Two ECU professors in the Department of Health Education and Promotion were honored for contributions to the field in November. (Contributed photo)

Two ECU professors in the Department of Health Education and Promotion were honored for contributions to the field in November. (Contributed photo)

ECU professors Michele Wallen and Jamie Williams were honored at the 65th Annual North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance Convention in Raleigh, Nov. 21-23.

Wallen received the NCAAHPERD Honor Award. This is NCAAHPERD’s highest award and is given annually to a person of high moral character and personal integrity who by their leadership and industry have made outstanding and noteworthy contributions to the advancement of athletics, health education, physical education, recreation, dance, intramurals and/or sport management in the state.

“ECU is incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Wallen and Mrs. Williams,” said Dr. Don Chaney, chair of the Department of Health Education and Promotion.  “They are not only outstanding faculty members, but they are outstanding people.”

A native of Mebane, Wallen began teaching at ECU in 2006.  She received a bachelor’s degree in physical education and biology from the University of Chapel Hill in 1996.  She earned a master’s degree in public health in 1999 and a doctorate in curriculum instruction with a concentration in teacher preparation and development in 2008 both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

“This award is recognition for what we, in the department, already know,” said Chaney. “Dr. Wallen is a state and national leader in the area of school health education and teacher preparation.”

Williams, instructor in the in the Department of Health Education and Promotion, was named the College/University Health Educator of the Year.

A native of Avenel, N.J., Williams began teaching at ECU in 2005.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in health education in 2001 and a master’s degree in health education in 2004 both from ECU.

“Mrs. Williams is an asset to our bachelors degree program in school health education,” said Chaney.

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College of Nursing launches Pirate Nurse Network at Vidant Medical Center

ECU faculty and staff met with alumni and staff at Vidant Medical Center in September to discuss initiating a Pirate Nurse Network. (Contributed photo)

ECU faculty and staff met with alumni and staff at Vidant Medical Center in September to discuss initiating a Pirate Nurse Network. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University’s College of Nursing has partnered with Vidant Medical Center to launch its first alumni network in eastern North Carolina.

A member-driven support organization, the Pirate Nurse Network will offer educational opportunities, social and professional networking for ECU nursing graduates who work at Vidant in Greenville. Already 140 alumni have joined, and members say they are looking forward to continued growth and activities in the coming months.

“The College of Nursing is very proud of its alumni and wants to stay connected with them,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of nursing. “It is our desire that networks of Pirate nurses can be established throughout our state and beyond as a strategy to support fellow ECU nurses and a way for them to stay in close contact with our college.”

Many ECU graduates serve as clinical preceptors for students, and the network is one way to show appreciation for their service to the college, Brown said.

Mark Alexander, director of development and major gifts in the College of Nursing, is working closely with liaisons at Vidant to facilitate network events.

“Keeping our alumni connected will allow us to do a better job of spreading awareness on all of the great things that we are accomplishing in nursing education as well as raise awareness for areas of need and support,” Alexander said. “When working as a team, there is not a more dedicated group of people than nurses, especially Pirate Nurses.”

Two inaugural meetings were held at Vidant in September. New members toured ECU’s state-of-the-art nursing simulation labs on Oct. 17.

“Pirate nurses can now access an organized support system within our hospital as they share their Pirate pride and engage in educational, community service and recreational activities with nurse colleagues,” said Jessica Griffin, who serves as network liaison where she is a staff nurse in the special care nursery of the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant. Griffin also was president of the class of 2001 in the ECU College of Nursing.

Griffin worked with Dr. Linda Hofler, the medical center’s senior vice president-nurse executive, and Cathy Jackson Bunch (BSN ’94), staff development assistant in rehabilitation services and MSN student, to set up the network.

Initially, interested members were invited to complete a survey on how the network should function and activities that they would be willing to engage in with other alumni. Responses included a desire for monthly educational and professional networking events, opportunities for community service, mentorship and, in the future, scholarships. Nurses who are enrolled wear a “Pirate Nurse” badge reel on their uniforms, officials said.

Vidant Medical Center is one of four academic medical centers in the state and serves as the teaching hospital for ECU. The hospital provides acute, intermediate, rehabilitation and outpatient health services to more than 1.4 million people in 29 counties, according to its website.

Any Vidant employee and alumni of the ECU College of Nursing may contact jgriffin@vidanthealth.com or cbunch@vidanthealth.com for more information on Pirate Nurse Network.

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Genome editing topic of Burroughs Wellcome lecture

Dr. J. Keith Joung will discuss genome editing and its potential for research and therapeutic applications at noon Oct. 17 in Room C307, ECU Science and Technology building.

Dr. Keith Young

Dr. J. Keith Young

Joung is associate chief of pathology for Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. His presentation, “Editing Genes to Understand and Treat Disease,” is presented by the ECU Department of Biology as the Burroughs Wellcome Lecture. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

“Dr. Joung is a leading expert in developing technologies for genome editing, methods that enable the alteration of any gene sequence in living cells and organisms,” said Dr. Yong Zhu, ECU associate professor of biology and coordinator for the Burroughs Wellcome Lecture. “His lab pioneered the development of publicly available methods for engineering zinc finger nucleases, proteins important for practicing genome editing technology.”

