August 15, 2018 Edition

Ready or not….Fall 2018 is here!
From the Desk of Vice Chancellor Virginia Hardy

Virginia Hardy18Welcome to the 2018-2019 academic year. It is hard to believe that “summer” is over. Actually, did we even have one? This year I plan to add some emphasis to our divisional values.  We have used our values to align with our strategic plan and even used them for our divisional awards.

However, I want us to keep these important values on our radar year-round. Each month, I will share my thoughts with you around each of the divisional values. As we open the academic year, I am starting with the obvious one. Yes, you guessed it…student-centered.

I know you join me in looking forward to the start of the fall semester as we welcome those students who are new to the university and those students who are returning. Student life is at the heart of everything we do.  We are here to assist them in their academic endeavors and leadership development while also helping them engage in the full positive ECU experience.

Our services, programs, and facilities foster student development and well-being, promote an inclusive environment, inspire lifelong learning, and encourage positive contributions to society.I look forward to collaborating with you as we work to foster the campus experience for our students via the many Student Affairs services and facilities.

As we strive to maximize student success with a student-centered focus, please remember to also take care of yourself. To help others, we must take care of ourselves and our colleagues. I continue to be optimistic about all that we will accomplish because we consistently keep the students at the forefront of what we do.  I am deeply grateful to each of you for your contributions and extraordinary dedication to our students. I am honored to be a part of such an exceptional community of talented student affairs educators.

Let’s go forth together and do great things…for our students.

Invitation to Fall Student Welcome and Convocation

ECU’s New Student Welcome and Convocation will be held on Sunday, August 19 at 4:30pm in Minges Coliseum. The featured address will be given by Stephanie Lee, ECU alumnus. Ms. Lee graduated from ECU in 2008 with a BA in Communications, Public Relations and a minor in Business.

With a lifelong passion for learning and being challenged, Stephanie has more than a decade of experience across very different industries: from politics and government to beauty and consumer goods.

Stephanie began her professional journey as a field organizer with the Barack Obama presidential campaign and then joined the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee. From working within the Administration serving under the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, she was quickly tapped to work at the White House on the staff of First Lady Michelle Obama.

In 2014, Stephanie transitioned into the beauty industry as a product developer at the global brand, MAC Cosmetics. There, she conceptualizes and designs the look, feel and performance of consumer goods while delivering on strategic positioning and storytelling.

You are invited to the New Student Welcome and Convocation. This very special convocation is the official welcoming ceremony of freshman and transfer students to the university community. In many ways this ceremony marks the beginning of their collegiate journey and ushers them into the community of scholars. It is designed to convey to students the significance of charting and navigating their educational journey and to show the university’s commitment to supporting them inside and outside the classroom. Additionally, this is a celebration of university life and the traditions of ECU.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Pirate Weeks of Welcome

Did you Know? – Plunge Into Purple is now Pirate Weeks of Welcome? Explore their new website at to find the 2018 schedule of events geared to welcome our new and returning students. This is also a great way for students to learn about the resources and opportunities available to them here at ECU.

Here is a preview of the opening weekend activities:

Website Migration

Over the past 10 months, Student Affairs has been heavily involved in the website migration process transitioning university website’s from CommonSpot to WordPress.  This campus-wide initiative’s goal is to complete all phases by the end of the 2020 calendar year.  Currently, Student Affairs has 26 websites LIVE in WordPress.  Click the departments or event links below to view these new URL’s.

Central Reservations Office
Disability Support Services
ECU Cares
ECU Impact
Family Weekend
Greek Life
Inter-Generational Community Center
Intercultural Affairs
LGBT Resource Office
Parent and Family Programs
Pirate Palooza
Pirate Read
Student Affairs
Student Affairs Development
Student Centers
Student Involvement & Leadership
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Student Transitions
Students’ Treasure Chest
Weeks of Welcome
Wright Auditorium
Youth Programs and Camps

To learn more about the website process or to view other ECU websites that have migrated from CommonSpot to WordPress visit WordPress @ ECU.

ECU Graduate named as 2018-2019 Presidential Scholar

UNC System President Margaret Spellings announced on Tuesday that four recent UNC System graduates will serve as Presidential Scholars for the 2018-19 academic year. The Presidential Scholars serve a one-year appointment and provide a wide range of professional functions for the UNC System Office. The scholars will regularly interact with senior leadership and members of the UNC System Board of Governors, helping to research, write, and implement policy.

