April 15, 2016 Edition

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Student Affairs

A Message from Vice Chancellor Virginia Hardy

This spring semester has been described by many in Student Affairs as: crazy, challenging, unreal, and, of course, the understatement of the semester, busy.  But through all the negative, I have also seen and heard some things during the semester that are amazing, spectacular and, another understatement, awesome!

In the last several weeks, we have had the Governor, Board of Governors, Board of Trustees (twice), and numerous leadership events honoring Chancellor Ballard that included former UNC System President Tom Ross and the first visit by new system President Margaret Spellings to campus.

And then factor in our every day job duties and it’s been, as promised, quite a busy March and April in 2016. 

I do want to share some of the very positive moments during some of these events, many of which were led by Student Affairs educators but also involved dozens of our students and student leaders. 

  • Four students presented to the Board of Trustees April 7th about their experience with That Big Idea Challenge and the Clinton Global Initiative.  The students’ projects hit on all three ECU commitments of student success, public service and regional transformation and their presentation was fantastic.  I still have BOT members calling me to talk about how proud they are of our students.

  • A group, that included multiple Student Affairs educators, presented at the same BOT meeting about the Male Student Success initiatives going on at ECU.  The presentation laid out the declining national trend, but also what ECU already does to support our male students and shared the recommendations moving forward.  This was also well received by the Board.

  • A pair of LGBT events focusing on opposition to House Bill 2 were held.  The student leaders for the silent protest at noon on March 30 and the march the same night were well organized and well attended.  Thank you to the SA staff that helped educate and guide our students to accomplish the goals they set forward.

  • Twenty students took full advantage of their time with President Margaret Spellings on March 30 and demonstrated the best of what ECU students have to offer.  The students, from organizations all over ECU, were on point with answers to her questions and asked some fantastic questions when given the opportunity.  I believe that session was perhaps President Spellings’ favorite of the day.
  • Multiple students, student groups and SA educators also spent most of a full day with former UNC System President Tom Ross during Leadership Week.  Again our students showed amazing engagement with a top leader and put ECU’s best foot forward.

So, we aren’t to the end of this crazy semester, but it’s getting close.  And instead of choosing to focus on the negatives we are encountering, let’s enjoy the successes we have experienced during these trying times.  And please know that I fully understand that behind our students and their success is the guidance, advice, and leadership of our divisional staff. 

Thank you for all you do.  Our divisional spotlight has been shining very bright.

LiveSafe App

ECU Launches LiveSafe Mobile App

East Carolina University launched LiveSafe, a new mobile safety app for students, faculty and staff intended to make reporting safety concerns easier and less intimidating.

To download visit www.ecu.edu/LiveSafe.

The free app provides seamless two-way communication between users and campus safety to directly and anonymously report concerns through text messaging, video, audio and photos. The app will supplement many safety initiatives already on campus such as blue lights, security cameras and safety patrol.

In addition to reporting safety concerns, LiveSafe allows users to:

  • Stay anonymous anytime, or send their information and location to ECU Police as soon as they call or message, allowing faster response time.

  • Activate SafeWalk, a GPS-tagged monitoring feature, to invite friends and family to monitor their location until they arrive safely at their destination.

  • Access information about mental health and victim services on campus.

  • View a helpful Safety Map that displays nearby safe locations.

Several other colleges and universities in the state, including UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Charlotte, use LiveSafe on their campuses. The app was co-founded by Kristina Anderson, a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, as a way to use technology as a tool to prevent further campus tragedies.

Beeson and Brown

ECU’s new SGA leadership
The new officers leading ECU’s Student Government Association (SGA) were elected in March and will begin service in April.

The 2016-17 SGA President Ryan Beeson of Sophia, NC and Vice President Janae Brown of Raleigh are sworn in Sunday April 17th at the SGA Banquet, succeeding current President Mark Matulewicz and Vice President Jenny Betz.

Beeson completed two undergraduate degrees in political science and economics a semester early and is continuing his education at ECU pursuing a master’s degree in accounting. Upon completion of his service and education at ECU, he wants to pursue a law degree and earn a master’s degree in trust and wealth management with the goal of a career in trust and estate law and wealth management.

Brown will start her fourth year at ECU this fall as an art major with a concentration in graphic design. Following her graduation, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in advertising from Syracuse University with hopes of becoming a creative director for ESPN.

