April 15, 2015 Edition

Inside this Edition

Jump to story by clicking links below

Upcoming Important Dates
Click event name for details

Archived Editions

Full 40

Leadership and Corporate Awards Banquet

The inaugural Student Affairs Leadership and Corporate Awards banquet was held April 11th at the Greenville Hilton and was a tremendous success. 

The event, emceed by WITN TV news anchor and alum Lynette Taylor, honored successful emerging leaders, outstanding former student leaders, and corporate supporters for making significant impacts to East Carolina University. 

Following a wonderful dinner, which included musical entertainment by the ECU Jazz Ensemble, Career Services opened the awards portion of the evening by presenting two Career IMPACT Awards to companies who have been heavily involved with recruiting, educating, and interacting with ECU students over the last several years.  The Outstanding Employer Engagement Award went to Enterprise Holding Inc. and the award for Employer Innovation was presented to Cisco Systems.   

David Lloyd was honored with the Robert Wright Society Leadership Award, given to a former leader of SGA who is making a significant impact in the community and is engaged in social or governmental issues of their community/region/state.  Lloyd, the 1968-69 SGA President, is still actively engaged with student government, leadership and continues to engage ECU through his own service and leadership.  

The final awards of the night were the first ever 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards.  These ECU alums are all 40 years old and younger and have used their education to pursue their passion and lead positive change in career achievements as well as social responsibility through leadership and service. 

Click here for a link to the 2015 Inaugural Class of 40 Under 40 honorees. 


Mona with Chelsea Clinton 1

CSLE student assistant honored by Clinton Global Initiative - Student Success
Submitted by Center for Student Leadership and Engagement

In early March, Mona Amin, ECU Freshman and Center for Student Leadership and Engagement Student Leadership Assistant, attended the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in Miami, Florida. 

“Excitement filled my body from the moment I landed in Miami,” said Amin.  “I simply couldn’t wait to see the opportunities that CGIU would provide for me.”  

Mona was one of 1,100 students accepted worldwide to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U).  Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, President Bill Clinton launched the (CGI U) in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. 

As a prerequisite of attending the CGI U meeting, students develop their own Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable initiatives that address pressing challenges on campus, in local communities, or around the world. Mona’s commitment to action was based off of her high school start up, FreshSpire.  

“The idea for FreshSpire originated from a problem in food waste we saw in the surrounding community,” said Mona.  “Grocery stores throw out $15 billion in food waste annually, yet 20% of families in North Carolina are food insecure. We want to bridge this gap by creating a multifaceted notification system that notifies consumers of discounts on near expiring goods at their local grocery stores.”  

President Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, recognized Mona and one of her teammates, Jennifer Wu (freshman at University of Pennsylvania), as having an exemplary commitment to action. They were one of just two commitments honored during the opening session.  

Aside from sharing the idea of FreshSpire with attendees, Mona enjoyed meeting with other student leaders from around the world. From speaking with students that were starting organizations on campus, to students that were creating their very own non-profits, she left Miami more inspired than ever before. 

“I loved being surrounded by a community of students that were so passionate about implementing their commitments in their area of focus,” said the ECU freshman. “Their positive energy made me more confident about FreshSpire than ever before.”  

Mona’s confidence in FreshSpire was also reinforced when her team was invited to be a part of the exclusive CGI Lead program. Through this program, she was matched up with a mentor, Aled Miles. Aled’s experience in the technology sector was very beneficial for the FreshSpire team. “We were so glad to be matched with a mentor like Aled. While the initial meeting was only supposed to last one hour, Aled stayed with us through the rest of the evening. He has great enthusiasm for helping us make FreshSpire a success,” Mona claims. Since attending CGI U, FreshSpire has already had two conference calls with Aled. With his help, they have started their first round of seed funding, launched their new website (www.getfreshspired.com), and are looking to launch a pilot test in two months.  

Aside from meeting with other student leaders, Mona had the opportunity to listen to speakers such as US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, actress America Fererra, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman, and the entire Clinton family. Hearing success stories from these individuals served as another motivator for student attendees. 

When asked to reflect on her experiences at CGI U, Mona shared, “It almost feels surreal. I can’t believe that I had the opportunity to meet numerous global leaders. CGI U is something that every student should be able to experience, and I am looking for ways to make ECU a part of the CGI U network. So many students on our campus have great ideas that they want to implement in the Greenville community, and I believe that CGI U is a great place to start. I can’t wait to help fellow pirates apply to CGI U 2016.”   

