World Trade Center survivor to speak on diversity

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Best-selling author and motivational speaker Michael Hingson will present, “Moving from Diversity to Inclusion” from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Oct. 23 in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms 2 & 3.

Hingson survived the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center by travelling down 76 flights of stairs with his seeing-eye dog.

Hingson uses stories, humor and lessons from his life growing up as a blind person. He has worked successfully in professional sales, management and leadership positions.  He will share how a few simple adjustments can open opportunities for persons with disabilities or individuals who are outside the normal scope of diversity discussions.

The event is arranged through the Student Affairs Continuing Career Development series.

Registration is available on OneStop under the University Trainings link.


Genome editing topic of Burroughs Wellcome lecture

Dr. J. Keith Joung will discuss genome editing and its potential for research and therapeutic applications at noon Oct. 17 in Room C307, ECU Science and Technology building.

Dr. Keith Young

Dr. J. Keith Young

Joung is associate chief of pathology for Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. His presentation, “Editing Genes to Understand and Treat Disease,” is presented by the ECU Department of Biology as the Burroughs Wellcome Lecture. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

“Dr. Joung is a leading expert in developing technologies for genome editing, methods that enable the alteration of any gene sequence in living cells and organisms,” said Dr. Yong Zhu, ECU associate professor of biology and coordinator for the Burroughs Wellcome Lecture. “His lab pioneered the development of publicly available methods for engineering zinc finger nucleases, proteins important for practicing genome editing technology.”

Recently, Joung has developed newer technologies that can be practiced easily by any interested researcher and have enormous research and therapeutic applications.

“His group also has begun to explore the use of these targeting strategies to induce enhanced expression or silencing of any desired gene of interest,” said Zhu.

Joung is the Jim & Ann Orr Massachusetts General Hospital Research Scholar and has received several distinguished awards, including the prestigious National Institutes of Heath Director’s Pioneer Award. He serves as an elected member of the American Association of University Pathologists. Joung received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University.

This lecture is supported by the Burroughs Wellcome fund, which allows influential scientists in biology and chemistry to visit campus and present to the public their research in the areas of basic and applied science.

For additional information, contact Zhu at 252-328-6504, or email

Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the events.



Nursing celebrates midwifery program

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

Think again if the word “midwife” conjures up thoughts of home birth and hippies. In fact, 95 percent of births attended by midwives happen in a hospital system and the rest are divided about equally between birthing centers and home.ECU’s College of Nursing has been educating certified nurse-midwives for more than 20 years, graduating its first class in 1992.

ECU offers the only nurse-midwifery education program in North Carolina and one of only 39 across the United States.The college is recognizing its faculty, staff and students in celebration of National Midwifery Week Oct. 6-12.

ECU has graduated 160 students from the master’s degree concentration, and 32 are enrolled now, said Dr. Becky Bagley, director of nurse-midwifery. To practice, graduates must pass the national board exam through the American Midwifery Certification Board. ECU has had an overall pass rate of 98 percent on the exam since the program began, Bagley said.

In North Carolina, certified nurse-midwives also must obtain approval to practice from the Midwifery Joint Committee of the N.C. Board of Nursing.

More than 250 certified nurse-midwives were registered in North Carolina in November 2012, according to the state nursing board.

Across the country, more than 50 percent of certified nurse-midwives work in a physicians’ practice or list a hospital as their primary employer. They also work in public health centers, the military, birthing centers and home birth services. In 2011, the most recent data available, 12 percent of all vaginal births were attended by a certified nurse-midwife.

While known for obstetrical care, midwives also provide primary care including annual physical exams, family planning, preventive health screening, health promotion and patient education.

They are trained to provide care for newborns through their first 28 days of life. “This training allows the certified nurse midwife to empower the new parents and help prepare them for life with a new baby,” Bagley said.

Midwifery means “with woman” and certified nurse-midwives are “with women” from puberty through menopause. “The care provided by a certified nurse-midwife is one of a partnership with the woman,” Bagley said. “They are an advocate for women and families to eliminate health disparities and increase access to evidence-based, quality care.”

ECU’s program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. For more information, visit



Service, leadership focus of ECU Women’s Roundtable Oct. 10 event

Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, founders of DC Cupcakes, will keynote the Women's Roundtable event at ECU.

Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, founders of DC Cupcakes, will keynote the Women’s Roundtable event at ECU.

By Jeannine Manning Hutson

The fourth event in the ECU Incredible Women’s Series will focus on service and leadership and will feature the founders of the successful Georgetown Cupcakes and a Paralympian medal winner.

Founded in 2003, The Women’s Roundtable at East Carolina University will present “The Incredible ECU Women’s Series: Women Empowered, Service and Leadership” on Oct. 10 at the Greenville Convention Center.

Keynote speakers will be Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, sisters and founders of the shop featured in TLC’s “DC Cupcake.” Also speaking will be Bonnie St. John, who won three Paralympic medals in ski racing and co-authored “How Great Women Lead.”

“Women have played a pivotal role in the history of ECU,” said Mary E. Plybon, immediate past chair of the group. “The Women’s Roundtable was founded to ensure current and future alumnae of ECU can continue the tradition of legacy and service focusing on leadership, service, networking, mentoring and philanthropy.”

