Summer athletic camps showcase ECU

Hundreds of area school-age children took part in various summer athletic camps at East Carolina University this year. The camps ranged from volleyball to football and all points in-between.

The camps gave the young athletes, from grade school to high school, a chance to interact with ECU coaches and players and learn the Pirate way. They also learned different training techniques and proper form. Some of the kids who took part may one day end up playing for the purple and gold, so getting them on the field, court or diamond is a great way to showcase what ECU has to offer.

 

-by Rich Klindworth, ECU News Services

ECU Alert tests on Aug. 15, 16 and 17

East Carolina University will conduct tests of the ECU Alert emergency notification system Aug. 15 (noon), 16 (noon) and 17 (2 p.m.). 

The tests will assess multiple communication systems including the ECU homepage, email, indoor and outdoor loudspeakers, VOIP phone text and voice, SMS text messages, desktop pop-up notifications, and messages on digital signs. On Wednesday and Thursday, portions of the system will be tested, but not text messaging. All aspects of the ECU Alert system will be tested at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17.

People on campus will hear a voice message on their office telephones and on loudspeakers that will identify this as a test of the ECU Alert emergency notification system. Employees, students and parents will also receive ECU Alert test emails to registered accounts. Digital screens located throughout campus will carry a test message. Users who have registered for ECU Alert cell phone messages will receive one SMS text message on Friday at 2 p.m.

Campus computer users are reminded that the university has a pop-up notification system, AlertUs, which will fill the computer screen with the ECU Alert message when activated. After the users have read the message, clicking “Acknowledge” will close the warning.

Registration for cell phone messaging is available by selecting the register tab at alertinfo.ecu.edu

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to download the free safety app LiveSafe at ecu.edu/LiveSafe. LiveSafe allows users to discretely and anonymously report suspicious activity and safety concerns to ECU Police.

 

Driving in style: Alumni association promotes Pirate plates

The East Carolina Alumni Association is part of a renewed push to get more drivers showing their Pirate pride with ECU-branded license plates.

The program, an existing partnership with the university and the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, returns a portion of license plate fees back to ECU and supports student scholarships.

PeeDee shows off a Pirate plate on campus.

PeeDee shows off a Pirate plate on campus. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

“This partnership makes total sense for us,” said Heath Bowman, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. “A vast majority of our ECU alumni and friends live in North Carolina, so we were excited when this opportunity came about. We want to challenge all Pirates around the state to upgrade their vehicles with a Pirate plate. It is a great way to not only support our deserving students, but to help showcase the strength and generosity of Pirate Nation around our state.”

The specialized ECU license plate with the Pirate logo costs an additional $25 on top of the regular DMV registration fee. Of that amount, $15 goes to the ECU Alumni Scholarship Fund. For an additional $30, the Pirate plate can be personalized with a custom message such as a class year.

Options available for Pirates at the DMV.

Options available for Pirates at the DMV. (Photos by the ECU Alumni Association)

To order a Pirate license plate, go to the nearest DMV office or visit the DMV online. For more information, visit piratealumni.com.

Only Pirate plates purchased in North Carolina support ECU scholarships. Various states offer collegiate license plates, and those interested in an out-of-state Pirate license plate should check with their local DMV.

 

-by Erin Shaw, University Communications

Brody offers glimpse of life in medical school

Since her childhood, Melenis Lopez has dreamed of becoming a physician who heals patients in underserved communities and makes an impact on every life she encounters along the way.

Thanks to her experience in the Summer Program for Future Doctors (SPFD), the edges of Lopez’s dream are now more defined.

Lopez and the rest of the 2018 SPFD cohort, made up of students who show interest, potential and promise for careers in medicine, went through an intensive, nearly two-month program at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, highlighted by course work, team building and hands-on medical school experiences.

Students in the Summer Program for Future Doctors experience course work and class discussions that mirror the first year of medical school.

Students in the Summer Program for Future Doctors experience course work and class discussions that mirror the first year of medical school. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

“The SPFD program is designed for minorities or disadvantaged students, which is what essentially caught my eye,” said Lopez, a senior majoring in public health studies at ECU. “Through this program, I wanted to learn more about medical school and further my understanding of Brody’s mission.”

