ECU organization collects toys for needy children

Wayne Reeves, left, chair of ECU’s Organization of African American Staff, and Tia Freeman, chair of the organization’s community involvement committee, stand before a collection of toys ready for donation to needy families. (Contributed photo)


The Organization of African American Staff at East Carolina University conducted its 4th annual toy drive in December to collect items for children of  local families in need. The organization acquired a list of toys needed through the Pitt County Department of Social Services, and set out to collect the items.

They acquired all items on the list and more. On Dec. 7, they delivered the collected toys and clothing to the Pitt County Social Services program manager.

The OAAS was developed at ECU as a commitment to African American staff, faculty and students on campus. Programs developed through the organization develop cultural and professional skills and experiences, wellness, networking, mentorship, community outreach, scholarship and economic prosperity.


The ECU Organization for African American Staff collected toys and clothing for needy children in the community during an annual toy drive this December.


Housekeepers award recipients named

The 2012 Fourth Quarter Housekeepers Awards for Excellence recipients, for service, are Mitchell Lane and Dennis Patrick with Academics, Herman Jenkins with Health Sciences Campus / School of Medicine, and Verna Taft with Residence Halls / Student Recreation Center.


ECU hosts international affairs forum

East Carolina University will host the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions Program beginning in January 2013.

Now in its ninth year at ECU, the program will run for eight consecutive Saturdays Jan. 19 through March 9. Sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Rivers West Building auditorium on campus. Great Decisions is co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Eastern North Carolina.

The program consists of a series of lectures by academic and professional experts on topics such as Threat Assessment, China in Africa, Myanmar and Southeast Asia, the Future of the Euro, Egypt, NATO, Iran and Intervention.

Full-time ECU students, staff and faculty may attend for free and purchase the program book for $19. For the general public, the fee is $37 for all eight sessions and includes membership in the WAC-ENC. The textbook is $19. Individual sessions are $6. To register for the series, visit the Great Decisions web site at

For additional information, contact Dr. Sylvie Debevec Henning at 252-328-5520, or via email at Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to each event.


ECU student raises money for Newtown victims

ECU student Sarah Feinstein, daughter of a Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher, was quoted in a Huffington Post article about “Santas for Sandy Hook.” The group of former Newtown Public School students, including Feinstein, are raising money for families of those killed in the Dec. 14 Newtown school shooting. The article is available at

A more detailed interview with Feinstein appeared in The Republican at



D.J. Gregory featured speaker for ECU’s Ralph Steele Lecture Series

Author D.J. Gregory presented “Chasing a Dream” at ECU Nov. 15 for the Ralph Steele Visiting Lecture series. (Photo by Chuck Baldwin, Health and Human Performance)

A crowd of 300 welcomed D.J. Gregory, author and lecturer, as the speaker for the 2nd annual Ralph Steele Visiting Lecture Nov. 15 at Mendenhall Student Center, East Carolina University.  Gregory presented the lecture, “Chasing a Dream.”

Gregory spoke about his journey of setting and accomplishing an improbable goal. “He encouraged everyone to have dreams to reach and not to let others hold you back,” said Dr. David Loy, associate professor in the department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

Gregory was born with cerebral palsy, and doctors told his parents that he would probably use a wheelchair for his entire life.  Gregory defeated the odds and learned to walk.

A longtime golf fan, Gregory made a commitment to walk every hole of every round of every PGA golf tournament during 2007-2008.  Walking 900 miles with a cane, he accomplished this goal.  Since then, he has continued to walk the PGA tour with a different golfer each week.

He created a foundation called Walking with Kids to support a variety of children’s charities. He also authored, “Walking with Friends,” which details his challenges, successes, and friendships developed with professional golfers.

A native of Greensboro, N.C., Gregory earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in sports management from Springfield College.

The event was in honor of Dr. Ralph H. Steele (1930-2009), who taught at ECU from 1960-1990.  Steele is considered the founding father of what became ECU’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.  In 1972, Steele established the baccalaureate degree in Parks, Recreation and Conservation at ECU. He served as a teacher, mentor, visionary and leader to many students, faculty, alumni and friends.


AVID Day challenges students to maximize potential

East Carolina University’s College of Education hosted more than 400 eastern North Carolina sixth through twelfth graders in two events designed to challenge those students to maximize their potential.

The Nov. 14 and Nov. 28 AVID Days held by the Office of Professional Development and Student Outreach encouraged underachieving students to attend college by providing opportunities for them to explore college access options.

ECU faculty and students interacted with the visitors in sessions on such topics as college admission, service-learning, academic success, personalities and leadership development.

Seventeen public middle or high schools were represented at the events.

For additional information, contact Christa Monroe at or call the Office of Professional Development at 252-328-2950.


Scholarships to support ECU technology systems students

Students in the East Carolina University Department of Technology Systems will benefit from a $10,000 scholarship award donation by the Grainger Foundation.

David White, dean of the ECU College of Technology and Computer Science, said the affected academic programs serve approximately 1,000 students in several majors, all of which are critical to promoting economic development in the region and beyond.  Scholarship priority will be given to students majoring in industrial distribution and logistics, he said.

“We support collaborative efforts with our local partners to promote student success and provide the talent that industry needs to compete in the global economy.  We are grateful to The Grainger Foundation for its generosity,” White said.

The donation was recommended by Neil Zingler, branch manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s, Greenville location.  Grainger has been a part of the Greenville business community for more than 30 years as the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products.

“We are proud to recommend the programs offered by ECU’s industrial distribution and logistics program,” Zingler said.  “We understand that one of the best ways to invest in our community is to contribute to the education of our workforce.  We are excited to partner with ECU to help support and encourage the students for future success.”

For additional information about Grainger contact: Kristen Lawrence, communications manager, at

For further information about East Carolina University College of Technology and Computer Science, contact White at