ECU to host high school students interested in STEM disciplines

By Margaret Turner
College of Technology and Computer Science

Nearly 300 high school juniors from across eastern North Carolina will visit East Carolina University on Friday, Feb. 21 to learn more about careers and degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The third annual High School STEM Day will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and visiting students will rotate through four of 15 hands-on, engaging sessions taught by ECU faculty and students. Sessions include engineering, physics, technology, mathematics, chemistry, biology, construction management, computer science, geology, geography, atmospheric science and math education.

Participants will see demonstrations on forensics and ink in chemistry, identify soil types in construction management, use hand-held weather meters in atmospheric science, use a photo-spectrometer in physics, learn about cryptography in math and demo robots in engineering. The day is designed for students to play an active role in each session, and they’ll travel to multiple buildings and eat lunch in Todd Dining Hall.

“This enables them to get the feel of what it’s like to be a real college student,” said Margaret Turner, event organizer and public relations coordinator for the College of Technology and Computer Science. “The students attending will primarily be juniors who are in the beginning phases of making college decisions. Learning more about what ECU can offer them is important at this point in their process.”

Many ECU students, both graduate and undergraduate, have volunteered to be group leaders and guide the students to the sessions. Their role is to answer questions, explain their own degree program and talk about their personal reasons for choosing ECU.

“They are the face of ECU on this day,” Turner said. “Their role is extremely important.”

Students will also receive information about the various programs and degree options they will be exposed to during the day, including the likely salary and job outlook for each. STEM careers typically pay, on average, 30 percent more than non-STEM jobs.

Honors College Associate Dean Kevin Baxter will speak briefly about the Honors College at ECU and the admissions process.

STEM Day is a collaboration by the College of Technology and Computer Science, the Thomas Harriott College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education.


East Carolina Endoscopy Center achieves AAAHC reaccreditation

The East Carolina Endoscopy Center has achieved reaccreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).  Accreditation distinguishes this endoscopy center by recognizing high quality of care provided to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.

Status as an accredited organization means the East Carolina Endoscopy Center has met nationally-recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC.  More than 5,000 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.

“We believe our patients deserve the best,” said Ginger Edwards, administrator of the East Carolina Endoscopy Center. “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has closely examined our facility and procedures.  It means that our organization cares enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible.”

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors – physicians, nurses, and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care.  The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.

The East Carolina Endoscopy Center, founded in 2009, is a joint venture between the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and Vidant Medical Center. It is located at 521 Moye Boulevard.  To schedule an appointment, call 252-744-8400.


School of Communication to offer new certificate program

The East Carolina University School of Communication will begin offering a graduate certificate in health communication beginning in the summer.

The program is open to non-degree applicants with a bachelor’s degree and students currently enrolled in any graduate degree program.

The certificate requires 12 semester hours of health communication course work examining research, theory and practices of communication.

“Students earning the graduate certificate in health communication will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze, evaluate and apply effective communication in health contexts,” said Laura Prividera, associate director of the School of Communication and director of the school’s graduate studies.

Students enrolled in the School of Communication master’s program with an emphasis in health communication are not eligible to earn the certificate.

For more information, please contact Prividera at


Rosa Parks biographer to speak at ECU on Feb. 17

A professor and biographer of Rosa Parks will discuss the activist’s life at East Carolina University at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17 in Hendrix Theatre.

Jeanne Theoharis, professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, wrote “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” based on conversations with individuals who knew her. The book details the political depth of a national heroine, Rosa Parks, who dedicated her life to fighting American inequality.

Holly Mathews, professor of anthropology and student affairs committee chair of Phi Kappa Phi, said when she heard Theoharis on NPR discussing the book, she thought it would be interesting for students to learn more about an activist who incited change during a bleak time.

“She was an outstanding figure,” said Mathews, “for what Rosa Parks accomplished as a woman and also on behalf of African-Americans.”

Theoharis will speak about Parks’ life, answer questions and sign copies of the book, which will be sold at the event.

This event is sponsored by the ECU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the Honors College, the Departments of History and Anthropology, the Women’s Studies Program, the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, and the David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities.