Brody’s purpose is to increase the supply of primary-care physicians for the state, improve the health status of eastern North Carolinians and enhance the access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education. The SPFD acts as that mission in action.

“SPFD serves as a pipeline program, bringing together promising prospective students from across the state of North Carolina,” said Dr. Richard Ray, director of the SPFD. “While all aspiring medical students are encouraged to apply, the program is particularly interested in students from groups underrepresented in medicine, students from disadvantaged backgrounds and non-traditional students.”

Participants in the Summer Program for Future Doctors enjoy each other’s company at the program’s culminating banquet.

Participants in the Summer Program for Future Doctors enjoy each other’s company at the program’s culminating banquet.

The program focuses on these populations to introduce opportunity and access, but also to be mindful of the patient cross-section that stands to benefit from Brody’s graduates.

“The goal, as it is for the Brody School of Medicine,” Ray said, “is to have a very diverse class that is representative of the patient population that Brody graduates will serve.”

During SPFD, students are immersed in what compares to the life of a first-year medical student based on academic rigor and pace. The students are given the chance to clearly demonstrate their academic readiness for the rigorous curriculum of the preclinical years of medical school and to hone their interpersonal skills and overall professionalism vital to successful medical students and doctors.

Those tests of fortitude and resilience were welcome challenges for Lopez, a first-generation college student, ECU Access Scholar and ECU Ambassador who wants to practice family medicine in areas with shortages of health care professionals and for patients with limited access and ability to afford care.

“It was eye-opening witnessing the tremendous amount of rigorous material that medical students have to conquer in such a short time span,” she said. “Overall, I learned that medical school is for the brave and the tough; however, it is not impossible.”

It takes a team of Brody faculty, staff and students to introduce the SPFD participants to an accurate view of medical school.

“A collaborative group of Brody faculty donate their time for lectures and lab demonstrations,” said Courtney Horns, director of Brody’s Office of Medical Education. “Current medical students work as TAs to assist the SPFD student with their courses, studying, test reviews and any support the student might need.”

The Office of Admissions also provides sessions to help students complete medical school applications as well as practice interview sessions. Eastern Area Health Education Center provides a clinical-skills session where students meet trained standardized patients and give the patients a diagnosis based on their discovery, among other services the participants gain exposure through.

The SPFD program isn’t all course work and clinical experiences; the students participate in team-building exercises and other activities to motivate and challenge them.

Students in the Summer Program for Future Doctors participate in team-building exercises at the Student Recreation Center.

Students in the Summer Program for Future Doctors participate in team-building exercises at the Student Recreation Center.

“I also try to add as much fun and excitement into the program as possible, seeing as the students are spending their summer break taking 8 a.m. classes every day for seven weeks,” Horns said. “I want these students to leave this program and either be excited they will be attending Brody in the fall, or they want Brody as their No. 1 pick for medical school when they start the medical application process.”

Since the program began in 1987, SPFD has tallied some notable statistics and success stories, including from recent cohorts.

Brody’s incoming first-year class has 12 students who attended SPFD as non-matriculating students. Thirteen of the 23 non-matriculating students in the 2017 SPFD are now in medical school; several of the others will be applying for the first time this cycle. Seventeen of the 27 non-matriculating students who attended the 2016 SPFD are now in medical school.

“Considering the fact that Brody had nearly 1,100 applications for 86 places this year,” Ray said, “SPFD greatly increases a student’s odds of gaining admission to medical school.”

Lopez’s sights are set on that path as well, now that her SPFD experience cemented her belief that medical school is the right fit for her.

“If there’s one thing this program did, it reassured me that dedicating my life to medicine would make me the happiest person on earth,” she said. “The SPFD program is definitely one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Through my experience, I learned how to get through tough times, ways to maximally utilize resources and most importantly, that I have to tools to be successful.”

 

-by Spaine Stephens, University Communications

Serving women who serve: Symposium to address military women’s health

What does a veteran look like?

The only way to know for sure if someone is a veteran is to ask – but people don’t often ask women. This can have significant implications when it comes to health care.

“Once upon a time it was a given that all men served. But having women in the military is not new. Somehow it’s still always a shock when people find out I was in the Army,” Teri Reid said.

