2016-2017 Alumni Scholarship Recipients Announced

The East Carolina Alumni Association is proud to announce the 2016-2017 Alumni Scholarship recipients. This year, 20 recipients will be awarded a total of $37,500.

Since 2005, the alumni association has awarded 252 scholarships totaling nearly $350,000. Alumni Scholarships are given to full-time undergraduates at East Carolina University who demonstrate leadership, volunteer service, and academic excellence.Each spring, the alumni association awards approximately 25 scholarships in amounts of $1,000 to $2,500 for the following academic year.

Alumni Scholarships are funded by proceeds from the association’s ECU Alumni Scholarship Classic golf tournament each fall and the Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run each spring, as well as generous donations from alumni and friends. You can support the Alumni Scholarship program by running in or volunteering for our road race on Saturday, April 16 at 8:00 a.m. You can also donate online by clicking here.

Read more about the recipients at PirateAlumni.com/2016Scholars.

2016-2017 Alumni Scholarship Recipients
Italics indicate a repeat Alumni Scholarship recipient.

East Carolina Alumni Association Scholarship ($2,500)

  • Julia Horiates of Holly Ridge, NC; biology and English double major
  • Kirsti Robertson of Charlotte, NC; nutrition and dietetics major
  • Emma Shirley of Raleigh, NC; exercise physiology major

East Carolina Alumni Association Scholarship in memory of Yvonne Pearce ’82 ($2,500)

  • Aenia Amin of Greensboro, NC; multidisciplinary studies and Hispanic studies double major

East Carolina Alumni Association Scholarship in memory of Harry Stubbs ’74, ’77 ($2,500)

  • Mira Sampath of Greensboro, NC; multidisciplinary studies major

East Carolina Teachers College (ECTC) Scholarship ($2,500)

  • Annaliese Gillette of Winterville, NC; hospitality management major
  • Hannah Powell of Reidsville, NC; intended marketing major

Golden Alumni Scholarship ($2,500)

  • Karsyn Tall of Harrisburg, NC; nutrition and dietetics major
  • Timothy Woodward of Greenville, NC; exercise physiology major

Mary Jo Outland Baugh ’55 Alumni Scholarship ($2,500)

  • Darcy Dupree of Raleigh, NC; nursing major

Megan Grace Lavinder Memorial Scholaship ($2,500)

  • Kristin Messina of Saint James, NY; rehabilitation services major

David ’75 & Gail Englert Scholarship ($2,000)

  • Hope Steffens of La Plata, MD; theatre arts and history double major

Donald Y. Leggett ’58, ’62 Alumni Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Emily Coats of Wake Forest, NC; nursing major
  • Christina Nino of Clayton, NC; nursing major
  • Justin Safin of Mooresville, NC; biology and chemistry double major

New York Metro Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Catherine Clark of Totowa, NJ; intended management major

Pitt County Chapter Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Zachary Elliot of Winterville ,NC; intended public health studies and multidisciplinary studies double major

Tidewater Virginia Alumni Chapter Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Katie Brown of Chesapeake VA; engineering major
  • Claudette Robinson of Chesapeake, VA; intended public health studies major

Washington/Metro Alumni Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Sara Carlin of Fairfax Station, VA; hospitality management major


Vasti Rodriguez ’11 ’15 Named First Year Teacher of the Year

Vasti7336When ECU alumna Vasti Rodriguez left the Dominican Republic for the United States, she already had an idea of what she wanted to do. Driven by her knowledge of the difference between the countries’ two different education systems, Rodriguez wanted to help students who need more individual attention.

“My experiences as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic helped [me] understand English language learners and ESL students,” said Rodriguez. “I understand the importance of using differentiation during a lesson and providing testing accommodations to students.”

Already 13 years old when she moved, some would think Rodriguez would struggle. But instead of struggling, Rodriguez has flourished. She currently works as a teacher at Wake County Schools and is already getting noticed for her hard work, as she was nominated for the county’s “First Year Teacher of the Year” award.

“I feel honored and surprised to be nominated for the “First Year Teacher of the Year” award. This whole year has been a learning process in instruction, classroom management, and developing my leadership skills in the classroom,” said Rodriguez. “Fuquay-Varina Middle School has a group of teachers that collaborate and enjoy teaching; their care for students’ education is contagious and motivates me to continue to grow as a teacher.”

Rodriguez is not only a great teacher, but also a devoted pirate. She completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at ECU and credits a lot of her success to the time she spent at her alma mater.

“[ECU taught me about] “differentiation” and how we all learn differently. I need to provide different ways to teach a lesson and allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge in their best capabilities,” said Rodriguez. “I continue to use strategies from my experiences as a graduate assistant and from my internship.”

With the early success and recognition it may be easy for many to stay focused on the present, but not for Rodriguez. She’s already focused on other goals, and hopes to achieve her dream job: a university professor position at ECU.

“I plan to continue working as a teacher while pursuing my doctorate degree. So far, I am interested in international comparative education and education psychology,” said Rodriguez. “I still haven’t decided [about leaving Wake County for ECU]. It would be a privilege to return to my alma mater as a university professor.”

