Category Archives: Students

Dowdy Student Store to host Grad Expo

Dowdy Student Store will host a Grad Expo for May 2018 graduates from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 20 and 21 and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the student store in the Wright Building on campus.

Graduating seniors can pick up caps and gowns; register for graduation; and order class rings, custom invitations, announcements and thank-you notes. Jostens, the official provider of class rings for ECU, will have samples of class rings, and representatives can help with finger sizing and original designs.

The Alumni Association, Pirate Club, Rec Center, Career Services, Registrar, The Buccaneer, College of Education Office of Alternative Licensure, Custom Stoles and University Frames will be on hand with offers and information.

Jostens has donated three $100 Dowdy Student Store gift cards that will be given away in a drawing. A diploma frame donated by University Frames also will be given away in the drawing. All May 2018 graduates are invited to enter; no purchase is necessary.

Representatives from Oak Hall custom regalia will be at Dowdy during the Expo for faculty members who wish to purchase their own gowns. They will have samples of regalia and can take measurements. A 10 percent discount will be given on all orders placed during this visit.

Graduating seniors unable to attend the Expo can visit Dowdy Student Stores after Feb. 22 to pick up their caps and gowns.

For more information about the Expo, call 252-328-6731 or visit www.studentstores.ecu.edu.

Global Living-Learning Community broadens students’ cultural perspectives

Fall 2017 marked the official beginning of East Carolina University’s Global Living-Learning Community, consisting of a tight-knit group of seven first-year students from diverse backgrounds who live in the same residence hall on campus. The students’ interests range from anthropology, biology and health care to Hispanic studies and Japanese culture.

The Global LLC is a joint effort between the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and ECU’s Division of Campus Living. Global LLC students take classes and workshops together, as well as participate in activities and events that highlight diverse cultural practices, worldviews and linguistic diversity.

Students stand with professor during crepe-making event

Global Living-Learning Community students Genesis Henderson, Maia Slonaker and Ella Dogbe-Tsogbe appear here with Dr. Nicolas Médevielle (left), teaching assistant professor of French, who led a crêpe-making event on campus Feb. 1, celebrating the French holiday, la Chandeleur. (Photos courtesy of Dr. Jennifer M. Valko and Dr. Larkin Murphy)

“Students live in an environment that supports academic achievement and are exposed to cultures and worldviews that will enhance their personal and professional development,” said Dr. Jennifer M. Valko, associate professor of Spanish and director of the Global LLC.

“One of the departmental goals for the Global LLC is to organize workshops, speakers and programs that will permit our majors and minors to mingle with Global LLC students,” Valko said. “The idea is to enhance their relationship within the department, encourage friendships between students who share interests and experiences and continue to help Global LLC students make a smooth transition into the university life at ECU.”

Emmanuella “Ella” Dogbe-Tsogbe, a Global LLC student whose family is from Togo, West Africa, said the Global LLC offers many important benefits.

“The Global LLC is a community for students to be close together,” said Dogbe-Tsogbe.

Students in the Global LLC are not necessarily international students. Many are from the United States and are interested in the world around them, while some students’ families, like Dogbe-Tsogbe’s, are from different parts of the world. Other students’ families are from Korea and Costa Rica.

“We get to interact with each other and share our cultures,” said Dogbe-Tsogbe.

On Feb. 1, the group had the opportunity to learn a bit about the French culture at an event that included a discussion about the history and significance of the French festival, la Chandeleur, with active crêpe-making stations. Hosted by the French studies program in Harriot College’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the event was one of several this spring that are open to all majors at ECU.

“I liked that we were all interacting with each other, not just people from the Global LLC, but also from French classes and other LLCs,” said Dogbe-Tsogbe. “And it was great to make crêpes.”

Dr. Nicholas Médevielle (left) discusses the significance and history of the French holiday, la Chandeleur

Dr. Nicholas Médevielle (left) discusses the significance and history of the French holiday, la Chandeleur, with a group of students before assisting them at a crêpe-making station.

