Curtis attends international meeting on climate change, coastal and marine tourism

Dr. Scott Curtis represented East Carolina University at the first Innovators Think Tank on Climate Change and Coastal & Marine Tourism held July 22-24 in the Dominican Republic.

Scott Curtis

Scott Curtis

Curtis is an affiliate faculty member in the Center for Sustainability and a professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at ECU.

Experts in tourism, sustainability, business and coastal and marine environments gathered to take stock of the tourism industry in addressing climate change impacts, with a special focus on island states and coastal and marine areas in the Caribbean.

Curtis was the center’s 2014 Outstanding Affiliate Faculty member and has consistently contributed to research and outreach activities and to the learning experiences of students in the master’s degree program in sustainable tourism.

He has published on weather and climate impacts to coastal tourism in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, in particular the differences in perceptions of climate change between local residents and second-homeowners and the value and use of forecasts by tourism businesses. He also has researched Caribbean climates and was recently funded by the National Science Foundation to study small farmer vulnerability and resilience to climate change, market stress and the role of water management.

Curtis and Dr. E. Jeffrey Popke, ECU professor of human geography, received a 2015 Sustainability Seed Grant this summer from the center for their proposal titled “Enhancing Sustainability in the Caribbean: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus in an Era of Climate Change.”

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In Memoriam – Dr. Linner Ward Griffin

Dr. Linner Ward Griffin, emeritus professor of social work, passed away unexpectedly this past Sunday, July 5.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 17, at 2 p.m. at Brown Funeral Home in Greensboro.   A memorial service will be held in Greenville on Saturday, July 18, 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1400 South Elm Street.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the ECU School of Social Work Scholarship Fund.  Checks may be sent to the ECU Foundation, 2200 S. Charles Blvd., Suite 1100, Greenville, NC.  Please indicate the purpose of the donation.  Cards and condolences can be sent to:  Mr. Bobby Griffin, 311 Beech Cove Drive, Grimesland, N. C. 27837.

Dr. Griffin began at ECU as an assistant professor of social work in January, 1990 and progressed through the academic ranks to professor of social work in 2000.  She served in a number of administrative capacities including interim dean of Social Work and Criminal Justice, interim dean of the School of Communication, interim associate vice chancellor and later associate vice chancellor for academic programs.  In 2010 her title was changed to associate provost for academic program planning and development and she held that that position until her retirement in 2013.  She was granted emeritus professor status upon her retirement.

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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.

 

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NCLR names new writing competition for founding editor

 The North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) has named its new creative nonfiction competition for founding editor Alex Albright.

Albright

Albright

Responding to the honor of having the award named for him, Albright said, “This new competition recognizes NCLR’s continued commitment to publishing the best creative nonfiction available about topics of interest to North Carolina readers and to its ongoing openness to writers at the beginning of their careers.”

The Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize competition is open to any writer who fits the NCLR definition of a North Carolina writer: current or previous residents of North Carolina or a writer who uses North Carolina as subject matter. The first prize recipient will be awarded $250 and publication in NCLR. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the 2016 print and online issues.

Current NCLR editor Margaret Bauer noted, “It is particularly significant that the first winner of the Albright Prize will be published in NCLR’s 25th issue.”

The submission period for the Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize Competition opened on June 15, and the deadline is August 1.

Albright earned his bachelor’s degree at UNC Chapel Hill, and his Master of Fine Arts at UNC Greensboro before joining the faculty of the English department of ECU in 1981. He is the author of, most recently, “The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy,” as well as the author and producer of the UNC-TV “Boogie in Black and White” and the editor of “The Mule Poems” and “The North Carolina Poems” of internationally renowned eastern North Carolina poet A.R. Ammons, whom Albright named “staff poet” during his years as editor.

Albright published the premiere issue of the NCLR in 1992. He pointed out that when it launched it was “one of the very few literary magazines in the U.S. that focused primarily on creative nonfiction.”

He explained his dedication to cultivating creative nonfiction: “Because virtually every literary magazine at the time was dominated by fiction and poetry, we wanted a forum for nonfiction that was written more for smart readers than for academics. We also wanted a forum that was as open to unknown writers as it was to the big names that dominated the state’s literary scene.”

