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healing heroEs

Brigadier General Jeffrey Clark ’84 leads the nation’s top military hospital






14 doing well by doing good Entrepreneur Valeria Lassiter ’90 is in the business of helping others

16 fighting hunger Half United co-founder Carmin Black ’07 donates half her profits to fight hunger

20 healing heroes

Brigadier General Jeffrey Clark ’84 leads the nation’s top military hospital

22 q&a with jim bazluki

Jim Bazluki ’90, ’93 was recently inducted into the NC Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame


ON THE COVER Brigadier General Jeffrey Clark ’84 speaks to Army soldiers.

2 3 6 8 10 23 24 32

dear pirate nation pirate connections photo gallery 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 Summer is a busy time at ECU. Even as East Carolina celebrates the success of the graduates of the class of 2014, we are in the midst of welcoming the class of 2018 to campus for freshman orientation. Summer in Greenville is a time for a new freshman class filled with anticipation, palpable back-to-school excitement, and just around the corner — ECU football! Here’s hoping that your summer is going well and is affording you some time for rest and relaxation. ECU has built a strong academic reputation based upon its emphasis on academic excellence, leadership, and service. Our health sciences division with its programs in medicine, nursing, and allied health sciences is now even better positioned to serve with the addition of the School of Dental Medicine. New programs in engineering and the emergence of the Honors College as a national leader demonstrate that our university is moving forward in new and exciting ways. Good things are happening at your alma mater! While our success clearly is led by our remarkable faculty and staff with the support of the citizens of North Carolina, we are indebted to you as alumni and friends for the extra measure of excellence that you make possible through your financial gifts and your unselfish service. Clearly, ECU is a success story. Just as clear is the untapped potential support of alumni who have not yet taken the important step to join the Alumni Association. East Carolina’s alumni total 150,000. Imagine the amazing power that the financial support of 150,000 alumni could contribute to our university. Granted, it would be a miracle to have 100% alumni participation, but we join the staff in Alumni Relations and the members of the aumni association board in encouraging all alumni to become members of the alumni association. Thank you for your membership in the alumni association. We hope that those of you who are annual members will consider an even stronger alumni commitment by becoming a Forever Pirate or a Centennial Pirate. Best wishes for a most pleasant summer.

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





Christopher Dyba Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

Richard R. Eakin Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations ALUMNI

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 is a 501(c)3 nonprofit 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!

©2014 East Carolina Alumni Association Read EC Alumni online at: ISSN: 2152-5668

TM Use the hashtag #piratealumni

VOL. 7, NO. 3

To contact us or comment on this magazine: 252-328-4723 | 800-ECU-GRAD Tag your photos with piratealumni

Send change of address to: East Carolina Alumni Association Taylor-Slaughter Alumni Center Mail Stop 305 East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27858-4353 EC Alumni is paid for with non-state funds.


Buccaneer Buffet


SEPT. 20

OCT. 4

OCT. 23


vs. UNCChapel Hill

vs. SMU


Heavenly Sweets

Mama’s Sweet Baby Cakes



by LeAne

Delicious cakes and cupcakes for any occasion!


NOV. 22

DEC. 4


vs. UCF


ECU vs. South Carolina Saturday, September 6, 2014 Visit for details.

You Dream It, We Can Make It!!

ECU vs. Temple Saturday, November 1, 2014 Visit for details.

Alumni Awards


Alumni Tailgate is now Buccaneer Buffet! The East Carolina Alumni Association’s tailgate has a new name, but still offers the same familyfriendly fun with fellow Pirates before each home football game. Enjoy a variety of food from local restaurants, beverages, live music and entertainment, door prizes, and more, including visits from the ECU Cheerleaders! As always, our tailgates are open to any friends and fans of East Carolina. Buccaneer Buffet will now begin at a new time of three hours prior to kick-off for each home game at the ECU Soccer Stadium. Tickets are $10 for alumni association members and $25 for non-members. Children under 12 are free. Registration opens Tuesday, July 8 for members and Friday, August 1 for non-members. Tickets are available on a firstcome, first-served basis. Some tailgates do sell out quickly, so plan to register well in advance. Tickets are only sold at the door if spaces are available. Visit on or after July 8 for details. Many thanks to our Buccaneer Buffet series sponsors: Aramark, ASAP Party & Tent Rentals, Coca-Cola, Dowdy Student Stores, Liberty Mutual, RA Jeffreys.


Every year, the East Carolina Alumni Association honors the achievements and service of East Carolina alumni with our Alumni Awards. The 2014 recipients will be honored at the Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Friday, October 3. This is the alumni association’s signature event. Everyone is welcome to help celebrate the contributions of East Carolina alumni to the university, the



PIRATE CONNECTIONS workplace, and the community. Registration will open in August. Event and table sponsorships are available. For more information, contact Director of Alumni Programs Shawn Moore ’91, ’98 at 252-328-5775 or email her at Virgil Clark ‘50 Distinguished Service Award Angela Allen ’81 and Carl W. Davis Jr. ’73 Honorary Alumni Award Jackson Allison and Robert H. Wright Outstanding Alumni Award William Clark ’66, ’68 Lt. Gen. William “Mark” Faulkner ’82 Van Isley ’85 Maria “Terry” Shank ’77 The Alumni Awards program is part of the alumni association’s mission to advance the reputation of East Carolina University. By promoting the accomplishments of our graduates, we increase the value of every East Carolina degree. The alumni association accepts award nominations year-round. Nominations for the 2015 Alumni Awards are due November 1, 2014. The success of this program and the caliber of our award winners hinges on the letters and nominations that alumni like you send recommending fellow Pirates for our awards. For more information, visit

Wright Award Recipients Honored

Four graduating seniors and one fall graduate were presented with the Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award during spring commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 9. The most prestigious award presented to graduating seniors at East Carolina University, the Wright award recognizes academic achievement, service to both the university and community, and demonstrated leadership. These five graduates were recognized for those qualities that will make a difference in their respective professions and communities. Ben Currie McKinzie Jr. of Upper Marlboro, MD, information and computer technology Megan Rachel Mehaffey of Clyde, NC, chemistry and physics


Hannah Marie Potter of Marshville, NC, international and religious studies


153,657 Total Alumni 1,910 Life Members 5,952 Annual Members 1,854 Student Members 7,290 ‘Like’ us 20,283 Event Photos 9,671 Connections 4,899 Followers

PIRATE CONNECTIONS Juliann Marie Stalls of Williamston, NC, psychology Nicholas Reid Thompson of Chesapeake, VA, biochemistry “These five students have distinguished themselves with their exceptional academic achievement, leadership, and service. The alumni association is proud to honor their accomplishments and acknowledge them as alumni who represent the best of East Carolina,” said Richard R. Eakin, interim associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. To read more about the 2014 recipients, visit



Pirate Sendoffs

The East Carolina Alumni Association invites freshmen and transfer students coming to ECU to attend a Pirate Sendoff in their area this summer. Incoming students and their families can meet fellow students, parents, and alumni from their hometown before coming to campus this fall. Alumni are encouraged to attend to give advice and share favorite memories of ECU. Help us welcome incoming students and send them on their voyage to campus in true Pirate style! Pirate Sendoffs are free for incoming students; the cost for guests and family members varies depending on the venue. Refreshments are included. Pirate Sendoffs are held rain or shine. For more information or to register, visit Nags Head, NC - Friday, July 18

South Riding, VA - Saturday, August 2

Norfolk, VA - Sunday, July 20

New York, NY - Saturday, August 9

Greenville, NC - Tuesday, July 22

Wilmington, NC - Friday, August 15

Kernersville, NC - Friday, July 25

Fayetteville, NC - Saturday, August 16

Raleigh, NC - Saturday, July 26

Hillsborough, NC - Sunday, August 17

Charlotte, NC - Sunday, July 27

SAVE THE DATES! September 19 ECU Alumni Scholarship Classic golf tournament October 3 Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner

October 4 Homecoming “Land of the Free, Home of the Pirates!” November 1 Nominations due for 2015 Alumni Awards

Angela Moss ’97, ’98, Chair Raleigh, NC Neal Crawford ’85, Vice Chair Norfolk, VA Glenda Palmer-Moultrie ’79, Secretary

