March 17, 2014 Edition

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ACA's Impact on ECU

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is intended to put consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new “Patient’s Bill of Rights” gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health.

ACA has significant impacts on institutions of higher education and ECU is no exception. One challenge to ACA is that it has been delayed once and could be delayed again. Additionally, there are still many questions and we don’t have all the answers. Despite the fact that everything is not finalized, the measurement period for the Affordable Care Act started in October 2013. The measurement period runs for a full year, during which we have to look at all part-time, temporary and student employees and the number of hours they work. Under ACA, in its current state, we must offer healthcare coverage to any employee (staff, faculty or student) who works an average of 30 hours a week or 130 hours per month during the measurement period. The employee isn’t required to accept the offer, but we are required to offer it to them. If a student employee is paid through work-study, the ACA provisions do not affect them.

One of the big questions for Student Affairs will be the treatment of student employees who only work seasonally (i.e. summer staff, OA’s, etc.) and how that impacts their average number of hours worked during the year. To date, we don’t have the answer to that question, but Human Resources is working to clarify how we should proceed with these particular positions.

Another issue is students who work for multiple departments at ECU and then go over 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month on average. The challenge currently is there is not an accurate way for departments to track this employment status nor is there a clear process for how these are to be entered into Banner. Again, the answers to these questions aren’t finalized nor do we have an understanding as to which department would pay the money for benefits for that student if they go over the 30 hours/week or 130/month threshold.  Additional information will be forthcoming from Human Resources in the coming weeks.

Clarification - You may have heard a rumor about ACA being delayed until 2016, that delay only applies to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

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Inaugural Students' Treasure Chest Ball raises nearly $3,500

The first ever Students’ Treasure Chest Ball was held on Feb. 28th in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms.  More than 100 students, faculty and staff dressed up in their best formal attired to attend the event, themed as Gatsby’s Hollywood Affair.  The Students’ Treasure Chest (STC) is a student organization that supports ECU students who have a financial emergency.  In addition to the proceeds from tickets purchased for the ball, there was a silent auction with gift baskets, autographed footballs and much more.The silent auction raised $1,000 for STC and the total raised from tickets, the auction and fundraising for the ball was nearly $3,500.

100% of the money raised will go to STC to use for student emergencies.  To learn more about the Students’ Treasure Chest or to make a donation, visit the STC website.

SA Educator Successes

2014 Sex Ed Conf

Congratulations to Tywanna Purkett (Campus Recreation and Wellness) for being invited to participate in this year's National Sex Ed Conference Planning Committee! The invitation was officially sent to Tywanna on March 3rd by the national conference co-chairs.  As a planning team member, she will volunteer around 10 hours per month leading up to the conference, which will be held late in the fall semester.  As a committee member she will also receive free registration to the conference.  Click here to learn more about the sexual education programming offered by Tywanna Purkett and the Campus Wellness office.

AACU logoCongratulations to Kathy Hill (Assessment, Research and Retention) and Dennis McCunney (Volunteer and Service Learning Center). Kathy and Dennis received a Bringing Theory to Practice seminar grant ($1,000) from the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The seminar will be a Social Justice Education Seminar to be held on Monday, June 9 from 9am-5pm at the ECU Heart Institute. The purpose of a seminar grant is to bring together diverse members of the campus community for meaningful conversations, which will result in institutional actions. Our campus planning partners include numerous departments/individuals in Academic Affairs as well as Student Affairs, with a cadre of students to be joining the planning committee in the coming weeks.  Click here to learn more about the Social Justice Education Seminar.


Kathy Hill has been named to the Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL) Board of Directors with specific oversight for the Advancement Committee charged with the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies for SAAL to advance the field of student affairs assessment as a discipline. During 2014, the Advancement Committee is working on two major initiatives:

  1. Inventory of Student Affairs Practice: Assessing Student Learning
  2. The Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry
SAAL is a national organization, formed in 2008, where assessment leaders for Divisions of Student Affairs can share and advance conversations related to creating division assessment infrastructure, supporting assessment projects, and documenting student learning. Current membership stands at more than 325 individuals. SAAL’s 2014 annual meeting is co-located with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) annual conference in Baltimore on March 16-19.


