Kean honored with scholar award

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Dr. Linda Kean

Dr. Linda Kean

East Carolina University School of Communication Director Linda Kean was honored Oct. 9 with the 2014 NCA Health Communication Division’s Outstanding Scholar Award.

This award is one of the highest academic honors presented by the organization.

Kean’s research focuses on health communication with an emphasis on mass media, including mass media campaigns that promote positive health behaviors and the effect of health-related media messages on individuals’ perceptions, attitudes and behaviors.

Her work has been published in “Communication Research,” “Health Communication,” “Media Psychology,” the “Journal of Health Communication” and “Women & Language.”

Kean began her career at ECU in 2003 as an assistant professor in the School of Communication. She was promoted to interim associate director in 2006 and appointed director of the school in 2009.

Kean holds a bachelor of science degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Illinois. She earned her master’s and doctorate degree in communication from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1994 and 1998.

The National Communication Association is an internationally recognized communication scholarship organization with thousands of members. This year, the NCA will celebrate its founding in 1914 with a centennial celebration. Kean will accept the award in Chicago in late November at the NCA’s annual meeting.

Pories named officer in college of surgeons

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By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

An East Carolina University surgeon has been selected to serve as second vice president of the American College of Surgeons – the highest office in that organization ever held by a Brody School of Medicine doctor.

Dr. Walter J. Pories

Dr. Walter J. Pories

Dr. Walter J. Pories, professor of surgery, biochemistry and kinesiology, joined ECU in 1977 as chair of the Department of Surgery at the university’s medical school, which had just begun its four-year program.

Founded in 1913, the American College of Surgeons provides leadership for the surgical sciences and promotes the highest quality of care across all of the surgical sub-disciplines.

“It is one of the most prestigious professional organizations in the world,” said Dr. Paul Cunningham, dean of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU and himself a surgeon. “Through his creativity and indefatigable work ethic, Dr. Pories has achieved national and international acclaim. This selection by his peers is one of the highest recognitions that can be possible. It is a true honor for us all in the Pirate Nation.”

The second vice president position is one of five officers in the national organization.

“The election is a great honor that I’m certain should have gone to others who are more deserving,” Pories wrote recently. He referred to the American College of Surgeons as “an admirable organization that has really made a major difference in health care for the world.”

He has previously served the college as president-elect of the Ohio Chapter, president of the North Carolina Chapter, on the Board of Governors for two terms, and as a member of some committees – especially the International Relations Committee that is dedicated to educating surgeons from around the world.

Pories is perhaps best known for modifying a type of weight-loss surgery into the “Greenville Gastric Bypass.” He showed conclusively that not only does it result in durable weight loss but also causes a long-term remission of type 2 diabetes in patients who have diabetes and undergo the surgery.

Among other honors, he is the 2001 recipient of O. Max Gardner Award, the highest honor given by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

Bond to present ‘Crossing the Color Line’

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Historian and civil rights activist Julian Bond will present the Lawrence F. Brewster Lecture in History at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 in Wright Auditorium at East Carolina University.

Julian Bond

Julian Bond

Bond will present “Crossing the Color Line: From Rhythm ‘N Blues to Rock ‘N Roll,” as part of the Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series on campus. He will discuss the civil rights movement through a history of American music, using images and bits of music to trace the melding of jazz, blues, country music and pop into rock & roll, all while examining this transformation through the influences of race, demographics, war, immigration and technology.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Department of History, ECU Chancellor’s Office, Office of the Provost, Division of Student Affairs, and the Division of Health Sciences.

One complimentary ticket is available to ECU students with a valid ECU ID. Tickets are $10 for ECU faculty, staff, and all other attendees, and are available through the ECU Central Ticket Office by calling 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

For additional information on the Voyages lectures, visit http://www.ecu.edu/voyages. More information about the THCAS is located at https://www.ecu.edu/cas.

Alumna is on-air reporter

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Oughton

Hali Oughton

 

By Steve Tuttle
ECU News Services

Former East Carolina University soccer star Hali Oughton was interviewed by the media many times during her college career. Now she’s the one holding the microphone in her job as an on-air reporter for the American Athletic Conference.

Oughton, who graduated in May 2013 with a degree in communication, was back on campus Oct. 5 for the ECU-SMU football game to film segments for the American conference’s weekly web video show, “The Rise.” It was ECU’s first official game as a new member of the conference. Her report for that game can be seen here.

“Being in front of the camera is a fun aspect of the job because I get to tell the stories of our conference and really engage with the fans,” Oughton said.

Based at the American’s headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, Oughton travels frequently to film episodes of her show on the campuses of the 11 conference members.

“It’s funny how things work out,” she said. “Being a student-athlete at East Carolina makes this opportunity with the American really special to me. I get to work with my alma mater on a day-to-day basis as well as schools I have previously competed against on the soccer field when we were in Conference USA.”

Oughton, a native of Redondo Beach, California, was a four-year starter on ECU’s soccer team and a team captain. She was named a first-team All-Conference USA player her senior year.

A key member of the soccer team’s defense throughout her college career, she was known for her stamina. She started 60 consecutive games and played every minute in 18 of the 20 matches her senior year.

She played in all 10 of the team’s shutouts her senior year and scored three goals, two of which were game winners.

“My degree from ECU has definitely helped me get to where I am today,” she said. “I built great relationships with many of my colleagues and professors. Interning at WNCT-TV under Brian Bailey gave me a great deal of experience in my last two years of college.”

A new episode of “The Rise” airs each Tuesday at the American website.

You can follow her on Twitter at @Halioughton.

 

ECU experts discuss Ebola crisis

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Members of the ECU panel discussing Ebola Oct. 16 were, left to right, ECU graduate student Issa Thullah, a native of Sierra Leone; Angela Thompson, History; Kristina Simeonsson, Public Health, Brody School of Medicine; Viva Reynolds, Geography, Planning and Environment; Holly Mathews, Anthropology; Paul Cook, Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Brody School of Medicine; Alethia Cook, Security Studies; and Bob Thompson, Public Administration. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Members of the ECU panel discussing Ebola Oct. 16 were, left to right, ECU graduate student Issa Thullah, a native of Sierra Leone; Angela Thompson, History; Kristina Simeonsson, Public Health, Brody School of Medicine; Viva Reynolds, Geography, Planning and Environment; Holly Mathews, Anthropology; Paul Cook, Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Brody School of Medicine; Alethia Cook, Security Studies; and Bob Thompson, Public Administration. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

 

By Kelly Setzer
ECU News Services

As fears about Ebola continue to spread much faster than the virus itself, experts from East Carolina University offered their perspectives on the issue during a panel discussion on Oct. 16.

