J.H. Rose High, Tar River Writing Project awarded $20,000 grant

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J.H. Rose High School teachers Robert Puckett, left, and Scott Wagoner, right, work with Rose students to plan the 3D printing/ prototyping fabrication lab maker space. Contributed photo.

Students and teachers from J.H. Rose High School in Greenville were on ECU’s campus June 15-19 working with staff from the Tar River Writing Project developing plans to implement an idea that earned them a national grant.

The Tar River Writing Project, housed at ECU in the University Writing Program, and Rose High School were one of one of 14 groups in the nation awarded a $20,000 LRNG Innovation Challenge Grant.

During the week, 11 teachers worked with 15 Rose students designing six maker spaces that will operate during Rose’s 80-minute SMART Block period. Maker spaces, sometimes called hackspaces and fablabs, are communities for people to create, invent, learn and share projects.

The maker spaces at Rose will focus on fashion design, robotics/programming, upcycling/repurposing objects, beat making, digital storytelling/media making, and a 3-D/prototype fabrication lab.

Students will be able to visit and explore in these maker spaces during the school’s SMART Block, which allows students to attend academic sessions with teachers or participate in extracurricular activities. Once students find something that they are interested in, they can pick up and follow interest-driven educational pathways, said Stephanie West-Puckett, Tar River Writing Project associate director and a member of the ECU Department of English faculty.

“This grant gives us an opportunity to design innovative educational spaces together that bridge curricular and extracurricular learning,” she said.

During the weeklong event, the educators from ECU and Rose High designed a curriculum with low barriers for easy access and high ceilings for developing mastery. Each maker space will also have a service project so that students and faculty can use the concepts and tools to benefit others in need, West-Puckett said.

“Pop-up maker stations are at the core of what SMART Block should offer students,” said Monica Jacobson, principal at J.H. Rose. “With the stations, Rose students will be afforded time and access to resources that connect and extend their knowledge. Students will be provided with opportunities to build relationships with their peers, teachers, and community partners that share similar interests while they explore beyond the classroom.”

Educators presented the ideas on the last day of the event to school administrators, community members and parents for their feedback.

Will Banks, director of the University Writing Program and of the Tar River Writing Project, noted, “It’s rare that teachers, students, and community members get to work together to find shared interests and passions—and to remember that passion, not test scores, motivates learning.”

The LRNG Innovation Challenge is a new initiative that invests in forward-looking schools and teachers to design innovative projects that take advantage of new technology to support students’ creativity. It is sponsored in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation and John Legend’s Show Me Campaign.

West-Puckett said musician John Legend wants high school students – with projects like the ones funded by the grants – to be able to pursue their interests, especially in the arts, which may not fit into a traditional curriculum approach.

Rob Puckett, a Rose printing and graphics instructor, is working to develop a 3-D printing & prototyping maker space. “While 3-D printing trinkets and toys is neat, we want to demonstrate how these tools can make a real difference in people’s lives,” he said. “Each semester, we’ll work together on printing a custom-made prosthetic hand with free, open-source plans.”

Fellow Rose teacher Lynn Cox, who is collaborating on a maker space for robotics and computer programming, said, “It was great to have the students here with us and see how eager they are for these kinds of opportunities in school.”

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J.H. Rose High School students and teachers work in groups during a weeklong event in ECU’s Joyner Library to make a pop-up “fabric hacking” maker space. Rose High and the Tar River Writing Project earned a national grant to develop maker spaces and a corresponding curriculum. Contributed photo.

 

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Nursing Student Group Receives National Chapter Award

 ECANS members, from left: Luis Flores, Ava Maritato, Morgan Pullium, Jamie Williams, Leah Shannon, Corrie Hansen, Sydney Howard and Charles Moseley. (Contributed photo)


ECANS members, from left: Luis Flores, Ava Maritato, Morgan Pullium, Jamie
Williams, Leah Shannon, Corrie Hansen, Sydney Howard and Charles Moseley. (Contributed photo)

The East Carolina Association of Nursing Students has been named a Stellar School Chapter by the National Student Nurses Association.

The award, given to just five schools nationwide in 2015, recognizes chapters that demonstrate strong commitment to shared governance, professional development and ongoing involvement in NSNA.

Eight ECU nursing students traveled to Phoenix to receive the award at the 63nd Annual National Student Nurses Association Convention April 8-12.

“This student organization exemplifies the excellence and commitment that is worthy of national recognition,” said Gina Woody, professor of nursing and the group’s faculty advisor.

