New Croatan

Faculty, staff and students returning for the Spring 2011 semester found a newly renovated Croatan, with new and exciting options for meals on campus including a full-service Chick-Fil-A and a Chili's Too. Pictured above, John Worsley cleans the Chili’s Too sign on the second floor of the redone Croatan. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

New Croatan opens as students return to ECU

By Jeannine Manning Hutson

Former East Carolina University students who remember the Croatan from its early years will be surprised to learn where they used to pop in for a soft drink and sandwich has been replaced with a building housing two full-service restaurants.

Built in 1970, the Croatan had grown to house a Chick-fil-A Express and serve approximately 3,000 customers per day. The building was demolished in June 2009 to make way for the two-story building that stands on the site today, which opened for faculty, staff and students Jan. 10.

The new Croatan houses two foodservice offerings: Chili’s Too and an expanded full-service Chick-fil-A. Private and public dining areas will be available on the first floor; the second floor will house Chili’s Too, where customers can order at a counter and dine in a restaurant seating area.

Upstairs, the private dining area has been named “The University Club” and will provide table-service for faculty and staff members from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. and can be reserved by groups, including student clubs, for dinner meetings. On its walls are framed ECU sports jerseys and sports photos. Downstairs, two meetings area will allow large groups, up to 120 people, to meet in “The Green Room,” or a small group in a side meeting room.

In all, the two restaurant spaces can seat approximately 400 customers, approximately five-times more than the former Croatan.

The update aimed at the preferences of students’ tastes, said Stephanie Sumner, marketing manager with ECU Campus Dining/Aramark.

“We’ve started advertising two months ago about the new facility’s opening date and we’re hearing a lot of buzz from students and everything we’re hearing from them is positive,” Sumners said Thursday, as crews finished last minute details such as power-washing the outside walkways.

The structure will also be the first LEED-certified building on campus. LEED ratings measure the environmental sustainability of a building. Special lighting, water cisterns in the courtyard and ecologically friendly landscaping are planned. An interesting component of the building, and part of the LEED accreditation, is that the bricks used on the outside of the building were reclaimed from a demolished N.C. tobacco warehouse.

The contractor for the project was Rodgers Builders from Charlotte.

Campus groups interested in reserving dining space for meetings in the new Croatan should call ECU Catering at 328-4756.

croatan2

Francis Winn prepares a coffeemaker for the opening of the Croatan.

Share

Honoring MLK

A candlelight vigil and march held on campus Jan. 17 honored the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday at ECU (pictured above). Following the march, participants enjoyed a short program and performance by the ECU Gospel Choir. On Jan. 19, acclaimed writer Kevin Powell presented, “Looking for Martin; Dr. King’s Dream in the 21st Century,” as keynote speaker for the Celebrating the Dream event on campus. Considered one of the country’s most influential voices, Powell is the author of 10 books including “Open Letters to America,” a collection of essays that examines American leadership, politics and social issues in the era of Barack Obama. Additional events surrounding the university’s celebration of MLK Day included a Day of Service, in which members of the ECU community joined together in volunteer service throughout the area. Pictured below, an ECU volunteer helps out the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina by exercising one of their animals. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Share

Marathon Honeymoon

A dream trip ends with a race to the finish line

By Jeannine Hutson

Jim and Amy Kearns had their dream wedding two years and decided to save up for their dream wedding trip. Their plans were delayed slightly by a move down to North Carolina for his new job at the East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University.

They finally made it to Hawaii in September and it was worth the wait, they said. The islands lived up to the reputation in travel articles and their friends’ raves.

While touring the islands, Amy said they did what many honeymooners do – they ran a marathon. “What other people don’t do this?” she said laughing.

Jim Kearns is a physician assistant in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU. His undergraduate degree from Rutgers University is in English and comparative literature. He went back to school to become a physician assistant and during his last rotations at St. Francis University in Loretto, Penn., he fell in love with cardiology and cardiac surgery. He joined the ECU program two years ago.

Amy Kearns is a registered dietitian with Fresenius Medical Care-Greenville working with dialysis patients.

They were married Oct. 25, 2008, at the historic Stony Hill Inn in New Jersey. “We went all out for our wedding, so we delayed our honeymoon,” she said.

