Peter Makuck Featured in Poetry Reading Nov. 1

Peter Makuck, distinguished professor emeritus at ECU, returns to campus Nov. 1 for a poetry reading and discussion of uses of nature in writing poetry.


In 1978, Makuck founded Tar River Poetry, the internationally acclaimed little magazine published by ECU’s English Department and currently edited by one of Makuck’s first students at ECU, Luke Whisnant. Makuck also directed the ECU Poetry Forum for over 20 years. He retired from ECU in 2006, although he has continued to teach poetry writing in the MFA programs at N.C. State and UNC-Wilmington.

Makuck’s eighth volume of poetry, “Long Lens: New & Selected Poems,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by its publisher, BOA Editions.  He has also published two collections of short stories.

Makuck’s awards and honors include a Fullbright professorship in France; the Monroe Spears Award for the best essay to appear in the Sewannee Review in 2010; the Charity Randall Citation for poetry; and the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Award for best book of poems by a North Carolinian in 1989. He’s also been a lecturer in the “Poets in Person” series sponsored by the National Endowment for Humanities.

Makuck and his wife, Phyllis, live in Pine Knoll Shores.

Makuck’s reading at ECU is sponsored by the English Department and is in conjunction with his visit to an English Department graduate seminar, In nature writing, which he’ll meet at 6:30 pm. The reading, which begins at 8 pm, is in C-209 in the Science & Technology Building on campus. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

For further information, including admission to the 6:30 p.m. class, contact Alex Albright, Director of Creative Writing at ECU: 252.328.4876 or


For more on Makuck, visit


ECU to celebrate Homecoming, recognize outstanding alumni this weekend

East Carolina University will hold homecoming events Friday and Saturday with the theme, “PeeDee Goes to Hollywood.”

  • Homecoming Luncheon featuring Dr. John Tucker, university historian, speaking on “Leo Jenkins’ First Year: Reflections on a Decisive Presidency,” at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Mendenhall Student Center. Contact the East Carolina Alumni Association for tickets.  A walking tour of campus will follow.
  • Classes without Quizzes will be presented Friday afternoon. Alumni can learn more about which stars are most visible in the fall night sky, get a culinary lesson about pairing wines and foods, or try out new classroom technology.
  • ECU will honor six alumni during the weekend activities. They are Sen. Robert Morgan ’47, William “Kel” Normann ’85, Ralph Finch Jr. ’67, Marsha Moore Lewis ’76 and ’85, Emilie Tilley ’60, and Steven Wright ’78. Also recognized will be Beatrice “Bea” Chauncey and V. Parker Overton, who will receive Honorary Alumni Awards. The Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at the Hilton Greenville, 207 SW Greenville Blvd. Biographical information on the honorees can be found at the East Carolina Alumni Association website at
  • The annual ECU homecoming parade, featuring the Marching Pirates, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday near Wahl-Coates Elementary School and make its way down Fifth Street.
  • Conference USA Player-of-the-Week Dominique Davis will lead the Pirates (3-4, 2-1 C-USA) as they take on the Tulane Green Wave (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. For more about the Pirates preparation, visit

See the East Carolina Alumni Association website for a complete listing of weekend activities.

# # #


Ground-breaking article defines family life education

East Carolina University professor Sharon M. Ballard collaborated with colleagues on an article that defines family life education and differentiates the field from other family-related areas of study.

Sharon Ballard

The article, “Reconceptualizing the Domain and Boundaries of Family Life Education,” was published by the National Council on Family Relations, in its October issue of Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies.

Ballard worked with colleagues Judith A. Myers-Walls, Purdue University; Carol Anderson Darling, Florida State University; and Karen S. Myers-Bowman, Kansas State University to lay out a new model illustrating how family life education is unique from the related fields of family therapy and social work case management. The new model defines family life education as unique yet collaborative among the ways in which professionals serve families.

“There has been ongoing confusion regarding the definition of family life education and its relationship to other family-related fields,” said Ballard, associate professor of child development and family relations.

“The Domains of Family Practice Model presented in this paper provides a framework for clarifying the boundaries of the three family professions,” she said.

“Each professional role is needed for the overarching goal of strong, healthy families, but each role is unique in its parameters. This model not only clarifies these parameters for family professionals, but can facilitate referral and collaboration among family professionals,” Ballard said.

