October 2016 Edition

Inside this Edition

Jump to story by clicking links below

40 Under 40 Nominations Deadline

Nominations for 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards, Class of 2017 Division of Student Affairs.

The Division of Student Affairs invites you to participate in our effort to recognize emerging leaders that received their start at East Carolina University. The ECU 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards recognize outstanding young leaders that have used their ECU experience to make an impact in their respective professions, local communities and on the world. 

Please see nomination information below.

General Information:

Nominations are now open through November 12, 2016.  Please consider nominating deserving ECU Pirate graduates for this award.

For additional information, please contact the Office of Student Affairs Development at (252) 737-4970

Archived Editions

Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew
Message from Vice Chancellor Hardy

Hurricane Matthew, the storm, flooding and residual impacts, have hampered the day-to-day operations of East Carolina University, and impacted our students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, these impacts have rippled into Greenville, Pitt County and throughout our region. 

Floodwaters in the Tar River rose above 25 feet and forced massive road closures and evacuations throughout Greenville.  The University closed operations and cancelled classes for a week.  The campus itself sustained relatively minor damage, but all structures and facilities remained safe and secure.

Once again, the Division of Student Affairs stepped up during a time of need.  Despite the campus closure, the Dean of Students maintained a call center throughout the week, fielding more than 2,000 phone calls from students, parents and families and the ECU community.

Campus Living staff prepared a plan to provide shelter and meals for local law enforcement and the National Guard members in the community.  Additionally, Campus Living staff helped provide emergency housing for nearly 70 displaced students and a faculty family.  In each situation, they were provided a place to stay and a meal card at no cost.

As students returned and classes resumed, Student Affairs led efforts to open a Disaster Recovery Center for the ECU community members in need of assistance regarding Campus Living, Dining, Student Health, Financial Aid, Parking and more.  Campus Living has offered the displaced students the opportunity to stay in the halls through the fall semester or even through the academic year. Many thanks go out our colleagues across the campus in every division as well as kudos to all of those within the Division of Student Affairs who gave their time, skills, talents, resources and knowledge without complaint. It is a great day to be a Pirate.

It is in these times of crisis where Student Affairs staff and educators continue to amaze me with their compassion, empathy, selflessness and desire to serve our students.  Thank you all very much to your commitment to Student Affairs, East Carolina and especially to our students. I am proud to work with you.

Tree on Car

Service Opportunities - Post Hurricane Matthew
As we return to some level of normalcy, there are many chances to help out those in need.  Below is a list of some of the key events and opportunities in our community.

  • Make A Difference Day - The Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement is coordinating volunteer opportunities at 13 community partner sites around Pitt County for this national day of service.  Students are mostly signed up as of now, but all are welcome to join, either as individuals or as groups.  We have remaining spaces at several partner sites (particularly Cypress Glen, River Park North, and Cultivate Greenville). Click here for more information.

  • Greenville CommUNITY Clean Up Day Sponsored by the mayor's office, this event will send volunteers around the city to assist with neighborhood clean up needs.  Volunteers are strongly encouraged to sign up in advance so event organizers can provide the most efficient experience as possible.  The program begins at 8am on Saturday. Learn more and sign up here.

  • Operation InAsMuch This event is coordinated by ten local church congregations in Pitt County each year.  The event takes place this Saturday as well, and organizers plan to send volunteers around Pitt County to assist with community needs. Learn more and sign up here.

True Colors Exhibit

TRUE Colors - Art Exhibit shows a full spectrum of ECU community
By: Jackie Drake - ECU News Services
Their faces look out from the walls, captured in crisp black and white, smiling, laughing, welcoming, challenging. They are women, men, friends, couples, families. They are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, straight – and Pirates all.

These faces are part of a new art exhibit featuring 23 photographs of members and supporters of the LGBT community at East Carolina University. The photos – mostly of students but also of alumni, staff and fans – were taken by ECU photography students who volunteered for the project.
“True Colors: Celebrating the Spectrum of Sexual and Gender Diversity,” is open through Oct. 31 in honor of LGBT History Month. The project is a collaboration between the LGBT Resource Office within Student Affairs, and the School of Art and Design.

