Cornerstone A PUBLICATION FOR THE ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF THOMAS HARRIOT COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
The Nurture of Nature:
An Alumnus Views the Environment Through an Artistâ€™s Lens INSIDE
Evolutionary Biologist Weaves a World-wide Web of Knowledge Other Ways of Knowing: Cognitive Anthropologist Blends Authoritative Knowledge and Local Wisdom Picture This: Growing New Crops of Intellectual Capital in Eastern North Carolina Narrative Numbers: Leon Wilson Gets Them to Tell Their Stories Student in the Spotlight: Jason Glisson
THOMAS HARRIOT COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
DEPARTMENTS Anthropology Dr. Linda Wolfe, Chair 252-328-9430 Biology Dr. Jeff McKinnon, Chair 252-328-6718 Chemistry Dr. Rickey Hicks, Chair 252-328-9700 Economics Dr. Richard Ericson, Chair 252-328-6006
English Dr. Ron Mitchelson, Interim Chair 252-328-6041 Foreign Languages and Literatures Dr. Frank Romer, Chair 252-328-6232 Geography Dr. Burrell Montz, Chair 252-328-6230
Geological Sciences Dr. Steve Culver, Chair 252-328-6360
Physics Dr. John Sutherland, Chair 252-328-6739
History Dr. Gerry Prokopowicz, Interim Chair 252-328-6587
Political Science Dr. Brad Lockerbie, Chair 252-328-6030
Mathematics Dr. Tom McConnell, Interim Chair 252-328-6461 Philosophy Dr. George Bailey, Chair 252-328-6121
Psychology Dr. Kathleen Row, Chair 252-328-6634 Sociology Dr. Leon Wilson, Chair 252-328-6883
INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS African and African American Studies (BA and Minor)
Leadership Studies (Minor)
Asian Studies (Minor)*
Medieval and Renaissance Studies (Minor)
Classical Studies (Minor)*
Multidisciplinary Studies (BA and BS)
Coastal and Marine Studies (Minor)
Ethnic Studies (Minor)
North Carolina Studies (Minor)
Great Books (Minor)*
Religious Studies (Minor)*
Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (Minor)
Russian Studies (Minor)*
International Studies (Minor, MA, and Certificate in International Teaching)
Security Studies (Minor and Certificate in Security Studies) Womenâ€™s Studies (BA and Minor) * A multidisciplinary major with a focus in this area is available.
AUXILIARY OPERATIONS Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee
Harriot Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series
Center for Diversity and Inequity Research
Institute for Historical and Cultural Research
Center for the Liberal Arts
Laboratory for Instructional Technology
Center for Natural Hazards Research
Southern Coastal Heritage Program
Field Station for Coastal Studies at Lake Mattamuskeet
ADVANCEMENT COUNCIL Dean Alan R. White firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Secretary Denise Miller email@example.com
Honorary Co-chairs John M. Howell, Chancellor Emeritus Mrs. Gladys Howell Greenville, NC
Vice Chair Ms. Harvey S. Wooten Greenville, NC
Major Gifts Officer Scott Wells firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair Mr. Doug Gomes Greenville, NC
Dr. James H. Bearden Greenville, NC
Mr. John W. Forbis Greensboro, NC
Ms. Sherry Holloman Greenville, NC
Ms. Judd Oyler Marietta, GA
Mr. Thomas R. Bland Raleigh, NC
Dr. James M. Galloway, Jr. Greenville, NC
Mr. J. Phillip Horne Greenville, NC
Dr. J. Reid Parrott, Jr. Rocky Mount, NC
Dr. J. Everett Cameron Atlantic Beach, NC
Dr. Churchill Grimes Santa Cruz, CA
Mr. Mitchell L. Hunt Greensboro, NC
Mrs. Marguerite A. Perry Greenville, NC
Dr. Shirley M. Carraway Winterville, NC
Mrs. Peg C. Hardee Greenville, NC
Dr. Darrell W. Hurst Waynesboro, VA
Mr. John S. Rainey, Jr. Richmond, VA
Hon. Randy D. Doub Wilson, NC
Dr. Virginia Hardy Greenville, NC
Mr. Michael McShane Alexandria, VA
Mr. Edward T. Smith Greenville, NC
Mr. Kurt Fickling Greenville, NC
Dr. H. Denard Harris Morehead City, NC
Mr. James H. Mullen, III Greenville, NC
Mr. Tod Thorne Charlotte, NC
Dr. Paul Fletcher, Jr. Greenville, NC
Mr. W. Phillip Hodges Williamston, NC
Mr. M. Reid Overcash Raleigh, NC
Mr. Glenn C. Woodard, Jr. Atlanta, GA
Mr. Robert L. Jones Raleigh, NC
Mr. Mike W. Yorke Greenville, NC
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences 1002 Bate Building East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27858-4353 Phone: 252-328-6249 Fax: 252-328-4263 Web: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/
An introductory comment: When asked to write the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences announcement of the death of Keats Sparrow, I could hardly imagine a more humbling task. Keats himself and in his multitudinous contributions to ECU, to the state, and to education and culture in places around the globe was absolutely monumental. But in spite of the grandeur and scope of his professional activities, he was always a warm, gracious, and genuine human being. His verve for life and all of its activities was something that he shared with me in my most unusual interview about my assuming the directorship of the College’s Center for the Liberal Arts. Keats outlined the duties of the position, certainly, but he irrepressibly stated that I should take the job to have fun! The minute I was not enjoying what I was doing, I was to stop.
