Honors Students Revised NC Highway Marker

By Jessica Nottingham, coordinator for communications and marketing

Alex and Victoria

A class project led two Honors College students to changing the historical memory of a dark time in North Carolina’s history, according to professors Drs. Margaret Bauer and Karin Zipf.

As part of a class project, Alex Stoehr and Victoria Bishop revised a Fayetteville historical highway marker along I-32 that recognizes Charles Chesnutt, an African American author.

“They revised the Charles Chesnutt marker to better reflect his accomplishments as one of North Carolina’s African American writers and educators,” said Bauer, chair of southern literature and distinguished professor in the ECU Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

Rising sophomores Stoehr, an art major, and Bishop, a business management intended major, were enrolled in Bauer and Zipf’s spring Honors College seminar course titled Fact into Fiction: The 1898 Wilmington Coup D’Etat in History and Literature.

“Karin and I have both been interested in this dark chapter of North Carolina history for decades,” said Bauer. “I had enjoyed Charles Chesnutt’s short stories and found the novel he wrote that was inspired by these events fascinating. I’ve taught it regularly since moving to North Carolina.”

The original marker described Chesnutt as “Negro novelist and short story writer, teacher and lawyer. Taught in a school which stood here.” The revised description reads “Lawyer and writer whose novels and short stories dealt with race and the ‘color line.’ Teacher & principal, 1880-83 at a school which stood here.” A photo of the old marker along with the new text can be found at the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program website.

“The North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program is a public commemoration of significant state events to reflect our shared historical memory,” said Zipf. “By their successful revision of the Charles Chesnutt marker, Alex and Victoria have shown that through knowledge one can help shape that historical memory in the most public of ways and for all to see.”

Delivered by faculty members across campus, the Honors College offers its students an assortment of interdisciplinary seminar courses every year. Bauer is an English professor and Zipf is a history professor, and they came together because of a mutual interest in the Wilmington coup d’état.

“We used a lesser known topic for which we both have a passion, and formulated learning and writing strategies that exceeded the sum of our two contributions,” said Zipf. “The students learned to become experts in a topic and to apply that expertise in unique writing assignments that required the exercise of critical thinking skills at a very high level.”

This course will be offered again in the spring of 2017.

“These students have realized, for one thing, how history repeats itself,” said Bauer. “In the course of the semester, we found ourselves finding significant echoes of the politics that led to the 1898 coup in current events.”


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Views from the Mess: My Experience at ECU LeaderShape 2016

By Glenesha Berryman, sophomore EC Scholar

leadershape1Stay in the mess.

Out of all the cool quotes and sayings I learned at this year’s LeaderShape, this phrase is the one that I keep coming back to. Staying in the mess was our co-lead facilitator John Mountz’s way of encouraging us to embrace challenges and engage when we felt the urge to withdraw. The more he said it, the more it stuck with me. However, I was not always eager to accept his message…

Avoiding the Mess

When people told me that LeaderShape would change my life, I responded with what any self-respecting college student would: a whole lot of skepticism. On the first day, I met every icebreaker, every definition of leadership we wrote, every “So what’s your major?” conversation with the satisfaction of knowing that I was right—LeaderShape wouldn’t change my life. Yet, a part of me was disappointed that I would not experience the life transformation my peers had experienced. When I voiced these frustrations with a former LeaderShape participant, she told me not to worry—just trust in the process.

Getting in the Mess

Without realizing it, the icebreakers became dynamic team building experiences that challenged everything I believed about my purpose on a team; the sessions spent defining leadership turned into moments of eye-opening reflection and bold vision building; superficial small talk became taboo; deep talks about anything under the sun became normal dinner conversation. Every hard lesson learned and every vulnerable story shared helped create a family out of strangers.

Staying in the Mess


Trusting in the process and getting super into the rock paper scissors tournament.

John Mountz called the things we were doing at LeaderShape a mess for a reason. Vulnerability, honesty, reflection, and growth ain’t easy—it’s downright messy. But by practicing all of these things and by staying in the mess, I was able to experience the life-changing LeaderShape my friends had promised me. Through deep introspection and adopting a healthy disregard for the impossible, I was able to challenge my career aspirations, sharpen my vision for the world, and discover my core values.