An opening reception was held Oct. 5 at Mendenhall Student Center, where most of the photos are on display. Some are also at the Brody School of Medicine.
“This exhibit is a vivid photographic journey honoring the rich diversity of our community at ECU,” said Mark Rasdorf, associate director for the LGBT Resource Office. 

“There are gay folks all around you – in your dorms, in your labs, studying with you – and we're pretty much just like you,” says photo subject Dr. Jesse Peel, a retired psychiatrist based in Atlanta and a long-time supporter of the LGBT Resource Office at ECU.

A Martin County native and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he supports efforts like this at ECU so that he can have a positive impact on the place he grew up.

“I am so impressed with the courage of these young men and women. I cannot imagine being so out and open when I was their age,” Peel said. “So when they invited me to participate in this exhibit I was honored to join them.”

Rasdorf worked with Angela Wells, assistant professor of photography, to get the project started. The collaboration was a natural fit, he said. The exhibit was funded in part by the Department of Student Involvement & Leadership Co-Curricular Collaborations program. The frames were done by Shenandoah Graphics and Framing. Photos are accompanied by personal statements from the subjects. Another part of the exhibit features biographies of LGBT role models. 
Click here to read the full story

Making Headlines

Student Affairs Making Headlines

  • Nichelle Shuck, Lauren Howard and Emily McLamb presented a session entitled #HungerMatters: Campus Traditions & Collaborations at the ACUI Region III conference in Mobile, AL. Their session focused on the importance of partnership and collaboration between the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, Student Activities and Organizations, and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina to plan and enhance a service project within a Homecoming tradition. This session showcased the benefits of intentionally planning a large scale event in line with the institution's mission of service.

  • ECU has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the tenth consecutive year.  Launched in 2006, the Honor Roll annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.  The award program is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that helps Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through service.  For the past three years, ECU students have recorded more than 72,000 hours of service in the local community.

Flag of Honor

Student Vets - Field of Honor Fundraiser
Submitted by Nicole Jablonski - SVS
ECU’s Pirate Veterans Organization (PVO) is holding its annual fundraiser, the Field of Honor.  PVO sells flags to the ECU campus community to allow students, staff and faculty to purchase a 5’X7” flag for $5.00 to honor family members or friends who have served. Each flag will have a tag attached showing who is being honored and who purchased the flag.  Those who have no close connection to the military community do not have to provide a name, but can still purchase a flag to show support for current service members or veterans.  Flags will be displayed near ECU’s veteran memorial throughout the month of November.

To purchase a flag, please stop by Brewster D107 to order one or look for the Pirate Veteran Organization tables around campus throughout October and November. 

Proceeds will go to help support the Student Veterans Services scholarships.


Collegiate Recovery Community

The East Carolina University Collegiate Recovery Community is a state-funded program that started a year ago to help students recover from drug abuse.

Young adults are more likely to abuse drugs than any other age group, and CRC program coordinator Jarmichael Harris said he is hoping the organization can make a difference.

“Everyone’s being affected by this,” said Harris.

Thousands die from drug overdoses each year, and Harris said drug abuse is on the rise.

“Depending on the stats that you might find, it’s anywhere from 200 percent on the rise to 400 percent on the rise,” Harris said.

The Collegiate Recovery Program has programs, informational sessions and even allies who want to get involved.

However, Harris said those who need it most may be unwilling to reach out.

“It really seems as though the students who may be in recovery for whatever reason they are kind of in hiding,” Harris said.
ECU’s CRC has about 20 members. Of those, 10 are allies and only half are recovering from some sort of addiction.

Alcohol and drug counselor Hillary Liles said the negative stigma surrounding addiction doesn’t encourage people to reach out for help.

“Seeking help takes a big kind of step of bravery, and sometimes that’s hard for people to do on their own,” said Liles.

That’s why CRC attempts to create avenues that could help reverse the negative stereotypes.

“The support of the Collegiate Recovery Community is really what we’re looking for to be able to draw people in, and kind of normalize ‘I’m in recovery; I’m on a college campus, and that’s OK,’” Liles said.

