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August 5, 2015 Edition

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Upcoming Important Dates
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August 19-23
Residence Halls -  Move-In

August 19
Move-In Media Day

August 23 at 4:30pm
New Student Welcome and Convocation
with Keynote Speaker Scott Avett
at Minges Coliseum

August 23 at 5:30pm
15th Annual Pirate Palooza
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium

Archived Editions

Ground breaking HS

HS Student Center Groundbreaking

On July 17th, the ECU Board of Trustees broke ground for the new Health Sciences Student Center – a 75,000-square-foot facility that will include recreation space, dining options and student offices for student health, counseling and career services.  

“We’re dedicated to educating the whole person – student life is part of that,” said Steve Jones, newly elected chair of the board.  “This is a state-of-the-art facility (health sciences students) can call their own.” 

The facility is expected to open in spring 2017 and is located in the open space between the East Carolina Heart Institute and the Colleges of Allied Health and Nursing.    

All health sciences students will come together here…outside of their individual programs and can learn – in a neutral space – to collaborate together. The Health Sciences student center will have a Starbucks as well as the Wedge and a convenience store for dining options.  Additionally, Campus Recreation and Wellness will have 25,000 square feet of space for workout equipment, fitness classes/programs and two basketball courts.   

The main campus student center and parking deck project is expected to begin construction work after the completion of the fall 2015 semester. 

News and Information

SA Educators Making Headlines

During the summer months, Student Affairs educators continued their commitment to student success, public service and regional transformation.  Below are some of the great stories, accomplishments and honors from the last couple of months:


  • Kathy Hill - Assessment, Research and Retention
    Kathy has been selected to serve on NASPA’s Assessment, Evaluation and Research Knowledge Community leadership team through 2017.

  • Jernigan retires/Wright named interim director
    On June 30th, Jolene Jernigan retired as the Director for Student Health Service (SHS) after nearly 40 years at ECU.   Dr. Lanika Wright will be serving as interim director of SHS.  Dr. Wright will provide oversight to all administrative and operational activities at Student Health Services. Dr. Wright earned her BSN from East Tennessee State, her MSN from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a PhD in Nursing from East Carolina University.  Dr. Wright has extensive experience in women’s health, including training as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.

  • Susan Chapman accepted by BRIDGES
    Susan(Personnel and Human Resources for SA) was accepted to the 2015 BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women program held in the fall.  She will join 35 other women from varied higher education institutions across North Carolina for a four-weekend program.  BRIDGES provides an opportunity for women faculty and senior administrative staff to understand and prepare for leadership roles in the academy. 
It is an intensive professional development program for women in higher education who seek to gain or strengthen their academic leadership capabilities. It is designed to help women identify, understand, and move into leadership roles in the academy. Through the program, participants will develop insights into leadership, with a particular focus on the special skills and attributes women bring to their leadership roles; acquire an understanding of the many facets of colleges and universities; refine and improve their cross-cultural communication skills; create a program of personal and professional development to benefit themselves and their institutions. 

  • Mark Rasdorf- LGBT Resource Office
    • Mark is a founding board member of PFLAG Greenville, a new local chapter of the national organization founded in 1972.   PFLAG is the nation's largest family and ally organization. Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality and full societal affirmation of LGBTQ people through its threefold mission of support, education, and advocacy.   Mark will be joining Dr. Deborah Thompson (Associate Professor in the School of Communication), who was elected President, and ECU Alum Rich Elkins, Vice President, in working to build the local chapter, which will hold meetings on the second Thursday of every month.
    • Mark also had several opportunities to offer presentations in the community over the summer.
      • In May, Mark was joined by Roxie Patton, Program Specialist in the Office of Equity and Diversity, presented at the 2015 Annual Eastern Region Adult Services Conference focusing on Current Issues in Adult Mental Health.  Their presentation for more than 40 mental health and human service professionals was entitled “An Overview of Serving Gender Minorities.”
      •  In July, Mark collaborated with Alex Dennis, an Advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences, for a presentation entitled “Understanding Sexual and Gender Minorities” at the North Carolina School Counselor Association Summer Academy in Wilmington on July 10.  The 90-minute session was presented to more than 70 professional school counselors serving K-12 populations from across the state and offered insights and ideas on serving LGBT youth.

  • VSLC published on NASPA Lead Initiative Blog
    Meagan Smith (Volunteer and Service-Learning Center) contributed an article that has been accepted and posted to the NASPA Lead Initiative Blog.  The blog post is entitled “Enhancing Voter Engagement through Student Leadership and Voice.”  Here is an excerpt from the submission.
Our campus has a long history of serving and engaging the local community.  Originally a teacher training school in eastern North Carolina, East Carolina has grown to become an accredited institution serving nearly 27,000 students.  Despite the growth in the last century, it has never forgotten its roots or relationship to local community.  Indeed, the school touts its commitment to public service and regional transformation at almost every turn – through strategic planning documents, mission statements, and official university communications. 

