Commitment To Service | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Ken Buday.

East Carolina University Chancellor Philip Rogers congratulates award winners and nominees at the conclusion of the ECU Chancellor’s Awards for Service. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

    Those recognized Tuesday night during the Chancellor's Horizon Awards for Service at East Carolina University share a common bond - a commitment to help others.

    The event in the Main Campus Student Center ballrooms honored more than 150 ECU faculty, staff and students.

    "The individuals being honored tonight embody the ECU motto Servire, meaning to serve," Chancellor Philip Rogers said in his opening remarks. "They serve our students, they serve our university, they serve our region and they serve our state with steadfast and selfless dedication. They represent the very best of ECU. Each one of them utilizes their unique skills and talents to transform the world around them. To each of you, thank you for your belief in the ideals of East Carolina University and thank you for the service-minded spirit with which you approach your work each and every day."

    Rogers presented the first award of the ceremony, the James R. Talton Jr. Leadership Award, to Margaret Bauer, an English professor in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. Named in honor of the former Board of Trustees chairman, the award recognizes outstanding servant leadership.

    Bauer has received numerous local and state honors, including the North Carolina Award for Literature and the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities, the highest honor given by North Carolina Humanities. She has served as editor of the award-winning North Carolina Literary Review for the past 25 years.

    "Dr. Margaret Bauer lives out our mission every single day," Rogers said. "She's a servant leader, placing an emphasis on collaboration and partnerships in her many mission-aligned efforts. ... Your colleagues, your students, this community, this region and this state are better because of your work."

    Other nominees for the award included: Chad Carwein, facilities services; John Cavanagh, Brody School of Medicine; Gregory Chadwick, School of Dental Medicine; Kathleen Cox, Graduate School; Allison Danell, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences; Kirk Foster, School of Social Work; Latonya Gaskins, School of Social Work; Ashlee Lancaster, graduate admissions; Jon Rezek, Office of Global Affairs; Rachel Roper, Brody School of Medicine; Art Rouse, College of Education; Kelli Russell, Health Education and Promotion; Matt Smith, Information Technology and Computing Services; John Stiller, Department of Biology; Brandon Stroud, Department of Nutrition Science; and Maggie Wilson, School of Dental Medicine.

    Also recognized during the ceremony were 89 inductees - 58 faculty and staff and 31 students - to ECU's Servire Society, which recognizes individuals who provide a minimum of 100 hours of service beyond their job responsibilities in a year. Servire Society members receive a certificate, medal and pin with the induction year.

    North Carolina Campus Engagement, Community Impact Award

    The statewide North Carolina Campus Engagement network recognizes students throughout the state with a deep commitment to community involvement and ability to inspire others. Tete Narh-Mensah, a junior biology major and public health minor from Silver Springs, Maryland, received the award for his membership in multiple student organizations, his work as a leadership assistant in the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, and his involvement with various projects as an EC Scholar in the Honors College.

    Excellence in Student Leadership Award

    The Truist Leadership Center Excellence in Student Leadership Award highlights 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. Recipients include:

  • Matthew Blount, a senior Honors College student majoring in public health, helped raise more than $56,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as the founder of a service fraternity. He'll serve as the 2023-24 student body vice president.
  • Calli Jon Massengill, a senior Honors College student majoring in special education and adapted curriculum, has roles in a variety of student organizations and serves as a mentor in the Pirate Institute for Rural Aspiring Teacher Educators.
  • Narh-Mensah, a junior EC Scholar majoring in biology with a public health minor, leads the Citizen U, and Dinner and Discourse programs through the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement and is a member of Students for Equitable Outcomes, a club that addresses health equity in Greenville.
  • Blake Privette, a senior community and regional planning major, worked on studies and projects in Vanceboro, Kinston and Bethel. His work with the Downtown Washington (N.C.) Parking Study earned the 2022 Marvin Collins Outstanding Student Project Award from the North Carolina chapter of the American Planning Association.
  • Iyaira Williams, a junior majoring in public health with a community health concentration, has been a Pirate navigator, orientation assistant and resident advisor, and serves on the Chancellor's Student Leadership Academy. As the 2021-22 North Carolina Collegiate Hunger Challenge Ambassador with Food Lion Feeds, she helped spread the word about food insecurity on college campuses.

    Diversity and Inclusion Awards

    Awarded through the Office of Equity and Diversity, recipients engage in meaningful diversity and inclusion activities in addition to or extending beyond their primary responsibilities at the university, helping efforts toward a more inclusive campus.

  • The faculty recipient is Bhibha Das, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance. Her research focuses on the promotion of physical activity for improved quality of life, primarily on employee and underserved populations. She is the current co-chair of the Chancellor's Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Access and Success Subcommittee.
  • The staff recipient is Deborah Robinson, human resources business officer in the College of Allied Health Sciences. With a key role in leadership, recruitment, outreach and retention efforts for employees, she contributes to diversity and inclusion through her work, demonstrating advocacy as well as development and enhancement of an inclusive campus.
  • The student recipient is Darius Wingfield II. He's been a part of the Student Safety Committee with the ECU Chief of Police and the Equity and Intercultural Engagement Committee for the Student Government Association. As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, he mentors youth on educational and leadership development through the Alpha Pharaohs program.
  • The group recipient is the College of Fine Arts and Communication's Access, Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee. Formed in 2020, the team has supported workshops and events like the MLK National Day for Racial Healing, and has hosted forums, book clubs and professional learning opportunities focused on diversity and inclusion.

    Public Fellows Internship Program

    Funded by the State Employees' Credit Union Foundation, the program is designed to connect undergraduate students with local leadership so they can obtain meaningful on-the-job experience with a local agency or organization, providing a unique learning opportunity and avenue to give back to the community. Recipients are:

  • Ivan Martinez-Santoyo
  • Constance Williams
  • Lindsay Cobb
  • Cameron Brown
  • Samuel Kesler
  • Ian Jethro
  • Jordan Smith
  • Charlotte Grimes
  • Emanual Isaak
  • Charlotte Mesmer
  • Abigail Martinez
  • Taylor Gower
  • Madelyn Garrison
  • Megan Long
  • Riley Jakob
  • Kelly Lewis
  • Alexander Edwards
  • Logan Harrison

    Staff Emeritus Recognition

    The ECU Staff Senate established the recognition of emeritus status to retired staff members who have made significant contributions to the university through a long and distinguished record of service, dedication, leadership and innovation. Those honored are:

  • Paul Gemperline, Graduate School
  • Jennifer Griggs, Student Affairs
  • Virginia Hardy, Student Affairs
  • Teresa Tripp, College of Allied Health Sciences
  • Nora Tucker, College of Business

    Centennial Awards for Excellence

    These honors go to staff, faculty, administrators and teams who go the extra mile every day to make a difference in the lives of students in the areas of leadership, service and spirit.


  • David Paquette, School of Dental Medicine
  • Cliff Hollis, University Communications
  • Melonie Bryan, Office of University Scholarships
  • Susannah Berry and Ashley Norris, Department of Human Development and Family Science


  • Melinda Kane, Department of Sociology
  • Elizabeth Boyd, Main Campus Facilities Service Center
  • Greg Harris, Department of Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research
  • Karen Kus, College of Business


  • April Reed, College of Business
  • Debby Diffenbaugh, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
  • Todd Inman, Facilities Services
  • Sarah Williams, Office for Faculty Excellence

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