Recently, Joung has developed newer technologies that can be practiced easily by any interested researcher and have enormous research and therapeutic applications.

“His group also has begun to explore the use of these targeting strategies to induce enhanced expression or silencing of any desired gene of interest,” said Zhu.

Joung is the Jim & Ann Orr Massachusetts General Hospital Research Scholar and has received several distinguished awards, including the prestigious National Institutes of Heath Director’s Pioneer Award. He serves as an elected member of the American Association of University Pathologists. Joung received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University.

This lecture is supported by the Burroughs Wellcome fund, which allows influential scientists in biology and chemistry to visit campus and present to the public their research in the areas of basic and applied science.

For additional information, contact Zhu at 252-328-6504, or email zhuy@ecu.edu.

Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the events.

 

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Service, leadership focus of ECU Women’s Roundtable Oct. 10 event

Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, founders of DC Cupcakes, will keynote the Women's Roundtable event at ECU.

Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, founders of DC Cupcakes, will keynote the Women’s Roundtable event at ECU.

By Jeannine Manning Hutson

The fourth event in the ECU Incredible Women’s Series will focus on service and leadership and will feature the founders of the successful Georgetown Cupcakes and a Paralympian medal winner.

Founded in 2003, The Women’s Roundtable at East Carolina University will present “The Incredible ECU Women’s Series: Women Empowered, Service and Leadership” on Oct. 10 at the Greenville Convention Center.

Keynote speakers will be Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, sisters and founders of the shop featured in TLC’s “DC Cupcake.” Also speaking will be Bonnie St. John, who won three Paralympic medals in ski racing and co-authored “How Great Women Lead.”

“Women have played a pivotal role in the history of ECU,” said Mary E. Plybon, immediate past chair of the group. “The Women’s Roundtable was founded to ensure current and future alumnae of ECU can continue the tradition of legacy and service focusing on leadership, service, networking, mentoring and philanthropy.”

During the event, 10 women will be inducted into the “Incredible ECU Women” group, joining the 106 current members. They are as follows, including the category they are being recognized in:

  • Jo Allen, ’83, president of Meredith College, Education;
  • Sabrina Bengel, attended ’77-’79, entrepreneur, alderman and business woman, Public Service;
  • Dr. Cynthia Johnson, founding chair of the School of Human Ecology at Georgia Southern University, Education;
  • Dr. Luan Lawson, ’94 ’98, assistant dean for medical education at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, Health Sciences;
  • Dasha Little, ’81, president of Apogee Solutions and Aspen Counseling, Business;
  • Willie Marlowe, ’65, world-renowned visual artist, Fine Arts;
  • Angela Moss, ’97 ’98, associate director of investments for the University of North Carolina Management Company, Business;
  • Dr. Roytessa Savage, ’99, assistant dean for student affairs, associate professor of pediatrics and vice chair of diversity for the Brody School of Medicine at ECU; Health Sciences
  • Dr. Tracy Tuten, ’88 ’90, associate professor of marketing at ECU, Education;
  • Dr. Marianna Walker, ’79 ’82, dean of the Honors College at ECU, Education.

Speaking on a panel focused on service and leadership will be Jo Allen, president of Meredith College; Cassandra Deck-Brown, chief of police in Raleigh; Sheilah Cotton, professor at Louisburg College; Dasha Little, president of Apogee Solutions and Aspen Counseling; Lynn Shubert, president of the Surety and Fidelity Association of America; and Carol Mabe, member of the ECU Board of Trustees.

The Women’s Roundtable at East Carolina University seeks to elevate and encourage leadership and philanthropy by women. Since forming in 2003, the group has raised and contributed more than $100,000 to support Access Scholarships for deserving students, according to Marcy Romary, interim executive director for Health Sciences Development and director of Women’s Philanthropy.

Plybon said, “In the area of philanthropy the Women’s Roundtable is dedicated to funding a solid university education for bright students who need financial assistance through the Access Scholarship program.”

Three students have received Women’s Roundtable Scholarship and the Women’s Roundtable Board of Directors in 2011 committed to fully establish and endow the Kathy A. Taft Memorial Women’s Roundtable Access Scholarship ($125,000) in memory of the Women’s Roundtable founding member.

“Proceeds from The Incredible Women’s Series will be dedicated to complete the endowment. What a wonderful legacy for Kathy,” said Plybon. In addition, founding member Kay Chalk has established the Kay Chalk Women’s Roundtable Access Scholarship.

“The Women’s Roundtable believes in the power of women to impact other women’s lives as well as our students, our university and the broader community,” Plybon added.

Tickets for the event are $100 and all proceeds benefit the Access Scholarship program at ECU.  For more information or tickets, call 744-3057 or visit www.ecu.edu/womensroundtable.

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