August 2016 Edition

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Upcoming Events in Student Affairs

Events from August 15-31

  • 16th Annual Pirate Palooza at Dowdy- Ficklen Stadium - Aug. 21 at 5:30
  •  ECU Alum and NASCAR's Greg Morin to speak at Convocation - Aug. 21
  • Fall Intramural Registration opens Aug. 22 - Flag football, volleyball, softball, sand volleyball, cornhole, spikeball, and indoor soccer
  • Grad Students Only - Fun Night at North Rec - Aug. 18 at 6:30pm
  • Campus Rec and Wellness Back to School Pool Party - Aug. 22
  • CRW Play Hard, Live Well Mixer - Aug. 31
  • SAB Film Series (All Films in Hendrix Theatre)
    • "Allegiant Part I" - Aug. 18 at 9:30pm
    • "Allegiant Part I" - Aug. 19 at 7pm
    • "Divergent" - Outdoor Movie on MSC Brickyard at 9:30pm
    • "Allegiant Part I" - Aug. 20 at 7pm and 9:30pm
    • "Neighbors 2: Sorority Uprising" - Aug. 24 at 9:30pm
    •  "Central Intelligence" - Aug. 25 at 9:30pm
    • "Neighbors 2: Sorority Uprising" - Aug. 26 at 7pm
    • "Central Intelligence" - Aug. 26 at 9:30pm     "Central Intelligence" - Aug. 27 at 7pm
    • "Neighbors 2: Sorority Uprising" - Aug. 27 at 9:30pm
    • "Jungle Book" - Aug. 31 at 9:30pm
  • Welcome Weekend - Free Bowling - Aug. 18-20 from 5pm-Midnight
  • LWCC Welcome Back Cookout and Cultural Fair - Aug. 22 at 4:30pm
  • Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment - Aug. 24-30
  •  NPHC Meet the Greeks - Aug. 27 from 3-5pm
  • Student Organizations Workshop Carousel - Aug. 28 from 1-6pm
  • Interfraternity Council Fall Recruitment - Aug. 28-Sept. 2
  • Dating On Campus: Talking, Tinder and Trends - Aug. 29 at 1pm
  • SAB Arts: Make Your Own Frisbee Art - Aug. 30 at 5pm

Archived Editions

Virginia Hardy

Welcome to Fall 2016
A message from Vice Chancellor Virginia Hardy
Well...they are back.  The Pirate Nation is back on campus ready for the start of another amazing year at East Carolina University.  I hope that you have had a chance to recharge the batteries and spend some much needed and well-deserved time with your families and loved ones. 

As advertised, 2015-16 was a year of transition and adjustment.  We welcomed in UNC System President Margaret Spellings and transitioned from Steve Ballard to Cecil Staton as our new campus leader.  ECU also felt a strong presence of student activism and civic engagement, and saw firsthand how amazing our students and student leaders are as they tackled everything from HB2 to sexual assault to community violence. 

And while much of the transition may be in our rear view mirror, we will continue to face very trying times in our immediate and even in the distant future.  We have experienced a summer of violence that rocked and saddened our country. 

East Carolina University lost Pirate alumnus, Shane Tomlinson, in the horrific shooting in Orlando, but the Pirate Nation rallied together with more than 700 people marching together to the Town Common to demonstrate unity and strength. 

In recent weeks, the entire nation has been alarmed by shootings in Dallas, Orlando, Minnesota, Baton Rouge, Chicago and many other cities across the country.  Once again, I saw the students on campus and on social media who rallied together for a peaceful sit-in demonstration and even collective cries of “Enough.” 

Things weren’t all negative this summer.  We once again hosted more than 4,000 first-year students during orientation and I am sure we are all feverishly preparing for them to call ECU their new home. 

We will get the ball rolling with Move-In this week followed by the New Student Welcome and Convocation and Pirate Palooza and then it’s the first day of classes and everything will likely return to a 1,000 mph in 12 different directions. 

One of the greatest strengths of this Division is our people.  You are not only very good at what you do, but we have found ways to connect with our students to make their collegiate experience a positive one.  If someone wants to protest, we don’t stop them; we empower and educate them.  If someone has a complaint, we listen to them and seek support and assistance for them.  We are fortunate to have Student Affairs educators and staff whose diverse areas of expertise build upon the remarkable dedication to excellence that characterizes our Division.  This is an area where I am the most proud to be the leader of the Division of Student Affairs.

