New publications noted by College of Business faculty

Recent publications by faculty in the ECU College of Business include:

An article by Tom Robbins (Marketing and Supply Chain Management), “Tour Scheduling and Rostering,” in the Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science.

An article by Shanan Gibson with Michael Harris (Management), “Investigating the Entrepreneurial Attitudes of Armenian Immigrants,” in the Coastal Business Journal.

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Pantelidis retires with emerita status

East Carolina University professor Dr. Veronica Pantelidis is retiring July 1 after 35 years of service to the university.

She has been appointed professor emerita by the Department of Library Science in the ECU College of Education, where she served as distinguished professor.

She was co-director of the Virtual Reality and Education Laboratory, co-editor of the refereed journal, “VR in the Schools,” and program coordinator for the graduate certificate in virtual reality in education and training.

Pantelidis received ECU’s 1999 Max Ray Joyner Award for Faculty Service through Continuing Education and the 2000-01 Distinguished Professor Award from ECU’s College of Education.

Recent publications include a co-authored book, “Virtual Reality in Education,” and a double issue of “Themese in Science and Technology.” Her publications on the use of virtual reality in education are available at the  Virtual Reality and Education Laboratory web site.

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Open forums set to discuss master plan

Master plan consultants Smith Group and JJR will be on campus June 29 and 30 to discuss the final draft of the ECU campus master plan. As part of the process, ECU will hold open forums to discuss the master plan on June 29.

Forums for faculty, staff, students and members of the community will be held at three times and locations:  from 4 to  5:30 p.m.  in the Croatan Greene Room; from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Allied Health Room 1305; and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Greenville Centre Conference Room 1200.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate and provide feedback on the master plan.

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Read more about the master plan at http://www.ecu.edu/news/newsstory.cfm?ID=1933.

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Making sense of the Civil War: Prokopowicz selected as local project scholar

East Carolina University history department chair Dr. Gerald Prokopowicz will serve as project scholar for the “Let’s Talk About it: Making Sense of the American Civil War” series at the New Bern-Craven County Public Library.

Prokopowicz

The series includes five public conversations centered on the Civil War, thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The New Bern Craven County Public Library is one of 65 libraries nationwide to receive the competitive grant.

Prokopowicz will facilitate the discussions, which will take place from February through April 2012. Each session will focus on a different facet of the Civil War experience, including such topics as imagining war, choosing sides, making sense of Shiloh, the shape of war and war and freedom. Three books will provide material for the discussions: “March,” by Geraldine Brooks; “Crossroads to Freedom: Antietam,” by James McPherson; and the anthology “America’s War: Talking About the Civil War,” edited by Edward L. Ayers.

Prokopowicz said the series affords an opportunity for members of the community to talk about the war and its effect on the world today.

“The war took place 150 years ago, but the underlying issues are still active in American culture and politics. Too often those issues are oversimplified for TV cameras or debated in classrooms where only scholars and students can participate,” he said.

“This project creates an opportunity for people to have a meaningful, in-depth conversation and to share the many meanings that the war still holds for people in eastern North Carolina.”

The grant provides to the library $3,000 for project-related expenses as well as 25 copies each of “March” and “Crossroads to Freedom” and 50 copies of “America’s War.” Prokopowicz and Joanne Straight, head librarian and project director for the grant, will receive funding to attend an October orientation workshop in Chicago, Ill.

For additional information about the series, contact Straight at 252-638-7800 or by email at jstraight@nbccpl.org. Detailed information about the ALA grant may be viewed online at http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/ppo/programming/civilwar/ltaicw_guidelines.cfm.

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Grant to bring learning innovations to eastern North Carolina schools

An East Carolina University partnership with North Carolina State University was one of 19 programs nationwide selected to share in $7 million in grants for new and innovative learning programs.

The partnership will lead to release of an intelligent game-based learning environment entitled “Crystal Island” to rural middle school students throughout eastern North Carolina.

In Crystal Island, students work to solve a science mystery as they learn about microbiology. The game will help students achieve Common Core State Standards, new North Carolina state guidelines that establish what students need to learn in each grade.

Initial tests with more than 1,000 students have demonstrated significant learning gains in both science and literacy with the program.

The partnership is a collaboration between the Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education in the ECU College of Education and the IntelliMedia Group at NCSU.

The grants are provided through Next Generation Learning Challenges, a collaborative program aimed at applying technological innovations to enhance learning and improve college readiness. Funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

ECU’s NGLC director Roger Conner said, “We believe learning technologies and next generation models can produce transformative change…for both teachers and students.”

For additional information on the Next Generation Learning Challenges, visit http://nextgenlearning.org/. Contact ECU’s NGLC director at 252-328-6922 or e-mail connerr@ecu.edu.

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Endowment supports ECU program for students with learning disabilities

A large endowment from the Harold H. Bate Foundation will support an East Carolina University program for students with learning disabilities.

The Harold H. Bate Foundation has pledged $333,000 over five years to endow a distinguished professorship for Project STEPP (Supporting Transition and Education through Planning and Partnerships) in the ECU College of Education. The program pools community and university resources to provide academic, social and life-skills support for students with identified specific learning disabilities who have shown the potential to succeed in college.

