2019 EOSA Scholars

The following faculty members have been selected to participate in the 2019 Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy program.

Jihoun An

Kinesiology, College of Health and Human Performance | anj14@ecu.edu

Jihoun An is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology within the College of Health and Human Performance. An earned her doctorate from The Ohio State University. She has been involved in the lives of individuals with disabilities as a coach, teacher and education instructor for the past 22 years in South Korea and North America. She has engaged the disability community as an advocate to promote the health and wellness of individuals with disabilities. An’s scholarly interests include: pre-service teacher preparation in adapted physical education through critical service-learning and situated learning approach; health promotion of youth with disabilities; and home, school and community collaboration for youth development and inclusion. An has incorporated a service-learning approach to her teaching since 2011 to strengthen students’ knowledge and skills by engaging in authentic physical activity programs for children with disabilities, including adapted aquatics, adapted physical education, and bike safety programs. In December 2015, she extended her scholarship to advocate “I Can Do It!” a national health promotion program for individuals with disabilities. She implemented “A Healthy Living Mentoring Program” adopting the national model to local schools in 2016.

Kanchan Das

Technology Systems, College of Engineering and Technology | dask@ecu.edu

Kanchan Das is a faculty in the Department of Technology Systems within the College of Engineering and Technology. Das earned his doctorate in industrial engineering from the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. His main research interest includes developing pathways to improving the economic and environmental sustainability of manufacturing-based businesses by incorporating Lean systems in the supply chain planning process. He’s worked as a consultant with several eastern North Carolina industries including Moen, Defense Holdings Incorporated and Southern Vinyl Manufacturing to improve their business processes. With Moen, Das’s work included design for manufacturing and assembly for a typical product. His research interests also cover environmental, economic and social sustainability planning and management for businesses. His recent research seeks to integrate resiliency in supply chain management and planning. Das applies mathematical modeling-based tools as the main tool for addressing research problems. He is a member of the Decision Sciences Institute and the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers.

Jamie DeWitt

Pharmacology and Toxicology, Brody School of Medicine | dewittj@ecu.edu

Jamie DeWitt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology within the Brody School of Medicine. She earned her doctorate degrees in environmental science and neural science from Indiana University-Bloomington where she studied how aquatic pollutants affect brain development. She completed her postdoctoral training at Indiana University-Bloomington in environmental toxicology and then in immunotoxicology at the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Both of her postdoctoral positions focused on health effects of aquatic pollutants. Since coming to ECU in 2008, she has continued to work with aquatic pollutants, notably those known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These compounds are being discovered in water and other parts of the environment all over the world, including inside of our bodies. In her work with PFAS, she has established relationships with journalists, nonprofit organizations, public interest groups and governmental entities to help them better understand health risks posed by exposure to PFAS. She looks forward to learning how to turn these relationships into engaged scholarship.

Cynthia Grace-McCaskey

Anthropology, THACS and Coastal Studies Institute | gracemccaskeyc15@ecu.edu

Cynthia Grace-McCaskey is a cultural anthropologist with a focus on applied environmental anthropology. She holds a joint position between the Department of Anthropology and the Coastal Studies Institute. Grace-McCaskey earned her doctorate in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida in 2012. Her research interests include political ecology, marine resource management, traditional ecological knowledge, social-ecological systems, and cooperative resource management and institutions. As an applied anthropologist, most of her research involves community participation and consultation. She hopes EOSA will help her develop a mutually-beneficial and long-term partnership with a local community or organization.

Suzanne Lea

Public Health, Brody School of Medicine | leac@ecu.edu

Suzanne Lea is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health within the Brody School of Medicine. She earned her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California – Berkeley. While working for state and local health departments, she has managed field epidemiology investigations involving influenza, anthrax, SARS and food-borne diseases. She is the past president of the North Carolina Public Health Association which serves as the state affiliate of the American Public Health Association. She is also a member of the advisory board for Pitt County Disaster Recovery Partners. Lea is a co-investigator of the GenX Exposure Study, coordinating field implementation for community participants. Her research includes understanding the meaning of resilience in vulnerable populations impacted by hurricanes.

Yuliana Rodriguez-Vongsavanh

Human Development and Family Science, College of Health and Human Performance | rodriguezy15@ecu.edu

Yuliana Rodriguez-Vongsavanh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science within the College of Health and Human Performance. She earned her doctorate from UNC-Greensboro. Her research interests include the sociocultural factors influencing well-being in vulnerable populations, family and couple experiences of immigrant groups, as well as marital and relationship education. Most recently, her research focuses on understanding the co-parenting relationship among Latinx families and understanding effective ways to improve this relationship given its impact on the couple, child outcomes, and overall family well-being. As a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE), her background is in educational outreach efforts. She received the Gladys Strawn Bullard Award for Leadership and Service to UNC-Greensboro for her research and community involvement focused on meeting the needs of the state’s burgeoning Latinx community that emphasized supporting families with college readiness and attendance among Latinx youth. In addition, she was distinguished with the Latino Community Coalition of Guilford County’s Notable Latinos of the Triad Award – an honor designated to recognize community members who make a significant impact on the Latinx community locally. She has partnered with various organizations including the Children’s Home Society of Guilford County and the Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte.

