Page 1

Inspiring Healer Dr. Sharon Allison-Ottey ’95

king of calibration Pharmaceuticals rely on the services of Andy Ferrell’s ’90, ’93 PCI for their success.

“Farmer Fred”


Fred Miller ’81 is making a healthy difference for many North Carolinians.

Pirates go rowing thanks to the efforts of Leo Jenkins and help from noted New England universities.

Jim Biever/Green Bay Packers

Bringing Down Big Ben “It was a great honor for me to not only play in the Super Bowl, but to start—to just be out there and be a part of it. It was a great feeling. Words can’t really describe how it was…but it felt good to help my team win.” CJ Wilson ’09, Green Bay Packers Defensive End and Super Bowl XLV Champion The night before the Super Bowl, the Packers held a team get together in which Wilson displayed his musical talents by playing piano and singing with other players as a way to relax before the big game. An eastern North Carolina native, Wilson says he misses the great ECU fans and, of course, his family.






12 know your farmer, know your food Organic is a way of life for Fred Miller ’81. Hilltop Farms provides a healthy alternative for fruits and vegetables and is the only USDA Certified Organic Produce Farm in Wake County.

18 inspiring healer Dr. Sharon Allison-Ottey ’95 is more than just a medical doctor. She is a healer, a motivator, a writer, and an inspiration for those searching for mended bodies and souls.

22 a pirate remembers

Emily Boyce ’55, ’61 is fondly remembered as an ECU educator, but her work in the communities in which she has lived may be her lasting legacy.

24 king of calibration

Andy Ferrell ’90, ’93 took his master’s thesis and turned it into a multi-million dollar company. PCI helps make today’s pharmaceuticals safe for consumers.

departments on the cover Healing and inspiration is around every corner for Dr. Sharon Allison-Ottey ’95.

2 3 7 8 26 27 32

dear pirate nation pirate connections legislative matters advancement update career corner around campus a look back

EC Alumni, the magazine of the East Carolina Alumni Association, takes a closer look at the accomplishments of our alumni, bringing you engaging feature articles highlighting their success. EC Alumni also features news from around campus, updates from University Advancement, career advice, how alumni and friends can support ECU’s legislative initiatives, and a look back at the University’s treasured history.

DEAR PIRATE NATION As I read this issue of EC Alumni, I was reminded of a famous Muhammad Ali quote. Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” In this issue, you will read about a businessman turned organic farmer, an inspirational community physician, an innovator in the pharmaceutical industry, and a beloved educator of educators. The breadth and depth of the stories in this issue showcase the many ways our alumni are making a significant impact on our state, region, and country. These alumni are examples of the vast educational opportunities offered at East Carolina and are a terrific reminder that no matter the profession, ECU alumni are making a difference. Also featured in this issue are our alumni scholars. These students represent some of East Carolina’s best and brightest students. They excel in the classroom, in the community, and are leaders on campus. More importantly, they are poised and ready to meet the challenges of the real world in the example of past graduates to continue our tradition of service that East Carolina Pirates are known for. From the many examples in this issue of EC Alumni to the excellence we have achieved in the arts, teacher and nurse preparation, world-class medical training, and accessible online education, it’s no wonder why people call us the University FOR North Carolina. If service is the rent we pay for our room on earth as Ali contends, then East Carolina’s rent is on time, paid-in-full, and we are prepared for another century of service to our region, state, and world.

The mission of the East Carolina Alumni Association is to inform, involve, and serve members of the ECU family throughout their lifelong relationship with the University.





Candi High ’97 ACCOUNTANT







Paul J. Clifford President & CEO East Carolina Alumni Association


Vol. 4, No. 2

EC Alumni (ISSN: 2152-3886) is published quarterly by the East Carolina Alumni Association. The Alumni Association is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE) and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that operates interdependently with East Carolina University. The views expressed in EC Alumni magazine do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Alumni Association or the University. Reproduction of EC Alumni in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Let’s Be Social!

©2011 East Carolina Alumni Association



To contact us or comment on this magazine: 252-328-6072 | 800-ECU-GRAD alumni@PirateAlumni.com


twitter.com/piratealumni Use the hashtag #piratealumni

Read EC Alumni online at: PirateAlumni.com/ECAlumni ISSN: 2152-5668

flickr.com/photos/piratealumni Tag your photos with piratealumni

Send change of address to: East Carolina Alumni Association Taylor-Slaughter Alumni Center 901 East Fifth Street Greenville, NC 27858 EC Alumni is paid for with non-state funds.


Make a difference in your community this April by volunteering for a service project! The Alumni Association honors the University’s mission Servire, meaning “to serve,” during the month of April by organizing and/or participating in service projects in our local communities. Regional volunteers have planned service projects in the following areas: • Greenville, NC • Harnett County, NC • New York Metro • Raleigh/Durham, NC • Tarboro, NC Visit PirateAlumni.com/servicemonth for details on each of these service opportunities. If a service project is not planned in your area, individuals are welcome to volunteer wherever help is needed. If you volunteer on your own or with a group of friends, let us know! Don’t forget to proudly wear your purple and gold and be sure to take a photo and e-mail it to us at alumni@PirateAlumni.com and we’ll post it in our online photo gallery.

Spring Reunions “Remember the Times” Black Alumni Reunion The Alumni Association’s Black Alumni chapter will hold its reunion APRil April 15-16. The inaugural weekend event will theme its programs around the late Michael Jackson and include a special presentation about the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, Gospel Choir and step show performances, and tickets to the Purple and Gold Spring football game. Also, a special recognition gala will honor a selected number of alumni who have significantly contributed to the University and made an impact in their local communities. Visit PirateAlumni.com/blackalumnireunion for more event details and to purchase tickets.


Attention Class of 1961 During ECU’s Graduation Weekend May continued on page 4

4th Annual Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run Lace up your running shoes and support ECU scholarships! The 4th Annual Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run will take place on Saturday, April 16 and begins at 9:00 a.m. at University Book Exchange in Uptown Greenville. This fun event supports ECU scholarships APRil given annually by the Alumni Association to deserving ECU undergraduates. To date, the Alumni Association has awarded 112 scholarships and last year’s race raised $4,600 for our scholarship fund. The 5K course, which is measured to certification standards, will take runners through historic Fifth Street. East Carolina Road Racing will provide timing and scoring


for the race. Awards will be presented to the first three female finishers overall, to the first three male finishers overall, and the top three female and male finishers in each of eight age group. No awards will be presented to fun run participants. All who enter will receive a race T-shirt and goody bag. The entry fee for the 5K road race or 1-mile fun run is $15 until March 31 and $25 thereafter. Registration and packet pick-up will be held from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 15 at U.B.E., and on race day from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Register online at PirateAlumni.com/ roadrace2011, call the Alumni Center at 800-ECU-GRAD, or download a registration form from PirateAlumni.com/ roadrace2011 and fax it to 252-328-4369.


April is Service Month


PIRATE CONNECTIONS 5-7, the Alumni Association will sponsor the 50th Golden Alumni Reunion. Take a walk down memory lane with an expanded campus tour, “pass the torch” MAY as you have dinner with the current graduating class at the Senior Salute and Candelight Induction ceremony, have breakfast with the Chancellor, dance the night away at the reunion dinner with beach music, and lead the Commencement ceremonies by walking the Class of 2011 into Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium; these are a few of the fun activities planned for the weekend. If you plan to attend, please consider becoming a committee member to contribute ideas and assist with planning. Contact Emily Adkins ’08 at 252-328-5557 or e-mail Emily.Adkins@PirateAlumni.com to participate as a committee member.




Escape to the Mediterranean on the next Pirate Voyage Discover the Mediterranean’s fabled seas and exotic lands on the june luxurious, upscale Oceania Cruises’ Nautica, June 2-13, 2011, the Alumni A voyage onon Oceania Cruises’ Association’s next Pirate Nautica is an exceptional Voyage. Travelers will enjoy a full itinerary experience that takes cruising starting in Venice with stops in Croatia, to new heights. Look forward Montenegro, Greece, and the coast of Italy.


to unparalleled service and

Pirate Voyages an provides in-depthopportunities travel adventure. for alumni to cultivate passion for Whether their onboard or ashore, learning through travel. We have partnered every detail is attended to; with AHI Travel and Go Next to offer your only task is to to enjoy you these special opportunities travel every sublime moment. the world with fellow Pirates at affordable rates. Visit PirateAlumni.com/piratevoyages for specific trip information or call 800-8429023 and ask about the East Carolina Alumni Association Mediterranean Inspiration trip.

