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Pieces of Eight


Earthquake in Southeast Asia Jolts ECU Global Partners

By Nancy McGillicuddy

The deadly earthquake that ripped through South Asia in early October took with it a university that had enabled Pakistani students to participate in a course offered through East Carolina University’s Global Classroom.

The University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, located near the epicenter of the 7.6-magnitude quake, was a partner in one of ECU’s internet-based courses.

The dozen students in Pat Dunn’s Global Understanding course are still attempting to communicate with their Pakistani counterparts and are planning a relief effort.

Through real-time video and Internet connection, students at ECU converse and share lectures with their counterparts in Pakistan After class, they chat via instant messenger and e-mail to get to know their individually paired partner.

“Our own students are distraught and are now coming together to provide some monetary relief for their colleagues in this situation,” said Elmer Poe, associate vice chancellor for academic outreach at ECU.

Students from ECU had just completed a five-week lecture series with AJKU when the earthquake struck, killing 250 students. One Pakistani student who participated in the ECU-AJKU class was killed.

Dunn, who teaches the Internet course, urged her ECU students to continue to connect with their partners via e-mail.

“The problem is that they are all very scattered,” Dunn said.

The relationship between ECU and AJKU began one year ago when officials at both universities signed a partnership agreement.

ECU students meet in the Global Classroom of the Science and Technology Building.

This page originally appeared in the Nov. 18, 2005 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at