New First Generation Student Org - Students have formed a new student organization, Students Helping Honduras.  This organization is fully recognized by the university and every member is a freshman.  This group will be travelling to James Madison University for the National Conference in March and has received financial support for this trip from SGA.  The Executive Board and advisor, Dr. Linda Mellish (Office of Student Transitions) will travel to Honduras August 2-9 for their first service opportunity.  To support their travels, the group has planned for a bake sale on March 17 in front of Wright Place, a Thrift Store in April, along with the sale of paper bricks, which will be displayed in the home, built in Honduras.

ADVISELinda Mellish (Student Transitions/Campus Living) and Trish Goltermann (Student Veteran Services) presented at the NC College Personnel Association’s 2014 Research Symposium:  ADVISE (Academic Design is Valued.  Individual Strategies are Essential)

Linda and Trish both presented a PechaKucha session.  Trish’s PechaKucha was title “Creating a Veteran Friendly Institution” and Linda’s was “First Generation Students:  Gaining Cultural Capital.”  A PechaKucha presentation is a presentation format where 20 images (slides) are shown for 20 second each.  The images advance automatically while the presenter talks along with the images.  For more information on PechaKuchad presentations visit

Linda also presented a concurrent session titled “Successful Transitions: A Guide for Student Populations.”

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SA Spotlight - OAs and First Mates

This year there were a record number of applicants for the Orientation Assistant and First Mate positions.  The 108 applicants is a 42% increase from 2013.  Orientation Assistants (OAs) are upperclass students who assist with the orientation program and guide new students (and their families) through the challenging and exciting adjustment to college life.  OAs convey information to new students and their families about ECU’s programs and services and assist with all orientation events.  Interested students complete applications, which include essays and references.  Each student then attends a group interview and an individual interview.  Thirty-six students were selected to be Orientation Assistants for 2014 and were notified in early February.

Many applicants tell stories about how their OA helped them feel welcome and comfortable on campus and they want to provide that experience for other new Pirates.  Others apply because of the excitement for ECU, friendships, and fun among the orientation staff is evident to the families and students attending orientation.  Amanda Glowacki, a sophomore OA studying Physical Education from New Jersey said, “Your staff becomes your family.”

Past OAs often share their positive experience, which encourages others to apply.  Shelby Cook, a senior nutrition and dietetics major from Charlotte said that spending the last three summers as an Orientation Assistant “has had a huge impact on me and my experience at ECU…Working orientation has improved my leadership skills…I have gained confidence and communication skills.”  Glowacki added “This job has had such an impact on me in growing as a person.  I developed more leadership skills in one summer than I have when I had leadership roles in high school or other campus organizations.”

First Mates are upperclass students who assist with the Camp P.I.R.A.T.E.S. program. This new program welcomes new Pirates to ECU with the purpose of giving them an opportunity to have fun, make friends, and learn more about life at ECU.  At camp, students participate in activities designed to help them develop new friendships, learn about resources on campus, embrace Pirate spirit and traditions, and discuss the transition to college.  First Mates assist in the planning and coordination of Camp P.I.R.A.T.E.S., facilitate small group sessions and activities, and are mentors to the new students.  Ten students were selected to be First Mates for 2014.

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Student Feature - Wrestling Against the Norm

A little advice from mom can go a long way in life. For East Carolina University sophomore Aleigha Patterson, that valuable advice came when she was a headstrong seventh grader.

“You are going to do great things,” her mom said. “Decide what you want to be, work at it and do it.”

The advice was pretty simple, but Patterson took it to heart and to the mat – the wrestling mat.  She’s now the only female competing on ECU’s Club Wrestling Team.

“I was always a rough kid and I liked wrestling,” said the Lenoir native. “I knew wrestling was pretty much done only by boys, but that wasn’t going to stop me from giving it my best shot.”