Venice • Dubrovnik • Kotor • Corfu • Sicily • Sorrent Amalfi/Positano • Florence/Pisa • Monte Carlo • Portofino •

For the sixth year in a Travel & Leisure Magazin Condé Nast Traveler have Oceania Cruises as on world’s finest cruise lin


ALuMNI ASSOCIATION Board of Directors Diane Davis Ashe ’83, ’85

Celebration, FL

Carl Davis ’73, Chair

June 2 - 13, 2011 From

Michael McShane ’66 $

3,699 Alexandria, VA

Sabrina Bengel

Doug Morgan ’88

New Bern, NC

South Riding, VA

William Burnette ’96

Steve Morrisette ’69

Virginia Beach, VA

Richmond, VA

Rick Conaway ’68

Angela Moss ’97, ’98

Chesapeake, VA

Raleigh, NC

Justin Conrad ’96

Glenda Palmer-Moultrie ’79

Greensboro, NC

Derwood, MD

Raleigh, NC

Tarrick Cox ’96, ’07

Brenda Myrick ’92

Greenville, NC

Arlington, VA

Garry Dudley ’92

Greenville, NC

Jim Newman Jr. ’68, ’74

Chesterfield, VA

Charlotte, NC

Melanie Holden ’79

Raleigh, NC

Linda Lynn Tripp ’80, ’81

Raleigh, NC

Elon, NC

Wesley Johnson ’85

Greenville, NC

Emeritus Members:

Winston-Salem, NC

Powder Springs, GA Pat Lane ’67

Virgil Clark ’50

Chocowinity, NC

Greenville, NC

Harry Stubbs ’74, ’77, Vice Chair Adrian Cullin ’04, Treasurer Joanie Tolley ’65, Secretary Ernest Logemann ’68, Past Chair Paul J. Clifford, President and CEO

Greenville, NC


Charlie Martin Jr. ’68

Dave Englert ’75

Greenville, NC

Norfolk, VA

Marian McLawhorn ’67, ’88, ’97

Yvonne Pearce ’82

Grifton, NC

Greenville, NC

PIRATE CONNECTIONS 2011-2012 Scholarship Recipients The Alumni Association is proud to announce its 2011-2012 Alumni Scholarship recipients. More than 200 applications were submitted for 22 scholarships: twelve $2,500 scholarships and ten $1,000 scholarships. Congratulations to the following recipients: Alumni Association Scholarships ($2,500) Alexandria Bradford of Greenville, NC Ian Bryan of Greenville, NC Cara Carr of Clinton, NC Chelsea Guild of Chapel Hill, NC Sarah Kinsley of Greenville, NC Jatin Patel of Spartanburg, SC Ashlee Perkinson of Henderson, NC Swathi Rangan of Raleigh, NC Kaitlyn Tillery of Wake Forest, NC Alvin Tsang of Raleigh, NC Jennifer Warren of Goldsboro, NC

East Carolina Teachers College Scholarships ($1,000) Arun Ajmera of Greenville, NC Lindsay Callahan of Greensboro, NC Ryan Cole of Fredericksburg, VA Morgan Grissom of Salisbury, NC Allison Johnson of Marietta, GA Ivona Spady of Bel Air, MD

Save the Dates!

DC Metro Alumni Chapter Scholarship ($1,000) Kira Short of Fairfax, VA

September 3, 2011 Away Game Tailgate ECU vs. South Carolina in Charlotte, NC

New York Metro Alumni Chapter Scholarship ($1,000) Shannon Usa of Phillipsburg, NJ Tidewater Virginia Alumni Scholarship ($1,000) Kori Burton of Virginia Beach, VA Megan Grace Lavinder Memorial Scholarship ($1,000) Jordan Thompson of Frisco, NC Mary Jo Outland Baugh Alumni Scholarship ($2,500) Brandi Holmes of King, NC

July 11, 2011 Alumni Tailgate registration opens for members August 1, 2011 Alumni Tailgate registration opens for all

September 29, 2011 Pirate’s Bounty Scholarship Auction September 30, 2011 ECU Alumni Scholarship Classic golf tournament October 8, 2011 Away Game Tailgate - ECU vs. Houston October 22, 2011 Away Game Tailgate - ECU vs. Navy October 28-29 Homecoming



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State of the University Address excellent University and to have a chance to realize their dreams. • ONE ECU: We are all in this together and we all have a stake in the outcome. We know every element of ECU and every constituency will suffer, but our goal is to emerge with our integrity and our mission intact. • We will be as STRATEGIC as possible. We will continue to focus on our five strategic priorities and will be guided by ECU Tomorrow. These commitments define our future, and therefore, our resources will be aligned with the programs, services, and degrees that have been agreed to by our Board of Trustees as well as the statewide Board of Governors. • Finally, we will keep our eye on the LONG-TERM. We will define where we want to be at the end of this recession and stay focused. We will protect our fundamental commitments as a public university. As we continue to navigate the financial crisis, Chancellor Ballard has promised to involve and engage the entire campus community. There is no question that the budget estimates will continue to change, but we will do everything in our power to be innovative, find appropriate partnerships, and protect the student experience. It is our goal to support the work of the legislature and do our part to endure these difficult times. If it were not for the legislature’s dedicated support, then North Carolina’s institutions of higher learning would be faced with deeper cuts and more serious financial woes as other states in the nation have seen. We appreciate the efforts of state government leaders to protect higher education and we will continue to do our part as a university. As alumni of East Carolina University, we encourage you to thank your legislators for demonstrating a continued commitment to the university system, even in the midst of the uncertain economic times. Please thank them for their efforts in the past and for what they will do to support us in the future. Legislators across the state need to know that we appreciate their hard work and are grateful for their dedication to higher education.


Chancellor Steve Ballard delivered his second annual State of the University Address on February 2, 2011 to provide the ECU community with an update on what the future holds for our University. East Carolina University continues to face difficult economic times and the upcoming legislative session of the North Carolina General Assembly will be one of the most challenging in recent memory due to a state budget shortfall in the billions. The legislature will be faced with critical decisions regarding the future of our state’s universities and we hope they will respond to these challenges by maintaining their commitment to higher education. While the state revenue picture remains dismal as we face the most daunting budget picture of the last sixty years, ECU is committed to emerging from this crisis as a stronger and more efficient university. In the Chancellor’s 2011 State of the University Address, he provided a snapshot of the state’s current budget picture and identified several strategies for how ECU will manage this severe economic crisis and emerge as a fiscally stable institution. As we continue to tell ECU’s story to the forty-two new members of the state legislature, we make it a priority to remind them that we are doing our part to manage this crisis in a smart and appropriate manner. Chancellor Ballard and the entire ECU community have promised to continue our efficiency efforts and cost minimization as we navigate the future. We are among the best universities in aggressive planning for the worst-case conditions. Below are six important points Chancellor Ballard identified in his speech and asked members of the ECU family to remember regarding our fiscal condition and our outlook for the future: • We will survive this fiscal crisis and remain a great University. We are mission driven and committed to the people of North Carolina. • We are a vital part of the solution to the state’s problems. We believe in opportunity and we make a difference for eastern North Carolina. • Education is about people. ECU is about the promise of opportunity for students to have access to an



Sharpe leaves a musical legacy at ECU School of Music With his planned gift to East Carolina University, Conrad Sharpe, a friend of the East Carolina University School of Music, has set a precedent for ECU alumni and non-alumni alike by contributing to a university that he adopted as his own. Upon his passing, his bequest of certificates of deposit to the ECU School of Music will establish the Conrad Sharpe Early Music Endowment Fund and Joyner Library to establish the Conrad Sharpe Music Library Fund. Sharpe’s gift to the School of Music early music program will enable the program to purchase instruments and music, provide honoraria for clinicians and guest performers, and a wide range of other things to support the school and the program. The gift to Joyner Library will be used to enhance the Music Library’s collection and technology. “I think this gift is especially important as we work to give our music students the widest possible base from which to operate,” said School of Music Director Dr. Chris Buddo. “As they move into the professional world, the training they receive as a result of this extraordinary gift will help them to be more marketable and successful.” Originally from Los Angeles, California, Sharpe graduated magna cum laude from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1959 with a degree in engineering. After graduating, Sharpe worked with General Dynamics Corporation for 20 years. During that time he worked with a variety of divisions in a planning/engineering capacity. Sharpe moved to Greenville in 1978 to found Carolina General Equities Incorporated (CGE), chartered for real estate investment, construction, sales, and property management. The principal interest of CGE was ultra-high, energyefficient homes. However, the concept was ahead of its time and in 1980 Sharpe became the inventive, helpful manager at Radio Shack, where he worked for 23 years. Early in his life, Sharpe developed a love of music that continued to grow throughout his time in Boston, during which he expanded his collection of classical 78RPM and 33 1/3-RMP LP records and developed an interest in 18th century music.

While working with General Dynamics in Ponoma, California, Sharpe studied piano and organ; in 1977, he completed a replica of a French harpsichord. He later donated the harpsichord to ECU’s School of Music and maintained that instrument and the school’s two other harpsichords for many years. Upon the discovery in May 2010 that he had terminal cancer, Sharpe decided to donate all his earthly goods to charities in the Greenville area, since Greenville had given him so much pleasure in life. In fact, he is also donating his body to the Brody School of Medicine. In addition to his contributions to ECU, Sharpe also has made generous donations that will help National Public Radio expand their coverage, help the Salvation Army provide musical instruments to students in need, and establish an endowment for Habitat for Humanity that will enable home financing for qualified families. Like Sharpe’s bequest of certificates of deposit, bequest provisions are among the simplest yet most effective ways to make a long-lasting impact at ECU. By naming one or more of the three ECU foundations (East Carolina University Foundation Inc., East Carolina University Medical & Health Sciences Foundation Inc., and/or the East Carolina University Educational Foundation Inc. [Pirate Club]) as beneficiary of a percentage or specific dollar amount from your estate, you are investing in the future of young people for generations to come. For more information about making a planned gift to East Carolina University, contact Greg Abeyounis, assistant vice chancellor for development, at 252-3289573 or abeyounisg@ecu.edu or visit www.ecu.edu/plannedgiving.


