ECU to host Leadership Learning Exchange

East Carolina University and the Institute for Educational Leadership are hosting the inaugural Leadership Learning Exchange July 19-23 on campus. The four-day institute will draw teams of educational leaders, faculty, students, parents and community members to examine ways to “breathe joy and justice” into communities and schools.

The host team includes ECU Wells Fargo Endowed Chair of Educational Leadership Dr. Matthew Militello and ECU graduate student Carrie Morris, a North Carolina Prinicipal Fellow who is pursuing a master’s of school administration at ECU. From the Institute of Educational Leadership, S. Kwesi Rollins and Lynda Tredway will join in the learning exchange.

For additional information about the event, or to register, visit
http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/dcs/LearningExchange.cfm.

In Memoriam – Dr. Linner Ward Griffin

Dr. Linner Ward Griffin, emeritus professor of social work, passed away unexpectedly this past Sunday, July 5.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 17, at 2 p.m. at Brown Funeral Home in Greensboro.   A memorial service will be held in Greenville on Saturday, July 18, 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1400 South Elm Street.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the ECU School of Social Work Scholarship Fund.  Checks may be sent to the ECU Foundation, 2200 S. Charles Blvd., Suite 1100, Greenville, NC.  Please indicate the purpose of the donation.  Cards and condolences can be sent to:  Mr. Bobby Griffin, 311 Beech Cove Drive, Grimesland, N. C. 27837.

Dr. Griffin began at ECU as an assistant professor of social work in January, 1990 and progressed through the academic ranks to professor of social work in 2000.  She served in a number of administrative capacities including interim dean of Social Work and Criminal Justice, interim dean of the School of Communication, interim associate vice chancellor and later associate vice chancellor for academic programs.  In 2010 her title was changed to associate provost for academic program planning and development and she held that that position until her retirement in 2013.  She was granted emeritus professor status upon her retirement.

ECU professors receive national recognition

Two engineering professors at East Carolina University have received national recognition for their work in the areas of diversity and management.

Dr. Evelyn Brown

Dr. Evelyn Brown

Dr. Evelyn Brown has received the “INSIGHT into Diversity” 2015 Inspiring Women in STEM award while Dr. Gene Dixon won the Bernard R. Sarchet Award from the American Society for Engineering Education.

Brown is one of 100 women recognized by the higher education magazine for achievements that encourage and inspire women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM. The magazine will be published in September.

Brown is a charter member of the STEM Girls steering committee, a member of the FIRST Robotics board of directors and faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Engineering Honor Society and Engineering Ambassadors. Brown was the primary investigator on a National Science Foundation grant that secured $540,000 in merit and need-based scholarships for the engineering department. She has spent numerous hours recruiting for the engineering department.

LaKesha Alston Forbes, associate provost of equity and diversity at ECU, nominated Brown for the award with input from Dr. David White, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.

“Dr. Brown was one of our first hires in engineering and serves as a tremendous role model for our female engineering students and junior faculty,” White said. “She is a great advocate for diversity, particularly in STEM, and she is a tireless supporter of her passionate work for diversity in the STEM fields.”

Brown said she is honored to have been nominated by ECU for the award. “I’m also hopeful that this national recognition will bring attention to ECU and the many good things being accomplished by dedicated faculty in our department, college and university,” she said.

Dr. Gene Dixon

Dr. Gene Dixon

Dixon received a national award named after Bernard R. Sarchet, a founding member and first national president of the American Society for Engineering Management.

The prestigious award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the profession and to the engineering management division of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Dixon, who has been at ECU for nine years, oversees all capstone projects required for engineering majors in their senior year. Students work in teams to complete a yearlong project for a local business or industry.

Dixon works closely with industry partners to ensure that ECU students get work experience, leadership and entrepreneurial skills before they graduate. He also helps develop internship and cooperative work opportunities for engineering majors and has written multiple articles and presented at national and international conferences.

“Gene has applied his knowledge of engineering management in his scholarship and his teaching, and we are very fortunate to have him as a colleague,” said Dr. Hayden Griffin, chair of the engineering department at ECU.

 

College of Nursing receives 10 years of accreditation

The East Carolina University College of Nursing has received 10 years of accreditation, the maximum granted by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The accreditation follows an extensive self-study and fall 2014 site visit, and applies to ECU’s baccalaureate, master’s and post-master’s certificate, and doctor of nursing practice programs.

nursingThe DNP program, established in 2013, received the maximum five years allowed for programs undergoing initial accreditation. All of the ECU programs assessed met CCNE’s four accreditation standards and with no recommendations for changes.

“We are pleased to receive such a strong endorsement of the outstanding ongoing work of our faculty, staff and students,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “The accreditation process itself was a team effort by every member of the college, both faculty and staff. We owe a special thanks to our taskforce for their extensive work in coordinating and collecting information for the self-study.”