“Ryan and Janae bring different experiences and points of view, from different communities, that will make SGA stronger while advocating for the student body,” said Dr. Erik Kneubuehl, associate vice chancellor for student involvement and leadership. 

As part of the responsibilities serving as the SGA president, Beeson will serve as a full voting member of the ECU Board of Trustees. He will start his SGA term in April, but won’t be sworn in officially as a board member until its July meeting.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity the students of ECU have given me by placing their confidence and trust in Janae and me,” said Beeson. “It is my hope to earn this confidence and trust every day we are in office by continually proving our ability to serve and being the truest voice of the students of ECU.”

Beeson and Brown will be selecting students for executive positions, such as SGA treasurer, which will be approved and ultimately appointed by the SGA Assembly.

“I am overwhelmed with joy and ready to get started,” said Brown. “Ryan and I will forever be grateful to Pirate Nation and cannot wait to invoke positive change on the campus of ECU.”

News and Notes

SA Educators Making Headlines

Hank Bowen Transitions to SGA
Hank Bowen will be join Student Involvement and Leadership as the Associate Director for Student Government Advisement on April 16th. 

Hank Bowen has served as Coordinator for First Year Programs in the Office of Student Transitions since November 2010, working with New Student Orientation, Plunge Into Purple, and other initiatives for new students. Hank also previously worked in Student Involvement and Leadership in the areas of student organizations and student leadership, and as an undergraduate in student center operations.

ECU’s Stephen Gray named President of NC AHEAD
Stephen Gray, Director of Student Services for Disability Support has been sworn in as the new president of NC AHEAD, (North Carolina Association of Higher Education and Disabilities).  The ceremony took place at the state conference at Davidson County Community College on March 11th. 

Stephen had been the Treasurer for 2 years as well as President Elect this past year and comes in full of energy, as only Stephen can do.  One of his goals at president is to get more involvement from the state, colleges and universities.  In coordination with some professionals in the field he presented a challenge to the entire state and surrounding states to BAC it up Wednesday

BAC it up Wednesday (BAC stands for Barriers Across Campus) is a challenge that asks all offices of Disabilities / Accessibilities to take a day, Wednesday, April 20, 2016 and BAC it up.  The objective is to get out of the office and venture out on the campus and look and document Barriers Across Campus. 

There have been a significant number of colleges and universities in North Carolina that have accepted this challenge.  Also some schools in Virginia have jumped on board.  The point is to find, document and assist in removing barriers that exist on the campus. The NC AHEAD executive board has asked for the lists of barriers to be sent to the organization, categorized and taken to General Administration for discussion purposes. 

I am asking that Student Affairs and others across ECU’s campus join in on BAC it up Wednesday on April 20th and venture onto the campus, looking for barriers.  They could be loose bricks, low hanging branches, electronic doors that do not work etc.  Let us know so we can be a leader in the state in dealing with barriers.  Please send comments, concerns or questions directly to Stephen.

Congratulations to Stephen and let’s BAC it up ECU!

SIL ACUI Presentations in New Orleans

Trick or Treat: Halloween Havoc presented by Emily McLamb * Justin Janak (could not attend)
Colleges are usually in for a scare on Halloween night with a few treats and a lot of tricks. East Carolina University has long been known as the destination for Halloween. College students within a six-hour drive descend on Greenville, N.C., for a night of costumes, scares, and way too much more. This session will explore the local challenges, how the campus created safe and exciting programming on Halloween, and what it takes to succeed.

Student Centers- A Serious Business presented by Dean Smith
This session focused on the business aspects of a student center as they are understood and implemented for the perspective of an MBA. It discussed accounting and finance, budgeting, HR policy and procedure, and professional development of staff and students. I co-presented with Jerry Mann from Director of Student Centers at UNC-Charlotte (retired) and Jeremy Dale, Assistant Director of Facilities at ASU, They both have an MBA.

Creating Your Definition of Work/Life Balance presenters: Beth Bengala (ECU) & Dana Bonifacio-Sample, University of Alabama
This session will offer a forum for open dialogue, allowing participants to share and discuss how they balance their personal lives (family, friends, volunteer commitments, etc.) and careers successfully. Participants will come out with a specific plan in how to balance their own work and personal lives more effectively and efficiently.