Women’s Roundtable Spotlight: Alison Atkins Alison Atkins ’52, ’61 is a homegrown Greenville native who grew up on West Third Street just across the road from East Carolina University’s campus. Atkins grew up with a passion for singing and teaching that she cultivated into a remarkable music career that has spanned an impressive forty years. Atkins attended East Carolina University where she earned her B.S. in music education. The decision of which college to attend was an easy one for Atkins, not because she was partial to Greenville, bu because she was certain, “ECU was the best place for [her] music education in

North Carolina.” She praises her mentor, former ECU professor and premier voice teacher Gladys White, for guiding her and her classmates to successful careers. After graduating, Atkins taught elementary music education but quickly realized that teaching college-age students was her true calling. She returned to ECU and received her master’s degree in vocal performance in 1961 where she fondly says she spent, “most of those four years living in the McGuiness Theatre.” Atkins performed in several lead roles in many opera productions, including The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti, The Old Maid and the Thief, Minotti, and The Marriage of Figaro, by Mozart. In 1963 with members of the ECU Opera Theatre, Atkins was part of a month-long USO tour to the Arctic area singing at military bases in Labrador, Iceland, and Greenland. They traveled during the Christmas season and sang popular opera and pop songs of the day to entertain the troops. Atkins moved to Hays, Kansas, to teach voice at Fort Hays State University and shaped an incredible 28-year career concertizing and teaching, while becoming an associate professor of voice. She continued to teach at a private studio after a move to Lawrence, Kansas. Atkins has also been a regular performer at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, North Carolina, singing Scottish folk and art songs and

accompanying visiting artists for more than forty years. She calls it her “crossover” career and she has presented many other concerts here and in Scotland. As a result of her contributions to Scottish culture in North Carolina, she was awarded the Agnes MacRae Morton Award from the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the State of North Carolina. Atkins visited Greenville in 2007 when she was honored as one of the Women’s Roundtable 100 Incredible ECU Women and returned to North Carolina permanently in 2008 when she moved to Wilmington. Atkins became a Women’s Roundtable board member in 2009 and is proud of her role in the Women’s Roundtable’s mission to encourage leadership and philanthropy. She is committed to giving future students of ECU the needed start and encouragement to become the world leaders of tomorrow. Today, Atkins lives in Wilmington with her husband and is a private voice teacher. She has dedicated most of her life to helping students develop their voices and guiding them to achieving their goals, whether they want to reach Broadway or teach. “Singing is in my soul,” Atkins said. “The interaction between student and teacher is one of the most rewarding experiences of life.”

Register now for “Inside ECU with the Women’s Roundtable” The Women’s Roundtable at East Carolina University invites you Official “Inside ECU with the Women’s Roundtable” hotel: to “Inside ECU with the Women’s Roundtable,” an insider’s look Hilton Greenville at East Carolina University, April 8-9, 2011. Attendees will be 207 SW Greenville Boulevard treated to personalized tours, visits with professors, breakfast at Greenville, North Carolina the Chancellor’s residence, and many other exciting events. Register 252-355-5000 now to get an inside look at all things ECU! $109/night The cost of the event is $100 per person and includes all (Group name: ECU Women’s Roundtable) meals, activities, and transportation throughout the weekend. The registration fee does not include travel costs to Greenville or hotel For more information about the Women’s Roundtable, contact accommodations. Marcy Romary, ECU senior major gifts officer and director of Limited to the first 100 women who register, the registration women’s philanthropy, at 252-328-9580 or romarym@ecu.edu. deadline is March 21, 2011. To register, contact Jennifer Olson at Visit the Women’s Roundtable on the Web at 252-328-9550 or udspecialevents@ecu.edu. www.ecu.edu/womensroundtable or on Facebook! PIRATEALUMNI.COM   9


Make a gift every year. Make a difference everyday! East Carolina University has a proud heritage. With enrollment exceeding 27,000 students, ECU has been the fastestgrowing university in North Carolina for the past five years. We take great pride in the record of achievement and the success that has been established by our many Pirate alumni. National recognition, grants, and awards would not be possible without our generous alumni. You are the key! Annual alumni gifts to ECU’s academic programs provide resources for student scholarships, state-of-the-art equipment, and programs that enrich the educational experience of each student. Tuition and funding from the state does not fully cover the cost of educating today’s students. To help bridge that gap we are turning to our alumni for support—you are meeting the challenge to not only bridge that gap, but surpass it. Your annual gifts are helping our faculty

provide students with so much more than a basic education. Thank you for your continued support. Giving is a personal decision and every gift makes a difference. Throughout the year, ECU’s Annual Giving program provides multiple avenues for alumni to have an impact on the academic area of your choice. Giving through direct mail, over the phone or online at www.giving.ecu.edu, your contribution will help students today. Through Annual Giving’s Telefund program, ECU students call fellow Pirates year round. With this personal connection, students develop real life skills for life after graduation while hearing about your ECU experience and what your degree means to you. It’s also a chance to catch up on the latest campus news and events. You can designate your contribution to the college, department, or specific program of your choice. With each gift you are building the ECU of tomorrow. We want to hear from

you. Take a moment to talk with a student today! Due to state budget cuts, many of our programs rely heavily on alumni dollars, especially college and department scholarship programs. Annual giving support is crucial, helping ECU exceed education, research, and service goals regionally and globally. Your annual gifts are vital as East Carolina grows and prospers. You don’t have to wait for a phone call or a letter in the mail. ECU Annual Giving is always available at www.giving.ecu.edu. By giving online your gift will go to immediate use and save the cost of paper, postage, and resources—maximizing the impact of your gift. With all Annual Giving opportunities you can support the area you treasure the most. As an annual donor, you are an ongoing partner in ECU’s success. Thank you!


News at Six Dave Jordan


Lynnette Taylor


Help put the Second Century Campaign over the top New scholarships and professorships, updated facilities, more research and outreach projects, and increased resources for the University’s centers and institutes are the result of the Second Century Campaign. Having raised more than $190 million, East Carolina University’s Second Century Campaign has supported nearly every aspect of the University and hopes to raise even more in 2011. “The support of ECU’s alumni and friends has brought us within five percent of our original goal for the Second Century Campaign,” said ECU Vice Chancellor for Advancement Mickey Dowdy. “We can meet and surpass our $200 million goal in 2011. If you have not contributed to ECU and the Second Century Campaign, please consider how you can support this important campaign to help fund an ambitious future for our University.” Private contributions to the Second Century Campaign are extremely important in this era of declining state support. “Gifts to the Second Century Campaign can be designated to the program, school,


(December 31, 2010)

college, or area of your choice,” Dowdy said. “Your contributions, whether large or small, designated for a specific program or not, all truly make a difference at ECU.” Contribute online to the Second Century Campaign today by visiting www.giving.ecu.edu, or for more information about the campaign, visit www.ecu.edu/devt or call 252-328-9550. Support of colleges, schools, departments, centers, and institutes


Distinguished professorships and lectureships




Research, education, and outreach (Corporate / Foundation grants)


Capital projects


Total academic program support Athletics (scholarships, endowments, facilities)

$128,568,000 $61,648,000

CAMPAIGN TOTAL $190,216,000 (as of 12/31/2010) 95.1% of GOAL!

Gift Your Home Now and Stay in It for Life A retained life estate is a gift plan that allows you to donate your home, vacation home, or farm to one of the ECU foundations while retaining the right to live in it for the rest of your life and/or a term of years. If you decide to vacate your property, you may rent all or part of it or sell the property in cooperation with the ECU Real Estate Foundation Inc. When your retained life estate ends, the ECU foundation of your choice can use your property or the proceeds from the sale of your property for the purpose you designate. EXAMPLE:

If you irrevocably transfer your property with a value of $250,000 and a cost basis of $50,000, to ECU Real Estate Foundation Inc., and the right to live in it is retained for an individual, age 60: • You qualify for a federal income tax deduction of approximately $113,154. Your deduction may vary depending on the timing of your gift. Deductions for this and other gifts of long-term appreciated property will be limited to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income. You may take unused deductions of this kind over the next five years, subject to the same 30 percent limitation. • Your estate may enjoy reduced probate costs and estate taxes. • The residence sale price after the donor’s lifetime will fund a project of your choice at the East Carolina University Foundation Inc., East Carolina Medical & Health Sciences Foundation Inc., or the East Carolina Educational Foundation Inc. (Pirate Club). For more information regarding planned giving instruments, please contact Greg Abeyounis, assistant vice chancellor for development, at 252-328-9573 or e-mail at abeyounisg@ecu.edu or visit www.ecu.edu/plannedgiving.


Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Fred Miller ’81 makes farm to fork close to home




It all started with a newspaper article, a little acreage, a desire to have a “job with a purpose,” and a few good seeds. After spending years working in sales and management for office equipment companies, Fred Miller ’81 took a leap of faith and started Wake County’s first USDA Certified Organic Produce Farm. What started out as just a few acres from the larger J.C. Rowland family farm, Hilltop Farms today boasts 34 acres in picturesque Willow Springs, North Carolina, two friendly goats, chickens, horses, and a trusty Black Lab named Boomer who welcomes visitors with his

briskly wagging tail. Through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Fred and his wife Virginia are “providing a connection for the people to the land and to their food.”

When Miller graduated from ECU in 1981, farming was the furthest thing from his mind. A passionate drummer, he moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, with a fellow Buford T Band member with dreams of making a career in rock and roll. When it became evident that fame and fortune might not become a reality, he began applying for positions in the finance industry, since his degree was in accounting. “The day my dad called to offer me a job in a new restaurant he was planning to open is the same day I got an offer for a finance position from an interview I’d been on two months earlier. I’ve often wondered how my life would have been different if I’d stayed in Wilmington and took that job,” said Miller. But the pull of home found him back in Greensboro, North Carolina, where the family had settled after his dad retired from a long career in the Navy, to help run King Arthur’s Restaurant and Bar. After a time in the family business, Miller wanted to get out on his own and took a job selling office equipment. “Copier companies were always hiring back then. Photocopiers were still relatively new, so everybody was expanding and business was good,” said Miller. Working primarily with Cannon USA, Miller

held a number of positions from sales to management and was able to base himself in North Carolina; first in Greensboro, then to Virginia’s homestead in Willow Springs. (The land that encompasses Hilltop Farms has been in Virginia’s family since 1742 and was a land grant from King George II.) “After 15 years in the business, I was already developing my exit strategy. We lived here [on J.C. Rowland Farm land] at the time and part of it wasn’t being used. Virginia always had horses, so we spent weekends mending fences and tending pastures. I thought, ‘I really like this.’ I was happy on the tractor. Around 1999, I read an article in the News & Observer about CSAs and how it was a sweeping trend that was started some 5,000 years ago in the Orient. It is popular in Europe and spread to New England and is now spreading south and of course to California. Basically, people pay the farmer in advance to grow food for them. A light bulb went off and I thought, ‘OK, that’s what I want to do.’” Miller didn’t quit his day job right away, but started spending his weekends planting seedlings and taking the first steps to get his organic produce growing. “We only had one membership the first year and that was split between two people. I

“Average farm to fork is 1,500 miles for most foods you eat. With our farm it’s only 15 miles.” 14   EC ALUMNI SPRING 2011

had all this produce, so I started selling at the Farmers’ Market. The next year we had seven members and the next it had grown to sixteen members. On January 2, 2002 Miller officially became “Farmer Fred.” Now in it’s tenth season, Hilltop Farms anticipates one hundred sixty CSA members for 2011. This year, a working share membership in the CSA is $430 and these members are expected to complete twelve hours of field time; a non-working share is $495. During the season, Miller uses drop sites across Wake County to offer convenient pick-up for members. Produce can also be picked up directly from the farm. Each week offers a cornucopia of just-picked, ripe fruits and vegetables—from arguably the best strawberries in Wake County to broccoli, cucumbers, watermelons, zucchini, and almost everything in between. Members choose which produce they want each week. But farming organically isn’t easy. “We face many of the same challenges as larger farms. Disease is a bigger problem in organic and we also require more labor: tillage, cultivation, hand-pulling weeds,” said Miller. During the season, Miller and his handful of employees work 12-14 hour days, six days a week. The off-season provides a bit of respite, but seedlings in the farm’s two greenhouses require constant supervision, and fields must be prepared for the next planting. These challenges don’t stop Hilltop

Farms from thriving. “I have more sales potential than what I can produce,” commented Miller. The organic industry has seen a significant rise in demand in the last ten years and is currently growing by twenty percent each year— staggering numbers in comparison to other agriculture. Miller’s business acumen and marketing savvy certainly help the profit margin, too. In addition to the CSA, Miller is a founding partner of Eastern Carolina Organics (ECO), which consists of fifteen organic farms around North Carolina and did two million dollars in sales in 2010. ECO sells to Whole Foods Markets, local restaurants, and buying clubs. Hilltop Farms also sells at two area farmers’ markets and to a handful of local retailers and restaurants. “I can’t put all my eggs in the CSA basket, so I diversify to make up for competition and the economy.” Hilltop Farms has also had its share of publicity over the years, which help with the revenue stream. It’s been featured in a PBS documentary about farming, several articles have been written about the farm in regional publications, and local television stations find Miller’s friendly personality a great fit for agriculture related news stories. In December 2010, Miller and Hilltop Farms received the Pioneer Award from Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District for “leadership and innovation in developing

Hilltop Farms Organic Produce Beans















Sweet Potatoes

Cucumbers Eggplant Kale Lettuces Leeks Mustard Greens

Swiss Chard Tomatoes Turnips Watermelons Zucchini Flowers & Herbs

Onions Okra

Miller, wife Virginia, and Boomer visit the farm’s two friendly goats.


Seedlings need constant attention in order to grow.

Wake County’s first USDA Certified Organic Farm.” Hilltop Farms continues to take measures to ensure sustainability, like using a solar powered well for irrigation and a high tunnel greenhouse for year-round vegetable production. These measures ensure Hilltop Farms is at the forefront of organic production, providing food its members and buyers can feel good about. “Average farm to fork is 1,500 miles for most of the foods you eat,” said Miller, “with our farm it’s only 15 miles. I always say it’s a God-given instinct to be able to grow your own food and to want to grow your own food. We’ve gone away from being an agrarian society. A hundred years ago one in two families was in agriculture, now it’s one in two hundred. But with the CSA, our members can pick beans or strawberries, pull weeds or spread mulch, and they really enjoy getting back to that simpler way of life. And of course organic is ‘green’ by definition. There’s an ecological value to organic farming. It’s not just that people want to eat healthy, people want to take better care of the planet and that’s our goal as well; we’re not in it just because it’s a marketing niche. It saves on fossil fuels for delivery of food and since it’s grown organically you’re not putting chemicals in the soil that’s going to run off into the drinking water. It revolves around being environmentally friendly and that’s really what drives the organic industry. This kind of farming is a life philosophy.” Miller is proud to be doing his part to be a good steward of the land. He loves his work, the people he meets through the CSA membership, and knowing that in his own small way, he is contributing to the health and well being of hundreds of families. Visitors are welcome to tour the farm by appointment, or you can catch Miller playing drums with his band Big Head Dog at venues in Fuquay-Varina and Raleigh, North Carolina.

F a r m F r e s h R e c i p e s

Tuscan Grilled Bread And White Bean Salad Ingredients: 4 ¾-inch-thick slices Italian bread (each about 3x5 inches) 1 green bell pepper, seeded, quartered 1 large tomato, cut into ½-inch-thick slices 4 1½-inch-thick onion slices (preferable sweet onion, such as Vidalia) 6 tablespoons bottled olive oil vinaigrette 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil Fresh basil sprigs Directions: Prepare barbecue grill (medium-high heat). Arrange bread and vegetables on baking sheet. Brush bread and vegetables lightly with 3 tablespoons vinaigrette. Grill pepper and onion 6 minutes, turning occasionally. Place bread and tomato slices on barbecue. Continue to grill until pepper and onion are slightly charred, bread is toasted and tomatoes are heated-through, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer vegetables and bread to work surface; cut into bite-size pieces. Place cannellini, sliced basil, and remaining 3 tablespoons vinaigrette in large bowl; toss to coat. Mix in grilled vegetable and bread. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper; garnish with basil sprigs, if desired.


Virginia’s Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup Ingredients: 1 large or 2 medium (3 lbs. total) butternut squash, halved, seeds removed 2 tbsp. oil 1 tsp. salt, pepper ½ lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, or ½ package vegetarian patties 1 large onion, chopped 6 cloves garlic 1 tbsp. sage 1 tbsp. marjoram 6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock 1 tsp. cider vinegar or lemon juice ½ cup heavy cream (or evaporated skim milk if desire lighter) Directions: Cook squash in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Scoop flesh. In large saucepan cook sausage around 5 minutes. Add oil, onions to caramelize. Add seasonings and cook 1 more minute. Add squash, stock and boil, bring to a simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in food processor or immersion blender, strain in strainer if desired. Add vinegar and cream.


Inspiring Healer Dr. Sharon Allison-Ottey ’95 uses creativity to spread her message of health and wellness


A small town girl from Kannapolis, North Carolina, Dr. Sharon Allison-Ottey ’95 (fondly known as Dr. Sharon) found her passion for medicine in a book she read as a child. “According to my father, from an early age of five or six—it depends on what day he’s telling the story—I knew I was going to be a doctor. He tells anyone who will listen that he bought a big ABC book for me and that when I saw that ‘D’ was for dog, but also doctor, I proclaimed that this was what I was going to be when I grew up,” said Dr. Sharon. Her love for medicine has helped her make a career in health, motivational speaking, and inspirational greeting cards that offer “health moments.” The only daughter in a house with four sons, Dr. Sharon understood competition and strived in everything she did to put her best foot forward. “My family instilled in me the tenants of hard work, of giving back to the community, and of finding my own rhythm. Although I lived in a small town in the South where women were often relegated to certain roles, my family always supported me and told me that I could do absolutely anything. However, my mother wanted me to remember that I was a girl and then later a young lady, and that some things I had to learn. I am grateful to her for giving me the warmth and the mothering that allowed me to embrace my womanhood and to now love some of those ‘traditional’ roles like cooking; cleaning is definitely out but cooking, I can do that,” laughed Dr. Sharon.