With more than 230 members, ECANS is the largest constituent member of NCNA in North Carolina. The group, which also earned accolades in 2014, promotes leadership and career development through ongoing membership meetings and a host of community service activities. Organizations served this year include the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, Habitat for Humanity, Operation Sunshine and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

One of ECANS’ keys to success is reaching out to students even before they officially join the College of Nursing. ECANS board members participate in pre-nursing “RX for Success” workshops, which share academic tips for intended nursing majors. The group holds two on-campus meetings each semester for pre-nursing students to learn about the organization. Its members also help intended nursing majors move into the Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village each fall.

Current ECANS President Jamie Williams, a senior nursing student, said that networking with fellow students, faculty and nurse leaders from all across the country has been a memorable part of her education.

“It has been a pleasure to work with an enthusiastic, hardworking board of directors,” she said. “I am proud to have been a part of an amazing pre-professional organization, and to be a part of the Pirate Nurse family.”

Stellar schools are recognized on the NSNA website. Stellar School status is awarded for five years and is renewable with resubmission of an application and supporting documents that demonstrate the chapter continues to meet program criteria.

– Elizabeth Willy

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ECU professors honored with Early Career Award

Two East Carolina University professors are the first to receive the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Early Career Award recognizing exceptional performance by tenure track professors.

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, left, and Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Matthew Whited, assistant professor of psychology, were recognized May 15 as this year’s award recipients.

“I am truly honored by this award. I am lucky to work with great colleagues and students both within and outside ECU,” said Ardon-Sayao. “I thank my colleagues and the THCAS Advancement Council for this recognition of my work.”

Ardon-Sayao is an ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding how aquatic ecosystems process water and nutrients; how that capacity is being altered by local land use and global climate change; and whether, and to what extent, current and emerging management can reverse or restore lost functions.

He received a $635,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant this spring for his research involving coastal wetlands. Ardon-Sayao was honored in April with the Mercer Award from the Ecological Society of America, recognizing a 2013 paper published in the journal, Global Change Biology.

Ardon-Sayao received a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia in 2006 and a bachelor of science in biology and environmental studies from Gettysburg College in 2000.

Whited leads the Depression Specialty Service in the ECU Department of Psychology’s PASS Clinic. He specializes in behavioral activation and has trained other clinicians in this treatment approach. He earned a Ph.D. and master of science in clinical psychology from West Virginia University in 2009 and 2007, and completed a bachelor of science in psychology and biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2003.

Whited

Dr. Matthew Whited, left, and Dr. William M. Downs

“I feel honored to be one of the recipients of the inaugural Early Career Award,” Whited said. “I appreciate being recognized as someone who is off to a good start in my career, and I look forward to taking advantage of all the advantages and opportunities that ECU has to offer.”

“ECU is a wonderful place to grow and mature as a researcher and educator, as faculty and administrators here understand the synergy that takes place between research productivity and student (especially graduate) training,” he added.

Ardon-Sayao and Whited will be recognized at Harriot College’s fall convocation in August.

In succeeding years, Harriot College will designate up to three recipients for the award, which focuses on faculty productivity in research and creative discovery, said Harriot College Dean Dr. William M. Downs. That productivity “must be judged to be of such high quality and impact that it exceeds expectations. Outstanding performance in professional development must be complemented by demonstrated excellence in instructional effectiveness and service,” he said.

“I am extremely pleased to say this year’s recipients exceeded these qualifications,” Downs said.

For additional information, contact Ardon-Sayao at 328-6307 or ardonsayaom@ecu.edu, and Whited at 328-6308 or whitedm@ecu.edu.

— Lacey Gray

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App is picture perfect in identifying plants

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith spotted a flowering plant he liked that was growing in the landscaping outside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and wondered what it was. He thought the plant would look good in the yard of his Greenville home. So he pulled out his phone and took a picture of it.

“I stared at the photo for a moment and thought, ‘now what am I going to do with this?’” He imagined the time he would waste at nurseries looking at hundreds of plants trying to find one that looked just like the picture.

Then it occurred to Smith, who completed an economic degree at East Carolina University in 2010, how handy it would be to have an app on his phone that could identify a plant from a photo. He searched online but didn’t find any apps that were useful.

Later, Smith mentioned this incident to his friend and fellow ECU alumnus Brooks Dixon. Dixon was working for Red Shark Digital, a Greenville company that does web design and develops apps. Red Shark is owned by another ECU alumnus, Chris Rupp, who Smith had classes with as an undergraduate.

Rupp liked Smith’s idea and agreed to create such an app.

“The app has been out for a month and so far we’ve had 350 downloads,” Smith said. “And that’s with absolutely no marketing at all, just word of mouth, and it’s only available so far for Android phones.”greenthumb.jpg

The app, called Greenthumb, is based on object recognition technology. Many flowering plants look alike, so the app also uses GPS location data to determine the one that is most likely growing in that location.

