ECU online business program ranks nationally in value

Best-Value-Online-MBA-Programs-of-2015East Carolina University’s online MBA program has earned top marks for educational quality and value, ranking 28th nationally based on 2015 rankings from Value Colleges.
The online information source also ranks ECU as a Top 50 Best Value Online Business School, placing it at No. 37 among other undergraduate programs.

The rankings considered and measured all AACSB-accredited business schools in the U.S. according to their complete cost, average return on investment and average starting salary for graduates.

The online program in the ECU College of Business has grown from a single course offering in 1998 to undergraduate and graduate degrees in several concentrations. Of the nearly 700 students enrolled in the MBA program for the fall 2014 semester, 75 percent attended part-time and selected online classes.

Top-Business-Online-Undergraduate-2015“We’re proud that our online business program continues to rank among the nation’s top schools for the best educational quality and value,” said Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of the ECU College of Business. “The ECU College of Business has pioneered the field of distance education, and we continue to innovate – providing an engaging learning environment to the leaders of today and tomorrow while expanding business knowledge and serving our communities.”

For more information about Value Colleges’ Online MBA rankings, visit

For more information about Value Colleges’ Top 50 Best Value Online Undergraduate Business Schools of 2015, visit

Harriot College Students Recognized at Phi Beta Kappa Ceremony


The East Carolina University Division of Academic Affairs and the Eastern Carolina Alumni Association of Phi Beta Kappa honored 27 students within the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences on April 22.

All of the students honored have a grade point average of 3.93 or higher.

Those honored, and their major areas of study, include Ajay Ajmera, biology and chemistry; Layne Barefield, biology and engineering; Ryan Beeson, political science; Megan Biller, biology; Tyler Black, mathematics; Sarah Burke, public history; Kayla Carr, history and education; Ryan Carter-Stanley, psychology; Ava Cook, English; Erin Cottrell, psychology and Hispanic studies; Martha Ervin, psychology; Elizabeth Fish, psychology; Carey Henry, mathematics, psychology and education; Michael Joy, political science and economics; Sara Kurtz, fine arts and Hispanic Studies; Kristen Martin, communication and English; Kate McPherson, chemistry; Shayna Mooney, multidisciplinary studies-neuroscience; Mackenzie Alyn Mull, Hispanic studies and elementary education; Stephen Parker, biology; Jessica Rassau, classical civilizations; Jonathan Blake Richards, history and political science; Christian Rogers, biology; Natasha Scovill, biology; Sarah Sipe, chemistry and German; Lea Taylor, biology; and Kelsey Weiss, sociology.

“This is an amazing group of young people from most of the departments in the college, who have an interesting and imaginative variety of post-graduation plans, which highlights the strengths of a good liberal arts education,” said Dr. Angela Thompson, president of the Eastern Carolina Alumni Association of Phi Beta Kappa and ECU assistant professor of history.

For additional information about the Eastern Carolina Alumni Association of Phi Beta Kappa, contact Thompson at 328-1045, or via email at


ECU’s oldest known alumni dies at 106

The woman who is believed to be East Carolina University’s oldest living alumni has died at the age of 106.

Josephine Catlette Stem

Josephine Catlette Stem

Josephine Mae Catlette Stem of Winston-Salem, who died April 27, received a teaching degree from East Carolina Teachers College in 1929. She taught at Wilton High School in Granville County for eight years before marrying James Stem and becoming a homemaker.

She lived most of her life in the Raleigh area. According to her obituary, her main pleasures in life were baking pound cakes to share with friends and watching the Atlanta Braves and Carolina Tar Heels on television.

She is survived by two children, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Steve Tuttle

Josephin Catlette Stem1929


ECU MBA Rated Top Online Program for Value

East Carolina University’s online MBA program ranks in the top 15 nationally and No. 1 in North Carolina, according to newly released data from Affordable Colleges Online.

mbaThe not-for-profit resource center recently published its Best Online MBA Programs for 2015, evaluating which colleges offer the most notable balances of academic rigor, student support and affordability for online learning.

“When it comes to online learning, these schools are at the top of their game,” said Dan Schuessler, founder and CEO of Affordable Colleges Online. “They appeal to prospective business students and working professionals because they provide the same academic excellence in their online programs as their campus courses.”