Reid spent eight years on active duty and 20 years in the reserves as a nurse in the Army, part of a tradition that dates back to the foundation of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901.

While Reid considers herself fortunate to have not had any major health issues, as a veteran and a health care professional, she knows how important it is for providers to understand their patients’ experiences.

Master Chief Petty Officer Patrice (Pat) Frede, U.S. Navy. Frede works in ECU Human Resources.

Master Chief Petty Officer Patrice (Pat) Frede, U.S. Navy. Frede works in ECU Human Resources. (Contributed photo)

Area health care providers will have a chance to learn more about women service members like Reid at the second annual Military Women’s Health Symposium on Sept. 19. Organized by East Carolina University, Durham VA Medical Center, Eastern Area Health Education Center and other partners, this symposium was started to bring both civilian and military providers together to share emerging knowledge and best practices in treating this population.

There are more than 82,500 women veterans in North Carolina, according to 2017 statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In active duty, women comprise about 15 percent of the armed forces and serve in ever-expanding roles.

Reid attended the first conference in Greenville in 2017 after her friend and former supervisee Chrissy Sanford invited her to come along. Sanford was also in the Army Nurse Corps with 20 years of service. Both Reid and Sanford are pediatric nurse practitioners. Reid served on various bases in the U.S. treating soldiers’ children. Sanford served in various capacities, including deployment to Iraq in 2006-07 where she helped treat Iraqi children among other duties.

“Last year’s conference sounded so applicable to what we experienced and what we thought needed to be discussed,” Sanford said. “I think the conference was very good – so many different topics of discussion and great audience participation. I think it was very beneficial for all the participants. It brought up many issues specific to female veterans.”

This year’s topics include cardiovascular risk, musculoskeletal injuries, sexual trauma, suicide risk and prevention, transgender care and more. Other activities include a panel discussion with military women and trauma-sensitive yoga.

“Women comprise the fastest-growing veteran subpopulation,” said Dr. Keita Franklin, executive director for suicide prevention at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. Franklin is scheduled to present at the conference.

“Our most recent data tells us that in 2015, the suicide rate for all women veterans was about two times higher compared with non-veteran women, after adjusting for age,” Franklin said. “We know that no one organization alone can prevent suicide. For us to truly prevent veteran suicide, our efforts must reach beyond outside our walls and traditional health care settings to involve peers, family members, organizations, and the community.”

The second annual Military Women’s Health Symposium — organized by East Carolina University, Durham VA Medical Center, Eastern Area Health Education Center and other partners — will be held on Sept. 19.

The second annual Military Women’s Health Symposium — organized by East Carolina University, Durham VA Medical Center, Eastern Area Health Education Center and other partners — will be held on Sept. 19. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

In addition to veterans, the conference will also focus on active duty service members.

“The key is understanding our lifestyle and what we go through, and realizing that everyone has a different experience,” said Lt. Col. Melissa Coleman of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at ECU. “For women, not only do we serve when we deploy, we’re also mothers and partners and caregivers – it affects all the other things we do and our loved ones.”

One of the most important things providers can do is ask women about past military service, Reid said, adding, “and don’t be shocked if she says yes.”

Military women’s health care needs can be unique and beyond the familiarity of a civilian provider, so they need to know which services are available to them, Sanford said. “People don’t know what to say other than thank you for your service. We’re honored and proud to serve, but we need more.”

This program is jointly provided by the Office of Continuing Medical Education of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Vidant Health, Duke Area Health Education Center, and the Durham VA Medical Center in association with Eastern Area Health Education Center.

To find out more or register for the conference, visit https://www.easternahec.net/courses-and-events/55921/2018-military-womens-health-symposium.

Call for Health Stories from Military Women

Are you a woman who serves or has served in the military? Are you willing to share how your service has impacted your health? We want to hear from you! Eastern Area Health Education Center is collecting health stories and images from active duty and veteran women of eastern North Carolina. These stories and images will be compiled into posters to be displayed at the upcoming Military Women’s Health Symposium for health care providers on Sept. 19. These posters will also become a public traveling exhibit for area hospitals and campuses. The goal of this symposium is to advance care for women who serve and increase both civilian and military provider awareness of the issues military women face. Your stories will help local providers and the public better understand the unique health needs of military women.

