Facilities Services supervisors honored

The following Facilities Services employees have been recognized with a 2014 Facilities Services Supervisor Award for Excellence:  for service, Mike Deyoc with Utilities Services – Steam and Phillip Wingate with Building Services – Locksmith; and, for amibition, Gene Stano with Grounds Services.

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

 

Event to benefit Food Bank

READING-1

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.

ECU senior honored for community service

Zachary Baker

Zachary Baker

ECU senior Zachary Baker has been recognized by North Carolina Campus Compact, a statewide network of colleges and universities committed to community engagement, for his outstanding leadership and service. Baker is a recipient of the network’s Community Impact Student Award, which honors one student leader at each member school.

Baker is one of 18 students across the state to receive the 2014 award, joining more than 200 college students honored by the organization since the award was first presented in 2006.

At ECU, Baker has been a key figure in ECU’s Campus Kitchen project, serving as a shift leader, shift manager, and on the leadership team. Through his work, he inspires others to take action against hunger in Greenville.

Baker has worked for four years at the university’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center (VSLC), first as an event coordinator and now as OrgSync training coordinator. In this role, Baker teaches students and community agencies to use ECU’s new web-based service management system, helping connect more than 6,000 users to service opportunities.

A double major in health services management and chemistry, Baker is from Fayetteville.

“Whether he’s working behind the scenes managing our OrgSync platform or interacting with a new student who is looking to get involved, Zach empowers others to learn through service,” said VSLC Assistant Director Nichelle Shuck.

Baker and other award winners were honored at the compact’s annual student conference on Nov. 8 at N.C. State University.

North Carolina Campus Compact is a collaborative network of colleges and universities with a shared commitment to educating engaged citizens and strengthening communities. The compact was founded in 2002 and is hosted by Elon University.

Medical students assist with Belhaven health clinic

Several students from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University spent a recent Saturday providing free health screenings and services to Beaufort County residents.

First year medical student Ismail Kassim works with a patient at the Belhaven health clinic. (Contributed photos)

First year medical student Ismail Kassim works with a patient at the Belhaven health clinic. (Contributed photos)

Dr. Ari Mwachofi, a professor in the Department of Public Health, coordinated their involvement in the Belhaven Community Health Fair, which took place Oct. 25.

“I am a strong believer in experiential learning,” Mwachofi said. “The students will understand health issues of poor, underserved communities better by getting involved in such communities. I am meeting with the students to do a debriefing about their experience, perceptions and what they learned.”

The students assisted by assessing blood pressure, measuring blood glucose, administering rapid HIV testing, cholesterol screening, giving flu vaccines, and distributing literature on various health topics.

The students also interpreted for Spanish-speaking patients and translated health brochures into Spanish.

Mwachofi hopes the involvement of Brody medical students in this health fair will become an annual occurrence.

The participating first-year medical students were (pictured below, left to right) Mary Ashleigh Craver, Lily Trout and Daiysha Smith, and Zachary Sutton, Alexander Almeida Larrea, Wooten Jones and Ismail Kassim. Austin Rice, a candidate for a master’s in public health from Brody, also assisted with the event.

docgroup