The College of Nursing, which has been accredited since 1964, has more than 8,500 alumni and prepares the most new nurses of any institution in the state. It provides three pathways for nurses to earn their bachelor of science in nursing: the traditional BSN program, an accelerated second-degree option for students who already have a baccalaureate degree in another major, and the RN to BSN option for students who already have their two-year nursing degree and want to earn their BSN.

The college offers seven options in the master’s of science nursing program: adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, neonatal clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthesia, neonatal nurse practitioner, nursing education, nursing leadership and nurse midwifery. The midwifery program, which is the only program of its kind in North Carolina, undergoes accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. The nurse anesthesia also undergoes a process with a specialized accrediting body, with the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

The doctor of nursing practice program offers a BSN to DNP option for students with an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner focus. It also provides a post-master’s DNP option for advanced practice registered nurses. The college’s doctor of philosophy in nursing program prepares nurse scientists, with entry points for students who have their BSN, MSN or DNP.

A report provided by CCNE following the site-visit noted that testimonials from both students and community partners demonstrated the excellent quality of the college’s faculty. The accreditors also praised college staff, including the business and administrative affairs office, technology support, concept integration labs, student development and counseling, student services and marketing offices.

“The feedback we received from the accreditation team was stellar and the dedication of our faculty and staff was clearly evident,” Brown explained. “It takes a village to create such a positive learning environment for our students.”

The ECU College of Nursing is also designated as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, an honor bestowed on just 35 schools nationwide for outstanding achievements in student learning and professional development.

– Elizabeth Willy

NCLR names new writing competition for founding editor

 The North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) has named its new creative nonfiction competition for founding editor Alex Albright.

Albright

Albright

Responding to the honor of having the award named for him, Albright said, “This new competition recognizes NCLR’s continued commitment to publishing the best creative nonfiction available about topics of interest to North Carolina readers and to its ongoing openness to writers at the beginning of their careers.”

The Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize competition is open to any writer who fits the NCLR definition of a North Carolina writer: current or previous residents of North Carolina or a writer who uses North Carolina as subject matter. The first prize recipient will be awarded $250 and publication in NCLR. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the 2016 print and online issues.

Current NCLR editor Margaret Bauer noted, “It is particularly significant that the first winner of the Albright Prize will be published in NCLR’s 25th issue.”

The submission period for the Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize Competition opened on June 15, and the deadline is August 1.

Albright earned his bachelor’s degree at UNC Chapel Hill, and his Master of Fine Arts at UNC Greensboro before joining the faculty of the English department of ECU in 1981. He is the author of, most recently, “The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy,” as well as the author and producer of the UNC-TV “Boogie in Black and White” and the editor of “The Mule Poems” and “The North Carolina Poems” of internationally renowned eastern North Carolina poet A.R. Ammons, whom Albright named “staff poet” during his years as editor.

Albright published the premiere issue of the NCLR in 1992. He pointed out that when it launched it was “one of the very few literary magazines in the U.S. that focused primarily on creative nonfiction.”

He explained his dedication to cultivating creative nonfiction: “Because virtually every literary magazine at the time was dominated by fiction and poetry, we wanted a forum for nonfiction that was written more for smart readers than for academics. We also wanted a forum that was as open to unknown writers as it was to the big names that dominated the state’s literary scene.”

Under Albright’s editorship, NCLR earned the Best New Journal Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) in 1994. Albright has been honored for his contribution to North Carolina literature with the R. Hunt Parker Award given by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association in 1998 and the Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration given by ECU’s Friends of Joyner Library in 2007. NCLR has earned four more CELJ awards in more than 20 years since its first issue, most recently the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement.

Albright said he shares this honor with his original associate editors, John Patterson and the late Bertie Fearing.

Find complete submission guidelines for NCLR’s Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction competition, at http://www.nclr.ecu.edu/submissions/albright-guidelines.html.

Gudivada named computer science chair

Dr. Venkat N. Gudivada has been named chairman of the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Technology at East Carolina University effective July 1.

Guidivada

Guidivada

Gudivada is an educator, researcher and industry practitioner with more than 30 years of experience in data management, information retrieval, machine learning, image and natural language processing, cognitive and high performance computing and personalized eLearning.

Gudivada joins ECU after serving as interim chair and professor of computer science at Marshall University. He previously worked at the University of Michigan, University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) and Ohio University. He has extensive financial industry work experience as well.

He has experience developing innovative academic programs, courses and curricula and is proficient in continuous academic quality improvement and program accreditation. He has developed successful approaches to student recruitment, mentoring, engagement and retention. He also has expertise in online course development and delivery, and has won awards for teaching and research.

