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.

Soria

Soria

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.

Darafsheh

Darafsheh

“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 http://www.nianet.org/LARSS-2012/index.aspx.

 

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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.

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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.

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Roberts scores touchdown, touches hearts

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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:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9195414

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/bruce-feldman/22112627/8-year-old-scores-a-very-special-td-for-ecu

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.

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Founders Day/Awards Day set for May 1

East Carolina University will mark Founders Day/University Awards Day on May 1, which is Reading Day for the spring semester.

Founders Day/University Awards Day is a celebration of the establishment of the institution by the N.C. General Assembly 106 years ago. During the event, the university’s top awards in teaching, scholarship of engagement, research/creative achievement, leadership and the Centennial Awards for Excellence will be announced. That event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Hendrix Theatre.

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Lucas honored for board service

ECU Board of Trustees Bob Lucas, pictured above, was presented with a certificate of appreciation for his two years of service as chairman and eight years on the board. Lucas of Selma also served on the Board of Trustees when he was Student Government Association president in 1974-75.  During his remarks to the board, Lucas said he was an example of how this university changes people’s lives for the better. “I came here scared to death. I was scared that I would have to go back and tell my parents that I couldn’t make it,” he said. “It was so big, and there was so much freedom.” Through a scholarship, he studied in Europe for a year and came back to campus and was elected SGA president. “To come from that scared 18 year old to be SGA president and then be chairman of the board, what a unique experience. What a ride, it’s been. ECU does transform lives.”  ECU News Services photo by Cliff Hollis

 

ECU Board of Trustees outgoing chair Bob Lucas was presented with a certificate of appreciation for his two years of service as chairman and eight years on the board.

Lucas of Selma also served on the Board of Trustees when he was Student Government Association president in 1974-75.

During his remarks to the board, Lucas said he was an example of how this university changes people’s lives for the better. “I came here scared to death. I was scared that I would have to go back and tell my parents that I couldn’t make it,” he said. “It was so big, and there was so much freedom.”

Through a scholarship, he studied in Europe for a year and came back to campus and was elected SGA president. “To come from that scared 18 year old to be SGA president and then be chairman of the board, what a unique experience. What a ride, it’s been. ECU does transform lives.”

(ECU News Services photo by Cliff Hollis)

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St. Amant delivers keynote presentation

East Carolina University professor Kirk St. Amant delivered the keynote presentation, “Global Growth in the Borderless World: Perspectives, Practices, and Projections” at the 2013 Red River Graduate Student Conference on April 5 -6 in Fargo, N.D.

St. Amant is professor of international studies and technical and professional communication in the Department of English, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

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Earth Day Expo to feature interactive events, lecture on April 18

tyronehayes

Hayes

Interactive events for people of all ages will be featured at the annual Earth Day Expo from 4-6 p.m. Thursday in the Howell Science Complex on the East Carolina University campus.

Sponsored by ECU’s Center for Biodiversity and the Department of Biology, the event is part of the 2013 N.C. Science Festival. The festival is a two-week statewide series of events showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), produced by UNC’s Morehead Planetarium.

ECU researchers and local non-profit organizations will have displays and activities available April 18 on topics related to biodiversity. There will be live animals and plants, lab activities, natural history story times and more. Children in local afterschool programs are expected to attend and the general public is also welcome.

“(We hope) to expose the public to the joy of studying biodiversity and learning more about the biodiversity on our planet,” said Heather Vance-Chalcraft, assistant director for outreach at the center. “Biodiversity is being lost at an accelerated rate today compared to historic rates of loss. Yet, biodiversity provides human society with numerous services that are invaluable, such as water filtration, flood control and pollination.”

At 8 p.m. Thursday, guest speaker Dr. Tyrone Hayes, a renowned biologist and professor of integrative biology at University of California, Berkeley, will present “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men” in Room C307 of the Science & Technology Building.

Hayes’ research involved the roles of steroidal hormones and environmental conditions on amphibian development. He is particularly interested in the ability of a widely used herbicide to alter sexual development and cause feminization in male frogs. This work has implications for the current population declines of amphibians and for human health, as the herbicide has been shown to alter testicular development and induce reproductive cancers in rodents.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information about ECU’s Earth Day Expo or Hayes’ lecture, contact Vance-Chalcraft at 252-328-9841 or vancechalcrafth@ecu.edu.

More information about the N.C. Science Festival is available online at http://www.ncsciencefestival.org/.

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