Category Archives: News Releases

ECU to host Fall Career Fairs for students and alumni

East Carolina University Career Services will host two career fairs on Oct. 17 at the Greenville Convention Center. The College of Engineering and Technology (CET) Career Fair will be held from 9-11 a.m., followed by the Fall Career Fair for all majors from 1-4 p.m.

The CET Career Fair is open to all Engineering and Technology majors or students interested in pursuing a career within these fields. During the two-hour session, students will have the opportunity to connect with more than 100 employers, including both local and national companies. That afternoon, the Fall Career Fair will welcome students of all majors at ECU and feature over 200 employers.

ECU students and alumni have the opportunity to meet potential employers from across the country recruiting for internship, part-time and full-time positions. Both career fairs give attendees the opportunity to create professional contacts and secure interviews with employers from several different industries including science, technology, business, government and healthcare.

“According to recent ECU student survey responses, 93 percent of students that attended a previous career fair discovered at least one employer related to their major or career interests,” said Patrick Roberts, associate director for ECU Career Services. “This shows that we provide a diverse collection of employment opportunities that matches the over 120 majors available at ECU. Our goal is to create opportunities for students to establish relationships with employers that directly relate to their career goals.”

Participating companies at these career fairs include American Tower Corporation, Aramark, Barnhill Contracting Company, BB&T Corporation, Cisco, Credit Suisse, e-Emphasys Technologies, Enterprise Holdings, GEICO, Greenville Utilities Commission, Honda North America South HUB, Horace Mann, Hyster-Yale Group, Lincoln Financial Group, Motion Industries, NAVAIR, NetApp, Novo Nordisk, Patheon, Peace Corps, Peter Millar, T.A. Loving Company, UTC Aerospace Systems, Vidant Health and Youth Villages.

For more information and suggestions on how to prepare for the Career Fairs, visit the Career Services website at


-Contact: Tom Halasz, director for ECU Career Services,, 252-328-6050

ECU to offer part-time hybrid master of social work degree program

Beginning in May, East Carolina University’s School of Social Work will offer a part-time hybrid program for people interested in earning a master of social work degree.

The three-year program will include online, hybrid, and some face-to-face classes that will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays on the ECU campus. The program starts May 13, 2019.

ECU students in the School of Social Work discuss their program with members of the HHP Advancement Council in the Rivers Building.

ECU students in the School of Social Work discuss their program with members of the HHP Advancement Council in the Rivers Building. (Photo by Rhett Butler)

Prospective ECU students must apply for admission by Jan. 8 to be considered for the program. More information is at

Requirements for admission into the MSW program include: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution; a satisfactory GPA; a satisfactory score on either the MAT or the GRE unless a test waiver is granted; and a broad-based liberal arts foundation with a minimum of six courses in basic social and behavioral science. An advanced standing pathway for BSW graduates and a regular pathway for other undergraduate majors will be offered.

A part-time Rocky Mount class will begin in May 2020, while a part-time New Bern class will begin in May 2021. Each will be hybrid, take three years to complete, and will include some Saturday classes.

For more information on the MSW program and admission procedures, contact the ECU School of Social Work at 252-328-5650, visit the website at or email


-Contact: Paige Averett, director of graduate programs, ECU School of Social Work,, 252-328-4193

ECU one of 18 campuses partnering to address food insecurity in NC

North Carolina Campus Compact has joined forces with Food Lion Feeds to launch a Collegiate Challenge that will mobilize colleges and universities to address hunger in their local communities.

East Carolina University is among a group of 18 geographically diverse schools — including four-year colleges and universities and two-year community colleges — that will host events to raise awareness about hunger in partnership with their local food banks, on-campus pantries and local Food Lion stores.

Winning schools can receive $10,000 for the most engagement and creativity on campus, and a second award of $10,000 will be presented to the campus that collects the most food – adjusted for school size – in a food drive. Funds will support hunger-related initiatives; ECU plans to use the funds to support the Purple Pantry, an on-campus initiative tackling food insecurity among the student population. The Collegiate Challenge began in September and runs through December.

“We are excited to partner with N.C. Campus Compact and these 18 campuses that are already doing so much around food insecurity,” said Pat Taft, community relations manager for Food Lion. “It is a natural fit for us because we are passionate about feeding our neighbors who shop with us and those who may have the difficult task of choosing between rent and gas and groceries. We want to encourage the great work these students are already doing and by supporting their efforts we can broaden the reach of our hunger relief efforts in the towns and cities we serve.”