Derwood, MD

Dean Browder ’77, Treasurer

Winston-Salem, NC

Jim Newman Jr. ’68, ’74, Past Chair

Raleigh, NC

Richard R. Eakin, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations

Greenville, NC

William Burnette ’96 Virginia Beach, VA Adrian Cullin ’04 Charlotte, NC Jim Dill ’79 Richmond, VA Neil Dorsey ’65, ’66 Winterville, NC Ralph Finch ’67 Midlothian, VA Jeff Foster ’83 Winterville, NC Keith Frazier ’94 Raleigh, NC Dave Fussell Jr. ’90 Rose Hill, NC Mark Garner ’77 Greenville, NC Robin Good ’80 Katy, TX Duane Grooms ’80, ’82 Columbia, SC James Hammond ’66 Poughkeepsie, NY Melanie Holden ’79 Raleigh, NC John Israel ’82 Norfolk, VA Wesley Johnson ’85 Powder Springs, GA Charlie Martin Jr. ’68 Greenville, NC Marian McLawhorn ’67, ’88, ’97 Grifton, NC Michael McShane ’66 Alexandria, VA Dan Spuller ’06, ’07 Raleigh, NC Ainee Lynnette Taylor ’97 Winterville, NC Allen Thomas ’92 Winterville, NC Jason Tomasula ’00, ’03, ’10 Charlotte, NC

EMERITUS MEMBERS: Sabrina Bengel New Bern, NC Virgil Clark ’50 Deceased Carl Davis ’73 Raleigh, NC Dave Englert ’75 Norfolk, VA Ernest Logemann ’68 Winston-Salem, NC Brenda Myrick ’92 Greenville, NC PIRATEALUMNI.COM   5


The seventh annual PIRATE ALUMNI ROAD RACE AND FUN RUN was held April 12 with a record number of 500 participants! This year’s runners were dusted in purple and gold as they ran the course in support of Alumni Scholarships. Congratulations to overall winner Seth Poppe who crossed the finish line at 19:24. Thank you to all of our sponsors, especially title sponsor Wells Fargo, and participants who helped us add $5,500 to the Alumni Scholarship Fund.

Spring commencement for more than 3,800 students was held May 9. Graduates were ushered into the ceremony by members of the class of 1964 who returned to campus to celebrate their 50th CLASS REUNION. Stormy De Lucia ’14 (bottom right) was the winner of the GRAD CAP DECORATING CONTEST sponsored by Forever Pirates. DeLucia’s cap is a treasure map that begins in the mountains which represent her hometown, then follows landmarks that include Finland where she studied abroad, and ends with an “X” with a treasure chest and diploma for graduation. 6   EC ALUMNI SUMMER 2014


The annual SCHOLARSHIP LUNCHEON was held on April 25 to honor the recipients of the 2014-2015 Alumni Scholarship. Learn more about these students online at Since 2005, the Alumni Scholarship program has awarded 197 scholarships totaling more than $260,000.

Thirteen alumni volunteered for ECU NIGHT AT UNCTV (above) on March 8 and helped raise $48,005 for public television. A NETWORKING RECEPTION held in Washington, DC (top right) during spring break included students from the Honors College. At bottom right, alumni in Charlotte leverage the power of the Pirate alumni network.

Students have many options for spring break. Eight members of Forever Pirates chose to utilize this week away from classes on a NEW YORK CITY EXPLORATION AND ALUMNI NETWORKING TRIP. The four-day trip included a tour of the United Nations by Michael Aho ’02, a visit to the New York Stock Exchange with Andrew Longaro ’99, advice from Sarah Evans ’01 of J Public Relations, and a tour of Koch Theater at Lincoln Center with Chuck Giles ’77. Read more about the students’ experience in the fall 2014 issue of EC Alumni.




Primary Election Results and Budget Update The Primary Election held on Tuesday, Universities were targeted for further May 6 resulted in losses for two eastern cuts in the governor’s proposed budget North Carolina incumbents. North which includes an additional $49 million Carolina General Assembly six-term cut for the 2014-15 fiscal year. This Senator Clark Jenkins (D-Edgecombe) and reduction is in addition to cuts of $47 four-term Representative Annie Mobley million made in the long session. Specific (D-Hertford) both lost their races. The governor’s proposed budget does not include In congressional funds requested to assist races, current NC the Brody School of House Speaker Medicine. Thom Tillis (R) easily exceeded the 40 percent margin needed to be named the Republican challenger to Senator Kay Hagan (D). This race will be closely watched by the nation as a Tillis victory may tip the scales to a Republican majority in to ECU, funds for student housing the Senate. Local Congressman Walter for dental students located in the rural B. Jones (R), a 20-year House veteran Community Service Learning Centers were and G.K. Butterfield (D) both won their not included, nor were requested funds to Primary races. Each will face a challenger assist the Brody School of Medicine. The in November. Senate is now working on its version of the The short session of the 2013-2015 budget, which is expected to be released in NC General Assembly convened on May late May. 14. In the short session, the General In addition to budget requests, the UNC Assembly makes adjustments to year two Board of Governors has also approved a of the biennial budget and addresses policy short session policy agenda which can be issues that were carried over from the found on the UNC Board of Governors previous long session. It is anticipated that website. Although not on the formal lawmakers will move quickly through their policy agenda at this time, legislation agenda and adjourn well before July 4. enacted during the long session which has The governor’s budget was released significant impact on the fiscal viability of on May 14. Senate budget writers are the Brody School of Medicine remain key expected to release the Senate budget advocacy items. Restoration of enhanced shortly thereafter, followed by the House federal funding for services provided to version. Conferees from both chambers will Medicaid patients (upper payment limit) then convene to negotiate differences. Key and the ability to collect debt through to budget considerations is the estimated mechanisms afforded to other state agencies $445 million revenue shortfall expected by (set off debt collection) are important the end of the fiscal year and a Medicaid policy agenda items for our university. We shortfall estimated to be $140 million. are pleased with the progress that we have These shortfalls will require the legislature made on these issues and appreciative of to cut spending or find new revenue. At the efforts made to connect with legislators the same time, raises for teachers and other by many of our alumni. state employees are a priority for the short session.

Where Pirate Memories Continue...

“Cypress Glen and ECU found success through hard work and steady focus on what had to be done. They have been comfortable companions growing up together in Greenville. Good luck made Cypress Glen the ideal home for me and my memories.” Marguerite is a graduate of Winthrop College and received her master’s degree from Duke University. A Fulbright Scholar, she studied and taught in France and Mexico before accepting a teaching position in the ECU Foreign Language Department in 1940. Marguerite devoted nearly 50 years of teaching and extensive involvement to ECU. Her deep affection for the school is tremendous. Marguerite is a recipient of the ECU Honorary Alumni Award and the Virgil Clark Distinguished Service Award. She remains connected through the Women’s Roundtable, Retired Faculty Association, and the Advancement Councils of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and Foreign Languages and Literatures. Marguerite continues to support East Carolina and its students through the Fleming/Perry Scholarships and her substantial contributions as a benefactor are recognized by the Order of the Cupola and the Leo Jenkins Society.

Marguerite Perry Cypress Glen Resident since 2013

Official Partner



Chance Meetings Change Lives Ernest ’68 and Martha Logemann believe their college educations gave them the tools for their careers, first as classroom teachers and then as Certified Public Accountants. But more importantly, they gained “the tools to be life-long learners,” they said. Neither of their parents graduated from college, but graduated from high school which, given their ages, was a fairly rare occurrence at that time. Ernest’s father’s family ran the family bakery in Washington, DC, and Martha’s father was a banker, while her mother worked for the school system in Winston Salem. Martha graduated from UNCChapel Hill in 1974. Both teachers in Winston-Salem, Ernest and Martha met in 1974 at a Democratic precinct meeting, and were married on June 14, 1975. “We can attest that you never know when a chance meeting will change your life,” Ernest said. Another chance meeting led the way to many wonderful years of involvement with East Carolina University. When they attended one of the first Freshmen Sendoffs to welcome incoming students to campus, they met Paul Clifford from the East Carolina Alumni Association. Ernest was later asked to join the board of directors.

He ended up serving on the alumni board for eight years in various leadership roles including chair. Ernest continues his service to the university as a member of the ECU Board of Visitors. Their daughter, Anna, graduated from ECU in 2009 with a bachelor of science in communications, and also went on to earn her master’s in communications in 2011. Martha recalls being at Anna’s and Katherine’s (their other daughter) graduation ceremonies and being overcome with the emotion of it all. “Every graduation, even preschool and kindergarten graduation, or bridging ceremonies for girl scouts, really mean so much because it’s an opportunity for a person to be rewarded for hard work,” said Martha. “But it’s also an opportunity to celebrate that person’s access to an education, to a chance to learn something.” “Tomorrow really does start here,” said Ernest. “ECU is the heart and soul of eastern North Carolina. We can all quote statistics about the economic value of a college degree in terms of lifetime income, but the real meaning is seeing those caps and gowns in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The pride, and the achievement, that families feel is priceless. That is what it’s all about.”


As chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Ernest Logemann honored award recipients (left) and scholarship recipients (right).

