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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College of Nursing awards scholarships to 120 students

College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown, left, and Dr. Robin Webb-Corbett, right, congratulate Chandra Speight, recipient of the Ray and Robin Webb-Corbett Scholarship.

College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown, left, and Dr. Robin Webb-Corbett, right, congratulate Chandra Speight, recipient of the Ray and Robin Webb-Corbett Scholarship.

ECU’s College of Nursing presented approximately $150,000 in scholarship awards to more than 120 students during a reception Sept. 13 at Rock Spring Center in Greenville.

The scholarships and awards ranged from $500 to $5,000 each and were granted to students enrolled in the College of Nursing for the 2013-2014 academic year. All of the money awarded comes from the generosity of donors to the College of Nursing.  Scholarships at the college were created to honor and memorialize outstanding nurses and the nursing profession in order to support the education of future nurses and nurse leaders.

College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown congratulates Stashawna Sutton, recipient of the Catherine and Max Ray Joyner Scholarship.

College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown congratulates Stashawna Sutton, recipient of the Catherine and Max Ray Joyner Scholarship.

Dean Sylvia Brown recognized the donors and accomplished students. Approximately 250 people attended the event including scholarship recipients, their guests, scholarship donors, board members, volunteers, and faculty and staff.

For more information on supporting nursing scholarships, contact Mark W. Alexander, director of development and major gifts in the ECU College of Nursing, 252-744-2324 or alexanderma@ecu.edu.

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ECU’s Ledonia Wright Cultural Center hosts immigration debate

East Carolina University’s Ledonia Wright Cultural Center will host an immigration debate at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 in Wright Auditorium.

ECU senior communication major Tori Rodriguez will moderate the debate between Enrique Morones and Dan Stein.

Enrique Morones

Enrique Morones

Morones is founder of Border Angels and an internationally acclaimed immigrant and undocumented alien rights activist. Stein is the president of FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), which advocates for reforms of U.S. immigration policies that would result in significant immigration reduction.

The debate is the first in a new series called Talking Across Difference, a collaborative effort to bring people together during the academic year to exchange diverse viewpoints on timely and challenging issues.

Dan Stein

Dan Stein

“These opportunities encourage mutual respect, close and sympathetic listening, diverse perspectives, suspended judgment and critical reflection,” said Melissa Haithcox-Dennis, interim director of the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. “We want to introduce topics that are relevant and encourage students to listen to all sides, take a stand and be heard.”

The 60-minute debate will have structured rules for each participant. It is a free, ticketed event, open to the public and the ECU community.

Tickets are available at the ECU Central Ticket Office in the Mendenhall Student Center.  For more information, contact Melissa Haithcox-Dennis with the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center at (252) 328-6495.

 

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ECU alums engaged during surprise flash mob

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By Jennifer Brezina
College of Business

Who says accountants can’t be fun and romantic when it comes time to pop the question?

Andrew Stoker ’11, a CPA now working in Philadelphia, hired a flash mob to impress Scarlet Van Loon ’11 of Winston-Salem when he dropped to bended knee last month. A video of his proposal made the local news in Philadelphia and has since gone viral.
A flash mob is when a group plans ahead to suddenly assemble in a public place to perform a seemingly pointless act, then quickly disperses. Stoker led Van Loon to believe they were participating with some friends in a flash mob dance in Philadelphia’s Washington Square. At the end of the flash mob gathering, the other dancers suddenly circled around Stoker and Van Loon and began singing “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid movie.

That’s when he popped the question.

“It took just under two months to plan from start to finish,” Stoker said. “It was definitely worth the wait to see the surprise and excitement on Scarlet’s face and hear ‘yes’ as her answer.”

Stoker said he’s still in shock himself that the video has gone viral. It started out as a post on his Facebook page. It has since tallied about 25,000 views.

Stoker and Van Loon met through athletics at ECU. He was a three-year letterman and captain of the swim team, and she played on the soccer team.

The Department of Accounting named Stoker its outstanding senior for 2011; he graduated summa cum laude. He and Van Loon both received awards for academic excellence.

Today, Stoker works with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia as a senior tax associate. Van Loon, who majored in communication, is a personal trainer and aspires to become an actress.

He says they haven’t set an official date yet, but they hope to be married sometime next fall.

ECU alumnus Andrew Stoker '11 proposed to Scarlet Van Loon '11 following a surprise flashmob he arranged for the occasion.

ECU alumnus Andrew Stoker ’11 proposed to Scarlet Van Loon ’11 following a surprise flash mob he arranged for the occasion.

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