Excels program celebrates student achievement

ECU alumnus Eric Kosco was keynote speaker at the Excels event.

ECU alumnus Eric Kosco was keynote speaker at the Excels event.

The East Carolina University College of Health and Human Performance celebrated its high achieving freshmen and transfer students at an Excels program Feb. 20 at Club Level, Dowdy Ficklen Stadium.

The event recognized 334 freshmen and transfer students with a GPA of 3.0 and above including 25 on the chancellor’s list, 134 on the dean’s list and 175 on the honor roll.

Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance welcomed the students and parents. “HHP has a long history with interesting and challenging career options,” he said.

His remarks were followed by the keynote speaker, ECU alumnus Eric Kosco.

Kosco graduated from ECU in 2013 with a bachelor of science in athletic training and is pursuing a degree in physical therapy.

Megan Warfield of Hickory, exercise physiology major, and her parents attended.  “This event makes me feel good about my hard work,” she said.

Students received an HHP t-shirt following an activity that allowed them meet peers and faculty in the college.

ECU student Megan Warfield

ECU student Megan Warfield

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In Memoriam – Jimmy Grimsley

Grimsley

Grimsley

Dr. Jimmy Grimsley, ECU alumnus and faculty emeritus, passed away Jan. 28. He was 70.

Grimsley joined the ECU faculty in 1967 to teach and serve as head coach of both tennis and soccer for men. Following a brief leave of absence to earn his doctoral degree from the University of Georgia in 1972, he returned to ECU, where he continually taught for more than 40 years in the Department of Kinesiology.

He was known for his outstanding memory, student advising and mentoring of former students. He was a mentor and friend to his colleagues. His sincerity and practical advice were valued by many.

As an associate professor, he served as director of graduate studies, director of clinical experiences, and coordinator of physical education programs. He contributed significantly to the University through his service on search, accreditation and other committees, including the President’s Advisory Committee, Faculty Senate, and the Graduate School.

He was a strong supporter of ECU and Pitt County Schools athletics. He served as the scoreboard operator at ECU football and basketball games for several decades.

Above all else, he cared about students and was a strong and effective student advocate. He leaves a legacy as a caring, knowledgeable, well-loved professor, who understood the field of physical education. He will be missed in the hallways of Minges Coliseum.

Gifts may be made payable to the ECU Foundation, Inc. for The Jimmie Grimsley Scholarship and mailed to:

Tammy C. Garris

Greenville Centre, Room 2211

East Carolina University

2200 South Charles Blvd.

Greenville, NC 27858

Mail Stop 301

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Recreation, leisure studies professor inducted in national academy

Williams

Williams

Dr. Richard Williams, associate professor in ECU’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, was named fellow of the National Academy of Recreational Therapists. He was inducted during the national organization’s annual conference Sept. 15 in Oklahoma City.

Williams earned an undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Georgia. He joined the ECU faculty in 2000.

Williams received the University Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2006 and the UNC Board of Governor’s Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award in 2013.

His scholarly interests include public policy and research into the efficacy of recreational therapy.

The National Academy of Recreational Therapists is an honorary organization composed of the most accomplished leaders who have made significant and sustained contributions to the profession of recreational therapy.

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ECU professor receives gubernatorial appointment

By Kathy Muse
Health and Human Performance

Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed East Carolina University assistant professor Dr. Beth Chaney to the North Carolina Substance Abuse and Underage Drinking Prevention and Treatment Task Force.

Chaney

Chaney

The task force consists of 20 members appointed for a two-year term.

“I am honored to be appointed to the Governor’s task force and am hopeful that we will make positive impacts related to substance abuse and underage drinking prevention,” said Chaney.

Chaney leads a team of ECU researchers in an alcohol field study conducted in downtown Greenville.  The study results will provide important data related to drinking behaviors of over 1,000 bar patrons for the task force to consider when developing recommendations for approaches to address the hazardous drinking issues in North Carolina.

“The behaviors associated with high-risk drinking are complex. Solutions to this problem will demand a multileveled approach, involving changes not only at the individual level, but also at the institutional, community and policy levels,” said Chaney.

Members are charged with preparing a comprehensive plan to address the underage sale and use of alcohol and drugs, risky behaviors and substance abuse among collegians.  Additional work includes providing treatment and recovery services for individuals struggling with substance abuse, according to the executive order which created the task force. “I look forward to working with the task force members to begin to develop strategies for tackling these problems, said Chaney.”

“Substance abuse and underage drinking are critical public health concerns,” said Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance.  “Beth’s service on this task force will add a researcher that understands the behavior of this important population as well as practical approaches to address the issues.”

The task force will build on statewide prevention, treatment and enforcement initiatives implemented by the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, Alcohol Law Enforcement Division, the Department of Health and Human Services and the UNC system.

The governor signed the executive order at ECU May 14.  ECU is one of six University of North Carolina campuses that will take part in a pilot program that will emphasize prevention and treatment.

Chaney earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in health studies from The University of Alabama.  She received a doctorate in health education from Texas A&M University.

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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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