ECU volunteers honor King with community action

Slide 1

Slide 2

Slide 3

Slide 4

Slide 5

Slide 6

Faculty, staff and students from East Carolina University joined together to honor Martin Luther King Jr. during the 2012 MLK Day of Service Jan. 16. Activities pictured above include, left to right, ECU College of Business graduate assistants Heather Clayton and Devang Patel, working together to paint a wall in the Salvation Army’s Family Store; Mandi Stewart (in the black visor), director of operations and public relations for the Salvation Army; Abby Knight (in the white shirt), an instructor in the College of Business who led the graduate students in their service project at the Salvation Army; and left to right, Ryan Chadwell of Richmond, Va., holding a ceiling tile to replace the one being removed by Don Philyaw of Greensboro, in the planned Salvation Army teen center. Chadwell and Philyaw are graduate assistants in the College of Business. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy could be seen in the helping hands of East Carolina University students participating in a Day of Service on Jan. 16.

The university’s Volunteer & Service-Learning Center sponsored and organized the annual event encouraging students to work at non-profit organizations in Greenville. A total of 120 students volunteered with nine agencies, said Shawn Moore, community partner coordinator at VSLC. The day supports ECU’s mission to be a national model for public service and regional transformation.

College of Business instructor Abby Knight, another instructor and 12 graduate assistants picked The Salvation Army on Dickinson Avenue for their service project.

“I think it’s great to turn the day into a day of action, rather than a sale at the mall,” Knight said. “It’s significant because he spent his life calling people to action. We’re putting that in motion.”

Devang Patel, 23, of Apex, is earning a master’s of business administration degree and will attend medical school. He already volunteers at two health clinics in Pitt County. Fellow graduate assistants Heather Clayton, 25, of Salisbury and Aly Schillig, 23, of Canton, Ohio gave Patel pointers in painting a wall. Clayton said service is a part of the leadership and professional development coursework they teach.

“We want to practice what we preach,” Clayton said. “We also want to get a feel for what our students are doing.”

Students re-painted yellow walls in the Family Store shades of blue, green and tan. They replaced damaged ceiling tiles and scrubbed, vacuumed and cleaned a planned teen center that will open in a former restaurant in April. The remodeling is part of a larger effort in the organization’s work with teenagers. The building also eventually may be used as an overnight shelter for the homeless, said Mandi Stewart, director of operations and public relations for The Salvation Army.

“What’s great about this is that the students are willing, able and excited to be a part of our team and we’re just as excited to have them here,” Stewart said.

Service learning is part of the college’s curriculum each semester. Last fall business students and faculty worked at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck. This spring they are working with the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. Instructors hope to show students by example that community service doesn’t take too much time and is fun, Knight said.

“It’s a great bonding experience,” she said.

Stewart said the ECU volunteers are a blessing.

“It’s a crucial factor to getting projects done around here,” Stewart said. “Manpower is needed every day.”



Annual conference on service-learning set for Feb. 21-23

The 9th Annual East Carolina University Conference on Service-Learning will be held Feb. 21 – 23 in the Croatan Green Room on campus with guest speakers Patti Clayton, author and consultant, and Dr. Barbara Jacoby, author and educator.

Clayton will present a workshop, “Service-Learning in Graduate Studies.” Jacoby will deliver the keynote address.

The conference is sponsored by the University Service-Learning Committee, the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, and the Division of Student Affairs.  The event is free for ECU faculty, staff, students, and community partners.

Registration is recommended at


Download the 9th Annual Conference on Service Learning brochure


Jean Mills Health Symposium will be Feb. 3

Participants at the eighth annual Jean Mills Health Symposium on Feb. 3 will learn about past and present day efforts to reduce health disparities and increase access to care for minority populations in eastern North Carolina.

Presenters will use this year’s theme, “Enhancing Community Health in North Carolina: Looking in the Mirror,” to describe the history of health disparities, interventions and research and to critically reflect on progress in those efforts.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the symposium will be held 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, in the Greenville Hilton, 207 SW Greenville Blvd., Greenville.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Brian Smedley, vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.

The symposium will feature a dozen presenters on collaborative health projects and studies including falls prevention, diabetes self-management, teen health disparities in Greene, Lenoir and Jones counties, a community health partnership in west Greenville, and a study on periodontal disease in diabetic and obese children in eastern North Carolina.

Luncheon speakers will be Dr. Beth Velde, professor of occupational therapy and assistant dean in the College of Allied Health Sciences, and Dr. Robert Campbell, assistant professor of health services and information management, on “A Historical Study of ECU’s Impact on Health Disparities in Eastern North Carolina.”