Under Albright’s editorship, NCLR earned the Best New Journal Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) in 1994. Albright has been honored for his contribution to North Carolina literature with the R. Hunt Parker Award given by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association in 1998 and the Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration given by ECU’s Friends of Joyner Library in 2007. NCLR has earned four more CELJ awards in more than 20 years since its first issue, most recently the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement.

Albright said he shares this honor with his original associate editors, John Patterson and the late Bertie Fearing.

Find complete submission guidelines for NCLR’s Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction competition, at http://www.nclr.ecu.edu/submissions/albright-guidelines.html.

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Gudivada named computer science chair

Dr. Venkat N. Gudivada has been named chairman of the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Technology at East Carolina University effective July 1.

Guidivada

Guidivada

Gudivada is an educator, researcher and industry practitioner with more than 30 years of experience in data management, information retrieval, machine learning, image and natural language processing, cognitive and high performance computing and personalized eLearning.

Gudivada joins ECU after serving as interim chair and professor of computer science at Marshall University. He previously worked at the University of Michigan, University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) and Ohio University. He has extensive financial industry work experience as well.

He has experience developing innovative academic programs, courses and curricula and is proficient in continuous academic quality improvement and program accreditation. He has developed successful approaches to student recruitment, mentoring, engagement and retention. He also has expertise in online course development and delivery, and has won awards for teaching and research.

Gudivada has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles about his nationally-funded research on search engine optimization, data management systems and big data. He has served on program committees of numerous computer science conferences, delivered keynote presentations at international conferences and served as a guest editor for IEEE Computer Society.

He received doctoral and masters’ degrees in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He earned a master’s degree in civil/structural engineering from Texas Tech University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from JNT University.

Dr. David White, dean of the ECU College of Engineering and Technology, thanked Dr. Karl Abrahamson for his leadership and service during the nearly five years that he served as interim department chair.

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Medical school names first female surgery chair in the Southeast

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has named a new chair for its Department of Surgery, making Brody the first medical school in the Southeast to have a female in that position.

Tuttle-Newhall

Tuttle-Newhall

Dr. J.E. “Betsy” Tuttle-Newhall is the seventh woman to be appointed surgery chair at any of the nation’s 200-plus medical schools, according to the Association of Women Surgeons.

Originally from Madison, Tuttle-Newhall has returned to North Carolina after serving as the division chief of abdominal transplant surgery and primary transplant surgeon at Cardinal Glennon Pediatric Hospital in St. Louis. She was also vice chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the St. Louis University Hospital School of Medicine and co-director of their Abdominal Transplant Center.

While in St. Louis, Tuttle-Newhall was the recipient of multiple clinical and teaching awards, as well as several Medals of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her efforts to improve and expand organ donation and transplantation processes.

Her research efforts have focused on living kidney donors, critical care of transplant recipients, and transplant center design and governance.

After earning a medical degree from Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1988, Tuttle-Newhall completed a surgery residency and a clinical fellowship in surgery at the New England Deaconess Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. She furthered her training with a surgical critical care fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an abdominal transplant surgery fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.

Following her fellowships, Tuttle-Newhall held several academic positions at Duke, including associate professor of surgery and critical care, and director of the medical school’s physician assistant residency in surgery.

She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in health care administration at the St. Louis University School of Public Health.

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ECU professor selected for Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award

East Carolina University professor Yizhen Zhao was one of 35 recipients selected from 134 application for a Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

Yizhen Zhao

Yizhen Zhao

The award includes provides seed money for junior faculty research in the amount of $5,000 with matching funding from ECU. The awards support young faculty member’s research in engineering and applied science, life sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, physical sciences or policy, management and education.

Zhao’s research interests include time series econometrics, financial economics, financial risk management and financial market microstructure. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s in economics from The Central University for Nationalities.

She is assistant professor of economics in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

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ECU professors honored with Early Career Award

Two East Carolina University professors are the first to receive the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Early Career Award recognizing exceptional performance by tenure track professors.

