ECU psychology professor honored with Best Paper award

Dr. Heather Littleton, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at East Carolina University, received the 2013 Georgia Babladelis Best Paper award by the Psychology of Women Quarterly for her co-authored paper, “Health Risk Behavior and Sexual Assault Among Ethnically Diverse Women.”


The award honors the best paper published for the year. The award-winning article will be featured as the lead article in the March 2013 issue of the journal and comes with a $1,000 honorarium. Littleton will be recognized for the award at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

Littleton’s paper examines the extent to which an association between sexual victimization history and engaging in health risk behaviors is mediated by sexual violence victims’ greater vulnerability to depressive and anxiety symptoms. This association was evaluated among European American, African American, Latina and Asian American women, and differences in the size of this relationship were compared. Implications of the findings for understanding sexual violence risk and health risk behaviors among diverse women are discussed.

Co-authors are Dr. Amie Grills-Taquechel, associate professor at the University of Houston, and three doctoral clinical health psychology students in Littleton’s lab. The doctoral students are Katherine Buck, Julia Dodd and Lindsey Rosman.

For additional information, contact Littleton at 252-328-6488 or


ECU alumnus published in LA Times

An image from an ECU web feature shows Nathan Lean touring Tripoli while a student at ECU.

An editorial by East Carolina University alumnus Nathan Lean, “Anders Behring Breivik: Norway’s sane killer” appeared in the Los Angeles Times Aug. 26.

Lean earned a double major from ECU in piano performance and international studies and an MA in international studies. A graduate student at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Lean is a scholar of Middle East studies and a prolific writer on Islam, American foreign policy, national politics and global affairs.

He is editor-in-chief of Aslan Media and a contributing writer at Policy Mic.  His writings have appeared recently in The Huffington Post, and the New York Daily News.

This year Lean authored “The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims.” And with ECU political science professor Jalil Roshandel, director of the Security Studies program, Lean co-authored “Iran, Israel, and the United States: Regime Security vs. Political Legitimacy.”

A 2010 ECU web feature shared details on how ECU’s global understanding course influenced Lean’s research interests. Read the feature.



BBC Travel lists ECU as one of five in world for sustainable tourism

A BBC Travel story listed East Carolina University as one of five schools in the world where one can earn a degree in sustainable tourism.

In the Aug. 22 article, “Ethical traveller: Getting a degree in sustainable travel,” author Lori Robertson noted ECU’s master of science in sustainable tourism degree as well as the Center for Sustainable Tourism.

Read the article at

Visit ECU’s Center for Sustainable Tourism at

For additional information about the master’s of science in sustainable tourism degree, visit


ECU professor receives Fulbright award

Mulatu Wubneh, a professor in ECU’s planning program in the Department of Geography, has been awarded a Fulbright grant for study and lecture in Ethiopia.

East Carolina University professor Mulatu Wubneh in the Department of Geography will spend fall 2012 at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia through a 2012-13 Fulbright Scholar award for lecturing and research.

Wubneh will research urban revitalization in the city of Addis Ababa.

He is one of the 1,200 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2012-2013.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. It is one of the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange programs in the U.S.


ECU student stores launches expanded textbook rental program

ECU student Vernon Garrett, an employee with Dowdy Student Stores, folds boxes used to hold student book orders. Approximately 1,800 to 2,500 orders are expected to be filled by the first day of classes Aug. 21.

East Carolina University’s Dowdy Student Stores is offering students significant cost savings on college textbooks this fall through an expanded textbook rental program.

Bryan Tuten, director of the Dowdy Student Stores, said a program for textbook rentals has been in place, but this year the bookstore has expanded its capacity from about 50 available titles to approximately 800 textbooks available for rental.

“We have been working to lower textbook costs to help make college more affordable for students and their families,” Tuten said. “We started with a guaranteed textbook buyback program which has evolved into a full-fledged rental program.”

He said renting textbooks could save as much as 80 percent off new textbook prices. “If a textbook is priced at $100 brand new, students might be able to rent it for as little as $20,” Tuten said.

The online component of the program should prove especially beneficial to distance education students, Tuten said, because the students can complete their textbook purchase online and have the order shipped to their homes without ever having to visit the store. Students who live near campus may still visit the store to rent their textbooks directly off the shelves. They might also request that an online order be held for pickup at the bookstore.

For additional information, visit or contact Tuten at (252) 328-6731.


ECU clinical psychology program accredited

The American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation has approved the full accreditation of East Carolina University’s clinical psychology program in health psychology for the next seven years. Accreditation by the APA requires full program review, including a self-study document describing the goals of training, methods of quality assessment and outcomes for students, and processes and procedures to ensure that training meets national standards.

“Our program and department believe in the East Carolina motto of ‘Servire,’ and accreditation provides further evidence that we can train our students to serve North Carolina with the highest level of both research and clinical skills,” said Dr. Susan McCammon, interim chair of the Department of Psychology.

