College of Nursing again named Center of Excellence

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(Video courtesy of ECU College of Nursing)

By Elizabeth Willy

For the third time, the East Carolina University College of Nursing has been designated a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.

Center of Excellence selection is by competitive application reviewed by a panel of leaders in nursing education. ECU was recognized for creating environments that enhance student learning and professional development, one of several criteria used to evaluate candidates. It will carry the distinction from 2015 to 2020.

“This is a wonderful acknowledgement of our continued college-wide efforts to provide positive learning opportunities for students,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “Through carefully crafted evidence-based nursing curricula, interprofessional collaboration and community engagement, our mission is to prepare the best nurses possible.”

As designees, Center of Excellence schools are celebrated for their outstanding contributions to nursing education. Faculty and administration serve as advisers and sounding boards to other institutions seeking Center Of Excellence status.

“Their visionary leadership and dedication to creating environments of inclusive excellence nurture the creation of a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community,” said National League for Nursing CEO Dr. Beverly Malone.

The ECU College of Nursing was formally awarded its Center of Excellence status during an Oct. 2 ceremony at NLN’s Education Summit of nursing leaders, administrators, faculty and health care executives in Las Vegas. Twelve schools received the honor in this cycle, bringing the total number of designees to 41.

The college was established in 1959, and has an enrollment of 1,200 students in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral nursing programs. It is the largest producer of new nursing graduates in the state and offers the only nurse midwifery plan of study in the state.

The college is known for innovative online outreach efforts and is perennially ranked among the top 20 online master of science in nursing programs in the country by “U.S. News and World Report.”


Housekeepers, supervisors honored for service

Housekeeping Services employee Jackie Smith with Academics was recognized with a 2015 Housekeeping Supervisor Award for Excellence in the category of service. Housekeepers Awards for Excellence in the category of service were awarded to Karl Gatlin and Tim Wynne with Academics, Earl Phillips with Health Sciences Campus / School of Medicine, and Teresa Grimes with Residence Halls / Student Recreation Center.


Athletics director returns from leadership conference

Athletics Director Jeff Compher aboard a Coast Guard vessel off the coast of Florida

Athletics Director Jeff Compher aboard a Coast Guard vessel off the coast of Florida

After spending a week observing America’s top military leaders, East Carolina University Athletics Director Jeff Compher said he is determined to put a greater emphasis on student athletes.

“I need to focus on people to make us better – not facilities or equipment,” Compher said after returning from the Senior Leader Engagement Program (SLEP) sponsored by U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

“They kept focusing on people, not assets,” Compher said about the briefings he received from senior officers at the Pentagon and at four large military bases.

“I learned that the military really believes in the principle of commander’s intent, which is that the person at the top sets the objective but every other decision is delegated down. The whole idea is to emphasize people over things.”

Delegating authority allows lower-ranking soldiers to feel they are responsible for and in control of their duties, Compher said.

Master Sgt. John Perusek salutes the U.S flag during morning reveille at Homestead ARB, Fla., prior to the start of the day's winter training activities.

Master Sgt. John Perusek salutes the U.S flag during morning reveille at Homestead ARB, Fla., prior to the start of the day’s winter training activities.

“I talked to one (enlisted soldier) on a ship, and he was quick to inform me that this was his deck and those were his ammunition racks. That’s what we need to do here in sports – make our athletes believe that they are in control of what happens in a game, not their coaches.”

Established in 1948, SLEP is the oldest outreach program in the U.S. Department of Defense and the only event sponsored by the secretary. About two dozen leaders from the worlds of business and higher education were invited to the event, which was held Aug. 23-30. Senior representatives of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard served as lecturers.

The intent of the program was to familiarize participants with the challenges faced by men and women in uniform, both on and off the battlefield.

Compher received briefings at the Pentagon, and then toured two military bases in Florida. He participated in a demonstration of parachute rigging at Ft. Bragg and observed a Naval Special Warfare demonstration at a Norfolk military base.

At Ft. Bragg, Compher met Army Master Sgt. John Perusek, a 25-year veteran of the Green Berets. “He told me something that stuck with me,” Compher said about Perusek. “He said in the military what we do is to look past our differences to achieve a common goal. That’s a great motto for us to follow in sports because we have student athletes from all backgrounds and our challenge is to lead them toward a common goal.”

