On Deck with Student Affairs

April 3, 2017 Edition

Upcoming Opportunities

Continuing Career Development Program
ECU's New Graduate Certificate in Student Affairs in Higher Education
April 13th | 10am-11am | MSC 244
Presented by: Dr. Steve Schmidt and Dr. Syntia Santos Dietz
Register on Cornerstone

Lavender Launch
May 4th | 5:30pm | MSC Great Rooms
Dinner will be served following the ceremony.

Archived Editions

InstallationChancellor's Installation - Student Affairs Rocks....Again
From the desk of Virginia Hardy

The Installation of ECU’s 11th Chancellor, Dr. Cecil Staton, is in the rear-view mirror and for many across campus it’s a time for a short breather before we push on to the end of the semester.  


There were five days’ worth of events, programs and activities to #CelebrateCecil, and Student Affairs educators were in the middle of just about every one of them.  You will see more details about some of the events below, but I wanted to share my appreciation to the dozens and dozens of people in Student Affairs that stepped up, and in many cases took the lead, to ensure success was attained. 


Student Affairs organized events, arranged service opportunities on and off campus, and received major university awards for our commitment and excellence. 


I am, once again, so very proud to be the leader of this division and thank you all for your commitment to Student Affairs and East Carolina University.


Click here for a link to the Chancellor’s Installation Ceremony from Friday, March 24th.

Also, click here to see an awesome interactive Adobe Spark story from ECU News Services. 

Health Sciences Student Center Ribbon-CuttingHSSC Ribbon Cutting

Article by Jamie Smith with ECU News Services

East Carolina University welcomed guests for a sneak peek of the new Health Sciences Student Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 23. It is the first stand-alone student center on a medical campus in North Carolina and one of the few in the United States.

Chancellor Cecil Staton joined Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Virginia Hardy to mark the long-anticipated addition to ECU’s growing health sciences campus. Hardy referred to the student center as the new jewel in ECU’s pirate chest.  

“This facility is where students and faculty get together outside of the classroom to do collaborative work,” said Hardy. “Our student centers are the first buildings prospective students visit and they make a lasting impression.” 

The $34 million, three-story facility will have a 20,000-square-foot recreation center and 2,000-square-foot event room. Additionally, a convenience store, three dining facilities and satellite offices for services such as parking and student health will be located inside.

For the complete story click here.

Click here to view the ECU Health Sciences Campus video.

Staton Bitmoji TshirtPirates Rock the Mall

ECU students helped #CelebrateCecil at Pirates Rock the Mall on March 21 during day 2 of the Chancellor’s Installation week.  

Approximately 2,500 students attended the event where food trucks provided by Sam Jones BBQ, Starbucks, Veg 2 Bowl and Villa Verde offered a variety of food options for the students to eat in addition to the great ice cream novelty options provided by Aramark.  

Live entertainment featuring The Gospel Choir, ECU students Katie Church and Jordan McKeithnan, the ECU Jazz Band, ECU Pep Band, Cheer and PeeDee and artist Caroline Dare performed along with music by WZMB.  Selfie stations with the chancellor and athletic department, yard games, a trivia wheel and a t-shirt featuring a bitmoji of the Chancellor completed the event. 

In addition, several groups came together to help make the event a success including the LGBT Resource office and their students who crafted 2 amazing balloon arches consisting of 200 balloons each.  Other offices donated prizes for the event including Dowdy Student Store, ECU Dining, the Student Activities Board and the Student Pirate Club.  

Eight lucky students and a guest of their choice will dine with the Chancellor and his wife at their residence on April 6. 

Click here to view a video recap of the event.

Service AwardsService Award 2017

East Carolina University honored faculty, staff and students for living the university’s motto – Servire, to serve – during an event March 22 as part of Chancellor Cecil Staton’s installation week.

More than 100 members of the university community were honored at Harvey Hall; afterwards many of the group walked over to Clark-LeClair Baseball Stadium to see the Pirates take on the UNC-Chapel Hill Tar Heels.

“The honorees tonight represent the very best of our university. They are talented and engaged and committed to transforming our community, North Carolina and the world,” said Staton in his welcome to honorees and guests. “Service is among the hallmark characteristics of this university, and one that sets us apart.”

Those recognized from Student Affairs included: 

2017 Servire Society Inductees – 100+ hours of community service in 2016

  • Lisa Compton – Campus Living
  • Aaron Lucier – Campus Living

Diversity and Inclusion Awards - The awards will complement the development of a university community that is culturally diverse and reflective of inclusive excellence.

  • Mark Rasdorf – LGBT Resource Office – Intercultural Affairs – Award Winner – Staff Category
  • Janae Brown – ECU SGA Vice President – Award Winner – Student Category


Centennial Award for Spirit

  • Holly Bowen – Campus Living – Nominee

James R. Talton Leadership Award – Servant Leadership

  • Chris Stansbury – Nominee


For the complete story click here.

