November 2016 Edition

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Professional Development Program

The Student Affairs Continuing Career Development Committee is excited to announce the next program of the 2016-2017 professional development series.  All programs require registration through Cornerstone.

Transgender at ECU:
Insight into Student Experiences
November 17 from 12pm-1:30pm in MSC 244

Presented by Mark Rasdorf, Intercultural Affairs Associate Director, who will be joined by a panel of ECU students who will share their experiences and insights as members of the transgender community on campus.

Register on Cornerstone

Archived Editions

Pledge Purple

Pledge Purple Week
East Carolina University is once again pleased to host Pledge Purple on November 14-17, a weeklong initiative, focused on education and advocacy centered on the issues of sexual violence, harassment, and bullying.

Pledge Purple is a series of events and programs on both campuses during the week of November 14th - 17th.  ECU students, faculty and staff can attend and/or participate in any or all events during the week.

The week starts with Pledge Day on both campuses where the Pirate Nation can take the pledge to do its part against sexual violence, harassment and bullying.  Here is the pledge.

I will not use my hands or words in acts of violence, bullying, or sexual assault.  I will educate myself about what violence, bullying and sexual assault looks like in the Pirate community. I will support my fellow Pirates and safely intervene as an active bystander if I witness scenarios of violence, bullying or sexual assault.

Pledge Day is from 8am-5pm on the Health Sciences campus at various locations and from 11am – 2pm on the ECU Mall of main campus.

Tuesday, November 15th the focus shifts to bystander intervention with “It’s On Us Day.”  The ECU version of the “It’s On Us” video will be playing throughout the day on both campuses.  In addition, the film screening of “Audrie and Daisy” will show at 4pm in Science and Technology Room C307 and at 7pm in the Allied Health/Nursing Building Room 1100.

“Audrie and Daisy” is a new documentary focusing on the stories of two teenagers who experienced sexual assaults, and the trauma and aftermath created by social media and cyberbullying. It was released at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and recently premiered on Netflix to critical acclaim.

Wednesday is Take Back The Night, which kicks off with a Survivors Vigil on both campuses.  Following the vigil will be walks on the Health Sciences campus starting at 6:30pm in the Health Sciences lobby and on main campus starting in the Mendenhall Student Center.  In both locations, a special Pledge Purple lighting ceremony will take place.

The week will conclude on Nov. 17th with a special presentation by guest speaker David Otunga. an actor known for his role in the movie The Call, as well as being a WWE professional wrestler, reality TV star, and Harvard Law School-educated lawyer.

David has been featured in countless fitness magazines and fulfilled a childhood dream by gracing the cover of the December 2013 issue of Muscle & Fitness. With big dreams and determination, David has transformed his body and life – overcoming bullies, doubters, and stereotypes along the way. He speaks to college students across the country, encouraging them to believe in themselves, set goals, and follow their dreams.

David holds a Doctorate of Law from Harvard Law School and has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois.  Otunga will speak on the Health Sciences campus at 5:30pm on the 4th floor of Laupus Library and at 7:30pm in Hendrix Theatre.

There are nearly 50 campus and community partners collaborating for Pledge Purple week including but not limited to, Student Involvement and Leadership (i.e. Greek Life, Student Activities Board, etc.), Athletics, The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, the Office of Equity and Diversity, the College of Nursing, and Uptown Greenville.

SA Conference 2017

4th Annual Student Success Conference
The Divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs are pleased to announce that the fourth annual Student Success Conference will take place on Friday, February 3, 2017 in Mendenhall Student Center. The theme for the 2017 conference is “Got GRIT: Impact on Student Success.”

The concept of GRIT (student growth, resiliency, integrity and tenacity), is based on the philosophy of perseverance toward academic success. The purpose of the conference is to promote an understanding of what GRIT is, why it matters and how it leads to opportunities for faculty and staff to support student success strategies at East Carolina University.

