Selfless Service | Eastern North Carolina Now | Chancellor’s Awards for Service recognize ECU faculty, staff and students

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Crystal Baity.

Chancellor Philip Rogers welcomes everyone to the 2022 Chancellor’s Awards for Service. More than 100 East Carolina University faculty, staff and students were honored at the event. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

    An unwavering commitment to helping others took center stage Thursday as more than 100 East Carolina University faculty, staff and students were honored at the Chancellor's Awards for Service.

    The honorees, family and friends gathered in the Main Campus Student Center ballrooms for an in-person celebration for the first time in two years.

    "The individuals being honored tonight embody the ECU motto, 'servire,' meaning 'to serve.' They serve our students, our university, our region and our state with steadfast and selfless dedication," said Chancellor Philip Rogers. "They represent the very best of ECU. Each one of them utilizes their unique skills and talents to transform the world around them."

    Rogers presented the first award of the evening to Dr. Marianne Montgomery, chair of the English department, who received the James R. Talton Jr. Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding servant leadership.

    "Dr. Montgomery has proven herself to be a tireless agent for positive change," Rogers said. "As chair of the Department of English she has focused on issues of diversity, inclusion and retention. Department morale has improved significantly due to her transparent leadership practices, active promotion of faculty and student accomplishments, and strong advocacy for our large fixed-term population."

    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 Montgomery, the nominees were: Dr. Eboni Baugh, Department of Human Development and Family Science; Dr. Mark Bowling, Brody School of Medicine; Michelle Brooks, Brody School of Medicine; Dr. David Collier, Brody School of Medicine; Dr. Allison Danell, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Alan Gindoff, College of Allied Health Sciences; Bill Koch, Environmental Health and Safety; Vernice Murphy, Brody School of Medicine; Dr. Ogugua Obi, Brody School of Medicine; Gloria Oglesby, School of Dental Medicine; Dr. John Reisch, College of Business; Dr. Art Rouse, College of Education; Kelli Russell, College of Health and Human Performance; and Dr. Reginald Wade Watson, Department of English.

    Also Thursday, 87 people (52 faculty and staff members and 25 students) were inducted into the Servire Society, which recognizes individuals who provide more than 100 hours of service in a year. Each received a certificate, medal and pin with their induction year.

    "As we reviewed nominations this year, we saw amazing stories of commitment to the community - whether it was local activities through Girl Scouts or the Crossroads Community Shelter or the humane society - or international efforts working with children with special needs in Ecuador to providing medical assistance in Haiti," said Dennis McCunney, director of intercultural affairs and chair of the Servire Society committee. "Our serving Pirates are truly everywhere - and they take our mission seriously, both on campus and in the community with their families."

    Service and leadership are two sides of the same coin, said former Chancellor Steve Ballard, who presented students Hannah Bolick, George Cherry Jr. and Shaelyn Raleigh with the Truist Leadership Center Excellence in Student Leadership Awards.

    Fourteen students were nominated for the awards that recognize those who have shown exemplary skills or achievement in campus leadership, made a positive community impact, or helped to address a significant North Carolina problem. Bolick, Cherry and Raleigh each received a $1,500 award.

    Bolick is a senior EC Scholar in the Honors College with majors in English and communication. As service chair of the EC Scholars Roundtable, Bolick organized 70 honors students who volunteered more than 100 hours at the ECU Community School, where they taught art classes, raised funds to purchase holiday gifts and coordinated year-round food drives. She also is managing editor of the East Carolinian student newspaper.

    Cherry is a junior majoring in neuroscience, psychology and African American studies. Cherry has been involved with multiple ECU student organizations, the Pitt County branch of the NAACP, the West Greenville Health Council and voter engagement. With plans to attend medical school, Cherry is focused on addressing and eliminating health disparities exacerbated by the pandemic, securing voting rights for minorities and increasing minority representation in health care.

    Raleigh is a senior EC Scholar in the Honors College, majoring in exercise physiology and nutrition. Raleigh has served at the Jack Minges Unit of the Boys & Girls Club, Eppes Recreation Center, STEM-Corps East, NC LeaderCorps, and is chair of the EC Scholars Roundtable. Raleigh participated in the Marian Drane Graham Scholars internship program that allowed her to present to the UNC System Board of Governors on the accessibility of merit scholarships for low income and rural students.

    Junior Amrina Rangar was the 2022 ECU recipient of the N.C. Campus Compact Community Impact Student Award. The award recognizes students who demonstrate a commitment to community engagement and ability to inspire others. Rangar is an Honors College student majoring in history and leads multiple student organizations. She is an Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassador, student leadership assistant in the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, and is passionate about voter and civic engagement and helping others develop their leadership skills.

    The Office of Equity and Diversity recognized 14 nominees for Diversity and Inclusion awards, which were presented to one person in four categories: faculty, staff, student and group. The awards honor individual and team efforts for a more inclusive campus. The university has been recognized for 10 consecutive years by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine with its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.

    Dr. Guili Zhang, professor and chair of the Department of Special Education, Foundations and Research in the College of Education, was the faculty recipient. Zhang has been an international and national leader on diversity, equity and inclusion for more than 15 years and serves on the American Evaluation Association board, where she wrote the organization's anti-racism statement.

    Joshua Killian, former student services specialist in the Department of Chemistry, received the staff award. He was recognized for being a critical part of the Harriot College Council on Anti-Racism and Equity, leading formative discussions with his extensive knowledge and experiences as a Black man, ECU staff member and future city planner.

    With her second award of the night, Rangar received the student award for her involvement in ECU LEADS and the Chancellor's Leadership Academy.

    In the group category, the Department of Recreation Sciences in the College of Health and Human Performance was recognized for faculty-initiated projects such as the Greenville-Pitt County African American Cultural Trail, the Pirate Wellness Program and a virtual reality sailing simulator that helps people with physical disabilities develop sailing skills.

    Ten retired faculty and staff members received staff emeritus status for making significant contributions to the university through a long and distinguished record of service, dedication, leadership and innovation. Those recognized were Amy Barber, Susan Chapman, Dr. Vivian Martin Covington, Jolene Evans, Mary Graves, Jean Merenda, Dr. Thomas J. McConnell, Cindy Mills, Dr. Frederick "Rick" Niswander and Nancy Phelps.

    Capping the event, members of the faculty and staff senates presented the Centennial Awards for Excellence in leadership, service and spirit. All honorees received a certificate while individual winners also received a $500 cash award, and team winners received a trophy.

    Centennial Awards for Excellence, Leadership

  • Dr. Ariana Peralta, Department of Biology
  • Tom Brandon, Facilities Services
  • Lauren Thorn, Dean of Students office
  • Student Health Services received the team award. The group received a standing ovation for its dedicated work during the pandemic.

    Centennial Awards for Excellence, Service

  • Dr. George Bailey, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • Rebecca Bizzell, Campus Operations
  • Dr. Michael Van Scott, Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement
  • The nuclear cardiology team at the East Carolina Heart Institute received the team award.

    Centennial Awards for Excellence, Spirit

  • Gera Miles, Department of English
  • Rick McCarthy, Campus Living
  • The ECU core vaccine team, which includes staff from ECU Physicians and Student Health Services, received the team award and a standing ovation for administering more than 4,000 flu vaccines in a two-month period, staffing 23 mass joint flu/COVID-19 vaccine clinics and 32 mass COVID-19 vaccine clinics - in addition to their daily duties.

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