For Keats, life was a challenging but joyful experience. Over the years of working for and with him and on later delight-filled social occasions, we would play with language and trade literary puns (quoted or of our own devising). With his long-time Anglican communion associations coupled with his educational associations, he would, I think, relish the multiple ecclesiastical and academic meanings of “dean.” Writing this appreciation – and delivering it at his funeral – was tough, but I still had fun in just the way that Keats would have wanted me to. To his honor and memory and with deepest appreciation, this issue of Cornerstone is dedicated. — Lorraine Robinson
I n M e mo r i am : W. Ke a ts S p ar row W. Keats Sparrow, dean of East Carolina University’s College of Arts and Sciences (June 1990 to March 2003) and then of the renamed Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences (March 2003 to August 2005), died on Wednesday, November 11, 2009.
millions of dollars in private funds now augmenting state appropriations; he founded the College’s Center for the Liberal Arts as a primary advocacy agency for the liberal arts; and he established Annual Leadership Development Retreats for department chairs.
Keats’s career at ECU included his service as Professor of English and later chair of that department. But his most enduring legacy is his deanship characterized by his impassioned articulation of the mission, scope, and composition of the university’s academic cornerstone and his indefatigable efforts in strengthening the College’s timeless but always timely liberal arts mission.
American poet, physician, and essayist Oliver Wendell Holmes writes in his poem, “The Chambered Nautilus” words that aptly reflect Keats Sparrow’s dedication to building a liberal arts college that would grow and expand with every new opportunity:
Photo provided by Alan White
His significant and wide-reaching achievements are so numerous that only a few highlights can be mentioned in this brief space. Keats conceived and implemented the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Program; he created the College’s Development Office which has resulted in
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea! A Briefe and True Report: A History of Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, 1909 to 2004 speaks eloquently of Sparrow’s tenure by quoting the inscription honoring Sir Christopher Wren in London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral: Si monumentum requires, circumspice: “If you would see the man’s monument, look around you.” Keats Sparrow’s monument is more enduring than bricks and mortar, more enduring than wood and stone. Keats Sparrow’s monument is the limitless freedom of ideas characteristic of an eternal academy in which he is, surely now, also dean. Keats Sparrow tries on 16th century “styles” at the Festival Park, Manteo, NC, March 2006 1
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S 4
Welcome from the Dean
From the Chancellor From the Provost
Evolutionary Biologist Weaves a World-wide Web of Knowledge
Other Ways of Knowing: Cognitive Anthropologist Blends Authoritative Knowledge and Local Wisdom
On the cover: One of the exquisite and detailed images from nature photographer, Edward Smith. Read his story on page 12.
Picture This: Growing New Crops of Intellectual Capital in Eastern North Carolina
2009â€“2010 Harriot Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series
Narrative Numbers: Leon Wilson Gets Them to Tell Their Stories
Student in the Spotlight: Jason Glisson
20 Unbeatable Investments 21
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Annual Honor Roll of Donors
Cornerstone is a publication for the alumni and friends of Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University. It is produced by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Center for the Liberal Arts. Writer Lorraine H. Robinson Design & Layout Five to Ten Design, Inc. Photographers Cliff Hollis, Pamela Cox, Alan White
WELCOME From th e D ean What a year this has been! Harriot College has undergone and continues to undergo changes at an unprecedented rate. The closing years of the first decade of the twenty-first century have brought sweeping political change, fiscal challenges, scientific advances, controversies of almost every sort; and – for the university – surging enrollments. Institutions that have operated for decades, if not centuries, are now engaging in self-reflection and self-analysis in order to determine their best and most effective roles in an environment that “morphs” almost minute by minute. So where does a liberal arts college named for an impressive but long-dead Renaissance polymath fit into this picture? How do the goals and missions of liberal arts education relate to a global society that “twitters” and texts, that communicates instantaneously and continuously? Dean Alan White
What the liberal arts have, collectively, to offer our world is the stability of intellectual rigor and the ages-old analytical tools that can help us determine not only how to get to our goals quickly, but also the thoughtful consideration of what our goals should be. In many ways, the liberal arts – with their historically broad intellectual and imaginative freedom – provide contemporary society with a set of “rapid response” skills to help address ever-shifting situations. Another power of the liberal arts tradition is that it helps us to avoid the facile “either/or” choices that are often proposed as the only solutions to problems and challenges. The liberal arts – like Thomas Harriot, the man for whom our College is named – combine the intellectual and the eminently practical. English algebra (of which Harriot is the “father”) might not seem too useful to students in the classroom, but Harriot harnessed his mathematical skills and imaginations to solve the practical problem of how to pack spheres in the most efficiently dense arrangement. [Harriot’s spheres were not imaginary ones in some theoretical textbook but real cannonballs; and his solution to this mathematical conundrum influenced the storage and transport of spherical objects, something not lost on twenty-first