Dr. Joy Gaston Gayles, Associate Professor of Higher Education at N.C. State University, will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Gayles teaches courses on college student development theories, student characteristics and college environments, foundations of research, and diversity issues in higher education. Her research focuses on the college student experience and how those experiences impact desired outcomes of undergraduate education.
Faculty and staff will be invited to submit program proposals related to the theme and focusing on strategies that help students connect, invest, motivate and finish strong. Call for proposals will be shared next week.

The $10 conference fee covers registration, the keynote speaker and lunch at the event. Click here for conference registration and payment.

For additional information please contact Dr. Lathan Turner at 252- 328-4173.

Homecoming 2016

Homecoming - Going for the Gold
Student organizations were Going for the Gold during this year’s homecoming festivities. Overall 27 teams competed in the Spirit Cup competition that included a Banner, Skit, Canned Food Drive, and Float Competition.

Half of the organizations participated in the canned food drive by donating 12,996 total pounds of food which is the equivalent of 10,830 meals! From this total 476 pounds of food were donated to Campus Kitchen at ECU.

For the second straight year student organizations also focused on the Backpack for Kids program, by supplying food and snacks for youth in our community. 647 completed backpacks were donated which was a 56% increase from the year prior!

The overall winner of the Spirit Cup competition was the ECU Ambassadors.  Congratulations to Mark Matulewicz representing Alpha Tau Omega and Rebecca Poole representing the College of Education who earned the title of Homecoming King and Queen for 2016.


Student Affairs Making Headlines

  • The Residence Hall Association sent 5 students to the SAACURH (South Atlantic Affiliate of College University Residence Halls) Regional Conference at University of Central Florida the weekend of October 26th-28th. Prior to the conference, The S.H.O.E.S (Students Honoring Others’ Everyday Struggles) Program was one of two programs that were selected to present for Program of the Year to the Regional Leadership Conference in front of 60 voting delegates from schools in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and North Carolina.  On Saturday evening at the closing banquet, ECU RHA was awarded with Best Regional Program of the Year for S.H.O.E.S.  The students look forward to submitting their National Program of the Year Bid which is due on December 1st, 2016.

  • Suzannah Lott, CLCE Assistant Director, was recently awarded the NCCPA Outstanding New Professional of the Year. The North Carolina College Personnel Association, a state division of ACPA – College Student Educators International, is committed to the education and development of post-secondary students in North Carolina and exists for the benefit of all student personnel professionals in the state.

Halloween 16

Halloween Havoc
Halloween Havoc, presented by the Student Activities Board, is a long standing tradition in its 23rd year (formerly known as Midnight Madness).  Returning to the Student Recreation Center, after being held at the football stadium the last 3 years, the event saw over 2,000 students and guests participate in a safe, substance-free environment on a Monday night.

After a week of Homecoming activities, the Halloween Havoc committee, including the Student Activities Board, would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that volunteered.  Whether it was decorating beforehand, or working the night of, this event would not be as successful without you.

Campus Kitchen

Campus Kitchen Project
The Campus Kitchen Project is a national program focused on fighting hunger with the mission of strengthening bodies, empowering minds, and building communities. Campus Kitchen currently partners with 53 schools around the country. Campus Kitchen at ECU partners with Campus Dining to use Todd Dining Hall as a resource to repurpose food and deliver it to those in need in the Greenville community. Community partners include: Operation Sunshine, Little Willie Center, JOY’s Soup Kitchen, and the Ronald McDonald House.

Within the last year, CKECU has expanded and developed Campus Kitchen Nutrition Outreach which provides nutrition education to Greenville youth in order to promote healthy behaviors. This summer proved to be very successful for the program thanks to the dedication of CLCE’s Ameriprise Fellow and CKECU intern, Lekisha Pittman. More than 377 pounds of food were recovered via Aramark and the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina, allowing 175 hot meals to be served within Greenville. In addition, 10 nutrition education lessons took place, providing a total of 330 healthy snacks to 205 youth. CKECU engaged 87 student volunteers and 4 ECU staff members over the summer.

