Miss America 2014 to address culture, diversity

Davuluri

Davuluri

Miss America 2014 will present “The Beauty of Service, Scholarship and Global Citizenship” at 6 p.m. Oct. 22 in Mendenhall Student Center at East Carolina University.

The event is free and open to the public.

Nina Davuluri is the first Indian-American and second Asian-American to hold the Miss America title. The Syracuse, New York native and daughter of Indian immigrants devoted her year of service to a platform of “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency.” She traveled more than 186,000 miles worldwide to speak on diversity and culture. Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev was recently crowned.

“Diversity is a rich and endless source of experience, language, custom and tradition that enhances our nation and makes us unique,” Davuluri said.

Dr. Melissa Haithcox-Dennis, director of the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, said she hoped that students would relate to Davuluri. “Her challenges being part of the pageant world as a woman of color and second-generation immigrant we hope will connect with our students as they plan for their future and prepare themselves for day-to-day challenges,” Haithcox-Dennis said.

Co-sponsors for the event are the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, the Indian Student Organization and Campus Living and Residence Life.

For additional information, contact Mariza James, Ledonia Wright Cultural Center at (252) 328-6495 or lwcc@ecu.edu.

 

Nominations sought for 2015 Alumni Award, due Nov. 1

The East Carolina Alumni Association seeks nominations for the 2015 Alumni Awards: the Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Awards, the Honorary Alumni Awards, and the Outstanding Alumni Awards. Nominations are accepted year-round, but the cut-off for 2015 is Nov. 1, 2014. Recipients must be present at Homecoming 2015 to receive an award.

- The Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award goes to alumni who have given substantial volunteer service to the alumni association and/or university.

- The Honorary Alumni Award goes to those who did not attend ECU but who have adopted the university as their own through considerable service, commitment, and loyalty.

- The Outstanding Alumni Award, one of the most prestigious given by the university, goes to alumni who have made outstanding achievements in their profession and/or public affairs. A history of involvement with the university is not a prerequisite for this award.

Please note: only alumni can be nominated for the Distinguished Service and Outstanding Alumni awards. The only award for which non-alumni can be nominated is the Honorary Alumni Award.

Anyone can nominate an East Carolina alumnus or supporter for an award. Nominations consist of a one-page form and at least one letter of recommendation. While a surprise nomination is possible, nominators are encouraged to work directly with their nominees to ensure that all information submitted is complete and accurate. University trustees serving current terms, alumni association board members and their spouses, and current ECU employees are not eligible to receive these awards, but may submit nominations.

There are more than 155,000 East Carolina alumni living around the world. It is important that a wide variety of alumni and supporters are nominated. Every nomination is considered, as long as it is complete with all required documents and information. Awards can only be given to those who have been nominated!

The Alumni Awards program is vital to the alumni association’s goal of advancing the university. Honoring the service and achievements of alumni and supporters shows the value of an East Carolina education and the impact of this institution. This in turn increases acclaim and esteem for the university and draws ever more qualified students and faculty to campus, ensuring the university’s progress.

For more information, visit PirateAlumni.com/AwardsProcess or call 800-ECU-GRAD or contact Director of Alumni Programs Shawn Moore at 252-328-5775 or mooresh@ecu.edu.

Author Jayne Anne Phillips to read from new work Thursday

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Author Jayne Anne Phillips will read from her new novel “Quiet Dell” at the Greenville Museum of Art at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The reading is part of the East Carolina University Contemporary Writers Series and is free and open to the public.

Stephen King has said, “In a brilliant fusion of fact and fiction, Jayne Anne Phillips has written the novel of the year. It’s the story of a serial killer’s crimes and capture, yes, but it’s also a compulsively readable story of how one brave woman faces up to acts of terrible violence in order to create something good and strong in the aftermath. ‘Quiet Dell’ will be compared to ‘In Cold Blood,’ but Phillips offers something Capote could not: a heroine who lights up the dark places and gives us hope in our humanity.”

Phillips’ novels address the social and historical tensions that challenge American families, including such subjects as war and domestic violence. Her debut novel “Machine Dreams” (1984) chronicles a family from the Depression to the Vietnam War, and their story is revealed through the thoughts and memories of each family member. Her fourth novel, “Lark and Termite,” was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2009.

Phillips is the director of the master of fine arts program at Rutgers University-Newark. She previously taught at Harvard University, Williams College and Boston University.

The Contemporary Writers Services is housed in the ECU Department of English, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Thomas Douglass, Contemporary Writers Series committee member and associate professor of English, at 252-328-6723 or douglasst@ecu.edu.

ECU hosts statewide research conference

Paul DeVita, a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology, speaks with a fellow researcher(s) at the North Carolina Cartilage & Arthritis Research Alliance conference, held Oct. 3 at ECU. (Photo by Gretchen Baugh)

Paul DeVita, a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology, speaks with a fellow researcher(s) at the North Carolina Cartilage & Arthritis Research Alliance conference, held Oct. 3 at ECU. (Photo by Gretchen Baugh)

 

The North Carolina Cartilage & Arthritis Research Alliance held a conference Oct. 3 at East Carolina University.

“It is a gathering to enhance our regional discussion of current research advances in basic and clinical sciences with a variety of experimental approaches/techniques, give young investigators the opportunity to present, and to hear established researchers from North Carolina speak,” said Dr. Cheryl B. Knudson, chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Brody School of Medicine.

Knudson chaired the event organizing team, which included Warren Knudson and Emily Askew – also faculty in Anatomy and Cell Biology – and Paul DeVita and Zac Domire, both of the Department of Kinesiology.

The approximately 100 attendees represented Duke University, Wake Forest University, N.C. State University, UNC Chapel Hill and ECU. In addition, more than 25 academic posters were presented. Topics covered included different scaffolds (including silk) for drug delivery and osteochondral implants, how the forces generated by walking are transmitted to the nucleus of cells, epigenetic changes in adipose stem cells from mice on high fat diets, chondrocyte signaling, pain, animal models and clinical trials for osteoarthritis management.

“These have been great meetings with excellent science and good networking opportunities,” Knudson said of past NC-CARA events.

ECU shines at NOAA Science Days

Alumnus Chris Ellis was among three presenters from ECU at the NOAA Science Days event Sept. 23 in Maryland. (Contributed photo)

Alumnus Chris Ellis was among three presenters from ECU at the NOAA Science Days event Sept. 23 in Maryland. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University was well represented this year at NOAA Science Days Sept. 23 in Silver Spring, Maryland. The annual event highlights research done in collaboration with NOAA offices, with this year’s theme focused on social science research.

ECU professor Burrell Montz, chair of the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, presented “Social and Behavioral Influences on Weather-Driven Decisions.” She was also co-PI on work presented by Rachel Hogan Carr, executive director of the Nurture Nature Center. Carr presented “Flood Risk and Uncertainty: Assessing the National Weather Service’s Forecast and Warning Tools.”

ECU graduate Chris Ellis, a social scientist with the National Ocean Service Coastal Service Center, presented “Social Science Research to Improve Hurricane Communications: An Assessment of the NWS Hurricane Local Statement.” Ellis received his doctorate in coastal resources management under the direction of Dr. Hans Vogelsong.

Also presenting was ECU alumna Maria Dillard, social scientist with the National Ocean Service/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and Hollings Marine Laboratory. Dillard received a master’s in sociology from ECU under the direction of advisor Dr. Bob Edwards. She presented “A Different Kind of Coastal Intelligence: Building Resilience though Assessment of Well-Being and Ecosystem Condition in Coastal Communities.”