There is also significant evidence that this commitment goes beyond vision all the way to implementation and action.  Many faculty engage in community-based research projects, while students regularly serve the local community through co-curricular volunteer activities, often contributing more than 40,000 hours to the community per year.  And community outreach activities - from summer camps to literacy programs to nutrition education programs - fill university calendars.
 
Part of this creation of a culture of civic and democratic engagement centers around the notion of “Servire,” the university’s long-standing term to describe its mission, which means “to serve.”  Official publications describe this commitment to public service as “ECU faculty, staff and students working to improve communities in eastern North Carolina and beyond.  Our students, faculty, staff and senior leaders all are integral parts of our community, and our community is an integral part of who we are at ECU.”  

East Carolina University has also distinguished itself as the Leadership University, committed to training and preparing leaders for our state and nation.  As such, the institution - by definition - cannot do its work if it is not both engaged with and listening to the community, and providing opportunities for students to take leadership roles in engagement initiatives.

Click here to view the full article.


Off Campus SS

SA Spotlight - Off Campus Student Services
submitted by Brandy Alexander Daniels


Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) assist students, parents and guardians in search of finding safe and affordable housing off-campus. OCSS provides support to students who live within close proximity to campus and provides programs on how to live safe and successful in student apartment communities and conventional apartments while keeping students connected to the university.

In February 2014, Brandy Alexander-Daniels was hired as the Director of Off-Campus Student Services. With a background in Student Affairs, Daniels immediately increased the programs and support offered for students. During the 2014-2015 academic year OCSS planned and executed 17 educational programs with a total of 1,985 participants and over 3,000 engagement hours. Of the 17 programs, nine programs were approved for passport credit.  Three programs the office was eager to execute included Living Off-Campus 101, Apartment Bus Tours, Pirate Give and Go, as well as instituting more educational components and collaborations into each of their fall and spring housing fairs.

Beyond Student Affairs, OCSS work extensively with 16 student apartment complexes, ECU Police, Art + Community partnership, Off-Campus partners, and Habitat for Humanity.

In an effort to increase communication with students directly OCSS instituted a Facebook (East Carolina University off-Campus Student Services) and Twitter (ECU_Off-Campus) page to encourage a safe living environment and open communication.

The office recognizes the responsibility of creating learning environments that challenge students to learn and develop holistically. They also understand that the primary responsibility for internalizing and creating change rests on the students’ development and their ability to make responsible choices. Staff offer this support for individual growth and learning through a variety of programs, community collaborations, and student support programs.  OCSS will continue to increase programs and collaboration within Student Affairs to provide enriching and positive programmatic efforts for students transitioning off-campus. 

Paddle Nation

ECU Adventure awarded Paddle Nation Grant

The ECU Adventure Program has received a $2,500 grant from the Paddle Nation Grant Program to take Pitt County fifth through eighth graders out on local waterways.

The Adventure Program, part of Campus Recreation and Wellness, used the grant funds to purchase two rafts and related equipment to take local youths on kayak and paddle trips along the Tar River.

“For many of these young people, this is their first time in a kayak,” said Brad Beggs, assistant director of adventure in Campus Recreation and Wellness. “In fact, we have found that it’s the first time on the water in any capacity for some of the kids.”

The Paddle Nation Grant Program is an initiative connecting young people to their rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. It is funded by the National Park Service, Outdoor Retailer and several paddle-sport industry manufacturers, retailers and stakeholders.

Several trips were held in July for groups of Pitt County 5th-8th graders including with Building Hope Community Life Center, the Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Community Center and the Girl Scouts.

Great Schools

ECU named "GREAT School" for Gluten-Free students

East Carolina University has earned recognition as a “GREAT School” by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), a national non-profit organization dedicated to those affected by celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. The honor signifies that the dining services staff has completed comprehensive gluten-free training and pledges to uphold gluten-free protocols that encourage a safe dining experience for students with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

“The number of customers with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity that are dining in our campus locations are on the rise.  As we see this number steadily increase each year, it is important for our dining team to take any steps we can to ensure we are serving foods that are safe for this group to eat.  The “GREAT School’s” program offers additional training as well as the implementation of policies and procedures that support our team’s efforts to feed those that need foods made without gluten,” says Janie Owens, Nutrition Director for ECU Campus Dining Services.

An estimated 1% of the population has celiac disease, a serious genetic autoimmune disease, and an estimated 6% of the population has gluten sensitivity.  Both conditions require a strict gluten-free diet. While many restaurants are introducing gluten-free menus to accommodate those who have this special dietary need, the gluten-free food is not always prepared with the necessary precautions.

NFCA’s GREAT Schools program is an online, multimedia course that teaches dining services managers and staff how to properly prepare and serve gluten-free meals. Participants learn how to identify gluten-free ingredients; avoid cross-contamination with gluten-containing foods; and answer gluten-free students’ questions. Recognition as a GREAT School lasts for two years.

“There’s more to serving gluten-free food than replacing a side of pasta with rice,” said Alice Bast, Founder and President of NFCA. “GREAT Kitchens teaches a comprehensive, team approach that is essential when responding to any medically necessary dietary request.”