This fall semester, Campus Kitchen continues to grow and make a difference by strengthening bodies, empowering minds, and building community.
If students, faculty, and staff are interested in supporting Campus Kitchen, please look into opportunities on the OrgSync links below:
Campus Kitchen at ECU Hot Meals
Campus Kitchen Nutrition Outreach


Faculty Symposium
Collaboration between Career Services & Academic Affairs
Career Services hosted the first, 2016 Fall Faculty Symposium: Preparing for First Destination Survey Data on October 26 in The Murphy Center to coincide with the pending release of pilot survey results for ECU Pirate Employment Survey. 

Close to 100 faculty and staff leaders heard how First Destination Survey data impacts higher education and why this college scorecard initiative on career outcomes is so important to our graduates being career ready.  The roadmap for transforming the college to career experience is changing from the traditional model of “Career Services,” and a critical component of this new approach starts with data-gathering and creating stronger partnership across the university to help students develop successful careers. 

Dr. Jamienne Studley, former Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (2013-2016) and past president of Skidmore College, delivered opening remarks and then joined the additional panelists - Dr. Sam Ratcliffe (Director of Career Services at VMI & a Past President of NACE) and Dr. Nancy Whelchel (Survey Research at N.C. State University) for a question and answer session. Dr. Virginia Hardy, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, welcomed attendees on behalf of Student Affairs and Career Services while Provost Ron Mitchelson introduced the speakers and moderated the panel discussion.

Career Services staff looks forward to future collaborations with Academic Affairs to impact the career outcomes of our graduates and inspire student success.

Just Mercy

Bryan Stevenson visits ECU

Submitted by the Office of Student Transitions

Bryan Stevenson, author of the 2016 Pirate Read Just Mercy was on campus November 10th speaking to several groups before his evening presentation to an overflow audience in Hendrix Theater.  Stevenson met with two small groups of students representing EC Scholars, COAD 1000, ENGL 1100 and Political Science.  He dined with the Pirate Read committee, Senior Administration and Faculty prior to his evening presentation.

Stevenson, an attorney who is dedicated to defending the poor, the wrongly condemned, and others trapped in the criminal justice system share poignant stories from his childhood that framed his work today.  He also gave more detail on a few of the cases outlined in his book.  Throughout the day, Stevenson focused on the themes of racial justice, mass incarceration, children in prison and wrongful convictions.  Stevenson has argued several cases in the US Supreme Court and he and his staff have one reversals, relief or release for over 115 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row.

Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice that is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States (  The work of EJI includes research and documentation on the evolution of slavery, the legacy of lynching, the resistance to civil rights and presumption of guilt.  Attendees at the evening presentation received a copy of the 2017 History of Racial Injustice calendar.  To learn more about the work of EJI, please visit 

Ongoing projects of EJI include plans to build a national memorial to victims of lynching and open a museum that explores African American history from enslavement to mass incarceration (  EJI has also launched a project to place markets at lynching sites across the country “in an effort to change the landscape of the American South, which is saturated with iconography and memorials romanticizing the Confederacy and the effort to preserve slavery” (