In addition to all of her many other involvements, Mona serves the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement as a Student Leadership Assistant and has recently been selected as the youngest Elite Pirate in the history of the program.  The Center for Student Leadership & Engagement was proud to financially support Mona at CGI U 2015 because she has proven herself as a contributor to ECU and a model of what it means to be The Leadership University.

Elite Pirates 2 with Ross

Elite Pirates with UNC System President Tom Ross

During the recent Board of Governors visit, the Elite Pirates had a chance to spend some time with UNC System president Tom Ross.  President Ross was gracious with his time with the Elite Pirates and talked with them about some of his leadership experience. 

To learn more about the Elite Pirates, visit the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement website.

For more information about the Board of Governors visit to ECU, please click here.

It's On Us

SGA Launches ECU It's On Us Campaign
Student Success / Service

The Student Government Association led a charge to fight sexual assault on college campuses with the ECU version of the It’s On Us campaign.  The campaign rolls out during Sexual Assault Awareness Week (April 13-17) and features events, information sessions and, of course, t-shirts.   

ECU students were joined by university senior leaders such as Chancellor Steve Ballard, Provost Ron Mitchelson and Student Affairs VC Virginia Hardy for a special It’s On Us video.  Click here to view the video

SGA hosted an event called Misconception Monday to discuss common misconceptions and misinformation surrounding sexual assault and sexual violence.  The following day was Title IX Tuesday in the SGA office and Wednesday midday SGA officers were passing out It’s On Us t-shirts to students at Dowdy Ficklen Stadium.  The main event of the week is called Turn the Tide Thursday, which features a panel discussion and keynote speaker in Hendrix Theatre. 

This initiative by the SGA advances the ongoing efforts at ECU to raise awareness and encourage reporting of incidents of sexual assault, sexual misconduct and sexual violence.  The Dean of Students office houses the Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Dr. Lathan Turner, who is responsible for addressing complaints by students against students. 

The ECU Cares hotline (737-5555) has been updated as a phone prompt to route those needing assistance to services and resources faster.  And the Title IX and ECU Cares websites are now live and contain comprehensive information about reporting options, bystander intervention tips/suggestions, and better ways to keep our campus safe. 

Pirate Read 2015

2015 Pirate Read - Enrique's Journey

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

The Pirate Read Committee is pleased to announce Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario as the 2015 Pirate Read selection. Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, this astonishing story puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States. Now a beloved classic, this page-turner about the power of family is a popular text in classrooms and a touchstone for communities across the country to engage in meaningful discussions about this essential American subject. (From back cover

Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers. Enrique eventually ends up in North Carolina before moving to Florida. [Adapted from website] 

Enrique’s Journey presents issues that are applicable across disciplines. Key themes include:

  • Immigration
  • Family dynamics
  • Journalism
  • Law, ethics, and morality
  • Assimilation
  • Acculturation Social Justice

The committee is currently planning activities for 2015-2016. We are also excited to announce that Sonia Nazario will be on campus in March 2016. Please refer to the Pirate Read website for more information as it develops.

Enterprise Holdings

Explorers Living Learning Community sponsored by Enterprise Holdings
Submitted by Sarah Lage and Melissa Allay - ECU Career Services

Beginning fall 2015, the East Carolina University Living-Learning Community (LLC) program will add a new member to its current list of seventeen LLCs. The Explorers LLC will assist First Year students who are undecided about their major, and will support students’ career development goals through leadership activities, employer engagement, and one-on-one mentorship by Career Services staff. The Explorers-Living Learning Community is a collaboration of ECU Career Services, Major Advisement Program, and academic partners.  

The Enterprise Holdings Foundation recently awarded $2,500 to the Explorers LLC to assist in accomplishing the goals of the Explorers LLC.  Students will better understand their personality, skills and interests as it relates to a major and career; careers related to majors they are considering; determine their career goals and how a major relates to their career goals; and how to make an informed decision when choosing a major and career. The overall goal is to choose a major by the end of their freshmen year. Through this partnership students will have the opportunity to gain an in-depth look at a successful corporation and learn about various positions and opportunities offered by the company.   

In addition to having direct contact with the Explorers LLC Advisors and Career Services as a whole, Enterprise will also gain a focused student audience who are deciding on their majors. As a result of this interaction, Enterprise staff will be able to develop a relationship with each individual student and, if able to, become a mentor to the students. 

For more information about the Explorers Living-Learning Community, please visit www.ecu.edu/career.