A longterm researcher, advocate and voice for HIV/AIDS Dr. Allison-Ottey passionately speaks about the crisis of HIV/AIDS in African American women

Finding her calling

It was Dr. Sharon’s innate curiosity—always wanting to know the “why” of it all—that truly led her into medicine. And the first impression she made at the Brody School of Medicine was a memorable one. “I remember interviewing at ECU and at the close of my interview the then head of Brody Admissions said, ‘I have never interviewed anyone in pink.’ I wore a pink cashmere sweater dress and long matching jacket to the interview. This was despite being told that you MUST wear a black or blue suit. After acceptance and during the first year, I often saw the dean and he would call me ‘pinky.’ He said that I stood out and told me: ‘To thine own self be true’ and winked.” Dr. Sharon excelled in medical school and ECU nurtured her inner-leader. She served as president of the Student National Medical Association’s (SNMA) local chapter and became one of the first female chairman of the board of directors of the SNMA at the national level. “ECU taught me what it meant to see a tall, wide mountain that seems unconquerable—to see it and then to piece by piece climb it no matter what the obstacles, and even if you hit a rough spot (like biochemistry, physiology, phew) to keep moving forward.” Today, Dr. Sharon’s medical interests focus on health literacy, women’s health, and minority health and disparities. “I am passionate about health literacy, which is simply the ability to read, act, and understand health information. I have spent a large portion of my career working at advancing this as an agenda on the national level. I am honored to have worked on commissions and advisory boards, and spoken on this issue with many of the nation’s leading health advocates, including former surgeon generals. I am convinced that the ‘language’ of mumbo jumbo medicine must be thrown out the door and that doctors must speak the language that patients understand,” remarked Dr. Sharon. She has been featured on television shows, on radio, and in magazines as a healthcare expert and professional. “I am also very passionate about women’s health. Probably 50% of my speeches/presentations revolve around women’s issues. I recently launched a national initiative entitled Beautiful Woman Inside and Out, the focus of which is to embrace and empower women to better health and healthier lifestyle practices. I’m very committed to HIV/AIDS in women—thus the subject of my first novel—breast cancer, and domestic violence. Ten percent of all proceeds from my greeting card company are 20   EC ALUMNI SPRING 2011

donated to that end,” said Dr. Sharon. “I am dedicated to Join Us. minority health and The COSHAR Foundation has launch ed a national immun ization awareness project health disparities. I’ve and invites your congregation to particip ate. said publically that I For more information, visit www.cosharfoundation.org. don’t want to hear the words again—I want to see action. We’ve talked about it forever—so what now? There is not “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, one answer. There are T he fruit of the womb is a reward.” many answers, and we must spend less time writing long reports and more time meeting people where they are. COSHAR Foundation, Inc. childhood I’ve been fortunate to immunization initiative flyer conduct major health outreach and initiatives that have literally touched hundreds of thousands at events, through our work with the COSHAR Foundation and other organizations.” What started in 1995 out of a need to help houses of faith shape their health/wellness message, the COSHAR Foundation is a non-profit organization that is committed to impacting the health of the world, one community at a time. Dr. Sharon is one of the founders of the organization and developed its National Health Ministry Network, one of the driving forces within the foundation. “This network began with four churches and now we have more than 24,500 houses of worship and more than 350 community organizations that participate. The foundation provides technical support, offers programs and initiatives with the ‘how to’ information for our members and other churches. One of our most recently successful programs is called Saving our Children and it is a program targeting the minority community in an attempt to raise the rates of childhood vaccinations. Over the three years that we’ve operated this program, we’ve touched millions of lives. This network is a great vehicle to reach people where they are—often it is in the pews once a week—why not talk about heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, etc.,” said Dr. Sharon. For more information about free vaccines, ask your doctor, or contact your local health department.

— Psalm 127:3

The COSHAR Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to "Impacting the Health of the World, One Community at a Time." The Foundation's National Health Ministry Network (NHMN) includes more than 20,000 churches throughout the country and addresses various community health concerns. Visit us at www.cosharfoundation.org or contact us at 301-773- 4811. Supported by a grant to the COSHAR Foundation from Wyeth Vaccines.

Reaching broader audiences

With a gift for communicating and ease of public speaking, it was easy for Dr. Sharon to include motivational speaking in her career. Focused primarily on health-related issues, Dr. Sharon draws crowds wherever she presents. “I enjoy public speaking and love to feed off of the audiences. My goal is to give information in a way that is informative, but entertaining and thought provoking. I want to hear the laughter, see the tears, and feel the energy that will drive people to do something about their lives—whether that’s health, self-esteem, or motivation. I love talking about how to navigate the healthcare system, women’s health, and other topics like avoiding burnout.” Dr. Sharon is no stranger to burnout and found solace during those tough days of medical school by journaling, a hobby she started in high school. She has kept journals to escape from daily challenges and used the writing as a creative outlet; a method she says helps maintain her sanity. This creativity transitioned into another aspect of her career—author. Not only has Dr. Sharon written myriad articles for medical publications, she has also penned three books: All I Ever Did Was Love a Man, its sequel My Breaking Heart, and Is that Fried Chicken Wing Worth It? The first two are novels about a single mother and her journey through true love, romance, heartbreak, mystery, humor, and friendship. The books’ plots tie in an important medical aspect as the main character learns she is HIV positive. Dr. Sharon’s other book is a humorous, reallife approach on dealing with weight and the mindset necessary to get healthy and stay that way. She compares the number of crunches required to burn calories from one chicken wing as motivation to think twice about food and measuring one’s own self-worth. “In my fiction writing, I want readers to get lost in the characters and at the end of the day have looked inside themselves, or see others in a different light. The greatest compliments that I have gotten are ones where readers say, ‘I couldn’t put the book down.’ In my nonfiction writing, I want to equip readers with practical tools that they can readily use to improve their lives. I am always in search of the ‘aha!’ moment for myself and also try to give that to readers.”

birthday, and general cards that are beautiful and worthy of purchase without the added extra of a health moment on the back.” Cards by Dr. Sharon offers special fundraising opportunities for schools, churches, social and civic organizations. Groups can receive up to a 50% return on boxes of cards sold through the To Your Success Program. The business also offers novelty items such as magnets, ceramic mugs, and calendars. Her ultimate healing

Dr. Sharon has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for her work in promoting health education, including An actively committed advocate fighting the Scroll of Merit in 2002 from the for advancement in breast cancer research and treatment, Dr. Sharon participates in the National Medical Association. Additionally, 39-mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer she is the first female to be awarded the title chairman emeritus of the SNMA. Sharing knowledge and inspiration With the many hats Dr. Sharon is what drives Dr. Sharon. She is wears, healthcare is still her top priority. compassionate, caring, and genuinely Educating and inspiring others to a life of desires others to live healthy, fulfilling lives. wellness is her ultimate goal. “I want the Cards by Dr. Sharon is another way she public to value and put a priority on their inspires and heals. This line of greeting health. That’s it—what we value and what cards offers comforting, celebratory we prioritize we take care of. The man messages with simple health tips. “I don’t with the prized car will wash it, polish quite remember how this brain child it, and spend hours under its hood. The was born, but it really is an extension of woman with the perfect pair of designer finding unique ways to uplift, motivate, shoes will put them in a special place and slip in a little health/wellness. No to assure that they are not damaged. I matter how it was conceived, 400 cards challenge audiences all over the country to later I am in it for the long haul,” said value their health and wellness more than Dr. Sharon. “I want to be clear that these any material thing and to do all possible to are not health cards—they’re holiday, attain and maintain their best health.”

As a nationally recognized healthcare professional, Dr. Sharon has been quoted in a number of popular publications. Visit her website (www.sharondeniseallisonottey.com) for information on Hot Topics and upcoming speaking engagements.