In 2008, she tried out and made the high school wrestling team. She trailed 10-1 in points going into the third period of her first match, but Patterson never quit. She remembers it vividly.

“I was able to get into a good position and put my opponent in a half nelson and pinned him to win the match,” she recalled.

Even as a girl in a male-dominated sport, Patterson pushed herself to get better. She credits high school coach Josh Woodruff as a key person in making her a better wrestler and a better person.  Woodruff was an ally when there wasn’t a long line of people in her corner, she said.

“Some coaches refused to send out a wrestler to face me. I couldn’t believe they actually took a match forfeit rather than having someone wrestle me.”

It was difficult for Patterson’s mom, Hollin Honeycutt, to hear other wrestlers and even other parents call her daughter names and tell her she didn’t belong in wrestling. But it was the physical barrages that pushed her mom over the top.

“It got to the point where my mom stopped going to the matches because it was too much for her to watch. One wrestling competitor actually punched me in the face repeatedly during a match.”

(Click here to read the rest of Aleigha's story)


WZMB new broadcast partner for ECU Women's Basketball

ECU women’s basketball is back on the airwaves.  WZMB 91.3 FM, ECU’s student radio station, began conversations with the athletics department during the fall 2013 semester.  WZMB, part of ECU Student Media, worked with SA Technology Services and Athletics to get the equipment purchased and plan implemented for broadcasting games court side.

The primary goal was to establish a strong radio partnership ready to roll out as ECU Athletics joins the American Athletic Conference in fall 2014.  However, tremendous progress was made early in the spring semester, which included student training on the new equipment and preparing commercial breaks and promotional announcements.  So much progress, in fact, that WZMB started broadcasting games this season with the first broadcast between ECU and C-USA’s first place team Middle Tennessee State.

Josh Graham and Johnny Martinez, both ECU students, are the broadcast announcers for the basketball games for the rest of the season.  A special thanks goes out to Athletics Director Jeff Compher for allowing Josh and Johnny to accompany the women’s basketball team on the road to the Conference USA conference tournament in El Paso, Texas (March 11-14).  

The live game broadcasts were available in the Greenville area on the radio on 91.3 FM or online by visiting the WZMB website ( and click on “Live Stream.”

LWCC Lindsey Gold Essay

Women's History Month Essay Contest

Students were asked to submit an essay describing how they or another female student are a Woman of Character, Courage and Commitment.  The Ledonia Wright Cultural Center hosted the essay contest and received many submissions, and 12 were chosen as semi-finalists. ECU Alumna (Elizabeth Cayton) photographed the 12 semi-finalists and framed each portrait.  The 12 pictures were displayed at the Women's History Month Opening Celebration and will continue to be displayed in the MSC 2nd floor display case for the month of March (Women's History Month).  The top 3 finalists received gift certificates.

  • 1st place wins a $350 gift certificate:  Lindsay Gold
  • 2nd Place wins a $250 gift certificate:  Chanel Williams
  • 3rd Place wins a $150 gift certificate: Maria Hammack
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Student Affairs welcomes Mo Isom 

The Student Affairs Continuing Career Development Committee will host Mo Isom, an inspirational All-American athlete, to speak about personal adversity and character, living boldly, and leadership.  Isom has enjoyed tremendous success and earth-shattering tragedies in her life.  She spent her college years as a Communications graduate and All-American goalkeeper for the LSU Women’s Soccer team but also dealt with an eating disorder, the suicide of her father, and a horrific car accident of her own.

After completing her soccer career, Isom tried out for LSU’s nationally ranked football team as a place kicker, started her own business as a professional speaker, and has performed over 2,200 volunteer hours for ministries, volunteer programs, and mission organizations including visits to Uganda and Costa Rica.  Isom, who now lives in Atlanta, has made numerous television appearances including the Christian Broadcasting Network, ESPN, Fox Sports, HLN, and Ellen.

