Dr. 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 1994 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.
Mr. Kevin Baxter
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. Kevin served as the 2012-2013 President of the North Carolina Honors Association (NCHA) and coordinated the annual NCHA meeting at East Carolina University in September 2012.
Kevin has served in a number of leadership positions at East Carolina University and beyond. He is a Chancellors Leadership Academy Fellow, and is now recognized as a CLA Fellow, committee chair for the Chancellor's Diversity Leadership Cabinet, and 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; Civic Engagement in Scholars: Service. Research. Advocacy.; and Intentional Collaboration and Mutual Support in a Living-Learning Community. 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 (with frequent trips being to Walt Disney World), chasing his beagle - Parker - around his home, and golfing whenever he can find the time.
Dr. Katherine (Katie) O'Connor
Associate Dean & Director of the EC Scholars Program
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).
Mr. James Ellis
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.
Ms. Kim Smith
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.