ECU professor elected to lead N.C. Public Health Association

An associate professor in East Carolina University¹s Department of Public Health has been elected president of the North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA).

Lea

Lea

Dr. Suzanne Lea, who also serves as the vice-chair of the Brody School of Medicine Women Faculty Committee, began leading the state affiliate of the American Public Health Association in September.

The NCPHA, which was founded over 105 years ago, is a professional association of both individuals and organizations that work together in order to improve the public¹s health through political advocacy, public awareness, professional development, and the interface between research and practice.

“Traditionally, NCPHA membership has been comprised of dedicated professionals working in the state and local health departments providing preventive and public health services,” said Lea, in her first memo as president. “As the role of public health has expanded in recent decades, NCPHA has a goal to broaden our reach to proactively engage all individuals who embrace their role within public health systems in our state.”

As president, Lea intends to boost the engagement of young professionals through leadership training and to develop collaborations with other professional associations in North Carolina that promote health improvement.

Lea, whose professional experience spans over 20 years in the field of applied epidemiology and public health practice, joined the Brody faculty in 2008. Prior to that, she served as a research epidemiologist at Triangle Institute International in Research Triangle Park. She has also worked as a communicable disease epidemiologist for the Department of Health and Human Services in San Rafael, California; as the chief epidemiology officer for the Arkansas Department of Health in Little Rock, Arkansas; and as a communicable disease epidemiologist for the Department of Public Health in San Francisco, California.

She holds a master¹s in public health from Yale University and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. She has authored numerous research articles, papers and textbook chapters focused on cancer, public health practice and health disparities.

– Amy Ellis

Three honored by School of Social Work

Lewis with Dr. Bunch.jpg

School of Social Work Chair Dr. Sheila Bunch and Lauretta Lewis

East Carolina University’s School of Social Work honored three social work practitioners at the sixth annual Alumni and Friends Celebration at the Holiday Inn in Greenville on Nov. 13.

Lauretta Lewis was recognized with the Distinguished Faculty Legacy Award. Lewis joined the ECU Department of Social Work and Corrections in 1974. She received bachelor’s degrees in social work and psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Lewis was the recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health scholarship to pursue studies in mental health and geriatrics. She also pursued postgraduate studies at the Gerontology Center at the University of Michigan.

Mona Townes poses with School of Social Work Chair Dr. Sheila Bunch and her Rising Star Alumni Award.

Mona Townes and Dr. Sheila Bunch

She was named to a six-year term as a Danforth Associate by the National Danforth Foundation based on her expertise and activity in scholarship. She was appointed to the Caswell Developmental Center’s Human Rights Committee Secretary of State Sarah Morrow. She served as a regional faculty liaison for the National Association of Social Work Education and board member for the North Carolina Council on Social Work Education.

Mona Townes was recognized with the Rising Star Alumni Award. Townes serves as the mobile crisis director at Integrated Family Services. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and certified by the National Council on Behavioral Health as a facilitator for Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid.

She serves as a training instructor for the local Crisis Intervention Team and presents training on behavioral health. Townes received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from ECU.

Renee’ Pearson was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Renee’ Pearson and Dr. Sheila Bunch

Renee’ Pearson was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Pearson received bachelor’s degrees in psychology and social work and a master’s degree in social work from ECU. She is dually licensed by the state of North Carolina as a clinical social worker and clinical addiction specialist. She is the founder and owner of the Pitt County Counseling, PLLC in Greenville and has over 25 years of experience in social work.

Pearson’s clinical skills include working with issues related to perinatal health, gender, trauma, and sex offending behaviors. She provides educational instruction to social work and human service students at ECU and Edgecombe Community College. She serves as faculty advisor for the Human Services Club at ECC.

Pearson’s education and career has always focused on her passion for working with children, women, and families.

– Kathy Muse

Candlelight vigil to honor terror victims

Vigil

East Carolina University French faculty members in the department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, along with the ECU French Club, are holding a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at the cupola on campus.

The vigil will honor the victims of Friday night’s terrorist attacks in Paris, the victims of the recent bombings in Beirut, those of the Russian airliner crash, and all people touched by terror, war and conflict across the globe.

For additional information, contact Marylaura Papalas at 252-328-5786 or papalasm@ecu.edu.

ECU psychology students support academic enhancements at Farmville Middle School

Pictured left to right are Farmville Middle School Instructional Coach Etosha Kiah; ECU SASP members Christine Rivera, Caroline Mulhare, Lauren Gaither, Katie Gitto, Erin Jackson, Hannah Wilson and Vicki Steinmetz. Kneeling in front is Farmville Middle School Principal Paul Briney. (Photo provided by Christine Rivera.)