Glen Palm, professor of child and family studies at St. Cloud State University and former board member  of The National Council on Family Relations said that the article was significant in defining the field.

 “It is a breakthrough in clarifying the FLE role and establishing distinct boundaries with both family therapy and family casework. This work opens doors for needed collaboration among family practitioners. The shift from a hierarchical model to a collaborative model distinguishes the unique role and skill set of family life educators in relationship to other family service providers,” Palm said.

The National Council on Family Relations ( is a professional organization with a national membership of over 3,500 family researchers, practitioners and educators. The organization instituted professional standards for delivering family life education in 1985, establishing the certified family life educator credential. There are now more than 1,500 CFLEs internationally, with 125 colleges and universities offering CFLE-approved coursework. ECU offers the certification through its family and community service program. For additional information, contact Ballard at


Click here for full text of the article.



Schulman awarded Ph.D.

Kathleen Schulman, interim chair of the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, completed her Ph.D. requirements at Capella University in August. Her degree is in education with a specialization in instructional design for online learning.

Her dissertation is entitled, “A Qualitative Case Study of Instructional Support for Web-Based Simulated Laboratory Exercises in Online college Chemistry Laboratory Courses.”




Summers honored with distinguished professorship

An East Carolina University biology professor was named the first recipient of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The recipient, Dr. Kyle Summers, has worked at ECU for 15 years. He has taught courses including evolutionary ecology, infectious disease, genetics and tropical ecology. Summers has also mentored students by serving as committee chair for 13 graduate students and as a faculty member on 24 graduate student thesis and dissertation committees.

Dr. Kyle Summers

His research on poison frogs has garnered international recognition, including  highlights in National Geographic magazine, BBC Wildlife and Scientific American. He has also attracted attention for his research on the evolution of monogamy and for his research in evolutionary medicine. Summers has received nearly 20 grants that total more than $740,000 and co-authored more than 70 journal articles and 50 scientific papers.

“I am extremely pleased and grateful to be the first recipient of this award,” said Summers.

“My research interests are broad, and I hope to use the professorship as a platform to connect my main field of interest (evolution) to many threads of research that are pursued on this campus, including animal behavior, ecology, speciation, systematics, tropical biology, molecular genetics and genomics, infectious disease and medical science.”

Summers is a member of 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. In 2008, he was appointed to the editorial board of the journal, Ideas in Ecology and Evolution.

Summers holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Following 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.

Established by the Harriot College’s Advancement Council, the professorship requires active engagement in research and publication, teaching at least one course per term, communication of research results to the university through lectures and/or presentations and leadership in helping the university community understand more fully the importance of science and mathematics in higher education and day-to-day life.

“The establishment of this award will go a long way toward highlighting and promoting the importance of scientific research on this campus,” Summers said.

For additional information, contact Summers at 252-328-6304 or



ECU students rack up top design awards at conference

Three East Carolina University students were recognized for their creative design skills in a regional “Steal This Idea” design competition.  The competition was part of the Association of College Unions International Region 5 conference held Oct. 21-23 in Charlotte.

The ECU student winners were senior Richard Griffis, senior Patrick Schrader and Zachary Boslau, who graduated in May 2011. The Pirate trio collected six awards in the nine categories, which included student logo/brands, student posters and student advertisements.

Griffis, from Burlington, N.C., racked up three awards: 1st place for a poster design for a sushi rolling class, 3rd place for the Kinesiology Graduate Student Organization logo, and 1st place for the student advertisement category for his design of a Pre-Veterinary Medical Association advertisement.

Schrader, from Fairfax, Va., claimed two honorable mention awards, one in the student logo/brand category for his Student Government Association design and one in the student poster category for the Murder Mystery Dinner poster design.

Boslau, from Elizabeth City, won an honorable mention award for a Construction Management Association design in the student logo/brand category.

All three students are graphic design student workers with ECU Student Activities and Organizations, which supports the more than 320 ECU student organizations with a variety of marketing materials and graphic art designs.

To view the designs, visit the conference website at, then click on “Steal This Idea.”

For more information, contact Emily McLamb, associate director of ECU Student Activities and Organizations at (252) 737-2003 or via email at


# # #