Hannah Grant

Hannah Grant (Contributed photo)

ECU has selected Hannah Grant, a senior studying social work, to lead the campaign. Grant was selected because of her passion to address hunger and her work this summer with the Purple Pantry. Through this experience, she saw firsthand how food insecurity affects the students at ECU and how it, in turn, affects the whole community. The faculty/staff mentor is Nichelle Shuck, associate director in the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.

For more information contact Hannah Grant at or follow on social media at @ECUCLCE or #FoodLionFeeds.


-Contact: Nichelle E. Shuck, associate director, Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, 252-328-6979 or

ECU hosts traveling Blackbeard exhibit commemorating 300th anniversary of pirate’s death

To commemorate the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s notorious adventures along the North Carolina coast, East Carolina University’s Joyner Library is showcasing a traveling exhibit with artifacts from Blackbeard’s flagship Oct. 8 through Nov. 29.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge traveling exhibition is on loan from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources with items from the Maritime Museum in Beaufort. Blackbeard died in 1718 during a battle at Ocracoke.

The BlackBeard 300 exhibit is located in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery on the second floor of Joyner Library.

The BlackBeard 300 exhibit is located in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery on the second floor of Joyner Library. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

On display in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery, the exhibit includes artifacts that represent weaponry, nautical tools and personal items ranging from cannonballs, lead shot, gun flint, grinding stones, dinner plates, thumb screws and cask hoops. Replicas of other maritime items including a model of the Queen Anne’s Revenge will also be on display.

Also on display in the North Carolina Collections at Joyner Library is “Blackbeard Fact & Fiction,” an exhibit exploring the fascinating world of Blackbeard through historical texts and fiction taken from the library’s own rare book collection.

On Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., Joyner Library will host a pirate-themed family fun day with free activities including a performance by ECU’s Storybook Theatre and face painting.

The Blackbeard 300 exhibit and the Blackbeard Family Fun Day are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Charlotte Fitz Daniels at or 252-328-0287.

Blackbeard 300 Event Calendar


-Contact: Charlotte Fitz Daniels, events and programs coordinator, Joyner Library, or 252-328-0287

Student event at ECU combines innovation, hurricane relief

An event geared toward students aims to bring innovative ideas to disaster relief efforts as eastern North Carolina continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Florence.

On Thursday, Oct. 4, East Carolina University will host BrainSTORM, a “make-a-thon” exhibition that brings student teams together for a seven-hour period to create products to help communities recover after natural disasters. During the session, students will explore problems encountered by families, businesses and first responders during natural disasters, create ideas to solve those problems and develop prototypes for potential solutions.

Modeled after popular “hack-a-thons,” BrainSTORM will challenge student innovation by providing tools and resources for creative problem solving around specific needs.

The event is hosted by ECU’s Miller School of Entrepreneurship, Innovation Design Lab, and Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement.

David Mayo, a teaching instructor with the Miller School of Entrepreneurship and leader for BrainSTORM, said the event offers a unique opportunity for students to positively impact distressed regions in eastern North Carolina.

“This event is important because it allows students to create scalable solutions that can impact many lives,” Mayo said. “When we think of disaster recovery, many times we think about cutting tree limbs or handing out water bottles. However, if we can come up with creative solutions to help with disaster prevention, make logistics more efficient in flooded areas, or create early warning systems, we can improve outcomes for many instead of a few.”

Faculty members will be on hand to guide students through the creation process and provide technical development expertise, if needed.

BrainSTORM will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at ECU’s Innovation Design Lab at Suite 100, 211 S. Jarvis St.

Students can register online; however registration is not required to participate.


What: BrainSTORM Make-A-Thon

When: Thursday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Innovation Design Lab, Suite 110, 211 S. Jarvis St.


-Contact: Matt Smith, University Communications, or 252-737-5423

Native American poet, activist to visit ECU

Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz
(Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths)

East Carolina University’s Contemporary Writers Series will welcome Native American poet and activist Natalie Diaz on Oct. 2.

Author of “When My Brother Was an Aztec,” Diaz will read from her work at 7 p.m. in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center, Room 1220. A book signing and question and answer session will follow the reading. 

Fellow American poet Adrian Matejka decribes “When My Brother Was an Aztec” as a spacious, sophisticated collection, one that puts in work addressing the author’s divergent experiences — whether it be family, skin politics, hoops, code switching or government commodities.” The book was a 2012 Lannan Literary Selection. 

