ECU biology professor elected to lead international organization

East Carolina University biology professor John W. Stiller was elected to the role of incoming vice president and president elect of the Phycological Society of America. The election results were announced at the PSA annual national meeting in Charleston, S.C. June 22.

Stiller

Stiller will serve a three-year term as vice president/president-elect in 2013, president in 2014 and past president in 2015. He will also serve on the PSA executive council for all three years.

The international organization promotes research and education in fields related to the biology of algae, and publishes the Journal of Phycology: an International Journal of Algal Research.

The journal was recently redesigned and its first updated issue featured research by Stiller and ECU biology student Justin Perry. The paper, “Major Developmental Regulators and their Expression in Two Closely Related Species of Porphyra (Rhodophyta),” reflected a large collaborative effort to sequence the genome of the red alga Porphyra, also known as Nori or as Stiller described it, “the black stuff wrapped around the outside of most sushi.”

The research is funded through grants from the Joint Genomic Institute/Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Stiller is a co-principle investigator on both grants.

Perry was an undergraduate at the time of the research but has since joined the biology department as a master’s student.

For additional information about PSA , visit http://www.psaalgae.org/index.html.  For more details about Stiller, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/biology/stiller_john.cfm

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ECU professor serves on vehicle technology panel

East Carolina University occupational therapy professor Dr. Anne Dickerson was one of ten experts on a panel that reviewed vehicle technologies for benefits in promoting capacity, confidence and convenience for drivers as they age.

Dickerson is the director of Research for the Older Adult Driver Initiative at ECU. She has been researching functional performance of older adults since the early 1990s. When the American Occupational Therapy Association identified older adult drivers as an emerging practice area in 2003, she began to focus on the functional performance of driving and has become one of the leading occupational therapy researchers in this growing area.

She has an occupational therapy degree from Temple University, a master’s degree in allied health education/health administration from Texas State University and a doctorate in
developmental psychology from Florida International University.

Other panel participants included practitioners and researchers with expertise in geriatric medicine, kinesiology, human factors and occupational therapy.

The study was conducted by The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab.  For more information about the study, visit http://www.thehartford.com/advance50/vehicle-technology. For details on the panel, visit http://www.thehartford.com/sites/thehartford/files/TopCarTechnologiesExperts.pdf.

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Ballard, Rigsby named to statewide UNC Advisory Commitee

 

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, left, and geology professor Catherine Rigsby were tapped to join a new advisory committee to assist with UNC system strategic planning.

East Carolina University Chancellor Steve Ballard and geology professor Catherine Rigsby, chair of the UNC Faculty Assembly, were named to the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions, which will provide input in the development of the next five-year strategic plan for the 17-campus university.

UNC President Thomas Ross and UNC Board of Governors Chairman Peter Hans today announced the creation of the committee, which includes business, education and government leaders from across the state.

Ross and the Board of Governors are working to define the University’s strategic directions for 2013-18. These core goals are pivotal in setting current and future priorities, resource planning and allocation, program planning, review and refinement of academic missions, and strategic planning by UNC institutions.

In support of that effort, this advisory committee chaired by Ross will help assess North Carolina’s current and future workforce needs and recommend degree attainment goals and strategies that are responsive to those needs and changing demographics.  The group may also consider recommendations related to higher academic standards and competencies required for a globally competitive workforce.

The Advisory Committee will evaluate relevant data and make a consensus recommendation to Ross in January 2013. The committee members are:

