Dr. Richard R. Eakin
Richard Eakin joined the Honors College in January 2011. He has served East Carolina University since 1987, including 14 years as university chancellor. He also served for five years as a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and for one year as interim chair of the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education.
Dr. Eakin received the B.A. degree in mathematics from Geneva College and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Washington State University. He served in a variety of faculty and administrative roles at Bowling Green State University prior to his appointment as chancellor at East Carolina University in 1987.
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 the 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 September 2011, Kevin was named the President-elect of the North Carolina Honors Association and is coordinating the annual NCHA meeting at East Carolina University in September 2012.
Kevin serves East Carolina University in a number of roles including ongoing service to the Chancellors Diversity Leadership Cabinet, the Faculty Senate Academic Committee on Student Scholarships, Fellowships and Financial Aid, and the Teaching Fellows and Maynard Scholars Advisory Board. He was selected to participate in the Chancellors Leadership Academy in spring 2012 and is now recognized as a CLA Fellow. On the national level, Kevin has published and shared a variety of papers and presentations across the country including Reconceptualizing Recruitment and Admissions for Honors Students at East Carolina University; Advancing Development within Living-Learning Communities; Lessons Learned: Assessment in College Park Scholars; Faculty Interacting with Campus Learning Communities; Civic Engagement in Scholars: Service. Research. Advocacy.; Intentional Collaboration and Mutual Support in a Living-Learning Community; and Lifesavers for Living-Learning: How to Stay Afloat in the Years Ahead. 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. This year Katie will serve on the program team for the 2013 Scholar Summit, a student conference affiliated with the Undergraduate Scholars Program Administrator's Association (USPAA). Katie lives in Winterville with her husband, Colin, and two incredible daughters, Delaney (10) and Brogan (6).
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.