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