ECU biology professor publishes volume on Richard D. Alexander

evolution

East Carolina University biology professor Kyle Summers is co-editor of “Human Social Evolution: The Foundational Works of Richard D. Alexander,” newly released by Oxford University Press.

Summers

Summers

Summers said the book revolves around the work of entomologist Richard D. Alexander, whose seminal contributions to the field of human social evolution have inspired biologists, anthropologists, psychologists and other social scientists to explore in greater detail the evolution of human social behavior.

The volume includes Alexander’s classic works accompanied by essays from former students and colleagues, who discuss current research or areas of contention related to the topic.

The work was completed as part of Summers’ research activity as the Thomas Harriot College Advancement Council Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Co-editor Bernard Crespi is professor of evolutionary biology at Simon Fraser University.

For additional information about the book, visit Oxford University Press a http://global.oup.com/academic/product/human-social-evolution-9780199791750?cc=us&lang=en&.

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Psychology professor receives award for paper on emotions, health

An East Carolina University assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Dr. Lisa Baranik, has received the 2012 Best Paper Award from the Journal of Research in Personality.

Baranik

                                 Baranik

“Physical Health, Positive and Negative Affect, and Personality: A Longitudinal Analysis,” was co-authored by Dr. Stephen West and Yu Liu from Arizona State University, and Dr. John Finch, an ECU professor of psychology who died in 2012. The award ceremony, which included a tribute to Finch’s career, took place June 21 at the Biennial Convention of the Association for Research in Personality in Charlotte.

“John was a brilliant scholar, a gifted teacher and a thoughtful, kind person. My coauthors and I are greatly appreciative that John’s last research project could be honored in this way,” said Baranik.

Baranik is a member of the occupational health psychology concentration of the health psychology doctoral program in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. Through her research, she examines employee emotions, health and well-being, and mentoring relationships. Research presented in the award-winning paper tested a statistical model of personality, mood and health, and found that negative moods may contribute more to health than positive moods.

“The connection between the mind and the body is well-known, but researchers are still discovering exactly how that connection works,” said Baranik. “Our paper shows that a person in poor physical health experiences both fewer positive emotions and more negative emotions. On the other hand, our study shows that only negative emotions predict subsequent physical health, not positive emotions.”

For additional information, contact Baranik at 252-737-3000 or via email at baranikl@ecu.edu.

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ECU professor named NASSM research fellow

By Kathy Muse
Health and Human Performance

Dr. Stacy Warner, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at East Carolina University, was named a research fellow of the North American Society for Sport Management.

Stacy Warner

Stacy Warner

Warner received the honor May 30 at the 2013 NASSM conference in Austin, Texas.

“The NASSM Research Fellow designation signifies a very high level of achievement in research,” said Dr. Stacey Altman, chair of the Department of Kinesiology.

Research fellow status recognizes NASSM scholars by honoring their achievement in sport-related scholarship disseminated to the field.

The designation is one of distinction and recognizes high standards of research and other forms of scholarship among NASSM’s members.

“It is impressive that Dr. Warner received this honor so early in her career,” said Altman.

Warner’s research focuses on organizational structures that optimize community building and development in a way that improves the life quality for sport participants, sport employees, fans, and residents.

“I am humbled to receive this honor,” said Warner.  “I’ve had the privilege of working alongside and being trained and mentored by some of the best scholar’s in the field,” she continued.

“This award is a reflection of the investment they made in me and a credit to ECU’s Department of Kinesiology for providing an environment in which research can thrive and excellence is expected,” said Warner.

A native of Osceola Mills, Pa., Warner began teaching at ECU in 2010.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education/sport administration from Lock Haven University in 2000.  She received a master’s degree in exercise and sport science-sport administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001 and a doctorate in sport management from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.

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ECU community mourns loss of instructor

By Kathryn Kennedy and Jeannine Manning Hutson
ECU News Services

Co-workers and students of East Carolina University teaching instructor Debbie O’Neal are grieving this week following her death March 31.

