ECU grad student awarded for poster presentation


Erin Schofield

Erin Schofield, a second year graduate student in occupational therapy, was selected as the recipient of the 2013 ECU Research and Creative Achievement Week Graduate Education Poster Presentation award. Her entry was titled “Examining the use of the Shore Handwriting Screening to assess the handwriting skills of pre-kindergarteners.”

Schofield was also accepted to present her research in poster form at the national American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) conference that will be held at the end of this month in San Diego. She will be attending with her project mentor, Dr. Denise Donica.


Students inducted into Pi Theta Epsilon

Left to right sitting, Madeline McCauley, Elizabeth Gibbs, Andrea Sparks, Lauren Armstrong; left to right standing, Elisabeth Sitton, Hannah Flaherty and Caitlin Davis. Kathleen Brinkley is not pictured.

New inductees into Phi Theta Epsilon are, left to right sitting, Madeline McCauley, Elizabeth Gibbs, Andrea Sparks, Lauren Armstrong; left to right standing, Elisabeth Sitton, Hannah Flaherty and Caitlin Davis. Kathleen Brinkley is not pictured.

The Delta Beta chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon, the occupational therapy honors society, inducted its second class of East Carolina University students on Tuesday, March 19.

The inductees are Lauren Armstrong, Kathleen Brinkley, Caitlin Davis, Hannah Flaherty, Elizabeth Gibbs, Madeline McCauley, Elisabeth Sitton and Andrea Sparks.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences, encouraged the students to consider different views of their role as  occupational therapists and the impact they can make in the community that surrounds them today and in the future.

Pi Theta Epsilon officers conducting the induction ceremony were Brittany Robertson, president; Monica Powell, vice-president; Alana Justice, secretary; and Erin Schofield, treasure. Dr. Denise Donica, assistant professor of occupational therapy, serves as faculty advisor.

The program concluded with words from Dr. Leonard Trujillo, chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy.



ECU alumna shares Alaskan experiences

ECU alumna Cathy Genaux, at far left, is shown with students who attended her presentation about life as a distance ed student in Alaska. (Contributed photo)

Catherine Geneaux, an ECU alumna and speech language pathologist, spoke Nov. 9 about living and working in Alaska —where clinicians fly bush planes to see patients and many communities do not have speech-language services.

Geneaux talked about life as a distance education master’s student, how speech language pathology is conducted in the state of Alaska and her mission work in Mexico. She gave ECU students great insight into a way of life and a speech-language pathology practice that is very different from experiences in North Carolina, said Dr. Kathleen T. Cox, ECU associate professor and director of master’s education in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Geneaux participated in a unique joint program between ECU and University of Alaska – Anchorage. ECU provides online classes for students in the master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, and UAA provides their clinic. The partnership helps produce speech-language pathologists for the state of Alaska, and students graduate with a degree from ECU, the only university that offers a speech language program in that state. For more information, visit

The presentation was held in the Health Sciences Building in the College of Allied Health Sciences.


Health Services Management program recertified

The undergraduate Health Services Management program has been recertified for six years and has retained Full Certified Undergraduate Membership status with the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

As noted by AUPHA, “…  AUPHA has established a rigorous peer review process modeled for those programs willing to undergo the rigors of external review in the interest of program excellence. Successful completion of the panel review process leads to Certification by AUPHA and attainment of Full Certified Undergraduate membership status.”

The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) is a global network of colleges, universities, faculty, individuals and organizations dedicated to the improvement of healthcare delivery through excellence in healthcare management and policy education.

From an original membership of seven graduate programs in the U.S. and Canada, it has grown to over 180 graduate and undergraduate programs in North America and hundreds of personal, corporate and affiliated program members all over the world. AUPHA is now an international consortium of graduate and undergraduate health administration programs and practitioners engaged in the development of health management education.


Occupational therapy faculty member appointed to state board

Denise Donica

Dr. Denise Donica, assistant professor of occupational therapy at East Carolina University, has been appointed by Gov. Bev Perdue to a four-year term on the North Carolina Board of Occupational Therapy.

Donica is the first from ECU to serve on the seven-member board, which oversees regulations and licensing for all occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in North Carolina. Her term ends Oct. 1, 2016.

Donica is a certified handwriting specialist and researcher in the efficacy of handwriting curriculums and student success. She also is faculty advisor of ECU’s Delta Beta Chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon, the national honor society for occupational therapy students and alumni. The chapter is the only one in North Carolina and one of 80 active chapters in the United States.

Donica received a bachelor’s degree in psychology/criminal justice, and a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Indiana University, and a master’s and doctoral degree in occupational therapy from the University of Indianapolis.