Gudivada has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles about his nationally-funded research on search engine optimization, data management systems and big data. He has served on program committees of numerous computer science conferences, delivered keynote presentations at international conferences and served as a guest editor for IEEE Computer Society.

He received doctoral and masters’ degrees in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He earned a master’s degree in civil/structural engineering from Texas Tech University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from JNT University.

Dr. David White, dean of the ECU College of Engineering and Technology, thanked Dr. Karl Abrahamson for his leadership and service during the nearly five years that he served as interim department chair.

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

ECUNotes, Tar River 1

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.”

ECUNotes, Tar River 2

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.

 

Scholarship honors first African-American undergraduate

Joseph Bryant, a junior from Greensboro, is the initial recipient of the Laura Marie Leary Elliott Memorial Scholarship, which was created in memory of the first African-American to earn an undergraduate degree from East Carolina University.

The scholarship was created to assist students pursuing careers in fields that are historically underrepresented by minority populations. These fields include, but are not limited to, science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.

Bryant is majoring in chemistry. He is active in club basketball, the Pre-Pharm Club, ECU Ambassadors and the Chemistry Club. He is the son of Gralin and Annette Bryant, who are active members of the ECU Parents Association. Gralin Bryant graduated from ECU in 1983.

According to Zack Hawkins, director of Student Affairs Development, more than $32,000 has been raised so far for the scholarship, a sum that allows it to become endowed.

Alumni who gave $1,000 or more to the scholarship fund include Danny Scott and Connie Shelton, ECU Football Coach Ruffin McNeill, Ray Rogers, ECU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy, Linda Thomas and Valeria Lassiter. Many other black alumni and several of Laura Leary Elliott’s family members, including her daughter, Rachel Elliott Byers, and sister, Ruth Leary Asbury, also made contributions.

Bryant will be recognized during the Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship and Awards Banquet on Oct. 17 as part of Homecoming activities.

The $2,000 scholarship will increase in value in subsequent years, Hawkins said. In the future the scholarship will be awarded annually to one female and one male student.

Leary graduated in 1966. She taught school in Windsor for two years and then relocated to Washington, D.C. She worked for many years at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, retiring as a senior accountant in 2006. She died in 2013.

Left to right, Gralin, Annette and Joseph Bryant are pictured with PeeDee on campus. Joseph Bryant is the first Laura Marie Leary Elliott Memorial Scholarship recipient.

Left to right, Gralin, Annette and Joseph Bryant are pictured with PeeDee on campus. Joseph Bryant is the first Laura Marie Leary Elliott Memorial Scholarship recipient.

Grant will improve access to history collection at ECU’s Laupus Library

A wooden medicine case with 27 medicine vials, 1860-1880.  Photo courtesy The Country Doctor Museum

A wooden medicine case with 27 medicine vials, 1860-1880. Photo courtesy The Country Doctor Museum

A grant from the State Library of North Carolina will aid in improving accessibility to historical archives housed in an East Carolina University library.

The State Library of North Carolina, a Division of the Department of Cultural Resources, awarded a nine-month, $59,200 grant to the Special Collections Division at J.Y. Joyner Library to process the History Collections at the William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library.

The grant is part of the Library Services and Technology Act and is made possible by LSTA grant funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal grant-making agency. With matching funds from Joyner Library, the total project exceeds $66,900.

“The purpose of this project is to improve accessibility of the history collections at the Laupus Health Sciences Library,” said Janice S. Lewis, director of Joyner Library. “The Laupus history collections, which consist of over 6,200 monographs, 200 artifacts and a growing number of oral history materials, document the history of medicine and health care in eastern North Carolina.”

The history collections include two distinct categories of material: Laupus Library Archival Collection and the Country Doctor Museum Archival Collection. The Country Doctor Museum archival collection is less than half of the museum’s special collections – the majority of the artifacts are stored at the museum in Bailey, North Carolina.

“The primary focus of this project will be to convert collection guides from Word documents and Excel spreadsheets into encoded archival description finding aids, thus making all collection guides and inventories available online,” said Jennifer Joyner, digital archivist and grant principal investigator. “Currently, there are no online finding aids directing users to these rich and unique collections.”

“The lack of online access to the history collections is in stark contrast to the online accessibility of the manuscript materials at Joyner Library’s special collections division,” Lewis added. “During the 2013-14 year, the finding aids in our East Carolina Manuscript Collection and University Archives received 135,205 page views and were searched over 30,122 times.”

The final step of the project will be to digitize key materials from the Laupus history collections that are representative of the holdings. The digitized materials will become a part of ECU Digital Collections, and item level metadata will be shared with the Digital Public Library of America. The creation of multiple access points will improve the accessibility and visibility of these valuable historical collections.

For more information, contact Dawn Wainwright at (252) 328-4090.