She and her husband – both rated pilots – were killed when their fixed-wing Lancair LC-42 aircraft crashed in a Winston-Salem residential neighborhood after experiencing engine trouble, a National Traffic Safety Board official told media on Monday.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 at Rock Springs Center, 4025 N.C. Highway 43 N, Greenville.

An additional memorial service was held Tuesday, April 2 at the Washington Eye Center, where her husband, Dennis, worked.

O’Neal came to ECU in 2004, and this semester she was teaching three sections of English composition in the classroom and two distance-education sections of English grammar.

Department of English Chair Jeffrey Johnson spent Tuesday meeting with students in O’Neal’s classes, accompanied by staff from the ECU counseling center. He said the students were “taking it hard,” and many asked if they could reach out to her family.

“Her students know how invested she was in them,” Johnson said. “She was really outgoing, full of energy and ideas, generous with her time. All these qualities of hers…make (the loss) even harder.”

O’Neal was very involved in the ECU Language Academy, which provides intensive English-language instruction to international students and professionals. She also worked with the College of Education by developing ways to integrate English as a second language (ESL) teacher education into existing curriculum.

Marjorie Ringler, associate professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership, said she and O’Neal worked closely for years. “We were inseparable at work and as friends as well,” Ringler said Tuesday.

O’Neal was a linguist and Ringler works on partnerships with principals and school districts; together they were a great team, Ringler said. The pair recently attended an international conference in Dallas, presenting their success in teaching English as a second language in a rural eastern North Carolina school.

O’Neal engaged her classroom students as well, Ringler said, and held them to high standards.

“In the Department of English, she saw her students as her kids,” Ringler continued. “She was a mother to them because (she taught) the freshman composition class.”

She added that O’Neal kept in touch with many students and would get Facebook and email messages about how she had changed their lives. “She made sure everybody knew that she cared,” Ringler said.

“She lived life to the fullest. She was a pilot, made her own jewelry, and was always in touch with her three kids. She skied as well. What did she not do? And she tackled everything head on.”

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Folger Shakespeare Library exhibit features ECU connections

Irish mantle 1, resized

A replica of an Irish mantle, or cloak, created by East Carolina University School of Art and Design students in Robin Haller’s textile and design course is part of the exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Photo courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

By Alexa DeCarr, ECU News Services

An exhibit on display at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is showcasing the achievements of Dr. Thomas Herron, an associate professor of English at East Carolina University, students in ECU’s School of Art and Design and the University Multimedia Center.

The exhibit, which opened in January and runs through May 19, is named “Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland” and focuses on the Irish upper class during the 16th to mid-17th century and its cultural exchanges with England. It investigates the political struggles of the period while acknowledging the ways in which English and Irish cultures influenced each other through achievements in literature, architecture and the arts.

“It goes beyond the black and white view of the interactions between the English and the Irish,” Herron said of the exhibit.

Students in ECU assistant professor Robin Haller’s textile and design course recreated a replica of an Irish mantle, which Herron said is a type of outer covering or cloak worn by the Irish. The University Multimedia Center also contributed to the exhibit by creating a 3-D computerized recreation of a tower house castle from the Middle Ages that allows viewers to get a virtual tour.

Herron said that a 16th century portrait of Queen Elizabeth I “discovered” in Manteo while hanging in plain sight during a conference organized by the ECU English Department is on display at the exhibit as well.

“ECU has been so generous and has played a major role in the exhibit,” Herron said. “Different departments within the university have gone out of their way to help with the exhibit.”

While the exhibit focuses on Europe during the Renaissance, Herron said modern Americans can still appreciate it.

“Shakespeare is a powerful influence on the U.S. and our culture,” he said. “And many Americans have Irish roots.”

The exhibit, “Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland,” features portraits, manuscripts, artifacts, family records, and rare books drawn from collections in Ireland and the United States. The exhibition includes nearly 100 items from the Folger collection, as well as materials from the National Gallery of Ireland, the University of Wisconsin, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Ireland, and private collections.

Brendan Kane, a historian of modern Ireland and an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, was the co-curator of the exhibit.

For more information on the exhibit, visit www.folger.edu/Ireland or contact Tom Herron at herront@ecu.edu.

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