Food Lion supports ECU, military

ECU Chancellor Dr. Steve Ballard accepts a donation Oct. 27 from Paul James, central division manager of operations support specialists for Food Lion. Others include Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance, Dr. Steve Duncan, assistant vice chancellor of administration and finance and director of military programs, and Dr. Stephen Thomas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences.


East Carolina University became Food Lion’s MVP this weekend when the grocery store chain donated $100,000 to support fellowships and a scholarship.

The donation will establish the first university-wide doctoral fellowships for Operation Re-Entry North Carolina and an endowed scholarship in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences. The Operation Re-Entry initiative is centered on research and projects that help veterans return to civilian life after service.

The presentation was made during halftime at ECU’s home football game against Navy on Oct. 27, which was Military Appreciation Day.

The partnership goes back to September 2010, when 15 employers were selected to receive the U.S. Secretary of Defense Freedom Award in recognition of their support of the guard and reserve.

Two of the employers were from North Carolina: ECU and Food Lion. At that time, the two organizations vowed to partner and continue to provide a superior level of support to the military, said Pat Frede, ECU development officer in the College of Allied Health Sciences.

“We thank Food Lion for their generosity, support and dedication to the men and women of our nation’s armed forces,” said Frede, a Navy veteran and reserve Senior Chief Petty Officer who served a 14-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2010-2011.


Occupational therapy graduate students inducted to national honor society

Eleven occupational therapy graduate students at East Carolina University were inducted Oct. 29 in the Delta Beta Chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon, the honor society for occupational therapy students and alumni.

The chapter is the only one in North Carolina and one of 80 active chapters in the United States, said Dr. Leonard Trujillo, chairman of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences.

Inductees are Alana Justice, Keli Alana McColl, Chelsey McKeel, Kelly Michelle Pippin, Stacia Pomeroy, Monica Powell, Brittany Robertson, Erin Schofield, Sarah E. Timmons, Farrell Wiggins and Caitlin Zawistowicz. Dr. Denise Donica is the faculty advisor.

The society recognizes and encourages superior scholarship among students enrolled in professional entry-level programs at accredited education programs across the United States. Pi Theta Epsilon supports the development of occupational science and the practice of occupational therapy by promoting research and scholarly activities of its members.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences, was guest speaker and Trujillo made closing remarks.

For more information on Pi Theta Epsilon, visit

For information on the occupational therapy program at ECU, go to

ECU graduate students inducted to the occupational therapy national honor society are sitting, left to right, Chelsey McKeel, Stacia Pomeroy, Alana Justice and Brittany Robertson. Standing are left to right, Monica Powell, Caitlin Zawistowicz, Kelly Pippin, Erin Schofield, Farrell Wiggins, Keli McColl, Sarah Timmons and Dr. Denise Donica, faculty advisor.



Expert to speak about health care reform at ECU

Dr. Don Berwick, an internationally known health care expert and former administrator of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, will talk about the Affordable Care Act Oct. 10 at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.


Berwick’s lecture, “The Affordable Care Act: Aiming to Build a Better Health System,” will be from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in the auditorium of the Brody Medical Sciences Building at 600 Moye Blvd. in Greenville. The lecture is open to students, faculty staff and the public.

Ron Pollack, executive director and vice president of Families USA, will also give brief remarks.

Berwick is a founder of the Institute for Health Care Improvement, which aims to reduce errors, waste, delay and unsustainable social and economic costs in health care. He also created the “IHI Open School,” an online learning tool and health professions student organization that serves more than 100,000 students and faculty members across the globe.

Berwick’s lecture is sponsored by the Brody School of Medicine, Families USA and the North Carolina Justice Center.

For faculty, staff and students who cannot attend the lecture in the Brody Building, it will be simulcast at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the award-winning film “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” will be shown in the Brody Auditorium. The film is free and open to the public. An informal discussion will follow.

For more information, contact Karen James at or by calling 252-744-3420.


“Crossing Borders” event set for Oct. 25

East Carolina University’s Division of Health Sciences will host an interdisciplinary program, “Crossing Borders,” from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Brody School of Medicine Auditorium.

The event will bring students and faculty from each of the health sciences disciplines – allied health sciences, dental medicine, Laupus Library, medicine and nursing – together with a focus on collaboration in education. Approximately 300 students have been invited.

They will watch the film, “Crossing Borders,” a feature documentary directed by Arnd Wächter examining different cultures, hidden preconceptions and discovering oneself.

After the film, students will divide into small discussion groups to work with facilitators from each unit.

The event is sponsored by the offices of ECU Diversity and Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for health sciences. Dr. Donna Lake from the College of Nursing has led the event planning group.

For more on the film, go to