According to Publishers Weekly, “Diaz portrays experiences rooted in Native American life with personal and mythic power.”

Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Diaz also is an advocate for the Mojave language and a director of the language preservation program at Fort Mojave. Her work with the three surviving fluent speakers of Mojave has been featured on news outlets, including PBS NewsHour. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University, where she earned her master of fine arts degree after playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia.

Matejka, who chose Diaz as a Poetry Society of America “New American Poet,” explains that her work “is about the transformation of traditions — the traditions of poverty, the traditions of Indigenousness, the traditions of poetics.”

Diaz’s poetry has received the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Bread Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize, the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University, a U.S. Artists Ford Fellowship, a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Fellowship.

This event is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, LGBT Resource Office, and the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Departments of English, History and Anthropology. For more information, contact John Hoppenthaler, professor of English, at


-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

ECU Hurricane Florence food drive off to fast start

East Carolina University’s efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Florence are off to a quick start thanks to early success from its community-wide food drive.

During its first week, the food drive – led by East Carolina Undaunted and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina – brought in more than 6,200 pounds of water, food and household supplies. In all, 10 pallets were filled with supplies, servicing 10 counties in eastern North Carolina with the capacity to serve nearly 5,300 meals.

East Carolina University faculty, staff and student volunteers sort food at ECU’s Hurricane Florence Food Drive held in partnership with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. As of Monday, the food drive brought in more than 6,200 pounds of water, food and household supplies.

East Carolina University faculty, staff and student volunteers sort food at ECU’s Hurricane Florence Food Drive held in partnership with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. As of Monday, the food drive brought in more than 6,200 pounds of water, food and household supplies. (Contributed photos)

The food drive, held at the Willis Building across from Greenville’s Town Common at 300 E. First St., continues through Sept. 29. The food drive is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Those wishing to donate are asked to bring canned fruits and vegetables, canned meat and fish, canned beans and soup, hygiene products, household cleaning supplies, and other non-perishable items.

George Young, eastern regional director for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, said so far the community’s response has been “awesome.”

“I think the people of Greenville are appreciative of what they’ve been through in the past,” Young said. “They missed the bullseye of the storm this time, but they realize families and friends in other areas are in need and how important this outreach is.

“These in-kind donations are vital to helping those impacted by the storm,” he said. “Those affected by Hurricane Florence may not be able to get to a grocery store, or their grocery store is without food or power. We’re able to take these items, put them into family packs and put them to good use.”

A volunteer helps load supplies from ECU’s Hurricane Florence Food Drive into a truck for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

A volunteer helps load supplies from ECU’s Hurricane Florence Food Drive into a truck for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

ECU has been able to provide critical assistance through its Hurricane Florence recovery support team – East Carolina Undaunted – and its hurricane recovery website. As of Monday, ECU has received 38 nonemergency assistance requests, including 29 individual and eight community requests. Additionally, the university’s Small Business Technology and Development Center joined forces with the U.S. Small Business Administration to open a business recovery center – the only such center currently operating in the region.

In total, 537 students, faculty, staff and community members have registered to volunteer through the site, totaling 817 volunteer hours. Additionally, the university has raised more than $4,000 toward hurricane recovery efforts.

“The way ECU has approached this food drive, including having a central contact person and location, has been invaluable,” Young said. “ECU volunteers have brought in the food, sorted the items and helped get them packed and on the way out to those in need. We’ve really appreciated them taking our most-needed list and sharing it with the community.”

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves 34 counties, including 10 from its Greenville branch. The 35-year-old program partners with 800 food agencies across the state, providing food to families suffering from food insecurity and natural disasters like Hurricane Florence.

“The successful first week of our food drive is just the start on the road to recovery for those in eastern North Carolina after Hurricane Florence,” said Jay Golden, vice chancellor for research, economic development and engagement at ECU. “The community support we’ve received so far has been monumental. I urge ECU students, faculty, staff and community members to visit our Florence Recovery website to sign-up for volunteer opportunities and continue the university’s tradition of serving others.”

Visit to volunteer and get connected with ECU’s hurricane recovery efforts. Learn more about the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at


-by Matt Smith, University Communications

Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge announces dates, additional prize money

East Carolina University’s Miller School of Entrepreneurship has announced the dates for the second annual Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, a three-round pitch competition available to any ECU student in the 2018-19 academic year and alumni who have an enrolled ECU student on their team.

ECU Junior Taylor Hicks, right, owner of Simple & Sentimental, participated in last year’s inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge. She eventually moved on to take first place in the competition.

