Guest lecturer to speak on adaptive evolution

An expert on adaptive evolution will speak at 4 p.m. Feb. 11 in Room C209 in the Science and Technology Center at East Carolina University.



Dr. Matthew MacManes, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences at the University of New Hampshire, will deliver the free, public discussion.

He will discuss “Understanding Adaptive Evolution in the Cactus Mouse Peromyscus eremicus.

MacManes’ research focuses on the interplay between the genome and the traits it produces via interaction with the environment. His current projects include studies of the genomic basis of adaptation to arid environments in rodents, color pattern variation in poison frogs and parental care in birds.

Sponsors of MacManes’ visit include the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Department of Biology and Dr. Kyle Summers, professor of biology and Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

For additional information on MacManes’ visit, contact Summers at 252-328-6304, or by email at Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the events.


NCLR receives Phoenix Award

The North Carolina Literary Review has been recognized with the 2014 Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. The award was announced during the Modern Language Association conference in Vancouver on Jan. 8.

This is the journal’s fifth award from this allied organization of the Modern Language Association. CELJ’s membership includes more than 450 editors of scholarly journals.

NCLR is published by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

Margaret Bauer

Margaret Bauer

According to the CELJ award guidelines, the Phoenix Award is given to a journal that has “launched an overall effort of revitalization or transformation within the previous three years.”

ECU English professor Margaret Bauer, who serves as NCLR editor, said she submitted to this category to call attention to NCLR’s expansion in 2012 to add a second issue each year, an open-access electronic issue titled NCLR Online. Book reviews are now published in these issues “to reach as broad an audience as possible, our mission being to promote North Carolina writers,” said Bauer, who is the Rives Chair of Southern Literature at ECU.

One of the CELJ judges said of NCLR: “What’s most impressive about the recent changes is . . . using online publishing to increase dissemination and take advantage of various digital affordances, while also preserving the gorgeous printed volume.”

Another of the competition’s judges praised NCLR’s “immediate accessibility to a general audience with a high level of substantive writing.” This judge also remarked upon the appearance of the journal: “A particular appealing aspect of the journal is the enlargement of the verbal texts through photographic illustrations that are placed appropriately with the fictional works, the poems and the interviews.” Bauer said that she credits NCLR Art Editor Diane Rodman for the quality of the art featured inside and Art Director Dana Ezzell Gay and the other graphic designers for “the beautiful layout” of the issues.

The additional online issues also allow the editors to publish more of the finalists in the poetry and fiction competitions that the journal manages. Many of these finalists are new writers, according to Bauer, and they are therefore introduced to an even larger audience than the print issues reach.

“One of my missions as editor has always been to give new writers a chance, even in ‘the writingest state,’” Bauer said. Using this descriptor, coined by the late Doris Betts, Bauer points out that with the number of established, talented writers in North Carolina, it would be easy to fill every issue without taking a chance on new talent. “But I enjoy reading and meeting new writers as much as I have enjoyed the opportunity to develop relationships with many of North Carolina’s literary stars,” she said.

The newest issue of NCLR Online will be available in late January. The print issues are published in July. Find subscription information on NCLR’s website,


ECU Hosts 2015 Great Decisions Program

East Carolina University is hosting the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions Program through March 7.

Now in its 12th year in Greenville, the program runs for eight consecutive Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon in the auditorium of the Rivers West Building. The program started Jan. 17.

Using video lectures from academic and professional experts, the program addresses topics of global significance. The 2015 topics include Russia and the Near Abroad, Privacy and the Digital Age, Sectarianism in the Middle East, India Changes Course, U.S. Policy Toward Africa, Syria’s Refugee Crisis, Human Trafficking in the 21st Century, and Brazil’s Metamorphosis. Each session will run approximately one and a half hours, beginning with an hour-long lecture followed by a discussion period.

ECU students, staff and faculty may attend for free and purchase the program book for $20. The public is invited to attend for a fee of $40 for all eight sessions, which includes membership in the World Affairs Council of Eastern North Carolina. The textbook is an additional $20. The cost for attending an individual session is $8.

A complete schedule of events is posted at

For additional information, or to register for any or all sessions, visit For questions, contact Andrew Cartee, in the Office of Continuing Studies, at 252-737-1352, or via email at


Mercer to co-edit series on human enhancement technologies

East Carolina University professor Calvin Mercer has been named co-editor of a new series, “Palgrave Studies in the Future of Humanity and Its Successors.”

Calvin Mercer

Calvin Mercer

The series addresses human enhancement therapies and technologies, applying multiple disciplines to examine an intellectual and cultural movement that advocates the use of emerging technologies including genetic engineering, regenerative medicine, robotics and nanotechnology.

