ECU News

Kim Caudle

Kim Caudle explains how the Campus Kitchen will cut food waste and feed the hungry.

Students step up
to combat hunger

ast Carolina is the first college in the UNC system to open a Campus Kitchen, a project that will bring student-powered hunger relief to Pitt County. ECU’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center and Aramark opened the kitchen in late February at Todd Dining Hall. Using surplus food from campus dining halls, student volunteers prepare and deliver meals to those in need through partnerships with the Ronald McDonald House and the Little Willie Center.

“I believe that when we feed the hungry in our community, especially children, we not only strengthen their bodies but their minds,” said Sarah Schach, a member of Campus Kitchen’s ECU leadership team. Mike Lysaght, resident district manager for Aramark, said the company welcomed the partnership. “The big question I get asked all the time is, ‘What do you do with all that leftover food?’ I finally have an answer.”

The Volunteer and Service-Learning Center recently was honored by the U.S. Army with its Freedom Team Salute Award signed by Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. The N.C. chapter of Give2TheTroops nominated the center. Through the center, more than 1,000 ECU students volunteered to pack care packages and supplies for service members overseas. The center is “a favorite place for students to go,” said Shawn Moore, the center’s community partner coordinator. “Everybody’s touched by the military in some way, especially in this area. I think that it empowers students to feel like they’re doing something for the troops.”

ECU wins service award

or the fourth year in a row, East Carolina was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

“This is national recognition for the entire ECU community,” said Mike Loeffelman, volunteer coordinator for the university’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center. The center strives to engage students in activities that strengthen communities, promote an enduring commitment to civic responsibility and enhance the academic experience. More than 11,000 students are registered at the VSLC, and students performed more than 161,700 hours of service last year for a wide range of projects and organizations.

“Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. “They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”
ECU has been named to the Honor Roll each year since the recognition program began in 2006. Awards will be presented at the National Conference of Volunteering and Service Conference in New York in June.                 —ECU News Bureau


BSOM Match Day
Neel (left) and Tommie Thomas learn they are
headed to Wake Forest University-Baptist Medical
Center, where Neel will train in anesthesiology.

Cries of joy at Match Day

ore than half of the students graduating from the Brody School of Medicine this semester are going into primary care residencies, according to the results of the annual Match Day when BSOM graduates learn where they will perform their residencies. Of the 65 graduates, 13 are entering some type of internal medicine residency, nine are entering pediatric residency and five are entering obstetrics and gynecology.

“I’m so thrilled,” said Crystal Bowe of Ahoskie, who, like 14 of her classmates, will be staying in Greenville to pursue a family medicine residency at ECU and Pitt County Memorial Hospital. “I could not wait for today. I dreamed about getting this envelope, and I got my first choice.” Bowe, mother of a 9-year-old son, said family medicine was the only choice for her. “I like treating the whole family,” she said. “I couldn’t just treat children. I wanted to treat the parents, too.”

U.S. medical school graduates normally complete a three- to seven-year residency programs. The class of 2010 was accepted into institutions in 18 states in 17 specialties. Thirty-one of the 65 graduates will stay in North Carolina. ECU was expected to be rated among the 10 best schools for family physicians by a prominent national medical organization.

Transplant Surgeons

Transplant surgeons arrive


he outlook for people with kidney failure got brighter this year with the addition of two transplant surgeons at the Brody School of Medicine. Drs. Jason Rolls and Robert Harland are kidney transplant specialists who have made an impact since arriving in January. In the first three months of this year, ECU performed 18 kidney transplants compared to 38 in all of 2009.

Rolls came from New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he completed a fellowship in abdominal organ transplantation. He has a medical degree from Columbia University in New York and completed residency training at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Harland arrives from the University of Chicago Medical School, where he was associate professor and director of the Multi-Organ Transplant Fellowship Program. He has a medical degree from Duke University and completed residency training in surgery and a fellowship in transplant surgery at Duke. They join Dr. Carl Haisch on the ECU transplant surgery team.

