Grant funds multiple chemistry, physics scholarships

Ten incoming freshmen chemistry and physics majors at East Carolina University received scholarships of $5,000 each thanks to a $620,884 grant from the National Science Foundation.

All recipients are North Carolina residents.

Scholarship winners who intend to major in chemistry are Lauren Ackerman of Trent Woods, Mary Becker of Black Mountain, Rahel Haile of Charlotte, Jahmil James of Fayetteville, Mitul Patel of Hendersonville, Sophia Pena of Hope Mills, Fabricio Sanchez of Matthews and Nouci Vue of Connelly Springs. Recipients who plan to major in physics are Roderick Hall from Riegelwood and Timothy Sault from Cary.

The scholarship program was developed in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences under the direction of Allison S. Danell, Anthony M. Kennedy and Anne Marie Spuches from chemistry, and Regina DeWitt and John M. Kenney from physics. The program aims to provide higher education access to students with solid academic preparation, financial need and the potential to succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Scholarship recipients will live for two years in the chemistry and physics living learning community, a residence hall dedicated to students with interests in sciences. The same residence hall houses the ECU Honors College and bio-excellence living learning communities.

The living learning community will be “enriched by the presence of first generation college students and will continue to provide rewards to ECU beyond the funding period,” said Danell.

“The students we educate and mentor will share their experiences, encouraging many more young scientists to pursue an education in scientific disciplines, which will provide a strong foundation for innovation and economic development not just regionally but nationally.”

Scholars will be encouraged to demonstrate a commitment to local and regional science activities, thereby instilling a sense of civic responsibility and awareness.

Recipients may qualify for up to $10,000 in additional funding during their sophomore, junior and senior years, which could lead to a total of $35,000 in four years at ECU.

High school students intending to major in chemistry or physics may apply for one of the 2015-16 scholarships by contacting Anthony Kennedy at 252-328-9816 or kennedyan@ecu.edu.

 

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ECU welcomes new Disney International Program students

Participants in the ECU Disney program gather for orientation.

Participants in the ECU Disney program gather for orientation.

Bob O’Halloran from the School of Hospitality Leadership along with James Gehlhar, Julie Williams and Katie Erickson from the Office of International Affairs recently traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to deliver an orientation program for newly arrived ECU Pirates.

Forty-one students from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru will take 15 credits from the School of Hospitality Leadership while completing their Disney Internship in various positions throughout Walt Disney World.

The orientation included an overview of the online courses they will be enrolled in while in the program, which also includes a research project and internship.

This semester the students, who are in the United States on J1 visas sponsored by the university, are representing four South American institutions: Colombia’s Politecnico Grancolombiano – Bogota, Ecuador’s Universidad del San Francisco, and Peru’s Universidad  San  Ignacio  de  Loyola and Universidad Nacional San Agustin Arequipa.

For more information on the Disney International Program, contact Dr. Robert O’Halloran at ohalloranr@ecu.edu.

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Brody names new chair of Family Medicine

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has announced that Dr. Chelley Kaye Alexander has been hired to chair the Department of Family Medicine, effective August 11.

Alexander

Alexander

Alexander brings with her a wealth of teaching, clinical, administrative and research experience. She comes to Brody from the Department of Family Medicine in the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama, where she has served as department chair since 2006 and as assistant dean for Graduate Medical Education since 2005.

She earned her undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Davidson College in 1990 and completed her medical degree in 1996 at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Her residency training was with Tuscaloosa Family Practice Residency in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Additional faculty development pursuits include a Rural Health Research Junior Investigator Program (2003-2004) and a National Institute Program Director Development Fellowship (2004-2005).

Alexander’s numerous academic and administrative appointments include serving as the Designated Institution Official, serving on the Board of Visitors Resident Education Committee and as the director of the Sports Medicine Clinic at the University of Alabama. Included among her teaching innovations and clinical work is the development of seven separate hands-on procedure workshops for residents to improve procedural training, and a medical home designed to reduce cost and improve quality of care for 30,000 Medicaid patients.

Her research efforts include several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, national presentations and completed clinical trials.  In addition, she has a special interest in asthma, patient-centered medical homes, quality improvement and clinical teaching methodology.

Alexander will replace Dr. Kenneth Steinweg as leader of ECU’s Department of Family Medicine. Appointed chair in June 2009, Steinweg played a critical role in the department’s smooth transition into the new Family Medicine Center in 2011. Fully accredited programs in geriatrics and sports medicine were developed under his leadership and the Family Medicine residency program grew from 30 to 36 residents.

Steinweg will return full-time this fall to the department’s Division of Geriatrics. He called Alexander “a great fit for Brody.”

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Cotterill named division director of Pediatric Dentistry at ECU

Cotterill

Cotterill

Christopher A. Cotterill has been appointed division director of Pediatric Dentistry in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics at the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine. Cotterill assumed his new role July 1 following a national search.

Cotterill joined the ECU pediatric dentistry faculty in 2012, following three years as a pediatric dentist in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. He previously served as part-time clinical faculty member in the pediatric dentistry residency program at the University of Kentucky and operated a pediatric dental private practice near Lexington, Kentucky. During Cotterill also served on the Board of the Bluegrass Dental Society and as the liaison to the State Board for the Kentucky Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

“Dr. Cotterill is a terrific teacher and a wonderful and skillful practitioner. He is a board certified pediatric dentist who brings enthusiasm, dedication, energy and expertise to his teaching and his patient care,” said Stuart Josell, chair of ECU’s Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.

As a clinical assistant professor, Cotterill has been instrumental in developing the pediatric dental pre-clinical and clinical curriculum for pre-doctoral students. He has helped develop the pediatric dental component for residents in the advanced education in general dentistry program, and he is actively involved in planning the school’s pediatric dental residency program.

“I am thrilled, honored, and humbled by being selected as the division director of Pediatric Dentistry at ECU,” said Cotterill. “I eagerly anticipate overseeing the division through its growth as it strives to educate general dentists and specialists to provide dental services for underserved communities in North Carolina.”

Cotterill earned a doctor of dental medicine at the University of Kentucky, where he also completed a graduate residency program in pediatric dentistry. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He is also a member of several professional societies, including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, North Carolina Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Society, and American Dental Education Association. He was also recently accepted into the inaugural North Carolina Dental Society’s Young Dentists Leadership Academy.

– Peggy Novotny

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