During “Ebola: African Dilemma or Global Health Crisis?” eight multi-disciplinary panelists presented to a standing-room-only crowd of 175 attendees before opening the floor to questions.

Dr. Paul Cook, an infectious disease expert from ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, said he felt confident about the infrastructure and an ability to control the virus locally if it became necessary, but that he does not anticipate seeing a case in Greenville. “I don’t think we need to fear Ebola. I think we need to fear the fear of Ebola,” he said.

The Ebola virus first appeared in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The current epidemic is focused largely in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, it is by far the most severe Ebola outbreak in history, exceeding the death totals from all previous outbreaks added together.

An overflow crowd gathered to listen to a panel of ECU experts as they shared their perspectives on Ebola Oct. 16.

An overflow crowd gathered to listen to a panel of ECU experts as they shared their perspectives on Ebola Oct. 16.

A native of Sierra Leone, graduate student Issa Thullah served on the panel to offer his unique insight about the western region of Africa. He said he doesn’t personally know of anyone infected with the virus, but he has heard of many cases in his hometown of Freetown.

“Misconceptions are rampant there, and it fuels a strong distrust of doctors,” he told the crowd. “There have been decades of injustice, abuse and corruption by government officials and health care providers who are supposed to protect the public in Sierra Leone.”

Holly Mathews, a professor of anthropology, added, “It’s hard for Americans to conceptualize the health care system in Africa because it’s virtually non-existent. There’s a lot of suspicion and paranoia about attempts to keep patients in isolation and prevent the spread of disease.”

Also featured on the panel were: Alethia Cook, director of ECU’s Security Studies program; Viva Reynolds from Geography, Planning and Environment; Dr. Kristina Simeonsson, an associate professor at the Brody School of Medicine and public health expert; Angela Thompson from the Department of History; and Bob Thompson from the Department of Public Administration.

The Q&A session allowed attendees to address their concerns directly with local experts on infectious disease and pandemics.

Jen Fox, a sophomore in political science, said she would be getting extra credit by attending the event, but that she planned to be there anyway.

“We hear so much on the news about it,” she said. “I really wanted to hear from Dr. (Alethia) Cook on the issue, since I’ve had a class with her and I trust her expertise, instead of just reading Facebook articles that people keep sharing.”

Holly Mathews, left, from the ECU Department of Anthropology and Paul Cook, Internal Medicine / Infectious Disease at Brody School of Medicine, spoke about the Ebola outbreak at the Oct. 16 event.

Holly Mathews, left, from the ECU Department of Anthropology and Paul Cook, Internal Medicine / Infectious Diseases at Brody School of Medicine, spoke about the Ebola outbreak at the Oct. 16 event.

The World Health Organization reported a total of 4,493 deaths out of 8,998 suspected cases as of Oct. 15. There have only been three cases of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., and the virus can only be spread by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person after symptoms have developed.

“The risk (of transmission) is highest when someone is exhibiting symptoms and is at their sickest, so that’s good, because people won’t be at Harris Teeter or Starbucks when they’re sick anyway,” Simeonsson said.

And to answer the question posed in the name of the event, the panelists agreed: we’re all in it together. Ebola is a global problem, not just Africa’s.

“This is definitely a worldwide issue. In addition to airlines canceling flights in and out of the area, you’ve got health care workers being sent from all over,” Reynolds said. “And there’s a significant economic impact as oil exports through Nigeria are now being affected.”

ECU Preparations

As the country braces for more diagnoses of Ebola, ECU is making plans to ensure the campus community remains safe and protected from the virus.

Bill Koch, associate vice chancellor for environmental health and safety, said, “Although experts believe that Ebola poses a low risk to Greenville and ECU, our communicable disease team is working with Vidant, the Pitt County Health Department and other UNC schools to update our plans, coordinate efforts and resources and prepare our staff just in case.”

Among the ongoing efforts of campus officials:

  • The UNC campus system is in constant communication with infectious disease experts at the state health department and CDC. All campuses are sharing information and are getting prepared should any further action be needed.
  • The ECU Communicable Disease Outbreak Planning Committee has been convening for the past several months, focused on identifying potential needs and action steps for various emergency scenarios, including influenza and Ebola.
  • The committee is comprised of ECU experts as well as members of the local health care community, including Vidant, Pitt County Health Department and Pitt County Emergency Management, to ensure collaboration and sharing of resources.
  • A section of the ECU Alert website has been dedicated to the aggregation of campus-wide resources for Ebola.
  • Ebola awareness has been promoted to students and faculty who potentially traveled to West Africa; a handout illustrates what steps should be taken if travel has occurred.
  • An “Ebola: the facts, not the hype” blog post was shared by Student Health Services to clarify truths about the virus.
  • The Anthropology Student Organization and the ECU Chapter of Project Tumara hosted an Ebola Awareness Week. Events included an informational booth on Oct. 7 and a bake sale benefitting relief in Sierra Leone on Oct. 8.

Pirate Read author encourages accountability

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Visiting author Wes Moore, author of ECU's Pirate Read selection "The Other Wes Moore, interacts with a small group of students on campus Oct. 21 before a larger presentation that followed in Wright Auditorium. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Visiting author Wes Moore, author of ECU’s Pirate Read selection “The Other Wes Moore,” interacts with a small group of students on campus Oct. 21 before a larger presentation that followed in Wright Auditorium. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

 

By Spaine Stephens
For ECU News Services

A hush swept over the standing-room-only crowd Oct. 21 in Wright Auditorium as Wes Moore bounded to the center of the stage. The author of “The Other Wes Moore” delivered a message that touched on the importance of accountability, opportunity and community.

“You’re here to be heard,” Moore told the group of mostly students. “You’re here to give it everything you’ve got.”