Registration is $35, and $20 for students, by Jan. 27. After that date, fees are $45 and $25 respectively. The fee includes all program supplies, refreshment breaks and lunch. Continuing education units are available. Visit or call Amy Bullock at Eastern AHEC at 252-744-5205 or email for more information.

The event is sponsored by the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences in collaboration with the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, Pitt Memorial Hospital Foundation and Eastern Area Health Education Center.

Mills earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977 and a master’s in public administration with a concentration in community health from ECU in 1984. She died from breast cancer in 2000.

Amos T. Mills III, Jean’s brother, created the symposium in an effort to keep her spirit of discovery and community outreach alive.


Student work highlighted in IMpact newsletter


A cancer research abstract by David Milbourn, a third-year medical student at ECU, is highlighted in the December issue of IMpact, the American College of Physicians internal medical newsletter for medical students.

The abstract, “Neutrophil-Attracting Chemokines May Contribute to the Formation of a Pre-Metastatic Niche,” is online at .



Work by ECU biology professor in high demand

An article co-authored by ECU biology professor Alexandros G. Georgakilas, “Duodenal carcinoma at the ligament of Treitz. A molecular and clinical perspective,” was published in BMC Gastroenterology and posted in wikipedia as a reference for duodenal cancer.

BMC Gastroenterology reported more than 3,800 people have accessed the paper and it is labeled as highly accessed.

Co-authors were Peter Kalogerinis, Methodist University Physician Assistant Program; John Poulos, Anthony Daniels and Thomas Daignualt of Fayetteville Gastroenterology Associates; Andrew Morfesis, Owen Drive Surgical Clinic of Fayetteville; and Stavroula Georgakila, Harris Birthright Research Center for Fetal Medicine, Kings College University Hospital, London.

Full text of the paper is available at The wikipedia reference is at

Also by Georgakilas with co-authors, “Cdc6 expression represses E-cadherin transcription and activates adjacent replication origins” appeared in the Journal of Cell Biology. This article is available at



ECU events to focus on importance of languages

East Carolina Uiversity will celebrate International Mother Language Day Feb. 21 – 23 to highlight the need for recognizing and preserving linguistic diversity.

Coordinating the event at ECU is Ricard Viñas-de-Puig, assistant professor of Hispanic studies, with a specialization in linguistics in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

“Languages and linguistic diversity are a unique asset of humankind,” Viñas-de-Puig said. “…in a time where most of the world’s languages are facing a situation of endangerment, all and any efforts are necessary to raise awareness of their presence in every community,” he said.

“Eastern North Carolina and ECU are no exception and have become home to a significant number of very diverse languages and linguistic communities.”

Viñas-de-Puig will open the celebration with remarks on “Linguistic Diversity Starts Here: The Languages of ECU” at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 in Joyner Library. A screening will follow at 5:30 p.m. of the documentary, “Languages Lost and Found,” followed by a question and answer session.

On Feb. from 5 to 7 p.m. in Bate 1031, topics and speakers will include “New Millennium, Old Threats: ASL Under Pressure,” by Dr. Joseph Hill from UNC-Greensboro; “The Cherokee Immersion Program,” by Tom Belt and Dr. Hartwell Francis of Western Carolina University; and “Speakers’ Rights and Under-recognized Languages,” an open discussion with Hill, Belt and Francis.

International Mother Language Day was established by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization at their General Conference in 1999 and has been observed every year since February 2000.

For additional information, contact Viñas-de-Puig at 252-328-2103 or, or visit

To read about the United Nation’s role in establishing International Mother Language Day, go to



Stebnicki publishes 6th edition text


ECU Rehabilitation Studies professor Dr. Mark Stebnicki, with co-editor Dr. Irmo Marini of UT-Pan American, has published a new psychosocial text, “The Psychological and Social Impact of Illness and Disability,” 6th edition.

Previous work by Stebnicki and Marini, “The Professional Counselor’s Desk Reference,” was awarded outstanding academic title for 2010 by Choice, a literary review group for academic libraries.



Tuten named director of Dowdy Student Stores

The interim director of Dowdy Student Stores at East Carolina University was selected as director effective Feb. 1.  Bryan Tuten, who has worked at ECU since 1996, has served in an interim capacity for approximately one year.


Tuten was associate director of the Student Stores, where he has worked since December 2000. He previously served as a purchasing agent in the ECU Department of Materials Management.

He is a member of the National Association of College Stores and the College Stores Association of North Carolina.