ECU program wins first place in national competition

An East Carolina University program that works to stimulate the economy in distressed portions of the state won first place for excellence in the University Economic Development Association’s national competition in Indianapolis.

The ECU Community Enhancement and Economic Transformation Initiative received the top award in the excellence in the leadership and collaboration category.

The winning initiative is a multi-tiered approach to regional transformation that includes the ECU Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development’s Talent Enhancement and Capacity Building program, a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Municipal Management and Innovation initiative. Kenny Flowers, director of community and regional engagement, presented on the programs.

The Talent Enhancement and Capacity Building program supports activities that stimulate economic transformation in distressed communities across the state, including the town of Aurora and the counties of Beaufort, Edgecombe, Hyde, Jones, Pamlico and Pitt. A recently announced $700,000 expansion by the N.C. Department of Commerce will enable support for an additional 15 communities.

The Municipal Management and Innovation initiative engages directly with small, limited-resource municipalities to address issues related to local administrative capacity and public service delivery. Towns served through this program include Aurora, Bayboro, Grifton, Hookerton, Pollocksville, Snow Hill and South Mills.

Both programs provide communities with economic development products, technical assistance and financial resources that help increase competitiveness and build stronger, more vibrant and more capable communities.

Participating communities engage directly with the university, gaining access to a network of faculty, staff and students who help build a customized, targeted response for each community. ECU has established 29 partnerships with communities across the state

Flowers said the national recognition is one that the university shares with partners across the state and region. “I believe it validates our community partners’ commitment to long-term collaboration with the university, while endorsing ECU’s broader focus on regional economic transformation,” he said.

“It will certainly benefit our engagement efforts as we move forward,” Flowers said.

“This award recognizes…the university’s significant commitment to foster vibrant and livable communities as part of our mission as a national model for public service and regional transformation,” said Associate Vice Chancellor Ted Morris, Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development



ASSISTments training set for Nov. 12 at ECU

Teachers and administrators from eastern North Carolina will gather at East Carolina University Nov. 12 to learn how to use the ASSISTments learning technology, an intelligent tutoring system that offers students individualized help on basic concepts while providing teachers with assessment data.

The training is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room 337 of the Flanagan Building on campus.

Participants may earn two continuing education credits and a stipend of $100 by attending the Nov. 12 event, joining in four additional hours of online instruction and working individually for a minimum of 10 hours to prepare and carry out lessons using ASSISTments.

Instructors for the event include Cristina Heffernan, co-founder of the technology and a math teacher, and Christine O’Connor, a certified teacher trainer and 8th grade teacher. Participants will experience ASSISTments from the students’ and teacher’s perspectives, working through lessons and later studying the data generated from their activities.

ASSISTments was developed by Dr. Neil Heffernan, associate professor in computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He created the program to help failing students in his math class while he was working with Teach for America.

The program is now customizable to any subject area. It is free and available at

The event was organized by ECU’s Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education in the College of Education, through a partnership between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ECU and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.



ECU to hold International Education Week

East Carolina University will commemorate International Education Week Nov. 14 through 21 with a series of events that are free and open to the community.

International Education Week celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Events at ECU will showcase the 300-plus international students on campus as well as hundreds of global-minded students, staff and faculty who appreciate diversity.

The following events are scheduled:

Nov. 14

  • International Affairs Open House, 2 – 4 p.m.
  • “The Good, the Bad, and the Weird” (2008). Ethnic Studies Film Series. 6 p.m., Bate 1031 The story of two outlaws and a bounty hunter in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits. Sponsored by Ethnic Studies.
  • “Danton”  (1983). Revolutionary France… on the screen, 7:30 p.m., Bate 1031  Andrzej Wajda offers a vivid portrayal of the mix of personality and politics that governed France when the term “terrorism” was coined. Filmed with Polish and French actors during the early years of the Solidarnosc movement. Sponsored by the History Department.

Nov. 15

  • Education Abroad Fair. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms.  This campus-wide Study Abroad Information Fair will help students understand the ins and outs of studying overseas.
  • Peace Corps Information Session, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., International House Conference Room. Returned Peace Corps volunteer Marques Anderson share information about the Peace Corps.

Nov. 16

  • Cultural Xplosion. 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Mendenhall Student Center Hendrix Theatre. The African Student Organization is sponsoring a poetry, diverse song and cultural dance to share ECU’s ethnic pride and artistic variety.
  • “Burnt by the Sun” (1994). Russian Film Series. 7:30pm, Bate 1009.  A long summer day in 1936. Colonel Kotov, an aging military hero of the Bolshevik revolution, is enjoying the good life in his country home with his captivating young wife Maroussia, their six-year-old daughter and numerous family members. Into this idyllic setting enters Dimitri, who was Maroussia’s lover a decade ago, before leaving under mysterious circumstances. Dimitri now works for Stalin’s secret police and it becomes clear that he has returned with an agenda. Oscar for Best Foreign Film.  Sponsored by Russian Studies.

Nov. 17

  • International Student Association Meeting. 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., International House Conference Room. This organization strives to enhance international awareness, cooperation and diversity among international students, the East Carolina University campus and Greenville community.
  • Afternoon Tea… English Style. 4 p.m. – 5 p.m., International House. Drop by for informal conversation and meet new friends. Tea, homemade sandwiches and scones shall be served.

Nov. 18

  • “A Taste of Italy” Closing Luncheon. Noon – 1 p.m., International House. Luncheon for the ECU community.

Nov. 21

  • “Don’t Judge Me”. 7 p.m., Science and Technology Building, Room C-207.  A panel discussion regarding racial, religious and cultural stereotypes on campus, with moderator Rob Bradley, director of Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.

Heart Institute scene of Wechsler lecture

Dr. Andrew S. Wechsler, left, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Drexel University College of Medicine, poses with Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood Jr., the Jo Allison and Eddie Smith Distinguished Chair and director of the East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University, on Nov. 2 at the heart institute. Wechsler delivered the 10th annual Wil Camp Sealy Lecture at the institute.  The yearly lecture honors Sealy, who developed surgical electrophysiology. His work became the basic knowledge used to treat cardiac arrhythmias, either surgically or by catheter-based techniques. Wechsler spoke about surgical ventricular reconstruction. (Contributed photo)