Mitral valve repair learning curve analysis published

An article by Patrick J. Charland, Evilio Rodriguez, Wiley L. Nifong and Randolph W. Chitwood Jr. (East Carolina Heart Institute) and Tom Robbins (Marketing and Supply Chain Management), “Learning curve analysis of mitral valve repair using telemanipulative technology,” was published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

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ECU graduates first students in sustainable tourism master’s program

Stefanie Benjamin, left, and Shannon Arnold are among the first graduates in ECU's new master of science in sustainable tourism program.

Four East Carolina University students graduated this summer with a degree unlike any other; they were the first to earn the university’s new master of science degree in sustainable tourism, the first program of its kind in the United States.

Established in 2010, the degree program incorporates an interdisciplinary approach to teach students how to protect and enhance the resources of popular tourist areas, while at the same time encouraging tourism and the resulting economic boost to the area. The program reflects a growing concern about how to balance the benefits of tourism with its impact on vacation destinations.

Graduates Michaelina Antahades, far left, and Whitney Knollenberg, second from right, are pictured with Dr. Joseph Fridgen, director of academic programs for the MS-ST program (left) and Dr. Patrick Long, director of the Center for Sustainable Tourism (right).

The program draws upon emerging sustainability sciences in various disciplines at ECU. Courses provide study of sustainability through participating faculty in the university’s College of Business, the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Human Ecology, the College of Fine Arts and Communication and the College of Health and Human Performance.

The graduates were Shannon Arnold of Kinston, Stefanie Benjamin of Miami Shores, Fla., Michaelina Antahades of Charlotte and Whitney Knollenberg of Delton, Mich.

The next step for Arnold and Antahades is employment within North Carolina’s travel and tourism industry. Benjamin and Knollenberg plan to pursue doctoral degrees in hospitality and tourism management, at the University of South Carolina and Virginia Tech, respectively.

For additional information about the Center for Sustainable Tourism and the master of science program, visit www.sustainabletourism.org.

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Contact: Dr. Patrick Long, director

Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University

(252) 328-4969

 

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ECU community gets first choice at piano sale

The East Carolina University School of Music will host a piano sale from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7 at the A.J. Fletcher Music Center on campus.

ECU faculty, alumni, staff and students may make a private appointment for Aug. 4, 5 or 6 to view and select an instrument before the sale opens to the public. Call 252-328-6019 to make the appointment. Calls will be returned in the order received beginning Aug. 1.

The sale will include a large selection of Steinway & Sons, Boston, Essex and Taylor grands and verticals, as well as Roland digitals and used pianos.Deliveries, warranties and follow-up services will be handled by Hopper Piano & Organ.

Proceeds will benefit the School of Music.

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Research finds discrimination, resilience among older lesbians

More than half of lesbians aged 55 and older have been married to a man at some point in their lives. More than 90% said their families knew about their lesbian relationships.

East Carolina University researchers reported these findings in their article, “Older Lesbians: Experiences of Aging, Discrimination and Resilience,” published in the Journal of Women and Aging. The work was the largest and most comprehensive research done on this demographic since 1984.

Averett

Social work professors Paige Averette, Intae Yoon and Carol L. Jenkins surveyed 456 lesbians 55 years of age or older regarding socio-demographics, social activity, health, sexual identity, family relations, romantic relationships, use of service/help programs, mental health, end of life care, and experience with discrimination.

The research uncovered persistent discrimination and hostility toward lesbians despite improvements in public attitudes since the last national study. Compared to the earlier study, the group reported slightly higher levels of perceived discrimination in their employment settings due to their sexual orientation.

The researchers said that older lesbians contend with ageism in their work and social settings, just as many older individuals do. However, members of the study group face additional intolerance and discrimination from family and from the public, while walking down the street and going about their daily lives.

“More older lesbians have reported being married to men than twenty-five years ago,” said Averett, “which points to the continued pressure that lesbians feel to hide and to the power of heterosexism that continues within our culture.”

Averett said, “Older lesbians struggle with federal and state policies that disregard their lifetime romantic partnerships, denying them end-of-life decision making as well as access to partners’ Social Security and retirement benefits.” This forces them into legal battles with partners’ families, hospitals and employers, she said.

Despite the ongoing challenges, study participants showed an increase in positive thinking about their sexual orientation and about aging. While more than 80% reported participation in therapy at some point, the researchers said, they consider themselves overall to be in good mental health. More than 90% said they were “out” to their family members, and a majority reported having positive relationships with family members who know about their sexual orientation.

The study also showed an increase from the prior study in the duration of lesbian relationships. That number is now similar to the duration of heterosexual marriages.

For additional information about the study, contact Paige Averett, assistant professor in the ECU School of Social Work, at 252-328-4193 or averettp@ecu.edu.

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Full text of the article is available at: http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/ebm/record/21767086/abstract/Older_lesbians:_experiences_of_aging_discrimination_and_resilience_

 

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