ECU Honors College Alumnus Named NC Presidential Scholar

Pictured here at the 2017 ECU Honors College Commencement Ceremony, Katie Stanley (middle), was one of four recent UNC system graduates named a Presidential Scholar by UNC President Margaret Spellings Thursday, July 20.

Pictured here at the 2017 ECU Honors College Commencement Ceremony, Katie Stanley (middle), was one of four recent UNC system graduates named a Presidential Scholar by UNC President Margaret Spellings Thursday, July 20.

Greenville native and East Carolina University graduate Katie Stanley (Class of 2017) was one of four recent graduates named a Presidential Scholar for the 2017-18 school year by the University of North Carolina General Administration. UNC President Margaret Spellings announced the appointment Thursday, July 20, through a press release.

Presidential Scholars serve a one-year appointment and provide a wide range of professional functions for UNC General Administration. The position has regular interaction with senior leadership and members of the UNC Board of Governors and will also work to help research, write, and implement policy.

“The Presidential Scholars program allows some of our most talented graduates to hone professional skills and gain real working experience in higher education,” Spellings stated in the release. “Scholars also have the unique opportunity to explore and understand the inner workings of an institution that has helped transform our great state.”

During her time at ECU, Stanley was a member of the Honors College, Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, and majored in political science. Stanley plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy with the goal of working in the North Carolina state government. Stanley previously interned for Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representative Dean Arp (R-Union).

“We were thrilled to learn about Katie’s appointment as a Presidential Scholar and look forward to hearing about all the great work she will accomplish in this role,” said Dr. David White, Dean of the ECU Honors College. “Katie’s story is an example of how successful our Honors College students are, and how often they make us proud with their personal and professional achievements after graduating.”

The Presidential Scholars were selected among May 2017 UNC system graduates who demonstrated leadership skills, strong motivation, intellectual curiosity, and were not afraid to take risks, according to the release. Previous Scholars had projects assigned from all General Administration departments including legal, advancement, academic affairs, and communications.

By Cole Dittmer
ECU University Communications

Forecast Calls for Pirates

ECU Honors College alumnus Thomas Vaughn (Class of 2015) stands in front of the National Weather Service Station in Tallahassee, Fla. Vaughn will start his career with the NWS this September at the Wichita, Ka. office.

ECU Honors College alumnus Thomas Vaughan ’15 stands in front of the National Weather Service Station in Tallahassee, Fla. Vaughan will start his career with the NWS this September at the Wichita, Kan. office. (Contributed photos courtesy Thomas Vaughan)

ECU Honors College Alumnus Lands Job with National Weather Service

This September, East Carolina University Honors College alumnus Thomas Vaughan ’15 will join the National Weather Service in Wichita, Kan. as one of 31 new hires by the federal agency that is responsible for providing weather forecasts, warnings of hazardous weather, and other weather-related products across the country.

Vaughan, who is nearly complete with his Masters in Meteorology from Florida State University, said he had his choice of going to the National Weather Service offices in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Michigan. Vaughan ultimately chose Wichita to be close to the action.

Vaughn presents information at the National Weather Service headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

Vaughan presents information at the National Weather Service headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

“I picked Wichita because I knew I would get a lot of severe weather experience there,” Vaughan said. “I knew Wichita would be more beneficial in the long run to my career because they have severe weather all the time, and I’ll get to experience all four seasons.”

The National Weather Service announces job vacancies in rounds, and the round Vaughan was hired in had 31 job vacancies across the country. For those 31 vacancies, Vaughan said the NWS received more than 850 applications. After not being referred to the final pool of applicants the first time he applied, Vaughan said he was relieved to have his choice of four stations this time.

“It Is pretty competitive to get into and I knew I would have better chance to get in with a masters, so that is why I went to Florida State [University],” he said. “This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time.”

While the official title for Vaughan’s position is Meteorologist Intern, it is the entry level staff position for the NWS. In his first couple years, Vaughan said he will be learning how to complete the NWS forecasts, train on the NWS computer systems and radar, launch weather balloons, and help  manage his office’s social media accounts.

After his time as a Meteorologist Intern, Vaughan hopes to move up to through the ranks of the NWS and eventually make it back to the NWS station in Honolulu, Hawaii where he completed a summer internship while at ECU. Other “dream” stations for Vaughan include Guam, or one of the stations in Florida.

Vaughn gives a weather briefing at the Florida Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee, Fla.

Vaughan gives a weather briefing at the Florida Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee, Fla.

“I’d say my dream job would be to be the Meteorologist in Charge at one of those stations, but that is a long time away,” he said, laughing.

For now, Vaughan is focusing on defending his master’s thesis on historical rainfall variability in the Sahel and Guinea coasts of Africa, and moving to Kansas in September to begin working for the NWS.

Vaughn after graduation from ECU in May 2015.