Click here for the full story on WNCT

Peace Love

Over 400 people attended the 9th Annual Cancer Awareness Event hosted by Campus Recreation and Wellness on October 5th. The event was designed to increase awareness of the many types of cancer as well as to provide participants with information about cancer prevention, signs, symptoms, treatment and survivorship. Participants enjoyed “tasting the rainbow” of fresh foods and beverages provided by Dietitians from Aramark and Student Health Services. We are already looking forward to planning the 10th annual event for next October, so mark your calendar for the first Wednesday in October.

Gambling Grant

CRW Receives Problem Gambling Grant
For the sixth year, Campus Recreation and Wellness has received a $5,000.00 grant from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. The grant is designed to address Problem Gambling though a variety of outreach, prevention and awareness programs and events. Staff and student employees in the Wellness Area will develop and facilitate programs around online gambling among college students as well as sports betting to include the World Series, the Super Bowl and March Madness.  Staff will continue the promotion of the problem gambling helpline (877-718-5543) and the website

Fresh Check Day

Fresh Check Day - Nov. 2
Submitted by Ainsley Worrell - Campus Wellness
East Carolina University will host Fresh Check Day, an initiative aimed at raising awareness of mental illness and preventing suicide, Wed., Nov. 2 from 4 – 6 p.m. on the Mendenhall Student Center Brickyard.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. The American College Health Association found that, in the past year, more than 30 percent of college students felt so depressed that it was difficult to function.

ECU, in conjunction with the Jordan Porco Foundation, is the only university in North Carolina participating in Fresh Check Day this year.  The Porco family started the foundation in 2011 following the death of their son Jordan due to suicide.

Fresh Check Day is a celebratory fair-like event that includes interactive expo booths, music, free food, exciting prizes and giveaways. Capitalizing on the research-supported peer-to-peer messaging model, Fresh Check Day utilizes peer groups to staff interactive booths that deliver mental health and resource messaging in a fun and engaging way.

"We are excited to share positive mental health messaging on campus and to start these important conversations about self-care and when to seek out more support," said Lauren Thorn, staff counselor and outreach coordinator for ECU’s Center for Counseling and Student Development.

Since the first Fresh Check Day in 2012, over 23,000 young adults have engaged in this suicide prevention event nationwide.

Sponsors of ECU Fresh Check Day include Campus Recreation and Wellness, Student Health Services, Counseling and Student Development, Student Government Association, Student Activities Board, Campus Living, LGBT Resource Office, and Student Veteran Services. 

Just Mercy

Pirate Read Speaker Visits Nov. 10
The ECU Pirate Read orients first year students to the academic community, prepares students for the college-level environment, allows students to share a common reading experience with fellow classmates, faculty, and staff and enables students and faculty to discuss ideas from the book across the curriculum.

This year’s selection, Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson is the winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction, NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction, and Books for a Better Life Award.  Just Mercy is the finalist for the Lost Angeles Book Prize and the Kirkus Reviews Prize.  The book is also an American Library Association Notable Book.

Bryan Stevenson will speak on ECU’s campus on November 10th at 7pm in Hendrix Theatre.

Just Mercy presents key issues that are applicable across disciplines.  Major (or key) themes include:
• Criminal Justice
• Capital Punishment
• Law, ethics, and morality
• Impact of famous literature
• Social Justice
• Police misconduct in the United States
• Effects of war on military personnel
• Impact of economic policies
• Children in the prison system

Freight Farms

Freight Farms Comes to ECU
The next time you are on College Hill be sure to check out this large container behind Jones Hall.  This is a Freight Farms container and it’s new at ECU.  Freight farms is a container hydroponic growing system that will allow us to grow 2 acres of leafy green vegetables for use in our dining operation. 

The unit is ultra-modern and computerized to maximize growing conditions. Veggies are grown on a 5 week cycle and 20% of the “farm” is harvested weekly once the operation is up and producing. We have set this up in such a manner that we are also able to utilize this as a teaching pod for both ECU and the local school system.