Global Health and Innovation Conference: Cutting Edge Solutions to the World’s Most Pressing Health Problems

By Sahiti Marella, junior in the Honors College

GHICThe Global Health and Innovation Conference held annually at Yale University is the world’s largest global health conference, hosting more than 2,000 attendees from more than 55 countries. This conference is made possible by Unite for Sight, a leading nonprofit organization that promotes equal access to health care globally.

This past April, I had the opportunity to attend and be part of a movement focused on positive health related change across the world. The Global Health and Innovation Conference not only brought together leading experts from all branches in the field, but it also was a gathering ground for international global health leaders, healthcare professionals, graduate representatives, and students. There were a number of attention-grabbing topics addressed through various sessions, panels, and discussions. I was able to sit in on presentations given by founders of major health focused nonprofits, listen to pitches for cutting-edge global health innovations, and network with individuals who shared a common passion for improving our current global health status.

Attending this conferences was one of the best decisions I’ve made since coming to college. For longer than I can remember, I’ve wanted to become a physician, but recently I began questioning if there was something more. I was asking myself “could I take it one step further?” Being a native of India, my family members were only a few among hundreds of thousands of individuals who succumbed to the difficulty of a less than ideal healthcare system. There are a number of people working towards making sure marginalized populations are able to receive adequate medical assistance, yet the problem is incredibly persistent. How do we begin to address and tackle huge problems such as lack of access to healthcare or high incidences of communicable disease?

By attending the Global Health and Innovation conference, I was able to dip my toes into a world that fell at the intersection of providing healthcare and developing and implementing cutting-edge solutions to the largest health problems. I met individuals who were doctors or surgeons but they were also able to take their knowledge on one specific issue and pioneer a solution that addresses the problem in a more effective manner.

Whether you were a student, an admissions director for a top-notch graduate program, a physician, or a CEO of a major nonprofit organization, the Global Health and Innovation Conference was a hub for idea sharing and development on any scale or platform. Everyone in attendance came together to celebrate passion, drive, and vision to take a step forward in global health change. I was able to network with some of the most unique individuals with amazing stories and passions and I left Yale feeling truly inspired.

This conference taught me the importance of not just doing research but taking the knowledge and putting it forward in a way that benefits society. There is always more to learn and more ways to improve and expand on what is already out there, you just need the right tools. I learned that whether its through an unexpected connection, an inspiring idea, or thought provoking conversation, the beauty of research and innovation is that you never know what can help you to grow and expand your work into something that really impacts a population. I encourage everyone, regardless of where your passions lie, to take advantage of every opportunity and every open door because you never know where either of those can lead you.

Posted in Honors College, Research & Internships | Leave a comment

The Array of Opportunities with a Business Degree

By: Rachel Eker, junior in the Honors College

ekerI always knew I was going to be a business major. Both my parents were business majors and like any other kid, I wanted to be just like my parents. As I got into high school, I despised dissecting animals so I knew a science career was out. Poetry and writing were never my thing so that eliminated English as a career path also. It seemed like business was a good choice after all. I would be able to find a job after college and be able to relate to my parents.

Through my journey the last two years at ECU’s College of Business and the Honors College, I have interacted with many business professionals and I always ask them what they studied in college. For the most part, I get an answer that explains how they were studying a different part of business than the one they are in now. These conversations led me to realize how versatile a business degree is and I’ve come to appreciate that.

Business incorporates marketing, economics, management and finance. It’s impossible to separate one from the other while working in a business setting. I am thankful to have been chosen as a Business Scholar, where I have had the opportunities to understand the scope of a business degree.

Currently, I am studying accounting and finance. Next summer, I will have the opportunity to be an intern at Dixon Hughes Goodman in my hometown, Jacksonville, FL. I aspire to get my CPA after graduation and work at an accounting firm, but eventually transition into a finance position for a corporation.

With my business degree, I know I am not tied to a CPA position and can really go anywhere. I’ve always liked to be adventurous and I know I have chosen a degree that can let me take risks and will give me the chance to accomplish whatever I want.

Posted in Advice/Tips, Business Scholars, Honors College, Research & Internships | Leave a comment

Honors Students Revised NC Highway Marker

By Jessica Nottingham, coordinator for communications and marketing

Alex and Victoria

A class project led two Honors College students to changing the historical memory of a dark time in North Carolina’s history, according to professors Drs. Margaret Bauer and Karin Zipf.

