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ECU physician Dr. Diane Campbell accepts the 2011 Linda Allred Profiles in Leadership Award during the ECU Women of Distinction event on April 13. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Award honors doctor’s mentoring, outreach


By Mary Schulken
ECU Director of Public Affairs


An East Carolina University doctor described as a remarkable mentor and role model has received a top leadership award for women from the university.

Dr. Diane Campbell, clinical assistant professor of medicine, Brody School of Medicine, and director, Community REACH Program, accepted the 2011 Linda Allred Profiles in Leadership Award Wednesday.

“I know I am a leader and it was a long time coming,” Campbell told those attending the annual Women of Distinction event focusing on women’s leadership. “The women I work with — women in poverty, women of color, women who experience health disparities and many of the inequities we have talked about today — need me to be a leader.”

“I was one of them, and I have come a long way and have a long, long way to go,” Campbell said.

Campbell’s work in HIV/AIDS outreach has improved individual lives and strengthened the community and region, said Mary Beth Corbin, director, Office of Student Transitions and First Year Programs at ECU. Corbin coordinated nominations for the leadership awards, sponsored by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Relations.
Campbell’s nomination described her as someone who has the “innate ability to empower, guide and excite those under her leadership.”  She is, it says, “one of the distinctive women who is able to balance a demanding career with a busy home life” and “respects, employs, mentors and provides the flexibility and leadership it takes for other women to achieve this … and simultaneously strive toward their own professional and personal goals.”

Campbell was one of 10 women recognized for their contributions to the institution, community and region at the event. Nine ECU Women of Distinction awards for 2011, based on demonstrated contributions in areas such as academics/education, outreach, research, politics, athletics and volunteering.
  • Margie Gallagher, associate dean, research and graduate studies, College of Human Ecology.
  • Jamie Kruse, director, Center for Natural Hazards Research.
  • Elizabeth Layman, services and information management, College of Allied Health Sciences.
  • Deirdre Mageean, vice chancellor, division of research and graduate studies.
  • Linda Mooney, associate professor, sociology.
  • Diane Rodriguez-Luterbach, editor, Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education.
  • Kathleen Row, chair, department of psychology.
  • Marianna Walker, associate professor, department of communication sciences and disorders.
  • Beth Velde, professor, occupational therapy, assistant dean, College of Allied Health Sciences.
Nominees were judged on six criteria, Corbin said: leadership, commitment, determination, generosity of spirit/time, community building and the ability to empower and mentor others.

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Honorees at the Women of Distinction event included, front row left to right, Beth Velde, Diane Campbell, Margie Gallagher, Kathleen Row and back row, left to right, Marianna Walker, Jamie Kruse and Diane Rodriguez Luterbach.
Women have made strides in leadership since they gained the right to vote in 1918, but the numbers show work remains, said keynote speaker Valeria Lee, vice chairwomen and founding member of the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, a state-funded non-profit that works toward economic vigor.

“Women’s issues still have to do with equity, access and equality,” Lee told the group. “Women still too often wind up doing the most work for the least pay.”

Lee cited the findings of the latest Indicators of Social and Economic Well-being report by the White House Council on Women and Girls, which showed women are more likely than men to be in poverty, less likely to have access to regular medical care and more likely to be victims of crimes such as domestic violence, stalking and assault.

Women have gained ground in the corporate boardroom in North Carolina, increasing from comprising 4.3 percent of the board members on the state’s top 50 companies in 1992 to 12.9 percent in 2009, according to a report by two non-profits.

“I see quite a difference between those numbers and 50 percent,” Lee said. “And I feel that’s a good number for us to strive for.”

The Allred Award received by Campbell honors a former associate professor of psychology who died in 2005. She directed the Women's Studies Program and advocated for women’s rights and the rights of those with disabilities.

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ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard congratulates the honorees.