­ECU received permission to plan the new doctoral program in 2004. Recently retired department chair Dr. Kathleen Row led efforts to build the program, recruiting nationally to add to the psychology department’s strong faculty base. The clinical psychology program has 10 core faculty members, 12 associate faculty and six affiliated clinical supervisors.

Dr. Sam Sears, director of the health psychology doctoral program said, “APA accreditation was an essential step for our program to be recognized nationally for the highest standards of quality of training.”

ECU joins Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro as the only accredited training program in North Carolina for clinical psychologists. In addition, it is the only program focused on health psychology.


Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center earns re- accreditation

The Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center has earned reaccreditation.

The Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in radiation oncology as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology  and the American Society for Radiation Oncology. Radiation oncology is the careful use of high-energy radiation to treat cancer. A radiation oncologist may use radiation to cure cancer or to relieve a cancer patient’s pain.

“This accreditation is an affirmation of the dedication of our team of providers and the exceptional quality of care we provide,” said Dr. Peter Kragel, director of the cancer center and interim chair of radiation oncology at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. “The people of eastern North Carolina can take advantage of the outstanding multidisciplinary care provided right here in Greenville, and rest assured that they are getting care that is recognized as being of the highest quality.”

The ACR-ASTRO seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting specific practice guidelines and technical standards developed by ACR and ASTRO after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Patient care and treatment, patient safety, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed.

The cancer center was first accredited in 2006. Six other radiation oncology sites in North Carolina are ACR-ASTRO accredited.



Scholar, funding support ECU chemistry department

Pictured from left to right are Wanda Williams, human resources manager, Fuji Silysia Chemical Ltd.; David Steffensen, controller, Fuji Silysia Chemical Ltd.; Takafumi Urushibara, technical center, Fuji Silysia Chemical Ltd.; Dr. Michael B. Brown, associate dean, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences; Jennifer Tripp, major gifts officer, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Rickey Hicks, chairman, Department of Chemistry.


Fuji Silysia Chemical of Greenville donated $10,000 to the East Carolina University Department of Chemistry Thursday to support special projects in the department. The company is also supporting a master’s level chemical scientist, Takafumi Urushibara, as visiting scholar for two years.

“This is our way of building our relationship with East Carolina University, and a way that we give back to the community,” said Wanda S. Williams, human resources manager for Fuji Silysia Chemical.

“Fuji Silysia Chemical supports the advancement of technology of our local chemistry department. We are hoping, in our own small way, that this will help give back to our community as our community has helped us,” Williams said.

ECU chemistry department chair Dr. Rickey Hicks said, “These projects support our mission of providing the highest quality educational and research experiences to our undergraduate and graduate students.”

Fuji Silysia Chemical Ltd. is an international company established in 1965, which produces synthetic silica products used in various industries ranging from plastics and coatings to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The corporate headquarters are located in Japan, with additional offices in Italy, Switzerland and North Carolina.

At the Greenville location, the company makes silica gel, which is often used as a desiccant in food packaging. Silica gel keeps materials dry, preventing damage to food, artwork and other packaged products.

Additional information about Fuji Silysia Chemical Ltd. may be found online at For more information about the ECU Department of Chemistry, contact Hicks at 252-328-9700 or


Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series opens Sept. 5

The first African American female in space, a third generation paleontologist and the first woman to pilot a space shuttle are among the speakers in the 2012-13 Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series at East Carolina University.


Dr. Mae C. Jemison will open the lecture series with “Exploring the Frontiers of Science and Human Potential,” Sept. 5 in Wright Auditorium on campus. Jemison flew into space aboard the Space Shuttle “Endeavor” in 1992, becoming the first African American woman to make that journey.

At the Oct. 2 premier lecture, Dr. Louise Leakey will present “Secrets in the Sands: Revelations into How We Became Human.” A member of the celebrated Leakey family of explorers, Leakey is a paleontologist, conservationist, an anthropology research professor at Stony Brook University and explorer-in-residence at National Geographic.

Col. Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot and command a space shuttle will present “Leadership Lessons from Apollo to Discovery” Nov. 13.

The Jarvis Lecture on Christianity and Culture on March 5, 2013 will feature Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. Levine will discuss “Strange Bedfellows: The Bible, American Politics, and Homosexuality.”

Rounding out the series on March 21, 2013, Dr. Daniel K. Richter, Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History at the University of Pennsylvania, will examine “Native Peoples and the Battle of Nooherooka.”

All lectures are open to the public and begin at 7 p.m. in Wright Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. Complimentary tickets are available to ECU students, faculty and staff, and are $10 for the general public, with the exception of the March 2013 Jarvis Lecture, which is free to all attendees. For tickets, call the ECU Central Ticket Office at 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

For additional information about the series, contact Dr. John Tucker, director of the lecture series, at 252-328-1028 or, or visit the series’ website at