“I saw that this was a tremendous opportunity, a good pool of patients and a great hospital,” Harland said of his decision to come to Greenville. He and Haisch also plan to restart the pancreas transplant program at ECU.

More than 2,700 North Carolinians are awaiting a kidney transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing’s March figures. Another 382 need a liver transplant, 30 need a pancreas and 81 are waiting for a pancreas-kidney transplant.

News Briefs

Research dollars swell: East Carolina was awarded $30.5 million in research grants in the second half of 2009, nearly doubling the $17.2 million awarded in the same 2008 period, according to a report to the trustees by Vice Chancellor Deirdre Mageean. She noted that ECU is being more aggressive in seeking public and private funding for research projects on campus, with 238 proposals submitted in the second half of 2009 compared to 210 in the year-ago period.

Bonds issued for construction: East Carolina will issue up to $38 million in special obligation bonds to finance construction of new Olympic sports facilities on campus and for completion of renovations to Wright Place and Tyler Residence Hall. Student fees and dorm rental income will be used to repay the bonds. Moody’s has given East Carolina bonds a relatively high rating of Aa3. The $11 million renovation of Tyler begins this summer and will be completed in 2012.

Language academy opens: East Carolina is opening an academy to provide intensive English-language instruction to international students and professionals from overseas. The ECU Language Academy will begin in June. The program will serve international students enrolling in ECU who are not totally proficient in English, and others, such as foreign professionals here on business and spouses of international faculty. Many community colleges offer similar programs, but those are often geared more for vocational work whereas the ECU program will focus more on higher-order communication.

Center accredited:
The Breast Wellness Center at ECU received accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, part of the American College of Surgeons. ECU demonstrated compliance with standards of leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education and quality improvement.

Biologist find monogamous frog: A trio of biologists, including two from East Carolina, have discovered in Peru the first confirmed species of a monogamous amphibian, Ranitomeya imitator, better known as the mimic poison frog—a finding that provides groundbreaking insight into the ecological factors that influence mating behavior. The findings, published in the April issue of The American Naturalist, may be the most solid evidence yet that monogamy can have a single ecological cause. “We were able to tie the evolution of monogamy and the evolution of biparental care to variation in a single ecological factor, and that’s rare,” said ECU biology professor Kyle Summers.

Student named top journalist: Carlton Purvis ’09, a double major in communication and anthropology who was a copy editor and news editor of the student newspaper, The East Carolinian, was named the College Journalist of the Year by the Southeast Journalism Conference. He’s now a multimedia journalist at the Morning News in Florence, S.C.

Brainy ball players: East Carolina ranks in the top five nationally in the number of students on the baseball team who had earned their diploma before playing their senior season. Eight players on the squad had graduated by the start of the 2009 season and 14 others received diplomas during fall graduation exercises.

Golfer gets her card: ECU star golf team member Emelie Lind ’08 earned her 2010 Ladies European Tour (LET) card after recording a 15th-place finish at the 2009 LET Qualifying School at the La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain. She is the first ECU women’s golfer to earn her LET or LPGA Card.

Wright Place remodeling:
Starbucks comes to campus this fall when the company opens a store in the remodeled Wright Place food court adjacent to the bookstore. Also coming are a new Burger Studio and a Sbarro’s Pizza. The existing Einstein’s Bros. Bagels will be updated.
Above: Kelli McBride displays her hula hooping skill at the 31st annual Barefoot on the Mall, the event that celebrates one day of freedom between the end of classes and the start of finals.

Gates scholars say thanks


hree ECU students are getting a great education for free through the Gates Millennium Scholars initiative, the nation’s largest and most successful scholarship program for African-Americans, Native Americans and other minorities. Founded in 1999 and funded with a $1 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the scholarships are unique in that they come in no fixed dollar amount, providing a full boat ride through undergraduate study, graduate school and post-doctoral work if necessary. The Gates Foundation works with the United Negro College Fund, the American Indian Graduate Center and other similar organizations. We asked the three to talk about how the scholarships have changed their lives.