SIL Presentations at NASPA in Indy

Team Cohesion: Creating a Common Vision presented by Erik Kneubuehl & Adeea Rogers (could not attend)
Whether you are a small organization with 5+ members or a large one with 100+ members, creating a cohesive team that is focused on a common direction is challenging. The facilitators will use Caron’s theoretical model of Team Cohesion as a foundation that can guide an organization’s shift from one of preexisting silos to a unified culture. The presenters will also identify how the model was adapted and successfully utilized at East Carolina University.

Awards Season

Save the Date – Student Affairs End of Year Celebration
The Division of Student Affairs will host its annual end of year celebration with divisional awards on May 12th.  There have been numerous changes and improvements to the awards process as well as a new location and time for the Awards program. 

The Awards Committee has secured Club Level at Dowdy Ficklen Stadium to host the program and it will now be held from 10am until noon.  A record high number of nominations (54) were submitted for awards connected to the Student Affairs six values as well as the Emerging Professional Award. 

This event is open to the entire division and a calendar invitation with a Save the Date message will be going out soon.  All nominees will be recognized and the winners will be announced at the event. 

In the afternoon, the division will host an event where SA staff can blow off some steam, play some games, eat some snacks and have some fun.  There are a couple of options for locations to host the afternoon event.  Therefore, we are asking you to click here and answer a one-question survey

A formal announcement for the awards and end of year celebration will be coming soon.

Staff Appreciation Week

Staff Appreciation Week
ECU and the Staff Senate are hosting Staff Appreciation Week on April 18th-April 23rd!  The following are just a few of the activities planned for the week:

  • Free lunch with meal voucher (either on campus or at the Lake Laupus cookout)
  • Discounted softball/baseball tickets

  • The Staff Senate Fitness Walk

  • 25% sale all week at Dowdy Student Stores

  • Free movies at Hendrix theater, and

  • Earth Day Celebration on Friday April 22nd

This is the Staff Senate’s way of saying “Thank You” for your hard work and dedication to ECU!  For more information about the Staff Senate, click here to visit the website. 



Vagina Monologues

East Carolina University presented a production of “The Vagina Monologues” on March 30 in Wright Auditorium.

“The Vagina Monologues” is a play addressing multiple aspects of the feminine experience including the physical body, empowerment and the ultimate embodiment of individuality. The material was developed based on interviews with more than 200 women. It was first performed in New York in 1994.

Several hundred ECU students, faculty, staff and community members attended the free production.  Donations were accepted at the door to benefit the Center for Family Violence Prevention. This organization serves Pitt, Martin and Washington counties to break the cycle of domestic violence while enhancing individual self-sufficiency and promoting healthy family relationships.

The cast included eight students, six staff members and four members of the community.

“Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking play has been performed on college campuses for almost 20 years to give voice to issues impacting the lives of women around the world,” said Mark Rasdorf, co-director of the ECU production. “Our intent was to create opportunities for dialogue on efforts to end violence against women and girls.”

Early performances of the play led to the 1998 launch of V-Day, a global movement aimed at ending violence against women and girls. The initial event led to more than 5,800 annual V-Day celebrations, many of those on college campuses.
Eleanor Cook, cast member and faculty chair of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, added, “‘The Vagina Monologues’ is a campus tradition that promotes both awareness and celebration of women’s lives from diverse perspectives. This was my first experience performing in it, and it was an inspiring and challenging process.”

The event was co-sponsored by Student Involvement and Leadership, the ECU LGBT Resource Office, the University Writing Center, Campus Recreation and Wellness, the Healthy Pirates student organization, the Center for Counseling and Student Development, the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement and the Greek Panhellenic Council.

ECU ranking supporting military spouses
By ECU News Services

East Carolina University has been named one of the top 100 schools in the nation for military spouses.

ECU is the only university in North Carolina to receive Victory Media’s Military Spouse Friendly School designation.

As such, ECU demonstrates “best practices in the education of military spouses and military families,” according to Victory Media, which measured universities on 10 criteria from academic and military family support to offering programs leading to portable career opportunities. 

Earning the designation brings great pride, said Rondall Rice, chair of ECU’s Academic Military Affairs Committee, which completed the survey and compiled information for the designation.

“Having served 29 years in the Air Force, I know the importance of military spouses and families, and the hardships they endure to allow their loved one to serve the nation. Being Military Spouse Friendly recognizes that ECU values their sacrifice and has programs and policies in place to help them achieve their academic goals,” Rice said.

This is the fifth military friendly-related designation this academic year, Rice said, which is a testament to ECU’s campus-wide efforts to make it a welcoming and beneficial place for military students, veterans and their families.