century companies that move commodities via containerships.] Writers of introductions to higher education documents – and, indeed many other writers – are wearing out the Charles Dickens opening to A Tale of Two Cities. The prose that balances “the best of times” and “the worst of times” provides a chance (perhaps illusory) to put a positive spin on a challenging fiscal situation. But a Harriot College faculty member commented recently that our current fiscal situation might be viewed more productively, and perhaps more accurately, through the lens of Burgundian (and later English) theologian Anselm of Canterbury who perceived that difficulty provided unparalleled opportunities for rising above adversity. Certainly, given the gravity of the current fiscal situation, higher education has such an opportunity. And the liberal arts tradition – which has endured for almost a millennium since the founding of the first university at Bologna (in 1088) will weather this storm. Our roots run deep, and although we may emerge changed, the values of thirsting curiosity, academic excellence, and lifelong learning will remain at and indeed be our academic core as we serve more and more students. Dedicated to the memory of Dean Emeritus and friend W. Keats Sparrow, this second electronic issue of Cornerstone is just a small testimony to the enduring values of Harriot College’s liberal arts tradition. Here you will read about an ECU scholar/department chair who studies group behaviors; an anthropologist who is helping women with access to cancer care; a “celeb” biologist who studies spiders; and an alumnus who majored in English, worked in financial services, and is an accomplished photographic artist. The student spotlight focuses on a visionary young man whose academic travels have taken him to Central America and to Germany. You will read about
Harriot College development opportunities – your financial support today is more crucial than it has ever been; and you can enjoy the long list of 2008-2009 Harriot College contributors. In addition, you can see the impressive 2009-2010 Harriot College Voyages of Discovery lecture series slate on page 15. Join us for the upcoming events. So, in spite of the apparently tornadic forces that are bearing down on higher education in general, Harriot College remains vital, focused, and responsive. Helen Keller stated, “[t]he stronger the winds, the deeper the roots. The deeper the roots and the longer the winds, the more beautiful the tree.” In these strong winds, our already established liberal arts roots will keep us anchored in our core values but able to grow new and beautiful branches in directions that only the future knows.
From t he Chancello r Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, East Carolina University’s academic cornerstone, provides a broad array of academic opportunities for an ever-increasing student population. Students’ lifelong learning journeys often begin in Harriot College, but these journeys certainly don’t end at the point of graduation. Inspired by dedicated faculty and excited by research and creative opportunities, the College’s students go on to professional lives varying from underwater archaeology to television production to education to public service. This second electronic edition of Cornerstone, the College’s annual magazine provides glimpses into some of the academic riches available in Harriot College and invites your investment in an academic institution that is rooted in the liberal arts tradition but is agile and ready to respond to the challenges of the present and the future. Harriot College is a shining example of Pirate Pride: faculty, students, and alumni engaged and ready to live out in the most vital way our university’s motto, servire. Chancellor Steve Ballard
From t he P rovost For a picture of academic diversity at East Carolina University, one need only look at Harriot College. Its fifteen departments and seventeen interdisciplinary programs range boldly over the spectrum of human knowledge, and as knowledge expands in new directions, new programmatic offerings are developed by a faculty engaged and on the cutting edge of scholarship and community service. The liberal arts are those which liberate the mind and enliven the spirit, and ECU students are expanding academic and personal horizons as they participate in learning environments as varied as traditional classrooms and laboratories, distance education via computer, and service learning projects in the region. Flexible learning opportunities mean that more and more varied student populations are prepared for present and future life – ready to read closely, to think critically, to analyze closely, to write and speak cogently: ready in the years to come for personal and professional opportunities the shape of which we today can only imagine. Dr. Marilyn Sheerer
Jason Bond’s evolution as a biologist has taken him across the planet – from Chicago to his boyhood home in Clemmons, North Carolina; to Hamburg, Germany; and Seoul, Korea. Self-described as a “not particularly good high school student,” Bond was drawn to things mechanical. He studied in the aviation mechanics program in Forsyth County, interned at Messerschmidt-Bölkow-Blohm (aviation company) in Hamburg, Germany; and was a U. S. Army mechanic and crew chief on UH60 Blackhawk helicopters at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and in the demilitarized zone above Seoul, Korea.
Bond presented the feature lecture at ECU’s 2009 Darwin Day celebration. (Photo by Pamela Cox)
After that last intensely urban experience in Seoul, he returned to North Carolina to decompress and study on an ROTC scholarship at Western Carolina University in the mountain town of Cullowee. His zoology course there channeled him into the field of evolutionary biology, and his love of “gadgetry” drew him to electron microscopy. There, too, he participated in research on trap door spiders and the evolution of spinning structures and, as an undergraduate, took a course on tropical diversity in which he began his scientific publication. He went on to earn his master’s and PhD from Virginia Tech where he studied spider systematic and taxonomy.