Knowing some families will never get the chance to experience that feeling, and that very deserving students don’t always have the means to obtain a college education, Ernest and Martha decided to endow an Access Scholarship through a bequest. In addition, they fund an annual Access Scholarship with preference given to a NC Community College transfer student. The first was awarded in 2013. “We firmly believe as a family that we sit in the shade of the trees planted by those who have gone before us. We want to be planters of trees for someone else,” Ernest said. The Logemanns had the opportunity to meet the recipient of their Access

Scholarship. “It was most delightful, and I know her parents must be incredibly proud of her because she is a fine young woman. You get such a good feeling because young people and children are our future, and education is a way to grow that future. But it’s not about us and how it makes us feel, it’s about opportunity and access for someone else,” said Martha. The Logemanns whole-heartedly believe that giving back to ECU is their responsibility, honor and privilege. “We wish that more people could experience ECU’s impact on North Carolina as an educational, medical, and economic force in the East. The university truly transforms the region.”

Ernest and Martha say they highly recommend others get involved and support ECU. “Share your time, talents, and treasure with your university. It’s the right thing to do and if you really want tomorrow to start here, you’ve got to plant the seeds.” Both Ernest and Martha are Centennial Pirates and Pirate Club members and they are active in their community, serving on various non-profit boards and organizations. When not working or volunteering, they enjoy taking advantage of the vibrant arts community in Winston-Salem, and always look forward to visits with their daughters, Katherine, in Charleston, SC and Anna in Greenville.

Leave a perpetual legacy at ECU: Avoid two types of taxation with a gift from your IRA, 401(k), and other qualified retirement plans When you gift a percentage or specific dollar total from your retirement plan to East Carolina University through the East Carolina University Foundation Inc., East Carolina University Medical & Health Sciences Foundation Inc., or the East Carolina University Educational Foundation Inc. (Pirate Club), you can help future students while gaining multiple tax advantages. By utilizing this specific asset, where often the greatest amount of your wealth resides, you can avoid/reduce both income and estate taxation. This asset is among the most difficult to pass to heirs/ beneficiaries based on the fact that it is a deferred tax asset. For these reasons gifting this asset may enable your heirs to avoid income and estate tax while leaving a perpetual legacy at ECU. Best of all this easy process can be done through one simple piece of paperwork (Beneficiary Designation Form) provided by your retirement plan provider. For more information about this planned gift or joining the Leo W. Jenkins Society, please contact Greg Abeyounis, assistant vice chancellor for development, at 252-328-9573 or e-mail at For examples and more information on planned giving mechanisms, visit our Web site at

Tomorrow starts here.



Donor Profile: Tom Arthur ’71 With roots in eastern North Carolina, Tom Arthur ’71 felt the pull to return to the area. “I grew up in Greenville and, after serving for three years in the Army as an infantry officer during the Vietnam War, I wanted to get an MBA, so ECU was a logical choice.” A logical choice that stemmed from none other than Louis C. Arthur, Tom’s grandfather, who was one of the nine men who submitted the formal offer for the location of the East Carolina Teachers Training School, now East Carolina University, to the State Board of Education on June 5, 1907. Back in 1969, when Tom applied to ECU, Dr. James Beardon was the dean of the School of Business. Tom was so impressed with Beardon that he names him as his inspiration for his decision to give back to the university. “I was impressed with him from the first moment we met, and I still am. He is a remarkable man who has done so much for ECU,” Arthur says. Beardon played a key role in helping Tom determine where his gift would make the most impact. “It was a fun process…we talked of many different directions my gift could take before we settled on establishing the leadership position.” Arthur donated $1 million to the BB&T Center for Leadership 12   EC ALUMNI SUMMER 2014

Development to establish an endowed chair in the College of Business focusing on leadership. His gift qualifies for $500,000 in matching funds from the University of North Carolina

Distinguished Professorship Endowed Trust Fund, which is funded by the North Carolina legislature. Tom hopes that his gift will inspire others to step up to the plate and give back as well. “My MBA was an important part of my business success and my gift allowed me a way to show my appreciation,

but my bigger goal in giving is to, hopefully, lead other financially successful people to give to ECU.” Serving on the board of the BB&T Center for Leadership Development for more than 30 years has also given Tom insight that only confirms his choice to give back. “By this involvement, I have had the confidence that my gift would be a contributing factor in the continued growth of the university and eastern NC,” says Arthur. “ECU’s mission is education and developing leaders in all disciplines of the university, and a byproduct of this has been the economic growth of Greenville and eastern North Carolina. A financial gift to East Carolina University is an investment in the community, which will continue to pay dividends of all sorts for generations to come.” Tom resides in Tampa, FL with his wife, Dixie, for part of the year, and they spend the other part of the year on their ranch in Saratoga, WY. Tom has been a pilot for 30 years and when he isn’t working or volunteering, he enjoys flying all over North America. Tom also enjoys spending time with his family: his wife, two daughters, two sonsin-law, and four grandkids. He is an avid hunter of birds and big game, and loves riding horses on his ranch in Wyoming.


Doing Well by Doing Good Entrepreneur Valeria Lassiter ’90 is in the business of helping others


espite the ups and downs of the economy, one indicator continues to rise: charitable giving. People remain motivated to make a difference in society. But this commitment to give has recently grown into a complex structure. Innovative media to engage donors, exciting new types of philanthropic events, a boom in new online giving technologies—with trends such as these, nonprofit fundraising needs sophisticated strategic planning like never before. That’s where Valeria Lassiter ’90 and her business, Lassiter & Associates, can help. Her for-profit firm supports nonprofits in all areas of capacity building, fund development, and communications. And just like the organizations she helps, Lassiter is there because she wants to make a difference. ECU provided an environment that nurtured her deep commitment to helping others. “At ECU, I became aware that I could not simply have a job. I needed a vocation,” Lassiter says. “My classroom experiences in journalism, political science, and women’s studies strengthened my analytical skills and taught me a systematic process for collecting various voices and perspectives to inform decisionmaking.” Combining these ECU-honed analytical skills with an understanding of the value of diversity and inclusion encouraged by her early life, she developed her unique business niche: strategic and creative communications consulting to promote meaningful social change. 14   EC ALUMNI SUMMER 2014

Accepting your vocation Lassiter remembers her dismay when a high school principal returned the results of her career aptitude test: community service. “Where was the excitement in a field like that?” she wondered as a teen. Years later, as she accepted a $1 million check from Oprah Winfrey for a client providing help for children with incarcerated parents, it was clear she could find plenty of excitement in community service. What triggered the transition from resistance to success? Her ECU experience, she says, helped shape her positive view of community service. She entered the university as a cheerleader and her high school’s first African-American homecoming queen— and she was ready to work hard toward the glamorous goal of entrepreneurship or broadcast journalism. But her parents—and the Johnston Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Clayton—had planted the seeds for a life of social responsibility. These same seeds were then nurtured by tough but inspiring ECU professors—chief among them the late Dr. Gay Wilentz. “It was the first time a teacher challenged me to take an active role in advancing social change,” she says. “Dr. Wilentz constantly reminded me of my social responsibility. She talked a great deal about what she called my ‘tri-dimensional’ reality of race, class, and gender. It gave me a greater understanding of myself in the broader society. “It was at ECU that my social consciousness expanded, and I saw myself as a global citizen,” Lassiter says. She helped protest US involvement in South Africa during the apartheid era and imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. She realized that there was more to communication than a talking head doing television commentary. Communication could be a tool for social change and strengthening communities. In a full circle she could never have predicted, more than 20 years later, her firm was hired to design and implement the 25th anniversary celebration of the US role in helping to end apartheid.

Skills translate into leadership Lassiter’s ECU professors insisted she develop research skills and read a variety of news sources. She still continues that practice. “Learning to see subtleties and be open to other points of view has truly helped me in my career,” she says. For instance, her first job out of college was as a public affairs specialist in Washington, DC. She designed and executed communication strategies to inform businesses and residents that sexual orientation would be a protected class under the Human Rights Act.

“The city was ahead of its time, and I’m proud to say that I was a part of that,” she says. “Living in the nation’s capital, you encounter competing viewpoints all the time. But to get anything accomplished, you have to gain agreement.”

Supporting mission-driven organizations Acceptance of community service as a part of her professional life led Lassiter to pursue a master’s of divinity from Colgate Rochester Divinity School and to work in corporate philanthropy for the Marriott Foundation. But throughout, she never lost the drive to start her own business. So in 2003, she launched Lassiter & Associates. Entrepreneurism wasn’t the easy option: Work can begin at 4:00 a.m. and end late at night. It’s the kind of dedication expected by Lassiter’s clients, who have operations in the millions of dollars, working on programs in areas ranging from cybersecurity to homelessness. “We’re a for-profit firm, but we only take on work that is mission driven,” Lassiter says.