Dr. Nicolas Médevielle, teaching assistant professor of French, who led the event, said, “One of the best ways to interact with students and introduce them to the culture is to prepare food for and with them, and crêpes is a simple enough dish for students to try.”

Médevielle is from the northwestern region of France known as Bretagne or Brittany, where crêpes are embraced as the regional dish.

“I love to show students how they are made, but also to give students some information about the background of this festival,” he said. “As language teachers, we not only want to teach the language but also present some aspects of the cultures and history of the countries associated with these languages.”

According to Médevielle, in contemporary France, la Chandeleur (the festival of candles) is largely seen as a secular festival – an occasion to make and eat crêpes in the middle of the winter, which happens around the time of Carnival and “Mardi Gras” (aka Fat Tuesday).

In reality, la Chandeleur is a very old tradition. It has been celebrated as a Catholic feast for more than 1,500 years, replacing two previously established pagan festivals. La Chandeleur takes place 40 days after Christmas, on Feb. 2, and is a celebration of the presentation of Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem.

Global Living-Learning Community students Genesis Henderson and Maia Slonaker make their own crêpes at the interactive academic and cultural event.

Global Living-Learning Community students Genesis Henderson and Maia Slonaker make their own crêpes at the interactive academic and cultural event.

At the beginning of the event, students learned the significance of the holiday. Then, they were able to view crêpes recipes and instructions in French and English and could sample crêpes made by faculty at two crêpe stations, or work at an interactive station where students were taught how to make their own crêpes.

Global LLC students also participate in a number of academic events that assist them with their transition into university life.

During their first semester at ECU, students in the Global LLC took the “Introduction to Global Studies” course together, taught by Médevielle and assistant professor of Russian studies Dr. Justin Wilmes. They participated in academic workshops on time management, learning styles, study skills and test-taking strategies; attended a business etiquette and networking dinner with an international focus; and engaged in a Skype discussion on the subject of happiness with university students at the Faculdade Max Planck in Indaiatuba, Brazil.

The students are exposed to a variety of support services around campus, including Joyner Library, the Pirate Academic Success Center, Office of Global Affairs, Global Academic Initiatives and Career Services. They interact with faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students from various academic units across ECU.

Michelle Giron Morales, a student in the Global LLC whose family is from Cali, Colombia, said the Global LLC has impacted her the most through the etiquette dinner, Pirate Academic Success Center workshops and the Skype conversation with students in Brazil.

“You can learn anything, from anyone, anywhere,” said Giron Morales.

She also said it is important that the Global LLC continue to emphasize cultural awareness.

“Employers are looking for someone who is willing to interact with people who are different than them,” Giron Morales said. “You learn a little bit more about yourself, too.”

This semester, the Global LLC will offer students the ability to participate in Salsa, Bachata and Merengue dance lessons at Crave Restaurant on Feb. 16, and attend a presentation about Jewish culture and Passover with a traditional Seder Dinner on April 7. A community service event also is in the planning process. For more information, visit blog.ecu.edu/sites/globalliving-learningcommunity/.

 

-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

ECU to host Live/Virtual Technology Showcase

East Carolina University will present a Live/Virtual Technology Showcase at the East Carolina Heart Institute on Friday, Feb. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

ECU students and faculty can learn about ongoing federal research and existing intellectual property and interact with principal investigators representing more than 90 federal laboratories and more than 300 federal facilities from the Southeast and Midwest regions of the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC).

These federal labs include the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Agriculture and more, representing billions of dollars in funded research and opportunities for students in the areas of scholarships, internships, funded research, access to federal research and intellectual property, and mentorships with world-class researchers.

“Students and faculty will have the opportunity to interact live or virtually with these principal investigators,” said Joe Gaines, director of industry and economic development for ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development. “Also, we hope students and regional entrepreneurs can use this technology infusion to form teams for our i6 Regional Innovation Strategies grant starting next semester.”