Moving from the Linnaean (after Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus 1707-1778 who first systematized species naming) more traditional taxonomic approach of species delineation which depended heavily upon observable physical/ morphological characteristics, Bond looks at phylogeny which investigates and groups organisms based on their evolutionary relationships as indicated through molecular markers (DNA). These more “subtle” markers provide evidence that there is much more biodiversity than is often thought; understanding of biodiversity has enormous conservation implications for our planet. An early example in his career is his National Science Foundation-funded post-doctoral work at the University of Chicago where he worked on millipedes: ten thousand species described so far, maybe eighty-thousand more yet to be described. So, what’s so important about little bugs? Bond observes, “Our lives are dependent upon the natural world that surrounds us. Without spiders we would be overrun by insects; without millipedes our forests would pile up with leaves.”
Bond, the media personality, developed as a result of the naming of Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi, a spider species named in honor of Canadian musician and activist Neil Young. The Associated Press wire picked up the story, and Stephen Colbert provided the opportunity for Bond to talk to a wide public audience about his passion and subsequently name another new species after the television host. Bond’s researches have taken him to South Africa and South and Central America, and he is interested in how the field of biology has evolved over time. From Charles Darwin’s (2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth) landmark publication of Origin of the Species to the
The philosophical issues of epistemology and ontology are also at the heart of evolutionary biology, and Bond stresses the need to teach students about how scientific ideas have developed. “We need to teach students to write effectively in order to communicate important scientific information to people everywhere. A liberal arts approach helps students to learn to think creatively.” His Field Zoology course combined discussion of philosophical biodiversity issues with active lab/field work that made a biotic survey and inventory of spiders in the North Carolina coastal plain.
ECU biologist Jason Bond, left, invokes curiosity and some trepidation while showing a tarantula to a school tour group in the Howell Science Complex Feb. 12. The tours were part of the university’s Darwin Day celebration, marking the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
“Our lives are dependent upon the natural world that surrounds us. Without spiders we would be overrun by insects; without millipedes our forests would pile up with leaves.”
scientists of today and tomorrow, much about investigative methods has changed, but Darwin’s visionary insights are, collectively, the early organism from which today’s and tomorrow’s evolutionary biology is developing. Pure science, global environmental issues, macro- and microeconomics, medicine, and particularly, the field of genomics are intertwined branches on the tree of life on Earth. “As we move into the third century of what would have been Darwin’s life, we must shift our paradigm from viewing the biosphere as an inanimate object from which we are separated to the view that the biosphere is a fragile and living ecosystem of which we are both a part and upon which we are dependent. Unless we make significant changes, we will be responsible for what will go down in history as the first and only ethically non-neutral mass extinction of the flora and fauna of this planet.” In his work toward this sort of attitudinal change, Jason Bond is contributing to the web of human knowledge and inspiring students to themselves evolve into future knowledge creators. But like millipede species taxonomy, his knowledge is, happily, incomplete: “one of the most challenging and humbling but wonderful aspects of being an evolutionary biologist is that you will never learn everything.”
Jason Bond Observes
Our planet is incredibly diverse and this diversity is largely unexplored. The diversity on our planet is intrinsic to our health and quality of life; we owe our existence to the organisms and the ecosystems in which they are assembled. This diversity is disappearing and the disappearance is the consequences of the actions of a single species. We must do something about the loss of biodiversity on our planet; action that requires the participation of individuals, communities, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the world community.
“Tell me about your body,” requests cognitive anthropologist and award-winning teacher Holly Mathews as she interviews breast cancer survivors in eastern North Carolina. As a cultural broker, Mathews has been studying the national level “taken-for-granted assumptions” underlying breast self-exam and how these have filtered down to local levels. With the authoritative assumption that technology – specifically mammography – can be the earliest and most reliable diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of breast cancer, breast self-exams have been devalued in influential national reports (specifically the Cochrane review) and by national organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the Koman Foundation.
“True collaboration is beneficial because it forces all of us to examine . . . how it is that we know what we think we know.”
Holly Mathews is on the board of Zoe Restoration House, a shelter for homeless women and children. She is shown on the porch with some of the residents of the house.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recruiting a network of local women in five eastern North Carolina intervention counties. These women would serve as lay health advisors, and, unexpectedly, many were themselves breast cancer survivors. What Mathews and her colleagues discovered was a remarkable level of health self-awareness coupled with an institutional dismissal of survivors’ embodied knowledge. But beyond the casual dismissal of personal knowledge, the team uncovered authoritativelydriven examples of negligent care, overt discrimination, and significant gaps in the “safety net” of health care that was largely institutionally-based. Through the interviews done
with the women recruited to be local health advisors, the process of decision-making for these women was placed in their larger, personal cultural contexts. Mathews talked with dozens of women and recorded these wide-ranging conversations. Densely packed with all sorts of information about cultural assumptions, body selfawareness, dreams and presentiments about personal health, and anecdotal side stories, these narratives reinforced the many other ways of knowing besides those privileged in a technology- and formal systems-based society. During the project, the women who were lay health advisors quickly