As part of a class project, Alex Stoehr and Victoria Bishop revised a Fayetteville historical highway marker along I-32 that recognizes Charles Chesnutt, an African American author.

“They revised the Charles Chesnutt marker to better reflect his accomplishments as one of North Carolina’s African American writers and educators,” said Bauer, chair of southern literature and distinguished professor in the ECU Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

Rising sophomores Stoehr, an art major, and Bishop, a business management intended major, were enrolled in Bauer and Zipf’s spring Honors College seminar course titled Fact into Fiction: The 1898 Wilmington Coup D’Etat in History and Literature.

“Karin and I have both been interested in this dark chapter of North Carolina history for decades,” said Bauer. “I had enjoyed Charles Chesnutt’s short stories and found the novel he wrote that was inspired by these events fascinating. I’ve taught it regularly since moving to North Carolina.”

The original marker described Chesnutt as “Negro novelist and short story writer, teacher and lawyer. Taught in a school which stood here.” The revised description reads “Lawyer and writer whose novels and short stories dealt with race and the ‘color line.’ Teacher & principal, 1880-83 at a school which stood here.” A photo of the old marker along with the new text can be found at the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program website.

“The North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program is a public commemoration of significant state events to reflect our shared historical memory,” said Zipf. “By their successful revision of the Charles Chesnutt marker, Alex and Victoria have shown that through knowledge one can help shape that historical memory in the most public of ways and for all to see.”

Delivered by faculty members across campus, the Honors College offers its students an assortment of interdisciplinary seminar courses every year. Bauer is an English professor and Zipf is a history professor, and they came together because of a mutual interest in the Wilmington coup d’état.

“We used a lesser known topic for which we both have a passion, and formulated learning and writing strategies that exceeded the sum of our two contributions,” said Zipf. “The students learned to become experts in a topic and to apply that expertise in unique writing assignments that required the exercise of critical thinking skills at a very high level.”

This course will be offered again in the spring of 2017.

“These students have realized, for one thing, how history repeats itself,” said Bauer. “In the course of the semester, we found ourselves finding significant echoes of the politics that led to the 1898 coup in current events.”

 

Posted in Colloquiums & Seminars, Honors College, Honors Colloquiums & Seminars | Leave a comment

Views from the Mess: My Experience at ECU LeaderShape 2016

By Glenesha Berryman, sophomore EC Scholar

leadershape1

Stay in the mess.

Out of all the cool quotes and sayings I learned at this year’s LeaderShape, this phrase is the one that I keep coming back to. Staying in the mess was our co-lead facilitator John Mountz’s way of encouraging us to embrace challenges and engage when we felt the urge to withdraw. The more he said it, the more it stuck with me. However, I was not always eager to accept his message…

Avoiding the Mess

When people told me that LeaderShape would change my life, I responded with what any self-respecting college student would: a whole lot of skepticism. On the first day, I met every icebreaker, every definition of leadership we wrote, every “So what’s your major?” conversation with the satisfaction of knowing that I was right—LeaderShape wouldn’t change my life. Yet, a part of me was disappointed that I would not experience the life transformation my peers had experienced. When I voiced these frustrations with a former LeaderShape participant, she told me not to worry—just trust in the process.

Getting in the Mess

Without realizing it, the icebreakers became dynamic team building experiences that challenged everything I believed about my purpose on a team; the sessions spent defining leadership turned into moments of eye-opening reflection and bold vision building; superficial small talk became taboo; deep talks about anything under the sun became normal dinner conversation. Every hard lesson learned and every vulnerable story shared helped create a family out of strangers.

Staying in the Mess

rockpaperscissors

Trusting in the process and getting super into the rock paper scissors tournament.

John Mountz called the things we were doing at LeaderShape a mess for a reason. Vulnerability, honesty, reflection, and growth ain’t easy—it’s downright messy. But by practicing all of these things and by staying in the mess, I was able to experience the life-changing LeaderShape my friends had promised me. Through deep introspection and adopting a healthy disregard for the impossible, I was able to challenge my career aspirations, sharpen my vision for the world, and discover my core values.

