Two ECU students to spend summer with NASA

Two students from East Carolina University will participate this summer in a competitive internship experience with NASA through the Langley Aerospace Research Student Scholars Program.



Lisbeth Soria, a senior pursuing a bachelor of science in industrial technology with a concentration in information and computer technology, and Kaveh Darafsheh, a graduate student in computer science, earned a spot among 200 internships out of 1,000 applicants. Both programs are housed in the College of Technology and Computer Science.

LARSS is a year-round internship program that offers three sessions in Hampton, Va. Soria and Darafsheh will participate in the 10-week program beginning June 3 – a paid research opportunity for students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In 2011, the program was named by Vault-Career Intelligence as one of its top 10 best internship programs out of some 800 that were evaluated.



“I hope to expand the knowledge and skills I have acquired at ECU while engaging and meeting other people in the same career field as myself while working with NASA and its mentors,” Soria said.

This May, Soria will be the first person in her family to graduate from a four-year institution. She added that she is very thankful for her parents’ sacrifices to provide her that opportunity.

Darafsheh said “the internship will allow me to take the theoretical knowledge I gained in the past year in an academic setting and apply it to a real world problem.”  He will be developing an application for distributed network synchronization through software development.

Both students said the TECS Career Center and department faculty helped them learn about the opportunity. Dr. Krishnan Gopalakrishnan and Dr. Junhua Ding in computer science and Lee Toderick in the BSIT program were instrumental in the recommendations required for the applications, they said.

“This experience will allow me to grow both professionally and personally,” Soria added. “I hope this will be only the beginning of many more successful opportunities to come.”

More information about the LARSS internship is available at



ECU student discusses Tuscarora at UNCC Graduate History Forum

Matthew Esterline, graduate student in history at East Carolina University, discussed John Lawson and the Tuscarora War at UNC-Charlotte’s 25th Annual Graduate History Forum on April 19-20. The presentation, titled “Spanish Oyster-Shell and Blood: An Examination of John Lawson and the Tuscarora,” was presented to faculty from across the state.

The presentation focused on the mystery behind and reasons for Lawson’s execution as well as the tensions between the Tuscarora Indians and colonists which lead to the war.

Esterline also participated with media relations for the Nooherooka 300 Commemoration held at ECU and Snow Hill in March. He said he wanted to raising awareness of the Tuscarora.

The graduate history forum featured guest speaker Dr. William Kimler, NCSU history professor and scholar on the history of biology and evolutionary ideas.


ECU to hold candlelight vigil

A candlelight vigil for Jonathon Bennett will be held at 9 p.m. April 25.

The event will be held in the Student Memorial Garden across from Mendenhall Student Center.

Bennett was killed Wednesday morning following a fall from a tree near University Manor apartments in Greenville. Bennett was an ECU geographic information science and technology major from Wilson, an ECU Student Ambassador and a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.


Roberts scores touchdown, touches hearts


Noah Roberts scored a touchdown and touched some hearts on the final play of the April 20 East Carolina University Spring Football game.

Roberts is 8-years-old. He has Neurofibromatosis, a neurological condition that causes tumors to grow throughout the nervous system. He has endured surgeries to remove tumors from his brain and spinal cord. Roberts will continue medical studies to search for additional tumors.

Roberts’ sister Whitney of Wilmington is a student at ECU.

ESPN and CBS stories are posted below:

Video produced by Brian Meador and Greg Pierce, ECU Athletics.

Noah Roberts walks out onto the field at Dowdy Ficklen Stadium with head football coach Ruffin McNeil. (Photos courtesy of ECU Athletics)

Noah Roberts walks out onto the field at Dowdy Ficklen Stadium with head football coach Ruffin McNeil. (Photos courtesy of ECU Athletics)

The ECU Pirates celebrate with Noah Roberts following his touchdown during the Spring Football game April 20.

The ECU Pirates celebrate with Noah Roberts following his touchdown during the Spring Football game on April 20.