ECU social work student featured in New Social Worker magazine

An original poem and rap video created by East Carolina University senior Landon Digh in ECU’s social work program will be featured in The New Social Worker magazine’s 2015 Social Work Month Series.

Digh’s presentation, titled “You ARE a Social Worker,” will included on the magazine’s web site during March, which is Social Work Month. http://www.socialworker.com/topics/social-work-month-2015/. 

His related video will be placed on YouTube.

Digh’s poem follows:

You ARE a Social Worker

To put it into words is not as easy as you think,
It takes courage, drive, motivation, and will
A push for change doesn’t happen in a blink,
That’s why to be in this field you’ll need more than just skill
A thrill to heal, you’ll find you’re never really still, until,
You change one life, and then more, and more
And pretty soon it comes natural; you’re acting so casual
The look on a child’s face when you walk in gets you razzled, dazzled, unraveled
How could a simple hug from you create so much magic?
Then you stop, and you ponder-
All the times that you’ve wondered,
Am I cut out for this job? Do I really even matter?
That’s when you realize you’re a batter, striking out or hitting homers
Either way you DO matter,
Things you do make things BETTER
A hero in the making, though some may call you villain
You do it all for the greater, the prisoner, the children
You strive to find a home for a retired, homeless veteran
And then the day is through and somehow you gain composure,
But there’s so much left to do, people to help, help things further
Just look up, smile, and know
You ARE a Social Worker

Poem/Rap by Landon Digh
Social Work BSW
East Carolina University

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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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ECU graduate to use grant to fund Project Opera Camp

Brenton O’Hara, left, and Kate McKinney (Submitted photo)

Brenton O’Hara, left, and Kate McKinney (Submitted photo)

A recent ECU music graduate will use a $20,000 prize from the University of South Carolina to fund a non-profit that will introduce opera to disadvantaged children.

Brenton O’Hara, who graduated in 2013 and who is now enrolled in the master’s degree in opera theater program at USC, was half of a team that won the Maxient Social Impact prize. The prize was one of several awarded on Nov. 18 as part of USC’s annual Proving Ground entrepreneurial competition. Working on the project with O’Hara was his girlfriend, recent USC music graduate Kate McKinney.

O’Hara and McKinney will use the money to support a non-profit organization they founded, Project Opera Camp, which seeks to promote life skills among underserved children through the arts. O’Hara said the camp will accommodate about 40 elementary and middle school-age children from Charleston, South Carolina and will run the first two weeks of June. In September, the organization will offer after-school arts programs in Charleston schools.

O’Hara said campers will be nominated by teachers at schools with a high percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Using opera as a vehicle to teach life skills, classes will include skills not typically taught in the classroom like wellness and yoga, leadership seminars and team-building exercises. The camp will culminate with performances of a children’s opera that will demonstrate participants’ self-esteem and allow them to express themselves in an artistic way, O’Hara said.

O’Hara said the couple chose Charleston as the site of the camp because they developed ties to the arts community there after volunteering at last year’s Spoleto Festival.

O’Hara is a native of Pinehurst. While at ECU, he was president of the Student Forum for Musical Organizations.

– Steve Tuttle

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Named to high school hall of fame

Tynita Butts (Photo courtesy of Alexandria News)

Tynita Butts (Photo courtesy of Alexandria News)

Tynita Butts, the record-setting high jumper on ECU’s track and field team who won the Penn Relays twice and was named an NCAA All-American six times, was inducted into her high school’s sports hall of fame. The ceremony was held Dec. 8 at T.C. Williams High School in her hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

Butts graduated last May with a degree in sociology and a concentration in marriage and family relations. She is working at an athletic clothing retailer in Washington, D.C., while pursuing professional sports.

She tied for second in the high jump at the NCAA track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., last June. That’s the highest-ever finish by an ECU athlete at the NCAA nationals. She finished her ECU career as the school record holder in both the high jump (1.91-meters) and long jump (6.22-meters). She qualified for the NCAA Championships every year in which she competed at the collegiate level.

During her high school career she was a two-time Virginia state champion and two-time Penn Relays champion in the jumping events. She was honored as The Washington Post’s Track and Field Athlete of the Year as well as Gatorade Athlete of the Year.

Ranked first in the nation in the high jump and second in the long jump her last season as a Pirate, Butts recorded four first-place finishes in the high jump and won the event at the 2014 Conference USA Outdoor Championships.

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ECU grad student lecturing at Sylvan Heights Bird Park

ECU biology graduate student Dustin Foote, assistant curator at Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck, will present a series of educational lectures monthly through 2015.

Foote is a graduate of Cornell University pursuing a master’s in biology from ECU. He has held internships at the San Diego Zoo and Emerald Forest Bird Gardens and served one year in an assistantship at Sylvan Heights before assuming the role of assistant curator.

For additional information, visit http://shwpark.com/.

parktalks_print72

 

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ECU student awarded scholarship for international conference

ECU master of social work student Jennifer Roofner won the Christian Hartline Scholarship to attend the International Eating Disorder Professionals 2015 Symposium in Phoenix, Arizona.

Roofner

Roofner

The scholarship pays for conference registration and Roofner will be presented a $1,000 check at a banquet set for March 19.