understood that anecdotal data itself was not sufficient (from a scientific point of view) to counter-balance quantifiable statistical data. As Mathews wrote in her conclusion to her panel presentation to the Society for Applied Anthropology, “As a cultural broker or translator, one lesson I learned is that both authoritative and alternative knowledge systems can be exotic and opaque. True collaboration is beneficial because it forces all of us to examine . . . how it is that we know what we think we know.” Throughout her career, this open scholarship perspective has involved Mathews in examinations of traditional healing; women’s roles in the Mexican cargo system; gender perceptions and projections in “La Llorona” folk-tales and in life; and in field work in eastern North Carolina, Costa Rica, and Mexico. What brought her to anthropology from her undergraduate major in sociology was an influential faculty mentor who involved her in research that set her on her own life-path. Cognitive anthropology looks at how people organize knowledge and make decisions, and integral to this human client-centered, broad-based approach are the “schemas” – the stories, often told in in-depth interviews where the speaker (and not just the researcher) determines the structure of what is important. The scholar may have a probe and checklist, but the open-ended conversation – with its nonlinear digressions – reveals unexpected and unexpectedly important information that a structured survey might not. In addition to her field work and personal scholarly activity, Mathews teaches undergraduate classes and directs student independent studies and (deeply sensitive of the role of the personal mentor) advises all of the anthropology undergraduate majors. Her own schema currently includes invited presentations at the 6th Biennial Conference on Culture, Cancer and Literary (Tampa, FL, 2008) and the Society for Applied Anthropology (New Mexico, 2009) and publications of the proceedings of both of those organizations. She chairs or serves on numerous university and departmental committees, is a judge for ECU’s Graduate Research Week, serves on national advisory boards for various professional organizations, serves on boards of directors for local non-governmental organizations, and is troop activities coordinator for Greenville’s Boy Scout Troop 30. The day of
this interview, she had just delivered a birthday cake to the school of one of her two sons. Mathews is married to Ron Hoag, professor in the Department of English. Scholar Holly Mathews embodies the rich duality of authoritative knowledge and local wisdom and the many ways of knowing.
The scholar may have a probe and checklist, but the open-ended conversation – with its non-linear digressions – reveals unexpected and unexpectedly important information that a structured survey might not.
Matthews (left) with Troop 30 scouts on a camping trip to Pettigrew State Park and Somerset place.
Photo by Edward Smith
Rooted in the soils of the Carolina coastal plain, Harriot College Advancement Council Member Edward Tyson Smith grew up on a tobacco farm near Fountain. His family tree stretches back to colonial settlers with family names like May, Tyson, Lewis and Smith.
Sm graduated from Farmville High School and then from East Carolina Smith College (1964) with a baccalaureate degree in English. From here, he went Co on to teach in Enfield and started a master’s in public administration. After a brief b stint as assistant principal in Rocky Mount, he returned to Enfield as principal p and began a second master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He moved to the Triangle area to finish that Car educational endeavor and served in Asheboro as school principal. edu But the lure of deep eastern North Carolina connections brought Edward Smith back to Rocky Mount in a career shift as a financial advisor and Sm broker with the regional firm of Wheat, First Securities. Now in Greenville, bro he has served a client base that has grown over his 35 years in the field, and nnumbered among his clients are many significant ECU supporters. Smith comments that one of his greatest pleasures was delivering the news to ECU advancement officers of the Verona Joyner Langford bequest to the university. The library’s North Carolina Collection is named for this generous donor, and Smith was instrumental in managing and growing the wealth that helped to create this gift. Edward Smith himself has been particularly generous with his time, over the years serving on the Friends of the Library and numerous other ECU organizations. But his particular involvement in the new but already well-established Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Voyages of D Discovery Series is one of his monumental contributions. Remembering the Buc Buckley-Rodell Debates of the 1960s, Smith and others envisioned a lecture seri series that would again be a special intellectual beacon and “quality magnet” for Down East, in much the same way that the Four Seasons Chamber Music Fes Festival has been for the performing arts Edward Smith (Photo by ASAP Photo)
An especially valuable feature of Harriot College’s entire Voyages of Discovery Series is its Premier Lecture presented by a person accomplished and influential in his or her field. But beyond the lecture, the presenter also meets with students, faculty, and community leaders, growing “This is not ultimately about money — it’s about value. The value to our campus and regional constituents is enormous.” information, network connections, and inspiration. In the Voyages of Discovery Series’ brief but illustrious history (just two years), renowned paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey and writer-educator-corporate executive officer Walter Isaacson have come to Greenville as Premier Lecturers. Other distinguished presenters during the two years of the series include Lisa Norling, Felipe Fernando-Armesto, and ECU’s own W. Randolph Chitwood.
W. Randolph Chitwood
“This series is a rare opportunity for ECU and its entire service region,” comments Smith. “Looking back to the fall of 2006, when Harriot College leaders and community members sat down to discuss the possibility of a lecture series, we have come a very long way. ECU’s faculty recognizes the importance of this sort of activity and works very hard – especially John Tucker (Harriot College’s Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Program director and eastern North Carolina native) who now also serves as the series director.” “Our challenges in the future will be funding. There are major costs associated with the kind of world-class individual that we want to bring to ECU, but this is not ultimately about money – it’s about value. The value to our campus and regional constituents is enormous.” Beyond his many professional and ECU service involvements, Smith is developing his own valuable aesthetic fruit: he is a photographer whose nature photography artwork has
Photo by Edward Smith
enjoyed the success of one man shows and whose work hangs in art collections across the country. Our “influence on the environment – the natural world – is undeniable and obvious at every turn. In my view, nature photography is the reproduction of images that occur naturally in our world. [I seek to] take an artist’s view and compose an image that beautifully displays the subject without picking the flower or moving the bush.” On his website (www.ncnaturephoto.com), his works and his philosophy focus on the unadorned and unmanipulated rendering of the exquisite minutiae of reality – a footnote to the site quotes Vladimir Nabokov: “. . . in art as in science, there is no delight without the detail.”
