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!”

PA Studies professor advances urgent care research

By Alyssa Gutierrez
For ECU News Services

An East Carolina University faculty member in Physician Assistant Studies is prompting emergency department clinicians to thoroughly analyze urinalysis results for the possible diagnosis of serious illnesses.

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith, a clinical assistant professor and practicing physician assistant in emergency medicine, was published in the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine after she determined that routine urinalysis results can show an underlying presence of potentially life-threatening diseases. In her article, “Hyperbilirubinemia – An Urgent Care Approach,” Smith describes how she was able to link the presence of bilirubin in urine to a serious diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Bilirubin is a waste product of the normal breakdown of red blood cells and is responsible for the typical brown appearance of feces and yellow appearance of urine. It is most known for causing medical issues when it gets into the blood stream, usually resulting in jaundice, or yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes.

It was while working in the emergency department that Smith came across a case that demonstrated the importance of thoroughly reviewing urinalysis results. The patient, a 65-year-old woman, reported symptoms of dark urine as well as discomfort and a burning sensation while urinating. The patient, along with her family, viewed those symptoms as the result of a urinary tract infection and requested antibiotics that would address what she considered to be a UTI.

Smith ordered a urinalysis and all of the results were consistent with a UTI, with the exception of the presence of bilirubin. Bilirubin led Smith to believe there was a hepatobiliary system issue, which can affect the liver, pancreas, bile ducts, and gall bladder. Additional tests and procedures determined the patient did indeed have a serious health concern and she was eventually diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Smith, who is the first professor in the PA Studies department to be published, believes this case and discovery serves as a reminder to her students that they should consider the worst possible outcome, even when the patient’s presentation of symptoms seems to be routine.

“As the instructor, it is my responsibility to enable our students to think critically to understand the clinical significance of the diagnostic tests they will be ordering and interpreting,” said Smith. “On the surface, [this case] seems routine and uncomplicated, but upon more meticulous investigation actually revealed a diagnostic wolf (pancreatic cancer) disguised in seemingly benign UTI clothing.”

College of Nursing again named Center of Excellence

(Video courtesy of ECU College of Nursing)

By Elizabeth Willy

For the third time, the East Carolina University College of Nursing has been designated a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.

Center of Excellence selection is by competitive application reviewed by a panel of leaders in nursing education. ECU was recognized for creating environments that enhance student learning and professional development, one of several criteria used to evaluate candidates. It will carry the distinction from 2015 to 2020.

“This is a wonderful acknowledgement of our continued college-wide efforts to provide positive learning opportunities for students,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “Through carefully crafted evidence-based nursing curricula, interprofessional collaboration and community engagement, our mission is to prepare the best nurses possible.”

As designees, Center of Excellence schools are celebrated for their outstanding contributions to nursing education. Faculty and administration serve as advisers and sounding boards to other institutions seeking Center Of Excellence status.

“Their visionary leadership and dedication to creating environments of inclusive excellence nurture the creation of a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community,” said National League for Nursing CEO Dr. Beverly Malone.

The ECU College of Nursing was formally awarded its Center of Excellence status during an Oct. 2 ceremony at NLN’s Education Summit of nursing leaders, administrators, faculty and health care executives in Las Vegas. Twelve schools received the honor in this cycle, bringing the total number of designees to 41.

The college was established in 1959, and has an enrollment of 1,200 students in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral nursing programs. It is the largest producer of new nursing graduates in the state and offers the only nurse midwifery plan of study in the state.

The college is known for innovative online outreach efforts and is perennially ranked among the top 20 online master of science in nursing programs in the country by “U.S. News and World Report.”

ECU art professor displays work at NYC’s ‘LOOT’

From left to right: Glenn Adamson, Director of Museum of Arts and Design, wearing Mi-Sook’s enamel brooch, Moonlight; Bryna Pomp, LOOT curator; and ECU art professor Mi-Sook Hur at the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC. (Contributed photos)

From left to right: Glenn Adamson, Director of Museum of Arts and Design, wearing Mi-Sook’s enamel brooch, Moonlight; Bryna Pomp, LOOT curator; and ECU art professor Mi-Sook Hur at the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC. (Contributed photos)

East Carolina University School of Art metal design professor Mi-Sook Hur showed 60 of her new artworks at LOOT: MAD About Jewelry at the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, from Monday September 28 until Saturday, October 3. More than 50 emerging and acclaimed artists from 21 countries were invited to participate.

“With over 50 designers on-site throughout the exhibition and sale, LOOT offers one of New York’s most unique shopping experiences,” wrote the New York Social Diary. “Proceeds from the sale benefit the Museum’s exhibition and education programs.”

Now in its 15th edition, LOOT has become known as the ultimate pop-up shop for contemporary artist-made jewelry, where collectors and jewelry enthusiasts have the opportunity to meet and acquire pieces from some of the most innovative creators in the field.

Work by ECU professor Mi-Sook Hur is shown at LOOT.

Work by ECU professor Mi-Sook Hur is shown at LOOT.

Two programs in the ECU College of Engineering and Technology accredited

East Carolina University’s bachelor of science in engineering and the master of science in occupational safety programs were recently awarded accreditation by ABET.