Personally and professionally aligned Lassiter’s office is in Chevy Chase, MD, just at the DC border. It’s clear why the area is dubbed the “Gucci Gulch”—the buildings bear names such as Microsoft and Ritz-Carlton. Yet two miles away are some of the city’s areas of greatest need. Lassiter’s work keeps her aware that a “beloved community” requires committed, vigilant individuals working together. Recently, during a visit to a church in her hometown, a former teacher, now in her 80s, told Lassiter to “keep up her good work,” and pressed $20 into her hand. “It’s not the financial gift that’s important here, obviously,” Lassiter says, deeply touched. “It’s the cultural value and understanding that was being communicated. That community invested in me with love and care. They imbued in me a sense of responsibility to community.” She and her husband, Dr. James R. Calvin, live in Columbia, MD, a tree-filled, lake-dotted suburb planned during the 1960s to foster community interaction and diversity. “I am so glad that ECU and Dr. Wilentz watered the seeds that my parents and hometown planted. My personal and professional lives are aligned,” Lassiter says. “I am doing work that I would do on my own personal time. Who knew that sticking with your core values would be so freeing—and provide a great life?”

“It was at ECU that my social consciousness expanded, and I saw myself as a global citizen.” PIRATEALUMNI.COM   15


FIGHTING HUNGER Half United co-founder Carmin Black ’07 donates half her profits to fight hunger When Carmin Black ’07 decided she wanted to start a business, she only had $200. But she also had the valuable lessons she learned from her family and from her time at East Carolina University. She and her brother Christian started an apparel company called Half United in 2009. Based in Wilmington, Half United sells jewelry and accessories, giving half of all profits to fight hunger locally and around the world. “Growing up, my mom worked in retail and as an interior designer. And my dad was a minister, so helping people was just something we did,” Black says. “From a young age, I was heavily influenced by both of those areas.” Black previously worked as a TV news reporter for a short time, having majored in broadcast journalism at ECU. Her education not only taught her how to deal with media and publicize her business, but how to “just go for it” and make the most of any opportunity before her. PIRATEALUMNI.COM   17

Carmin with her brother Christian.

Black and her brother lived in several states but mostly grew up in Wilmington. She initially went to Appalachian State University for a year and a half, but realized “it just wasn’t a good fit.” Her best friend decided to go to ECU for nursing school, and asked Black to transfer with her. The two had some mutual friends from high school who went to ECU, and they always had fun whenever they visited. “I always knew there was something special about ECU, but I didn’t realize how unique that was,” Black said. “When it came time to transfer, I drew on those memories of visiting ECU when I was at App State. I decided to just take a leap and go for it, and it was by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life. Ever since then, I’ve been a huge ECU fan. I love this school and I love supporting it.” Several professors at ECU had a positive influence on Black, from an anthropology professor who made time for her outside of class, to a gender and communication professor who inspired a love of learning,


and a broadcast professor who taught students to find their own voice. “One of my favorite professors taught anthropology. She and I would stay after class a lot and have in-depth conversations about blending faith and science. That was a really eye-opening class,” Black said. “And I had one professor who taught us

vocal training for broadcast journalism. He was not afraid to be himself, and that was really inspiring. He was a nerd and he really embraced that. It was great to see somebody be really confident in who they were. These professors had a tremendous impact on my life.” Black has many fond memories of her

“I had one professor who taught us vocal training for broadcast journalism. He was not afraid to be himself, and that was really inspiring. He was a nerd and he really embraced that. It was great to see somebody be really confident in who they were. These professors had a tremendous impact on my life.”

time at ECU, but her favorite memories are those with her sorority sisters in Alpha Delta Pi. “I created lifelong friends, and because of them, every memory of my time at ECU is special,” she said. “Just walking on campus to attending football games to going out downtown and to different restaurants, it was a lot of fun.” During school, Black completed a prestigious internship with ABC News in Washington, DC, landing interviews with national political figures. Because of that experience, she got a job offer from an NBC affiliate station in Wilmington before she graduated, and started two weeks afterward. “I honestly thought I would be a journalist for the rest of my life,” she said. While she loved interviewing people, she soon became worn down by the pace and lack of a good paycheck. She decided to go on a mission trip to Costa Rica to gain some perspective. When she came back, she got a job with TOMS, a popular company that gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. For six months, she traveled the country giving talks at high schools and colleges and sharing news about the company. “It was an incredible experience. That’s where my calling really began,” Black says. “TOMs exposed me to the idea that fashion and philanthropy could be combined. I left there to start my own give-back brand, and I haven’t looked back.” Black had always been interested in fashion, but never thought of it as a career choice for her. “For me, fashion is personal; it’s a way to express who you are. It’s like wearable art,” she said. A talent for art and design is something she shares with her brother. Christian was looking to start a clothing company around that time, so they decided to help each other. “We both wanted to start a business and we were both interested in fashion, but the real reason we started this business was to help people in need,” she said. “With everything I had learned in media and at TOMS, and his talents as a graphic

Hear Carmin and her brother Christian tell the Half United story at

designer, we knew we had an opportunity on our hands. We just went for it.” They decided their company would fight hunger “because it’s something every human being has had to deal with at some point,” she said. “We started this company as a means to that end. From day one, we’ve been giving part of the profits of everything we sold to fight hunger.” They started out selling T-shirts, but found it hard to gain a profit on small orders. Looking for something easier to turn around and more symbolic, they decided on jewelry. Black had seen bullet casings used in jewelry before, but always in an aggressive or negative way. So she thought it would be great to turn bullet casings into a positive image to symbolize their fight against hunger. “We put our first few designs out there, not knowing if people would go for this, but they started selling like hotcakes,” Black said. “It has become the symbol of our company and the symbol of what we do: fight hunger.” The bullet casings come from a local firing range. All of the bullet casing necklaces are made in Wilmington by local employees. Some of the other pieces are made by a family-owned manufacturing company in Rhode Island, but all jobs are kept in the U.S. Today, Half United also partners with Barnes & Noble, TOMS,

and Nordstrom to sell their jewelry. Half the profits go to small foundations and organizations in Cambodia, Fiji, Madagascar, and North Carolina as well. Having her brother as a business partner is really beneficial to the company, Black says. “We’ve always been close,” she commented. “Our personalities are really different. I’m really talkative and outgoing. I’m not afraid to interview a stranger. Christian doesn’t say a lot, but he’s a quiet leader. We do argue sometimes, but we bring different strengths to the table. We complement each other.” As of spring 2014, Half United has sold enough jewelry to provide more than 114,000 meals to people in need. This is roughly 6,000 pieces of jewelry per year or 500 pieces per month, though it varies from month to month. “My favorite part of the job is seeing the company grow,” Black says. “At first I never thought that I would own a business or work in fashion. Seeing how it evolves every day is amazing. My proudest accomplishment is that we’re still here after four-and-a-half years. I feel that’s an accomplishment in itself. We started with $200, that’s all we had. It was a crazy thing to do. But we’re still working toward our goal to make an impact on global hunger.”


healing heroes Brigadier General Jeffrey Clark ’84 leads the nation’s top military hospital


rigadier General Jeffrey Clark ’84 helps heal the nation’s military service members and their families using his medical degree from East Carolina University. An Army officer and graduate of the Brody School of Medicine, Clark was promoted to brigadier general in the summer of 2013 and assumed command of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in September of that year. “This is a wonderful medical center. It’s considered the flagship of the military health system. This is where our nation heals its heroes,” Clark said. “Not only have we been caring for wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan, but we do all the things you might expect of any medical center. We have graduate medical education, we have a large number of residencies and fellowships, and we’re actively involved in research. We’re growing our collaboration with the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute. We have a lot of exciting things going on, in addition to the outstanding clinical care that we provide our patients, in terms of education and research, and I’m blessed to be part of it.” The former Walter Reed, an Army medical center in Washington, DC, was closed in 2011 and its operations consolidated with the Navy's National 20   EC ALUMNI SUMMER 2014

Naval Medical Center in nearby Bethesda, MD. The newly integrated center located in the former Navy facility was renamed the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Clark is the first Army director for Walter Reed Bethesda since the merger, but Clark sees this as more of an opportunity than a challenge. “That’s one of the many wonderful things about Walter Reed Bethesda – it’s Army, Navy, and Air Force staff working together in a joint environment,” he said. “We’re functioning as one team in the care of our patients, service members and retirees and their families. The cultures and histories of the branches are different, but we complement each other. It’s good for us to learn about Navy traditions. For us, it makes Walter Reed Bethesda an even more special place, that we have three branches.” Clark knew from a very early age that he wanted a career in medicine, and joining the military became a way to make that happen. “I always wanted to be a doctor,” he said. “I knew I wanted to go to college and medical school to become a physician. I’m blessed that it worked out that way.” Originally from LaGrange, Clark went to Davidson College on a four-year ROTC scholarship. “I knew the Army had scholarships for medical school, so I applied for that and was accepted.