Looking back, staying in the mess is a testament to my LeaderShape experience, a reminder of the six days I spent participating in vulnerable conversations, fearless dreaming, and authentic relationship building. Before coming to LeaderShape, I could not have imagined myself willing to do these things. However, the fact that I did speaks to the power of LeaderShape, the power of re-thinking the status-quo, and the power of getting messy and staying in it.

Views from the Mess


My LeaderShape Cluster Family #2AAllDay

Explaining a life-changing experience like LeaderShape with just words is impossible. How can they capture all the learning, the laughter, the tears, the joy, the hope that LeaderShape gave me?

The only way to know LeaderShape is to experience LeaderShape. So to all the skeptics, the dreamers, the movers, the shakers, the I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-lifers, I challenge you to embrace the mess at LeaderShape.

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The Power of SAAS: Scholarly Activity Awards for Students

By SAAS Award Recipients

The Honors CollSAAS imageege launched an initiative called Scholarly Activity Awards for Students (SAAS) a few years ago that funds approximately 12-14 awards each fiscal year. Below are some of the outcomes from the awards, which range from $125-$400 in support.

Kristalyn Gill: The SAAS award this semester has allowed me to reach beyond the norm of my experiences. It has supported sharing my anthropological research conducted in Peru at a conference in Vancouver. I have been blessed by the Honors College to widen my educational experience as well as enrich it deeply.

Sarah Judy:
Receiving the SAAS Award has allowed me to buy the basic supplies needed to test river sediment samples contaminated with coal ash runoff for pH and respiration. Not only this, it has also allowed me to further expand my research project to include other factors initially too expensive to test.

We are currently working on characterizing if there are heavy metals present in the sediment samples and after data analysis we can see if they are present and if they themselves might be affecting microbial respiration and pH. I can then share these results with my community which has been adversely impacted by coal ash ponds in Goldsboro, NC; a community I want to advocate for and protect.

Kendal Carter: Receiving the SAAS award has opened up great opportunities for my research project. My lab is partnering with the Mayo Clinic to run a study on tissue from pig hearts that they have already harvested. This money has allowed me to perfect my lab technique and protocol for this experiment as well as contribute to the shipping of the tissue from our partner lab. I am extremely excited to continue on with this research and receiving the SAAS award has made this feasible.

Daniel Franch: A SAAS Award helped me attend the 2016 Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference (SWCA) in Columbus, GA. At SWCA, I presented with two co-workers about writer identity and how consultants can develop writer identity in the writing center. My presentation focused on using Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences to adjust consulting methods according to the diverse learning styles of the students we serve.

Carrie Beard: Receiving a SAAS Award from the Honors College has greatly impacted my undergraduate research experience. The funding helped me purchase the resources I needed to complete my experimentation and also allowed me to expand the scope of my research further than I initially planned. I am very grateful for the Honors College’s support of student research!

Emily Bolger: The money went towards purchasing equipment in Dr. Sargent’s research lab that allows us to interface with high-end computers that preform the bulk of our calculations. The equipment also allows us to preform post-processing graphical visualization of key chemical results. Thanks again to the honors college for your support!

Shivam Patel: My SAAS Award allowed me to purchase more research materials for completing my senior honors project. These include reagents, antibodies, multi-well plates, and cell culture flasks. I have been able to conduct various assays and experiments repeatedly in order to obtain viable data as a result.

Denay Hayden: Children with special needs participate in less physical activity than the typically developing child. Physical activity and participation within activities is essential for a child’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Riding a bicycle is a typical childhood milestone that many children with special needs are unable to achieve. Through a local non-profit, ENC Ambucs, funds are raised to provide AmTrykes, or specially adapted tricycles, to children with special needs in this region. Our study focused on the effects of the AmTryke on the quality of life, activities, and participation in children with special needs. The SAAS award was very beneficial for purchasing mailing materials for the assessments. Our study did show that use of an AmTryke appears to improve the quality of life, activities, and participation in children with special needs. In terms of their sense of independence and mood, children with special needs who are unable to walk alone may benefit more than others from the use of an AmTryke.

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What it means to be a Business Scholar

By Sarah Glave, junior Honors College student

SarahGlave_smallIt is an amazing thing to look back and see how far you have come.