Emily A

A beloved teacher is fondly remembered in the hearts and minds of hundreds, if not thousands of students. So many lives touched and inspired over the span of a career that it’s hard to keep track. These educators are the ones who took the time to care for their students; making each feel significant, yet challenged in the classroom. Emily S. Boyce ’55, ’61 is one such professor who scores of East Carolina alumni remember fondly. A caring individual with marked spiritedness, Boyce has dedicated her life to helping people. As a girl in Rich Square, North Carolina, a town of only 980 residents at the time, Boyce excelled in high school basketball and spent much of her free time on athletic fields and courts— even if just as a spectator. Her father farmed cotton and peanuts, and her mother managed the local bank. Boyce had a close group of friends with whom she shared her formative years. Upon matriculation at East Carolina, the college she chose for its close proximity to Northhampton County and her family, 22   EC ALUMNI SPRING 2011

Boyce was unsure of what course of study she would pursue. “I asked my mother to help me decide on my major and I ended up taking her advice. Library science and social studies was a good fit for me, and at the time, libraries were still at the heart of students’ studies,” remembered Boyce. As a librarian, Boyce introduced students to books, periodicals, and unique media that opened their minds to unending possibilities. “You have to know your audience and be able to introduce them to what they need—to help them find the right information,” said Boyce. Being a librarian was a joy for Boyce and she loved the teaching moments that she shared with students. This inspired her to enhance her career and education. She subsequently earned a master’s in guidance and counseling from East Carolina, then a master’s in library science from UNCChapel Hill. “UNC didn’t want to accept me into the graduate program because I had two degrees from ECU,” laughed Boyce. Her education was put to good use as an associate professor, then professor in

ECU’s Department of Library Science. After 18 years teaching, Boyce became the chairman of the Department of Library & Information Studies in 1982. She was the first woman to chair a department in the College of Arts & Sciences—a role she thoroughly enjoyed because she “liked a little authority.” An expert in library and information science; library and information services in society and history; and management of libraries and information centers, both for public libraries and school/media centers, Boyce knew the intricacies of Joyner Library in and out. “I am proud and pleased that I was able to teach so many non-traditional students, mostly older women who were trying to enter a new stage in their life,” recalled Boyce. “I liked the interaction with the students and enjoyed being creative in the classroom.” In addition to serving students, Boyce served East Carolina through myriad campus activities, including the University Curriculum Committee, the ECU Credit Union, the Graduate Council, Faculty

S. Boyce ’55, ’61 APIRATE REMEMBERS Senate, and Phi Kappa Phi. She also held offices in many professional associations, including the Southeastern Library Association, North Carolina Library Association, Southern Association of Colleges & Schools, the American Library Association, and International Association of School Librarianship. Boyce also served North Carolina as Governor Mike Easley’s appointed Chair of the State Library Commission from 2001-2003. In 1988, the North Carolina Association of School Librarians presented her with the Mary Peacock Douglas Award for outstanding efforts in promoting the development of school libraries in North Carolina. “To me, that was one of the most important awards that I ever got. I was truly honored.” An active member of the Pitt County/ Greenville community, Boyce volunteered with several civic organizations. Boyce’s inclination for service didn’t stop when she retired to Asheville, North Carolina. “I started a new career as a full-time community volunteer,” said Boyce. She served on the board of directors of the

Asheville Botanical Gardens and served as president of the Mediation Center Board. Many other organizations also enjoyed her leadership, including Asheville’s YWCA. At a critical time in the YWCA’s history, Boyce stepped in as president of the board and developed a successful campaign to prevent the YW from closing and built a closer working relationship with the United Way. In recognition of this work and her work in mentoring women, the YWCA board named a conference room in their building expansion in her honor. “Whether it was volunteering or working, I’ve always been devoted to whatever I do. I loved teaching and I think I was pretty good at it, too,” Boyce commented. “Teaching, libraries, and ECU are three very important things in my life and East Carolina was the avenue for me to combine all of them.” Emily lives in a retirement community in Chatham County and welcomes correspondence from former students and colleagues. Contact her at 3000 Galloway Ridge, Apartment C107, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

OTHER RECOGNITION ECU Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award, Finalist 1986 Mary Peacock Douglas Award by the North Carolina Association of School Librarians to recognize outstanding efforts in promoting the development of school libraries, October 1986 The Achievement Award and Life Membership in appreciation of outstanding service and contributions to the North Carolina Community College Learning Resources Association, September 1992 North Carolina Library Association Life Membership Award in appreciation for notable contributions to librarianship at the local, state, and national levels, 1993 ECU School of Education Outstanding Educator Award, 1994 The Baha’is of Asheville and Buncombe County, the 17th Annual Human Rights Award for promoting the equality of the status of women in the community, December 1997 Educators Hall of Fame, School of Education, East Carolina University, 2000 PIRATEALUMNI.COM   23


Many of us probably never consider the number of Food and Drug Administration regulations that play a part in our everyday lives, especially those for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. But for Andy Ferrell ’90, ’93, president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Calibrations and Instrumentation, LLC, these regulations are always on his mind and are what keep his business going strong. Founded by Ferrell in 1996 based on his graduate thesis “Contract Calibration Services for the Pharmaceutical Industry,” PCI is a consulting and technical services firm that supports life science companies with instrumentation, calibration, and cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) compliance programs. PCI specializes in instrument maintenance, calibration program implementation, process and laboratory instrument calibration, and preventative maintenance. These services meet federal regulations involving instrumentation management and documentation, and help PCI’s clients reduce service costs, enhance operations, and improve overall compliance. You may be wondering what PCI has to do with you? More than you know. Think of the last medication you took for the flu, high cholesterol, or even just a headache. Each of these drugs has been approved by the FDA for its specified use. The instruments used by pharmaceutical companies to calculate and produce exact dosages of these drugs require constant calibration, monitoring, and maintenance to remain compliant with the FDA. Incompliance could result in massive fines, lawsuits, drug recalls for a company, and severe illness or worse for consumers. PCI helps pharmaceutical and biotech companies remain compliant and keeps consumers safe by ensuring that the instruments used by these companies—ones that measure parameters like temperature, pressure, volume, weight, humidity, air flow—are performing at their government-regulated standard. But there’s more to PCI than calibration services. It also offers a metrology lab with extensive calibration capabilities; consulting for audits, training, and program development; data management of calibration and maintenance programs; and program management for entire facilities or specific departments. PCI currently serves more than 160 companies in the continental United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico—Glaxo Smith Kline, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer, just to name a few. Its headquarters are in Raleigh, North Carolina, with offices in Michigan and Indiana, and local presence in Atlanta,


King of Calibratio


Baltimore, Boston, and Indianapolis. PCI will also step in during a crisis, like a drug recall, to get a company back on track with meeting FDA regulations. Although there is not tremendous competition in the market, to keep their competitive edge PCI introduced a virtual calibration department concept in 2008. The company is also unique in its approach to employees (referred to as “associates”) as it doesn’t have human resources or sales departments. “We don’t like the term employee; it implies subordination,” said Ferrell. “We train and empower our associates to promote our business so we don’t need a sales force. We have a solid benefits package (almost a requirement to compete with Big Pharma) and we employ high-tech tools to administer 401k and medical, eliminating the need for an HR department.” Another reason why PCI doesn’t need an HR department is its reputation in its narrow market as a company that is passionate about developing resources. During graduate school, Ferrell enjoyed teaching technical writing and has implemented his love of learning into his business. PCI offers many internal training programs for its associates as well as its clients. Its headquarters is even equipped to provide multimedia satellite training and video conferencing for clients and associates. “What I like most about PCI is that I get to work with great customers and great people. We have assembled a staff that is the best of the best,” commented Ferrell. Originally from Wilson, North Carolina, Ferrell is also fervent about

ECU, which he chose to attend over UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State. He was the first in his family to attend college and received a North Carolina Veterans Affairs scholarship, “without which I am not sure I would have even gone to college, ” said Ferrell. His father served in Vietnam, was shot, and is considered partially disabled. “My scholarship was very important and one of the reasons I am passionate about funding a scholarship at ECU,” said Ferrell. The Laura and Andy Ferrell Endowment Scholarship, which was created in 2010 and is the first of its kind, will be awarded annually to a student in the College of Technology and Computer Sciences from the Engineering Department. Ferrell’s commitment to ECU includes offering co-op opportunities for engineering students at PCI, serving as a

board member for the University’s Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, as an Advancement Council member for the College of Technology & Computer Science, and as an Advisory Board member for the Engineering Department. He also occasionally speaks and gives presentations to engineering classes. “At some point, whenever I quit this business or retire at some level, I’d like to go back to teaching,” remarked Ferrell. Another good reason he stays connected with ECU. In his spare time, Ferrell serves on the American Heart Association Triangle Area Executive Leadership Team, plays tennis, and is an avid fly fisherman. He and wife Laura have two daughters Savannah and Summer.

Ferrell points out locations of companies who utilize PCI’s services.



