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

art2

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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Update: Pirate Alumni Legacy Brunch cancelled

ECU student Kayla Hollingsworth and her father Ted Hollingsworth, a 1979 graduate of ECU, participate in the pinning ceremony at last year's inaugural Pirate Alumni Legacy Brunch.  (Contributed photo)

ECU student Kayla Hollingsworth and her father Ted Hollingsworth, a 1979 graduate of ECU, participate in the pinning ceremony at last year’s inaugural Pirate Alumni Legacy Brunch. (Contributed photo)

The Pirate Alumni Legacy Brunch has been canceled due to low registration numbers. Refunds will be issued for those who registered. If you have any questions, call 800-ECU-GRAD or 252-328-4723. The alumni association does plan to host this event again next year.

The East Carolina Alumni Association will hold the second annual Pirate Alumni Legacy brunch at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 30 in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms.

The brunch is held in partnership with the Office of Parent and Family Programs to coincide with Family Weekend. Last year’s inaugural brunch was a sold-out event with more than 140 students, alumni and family members in attendance.

The Pirate Alumni Legacy Brunch honors families of current students with two or more generations of Pirates (including parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and/or cousins). In addition to a catered meal, the event will include a pinning ceremony, remarks from featured alumni and university officials and a family photo area. The legacy brunch is part of the alumni association’s goal to engage students and alumni who will help strengthen the university.

“Legacies are an important part of East Carolina,” said Richard R. Eakin, interim associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. “Through legacy families, ECU stories and traditions are passed on, resulting in strong relationships that span generations. By celebrating legacies, we recognize our history while encouraging future growth. We are proud to partner with the Office of Parent and Family Programs to honor legacies at this event.”

“The Office of Parent and Family Programs is proud of the partnership created with the East Carolina Alumni Association to celebrate the long and lasting legacy of the Pirate Nation,” said Zack Hawkins, director of student affairs development and parent and family programs. “The common bond of ECU, shared by generations of parents and families, is what makes this campus unique. We hope to re-ignite that spirit in alumni parents to help enhance the lives of our current student Pirates.”

In addition, this event kickstart a full day of Pirate festivities, including the Pirate Family Pregame Tailgate, the Buccaneer Buffet alumni tailgate, and the season’s first home football game vs. North Carolina Central University that evening.

For more information, visit www.piratealumni.com/2014legacybrunch or www.ecu.edu/familyweekend.

 

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ECU alumna publishes story of life since paralysis

ThePromiseFriedmanThe ECU community is familiar with the tragic story of Rachelle Friedman of Raleigh, who was paralyzed from a swimming pool accident at a bachelorette party in 2010. She would never walk again but she never stopped moving forward.

She became a motivational speaker, an advocate for the disabled and an inspirational role model. Now she’s also an author. In “The Promise,” Friedman tells her story, beginning with the night her life changed.

She confirms, as has been reported, that the five girls at the bachelorette party “made an unspoken agreement to never reveal the name of the friend who had pushed Rachelle into the pool–and their bond has remained unbroken.”

A true love story, “The Promise” chronicles Rachelle’s relationship with Chris Chapman ’05 ’08, their struggle with her paralysis and rehab, the physical challenges of intimacy, and ultimately, their fairy-tale wedding.

Friedman recently was interviewed by Katie Couric and Oprah and discussed her book on NBC’s Today Show, HLN, ABC News, Reddit, and Huffington Post.

Friedman is scheduled to appear at a book signing on July 12 at Greenville’s Barnes & Noble.

“The Promise:

A Tragic Accident, a Paralyzed Bride, and the Power of Love, Loyalty, and Friendship”

Available from Amazon

211 pages

Hardcover, $18.60

Kindle, $9.99

– Steve Tuttle

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ECU grad named to emerging leaders class

McKee

McKee

Kenneth “Kenny” McKee of Asheville, who earned a master’s degree in reading education from East Carolina University in May, has been named to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Emerging Leaders Class of 2014. He is an instructional coach with Buncombe County Schools in Asheville.

The ASCD Emerging Leaders program is designed to prepare a young, diverse group of educators for potential influence and ASCD leadership. Typically, emerging leaders have been in the education profession about five to 15 years.

“We (the department) are very proud of Kenny’s accomplishments and this well-deserved recognition,” said Dr. Katherine Misulis, chair of the Department of Literacy Studies, English Education and History Education in the ECU College of Education.
Forty-five educators from across the nation were selected to participate in the prestigious two-year program. It is the largest group in the program’s history.

The 2014 Class of Emerging Leaders will have access to a pool of grant funds, designed to support students through innovative approaches to whole child education and to help emerging leaders grow professionally. Activities for Emerging Leaders may include serving on committees, hosting networking events for educators, advocating for sound education policy and contributing to ASCD publications.

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching and leading while promoting the success of each child. To learn more about ASCD and the 2014 Class of Emerging Leaders, visit www.ascd.org.

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Volunteers needed for Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run

The East Carolina Alumni Association is seeking volunteers for the seventh annual Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run “Paint It Purple” Edition on Saturday, April 12.

This year, runners will be dusted with purple and gold powder as they race to support ECU scholarships. Many volunteers are needed to throw color on the runners, re-fill color containers, run the registration table, hand out water cups and monitor the course.

Registration in the event is closed after the event reached maximum capacity of 500 runners earlier than anticipated. However, Pirates can still enjoy the event by participating as a volunteer.

Individuals interested in volunteering can study specific assignments and sign up online at http://www.volunteerspot.com/login/entry/4973114040124#/form.

Individual assignments may differ, but volunteers should plan to arrive around 7 a.m. and be done around 11 a.m. The race begins at 9 a.m.

Proceeds from the race benefit the Alumni Scholarship program for ECU undergraduates.

For questions about the event, contact Shawn Moore, director of Alumni Programs, as Shawn.Moore@PirateAlumni.com or at 252-328-5775.

–Jackie Drake

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