Hot Topics Archives 2014

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Hot Topics
2014 Archives

April 2014

ECU runners to join'much different' Boston Marathon

A Brody School of Medicine professor and a student in the School of Dental Medicine are among the Greenville locals who will be running in the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21. For emergency medicine professor Dr. Kori Brewer, it’s her first time running in the marathon since 2009 and she expects this year to be “a much different experience” in the wake of last year’s bombing. Quinn Woodruff was actually in Boston for the race when the bombing occurred and will return to run again this year. To set up an interview with either of them, contact Kathryn Kennedy at 252-744-2482.

Screening, panel discussion to highlight coastal controversy 

A film screening and panel discussion of the documentary "Shored Up" at ECU April 22 will focus on the controversial ongoing development of coastal areas in spite of a near constant threat of destruction from coastal storms. ECU professor Dr. Reide Corbett, pictured, said the film "takes us to the heart of this coastal controversy." Read more...

Earth Day Expo at ECU highlights biodiversity

The ECU Center for Biodiversity and Department of Biology will host the annual Earth Day Expo from 4 – 6 p.m. April 8 in Howell Science Complex on campus. ECU researchers and non-profit organizations will provide interactive activities and displays. Children may enjoy live animals and plants, lab activities and natural history story times. Read more…


March 2014

Crisis in Ukraine heats up following weekend vote

Crisis continues in the Ukraine following a weekend referendum in which the citizens of Crimea voted to join Russia. The U.S. and European Union have announced sanctions in response. ECU economics professor Dr. Richard Ericson is an expert on Russia and Eastern European economics, and he is available to speak to the media. Contact Ericson at 252-328-6006 or

March madness takes practice for optimal performance

College athletes and fans will soon be caught up in March madness, the frenzy that often accompanies the annual contest for the winning title in the NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament. But not all athletes will perform as well as they’d like once they arrive in the spotlight. Competing well within a stressful environment requires practice, training and effort, according to ECU kinesiology professor Dr. Tom Raedeke, who teaches athletes how to maintain their mental focus despite negative distractions and media attention.

Raedeke has been at ECU since 1998 and has experience in venues like the U.S. Olympic Training Center.  His research interests include the social psychology of sport and exercise participation including motivation, physical activity adherence, mental skills training, stress, and burnout. 

He is available for media interviews related to the impact of March madness on college athletes. Contact Raedeke at (252) 737-1292 or



February 2014

High-powered recreational drug prompts health warning

A drug five times more powerful than heroin and 16 times more potent than morphine has arrived in the East, leading to a health advisory Feb. 19 from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

ECU experts on the drug, a dangerous substance that has been linked to three deaths in the state, include ECU psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Penders and Dr. William Meggs.

Penders is an associate professor of psychiatric medicine and is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology. Meggs is professor of emergency medicine and medical toxicologist at the Brody School of Medicine. To arrange an interview, contact Doug Boyd at 252-744-2482 or




Play, pay attention on 'honey-do' list for Valentines

Valentine’s Day often serves as a reminder to refocus on loved ones and healthy relationships. East Carolina University’s Dr. Lisa Tyndall, director of the Family Therapy Clinic, offers a 'honey-do' list for maintaining a healthy relationship with that special someone on Valentine’s Day or any day throughout the year.

Do pay attention. Pay attention to yourself, your partner and the relationship. Both the individuals who make up the relationship, and the relationship itself need nurturing, but the first step is to pay attention.

Do assume the best about the other person. People in happy relationships general assume the best about their partner, even if the partner makes a mistake, the mistake is seen more as an anomaly than as a regular occurrence.

Do communicate. Spend time actually talking and looking each other in the eye. Conversations are just qualitatively different when two people look each other in the eyes. This kind of communication quality really communicates that the other person is important and that what he/she has to say is important.

Do spend time playing together. Playing and exploring new activities together is important to continuing to also explore each other and see each other as dynamic individuals. This can be anything from a house project to a type of class or just going hiking.

Do pay attention to the little moments. Little moments, like the few minutes before you leave for the day, or when you return home, can add up to an overall increased sense of connectedness. Take those few minutes to give an affectionate hug or kiss and some verbal reassurance of your relationship, ie. –  say “I love you” in the morning and at night and it will be a great way to book-end your day!

Individuals who need more advice for keeping a relationship strong or getting it back on track may contact ECU's Family Therapy Clinic. The clinic has been a resource for families in the community for more than 20 years, offering a wide range of services, including individual therapy, couple therapy, family therapy and premarital services. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call 252-328-4206.

Tyndall is available for media questions by e-mail at or by phone at 252-328-4206.

Will CVS tobacco decision impact chain's brand?

Popular pharmacy chain CVS announced Feb. 5 that it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its stores by Oct. 1, stating that the product is incompatible with its purpose of encouraging healthy lifestyles. ECU marketing professor Christy Ashley can speak about the effect that decision may have on the chain's brand and its market share. For media interviews, contact Ashley at 252-328-6099 or e-mail

January 2014

Concussion litigation effects on professional, recreational athletics

When the Super Bowl kicked off Sunday, Feb. 2, two players who’ve recently missed games due to concussions were suited up and ready to play: Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos and Percy Harvin of the Seattle Seahawks. Last fall, the National Football League settled a lawsuit with former players over concussions. Daniel Goldberg, an attorney, bioethicist and faculty member at the Brody School of  Medicine at East Carolina University, is a published expert on NFL concussion litigation and its possible effects from the professional ranks down to hometown leagues. He may be reached at or 252-744-5699. 
Small lifestyle changes can help improve health

Already struggling to stick to those ambitious New Year’s resolutions? Don’t despair. Department of Psychology professor Lesley Lutes has conducted research indicating that small, more sustainable lifestyle changes can still go a long way toward improving health. Members of the media may contact Lutes for an interview at 252-328-1374 or

ECU specialist offers advice on New Year's exercise resolutions

About a third of New Year’s resolvers make weight loss a primary goal, and about 15 percent aim to begin exercising, according to one study. For those who plan to start working out, whether it’s easy walking or serious weights, ECU sports medicine specialist Dr. Brock Niceler has some recommendations. To interview Niceler, contact Doug Boyd of ECU News Services at 252-744-2482 or
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