East_Carolina_University web

Wellness Living Learning Community - WOW Moment

The WLLC program has had a huge impact on my first year here at ECU. The WLLC has done more than just teach me about campus resources, completing a first year in college, and managing time, it's also taught me what it feels like to have an overwhelming support system so far from home. I believe that the friendships and the relationships I've made with my fellow first years and other people who are part of the program will be long lasting.                       --- Abby Hubbard, WLLC Student

Georgia Childs, Associate Director of Campus Wellness with CRW, shared that Abby also applied and interviewed to become a Peer Mentor for incoming freshmen in the program next semester.  Abby is also planning to apply to become one of our Campus Wellness Education Leaders (CWEL) for the next year.

ABE Atlantic Beach2

2015 Alternative Break Experiences
Submitted by Nichelle Shuck with portions credited to ECU News Services and Crystal Baity

For many East Carolina University students, spring break is a time to take a break from school and enjoy warmer locales but over forty ECU pirates made it a week on and not a week off. These ECU Pirates committed to being a part of ECU Alternative Break Experiences (ABE). The mission of the East Carolina University ABE is to create active citizens, leaders, and advocates for lasting social change. 

The 2015 Spring ABE program offered five diverse experiences and engaged fifty-five ECU students and staff members.  In one week, this translates to over 1,900 hours of learning, service, and community development committed by ECU community. The Spring 2015 Alternative Break Experiences were offered by the following student affairs areas:

  • Student Recreation and Wellness Adventure Program ABE paddled the Suwannee River in Florida
  • Campus Living ABE combated urban poverty in metro Atlanta, Georgia
  • Volunteer and Service-Learning Center ABE focused on issues of poverty and health care in Baltimore, Maryland; environmental justice, sustainability and economic impact in Atlantic Beach in Carteret County, NC; and explored the issues poverty and youth during their “Staycation” in Greenville, NC.

One of the newest additions to the 2015 Spring ABE program was the “staycation” opportunity in Greenville. Thirteen ECU students and staff members slept in sleeping bags on the floor of the Greenville Community Shelter. “It gave them a feel for what our residents deal with on a daily basis,” said Casey Holland, the shelter’s program development director and retired ECU staff member. In addition to serving and learning with the Greenville Community Shelter, the team also worked with other non-profit agencies including NC Civil, United Way of Pitt County, the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center, Third Street Community Center, Greenville Harvest and the Police Athletic League.

Many of the students didn’t know the shelter – only a few blocks from campus – was there. “ECU has us a little bit sheltered,” said Mario Scott, a junior from Greensboro majoring in business management. “There are people in poverty in our own backyard. A lot of people don’t see this side of it.” While some friends were heading to Florida for spring break, Scott was happy to stay behind. “It’s a better joy when you can help somebody,” Scott said. Talking with residents has been a reality check, Scott said. “You can have a four-year degree, and be homeless tomorrow,” he said. 

“I didn’t know much about what was going on in my own community so it was definitely an eye-opener,” said Khiana Wyatt, a junior from Wilson majoring in family and community services. Wyatt’s first visit to the shelter was in October, when she led a student work group in “Make a Difference Day.” She also took part in last year’s alternative spring break trip to Baltimore, Maryland, which focused on hunger and homelessness. 

As a child, Wyatt was enrolled in Head Start, which serves at-risk preschool children and their families. “Now I’m in college and thinking about grad school,” she said. “If I can do it, others can do it too. If they see me doing it, maybe they will be inspired.”

Please click here for the full story with additional links to media coverage from the 2015 Alternative Break Experiences

Club Scuba Turtles

Club Scuba alters Spring Break trip to Save the Turtles Hospital
In Their Own Words - A Letter from Erika Khalil - ECU Scuba Club Vice President

We had a wonderful break and were so happy to have this opportunity present itself to us. Before we left Greenville, we had a meeting for our 19 members going to discuss places we wanted to fit in during out trip to Key Largo and Key West. 

One thing everyone was excited for was visiting the Turtle Hospital. So I arranged a tour. We spent a few hours there on the Thursday of our trip as we traveled from Key Largo to Key West. Many of our members participated in the educational program where they guide you through how the hospital takes care of the turtles.

One of our members, Joyce Steinmetz, is a long-time friend with Bette Zirkelbach, a manager at the hospital who is instrumental in the releasing of rehabilitated turtles. During the tour they caught up as old friends do. 

The next day we received a phone call. The Turtle Hospital's founder was out of town. He usually selects people to be tray-side for releases, but because he would not be there Bette could. She asked us if we were interested in helping and offered Joyce and our club the tray-side positions to help release the turtle into the ocean! 