Let’s take a moment before the academic year begins to reaffirm the Student Affairs values:  Integrity, Respect, Inclusion, Student-Centered, Service, Excellence.

This fall we will have more opportunities to engage our students:

  • ECU Leads launches this fall with a multi-year structure that tracks a students’ abilities and skills as a leader, which will make them more marketable and employable post-graduation.

  • Cupola Conversations will jump to the forefront this fall.  When pressing current events impact our students and campus we will host Cupola Conversations to discuss topics, share solutions, explore opportunities and create healthy dialogue.  These conversations could occur in somewhere as large as Hendrix Theatre or could take place via social media.  The important point is that we want to continue to have more conversations with our students and the ECU community.

  • Our two new student centers projects are rolling along.  As of August 1st, the Health Sciences Student Center is more than 60% complete and fully under roof.  The target date for completion is late March 2017.  The Main Campus Student Center is also underway and is tracking for a mid-summer 2018 completion.  There will be a lot of communications and information about these projects, as we get closer to opening the doors.

  • Some of our new initiatives from last year are continuing in 2016-17.  Both Pledge Purple and the North Carolina Civility Summit enjoyed a wonderful first year and will return this fall and spring, respectively.
  • Halloween Havoc returns to main campus following a couple of years being held at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.  For the next two years, the festivities will be held at the Student Recreation Center with the plan to move to the new Student Center in Fall 2018.
  • We also broke some amazing records last year with nearly $150,000 in philanthropic work from our Greek Life community and our Development Office brought in close to $900,000 to the Division.  We are hoping to top both of these benchmarks this academic year.

We fully expect the year ahead to present us with challenges, obstacles, and pitfalls.  However, there will be numerous opportunities for us to experience success, excitement and accomplishment and to watch our students grow and be successful.

I wish everyone a safe, happy and health new academic year.  Thank you for all that you do for our students, our Division and for East Carolina University.

Fall Kickoff

SA Fall Kickoff - Sept. 7

The Division of Student Affairs Fall 2016 Kickoff will be held on September 7, 2016 in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms.  Dr. Hardy will address the Division reflecting briefly on the year that was 2015-16, but focusing on the upcoming year ahead.  Some light breakfast refreshments will be available at 8am with the kickoff starting at 8:30am.  Please respond to the calendar invitation for the Fall Kickoff so that we can have an accurate number for seating and refreshments. 

2016 ECU Move In

ECU Move In 2016
ECU has 4,300 first year students and about 1,800 transfer students moving in this fall.  Among the news and notes related to the new semester and move-in:

  • Due to construction on campus, Campus Living adjusted its Move-In process for this year.  All students moving in on Aug. 17-19 will check in at Minges Coliseum and receive their room key and other important information.  Then they will get a parking sticker for their campus neighborhood where they can off load their personal items to move in to their halls.  Click here to see the Campus Living Move In schedule

  • ECU Transit and ECU Dining has specific schedules and hours of operation during Move-In as well.  Click here for the ECU Transit Schedule and click here for the link to Campus Dining hours of operation.  Transit and Dining also have their Fall 2016 schedules posted on these sites.

  • From Bill Kock with Environmental Health and Campus Safety - This year, ECU installed lighting, cameras and emergency bluelight phones at Stratford Arms thanks to Facilities Services.  ECU Police will patrol this area as well.  There will be 100 parking spaces in Stratford Arms for contractors as the new Main Campus Student Center project ramps up.  Parking and Transportation also plans to sell the remaining spaces to D (freshman) permits.  EH&S worked with Campus Living on a lottery system for this year to give returning students priority around the residence halls.  They are also working through their protocols to fully utilize these spaces (A2 and B2) and offer D permits to remaining students.  Like the Minges and Belk (Curry Court) lots, Stratford Arms will need to be vacated for football home games to allow for Pirate Club and other fan parking. The D permit holders will be directed to available space on campus.  Resident parking north of the railroad tracks on 14th Street and around the residence halls will be protected by P&T so only A2 permits will be able to park there on football game day.

Greg Morin

Convocation and Palooza
It's a busy week for sure.  Just before the start of the semester on August 22nd, the Division of Student Affairs hosts two of its major events, New Student Welcome and Convocation and Pirate Palooza.