The Army paid for my education, undergraduate and medical school. So my only obligation was time; I had to serve seven years, but I loved what I was doing. That was a very good deal. I had no debts coming out of school, other than an obligation to serve. I was able to be in the Army and practice family medicine. It was a wonderful deal, and continues to be.” Though he joined the ROTC initially as a way to pay for college and medical school, he increasingly liked the idea of serving in the military. His ROTC and ECU experiences launched a 30-year career in military medicine.

“Graduating from East Carolina, I was clearly very well prepared. I learned a lot as an intern, but the preparation that East Carolina provided me put me in very good stead.”” “East Carolina was definitely one of the medical schools I wanted to attend, partly because it was near home, but mainly because of its focus on primary care,” Clark said. “I was pretty sure I wanted to go into family medicine. Brody’s purpose of creating primary care physicians and improving the health of people in eastern North Carolina was just what I was looking for. It worked out very well that I was able to attend.” His favorite memories are of the people with whom he went to medical school. “It was a relatively small class, and we knew each other fairly well,” he said. “Some of us became very close friends during those four years.” Clark has especially fond memories of Dr. Seymour Bakerman, who was chair of the pathology department at the time. “He was a wonderful professor and very kind individual. He was extremely well thought of by all the students.” Clark says his education at Brody prepared him very well for his career. “Graduating from East Carolina, I was

clearly very well prepared. I learned a lot as an intern, but the preparation that East Carolina provided me put me in very good stead.” Clark completed his residency at Silas B. Hays Army Community Hospital at Fort Ord, CA. He later served as a family physician and flight surgeon in Korea and in numerous roles at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville. Before taking over at Walter Reed Bethesda, Clark commanded Europe Regional Medical Command, Heidelberg, Germany and prior to that commanded Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany. ERMC operates 17 military treatment facilities in Germany, Italy and Belgium. He has served in Korea, Kosovo, Iraq and in New Orleans during relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. In addition to his medical and bachelor's degrees, Clark has degrees from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and Army War College. He has master's degrees from the University of Washington in public health and the

Army War College in strategic studies. He is board-certified in family medicine. While his greatest accomplishment is his family, Clark says he loves being able to practice medicine in the military. “It is an absolute privilege to wear the uniform for 30 years,” he said. “Being able to serve two professions is a blessing.” He met his wife Sue at ECU when she was in nursing school. They have been married for 31 years and have three children. Though he has spent so much time overseas, Clark does follow ECU from a distance. He loves watching ECU football. He hopes to return to campus this fall for the 30th reunion of his medical school class. “I’m quite proud to be a graduate of ECU,” he says. “I’m part of the fourth class from Brody. It’s truly remarkable what the medical school has become. It was sorely needed in the region. It is the medical center for eastern North Carolina. I’m very proud of the medical school and the medical center there.”

Brig. Gen. Clark assumes command of Walter Reed in September 2013. Photo by Bernard S. Little, WRNMMC Journal.


Q&A with Jim Bazluki ’90,’93 Jim is a certified athletic trainer at Carolinas Medical Center Northeast in Concord, NC. In March 2014, he became the youngest athletic trainer inducted into the North Carolina Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame.

What brought you to ECU? “Back in the 80s when I was in high school, there weren’t very many athletic trainers in schools. My high school needed someone to help take care of the health of the athletes, so they asked me to go to a summer camp to learn about it. It was there that I met several ECU professors who were athletic trainers. That sparked my interest in athletic training, and from that point on, I knew East Carolina was where I wanted to go. Even non-ECU people said ECU was the place to go for athletic training.”

What made your ECU experience especially memorable? “When I first became aware of ECU, there were several professors and staff members that made it sound like the place to be. The late Rod Compton, who passed away a couple years ago, was the leader of the sports medicine program. He and his staff, Greg Beres and Karen Baker at the time, made learning very involved and engaging. The whole health education department was phenomenal in their approachability and taking an interest in individual students. I was in a big group at freshman orientation, and Rick Barnes came in and asked who was there for exercise sports science, and it was just me and a couple other students, and he took us aside and helped us register. From that point on, he made a big impact on me, and he and I still talk to this day.”

Tell us about your first job out of college and how you gained experience. “After I finished undergrad in 1990, that gave me all the preparation I needed to pass my certification exam. I asked if I could become a graduate assistant in athletic training, which we had not had very many. They created a position for me and I stayed on a graduate student. When I finished my master’s degree in 1993, I was offered a full-time position at ECU, where I stayed another ten years. 22   EC ALUMNI SUMMER 2014

East Carolina is where I learned my craft and where I was able to hone my craft and share it with a whole new generation of athletic trainers. I also worked in Durham Public Schools and Wake County Schools. There were a few other jobs along the way, but athletic training has been my first and only love.”

Tell us about your current job and your responsibilities. “I’m employed by the hospital, but they assign me to a local high school in the area served by the hospital, so I’m the outreach athletic trainer at Northwest Cabarrus High School, in addition to the school’s own athletic trainer. My typical day is paperwork in the morning, and then in the afternoons, I go over to the school and prepare for after-school practices and training. My tasks range from regular treatments and rehab sessions, as well as providing immediate care or referrals for any injuries that occur. I also stay for evening games and help provide care for the visiting team as well. I circulate around all sports, so we could have four practices or games going on at once. You learn how to multi-task and adapt.”

How did it feel to be inducted into the Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame? “It was a great honor. It’s one of those peaks in your career, where all the different things you’ve done up to that point are recognized. I think it shows that what you’ve done as an individual is important, but what you’ve done for the profession is

also very important. To be recognized by your peers with such a high honor shows that the things you’ve done have actually had an impact in helping student athletes.”

What’s one of your favorite memories of your time at ECU? “East Carolina is a fun place to be, so obviously there’s a lot of social times that are very memorable. But in the athletic world, one of the most memorable times I had was the Peach Bowl year. I was a senior, and other than the very first game, I was in attendance at every home and away game that year. Watching the momentum build and the community rally around the team… that was a phenomenal year. Toward the end of the season, when East Carolina was starting to get mentioned in the national polls, there’d be parades of people lining the street as you were driving back to town. Back in those days, we flew in and out of Kinston and drove to Greenville, since our own airport wasn’t big enough at the time. It was a very exciting year.”

Advice from The Career Center Many people experience job loss. While suffering a little bit may be normal, continuing to suffer over a long period of time is bad for your self-confidence, and may put undue strain on your family and friendships. When it comes to job loss, there are only so many variables in your control. However, there are some things you can do to get back in the job market. The first step in this journey of recovery is to take control of your emotions. Job seekers who ignore feelings of anger related to their job loss may unconsciously take these unresolved emotions into the interview setting. An individual must be in tune with their emotions, cognitions, and behaviors. Be honest with yourself. Recognize these emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. This is the first step in moving forward. Once you confront your beliefs, feelings, and actions in relation to job loss, developing a realistic map of one’s local world of work is essential. There are many areas to investigate, from local industry and companies to the skills required to be successful in this new terrain. A great resource to explore this information is the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( The bureau’s mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making. Another great ally would be O*NET ( O*NET is the nation’s primary source of occupational information, and contains information on hundreds of standardized and occupationspecific descriptors. Upon deciding on a sector of industry and researching companies in a desired area,

you will need to learn the required skills essential to that sector. Many skills and experiences can be attained through online courses, community colleges, credentialing programs, and on-the-job trainings through the desired company. Embrace social media. In previous years, an individual may have used a compass to navigate the forest, but today the majority use electronic GPS. In other words, the use of online websites to create a professional identity for the job search is a necessary strategy. Learn about and create a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. These are the new guides for the job seeker. An additional item to consider when packing one’s bag for the job search quest is a resume. Is the document up to date with the accumulated work experience? Updating your resume is also a positive way to assess the skills that you have acquired over the years! At this point, if you are still overwhelmed by this impending journey, and you still fear getting lost in this new world, seek out a credible career coach or register with a staffing company. Not only will they try to match you with an appropriate job (that may turn into a full-time opportunity), they may provide you with some feedback and advice about their work personality, skills, and general abilities. Today’s world of work may be confusing, tech-heavy, and constantly changing, but never give up, and never forget the ancient words of the Chinese philosopher Louzi as we go forth: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


Recovering from Job Loss



ALLIED HEALTH Counseling Team Volunteers During Tornadoes

Vanessa Perry and Dr. Leigh Atherton, a doctoral student and a professor with the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, responded to areas in eastern North Carolina affected by tornadoes in late April. They are members of Navigate Counseling Clinic’s “Red Cross Ready When The Time Comes” initiative. The call came early Saturday morning and Perry and Atherton were quickly on scene to provide disaster mental health services. Currently, one faculty member and four students from the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies have been trained to provide counseling along with the American Red Cross through this initiative.