He urged them to take advantage of higher education and all it has to offer, to experience it not just for good grades but also to exact a positive difference for themselves and for others in college and beyond. “Take this experience and drive it ‘til the wheels fall off,” he said. “Higher education will never simply be determined by your transcripts.”

Moore visited ECU as part of the annual Pirate Read program, through which incoming freshmen are expected to read and study a selected book before arriving on campus. Students then participate in class discussions, seminars and other activities based on the book’s central themes.

“The Other Wes Moore” explores how the paths of two “Baltimore sons,” both named Wes Moore, diverged based on decisions and circumstances.

The author and the man who shares his name were born blocks apart within a year of each other. The author became a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow and business leader.

The other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence for his involvement in the 2000 murder of a Baltimore County police officer.

ECU students gathered for an in-depth discussion of the Pirate Read selection, led by the book's author, Wes Moore.

ECU students gathered for an in-depth discussion of the Pirate Read selection, led by the book’s author, Wes Moore.

Moore emphasized the importance of choosing a positive direction in life based on motivation to improve society, and how accountability can change both individuals and society. The book also shows how factors like socio-economic status and the presence of role models can play a part in how people perceive their strengths and abilities— and what they choose to do with them.

“There are people standing on the edge of greatness,” he said, “and they don’t even know it.”

After considering both Moores’ life stories and whether or not to write the book, the author decided to write a letter to the imprisoned Moore. The response he received was “one of the most interesting letters I’ve ever read in my life,” he said. It was also one that raised more questions than answers on how two lives could go in such different directions. The letters continued, followed by face-to-face visits at the prison.

Moore stressed that the point of the book is not to “celebrate one” Wes Moore and “castigate the other,” but that one thing he hopes readers get out of the work is “how thin that line is between our life and someone else’s,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Moore met with a small group of selected students for an in-depth discussion of the book and a question-and-answer session. The students peppered Moore with creative inquiries about the title of the book and how the incarcerated Moore felt about its publication.

The author Moore said he would not have moved forward with the project without the other Moore’s permission—he agreed and gave the author contact information for friends and family whose accounts also appear in the book. Even with his cooperation, said the author, tensions naturally flared at times throughout the research process because of the investigative nature of the project.

“We had to delve into a place of discomfort,” he said. “It was definitely a delicate dance.”

He said the imprisoned Wes Moore was amazed after reading the book, seeing how his decisions and actions changed the course of his life. The author added that he is haunted that the two Wes Moores could have easily been in opposite situations.

“I wanted to let the reader go on a journey,” he said, “to see that it’s the smallest decision—made by us or to us—that can make all the difference in where we end up.”

Evidence of that journey was present in the students’ questions for Moore. Some wondered which Moore was truly the “other Wes Moore,”—both are, Moore said—while others wanted to know the very moment the author knew his own life was headed in a positive direction. One student wanted updates on other people mentioned in the book who played parts in both Moores’ lives—some updates were good; others were tragic.

Destiny DeHart, a senior majoring in art and psychology, was selected to attend the small group session through the Honors College and EC Scholars program. She said hearing Moore speak helped her view the book and its themes in a new narrative voice and perspective.

“I want to go back and re-read it in his voice,” she said. “You could really see how he grew.”

DeHart said that having access to authors and other guest speakers on campus enriches students’ experiences and enables them to learn as much as possible from the speaker’s expertise.

“These kinds of opportunities,” she said, “are really important to the quality and our outlook as a college and as individuals.”

The Pirate Read program encourages students to engage in intellectual dialogue and critical thinking. It offers opportunities for students and faculty to relate the selected books’ central themes across the curriculum. Each year, a committee of faculty, staff and students choose the book. Recent selections include “Picking Cotton,” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” and “It Happened on the Way to War.”

ECU hosts adapted sports clinic

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Members of the ECU club hockey team took on the Cat5 Canes during an adapted sports clinic exhibition of sled hockey Oct. 18. (Photos courtesy of Courtney Tittus, team photographer)

Members of the ECU club hockey team took on the Cat5 Canes during an adapted sports clinic exhibition of sled hockey Oct. 18. (Photos courtesy of Courtney Tittus, team photographer)

 

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

Black Jack resident William Hulslander tried sled hockey at a clinic hosted by East Carolina University and liked it so much that he ended up joining a team.

Hulslander, who lost both legs in an accident, took part in ECU’s fall adapted sports clinic held Oct. 18 at Bladez on Ice in Greenville.

The day helped bring awareness to recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Hulslander joined the Cat5 Canes sled hockey team from Raleigh, which played ECU’s club hockey team in an exhibition game before the clinic. The Cat5 Canes are sponsored by the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

William Hulslander, far left wearing orange, warms up for a game of sled hockey.

William Hulslander, far left wearing orange, warms up for a game of sled hockey.

Sled hockey, a Paralympic sport, is physically demanding because movement on the sled is totally dependent on the upper body. Players propel themselves by use of spikes on the ends of two three-foot-long sticks.

Core balance and strength are necessary to excel, said Dr. David Loy, ECU associate professor of recreational therapy and graduate program director in the College of Health and Human Performance.

Hulslander, 51, had watched sled hockey in the Paralympic Games and wanted to give it a try. “I didn’t even know ECU had a hockey team,” he said. “I enjoyed it. I got to try it out and block a puck or two.”

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Hulslander has lived in the area since leaving military service in 1985. He was hurt in an industrial accident in 1999 after a lift fell on him at work. Trapped for more than five hours, he lost circulation in both legs, which led to his double amputation.

Originally from Minnesota, he left winter sports behind after moving to North Carolina. “I played a little hockey when I was young, but I haven’t been on the ice in 35 years,” he said.

Events like the sled hockey clinic help introduce different sports to keep people with disabilities healthy and active, and provide valuable opportunities for ECU students.

“Our community is a classroom and (having the event) supports ECU’s mission of serving our community and providing our students an opportunity to learn about the sport of sled hockey, adapted sport equipment and how to build these types of sport programs in other communities,” Loy said.

Meredith Hayek, a doctoral student in physical therapy and graduate research assistant in the Human Movement Lab, was one of five graduate students who served on the planning committee for the event. The clinic presented a practical, real-world situation for students, she said.