“We decided on Hawaii because it was exotic. We went to three islands – Kauai, which is called the greenest island and least developed with chickens running around,” Jim said. “We also went to the Oahu where Waikiki Beach is and it’s very commercialized. It was nice, but sitting by the pool it’s like being in Miami or Las Vegas. It had night life, nice restaurants and shops.”

This island is also where Jim lived out his “Man vs. Food” dream, trying to eat four pounds of pancakes with one pound of topping with no time limit. “I failed miserably,” he said.

And their final island was Maui, where the 40th annual Maui Marathon was held Sept. 19. “It was our favorite. You have the mountains on one side and the beach on the other. You have the black sand beach, the white sand beach, the red sand beach. It’s unbelievably beautiful,” Jim said.

“Maui wasn’t supposed to be our last destination, but we had just finished booking our trip when Amy, who is an avid runner, said, I wonder if there’s a marathon in Maui,” Jim said.

Amy laughed and said, “Because that’s what honeymooners do, right?”

At first Jim told Amy not to search for races online. “I said, not this time because you always want to incorporate running into our vacations,” he said.

Amy couldn’t resist looking, and the Maui Marathon was set for their time in Hawaii. The travel agent was able to rework their reservations so they could be in Maui on the marathon date.

As Amy was signing up to run the marathon, she asked Jim if he wanted to run, knowing it’s been on his “bucket list” for a while.

Jim said, “We were watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ while we were planning the trip, and they had the contestants run a marathon. There was a particular contestant and I said, ‘There’s no way he’s going to finish. If he finishes, then I’ll run.’ And sure enough, he finished.

“And then she said, ‘If you run the marathon, then we can start a family.’ I said, OK, sign me up,” he said.

It’s important to note, when Jim decided to sign up, it was four weeks before their trip and he hadn’t been training seriously for running a marathon. The farthest Jim ran during his weeks of training leading up to their trip was 13 miles; a marathon is 26.2 miles.

Amy is an avid runner; this was her 13th marathon. Jim said, “She’s always running.”

Amy, 34, finished 17th overall and was the third female across the finish line with a time of 3 hours, 18 minutes. She won a $150 prize, which covered her entry fee. Jim, then 39, finished 548th with a time of 5 hours, 45 minutes. He admitted that he stopped once to walk and again to aid a man who was having a heat stroke.

Jim laughed about this time compared to his wife’s. “Amy had finished and probably could have gone back to the hotel to take a shower and come back,” he said. She jumped in, “No, no, I went and got the camera.”

Jim said, “When I came around the corner, she was cheering me on, saying ‘You’re almost there.’ And I just wanted to know how much farther? Where’s the finish line?”

Amy ran the last few yards with him as he crossed the finish line.

“It is nice because people are cheering for you, but at that point, you feel like your legs are falling off. And the next day at the hotel, you could tell who had run the marathon, because they all have that marathon walk,” he said.

Jim admitted that the next day, he told Amy that he might want to run another marathon.

Amy said, “Once you run a marathon, you want to try to beat your time.”

Dr. Blaise Williams, associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences, said he was surprised and impressed that Jim was able to finish the race with the limited time he was able to train.

“People train for six months at time or more for their first marathon. The training schedules for people who are running their first marathons are usually at least 16 weeks. It’s getting your body ready to endure that distance,” said Williams, whose clinical and research interest includes the biomechanics of the legs, feet and ankles during running.

“The other part of a marathon is that you’re dealing with the elements – the heat, the cold, the rain,” he said. “I would not recommend this for the average person to pick up and run a marathon in a month’s time. Chances are you’ll end up getting hurt.”

As for future marathons for the Kearnses? “Definitely,” said Amy.

Jim wasn’t as sure. “We’ll see.”

Rumor has it there’s a marathon in Alaska in 18 months calling their names. Vacation included.

Share

Polar Bear Plunge

Brave ECU students respond to the frigid waters in the Student Recreation Center outdoor pool during the annual Polar Bear Plunge held Jan. 20. A record-setting 958 jumpers participated in the 2011 jump. Jumpers were encouraged to bring a canned food item, with donations going to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. The first 700 jumpers received a free T-shirt and participants were entered into drawings for prizes. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Share

Cancer drug trials

A potential treatment for many ovarian, breast, cervical and other cancers has entered clinical testing.

