ECU faculty partner on projects


Newly graduated scholars and some of their coaches posed after the ceremony for a group image. They are, seated left to right, Lori Flint, Linda Crane Mitchell, Olga Smirnova, Paige Schneider and Borim Song; standing, left to right, Mark Scholl, Jeannie Golden, Tara Gallien, Essie Torres, Sharon Paynter, Carol Kline, Kirk St. Amant, Stephen Fafulas, Linda May and Sharon Rogers. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)


By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

Community partnerships and projects in several North Carolina counties were celebrated Dec. 4 when East Carolina University’s Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy recognized nine new graduates.

The academy cultivates engaged ECU faculty scholars who can be leaders in their professions while working with communities to improve quality of life.

“Since its inception in 2009, the Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy has developed faculty who want to work with communities to do what’s right and work together with their partners to create positive change,” said Dr. Beth Velde, director of public service and community relations at ECU. “Their mutual research projects have addressed health disparities, student success, economic transformation and leadership development.”

The class joins 50 faculty and 88 student Engagement and Outreach Scholar Academy alumni “creating a strong and vibrant network of engaged ECU scholars. Together they help ECU achieve its mission and motto,” Velde said.

ECU’s Office of Public Service and Community Relations offers several academies for students and faculty to plan and conduct the scholarship of engagement. After a peer selection process, scholars attend a series of workshops, complete a research proposal, and implement the research with a community partner.

Also at the event, Dr. Sharon Rogers of the College of Health & Human Performance was recognized for her commitment to ECU’s mission by serving as an academy coach for five consecutive years. Ron Butler with the Pitt County Schools was recognized as a sustained community partner. Dr. Tom Irons, associate vice chancellor for health sciences and professor of pediatrics in the Brody School of Medicine, spoke on the importance of public service at ECU.

The project name, faculty member, coach, community partners and counties impacted are:

  • Using the Community Readiness Model to Increase Community Readiness for Health Prevention: Essie Torres, College of Health & Human Performance; Sharon Paynter, College of Arts & Sciences; Association of Mexicans in North Carolina (AMEXCAN); Pitt County.
  •  Evaluation of Vidant Family Medicine Washington Health Coach Program: Tara Gallien, College of Health & Human Performance; Jeannie Golden, College of Arts & Sciences; Vidant Family Medicine Washington, Eastern Area Health Education Center, and Beaufort County Health Department; Beaufort County.
  •  MARCH-INC Communities: Linda May, School of Dental Medicine; Sharon Rogers, College of Health & Human Performance; Pitt, Pasquotank, Hertford and Jackson counties.
  •  Enhancing Outcomes for Students with Autism: Linda Crane Mitchell, College of Human Ecology; Lori Flint, College of Education; Pitt County Schools; Pitt County.
  • Art-based Program for Pregnant Teens: Borim Song, College of Fine Arts & Communication; Jennifer Brewer, College of Arts & Sciences; Pregnant Teen Group at Greene Central High School; Greene County.
  •  Windsor’s River Treehouse Village on the Cashie: Paige P. Schneider, College of Health & Human Performance; Robert Thompson, Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences; Bertie County.
  • Career Support Group – A Postmodern Counseling Intervention Designed for the Community Ex-Offender Population: Mark B. Scholl, College of Education; Hal Holloman, College of Education; N.C. Department of Public Safety; Beaufort County.
  • Bridging the Gap: Bilingual Education and Community Engagement: Stephen Fafulas, College of Arts & Sciences; Kirk St. Amant, College of Arts & Sciences; Pink Hill Elementary, Snow Hill Primary “Los Puentes” program, AMEXCAN; Lenoir County.
  • Route Productivity Standards: Olga Smirnova, College of Arts & Sciences; Carol Kline, College of Health & Human Performance; Capital Area Transit; Wake County.