Those teams will have the chance to pursue funded commercialization activity and be part of a U.S. Department of Commerce grant.

Held in collaboration with the FLC and sponsored by ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development, N.C. IDEA and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, the showcase will include a panel discussion on small business technology transfer and innovation research funding opportunities. There will also be seminars on how to work with federal labs and grant opportunities, and student/faculty research, scholarship and internship opportunities at federal labs.

For event details and agenda, visit http://www.ecu.edu/oeied/techshowcase.cfm. Lunch will be provided. Admission is free; for tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ecu-livevirtual-technology-showcase-tickets-41470574605?aff=ehomecard.

 

ECU hosts Veterans Writing Workshop

East Carolina University will help veterans develop the confidence to tell their stories during the Veterans Writing Workshop Feb. 16-17.

Dr. Robert Siegel, associate professor of English and organizer of the Veterans Writing Workshop, said the purpose of the two-day event is to help veterans and their families preserve their stories for future generations, record history, bridge the gap between veterans and civilians and place veteran concerns in the public consciousness.

The workshop begins with a reading and open discussion at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in Joyner Library’s Faulkner Gallery.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the workshop continues at 10 a.m. in Joyner Library, room 2409, with a special presentation by poet Hugh Martin. Martin, who spent six years in the Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq in 2004, will read from his highly praised collection, “Stick Soldiers.”

Following Martin’s presentation, the event will continue with workshops on fiction, nonfiction and scriptwriting. All events are free and open to the public.

The Veterans Writing Workshop is co-sponsored by the ECU Division of Academic Affairs, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, Joyner Library and Operation Re-entry. For more information visit ecu.edu/cs-acad/veteranswritingworkshop/index.cfm.

Martin is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, winner of the 11th annual A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions, Ltd. and winner of the Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award from the Iowa Review. His work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Grantland, The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker and The New Republic. He was the 2014-15 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College, and he now teaches at Ohio University where he is completing his Ph.D.

 

Contact: Robert Siegel, associate professor of English, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, siegelr@ecu.edu, 252-328-6581

 

ECU celebrates World Anthropology Day

East Carolina University’s Department of Anthropology will celebrate World Anthropology Day for the fourth year with Anthropology After Dark.

The Anthropology After Dark open house events include a lecture on the role of anthropology in the military by cultural anthropologist Robert Greene Sands. Sands, director of the Institute for the Study of Culture and Language at Norwich University, will discuss “From Advancing Cultural Sensitivity in Special Operations Forces to Building Sustainable Communities Through Outreach to Veterans,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Flanagan Building, room 265.

The evening also will feature laboratory and artifact exhibits, Andean music and the display of an Egyptian tomb beginning at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Flanagan Building.

“This event is one of our more significant public outreach events,” said Dr. Randy Daniel, chairman of the department. “We invite the public into our classrooms and labs to help them understand the relevance of anthropology in the 21st century.”

All events are free and open to the public. Free parking will be available at the lot near the corner of 10th Street and College Hill Drive. A shuttle from the parking lot to the Flanagan Building will run every 15 minutes beginning at 6:15 p.m.

World Anthropology Day is a day for anthropologists to share their excitement about their discipline with the public and to build enthusiasm and awareness for current and future anthropologists. This year, 236 schools representing 13 different countries will hold events in celebration of World Anthropology Day.

“This is a great time for anthropology,” said Dr. Alex Barker, president of the American Anthropological Association. “Today’s anthropologists are making remarkable contributions to human understanding and tackling the world’s most pressing problems.”

Anthropology Day is an initiative by the American Anthropological Association. Founded in 1902, the association has more than 10,000 members and is the world’s largest professional organization of anthropologists. For more information, visit americananthro.org/AnthroDay.

 

Contact: Dr. Randy Daniel, chairman, Department of Anthropology, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, danieli@ecu.edu, 252-328-9455

Students and staff to present ECU production of “The Vagina Monologues”

East Carolina University will present a production of “The Vagina Monologues” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13 in Wright Auditorium.

