ECU College of Business Named Top Online MBA Program for Veterans

By Jennifer Brezina
For ECU News Services

U.S. News & World Report has named the College of Business at East Carolina University as one of the best online MBA programs for veterans, ranking #61 out of hundreds of schools. The rankings, now in their third year, identify 737 programs that provide veterans with high-quality, flexible online education options across eight categories.

“When veterans return to higher education they can experience unique challenges during their transition out of the military and into civilian life,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News. “The Best Online Programs for Veterans are designed to help veterans balance applying, paying for and completing a degree, on top of their work and family commitments.”

The online program in the ECU College of Business has grown from a single course offering in 1998 to providing 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.

Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of the ECU College of Business, said, “We’re proud that our online business program continues to rank among the nation’s top schools for the best educational quality and value, especially when it comes to veterans. Our college values the unique contributions veterans and those serving in the military bring to our program, and we thank them for their service to our country.”

To qualify for the Best Online Programs for Veterans rankings, an online degree program had to report participation in two key programs that offer educational benefits to people with military service. The rankings methodology requires programs to belong to institutions that are certified for the GI Bill; they must also belong to schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program or to public institutions that charge in-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans. This year, the U.S. Department of Defense discontinued two programs that U.S. News previously factored into its analysis: the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) catalog. As a result, many more programs were included in the 2015 rankings.

To be ranked, programs also had to be among the top 75 percent of schools in the overall 2015 Best Online Programs rankings, which were released earlier this year. Those programs were assessed for various factors, including affordability, faculty credentials, student services and reputation.


ALA accredits ECU's MLA program

The American Library Association has accredited East Carolina University’s master of library science degree program, the largest producer of school library media coordinators in the state.

ALA_accredited-seal_mediumAs a result of the accreditation, future ECU graduates and recent alumni can apply for positions in any library setting, providing greater flexibility and mobility in career choices, said Dr. John B. Harer, ECU associate professor of library science and master of library science (MLS) program coordinator.

The new designation is seen as essential to MLS graduates seeking employment in academic and public libraries. It is a required standard by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Most employers, except school libraries, require an ALA-accredited master’s for professional level positions, Harer said.

“ALA accreditation will also give students more choices to design a course of study for a specialization in a professional library career,” Harer said. “The program can now build a more dynamic curriculum so that students will be able to choose a specific skill set within the career concentrations of academic and public librarianship.”

ALA accreditation ensures that ECU has undergone a self-evaluation process, been reviewed by peers and meets standards established by the ALA and Committee on Accreditation. Students currently enrolled in the program will receive an accredited degree upon graduation as well as ECU alumni who graduated in 2015, 2014 and 2013.

ECU has been preparing library professionals since 1939. Library science is the largest program in the College of Education. Last fall, 194 students were enrolled.

The online program features high-tech and hands-on learning, providing a web-based course of study using new and emerging technologies. It is designed for students seeking employment as librarians and information professionals in pre-K through 12th grade schools, universities, community colleges and public libraries.

For more information, contact Harer at or 252-328-4389 or visit the website at

ECU Club Baseball top seed in World Series

ECU Club Baseball team (Contributed photos)

ECU Club Baseball team (Contributed photos)

The East Carolina University Club Baseball team has advanced to the National Club Baseball Association World Series starting May 22 at Brooks Stadium in Paducah, Kentucky.

The ECU Club Baseball Pirates defeated Ohio University 6-5 May 10 to claim the 6-5 Mid Atlantic Regional Championship for the second straight year. With the tournament victory, the Pirates earned the top seed for the National Club Baseball Association World Series.

Ohio University's potential tying runner was tagged out at home in the May 22 ECU Club Baseball win.

Ohio University’s potential tying runner was tagged out at home in the May 22 ECU Club Baseball win.

ECU heads into the NCBA World Series 34-2 overall on the season, which includes a current 31-game winning streak. The purple and gold also claimed the Mid Atlantic South Conference championship with a perfect 15-0 conference record.

In the 2014 World Series, the top-seeded Pirates were upset in a first round game in Tampa before clawing back to the national semi-final game before being eliminated.

World Series games begin on May 22 with the Pirates first game at 7:30 p.m. at eighth-seeded Iowa State.

The full field for the NCBA World Series includes:

  • #1 East Carolina University
  • #2 University of Texas
  • #3 Florida State University
  • #4 Arizona State University
  • #5 Penn State University
  • #6 University of Oregon
  • #7 University of Illinois
  • #8 Iowa State University
The ECU Club Baseball wins celebrates the May 22 win.

The ECU Club Baseball wins celebrates the May 22 win.