East Carolina University’s gluten-free options include:

  • Individually wrapped items such as Gluten-Free Pizza Crust or Gluten-Free Breads and Snacks
  • Made to Order Pasta Entrees with Gluten Free Pasta Fresh
  • Made to Order Carved Meats, Steamed Vegetables and Grains such as Quinoa
Innovative Educators

When Title IX and Social Media Collide - Webinar

On August 5, 2015, the Division of Student Affairs and the Office for Equity and Diversity will host a special webinar focusing on Title IX and the roles and impacts social media plays on college campuses.

The webinar is called When Social Media and Title IX Collide: What Colleges Need to Know about Gossip Sites, Free Speech and Proactive Policies and is presented by Innovative Educators.

All ECU faculty and staff are invited to attend the webinar, which is being funded by the Department of Student Involvement and Leadership. The objectives for the webinar include:

  • How social media posts/tweets become a Title IX issue
  • Explore the ways a student’s right to free speech collides with insulting or slanderous statements towards other campus members
  • Discover ways to address teasing and bullying through the Student Code of Conduct
  • Learn the specifics of cyberbullying technology, usage and the specific gossip websites currently popular among college students
  • Realize that generational diversity (Millennial students, Generation X students, and Baby Boomer administrators) may play a role and needs to be considered  

There is no need to RSVP for this webinar and all faculty and staff are welcome to attend.  Below are the details about the webinar.

Date: August 5, 2015
Time: 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Location: Mendenhall Student Center – Room 244
Presenters: Dr. Brian Van Brunt and Miranda Perry 

Vice Chancellor Virginia Hardy and Associate Provost LaKesha Alston Forbes will greet attendees and provide a welcome at 2:45pm.  The webinar will begin promptly at 3pm and will last about 90 minutes. Key audiences for this webinar include, but are not limited to, Faculty, Campus Safety, Police officers, Diversity offices, Dean of Students Office, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Student Services offices, Counseling, Human Resources, Academic Advisers, Athletics and University Communications.

Jorge Florimon

Student Success - Jorge Almonte-Florimon
Pirate Profile and NASPA Undergraduate Fellow

Student Success – ECU’s Jorge Almonte-Florimon has been accepted into the 2015-2016 class of the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP)! As a Fellow, he will work with his ECU Mentor, Bernie Schulz (Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs) to identify distinctive opportunities that will allow for his exploration of student affairs/higher education. Since the program’s inception in 1989, NUFP alumni have been active and contributing professionals on campuses throughout our country.
Additionally, Jorge has been a very engaged student in and out of the classroom with the Residence Hall Association, Collide Campus Ministry and the ECU Ambassadors.  He was recently featured as a Pirate Profile-  Please click here to view the Pirate Profile 


New Employees

SA Staff Updates


Student Affairs hires Victim Advocate and Student Veteran Services Asst. Director


  • Kathleen (Kat) Bursky has begun serving in the position of Victim Advocate through the Center for Counseling and Student Development(CCSD).  Previously, this position was housed under ECU PD. By operating under the umbrella of the CCSD, Kat is able to provide confidential services to victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and other power-based personal crimes.

    As the Victim Advocate, Kat will provide crisis services and short-term counseling to victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking. Additionally, Kat will provide outreach presentations, consultations and trainings related to victimization to the campus community. Topics can include, but are not limited to, sexual assault awareness, dating violence awareness, sexual harassment, and how to help a friend dealing with these issues.

  • Nicole Jablonski has also joined ECU Student Affairs as Assistant Director for Student Veteran Services within the Office of Student Transitions.  Nicole, a native of New York, comes to ECU from Wisconsin where she worked as the Veterans Educational Benefit Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-LeCrosse.  Prior to that, Nicole worked as a Work Study Veteran’s Liaison.  Nicole served as an Avionics Technician in the U.S. Navy for nine years.

New Hires in ECU Student Affairs


  • Kathleen Bursky, Victim Advocate, Counseling Center
  • Jane Kirk, Administrative Support Associate, Counseling Center
  • Ainsley Worrell, Assistant Director for Wellness Promotion, Campus Recreation & Wellness
  • Fredrick Tyson, Housekeeping, SIL
  • Demetrice Baskerville, Coordinator, Campus Living
  • Elliott Nytes, Coordinator, Campus Living
  • Bailey Steckbauer, Coordinator, Campus Living
  • Brandon Frazho, Coordinator, Campus Living
  • Ashley Raynor, Administrative Support Specialist –Student Health

No Longer in ECU Student Affairs

  • John Stowe, Career Counselor, Career Services
  • Larry Donley, Associate Director, Career Services
  • Sachet Watson, Assistant Director, OSRR
  • Scott Nichols, Website Developer, Marketing & Communication
  • Eric Gardner, Team Leadership Specialist, Campus Recreation & Wellness
  • Jolene Jernigan, Director, Student Health Services, Retired June 30th
  • Samuel Speight, University Program Associate – IGCC