Perusek also is a member of the elite Black Daggers U.S. Army parachute demonstration team who will parachute into ECU’s Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium at the Nov. 7 home football game during Military Appreciation Day.

Overall, Compher said he was struck by how much the military has in common with college sports.

“They deal with young people; we do too. They have those people for a limited amount of time; we do too. Like the military, we are dealing with people who have made a commitment to do something at the highest level, and we have to be able to train and lead our student athletes so they can accomplish their goals.”

— Steve Tuttle


Fenich Inducted into DMAI’s Inaugural Hall of Fame

Dr. George Fenich (center) receives the Hall of Fame Award from Michael Gehrisch, President and CEO of DMAI (right), and Jason Fulvi, VP of Sales for the Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau (left). (Contributed photo)

Dr. George Fenich (center) receives the Hall of Fame Award from Michael Gehrisch, President and CEO of DMAI (right), and Jason Fulvi, VP of Sales for the Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau (left). (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University professor Dr. George Fenich was inducted into the first Hall of Fame class by Destination Marketing Association International, the world’s largest resource for convention and visitors bureaus.

Fenich is a professor in ECU’s School of Hospitality Leadership, which is housed in the College of Business.

The Hall of Fame Award recognizes individuals who have changed the future of destination marketing for the better, made significant contributions to the advancement of the industry and have shaped travel marketing. It is the highest honor that DMAI can bestow.

“DMAI as an organization recognized the importance of leadership in our industry to sustain our 100 year history and grow destination marketing into the multibillion dollar industry that it is today,” Michael Gehrisch, president and CEO of DMAI, said. “Our goal is to shine a spotlight on these pioneers, champions and influencers, and allow our members around the globe an opportunity to get to know them and their works.”

Fenich has helped shape the destination marketing industry for almost three decades and has dedicated his academic career to the advancement of research, scholarship and teaching. He was an industry practitioner before moving into academe.

Today, in addition to his role as a leading academic in the meetings and conventions field, Fenich provides cutting-edge research and analysis to destination marketing organizations across the country through his consulting firm, Fenich & Associates. He has published three industry textbooks, more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has made more than 150 presentations in the U.S. and abroad to benefit the industry. He has served as a member of DMAI for more than 20 years, including work on the organization’s Student Educator Advisory Council and chairing the DMAI Case Study Competition. He has delivered education programs around the world, from China and Japan to Turkey, France, Mauritius, and South Africa.


ECU student awarded BCIA certification scholarship

An East Carolina University student was one of six recipients nationwide to receive a prestigious scholarship.

Christina Brown-Bochicchio

Christina Brown-Bochicchio

Doctoral student Christina Brown-Bochicchio received the 2015 Francine Butler Scholarship from the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance. The scholarship covers fees for BCIA certification in biofeedback and honors the contributions of Dr. Francine Butler, former executive director of BCIA.

Brown-Bochicchio of Calif. is pursuing a degree in rehabilitation counseling and administration in the College of Allied Health.

She works as a clinical coordinator in the Center for Applied Psychophysiology in the College of Health and Human Performance.


ECU professors receive national recognition

Two engineering professors at East Carolina University have received national recognition for their work in the areas of diversity and management.

Dr. Evelyn Brown

Dr. Evelyn Brown

Dr. Evelyn Brown has received the “INSIGHT into Diversity” 2015 Inspiring Women in STEM award while Dr. Gene Dixon won the Bernard R. Sarchet Award from the American Society for Engineering Education.

Brown is one of 100 women recognized by the higher education magazine for achievements that encourage and inspire women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM. The magazine will be published in September.

Brown is a charter member of the STEM Girls steering committee, a member of the FIRST Robotics board of directors and faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Engineering Honor Society and Engineering Ambassadors. Brown was the primary investigator on a National Science Foundation grant that secured $540,000 in merit and need-based scholarships for the engineering department. She has spent numerous hours recruiting for the engineering department.

LaKesha Alston Forbes, associate provost of equity and diversity at ECU, nominated Brown for the award with input from Dr. David White, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.

