(Dec. 8, 2005)
East Carolina University faculty member Donald E. Ensley has been elected to a three-year term on the North Carolina Humanities Council.
Ensley is assistant vice chancellor for community engagement at ECU, associate professor and chair of the Department of Community Health and director of the department's graduate studies program in the School of Allied Health Sciences.
"Dr. Ensley understands the important public dimension of our work and brings to the council a rich and varied academic background in public health," said Dr. Douglas Quin, executive director of the council, a nonprofit foundation which encourages public dialogue and civic discourse of all North Carolinians.
This is Ensley's first appointment to the 23-member board. Previously, he worked as a project director on two council projects.
The first was in 1995, "The Black Physician Experience in Eastern North Carolina," an oral history project that examined the black physician experience in eastern North Carolina. The oral history was based on interviews with five black physicians who had served the region since the 1940s.
In 2003, Ensley collaborated with two UNC-Asheville professors, Dr. Heidi Kelley and her husband, Dr. Ken Betsalel, on a project titled "Voices of Stroke: Words and Pictures of Stroke Survivors and Caregivers." The group developed an oral history to accompany Betsalel's documentary photographs of stroke survivors and their caregivers. Kelley and Ensley's wife, Ramona, are stroke survivors.
"Both of these endeavors are exemplary public humanities programs, touching communities with voices and lives that we do not often hear from," Quin said.
Ensley received a bachelor's degree in geography and health education from North Carolina Central University, a master's and doctorate from Michigan State University and a master's in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ensley is vice chair of the North Carolina Heart Disease and Stroke Task Force. Previously he served as chairman of the board of directors of the North Carolina Heart Association.
Ensley's teaching, research and service areas include community-based services, managed care, health promotion and disease prevention, rural health care, elder care, health care advocacy of special populations and public health policies. Currently, he is designing a regional database for community-based programs in the area of heart disease and stroke.
The North Carolina Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has supported a wide range of humanities programs that are free and open to the public. Go to www.nchumanities.org
for more information.