During the event, 10 women will be inducted into the “Incredible ECU Women” group, joining the 106 current members. They are as follows, including the category they are being recognized in:

  • Jo Allen, ’83, president of Meredith College, Education;
  • Sabrina Bengel, attended ’77-’79, entrepreneur, alderman and business woman, Public Service;
  • Dr. Cynthia Johnson, founding chair of the School of Human Ecology at Georgia Southern University, Education;
  • Dr. Luan Lawson, ’94 ’98, assistant dean for medical education at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, Health Sciences;
  • Dasha Little, ’81, president of Apogee Solutions and Aspen Counseling, Business;
  • Willie Marlowe, ’65, world-renowned visual artist, Fine Arts;
  • Angela Moss, ’97 ’98, associate director of investments for the University of North Carolina Management Company, Business;
  • Dr. Roytessa Savage, ’99, assistant dean for student affairs, associate professor of pediatrics and vice chair of diversity for the Brody School of Medicine at ECU; Health Sciences
  • Dr. Tracy Tuten, ’88 ’90, associate professor of marketing at ECU, Education;
  • Dr. Marianna Walker, ’79 ’82, dean of the Honors College at ECU, Education.

Speaking on a panel focused on service and leadership will be Jo Allen, president of Meredith College; Cassandra Deck-Brown, chief of police in Raleigh; Sheilah Cotton, professor at Louisburg College; Dasha Little, president of Apogee Solutions and Aspen Counseling; Lynn Shubert, president of the Surety and Fidelity Association of America; and Carol Mabe, member of the ECU Board of Trustees.

The Women’s Roundtable at East Carolina University seeks to elevate and encourage leadership and philanthropy by women. Since forming in 2003, the group has raised and contributed more than $100,000 to support Access Scholarships for deserving students, according to Marcy Romary, interim executive director for Health Sciences Development and director of Women’s Philanthropy.

Plybon said, “In the area of philanthropy the Women’s Roundtable is dedicated to funding a solid university education for bright students who need financial assistance through the Access Scholarship program.”

Three students have received Women’s Roundtable Scholarship and the Women’s Roundtable Board of Directors in 2011 committed to fully establish and endow the Kathy A. Taft Memorial Women’s Roundtable Access Scholarship ($125,000) in memory of the Women’s Roundtable founding member.

“Proceeds from The Incredible Women’s Series will be dedicated to complete the endowment. What a wonderful legacy for Kathy,” said Plybon. In addition, founding member Kay Chalk has established the Kay Chalk Women’s Roundtable Access Scholarship.

“The Women’s Roundtable believes in the power of women to impact other women’s lives as well as our students, our university and the broader community,” Plybon added.

Tickets for the event are $100 and all proceeds benefit the Access Scholarship program at ECU.  For more information or tickets, call 744-3057 or visit


Fitness Walk scheduled for Oct. 16


The annual Staff Senate Health Fitness Walk is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Lake Laupus on ECU’s health sciences campus. The event will include opening remarks by Brody School of Medicine Dean Paul Cunningham, a walk around the lake and exhibits promoting healthy lifestyles. Free samples and a limited number of free T-shirts will be available as well.


APA honors ECU geography student

East Carolina University geography student Bryn E. Terry was named the American Planning Association – North Carolina Chapter’s Outstanding Student at the 2013 Marvin Collins Planning Awards Ceremony in Winston-Salem Sept. 19.

Terry is a planning major with an outstanding GPA. She participates in sustainable tourism projects along Eastern North Carolina rivers and has conducted research to identify areas underserved by medical facilities and personnel.

The North Carolina Marvin Collins Planning Awards annual recognize agencies and individuals who have completed outstanding projects, excelled as planning students or made notable contributions to the planning profession. The awards signify the highest standards of achievement for planning in North Carolina, and highlight work that is worthy of attention.

The awards program is named in honor of the late Marvin Collins, a former planning director for Orange County. Collins developed the idea for the program in 1975.


ECU students meet pharmaceutical reps, discuss jobs

ECU students enjoyed an opportunity to meet with pharmaceutical company representatives during an open house on campus. (Photos by Margaret Turner, ECU College of Technology and Computer Science)

ECU students enjoyed the opportunity to meet with pharmaceutical company representatives during an open house on campus. (Photos by Margaret Turner, ECU College of Technology and Computer Science)

A pharmaceutical open house on campus provided assistance to ECU students in networking and securing jobs upon graduation.

The Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry and the College of Technology and Computer Science cohosted the pharmaceutical open house Sept. 25 in the Science and Technology Building.

Dr. John C. Sutherland, interim dean of Harriot College, and Dr. David White, dean of the College of Technology and Computer Science, presented introductory remarks at the event, which was attended by more than 87 ECU students and alumni. Both encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunity before them, with the first event of this type being offered.

“There are many great employment opportunities in the pharmaceutical field for our graduates,” White said.  He further encouraged students to “seek out opportunities for internships and co-ops to best prepare for these great jobs.”

Representatives in attendance from pharmaceutical companies across eastern North Carolina included DSM (Greenville); Hospira (Rocky Mount); Metrics (Greenville); PCI: Pharmaceutical Calibrations and Instrumentation, LLC (multiple locations); Purdue Pharma, L.P. (Wilson); Sequence, Inc. (multiple locations); The West Company (Kinston); and Novo Nordisk (Clayton).

Students were able to meet with the various representatives, ask questions, present their resumes and participate in impromptu interviews.

“We want to help students find jobs that will further their careers and also keep them in North Carolina,” said David Harrawood, event organizer. “ECU has a tremendous impact on the economic development of eastern NC. Offering an event such as this displays our commitment to furthering that development across our region.”

Dr. Rickey Hicks, chair of the Department of Chemistry, said, “Overall, the company representatives said they were very happy with the training, experience and professionalism of ECU’s students. They had their resumes, asked good questions and were engaged in the process.”

“The event was a great success. Our students gained valuable experience through the interview process and learned about potential career opportunities in eastern North Carolina.”

An open house on campus helped students meet with potential employers in the pharmaceutical industry.

An open house on campus helped students meet with potential employers in the pharmaceutical industry.