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 Provost Ron Mitchelson served as master of ceremonies for the 2016 University Awards Celebration. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

DAY OF DISTINCTION

Faculty, staff recognized for achievement, service

April 27, 2016

By Jules Norwood
ECU News Services

East Carolina University’s faculty and staff were presented with awards recognizing their service, leadership, ambition and spirit during the seventh annual Founders Day and University Awards Celebration on April 27 in Hendrix Theatre.

Provost Ron Mitchelson welcomed the audience to the event and commended the award nominees and recipients for their service to the university.

“We offer promises of student success, public service and regional transformation,” Mitchelson said. “The recipients of awards today are helping to ensure that we are making very good on those promises.”

Robert Ebendorf, artist in residence at the School of Art and Design, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity. Ebendorf, a goldsmith renowned for his contemporary jewelry, will retire this year. He commended his fellow educators and award recipients for their dedication, scholarship and research.

“I’ve not come to work one day that I would rather have been somewhere else,” he said.

He described himself as both an artist and an educator and said that mentoring students has been an important part of his life at ECU.

Dr. Shouquan Huo, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. S. Raza Shaikh, associate professor of biochemistry, received the Five-Year Achievement Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

Henry Hinton, an alumnus who serves as liaison on the UNC Board of Governors, presented the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching to Dr. Richard Williams. It is the highest teaching award given at the university and recognizes the sustained record of distinguished teaching by a tenured faculty member.

Dr. Richard Williams received the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Williams, an associate professor of recreational therapy, was one of eight nominees for the award. Williams is known for his enthusiasm and many of his students have gone on to successful careers in the field.

In his remarks, Williams pointed out that the format of teaching – a professor standing in a room, sharing knowledge with students – has changed little throughout human history. “So how do we compete with new technology, how do we hold their attention? Why do they keep showing up in droves?” he asked. It comes down to narrative, he said.

“When there’s a person telling a story, and he or she is feeling an emotion about that and reliving that emotion, then the listener … our students are going to feel that. When there’s sorrow in a story, they’re going to feel that,” he said.

Williams also remarked on teachers’ ability to have an influence that multiplies. “That’s the subtle power that teachers have, we can work with our students, and send these ripples out into the world, and hopefully they take what they’ve learned, and make the world a better place,” he said.

The UNC Board of Governors also recognized six faculty members with the Distinguished Professor for Teaching Awards:

Dr. Qin Ding, Department of Computer Science
Dr. Peter Francia, Department of Political Science
Dr. David Kimmel, Department of Biology
Dr. John F. Kros, Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Dr. Laura Levi-Altstaedter, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Dr. Lori Jane Walker, School of Music

ECU recognized faculty members who have received United States Patents:

Dr. Joseph Kalinowski and Dr. Andrew Stuart, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Dr. Xin-Hua Hu, Dr. Jun Q. Lu and Dr. Kenneth Jacobs, Department of Physics
Dr. Rachel Roper, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Dr. Paul Fletcher, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Dr. T. Bruce Ferguson and Dr. Cheng Chen, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences; and Dr. Xin-Hua Hu, Department of Physics

The Scholarship of Engagement Award, which recognizes one faculty member annually for sustained commitment to partnered scholarly endeavors with communities, was presented to Dr. Paige P. Viren, associate professor of recreation and leisure studies.

Ten Scholar-Teacher Award recipients were initially recognized on March 31 during research and creative achievement week. The winners of the award in this, its 20th year, are:

Dr. William Banks, Department of English
Dr. Eban Z. Bean, Department of Engineering
Dr. Zachary Domire, Department of Kinesiology
Dr. Cindy Elmore, School of Communication
Dr. Sony R. Hardin, Department of Graduate Nursing Science
Dr. Joy Karriker, Department of Management
Dr. Andrea M. Kitta, Department of English
Dr. Jamie L. Perry, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Dr. Tuan Tran, Department of Psychology
Dr. Guili Zhang, Department of Special Education, Foundations and Research

The ECU Alumni Association Awards for Outstanding Teaching went to Dr. Cody Chullen of the Department of Management and Dr. Sandra Lookabaugh of Human Development and Family Science. Dr. Laura Levi-Altstaedter received the Robert L. Jones Award for Outstanding Teaching.

The College of Education’s Dr. Steven W. Schmidt received the Max Ray Joyner Award for Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education. The award honors a faculty member who has shown commitment and enthusiasm in teaching and mentoring off-campus students and who has demonstrated excellence in the delivery of courses offered through continuing studies, distance education courses offered online or face to face. 

Robert Ebendorf was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Creative Activity.


For the first time this year, the Diversity and Inclusion Awards recognized significant achievements in four categories. The Faculty Award went to Dr. Lori Flint, Department of Special Education, Foundations and Research; the Staff Award went to Aaron Lucier, director of housing operations; the Student Award went to Francisco Limon, Family Medical Therapy doctoral student; and the Academic Unit, Administrative Unit, University Organization or University Committee Award went to the College of Nursing Diversity Advisory Council.

Also recognized at the celebration were 86 members of the ninth class of the Servire Society. These students, faculty and staff completed more than 100 hours of service to the community outside of the classroom during the previous calendar year.

The James R. Talton Jr. Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Andrew Morehead, associate professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. The award recognizes a leader who serves others in his or her work through collaboration, empathy, trust and the ethical use of authority.

The Centennial Awards for Excellence represent the highest awards given to ECU faculty and staff for excellence in the areas of service, leadership, ambition and spirit. Recipients in the area of ambition were Dr. Michelle Eble, Department of English; Eugene Tashiro, Facilities Engineering and Architectural Services; and the MATCH Leadership Team.

Morehead, along with Dr. Paul Gemperline, dean of graduate studies, and Terry Little, Facilities Services, were recognized for leadership.

In the service category were Dr. Richard Ericson, Department of Economics; Kristal Gauthier, College of Allied Health Sciences; and Kevin Sugg, Moving Services.

The recipients of the spirit award were Susan Howard, Department of Nutrition Science, and the Moving Services team.

Mitchelson noted the contributions of not only the award recipients, but also the nominees, and said that ECU appreciates the dedication and sacrifice of all those honored during the awards ceremony.

 The University Awards Ceremony provided recognition for the service, leadership, ambition and spirit of ECU’s faculty and staff.

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