Campus Living, Greek Life, Student Activities Board, Campus Recreation and Wellness, the Recreation & Leisure Studies Majors and Ledonia Wright Cultural Center are sponsoring the events.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

10:00 am – 11:30 amLiving BoldlyMSC, Room 15
12:00 pm – 1:30 pmInformal RA LunchSweetheart’s
5:30 pm – 6:30 pmLiving BoldlyWright Auditorium
7:30 pm – 8:30 pmLeadership & SuccessGreene Hall Lobby

Thursday, March 27, 2014

11:00 am – 12:15 pmSpeaking to RCLS Classes
12:30 pm – 1:30 pmWomen of Character, Commitment, & Courage Roundtable Lunch (Ledonia Wright Cultural Center)
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ECU Family of the Year - Spring Parents Weekend 2014

The East Carolina University Parents Council, Student Government Association and Office of Parent and Family Programs honored the Justice Family as the first "Family of the Year" during Spring Parents Weekend 2014. The award celebrates the supportive role families play in the lives of students and the University community. Honoring outstanding parents/families helps remind the East Carolina University community that families are an essential part of the support network for our students.

Students and community members were encouraged to nominate a family by submitting an essay or video nomination describing the family and why they are deserving of the Family of the Year Award.  This year’s nominations were reviewed by our panel of judges including members of the Parents Council and Student Government association based upon: creativity, family support, enthusiasm, and execution.

ECU junior Andi Justice nominated her parents, Sharon and Charlie Justice.  Andi cited her family's lifelong dedication to the pirate community, supporting her education as well as fellow students.  Andi’s nomination video may be seen online here.

The Family of the Year committee was also greatly impressed by the spirit and dedication of the Farris Family, and awarded them first runner-up.  

ECU sophomore Brittany Farris nominated her parents, Meg and David Farris, for the award.  Brittany was inspired by her parent's lead as ECU graduates, and knew ECU would always be the place for her.  Since becoming a student here, her family has shown continuous support of her academic and extra-curricular endeavors.  

Nominations for the 2015 award will begin in December 2014.


8th Annual Greek Life Banquet/Awards

The award banquet was a time to celebrate the accomplishments of our Greek Life community over the 2013 academic year. Our organizations are creating outstanding programs, quality community service events, and excelling academically.  This banquet allows the Greek Life Office to celebrate and honor our students individually and their entire chapters.

  • There were 1,208 Greeks on campus in fall of 2008 in 32 organizations. In fall of 2013 there were 2,153 students who were part of 38 organizations.  The membership total marks a 78% increase in less than 6 years.
  • Greek Life welcomed Phi Mu in the fall of 2013 the first Panhellenic expansion in over 12 years. Pi Kappa Phi returned to campus, a chapter that was chartered over 50 years ago.
  • Greeks continue to excel in the classroom and are retained at a rate 10% higher than non-Greeks.
  • The Greek Life Office took 22 students, more than ever before, to the National Black Greek Leadership and Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values Conferences in February 2013 held in Indianapolis.   
Some of the awards presented from the Greek Life Banquet included: (click here for list of full awards)

Academic Development:

  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) - Phi Beta Sigma
  • Panhellenic (PHC) - Kappa Delta
  • Interfraternity Council (IFC) - Pi Kappa Alpha
Community Service:
  • NPHC - Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) - Lambda Theta & Sigma Omicron Epsilon
  • PHC - Alpha Phi
  • IFC - Phi Gamma Delta
  • NPHC - Zeta Phi Beta 
  • PHC - Chi Omega
  • IFC - Alpha Tau Omega 
Top in Grades:
  • NPHC - Zeta Phi Beta
  • MGC - Sigma Omicron Epsilon
  • PHC - Alpha Delta Pi
  • IFC - Alpha Tau Omega 

Chapter of the Year:

  • NPHC - Sigma Gamma Rho
  • MGC - Lambda Theta Alpha
  • PHC - Zeta Tau Alpha
  • IFC - Alpha Tau Omega