The New Student Welcome and Convocation kicks off with pre-event festivities at 3:40pm in Minges Coliseum.  These festivities include music, videos and competitive games with students, faculty, staff and athletics coaches and players.  At 4:30pm, Convocation will officially begin and will include messages from Vice Chancellor Hardy, new Chancellor Cecil Staton and SGA President Ryan Beeson.  The keynote speaker for Convocation is Greg Morin, an ECU alum that spent 7 years working in NASCAR for Rick Hendrick Motorsports and with drivers such as Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.  Following Convocation will be an ECU Athletics Pep Rally to get ready for the upcoming football season under new coach Scottie Montgomery.  The event will conclude at 5:30pm

The 16th Annual Pirate Palooza will begin as Convocation concludes at 5:30pm.  This annual event typically hosts about 5,000-6,000 ECU Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.  There will be free food, interactive games, inflatables, music and, of course, the free t-shirt.  Palooza will have live soclal media on the scoreboard and on the TV's under the stadium. 

Student Centers - Aug 2016

Student Centers Construction Projects
The two student centers construction projects are moving along as the Fall 2016 semester begins. 

The Health Sciences Student Center is now completely enclosed, except the Beacon, and work is being done inside the building.  The completion date for this facility is the end of March or early April 2017.  As of August 1, the project was 62% complete with all exterior brick done and power and air will be completed by the end of August.  Additionally, the elevators in the building should be functional by the end of August.  To view a live camera of the Health Sciences Student Center, click here

The Main Campus Student Center broke ground late in the fall of 2015 and progress is moving forward with the construction of the building as well as the parking deck.  On May 31st, the site excavation for the basement of the Student Center and the parking deck started.  More than 70,000 cubic yards of soil was removed and the foundation and basement wall construction activities followed.  There are two live cameras to monitor the project and you can of the project. 

Photo Contest

What They Did on Summer Vacation
Article by Carol Woodruff - Career Services

More than 30 students entered the third annual Career Services Internship Photo Contest submitting photos highlighting their summer 2016 internships and vying for a first place prize of a $100 gift card and a second place prize of a $50 gift card. The contest rules were simple.  Send photos “that capture a great internship moment, whether it is a shot with a mentor, company CEO, the internship in action, or at an event connected to the internship.  Photo should include visual reference to ECU (ECU logo, apparel, no quarter gesture, hook, etc.)”  However, selecting only two from the many extraordinary options was far from simple.

Students were engaged in a surprising range of activities---underwater, on land, in corporate America, rural Belize, small towns throughout the US, and metropolitan Quebec.  ECU interns could also be found this summer in Washington DC, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Georgia, Charleston, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Greenville.  Internship experiences involved water and soil testing, disaster relief planning, underwater examination of shipwrecks, project management, training with the Green Berets, medical treatment, media writing, video production, working with legislators, delving into administration at the UNC General Assembly, teaching public health through puppetry, and more. One Biology major who had just completed her freshman year worked on phenotypic assays and DNA sequencing at the McGill AIDS Centre in Canada. Another student coordinated an outreach clinic providing free mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women, while another worked in the AOL Virtual Reality Lab, beta tested the HTC Vive Virtual Reality System, and pitched ideas to The Huffington Post, Mapquest, and TechCrunch. 

Gurnoor Sangha’s photos were awarded first place.  A Biomedical Engineering major, she interned at the ECU Innovation Design Lab.  She explains, 
This summer, I've been a summer intern at ECU's Innovation Design Lab (IDL). IDL is a MakerBot Innovation Center, the only one of its kind in the state, 10th in the country, and 12th in the world. At the IDL, I've been 3D scanning and printing dental impression using the MakerBot printers in our lab. The hope is to one day being able to go to a dental office with a broken tooth and leaving with a new permanent tooth in 2-3 hours. I've also been working under the collaboration of IDL and ECU's School of Dental Medicine using 3D technology to print dental surgical guides, which assist in positioning and angulation of the implants in the bone. The attached photos show me scanning a dental impression, working with a MakerBot printer and standing next to an IDL poster.

The second photo selected was from intern Lauren Forrest, who is completing her Masters in Occupational Therapy.  Lauren spent her summer in the UNC Hospitals Newborn Critical Care Center.  She wrote, My summer internship, or fieldwork as it is called in occupational therapy, was an amazing experience. For the past 11 weeks, I have learned and carried out the role of an occupational therapist (OT) at UNC's Hospitals Newborn Critical Care Center (NCCC). OTs in the newborn intensive care units support infant health by providing developmental interventions and parent education. Working in the NCCC has been both challenging and rewarding. There have been moments of joy when an infant showed progress towards a goal, and moments of sadness when a fragile life ended too soon. All of this has taught me something beyond occupational therapy—that is, to cherish life and be grateful for the little things. I am grateful for the “little ones” I had the pleasure of working with this summer and for the guidance my instructor, Lisa Bostic, OTR/L, has provided. This has been an experience I will never forget.