When I first applied for the Honors College, during my junior year of high school, I noticed a special program to apply for called Business Scholars; although I was doubtful of myself and didn’t think I would have a chance at receiving such an honor, I still applied. The benefits were blatant: early assurance into the MSA or MBA program (with exemption to application fees and the GMAT), a scholarship award of $12,000 distributed over the four years of undergrad, and the ability to have close relationships with the College of Business faculty. It was unsaid in the application, but I have also been able to maintain a relationship with my sponsor of this scholarship, Lynn Schubert, who has been an amazing role model and I am so thankful to have in my life. Of all the perks, the most underrated is the ability to network with the faculty and staff, as well as, have the opportunity to meet and mingle with successful alumni who graduated from the College of Business – this has been invaluable, priceless, and vital to my growth as a person and student.

I came to ECU as a marketing and management major. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to study; I just knew I loved everything business because it is the way our world works, and it made a lot more sense to me than chemistry. For our foundations courses in the College of Business, we have to take classes with various departments to get an idea of what the options of majors are (marketing, operations management, accounting, management information systems, etc.). For me, accounting clicked. It seemed so tangible, challenging, real, and skillful. It is the language of business, and a great foundation for the rest of my career.

Each department has amazing faculty members that will do almost anything for students. Professors are understanding of our busy, overloaded schedules and do their best to be there for you one hundred percent. I’ve had professors meet with me outside of their office hours, even at 7 or 8 a.m. Anytime I have a question, it is answered or searched for deeply. They encourage and foster our growth as students and push us to learn more and work harder. I have found if you put in the effort, they will meet you halfway or further. I don’t think I could have found that type of commitment from any other university.

So what is it like to be a business major? Well, we take our classes like any other students. And then we network, constantly. We push ourselves to be better speakers, guests, and teammates; to be more self-aware, globally aware, and politically aware; to learn more and always engage one another. And after classes and between the studying, we put ourselves out there to find the end goal of our education – a job. We put on our suits and our happy faces when we are stressed, put time into our resumes, and put our hearts on the lines looking for a company that we would enjoy getting up at 7 a.m. to work for. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now I look back, to the days when I was an eager freshman beginning college. Meeting people I could only hope to be like one day. Being a nervous wreck and unsure of who I am and where I fit in the world. Anxious. Trying to manage studying, new friends, and old friends. It was difficult. Flash forward to today, and I know what I want. Instead of having a lack of self-confidence, I have an “I can do it” attitude. I am ready for my senior year. I am ready to work. I am preparing myself today for tomorrow; and I can attribute much of that to this university.

Won’t it be an amazing thing to look back and see how far we have come?

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Examining Public Health Policies and Outcomes

By Brice Bowrey, freshman EC Scholar

BowrySince 1995, the first full week of April has officially been National Public Health Week. This week is intended to be a time where the public health community can come together to celebrate advancements in the field and highlight areas where improvements can still be made. A critical part of achieving these objectives is conducting research to examine topics such as the effectiveness of certain public health policies or how various external factors affect public health policies and outcomes. Conducting research like this is exactly what one Brody School of Medicine professor of public health, two graduate students and I have been doing since Fall 2015.

Our research began as an offshoot of a larger project, but eventually we decided that our findings were significant enough to deserve a poster presentation of their own. We decided to title the research “History and Tobacco Legislation Reform in Eastern North Carolina.” As the title suggests, the poster we created focused on how various historical, cultural, financial and political factors affected the strength of tobacco legislation in various North Carolina counties.

By examining legislation, looking at statistical data and conducting interviews with stakeholders and policymakers, we sought to fully understand why some counties have far more robust and effective tobacco legislation than others. In the end, we found some key facilitators and barriers that can lead to strong or weak tobacco control laws.

We went to present this research at both the ECU Public Health Research Symposium and the Public Health Conference held at UNC-Wilmington in honor of National Public Health Week. This conference consisted of a poster showcase, two speakers and, of course, time to meet and greet everyone in attendance.

During the poster showcase, we were able to display our research alongside dozens of other students from various disciplines such as nursing, public health and physical therapy. Both speakers were fascinating, but one gave a particularly interesting presentation about chemotherapy and exercise. She discovered that, surprisingly, physical activity is very beneficial to patients undergoing chemotherapy, so she is currently working to create programs to get chemotherapy patients up and active.

In addition to these great speakers, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet a number of Masters of Public Health degree students from both the ECU and UNCW graduate schools. Overall, assisting in research and participating in the UNC Wilmington Public Health Conference were very interesting and informative experiences. I am very thankful that I had these opportunities.

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