Departing Brody students offer annual ‘Day of Service’

Medical students participate in Brody Day of Service. (Contributed photos)

Medical students participate in Brody Day of Service. (Contributed photos)

Before learning where they’d be placed for medical residency, 80 students from ECU’s Brody School of Medicine spent a Day of Service giving back to the place they’ve called home for the last four years.

“Brody is built on a commitment of service to eastern North Carolina in gratitude for the opportunity to learn the art of medicine from its citizens,” said medical student Lindsey Fix, class president for 2014. “So much of our training emphasizes how our role as physicians will be to care for and improve the health of the community in which we live and work.

“Going to school in a rural part of the country gives us countless opportunities to help people in need. The act of service is simply integral to the Brody experience and the culture of our medical school.” 3

The fourth-year medical students participated in varied projects Friday, March 14. Some related directly to their involvement in medicine, such as service to the student-run Grimesland Clinic or performing maintenance at the Ronald McDonald House, which offers a place to stay for families of children receiving care at Vidant Medical Center.

Students prepared for the upcoming St. Baldrick’s Day event – the third one sponsored by the class of 2014 – which raises money and awareness for pediatric cancer research by shaving volunteers’ heads. The Greenville Community Shelter clinic was also renovated, cleaned and stocked during the service day.

Others projects were simply about meeting a need. Students hosted a pancake breakfast for the families and patients at the Hope Lodge who are receiving cancer therapy at Vidant and live too far away to commute. Others worked with students at the Little Willie Center and helped clean and update the facilities.

Habitat for Humanity and the Center for Domestic Violence also both received help from Brody students during the Day of Service.

The class of 2014 gift to the Brody School of Medicine was to update and renovate the student lending library for pre-clinical and clinical students. This involved collecting book donations, organizing resources and relocating the library to within the med school.

Each project was chosen by the students based on experiences and long-term commitments to service made previously with these organizations, Fix said. Many students have been working with these groups for their entire four years of medical school – some even as undergraduates at ECU.

“For most of us, it was a way to thank these groups for being a part of our lives over the past few years,” Fix said. “The class of 2014 is proud of Brody and proud of our community. Before we officially become doctors and scatter to residencies across the nation, we wanted this opportunity to try and repay some of the generosity that has allowed us to reach this amazing point in our lives.”



ECU student selected for writing award



A short story by East Carolina University creative writing student Tim Bachanan, titled “Mezuzah,” was selected by Daniel Chacón as a winner in the Association of Writers & Writing Programs’ Intro Journals Awards.

The Intro Journals Project is a literary competition for the discovery and publication of the best new works by students enrolled in AWP member programs. The piece will be published in the literary journal Puerto Del Sol.

For additional information about the AWP and this year’s award winners, visit


ECU student team competes against other universities at Social Entrepreneurship Conference

Four undergraduate students will represent East Carolina University on Friday at a UNC-system 2014 Social Entrepreneurship Conference at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.

The ECU students are Trey Cook, Annaliese Gillette, Jessie Tucci-Herron and Justin Safin.

The team, called “Pirates Provide,” spent the fall semester working with Third Street Community Center in Greenville. They created a unique business plan to present at the social entrepreneurship competition based on the proposed development of a two-acre community garden at the center. The students will compete against 25 other undergraduate student teams at the event.

The garden is the centerpiece of the students’ proposal to create Third Street Community Harvest to address the social need of healthy food options. The goal is to provide residents access to affordable, fresh food and education about gardening and healthy lifestyle choices.

The center is located in a food desert area and within walking distance of most of the population of west Greenville, which is bounded by the Tar River, Memorial Drive, Greenville Boulevard and Fifth Street.

The garden would be established and maintained by the combined efforts of the community harvest, community partners and neighborhood residents including Pitt County’s Master Gardeners program. Grants, corporate and individual donations would be sought to help pay for an estimated $33,000 in start-up costs. Long-term plans call for the center to establish a culinary school and a small restaurant.

Faculty advisors are Austin Bunch, Ron Mitchelson, Beth Velde, Todd Fraley and Kindal Shores.

The concept of social entrepreneurship involves identifying large-scale social problems and working to solve them in creative ways. Positive social change is the goal, with or without profit earnings. The conference’s keynote speaker will be Tom Szaky, founder and chief executive officer of TerraCycle, a company that collects traditionally non-recyclable waste that is recycled into consumer products and materials that are then sold to retailers. The company is recognized for producing some of the most eco-friendly products in America.