Entrance to the Verona Joyner Langford North Carolina Collection at Joyner Library. (Photo by Pamela Cox)
The physical and intellectual panoramas of eastern North Carolina, the delicate detail of a lily (Cornerstone’s cover illustration) – all are passions for Edward Tyson Smith. His commitment to ECU through his thoughtful and energized business acumen and his visionary inspiration has helped to broaden the landscape for students, faculty, and regional constituents and grow new intellectual capital Down East.
Our “influence on the environment – the natural world – is undeniable and obvious at every turn. In my view, nature photography is the reproduction of images that occur naturally in our world.
5 photos by Ed Smith; to enjoy more of his work, see his website www.ncnaturephoto.com, 14
Lecture Series Harriot Voyages of Discovery
September 10, 2009
BREWSTER LECTURE IN HISTORY
Marcus Rediker, PhD
University of Pittsburgh, Department of History, Chair “Black Pirates: The Curious Early History of the Amistad Rebellion”
October 6, 2009
NORTH CAROLINA LECTURE
Mark Ravina, PhD
Emory University Department of Russian and East Asian Studies, Chair “Reflections on the Last Samurai”
November 6, 2009
PREMIER VOYAGES LECTURE
Gloria Steinem “Reflections on Feminism: A Voyage of Discovery with Gloria Steinem”
January 26, 2010
Walter Brueggemann, ThD, PhD
Columbia Theological Seminary, Professor Emeritus “Recovery from the Long Nightmare of Amnesia”
February 17, 2010
SALLIE SOUTHALL COTTEN LECTURE
Trudier Harris, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “Little Old Ladies and the Last Word: An Exploration of Sassiness and Risque Behavior in African American Folklore”
March 18, 2010
2010 THOMAS HARRIOT LECTURE
Theda Perdue, PhD “Native Americans of North Carolina”
For further information about the series, visit us online at www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/voyages/index. 15
Narrative Numbers: Leon Wilson Gets Them to Tell Their Stories “Give me a story.”
Leon Wilson, appointed chair of Harriot College’s Department of Sociology in January 2009, always wants a story. From his upbringing in a village of a few hundred in Guyana to the chairmanship of Harriot College’s Department of Sociology is quite a story itself. Just “wanting to be something” was an ambition beyond the dreams of most villagers, but Wilson had mentors and spiritual godfathers and godmothers who helped to make dreams into realities. His early talent for mathematics inspired him to want to be an engineer, but interest in that field was only a temporary way-station on his journey. Then his gift for compelling language won him an essay contest and garnered attention of religious leaders who directed him toward theology. Wilson completed a Bachelor of Theology at Caribbean Union College in Trinidad and was awarded a scholarship to study Religion in the United States. He earned his Master of Arts in Religion and Counseling at Andrews University in Michigan, but church structure was less intriguing to him than people, and in 1986 and 1989 he completed an MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of Michigan respectively.
Guyana: where Wilson’s own story started
But even this is not quite all of Wilson’s story. Along the way, he read and absorbed tremendous amounts of literature and its stories, and his being “steeped” in Shakespeare (his own word) was a rich preparation for the years that he mentored young people and taught literature and mathematics in Guyana. “The most valuable thing about reading literature is that it teaches one to think.” Wilson has been a tireless youth advocate and has studied the diffuse media influences that shape young people in an increasingly connected and globalized environment. His
areas of specialization for his PhD were social psychology and socialization and social control, and his prime research interest dovetails with his desire for “the story:” how are human beings “created?” Socialization (the nurture of citizens in society) and social control (imposed constraints of structures such as family, schools, or government) are at the heart of the stories that Wilson investigates, and he has harnessed his early mathematics interest to engage in advanced statistical analysis of people in their milieus, but in his advanced statistics teaching, stories come first: he says, “I get to the math last.” “In my field, we utilize complex statistical models to understand human behaviors and systems. For example, Structural Equation Models correct for the ‘error’ problems associated with separate applications of Factor Analysis and Regression Analysis and is widely used examine a variety of sociological problems and issues. We also have sophisticated techniques for handling categorical variables—uncountable factors such as race or religion. However, all our tools have errors, and in spite of readiness to admit at times, social science is imprecise because its questions are so deeply complex. And I am committed to sharing knowledge: I always make my own data available to my students, and this
has been a springboard for expanded research.” But statistical data are not the end: he exhorts his students to move beyond the numbers to the whys and hows – the human stories – behind the numbers. In the same way that data are collectively a means to the end goal of understanding, Wilson laughingly recounts his interview for his current position. “I came with no PowerPoint. Technology is a useful tool, but we get caught up in relating to it rather than to people. I wanted to talk to my interviewers, and I wanted them to see me – not some technology. I am basically a liberal arts advocate; I believe in education for education’s sake. Education is life preparation, not just training for some job that we might hold.” A parallel to Wilson’s professional story of “narrative numbers” is his personal story of his passion for the sport of cricket. Popular throughout Great Britain, Commonwealth countries, and former British colonies, the bat and ball sport is one that he plays with a team in California. With such diverse interests as mathematics and literature and theology and statistics and sociology and cricket, Wilson is certainly an all-rounder for Harriot College.