GatesKristen Williams, a junior from Plymouth majoring in psychology with a pre-med minor, is the first one in her family to go to college. “This scholarship has given me the chance to aspire to do far more than what anyone in my family has ever had the chance to do. It has made my life much easier. I can focus entirely on studying and pursuing a career in medicine and not have to be stressed about how I will pay off my student loans when I graduate.”

GatesJanessa Jean Long, a native of Ada, Okla., came to ECU for a master’s degree in counselor education, which she finished in May, to complement an undergraduate degree from her hometown college. Her scholarship has paid for everything since freshman year. “Without this scholarship, my options would have been limited and I would have been in some serious debt due to financial constraints. Thank you Bill Gates and the American Indian Graduate Center for being so generous and helpful!”

Beatriz ReyesBeatriz Reyes, a native of Gallup, N.M.,  is earning a master’s in public health. Like Long, she, too, has seen the scholarship pay for everything since high school. “The Gates Millennium Scholarship provides me with a continued belief that one person can positively change the lives of many. I have learned that [with] quality secondary and post-secondary education, a person can truly realize and utilize his or her potential.”

Ledyard Ross and family
Mr. and Mrs. Ross with family and Dean James
Hupp (left) and Chancellor Steve Ballard 

Dental school building will be Ross Hall


his first day working as a dentist, he saw 16 scheduled patients and several other walk-ins and was so tired at the end of the day he had to rest at his desk before attempting the drive home. Dr. Ledyard E. Ross ’51 kept up the same sort of grueling schedule for the next 38 years at his Greenville orthodontics practice. Since retiring in 1991, he has given back to the community that gave him so many patients over the years, including a $250,000 gift last year to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Pitt County and a $4 million pledge this year to East Carolina to support its new dental school.

In honor of Ross’ gift—one of the largest in East Carolina’s history—the trustees voted to name the dental school building Ledyard E. Ross Hall. Now rising on the Health Sciences Campus, Ross Hall, with about 100,000 square feet of classroom, labs and offices, will welcome its first class of 50 students in fall 2011.

Ross, 84, has supported several ECU initiatives over the years. He is a member of the Leo Jenkins Society and the Order of the Cupola, organizations whose members have made substantial gifts to the university.

“The difference between being a good dental school and a great dental school hinges on private giving,” said School of Dentistry Dean James Hupp. “Dr. Ross’ very generous philanthropic gift will propel us toward greatness, allowing us to accomplish our grand vision of improving the health and quality of life of North Carolinians by leading the nation in community-based, service-learning dental education. We cannot thank him enough.”

Chancellor Steve Ballard said Ross’ gift will be used for student scholarships, faculty research and other academic enterprises. “This generous gift…puts us in a position to support faculty and students at its inception,” Ballard said.

The General Assembly appropriated about $90 million for construction of ECU’s dental school and 10 community-service learning centers in rural and underserved areas of the state. The first three locations announced for those centers are Sylva, Ahoskie and Elizabeth City. Dental school faculty members will be based in the centers, along with advanced dental residents and senior students who will receive enhanced dental education in real practice settings. The dental school is expected to have 65 faculty members and 100 staff members.

Ross attended Greenville High School and Hardbarger Business College before being admitted to East Carolina College. He received a doctor of dental surgery degree from Northwestern University Dental School in 1953, and a master of science degree in orthodontics from UNC Chapel Hill in 1959. Before going to college, Ross served for three years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is married to Alta Dant Ross. He has four children, Dr. Dennis Ross of Greenville, Cynthia Teague of Raleigh, Kathryn Ross Pitts of Huntersville, and Jody Ross Odaniell of West Linn, Ore. Ross’s mother and sister attended ECU, as did one of his daughters.