Helping patients get from a wheelchair or land into the sled and on the ice requires proper body mechanics to ensure therapist and patient safety.

While providing an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to learn about sled hockey, the adapted sports clinic at ECU also gave ECU students in fields such as physical therapy a chance to learn techniques they can apply in their careers.

While providing an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to learn about sled hockey, the adapted sports clinic at ECU also gave ECU students in fields such as physical therapy a chance to learn techniques they can apply in their careers.

Therapists motivate patients to do as much as possible so they use their muscles and abilities, said Hayek, who is from Hickory. She earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from ECU in 2013.

“As I look toward treating patients in the future, if I had a patient interested in sled hockey, I could use that as an exercise to improve their core strength, arm strength and balance,” Hayek said. “To stay upright in the sled, one must have good core stability and balance. This is especially important in turning.”

Hayek said sled hockey would be a fun way to improve a patient’s physical fitness and observe their limits of stability if an ice facility and equipment were available. She could incorporate exercises into a land-based program if no facility or equipment was available, she said.

“This is the first time we’ve offered this sport in our ECU community,” Loy said. “We continually look for unique sport and recreational opportunities to bring to our community to make others aware of the endless possibilities for individuals with disabilities. This is by far, in my opinion, the most unique sport we’ve included in our events.”

ECU’s departments of recreation and leisure studies and physical therapy collaborated with Support Team for Active Recreation, Vidant Medical Center and the Vidant Medical Center Foundation to host the clinic.

Former Miss America brings diversity message to campus

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Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri spoke to a selected group of students on campus Oct. 22, followed by a presentation in Hendrix Theatre. Davuluri urged her audience to celebrate diversity, while sharing her own experiences with cultural stereotypes. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri spoke to a selected group of students on campus Oct. 22, followed by a presentation in Hendrix Theatre. Davuluri urged her audience to celebrate diversity, while sharing her own experiences with cultural stereotypes. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

 

By Grace Haskin
ECU News Services

Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014, challenged East Carolina University students to celebrate their diversity – whatever that may be – and to be accepting of others.

Davuluri, who spoke Oct. 22 in Hendrix Theatre, is the first Indian-American and second Asian-American to hold the Miss America title. The Syracuse, New York native and daughter of Indian immigrants devoted her year of service to a platform of “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency.”

“Everyone has a story, regardless of where they come from,” said Davuluri. “It’s not about agreeing with one another, or all believing the same thing. It’s about finding an understanding between all cultures and being able to communicate in an open and honest manner.”

At the Diwali festival on the ECU brickyard, Priya Birdi examines the table on which Diya lamps illustrate light replacing darkness.

At the Diwali festival on the ECU brickyard, Priya Birdi examines the table on which Diya lamps illustrate light replacing darkness.

Growing up as the only Indian-American in her school, Davuluri spoke about being harassed as a child because of her race and religion and the stereotypes she still faces today. “I’ve been called everything from Miss 7-Eleven to a terrorist,” she said, challenging the audience to think about how they want to be remembered.

“Your words have power. Any time you speak, you are influencing someone.”

Sonia Kaur, the founder and co-president of the Indian Student Association (ISA), said she felt inspired by Davuluri’s lecture. “Our whole ISA board was sitting there nodding while she spoke, because we could all relate to the stereotypes she talked about,” Kaur said.

Davuluri has been living out of her suitcase since she was crowned last September and has logged over 240,000 miles worldwide to promote her platform. She spoke candidly about the Miss America competition and the not-so glamorous aspects of it. “Everyone wants to win Miss America, but not everyone wants the job of being Miss America,” she said.

The Residence Hall Association and elementary education students met with Davuluri earlier in the day to talk about diversity, cultural competency and anti-bullying efforts. “The students also really appreciated her discussion on interviewing skills and how to be yourself and capitalize on things that make you unique,” said Melissa Haithcox-Dennis, director of the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.

In September, Davuluri crowned Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015 and is now applying to graduate schools to start an MBA program. In the future, she sees herself working in the political arena and continuing to promote cultural awareness and diversity.

Following Davuluri’s lecture, the ISA celebrated Diwali in the Mendenhall Student Center brick-yard. Diwali, also known as Festival of Lights, is a traditional Indian celebration which signifies the victory of light over darkness.

“Diwali celebrates luck and fortune,” said Leela Goel, an EC scholar and junior at ECU. “It is one of the major holidays in India.”

The festivities included traditional Indian crafts, food, music and dancing.

The Ledonia Wright Cultural Center and the ISA co-sponsored the event, which was the largest Diwali festival ever celebrated on ECU’s campus. Organizers plan to make the celebration an annual event.

 

Dancers perform to traditional Indian music during the Diwali festival on campus.

Dancers perform to traditional Indian music during the Diwali festival on campus.

ECU recognized as bicycle friendly university

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East Carolina University was awarded for attention to providing healthy, alternative modes of transportation, including bricked bike paths and walkways for students making their way to class, pictured above. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

East Carolina University was awarded for attention to providing healthy, alternative modes of transportation, including bricked bike paths and walkways for students making their way to class, pictured above. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

 

By Grace Haskin
ECU News Services

East Carolina University has joined 100 cutting-edge colleges and universities nationwide recognized by the League of American Bicyclists with a Silver Bicycle Friendly University award.

“This recognition shows that we are proponents of alternative transportation, healthy lifestyles and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Debra Garfi, director of ECU’s parking and transportation.

Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, praised participating campuses for recognizing the long-term impact a bicycling culture can create. “We applaud this new round of colleges and universities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their staff, students and surrounding communities,” he said.

ECU has made a safer environment for pedestrians and bicyclists by closing roads in the heart of campus and constructing new bike paths that run from Wright Circle to Joyner Library. Over the next several years, bicycling will continue to be encouraged as an easy transportation option.

Despite the progress that has been made, cyclists like Johnathon Fields, an ECU senior, still find themselves riding on the lawn. “A lot of times, I can’t ride on the bike path because people are walking on it, so I definitely think someone should put up signs that say ‘Bike Lane,’” said Fields.