These emerging technologies may enhance desirable human mental and physical abilities while ameliorating human conditions deemed undesirable. Advocates suggest the developments could permit humans to take control of their own evolution and alter the human condition in fundamental ways. Economic, ethical, political, religious, social and other implications of such enhancements are increasingly being discussed.

Sharp disagreements over the social value, morality and feasibility of human enhancement have emerged in early conversations. Mercer said the series will not take an advocacy position. Rather, it will provide a forum for thoughtful debate.

Mercer is an ECU professor of religious studies and director of ECU’s religious studies program. He was the founding chair of the American Academy of Religion Transhumanism and Religion Group, now in its seventh year of successful programs at the annual national meetings. Mercer has co-edited three books and authored several articles on this topic.

His co-editor is Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick.

“The questions and issues addressed in the series play critical roles in our welfare and our future,” Mercer said. “I anticipate that increasingly public policy experts, politicians and political think tanks will take up human enhancement technology. An established and reputable series will be well positioned to contribute to this expanded conversation.”


German diplomat to speak on transatlantic relationships

German diplomat Knut Abraham will present “The Transatlantic Link in Times of Crisis” at 4 p.m. Feb. 12 in room 130 of the Rawl building, East Carolina University.

Knut Abraham

     Knut Abraham

Abraham, head of the consular and legal section of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., will speak about key issues affecting transatlantic relationships. He will focus on issues that affect the relationship between United States and Germany, such as terrorism, Russia/Ukraine and U.S. espionage against Germany.

He is a German lawyer and career diplomat who has served German embassies in the U.S., Bulgaria and Finland. He has also served the German Foreign Office and the Federal Chancellery in Berlin.

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the event is free and open to the public. ECU students and faculty interested in current German – U.S. relations are encouraged to attend.

For questions contact Armin Krishnan, Department of Political Science, at


ECU grad student lecturing at Sylvan Heights Bird Park

ECU biology graduate student Dustin Foote, assistant curator at Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck, will present a series of educational lectures monthly through 2015.

Foote is a graduate of Cornell University pursuing a master’s in biology from ECU. He has held internships at the San Diego Zoo and Emerald Forest Bird Gardens and served one year in an assistantship at Sylvan Heights before assuming the role of assistant curator.

For additional information, visit




ECU to host celebration of GIS Day

East Carolina University will participate in the worldwide celebration of GIS Day 2014 with activities scheduled from 10 a.m. – to p.m. Nov. 19 in Wright Plaza.

gisThe ECU Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, GeoClub, ECU chapter of the American Meteorological Society, The Coastal Society and SPAN are hosting events including an interactive mapping activity. The mapping will allow students to identify campus landmarks or favorite places on campus for mapping using a live Twitter feed, #GISDay.

GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that make a difference in society. It is held annually during Geography Awareness Week, which promotes geographic literacy with a focus on education.

For more information contact: Dr. Tom Allen,, 252-328-6624.


Julian Bond to present ‘Crossing the Color Line’ Nov. 18

Julian Bond

Julian Bond

Historian and civil rights activist Julian Bond will present the Lawrence F. Brewster Lecture in History at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 in Wright Auditorium at East Carolina University.

Bond will present “Crossing the Color Line: From Rhythm ‘N Blues to Rock ‘N Roll,” as part of the Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series on campus. He will discuss the civil rights movement through a history of American music, using images and bits of music to trace the melding of jazz, blues, country music and pop into rock & roll, all while examining this transformation through the influences of race, demographics, war, immigration and technology.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Department of History, ECU Chancellor’s Office, Office of the Provost, Division of Student Affairs, and the Division of Health Sciences.

One complimentary ticket is available to ECU students with a valid ECU ID. Tickets are $10 for ECU faculty, staff, and all other attendees, and are available through the ECU Central Ticket Office by calling 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

For additional information on the Voyages lectures, visit More information about the THCAS is located at


Zipf Named president, Historical Society of North Carolina

Karin Zipf

Karin Zipf

East Carolina University history professor Dr. Karin Zipf was elected president of the Historical Society of North Carolina Oct. 24 at the organization’s biannual meeting in Montreat.

Zipf has been a member of the HSNC since 2006, and previously served as vice president. Her tenure as president will last for one year.

The Historical Society of North Carolina was established in 1945, and traces its origin from an earlier organization begun by former North Carolina Governor David L. Swain in 1833. The society promotes the scholarship, publication and preservation of North Carolina History.

The HSNC sponsors several awards recognizing research, scholarship and teaching, and coordinates presentations of research projects at its meetings. They maintain a close association with the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. Members include professional historians, archivists, librarians, political scientists and a former N.C. Supreme Court Justice.

For additional information, contact Zipf at 252-328-6774 or