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, left, and Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Matthew Whited, assistant professor of psychology, were recognized May 15 as this year’s award recipients.

“I am truly honored by this award. I am lucky to work with great colleagues and students both within and outside ECU,” said Ardon-Sayao. “I thank my colleagues and the THCAS Advancement Council for this recognition of my work.”

Ardon-Sayao is an ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding how aquatic ecosystems process water and nutrients; how that capacity is being altered by local land use and global climate change; and whether, and to what extent, current and emerging management can reverse or restore lost functions.

He received a $635,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant this spring for his research involving coastal wetlands. Ardon-Sayao was honored in April with the Mercer Award from the Ecological Society of America, recognizing a 2013 paper published in the journal, Global Change Biology.

Ardon-Sayao received a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia in 2006 and a bachelor of science in biology and environmental studies from Gettysburg College in 2000.

Whited leads the Depression Specialty Service in the ECU Department of Psychology’s PASS Clinic. He specializes in behavioral activation and has trained other clinicians in this treatment approach. He earned a Ph.D. and master of science in clinical psychology from West Virginia University in 2009 and 2007, and completed a bachelor of science in psychology and biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2003.

Whited

Dr. Matthew Whited, left, and Dr. William M. Downs

“I feel honored to be one of the recipients of the inaugural Early Career Award,” Whited said. “I appreciate being recognized as someone who is off to a good start in my career, and I look forward to taking advantage of all the advantages and opportunities that ECU has to offer.”

“ECU is a wonderful place to grow and mature as a researcher and educator, as faculty and administrators here understand the synergy that takes place between research productivity and student (especially graduate) training,” he added.

Ardon-Sayao and Whited will be recognized at Harriot College’s fall convocation in August.

In succeeding years, Harriot College will designate up to three recipients for the award, which focuses on faculty productivity in research and creative discovery, said Harriot College Dean Dr. William M. Downs. That productivity “must be judged to be of such high quality and impact that it exceeds expectations. Outstanding performance in professional development must be complemented by demonstrated excellence in instructional effectiveness and service,” he said.

“I am extremely pleased to say this year’s recipients exceeded these qualifications,” Downs said.

For additional information, contact Ardon-Sayao at 328-6307 or ardonsayaom@ecu.edu, and Whited at 328-6308 or whitedm@ecu.edu.

— Lacey Gray

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Fenich earns national award from PCMA Education Foundation

ECU hospitality professor Dr. George Fenich receives the Educator Honoree Award at the 2015 Professional Convention Management Association awards ceremony. (Contributed phot)

ECU hospitality leadership professor Dr. George Fenich receives the Educator Honoree Award at the 2015 Professional Convention Management Association awards ceremony. (Contributed phot)

East Carolina University hospitality leadership professor Dr. George Fenich received the Educator Honoree Award at the 2015 Professional Convention Management Association awards ceremony April 8 in Washington, D.C.

The honorees have “career paths and accomplishments that both inspire and guide their peer communities,” said PCMA president and CEO Deborah Sexton. “While their past leadership has been instrumental in advancing our industry, their present and future leadership endeavors will help us ensure conventions, trade shows and conferences continue to serve as the critical adult education channel.”

Fenich has published more than 40 research articles and studies, including the Millennials study related by PCMA in 2012. He has authored/edited more than 10 textbook publications, contributed to chapters in six other textbooks, published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, contributed more than 30 articles to conference proceedings and presented papers at more than 70 professional meetings. He served 15 years in the hospitality industry before joining higher education in 1985.

Fenich has also served, and continues to serve, on a number of industry-related committees, including the PCMA Faculty Task Force, PCMA Student Task Force, Meeting Professionals International Foundation Board, Destination Marketing Association International Faculty Task Force, and the PCMA Annual Meeting Program Committee.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY-Cortland, a master’s from Rennsalaer Polytechnic University and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

Fenich was one of three selected nationwide for this year’s award.

Read more at http://www.pcma.org/.

–Jennifer Brezina, College of Business

 

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