Using the marked bicycle lanes on campus, a student riding a bicycle travels alongside another student on foot. The bicycle lanes marked by different colored bricks were designed to enhance traffic on campus by allowing specific places for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Using the marked bicycle lanes on campus, a student riding a bicycle travels alongside another student on foot. The bicycle lanes marked by different colored bricks were designed to enhance traffic on campus by allowing specific places for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Freshman Erin Olamon said she was unaware of the new lanes. “I thought that was just a cool pattern in the bricks,” she said, referring to the arrows marking the direction for cyclists on the brick path. “I don’t think most people know that those lanes are for bicycles.”

According to ECU landscape architect Kevin Barnes, informing both bikers and pedestrians of shared paths is going to take time. “Pedestrians need to become aware of and understand there is a generous width of a walking path specifically for them and bicyclists need to understand even though there is a lane dedicated to them, they are still responsible for avoiding pedestrians,” he said.

To raise awareness and make ECU even more bicycle friendly, additional amenities will be implemented, such as shared-lane markings and extensions to the Greenville Greenway.

“We are actively involved in planning bike storage and repair stations in university garages,” said Garfi. “We also are working toward covered bike racks and additional bike paths.”

For a detailed list of upcoming projects, view ECU’s Campus Bicycle Master Plan at www.ecu.edu/bikes/bikemasterplan.html.

 

 

ECU College of Business named a top business school for 2015

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ECU College of Business Dean Stan Eakins, pictured above, said that a consistent goal in the college is to prepare students who can think and lead in the business world of today. (Photo by Jay Clark)

ECU College of Business Dean Stan Eakins, pictured above, said that a consistent goal in the college is to prepare students who can think and lead in the business world of today. (Photo by Jay Clark)

 

By Jennifer Brezina
For ECU News Services

For the eighth straight year, East Carolina University’s College of Business ranks among the best in the nation by The Princeton Review.

The education services company features ECU in the 2015 edition of “The Best 296 Business Schools.”

The Princeton Review has ranked ECU's business school among the top in the nation for the eighth consecutive year.

The Princeton Review has ranked ECU’s business school among the top in the nation for the eighth consecutive year.

“The College of Business is proud to be honored once again as one of the nation’s most outstanding business schools,” said Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of the College of Business. “Through all that we do, we strive to prepare and challenge our students with the necessary skills to think, act and lead in today’s business world.”

In the guide, ECU’s College of Business is featured in a two-page profile highlighting academics, career and placement, student life and admissions information. The profile states that “ECU has an intimate feel…Professors know students’ names, and the campus has a friendly atmosphere.” The MBA program “provides students with lots of individual attention and allows them to tailor the program to their needs.”

The Princeton Review compiled the information based on its 80-question survey asking 21,600 students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their experiences. Some school-reported data also was used. Lists and other data are available at http://www.princetonreview.com/business-school-rankings.aspx.

Pirate pride takes center stage

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The annual ECU Homecoming parade made its way down Fifth Street Oct. 4, featuring the ECU Marching Pirates, student organizations and honored alumni. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The annual ECU Homecoming parade made its way down Fifth Street Oct. 4, featuring the ECU Marching Pirates, student organizations and honored alumni. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


By Joy Holster

ECU News Services

A satellite image of western North Carolina from the first weekend in October might reveal vibrant shades of fall. But in the East, purple and gold prevailed.

Pirate pride was evident across the region as East Carolina University celebrated Homecoming weekend Oct. 3 – 5 with events including alumni reunions, the annual Homecoming parade and a match-up at Dowdy-Ficklen stadium with the Pirates playing the Southern Methodist University Mustangs.

At the Alumni Awards ceremony Oct. 3, the university recognized service with presentation of the Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award to Angela Allen ’81 and Carl W. Davis ’73.

ECU alumni Angela Allen, left, and Carl Davis were honored for service at the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony Oct. 3. (Photos courtesy of the ECU Alumni Association)

ECU alumni Angela Allen, left, and Carl Davis were honored for service at the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony Oct. 3. (Photos courtesy of the ECU Alumni Association)

Allen is vice president of IBM’s global sales technical enablement organization, where she designs solutions and training to help solve customers’ technology problems. She is a member of the ECU Board of Visitors, former board member for the Women’s Roundtable and the ECU Foundation, charter member of the College of Engineering and Technology Advancement Council and member of the Department of Computer Science Advisory Council.

Davis is the eastern region sales manager for Electronics Research. He is the immediate past chair of the East Carolina Alumni Association, following two years as chair and earlier service as vice chair and treasurer. He created the financial strategies committee to better facilitate the investment of the alumni association’s endowments. Davis is a founding member of CommCrew, which supports the ECU School of Communication.

Honorary Alumni Awards were announced for E. Jackson Allison Jr., the founding chair and first medical director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine, and Robert Wright (1870-1934), the first president of East Carolina Teachers Training School. Outstanding Alumni Awards were presented to William Clark ’66, ’68, Lt. Gen. William “Mark” Faulkner ’82, Van Isley ’85 and the late Maria “Terry” Shank ’77. Additional information on honorees is available at piratealumni.com.

A main event for younger fans was the annual Homecoming parade on Saturday morning. Crowds gathered up and down Fifth Street for the celebration, which featured alumni, student organizations and members of the Homecoming court representing the theme, “Land of the Free, Home of the Pirates.”

A canned food drive throughout the weekend collected 44,146 pounds of food, nearly twice the 23,000 pounds collected in 2013. Donations will be delivered to the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina and the Campus Kitchen of ECU, which prepares meals for the Little Willie Center, Operation Sunshine, the Ronald McDonald House and JOY Community Center.

For many Pirate fans the crowning event kicked off at noon when ECU’s Pirate football team took the field to play the SMU Mustangs. The game made history as ECU’s first American Athletic Conference football contest. The Pirates scored a 45-24 victory over SMU, with a record-setting performance by quarterback Shane Carden, who broke former quarterback David Garrard’s record as all-time leading passer.

A final shot of Pirate pride closed the weekend Sunday when the football team rose to #19 in both the Associated Press and USA Today rankings.

– The ECU Alumni Association contributed to this article.