Melanie Sartore-Baldwin

Kinesiology, College of Health and Human Performance | sartorem@ecu.edu

Melanie Sartore-Baldwin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology within the College of Health and Human Performance. Sartore-Baldwin earned her doctorate at Texas A&M University. She teaches in both the undergraduate sport studies and the graduate-level sport management programs. To date, Sartore-Baldwin has researched numerous social justice and diversity-related issues within sport and physical activity, including weight discrimination, sexual prejudice, gender ideology, and the use of non-human animals.  Her current focus is on how the relationships humans form with non-human animals within the contexts of sport and physical activity can be leveraged to promote change.  Recently, Dr. Sartore-Baldwin completed her fifth year as coordinator for the Fitness Walking/Dog Walking program. The program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Kinesiology and Pitt County Animal Services. She is also the contact person for the recently developed human-animal interaction minor at ECU. She is an active volunteer with Pitt County Animal Services, the Pet Food Pantry of Eastern Carolina, and Friends of Pitt County Animal Shelter.

Deby Tyndall

Nursing Science, College of Nursing | tyndalld@ecu.edu

Deby Tyndall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing Science within the College of Nursing. Tyndall earned her doctorate in nursing from ECU. Her program of research and service has always had a component of community collaboration, whether it be on an international or local level. In Fall 2013, Tyndall initiated a Community-Academic Partnership between ECU’s College of Nursing and Wells Elementary School in Wilson, N.C. The purpose of this collaborative, interdisciplinary partnership was to promote community engagement and provide service-learning experiences for faculty, nursing students, and elementary school teachers and students. Guided by a service-learning framework, the partnership aimed to support global health initiatives to benefit children in rural Guatemalan schools. Tyndall facilitated this partnership for four academic years and it has resulted in numerous collaborative activities, including scholarly presentations and peer-reviewed publications. Most recently, she’s developed an interest to transition this community partnership relationship with Wilson County Schools into a research and engaged scholarship project focused on the mental health of middle school children. This focus would merge her clinical practice expertise in mental health with her commitment to participatory research strategies.

Jason Yao

Engineering, College of Engineering and Technology | yaoj@ecu.edu

Jason Yao is a Professor with the Department of Engineering within the College of Engineering and Technology. Yao earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from Kansas State University in 2005 before joining ECU as a founding departmental faculty member. Over the past 13 years, he has created many courses and laboratories essential to the engineering curriculum. His current research interests include wearable medical devices, telehealth and control systems. His educational research interests include laboratory/project-driven learning and integration of research into undergraduate education. Yao is a senior member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and serves as an active volunteer. He has chaired many committees for the IEEE Educational Activities Board and is currently a member of the IEEE Publications, Services and Products Board. In the southeastern region, Yao worked as an automation consultant for several control system integration companies. As an EOSA member, he plans to identify pathways to build stronger partnerships between the Department of Engineering and nearby counties and towns so that ECU’s engineering talent can better contribute to the development of eastern North Carolina.

Catherine “Cat” Normoyle

Graphic Design, College of Fine Arts and Communication | normoylec18@ecu.edu

Catherine “Cat” Normoyle is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design within the School of Art and Design in the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Her research and creative activity explore “design as an agent for change,” expanding on design topics such as social design and impact, community engagement, digital experiences and technology, and speculative design. She has presented work nationally and internationally at notable design conferences including the Cumulus Association, European Academy of Design, Digitally Engaged Learning Conference, AIGA Design Educator’s Community, Design Principles & Practices, and Design Incubation. She has been published in design books and journals including the chapter “Motion Design in the Context of Place” in Critical Perspectives and Professional Practice (2018) and the article “A Catalyst for Change: Understanding Characteristics of Citizen-driven Placemaking Endeavors Across Diverse Communities” in Design Principles and Practices Annual Review (2016). Her research in community engagement addresses social impact assessment, citizen-inclusion and placemaking. She has experience working with local communities in Atlanta and Memphis, prior to relocating to Greenville in 2018. Her conference paper “Design as process, artistic interventions and civic-minded improvements as artifacts” (2016) examines case studies of these experiences, introducing citizens as producers of their communities using a citizen-inclusive design framework.

U. Yeliz Eseryel

Management Information Systems, College of Business | eseryelu17@ecu.edu

Dr. U. Yeliz Eseryel is an Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems within the College of Business. Her current research stream focuses on how open innovation community members innovate with the use of information technology. Her research investigates how community members lead themselves, how they make decisions, and how they manage positive community environments using information technology. Eseryel’s research has focused on open source software development communities, whose members develop software from all around the world mostly without seeing one another. As part of EOSA, she intends to start a new research line, specifically on how local communities can take advantage of information technologies during hurricanes and natural disasters to improve disaster relief and recovery. She is specifically interested in developing information technology-supported processes that empower civilians to take leadership roles to support themselves and other civilians in collaboration with volunteers and government officials. Eseryel is also passionate about involving students in research, having supervised 27 master’s theses. She aims to involve ECU undergraduates and graduates in her research on IT-enabled hurricane recovery.