With a successful start to her career, everything is looking up for Rodriguez. She had a message that she wanted to share with her fellow Pirates:

“I thank God every day for the support I received from teachers in the College of Education who helped me graduate and persevere through difficult circumstances,” said Rodriguez. “ECU is a great school! Take advantage of the opportunities!”

By Michael Avila

2016 Wright Award Recipients Announced

The East Carolina Alumni Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award. These five students will be presented with the award during commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 6.

The most prestigious award for undergraduates at East Carolina University, the Wright award recognizes academic achievement, service to both the university and community, and demonstrated leadership. Recipients are recognized as those who will make a positive impact on their respective professions and communities.

In addition to receiving the Wright medallion at commencement, recipients are given a lifetime membership in the East Carolina Alumni Association.

Ryan Clancy of Leesburg, VA, communication
Erika Dietrick of Greenville, NC, biology
Joel Glotfelty of Gibbsboro, NJ, chemistry and biochemistry
Sarah Lisson of Raleigh, NC, nutrition science
Kate McPherson of Raleigh, NC, chemistry

Click here for more information.

Pirates Volunteer at UNC-TV

Around 20 Pirates including alumni and students volunteered for ECU Night at UNC-TV on Saturday, February 27.

ECU Night was part of UNC-TV’s annual weeks-long “Festival” telethon, which helps North Carolina’s only statewide public television station continue to provide quality, educational programming for North Carolinians.

After receiving a brief training at the studio in Research Triangle Park, volunteers answered phones and received pledges from those calling in to support the station. Volunteers worked behind the scenes while special guests led live segments. Volunteers gained some great exposure for ECU while supporting a good cause.

Any organization can volunteer for any night of the telethon; ECU is the only university in the UNC system with its own night.

“I wanted to volunteer because I love volunteering and this was something different. I’m used to just volunteering in my own community,” said student Khiana Wyatt, a senior majoring in family and community services. “My favorite part was interacting with other volunteers during our free time. I would definitely recommend others to volunteer at alumni events.”

Alumnus LaQuan Lucas-Harris ’09 found out about the event via an e-mail from the alumni association. He earned his MBA at ECU and is now a regional credit analyst at First Citizens Bank in Raleigh.

“It was convenient to my house and I wanted to network with alumni locally,” Lucas-Harris said. “I enjoyed meeting new people who all had a love for ECU.  We got to volunteer for a great cause and we were treated like royalty at the event.  At the end I felt rewarded and stated I will definitely see about attending more alumni functions in the area.”

Click here for more photos from the event.



By Jackie Drake

Support the Connect NC Bond

Dear fellow ECU alumni in North Carolina,

GlendaMoultrie-200wBy now, many of you have heard that the proposed Connect NC bond will be up for approval on the ballot for the North Carolina primary on March 15. If approved, the state would receive $2 billion for long-term improvements to public infrastructure, including $90 million for a new Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building at ECU.

As the chair of the East Carolina Alumni Association Board of Directors, I’m proud to share with you that the board at its February meeting passed a resolution in favor of the Connect NC bond.

Click here to read the resolution on our website.

The bond allows us to pay over 20 to 25 years for assets that will last 50 years or more, and to do so at historically low rates. No tax increases are necessary to finance the bond. The state has ample credit capacity to borrow and repay the bonds with no tax increase.

North Carolina’s university system and community college system are major economic engines for our state. The new Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building will be a place for teaching, research, innovation, and economic development.

Click here to read more about how the bond will help ECU and the East.

As a state entity, East Carolina University may only provide information to educate residents. As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, the East Carolina Alumni Association is able to advocate for the approval of this bond.

I’m asking ECU alumni in North Carolina to vote yes on the Connect NC bond on March 15, and I’m asking you to help us spread the word! Vote for the bond and ensure a strong future for ECU and eastern North Carolina and beyond.

Go Pirates!

Glenda Palmer-Moultrie ’79
Chair, East Carolina Alumni Association Board of Directors

2016 Alumni Award Recipients Announced

The East Carolina Alumni Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Alumni Awards.

Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Alumni

This award given to dedicated volunteers with a record of service and leadership with the alumni association and university.

  • Douglas Privette ’72, member of the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation Board of Directors

Honorary Alumni

This award is given to those who did not attend East Carolina but who have claimed the university as their own through substantial service and loyalty.

  • John Bray, retired ECU professor and founder of A Time for Science learning center in Grifton, NC

Outstanding Alumni

Our most prestigious award recognizes exceptional achievement and leadership in the recipient’s profession and/or public affairs.  

  • Henry Hinton ’75, president of Inner Banks Media, LLC
  • Maj. Gen. Frederick Padilla ’82, US Marine Corps, president of National Defense University
  • Steve George Smith ’73, retired CEO of Eveready East Africa Limited
  • Cathy Thomas ’79, ’86, ’88, branch manager, NC Division of Public Health

Save the date! These recipients will be honored at the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Friday, October 28 as part of homecoming weekend at ECU. All alumni are welcome to attend. More details will be posted as they become available.

If you’d like to nominate someone for the 2017 awards, nominations will be accepted through November 1, 2016. Click here for more information.

By Jackie Drake