“We think the app will be beneficial to the weekend gardener and even landscapers,” Smith said. “Maybe they see a picture of a plant they like in a magazine, or see something they like growing in a neighbor’s yard. They can just snap a picture, open the app and go to their local nursery knowing exactly what they’re looking for and not waste a lot of time.”

The app can be downloaded for free at http://greenthumbapp.com/.

Smith said Red Shark is planning a marketing campaign for Greenthumb. He said an Apple version of the app also is in the works.

“I think there are all kinds of applications for this technology,” Smith said. “Like, if you go fishing and catch a fish and you aren’t sure what kind of fish it is, just take its picture and you’ll know.”

— Steve Tuttle

 

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Event to benefit Food Bank

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ECU faculty and students will showcase creative writing in an event to benefit the Greenville Food Bank.

Faculty and staff will read from their work and two undergraduates will showcase work done in the introduction to creative writing class during a reading at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in Bate Building, Room 1032. Admission to the event is one nonperishable food item or donation.

Readers will include Julie Fay, Christy Hallberg, Marc Petersen, and Gina Betcher, along with undergraduates Monika Dunton and Sarah McKeever.

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Joyner staff member honored for commitment to education

Christopher Dyba, vice chancellor, University Advancement, Alan R. Bailey of Joyner Library, and Linda Patriarca, dean of the College of Education are pictured at the event. (Contributed photo)

Christopher Dyba, vice chancellor, University Advancement, Alan R. Bailey of Joyner Library, and Linda Patriarca, dean of the College of Education are pictured at the event. (Contributed photo)

Alan R. Bailey, head of the Teaching Resources Center, was one of the 26 educators inducted into East Carolina University’s Educators Hall of Fame on Oct. 18.  This honor recognizes individuals for their long-standing commitment and dedication to the field of education.  Bailey has served as an educator in North Carolina for 30 years, and has been an employee of Joyner Library since 2000.

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2014 Fall Career Fair set for Oct. 16

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East Carolina University will host the Fall Career Fair from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 16 at Minges Coliseum. More than 100 employers are expected at Minges to recruit ECU students for internships and job opportunities.

Students are encouraged to meet with a career counselor prior to the event for resume critique and success strategies. Attendees should also research companies registered to attend so they may demonstrate knowledge of companies in discussions with representatives.

On-campus students should bring an ECU OneCard for admittance. Alumni and distance education students should bring either an ECU OneCard, Banner ID, or e-mail address to the event. All attendees are required to be dressed in business professional attire for admittance.

Click here for additional information:

For questions contact the Career Center at www.ecu.edu/career, 252.328.6050  or career@ecu.edu

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Nominations sought for 2015 Alumni Award, due Nov. 1

The East Carolina Alumni Association seeks nominations for the 2015 Alumni Awards: the Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Awards, the Honorary Alumni Awards, and the Outstanding Alumni Awards. Nominations are accepted year-round, but the cut-off for 2015 is Nov. 1, 2014. Recipients must be present at Homecoming 2015 to receive an award.

– The Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award goes to alumni who have given substantial volunteer service to the alumni association and/or university.

– The Honorary Alumni Award goes to those who did not attend ECU but who have adopted the university as their own through considerable service, commitment, and loyalty.

– The Outstanding Alumni Award, one of the most prestigious given by the university, goes to alumni who have made outstanding achievements in their profession and/or public affairs. A history of involvement with the university is not a prerequisite for this award.

Please note: only alumni can be nominated for the Distinguished Service and Outstanding Alumni awards. The only award for which non-alumni can be nominated is the Honorary Alumni Award.

Anyone can nominate an East Carolina alumnus or supporter for an award. Nominations consist of a one-page form and at least one letter of recommendation. While a surprise nomination is possible, nominators are encouraged to work directly with their nominees to ensure that all information submitted is complete and accurate. University trustees serving current terms, alumni association board members and their spouses, and current ECU employees are not eligible to receive these awards, but may submit nominations.

There are more than 155,000 East Carolina alumni living around the world. It is important that a wide variety of alumni and supporters are nominated. Every nomination is considered, as long as it is complete with all required documents and information. Awards can only be given to those who have been nominated!

The Alumni Awards program is vital to the alumni association’s goal of advancing the university. Honoring the service and achievements of alumni and supporters shows the value of an East Carolina education and the impact of this institution. This in turn increases acclaim and esteem for the university and draws ever more qualified students and faculty to campus, ensuring the university’s progress.

For more information, visit PirateAlumni.com/AwardsProcess or call 800-ECU-GRAD or contact Director of Alumni Programs Shawn Moore at 252-328-5775 or mooresh@ecu.edu.

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