Vanessa Perry and Dr. Leigh Atherton

Jean Mills Health Symposium

The College of Allied Health Sciences along with the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation hosted the 10th annual Jean Mills Health Symposium on February 7 in the Heart Institute. Attendees enjoyed a keynote address delivered by Dr. Lori CarterEdwards and took advantage of break-out sessions on subjects such as health concerns of Latinos in North Carolina, health concerns of school-age children, and using mobile clinics to address health disparities. The event is made possible through donations by the Mills family in memory of ECU alumna Jean Elaine Mills ’84. Occupational Therapy Professor Honored

Debbie Amini, EdD, OTR/L, CHT, FAOTA from the Department of Occupational Therapy received the Roster of Fellows from the American Occupational Therapy Association. This award is one of the highest awards given by the association. She joins an elite group of therapists who are recognized for their contributions to the association. Dr. Amini was also awarded a 2014 AOTA Service Commendation for her work as chairperson of the AOTA Commission on Practice from 2011-2014 and as a member of the Representative Assembly from 2011-2014. Student Achievement Award Presented

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders student Lakshmi Kollara-Sunil was presented with the Student Achievement Award by the North Carolina SpeechHearing and Language Association and given a scholarship for $1,000 sponsored by LinguiSystems. The recognition is awarded on the basis of academic excellence and merit. In addition, the LinguiSystems award requires the student to show evidence of research productivity and consistent service to the professions of audiology or speech-language pathology.

ARTS & SCIENCES Grant Supports Chemistry and Physics Scholarships

ECU’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences is the recipient of a $620,884 grant from the National Science Foundation that will support chemistry and physics 24   EC ALUMNI SUMMER 2014

AROUND CAMPUS scholarships. Under the direction of Drs. Allison S. Danell, Anthony M. Kennedy and Anne Marie Spuches from chemistry, and Drs. Regina DeWitt and John M. Kenney from physics, The Chemistry and Physics Scholarship Program will provide access to higher education to students with solid academic preparation who have the potential to succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The scholarship program will provide support for 24 academically talented students with financial need, determined by the FAFSA. Incoming freshmen will receive $5,000 and may qualify for up to $10,000 their sophomore, junior, and senior years. Scholars will be majors in chemistry or physics. “In effect, students could qualify for up to $35,000 in scholarship funds during their four years at ECU,” said Kennedy, assistant professor of chemistry and director of the forensic science program. “The majority of these students will be first generation students from an economically stressed region,” said Kennedy. “They will become messengers for science, disseminating their experiences as STEM majors and encouraging more talented students to follow in their path.” Last fall, the college’s departments of chemistry and physics started a Living Learning Community at ECU, a special area of a dorm dedicated to housing intended science majors. These students take classes together and participate in other special activities. “The Living Learning Community, which forms the backbone of the proposal, will be enriched by the presence of first generation students and will continue to provide rewards to ECU beyond the funding period,” said Danell, interim chair of the chemistry department. “The students we educate and mentor will share their experiences, encouraging many more young scientists to pursue an education in STEM disciplines, which will provide a strong foundation for innovation and economic development not just regionally but nationally.” The overall goals of the scholarship program are increased retention in STEM, shorter average time to graduation, and higher GPAs.

BUSINESS SAM Chapter Wins First Place

ECU’s chapter of the Society for Advancement of Management (SAM) won first place in the Campus Chapter Performance Program Competition (CCPP, Small Chapter Division) at the 2014 ECU students won first place in the SAM Campus Chapter Performance Program Competition SAM International and third place in the annual case competition. Business Conference held in Orlando, FL. The CCPP rewards chapters for practicing good management skills. Prior to the conference, each chapter may submit an

annual report to national headquarters detailing why it should be considered among the three most outstanding chapters in its division. Reports highlight campus chapter accomplishments across an array of criteria, including professional development activities, fundraising efforts, and community service projects. Additionally, ECU’s student team won third place in the open division of the 30th annual SAM Case Competition during the conference. ECU’s student team competed with other student teams nationwide to present the best solution to a business case study. Dr. Cody Chullen and Dr. Ericka Lawrence serve as faculty advisors. MBA Students Establish Leadership Scholarship

First-year MBA students DaJuan Lucas and Eric Green have established a leadership scholarship at East DaJuan Lucas (left) and Eric Green (right). Carolina University, becoming the first ECU students to come up with a scholarship of this type. Thanks to donations from faculty, friends, and themselves, the Lucas-Green Scholarship will give its inaugural award of $500 in fall 2014. Plans are also in place to create an endowment. Lucas and Green, who are roommates and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers, say their idea of starting a scholarship originated last summer. “We were talking about ways to inspire students to make a difference in the university’s future and help other Pirates,” they explained. “A scholarship sounded like the perfect legacy to leave behind.” Leadership will be the main component for awarding the LucasGreen Scholarship, and a committee of faculty and staff will select the top candidates before an interview process determines the final recipient. Lucas and Green have both become noted student leaders on campus themselves and plan to earn their MBA degrees in spring 2015. To contribute, please make checks payable to: Division of Student Affairs; Memo Line: Student Affairs Scholarship Pool/ Lucas-Green; Mail to: 23A Mendenhall, Mail Stop 224, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 27858.

DENTAL MEDICINE Third Dental Center Opens

The ECU School of Dental Medicine officially opened its Community Service Learning Center in Lillington with a ribbon cutting and open house on March 24. Local and state officials were among 130 guests who toured the new facility. The Lillington site—a 7,700-square-foot facility located off US 401—is the third of eight to 10 service learning centers planned for operation in rural and underserved areas across North Carolina. The facilities combine clinical education and patient care. Led by ECU dental faculty members, fourth-year dental PIRATEALUMNI.COM   25

AROUND CAMPUS students will spend eight-week clinical rotations at the centers while general dentistry residents will also hone their skills at the facilities. The fully functional general dentistry office features 16 treatment rooms, X-ray equipment, educational space and more. According to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina ranks 47th out of the 50 states in the number of dentists per capita which makes the opening of these CSLCs crucial to the health of residents in underserved areas. ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard described the dental community Dental students from the Harnett County area, (from left) Kevin Patel, Caitlin Miller, Meagan Maida, and Elizabeth Price, attended the ribbon cutting for the dental school’s new service learning center in Lillington.

service learning centers as key to the university’s role as a national model of public service and regional transformation. Located between Raleigh and Fayetteville, Lillington is the county seat of Harnett County. The county’s population is approximately 112,700 and there is one dentist for every 10,000 people, according to 2011 data. Harnett County, like other rural North Carolina counties, struggled with the loss of its textile industry. “Many of you here today can rightfully claim a role in the success of our school and the Lillington center as it comes to life,” said School of Dental Medicine Dean Dr. Greg Chadwick. “We’re excited and look forward to being your neighbor.” Johnson Tilghman, chair of the Harnett Forward Together Committee, pointed to the dental center and the addition of other “badly needed” health care services as evidence of forward progress. Community service learning centers are also serving patients in Ahoskie and Elizabeth City, and centers are under construction in Sylva, Spruce Pine, Davidson County, and Robeson County. Sites for up to three additional centers will be announced soon.