“The program is a win-win situation,” said President Spellings. “The scholars help the UNC System do its work while they earn valuable experience in preparation for promising careers in public leadership.”

Scholars were selected from among 2018’s UNC System graduates. Each of these successful applicants demonstrated leadership skills, strong motivation, intellectual curiosity, and independence:

Dajer Fernandez
UNC Pembroke
Bachelor of Science, Political Science

Ashley George
UNC Wilmington
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science; Minor, Pre-Law

Colin Russell
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Political Science

William Zahran
East Carolina University
Bachelor of Science in Biology; Minor, Business Administration

CLICK HERE for the full story.

Student Affairs Making Headlines

Scenes from the 68th Annual Grand Chapter meeting of Sigma Nu Fraternity in Washington, DC on Sunday, July 01, 2018. (David Hungate- Dominion Images Photography)

Rhys Collins was awarded an Undergraduate Award of Distinction from North-American Interfraternity Conference.  The Undergraduate Award of Distinction seeks to recognize fraternity men who have found in their experience an outlet for developing as both a leader and a better man. The recipients are those who embody the values of their fraternity and expect the same from those with whom they associate. Rhys has served as the Interfraternity Council (IFC) president for 2018 and has facilitated much of the policy change and culture shift for the IFC community through his service. He’s helped our groups understand accountability and safety ensure stronger brotherhoods and increased sustainability of our chapters.


Pictured left to right, Rachel Bisesi (NC Coastal Federation staff), Lauren Howard (Assistant Director, CLCE), Dr. Lexia Weaver (NC Coastal Federation staff), Ashley Shepard (participant and student lead for the Alternative Break Experience to NC Coastal Federation), and Sam Bland (NC Coastal Federation staff).

The North Carolina Coastal Federation recognized the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at their annual Pelican Awards and Taste of the Coast on July 28, 2018. The Pelican Award recognized the Alternative Break Experience for fostering successful partnerships that protect and restore the coast. The partnership between North Carolina Coastal Federation and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement was established in 2009; making it the longest running Alternative Break Experience. The student participants, faculty, and staff  who embark on this experience leave with the confidence of knowing that one person can volunteer and secure the future of the coast for years to come. Each Alternative Break Experience group has contributed to receiving this honor from the NC Coastal Federation and CLCE looks forward to celebrating their 10thAlternative Break Experience with the partner in 2019.

Click here for the Daily Reflector article.



The Panhellenic Association was awarded a National Panhellenic Conference College Panhellenic Excellence Award for their efforts in the 2017-2018 academic year. This award recognizes College Panhellenic Associations that demonstrate success in the areas of academics, communication, community impact, judicial procedures, operations, recruitment, and programming. This is the second year in a row that Panhellenic has received this award and the Department of Greek Life is very excited about their on-going successes.


Lauren Thorn, Associate Dean in the Dean of Students Office, published Self-Care for the Selfie Generation: How Technology Can Teach Coping Skills in this month’s edition of the Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Essentials publication.

Intercultural Affairs staff enjoying active summer 2018

Ashley Harzog Cleland, Associate Director for the new Women and Gender Office, attended the first-ever Collaborative Area Women’s Center Meeting for centers and offices serving women-identified populations in North Carolina on June 20, 2018. The area meeting was hosted by the Women’s Center at NC State University and included staff from UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, NC Central University, and Duke University. The group shared their office structures and mission, high-impact practices, programming initiatives, and explored current trends. Breakout discussions centered on peer education models, sexual assault prevention and confidentiality, faculty and staff support, and civic engagement.

Cleland noted that it was particularly impactful for the development of ECU’s new Women and Gender Office to build a network of women’s centers in the state. There are plans to make this an annual meeting.


Mariza James, Assistant Director of the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, attended the Consortium for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosted by North Carolina Central University on June 28th.  Staff from Durham Tech, UNC-Greensboro, Fayetteville State University, Duke University, Campbell University, Appalachian State, UNC-Wilmington, Central Piedmont Community College, Shaw University, William Peace University, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and North Carolina Central University attended the event. Participants at the consortium shared best practices, challenges, trends, issues, student programming and successes in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at their respective universities and colleges. James stated that the consortium was beneficial, and she learned about other cultural initiatives at other campuses in North Carolina and is eager to implement some of them at ECU. There are plans to host the consortium semiannually. The next Consortium for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be held at UNC-Pembroke.


