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ECU Notes: Grant funds energy needs, education at community center

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The Lucille Gorham Intergenerational Community Center will soon have some help with its electrical needs thanks to the sun, students and faculty in the East Carolina University College of Engineering and Technology, and a Constellation E2 Energy to Educate grant.

CET students partnered with the center to study its needs, equipment, appliances and layout, then conducted an energy audit to calculate the total energy consumption and the rate of energy consumption on a daily and monthly basis, said Ranjeet Agarwala, assistant professor in the Department of Technology Systems.

“We had originally talked about putting solar panels on the roof,” Agarwala said, but based on the center’s needs, a more portable and adaptable system was chosen.

The $37,500 grant funded the purchase of 18 100-watt solar panels and nine portable power stations. Each power station can be charged from the solar panels and can provide power for anything from charging a cell phone to running a refrigerator.

Deborah Moody, director of LGCC, said the center’s campus includes six buildings, so the flexibility of the portable systems made perfect sense.

“We wanted it to be simple and never have an excuse not to use it,” she said.

The panels and power packs can be used during outdoor events, instead of running extension cords everywhere. They will also allow the center to function during power outages.

“Last year when we had the hurricane, we still had to come in because the community still has needs,” Moody said. “But we didn’t have any power in the building. So this would allow us to charge our laptops and go to work like we usually do.”

In addition to offsetting daily energy consumption needs, powering events and emergency use, there’s an educational component. The center has STEM-based after-school and summer programs, and the students will be able to learn about topics ranging from energy conservation to converting units of power.

Each power station has multiple AC and DC outlets, as well as a digital display showing energy input and usage. The panels and the power stations can be connected in different combinations depending on specific energy needs.

During a demonstration of the equipment, the students were able to see how much energy was being generated by the solar panels and the impact of shadows, as well as the amount of energy drawn by a charging cellphone.

“It’s exciting to watch the kids light up,” Moody said. “We want to get them excited and interested in these fields to prime them and train them, and then have them grow up and contribute to the community.

“We also want the youth to help us think of other ways to use these to help save energy. And then they’ll become advocates at home with their parents, and tell them, ‘These are things we can do to save energy in the house.’”

The LGCC opened in 2007 and is operated through a partnership between ECU, the City of Greenville and Pitt Community College. Constellation’s E2 Energy to Educate grants fund student projects focusing on energy science, technology and education.

Students from Pitt, Martin counties receive ECU College of Education scholarships

Twenty-three students from Pitt and Martin counties have been awarded scholarships this academic year from ECU’s College of Education.

A record amount totaling more than $582,000 in merit and need-based scholarships were distributed to 102 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral education students. The awards range from $250-$20,000. Some of the awards are open to all education students while others are earmarked for specific education majors or programs.

Students from Pitt County and their award are: Alessandra Lazarek of Greenville, Eloise Faison Teacher Scholarship, James H. and Virginia J. Tucker Scholarship; Alexis Jarman of Greenville, James Bryant Kirkland, Jr. and Evelyn Johnson Kirkland Middle Grades Scholarship; Briana Richardson of Ayden, Miriam Perry Saunders Education Scholarship Fund; Brittany Balazs of Winterville, Emily S. Boyce Fellowship Award; Dorothea Mack of Greenville, Ralph Brimley Enrichment Fund; Emily Stutts of Greenville, Benjamin Scott Denton Graduate Fellowship in Special Education; Ezequiel Jaramillo of Grimesland, H. Frances Daniels Scholarship, Lena Ellis Pi Omega Pi Award; Isaiah Gorham of Winterville, Educators Hall of Fame Scholarship, Wilson-Duncan Scholarship; Jessica Harrison of Grimesland, Benjamin Scott Denton Graduate Fellowship in Special Education; John Dunning of Greenville, Emily Boyce; John Kennamer of Greenville, Frank G. Fuller Scholarship; Kali Bousquet of Winterville, Dr. Betty M. Long Memorial Scholarship, Hattie M. Strong Foundation Scholarship; Logan Moseley of Ayden, Tony R. Banks Scholarship in Special Education; Margaret Anderson of Winterville, James H. and Connie M. Maynard Scholars Program; Margie Glisson of Greenville, Jane B. Reel Education Scholarship; Meghan Lower of Greenville, Dr. Moses M. Sheppard Scholarship Fund, Floyd and Pauline Mattheis Scholarship; Reba Warren of Stokes, Hattie M. Strong Foundation Scholarship; Ryan Carter-Stanley of Greenville, Dr. James W. Batten Research Fellow Scholarship; Samaria Trimble of Ayden, Kara Lynn Corey Fennell, Mary Lois Staton Scholarship; and Madison Williams of Fountain, Sara Smiles Scholarship.

Students from Williamston in Martin County and their award are: Ashley Buck, Diane Kester Innovator Award; Heather Harden, Wilson H.W. Foundation Scholarship; and Kimberly Williams, Katie Earle Owen Morgan Scholarship.

Grant Hayes, dean of the College of Education, acknowledged the importance of student support during his remarks at the college’s scholarship recipient and donor recognition ceremony.

“The college is committed to preparing high quality educators,” Hayes said. “It is inspiring to see how our donors are making it possible for these exceptional individuals to pursue their passions and impact the lives of others in a positive way.”

Scholarships in the College of Education are often established with private funds to honor or remember influential educators and support the academic pursuits of future education professionals.

Student speaker Kyndall Westerbeek was inspired to start a scholarship at her high school after attending the ceremony her freshman year. She encouraged donors to “share their stories with the scholarship recipients,” and, for the recipients, “to listen and learn from these wonderful and giving individuals.”

The College of Education is the largest producer of educators in the state and the oldest professional school on ECU’s campus. The college’s mission is the preparation of professional educators and allied practitioners, including teachers, counselors, media coordinators, special education professionals, and principals and administrators.

For more information, visit ECU’s university scholarships website at www.ecu.edu/universityscholarships.

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