2022 EOSA Scholars

The following faculty members have been selected to participate in the 2022 Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy program.

Myshalae Jamerson-Euring
Assistant Professor, College of Allied Health Sciences
Dr. Myshalae Jamerson-Euring earned her doctorate in Rehabilitation Counseling and Counselor Education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Dr. Jamerson-Euring is passionate about improving the lived experiences of marginalized groups. Her research interests include disability awareness and advocacy, multicultural counseling pedagogy, social justice, and racial disparities in health care. Dr. Jamerson-Euring’s EOSA project partners with Mobilizing African-American Mothers through Empowerment (MAAME) to examine the racial bias and stereotypes which contribute to the African-American and Indigenous maternal mortality rate in North Carolina. Findings will be utilized to create culturally competent training programs for healthcare professionals and advocates.

Christine Kowalczyk
Associate Professor, College of Business
Dr. Christine Kowalczyk is an Associate Professor of Marketing in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at East Carolina University. Dr. Kowalczyk graduated from the University of Memphis with a PhD in Business with a marketing concentration. She has a MBA in marketing from the University of Georgia. Her primary research interests include branding, celebrities, and non-traditional advertising. In addition, she seeks to understand the potential public policy implications for these topics. Dr. Kowalczyk has been honored with the East Carolina University Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award, ECU Scholar-Teacher, and the Max Ray Joyner Award for Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education. Her EOSA project will help young women, in particular high school students in eastern North Carolina, develop interests and gain knowledge of careers in business and leadership opportunities. Dr. Kowalczyk will work with Dr. Mai and Dr. Quick to identify effective approaches to educate female high school students about business majors and careers, understand student perceptions of effective marketing communication strategies about business education and careers, and measure the branding effectiveness of ECU and the College of Business.

Travis Lewis
Assistant Professor, College of Education
Dr. Travis Lewis earned his doctorate in education with a specialization in educational leadership from East Carolina University. His research focuses on the influence of school leadership practices on K-12 teacher recruitment and retention, the effects of social and emotional learning on student outcomes, and building resiliency in school-aged children. His community partners have included the Pitt County School Behavioral Health Alliance, the Southeast Regional Education Service Alliance (RESA), and numerous public and private schools and districts throughout eastern North Carolina. His EOSA project partners with local districts to identify specific school-based leadership practices that promote the recruitment and retention of new teachers in rural schools. The findings therein are intended to inform both school leader practitioners as well as faculty in principal preparation programs with the aim of reducing the high rates of teacher turnover that have been exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shirley Mai
Associate Professor, College of Business
Dr. Shirley Mai’s research focuses on word-of-mouth, digital marketing, and quantitative approaches in marketing. Her research has been published in several academic journals such as Marketing Letters, Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Journal of Internet Commerce, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, and Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference. Mai is currently working with Dr. Kowalczyk and Dr. Quick on their EOSA project. The project will help young women, in particular high school students in eastern North Carolina, develop interests and gain knowledge of careers in business and leadership opportunities. They will establish a women’s leadership program for female high school students with local high school(s).

Carol Massarra
Assistant Professor, College of Engineering and Technology
Dr. Carol Massarra serves as the director of the Coastal Resilience cluster at the Center for Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering (CSE3). Massarra’s research lies in the area of resilience to natural hazards with particular emphases on post-hurricane performance of residential buildings and other infrastructures in coastal regions. Her resilience construction research primary focuses on improving performance of coastal buildings, hazard-resistant construction and mitigation, and automated data collection and damage assessment. She is very interested in linking science with the community in order to address community needs. Massarra has been collaborating with the Farmville Public Library on outreach events for K-12 students since Fall 2021. Eastern North Carolina has been subjected to devastating hurricanes in the past years and these hurricanes showed a lack of knowledge and preparation in our communities. Through this EOSA effort, Massarra hopes to strengthen her newly formed engaged partnership with the Farmville Public Library to link science with the community in a way that aid communities, especially young generations to better prepare for future hurricane events. As a woman engineer, she also hopes to support increased participation of underrepresented students within engineering and construction management disciplines.

Linda Quick
Associate Professor, College of Business
Dr. Linda Quick earned her PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from the University of South Carolina. Her research includes projects focused on how students prepare for successful careers in business. In keeping with the College of Business’s purpose to “build leaders who inspire, innovate, create, and positively impact society,” her EOSA project partners with schools in and around Pitt County to develop a female leadership program targeted to are high schoolers. This project is a partnership with Dr. Kowalczyk and Dr. Mai from the College of Business.

Mitzi Pestaner
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
Dr. Pestaner is an Assistant Professor at East Carolina University College of Nursing and teaches mental health nursing in the Department of Baccalaureate Education. She received a BSN from the University of Maryland School of Nursing, MSN (Nursing Leadership) from East Carolina University, and PhD in Nursing from East Carolina University. Dr. Pestaner received her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law and Masters in Taxation Law from the University of Alabama School of Law. She practiced law in North Carolina and Maryland representing clients in criminal and family law matters. Dr. Pestaner’s nursing experience in mental health includes caring for patients as a staff nurse and in administrative roles in acute care and community settings. Her research interests include adolescent/adult mental health, the role of protective factors in suicide prevention, and disparities in mental health care among underserved populations. Dr. Pestaner’s background in mental health nursing and law has informed her EOSA research interest. She will partner with the Pitt County Behavioral Health Treatment Court which was formed in July 2020. The goals of the Court are to manage participants’ behavioral health symptoms by requiring that they adhere to a treatment plan and medications, reduce the number of encounters with law enforcement and the court system, and to encourage participants to become productive members of society. Dr. Pestaner plans to examine the influence of the Court on re-offending and mental health outcomes for participants within the context of social justice.

Aimee Smith
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Aimee Smith earned her doctorate in Clinical Child Psychology from Kent State University and completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Her research focuses on youth with chronic illnesses and using behavioral principals to improve their outcomes. She has collaborated across ECU’s campus with the Department of Pediatrics but plans to extend this partnership into the community by partnering with Pitt Partners for Health and patients and their families to form a Pediatric Patient Advisory Board. The main goals of her EOSA project are to identify and address barriers to medication adherence for youth with chronic conditions in eastern North Carolina.