ECU recognizes outstanding alumni
(Oct. 21, 1999)
Four East Carolina University graduates were awarded Outstanding Alumni Awards for 1999 at ECU's Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 22-23.
The honorees were Layton Getsinger, associate vice chancellor for administration and finance at ECU; Beth Grant, television, motion picture and theater actress; Grover Whitehurst, professor of psychology and pediatrics at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook; and Annette Wysocki, scientific director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) at the National Institute of Health (NIH). Following a distinguished career as a naval aviator, Getsinger returned to ECU ten years ago to lead the daily operations of the university's Business Services Division. Under his direction Dowdy Student Stores, University Printing and Graphics and University Vending Operations have all shown significant increases in revenue.
Getsinger is also responsible for numerous "quality of life initiatives" and community programs such as providing nearly $3 million in student scholarships from bookstore profits, creating a book loan scholarship for all university employees, spouses and children, and initiating the university's annual holiday drive that generates food, money and toys for many Greenville families.
As an actress, Beth Grant has shared the stage and screen with many notable stars, and has created many memorable characters, like: the farmwife who lets Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in to watch the "People's Court" in Rain Man, the hysterical bus passenger who gets blown up on the bus driven by fellow ECU alumna Sandra Bullock in Speed, the town drunk who gets a make-over by transvestite Patrick Swayze in To Wong Foo, the depressed mother of a racist rapist who is drilled on the stand by Matthew McConaughey in A Time to Kill, the big-haired confidant to Kevin Spacey's Jim Bakker in Fall from Grace.
Since graduating from ECU in 1971, Grant has also acted in more than 20 plays and in many television series. She was Inez in ABC's "Maximum Bob" and Thelma, best friend and hairdresser to Delta Berke on "Delta."
Grover "Russ" Whitehurst is best known for his work in language development, expressive language delay and emerging literacy in preschool children. His basic research on language development led to the design of reading readiness programs now used in Head Start centers.
From 1990 to 1996, Whitehurst was awarded grants to study picture-book reading as a means to enhance language development in children from low-income families. His work is credited with providing essential guidelines for planning more effective intervention and training programs for parents, daycare providers and teachers. Whitehurst has been widely published in scientific journals. In 1995, he was named as one of the top 150 scholars in the field of developmental psychology based on his high level of productivity and the impact of his work on other developmental psychologists.
As scientific director of the NINR, Annette Wysocki directs a program of multidisciplinary laboratory and clinical research. She was recruited as "a nurse-scientist" who would shape and strengthen the NINR intramural research program and train a new generation of nurse scientists. Wysocki was chosen because she proved that "doing science and being a nurse were not mutually exclusive," according to The NIHCatalyst, a publication for NIH intramural scientists. Before joining the NINR in 1997, Wysocki was director of nursing research at New York University Medical Center, where she was on the faculty of the department of dermatology. Wysocki has a special interest in understanding the pathophysiology of wound healing. Since becoming scientific director of the NINR, she has worked to establish the Wound Health Laboratory. The laboratory collects material from human wounds and in combination with a variety o