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Forum addresses hypertension

American Heart Association volunteer Tiffany King shares nutrition information with forum attendees. (Photo by Gretchen Baugh)

American Heart Association volunteer Tiffany King shares nutrition information with forum attendees. (Photo by Gretchen Baugh)

By Marla Vacek Broadfoot
Freelance science writer, NC TraCS

Hypertension – and the need to take action to prevent, treat, and control it, especially among those most vulnerable – was the subject of a day-long event held at the East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University Dec. 12. The Evidence Academy on Hypertension brought together over 100 researchers, health professionals and community leaders to discuss ways to address the number one risk factor for premature death worldwide.

Throughout the day, clinicians, practitioners, researchers, community leaders and local officials discussed a broad set of evidence-based approaches to the issue, always with an eye on their possible impacts on local communities. The schedule included a series of large-group and smaller breakout scientific presentations in policy, treatment and practice tracks, with extended opportunities for participants to discuss research findings and model programs.

Following the Evidence Academy, a small group of 8 to 12 individuals known as the Action Learning Cohort will take what was gained from the meeting and collectively identify and develop ways to engage in action to address hypertension from policy, practice and research perspectives. The effort will be led by Lori Carter-Edwards, principal investigator of the Evidence Academy on Hypertension. The ALC group will meet for approximately six months, with the end goal of producing a product such as updated policy recommendations or a new pilot grant, which can then be shared with the wider community.

“My hope is that we can use the synergy and momentum from the Evidence Academy to promote efforts that help improve hypertension prevention and management in Eastern North Carolina,” said Carter-Edwards, who is also evaluator for the Public Health Leadership Program and a research associate professor of health behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

The event was sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, and the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute. Additional support came from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, and Vidant Health. Partners included the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Eastern Area Health Education Center (EAHEC), the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

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ECU students provide holiday meals for local children

Left to right, Shemmah Barrett, principal of Falkland Elementary; ECU student Renata Copeland; and Falkland elementary teacher Beth Ward stand with some of the food collected for the holiday season.  (Contributed photo)

Left to right, Shemmah Barrett, principal of Falkland Elementary; ECU student Renata Copeland; and Falkland elementary teacher Beth Ward stand with some of the food collected for the holiday season. (Contributed photo)

A season intended as a time of joy for children – with multiple days out of school – also means no breakfast or lunch for many children across Pitt County. Now thanks in part to a group of East Carolina University students, children at Falkland Elementary School will have meals provided throughout the holiday season.

Multiple student organizations at ECU collected food to supplement Falkland Elementary’s Backpack Pals program, which works throughout the school year to supply children with non-perishable, easy to fix foods. The food items are loaded into backpacks that are sent home each Friday afternoon. The program serves 38 children representing 20 families.

But the program was not set up to provide meals during the two-week holiday break. Falkland Elementary teacher Beth Ward recognized the need to supplement the program and set up this year’s holiday drive. “The food drive on ECU’s campus along with a similar drives held at The Heritage at Arlington and by the Greenville Chapter #2362 Women of the Moose were more than enough to see our children through the break,” Ward said.

Ward said that enough food was collected to send each student home with a box that would last through the holidays. She spoke with several parents who were beside themselves with joy.

“I’ve had parents come in crying and expressing their gratitude for the students and community members who participated in this year’s food drive,” said Ward. “Several families have said that without this drive there would have been days without food on the table during the two-week break.”

Renata Copeland, an ECU student and member of the Council on Family Relations, was overwhelmed by the need existing in her own back yard. “I wanted to get involved with Backpack Pals because no child deserves to go hungry. You cannot learn if you are hungry,” said Copeland. “I love giving back to my community and this was something that really touched me.”

In addition to food donations, Walmart of Greenville awarded Falkland Elementary a $2,000 grant to provide holiday items and instructional supplies for the Backpack Pal students.

“Without the local businesses and community members who sponsor this program year-round and special events like the one held at ECU, we wouldn’t be able to provide the children in Pitt County with adequate food throughout the year,” said Ward.

The ECU student organizations who collected food for the program include ECU Campus Kitchen, ECU Council on Family Relations, Eta Sigma Delta International Honor Society, National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, and Student Dietetic Association and the Volunteer and Service Learning Center.

