ECU team wins state geography bowl

The winning ECU team.

The winning ECU team.

Students representing East Carolina University at the North Carolina Geography Bowl won first place in this year’s competition Sept. 26 at UNC-Greensboro. The annual quiz competition tests student teams on their knowledge of college-level geography.

The ECU team defeated Appalachian State University in the title round and went undefeated (5-0) throughout the trivia bowl. It was ECU’s fifth first-place title since 1996, following their most recent win in 2008.

Sefcovic

Sefcovic

Zach Sefcovic, a graduate student in geography, was the highest scorer of the competition and was named the most valuable player on ECU’s team. The ECU team is coached by geography teaching instructor Scott Wade.

In addition to Sefcovic, the team includes students Jamie Heath (Managing Captain), Brad Sceviour (Competition Captain), Jaclyn Catania, Donnie Kirk, Nicholas Luchetti, Alex Moulton, Mark Nissenbaum, Jessica Van-Horn and Emily Fisher.

Top scorers from the state competition are invited to join the North Carolina All-Star team, which will compete against other southeastern states at the SEDAAG conference (Southeast Division, Association of American Geographers). SEDAAG this year is being held Nov. 23-25 in Athens, Georgia. Sefcovic was invited to join the NC All-Star team.

Top scorers from the SEDAAG regional competition will be invited to join the Southeast Region All-Star team, which will compete against other regions at the AAG (Association of American Geographers) annual conference. That meeting is in Chicago on April 21-25, 2015.

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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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ECU undergraduate published in Science magazine

ECU undergraduate Joseph West Paul III co-authored a paper on ALS that appeared in September 2014 edition of Science magazine.

Joseph Paul

Joseph Paul

“Clogging information flow in ALS: Dipeptide repeat proteins produced in certain neurodegenerative diseases exert toxicity by blocking RNA biogenesis,“ was co-authored with Aaron D. Gitler of the Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine.

A student of ECU professor Dr. Yiping Qi, Paul completed the article about the possible mechanism of ALS disease during a summer internship at Stanford University. As part of the internship he helped his internship advisor review two original manuscripts on the topic, which resulted in the published article.

Paul is an ECU Honors College student and EC Scholar. He is majoring in biochemistry.

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Joyner Library recognizes writing award winners

Pictured left to right at the awards presentation are Interim Dean Jan Lewis, Kimberly Miller (third place), Sarah Stout (second place), Liz Sparrow, Ashley Campbell (first place) and Charles Ward, President of Friends of Joyner Library.

Pictured left to right at the awards presentation are Interim Dean Jan Lewis, Kimberly Miller (third place), Sarah Stout (second place), Liz Sparrow, Ashley Campbell (first place) and Charles Ward, President of Friends of Joyner Library.

The winners of the 2014 W. Keats Sparrow Writing Awards were recognized in a ceremony at Joyner Library Aug.  27. The awards recognize excellence in research and writing by students in ECU’s English 1100 and 1200 composition classes.

Ashley Campbell, first place, won $200 for “The Effects of Text Messaging on Students’ Literacy.”  The second place entry, “Emergence of Antibiotic Resistance:  MRSA,” was written by Sarah Stout, who won $150.  Kimberly Miller placed third with a $100 prize for “Land of the Free – Why not ‘Sea of the Free?’”  Marc Peterson was the instructor for all three winners, a first in the award program’s history.

“Joyner Library and the Department of English have a well-established information literacy program that helps students develop research and critical thinking skills,” said Jan Lewis, interim dean of Joyner Library.  “Since its inception in 2000, the W. Keats Sparrow Award program has recognized students who have excelled in these areas. It is always a delight to meet these students, listen to excerpts from their papers, and talk with them about their education, career plans, and the importance of the Library to their success.”

The Friends of Joyner Library sponsored the event named in honor of the late Dr. W. Keats Sparrow, Professor Emeritus of English and former dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.  Mrs. Elizabeth (Liz) Sparrow, who serves on the Friends of Joyner Library Board of Directors, was on hand for the event.

For more information about this writing award program, contact David Hisle, coordinator of instructional services at 328-4978.

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Cousteau to open 2014-15 Voyages of Discovery series

Internationally renowned underwater explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau will present the premiere lecture of the 2014-15 Voyages of Discovery lecture series Oct 1 at East Carolina University.

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Cousteau, an environmentalist, educator and film producer, will discuss “The Great Ocean Adventure,” including illustration with original film clips.

The series continues Nov. 18 with the Lawrence F. Brewster Lecture in History presented by Julian Bond, a historian and leading figure in the civil rights movement. Bond’s lecture at ECU last January was rescheduled due to adverse weather. He will discuss “Crossing the Color Line: From Rhythm ‘N Blues to Rock ‘N Roll.”

Two lectures will follow in spring 2015. The Jarvis Lecture on Religion and Culture on Feb. 24 will feature Dr. Raymond Moody, emeritus professor of consciousness studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Moody will discuss “Life After Life: The Meaning of Near-Death Experiences.” Rounding out the series on March 24, the Thomas Harriot Lecture will feature Dr. Ilona Bell, Samuel Fressenden Clarke Professor of English at Williams College. A leading authority on the metaphysical poetry of John Donne, Bell will discuss “Sex and Seduction in John Donne’s Poetry.”

“ECU’s College of Arts and Sciences is proud to host this speaker series, and we invite our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community friends to attend,“ said Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the college. “One mark of a great university is how well it promotes discussion of important issues. The Voyages of Discovery Series annually ensures that East Carolina University is ‘the’ venue for such discussions.”

“This, our eighth season, offers a superior slate of intellectual leaders whose multifaceted, even provocative presentations, will surely stimulate, with meaning and passion, our campus and community,” said Dr. John A. Tucker, director of the series.

The Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series is made possible through contributions from Harriot College’s Dean’s Advancement Council, various university organizations, and many friends and supporters. To contribute, contact Major Gifts Officer Jennifer Tripp at 252-737-4201 or trippj@ecu.edu.

For more information about the series and its speakers, contact the director, Dr. John A. Tucker at 252-328-1028, or email tuckerjo@ecu.edu. Additional information also is available on the series’ website at www.ecu.edu/voyages.

All lectures are open to the public and begin at 7 p.m. in Wright Auditorium on the campus of ECU, unless otherwise noted. Tickets for the Jean-Michel Cousteau lecture and Julian Bond lecture are $10. One complimentary ticket is available to ECU students with a valid ECU ID. All other lectures for the 2014-15 series are free to all attendees. For advance tickets, call the ECU Central Ticket Office at 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.

– Lacey Gray, Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

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