Make Your Interviewing Powerful Step I: POWER MEETING Making a positive first impression is one of the most important aspects of interviewing. Research has shown that the impression you make in the first 30 seconds sets the tone for your interview. In order to create a positive “first impression” there are FOUR specific things you should do: 1. Direct eye contact–look the interviewers in their eyes. 2. Smile–actually show your teeth. 3. Stick your hand out FIRST and match their hand shake. 4. Repeat their name when they tell it to you. Then at the end of the interview, repeat the process: 1. Direct eye contact–look the interviewers in their eyes. 2. Smile–actually show your teeth. 3. Stick your hand out FIRST and match their hand shake. 4. Say their name. Step II. POWER GREETING In most interview situations the first question you are asked is, “Tell me about yourself ?” This question serves two purposes: 1.) it serves to break the ice and put you at ease; and 2.) it helps them identify if you have the skill of selectivity– knowing what is important to tell them. Your Power Greeting should have FOUR parts:

1. Educational background 2. Your area of interest 3. Your key areas of strength (communication, lesson planning, helping others, etc.) 4. Why you have applied for this opportunity. Step III: POWER STORIES Experience has shown that you need to prepare 3-5 stories of your successes, accomplishments, awards, best efforts, and effectiveness. However, knowing HOW to tell these stories is a LEARNED skill. There is an acronym that is used to help make your story telling effective: SAC. SITUATION Describe the condition, situation, need, problem, or challenge presented by this story. ACTION What did you do to correct the problem, resolve the situation, or take advantage of an opportunity? CONSEQUENCE What were the results of your actions? Quantify the benefit wherever possible by presenting the result in dollars, percentages, decreases, increases, reductions, time, numbers of people or products, etc. Use this acronym to prepare stories for your interview.

don’t have a good quality of life.” The event will be aired on ECU’s Channel 99, a Greenville Cable channel, and will be posted on the College of Allied Health “Creating Effective Partnerships to Reduce Sciences website at www.ecu.edu/ah. Health Disparities and Improve Minority Health” was the main topic of the 7th Beloved professor remembered Annual Jean Mills Health Symposium on February 4, 2011. The symposium featured Celebrating Four Decades of Excellence, the recognized experts who are knowledgeable Annual Speech and in the key principles of community Hearing Symposium, engagement: mutual benefits, collaborative was held October relationships, and empowerment. 21st and 22nd and Presentations focused on the scholarship is hosted each year by of engagement and on service to the the National Student community with an engagement model. Speech Language Now in its seventh year, the Jean Mills Hearing Association Health Symposium drew 150 participants (NSSLHA). The and had a waiting list, said Dr. Stephen purpose of this Thomas, dean of the ECU College of Alcontinuing education lied Health Sciences, which sponsors the Meta Downes event is to enhance event in collaboration with the ECU Medithe knowledge and cal & Health Sciences Foundation, Pitt practice of healthcare professionals who Memorial Hospital Foundation, and East- specialize in working with individuals with ern Area Health Education Center. The communication impairments and their event coincides with Black History Month. families. Jean Elaine Mills earned her bachelor’s The focus this year was client specific, degree from the University of North Caro- evidence based practice with emphasis lina at Chapel Hill in 1977 and a master’s on the pivotal role of auditory brain in public administration with a concentra- development in the acquisition of spoken tion in community health from ECU in communication, reading, and social1984. She died from breast cancer in 2000. emotional skills in children. NSSLHA has Amos T. Mills III, Jean’s brother, created the raised more than $200,000 for community symposium in an effort to keep her spirit projects and scholarships. In loving of discovery and community outreach alive. memory of the late Meta M. Downes, the “Health care is the most important thing symposium has been renamed the Meta in people’s lives,” Mills said in recognizing M. Downes ECU Speech-Language and professor emeritus Donald Ensley, who Hearing Symposium. Meta’s passion for spearheaded the creation of the event and her profession inspired students to become taught Jean Mills while she was a student at leaders in their field and the community. ECU. “If you don’t have good health, you She touched hundreds of lives in a career spanning more than thirty years as a teacher and mentor, and her contributions will always be remembered. In honor of dedication, discovery, and outreach



BUSINESS ECU ranks third in state for CPA exam pass rates

Jean Mills

East Carolina University had the thirdhighest CPA exam pass rate among major North Carolina colleges and universities for the most recent reporting period of 2009. The ranking is based on candidates without advanced degrees who passed all parts of the exam. Only Wake Forest University and PIRATEALUMNI.COM   27

AROUND CAMPUS Davidson College had higher pass rates; ECU beat out 31 other universities with a pass rate of 48.28%. “We are very proud of our students and gratified that the recent ranking reflects both the rigor of ECU’s accounting program and quality of our faculty,” Dr. Dan Schisler, chair of the Department of Accounting, said. “Both students and faculty continue to push the boundaries of excellence. In fact, our graduate students consistently perform well above the state and national average” ECU has offered an accounting program since 1982, with courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The BSBA degree track prepares students for careers in corporate accounting, government accounting, and internal auditing. The MSA program prepares students for careers in professional accounting while also integrating the content of the professional exams. ECU kicks off new insurance program

The College of Business officially kicked off its new risk management and insurance program on February 8, when a series of special events culminated with a national insurance executive visit through the Beta Gamma Sigma Distinguished Lecture Series. During a student luncheon and special presentation, insurance executive Bob Restrepo—who is chairman, president, and CEO of State Auto Insurance Companies—welcomed students to the insurance industry, which he described as an “industry in transition.” Students learned first-hand about challenges and opportunities, and they also enjoyed a Q&A session with Restrepo. Directed by Dr. Brenda Wells, an insurance expert who holds a Ph.D. in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia, ECU’s risk management and insurance concentration provides instruction in the growing field of insurance. The program is a direct result of partnerships with industry professionals. “Risk management is a broad academic field, which can include traditional insurance-related risk management— earthquakes, hurricanes, fire, life, health, and retirement planning—as well as financial risk, such as interest, exchange rates, and 28   EC ALUMNI SPRING 2011

credit,” Wells said. “Not only do we teach our students the ‘nuts and bolts’ of business at ECU, we also hone the skills essential for success in the business world. Our risk management and insurance graduates will enjoy successful careers at companies large and small and are well prepared to enter all facets of the insurance industry.” Courses offered in the risk management and insurance program include: Principles of Risk Management and Insurance, Corporate and Financial Risk Management, Commercial Property and Liability Insurance, and Employee Benefits and Retirement Planning. Students in the program also participate in industry-specific conferences throughout the year, including the annual conference of the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina. Important “decision makers” in the industry visit campus throughout the year, such as North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin, who spoke to the ECU Society of Risk Management and Insurance in 2010. Currently in its first year, the risk management and insurance concentration already has more than forty students enrolled. The program is supported by endowments from both the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina as well as the North Carolina Surplus Lines Association.

EDUCATION College of Education receives $1 million to fund the Tom and Liz Taft Distinguished Professorship for Science Education

The College of Education received a donation of $417,000 from former N.C. State Senator Thomas F. Taft and his wife Dr. Elizabeth Doster Taft, a professor in the Department of Science, Mathematics, and Instructional Technology Education. With a $250,000 matching gift from the C.D. Spangler Foundation and $333,000 from new state matching funds, the Taft’s donation will provide $1 million to fund the Tom and Liz Taft Distinguished Professorship for Science Education. Tom and Liz Taft believe that education—math and science education in particular—is key to America’s competitive edge in the global economy. And they

believe that as the largest producer of teaching professionals for North Carolina schools, ECU’s College of Education is well positioned to play an important role in maintaining that competitive edge. “The diminishing number of young people interested in and well prepared for careers in science, engineering, and technology is one of several trends that is beginning to undermine America’s competitive edge in the knowledge-based global economy,” said Tom Taft. “We hope this contribution to ECU will help recruit a world-class scholar in science education that will enhance the reputation of the department and permit them to recruit highly qualified students interested in teaching math and science in public schools.” College of Education to participate in a national pilot project

The College of Education has been invited to be one of two institutions in the state of North Carolina to participate in a national pilot project with the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) and Stanford University. The pilot project Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) is based on the Performance Assessment for California Teachers, a statewide, statemandated assessment now being tested across the country with an eye toward developing a standardized, national teacher performance assessment. The assessment is supported by validity and reliability studies and is available in nearly all content areas. Key elements of TPAC include planning, instruction, and assessment tasks and reflections; an embedded focus on academic language development; and the use of video clips for observation, assessment, and reflection. In spring 2011, interns in three teacher education programs, middle grades education, secondary English education, and secondary history education, will participate in the pilot, a total of 88 interns. These interns will be placed in classrooms across the Latham Clinical Schools Network and will require the support of dedicated clinical teachers to be successful. It is an honor to participate in the TPAC pilot as it will only serve to improve College of Education programs for teacher candidates and graduates.



Interior designer looks forward to work

Dana (pronounced Dan-a) McQueen decided to become an interior designer at the tender age of five. As she was growing up, her dad Danny McQueen, owner of the landmark McQueen’s Interiors (www.mcqueensinteriors.com) in Morehead City, North Carolina, tried unsuccessfully to interest her in less demanding occupations. “Dad knew that interior designers put in very long hours, and he wanted me to have it a little easier,” said Dana. But as an ECU interior design alum and second-generation owner of McQueen’s Interiors, Dana has no regrets. “Dad was right. My business is demanding, but I love it. I wake up each day looking forward to work, and I feel very fortunate for that,” she says. Though Dana could have worked parttime for her parents in college, she refrained. “I knew even then that a good interior designer must be committed to clients,” she says. “This business is about building relationships and that requires a time commitment.” After graduating from ECU, Dana worked as a design assistant for another ECU grad Joni Vanderslice, owner of J. Banks Design Group in Hilton Head, South Carolina. She began working for McQueen’s Interiors in 1993. The combination of work experience and the bachelor’s degree gave Dana the knowledge and confidence to buy the business from her parents in 2009. “It’s great to have Dad as a consultant,” says Dana, “but I make all the major decisions for the store now and feel comfortable with that responsibility.” McQueen’s Interiors, a full service interior design store, opened its doors in 1973 on the causeway in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. For the past 25 years, the 12,500 square foot showroom has been located in the Pelletier Shops in Morehead City. This wonderful showroom is filled with dreamy, colorful, beachy furniture, fabrics, and accessories. When asked how her industry has changed during her career, Dana says, “The greatest changes I have seen have been within the furniture industry. I hand select furniture from the Atlanta, High Point, Dallas, and New York markets, and furniture is not made the way it used to be made. Even with what’s called high-end furniture today it is hard to

Dana McQueen

find real craftsmanship. Most furniture today is shipped from overseas and comes in several boxes. Assembly is definitely required.” As far as advice for students, Dana says, “I would tell students that success comes from being serious about the profession. Be prepared to stay with a job for a few years. It takes time to build product knowledge and become confident with your designing ability. Be prepared to be as devoted to the profession as you are to your classes at ECU. Instant gratification is rare in this or any other field, but if you love it, it’s worth the effort.”