EDUCATION Professor Earns Teaching Excellence Award

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors recently named recipients of the 2014 Awards for Excellence in Teaching, one at each of the system’s 17 campuses. ECU’s recipient is Dr. Abbie Brown, professor of instructional technology in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education in the College of Education. Brown is a nationally Dr. Abbie Brown recognized and widely published expert in instructional design, media production, and teaching with technology. During his eight years at ECU, Brown has been a leader in the development of an online graduate program; he has also mentored faculty across the University in their development of online instruction. Brown believes that online instruction can be as rich if not richer than face-to-face instruction. He says, “With forethought, 26   EC ALUMNI SUMMER 2014

careful planning, and creative use of innovative technologies, one can develop learning environments that empower students by helping them gain mastery of content, as well as providing [them] a rich, satisfying social experience and access to a larger world.” He structures his student-centered classes so he becomes the “guide on the side” rather than the “sage on the stage.” Library Science Program Receives Grant

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced that the library science degree program at ECU received a 2014 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) grant for the project “North Carolina Economically Disadvantaged and Diversity Scholarships.” The IMLS awarded ECU $492,324 in funding that will support library science recruitment efforts and full-tuition scholarships at ECU for 30 incoming master of library science (MLS) students with the first cohort starting fall 2014. The grant has a matching requirement using non-federal funds for all recipients, bringing the grand total to $657,369. ECU’s mission to support eastern NC aligns with the IMLS’s charge to prepare librarians who will work in high-need districts. 2014 Educators Hall of Fame is October 18

The 2014 Educators Hall of Fame ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 18 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. This event highlights the service of those educators to whom East Carolina 2013 Educators Hall of Fame inductee, Delilah alumni and friends Jackson, assistant superintendent of human are most grateful. resources at Pitt County Schools. This permanent recognition is displayed prominently in the Speight Building. A reception and viewing of the Educators Hall of Fame in Speight Building will immediately follow the induction ceremony in Fletcher Recital Hall. Contact Jessica Nottingham for additional information at


Hard Work and ECU Education Pay Off

When Tracey Maynor ’95 left home at 15 and then joined the Army, little did he know that he would eventually own his own transportation company. But an incredible work ethic, a drive to overcome many obstacles, and an ECU education paid off. Originally from Montgomery County, NC, Maynor came to ECU to “follow the love of his life.” His then-girlfriend, Jamie Blake Kellam Maynor, a 1991 graduate of ECU’s College of Education,

AROUND CAMPUS is now his wife of 23 years. He had $20 to his name and obtained a deferment to pay his first year’s tuition, room, and board. Maynor had grown up in a family of truck drivers and mechanics. He learned early on how to repair trucks and drive them, which is how he paid for college. He didn’t perform very well in the classroom initially, Tracey Maynor is the owner of W&B Service so he left ECU and Company. went to work for PYA Monarch, a food service distribution company. The president of the company, Mr. Charlie Wright, encouraged him to go back to college and finish his degree. Maynor graduated in 1995 with a degree in industrial technology and a concentration in distribution and sales.

“My best memories of ECU are realizing the genuine interest that my professors took in me, and the hands-on learning,” Maynor said. “I also remember distinctly how the Greenville community embraced ECU students.” Each step in Maynor’s career was important in developing the skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur in the transportation business: mechanic, truck-driver, salesman, manager, and executive. Every step helped Maynor plan to go into business for himself. In March 2013, after working as president and chief operating officer for a year, Maynor purchased W&B Service Company, the world’s largest dealer of Carrier Transicold products. W&B recently added Hyundai Trailers to their product offering. His company now has 19 stores in four states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Maynor has been an active member of the college’s advancement council and served on various search committees. He and his wife have sponsored multiple scholarships in the college, including one that will support an engineering student from his home county of Montgomery. Maynor and Jamie live in Dallas, TX. They have one son, Kellam, 21.


Airport Exhibition

Beth Grant Visits Campus

School of Art and Design student Jordan Brown poses with his work Ascension, a sculpture installed at the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern. Each year, sculpture students are invited to create works for installation on the grounds of the flight center. From many modeled submissions, ten concepts are awarded construction grants. One work is then selected for purchase and displayed permanently.

Beth Grant ’72 (at center) visited campus with her daughter, Mary Chieffo, and Henry Hinton ’76 in March to inspect two pavers she purchased as a part of the Friends of Theatre and Dance Lasting Impressions campaign. The pavers honor her parents and her brother and sister-in-law. The campaign has nearly funded an endowed scholarship. Sponsored bricks and pavers adorn a walkway leading to McGinnis Theatre. For details, contact Mary Jane Gaddis (328-1268, PIRATEALUMNI.COM   27



HUMAN PERFORMANCE Center Helps Wounded Warriors Recover

Soon after US Navy Corpsman Dustin “Doc” Kirby returned home from Iraq, he began to experience the disturbing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. He turned to ECU for help, referred to the university by the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville. Kirby is one of many wounded warriors who have sought help from the ECU Center for Applied Psychophysiology, led professor Dr. Carmen Russoniello, by Carmen Russoniello, ECU front, oversees work by then ECU director and professor in the student Holly Paton (now a graduate), Department of Recreation at right. Paton was working with wounded warrior Aaron Elliott. and Leisure Studies. “That program saved my life,” Kirby said. “It gave me the tools I needed to help myself instead of just numbing the pain and pushing it away.” The center uses an innovative combination of gaming technology and biofeedback techniques to help U.S. military personnel recover from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Biofeedback training helps clients gain control over their nervous system using signals from their own bodies that are recorded and displayed on a computer screen. “We also are developing mobile health measurement and biofeedback products that can be deployed …to analyze and transmit physiological data from remote locations as well as to facilitate biofeedback training. We develop products for the

ECU doctoral student Dominiquie Clemmons-James, right, and recreational therapy administration graduate student Tori Pinchuk demonstrate the biofeedback equipment used in the ECU Center for Applied Psychophysiology. ECU faculty and students use biofeedback at the center to assist wounded warriors in recovering from invisible injuries.


Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps,” said Russoniello. Kirby’s journey to healing has been long but successful. His physical injuries required 32 surgeries and corrective procedures. His invisible wounds led to four years of treatment at ECU. He is now attending college, starting a family and “grabbing as much of life as possible,” he said. Sgt. Aaron Elliott has also seen progress after working with the center. He has been in treatment with the program about a year, seeking help for symptoms related to a traumatic brain injury from multiple concussions. Elliott served in Kuwait and experienced more than a dozen deployments in Iraq. ECU doctoral students Dominiquie Clemmons-James and Matt Fish are among the students providing support at the center. “We give them a technique like diaphragmatic breathing and teach them to hone that technique to help them control how they are feeling physiologically,” said Clemmons-James. ECU recreational therapy administration graduate student Tori Pinchuk is shadowing Clemmons-James this semester, learning from watching the therapy in action. Two Professors Honored for Contributions

ECU professors Michele Wallen and Jamie Williams, of the Department of Health Education and Promotion, were honored at the 65th annual North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance Convention in Raleigh, November 21-23, 2013. Wallen received the NCAAHPERD Honor Award. Williams was named the College/University Health Educator of the Year.

HONORS COLLEGE Students Enjoy Many Programs with Alumni

The Honors College Living-Learning Program provides enriching experiences for students outside the classroom. Recent activities included a trip to Mt. Olive to visit the headquarters of Southern Bank, and to tour the Mt. Olive Pickle Company. Southern Bank CEO Grey Morgan ’75, along with bank employees Drew Covert ’90, Edward Coltrain ’98, Robert Shepherd, Dan Ellis, and John Heeden hosted a terrific luncheon for students at the bank. A lively discussion on the history and operations of the bank followed. Students learned how important service and personal attention is to success. Mt. Olive Pickle Company president Bill Bryan participated, and directed a tour of the Mt. Olive facilities. More than 70 students participated in a living-learning trip to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the Richmond area. A buffet on the James River was hosted by Honors College supporters Alvin ’65 and Joanne Hutzler, Everette “Buddy” ’71 and Margaret Daniel, and Anne Hedgepeth. Blake Eudailey ’85 also attended. A spring trip to Washington, DC for EC Scholars included alumni who stepped up to welcome them. Lt. Col. (Ret.) Vince Smith ’84, Col. (Ret.) Thomas W. ’74 and Kathy ’74 Shubert, Lt. Col. John M. Yourse, Maj. Joseph A. Paradis and Lt. Kathryn Paradis greeted the students, hosted a luncheon at the Army-Navy Club, and provided a tour of the Pentagon.

AROUND CAMPUS The Leadership Lecture Series inspires students to challenge themselves through the experiences of others. Recent speakers included Pirate football coach Ruffin McNeill ’80, who shared his personal stories. Meeting with guidance counselors and visiting high schools is a key part of the recruiting strategy of the Honors College in its effort to attract top students. ECU alumni have been front and center in those efforts. Richard Cobb ’68 hosted a meeting of school counselors in Rocky Mount, Nicole ’98 and Johnny ’87 Bland in Durham, and Mary Ruth Sikes, Betty Speir ’63, and Ann Schwarzmann ’57, ’58 in Greenville. Some alumni had the privilege of taking courses with Dr. Michael Bassman, the Distinguished Honors Professor. After a career of more than four decades teaching at ECU and devoted to building the university honors program, now the Honors College, Dr. Bassman is retiring in June. He will be missed.