The ECU Pirates football team takes the field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for the Oct. 4 contest against the SMU Mustangs. (Photo courtesy of the ECU Alumni Association)

The ECU Pirates football team takes the field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for the Oct. 4 contest against the SMU Mustangs. (Photo courtesy of the ECU Alumni Association)

 

Cousteau calls attention to ocean resources

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Underwater explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau visited with East Carolina University students Oct. 1 before delivering the premier lecture for the Voyages of Discovery lecture series on campus. Cousteau urged better management of the Earth's oceans, which make up 75 percent of the planet. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Underwater explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau visited with East Carolina University students Oct. 1 before delivering the premier lecture for the Voyages of Discovery lecture series on campus. Cousteau urged better management of the Earth’s oceans, which make up 75 percent of the planet. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

 

By Lacey Gray
For ECU News Services

Renowned underwater explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau urged action to protect endangered ocean resources in a presentation Oct. 1 at East Carolina University.

“Marine debris is a global problem with a global solution,” he said. “Every one of us can change this problem.”

Cousteau presented “The Great Ocean Adventure” to an audience of approximately 1,500 in Wright Auditorium, as part of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Voyages of Discovery lecture series.

Students listen attentively to underwater explorer, film producer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau. Students from a variety of disciplines including biology, coastal resources management, maritime studies, anthropology and the Honors College were selected for the opportunity to meet with Cousteau.

Students listen attentively to underwater explorer, film producer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau. Students from a variety of disciplines including biology, coastal resources management, maritime studies, anthropology and the Honors College were selected for the opportunity to meet with Cousteau.

He said that all individuals are connected to the oceans, that without water there is no life, and that decisions made about how those resources are managed have tremendous impact. The chemicals in the products produced by industry and discarded trash all make it into the water systems that ultimately flow into the oceans, affecting marine life, he added.

Cousteau introduced a video showing thousands of bits of plastic, bottles, bags and trash that littered the water and shores of Necker Island, 1,200 miles north of Hawaii. “We were shocked to see what was out there in the middle of the ocean,” he said. “What people think is, out of sight – out of mind.”

Cousteau’s work continues a mission initiated by his father, Jacques Cousteau, to preserve the oceans and the life within them. He asked the audience to consider how they might make a positive impact on the environment, especially critical water resources. “I know we will make a difference, but we have a lot to do,” he said.

Cosponsors of the Cousteau lecture included ECU’s Chancellor’s Office, Office of the Provost, Division of Research and Graduate Studies, Division of Student Affairs and Division of Health Sciences. The Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series is made possible through contributions from Harriot College’s Dean’s Advancement Council, various university organizations and many friends and supporters. To contribute, contact Major Gifts Officer Jennifer Tripp at 252-737-4201 or trippj@ecu.edu.

For additional information about the Voyages series and upcoming speakers, visit www.ecu.edu/voyages.

Educate To Career ranks ECU No. 4 in nation

ECU students work in the computer lab in the College of Technology and Computer Science, which prepares students to enter the workforce with skills that are currently in demand by major IT corporations. ECU has been ranked among the top in the nation for preparing its graduates to succeed in the workforce. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
ECU students work in the computer lab in the College of Technology and Computer Science, which prepares students to enter the workforce with skills that are currently in demand by major IT corporations. ECU has been ranked among the top in the nation for preparing its graduates to succeed in the workforce. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

ECU students work in the computer lab in the College of Technology and Computer Science, which prepares students to enter the workforce with skills that are currently in demand by major IT corporations. ECU has been ranked among the top universities in the nation for preparing its graduates to succeed in the workforce. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

 

East Carolina University is ranked No. 4 out of more than 1,200 universities in the nation by Educate To Career in its 2015 College Rankings Index.

The rankings provide “actual college outcomes data,” according to the California nonprofit.

Chancellor Steve Ballard said the rankings reflect ECU’s commitment to student success. “ECU is especially pleased with the ETC rankings because they are one of the few rankings that measure what actually happens to the student when they get to campus,” he said. “We are clearly among the very best in the nation in terms of the value we add to the student experience.”

The ETC index analyzes data from four-year colleges with enrollments of 1,000 students or more. The index evaluates the total costs related to attending college and the outcomes of the students when they enter the workforce. The rankings are determined by which schools did the best job of improving the earnings and attainment of quality employment of their students, according to the ETC website.

“The Index empirically determines the economic value added by each of the 1,224 colleges ranked within our system. We calculate the improvement in earnings and employability of persons who attended specific colleges, relative to those similarly situated in other colleges,” said Michael R. Havis, founder of Educate to Career.

Some of the metrics used include percentage of graduates employed in occupations using their field of study, average salary, if students are employed within one year of graduation and the number of years in school.

“We are very proud of the accomplishment of our students and their ability to earn competitive salaries and attain success in their first destination upon completion of their education,” said Karen Thompson, director of the ECU Career Center. “This is evidenced by the fact that more than 64 percent of our graduates connected with the ECU Career Center multiple times throughout their academic career to intentionally plan their future career, apply their education through internships or co-ops and then actively apply for meaningful careers or advanced degrees.”

HEED award recognizes leadership in diversity

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ECU freshmen, left to right, David Lopez, Jordan Toth and David Warren take a break from classes near the Trustees Fountain. Attention to diversity and inclusion in everyday campus culture has led to a third consecutive HEED Award for East Carolina University. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

ECU freshmen, left to right, David Lopez, Jordan Toth and David Warren take a break from classes near the Trustees Fountain. Attention to diversity and inclusion in everyday campus culture has led to a third consecutive HEED Award for East Carolina University. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)


By Jamitress Bowden
For ECU News Services

East Carolina University has been recognized with the HEED award for the third consecutive year for its efforts in diversity and inclusion.

The Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award is given by Insight into Diversity magazine. The magazine annually recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“ECU continues to be among the leaders of diversity and inclusion efforts and initiatives within higher education and we’re being recognized for our efforts,” said LaKesha Alston, associate provost for equity and diversity.

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight into Diversity, said, “We hope the HEED award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture.”

This recognition also aligns with the university’s new strategic plan, Beyond Tomorrow, which includes continuing the commitment to diversity and inclusion and increasing opportunity as two of the seven guiding principles.

“The Office for Equity and Diversity will be collaborating with partners across campus to develop the institution’s diversity plan for the next five years in alignment with the university’s strategic plan,” said Alston.