Submissions will be collected through Aug. 17. Stories should be limited to 250 words and must be health-related. Not all submissions may be used and some may be edited for clarity. Images are optional but encouraged. Submissions may be anonymous. Email submissions to Jackie Drake at drakej@ecu.edu or call 252-744-5217.

 

-by Jackie Drake, University Communications

New STEM-related degrees announced

ECU and the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) announced three new degree programs: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (BSSE), Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) and Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS).

“These new degrees reflect the college’s commitment to maximizing student success and leading regional transformation,” said Dr. Harry Ploehn, CET dean. “Software engineering, mechanical engineering and data science are high-demand fields. When we can provide graduates in these fields who want to live and work in our region, companies will come, grow and thrive here.”

ECU’s Master of Science in Data Science will be an interdisciplinary program with a focus on health care big data.

ECU’s Master of Science in Data Science will be an interdisciplinary program with a focus on health care big data. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The new BSSE degree will replace the current Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, which the department has offered since 1972. It will apply engineering principles and proven industry practices to enable graduates to design, produce and validate large-scale, high-quality, secure software. Special features of the program include well-balanced coverage of theory and practice, and summerinternship and research experiences.

The BSSE program will recruit high school seniors and community college transfer students who plan to enroll as full-time students. “Society’s demand for fast, accurate and secure computing and software will continue to increase,” said Ploehn. “ECU will provide the computer scientists and software engineers who will meet this demand.”

The MSME degree is a research-oriented program that will focus on two areas — advanced energy systems and mechanics of biomaterials. Advanced energy systems include sustainable and efficient energy systems such as solar, wind and ocean-wave energy. Mechanics of biomaterials centers around the mechanical behavior of biological tissues, as well as materials for medical implants.

Graduates will gain advanced problem-solving and critical thinking skills to serve a wide range of industries and government organizations. This program will cater to those who have completed degrees in engineering, science and health care professions – and are looking for advanced knowledge and research skills needed to advance in their careers.

Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam

Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam

“This (MSME) new degree program aligns with key components of the ECU mission statement, which is to be a national model for student success and public service,” said Dr. Tarek Abdel-Salam, an associate dean for CET. “ECU is the only university within the UNC System that offers academic programs in engineering, medicine, dentistry, nursing and allied health on one campus. The MSME program plans to take advantage of these strengths.” ​

The MS in Data Science is an interdisciplinary degree program involving ECU’s departments of computer science, health services and information management, mathematics and biostatistics. Features of the health-care-centric program include theory and practice of data science in the context of medicine and related health care professions, as well as strong industry involvement.

According to Dr. Venkat Gudivada, chair of CET’s Department of Computer Science, the MSDS program will aim to produce data scientists who will be innovators in reducing health care costs and improving quality of care through big data-driven decision making.

“Data science refers to a set of new algorithms and approaches for advancing scientific discoveries and business innovation through big data,” said Gudivada. “The knowledge and skills needed to analyze and interpret big data are quite different from those that are needed for small-scale data sets. Data scientists play a critical role in enabling organizations to improve their products, business processes and services using the data they collect.”

The MSDS program will recruit students with an academic background in computing or other quantitative disciplines such as mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, engineering andepidemiology. Applicants must have a strong undergraduate preparation in mathematical and computational problem-solving. Students from disciplines other than computer science are required to complete two specially designed bridge courses before they begin the program. The program will be delivered using both online and face-to-face instruction. Thirty semester hours are required to earn the degree.

Summer internships and research opportunities will be part of the new Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering program.

Summer internships and research opportunities will be part of the new Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering program.

“Our students should be able to progress as high and as far as their ability and motivation will take them,” said Ploehn. “That’s why we’re building more and better graduate and certificate programs, like the new MSME and MSDS degrees.”

All three programs currently are accepting applications.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

Brody administrator named fellow in newest class of emerging women leaders

A dean at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine has been awarded an international fellowship that recognizes her potential for executive leadership in academic medicine.