Mark Rasdorf, Associate Director for the LGBT Resource Office, attended the first-ever daylong drive-in conference for LGBTQ resource professionals on July 20. Duke University’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity hosted the group which included staff from Duke, ECU, Elon, NC Central University, UNC Greensboro, UNC Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest. The group shared programming initiatives, highlighted successes on their respective campuses, and explored current concerns.  Breakout discussions were held for trans and non-binary individuals and queer and trans people of color. Rasdorf noted that it was particularly interesting to learn about the organizational structure on each campus, as well as the funding streams for support. There are plans to make this an annual event.


Intercultural Affairs staff members Mark Rasdorf and Gabriela Lemus attended the 2018 Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference August 2-4. They joined more than 600 students and professionals from the medical, behavioral health, legal, and education sectors for three days of programming centering around transgender health and wellbeing. Sarah McBride, author and National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, delivered the keynote entitled “Fighting for Trans Health.”  The conference included the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Symposium and Poster Session which featured two poster presentations by ECU Ph.D. students.

Just the Facts – CLCE, Health Sciences Student Center and Student Veterans

Click on the image(s) to view in a larger format .










Just the Facts is a regular communication from the Division of Student Affairs Office of the Vice Chancellor highlighting some of the amazing things happening in our area in a quick, simple, and easy-to-read manner. What we do as SA educators and staff members demonstrates our commitment to student success, public service and regional transformation.

Has something exciting happened in your area within the past few weeks? Send the fact to, subject line: Just the Facts and we will include in the next edition.

Student Affairs New Hires / Departures

New Hires Since June 1st
  • Ashley Cleland – Associate Director of Women’s & Gender Office – Intercultural Affairs – June 18
  • Shaun Simon – Associate Director of Ledonia Wright Cultural Center – Intercultural Affairs – June 18
  • Whitney Kimble – Disability Support Services – June 18
  • Annah Schwartz – Student Media – June 18
  • Rinardo Reddick – Associate Dean of Students – July 2
  • Jennifer Sepulveda – Assistant Director – Campus Living – July 9
  • Kristina Page – Disability Support Services – July 9
  • Chase Wheaton – Coordinator – Campus Living – July 16
  • William “Theo” Nichols, Jr. – Coordinator – Campus Living – July 16
  • Sydney Roig – Coordinator – Campus Living – July 16
  • Brody Glidden – Coordinator – Campus Living – July 16
  • Dana Lopez – Associate Director for Facilities – Campus Recreation & Wellness – July 16
  • Ashley Hurdle – Staff Counselor – Counseling & Student Development – July 16
  • Erin Eatman – Associate Director for Hospitality Services – Campus Living – July 16
  • Bethan Uhrig – Staff Counselor – Counseling & Student Development – August 1
  • Brandon Ratliff – Administrative Support – Greek Life – August 6
  • Alaina Anderson – Staff Counselor – Counseling & Student Development – August 16
  • Thomas Halasz – Director of Career Services – Starts September 4
Departures Since June 1st
  • Tamika Wordlow – Director of Student Rights & Responsibilities – June 29
  • Brandon Frazho – Coordinator – Campus Living – June 29
  • Carrie Smith – Student Involvement & Leadership – July 16
  • Brian Stutz – Assistant Director – SA Assessment, Research and Retention – July 27
  • Brad Avenia – Assistant Director of Facilities – Campus Recreation & Wellness – July 27
  • Karen Dawson – Campus Living – August 13
  • Nadya Majette Elliott – Health Promotion and Project Manager – Student Health Services – August 17
  • Carole Dempsey – Career Counselor – Career Services – August 31

Upcoming Safe Zone Training

For more information, please contact Mark Rasdorf (copied here), Associate Director for the LGBT Resource Office, at (252) 737-4451 or via email at

The LGBT Resource Office announces the following August 2018 Safe Zone training:

  • Thursday, August 16 from 1-4 pm in Joyner Library, Room 2418

Safe Zone training is an opportunity for people to talk, learn, and ask questions about sexuality and gender in a non-judgmental, safe, educational environment. The purpose of Safe Zone is to create a network of allies who are willing to talk to students about sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Trainings are offered throughout the year on Main Campus and the Health Sciences Campus. Each session is three hours in length and includes a panel of students who share their experiences as members of the LGBT community on campus.

Registration for ECU faculty and staff is open through Cornerstone.