ECU alumna, former soccer star new face of American Athletic Conference

Oughton

                                                       Hali Oughton

By Steve Tuttle
ECU News Services

Former East Carolina University soccer star Hali Oughton was interviewed by the media many times during her college career. Now she’s the one holding the microphone in her job as an on-air reporter for the American Athletic Conference.

Oughton, who graduated in May 2013 with a degree in communication, was back on campus Oct. 5 for the ECU-SMU football game to film segments for the American conference’s weekly web video show, “The Rise.” It was ECU’s first official game as a new member of the conference. Her report for that game can be seen here.

“Being in front of the camera is a fun aspect of the job because I get to tell the stories of our conference and really engage with the fans,” Oughton said.

Based at the American’s headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, Oughton travels frequently to film episodes of her show on the campuses of the 11 conference members.

“It’s funny how things work out,” she said. “Being a student-athlete at East Carolina makes this opportunity with the American really special to me. I get to work with my alma mater on a day-to-day basis as well as schools I have previously competed against on the soccer field when we were in Conference USA.”

Oughton, a native of Redondo Beach, California, was a four-year starter on ECU’s soccer team and a team captain. She was named a first-team All-Conference USA player her senior year.

A key member of the soccer team’s defense throughout her college career, she was known for her stamina. She started 60 consecutive games and played every minute in 18 of the 20 matches her senior year.

She played in all 10 of the team’s shutouts her senior year and scored three goals, two of which were game winners.

“My degree from ECU has definitely helped me get to where I am today,” she said. “I built great relationships with many of my colleagues and professors. Interning at WNCT-TV under Brian Bailey gave me a great deal of experience in my last two years of college.”

A new episode of “The Rise” airs each Tuesday at the American website.

You can follow her on Twitter at @Halioughton.

 

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ECU shines at NOAA Science Days

Alumnus Chris Ellis was among three presenters from ECU at the NOAA Science Days event Sept. 23 in Maryland. (Contributed photo)

Alumnus Chris Ellis was among three presenters from ECU at the NOAA Science Days event Sept. 23 in Maryland. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University was well represented this year at NOAA Science Days Sept. 23 in Silver Spring, Maryland. The annual event highlights research done in collaboration with NOAA offices, with this year’s theme focused on social science research.

ECU professor Burrell Montz, chair of the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, presented “Social and Behavioral Influences on Weather-Driven Decisions.” She was also co-PI on work presented by Rachel Hogan Carr, executive director of the Nurture Nature Center. Carr presented “Flood Risk and Uncertainty: Assessing the National Weather Service’s Forecast and Warning Tools.”

ECU graduate Chris Ellis, a social scientist with the National Ocean Service Coastal Service Center, presented “Social Science Research to Improve Hurricane Communications: An Assessment of the NWS Hurricane Local Statement.” Ellis received his doctorate in coastal resources management under the direction of Dr. Hans Vogelsong.

Also presenting was ECU alumna Maria Dillard, social scientist with the National Ocean Service/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and Hollings Marine Laboratory. Dillard received a master’s in sociology from ECU under the direction of advisor Dr. Bob Edwards. She presented “A Different Kind of Coastal Intelligence: Building Resilience though Assessment of Well-Being and Ecosystem Condition in Coastal Communities.”

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Book signings feature contributions by ECU student, alumna


Artist, ECU alumna illustrates children’s book   

possiblepoliceHannah K. Shuping, a 2013 East Carolina University graduate and Raleigh resident, recently illustrated the children’s picture book, “The Possible Police,” written by Wylde Scott.

The story teaches children that naysayers and doubters in the world can’t stop them from imagining and achieving their dreams.

“History is filled with plenty of people who didn’t give up in the face of rejection or lack of encouragement and succeeded in living out their wildest dreams,” Scott said. “To overcome all of ‘The Possible Police’ they will encounter, we must encourage and support our children to develop, explore and enrich their imagination.”

Shuping knows the challenges of overcoming obstacles. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome while at ECU, where she received a BFA with a concentration in illustration. “Both her graduation from ECU and illustrating this book at such an early age are both tremendous acts of accomplishment,” Scott said. “She is an inspiration to me and can be for so many others.”

Scott will appear in costume and read from his book at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Barnes & Noble in the University Commons in Greenville.

ECU student shares story in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life”

chickensoupTyler Stocks, a history and English major at East Carolina University, has published a short story in a new book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life.”

The book, the latest in the well-known series, features 101 stories aimed at inspiring others to solve problems, take chances, follow dreams or start over.

Stock’s story “I Think I Can” describes his journey to becoming a writer. A Greenville resident, Stocks is a freelance journalist whose work has been published in several newspapers and magazines. The submission process for the book took four to six months. Entries, which were received from all over the world, had to be true and nonfiction, he said.

Stocks will hold at a book signing 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at Barnes & Noble in the University Commons in Greenville.

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National champion swimmers return to campus

Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, above, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s.

Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, upper image, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s, below.

Three members of East Carolina’s 1959 NAIA national championship swim team returned to campus the weekend of Sept. 20 to attend a reunion of the Sigma Nu fraternity.

Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith were among 10 swimmers on the 1957 and 1959 teams selected as All-Americans. McCann and Smith each won six events at national competitions. McCann swam the breaststroke and is credited with inventing what’s called the whip kick that now is widely used in competitive swimming.

East Carolina’s swim team also won the 1957 NAIA national championships.

Several members of both national championship swim teams were Sigma Nu brothers. Sigma Nu was among the first social fraternities on campus. The fraternity closed several years ago but is slated to officially return to campus in 2016.

Faucette now lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Smith lives in Hickory and McCann lives in Morehead City.

– Steve Tuttle

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

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ECU alumnus, artist opens exhibit in eastern North Carolina

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Samples of ECU alumnus Jason Bryant’s art is shown above and in the image below. Bryant’s work will be on display in an eastern North Carolina exhibit. (Contributed images)

East Carolina University alumnus and New York artist Jason Bryant will bring his work home in a new exhibit opening Oct. 14 at the Rocky Mount Arts Center.

“Coming Home” is a retrospective of Bryant’s paintings about obstacles, dedication and passion. It will be on display until Jan. 4.

art1In 1999, a few months before Bryant’s graduation from ECU, the Wilson native was invited to show his work at the arts center in Rocky Mount. Following Bryant’s successful exhibit, Hurricane Floyd struck the eastern part of the state, causing widespread flooding in an area already saturated from an earlier storm, Hurricane Dennis.

The area’s river basins exceeded 500-year flood levels, causing more than $4 billion in damages and 50 deaths.

Bryant’s entire exhibition from his solo debut was destroyed by the flooding except for one painting that had been acquired by the arts center.

“Coming Home” is not just a symbolic return of an artist to his home state, but a return to the roots of Bryant’s passion, drive and dedication to an art form. Curated by Alicyn Wiedrich, the exhibition will include 16 of Bryant’s paintings focusing on the years from 2009 until 2014.

Heavily influenced by classic film, Bryant – a skateboarder – also incorporates signature skateboard graphics or paints in his works.

Bryant lives and works in New York City. He received a BFA from ECU and earned an MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Bryant’s paintings have been exhibited across the United States, Europe and Australia. His work has been featured in Juxtapoz Magazine, Thrasher, NY Arts Magazine, American Artist, Ocean Home Magazine and Time Out New York.

The Rocky Mount Arts Center, 270 Gay St., Rocky Mount, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. An opening reception with the artist will be held 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.

 

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