“Dr. Brown was one of our first hires in engineering and serves as a tremendous role model for our female engineering students and junior faculty,” White said. “She is a great advocate for diversity, particularly in STEM, and she is a tireless supporter of her passionate work for diversity in the STEM fields.”

Brown said she is honored to have been nominated by ECU for the award. “I’m also hopeful that this national recognition will bring attention to ECU and the many good things being accomplished by dedicated faculty in our department, college and university,” she said.

Dr. Gene Dixon

Dr. Gene Dixon

Dixon received a national award named after Bernard R. Sarchet, a founding member and first national president of the American Society for Engineering Management.

The prestigious award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the profession and to the engineering management division of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Dixon, who has been at ECU for nine years, oversees all capstone projects required for engineering majors in their senior year. Students work in teams to complete a yearlong project for a local business or industry.

Dixon works closely with industry partners to ensure that ECU students get work experience, leadership and entrepreneurial skills before they graduate. He also helps develop internship and cooperative work opportunities for engineering majors and has written multiple articles and presented at national and international conferences.

“Gene has applied his knowledge of engineering management in his scholarship and his teaching, and we are very fortunate to have him as a colleague,” said Dr. Hayden Griffin, chair of the engineering department at ECU.



Staff honored with awards for service, leadership

The following Facilities Services employees have been recognized with a 2015 Facilities Services Award for Excellence in the category of service:  David Brooks with Building Services – Automotive Services and Shannon Elks with Utilities Services – Plumbing.

The following Facilities Services employees have been recognized with a 2015 Facilities Services Supervisor Award for Excellence:  Terry Little with Grounds Services – Recycling Services in the category of service and Neal Thorne with Utilities Services – Steam in the category of leadership.

The 2015 Campus Operations Awards for Excellence recipients are Donna Lilley and Eugene Tashiro with Facilities Engineering & Architectural Services in the category of leadership and Rebecca Bizzell with Campus Operations in the category of service.


Medical honor society recognizes new members, national research fellow

Four third-year medical students from the Brody School of Medicine were recently inducted into the East Carolina University chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

Holly Dieu, Sam Hankins, Kendall Liner and James Washburn were elected by current chapter members based on their scholastic achievement, leadership, ethical standards, teaching, professionalism, record of service to the school and community and their potential for achievement in medicine.

“AOA uses scholastic achievement as the primary, but not the sole, basis for nomination,” said Dr. Danielle Walsh, ECU pediatric surgeon and councilor for the Brody chapter. “Class rank is a marker of academic excellence alone, but this society aims to recognize the well-rounded student who excels academically.”

Also inducted was Brody alumnus Dr. Amir Motameni, a general surgery resident at Vidant Medical Center. He was nominated by AOA’s student members after Brody medical students named him Outstanding Teaching Resident for the third consecutive year.

Additionally, first-year medical student Dioval Remonde has been named the recipient of the 2015 Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship. Remonde is the first Brody student to receive this national award, which honors a deceased, long-time administrator and honorary member of the society.

This $5,000 fellowship aims to serve as the recipient’s primary source of support, allowing them to conduct 200-300 hours of clinical investigation, basic laboratory research, epidemiology, social science/health services research, leadership or professionalism activities.


ECU student receives Commander’s Award for Public Service

Deputy Command Psychologist Bruce Moyer, right, presents the Commander’s Award for Public Service to ECU student Justin Raines, left. (Contributed photo)

Deputy Command Psychologist Bruce Moyer, right, presents the Commander’s Award for Public Service to ECU student Justin Raines, left. (Contributed photo)


East Carolina University doctoral student Justin Raines received the Commander’s Award for Public Service, one of the top public service awards bestowed upon a civilian by the U.S. Department of the Army.

The award is presented to Raines for significant impact on operations of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) through his research expertise in the Psychology Support Section from May 2013 through Dec. 2014. His work supported data management, statistical analysis and predictive model techniques to determine psychological factors that contribute to student success in the special forces qualification course for detachment commanders and the special forces combat diver qualification course.

According to the award narrative, his work “required extraordinary knowledge, adaptability and innovation in order to meet mission demands.” Raines was described as “dedicated to the mission and fully investing in supporting the development and training” of participating soldiers.

Raines is pursuing a Ph.D. in occupational health psychology at ECU.