College of Nursing honors 2015 Hall of Fame inductees

Individuals honored at the ECU College of Nursing Hall of Fame induction ceremony pictured with College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown, far right, are Rita Coggins, Roseanne Leahy, distinguished alumna Dianne Marshburn, Madge Dews Thompson, Michelle Skipper, Becky Whitley and Pam Reis.

Individuals honored at the ECU College of Nursing Hall of Fame induction ceremony pictured with College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown, far right, are Rita Coggins, Roseanne Leahy, distinguished alumna Dianne Marshburn, Madge Dews Thompson, Michelle Skipper, Becky Whitley and Pam Reis.

The East Carolina University College of Nursing inducted nine members to its Hall of Fame during a ceremony held March 6 at the Hilton in Greenville. The event, which also recognized the college’s 2015 Distinguished Alumna, honored outstanding contributors to nursing in the areas of education, administration, research and practice.

This year’s class includes inductees from a range of impressive backgrounds, including a widely acclaimed Chicago-based speaker and author, the chief nursing officer of a major health system, two members of the college’s first graduating class, the former editor of the military’s Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook and several esteemed College of Nursing faculty members.

Not only does the Hall of Fame honor prominent nursing professionals, it also has raised approximately $85,000 for a merit-based student scholarship fund since its inception in 2011. Thanks to this program, the college will award its fifth Hall of Fame Scholarship this fall. This year’s recipient, Kelsey Leonard, a master’s student in the nurse anesthetist program, was recognized at the event.

“This Hall of Fame not only recognizes our outstanding leaders, but is another way to give back to future generations of nurses,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing.

The 2015 inductees join a list of 70 Hall of Fame members representing eight states. Each new member receives a flame-shaped award that resembles the lamp illustrated on the college’s nursing pin. The lamp and its associated flame symbolize a commitment to service and a vibrant life.

This year’s Hall of Fame class:

  • Barbee Bancroft
  • Rita Coggins
  • Jeanette Jones
  • Roseanne Leahy
  • Pam Reis
  • Michelle Skipper
  • Jacquelyn Jones Stone
  • Madge Dews Thompson
  • Becky Whitley

On a night set aside for celebrating influential nurse leaders, the college also recognized the recipient of its 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award. This year’s awardee is Dr. Dianne Marshburn, who has three degrees from the ECU College of Nursing. Marshburn recently retired from a 33-year career at Vidant Medical Center, where she served as director of clinical research at Vidant since 2008.

Learn more about the Hall of Fame by visiting


ECU thoracic surgeon honored for teaching, mentoring

Dr. Mark Iannettoni, professor and chief of general thoracic surgery for East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and director of the new thoracic surgery residency program at Vidant Medical Center, has been honored nationally for his work with resident physicians.



The 2015 Socrates Award was presented to Iannettoni by the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association during the annual Society of Thoracic Surgeons conference in January. The award recognizes, “an outstanding cardiothoracic surgery faculty member for his or her commitment to resident education and mentorship.”

Residents are physicians who are receiving additional training in specific areas of medicine; thoracic surgery refers to operations done on organs within the chest, such as the lungs.

Iannettoni joined the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and the East Carolina Heart Institute in 2014. He is professor and chief of general thoracic surgery and organized the thoracic surgery residency program here. His clinical areas of expertise include benign and malignant esophageal disease and new therapies for lung cancer.

“We congratulate Dr. Iannettoni on this very prestigious award. We are extremely pleased to have him here in Greenville to direct our new thoracic surgery residency program,” said Dr. Herb Garrison, associate dean for graduate medical education at VMC and ECU and an ECU professor of emergency medicine. “We are already hearing great things about him from our resident physicians, providers and patients.”

“This was a complete surprise to receive this award,” said Iannettoni. “It is a true honor for me to be recognized by the residents as well as the STS and program directors for something I love to do.

“The key to the success of the new thoracic surgery residency program here at ECU/Vidant Medical Center will be the faculty participation in educating the next generation of thoracic surgeons,” Iannettoni added. “We have a great group of surgeons here ready to participate, and I am fortunate to have the support from Vidant to make this happen here in eastern North Carolina where the need is so great.”


ECU professor wins outstanding dissertation award



ECU English professor Dr. Erin Frost won the 2015 College Composition and Communication Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication for her dissertation,“Theorizing an Apparent Feminism in Technical Communication.”

The Conference on College Composition and Communication is a constituent organization within the National Council of Teachers of English.

Dissertations for this award are evaluated according to five criteria: originality of research, contribution the research makes to the field, methodological soundness of the approach used, awareness of the existing research in the area studied, and overall quality of the writing.

Frost will be announced as the recipient of the CCCC Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication on March 20, during the 2015 CCCC Annual Convention in Tampa, Florida.

For more information about the CCCC Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication, including past winners, see

The Conference on College Composition and Communication, with more than 5,000 members and subscribers, supports and promotes the teaching and study of composition, rhetoric, and communication skills at the college level, both in undergraduate and graduate programs. College Composition and Communication is the group’s journal. For more information, visit


Retired ECU dean honored for service

Dr. Stephen Thomas, dean emeritus of the College of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University, pictured with his wife Melodie, recently received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award. Dr. Johnny Williams (far right), is president of the Old North State Medical Society, which nominated Thomas for the honor.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, dean emeritus of the College of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University, pictured with his wife Melodie, recently received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award. Dr. Johnny Williams (far right), is president of the Old North State Medical Society, which nominated Thomas for the honor.

