About - Administration

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Marianna WalkerDr. Marianna Walker


Dr. Marianna Walker joined the Honors College as Dean in July of 2013. Dr. Walker is the Bremer Distinguished Scholar in Literacy and Language Disorders. She has been on the faculty in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders since 1988, and is a tenured associate professor. She served as the Chair of the ECU Faculty for three terms from 2009-2012, which included oversight of the Faculty Senate and its 26 committees and a complete review, revision, and reorganization of the Faculty Manual. Dr. Walker served as a faculty officer at East Carolina University since 2007, previously in consecutive positions as the Vice Chair and Secretary of the Faculty. In addition to these shared governance roles, she has served as Chair of Faculty Governance, and Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee.

She is a nationally certified and licensed speech and language pathologist and previously served as the Chair and a member of the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists. She received her Ph.D. in Literacy and Language from North Carolina State University in 1999 and her M.S. and B.S. degrees in Speech and Language Pathology from East Carolina University in 1979 and 1982. She is a Fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). She was recognized as a 2011 Woman of Distinction, an ECU Scholar/Teacher in 2004, and received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Teaching (College of Allied Health Sciences) in 2005, and the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Award for Excellence as Teacher of the Year (2005-2006), Brody School of Medicine. Dr. Walker is an inducted member of Sigma Xi and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Her research, including mentoring of graduate and doctoral students, has focused on child language disorders, language and reading science, dyslexia, language learning disabilities, and language aging characteristics in women. Her research has been published in numerous journals including Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, Journal of Communication Disorders, Neuroscience Letters, Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, International Neuroscience, Brain Injury, Community Mental Health Journal, Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology, Aphasiology, and the Journal of Trauma. Marianna enjoys spending time with her husband, Gregg, her daughter Madeline, and her two cats.

baxterMr. Kevin Baxter

Associate Dean

Kevin Baxter joined the Honors College in January 2010 following his decade of service to the College Park Scholars program at the University of Maryland. As Associate Dean in the Honors College, Kevin provided leadership during the exciting transition period from an Honors Program to a College. Kevin is primarily responsible for the administrative operations of the College and directs the admissions process for each new incoming class of Honors College students. Kevin has also delivered multiple colloquia courses for the Honors College during the curriculum development process. In 2013-2014, Kevin also served as Interim Director of Undergraduate Admissions for East Carolina University.

Kevin has served in a number of leadership positions at East Carolina University and beyond. In 2012-2013, Kevin served as President of the North Carolina Honors Association (NCHA) and coordinated the annual NCHA meeting at East Carolina University in September 2012. He is a Chancellors Leadership Academy Fellow, and has been inducted into the East Carolina University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi and has been recognized as a nominee to the National Collegiate Honors Council Board of Directors.  On the national level, Kevin has published and shared a variety of papers and presentations across the country including Revitalizing the Honors Seminar Model at a Large Public Institution; Reconceptualizing Recruitment and Admissions for Honors Students at East Carolina University; Advancing Development within Living-Learning Communities; Lessons Learned: Assessment in College Park Scholars; and, Civic Engagement in Scholars: Service. Research. Advocacy.. In addition, Kevin has served the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) as a National Convention Program Reviewer and has supported their Next Generation Conference Planning Committee and the Commission for Admissions, Orientation and First Year Experience. Kevin also served the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as a member of the Distinguished Service Awards selection committee in 2009 and has made regular trips to the shores of Lake Michigan where he served as a Fellow for the Wakonse Conference on College Teaching in 1999-2001, 2003-2004, and 2006.

Kevin earned his Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Maryland and subsequently earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland, University College. During his career at the University of Maryland, Kevin served as the Assistant Director for External Relations and Development and served as an instructor for a number of courses within the Scholars program. Kevin also served as the President of the College Park Scholars Alumni Association in 2008-2009 and supported many campus task forces and committees.

When Kevin is beyond the walls of the Mamie Jenkins Building, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling the world with his wife Erica and son Lincoln (with frequent trips being to Walt Disney World), chasing his beagle - Parker - around his home, and golfing whenever he can find the time.

oconnerDr. Katherine (Katie) O'Connor

Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Dr. Katherine (Katie) O'Connor is an associate professor in the College of Education and joined the Honors College at East Carolina University during the summer of 2010. She earned a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, a master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before arriving at East Carolina University in 2003, Katie taught in the North Carolina public schools for nine years. 

