ECU alumni networking breakfast set for March 11

By Jackie Drake
East Carolina Alumni Association

East Carolina University alumni are invited to a networking breakfast in Greenville on March 11, hosted by the East Carolina Alumni Association.

The event is part of a series of networking events to be held across the Pirate Nation this spring. Tap into the power of the Pirate alumni network and interact with East Carolina professionals who are leaders in their industries and communities.

The featured alumnus will be Mark Garner, vice president of Rivers & Associates, a civil and environmental engineering company in Greenville. A certified planner, Garner graduated from ECU in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning. Garner is a member of the ECU Board of Visitors, the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Pitt County Development Commission.

This event will be held 7:30-9 a.m. at the City Hotel and Bistro at 203 Greenville Blvd. in Greenville. Attire is purple and gold business casual. Bring business cards for exchanging and to enter the door prize drawing.

Anyone who attended ECU is welcome; membership in the Alumni Association is not required. The cost is $11 for members and $22 for non-members, which includes breakfast food and beverages. Registration is required by March 6.

Visit or call 800-ECU-GRAD to register.

For more information about this event, contact Assistant Director of Alumni Programs Christy Angle ’95 at or 252-328-1958.

Alumni networking events are also planned for Washington, D.C., New Bern, Wilmington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh, and more. Visit to view all upcoming networking events.


ECU grad publishes storybook for young adults


East Carolina University alumna Richelle Smallwood has published a book for young adults to encourage self-esteem and self-acceptance, particularly in the face of bullying and peer pressure.

Smallwood began work on the book, “Lost and Found: Journey to Self-Discovery,” as an assignment for an integrative seminar course with ECU professor Dr. Paige Averett in the School of Social Work.



She said she hopes the book will motivate her readers and the ECU students who hear about her accomplishment.

“I hope that youthful readers will become inspired and encouraged to be confident in who they are and only harbor positive thoughts about themselves,” she said.

At the same time, she said, “I would love to inspire current students by letting them know that their experience at ECU can go beyond the walls of a classroom.”

Published by Xulon Press, the book is available online through,, and

Smallwood is a native of Bear Grass.


Alumni Association accepting scholarship applications

Dominique Shane Rowe

Dominique Shane Rowe

ECU junior Dominique Shane Rowe, a rehabilitation studies major, is one of approximately 20 recipients of the 2013 Alumni Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded annually through the East Carolina Alumni Association.

Applications for the 2014-15 awards are being accepted through Jan. 31.

Approximately 20 scholarships of $1,000 and $2,500 are available to qualifying full-time undergraduates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students must also demonstrate leadership and volunteer experience. Applications should be accompanied by one letter of recommendation.

Recipients must attend the acholarship luncheon on April 26 to receive their scholarship. The application form is available at For more information, contact Assistant Director for Alumni Programs Michael Kowalczyk  at 252-328-5557.


Rimpf gets keys to new home

Dr. Glen Gilbert, interim vice chancellor for university advancement, presents ECU graduate and wounded warrior Nathan Rimpf with a Pirates helmet. (Photo by Emily Packard)

Dr. Glen Gilbert, interim vice chancellor for university advancement, presents ECU graduate and wounded warrior Nathan Rimpf with a Pirates helmet. (Photo by Emily Packard)


Wounded warrior Nathan Rimpf has moved into his new home in the Renaissance Park neighborhood in south Raleigh.

The traditional-style home, with a double porch and blue shutters, is the sixth home constructed by a partnership between the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County and the Triangle Veterans Association.

Four paratroopers who parachuted in as fireworks exploded delivered the keys to Rimpf’s new home.

Speaking to a large crowd of family and ECU friends at the key ceremony on Nov. 7, Rimpf said he does not regret his sacrifice. “This isn’t exactly what I dreamed – it’s way beyond that,” he said. “Look at this out here. Who wouldn’t give a pair of ugly feet to defend these people? It’s been a very awesome 487 days, to be honest.”

After graduating from ECU’s ROTC program, Rimpf became an Army Ranger. He stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Anbar Province and lost his lower legs.

Cadets from ECU’s ROTC program, including seniors who were freshmen when Rimpf was a senior, attended the ceremony. Glenn Gilbert, acting vice chancellor of university advancement, also spoke.

Rimpf walks easily on prosthetic legs but he said standing for long periods tires him. The stairs of his new home have a wheelchair lift.

Steve Tuttle



Fulbright grant enables research, teaching in Costa Rica

ECU alumnus Stuart Kent, left, visits with children while in Costa Rica on a Fulbright grant. (Contributed photo)

ECU alumnus Stuart Kent, left, visits with children while in Costa Rica on a Fulbright grant. (Contributed photo)

Greenville furniture maker and ECU alumnus Stuart Kent ’08 returned last month from a year-long teaching and research project in Costa Rica underwritten by a Fulbright Core Grant.

He worked as a visiting assistant professor of sculpture at the National University of Costa Rica in Heredia. He taught workshops on wood joinery and finishing, and helped develop a curriculum for furniture design.

The project raised awareness of two species of sustainable, tropical hardwoods. Kent organized exhibitions to demonstrate possible uses for these two trees.

Since returning to the United States he has worked to connect timber growers in Costa Rica with American lumber dealers, opening a viable path to market for a cost effective and sustainable new raw material. Kent also organized the nation’s first major international public art event, after which the works by artists from seven nations were donated to the city of Heredia.

Kent was assisted in his work by his wife, Susan Kent ’04.