ECU kinesiology student receives national award

Thomas Mahar

Thomas Mahar (Photo by Chuck Baldwin)

East Carolina University student Thomas Mahar was selected as the National American Kinesiology Association Undergraduate Scholar for 2014.

This is the first year that the AKA selected a national winner. Mahar was chosen out of 24 nominations submitted from universities across the country.

The award honors the student whose academic and leadership records are judged to be the most distinctive. Nominees must demonstrate an exceptional interest in the field of kinesiology by undertaking independent or guided research, assuming leadership positions, and having the potential for making a significant impact on the field.

“The opportunities to participate in research including study design, data collection, and presentation have helped me appreciate the entire research process and how important research can be to the quality of life,” said Mahar.

As an undergraduate student, Mahar participated in more than ten scholarly presentations on topics such as complex movement and cognitive function and physical activity assessment by accelerometers and commercially available activity monitors.

He received the ECU Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Award in 2012 and 2014.

Mahar graduated with a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, Department of Kinesiology, in the College of Health and Human Performance on May 9.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Mahar competed well and ultimately won against students across the nation because of the individualized undergraduate research experiences he had leading to presentations and publications,” said Dr. Stacey Altman, chair of the Department of Kinesiology.

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Scholarship awards presented at April 4 breakfast

Suzanne Pecheles, left, and Brian Pecheles are shown with Courtney Riddle, recipient of The Pecheles Automotive Group Scholarship. (Contributed photo)

Suzanne Pecheles, left, and Brian Pecheles are shown with Courtney Riddle, recipient of The Pecheles Automotive Group Scholarship. (Contributed photo)

The College of Health and Human Performance at East Carolina University presented approximately $100,000 in scholarship awards to 94 students during the Pecheles Automotive Group scholarship breakfast April 4 at the ECU Murphy Center.

This is the 10th consecutive year that Pecheles Automotive Group has sponsored the event.

“We are proud to sponsor this event that recognizes a growing number of scholarship recipients,” said Brian Pecheles, president of the Pecheles Automotive Group.

The scholarships ranged from $250 to $2,000 each and were granted to students enrolled in the College of Health and Human Performance for the 2014-2015 academic year. Private donations fund the scholarships, created to honor outstanding faculty and friends of the college.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the Pecheles Automotive Group,” said Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance.  “In partnership with this successful business leader, we can gather together benefactors and students.  Scholarship recipients learn about why others give back and donors hear firsthand how their gifts make a difference.  This event is of mutual benefit on both sides of the table.”

Nearly 300 people attended the breakfast, including scholarship recipients, their guests, scholarship donors, advancement council members, faculty and staff.

The following students were recognized:

University Book Exchange Scholarship:   Taylor Gates

William E. Cain Scholarship:   Crystal Odom and Breanna Whitehurst

The Pecheles Automotive Group Scholarship:   Courtney Riddle

Emilie Tilley Scholarship:   Morgan Lawson, Emily LeBuhn and LaNecia Thompson

Walter and Marie Williams Scholarship:  Ashley Isaman, Kristen Jones, Kasie King, Samantha Niland and Hunter Staup

Jimmy E. Creech Graduate Fellowship: Michael Bell, John Freeman and Jacob Schaffer

John P. and Harriet I. Hudson Scholarship:  Morgan Bralley

Captain Christopher Cash Memorial Scholarship:  Latasha Easter, Jenna Potter, Brittany Talbot, Melvin Hardy and Tracy Floyd

David Alexander Scholarship:  Madison Keesling

Abeyounis Family Scholarship: Christopher Mygrant

Jane B. Waller Scholarship:  Travis Haysley

HHP Advancement Council Scholarship:  Alexandra Beamon, Emma Brown, Mikayla Huf,

Madison Josey, Jaclyn Parker, and Kenneth Quinlan

George F. Whitfield Scholarship:   Sidney Chadwick

The Clement Companies Scholarship:  Joshua Lawrence

Harold H. Bate Endowed Scholarship:  Sarah Coccia

Carol Stamper Memorial Scholarship:  Aleaha Tayoun and Pui Ki Lam

Dr. Jerry McGee Scholarship:  Olivia Holden

G. Brantley and Barbara F. Aycock Scholarship:   Geoffrey Cash

Gay Blocker Scholarship:   William Myatt

George Williams Memorial Scholarship:   Holden Adams

Nell Stallings Scholarship:   Amanda Glowacki

Catherine A. Bolton Scholarship:   Samuel Shepperd

Dr. Jimmie R. Grimsley Scholarship:   Katherine Gray

Mike Bunting Scholarship:   Holly Johnson

Ernest Schwarz Memorial Scholarship:   Nicholas Jones

Merry Sandra Aycock Kennedy Scholarship:   Antravius Mitchell-Fuentes

Jim and Wendy Dill Scholarship:  Allison Tamney and Carson Shepard

Catherine V. McCulley Memorial Scholarship:   Carmen Moyer

Ronnie P. Barnes Scholarship:   Bethany Pirtle

Athletic Training Alumni Scholarship:   Kathryn Malatestinic

Mike Bunting Scholarship:   Spencer Sanderson

Mollie Berry Davenport Scholarship:   Nia Williams

Patricia C. Dunn Scholarship:   Shikha Malla

Trenton and Kay Davis Scholarship:    Megan Hare

Henry VanSant Memorial Scholarship:   Shelby Hairston

Rick and Linda Barnes Scholarship:   Johnny Signorelli

Jamie and Jonathan Williams Scholarship:   Michelle Fasano

Chenoweth & Associates Scholarship:   Jaclyn Glosson

James Mulligan Memorial Scholarship:  Christa Sanderford

Charles A. Vincent Memorial Scholarship:   Tina Brown

Mike Bunting Scholarship:   Savannah Welborn

Keene Spirit of Service Scholarship:  Kara Tucker

Peggy Pruett Cromer Scholarship:   Chelsea Turner

Michael Duquette Scholarship:  Tori Pinchuk

Michael and Joni Bass Scholarship:  Taylor Barbour

Robert L. Jones Scholarship for Wounded Warriors:  Dominiquie Clemmons-James and Brenton  Laing