Ballard told trustees that securing operating funds for the dental school is his top priority for this year’s legislative session. The General Assembly appropriated
$3 million for operations last year, but the school needs another $11 million to begin hiring faculty.

“We understand the economic condition of the state, and we are taking nothing for granted,” Ballard said. “I need the help of every board member and everyone possible to make sure we stay on target.”

As a result of his 2009 gift to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Pitt County, a new club was constructed on the grounds of Ayden Elementary School. Named for Ross, the facility can serve more than 150 kids daily, over double the capacity of the facility it replaced.

Jeff Lebo, Terry Holland

A lucky bounce for Lebo

eff Lebo, a three-time All ACC Tournament selection and a point guard on Dean Smith teams that made four straight Sweet 16 appearances, will try to jumpstart an ECU basketball program that hasn’t had a winning season in 13 years. Lebo, 43, who was fired in March after six mostly successful seasons at Auburn University, succeeds Mack McCarthy, who accepted a job in sports fundraising after three seasons as basketball coach. Lebo received a six-year contract worth about $3.4 million, excluding performance incentives.

“I feel like the luckiest guy in the world right now,” Lebo said at his introductory press conference. “I have never been so happy in my life to get a 4:00 a.m. wake-up call to catch a plane to come here today and be named head basketball coach at East Carolina.” He was unemployed less than two weeks.

Holland to stay til '14

n a unanimous vote, the Board of Trustees approved a three-year extension of athletics director Terry Holland’s contract until Dec. 31, 2014. The contract, which was set to expire next year, continues Holland’s salary at $356,400. Chancellor Steve Ballard noted that none of his senior administrators are receiving raises. Holland, who came to ECU in 2004, has achieved higher academic results by student-athletes, increased attendance at football games and enhanced facilities.

East Carolina’s sports programs are closing in on another profitable year, with a projected surplus of more than $900,000 out of a $25.7 million budget. Giving a mid-year report to the Board of Trustees, Senior Associate Director of Athletics Nick Floyd indicated most of the surplus comes from football tickets and game guarantees.

Lebo becomes ECU’s third basketball coach in four years and will attempt to do what his predecessors couldn’t: produce a winning team for a school that sits in the shadow of several big-time college basketball programs on a campus where it’s probably the fourth most popular sport, after football, baseball and women’s softball. Lebo becomes the 11th coach during a stretch in which the Pirates have had 28 losing seasons in 35 years, hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1993, and last had a winning record in the 1996–97 season. However, plans are moving ahead to build a new basketball practice facility, which observers say will boost recruiting.

“I’ve been at some places where I was told I was committing coaching suicide going there,” Lebo said. “This is certainly not one of those places. I think it’s in a lot better shape than some other places I have been.” Lebo had coached Auburn for six years where he compiled a 96-93 record. He began his head-coaching career at Tennessee Tech in 1998 before moving to Tennessee-Chattanooga four years later. He went to Auburn in 2003. He compiled winning records at all three schools.

“I can’t stand up here and tell you how many wins we’re going to have, but I can tell you a couple of things. One, you’re going to see a team out there that’s going to play hard. The one thing that I don’t coach is effort. I expect that. We want to play smart. We want to play together. We want guys who understand our core values: being accountable, dependable, reliable and trusting. Those things aren’t just important on the basketball floor. They’re important in other areas of their lives as well, like academics and social settings. Those are the things I believe in and that we’re going to instill in this basketball program.”

Lebo was part of a Tar Heel program that posted a 116-25 record during his four years as a starter. In 1989, Lebo was honored as the school’s top student-athlete. He still ranks eighth on Carolina’s career assists list and 24th on its career scoring chart. He is married to the former Melissa Mills of Williamston and they are the parents of two daughters and a son. Lebo’s father-in-law is former ECU football letterman Dennis “Dink” Mills ’66 ’76, the long-time football coach and athletics director at Williamston High School.