ECU Junior Taylor Hicks, right, owner of Simple & Sentimental, participated in last year’s inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge. She eventually moved on to take first place in the competition. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

More than $75,000 in cash and in-kind services will be awarded to the top three winners. The grand prize winner will receive $15,000 in cash. Second place will receive $10,000 and third place will take home $5,000 in prize money.

ECU student Taylor Hicks and her company, Simple and Sentimental, won first place in last year’s inaugural challenge, which handed out $20,000 in cash prizes.

“The increase in award money and the new in-kind, donated services are some of many reasons we’re excited about this year’s challenge,” said Dr. Mike Harris, director of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship.

Round one will take place Oct. 11 from noon to 2 p.m. in the brickyard between Joyner Library and Mendenhall Student Center on main campus. Based on popular vote and input from ECU representatives, 12 teams will move on to round two, which is Nov. 15, 5-7 p.m. at the ECU Heart Institute. The six teams chosen to participate in the final round will receive $2,000. The final round will be held in February during National Entrepreneurship Week. The date and time will be announced later.

Cash and in-kind services will be provided by:

  • Albea Law
  • Coffman’s Menswear
  • Greenville SEED@ECU
  • Instigator
  • Jenkins, Wilson, Taylor, Hunt
  • Kellam and Campbell
  • Pitt County Development Commission
  • Red Shark Digital
  • Uptown Greenville

“We’re trying to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem here in eastern North Carolina,” said Harris. “The more companies we can work with to participate in the challenge, the more we can entice ECU students, from both the east and west campuses, to participate, get involved and cultivate their ideas into realities.”

For teams interested in competing, an information session will be held Sept. 27 in Bate 1300 from 5:30-6:15 p.m.

To learn more about the second annual Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, visit

The dates of the second annual Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge have been announced. Prizes total more than $75,000.

The dates of the second annual Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge have been announced. Prizes total more than $75,000.


-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

ECU recognized for diversity and inclusion

For the seventh consecutive year, East Carolina University has been recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness by receiving the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award.

The HEED award is sponsored by Insight into Diversity magazine and recognizes colleges and universities in the U.S. that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. The 2018 award winners were selected for initiatives that focus on all aspects of diversity including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community.

“Receiving this award for the seventh consecutive year recognizes the continuing efforts and successes of our collective work around diversity and inclusion,” said LaKesha Forbes, associate provost for Equity and Diversity. “We strive to maintain an increasingly diverse and welcoming environment for our faculty, staff and students. Diversity is strength and inclusion leads to excellence, and we are strong in our endeavor toward excellence.”

ECU is one of six institutions in the UNC system to receive the 2018 HEED award.

“At ECU we are dedicated to being a community that is reflective of a globally diverse workplace for students and employees. I am proud that we are once again being recognized for our commitment to build an inclusive community where we value our differences,” said ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton.

Several groups and programs specifically address diversity and inclusion at ECU, and three of these programs were included in ECU’s 2018 application for the HEED award. The following programs highlight opportunities available for students and employees to promote inclusiveness through research, education and outreach:

Diversity and Inclusion Research and Scholarship (DIRS) Program

The DIRS Program is a faculty development and seed grant program that provides funds to departments with faculty who engage in research projects related to diversity, equity, inclusion and/or cultural competence. Faculty members may apply for financial assistance for either diversity-related research expenses and/or reassignment from teaching assignments for up to one academic year.

Multicultural Appreciation Day Experience (MADE)

In collaboration with Undergraduate Admissions, MADE at ECU gives current high school students an opportunity to see how they can benefit from an exceptional education and wonderful social experience at ECU. It offers high school students the chance to meet with current ECU students and faculty, learn how to apply and pay for their education, explore scholarship opportunities and learn about the many different majors offered at ECU.

Valuing Inclusion Program (VIP)

VIP provides educational opportunities for open dialogue of beliefs and values and to develop skills to create an inclusive community at ECU. This program promotes an inclusive and respectful working, living and learning environment. It brings awareness to the experiences of people with intersecting marginalized identities and aids in developing skills to effect positive change and promote inclusivity.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

ECU will be featured along with the 95 other recipients in the November issue of Insight into Diversity magazine.

ECU’s Brody School of Medicine welcomed the most diverse class of medical students in history this year.

ECU’s Brody School of Medicine welcomed the most diverse class of medical students in history this year. (Photo by Rhett Butler)


-by Jamie Smith, ECU News Services

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