We ended up getting an additional day added onto our trip since our dive in Key West was canceled and pushed from Friday to Saturday. This allowed us to return on Sunday, which fit the release into our schedule perfectly. 

We were able to help while being tray-side and carrying Kokomo to the ocean. Our members also aided in crowd control and took photos for the Turtle Hospital's Facebook.

Pictures of the release made the Miami Herald, WSVN-TV, and several other local papers and news stations as well as the official Facebook page of the FL Keys and Key Largo and the Turtle Hospital's page.

We felt that it was great PR for our club as well as a life-changing experience for many of our members. It was by far a highlight of our trip. We had many amazing moments and this opportunity was a fabulous way to end the trip on a high note.

Ashley Griffith SAB President

SA Educators Making Headlines

  • Making Social Media Come Alive!  - Student Spotlight – SAB President Ashley Griffith's presentation at the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) Nationals in February.  Below is the description from the conference book.
    • "Have you ever wondered why your organization’s social media is not working as well as you would like it to? In this interactive session, you’ll find out how to make your organization’s pages come alive through various resources provided for social media sites and from your peers. Find out what is up and coming, what is going out of style and, overall, what works and what to ditch!
  • Congratulations go to Jeremy Tuchmayer, Associate Director of Assessment, Research and Retention, who recently placed 2nd in the 10th Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium held at NC State University in late March. Jeremy is currently completing his doctoral program in Higher Education Administration at NCSU.  This year more than 200 graduate students representing 64 different graduate programs were nominated by their departments to present their research.  There were three winners from each of eight broad academic disciplines, and Jeremy’s research earned him 2nd place in the Education category.  Jeremy’s research explores how the various pathways to the baccalaureate degree affect the wage income of recent college graduates.  The abstract to Jeremy’s presentation can be found on the symposium website along with all of the other nominees and winners from NC State.  Alternatively, he’s always looking for more opportunities to practice his five-minute elevator speech, so feel free to ask him about his research the next time you share an elevator with him! 

  • Linda Mellish – Campus Living and Student Transitions - authored an article in Talking Stick, a publication produced by the Association of College and University Housing Officers - International (ACUHO-I), entitled Safety in Numbers.  Below is an excerpt from the article and here is a link to the full story.
  • On virtually every campus, somewhere there sits a long bookshelf holding large notebooks bursting with survey results that represent assessment data pertaining to student satisfaction with residence hall staff, programming room and floor environment, facilities, services, etc.  Somewhere buried in that data are also answers to a critical question:  How safe do students feel on our campuses?  The question is an important one; as Maslow explained in his theory of hierarchy of human needs, the need for safety must be fulfilled before other needs – for social connection or self-actualization – can be met. 

    Campus reports are full of data about thefts and assaults, which provide some information about campus security, at least in terms of the number and frequency of crimes committed on campus during a particular timeframe.  But is it possible to actually measure how safe students feel on campus?

  • Student Affairs Assessment, Research, and Retention – Kathy Hill served as discussant for three research papers on Athletics & Recreation at the annual convention of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) held May  5-8 in Tampa. Paper topics included: 1) Toward an Understanding of Best Practices in Student-Athlete Leadership Development Programs – Kristina Navarro from University of Wisconsin-whitewater, 2) Peer Coaching in American Intercollegiate Athletics – Eric Snyder from University of Oklahoma and Daniel Merian from Michigan State University, and 3) Benefits of Collegiate Recreational Sports Participation: Results from the 2013 NIRSA/NASPA Consortium Study – Stacey Hall from University of New Hampshire and Scott Forrester from Brock University in Canada.

Student Affairs Staffing

New Employees since March 1st

  • Darrius Barrow – Assistant Director for Student Activities – March 2nd - SIL
  • Lisa Coyle – Business Officer – March 16th - Campus Living
  • James Regan – Tech Support Specialist – March 23rd – Technology Service
  • Emily Dixon, Administrative Support Associate VSLC – April 1st
  • Larry Bone - Tech Support Analyst – Technology Services – April 6th
  • Richard Bingaman - Administrative Support Associate - Campus Living – April 13th
  • Maurice Jordan - Human Services Program Specialist - IGCC – April 20th

No Longer Employed in SA since March 1st

  • Jean Stepps – Administrative Support Associate– Feb. 23rd – Counseling
  • Marcos Alices-Kinch – Visual Arts Specialist – March 31st – Student Media
  • Catrina Davis - Assistant Director – April 20th – Career Services