CLCE Voter Engagement
The Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement worked this semester with campus and community partners to increase voter engagement on campus.  CLCE hired three student leaders through funding provided by the Andrew Goodman Foundation and Campus Vote Project, creating the CLCE Voter Engagement Team along with professional staff in the center. Student leaders made connections across campus with organizations, departments, and students to increase voter engagement and build the Voter Engagement Coalition (VEC). The VEC’s mission is to promote voter engagement through nonpartisan focuses on access, registration, education, and turnout.  The VEC aimed to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for all event information to be collected and dispersed via bi-weekly newsletters to the coalition.
In 2015 ECU purchased a voter registration online platform, Turbovote, to assist students in completing state specific voter registration forms and receiving important updates regarding elections.  The Voter Engagement Team (student leaders) promoted Turbovote to help students complete registration forms throughout the semester and at National Voter Registration Day & ECU Voter Registration Day events. Over 850 students utilized this new resource on campus to register to vote.  In a recent Andrew Goodman Foundation poll, ECU was ranked 13th out of 42 campuses with Andrew Goodman Foundation Fellows.  At National Voter Registration Day the student leader team partnered with Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and over 650 students pledged to vote before or on November 8th. 
To increase education, student leaders partnered with the Department of Political Science to host five On the Issue Forums focusing on issues of economy, immigration, social policy, equality, and security.  CLCE, Student Government Association, ECU Transit, and Democracy NC partnered to provide two Election Day Transit Buses to four polling locations on Election Day.  Approximately 200 students/faculty/staff received rides via the Pirates to the Polls transit bus event.  Members of the Voter Engagement Team rode the buses to ensure students knew where to vote according to their polling precinct.   Student Involvement and Leadership and the CLCE co-sponsored an Election Night Watch Party in Mendenhall Student Center from 9:00 p.m. until midnight for students to watch the election results as a community. None of this work would be possible without the partnership and open communication with the Pitt County Board of Elections.  Moving beyond the November 2016 Election, CLCE will continue to work to increase overall democratic engagement of students at ECU.

Fresh Check TY

Fresh Check Day a Success
On November 2, ECU in accordance with the Jordon Porco Foundation hosted its first Fresh Check Day. The event is part of a national initiative that uses a peer-to-peer messaging with interactive booth activities to build a bridge between students and the mental health resources and programs that exist on campus, in the Greenville community and on a national level. This particular event served as a check-in to encourage good mental, emotional, and physical health among students as various offices and student volunteers for organizations such as the Student Activities Board, Active Minds, Pirate Veteran Services, LGBT Resource Office, and the Center for Counseling and Student development came together to facilitate the interactive booths at the fair.

Overall, it was a successful event with more than 450 students in attendance. One lucky student even won a 32-inch LED HDTV that was raffled off among participants.  Others walked away with their choice of either a noticeable Fresh Check Day or a Nine Out of Ten suicide awareness t-shirt.

Healthy Tip for Social Wellness:
1.    Hang out with friends and have meaningful conversations.
2.    Join a club so you can meet new people.
3.    Talk to your family often – share your good times with them.
4.    Put down your cell phone and engage in small talk with strangers.


Sophomore September
After all the excitement of the first year wears off, sophomore students can begin to drift or experience a phenomenon known as “sophomore slump.” To address this issue, Sophomore September was designed to let students know they are not the forgotten during their second year at ECU.  Sophomore students were invited to participate in four specific programs to jump start their second year - Sophomore Starbucks, Supermarket 101, SophS’MORES and the Consider This Faculty/Sophomore Dinner.

Supermarket 101:  Supermarket 101 provided students with information on making healthy living food choices on a budget as well as grocery shopping tips.  Food Lion donated $50 gift cards so students could go grocery shopping and put the shopping strategies to work.  Results of pre and post evaluations indicated that students were able to list and use strategies learned to make healthy choices on a budget. Fifteen students participated in this event.

Sophomore Starbucks:  On a warm day in September, one hundred thirty-five students received free Starbucks Coffee and information about Sophomore September as well as other events sponsored by the Office of Student Transitions and the Division of Student Affairs.

SophS’MORES: Students were invited to enjoy SMORES in a social setting with their peers.  This was the least successful at the four events and will be revisited for September 2017.

Faculty/Student Consider This Dinner:  Dr. Rick Niswander was the guest speaker for the 5th annual Consider This Sophomore Dinner.  Students engaged in informal conversation about experiences/opportunities beyond the classroom.  It was an opportunity for students to consider possibilities they have never or not yet considered.  Former speakers at this event include:  Debbie O’Neal (deceased), Dr. David Rivera, Dr. Jamie Leibowitz, and Dr. Ron Mitchelson