Interns were from nearly every academic division in the university community and majors included Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Nursing, Finance, Management, Counseling and Substance Abuse, Communication, Construction Management, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Hospitality, Human Geography, Industrial Distribution, Technical Communication, Public Health, and Social Work.  While 30 interns reported 30 very different experiences, many of them talked about giving back to the communities and helping others.  Others talked about the value of the hands on experience and the value of applying what they learned in the classroom to real world experience, and others referenced the opportunity to interact with professionals in their field.

“Internships are high-value learning experiences that help students develop technical skills but also promote development of teamwork, the ability to obtain and process information, organizational and planning skills, verbal communication skills, and decision-making/problem solving skills,” explained Jim Kuras, ECU Career Services Associate Director and Co-op Director.  They also very often lead to employment.  According to the 2015 National Association of Colleges and Employers Internship and Co-op survey, 51.7% of internships and 37.8% of co-ops were converted into jobs. ECU Career Services sponsors this annual contest to help bring attention to the excellent work being done by our students, the partnerships that the university holds with companies and organizations the world over, and to help parents, faculty, students and community understand the importance of students completing at least one internship during college.

Selected Excerpts from Intern Submissions

  • I learned more in 10 weeks than in 2 years at my old job.

  • What made my experience so memorable and awesome was the unbroken realization that I am now in a new chapter of my life, working professionally in a field I have wanted to be part of for over a decade. This is about more than a grade; it’s a major life achievement, and I didn’t take a second of this experience for granted.

  • I now understand more about the intricacies of higher education and how education will play a role in my future as a healthcare professional.
  • I can't wait to apply all that I am learning to my senior year and future career.

  • Having the chance to become more educated about the role of a social worker in a medical setting, interacting with patients daily, researching and visiting outreach organizations and assisting patients with applying for resources are just a few duties I have begun to embrace, that will transmit into my future.

  • During the project that this photo was taken the archaeologists and I were investigating possible shipwrecks that were reported by volunteers. The photos and measurements taken along with historical documents help us determine what ship these remains belong too.  Being able to discover and share something that was lost so long ago is what made this internship amazing.

  • This internship program has helped us understand that we are all here for one mission, to help people help people.

NASPA Lead Initiative

ECU selected as NASPA Lead Initiative
East Carolina University has been selected as a member of the 2016-2017 NASPA Lead Initiative.  ECU will be a part of a group of nearly 100 institutions dedicated to promoting civic learning and democratic engagement as a core function of the Division of Student Affairs.

In honor of ECU's participation, NASPA President Kevin Kruger will send a letter to ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton to recognize our excellence in the area of civic learning and democratic engagement as well as to highlight your continued efforts to improve ECU's institutional programming.

ECU will also be provided with opportunities to engage in professional development at the 2017 NASPA Annual Conference, the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting and the NASPA Online Learning Community.  Additionally, most opportunities in the NASPA Online Learning Community will be free of charge or offered at a discounted price. 

Campus Vote

Voter Engagement Programs

Article by Susannah Lott - Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement

The November 2016 election is quickly approaching and Student Affairs is leading a voter engagement initiative to engage, register, and educate student voters at ECU.  Student Affairs is participating in a number of voter engagement activities.  In 2015, ECU purchased voter registration online software, Turbovote, to ease registration for students at ECU.  Students, faculty, and staff can use Turbovote ( to register to vote, change their address, and sign up for updates and alerts regarding election deadlines for the location where they are registered.  East Carolina University has joined the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge to support and promote voter engagement as well as NASPA's Voter Friendly Campus program.  Finally, through the SA Assessment office, ECU is participating in the National Study on Learning, Voting and Engagement (  This study provides specific data on student voting rates.