“The Vagina Monologues” is a play addressing multiple aspects of the feminine experience including the physical body, empowerment and the ultimate embodiment of individuality. The material was developed based on interviews with more than 200 women. It was first performed in New York in 1994.

“It’s an honor to bring life to Eve Ensler’s words and to be a part of this wonderful community of women who care so deeply,” said Mira Sampath, ECU senior and member of the ensemble. “I first auditioned to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone, but now I believe in the power these words hold to transform both the audience and the performers in a way unlike any other.”

Admission to the performance is free and open to the ECU community and general public. No ticket is required for entry. However, donations will be accepted at the door and will benefit the Center for Family Violence Prevention. This organization serves Pitt, Martin and Washington counties to break the cycle of domestic violence while enhancing individual self-sufficiency and promoting healthy family relationships.

The cast includes 23 women consisting of students, faculty, staff and community members.

“One of the most amazing things about being part of “The Vagina Monologues” is the reminder that runs through all the stories of how resilient women still have to be on a daily basis,” said Will Banks, co-director of the ECU production. “While these monologues may be 20 years old, the stories of sexual assault contained in many of these pieces are still far too real, too much a part of our daily lives. I hope by continuing to stage this show, we are helping more women know that they are not isolated in those experiences, and more men to recognize how we can be too complicit in these experiences by ignoring or downplaying their significance.”

Early performances of the play led to the 1998 launch of V-Day, a global movement aimed at ending violence against women and girls. The initial event led to more than 5,800 annual V-Day celebrations, many of those on college campuses.

The play contains strong language and adult content and is intended for mature audiences.

 

Contact: Mark Rasdorf, associate director for the ECU LGBT Resource Office/co-director of ECU production at 252-737-4451. 

ECU to host NC Civility Summit featuring Dr. Jennifer Arnold

East Carolina University will host the third annual North Carolina Civility Summit from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 17 in the Mendenhall Student Center.

The goal of the N.C. Civility Summit is to create constructive dialogue beyond ECU’s campus and the state of North Carolina, to find solutions and build coalitions to address real-world challenges and tackle significant societal issues. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Jennifer Arnold.

Arnold and her family star in the TLC Network hit docu-drama, “The Little Couple,” which follows her personal and professional life. In addition, she has spent the last eight years involved in health care simulation education. Arnold is currently the medical director of the Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

In 2013, upon the adoption of the couple’s second child, Arnold was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.  Through the support of family, friends and her fans, she underwent intense treatments and is currently cancer-free. Now as a cancer survivor, Arnold is an advocate for spreading cancer awareness, supporting those on the road to recovery and engaging all others with her inspiring story of survivorship.

Following the keynote address at 11 a.m., attendees from across the region will break out into multiple sessions discussing topics such as DACA/the Dream Act, the Politics of Sports, Climate Change and Language Ownership.

The N.C. Civility Summit is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required for entry. To register and for tickets for the event visit www.ecuarts.com. Lunch will be provided for all attendees.

Sponsors include Student Involvement and Leadership, Student Activities Board, Student Government Association, Black Student Union, Sexuality and Gender Alliance, Intercultural Affairs, Off-Campus Student Services, N.C. Civil and Pitt Community College.

For more information about the N.C. Civility Summit visit www.ecu.edu/ecunited or contact Wanda Tyler, director of intercultural affairs, at 252-328-6495.

 

Contact: Wanda Tyler, director of intercultural affairs, tylerw16@ecu.edu, 252-328-6495

Golden LEAF invaluable for current, past students

Recent ECU graduate and current master’s student Jordan Spelce dreams of one day becoming a city or county manager and spurring business and development in places like his hometown of Taylorsville in Alexander County.

But his career path might have looked completely different had he not received a Golden LEAF scholarship and participated in the organization’s internships and leadership programs.