The online program in the ECU College of Business has grown from a single course offering in 1998 to undergraduate and graduate degrees in several concentrations. Of 684 total students enrolled in the MBA program for the fall 2014 semester, 75 percent attended part time and selected online classes.

“We’re proud that our online MBA program continues to rank among the nation’s top schools,” said Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of the ECU College of Business. “The ECU College of Business has pioneered the field of distance education, and we continue to innovate – providing an engaging learning environment to the leaders of today and tomorrow while expanding business knowledge and serving our communities.”

The number of schools offering fully online degree programs has nearly doubled over the last decade, and online enrollments continue to make up an increasing proportion of all enrollments in higher education, according to Affordable Colleges Online.

For more information, visit

St. Amant honored for research excellence

St. Amant

St. Amant

The Society for Technical Communication, the largest professional organization in the field of technical communication, has selected ECU English professor Kirk St. Amant to receive the society’s Ken Rainey Award for Excellence in Research for 2015.

The award recognizes research that has made positive, significant contributions to the field of technical communication. The awards committee identified St. Amant’s “focused, original, and significant research program that has yielded a superb publication record and a well-deserved national and international reputation in the field” as key criteria for selecting him for this distinction.

The award will be presented in June at the STC’s 62nd Summit (annual conference) to take place in Columbus, Ohio.

Neighborhood Symposium set for May 2

City of Greenville 5th Annual Neighborhood Symposium

Uniting Neighborhoods for Quality of Life

Saturday, May 2 at 9:00am to 2:00pm

Greenville City Hall, City Council Chambers

200 West Fifth Street Greenville NC

The City of Greenville’s 5th Annual Neighborhood Symposium sponsored by the Neighborhood Advisory Board will be held May 2, at Greenville City Hall. The theme of the  is Uniting Neighborhoods for Quality of Life and will feature a creative and hands-on approach for civic education.

ECU students in PLAN 4025: Housing and Neighborhood Planning, Spring 2015, carried out an engaged outreach project seeking cooperative and collaborative learning. Partnered with NAB, students produced a documentary film titled, “Get involved! Preserve your neighborhood.” The film will be presented at the symposium.

The purpose of the film is three fold: 1) for the city, it is an opportunity to educate the public about planning, rezoning process, and regulations; 2) for the community members, it is an opportunity to learn when and how the public can be involved in the decision-making process; and 3) for the students, it is an opportunity to relate theory to practice, to distinguish and to synthesize the assets of the community from the cooperative efforts, and to be actively involved in the symposium.

The film documented how a rezoning request begins and proceeds with highlights of the impact on communities. The project seeks an answer to a question, “When a similar situation happens near your neighborhood, what can you and your community do?”

The documentary is composed of a mock Planning and Zoning committee meeting (acted by students, members of NAB, and city staffs) and interviews with various stakeholders including City Council members, city planners, a Planning and Zoning [P&Z] member, a former Board of Adjustment chair, community members, and a commercial realtor/developer. For a quality film production, the ECU Multimedia Center puts the pieces together and provides a professional editing service.

For more information, please contact Dr. Misun Hur, Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment at 252-328-1270 or

ECU students use music therapy to help Vidant Medical Center patients

ECU music therapy students Amanda Bernstein and Emily Selitto help patients at Vidant Medical Center with music. (Contributed photo)

ECU music therapy students and Emily Selitto, left, and Amanda Bernstein help patients at Vidant Medical Center with music. Not pictured are Madaline Logan and Emily Margagliotti. (Contributed photo)


“The girls and their music made it much easier for him to go on to glory,” Brenda Daniels said. Her husband, Noah Daniels, passed away in January at Vidant Medical Center. She said she is eternally grateful for two East Carolina University music therapy students who spent time singing and playing music for her husband and family.

For more than 45 years, the East Carolina University Music Therapy program has been training students to help people through the power of music. This semester, four of those students have brought their talents to Vidant Medical Center, to work with patients on a weekly basis.

Noah Daniels was just one of the patients who benefited from their work. “He was having a hard time, but when those girls walked in, we were elated,” his wife said. “I could see by the look in his eyes and the expression on his face, how the music lifted his spirits.”

