ECU alumni networking breakfast set for March 11

By Jackie Drake
East Carolina Alumni Association

East Carolina University alumni are invited to a networking breakfast in Greenville on March 11, hosted by the East Carolina Alumni Association.

The event is part of a series of networking events to be held across the Pirate Nation this spring. Tap into the power of the Pirate alumni network and interact with East Carolina professionals who are leaders in their industries and communities.

The featured alumnus will be Mark Garner, vice president of Rivers & Associates, a civil and environmental engineering company in Greenville. A certified planner, Garner graduated from ECU in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning. Garner is a member of the ECU Board of Visitors, the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Pitt County Development Commission.

This event will be held 7:30-9 a.m. at the City Hotel and Bistro at 203 Greenville Blvd. in Greenville. Attire is purple and gold business casual. Bring business cards for exchanging and to enter the door prize drawing.

Anyone who attended ECU is welcome; membership in the Alumni Association is not required. The cost is $11 for members and $22 for non-members, which includes breakfast food and beverages. Registration is required by March 6.

Visit or call 800-ECU-GRAD to register.

For more information about this event, contact Assistant Director of Alumni Programs Christy Angle ’95 at or 252-328-1958.

Alumni networking events are also planned for Washington, D.C., New Bern, Wilmington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh, and more. Visit to view all upcoming networking events.


ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation names new board members



The East Carolina University Medical & Health Sciences Foundation recently named five new board members. They are David Brody of Kinston; Dasha Little of Chesapeake, Va.; Dennis Young of Wallace; Kathy Walker and Lamont Wooten, both of Greenville.

A former chair of the ECU Board of Trustees, Brody is the managing partner with Brody Associates. He also serves the university as a member of the Brody Foundation Board of Directors.

A 1981 graduate of ECU, Little is president/owner of Apogee Solutions. She is a member of the Women’s Roundtable at ECU and was recognized in 2013 as one of 10 “Incredible ECU Women.”

Walker established the Walker Distinguished Professorship in Clinical Oncology as well as the Leo Jenkins Canter Center Coach Roggeman Cancer Research Fund. She is married to Dr. Paul Walker, director of Thoracic Oncology at Leo Jenkins Cancer Center and is an active community volunteer.

An orthopedic surgeon, Wooten is an emeritus member of Orthopedics East and Sports Medicine Center Inc. He serves on the advisory board for the Harriet and John Wooten Laboratory for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Research at the Brody School of Medicine.

Young retired from ECU in 2012. In 2006, he became the associate athletic director focusing on major gifts and served as executive director of the Pirate Club from 1991-2006.

The East Carolina University Medical & Health Sciences Foundation serves the College of Allied Health Sciences, Brody School of Medicine, College of Nursing, Laupus Library, Leo Jenkins Cancer Center, East Carolina Heart Institute, School of Dental Medicine, East Carolina Diabetes & Obesity Institute and the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute with financial support, scholarships, education and research.



ECU nutrition students prepare educational feast

Aurora Mendoza puts the final touches on a  mixed green salad with fruit and nuts during meal service at the Darden Dining Room on campus. (Contributed photos)

Aurora Mendoza puts the final touches on a  mixed green salad with fruit and nuts during meal service at the Darden Dining Room on campus. (Contributed photos)


By Nicole Wood
College of Human Ecology

Three days a week at East Carolina University, guests can satisfy their lunchtime hunger while supporting nutrition students’ education in the College of Human Ecology’s Darden Dining Room.

Sarah Sykes helps Justin Simmons with a New England slaw.

Sarah Sykes helps Justin Simmons with a New England slaw.

Students in the food production in dietetics course – now in its fifth year – acquire hands-on experience in the kitchen, at the front of the house and in marketing positions. During the preceding fall semester, students learn about food preparation and management principles applied to quantity healthcare food production. The spring course then allows them to put their plans – and menus – into action.

“The students are getting real-world experience. Building a menu and standardizing recipes is something they will do in their future positions,” said ECU professor Diana Saum, who teaches both the fall and spring semester courses.

“We want to ensure that our students are gaining the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in their chosen career,” said Saum.

Nutrition Science student Sarah Sykes said she was excited to get into the kitchen this semester. “I have learned so much throughout this experience, from basic food production terms in the classroom to real life management experiences in lab,” she said.

“Having people purchase our food allows us to gain feedback and fully experience the complete food production process. We value everyone who comes in to try our food and we thank them for aiding in our development as future nutritionists.”

The Darden Dining Room is open to the public for lunch on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays throughout the spring semester from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Prices typically range from $4 per entrée to $1.50 for dessert. Cash or check is accepted. Sign up for Saum’s reminder e-mail, which includes the daily menu, by e-mailing her at

Krysta Parkhurst (left) and Brooke Radford show off their soups to Nutrition Science advisor Jan Fletcher.

Krysta Parkhurst (left) and Brooke Radford show off their soups to Nutrition Science advisor Jan Fletcher.


Youth Arts Festival seeks artists for March 29 event

The 10th annual Youth Arts Festival seeks artists who would like to share their creative talents with children during an event held on campus at East Carolina University.

The annual Youth Arts Festival, scheduled this year for March 29, promotes multicultural visual and performing arts to children through hands-on projects, demonstrations and performances primarily geared to elementary and middle school children.

No sales commission or booth fees are charged. The event’s focus is on teaching children and their families about the diverse and creative talents available in the region. Participants may work with children developing hands-on art projects or simply demonstrate their creative talent.

The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. It is free and open to individuals at all age levels.

Contact Dindy Reich, Youth Arts Festival coordinator, at (252) 328-5749 or for additional information or to sign up for the event.


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.