Dr. Leigh Patterson, associate dean for faculty development at Brody, has been named a 2018–19 Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine®(ELAM®) fellow.

Dr. Leigh Patterson

Dr. Leigh Patterson (Contributed photo)

The ELAM program is a year-long, part-time fellowship for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health and pharmacy. The program hones the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage in today’s health care environment, with emphasis on the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions.

“To have Brody’s first ELAM fellow in many years is a testament to Dr. Patterson’s excellent reputation and vital experiences that make her stand out as a leader,” said Brody’s dean, Dr. Mark Stacy, who nominated Patterson for the fellowship. “She is committed to her development as a leader and to helping the Brody School of Medicine support its faculty and reach its full potential in all mission areas.”

The highly competitive ELAM program was developed for senior women faculty at the associate or full professor level who demonstrate the greatest potential for assuming executive leadership positions at academic health centers within the next five years.

The program is organized around three curricular threads: organizational perspectives and knowledge (a mini-executive MBA); emerging issues in leadership and academic health administration; and personal and professional development. Patterson will complete assessments and assignments online and attend sessions at designated locations around the country, including ELAM’s home institution, the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

One requirement of the fellowship is to conduct an Institutional Action Project, developed in collaboration with the fellow’s dean or other senior official. These action projects are designed to address an institutional or departmental need or priority.

“We are extremely excited to see the impact these women will have on their institutions as they work through the ELAM curriculum and develop their action projects,” said Dr. Nancy D. Spector, executive director of ELAM. “The projects the fellows conduct not only help them understand the challenges facing academic health centers and the skills a leader must possess to address these challenges, but also often result in concrete changes at their institutions.”

Patterson has served in a variety of leadership roles, including associate dean, residency program director, chair of Brody’s Executive Curriculum Committee, leader for the school’s recent curriculum transformation work and administrator in faculty development. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Her interests include exploring ways to preserve and optimize medical education and better defining faculty roles and titles.

“I want to grow the Office of Faculty Development here, and I believe this opportunity will help me,” Patterson said. “Many faculty affairs deans around the country have participated in this fellowship and attribute their successes in leading programs and initiatives to the lessons they learned there.”

Patterson is part of the 24th class of ELAM fellows, composed of 60 women from 53 institutions around the world. She joins two women leaders from Duke University to round out North Carolina’s 2018 contingent. Nearly 1,000 ELAM alumnae hold leadership positions in academic health centers.

 

-by Spaine Stephens, University Communications

T-shirt sales raise more than $5K for ALS

East Carolina University Dowdy Student Stores and its vendor, Perfect Promotions & More of Apex, presented a check on July 31 for $5,250 to the ALS Association North Carolina Chapter. The presentation was held at Clark-LeClair Stadium with representatives from the ALS Association, Dowdy Student Stores, Perfect Promotions and ECU baseball coach Cliff Godwin.

The money was raised through sales of “Strike Out ALS” T-shirts at the student store and its souvenir booth at the baseball stadium. A portion of each sale was donated to the ALS state chapter.

“We are grateful to Dowdy Student Stores, Perfect Promotions & More, East Carolina University and everyone who purchased T-shirts to fight ALS this spring,” said chapter president Jerry Dawson. “With their continued commitment to defeat ALS and to honor Coach LeClair, we are getting closer every day to creating a world without ALS.”

Representatives from ECU, Dowdy Student Stores, the ALS Association and Perfect Promotions and More gather for a check presentation on July 31.

Representatives from ECU, Dowdy Student Stores, the ALS Association and Perfect Promotions & More gather for a check presentation on July 31. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dowdy Student Stores director Bryan Tuten commended the Pirate Nation fan base.

“I’m always thrilled at the support that Pirate fans show for these cause-related T-shirts,” said Tuten. “I know the proceeds from this ALS support shirt will go a long way to help local patients and their families, and knowing it stays locally makes it even more special.”

The university-operated bookstores sell fund-raising T-shirts for military services, veteran student services and pediatric cancer awareness in addition to the store’s annual contributions to student scholarships.

Perfect Promotions vice president of sales Stephen McFadden is proud to play a role in the effort. McFadden has worked with Dowdy to produce more than 100 officially licensed ECU items. He says his favorite pieces have always been the T-shirts for a cause.