Vaughan after graduation from ECU in May 2015.

By Cole Dittmer

ECU News Services

Touching Base from the Little League World Series

Rising Junior Ashely Weingartz stands in front of the Little League World Series complex in Williamsport, Pa., where she is serving as the marketing intern this summer.

Rising Junior Ashely Weingartz stands in front of the Little League World Series complex in Williamsport, Pa., where she is serving as the marketing intern this summer.

I’ve been in Williamsport, PA since Memorial Day and I just finished the third week of my internship at Little League. I have met so many great people up here and I am excited for what the next two months have in store! I am learning so much and experiencing even more. It is amazing to see behind the scenes of a place that I’ve held in such high esteem my entire life.

I am staying in an apartment less than half a mile away from the Little League International complex at some older apartments set beside a pretty lake. The weather here has been pretty great and I’m looking forward to exploring the mountains around here, and have enjoyed running along the extensive river walk they have along the Susquehanna River. I am rooming with a fellow intern at Little League, Stephanie. There are four of us interns and we are all girls! We share an office on the bottom floor overlooking part of the complex. I am the Marketing Intern and there is a Web Development Intern, Digital Media Intern, and Media Relations Intern as well.

Williamsport, Pa. will host the 2017 Little League World Series, Aug. 17-27.

Williamsport, Pa. will host the 2017 Little League World Series, Aug. 17-27.

Every day we are given an hour for lunch but receive free lunches in the cafeteria in the International Grove. For those of you who don’t know, this is the gated area on the complex that houses all of the players when they come here. It has a really neat rec room as well as its own pool. During “The Series”, this area is always completely locked down to all outsiders for security reasons so I find it very cool to be able to walk through those gates every day on the way to lunch. Because we have lunch so close to our office, there is normally time after eating for some exploring around the complex. I have to pinch myself to remind myself that this is real sometimes.

This week was very exciting as we hosted the Little League Luncheon. There were all sorts of supporters of Little League in attendance as well as Frank Coonelly, the president of the Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball team. I enjoyed listening to him speak about the Little League Classic between the Pirates and the Cardinals. It is being held here in Williamsport at Historic Bowman Field on Sunday Night Baseball on Aug. 20, during the Little League World Series (Aug. 17-27), and all of the World Series participants and their families will be attending. There is a ton of excitement around this event and I’m sure it will be memorable. During the luncheon, the four interns were all allowed to place the names of the regions and countries on the 2017 World Series bracket as their spots were randomly drawn. It was an awesome experience that I’ll remember for a long time.

Ashely Weingartz, middle, stands with two other Little League World Series interns in front of the LLWS bracket during the Little League Luncheon.

Ashely Weingartz, middle, stands with two other Little League World Series interns in front of the LLWS bracket during the Little League Luncheon.

Next week, camps will begin here and I’m sure that will add even more excitement and activity in the coming weeks leading up to the World Series. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to work this event. On the weekends, I have been hanging out with my roommate, Stephanie, and another intern Olivia. Olivia goes to school at a small college here in town so last Sunday she took me to her church and I met some of her friends there. It was great! I am hoping to make some weekend trips to Hershey, Pittsburgh, and possibly Philadelphia before the end of the summer. It’s wonderful getting the chance to explore a different part of the country.

I do miss home a bit though. Today (June 17) was the first day of playoffs for Greenville Little Leagues and I have learned that I hate to miss big events such as this. However, I know that I’m right where I need to be. Thanks for all the support everyone has shown me leading up to this summer. I’m having the time of my life and can’t wait to give you guys even more exciting updates in the future!

-Ashely Weingartz

 

Ashley is a rising junior in the Honors College majoring in Sports Studies and is a member of the ECU Softball team.

 

Special Education Major Receives Bassman Honors Thesis Award

Sarah Bonin, an East Carolina University College of Education student majoring in special education from Cary, has received the 2016-2017 Michael F. Bassman Honors Thesis Award.

One student is selected each year for the outstanding senior Honors College thesis or project and a $500 award. Bonin created a reading and math curriculum for students in third through fifth grades, and is believed to be the first education student to win the award, said Dr. Guili Zhang, professor and interim chair of the Department of Special Education, Foundations and Research.

Your personal achievements and accomplishments exemplify the very best of the Honors College and ECU,” said Bryna Coonin, coordinator of the award, in an email announcing Bonin’s selection.   

Bonin was nominated by Dr. Melissa Hudson, her senior project mentor, in collaboration with Dr. Linda Patriarca, who has been Bonin’s instructor and internship supervisor this year. Faculty member Debbie Metcalf also provided a support letter.

Bonin will be recognized at the Honors College departmental graduation ceremony on May 3 at Rock Springs Center in Greenville. Bonin will be moving to Durham to begin her career as a kindergarten through fifth grade resource teacher at Glenn Elementary School in the Durham Public Schools system.

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