Polar Bear Plunge set for Jan. 22

Jumpers from the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge prepare to take a dip in the icy waters of the outdoor pool at ECU's Student Recreation Center.

Jumpers at the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge prepare to take a dip in the icy waters of the outdoor pool at ECU’s Student Recreation Center.

The 19th Annual Polar Bear Plunge will be held at the Student Recreation Center at 7 p.m. Jan. 22. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and at 7 p.m., ECU students, faculty and staff will take the plunge into the icy waters of the outdoor swimming pool.

This event began in 1997 with only 35 participants, as a part of the grand opening week for the Student Recreation Center. For the past three years, jumpers have numbered more than 1,000 each year.

The first event started with only 35 participants and has had over 1,000 participants for the last three years.

Swimsuits are required and participants should bring their own towel. T-Shirts are guaranteed for the first 1,100 jumpers.

For additional information, contact Campus Recreation & Wellness at 252-328-6387 or visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-studentaffairs/crw/programs/special_events/polarbear-plunge.cfm.

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ECU events to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Two events at East Carolina University will honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of Ebony Magazine

Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of Ebony Magazine

The MLK Day of Service will begin at 9 a.m. Jan. 19 in Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. Participants will listen to King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, followed by remarks from Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor of student affairs, and Dr. Melissa Haithcox-Dennis, director of the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.

Following that presentation, hundreds of students are expected to volunteer with 11 community partners from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Work sites will include A Time for Science, the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center and the Third Street Community Center.

On Tuesday, Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of Ebony Magazine, will keynote the 2015 Annual MLK Celebration with her presentation “Visualizing the Dream” at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 in Wright Auditorium. Miller also will meet with selected students and student groups while on campus.

Miller’s presentation is free and open to the public; tickets are required and available at the Central Ticket Office in Mendenhall Student Center.

The ECU Office for Equity and Diversity, Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, Student Government Association, Student Activities Board and Eta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity are co-sponsoring this annual event.

Visiting scholar headlines Collaborative Nursing Research Day

The 24th Annual Collaborative Nursing Research Day will be held from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at the East Carolina Heart Institute.

The free event provides a venue for continuing education while giving nurses an opportunity to learn measures to speed translation of research. The event’s keynote speaker is Dr. Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, an internationally recognized expert in interventional research and champion of evidence-based practice.

“Collaborative Research Day is a real gift to nurses in this area, especially when you consider Dr. Melnyk, her expertise and her national reputation,” said Dr. Patricia Crane, East Carolina University College of Nursing associate dean for research and creative activity.

Melnyk is associate vice president for health promotion and university chief wellness officer at Ohio State University. She also is dean of the OSU College of Nursing and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the college of medicine. Her record includes more than $19 million of sponsored funding from federal agencies as principal investigator. She has produced more than 250 publications and is co-editor of four books.

In addition to the keynote address, the event will include research poster sessions in completed research, evidence-based practice scholarship projects and literature reviews or synthesis of research.

“Supporting scholarship, honoring projects at different phases and acknowledging the contribution of people at all levels helps us grow the science of nursing,” Crane said.

Those attending the program will include registered nurses from various practice settings, nursing school faculty and nursing students. Organizers expect about 200 attendees and hope to continue to grow the event in the future.

Collaborative Research Day is jointly organized by the East Carolina University College of Nursing, Vidant Health System, the Beta Nu chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and the Eastern Area Health Education Center Department of Nursing Education.

There is no charge to attend the program, but registration is required. Register at www.eahec.ecu.edu by Feb. 6. Visit www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/nursing/research_cnrd.cfm to download the full event program and a PDF registration form.

– Elizabeth Willy, College of Nursing

Allied Health alumnus receives governor’s award

East Carolina University alumnus Joe Finley (third from left), is pictured with N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos (second from left) and two of Finley’s DHHS colleagues following the 2014 Governor’s Award for Excellence ceremony in Raleigh. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University alumnus Joe Finley (third from left), is pictured with N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos (second from left) and two of Finley’s DHHS colleagues following the 2014 Governor’s Award for Excellence ceremony in Raleigh. (Contributed photo)

 

An alumnus of the College of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University was among the 38 state employees honored with a 2014 Governor’s Award for Excellence.

Joe Finley, a dysphagia specialist who works at the O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center in Goldsboro, was one of three N.C. Department of Health and Human Services workers cited for providing excellent customer service.

“Each of you may have felt you were just doing your job, but it’s the way you do your job that distinguishes you,” Governor Pat McCrory said to the honorees prior to the awards ceremony.

Finley works to find ways for program residents with extreme developmental disabilities to continue enjoying solid foods and to delay their need for liquefied diets. He developed and taught therapeutic exercises to help residents maintain or regain the ability to chew and swallow.

Finley earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication sciences and disorders from ECU in 2004 and 2006.

The Governor’s Award for Excellence is the highest award for service given to state employees. The program was created in 1982 to honor state employees for outstanding achievements.

“Each of these outstanding employees goes beyond simply performing their responsibilities to provide patient-focused care and make a difference in the lives of the people they so selflessly serve,” said DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos. “We can all be proud of our employees’ commitment to our patients and others and willingness to serve from their hearts.”

Finley’s wife Stacy holds identical degrees from the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences and is employed by Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro.

Alumni Scholarship Applications Due Jan. 30

The East Carolina Alumni Association is accepting applications for Alumni Scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year through Jan. 30.

New this year, applications must be submitted online through the ECU Online Scholarship Management System. No paper applications will be accepted. To receive a scholarship, students must be able to attend the Scholarship Luncheon on April 25.

Approximately 20-25 scholarships of $1,000 or $2,500 are available. Recipients must be registered as a full-time undergraduates with at least 12 credit hours and a 3.0 GPA. Students should demonstrate service and leadership in the university and community.

Applications must be accompanied by a signed letter of recommendation and a creative expression, both of which can be completed and/or uploaded through the online system.

Since 2005, the Alumni Scholarship program has awarded 197 scholarships totaling more than $260,000.

For more information, visit Piratealumni.com/scholarships.