Core Values | Beaufort County Now

More than 160 ECU faculty, staff, students recognized for commitment to service east carolina university, ECU, faculty, staff, students, commitment to service, march 6, 2020
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Core Values

Publisher's note: The author of this post, Crystal Baity, is a contributor to ECU News Services.

Dr. Ron Mitchelson, interim chancellor, welcomed ECU faculty, staff and students to the 2020 Chancellorís Horizon Awards for Service. | Photos: Cliff Hollis

    Faculty, staff and students who exemplify East Carolina University's motto, Servire - to serve - were honored with the university's highest service awards on Wednesday.

    About 150 people were recognized during the 2020 Chancellor's Horizon Awards for Service ceremony in the Main Campus Student Center ballrooms.

    "The honorees tonight represent the very best of our university and its culture of service," said Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson. "These individuals are clearly talented in what they do, and they are fully engaged. They are committed to a better university, better communities, a better North Carolina and a better world.

    "Our motto and our commitment to service reflect the core values of this university, which has a very large heart, and that's not easy for a university to have a very large heart. I believe that this culture which is on full display this evening sets us apart from just about any university that I've ever encountered. We care deeply - we care deeply about our students, we care deeply about our region, and this Pirate culture that we celebrate this evening has endured for generations."

    Mitchelson presented the James R. Talton Jr. Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding servant leadership, to Griffin "Griff" Avin, director of facilities services for the health sciences campus and chief sustainability officer.

    "Griff lives the term 'servant leadership' and constantly is looking for ways to support, teach and empower his fellow co-workers," Mitchelson said. "Griff talks the talk and walks the walk. He leads by actions, not just words, and he genuinely cares about his staff, co-workers, ECU and this community."

    The award is given annually in honor of Talton, a former chair of the ECU Board of Trustees, to recognize a leader who serves others in their work through collaboration, empathy, trust and the ethical use of authority.

    In addition to Avin, the nominees were: Alison Aadahl, School of Dental Medicine; Stacey Altman, Department of Kinesiology; David Batts, Department of Technology Systems; Barbara Brehm, Department of Human Development and Family Science; Linda Davis, ECU Physicians - Firetower Medical Office; Danny Ellis, Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management; Jeannine Manning Hutson, University Communications; Sherry Lillington, Academic Affairs; Susan Schmidt, Brody School of Medicine; Kim Stokes, Department of Physician Assistant Studies; and Chris Sutton, ECU Police Department.

    New this year, former chancellor Steve Ballard, on behalf of the BB&T Center for Leadership Development presented the inaugural Excellence in Student Leadership Award to Jocelyn Bayles.

    One of 19 students nominated, Bayles received a $4,000 award for demonstrating active participation in courses and activities emphasizing leadership, and in forming and advancing student organizations, committees or nonprofits committed to improving ECU or its constituents. Bayles is a senior majoring in nutrition and dietetics, and foreign language and literature. She plans to pursue dual masters' degrees in public health and nutrition at ECU. "I consider Jocelyn a perfect example of making a positive difference for other people," Ballard said.

ECU senior Jocelyn Bayles, center, received the inaugural Excellence in Student Leadership Award. Bayles stands with Dr. Virginia Hardy and former chancellor Dr. Steve Ballard, who presented the award on behalf of the BB&T Center for Leadership Development.
    The Office of Equity and Diversity recognized 24 nominees for Diversity and Inclusion awards, which were presented to one person in four categories: faculty, staff, student and group. The awards recognize and reward individual and team efforts toward a more inclusive campus.

    Dr. Eric Bailey, professor in the departments of anthropology and public health, was the faculty recipient. Bailey's research has focused on race and ethnic relations, and on the implications of racial and ethnic disparities for health.

    Ashley Cleland, associate director of the Women and Gender Office in intercultural affairs, received the staff award. She was recognized for creating a sense of belonging and inclusion among the ECU community.

    Diamond Ragin, an undergraduate student majoring in anthropology and Asian studies, received the student award for being a leader in international community-building at ECU.

    In the group category, the School of Communication in the College of Fine Arts and Communication was recognized for offering courses on intercultural and interracial communication as well as providing students with service-learning opportunities and developing skills in community outreach.

    Also at the event, ECU's Servire Society inducted 60 faculty and staff and 17 students who volunteered a minimum of 100 hours annually in public service. All members received a certificate, medal and pin denoting the induction year. Several are multi-year inductees.

    Chelsea Hewett was recognized as the 2019 ECU recipient of the North Carolina Campus Compact Community Impact Student Award. Hewett was one of 22 students across the state recognized for commitment to community involvement and ability to inspire others. She has completed 250 volunteer hours since 2017.

    Dr. Carol Goodwillie, associate professor of biology, received the 2019-2020 Outstanding Faculty Contributions to Community Engaged Learning Award sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. Goodwillie started a service-learning project for undergraduates in partnership with Greenville Recreation and Parks to address plant invasion on the city's greenway. Goodwillie received a $1,000 award to support course needs or professional development.

    Jayne Geissler and Lori Lee, who retired in 2019, received staff emeritus status for making significant contributions to the university through a long and distinguished record of service, dedication, leadership and innovation. Geissler was the executive director of retention programs and undergraduate studies with more than 27 years of service. Lee served as the university program specialist in the faculty senate office for 30 years.

ECU senior Jocelyn Bayles, center, received the inaugural Excellence in Student Leadership Award. Bayles stands with Dr. Virginia Hardy and former chancellor Dr. Steve Ballard, who presented the award on behalf of the BB&T Center for Leadership Development.
    During the ceremony, members of the faculty and staff senates presented the Centennial Awards for Excellence in ambition, leadership, service and spirit. The winners - who received a certificate and $500 cash award - were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee:

    Centennial Awards for Excellence, Ambition
  • Dr. Muna Mian, Brody School of Medicine
  • ECU Honors College Freshman Colloquia Instructional Team: Tim Christensen, Gerald Weckesser, Wayne Godwin, Alleah Crawford, Katherine Ford, Beth Chaney, Bhibha Das, Teal Darkenwald and Elizabeth Hodge

    Centennial Awards for Excellence, Leadership
  • Dr. Irma Corral, Brody School of Medicine
  • Chad Carwein, ECU sustainability manager
  • Mary Beth Allen and Chris Fortunato, College of Business

    Centennial Awards for Excellence, Service
  • Cheryl Dudasik-Wiggs, Department of English
  • Charlene Lee, Office of State Authorization and SARA compliance
  • Len Rhodes, College of Business

    Centennial Awards for Excellence, Spirit
  • Tracy Ann Morse, Department of English
  • Alex Dennis, Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement

    In closing, Mitchelson said it was important to spotlight the service provided by Pirates. "I'm struck by the many forms that service takes at ECU," he said. "Most of the work we do is quiet. Most people don't know it's taking place. But it's the tip of the iceberg when I think about what I witness from our students, faculty and staff."


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