Working to provide students with a globally diverse and inclusive environment and curriculum is important for success, Alston said. Providing employees with a diverse and inclusive workplace is equally important and both remain a priority in groups at the university, such as the Chancellor’s Diversity Leadership Cabinet.

“Making sure that we preserve our mission as an access university, regardless of individual or cultural difference, is very important to me,” said Alston.

Also recognized from North Carolina were Elon University and N.C. State University.

Grant enables research on biological warfare agent

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ECU professor Dr. Marty Roop, left, and graduate student Ahmed Elhassanny are studying the Brucella bacterium at the Brody School of Medicine. A recent grant from the National Institutes of Health will support the ongoing research. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU professor Dr. Marty Roop, left, and graduate student Ahmed Elhassanny are studying the Brucella bacterium at the Brody School of Medicine. A recent grant from the National Institutes of Health will support the ongoing research. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

 

By Amy Adams Ellis
ECU News Services

Twenty-seven years of studying the bacterium Brucella have only served to increase Dr. Marty Roop’s fascination with it. That’s a good thing, because Roop, professor in the Brody School of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, recently landed a grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue studying this organism that can knock grown men to their knees and keep them there for weeks.

The new two-year, $364,000 grant will help Roop’s team continue laying groundwork for a vaccine to prevent Brucella’s crippling effects in humans. More specifically, they’re trying to determine exactly how the organism produces disease in the host.

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Research associate Josh Pitzer assists in the Brucella research under way at the Brody School of Medicine.

Brucellosis – the disease caused by Brucella – is the world’s leading zoonosis, or infection that occurs naturally in animals. Humans become accidental hosts through contact with animals like cattle, sheep, goats and swine, as well as animal products. The resulting flu-like symptoms are both debilitating and long-lived – but seldom fatal – making Brucella an ideal biological warfare agent.

“Having to care for thousands of sick people can wreak more havoc than dealing with as many deaths,” said Roop, who conducted years of research on Brucella at Louisiana State University Medical Center-Shreveport before joining Brody in 2001.

Roop said there are animal vaccines for the bacterium, but no vaccine that works in humans. “The current vaccines make us sick,” Roop said. “But if we can learn how Brucella produces disease, we can use genetic engineering to create strains without the ability to produce disease. Those strains could then be used in a human vaccine.”

Brucellosis is highly infectious, Roop said. Treatment requires six to eight weeks of two different antibiotics, which often produce undesirable side effects of their own. Patients are typically bedridden for the duration of the disease.

Brucella is rare in the United States but common worldwide, according to Roop. “A vaccine could greatly benefit our military troops who might consume dairy products in countries where agricultural agencies don’t control the disease in animals and where milk from these animals isn’t routinely pasteurized,” he said.

The particular type of grant Roop was awarded encourages researchers to venture out slightly from their former areas of focus. In this case, Roop and his fellow researchers will transition from exploring Brucella’s dependence on iron for survival to exploring its need for a different metal: manganese.

That’s enough to keep Roop fascinated for quite a while, he said.

“Brucella’s natural ecological niche is a microphage, the white blood cell that’s part of our innate immunity system – the cell that normally kills invading pathogens,” he said. “I just can’t get over the fact that ‘our bug’ has evolved to be able to avoid our natural defenses and make a nice little happy home for itself right inside this particular cell,” he said, laughing.

Roop’s lab is the only one in North Carolina researching Brucella, but there are between 10 and 15 labs working on it nationally, he said. “It’s a small community, and we openly share data with each other,” he added.

Roop’s team includes graduate students Ahmed Elhassanny and David Martinson, research associate Josh Pitzer, research technician John Baumgartner and Dr. Daniel Martin, research associate professor in microbiology and immunology.

Chaney receives gubernatorial appointment

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By Kathy Muse
Health and Human Performance

Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed East Carolina University assistant professor Dr. Beth Chaney to the North Carolina Substance Abuse and Underage Drinking Prevention and Treatment Task Force.

Chaney

Chaney

The task force consists of 20 members appointed for a two-year term.

“I am honored to be appointed to the Governor’s task force and am hopeful that we will make positive impacts related to substance abuse and underage drinking prevention,” said Chaney.

Chaney leads a team of ECU researchers in an alcohol field study conducted in downtown Greenville. The study results will provide important data related to drinking behaviors of over 1,000 bar patrons for the task force to consider when developing recommendations for approaches to address the hazardous drinking issues in North Carolina.

“The behaviors associated with high-risk drinking are complex. Solutions to this problem will demand a multileveled approach, involving changes not only at the individual level, but also at the institutional, community and policy levels,” said Chaney.

Members are charged with preparing a comprehensive plan to address the underage sale and use of alcohol and drugs, risky behaviors and substance abuse among collegians. Additional work includes providing treatment and recovery services for individuals struggling with substance abuse, according to the executive order which created the task force. “I look forward to working with the task force members to begin to develop strategies for tackling these problems, said Chaney.”

“Substance abuse and underage drinking are critical public health concerns,” said Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance. “Beth’s service on this task force will add a researcher that understands the behavior of this important population as well as practical approaches to address the issues.”

The task force will build on statewide prevention, treatment and enforcement initiatives implemented by the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, Alcohol Law Enforcement Division, the Department of Health and Human Services and the UNC system.

The governor signed the executive order at ECU May 14. ECU is one of six University of North Carolina campuses that will take part in a pilot program that will emphasize prevention and treatment.

Chaney earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in health studies from The University of Alabama. She received a doctorate in health education from Texas A&M University.

Paul published in Science magazine

Joseph Paul

An East Carolina University EC Scholar and biology major concluded a summer research experience at Stanford University with an article published in Science magazine.

Joseph Paul

Joseph Paul

Joseph W. Paul III helped his mentor at Stanford review two original manuscripts on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The fatal neurodegenerative disease has received national attention recently because of the popular ice bucket challenge to raise funds for ALS research.

Paul’s work resulted in the paper “Clogging information flow in ALS,” co-authored by Aaron D. Gitler, associate professor of genetics at Stanford. The article appears in the Sept. 5 edition of Science. The article explores the implications of new research into the largest genetic cause of ALS and another disease, frontotemporal dementia. It can be found at: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6201/1118.full.pdf?sid=a4c42bbf-cc94-4681-b1bf-40eb2a373dc4.

