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ECU club boxer wins national championship

Brandon Knox

Brandon Knox

East Carolina University senior Brandon Knox won the U.S. Intercollegiate Boxing Association National Championship competition held April 3-5 at the University of Miami, Florida.

A Salisbury, N.C. native, Knox will graduate in December with a degree in construction management.

He was the only ECU Club Boxer to quality for the national competition. Knox earned a bronze medal at the competition last year and the year before that – in his first year of competition at ECU – he was a nationals runner-up.

He competed in the 125-pound open division weight class, which signifies a boxer has competed in more than 10 bouts.

“Winning the national championship is the highest accomplishment a boxer can obtain in collegiate boxing,” said Knox.  “This is why we train all year. It takes tremendous courage to step in that ring and fight another person one on one for three 2-minute rounds in front of several hundred people.”

Knox said he goes through a full range of emotions on the day of a match, especially when a national title is on the line.  He said he starts the day anxious and a bit nervous because he is just ready for the fight to begin.  But that quickly changes as he moves to the ring.

Knox poses with Claressa Shields, 2012 Olympic gold medalist.

Knox poses with Claressa Shields, 2012 Olympic gold medalist.

“I can feel my confidence rising with every step,” he said.  “Once I am in the ring, I know the work I have put in and I just believe that I can win.  And to be standing there with the referee holding my hand in the air as the winner is an amazing feeling.”

The pressure to win was compounded by some of the faces Knox saw in the audience. Watching the performing in front row seats were Claressa Shields, 2012 Olympic gold medalist; Andre Dirrell, boxing world champion; and Al Bernstein, Showtime boxing sports broadcaster.

Knox said he hopes his story will inspire other students at ECU to take a chance, put in the hard work and training that’s needed and bring another national title to the Pirate Nation.

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Women’s Roundtable Book Club discusses Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’

Members of the ECU Women's Roundtable book club gathered April 9 to discuss Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg.

Members of the ECU Women’s Roundtable book club gathered April 9 to discuss “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

By Jamitress Bowden
ECU News Services

“Sister Talk,” the book club of East Carolina University’s Women’s Roundtable, met April 9 for the second time since its founding fall semester 2013.

The book club is composed of female ECU students who read a selected book focused on the topic of women in leadership. The book club includes mostly Access Scholarship recipients, who once a semester gather in Chancellor Steve Ballard’s residence with Nancy Ballard; Valeria Lassiter, chair of the Women’s Roundtable; Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor of Student Affairs; Marcy Romary, director of Women’s Philanthropy at ECU; and other roundtable members.

At this book club meeting, the women leaned into each other as they discussed lessons and realizations from “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg is the chief operating officer at Facebook. In the book she tells the story of how she embraced leadership throughout her life.

The book was chosen after the club read about Sandberg in last semester’s book, “How Great Women Lead” written by Bonnie St. John and her teenage daughter Darcy Deane.

“As a young woman striving towards leadership positions, I feel alone in some of my experiences and this book reminds me I am in good company with powerful women with similar experience,” said Taylor Waters, ECU junior and member of the book club. Waters said that the women in the book club were insightful and she found the conversation enlightening.

The group is intended to open a dialogue on leadership between the women.

“What I enjoyed most about our discussion is the refreshing feeling of talking to women about real issues and changes that need to be made with women in society,” said Kenya Shakir, ECU junior and member of the book club.

Next semester, the book club will read “The Power of Nice” by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval. Thaler and Koval serve respectively as the chief executive officer and president of the advertising agency Kaplan Thaler Group.

Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor of Student Affairs, was among the Women's Roundtable members present at the meeting of the organization's book club.

Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor of Student Affairs, was among the Women’s Roundtable members present at the meeting of the organization’s book club.

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ECU medical students advocate for healthcare system change on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON – Two fourth-year ECU medical students attended the Family Medicine Congressional Conference held April 7- 8 in Washington, D.C.  More than 200 physicians attended the meeting.

Sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Council of Academic Family Medicine, the conference educates participants on family medicine’s legislative priority issues, trains attendees on how to educate lawmakers on Capitol Hill and allows participants to put these skills to use with federal legislators and their staff.  Advocacy is a high priority of AAFP and the CAFM organizations.

As part of the meeting, ECU medical students Katy Kirk and Josh Carpenter and others attending from North Carolina had opportunities to meet with 12 of the state’s 15 congressional delegation members, including Senator Richard Burr, to urge passage of legislation that will maintain access to care for elderly and disabled Americans.  Such legislation would also address the primary care physician shortage by supporting primary care medical education as well as medical school scholarship and loan repayment programs.

Both Kirk and Carpenter will be entering family medicine residency training later this year.  Kirk will be joining the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center Family Medicine Residency program in Phoenix, AZ, and Carpenter will begin his residency with the Cabarrus Family Medicine Residency in Concord, NC.

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ECU sculpture professor exhibits work in Australia

By Jamitress Bowden
ECU News Services

Residents ‘Down Under’ got a glimpse of artwork from eastern North Carolina, thanks to the efforts of an East Carolina University sculptor.

Red Center (Contributed photo)

ECU professor Carl Billingsley’s work, Red Center, on display in Australia. (Contributed photo)

Carl Billingsley, professor of sculpture in East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design, had his work featured in Australia twice this school year.

Originally, Billingsley’s proposal for an art installation titled “Red Center” was originally chosen for “Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi” last fall. His participation in the show last fall lead to an invitation to another outdoor show, in a different city.

He was offered an opportunity through the Andrea Stetton Memorial Invitation to have his piece included at Cottesloe Beach in Australia in March. The installation took Billingsley one day to install at Cottesloe Beach, with help from 12 volunteers.

“I like to have my pieces in public rather than in a museum. I think more people have an opportunity to see the work,” said Billingsley. “It’s kind of a big event where people are very aware of it and look forward to it and they go out for it.”

“Red Center” is an installation of red and yellow construction flags. He chose Australia as inspiration for the installation, and a well-known Australian landmark as inspiration for the name. “At the very center of the continent, is this vast stone, which the aborigines call Uluru and colonists call Ayers Rock or Red Stone,” said Billingsley.

A close-up look at the Red Center artwork.

A close-up look at the Red Center artwork.

Billingsley decided to enter an installation instead of the traditional form of sculpture. “This is a relatively new endeavor for me, as a professor of sculpture. I’ve always focused a lot of my attention on very traditional materials.”

Both shows have had more than 500,000 people in attendance.

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The Great Recycle offers big rewards for recycling

NOTE: Event has been rescheduled to Thursday, April 17th.

East Carolina University students may find big rewards for recycling beverage containers during The Great Recycle event 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. April 15 at Wright Plaza on campus.

A 12-foot tall recycling bin, like the one pictured above at Times Square in Manhattan, will be set up on Wright Plaza at ECU for The Great Recycle on April 15.

A 12-foot tall recycling bin, like the one pictured above at Times Square in Manhattan, will be set up on Wright Plaza at ECU for The Great Recycle on April 15.

The beverage company Honest Tea is sponsoring the event to boost recycling rates as part of a national recycling initiative. Honest Tea representatives will set up a 12-foot tall blue recycling bin to receive empty beverage containers in glass, plastic, aluminum or plastic.

Rewards range from reusable bags to iPad minis, increasing in value the more beverage containers an individual recycles. Participants who bring in 999 bottles may earn an iPad Mini; a reward for 750 bottles is a Go Pro Camera. Additional rewards available while supplies last include bicycles, skate boards, backpacks, gift certificates, T-shirts, sunglasses, reusable bags, bracelets and stickers.

For additional information about the event, visit www.thegreatrecycle.com.

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