Workshop to focus on open government, public information

A fall workshop on Public Records and Open Meetings will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at 221 Mendenhall Student Center, East Carolina University. Registration opens at 1:30 p.m.

The workshop is sponsored by ECU’s Department of Political Science and the Sunshine Center at Elon University.

Presentations will focus on the importance of making public information available to the public. Topics include research on the impact of open government, how the media and government work together to share public information with citizens and the role of the Sunshine Center in fostering open government in North Carolina.

Speakers include Dr. Carmine Scavo, ECU Department of Political Science; Dr. Brooke Barnett, executive director of the Sunshine Center; Dr. Ed Johnson, Department of Communications, Campbell University; and Charles Twardy, ECU School of Communication.

A panel discussion on open government and public records will include Brian Colligan, editorial page editor at the Greenville Daily Reflector; Steve Hawley, public information officer with the city of Greenville; and Dr. Peter Romary, director of Student Legal Services at ECU.

Additional information about the speakers is as follows:

  • Carmine Scavo is an associate professor of political science. He has taught at ECU for 26 years and directed the master of public administration program for 10 years. He co-directs the ECU Outreach Network and the N.C. Talent Enhancement Program, which work with small local governments and non-profits in eastern North Carolina. He and Charles Prysby of UNC-Greensboro won the 2006 Rowman-Littlefield Award for Innovative Teaching of the American Political Science Association.
  • Brooke Barnett is executive director of the Sunshine Center at Elon University where she is also an associate professor of communications, an administrative fellow and special assistant to the university president. Before her career in academics, Barnett worked for the Public Broadcasting System for five years where she produced several award-winning documentary films.
  • Brian Colligan has been the editorial page editor of the Greenville Daily Reflector since 2004. He holds an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and a master of public administration from ECU.  Colligan’s work has been recognized with the N.C. Press Association’s 2001 and 2006 Best Editorial Writing award and the 2010 Editorial Page award.
  • Steve Hawley is communications manager and public information officer for the city of Greenville where his work has won Excellence in Communications Awards from North Carolina City and County Communicators. He hosts the city of Greenville’s public access television show “City Scene” and was a WITN-TV on-air personality.
  • Ed Johnson is associate professor of communication studies at Campbell University in Buies Creek. In 2005 he was named Professor of the Year by the Ad Club of the Triangle. He taught advertising and public relations in Missouri and Nebraska before his time at Campbell University.
  • Peter Romary is director of student legal services at ECU. He holds a law degree of UNC-Chapel Hill as well as a British law degree. Originally a British subject, he now holds U.S. citizenship. In 2004, he was the recipient of a knighthood in recognition of his work combating violence against women and in the same year received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
  • Charles Twardy is an instructor in the School of Communication at ECU. He holds a master of science in journalism and a master of arts in English from Northwestern University. His published work has appeared in newspapers such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The State (Columbia, SC), Orlando Sentinel, Raleigh News and Observer as well as journals such as World Architecture, Architectural Record, and German Life.

Register ahead by sending an e-mail titled “Workshop Registration” to Please include your full name, mailing address, phone number and affiliation (name of business, organization, government agency, university, etc.). On-site registration will be accommodated as space allows. By registering ahead, you ensure your reservation and that you will receive updates about the event, including parking and other important details.


For additional information about the workshop, contact Carmine Scavo at 252-737-2335 or




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