Nursing Student Group Receives National Chapter Award

 ECANS members, from left: Luis Flores, Ava Maritato, Morgan Pullium, Jamie Williams, Leah Shannon, Corrie Hansen, Sydney Howard and Charles Moseley. (Contributed photo)

ECANS members, from left: Luis Flores, Ava Maritato, Morgan Pullium, Jamie
Williams, Leah Shannon, Corrie Hansen, Sydney Howard and Charles Moseley. (Contributed photo)

The East Carolina Association of Nursing Students has been named a Stellar School Chapter by the National Student Nurses Association.

The award, given to just five schools nationwide in 2015, recognizes chapters that demonstrate strong commitment to shared governance, professional development and ongoing involvement in NSNA.

Eight ECU nursing students traveled to Phoenix to receive the award at the 63nd Annual National Student Nurses Association Convention April 8-12.

“This student organization exemplifies the excellence and commitment that is worthy of national recognition,” said Gina Woody, professor of nursing and the group’s faculty advisor.

With more than 230 members, ECANS is the largest constituent member of NCNA in North Carolina. The group, which also earned accolades in 2014, promotes leadership and career development through ongoing membership meetings and a host of community service activities. Organizations served this year include the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, Habitat for Humanity, Operation Sunshine and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

One of ECANS’ keys to success is reaching out to students even before they officially join the College of Nursing. ECANS board members participate in pre-nursing “RX for Success” workshops, which share academic tips for intended nursing majors. The group holds two on-campus meetings each semester for pre-nursing students to learn about the organization. Its members also help intended nursing majors move into the Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village each fall.

Current ECANS President Jamie Williams, a senior nursing student, said that networking with fellow students, faculty and nurse leaders from all across the country has been a memorable part of her education.

“It has been a pleasure to work with an enthusiastic, hardworking board of directors,” she said. “I am proud to have been a part of an amazing pre-professional organization, and to be a part of the Pirate Nurse family.”

Stellar schools are recognized on the NSNA website. Stellar School status is awarded for five years and is renewable with resubmission of an application and supporting documents that demonstrate the chapter continues to meet program criteria.

– Elizabeth Willy

ECU professors honored with Early Career Award

Two East Carolina University professors are the first to receive the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Early Career Award recognizing exceptional performance by tenure track professors.

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, left, and Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Marcelo Ardon-Sayao, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Matthew Whited, assistant professor of psychology, were recognized May 15 as this year’s award recipients.

“I am truly honored by this award. I am lucky to work with great colleagues and students both within and outside ECU,” said Ardon-Sayao. “I thank my colleagues and the THCAS Advancement Council for this recognition of my work.”

Ardon-Sayao is an ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding how aquatic ecosystems process water and nutrients; how that capacity is being altered by local land use and global climate change; and whether, and to what extent, current and emerging management can reverse or restore lost functions.

He received a $635,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant this spring for his research involving coastal wetlands. Ardon-Sayao was honored in April with the Mercer Award from the Ecological Society of America, recognizing a 2013 paper published in the journal, Global Change Biology.

Ardon-Sayao received a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia in 2006 and a bachelor of science in biology and environmental studies from Gettysburg College in 2000.

Whited leads the Depression Specialty Service in the ECU Department of Psychology’s PASS Clinic. He specializes in behavioral activation and has trained other clinicians in this treatment approach. He earned a Ph.D. and master of science in clinical psychology from West Virginia University in 2009 and 2007, and completed a bachelor of science in psychology and biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2003.


Dr. Matthew Whited, left, and Dr. William M. Downs

“I feel honored to be one of the recipients of the inaugural Early Career Award,” Whited said. “I appreciate being recognized as someone who is off to a good start in my career, and I look forward to taking advantage of all the advantages and opportunities that ECU has to offer.”

“ECU is a wonderful place to grow and mature as a researcher and educator, as faculty and administrators here understand the synergy that takes place between research productivity and student (especially graduate) training,” he added.

Ardon-Sayao and Whited will be recognized at Harriot College’s fall convocation in August.

In succeeding years, Harriot College will designate up to three recipients for the award, which focuses on faculty productivity in research and creative discovery, said Harriot College Dean Dr. William M. Downs. That productivity “must be judged to be of such high quality and impact that it exceeds expectations. Outstanding performance in professional development must be complemented by demonstrated excellence in instructional effectiveness and service,” he said.

“I am extremely pleased to say this year’s recipients exceeded these qualifications,” Downs said.

For additional information, contact Ardon-Sayao at 328-6307 or, and Whited at 328-6308 or

— Lacey Gray

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