Student Activities Board hosts two exhibits at Mendenhall Gallery

The East Carolina University Student Activities Board will host two art exhibits in August and September at Mendenhall Student Center’s second floor gallery.

On display through Aug. 28 is “Cupcake Jungle,” a collaboration between ceramicist Kyle Rees and metalsmith/jewelry designers Joshua Craig and Laritza Garcia. The exhibition includes a collection of brightly-colored homemade bowls in porcelain and metal.

Real cupcakes will be served during the exhibit’s closing reception, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 26 in the Mendenhall gallery.

Following the close of “Cupcake Jungle,” an exhibition focused on travel and discovery will be presented in the gallery. The exhibit, “Get out. Go Somewhere,” opens with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 9.

The exhibit’s creator was Dan Willet, an ECU graduate student in the School of Art and Design’s photography program. Willet worked with nationally acclaimed artist Sam Yates to juror the exhibit. Yates will provide student critiques and present a lecture on his work at 6 p.m., Sept. 8 in Mendenall.

“Get out. Go Somewhere” will run through Sept. 30.

For more information, contact Tracy Demar at (252) 328-2902 or e- mail sabvisual@ecu.edu.

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ECU study examines sleep and fatigue in chronically ill mothers

Carmel White

Mark White

 

Health care providers should be particularly attentive to supporting high quality sleep for chronically ill mothers of young children, according to a new study by East Carolina University researchers.

Professors Carmel White and Mark White in ECU’s Department of Child Development and Family Relations, examined the sleep patterns of chronically ill mothers with young children to determine how they manage sleep and fatigue. The researchers questioned 103 mothers with multiple sclerosis, 68 with rheumatoid arthritis and 91 with normal health about their sleep, fatigue, pain and levels of depression. All participants had at least once child between the age of 12 months and 45 months.

The researchers surveyed the mothers about their problems falling asleep; trouble sleeping after being awakened; sleep interruptions from their young children; average hours of sleep; and fatigue during the day.

“Understanding how sleep relates to depression and fatigue in mothers with MS or RA is important for mothers, families and health care providers,” said Dr. Carmel White.

She said families and health care providers should be sensitive to the importance of high quality sleep, doing what they can to support the mothers.

“Health care professionals should be especially sensitive to both pain and depression in mothers with MS or RA to ensure that these two common problems are not interfering with mothers’ sleep,” she said.

Mothers with chronic illnesses reported more daytime drowsiness, with reduced sleep quality and quantity especially noted in mothers experiencing a flareup of RA symptoms. Chronically ill mothers reported mother problems going to sleep and staying asleep, but were less likely to experience nighttime sleep interruptions caused by their children. The researchers speculated that other family members might be caring for the young children during the night, knowing that the mother has difficulty falling back to sleep.

Mothers with MS had the highest correlation of sleep problems correlated to fatigue, suggesting that health care providers who work with MS patients should include sleep assessments.

The researchers said that women with chronic illnesses often experience a great deal of fatigue, and parenting young children can add to the exhaustion.

Their research, “Sleep Problems and Fatigue in Chronically Ill Women,” appeared in the July issue of Behaviorial Sleep Medicine. Full text of the article may be viewed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21722010.

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For additional information, contact Carmel White at 252-737-2075 or whitec@ecu.edu or Mark Shite at 252-737-2076 or whitem@ecu.edu.

The Department of Child Development and Family Relations is located within the ECU College of Human Ecology.

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Nursing students invited to free event

EVENT CANCELED DUE TO HURRICANE IRENE

The North Carolina Association of Nursing Students will host a free event for nursing students Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in Rooms 1100 and 1102 in the East Carolina University College of Nursing, Health Sciences Building. Registration begins at 10:45 a.m.

The event, “Council of School Leaders,” will introduce students to the state’s professional nursing student organization, provide opportunities to get involved and offer workshops on being a leader and resume preparation and review.

