Brinkley elected representative to American Statistical Association

Jason Brinkley (Biostatistics) was elected as the North Carolina chapter representative to the American Statistical Association for a 3-year term. The ASA is the world’s largest community of statisticians.  The North Carolina Chapter was established in 1942.

As chapter representative, Brinkley will serve as a liaison between the North Carolina Chapter and the ASA Council of Chapters.

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Kelley named health education and promotion chair

After a national search, Dr. Tim Kelley has been appointed the new chair of the Department of Health Education and Promotion.

Kelley

Kelley, who came to ECU in 2008, is a professor of environmental health sciences and has held the position of interim chair since 2010.  Throughout his academic career, he has taught courses that range from human anatomy and physiology, advanced microbiology, waste management practices, to food protection and sanitation and water quality and treatment.

His record shows years of exceptional leadership, teaching and research experiences.  He has held appointments at Valdosta State University in Georgia and Illinois State University.  He has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed and invited articles and book chapters.

“I am eager to serve as chair and look forward to working with great students, faculty, staff and administrators,” said Kelley.

College of Health and Human Performance Dean Dr. Glen Gilbert said, “As an accomplished faculty member in the department, Tim Kelley brings valuable campus experience to this role.  His commitment is genuine and visible.”

Among his professional affiliations, Kelley serves as editor-in-chief of Environmental Health Insights and has received many honors and awards including the 12th Annual Illinois Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award.

Kelley earned his doctorate in ecology in 1992; his master’s degree in science education in 1987; and his bachelor’s degree in environmental health science in 1980, all from The University of Georgia.

His research interests focus on environmental microbiology and chemistry as applied to waste management practices.

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For additional information contact Kathy Muse, College of Health and Human Performance at 252 (328)-5555 or e-mail musek@ecu.edu.

 

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Kolasa presents on kids and nutrition

Kathy Kolasa (Family Medicine and Pediatrics) presented at the North Carolina Dietetic Association on “IN4Kids: Integrating Nutrition for Kids: Study Findings” with the IN4KIDS team from Duke University (Gwen Murphy, Lori Carter-Edwards, Meghan Mayhew,  and Mina Silberberg). She also presented along with Sheree Vodicka of the N.C. Division of Public Health,  “Disengaging Auto Pilot:  Empower Weight Management Clients with Mindfulness.”  Kolasa  taught two webinars for the University of Texas, one on The Mediterranean Diet and the other on the Healthy Hospital Initiative.

Recent articles Kolasa has published include:

  • By Kolasa with Tae Lee (Family Medicine), “Feeding the Person with Late Stage Alzheimers Disease,” in Nutrition Today.
  • By Kolasa, “A resource for medical educators,” in Educator’s Reserouce. Nutrition Educators of Health Professionals Newsletter.
  • By Kolasa with Kay Craven (Family Medicine), Justin Moore (Public Health, Allison Swart (Public Health) and Alice Keene (Community Schools, Pitt County), “School-based nutrition education intervention, effect on achieve a healthy weight among overweight 9th grade students,” in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

 

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Founder of ECU Theatre dead at 83

By Jeff Woodruff
ECU School of Theatre and Dance

The founder of what is today the East Carolina University School of Theatre and Dance, Edgar Loessin, died April 22 in Norfolk, Va.

Eastern North Carolina began its love affair with Loessin in the early 60s when then president of East Carolina College, Dr. Leo Jenkins, asked Loessin to create a drama program from scratch in Greenville.

Born in Thrall, Texas, Loessin grew up in Houston and began his theatre work with Nina Vance. From there he attended Southwestern University and The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he held the Kay Kaiser Theatre Scholarship, and received an MFA degree in Directing from The Yale Drama School.

Next came serving two years in the U.S. Army, but even here he was not too far from the stage. While stationed at Fort Holabird in Baltimore (now closed), he was also a part-time instructor at a local theater school.

Loessin next moved to New York City, where he worked with The Actor’s Studio and Julius Monk at the Upstairs at the Downstairs. He stage managed Show Girl with Carol Channing, Lend an Ear, The Boyfriend, a national tour of Gypsy with Mary McCarty and Jules Munchin as well as a six month Las Vegas run. He also directed summer and winter stock throughout the east.

In 1962, Dr. Jenkins, an avid arts supporter, hired Loessin to create and chair the Department of Drama and Speech at East Carolina College. During that first year, the department consisted of Edgar Loessin (directing) and John Sneden (designing) and operated under the auspices of the English department.

In the spring of 1963, the Department of Drama and Speech was officially established and several new faculty members were hired. The semi-professional summer theatre began in 1964 and kicked-off with no less than six major musicals in as many weeks resulting in a significant amount of recognition for the college and the department.

Since then, scores of dramas, comedies, and musical comedies have been performed at ECU, many of them directed by Loessin. His musical productions featured large casts, elaborate sets and costumes, sophisticated choreography, and full orchestra. “When we began, nobody else in North Carolina was doing musicals on this scale” he said proudly. Though known for his musicals, Loessin did not necessarily prefer them to other theatrical forms.

