ECU physics professor receives prestigious award

East Carolina University professor of physics Dr. Gregory Lapicki was honored as the 2015 Helms Faculty Award recipient from the ECU chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

Dr. Gregory Lapicki

Dr. Gregory Lapicki

Presented April 17, the award recognized a paper Lapicki co-authored, “Experimental Cross Sections for L-shell X-ray Production and Ionization by Protons.” The paper explains reactions that occur in individuals undergoing proton therapy, a treatment for some cancers.

“The award validates the worth of our research,” said Lapicki. “In this case, through my fruitful collaboration with Javier Miranda from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.”

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, is one of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world. The ECU chapter was chartered in 1974.

The Helms Faculty Research Award was established in 1987 by R. Marshall Helms, a longtime ECU physics professor, to honor three members of his family who were involved in research and teaching at ECU. The award focuses on the impact a single publication has on the research discipline, and cycles between faculty in biological sciences, medical/social sciences and mathematics and physical sciences.

Lapicki joined the ECU physics faculty in 1981.

For additional information, contact Lapicki at 252-328-6894 or


ECU professor publishes review of Nobel Prize winner, mentor

 Shouquan Huo

Shouquan Huo

An article written by chemistry professor Shouquan Huo with graduate students Rob Mroz and Jeff Carroll, “Negishi coupling in the synthesis of advanced electronic, optical, electrochemical, and magnetic materials,” is available at!divAbstract.

The Royal Society of Chemistry invited Huo to submit the review article of work done by his mentor, Nobel Prize winner Ei-ichi Negishi of Purdue University. The work was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Organic Chemistry Frontiers.


Research makes cover of premier accounting journal

An article authored by East Carolina University accounting professor Rebecca Fay made the front page of the Journal of Accountancy, the leading journal published by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The magazine reaches 500,000 accounting and finance professionals each month, more than all other accounting publications combined.

Rebecca Fay

Rebecca Fay

The article, “I’m not biased, am I?” was published as the Journal of Accountancy’s cover story on Feb. 1, 2015. Norma R. Montague, assistant professor of accounting at Wake Forest University, served as co-author.

In the report, the authors explored five common judgment biases that can affect accounting and auditing decisions, concluding that learning how to spot and short-circuit these biases can help CPAs maintain their objectivity. The authors also included a decision-making quiz so that readers can learn about their decision-making process and how it relates to their accounting work.

Fay explained, “The first step toward enhancing our decisions is recognizing the specific problems that may occur. In 60 seconds the quiz provides readers with an opportunity to determine whether common types of bias are affecting their decisions. It shifts the topic of bias from merely a textbook concept to something that is relevant to the reader personally. Hopefully the article will pique interest and point readers to the wealth of literature available.”

Click here for the full article:

Fay joined the ECU College of Business as an assistant professor of accounting in Fall 2011. Originally from Virginia, she earned her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech and holds both a B.S. and an M.B.A. from Liberty University. She is s a licensed CPA and has seven years of experience in public accounting. She worked as an audit manager with Cherry, Bekaert & Holland before returning to academia.


Hoppenthaler publishes third volume of poetry



John Hoppenthaler, an associate professor in the English Department, has just published his third volume of poems, “Domestic Garden,” with Carnegie Mellon University Press, a foremost publisher of poetry in the United States.

Hoppenthaler’s previous publications include “Lives of Water” and “Anticipate the Coming Reservoir.” He co-edited “Jean Valentine: This-World Company,” a collection of essays on the poetry of Jean Valentine. Hoppenthaler also edits “A Poetry Congeries” for the journal Connotation Press: An Online Artifact.

Visit for more details


Mercer to co-edit series on human enhancement technologies

East Carolina University professor Calvin Mercer has been named co-editor of a new series, “Palgrave Studies in the Future of Humanity and Its Successors.”

Calvin Mercer

Calvin Mercer

The series addresses human enhancement therapies and technologies, applying multiple disciplines to examine an intellectual and cultural movement that advocates the use of emerging technologies including genetic engineering, regenerative medicine, robotics and nanotechnology.