Dr. Walter Houston, director of the Student Development and Counseling Center in the ECU College of Nursing, will speak on how being a leader creates success in nursing school and how to take advantage of leadership opportunities.

For more information, email event chair Jonathan Shaw at ncansdistrict4director@gmail.com or call 704-920-9127.

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Summers named distinguished professor

East Carolina University biology professor Dr. Kyle Summers was named the 2011 Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor during the college’s annual faculty convocation, Aug. 22.

The distinguished professorship recognizes a commitment to knowledge and academic life, demonstrated by outstanding teaching and advising, research and creative productivity, and professional service.

Kyle Summers

Summers said he was grateful to receive the honor, which was “especially grafitying…given the many excellent candidates available.”

Summers serves as member of the editorial board of the journal “Ideas in Ecology and Evolution,” and as co-editor of “Foundations of Human Social Evolution,” an edited volume of the classic works of R.D. Alexander. He has received nearly 20 grants totaling more than $740,000, co-authored more than 70 journal articles and 50 scientific papers and presented more than 40 seminars in his field. His professional memberships included the Animal Behavior Society, American Society of Naturalists, International Society of Behavioral Ecology, Society for the Study of Evolution, Research and Analysis Network for Neotropical Amphibians, National Center for Science Education and the Sigma Xi Society.

Summers’ research on poison frogs has garnered international attention, included highlights in National Geographic magazine, BBC Wildlife and Scientific American.

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he received his doctoral degree in biology in 1990. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. After postdoctoral research appointments at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Queen’s University, Cambridge University and the University of California at Davis, Summers joined the faculty of ECU in 1996 as an assistant professor of biology.

For additional information, contact Summers at 252-328-6304 or summersk@ecu.edu.

 

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ECU scientists awarded $314,000 NSF grant

A new research project at East Carolina University should lead to improved climate forecasting for North Carolina.

ECU geography professors Dr. Tom Rickenbach and Dr. Rosana Nieto-Ferreira will examine how changes in the atmosphere control the manner in which rain and snow falls in the state and how those changes affect the state’s current and future climate. The study is made possible by a three-year $314,000 National Sciences Foundation grant funded by the NSF Directorate for Geosciences’ Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division.

In their grant proposal, the researchers noted that precipitation is a primary source of water for North Carolina’s rivers, soils and groundwater reservoirs. They said that studying the manner in which the precipitation arrives will help scientists understand how increasing population, climate change and land use patterns are affecting the state’s climate.

“Scientists and engineers are constantly improving our ability to measure how much rain and snow reach the surface. What we don’t understand as well is the manner in which that water is typically delivered to us,” said Rickenbach.

“That missing piece of the puzzle is crucial to knowing whether precipitation reaching the ground will help or hinder us as we lead our lives. Knowing how a given amount of precipitation reached us – as gentle widespread daily showers, intense isolated but brief thunderstorms, or heavy snowfall – determines how we can best harness it for our needs and whether we must protect ourselves from its impacts.”

Nieto-Ferreira said that scientists do not fully understand how the state’s fresh water resource responds to changes in the environment; more research is needed. She said, “We may then better understand how these variations in precipitation impact our lives, such as agriculture, urban runoff, coastal development and flooding.”

The scientists will conduct their research in three steps. First, every precipitation system that occurred across North Carolina over a three-year period will be identified and characterized using newly available high-resolution precipitation and three-dimensional radar reflectivity data sets. Next, the mode of delivery of the precipitation will be placed in the context of the prevailing wind and weather patterns of the atmosphere, based on archived maps and analysis. Finally, the climatology will be applied, with the goal of improving the interpretation of state-of-the-art model simulations of future regional climates.

The University of North Carolina Renaissance Computing Institute and the National Climate Data Center will partner with Rickenbach and Nieto-Ferreira to construct and analyze radar-based datasets tailored to the project.

For additional information about this NSF grant, contact Rickenbach at 252-328-1039 or rickenbacht@ecu.edu, or Nieto-Ferreira at 252-328-0751 or ferreirar@ecu.edu.

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