Roofner said she was excited to represent ECU at the international conference. “My ECU education and the professors I have had…have not only inspired me beyond my personal expectations, but also they have encouraged me to follow my passions,” she said.

“They have guided me to become a self-confident woman to apply for such scholarships and be fearless in doing so.”

Roofner is pursuing a masters of social work with a concentration on eating disorders.

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Polar Bear Plunge set for Jan. 22

Jumpers from the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge prepare to take a dip in the icy waters of the outdoor pool at ECU's Student Recreation Center.

Jumpers at the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge prepare to take a dip in the icy waters of the outdoor pool at ECU’s Student Recreation Center.

The 19th Annual Polar Bear Plunge will be held at the Student Recreation Center at 7 p.m. Jan. 22. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and at 7 p.m., ECU students, faculty and staff will take the plunge into the icy waters of the outdoor swimming pool.

This event began in 1997 with only 35 participants, as a part of the grand opening week for the Student Recreation Center. For the past three years, jumpers have numbered more than 1,000 each year.

The first event started with only 35 participants and has had over 1,000 participants for the last three years.

Swimsuits are required and participants should bring their own towel. T-Shirts are guaranteed for the first 1,100 jumpers.

For additional information, contact Campus Recreation & Wellness at 252-328-6387 or visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-studentaffairs/crw/programs/special_events/polarbear-plunge.cfm.

Postcard_2side_2015

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ECU student becomes Red Hat Certified Engineer

ECU junior Benjamin Tillett-Wakeley has passed requirements to become a Red Hat Certified Engineer.

Tillett-Wakeley

Tillett-Wakeley

A former film theory major, Benjamin Tillett-Wakeley transferred in fall 2013 into ECU’s information and computer technology program in technology systems in the College of Engineering and Technology.

In December, Tillett-Wakeley became a Red Hat Certified Engineer, which according to the Red Hat website, indicates that he “possesses the additional skills, knowledge, and abilities required of a senior system administrator responsible for Red Hat Enterprises Linux systems.”

Red Hat, based in Raleigh, is a multinational software company providing open-source software products.

Tillett-Wakeley said his interest in Linux, an open computer operating system, inspired him to sit for the certification exam. “The RHCE is a widely-recognized Linux certification and it will benefit me when applying to jobs that require knowledge of Linux,” he said. “The exam was difficult, but I was well-prepared. It’s a bit trickier than other certifications because it’s entirely lab based.”

Tillett-Wakeley is from Kitty Hawk.

“Film-making will always be an interest of mine, but I realized I wanted something that would provide a more stable career,” Tillett-Wakeley said. “I chose ECU because it offers solid courses at a great value. The ICT curriculum is well-designed and offers the types of courses I wanted.”

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ECU College of Engineering and Technology student, instructor win national award

Pictured at the award event are industry partner Shixiong Shang of Nephos6, ECU senior Dustin Stocks, ECU instructor John Pickard, and Dr. Ciprian Popoviciu, founder and CEO of Nephos6, based in Raleigh.

Pictured at the award event are industry partner Shixiong Shang of Nephos6, ECU senior Dustin Stocks, ECU instructor John Pickard, and Dr. Ciprian Popoviciu, founder and CEO of Nephos6, based in Raleigh.

Dustin Stocks, an information and computer technology major at East Carolina University, and ECU instructor John Pickard recently won the Academic Innovations award at the North American IPv6 Summit in Denver, Colorado.

Pickard, who teaches in the Department of Technology Systems in the College of Engineering and Technology, and Stocks presented research and findings from what started as a collaborative class project at ECU with industry partner, Nephos6.

Pickard uses industry partners in his courses because “direct industry engagement in the classroom creates a mutually beneficial relationship between students, industry, and academia,” he said.

Stocks and ECU classmate Ryan Hammond worked with Nephos6, a cloud technology firm in Raleigh whose founder and CEO, Dr. Ciprian Popoviciu, has supported the ICT program for many years.

The project researched the effectiveness of 263 government agency websites that have enabled the new Internet Protocol version 6, commonly referred to as IPv6. The original IPv6 transition timeline set by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has not been met by many federal government agencies.

Under the direction of Pickard and Popoviciu, the ECU students evaluated the government websites by using v6Sonar, a cloud based monitoring service developed by Nephos6. “This is important, valuable and actionable data that helps organizations make their IPv6 transition effective,” Popoviciu said.

Stocks, a former Marine, said his military experience helped to prepare him for his education. “The military taught me how to set a goal, and achieve that goal with efficiency and effectiveness. Learning how to set goals and prioritize tasks has been the key to succeeding this far with this project, and college in general,” Stocks said.

Networking with industry representatives at the summit boosted his confidence in securing a job after graduation in May, he said. “Seeing the application of what I’m learning in the classroom and being able to see the big picture and how it fits in context with my education is important,” Stocks said. “The biggest thing I took away from this experience is how important it is to not do anything half way but do everything to your full potential.”

The award was given because of the outstanding work that Stocks continued after meeting the requirement of the class project. There is likely future research associated with this project based on the favorable response of the summit attendees, Pickard said.

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