Paul is the son of West Paul, ’92 MD and PhD ECU Brody School of Medicine, and Sheri Paul of Raleigh.

The EC Scholars is the university’s most prestigious undergraduate academic scholarship program. The four-year merit scholarship recognizes outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills. Recipients also receive a stipend for study abroad.

Champion swimmers return to campus

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Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, above, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s.

Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, upper image, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s, below.

Three members of East Carolina’s 1959 NAIA national championship swim team returned to campus the weekend of Sept. 20 to attend a reunion of the Sigma Nu fraternity.

Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith were among 10 swimmers on the 1957 and 1959 teams selected as All-Americans. McCann and Smith each won six events at national competitions. McCann swam the breaststroke and is credited with inventing what’s called the whip kick that now is widely used in competitive swimming.

East Carolina’s swim team also won the 1957 NAIA national championships.

Several members of both national championship swim teams were Sigma Nu brothers. Sigma Nu was among the first social fraternities on campus. The fraternity closed several years ago but is slated to officially return to campus in 2016.

Faucette now lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Smith lives in Hickory and McCann lives in Morehead City.

— Steve Tuttle

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

Flying vehicle takes second in competition

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From left to right, Dr. Zhen Zhu and ECU engineering students Logan Cole, Alan Register and Tyree Parker. (Contributed photo)

From left to right, Dr. Zhen Zhu and ECU engineering students Logan Cole, Alan Register and Tyree Parker. (Contributed photo)

 

By Margaret Turner
ECU College of Engineering and Technology

Three East Carolina University undergraduate engineering students built a flying vehicle this summer that took second place in a unique national competition.

The students, led by ECU Assistant Professor of Engineering Zhen Zhu, competed against six other universities at the Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Competition at the 2014 Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Systems Conference in Dayton, Ohio. The competition, the first of its kind, was part of the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate.

Students Logan Cole, Tyree Parker and Alan Register are members of ECU’s student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Zhu, faculty advisor for the organization, said the student team used very low cost materials to build the aircraft. Most competitors had larger budgets and were able to use higher end materials and sensors.

Cole and Register attended the competition with Zhu.

The students’ vehicle was required to use autonomous navigation and target geo-location in a GPS-denied environment. The vehicle had to fly autonomously and find an object and record its coordinates. “It was a difficult task for a relatively young group of students. Many of the teams consisted of graduate level students and ours are all undergraduates,” Zhu said.

The competition was divided into three parts: demonstration, a written report and an oral presentation. The team took first place in the flying portion. “The design and concept was done by the students,” Zhu said. “I was most impressed with how well we did using the lower cost materials and open source software.”

Register, a sophomore biomedical engineering student, got involved at Zhu’s request after working on another unmanned aerial vehicle competition earlier in the year. “In this competition, we experienced real world situations like signal interferences that can’t be simulated in a lab,” Register said. “As an engineer, we want to experience real world problems and not just produce an ideal solution.”

Cole, a senior, learned how to read and write C code, a frequently used programming language. “I want to work with microcontrollers after college so this is a great way to get some firsthand experience,” he said.

The College of Engineering and Technology has more than 20 active student organizations, which provide opportunities for competitions, learning outside of the classroom and networking. For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-tecs/student_organizations.cfm.

ECU Neurology dubbed leader in MS care

Representatives from the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society visited Greenville to formally present ECU Physicians Neurology with recognition as a partner in MS care. Pictured during that event are, left to right, are Robert Frere, Londra Fleming, Shawnna Patterson, Donald L. Price Jr., Lovie Powers and Kaye Gooch. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
 Representatives from the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society visited Greenville to formally present ECU Physicians Neurology with recognition as a partner in MS care. Pictured during that event are, left to right, are Robert Frere, Londra Fleming, Shawnna Patterson, Donald L. Price Jr., Lovie Powers and Kaye Gooch. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)


Representatives from the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society visited Greenville to formally present ECU Physicians Neurology with recognition as a partner in MS care. Pictured during that event are, left to right, are Robert Frere, Londra Fleming, Shawnna Patterson, Donald L. Price Jr., Lovie Powers and Kaye Gooch. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

 

By Amy Adams Ellis
ECU News Services

ECU Physicians Neurology, a leading provider of care for people living with multiple sclerosis in eastern North Carolina, has been recognized as an official “Partner in MS Care” by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This formal designation honors the practice’s commitment to providing exceptional MS care, and to working closely with the society to address the challenges of people affected by the disease.

“We are so proud to partner with ECU Physicians Neurology to enhance coordinated care for the more than 800 people who live with MS in Pitt County and its surrounding areas,” said Kaye Gooch, executive vice president of programs and services for the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“In earning this recognition, ECU Physicians Neurology has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in MS care, making a tremendous impact on people affected by MS in their community and region,” she said.

Joseph Hodges, clinical administrative manager for the practice, said, “This designation is an important achievement for us because it endorses the level of care and professional commitment our physicians and staff provide our patients living with multiple sclerosis. It means we work in cooperation with the MS Society and with many local providers and hospitals to ensure patients receive the highest level of quality care available.

“Although multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurological disease, it impacts many body functions,” he added. “Thus, coordination with other physicians and caregivers is essential for patients to achieve a high level of functionality in their daily lives.”

MS is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system in which the body’s immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, disrupting the flow of information between the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body.

Symptoms can range from relatively benign to disabling and include blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, memory and concentration problems, paralysis and blindness. It’s estimated that more than 2.3 million people worldwide are affected by MS.

ECU Physicians Neurology is the largest and most comprehensive neurological medical practice in eastern North Carolina, with 10 physicians who care for patients with MS. One of them, Dr. Robert Frere, who is board-certified in neurology and psychiatry, holds a specialty certification in neurophysiology.

The practice provides MS diagnosis, neuropsychological or cognitive evaluation and treatment, ongoing MS medical and symptom management, pain management, and patient and family education. They also participate in MS clinical trials and research.

ECU Physicians Neurology is located at 2280 Hemby Lane in Greenville. For an appointment, call 252-752-4848, or toll-free 1-800-775-4840. For more information about the practice visit www.ecneurology.com.

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