Established in 1999, the Golden LEAF Foundation was created to strengthen the economies of rural or tobacco-dependent communities in North Carolina. Since its inception, the organization has awarded $38 million in scholarships to 16,000 students across the state, most of whom choose to attend ECU. LEAF stands for Long-term Economic Advancement Foundation.

Since its inception, Golden LEAF has awarded $38 million in scholarships to 16,000 students across the state, most of whom choose to attend ECU. (Photos by Will Preslar)

Since its inception, Golden LEAF has awarded $38 million in scholarships to 16,000 students across the state, most of whom choose to attend ECU. (Photos by Will Preslar)

“I’m so grateful for Golden LEAF. Its leadership program really helped me almost more than anything else academically in my college years,” Spelce said.

ECU alumnus Jordan Spelce says he wouldn’t be on his current career path without the help of the Golden LEAF Foundation.

ECU alumnus Jordan Spelce says he wouldn’t be on his current career path without the help of the Golden LEAF Foundation.

It was through a paid Golden LEAF internship with an economic development agency that he discovered his passion for business and finance.

“That jump-started me toward what ultimately became the path to my career,” he said.

Each year, Golden LEAF awards scholarships to high school seniors and community college transfer students from qualifying rural counties who express an interest in returning to the state’s rural areas to work after graduation.

“Part of the way we are working to fulfill our mission is to reach young people who have deep roots in rural North Carolina, who are likely to return home, and help them go to college,” said Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach. “Our investment in Golden LEAF Scholars extends beyond their four-year education. We fund a leadership program that helps students connect with internships in their fields of interest in rural communities. Students gain professional experience early in their educational career that they may not have gotten otherwise in the communities we hope they return to and serve.”

Senior education major Tristan Hunter speaks at a luncheon in Greenville for Golden LEAF Scholars.

Senior education major Tristan Hunter speaks at a luncheon in Greenville for Golden LEAF Scholars.

This year, 87 ECU students received Golden LEAF scholarships. One of them was senior education major Tristan Hunter of Rocky Mount, who spoke at a luncheon in Greenville January 31 that ECU hosted for Golden LEAF Scholars, staff and members of the foundation’s board of directors.

“I’m very honored to be one of those 16,000 students” to have received a scholarship, he said. “Not only did Golden LEAF lighten my financial burden, it helped me meet all the goals I set for myself in college.”

Hunter added that he wants to go back to Rocky Mount and teach in a public middle school once he earns his degree.

Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach and ECU Chancellor Staton attend a luncheon for Golden LEAF scholarship students.

Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach and ECU Chancellor Staton at the luncheon for Golden LEAF Scholars.

Chancellor Cecil Staton addressed the luncheon participants and thanked the foundation for being one of ECU’s strongest partners in addressing the extraordinary disparities in health, education and economic development in rural and coastal North Carolina communities.

“Our desire for rural prosperity is a key aspect of the mission of both Golden LEAF and ECU. Our missions are synchronous,” he said.

So far, the mission is being fulfilled.

For Spelce, the former Golden LEAF scholar, the decision to stay in-state and work is simple.

“I want to stay in North Carolina. I was born and raised here,” he said. He also wants to keep his Golden LEAF experience going by becoming a coach to other scholars in the future.

To learn more about the Golden LEAF Foundation, visit goldenleaf.org/scholarships.html.

 

-by Erin Shaw, University Communications

ECU students benefit from University Writing Center donations

East Carolina University students receive valuable benefits from the University Writing Center preparing them for academic and professional success. Recent donations to the center are facilitating those advantages.

Dr. Nicole Caswell, director of the University Writing Center, pictured with a former UWC consultant

Dr. Nicole Caswell (right), director of the University Writing Center, is pictured here with former UWC consultant, Rexford Rose. Caswell is grateful for recent donations to the UWC priority fund that allows them to continue their mission of serving students. (Photos provided by Dr. Nicole Caswell.)