Katie is one of the founding editorial team members of East Carolina University's nationally peer-reviewed online journal, The Journal of Curriculum and Instruction (JoCI) which is currently read in 161 countries and territories. The Journal of Curriculum and Instruction (JoCI) received the 2009 American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education. Katie is also one of the founding members of the Academically/Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Team in the College of Education. She helped to develop a series of four graduate courses for gifted educators and a summer learning experience for 100 Pitt County gifted students each summer, and co-directed the Annual ECU Gifted Education Conference with Drs. Fogarty and Housand. She is delighted all three aforementioned initiatives are ongoing at the university.

Katie was awarded the 2009-2010 UNC Board of Governors Distinguished Professors Teaching Award and the 2009-2010 ECU Scholar-Teacher Award at East Carolina University. Katie has over 20 publications and 40 presentations at regional and national conferences. Katie served on the Scholar Summit program team, a student conference affiliated with the Undergraduate Scholars Program Administrator's Association (USPAA) in 2013.  Katie was recently elected to a two-year term on the USPAA Board of Directors. Katie lives in Winterville with her husband, Colin, and two incredible daughters, Delaney (11) and Brogan (7).

Dr. Todd FraleyTodd Fraley

Director of the EC Scholars Program

Todd Fraley is currently an associate professor in the School of Communication, where he also serves as the Coordinator for Undergraduate Studies and the Internship Director. He holds bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Sociology from James Madison University and earned his MA and PhD in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Georgia, Athens.

While at ECU, Todd has been awarded the University Centennial Award for Excellence in Leadership and the Alumni Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is also a Chancellor's Leadership Fellow and a William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations. He has numerous publications and presentations and was a named a 2010 Research Fellow at Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society.

Outside of the classroom, Todd coaches youth soccer and baseball, serves on the Board of Directors of the Greenville Community Shelter, and enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and two children.

Ms. Jessica NottinghamJessica Nottingham

Coordinator for Recruitment and Marketing

Jessica joined the Honors College in June 2014 after working for the College of Education as the Director of Development and Communications and for the Office of Marketing and Publications (Creative Services) as a Public Communication Specialist both at East Carolina University. Throughout Jessica’s career at ECU, she has served as an adjunct instructor for the School of Communication at East Carolina, her alma mater.

Since graduating from the School of Communication in 2006 with a bachelor of arts degree and in 2008 with a master of arts in communication, Jessica has worked with a wide range of marketing and public relations including referral relations, fundraising, event planning, advisory board and alumni engagement, and writing/editing for marketing materials.

For more than 12 years, Jessica has been a passionate East Carolina Pirate who has witnessed ECU changing the lives of so many and looks forward to enhancing the Honors College’s impressive leadership, students, faculty, staff and programs through marketing and recruitment efforts.

When away from the office, Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark, golden retriever, Sadie, and family, often attending ECU and Uptown Greenville events and traveling to the beaches and mountains of North Carolina.


Mr. James Ellis

Academic Advisor

Jim joined the Honors College in August, 2004 after completing a Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. While studying at Indiana, Jim also worked as a lab instructor at the Kelly School of Business. Prior to his days at IU, Jim spent many years as a mortgage banker, underwriting supervisor and branch manager for various mortgage companies in Indianapolis, Indiana. He began his career in the mortgage business after graduating from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance in 1983. He completed a second undergraduate degree in Secondary Business Education from Ball State in 1992 and spent three years teaching business courses at a community college in Indianapolis.

As an Honors College Advisor at ECU, Jim understands that there is a tremendous amount of pressure placed on honors students to succeed. Research suggests that honors students require specific attention due to challenges unique to enrollment in their program. Jim very much enjoys assisting students with managing their college experience, providing ongoing assistance with Honors College requirements and serving as a resource for information about campus entities.

When Jim is not working with ECU's best and brightest students, he enjoys spending time with his wife Maureen and their son James and daughter Kathryn.


Ms. Sue Chapman

Business Services Coordinator

Sue Chapman joined the Honors College in January 2007. Sue has worked at East Carolina University since 1979 in several different areas such as The Brody School of Medicine, The School of Theatre and Dance, and the ECU Police Department. Sue graduated with Honors in 1975 from Wayne Community College earning an Associate Degree in Medical Secretarial Science. She began her career with the State of North Carolina in 1976 at another agency. She is an avid reader, enjoying many genres including science fiction, mysteries, mythology, ancient history and eastern philosophy. Sue and her husband Don enjoy many mutual hobbies including classic cars, antique radios, and music.

smithMs. Kim Smith

Executive Assistant

Kim Smith joined the Honors College in January 2011. Kim has worked'as an administrative assistant at East Carolina University since 1985 at the Brody School of Medicine and the Department of Economics. Kim graduated in 1984 from Pitt Community College earning an Associate Degree in Medical Secretarial Science. She enjoys traveling, flower gardening, watching movies, and spending time with her family and pets.

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