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ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard speaks during the university's awards day ceremonies, while Provost Ron Mitchelson studies the order of events. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)
University awards recognize the best of ECU’s faculty, staff
April 30, 2015
By Kelly Setzer
ECU News Services
Achievements of East Carolina University’s faculty and staff took center stage at the sixth annual Founders Day and University Awards Celebration on April 29 in Hendrix Theatre.
Serving as master of ceremonies, Provost Ron Mitchelson welcomed attendees. “It makes us all especially proud to share recognition of the very best of our faculty and staff today,” he said. “Congratulations to all the nominees and recipients; you do reside at the very heart of this great university.”
Harry Smith, an ECU alumnus who serves as liaison on the UNC Board of Governors, began by presenting the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching to Dr. Carol Goodwillie. It is the highest teaching award given at the university and recognizes the sustained record of distinguished teaching by a tenured faculty member.
Senior Associate Provost Austin Bunch, left, congratulates Dr. Ed Stellwag, Department of Biology, who was honored for leadership with a Centennial Award for Excellence.
Goodwillie, an associate professor of biology, was selected for the award among nine nominees. She is known for her unique teaching methods that immerse students in biological concepts using an extended-classroom model. Her “classroom” incorporates a two-acre plot of land on ECU’s West Research Campus for exploring field research techniques.
Describing them as a “supportive and creative community,” Goodwillie thanked her biology colleagues and the broader campus community during her acceptance remarks.
“It’s an exciting time to be teaching at ECU,” she said. “Despite shrinking budgets, I read almost daily on the ECU website about yet another innovative educational program. Each of these, I think, is helping to build a broad, interconnected community of teacher-scholars here.”
She also acknowledged her husband, Dr. John Stiller from the Department of Biology, who was the 2013 recipient of the same award.
Learn more about Goodwillie at
Smith also recognized six winners for the UNC Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award:
Jill Carlson, School of Theatre and Dance
Dr. Leigh W. Cellucci, Department of Health Information Management
Dr. Ronald Cortright, Department of Kinesiology
Dr. Caitlin L. Ryan, Department of Literacy Studies, English, and History Education
Dr. Douglas K. Schneider, Department of Accounting
Dr. Heather Vance Chalcraft, Department of Biology.
Also presented at the event were the 12 Scholar-Teacher Award recipients, initially recognized on March 26 during research and creative achievement week. The winners of that award, now in its 19th year, include:
Dr. Sonja K. Bareiss, Department of Physical Therapy
Dr. Kori L. Brewer, Department of Emergency Medicine
Dr. Rebecca Fay, Department of Accounting
Dr. Rosana Ferriera, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment
Dr. Alice Richman, Department of Health Education and Promotion
Dr. Ann M. Schreier, Department of Graduate Nursing Science
Dr. Natalia Sira, Department of Child Development and Family Relations
Dr. William Sugar, Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education
Dr. Deborah Thompson, School of Communication
Dr. Sergiy Vilkomir, Department of Computer Science
Dr. Derrick Wirtz, Department of Psychology
Dr. Lester A. Zeager, Department of Economics
The East Carolina Alumni Association Awards for Teaching went to Dr. Christine Kowalczyk of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Dr. David Loy of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. Dr. Kris Kirschbaum received the Robert L. Jones Award for Outstanding Teaching.
The Max Ray Joyner Award for Faculty Service through Distance Education honors a faculty member who has shown commitment and enthusiasm in teaching and mentoring off-campus students and who has demonstrated excellence in the delivery of courses through distance education. The recipient was Dr. William Sugar, Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education.
The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement for Research or Creative Activity was John D. Shearin, III, School of Theater and Dance. Dr. Jinling Huang, Department of Biology, and Dr. Huigang Liang, Department of Management Information Systems, received the Five-Year Achievement Awards.
Also recognized at the celebration were 85 members of the eighth class of the Servire Society. These students, faculty and staff completed over 100 hours of service to the community outside of the classroom during the previous calendar year. Thirty-three of the inductees were new members.
The James R. Talton Jr. Leadership Award was given to Dr. Angela Lamson from the College of Human Ecology. The award recognizes a leader who serves others in his or her work through collaboration, empathy, trust and the ethical use of authority.
The Centennial Awards for Excellence represent the highest awards given to ECU faculty and staff for excellence in the areas of service, leadership, ambition and spirit. Recipients in the area of ambition were Dr. Virginia Carraway-Stage, Department of Nutrition Science, and Barbara Brehm, Child Development and Family Relations.
Dr. Ed Stellwag, Department of Biology, and Dr. Dorothy Muller, Office for Faculty Excellence, were recognized for leadership.
And in the service category were Dr. Marianne Montgomery, Department of English; Mike Cox, Grounds Services – Health Sciences; and the Pre-Nursing Service Team. The Pre-Nursing Service Team members from the Department of Biology include Kristen Andrews, Anthony Capehart, Jason Gee, Elizabeth Jones and Margit Schmidt.
Recipients of the spirit award were Kim Scarborough of the Brody School of Medicine dean’s office, and Dr. Lynn Roeder, Dean of Students.
Chancellor Steve Ballard thanked all nominees and winners for their hard work and dedication. “What an outstanding faculty and staff we have that make so many contributions to our students, to our region, to our state, and to our nation,” he said. “I’m very appreciative to be a small part of that.”
Pictured below, ECU biology professor Dr. Carol Goodwillie, 2015 winner of the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, speaks at the ECU Awards Day Ceremony. Seated are, left to right, Chancellor Steve Ballard, Faculty Chair Andrew Morehead and UNC Board of Governors representative Harry Smith.
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