HUMAN ECOLOGY Graduate Students Start Luggage 4 Love

Packing for a move is never easy, but for thousands of children in North Carolina going in and out of foster care, it often means packing in garbage bags for unknown destinations. Luggage 4 Love, a service project conceived in a master’s of social work community engagement course at ECU, is working to help children start their journey with something to call their own. Stacy Connor, Latoya Davis, Elizabeth Spruill, and Jeanette Vanaske, graduate students in the School of Social Work, have collected luggage, book bags, cinch bags and duffel bags to help children in the foster care system move with dignity. “Too many children in foster care have no other option but to use trash bags to carry clothing and personal items during this

School of Social Work graduate students collected luggage for children in foster care.

unstable time in their lives,” Connor said. “Children often move multiple times while in foster care.” Seeing the need in their community, the students partnered Easter Seals UCP and ACI Support Services in Craven County to collect bags for distribution. At an April event, the group collected more than 612 bags and monetary donations that will be used to purchase new luggage. “We will continue to collect and purchase more bags for children to use so they do not have to move through the foster care system using trash bags to transport their lives,” Connor said. Dr. Michael Robinson, assistant professor of social work, is in awe of the projects his students have produced. “The first semester I taught this course I asked them to plan, but not implement, a community project,” Robinson said. “I quickly learned that these students wanted to actually impact the individuals and communities they were researching, not just plan to do so.” In addition to Luggage 4 Love, this semester’s projects included Kibbles for a Cause, collecting pet food for the elderly; Renaissance Women, offering career search skills, advice, and wardrobe to women entering the work force for the first time; Operation Cinderella Onslow County, collecting prom dresses for students in need; and Burma Bears, helping Burmese immigrants and their children adapt to eastern North Carolina. If you are interested in donating to Luggage 4 Love, please contact Stacy Connor at

JOYNER LIBRARY Pepsi-Cola Exhibit Opens

An exhibit entitled Pepsi-Cola and The Minges Family: Two Enduring Traditions born in Eastern North Carolina opened March 15 in the Manuscripts and Rare Books Department of Joyner Library. This exhibit celebrates two outstanding entities, both born here in eastern North Carolina. Featured is the story of the Minges family, whose members are well known for their groundbreaking history in the soda bottling industry and philanthropy in this area. Along with the Minges family, the exhibit also tells the story of Pepsi-Cola itself from its beginnings in New Bern to its current worldwide presence in the soft drink industry. Some of the highlights include an original 1917 letter signed by Caleb Bradham, inventor of Pepsi-Cola, a photograph and blueprint of the first Pepsi-Cola factory in New Bern, a photograph of the first Pepsi-Cola delivery truck, and a large sample of PepsiCola advertising memorabilia, including original Pepsi-Cola bottles representing several decades of the company. Also included are an original and unopened 1960s Mountain Dew bottle [Pepsi bought the distribution rights for Mountain Dew in 1964] and a signed 1970 Christmas greeting card from actress Joan Crawford to Forrest E. Minges. Crawford was a major promoter of PepsiCola, and was married to Alfred Steele, Pepsi-Cola CEO from 1949 until his death from a heart attack in 1959. The exhibit will be available through December 2014.



MEDICINE Following Her Father’s Footsteps

Lindsay Speros Robbins ’14 embarked on several new adventures as a medical student at East Carolina University – marriage and motherhood among them. But the Brody School of Medicine was always something well known to the 2014 graduate. Her father, Dr. Thomas L. Speros, was a member of the first group of ECU medical students to enroll more than 40 years ago. He and 19 others joined a one-year program Lindsay Speros that became the foundation for the medical Robbins ’14 school. He went on to serve as president of the NC Academy of Family Physicians. “I enjoyed being a part of building something brand new,” Speros recalled in a recent interview. “I felt like a pioneer, like my grandfather who came over from Greece with $18 in his pocket and not speaking a word of English. I always felt that this region needed a first-class tertiary care center, and I knew it would mean more to the region than people could imagine.” Speros was at his daughter’s side during Match Day, when she learned she would spend her next several years in residency at UNC-Chapel Hill. He wasn’t surprised that Robbins chose medicine and was delighted at her decision. Though he never encouraged or discouraged that path, Robbins said his actions were influential. Still, it took her some time to figure out she was certain about a career in medicine. After graduating with a bachelor’s in biology from UNC-Chapel Hill, she moved to New York City – and away from medicine – for a couple years. While there, she volunteered with a local emergency department. That experience prompted her to pursue a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University. “You really see the failures of the health care system at large in an inner city setting,” she said. “I finally saw firsthand what (Dad) had been fighting for.” She imagined a role in health management, but the pull to work with patients proved too great. So she returned to eastern North Carolina, and to Brody. “It just felt like time to come home,” Robbins said. “And the mission really resonated with me. We have such strong role models in primary care (at Brody). They’re so committed and passionate and fulfilled by it. Just like my dad.”

NURSING Hall of Fame Honors Nursing Leaders

The ECU College of Nursing inducted nine members to its Hall of Fame during a ceremony held this spring. The event, which also recognized the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus, honored outstanding contributors to nursing in the areas of education, administration, research and practice. The Hall of Fame has raised nearly $80,000 for a merit-based student scholarship fund since its inception in 2011. Thanks 30   EC ALUMNI SUMMER 2014

to this program, the college will award its fourth Hall of Fame Scholarship this fall. This year’s recipient, senior nursing student Katherine Waters, was recognized at the event. “The Hall of Fame is a way to acknowledge the accomplishments of exemplary leaders in the field of nursing,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown ’75, ’78, dean of the College of Nursing. “It’s fitting that we honor them by supporting the education of some of our brightest students.” The 2014 inductees join a list of more than 60 Hall of Fame members representing eight states. Each new member receives a flame-shaped award that resembles the lamp illustrated on the college’s nursing pin. The lamp and its associated flame symbolize service and a vibrant life. Members of this year’s Hall of Fame class are: Barbara Adams, Michelle Brooks, Dr. Robin Webb Corbett, Dr. Cheryl Duke, Carol Hallisey, Dr. Marie Pokorny, Helene Reilly, Linda Siegrist and Joanne Suggs. On a night set aside for celebrating influential nurse leaders, the college also recognized the recipient of its 2014 Distinguished Alumnus award. This year’s awardee is Dr. Debra Wallace ’85, a 2011 Hall of Fame inductee and an alumna of the college’s master of science in nursing program. Wallace is the Daphine Doster Mastroianni Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown ’75, ’78 (left) with Distinguished Distinguished Alumna Dr. Debra Wallace ’85 Professor and associate dean for research at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Nursing. She also is director of the UNC Greensboro Center for the Health of Vulnerable Populations. If you are interested in nominating a Hall of Fame member, contact Mark Alexander, major gifts officer, at 252-744-2324 or

STUDENT LIFE Lasting Legacy of Leadership

Six decades of university leadership converged on ECU’s campus to celebrate Alumni Reunion Weekend on April 12-13. Nearly 40 former student leaders gathered for the Robert Wright Society/Student Government Association Leadership Reunion Luncheon. Past SGA presidents such as Lola Delbridge ’50 joined outgoing SGA President Tim Schwan to reflect on ECU’s progress as a leadership university. “I have done my best to serve the student body of East Carolina University,” said Schwan. “Long after I leave our great campus, I will remember that leadership is about people, relationships,


Nearly 40 former student leaders gathered for an SGA reunion in April.

and influencing positive change. The lessons learned from every decision I made during my time as president will help me later in life.” The event was designed to engage and reconnect former student leaders with opportunities to continue their service to East Carolina. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy and Laura McMaster, director of the Center for Student Leadership & Engagement, showcased the great progress in student involvement and leadership as well as news about where ECU is headed. For some alumni, this was their first visit back to campus in more than 25 years, but they still fondly remember what leadership and ECU mean to them. The group even started laying the foundation for the future by offering to help sponsor leadership experiences, mentor current student leaders, and networking to involve their peers in continuing ECU’s leadership legacy.

Bob Lucas ’74, a past SGA president and former chair of the ECU Board of Trustees, challenged attendees to “think big” about the group’s potential impact on student’s lives and university accomplishments. He shared that what is now known as the UNC Association of Student Goverments actually started at East Carolina. Among those attending the Alumni Reunion Weekend events were past SGA president and chair of the East Carolina Alumni Association Board of Directors Angie Moss ’97, ’98, and former UNC Board of Governors member Phil Dixon ’71, ’74. Student leadership and engagement opportunities continue to grow for ECU alumni and students. If you are interested, please contact Zack Forde-Hawkins with the ECU Office of Parent and Family Programs at 252-737-4970.



The 1963-1964 Academic Year On May 8-9, 2014, members of the class of 1964 returned to East Carolina for their Golden Alumni Reunion to celebrate 50 years of Pirate pride since their graduation. They shared and re-lived many memories, such as classes, football games, and commencement, as shown in the following photos from 1963-1964.

Commencement, 1964

Orientation, 1963.

Head Coach Clarence Stasavich and #84 Johnny Anderson during a football game in the fall of 1963.


Registration, 1963.

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EC Alumni - Summer 2014  

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

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