Each Thursday, ECU seniors and music therapy majors, Amanda Bernstein and Emily Selitto visit Vidant Medical Center and go room to room singing and playing instruments for some of the sickest patients. “It’s a very humbling and rewarding experience,” Bernstein said. “We aren’t just singing and playing music for ourselves, music therapy is so much more than that; we are using our talents to help people.”

Music therapy students are required to complete a 12 hour practicum each semester in order to graduate. “Our main goal is to help patients use music to complete tasks that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to,” said Selitto. “If we can be a distraction, lift their spirits, and help relax them, if only for a few minutes at a time, then we are successful.”

Dr. Michelle Hairston, professor and chair of music education and music therapy department at ECU explained that a music therapist is constantly assessing the responses of the patient and uses his or her training to formulate a goal– and then work on it immediately. “Music is the powerful tool that reaches the soul of every individual. It is nonthreatening and inviting,” said Dr. Hairston. “Music engages patients immediately, and the personal connection of the music therapist keeps that connection going. The power of the music, the human contact (by the music therapist) and the goal-directed interaction of the two, is what makes music therapy work.”

Patricia Rice, a physician assistant at Vidant Medical Center, has been a practicum mentor for the music therapy students for the last three years. “The influence that these students have with the patients is remarkable,” Rice said. “They have a way of using music to help the patients with pain management, relaxation, and increasing physical activity which helps the patients reengage into life.”

Their influence is especially true in regards to the Daniels family. Brenda Daniels was so impressed and inspired by Bernstein and Selitto, that she asked if they would perform at her husband’s funeral. The girls obliged and sang several hymns, including Amazing Grace. “I wish that I could repay them, for what they gave to me and my husband with their music,” Daniels said. “I’ve never experienced anything like that in my entire life.”

For more information about the ECU Music Therapy program, please contact Dr. Michelle Hairston at

Courtesy of Vidant Health Corporate Communications

Eastern AHEC breaks ground on new building

An artist’s rendering shows the new building that will house the Eastern Area Health Education Center. (Photo by Steve Tuttle)

An artist’s rendering shows the new building that will house the Eastern Area Health Education Center. (Photo by Steve Tuttle)

The Eastern Area Health Education Center (AHEC) broke ground at 8 a.m. April 30 on a new building in Greenville that will also become the new home of East Carolina University’s Office of Clinical Skills Assessment and Education.

The 36,400-square-foot facility will feature the latest technology to improve the learning environment for the Office of Clinical Skills and the many other educational programs that Eastern AHEC operates, according to Executive Director Dr. Lorrie Basnight.

Clinical Skills now operates out of a mobile unit on the Health Sciences Campus. Clinical Skills uses standardized patients and physical training assistants to assist in the training of health sciences students. Health sciences students learn the physical exam, communication skills and interpersonal skills at Clinical Skills.

Clinical Skills will occupy the second floor of the three-story building, amounting to 10,700 square feet of space, officials said. At its March 24 meeting, the ECU Board of Trustees agreed to lease the space for $203,300 annually for a five-year term with options to renew the lease.

The new building at the corner of Arlington Boulevard and West Fifth Street will replace space that Eastern AHEC now leases on Venture Tower Drive.

“Having both AHEC and Clinical Skills in the same building will provide an opportunity for new types of learning,” Basnight said.

“This will enhance the ability of Eastern AHEC to continue to improve the health and workforce needs in our region,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the ECU College of Nursing.

Brown said ECU also would use the new facility for several health-related conferences.

Basnight said a big plus of the new facility will be its accessibility.

“We have people from all over the region who come here for our conferences or for training, and it’s often difficult for them to navigate through the medical campus area and find a place to park. Now it will be so much easier to find us, get parked and get to your meeting quickly,” she said.

Eastern AHEC provides grants to support programs at clinical sites used by ECU’s medical, nursing, dental and allied health students. One such site is the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center.

In 2014, Eastern AHEC and two other regional centers established subsidized housing sites for ECU dental students working in community service learning centers across the state.

Eastern AHEC, which serves 23 counties in eastern North Carolina, is one of nine regional centers that focus on the health care needs of the state’s underserved populations. Its mission is to provide educational programs and services that bridge academic institutions and communities to improve public health.
Basnight said the new facility, including land and furnishings, is expected to cost around $11 million. She said the center has been putting aside savings from its ongoing operations for the past several years to pay for the new facility.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2016. C.A. Lewis is the general contractor.

– Steve Tuttle