  • Tom Ross, President, University of North Carolina
  • Peter Hans, Chairman, UNC Board of Governors
  • Fred Eshelman, Member, UNC Board of Governors
  • Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore, North Carolina Senate
  • Thom Tillis, Speaker, North Carolina House of Representatives
  • Steve Ballard, Chancellor, East Carolina University
  • Mahdu Beriwal, President and CEO, IEM
  • Peaches Blank, Member, UNC Board of Governors
  • Linda Brady, Chancellor, UNC Greensboro
  • Jack Cecil, President, Biltmore Farms
  • Janet Cowell, State Treasurer
  • Keith Crisco, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Commerce
  • Lew Ebert, President, North Carolina Chamber
  • William Friday, President Emeritus, University of North Carolina
  • Paul Fulton, Member, UNC Board of Governors
  • Hannah Gage, Immediate Past Chair, UNC Board of Governors
  • Frank Grainger, Vice Chairman, UNC Board of Governors
  • Robert Ingram, Retired Executive, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Leroy Lail, Member, UNC Board of Governors
  • Cynthia Marshall, President, AT&T North Carolina
  • Harold Martin, Chancellor, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Ken Peacock, Chancellor, Appalachian State University
  • Art Pope, CEO, Variety Wholesalers
  • Scott Ralls, President, North Carolina Community College System
  • Catherine Rigsby, Chair, UNC Faculty Assembly; faculty member, East Carolina University
  • Jeff Tarte, Health Care Consultant
  • Holden Thorp, Chancellor, UNC-Chapel Hill.
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UNC Board of Governors approves ECU projects

The UNC Board of Governors has approved ECU’s plan to pave the 14th Street parking lot, which is covered with gravel now.

The project will create 206 parking spaces and cost $950,000. The cost includes installation of drainage infrastructure, site lighting, security cameras and emergency call stations. The project, which will be paid for with parking receipts, should be completed by November.

The Board of Governors also approved ECU’s plans to replace the air conditioning chiller serving Umstead and Slay residence halls at a cost of $452,000, which will be taken from housing receipts. The project should be completed by next March.

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Two from ECU named Archie K. Davis fellows

Two East Carolina University faculty members have received a 2012-13 Archie K. Davis Fellowship from the North Caroliniana Society.

Susan Holland, North Carolina Collection Librarian at Joyner Library, and Daniel S. Goldberg, professor in the Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies, were among 18 recipients of the fellowships, presented to promote research in the state’s history and culture.

The North Caroliniana Society provides modest stipends to recipients for travel and expenses while fellows conduct research in North Carolina.

Additional recipients were from Appalachian State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, Tufts University, the University of Houston, the University of Virginia, the University of Florida, the University of Pennsylvania, James Madison University, Keele University (United Kingdom)and the Cape Fear Museum of History.

For additional information, visit www.ncsociety.org.

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ECU professor stresses gimmick-free diets in new book

ECU nutrition science professor Roman Pawlak is shown with his new book, “Healthy Diets without Secrets.” The book was printed in Polish and released in Poland this summer. (Contributed photo)

Many weight loss diets are extremely unhealthy and leave dieters poorly nourished, East Carolina University nutrition science professor Dr. Roman Pawlak said in his new book, “Healthy Diets without Secrets.”

The book provides science-based reasoning for eating healthy, identifies diets that should be avoided and outlines the principles of healthy eating.

“I wanted to clarify diet myths and give people evidenced-based guidelines on what they should be eating,” said Pawlak.

Pawlak said that diets which emphasize eating only certain food are not healthy. “Most of these diets are based on little to no factual nutrition information,” he said.

Pawlak said he’s aware that some health professionals recommend eating smaller meals more frequently because it slightly increases metabolic rate. “But people who eat more frequently have much higher risk for colorectal cancer, and thus, such dietary advice violates the ‘do not harm’ principle,”he said.

The book also offers health and diet suggestions for health conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis.

Department of Nutrition Science dietetic program director Sylvia Escott-Stump, former president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, wrote the book’s introduction.

Unless fluent in Polish, American dieters eager to follow Pawlak’s advice might have to wait until the book is translated, sometime in the near future Pawlak said. It was printed in Polish and released to major books stores throughout Poland in July. He is now working on an English translation of this third book, “In Defense of Vegetarianism.”

Pawlak is associate professor of nutrition science in the College of Human Ecology. He holds a master’s in human nutrition from Andrews University in Michigan and a doctorate in nutrition and food systems from the University of Southern Mississippi. Pawlak is a registered dietitian.

For additional information, contact Pawlak at pawlakr@ecu.edu or call 252-328-2350.

 

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