“It’s refreshing to be able to work with a client on supporting local charities and organizations through financial support and raising awareness of their groups. This year will be our fifth year partnering with the Dowdy Store on these T-shirts that have helped raise more than $75,000 in donations to 15 organizations,” said McFadden, an ECU alumnus. “I’m excited to see what the future brings for this program and what other programs we can inspire throughout the community.”

The next T-shirt for a cause will come out in late August and will benefit pediatric cancer awareness. Similar to past years, it will feature the #GoGold tag and will be perfect for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month in September and the Paint it Gold football game on Sept. 29, said John Palmer, Dowdy’s merchandise manager.

ECU’s bookstore is a self-operated, university-run store. The campus bookstore doesn’t receive state funding, and maintains services through sales. Profits are directed back to the university community through scholarship contributions and donations to campus projects.

 

-by Leslie Craigle, ECU Dowdy Student Stores

Undergraduates share research at event

Ten undergraduate researchers from across the country shared their research projects Aug. 3 at East Carolina University’s Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, wrapping up the final week of a research-intensive program funded by the National Science Foundation.

The Biomedical Engineering in Simulations, Imaging and Modeling Research Experience for Undergraduates, led by ECU’s departments of engineering, kinesiology and physical therapy, hosted students from nine universities to conduct original research in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The program, initially funded by a $288,000 grant from the NSF, gives undergraduate students an understanding of how to conduct research and to learn more about graduate school opportunities.

Madeline Pauley’s, left, research topic focused on plantar fasciitis and the internal structure of the foot in healthy patients and patients suffering from the condition.

Madeline Pauley’s, left, research topic focused on plantar fasciitis and the internal structure of the foot in healthy patients and patients suffering from the condition. (Photos by Matt Smith)

During the 10-week program, students investigated fields ranging from bioengineering to physiology, learning the research process firsthand.

“This was really my first time doing research that was my own project,” said Madeline Pauley, who will graduate this summer from ECU with a degree in exercise physiology. “The program allowed me to decide what I wanted to research. We were guided through the process, but we had a lot of freedom to make our own decisions that you may not get when you’re just volunteering in a lab.”

Pauley’s research focused on plantar fasciitis and the internal structure of the foot in healthy patients and patients suffering from the condition. Joining Pauley from ECU was rising junior Victoria Blackwood. Her research looked at osteoarthritis in post-ACL reconstruction patients and rehabilitation techniques that may limit knee joint pain in patients who have undergone surgery.

“I came to the program with little research experience, so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” Blackwood said. “In just a short time I’ve realized what goes into conducting research and that I do want to continue participating in research projects in the future.”

•Rising East Carolina University junior Victoria Blackwood, right, shares her research on osteoarthritis in patients who have undergone ACL surgery at the The Biomedical Engineering in Simulations, Imaging and Modeling Research Experience for Undergraduates post session at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Friday.

Rising East Carolina University junior Victoria Blackwood, right, shares her research on osteoarthritis in patients who have undergone ACL surgery at the The Biomedical Engineering in Simulations, Imaging and Modeling Research Experience for Undergraduates post session at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Friday.

Pauley and Blackwood said that having students from other universities – including the University of Connecticut, Mercer University and Long Beach State University, among others – added to their program experience.

“Our research peers from other universities helped show me my strengths and weaknesses,” Pauley said. “It was interesting to see how we complemented one another. My background is in anatomy and physiology, but most of their backgrounds were in bioengineering and technology. It was eye-opening to learn about their interests and see how researchers can work together to accomplish things.”

Stephanie George, an assistant professor of engineering at ECU, oversees the program with associate professor of kinesiology Zac Domire. George hopes giving undergraduate researchers with varied interests an opportunity to work with one another shows them the importance of multidisciplinary and collaborative research.

“They put a lot of work into it, but they rely on each other a bit because of their diverse expertise,” she said. “We have computer science, engineering and physics majors; there’s a lot of different expertise that they share with one another. We believe at the end of it all they have a better understanding of the research process and gain confidence that they can lead a project and share it with others.”

 

-by Matt Smith, University Communications

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