 

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University Archives launches site profiling ECU icons

By Steve Tuttle

Minna Towner Inglis Fletcher (1879-1969) wrote 12 novels in her “Carolina Series” set during the colonial era in state history. She lived for many years at Bandon Plantation in Edenton. A world traveler, here’s she’s dressed in costume during a tour of Africa.  Fletcher Residence Hall on main campus is named for her. (Contributed photo)

Minna Towner Inglis Fletcher (1879-1969) wrote 12 novels in her “Carolina Series” set during the colonial era in state history. She lived for many years at Bandon Plantation in Edenton. A world traveler, here’s she’s dressed in costume during a tour of Africa. Fletcher Residence Hall on main campus is named for her. (Contributed photo)

Ever wonder about the people whose names are on campus buildings? Who were they?

A new web site answers those questions with profiles and pictures of the people who made lasting contributions to East Carolina University. The site is a joint effort of University Archives, Joyner Library Digital Collections, Application & Discovery Services, and East magazine.

The ECU Icons Gallery, at https://digital.lib.ecu.edu/ecu-icons/, launched recently with an initial collection of six biographies. The site will be expanded at regular intervals with biographies of other notable individuals in ECU history.

The gallery is an effort to communicate the university’s rich history to a wider and younger audience at the click of a mouse.

Each icon will include a biography, photos, memorabilia and a link to additional resource material housed within the Special Collections Division of Joyner Library. East magazine will contribute occasional content to the site, mainly the stories in its “Upon the Past” feature.

Among the first group of icons is East Carolina founding father Thomas Jordan Jarvis. A former governor, ambassador to Brazil, and veteran of the Civil War, Jarvis is largely responsible for securing Greenville as the site of what was then East Carolina Teacher Training School. He also influenced the unique architecture of the six original buildings on campus, with their distinctive red tile roofs.

Also in the first group are two women who have residence halls named for them – early feminist Sallie Cotten and novelist Minna Fletcher. Three others are former faculty members, Wellington Gray, Howard McGinnis and Wendell Smiley.

New groups of icons will be added to the site quarterly.

To suggest an individual to be profiled, or to learn more about using materials housed in Special Collections, please contact Arthur Carlson at 252-328-6838 or carlsonar@ecu.edu.

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Nominations sought for Wright Award

ECU faculty and staff are invited to nominate an outstanding undergraduate senior or recent graduate for a 2015 Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award, to be presented at spring commencement in May 2015.

Those who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the summer or fall of 2014 will also be considered. All nominations are due by Jan. 30, 2015. Only current ECU faculty and staff may nominate a student.

The Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award is the most prestigious award presented by the East Carolina Alumni Association to seniors during annual spring commencement exercises. The award recognizes academic achievement, service (both to the university and the community), and leadership qualities (both potential and exhibited). Nominees should be recognized as those who will make an impact in their professions and communities.

For more information, visit www.piratealumni.com/wrightaward.

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Alumni Association seeks board members

The Alumni Association Board of Directors is seeking volunteer board members from among all ECU alumni for a three-year term to begin July 1, 2015.

Board members are expected to maintain active membership in the association and attend four meetings per year.

Members advise alumni association staff, serve on committees and help select scholarship and award recipients. Members encourage alumni involvement and share their professional expertise and talents to advance the university. The ultimate role of the board is to guide staff and volunteers in carrying out the mission of the alumni association and university.

Current first-term board member Tim Willis ’12 was motivated to serve on the board by his passion for ECU and desire to stay involved. “ECU is a rapidly growing institution and I want to help bring new ideas and traditions to help benefit future Pirates to come,” he said.

Willis’ favorite part of serving on the board is working with a team of like-minded people to continue to benefit ECU.

“I most definitely recommend anyone willing to become actively engaged with the alumni association to apply to serve on the board,” Willis said.

He asked that anyone interested should reach out to him or other board members to learn about the impact they can make in the role. “The alumni board is a huge outlet to connect with other Pirates as well as give back to East Carolina,” he said.

Applications will be accepted through Dec. 31 at http://www.piratealumni.com/s/722/rdsite/index.aspx?sid=722&gid=1&pgid=1775.

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