The public is welcome to attend and tickets are not required for this free event. Attendees may park in the ECU parking lot at Ninth and Cotanche streets.

For more information and questions concerning lecture with Jeanne Theoharis, please contact Holly Mathews at 252-328-9452.



ECU sorority to host 5K race, pasta dinner

The Kappa Delta Chapter at East Carolina University will host a “Shamrock ‘N’ Run” 5K run and walk to raise funds for Prevent Child Abuse America on March 1, beginning at Greenville Town Common.

A post-race party will include refreshments, music and an awards ceremony.

A pre-race Pump-up Pasta Dinner will be held on Feb. 28, the evening before the race, from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Greenville Masonic Lodge near the Provence apartments.

The event is the sorority’s 6th annual fundraiser for Prevent Child Abuse America, and the group raised $20,000 last year.  This year’s goal is $25,000. Local proceeds benefit TEDI BEAR Advocacy Center in Greenville.

Registration for the race is available at or by contacting a member of the Kappa Delta sorority at ECU. Race fees are $15 and T-shirts from the event are $10. On race day, registration will begin at 7:30 a.m.

Tickets for the Feb. 28 all-you-can-eat pasta meal are $5 before Feb. 27 and $8 at the door.

For additional information, contact Brittany Butler, vice president of public relations for Kappa Delta Sorority, at or by calling (910) 934-3381.


Seven ECU women graduate from BRIDGES Academic Leadership Program

Seven ECU women participated in the UNC BRIDGES XXI academic leadership for women. Pictured at the 2013 BRIDGES graduation are, left to right, Liza Wieland, Cynthia Deale, Qin Ding, Stephanie Coleman, Mary Farwell, Elaine Cabinum-Foeller, and Mandee Lancaster (Contributed photo).

Seven ECU women participated in the UNC BRIDGES XXI academic leadership for women. Pictured at the 2013 BRIDGES graduation are, left to right, Liza Wieland, Cynthia Deale, Qin Ding, Stephanie Coleman, Mary Farwell, Elaine Cabinum-Foeller, and Mandee Lancaster (Contributed photo).

By Qin Ding
Department of Computer Science

Seven East Carolina University women were selected to participate in the UNC BRIDGES leadership program for women, an intensive professional development program for women in higher education who seek to gain or strengthen their academic leadership capabilities.

The selected participants were Elaine Cabinum-Foeller, associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of TEDI BEAR CAC at the Brody School of Medicine; Stephanie Coleman, assistant vice chancellor for operations; Cynthia Deale, professor of hospitality management; Qin Ding, associate professor of computer science; Mary Farwell, director of Undergraduate Research and professor of biology; Mandee Lancaster, director of Survey Research and Leadership Initiatives; and Liza Wieland, professor of English. The program ran from Sept. 6 through Nov. 23, 2013.

During four weekends, 34 participants from public and private institutions in higher education across the state participated in multiple sessions on transformative leadership. While the program helped the participants improve their leadership and communication skills, it also created a strong bond among the participants.

The application for the 2014 program will be open soon in the spring. Additional information about the BRIDGES program can be found at:



Excels event honors student achievement in Health and Human Performance

Students show the T-shirts received during a Health and Human Performance recognition event. (Photos by Chuck Baldwin)

Students show the T-shirts received during a Health and Human Performance recognition event. (Photos by Chuck Baldwin)

By Kathy Muse
College of Health and Human Performance

The East Carolina University College of Health and Human Performance celebrated its high achieving freshmen and transfer students at an Excels program Feb. 7 at Club Level, Dowdy Ficklen Stadium.

The event recognized 276 freshmen and transfer students with a GPA of 3.0 and above including 14 on the chancellor’s list, 114 on the dean’s list and 148 on the honor roll.



Health and Human Performance Associate Dean Dr. Susan McGhee welcomed the students and parents who traveled from as far as New Jersey to attend. Her remarks were followed by the keynote speaker, ECU alumnus Justin Waters.

Waters encouraged the students to continue their success at ECU. “You have to define what success is for you,” he said.