Student inn the th Spotlight
As a child, Jason Glisson grew up reading National Geographic and loved the Indiana Jones movies. But Glisson’s journey to his anthropology degree (archaeology concentration) was a circuitous one. The Goldsboro native played and taught guitar and studied with ECU’s Dr. Elliot Frank, anticipating graduating with a degree in music, but Glisson’s right hand was injured in an auto accident. Glisson looked at his collection of books – mostly archaeology – and thought, “why not try that?” When he met with ECU archaeologist Dr. “Charlie” Ewen, Glisson noticed that he and Ewen own lots of the same books – a good sign, for sure. After his second semester at ECU, Jason traveled alone around the Yucatan Peninsula, exploring Maya ruins at Ek Balam, Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Palenque, Tulum, and Coba. Tour guides there were impressed with this tourist’s knowledge of Mayan history and culture.
Glisson inside the cave that he discovered during archaeological field school.
Then in 2008, he returned to Central America to do his first archaeological field school, working with Mayan artifacts and ruins at La Milpa site. The rain forest temperatures of 100-plus degrees, the insects, and the workload were no deterrents to this dedicated worker. Glisson’s curiosity led him to request permission to explore a fourmeter-deep pit at the site. He went down and extended his arm into an empty side cavern. He could feel nothing – no ceiling at all. His instincts and imagination took off. Calling for his camera, he stuck the camera into the void and filmed a brief movie that revealed a chultun (man-made cave) that no one else had thought to explore via photo-technology. Three days later, after removing soil and sifting through it, Glisson was sitting inside the cave – probably the first human being to be there for nearly a thousand years. Then followed the discovery of enough bones to confirm that initial finds had been those of a young man. An exciting first field school.
“Seeing things from other points of view and learning how different societies operate was really broadening.”
But Glisson’s broad interest in learning extends beyond this hemisphere to German language and culture. He spent this past year in Germany in order to finish his ECU German language minor. While in Europe, he attended a Mayan hieroglyphic workshop in Paris and took a Mayan hieroglyphic course in Germany. He comments, “foreign travel was wonderful – and it taught me more about how people around the world view the United States. Seeing things from other points of view and learning how different societies operate was really broadening.” Glisson credits the support of his parents, Theresa and George Glisson, and his girlfriend with encouraging him to unearth his dreams, however far he had to travel to do so. Glisson still finds time to play the guitar and compose, to backpack on the Appalachian Trail, to design websites, and to play hockey. He overcame a fear of deep water and is now a scuba diving aficionado. His courses in Biblical archaeology sparked an abiding interest in ancient languages such as Aramaic, Phoenician, and Old Hebrew. And in his German courses at ECU, Dr. Jensen helped him to relish and embrace the challenge of learning something difficult.
Areas covered during archaeological field school.
“Sometimes we don’t want to learn about a certain subject, but we are required to. This is tough, but it really makes us better people and stronger students.” Jason Glisson plans to continue his education at the master’s and PhD levels and hopes to teach in a university one day. But learning never stops. “The learning process is humbling – you can study a subject for years and still not know half! I remind myself each day that there is much more to learn in life and in school. We as human beings never stop learning.” Harriot College’s Jason Glisson – inspired as a child by movies in popular culture and then by professors at ECU – is the focus of this student spotlight, but he’ll one day unearth knowledge about ancient archaeological chambers or the intricacy of the German language or subjects he has yet to explore. 19
Unbeatabl e I nves tm e nt s by Scott Wells
When you think about what universities and colleges consist of, two things that cannot be left off the list are students and faculty. East Carolina University, like every other university, strives to recruit the best students to come study and be inspired by the best faculty. The EC Scholars Program is a merit-based scholarship program designed to attract the most motivated and deserving high school students to our university. High school students with these extraordinary academic abilities are in high demand by the best universities. Many of these students are in the enviable position of choosing where they wish to attend, based on the scholarship support offered to them. To compete with other universities, ECU must be able to offer the same kind of scholarship packages that lead many of North Carolinaâ€™s top scholars to other in-state as well as out-of-state institutions. The Second Century Campaign will enhance the endowment for the EC Scholars Programâ€™s strong scholarship packages to atÂŹtract the best and brightest students from North Carolina and around the nation. Enhancing existing scholarships and creating new ones will help top young minds select ECU, which in turn will add to the prestige of the University. Scholarship gifts are among the most satisfying a donor can make by transforming the life of a young person. By adding your name or honoring someone else through a scholarship 20
endowment, you create a lasting legacy and inspire others. As important, your investment pays dividends by preparing future generations of leaders. Distinguished Professorships honor outstanding faculty members and at the same time help ECU attract scholars, researchers, and teachers of the highest caliber and stars in their field. The strength of every university is its faculty, and good professors are in demand. ECU students deserve the opportunity to learn from the most talented faculty that can be recruited and retained. Endowments supporting distinguished professorships provide funds that will enable faculty to further their professional academic objectives and bring excitement to the classroom. The Second Century Campaign will add to the number of endowments that support distinguished professorships. Creating new professorships will increase opportunities to attract extraordinary faculty to ECU and provide inspiration in their classrooms. With your help, we can make sure that financial concerns are never an obstacle to an East Carolina University education. Plan to invest in ECU students and faculty today by contacting Scott Wells, Major Gifts Officer, email@example.com or 252.328.9560 or Jennifer Tripp, Director of Development, firstname.lastname@example.org or 252.328.4901.