The treatment, a collaboration between ImmunoGen and Sanofi-aventis, uses an antibody created by Dr. Anne Kellogg, an associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Brody School of Medicine.

The antibody seeks out and attaches to cancer cells and serves as a delivery vehicle for ImmunoGen’s Targeted Antibody Payload technology to attack the cancer cells with a potent cell-killing agent. Once inside, the cell-killing agent activates and kills the tumor cell as it divides. The technology allows the use of precise amounts of powerful cancer-killing drugs while minimizing side effects.

Kellogg said she was happy the drug has made it this far.

“You always hope some of the work you do in your research lab will have some positive benefit for people,” Kellogg said. “There’s still a lot of years in terms of testing in patients.”

Share

Music faculty on podcasts

ECU School of Music faculty performances and commentary are featured on “Treasured Tunes” podcasts linked from the university homepage.

The podcasts include audio music recordings by faculty, question-and-answer sessions with the performers and written podcast transcripts. The public may subscribe to the podcasts through a link to ECU’s iTunes U on the website. There are also links to information about the performers and the School of Music. Faculty performers will rotate through the site.

The first podcast features Elliot Frank, ECU guitar professor. The link to the podcast is http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/mktg/treasured_tunes_elliot_frank_podcast.cfm or through the ECU homepage at www.ecu.edu.

Share

Reading/Language Arts Conference set for February


The East Carolina University College of Education will host the 29 th annual Mary Lois Staton Reading/Language Arts Conference from 1 to 6 p.m., Feb. 7 at the Murphy Center on campus.

Keynote speaker for the event is June St. Clair Atkinson, North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Overseeing more than 1.4 million students in approximately 2,300 public schools, Atkinson has served as superintendent since August 2005. She was the first woman elected to the post.

Concurrent sessions will be provided throughout the day, focusing on literacy topics for pre-K thorugh high school educators. Participants who attend all sessions may earn 0.5 Continuing Education Units, and 1.0 CEUs may be earned with paper submission.

The conference is sponsored by the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in the College of Education. Registration is $40 and is due by Feb. 1. Contact Heather Shaw at (252) 328-6830 for registration information or visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/ci/reading/MLS/index.cfm.

Share

Red Carpet Gala

The ECU Organization of African American Staff will sponsor a Red Carpet Gala Feb. 25 at the Murphy Center at ECU.

A meet and greet with light hors d’oeuvres will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by the program from 7 until 10 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. Attire is semi-formal/formal. The evening’s theme is “Celebrating our Educators and the Power of Their Influence.” Following opening remarks by Taffye Clayton, associate provost for Equity and Diversity, several speakers will recognize and pay tribute to educators.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through the ECU Central Ticket Office (328-4788) from Jan. 31 through Feb. 18.

For more information please contact Marlene Anderson at 328-9107.

###

Share

Collaboration for teachers


The Center for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (CSMTE) at ECU held an open house for the educational community, introducing a lending library and virtual collaboration network for teachers called TeachNET.

The center has recently undergone a redesign to better serve the needs of teachers throughout eastern North Carolina. As part of this commitment to teachers, the regional lending library was unveiled at the event. This library provides access to resources that many teachers do not have access to in their schools. Teachers can access the center’s website at ecu.edu/cs-educ/csmte and search for items for their classroom to checkout.

And in response to feedback from area school personnel, the center has created an online collaboration system, TeachNET. The ECU TeachNET is an innovative platform that lets teachers across the region collaborate, access content-level experts and share lesson plans and ideas all online from their work or school computers. Many school systems are integrating iPads and iPod Touches in the classroom, so the center is also developing a mobile application that will let teachers access the TeachNET remotely in the classroom or out in the field.

The Center for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education serves eastern North Carolina with a mission to strengthen the quality and increase the size of the teaching base in mathematics and science education and increase the pool of students who graduate from North Carolina’s high schools prepared to pursue careers that require mathematics and science. CSMTE translates the findings of educational research into practices that benefit students and teachers.

###

Share