Pictured left to right are Farmville Middle School Instructional Coach Etosha Kiah; ECU SASP members Christine Rivera, Caroline Mulhare, Lauren Gaither, Katie Gitto, Erin Jackson, Hannah Wilson and Vicki Steinmetz. Kneeling in front is Farmville Middle School Principal Paul Briney. (Photo provided by Christine Rivera.)

East Carolina University students are assisting Farmville Middle School students through tutoring and team building projects.

Approximately 10 school psychology and pediatric school psychology students in the ECU Chapter of the Student Affiliates in School Psychology (SASP) have been working with the middle school children to help them perform well academically and continue on to college.

ECU health psychology doctoral student Maribeth Wicoff said tutors provide assistance with subject matter as well as study skills, such as effective note-taking. Team building includes group discussions where students learn techniques for getting “their point across in a professional tone and expressing disagreement non-judgmentally,” she added.

While the partnership benefits students at Farmville Middle School, the ECU students are learning from the experience as well. Dr. Christy Walcott, director of ECU’s school psychology and pediatric school psychology programs, said graduate students who engage in community service enhance their areas of study and receive the added benefits of training before graduation.

Walcott noted three reasons for encouraging community service. “First, psychology is a helping profession that is strongly rooted in principals of social justice,” she said. “Second, we specifically train our students to be leaders in addressing needs and advocating for underserved populations.”

Finally, Walcott added, “We believe that graduate training is a privilege…thus participating in the community is a small way of symbolically and fundamentally giving back.”

The ECU chapter of SASP is formed under the auspices of the American Psychological Association’s Division 16. SASP is designed to keep graduate students apprised of issues pertaining to school psychology while offering activities that support their professional development and advocate for the field. For additional information about SASP, visit http://www.apadivisions.org/division-16/students/.

College of Education inducts 21 in Educators Hall of Fame

Pictured from left to right are Jerry Shea (brother of the late Dr. Christine Shea); Dr. Linda Patriarca; Lou Anna Hardee; Dr. Jim Westmorland; Jananne Waller; Sarah Faucette; Dr. Elton Lee Newbern Jr.; Dr. Judith Joyner Smith; LuAnn Sullivan (niece of the late Grace C. Whitehurst); Dr. Patrick Miller; Dr. James H. Bearden (foreground); Beverly Watson Carroll; Martin Scott Hutchins; Joanne Bath, Dr. Scott Williams (sponsor of Myron Mooney Angell); Kathy Gibson Harrell; Dr. Sam Houston, Jr.; Nicole Garris Vinson and Frankie Lynn Taylor Tucker. (Contributed photo)

Pictured from left to right are Jerry Shea (brother of the late Dr. Christine Shea); Dr. Linda Patriarca; Lou Anna Hardee; Dr. Jim Westmorland; Jananne Waller; Sarah Faucette; Dr. Elton Lee Newbern Jr.; Dr. Judith Joyner Smith; LuAnn Sullivan (niece of the late Grace C. Whitehurst); Dr. Patrick Miller; Dr. James H. Bearden (foreground); Beverly Watson Carroll; Martin Scott Hutchins; Joanne Bath, Dr. Scott Williams (sponsor of Myron Mooney Angell); Kathy Gibson Harrell; Dr. Sam Houston, Jr.; Nicole Garris Vinson and Frankie Lynn Taylor Tucker. (Contributed photo)

Twenty-one educators and education advocates from across North Carolina were inducted Oct. 18 in the East Carolina University Educators Hall of Fame.

This year’s inductees are the late Myron Mooney Angell of Swansboro; Joanne Bath of Greenville; Dr. James H. Bearden of Greenville; Aaron J. Beaulieu of Wake Forest; Beverly Watson Carroll and the late Freddie Rayford Carroll of Goldsboro; Sarah Faucette of Chocowinity; Nicole Garris Vinson of Greenville; Lou Anna Hardee of Greenville; Kathy Gibson Harrell of Greenville; Dr. Sam H. Houston, Jr. of Raleigh; Martin Scott Hutchins of Gastonia; Dr. Patrick C. Miller of Snow Hill; Dr. Elton Lee Newbern, Jr., of Enfield; Dr. Linda Ann Patriarca of Greenville; the late Dr. Christine M. Shea of Greenville; Dr. Judith Joyner Smith of Snow Hill; Frankie Lynn Taylor Tucker of Raleigh; Jananne Ransdell Waller of Flowery Branch, Georgia; Dr. James R. Westmoreland of Greenville; and the late Grace C. Whitehurst of Conetoe.

The College of Education’s annual induction ceremony raised more than $40,000 for student scholarships.