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Annual Honor Roll of Donors During the past year, hundreds of friends have generously supported Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences with their financial gifts. In these days of shrinking government funding, contributions from institutions and individuals provide expanded programming, academic opportunities, and liberal arts enrichment for students and faculty. The following list reflects gifts made to Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences from July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009. To notify us of any changes or to add your name to the list, please contact Harriot Collegeâ€™s Director of Development, Jennifer Tripp, 252-328-4901. Updated as of December 11, 2009
Patricia Anne Abbott Jessica Gardner Adams Marc Stuart Adler Bruce David and Sue S. Akers Joyce D. Akins Akvaplan-niva AS Tony and Glenda K. Alcock M. Lee Alcorn Jr. Patrice Elaine Alexander Fred and Mary Ann Alford Murray McCheyne and Jean Brock Alford Albert G. and Frances Allen Jimmy and Carolyn W. Allen Charles Stewart and Corene Allen George and Chere M. Allen Robert Ross and Mary Louise Allen Larry D. and Claudia W. Alligood Ronald Steven Alligood Christopher Greene and Becky Allison Vance Calvin and Ann Byrd Alphin Thomas Nichol and Katherine Anne Altieri Altria Group Inc. Gary and Deborah Downes Ambert American International Group Ralph Allen Amos III Billy and Ann Demiter Anderson Debra L. Anderson Gerald T. and Bonita Anderson John Robert and Lucinda Anderson Mitchell T. and Tammy Smithson Anderson Stephen Henry and Eve W. Andrews James Kent and Verna T. Apple Walter B. and Leslie Applewhite Joseph Junior Askew John H. Atkinson Debbie Barwick Audilet Christopher John and Jennifer H. Augustine Thomas Edgar and Susan Austin
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Mark Allen and Primitiva Palitayan Kilgore Paul W. Killian Jr. Harry G. and Shelby McIntyre Kilpatrick Mary Cushman Kimberly Alan W. and Elisa T. King Gene and Judy A. King Rudy and Linda B. King Stephen Leigh Kinney C. Ralph and Sylvia Smith Kinsey J. Ray and Martha Kirby Robert A. and H. Jean Klein Rufus Henry and Elise Diamond Knott Richard William and Adrienne Koehler Joshua Glenn and Celeste Kohler Christopher Chad Kornegay Jeffrey Todd and Jennifer Russell Kornegay William Alfred and Barbara Harris Kremer Carol J. Kross Don and Michelle C. Krueger Christopher M. and Jennifer Crawley Kruszewski Kevin J. and Tracey Turpin Kunkler James C. and Peggy M. Kyzer Enrico and Joyce A. La Monica Joyce S. Lackey Jon Michael Lago Amanda McCorkle Laird Jessie Lamb Kevin and Samantha F. Lancaster Charles and Lora B. Landreth Lanny and Julie Landry Phyllis K. Lang Michael John and Victoria Hall Langer Mark and Brenda Neblett Langley Ralph Gray and Tamara Ann Langley Jeffrey D. and Michelle Langrehr Mark Hines and Roseann T. LaRoque Rebecca Donna Lasater Donald L. and Therese P. Lawler Julia Moore Lawrence L. Brent Lawrence Reid Douglas and Rosemarie Lawrence Sellers Crisp Lawrence Susan Elizabeth Lawrence Dean Ford Lawson Alex H. and Sandra Leary Randall P. and Millie LeBlond Kenneth H. and Marjorie K. LeCour Earl Columbus Lee Gary Lynn and Freda Peal Lee Darry and Glenda F. Lee
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Perpetual Legacy Leave Your
with Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences while gaining estate tax and/or income tax savings.
Planned gifts are among the most convenient and tax advantageous ways to make a meaningful contribution toward Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. These gifts, which reduce estate tax, capital gains tax and income tax, include: • Bequest provisions in your will • Beneficiary designation in your 401k, 403b, and IRA retirement accounts • Gifts of life insurance • Gifts of real Estate and appreciated securities Revenue producing gifts: • Charitable Gift Annuities – funded by appreciated assets • Charitable Remainder Trusts – funded by appreciated assets
To learn more about one or all of these planned giving options, as well as membership in The Leo Jenkins Society, please contact Scott Wells, Major Gifts Officer, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, at 252-328-9560 or e-mail at email@example.com, or Greg Abeyounis, Director of Planned Giving, at 252-328-9573 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to request greater detailed information about these planned giving methods found in a booklet entitled, “A Guide to Creative Planned Giving Arrangements” or schedule an appointment to discuss how these gifts can help you leave a legacy at ECU.