“Musicals are an important part of our commercial theater; they are a medium through which things can be accomplished that are not possible in straight theater,” he explained. “In the hands of a good composer and librettist, musicals are great theater.”

Over the intervening years, playhouse and summer theatre audiences have enjoyed many major premiers. These included operas such as Carlisle Floyd’s The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair, starring Norman Treigle and Patricia Neway with Julius Rudel of the New York City Opera as music director, and Martin Mailman’s Moby Dick – Rehearsed; several plays including two by Romulus Linney-The Sorrows of Frederick and Holy Ghosts, Reynolds Price’s A Long and Happy Life, and Muriel Resnick’s Let’s Lunch starring Sharon Stone; and an original musical, The Flight Brothers.

Also noteworthy have been engagements of professional actors who have worked side-by-side with ECU students including Sidney Blackmer, Kevin Kline, Michael Learned, Orson Beane, Catherine Bach, Karen Grassley, Kim Hunter, Grant Show, and Gary Beach, among many others.

One of these visiting professionals came in 1967 and has never left; Loessin married actress Amanda Meiggs a week after he directed her in the title role of Racine’s Phaedra.

During that time, Loessin oversaw the development of many of today’s performers including Beth Grant (who’s credited with over 150 productions including No Country for Old Men, and numerous television appearances), Connie Ray (My Name Is Earl TV series and Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers), and the girl he cast as Tiger Lilly in the 1983 Playhouse’s production of Peter Pan, Sandra Bullock.

For his work in North Carolina theatre, he received The O. Max Gardner Award, The Roanoke Island Morrison Award, The Carolina Playmakers Outstanding Alumni Award, and was featured by The Raleigh News and Observer as Tarheel of the Week. In 2001, in recognition for his being responsible for East Carolina’s emergence as a major force in the university and professional theatre in the region, ECU renamed its producing theatres the ECU/Loessin Playhouse and the ECU/Loessin Summer Theatre in his honor.

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For additional details, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/theatredance/Edgar-Loessin-Biography.cfm.

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ECU students broadcast aerial lift safety techniques

ECU graduate student Chris Bland outlined the errors that led to the death of a Notre Dame videographer when a scissors lift was toppled by wind, during an April 20 presentation broadcast from ECU’s global classroom. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

A graduate project by two East Carolina University students resulted in safety recommendations for aerial lift videotaping by athletic programs that have been broadcast to universities in the Big XII, Conference USA and the University of Virginia.

The presentation, “Aerial Lift Safety and Football Practice,” was broadcast April 20 from ECU’s global classroom. It addressed a crucial collegiate sports issue in the spotlight in October 2010, after a 20-year-old Notre Dame student was killed while videotaping football practice. The student was standing inside a 40-foot scissor lift toppled by a wind gust exceeding 50 mph.

Scissor lifts are used for obtaining aerial video of outdoor practices in many collegiate sports, including the ECU Pirates football program.

Chris Bland and Landon Hoefer, both graduate assistants for the football team, recommended classroom and hands-on instruction to ensure each lift operator has sufficient knowledge on precautions, visual inspections and workplace hazards.

“Users must demonstrate that they can safely operate the machine before they go up there,” said Hoefler.

Bland and Hoefer also recommended attaching an anemometer to the lifts’ railings to measure winds speeds and shutting down the lifts if wind speeds exceed 35 mph.

ECU head football coach Ruffin McNeill supported Bland and Hoefler’s findings. “When that wind blows, safety overrides everything,” he said.

McNeill said the Notre Dame incident has made everyone in collegiate athletics more aware of the dangers associated with aerial videography. “I tell every video guy about Ruff’s rule,” he said. “If you’re nervous or scared, you come down. That’s Ruff’s rule and they all know it.”

The student research was completed as part of a graduate occupational safety course taught by associate professor Michael Behm. Behm said he chose to broadcast the program to fellow universities because the students’ recommendations were so important. “If content from a unique, well-researched class project stays within our classroom at ECU, then we lose an opportunity to help others,” he said.

“Football personnel know about the Notre Dame incident but may not be sure how to prevent it from happening in the future through specific safe work practices,” Behm said.  Tom Leonard, associate director of Environment Safety and Health at the University of Virginia, reported that UVA football staff who attended the broadcast learned from it and had positive feedback.

Adding the service component gives the students’ project additional value, while remaining in line with ECU’s mission of service, Behm said. “Teaching, research and service are highly valued in our department and hopefully this philosophy will stay with our students so they will become better citizens,” he said.

Video of the presentation is archived at http://gc.ecu.edu/mediasite/SilverlightPlayer/Default.aspx?peid=e5a68928e4914922b8cce5890b3426321d

For additional information, contact Mike Behm at 252.328.9674 or behmm@ecu.edu.

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