Dean Stephen W. Thomas honored with retirement reception

Retiring dean Dr. Stephen Thomas and his wife Melody stand beside the portrait unveiled at a retirement ceremony. (Photo by Gretchen Baugh)

Retiring dean Dr. Stephen Thomas and his wife Melody stand beside the portrait unveiled at a retirement ceremony. (Photo by Gretchen Baugh)

By Lauren Edmondson
College of Allied Health Sciences

Faculty and staff from across East Carolina University gathered at the East Carolina Heart Institute on Oct. 13 to honor Dr. Stephen Thomas, who will retire as the dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences this month after 34 years with the college.

Thomas came to ECU in 1980 as a faculty member in the rehabilitation studies department, tasked to start and direct the vocational evaluation master’s degree program. He was named chair of the department in 1998 then later named interim dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences in April 2001.

After his promotion to dean in 2003, Thomas led the college through several new endeavors including the move from its former location in the Belk Building to the new Health Sciences Building in 2006, and a name change to the College of Allied Health Sciences from its original name, the School of Allied Health Sciences.

The retirement reception included food and fellowship, and several gifts and honors were presented to Thomas in thanks for his service and dedication to the field. Along with a certificate of appreciation for his work with the annual Jean Mills Health Symposium, Thomas received the honor of being named Dean Emeritus and a gold stole signifying that new role.

Following the presentations, words of gratitude and praise reflected the dean’s loyalty and passion for the allied health sciences, along with quips about Thomas’ notoriously messy office. Speakers included Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences Dr. Phyllis Horns; deans from across the health sciences campus; his daughter, Dr. Darby Thomas; and chairs of the eight allied health departments.

Thomas then took the podium to thank those in attendance for their continued commitment to the college. He recognized his chairs, faculty, staff and fellow administrators, and then thanked his wife Melody for her unwavering support during his years as dean, interim dean, chair and faculty member at the college.

The evening closed with the unveiling of a portrait of Thomas painted by artist Irene Bailey to be displayed in the Health Sciences Building.

Prior to joining ECU, Thomas held academic, research and administrative positions with the University of Arizona in Tucson, the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Thomas earned his doctorate of education and his master’s degree in rehabilitation studies from the University of Arizona and his bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

Thomas said that he bases his leadership philosophy on a quote by mariner and author John Rousmaniere that states, “The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself.”

ECU receives financial support from Pitt County ABC for alcohol education efforts

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Left to right, Teresa Campbell, Pitt County ABC executive, presents a donation for ECU alcohol education efforts to ECU Dean of Students Lynn Roeder and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy.

By Kelly Setzer
ECU News Services

East Carolina University will use a donation from the Pitt County Alcoholic Beverage Control toward efforts to educate students on the dangers of alcohol.

“What started with a $10,000 grant a few years ago has grown to $30,000 dollars in support for vital alcohol education programming on our campus,” said Lynn Roeder, dean of students at ECU. “Pitt County ABC’s support has transformed the university’s ability to provide consistent outreach, training and resources to combat the No. 1 health and safety issue on most college campuses. We are very thankful for their support.”

During the 2014-15 academic year, the financial gift will support two main initiatives: Alcohol EDU and the Pirate Dry Dock.

Alcohol EDU is an online education module required of all first-year ECU students. The training aims to reduce underage drinking by exposing students to the laws and consequences resulting from it, as well as to teach students about low-risk and high-risk drinking behaviors.

The Pirate Dry Dock is ECU’s new alcohol-free tailgating alternative for students, which began Aug. 30 for family weekend and continued Sept. 20 before the UNC game. More than 245 students participated in the first two tailgates, with another scheduled for Oct. 23.

ECU continues extensive campus-wide efforts to educate students about alcohol. “We are very appreciative of the longstanding relationship and financial support from the Pitt County ABC board,” said Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for Student Affairs at ECU. “The partnership has allowed ECU and the Division of Student Affairs to successfully launch the Pirate Dry Dock tailgate series and educate thousands of first year student Pirates about the risks associated with underage drinking through the online module.”

Teresa Campbell, Pitt County ABC executive, presented the check to Roeder and Hardy on Oct. 14.

“Pitt County ABC believes deeply that proper education and training about alcohol consumption leads to decreased underage drinking and better decision making,” Campbell said. “We are proud to have increased our financial support for ECU’s efforts to keep students safe and informed. We hope to continue this partnership into the future.”

Platinum Street Ballers to perform at ECU Oct. 18

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The Platinum Street Ballers, formerly ESPN’s And 1 Street Ball, will present their unique style of basketball at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18 in Minges Coliseum at East Carolina University.

The event is free and open to the public. Giveaways, music and concessions will be provided. The performance is a kickoff event for the ECU Lady Pirate basketball team as it embarks on the inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference.

This season also launches a partnership between ECU’s Women’s Basketball and WZMB 91.3 FM, ECU’s student-run radio station. WZMB will broadcast all women’s games and will stream games online at www.ecu.edu/wzmb.

For additional information, contact YaLanda Davis at (252) 328-4751 or wzmb@ecu.edu.

2014 Fall Career Fair set for Oct. 16

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East Carolina University will host the Fall Career Fair from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 16 at Minges Coliseum. More than 100 employers are expected at Minges to recruit ECU students for internships and job opportunities.

Students are encouraged to meet with a career counselor prior to the event for resume critique and success strategies. Attendees should also research companies registered to attend so they may demonstrate knowledge of companies in discussions with representatives.

On-campus students should bring an ECU OneCard for admittance. Alumni and distance education students should bring either an ECU OneCard, Banner ID, or e-mail address to the event. All attendees are required to be dressed in business professional attire for admittance.

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For questions contact the Career Center at www.ecu.edu/career, 252.328.6050  or career@ecu.edu