Each inductee was sponsored with a monetary gift of $1,000 or more in support of the Educators Hall of Fame Scholarship endowment. Annual interest from the endowment is used to fund merit-based scholarships for ECU College of Education students.

Following the induction ceremony in A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, a reception was held in Speight Building where inductees, family members and guests could view the Educators Hall of Fame wall.

Created in 1999, the Educators Hall of Fame has recognized the service and contributions of more than 443 individuals who have impacted the lives of others, the field of education and the College of Education at ECU. The annual event has raised more than $540,000 toward an endowment goal of $1 million for scholarships.

For more information, contact Terah Archie in the College of Education’s Office of Community Relations and Outreach, at Archiet15@ecu.edu or 252-737-1257.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter speaks at ECU event

CNN reporter Sara Ganim speaks to a large group gathered at ECU. (Photo by Patrick Fay)

CNN reporter Sara Ganim speaks to a large group gathered at ECU for the Eastern North Carolina High School Media Workshop . (Photo by Patrick Fay)

CNN Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sara Ganim told close to 125 aspiring high school journalists to embrace their youth as they pursue their profession during a recent visit to East Carolina University.

Ganim was the keynote speaker for the annual Eastern North Carolina High School Media Workshop held Oct. 20 in Mendenhall Student Center.

Ganim was just 22 and working at a small Pennsylvania newspaper – The Patriot News in Harrisburg – when she broke the story about a Grand Jury investigation into allegations of child abuse by Pennsylvania State University defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. She won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for her reporting.

When covering the Sandusky story, Ganim said she was often doubted because of her age. “I want people to know that youth can be beneficial and not to let anyone take that away from them,” said Ganim. “It’s a great thing to want to be a journalist. We need people who want to do this.”

Ganim encouraged students to continue on their career paths, no matter how daunting it may seem.

“I want the people who realize early what they want to do to realize it’s OK to want to do that, to grow up, to be an adult in the real world right away,” said Ganim. “I also want young journalists to know that it’s OK to want to be journalists…that we get kind of knocked down a lot. [We hear] that our industry is dying or that it’s not what it used to be.”

The workshop brought in students from across North Carolina, including White Oak High School senior Haylee Blitch from Jacksonville. “I didn’t realize who was going to be the keynote speaker,” said Blitch, who started her high school’s newspaper. “I’ve heard of her through the Sandusky trial, but I never realized how nice of a person she is and how talented and young she is. She’s gotten so successful from being young.”

This was Blitch’s third year attending the workshop. “I’ve learned how to cover stories on my own, how to interview people, how to take pictures… the whole package,” said Blitch. “It’s a really great learning experience.”

Senior Shay Edwards from Halifax Academy in Roanoke Rapids hoped to learn new skills and design ideas for her school’s yearbook. “Being here is pretty exciting,” said Edwards, who attended with her journalism class.

The workshop was co-sponsored by the ECU School of Communication and the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association

Ganim won a Pennsylvania Bar Association award, the Sidney Award for socially conscious journalism and the Keystone Press Award. A Penn State graduate, Ganim was hired by CNN in 2012 and covers a wide range of stories and investigations.

— Summer Tillman

Alumni association announces upcoming events

Alumni and friends of East Carolina will have opportunities to connect with each other and the university at several upcoming events in Greenville and beyond hosted by the East Carolina Alumni Association.

A networking lunch will be held in Raleigh on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 18 Seaboard. The featured alumni will be Keith Frazier ’94, an executive at the American Kennel Club, and Shannon Frazier ’94, an executive at Lenovo. Advance registration is required by the deadline of Nov. 3.

Alumni are invited to bring their friends to a tour, tasting, and lunch at Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston on Saturday, Nov. 14. Participants can enjoy a tour of the brewery and sample Mother Earth’s classic brews like Weeping Willow Wit, Endless River Kolsch, Dark Cloud Lager, and Old Neighborhood Oatmeal Porter, as well as seasonal offerings like the Fig and Raisin Ale and a special cider. An included lunch will be provided by Queen Street Deli & Bakery. Advance registration is required by the deadline of Nov. 4. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Another networking lunch will be held in Greenville on Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Greenville Boulevard. The featured alumni will be Henry Hinton ’76, owner of Inner Banks Media, and Amanda Tilley ’03, owner of Coastal Banking Company and the Greenville Krispy Kreme. Advance registration is required by the deadline of Nov. 23.