Click here to read the full ECU News story

InterFaith Leadership Summit

The ECU Student Government Association (SGA), Interfaith Pirates Better Together (student organization) and the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center are pleased to host the first ever ECU Interfaith Leadership Summit on Saturday, April 16th, 2016 in the Mendenhall Student Center.

Registration and breakfast at 9:00 AM with the Summit beginning at 10am until 3:30 PM

Featuring Keynote Speaker Reverend Irene Monroe, an Ordained minister, motivational speaker, and African American lesbian feminist theologian, will deliver a presentation called "Making the Connections: The Role Religion Plays in Discrimination"

Sessions Include:
•Non-Christians in the South
•Devout Religious Practitioners in the LGBTQ Community
•Race and the Church
•Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia
•And more!

ECU Faculty, Staff and Students can click here to sign up.  For Non-ECU constituents interested in attending, please email Maya Williams with Interfaith Pirates or Dr. Mark Villacorta with the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.  (villacortam15@ecu.edu.)

This is a Premier Wellness Passport event [Social, Spiritual, & Intellectual]

ACE Service Member and Veteran Academic Advising Summit

Nicole Jablonski from Student Veteran Services and Jim Kuras of the Career Services Office joined by ECU colleagues from Tutoring and Academic Advising areas participated in the American Council on Education’s second Service Member and Veteran Academic Advising Summit held April 14-15th in Arlington, VA. 

The slate of programs identified ways to support military-connected individuals in the college application and admissions process and examined how academic advising can help those students reach career goals. 

Also discussed was mobilizing a national campaign to expand partnerships between educators, employers and other key stakeholders aimed at aiding in a smooth transition from the military to postsecondary education and civilian employment.  Broad themes identified at the last summit and brought forward this year for further exploration and review included:

  • Empowering service members and veterans to advocate for themselves

  • Ensuring that military branches, federal agencies, higher education institutions and employers communicate with one another in order to work more effectively on behalf of service members and veterans

  • Offering “full spectrum navigation” higher education assistance from military recruitment to civilian employment, particularly in the application of continued assistance after degree completion to promote successful employment

  • Exploring ways in which various stakeholder groups, from the military to institutions to employers, can work together to better understand and recognize the concerns central to service members’ and veterans’ college education

Friday Floats

Campus Recreation and Wellness

Adventure Program's Friday Float

April 15th and 22nd at 2pm, Student Recreation Center, Adventure Program Center. Sea kayak the historic waterfront of Little Washington, paddle up the shady Cherry Run or ramble down the remarkably beautiful Tar. Paddle with CRW’s adventure center every Friday Float to showcase a different paddling option for 2-3 hours. Cost: $10 for students/members: $20 for non-members. The trips include equipment, transportation, and instruction. No experience needed. Join us at 2pm in the Adventure Center; we will return back around 6/6:30pm.

Paddle & Yoga at Bear Island

Saturday, April 23,Bear Island, NC - Settle into Pigeon Pose as a salty breeze brushes your skin. Go through Sun Salutations as the Bear Island sun warms you up after playing in the Atlantic Ocean. Paddle from the mainland to this secluded island to put your beach towels down to bring in the end of our semester. You may even see Bottlenose Dolphin while you’re there, along with other wildlife that is starting to appear right before summer starts. Enjoy a fun paddle and some relaxing yoga before your exams start. Price includes transportation, equipment, and instruction. Must attend a pool session before trip date. 

Earth Day

This year, Campus Recreation & Wellness is planning a week full of entertaining activities to celebrate Earth Day! This annual event is celebrated worldwide in more than 192 countries each year!
On ECU’s Campus:

4/19 | The CRW is partnering with SAB hosting Hammock Movie Hangout featuring Love By Nature.

4/21 | Stop by Adventure at Barefoot on the Mall to learn about more exciting trips, like Paddle & Yoga at Bear Island! (trip is on 4/23)

4/22 | Earth Day | Students can bring Paper and Electronic Recycling from 10-3pm outside of SRC, ECU Tree Planting (TBA and location)-come by and spread some dirt!  Tree donated by ECU Facilities Ground Services; Make a Plant for your Home with the Pitt County Master Gardeners. Join us for the Bike Repair Clinic from 10-12pm at MSC Brickyard.

4/24 | Relax before drifting into exams by hitching a Raft Ride down the Tar River!


Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Community Center hosts IGCC Day

Transformation and Service

The Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center celebrates the ninth annual IGCC Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 16 at 1100 Ward St. in Greenville.