Alumni giving grows

Alumni Giving Chart
he number of alumni giving money to East Carolina rose sharply last year, which helped offset a decline in the value of the university’s endowment caused by the gloom on Wall Street, according to reports which indicated that ECU’s investments fared better than many other schools.

In a report to the Board of Trustees, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Mickey Dowdy said ECU ranks third among its 15 peer institutions in alumni participation in fundraising and fourth among UNC campuses.

A separate report by the National Association of College and University Business Officers noted that the 6.3 percent drop in the value of ECU’s endowment last fiscal year is well below the national average. University endowments nationwide lost an average of 18.7 percent then. N.C. State University took a 14.8 percent hit to its endowment while UNC Chapel Hill suffered a 19 percent decline. Duke University saw the largest drop, at 27.5 percent.

Roundtable to focus on women’s financial issues

he Women’s Roundtable will hold its third major event, a one-day conference focusing on women’s financial issues. The event, to be held Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Hilton Hotel in Greenville, will be packed with useful, entertaining information provided through break-out sessions and keynote addresses.

Jean ChatzkyThe day will begin at 8 a.m. with registration, followed with remarks by award-winning journalist and best-selling author Jean Chatzky (left), the financial editor for NBC’s Today Show. Chatzky also is a contributing editor for More magazine and a columnist for the New York Daily News. She is the author of six books, including best-sellers Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10 A Day and Make Money, Not Excuses. Her latest best-seller, Money 911, was released in January 2009. Her blog,, recently was named one of the best financial sites for women.

Nationally known humorist Jeanne Robertson will be the luncheon speaker. Robertson uses her positively funny style to illustrate that a sense of humor is an approach toward working with people. She believes that this humor attitude can be developed and improved, and she outlines how to do so while captivating audiences with funny, original stories.
The event will conclude with the recognition of five outstanding alumnae as Incredible ECU Women and remarks by BB&T CEO and board chairman Kelly King ’70 ’71.

The Women’s Roundtable welcomes women from all walks of life. Participation in the roundtable is not limited to ECU alumnae. Contributions to the roundtable support ECU’s Access Scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to a historically underserved group of students who demonstrate both financial need and proven academic potential. The Women’s Roundtable is funding two Access Scholarships.

For more information about the roundtable and how to become a member, visit or contact Marcy Romary at 252-328-9580.

Campaign hits $165 million

o date, East Carolina has raised more than $165 million toward its $200 million goal for the Second Century Campaign, which seeks to raise critical resources necessary for many aspects of the university. The Access Scholarship program is one initiative that has supported students across the university. Last year, East Carolina provided 69 Access Scholarships sponsored by individuals, foundations, corporations and organizations such as the Women’s Roundtable. Many of these students might not otherwise have afforded a college education.

“Students who receive Access Scholarships are required to sustain solid academic progress and complete at least 20 hours of volunteer time through ECU’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center,” said Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Mickey Dowdy. “With this volunteer requirement, we hope to instill in these students the importance of giving back to their communities to help those that come after them, like they have been helped.”

In these difficult economic times, private support for scholarships is more important than ever. Please consider supporting your university through the Second Century Campaign. For more information visit or call 252-328-9550.

Honors college for top students


ast Carolina University is moving forward with plans to open an honors college on campus, with the first students arriving this fall. A search committee will hire a dean, and officials are looking for a place to house the program on campus, Provost Marilyn Sheerer said. The university expects that in three to five years about 400 students will be enrolled in the prestigious program.

The creation of an honors college—an upgrade from the school’s current honors program which includes about 900 students—will allow the university to recruit better students and faculty, Sheerer said. The students in the current honors program are gifted, with SAT scores of 1200 or better and a high school GPA of 3.5 or better. Sheerer said the university loses about 100 such students every year, including some who choose to leave ECU because they are not challenged enough.

“They may come here and get a good academic average and then go on to a school that they perceive has a better academic reputation,” Sheerer said. “But we need to turn that around to keep them with us.”  —ECU News Bureau