LTC Colonel Daniel and Heather Heape Scholarship:  Cadet Steven Hamilton

Colonel Joseph G. Cincotti Memorial Scholarship:   Cadet Mikayla Paluzzi

Captain David “JP” Thompson Memorial Scholarship:   Cadet Brandon Burton

Colonel Mattie Parker Scholarship:   Cadet Emily Smith

Ruth Glass Bunting Scholarship:   Cadets Taylor Kehoe and Samantha Swehla

Mike Bunting Scholarship:   Cadet Vincent Holthouse

Walter and Marie Williams Scholarship:   Cadets Skyler Stoddard and Bradley Shepard

Archie Burnett Scholarship:   Cadets James Sloss and John Kistler

Chief Master Sergeant Robert L. Smith Scholarship:    Cadets James Hunter and Joshua Cole

The ‘High Flight’ Spirit Scholarship:    Cadet Travis Paul

Keith and Janie Oliphant Scholarship:    Cadets Danielle Olecki and Hussein Qureshi

Kirk and Dasha Little Scholarship:    Cadet Clayton Brock

Bill & Nancy Miller Scholarship:    Cadet Ean Lisk

Lt. Colonel Ed Tadlock Scholarship:    Cadet Renard Hamlette

General Gary North Scholarship:    Cadet Grace Nickel

Colonel J. Worth Carter DMSS Scholarship:   Cadet Dakota Givens

Major General William Dutch & Norma Holland Scholarship:   Cadet Danielle Klavik

Mike Bunting Scholarship:   Cadets Breanna Swartout, Breanna Dean, and Kenneth Bridges

Archie Burnett Scholarship:  Cadets Jonathan Jeffries and Kylan Rogers

Clifton Boyd Scholarship:  Cadet Louie Wilkerson

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Altman elected to AKA board

Dr. Stacey Altman, chair of the Department of Kinesiology, has been elected to The American Kinesiology Association Board of Directors.

Altman

The board and an executive committee oversee the organization, which promotes kinesiology as a unified field of study and advances its many professional applications.AKA does this by advocating for kinesiology at national and international levels and by providing its member departments with resource materials, leadership and educational opportunities.

“This election demonstrates the high opinion her colleagues have for her and the leadership she provides to one of the best Kinesiology Departments in the country,” said Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance.

Altman will serve on the board for a three-year term from 2014 to 2017.

At ECU since 2002, Altman became chair of the Department of Kinesiology in 2008.  Altman earned an undergraduate degree from Coastal Carolina University and a master’s at the University of Georgia. She earned a doctorate in law from the University of Alabama.

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HHP blood challenge exceeds expectations

A challenge between East Carolina University students in two College of Health and Human Performance courses led to the collection of 333 units of blood Feb. 18 and 19 at Mendenhall Student Center.

The HLTH 1000 and EXSS1000 Blood Challenge, which encouraged students in those classes to complete through blood donations, exceeded its goal of 300 units. This year’s winning department was the Department of Kinesiology, which reached 11.7 percent with 198 donors from a possible 1,686 students enrolled in EXSS1000. The Department of Health Education and Promotion came in a close second with 11.5 percent, drawing 273 donors from a possible 2,375 HLTH 1000 students.

The event was coordinated by Debra Tavasso and Brian Cavanaugh in Health Education and Promotion, along with Grace Anne Vick in the Department of Kinesiology. Graduate teaching assistants who teach the two courses served as volunteers for the challenge.

Each unit of blood collected has the potential to save three lives.

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ECU professor publishes in Journal of Sport Management

stacy headshot2

Dr. Stacy Warner

An article by East Carolina University professor Dr. Stacy Warner in the Department of Kinesiology was published in the September 2013 issue of Journal of Sport Management.

Titled “Examining sense of community in sport: Developing the multidimensional ‘SCS’ scale,” the article discussed the need for an instrument that measures social benefits of sports.  The research was completed with co-authors Dr. Shannon Kerwin of Brock University and Dr. Matthew Walker of Texas A &M University.

The results of this work yielded a valid and reliable 21-item instrument to measure the sense of community experienced in sport setting. According to the researchers, sport organizations often claim that being able to quantify this social benefit is fundamental to justifying the benefits of appropriately managed sport programs or pinpointing weaknesses in its management. Specifically, the instrument assesses Administrative Consideration, Common Interest, Equity in Administrative Decisions, Leadership Opportunity, Social Spaces, and Competition.

Warner’s research interests are in the roles that sport and sport culture play in the lives of individuals through families, communities, work environments and social networks.  This research specifically focuses on organizational structures that optimize community building and development in a way that improves the life quality for athletes.

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