Mona Amin

CLCE student creates "Freshspire"
On Oct. 7, Mona Amin, Honors College senior biology major, made a pitch to the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The smartphone app, "Freshspire," which notifies consumers about discounts on perishable foods nearing the expiration date, allowing them to take advantage of lower prices and reduce the environmental impact of wasted food. Freshspire was one of 26 startups picked to present their ideas to Wal-Mart during a Technology Open Call in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Additionally, Amin was one of a few university students and the only North Carolinian to take part in the Millennial Trains Project, a nonprofit that hosts crowd funded, cross-country train trips for young innovators from around the world. Amin traveled from Pittsburgh to Chicago, Kansas City, Missouri, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, before ending in Los Angeles.  The setting aimed to foster creativity and networking opportunities and offered meetings with specialists in Amin's field as well as local leaders at each stop. Following her MTP journey, Amin won a $3,000 Comcast NBCUniversal Impact grant which will be used to host a Hult Prize quarterfinal round at ECU, giving other students an opportunity to participate in an international startup accelerator competition for young social entrepreneurs. The competition will be held Nov. 17 at ECU's Innovation Design Lab.

The idea for Freshspire originated when Amin was in high school at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. She and other classmates recognized the ongoing food waste problems and decided to approach the solution technologically. The five women now attend four difference colleges, but each is committed to seeing Freshspire succeed. Mona is involved across campus, she serves as an Elite Pirate and Service and Leadership Assistant focused on support ECU LeaderShape programming within the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. Mona is an outstanding leader that truly represents ECU definition of leadership to inspire, empower, and influence positive social change.


Staff Transitions within Student Affairs
Marketing & Communications Welcomes Emily McLamb
Effective Monday, Oct. 17th, Emily McLamb started in her new role as the Associate Director of Communications for the Division of Student Affairs.

In her new role, Emily will be responsible for many of the key communications for the Division of Student Affairs, including, but not limited to, the Pirate 411 and On Deck with Student Affairs.  In addition, she will be the point person for Divisional social media accounts including the Inner Pirate Twitter account and Facebook account and will be adding an Instagram account as well.  Emily will oversee the Student Affairs website for content updates and placement of banner images of major events on the SA home page.  Beyond these day-to-day duties, she will work on special projects and committees that have specific marketing and communications campaigns such as the student centers projects, the annual report, and major events such as Pirate Palooza, Convocation, Halloweek and more.   

Dean of Students Welcomes Lauren Thorn
Effective Wednesday, November 16th, Lauren Thorn will be joining the Dean of Students Office as the Interim Associate Dean of Students with a particular focus on programming and new initiatives.
During her tenure at East Carolina University, Lauren has served on many campus committees, including Student Success Continuum/Conference Planning. Student Affairs Collaborative Planning, Resiliency Assessment Project, Civility Project, Rapid Response Team, Student Affairs Strategic Plan Revision, Pirate Palooza, Pledge Purple Planning (co-chair) and Continuing Career Development Committee. Lauren served as a facilitator in the 2014 Leadershape program and has assisted with the university’s chapter of To Write Love On Her Arms.
Lauren is a 2016 Chancellor’s Leadership Academy Fellow and has presented to several Chancellor Leadership Academy cohorts as well. She received the East Carolina University Student Affairs Spirit Award in 2013 along with other members of the Continuing Career Development Committee, and was recognized in 2016 for the Student Affairs Inclusion Award.

Student Affairs New Hires Since Sept. 1

• Gena Musselwhite - Accounting Technician – Campus Rec and Wellness - August 30
• Karen Kus - Associate Dean of Students and Director of Safety & Services - September 1
• Savannah Whitley - Professional Nurse – Student Health Services - September 12
• Jennifer Britt – Admin. Support Associate – SIL - September 26
• Corrinn Schwabrow - Assistant Director for Student Transitions - October 3
• Tomeka Jernigan - Administrative Support Associate – SIL - October 10

Student Affairs Staff Departing Since Sept. 1
• Courtney Robinson – Coordinator – Student Health Services - August 24
• Jordan Isley – Admin. Support Specialist – Campus Rec and Wellness – Sept. 1
• Dr. Christi Mobley – Counseling and Student Development – Oct. 7
• Yalanda Davis – WZMB Advisor – Student Media – Oct. 31