To support the voter engagement initiatives, two Campus Vote Project Democracy Fellow grants and two Andrew Goodman Foundation Voter Everywhere Ambassador grants have been awarded to the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. Democracy Fellows and Vote Everywhere Ambassadors will work to increase voter engagement, education, access, create partnerships with student organizations, and serve on the newly forming ECU Voter Engagement Coalition.  The Voter Engagement Coalition will consist of faculty, staff, and student partners across ECU with the purpose of collecting and disseminating important voter information at ECU via one monthly meeting and two monthly newsletters.  If you are interested in joining the ECU VEC, please contact Suzannah Lott at

For information regarding campus voter engagement events please click here. If you have questions regarding presentations on voter engagement and Turbovote please email

Get a Clue

SIL Student Programs
Student Org Workshop Carousel
Student Organizations should mark their calendars for August 28th from 1:00 to 5:30 pm as all organizations will need to send at least one officer. Student Activities and Organizations recommend sending two, especially the treasurer for the funding sessions to request money from SGA for trips, events, and supplies. This carousel will open in MSC Hendrix Theatre.

Get a Clue
This great event is coming back in the Fall and is planned for Wednesday, September 7th from 11:00 to 3:00 PM (Rain Date is Wednesday, September 14th). If you are interested in being on the University Mall alongside the Chamber of Commerce and our Community Partners promoting your organization to many thousands of students please fill out this form at your earliest convenience. Due to demand we have increased our tables this year and have space for 200 organizations, so please sign up early to ensure your spot!

Willie Ehling

CRW's New Director - Willie Ehling
The Division of Student Affairs welcomed William “Willie” Ehling to East Carolina University and the Division this summer. Willie is serving as the new director for Campus Recreation and Wellness.

William comes to ECU from George Mason University where he served as Executive Director of Recreation in the Division of University Life.  Willie grew up in Greensboro, NC and attended Dudley High School.  He received both his bachelors and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University. His first full-time university recreation position was at ECU as Intramural Sports Coordinator.

His development continued at App State as Assistant Director, as Director at Georgia Southern University and at the University of Central Florida. Willie has been active on the national level, having served on the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association Board of Directors (NIRSA) and served as a faculty member for the NIRSA School of Sports Management. He has officiated the sports of football, basketball and baseball, and currently remains active as a baseball umpire. Willie’s 20 years within recreation and wellness will be an asset to the Division.

News and Notes

SA Educators Making Headlines
Dennis McCunney, Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, has been appointed as the 2016–2018 NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Region III Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Knowledge Community Co-Chair. This position will help lead NASPA’s newest knowledge community, representing Region III on our advisory board and within the national Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Knowledge Community.

Dean Smith, ECU Student Centers, has been elected as the 2016- 2018 ACUI (Association of College Unions – International) Region III Regional Director.  Region III includes TN, MS, AL, GA, SC, FL, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, as well as NC. Region III offers many volunteer opportunities, conferences, and workshops focusing on student activities, operations, and leadership development.  Dean will also represent Region III on ACUI’s national board.

New Employees

New Staff to Student Affairs
Student Affairs New Hires Since July 1st

  • Holly Bowen - Assistant Director for Student Success - July 5- Campus Living

  • Hannah Roberts - Club Sport & Reservations Coordinator - July 5 - CRW

  • Willie Ehling - Director of Campus Recreation & Wellness - July 11

  • Nate Cochran – Coordinator - July 14 - Campus Living

  • Lanie Crouse – Coordinator - July 14 - Campus Living

  • Aracelis Figueroa – Coordinator - July 14 - Campus Living

  • LaVance Walker – Coordinator - July 14 - Campus Living

  • Jordan Habenshuss – Coordinator - July 14 - Campus Living

  • Julie Roman - Student Services Specialist - July 25 - Student Media

  • Lelia Faranesh - Associate Director for Student Rights & Responsibilities - August 1

  • Karen Hawley - Administrative Support Associate - Aug. 1- Campus Living

  • Adrienne Fike - Assistant Director of Adventure Leadership - Aug. 8 - CRW

  • Matthew Benic - Staff Counselor - Aug. 16 - Counseling Center

  • Robert Taylor - Case Manager/Screener - Aug. 16 - Counseling Center

  • Anne Quinn - Assistant Director for Student Rights & Responsibilities - Aug. 16

  • Samantha Strawser - Staff Counselor - Aug. 16 - Counseling Center

  • Shannon Padrick - Administrative Support Specialist - Aug. 16 - Dean of Students

  • Reem Al-Juraid - Assistant Director for Student Rights & Responsibilities - Aug. 22

  • Kim Thompson - Executive Assistant - Aug. 22 - Student Involvement & Leadership

Student Affairs Staff Departing Since July 1st

  • Amanda Parmalee - Student Services Specialist – Student Media

  • Emily Dixon – Administrative Support Associate – Student Involvement and Leadership