Honors student Kimberly Miller wins writing award

By Dawn Wainwright

GREENVILLE (09/08/2014) The winners of the 2014 W. Keats Sparrow Writing Awards were recognized in a ceremony at Joyner Library on August 27. The awards recognize excellence in research and writing by students in ECU’s English 1100 and 1200 composition classes.

The Friends of Joyner Library sponsored the event named in honor of the late Dr. W. Keats Sparrow, Professor Emeritus of English and former dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.  Mrs. Elizabeth (Liz) Sparrow, who serves on the Friends of Joyner Library Board of Directors, was on hand for the event.

During the program, the winners read excerpts of their papers.  Ashley Campbell, first place, won $200 for “The Effects of Text Messaging on Students’ Literacy.”  The second place entry, “Emergence of Antibiotic Resistance:  MRSA,” was written by Sarah Stout who won $150.  Kimberly Miller placed third with a $100 prize for “Land of the Free – Why not ‘Sea of the Free?’”  Marc Peterson was the instructor for all three winners, a first in the award program’s history.

“Joyner Library and the Department of English have a well-established information literacy program that helps students develop research and critical thinking skills,” says Jan Lewis, interim dean of Joyner Library.  “Since its inception in 2000, the W. Keats Sparrow Award program has recognized students who have excelled in these areas. It is always a delight to meet these students, listen to excerpts from their papers, and talk with them about their education, career plans, and the importance of the Library to their success.”

For more information about this writing award program, contact David Hisle, coordinator of instructional services at 252-328-4978.

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I Love Ecuador Already

By Zach Evans, Honors College Junior

The following are excerpts from Zach’s original blog: Reflections of an Immersion in Ecuador.  

¡Hola a todos!

For the academic year of 2014-2015, I will be studying abroad at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. I chose to study in Ecuador because of USFQ’s renowned reputation as one of the premier research institutions of the world. Research from USFQ has been published numerous times in National Geographic, Nature, and other reputable research journals. Ecuador is the most biodiverse country on the planet with four distinct ecosystems. I will be living with a host family and continuing to work toward my degrees in Psychology and Latin American studies. My goals are to broaden my worldview, to become bilingual, and to explore the four ecosystems Ecuador has to offer: the Andes mountains, La Costa (some of the most beautiful beaches in the world according to various sources), the Amazon Jungle, and the Galapagos Islands.

Here is a video of the sustainable tourism movement, All You Need Is Ecuador. It’s only three minutes long and shows a lot of the activities I hope to do while I’m here.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Ecuador thus far. My host family is beyond amazing and my school has far exceeded my expectations.


Here is a picture of the Carrillo-Galvez family I’ll be living with until May. The guy in the blue shirt is their last foreign exchange student who was surprisingly from Asheville! I’ve never met him. They’ve had many over the past ten years… son profesionales!

Our house is at the base of Mount Pichinch in the urban sector of Quito called Concepcion.

Pichincha_desde_ItchimbiaThe house has three floors and I have the third floor to myself. ¡Me gusta mucho!


This is the view outside my bedroom window.

Let me tell you a bit about my host family…

Pachingo, mi padre, is a doctor. He retired a few years ago, but was unsatisfied with the retired life so he went back to practicing medicine. He is so friendly- he has taken me under his wing as if I were his own son…Pachingo loves teaching me lessons about Ecuador. Each night after dinner, we talk for an hour or so on a different topic. One topic which resonated with me quite heavily was a discussion about the differences between environmental conservation priorities between the US and Ecuadorian government. Although there are preserves and national parks in Ecuador, the US’s demonstrated care for the preservation of it’s natural beauty is evidently unparalleled. I am incredibly grateful for Pachingo’s consistent words of wisdom and his help with my acclimation to Ecuador.


Here is a picture of Maria Sol and I…

About my Spanish…these past few days have taught me that my Spanish is much better than I thought! I came to Ecuador very down on myself about my Spanish speaking abilities (telling people I spoke like a 6 year old) and regretted not pushing myself harder in the first two years of Spanish at ECU. I always thought there was a fault in the foreign language education system in the States because the basic courses require hardly any speaking. Although this may be true, my two years at ECU and my classes at Carolina Day School in high school equipped me with the skills necessary to be at least competent in conversations. I seldom have problems understanding what people are saying, yet often have problems coming up with sentences on the spot. I am not too worried about this because I see my Spanish improving daily and I am sure that this won’t be an issue after another week or so.