PNGPirate Nation Gives Back

As part of Chancellor's Installation Week, #PirateNationGives Back —the first standalone day of service and philanthropy at ECU—was an opportunity for every Pirate and Pirate-at-heart to support East Carolina University and/or their community by giving of time, talent, and treasure.  The Center of Leadership and Civic Engagement set up several service opportunities on campus and in the Greenville community.  The American Red Cross received 45 donations of blood, which equates to saving 135 lives.  Many others, including Chancellor Staton, Provost Mitchelson and several Student Affairs staff served at the NC Food Bank and other community service projects. 


During the day, Student Affairs and other divisions shared stories on social media showcasing our staff and students and how they continue to serve others.  SA featured work on the Alternative Break Experiences in Atlanta, Roanoke, VA, Greenville and Carteret County, NC as well as some individual stories of service.  

Click here to see many of the videos, stories and social media posts related to #PirateNationGives Back. Or click here to read an ECU news story about PNG.

Campus Recreation and Wellness Partnerships

ReLeafCRW Role in Releaf

Campus Recreation and Wellness partnered with ReLeaf Inc, ECU Grounds, and Greenville Recreation and Parks to plant 25 trees as part of the Community Tree Planting day on Saturday, March 18.  100 volunteers met at the Blount Recreational Sports Complex to show their support for ReLeaf’s great initiative to plant trees in urban and suburban cities and towns.  Volunteers formed teams to plant trees along the newly constructed phase of Greenville Recreation and Park’s Greenway Phase 2.



DSM Partnership with CRW Team Training Program

DSM2DSM’s 360 employees completed Team Training activities with Campus Recreation and Wellness student and professional facilitators over four days, March 20, 21, 27, and 28, at the Rock Springs facility.  The company, headquartered in Heerlen, Netherlands, produces Dyneema fibers in its’ Greenville, NC location, employing over 360 North Carolinians.  The Dyneema fibers go into numerous materials including bullet proof vests, tennis shoes, and adventure equipment.  This unique partnership allows the University to establish a lasting relationship with one of Greenville’s largest employers. 

STS 2017Student Veteran Services Events

On March 25th, the campus and Eastern North Carolina community members came together to take part in two events to support student veterans at ECU.  The two events, Storm the Stadium and Salute the Service, were held to raise funds to support programming and scholarships for student veterans.


Student veterans have different life experiences than a traditional student and tend to be older and with families.  These students can sometimes struggle with transitioning to a University from military life, so ECU Student Veteran Services has set up programming to best meet their unique needs while teaching them how to leverage their military skillset and excel in the classroom.  SVS has a student veteran specific orientation, a student veteran specific COAD 100, and is a member of the national PAVE (Peer Advisors for Veteran Education) peer mentoring program.  Student veterans also have access to a lounge, the Pirate Veterans Organization, SALUTE national honor society, and a Vet Success Counselor on Campus.


Storm the Stadium is a stadium stair climbing challenge where participants climb all 3,200 stairs at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.  This year, in addition to the regular stair climbing portion of the event, an “ultimate” challenge was added.  Ultimate participants climbed the stairs and completed 4 stations consisting of kettlebell swings, bear crawls, squats and burpees.  Approximately 170 people participated in the event. 

Salute the Service is a dinner to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our student veterans.  The first ever Student Veteran Services scholarships were awarded and new members of the SALUTE national honor society were honored.  Brig. Gen (ret) James R. Gorham, the first African-American general in the North Carolina National Guard, spoke at the event, which had 70 attendees. 

Click here to view the Scene Around (Daily Reflector) photo gallery.

Click here for the WITN news story on Storm the Stadium.

Erick JenkinsStudent Affairs Making Headlines

  • Kathy Hill, Director of Assessment, Research and Retention for Student Affairs, was reappointed to serve on the Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL) Advancement Committee, whose charge is to advance the field of student affairs assessment as a discipline. Members of this committee support the management of the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry, produce whitepapers on best practices and hot-topic issues, administer the assessment landscape survey, and develop new strategies for advancing the field.


  • Erick Jenkins, CLCE student, was recently named a 2017 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow.  He was nominated by the chancellor to become part of a national cohort of community-committed students. His nomination indicates that as a leader on ECU’s campus he values the work to address public problems and believes in his future as a civic leader. His fellowship term will run from August 2017 through May 2018. During his fellowship year, Campus Compact will provide him with access to a variety of virtual and in-person learning opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows.  Click here to read the chancellor's remarks and for Erick's personal statement.

2017 Student Success Conferences

SA Conference 20174th annual Student Success Conference

The Office of Student Transitions at ECU welcomed over 200 staff and faculty for the 4th annual Student Success Conference on February 3.   The theme of the conference was “Got GRIT: Impact on Student Success.”  GRIT is related to the growth, resiliency, integrity and tenacity of student and their success in college. 