Dr. Sarah Williams, associate professor and Project STEPP director, said the program helps students “who have historically fallen through the cracks in terms of university access and retention.”

The program boosts STEPP students through guidance in the transition from high school to college. It includes courses in self-advocacy, time management, study skills and note taking. Participants have individualized plans including set study hall hours and assistance from a network of advisers, mentors, assistive technology specialists, tutors, counselors, instructors and other experts.

The extra attention is getting results, Williams said.  “The students…are holding their own and doing well.”

“We have a strong retention rate…stronger than the university retention rate in general, and remembering these students weren’t even supposed to be here, that’s saying something,” she said.

The program’s success has attracted attention in Chapel Hill. STEPP staff members have been asked to work with the UNC System to implement customized learning differences programs at other universities in North Carolina.

Beyond its success in student retention, the ECU STEPP program is unique because it is affordable.

Williams said that many university-level programs exist to help students with learning disabilities, “…whole colleges established and organized around teaching individuals with learning disabilities.” The problem is that “many of them are private colleges and very, very pricey,” she said. The ECU program is offered at no additional cost beyond the normal university fees and tuition.

“Nationally, we have not found other programs that provide this comprehensive level of support to students who are very deserving and very capable of being successful in the college setting without any additional cost,” she said.

“That piece, not charging students extra, is part of our foundation and not something we’re interested in compromising on.”

The Bate Foundation endowment will help keep the STEPP program from charging extra. The $333,000 commitment will translate to even more funding, because the State of North Carolina matches $1 for every $2 donated to endowed professorships. That could result in a $500,000 endowment for Project STEPP.

For additional information about the STEPP program, contact Williams at (252) 327-1101 or williamssar@ecu.edu. The program’s web site is available online at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/stepp/index.cfm.

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The Bate Foundation has contributed more than $3 million to ECU. It was founded through the generosity of Harold H. Bate, a philanthropist, investor and retired lumber executive to enhance education, youth and recreation and quality of life for the communities of Craven, Pamlico and Jones counties and East Carolina University.

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Grant supports Pitt County youth enrichment

A $5,000 grant will support academic and cultural enrichment activities for Pitt County youth at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center, an East Carolina University partnership program.

Provided by the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation, the donation will support the YES (Youth Excelling for Success) Summer Bridge Program, which targets children in grades 3 through 5 with activities to help them stay engaged and prepared for success when school resumes in the fall.

Held Monday through Thursday from June to early August, YES offers mathematics, language arts, science, martial arts, chess and other board games. Participants enjoy activities on the Wii along with physical education, gardening, computer lab and other cultural enrichment activities.

Academic enrichment follows the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and is taught by qualified teachers. Campers are served breakfast, snacks, and lunch daily.

YES program director Shawan Sutton expressed gratitude for the donation. The foundation’s members “clearly understand the importance of quality summer programs for youth,” Sutton said. “The YES staff is excited about helping the youth keep their academic skills sharp while promoting positive social growth and development. We have lots of great activities planned for participants and even some for their parents and families.”

Lee Watson, market president for Wells Fargo in Greenville, said the foundation was pleased to present the donation in keeping with its mission of building strong and vibrant communities, improving the quality of life and making positive differences.

“It helps demonstrate Wells Fargo’s ongoing commitment to the Greenville community…,” Watson said.

“We’re responsible for being leaders to promote the long-term economic prosperity and quality of life for everyone in our communities. If they prosper, so do we.”

The Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center, at 1100 Ward Street in Greenville, is a partnership among the City of Greenville, East Carolina University, Pitt Community College and multiple community-based agencies. The Center is committed to identifying and addressing the health and wellness needs of the community through innovative programs designed for all individuals across the life course.

For additional information about the center and its programs, call 252-328-5800 or visit http://www.ecu.edu/che/igcc/.

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New publications, appointments in Family Medicine

An article by Kathryn M. Kolasa and Lauren MacKenzie Whetstone (Family Medicine) with co-authors, “Effects of a Behavior-Based Weight Management Program Delivered through a State Cooperative Extension and Local Public Health Department Network, North Carolina, 2008-2009,” was published in Preventing Chronic Disease – Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, July 2011.

In addition, Kolasa was appointed to the planning team and the writing team for the 2013-18 Obesity Prevention Plan for Eat Smart Move More North Carolina; and to the external advisory committee to Children’s Health Living (CHIL) program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $25 million for a five-year grant to the University of Hawaii to develop obesity prevention strategies among native populations in the Pacific Region, continuing USDA’s commitment to meet the rising challenge of obesity in the United States, especially in American youth.

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Smith named certified research administrator

Smith

Wendy B. Smith, grants and contracts administrator for the College of Allied Health Sciences, has received national recognition as a certified research administrator.  This certification requires a combination of formal education, years of experience in the field, and a broad knowledge/skill set demonstrated by passing a national board exam.

Currently, only three individuals at ECU (including Wendy) are CRA certified.  There are three each at UNC-Charlotte and Wilmington, five at UNC-Chapel Hill and one at UNC-Greensboro.

According to Maryellen O’Brien, director of Sponsored Programs at ECU, the CRA certification reflects a “commitment to the profession as well as intelligence and command of the guiding principles and practices of research administration.”

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