My courses this semester will be:

Process Philosophy
Seminar on the Psychology of Religion
Introduction to Ecuadorian Culture
Intermediate Spanish Conversation
Introduction to International Relations
Kundalini Yoga
Weight Training

 ¡Saludos y muchas gracias amigos!

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Summer Experiences: the DeBakey Summer Surgery Program

DeBakey 5

Alyssa, third from the left, with her surgical team at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital.

By Alyssa DaVolio, EC Scholar and Honors College Junior

Over the course of eight weeks, I have had the great pleasure of participating in the Michael E. DeBakey Summer Surgery Program at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, part of the Texas Medical Center in Houston, TX. When I arrived for my first day of the program, I was an ordinary pre-medical student eager to dive deeper into the world of medicine and surgery; however, by the end of the program, I could see myself as nothing less than a future surgeon.

The DeBakey Summer Surgery Program selected 15 pre-medical students from across the country and placed them at three different hospitals on the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. I was placed with the director of the Elkins Pancreas Center, Dr. William Fisher, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. My days usually started off at 6:00 a.m. with patient rounds.  The surgical team and I would pre-round first to collect vitals and address any issues our patients had overnight followed by rounds with Dr. Fisher.  Once we finished the rounds, I either headed to the operating room or the clinic.

Debakey 2During clinic days, I had the incredible opportunity to shadow every part of the surgical team, including the surgeon, intern, chief resident, and medical students. With this wide variety of shadowing opportunities, I had the great pleasure of learning the qualifications of each professional and how they interacted as a team and with patients.

My favorite opportunity of the program was being in the operating room. What makes this program so unique is I was actually able to scrub into a case in order to get a better view. In addition to “scrubbing in,” I got to work with patients during both pre-op and post-op. Watching Dr. Fisher operate was unbelievable. He was willing to teach while keeping close concentration on the task at hand.

All in all, the DeBakey Summer Surgery Program is a program I would highly recommend to any pre-medical student, especially those interested in a surgical career. Not only do you get to study at some of the top hospitals in the country, but you also get to participate in medicine on a deeper level. This program enabled me to expand my medical knowledge and expertise and take one step closer to my dream: a career in medicine.

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Summer Experiences: Living in the Heart and Hospitals of Argentina

By Shayna Mooney, EC Scholar and Honors College Senior

In July 2014, I traveled to Argentina to volunteer through International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ) and Fundación AFOS, IVHQ’s partner organization in Argentina.


For two weeks, I lived in the small town of Villa Allende, in the center Córdoba Province, and volunteered at El Dispensario Dumesnil, a small community clinic run by the municipal government in Córdoba.  The clinic provides general medical care, nursing services, vaccinations, gynecology, dentistry, and social support to needy populations in the area. I shadowed health care professionals and provided assistance by taking patient vitals.


Through this volunteer experience, I was able to improve my Spanish speaking skills and increase my knowledge of how health care is practiced in a different area of the world.  I not only learned about the health issues face by Argentines, but I also learned about the customs and culture of Argentina.

The highlight of my experience was watching the semi-final and final matches of the FIFA World Cup with the locals. The atmosphere and excitement were unlike anything I had ever experienced. I was also fortunate to travel to different parts of Argentina after my volunteer experience.


I visited El Calafate in Patagonia to see the Perito Moreno Glaciar. I also traveled to the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, and spent a few days taking in the sights of the beautiful European-influenced city.

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Summer Experiences: An Open Door Led to India


By Zoe Hinton, EC Scholar and Honors College Sophomore 

The required study abroad experience of the EC Scholars Program is a gift that can open a variety of doors. Some doors open to Ecuador and environmental sustainability, while others open toward Italy and art history of the Renaissance. The knob I chose to turn landed me in Northern India on a Religious Studies trip with 13 other East Carolina students.

My classroom has never been with fifteen other people in a foreign country. In fact, this scholarship gave me my first opportunity to travel outside of the United States. By the end of the trip, we were no longer a group students with widely different interests, we became a community of people. When we were put further away from home, it was easier to realize our similarities and bond as a whole.

As a Neuroscience major, most were surprised with my decision tto study a subject so vastly different. I am intrigued by the interaction and overlap between religion and medicine.



If I had the opportunity to experience another study abroad trip, I would pick India one thousand times over. I found beauty everywhere we traveled: in the architecture of the temples, in the hand woven saree designs, in the cows and dogs on the street, in the spiritual connection on the mountainsides of Dharamsala, and even in the lemons artfully stacked morning after morning on carts in Delhi.

I learned lessons about myself, I broadened my horizons to learn about other cultures and professional interests, and I pushed myself further than I have ever been outside of my comfort zone, and there is nothing more priceless than that.

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