ECU alumnus Ron Clark to speak in Greenville

East Carolina University alumnus and Disney Teacher of the Year Award Winner Ron Clark will speak at 7 p.m. July 26 at the Greenville Barnes & Noble.

Clark will speak about his teaching experiences and present details on his new book, “The End of Molasses Classes.” A question and answer session will follow.

Clark is creator of the Ron Clark Academy that was nationally highlighted during the 2008 presidential election. He was featured on the Oprah Winfrey television show and his life story was made into a television movie, “The Ron Clark Story,” starring Matthew Perry.

Clark has authored two additional books, “The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child,” and “The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire and Educate Children.”

He is a 1994 graduate of the ECU College of Education and a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. His work with disadvantaged students in both rural and urban areas and his methods for engaging children in the educational process have gained international attention.

For additional information, contact Barnes & Noble at (252) 321-8119 or e-mail



ECU professor emeritus died Saturday

East Carolina University professor emeritus Robert D. Myers died July 16 in Lehigh, Fla.

He was professor of pharmacoogy and psychiatric medicine at the Brody School of Medicine and director of the research division at ECU’s Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies. He was named Distinguished Research Professor of Pharmacology in 1996.

Myers retired in January 2011.

Read the entire obituary in The Daily Reflector.


TO WED ON FRIDAY: ECU graduate paralyzed at 2010 bachelorette party

A news story on features ECU graduate Rachelle Friedman and her fiance’ Chris Chapman, also an ECU alum. The couple will marry July 22.

Their original wedding date in 2010 was delayed after Friedman was paralyzed in an accident at her bachelorette party in Virginia Beach, Va. Following that accident, Friedman received international attention, including an appearance on NBC’s Today Show and a surprise home makeover by the NBC television show, Open House to the Rescue.

Read the story, NC woman to marry 1 year after paralyzing accident.


ECU notes death of Evelyn Fike Laupus

Evelyn Fike Laupus died July 15 at Cypress Glen retirement center in Greenville.

She was the widow of Dr. William E. Laupus, the first vice chancellor of Health Sciences and dean of the East Carolina University School of Medicine from 1975 to 1988. ECU’s Health Sciences library is named in honor of Laupus, who died in 2005. The couple was married nearly 60 years.

In 2007, the exhibit gallery on the fourth floor of the Laupus Library was named in honor of Evelyn Fike Laupus. A portrait of Evelyn Laupus was placed in the gallery in her honor.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. July 23 at Cypress Glen.

The family has asked that memorial gifts be made to the William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library.




ECU grad student pens novel on faith, attitudes in rural North Carolina town

East Carolina University graduate student and adjunct professor Jim Metzger has published “Dim,” a novel that examines faith and attitudes in a small and rural, devout North Carolina community.


Metzger establishes a first-person narrative through Methodist minister Tom Maloney, who questions his beliefs and suitability for his chosen profession as he deals with issues such as bigotry, hypocrisy, suicide, patricide, homosexuality, spousal abuse and child abuse.

While events and characters in the story are fictional, Metzger said his observations are drawn upon personal experiences from a brief foray in the ministerial profession. He served as a minister for rural congregations in Georgia and North Carolina, in towns similar to fictional Harmony, N.C., where the novel is set.

“The job wasn’t a good fit for me, just as it’s not for the story’s narrator,” Metzger said.

Metzger said he wrote the novel with university students in mind after teaching a course that required composition, critical thinking and critical reading.

“Some of the novels we read just weren’t good conversation starters, so I thought it would be kind of nice to write what I wasn’t finding,” Metzger said.

Conversation starters in “Dim” include the narrator’s attempts to minister to his congregation, despite duties and personalities he finds disagreeable. The minister’s tolerant and inclusive outlook falls far afield of the severe approach favored by his congregants in the Bible-belt community. The conflicts eventually lead the minister to crisis and difficult personal choices.

Readers may also be drawn to the novel’s adventurous elements that include a boat overturned in shark-infested waters, suspicious deaths in the midst of a hurricane and an outbreak of food poisoning at the church’s annual potluck supper.

Metzger holds masters and doctoral degrees in religion from Vanderbilt University  and a master of divinity form Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. Metzger served as a visiting assistant professor of religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, before enrolling at ECU as a full-time graduate student in English. He has taught religion as an adjunct instructor at ECU and will teach a course for Pitt Community College in the fall.

The novel is available at and Barnes & Noble web sites.


Click here to read/listen to George Olsen interview with Metzger on Public Radio East.


Housekeeper, supervisor awards announced

The 2011 Housekeeping Supervisors Awards for Excellence recipient was Edward “Nick” Ramkissoon, for service.

The 2011 Second Quarter Housekeepers Awards for Excellence recipients, for service, are Nancy Brown and Ruby Streeter with Academics, Mary May with Residence Halls / Student Recreation Center and Jennifer Thompson with Health Sciences Campus / School of Medicine.