ECU sorority to host 5K race, pasta dinner

The Kappa Delta Chapter at East Carolina University will host a “Shamrock ‘N’ Run” 5K run and walk to raise funds for Prevent Child Abuse America on March 1, beginning at Greenville Town Common.

A post-race party will include refreshments, music and an awards ceremony.

A pre-race Pump-up Pasta Dinner will be held on Feb. 28, the evening before the race, from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Greenville Masonic Lodge near the Provence apartments.

The event is the sorority’s 6th annual fundraiser for Prevent Child Abuse America, and the group raised $20,000 last year.  This year’s goal is $25,000. Local proceeds benefit TEDI BEAR Advocacy Center in Greenville.

Registration for the race is available at or by contacting a member of the Kappa Delta sorority at ECU. Race fees are $15 and T-shirts from the event are $10. On race day, registration will begin at 7:30 a.m.

Tickets for the Feb. 28 all-you-can-eat pasta meal are $5 before Feb. 27 and $8 at the door.

For additional information, contact Brittany Butler, vice president of public relations for Kappa Delta Sorority, at or by calling (910) 934-3381.


ECU student wrestling against the norm

Aleigh Patterson (Contributed photo)

Aleigh Patterson
(Contributed photo)



By Chris Stansbury
ECU Student Affairs

A little advice from mom can go a long way in life. For East Carolina University sophomore Aleigha Patterson, that valuable advice came when she was a headstrong seventh grader.

“You are going to do great things,” her mom said. “Decide what you want to be, work at it and do it.”

The advice was pretty simple, but Patterson took it to heart and to the mat – the wrestling mat.  She’s now the only female competing on ECU’s Club Wrestling Team.

“I was always a rough kid and I liked wrestling,” said the Lenoir native. “I knew wrestling was pretty much done only by boys, but that wasn’t going to stop me from giving it my best shot.”

In 2008, she tried out and made the high school wrestling team. She trailed 10-1 in points going into the third period of her first match, but Patterson never quit. She remembers it vividly.

“I was able to get into a good position and put my opponent in a half nelson and pinned him to win the match,” she recalled.

Even as a girl in a male-dominated sport, Patterson pushed herself to get better. She credits high school coach Josh Woodruff as a key person in making her a better wrestler and a better person.  Woodruff was an ally when there wasn’t a long line of people in her corner, she said.

“Some coaches refused to send out a wrestler to face me. I couldn’t believe they actually took a match forfeit rather than having someone wrestle me.”

It was difficult for Patterson’s mom, Hollin Honeycutt, to hear other wrestlers and even other parents call her daughter names and tell her she didn’t belong in wrestling. But it was the physical barrages that pushed her mom over the top.

“It got to the point where my mom stopped going to the matches because it was too much for her to watch. One wrestling competitor actually punched me in the face repeatedly during a match.”

So why continue wrestling? Patterson said she likes the fact that it’s a battle – just two people squaring off face-to-face to see who can walk away on top.

“I wrestled against the boys for four years. I didn’t win every match. In fact, I probably lost more than I won. But I never quit.”

She started her college career at ECU in 2012 and discovered Club Wrestling. The advice of her single mother rang out once again: Find your passion and do it. But there is a big difference between high school and college, especially in wrestling.

“These guys are much bigger, much faster and a whole lot stronger,” Patterson said.  “But I still wanted to give it my best shot.”

Trey Wade, president of the club wrestling team, said Patterson’s stubbornness and commitment to succeed is a great combination.

“She is driven by the opposition against her,” said Wade. “When she hits the mat, we don’t treat her like a male or female, she is a wrestler trying to survive, trying to tackle a challenge and trying to succeed in life.”

At ECU, Patterson is able to wrestle against other females in competitive matches. And like many Pirates, she has her sights on lofty goals, both personally and for her university.

“I want to make history by winning nationals while an ECU Pirate. After that, my next goal is to make the Olympic team in 2016 or 2020.”

Patterson will compete in a tournament in Oklahoma this spring and hopefully earn a place at the 2014 nationals in Texas. Until then, she will rely on her perseverance, determination and the continued support and guidance of her coaches and, of course, her mom.

For further information on any of more than 40 club sports sponsored by ECU Campus Recreation & Wellness, contact Justin Waters at or 252-328-6387.