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Two ECU doctoral programs ranked in top 10

GREENVILLE, NC   (Nov. 21, 2007)   —   Two of East Carolina University’s doctoral programs have earned top-10 rankings in a new national study of faculty scholarly productivity.

The 2007 index, produced by Academic Analytics, compiles overall institutional rankings for faculty productivity for 375 universities that offer doctoral degrees. ECU’s Kinesiology, Exercise Science and Rehabilitation program (bioenergetics), housed in the Department of Exercise Science in the College of Health and Human Performance, ranked fourth in the nation. ECU’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program, housed in the College of Allied Health Sciences, ranked ninth. Academic Analytics is a for-profit company partly owned by the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Chancellor Steve Ballard said: “I am delighted that our faculty members have received this national recognition. It is another indicator of the quality of our research strength as well as our commitment to making a difference in people’s lives.”

While the index lists nine faculty members of ECU’s bioenergetics program – two from the Brody School of medicine’s physiology department – leaders credit the work of the entire exercise science department, about 35 faculty members, as well as the program’s interdisciplinary approach to research.

“Many people beyond the nine contribute to the success of this doctoral program,” said Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of ECU’s College of Health and Human Performance. “Our partnership with physiologists at the Brody School of Medicine, as well as support from the Division of Graduate and Research Studies, has made it possible for this interdisciplinary program to receive such recognition.”

The scope of the research in the bioenergetics program examines the biological relationship between physical activity and common diseases, such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In the past year, faculty members from the College of Health and Human Performance have received about $2 million in grants, including several from the National Institutes of Health.

Established in 2000, ECU’s four-year doctoral program in bioenergetics has between 10 and 14 candidates. Joseph Houmard, director of the bioenergetics program, said he hopes the ranking will help the program to continue to attract top students, not only at the doctoral level, but in its undergraduate and master’s programs as well.

“Getting the best students to your university is a very competitive affair these days, and this ranking will hopefully aid our program, as well as others in their recruiting efforts,” Houmard said. “I think the ranking offers the ability for an ambitious student in the area of exercise science to come to ECU and study in one of the best programs in the country.”

Stephen Thomas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences, said he was proud of the 12-member research team and was pleased to see the national recognition of their hard work. Their research, he said, contributes not only to new knowledge and technology, but also helps improve the lives of many people.

“Ph.D students come here because they see the good work, not only in the research of our faculty but also in the application of the research and its effect on people’s lives,” he said. “And when our faculty conduct research, they make sure the students are involved, so when our students graduate they have a large number of articles on their resume.”

The doctoral program was established in 1997 and now has 14 full-time students. In recent years, the department’s SpeechEasy anti-stuttering device has captured international attention. Thomas noted that research in the department also has made great strides in other areas, ranging from audiology, stuttering, aphasia, auditory proc


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