy habits.

Today that teacher, Mr. Tim Hardison, and I lead the MATCH program at ECU, which has since expanded to serve hundreds of students. And thanks to a $408,693 grant awarded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust earlier this year, 1,500 students will benefit in the 2012-2013 school year starting this fall.

Initial results are promising, with more than 56 percent of participating students achieving a healthier weight. However, the best summation of our impact is in the words of students like this one, who take their lessons home with them:

“I have gotten [my family] to start eating healthy foods, stop eating fast and fried foods everyday and making them do aerobic dances. Also, we started to walk at the WHS track twice a week and stopped eating in front of the television. This program has also helped with me and my grandmother’s asthma. I feel like I have really made a huge difference in our lives.”

Suzanne Lazorick, MD, MPH, FAAP
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health
ECU Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center
Associate Director of Community Research and Prevention

Jul 062012

By 6 months of age, an infant can usually babble and produce repetitive syllables. A typical 18-month-old can say 50 to 100 words, and by age 2, children are putting words together in one or two word sentences.  At ages 3, 4, and 5 a child’s vocabulary quickly increases, and he or she begins to grasp the rules of language. 

Though speech and language skills develop pretty much the same way for all children, the pace can vary from child to child.

Sometimes children may develop speech disorders.  According to the American Speech and Hearing Association, communication disorders are among the most common disabilities in the US. Often, no one knows the causes.

Many communication problems can be improved by therapy.  Significant communication deficits, such as autism, require intensive intervention.  About 1 in 88 American children have autism or similar disorders, and the prevalence in North Carolina is even higher, according to new estimates from the Centers For Disease Control.

In an effort to provide a fun, but intensive therapeutic environment for children from 4 to 9 years of age with documented speech/language deficits, including children on the Autism Spectrum, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders operates a 5-week summer Pirate SP.E.E.CH. Camp (SPeech/language Education and Enrichment for CHildren).

The children receive intervention to improve communication skills through group language activities, art projects, and fine and gross motor activities.  Weekly themes such as Circus Week, Music Week, and Beach Week set the tone for the activities. 

The camp provides a learning environment for CSDI graduate students who plan and implement the camp activities with supervision from licensed speech-language pathologists.  Undergraduate students and community volunteers also participate. The camp receives significant financial support from the Autism Society of North Carolina.

For further information, please contact Julie Morrow at 252-744-6145 or

— Julie Morrow
Speech-Language Clinical Coordinator
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Nurses headed back to school

 College of Nursing  Comments Off on Nurses headed back to school
Jul 032012

A recent story in the New York Times noted that many hospitals around the country have started to require that their nurses have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. More stringent hiring requirements have contributed to a surge in enrollment at four-year colleges, particularly those with RN to BSN programs.

In recent years, ECU has seen an increase in the number of applicants to the College of Nursing’s RN to BSN option which is designed with the working registered nurse in mind.

Sixty-six people applied and 47 were admitted in fall 2010. Last fall, 78 applied and 64 were admitted. For classes starting this August, 86 out of 94 applicants have enrolled.

Nurses are returning for various reasons.

Most say they are returning for personal satisfaction. Other reasons include, but are not limited to, encouragement from their employers and career advancement.

On average, students graduate from our RN/BSN option in four to five semesters. Thirty-three students graduated in spring 2011, and another 33 graduated this May.

Professional organizations and groups such as the Institute of Medicine have advocated for an increase in nurses who hold a BSN degree or higher due to the challenges of health care in the 21st century which requires nurses to care for older, more diverse populations with more complex and chronic diseases.

The RN to BSN option has been included in several potential programs for expansion and partnership. Faculty and staff have been active members in planning the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses or RIBN project for eastern North Carolina. It’s modeled after a program in western North Carolina. ECU is working with Pitt, Beaufort, Lenoir and Roanoke-Chowan community colleges  to provide a seamless transition from the community college setting to the university while earning ADN and BSN degrees. The first cohort of students begins this fall.

The shift in nursing education to meet the challenges of the 21st century requires competencies in leadership, health policy, systems, research and evidence-based practice, and community and public health.

-Dr. Sylvia Brown RN, BSN, MSN, EdD, CNE
Dean of the ECU College of Nursing