Alumni are invited to bring their families and join PeeDee the Pirate for a country dinner and holiday hayride at Mike’s Farm in Beulaville on Saturday, Dec. 13. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m., with down-home fare like fried chicken and ham biscuits, followed by the hayride through a festival of lights at 7:30 p.m. Families will also have a chance to take pictures with PeeDee. Because space is limited to the first 50 people, registration will only be taken over the phone. Advance registration is required by the deadline of Dec. 3. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Fall 2015 graduates and their families are invited to a Senior Celebration dinner on Thursday, Dec. 17. The alumni association will honor the accomplishments of the class of 2015 and officially welcome them as alumni of ECU. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in Harvey Hall in the Murphy Center. Space is limited. The deadline to register is Monday, December 7, but Senior Celebration is a popular event and may fill up before the deadline, so advance registration is strongly encouraged.

More information on all these events can be obtained by calling 800-ECU-GRAD (252-328-4723) or by visiting www.piratealumni.com/upcomingevents.

ECU Voyages lecturer to discuss life after life, near-death experiences

Raymond Moody Email.jpg

Emeritus professor of consciousness studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and former ECU assistant professor of philosophy, Dr. Raymond Moody, will deliver the ECU Religious Studies Program Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Culture in the 2015-16 Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series. Moody will discuss “Life After Life: The Meaning of Near-Death Experiences,” at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 27, in ECU’s Wright Auditorium.

During his lecture, Moody will describe the common elements of near-death experiences as medical doctors in many countries have studied them. Also, he will describe shared death experiences, an identical phenomenon reported by bystanders at the death of some other person.

Moody traces debates on these topics back to Plato and Democritus, who argued about whether near-death experiences indicate an afterlife or just a dying brain. Moody will discuss new ways of studying such experiences and their relationship to humanity’s biggest question: What happens when we die?

Prior to completing his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia, Moody was an assistant professor of philosophy at East Carolina University from 1969-72. From 1980-83, after completing his M.D., Moody served a psychiatry residency at the University of Virginia Medical Center. He was a visiting associate professor of philosophy at the University of Virginia from 1977-78, an associate professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia from 1987-92 and the Bigelow Chair of Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, from 1992-2002. He received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy from the University of Virginia.

In addition to his teaching, Moody has served as a forensic psychiatrist in a maximum-security unit for the criminally insane, and he has practiced grief counseling for more than two decades. He is the author of 14 books, including “Life After Life” (1975), “Coming Back” (1995), “Glimpses of Eternity” (2010) and “Paranormal” (2012). His main professional interests are logic, philosophy of language and ancient Greek philosophy. He is best known for his work on near-death experiences, and through his research, Moody has interviewed thousands of people all over the world who have had these experiences.

Co-sponsors of the lecture include the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Religious Studies Program, ECU’s Division of Academic Affairs, Division of Health Sciences, Honors College, Division of Research and Graduate Studies and Division of Student Affairs. A question and answer session will immediately follow the presentation, and Moody will sign copies of his books, which will be available for purchase in the lobby of Wright Auditorium.

Moody’s lecture is a Wellness Passport Event and is free to all attendees. No tickets are required. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.

For additional information about the Voyages series and its speakers, visit www.ecu.edu/voyages. More information about Harriot College is available at www.ecu.edu/cas.

Bowman assumes leadership role for alumni association

Heath Bowman was named president of the East Carolina Alumni Association and associate vice chancellor for alumni relations at East Carolina University. He began his duties Oct. 14.

Heath Bowman

Heath Bowman

Bowman is a recognized alumni relations professional with 10 years of management and higher education leadership experience. Most recently, Bowman served as director of outreach at the Arkansas Alumni Association, which has more than 26,000 dues-paying alumni members and nearly 2,500 dues-paying student members.

“This is a tremendous honor and honestly very humbling,” said Bowman. “Pirate Nation has so much to be proud of. To be trusted to lead and grow alumni relations efforts at such a respected and innovative institution is the opportunity of a lifetime and a responsibility that I will take very seriously. I am excited to build on past successes and to blaze new paths for East Carolina and its alumni association.”

ECU Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Christopher Dyba said, “Heath brings a wealth of knowledge, management skills, connections across the profession, and vision to the position, as well as commitment to make ECU and eastern North Carolina his family’s home.”

Bowman earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management at Texas Tech University in 2007, and his master’s degree in higher education leadership at the University of Arkansas in 2011.

He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Ashley, since 2008. She is a speech-language pathologist specializing in treatment of geriatric patients recovering from post-op and post-stroke impairments.

“The excitement here is contagious,” Bowman said.

“The moment my wife, Ashley, and I set foot in Greenville, we knew that this was the place we were meant to be. It immediately felt like home. I feel lucky to be in a place where I can use my skillset and past experiences to benefit a place as special as ECU. Ashley and I are so excited to be Pirates! Arrrgh!”