The purpose of the conference is to promote a sense of community among faculty and staff that leads to student success strategies for students.  The conference endeavors to help attendees become better informed about the learning environment for students, to broaden the campus conversation about data, strategies and information related to resiliency and student success, and to learn about advancement, involvement, barriers and performance of students.


Angela Duckworth, author of “GRIT:  The Power of Passion and Perseverance”, writes that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.  Over 40 ECU faculty and staff presented theories and data to highlight the development of, promotion of and psychological significance of grit.  The conference also included panel presentations on student development and how to retain students in a competitive environment. 


The guest speaker was Dr. Joy Gayles Gaston, Associate professor of Higher Education at NC State University.  A large part of her research agenda focuses on the college student experience and how those experiences impact desired outcomes of undergraduate education.  Attendees shared that Dr. Gayles’ presentation was a “great connection of research, tangible practices, and quotes for practical and applicable use” and, they will “encourage students about their growth mindset”.

MSSS 20172nd Annual Male Student Success Summit

Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, Director of the Center for Higher Education Excellence at The Ohio State University was the keynote speaker for the 2nd annual Male Student Success Summit at ECU on January 28.  Under the theme of “Your Time to Soar”, Dr. Strayhorn used an engaging style to share strategies that students can use to be successful in the classroom, as well as in their personal lives.  He focused on theories related to intersectionality, hegemony, masculinity, patriarchy, dominance, privilege and all things “trans” which impact the lives of males everywhere.


As young men evolve into society, Dr. Strayhorn encouraged the students to “not give in to the pressure to be someone else”.  He added, “step into your true self, and to speak your truth”.


Over 60 students attended the summit, along with several ECU faculty and staff.  Workshops such as “Rewriting What it Means to be a Man:  Creating Success for Males at ECU” and “Why Male Student Success Matters” were among the 15 sessions presented by faculty and staff. 


Reflections from the Summit were overwhelmingly positive.  In response to the question, “as a result of participating in this session, the one idea I will apply is”, students wrote “understanding identity politics and how each group views things; I learned a little about myself; don’t be scared to go outside of your comfort zone; being more authentic, and to write my own definition of being a man.”

New Hires/Departures and Staff Transitions in Student Affairs

New EmployeesGREEK LIFE

John Mountz will be joining East Carolina University as the Director of Greek Life in mid-April. John is a career student affairs educator, facilitator, and leadership trainer with over 20 years of experience working with college students. He has served in Greek life roles with the University of Michigan and North Carolina State University, including 12 years as their Director of Greek Life overseeing a community of over 50 organizations, 4 councils, 2500 students, and a $120 million Greek Village project.


In 2013, he launched his own consulting firm working with clients such as Clemson, Temple, University of Michigan, and Greek-letter organizations in the areas of strategic planning, leadership training, board development, and Greek housing. John has served the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors in several volunteer roles, including 8 years on the AFA Foundation Board of Directors with 3 years spent as the Board Vice-Chair.  John is also a Co-Lead Facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute, having facilitated 25 sessions across the country since 1999, including East Carolina University’s session in 2015.


John has a bachelor’s degree in history from Penn State University and a master’s degree in Student Personnel in Higher Education from the University of Florida. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity and has been an active volunteer since his undergraduate years. He currently serves as the Dean of the Presidents Academy, one of five key educational efforts sponsored by Phi Kappa Tau.


I special thanks goes out to Dorothea Mack, interim director, as well as Jess Turuc for taking on extra duties to keep the department running smoothly. 




Justin Janak has been selected as the new Director of Student Activities & Organizations at East Carolina University. Justin has over 12 years of student activities experience and for the last 3 years has served as the Associate Director for Student Organizations in the department. Prior to that, Justin served as the Assistant Director for Student Activities & Assessment in the department and the Assistant/Associate Director for Campus Activities at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland, overseeing programming, student government, and student organizations.


Over the last 3 years Justin has helped to lead the student organization’s area in the development of the Student Organization Center and the implementation and development of East Carolina’s OrgSync platform for student focused events, trainings, and organizations. Since 2014 the student organizations area has seen a 110% increase in registered student organizations with now over 450 groups. His leadership has been a big part of the departments success and continued growth.


Justin has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in Business Administration both from Mount St. Mary’s University. Justin is an active member and volunteer of the Association of College Unions – International (ACUI) as well as the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA). Justin is currently pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership in Higher Ed. at East Carolina University.


Student Affairs New Hires/Departures Since Mar. 1
  • Tiffany Richardson – Administrative Support Associate – Campus Living – March 1
  • Brittany Egan – Victim Advocate – Counseling Center – March 13


Student Affairs Staff Departing Since Mar. 1
  • NONE