Both programs reside in the College of Engineering and Technology at ECU.

The Department of Engineering started in 2004 and now boasts 620 students. The program offers a bachelor’s degree in engineering with concentrations in biomedical, bioprocess, electrical, environmental, industrial and systems and mechanical engineering. The engineering program prepares graduates to work in various industries such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and service industries.

The occupational safety program has produced a steady stream of graduates since its inception in 1994. This is the first accreditation from ABET for the program.

ABET is the accrediting body of college and university programs in the areas of applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. ABET accredits programs at the associate, bachelor, and master degree levels. The accreditation assures that these programs meet the quality standards that produce graduates who are prepared to enter a global workforce. ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

ECU hosts Peace.Love.Pirates.Cure event Oct. 7

East Carolina University’s Campus Recreation & Wellness will host the eighth annual Peace.Love.Pirates.Cure Cancer Awareness Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Student Recreation Center. The event is free and open to ECU students, faculty and staff.

This annual Wellness Passport event promotes cancer awareness and knowledge by providing information tailored to help participants live healthy, cancer-free lives. Included are educational tables and interactive activities designed to help participants avoid skin, breast, cervical, testicular, lung and prostate cancers.

“Peace.Love.Pirates.Cure has reached over 3,500 people since it was introduced in 2007 and we expect another large turnout this year,” said Georgia Childs, associate director for Wellness Programs. “Cancer has impacted every person on our campus in one way or another. It could be the loss of a loved one or someone personally battling cancer, this event brings people together for education, friendship and support.”

Healthy snacks will be available throughout the event, and participants may win T-shirts and other giveaways.

Peace.Love.Pirates.Cure is sponsored by Campus Recreation & Wellness, Student Health Services, Student Government Association, the ECU Department of Health Education and Promotion, ECU Physicians, Leo Jenkins Cancer Center, the American Cancer Society, Colleges Against Cancer, Vidant Health and the Healthy PIRATES student organization.

For more information, contact Georgia Childs at 252-328-5172 or visit

Fall Career Fair set for Oct. 7

ECU Career Services will host the 2015 Fall Career Fair from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Greenville Convention Center.

More than 180 corporations from across the country are scheduled to attend the event. In addition, more than 450 recruiters will be available to discuss internships, co-op and full-time employment opportunities with students. In many cases, employers will set up or conduct interviews. The Fall Career Fair is also open to ECU students (including distance education students) and alumni.

The Career Center has held numerous career fair preparation workshops as well as one-on-one sessions with career coaches to help students prepare to interact with representatives from these companies and schools.

In addition to dressing in professional business attire, ECU Career Services offers the following suggestions to attendees:

  • Research the employers who will be attending the event and prioritize.
  • Develop and practice a power greeting.
  • Create or update your resume that has been critiqued by a career counselor and make copies to take to the fair.
  • Remember to smile, initiate a handshake and look the employers in the eye when greeting them at the event.

For additional information about the ECU Fall Career Fair, contact Karen Thompson, director of Career Services at (252) 328-6050 or visit the Career Services website at

IIANC Donates $75,000 to ECU College of Business

Left to right, College of Business Dean Stan Eakins, ECU Department of Finance Chair Scott Below, ECU RMI Program Director Brenda Wells, and Associate Professor Brad Karl stand with IIANC CEO Aubie Knight at the check presentation. (Contributed photo)

Left to right, College of Business Dean Stan Eakins, ECU Department of Finance Chair Scott Below, ECU RMI Program Director Brenda Wells, and Associate Professor Brad Karl stand with IIANC CEO Aubie Knight at the check presentation. (Contributed photo)

The Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina (IIANC) recently donated $75,000 to support ECU’s Risk Management and Insurance program in the College of Business.

As part of the IIANC’s gift, $25,000 will fund a new student scholarship in honor of Stuart Powell, an insurance veteran who serves as IIANC’s vice president. In addition, $20,000 of the donation will support risk management and insurance research conducted by Assistant Professor Brad Karl. The gift will also support the program’s general operating fund.

A statewide trade association representing nearly 1,000 independent insurance agencies, the IIANC continues to be a strong supporter of ECU. The organization endowed ECU’s Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professorship in Insurance in 2013.

The College of Business began offering a Risk Management and Insurance program in 2011 and now has more than 85 students enrolled. It is one of the fastest growing programs in the country and is supported by endowments from both the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina as well as the North Carolina Surplus Lines Association.

CNN analyst to speak at ECU Sept. 29

Peter Bergen email.jpg

Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst and Director of the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., will present “Making Sense in a World of Trouble,” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29, in Wright Auditorium at East Carolina University.

The presentation is the premier lecture in the 2015-16 Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series. It is a Wellness Passport event and is free to all attendees. No tickets are required.

A question and answer session will immediately follow the presentation, and Bergen will sign copies of two of his books, “The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda,” and “Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad,” which will be available for purchase in the lobby of Wright Auditorium.

Cosponsors of the lecture include ECU’s Division of Academic Affairs, Division of Health Sciences, Honors College, Division of Research and Graduate Studies, and Division of Student Affairs.

For additional information on the Voyages lectures, visit More information about THCAS is located at

— Lacey Gray