These emerging technologies may enhance desirable human mental and physical abilities while ameliorating human conditions deemed undesirable. Advocates suggest the developments could permit humans to take control of their own evolution and alter the human condition in fundamental ways. Economic, ethical, political, religious, social and other implications of such enhancements are increasingly being discussed.

Sharp disagreements over the social value, morality and feasibility of human enhancement have emerged in early conversations. Mercer said the series will not take an advocacy position. Rather, it will provide a forum for thoughtful debate.

Mercer is an ECU professor of religious studies and director of ECU’s religious studies program. He was the founding chair of the American Academy of Religion Transhumanism and Religion Group, now in its seventh year of successful programs at the annual national meetings. Mercer has co-edited three books and authored several articles on this topic.

His co-editor is Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick.

“The questions and issues addressed in the series play critical roles in our welfare and our future,” Mercer said. “I anticipate that increasingly public policy experts, politicians and political think tanks will take up human enhancement technology. An established and reputable series will be well positioned to contribute to this expanded conversation.”


Albright book chronicles B-1 Band history

ECU English professor Alex Albright was interviewed this month on the WUNC N.C. Public Radio program, “The State of Things,” about his recent book titled “The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy.” (Hear the interview at

Alex Albright

Alex Albright

The book details the history of a band of integration pioneers from N.C. A&T University, who were the first African Americans to serve in the modern U.S. Navy at a rank higher than messman’s.

Albright chronicles the history of The B-1 Band, founded in 1942 as the first of more than 100 black WWII Navy bands. Formed from NC A&T students and graduates, the group trained at Norfolk and served at the Navy’s pre-flight school in Chapel Hill and at Pearl Harbor, where they were stationed at the largest posting of African American servicemen in the world.

Previous histories have credited B-1’s historic accomplishment to a different group of sailors who trained at the Great Lakes bases in Chicago. Albright used documents found at the Navy’s national archives at College Park, Md. to support the claim he had heard from the surviving members of B-1 for years.

“Until I found those documents, all we ever had was an oral history,” said Albright. “And the documents I found had never been cataloged.”

“The Forgotten First,” released Oct. 24, has received praise from poet and novelist Fred Chappell, Navy Senior Chief Musician Michael Bayes and retired Navy Masterchief Musician Marshall B. Hawkins. The 196-page book includes 70 photos and illustrations, extensive notes and a bibliography. B-1’s archives, housed in Special Collections at ECU, was the source for many of the book’s images.

Copies are available at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro; UBE in Greenville; Woodside Antiques in Farmville; and at Fountain General Store in Fountain. Copies are also available on Amazon and from R.A. Fountain’s, Kindle, Nook, and Lulu editions are forthcoming.

Design for the book was done by former ECU art professor Eva Roberts, award-winning art director of the North Carolina Literary Review from 1991-96. It was printed in Greenville by Morgan Printing.

A review of the book by O Henry magazine, along with an excerpt, is available at

Albright will participate in a book signing at UBE in Greenville Dec. 21 with B-1 veteran Huey Lawrence.

For additional information, contact Albright at 252-749-7974. For a calendar of events related to the book, visit



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.


ECU researchers uncover secrets related to fat, estrogen

Research by an East Carolina University professor and co-authors could generate ideas on how fat interacts with estrogen to cause problem areas for weight gain in women.



Dr. Bob Hickner, professor in the ECU Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance, worked with Kathleen Gavin, a post doc fellow at the University of Colorado in Denver; ECU alumnus Dustin Raymer and ECU graduate student Elizabeth Cooper.

The team determined that estrogen’s effect on fat depends on where the fat deposit is located. Those effects could explain why some premenopausal women have difficulty losing their pear shape even when they exercise. They could also help generate some new ideas on how estrogen in fat may influence why postmenopausal women tend to accumulate more fat in the abdomen.

The authors suggest that more research is necessary to better understand the mechanisms behind how and why estrogen acts in these differential ways.

The article is titled, “Estradiol Effects on Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Lipolysis in Premenopausal Women are Adipose Tissue Depot Specific and Treatment Dependent.” It appears in the June edition of the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, published by the American Physiological Society, and available at

Hickner is director of the Ph.D. program in bioenergetics and exercise science at ECU and co-director of research at the Center for Health Disparities Research.