The event aims to solidify connections between the center and the community. “We thrive off being able to provide services to a population of people who appreciate our existence as we actively help Greenville, Pitt County and East Carolina University grow,” said the center’s director, Deborah Moody.

The celebration gives members of the community an opportunity to “come out and see what we are all about and also to see where they can get connected,” she said.

IGCC Day is free and open to the public and will include live music, arts and crafts, games and informational exhibits about programs offered at the center.

“Several years ago, we were asking ECU students, faculty and staff, as well as our friends in the community, to volunteer their time to IGCC Day,” Moody said. “But due to the success in recent years, we are thrilled that volunteers are coming to us to lend a hand before being asked.”

The Intergenerational Community Center was created through a partnership between the West Greenville community, ECU, the City of Greenville and Pitt Community College. The center provides programs and services to Greenville and Pitt County residents of all ages.

For more information about IGCC Day, contact Deborah Moody, director of the Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Center at 252-328-5800.

Pirate Read Speaker

Student Transitions

the Last Lecture

the “Last Lecture” became a regularly scheduled program at ECU in 2011.  Focusing on rising sophomores, the “Last Lecture” was made famous by the late professor Randy Pausch in 2007.  The purpose of “the Last Lecture” at ECU is to focus on rising sophomores, a group of students who often find themselves in the throes of confusion in their academic, social and personal development.  The speaker is asked to focus on beliefs related to life’s transitions and/or focus on “celebrating the dreams we all strive to make realities.”

Dr. Tim Christenson, Associate Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences spoke on April 15th using the theme “Finding Your Awesome – How Knowing Where You Come From and Knowing Where You Are Makes Your Future Easier.”  Dr. Christenson is a two time First Year Faculty Advocate Award Nominee.

Senior Sendoff

Once again hosted by Office of Student Transitions and Student Involvement and Leadership, the Senior Sendoff will be held Saturday, April 23 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. at Clark-LeClair baseball field (between track and softball fields).  The purpose is to provide an opportunity for graduating students to engage in a celebration of their collegiate experience during a university “send-off” for the senior class.  Senior administration, athletic staff, faculty and Student Affairs educators participate in this event, which includes t-shirt giveaway (their last!), music, food and inflatables. 

Storm the Stadium

The first ever Storm the Stadium will be held April 23 at Dowdy Ficklen Stadium.  This is a unique challenge where participants or teams tackle the 3,200 steps at the stadium with all proceeds going to support scholarships and programming for ECU’s student veterans. 

Registration is still open and costs $35 per individual or $110 for a team of five members.  There will also be a Fun Run with PeeDee the Pirate for the kids on the field.  For those that can’t make the event, but want to donate to support ECU’s student veterans, that option is available.  Click here for more information about the Storm the Stadium Challenge.

Pirate Read

The Office of Student Transitions hosted author Sonia Nazario on March 31 in Wright Auditorium and several hundred students, faculty and staff attended. 

Nazario’s book, “Enrique’s Journey,” was the ECU Pirate Read selection for the 2015-16 year. The Pirate Read is a common book read by all incoming students before their first year at ECU.

The books are picked by ECU faculty and staff to orient students to the academic community by encouraging intellectual dialogue and critical thinking, prepare students for the college-level environment and enable students and faculty to discuss ideas from the book across the curriculum.

Nazario has spent more than 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She has won numerous national journalism and book awards by tackling issues such as hunger, drug addiction and immigration.

“Enrique’s Journey” is a story about a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the United States. Originally published as a series in the Los Angeles Times, Nazario’s series won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003. It was turned into a book that became a national bestseller and is now required reading at hundreds of high schools and colleges across the country.

The Pirate Read Committee also announced the 2016-17 Pirate Read selection Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

“Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.” (www.Amazon.com)

Just Mercy 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 Los Angeles Book Prize and the Kirkus Reviews Prize.  The book is also an American Library Association Notable Book.
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

Bryan Stevenson will be on campus in November 2016.  A LibGuide has been created and is available at http://libguides.ecu.edu/PirateRead2016.  Please refer to the Pirate Read website for more information as it develops

New Employees

New and Departing Staff
New Staff
Kristen Byrum – Campus Rec and Wellness – April 1st
Natoya Worrell – Student Involvement & Leadership – April 4th

Departing Staff
Mike Rager – Student Rights and Responsibilities – Feb. 29