The dean emeritus of the College of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University was recently honored with one of North Carolina’s most prestigious civilian awards for his outstanding service to the state in the area of health equity.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, who retired in October, was presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award Feb. 6 during the 11th annual Jean Mills Symposium, an event aimed at generating awareness and solutions for health problems that plague North Carolinians and especially minorities. Thomas has been instrumental in organizing the event over the past decade.

Although the honor was conferred by the governor, the surprise presentation was made by Dr. Johnny Williams, president of the Old North State Medical Society; Amos T. Mills, founder of the Mills Symposium; Dr. Don Ensley, professor emeritus of health services and information management; and Dr. Julius Mallette, president of the Andrew A. Best Medical Society.

Thomas served the university for 34 years. He joined ECU in 1980 as a faculty member in the rehabilitation studies department, tasked to start and direct the vocational evaluation master’s degree program. He was named chair of the department in 1998 and interim dean of the former School of Allied Health Sciences in April 2001.

After his promotion to dean in 2003, Thomas led the school through several new endeavors including a move from its former location in the Belk Building to the new Health Sciences Building in 2006, and a name change from the School of Allied Health Sciences to the College of Allied Health Sciences in 2007.


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,


Housekeeping/Campus Operations awards presented

The following Housekeeping Services employees have been recognized with a 2014 Housekeepers Awards for Excellence in the category of service:  Phyllis Hart and Ruby Streeter with Academics, Ann Battle with Health Sciences Campus / School of Medicine, and Brenda Hopkins with Residence Halls / Student Recreation Center.

The 2014 Campus Operations Awards for Excellence recipients are Elizabeth Mills with Facilities Service Center and Ruthie Fairbanks with Utilities Services for service and Jeremy Russell with Facilities Services Project Management for leadership.


ECU literary magazine named a Pacemaker Award finalist

East Carolina University’s student-run literary magazine, Rebel, was named one of five category finalists for the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award, four-year literary magazine category.

rebelThe winners were announced at the Annual ACP/College Media Advisers National College Media Convention Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in Philadelphia.  Rebel 56 was nominated along with arts and literary magazines from Jacksonville University, Mercer University, Appalachian State University and Bridgewater State University. Winners were The Bridge from Bridgewater and The Peel from Appalachian State.

Since 1927, the Pacemaker has been the highest honor available to ACP members and still today is considered one of the most prestigious awards in collegiate media.  Being a nominee signifies Rebel as one of the top literary magazines in the country. Rebel won the Pacemaker Award in 2009.

Rebel 56 was published in Spring 2014. The editor in chief was Megan Burns.

“Megan and her team put together a tremendous magazine,” said John Harvey, ECU director of student media.  “This year’s team is equally strong. Perhaps next year we can win it all.”

Rebel is part the office of Student Media in the Division of Student Affairs at ECU.  Along with Rebel, Student Media oversees WZMB 91.3 FM, the campus radio station; Buccaneer, the university yearbook; Expressions multicultural magazine; a new magazine that will debut in Spring 2015, The Hook; The East Carolinian student newspaper, and its companion website Student Media also operates a student Advertising & Marketing Agency.

All of the organizations that come under Student Media are staffed and operated by East Carolina students.

The Associated Collegiate Press is a nonprofit education membership association and a division of the National Scholastic Press Association. The ACP has had college members since its inception in 1921 and is the largest and oldest membership organization for college student media in the United States.

For additional information, contact John Harvey at 252-328-9234 or  For more details about ECU Student Media, visit


Bauer, Rulifson selected as distinguished professors



Two professors in the ECU Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences were inducted as distinguished professors at the college’s annual faculty convocation Aug. 25. The honor is traditionally bestowed upon one individual at the beginning of each academic year.

Margaret Bauer, Rives Chair of Southern Literature in the Department of English and editor of the North Carolina Literary Review, and Roger Rulifson, professor in the Department of Biology and senior scientist with the ECU Institute for Coastal Science and Policy, were selected.

The professorship is the highest honor within the college and is conferred upon a professor whose career exemplifies a commitment to and a love for knowledge and academic life, as demonstrated by outstanding teaching and advising, research and creative productivity, and professional service.

“After this year’s review of nominees, we were so impressed with the exceptional quality of our colleagues that we did something unconventional – unprecedented as far as I know,” said Dr. William Downs, dean of Harriot College. “We found two Harriot College faculty members ‘equally deserving’ of the Distinguished Professorship. And despite everybody telling me that making two awards ‘just isn’t done,’ that is precisely what we are doing this year.”

“At a time when the value of the humanities is often overlooked, I am pleased that ECU’s new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences starts his first year recognizing the importance of research in the humanities as well as the sciences, and I look forward to seeing Harriot College shine a light on the excellent research and creative activity of many of ECU’s humanities faculty in the future,” said Bauer.



“I am very honored to be chosen for the title of Distinguished Professor of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences by Dean Downs,” said Rulifson.

“I think of the past recipients, and I know that I will have a challenge ahead to live up to their legacy. I truly appreciate the latitude and encouragement from the Dean’s Office over 30 years to teach what I love to teach, and to conduct research on coastal issues with Biology graduate and undergraduate students, without whom I could not have accomplished so much in the name of East Carolina University.”

For additional information, contact Bauer at 252-328-1537 or, or Rulifson at 252-328-9400 or