Looking back, staying in the mess is a testament to my LeaderShape experience, a reminder of the six days I spent participating in vulnerable conversations, fearless dreaming, and authentic relationship building. Before coming to LeaderShape, I could not have imagined myself willing to do these things. However, the fact that I did speaks to the power of LeaderShape, the power of re-thinking the status-quo, and the power of getting messy and staying in it.

Views from the Mess

leadershapegroup

My LeaderShape Cluster Family #2AAllDay

Explaining a life-changing experience like LeaderShape with just words is impossible. How can they capture all the learning, the laughter, the tears, the joy, the hope that LeaderShape gave me?

The only way to know LeaderShape is to experience LeaderShape. So to all the skeptics, the dreamers, the movers, the shakers, the I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-lifers, I challenge you to embrace the mess at LeaderShape.

Posted in Honors College | Leave a comment

The Power of SAAS: Scholarly Activity Awards for Students

By SAAS Award Recipients

The Honors CollSAAS imageege launched an initiative called Scholarly Activity Awards for Students (SAAS) a few years ago that funds approximately 12-14 awards each fiscal year. Below are some of the outcomes from the awards, which range from $125-$400 in support.

Kristalyn Gill: The SAAS award this semester has allowed me to reach beyond the norm of my experiences. It has supported sharing my anthropological research conducted in Peru at a conference in Vancouver. I have been blessed by the Honors College to widen my educational experience as well as enrich it deeply.


Sarah Judy:
Receiving the SAAS Award has allowed me to buy the basic supplies needed to test river sediment samples contaminated with coal ash runoff for pH and respiration. Not only this, it has also allowed me to further expand my research project to include other factors initially too expensive to test.

We are currently working on characterizing if there are heavy metals present in the sediment samples and after data analysis we can see if they are present and if they themselves might be affecting microbial respiration and pH. I can then share these results with my community which has been adversely impacted by coal ash ponds in Goldsboro, NC; a community I want to advocate for and protect.

Kendal Carter: Receiving the SAAS award has opened up great opportunities for my research project. My lab is partnering with the Mayo Clinic to run a study on tissue from pig hearts that they have already harvested. This money has allowed me to perfect my lab technique and protocol for this experiment as well as contribute to the shipping of the tissue from our partner lab. I am extremely excited to continue on with this research and receiving the SAAS award has made this feasible.

Daniel Franch: A SAAS Award helped me attend the 2016 Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference (SWCA) in Columbus, GA. At SWCA, I presented with two co-workers about writer identity and how consultants can develop writer identity in the writing center. My presentation focused on using Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences to adjust consulting methods according to the diverse learning styles of the students we serve.

Carrie Beard: Receiving a SAAS Award from the Honors College has greatly impacted my undergraduate research experience. The funding helped me purchase the resources I needed to complete my experimentation and also allowed me to expand the scope of my research further than I initially planned. I am very grateful for the Honors College’s support of student research!

Emily Bolger: The money went towards purchasing equipment in Dr. Sargent’s research lab that allows us to interface with high-end computers that preform the bulk of our calculations. The equipment also allows us to preform post-processing graphical visualization of key chemical results. Thanks again to the honors college for your support!

Shivam Patel: My SAAS Award allowed me to purchase more research materials for completing my senior honors project. These include reagents, antibodies, multi-well plates, and cell culture flasks. I have been able to conduct various assays and experiments repeatedly in order to obtain viable data as a result.

Denay Haden: Children with special needs participate in less physical activity than the typically developing child. Physical activity and participation within activities is essential for a child’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Riding a bicycle is a typical childhood milestone that many children with special needs are unable to achieve. Through a local non-profit, ENC Ambucs, funds are raised to provide AmTrykes, or specially adapted tricycles, to children with special needs in this region. Our study focused on the effects of the AmTryke on the quality of life, activities, and participation in children with special needs. The SAAS award was very beneficial for purchasing mailing materials for the assessments. Our study did show that use of an AmTryke appears to improve the quality of life, activities, and participation in children with special needs. In terms of their sense of independence and mood, children with special needs who are unable to walk alone may benefit more than others from the use of an AmTryke.

Posted in Advice/Tips, Honors College, Scholarships | Leave a comment