ECU News Services


ECU Hosts UNC-TV broadcast of North Carolina Rising town hall meeting

As the culmination of the North Carolina Rising project, UNC-TV presented a public North Carolina Rising town hall meeting, Nov. 18, from the East Carolina Heart Institute Outpatient Facility on the campus of East Carolina University. 

Amid unprecedented changes in our state’s economic landscape, UNC-TV’s "North Carolina Rising" project examines the challenges and opportunities facing rural regions in our state and how their successes affect all North Carolinians. The town hall event was broadcast live on UNC-TV.

Moderated by UNC-TV’s Director of Production, Shannon Vickery, the event featured an interactive dialogue among expert panelists, representing local leadership in education, policy and industry, and viewers.

Experts scheduled to participate included:

  • Patrick N. Woodie, Vice President, Rural Development Programs, North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, Inc.;
  • Dr. Paul R. G. Cunningham, MD, FACS is the Dean and the Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University;
  • Sidney “Chip” W.  Zullinger, Superintendent, Bertie County Schools;
  • Darlene Waddell, Executive Director, Global Transpark, Kinston, NC; and
  • Dale Carroll, Deputy Commerce Secretary, North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Topics for discussion included opportunities from the health care industry, the future of the area’s Global TransPark, how nonprofits fit into the regional economic development equation, and the role of entrepreneurs  in eastern North Carolina.

The North Carolina Rising Town Hall from East Carolina University represented the fourth, and final, of a four-part town hall series that also included events from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Western Carolina University, and Catawba County.

UNC-TV’s North Carolina Rising project is funded by the Golden LEAF Foundation, a nonprofit corporation created in 1999 to receive one-half of the funds coming to North Carolina from a master settlement agreement with cigarette manufacturers. In turn, the Foundation is helping North Carolinians make the transition from a tobacco-dependent economy through grants and investments that will positively affect the long-term economic advancement of the state. Golden LEAF gives priority in its grantmaking to tobacco-dependent and economically distressed counties.

For more information about these shows and other programming on UNC-TV’s family of stations, visit

This story appeared originally in the Nov. 24, 2009 issue of Pieces of Eight. An archived version of that issue is available at