“Be a flag bearer for yourself and ECU.”

Waters graduated from ECU in 2009 with a bachelor of science in physical education and in 2011 with a master of arts in education. He is the assistant director of club sports at ECU Campus Recreation and Wellness.

Students received a certificate signed by Chancellor Steve Ballard along with a T-shirt from the college.



ECU alum, PR professional to speak on campus

East Carolina University alumna April Paul Baer will discuss public relations, health communication and her experiences with The Water School in rural Uganda during presentations to several ECU School of Communication classes Feb. 17 – 18.

April Baer

April Baer

Baer will also speak to the ECU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and to convocation for students in the interpersonal and organization communication concentration.

She is director of Student Wellness at Frostburg State University in Maryland. She earned an ECU bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis on public relations in 2006, followed by a master’s in health communication at ECU in 2008.

ECU students are welcome to attend any of Baer’s presentations. For additional information, contact the School of Communication at 252-328-4227 or e-mail


ECU student wrestling against the norm

Aleigh Patterson (Contributed photo)

Aleigh Patterson
(Contributed photo)



By Chris Stansbury
ECU Student Affairs

A little advice from mom can go a long way in life. For East Carolina University sophomore Aleigha Patterson, that valuable advice came when she was a headstrong seventh grader.

“You are going to do great things,” her mom said. “Decide what you want to be, work at it and do it.”

The advice was pretty simple, but Patterson took it to heart and to the mat – the wrestling mat.  She’s now the only female competing on ECU’s Club Wrestling Team.

“I was always a rough kid and I liked wrestling,” said the Lenoir native. “I knew wrestling was pretty much done only by boys, but that wasn’t going to stop me from giving it my best shot.”

In 2008, she tried out and made the high school wrestling team. She trailed 10-1 in points going into the third period of her first match, but Patterson never quit. She remembers it vividly.

“I was able to get into a good position and put my opponent in a half nelson and pinned him to win the match,” she recalled.

Even as a girl in a male-dominated sport, Patterson pushed herself to get better. She credits high school coach Josh Woodruff as a key person in making her a better wrestler and a better person.  Woodruff was an ally when there wasn’t a long line of people in her corner, she said.

“Some coaches refused to send out a wrestler to face me. I couldn’t believe they actually took a match forfeit rather than having someone wrestle me.”

It was difficult for Patterson’s mom, Hollin Honeycutt, to hear other wrestlers and even other parents call her daughter names and tell her she didn’t belong in wrestling. But it was the physical barrages that pushed her mom over the top.

“It got to the point where my mom stopped going to the matches because it was too much for her to watch. One wrestling competitor actually punched me in the face repeatedly during a match.”

So why continue wrestling? Patterson said she likes the fact that it’s a battle – just two people squaring off face-to-face to see who can walk away on top.

“I wrestled against the boys for four years. I didn’t win every match. In fact, I probably lost more than I won. But I never quit.”

She started her college career at ECU in 2012 and discovered Club Wrestling. The advice of her single mother rang out once again: Find your passion and do it. But there is a big difference between high school and college, especially in wrestling.

“These guys are much bigger, much faster and a whole lot stronger,” Patterson said.  “But I still wanted to give it my best shot.”

Trey Wade, president of the club wrestling team, said Patterson’s stubbornness and commitment to succeed is a great combination.

“She is driven by the opposition against her,” said Wade. “When she hits the mat, we don’t treat her like a male or female, she is a wrestler trying to survive, trying to tackle a challenge and trying to succeed in life.”

At ECU, Patterson is able to wrestle against other females in competitive matches. And like many Pirates, she has her sights on lofty goals, both personally and for her university.

“I want to make history by winning nationals while an ECU Pirate. After that, my next goal is to make the Olympic team in 2016 or 2020.”

Patterson will compete in a tournament in Oklahoma this spring and hopefully earn a place at the 2014 nationals in Texas. Until then, she will rely on her perseverance, determination and the continued support and guidance of her coaches and, of course, her mom.

For further information on any of more than 40 club sports sponsored by ECU Campus Recreation & Wellness, contact Justin Waters at or 252-328-6387.