Lecture featuring Dr. Eric Kodish, chairman of the Department of Bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University. Kodish’s lecture was titled, “Why Rights are Wrong for the Ethics of Medicine: Lessons from Pediatric Ethics.” He is the principal investigator of a National Cancer Institute funded multi-site study on informed consent for pediatric leukemia trials. Dr. Kodish was highly sought to speak at this lecture because of his expertise in the treatment of pediatric cancer, and has professional ties to the Albernaz family. The lecture was held on the 87th birthday of Dr. Jose G. Albernaz. This Pediatric cancer expert spoke lecture series was established by a generous at fourth annual Jose G. gift from his son Dr. Marcus Albernaz. Albernaz Lecture The children of Dr. and Mrs. Jose G. On Friday December 3, the Brody School Albernaz have continued annual support of Medicine hosted the fourth annual Jose of the lectureship. Each year faculty and G. Albernaz Golden Apple Distinguished students of the Brody School of Medicine are invited to lunch and the lecture.


Two Brody Scholars travel abroad as part of the Brody Scholars Summer Enrichment Program

Dr. Eric Kodish, left, talks with Dr. Mary Ellen Wojtasiewicz, a research assistant professor of bioethics and interdisciplinary studies at the Brody School of Medicine.

Before the academic year began, two M1 Brody Scholars participated in the Brody Scholars Summer Enrichment program. Daniel Goble and Diana Spell submitted winning proposals for travel and were awarded the funds necessary to complete their projects. Goble spent the month of July in PIRATEALUMNI.COM   29

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Diana Spell, Brody School of Medicine class of 2013, visits with a woman from a neighboring village of Senegal, Africa.

Ecuador working with the organization Child Family Health International (CFHI). He spent most of his time precepting in the hospitals of Quito and Chone, a town in the jungle near the coast of Ecuador. He also took a Spanish class in Quito for the first two weeks of the program. The main purposes of this trip were to gain experience in indigent care, improve Spanish language skills, and to serve the patients he encountered during his stay in Ecuador. Diana Spell travelled to Kaolack, Senegal in western Africa for a 5-week stay. While in Senegal, Diana worked with the 10,000 Girls Organization, assisting community girls with reading, computer training, English as a second language, and career preparation. Her project was focused on setting up a telecommunication program with the girls in the program, which would allow Brody students to serve as mentors to girls ages 15-22 encouraging them to go to higher-level educational programs and possibly medicine as a career. The Summer Enrichment experience is part of the Brody Scholars program. Its purpose is to provide Brody Scholars with an opportunity to explore their individual interests and engage in activities that will enhance their professional development, and provide future benefits to their fellow students and the community at large.

Daniel Goble, Brody School of Medicine class of 2013, holds a newborn baby in Quito, Equador.


& COMPUTER SCIENCE Twin sisters reflect on their educational journey

The software engineering graduate program in the College of Technology and Computer Science (TECS) at East Carolina University is no walk in the park, even for students that received an undergraduate degree in the same area. But twin sisters Mekara and Natara Bryant decided this was a task they can take on and accomplish. Both sisters graduated with undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Management Information Systems, respectively, from ECU in spring of 2009. However, Mekara quickly realized she needed more in this faltering economy. After doing extensive research on the top-paid master’s degree careers, she found that software engineers were at the top of the list. Convincing her twin sister Natara to join her in pursing a graduate degree in software engineering would be her real challenge, considering Natara was planning to pursue a different master’s program. It would take weeks, but Mekara gave her sister a compelling reason to join her; and she did. “I told my sister society has already concluded that we are against the odds of being successful in this program for a variety of reasons: we’re females, we’re AfricanAmerican, and I didn’t have the computer science related background.” said, Mekara. “But, as I saw it, your background does not always determine success, but by how hard you’re willing to work and your attitude.” Mekara also knew persuading a software

engineering program to accept her, as a candidate with a degree in Psychology, would be a long shot; she could not have been more wrong. She was excited to know that ECU offered such a program and Program Director and Professor MH Tabrizi in the computer science program, would not only listen to her story, but would help her and her sister get into the program after taking the GRE. They are extremely grateful for the help of Tabrizi for giving them the chance to prove they were serious. Although both sisters admit the program is difficult, their hard work and determination has paid off with both sisters earning nothing less than a grade letter B in all classes. This May they will graduate with a master’s degree in software engineering from TECS’ computer science program. “I knew that with a strong belief in ourselves, we can excel at anything we put our minds to”, says Natara. “Our parents Alphonzo and Alice Bryant instilled that in us.” Both Professor Tabrizi and Dean David White could not have been more proud. “This is what our college is all about, creating opportunities to give all a chance who want to achieve their goals,” White said.

The Bryant twins.



Pirates to Go Rowing

The Scrounger Strikes Again—And ECC Has A New Sport RALEIGH—Dr. Leo Jenkins, president of East Carolina College in Greenville, is one of the top professional educators in this region. And unquestionably, he is the top scrounger of them all. A scrounger is a resourceful operator who always manages to come up with what he needs. East Carolina needed a new football stadium. Jenkins did some high-level scrounging and got it. The transplanted New Englander decided the school should go in for rowing, even though Greenville is landlocked. In short order, Brown University gave ECC two racing shells, Harvard promised to contribute two more, and Cornell is chipping in 10 oars. ECC needed some place to race. Jenkins’ eyes fell on the Pamlico River at little Washington. Almost incidentally, he talked some Washington residents into providing storage space for the shells and equipment, and they also agreed to build a dock. Early next week, a Greenville boating firm is going to New England to pick up the two shells at Brown (at no cost to ECC). Sixty-five students, some of whom have never seen a racing shell, have come out for

the new sport. A few of the students who rowed in prep school will serve as coaches the first year. Who’ll provide the competition? “We hope to row against West Virginia and George Washington in the Southern Conference,” said Jenkins.” Also, Brown University.” “We’ll take on anybody who’ll row against us. Next week East Carolina will inaugurate another new sport: lacrosse. Naturally a Baltimore company is donating all of the equipment for the first year. Jenkins, a Marine Corps officer in World War Two, was asked if he honed his highly developed scrounging instincts while serving in the armed forces. He allowed his post-graduate training in that art came in Raleigh as he wheedled the General Assembly on behalf of his ambitious and excellent institution. The nickname for East Carolina’s athletic teams is “Pirates.” Citation for this article is: Jenkins, Jay. “Pirates to Go Rowing,” Charlotte Observer, November 28, 1964. It can be found in the records of the Chancellor’s Office in Joyner Library. Photo citation is: Visual Materials Collection. UA55. University Archives, East Carolina University.

Rowing was all the rage at East Carolina for a little more than a decade from 1964-1976. Crew teams practiced on the Tar River and Pamlico Sound, and competed in races against long-established programs from colleges and universities in the Northeast.



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PRESORTED STANDARD US Postage PAID Permit No. 870 Lynchburg, VA Taylor-Slaughter Alumni Center Mail Stop 305 | East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27858-4353

It takes EVERY PIRATE for East Carolina to reach new heights. “Deciding to attend ECU was the best decision I ever made. Every minute I’ve been here has been the best time of my life, and I love calling Pirate Nation home!” Jennifer Warren ’13 Exercise Physiology major Goldsboro, NC

Your membership in the Alumni Association supports Alumni Scholarships, which help to retain deserving ECU undergraduates who excel in the classroom and serve the community. These students walk the same grounds you did…sit in the same classrooms you once sat in…and proudly proclaim their Pirate heritage as loudly as you do!

Become a member today. Impact students tomorrow.

Visit PirateAlumni.com/everypirate to see why each of these students loves ecu.

800-ECU-GRAD PirateAlumni.com/jointoday

Profile for East Carolina Alumni Association

EC Alumni - Spring 2011  

EC Alumni, the magazine of the East Carolina Alumni Association, takes a closer look at the accomplishments of our alumni, bringing you enga...

EC Alumni - Spring 2011  

EC Alumni, the magazine of the East Carolina Alumni Association, takes a closer look at the accomplishments of our alumni, bringing you enga...