Sociological Association honors long-time ECU professor

East Carolina University professor Dr. Kenneth R. Wilson was honored Feb. 22 with the 2013 North Carolina Sociological Association’s Award for Contributions to Sociology

Wilson is professor of sociology and co-director of the sociology department’s community research lab. He joined ECU in 1974.


Dr. Kenneth Wilson

North Carolina Central University professor emeritus George Conklin presented the award at the organization’s annual conference. Conklin said, “Dr. Wilson’s expertise in applied sociology has been nationally significant, with an emphasis on improving the quality of human life.” Conklin serves as editor of the NCSA journal, Sociation Today.

“I am proud to receive this award from an organization that has focused attention on ways to combine scholarship and teaching to serve the needs of our students and our communities,” said Wilson.

Dr. Marieke Van Willigen, interim chair of ECU’s sociology department said she was happy to see Wilson honored. He has “facilitated the collection, analysis and reporting of data on issues ranging from differential impacts of hurricanes to factors affecting the quality of life of breast cancer survivors, to how researchers deal with ethical dilemmas in their research. He is truly an applied sociologist in the best sense of the term,” she said.

Wilson joined ECU after completing his doctoral degree from Purdue University. During his 39-year career at ECU, Wilson has focused upon specific issues in which applied sociology may contribute, including procedures for basic research, emergency responses during natural disasters and health care and technology access disparities. He has received $1 million in funds to address these social issues through applied sociology, and he has published more than 32 articles and a half-dozen book chapters within his field of research.

“I enjoy doing research that makes a difference,” said Wilson. “I am particularly proud of my research on the Digital Divide in North Carolina, which…helped the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and the NC Department of Commerce document the need to extend broadband to rural regions. I really enjoy working with a team that is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in North Carolina.”

Wilson is past president of the North Carolina Sociological Association and past president of the UNC Faculty Assembly. He is the founding director of the Sociology Community Survey Lab in ECU’s Department of Sociology.

He also has been involved with the American Sociology Association, American Association of Public Opinion Research, American Statistical Association, Southern Sociological Society, Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction and Alpha Kappa Delta.

For additional information, contact Wilson at 252-328-4897 or


ECU student selected to present research

East Carolina University student Maggie Steinhauer was one of 30 students selected to present undergraduate scholarship at the First Annual Society of Cinema and Media Studies Undergraduate Conference, scheduled for April 12-13 at the University of Notre Dame.

Steinhauer is a senior English major and film studies minor, and a student assistant for ECU Dining Services. She was chosen to present undergraduate scholarship on any aspect of cinema and media history, criticism or theory.

Steinhauer will present “’Bowties are Cool’: Fandom in the Mainstream,” on the BBC television series “Doctor Who” and the implications of social media on the evolution of fandom.


Call for abstracts issued for ECU symposium

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit a 1-page abstract for a poster presentation for the upcoming Business of Health Care Symposium: Focus on Healthcare IT. The event is scheduled for 8:20 a.m. – 3 p.m. on April 4 at the East Carolina Heart Institute.

The research may be on technical, economic, social, behavioral, strategic, or managerial issues related to business value of IT in healthcare and may focus on patients, health care providers, clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, or health care systems.   Authors are encouraged to present creative ideas that can stimulate thinking in the audience and that can be leveraged into collaborative research and practice.

The deadline for abstracts is March 15 and posters must be ready by March 29.

Abstracts should be submitted via email to  All submissions will be acknowledged upon receipt.

Contact Huigang Liang (email:; tel: 252-737-1462) or Lucky Xue (email:; tel: 252-737-1443) for additional information.

Register for the symposium at


Judges sought for Research and Creative Achievement Week

The East Carolina University Division of Research and Graduate Studies is seeking judges for Research and Creative Achievement Week 2013.

RCAW showcases undergraduate and graduate student research and creative achievement. Graduate student day is scheduled for April 8 and undergraduate student day is April 10

Judges are needed in all categories.

The division is using a short Qualtrics survey to collect information from potential judges to help in scheduling.  Individuals who are willing to volunteer are asked to fill out the survey at  The site also has judging criteria and other information.


ECU doctoral program completes 100 percent national internship match

 East Carolina University’s doctoral program in health psychology, housed in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology, announced this week that all eight of its doctoral candidates who applied for this year’s match process were selected for internships accredited by the American Psychological Association. The national selection process is highly competitive and is one of the final steps to becoming a professional psychologist.

The full-time, one-year internship is a requirement for earning the doctoral degree in clinical psychology or school psychology. For students, obtaining an APA-accredited internship is one of the nationally-accepted credentials that help graduates become licensed psychologists and find jobs. Nationally, this year approximately 69 percent of candidates were matched through the internship service.

“The 100 percent placement of our students provides further evidence of the increasing national prominence of East Carolina in the field of health psychology,” said Dr. Sam Sears, director of the health psychology doctoral program. “The top training sites in health psychology now recognize that students at East Carolina are engaged in state-of-the-art clinical practice and research.”

Clinical health psychology students selected for the internship, and their internship locations, include Katherine Buck, University of Colorado School of Medicine; Marissa Carraway, Cherokee Health Systems; Emily Dinatale, Medical College of Georgia & Charlie Norwood VAMC; Jessica Ford, Brown University Alpert Medical School; Jonathan Highsmith, Memphis VA Medical Center; Katie Lehockey, VA Western New York Healthcare System; and Amaris Tippey, University of Florida Health Science Center. Pediatric school psychology student Julie Harris, also selected for the match program, will conduct her internship at Illinois State University.

ECU’s heath psychology program was introduced in 2007 and has three distinct tracks: clinical health psychology, pediatric school psychology and occupational health psychology. This past year, the clinical health psychology program received a seven-year accreditation from the American Psychological Association. The pediatric school psychology program will seek similar accreditation in the upcoming year.

For additional information, contact Sears at 252-328-6118 or via email at