In fall 2017, ECU English alumni Wanda (’75) and Jon Yuhas (’78) gifted an initial $5,000 to establish the University Writing Center priority fund. The purpose of the fund is to continue the vital work performed by the center.

“The writing skills we ourselves learned at ECU have served us well in building successful careers. Writing is important to every profession,” said Wanda, executive director of the Pitt County Development Commission and a new member of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advancement Council. “In our professions, we both see well-educated people who, because their writing skills are not good, miscommunicate important information. Writing standard operating procedures, legal documents, medical instructions or providing technical specs all start with solid basic writing skills.”

Jon and Wanda Yuhas discuss the University Writing Center

ECU alumni Jon and Wanda Yuhas discuss the University Writing Center priority fund with Dr. Will Banks, professor of English, (center, yellow shirt) and Dr. Nicole Caswell (right).

However, not every question about writing can be covered in the classroom, a concept Jon knows well from when he taught freshman composition.

“Poorly written work says something about the writer’s intellect and character that is almost impossible to redeem,” said Yuhas, human resources manager at the Roberts Company in Winterville. “The ability to express thoughts in writing is crucial to success in any endeavor.”

Through the UWC, students at all levels may seek support in drafting, editing and revising written papers for university classes and preparing them for written communication projects they may encounter in their careers. All services provided are free of charge.

Monica Bloomberg

Monica Bloomberg, ECU graduate student and current consultant at the University Writing Center, is an advocate for students and enjoys impacting the lives of others.

“I have learned to be an advocate for students, a leader, a counselor and a member of a larger, dedicated family that is committed to supporting ECU’s students, faculty and staff,” said Monica Bloomberg, graduate student and consultant at the UWC. “My experiences collaborating with writers and my fellow consultants solidified my decision to pursue a service profession where I can continue interacting with the community and impacting the lives of others.”

Dr. Nicole Caswell, director of the center said, “Writers who visit the UWC might see the impact more immediately on a particular assignment, but the skills they have gained will serve them long after that assignment is completed.”

Chelsea (Cox) Mullins also worked as a consultant at the UWC from 2011 until she graduated from ECU in 2014.

Chelsea Mullins

Chelsea Mullins, ECU alumna (’14) and former University Writing Center consultant, said a few words at the UWC grand opening ceremony held Sept. 23, 2013.

“I was humbled to watch the UWC grow over the course of my undergraduate years,” said Mullins. “When I graduated, the UWC had become a special place where students were welcomed in and had access to more services than ever before.”

Recently, another $10,000 donation to the center’s priority fund by Dr. Michelle Eble, associate professor of rhetoric and technical communication in ECU’s Department of English, and her husband Shane Ernst, senior vice-president of quality at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, continues to show that the center’s mission is important.

“The director of the UWC, Dr. Nikki Caswell, has expanded the services of the center to meet ongoing student and faculty needs, and we saw an opportunity to invest in something at ECU that influences the everyday lives of students,” said Eble. “I’ve been amazed by the number of my own students who have used the services of the UWC. They are excited to share the feedback they received.”

Ernst sees the advantages the center provides students in helping prepare them for writing in their careers.

“The ability to write and communicate is an essential factor when it comes to landing an entry-level position and the potential for career advancement,” said Ernst.

Caswell said the center is eager to serve the Greenville community in the future through events that will assist the public with writing cover letters, resumes, and grants as well as filling out job applications.

“I’m grateful for the recent donations to the UWC priority fund because these resources allow us to continue our mission on campus while simultaneously working to expand our services to the Greenville community,” said Caswell.

For more information about the UWC, visit ecu.edu/cs-acad/writing/uwc/.

Chelsea Mullins helps cut the ribbon at the UWC grand opening

Chelsea Mullins (center, purple shirt), ECU alumna (’14) and former University Writing Center consultant, helps cut the ribbon at the UWC grand opening held Sept. 23, 2013.

 

-by Lacey L. Gray, University Communications

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